Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week, Cindy of Prime Beauty is  hosting Fashion Flash!  There  is certainly  no shortage of beauty bloggers and each year  they seem to be getting younger and  younger.  I’m no longer startled when a well known blogger turns out to be working out of her dorm room. Cindy  is on  many best beauty blogs list and I have learned to  trust  her experience and judgement.  If you  follow  Prime Beauty  you know what I mean.  If  she  is new  to you , you’re in for a treat.

 Fashion Flash Book Review: 200 Tips, Techiques and Natural Recipes for natural beautyFashion Flash Book Review:  200 Tips, Techniques and Natural Recipes for Natural Beauty by Shannon Buck

I get weekly questions  about DIY skin and hair products and I’ve uploaded a few demos on Youtube. I limited my suggestions to  simple homemade  masks  or fortifying  existing commercial products.  I’ve stayed away from the real thing– cooking up original cleansers and moisturizers..  it seemed  extremely technical and a bit  overwhelming.  200 Tips and Techniques and Natural Remedies finally gave me the tools and confidence to create  a complete line of  products in my kitchen.Written by Shannon Buck, the founder of the  well known  site, Fresh Picked Beauty, this beautifully designed book is the best guide to DIY beauty care products I’ve ever seen– and I’ve seen  many.

The book begins by offering detailed charts on natural oils, clays, emulsifiers and herbs.  Ms Buck not only evaluates their impact on the skin and hair, she explains how to  make  oil  or water  based herbal infusions.  Amazingly easy!

The book clearly explains what equipment is needed and illustrates  exactly how to use them in cosmetic production. Many of the tools like measuring spoons, graters, a cutting board were already in my kitchen.  The other items were easily found in the cooking  section of my  local  store.

I finally got over my fear of melting waxes and  using thermometers and  produced  my first totally home made rosemary cleanser.  It smelled delicious and left my skin  fresh and  clean.There are recipes for both water and oil based moisturizers,  and a tea tree oil lotion for oily skin that has to be seen to be believed. I rarely find an eye care product that I  like, but the  basic eye cream with lecithin and  shea  oil is now an essential in my skin care routinue.

While the  equipment  is easy to find, you will need special sources for items like  beeswax and bentonite clay and marshmellow root.  Not to  worry. Buck   has  provided   a wide range of suppliers including  online sources for  herbs, waxes, clays, carrier oils,  labels,  and bottles. This beautiful and useful book is my  holiday gift  for 2014.

 

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Cindy of Prime Beauty is hosting Fashion Flash.  She is my go-to expert  for  all things make-up  and fragrance.  She has a unique ability to drill down into the  details of a product to help me find exactly what I need.  For example if  I need a eye liner, I automatically click on Prime Beauty  to find  profiles of different options  at a range of prices.  She does the  hard work so that I don’t waste my time  or  my money.  Subscribe to this site  so that you don’t miss  some of the best beauty advice on the web.

No-Nonsense Book Review:  SingleNo-Nonsense Book Review:  Single by Judy Ford

Last week I had lunch with a good friend who just celebrated the first year of a successful new business. But rather than enjoing  her well-deserved success, she was  weepy.  The cause of  her depression?  Now almost 40, she had not found Mr Right– or even Mr  Right-For-Now.  We’ve had  the same  sad conversation too  many times and I’ve run out of helpful/comforting advice.

When I discovered Single by psychotherapist Judy Ford, I found a source of  ideas and inspiration for my friend and  in fact   for women of all ages.  The author  is both a mental health professional  and a twice married  single  mom who has certainly walked the walk.   A widow at 29 and then divorced from a second  husband  who stole   both her heart and her money,  Ford  has written a book packed with lists, tips, case histories  and assignments for building a better single life.

A New Look at an Old Problem

The booked is packed with compassion and genuinely useful advice. I think  my favorite section deals with a singleton’s  idea of hell– Valentine’s day. Ms Ford  takes back the holiday from  fickle  men and makes it an opportunity to show friends and family how  much you care. My successful friend starts dreading Valentine’s  Day  in early January– not uncommon  according  to Ms Ford.  Single shows  how to take back the holiday from men and makes it an opportunity to show friends and family  that you care. She also sends out an annual Valentine’s Day letter to  practically everyone she  knows and bakes  Valentine’s Day  cookies to share with visitors and co-workers.  In her home, Ford puts out red candles and sets the table with  her best  china and linens.  Rather than waiting  for some guy to  being  over flowers and candy, Ford  has turned the holiday into a true expression of  love for  all those in her life.

