Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sugar: It's not so sweet for the skin

Cookies, soda, candy, pasta -- just some of the edibles filled with sugar. They are delicious, yet addicting. We know that sugar can have a negative impact on the waistline, but did you know that it may be making us look older, too? Today, we will examine the relationship between sugar and your skin.


Sugar and the skin -- my personal story

I am going to share something personal with you first. My own skin is the perfect example of sugar's impact on the skin. In the past 15 months, I have shed just over 50 pounds.
I already ate pretty well. I didn't drink beverages with sugar, nor did I eat processed foods. Plus, I exercised several times per week. I have a sluggish metabolism, though, and I found it exceptionally difficult to drop the pounds after having two children 21 months apart. At my heaviest, I was over 200 pounds on my 5'8" frame. 
Fifteen months ago, I broke up with grains and sugar. Wheat, corn, rice -- they all were giving me digestive woes, despite testing negative for Celiac Disease. My doctor did say that I am gluten sensitive, so I decided to cut grains  from my diet.
To lose weight, I already was adamant about getting rid of sugar. Eliminating the grains was not so hard. Reading labels and avoiding sugar was another story. Sugar is in everything from pastas and breads to cereals and "diet" foods. My "healthy" granola and yogurt were  both sugar-laden. The first 2 weeks were rough. After that, though, I began to feel different -- no more afternoon hunger or headaches. In addition to dropping 3 sizes and feeling energetic, the skin care specialist in me could not help but notice the difference in my skin.

I do not think I realized the difference until people started remarking how much younger my skin looked. My skin has become so much brighter.  I can wear a tinted moisturizer over sunscreen instead of traditional foundation. The tone is more even. Of course, I can attribute much of that to having a consistent skin care routine, but the only thing truly different has been my diet. As time has gone on, my skin continues to look even better. The most noticeable difference can be seen around my eyes.
I am going to step outside of my comfort zone and show you the difference, using my own photos. The picture on the left was taken in March 2009. The photo on the right was taken today -- Sept. 11, 2014. I have gotten 5 years and 6 months older since the photo on the left was taken. I have not had any in-office treatments, nor has any retouching be done on the photograph. My skin has improved and the lines around my eyes have diminished greatly.
The cause of this change?  Greatly reducing sugar from my diet. 

Sugar damages skin cells.

Let's look at the science. Excess sugar is linked to both inflammation and glycation. Both processes have a negative impact on the skin.
  • Inflammation is believed to be one of the leading causing of aging. Experts believe that surges in blood sugar raise the level of cytokines, which are inflammatory messengers. The more sugar in the blood, the more likely you are to experience inflammation.
  • Glycation makes you look older.  According to Dr. Nicholas Perricone, "When blood sugar goes up rapidly, sugar can attach itself to collagen in a process called "glycation," making the skin stiff and inflexible. Losing this elastic resilience of young skin will give you deep wrinkles and make you look old."
Finally, more than speculation -- there is a science supporting the claim that sugar can make your skin look older.

Ingredients to fight the effects of sugar on the skin

There are ingredients that may help repair the signs of glycation and prevent further skin cell damage. Choosing anti-aging products with these ingredients may be just what your skin has been craving --  not those sugary treats.
  • Fight inflammation with Alpha Lipoic Acid. Many dietary supplements contain Alpa Lipoic Acid, which is known for its ability to combat inflammation. Andrew Weil, MD, renowned naturopathic doctor, author and founder of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine has long been a proponent of the use of Alpha Lipoic Acid to fight inflammation. Try Reviva Labs DMAE & Alpha Lipoic Vitamin C Ester Firming Eye Serum.
  • Powerhouse antioxidants such as Green Tea have been proven to significantly halt the glycation process as they promote collagen synthesis. Choosing skincare products formulated with Green Tea can help fight glycation and minimize the signs of skin aging  caused by sugar consumption.I recommend John Masters Organics Green Tea & Rose Hydrating Face Serum.

So what do you think? Are you ready to say goodbye to sugar? Have you eliminated sugar from your diet before? I'd love to hear your story.

