Skin Deep

Lets venture today a bit into TMI-land and talk about skin – particularly blemishes. If you’re like me, you might have mistakenly thought that after your teens were over you’d never get another zit in your life and that ‘adulthood’ meant not having to worry about your skin. Cue the buzzer sound – how wrong were we? So while I continue to use a skin-cocktail of Neutrogena and Clearasil to keep pesky blemishes at bay, I’ve also started thinking about what can be done from the inside out. Here’s some of what I’ve gained from extensive scientific research a little googling on the issue:

  • Here fishy fish: Fish apparently contains oils that help nourish the skin which translates into a softer more lusterous complexion (sounds fancy, right?). Not a fan of fish? Add an essential fatty acid supplement or fish oil supplement to your daily routine.
  • Vitamin A: Apparently this is essential for maintaining and healing epithelial tissue – yeah, I don’t know what that means either. Bottom line – egg yolks, nonfat milk, dark orange and dark green vegetables are all high in Vitamin A.
  • Vitamin B: Suffer from dry skin? It may be because you’re not getting enough Vitamin B. B vitamins help maintain normal skin function, including that of oil-producing glands which keep the skin moisturized. Good sources are poultry, red meat, fish, bananas and peanut butter.
  • Vitamin E: Lets call Vitamin E the fountain of youth because apparently it helps slow the aging of skin cells. Sounds good to me. Best sources of Vitamin E are almonds, hazelnuts (guessing coffee creamer doesn’t count), salmon, leafy vegetables and olive or sesame oils.

If you want more, read this helpful article on the diet skin connection from WebMD.  I think I need to go home and make a shopping list! So, what’s your secret to good skin??? Pray tell…

Clarisonic – Total Hype or Worth the Money?

You guys were so helpful with the Kindle reviews that I’ve got another one to throw at you. I’m debating on whether or not the Clarisonic (pictured above) is worth the hefty price tag of around $175 (somewhere my Mom just gasped). I knooooow this thing ain’t cheap, but all the reviews I’m reading are convincing me that this cleansing brush is well worth its weight. From the products website:

Our original 2-speed Sonic Skin Cleansing System redefined skin cleansing to give you cleaner, healthier skin. Sonic Skin Cleansing improves skin tone, reduces the appearance of pore size and helps skin care products work their best. The Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System uses a patented sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to clean, soften and smooth skin. In just 60 seconds, the micro-massage action removes 6X more makeup and 2X more dirt and oil than cleansing with your hands alone. Removing more dirt and oil from your pores also helps products work more effectively.

I consulted my original skin-care guru, the one and only NYCathy, who confessed she had never heard of the gadget. Am I totally falling for the marketing hype??? I see this thing every time I pass a Sephora, or open a beauty magazine. But if no one is using it in Cath’s super-posh Manhattan circle, then maybe I’m a total square for thinking this little brush with the big price tag is the answer to all my skin care dilemmas.

Anyone out there actually ever use this thing??? Pray tell…

Endorsed: Boots Body Scrub

Time to share a little information about another product that is currently rocking my world: Boots Mediterranean Almond Pistachio & Olive Body Scrub. Sounds delicious, right? My love affair with Boots started during a trip to England when I was 15. Boots is to the UK what CVS is to the US, only like everything in the UK it’s much more posh 🙂 The packaging, the scents, the blends…it was love at first sight.

Fast forward to college and when NYCathy came home from studying abroad in Ireland, she was sure to pick me up some Boots products during a visit to the UK. Fast forward again to about 3 or so years ago, and Boots products finally took a trip across the pond and are now sold in the US! O HAPPY DAY!

But back to the body scrub. It smells amazing, feels amazing and leaves your skin so soft that after-shower-lotion is deemed useless. Of course the best part is that this fabulous line of products won’t break the bank. You can find Boots at Target for a steal. This 13.5 oz tub of scrubby amazingness only costs around $10.  Scrub happy!

