Whole-body wellness for healthy skin

Woman making yoga one legged king pigeon pose

Healthy eating and exercise are working on your body, but did you know they also play a role in your skin?

Eating healthy foods gives your skin the vitamins and nutrients it needs to be its best. Regular exercise, meanwhile, promotes circulation, which benefits not only your heart but also your skin.

As the winter months drag on, here are some other things you can do to make sure that healthy glow continues year-round.

Young beautiful woman sleeping in bed

Sleep and relaxation: A good night’s sleep not only reduces puffy eyes in the morning, but also helps keep your skin in top condition. Studies have shown that lack of sleep can lead to dull skin, fine lines and dark circles under your eyes because of how it affects collagen and hormones. This goes hand-in-hand with relaxation. If you can find ways to reduce stress, whether through meditation, a favorite hobby or your exercise routine, the evidence will show up in your skin.

Here’s a good quick relaxation strategy: Place your hand on your stomach and feel how it rises and falls with each breath. Sitting up or lying down, breathe in, count to three and then breathe out. Count to three again and then breathe in. Do this for a minute and feel how your body relaxes.

hand cream

Hydration: Inside and out, hydration is key. Pay attention to drinking water throughout the day, but also make sure to hydrate skin in these dry months with serums and creams that will penetrate the layers of skin and plump and smooth it.

Happy young woman washing face in glass bowl with water

Cleaning and exfoliation: Washing your face each night should be part of your regular routine, whether you’ve worn makeup that day or not. Wash off the dirt, oil and pollution with a gentle cleanser and exfoliate away dead skin cells with a gentle scrub or by making upward circles with your washcloth. Follow with a toner and moisturizer.

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Eating healthy all year long

Resolutions for the new year often involve eating healthier, and I’d like to give you a few foods that will help you do that. Of course, eating well doesn’t mean throwing back a kale-and-blueberry smoothie on top of a bag of potato chips or with a stack of French toast every day, but a sensible eating plan combined with some real power foods will help shape your body inside and out. And that’s a resolution worth keeping.

Here are some top foods to keep in mind:

bunches of kaleDark, leafy greens: Kale smoothies, kale chips, spinach salads, collard greens … these pack in the vitamins and carry more nutritional value per calorie than any other food!

A fresh avocado cut in halfAvocados: Did you know avocados not only give your body good fats and can help protect against certain diseases, but they also contain serotonin, which improves your mood? So they really can help make you healthy and happy.

blue berryBlueberries: These are an antioxidant powerhouse. And they taste delicious fresh or frozen.

Walnuts isolatedWalnuts: For a boost of protein and omega-3s, sprinkle some on your oatmeal, in your salad or in your next smoothie.

ChocolateDark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is good for heart health and mood. Dark chocolate-covered almonds are even better! But limit how much you eat of this stuff, since the fat and sugar in chocolate aren’t good for you.

All this healthy food will help you look and feel your best. Next week, I’ll share some tips on how to get — and keep — your skin healthy this year!

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Glittery, glamorous Golden Globes style

Julianne Moore shone in this stunning silver dress at the Golden Globe Awards. Photo credit: HFPA
Julianne Moore shone in this stunning silver dress at the Golden Globe Awards.
Photo credit: HFPA

Amid all the glamour of the Golden Globe Awards this weekend, the flash of metal certainly caught my eye.

I loved all of the silver and metallics on the red carpet, from Julianne Moore and Reese Witherspoon’s full-length gowns to Emma Stone’s sparkly top to Uzo Aduba’s silver gown with ruby accents.

And, while a silver evening gown might be hard to carry off anywhere beyond the red carpet, there was something I noticed about those wearing them — they let the shimmer of their clothes make the statement while keeping everything else simple.

That’s good advice whether you’re going for the subtly silver cocktail dress or sparkly blouse with pants.

  • Jewelry: Jewelry on those wearing metallics was muted at the Golden Globe Awards, since your clothing gives off all the sparkle you need. Go without or choose something simple to complement your clothing.
  • Makeup: The same thing goes for makeup. A berry lip could make the look pop, but then keep eyes and nails to basic, nude tones. Or go for a nude lip, pale pink nails and smoky eyes. Either way, keep the makeup subtle so the clothing can shine.
  • Hair: No need for a fancy coiffure or hair jewelry this time. Remember my tips for soft waves? Something simple is perfect. If you want to wear hair up and away from your face, go for a simple bun or braid.
  • Everything else: Did you notice Emma Stone’s black jumpsuit? Black is a perfect way to set off the shine of a metallic. Or try other neutrals or even jeans for the right effect.
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Healthy hair for the new year

A new year often starts with resolutions to be healthier, so this month I plan to bring you some of my favorite tips to support your resolutions — whether that involves having a healthier body, healthier skin or, for this week, healthier hair.

The beginning of January is probably a good time to take a look at how your hair is holding up in the winter months. With a chill in the air, you’re probably more likely to use hot water in the shower and blow dry your hair, leaving it a bit worse for the wear. Hair needs special care, just like your favorite cashmere sweater or silk scarf.

