Meg here! OK, I'm going to try to do this again. I just wrote this all up and it was great! You would have laughed, you would have cried! This post would have changed your life. Then I accidentally closed the damn window before hitting "save" and I just finished calling myself every curse word I've ever learned. Yet, I trudge forward...
Maybe "change your life" is a bit strong, but you know what isn't? Change your skin. No B.S.
First off, Apple Cider Vinegar? You know it. I know it. I've heard the virtues of it for years. It's pretty vile. I mean, shots of apple cider vinegar? Ugh, and you know me, I'm not the type to shy away from a shot (or 3.) I mean, I dance so much better after a few and my date is so much better loooking after the third. But Apple Cider Vinegar? Come on. There are a lot of things in life that are unpleasant that I already have to do. I pay my parking tickets and the IRS, I get bikini waxed. Do I really need shots of this gag inducing liquid to make my skin better? In short, YES. You do too. I've done the research with Nick and here's the deal.
Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar, it will make your skin look a TON better. A TON. It's not "yummy" but you wont want to hurl after taking a shot. We've found it to go down the smoothest. Yes, it's a ritual that we started three weeks ago and I swear on all that is holy, my skin has NEVER LOOKED BETTER. EVER. After dinner we fill a shot glass, cheer and clink, then shoot it back. My cystic stuff has all but disappeared. Not only that but I'm getting the best gift in the world. The gift that makes my life worth living. The gift that fits every size, every gender, every age range and income bracket-I'M GETTING COMPLIMENTS!!
My friend Heather, my dermatologist, the butcher at Whole Foods "Your skin is looking really nice."
My skin? In my younger years, I never had a problem with acne. I did have extrememly thick eyeglasses, braces for three years and a spiral poodle perm though. So yeah, I was super hot.
Since becoming an adult, my teeth are straight, I have flowing, gorgeous long (Indian extension hair sewn into my head) and contact lenses. Since the Lord Giveth and Taketh Away (that's in The Bible-right?) I also started to get adult cystic acne. You know God, what a jokester sometimes.
I really stand by the Apple Cider Vinegar trick, that's helping me on the inside and showing through to the exterior. I'm also trying a new face wash and I'm loving it. These two bad boys together are really making my need for all over foundation a thing of the past. Seriously, that is quite a statement, I know, I'm just feeling really good about my current dermis situation right now. "Current dermis situation?" I know, spoken like a true beauty blogger and complete skin nerd.
The new face wash? Clarks Botanicals Skin Clearing Face and Body Wash. I am really loving this. My friend Heather that I mentioned above? Well, I recommended it to her. Let's see if I can get her to comment on it. As she said to me yesterday "You've never done me wrong with product suggestions." I went with her to buy some.
I'm loving that this "skin clearing wash" also includes "body" since my neck had also decided to turn against me. Oh neck, I count on you to keep my head held high in times like these! I see there is no loyalty, none. Damn you neck!
Stacy B here! Rough week ladies. Nothing bad happened, thankfully, but it's just another crazy week around here, with more coming. I guess I should remember that my family is healthy, I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge and heat in my vents but still. Hectic weeks are hectic, no matter how fortunate you are.
I've been overloaded with Christmas shopping, and having relatives in LA really puts the pressure on because those gifts need to be either bought, wrapped and shipped by next week, or shipped directly with hopes that the right person opens the box and can wrap everything before the wrong person sees! Every day I have boxes outside my door and my list is not close to being done. Throw in a teething 7-month old, a very smart 4-year-old who asks about 10 times a day "how many days until Christmas?! And can we make MORE Christmas cookies today?!?", a sick husband and 3 full days of required corporate in-house training (fun, I know) and this week was over before it started.
Oh, and tomorrow's our team Secret Santa at work because my manager is on maternity leave starting next week. Which means two things. 1. I will be shopping for my $10 or less gift at lunch tomorrow before the 3 pm party and 2. I can't answer her emails fast enough about what is done and what must be done before she is out. Crazy.
Did I mention I'm in charge of refreshments for the party? Thankfully it's on the company dime but I still have to order food and go pick it up! Is it 2013 yet??? I'm sure no one will notice if I get a mojito at the bar while waiting for our team appetizers, right? They don't itemize the receipts do they?
