Friday, February 27, 2009

Thrifty Beauty

Looking to recession-proof your beauty routine? It’s all about getting the biggest bang for your buck and finding fabulous multi-tasking products. So, you thrifty beauty…here are some pointers to help your beauty budget:

Know when to go drugstore, when to go prestige.
When it comes to your skincare, we feel your pain. You’ve fallen in love with a particular face wash and although it costs a quarter of your paycheck each month, it’s worth it. Except you can’t pay your rent. Well, you may want to consider a drugstore alternative. There are many face washes that have similar ingredients to those that sell for much more.
For example, if you usually use Dermalogica’s Skin Clearing Wash for $35. Consider giving Biore’s Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser for just $5. Dermalogica’s wash has .5% salicylic acid and Biore’s has 2.0% salicylic acid. They key when switching from uber spendy to uber cheap is making sure key ingredients match up. This could take some research, but it has the potential to save you a lot!

Choose multi-tasking products
Another great way to save money…find one product to do twice the work. This takes creativity! For example, consider using the shades from you’re My Sculpted Face palette as eye shadows and even eyebrow powders! One palette of colors, three uses. Another idea is to use your eye shadows as eyeliners. Just take a thin eyeliner brush, dip it in water, then in your favorite shadow color and then use to line those beautiful eyes of yours.

Make anything creamy!
Want to try out cream eye shadows and cream blushes, but don’t want to shell out the cash? Invest in an ivory cream mousse eye shadow, then blend it with any of your favorite eye shadows or blushes to turn them into creams. The best part is the cream allows you to easily mix two shades…so instead of buying violet eye shadow, you could combine the neutral cream shadow, blue shadow, and pink blush. Have fun Miss Beauty Chemist!

Every last drop
Lipstick can be used up to 2 years, so as long as it doesn’t smell or look funny, go for it! When you get to the very bottom of your lipstick container, don’t toss it out. Instead, scrape it into a container for later. Take a Q-tip, remove the cotton from the end and use the little stick to scrape the remaining lipstick and store up for later.

Don’t pump!
Make the most of your mascara by being careful to avoid pumping any air into the container when using it. Air will cause your mascara to flake and dry out sooner. While mascara needs to be replaced every 3-6 months, you may want to consider two eyelash building tools that will allow you to use and therefore buy less mascara: an eyelash curler and a lash primer. By building your lashes up pre-mascara, you’ll need less product to achieve your look!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Put a Ring on It

Marko Jaric (Minnesota Timberwolves guard) took Beyonce’s advice. He liked it so he put a ring on it. “It” being the beautiful Adriana Lima’s supermodel ring finger of course. The super hot Hollywood couple eloped on Valentine’s Day. Rumors are swirling that the pairs rush to say “I do” will quickly be followed by Adriana saying “I’m pregnant.” While Adriana’s rep is denying the rumors, Adriana is quoted as saying “There are rumors of me pregnant. I just cannot say…YET.” Congrats to the happy couple…we’ll be watching to see if those washboard abs will change into a cute little baby bump.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Scoop on Foot Goop

Stick a white patch on the bottom of your foot before bed and through the night it will magically suck the toxins out of your body through the soles of your feet. Hmmmmmm……sound a little sketchy? It did to me too! But I’m the kind of gal fascinated with blackhead extractors, crazy colon cleanses, and ear wax candles, so anything that promises black goo being purged from my body is a must try! Asian foot patches, like the ones I bought called Kinoki, claim to “collect heavy metals, metabolic wastes, toxins, parasites, cellulite and more, giving you back your vitality and health.” My head knew this was just too good to be true, but I couldn’t resist. I bought the patches. And after using them I was thrilled! After all, I woke up every morning with a little patch full of black goo. A ha! It had worked! Then my logical self decided I better do some research before I started singing the praises of Chinese foot patches to everyone I know. Turns out, ignorance was bliss. 20/20 did an investigative report, taking used patches to a lab and testing them for the heavy metals, toxics, and parasites that the Kinoki makers claim their product removes. What’d they find? Nothing. No toxins, no impurities, just moisture from your feet. And to further prove they’re a scam, try dropping distilled water on the pads. Guess what happens. Yeah, they turn that disgusting gooey brown. So what’s the moral of the story? Well, first of all, don’t waste your 15 bucks on those foot patches. And, next time something sounds too good to be true, research before buying.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Diet Soda: Friend or Foe?

