Stacy B here! I'm not sure how to start off this post right now. Yet again, we have an unspeakable tragedy hanging over us, and makeup posts seem insignificant. But we must move on with our lives in order to restore some normalcy while dealing with tragedies.
Marathon Monday is ingrained in a Bostonian's brain from a very young age and is hard to really explain to those who have never experienced it. It's the start of spring, happier days, warmer weather, no more threats of snow, leaves budding, flowers blooming, people emerging from their winter caves, the Red Sox, school's out, BBQs, parties, friends, beers, sports on all day, runners, wheelchair racers, pace cars, legendary athletes, TV coverage, and for 26 miles, the best the human mind and body can offer.
And for those of us that live along the race route (I'm at mile 3!) the above is magnified a million times. There's a buzz in the air that only a true New Englander who's survived yet another long, cold, winter can truly understand. It's the season of optimism, hope and pride. And warm sun! And now, that day will be forever tainted.
I will not go into details, I'm sure you know them all. But I can tell you this. Boston will not crumble. This day will return in all its glory next year, with more pride, passion and love than ever. And we will get the person that shattered our perfect day. My husband worked through college at the store where the first bomb went off, and watched the marathon from that spot many times. I can't begin to express how grateful I am that we have not gone into the city for years, thanks to my two little boys. They give us an excuse to stay in the calmer suburbs! The hunny has vowed to run next year in support, and defiance. I am scared, but I want him to do it. I want everyone to do it to prove that this city will not back down!
I have no good transition here, so I'm going to jump right in to less important topics. My hair! Last week I told you about Tresemme's Keratin Smoothing Treatment and said I'd be trying the shampoo and conditioner from the same line. Well, I did. And it's not bad.
My hair is not one to be messed with (much like my fellow Bostonians) so I hesitate to jump into new things. This was surprisingly good. My hair has been smooth, frizz-free and manageable for the last week or so. That's something to be said! It's getting really long and hard to deal with again, despite a cut a few weeks ago. It just grows so fast, especially as the weather gets warmer. This set has kept me from that awful sticky, thick feeling. It's been fairly easy to dry and style and my style holds all day. I'm not sure I want to permanently switch from my previous brand, but I would say this was just about equally as successful. So since I have a lot of thick hair, the build up happens every few months. I'd be comfortable enough with Tresemme to swtich back and forth.
Stacy B here! It's spring! Well, sort of. I still have to bundle the kids in hats and mittens in the mornings, but the afternoons are starting to warm up! I swear I heard birds this morning.
I really want to be able to turn my heat off soon, it's been a few months of processed heat and dry air and it's taken a toll. My hair was acting up big time a few weeks ago, and I knew it was time for a change. My hair is very thick and wavy so when it feels sticky after drying it straight in no humidity, I know it's time for something new. If you have thick hair, you know what I mean by sticky...that feeling that your hair is clumping together and getting heavier and heavier. No matter how much you straighten it, brush it, blow it out, it just feels weighted down and stuck together.
When I get that feeling, it's one of two things. I need a cut (which I knew I was due) or my product has built up and I need to do some sort of cleanse or switch up my products. So, since I love my products now, I went for the cut option. In theory, it was a great cut. Long layers, thinned out, a little weight taken out of it...but the next day, I still had that heavy, flat feeling. Off to try some new product!
I've been hearing a lot about Keratin treatments (anyone who's had one, fill me in! Did you like it, hate it, love it??) so I thought I'd try a product that advertised itself as "infused with keratin" so I could test the waters. I didn't want to totally change my whole routine, so I stuck with my normal shampoo and subbed out my normal straightening serum for Tresemme's Keratin Infusing Smoothing Serum.
It took almost 3 pumps of this stuff to get through all my thick hair, but it smoothed in very nicely. The serum was more liquid than I thought it would be, so I had to be careful not to let it run between my fingers and onto the floor. But I liked that, because it didn't feel like I was adding any weight to my hair and it felt like it blended in well and got to every piece of hair. This didn't add to my drying time (which I found some heavier products can do), and definitely made a difference.
My hair was less sticky and heavy, and moved a bit more. It felt a little smoother than normal, although I didn't notice any extra shine at all. And since it's still very low humidity out here in the Northeast, I can't tell you if it passed the frizz test. But, it accomplished what I wanted it to, my hair feels light, swishy, manageable and it held my style all day. While I'm sad to see my old product get moved to the back of the shelf, this is a good replacement. And knowing my hair, in a few months, this will become built up and I'll have to switch back. But I've been doing that my whole life, so my products know to just wait for their turn in the rotation!
Nick Stern here! Men are creatures of habit. Once we get accustomed to a routine, we are committed to it. This shouldn't be mistaken for loyalty or integrity but simply laziness. We exert just enough energy to find our comfort zone and as soon as we discover it...Good luck trying to lure us out. No! Really, men don't like to leave their "comfort zone?"This is why many of you struggle to get the men in your lives to upgrade their skin care routine. You might be laughing right now because the closest thing to a skin care routine for your man is probably a bar of soap and a washcloth. I would stop laughing though because their failure is really your failure. I can't wait to hear how this is our fault.
