Ditch the boring briefcase and find a fashionable work bag that’s also affordable.
- A Day in the Life
- Arts & Crafts
- Did you Know
- Fashion & Beauty
- Health & Fitness
- In the News
- Product Review
- Recipes & Food
- About Us
- Contest News
- Disclosure Policy
- Product Submission Form for Contests
- Product Submission Form for Gift Guides
- 2009 Holiday Gift Guides
- ConstantChatter’s 2010 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide
Join Shay Pausa in today’s Daily Dish on SheKnows.com, for a preview of the next episode of What to Wear – Office holiday party tips! Keep it office appropriate; not too short, not too tight, not too lowcut. Jazz up that day to day office wear with a punch of color and some more flashy accessories.
It’s December second, which means that the holidays are NOT HERE YET thankyouverymuch. You have PLENTY of time to finish your shopping (or start! if you’re like me). You also have plenty of time to get ready for that New Year’s party you go to every year, the one where everyone comes all dressed up and looking great. The one that you always rush into feeling frazzled and disappointed by your outfit and your hair and your lipstick. THAT party.
Here’s a thought: if you start planning NOW, New Year’s Eve — or Christmas Eve or Boxing Day or the last night of Hanukkah or whatever it is you celebrate — won’t catch you off guard. Here are five simple things to do now, before the rush starts, so that you can sit back and enjoy the holidays in style. And — bonus! — none of these things costs much, and all have benefits that will last beyond the party.
Get a haircut, and maybe some color too. Book your hair appointment now, because if you do not, I guarantee that you will wake up on the morning of your office party/girls’ night out/flight home and think ‘My hair looks horrible!’ Or, even worse, you’ll see the photos after the event and wonder why no one told you that your roots were a COMPLETELY different color from the rest of your hair. Need hair help? Peruse the archives at Hair Thursday for advice and tricks. Sarah knows hair.
Try one new makeup trick or strategy. Smoky eye, false lashes, berry red lips — go all out this season! A new dress might not be in the budget, but I’ll bet you can do something special with your makeup, possibly without buying anything new at all. But practice now, when you’re not rushing to get out the door. Keep in mind, though, that you only want to do ONE dramatic makeup thing at a time — if you work the smoky eye, keep cheeks and lips neutral. I really want to do the false eyelash thing this year, and I’ll be using Amalah’s classic Smackdown post as a guideline. Wish me luck.
Have a manicure. If you’re really in the mood to pamper yourself this holiday season, get a manicure; in most places, a mani is less than $20, including a generous tip (and it’s the holidays, so be generous!). To make your manicure last longer, choose a sheer shade that won’t show chips or dings. And make an effort to maintain your pretty hands — wear gloves, both when you’re cleaning up in the kitchen and when you’re out in the cold air, and slather on the moisturizer. Kyl at The Beauty Couch has some simple tips to keep your hands looking great.
Test your outfits. What will you wear to all those functions? Think, in particular, about days where you will be going from one thing (work, say) to another (cocktails with friends). Do you have a versatile black skirt and a pretty sweater? How about a great pin or earrings you can add when the workday is done? And a clutch you can carry instead of your big tote? Then you’re all set! In need of accessories? Look at places like Target for good bargains; the idea is to be prepared, not to spend a lot of money.
Reuse, renew, recycle! In the mood for a new dress, but not sure you should be shopping for yourself this close to the holidays? Go green and shop your closet! Look for pieces that you can make over, either by altering them or by mixing them up with something unexpected. I recently fell in love with a very pretty taffeta party skirt at J. Crew, but couldn’t justify the expense for something I would only wear once or twice this season. But then I was poking around in my closet and rediscovered a full-length taffeta skirt I bought almost ten years ago for a black tie function and wore ONCE. I’m having it cut off to wear this season — the total cost will be less than a third the SALE price of the J. Crew skirt, and I’m sure I’ll wear this recycled skirt more than once.
Are you going anywhere big this holiday season? What are you wearing? And what are you doing to get ready?
