Friday, August 04, 2006

Treating Your Feet

Tired of the Manolo craze? Are your tootsies begging you for something more comfortable than the standard pointy toed foot fare? Are you just fed up with uncomfortable shoes? Do you want to avoid the bunions, bruises, and blisters? Sick of spider veins?

Our feet take a beating every day. Even though pretty shoes are a great fashion statement, comfort is important! Here are some pointers for choosing yummy, comfy shoes that will give your feet the support they need.

Born Croix, $95.95

Know your limits. First of all, get a pen and paper. Trace the outline of BOTH of your feet onto the paper. Try to do this in the afternoon when your feet are the most swollen. Take this paper with you when you go shoe shopping. It's actually a good idea to go in the afternoon because, as I mentioned before, your feet are at their largest then.

Got that paper handy? Hold it up to the bottom of any shoe you're thinking of buying. If the shoe doesn't meet the outlines of your foot it is too small. Go up a size or find a new pair of shoes.

Born Brin, $83.95

Feeling good is not fug. As demand for comfortable shoes increases, shoe companies are offering hundreds of darling styles without sacrificing the health of your feet. My personal favorite is Born, available at department stores and on the Web. I wore those shoes the entire time I was in France without a trace of discomfort. They are the best and worth every penny.

Now get out there and do something good for you feet!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Balanced Beauty Diet

Good health and beauty aren't accomplished with overpriced cosmetics that contain a mile-long list of chemicals that you can't pronounce. Powerful beauty boosters are found in the foods that we eat everyday---or the foods that we at least strive to eat everyday. Here are a few super foods to add to your health and beauty routine.

Strawberries have been employed for centuries to instantly and gently whiten teeth. Simply bite into a large strawberry, and after enjoying your bite, rub the bitten end of the strawberry over your teeth for a couple of minutes. The effect is not dramatic, but in a pinch, it can at least brighten up those pearly whites a bit!

Apricots and Carrots contain betacarotene, strengthening the eyes. Not only does the compound assist with stimulating vision, but it also promotes healthy, hydrated eyes. Betacarotene protects the eye from harmful UV rays, often leading to cataracts. In addition, the compound helps to increase cellular regeneration and prevents premature aging of the skin.

Olive Oil is a body's best friend. The health benefits received from the consumption of this natural tonic are endless, as well as the beauty benefits. Olive oil works very well as a moisturizer for cuticles, dry patches and burns. It can be a little messy to apply olive oil directly to the skin, so look for products (preferably organic) that contain high amounts of olive oil.

Salmon and Avocados are high in omega 3 fatty acids, essential for maintaining skin structure, elasticity and evenness. Consuming fish and vegetables containing this fatty acid is much more effective and cheaper than spending lots of money on anti-aging creams. Omega 3's will actually repair damaged skin tissue!

Oranges, Raspberries and Peppers contain extremely high levels of vitamin C, promoting the production of elastin and the formation of collagen. Why spend endless amounts of money to have a synthetic version of collagen implanted in the body when you can receive the same benefits from a natural substance?

Blueberries and Pomegranates are prized for their antioxidant content. Antioxidants help neutralize "free radicals" which lead to cancer and other age related diseases. "Free radicals" are basically toxic forms of oxygen. Pass the blueberries, please!

Almonds fat-blocking, cholesterol-lowering and weight-maintenance capabilities are reasons alone to go nuts for the stuff. But almonds also help prevent scarring and are believed to aid in slowing the aging of cells.

Spinach, a vegetable containing more protein than many of its vegetable counterparts, is highly combative against osteoporosis, as it is chock full of Vitamin K. Spinach is also abundant in folate, known as folic acid, ensuring the health of those eating for two. Momma always said to eat your vegetables!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Five Under Five

Why are most cosmetics so darn expensive? Quality is important, but aren't there beauty solutions out there that don't break the bank? Here are five cosmetic finds that aren't your typical drugstore quality.