Let's face the facts, without women forcing this whole hygiene agenda down our throats in the first place, most men would probably stop showering altogether. However, women can command (nag) a man to do anything when it comes to maintaining a respectable appearance. I meanMeg(yes, Megnags me not to start sentences with "I mean") in passing told me that my toe nails needed to be clipped. Now at the time I totally downplayed my concern as it was the weekend. All I wanted to do was watch basketball with my beer and my primal toe nails. But it was useless, the seed was planted in my head and an hour later I was in my bedroom clipping those suckers listening to The Cranberries like a brainwashed Stepford wife. I'm sorry you felt brainwashed Nick, I now see that I took away 10 great self defense weapons.
Please understand that I'm in extreme circumstances living with a beauty expert and all. I've learned about exfoliation, eye creams, eye gels, the difference between eye creams and eye gels, lip balms, hand balms, cuticle balms, balms with more balms...I even know that the oils on your face have low PH and when you use bar soap, which has high PH, you can actually damage the natural balance of your face by leaving a salt residue and sucking the moisture from your face. Still laughing....because I just dropped some knowledge on everyone. Meg, did you even know that? I am all knowing.AP Chemistry (fist pump)! Where was I?
Ah yes...so ladies you have an obligation to improve your man's skin care, if not for his appearance at least for the health of his skin. What exactly is your job here?
I know changing your man's routine is a daunting task....he probably already has his standard soap, his shaving cream, his deodorant, his shampoo (hopefully he has a conditioner in a separate bottle., Pert Plus was great when we were 13), and you are not going to change his comfort zone overnight. Asking him to try a daily facial cleanser or an eye cream might overwhelm him with too much commitment right out of the gate. We don't want to push him back into the arms of the bar soap by being too aggressive. Thus, the easiest way to improve his routine is to add something that isn't a daily commitment but a weekly one. My advice is to start with a weekly facial mask like the Lava Masque by Kyoku for Men to his regimen giving him what everyone wants a product that has a big payoff for little effort. You only have to convince your guy to use the lava mask for 10 minutes a week to see great results.Honestly, his skin looks really, really great!
Meg here! I am happy to report that I am still smoke free! That's great, however the pack a day for twenty years bit may have done some damage. Those are "naughty lines." Lines my bad behavior caused. Smile lines? how is that fair? Isn't smiling good? I love to laugh, I really do. If you have any doubt you can see my "laughing lines" aka "crow's feet." Had a good life? Lots of joy and giggles. The joke's on you lady! We will see your laughter and raise you a tear once you see the wrinkles we've got in store for you. What's a girl to do? Walk around expressionless (that is an option but hardly seems fun.)
I have a new magic wand (Fine. I have another magic wand but this is for your eyes!) Michael Todd True Organics Eye-O-Sonic Infusion System is my new secret weapon. How much do I love this? I'm taking it with me on Extra! This Wednesday, I'm going to be vibrating away any lines Mario Lopez might have (I've never seen any on him but you never know if there are some lurking. He seems to smile a bunch.)
"Meg, is this a gimmick? Seriously, a vibrating wand for your eyes? What does it do and how exactly is it any different then using my own hands?" There are a million off color jokes I could make about the benefits of a vibrating wand over your own hands but since my grandmother insists on reading this site. I will refrain.
The answer is in the ions! This is the quickest way to sum up what's going on. The explanation of Ion Technology: The outer layer of the skin (the epidermis) is covered by a tough layer of dead skin cells that functions like a wall to keep foreign substances out such as heat, light, dirt, microorganisms and pollutants, which is a good thing when it comes to protecting us. Unfortunately, it is a bad thing when we want to nourish and moisturize our skin because this protective layer prevents the penetration of biologically effective ingredients meant for repairing the skin. You see, the "wall" is not selective. It does not differentiate between what is good for the skin and what is not.
The eyeosonic is beneficial because it can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your topical renewing products. It is a uniquely effective therapy that uses ions to penetrate the skin's natural barrier and carry skin care products more deeply into the skin where they can work effectively to rejuvenate cells at a molecular level.
Hundreds of ions pulsate into the skin and deliver your eye cream more effectively, it really gets it in there. Whats the point of having pricey eye creams if it's not being applied effectively? Oh yeah, I don't know if any of you have ever smoked. I'm guessing that you're too smart to do that and have never had a puff. If you have maybe had a lapse, the Michael Todd True Organic Eye-O-Sonic Infusion is also great for those pesky "old lady smoker lines" that can appear above the lips.
Also, it's relaxing and it feels good. The eye wand. Sheesh people!
Meg here! I have just been looking at the weather channel and good Lord, is this spring? I thought this post was going to be timely. Everyone was going to be so eager to learn about my new fantastic faux tan! Then I saw that the country was blanketed under weather misery, let's hope you can use this advice sooner than later!
