Archive Monthly Archives: November 2017

Holiday Beauty Tips

November 27, 2017

Tips to get you through the party season.

Even with the hectic pace of the holidays, it’s still possible to look fabulous by making a few adjustments to your beauty routine.

The holiday season can be incredibly busy for all of us. There are trees to decorate, cards to write, cookies to bake and all of those shopping trips to the mall. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. But the most fun of all is attending the holiday parties and, of course, the party of the year—New Year’s Eve. You’ve got the perfect dress. You’ve found the perfect shoes. But with the hectic schedule and no time to primp, how can you possibly look your most fabulous?

Indispensable Holiday Beauty Tips

No More Kiss-Away Lips

Holiday parties always involve a lot of kissing. We kiss hello, we kiss goodbye and we kiss under the mistletoe. The last thing we want to do is spend the whole night reapplying our favorite holiday shade of lipstick. Remember, for every family member you kiss on the cheek, you are most likely giving them a take-home gift of your lipstick on their face. So, to keep your lipstick intact, avoid the glossy and go matte. First, apply a layer of your favorite lip balm to keep lips hydrated. Then apply your favorite shade of matte lipstick. Your lips will look kissable a lot longer and you won’t have to worry about leaving your mark on everyone’s cheek.

Holiday Nail Nuisances

Our hands definitely take a beating during the holiday season. Gift-wrapping, baking or just playing in the snow is not great for our holiday party manicure. But who even has time to stop and get a manicure this time of year? If you happen to chip a nail and ruin your perfect polish, no worries. This is the one time of the year when a glittery polish is totally on trend. Rather than re-polish your nails, just apply a bit of glittery polish with a clear or complementary base to the tips of your nails. The glitter will blend beautifully and hide the chips beneath.

Bye-Bye Flyaways

Between the weather, the dry air, the forced heat and our favorite winter scarf and hat, our hair doesn’t stand a chance. Flyaways definitely become normal this time of year. Not a big deal if you’re home wrapping presents, but a big deal if you’re at your husband’s office party. Keep a travel size bottle of hairspray in your bag at all times to tame those pesky little hairs. Gently comb the flyaways back down to keep your hair looking smooth and polished. If you have a spare toothbrush, give it a quick blast of hair spray and focus on just the flyaway pieces. Your hair will maintain its polished party look all night, and you won’t look like you have an over-sprayed helmet head.

Mascara Mishap

Long, lush lashes can really make your holiday look. But when you’re rushing to put your face on, the last thing you need is a mascara mess up. Always use an eyelash curler to give your lashes that extra oomph they so deserve. But when applying your mascara, be careful not to make a mess. There’s nothing worse than messy mascara. Try placing a spoon on your eyelid as you swipe on your mascara. This way if there’s a mishap, it will end up on the spoon and not your eyelids.

Stylize Your Hair with Zero Effort

No time for the salon but in desperate need of a glamorous holiday do? Go simple. Pull your hair back in a loose ponytail, elegant braid or even a low chignon, and then tuck in a sparkly piece of jewelry for added flair. Secure with a few sticky bobby pins (just spray your bobby pins with some hair spray and allow to dry before inserting), and your hair will be ready to ring in the New Year. A simple hairstyle will be kicked up a notch just by adding a bit of sparkle.

That’s it. Follow these holiday beauty tips during the party season and you’ll look fabulous as you celebrate with your dear friends and family.

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Make Holiday Season Fitness a Priority

Stay motivated and dedicated.

Staying motivated with a fitness plan during the holidays can be difficult for some. Here’s a list of fitness essentials that will help to keep you healthy and active during the holidays.

The holiday season can test the willpower of even the most dedicated fitness and health enthusiasts. So, this holiday season, set yourself up for success with some fitness and nutrition essentials that may help you to keep your weight loss or body composition goals on track.

Here are some of my favorite essentials:

Calorie Tracking App

Keeping track of your daily calorie intake is especially important during the holidays. Download a calorie tracking app so that you can stay as close to your daily target as possible. Keeping your weight stable over the holidays is important, and having technology at your fingertips may help you to avoid high-calorie party snacks.

Activity Tracker

Wearable fitness devices are everywhere these days, and they can be helpful for improving your fitness level and keeping track of your daily activity minutes. There are several wearable devices to choose from, so consider selecting one that is easy to use and can remind you that it’s time to get moving.

