Monday, July 12, 2010

Shout Out to the Cosmetics Cop

If any of you have listened to me talk... okay, rant... about beauty and skin care products, you've inevitably heard me talk about Paula Begoun. I absolutely love her! If you've read any of my reports, you've seen her name countless times. That's because she really knows her stuff and she backs up all of her opinions with solid scientific evidence. If I've learned anything in my three years as a beauty writer, it's that you can't always trust everything you see in fashion magazines (even though they're super fun to read). After you've looked at beauty editors' recommendations enough times, you start to see a trend. They hype up the same things that manufacturers hype. But manufacturers want to sell their products... and they'll say just about anything to do so. Hence, all of those wrinkle creams that didn't work for you! (Come on, admit it... you know you secretly try them... or at least want to.)

That's why I don't hesitate to recommend Paula's line of skin care and cosmetics, Paula's Choice, even though I have never personally tried them. (But, I'm going to... I really am. I just usually go for immediate gratification at my local Wal-Mart over online ordering. But I will be ordering her Exfoliating BHA Liquid when I get paid this for an upcoming review.) I know that she only uses the best, proven-to-be-effective ingredients and she doesn't make any over-the-top promises. And here's what makes Paula vastly different than any other manufacturer in the beauty industry: Even though she sells beauty products, she still recommends hundreds (if not thousands) of products from other manufacturers. Who else does that?? In fact, many of my favorite products come from her recommendations.

Check out Paula's latest blog post to see what else is unique, and special, about her product line. I have a few products from her line on my wish list. What products are you dying to try?

Friday, July 2, 2010

And the winner is.....

Thanks for all of your votes and comments! You guys are the BEST! I seriously have the best friends, family and neighbors ever. It looks like haircut #3 is the winner. Stay tuned to see after pics.

We have a winner in the drawing..... LIZ KIRKBY, it's YOU!!!! Stay tuned... maybe I can convince Liz to share a review of the mascara for us!

Have a fun 4th! See you back here soon.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Time for a new hair do

I noticed today that my hair is getting a little wacky and unmanageable. I'm way overdue for a haircut and color, if you can't tell. I want to do something different, but I'm not quite sure what. I have a very ROUND face and I really don't want to accentuate it. Nor do I want to accentuate my nose. And, yes, a haircut can do that! Help me choose by leaving a comment below with your fave pick (you can tell me too if you don't like any of them). Also let me know if you have any color choices. Be honest!
Note: All pictures are courtesy of InStyle magazine's Hollywood Hair Virtual Makeover

Hairstyle #1: (above) Ignore the weird sheen - it occurred when I changed the original hair color.

Hairstyle #2: (left) This is the one I'm leaning towards. I love the dimension this one gives to my face and head.

(I'm totally kidding.... don't vote for number 2 .... it will NEVER happen.)

Hairstyle #3: (Right)
And last, hairstyle #4:

Leave a comment with your vote and I'll enter you in a drawing for a free Cover Girl Great Lash mascara!

Friday, June 18, 2010

FREE Stuff at

I just found out about a SMOKING deal at spend $25 and get free shipping and 8 free samples. The catch? It's only good for today... so hurry and check it out! Need some product suggestions? I just love Cover Girl TruBlend Liquid makeup (foundation... it's lightweight and the colors really match skin - at least mine) and Cover Girl Advanced Radiance Pressed Powder.

other good stuff: Neutrogena Age Shield Sunscreen, Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer (tinted moisturizer), Maybelline The Collosal Volume (mascara) and many, many more.

Need some help? Ask me for product recommendations... it's what I do for a living, so I have access to some GREAT resources. Just leave a comment below with your questions.... please??

(Keep scrolling down the page: I'm also sharing some coupons for later use.) And check back often... The only thing I love more than a SWEET deal is SHARING it!!

6/19/10 ONLY! Free Shipping & 8 Free Samples w/ ANY $25 Purchase Using Code 57372 - ONLINE EXCLUSIVE

And here are the coupons I promised:
$10 off any $60 purchase (some exclusions) - use code 50116 (6/6 - 6/26)

$3.50 off any $10 Purchase (some exclusions) - use code 46544 (6/6 - 6/26)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Losing it

I'm starting a new diet today... okay, I've been sort of doing it for a few days. I've got about 35 pounds to lose and I just need to do it. Not just because of the way I look, but because of how I feel. I've just been tired and ho-hum.... okay, it's because I want to fit in some decent clothes, but hopefully I'll feel better in the process.

