nigella-lawson-vogue-uk-april-cover-pictureNigella on the cover of UK Vogue bare faced and beautiful.

hayden-panettiere-tattoo-brides-magazine-cover-pictureHayden Panettiere, tattoos and all.

In an age of Photoshop frenzy, we can’t pick up a magazine without seeing a star airbrushed to the point of being unrecognizable. Why do editors feel the need to create these false images? Why do they want to promote this idea of perfection that only perpetuates depression among the millions of women who DON’T look anything like the images they see in magazines? They do it for exactly the same reason we do. Take a look at your Facebook or Instagram pages. Are these pictures true examples of you on a day-to-day basis or are they the glorified version of perfection that you hope to achieve? I am just as guilty. I post dozens of pictures of my son looking like this, a sweet and content baby boy.


When life with a 3-month-old looks more like this…


Now, as his mother, I find that BOTH pictures are equally adorable. How could I not!? Look at that little hand in the meltdown photo? And the line across the bridge of his nose? He’s perfect! But I don’t share those pictures as readily. I show the glossy ones. The ones that you send out in Christmas cards and birth announcements. But why do we live such Photoshopped lives? Why don’t we share the real pictures? Are we afraid of the truth? Are we afraid that people will judge, that they won’t be impressed? I applaud VOGUE UK and BRIDES Magazine for letting these women shine in all their untouched glory. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll start sharing some of the “real” photos from now on.

photo 3

Day One and Already in Love



Last night I used these wipes to take off my makeup and I LOVED them! I loved the smell because it was very fresh and very clean without smelling like a makeup remover or too perfume-like. The scent was absolutely perfect. The texture was soft with a few raised nubs to give you that deep cleaning feel. Another pet peeve I have about the cleansing towelettes is that they tend to either dry out quickly or be too wet. These Target Up & Up cloths were just right! (I feel a little like Goldilocks with this review but trust me, I’ve tried them all and this is by far my favorite). They were definitely on the low end when it comes to pricing (much cheaper than the name brand towelettes and twice as effective).

I bought the thirty pack and considering I only needed one towelette to remove all my makeup (typically I use at least two and I don’t even wear that much makeup) and that only added to my love of this product. So a BIG thanks to Organized Jen for turning me onto these great towelettes! I will definitely be purchasing these again!


The Daily Moxie Box reviews Birchbox

Welcome to our new on-going feature: The Daily Moxie Box. Monthly subscription boxes seem to be all the rage right now. So we’ve decided to take some of the guess work out of your purchasing decision and help you decide which boxes are worth the monthly fee. We will review some of the top boxes out there, post pics and give you an idea of  what you get in each box. Are some of them worth the monthly fees, which range anywhere from $15 to $50 dollars a month, or are you better off going to a department store and getting free samples on your own? Let us break it down for you!


Our first box is the one that seemed to start it all Birchbox!

When Birchbox first came out, the samples were incredible. A great size, unusual variety and different boxes for different people. Lately the Daily Moxie ladies have been a little underwhelmed with the samples. (Are we getting bigger or are the samples getting smaller?)

Here’s a look at July’s box:


Here’s a list of what you get:

b.right Moisturizing Collection by Benefit Cosmetics (full-size $30-40)

Curly Keeper by Curly Hair Solutions by Jonathan Torch (full-size $10)

CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40 by purminerals (full-size $38)

Ceramidin Cream by Dr. Jart (full-size $48)

Birchbox Exclusive Colorfully patterned Bobby Pins – set of six ($5)

You also get a card that gives you the chance at getting a deluxe mini whenever you purchase a full size Benefit product or spend 25+ at the Birchbox Bonus shop.

Our thoughts:

While we’ve seen better boxes from Birchbox, we will stick with them a while longer. Some of the more jam-packed boxes make up for the slightly sparse ones. They’ve introduced us to lots of products we’ve never heard of (Hello, Jouer!) and they always have a whimsical flair to the packaging. Another bonus is if you leave a review on the Birchbox website about the samples you’ve received, you can rack up a bunch of points towards your next purchase. And you can’t go wrong at 15 bucks a month.


Moxie Box Grade: B (for Birchbox)

Stay tuned for more subscription box reviews at our newest feature: The Daily Moxie Box!

Lush for Summer

BeachBoxPostcard2Okay, so I haven’t made it over to the LUSH store yet and now I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner because how cute is this Beach Box? I only discovered it after visiting the Lush website. God knows I love a gift basket because of all the goodies you get to discover. This box gives me that same feeling! They are all “Beach” related which I adore!

Here’s the description of what comes in this box directly from the website.

