My Necessities for Fighting (and preventing!) a Cold

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This weekend, I got hit with a pretty gnarly head cold. I’m sniffly, sneezy, sinus head achey…all that good stuff. So, I needed to stock up on my cold fighting goodies, and I figured I’d share them with you! Now, when you’re sick, it’s all about getting your immune system back up and filling your body with healthy things! Many of the below items are things I use on a daily basis, but some of them I add specifically when I’m feeling sick. In no specific order…

  1. Moisturizing Hand Lotion. Colds happen more frequently in dry, cool conditions, which also dries out our skin. Plus, if you’re washing your hands and sanitizing them a lot to prevent spreading (and catching) germs during cold and flu season, then your hands are probably going to be feeling a little dry. I like to keep moisturizing lotion on hand (get it…hand…?!) all the time, but especially during winter. (Pictured: Vivo Per Lei Dead Sea Hand & Body Lotion)
  2. Moisturizing Lip Balm (with SPF). No matter what lip color I’m wearing on a certain day, I always keep some clear, moisturizing, and SPF-filled lip balm handy, especially during winter when things dry up a bit. Sometimes, I’ll also dap a little on my nose if it gets too dry and chapped from all those tissues. (Pictured: Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing SPF 15 Lip Balm in Quenched — this is one of my favorite clear lip balms)
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar.  Apple cider vinegar is great for for many reason (digestion, weight loss, energy boost, skin clarity…the list goes on), and for that, I try to make sure I have a little bit mixed into my water on a daily basis (usually it’s the first thing I do when I get up…glass of water with a splash of vinegar). Sometimes, life gets in the way and I forget to have it, but I’m super diligent about drinking it when I’m feeling under the weather. It’s really great for helping to detox your body and get all the bad stuff out. (Pictured: Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar)
  4. WATER. When you’re feeling sick, HYDRATE. This is SO important! And, when you’re not feeling sick, hydrate anyway. Staying well-hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your body.
  5. Local Honey. Not only does honey make your tea taste great, but it can also help relieve cold symptoms! Local honey helps fight allergens that may be floating around in your city. Honey also works as a natural cough suppressant and helps fight bacteria.
  6. Sinus Rinse. One of the more frustrating things about having a cold is a runny nose and all that sinus pressure. Sinus rinses are a little weird at first, so they take some getting used to, and sometimes they’re not super comfortable, but it’s really good for you, so I highly recommend it! It helps flush out your nasal passages to clear out all that gunk in there and the saline solution helps to kill bacteria. I also gargle with warm salt water to kill germs and sooth sore throats. (Pictured: NeilMed Sinus Rinse)
  7. Hand Sanitizer. Fall/Winter is cold season, which means more germs are flying around, so carry some hand sanitizer with you to keep your hands extra clean. I love this EO Lavender spray sanitizer and keep it in my purse all the time. (Pictured: EO Organic Lavender Hand Sanitizer Spray)
  8. Cough Drops. Cough drops help soothe cold symptoms and provide relief to congestion. I like going with lemon mint and opting for sugar-free options, like these Ricola ones. (Pictured: Ricola Lemon Mint Sugar Free Cough Drops)
  9. Chicken Soup. Not only is chicken soup a yummy winter meal that makes you feel nice and cozy, but it also helps to soothe cold symptoms. Any hot liquids (soup, tea, etc.) help to loosen up mucus so you feel less congested and clogged up, but chicken soup also has anti-inflammatory properties too! (Pictured: Trader Joe’s Low-Sodium Chicken Broth)
  10. Tissues. Don’t get your snot everywhere. Duh. (These are basic ones I got at CVS because they’re cute and perfect for throwing in your purse, but the medicated ones are nice too!) (Similar to Pictured: Kleenex Pocket Packs)