Today's Makeup

FYI: What am I wearing in the "after" photo from today? I have Cargo HD Picture Perfect CC Cream in Medium, Prescriptives Magic Liquid Powder , Au Naturale Creme Concealer, Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy Lipstick in Plum Shimmer (discontinued), Au Naturale Lip Gloss in Orchid, Cargo Beachblush in Miami Beach, Silk Naturals Medium Ash Brow Cream and Tarte Lights Camera Lashes.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Should you go gluten-free with your beauty products?

It is estimated that 3 million Americans have celiac disease. Another 18 million Americans are sensitive to gluten. More and more personal care products are cropping up with the label "gluten-free." Is this out of necessity or is it another marketing gimmick? Let's take a look.

Is 'gluten-free' just another fad?

I know that for many, “gluten free” is just a trend. Many try going sugar-free, paleo or gluten-free because everyone else seems do be doing it.  For so many people, though, avoiding gluten can greatly improve their quality of life. I know that eliminating gluten was one of the best things that has happened to me. While I do not have celiac, when I eat gluten, I feel horrible -- headaches, bloating, etc.

If you are sensitive to or allergic to gluten, you should definitely consider avoiding beauty and skin care products formulated with gluten.
If you are allergic to gluten, exposure to even the smallest gluten molecules can trigger a reaction.
The greatest cause for concern is with lip products. If you apply lip balm, lipstick or lip gloss with gluten, the offending ingredient can be ingested. Of course, one doesn't eat lip products intentionally, but small amounts can be ingested throughout the day. Does this also carry over to skin care ingredients? This is a hot button subject in the medical community.

What do medical experts say about gluten-free personal care products?

The medical field has differing opinions on whether you should avoid gluten in your personal care products.
"Gluten-containing skin care products and cosmetics aren't a problem unless you accidentally swallow them," says gastroenterologist Dr. Michael Picco of the Mayo Clinic. 
Board certified dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann has a different opinion:
"Many doctors say that gluten in skincare should not be a concern unless it is swallowed, but many patients report otherwise... Fortunately, many skincare and cosmetic companies are jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon, so you can easily swap out your current products for gluten-free alternatives. As the awareness about gluten grows, companies that offer gluten-free products are proud to label their offerings as such. To mirror all other skincare decisions, start reading your labels and choose accordingly."  

There are many brands offering gluten-free personal care products. I'm going to share some of my favorites.

Body skin care and lip health products from (seed) Body Care are all free of gluten. Red Apple Lipstick is gluten-free, as is Lavera.

Monday, September 8, 2014

How menopause impacts the skin

"The change." That's how my grandmother used to refer to menopause. You've heard about menopause for so many years and now that it's here, your skin seems to be going haywire. Most people associate the teenage years as the time in your life when you encounter the most difficult skin issues. 

Menopause/Skin Care Routine

In reality, you are just as likely to experience major skin changes while going through menopause. In fact, these issues may be even more dramatic now, as an aging component is added. Menopause brings many side effects besides hot flashes and weight gain. All of the hormonal shifts can have a major impact on your skin.

Hormonal changes may trigger acne.

Pimples. Many women are able to escape adulthood with nothing more than the occasional pimple. The hormonal changes associated with menopause create the perfect storm for acne to form. 
Testosterone levels  are on the upswing, while estrogen levels decline. When testosterone levels increase, it also results in the sebaceous glands producing even more oil. Breakouts are more likely to appear at the chin, jawline, chest and back. These symptoms often begin at the onset on menopause. Having a solid routine and using gentle acne skin care products is key to treating hormonal acne. Check out Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions.

An increase in testosterone can result in more facial hair.

It happens to all of us at one time or another -- an errant hair we catch in the magnifying mirror. Most of us just take out our tweezers and the hair is gone. When you are going through menopause, however, darker and coarser hairs tend to crop up on the chin and other areas of the face. This is not just a nuisance. It can truly impact a woman's self esteem. I recommend an at home IPL system like Silk'n Flash & Go.

The sun has a more visible impact now.

