Tag Archives: winter blues

Keep Your *Beautiful* Tan Year-Round with a Drugstore Bargain

LOreal Sublime Bronze Luminous Bronzer Self-Tanning LotionSummer’s almost over. Time to face a fading fall tan and then a pale winter. Or is it? Wanna keep your beautiful glow all year? Chances are you’ve tried self-tanners before. Maybe you found one you like. Most of us — me included — have not. I’m one of those gals whose fair skin doesn’t take well to self-tanners. I end up looking like a(n even more) ridiculous version of Lindsey Lohan, all orange and streaky. Well all that’s over.

I know I’ve been on a big L’Oreal kick lately, and guess what? It ain’t over. L’Oreal recently introduced their Sublime Bronze line, and I’m in love. My pale-skinned self can’t get enough of one self-tanner in particular, Luminous Bronzer. It’s touted as a lotion, but I’d call it more of a lotion-gel…or gel-lotion…whatever. It’s pretty awesome.

With light-reflecting “micro-particles” LB instantly illuminates your skin so you can SEE where you put it on, and then it gradually develops into a NATURAL-looking glowy tan — with NO STREAKS. To keep your skin healthy, Luminous Bronzer contains alpha-hydroxy acids to keep your skin soft and smooth along with vitamin E to provide anti-oxidant benefits to your skin. Plus it has a nice, fresh scent that’s invigorating but not overwhelming. At about $10 for a generous 6.7 oz. it’s a bargain indeed.

One thing to note: Luminous Bronzer does NOT contain sunscreen. Since it DOES contain alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), it can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun and the possibility of sunburn, so be sure to add a good layer of SPF 30 sunblock if you go outside after applying LB.

Skin of a Goddess: A Simple Salt-Scrub Recipe

Goddess Salt ScrubHere’s a lucious recipe for a classic salt scrub that’s especially luxurious, feminine, but not childish. Bolivian Pink Salt looks gorgeous in the scrub, but you can use your favorite fine-to-medium grain salt.

Cherry Kernel and Mango Oil give this scrub a moisturizing-yet-light base; Sweet Almond Oil, which can obtained at your local health food store, will do just fine though if you don’t have these exotic oils on hand. Scented with Rose and Sandalwood, the recipe is exquisitely goddess-like. In fact, the finished product is fit for the gods!


1/2 cup Bolivian Pink (or your favorite) Salt, Fine-to-Medium grain
1 ounce Cherry Kernel Oil
1 ounce Mango Oil
30 drops Sandalwood Essential Oil *
15 drops Rose Otto Essential Oil *

*For a more wallet-friendly version of this scrub, 3/4 teaspoon of Sandalwood Fragrance Oil and 1/4 teaspoon of Red Rose Fragrance Oil can be substituted for the essential oils and Sweet Almond Oil for the Cherry Kernel and Mango Oils.

Recipe and image courtesy @ The Natural Beauty Workshop blog

Longing for Spring? How to get a sun-kissed look without the sun

With the latest blast of winter weather, many of us are yearning for a hint of Spring sun. If you’re one of us, check out this video which will show you — in about a minute and a half — exactly how to get that lovely sunkissed look, minus the sun (and the UV damage). Your friends, family and colleagues will swear you snuck away to the beach!

Applying Makeup Foundation for a Bronzed Look — powered by ExpertVillage.com

Kelli LaBar is a NC make-up artist and esthetician. Check out her Bronzed Makeup video series here on expert village.

Got the Economy Blues? Beat 'Em with These Beauty Values

Economy got you down? Have you — like most everyone else — had to pare back your beauty regimen to just the basics? I’m here to tell you that just because there’s less money in the coffers (or in your pocketbook) you don’t have to give up on having the latest cosmetic finds.

Here are a few AMAZING values for your beauty box that won’t break the bank.

Smashbox Try Me collection
Smashbox Try Me collection, $29

Smashbox gives us sooooooo many options when it comes to looking for a great bargain. One of their best is the Try Me collection featuring best-selling signature items, all in portable trial sizes to give you a flawless face at home or on-the-go. For $29 (!!!), Smashbox generously includes Photo Finish Primer, Photo Op Under Eye Brightener, Brow Tech & Cream Eye Liner Pallette, Double-Ended Eye Liner & Brow Brush, Lip Enhancing Gloss in Crystal (sheer), and a special instructional DVD.

