Stacy B here! I'm still wary of this whole 'spring' thing. New Englanders out there, you know what I mean. Spring happens in odd fashion around here so it takes a few weeks for you to really let go of that 'but it really COULD snow one more time!' feeling and actually do spring stuff, like change over your closet.
I did that this week and it was equally exciting and depressing. I love having new clothes in my closet, even if they are already mine. It's nice to have something else to look at, another choice to ponder and more brightly colored options. However, I was VERY pregnant, and very post-partum last spring so I didn't really wear any of my spring/summer stuff until about July when I went back to work. Even then, I was still losing the baby weight so I stuck to my more flow-y shirts and dresses and kept it neutral with some fun new accessories. Now, I'm seeing all these clothes that I can fit into (yay!) and they are 2 years old!! Luckily my style is fairly classic and I don't overindulge in trends unless I see long-term potential, but still, it was a lot of outdated stuff!
And with two kids, my clothing budget is nearly zero! Spring panic! Luckily, I got a nice first quarter bonus from work and have been promised an outlet shopping and dinner date this weekend for my 7th wedding anniversary. I can't wait to restock my closet. And the best thing is, **bragging alert** ....I feel pretty good this year since I am officially 4 pounds below my pre-baby weight. And not my younger son, my OLDER son! That's right, with hard work, low calories, healthy recipes, and pinterest workouts I can do at home, I am under both pre-baby weights and only 3 pounds over my WEDDING weight. Let's get shopping!!!
Another thing that inspires spring panic? Besides bathing suits in a month (let's just skip right over that. I look good, but not THAT good!) is open toed shoes!! It's been a long, cold winter and my piggies are in rough shape. Neglected, dry, wintery and bare toes. I can't get a pair of peep-toes to even look my way. For Mother's Day last Sunday, I'm got a nice spa pedicure at a place in town but my toes are so bad, I had to start prepping them at least a week before!
I found this great peppermint foot scrub from Kiss My Face and have been using it every other day for the past week or so. It's been a big help! It smells SO good, which is not surprising. I've tried a few other Kiss My Face products to mixed reviews but the one thing I've always said is how good they all smell. This is a true peppermint smell and it fills the bathroom up and makes it smell like a really nice spa.
Stacy B here! Bangers and Mash! Fish and Chips! Jolly good time! Throwing out some British phrases because I just got back from London! What a city, and what a trip we had. Girls only, so my husband and boys stayed home. I had 5 days of quiet, making my own decisions, peeing by myself, waking up naturally and not by sticky hands touching my face, and carrying a small bag with ONLY my stuff in it! It was great. But I did miss those little buggers.
It was a rough week, we were there to watch my cousin run the London Marathon, and after what we went through with Boston, we were nervous and emotional. We wanted to unplug the day we got there and just enjoy, but with the lockdown and the manhunt and news happening so fast, were glued to our TV or iPad for a lot of the day. We did our best to get out during the days and walk, shop, sightsee and wander but as soon as we got home, it was BBC and iPad time.
We tried to enjoy while keeping our thoughts on those left at home in Boston. I think we succeeded, we had a great time and met a lot of locals that had so much support for their neighbors across the pond. And my cousin ran a very emotional PR in the marathon (personal record for those not in the running world) and funished in 3:53. Her fastest time by more than 10 minutes. WOW!
I was proud of myself for being able to fit all my stuff for 5 whole days in a small suitcase and carry-on that was pretty easy to manage while taking the Tube all over the place. I'm a great packer and I love to find small products in the drugstore that don't take up much room but still pack a punch. I hate packing shaving cream because I am always afraid the can is going to explode in the plane and get shaving cream all over my stuff. Which has happened to me once. Not fun. I had it in a plastic travel bag, but it still leaked all over everything.
This trip, I went with a shave cream that came in a tube, not a can. I brought Kiss My Face Moisture Shave in Key Lime. Yes, it smells that good. This is in a tube that's like a lotion containter, not a steal can that can't bend or move in the suitcase. I got there, unpacked, and no product explosion incidents!