  11. Tea. I am a BIG tea drinker. I have caffeinated tea every morning and some herbal tea nearly every night before bed. But when I’m sick, I especially like to have tea with some boosting health benefits too, like Yogi Green Tea Super Antioxidant or Yogi Echinacea Immune Support. I also really love Trader Joe’s Chamomile and Bedtime tea for, well, bedtime. Again, hot liquids help to sooth your throat, break up mucus, and speed up recovery time. (Pictured: Yogi Echinacea Immune Support Organic Tea, Yogi Green Tea Super-Antioxidant Organic Tea, Trader Joe’s Chamomile Tea, and Trader Joe’s Bedtime Tea.)
  12. Vitamin C & Multi-Vitamins. I take Vitamin C and a multi-vitamin every day (my favorites are these gummy ones from Trader Joe’s). Vitamin C can help you shave a day off the duration of your cold. It’s nearly impossible to overdo it with Vitamin C, so take your vitamins and eat Vitamin C rich foods! (Pictured: Trader Joe’s Gummy Vitamin C and Multi-Vitamins)
  13. Echinacea. Echinacea is a safe and relatively harmless supplement that can help boost your immune system. It’s not something I take regularly, but I do stock up on it and take it daily when I’m feeling sick. (Pictured: Nature Made Echinacea Pills)
  14. Tylenol Cold. Depending on the type of cold you might have (feverish, head congestion, coughing, etc.) you might want to get some pain relievers with some added bonuses in them. I try not to use medication unless I’m feeling really bad, but this cold I’m having right now is causing a lot of sinus pressure and giving me some bad head and ear aches, so I need a little something to take the edge off. (Pictured: Tylenol Cold – Head Congestion)
  15. Dayquil & Nyquil. Like I said above, I’m not big on medication unless I’m feeling really icky, but I will do a day or two of Dayquil and/or Nyquil when my cold is feeling really bad. If you’re going to be taking medication during the day, try to go for options that are non-drowsy so you can still be alert (unless you’re taking the day off and can sleep all day to recover!). (Pictured: Vicks Dayquil & Nyquil Cold & Flu Relief Liquicaps)
  16. Cold-Pressed Green Juice. Green juice can be like a shot in the arm — it’s full of rich nutrients that help boost your immune system and keep you healthy. I try to get a good green juice or smoothie in every few days all the time. When I’m sick, I also like to make sure I’m focusing my diet on foods that are super healthy. Your immune system is down, so feed it good stuff! Cold-pressed juice is important too because it gets more juice from the fruit and retains more nutrients than juices that are pasteurized normally. Trader Joe’s just came out with a line of cold-pressed juices that are tasty and more affordable then lots of the juices out there (they’re $5 each). Whenever you’re buying and drinking juice, look at the ingredients. Stick with juices that do not have any sugar added, but use whole ingredients. Also, even if the juices are made with real, whole foods, juices can be high in calories and (natural) sugar, so don’t over do it!
  17. Grapefruit Seed Extract. This supplement has tons of antioxidants and phytonutrients (called bioflavonoids) that help fight disease and eliminate free-radicals. It is a proven immune system booster and stimulator. It helps fight bacteria and viruses too. I usually mix it in with my daily apple cider vinegar and water, but I especially make sure to take it when I’m feeling under the weather. I usually add 10 drops to my water. (Pictured: Grapefruit Seed Extract Liquid Concentrate)
  18. Citrus Fruits. Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, etc.) are high in Vitamin C, the benefits of which we’ve already covered. These fruits are also high in fiber, which is good for your digestion. These foods are low in calories and sugar, which makes them great snacks for when you’re sick and not up for exercising as much as you might if you were super healthy. I love squeezing about half a lemon into my tea!
  19. Ginger. Fresh ginger helps with digestion, helps to clear our your microcirculatory channels, and helps to decrease congestion. I love throwing it into my smoothies or slicing some up and putting it in my tea. (Alternative to fresh ginger: Nature’s Way Ginger Root Supplement)
  20. Garlic. Garlic contains allicin, which has powerful healing capabilities, especially with colds and congestion. I love cooking with garlic, so it’s a pretty normal part of my diet, but when I’m feeling like my immune system is a little low, I’ll throw a clove into my smoothie. Yes, you can taste it, but if you fill your blender up with other yummy ingredients, that one clove shouldn’t taste too strong. (Alternative to fresh garlic: Nature’s Bounty Odorless Garlic Supplement)