Reflective Clothing

As the weather cools down and days get darker earlier, exercising outdoors can be a challenge. Investing in some warm running clothing with reflective strips can help to keep you safe and warm outside.

New Running Shoes

Winter is a good time to invest in some new running shoes. Poor weather conditions can make the ground slippery, so having running shoes with good tread at this time of the year is important. A lot of new models are often released during the holiday season, which will make shopping for new shoes a lot of fun.

Mini Stretch Bands

Mini stretch bands come in various colors and resistance levels. They are inexpensive, easy to travel with and perfect for using to warm up hips, glutes, shoulders and back. You can create a full-body efficient warm-up, or use them for a fast and effective resistance routine. Mini bands are perfect for a quick, at-home workout or for use during holiday travel.

New Music

When you really need a boost, put some new, inspirational workout songs on your playlist. Music is great for motivating you to get off the couch, helping you to run that extra mile, or pushing through a heavy lifting session. Download some new music or reshuffle your existing library to keep your workouts interesting.

Wireless Headphones

During the colder months, we often wear lots of layers for exercising. Even if you’re working out indoors, you still need to get warmed up before removing outer layers. Traditional headphones with wires tend to get in the way, so consider investing in a new wireless pair. You may find that you spend less time adjusting and moving wires out of the way and more time focused on your training session.

Foam Roller

Avoid paying for costly massages and do it yourself at home. A foam roller is a helpful tool for stretching and loosening tight muscles. It can be used on multiple parts of your body, and it’s particularly helpful for stretching your hamstring muscles prior to performing any high-intensity exercise.

Hand Sanitizer

Nothing will halt your workout plan faster than catching a cold or flu. So, arm yourself with hand sanitizer and use it often during the winter months.

Jump Rope

Jumping rope is a good old-fashioned way to warm up and get your heart rate going. Warming up for 10 minutes increases your core body temperature, gets synovial fluid moving and oils your joints, which will help prevent injury. If you don’t have time to go to the gym, you can use an interval style training method and use your jump rope for your entire routine.

Heart Rate Monitor

If you’re doing high intensity interval exercises, you may want to invest in a heart rate monitor. In these types of exercises, you want to raise your heart rate up to, or beyond, your calculated maximum heart rate (220 minus your age) for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by a short recovery period. You want to make sure you’re pushing yourself to your anaerobic threshold to get the best training results. It’s almost impossible to accurately measure your heart rate manually when it’s above 150, so investing in a heart rate monitor is a great idea.

Protein Snack Bars

Consuming a healthy protein-rich snack before attending holiday parties is a great way to ensure that you stay on track with your weight loss or weight maintenance goals. Protein is perfect for helping you to feel full and curb unnecessary party snacking.

Staying on track during the holidays takes a lot of dedication. Finding simple but effective ways to stay motivated and dedicated is important. Tracking your calorie intake and making smart food choices when possible will help you to maintain your figure and stay in control. If you don’t need the extra help for yourself, consider giving a healthy, active lifestyle gift to a friend this holiday season.

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What to Do With Leftovers?

Great ideas for holiday leftovers

You’ve heard it time and again. For many people (and I may be one of them) the best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holiday and all the preparations. But after a couple of days of gearing up, it seems like the meal goes by in a flash. So, it’s nice to have a leisurely weekend to get creative with the leftovers.

While I don’t know exactly what’s in your fridge the day after the holiday, it’s safe to say that you’re likely to have turkey, some potatoes (white and or sweet), a bit of cranberry sauce, a little stuffing, a dab of gravy and probably a container of the ever-popular green bean casserole. Reheating is fine, but after a couple of meals, I’m usually looking for a change in taste.

Creative Tips for Your Leftovers

Hands down, my favorite thing to make after the holiday is turkey soup. Once the turkey bones have been stripped of all their meat, I simmer them with onion, celery, carrots, salt and pepper for a few hours to produce a heavenly stock. From there, you can do a basic turkey noodle, or add your leftover mashed potatoes for a creamy soup base. A dab of leftover gravy will add a lot of flavor—but go easy, since it’s loaded with calories.

