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New Year's clock It’s the tenth day of the new year, and how many of us have already strayed from our resolutions? That may be because those goals we make each December 31 often revolve around breaking bad habits or spontaneously forming new, better ones. Who among us hasn’t vowed, at least once, to eat healthier, to work out three times a week, to drink less, to read more, to be spontaneous, and so on? While these resolutions may be noble, they’re also decidedly vague. (After all, doesn’t eating only one bowl of ice cream after dinner count as “eating healthier”?) So why not give yourself a chance to actually achieve your goals by making them smaller and more realistic? Below, 15 little ways to live healthier and happier—starting now.

Click to continue reading 15 Little Ways to Live Happier and Healther—Starting NOW!


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Marc by Marc Jacobs Totally Turnlock Teri shoulderbag I have an unstylish little secret: Since I work from home, it’s not unusual for my husband to arrive in the afternoon and see me in the same clothes I woke up in that morning. In fact, yesterday he came home early and caught me in my pajamas, on the couch, cup of coffee in hand and watching the end of a Lifetime drama. It was three p.m. “I swear, I didn’t just wake up, and I haven’t been doing this all day!” I announced before I’d even said hello. My immediately defensiveness wasn’t because I thought he’d judge me. It was because I was kinda judging myself a little. What am I , I thought, some slobby kid home from college for the holidays? No. I own a business. I’ve published books. I write about beauty and health, for God’s sake!

This morning, I woke up, went straight into my closet, and pulled on a little red jersey dress. I did the fresh-face routine, brushed and styled my hair, and then made my cup of coffee and got to work. Fifteen minutes of my time, quite a simple look, and I suddenly felt like a professional again. The point is this: You can style yourself successful. The psychology is simple—looking good makes us feel good. Knowing that we appear put-together gives us confidence, with which we’re more apt to take on new projects, invite the boss to lunch, and impress clients. And it works both ways. The people around us take subtle cues about our personalities, capabilities, and desires from the clothes we wear—and they act on those cues. So, read on for a few looks that will help you achieve your daily goals.

Click to continue reading Style Yourself Successful: Four looks that show you how


Giselle Bundchen Last night, my husband and I went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The movie happened to be playing at the fabulous Alamo Drafthouse, so I also had a few glasses of wine. The breakdown, my friends: Things got messy. Very messy. My husband had to keep irritably shushing my sniffling, but it was no use. I was in crying-mode.

Needless to say, I woke up this morning looking a fright. I peered miserably at myself in the mirror, poking at my purplish, swollen eyelids. I washed my face with very cold water, but my skin seemed to become even more dull and blotchy. What kind of movie was worth this kind of casualty? And what could I do to fix it? Luckily for you—and a blessed relief for me—I perfected the fake-fresh formula years ago, and I’m only too happy to share it now.

Click to continue reading Faking a Fresh Face


Isla Fisher in Confessions of a Shopaholic

I consider myself to be a fairly selective reader—so much so that a few years ago, my former English professor mom called me a “literary snob.” I was insulted for a second before I realized that she was absolutely right. I’ve sneered at The DaVinci Code, sniffed at Twilight, and made endless fun of most of the other crap we call genre fiction. But here’s a guilty little secret: I’m kind of into the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella… Okay, I adore the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. It’s bubbly, charming, its ridiculous heroine, Becky Bloomwood, the vicarious shopping experience, and the hilarious situations that arise from a simple desire to buy, buy, buy!... those books get me every time. So perhaps you’ll understand my excitement when I found out that the Confessions of a Shopaholic movie, starring Isla Fisher, hits theaters on February 13!

I just watched the trailer, which you can find here, and I have to say that I have mixed feelings. Firstly, as every Shopaholic fan knows, Becky Bloomwood is British. She lives in England, in “trendy Fulham,” as her dorky boss at Successful Saving magazine likes to joke. Secondly—and I know this goes with the territory of every screen-adapted novel—that is not how I pictured Becky; I think I’d know if the character was a stunning redhead. And last, but certainly not least, it seems like they’ve Frankensteined the entire story! I know I’m revealing myself to be a total nerd at this point—I hereby resign my rights to jeer at sci-fi freaks…yeah, okay, not really—but look: There’s no fashion magazine involved in the book. No hugely popular column, just a recurring segment on the British TV show, Morning Coffee . And Luke Brandon has nothing to do with the Finnish fiasco. Am I asking too much of Hollywood to stick to the already-fine story?

