It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over and school is back in session. For kids and their parents that means getting back to a daily routine. It means rushing to the bus stop in the morning, carpooling to after school activities, homework assignments, and trying to squeeze in a social life somewhere in between. Fortunately, there are a few products that will help the whole family ease back into the school year. From hair products to clothing and ways to fight acne, here are my top product recommendations!
Udderly Smooth Body Cream
Back to school skin care shouldn’t be complicated or expensive. The beauty products in your drugstore can be just as effective as their pricey department store counterparts. For the skin on your body, my top pick is Udderly Smooth Body Cream. I’ve tried body lotions that retail for well over $100 and keep coming back to this moisturizer. I love it because it’s super thick and hydrating, leaving my skin feeling soft and smooth for the whole day. Place a jar in the bathroom and the whole family can use it, from the kids to your husband! You can’t beat the $6 price tag and you can find it at CVS/pharmacy, Rite Aid and Walmart stores. I like to pick up several jars at a time because this is also a must-have in the winter.
L.A. Looks Extreme Sport Gel
It’s amazing how we can feel so much more confident and unstoppable when our hair looks good. Kids want to look and feel their best going back to school so having a good styling product is key. The L.A. Looks Extreme Sport Gel will keep hairstyles intact and looking great throughout the entire school day. This gel has an extreme-level hold which means it keeps hair in place even after gym class or sports practice. It comes in three different sizes, including a travel-friendly tube that kids can pop into their backpacks and retouch their hair in between classes. You can pick it up at drugstores for under $4!
Addressing Acne with RealSelf.com
It’s hard for teens to be outgoing in social situations when they feel self-conscious about acne, and with all of the advertisements out there it can be confusing for parents to know what the best solutions are for treating their child’s skin. Before spending money on costly dermatologist visits and prescriptions, a great option is RealSelf.com, a leading online community around cosmetic concerns. There is a doctor Q&A section where parents can ask board-certified dermatologists questions about acne treatments. For example, one dermatologist named Dr. Eric Schweiger advises that preteens and teens with mild acne can be treated with over the counter products that contain benzoyl peroxide. Go onto RealSelf.com to learn more about the best acne treatments for your teen.
Back to school clothing doesn’t have to be complicated and there’s a new company called Primary that specializes in high-quality basics for kids. Started by two moms who had been shopping for kids clothes for over 12 years but still didn’t have a go-to for great basics at affordable prices, they set out to create simple, high-quality basics for kids. Looking for a plain white tank or what about a blue tunic? You’re now in luck! Best part is everything in the line is under $25. Go onto primary.com to shop the collection.
YouCam MakeupWhen it comes to beauty and style, there are no rules! The teen years are a great time to experiment with different makeup looks and hairstyles. From pops of color on the eyes to a fun bob, teens can get away with really bold looks during these years. However, before committing to a drastic change, why not try makeup in real-time with a new app called YouCam Makeup. It allows you to try different looks (kind of like looking into a virtual mirror) so you can nail down which makeup styles look best on you. You can download the app for free at GooglePlay or the iTunes store. Oh how I wish I had this in my high school days!
Earlier this week, I traveled to sunny Tampa to appear on the nationally syndicated Daytime show. I was there to talk about ways we can survive the dog days of summer. You know, those brutally hot weeks of summer where we step outside and it feels as though a faucet has been turned on and we start counting down the days to cooler weather. I discussed topics ranging from UV protection to hyperhidrosis and even ice cream! Check out each item I featured on the show below.
Acuvue Brand Contact Lenses
We all know the importance of wearing UV protection while outside, but an area that people often forget about is their eyes. Just like you protect your skin from UV rays, you need to protect your eyes too. For people who wear contact lenses, Acuvue Brand Contact Lenses is the only brand to offer products with the highest levels of UV-blocking available in a contact lens. UV protection is available in every product in the Acuvue Brand Contact Lens portfolio. And remember that contacts are not a standalone solution for UV protection – you should always wear a wide-brimmed hat and UV blocking sunglasses that have a wrap or wider temples on the sides to defend your eyes and skin against the sun’s damaging rays. Go on to Acuvue.com for more information.