The turkey lends itself to a million uses, but if you have so much left over that you don’t think you’ll use it in a few days, shred it into meal-sized portions and freeze. It’s great to have it handy to add to dishes like soup, pasta or burritos. Here’s something you may not have thought of—turkey lettuce cups. Heat up some minced leftover turkey with some diced scallions and a little Chinese hoisin sauce, then spoon into iceberg lettuce leaves. It’s a light and refreshing change from the usual turkey sandwiches.

Cranberry sauce is amazing on top of plain yogurt or oatmeal, or spooned over mixed fresh fruit for a quick dessert. You can also blend it with nonfat cream cheese for a tasty spread for your whole grain toast. I also like to spike my cranberry sauce with some ginger, garlic and soy sauce and serve on grilled fish or tofu. It tastes like a really sophisticated barbecue sauce.

If your original sweet potato dish wasn’t too sweet, you can dice up the leftovers with the leftover turkey, then sauté with some onions and other veggies for a one-dish hash. Serve with a green salad and you’re all set. Sweet potatoes would also make the start of a pretty great curry with some leftover turkey added.

Stuffing and green bean casserole are some of the highest calorie leftovers, so you’ll want to use them sparingly and stretch them out with some healthier ingredients. Add some canned tomatoes and chopped turkey to your leftover stuffing to make a filling for stuffed peppers. And that leftover green bean casserole? Try heating it up with some white wine or broth, then add some garlic and hot pepper flakes and toss with some whole grain pasta.

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Manage Holiday Stress in the Name of Beauty

November 20, 2017

Rest, relax and enjoy the holidays.

The holiday season often comes with stress and sleepless nights. It’s the perfect time to focus on a little rest and relaxation in the name of beauty.

It’s supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year.” It’s a time when families come together to celebrate the holidays, give back to their communities, exchange gifts and prepare their favorite family meals. It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, this particular time also comes with stress and sleepless nights. There is so much to do and never enough time to do it. Jam-packed parking lots and stores, endless holiday cards to send and searching for gifts for the ones you love can take a toll. And with all of the holiday parties we have to attend, looking our best can be a challenge.

It’s time to focus on a little R&R in the name of healthy looking skin. Can it be done? Absolutely. Do stress and lack of sleep really affect our appearance? You bet it does. Unfortunately, when we’re feeling stressed or tired on the inside, it also shows on the outside. And trust me, it’s not a good look. A good night’s sleep and a bit of relaxation can truly affect your inner and outer beauty.

Here are a few ways to unwind during the holidays so you can look and feel your absolute best.


I know it seems impossible to relax during the hectic holiday season, but it’s a must in the name of beauty. Stress can wreak havoc on both your appearance and your overall wellness, including your heart, digestion, weight, memory and sleep. When it comes to your skin, stress can bring on breakouts and cause dehydration, which can lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Stress can cause hormonal imbalances and affect your skin’s barrier function, which could potentially affect your immune system. And don’t get me started on the effects of stress on the hair. If you aren’t interested in turning gray or experiencing hair loss over the holidays, then it’s time to unwind.

To help you relax, it’s important to find a little “me” time even during the busiest time of the year. If you can find just five minutes a day to do a little meditation, it will serve you and your appearance well. Just by entering into a relaxed, peaceful state you can release chemicals into your body that will help to counter the stress hormones you are creating. It’s so simple.

A Few Tips to Try

  • Find your “happy place.” Look for a place that’s quiet and removed from the holiday chaos. A comfy little spot just for you will do.
  • Close your eyes, sit up straight and tall, and place your hands in your lap.
  • Slowly begin to breathe. Inhale through your nose until your lungs are filled, and then slowly exhale through your mouth. Deep breathing will help to slow your heart rate and inspire a feeling of calm. It will also help to lower your blood pressure.
  • If you can dedicate even more than five minutes, do it. A few extra minutes out of your crazy day will only help you to further alleviate your stress levels.

Managing stress can be difficult. We need to take advantage of every opportunity to get our stress levels under wraps.

Here Are a Few of My Favorite Stress Reducers

  • Soaking in a bubble bath
  • Practicing yoga to help train the mind and body to better deal with daily chaos
  • Listening to music (preferably while soaking in the tub)
  • Shopping online, which is a huge time and stress reducer during the hectic holidays
  • Watching TV or a movie
  • Reading a book or the latest fashion magazine
  • Taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood

Once you’ve mastered the art of relaxing, you’ll likely notice a change in your appearance, as well as your demeanor. In addition to relaxing, you also need to get a good night’s sleep or it’s all for nothing. Many people admit to losing sleep at night due to stress. And others admit to being even more stressed out because they’re too tired to deal with holiday activities. It’s a vicious cycle.

