Back-to-School Beauty Tips for Teens and College Students

It’s hard to believe the summer is just about over! In a few short weeks we’ll be back to the books and all the rules of school. Whether you are starting a brand new school as a freshman or simply going back to your old school, don’t forget to think about your back-to-school beauty routine. From cool nail polish to the latest trends in eye color, you can freshen up your look for fall by the time you start the new school year.

As you prepare to get your back-to-school beauty regimen in place, keep in mind the rules of your school, especially if you attend Catholic school or private school. If your school does not have a dress code, skip below to the back-to school beauty suggestions. In case your school does have a dress code, just be sure you are familiar with it. A friend once told me her friend came into school with a short pixie haircut and was forced by the school to wear a wig until her hair grew out! To avoid getting in trouble or serving detention, make sure your makeup and hairstyle comply with the school’s dress code rules – for example, in terms of unusual dyed hair colors, excessive eye makeup, and so forth.

 

Back-to-School Beauty Tips for Nails
Painted fingernails show off a little bit about your own personal style. You can paint a manicure in your favorite colors, in your school colors to show a little team spirit, or a classy and timeless French manicure that will look great no matter what you decide to wear. If you are feeling more adventurous or artistic, consider adding some nail art to your manicures with Fimo, nail decals, or nail art pearls or rhinestones. Keep up with the fall nail polish trends for additional ideas of how you can do your nails for back-to-school time.

Back-to-School Beauty Tips for Eyes
When it comes to choosing your eye makeup, your own preferences may be different from the next. Individuality is good in appearance! You can use a few generic makeup tips, but don’t lose sight of your own sense of style and comfort. Eye makeup comes in countless shades, textures, and combinations. Mascara is a basic must-have for most girls. You can get mascara in a number of colors and styles – lengthening, thickening, waterproof, etc. If you want to look a little older or make your eyes pop, dark eyeliner is a good way to do that. You can also freshen up your look with pretty colored eyeliner like teal and purple.

As a best bet, make sure you check the makeup aisle for products that are designed with your particular eye color in mind. Physician’s Formula has options for brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes, and hazel eyes, making it super easy to know what eye shadow colors will look best on you.

Back-to-School Beauty Tips for Lips
Lip color really is a personal preference, but you can always enhance your look by keeping your skin tone in mind. Some people really do look better with neutral or brownish shades while others can totally rock pink, maroon, or red lipstick. Lipstick really isn’t a necessity for school, but you can wear it if you like. Perhaps a more fun option would be a lip stain, lip tar, or tinted lip gloss. Even if color isn’t your thing, you can enjoy all the flavors and lip softening effects of products like Bonne Bell Lip Smackers, Blistex Fruit Smoothies, Alba Coconut Crème Lip Balm, and Softlips Lip Balm. Many of these also include sunscreen (typically SPF15 or SPF20), making them perfect for your after-school activities and sports teams.

Back-to-School Beauty Tips for Hair
A new haircut is often a great way to start a new school year… unless something goes very wrong at the hair salon. To prevent a major hair disaster for the first few weeks of school, be sure you test out your newest haircut ideas before school’s back in session. Give yourself at least two weeks to try a new hairstyle at the hairdresser. That way if you really hate the new haircut or hair color, you still have time to let it grow out a little or time to get a new style in time for back-to-school.

When it comes to choosing a new hairstyle to wear in the first few weeks of school, take a look at the latest celebrity hairstyles for some inspiration. You can mimic a haircut of your favorite celebrities. Most of the time, these are the people who start the hair, makeup, and fashion trends anyway. For best results when getting a new haircut, bring a photo of your desired haircut with you to the stylist. Speak up about what you like and don’t like – do not go home with a haircut you dislike if you can help it! By sharing your preferences with your hairstylist, you should easily be able to go home with a haircut you love.

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These are just a few suggestions for back-to-school beauty that you can try before the new school year. Remember to embrace your personal style and only follow the trends that you really like. Also, back-to-school time is a great time to treat yourself to a few new beauty products, so be sure to pick up a new mascara, eyeliner pencil, lip balm or lip gloss, and a few new hair accessories if you like. Have fun with your new back-to-school look!

Smashbox Cosmetics Super Deal $15 off purchase of $75 or more Plus FREE shipping on every order! Promo code: WELCOME2.

Baby Shower Ideas and Themes for Boy, Girl, and Surprise Baby

Consider these cute ideas for boy and girl baby showers.Baby showers are often thrown for a woman’s first child, but depending on her friends and family, she may even enjoy baby showers for subsequent children. It can be a lot of fun to plan a baby shower, thanks to the wide variety of baby shower decorations, baby shower party favors, invitations, baby shower cakes, and a whole bunch of other cute and adorable details. Before the details, though, come the baby shower ideas and themes. Consider these ideas to help you choose a theme for the baby shower you’re planning to throw for a friend, sister, or loved one.

Baby shower themes can remain general and neutral when the baby’s gender is going to be a surprise. For a baby girl or baby boy, you can play up the color schemes or choose a theme that would be a good match based on the baby’s gender. Consider these tips on baby shower ideas and themes to help you plan the perfect shower.

