Tag Archives: beauty

True Beauty Begins with a Beautiful Mind

Old age wisdom that has lasted centuries!

by Tammy Kroll

We ‘ve all heard “You are what you eat” and I can’t stress enough how important that is.  But have you also heard, “As a man thinketh, so is he”.  So, how does that relate to beauty?  Take stress, for example.  When we experience it, a chemical process happens within us, producing cortisol and wreaking havoc with our health, showing up on our faces with breakouts, dry flakiness, sallow complexion, worry lines, etc.  We cannot avoid stress but we can train our thoughts to counter-balance this sneaky skin zapper with happy chemicals like serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins to soothe our souls and smooth our skin.  As you would with your face, start the process of cleansing, toning and nourishing your mind.

 

Cleanse – To rid of impurites.

Take Inventory.  Rid your mind of any impurities that are clouding your thoughts.  Anger and bitterness towards others are as destructive to your mind as toxins and dirt are to your body.  Consider the media you choose. Negativity from certain TV shows, news and internet all can have adverse cumulative effects on the brain.  Are there people in your life, work situations, relationships that are constantly bringing you down?

De-clutter and sort.  Box up clothing you don’t wear and other items just taking up space.  Grab a huge garbage bag and start filling it with all the accumulated paper around your desk. Don’t put it off.  Start journaling.  Just the simple act of writing down your angry feelings, fears and hurts, can free up your brain.  Cut back on TV time or even cut it out altogether.  See how you feel – even after a short time.  Allow for creativity to fill the gap.

Let Go.  Forgive those who have hurt you.  It doesn’t mean you open yourself up to further wounding – set boundaries if you must.  The act of forgiveness is enough.  Right the wrongs that have been weighing on you – perhaps calling on or sending a note of apology if necessary.  And forgive yourself. Give yourself the gift of a fresh clean start.

 

Tone – Give greater strength or firmness to.

Set New Patterns.   Learn to interrupt old negative thought habits.  Have tools such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku or other games at the ready when those bad patterns creep back. Pick up an uplifting novel and spend time getting swept up in a beautiful setting and story.  Keep in mind it takes about 30 to 45 days to set new habits so give it time. It will be worth it in the end.

Be Productive. Start planning a garden or decorate a room in your house.  If you are on the creative side, paint a picture, knit a scarf, dust off that old guitar and crack open your Beatles anthology.  Creating and being productive is a great way to counter negativity and exercise your brain.

Learn Something New. Whether it’s taking a college course at a local campus or looking up something you’ve always wondered about online.  Learning, as well as creativity releases positive chemicals in the brain so go ahead and learn to paint! Challenge yourself and learn to fly!

 

Nourish – To supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth.

Be One With Nature.  Break from the angular world of desks and office cubicles and step out into the fresh air and onto the soft flowing curved paths of the reservoir or park.  Just a 30 minute stroll can change your mood for the better. Experience the Arts…stroll through a local Art museum or attend a poetry slam. Expand your perspective. And finally,  Love Somebody…beginning with yourself! Be grateful and compassionate. Give to charity. Hug someone…and give yourself a pat on the back!

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Where’d my Glow Go?

Creating a mid-Winter Sparkle!
by Tammy Kroll

Find yourself avoiding the mirror lately? Approaching a milestone birthday, perhaps? With the glorious sun kissed skin of summer long gone and fresh off the stress of holiday parties, chores and all its affects, we are now bustling to get back into regular mid-winter routines. Trying to relax, you may be simply strolling down the lovely Center for a mid-day walk or some week-end shopping, when suddenly it happens! You get a glimpse of a pale, dull, tired looking stranger in a disturbingly reflective storefront.  “How could that new spring/summer sleeveless number you just bought, ever look good on such sallow, flaky, dry skin?”

Although the bright shining holiday string lights are long since packed away, there is still time to transform with my 3 ‘EEEsy’ ways to let YOUR light shine this season:  Exfoliate, Enrich and Enhance!

