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Susan's Spa

Your number one stop for beauty and blogging tips, all in one fabulous blog!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Thermage For The Body

It's very hard to find genuine news about anything to do with plastic surgery that's not touted by some PR firm on behalf of some upscale doctor. However, I found this article that announced Thermage can now be used on various areas of the body (including the butt) to lift sagging skin. Formerly, it had only been used on the face as an alternative to surgical facelift, but now it has been proven useful on other areas of the body. Although the cost is not cheap (still in the thousands), it is far less expensive than invasive surgery and there's no down time.

Schools Closing in on Myspace

Many public schools in the United States are taking a stance against Myspace by blocking the website from school computers. Too much personal information is being shared on Myspace by children and sexual predators are taking advantage. Although Myspace requires that posters provide a birthdate, there's no way for the date to be verified and too many people (including children under the age of 14) are using Myspace.

Bloogz Rank

Bloogz ranks blogs based on the number of visitors and quotes within the last 24 hours. Every site ranks blogs differently. Technorati is probably the most popular. So much so, that it was their list that was published in New York Magazine's article on blogging. This is an interesting list though. Check out the one listed as "Hello".

Here Comes the Bride

Did you get engaged for Valentine's Day? If so, you must be very excited....and stressed out. Stress is probably the number one joy killer for any bride-to-be, but here are a few tips on how to alleviate some of your stress. First of all, have someone take your photo (a Polaroid will do fine). Make sure you smile as you would on your wedding day. Afterwards, evaluate your look. How does your smile look? Are your teeth as white as you want them to be? How about your skin? Are you fighting break-outs? How about your hair? Is it shiny and glossy or dull looking? Don't wait until the last minute to start dealing with these issues. Here you can achieve some realistic goals like having your teeth whitened, paying a visit to a dermatologist and having a hair consultation well in advance of your big day. Also, keep your goals realistic with regard to your weight. Don't attempt to lose a great deal of weight in order to fit into a certain dress style. Again, keep your goals realistic by letting go of a fixed idea and opening yourself up to various choices. You really can only do this by actually trying on dresses and don't just rely on your mom (she'll think you look like a princess no matter what you choose), but rather the sales associates who should be highly trained in helping each bride select a style that is right for her body type. As to your make-up, make sure you have your make-up done several times before the big day, chosing several different looks and photographing each one (the same with your hair) so you find a look that not only reflects the mood of the day, but highlights your best features in your wedding photos. For more information about everything bridal, go to

Take Your Google To Work

Along the same lines as the skin whitening post, supply and demand are big news today as Google and Sony Erikson have come together to introduce a phone with built-in blogging capabilities. Blogging has proven to be a huge business and everyone wants to cash in. No doubt other companies will follow in the their footsteps very shortly.

Skin Whitening

You read the title correctly. This post isn't about teeth whitening, it's about skin whitening. Apparently, skin whitening is becoming very big business. Maybe not here, but internationally, huge cosmetic companies are answering the needs of women, particularly Asian women, to brighten and whiten their skin. The question is, do these products really work, are they safe and why do women feel the need to do this to themselves in the first place? How responsible is it for the skin care companies to jump on this bandwagon? It seems to me that they are not only caving in to the demands of society, but are also looking to make, clean up, so to speak, financially.

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Secrets of Successful Blogging

I'm always looking for the best way to create a fabulous blog that will attract readers. Here is a link that is full of extremely useful information about how to blog successfully. The information is full of good common sense and is written so that any novice will be able to understand.

The Allure of Free Stuff

Allure Magazine is one of the very best beauty magazines around. This month you can find out about how to get some fabulous free stuff from Nivea and Dr. Brandt. After you click on this link, click on the pictures of the free stuff you can win and follow the rules! Good luck!

Mobile Myspace

As a follow-up to my post about Myspace the other day. Here's an interesting news item about how Myspace wants to corner the mobile phone market. As a parent I can't see the upside to this, not to mention the cell phone bills (oy vey!).

Kate Spade Handbag Giveaway

Lucky Magazine and Abreva are sponsoring a handbag giveaway. Enter to win a beautiful, one-of-a-kind Kate Spade handbag at the link below, or go to to find out more information about the giveaway and some other great stuff from Lucky Magazine. Go to the entry form for the handbag giveaway at Good Luck!

The Anti-Aging Man

Today's men are just as concerned about their faces as women have been for years. Within the last few years, a number of skin care lines have popped up addressing the very special needs men. One of the most highly visible is Nivea which offers a full line of skin care products from cleansers, scrubs, and moisturizers for the discerning male. Now, other companies are jumping on the bandwagon. The skin care business has always been a multi-million dollar one, and now finally companies can tap into a new and ever-growing market. As one article explains, often it's the women who urge their men to not only protect their skin from the harmful rays of the sun, but find products that will keep the hands of time from moving forward anymore quickly than they have to.

