Monday, December 29, 2008

Size and Beauty

Skinny-minnie Jennifer Anniston bared it all on the cover of GQ this month and dang girl!! It’s a given, Jen is hot. She has achieved our culture’s idea of the “perfect body” through a reported combination of yoga, cardio, and The Zone diet. But are teeny tiny size 2 bodies the only thing we consider sexy anymore? I certainly hope not, considering the average American woman sports a size 14. But apparently our small size=sexy mentality is affecting young girls. According to the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, 71% of girls with low self-esteem feel their appearance is not good enough. And since a girl’s self-esteem is more strongly related to how she feels about her body and weight, rather than how much she actually weighs, it’s crucial we embrace models and celebrities of all shapes and sizes. Take Whitney Thompson for instance. Miss Thompson, the gorgeous gal selected as the winner of America’s Next Top Model, is considered a plus size model, as she fluctuates between a size 8 and size 10. Sure, Whitney is still several sizes below the national average, but she does represent a much more normal, attainable image than do most other models. It really all boils down to this, beauty is not size. It doesn’t matter if you’re a size two or a size 14, beauty is confidence. Beauty is loving yourself and being the absolute best YOU that you can be. Need a little inspiration? Check out this book I found by Rosanne Olson called “This is Who I Am” --Beauty in all shapes and sizes. It’s a collection of photos of women and their “imperfect” bodies: rolls, scars, wrinkles, and all.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Healthy Little Salad? Think Again!

When you go out to dinner and order a salad, don’t you feel just a little bit like a saint? Ordering a salad means you have successfully resisted the “naughty” foods on the menu: hamburgers, fettuccini alfredo, pad thai, a nice big steak, or whatever tempting fare your restaurant of choice is dangling in front of you. Well, I hate to burst your bubble. But I just had my bubble burst and misery loves company. That salad you’re eating could be just as bad (or worse) as the big juicy burger you so courageously passed up. Check out this list of the Worst Salads in America (thanks to Men’s Health for doing the depressing research).

1.T.G.I. Friday’s Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad
1,360 calories
This little concoction isn’t the only bad guy on the salad menu at Friday’s. Six out of the seven salads analyzed contained more than 900 calories.
2. Quiznos’ Chicken with Honey Mustard Flatbread Salad
1,100 calories
Basically you could choose between this salad and five packages of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. I admit to eating one of these at the airport last month and getting extra honey mustard…never again! I’ll take the Reese’s next time I’m going to splurge, thank you very much!
3.Macaroni Grill’s Seared Sea Scallops Salad
1,320 calories
Who knew it was possible to make two of the healthiest foods, seafood and salad, and turn them into combination that is absolutely horrific for your waistline! In addition to all you’re the calories, you’re also getting an entire day’s worth of sodium, fat, and saturated fat.
4.Chili’s Caesar Salad w/ Grilled Chicken and Caesar Dressing
1,010 calories
Never trust a Caesar. Caesar salads typically bring along loads of fatty Caesar dressing, parmesan cheese, and buttery croutons. Turning your bed of lettuce into little more than a fat and calorie holder. Chili’s take on the classic Caesar is the worst though, it contains more fat than 12 Oreo ice cream sandwiches!
5.On the Border's Grande Taco Salad with Taco Beef and Smoked Chipolte Vinaigrette Dressing
1,680 calories
Introducing to you, the worst salad in America! Your first sign this salad is a disaster…it’s served in a deep-fried tortilla trough. But the choice is yours, will it be 40 strips of bacon or this salad? They have the same saturated fat content. Yikes!

So next time you’re looking to make the healthy choice, make sure your salad isn’t a big load of calories and fat in disguised as a salad. Minor substitutions can help tremendously: switch out a creamy dressing for a low-fat vinaigrette, swap fried or breaded chicken for grilled, and ditch calorie-dense toppings like cheese and croutons.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Squeaky Clean

