Is Hard Water “Hard” on My Skin?

Hard water questionQuestion:  I have two questions about hard water 1) Is hard water bad for my skin? and 2) what is hard water?

Answer:  LOL.  Lets start with a look at hard water in general.  The term simply means that  the water contains high levels of dissolved minerals including calcium, magnesium and dolomite.  The hardness of  water depends on its source.  Generally water in coastal areas have softer water– meaning lower mineral content while interior regions have hard water.  For example, New England, Pacific Northweat, and Hawaii have soft water while Texas, New Mexico, Kansas and Arizona have hard water.

Hard water makes it hard to both lather soaps and shampoos and even harder to rinse them off. This leaves the hair hard to style and the skin irritated. Its such a common … Continue Reading…

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

fashion flash logoThis week Jodell of Black Cat Plus is hosting Fashion Flash.  I love her site that  is a blend of plus size activism and gorgeous  fashions. She also is relaunching her  popular e- commerce  site which proves that style is not a size.  My aunt  was a beautiful blonde  who was  not able to find  what she needed for  her social obligations.  She would often stay home because  she did not want to “embarass” her husband.  She was a lovely intelligent woman and  I only wish  Black Cat Plus had been  around  for advice and support.

Jodell   also  is the  proud parent of a beautiful show cat  who has been  winning  ribbons  at every event she enters.

Fashion … <a href=Continue Reading…

Can Hormones Make Me Look Younger?

Q&A about hormonesQuestion:  My sister started taking  hormones during menopause and she says its  keeping her young.  She says she  has more energy, better moods  and  is delighted that her hair seems  less dry and fragile. She does looks great, but I’ m afraid of risks like blood clots and breast cancer.   What would you advise?  And did I mention how great she looked?

Answer:  October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month and its the right time to answer this question. When estrogen  is given during menopause, it can have a definate  impact on the skin. Estrogen stimulates collagen production and during  menopause, estrogen naturally declines.  In fact certain types of collagen decrease as much as 50% in the few  three years  of  menopause.  Estrogen also regulates melanin production and a decline fo this  hormone increases brown spots and irregular pigmentation.

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Fabulous Feet Over 50

FeetWhat’s wrong with my feet?  Over the past 10 years  I have found it increasingly difficult  to find chic shoes that I can walk in without pain.  Shoe shopping used to be  fun, with almost every shoe easy to wear and  pretty to look at.  All I had to do  was choose  by price and color.  I wore heels to  work every day  even when commuting from New Haven to New York.   I collected so  many shoes my husband called  me the Jewish Imelda Marcos for my robust  shoe collection.

That was then, this is now.  My once extensive shoe collection has shrunk to a precious few that are kind to my  feet.   When I realized that  many “women of a certain age” had similar shoe issues, I  wanted … Continue Reading…

Easy Answers for Beautiful Brows

Benefit Brow BarStill focused on my brows, the minute I stepped into the girly pink Benefit Brow Bar, I felt renewed optimism.  The store was bustling with three estheticians working with customers.  They were discussing options with their clients, stopping to check the results in the mirror  to get their feedback.  It was a true collaboration rather than the blitz attack that I experienced with my celebrity brow stylist.

Trying Out Brow Options

Six weeks after my epic brow shaping I still did not have enough regrowth to reshape. brows with powder and pencil Instead I worked with a very talented make-up artist named Asia to show me what … Continue Reading…

Eyebrows 101

EyebrowsGrowing up I always had such thick eyebrows, I actually  sported a unibrow.  When I was a very young bride my always elegant  MIL took me to her favorite facialist  at the Helena Rubinstein Salon.   I was mortified  as the two woman chatted  in Romanian, shaking their heads and    pointing  to  my brows.  For the rest of my life I  will never forget the image of that steaming spatula of  molten wax coming toward  my face.  But my terror  and discomfort were forgotten when the mirror revealed two perfect brows  that channeled Liz Taylor.

thinning eyebrowsFor the next few decades I pretty much forgot  my brows and relied on   regular waxing … Continue Reading…

Roses for Health and Beauty

Roses for health and beautyRoses are the official flower of Valentine’s Day.  In a bouquet or fragrance, roses are  a no-fail  gift.  But roses are  more, much more. Rose based  skin and hair care  formulations have been used for centuries in all parts of the world.  According to beauty  lore, it was  a  12th century  Persian princess  who discovered the  soothing benefits of rose oil. Jump forward a few centuries where  the famed  herbalist  Thomas Culpepper  recommended  rose extract for both heart disease and acne.  Modern science  has  been able to show that rose oil and extracts have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties.  But wait, there’s more.  Just smelling  rose oil can reduce  blood pressure.

Turning Roses into Beauty Aids

Roses offer a whole pharmacy in every petal but you can’t … Continue Reading…

The No-Nonsense Holiday Guide, Part I

holiday giftsWhen it comes to gifts, I don’t think its the thought that matters.  Most of the people I know have enough scarves, scented candles and picture frames to last a lifetime, and this type of generic gift does not  really show  how much I value their friendship.   I treasure gifts that  show thought and an awareness of  who I am.  For example, one of my all time favorite gifts was a tray of homemade moussaka.  We were all in grad  school in New Haven and both  money and time were in short supply.  Like me, Sheila  was a very young working  mom juggling a job, an old house and  limited daycare. When I realized that she had taken the time  to cook  this complicated dish, … Continue Reading…