Ocean Salt face and body scrub sets skin aglow with a mix of salt grains. These blast away layers of skin, like waves crashing across shore. Your skin is awakened with vodka-infused citrus juices; this is a cocktail that’s actually good for your skin!  An added dash of seaweed absolute, an essential oil extracted from – you guessed it, seaweed! The pure absolute is a valuable boost of minerals and vitamins for freshly emerging skin.

For all-over sudsy lather, hang ten with Sea Vegetable soap for your body. It’s like washing in a cresting wave, carrying a salty, kelp-laced froth to renew and drench skin in minerals. Lime and lavender essential oils dance in the surf too, and leave a gentle perfume across the skin so you won’t smell like an old buoy! Imagine if Venus changed her half-shell into an outdoor shower… this is what the scent-sation would be.

Hair gets added lift-off from the salt texturizing Seanik shampoo bar, a life-preserver for beachy hair. It also offers a nice dose of minerals for sun-drenched scalps! Nori bits mingle with a rich marine emulsion of Irish Moss seaweed. Doubling up on seaweed means added conditioning in the lather, root to tip.

For even more of a boost, or just mermaid-hair in look, feel and scent (another potent Siren’s call), spritz your locks with Sea Spray, which does double duty as a perfume as well as styling hair mist. Sea Spray offers hold, mixed into a lovely seawater and seaweed emulsion – so it’s a hair spray that offers a TON of minerals to your style, too.

And while prevention is always the best cure for sunburns, (really, all sorts of summer skin and hair needs), it never hurts to have Dream Cream around!  Relief comes in basking skin in our time-tested mix of essential oils (lavender, rose, chamomile, tea tree) mixed into inflammation-calming oatmilk.  Oatmilk is one of the most calming and basic of skin ingredients for times like these, and each pot contains a whopping helping of this cozy porridge for suffering skin.

No matter where you live, or what seashore (even imaginary) you enjoy, a LUSH Beach Box is the perfect summer fling to enjoy now. When you’re done, it stashes other summer essentials or memories of your sand-swept escapades. We’re sure there are many crafty uses you’ll come up with!  

Get it while it’s here – before the wave of Summer 2013 carries your chance out to sea! 

This seems like a lot of product for $30! And even though this sounds like a commercial for Lush, I am in no way being paid for this endorsement. I haven’t even tried their products yet, so who  knows, I may not love Lush the way I think I will.


Daily Summer Skincare Routine


During the hot summer days, I like to switch up my skincare routine and make things a little more oily/breakout focused. Summer is hot and sticky and I think your cleansing routine should help you battle these elements. Lately I am loving three products from Dermalogica. The special cleansing gel, multi-active toner and active moist moisturizer. I first read about them in Maria Menounos’ book, The Everygirl’s Guide to Life. Apparently Maria is a huge fan of the Dermalogica line of products and her skin always looks great!
multi-active-toner_7-01_590x617 active-moist_14-02_590x617I’m going to give these products a few weeks of testing and see if they meet (or exceed) my expectations. I will keep you posted.




UK200005089_CAUDALIEYesterday I wrote about my desire to test out LUSH products, most specifically the Buffy Body Butter. Well, today I am kind of crushing on the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. The website says that it is “inspired by the “elixir of youth” used by Queen Isabelle of Hungary and that it smoothes features, tightens pores and gives a burst of radiance to the complexion. Ideal for those who’d like a burst of radiance and a vibrant complexion resulting in an instant refreshing sensation. Perfect for smokers and for men after shaving.”

I know from frequent consultations at my local Sephora that Caudalie is a very natural skincare line that prides itself on being sensitive to skin and very effective. I am adding this to my list of products to splurge on in the very near future.



I have never tried any LUSH products. Every time I walk by the store at my local mall, I am enamored by the scents swirling from within its walls but I have never made a purchase. I’ve read about these products on many websites and the devoted following should be enough to convince me but I worry about skin sensitivity because the products are so fragrant. I worry they will stir up a reaction in my skin. But I have to say I’m very tempted to make the leap and try out one of their products. The Buffy Body Butter is looking particularly intriguing and I am very close to making it mine!

9999902127Here’s the description straight from the LUSH website.

Massage our Buffy body butter all over your wet skin in the bath or shower to make you softer and smooth to the touch, paying special attention to your backside. We add ground rice, almonds and beans to Buffy to act as exfoliants; the rough textures eliminate lumps and bumps and sloughs away dry skin cells to reveal brighter, fresher looking skin. Rinse off the exfoliating bits and pat yourself dry. There’s no need for body lotion after a Buffy slaying session, because the cocoa and shea butters keep your skin beautifully smooth, moisturized and soft to the touch.

So what do you think? Should I give it a shot? Has anyone had any reactions to the LUSH products?  Let me know.