Exfoliate
It’s important to continuously remove the outside dead layers of winter skin to reveal new vibrant skin underneath.  There are some amazing products on the market to achieve the desired result.  Botanically based ones are the safest and healthiest.  The older you are the more important it is to choose less abrasive methods like a natural papaya enzyme mask.  Retinoid, a derivative of vitamin A, is another key ingredient and can give quick results…2 to 4 weeks depending on the strength of the product.  This would be applied at night since the ingredient itself can interact with the sun, making skin more sensitive.  A product that comes in a tub with slightly rough pads that can be run over the face and neck are the easiest way to apply  (Tip: Before I throw a pad away I run it over each forearm, another place aging pops up quickly.  For your body I recommend a sugar or sea salt scrub toward the end of your shower 2-3 times a week.  Find one with mood elevating therapeutic oils like lemon and rosemary.

Enrich
This is a two-part step.  The first is moisture that really sinks into your skin.  Avoid those products that contain mineral-oil type of ingredients which just sit on top of your skin (even quality ingredients that may be in the product will not penetrate).  Instead, choose products that contain botanically based oils that will deliver nutrients deep into the layers of your skin, such as Sweet Almond and ones rich in anti-oxidant vitamins like A, C and Raspberry Oil, which is very high in vitamin E.  These products should also contain an SPF of at least 20 to protect your skin from the damaging effects of even the winter sun.  Without the shade of the trees you may be getting more exposure than you think.  Your newly exfoliated skin will need that protection.

The second step is nutrition. I can’t stress this simple rule enough: Eat more veggies and less fat and sugar!  And I’m not talking about high carb/starchy vegetables such as potatoes and corn. Squeeze in as many greens as you can every day, such as spinach and kale.  Orange veggies like squash and carrots, containing beta carotene, actually give your skin a nice glow.  Even green and red vegetables contain carotenoids that enhance your coloring. You will be amazed at the transformation of your skin in just a short time of healthy eating!  Fruits like oranges are good too, but in limited amounts because of their sugar/carb content.  It may be a rough start at first, especially if your system is used to sugar and fat, but it will be well worth the effort.  Before you know it, your body will be craving those vitamin-enriched veggies.

Enhance
If a little more skin tone or color is still needed, nix the unsafe tanning bed and invest in a good self-tanner which will go on smooth and evenly on your newly exfoliated skin.  Don’t forget to wash your hands to avoid orange palms.  Then apply to the backs of your hands…a spray is usually good for this, though you still need to rub the backs of your hands together making sure you go all the way to the finger tips and blend back down to your forearms.  On your face, try one of the new BB or CC creams out for fun.  Some products contain a built in highlighter.  Finish off with a bit of reflective powder or bronzer on your cheekbones, upper chest or décolleté, and shoulders for a final shimmer!

Now you are ready for spring!  And, it doesn’t matter that days are longer and a brighter springtime sun will be streaming into your home…you will be the one lighting up the room!

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Heavenly Hair

Looking your best under this Season!
by Stacey Cohen

We all know that having a ‘good hair day’ pretty much assures us of a ‘good day’ in general! Quite simply, when we look better, we feel better. So much of our attitude and outlook for the day is directly reflected upon how we feel about ourselves at the time!

So how do we face this crazy, busy holiday season head-on with a bright and bubbly attitude? Making sure our hair looks great, of course!

Tickled pink to dish on holiday hair for any and every occasion, I’d like to offer my top three hair-do’s of the season. Whether you opt to have your hair professionally blow-dried or take your strands into your own hands, they are easy, no-fuss remedies for taming wild hair into ‘heavenly hair’ this holiday season!

1. Since time is of the essence for all of us this holiday season, we want to be able to look good in as little time as possible! Buns, braids and ponies are a great twist on the classic up-do and just as easy to do in just a few minutes. Don’t worry about making your cinched hair perfect because even messy side buns, tousled fishtail braids and loose low ponytails make the list!

2. Everyone is crushing this season on curls and waves! A sleek blow-out with soft waves is so glamorous. Add extra volume and layers of headbands for a l’il va-va-voom at your next holiday party!