Get Some Sleep

Remember, as crazy as it sounds, we call it “beauty sleep” for a reason. I often say a good night’s sleep should be everyone’s number one, go-to beauty tip. There is nothing like that youthful, healthy-looking glow you get after a good sleep. Couple a good night’s sleep with your favorite nighttime skin care products and you’ll look fantastic and refreshed.

During the holidays we tend to stay up later celebrating, wrapping presents or putting the finishing touches on our favorite DIY holiday project. Whatever the case, this is not the time to skimp on sleep. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies release more cortisol than usual. Cortisol is a stress hormone, which in excess can have us looking tired and stressed out in no time. Our skin can become a bit inflamed and it can affect our collagen. Over time you’ll begin to notice less firmness in your skin and compromised elasticity. The result: fine lines, wrinkles and dry skin.

A restless night also shows under our eyes. There’s no amount of concealer that will cover those dark under-eye circles when we’re exhausted. When we don’t sleep, the blood vessels found directly under the skin around the eyes become dilated and we end up looking like a raccoon.

When we’re sleeping, our body goes into repair mode. This is when the repairing and renewing of our cells occurs. This is vital for our entire body—but when it comes to our skin, it also helps to fend off early aging. Think of sleep as your most important beauty aid, and do your best to get a good eight hours every night. A good night’s sleep will make it easier to face the daily stresses this season. After all, we want to look our best during the holidays.

Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep During the Holidays

  • Keep your bedroom cool, under 70 degrees if possible
  • Make sure your room is dark—black-out shades will definitely help
  • Turn off the TV, computer, phone, etc. before crawling into bed
  • Invest in a nice, comfy pair of PJ’s while doing your holiday shopping—a special treat to help you survive the season

The holidays are what we make of them. This really is a wonderful time of year that we all should be able to enjoy to its fullest. It’s all about friends and family. And everyone wants to look their best, rested and relaxed. After all, we have a brand new year to look forward to. So, let’s look our best in the name of reduced stress.

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Dry Skin Vs. Dehydrated Skin: What’s the Difference?

November 20, 2017

Hydration is the key to healthy skin.

Do you know the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

Water is essential to the entire body; after all, our bodies are made up of approximately 70% water. Keeping the body hydrated both internally and externally is something that we all need to do to look and feel good. When our bodies become dehydrated, many things can happen and none of them are good. The most obvious is that we become thirsty. But we can also experience dry mouth, muscle cramping, headaches, nausea and loss of energy. And our skin can suffer, too. But dehydrated skin and dry skin are two different things.

Identifying Dry Skin

Dry skin is considered a skin type—like oily skin, normal skin, combination skin, etc. When your skin is dry, it has almost no oil present on the surface. Dry skin can get better or worse due to internal and external factors, including weather, season, skincare regimen and so much more. People who experience dry skin usually have visible, flaky patches on the surface of the skin. They tend to be sensitive to temperature extremes and their fine lines and wrinkles are more noticeable. The upside is that those with dry skin tend to have fewer breakouts than those with oily skin.

If you have dry skin, you definitely need to choose a facial cleanser that is formulated for dry skin to help replenish that much-needed moisture. You’ll want to use a facial serum coupled with daytime and nighttime moisturizer to help nourish your dry skin. And, of course, you want to keep your entire body hydrated with a nourishing body lotion, to be applied immediately after your bath or shower when the skin is still damp. The good thing about dry skin is that you can help alleviate the symptoms and keep your skin looking fabulous.

The Causes of Dehydrated Skin

Dehydrated skin is an actual condition that can affect any skin type, no matter what type you have. In other words, everyone’s skin is prone to dehydration. Dehydrated skin is the result of the body needing moisture, both inside and out. As Herbalife Nutrition Expert Susan Bowerman always says, most people need 8–12 cups of fluid a day (about 2–3 liters). But the needs vary somewhat, depending on your age, gender and activity level.

When it comes to dehydrated skin, there are some obvious signs to look for. Your skin will look dull, sallow and tired in its appearance. It may feel tight, sensitive and, in some cases, like it’s burning. It can look red, irritated and take on a rough, flaky-looking texture. And, unfortunately, any fine lines and wrinkles that you may have can become much more noticeable.