An Inspiration at 60!

Having just celebrated another birthday, I always look to those who are older for inspiration and proof that life doesn't stop at 50. Joyce Vedral is one of those people. Joyce, who is a body builder, began working out with other body builders well into her middle age. She adapted what they knew so that other women like herself could work out at home and achieve the same results as her. Joyce has appeared on many talk shows including Montel Williams, Sally Jesse Raphael and Oprah. Her ability to turn her life around is one that makes her a favorite of women all over the country. Joyce herself, who was a college professor, was a divorced mom who had wanted to find a way to get rid of her extra weight. She needed to find a work out routine that would fit her lifestyle and she found one by adapting traditional body building techniques for an at-home work-out series. Her books have been on the best sellers lists and her videos and DVDs are still very popular. Her workouts, combined with aerobic activity and a healthy diet, can really get your body ready for summer. She has a fabulous website ( and she offers personal support. So, if you are looking for a way to tone up and sculpt, check out Joyce for some great tips!

Hide Your Blog From Your Boss

I found this very interesting, but not-at-all surprising story this morning about how employees are being fired for telling all in their blogs. Apparently, major companies are cracking down on employees, by firing them, for even jokingly referring to anything work related. However, have we reached a point whereby companies will have to start having their employees sign agreements whereby they promise not to keep a work-related blog? I can understand if trade secrets are shared on the internet and certainly anything that smacks of libel would have to be dealt with, but can't a person have a place to vent every once in a while, without worrying that they will receive a pink slip for doing so? I guess with so many millions of blogs, this will be just one of many stories we will be reading in the future about how they impact the rest of our lives.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Myspace Equals Every Mother's Nightmare I've included a link to a story about Myspace which is making the rounds this afternoon on the internet. It involves and, for those of you who are not familiar, this site is one of the most popular among teens. It allows teens to connect with other teens through personal pages that include personal information, photos and blog entries. Initially, this had all the good intentions of it's visionary, Tom, but like all things on the internet, there is a very dark side. This seemingly innocent idea has also turned out to be a lure for pedofiles looking to hook up with youngsters by disguising themselves as teenagers themselves. There's absolutely no way for anyone to know who is actually posting on this and other sites like it and, as a result, has become one of the scariest places on earth. Unfortunately, parents sometimes become lulled into a false sense of security because of the mere knowledge that their children are at home. I've been guilty of this myself, but the internet is no place to rest on our laurels. I really don't think it can be reinforced enough that children, and that includes teenagers, be reminded about not chatting with people they don't know and, certainly, not meeting people they met on the internet. Here, in this article, is just another reminder of how we have to be on constant alert. Let's all hope that something is done about it in the near future.

Take Care Of Yourself...From The Neck Down

The other day I saw a fairly famous actress on TV. She was selling her wares on Home Shopping. For someone who is about to turn 60, she looks very good (maybe with a little help from a plastic surgeon). Although her face wouldn't give away her real age, her neck was screaming "I'm 60 dammit!". This is obviously someone who took good care of her face, but stopped at her chin. Too bad, because once the neck goes, it's very hard to get it back. Yes, there are neck lifts being performed, but the skin itself can never really be rejuvinated as well as the skin on your face. The skin on your neck is very much like the skin under your eyes. This delicate skin must be treated with great care which includes using an SPF of at least 15 every day. There are creams made specifically for the neck and, more and more, you will see these creams more available at your local drugstore and discount stores, where previously they were only available at high-end stores and dermatologist's offices. However, if you don't want to purchase a cream for your neck, you can still use your facial creams, just extend the use to the neck in an upward motion. Whatever eye treatment you are using (and you should be using one) can also be used on the neck area as well. It's never too late to start taking care of this area, but the sooner you start the better off you'll be in the long run.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Shopping in Your Pajamas

One of the greatest things about home shopping is that you don't have to get out of your pamajas to do it. This weekend, if you are looking to pick up some great buys on beauty, then head on over to Home Shopping Network ( and check out what Adrienne Arpel is featuring from her Signature Club A line. She has added two brand new anti-aging products. One is a caviar product that, when used, gives you the same effects as Adrienne's famous cool-iron process she used to use in her department store locations. This process "irons" out your fine lines and wrinkles temporarily. The at-home process invovles pressing the caviar beads, wrapped in gauze against your wrinkles. The demonstration was quite dramatic and for around $32.00, you get about a one-month's supply. The other product is a Dead Sea Mud mask which you can brush on your skin. The product, if used a few times a week, helps to detoxify and purify. The results will be more refined pores and even skin tone. If you love QVC and Bare Escentuals, then at midnight tonight you can check out the Today's Special or go to Happy Shopping!