... On the upside, the movie still looks really cute.  :cheese:  But rest assured, my husband will catch me chortling out loud, hot pink novel in hand—again—before I stalk ticket counters next month; like the literary snob I am, I want to be able to comment afterward on all the ways the book kicked the movie’s arse.

What do you think of the trailer?


OPI dark nail polishes This question came up over dinner last night with my longtime best friend. Since her career requires pretty no-nonsense work attire—suits and pumps, leave your creativity at the door—she was concerned that the inherent edginess of dark nail polish would seem unprofessional. My reply? Go for the look—but do it right. Below, three tips for pulling off winter’s moody polish trend…without offending your boss’s sensibilities.

1. Keep nails short and well-groomed. Go for a pretty oval shape, with nails not extending past the curve of your fingertips.
2. Dark polish should never look messy. If your application veers toward the shaky side, enlist the help of someone who boasts near-surgical precision.
3. When it comes to color, choose one that’s rich, with a hint of shimmer (not, in most cases, sparkle); a gold or pewter sheen adds sophistication, and is flattering on all skin tones.

My picks for the most luscious dark shades of the season? Try Dark New Skates, a dark, shimmery silver by OPI; Chanel Vendetta, a deep, sexy violent that’s the latest shade in the Le Vernis nail collection; Bewitching Bordeaux, a delicious milk chocolate by Revlon; Indian River Ruby, vampy, velvety, and organic by Nomiss Healthy Alternative Products; Dior Vernis in Mystic Violine, arguably similar to Indian River Ruby, but gorgeous enough to include here; and finally, Russian Navy by OPI.

You’ll note that there are no black polishes on this list, despite the slew of offerings by both luxury and drugstore brands. The reason is simple: I’m over black. It’s no longer goth, edgy, new, or trendy to me; besides, with the vast array of other dark and mysterious colors, why sell your digits short—at work or at play? Happy painting!


A pre made-over Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada

Now, clearly I love the beauty and fashion industry. I delight in it. But this wasn’t always the case. Back in high school, I was the girl who took pride in arriving to class with her hair in a messy wet bun, wearing only lip balm and a snug t-shirt with drawstring pants. Vans were my footwear staple. I considered myself independent, a little bohemian, and I looked scornfully at the girls with smoky eyes and straightened hair. There was also, I’ll admit, a little bit of envy. In their fashion, their stilettos that clacked across the beige tiled hallways, those girls had what I didn’t: sex appeal.

Last night, I watched The Devil Wears Prada with my 12-year-old stepdaughter. She is uncommonly beautiful, with no trace of the awkwardness I suffered at her age. She is smart, perceptive, and a budding fashionista. (The night before, she’d killed thirty minutes by trying on half a dozen pairs of my shoes, then texting all her friends back in Seattle about her newfound love for high-heeled boots.) But as we watched Prada, she’d declare, “Ugh! I have such a big butt!” or “Look at all this baby-flab over my hips! You don’t have any of that!” or “I’m confused. How come my thighs touch when I’m standing up? That’s not right, is it?”

Click to continue reading When Should We Start Worrying About Beauty?


Two-Faced Makeup Kit

In a tight economy, we’re all struggling to make our dollars stretch. So, while multi-tasking beauty products are nothing new, I’ve scoured the Internet (and, yes, my own deliciously cluttered bathroom shelves) to give you a shortlist of the best. Bonus? After-Christmas sales!

* bare-Minerals Multi-Tasking Bisque: For $18, you get a soft, shimmery eye shadow base and an ingenious concealer for pretty much any facial imperfection, from blemishes to veins to scars. The product also carries SPF 20.

