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Swimsuit Countdown

It’s not like we haven’t known it was coming. Winter leads to spring, which leads to summer; it’s been this way for EVER. So why am I standing in front of my full-length in a so-last-year tankini with a sagged-out two-piece in one hand and a dejected look on my face? How am I going to be ready for a quick jaunt to a tropical clime (I know the invitation to a week in Hilton Head is coming, I just KNOW it) with this pathetic collection of out-of-date Lycra? Time to get crackin’.

And as we all know, this sort of outing can’t be entered into lightly: we need a PLAN; we need to take STEPS to insure we don’t run screaming from the dressing room, head in hands, and retreat to our beds with the remote and a pint of Phish Food. This is far too potentially traumatic endeavor to rush things. Here’s my plan of attack:

  • Exercise. Since I haven’t been as faithful about this as I would hope (okay, I’ve been pretty terribly irregular about my gym habit, but hey, I’m human), I’m now feeling the effects of my recent culinary indiscretions a bit more than my waistband would like. However, a little emergency intervention (cardio and weights today, yoga tomorrow, Pilates the next day) will go a long way to toning up the jiggly bits enough so I can stand the sight of myself in a full-length mirror. Plus it gives me a chance to trot out those smashing workout duds I bought myself as exercise incentive in BagsJanuary.
  • Exfoliate. Every night after washing my face, I apply a nighttime moisturizer and treatment with retinol to continuously refresh my skin cells and keep wrinkles at bay. Then the morning of the shopping expedition, I’ll use a facial scrub and a body scrub with lots of essential oils to slough off the last of the winter’s dry skin. (Post-shower, pay special attention to the heels, knees and elbows with a thick cream – the flaky stuff can be so disheartening, and we need our spirits up, up, up!) The scrub also paves the way for a much more effective…
  • Bronze. Whether you choose a light sunless-tanner-moisturizer combo potion or something a little more direct, it’s best to apply with a subtle hand, possibly over the course of a week. Take care with areas like knees, elbows, ankles and the backs of your hands so you’re not tea-stained around the edges. Facially, I prefer a good bronzing powder to a sunless tanner (less chance of errors creating days-long embarrassment), but some swear by mixing a little sunless tanner into the night cream for a fresh light glow in the AM. (Sub-corollary: highlight. Blonde streaks add to the sun-goddess illusion; however, I took care of this last week.) (Sub-sub corollary: whiten the teeth, too! Makes the face look tanner.)
  • Dine carefully. Heavy carbs, too much salt or a couple of cocktails will add five pounds of water weight easily. The night before your search begins, stick to vegetables, lean protein and fish, and drink water like it’s free. (Come to think of it, perhaps this would be a diet plan that would be worth sticking to on a more permanent basis, and allow me to avoid the issues associated with skipping #1?)
  • Remove black knee-socks.
  • Attack. Choose silhouettes wisely, based on body type. Busty. Narrow hips. Broad shoulders. Fuller hips.  Straight waist. Long torso. Small chest.   
  • Edit. Cross-reference styles that look good on me with extensive knowledge of the spring’s swimwear trends. Sporty. Boho. The White Suit (summer's hottest trend!)  Retro. Floral. Surf style. Brights. Cut outs.  
  • Accessorize. Sweet sandals to carry us to the beach or pool. Cover-ups to, well, cover up for a walk on the beach, a quick game of kadima, or a stop (or six) at the local boutiques before a light lunch. Large brimmed hats and sunglasses to spare our newly freshened faces from the evils of UV-A and –B while allowing a coy sneak-peek at all the people nearby. A darling tote to hold reading material, water, a towel, phone, sunscreen and lip gloss (with SPF of course!)
  • Celebrate. After selecting two (or three) of the season’s best hits suited exactly to my body type, retire not to the nearest watering hole but to a quiet evening at home (oh, all right, with three or seven of my closest GFs) with a plate of crudités, a little sorbet, and our empty calendars. It’s time to plan a season’s worth of outings to show off our new shopping conquests!

Happy Shopping!

Shop Girl

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Our Favorite Things!

Spring Clean Your Look with T-fal's Steam Iron

We are well into Spring my dears, (even if temps don't quite feel like it yet), and I have taken advantage of a handful of rainy days to tackle that pesky spring cleaning. And now that the house is looking clutter-free and totally fantastic, it is time to take it to the next level and refresh my wardrobe!

