Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Summer Beauty Essentials

My summer beauty essentials

Summer officially kicks off today, so it’s time to kick off those work shoes, relax, smile, and enjoy a vacation - even if it’s just a staycation in your own town or city! This week I’m on the beautiful island of Moloka’i in sunny and gorgeous Hawaii, where time stands still and the uniform is flip flops, tank tops, shorts, or a bathing suit.

Today I headed to the beach and made sure to pack these beauty essentials:

Softlips lip balm
Lip balm - My lips tend to get more dry when I’m at the beach. My favorite lip balm right now is Softlips, which comes in a variety of flavors. Also, it has 20 SPF, if sun protection is important to you.

A pretty sun hat - Every year I get a new summer sun hat to shield my eyes and face from those bright rays. This year I received a Scala Collezione sample, which I absolutely love because I can fold it up and put it in my travel bag. It’s stylish and has a ribbon sweatband inside for comfort. I’m wearing the white with black trim, but it also comes in fuschia, black, and aqua.

Scala Collezione sun hat
At the pristine Papohaku Beach
Bottle of water - I usually carry a bottle of water wherever I go. Remember that water is great for your skin complexion, not to mention that it gives you more energy as well.

A good book - Stimulate your mind with a good summer read. Take yourself off to a far away place and live vicariously through a character in a book. Reading relaxes you...and when you’re relaxed, you look fresh and beautiful :)

What are your summer beauty essentials?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Beauty Affirmation Wednesday: Beauty In Mind, Body, and Spirit

Remind yourself daily that you are beautiful in mind, body, and spirit. Watch this beauty affirmation video to start or end your day in a positive mindset...

As you watch this video, close your eyes for a moment and picture yourself enveloped in pure, positive energy. Think of these positive affirmations as your foundation for beauty and wellness. When you think positive thoughts about yourself, you will have a better sense of well-being. You will radiate positive vibes and your inner beauty will shine for all to see!

Love It: Christina Aguilera's Braided Look

I have a new favorite singing contest/reality show: The Voice. I haven't seen every episode, but I really like the judges, plus the singers are so talented.

Last night Christina Aguilera came out with this boho hairstyle that I actually really like. The editors over at Allure weren't so crazy about it, but I thought it was a fun look for Christina. Hey, as long as she liked it, that's all that matters, right?

Celebrity hairstylist David Babaii put together Christina Aguilera's hairstyle using Couture Colour Pequi Oil, which is supposed to tame frizzy hair, plus add shine and moisture to color-treated hair.

If you're looking for how-to video tutorials to get a boho braided look, I recommend doing a search on YouTube. There are so many videos posted there. Now I have a ton of hairstyle ideas for when I go to Miami and Hawaii. I'll be sure to post pictures :)

The nice thing about the boho hairstyle is that there really is no "right" or "wrong". Just be free, creative, and braid away!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Beauty Secrets From Belgium

Did you know that the word "spa" originated in Belgium? This is what I learned today from this DECLÉOR video...

This is the first time I've heard about Herb of Angelica, which is a warming tonic that has medicinal benefits to include helping with the recovery of a chronic illness, revitalizing the digestive system, and improving poor circulation.

Herb of Angelica is found in DECLÉOR products, which are 100% pure, 100% natural, and without colorants and preservatives. I love that the company has taken a holistic approach to beauty products.

DECLÉOR is currently giving away a Belgium beauty set to one lucky winner. This includes: Belgium chocolates, Aromessence Angelique, System Corps body milk, lip balm and NutriDivine Soft Cream from DECLÉOR. Tell them about your 3-step skincare regimen to win these goodies!

To enter the contest and to get more beauty secrets from Belgium, check out http://skincarebydecleor.com

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Beauty Affirmation Wednesday: Bliss Shines Through Your Eyes

"I am centered and at total peace with myself. Bliss shines through my eyes, which makes me beautiful."

This affirmation was inspired from a book by Deepak Chopra that I'm currently reading titled "The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire". Dr. Chopra talks about how our inner dialogue gives us "bright power" and that power comes from within. He also talks about the "fire of soul" which is reflected in the shining of your eyes, your body language, and body movements.

This is one of my favorite paragraphs in the book:
The quality of your inner dialogue is instantly obvious to other people, although it might not be recognized for what it is. When you practice positive inner dialogue, people want to bond with you, help you, be near you. They want to share in the love, knowingness, and bliss that shines through your eyes and is reflected in your every action. This is true inner power.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Can Grills Be Sexy?

Whatever happened to the jeweled and/or precious metal caps worn over the teeth known as "grills"? According to Wikipedia they were introduced by hip-hop culture in the 1980's only to see a massive resurgence in the mid-2000's due to rappers flaunting the "bling" in everything from videos to funeral services. The popularity of grills no doubt culminated with the 2005 Nelly hit single "Grillz". Ever since, it seems, they aren't so hot anymore.