It is very important to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen at any age. I recommend Jane Iredale Powder Me SPF 30.
As the production of melanin slows down with menopause, though, you are more likely to notice blotchiness, uneven tone and brown spots.  You can lighten these patches of discoloration with products containing lemon or kojic acid. I recommend Reviva Labs Brown Spot Lightening Night Cream.

Your skin might look like it is sagging or loose.

It seems to happen quickly. One day, your skin is tight and firm and the next it looks like it is starting to sag.  At menopause, production of collagen dramatically slows down. When this happens, in many ways, your skin loses its support system. 
The connective tissue isn't as strong and facial sagging may occur. Wrinkles begin to form with this loss of elasticity. Boost moisture and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles with anti-aging skin care containing hyaluronic acid and peptides. My pick? Exuviance Collagen Triple Boost Serum. A little goes a long way and it contains peptides, hyaluronic acid and beneficial essential oils.

All of a sudden, your skin has lost its glow.

Cell turnover also slows down during menopause. This causes dead skin cells to remain on the skin longer than before, so they collect on the skin, leaving it dull with dry patches and flakes. Now more than ever, exfoliation is a must. 

Products with fruit acids can help renew the skin, shedding flaky skin cells that are causing the dull appearance. Over time, skin will become more refreshed and your complexion will have a more radiant glow. I like Juice Beauty Organic Green Apple Peel Nightly Brightening Pads.
The good thing about all of these skin changes is that they can be addressed. Talk with your doctor to see what is best for you! Have you been through menopause? Did you experience a major shift in your skin?  Share in the comments. I'd love to hear more.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Chic & Green's comprehensive list of ingredients to avoid during pregnancy

ingredients to avoid during pregnancy

Today, I'd like to go over some of the ingredients to avoid while pregnant.  Since over 60% of what we apply to our skin gets absorbed into our bloodstream, what expectant moms use is really very important.

I remember being concerned about what to eat (or not to eat) while I was pregnant. As much as I love soft cheeses and coffee, I eliminated them from my diet from the get go. I was careful about skin care, but there is just so much more info these days.

Ingredients to Avoid While Pregnant

As wonderful as essential oils are, some really need to be avoided while pregnant. As someone who studied aromatherapy extensively, this can be a tricky subject because there ARE so many benefits of essential oils, but there still is research out there suggesting many should be avoided, so I woul err on the side of caution, especially during the crucial first trimester.

Here is a great link from the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists. They, in fact, recommend avoiding all essential oils during the first trimester and I do agree with this.

Essential Oils to Avoid in Pregnancy (source)
•    Arnica (homeopathic is fine)
•    Basil
•    Birch (sweet)
•    Bitter almond
•    Boldo leaf
•    Broom
•    Buchu
•    Calamus
•    Camphor (brown or yellow)
•    Cassia
•    Cedarwood/thuja
•    Chervil
•    Cinnamon
•    Clary sage
•    Clove (bud, leaf or stem)
•    Coriander
•    Costus
•    Deertongue
•    Elecampane
•    Fennel
•    Horseradish
•    Hyssop
•    Jaborandi leaf
•    Juniper berry
•    Melilotus
•    Mugwort
•    Mustard
•    Nutmeg
•    Origanum
•    Parsley (large doses)
•    Pennyroyal
•    Pine (dwarf)
•    Rosemary
•    Rue
•    Sassafras
•    Savin
•    Savory (summer)
•    Tansy
•    Thyme red (large doses)
•    Tonka
•    Wintergreen
•    Wormwood

Other Ingredients:

Neem Oil -- Neem has been shown to cause damage to the forming kidneys of babies in the womb.

Tea Tree Oil -- In pregnancy, this has been linked to hormonal issues and abnormal development in boys.

Oxybenzone -- This is found in many different sunscreens.  In pregnancy, this ingredient has been shown to cause hormonal issues.

Nanoparticles  -- The more and more I study nanoparticle technology, the more concerned I become. There needs to be more regulation of this one. In pregnancy, I recommend that you err on the side of caution.  In a 2011 study, research revealed that nanoparticles caused pregnancy complications in mice. (source). These are found in titanium dioxide and zinc oxide--opt for pressed powder makeups over loose. Nanoparticles in loose minerals are much easier to inhale and have dispersed in the air. You will also find nanoparticles in some sunscreens.

