Stacy B here! Despite the fact that I'm a suburban mom (ugh, that even sounds depressing), I am far more city than country. My husband and I have this dream of retiring - independently weathly of course - to a brownstone in Boston with a doorman, a personal shopper and a heated garage for the winter. And maybe a little beach condo somewhere warm for winter getaways.
I have no desire to live off the land, or retire to some field somewhere where I can feed birds out back or listen to the crickets while I churn butter or whatever. Bugs are gross, butter isn't all that good for you and peace and quiet make me restless. If that's your thing, then good for you, enjoy it! But, give me city lights, shops within walking distance, excitement and entertainment and good food....made to order and served to me on demand. I like more excitement and action and feel more comfortable when there are lots of options, things to do, things to talk about, things to explore. I don't even like country music or cute, farm-y decor. So, I was really suprised when my mom introduced me to a product made by hand from the backwoods of Maine and I fell totally in love.
I'm taking a break from my normal drugstore product because you can't get this stuff in a drugstore. In fact there are only about 10 stores on the East Coast that sell this brand, so you're better off ordering on line. This place started out with jams, jellies and other country-esque gifts and recently branched out into things like body lotions, cleaning supplies, cookware and gift soaps, all natural, of course.
My parents (who are a little more into this stuff than I am) always grabbed some of their jams and jellies whenever they were up near our vacation home in New Hampshire (which I don't go to very often, way too remote!!) The Red Pepper Jelly is a favorite, and so is the Apple Cranberry Chutney. I have no idea what chutney is, but it's great on a cracker. I never thought twice about this stuff until she came home with this amazing Grapefruit Thyme lotion.
This has saved me from grossly cracked and paper-cut-up hands this winter. This lotion is the perfect product to keep right by your sink so when you finish the dishes, you can slab some on and avoid dry and cracked skin and knuckles. It starts out really liquid and oily and when my mom insisted I try it, and practically poured it on me herself, I instantly said how slimy and wet it was and how it would never soak in. She just looked at me and said, 'just wait'. I did, and in less than 30 seconds, I was hooked. My skin was completely moisutrized, felt smooth, soft, silky and touchable. Every bit had soaked in. My mom just looked at me with that knowing motherly smile and said, "I know. I'll get you some next time we go to New Hampshire". Moms always know.
Meg here! I've been very sick. I'm 88% better but it has been a rough week. Running around NYC (in what is COLD to me 40ish degrees) gave me a terrible flu once I returned home.
After being isolated and asleep and sick for three straight days, I needed to get out of my house. There was a danger of me turning into Howard Hughes and starting to pee into bottles. I needed to visit the outside world. I had taken my meds and while I was not feeling even 70 percent better, I was no longer a contagious threat. A shower and easy night out was what I was needing.
Our Manly Monday leader, Nick Stern was kind enough to be my escort. I booked our tickets online and we were set for the 6:30pm showing of OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL!
This was just what I was needing, during my illness I was too sick to open up my recent packages. Fresh from a (much needed) shower, I took my new strength and open a fedex marked from Urban Decay. What was inside transported me to a land filled with bright technicolor! I was only in black and white before I opened what may be, the most beautiful palette to ever exist!
Well, there were two of them looking up at me. The Glinda Palette (I confess, I have not opened it yet.) Is packaged white and pearlized and looks almost angelic. The EIGHTcolors inside were pinks and peaches and golds. Flanked with a plum eye pencil and sheer beige lip color. It is so pretty. I hate when they package things so gorgeous that you almost feel guilty when you open them! It's like people that only put out the good hand towels when guests come over. USE IT ON YOURSELF is hard for me. I mean, it's normally hard for me. It WAS hard for me. I couldn't tear into the Theodora Palette quick enough.
The Theodora Palette is chock full of sexy, smoldering style. The warmer hues in sables and minks, the EIGHT shades were also rounded out with greens and golds. A black eye pencil and creamy red lip are included. I am IN LOVE! This is definitely the NIGHT palette.
Between Glinda for Day and Theodora for night, you have every eye look you will ever need. FOR A LONG TIME! Are you a good witch or a bad witch? (I don't know why I threw that last sentence in there, I must still be a bit feverish.
These palettes are so gorgeous you are never going to want to be without them. You can even customize them once you go through the shadows (but trust me, it will be a LONG time before then!) You can actually just pop in any UD shadow pots-how great is that?
Nick Here! I actually just woke up from my Derma nap only a moment ago which inspired me to write.
This is a lie, he was woken up from his beauty sleep by by my shrill yell "Nick Stern! OMG get up! I've walked the dogs and done the dishes and you need to get me my Manly Monday!" By the way? What's a Derma nap?