So, here's what I look like now (no, I'm not pregnant):

(Let me just tell you that it take a lot of guts for me to post a pic like this in all of my glory... so hopefully it will be worth it.)

Here's what I look like in my head:

Just kidding.

This is how I really imagine myself (on the right) and, as you can see, the pictures don't quite match. I'm a little stuck in the past. The picture was taken when my 9-year-old was a baby and I had lost a lot of weight. I was doing the Herbalife program at the time and it really worked. I lost 35 pounds in 2 1/2 months.

I'm going to try that again. I liked it because it was easy. I didn't have to cook any special food, count calories or points, or weigh my food. I just don't have the time or motivation for that right now. So, I'm going for easy. Check back next week to see how it's going.

Starting weight: 150.6 pounds (Did I mention I'm only 5'3"... even though in my mind, I'm about 5'10" with legs a mile long.......I can dream, right?)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Life Lessons Learned at the Blogger Conference

I just attended an amazing blogging conference in Sandy, UT over the weekend. (I believe it was created by the women at MormonMommyBlogs.)I'm brand new to the blogging thing, but I'm so glad that I went. Not only did I get to meet some great, amazing, funny people but I learned a lot too. Here's my top 10:

10. Blogging is a lot more work than it seems. Not only do you have to figure out what you want to write about (your niche), you have to find your own, unique voice, then you have to find followers... facebook, twitter, SEO (keywords) and networking. wheeew!!!

9. Blogging is about connecting. When we blog, we take a piece of ourselves and put it on display to share with the world. This can be scary, but you never know who might benefit from your experience.

8. Women build relationships by chatting, men build relationships with action. Hey, you never know what you'll learn at a blogging conference! But, that statement does explain a LOT... think about it.

7. I CAN get organized. That's gonna take some serious time and patience on my part, but I CAN DO IT. Marie Ricks was there and she gave me some one-on-one guidance, that really impacted me on a very personal and spiritual level. That was worth the conference fee, in itself. And I bought her system... even though I said I never would. I'm telling you... you just never know what to expect from a blogging conference.

6. Zupas has yummy food. I will be bringing my husband back.

5. Maybe high fructose corn syrup isn't so bad?? The jury's still out on that one, but at least I know that there are differing opinions on everything. And NO ONE tried to tell me that sunscreen is bad.

4. Companies really like to give away tons of stuff. And I mean, tons. It's all publicity, I guess.

3. Apparently, I'm not very lucky, because even though I had tons of tickets, I didn't win anything. Darn it!

2. Photography is pretty tech-y, but I think I'll give it a try anyway.

1. I have a LOT to learn... and it's going to take me some time to figure it all out. In the mean time, I hope you'll all bear with me. I may have to make some changes a long the way (pivot), but it's all a journey, right?

Comment below and let me know what type of beauty posts you'd like to see.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Why do we buy into the hype?

I just read the latest posting from Paula Begoun's blog, I could go on and on about Paula's wisdom, and I probably will in a later post. Needless to say, this post really hit home for me.

The various players in the beauty industry are truly marketing geniuses because they have us buying into (literally) all of their over-hyped promises and false premises. But, who can blame them, really, when we will continue to pay big bucks on our never-ending journey to the fountain of youth, beauty in a bottle and other such hype?

Even my editor, in my day job, often fights me on my claims that these lies just aren't true, and I have loads of research (that I document) to back me up. The fact of the matter is that more money does not equal a better product, eye creams are not necessary, nothing in the beauty aisle can get rid of pesky dark circles and a higher SPF does not always mean more protection ... and many, many more. I promise to write more about each of these topics as this blog progresses.

In the meantime, I challenge you to be a detective and compare ingredient labels. Even if you if you don't understand what each of those super long scientific names means, you'll be able to tell that the lists are virtually the same, regardless of price. Let me know, if there is a particular product that you love and swear by!