Salicylic Acid -- Also called BHA or beta hydroxy acid, this is a wonderful oil soluble ingredient to get deep into the pores, help ease inflammation and for the treatment of acne-- unless you are pregnant. Since this ingredient is in the aspirin family, it needs to be avoided. 

Oral salicylins (like aspirin) have been shown to cause birth defects and increase bleeding problems. While there aren't concrete studies yet on topical salicylic acid in pregnancy, since we know there are great risks taking the oral form, these need to be avoided in skin care. You will also want to avoid white willow bark while pregnant. This is a natural form of salicylic acid and is often found in organic and natural skin care products. (white willow bark source)

Retinoids -- Oral retinoids, such as Accutane, have been shown to cause birth defects. While less is known concerning topical forms of vitamin A, it is recommended by the experts to avoid them while pregnant. Look for these names on labels--
Differin (adapelene)
Retin-A, Renova (tretinoin)
Retinoic acid
Retinyl linoleate
Retinyl palmitate
Tazorac and Avage (Tazarotene)

Phthalates -- No one should be using phthalates, but they may be especially harmful for pregnant women.  In 2005, there was a study conducted at the University of Rochester by Dr. Shanna Swan, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, showing a "significant relationship" to the presence of higher quantities of phthalates present in a pregnant woman's body and changes/altered genitals of boy babies. (source)

Phthalates are often components of artificial fragrances and in many nail polishes. Look for DBP or dibutyl phathalate on the label. Unfortuntately, this is not legally required on labels when it is in fragrance. Avoid artificial fragrances.

Formaldehyde Releasers -- Look on your labels for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, and quaternium-15. These all release formaldehyde. These have been linked to cancer, as well as having neurotoxic effects. The worst thing you can do -- get a Brazilian Blowout. These contain around 10% formaldehyde and are carcinogenic. No one should get one of these, especially pregnant women. Formaldehyde is a KNOWN carcinogen--in other words, it has been proven to cause cancer. It is not worth the chance to you or your unborn baby.

Parabens -- Again, this is on our list of ingredient to avoid for everyone, not just pregnant women. Some people think parabens are OK--that there isn't enough research out there to call them a real health threat. I think that can finally be put to rest now with the most recently published study:

In the September 1, 2011 edition of Carcinogenesis, researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center released their findings showing that both BPA and Methylparaben at even low concentrations found in humans have negative health consequences such as an increased breast cancer risk. 

It also went on to mention the ever-increasing male breast cancer rate, which is another alarming trend. These findings are quite similar to an older study on parabens from about 10 years ago.  In this compelling study in the Journal of Applied Toxicology,  parabens were linked to breast cancer as they have shown to be hormone disruptive and lead to tumor growth.

I am the mother of boys. What really made me take notice of this issue was a July 2002 article in the Archives of Toxicology. According to Dr. S. Oishi of the Department of Toxicology, Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health, exposure of newborn male mammals to butylparaben “adversely affects the secretion of testosterone and the function of the male reproductive system.”

Being pregnant is a wonderful journey. Don't stress over the little things. Enjoy it -- and be healthy.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My thoughts on the Jamberry opportunity

I try to keep my "work life" separate from blogging, except when I am sharing pictures of beautiful nail wraps and lacquer. I know that so many of you are moms or are interested in better beauty products and would love to have extra money to spend on makeup and skin care.

jamberry opportunity, jamberry nails, jamberry consultant

One year ago, I joined Jamberry Nails. The company's PR firm sent me several different holiday wraps in 2012 to review for Chic & Green and I loved them right off the bat. Here is my initial Jamberry Nails review.

When the PR firm sent me more wraps for the 4th of July 2013, I couldn't stop thinking about them. One August night last summer, Tom was out with the neighbor guys playing poker and I was browsing the Jamberry website looking at hundreds of beautiful designs available in their nail wraps. I decided, on nothing more than a whim, to join the company. I planned to join to get the great contents in the consultant kit and get a discount on the products. At best, I could make a few extra dollars.