This season I have invested in quite a few crisp linen and summer-weight cottons, which under normal circumstances might be cause for concern. I mean seriously, rumpled and crumpled is not a good look for any fashionista. Which is where my new  T-fal PowerGlide Steam Iron comes to the rescue! It removes stubborn wrinkles with ease, and its two layer T-fal Durilium Ceramic Technology Coating outperforms competition in "glidability." I love how the wrinkles just disappear with a single swipe! The iron has enough heft to deftly press out wrinkles but is lightweight enough to make the task of ironing a breeze. With a first-of-its-kind calc collector, the iron removes hard water deposits and ensures elite performance and lasting quality.

And bonus!! This unique steam iron is also a 2-in-1 product, allowing for vertical steaming for hanging drapes and delicate garments! Definitely a great investment for keeping my wardrobe fresh and fabulous!


Fancy Footwork - Music Festival Survival Guide!

With music festival season in full swing, it’s time to start thinking about the essential items you’ll need to prepare for full days on your feet!

Just in time for festival season, Amopé, the leading premium women’s footcare brand recently launched an AMAZING new product that will save your feet – the Amopé™ GelActiv™ Insoles & Inserts – designed to help women fall back in love with their shoes and walk with comfort and confidence.

Perfect for music festival season, the Amopé GelActiv Insoles & Inserts use ultra-slim gel technology and discreet, transparent design help to relieve pressure on aching feet. You can now run around all day long in comfort with the Flat Shoes insoles designed for all feet. The GelActiv Insoles & Inserts come in four different styles and are $9.99 for Inserts and $6.99 for Inserts and are available at drugstores and retailers nationwide including: Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Amazon.com.


Wedding Day Nail Prep
Lauren B. Beauty + Skyy Hadley

When it comes to summer but especially your wedding day, you want an elegant and polished manicure! Check out Lauren B. of Lauren B. Beauty’s new inspiration themed collection for her upcoming wedding as well as tips from celebrity manicurist Skyy Hadley, owner of As U Wish Nail Spa.



Skyy Hadley recommends all brides to keep their hands and nails hydrated. Follow her tips below for the best results:

  • The best thing brides can do is to keep their nails moisturized at all times; When they dry out they become brittle leading to chips and cracks
  • Use an oil on your cuticles nightly before bed to keep the skin around them conditioned
  • Protein on the nails is a must to keep them flexible, if nails stay hard they will break easy; A healthy balanced diet is essential

Multiple Age-Defying Benefits in One Jar

A duplex of age defying benefits in just one product will leave common prominent lines nourished and skin cells moisturized to restore a youthful and refreshed appearance. Glide on Freeze-24 7’s best-selling Eyecing Fatigue Fighting Eye Cream to the under eye, upper lip and smile lines to maximize your beauty routine and revitalize eyes and lips! This dermatologist’s recommended method is safe to use on both sensitive areas to help treat collagen production.

  Freeze-24 7 Eyecing Fatigue Fighting Eye Cream
With Hydroptix-171 youth boosting ingredients, Eyecing hydrates, brightens dark circles, provides long-term reduction of the appearance of fine lines and puffiness, and helps restores skin resiliency.

Key Ingredients:
· Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) - natural fat complex conditioner
· Black Tea Ferment -softens rough skin and stimulates natural collagen
· Rye Seed Extract-helps break down impurities while bringing moisture and vitality to the skin.

Usage: Apply cream to under eye area and brow bone. For added benefits, take excess product and apply to the contours of your upper lip and smile lines.

Spring Essentials from C.O. Bigelow

Spring is here and summer is quickly approaching and it’s time to soften dry skin that resulted from the harsh cold weather. From skin tonics to body cleansers, C.O. Bigelow has the products you need to be Spring ready.

 
C.O. Bigelow Rosewater Skin Tonic
Say goodbye to dull skin with C.O. Bigelow Rosewater Skin Tonic. Made with witch hazel, hydrating rose extract and soothing chamomile, this toner balances, clears and cleanses the complexion. It also has a refreshing effect for all skin types.
 
C.O. Bigelow Lily of the Valley Perfume Oil
Change your signature scent this spring season with C.O. Bigelow’s Lily of the Valley Perfume Oil. This decadent perfume uses the finest flowers so you can experience nature’s exquisite aromas. Use the dropper to apply it to your pressure points or mix it with your everyday body moisturizer. Lily of the Valley adds a light fragrant scent, great for everyday use.
  C.O. Bigelow Lavender Body Cleanser
Banish dry skin with C.O. Bigelow Lavender Body Cleanser. This product provides a rich, creamy lather while gently cleansing the skin. It hydrates and soothes the skin while maintaining a perfect moisture balance. The scent of lavender evokes a sense of calmness, tranquility and comfort.

Spring Beauty Essentials from Mally Beauty
and Soap & Paper Factory

Spring is finally here and it’s time to revamp your beauty routine. Create your gorgois spring look with Mally Beauty while keeping fresh with Soap & Paper Factory products.