As a licensed esthetician and spa owner, I am often asked about exfoliation. There is a lot of information, and many of my clients and friends are confused about exfoliation products and procedures. Let me attempt to clarify for you…
What is Exfoliation?
Exfoliation is basically a fancy word for the removal of the oldest dead skin cells on the outermost surface of your skin. There are three main methods you can use to exfoliate:
- Manual or Mechanical exfoliants (aka scrubs)
- Enzyme exfoliants
- Fruit acid exfoliants
Exfoliants (aka scrubs)
This is the most commonly used exfoliator because it is so readily available and seems to have the most awareness in terms of public consumption. There are many kinds of scrubs, the most common variable being the type and size of the granules. Scrubs are not appropriate for everyone, and are mainly best for non-irritated skin that is thicker and more resistant. This means if you have sensitive skin, mature skin, blemished skin with active breakouts, scrubs will not be your best choice.
Many people like what I call the “instant gratification factor” of a scrub, meaning that the feeling of scrubbing makes people feel they are doing something good for their skin. However, if your skin is not the appropriate type OR if the scrub being used has large granules or harsh ingredients, you can cause micro-tears in the skin which does more harm than good.
A few of my favorite products for at-home manual exfoliation are Eminence Organics Citrus Exfoliating Wash (a great option for men, and for those of us who want something quick that cleanses and exfoliates with one product), Eminence Organics Almond & Mineral Treatment (contains tiny ground almond bits and paprika for stimulating your circulation), Skin Haven Refining Grains, and Skin Haven The Ultimate Scrub (which we use in our spa).
These are a great alternative to scrubbing. Basically enzymes dissolve protein, and dead skin is protein. So, enzymes soften and dissolve the dead keratin cells on the surface of your skin and allow them to be removed by rinsing off the enzyme product. The two most popular types of enzyme exfoliants use Papain (papaya) and Bromelain (pineapple) enzymes. This allows you to get an effective exfoliation without any abrasion of the skin’s surface. Enzymes are usually fairly gentle and are a great option, especially for sensitive, mature, or irritated skins that cannot tolerate scrubs. A few of my favorite products for at-home fruit enzyme exfoliation are Eminence Organics Yam & Pumpkin Enzyme, and Dermaware’s Bare Fruit Enzyme.
Fruit acids are another excellent alternative to scrubbing. Many people hear the word ‘acid’ and are scared off, thinking it will be too strong or too harsh, but that is not necessarily true. Fruit extracts and fruit acids dissolve the intracellular glue, which is the substance that holds the dead cells together. Therefore, using fruit acid exfoliants means that you can remove those layers of dead skin cells without scrubbing or abrading.
The two best known types of fruit acid exfoliants are AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acids). My preference is to use a blend of both types whenever performing exfoliation, both professionally and at home, to give a well-balanced and non-irritating exfoliation. A few of my favorite products for at-home fruit acid exfoliation are Bioelements Kerafole (a mask exfoliant with seaweed) and Bioelements Quick Refiner (a liquidy gel used every night after cleansing).
Professional fruit acid peels are a great way to retexturize the surface of your skin, correct hyper-pigmentation, and get rid of acne and breakouts. At Skin Haven, we have three different types of peels—two with fruit acids and one that is acid-free. One is for acneic skin called Saving Face Peel, and it contains Salicylic, Azelaic, and Lactic Acids. Another is for sun damaged skin, and skin with uneven pigmentation called End of the Line Peel, and it contains Lactic Acid. The last is an acid-free Retinol Peel called Genesis Peel, which exfoliates and resurfaces without any acids. Peels are an excellent alternative to micro-dermabrasion and are much gentler on your collagen and elastin as well.
Don’t Forget the Protection!
One thing I am compelled to mention is that using sun protection every day is essential, particularly when you are exfoliating regularly and/or having professional exfoliations. I myself am quite insistent on a daily SPF of 28-30 for my clients, particularly in Southern California. You can probably get away with an SPF 15 in other places, but considering that sunscreen is the #1 anti-aging product you can possibly use, better to go higher on the SPF than too low.