That changed with the instant success I found selling to friends and THEIR friends when I announced my launch on Facebook September 6th. People were so excited about the wraps, loved the products and were booking online parties. I have people asking me about the Jamberry opportunity and before I knew it, I had a small team within weeks.

I have since promoted several times and have a team of 95 women all across the USA.

I operate my business through Facebook. A party can be done virtually over 45 minutes or so on a weeknight, or it can be done over the course of a couple weeks. People LOVE this concept because they can sit in their pajamas, be the host, and collect all the amazing free and half price items that they are able to earn through the generous hostess rewards program.

This opportunity has been life changing. Last October, we withdrew our older son from his middle school after he was assaulted by an older student. We knew that homeschooling was what we would be doing for the remainder of the school year, but that it was only temporary. We wanted to send him to a fabulous local private school, but tuition is about what college tuition was back when I was in college-- and since I was homeschooling, I had to cut back on my freelance writing work. My "little hobby" has grown to the point where it is sending him to this school beginning in less than 2 weeks.

In addition to that amazing education opportunity, I have made some dear friends whom I would never have met if not from Jamberry. True gifts...

Being a Jamberry independent consultant (I am a Team Manager) is really an opportunity I am so glad I decided to take advantage of. I have a really fabulous upline. In fact, she was #1 in sales for all of the company! The people at the Home Office really care and listen to the needs and requests of the consultant force -- and this is something that can be so rare.

It is not hard to sell the products. Why? I wear them daily! I always have my nails done--always have. People ask me about my nails on a daily basis, whether it's in line at Wegmans, at the bank, karate -- even while washing my hands in a restaurant bathroom! YOU are your best form of marketing simply by wearing them.

These are products with a conscience. Jamberry wraps are vegan, gluten free, formaldehyde free and paraben free. They are proudly made in the USA and are cruelty free.

Oops, did I forget to mention the two Fs? FUN and FLEXIBILITY -- both are hallmarks of this opportunity! I can work my business in the evening only, if that is what works for me. Others work it around full-time jobs. Some do weekends only. You can tailor this to YOUR LIFE....and have fun doing it!

There is so much press lately, too, around the products. Our Professional Nail Lacquer won the Self Magazine Healthy Beauty Award for Best Nail Polish. The lacquer was featured in the July 2014 InStyle and in Health Magazine. Our wraps were featured on the Today Show earlier this summer, too. Us Weekly, People, People Style Watch and Marie Claire are just a few of our other mentions.

Our Fall/Winter catalog launches September 1st and we will be having so many gorgeous designs and colors. This is such an incredible time to join because Jamberry is offering a 50% kit credit! You can earn back half the cost of your consultant kit when you join in August! I would absolutely love to talk with you more about Jamberry Nails and what it is like to have your own Jamberry business. I have an amazing team and we'd love for you to join us!

If you have any questions, email me and I am happy to answer them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Etsy Love: Firefly Fields Soap and Candleworks

Hello friends, I do apologize for this three week hiatus in posting! Vacation, kid stuff & my super fast growing Jamberry team have been keeping me very busy. We had an amazing trip to Boston and Mystic, CT, also spending some time in Maine and New Hampshire. It was a really lovely trip!

I am back today to tell you about an Etsy shop --- not just any Etsy shop -- but one that is owned by long-time Chic & Green reader, Erin Raymer.

Erin owns Firefly Fields Soap and Candleworks, which features cold process soaps handmade in small batches. Her bars are 100% vegan and the essential oils she uses are from doTERRA. She does offer some palm oil free varieties, which is very important to so many of us do not use soaps with this ingredient.

In addition to handcrafted natural soaps, Erin makes 100% natural soy candles and tarts made with phthalate-free fragrance oils.

And check this out-- there is a SPECIAL right now in Erin's shop. When you buy 3 bars, you will get 1 free. Click this link to get the deal.

Be sure to follow Firefly Fields Soap and Candleworks on Facebook.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Beauty Monday: 5 minute makeup

The long task of growing out my hair from my pixie of 2 summers ago is going pretty well. It's at the point I can put it up in a short pony tail. It's great for days when I do not feel like blow drying this thick mop and spending a long time flat ironing it to make it smooth and straight. I work from home, so I do not have to spend time getting pulled together, but I just do. I love makeup and still want to look my best whether I am "bumming" around the house or out for a date with my husband. You can be pulled together without spending much time, though!