Carmex Click Sticks with SPF 15The skin on our lips is incredibly delicate and needs to be protected against the sun’s rays too. These Carmex Click Sticks with SPF 15 are perfect for travel and give you UVA/UVB protection while reducing your risk of skin cancer and premature aging. They come in original, strawberry and cherry (my favorite) and cost only $1.50! Leave one in your purse, car, desk at work, gym bag –you can never have too many lip balms! Go on to MyCarmex.com for more information.
MD Complete Youthful Skin Sun Shield
When it comes to protecting the skin on our face, it can be challenging to find a high spf that doesn’t leave our skin feeling greasy. It can be even harder to find one that works well under makeup too. Luckily, I came across MD Complete Youthful Skin Sun Shield. It’s a sheer, fragrance-free sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum sun protection of SPF 50! The formula is lightweight and absorbs quickly. Best of all, it leaves skin with a beautiful, matte finish! You can find it at Target for only $24.99 and learn more at mdcompleteskincare.com.
With summer comes intense heat and humidity which means perspiration! You could incorporate a clinical deodorant and refreshing wipes in your routine but many people suffer from excessive perspiration and need to think beyond the beauty counter. Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for this type of excessive sweating and it can get in the way of so many important life moments. Fortunately, there is a great online resource called RealSelf.com that can help. RealSelf is an online community where people go to make confident decisions around elective cosmetic procedures. Two procedures you can consider for hyperhidrosis treatment are MiraDry and Botox. MiraDry is a permanent, non-surgical treatment for underarm perspiration that actually uses electromagnetic energy to reduce sweat glands. It has a “worth it” rating of 91% on RealSelf. If you’re looking for more options, Botox is a temporary solution that works wonders for perspiration of the hands, feet, underarms, and upper lip. RealSelf.com users have given it a “worth it” rating of 93%.
Invisalign TeenSummer is the perfect time for parents and teens to spend more quality time together and talk about important issues. It’s no secret that the teenage years can be difficult and it’s estimated that 90% of teens feel judged by their peers. Invisalign has a new campaign called Unbrace Teen Confidence that helps parents and teens navigate important issues like bullying and peer pressure. Visit UnbraceTeenConfidence.com to learn more about the campaign and how Invisalign clear aligners can help your teen’s smile be its best.
Lactaid Ice CreamA scoop of rich, creamy ice cream might be the quintessential summer treat but many people are sensitive to dairy and can’t enjoy this dessert without experiencing discomfort. The solution? Lactaid Ice Cream! It’s made with 100% real milk and cream and there are two new flavors that have joined the lineup. Lactaid Salted Caramel Chip & Lactaid Berry Chocolate Crumble are perfect to enjoy on a sweltering day this season. You get 100% real dairy ice cream without the lactose! It’s $4.49 and available at your local Walmart or grocery store. Learn more by visiting Lactaid.com.
It’s so easy to be downright mean to ourselves. Cruel even. Would you ever go up to someone and say that their stomach is looking just a little doughy in that dress? Or what about telling a stranger that they shouldn’t even go for that promotion at work because their coworker is way smarter and just an overall better person? Most of us wouldn’t imagine speaking that way to a stranger so why treat ourselves that way?
There is a great quote from the iconic Diane Von Furstenberg that goes as follows: “When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.” I love this and wanted to share three simple tips to help us start becoming our best friend. Let’s start loving ourselves a little more!
Put the blinders on
This is one I need to remind myself of daily because I’m super competitive. Being competitive is a double-edged sword because it can push you to do your very best but can also stall you dead in your tracks. In professional horse racing, owners put blinders on their horses to keep them from seeing what their competition is doing. This, in turn, allows the horse to be completely focused at the task at hand. You are in competition with no one but yourself. Does it matter what others are up to? Nope, it’s none of your business!
Learn how to take a compliment
Do you tend to refute compliments? You know, someone tells you that you have beautiful hair and then you quickly snap back with a “No way, I need a haircut!” type of reply? This is doing major damage in the self-love department and I demand you cease this now! The next time you receive a compliment, simply say thank you. That’s it.
