5 Beauty Essentials Every Girl Should Own Right Now [PHOTOS]

When I gave myself permission to buy these beauty staples, I wondered why I had waited so long.  Perhaps deep down I viewed them as luxuries or felt I wasn’t worth it.  Whatever the reason, don’t be like me.  You work hard and should reward yourself!

(A) Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel Salicylic Acid

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I started wearing this nightly and my face feels like silk.  Officially, it claims to reduce redness, build collagen, unclog and diminish enlarged pores and exfoliate.  I can attest that it does all of these things well without irritation.

(B) Mally’s Perfect Prep Eye Gel

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I can thank EmilyNoel83 on YouTube for recommending this way back when she was broadcasting the news.  It de-puffs your eyes like nobody’s business! As soon as my alarm goes off in the a.m., I apply this gel to both upper and lower lids to give it time to dry, then wash it off in the shower.  Marvelous and refreshing!

(C) Mason Pearson Hair Brush Handy Bristle B3 Dark Ruby

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Several years ago I removed my hair extensions for good, stopped coloring my hair and started using no-heat styling tricks in an effort to have the most healthy hair of my life.  To reward myself for sticking to this regimen, I finally bought a Mason Pearson brush, something I’d wanted since childhood.  It’s fabulous! Eliminates static, enhances shine and creates natural fullness and body without teasing.  Is it worth the steep price? Definitely!

(D) 100% Genuine Silk Pillowcase

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The very first time I bought a ‘silk’ pillowcase, I was duped into selecting a polyester fabric instead of the genuine article.  Don’t be misled.  I found this one from lovasilk.com where they carry 100% mulberry silk.  Using this prevents the dreaded sheet-wrinkled-face and sharply curtails hair static and split ends.

(E) Philips Sonicare Electric Toothbrush

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My skepticism was quickly replaced by buyer satisfaction when I realized this toothbrush does exactly what it promises. Seriously reduces tartar and buildup plus keeps gums healthy.

DISCLAIMER:  The foregoing items were all purchased by this writer.  The author receives no remuneration in return for recommending these or any other products mentioned on this website.  The following links are provided as a courtesy.

If you’d like to purchase any of the items, here are the links.  (A) Paula’s Choice  http://goo.gl/IwCNAL  (B) Mally http://goo.gl/mGvCuC (C) Mason Pearson  http://goo.gl/B6Moy6  (D) Lovasilk http://goo.gl/zRghYs (E) Sonicare http://goo.gl/qZ83dV

5 Gurus Who Inspire Me to Plan with Perfection [PHOTOS]

Today I sat down to plan the week ahead but encountered stale-brain and unmotivated lethargy.  Because I’m responsible not only for my schedule but also for my husband’s, I couldn’t afford to stay uninspired for long.  Enter these creative planners who helped me get back on track just by looking at their clever works of art.

@villabeautiful_creates

Photo: @villabeautifful_creates

Gorgeous colors and positive words helped buoy my spirits.

@paperheartofgold

Photo:  @paperheartofgold

The creamy luster of the pearls plus golden words and candlelight created peace and banished my pre-planning anxiety.

@createwithbeth_dashboard

Photo:  @createwithbeth

The graphic design, black-and-white repeat-pattern, frame, generous use of white space and bold colors made me smile.

@hautepinkfluff

Photo:  @hautepinkfluff

Neon brightness of the Filofax Fluoro Pink always boosts my mood.  Juxtapose it against polka dots, plenty of bows and a hot pink tassel and I’m feeling that much happier!

@sheseclectic

Photo:  sheseclectic

Polka dots and bunting plus camel, brown and cream layer beautifully against this planner’s gorgeous handwriting.

Who inspires you in the planner community?

THE LOOK FOR LESS: CHANEL

When we’re yearning for Chanel but encountering the reality of steep prices, we might be tempted to try some awesome alternatives.  We’re not advocating for knock-offs or replicas but for affordable luxuries that achieve polish and panache. Here are some classy options without cashing-in our retirement savings.