What am I wearing here?

Laura Mercier Oil Free Primer
Jane Iredale Amazing Base SPF 20 in Light Beige
Au Naturale Creme Concealer in Beige
Prescriptives Colorscope Lipstick in Champagne
Jane Iredale Pure Gloss in Beach Plum
Organic Wear Jumbo Lash Mascara in Black
NVEY ECO blush in Blushing Peach
Everyday Minerals  Pearl Finishing Dust

Oooh, and I changed my manicure just in time for Mani Monday!

Even though Kermit the Frog says "It's not easy being green," I will respectfully disagree. I am wearing Jamberry Nails Professional Nail Lacquer in Mermaid, which is from the limited-edition summer collection called Poolside Glow. Over it is the Jamberry Glitter Effect Top Coat. I didn't want it too glittery, so I applied a very light layer of this under the Ultra Shine Top Coat. What do you think? Love it or leave it?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New Jamberry Nail Art Studio Creation! Get Yours Today!

I love all things nautical. And in preparation for our upcoming New England vacation, I used the Jamberry Nails Nail Art Studio to custom design my own nail wraps!

Using my three favorite colors of navy blue, robin's egg blue and fuchsia, I created nail wrap sheets using anchors and whales. Each sheet is good for three to four applications. The best part? They last up to two weeks on fingers and even longer on toes.

Get yours today by emailing me HERE. I am placing orders for this one Friday, July 25th.

Jamberry Nails are heat and pressure activated nail wraps. Not to be confused with stickers, they are not made out of nail polish, so they will never chip or fade! NO dry time. They are gluten-free, vegan and cruelty free.

I adore these and can't wait to get more! Free gift with all Nail Art Studio orders!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tips on minimizing dark circles under the eyes

Dark circles under the eyes are something many women find frustrating. If you ask almost any sleep-deprived college student or mother of small children what bothers her the most about her skin, she will tell you that it is her dark undereye circles. Sleep deprivation is only one cause of dark circles, though.

Having dark circles under the eyes is actually a very common problem. We’re going to take a look at some of the causes of dark undereye circles and share some beauty tips and tricks that may just help eliminate the problem.
We mentioned sleep deprivation earlier. If you are chronically tired, you are more likely to suffer from dark circles. Other causes include seasonal allergies such as hay fever, having very fair skin, dehydration, anemia, and sun exposure. More serious health issues causing fluid retention also can contribute to the appearance of dark undereye circles.
Taking a two-step approach using both skincare and makeup products is necessary for treating dark circles.
Look for an eye cream with Vitamin K as a leading ingredient. Vitamin K is often recommended because it can help to fade the dark color and reduce the puffiness that is often associated with dark undereye circles.
Vitamin C also can have a brightening effect.
Retinol is also recommended because it not only has the ability to help with the discoloration, but it also can help reduce the dryness.
Hyaluronic Acid and Amino Acids are also recommended for dark circles because they have been shown to boost levels of collagen which takes away from that “hollow” look under the eyes that so many people with dark circles suffer from.
Years ago, the top recommendation for covering dark circles was to find a yellow concealer. We now know that this actually accentuates the problem. Avoid the thick yellow concealers. I think back to my college days when I would purchase the yellow wand concealer from Lancome, Maqui Complet, to conceal my circles caused by too little sleep. In reality, this only accentuated the problem.
  • Finding an undereye concealer with brightening properties is the best solution.
  •  You also want it to be a shade very similar to your skin tone. If it is lighter, it will only give the appearance of a light ring around the eyes. 
  • Products labeled “luminizing”, “brightening” or “light diffusing” work best to conceal dark circles.
  • Brush-on and roll-on concealers are the best formulas for dark circles because they apply seamlessly and will not accentuate darkness.
  • Apply damp mint leaves to the undereye area to soothe dryness or puffiness.
  • You can also apply tomato paste to the undereye area helps to increase brightness in the skin, which may help improve the darkness.
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily. Not only is this good for your health, but it can help to fade the dark circles since you won’t be dehydrated.
Products I have tried and tested -- and recommend -- for dark circles:

Prescriptives Vibrant C Eye Cream
Au Naturale Creme Concealer

Monday, July 7, 2014


Lollapalooza creator and front man for the legendary rock band Jane’s Addiction Perry Farrell has teamed-up with Maestro Dobel Tequila to offer music fans the chance to win a rockin’ VIP experience for two to Lollapalooza in Chicago, August 1-3.

