5 New Year’s Resolutions You CAN Keep

skinny-girl-diet-plan

Every year we make resolutions we can’t keep, then punish ourselves with weeks of guilt for failing at our new year’s goals.  Avoid the guilt this year by making resolutions you CAN actually keep.

Make these easy to follow resolutions that will improve your health, and the way you feel every day.

1) Sleep More

Did you know that those who sleep more also weigh less? It’s not that far-fetched of an idea if you think about it.  The more time you spend sleeping, the less time you spend eating! Also, those who sleep more have lower levels of stress.  Sleeping also helps reduce bags under your eyes.

2) Eat More Peppers

Peppers, specifically pickled peppers, burn fat.  Eating spicy foods twice a day can help you burn more calories every day.  By resolving to make dietary changes, instead of straight losing weight, you won’t feel guilty if you don’t reach a particular number.

3) Incorporate Activity

Making a resolution to exercise or hit the gym can be hard to accomplish when you work full time, have children, or both.  While doing an hour of cardio or getting a personal trainer may be out of the question, you can resolve to incorporate some activity into your daily routine.  Whether you go far a short walk when you get home each night or during your lunch break, or do a short workout video at home, getting active will give you more energy and counter some of the calories you intake each day.

4) Eat Less Sodium

We aren’t really aware of how much sodium we really do eat, and how incredibly bad it is for us.  Many Americans will turn to processed bars, snack bags, and frozen meals to help them reach their weight loss goals this year.  Unfortunately these diet side kicks offer up way more sodium than recommended. You can lose weight without the added sodium.  Instead of a frozen meal try a tasty salad, mixed vegetables, fresh protein, or a fruit salad.

5) Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself

Finally, don’t spend your year feeling bad about yourself.  Women spend too much time wishing for better bodies, punishing themselves for not having it, and worrying about how others see them.  It’s your life, and you only get to live it once.  This year resolve to enjoy your year.  Eat the foods you love in moderation.  Resolve to travel, see, and experience new things.  Take the time you would spend envying other people for their looks, and become someone others can envy for being you.

Happy New Year to all my readers!

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5 Beauty Items You DON’T Need

meesh me make upI will admit, I am a sucker for a beauty product. I love make up, and have so much of it that I forget what items I actually have.  I am a “beauty insider” at Sephora, and get my make up done professionally often.  One side effect of that is that I have bought tons of items I don’t actually need.  According to a recent article posted to Yahoo Shine there are an arsenal of beauty products we shouldn’t be spending our money on. Here are some items I was shocked to find that I don’t actually need.

1) Primer

If you have had your make up done professionally you can tell the difference.  When I would apply make up at home the shadow never looked as dark, or lasted as long, as it did when I got it done professionally.  Then I was turned onto primer.  I was told that this product would keep my make up on my face longer, keep it from smudging, and reduce the amount of eye shadow I needed to use.  While primer does it’s job, it’s a necessary addition to your make up collection.  If you have foundation and/or concealer you can create the same effect.  Foundation and concealer both keep make up on your face, and created a bolder look.

2) Lip Balm

Excuse me? I don’t need lip balm? That’s just absurd. Not according to beauty expert Dr. Sejal K. Shah. All you need is moisturizer. Well most women don’t use lip balm just for moisture, but color as well. If you’re not looking for color or tint, you can forego the balm and use your moisturizer.

3) Lip Liner

According to the experts lip liner actually dries out your lips, and your lips look plumpest when moisturized. However, this is only true for younger girls.  As you age lipstick begins to feather out.  If you’re not wearing a bold color you can get away without lip liner, but always use lip liner when applying red lipstick. You’ll end up looking like a clown without it.

Other Products the Experts Say You Don’t Need Include:

1) Scrubs: Apparently scrubs can do more harm than good, drying out your skin.

2) Toner: Not necessary unless you have very oily skin, and even then it’s not mandatory.

3) Face Blotting Sheets: Expensive and unnecessary according to experts. Try using a mask with tea tree oil instead.