CHANEL WATCH

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Chanel Premiere Watch $895

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Joan Rivers Parisian Watch, $39.99 

CHANEL BLACK QUILTED BAG

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Chanel Matelasse Bag, $2500

Unbranded_Patent_Shoulder_Bag_$132_at_DHGate

Unbranded Black Quilted Bag, $132

CHANEL BLAZER

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Chanel Double-Breasted Blazer, $1948

Double_Breasted_Black_Dress,_$15.39_@modlily

Unbranded Double-Breasted Dress, $15.38

CHANEL CAP-TOE FLATS 

Chanel_Cap-Toe_Flats_Black_$395.00_@TheRealReal

Chanel Cap-Toe Flats for $395

Quilted_Leather_Ballet_Flats_at_Ann_Taylor_for_$88

Ann Taylor’s Quilted Leather Ballet Flats for $88

CHANEL GOLD PLATED EARRINGS

Chanel_Medallion_Earrings_@therealreal_for_$225

Chanel Medallion Earrings, $225

Gold_Tone_Medallion_Earrings,_$18

Unbranded Medallion Earrings, $18

DISCLAIMER:  This blog post is not monetized nor does it contain affiliate links.  The links are simply provided as a courtesy.  No free products or gifts were received in exchange for mentioning the foregoing items.

The 10 Most Disappointing Shows of Fashion Month So Far [PHOTOS]

It’s okay to be disappointed by some of the ideas you see paraded during Fashion Month.

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Photo:  Marc Jacobs SS2016 RTW

Doesn’t mean you’re negative, pessimistic or opinionated.  Just indicates you’re a critical thinker, not being blindly led.

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Photo:  Tracy Reese SS2016 RTW

Right now we’re in the midst of Milan Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer 2016 offerings.  When a polished designer wants us to pay for the privilege of looking worse than we do when we awake in the morning, that’s where we should draw the line.

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Photo:  Leanne Marshall SS2016 RTW

Here are the 10 most disenchanting shows so far.

BCBG.

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Photo:  vogue.com

Nicholas K.

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Photo:  nowfashion.com

Rachel Comey.

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Photo:  elle.com

Marc Jacobs.

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Photo:  glamour.com

Ryan Lo.

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Photo:  seen.com

Ashley Williams.

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Photo:  style.com

Marques’ Almeida.

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Photo:  @plaidpanache on Instagram

Tracy Reese.

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Photo:  @trendfudge on Pinterest

A Detacher.

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Photo:  @jewelryrecipe

Faustine Steinmetz.

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Photo:  refinery29.com

Heading to Philadelphia to See the Pope? Here’s What 13 Women Wore to Meet the Pontiff

With the Pope making his first visit to the U.S. this week, I wondered how to dress when meeting him.  Since I’m a Christian but a non-Catholic, I really had no clue. This is what I found after doing some research.

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Princess Madeleine of Sweden meets the Pope

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 Queen Letitzia of Spain meets Pope Francis

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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, meets the Pope at The Vatican

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Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain meets Pope Francis

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First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy meets Pope John in 1962

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Sophia, Former Queen of Spain, meets the Pope; photo via @nickverreos

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Angelina Jolie meets Pope Francis

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Queen Mathilde of Belgium meets Pope Francis

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First Lady Nancy Reagan, President Ronald Reagan and the Pope

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Queen of Jordan and Pope Francis

First_Lady_Laura_Bush_meets_Pope_Benedict_XVI_via_@chinadaily.com.cn

First Lady Laura Bush meets Pope Benedict XVI ; photo via @chinadaily.com.cn

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First Lady Michelle Obama meets Pope Benedict XVI

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Queen Silvia of Sweden meets Pope Francis

Stand Out in a Crowd with These 5 Fool-Proof Fashion Tips

Prior to today’s Julien Macdonald Spring 2016 show at LFW, I had a bit of time to people-watch.

