Meg here! I am running all over the place today. It's going to be a very busy Friday but I wanted to leave you something to kick off your weekend right! Tarte is having a 50% off sale!
I know you already know how amazing Tarte! Is. We have been raving over them for years. I am so obseesed with their new Aqualillies line (review to come soon!) Park Avenue Princess Bronze and Cheek Tint is my latest "must have obsession." It may be the most perfect summer item. A glowy 2-in-one that that goes on smooth as silk, looks incrediblely natural and the pink on the tip brings the perfect flush to the apples of your cheeks. It is so awesome, I have been reaching for it daily!
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!
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.
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! 13 days and smoke free!! Woohoo! It's definitely getting easier everyday and I'm getting more and more compliments on how great my skin has been looking.
Stopping smoling has made my face look clearer and brighter within just a couple weeks but there is one thing it hasn't stopped...My hormones. With PMS kicked into high gear and both my mood and my skin out of balance, my monthly pimple emerged.
I could feel my frightful visitor about to arrive at my doorstep (If the doorstep was on my forehead, right between my eyes.) Luckily, it was the same day as Relogy arrived at my door!
Relogy was touting itself as a "Natural Acne Treatment." I quickly opened up the box, broken down into an easy 3 step process labeled Step 1 and Step 2 and then topped off with an easy spot targeted pen-I couldn't wait to get started and nip this third eye in the bud.
That night, I hopped in the shower and started my Relogy journey. Step 1 is a face wash. With a few pumps from the dispenser, a foamy mousse was dispensed. It spread light and evenly across my face and washed off clean. No tight or sticky feeling, no residue left. What exactly is in this? Step 1: Relogy's Rinse-Free Foampenetrates deep into the skin's surface to start clearing acne immediately, while soothing naturals promote a healing, redness reducing, anti-inflammatory effects. Tough on acne bacteria, this product is still gentle, smells great, and feels silky on your skin. And, it's 100% benzoyl-peroxide free!"
OK, that was easy enough, now how about Step 2? The bottle says to use a pea size amount and that it's "Natural Skin Balancing Lotion is the ultimate side-effect preventer, keeping your skin soft, with just the right level of hydration for smooth, healthy, glowing skin." I used a pea sized amount but I did add another pea to the soup. This lotion went on very light and spreadable. It wasn't a heavy moisturizer but felt more like a serum on application. I really liked it.
The third step? The stainless steel roller ball spot control is for specific care targeting (that third eye I speak about.) I have been using this routine for the past 6 days and I am happy to report that there was nothing to have to conceal or (Yes, I admit it. Squeeze and pop.) Period due tomorrow and I have no zingers!
I love that Relogy is animal cruelty free and vegan (you know how I'm a stickler on animal friendly products.) Its gentle formula is safe for skin that usually is prone to irritation or redness since so many acne fighting products use such harsh chemicals.
So now, with my Relogy Acne Fighting Routine, my nightly Apple Cider Vinegar shots and my kicking cigarettes, I'm going to be like Benjamin Buttons. Everyday I may not be getting younger but I am definitely looking better and healthier.
I'm really loving how easy it is to have such great skin. I have this amazing app on my Iphone. It's called "Period Tracker" and it tracks when your ovulating, when you're the most fertile and WHEN YOUR PERIOD IS ON IT'S WAY! It gives you the exact date. This makes my planning business trips a God send! Nothing worse than flying on Day 1 of dear friend Flo. Now, one week before I am due (and my most oily) I will be breaking out my Relogy, by doing this, I'm guaranteeing these will be the only "break outs" that I see!
Stacy B here! Happy New Year everyone! Fresh start, new year, better tomorrows. Hopefully.
The last two years have been a bit trying for my husband and I, for many reasons, including a rough pregnancy, the increased cost of two kids in daycare, a job change for my husband that turned out to be a terrible move thanks to some corporate decisions made just after he was hired that essentially changed not only his job, but his salary. Not good, and questionable business ethics if you ask me.
That's as much detail as I'll bore you with, but we are confident this new year will bring us much more happiness and good luck. We have healthy boys and a nice place to live so I shouldn't take that for granted, but a happy work environment for the hubby and a boost in our economic situation would be icing on the cake.