 

The New No-Nonsense Beauty Tool Kit

Beauty Tool KitIts been two years since I published my first Beauty Tool Kit on No-Nonsense Beauty Blog.   Over time, both my skin and the products  have certainly changed.   As a beauty  junkie, I have to admit it was challenging to pick my  must-haves for a curated collection of skin care  tools, rather  than a large  plastic tub of interesting but not essential  cleansers, moisturizers  and  masks.

This  tool kit of 25 products   meet the needs  of my skin profile — over age 50, sensitive and slightly oily.  I look  first for the least expensive but high quality formulations.  My skin care needs also vary  by season as well as ongoing treatments.  For example, if  I treat my skin to a peel, I will use my mildest cleanser  and an effective moisturizer.  In the  summer, my skin needs a stronger cleanser and I reach for a cleanser fortified with salicylic acid.

Applying a daily sunscreen is now as  much part of  my daily routinue as brushing my teet and combing my  hair. Unprotected  sun exposure increases skin cancer risks as well as wrinkles.  But to be honest, my immediate concern is freckles which were cute in my twenties but now  just make my skin look old and muddy.

No-Nonsense Mix of Prescription and Over the Counter  Products

If  I am going to  shell out  serious money for skin care, I want to have extensive reseach behind the claims.  When I  pay  for Retin A Micro or Renova I know that these formulas deliver as promised. I balance  these costs with effective, affordable cleansers and  moisturizers that clock in  at $10 for a 2 month supply.

No-Nonsense Skin Polishers– The Essential Extras

If sun screens are the most important skin care tool, then skin polishers and peels are  my favorite.  Sunscreens  take  care of the long  run, but  skin polishers satisfy my need for immediate gratification with instant results.  I’ve listed  my favorites including a new type of mask that  works for all skin types.

If you try out  any of the products I my tool kit, I would love to hear how they  worked for you.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis  week  it  my turn to  host Fashion Flash!  I am so proud to be part of this group of smart, determined women  who share the  best and latest information in fitness, fashion, health and beauty:

* Josephine of Chic At Any Age shows  how to stay chic and on trend by wearing a “blanket wrap”.

* Fashion blogger Pam Lutell of Over 50, Feeling 40 shares a great new book Style Evolution by Kendall Farr.

* Feeling stressed? Me to! As the holidays approach stress starts to build. Mirabai of Moving Free with Mirabai suggests  some easy exercises to get that stress burden off you  back.

* Besides Ebola, the next biggest media topic this week was the change in Renee Zellweger’s face.  DivaDebbi weighed in last year on the Renee controversy and revisits it again.

* “See me, feel me, touch me, heal me”.  Remember those lyrics?  They’re  Diana Flahive’s mantra for her second life and you”ll find  the unique way she got there on Second Lives Club.

* Positive Living advocate Barbara Hannah Grufferman of Best of Everything After 50  thinks that nothing else can put the finishing touch on an outfit than a fabulous pair of glasses!

* Black eyeliner can  look so harsh on older eyes.  Cindy of Prime Beauty  has some interesting alternatives to show you in her top 10 picks for colored  eyeliners.

* According to Kari of Fab Over Forty, exfoliating and moisturizing  are important factors for aging skin and she shows you why  L’Oreal’s Age Perfect Cell Renewal is a budget friendly skincare  line that delivers both.

* RIght on the heels of the  flu season Jackie of Aging Backwards has tips to help you stay healthy.

* Meanie of Society Wellness Pumpkin Chili recipe that rocks! You can also tweek it to suit your taste and lifestyle. In additional to sharing an insanely delicious recipe, Melanie explains the importance of choosing grass fed beef.

Fashion Flash Book Review:  Moosewood New ClassicsFashion Flash Book Review:  Moosewood Restaurant New Classics

My last book for Vegetarian Awarensss Month is from the Moosewood Collective, one of the first   mainstream  plant based restaurants.  Moosewood New Classics recipes  have   the same combination of originality and accessibility of the other books. Most of the recipes are  easy to do and use affordable, widely available ingredients.

I am always looking for new interesting breakfasts and there are over a  dozen  morning recipes  including  oatmeal topped with date glaze,  cherry scones and three savory tofu scrambles.  There  is a different pancake  for every day of the week  which you can top with plum butter  or ginger peach  compote.

Its no secret I’m a soup junkie and Moosewood definately  feeds my habit.  It offers  a trio of  just about the best vegetable stocks including a gingery  Asian stock that rocked my world.  The fennel leek soup with chunks of carrot  and  feathery fragrant dill is  so good and hearty  that it alone is worth buying the book.