Guess what usually suffers when I get busy. Make-up and fashion. So sad. Well, that and sleep, but let's be honest, I have two kids, sleep is a luxury at this point. Now, I never give up entirely on my outward appearance but I am in 'multi-use product' mode. Soaps that moisturize, hair serums that dry straight and frizz-free so I don't have to use a flat iron, eye products that brighten and stay put for the entire whirlwind of a day so I don't have to reapply. Give me quality products that save me time and money and I can focus on what really matters: having enough red and green sprinkles for the Christmas cookies I seem to be making at an astonishing rate.
NYX to my rescue! Again! They have a great little shimmery eye shadow stick called the Slide On Eye Pencil. It's like a little sister to their jumbo eye shadow stick which I already love. These are much thinner and more precise though. It is so smooth and glides on so fast. I love their color selection, too, way beyond the typical eye liner colors.
Meg hair! A few months back I wrote about my visit to The fabulous Leonor Greyl Institute in Paris. Leonor Greyl is France's premier luxury hair care brand it is growing quickly here in the U.S.
I made my way to the Leonor Greyl Institue for one of their signature Hair Spa Treatments. I really don't understand why more salons here in the U.S. offer these relaxing (and the results! Woohoo!) experiences. I know we have a bunch of international readers so if you have something similar in your area, I'd love to hear!
If a picture says a thousand words then this YouTube will say a few million. It's really easy for me to describe how amazing my treatment was, but sometimes it is just easier to watch it for yourself.
The women in the beginning of the video is the wonderful Caroline Greyl. I'm sure you've put two and two together and figued it out, but that is Leonor's daughter. Caroline runs the ship over there and once you get a few glasses of wine in her, she's more fun than Disneyworld.
If you haven't had a chance to try these products-you must. I would suggest you start with the Holy Grail product Huile De Palme if oil isn't "your thing" you could always try Allure's Best In Beauty Winner Shampooing Reviviscence. All of their products are exceptional and find their way on the world's most famous manes. You know what's on tour right now with Madonna? I mean besides a hot 20 someting Latino? Yup, Leonor Greyl products. The list of celebrities that can't live without these items is a mile long. In fact, in this weeks issue of People Magazine, Emma Stone is styled to perfection with Leonor Greyl's cult Mousse au Lotus Volumatrice.
Stacy B here! I'm so embarrassed. I should be fired from writing on this site. I committed one of the cardinal sins of beauty.
I forgot to wash my hands after applying self tanner. For like 3 days in a row. So stupid of me! You know what happens, darker palms, orange spots between my fingers and weird splotches on the heels of my hand and wrists. I have been pretty annoyed for the past few days, everytime I look down I am reminded of my error.
I found a new natural tanner that I wanted to try, Nature's Gate Glow Lotion and I just dove right in. I guess I can state the obvious here...it works.
I think my mistake was trying it after getting out of the shower in the morning. We're like a well oiled machine in my house, my husband gets up and showers first, I get my younger son and lay him next to me for a few more minutes of sleep while we wait for my older son to get up. When I'm showering, he gets the kids dressed and fed and then when he leaves, I get them out the door and to wherever they are going that day.
Yes, you read that right, my husband does the breakfasts and outfits each morning. I am really lucky to have a very involved dad as a husband! I would be willing to bet he'd pass off the outfits to me if we had girls, but with two boys, it's not like you have to worry about accessorizing!
Adding a new step to my routine wasn't as easy as I thought. The first day my older son decided he wanted to dry his hair, too. I had to help him hold the hairdryer to keep him from dropping it because the air flow 'tickled his head'. The second day we were running late because both boys chose to sleep for about 15 minutes longer than normal and the third day, my younger son decided to flip himself over onto his belly and then scream in frustration because he was stuck like that. He's not quite strong enough to crawl but deparately wants to move. I had to rescue him.
Really, I'm just lucky that neither boy has tan handprints on them somewhere. Even if they did, it's a natural product so I wouldn't feel bad about chemicals on them!
This company has been around for 40 years and is based on botanical, herbal and floral products. I thought this was great when I read it on their site: "Our Certified Organic botanicals are farmed without the use of synthetic or inorganic chemicals, utilizing methods that naturally enhance soil structure, conserve water and mitigate climate change." Not only is it good for you, it's good for the planet!