Endorsed

This product was love at first smell. Honestly, if you’re like me and have ever dreamed of dunking your entire head into a pool of mint chocolate chip ice cream (don’t judge) than you will LOVE Organix Hydrating Teatree Mint Shampoo & Conditioner.

Organix describes it like this: An ultra hydrating blend of Australian tea tree oils to add moisture and strength, while nourishing your hair with replenishing moisturizing milk proteins and micro-infused peppermint oils for hydration and balance. Re-energize your hair with this unique blend of organic active ingredients, creating a three-in-one decadent treat. All you need for moist, smooth and seductive hair in one irresistible formula.

Sounds fancy, right? Well the best part is you can pick up these products at your drugstore of choice – CVS, RiteAid, Wallgreens if you’re feeling crazy. Last time I purchased this product it was 2/$5.

Now, with poker straight hair, I’m not super-picky about my shampoos, but I do feel like this product leaves my hair clean and hydrated. But it’s the smell alone that gets this Endorsed.

Yummmmmy

There are Spa Girls, and Then There’s Us…

Yesterday afternoon my mom and I met for a little post-holiday pampering (read as, time to use those holiday gift cards!!). I’ve always said if I had infinite funds I’d love to be one of those ‘spa girls’ who bi-weekly treats herself to a massage/facial/mani/pedi etc…but now I’m not so sure. I’ve decided those spa girls take their relaxation a little toooo seriously for me. Here’s how it all went down.

The Meet Up

Me: Hey Mom! Are you excited about our spa day?

Mom: Yeaaaah, it’ll be fun.

Me: It will be!….but…it’s kind of weird too, right?…Like being in a dimly lit room with a perfect stranger’s hands all over you???

Mom: I know! Do you know how long it took me to get ready for this appointment? I had to shave and give myself a pedicure!

Me: O my gosh, me too!! I exfoliated and lotioned up all morning! It was very stressful…

Check In

At this point we’re put into this “quiet” holding area to fill out forms with all sorts of strange questions. I felt like we were in middle school cheating on a test.

Me: Psssttt…What are you putting for how much water you drink?

Mom: Psssst….I don’t know, what are you putting for where you hold the most stress??

Me: I don’t know! What are you putting for places your don’t want massaged???

So we do the best we can to fill out the form, and grab some mints from the candy dish.

The Locker Room

Time to get our robes and sandals! We go into the locker room and get a quick tutorial of where everything is, “Here’s the steam room, here’s the showers, here’s where you can grab an extra towel…” We change into our spa finest and check out the place.

Me: Oooo, cool cucumber and lavender infused wash cloths. (I pull one out of the iced bowl)

Mom: Oooo, how nice. (She pulls one too. We both look at the wash cloths and then at each other)

At the same time: What do you do with it? (laughter)

We decided to just wash our hands since we didn’t want to take off our makeup. Works for us! Then, as I realize the locker room is empty, I decided to grab my camera!!!

Now, I swear we are not the Clampetts and that we do get out often, but you wouldn’t have known it as we played with the cucumber slices and took pictures of ourselves in the mirror. Ala these and the one above:

Tranquility Room

Ok, this is the part where I almost lost it. I don’t do well in places where there’s no talking allowed! We walk into the tranquility room – picture dimly lit, nature music playing, candles flickering, an assortment of herbal teas and flavored water…O, and women in robes lying around on comfy lounges.

Things started out well. We walked in like tranquility room pros, grabbed some cucumber water and made ourselves comfortable. But I couldn’t find my place of zen because all I was thinking about was how bizarre this was. A room full of strangers all trying to get their relaxation on. And then a door will open, and someone’s name gets called, and you leave the tranquility room. It was all very “A Brave New World” to me. And when I looked at my mom, I could tell she was having a hard time relaxing too because she was checking out the wallpaper, the floor boards, the textiles etc… – apparently mentally preparing to design a tranquility room of her own.