Like any true foodie, I jump to the chance to try out iconic restaurants on my travels. On a trip to upstate  New York,  I detoured 50 miles  to grab lunch at the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York.   I was a little disappointed  with the limited menu and my veggie couscous  was fairly  bland and a bit mushy.   Maybe  the   glory days of the landmark restaurant  is past, but  the brilliance and charm of the   Moosewood Collective  lives on  in their cookbooks.

 

 

 

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Barbara of Best of Everything After 50 is hosting Fashion Flash. Last week  she was on Dr Phil and this week ( Tuesday)  she  will on  the Doctors talking about   bladder  issues that is  one of the  silent issues  that  many women face as they get older.  She is also  spokeperson for the national Osteoporosis  Foundation and her series of exercises  on Youtube  are so important  for good bone health She is a courageous and positive voice for women over 50 and I am so proud that she is  part of Fashion Flash.

Fashion Flash Book Review:  Face Value by  Hema Sundaram, MD

Some of the most serious questions  on skin care  that come to  my blog are from South Asian  men and women.  Many deal with the appearance of dark paches that spread and darken as time goes by. Even more troubling, the standard acne and anti-aging treatment often  make South Asian skin  problems  even worse. I am always looking for experts  that can help me answer the sometimes frantic questions.

When I found Face Value by  South Asian dermatologist Hema Sundaram, I hoped I had found a great source of much needed information. Browsing thru the book I was intrigued  by  her case studies and the original  way she created individual treatment plans.  I flipped through the book  looking for before and after photos to  support her claims of success.  I discovered there were no photos,  no illustrations, no graphic of any kind.  For a beauty book, this is a serious problem.

I was even more disappointed that there was not a single reference  to the unique skin care needs to men and  women with darker skin tones.   I t seems like every dermatologist in NYC has published a book that covers  pretty much the same material.  It’s unfortunate that  this author  did not use her unique cultural perspective  to provide an original and much needed book.

I have  covered a number of skin  problems for women of color  including the  safe use of lasers,  the value of arbutin for skin lightening and  these best way to use Retin A for acne. In the next few weeks I will be archiving them in a new tab  so the info will  be quickly available.  When it comes  to beauty, the truth is out there.

 

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week the always elegant Josephine of Chic At Any Age is hosting Fashion Flash. She is one of those rare women that  looks effortlessly chic  whether  she is relaxing in the sun or attending a concert at Albert Hall.   I tend to stare at these women trying to deconstruct what they  did to  look so good.  When I discovered  Chic At Any Age  it was like the Rosetta Stone for style.  She explains  the reasons behind her fashion choices in a way that I adapt her ideas to my style isues.  If you’re already a fan  you know what I mean.  If  Chic At Any Age is new to you, you will have  a lot of fun drilling down  into her archives for beautiful, wearable fashion ideas.

Fashion FLash Book Review; IconsFashion Flash Book Review:  Icons by Dodie Kazanjin

When I think of icons, I think of unique, famous people.  But this time, icons refer to those items of clothing that  carry  their own fame and legend.  Well known Vogue writer Dodie Kazanjian   does an up close and personl  experence  with  style icons  that include Manulo Blahnik shoes,  the Chanel suit, the Armani jacket and the Kelly  bag.  She braves the elite of the elite stores to try  on and select a legendary piece of fashion history.

As she chronicles  her journey to actually be able to acquire  each piece ( there are waiting lists for $3000 bags!), she spins  out the back story behind them.  For example,  she details the extraordinary features  that are in each Chanel jacket,   and that the big Hermes bag that Grace Kelly used to hide her pregnency from  photographers was there after known as  the Kelly. My favorite chapter chronicles her  search for the perfect  Little Black Dress.  Fashion editors are forever recommending  the LBD as a fashion staple,  but no one  has ever actually   described  how hard  it is to find the perfect one.  Most designers seem to create for that ubiquitous freakishly   tall blonde with 4% body fat. Ms Kaszanjian is 5 feet, 2 inches with a wonderful  mane of curly  dark hair.  Her journey through  one shouldered,  feather trimmed, ruffled and cut out black dresses is  so relatable that I was chuckling as  I read  the piece.  The fact that in the end  she walked away empty handed, made me  love this book even more.

 

 

 

 

 

Its Fashion FLash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week my favorite fashionista Diva Debbi  is hosting  Fashion Flash.  There  is  reason that she has more than 12,000 Polyvore followers.  Her eye  for color , shape and texture  comes through in her  amazing style posts.  With fall  hard upon us, I can’t  wait to see what she  has created for  colder weather.