It’s easy to enter the promotion, all you have to do is visit the Dobel Tequila website and sign-up. Maestro Dobel Tequila is also adding a bit of cutting edge technology for the promotion this year called Platform3 from Vancouver-based 3 Tier Logic. Platform3 gives you the opportunity to earn rewards points that can be redeemed for additional prizes.

The additional prizes include extra entries into the sweepstakes, another rockin’ VIP experience for two to Lollapalooza, a Sony A 3000 Digital Camera Package, Apple iPod Shuffles and Nanos, and iTunes Gift cards .

To earn points you share content that is available for you on the Dobel Tequila site on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages. Each piece of content has points assigned to it and Platform3 keeps track of your points, which you can monitor on the site as well. On the micro-site you can see how many points are required to earn each prize and you can redeem the prizes right there on the site. When you redeem the prizes they are mailed to you.

Maestro Dobel Tequila is pouring-on a premium promotion this year with their sweepstakes and rewards program, for sure.

There will be lots of news about it on the Dobel Tequila Facebook page and on Twitter at @dobeltequila, so make sure to stop by, or visit their experience at Lollapalooza.

Handmade bracelets you will LOVE!

I love bracelets. LOVE them. I wear a stack of at least ten Alex and Ani bangles daily and sometimes through in other coordinating pieces too.

My friend and local talent, Sheryn Kelderhouse of The Happy Life, is making bracelets and I just had to put one on my arm! In her online shop, you will find an array of bracelets with different mantras on them. Examples include "Walk your talk", "March to the beat of your own drum," and more.

She also offers customization. As you can see, my bracelet has my children's names on it. Although not shown in the picture, their birthstones dangle from the left.

Please do check out her shop! I know that I am going to get some more of these to give away as prizes to women on my Jamberry team!

Follow Sheryn on Facebook.
Visit Sheryn's website.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

10 Minute Makeup Routine

So this is me about before I went to lunch with my friend Krista today. I just HAD to try out some new makeup from some of the great companies who have sent me beauty products to try out.

I really wanted to play around and take a pic because some of my new finds REALLY are fabulous!

I started off this morning by washing my face with ZENMED Facial Cleansing Gel, Thayer's Alcohol Free Cucumber Witch Hazel, and Prescriptives All You Need+ for the Eyes. As a final skincare step, I applied ZENMED AVT Cream.

I waited a moment and put on Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer, let it sink in while I brushed my teeth and was ready to begin! Confession-- yes, I know this is not green, nor is it considered a healthy and natural product. It is my own makeup weakness. I just love it. If you are 100% paraben free, do not purchase this.

I would like to say this about the next product --  I haven't used powder foundations in a while, but I was sent a product to try that I absolutely adore. Like other minerals, it does not irritate my skin. This one is called Mineral Hygienics and it is a loose powder foundation. I am wearing Medium. It doesn't cake, settle into any fine lines, sweat off when it is humid and 92. I apply this with my It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Foundation Brush. Just a very small amount is all you need and it gives a natural, healthy appearance.

Next, I applied my concealer. This one rocks my socks. Love it! It is the Au Naturale Creme Concealer and it blends so easily with my ring finger. I am not exaggerating when I say that this one blows away the competition. I used to think that Vapour was the best natural concealer. I was wrong. Trust me -- you have to have this for your dark circles and any skin discolorations. BEST CONCEALER on earth. Au Naturale is non-toxic, gluten-free, vegan, paraben-free, non-nano, and made in America in a USDA certified organic facility.

I then applied my staple eye shadow-- the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette.