3. The faux bob has been all over the runway and we’re obsessed with that chic look! Curl your hair, tease it a bit and then tuck your hair under and pin. Add a brooch or sparkly clip to make this style super special!

So, next time you are in a time pinch to get to a special holiday event and want to do something special with your hair, remember it doesn’t have to be complicated. Try these tips for a perfect hair-do. After all, perfect hair equals perfect confidence!

 

 

 

 

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Beauty Wherever you Land

Looking and Feeling Beautiful on the Go!
by Tammy Kroll

These are amazing times.  Technology allows us opportunities to work, shop, run errands, from the comfort of our homes.  With online conferencing, virtual malls and even on-line grocery shopping, we don’t even have to leave our home!  A welcome respite from constantly checking our look in the mirror as we rush out the door. We can do it all from home…until we begin to let ourselves ‘go’.  You know… no make-up (your being ‘natural’), P.J.s until noon (and beyond), the ‘messy’ bun (passé), and slightly atrophied after having only lifted coffee cups!  And God forbid you get comfortable enough to saunter out to the mailbox in your robe!  Settled in that groove, what if your home business, your boss, or other life circumstances dictate you leave your feathered nest to travel?  Would your pale face panic at the thought?  Here are some tips to ease the transition:

In The Nest

My recommendation…sleep in!  Or at least let the light of the day wake you. A jarring alarm does nothing for health and can even shock your system.  Instead, waken to the musical chirps of our feathered friends.  Getting to bed early sets your body’s clock naturally. Naps are also good for your looks.  Invest in a comfortable sleep mask to keep out natural light.  20 minutes is all that is needed to look and feel refreshed

Do not live on coffee alone.  Coffee is dehydrating.  Rather, start with an energy fueled breakfast like an organic, veggie laden omelet and green tea which is preferable for beautiful skin and weight control.   Break for lunch!  Hopefully you have lost the flannels and dressed for success at this point and can meet a friend or client for some sushi (rich in skin loving Omega 3’s).  Staying connected with others is vital to remain in good health.

Working from home gives you many beautifying opportunities that those of the traditional working world aren’t allowed.  Before a round of client phone calling, comb a 30 minute deep conditioning treatment thru your hair.  Conference call?  Slather on an exfoliating facial mask or use an at home teeth bleaching kit. Video call?  Then maybe a detoxifying foot soak to slough off dead skin and get ready for the beach.  Or, for your own fun, apply a self-tanner just before and see who notices your change in color.  Self-tanners give a natural looking glow without aging damage from the sun. Use one without mineral oil that absorbs into skin without streaking.  Cover entire areas, avoiding dry spots.  Exfoliating first ensures an even application.

Break from work, errands, and on-line shopping to try some healthy yoga or a new dance fitness game.  Circle the block on your bike or take a quick walk.  Hit a few whiffle golf balls in the back yard.  Even 30 min. daily can make a difference in how you look and feel, again, adding glow to our skin.  Many of us work from home for the flexibility so take advantage of that and have some healthy fun.

In Flight (Traveling)

Bring that mask to catch up on beauty sleep. Whether it’s daytime or your seat mates are reading, the mask will keep you drifting in dreamland.  Neck pillows are great to avoid ‘cricks’ and the blow up ones pack well.  Your favorite pashmina can double as a blanket.

Drink plenty of water before you take flight.   Remember, water is not allowed into the airport terminals.  Once through, buy yourself some bottled water.  It’s needed to fight the dry effects of inflight air.  Pour a few drops in your hand and pat all over face and arms to stay refreshed.  Purchase a mini skin spritzer with a refreshing citrus or relaxing lavender scent.  Just be sure the ounces meet inflight guidelines.