Beautiful woman in bathroomHere are some things to keep in mind:

Shampoo goes on the scalp. Conditioner goes on the ends. You really don’t need to shampoo your whole head, which can strip natural oils from your hair and leave it dull and frizzy. In fact, while oily hair may need to be washed daily, your hair may not need to be washed as often. Find the right balance. Conditioner, while good for the ends of your hair, can weigh down hair if applied all over. But do condition after each wash.

Treat your hair to an egg. Try either mixing an egg with mashed avocado for a 20-minute hydrating mask on wet hair or mixing an egg with a little bit of your shampoo for a quick 5-minute treatment to massage in and wash out. The egg adds protein to your hair. The avocado adds fatty acids.

Let the towel do the work. Try to avoid scrubbing your scalp with the towel to dry your hair. Let it start to dry on its own with a few pats from the towel. Remember, wet hair is more fragile, so styling when it is a bit drier will help.

Avoid tight hairstyles and ponytails. Sure, the ponytail is an easy way to fix your hair, but go for something looser with a cloth-covered fastener to avoid straining and breaking hair. Also, go for the right brush. A natural bristle brush will be gentler on hair and help to distribute natural oils for a better look and healthier hair.

What are your favorite hair care tips and tricks? I’d love for you to share them in the comments below.

Here’s to happier, healthier hair!

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New Year’s Eve beauty tips

junge blonde Frau vor SilvesterhintergrundNew Year’s Eve and all of the fun that comes with it is almost upon us, so I wanted to offer up a few beauty tips to help you make it through the night.

  • This year’s emphasis on the natural face look is a good one for a long night, with a focus on clean, moisturized skin and minimal makeup. Less makeup means fewer problems as the night wears on — and easier and quicker touch-ups when needed.
  • Since you’re wearing less makeup, I’d suggest focusing on your eyes and lips. Some mascara and eyeliner on top and bottom to make your eye color pop and a favorite shade of lipstick may be all you need. If you want to brighten eyes a bit more, go for a pale color at the inside corner of the eyelid to wake up those eyes, even when it’s way past midnight.
  • Want to limit the emergency makeup you’re packing in that teeny-tiny purse? Try using your lipstick for both your lips and your cheeks. L’Oreal swears that a creamy pink lipstick can substitute for a bronzer, and you have the added benefit of knowing it works well with your skin tone.
  • Another hint from L’Oreal is to lay out your bobby pins on a papertowel and give them a good coating with hairspray before putting them into your updo. That will keep everything in place for longer.
  • Don’t have blotting papers and you’ve been breaking a sweat dancing? Toilet seat liner paper from the bathroom can do in a pinch, according to the experts over at Cosmopolitan. Anything to dab away the sweat without wiping away your makeup, right?
  • Finally, if you drink adult beverages, limit what you drink and alternate water with alcohol to avoid dehydration and the unpleasant effects that has on your appearance.

Here’s to a happy and beautiful new year!

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Hot last-minute beauty buys

Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone special on your list, there are some fun beauty products that are worth a try and easy to find in a pinch. Here are a few that you can order online or find in a local store for a last-minute gift:

Clarisonic Mia 2

This workhorse facial scrubbing brush keeps popping up on lists of things you must try. The pitch is that its gentle circular scrubbing motion works six times better than using your hands to wash your face. Perfect for someone who wants to gently exfoliate and cleanse that dry winter skin. The Mia 2 holiday pack includes an extra brush head, cleanser and a travel pack for $149.



If you know someone who likes their bath products to smell as good as the kitchen does this time of year, Philosophy has several holiday gift packs that may suit their nose and skin! I particularly like the names of the $27 Holiday Spice Rack Trio, which includes spiced cinnamon stick, creamy cardamom and vanilla bean nutmeg. The combination shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath is versatile and can leave skin and hair smelling yummy!



If you have an OPI fan on your list (and who doesn’t?), something from the Gwen Stefani holiday collection may fit the bill. I particularly like the orchid purple of Just BeClaus (pictured below) or the rust red of Cinnamon Sweet. With a collection of 19 different shades, you should be able to find a few that suit as stocking-stuffers. Tell me, now wouldn’t that be sweet?


Let It Glow

Pur Minerals is getting in on the gift pack action with its Let It Glow kit, which includes three sticks: a blush, bronzer and highlighter. The sticks are easy to carry around and at $24 for the kit, you’re getting them at about half of what they would cost individually.


Happy holiday gift hunting! If you have some other last-minute beauty buys, I’d love to hear them in the comments below.


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Fashion gifts that give back

I wanted to share some gift ideas this week for fashion items that do more than just make the recipient happy. These gifts are fashionable and fabulous while also giving back in some way to help others. And that’s a perfect pairing for the holidays!

Krochet Kids

Oliva Wilde singled out Krochet Kids, a nonprofit organization that empowers women in Uganda and Peru, in a recent issue of People magazine, picking one of their knit hats as a holiday fashion buy.