Baby Shower Themes and Ideas for a Baby Girl
When the mom knows she is having a little girl, thoughts of pink, purple, ribbons, and lace may come into play. You can have a lot of fun with a baby shower for a baby girl. Think about all the lovely decorations, cupcake or baby shower cake styles, balloons, and shower favors. Consider these baby shower ideas for a baby girl.

Consider these cute ideas for a girl baby showers.Colors for a Baby Girl – When a baby girl is on the way, the baby shower can look super cute decked out in shades of pink and purple, or perhaps a more modern color scheme of lilac or lavender and dark chocolate brown. You could also do something bold and exciting like bright pink and green or bright pink and orange. Feel free to experiment with your color choices before you decide for sure. You can also match the color scheme to the actual baby shower theme.

Baby Shower Themes for a Girl – If you are planning a baby shower for a mom expecting a baby girl, you can have a lot of fun with the baby shower theme. Consider these suggestions and ideas for a girl baby shower theme.

•    Butterfly theme
•    Flowers in Bloom theme
•    Ladybug theme
•    Pink Animals theme
•    Pink Baby theme
•    Princess theme

These are just a few suggestions for your baby shower theme for girl babies. Consider using one of these or make up your own fun baby shower theme to suit the mom-to-be.

Baby Shower Themes and Ideas for a Baby Boy…

 


15 Great Gifts for Relaxation and Escaping from Stress

Sometimes a gift of relaxation or a simple gift to soothe the body, mind, or soul can be the best kind of gift. From overworked parents to expecting moms to recent retirees, gifts of relaxation and presents that relieve stress can be the perfect way to show your love or appreciation for that special someone. Consider these interesting, relaxing, and unique gift ideas for those special people in your life who could really use a break from daily life.

Gifts of relaxation can be a nice treat for people of all ages. Whether you want a gift for a child or an adult, check out these relaxing gift ideas.

Top 15 Gifts of Relaxation

1.    Spa gift certificate
2.    Bubble bath
3.    Cozy slippers
4.    Aromatherapy oils and lotions
5.    Scented candles
6.    LUSH bath bombs or emoti-bombs
7.    Reed diffusers
8.    Specialty pillows
9.    Cozy hand-warmers or foot-warmers
10.   Gel eye masks
11.   Bottle of wine
12.   Wax tart burners
13.   Herbal scented neck pillows
14.   Snuggly blanket
15.   Fuzzy socks

From these gifts, I had the pleasure of sampling and reviewing a few items to recommend to you. First is a set of Fuzzy Friends Lady Bug Slippers by Aroma Home. The Fuzzy Friends Slippers are just one cool offering from this cool company that also features gifts like fuzzy animal computer screen wipes, plush toys, eye masks, and neck warmers, to name a few. The company offers countless color and animal options for slippers and stuffed animals or other gifts.

I received an adorable pair of lady bug slippers to check out and evaluate as a gift of relaxation. These cool red and black slippers have fuzzy red velour type yarn strands all across the slippers. The lady bugs have a cute face with black and red antennae and a cherry red nose. The lady bugs’ faces are smiling and their black spots are spaced throughout the slipper. The solid soles of the slippers have tiny rubberized dots for grip, but they do wear down after a few days of regular use. The slippers are supportive and comfortable, not to mention really cute. I got a number of compliments on them already from friends and family!

In my own experience, these slippers are great and they hold up to the test. My border collie pup has fully adopted them as her own whenever they are not on my feet, and sometimes when they are! I woke up one morning to find only one slipper at my bedside… the other was at hers! Despite her newfound obsession with my slippers, these things have held up beautifully. So, either I have a really gentle dog, or these things are as durable as they come.

Fuzzy Friends Slippers retail for $20 each and are available in a variety of animal options, including pink poodle, orange tiger, green frog, and more. You can order them at Aroma Home or at Amazon.com. For more information on Fuzzy Friends Slippers and other great gifts of relaxation, visit Aroma Home online at www.aromahome.com.

Aromatherapy type gifts are usually a nice option for anyone, even if you don’t know the gift recipient as well as you know a dear friend or family member. Another cool relaxation gift for people of all ages would be the Bed Buddy Foot & Hand Warmers from Carex Health Brands. These cool products are scented like a holiday cinnamon stick mixed with other fragrant herbs and feature a soft and snuggly, fuzzy fabric with a pleasant bean-style interior (It feels like rice!). The ingredients in the Bed Buddy’s fragrance are revitalizing eucalyptus, comforting clove, and calming cinnamon. This cool gift idea is made of 100% natural materials.

Bed Buddy’s hand warmers are like mittens, but not the kind you would wear outside. The foot warmers are like booties for big people. Both items have removable herbal packs filled with fragrant, healing herbs.

The Bed Buddy’s Moist Heat ThermaTherapy® is designed to soothe and comfort hands and feet with warmth or cold, depending on your needs. You can microwave Bed Buddy warmers to activate the herbal moist heat to soothe and relax your tired feet and hands. You can also chill the Bed Buddy products in the freezer for the cooler effect. For best results, place the Bed Buddy warmers in a plastic bag and leave them in the freezer overnight. (Although they are doctor-recommended, be sure to consult your physician if you have any medical conditions.)