It’s also important to keep skin moisturized.  Most skincare lines offer sample sizes perfect for traveling.  Contact your skincare provider for samples of favorite products and pop them in your travel kit for a little skin refreshment.  Pat some all over your face soon after you’ve used your skin spritzer.  Make sure your travel kit contains a lip moisturizer or gloss, preferably with SPF20 or more and reapply often while in flight.  Keep the rest of your makeup simple.  Forgo the foundation and shadows opting for powdered bronzer instead, lightly brushing on cheekbones, forehead and chin.  Clear eyebrow gel vs. mascara defines and keeps lashes moisturized avoiding smudges during sleep.

Gone are the glory days of balanced meals on even long flights.  Eat well and take your vitamins before you travel to keep energy up.   Peanuts, served on most flights, offer a good source of protein (the honey roasted ones may contain wheat and should be avoided if you are gluten sensitive). When asked for a drink, order orange juice with immunity boosting vitamin C or tomato juice both loaded with skin enhancing anti-oxidants.  Order them without ice to get the most benefit.  Order more water. Again, avoid coffee. Carry protein bars to avoid starchy, sugar-laden snacks that sap energy.

Practice these simple steps and let your beauty take flight!

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Making the New Year Beautiful

Eight Easy Steps to help create new you…inside and out!
by Shari Phillips

Every year I vow never to make another New Year’s resolution that I know I cannot keep (I tend to be over zealous in my expectations). Two years ago I made a healthy resolution and stuck with it and wow, did that change my life. Then 2011 came around and I slumped back into my indifference and did I pay for that decision. Now that 2012 is here, my body yearns for the regimentation that was so successful when I made that commitment to myself.  So I give you this thought to examine: Do you really believe that you can be a happier, healthier, more successful and beautiful you? Take a moment to ponder this one, it’s very important. Before you can achieve these goals, you must have faith in your own willpower to get you there. Only then can you submit to a new life process and reap the benefits. I have decided again that yes, I can challenge myself and be successful, so I am going to share with you the strategies I used back then, and will use again this time around.

Surround yourself with nurturing rituals. Establish a well-rounded network of coaches, mentors, or personal trainers who can help you stay on course. Remember the phrase, “it takes a village to raise a child”? Going it alone leaves you feeling like you’re always fighting uphill battles. The load is always easier when shared and always exciting when you have a cheering section. Explore regular meditation and keep a daily journal. When I first started to meditate I went immediately to sleep. As I gained momentum in my journey to healthier living, I found my breathing technique and learned how to use it to manage stress, improve sleep and center myself during a busy day. Also, I purchased a notebook and recorded my days,  uncovering connections between what I ate and how I felt, noting times of the day when I needed to practice breathing exercises to improve my path.  It also became a tool that I would record data to share with my healthcare provider.

Get acquainted with aromatherapy. Whether it comes in the remembered scent of a flower-filled garden where you played as a child or baking bread, we all know the transporting and transcending powers of these familiar, happy smells. One whiff and our minds take us away from our current cares and concerns, back to our warmest and happiest moments. This powerful, transporting experience is the basis for the magic of aromatherapy. By exposing ourselves to plant and flower essences that arouse nurturing feelings in us, we can manipulate our brain chemistry to affect our behavior in a positive way. I found using aromatherapy in my hot bath every night helped to ease me into a gentle sleep.

Humor. Is there anything better than a child’s laughter? I feel totally rejuvenated after one of those belly laughs and I love the contagious laughter to lift my spirits. Try using this technique, when you answer your telephone, smile while you say hello. Note the positive reaction from the individual on the other end of the phone. Think back to a group you may have encountered when you just had to smile because you were drawn in to their laughter.

beautyMiddleCoupleListen to Emily Dickinson and practice healthy skin care.  As Emily Dickinson wrote, “Beauty is not caused. It is.” Youthful, healthy, radiant skin, these are all things we wish for. We can achieve them-by nurturing our skin properly, by promoting a clean environment, by being as peaceful as we can be, and by getting in touch with our own individual beauty and style. Beauty is closely related to the health of the mind and body, and to the conditions of our surroundings. When our health is weak, when we are stressed out, or when we are exposed to too many harmful pollutants, it shows on our faces. Use plant based, non-petrochemical cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreens, hair and body products and make-up and let your healthy living and hard work shine!

