It’s Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion Flash logoThis week Fashion Flash is hosted by the  amazing Positive Aging expert  Barbara Hannah Grufferman of The Best of Everything After 50.  She makes   getting older  look   fun and fabulous.  Slim and beautiful, she shares  fashion tips like the style and comfort of platform heels and how to make  beauty aids in your kitchen. Her fitness videos break down  exercise moves into easy understandable steps. This week she  has focused  the Fashion Flash bloggers  on a Spring Preview including:

*  Menopause Makeover   unveils her new book, Eat Like a Woman

* Fab Over Forty  loves eye patches that  smooth and brighten the eye

* Moving Free with Mirabai  tackles a biggie–  to weigh or not to weigh!

* Aging Backwards takes a  look at modern etiquette

* Fabulous After 40 shows to  wear the sporty look IRL

*Black Cat Plus  pokes Target to  finally launch its long promised line of plus size clothing

* Our newest member, Diva Dbi  shares  her favorite  cleanser that she discovered in a Glam Media  goodie bag.

* And at No-Nonsense Beauty Blog I  explore  a true nutritional rock star- spinach.

 Fashion Flash newest blogger- Diva DebbiNew Member  at Fashion Flash: Introducing Diva Debbi

I am so thrilled to anounce that we have a new member in Fashion Flash!  Diva Debbi is one of my all time favorite fashion sites.  She is an experienced fashionista and you can see her sense of style and color  in her amazing Polyvore  Pages. Over the past year I have gotten into the habit of checking out  Diva Debbi before I go shopping.  She has an eye for assembling  gorgeous outfis for every occasion.  Fashion today is so  diverse and I have often remarked that you need a stylist to put it together.  With Diva Debbi I do.  I take my  IPad with me and when I see an interesting top or bag, I check  out her Polyvores  to get an idea of how  it actually  could work  for  me.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion Flash logoI’m so psyched to be hosting Fashion Flash again this week.  While  most of us have Oscar fever, our lifestyle bloggers are  focused on  sharing the  best in  in  beauty, fashion,fitness and nutrition:

*Cindy at Prime Beauty  shares her tips and tricks for applying eye makeup on older eyes and its eye-opening (  no pun intended)

* As another snowstorm  rolls across the country,enjoy a cup of cozy warm Matcha Green Tea latte. Loaded with  antioxidants it can lower cholesterol and  even boost metabolism.  Staness Jonekos of  Menopause Makeover  shares her favorite, easy to prepare recipe.

* Mirabai of Moving Free with Mirabai wants   you to learn how cardio dance may  improve memory.

* Would you try the newest ‘ backwards hair craze’  that  Jackie from Aging Backwards discovered.

* Is age appropriate  dressing all  in your head?  Deb Boland of Fabuous After Forty explores why  dressing age appropriately  may not be all its cracked up to be.

* Positive Aging Expert Barbara Hannah Grufferman of  the Best of Everything After Fifty wants women to stop spending  so  much money on health and beauty treatments and instead go shopping  in their kitchens to look gorgeous and feel great.

* Are you one of those lucky ones that is getting away for the winter?  Even if you’re not, you need to check out this fabulous giveaway that Fab  Over Forty has going on! Enter to win a travel T3 hair dryer and stylish hair ties perfect for the gym or the winter giveaway.

* Jodell  at Black Cat Plus checks out  Oscar fashion styles  that work for plus size silouettes.