Mally H3 Hydrating & Brightening Concealer  Mally Beauty H3 Concealer
Wake up tired skin with Mally Beauty’s H3 Concealer. Made with special pigments designed to neutralize discoloration, this concealer flawlessly covers up dark circles with its creamy, buildable formula. Not only does this product conceal, it also helps to protect the under eye area from aging. It leaves you renewed and refreshed. 
Available in Fair, Light, Medium, Tan and Rich 
Mally H3 Lipstick Trio  Mally Beauty H3 Lipstick
Wear a pop of color with Mally Beauty’s H3 Lipstick. This product provides triple hydration with just the right amount of coverage. The formula is gel based rather than wax, so it leaves lips nourished and rich in pigment all day long. 
Available in shades: Grapevine, Rosy, Poppie, Nudish, Buff, Coraline, Angelic, Sheerly, Crush, Hibiscus, Flame and Flush
Soap & Paper Factory Mini Rollerball Perfumes
Freshen your beauty routine with Soap & Paper Mini Rollerball Perfumes. Made with the finest ingredients, these products hydrate skin while leaving it lightly fragranced. Roll the scents onto your pressure points for a light touch fragrance that will last all day. 
Available in Verbena, Green Tea, Jasmine, Gardenia and Lavender 
Soap & Paper Factory Petite Hand Creams
Beautifully packaged and perfumed, Soap & Paper Factory Petite Hand Creams are the perfect product to have on the go. Not only do they deliver aromatic scents, these hand creams nourish, soothe and protect skin. Each hand cream is made with finest oils available in nature and free from parabens. 

Warm Weather Skincare

As the weather warms up dry skin becomes an issue. Prepare now with a new, nourishing skincare routine! Key ingredients such as Greek yogurt proteins and shea butter keep your skin moisturized and ready to take on anything.

For full body coverage go for the Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Body Butter Collection which is a super soft, all-natural body butter absorbs instantly for deeply hydrated, luxuriously soft skin. Pure shea and cocoa butters blend with powerful antioxidants and essential oils for long-lasting hydration. Soft scents and a non-greasy formula create the ultimate indulgence.

Lock in moisture overnight with the KORRES Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial. This weightless soufflé powered by super-charged proteins that melts into skin and works overnight for intense, immediate moisturization. This ultra-hydrating facial-in-a-jar contains a Greek yogurt concentrate with two and a half times the protein content of regular yogurt, to provide skin with intense, long-term moisturization and nourishment to create a smooth, even complexion. You will wake up to noticeable improvements in skin texture and more moisturized, refreshed skin

Xanax For Your Hair

You survived the travails of winter! But did your hair? Cuvée Beauty is here to the rescue with their shampoo, which is like Xanax for your hair!

The Cuvée Beauty Shampoo is a luxurious cleanser that enhances shine, smooths and seals cuticles, boosts body and bounce, and improves hair’s overall look and feel. It’s sulfate-and paraben-free, as well as safe for color and chemically treated hair. It also contains the brand’s proprietary Première Treatment, a unique blend of champagne, white truffle, and platinum ferment extracts combined with resveratrol, ceramides, plant proteins, and botanicals. Formulated with the guidance and expertise of top chemists, the Première Treatment’s one-of-a-kind ingredients are ultra-nourishing, highly protective, and especially gentle on hair.

 


NEW Desert Essence SPF30 Lip Rescue™ Balms

With warmer weather on the way it's time to pamper your pucker! We’re thrilled to introduce Desert Essence’s new SPF30 Lip Rescue™ Balms built to naturally protect, nourish and moisturize your lips with a blend of lip-loving oils like coconut, argan, sweet almond and shea.


The SPF30 Lip Rescue™ Balms will be available on www.desertessence.com, select Whole Foods locations, and at independent natural stores


Mama Mancini's Meatballs – Now in Your Area!

Mama Mancini's - an authentically Italian brand of all natural, prepared products, has introduced their Beef & Turkey Meatballs recently at Whole Foods locations in the San Francisco area! Perfect for anyone, from college students, to families alike, Mama Mancini's prepared meatballs taste like your grandmother's homemade cooking, but can be heated up at home in minutes.

Mama Mancini's is an authentically Italian brand of all natural, prepared foods including, meatballs (beef, turkey, and gluten/antibiotic free varieties), stuffed meatballs, slow cooked sauces (Italian Meat Sauce, and Marinara), Meatloaf, Stuffed Peppers, and more.  All of Mama Mancini's products begin with real, delicious ingredients which are slow-cooked to perfection. Nothing else – ever. http://www.mamamancinis.com/ 


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