Do Bloggers Ever Take A Day Off??

Today was a day whereby I did not have access to my computer for most of it. I had waited patiently for my new carpeting to be delivered and installed, but in the meantime, my computer was spread all over my kitchen table with none of the components attached. It was frustrating because I wanted to check my email, my message board and my ebay account, but I also wanted to post on my blog. Not posting on my blog means no readers. I've become addicted to the feeling of having my blog read and more addicted to my site meter which tells me everything I want to know about who has passed through here and how long they stayed. I had intended on posting on another topic, but not being able to post on my blog, got me thinking about how other bloggers deal with not being able to post. Do bloggers ever take a much needed vacation? Do bloggers ever get writer's block and, therefore, are forced to take a break? There were a few days where I had to skip a post because of my job, my kids, I was sick, my dog broke her was always something. I didn't think it would make that big of a difference, but by not posting, I noticed a huge dip in traffic. So, here I sit pondering these thoughts about other bloggers. Do we all share the same anxieties about not being able to post? Is there a support group? Actually, that's a stupid question because I'm sure there are probably lots of on-line support groups on this very topic. I guess I'll just mosey on over to one right about now!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Zap Your Zits! Here's a link to great news for those suffering from acne! Now, you can literally have your zits zapped away with a light. This is promising news for many of you who have had little success with creams, etc.

The Technorati Touch

I remember when I first started blogging. Like almost everyone else who starts out blogging, I had no idea what I was doing. It's like jumping into a lake without knowing how to swim. Also, it's a very large lake and there are lots of other people in there with you. Some of them are novices like you, while others are mega-bloggers or blogereties, as they are now known, who are making tons of money blogging on no less than ten blogs a day, every other minute. I now fall into neither category. I am probably in the majority of bloggers who aren't really making any money, but just enjoy writing. I began blogging after losing my job and one of my online friends had turned me toward a site for stay-at-home moms, Here, I was looking for support and the possiblity that I might be able to find some sound information on blogging from other moms who are doing it too. Their blogging folder is just a wealth of information. One of the very first pieces of information I found was on Technorati ( By linking your blog to Technorati, you can hopefully draw some traffic. If people like your blog, then they will link theirs to yours and you can do the same. The more links that point to your blog, the more readers you will draw. The more traffic, the more likelihood that you can make some money from your affiliates. My current two main affiliates are Amazon and Benefit Cosmetics. Besides being a great way to link your blog, Technorati is just a wealth of information on blogging. Of course, there are lots of other places you can link your blog. I'm convinced that one day blogging will be offered as a college major. There's so much to learn and not enough hours in my day to learn it, but I'm having fun doing it.

Hard as Nails

Being a person who no longer refuses to be a slave to nail extensions, I have worn my own nails au naturale for a few years now. In fact, quite a few years ago, I used to be a manicurist with my own business. I'm totally convinced to applying anything toxic to the nails, probably leads to all kinds of diseases, but since there are no studies to prove that, I just like to fall on the side of caution. So how does one keep natural nails from breaking, splitting and peeling? Well, look no further than your own drugstore. Why spend megabucks on nail products, when for just a few dollars you can enjoy healthy-looking nails. Sally Hansen is one company that has refined their nail care line to relfect the needs of women. My favorite products from them are the multivitamin nail treatment, which is applied with a brush to nails, the multivitamin nail and cuticle cream and the 18 Hour Hand Creme with shea butter. Applying these products several times a day and you will see results. A few more tips to great looking nails includes wearing rubber gloves, whenever possible, for doing dishes or any kind of housework. Also, instead of cutting your cuticles, push them back gently after using cuticle creme. Instead of regular emory boards or metal nail files, purchase a good, sturdy professional nail filing board. You can get them at any drugstore or beauty supply store for under $2 and gently file your nails at least a couple of times a week. Make sure to use the smooth side to smooth out any rough edges that might get caught on something. Round the sides just a little so that hard edges don't catch and rip the nail. For more information go to Happy Shopping!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Latest on Google Here's a link to a story about how unbelievably overwhelmed Google's web services have become. There's a waiting list now and they are suggesting user's go to Blogger to help them update their pages. Poor Google!

Sony Hops On Blogwagon This is old news already (reported Feb.18th in NYTimes), but it resonates to the power of blogging. Sony did a bad thing!