No-Nonsense Blog Sign-Up* And at No-Nonsense Beauty Blog you can now download  a FREE four page guide to Retin A when you subscribe to the blog.  It  explains  how this powerful anti-ager works,  how to  choose the right formulation  for your skin needs,  offers a day and night  Retin A treatment plan and answers the five top Retin A questions.  Just click the little envelope, on the right hand  side of  the homepage. One click and you will become a Retin A  zen master. FYI if you are reading this blog on an I Pad or smartphone, the box will be at the bottom of the page.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion Flash logoThis week Deb of Fabulous After 40 is hosting Fashion Flash.  This week, our elite bloggers have choosen to ignore the  arrival of another Arctic Vortex and focus instead on great  health, fashion and beauty tips:

* Fab Over Forty  reviews her favorite  hydrating eye creams

* Prime Beauty  explores  the new line of  cosmetics from internet  make-up sensation Michelle Phan

* Menopause Makeover  looks at the truth about wheat belly

* Black Cat Plus  offers  a list of year round  fashion classics that we should have in our closets

* Moving Free with Mirabai   demonstrates exercises to relieve back  pain

* Positive Aging Expert Barbara Hannah Gufferman demonstrates how to exercise without hurting your knees

* And at No-Nonsense Beauty Blog, I compare Botox and Microdermabrsion.  Which one do you think I  recommend?

Fashion Flash  Book Review:  Jerusalem by Ottolenghi and Tamimino-nonsense Fashion Book Review

Food critics have been buzzing about this book  for the past two years.  I tend to view trendy food favorites dubiously.  I’ve spent time and money on recipes from popular chefs, only to have them turn out to be expensive disasters.   I approached  foodies current rock star Ottolenghi cautiously– but after readiing through the passionate text and drooling over the photographs, I was ready to give it a try.  After  testing just three  recipes- spinach  salad with dates and toasted almonds, roast eggplant with yogurt sauce  and leek and bread fritters I am now a card carrying member of the Ottoenghi fan club.

Ottolenghi  is Jewish and his partner Sami Tamimi is Muslim.  Their friendship  and  vision  is inspiring, not just for their approach to food, but for their  approach to peace in the middle east.   Both men were born and raised in Jerusalem.  They have combined elements of both Israeli and Arab cuisine to produce a richly flavored menu that is primarily vegetarian.  Its  about  as far from a  Kale Smoothie  as you can get and is  equally healthy.  These fragrant and filling meals are such a wecome relief from so  called health food that leaves you hungry both physically and spiritually.

For non vegetarians there are also mouth watering recipes for  dishes like  lamb  Shawama, Italian/ jewish meatballs  and a  Libeyan salmon in sweet and spicy sauce I have made it three times in three weeks. Seriously, its that good.

The book is beautiful and moving as it details life in modern Jerusalem.  Even if you tend to go online to download recipes, this  book is worth a spot in your home.


Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion Flash logoThis week  Jackie of Aging Backwards is hosting Fashion Flash.  Jackie is one of those people who is somehow alays ahead of the curve.  She picks up on new ideas   long before they become trends.  More than six months ago  Jackie  became  fascinated by  3D printing.   I thought it was clever, but so what.  Wrong!  Now she is one of the leaders in social media 3 -D updates.  Jackie is also a wonderful treacher and her posts are always packed with new and useful info.  If you’ve got a question about supplements, check out Aging Backwards before you go to the store.

Fashion Flash  Book Review:  Return to Beautiful Skin by Myra Michelle EbyNo-Nonsense Book Review

While I am a big  fan of e-books,  I would  never have found  Return to Beautiful Skin  if I had not picked it up in Strands bookstore.  There is something  about book browsing that leads you to  books and ideas you didn’t even know  you needed.   Return to Beautiful Skin   is  a well written  guide to nontoxic skin care.  It offers the clearest explanations of the problems of commonly used cosmetic ingredients  including  preservatives, food coloring, parabens, phthalates and propylene glycol.  and petroleum . Ms Eby  explains that  many  these ingredients  are pseudo estrogens  that  may lead to increased risk of  breast and uterine cancers.

Ms Eby is the founder of MyChelle, a pure skin-care company.  What is especially nice about this book  is that  not once  does she  use the platform of her book to   promote her brand.  All too often  books  by skin care experts,  celebrities and even doctors  are just a 300 page commercial for their products.  It   was so refreshing   to read a beauty book that focused on facts and advice rather than product placement. I was so impressed by the science in the book, that I   went to the nearest health food store and bought a selection of MyChelle  produtc to try.

