Sunday, November 12, 2006

Asian Beuaty Secrets

I was stunned to find out that one of the lead actresses from the movie version of Memoirs of Geisha was 40 years old. She looks half her age.

I'm not alone in my amazement. In the November issue of More, Sandy Thompson, a 43-year-old marketeing executive, makes a similar observation based on a trip to Hong Kong

"I turned 40 in Hong Kong and was surprised to find that mature Asian women didn't look nearly their age." --Sandy Thompson, More magazine (Nov. 2006)

Here are a few of the Asian beauty secrets that she discovered:

1) Drinking Bird's Nest---a beverage made from bird's saliva. (No, thanks!)

2) Consume lots of green tea (There's a cup of green tea steeping on the table as I write this)

3) Facials!!!

4) Heels!

5) Makeup

6) No blazers!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

My New Look

Here's my frugal makeover, courtesy of Beta Blogger.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Baking Soda: Beauty in a Box 101

Great for the skin, the teeth and the pedicure. That's the word on baking soda. Arm & Hammer will take you on a baking soda tour of your home with recipes and unusual uses for the product, which is cheap. (Generic is even cheaper.)

Here's an example of baking soda uses for beauty routines:

* "Facial Scrub and Body Exfoliant

Removing dead skin cells will leave your skin soft and smooth, perfect before application. Make a paste of 3 parts ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda to 1 part water. Rub in a gentle circular motion to exfoliate the skin. Rinse clean. Gentle enough for daily use!"

Hair Care

For locks that rock, remember to shake it. Sprinkle a small amount (quarter-size) of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo. Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly. The ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda helps remove the residue that styling products leave behind so your hair is cleaner and more manageable.

Refreshing Bath Soak

Taking a bath is so last year…until now! Add 1/2 cup of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda to your bath to neutralize acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration. Your skin will feel silky smooth, and it’s a great way to get away from it all.

Soothing Foot Soak

Here’s a great way to start your home pedicure. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda in a basin of warm water and soak feet. Gently scrub with a paste of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda. The hardest part is deciding which color nail polish you’ll use this week!

Mouth Cleaning

Clean up your mouth! * Use ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda to help keep teeth clean and white! Sprinkle some ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda into your palm, dip in your damp brush, and clean those pearly whites. For a smile that’s Cleaner, Whiter, Fresher™ try ARM & HAMMER® Oral Care products with the proven cleaning power of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda.

*ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda does not contain the anti-cavity ingredient fluoride. Use it where water is fluorinated or when a non-fluoride toothpaste is desired for adult use or as directed by your dentist or physician.

Mouth Freshening

Bad breath keeping you tight-lipped? Open up for ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda. Put one teaspoon in half a glass of water, swish, spit and rinse. Odors are neutralized – not just covered up- so get ready to pucker up!

Deodorize Retainers

Minimize the "oh gross" factor by cleaning and freshening retainers and mouth-guards with ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda. Soak after every use in a solution of 2 teaspoons ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda and warm water. Every so often, brush them clean with a paste of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda. That’ll keep everyone smiling!


Spicy food is yummy until it bothers the tummy. ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda is a safe and effective antacid to relieve heartburn, sour stomach and/or acid indigestion, when used as directed. Always refer to the ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda package for instructions. Learn more about how ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda works as an antacid.

Hand Cleanser

Give yourself a hand with ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda. Forget the harsh soaps and gently scrub away ground-in dirt and neutralize odors on hands with a paste of 3 parts ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda to 1 part water, or 3 parts ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda to your liquid hand soap. Then rinse clean. Your skin will feel softer too!

Clean Brushes and Combs

For lustrous hair with more shine, keep brushes and combs clean. Remove natural oil build-up and hair product residue by soaking combs and brushes in a solution of 1 teaspoon of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda in a small basin of warm water. Rinse and allow to dry.


A quick pit stop. Dust ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda under arms as needed to feel fresh all day. The magic of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda actually absorbs odors instead of just covering them up. For wetness and deodorization protection, try ARM & HAMMER® ULTRAMAX Deodorant Antiperspirant.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Yoga: My new Botox

Yoga is great for my skin. It diminishes the parenthesis ( 0 ) around my mouth.

I've noticed this on several occassions. Here's the drill: When I do a yoga routine before bed, my face looks so unlined in the morning. So rested.

Who needs botox when relaxation exercises and deep breathing take the tension out of your face?

I take a few yoga classes a week and I work out with a tape sometimes before bedtime.

Then I sleep well.

Friday, May 26, 2006

How I Aged 20 Years in One Day.

I know about sun damage and because of a horrible, fry-your-face//peel-you-back itchy sunburn, I now always use sunscreen.

Here's the scenario. I went to the St. Martin for my honeymoon (15 years ago). Weeks before my trip, I was constantly carded in New York City clubs and Atlantic City casinos. Everyone thought I was in my late teens. (I was much older)

But in the hot sub-tropical sun, I stubbornly refused to use sunscreen. I was having one of my macho moments and thought my skin was strong enough to take the punishment. UGH! I fried; I burned; I peeled. It was not the best day of my honeymoon.