In reality, the signs of dehydrated skin are quite similar to those you get from sunburn. Dehydrated skin can occur at any time throughout the year and is often aggravated by the weather, air conditioning, indoor heat, wind, baths or saunas and, of course, our lifestyle choices. Things like smoking, drinking too much alcohol or caffeine and ingesting too much salt can all contribute to skin dehydration. We also need to be conscientious of what we’re putting on our skin. Using skincare products that contain a lot of harsh and irritating ingredients, or that aren’t dermatologist-tested, can further provoke the condition.

So, what can we do? Be sure to keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Be conscientious about what you are putting in and on your body. Be diligent with your morning and evening skincare regimen. Look for moisturizing ingredients, such as aloe vera, to provide the skin with the much-needed moisture it lacks. Choose facial and body cleansers that are free from sulfates, as they will be much gentler on the skin. And be sure to always apply your moisturizer from head to toe to keep your skin hydrated throughout the day. If you are really suffering, you may want to consider a warm mist humidifier to increase the humidity in your home or office.

Keeping your body well hydrated, both inside and out, is the key to keeping your skin looking healthy and youthful. A healthy diet coupled with a daily skincare regimen is exactly what your skin needs. Remember, the healthiest skin is always the most beautiful.

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How to Avoid Weekend Weight Gain

Keep good habits in place on the weekend.

Staying on track with your healthy routine over the weekend doesn’t have to be difficult.

No matter where you are on your personal health journey, always think twice before overindulging the entire weekend. It’s important to always try and keep your good habits in place and have cheat moments instead of entire cheat days. It’s amazing how easily you can gain excess weight in such a short amount of time. Although gaining weight is easy, weight loss takes time and dedication. One bad weekend of overindulging and sitting around may roll over in the week ahead and throw your entire healthy, active plan off track.

I’m a big believer that each day you need stay on track with your diet or your exercise routine, because letting both slide at the same time is a recipe for disaster. Although exercise can’t be used as a substitute for a poor diet, and balanced nutrition is important every day of the week, we know it’s okay to relax your plan every now and then. After a busy week of work, it’s nice to indulge in a little treat here and there. In that case, here are some tips to help you enjoy your weekends and keep your health and fitness goals on track at the same time.

No savings: Don’t cut down or starve all day to enjoy your meals at night. Skipping your breakfast and lunch is not a good way to avoid weight gain. There are many reasons why this is not a good tactic. A drop in blood sugar, lack of energy and lack of concentration are just a few of the downfalls of the starve-and-binge technique. Chances are that if you wait all day to enjoy your favorite foods, you’ll consume twice the amount because you’ll be so hungry.

Snacks: Have protein-rich snacks during the day. Filling up on healthy snacks that contain protein will help keep you full and stop you from eating large portions at meal times.

Stay active: Use your weekend as an opportunity to socialize with your friends while doing something active. Walking counts as exercise, so planning a nice afternoon hike or a window shopping trip is a perfect way to stay active. Consider taking a fun exercise class that you typically don’t have time to enjoy during the week.

Dancing: Letting loose on the dance floor is a great way to burn calories.

Keep your morning routine: Don’t skip your workouts. The best thing you can do is aim to keep your exercise and sleeping routine intact. Sleeping in for a long time in the morning may actually make you feel more lethargic throughout the day, and we all know that feeling tired makes us prone to reach for unhealthy snacks. Getting up at your regular time will help you to stay energized and maximize your weekend.

Watch your drinks: Try to avoid drinking too many sweet drinks. It’s amazing how many calories can be hiding in coffee drinks and alcoholic beverages. Staying hydrated with water will help you to avoid drinking too many sugary options.

Maximize your time with quick blast workouts: If you’re crunched for time, try to do a quick 10-minute routine in the morning and another before you go to bed. Simple exercises performed in an interval style will help you burn more calories and keep you active over the weekend.

Make every minute count: Think active all weekend long. Take the stairs, park in the furthest spot from the store or get outside and go for a walk. It’s too easy to just simply curl up inside the house and eat. The more active you are, the less time you have to snack on unhealthy treats.

Enjoy your weekends, relax and have fun, but stay as close to your healthy, active plan as you can and keep your good habits in place.

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