Myra Eby  is equally passionate about preventing animal cruelty  and donates a portion of   her company’s profits to a local animal shelter. She  is aso a sponsor of the HopeFoal Project. based in Colorado.  Its not a pretty story.  Premarin is the  estrogen hormone commonly prescribed for menopause  symptoms. It is made from the urine  of pregnant mares and  the process is  brutal.  After the horse is impregnated   she is confined to a small pen,  A tube is inserted in her bladder and for the last six months of her pregnency,  her urine is collected.  After the  foal is born, they are taken away  and the horse is  impregnanted  again. The new born horses  are discarded and  each  year  an estimated 45,000 foals are slaughtered.  There are no words….

For its  clear and  useful guidence  to  toxic skin care ingredients and the equally effective safe alternatives( and the wake-up call to  the needless  destruction of  new born horses),  Return to Beautiful Skin  deserves a permanent  spot on my   beauty  bookshelf.


No-Nonsense Fashion- Garnets by Deb Chase

Victorian GarnetRich and intense garnets have a dark brilliance found  in few gems.  The birthstone  of January, garnets share the complexion-enhancing characteristics  of the   other red-hued gems– rubies and coral.

Garnets look beautiful combined with gold, diamond, pearls and opals.  A beautiful red garnet  makes a run of the  mill rhinestone look like the real thing. Garnets can be worn  day and  night and really  pop when paired  with navy, rich browns and grey.  Mixed with  light toned jewels ( eg pearls  or opals)  they are fabulous with   the little black dress. You will find   antique garnet jewelry   set in both  gold and silver and they   look wonderful in any metal. If you  fall in love with an older piece at a flea market , have  it checked  out  by a jeweler.  Over time stones become loose and  it  can be difficult ( and pricy) to replace missing bits and pieces.

The Mystery of Bohemian Garnets

You will often see a peice of antique   garnet jewelry described as “Bohemian” garnets. This region of  the Czech republic has been the center of garnet production since the 16th century.  Bohemian style, a favorite with Victorians uses numerous gems of different sizes to create elaborate yet delicate designs.  According to legend jewelry production was located on an island near Bohemia and only authorized workers were alowed to set foot on it.  Intruders were eliminated without mercy.

I can remmeber  when garnets  were an affordable semi precious stone.  Now with gold prices  so high, it can be  harder to find   garnets in  a decent   price range.  At flea markets  look for a vintage  Bohemian garnet pin to add feminine sparkle to a  simple navy pants suit.   A pair of small garnet studs look wonderful with a cranberry sweater and grey pants.  If you’re  looking for one piece that can do it all, a garnet bracelet   will work equally well with a tan tweed jacket  and  a black  velvet  tank dress.  Its that good.

Its Fashion Flash Monday

Fashion Flash logoIts Fashion Flash Monday, New Year’s Eve Edition,  hosted by Barbara of The Best of Everything After 50.  The Fashion Flash bloggers have cranked it up  to end 2013 with the best of the best  fashion and beauty tips:

* Jackie of Aging Backwards  takes an honest look  at New Year’s Resolutions

* Fab Over 40 ends the year with a not  to be  missed plan for reviving dull, dry skin

*Prime Beauty shows how to get  that  special beauty glow by using the right products

*Black Cat Plus proves that beauty is never based on size

* Fabulous After 40  shares the best looks of 2013

* Moving Free with Mirabai reveals the top five fitness myths

* Staness of Menopause  Makeover  shares her recipe for Pomegranate Champagne punch– a drink tht is both healthy and delicious.

* And don’t even THINK of starting the New Year without  The Best of Everything Over 50 personal beauty  products picks.