Breakouts Be Gone!

The summer heat can often bring out the worst in your skin. Sunburns lead to peeling, flaking cheeks, noses and foreheads. The wrong kind of sunblock can clog your pores. Chlorine and salt water and UV rays dry out your skin. But the heat also makes your skin oilier. All of these put together is a perfect storm for pimples. If you haven’t been exfoliating and cleansing your skin as you should (salicylic cleansers are a MUST this season), those pesky pimples will start to rear their ugly heads.

Here are some quick fix, must-have, go-to solutions that should be in every girl’s beauty arsenal.

Mario Badesku Drying Lotion


Cost: $17

This is the holy grail of all pimple healing solutions. It is world-famous. And at only $17, it should be in everyone’s beauty kit. DON’T shake before you use. We learned this from the experts themselves. Simply place a Q-tip into the bottle so that pink sediment gloms onto the cotton tip and then slowly bring it to the top, allowing the medicine to attach to the entire Q-tip (we don’t know how it works, it just does!)

From their website

The Drying Lotion is a fast acting, effective acne spot treatment. Formulated with salicylic acid, calamine and other quick-drying ingredients, this product will shrink ugly whiteheads virtually overnight while you sleep. While other acne spot treatments can irritate and dry delicate or sensitive skin, this product is safe and effective for all skin types. 

HOW TO USE: Before bed, after cleansing, toning and moisturizing apply a dab of lotion directly on the whitehead using a cotton swab. Do not rub in. Let it dry and rinse off in the morning. DO NOT shake the bottle and apply only the pink sediment on the skin.

BEAUTY TIP: Great for back acne and breakouts on the chest. The Drying Lotion will also take the itch out of mosquito bites fast!

Isopropyl Alcohol,Deionized Water (Aqua), CalamineCamphorColloidal SulfurSalicylic Acid,Glycerine, Zinc OxideTitanium DioxideTalc


Sonya Dakar Drying Potion


Cost: $25

This cobalt blue bottle is another must-have for your beauty stash. We like to use this and Mario’s Drying Lotion interchangeably. The potion goes on cool and white and you can almost feel the solution drying out that pesky pimple the moment it starts tingling on your skin. So what if you go to bed with pink and white spots all over your face. By morning, your pimple will be banished and you will be a beauty once again.

From their site:

Recognized by many as ‘Hollywood’s secret weapon’, this emergency solution helps treat and eliminate breakouts both above and below the skin’s surface. Formulated with Dead Sea sulfur to reduce redness and puffiness; pure lavender and chamomile to calm breakouts, sage to disinfect and peppermint to stimulate blood circulation to promote speedy healing.

• Perfect for both face and body breakouts
• Great for regular breakouts or last minute pop-ups
• Overnight solution for breakouts
• Dead Sea Sulfur
• Lavender & Chamomile Extracts
• Sage & Peppermint Extracts
Shake well and dot directly on blemish.
Although Drying Potion is a great spot treatment for those annoying occasional breakouts, we suggest that you include a Sonya Dakar skin product regimen for a comprehensive solution for your acne.

Juice Beauty Blemish Be Gone

Cost: $15

We like this easy, roll-on blemish solution because it’s part of a whole blemish clearing system. Plus it’s made from all natural goodies like organic apples and raw sugar and willow bark. It just makes you feel like you are feeding your face. Plus the aloe and Vitamin C helps reduce any darkening or scarring that the beastly breakouts may cause.

From the site:


Improve your skin’s texture and treat those problem areas anytime and anywhere. This on the go spot treatment contains a powerful hydroxy acid complex with certified organic apple, lemon and raw cane sugar blended with white willowbark and Co Q10 for a fresh and radiant complexion.


A powerful hydroxy acid complex of certified organic apple, lemon and willow bark unclogs pores, reduces breakouts and lightens scars while organic aloe, coenzyme Q10 and fat-soluble vitamin C renew the skin.

Burt’s Bees Herbal Blemish Stick

Cost: $8

We always like to include one easy, low-cost alternative to our readers. And Burt’s Bees Herbal Blemish Stick is just that. Plus, you don’t have to run out to the mall to grab it. It’s available at most drugstores or supermarkets. Plus it has tea tree oil, the pimple’s greatest enemy. Simply roll it on and go. It may sting a bit and has that tea tree oil smell (you either love it or hate it), but it works, it’s easy and it’s cheap. Who can say no to that?

From the site:

So long blemishes. Nature has a fix. Our all-natural blemish stick contains 10 effective herbal ingredients including Tea Tree and Juniper Oils, known for their antiseptic and astringent qualities. It also has Willow Bark, which clarifies and gently exfoliates your skin to decongest pores and help prevent annoying breakouts. So your skin will be clear and you’ll be smiling ear to ear.