Ebay Beauty

When I first began selling skin care and cosmetics on Ebay, I really wasn't sure how well I would do. This was a few years ago, and I really was skeptical about selling in Ebay, but quickly got over my fears when I decided to leave my former career. As I began researching the beauty products on Ebay, I was overwhelmed by the wide range of products available from the very top-name companies. Fast foward a few years, I have to say that for a second income, Ebay has done very well for me. There are several beauty boards that I post on and one poster was thrilled that she was able to win an auction on a Bare Escentuals brush that sold well over $20 in Sephora. She paid a fraction of that cost, plus shipping. Most of the products I sell are brand new, with just a small amount of products that I've used for testing, but decided not to keep, like Bare Escentuals eye shadows. What would have eventually ended up in the garbage because it wasn't a good color for me, became someone else's find for a few dollars. It's a win/win situation for everyone. If you are the least bit sheepish about trying to score some of your favorite products this way, don't be afraid to send messages to sellers. A reputable seller will give you all the information you need to make a decision about whether to bid or not. Although there are certain products I wouldn't recommend purchasing used like mascara or lip products, almost anything else could prove to be a great find. Think of how much money you could save on all those MAC products you love so much, but cost a small fortune in one of their upscale locations. You can get a great deal on perfume, anti-aging products and body products from some of your favorite companies. On Ebay, an educated shopper can do very well and be very happy with their purchases. Just do your homework and, you can't go wrong.

One Blogger Drops Out Since so many people were interested in the story from New York Magazine on those blogging millionaires, I thought I would post this link about one blogger (Kottke), who has decided to throw in his blogging towel. I guess he feels that working 36 hours a day trying to attract more traffic so he could make more money, just wasn't worth it. To his credit, he gave one year of his life to it and that's more than most bloggers give before they realize that blogging won't turn them into the next Donald Trump.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I normally don't post more than once a day, but according to this week's New York Magazine's cover article (dated Feb.20th), I probably should be blogging every three minutes or so if I ever want to be a Blogrebity (one of the A-list bloggers that get millions of hits a day and make millions of dollars blogging). This is a fascinating article, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with the topic of my blog, but blogging in and of itself, has become a big and fascinating business and the cutting edge form of communication. Many blogs break news before it ever hits CNN, and those bloggers are the new millionaires, who never even imagined that they could get their by blogging. Here's the link to this very well-written account of blogging aptly entitled 'Blogs to Riches'

Real Beauty

Do you remember what you felt like when you were a kid? Did you like yourself? Did you think you were good-looking or pretty? Probably most of us didn't have great self esteem or think we were attractive. Well, multiply that by about one hundred. That's what it's like now for young women. Our culture puts such a high price on beauty and body image, that today, many young women have much lower self esteem than we ever experienced. Eating disorders are at an all time high and more teens are asking for plastic surgery. One beauty company is doing something about it, or at least trying to make a dent. Dove has developed the real beauty campaign. Contrary to the belief that this is a marketing tool for their products (and, on some level it probably is), they have developed a website dedicated to raising the self esteem of young women all over the world through education. I'm not sure who was behind this brainstorm, but it makes me wonder if other skincare and cosmetic companies will follow suit. It's a brilliant business decision on their part. In a day and age of advertising where underwear commercials are bordering on soft-core porn, they have taken the high road with a group of women who are not perfectly sculpted. These undewear-clad ladies are showing up everywhere...even on Oprah. Their mantra is curves, in any size, are beautiful. It would be wonderful if this thinking could be contagious, but I think it will be a long road before this philosophy hits every household, but still, kudos to Dove for setting a new standard. You can learn more about their campaign by going to

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

New Product Alert

With the overwhelming success of Jergens Body Glow, which started a trend among other skin care companies like L'Oreal, Jergens now has a Face Glow. This brand new product will do for the face, what it has done for the body....give a natural glow, without giving you a fake-looking tan. Jergens has figured out a way to add enough of the tanning product in their Glow products, without leaving you looking too bronze or orange, and without staining your clothes or the palms of your hands. You can purchase the product at any drugstore or discount store for around $6.99. Expect to see other skin care companies follow in their footsteps soon enough. This product is available in the same shades as the body, light, medium and dark. You can go to for more information about this and all products offered from Jergens. Happy Shopping!

Monday, February 20, 2006

No Excuses!

