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Sunday, January 30, 2011

How DRY I am....

After living most of my young life in Massachusetts, 4 years of college in New Hampshire & now my adult life in Connecticut, I have come to this conclusion: WINTER SUCKS!   No longer magical, pretty or even exciting, it really takes a toll on your skin!

Is your skin dry?  Are you afraid your face is going to crack & fall off? Are you starting to resemble a Shar-Pei?

Have no fear, my little dehydrated divas...I have the answers!  I mean, if you are going to be cooped up & miserable during the winter, you might as well be smooth & kissable...

First a little Skin Care 101.

There is a difference between DRY skin & DEHYDRATED skin.

DRY skin lacks oil.  It is usually aggravated by the harsh chemicals in soaps & cleansers.
DEHYDRATED skin lacks water, and is ravaged by the elements like the sun & wind.

No matter which of the "2 D's" you are, these 3 things are essential & should be part of your regimen everyday!


I understand that to most people lather = clean.  But lather, which in most cases in sodium lauryl sulfate, strips the skin of oil.  So if you are either of the D's above, doesn't make much sense, does it?  Something gentle & creamy will do.  Here are 2 of my favs:

Under $20

Over $20



This is the step most of you are missing. Cellular turnover (or the skins constant shedding process) can be controlled by the regular removal these dead cells.  You can slap on all the creams & serums you want, but if you are applying them to a surface of dead skin cells..well, it is not going do much of anything.  Gently removing these cells aids in smoothing texture, tone & the absorption of products.
There are a lot of products out there:  Scrubs, peels, masks.  Since we are focusing on the two D's today, these can help both types.

Under $20

Boots No7 Total Renewal Micro-Dermabrasion Exfoliator



Over $20



                     Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel




You need water to live & skin needs a lot of it!!  Just drinking is not enough. A good moisturizer will restore hydration to the skin.  Don't forget about SPF too!  Protect and hydrate, that is our goal.  

I know there are hundreds of choices when it come to moisturizer.  It can be confusing. 

Here are some pitfalls to avoid:

*if you are over 18, please avoid Clearasil, Sea Breeze, Clean & Clear & anything with Hello Kitty on the label

*If you have been using the same product since your were 18, and now are 58..it's time for a change

*Price, in most cases, DOES matter. The products you buy at Target or department stores are not as potent as ones you buy from a skin care professional.  Nor are professional spa products as potent as ones prescribed by a dermatologist.  

Here are some popular choices for day & night:


Under $20

Neutrogena Ageless Essentials SPF 25


Over $20





                                Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer SPF 30



 Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream                     


 Perricone MD Intensive Moisture Therapy

So, hopefully I have given your some tools to use here.  Skin care is something that has to be consistent to work.  Do not wait until your are 40 to decide it's time to start. Prevent the damage before it starts. Follow the steps above & get on your way to beautiful skin NOW! 

Really, now.. I mean it. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Keep it in Your Pants

-You can tell a lot about a person from his underwear. Rachel Bilson

Now first off....I HATE the word "panties."  It is a creepy term reserved for the lady with the British accent on Victoria Secret commercials & tales from Penthouse Forum.  It makes me uncomfortable, that's all.  

We all own them.  Briefs, bikinis, thongs.. (Most don't like to admit, but I can guarantee that every woman reading this post, has a pair of hipster, granny-panties hiding in the back of her underwear drawer).  Now, don't deny it ladies.. 

That being said, there are really 3 main choice when it comes to our comfort "down under."  I have broken them down for you with a handy rating guide.  (I obviously have too much time on my hands)

The BRIEF:  (a.k.a granny panty, knickers, the ugly ones )

Generally worn only if you are: over 70, at certain "times" of the month, after Thanksgiving dinner & when your boyfriend/husband/lover is away.  They are usually cotton & super-comfy.  To be honest, you might as well have on a chastity belt.  No one from the outside is getting into those things!  Unfortunately, they get a bum rap (pun intended)  They are UGLY & are shunned by the other members in the lingerie draw. 

What it says about you: 
"I'm someones grandmother" 
"I watch too much "Mad Men"
"not tonight dear, I have a headache"

Wedgie Factor = 0
Sexiness = -6  (that is a negative..)
Comfort = 10

As GOOD as it gets Brief

BAD, BAD brief


The BIKINI:  (a.k.a the bikini, I guess)

The go-to for most of us.  Comfortable with a hint of sexy.  Can be low rise, boy short or classic. These are sexy enough for a first date and comfortable enough for a work out. Can usually be found in multiple colors, mingling amongst other garments in the drawer.