As much time and effort as we ladies pour into our daily skin care line up (you know the drill: cleanse, exfoliate, tone, moisturize, eye cream, etc.) there’s one thing which even many of my makeup obsessed friends often forget…makeup hygiene. Hygiene, the word brings up memories of 7th grade health class, but it really is important to keeping you healthy, your beauty product arsenal clean, and your skin nice and clear!
Follow these clean commandments to keep your makeup case a happy place!
*Thou shall honor the shelf life of all beauty products.
-As a general rule, if it’s a cream (concealer, cream foundations, cream cleansers, etc.) ditch it after one year.
-Mascara, get rid of it after 4 months.
-Click here for a complete list of when to trash each of your get pretty products.
*Thou shall wash makeup brushes regularly.
-Regularly= brushes used to apply concealers, foundation, and creamy lip and eye products, should get a bath every day. Other brushes should be washed at least every two weeks.
-Get a professional brush cleanser from most any cosmetics or beauty supply store (I prefer a spray like Clinique’s makeup brush cleaner) or just use your facial cleanser.
*Thou shall promise to never share mascara. Ever. Even with your BFF.
-Eye infections are passed incredibly easily with eye makeup.
*Thou shall make sure your makeup artist is honoring your hygiene too.
-Artists should never blow on brushes (they might as well spit on them if they do this) or double-dip brushes into products, and they should always be using freshly cleaned brushes. Also, make sure they wipe off the top layer of any pressed powder with a tissue before brushing it onto your face.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Best Chest 2008

Life is full of tough decisions: What should I name my firstborn child? Which college should I go to? Which stocks should I invest in? Well here’s a decision that was REALLY FUN to agonize over…and you basically couldn’t go wrong. The big question…which male celeb has the “best chest?” 8 hotties were in the running, all super gorgeous stars like David Beckham. It was just announced that Mario Lopez took the cake for People Magazine’s “best chest of 2008” award.
Who did YOU vote for?

Maybe your man isn’t quite as perfectly sculpted as Beckham and Lopez (your secret is safe with me!) but what he should know is that even these chiseled dudes get help from sculpting body makeup, though I doubt they’d ever admit to it! To get a hot guy chest for a fun day at the beach, select a waterproof matte bronzer and highlighter. Using a brush and your bronzer, contour anywhere you want the appearance of definition (think bronzer goes where you want muscle to go “in” like in between and underneath the pectoral muscles). Then sweep the highlighter over the actual chest muscle where you want to create the appearance of volume (highlighter goes on areas you want to draw “out”). It takes about one minute, and wa la! Your guy looks like he’s been hitting the gym with his buddy Mario.

Trash it or stash it?

If only makeup were more like milk. Glance at the carton and the “throw it away or this is going to be a sour, nasty mess” label is as clear as can be. Cosmetics, for the most part, do not come with this expiration date convenience. But makeup DOES go bad. And while it may not grow little blue moldy spots like your cheddar, expired makeup is unhealthy for your skin and can potentially cause breakouts or infection.
When to toss it…
• It’s smelly!
• Oil Free Foundation-1 year
• Oil Based Foundation- 18 months
• Concealer: 1 year
• Powder: 2 years
• Blush or Bronzer: 2 years
• Cream Blush: 12-18 months
• Powder Eye Shadow: 2 years
• Cream Eye Shadow: 12-18 months
• Mascara: 4 months. Don’t pump the wand, it let’s air in and makes your mascara go bad much quicker.
• Liquid eyeliner: 3-6 months
• Pencil eyeliner: Sharpen often and toss after 2 years
• Lipstick: Between 1 and 4 years (Keep it in the refrigerator to really make it last!)
• Cream and Gel Cleansers: 1 year
• Lip gloss: 18-24 months
• Lip Liner: Up to 3 years
• Nail Polish: 1 years
• Sponges: Wash weekly and throw out monthly
• Natural cosmetics: most natural products go bad sooner that regular products, so check with the maker of your natural brand for expiration times!
**Here’s a little tip I remember watching my mom do as I was growing up… When you get a new tube of mascara, take a sharpie and write the date on the cap. That way you’ll always have a reference as to when to throw it out. Or, if you’re a Type A personality like me, start an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of the purchase and expiration dates of all your beauty products!

The Nitty Gritty of Food!

Food. It’s the holidays and it’s everywhere. But do you ever stop to consider whether the foods you’re eating are actually clean? I’ll confess, I used to think very little about my food before I ate it. Until a few weeks ago when I got disgustingly ill with food poisoning from a grilled chicken salad. I’ll spare you the details, but now, I try to at least think twice before chowing down. I found this eye-opening blog on AOL health which lists the 10 DIRTIEST foods.