Mantra every morning
It’s easy to look in the mirror and see all that’s wrong. The dark circles that seem to be getting darker some mornings, parts of our body that wiggle and jiggle, the self-loathing list goes on and on. Instead of criticizing an area on your body like your thighs, celebrate all of the wonderful places your legs have taken you thus far. Maybe you’ve ran a marathon, traveled the world, or spent countless evenings dancing the night away. Each morning before you start your day, look in the mirror and repeat this mantra out loud: In this very moment, I love and accept myself. This might feel hard to say or believe some mornings but the more you repeat this, the more you’ll start to embrace loving yourself.
From weddings to reunions, chances are you have a few social events on your calendar and you’ll want to look fabulous at each and every event this summer. But with the heat and the risk of melting makeup, less is sometimes best. But how exactly can we look chic without caking on the makeup? Check out the products I featured on San Diego Living here and you can find direct links below!
If you could go back in time and be a teenager again would you jump at the chance to relive those high school years or run away in fear never wanting to experience that time in your life again? For me, I feel a bit of both. Some of my best memories involve doing theater in high school but, overall, I love being an adult. Let’s face it. Those teen years can be brutal! In fact, Invisalign Teen did a recent study and found that 90% of teens feel judged by their peers and more than half agree life would be better without social media. I recently spoke about some of the most common beauty blunders teens face on Good Day Sacramento and want to go beyond beauty to share three simple tips teens can use during these tough years.
1.Follow Your Gift, Not Your Passion
Ok, let me explain this one. Oftentimes we get sucked into pursuing something we might not have a knack for doing well. Growing up, I loved swimming and belonged to several swim teams throughout the years. No matter how much I loved it, I wasn’t good at it. I never won a race or even placed in the top 3. Could I have been part of the Olympic team? Not a chance. What came easy for me was speaking. Eighth grade speech class? Best part of my week. High school plays? I couldn’t get enough of them. Give me an audience and I can effectively communicate. What comes easy to you is your gift. No need to fret and torment yourself on what your purpose in life is and how you will ever find your path. Just do what you do the absolute best at with the least amount of effort. Maybe you’re great at singing, the best in your math class, or you’re the one friends come to when they need advice and to help sort out their problems. That is your gift and when it’s combined with excitement you’ll be unstoppable. Follow it and you’ll save yourself lots of undue stress later in life!
2. Speak Up
Let’s say you’ve got a big presentation in biology and you’ve got the jitters at the thought of speaking in front of your class. You have shortness of breath, butterflies in your stomach and you can’t seem to remember anything you wrote down. What if you trip while walking up to the front of the class? What if you fumble your words and everyone starts laughing? Does this sound familiar? The thought of speaking in public can be terrifying! Fortunately, there are many techniques you can use to ease the fear of public speaking. Try taking a speech class this summer, participate in a local theater production or even take a comedy improv class to boost your confidence.
3. Quality Over Quantity
I’m talking about friends here. One of the best tips I got as a teen was on my first day of high school. The principal had welcomed the freshman class and told us to choose our friends carefully. She said that it’s much better to have no friends for a while than get in with the wrong crowd and end up making poor choices. We are the average of the five people we spend the most time around. Are you spending your time with friends who uplift you and influence you in a positive way? Or are you associating with people that pull you into negativity and trouble? Take your time when it comes to making friends because they play a very big role in your high school years.
And check out the products I featured on Good Day Sacramento in the links below!
Invisalign Teen: http://unbraceteenconfidence.com
MD Complete: http://mdcompleteskincare.com
Batiste Dry Shampoo: http://www.batistehair.com
Neutrogena MicroMist Airbrush Sunless Tan: http://www.neutrogena.com/home.do
Having healthy-looking skin is a must-have for me so I’m always on the lookout for foundations that give me the coverage I need yet still look natural. So of course I jumped on-board when Neutrogena asked if I wanted to participate in a foundation challenge where I would blindly test two formulas. They sent unmarked prototypes of Foundation A Broad Spectrum SPF 20 and Foundation B in addition to directions with how to use each one.
To kick off the challenge, I started by applying Foundation A to my skin each morning. I loved the fact that it had SPF 20 in it (although I still applied my moisturizer with SPF before the foundation!) and it felt extremely lightweight on my skin. It did a great job at covering imperfections like redness, blemishes, and hyperpigmentation and I noticed I didn’t need to apply as much concealer as I normally do. I used Foundation A for two weeks and then switched over to Foundation B.
