I Can’t Believe You Posted THAT Picture!

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On my birthday, a funny picture was taken of me. I was holding up my birthday cake, and pretending to take a bite out of the entire cake. It wasn’t a flattering picture at all. And the lighting was terrible. But it wasn’t supposed to be a glamour shot. It was a silly spontaneous picture taken at home with family. My boyfriend posted it on Facebook. The first person who commented said, “I can’t believe you let him post that!” Why? Because I didn’t have any makeup on? Because my hair wasn’t perfect? Because it looks like I have huge bags under my eyes? So what?! In an airbrushed world, I wanted to be real.

The reaction to my unflattering picture left me a bit unnerved. Like we aren’t already under enough pressure by the media who tells us what perfect is, how to achieve it and what a failure you are if you don’t look a certain way, now we’re doing it to each other. To friends? Am I really supposed to believe that the picture you posted of your two year old exquisitely dressed, quietly playing with her doll in a posh, spotless living room is really what your everyday life looks like? If it is, good for you. But a more accurate picture might be that same two year old with food stuck in her hair, stains on her little t-shirt, holding her doll by the hair as she tumbles through a living room littered with toys, tissues and plastic cups. We would never post THAT picture though because heaven forbid our friends think our lives are ordinary.

As Spring approaches, we are bombarded with magazines, emails, web articles and TV ads telling us what we MUST do to be ‘bikini ready’. Unless you’re a supermodel, how many of your friends look amazing in a bikini? I went to California for a week in February and actually considered NOT bringing a bathing suit because I was winter pale and didn’t consider my body tone enough to even be seen in shorts. It was 85 degrees out there! We fought a hard winter here in the Northeast. I couldn’t wait to see the sunshine and palm trees. Luckily I grabbed my suit at the last minute. Reluctantly I wore it to the hotel pool. And guess what? There wasn’t a perfect person in sight. Everyone has “flaws”! Did I sit on the lounge chair and mentally bash myself for not looking the way I wanted to? Of course I did. And what a waste of time when I could have been doing something healthier like meditating under the palm fronds.

I’m so sick of skinny girls picking on fat girls, and fat girls picking on skinny girls. There is no perfect size! Just drop that stupid argument already, please?! If you don’t like how you look, change it. But make sure you’re changing what YOU don’t like, not other’s perceptions of what is good or bad. Be healthy. Be silly. Look beautiful. Look awful. Stop worrying about the outward appearance and instead spend your time living in the moment and enjoying the experience. Share those memories no matter how imperfect they may be. Because right now is all we have. And how sad it would be to waste that time worrying about how it looks.

7 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress

I read this article by P&G on line and decided to share. We ALL have stress EVERY day and too many people turn to prescription meds to manage the problem. Why not try some natural alternatives?
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Looking for ways to reduce stress? These relaxation techniques will have you finding relief in no time.

We all get stressed out sometimes, but if it feels like stress seems to rule your days, it’s time to do something about it.

Why is reducing stress so important? Because stress isn’t just problematic in the moment — it’s a real health risk. The more stress, the more likely you will suffer physical ailments, from migraines to belly fat. Or even a heart attack. But before you get even more anxious about the long-term effects of chronic stress, try these several tried and true stress-reduction and relaxation techniques.

Continue reading “7 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress”

My Take on New Year’s Resolutions

You’re going about it all wrong.

First, I’m not big on the idea of waiting until January 1 to start anything.  You have to be mentally prepared to make changes, and the calendar should not be dictating that.  BUT if you are truly ready and you need a convenient start date, then go for it.

Continue reading “My Take on New Year’s Resolutions”

How Do You Come Up With Your Color Names?

Make up should make you feel good. Make up should make you look good. But above all else, make up should be FUN. And when someone asks you what lipstick color are you wearing, isn’t it more fun to say, “Seduction” instead of “Pink Mauve”?

Sometimes people have issues with our names. I’ve had customers take offense to our eye liner name Smoking Gun. The name has nothing to do with a weapon. Smoking Gun refers to evidence that is highly suggestive in favor of a particular hypothesis. There are also customers who won’t buy our Orange Mimosa or Strawberry Champagne lip balms because their names have alcohol connotations. And I once had a very angry lady call me complaining that the Brown Sugar eye liner she purchased did not match the brown sugar she had in her cupboard.

But how do we come up with those crazy color names? Is there a formula to it, a science? Nope, it’s nothing like that. Sometimes it’s as simple as looking at a color and calling it what it looks like. The shade Chrome in the Rock the Smokey Eye Shadow Palette just looks like chrome. Sometimes we will post the color on our Facebook page and ask customers what they would name it. Other times we all sit around and look at the color and make a list of names we think we should call it, and then pick the best name from that list. Sometimes I’ll be driving to work and think “Hmm…Bombshell would be a cool name for a lipstick.” And then there are times when the names we come up with have a story behind them. Some of the stories are happy, some are melancholy, but I think the coolest names are the ones that have a meaning. I’ll share a few.