Meg, you don't know what that is? That's okay but don't act surprised if you start hearing that term more often...it's literally the new thing. Taking a nap has many benefits and it literally takes no effort. It helps your metabolism, eliminates stress by literally bathing your brain in the neurotransmitter serotonin, and most importantly regenerates skin cells for younger looking skin.
Wait? A nap regenerates your skin cells. Nick Stern, I thought you were just being lazy. All this time you were just doing research? I'm going to need to eat some humble pie. You have my full attention, go on...
I wish we lived in a world where a nap could cure everything: Too fat? Take a nap! Too stressed? Take a nap! Having bad sex? Take a nap! Have bad skin? Take a nap!
But wait, you're losing me here. You just said if you have "bad skin" to take a nap.
Meg, a nap, only takes you so far. You have to compliment a nap with a well balanced routine to make it a true Derma nap. My favorite skin products are the ones that you put on right before a rejuvenating slumber. My go to overnight product right now is the Kyoku Eye Fuel which combines two repairing formulas conveniently in separate pumps. The first is the Uplifting Eye Gel which removes under eye puffiness and the Eye Radiance Cream which prevents dark circles and early-onset wrinkles. With cane sugar extract and anti-aging micro-particles working deeply to brighten and lift up the eye area, you can feel proactive without actually being active. This is literally what every man strives for so ladies while your man slumbers just pat gently under his eye and turn that nap into a derma nap. Now for that six pack overnight gel.
"So ladies, while your man slumbers just gently pat under his eye and turn that nap into a derma nap." I think Nick Stern is still dreaming if he thinks on top of cooking his dinners and providing witty companionship, I'm going to start patting cream under eyes during his siestas. I also, would not recommend any women doing this. We have to draw a line somewhere. I AM intrigued in two different products with two different pumps in one bottle though. That's pretty cool. It takes up less counter space, did you like one formula better than the other?
Meg here! I have the most super fantastic find, it saved me $115 today. Really.
I am a nail biter. I am a disgusting nail biter, nothing could stop it. Not acrylic nails not silk wraps. I would seriously bite plastic nails in moments of boredom and anxiety. Sexy.
What makes me behave? Gel nails. Gel nails (I know most of you have tried them, if you have not had them done at your salon-well, now you don't need to.) Read on, this is EASY and inexpensive and looks really amazing. My roommate has already dragged this into her room. Her mother is in town and after watching me use this, ordered one for herself off HSN (I'll include the link.) I only go absolutely crazy if something blows my mind and I am very excited to tell you about Gel Haute Nail Polish Kit with an LED Smart Light and nail polish.
I am a regular at my nail salon, since the introduction of gel nails I'm less of a regular. With a gel manicure I can get a solid 2.5 to 3 weeks of staying power. No chips, just some grow out on the botton. The only downfall of a gel manicure? The cost. I'm sure there are cheaper places to go, I am a creature of laziness and my salon is walking distance (a rare LA luxury.)
When I walk into my nail salon it's like a casino slot machine going off, all the nail techs hear is cha-ching!
Manicure? Yes.Extra Hand Massage?Yes.Back Massage? Yes.Pedicure?Yes.Extra Scrub and Leg Rub?Yes.Eyebrows?Of course.
Before I know it, I'm out $115.00 and two hours of my life. I really shouldn't spend either. I decided that I wouldn't be so militant about the nail salon. I mean, the earth wouldn't stop spinning if I didn't have my nails done. Right? Wrong. Murphy's Law they call it.
I had exactly 2 hours notice that I would be filmed for TV. TWO HOURS. Not only did I decide to be more laid back about my nails but my hairdresser had the flu last week and I wasn't able to get my hair done for 3 weeks. I have serious roots issues. I can't go 10 days without getting my roots done, nevermind 21.
There I was, getting a call to be filmed on National TV, as a beauty expert no less. A beauty expert with long grey roots and mangled, chewed up nails. Don't you love when life laughs at you?
There was no time to get either professionally done. I drove to Rite Aid and grabbed a box of hair dye (It actually came out great-review to follow.) The nails? Unfortunately, all I could do was run a quick file over them and try to remember to not talk with them too much.
Stacy B here! Happy Valentine's Day! What a weird, poloarized and kind of pointless holiday. I get the 'you should tell your loved one you love them everyday, not just today' argument, but I also get the 'it's such a nice reminder to do something special in a world that's totally busy and overwhelming" argument.
Yes, you SHOULD appreciate your loved ones everyday, but life is hectic and DOES get in the way. So yeah, this day is a good reminder for us all to slow down for a bit, hug your special someone, call your mother, support a local business by buying overpriced flowers or chocolates and enjoy it. Single or paired, there are people in your life you should show love for, and today's a great day to do it.
Thankfully, it's only one day. Red is not my color. I am wearing a nice red sweater with an adorable white button down shirt with black polka dots underneath it but I feel pale and washed out. Red just really gets me! No bold, sexy, red lips for me today! Or ever!
