Monday, August 30, 2010

Inspiration For New Handcrafted Beaded Jewelry

Nature-Inspired Handcrafted Beaded Jewelry by Maria Palma
The fall season is just around the corner and I've been very inspired by the latest styles in fashion - especially after watching the Emmy's last night. However, I've been even more inspired by nature lately.

In my recent bead shopping adventures, I kept gravitating towards colors such as orange, brown, green, and purple. I've also been in a classy and elegant mood, so I bought black and white beads as well.

The result is a nature-inspired fall collection that represents who I am as a person and an artist: spontaneous, colorful, and down-to-earth.

One of my favorite pieces is the wrap bracelet picture here. It was inspired by my favorite t-shirt that features a fairy girl wearing headphones. Everyone tells me I look like the girl on the t-shirt. That's probably why I like the t-shirt so much. It also depicts how I love to live my life - carefree like a fairy and always dancing to music.

You can find these pieces and more at my Etsy shop!  So, if you're looking for unique jewelry pieces to add to your fall wardrobe, click here to start shopping...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

2010: A Year of Romantic Fashion

Longing for a little romance, ladies?   Well, this is the year that every woman can bring romance back into her life. Whether it be rekindling that love with a special someone or simply bringing romance back into her wardrobe, for 2010 it's been all about the love - at least, for me it has been!

There's something about romantic fashion that makes you dream of days in Paris enjoying a walk in the park, kisses in the wind, and basking in the aura built on love...

Back in the early 1800's there was a time called the "Romantic Era" in fashion. The silhouette for women included a high waistline, full skirts, and a variety of sleeve styles. Nowadays fashion designers are bringing back that romantic era, but in a much different way, of course.

This past spring we saw floaty fabrics, lace, and feminine details on the runways. Add in pearls, a pair of gloves, peep-toe heels, and you’re ready to be whisked away into the world of romance. As with every spring or summer season, the pastels and bright colors made an appearance, but it was all about the soft and ultra-feminine. You can't help but connect with that inner princess when you're wearing ruffles and chiffon.

Spring/Summer collections from designers such as Christian Dior emphasized the woman’s body. The stunning details for Dior’s ready-to-wear collection were invoked with sophistication, elegance, and glamour.  

This romantic trend doesn’t stop at spring and summer, though. For fall 2010 designers continue the love fest. Alexander McQueen and Prada have added touches of lace and tulle to create a romantic, feminine look. Alexander McQueen’s final show was a testament to his romantic soul. This last collection actually brought back to mind a long forgotten era…Shakespeare, anyone?



When all is said and done, though, regardless of what year or season it is, you can always bring the romance into your style of dress. It doesn't have to be all gowns or evening dresses either. Below are a few flirty, romantic pieces that are casual for day wear. There are also a couple that can be worn for a fun night on the town. (Click on a dress for details.)




We may already be halfway done with 2010, but it’s never too late for love!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

How to Get Rid of Dark Circles and Under-Eye Bags

They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. I believe this to be true. The eyes can also tell people how much sleep you've had last night!

Sleep is an important part of our overall health. I have no problems getting to sleep and I generally get about 7-9 hours of sleep per night. If you have issues with getting to sleep, I recommend reading this article I wrote awhile back that offers sleep tips.

Well, thank God we have beauty products that give our eyes a little boost and help minimize the puffiness and dark circles.  It also helps to have a good concealer to cover up those dark bags.  Here are a few products that I have personally tried out...

1. Pixi Flawless Beauty Stick (Available in Nude, Warm, and Cream) - The perfect product for women who just don't like all the fuss.  This stick combines concealer + foundation + powder all in one.  It's been a long time since I've used concealer under my eyes, so I really like the creamy formula and how easy it is to apply.  I just use my finger to blend it into my skin and I'm ready to go!

2. Murad Lighten and Brighten Eye Treatment - This product has been hailed as one of the top products to use to get rid of dark circles and under-eye bags.  In 2007 it was selected by Allure Magazine as one of the best eye creams.  I personally haven't used it long enough to offer a definite opinion, but my best friend swears that it works. 