Exfoliating the top layer of dead skin cells reveals fresh, pristine skin underneath which can be more vulnerable to the elements. That is why estheticians should always recommend that clients do their home-care exfoliation at night, and not in the mornings. You should always hydrate your skin after exfoliating, to avoid irritation or dryness.
How Often Should You Exfoliate?
Another question I get asked all the time is how often should one exfoliate their skin? There is not one simple answer that works for everyone. The real answer is that it varies depending on your skin type AND on what type of exfoliant you are using. In general, tougher, thicker, oilier skins may need more assertive exfoliation than mature, dry, sensitive skin types. However, the type of exfoliant that is best for you should be determined by a licensed skin care professional after they work on your skin.
I definitely prefer and recommend enzymes and fruit acids much more frequently than scrubs, simply because the majority of my clientele here in West Hollywood are dryer, more sensitive skin types who are interested in staving off the aging process as long as possible. Enzymes and fruit acids help to brighten the skin, minimizing hyper-pigmentation and uneven skin tone. In general the clients I recommend scrubs for have more stubborn skin, or are unblemished clients in their teens and early 20’s. Beyond 25 or 30 years old, I usually recommend enzymes or fruit acids.
How Much is too Much?
If you are using Proactiv, Retin-A, or Accutane, you usually do not need any additional exfoliation because those products are already highly exfoliative. If your skin is red, itchy, chapped, or flaky, hold off on exfoliating until your skin heals and then consider lowering the intensity of your exfoliant, or the frequency of your home exfoliation. Ask your dermatologist or esthetician for their advice as they know your skin!
How is Professional Exfoliation Different?
Professional exfoliation is one of the main reasons to seek out regular facials with a licensed esthetician. In the skin care room, an esthetician can utilize professional-strength products to achieve an deeper removal of dry and dead skin cell layers. We can also perform calming, healing mask treatments post-exfoliation to nourish, soothe, and hydrate your skin and balance it again.
I hope this has answered some of your questions about exfoliation. Please feel free to send in your questions!
Sharōn Ronen is a licensed esthetician and founder/CEO of Skin Haven Spa Studio and WellSpa in Los Angeles, CA. For more information log onto www.skinhaven.com or call 323.658.skin.
This fall, shopping is all about not breaking the bank — after all, just paying the bills will cost more this year. This is a good time to invest in basic pieces that you can mix and match and wear forever. Choose pieces that will work together; stick primarily with neutrals but add a pop of color — cool shoes or a bright bag. Opt only for pieces that can be worn together; accessorize to change up your look.
What should you have on your basics list for fall (and beyond)? Here are ten basics, most of which are probably already in your closet! All are essentially casual pieces, but since every day is Casual Friday any more, we’ll start there.
It’s Saturday night and you are getting ready for date night.
The babysitter is in the next room, the kids are all tucked in and your husband calls out “honey, are you almost ready?” Sure, you’re almost ready…ready for a nervous breakdown, that is. You call back, “be right out honey” all while still trying to figure out what to wear on a date with the man you have been married to for 7 years with two children.
You think to yourself, why does it matter? Should it matter? You used to be able to whip up the best outfit in town; you were known for your effortless style. Now the only thing you can muster up are the words date night…woohoo!
What if you had your very own fashion fairy godmother?
What if there was a virtual stylist that could whip you back into the hot number you were when you were out with the girls? The 2008 version that is.
It’s all too common; when motherhood happens you tend to forget about YOU – what nurtures you and what it means to take care of you. When you finally get the time to plug into some quality YOU time or your relationship, you are either too tired or too programmed to care for those who need you most instead of yourself. You think yourself that you don’t need to go out, the kids will both be out of the house by 2018. What’s another ten years, right?
Date night can actually push you into a place of anxiety and discomfort. Perhaps you have been completely focused on being a mother and your marriage has been scheduled into date night. Now, you have adult time and no idea how to enjoy it.
Help is on the way.
You can have your very own stylist…virtually. Just you, me, your wardrobe and a webcam. You can’t get more personal than that. If you can Skype in your underwear with your husband when he is out of town, then I can certainly look in your closet.