• Contains 10 effective herbal ingredients
• Has Tea Tree and Juniper Oil known for their antiseptic and astringent qualities
• Clarifies and exfoliates skin gently and effectively with Willow Bark



What’s the Appeal of At-Home Peels?

Gone are the days when you had to book a visit to your dermatologist or aesthetician to get a chemical peel. While peels are still a popular choice at salons across the country, they are pricey (ranging anywhere from $500 to $2000), sometimes painful and require multiple visits to help improve skin tone. Peels typically include alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid), beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid) or lactic acids.  For the most benefits to repair sun damage, reduce acne scarring and even out skin tone, repeated chemical treatments are required. Here are some at-home solutions that are easier on the checkbook, require minimal to no down-time for recovery and can be squeezed into your busy schedule (or between professional visits).


dr. brandt laser a-peel system:


We tried this and found it to be an effective peel without being too strong on the skin.  It tingles, which lets you know it is working. The second lotion (soothing gel) didn’t seem necessary, but it was included in the package so we used it. A regular moisturizer for sensitive skin might work just as well.

From Dr. Brandt website:

cost: $75

Peel away dead skin cells to reveal a radiant complexion.

This two-step peeling system, now repackaged in a convenient dual-chamber container, removes dead layers of cells on skin’s surface to re-texturize, refine pores, and reveal smooth, radiant skin just like an in-office chemical peel.

What it is formulated to do:

dr. brandt® laser a-peel® system is formulated to mimic in-office procedures that tighten pores, improve elasticity, and reveal skin radiance. This innovative duo is formulated with lactic and glycolic acids, and proprietary QuSome™ delivery technology to bring you high-impact results in minimal time.

  • exfoliates & reveals radiance
  • refines and smoothes skin’s texture
  • tightens pores & helps firm skin
  • improves elasticity

After 6 weeks of treatment*:

  • 69% reported improvement in skin radiance/glow
  • 80% reported improvement in the overall appearance/texture of the skin

*Clinical study conducted on 35 women 35-59 years


REN Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask


After 10 minutes, this tingly mask has a delightful fruity scent was a tad sticky, but seemed to deliver the results. After using for a few weeks, there was some discoloration reduction and an overall “clean” look. The fact that it is all-natural is a big plus!

From website:

Cost: $55

What it is:
A potent bioactive complex that reduces fine lines and dramatically improves tone, firmness, and radiance.

What it is formulated to do:
This treatment safely and effectively resurfaces the skin, without causing irritation. Its four-fruit-acid-complex (lactic, glycolic, tartaric and citric) and papain enzyme create a gentle-yet-potent exfoliating action that leaves skin glowing and healthy.


Kinara Red Carpet Facial Kit


We added this kit despite the fact that it’s a whole system (not just a chemical peel) because we’ve heard the results are the best around.  Not a cheap peel, by any means, but if it keeps Hollywood stars looking their best on the red carpet, perhaps it’s worth the big price tag. If you can’t make it out to Hollywood to go to the Kinara Spa, you can get the next best thing by using their Red Carpet Facial. We are putting this on our “must-have” list.

From their website:

Cost: $145

The exclusive Red Carpet Facial gained fame at Kinara Skin Care Clinic as the secret weapon of stars requiring immediate, highly-visible results for their highest-visibility events. The Red Carpet Facial Kit was designed to create the same results-driven facial treatment at home and on-demand. The only side effect is loving how you look!

Close-up ready skin in 3 simple steps:

  • Peel: Turn over skin cells to reveal refined, brighter and hydrated skin with Lactic and Malic Acids.
  • Neutralize: Revitalize dull, tired skin with a deep cleansing effervescent sensation via Argeninge and Sodium Bicarbonate.
  • Mask: Hydrate, soote, plump and oxygenate with Lysate extract, Pikea Robusta and Mineral Complex.

All easily applied with a treatment bowl and brush (included).


Exfoliates, hydrates, diminishes appearance of lines and large pores.

Long-Term Benefits:

  • Improves skin elasticity and firmness.
  • Ensures radiant and clear skin while improving texture and pore size.
  • Controls breakouts and acne.

Warning: Results can be addictive.


Philosophy: The Microdelivery Peel


This a great peel system that really wakes up your skin.  It reduces brown spots and helps even out skin tone. Vitamin C /peptide crystals are a great addition to the Lactic/Salycilic acid peel and complement the peeling process nicely. A great exfoliating peel at a great price.

From their website:

Cost: $40-$68

What it is:
A two-step, exfoliating, skin makeover.