Incorporate massages into your weekly schedule. There is evidence that massaging promotes healing in many ways. It helps our bodies’ many systems to release toxins, increase blood flow, and deliver nutrients to all parts of the body. The soothing touch it involves helps us to feel connected and loved. I try and schedule mine at the end of my day thereby taking full advantage of the relaxation both mentally and physically.

Exercise. Yoga, tai chi, Pilates and aerobics whatever you like.  When we were children, we didn’t mind exercising. Most of us considered it “playing”: riding bikes, swimming, running, etc. and, as a result, it had a buoyant effect on our spirits. It’s probably a good idea to reconnect to that playful spirit before we approach a new exercise program especially those of us who approach it with dread. The benefits are abundant. We increase our heart rate and our immunity, raise our metabolism, manage our weight, lower our blood pressure, release stress and toxins, tone our muscles, strengthen the connection among mind, body, and spirit, prolong our youthfulness, build good cholesterol, and generally lengthen our lives. And if that’s not enough to get us moving think of how glowing you will look after a stretching exercise and a mile or two walk!

Eat organic foods: balancing the chemistry of your diet intelligently, with good amounts of protein and essential fatty acids, and a modest amount of carbohydrates. Tailoring daily diet and eating habits to your specific needs, using the wisdom of the ancient indigenous traditions and the latest scientific discoveries about food chemistry as it relates to body chemistry and blood type.

Finally, most importantly: Love.

 

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Beauty…Just How Deep is it?

Beautiful style begins with self-confidence
by Shari Phillips

My great-grandmother always reminded me that beauty is only skin deep. However, I think I’m going to go out on a family limb and disagree with how our family really judged the true beauty of a woman.

Beauty can be skin deep, but when I remember the person my great-grandmother was, I realize that beauty certainly starts much deeper than the skin. A remarkable woman, seemingly ahead of her time: she was generous, always tending to others’ needs before her own, and yet ambitious and self aware, because she always knew how to connect with what she desired, and balanced both sides graciously. This became my benchmark for success as a woman.

She was that woman we all seem to know in our own social circles…that self-confident woman radiating with a natural sense of style, creating her own individual beauty. I’m sure that comes to many people, in time, with life’s experiences and maturity…but sadly, not everyone attains this inner ease.

I love to watch today’s youth evaluate their contributions to style. For instance, my niece is seven years old and ever since she was four you could not pick out her clothes or even get involved with her fashion ‘preparation’.  She as an uncanny talent and love for mixing just the right colors, patterns and lengths with fun accessories to suit her personality and hone her own style, caring little for the opinions of others. Consequently, she already has a look of a self-assured young woman, really comfortable with herself.

Normally, as we grow older and socially ‘arrive’, we tend to seek the approval of our peers and thereby adapt someone else’s look blended into ours. We are susceptible to others criticisms which can unfortunately drive away much of our confidence. Sadly, many of us feel inadequate inside and out.

The good news is that we all have the potential to enhance our beauty!

Today we are reconnecting to traditions steeped in daily practices of self-awakening, self-realization, and self-appreciation… a wonderful opportunity to admit to ourselves what we like about our looks, about our expressions, and about our bodies. This is truly where beauty lives. And it is where it seeps through the skin becoming a marriage of one’s own harmonic dance.

Then comes the layering. Choose styles that work for you and your lifestyle so you will never have to consider whether you are in fashion or not. Trends are just that, temporary! Once you build on a classic tried and true foundation you can do anything that defines your style. Watch people. Learn from someone you admire. Choose make-up and hairstyles that compliment your face and head shape. Get real and check out your body shape when making a style decision and be sure to dress your body with love.

Always take into consideration your lifestyle first. Seriously, showing up to play golf with four-inch heels probably won’t win you any accolades.

True beauty goes deep into the soul but you can recognize it right on the surface; just check the eyes…

 

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FOUND: the Fountain of Youth!