What it says about you: 
"I'm flirty, sporty "  
"I'm thinking about sleeping with you"
"don't worry, the g-string will make it's appearance soon"

Wedgie Factor =5
Sexiness = 7 & up
Comfort = 10
good abs, BAD bikini

GOOD bikini



The G-STRING  (a.k.a thong, butt-floss, or the "why bother?")

Hot, sexy & oh, so comfy..Most of the time. The g-string has gained a lot of popularity with the ladies.(and the men or women that love them) They come in all shapes, sizes & colors & dare I mention, the "edible" kind, if you dare..  Essential for those who sport low-rise jeans, yoga pants & work the main stage at The Foxy Lady.  The g-string has gone main stream, bringing out the bad girl in all of us.  Setting up shop in the top draws of soccer moms, teens & single women everywhere..

What is says about you:  
"I'm hot"
"No, really..I'm really hot"
"Sure, I would love to give you a lap dance"

Wedgie Factor= 10+
Sexiness = 10+
Comfort = am I even wearing underwear?

GOOD g-string
BAD..um, what the Hell is this?

Now, "Going Commando" did not make my list, because it is a bit gross.  Only bad things can come (again, pun intended) from NOT wearing underwear.  (See: Britney Spears & Paris Hilton if more information is needed here)

What kind of girl are you?  

Just do me a favor & keep it in your pants.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

MAN...Don't Feel Like a Woman

I think I should have been born a man.  Seriously.  There is really no part of me that has really ever embraced being a girl.  Besides, of course, the fact that I make a living as a makeup artist.  Which is pretty "girlie."  Other than that, secretly think I am a guy.  

Let me give you a few examples of why I think this is true...

*I do not have a B.F.F., no "besties" & no plans for a "girls weekend" anytime in the future. 

*My go to station on TV is ESPN.  Sportscenter is an essential part of my day, even though they loop the same news over & over.. I still have it on, always!

*I HATE to shop.  What is wrong with me?  Shopping is torture.  End of story.

*I do not look forward to watching the movie of the week on Lifetime, The Real Housewives from anywhere, Oprah or The Bachelor.  At least one of these shows is a female fav, from what I hear.

*I do not like the following: rainbows, kittens or cartoons of both.  Nor do I have a fondness for chardonnay, Dr. Oz (creepy!) or the color pink.  
*I do not like whining & have zero tolerance for drama.  

*I don't like to "spoon"

*I cannot wait for the Superbowl.  

*I have eaten Venison & liked it.
I have always been a guys-girl.  Is that bad?  Are there any of you out there like me?  Please say yes...

These are the thing that keep me up at night.

I have issues..

Wait....that must mean I'm a girl.

Monday, January 24, 2011

8 Seconds.....

I came across some interesting factoids about 8 seconds here:

*Time it takes for Light to travel the 93,000,000 Miles from our Sun to the Earth
*men think about sex every 8 seconds
*this was really crappy movie starring Luke Perry, or as I remember him, Dylan from 90210
*the time it takes my husband to fall asleep

It's all about the eyes today, my friends. I have a few easy & quick ways for you to feel better & look great in this short time.  (Ok, maybe a few more than 8, but really no more than 20.)

1. Curl your lashes

As a makeup artist, the horror in the eyes of my clients when I come at them with the lash curler, is very comical.  Do not be afraid!! The lash curler does amazing things for you.  It opens up your eye.  With or without mascara (which you should apply AFTER, not before) no one will every know you were up 5 times with your baby last night, or just did it 5 times with your "big baby" last night.

My fav, by Shu Uemera, has a cult following, and for good reason.  It gently curls the lashes up.  No drastic right angles here.


Remember to pulse the curler GENTLY! Do not squeeze the life out of it.  This will damage your lashes.   Always close it slowly to make sure you just have the lashes & not your lid.

2.  Groom Your Eyebrows!

I cannot stress this enough ladies.  You should have 2, count 'em, 2 eyebrows. the uni-brow is only acceptable for cavemen & Bert on Sesame Street.  Brows create a frame for your eye & face.  When the brows are clean, again, eyes look open & bright. Whether you tweeze, wax, thread..it doesn't matter.  Just keep them clean & well shaped. 

Use these guidelines when shaping the brows:

A. shows where the brow should start. The corner of the eye. 
B. shows where the arch should be
C. shows where it should end.  Take a pencil & hold it at the side of the nose & follow the line up, if need be.