That's have no excuses not to be exfoliating by now. When I went to CVS yesterday, I counted no less than six different at-home microdermabrasion kits (some on sale) in the skin care aisle. There's L'Oreal, who has two (one in the Regenerist line), Neutrogena, two kits from private label companies and now, Dove has a hand-held battery operated facial machine which sells for under $12. It's no surprise that skin care companies are finally catching on to what has been known to dermatologists for years. For so long, women had to spend big bucks to have their skin professionally exfoliated, but now, for under $30, they can do it at home, on a weekly basis. If you truly want younger-looking skin, this is really the first, and most important step to get it. Removing those tiny particles of dead skin that sit on the surface of your face, not only enhances whatever lines and wrinkles you have, but keeps those expensive creams and serums from fully doing their job. That dead skin poses a barrier to your cream and, as a result, those creams and serums aren't getting to the upper layers of your skin, preventing them from giving you their best results. When you finally do bring home one of these kits, here's a couple of things to remember. If you are a first time user, follow the directions carefully. New users may experience some sensitivity in the beginning so be gentle and don't overuse. Experienced users (those who have had professional exfoliation) may feel that it's not enough, but regular use will prove that these at-home products are doing their job. Remember, these are not professional-grade products, they are made for at-home use so your results won't be as dramatic as those that are obtained in a dermatologists office. Finally, don't forget your hands. You can use these same products on your hands and achieve younger-looking skin on the second place that screams your age. For more information, you can go to for at-home microdermabrasion and mini-face peel products. Happy Shopping!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Bring Some Laughter Into Your Life

After perusing the aisles of Sephora yesterday with my daughter, who was longing for a make-up haul of her own, I decided to treat myself to one item, while splurging on her. I chose Bare Escentuals new blush color 'Laughter'. This is a gorgeous pink/coral shade that will bring the look of a genuine blush to your face,without making you look like a kewpie doll. Bare Escentuals products are great buys only because the mineral powder will last you months, and months making the investment a very good one. If you don't already own one of BE's make-up brushes, be sure to get the appropriate one for your choice of powder (foundation, blush, eye shadow or liner). Their brushes, although pricey, are a great value inasmuchas they don't shed and will last a very long time as long as you care for them. If you can hold out a while, BE will be having a Today's Special at their home on QVC, next weekend. Happy Shopping!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Addicted to Blogs

Since I began blogging a few months ago, I have to admit that I've become addicted to writing and reading other blogs. I've learned so much from fellow bloggers about format, writing tips, affiliate links and I've made some new friends. As a result, I want to share with you some of the other blogs I've gotten addicted to and hope you like them too. is a cute site to list your birthday or the birthday of someone you love. is a wonderful blog by a very talented chef who specializes in tasty, but inexpensive meals that are easy to make. is a blog by someone who is dedicated to fighting breast cancer. is a blog kept by a talented writer on the every day challenges of motherhood and, finally, one of my all-time favorites is, a blog dedicated to the fandom of Barry Manilow, by a very talented photographer. Enjoy!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Recipe for Healthy Living

You know you have to eat healthy to stay fit and fend off things live high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, but there is so much information out there about what to eat and what to stay away from, I thought I would share some thoughts and some recipes for a healthy lifestyle, without sacrificing anything (well, almost anything). First of all, you really can't miss any meals if you plan on giving your body the proper fuel to get you through the day. Without it, your body will hold onto fat and your metabolism will come to a screeching halt. Having said that, instead of eating three large meals a day, try eating three smaller meals, with at least two snacks (healthy ones, not Snickers bars) in between. Always start off with a healthy breakfast and try to incorporate low-fat smarts, while not sacrificing anything like complex carbohydrates. High protein diets (yes, you do need protein) will melt the fat away initially (you will lose a lot of water initially), but staying on this type of diet long-term is not a good idea. Also, some diets will ask you to eliminate certain foods altogether because they have too much sugar in them. Of course, cut down and/or eliminate anything with refined sugars, like cookies, cakes, pies, candy bars, etc., but to eliminate certain fruits and vegetables because they may have too much sugar is not really a good idea and, it's sometimes hard to either eat out, either in a restaurant or in someone's home, trying to remember what you can and cannot eat. Eat as much whole foods as possible. These are found in the perimeter aisles of the supermarket, while the inside aisles contain more processed foods. Fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs (yes you can have eggs every once in a while with the yolk, but certainly egg whites are fine), lowfat milk or soy or rice milk, lowfat yogart and cheese (you need your calcium) as well as animal protein (preferably from fish, chicken or turkey) and/or soy protein are important for a well-rounded diet. High fiber cereals (oatmeal is really the best) and breads (no white flour) are really important as well. Minimize diet sodas and replace them with either green tea or just bottled water. For breakfast think about having non-fat or lowfat yogurt mixed with low-fat granola and some fresh strawberries. For a snack, spreading some natural peanut butter on a whole wheat tortilla and wrapping it around a cut ut banana. For dinner you can stir fry a cut up chicken cutlet in a little olive oil and season with some low-fat soy sauce and a little orange juice. You can toss in some fresh stir-fried veggies and some sesame seeds and serve over brown rice. Those are just a few suggestions. I'll share more with you in another post. Finally, no one should ever feel deprived. Deprivation surely will lead to binging and that may lead to failure. If you want something sweet, then have something sweet, only share it with a friend.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Sephora for Spring

