Nordstrom’s Bi-annual Sale

Who’s up for spending some more money after Christmas?

WOMEN

1 Ellen Tracy Wool Blend Stadium Coat $129.90, comes in many colors, the lavender is adorable. 2. Sole Society Juno Faux-Shearling Trim boots $83.96. Love the color and thicker rubber sole. 3. Buy buy buy dresses on sale even when you don’t know where are you going to wear them. Should anyone have a summer wedding, this Cooper St Lily Drape Sheath dress is to die for and a steal for $95.96

MEN

1. UGG Freamon Chukka boot warm, clean looking and practical. $99.90. Love the brown as well. 2. Hugo Boss trim wool suit, love the blue color $536.98 3. Barbour Powell quilted jacket $223.90, a New England classic, love the fit and color.

 

KIDS

1. Am tempted to buy these dresses for next holiday season Pippa&Julie animal print sweater dress $32.40. 2. Wish I hadn’t already bought girls their rain boots as these are absolutely darling, Joules Evedon Bow rain boots $29.96. 3. Fun iScream bubblegum scented pillow $15.60. Might make a cute Easter basket stuffer!

 

HOME

1. I really love this, but I don’t love the price. Its heavily discounted though and beautiful. Mauvel M’heritage 10 piece copper cookware set $1300. 2. Cathy’s concepts monogrammed buffalo check throw $46.90. Blue and white would be so beautiful in the summer, esp on the chillier summer nights. Great gift as well. 3. Dash&Albert rugs are great for small kids and pets, love the patterns as well. Get 8×10, most people get rugs that are too small. Annabelle rug is gorgeous $798.90.

 

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

 

1. Love this leopard coat! Classic. You’ll wear it and your daughters will probably too.
2. Pink cocktail coupes. I’ve looked forever for something that’s a right size. My hubs likes proper cocktails so these would do well!
3. Any mom would love any bath products. These are organic and come in a variety.
4. Mother-daughter necklaces, these are adorable.
5. Horsebit bracelet – another classic.
6. Cute flats for running around, these are actually by Ellen DeGeneres and spell love out in the front of the shoe.
7. Free People La Brea sweater comes in tons of colors and is super comfortable. Great throw on!
8. And roses. Lots and lots of roses.
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Best day creams with sunscreen

The very best thing you can do for your skin is sunscreen. I know you know. You know I know you know. But most of the time we slap on some day cream with SPF 15 and dont reapply till next day. We are lazy and really minimalistic in that way. I coat my kids with sunscreen when they go out but barely do the same for myself. Yet every single dermatologist worth her Botox will tell you that you absolutely must use it as there’s nothing as good as prevention. Sigh.

Here’s some multi taskers.

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Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer with SPF 47 $32: natural mineral sunscreens, antioxidants and argan oil. Lightweight, doesn’t break out sensitive skin and blends well with makeup. Multiple Allure best product winner.

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Dr. Jart Every Sun Day UV Sun Fluid SPF 30 $34: very lightweight and hydrating, blends in quickly, seaweed extract with sunscreen protection, especially great for those with dry skin.

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Colorscience Sunforgettable Brush-on Sunscreen $57: now this isn’t inexpensive but I absolutely love it. Perfect for reapplying, just throw it in your purse and reapply when needed. 4 skin tones to choose from plus one medium with shimmer which would be gorgeous for summer. Definite must have as you can put it under or over makeup so it cannot get any easier. Focus on your left side as that gets way more damage than right side while driving.

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Deborah Lippman Rich Girl Hand Cream SPF 25 $28: your hands get more exposure than your face yet we rarely bother with reapplying sunscreen to our hands. I must insist you buy one of those and keep it in the car. It’s bit pricey for sunscreen and it’s not terribly moisturizing but it’s not greasy or slick and doesn’t leave white residue all over your car’s upholstery.

My never ending PSA: please buy at department stores or Sephora or doctor’s offices. Amazon sellers or other countless sellers on the net might not be legit or they could be selling old product which won’t be as effective as it promises.