The final thing you should do when you’re feeling sick or have a cold is to get REST! I tweaked my back last week during boxing, so I’ve been taking it easy the last couple days. When you have a cold, you should get plenty of rest — sleep mainly, but also consider taking it easy on your regular workouts. Oh, I also get a yearly flu shot to help keep me healthy during flu season.

Hope these are helpful and hope any of you feeling sick start feeling better asap!

Creepy Broken Doll Makeup Tutorial (Halloween Makeup Look)

Here’s a creepy broken doll makeup tutorial I got by request from one of my subscribers! (You guys tell me what you want to see, and I’ll do it!)

The Steps…

1. Generously apply very light, full-coverage foundation to your face and neck (any skin that will be showing). Cover your eyes and mouth too. Choose something that dried matte. I’m using Revlon Colorstay in Ivory. Then, apply a coat of translucent powder all over. I’m using Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder in Translucent.
2. Apply neutral eyeshadow. I’m using my Bobbi Brown SOHO Chic shadow palette and putting white on my lids and brow bones and medium/darker brown in the crease. (Here’s a more affordable shadow palette that’s really similar.)
3. Use a brighter pink blush to create very circular blush marks on the apples of your cheeks.
4. Line your bottom lashes with white eyeliner, like NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk. We’re doing this to make our eyes appear larger, so line the waterline, lashline, and beneath the lower lid.
5. Using liquid black eyeliner like Maybelline’s Eye Studio Master Precise Liquid Liner, line beneath the white under your eyes, we’re drawing on a new bottom lashline.
6. Line the top lid with the black eyeliner too.
7. Apply really dramatic, full false eyelashes to the top lashes. I’m using Ardell Double-Up #204.
8. Apply more natural, but “doll-like” lashes to the bottom line we just drew on with the eyeliner. I’m using Ardell Natural #116.
9. Curl the false eyelashes and apply a coat of mascara to all the false eyelashes.
10. Using the liquid black eyeliner, draw on a few cracks and holes. Make these look splintered like broken porcelain!
11. Apply another coat of foundation to your lips and let it dry. Using a matte lip liner (like NYX Slim Lip Liner Pencil #831 Mauve), draw the shape of the top of a heart on your top lip. Make this lip much narrower than your normal lips, but still pouty. Draw on the bottom lip to match the width of the top lip. I filled in my lips using this liner as well.
12. Using the black eyeliner, draw lines from the corners of your real lips straight down to connect beneath the chin.

Pop Art Makeup Tutorial (How To Do Comic Character Makeup)

I’ve always loved the pop art style of art. Roy Lichtenstein is one of my favorite artists (I was an art and communications studies major in college), so I wanted to recreate a pop art style makeup look that you can do for Halloween. This is a surprisingly easy look that you can do completely with some pretty basic makeup items.

Let me know if you have any questions about the look or if you have any requests for other Halloween looks!

At-Home Acid Peel – First Impression & How-To Apply

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My skin has been acting up a bit lately — random breakouts that keep popping up, some of which heal fine, but others have left a few marks on my skin. So I wanted to do something that would give my skin a refresh. I’d been hearing a lot about at-home chemical peels and wanted to give one a try.

If you’re not familiar, a chemical peel (also called an acid peel) uses a chemical solution (usually acid) to smooth the texture of your skin by removing the damaged outer layers. Chemical peels are typically administered by a dermatologist or at a skincare spa — it’s a pretty serious skincare treatment. When you get a chemical peel, the outer few layers of your skin basically blister and peel off…it can look a bit gnarly (seriously, just google it).