Like Foundation A, I found that Foundation B’s formula was also lightweight and felt great on my skin. It didn’t quite give me the coverage Foundation A did but I liked the fact that it left my skin very dewy and moisturized. I also found myself using more of Foundation B to get the level of coverage I got from Foundation A. I continued using Foundation B for two weeks and was overall pleased with how my skin looked and felt during that time.
After I tested both formulas, Neutrogena sent over a survey that allowed me to share my thoughts and experiences with each foundation. They then sent over the big reveal! Foundation A was Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup SPF 20 and Foundation B was NARS Sheer Glow! I honestly loved both formulas but in the end Neutrogena was the winner for me because of that great full coverage (while still looking natural!) and the built-in sun protection. I must say that this was an extremely close call though and that NARS Sheer Glow was also a great foundation! A little too sheer for my taste but I really loved how dewy and sexy my skin looked after using it.
Well there you have it, ladies! Neutrogena being the winner for me goes back to my mantra of not having to spend a lot of money to look and feel your best. The Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup SPF 20 is only $13.99 at drugstores and I preferred it over the NARS foundation that costs a whopping $45! So save your money and peruse the beauty aisles of your drugstore for great products like this one from Neutrogena!
There are so many things about the fall season that I love. Getting out of NYC on the weekends to enjoy the fall foliage, spending time in my kitchen whipping up heartier soups and dishes, pumpkin spice lattes (Here’s a great lightened-up recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, Clean and Delicious. I avoid seasonal drinks from coffee shops because the amount of sugar added is shocking!), and who can forget fall beauty and fashion! Although I’ll miss the warmer weather, it feels good to put away the maxi dresses and wedges and break out my boots, Hanes tights, and jackets. Here are some of my current favorite fall essentials, all guaranteed to have you looking and feeling your best this season!
We can all agree that fall is an incredibly busy season which means dark circles and puffiness are inevitable. I recently came across the Bausch + Lomb Thera Pearl Eye Mask and it has been a game changer for me! I use it cold to help reduce any puffiness and dark circles (you can also use it cold to soothe headaches). Just pop it in your freezer for at least 2 hours and apply it to closed eyelids for 20 minutes. Consider these 20 minutes your well-deserved and much-needed “me time.” It’s only $9.99 at drugstores and will definitely come in handy this fall!
Fall fashion is all about layering. From pairing tees with cardigans and chunky sweaters to leggings with skirts and boots, it’s the season to embrace layers! Incorporating a great scarf in your wardrobe is a fall fashion must. There’s something just so chic and sophisticated about wearing a scarf -nothing can spruce up a pair of jeans and a tee quite like it. This season, I’m all about light, airy and colorful scarves from Cookie Lee. Priced at just $26 they’re a fashion essential you can wear year-round!
Once the temperatures start dropping, our skin loses moisture and becomes dry. Start using an ultra-moisturizing body lotion, like Udderly Smooth Body Cream to combat dehydration this season. Udderly Smooth is my favorite because it’s thick and definitely gives your skin a ton of moisture! You also can’t beat the price. It’s just $6 at drugstores like Walgreens.
In addition to our skin becoming drier, our hair tends to suffer in the colder months as well. Mix that with daily heat styling and you’ve got yourself a mane of dry, brittle locks! The solution? Look for shampoos and conditioners infused with hydrating oils. I’ve been using the HASK Macadamia Oil Shampoo and Conditioner and love that they’re packed with rich, essential nutrients from macadamia nuts. Macadamia oil actually mimics the scalps’ natural oils to hydrate dry hair and penetrates the hair shaft to restore damage. A must-have for the change of season, you can get these at Ulta.com for $5.99 each.
Since our skin gets drier in the colder months, I like to incorporate brightening products in my daily regimen. I recently tried Detox Fizzy Powder Wash from Nude Skincare and am hooked! It’s not a traditional cleanser and is, like the name says, a powder cleanser that actually fizzes when mixed with water. It’s made with multiple sources of vitamin C, enzymes and rose hip seeds and leaves my skin looking brighter, fresher and more radiant. It’s $42 at nudeskincare.com.