Having just received my spring catalogue (is it almost Spring yet?) from Sephora, I thought I would share with you some great beauty buys and new products being offered: One of my favorite cosmetic lines is offered at Sephora and it's Bare Escentuals. Must haves for this spring are the brand new blush color in 'Laughter' (gorgeous pastel coral/pink) ($18) and ID Weather Everything Sealer ($18) which will turn your liner/shadow into the perfect eyeliner creating a rich, wet, budge-proof liner. Add the brand new lipgloss color in Garden (matches 'Laughter') for $14 and the Natural Light Face Lifting Duo in Well-Lit and Back-Lit for $26, and you'll have the perfect face for spring. Sephora's beauty breakthrough pages include a double-sided tourmaline twirl curling iron for $200 (ouch!!) as well as Too Faced Intensive Plumping Lip Mask for $27.50 and Cargo Glossbox with single-serve lip gloss wands for $15. New from Philosophy is Big Shots (Unplastic Surgery). This unique product contains individual doses (through cotton swabs) of a peptide-rich formula which are applied to fine lines and wrinkles ($25). From Dermadoctor you will find 'Little Red Dress', which is a lip and cheek stain (sheer red) packed with anti-oxidants which will nourish and protect your skin, while giving youa beautiful glow. Best of all 25% of the proceeds of this product will be donated to the American Heart Association ($28). A must-have for any face is a foundation primer, whether your wear powder and/or liquid foundation or face tint. The very best buy is from Smashbox. Their Photofinish face primer is available for $36 and can be found at Sephora along with Philosophy's 'Hope in a Jar' for $35 (Oprah's favorite face cream). Philosophy also offers Lip Shine in Melon Daquiri, Mimosa and Frozen Lemon Custard for $10 each, Body Souffle in the same flavors for $15 each and shower gels in Blackberry, Frozen Lemon Custard, Mint Chocolate Chip and Waffle Cone for $16 each. You can go to for more information about all these products and everything else offered at Sephora. Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Beauty List

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day. Since you may have had your fill of chocolates (can you really ever have your fill of chocolate?) and the roses are already dying on the vine, perhaps you received a gift card or just some cold cash (my favorite color is green). If you are looking for a way to spend it, consider the following reading list. Since one of my favorite pasttimes is reading, here is a list of top-notch beauty books which will help expand your knowledge of cosmetics and skin care by some of the world's most well-known experts: 1) Ultimate Make-Up & Beauty Guide by Mary Quant - Mary is one of the leading experts on fashion and cosmetics. Very highly recommended. 2) Miracles Happen - The Life and Timeless Principles of the Founder Mary Kay, Inc. - Not only a leading expert in cosmetic and skin care, but the late Mary Kay was a trailblazer for women everywhere. 3) Beauty Secrets for Dummies by Stephanie Seymour - Easy tips that anyone can follow from one of the world's most popular super models. 4) The World's Best Kep Beauty Secrets by Diane Irons - Diane is a former model who has given women all over the world, some beauty secrets you will wonder how you ever lived without. 5) The Art of Make-up by Kevin Aucion - One of the most renowned make-up artists that ever lived. A true artist in every sense of the word. 6) Take 10 Years Off in 10 Weeks by Judith Wills - an expert in the beauty pagent industry, Judith will help any women look and feel years younger. If you have any money left over, head on over to CVS this week. There are some great buys on Glyoxane (the alternative undereye treatment) for only $24.99 as well as some great buys on L'Oreal products for the hair and face. Happy Shopping!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Body Flex