What it is formulated to do:
The Microdelivery Peel Kit not only exfoliates the skin, it delivers vitamin C and peptides to the skin. This completely new approach to skin rejuvenation resurfaces and replenishes the skin at the same time.

features & benefits

  • smoothes and resurfaces rough texture
  • helps minimize the look of fine lines
  • helps brighten and even skin tone

What else you need to know:
Kit includes a 2 oz The Microdelivery Peel, Lactic/Salicylic Activating Gel and a 2 oz Vitamin C/Peptide Resurfacing Crystals.


  • Coming up: We will do a follow-up with “Peels in a Pad” — several companies are offering an even easier way to deliver their peels in portable, easy-to-use pads.  We’ll let you know which pads work best.


Fight Summer Frizz

Not all of us get beachy curls at the first hint of summer heat (we’d venture to say that there are very few out there who do). So how do you tame your frizzy locks when humidity hits? Here are some great tried and true products we turn to when the heat rises.

While we all know that healthy, summer hair needs to be protected by the harsh elements of too much sun, chlorine and the constant strain of being pulled into ponytails, these solutions are strictly for fighting frizz.  Keeping your hair moisturized, conditioned, covered with a hat when possible and using chlorine-removing shampoos are all important to keep your strands bouncy and full of life. But when your hair is growing fuller and frizzier by the minute, here are some solutions to return to sleek.

Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Relaxing Balm

Visit the Paul Mitchell website here:



Smoothes and controls hair.

Helps hair dry faster, fights frizz and delivers incredible memory.

Leaves even the most rebellious locks shiny and manageable.

  • Our exclusive Super Skinny® Complex displaces water and constricts hair to speed up drying and styling.
  • Wheat and vegetable proteins combined with conditioning ingredients moisturize hair from within.
  • A unique, humidity-resistant ingredient provides memory that lasts in any weather.



Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel

(Cost: $22 for 8.5 ounce, $52 for 24 ounce, $66 for 33.8 ounce)

To keep our curls sleek or tame our stubborn waves under the summer sun, we turn to this award-winning, beauty expert recommended gel again and again. Just a small amount will make your hair smooth and shiny. Plus it adds an extra level of protection from heat irons and blow dryers. Learn more from the info found on their website:

A “smart” gel, formulated with heat-activated wheat protein that breathes in humidity, protects the hair shaft and prevents hair from expanding. Its water-soluble formula of amino acids and vitamin A nourish and hydrate hair, leaving it soft, manageable and full of shine without any buildup. Even the most unruly curls are rendered calm, cool, and collected with style that will last and last. Also works as great protection against blow-dryer heat when a straight style is preferred.


No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream by Living Proof

They have a complete No Frizz System that is comprised of a shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, styling spray and nourishing styling cream. This is our go-to cream to de-poof hair and seal out the humidity.  Use this
Here is what they have to say about their No Frizz System on the Living Proof website:

Meet our miracle molecule, OFPMA. It does what oils and silicones can’t:

  • eliminates frizz by blocking humidity
  • smooths without weighing hair down
  • repels dirt to keep hair cleaner, longer

OFPMA does this by creating an exquisitely thin shield around each hair strand. The optimum shield is built and established over the first fives uses. With each use its frizz-fighting powers only get better — meaning it becomes stronger over time. Hair is smooth, soft, shiny, with lightweight, long lasting humidity protection for days. Whatever your style, welcome to the 1st day of your frizz-free life.

Eliminates frizz by blocking humidity. Weightlessly smoothes, conditions and tames frizzy, unmanageable hair. Free of silicones and heavy oils.

  • stops frizz. period.
  • weightlessly blocks humidity
  • smooths & conditions
  • no silicone or oils





Must-Have Sunscreens for Summer!

Stop sun damage before it starts. The most important part of everyone’s skincare routine should be what goes on BEFORE your makeup. Every day. Summer, Winter, Fall and Spring. But Summer is the most important time to bring the SPF.

Here are some lightweight, clean-feeling, non-comediogenic sunscreens that not only protect your skin from the sun, but have some extra benefits (vitamins, antioxidants, collagen builders and other goodies) for your skin.


Murad Essential C

MURAD Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30

Cost: $60

Essential-C is a lightweight, citrus-scented moisturizer that is part of MURAD’s Sun Undone series. Vitamin C is important to help break down melanin in your skin and build collagen. This is our go-to moisturizer for daytime and makes adding sunscreen to our daily routine much easier.

Here is some more details about the sunscreen from Murad’s website:

Increased Vitamin C power and SPF in Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30 provide powerful protection against environmental damage. Next generation Vitamin C and the patented Skin Repair System improve radiance, firmness and elasticity.