Sephora Deluxe Palette
Sephora Deluxe Palette, $32

Sephora’s Deluxe Palette (only $32 but valued at $200) is a sleek, triple-tiered compact that opens to reveal eyeshadow, blush, lip gloss, and powder on stackable, sliding trays. A selection of applicators and a mirror embedded under the lid give you all the tools to create a polished, impeccable look anytime, anywhere. This savvy, multitasking set has it all: 18 eyeshadows, two cream eyeshadows, two blushes, two compact powders, 24 lip glosses, two double-sided sponge applicators, a double-sided blush/powder brush, two lip gloss brushes, all in a chic black case.

Bare Escentuals Go Bare Kit $32
Bare Escentuals Go Bare Kit, $32

Bare Escentuals helps us beat the bear with its Go Bare Kit, a six-piece set of mini BareMinerals must-haves. This set features a miniature versions of Eyecolor in Joy, Blush in Golden Gate, Mineral Veil, Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish in Eva, a Contour Shadow brush, and a Flawless Application brush, all housed in a portable box with a built-in mirror.

So there you have it. It really doesn’t cost a fortune to look beautiful, or have the latest and greatest beauty buys from some of the best around….

Stila Shine On Gift of Glaze: another great value collection!


(c) Steven Knight courtesy stock.xchng (www.sxc.hu). All rights reserved.
image courtesy stock.xchng (www.sxc.hu).

Lately I’ve been so uninspired. Can you tell? FYI: that’s NOT me in the picture; it’s actually the photographer. The expression on his face so perfectly represented how I’ve felt lately, I had to put it up.

Anyway, as you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t posted since election day. And let’s face it: that was a lazy post.

Ya know, probably like a lot of you, I’ve got a list of really great blogs to read when I’m feeling less than inspired. Except that over the past few months when I read one of my guru’s posts, I’m either less inspired than I was before I read it, or worse, I just get mad.

What is that?Where did this blah-anger (blanger?) come from?

Well, I’ve thought about it a little– ignored it mostly — but here’s what I’ve come up with. The recent election, while incredibly inspiring (sorry if you’re not an Obama supporter…I clearly am), was exhausting. Then, a close relative was all but taken down by a stroke. Next, the economy tumbled…some more, and then took a nosedive. Then the holidays hit. Then we were expected to be all happy it was 2009, and make some exciting new resolutions for ourselves. And I did. And I haven’t kept any of them. And now everything seems that much worse.

It comes down to this: mid-winter is hard for me. And it’s hard for a lot of people. Just do a google search for “mid-winter blues,” and you’ll see what I’m talking about, if you’re not already a fellow sufferer.

I suppose I’ve always been a little low-energy this time of year, but this year, it’s more magnified. With all the bad news of late (and yes, I’m a total news hound), I’ve been absorbing it all. Plus we (as in, the U.S.) have experienced a harsher-than-usual winter. And that equals less time outside in the fresh air. Guess what? Lack of sunlight is a proven depressant. Not to mention the lack of exercise that naturally accompanies lengthy indoor stays.

So, what’s the solution? One guy with the Chicago Sun-Times suggests playing hooky and going ice fishing. Some genius over at Cosmo swears flavored lip gloss is the cure. And yet another recommedation to beat the blues? Poetry.

I’m definitely on board with staying home from work, and I do love my lipgloss. Poetry? Maybe.

Honestly, the trick to pushing through the winter blues, mean reds, the blahs…also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), isn’t really a trick at all. Being patient (difficult, I know), giving yourself a break (go ahead, take a day off), recognizing it’s a stressful time and doing your best to mitigate it…these can be the best “cures” for what ails those of us who aren’t their best this time of year.

Of course avoiding known stressors helps too: lack of sleep, poor diet, worrying, too much caffeine or alcohol, and the like…you know what your s are.And taking care of yourself will help, too. Eating breakfast, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, savoring a cup of your favorite tea or cocoa, enjoying a nice, long soak in the tub…these are all simple ways to get through the winter.

And although you might not be able to go for a jog — or you just can’t seem to drag your butt to the gym — doing a little gentle stretching before bed or incorporating a couple of minutes of squats or lunges while you brush your teeth in the morning will make you feel like less of a slug.

And guess what? Spring will be here before we know it. Spring in all its bountiful glory. Ah, just thinking about it inspires me.

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