No more cancelled evenings over what not to wear. No more fights with your husband who always tells you, ‘Honey, you look fine.” Well fine isn’t always good and good certainly isn’t great. Instead, you want to hear, ‘Honey you look HOT!’
Hot happens when you ask for help and let your husband off the hook.
When you walk out in an outfit that took minutes to put together with that swagger suggesting that you both go have a little fun, both of your hearts will open right back up to when you first met. It is your responsibility as the women to keep the mystery of marriage alive whether you are in the mood or not. Asking your husband, “do I look fat in this?” just turns you man into one of your girlfriends. You don’t want that.
Get dressed for your self. Go fill up your tank and get some HOT on. And remember as Seal said to Oprah about his supermodel wife Heidi Klum, “Happy Wife, Happy Life.”
Make yourself happy and your family will follow. C’mon you know who really wears the pants!
Let’s get dressed. Make it a date night tonight.
Barbra Horowitz is a personal stylist and the West Coast correspondent for British Vogue online. She has also written Closet Control: The Ultimate Guide to Revitalizing Your Wardrobe and Revolutionizing the Way you Store It and regularly hosts Fashion 411 on Karma Sol Radio.
You don’t have to give up style to conform to a work dress code – especially in the summer. Katrina Szish from In Style magazine shares ideas with CBS Early Shoe’s Julie Chen for men and women’s work wear.
Did you know…
- that applying corn starch to your feet before you put your shoes on can help to deter blisters?
- that wearing a thick pair of socks and your new shoes around the house will help to break in new shoes?
- that applying a liquid bandage (much like a clean nail polish) over the prone-to-blister or affected spot can help the discomfort?
- that applying a black tea bag to the areas of your foot where you tend to blister can help toughen up the skin?
- that if the area is red and hasn’t yet turned into a blister you can apply ice to the spot and will help to calm the swelling?
- that you shouldn’t pop a blister as the liquid inside protects the new skin from exposure and infection?
- the liquid in blisters is reabsorbed into the body when left alone?
Ladies do you feel like bra sizing is a secret formula that only a few know? Don’t be discouraged I am here to help. Take Nancy of Miami, she wrote to me after using Sculpted Silhouette’s Bra Calculator.
Question: Hello. I’ve been buying 36A’s, but when I used the bra calculator, I got 32D. If I am 31 inches under the bust, 34.5 (35) inches over the bust, and 35.5 (36) inches across the bust, what size would I wear? Nancy
read more from "How to Fit Yourself For a Bra"
My favorite topic to educate about is sunscreen. And when I say educate I really mean nag! I am often asked to recommend a great anti-aging product and I always answer by telling the person to wear a daily sunscreen. It is truly the best way to slow down the aging process and prevent skin damage and skin cancer. I get asked the same questions over and over, so I wanted to address them here for you.
Q: I’m in my office or home most of the day. Why do I need to wear sunscreen?
A: Sunscreen is not just for the beach or when you’re outdoors. Ultraviolet rays are what we want to protect from, and they are very crafty. UV reflects everywhere, including but not limited to your windows and skylights at home, car windows, and office windows, not to mention some light fixtures.
read more from "Let’s Talk Sunscreen"
- 31 Cent Scoop Night at Baskin Robbins TONIGHT
- What’s For Dinner? Panko Salmon
- Tax Day Freebies
- Sassy City Chicks LA Spring Fashion Bash VIP Ticket Giveaway
- Lisa Steadman on Mr. Right vs Mr. Next
- ConstantChatter’s 2010 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide
- When Mama Needs a Little Break There’s Always Pretty: The Series
- Giveaway: Freehands Gloves – Stay Warm and In Touch
- Esther Whatley in Giveaway: Time to Get KLEAN!
- daniel in Giveaway: Kooky Klickers Krew
- The Big Guide to Foodie Gift G… in Holiday Gift Guide 2009: The F…
- Junkinmytrunk in Free Shipping Indeed
- Kay in Heroes: We Need a Hiro
- Jessica in Car Sharing: Not Your Mama's C…
- stars in We Love America's Finest and B…
- chefker in Cats - An Owner's Manual