Years ago, I saw a woman with long blonde hair and an unusual name, appear on Home Shopping selling an exercise program. This wasn't just any exercise program, this was a program based on weight loss using a special breathing technique. It sounded crazy to me, but she looked amazing, claiming that she used it to go from a size 16 to a size 4 in a matter of weeks. It was supposed to only take 15 minutes a day. I didn't order the program when I first saw her, but every time she was on, I watched, mesmerized by her claims and the many testimonial calls from viewers who had achieved great success through her program. I finally broke down and made that call and that was my first introduction to Body Flex by Greer Childers. I have to say that at the time I was carrying around some extra weight and was wearing size 12 jeans. My kids were little and I had no time to exercise or even begin to think about eating properly. I started Body Flex (a combination of special breathing exercises and isometric exercises) and I eventually lost enought inches that I went down to a size 8 and have been there ever since. Over the years, I have ordered her updated programs, including her newest one which contains her patented gym bar. The bar is used to do strength training exercises while doing the deep breathing and, so far, the results are very good. Of course, I still include other aerobic activity in my workout and I have begun using some of the great diet tips included in the new updated Body Flex to help me along. One last thing, while vacationing in Las Vegas this past August (I went there to see my favorite singer, Barry Manilow), I had the good fortune to literally bump into Greer in the Hilton casino. She was sitting at one of the slot machines and I went right over to her and introduced myself. She was as lovely as she could be in person and thrilled to meet one of her fans. So, the next time you see her on one of her infomercials, consider the possibilities. You can order her program at or check out her products at

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Generic vs. Name Brand

Remember years ago when you would go into a supermarket to do your food shopping and there was a special aisle just for generic brand items (usually with black and white labels). These products, for the most part, were fine to purchase (okay the peas in the can may not have all been uniform, but so what?). Now, generic products are everywhere, including the pharmacy, where generic is sometimes the choice in order to save insurance companies money, but that's probably discussed on someone else's blog. As you peruse the aisles of any drug or discount store, you will find generic products right along side of all the name brand ones. There's usually a little sign underneath saying "If you love (fill in the blank), then try (fill inthe blank) for the same results" or something along those lines. After trying several generic brands myself, I can tell you that as far a beauty goes, for the most part, it's fine to use generic or store brands. The only exception is perfume or cologne and I discussed that in another post, but for most anything else it's fine, especially if it means saving you money. As I wrote in earlier posts, CVS has some great buys on their versions of that high-priced beauty cream that sells for $135 everywhere else, where there's (Preventin) sells for only $29. They als have their own version of that eye cream that diminishes dark circles for a fraction of the cost. Now, they have their own version of that body cream that gives you a little bit of a tan and at half the cost (the CVS brand is only $4.99) their poduct does the exact same thing as the one that costs $9.00 or more. Certainly, you can buy shampoos, conditioners, make-up removers for less money, but if you have a favorite product that you just can't give up, don't compromise. We all have things we just can't live without and we're entitled to indulge ourselves, but it's also very nice to be able to save some money so we can indulge ourselves every once in a while.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Man in the Mirror

Is it just me, or have you also been noticing lately that men are becoming more self-conscious about their looks, particularly when it comes to aging. It used to be that men would just age and take whatever they got in the way of the gene pool. Some guys look amazing at any age (Clint Eastwood and Paul Newman, just to name two), while others lose their hair and grow paunchy early on in their fifties and then it's all down hill from there. Lately though I think more men are turning to the same methods of turning back the clock, as women have for years, namely plastic surgery. More and more men are exfoliating, resurfacing, peeling, plumping, injecting and, if that fails, tugging and pulling in an upward direction. I'm not sure how I feel about it because I'm one of those women who think men are much more attractive with a few or more gray hairs and lines around their eyes, especially when they smile. However, I understand how our culture works now and the overwhelming need to cling to youth because that is our value system. However, some of the awful surgery leaves some of these guys looking more like wax figures than real men who have lived full lives (Burt Reynolds comes to mind immediately). Funny, these guys probably never gave sunblock a second thought back in their twenties and probably wished they hadn't been so macho way back would have saved them a ton of money in the long run!

Monday, February 06, 2006

John Frieda and Crest are All About Shine!

Well, I've been away from blogging for a few days, but I'm back with two new products to bring some shine into your otherwise dull life (well, at least for your hair and teeth). John Frieda brings professional products right into your home with his new Color Glosser. This product, which is color designated for blondes, redheads and brunettes, does at home, what professional hairstylists have been offering their clients for years for much more money. These is more than a deep conditioner in that this product will not only boost your color, but add a shine to your hair. Just three minutes after shampooing and washing will bring you amazing results. The more you use it, the more intense the color booster will work. This product sells for around $9 and a full bottle will probably last around four weeks, depending on your length of hair and how often you use it (up to three times a week). Another new product is from Crest. Crest has again improved their whitening product and making it easier for home use. The new kit sells for around $35 and both the John Frieda and Crest products are sold in most drugstores and retail and discount stores everywhere. Happy Shopping!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Out, Out Damn Cellulite!