Fashion Flash Book ReviewFashion Flash Book Review:  Dropping Acid– the Reflux Diet  Cookbook and Cure

My BFF from college never smoked, but when she turned 50, Annie  developed a chronic cough  that never  went away.  A non-smoker  she has tried the usual medications for asthma,  but nothing  really seemed to work.  When she asked my pulmonologist  husband  for help, he suggested she visit a ear, nose and throat specialist ( ENT)  to examine  her larynx.  He explained that  about 30% of his patients with  annoying, chronic  coughs had reflux rather than pulmonary problems.

Dropping Acid by Jamie Koufman, MD not only explains how this works  but offers  a full lifestyle program to control problems.  The list of “don’ts”  is long, but Dr Koufman  offers  extensive  science behind her recommendations.  For example,  she  explains   how  soda triggers symptoms and that the rise in the number of peope with reflux is prarallel to the rise  of  soda consumption. Other recommendations include no food three hours before going to sleep. The list of food triggers can be daunting  to  cooking and eating out but Dr Kaufman offers  dozens of  genuinely appealing recipes.

Garlic, onions, butter  and tomatoes are  well known reflux triggers  are also key ingredients  to  many  cooking styles and countries.  Dropping Acid  has managed  to coax  rich enjoyable flavors without  the usual  seasongs.  She uses ginger, coriander and prociutto to build taste and texture  for meals that are delicious  and reflux proof.

Dr Kaufman, a noted laryngologist   now has  a companion book – The Chronic Cough Enigma.  She  offers a clear differtial diagnosis of the different types of reflux and  the  best treatment options.   Keep in mind that  over 50,  reflux  is increasingly likely  and this pair of books is  a valuable tool for dealing with this  all too common problem.

As it turned out Annie , an attorney for Holocaust survivors, does not keep 9-5 hours ( more like 9 to 9). And as long as I have known her, she has had an open can of Tab on her desk. I gave her my copy of Dropping Acid and I am looking forward to hearing the results.

 

 

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

This  week,Fashion-Flash-logo Positive Aging Expert  Barbara Hannah Grufferman is hosting Fashion Flash. In her blog Best of Everything After 50 and on her regular Today Show appearances, Barbara  has  a positive view of life that  is virtually contagious. While  we  certainly can’t  stop getting older  we can control  how  we approach  the  life and times after 50.   Online  there  can  be an overflow of  naysaying and negativity in blogs  about aging, but   Barbara  will  empower  you to  make each  day of  your life the best day of your life.  She interviews experts  on fashion, fitness and health to  pull out the best ideas and latest information.  And don’t miss  her entertaining and informative  video series with AARP!

Fashion Flash ReviewFashion Flash Review:  Dr Ellen Marmur in Self magazine

New York dermatologist  Dr Ellen Marmur has been  an unfailing friend and supporter of No-Nonsense Beauty Blog since it started four years ago.   Despite a packed waiting room, four children, a full research program, and  a regular guest  slot on Dr Oz, Dr Ellen  is never too busy  to answer our  questions and demonstrate new  tools and techniques.

Now you can read about another side of Dr Marmur in the August issue of Self magazine.  In addition  to being  a world class dermatologist,  Dr Marmur  is passionate about hiking.   Reading what  hiking  means to  her and how it makes her feel reminded me of the  importance of having  an activity in your life that  makes you feel calm and excited at the same time.

Most of  our time is spent getting to a specfic goal eg   meeting  a work deadline,  doing the laundry or  toilet training a two year old.  But  there are these activities in our lives where the process  is  as important as the conclusion and you feel  happy and engaged in every step of the process.  For example, my friend Kelly loves to knit.  From finding the pattern,  choosing the wool and selecting the right  needles, Kelly’s face  just glows  when she works on  a   knitting project.  Kelly runs a small  scientific  publishing company  and it can be hard to find time to knit during the week.  But every year she sets  time aside to go to knitters  camp  to learn and share with other crafters.

Cooking is my happy place.  I love each step of the process from planning the meal, shopping for ingredients, prepping the vegetables  and seasonings  and listening the  the sounds and smells that tell me a dish is coming along as planned.   Having an activity  where time  passes effortlessly and the process is  as pleasurable  as the final result, is  the ultimate  stress reducer. Having  this type of  interest is  so important to  a healthy  mind and body.  What is your “happy place”  and how do you make time to include it into your life?

Fashion FLash supports SCTAHCombining a Hobby with  Compassion

This summer Dr Marmur  combined  her love of hiking with her committment to skin cancer prevention.  She and her team climbed Mount Kilimanjaro  to raise money for  the American Academy of Dermatology  skin cancer campaign. You   can  go to Marmur Medical to donate to support  this important program.