DO NOT OVER TWEEZE!! Brows should have some thickness to them.  Please avoid the following:

The Constant Surprise Brow = like a parenthesis on top of your eye. This is only allowed if your name is Mona & you are a waitress at a truck stop in Wichita

The Straight Brow = generally reserved for Russian spys or if you are a Dominatrix

The NO Brow = this is when someone has removed their brow entirely, either from over-tweezing or a tragic grilling explosion.  I am all for filling in & enhancing the brow with powder or pencil, but the drawn in brow has got to go.

3. All the Shimmers...

Another little trick to share.  Shimmer is your friend.  A subtle beige, golden shadow applied lightly in the corners separates the eyes & brightens your overall look.

Now go easy here. No crazy, disco shadow.  Just a little dab will do ya. You will look fresh & alert.  Shimmer can also be placed right underneath the arch of the brow to create a instant "lift"

So, who knew?  8 seconds is all you need.  Go ahead & try these 3 things today. Let me know how it goes.  

Now, I'm going to the Keurig to wait 8 seconds for my 10th cup of coffee. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

be-Coming Clean

When I schlepped to the bus stop with the boys the other morning, someone said "you look nice" and then asked me where I was going.  I find this funny.  The reason I looked nice, inevitably, is because I actually showered. 

I promised myself, B.C. (before children), that I was NEVER going to be that mom in the sweatpants & ponytail with no makeup.  Nope!  Not me!  I would be fabulous not frumpy.  I had good intentions, really.  But then came my 2 beautiful boys within 15 months of each other.  Mind you, we were married 7 years B.C.  This was a bit of a change for me, to say the least.  The saying "having a baby changes everything" doesn't even skim the surface.

I used to be meticulously groomed. What is it about having kids that makes you abandon basic grooming needs?  Showering, combing your hair.. I don't even want to mention the shaving situation. I do suppose that I was too tired then, to lift the razor & go to work. (mind you, I am an Italian girl, and shaving is quite a project.)

There is a fascinating article (are you feeling the sarcasm??) on wiki-How on How to Be Well Groomed,  Really?  Yes, really.  Apparently, we all need a bullet list to achieve this.

Here is the link

Number 1 on the list? (drum roll please..) Bathe daily unless specified otherwise by a medical professional. 

See?  I am on to something here.  Showering is a good thing. Wiki says so!

OK, now I am rambling.  My point is this, my friends: B.C.  I was clean, all the time.  Pedicures, nails, waxing.  I did not have roots.  I had 2 eyebrows!   Don't panic when you find yourself in the parking lot of Stop & Shop, looking in the rear view mirror & to your horror, notice the random hairs that are setting up shop on your chin.  It's all just part of the process..  B.C. Oh how I miss thee!

So my tip for the day:  Shower!  It will do wonders for your self-confidence..

Friday, January 21, 2011

Knowing Me, Knowing you….

Is it bad to start off your first blog post with a lyric from an Abba song? 

This is me.  Random quote rambling (albeit music or movies, I am full of them), disorganized and ready to drop the hammer on the blogging world.  I am a mother, a makeup artist, a singer.  Three very different, amazing things that shape my life & make it…Pretty.Rockin!  (Ok, shameless plug, but I like the name)  I mean it combines two things I love: makeup & music!

As you can tell, I have not been on a first date in a long time.  That’s what this really is, isn’t it?  We are going to go out, have a bite & a few drinks & you are going to decide if you want to continue seeing me.  Sure, I am going to pull out all the stops.  New outfit & fabulous makeup (that goes without saying) and a great push-up bra!  I’m a wicked good time, really!  (Can’t you just hear my Boston accent?)

I’m hoping to make a good first impression.  I am still trying to figure out where this blog will take me.  I mean, can I talk about my job, my life, my kids..blah, blah ..blah. 

So to you, I make a promise:

I, do solemnly swear to:
1.    Share total random nuggets, factoids if you will, about life, love & whatever my total, ADD ridden mind thinks of.
2.    Share lots Beauty Tips  (Whether it be a product review, tip, trick or just something to make you feel better about yourself)
3.    Find different ways to make you want to keep reading what I have to say.  After all, that is the point of this right?
4.    I will make you laugh, smile or chuckle warmly at least once a day.  Smiling is good..
5.    Listen to what you want to hear me write about.  So tell me, comment or post what interests YOU!

So, I think this was a pretty good first date.  We had great chemistry.  I did most of the talking, but women love to talk about themselves, so that worked out well.  You have my number.  Now I am a going to say goodbye & go reflect on all the witty things I should have said, but didn’t.  Then take a long look in the mirror and see… DAMN!  I had food in my teeth this whole time?

This is me.  I’m not perfect.  No expert.  

Wanna go out again?