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A few audience members caught my eye not because of who they are but because of how they put themselves together.

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Which prompted this thought:  we spend the majority of our time preparing or waiting for events to begin, events which are often short-lived or anti-climactic.

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Why not flip the script and catch others’ attention while we’re in down-time?. We owe it to ourselves to star in our own life-shows, whether we’re in line at the grocery, meandering in the front yard or waiting for a fashion show to begin.

Here are 5 foolproof techniques to get noticed and be remembered long after you’ve left the crowd behind.

Wear Red.

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Photo:  Kate Middleton at Wimbledon, 2015.

Photo:  Julie Bishop of Australia meets Kate in Canberra, AU, April, 2014.

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Red accessories like hats, bags, scarves and shoes are fail-safe attention-grabbers.

Add Neon to Your Wardrobe.

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Here you have a jacket from Holly Fulton’s Spring 2016 show.

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Holly also featured neon bags in her SS2016 line.

Wear Something Unexpected.

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White hair on a young face, such as this audience member, caught my eye in a crowd of otherwise traditional hair colors.

Large, Colorful Spectacles Draw Attention to Your Eyes.

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Think Kelly Green.

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I’ll share additional tips and tricks in future posts, so tune in!

Traveling to London: 5 Outfits for High Tea

So you’re in London and invited to high tea.  What to wear? Never fear, five options are here.

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5 Inspirational Outfit Ideas for London Fashion Weekend

London Fashion Weekend begins now.  If you’re in need of outfit inspiration for attending the Spring/Summer 2016 shows, here are five looks you may even put together from wardrobe staples already in your closet.

A.

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B.

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C.

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D.

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E.

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10 Bloggers Show You How to Wear the Perfect Shade of Green

What is it about the color green that elicits so many compliments when worn in one’s outfit? Whether your favorite shade is kelly, mint, teal, hunter or something in between, I urge you to find a way to incorporate it into your capsule wardrobe. Even if you wear green in something as small as a tourmaline or garnet ring, you’ll find that total strangers go out of their way to ask you about it.  Here are 10 ideas to spur your outfit creativity.

@nuny

Photo:  @nuny

@leticiarosso

Photo:  @leticiarosso

@moniqueestyle

Photo:  @moniqueestyle

@omiga

Photo:  @omiga

@mitzi89

Photo:  @mitzi89

@omiga_001

Photo:  @omiga

@mitzi89_001

@mitzi89

@salvina

Photo:  @salvina

@_Paula_Deiro's_Secrets

Photo: Paula Deiro’s Secrets

@tisha

Photo:  @tisha

You’ll find all of these looks and more at Chicisimo.com

Copy These 6 Hair and Makeup Secrets of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders [PHOTOS]

Sunday night football begins this weekend complete with halftime by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.  Two of the cheerleaders–Angela Rena of Australia and Sydney Durso–offer their tips and tricks for creating long-lasting Farrah Fawcett hair and glowing makeup.

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Photo:  cmt.com

Use sulfate-free shampoo and always rinse your hair in cold water.

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For natural-looking brows, first use a brow pencil that matches your current hair color.  Follow with an angled-brush dipped in your regular finishing face powder.  Sydney uses her daily Chanel pressed powder.

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To avoid ringlets and achieve glam curls, vary the size of your hair-sections.  Angela uses larger portions below and above her head while reserving smaller sections in the middle.

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To achieve HD perfection on the huge screen at Cowboys Stadium, Sydney recommends warming foundation on the back of her hand before stippling it into her pores with a dual-bristled makeup brush.

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At the crown of her head, Angela sprays each section with dry shampoo to remove root-oil and guarantee more lift.  She cautions against rushing.  By curling before applying her makeup, each portion has a chance to cool and last through many performances of a four-hour game.

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For a summery glow year-round, use a fluffy brush to dust your bronzer at the temples and under both your cheekbones and chin.

If you’d like more makeup and hair tips from Angela and Sydney, you’ll find them on this CMT video.