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Beauty hacks for making your life less stressful.

Here are my top tips for saving time, money and nerves while looking your very best. I will recommend several products in this post, please buy them from reputable source, otherwise you’ll risk getting an old or counterfeit product (that includes lots of Amazon sellers).

SKINCARE

You should know what type skin you have and have a skincare regimen in place. Rather than wonder what to do with you insert your problem here, visit a dermatologist and sort it out.  Don’t necessary buy everything they recommend, for example I was recommended a Vitamin C serum that was $125 but that active ingredient is widely available so you can buy it for much less. If you are over 30, I strongly recommend you start using retinol which is essentially Vitamin A and helps recover damaged cells which will then retain more collagen and elastin. Great OTC product is ROC, use every other night. Your skincare regimen should look like this and then you can tailor it to your specific needs.

Morning: cleanser, tonic, eye cream with SPF and face cream with SPF.

Evening: cleanser, resurfacing pad, serum, eye cream and night time face cream.

If you have never had a regimen in place, there are a lot of companies that offer a treatment set. I recently tried Arbonne (botanical based products) and I loved the ease of using their RE9 line (algae and Vitamin C).

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A consultant will diagnose your skincare needs and recommend best products for your skincare. If you are interested and live in Connecticut, contact Michelle Hudson at 917-453-4953/hudsonmlf@msn.com

Dr. Hauschka and Weleda have good lines as well in similar vein as Arbonne. Olay Regenerist line is available everywhere and has won countless awards. And while fairly expensive Tara Harper line is a luxury natural skincare line that has hordes of devoted followers.

If your skin still looks a little lifeless, YSL Touche Eclat is a cult favorite for illuminating and highlighting, it’s not exactly cheap at $42. Here’s how to apply:

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    Source: globalglam.com

EYELASHES

I barely wear any makeup during the day save the concealer (for my nose which tends to get red if it’s below 70 degrees) and little bit of bronzer. I tried Latisse for lash growth and loved it, my lashes got so long! But it ended up irritating my eyes, so I had to give it up. Another option is to get your lashes tinted, it will last about 3 months. While lash tint is not as dramatic as Latisse or extensions, it gave me some color and made my eyes pop a bit more. Win.

TANNING

I am the fairest one of them all, which translates into a fairly pasty complexion in colder months.  I love St. Tropez self tanner if I can’t get to a salon. Little tan makes you look prettier, more rested and thinner. Try it if you haven’t. There are great tutorials on how to apply on internet. I scrub myself in shower first, then apply a little lotion on ankles, elbows and knees, then apply self tanner while wearing disposable plastic gloves. There’s a new express tanner out by St Tropez which is great when in a rush. No getting wet while it is on! Depending what product you are using, Express can be washed off in 2 hours and it will normally last about a week. Sand and long baths as well as any exfoliation will remove it, so quick showers and plenty of lotion is the way to keep your tan looking its best. I should also add it masks cellulite pretty well.

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NAILS

Gel manicure – lasts 2-3 weeks. Need I say more. It does dehydrate your nails and when not removed properly it will damage nails. Go to a reputable salon and take a break here and there so that your nails can recover.

HAIR

on your body that is – laser hair removal. I thought this was something Kardashians did until I was at a spa and the lady there said I would be a perfect candidate for it and, I kid you not, said let me show you and quickly lasered an area before I even realized what was happening. I bought a package of 6 visits, had to add another one for 3 more. It is fantastic. If you have red or grey or really blond hair on your body it might not work well for you, it needs dark hair to recognize the follicles. I went every 2-3 months and it took about 30 min each time. Beats waxing and shaving. The only downsize is that if you do some areas like bikini but not legs, you forget you need to address those areas, yikes! I recommend Melissa at Dr. Sofer’s office.

I also tend to throw on a hair mask while working out in our gym and/or when cleaning. Maybe even a face mask. I am a queen of multitasking like most moms. Trust me, you want to call ahead if you are coming by. 🙂

Hope you all found this helpful.