Additional features and ingredients:

  • Phospholipids and conditioners provide optimal hydration
    for environmentally stressed skin
  • Ectoin preserves hydration to optimize skin’s appearance and
    barrier function by reducing transepidermal water loss

LA MER The SPF 30 UV Protecting Fluid

Cost: $70

La Mer never fails to add a littler luxury to every day life.  Created with La Mer’s patented “Miracle Broth,” this SPF Protecting Fluid not only heals the skin from the inside out, but protects from outside elements. With a silky, lightweight feel, a heavenly smell and a matte finish, this sunscreen will not irritate skin or cause breakouts. Light enough to be a primer, it moisturizes, protects and makes your skin glow. An extravagant purchase that is worth the price. (Also available in a 3 tinted shades with SPF 18.)

Here’s some info from the La Mer website:

A treatment that is light years ahead of its time.

Ideal for all skin types, this weightless, high-powered fluid keeps skin soft, comfortable and hydrated as it helps protect skin against UVA/UVB rays and prevent the appearance of discolorations. Transparent on skin, it gives skin a radiant glow and is ideal as a makeup primer.

LUZERN Laboratories La Defense SPF 30

Cost: $45

This lightweight, non-greasy, organic sunscreen is great to wear under make-up. Because it is all-natural, it will not cause you to break out. And it has the all-important Zinc Oxide (a must for sunscreens), but has the bonus of rice peptides, minerals, green tea and beta-carotene — all without preservatives, synthetics, petrochemicals, sulfates and parabens. Not only does it protect your skin from the sun, but it gets to work on your skin, delivering wrinkle  busting minerals all while neutralizing pollution & ozone generated free radicals. Great for sensitive skin!

Here is some more information about this organic sunscreen from the Luzern website:

FIVE STAR UVA Protection + MMP Inhibitors

Shield your skin from UV-light, pollution and free radicals with 100% micronized, microdispersed mineral filters. Our powerful new peptide technology prevents the sun-induced breakdown of the collagen matrix – known as matrix metalloprotease (MMP) – one of the primary causes in the development of lines and wrinkles. This lightweight, transparent formula minimizes signs of premature aging and the formation of dark spots. Suitable for even the most delicate skin. So gentle it can be used to protect the delicate eye area and skin after aesthetic/clinical procedures. FORMULATED WITHOUT: – Preservatives – Parabens – Sulfates – Propylene Glycol – Synthetic Fragrances – Synthetic Dyes – Petro-Chemicals – Phthalates

Key Benefits:

o Anti-UVA/UVB protection helps delay early skin aging such as wrinkle formation, reduced elasticity, skin dryness and age spots
o 5 STAR UVA Rated – to block the #1 cause of wrinkles: UVA light
o Anti-MMP (sun-induced collagen damage)
o Potent antioxidant, anti-pollution and strong anti-inflammatory
o For all skin types, including sensitive or rosacea-prone skin.

Key Ingredients:

o Zinc Oxide provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB/UVC protection
o Advanced Rice Peptides prevent MMP (UV-light breakdown of the collagen matrix), one of the primary causes in the development of lines and wrinkles
o Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Green Tea and Beta-Carotene neutralize pollution & ozone generated free radicals

A BONUS budget friendly pick:

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sun Protection SPF 55

Cost: $11.99

For an inexpensive sunscreen that does the job and keeps your skin protected and break-out free, buy a few of these bottles to throw in your purse, your car, your beach bag, so you never are without SPF protection.  Make sure to shake prior to using and smother your skin in this ultra light, very high SPF sunscreen.  Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sun Protection is a great sunblock at an even better price.
Ultra Sheer Liquid Daily Sun Protection layers invisibly under makeup while delivering powerful sun protection. This water-light formula spreads easily over skin and absorbs instantly for a weightless feel. With its breakthrough lightweight liquid formula and even, matte finish, it’s the perfect complement to your daily makeup routine. It can be used alone, over moisturizer or under foundation. 

  • Helioplex® Broad Spectrum UVA-UVB SPF 55 protection
  • Waterproof, sweatproof
  • Non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores)
  • Oil-free, PABA free

Best Sun Spot Solutions

It’s that time of year again to get out the sunblock, the floppy hats and guard against damaging UV rays. But what do you do if the sun spots have already taken their toll? Here are some of our favorite remedies for reducing hyperpigmentation, sunspots or melasma.

Kiehl’s has a lightweight, super powerful, fast-acting serum that seems to be quite effective in reducing in breaking about the melanin that causes sunspots. Here is some information from Kiehl’s website:
Clearly Corrective DARK SPOT SOLUTION ($49.50) is a fast-acting serum that evens skin tone and diminishes dark spots to impart overall radiance and luminosity to the skin:

• In as little as 2 weeks, 55% of women clinically demonstrated a significant reduction in dark spot intensity.