We’re in the final weeks of summer and if you’re a student or the parent of a student, you’re prepping to go back to school! Here are several of my top back to school beauty and style essentials, guaranteed to give your look an A+ this season.
Nothing says fall like a great pair of boots paired with legwear. I love breaking out the tights once there’s a slight chill in the air because it adds polish and sophistication to any outfit. Hanes Hosiery is my go-to for legwear and their new styles for Fall’14 are modern, sleek and oh-so-chic! From textured patterns like chevron and animal prints to classic black tights, Hanes has your back to school needs covered. You also can’t beat the price at $12 each or two pairs for $20 at department stores.
I’m a sucker for subscription-based services and when I heard about a new service for men called JocksNTees, I was intrigued. Essentially, guys can get basics like underwear, undershirts, and socks delivered straight to their front door. They choose the frequency of those deliveries (whether it’s once a month, twice a month, etc.) so they don’t have to leave the house for these basic necessities. If you’ve got a college-bound son who hates shopping but needs new undershirts and underwear, this is perfect for him before he settles into the dorm.
Confidence is key when heading back to school and it’s hard to feel our best when we’re battling acne. Acne can be difficult to treat because it actually starts forming under your skin weeks before you see it. So just because your skin might look clear today, that doesn’t mean acne isn’t already forming under the surface. It’s key to start a clear skin routine now for clearer skin weeks from now. My top pick is the Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser because it’s made with MicroClear technology which pushes acne medication deep down to the source of breakouts. Use it twice daily for clearer skin!
It goes without much explaining – deodorant is a back to school beauty essential! We want to make sure we’re protected against sweat and odor from homeroom to track practice. My fave is the Dove Advanced Care Deodorant because it gives you 48 hours of odor and wetness protection plus it soothes shaving irritation. Heavy duty sweat protection plus soothing skincare benefits? Yes, please!
If you’re the parent of a young child, you will love a new brand I discovered called So Cozy. The So Cozy collection is the first-ever salon quality line of hair care products just for kids! The collection features everything from daily hair care to even lice prevention treatments. They come in fun, delicious scents kids love like Mango-go, Pear-fection, and Berry-Whip!
Wrinkles. They’re adorable on my French Bulldog Violet, but I’ll do everything in my power to fight them. Like most of us, I slather on the sunscreen before heading outdoors and use top-notch anti-aging products to preserve the youth and health of my skin. But did you know that where you live can determine how susceptible you are to wrinkles? Roc Skincare recently teamed up with Sperling’s Best Places and they did a study that set out to discover which U.S. cities are most susceptible to visibly aging skin. Check out to see if your city made the list here and learn about a few simple ways you can combat wrinkles below!
Protect Your Skin: Most people tend to have more freckles on the left side of their skin because UV rays can penetrate car windows. It’s important for us to wear sunscreen every single day to protect our skin and also remember to put on sunglasses! The skin around our eyes is extremely delicate and prone to wrinkles when we squint in the sun. The bigger the sunglasses, the more protection you’re going to get. I love to channel my inner Jackie-O look by sporting oversized sunnies whenever I’m outside. Both glamorous and good for my skin!
Exfoliate: Have you ever noticed how men rarely wrinkle on their upper lip? That’s because they shave, which regularly exfoliates the skin. Make sure you exfoliate once or twice a week and use an anti-aging cream or serum. I’m in love with the RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum because it’s lightweight and will improve the overall radiance of your skin, while reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It’s also made with retinol, a powerhouse anti-aging ingredient that reduces the appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles. You can get this product at Walgreens for $23.99.
Hydrate: Make sure to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. Proper hydration helps your organs, including your skin, function better and give it an overall healthier appearance. In fact, to tell if someone is severely dehydrated, you can pinch the skin on the back of their hand. Hydrated skin snaps back quickly, and if you are severely dehydrated, skin will slowly return to its normal position.
Exercise: One of my mantras in life is “Keep It Moving!” and this can certainly relate to an exercise routine too. Take just 30 minutes out of your day and do some exercise. Whether it’s going out for a run, yoga, swimming, Zumba, whatever gets your heart rate up! Aerobic exercise encourages blood flow to the skin and that helps keep your skin flexible and supple, preventing wrinkle formation. Not only is exercise good for your skin and body, it’s great for your mind too. I can’t think of a better stress-zapper than my runs along the East River Park – I come back with a refreshed mind and spirit!