We're not big on resolutions at our house, I feel like they set you up to fail. They are always too big and a year is just too long to hold yourself to something that could be a major life change. I'm sticking with what I know and just vowing to stay on my healthy eating and gym workouts plan.
I was at the gym last night and saw a bunch of New Year's Resolutioners huffing and puffing on the treadmills in their new gym clothes looking like they were about to throw up. I admire them for taking that first step, but if you don't start out slow, you'll never made it past January. It took me 6 months to work up to 45 minutes of cardio and 25 mintues of weight training 4 nights a week and while it was frustratingly slow, in 6 months I lost 23 lbs and every ounce of baby weight I put on. I'm pretty proud of that and I know it was because I took it slow, didn't expect miracles and pushed myself just enough to see results without hurting myself or getting discouraged.
One thing that helped was taking walks during lunch at work. I have a gym right down the street and I can get there, walk on an incline for 30 minutes and get back to work in an hour. I don't over-exert, there's just no time for showering so I do just enough to get off my butt, burn some calories and boost my energy without sweating like a pig. Thank God for dry shampoo and makeup wipes! My favorite wipes are Neutrogena's Pink Grapefruit Oil Free Cleansing Wipes.
I have these in my gym bag and I love them. They smell so fresh and citrus-y. I use them when I'm changing to do a quick wipe down of my skin, especially around my hairline which does get a little sweaty, even though my workout is very low impact. They are also perfect for around the bands and straps of my sports bra that can also get a little sticky. Just a quick swipe and my skin is clean, sweet smelling and fresh.
I know these are primarily for your face, but they work everywhere else, too. They are not sticky at all, they wipe away clean, although it does take a minute or two for them to totally dry. I don't have time for a full moisturizing ritual after my workout but these are not drying at all. That's one of the reasons I like them so much, I can use them without feeling my skin tighten up and get cracked or itchy. And since it's 8 degrees today as I write this, the air is dry enough, I don't need a wipe sapping any more moisture from my skin.
Stacy B here! This is a pretty hard post for me to write, half of me still can't wrap my head around what happened in Newtown, CT and the other half of me is so excited for Christmas with a 4 year old that truly gets it this year and a 7 month old who is thrilled if you give him some wrapping paper to crinkle up. I'm torn right down the middle this week.
And where does make-up fit in to all of this?
Can I really write a light-hearted post about the bronzer I've been using lately when there are mothers out there that will never hug their babies again? But, can I allow something that didn't happen directly to me ruin the Christmas season for my kids who have no idea what happened? It's really difficult around here lately. Wanting to be happy and excited for Christmas with my family is totally normal. But so is being heart broken about these latest events. My son is in school this year, my Mom is a teacher. Any of those kids or teachers could have been them. And a friend from high school is the Sandy Hook Elementary gym teacher. She saved 37 kids. 37 KIDS. She ushered them into a storage closet and kept them safe, quiet, and alive. Too many things are too close to home on this one.
I just have to hug my kids and my mom, keep those babies and teachers in my thoughts and keep going. That's all we can do, just live our lives as best we can and look forward to the good things without forgetting the bad. Needless to say, I've had some sleepless nights lately. A teething 7 month old who MUST have a hollow leg is also keeping me up at night, so that's not helping. The kid eats more than I do and he's 20 lbs!
Waking up with a pale face is par for the course in the winter, but throw in some stress, some excitement, some rough nights and I look like a ghost. When your own mother tells you 'you look exhausted', and forces you to go take a nap while she watches the kids, you know it's bad.
My wallet's not all that fat lately either, so I needed something quick, easy and cheap. Thank you Wet n Wild for your Ultimate Minerals Bronzer. This stuff does the job. It brightened up my face with some color and a VERY light shimmer. Don't worry, there are no large glitter particles to cling to your face, it's just a very nice, light-catching shimmer that goes on evenly and stays smooth all day.
