Sunday, August 30, 2009

An observation...

I have a new appreciation for that bit of fat on my upper stomach area. Upon further inspection, I realized that it seems to be doing a pretty good job of holding up my boobs. I think I'll keep it.

How's that for optimism?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Hot List

Let me start by saying that Allure magazine is my favourite magazine ever. I've faithfully read almost every single issue since it came out. It never disappoints, and over the years I've gotten some fantastic ideas from it. 'The Hot List', their best new addition to the magazine, has been appearing in almost every issue for about a year now. Allure chooses celebrities, and brings us a list of their favourite things-beauty products, fashion, wines, places, books-you name it, based on a different theme for each list. Often I find really great products to try that otherwise I may not have heard of, and since celebrities have access to the best of everything, often for free, their tastes tend to be quite discerning.

Since I've been busy trying a lot of new products this summer, I'd like to bring you my first 'hot list'.


1. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick for Body
So luxurious and beautifully packaged, I couldn't resist treating myself. This pressed powder leaves a gorgeous gleam on the skin, smells nice, and the enormous compact will last for years. This is one of the few shimmer products that doesn't break me out in the décolleté area. The brush that goes with it is wonderful quality, and also worth investing in. Pure glamour.

2. Benefit 'CORALista'
This beautiful pinky-peach blush is pigmented, but easy to apply because the formula is so smooth and sheer. The shimmer particles are very small, giving a very glowy finish. It looks great on all light to medium-dark skintones, as either a blush on it's own, or as an accent color on top of bronzer.

3. Child Perfume Oil
In a city where everyone seems to break out the Dolce & Gabbana 'Light Blue' as soon as the warm weather hits, I prefer something a little more obscure. Child Perfume Oil is a luscious blend of pikake and musk, it melts into the skin and lasts forever. On me, it smells very clean and tropical, but there's a very sexy edge to it. It's been getting me lots of compliments, and so far I have yet to smell it on anyone else.

4. Nars Lip Gloss in 'Turkish Delight'
This lip gloss is the perfect shade for softening any lip colors that are too bright. It imparts a pale pink milky glow that makes the lips look fresh and full. The formula is non-sticky and lasting, everyone should own this versatile shade.

5. J. Crew Leather Capri Sandals
Such a bargain at $49.50, I just had to rave about them. They are the perfect 'barely there' sandal, as slinky and sexy as you can get in a flat shoe, and comfortable, too. I purchased mine in the 'metallic ice' shade, to match my silver jewelry I like to wear in summer. These are really well-made too.

Honorable mentions go to:
OPI 'Miami Beet' Nail Polish
'Andante' Cave de Ribeauvillé Alsace wine
Gillette Venus Razors

Hope you're all enjoying the heat.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The French Manicure, my latest rediscovery

As a teenager, my pursuit of sophistication and glamour one day led me to purchase one of those drugstore French manicure sets, complete with the guide-strips, white polish, and nude topcoat. After much trial and error, I finally perfected what I thought was a darn good-looking French manicure. I was so excited to show off my handiwork to my beautiful and chic Swiss exchange student friend.

'That's not a French manicure', she informed me. 'For a real French manicure you need the white pencil'. And so it's been Revlon's Nail Whitener pencil ever since.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I was cleaning out my manicure box and came across a white pencil. It had been a few years, but now this simple, quick manicure technique suddenly made all the more sense to me now that I'm a mom with limited self-care time.

Here's my French manicure how-to:

1. Apply a rich scrub to your hands and nails, focusing on the cuticles. Massage and rinse off. One Minute Manicure is a nice product, but Sally Hansen and some other less expensive drugstore brands make good scrubs too.

2. While rinsing hands, use the tip of a nail file to clean under the tips of your nails.

3. After drying hands, but while they're still damp, apply the pencil under the tips of the nails. I find a little moisture helps the pencil go on more smoothly. I usually do a touch up with the pencil every couple of days or so.

4. Finish by buffing your nails to a high shine, or remove any scrub residue from the nail bed with polish remover, and paint on your favourite clear polish. These days I am loving Duri Rejuvacote (super-shiny and long lasting) or if you want a product that is free of formaldehyde and toluene, Ecrinal Durcisseur Vernis Brillant is excellent.

Quick, easy, pretty, youthful, clean, classic.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Happy Birthday to...Me!

Today I started my day the same way I always do on my birthday, with a good look in the mirror. I had to see if anything had changed since yesterday, when I was still only 35 years old. Now that I'm 36 and past the midpoint of my thirties, I guess I was expecting to somehow look and feel different today. Well, actually, I do. I feel like I'm succeeding in my mission to look healthy and feel great.

In the past year, I've discovered some fantastic products (Prevage, I love you!), developed some good habits (exercise and more exercise) and read some great books. I feel more in touch with myself and more sure of what fits into my life and what doesn't. I am more confident in saying no and burning bridges. I love that about getting older. I love watching my daughter grow and learn so many new things. More and more motherhood is feeling like my greatest and most rewarding accomplishment.

Of course I'm still planning to do all I can to look and feel 25 by the time I'm 40, though. Taking good care of your body is a great accomplishment and the perfect birthday gift to yourself.