Sunday, December 28, 2008

New Year's Resolution: Give Your Cosmetics Bag a Makeover
Does Your Makeup Need a New Year Makeover?

It may be time to give your product stash the update it needs

Is your cosmetics bag overflowing with dried-out mascaras, cracked eye shadows and a tube of lipstick from 2002? If so, it may be in need of an overhaul. Take this quiz to find out how much TLC it needs.

Take the quiz

Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's All About You

Purple DancerHere at Beauty Is Within I offer beauty tips, fashion advice, and everything in-between. I realize that there are so many beauty and fashion blogs out there nowadays, so I've been thinking about how I could make this blog stand out. I'm going to be working on my editorial calender for next year, but before I do, I'd like to know what you would like to read about.

What do you want to read?

What do you like about this blog?

What do you not like about it?

What are your biggest challenges when it comes to beauty and style?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Feel free to leave a comment or email me at maria [at] salondemaria [dot] info.

Here's to a new year and a new you! It's your time to shine ;)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Last-Minute Holiday Gifts and Stocking Stuffer Ideas

There are three more shopping days until Christmas! Are you a last-minute shopper like I am? Here are a few gift and stocking stuffer ideas...

For the natural beauties in your life, Burt's Bees offers several gift sets including the Classics Gift Set. Burt's Bees products are 100% natural and are not tested on animals. My favorite product is the Radiance Lip Shimmer because it keeps my lips soft!

Kiss has put together manicure and pedicure sets for people who like to do their own nails. What's great about these little gifts is that you can run to your local drug store and buy them. No crowded malls!

I think this would be the perfect gift for just about every woman: YOU: Being Beautiful: The Owner's Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty. This book was co-written by Dr. Oz - you probably know him if you watch the Oprah Show!

Happy shopping and gifting!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Gift of Relaxation: 50 Spa Treatments You Can Do At Home

Milk and rose petals bath at DVN Flickr photo by Dennis Wong
The holiday season and all that gift shopping you're doing has probably left you a bit frazzled, huh? Well, I want to share this awesome article, 50 Pricey Spa Treatments You Can Do At Home, that offers a great list of resources, ideas, and tips to help you relax!

Photo Credit: Dennis Wong

Spalook 468x60

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Look of the Week: Effortlessly Chic

Want to create a look that is effortless and chic? Well, if you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I always say that accessories can make or break your outfit. Really, all you have to do is add a few quality accessories to your outfit and you're set! As I was browsing the ShopStyle website, I put together this fall look in less than five minutes...

Alice + Olivia at ShopStyle

|Cardigan by Design History | Skinny Pant by Alice + Olivia | Satchel by Fendi |
| Hat by Eugenia Kim | Ring by Chanel | Flats by Ann Taylor

P.S. Make sure to put on your confidence as well!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Changing Skin at the Cellular Level: An Interview With Dr. Zein E. Obagi

Obagi Skin Care DisplayRecently, I had the honor of meeting internationally renowned dermatologist, Dr. Zein E. Obagi, M.D., who came to the Fashion Valley Nordstrom store to conduct skin seminars. Dr. Obagi has developed an innovative skin care line that helps rejuvenate and heal skin at the cellular level.

The first thing I noticed about Dr. Obagi was how nice his skin is! I was able to sit down to talk to him and find out more about the Obagi system and women's skin issues. It was real eye-opening...

I was looking at your website and it says that you "create change at the cellular level", what exactly does that mean?

Dr. Obagi: It means that our skin is made of cells. Anything you see on the skin...our surface pigments, spots, appearing on the surface because of our cells. So if you have the cells that make melanin or make more melanin in some locations, that will look like a spot. If you have cells that make melanin that die, you have white spots. If you have cells that [are] supposed to make elastic and collagen [and they] stop making elastic and collagen, you get wrinkles. So, all the existing skin care philosophies and actually all outdated treatments only focus on skin surface first. They don't care about the cells. That's why treatments fail and that's why many people keep going from doctor to doctor using creams...trying this cream and that cream...and nothing works.

So because I've proved in the last 25 years in the medical field that as a treatment we can make skin healthy, strong, beautiful, and all that by going to the cells and make them function. We created a system called Obagi Skin Health Systems. We have 7,000 plastic surgeons in the U.S.A. alone using my systems. For 25 years in the medical field - because we target the cells, because we activate the cells...we are clearing all the problems on the skin surface.