Rest: We can’t function at our highest level when we’re exhausted. When we don’t get enough sleep, our body produces excess cortisol, a hormone that breaks down skin cells. But it’s not just about getting enough sleep – it’s how we sleep that’s important! Smashing your face into a pillow at night or always sleeping on one side of the face can cause facial creases and wrinkles. I know it might be hard, but try to sleep on your back or vary your position throughout the night to avoid those sleep lines.
Warm weather season is upon us and we’re all excited for summer soirees, weekend getaways, and long days spent at the beach. While we enjoy the extra hours of sunshine and warm temperatures, summer can wreak havoc on our beauty routines. From protecting your skin against the sun’s harmful rays with a great sunscreen to a bra that actually wicks away moisture and keeps you cool, check out my warm weather beauty and style recommendations below. As always, my tips and tricks are designed to boost your confidence while leaving you looking and feeling your best!
Neutrogena Sunscreen Sticks
This Monday, May 5 marks Melanoma Monday so this is the perfect time to stock up on sunscreen that you’ll actually want, and remember, to wear! Sunscreen is a skincare essential, 365 days a year – rain or shine. The great thing about these new Neutrogena Sunscreen Sticks is that they are ideal for both the face and the body and are perfect for on-the-go protection throughout the day. Put one in your purse, cosmetic clutch, and beach bag – there’s no excuse for not protecting your skin against the sun’s harmful rays with these convenient sticks!
Alterna Haircare Bamboo Beach Summer Sunshine Spray
In addition to protecting our skin, we also want to make sure we’re protecting our hair too this summer! This is the Alterna Haircare Bamboo Beach Summer Sunshine Spray. This is going to be your secret weapon for getting those beachy waves. It combats the damaging effects of the sun, pool, and saltwater while giving you sexy, tousled hair. I love it because it has UV filters and is free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic colors, paraffins, gluten, mineral oil, petrolatum, and other harsh, unnecessary chemicals we just don’t need in our hair.
Summer is a season where we’re taking a ton of photos, so we want to make sure we have a dazzling smile. My top picks for getting a white, dazzling smile are the Crest 3D White Brilliance Toothpaste and Brilliance Boost. The Brilliance Toothpaste has an Illuminating Complex that will give shine and luster to the tooth’s surface for a brilliant smile after just one use. After using the toothpaste, use the Crest 3D White Brilliance Boost, which contains three times the amount of stain lifting ingredients and amplifies your smile’s whiteness using a micro-polishing complex. It’ll get you camera-ready in no time!
A stylish pair of wedge sandals is a summer must-have. This season, wedges are my go-to shoes because they’re comfortable and so glam. Paired with a maxi dress or crisp white jeans, the look of wedges is so chic! If you’re looking for stylish warm weather accessories, check out Poshmark.com! Poshmark is a fun and simple way to buy and sell fashion online because you can shop the closets of women across the country and sell items from your closet too. This is a great way to make a little side cash this summer by clearing out items you just don’t need or wear anymore. Download the app for free at iTunes or go onto Poshmark.com for more information.
When it comes to style, a great outfit always begins with having the proper undergarments. In addition to giving you support, the right bra can boost your confidence and make you feel unstoppable! The newly launched Playtex Play collection features five bra styles with innovative alpha sizing that we can count on to comfortably support our daily activities. Playtex Play bras are made with a special technology called All Day Dry tech fabric that wicks away moisture and feature TruSupport design, guaranteed to keep you cool, comfortable and supported all day long. A must-have for those scorching hot days that are coming up!
Small wristlets are a great accessory for summer soirees but it can be difficult to fit everything you need in a small clutch. A single device that can store your swipe-able cards (credit, debit, membership, loyalty) Coin is a Bluetooth Low Energy, secure, connected card that can be used to pay everywhere credit cards are accepted. It’s the perfect solution to condense all of your payment methods so all you need to bring when you go out is one card. And don’t worry about security. If you get too far away from your Coin or leave it behind, the app will alert you and the Coin will disable itself if it’s lost – ensuring no one can use the cards you store on it.