A portion of the proceeds of Bed Buddy go toward breast cancer research. The Bed Buddy products now feature a few special color additions to the usual product line – now you can get a black and white Zebra pattern, a brown and tan Leopard pattern, and a hot-pink Lipstick color.

Products provided free to writer for reviewCarex’s Bed Buddy® Foot and Hand Warmers Gift Sets are available at Amazon.com and various retailers for $24.99. For more information, please see www.carex.com.

Remember, these are just a few suggestions for relaxing gifts you can give to the people you know in life that could use a break from stress. Feel free to come up with your own ideas for gifts of relaxation.

 

LeCosmetique.com – Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar Product Review

Product review of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars from LeCosmetique.com.I recently had the pleasure of getting to know Suzanne over at the very cool beauty boutique LeCosmetique.com. If you haven’t seen her store, you should really pay a quick visit. LeCosmetique truly does have makeup artistry essentials – all kinds of beauty goodies for girls, from professional makeup artists to everyday makeup lovers. You can find super cool makeup kits, eye shadow, makeup brushes, makeup cases, and so much more that I could never list it all in one article. Suzanne kindly sent me two styles of Lip Tar by Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. Read on for my review of these cool and long-lasting products.

No matter if you prefer a light, neutral tan or beige, a soft pink, or in-your-face blue, orange, purple, green, or even black, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Lip Tars are an amazing color treat for your lips. Even if you don’t like anything but the natural look, you can enjoy clear lip tar for a glossy, polished sheen.

I received two colors of the OCC Lip Tars – a bright fuchsia pink (“Pageant”) and a more muted rose pink (“Memento”). Both appear bold and rich Product review of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars from LeCosmetique.com.when applied to the lips, offering a satin finish. I don’t often wear a lot of lip color, but I am completely addicted to lip gloss and ChapStick type products, so I was very excited to test these lip tars. At first it was strange to see myself with such color on my lips. The pinks may be a little too pink for me since I’m more used to the plain gloss and the light brown shades with my olive skin. The lighter pink shade was a nice look on my lips when I kept the application to a minimum. I felt the brighter pink might have been too much of a statement for me personally, but it blended nicely with the lighter pink for a more manageable shade and a more natural look. OCC Lip Tars stay impressively stuck to your lips for hours. I was able to eat, drink, and work through at least four hours of the work day before I noticed that I’d need to reapply the lip color.

When I say a little bit goes a long way, don’t take this with a grain of salt – I am being 100% honest. Even the tiniest amount of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar will stain your lips to a beautiful, bold hue. Depending on your tastes and style preferences, it may even go on more boldly than you’d expect. If this is the case, simply blot some of the lip tar cosmetic off with a tissue or napkin. You can also change the color scheme by mixing and blending with other lip tar colors.

The first few times I tried the lip tar products, I did not have a lip brush on hand. I’ve read numerous reviews of OCC lip tars that express how easy it is to apply the lip color with a good lip brush. Unfortunately, since I failed to use one, I noticed that a small amount of lip color also tinted my fingertip and smudged across my teeth. Part of this problem was also because I had no idea how little lip tar I needed to apply for regular coverage. I was used to globbing on the typical lip gloss and lip balm, so I wasn’t expecting such a precise dot of color to go such a long way.

Once the lip tar dries after application, it doesn’t seem to rub off easily, which is a nice change. It also does not feel sticky or gooey, which is better yet. These colors truly are meant to be mixed, so have fun with the wild shades and the tamer shades or even black and white. These would be great products to have on hand for weddings, proms, and other special events as well as for the perfect in vivid, colorful Halloween costume makeup.

Product review of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars from LeCosmetique.com.

OCC Lip Tar is Vegan and cruelty-free. These products are free from harsh preservatives and parabens, and contain ingredients such as Castor Oil, Hemp Oil, Peppermint Oil, Vitamin E, and intense color pigments.

Products provided free to writer for reviewIf you are interested in Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars, you can get them at LeCosmetique.com for only $12.50 each and at various other retailers. The assortment of colors is truly worth a look!

How to Get the Makeup Look of Lucy Hale from the 2010 Teen Choice Awards

The makeup and hairstyles of celebrities are often a great place to start when you want to dress up your appearance for a special occasion, a new job, or back to school time. The recent 2010 Teen Choice Awards showed off countless young celebrities and their gorgeous looks, including that of Lucy Hale from “Pretty Little Liars.” If you would like to get the beautiful makeup look of Lucy Hale from the 2010 Teen Choice Awards, read on and follow these simple steps.

At the 2010 Teen Choice Awards, Lucy Hale showed off her dark hair, dark eyes, and shiny, pink lips. She also had a pretty, bronzed glow to her skin. These are looks that you can easily achieve at home with your favorite makeup products.