I hear over and over that "anyone can wear a red lip" but I just can't. I look terrible. No matter what shade I try, my skin looks pale and yellow against it. And they always start to look orange on me after a while. Once, I found a burgundy shade that almost worked, but it was just too bold for me. I like to play with my eye makeup, not lips. I've always been an eye girl, not a lip girl.
But, in the spirit of St. Valentine, I decided to try a red gloss from Wet n Wild. Of course, Wet n Wild because it's cheap, fun and a great brand to experiment with. Their quality has really improved but their prices have stayed the same so what better brand to try something new for less than $5.
Today, I'm wearing Wet n Wild's Mega Slick's Lip Gloss in Red Sensation. It's not bad. It's still red, but it's a gloss so the pigment is not all that strong. I layered it over a nice gold/nude color I have and that dulled the orange that always seems to come out when I try on a red. I still feel a bit self-conscious, it's redder than anything I'd wear normally, but so far no one's given me any crazy looks.
Nick here! The male is a strange animal of habit and the one thing we don't spend time thinking about is changing what ain't broke. That is why we don't really switch up our hygienic (refrain from calling them beauty products around men) staples. The main staple in a man's arsenal besides soap is deodorant...and let's be honest we wouldn't even use it if we could get away with it. Honestly I rarely use it as it is unless I'm going to work or leaving the house...sorry Meg you wanted to live with a guy. I've used the same brand of deodorant for the last 10 years and the only reason I chose it in the first place is because they told me that it was the official deodorant of NASA. So if I'm not going to achieve my childhood dream of being an astronaut I sure as hell am going to smell like one. ( I'm literally listening to the theme song of Apollo 13 as I type).
Now the best way to get a man to try something new is to introduce a FREE product ( so ladies this will cost you but hell it's an investment like painting your house or gardening) when they are close to running out of their current one. That is howMeg got me to change deodorants (or maybe it was a hint that I don't wear it enough). I remember toweling off after a nice shower and looking in my cabinet to realize that my deodorant stick was out but conveniently next to the empty stick was a brand new shiny blue stick of Jack Black's Pit Boss Antiperspirant and Deodorant. How did Meg know that my second childhood dream was to be a race car driver. I've driven with him, let's all just be thankful his dream is "producer."Ladies, don't laugh you can rule a man's heart and emotions by humoring their childhood dreams. I just gave you the key to running the world...you can thank me later.Thanks Nick, we had no idea that "humoring a man" could be helpful in getting what we want. No idea. Newsflash, ladies.
The first thing I do before using Jack Black's Pit Boss Antiperspirant and Deodorant is smell it...naturally. I notice that it actually has a subtle soapy scent which is much different than the heavily perfumed deodorants found in those horrible pharmaceutical stores (Meg, haven't I come a long way...you've instilled this snobbery in me). Beaming with pride. Beaming...The mild scent of Jack Black is great because it leaves such a fresh neutral smell that I can feel comfortable using a cologne without the fear that it will conflict with another pungent fragrance. The most important feature though in any deodorant is the one apply a day. Guys hate reapplying deodorant throughout the day fearing that their appliance that morning is failing them. My last deodorant failed me once and it's the worst feeling knowing you're so vulnerable...that is why the true test of any deodorant is seeing if it lasts all day. I have to say that Jack Black is truly a boss of the pit because I wore it through a couple of runs and was pleasantly surprised that I could sit on the couch next to Meg without her any of the wiser. You pick your battles.Is your man a real man's man, then even better, because Jack Black Pit Boss is paraben-free --which is a chemical that mimics estrogen and is found in many deodorants -- so Jack Black is as manly as it gets.
Stacy B here! I missed you all last week! My house was under quarantine, every one of us got the 24-hour stomach bug...and each on different days. I missed 3 days of work, partially for my own healing and partially because I couldn't leave my 4-year-old home with a husband who was just as sick, too!
It was gross. Luckily, it was a fast moving bug, so we really were better after a day or so, but that one day was not fun. My kids bounced back fast, they are so resilient. My husband and I took a little longer but I think we didn't heal as fast because we were focused on making the little guys feel OK. I spent $40 at CVS on Pedialyte, Gatorade, crackers, soup and Tums over the course of the sickness. Even the cashier commented that I must have been having a rough weekend. Thanks lady.
At least I lost 3 pounds...it was worth it, right? (Sure, until I'm rehydrated and back to normal...what a fad diet sickness is.)
Needless to say, there were lots of hot showers, hand washing, face washing, anti-bacterial use and teeth brushing. We were trying so hard to stay clean!
