You ARE Beautiful

Dove’s new campaign, Real Beauty Sketches, reminds us that women are their own worst beauty critics. Consider this sad statistic: Only four percent of women around the world consider themselves beautiful. That’s insane, right? Just think of how many women you see and envy daily.  The reality is that you got what others want and you don’t even realize it.

Thankfully, Dove conducted a compelling social experiment that explores how women view their own beauty in contrast to what others see.  The results teach us to love our quirks, appreciate our bodies by focusing on the positive and to go easy on ourselves.  Just as fellow twenty-something divorcée Christina Aguilera sings, you are beautiful!

Bounce on a Budget: The Best Hair Mousse for your Buck

Sit down because you’re not going to believe this: Perhaps the best hair mousse on the market is under $3.00. Suave Professionals Captivating Curls Whipped Cream Mousse provides bounce, definition, grease-free shine and all-day hold.

 

For best results, blow dry hair with a curl diffuser. It’s much faster than blowing your hair straight, less harmful than an iron, and gives a finished look with which air-drying can’t compete.

Another bonus- this product is alcohol free, which means it’s safe for sensitive skin. Yes, hair products can actually be the culprits behind your breakouts!  Alcohol, oils and fragrance are irritants and can clog pores, especially when your hair rests against your face at night on your pillow; so always check ingredients before making a purchase.

Another alcohol-free option is John Frieda’s FRIZZ-EASE Dream Curls Curl-Perfecting Spray, priced around $7.00 at CVS. This lives up to its “never crispy” guarantee but pales in comparison to Suave’s Captivating Curls when it comes to definition, and believe it or not, frizz!

I’ve tried the big name brands but don’t recall loving any as much as Suave’s offering. Besides, like most of my fellow divorcées, I’m on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice my beauty.

…because what’s a product review without a photo of the actual results?!

 

Shade in your Eyebrows, Light up your Life

One of the most neglected features of the face is one of the most important: your eyebrows.

Groomed brows can make your face look immaculate even when you’re not wearing any makeup.  In addition, a perfect eyebrow arch can literally change the structure of your face. Yet, many of us don’t maintain our brows. It doesn’t matter if you tweeze, wax or thread (my favorite) your brows, chances are they still need shading.

Awesome eyebrows: Megan Good and Rebecca Herbst (General Hospital).

My eyebrows are my biggest pet peeve and I’ve spent a lot of today thinking about them- hence this post. Sadly, I’m a victim of over-tweezing during my teenage years and was not granted a nice natural arch.  So I’m obsessed with finding the perfect eyebrow-shading method. I’ve tried gels, pencils, shadow, stencils and combinations of them all. Yet, I can’t help but feel like my brows sometimes look fake. Or worse, I notice that sometimes the color fades.

Thanks to YouTube, I found a few tutorials that confirmed I’m pretty much doing it right but maybe just need more sophisticated brushes.

Check them out. You never know, new eyebrows might just change your life! Or at the very least, help you feel super hot on your next date. Remember, when you meet someone new, the first thing he’s going to do is look right into your eyes (well, if he is a respectable man!) so you want to make sure your peepers are showcasing that you’re a keeper!

For glam eyebrows:

For natural looking brows:

Beauty on a Budget: DIY Face Masks So Good You’ll Want to Eat Them

Shortly after my marriage ended, I lost my job. That meant bye-bye expensive luxuries like monthly facials, which kept my oh-so-sensitive skin in check. Of course, the stress of divorcing and job hunting took their toll and my face starting breaking out like crazy. Just when I needed my good ol’ aesthetician the most, I couldn’t afford her!

Even divorcées with jobs have to cut back on “unnecessary” expenses during the unwelcome transition from bride to borderline broke that occurs for most of us. But our beauty routines shouldn’t have to suffer. The pampering helps lift our spirits when we’re down and our self-confidence soars when we look stunning.

So what’s a twenty-something ex-wife to do? Bring on the DIY beauty routines!