• In 4 weeks, 69% of women clinically demonstrated a continued reduction in dark spots intensity and 73% of women showed a significant reduction in acne scarring.  Reduction in other skin discolorations was clinically evident among 69% of women.

• In 8 weeks, 87% of women clinically demonstrated more uniform skin tone to deliver breakthrough clarity.

• With continued daily usage, Clearly Corrective helps to prevent the formation of future dark spots and other skin discolorations.

SHISEIDO WHITE LUCENT Intensive Spot Targeting Serum (Cost $125 for 30 ml., $170 for 50 ml.)

Shiseido’s WHITE LUCENT line promises fading of dark spots in 10 days! The serum has a light scent, goes on smooth and disappears into your skin effortlessly. We have noticed a slight reduction in dark spots but are wondering if you need to use the whole line to get significant results, not just the serum? Here are some details from Shiseido’s site:

A super brightening serum created to diminish stubborn dark spots in 10 days and prevent future pigmentation from appearing. Formulated with smoothing and re-texturizing ingredients to enhance clarity and radiance for flawless, perfectly even-toned skin.

  • Developed with advanced Shiseido Multi-Action Brightening System+, targeting all types of hyper-pigmentation and their causes: dark spots, age spots, acne scars and uneven skin tones.

Contains ME Complex (Yomogi Extract and Angelica Root Extract) to accelerate cell turnover and diminish and eliminate melanin pigment.

NIA 24 Skin Strengthening Complex (cost $85.00)

NIA 24 has been getting a lot of buzz ever since Courtney Cox and Dr. Oz mentioned using the line. This niacin powered product is part of a line that is designed to improve severely sun-damaged skin. Make sure you ask for a sample to see if you have an allergic reaction because some people have mentioned sensitivity. We tested it and the results have been positive. It’s worth it to splurge on NIA’s sunblock which has the same lightening abilities paired with UVA/UVB protection. A MUST to keep your skin smooth and clear!

Here is some information on NIA 24 Skin Strengthening Complex:

Neither heavy nor too light, this fortified cream visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by enhancing the skin’s barrier function, accelerating repair and delivering continual moisturization.


  • Continuous, deep delivery of Pro-Niacin™ strengthens the skin barrier.
  • Pro-Niacin™ is clinically shown to visibly improve skin tone, texture and hyperpigmentation.
  • Vitamin A helps to improve elasticity and skin texture.
  • Antioxidants Green Tea and Rosemary restore and protect skin.
  • Ceramides reinforce the skin barrier to maximize the moisture-holding capacity for smoother, firmer skin.
  • Evening Primrose and Wheat Germ oils deliver moisture.

Dermaxyl™ Peptide Complex visibly eases deeper wrinkles and expression lines.



Summer Wedding Season

First wedding of the season and it was a torrential downpour! This photo is completely misleading because it was pouring BUCKETS while these shots were being snapped. I have no idea why it looks so bright and beautiful but we made the best of it and tackled the unpredictable New England weather like champions. My naturally curly hair stayed sleek and straight thanks to a few miracle products (Living Proof’s No Frizz and KMS Flat Out).

Dress Calvin Klein, Silver Bracelet, Shoes BCBG

The wedding was held at the Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge, MA. This was the first time I had ever been to this particular venue and it was gorgeous. It was a good size wedding and the function room felt comfortable and elegant.

I also loved the simplicity of the centerpieces with the simple pink candles scattered across the table.

…and of course, the bride was stunning!


SIDE NOTE: The salad was delicious! It was a goat cheese and raspberry salad with a balsamic vinaigrette. I have never had raspberries on a salad, nor have I ever tried goat cheese (shocking!) and I was so pleasantly surprised by both.

Do you ever discover new things and wonder how you missed out on them in the first place? What new things have you discovered that you now can’t live without?


Have a wonderful weekend

JCrew Summer Straw Hat

Love this hat. Might have to pick one up at JCrew ASAP. Especially after all the news about the safety of sunblocks. Just FYI, here’s a list of the safest blocks out there.


I keep hearing great things about MAC and I can’t believe I don’t own a stitch of MAC makeup?! It is probably the number one makeup product talked about and blogged about and I think it’s time that I jump on the MAC bandwagon!

Here are the products that may be coming home with me in the very, very near future.


MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer


MAC lipstick in Angel


MAC Technakohl eyeliner

MACwipesMAC makeup remover wipes



As a curly-haired girl, I am so used to seeing the shiny, sleek, straight hair flowing down the runways and across the pages in my favorite magazines. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to see the designer Tibi use models with flowing curls to strut their stuff down her runway!