Vitamin StudiesFashion Flash  Health and Beauty Story of the Year

One of  the New Year’s Resolutions that  I make each year  is to actually take a multi-vitamin pill each and every morning.  This year a trio of studies about multi-vitamins  shook my faith  in that  simple resolution.  Looking at  more than 400,000 men and women, researchers from Harvard and Columbia  University  found that  multi-vitamins, even super  high dose ones,   did not reduce risk of heart disease, cancer and memory issues. Now  many doctors are even recommending against a daily basic bsupplement.

But I think that   we still need  a nutritional safety net.  For example,  both  gluten free  and vegan diets can be  terribly  low in  all the B vitamins  including niacin, thiamin and riboflavin.   Low carb diets  have plenty of B vitamins  but the lack of fruits and veggies  make it  dangerously  low in vitamin C.  Before we now blindly follow these new recommendations, I think  the decision to take supplements  should be based on individual  food plans, not large scale studies.

I would  love to hear what vitamins you take and if these new studies have changed the way  you choose supplements.


Introducing No-Nonsense Fashion

No-Nonsense FashionI love  to get honest, effective answers for just about everything.  I’ve researched the best way to calm a fussy baby ( swaddle them), the best apple pie recipe ( cook apples first)  and  the right way to prevent  skin aging ( wear a sunscreen even in winter).   Sometimes the research  was for an article or a client and sometimes  it was just to answer my own questions–  but I always dug, for  not just the answer  but the backstory behind the answer.

I love to find out how  things work  like why  Retin A works for both acne and aging, or why smoking causes wrinkles.  But  my favorite backstories deal  with fashion.  I am endlessly fascinated not only  by the clothes we wear, but how they came  to live in our drawers and closets.  For example, did  you know that Chanel  put a black toe on a beige shoe to make her big foot look smaller or that  the first sunglasses were worn by judges in 13th Century China to  hide their emotions.   I used to  have drawers of scarves that never looked right, bracelets  that I took off before I left  the house  or shoes that never stepped outside.   Once I began to understand how  these accessories arrived on the fashion radar, I found it was  easier to  style them for everyday wear.  No-Nonsense Fashion  starts by getting up close and personal  with a look at the December birthstone, turquoise.

No-Nonsense Fashion-- turquoiseNo-Nonsense Fashion — Turquoise

According to Persian legends,  turquoise protects the wearer against snakebites and the Devil’s Eye.  Helpful– but more to the point as an accessory its lovely blue color adds a shot of bright light.  The finest turquoise is the color of a blue sky on a perfect warm sun drenched day.  Veins of discoloration or greenish-yellow tones will lessen the value of the stone.   The best turquoise is found in Iran and iraq with varying grades mined in new Mexico and the American Southwest. 

Turquoise is the favorite stone of Mexican, Arabic, and native American craftsmen.  Perhaps because it comes from a sun soaked climates it looks wonderful with different   warm  weather styles.   Think white tee shirt, jeans and a silver and turquoise belt or a thick  silver and turquoise bracelet  with  a  loose white linen dress.  But I  love turquise in winter when  a pair of silver and turquoise earrings adds warming color to a black  pants and  turtleneck or under a short string of turquoise beads just pops under  a white shirt and long red cardigan.

However it is worn, turquoise is deceptively  fragile.  It is easily scratched and can  be discolored by contact with soap, grease and perspiration.  Turquoise rings have the highest risk of damage while  pins are the safest spot  for a piece of fine turquoise.  Do you like to wear turquoise?  I would love to hear how you incorporate this beautiful blue stone into your own personal   style.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion Flash logoThis week , the fabulous Jackie of Aging Backwards is hosting Fashion Flash. Healthy  holiday  time continues to inspire our  Fashion Flash bloggers including:

* Menopause Makeover   explains how to avoid pesticides in  fresh fruits and vegetables

* The Best of Everything Over 50  shares  great hair style tips  and a video on how to love your  hair

* Prime Beauty embraces the holidays with the best of the 2013 gift collections

* Fab Over Forty   gives you a chance to win a Sol Republic headphone for  you  or as a great holiday gift.