Now the time has come to go to the public and instead of wasting money - because women buy products based on advertising and marketing - they really don't know what their skin needs. They just spend the money because they heard about this cream or that cream. There really is no science here. Those creams are not going to work because what happens around age 30 - all the cells just hibernate and sleep - they don't function. That's why the skin becomes weak and wrinkles creep in. So if you feed those cells anything, they're not going to eat because they're sleeping. That's why most skin products don't work.

ZO Skin Care Line at NordstromSo Obagi is a system based on using retinol (Vitamin A) and retinol acid. In public we cannot use the medical-grade stuff, so we use retinol. But we figured out how to use the highest concentration possible of retinol - 20 times higher than anything that exists. Encapsulated spheres that you put on your goes to the cells. The cells wake up. When the cells wake up, the skin now is going to repair itself. The cells need to eat. See, now you've given them everything they need to function. You'll see the clarity and smoothness coming back. So without waking up the matter what you put doesn't work. The only agent that wakes up the cells is retinol and we have it in ZO. It's a breakthrough. It's 1% retinol to wake up the cells and restore vitality at the source...that's at the "cellular level".

When did you decide or know that you wanted to become a dermatologist? Is this something you always wanted to do?

Dr. Obagi: Long time ago I was a pathologist and now I'm a dermatologist. Dermatology is still a field where we need to do alot of research. We are in an imperfect stage. My experience in my life was when my sister had a second and third-degree burn and I knew how devastating that was and how bad the scars were. I saw the dermatologist not knowing what to do...That stimulated my interest. Skin is something I should tackle. Then when I was a pathologist I used to see alot of skin cancer and we know that all of this can be prevented. So I decided to go into dermatology with the objective to harbor the knowledge of skin.

So when I finished my dermatology, I went to practice. I established a research center for deformities, scars, burns, and skin cancer. One thing led to another and we found out that by improving the cells, we were also able to tackle aging and other problems, so all this fit together.

How did this line come about? How long did it take you to develop it?

Dr. Obagi: The idea of healthy skin is there. The problem is many women came to my office and complained that their skin is "sensitive" and that's not true! Either you are born with sensitive skin or a genetic disease or you have normal skin. Why don't men complain of sensitive skin, only women? Because women use all these products at an early age and we found out that the most damaging factor to the skin are the moisturizers. When you put the moisturizer on your skin, the cells immediately become lazy. "We are all fed. We don't want to work anymore!" This makes skin weaker, more sensitive, and age faster.

So the time came when I said, "Let me go out to the public with a skin care line that is based on the medical philosophy and prove that it is good. But the problem was how to tackle retinol. Retinol - if you use it in a high concentration - it burns, stings, makes you red, peel, itch, and dry. You cannot use it as is. That's why many companies use trace amounts.

It took years of research and we found out a way. Instead of delivering plain retinol on the skin surface, why don't we put it in envelopes. So we put it in microspheres. Those microspheres will carry the retinol when you put it on your skin. The microspheres deliver to the cells what they need and the cells wake up. So the gap that was missing 50-60 years ago was that nobody was addressing the cells and they were just giving cream after cream after cream with all the anti-aging products. The cells were just sleeping and not functioning - they would not take it. So we're introducing now for the first time a concept - the future of skin care. Wake up the skin! This will wake up your skin naturally and renew itself.

So, besides using your products, what do you recommend that women do to keep their skin looking health?

Dr. Obagi: Start at an early age. You have to know how to clean your skin properly. You have to prevent the pores from getting clogged. You have to use sunscreen. If you're skin is oily, you have to avoid hot baths or steam rooms. If you're skin is dry, you have to avoid irritating substances like excessive moisturizing. They will just weaken it more and make it addictive to the moisturizer. You have to eat healthy foods - foods with anti-oxidants. You have to know your skin types and if you have a medical problem, go early to the dermatologist so they can treat you early.

Putting nothing on your skin is better than putting everything on your skin. Notice men and children...they don't have skin sensitivities. Men have better skin than women because women are the only gender that think that by putting something on their skin they will look younger and more attractive. That's the wrong concept. We have to correct that. But in general, sun protection, healthy diet, and cleaning skin properly will be sufficient sometimes to keep skin in good shape.