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How to manage you first grey hairs

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The sleepless nights, stress, not taking care of yourself, genetics – what have you – have finally caught up with you. You officially have grey hair. Ironically, it can happen in your 20s as well as 30s, 40s and some lucky ones don’t get any till in their 50s. So what to do? There’s basically 2 options:

*HIGHLIGHTS: you can go up to 3 tones lighter than your base color and have the stylist place more highlights around the face, more flattering and then you won’t see the annoying little grey hairs! It will grow out obviously, so your upkeep would be to visit a salon every 6-8 weeks. There are some products that help you do some touch ups at home.

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Color wow has great reviews and is easily available; it comes in 7 colors including red and has some staying power. Not really easy to apply, be prepared for some tired arms but it is what it is. $34.50

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Rita Hazen, colorist to the stars, has her own line of root concealers which have won high prize. Apparently it even stays on through showering. Bonus points for ease of application though it might take several tries to get used to it. 4 colors, $25.

*SINGLE PROCESS aka just dying all your roots. It can be difficult to find color that matches your hair EXACTLY so you’re better off coloring the roots and having the stylist pull some of that color through to blend it in. If you have a lot of grey, this is a better option that highlights as it covers all your roots. If you still would like to get some highlights, I would recommend ombre look where the ends of the hair are lightened a bit using balayage technique (thicker highlights that are painted on hair) so you don’t have to get highlights every time you need a touch up. You can get a few highlights around the face to make it look more natural like Lily Aldridge here:

Burberry Soho Store Celebrates Fashion's Night Out

                      Lorenzo Santini / Getty Images

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Good hair day a la Sophie Stanbury

Do you watch real housewives of anything? I used to, in the beginning of each show, when there actually were some traces of realness. Ladies of London is in the same vein, 5-6 women screaming at each other like high school girls at lunch breaks. But I do like Sophie for her down to earth sweetness and I really adore her hair! It’s bouncy and shiny and always looks fantastic. See what I mean?

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Image via Bravo.com

Apparently one of her tricks is Kerastase products, which, while they are great and I have used them for ages, do not make my hair look like hers. And the second trick she uses is pretty retro – hot rollers! Wish I hadn’t tossed mine. 🙁 Here’s a link to her how-to video:

Fab as they say! Here’s a few hot roller sets from Amazon. You’d need at least shoulder length hair for this to look good and give your hair volume. If you have straight hair that doesn’t seem to hold curls well, spray lightly before you roll and then after you take curlers out. Elnett hairspray is great for this.

 

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Remington H1015 Compact Ceramic set $14.96

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Golden Globes 2017 best and worst dresses.

I was bored this year. There were so many safe pretty dresses, while you have access to so many designers with such fascinating options. I dunno. I’ve done pageants so I am sort of over these dresses, but clearly these still hold appeal.

My favorites in no particular order.

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Busy Phillips with Michelle Williams. I love the dress Busy is wearing with the yellow embroidery and matching clutch, fit is great, cleavage is sexy but not over done. I like the hair, the only thing I would change is lips – red would have been great. Don’t like the Victorian milkmaid thing Michelle Williams has going on though. 🙁

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Kerry Washington in Dolce & Gabbana. Midi dresses can be tough but she looks beautiful. Sheer but not tacky, love the lip and matching toenail color, to me this works. I do wish this thing at the waist was not put on. Lot of people disliked this dress but not me!

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Naomi Harris in custom Armani. This almost looks like wired LED lights were wrapped around the dress but nevertheless, its an interesting texture, beautiful color, fit, silhouette and she is just stunning. Old school glamour.

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Chrissy Teigen in Marchesa. I think NYT was insinuating that this was potentially a not so great dress but I absolutely disagree. This is a strong, beautiful and very feminine look. The shape is tricky, not for short girls, glad hair is up to further elongate the silhouette. Make up and jewelry are perfect. This totally rocks imho. (and ps! so glad she is no longer competing with Kardashians who can wear less clothes out in public.)