At-home facials, using grocery store items like avocado, coffee and honey, allow you to live not only frugal and fantastic, but also give your skin natural antioxidants and kill bacteria. Plus, they provide activities for ladies nights. So break out your beverages of choice, call in the troops and add some of these fruits and veggies to next week’s grocery list.

Here are 15 homemade facemask recipes from TipJunkie.com.

 

Kiss your Past Goodbye: It’s Time for a New Lip Color

If you’re one of the twenty-something women who let her appearance go the way of her marriage, then chances are you forgot how fun it is to apply makeup.

The cardinal rule of makeup is to play up either your eyes or lips. Generally, if your eyes are smoking, then your lips should remain neutral. Similarly, when your lips are fired up, it’s best to let them do the talking and just sweep on a shimmery light shadow to complement your mascara. Most women play it safe and go all out on their eyes, but it’s time to let your lips loose.

I’ve always favored my eyes, painting them shadows of the rainbow, from florescent green to electric blue and hot pink. I’ve even combined all those colors and created an actual rainbow (just take a look at the Trash the Dress press photos).  However, I recently have become obsessed with lipstick. Blame it on clever magazine advertisements and Rimmel displays at the drug store.

Covering Bamboozle for my music site, Planet Verge, back in the day: Blonde and loving my Nars Red Lizard lipstick.

There, I said it. Whoo, that feels good to get off my chest! I’ve been purchasing lipstick from CVS.  Please don’t tell Sephora.  Before this, the only colors that have touched my lips have been NARS Red Lizard (a blue-based red perfect for platinum blondes but I’ve continued to use after going back to black) and Kat Von D.’s Lolita (a dusty rose for daytime).  It’s not that I think the more expensive brands are better, but I have really sensitive skin so I only use high-end, hypoallergenic foundations, powders and blushes. Whenever I’m stocking up, I naturally get lured to the eye shadows and lipsticks. I mean, the displays are so gosh darn pretty!

But you know what I’ve discovered? Drug store brands are pretty good, too!

The gateway to my drug store brand lipstick addiction was Rimmel. I’ve always been a sucker for all things London, so that first attracted me to the display. Then, I found Rimmel’s Moisture Renew in Vintage Pink. The word “vintage” sold me before I even tested the lovely purple/pink shade.  This color is perfect for special occasions and looks great paired with a little black dress:

A few days later, bored on my lunch break I returned visit to my new pal Rimmel.  This time I took home Rimmel’s Lasting Finish Kate Moss collection in Rossetto, a matte neutral that can be swiped on without a mirror.  It also smells really good, like I want to eat this lipstick. Weird? Yes.  Use this color with caution. Those with pink tones in their skin might feel like this shade is a bit overwhelming. Applying blush sparingly–or perhaps less dramatic than usual– will help. Overall, this is a great finish but it doesn’t stay on through my morning coffee at the office. Should that deter you from buying this brand? No. Just make sure to reapply in during bathroom breaks.

Next, I tried Colour Caresse Wet Shine Stain from L’Oreal Paris.  The pros rave about lip stains and I’ve worn them when I’ve gotten my makeup professionally done. I decided it was time to own this glorious glamification tool. But I almost didn’t buy it after I saw the display. The tubes actually didn’t look too appealing. They have a clear section that shows the gloss and I didn’t like the way the product settled. But I got over it once I saw the shade Infinite Fuchsia. It’s the soul mate to my nail polish and we’ve been happily ever after ever since it first touched my lips.

WINNER!! WINNER!!

L’Oreal’s Colour Caresse stays on for hours. It lasted me through dinner at PF Changs, a shopping trip to Ikea and didn’t even budge when I kissed my man’s cheek.  Eventually, it does start to fade in some areas and leaves an outline that looks like you’re wearing lip liner. But all you have to do is reapply or swipe on a little gloss and you’re good to go.  Hot idea: Use this brand as thin layer as a base coat under any lipstick so once the top layer wears off, you’ll still have color. I’ll be purchasing more shades from this collection and telling my friends (ahem) to do the same.