Don't you hate cellulite? I do, but what I hate more are all those so-called miracle creams that claim to reduce the appearance of it. The fact of the matter is, is that cellulite is nothing more than fat. This fat is trapped in between connective tissue and muscle and, when pushed up against skin (especially those who have thinner skin), a dimpling effect occurs. You will mostly see this around the hips, thighs and buttock area and, if you are a woman, you are about ninety percent likely to get cellulite at some point in your life. Men are less likely, because their skin is thicker so the dimpling effect isn't noticeable on them. Creams that claim to reduce the appearance of cellulite often contain caffiene and/or other herbal ingredients. However, the daily use of regular body creme will pretty much do the same thing these creme do, which is just smooth out the appearance of the dimpling, but not actually ever get rid of the cellulite. Actually, there really are no fool-proof methods of getting rid of cellulite. There are no pills, expensive massage treatments with huge, scary-looking machines, or surgeries that will remove cellulite. The best method is one that takes the most amount of effort and and exercise. By reducing body fat, you essentially will reduce the cellulite, but you may never get rid of all of it. Having said that, maybe it's about time we embrace our imperfect selves (while obviously adopting a healthy lifestyle) and stop torturing ourselves because of our genetics (the real culprit). There are so many more important things in life and, for most of us, bathing suit season is only about four to six weeks anyway...thank goodness!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Waxing Poetic

There comes a time in every woman's life when hair removal becomes an issue. Now, you know I'm not talking about the hair on your head (that's a whole other story and I could go on and on about that for days), but rather the hair that grows further south, starting with your eyebrows. Of all the hair removal methods available, and there are many, my favorite is waxing. Although this is something I have tried at home myself, I wouldn't now because I would much rather leave the job to someone more qualified, but developing a level of trust with a cosmetologist, especially for waxing, is something that shouldn't be taken lightly. Having eyebrows waxed is not really that big of a deal....until someone accidently removes part of your eyebrow (don't laugh because this can and does happen). Then there are other parts of the body that are more delicate. Moving further south, it is not unusual for women to need to have a regular lip waxing to removing the unwanted facial hair (or hair that grows on the sides of the face or under the chin). This again is something that should be done with great care. Skin sensitivity varies so much that facial waxing has left some women with a myriad of problems. Electrolysis has come a long way over the past few years and for that kind of hair removal, this may be a better choice, even if it costs more money (which is will). Cream depilatories again, must be used with great care, if that's more preferrable. Again, sensitivity to product can cause problems, and burning is not unlikely if the product is left on too long. Moving even further south, I don't know anyone who has ever had their armpits waxed. The thought actually makes me cringe. For this, I think shaving (always use a clean, sharp razor) is still the best choice. Try shaving in the shower and make sure there is a buffer between your skin and the razor (preferrable a product made especially for women...not your husband's or boyfriend's razor and/or shaving cream). Just be careful with anything below the waste. Although, again waxing is preferrable because it makes the hair removal so much easier and lasts longer than anything else (because of removal of most if not all the hair root), you must have a good cosmetologist who is experienced and, of course, has a clean environment in which to work and that includes the wax that is used. It's not unheard of for bacteria to get trappsed in hot wax. Sometimes it is not heated enough to be killed off and it can cause a problem if it is passed on to you. This is never a fun topic to discuss. It's one of life's necessities, at least in our culture. I would love to read some comments though about any other experiences people have had or products they have tried that really work and are not just hype.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Beautiful Music

Since I write about all things regarding beauty, I wanted to take this opportunity to write about something that's beautiful to me: music. I am a fan of Barry Manilow's music (no, I am not a fanilow!), but I do appreciate the many years of beautiful music that he has generously shared with the world and his many, many years of touring and performing. He now has a brand new CD out called "Greatest Hits of the 50s" and although I would have loved a new CD with original, new music, I will happily take what I can get from a man who I believe, could sing the Yellow Pages. I haven't traveled around the world following him from venue to venue, but I have traveled to Vegas and enjoyed every glitzy moment of his stage performance at the Las Vegas Hilton. I especially have enjoyed meeting all the wonderful fans, either in person, or on message boards where we chat about all things Manilow, probably to his great annoyance at times. Although I am a big fan of all kinds of music, from Madonna to James Blunt, I will always have a spot in my heart for "Mandy" and can even remember the first time I heard it, driving in my lime green ford, heading off to college. His music has served as a great comfort to me over the years and is familiar to me as my mom's chicken soup. So, before you cast disparaging judgment my way regarding my taste in music, head on over to this link and get some comfort food for your own soul. Nothing more soothing than beautiful music!

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