The lotion has readable and recognization ingredients, like shea butter, apricot, almond and soybean oil and Vitamin E. I bet it's great for those of you with sensitive skin or allergies. It goes on very smoothly, is thick but not sticky, absorbs fast and smells great. Sort of a floral, citrus blend. Or as my husband said, "you smell like Key Lime Pie". Um, thanks?
Meg here! Have you ever had a "wish list?" I mean it's a "wish list" so you don't ever expect it to be fufilled. The people that have their "wish list" fufilled usually can't deal with the amazing results so they end up in rehab (no judgement, in fact, how the heck do people NOT self medicate. I mean really.)
I have had a couple of water tumbler glasses of wine and need to not only give a "Shout out" but also introduce a new member of family to our Meg Head bunch!
You all know Prudence. Well, right now she is drinking tequila straight from the bottle and planning how to piss on my head. She's not in a good mood. The Queen has been getting a bit big for her britches and while I love Pru more than anything in the entire world. She needed to be reminded that she was, MY DOG And that I was not hers (I'm bad with delegating.)
How could I make Prudence better?
At the same time, the battle of Prudence was taking over as lead supremacy leader of the house (she had a good run.) We needed a new roommate. Nick moved in.
I didn't know Nick at all. He moved in, I had to go to New York (as I do.)
God bless him. I'm not easy to "know" nevermind live with (true, you would never have to pay for another beauty product for the rest of your life.) I come with some perks.
I'm on these email lists of "dogs at the shelter about to be killed." They call it "Eauthanized." Whatever you want to call it. It's meaning is "death." I'm remembering David Sedaris who got the call about his cat. He pictured Chinese children hiding under desks when the vet called and said "have you thought about youth in Asia?'
The pounds of LA are the worst in the country. Once a dog is turned in they have 5 DAYS TO FIND A HOME or THEY ARE KILLED. I have breast implants and weigh 115 pounds, I was a Ford Model. I can't get a date in 5 days. This seems unfair.
I see the listing that my future dog is on the chopping block. This is the conversation...
Meg: (I've probably had a taste of wine) RESCUE MISSION! RESCUE "CHOPPER!"
We go to sleep. Separately by the way. I call the shelter. They wont even do a "hold." It's a race against time to save Chopper.
End of story? We saved him and he's fantastic. End of story? Nick came with me, drove and he's amazing. Even though we got lost a bunch on the way to Harbor Shelter.
WHAT IS YOUR POINT MEG? It's just this, we all need saving. Everyone of us. Sometimes the very best thing we can do to help ourselves is help someone or something else.
WHO IS NICK? He's my new roommate that write's "Manly Mondays." (he's hysterical.) Most importantly, he's good and kind and will wake up early to drive 3 hours to help you save a dog. He's a wonderful person and now we have "Chopper!"
Who is Chopper? We don't know much about me. Someone probably hurt me at some point. I get scared. I'm very, very good. I like to drive Prudence nuts. Just happy to be alive!
Meg here! I just wanted you all to see my powder room. I love languishing in my deep soak tub as I eat grapes and sip champagne by my roaring fire. Sexy music is usually playing as I stare out the windows of my slice of Heaven. I have a great, big cashmere blend robe waiting for me and my towels are imported from Turkey. Jacques is just a bell ring away. He's so amazing at scrubbing my lower middle back.Every bath time should be an experience so I just wanted to let you not only know, experience and really see mine. It's fabulous...And then the alarm goes off and I wake up. It was all a dream!? What?! Nooo!
Cue Dolly Parton
"Tumble outta bed
And stumble to the kitchen Pour myself a cup of ambition Yawnin' and stretchin' and try to come to life
Jump in the shower And the blood starts pumpin' Out on the streets The traffic starts jumpin' With folks like me on the job from 9 to 5"
Sorry if now that song is stuck in your head for the rest of the day. I love me some Dolly. But, 9-5? She's a little lazy. I've been working all day and now I'm blogging at 10:30 pm. Jacques!?!?
I love my shower time. My shower, while not a strung up hose, is not much better. I live in an older house and once the water is hot and steamy I hop in. I get a good 2 minutes before I'm cursing NICK!LISA!!SHUT OFF THE SINK!! (the kitchen sink.)
To where I get the reply "Oh, sorry! Didn't know you were in there!!"
After 30 seconds water pressure resumes and I'm not left shivering in my 1930's shower. Jesus, if I took this shower on Antiques Roadshow I'd probably be a millionaire.