Plus, it was not a big tube, so it didn't take up as much room or weigh as much. The formula is so good for you, no parabens, gluten free, no animal testing, all essential, natural oils, ingredients I recognize and can pronounce and nothing artificial. Good for my suitcase, good for me. And it really does smell so yummy.
It moisturizes, so I didn't have to pack a huge tub of lotion. I wouldn't completely stop moisturizing, but at least for my trip, I didn't have to worry too much. It held enough skin essentials in it that for the few days I was there, I didn't need to layer on multiple products.
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."
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 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.
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'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.
Nick Stern here! Meg's Man roomie, the one she makes write for her! Happy Belated New Year Everyone!!! I love the beginning of a new year because it's the time when people are the most positive about change. They vow to achieve some resolution that they lacked the previous year promising to lose that extra weight or quit that bad habit. As the clock struck midnight, I certainly felt a strong bond to my fellow human knowing that every year this time we as a race make that universal goal of being better...THIS YEAR IS MY YEAR! Then I woke up January 1st and threw up...(awesome, thanks for cleaning the toilet bowl-not.)
January 2nd I began my journey of leading a healthier more productive life. My biggest challenge and worst enemy to achieving productive success has been the word that many of us struggle with...procrastination. (I would have gone with "lazy" but sure, we can say procrastination.) I must apologize to Meg and to my growing fan base (thanks for your patience Mom) for being so lackadaisical with my Manly Monday reviews. Meg reminds me constantly how lucky I am to have access to so many amazing products because before her I thought CVS was the only place a man could purchase hygienic items. She's right...I must share these products with the millions of men in the world and show them that there is something more than what's in their local pharmacy (or at the very least the women who can nag influence them:) Oh boy Meg is yelling at me about my deadline....where was I...oh yes...my review. You're "wordy" and take too long to write anything. Get to it Nick. For the Love Of God, we don't have all day.
Today, I will be discussing Billy Jealously Salad Days Body Scrub which I've implemented into my daily shower routine at a reasonable price of $36.00 a bottle.(It's reasonable because I gave it to him for FREE)To be completely honest, I have always used an unscented bar soap but after moving to the dryer LA climate I swapped out the bar soap for a body wash and a manly gray loofah (which hangs among the fifteen pink and purple ones...I have no clue why girls need multiple loofahs but they're like fucking ornaments in our bathroom).Did you just really write "fucking" on Megsmakeup.com? My Grammy reads this!
At first I thought a body scrub named Salad Days was a poor name choice since guys hate eating salads much less putting something called it on their body...but then I realized that it isn't that men don't like salads it's that they don't like admitting that they like salads. Salads are the least manliest food there. Right next to sorbet so men must become closet salad eaters. If I'm out with a girl and she orders a burger I'm ordering a burger extra bloody just to prove a point...but secretly my heart belongs to that baby spinach and beet salad with roasted asparagus. (Really, how is he still single?) Where better to be a closet salad lover than in your own shower. Salad Days Body Scrub has a refreshing scent with hints of mint and citrus that leave your skin smelling fresh without an overpowering perfume smell. The Jojoba Esters gently exfoliates removing dead/dry skin cells and allowing the sage and peppermint to purify and tone the skin underneath.
I noticed that it says you should use it every other day (I'm not really good about reading labels) SHOCKING! but I find it's gentle enough to use every day. Also, the best part is that the smell is so nondescript that you and your man can use it together splitting the cost while both profiting from all the skin renewing benefits. So go out and try it for yourself and remember to tell your man it's okay if he tries a little salad too.
Nick, the review was great but we need a little more info...So, if a lady friend brought this to you as a gift, what type of occasion would this gift be appropriate for? Nick: Not as a gift. Just if she brings it over and puts it in the shower, that would be nice and then I would have sex with her in the shower.
Stacy B here! "This year's flu season could be the worst in decades" uh, what? You're kidding me, right? I have two kids who attract germs like a Kardashian attracts papparazzi and now I have to worry about the flu!? They just got over coughs last week!