I like the organization’s Madeline style — an open-stitched beret made in Uganda.

W-Madeline_White_Fit_02-300x300The Madeline, $27.95 from Krochet Kids

Bird and Stone

These ebony and antique jade stacked bracelets from Bird and Stone make a statement while supporting widowed women in developing countries. Bird and Stone gives 15 percent of its profits to fund microloans and finanical training through a partnership with the Sisi Fund.

IMG_1619Fall harvest stretch bracelets, $35 from Bird and Stone

Thalé Blanc

Flutter of Hope from Thalé Blanc is a collection of bracelets, clutches and handbags to raise money for children’s cancer research (20 percent of each sale is donated to Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles). The butterfly motif can be found on the collection’s pieces, symbolizing new beginnings.

flutter_cFlutter of Hope Deux, $1,100

Do you have some other suggestions for gifts that give back? If so, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

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Stand out in velvet

There is no better time for seizing on the luscious velvet fashion trend.

When better to sport a stunning velvet dress, such as this draped cutout velvet gown by Jason Wu, than at holiday parties or on New Year’s Eve? Velvet is elegant and feminine while standing out from the standard little black dress.

463954_in_ppJason Wu velvet gown, $1,997 on Net-A-Porter

Velvet’s rich, soft drape and colors have won it favor this year. You can find colors that go way beyond basic black, including dark blues, emerald greens and shocking reds. I love the dark-plum purple velvet of the Jason Wu gown. This season, you can find gowns that pair velvets in many hues with feminine lace, leather or rhinestones.

But don’t feel you have to go for the gown to make the most of velvet.

A velvet jacket, cute embellished velvet top, hat or even pants can add a touch of glamour to your holiday attire or dress up your workday wear.

Make sure to check out how your new velvet purchase looks in good light to make sure it looks good, with an even plushness to the fabric. Deep jewel tones — and, of course, black — work best for making velvet look luxurious.

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DIY holiday nails

Floating negative space nails from So Nailicious

In October, I talked about how much I love the nude nail trend. As I was looking at holiday nail ideas, I came across these adorable floating designs that add a touch of whimsy to your nude nails.

It’s a great way to dress up nails while keeping it simple and sophisticated. This one is done in gold and sparkly silver-black, but you could do it in a variety of colors.

This tutorial from So Nailicious offers some great tips on how to do these yourself, but you can always ask your manicurist if she offers floating manicures as well.


In the spirit of more DIY nail styles that are relatively simple, here are others I liked that you can carry off with your favorite polish and the occasional bobby pin!


c31494d1f9a48ce5cb21a7db32788d1fSparkly blue polish and then a bobby pin or toothpick dipped in white creates this cute look. See some other holiday ideas from Nail Art DIY here.

Candy Canes

This tutorial from Polishpedia on water marbling to get the candy cane-effect on your nails just looks too fun not to try! The result is a cute look that has an organic feel for how the stripes stick to the fingers.


Though these nails are done in red and white, I could see them dressed up with gold and red or some other fun combination.

If you try any of these fun designs, I’d love to hear how your nails turn out!

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Healthy holiday smoothies

photo credit: joannova, a/k/a foodalogue via photopin cc
photo credit: joannova, a/k/a foodalogue via photopin cc

In November and December, there are numerous parties with delicious desserts and heavy meals (particularly at Thanksgiving gatherings).

I want to offer a tip this week to maintain a healthy balance even when faced with family meals, potlucks, office parties and other gatherings with menus over which you may have little control.

One great trick relies on the very old advice of eating before you go, but with a delicious twist.

A superfood smoothie can be a great way to give your body a healthy boost and make it a little easier to turn down a huge slice of pumpkin pie (or at least opt for a smaller slice).

I find that a smoothie boost in the morning can be a great way to make healthier choices as you go through your day. But this smoothie is just as helpful right before you run out the door to a party.

I particularly like this one because most of the ingredients are fruits and vegetables that are fairly easy to find this time of year, particularly kale, a super superfood that seems to take over the farmer’s market in the fall and winter! For the best health boost, try to get organic versions of these ingredients.

Superfood smoothie

  • kale leaves (remove the stem)
  • chia seeds
  • banana
  • apple (remove the seeds, but leave the skin on)
  • pomegranate seeds
  • blueberries

Throw these in your blender along with some water and ice, and you’re set! Remember, kale can have a strong flavor, so if you’re not used to it, try adding a leaf or two the first time to see how you like the taste. The blueberries and pomegranate can help to mask the kale’s taste, while the banana and apple will add some sweetness.

I particularly like freezing some of the fruit, such as the blueberries and pomegranate seeds, before adding them to the smoothie. Feel free to add some yogurt, avocado or coconut cream for creaminess and adjust your water level with more or less depending on how thick you like your smoothies.

If you need some help with getting the right ratio of everything, check out this post from The Holy Kale.

You can also check out my Supermodel Smoothie recipe for another great-tasting treat.


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