So no, my powerball ticket has yet to give me the bathroom pictured above. But once that damn lottery pays off, it's on my top ten of purchases.
I'm going to take lemons and make lemonaide! Or make Thymes NAIA. It is a floral/citrus fabulous lemon/flower invigorating scent. I love Thymes. I have yet to be let down on any of their products. When I grab my loofah sponge and pour this on, if I shut my eyes for a minute , while it deliciously lathers and suds up-I am transported.
It makes my limbs not only sudsy but silky and even though my tile has probably had Mary Pickford as a guest at some point. I feel luxurious and new.
The clear bottle packaging looks very lush and the scent? Well, this baby gets 5 out of 5 stars from independant reviewers and this sums it up "Think of a cool morning in a lush garden after a rainfall and the sun is just starting to kiss the flowers and evaporate the moisture into the air with all the crisp and delicate aromas...this is what this product conjures up in my mind. What a glorious way to start the day or wash away all the stress at night! LOVE IT!!!!"
Don't take my word for it (but your here, so might as well.) It's a really great gift for under $20 for anyone that has a shower. Even if the plumbing is from the 19th Century.
While it will make your wet body and your entire powder room smell fantastic. I did the test. I asked Nick to smell my arm after I had dried off, put my PJ's on and 45 minutes went by. "You smell clean but I can't smell anything else." It will not compete with your perfume. If you want it to? You can go "all Naia" Thymes has the complete set!
From bath salts to soap bars to cologne to even a home fragrance, you can become a true Naia Girl! I just might. I'd rather my house smell like Naia than "dog pee." Yup, I just rescued another one! His name is "Chopper" pics soon!
Meg here! Happy Thanksgiving! I'm so thankful for you and your support and comments! Today I'm talking holiday beauy with Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in the iconic shade of Cherries In The Snow. When I opened my pack from Revlon I was thrilled. I've been a fan of Cherries In The Snow since I was borrowing it from my Gram's vanity since I was 7 years old. The color is really great for the holidays and I always get tons of compliments when I wear it.
It goes on smooth and seems to make my teeth look whiter, as a coffee drinker and disgusting smoker, I need all the help I can get.
Lipliner has gotten a bad rap ever since the mid 90's. Am I the only one that remembers when women would line their lips with brown eyeliner and then fill in with a nude lip? Lord, that was awful, you know what was also pretty bad? When ladies mismatch shades. You don't want your liner to be darker than your lip color. When done properly, lipliner is a girl's secret weapon. I like to put it on after I've applied my lipstick. Revlon Colorstay Lipliner really does the trick.
Meg here and I have a secret to tell you. Some inside information...
"I have stupid apple magnets all over my fridge!"
"If I get one more lame apple picture frame I'm going to scream!"
"Seriously, like I'm going to wear apple earrings?"
"Thanks for this bedazzled apple sweatshirt. Yes, so clever. Awesome."
Um, if you're looking for a teacher's gift and you don't want them to off themselves, please divert from the cutesy apple schwag. A. You're not being original. B. Or get them something ridiculous like Apple's Ipad Mini. They hate that apple swag crap. Trust me. Apple stock or Ipad not in the budget? Then shake it up. Stand out, bring them pumpkin.
Arcona Pumpkin Body Lotion is a beautiful testament to an underpaid, noble woman that probably doesn't have an extra $48 to spend to pamper herself. The package is excellent, the brand is organic and it looks and feels like luxury.
You could paper me in thousand dollar bills and sprinkle diamonds on top and I'm still not spending more than 30 minutes in a room full of seven year olds, so listen up...
I don't have the greatest sniffer, it probably doesn't help that my first words were "does anyone have a lighter?" I applied Arcona's Pumpkin Body Lotion on. It's not greasy or sticky and dries almost instantly, my skin felt soft and healthy.
The scent? Um, google Men and Pumpkin scent. Honest to God, articles come up that say "Men are more aroused by pumpkin pie than your favorite perfume." Blood flows quicker to a man's second head with the smell of pumpkin and cinnamon more than anything. Google it. I speak the truth. Just in case your child is in the care of a single, spinster educator with lots of cats-help a woman out!
Because I take my job very seriously, I did some reasearch walking around the Rage Cage (my house) yelling "Smell me you guys!!" I even stopped my neighbors doing laundry and asked them to take a whiff of my arms. This girl will stop at nothing I tell you...