* Two-Faced World Domination All Access Backstage Beauty Collection: At $42 (down from $150), this little set comes with eight shadows, a duo bronzer, a blush, a face illuminator, six lip glosses (!), a brow powder, and an eyeliner cake. If it’s time to clean out your makeup bag, this’d be a smart way to replace all those crusty old compacts.

* Philosophy Cinnamon Buns Ultra Rich 3-in-1 Shampoo, Shower Gel, and Bubble Bath: You don’t want to smell like a hot, gooey dessert, you say? This $16 product could—and probably will—change your mind. Did I mention it’s 3-in-1?

*Smooth Glow Stubble Reducing Daily Moisturizer: Get your glow on in preparation for spring—and shave half as often—with this lotion. Get it for $5.69 at AmericaRx.

* Nu Bra: My personal favorite, these light, self-adhesive cups will save you from wardrobe malfunctions. Wear under halters, strapless tops or dresses, racer-backs, keyhole fronts, looooow v-necks, and even your ordinary, everyday t-shirt. I could rave about this brilliant bra (and have) until somebody shuts me up, but I’ll end with one last, whispered note: You choose your cleavage. Want va-voom, even if you’re an A-cup? You got it. And you D-cups—want to tone it down (as if that’s possible)? No problem. At In the Mood Intimates you’ll find the Nu Bra Ultralite for $24.99—need I say more?

There you have it—five products that will take you from the shower to your front door and beyond (after you put clothes on, of course). The best part? All five combined are less than $100. That’s about as guiltless as a skinny cappuccino…Happy shopping!


Gray suede Miu Miu pumps

Hi, and happy holidays to our fabulous community of readers! As your new guide (and, on a good day, guru) to all things heath, beauty, and career-related, I thought it only proper to introduce myself. So, here goes:

* I sometimes cry during jewelry commercials…except the ones by Kay. No offense to Kay, but it is really hard not to laugh at its recent commercials.
* Mexican food—enchiladas suizas, to be exact—is my hangover cure. And bad-day cure. And also, a delightful icing to a good day.
* Thanks to Saks 5th Avenue’s recent shoe sale, I purchased my first, TO-DIE, pair of Miu Mius. (See image; now picture that shoe in shades of fuschia.) There’s no going back.

There, in those three small items, is nearly everything you need to know about me. Now it’s your turn: Favorite…Christmas cookie? ...Pilates move? ...Nars lip gloss? Tell me about yourself and—just as important—what you’d like to see from this blog. I aim to please, my dears. (Though of course, the accuracy of my aim has been questioned in the past—but that’s neither here nor there.)

To a beautiful and successful new year!


Clothing rack

Okay, I am what you might call pleasantly plump.  By no means a size two, or even a size six, I have some extra meat on my bones.  But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like looking good.  But what it does mean is that I have grown to hate shopping.

Remember the days when a size 14 was a size 14, not a size 12?  Or a large was actually large,  not walking doll size?  I remember those days and I long for them again.  It’s hard enough being overweight without walking into a shop to get a new outfit and leaving the store an hour later, crying.  Really.  A word to the wise all you designers out there: wanna make women buy more clothes?  Then make a size 16, not a size 12.  I try on pants and they are a size 12 and fit?  I’m taking them home!  I have to squeeze my butt into a size 16 and can’t get them zippered up?  You can be sure that I’m not going to want to go up to a size 18.  And I leave feeling bad about myself and wanting chocolate.

And don’t even get me going on bras.  I don’t understand how I can fit into a 38DD, 36DD and 40D depending on the bra style. Now, I’m no math wiz, but isn’t 38 inches always 38 inches?  If so, then why are all the sexy 38 inch bras way too small?  I honestly don’t get it.  And I’m getting sick of my granny braziers.

When my husband goes shopping this is how it goes: he walks into the store, sees something he likes, finds his size and walks out of the store.  No trying on, no comparing sizes, nothin’.  In and out.  I’d love to shop like that.  But since I currently have jeans ranging from size 11 to 16 in my closet, I have to try everything on.  He couldn’t understand why I would go out shopping, be gone for hours, and come home empty-handed and miserable.  Then I took him with me one day.  After four hours of me trying clothes on and showing him each piece, we left and he bought me some jewelery.  Now he understands.


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