Stacy B here! It's getting Christmas-y around here. We are decorated and shopped and lit up and filled with sweet treats that my son loves to help me make. It's amazing I'm not gaining tons of weight right now with all the holiday food that's starting to make it's way around the home and office. Ask me if my clothes fit in 2 weeks, you might get a different answer!
This year, I'm going to have to ask Santa for some diet aids, or Spanx or miracle skin firming lotion or something! I've been in pre-baby pants for a few months now and I'm not going back!
I think the holidays mask us from what's really going on. The air is getting drier...hello static...the wind is getting colder....hello wind burned skin...the moisture is being sucked right out of us like a sponge...hello chapped lips.... It's not fun. I think Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hannukah, New Year's and anything else you celebrate is just a diversion from what's really happening. Maybe if you get enough presents you won't realize your face is cracking? Or, if you eat enough pie you won't realize your lips are about to bleed?
Well, it's not fooling me. I'm on serious beauty watch. My husband travels for work and occassionally goes out with friends so in the last 2 weeks, I've had a few nights to myself as soon as I get the kids to bed. My empty house turns into beauty central. The face masks come out, the nail polish goes on, the foot cream is opened, the chick flicks start rolling. This is really important this time of year. A mental break in all this holiday mayhem is much needed and a pampering session for your skin and hair is well deserved, too.
Along with some great skin care masks I've been using, I switched to a more natural face lotion from Nature's Gate. I had some success with their tanning lotion (yes, I've been more careful and my palms are now back to their original color) so I thought I'd try their Lemon Verbena Moisturizer.
This smelled really great, and was for normal to oily skin. My skin is not all that oily, but can get a bit slick in the winter when it works overtime to keep from cracking and falling off. Here's the best part...ready for some of the ingredients? White Tea, Olive, Aloe, Argan, Flaxseed, Vitamins C & E, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. All readable, all natural, and I actually have heard of every single thing.There are some other ones in there that are a bit more complicated, but there are no parabens, no animal based products, no nothing. Great, right?
Like the Glow Lotion, this did not moisturize as well as I hoped, but it wasn't bad. I felt great going to bed after using it, but woke up a little tight this morning. It is very thin, so it feels like a cross between a lotion and a serum and did take a few seconds to really soak in and dry enough so I could put my face on my pillow. The good part about that is you can use just a little bit, so this bottle will go a long way. My skin does feel soft and smooth today though. The scent is light and airy and doesn't linger too long. It almost felt...spring-y. A few days before the first day of winter, too! Maybe it was the light lemon scent. Citrus always makes me think of spring and summer.
Meg here and I don't know about this whole 12/12/12 thing but the sky in LA is totally grey and it loks like it's going to down pour any second. I hate this for a number of reasons. One, I think I suffer from Seasonal Depression. Whatever that is, the type of thing where a person gets down when it's gross outside. To help combat this ailment, I moved to sunny Los Angeles sixteen years ago. Now I just suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a slight case of anxiety and an extreme case of narcissism-the same as every other Los Angelino.
Since the sky is dark and eerie it may seem strange to speak about MDSOLAR SCIENCES Mineral Screen Tinted Gel. SPF 30+. It's not that far off, here's the deal. Even though Mr. Sunshine is not visible to you, harmful UV Rays are still shooting right through the clouds. People actually get a lot of sun damage this way because they're not expecting it.
Not to Bragg (Ha! See what I did there?!) Since my Apple Cider Vinegar routine my skin has been looking really nice. I do of course have a little uneven redness around my nose and chin. The ACV really helps but it's not photoshop in a bottle.
I am loving MDSOLARSCIENCES Mineral screen tinted gel SPF 30. It's so light but it provide enough coverage to even out my skin tone. It really feels like smooth silk going on, like a high end moisturizer. There is zero "cakeness" and it doesn't sit in my fine line or creases. Oh yeah, it's also protecting my from getting any new fine lines or creases and preventing the ones that I do have from getting worse. Thank you SPF 30+!
Sometimes, companies that use the SPF really concentrate on that and the almost medicinal aspect of their product and overlook the cosmetic end. This product feels more like a luxury cosmetic than a preventative one. Only a little is needed and it doesn't at all apply greasy. I'm reaching for this daily.