Normally during winter I need a stronger, thicker lotion for around my eyes and face and when I'm sick, or taking care of a sick person, my skin gets even worse. I'm dehydrated, taking hot showers, doing lots of washing and generally stripping my skin of all moisture. It's tough. I'd been using Nature's Gate Grape Seed Eye Cream off and on over the last few months with mixed results. This was a true test of this product and I'd give it a passing grade. Not an A+, but a pass.
Meg here! There is some Beyonce concert going on and the streets are empty, if you've ever driven in LA traffic you realize I am indebted to Beyonce. Traveling anywhere, whether on the 405 or across the Atlantic, is a chore. Trying to pick which cosetics go with you can be as traumatic as Sophie's Choice. There's always limited space and the fear of the TSA. When I am forced to scale back I go into panic mode. I am back on a cross country flight in two weeks and I'm already trying to figure out what cosmetics are going to make the cut.
Imagine my relief when the most gorgeous designer travel, cosmetics bag showed up to my door! The intricate, colorful stitching screamed expensive "Missoni!" But wait, it was not from a Haute Couture high fashion house? What could it be? upon further inspection I noticed a gold plated "tarte" label! Ooh! Tarte's such a favorite at Megsmakeup.com we've have some many favorites from the line! It was so nice of tarte to include their hottest selling (and some of holy grails) in an exclusive Journey To Natural Beauty 6-Piece Collection for $59.94! That's it, so for about the price of 3 tarte items you get 6? A fabulous travel bag and the cutest/chicest matching powder brush? Has tarte lost their marbles? This is a $165 value!!
Want one? (You do, trust me) then mark your calenders for Tuesday, Feb 5th! Or you can PRE ORDER HERE!
Meg here! How do you build a better mousetrap? That's been an age old question. The more popular question? How do you build a better mascara?
When I first opened up the cult fave "Mesmer Eyes Mascara" from the genius that is Napoleon Perdis I was more than a little nervous. I was perplexed by the brush, it wasn't the usual bristle application that I was used to. I was a stiff wand, with one end completely flat. Hmm, it says its a "trip threat mascara that lengthens, adds volume and curl."
Ok, I'm game. The trick is to to keep applying the color while your lashes are still wet and to curl with the flat end of the wand.
I'm hooked and I know I've gotten this out to more than a few Megheads in their makeup packages. The wand does take a little bit of effort to get used to and you do have to spend a minute longer while applying compared to the usual types of wands but it is so worth it. If you get too much on the wand a little blot with a kleenex with bring you back to business. Once you learn the flat end handle trick you can cut out curling your lashes all together.
Its another Napoleon win but what else can you expect from this perfectionist? How about a fantastic beauty event February 20th? Napoleon and W Magazine's Beauty Director Jane Larkworthy are coming together for what is sure to be the beauty event of a lifetime. A master class, tips and trends from Jane Larkworthy herself and each attendee will get a gift from Napoleon himself!
How could this be even better? THe $75 enrollment fee can be used to spend on Napoleon Perdis products! What even better? WINNING 2 VIP Tickets to attend for FREE
Stacy B here! I'm freaking cold. It's 10 degrees with a wind chill of 1 right now as I write this. One. ONE degree. We are dangerously close to negatives. And I mean dangerous literally, if you are outside for too long, you can damage exposed skin! No make up can cover up frostbite so get inside!!
I normally don't complain much about the cold, I live in New England and choose to stay here. I accept the winter cold, I love the snow and I enjoy the changing seasons. But, every year, we get a 1-2 week stretch of bitter cold that really tests my decision to live here. My husband is from LA so we do have an out if we were desperate, but so far, he's happy here, too. In fact, he just left to go out in downtown Boston to meet up with a friend who's in town for work and happily put on his warmest coat and gloves knowing the wind chill is even worse with all the steel buildings creating wind tunnels.
This kind of weather really does a number on your hair, nails, skin and overall demeanor. Especially after the holidays, there's such a letdown. After I took off my holiday red nail polish my nails were so awful. They kept breaking and chipping and splitting, it was gross. The extremely dry air didn't help, along with making my skin crack and my hair static-y. The skin I fixed with some heavy winter lotion, the hair I run a dryer sheet over before I head out and that keeps it fairly tame. But the nails, I had no quick fixes.
I was so fed up I said, "that's it, I'm cutting them all down to the skin!" and looked down and realized half of them were there already. I didn't even have to cut them. I just filed them so they were smooth, even, and unbelievably short. Like, can't even scratch an itch, peel off a label or tap out a fun little tune on my desk, short.
I knew a fix would take a week or so, so I went with a trusty Sally Hanson polish that my husband put in my stocking for Christmas. He chose Sally Hanson's Green Tea and Bamboo Strengthener. He definitely had no idea what it was, just told me "you drink green tea a lot and say it's good for you and the box said green tea so it must be good for you, too". Smart guy.