Hope you’ve found this blog useful. Write us with your feedback!

5 Ways to Get Fresher Brighter Skin

spa day

Many women think that a tan is the key to glowing skin, spending time under the damaging rays of the sun or tanning bed, but the truth is tanning isn’t the key to glowing skin.  The average person has 1.6 trillion skin cells, and of this skin cells 30,000 to 40,000 of those cells shed each hour.  That’s a lot of dead skin you’re carrying around.  Dead and dry skin causes ashy dull looking skin, but there are quick and simple things you can do to keep your skin looking fresh, bright, and glowing.

Here are five things you can start doing to improve the look of your skin:

Dry-Skin-Brushing1) Dry Brushing

It’s called dry brushing for a reason, yet many people use their dry brush in the shower.  Getting your dry brush wet will cause molding, and using this brush in the shower is not effective.  It is harder to shed dead skin cells when they are wet.  Instead, use your dry brush before getting into the shower.  Start at the feet moving upward.  The idea is that you’re moving toxins towards your digestive system for removal.  Continue to brush in a circular motion over your entire body.  The process shouldn’t take longer than 5 to 10 minutes, you don’t want to damage the healthy skin.  Once completed, get in the shower and rinse the dead skin off. You can find dry brushes at many local stores including pharmacies, Target stores, or Walmart.

mango-body-scrub_l2) Body Srubs

There are hundreds if not thousands of “scrubs” for you to choose from.  The idea of a shower scrub is that it will exfoliate your skin, and in some cases help get rid of toxins.  To me the most important factor in choosing a body scrub is the scent.  While the sent doesn’t add to the exfoliation process, the benefit is in its relaxation powers.  A good smelling body scrub can fill your shower with calming scents, helping you wash away those toxic worries.  My favorite body scrubs are found at the Body Shop.  Check them out here.

unicorngirl_shower_light3) Hot & Cold

Switching the water from hot to cold periodically throughout your shower will help shock the skin, bringing life back to dead skin.  Hot water is typically not great for the skin, and can even age your skin faster.  However, most of us can’t stand an entire shower of cold water.  Hot water relaxes us, and a hot shower can be therapeutic.  Enjoy your hot shower, but when it comes to washing your face switch to cold water.  It will help with circulation, and brighten your skin.

4) Good Lotion

spray lotion For some of us the “lotioning” process is a pain in the a$$.  I have so many bottles of lotion, I can’t count them.  Yet I only get to putting lotion on my legs when I look down and their ashy white.  Hydrating your skin is very important, so making time for lotion is key to getting glowing skin.  Choose a lotion that provides the benefits you seek.  Choose a scent you enjoy, so that the process is enjoyable for you.  If you’re like me and hate lathering up, there are spray lotions available at your local pharmacy.

h20 body gloss4) Body Gloss

I have mentioned this product in a previous blog post, but the H20 Plus Hydrating Body Gloss is a great product.  If you’re looking for skin that shines, this product is a must.  The gloss is easy to apply! Just a few spritzes of the body gloss and you’re legs will look hydrated and shiny.  Say goodbye to white ashy legs and elbows.  To purchase this product or to get more information visit the product page here.  At just $15 it’s a steal.

Pucker Up: New Kardashian Lipstick Line

meeshme.com

I rarely watch any of the Kardashian shows, not for a lack of interest, but because of a lack of time.  Then the other day I finally got a chance to sit down and watch an episode of Kourtney and Kim take Miami.  The drama ensued, but the one thing I took away from that episode was I had to have the lipstick Kourtney was wearing.

I loved the hot pink color, but I was more obsessed with the fact that it looked more like a pencil than your typical lipstick.  I traveled to New Orleans for work, and forgot all about what Khroma Beauty calls the “joystick”.  It wasn’t until I was shopping for cleaning supplies at CVS that I came across the new Kardashian European Line Khroma Beauty.  The line includes joysticks, fake eyelashes, mascara, and more.  But it did not take me long to find what I was looking for, the “Shocking Pink” joystick.  I have been in love ever since.