San Francisco – I’m not a city person. But if I was ever going to live in a city, it would be San Francisco. I just love it there.

Camelot – I think my dad secretly wanted to be a performer. I remember him bouncing around the house when I was little, singing “Light My Fire” by the Doors at the top of his lungs. But one of my favorite memories of him is when he would act out and sing songs from the musical Camelot. He acted so serious, like he was Richard Burton himself up on a NY stage. Used to make me laugh and that’s how I want to remember him.

Valentine – This is a family name on mom’s side. It makes me think of my mom, my grandmother and how much I miss them. Also I just missed being born on Valentine’s Day by 4 hours.

Fairy Dust – Okay, there’s a part in the movie “The Bird Cage” where Nathan Lane is rehearsing for his show. He’s supposed to be a getting a perfect mythical creature to come to life, so he waves his hand, motioning like he’s sprinkling something and says “fairy dust, fairy dust, fairy dust…” You’d have to see the movie – it’s a funny scene and one of my favorite movies of all time.

Mocha Latte – my favorite coffee drink and one my close friends tease me about (because I get it decaf, non-fat, no foam, no whip, one pump…..)

Sunset Strip – Named after the famous street in Hollywood. Kinda straight forward, but I love Hollywood (also the name of one of our lip gloss shades)

Charisma – A song by the band KISS

Vanilla Pie – This is an actual pie that a family member used to make. I swear it was pure sugar, but tasted heavenly.

Orange Mimosa – The first time I was in the Napa Valley region of California, I took a hot air balloon ride. It was magical. When that was over, there was a breakfast buffet prepared for us. It was the first time I was introduced to the drink orange mimosa, and I was in love!

PS Pink – PS does not stand for Post Script in this case…we won’t say what it stands for LOL

Falon – Named after my precious kitten who sadly passed away last year. She came to us in very bad shape (she was missing an eye) but we nursed her back to health and she was a sweetheart who was full of life. Her handicap never kept her down. Sadly she had feline leukemia which cut her vibrant life very short. We only had her for three years, but I’ll never forget how special she was.

Abyss – Our little kitten Falon was black as night, and we believe she was part Abyssinian.

Kashmir – Named in honor of a friend’s beloved cat who also passed away last year. She was named after a Led Zeppelin song.

Innuendo – a line in a song by Guns & Roses

Simplify: Less is the new More



The first week of August is national “Simplify your Life” week. Seems easy enough, right? Sometimes though, it can be downright overwhelming. With crazy schedules and growing responsibilities, we are always rushing around and looking to cut corners. Here are some of helpful tips that may help calm the chaos:

1. Limit the incoming. Paper, mail, phone calls. Get on the do not call list to limit the incoming phone calls. Call companies who send you junk mail and ask for your address to be removed from their files. Get your bills and financial statements online. Regularly delete messages from your answering machine and inbox.

2. Paper Management. Your filing system should have current items only – you don’t need grocery receipts from 1985. Go through your mail every single day and shred unnecessary paper. Have a special place for bills (a basket, a holder) and label them when you open them with the date and amount due. Keep stamps and a pen with the bills to make paying them more efficient.

3. Plan the night before. Before you go to bed each night, prep things for the morning. Your clothing, work bag, car keys, school items for the kids, gym bag, grocery list, items that you have to return to the store after work. Keep these items in one place and train yourself to look at that spot before walking out the door. You’ll never forget anything again.

4. If you haven’t used it in the past year, toss it. Give clothing and shoes to Goodwill, sell used electronic equipment on line, donate items that are still good. DE-CLUTTER. When there’s less stuff laying around and everything is in its place, you just physically FEEL better. More in control. Less stressed. It’s one of the founding principles of feng shui.

5. Plan meals a week in advance. Cook in bulk. Cook large meals and freeze them. This saves not only time but money.

6. Give everything its own place. Keys are on a table next to the door. Book bags hang on a hook in the mud room, even specific grocery items have their place in the pantry. That way when that space is vacant, you know you’re out of that item.

7. Keep a “to do” list. Prioritize what needs to be done each day. Check things off your list. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and keeps you motivated.

And don’t forget to take time out for YOU. Have a getaway space. Be it your bedroom, a spare room, a bathroom or even a corner of a room; make an area that is your sanctuary. A calming, relaxing space that is uncluttered, organized and stress-free.