To help you create Lucy Hale’s 2010 Teen Choice Awards makeup look at home, mark Celebrity Makeup Artist Mai Quynh provides her expert makeup tips for recreating Lucy’s gorgeous look.

How to Recreate Lucy Hale’s Red Carpet Look
If you would like to try out Lucy Hale’s 2010 Teen Choice Awards makeup look, consider these tips and instructions for eyes, face, and lips from mark Celebrity Makeup Artist Mai Quynh.

How to Get Eyes Like Lucy Hale at the 2010 Teen Choice Awards
To get dark and sultry eyes like Lucy Hale at the recent awards ceremony, follow these steps:

1.    Apply a bronze shade from mark Keep It Going Longwear Eyeliner & Shadow in Surreal or a similar product with a concealer brush to the lash line and blend upwards to the crease.

2.    Apply a top coat of mark I-Mark Custom Pick Eye Shadow in Gioia or a similar product into the crease and smudge it up to the brow bone.

3.    Line your upper and lower lash lines with mark I-Mark Custom Pick Eye Shadow in Java or a similar product, using a flat eyeliner brush.

4.    For added drama, line your inner lids with mark Eyemarker Color On Line in Jet or a similar product.

5.    Finish the look with two coats of mark Make It Big Lash Plumping Mascara in Raven or a similar product.

How to Do Your Face Like Lucy Hale
If you want a golden glow like Lucy Hale showed off at the Teen Choice Awards, follow these steps:

1.    Prep your face by applying mark Face Xpert Flawless Touch Makeup in Golden or a similar product with a foundation brush to even out your skin tone.

2.    Dab on a little concealer like mark Good Riddance Hook Up Concealer in Light/Medium or a similar product under your eyes.

3.    Dress up your cheeks with a foundation brush and mark Just Pinched Instant Blush in Peachy or a similar product to the apples of your cheeks.

4.    Dust a light coating of mark Matte-nificent Oil-Absorbing Powder or something similar to absorb excess oils in the t-zone.

5.    Sweep on a combo of mark Bronze Pro Bronzing Powder in Pro Golden and mark Glowdacious Illuminating Powder in Shimmied Up or two similar products using a powder brush in order to accentuate the contours of your face. It also adds a lovely radiant glow just like Lucy’s!

How to Get Lips Like Lucy Hale
For pretty pink lips like Lucy Hale had at the recent Teen Choice Awards, use a gloss for color and shine without going overboard. If you are interested in the same product as Lucy had, mark Celebrity Makeup Artist Mai Quynh used mark Juice Jems Lip Gloss in Juicy Fig to achieve her look.

About the Expert:

Mai Quynh is a celebrity makeup artist for mark Cosmetics. For more information about Mai Quynh or the mark products listed above, please visit www.meetmark.com.

Travel Tips for Expectant Moms

Adapted from the new book, “Expecting 411”Keep these travel tips in mind for expectant moms.

Pregnancy certainly affects the lives of expectant moms and dads, but it doesn’t have to put a damper on your summer vacation plans.

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about traveling while pregnant that we hear from pregnant women every day in our private practices.

Is it safe for me to travel while pregnant? Are all forms of transportation safe?

We don’t recommend hot air balloons or camels, but most conventional modes of transportation are safe. If you have a “high risk” pregnancy or are carrying multiples, your doctor may have a different restriction date in mind, so ask him or her for recommendations tailored to your specific health profile. Here are some general guidelines:

  • You can travel by plane up to your 36th week — but check individual airline policies, which may vary.
  • When flying, get up and walk around frequently, stretch your legs and feet while in your seat, and wear Ted support hose to keep the blood circulation in your legs robust.
  • For cruises, the last acceptable time frame is 23-27 weeks, depending on the cruise line.

If you are going by bus, train, or driving, stay within one hour’s distance from a hospital. Camping in a remote area, for example, is not advisable. You can travel by car right up to the end of your delivery date, but try to stay within an hour’s drive from your doctor or delivery hospital.

How can I stay healthy while pregnant and traveling?

  • If you are going to the mountains, swimming in the ocean, or walking around a new city, watch for signs of getting short of breath. If you feel tired, stop!
  • If you’ll be out in the hot sun, drink extra water, stay out of the direct sun during peak hours, and pack plenty of sunblock, hat, and sunglasses.
  • Keep these travel tips in mind for expectant moms.Always keep a bottle of pure water with you. Avoid plastic bottles with #7 on the bottom — these may contain Bisphenol-A (BPA), which may have adverse effects on fetuses.
  • Avoid unpasteurized delicacies, raw fish or meat, and in international destinations, water and fresh fruit and veggies.
  • Keep a stash of healthy snacks with you on road, plane, and train trips so you can avoid getting famished and then seeking relief in convenience food, hotel snacks, and junk food binges. Healthy snacks might include: yogurt, small containers of unsweetened rice pudding, almonds and walnuts, apples, carrots, almond butter on whole grain bread, cheese and whole grain crackers, hummus and veggie dippers, and cherries, berries, and red grapes.
  • When ordering from restaurants, don’t be shy about “special ordering.” Pregnancy is one of the few times when waiters will give you a break. Keep your food choices healthy — grilled fish or poultry, whole grains such as rice, steamed vegetables, and salad will give you and baby exactly what you need to stay energized.
  • Take frequent pit stops for bathroom and leg stretching.
  • If you are driving and have room for an extra suitcase, bring one filled with favorite pillows — such as a body pillow designed for pregnancy back relief — so you’ll be comfortable no matter where you rest your head.
  • If you’re sightseeing, such as seeing art treasures in a museum, take advantage of couches and seats and appreciate the art from a sitting position from time to time. This will keep your back from aching later on.
  • Wear practical shoes and comfortable clothes.