The joystick is so awesome, because it goes on smooth and doesn’t dry your lips.  The colors are bold, and last all day.  The shape of the joystick also allows you to line your lips without lip liner.  You have to try these joysticks available online and at your local CVS or Walgreens for $8.99.

Khroma-lipstick

 

Beauty Mistakes: Eye Cream

Face Cream

Noticing fine lines, wrinkles, or other aging issues?  Embracing one’s age is important, but let’s face it many of us want to stay looking youthful.  However, be careful when trying new anti-aging products.  Certain products can actually do more harm than good.

One of the signs of aging is darkening of the under eye area or puffy under eyes.  Eye creams are very popular, but can be expensive and not that great for you.

In a recent segment on the Dr. Oz show they featured eye creams, and the lack of results they provide.  Apparently the ingredients used in eye creams is almost identical to the ingredients used in moisturizers.  Eye creams can cost up to $60, while they provide very little to no results.  In addition, eye creams can actually age your face at a faster rate.  How is that possible?  There are chemicals used to preserve eye creams that can create increased inflammation of the eye area.

See the full video of beauty mistakes that age you here.

plain greek yogurt

Instead of spending a ton on harmful eye creams, you can create your own natural (more effective) eye cream at home with two simple ingredients.  Apparently Greek yogurt is more than just a tasty treat.  The ingredients in plain Greek yogurt and parsley can decrease inflammation and get rid of those pesky dark baggy under eyes.

To create this at home eye cream add some chopped parsley to a few table spoons of plain Greek yogurt.  And that’s it! Apply the yogurt to the area, and leave until dry.  You can then use a warm dampened towel to remove the yogurt.

If swelling or eye bags are your issue cold tea bags and ice will work as well.  Often times eye bags are caused by allergies.  If you have allergies an antihistamine will help as well.

Did you find this blog helpful? Let us know.

Health Risk: Vitamin Deficiency

meeshme.comWith so many things to get done in a day, taking care of our skin and bodies takes a back seat to grocery shopping, picking up kids, making dinner, or juggling the many tasks of our demanding jobs.  Yet if you don’t take care of your physical health, you won’t be able to do many of the things you either need or love to do.

Eating healthy is important for many reasons, but it isn’t always as convenient or delicious as fast or processed foods.  If you’re not eating from essential food groups, you are probably lacking in vital vitamin categories.  If you can’t get in all the nutrients you need in a day, taking vitamins is important.  I have never taken vitamins, except for when I’m feeling a cold coming on, but recently I learned the danger of vitamin deficiency.

Over the past year I was much more tired, I had no energy.  It became harder to lose weight, which I associated with getting older.  I experienced numbness and vibration in my limbs.  I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what.  Finally, I had blood work done when a doctor noticed a nodule on my thyroid.  Thankfully there was nothing wrong with my thyroid, but she did discover a vitamin B and vitamin D deficiency.  While a normal person should have around 1,100 pg/ml of vitamin B, I had 115.

meeshme.comVitamin B deficiency can cause a series of health problems.  Long periods of vitamin B deficiency can cause permanent neurological damage.  People with 200 to 400 pg/ml can experience neuropsychiatric and hematologic abnormalities.  Neuropsychiatric abnormalities include depression, bi-polar disorder, Schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, and eating disorders.  Hematologic abnormalities include anemia and vibration (numbness).  Want to incorporate more vitamin B12 in your diet? This webpage lists the top ten foods for vitamin B12.

Vitamin D deficiency can cause hair loss, weak/dry hair, brittle nails, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer.  There are a variety of reasons why you may be deficient of vitamin D.  People with dark skin are at increased risk, because the pigment melanin reduces the skin’s ability to absorb vitamin D from the sun.  To increase your intake of Vitamin D naturally you would need to spend more time under the sun or visit a tanning bed.  Odd since these actions can increase skin cancer and skin aging, but safe exposure is key.  Wear sunscreen!