Watching your waist line? Chances are you’ve followed the advice of countless fitness and health magazines and switched from regular Coke to Diet. I know I have! So I am shocked, not to mention seriously annoyed, that researches continue to come up with more and more research showing that people who drink one or more soft drinks a day have a 31 percent greater risk of becoming obese! How can this be? It’s diet soda. Well, scientists aren’t sure, but they say one possibility is that since diet soda is sweet, you may develop a preference for sweet foods as well, which tend to be higher in calories. Also, on average, soda drinkers tend to eat more calories, consume more saturated fat, and exercise less. Another theory is that the substance that gives soda its caramel color promotes resistance to insulin, which is needed to process calories. Yikes! Unfortunately for many, including Victoria Beckham, Bill Clinton, and Elton John diet coke has become an addiction. Are you a diet soda junkie? Check out one woman’s blog on how she went from drinking 250 ounces of diet coke a day to 32. Maybe it will inspire you to quit your sweet little addiction!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Designer Duds on a Shoestring Budget

Bad economy affecting your plans for spring wardrobe expansion? We feel ya.
Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to shop like the Sex in the City gals, even if your paycheck is…well a little bit smaller.

Buffalo Exchange:
Buffalo Exchange is a trading post, vintage shop, and designer boutique all in one. You can bring in your new and gently used designer wear and they’ll buy it from you for cash, or store credit on the spot! Their inventory is constantly changing, so sometimes it’s a gold mine and other times, it’s just a used clothes store. Those phenomenal finds will be worth your time and shopping effort. Inventory includes designer wear, vintage, jeans, leather, basic, and one-of-a-kind accessories.
Click here to find a Buffalo Exchange near you.

Ebay isn’t just for books and beanie babies anymore! Search for “designer jeans” on Ebay and you’ll come up with 2,009 results. From True Religion to Rock n’ Republics, you’ll find a little bit of everything here. Be sure to check the seller’s rating so you know you are buying from a credible source. There are designer “fakes” occasionally, so really read about your purchase and the seller before you click bid. But if the bidding is right, you could walk away with a pair of designer jeans for less than $20!

Honest Mall:
An online marketplace for designer fashions. Honest Mall has moderators that monitor each listing like a hawk! So you don’t have to worry about the fakes or impostors. Communication between buyers is made easy since Honest Mall has the feel of a discussion board or social networking site. You do have to pay a $10/year membership fee to become a member, but if you are serious about finding great deals on designer wear, it might be worth it.
Honest Mall
So don't let all the doom and gloom surrounding the economy kill the fashionista in you! Good luck and happy bargain shopping!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day...Don't Be a Cliche!

It’s Valentine’s Day and chances you are pondering what to get your sweetie pie for the day of love. You run through the general standbys in your mind: A red velour covered box of chocolates. A teddy bear holding a heart. Or perhaps those red foil chocolate roses.
Don’t do it!!!
We know you’re more creative than Hallmark. Here are some ideas to get your romantic gift juices flowing:
1. The word love! One organization out of the UK allows you to adopt a word for one year . The highest bidder receives a personal dedication next to the word in a special edition of the Collins’ Dictionary and ‘ownership’ of the word for a year. Plus, proceeds go to a children’s charity.
2. For your hippie Valentine…forget the roses. Save the planet, give a tree! They’re bigger and they’ll last a lifetime longer than your standard pink and red flower bouquet. Sites like this one : make it easy to be green on this very red holiday.
3. Forget the boring chocolate. You’ll just feel guilty after eating it anyways. Instead, spring for a chocolate spa treatment! Perhaps a chocolate massage for two. Check it out:
4. A love story. No, not some trashy romance novel. A trashy romance novel personalized to include the names and characteristics of you and your darling!
5. There’s nothing sweeter than starting your Valentine’s Day off with breakfast in bed. But make it extra cute with a heart-shaped frying pan.
6. Finally, if you’re still not sure what you want to get your love dove, but you know it needs to be original, check out, a website that sells handmade gifts by independent designers.
Single? Don’t forget to get yourself a special valentine!! You’re worth it. Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lady Behind the Lips

We all know her for one of two main things: her absolutely incredible pout. And her equally incredible man. Okay so maybe we know her for her acting career and humanitarian works too, but what else is hiding behind the gorgeous face of the gal named Angelina?
Check out these interesting facts about the beauty icon:
1. Growing up, she wanted to be a mortician.
2. She is a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency.
3. Jolie means pretty in French.
4. She is a natural blond.
5. Angelina was one of the first actresses to win three consecutive Golden Globes in 3 different categories.
6. She has had about 19 tattoos, although she has covered some up.
7. Jolie has made and topped countless sexiest, most beautiful, hottest hottie, etc. lists. Shocking, I know!
8. She has said that she saves 1/3 of her income, lives on 1/3 of her income, and donates 1/3 to charity.
9. Angelina has 3 adopted children and 3 biological children.
10. Angelina had a pet lizard named Vladimir growing up.