Smith's Rosebud Salve has been around forever---literally---as in, since 1892. It's light, rosy scent is just a bonus, when you consider its all-purpose function as lip gloss, cuticle cream and hand moisturizer. It also is perfect for rough elbows or knees, and provides relief for minor burns. The pink, gooey concoction is a tried-and-true cure-all and is cheap enough to buy for home, work and your purse.

Ardell Brow Painless Tweeze makes me a happy camper and prevents tears from forming in my eyes when it's time to pluck. How is it that the extraction of one tiny hair can buckle my knees in pain? This miracle gel lasts long enough and works well enough to make brow plucking less of a chore.

St. Ives Apricot Scrub is now in a "gentler" formula for sensitive skin, especially on the face. Finely crushed nut shell buffs away dead skin and impurities, while natural apricot oil promotes glowing skin underneath. It can also be used in the shower as a body scrub. The value for this product is outstanding, considering the large tube size.

Burt's Bees Natural Cosmetics Vanishing Facial Powder Tissues are your everyday, garden-variety blotting sheets, but all-natural, minus the yucky chemicals. Shine and oil are a thing of the past with these in your beauty arsenal. Burt never skimps on quality, so your money spent will serve you well.

Rimmel Natural Bronzer is a cost-effective and safe solution for creating a sun-kissed glow. The Rimmel brand of cosmetics can be found in the drugstore, but should be found in a high-end department store. The brand's quality is exceptional and the products dust skin evenly. The packaging is a bit on the low-end side, but the bronzer inside is sure to please.

Photos are linked to online vendor.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Classy Lady

Christina Aguilera is one of the few celebrities who never appears in public looking anything less than perfect. She gets the prize for best-put-together celeb, especially since her marriage. Britney, we're looking at you. Please call her.

Christina's revamped her look and is much less skanky than she used to be. Personally I like her without her red lipstick as well:

I love her long lashes, I love the gold eyeshadow, and I love the hair and the cute headband.

Even her bag and her shoes match. I question the pairing of gray and ivory...but...I'll let it slide.

(Pictures from these people. Thanks guys.)

Here's her typical look:

Hi, Christina's twins. Can I get an autograph? Oh thanks ever so.

I had to look closely at this because for a moment I thought it was Marilyn Monroe. But Marilyn never had a waist that tiny. It can't be more than 17 inches.

First of all shoes=follow the yellow brick road. Shorts=not quite as hot as Jessica. Legs=PLEASE stop pigeon-toeing. It's not good for you.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Product Review: Max Factor Pan-Cake Water-Activated Foundation

The claim from their website: "Max Factor invented pan-cake foundation, and we continue to do it just right. Our versatile makeup lets you control your coverage. The water-activated formula lets you cover as much or as little as you wish, for a flawless finish every time. And, the special formula is moisture enriched for a silky smooth, matte finish."

The pros: What it promises, it delivers. It is versatile and lets you control your coverage. The finish is matte (so much so that you barely need powder), smooth, flawless, professional, and fairly light on your skin. It is water-based instead of oil-based, making it great for people with oily skin prone to breakouts. This is the perfect foundation for every day wear.

The cons: It is difficult to know how to apply it. There are no directions on the packaging or the website other than "Apply with a damp sponge." Unfortunately, if you go too damp, you end up with a streaky face, and if you go "not damp enough," you end up with little or no product on your sponge.

A few tips: Take your time with this one and blend, blend, blend. Blend all the way down to your neck, of course. Take special care around the hairline, the corners of the eyes and mouth, underneath the nose and around the nostrils. Start of with a slightly damp, clean sponge and rub it against the product. Immediately apply to the face, starting with the middle of your face and working outward. If you need more product, you may need to dampen the sponge again. If you end up with a dramatic smudge on your face, just add more water to your sponge and wipe it away, and for pete's sake, keep blending till the cow's come home!

If you don't have time in the morning to blend for a while, you may not want to try this product. But it does have a great finish and lasts most of the day if you want to give it a try. It takes a while to get the hang of it.

You can get this at Wal-mart, most drugstores, and for about $7.00.