Sometimes you just want a hint of color and that’s when you call in the Maybelline troops, specifically the Color Whisper team. Great for work or runs to the grocery store (hey, you’re single and you never know who you’re going to run into!) I wear Shades of Attraction, but just one quick application. Anymore layers is a little too much pink for me.

Tip: I should mention, I use to fear pink. But even the brightest, preppiest pinks can complete an edgy, smokey-eyed look. Just apply light layers.

Speaking of glossy color, I also love Maybelline New York’s Baby Lips collection. I have a few shades from colored to clear. I’m not sure if it really heals my  smacker since I also apply Vaseline religiously before bed— and I have this theory that chapsticks are made to dry your lips so you keep purchasing them—but it gets me through the workday feeling sassy.   And we can all use a little boost.

 

 

 

 

Festive Nails that Don’t Cost a Fortune

Many of us found out the hard way that following tradition doesn’t always lead to happily ever after. This holiday season, ditch the expected red and green color combo and strike out on your own glittery path. Let your fingers do the talking, but keep your money from walking. I’m talking DIY at-home holiday manicure. Here’s mine:

Bottom coat: Sally Hansen Hard as Nails in clear (this locks color on for a week!)

Primary color: Keep it neutral with Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in “Commander in Chic”

Accent:  Nicole by OPI in “Rainbow in the S-kylie” (Kardashian collection)

Top coat: Repeat Sally Hansen Hard as Nails in clear

Consider this a holiday lights look that seamlessly transitions to a confetti party for your nails this New Years Eve. No polish change required!

I managed to score both colors 50 percent off at my local CVS – total score! Stock up while they’re on sale and keep your nails fashionable way into 2013.

Beauty on a Budget: DIY Nail Art

Mani-pedis are a great way to indulge…and end up in even greater post-divorce debt. If you’re spending about $20 a week keeping your tips in top shape, you’re also kissing goodbye $80 a month and at least $960 a year. Yikes! Just think of what you can do with all that extra cash you didn’t even realize was at your disposal.

Doing manicures at home will save you tons of money and actually make your nails look neater. How many times have you seen women with grown-out manicures, as they have to wait for their next appointment to re-polish? It’s slightly embarrassing. And people do notice, even if you have a French manicure. Go au naturale with your nails.

For those of you who are thinking, “Well, the nail polish doesn’t stay on when I do it myself!” let me share a secret beauty weapon: Sally Hansen. Sally does a service for nails like Victoria has provided for boobs. Once you realize this, there’s no going back to another brand.

Sally Hansen products keep nails chip-free and rock hard.  Specifically, the Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear clear polish, when applied as a base and topcoat, will keep your color locked on for a week.

High-end brands like OPI and Essie apply just as smoothly, but why pay double the price? You don’t have to sacrifice to save.

DIY manicures are more fun, too. Have nail parties with your girlfriends, where everyone brings over their favorite shades. Snack on cheese and your favorite beverage. It’s a creative and cheap alternative to girls nights out and when you’re done, you’ll feel a little more posh.

Before you make a mad dash to the drug store, make sure you also pick up an orange stick. That’s a little wooden tool that, when dipped in remover, will erase any “out side the lines” paint. Now no one will know you’re not a pro.

If you’re feeling extra daring, try these styles:

Cupcake nail art

 Newspaper nail art

Hair’s to the New You: Post-Divorce Makeover Inspiration

You ditched your husband, now breakup with your boring hairstyle. Chop it off, color it crazy, get bangs or splurge on extensions.  The options are endless and so is your potential. Once you’re invigorated and feel brand new, the world is yours for the taking. Confidence will soar from job interviews to nights out with your girls. Turn heads and your life around with something as simple as a snip of the scissors.