Want to get the look of Angie’s amazing lips?? Place a white line directly above your upper lip and use a neutral line to line directly below your lower lip. Try the Lip Plumping Pencil in “Attract” and “Energy.”

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

When the boxes lie...

Healthy buzzwords are swarming around supermarkets everywhere! Words like: low sugar, whole-grain, and calcium infused are now covering the boxes of what we used to consider our guilty pleasures. But don’t let the wording fool you. After all, is a Whole-Grain Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pop-Tart a healthy pop-tart?! I think not! A pop-tart is a pop-tart. The whole grains do not cancel out the loads of vegetable oil and the seven types of sugar stuffed in the insides of that tasty little pastry. Dang it! But there are some healthy foods that claim to be healthy and actually follow through! Halleluiah! Check out this list of the best and worst “healthy” foods. Since figuring out what’s healthy and what’s not is more confusing than ever, be sure to read the nutrition panel on the side of each box next time you visit the nutritional battlefield we call the supermarket. Good luck and happy shopping!

Worst "Healthy" Pastry

Pop-Tarts Whole Grain Brown Sugar Cinnamon (2 pastries)
400 calories, 14 g fat (4 g saturated), 5 g fiber, 28 g sugars

Eat This Instead!
Sun-Maid Raisin English Muffins with Cinnamon

170 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 2 g fiber, 13 g sugars

Worst Frozen "Healthy" Entree
Healthy Choice Complete Selections Sweet & Sour Chicken (340 g)
430 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated), 600 mg sodium, 29 g sugars

Eat This Instead!
Kashi Southwest Style Chicken
240 calories, 5 g fat (0 g saturated), 680 mg sodium

Worst "Healthy" Yogurt
Yoplait 99% Fat Free Cherry Orchard
170 calories, 1.5 g fat (1 g saturated), 27 g sugars, 5 g protein
**There’s as much sugar in here as you’ll find in two scoops of Breyer’s All Natural Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.

Go Greek instead:
Oikos Organic Vanilla Greek Yogurt
110 calories, 0 g fat, 11 g sugars, 15 g protein

Worst "Healthy" Bread
Arnold Whole Grains Health Nut (2 slices, 86 g)
240 calories, g fat (0 g saturated), 4 g fiber

Eat This Instead!

Martin’s 100% Whole Wheat Potato Bread
(2 slices, 70 g), 140 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 8 g fiber

Worst "Healthy" Cereal

Quaker 100% Natural Granola, Oats, Honey & Raisins
420 calories, 12 g fat (7 g saturated), 6 g fiber, 30 g sugars
**For the record, granola, for all its reputation as a beacon of breakfast virtue, is one of the worst ways to start your day. Swap the Granola for Kashi GoLean every day this year and you’ll save 29 pounds!

Eat This Instead!

(1 cup): 140 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 10 g fiber, 6 g sugar

Monday, February 9, 2009

Congrats Karina!

Whenever Karina Smirnoff steps on the stage of Dancing with the Stars she rocks our Abs in a Box, Smokin’ Hot Legs, and My Beautiful Breasts kits. But now, she’s rockin’ in a whole different way….as in a huge ROCK on her ring finger!! It’s a true Hollywood love story. The lucky guy? Maksim Chmerkovskiy, a professional dancer and fellow member of the Dancing with the Stars cast. Karina, we love you and are so honored to have you as a fan of It Cosmetics. Congratulations on your engagement!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

An Ode to Makeup!

Oh, makeup, we do love thee! Whether it's just a little concealer to hide a blemish or some under eye circles, or a full face of makeup to glam up for a night out, makeup is a dear friend to most women. I love watching how a little makeup can play up a woman's features and a whole face of it can completely transform her any way she wants! A makeup-less face is a blank and beautiful canvas, but we admit to sometimes wishing we could just wake up our "most beautiful!" Like the celebrities do, right? Wrong! Check out these naked faces of some of our favorite celeb beauties (Kellie Pickler, Faith Hill, and Hilary Duff), along with their makeup transformations.