What are potential health hazards for you and your unborn baby while traveling or visiting spas?

  • These are okay: bug spray, airport x-rays and scanners (it takes 2,500 exposures in one year to get a harmful dose), sunblock (wear #20 or higher), spray-on tans, massages (but no electric or warming blankets, massage of the inner or outer ankle bones, or the webbing between thumb and finger, and no essential oils), facials (but no Retin A, Accutane, or large amounts of salicylic acid), manicures and pedicures in a well-ventilated room, chemical peels (but only superficial peels that use glycolic acid, TCA, or lactic acid), and hair highlights (but not full hair dying where chemicals touch the scalp).
  • These are NOT okay: Mudbaths, paraffin wraps, seaweed wraps, hot tubs, saunas, tanning beds, hair jobs (perms, relaxers, Japanese hair straightening), laser hair removal, electrolysis,  bleaching creams, and BOTOX.

Do you have any more tips before I go on vacation?

Purchase travel insurance. It’s a small investment that can save you big time. Your unborn baby doesn’t care that you’ve planned this family reunion for more than a year. She is on her own time schedule, and might decide to attend the reunion uninvited.

About the Experts:
Dr. Michele Hakakha is an award-winning obstetrician/gynecologist practicing in Beverly Hills, CA, and featured expert in the acclaimed documentary “Little Man.” Dr. Ari Brown, MD, FAAP, is a pediatrician in Austin, TX, an official spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, the children’s health expert for WebMD, and a medical advisor for Parents Magazine and ABC News. A past guest on Rachael Ray and NBC’s Today Show, Dr. Brown penned the best-selling Baby 411 and Toddler 411 book series before coauthoring the new title with Dr. Hakakha, Expecting 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Pregnancy (Windsor Peak Press, 2010, www.expecting411.com) — the only pregnancy guide written by two MDs who are also moms.

 

Indulgence for the Skin – Luxurious Softsoap® Body Washes

Softsoap Body Washes product reviewBody soap has come a long way from the first homemade bars of soapy concoctions used to cleanse the skin. Today’s shelves hold colorful arrays of boxed soap as well as a bright mix of bottles filled with sensuous, aromatic body washes promising an indulgent, skin-sensational cleansing experience. Whether you indulge in a soft bath pouf or a fluffy cotton washcloth, the experience of silky soft body wash gliding all over your wet skin is as delightful as it is cleansing.

From exotic fragrances to skin-softening agents, body washes provide a bit of everything a woman’s skin needs. At the same time, I believe these same body washes provide that touch of pampering that every woman needs at some poin or another throughout her day. While some days require a quick dash through the morning routine, it is nice to set aside at least one day during which the task of bathing lends itself to a spa-like experience of skin-softening indulgence experienced through the use of a luxurious body wash.

Softsoap Body Washes product reviewSoftsoap® is one of my favorite brands of body wash. This brand occasionally introduces something new and exciting by way of scented bliss delicately culled from a variety of floral and fruity scents and oils. This year, they have come up with three fantastic creations: Black Orchid & Velvet Hibiscus, Mega Moisture Heavenly Vanilla, and Nutri Serums Mineral Extracts. Each of these feel great to the touch, offering a silky lather that cleanses gently. I discovered the scent intensifies as I use the product, lingering long after I have toweled off.

Black Orchid & Velvet Hibiscus offers an exotic fragrance that hints of mystery and a long night of sensual bliss. I especially like the purple bottle that blends well with my purple bath towels and lavender pouf.

Mega Moisture Heavenly Vanilla offers a warm, sweet scent that hints of sweeter days to come. The cream-colored bottle might be neutral, but the heavenly scent certainly is not. It is designed to help relieve stress in a most comforting way as you use it.

Nutri Serums Mineral Extracts offers a clean aroma that hints at the healthy skin it helps to maintain. This body wash is filled with mineral extracts and nutrients known for making skin glow with healthiness. This particular body wash is designed to help the skin stay soft and healthy since it makes use of real hibiscus extract.

Each body wash is thick and luxurious as it pours out of its bottle, which is nice because you can actually tell it is a quality product. Plus, they are silky to the touch, allowing you to instantly recognize their skin-softening qualities.

Products provided free to writer for reviewI received a generous sample of each one of these fantastic scents to review. If I had to pick one as my favorite, it would be quite difficult. I do like to have several available in the shower so I can pick one according to my mood. If you haven’t already tried this, please do, you might discover that variety truly is the spice of life! You can purchase Softsoap® body wash at most grocery stores, drugstores, and discount stores.