Allow us to suggest some post-divorce makeover hair styles:

Take a note of fellow twenty-something divorcée Ashlee Simpson’s hair. The songstress makes a drastic statement with this bleached blonde pixie cut.

This looks just as sexy jet-black and extra-textured on Rihanna.

Victoria Beckham’s classic haircut may be just what you need to get your edge back after divorce. Our fingers are crossed that Posh and beau David Beckham never take a walk down that road!

Afraid to make a big chop? This jaw-dropping length, as seen on General Hospital star Kirsten Storms, is the perfect style balance.  You get the look and feel of a freeing short-do but can still curl your tresses for special occasions.

House of Harlow founder Nicole Ritchie knows a thing or two about style. Steal hers.

If you’re not a fan of bangs, opt for Jenny McCarthy’s classic shoulder-length bob. But beware of full bleaching. Start off slow with chunky highlights to protect your hair from breaking and damage.

Or, take a walk on the darker side like Finola Hughes and go ombre for stellar strands whether they’re worn straight or wavy.

If  you’ve come a long way and just can’t bare with the thought of chopping your locks, celebrate your divorce by adding a few layers and highlights. Take this photo of Rachel Bilson to your salon.

A good bang can rock your world. Jessica Biel (or shall we say Timberlake) knows all about that.

Of course we discuss post-divorce hair makeovers without mentioning perhaps the most drastic of them all- Katy Perry’s blue hue. Those in Corporate America may have to settle for clip-in color on the weekends, but if you’re in the arts and feeling extra creative, go blueberry!

Tat-new Start

One of the first things I did as a newly single 23-year-old was get tattooed! I had wanted a tattoo for a few years, but either couldn’t decide on a design or we never had enough money to spend on things that weren’t a complete necessity. I knew I wanted my three children’s names involved in the tattoo because they were going to be my rock and the permanent presence in my life (unlike my husband).

I did it for myself mainly. A completely selfish act that was just for me. I wanted to prove that I could do this even though I was scared of the unknown pain. The way I saw it was I’d already been through so much, surely I could take a bit more.

This tattoo would kick start my new image. I say “new” but it was actually the person I had wanted to be for a long time and partly the person I had stopped developing around the time of my marriage. Sometimes a little bit of confidence is all you need to see a new or the old you! I found the confidence I needed for that tattoo and after that it just kept growing!

A friend of mine drew up a basic design that I could take to a fantastic tattoo shop in the next town.  I handed over the piece of paper for the tattoo artist to redesign and booked in there and then! Unfortunately I had to wait six weeks for an appointment around when my ex had the children and I wasn’t working.

When the time came I was full of emotions: scared, excited, anxious and also proud of myself because I knew I could do this! I’m yet to mention that I have a fairly big blood phobia, this was another resistance in my decision.  So I choose to have it on the back of my leg and explained to the tattoo artist, so that he could avoid showing me anything with blood dripping from it.

I laid there for over an hour and was presently surprised with the feeling, I felt overwhelmed with pride in myself and I was so relaxed I almost nodded off! They did a great job in bringing the design to life and I was very impressed with the results. I was filled with confidence as soon as I left and I’m continually showing it off. I love my tattoo!

I’ve since had two more tattoos and two dermal anchor piercing on my chest just below my collar bones. I did it because I wanted to and there was no one to criticise me or put me off doing what I wanted to my body and my image.

But my biggest change has to be my hair! When I met my ex, it was always changing colour but he wasn’t to keen and I felt as a mother and a wife I should improve my image. I was also massively influenced by people opinions about me being a young married mum and felt I had to make myself look older and respectable- aka boring! So now it’s purple and I absolutely love it! It makes me feel so happy and confident.

I’m not saying go out and get a tattoo or dye your hair an outrageous colour. Just do something for you. Something that pushes you. Something that improves your confidence. Something you couldn’t do when you were married and most importantly do something that makes you happy!

I also brought shoes……. Lots of shoes.