Break out the kiddie pool, I'm using it indoors and filling in with sanitizer. We will NOT get the flu. We WILL NOT. OK, maybe I can get it, I hear it helps drop the holiday weight. Kidding!!
I'm not sure what else I can do within the realm of normal parenting behavior. Everyone washes their hands when they get home, sheets are washed weekly in hot water, scarves, hats and mittens are thrown in there occassionally, both boys (and adults) are eating lots of healthy veggies and vitamin-c packed fruits, adults take multivitamins, we all drink lots of water and exercise regularly. We can't live in a bubble.
In case the bug gets us, we do our best to make the duration of the cold or flu as short and pleasant as possible. Steamy showers, hot tea, lots of rest, chicken soups, doctor's visits, if necessary, and for the adults, cold medicine (which you know never works). I definitely feel bad for my youngest who, at 8 months, can't take any medicine or drink tea and soup. My 4-year-old has a few more options but still. I try to find non-drug ways of making them feel better.
I found some body wash from Kiss My Face called Cold and Flu Shower and Bath Gel. Sounds way too good to be true. And it kind of was. I didn't love this. I liked it. Just liked it. Which was tough because I loved the company, the message behind the products, their environmental responsibility, the innovative products, even the price.
It started out really promising. The bottle is huge, and only about $11 retail price. I was intrigued by the eucalypus and menthol blend and the advertising on the back. It says "While it doesn't provide a cure, it sure does provide a dose of soothing comfort."
What? A company being totally honest with you and not trying to trick you into believing they can cure the world? Set my expectation right away: this wouldn't work miracles, but would offer a break from the annoying cold and flu symptoms we all hate. Perfect. We all know there's no cure for the common cold, or flu, so a break is about all we can ask for as we let these things run their course.
Stacy B here! Merry Christmas! I hope you all had a great day celebrating with friends and family and way too many sweets. Don't worry, the collective diet starts Tuesday.
I was really lucky this year that my office closed on Christmas Eve so I had 3 days before Christmas Day to get fully prepared. We hosted about 15 people at our house for dinner so I had a lot to do! Luckily my mom and aunt have been doing Christmas dinner for years so they basically brought everything and just took over my oven. I made potatoes, corn and about 4 different types of cookies. With help from my son, of course. He's getting really good, especially at cracking eggs, which is his favorite thing to do. If there are no eggs in the recipe, I pretty much can count on him bailing on me. Luckily, every cookie and treat I made had eggs. Healthy stuff....really.
During a rare moment of down time Sunday afternoon I had time to do my nails. No fancy manicure, just a quick two coats while my youngest napped and my husband and older son ran some errands (last minute shopping, of course).
I went with a perfect Christmas shade from OPI called Speak For Your-Elf. How appropriate, and cute! It was a true red glitter polish but the glitter was red, too, and very fine so it wasn't chunky or flashy. Just a nice shimmery sparkle in the right light.
Just as the second coat was drying, my son woke up demanding lunch and mommy attention so I didn't get to do a top coat. I figured I'd get to it later....take a guess if that happened or not...
My only trick for time is to swipe a bit of polish across the tip of your nail. Hold the brush vertically and lightly swipe it across the edge of your nail, bonus points if you get a little on the under side of the nail. If you can't get in a top coat, this helps protect from chips.
I hardly expected this to last and anticipated some touch ups before the big day, or even a full replacement. But, OPI really came through. After two full days of craziness, I just had a little wear on a few tips, but no major chips. This polish made it though two baths for each kid, all the present wrapping, 4 different batches of cookies, assembly of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Farm set, two stockings stuffed, one Christmas Eve party, one champagne bottle popped, a full house clean, my own showers, one round of coloring Rudolph pictures and a sprinkling of reindeer food on the front lawn. With a very difficult top to open! Plus, opening all my own presents, and all presents for my 8 month old. He only wanted to chew on the paper.