Despite the zombie-like appearance, a chemical peel is one of the least invasive ways to improve the appearance of your skin. Sun exposure, acne, or just getting older can leave your skin tone uneven, wrinkled, spotted, or scarred. A chemical peel can help improve acne or acne scars, age and liver spots, fine lines and wrinkles, freckles, irregular skin pigmentation, rough skin and scaly patches, scars, and sun-damaged skin.

Chemical peels are not cheap, and right now, splurging on one just isn’t in the budget for me (plus, I’d have to hide out for like a day or two to avoid exposing people to the zombie-ness, which isn’t super convenient right now). So, I decided to check out some at-home alternatives. The Peter Thomas Roth 40% Triple Acid Peel has gotten great reviews, so I decided to grab a sample at Sephora. For this at-home peel, you apply it once a week for 12 weeks, for optimal results. You only need to leave the solution on your skin for 2 minutes — super quick!

Watch the video for my first impressions and what I thought!

Best and Worst Dressed at the 2014 EMMYS

I LOVE awards shows and I LOVE awards show fashion, but so often, I’ll watch the show and then have a thousand other things going on that I never getting around to posting a review. By the time I actually HAVE time, usually a month has passed. But I want to change that. So (only a couple weeks late), here are my best and worst dressed at the 2014 Emmys!

Best Dressed

169_3395_350Julia Roberts in Elie Saab

This is such a cool dress. I love the color, and the cut is very interesting. I just want to touch it! With all those little balls on it — the texture is so neat, and it looks amazing on her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

169_3399_350Uzo Aduba in Christian Siriano

Red is HUGE right now, and we saw a ton of it at the Emmys. And this dress is perfect. The color is amazing, and really compliments Uzo. The cut is so sexy and she pulls it off so well — she’s just oozing sexy ‘tude (get it…”uzing” LOL). I love it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lizzy Caplan in Donna Karan Atelier
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I first saw this dress from the front, and thought it was pretty basic, but looked really good on Lizzy. But then I saw the back, with that WHITE! It is gorgeous. The front is simple and interesting with the cutouts, but then the backless back and that big white back and train make it so dramatic and exciting! 

 

 

 

Lena Headey in Rubin Singer

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I didn’t realize she had so many tattoos! Anyhow…This dress is gorgeous. It’s simple and classic on the one hand with the black and the smooth fabric, but very interesting as well with the asymmetrical hem, the off the shoulder look, and the subtle striping in the fabric. She did a great job with the makeup too — soft smokey eye with a hint of pink lipstick and blush.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Louise Roe in Monique Lhuillier
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As we’ll see with Caley Cuoco’s dress below, Monique is loving the red and pink combos lately, but where Caley’s Lhuillier dress was a bit of a miss for me, this dress is awesome. In fact, I think it’s at the top of my list. I love the abstract watercolor-ish floral pattern and the dramatic colors. The asymmetrical hemline showing her great legs off, and the volume in the skirt are really great as well. I like that she kept the hair and makeup simple and matched her nails and shoes to the dress too.

 

 

 

 

Keke Palmer in Rubin Singer

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Another Rubin Singer gown makes the “best” list! Apparently this gown was custom made for her — and you can tell! The fit is perfect, and the color is just exquisite – it all compliments her so well! There’s lots of drama in the silhouette and the color, so she did it right by pulling her hair back and opting for simple makeup – that really focuses all our attention on the dress!

 

 

 

 

 

Honorable Mentions
Allison Williams Giambattista Valli
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I really like this dress. The colors are great and give that princess ball gown silhouette some spunk. The shape is great on her too. It’s just a little boring to me, and I feel like we’ve seen this type of look on her a lot.