I'm tempted to go into a really deep reflection on the nature of fashion, especially fashion accessories, but I'll focus on the topic of grills. It's fascinating to me that something as glaring a fashion statement as grills can be embraced and discarded in just a few business cycles. Was it a conspiracy launched by dozens of LA, New York, and dentists to cash in on a craze? Or did the financial crisis have something to do with it? One things for sure, the American Dental Association has found no link between sporting a grill and long-term dental damage. Whatever the reason, it's simply to do with the way fashion works, however it works exactly.

Can grills be sexy? Were they ever sexy? It's hard to say because that was then and this is now and my eyes have changed with the course of trends. If you're having trouble seeing what I'm talking about, try and imagine your mom or dad's senior yearbook photo, assuming they had at least adequate fashion sense at the time. Feathery hair, studded shirts, telescopic eyewear: those were sexy once! It's crazy to think how utterly volatile the flow of fashion really is, and how much of what we decide about the sexiness of another individual is subject to outside influences.

Grills can be sexy. Just like eye shadow so turquoise it makes blinking look like a tidal wave can be sexy so long as you're in the right decade and have the right frame of mind. But these tastes change, which is really weird when you really think about it. I mean, how can a glob of shiny metal straight from a Bond villain's wardrobe be worn on the teeth and considered the pinnacle of popular fashion one year and sitting in a shoebox for the next 20? It has to have nothing to do with fashion itself and more to do with what causes fashion to change: primarily, our fascination with originality and our inability to enjoy most anything material for long periods of time.

These are facets of fashion that must be discussed on another day when I have the energy to project all the necessary perspectives and points of view. In the meantime, just take a moment to consider grills. They were once awesome, and now not so much. But were they ever really awesome, or have they ever really ceased to be so? Is this how all fashion works, or just the trendiest of statements? A topic for another day, but until then, grill your inner guru for answers.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Diamonds My Best Friend? Almost

Butterfly Diamond Bracelet
I’ve never really bought into the idea that “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. When my mother would take me shopping as a little girl, my eyes would zone in on classic pearls. In fact, I still have a pearl necklace that I wore at my eighth grade promotion. My thinking was back then that diamonds were reserved for rich girls who wore pink and had white poodles. When hip hop artists started wearing diamond-encrusted jewelry back in the 90’s, I was turned off by all the “bling”. I even told my fiance that I didn’t want a big diamond engagement ring, although I have to admit that on occasion I would dream about it :)

Well, alot has changed.

My friend presented me with a gift recently - a diamond tennis bracelet. I was awestruck by its beauty. It suddenly made me realize my own self-worth. Could this bracelet be a reflection of my own beauty? Have I come to attract these finer things in life because they are manifestations of my appreciation and love for myself? Have I come to accept the things that I had resented as a young girl like other girls who wore pink and took their poodles with them everywhere?

I decided to test my new-found appreciation for diamonds and browsed through TraxNYC’s website (Visit page), a playground and shopping haven for anybody who likes a little sparkle and shine in their life. I felt like I had entered a new dimension of the jewelry world. Why had I denied myself this world? After all, God created diamonds, so why not appreciate these miraculous works of beauty?

One of my favorite pieces from the TraxNYC website is the butterfly diamond bracelet made of 14K white gold pictured above. They also carry men’s diamond jewelry in case you’re looking for a nice Father’s day gift!

“Angels are like diamonds. They can't be made, you have to find them. Each one is unique.”--Jaclyn Smith

Friday, June 3, 2011

Product Review: Shapercise Powered by ShaToBu™

Shapercise Shape Wear
Nothing replaces good ole fashioned exercise and healthy eating to lose weight and look slimmer, but sometimes we need a tool or two to help us out once in awhile - especially those times when we're wearing a tight little dress for a night on the town :)

Last week I talked about the "secret" to looking slimmer and shared tips on how to pick out shapewear. It just so happens that for the past month or so I've been trying out Shapercise Powered by ShaToBu™ which is designed to shape, tone muscles, and burn calories simply by wearing it throughout the day.

Shapercise was created based on the principle of resistance training. There are resistance bands built into the undergarment that force muscles to work harder as you move around. They conducted studies at the University of Virginia and concluded that wearing Shapercise shapewear does help burn more calories. I can't say for sure whether or not I burned more calories, (I had no way of measuring that) but I could feel that my stomach and thigh muscles getting a little workout.

For me, wearing it took awhile to get used to because this is the first time I've ever worn undergarments like this. It did feel really tight when I first put on the shapewear, but I liked that my belly looked flatter.

You have a choice between the regular waist to smooth out your bulges in your thighs or butt, or the high waist for smoothing of the tummy and love handles. I have the high waist in the nude color. As you can see in the picture below, I can wear my light-colored dresses without showing any panty lines. No little muffin tops when I'm wearing pants either.  
Wearing Shapercise

For more information about Shapercise visit: www.shapercise.com

Disclosure: I received a free sample for my review...