A simple blood test can determine if your body is deficient of vitamins, but you can also diagnose yourself.  Listen to your body.  If you are feeling tired or experiencing some of the symptoms above increase vitamin B12.  Vitamin B12 isn’t always easily processed by our stomachs, so the best way to get Vitamin B12 is through drops or strips that dissolve under your tongue.  GNC offers these products at around $13.  Vitamin D can be taken in pill form or in yummy chews, which GNC and other health stores offer.

Start taking care of yourself, and live a longer, healthier, better life.

Summer Hot Buy: Sea Salt Spray

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Moisturizing is arguably the most important thing you can do for your skin.  Our skin looks better, more youthful, when we moisturize.  Many of us hit the gym hard before swimsuit season, working hard to look good in a swimsuit, but we forget to take care of our skin.  When your body needs hydration you feel thirsty, but it’s harder to tell when our skin needs hydration.  One sign of skin dehydration is ashy, dull looking skin.  It is your skin’s way of screaming, “I’m thirsty!” You can tan or spray tan, but a good tan isn’t good unless it’s glowing.

You can make tons of excuses for why you don’t moisturize, but I have found a product that provides hassle-free moisture and shine.  While window shopping this last weekend I came across this H2o Plus product.  The Sea Salt Hydrating Body Gloss provides multiple benefits.  This spray not only moisturizes your skin effortlessly, but also provides a glossy sheen.  The scent is mild and not overpowering.  The subtle scent of the sea will follow you around, reminding you that summer is near.

This spray goes on relatively dry, so you can spray and go.  Unlike body splashes and other sprays, the H2o Sea Salt moisturizing body gloss won’t drip or run down your body.  It’s perfect for before, during and after a beach/pool day.  This H2o product costs about $15.  Get a bottle or learn more here.

Spa Review: Spa Pura

meeshme.comI am always looking for great spa deals.  Let’s face it no matter how amazing a facial or massage may be, we don’t always feel great spending $150 for a one time service.  My go-to spa has always been Burke Williams, but I recently received a spa deal I couldn’t pass up.

While walking around Montrose, CA I passed by Spa Pura.  Montrose is located by the 2 Freeway North of Glendale.  It’s the closest thing to a small town you will find in Los Angeles.  With small shops and whole in the wall restaurants, Montrose is a charming little get away from busy L.A.  Spa Pura fits in well with it’s surroundings.  A small intimate spa in a town known for it’s hidden gems.

Special Deals

I decided to sign up for the mailing list on the website in hopes that a great offer would come my way.  Last week it finally came.  Right now Spa Pura is offering a Spring special, $119 for a 60 minute service and 30 minute service package.  I enjoy facials more than a massage, so I opted for the 60 minute facial and 30 minute massage.  You might be thinking that $119 isn’t cheap, and yes there are spas that offer services for $60 or less, but you have to consider overall experience. For $119 I was able to use the spa facilities which included a jacuzzi, steam room, and dry sauna.  The spa also offers showers for before and after use.

Couples

Every purchased a couples spa package?  Having a spa day with your significant other is a great experience, but it often leads to regret.  The increased price per service doesn’t always seem worth it.  At Spa Pura there is a common room for both men and women to enjoy.  There are comfortable chairs where you can sit and relax together.  The spa offers cucumber/lemon water, coffee, tea, and champagne to enjoy on weekends.  They also offer crackers, cheese, and veggies for snacking.

Lounge Area

There are three levels to the spa, and the bottom floor is by far the best.  Dimly lit with candles, this room is pure relaxation.  Comfortable chairs, beautifully decorated, and ready for you to enjoy.  It is the perfect location for a bachelorette party or girls spa day.  Notify the spa of your special event ahead of time, and they will accommodate you.

Services

Spa Pura offers a wide range of services.  At Spa Pura you can upgrade to an advanced facial.  These facials decrease scars, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.  To get the full list of spa services visit here.  I recently enjoyed the 60 minute European Deep Cleansing Facial.  The exfoliation really worked to remove dull skin.  My skin felt totally refreshed afterwards.  I could feel the citrus peels working to clean more pores, and I have never had a better head and neck massage than the one I received with my facial this past weekend.  My 30 minute massage was great as well.  The masseur used hot oils and lotions while she worked out my tense muscles.  She incorporated hot stones as well.