Fashion Flash Book Review:  I Can Make You Hot! by Kelly Killoren Bensimon

Fashion Flash Book ReviewI love the promise of this book.  A beautiful model/reality star who is also the mother of two  young girls   seems to  be offering to share the secrets of her fabulous style.   Well, it doesn’t really tell a 50 + grandma how to look hot, but it does  have plenty of exercise and diet tips for women of every age.

Kelly is a truely effective exercise motivator.  She does not preach or nag, but makes daily exercise as natural as brushing your  teeth or  combing your hair.    I really wish  she had shared the secrets of her totally gorgeous smile or perfect “red carpet” hair, but her healthy recipes are  worth  the price of the book.  Easy, quick and delicious these are real recipes for real  women.   

Kelly is not a foodie, but she wants to prepare tasty nutritious meals for herself and her family. I love that her recipes  have less than five steps and use supermarket inredients.  Her pancakes  with coconut milk and bananas  are my new favorite Sunday brunch and the rich/skinny cauliflower soup with kale chips is brilliant.   My favorite has to be the fresh  tuna tacos  that  simply burst with flavor and nutrition.   Now if she would just share the secrets  those fabulous gold highlights and flawless complexion. 


Mid-Fall Makeover- Part 2

Three years go,  I started  my No-Nonsense Makeover with IPL( Intense Pulsed Light)   and it made a huge difference in my skin.  I was diligent about using sunscreens every morning, but  rarely reapplied  sun  protection during the day.   Darker spots  and redness  gradually crept back and after  a sun filled weekend at the beach with my grandchildren,  my freckles came back in full force.   This mid-fall makeover is using   a second generation of broad  band laser ( Sciton Joule laser) combined with infrared skin tightening– a treatment called Forever Beautiful BBL.   Two days before my date with this laser treatment, I stopped using  Retin A, glycolic acid and  even my  Clarisonic.   I will avoid them  for two days after  treatment.

Just after  MakeoverWhen  Carissa finished  working on my skin,  my face felt tight and warm  like I had spent the day in the sun.  My skin  and sweater looked about the same color. The dark spots  actually seemed more pronounced because the light rays had literally exploded the melanin.  Its called coffee grounds and its a great sign that  Forever Young lser is living up to its name.   The warmth and redness faded in a few hours.  Next morning the only visible sign was  few raised  brown spots on my  nose where  the freckles  had been especially prominent.  They dropped off  in a few days and my skin now looks clear, smooth and fresh.

Benefits of  the Makeover Go  Beyond Beauty

According  to Dr Lorenc, Forever Young deals with  numerous aspects of aging sun damage including  enlarged pores,  broken blood vessels as welll as  dark spots and splotches.  The second step with infrared light   is designed to speed up collagen production and  tighten  the skin.

In the third and final installment of Mid Fall Makeover, I’m going to show before and after photos both above and below the skin’s surface.  The beneficial changes  in  the skin are not  just cosmetic.  Breaking up the  melanin   is  thought to lower  risk of  changes that can lead to skin cancers. Beauty is definately more than skin  deep.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion Flash logoThis  week Cindy of Prime Beauty is hosting Fashion Flash.  She is  one of my top  make-up gurus and her recommendations are  always right on target. Before I became addicted to  Prime Beauty, I would waste  way too much hard earned money on  eye liners that did not line or lipsticks  that   looked great  in the store and  strange on my lips.  Cindy  has done all the heavy lifting and  her picks  have allowed me to buy  top  brands  while still saving money by not  having a drawful of unusable  products. 

At the start of December, the Fashion Flash bloggers are  looking at a wide range of topics. For example,  Menopause Makeover  looks at  ways to reverse declining libidios,  Fab Over Forty has found a source of affordable  custom made dresses,  Aging Backwards  shows  how to rock a pixie cut,  Moving Free with Mirabai  explains how to avoid holiday weight gain and 40+ Style asks that age old question– what is age appropriate dressing?