And my poor face!!! I had deep, deep wrinkles in the inner and outer corners of my eyes. No one asked for my proof of age. People started calling me Ma'am and madame.

I aged decades in one afternoon of hot sun.

I reversed some of that damage with an expensive sunscreen, but my skin has never been the same and I've learned my lesson: USE SUNSCREEN.

Forget Botox, facelifts, collagen, acupuncture treatments and expensive skin creams!!!!

Millions of dollars are spent annually on cosmetic procedures and expensive anti-aging treatments.

But for far less money ($5 and under), we can buy cheap but effective preventive facial/skin care. THINK SUNSCREEN.

On a personal level, I know the power of sunscreen. For the last few weeks, I've been out of my favorite anti-aging skin creams. I use inexpensive; but effective drugstore potions. I've been too busy to clip coupons and pick up more. But I've slapped on some sunscreen --important in Miami--and my skin has been looking great. Less is more, especially if you remember the sunscreen.

The latest crop of women's magazines -- Real Simple, First, For Me -- have written some interesting pieces about the frugal and effective power of sunscreen. On the low end, decent coverage can cost $5 (or less). Here's one cheapie that's gotten rave reviews:

Hawaiian Tropic Baby Faces & Tender Places SPF 50 $5 (rated best stick protection by Real Simple)

On the higher end: Lancome Soleil Ultra Expert Sun Care SPF 50 Sunscreen Face and Body Lotion $32.50....rated best cream by Real Simple.

Real Simple offers these sunscreen tips

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Beauty & Skin Experts Say....

My makeup bag is downwardly mobile. Before parenthood, I was well-stocked with cosmetics and skin-care treats from expensive beauty spas and high-end department stores. But after parenthood, I gradually traded down the commodities chain and my makeup table is now stocked with goodies from national pharmacy chains.

And quite, frankly my skin has actually thrived on this discount diet. But based on the you-get-what-you-pay-for doctrine, I’ve been puzzled by my skin’s positive response. But the experts have ready answers, namely: when it comes to cosmetics, high cost does not always equal high-quality care.


“There are very good products at CVS and Walgreen’s that are very effective and very affordable,” says Dr. Helena Igra, a cosmetic surgeon and board-certified dermatologist based on Miami Beach. “The most expensive products are not necessarily the best.”

So there’s no need to feel deprived, if you can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars a month on skincare products. Nor should, you feel compelled to purchase the high-end over-the-counter skincare products that some dermatologists directly market, says Igra, who does not sell skin care products in her office. Indeed, she’s happy to suggest a number of “very good, very dependable,” drugstore products –from publicly traded household names — that will pamper your skin at a fraction of the costs.

Of course, if you have serious skin problems, prescription-only pharmaceutical intervention may be necessary. But many of the inexpensive, over the counter products work just fine for the every-day nuisances wrought by sun and stress (fine lines, small eruptions and brown spots), Igra says.

And while, some expensive skin-care products live up to their billing, packaging, research/development costs and marketing budgets can also boost lofty price tags, the doctor says.


That same lesson was personally delivered to me, by a local television personality, who discovered the beauty of pharmacy cosmetics after losing her luggage — including a bag of expensive cosmetics — while traveling. In a pinch, she purchased inexpensive cosmetics at a pharmacy counter and was pleased with the results. Other women in corporate circles have shared similar discoveries with me.


Stephen Farrar, a television and video makeup artist, agrees with their insights. As a beauty industry professional, he has peeked into the makeup kits of peers from around the country. Their tools of the trade typically include many inexpensive cosmetic products, including Max Factor, Almay, Covergirl and Maybelline, Farrar says. In fact, when it comes to mascara, the old pink-and-green Maybelline mascara wand ($4.99) ranks as an industry staple.

“It doesn’t have to cost a lot to look good,” says Farrar, who provides makeup services to WPBT (Channel 2), the local PBS station.

And if you’re addicted to one of the expensive department store or designer brands, Enjoy. But learn to streamline and shop for value, the makeup artist says.

“There are some good products at the high-end of the market, but you don’t have to buy the whole line,” Farrar says.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Rich & Cheap Skin Creams

If better skin care is one of your 2006 New Year resolutions, check out the Feb. issue of Real Simple. That magazine has a great article on frugal, but effective skin creams for $15 or less.

The piece is called "More Balm for you Buck," by Sue Chung.

Here'a rundown of the some of the top picks from Real Simple. In this post, I'll just target the selections for "Super Dry" or "Mature Skin." Later this week, I'll feature products for other skin types.

(For Super Dry, Aging Skin)

For the face:

Pond's Mend & Defend $9 (with grapeseed extracts and SPF15 protection)

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 (lightweight cream and a favorite of some dermatologists) $10

Burt's Bees Carrot Nutritive Night Creme (features avocados, almonds and other rich goodies.)$12

For the body:

Vaseline Intensive Care Firming & Radiance Age-Defying Lotion $6.50
Cerave Moisturizing Cream $15
Nivea Body Extra Enriched Lotion $5