I would definitely recommend Spa Pura to anyone.  Make sure to sign up for their mailing list in order to receive special offers and savings.  See an informational video here.

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Skin Care Secrets

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This month I’ve decided to spend a lot more time on my skin.  I’ve never had a problem with acne or oily skin, so washing my face when in the shower was the most time I dedicated to it.  Envious? Don’t be.  When you’re not used to working to keep your skin clear, you can fall into the habit of neglecting it.  Taking care of your skin is incredibly important, especially if you want to stay looking youthful.

meeshme.comBeing a California native I’ve spent plenty of time sun bathing.  Having an olive complication thanks to my Middle Eastern roots, I never worried about sun block.  While others slathered on the sun screen, I laughed.  That’s come back to bite me in the a$$.  Sun screen is vital to the health of your skin.  The sun’s rays don’t just make you more susceptible to skin cancer, they also cause your skin to lose its elasticity.  Too much exposure to the sun can cause wrinkles, sagging, and freckling.  To protect your skin, avoid sun bathing for multiple hours a day or hitting the tanning bed.  Always put on sun screen.  I remember putting on the lowest SPF sunscreen I could find, don’t! Make sure to purchase something with an SPF of 30 or higher.  I hate rubbing in sunscreen, so I always opt for the spray-on versions like Coola organic sport sun screen.  Purchase it here.  Coola has enough SPF to provide protection without leaving your hands or legs white from residue.  It also doesn’t seep out of your pores when it’s hot, like traditional lotions will do.

meeshme.comI never was addicted to the tanning bed, but I definitely made visits at least once a month in preparation for the summer.  Who doesn’t appreciate the effect of a tan?  It can hide those pesky imperfections like nothing else.  I liked tanning not just for the look it gave me, but because it relaxed me.  Laying down in that warm bed would put me to sleep.  I’d listen to some music and just let go of everything going on in my head.  While I do miss this experience, it isn’t worth putting myself at risk for skin cancer, nor is it worth even the perfect tan.  I’ve never been a fan of spray tans, but there are other options.  Jergens Natural Glow will slowly increase the pigment in your skin without making you look orange.  Clinque also has a fabulous product for $23.  Buy it here.

meeshme.comTo help correct some of the sun damage on my face, I started researching moisturizers with SPF.  My skin is naturally on the dry side, so applying a moisturizer after washing my face is mandatory.  I read that ROC Multi Correxion 4 Zone daily moisturizer was rated by users as one of the top products for reversing sun damage and aging.  The ROC moisturizer, “targets four key areas of the face to diminish the look of multiple signs of aging.”  The moisturizer has an SPF of 30 which is higher than many make-up counter moisturizers.  The moisturizer claims to target the four zones of the face.  It claims to diminish the signs of lines and wrinkles from the forehead, decreases the appearance of crows feet from the eye area, removes brown spots and uneven skin tone from your cheeks, and improves elasticity of the jaw line. The ROC 4 zone moisturizer can be purchased at Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, and Target for around $25 a bottle.  This may seem expensive for the size of the bottle, but it’s cheaper than many brand name moisturizers that claim to do the same thing.

meeshme.comTo repair deep set wrinkles try L’OREAL’s Revitalift.  Botox and similar services can be a scary experience and costly investment.  I’ve never tried it myself, and horror stories keep me from making an appointment.  I’ve known women who have had it, and I can’t say that I saw too much of a difference.  If you do choose to invest in botox, make sure you don’t skimp on the cost in exchange for the right doctor.  These days almost anyone can provide injections, so make sure you go to someone who knows what they’re doing.  In the meantime Revitalift may provide you with the skin assistance you need.  This wrinkle repair cream works overnight to bring elasticity back to your skin, and plumps up the gaps which create wrinkles and lines on your face.  Users see results over time.  I myself only started seeing results after a couple of months.  Your wrinkles weren’t built in a day, so it won’t take a day or two to fix them.  Dedicate the time every night and a.m. to taking care of your skin, and you’ll see the results.  You can get Revitalift at CVS for just $15.99.  Buy it here.