3. Wei East China Herbal Advance Eyes Alive - This is also a product that promises to diminish the appearance of puffy eyes, dark circles, and fine lines.  It combines the power of Chinese herbal remedies with advanced technologies.  I haven't used it consistently, but I did notice that my under-eye bags were diminished. 

Although beauty products can help improve or hide those skin "imperfections", I believe that your diet does have an affect on your skin texture.  Good health and good skin start at the cellular level. Make sure you're putting good food into your body...and drink plenty of water!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Beauty Tip: Love and Pamper Yourself

Clear Vision
Photo Credit: LoveFusion Photography


Most weekends I usually "work" instead of just relaxing and doing nothing. (I put the word "work" in parenthesis because I consider what I do, which is writing, to be fun. It doesn't really feel like work to me.)

Well, this weekend I decided that I was going to enjoy a guilty pleasure, like watch reality TV shows. I also gave myself a manicure, pedicure, and a facial.

Sure, I could have gone to the spa or nail shop, but I realized how much more relaxing and therapeutic it is to be alone in peace and quiet giving yourself a pedicure. I've been to the nail salon, and although I like those fancy massage chairs, it's not that relaxing because there are other people around packed into the salon - if it's a busy weekend, that is.

So as I spent time with myself, I was able to just relax and reflect on life. I didn't have a thousand things running through my mind. I could simply unwind and just be grateful for all that I have. I spent time appreciating my healthy life and giving myself love.



As I stood facing the bathroom mirror giving myself a facial and applying the Kahina serum sample I recently received, I told myself how beautiful I look and how much younger I look. Some of you may think I'm crazy for doing this, but the first step to inner beauty is to love yourself! If I don't love myself, how can anyone else love me?

Sidebar: The Kahina Giving Beauty serum worked wonders on the dry, flaky skin issue I've been experiencing on my forehead and around my nose. I love that Kahina's products uses 100% organic argan oil. I also love that the company gives back to the Berber women. Read more about Kahina's Giving Beauty philosophy here.

So, this week's beauty tip is to carve out some time for yourself. Spend some "ME" time alone - whether it's giving yourself a facial, visiting your favorite spot to relax and unwind, or sitting underneath a tree and reading a romance novel.  Make it a habit to do this at least once a week or even everyday.  Also, when you look at yourself in the mirror, tell yourself, "I love you" and mean it!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Nice Smile Makes a Difference

“Beauty is power; a smile is its sword."A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks. ~Charles Gordy

Everything you do contributes to your overall beauty and well-being. From the way you feel about yourself to the way you dress, and even your smile- it is all a part of you.

When you smile, it activates those feel good emotions inside of you. Try it out and see what happens. Even if you don’t feel good, try smiling anyways.

I’ve always received compliments on my smile, and until recently never gave much thought about it. It used to be that people would always tell me to smile more. I didn’t even realize that I was walking around with a frown on my face all the time.

When you feel good about yourself, you can’t help but smile, right? You’re happy and that beauty inside of you just manifests itself into good vibes.

So, how do you go about turning that frown into a smile? What if you don’t feel good about yourself?

My advice would be to find just one thing that you like about yourself and focus your energy on that one good aspect. I know that there has to be one thing! What is it? It doesn’t even have to be a physical aspect of yourself. Maybe you get compliments on the way you dress or people admire your wit and humor. Whatever it is, be grateful that you have that characteristic. Really feel that gratitude.

So, when people were complimenting me on my smile, instead of feeling gratitude, I was focused on my crooked tooth. My thought was, How could they think I had a pretty smile when I have a crooked tooth? (By the way, I recently found out about invisalign, so I might pay a visit to this San Diego invisalign dentist to get that tooth fixed once and for all!)

Regardless, a smile makes all the difference when you want to feel good. It’s also very contagious!

People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile. ~Lee Mildon