The weather here is starting to get warmer and the limbs are beginning to come out. It's L.A., it's not like we've had a difficult winter. I hesitate to even call it "cold" since there may be some of you that are actually in weather less than 48 degrees (brrr!)
I went to the dermatologist 2 weeks ago and I asked him "What's this brown freckly type spot on my cheek?" I then pointed to my lower face. I don't know how the next sound wasn't "thud" as I wanted to drop down and faint on the floor as he casually replied "oh, that's from the sun. Just an age spot." AN AGE SPOT? On my face. I immediately thought of my friend Emilie, her 85 yr. old Grandmother called her 88 yr. old boyfriend "M&M Head" because of all of the sun spots on his face. I really am not ready to become "M&M Head." Speaking of age spots, there also seem to be a few getting ready to make their way on my hands. Yup, you can tuck and lift and inject your face. You can laser it and bleach it and peel it. What can you do with spotted, ugly hands? You can buy fancy gloves. You better sunscreen those hands now, unless you're into telling people that you like to work part time as a chauffeur, and you're just in uniform..
No one that knows me would believe either! With my amazing, pasty Irish skin, the only choice I have is to sunless tan. Sure, I could sit in the sun but the fear of age spots has me paralyzed and I can't actually move.
All of the Oompa Loompa fear has been taken away by the beautiful Sinead Norenius and her fantastic tanning line, Beautisol! I've always been rocking the faux tan. With more success some times than others. Since I have been introduced to the Beautisol line, I am streak-free and have a super gorgeous glow. It's so easy, dries fast and they even have a product made just for your face! Not only is Beautisol's "Need I Glow More?" specifically targeted for your face, it targets for your skin type! How awesome is that? I used it yesterday and not only do I look "glowy" it also camouflages skin imperfections (Ahem, like the above mentioned "age spot.")
I look healthier, I look sexier, I look thinner! It did not make me humble. But who needs humble? When was the last time you put on a pair of short shorts and thought "do these make me look humble?" Never, that's when.
How did I achieve limbs that I am proud of? Ones that make my body smooth and fake something people call "toned?" How am I streak free and fabulous? The boobs to the left? Those are mine. Well, I mean, they were paid for, so yes... Anyhow, look at the tan color? That's after one application! Pretty darn great right?
3 EASY STEPS AND 15 MINUTES!
SHOWER: The first step to a gorgeous tan is to exfoliate.
#1 Michael Todd True Organics Walnut Grapefruit Scrub: I applied this to my body in the shower, I let the shower steam up and I grabbed ths tube.
Michael Todd True Organics Walnut Grapefruit Scrub $19.00 You have to exfoliate or else you're going to have a splotchy tan. Dead skin cells don't soak up the pigment of a self tanner. I love how this scrub isn't so grainy, it doesn't hurt but it exfoliates. You have baby soft skin, skin that is ready to drink up pigment. You're smooth and your stems glow. It doesn't leave any residue and the bottle is HUGE.
After the shower, I towel COMPLETELY OFF (water can streak!)
This applicator mitt cuts self-tan time in half. It also takes out the annoying step where you have to scrub your palms! It is easy peasy and I have enlisted Nick Stern into Self Tan back applicator. He's not exactly happy with this new job, but he still manages to breeze through it in 2 minutes and it looks like a professional did it. I swear, I am really building his resume of "special skills."
The other day someone questioned me how manly a Manly Monday could really be since I write for a beauty blog. And though my user name is WordsofWhimsy (Meg refuses to allow me to change this somewhat regrettable and whimsical choice of words) I believe I have a responsibility to champion the best products for men because men only want the best. We want the best lover, the best car (car probably goes first), the best job, the best sports team, so why would men want to settle for second rate hygienic products. Now I get it that some men are never going to try fancy body wash or eye creams but I'm going to discuss something that all men need...that all men secretly want (even if they don't know it.) Shaving is a daily necessity and unless your man is a cowboy, a civil war veteran, or a porn star it's time for a shave...seriously. I had a mustache for a year in college and the only things I got out of it were a lot of fist pumps and girls always asking me for drugs.
Shaving is a billion dollar industry and both Gillette and Schick have spent years of research ingraining their brands into the minds of your men. In fact you might not have known this but Gillette actually sends every 18 year old a free razor for his birthday. What's the point I'm trying to make you're asking...well the point is that if we're going to get your men to try a better shaving product, we have our work cut out for us. This won't happen overnight but with baby steps we can definitely enhance your man's shaving experience. So without further ado, let me introduce you to Billy Jealousy's Hot Towel Pre-Shave Treatment. If your man has ever had a real manly shave at a barbershop (and if he hasn't you just got yourself a last minute gift idea...wink) then he knows the warm and comforting feel of a hot towel wrapped around his face. Billy Jealousy bottles that experience in their Hot Towel formula. It's simple to use heating up in seconds after applying to a moistened face and then using a traditional shave lather for a cleaner, closer shave.
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.