The culprits? Many of them staples that we eat every single day: eggs are number one on the dirty list, followed by peaches, packaged salad mix, cantaloupe, scallions, and chicken. Maybe something that makes us think twice about what we’re putting in our mouths isn’t all that bad. After all, tis’ the season for an average of 5-10 pounds of holiday weight gain! To ward off the germs, make sure your box of eggs is crack and break free, wash all your fruits and veggies—even those that say they are pre-washed like salad mix in bags, buy free-range chicken and USDA Organic produce, and when cooking chicken take it directly from the bag to the pan to avoid contaminating your sink or countertop. All this germ talk got me thinking, what are the dirtiest makeup practices? Hmmmmm…..don’t worry, I’m on it! Check back tomorrow to find out the do’s and don’ts of makeup hygiene.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Recession Holiday Gifts

We came across the sweetest holiday gift for these challenging economic times. A friend of ours was giving handprints and footprints of her children to grandma along with the promise to give new prints the following year as well. It occurred to me that a unique, thoughtful and personal gift such as this can mean so much more to us women that that most expensive diamond in the store window. Take this holiday to spend some time and appreciate your family – the greatest of all our gifts.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Snow Goddess Glow!

Baby it’s cold outside!! But even if you’ve swapped your shoulder-baring summer dresses for Uggs and chunky sweaters, there’s no need to bundle up EVERY inch of your beautiful self. Katie Holmes shows us that when the snowflakes are falling, there’s almost nothing that says “snow goddess” more than a beautifully sculpted collar bone and glowing decollate. Get Katie’s subtly sexy look by sweeping a matte bronzer directly above and below the collar bone. Then, take a shimmering highlighter and brush it over the bone itself. Five seconds added to your beauty routine, but trust me, this sexy little trick is guaranteed to make your snowman melt!

For more enhancement techniques check out the Library of Secrets manual found inside the My Beautiful Breasts kit.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What to Wear!

Ever find yourself standing in front of your closet, thinking what in the WORLD am I going to wear? Whether it’s a first date, a Christmas party, or just another day at the office, we all have those “I have NOTHIING to wear” moments!! But can you imagine if the whole world was chattering about what you wore? Pressure!!

Welcome to the new life of soon to be First Lady, Michelle Obama.

While it’s a little annoying that the world often seems more focused on Mrs. O’s designer threads than the Harvard Law graduates’ thoughts, I’ll confess I too am a teensy bit excited to see what fabulous outfit our new number one lady will work come January 20th. Sketches and guesses like those pictured above (featured on WWD and are circulating the internet. But we want to know what look YOU think Michelle should rock on the big night?

Whatever Michelle chooses, and whatever your political beliefs are, I’m sure we can agree this lawyer-mom turned political icon is an inspiration to working moms everywhere.

And I’ll leave you with my favorite Michelle tid-bit…how did the first couple meet?

Michelle was bossing the President elect around…they met while she was his supervisor at the couple’s first job out of law school. Michelle is definitely an “It” girl!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It Gives Back!

Here at It Cosmetics we love nothing more than helping our clients feel good about the beautiful women (and men!) that they are. We get to do this on a daily basis. Whether it’s teaching a teenager how to apply makeup for the first time. Or showing a breast cancer patient how to balance out her cleavage after a mastectomy. In addition to helping these brave, breast cancer conquering women look their best, we also donate 10% of proceeds from our “My Beautiful Breasts” kit to a wonderful group…the Making Memories Foundation. Making Memories is like a Make-a-Wish Foundation for grown ups. It grants wishes to women facing late stage breast cancer. The organization gives each woman her heart’s desire, whether it’s a trip to Hawaii, the means to publish her own book, or just some extra money to cover medical bills. These lasting memories are cherished by each woman’s family, long after she is gone. Tis’ the season of giving, and here at It Cosmetics, we are thrilled to be giving to such a deserving cause. Check out these pictures of two Making Memories wish recipients as they live out their special memories: Karen, seen swimming with the dolphins with her family, and Adrianne, who chose a family vacation to Disneyland for her special memory. These valiant women remind us to cherish every special moment we are given!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It Cosmetics & Karina Smirnoff in People Magazine!

First of all, what kind words by Karina Smirnoff. When I first met Karina it was a casual by chance encounter in a clothing store in Los Angeles. She was in a sports bra on her way to rehearsal for Dancing With The Stars. I introduced myself and happened to have some products with me that I shared with her. Little did I know that she would eventually become a fan of the line and end up sharing it with other friends of hers both on and off of the show. Karina, thank you for your kind words. We feel so blessed you love It Cosmetics and Abs in a Box!

As a young company, receiving a placement in People Magazine is a huge honor but for me it was more personal than that. People is my mom’s favorite magazine and I have so many memories of it on her coffee table. When times were (and are) tough in the economy she cuts back on every magazine but People so when I was able to share this with her, she was so excited! Thanks for this moment People!