And it’s probably in your refrigerator right now!
by Tammy Kroll

For centuries, people have been searching for that elusive fountain of youth – that one solution, serum, supplement, or powerful potion that will keep them vital forever!  While there are many wonderful products on the market that do help keep our skin glowing, hair glossy and teeth glistening white – three major signs of youth – the most basic and critical components for looking and feeling full of life may be in your home already!

Check the fridge! The food we eat each day can either fuel and enhance our look or can seriously inhibit it.  We are the ‘gate keepers’, so to speak, and are in full control of what we let in and keep out. Keeping our skin glowing and our body healthy, right down to our cells, requires daily doses of certain vitamins, antioxidants and minerals found in our diet.

Minimize aging damage by eating vegetables, such as carrots, squash, mangos and cantaloupe, all high in vitamin A, grapefruit, oranges, pineapple and strawberries (strawberries naturally whiten teeth, as well!) high in vitamin C, and mustard greens and spinach, loaded with vitamin E, known for its skin repairing properties.  Check the pantry for nuts, such as almonds, also a great source of vitamin E.

Foods containing B complex vitamins (B-12, niacin, biotin, and riboflavin) have properties for reducing itching and inflammation, while healing and repairing skin.  They are found in mushrooms, wheat germ, eggs and avocados, which also have healthy essential oils good for skin and body.

Chocolate anyone?  As well as being an anti-oxidant, cocoa is an excellent source of copper and zinc which are key minerals for keeping us young by building elastin in our skin. If you must have chocolate, just an ounce a day of at least 70% Cacao chocolate can be beneficial.  Potatoes, especially the skins, are also an excellent source of copper, as are oysters, which contain a significant amount of zinc.  Zinc helps fight acne by controlling sebum production in the skin to prevent clogging of pores and has the added benefit of boosting your immune system too. Try a handful of pumpkin seeds, which are loaded with zinc. Sprinkle them in salads, soups, oatmeal and yogurt!

With warm weather and outdoor cooking upon us, now’s a good time to start consuming more oily fish, such as salmon, which contain omega 3 fatty acids, for hydrating skin and even reducing acne by diluting and regulating sebum production.  Omega 3’s can lower risk of heart disease and increase cognitive brain function. Other foods rich in omega 3’s include flaxseed, olive oil and walnuts.  An added benefit of these foods is that they can also help with mood swings and depression…and a smiling face is a more youthful looking face!

Not only is what we eat important to our health, energy level and youthful appearance, but what we don’t eat is equally important!  Avoid the obvious high fat, high sugar/corn syrupy foods.  Consider cutting back on dairy and red meat.  Dairy, while good for strong teeth and bones, can make our systems more acidic, leading to skin, hair and health issues.  Make your dairy choices count – for example, eat more Greek yogurt with high protein and digestion friendly enzymes.  Red meat is another acid producing culprit in our systems.  Adopt the Japanese cultural way of eating, whereby meat is more of an accent flavoring or condiment in meals, while vegetables are the main focus.  Look for hormone free/antibiotic free/pesticide free meats, dairy and eggs.

Minimum processing of food is important, as well. Purchase fresh or frozen veggies. In all your food choices, consider eating organic as much as possible. Switch over a few foods at a time. Could be a bit pricier but can you really put a price on your health?  Be mindful of where your fish comes from and avoid farmed fish, which can contain unwanted additives and dyes.

And watch what you drink. Cut back on acid producing drinks (soda, coffee and alcohol), replacing them with green teas and fresh juices. A glass of red wine now and then is known to have some health benefits, as it contains healthy anti-oxidants.  And don’t forget the best natural spring of youth – water!  Eight glasses a day is recommended.  Drink plenty of water to dilute and remove toxins from your body and hydrate your skin.

By adding more nutrient rich foods and ridding yourself of toxins, you will notice a healthier, more vibrant complexion, glossy hair and a brighter smile, as well as feeling younger and more energetic! You will have discovered that fountain of youth! Eat well and spread the good news!