Also, on a side note, as someone who has spent a lifetime (31 years) trying to master the fine art of curl maintenance, I think I may have finally found the solution! OUIDAD!! Oh my goodness, these products really work! I personally love the leave-in conditioner and the climate control gel. I haven’t tried the other products yet but I will let you know if I like them as much as these two gems!

Flawed and Fearless


Last night my sister M called from a hotel in Maine. She’s there for a photo shoot for a profile in Glamour. After detailing the less than glamorous journey she experienced in getting to this tiny town in Maine, she told me about her fascinating travel companion, a famous makeup artist. When my sister started asking the makeup artist questions about the application of makeup and how best to cover up a few imperfections on her face, the makeup artist looked at my sisters’ face and immediately said, “Why did you point them out to me? I would have never noticed them if you hadn’t pointed them out. Never draw people’s attention to your flaws, only accentuate the areas you love.”

Talk about a life lesson when you least expect it?! How many of us point out our flaws, hoping to beat people to the punch. Let others know that we are aware of the areas we need to work on. But why? What does this do for us except accentuate the things we dislike and, as the makeup artist explained, draw others’ eyes immediately to our flaws.

This leads to the larger issue. Why are we so critical of what we see in the mirror? Why do we have to issue judgments, label things as imperfections, get frustrated by our own appearance? Why can’t we be more accepting and appreciative of the face that stares back at us? The face that has laughed and smiled, cried and comforted. Our scars and lines are maps of our journey, a life fully lived and deeply felt. We need to throw away our ideas of perfection and take a good long look in the mirror…and smile! This is the only life we’ve got and this is the only face/hair/eyes/body we’ve got so I say accentuate the positive and ignore the negative and live your life to the fullest…flaws and all!

On a side note: What I love about blogging and what I have learned from other extraordinary bloggers out there, is that by giving yourself a schedule to adhere to (a post/essay a day) forces you to find the questions, the life lessons, the pearls of wisdom in the common every day occurrences. You really begin looking for the bigger questions in the small details of life.  You truly live the examined life and it makes everything that much sweeter. So thank you to all of the women who inspire me daily!

Jessica Simpson’s The Price of Beauty


Last night was the premiere of Jessica Simpson’s THE PRICE OF BEAUTY. The show will air weekly on Mondays on VH1 and costars her hairstylist, Ken Paves, and her best friend, CaCee Cobb. The show is supposed to document the impossible standards of beauty that all countries seem to subscribe. The first episode focused on Thailand but the first fifteen minutes of the show revolved around Jessica’s own paparazzi-stalked life and the critical lens that catapulted her to the covers of every gossip magazine in town. Mom jeans, need I say more?

The show is not a strict documentary. It also isn’t the Newlyweds. It’s an amalgam of the two. Jessica is her typical ditsy self, embarrassing herself by getting the giggles during her meditation with a Buddhist monk. She and CaCee also react a little over the top when forcing themselves to eat some sort of fried bug. The show can make you feel a little bit like you are watching two pampered sorority girls make fun of different cultures, but at the same time it will open your eyes to the traditions and cultures that are foreign to us. Anything that will help women become more accepting of their self-prescribed “flaws” and embrace their own authenticity is something I can’t help but route for. And for the same reason I liked watching The Newlyweds, I will tune in to see if Jessica asks if Chicken-of-the-Sea is chicken or fish. Some things never change.

Beauty Tip Tuesday: Moisturizer


I am a product junkie. I am always looking for the “miracle” product that is going to give me Gisele Bundchen’s complexion. I am learning, slowly but surely, that there really is no such thing as a miracle product and what works for one person, may not work for another. I have become a fan of Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Moisturizer (with an SPF!) and it has remained a staple in my beauty routine.

I don’t know what it is about this moisturizer (the website says it has a “total soy complex” that evens skin tone) but it makes me “Positively Radiant!” Okay, okay, that was a cheesy shot, but in all seriousness, it is an amazing moisturizer. It goes from summer to winter, which is a hard thing to find in a moisturizer, and it does not leave me feeling greasy or shiny and I never break out when using it.

I did not receive this product for free and am in no way being paid for my endorsement here. I simply purchased it at my local CVS last summer and have been hooked ever since.

So that’s my Beauty Tip Tuesday!

Anthropologie’s Birthday Wishes

I have been a fan of Anthropologie for years and I think they keep getting better with age! I love the clothing and accessories, but even more delightful are their inspiring use of design. My birthday is rapidly approaching and because I have an anthropologie card (it’s free and works like a CVS or Stop & Shop card…just points for dollars spent) they sent me a birthday discount card. What was so impressive about this was the design of the card and the fabric pouch it came in! It was like a little present in and of itself!! I had to share.