 

Top 7 Ideas for Labor Day Weekend Getaways

Consider these Labor Day Weekend Getaways!Long weekends like Labor Day often make the perfect excuse to get away for a short trip. Even if you don’t have a long tradition of Labor Day weekend getaways, you can easily plan a vacation over the weekend with little advanced notice. Labor Day weekend travel can be lots of fun with your significant other, your family, or a group of friends. To plan a three-day weekend getaway or longer weekend away, consider these travel suggestions for early September.

By the time Labor Day rolls around, the kids may have just started school, or they may be going back right after the holiday weekend. Labor Day is a great time to travel with family for an extended weekend away. You may only get the three-day weekend out of your travel plans, but sometimes that can be more than enough to recharge and break away from your normal routine. You can plan Labor Day activities for children on your short vacation, such as arts and crafts, fishing, boating, swimming, scavenger hunts, fireworks displays, drive-in movies, miniature golf, and so much more.

 

If you are going away with just your significant other, you can plan a romantic Labor Day weekend vacation. From the rough-and-tumble camping weekend to a more luxurious bed and breakfast getaway, you can plan your Labor Day travel to suit your relationship and personal preferences. You might even consider a resort vacation at a nearby travel location, or a short jaunt to Las Vegas, Florida, or somewhere along the coast with a nice beach.

Top 7 Suggestions for Labor Day Weekend Trips
No matter if you plan to travel with friends, family, kids, or your sweetheart, consider these Labor Day weekend ideas for short getaways.

Consider these Labor Day Weekend Getaways!1.    The Beach

2.    The Mountains

3.    National Parks

4.    Places with Historic Significance

5.    Amusement Parks

6.    Camping Weekend

7.    Natural Wonders

Once you decide on your long weekend vacation destination, start thinking about the different Labor Day weekend activities you would like to try. You can enjoy something as simple as boating and fishing to something more involved like a trip to the nearest casino, water park, or a tour of a popular historic location. You might even decide you don’t want to do any activities on your weekend getaway. If this is the case, you can simply relax and enjoy all that the long weekend has to offer.

Labor Day getaways can be a good family tradition for as long as your kids live at home. Over-the-weekend Labor Day vacations need not be expensive or extravagant. You can plan them quickly and cost-effectively from the comfort of your home or office. Consider these top 7 Labor Day weekend getaways or come up with your own travel plans to celebrate the holiday weekend. Have fun!

SPONGE Skincare Product Review

Another gift from the Mediterranean, SPONGE Skincare, hails from Greece offering “modern remedies with traditional values.” The name inspiration comes from the organic sponges cultivated on the island of Symi. It’s a tribute to ancestry, natural resources, and a clever analogy to the similarity between sponges and our skin. They both absorb nourishment from their surface. Even the blue-gray color of the bottles reflects appreciation for the sea and its mysteries.

The idea began 40 years ago in Athens when an Obstetrician, Dr. Costas Tympanidis, developed a natural leg cream designed to help his patients with comfort and circulation during pregnancy without harming their babies. Through word of mouth, his product gained a loyal following, and years later, his nephew improved upon the formula. Markos Lambros Drakotos developed a complete skin care line based on the original principles that made the initial product so successful. While currently based in New York, the skin care line keeps touch with its ancestral roots using the finest organically grown plant and herbal extracts in Greece.

The products have an extra-virgin olive oil base with plant and herbal extracts produced by a customized chemical-free, slow extraction process. Yes, what is good for your heart is also good for your skin. Rich in antioxidants and Vitamin E, olive oil also soothes the skin, promoting elasticity and hydration for all skin types. The products are free of parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, propylene glycols, artificial colors, and fragrances. They are clinically tested without using animals and are considered hypoallergenic. The packaging is made from 100% recyclable materials, soy based inks and FSC certified paper. 

I had the opportunity to try three of the SPONGE products. On a review at www.dermstore.com Dr. Craig Kraffert described the skincare line as a ‘lifestyle experience’ and I wholeheartedly agree. Everything about the products is pleasant and stimulating. The Web site is interactive with the sound of the ocean playing in the background and options that highlight in color as you move your arrow over them.

The packaging is simple and elegant. Solid black boxes with color coded printing identify each product. The bottles are uniform in size and shape and made of heavy, light blue glass also with color coded printing. Black caps cover pump-style dispensers that are easy to use and minimize oxidation. It’s skincare with natural aromatherapy that nourishes your soul.

Gel Basiliko – sweet basil gel – This is my favorite. It is most certainly a gel, but it absorbs quickly and completely, leaving skin soft without feeling greasy. It feels like a protective layer against the elements. It smells green, very much like basil and lime, its key ingredients. Both basil and lime are known for skin brightening properties, a calming anti-inflammatory effect and balancing skin tone. Vitamin K from the lime has the added benefit of an anti-wrinkle effect. After two weeks, I noticed a distinct difference in the texture of my skin. It is smoother and brighter without being shiny. My pores seem tighter and my face is much less reactive to environmental stressors like temperature, pollen, pollution, and dust.