February: Things I love (This Month)

I get really obsessed with certain products, and then play them out until I can’t have anymore.  I like what I like, and I don’t stop liking it until I do.  Right now I’m obsessed with:

SNACKS

meeshme.comSpecial K Fruit & Yogurt Cereal

I have always been a fan of special K, a cereal I can eat to help me keep the pounds from fighting their way back.  I can however, eat more than one bowl of special K at a sitting, negating the dietary benefits of the cereal.  That’s why I love the new fruit and yogurt version.  This new twist on the classic fills you up much quicker than the regular cereal.  Added bonus: the dried berry clusters transform the remainder milk left into the bowl into a bowl of strawberry milk.  Find the fruit and yogurt special K at your local market.

meeshme.comPretzel Crisps & Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges

When I was around 5 years old I used to spend a lot of time with my Arabic uncle Emad.  He would give me these triangle of soft cheese as a snack.  He ate a lot of traditional food back then, so I thought he was giving me some special Arabic cheese.  Fast forward 20 years later, and I finally realize that those yummy cheese triangles came from Vons.  The laughing cow makes a variety of flavors now including a delicious sun dried tomato flavor.  At just 50 calories for the regular, and 35 for the light version, these cheese wedges can calm your hunger pains when you’re in between meals.  OMG do I love pretzel crisps.  So much better than a regular cracker.  At just 110 calories for 11 crisps, you can enjoy this treat guilt free.  I’ve recently topped my pretzel crisps with the Laughing Cow swiss cheese  flavored soft cheese.  It’s a great snack and fills me up.

MAKE-UP

meeshme.comNARS Sheer Glow Foundation

For years I went without using foundation.  I hate the feel of caked on make-up, and I was fortunate to avoid acne growing up.  It wasn’t until two years ago that I started to think I needed a little foundation.  I started using M.A.C tinted moisturizer, because it gave my skin a little color, concealed small imperfections, and protected my skin with it’s SPF.  I used the tinted moisturizer for almost two years, but started to notice that it gave me an orange look, especially in pictures.  I was afraid to try a true foundation, but the girl at the NARS make up counter insisted a try their foundation.  She said it was light, and she wasn’t lying.  I am in love with this product.  She worked with me to find the perfect color for my skin.  The light coverage hid what I wanted it to, but didn’t leave my skin feeling or looking cakey.  My skin looks smooth and soft.  The best part is that my skin doesn’t look white in pictures.  Most foundations contain a chemical that turns white under a flash, but it’s not found in NARS foundation.  The only downside is that the foundation can dry skin if you already have an issue, so always put on moisturizer before applying the foundation.  NARS sheer glow foundation can be found at your local department store for $44.

meeshme.comDisney Collection for Sephora

For Christmas my boyfriend’s little sister bought me the Cinderella eye shadow palette by Sephora.  Not only is the case beautiful, but the eye shadow variety is amazing.  I hate it when I have to use a ton of eye shadow just to make the color pop.  That’s not the case with this eye shadow palette. The color pops with a small amount of shadow, and lasts throughout the day.  The variety was awesome as well, with shadow colors ranging from purple to brown.  No matter what outfit I put on, there is an eye shadow to match.  Sephora recently released the newest set which is called the Jasmine collection. View the collection here.  You can order from Sephora online with no shipping cost for $55.  A great price for the amount and variety of shadows you get.

Shopping

meeshme.comLulu’s

I tend to purchase a lot of clothing from one particular store.  I’ll find an outfit I love, and keep going back.  This month I’ve been obsessed with Lulus.com.  I love pretty, delicate things, and Lulu’s has so many lovely things to choose from.  I’ve purchased four dresses from them so far, and one pair of heels.  If you love to look feminine, you have to check Lulu’s out.  Visit them here.