But remember, by age 30, you have to use something that will awaken the cells and keep them active. There's no other program in the world like ZO to keep the skin active.

Maria Palma and Dr. Obagi

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ask Maria: Bangle Bracelets and Gold Eyeshadow

When readers ask, I answer!

Reader Jenny asks:
"Do you think the over sized jewellery will carry through until next year? I love the look but I am worried it may not be in next year and it is quite costly in the shops."
My answer: I think that over-sized jewelry will always be "in". Pieces like big bangles which were really big this past spring have carried into the fall. In my opinion, there really is no "in" or "out" with jewelry. When you stick with what you love and feel comfortable wearing and are confident in your style, you can't go wrong!

Raissa asks:
Hello! So glad to have chanced upon your blog. I am in this "gold eyeshadow phase" and while searching for a color, the NARS Isolde popped up. But when I checked its color its actually ginger and copper. So I am not sure if I should still get Isolde but it seems like you like this shade. Your thoughts? Thanks!
My answer: Now that you point it out, the NARS Isolde does look like ginger and copper. Depending on who you ask, some people may say it's gold. If you're looking for a real shiny gold eyeshadow like the colors used in the Chanel and Bottega Veneta Fall 2008 shows, perhaps you may want to check out MAC's "Goldmine". Christine of Temptalia shared her gold eyeshadow look using Goldmine awhile back. I also came across this Bare Escentuals "True Gold Glimmer" pictured here.

Have a beauty or fashion question? Send an email to maria [at] salondemaria [dot] info.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Gemstone Jewelry Meets Vintage Tees

This is a guest post by James L. Fraser Jr....

Do you ever envy people who look like they just rolled out of bed, threw on a worn-in vintage tee with some quirky saying on it, a pair of old jeans, and wonder how they managed to look better than someone who took half their day getting ready? Fashion has been taken over by the hipster- the guy or gal who looks like they haven’t tried, but still seems to look great. The truth is there has been some effort made in order to achieve this laid-back look. This style is an agglomeration of indie rock, emo, and new age punk styles. Angled, jagged haircuts, skinny jeans, constitute some staple hipster items. Throw on a tuque and maybe some big, plastic glasses with no lenses and you are already half way there.

Hipsters don’t usually like to refer to themselves as hipsters because that would imply they were trying to achieve a certain style. The non-hipster (hipster a.k.a. self-hating hipster) is trying to defy materialism by making fun of fashion and coming back to the basics. In order to attain the look without going overboard, try to keep these tips in mind:

Shop Second-Hand
Vintage is in, so take this golden fashion opportunity to find interesting second-hand stores. It’s a once in a lifetime chance to actually be considered cool for not wearing something expensive. People will be much more impressed that you found a vintage tee that really is vintage, rather than a designer tee that looks vintage but you spent $185 on. Again, try to make it look effortless.

The only rule about accessorizing is: accessorize! Accessories are the perfect way of combining your individual style with your bohemian wardrobe. Lots of guys have taken to spacers or diamond stud earrings as their choice of jewelry. Girls seem to lean more towards wrap-around long necklaces with interesting beads, pendants or gemstone jewelry. Dangling earrings and a few bangle bracelets are also a nice touch. The great thing about accessorizing is that it doesn’t even need to match your outfit! Socks, scarves, leggings and hats are other ways to add to a look. The most important thing is originality so if you see something different, take a chance on it.

Mix it All Up:
The key is to take these simple fashion rules and mix them up at your will. The beauty is you don’t ever have to define yourself by one style. You can bring together so many elements and different trends that you love in order to create your personal style. If there is one thing to embrace it is imagination. Use fashion trends as guidelines but by no means should they overpower who you really are inside.

Photo Credit: Joe Cereghino

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Handcrafted Beaded Jewelry Auctions Starting at $0.97!

Necklace ShowcaseOk, it's time to put more beautiful things out into world, so I decided to have a jewelry blowout sale! It's not fair for these gorgeous handcrafted lovelies to stay with me all this time.

I'm spreading the love and auctioning off some of my one-of-a-kind beaded jewelry pieces at eBay...and they're starting at $0.97! I'll be adding more pieces within the next couple days, so stay tuned for more.

Now is the time to get a bargain...and just in time for the holidays ;)

Click here to bid on jewelry auctions or Click here to visit my Etsy shop