Krema Niktas – Night Cream – I enjoyed this product for the simple reason that it feels good and smells fabulous. It feels like a light lotion and has a floral scent with an added sunshine element. It just feels good. It is designed to replenish with St. John’s wort, linden, and sage as its main ingredients. All of these calm and even your skin tone, hydrate, nourish, protect, and promote cell regeneration and elasticity… sweet dreams while nourishing your skin.

Aromatotherapia Agrio Triantafillou – Wild Rose Aromatherapy Mist – Rich with anti-oxidants, this mist is designed to strengthen, protect, and hydrate your skin while also being a natural mood enhancer. It sprays on lightly and smells like wild rose. It feels very nice, but the scent was too strong for me wear for long periods, though I did enjoy trying it. 

Products provided free to writer for reviewSPONGE Skincare has been available in North America since 2008 and has become a favorite of stars Scarlett Johansson and Eva Mendes. It is currently available online at www.spongeskincare.com, www.dermstore.com, and in stores at Barney’s New York.  SPONGE has also created an exclusive line at Richard Gere and Carey Lowell’s award winning Bedford Post Inn.

Summer Sipping – Corzo Tequila Product Review

Tequila can be enjoyed year round, but summer is the season it really shines. Corzo’s Silver Tequila is a great tequila: light and clean. I admit I’m not much of a straight tequila drinker myself (although a friend was able to detect the “tropical fruit and peppery spice” finish that Corzo promises on its website. So, I chose to see how Corzo stood up in my favorite tequila drink: the Margarita. The Corzo stands up really well in a Margarita. It blends smoothly and certainly gets the job done.

A warning to the wallet conscious, though. Corzo is definitely a luxury liquor. My tequila loving friend was very surprised when I pulled out the bottles (and very, very grateful). At 100% Agave, this tequila is the real deal. The spirit is available in three varieties: CORZO® Silver, “clear in color with a dry, light-to medium-bodied palate,” at $47.99, CORZO® Reposado, “with warm hints of a white oak and a custard finish,” at $52.99, and CORZO® Anejo, “the perfect tequila for full-bodied sipping,” at $56.99.

You can find more information about purchasing Corzo Silver at www.corzo.com. They also recommend the Corzo Bliss, to “Add a burst of color and fresh fruit flavor to the menu. Created by New York City mixologist Jonathan Pogash.” Here’s the recipe for a bright and cheerful cocktail for summer sipping:

The CORZO Bliss

Ingredients:
2 parts Corzo Silver Tequila
3/4 parts Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
5 one-inch chunks of watermelon
5-7 mint leaves

Process:
1. In a mixing glass, muddle the watermelon and mint.

2. Then add remaining ingredients and shake well with ice.

3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

4. Garnish with a watermelon cube and mint leaves.

Products provided free to writer for reviewSounds refreshing, no?

Freeman – Bare Foot & Bare Hands Product Reviews

Try Freeman Bare Foot products for smooth, soft feet.Freeman Cosmetics is a family company with a long history in the beauty industry. The company is a joint collaboration of Larry Freeman and his children, Mark and Jill. Larry Freeman’s great uncle began the venture in 1915 with the Standard Beauty Supply Company that distributed beauty products to salons across the Eastern U.S. His brother, Larry’s father, moved to Los Angeles to start a beauty supply brokerage on the West coast.

Larry started his career with Clairol and later joined his father. In 1976, Freeman Cosmetics was born as the first mass merchandise line to incorporate amino acids and proteins. In 1979 he started incorporating ingredients such as avocado, cucumber, orange, papaya, apple, oatmeal, and baking soda. His son Mark joined the company in 1985, followed shortly by his daughter Jill in 1988. The family branched out in more directions to improve and complete the company ideals; the introduction of pH Beauty Labs, a skin and hair care products company offering mass merchandise lines such as Totally Juicy, Totally Nutty, Binge and Botopical. More information and their products can be found at www.freemanbeauty.com.

Freeman Cosmetics brings salon quality products to the public at an affordable cost. The packaging is bilingual, bright, fun-shaped, portable, and priced nicely. The products are not tested on animals, but some do contain parabens, artificial colors, and fragrances, making them rate higher on the toxicity scale of the EWG SKIN DEEP Cosmetic Safety Database.

Given the opportunity to try Bare Foot soothing liquid foot powder and Bare Hands hand & cuticle renewal scrub, I found that both products deliver exactly what they promise. They are pleasant, refreshing, and they definitely pamper.

Bare Foot soothing liquid foot powder starts as a lotion to soften skin, then transforms into a light powder. Peppermint oil helps keep your feet dry while tea tree oil relaxes tired feet. Arginine helps improve circulation. Peppermint and plum extracts produce a lovely scent. After working 8-10 hour shifts on my feet, my feet were still tired, but they did feel soft and dry.

Foot odor was also controlled, which my husband and children appreciate. Fair warning though: it is a powder, so you need to wear socks and wash your hands unless you want to leave ghost prints on everything you touch. My boys are delighted that they can leave footprints on the carpet.

