A little Friday fun

Got this from my mom today (hi Mom!) and thought it was a fun way to start the weekend. Happy Friday, everybody!

Make your own cooling skin mist

After an hour or two out in the hot sun, skin can become parched and starving for moisture. There are plenty of products on the market now to refresh your skin on the go: The Body Shop makes a facial mist with vitamin E, and Juice Beauty offers one with natural oils and extracts. Or if you want to just waste some money you can always buy an aerosol can of plain old water for $10.

Evian Mineral Water Spray, $10 at Sephora.com

But if you want a refreshing, cooling facial mist and cash in your pocket, make your own at home using this easy recipe from the July issue of InStyle:

Brew and steep plain green tea (you can find Bigelow tea bags in most grocery stores) and cool. Pour over ice in a spray bottle and voila! A cool, refreshing skin mist. And the antioxidants in the tea will help repair sun damage. You can make this in advance and keep it in the refrigerator, too. And if you make too much you can always drink what’s left over since green tea has plenty of health benefits. For extra cooling power, find a spray bottle with a fan like this one:

You can always experiment with adding extra components if you want, like aloe vera juice or vitamin e oil. Just keep in mind that once you get into mixing things you need to think about spoilage. So it’s probably safest to keep the tea on its own and mix in any additional ingredients on a per-use basis instead of storing it.

“Oh. My. God, Becky. Look at her butt. It’s so… TRENDY!”

Big butts are all the buzz this season.

It’s always amusing to me when body parts go in or out of style. Unlike your clothes, the body you’re given isn’t really something you can change all that much (at least not without thousands of dollars worth of surgery). So when some magazine declares that this year’s “look” is small breasts, or long necks, or attached ear lobes (OK, I’m joking about that last one) it all seems that much more ridiculous. How can people go out of style? And what are you supposed to do if you don’t have this year’s hot shape? Stay inside until the trend changes? Clothes go out of style; people do not.

And yet…

Apparently this year’s big trend is already behind us. So to speak:

Make way! Big bums are shaping up to be the summer of 2010’s hottest trend.

Serena Williams reveals that it took her years to accept her curvy backside, joining other full-figured celebrities embracing their broader bottoms this beach season.

Kim Kardashian says she finally appreciates her round rear. Madonna’s daughter Lourdes loves shorts that make your butt look big. And a new book celebrates bulging booties.

Not since Sir Mix-a-Lot’s 1992 hit “Baby Got Back” has so much praise been paid to the posterior.

The book mentioned in the article is The Big Butt Book, a 372-page salute to well-endowed posteriors.

This is great news for me, since I tend to carry my weight in my hindquarters. Now instead of admitting that I’m just too lazy to go to the gym I can say I’m being trendy! Hooray! If you’re not lucky enough to have some extra junk in your trunk, you can always fake it with padded panties or butt-lifting jeans. Or you can just wait until next season when inevitably slim hips will come back into style.

But it’s not all fun and games for us fat-bottomed girls. A new scientific study has found that women who carry extra weight around their hips may suffer memory impairments. The study found that “apple” shaped women, or women who carry weight in their middle, scored higher on cognitive tests than “pear” shaped women:

The study involved 8,745 post-menopausal women aged 65 to 79.

These women were asked to complete a memory test that doctors use to judge brain function. They were also weighed and measured, then scored on an obesity scale known as Body Mass Index or BMI. Over two-thirds of the women were overweight or obese.

The researchers found that for every one point increase in a woman’s BMI, her memory score dropped by one point.

And pear-shaped women – those with smaller waists but bigger hips – scored particularly poorly.

The researchers say this is likely to be related to the type of fat deposited around the hips versus the waist.

So enjoy your moment in the sun, my fellow pears. Someday we won’t remember the short time when we were fashion’s big trend. But at least we can rest assured that Sir Mix-A-Lot and Queen will always love us.

Freebie Quickies!

Today I’ve got a couple of freebies for you!

If you have curly hair, you can sign uphere to be a hair model for Ouidad. Ouidad salons and products are targeted to curly hair and they use models to train stylists in their cutting technique. That means there is a risk since you’ll be sort of a training model, but if you’re willing to try it out you get a consultation (which means you get a say in what they do!), a cut, and possibly a deep conditioning treatment. You can check the Salon Locator to see if there’s a Ouidad salon in your area.

Origins is offering free mini facials at their retail locations. (The online ad says 7/8-7/11, but I just got this promoted in an e-mail today, so call your store to find out if this is still a valid offer.)

I tried a “weird” beauty product.

It was only a few posts ago that I was ranting and raving about ridiculous and gross beauty treatments, and here I am about to tell you how I used something that sounds pretty weird and maybe a little gross. The irony is not lost on me.

I was in the drug store a few days ago desperately looking for some kind of treatment for my frizzy, dried-out locks. I’m way overdue for a haircut and my ends start to get tangly and frazzled after a while. I’m very particular about what I use in my hair – I follow a modified curly girl method, which basically means that I don’t use any products with sulfates or silicones in them. I also try to stick to organic-based products when I can. Because of this, looking for a new conditioner can be hard since silicones are a major component of most conditioning products.

Finally I picked up a packet of Hask Henna Placenta Hair Treatment. I was under $2 and had no silicones, so I figured why not?

I know what you’re probably thinking. Placenta? In your hair? Gross! I thought that too, but my hair was feeling desperate. I couldn’t run my fingers through it without painful tangles and the damage from constantly pulling it up to fight summer heat was getting bad.

And once I got passed the “ick” factor, I was blown away! The package recommends that you leave the treatment in for at least ten minutes and heat it with a blow dryer or wrap your head with a hot towel. I used a blow dryer before rinsing the conditioner out and letting my hair air-dry. My hair dried soft, frizz-free and with no tangles! I was made a believer.

BUT! Today I did a little Googling and found that the use of placenta in hair products has been linked to breast cancer or premature development in young girls. This site lists it as one of their top ten products to avoid. So now I’m torn. I think I’ll consider using the Hask conditioner as a once-in-a-while treatment when my hair is in dire straits and stick to more conventional products for more regular hair care.

The things we do for great hair…

Summer-proof your beauty routine

It’s hot out there!

Summer means a lot of time outdoors. And while I know plenty of women blessed with gorgeous skin and coloring that requires no makeup, I am not one of them. That means that when summer comes I start worrying about raccoon eyes from melted mascara, unintentional smokey eyes from smudged eyeliner, creasing shadow, and oily skin. That means adjusting my routine to accommodate the heat and humidity as well as the increased oil my skin produces when it’s warm. Continue reading

New dumb trend: socks with sandals.

One of my favorite things about summer is the fact that I can pack away all my socks until it gets cold again in favor of bright pedicures and sandals. Well, bad news for me, because apparently socks with sandals is now a trend.

I ask you, does this look cute?

Image courtesy of NYMag.com

That’s actually not the worst example they’ve got – you should really check out the slideshow. This look was all over the spring runways, too.

I don’t get this. Isn’t the point of sandals and open-toe shoes to be… open? Isn’t that why they exist in the first place? So we can enjoy one less layer of fabric in a hot season? I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but here in New England it’s hot and sticky. The less unnecessary fabric I can get away with, the better. Even worse, all the socks in the New York Magazine slideshow look like they’re mostly nylon – can you think of a sweatier, less desirable fabric to wrap around your feet in the heat of summer?

Sorry fashion world, I’ll be sitting this one out. I’d rather flaunt my brightly-polished toes in your disapproving faces than deal with sweaty, hot, smelly feet. Also, I’m not really interested in taking fashion tips from this guy:

Image courtesy of Top10Kid.com