Next up: mascara. Forever on the quest for that holy grail mascara, I have found one that is paraben free, non-irritating AND will not melt off on a hot and humid day. This one is Prescriptives False Eyelashes Plush Mascara. Truly the best!

Bronzer! It can be so hard to find a bronzer that doesn't make me look like an Ooma Loompa. I was using W3LL People and used it until it was gone. I have a new one I LOVE and as ong as your skin is normal/dry like mine, I think you will adore it as well. It is also a product from Au Naturale and it is called the Organic Creme Bronzer Stick. Just a swipe across the cheekbones and a quick blend with clean fingertips is all you need!

Brows were next! I use Silk Naturals Brow Medium Ash Brow Cream. A pot of this is just $6.50 and lasts almost an entire YEAR!

Hair color touched up -- it is $3.50 or so! Revlon Colorsilk Champagne Blonde. I also add in a couple streaks of Revlon Frost & Glow in the Light Blonde Kit for highlights. My hair also feels so much healthier since -- gasp -- returning to a shampoo with sulfates. It is SO much easier to style. I am using Biolage Volume Bloom Shampoo and alternating with John Frieda Sheer Blonde Everlasting Blonde Shampoo.

To condition, I use Featherweight from Original Moxie.

Styling-wise, I start with Redken Prepping Blow Dry Lotion, then I blow dry my hair. I apply some Redken Hot Sets Thermal Setting Mist and to finish, add shine with Matrix Biolage Color Care Shine Shake. All were purchased on the Buy 1, Get 2 Free at Supercuts.

And I LOVE the lip colors! Lipstick and gloss are both Au Naturale! And I adore them. Now when you go to the website and see this lipstick, do NOT panic. It looks VERY bright purple, but does not actually appear this way on the lips. What a beautiful lipstick and it feels divine. Some lipsticks tug across the lips and make them feel dry. Not this one. And, again, Au Naturale is non-toxic, gluten-free, vegan, paraben-free, non-nano, and made in America in a USDA certified organic facility.

Over the lipstick, I applied Au Naturale Lip Gloss in a shade called Orchid. Great on its own or layers, this is my new go-to lip gloss!

Lastly, I used a large powder brush to sweep my powder sunscreen across my face. It is called Jane Iredale Powder Me SPF 30 in Golden. This provides broad spectrum protection and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

So that's the summer routine. I will be back soon for an more in depth review of the rest of my fabulous Au Naturale products!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Get the glow with *Magic Liquid Powder from Prescriptives

I will never forget my introduction to *magic Liquid Powder from Prescriptives. I was in my 20s working as a makeup artist at Estee Lauder at the Eastview Mall Kaufmann's store. On my lunch break, I wandered over to visit my friend at the Prescriptives counter, which was located by the women's fragrances. I thought she might be ready to head to the food court, but she was busy unpacking a box of the latest Prescriptives release -- *magic Liquid Powder.

I remember her telling me about it and then she offered to let me try some. I almost laughed at the idea that a powder could be a liquid. I mean, it looked just like regular old loose powder to me.

When I felt it applied with a brush, I was in awe. It felt like liquid. And when I looked in the mirror, my face was absolutely radiant. I bought my first jar.

Now, almost 15 years later, I am still using it. There were years I did not. But there really was never anything out there that was the same concept.

I use a kabuki brush and sweep it over my face. It diffuses fine lines and just adds a very subtle glow. In fact, you know how I cannot stand when companies make claims that don't deliver. On the Prescriptives website it says "Instantly cools and diffuses light to minimize the look of lines, pores, and wrinkles" and it truly does this. I loved it at 24 and I love it at almost 39.

I can't imagine not using it again.

Do not let the $39.50 deter you. My *magic lasts me a full year! It is lightweight, non-caking, paraben free, free of formaldehyde releasers, and has a truly luxurious feel.

No wonder 97% of users on the Prescriptives site recommend it!

You order online with free shipping and free returns every single day. No gimmicks.

Have you tried *magic before? What were your thoughts?

Disclosure - I am a Prescriptives Passionista, which is a non-compensated brand ambassador who just loves the products! All opinions are my own.