Bare Hands hand & cuticle renewal scrub is an exfoliating sugar scrub designed to eliminate rough patches and dry skin on hands, elbows, and cuticles. Tangerine and basil soothe the skin, improving texture, while the natural oils hydrate and nourish, leaving skin smooth.

Products provided free to writer for reviewThe scrub starts as a thick gel packed with sugar to massage away rough skin and excess cuticles. It smells like ripe tangerines and is the same color as the fruit. As you scrub, the sugar melts into a gel that washes away clean. With regular use, hands and elbows feel smoother with an improved texture. It’s a great pick me up and a nice way to celebrate being a girl. Enjoy home manicures with your favorite princess.

Editor’s Note: I also received a Freeman Foot Scrub product for the purpose of review. Here are my thoughts:

freemans-reviewIf you’ve ever had dry winter feet, then you can really appreciate the wonderful feeling of smooth, soft feet. Some products are designed to really soften and exfoliate feet in a matter of moments while other foot care products help to smooth feet over time. What I love about Freeman Bare Foot Creamy Pumice Foot Scrub (Peppermint and Plum) is that it feels great, smells amazing, and gives me soft, smooth feet just as soon as I step out of the shower.

I received a few products from Freeman for the purpose of review, including the Bare Foot scrub, which had been a longtime favorite of mine dating as far back as a decade ago or more if I’m not mistaken. Old favorites die hard, I suppose, as I feel this product has only gotten better since I’ve last used it. The fresh aroma of plum is captivating. I absolutely adore it, as it reminds me of fragrant berries on a warm summer day.

The product is so easy to use, making it an easy part of your shower routine. Simply dispense a small amount of foot scrub from the tube and massage onto your tired, rough, or dry feet. The creamy pumice scrub evenly and smoothly glides over your skin and gently yet effectively softens your feet – toes, arches, heels, and all.

If you are interested in trying Freeman Bare Foot Creamy Pumice Foot Scrub (Peppermint and Plum) for yourself, you can usually find it at your favorite drugstores and mass market retailers, as well as online at Amazon.com.

Top 10 Girls’ Weekend Getaways – Ideas and Activities for Women of All Ages

Consider these fun girls weekend getaways for bachelorette parties, hen parties, or simple girls weekends.As we get older, it often seems that we see our dear friends less and less. That’s why it’s so important to plan regular girls’ weekend getaways (weekend getaways for women) to keep the bonds of friendship alive or even to celebrate a Bachelorette party. You can plan a great and affordable girls’ weekend out local to your home or you can organize a more extravagant girls’ weekend vacation involving airfare, bus fare, or road trip style driving. Consider the girls in your group and what each woman would be most inclined to do. Once you know your friends’ preferences and budgets, you should be well on your way to planning exciting, relaxing, and memorable girls’ weekend breaks.

As you begin thinking about various girls’ weekend getaway ideas that you might be able to put into action, consider opening the brainstorming session to all the girls in your group. Have each woman think of between three and five girls’ weekend getaways that she might like to try. Once you’ve collected all the responses from your friends, compare and consolidate the girls’ weekend activities and getaways into a single list. Share the overall list – or a list of the most popular suggestions for weekend getaways for women – with your group of girls and determine which trip suits your group the best.

Try these top 10 girls’ weekend ideas to escape the real world and enjoy some special time with your favorite girls.

Top 10 Girls’ Weekend Getaway Ideas
Plan a fun girls weekend with these suggestions.Women’s weekend getaways can be some of the most fun vacations ever when you get to travel with your best female friends. Consider these top 10 girls’ weekend ideas for your group of women, no matter what your ages.

1.    Weekend Spa Getaways – A girls’ spa weekend may be just what the doctor ordered to give you and your gal pals some rest, relaxation, and total mind, body, and spirit rejuvenation. Enjoy massages, facials, seaweed wraps and time in the sauna for a holistic weekend spa getaway.

2.    Wild Girls’ / Vegas Weekend – The wild weekend getaway for women can range from a local casino or male revue to an all-out Las Vegas vacation. This option may be perfect for Bachelorette parties and hen weekends. Just remember to use your discretion (especially if you are in a relationship or married) and stay safe no matter what you decide to do.

3.    Rustic Camping Weekend
– Even the girls enjoy a good camping trip now and again. Plan a fun camping experience for your closest friends where you can enjoy hiking, boating, fishing, sun tanning, and campfire cooking. Escape technology and embrace the great outdoors.

4.    Wine Weekend – A list of weekend getaways for women just wouldn’t be complete without the ultimate wine weekend. Plan a girls’ only wine tour or visit a winery with a wine stomp, chocolate pairing, or other fun and exciting twist.

5.    Road Trip Getaway – Road trips can be a lot of fun, even if it’s only for a short distance. Find somewhere that your group of girls can visit for a girls’ vacation and plan your route accordingly. Attempt to take one vehicle for your girls’ road trip if possible, or multiple cars if you must.

5 More Girls’ Weekend Getaways…