Claire Danes in Givenchy Haute Couture

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We’re still seeing red. And this red is incredible – a bit more on the orange side, and it looks great on Claire. I like the cutouts, the silhouette, and I even like the belt, surprisingly. I also love the matching lipstick. The neck wreath thingy though…it kills me! I just wish it wasn’t there. That’s the only thing I don’t like about this stunning dress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anna Gunn in Jenny Packham
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This dress looks amazing on Anna. The color is great with her strawberry blonde hair, the cut is slimming, it’s interesting with the top beading and the slit. Overall, it’s a great choice. It’s a safe dress, though, a little mellow for my personal tastes, but she looks excellent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worst Dressed

Laura Prepon in Gustavo Cadile
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There is WAY too much going on here. Teal, emerald, peplum, one shoulder, shoulder flap, the tail or train thing…none of it works, and it’s all really distracting. Feels very old school prom. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lena Dunham in Giambattista Valli
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What is even going on here? A friend of mine described this as resembling a tampon (UH. GROSS). But really, need I say more? Mistakes were made.
 

 

 

 

 

Caley Cuoco in Monique Lhuillier

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I want to like this so much! The cut is dynamic and intriguing, the red (again!) is fierce, and Caley is rocking some major confidence, and that’s super hot…But the tulle combined with the red and hot pink just makes it look young and prom-ish. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michelle Dockery in Rosie Assoulin
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First, it’s too long. It shouldn’t be bunching up at the bottom like that – with this type of fabric, that’s really noticeable. I just really don’t like this, and I know it made a lot of people’s “best” lists. I think it was a brave choice, and it’s very retro, but the blue, green, and cream don’t work for me. I think the cream washes her out and the colors aren’t right for her. Also, those wings don’t do it for me…all I can think is that she looks like a sea slug.

 

 

 

 

 

Katherine Heigl in John Hayles
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So, when I first saw this, I assumed it would be a more mature woman wearing it…not some 30-something. This dress fits her great, her boobs look great, unfortunately the color kind of washes her out…but that’s all beside the point… it’s about 30 years too old for her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayim Bialik in Oliver Tolentino
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I LOVE this color. So, so much. Bu it’s all wrong for this type of dress. It it looks like she’s playing dress up as a renaissance queen or rich colonial woman. There’s just WAY too much dress. And then with such a bright color…way too much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mindy Kaling in Kenzo
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Mindy’s makeup and hair are on point. She looks beautiful. But this dress, ahhh. The neckline and silhouette aren’t terrible for her and the color works…but that damn silver stripe! It bugs me so bad! The stripe ruins the dress and makes the fabric look cheap.

What did you guys think? Did you watch the Emmys? Who were your best or worst dressed?

Nicki Minaj Anaconda Video

Nicki Minaj just dropped the music video for “Anaconda.” I just watched it. Yowzaz. My first impressions…

SO. MUCH. ASS. But we can’t really be surprised by that, can we? I mean, did you SEE the cover art? All booty. Now, I don’t love the song. I like that it feels more old school Nicki in that it’s a dirty rap song, but the sampled Sir Mix-a-Lot “Baby Got Back” clips are so redundant and make me start to feel a little like a psychopath toward the end. That said, I don’t hate it. I actually like it, but I wish there was a bit more variety in the melody…but maybe that’s not the point.

Ok, back to the music video. I feel like this is Katy Perry’s “Roar” music video had it gotten a truckload of butts dropped on it (…wait, what?). The jungle setting just seems super familiar — but I get it, ANACONDA, JUNGLE. Going off on a tangent a big…how some women can get their butts to move like they’re separate entities is very impressive and mind-boggling…and there’s lots of that in this video. Nicki does a great job of shakin’ it too. There were times where I think it was definitely overly sexualized (I mean, the whole thing is, but there were times where it seemed more than just unnecessary). Also, the Drake lap dance was SO RANDOM. This whole video is based in the jungle (obviously not a real jungle, but the studio-set-up ass jungle, but STILL, keep the theme consistent, guys!), and it’s disjointed to have this end-cut with Nicki dancing up on Drake. Seems like it was done to just show how she can move? Or have a guy in the video so guys watching the vid can imagine they’re Drake? Not sure, just seemed random.

What do you guys think of it?

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