"Ooh, you smell like the holidays, yummy holidays."
Meg here! Usually it takes me at least 2 months to break down a man. Much like the military, I believe you have to "break them down to rebuild them better." I mean, duh. So when my new roommate Nick moved in I thought I would have to coerce him into his next "product man whore" role. It's probably because of his cross country move and he already feels slightly weary. I have never had such success in transforming a man into a product genius. I also must confess, I have taken the liberty to try this product myself. You know, for journalistic reasons, in the case Nick didn't accept his mission. It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact this smells divine no matter what your gender. As with all things, Nick delivered! So here is his review on Arcona Exfoliating Facial Scrub Productivity. Because ladies, the holidays are almost here so here's a tip for a gift for your guy!
Nick here! To be honest I've always considered myself too much of a manly man to concern myself with exfoliating my face. However, the last time I was getting my eyebrows waxed, Soleil, my charming beautician, suggested that I begin exfoliating 2-3 times a week to help with my clogged pores and oily complexion. I stubbornly retorted that I didn't think it was necessary to exfoliate since I used a daily face cleanser. Now Soleil (Soleil? I guess Nick visits New Age facialists) could of let me waltz out of there a naive fool but instead she patiently explained the differences and necessity of using gentle exfoliation to rejuvenate the skin...that day I left behind not only my ignorance but also my boyish complexion. Fast forward 10 years later and here I am reviewing Arcona's Exfoliating Facial Scrub appropriately named "Productivity."
The first thing that I noticed was the fruity berry aroma (I do like smelling every thing first) coming from the cranberry and raspberry enzymes, which according to the bottle unclog and minimize pores...Soleil would definitely approve. The purplish grayish tint comes from the volcanic minerals that gently exfoliate your face, and to top it off Arcona has added salicylic acid--an acne fighting staple-- to cleanse and purify the skin.
Now Ive tried different exfoliation cleanses and the reason I've never been a fan is because most of them use harsh exfoliaters (see apricot scrub) leaving my face raw and irritated (please remember me as a manly man)(We're trying). However, the fine minerals in Arcona's facial scrub have a gentle sandy quality (think Hawaiian beach) that leave the skin feeling smooth. Not even the manliest man wants sandpaper on his face!
After using the scrub three times a week for the last couple of weeks my complexion seems to be improved but better than that my face feels good....and really at the end of the day guys just like feeling good.(Guys just want to "feel good?" You don't say.) So I definitely recommend this as a gift for the holidays because as Soleil says "only a real man exfoliates."
Stacy B here! In true New England fashion, we went from snow to 68 degrees in less than 3 days last week. My hair got flat and static-y, then wavy and frizzy. My skin was just as confused and went from normal, to sticky in the humidity and then dry and irriated in the cold air.
After the crazy weather, I notice my skin wasn't recovering very well. And not in an acne, breakout way, but on my arms and legs in more of a 'am I dry? am I oily? am I cracked? is this winter? is this summer? What is going on!?' kind of way. The backs of my arms had those yucky dead skin bumps and my knees and elbows were dry and splitting but my face was getting oily and so was the skin around my ...um...ladies. ;) And after two kids, the girls deserve to be taken care of!
I had to do something, I'm in for a long, dry winter and didn't want things to get worse.
I've had success myself and with my kids using Sebamed products, so I found a SebaMed Cleansing Bar for Sensitive Skin. I chose it because it was moisturizing, for my dry parts, had the right pH balance to erase my oily parts and was mild with natural vitamins and amino acids to sooth my skin and get it back to normal.
This has a really light scent, is curved to fit right in your hand and lathers up really well. I like my bubbles. I need bubbles. If I don't see bubbles, I don't think it's working. The best part was even with all the bubbles, it washed away entirely. The bubbles were thick and creamy and rich and made me feel really clean and pampered.
After I got out of the shower, my skin felt moisturized and smooth. After a few days, everything was back to normal. The dry skin bumps went away, I could bend my knees and elbows without fearing a crack and any oily spots were gone, too.
This bar is still going strong and I'll probably invest in a few more to get through the next few cold, snowy months. They are a bit on the expensive side, about $14, but they last and they really do work. If I rotate between this bar and another soap, I can stretch it out a bit and still reap the benefits.