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Last but not least Olivia Culpo. Another dress that drew a lot of criticism “she drowns in it”. Yes, the skirt is big but the fit is good, boobs look good. Very strong, Dolce&Gabbana-esque look, reminds me of Monica Bellucci a bit. She took a risk and if nothing else people will remember this dress over some chiffony boring prettyness.

On to my losers:

NBC's "74th Annual Golden Globe Awards" - Red Carpet Arrivals

Natalie Portman has stolen Pat Atchul’s look from Southern Charm and dont think she can pull it off as well as Pat! She looks heavy, matronly and little out of it. Wait, is she pregnant? If so she gets a pass but she could have still rocked a different dress. Go for fitted when pregnant, so much better than covering it up.

 

NBC's "74th Annual Golden Globe Awards" - Red Carpet Arrivals

All photos from people.com

I love SJP but this is SO bad in so many levels. Bad wedding gown with awful sleeves. I dont like this “shoulder hole” trend. Go off shoulder. And the hair – is that in memory of Carrie Fischer? But what absolutely confuses me is this eye makeup. She looks like she has been hypnotized or something, her eyes are rolling back. No, no, no.

There were others I didnt like but eh, enough of that for now.

 

Makeup brushes you need.

I figured, I’ll be turning 40 (eventually in next 10 years or so, no rush) so better get my act together: hair, skin, makeup. Big plans. After I bought this huge set of brushes I realized I do not have a clue what to use these for and have probably done it wrong. So here’s a little guide as I am guessing I’m not the only harried mom who has no clue.

I have a mix of brushes from Chanel, Estee Lauder, Mac and god knows what else. Buy what you like but for these few, get something decent so it’ll last. Cheap brushes do shed and fall apart faster. There’s like hundreds of brushes for your face on Mac site along, here are 7 really need to have brushes.

Blending brush: dusting eye-shadow and using it to highlight the crease. You might not think you need to worry about the crease but it adds so much dimension to your eyes and if you have inset eyes, its a must.

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Eyeshadow brush (also called shader brush)mac_sku_MY5N01_280x320_0

Concealer brush: you are welcome to use fingers as well but this sucker is good for getting into under eyes as well as scars, acne, blemishes.

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Foundation brush: I think for everyday tinted moisturizer and concealer is all you need but for events this is nice to have or if you need full
coverage.

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Contour brush: handy tool for emphasizing cheekbones, use it with matte bronzer. Excellent how-to videos on You Tube.

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Blush brush: apply in circular motions to the apples of your cheeks.

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Highlight brush (tapered face brush): for applying highlighter (cream or powder) to the top of your cheekbones, down your nose, on cupid’s bow etc.

 

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And finally, a quick guide to contouring: bronzer, blush and highlighter.

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Image from here

 

Q&A: Plastic Surgery

I will start answering a few questions I have received but I thought I would start with this. I get a lot of questions on plastic surgery – after analyzing clothes, hair etc I inevitably get asked “Do you think I need anything done?”

I used to work at an investment bank in equity research where we saw a fair amount of studies on various procedures from lasers to surgeries. They were not always favorable but it was rather obvious that a proactive approach resulted in best results overall. In time wrinkles settle in and fillers can only lift them so much, a facelift decades later never looks good (at least I haven’t seen one that I like). Facials overall I don’t think do much but peels and laser treatments can address numerous concerns very successfully with minimal down time.

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Overall, this is something you need to decide for yourself. Tretinoin use has proven to be the only thing to regenerate collagen, good skincare routine is helpful and nothing makes us look worse than no sleep and lack of exercise. The key is to find a good doctor, do your research and to have realistic expectations. And never make a decision based on price alone, this is your face we are talking about.

I am not getting compensated in any way for my opinions but here’s two I like and whose work I have seen over the years:

Gold Coast Plastic Surgery & Laser Center: Dr. Kim – laser skin treatments

Plastic Surgery Center of Fairfield, CT: dermal fillers, laser hair removal

Good skin and good hair are more important than good clothes.