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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

LBD is your BFF



Last minute invitations can leave us overwhelmed when we step into our closet and try to decide what to wear. Whether it be a black tie affair, a job interview or a fun girls night out there is one wardrobe must have that is always a safe bet and will never leave you unprepared  ...  the little black dress aka LBD. If you don’t own one you love (or two) then it’s time to put it on your shopping list to be forever-ready to say YES to any request without hesitation.

Besides being universally slimming, there’s something about wearing black that makes any girl feel more confident. A simple fact of life, like the sky being blue, is that every woman should own a little back dress. The LBD is classic, never goes out of style and is the perfect choice for every occasion.

If you’re young or a workout queen, choose a dress that reveals your legs and arms! For a more business like look, layer it with a white blouse and turned up cuffs, or black textured tights and pumps. Or throw on a cardigan with a skinny belt or blazer for a more refined look.

Left on it’s own, the simplicity of a little black dress with a string of pearls is breathtaking. The LBD can be fiercely underspoken, but accessorizing is what makes this your wardrobe chameleon. To make it funky add a wide python belt, cropped jacket or metallic flats. If you’re fortysomething and this is your third or fourth LBD, invest more for a high quality, tailored fit. Think of this dress as a reflection of what you’ve accomplished in your life and a statement of what’s ahead of you! Pair it with nude pumps, diamond studs and a bold cuff bracelet for any special event!


For a quick work out to target those areas that you will be showing off in your little black dress - abs, legs and arms!

Don’t overlook makeup as your ultimate accessory for your LBD. Smoky eyes, berry stained lips, or a sleek ponytail! Even CoCo Channel herself, who introduced the little black dress in 1926, would be proud!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Prepare Your Hair for the Plunge

Lathering on the SPF while swimming with my kids this entire weekend got me to thinking about how most of us are neglecting the damaging and drying effects the summer and pools have on our hair.

We all know how chlorine and salt water can wreak havoc with your hair. When your hair is dry it is porous and acts like a sponge, so the quickest thing you can do before swimming to protect it, is to get your hair completely wet with plain, clean water. This way your hair is too saturated to absorb anything else like chlorine.
But, the MOST effective way to create a barrier between your hair and harsh pool water is to coat your hair by using a small amount of oil, which is hydrophilic such as coconut oil, baby oil or even olive oil to protect the hair shaft. When you’re done throw it in a braid for a super shiny cool look. Try this cool comb by Rickycare infused with a sunscreen oil to protect and help with the frizzy ends at the beach.
Hair conditioner works too but only if you are in the water for a short time since it eventually gets rinsed away. Try out Bumble and Bumble’s Leave in conditioner. Also, use your kids spray on detangler like the one in the green bottle at the grocery store by L’oreal, not only will it coat the hair cuticle, but it will prevent those nasty snarls. Plus it’s “tear” free and smells good too!
When high PH levels react with the copper found in pool water, the metal bonds to the hair shaft and can turn it green. All of these tips can help prevent that but If it happens, squirt some ketchup or V8 tomato juice on your locks, comb thru and leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing. The smell is not great, but it works!
Just like getting a sunburn, the sun also contributes to hair damage by drying it out. Sun-scorched hair, fades your color and highlights. Left unprotected it can also cause  breakage and damage your hair as much as the pool water. If you don’t want to wear a hat or scarf be sure to spritz on a leave in conditioner with SPF protectant to shield the harmful rays. A good one to try is Rene Furterer Okara 2-Phase Leave-In Protective Conditioner for color treated hair.  


You can make your own UV protection to use in a spray bottle on damp hair by mixing a Tablespoon of any sunscreen with a cup of water. 

An added note: If you are using lemon to lighten your hair be aware that this is extremely drying and is really just helping the sun damage your hair more quickly.




To learn more model's secrets to looking your best and taking your best photos check out my new book Face This: Real advice from real models, photographers and makeup artists on how to become Picture Perfect! Available for just $7.99 on Kindle, Nook and iTunes. Also as paperback from Amazon.com

Monday, July 11, 2011

De-bloat after your Vacation.


After returning from vacation, I noticed that suddenly my favorite jeans felt tighter. It's hard to feel my best when I feel fat. Stepping on the scale - plus 5 pounds, Ahhhhhh yes ...  the bloat. 


Eating out usually means a bit more gluttony, and definitely more sodium - leading straight to water weight. What you don’t want to do is to Starve yourself after your trip because it will slow down your body's metabolism to conserve energy. It will also set you up to overeat. 


It’s important not to freak out and remind yourself that weight loss and weight gain are mathematical equations and in a few days it would be nearly impossible to consume enough extra calories for a real 5 pound gain. 1 lb = 3500 calories AND 5 lbs = 17,500 calories extra

1.  My fist day back I cut back on calories. 
Not very hard to do since I have usually overindulged and felt constantly full on vacation. Bethenny Frankel, author of Naturally Thin, suggests whipping up a big pot of vegetable soup to slim down. Just throw some onions, broccoli and carrots, in a fat free chicken stock and puree to eat with brown rice. 
2.  Fill up with loads of de-bloating foods to tell your body to get rid of all that water. Some natural diuretics are watermelon, asparagus, oats, cucumber, ginger, pineapple, and yogurts containing probiotics ("good" bacteria) can help.
3.  Eat fiber to help clear your colon of any undigested foods and air. Foods like bananas that are high in potassium  have also been shown to beat bloat by causing your body to flush out the water.
4.  Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Sodium intake acts like a water retention magnet so you need to drink enough water to flush all of this from your system or your body will keep trying to save water reserves.
5.  Sweat it outWorking out not only helps burn calories away but you can sweat out unwanted water swelling. Before supermodel Heidi Klum gets in front of the camera she de-bloats with an Epsom salt-rich bath. Magnesium sulphate in the salts draw out the fluids from your body.


6. Plenty of Zzzzzz's. Sleeping raises growth hormone and reduces stress. Stress can increase cortisol levels in your body over time and cortisol inhibits sodium loss through the small intestines. Water will stay where the sodium is which often causes water retention. So focus on getting to bed early and letting your metabolism get in check to help your body recover from the overindulging. 

To learn more model's secrets to looking your best and taking your best photos check out my new book Face This: Real advice from real models, photographers and makeup artists on how to become Picture Perfect! Available for just $7.99 on Kindle, Nook and iTunes. Also as paperback from Amazon.com