Then my mom gets up to go back into the locker room, and the second she leaves, “the door” opens and in walks….A MAN! It caught me off guard because I wasn’t thinking this tranquility room was co-ed! And then, of course, he decides to plop his big butt into the space formerly occupied by my mother. When my mom walked back in she realized her seat had been usurped and quickly took a seat across the room from me.

At this point, I could feel the giggles coming on. This whole thing was just TOO bizarre. And when I looked up at my mom, our eyes met, and I lost it. I had to look down and cover my mouth because I had spun into one of those uncontrollable fits of laughter. I held my breath to keep the sounds from escaping but it took me a good minute or two to compose myself.

I wonder if anyone has ever had to be removed from the tranquility room?

Massage Time Baby

Finally! My name is called!

Masseuse: Diana…. Diana…

I get up and walk out the door

Masseuse: Hi, I’m Gloria.

Me: Hi,  Diana…o…wait, you know that. (Doh, I’m such a dork.)

I follow her down the hall and we get this show on the road.

Masseuse: So where do you hold your tension.

Me: (I’m face down on the table at this point so in essence talking to the floor) Umm…  I don’t really know. (Isn’t that your job to figure out, lady?)

Masseuse: Is this as relaxed as you can get?

Me: Ummm…I…guess…so (What the heck kind of question is that? Guess I should have taken the tranquility room a little more seriously.)

Masseuse: You just seem a little uptight.

Me: Ohhh, ok. (O, ok, so call me uptight and that’s supposed to make me relax?)

The End

Fast forward 60 minutes later and the massage is over. My mom and I meet up in the tranquility room, enjoy a little more cucumber water and then we’re on our way! Outside of the spa:

Mom: Did your person massage your head??

Me: A little. Not much.

Mom: I told my person not too because I didn’t want my hair to be greasy.

Me: Did your person massage your butt???

Mom: MY BUTT?! No!! Did yours?!

Me: YES!!!

We fall into a fit of laughter!!!

I guess when the initial form said “Is there anywhere you don’t want massaged” I should have thought a little harder about it 😉


Is That Banana On Your Face, or…

…Are you just happy to see me?

This post is for the newest D-spot fan, Catherine Rose Lacey. Cathy and I have been friends since middle school. We used to live in the same neighborhood and spend entire summers make forts in the woods, riding our bikes and pretending we were chefs. We were each other’s go-to people during ‘the formative years’ – see Cathy went to private school and I went to public school, so when girls got mean, or boys got messy, we had each other to escape to. I could go on and on about all our shenanigans, but what I wanted to highlight in this post is something Cathy and I discovered way back when: The art of homemade beauty products.

In the 90s, YM and teen magazine were gospel to us and the one thing we used to pull from them were recipes for homemade beauty treatments like foot scrubs and mud masks. Ooook, so maybe we used fiber cereal when we couldn’t find oatmeal and apple sauce when we didn’t have enough bananas. And YES our mothers made us go into the backyard with a bucket and hose to apply and clean ourselves up. It wasn’t the most glamorous operation, but man did we laugh and have fun.

So in honor of Cathy and friendships and summer and beauty – here’s an easy peasy recipe to help cleanse and rejuvenate your skin.

Total Time: 3 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp oatmeal, finely ground
  • 1 tbsp live, organic yogurt (skip the flavored stuff)
  • A few drops of honey

Preparation:

Add the yogurt to the oatmeal in a small bowl and mix together.

Warm a few drop of honey. To do this, warm a spoon under hot water for a minute, then add a few drops of honey to the spoon.

Stir the honey into the yogurt and oatmeal mixture.

Apply the mask to the face. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse off with several splashes of warm water. Follow with a warm washcloth.

Apply moisturizer.

Recipe from http://beauty.about.com/od/soap1/r/oatmeal_face.html

Wonder if you still need a bucket and hose past the age of 25?

(( Picture is authentic Diana + Cathy circa summer of 1998. And yes, that’s banana on our faces.))