Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Magazine Review: Harper's Bazaar April 2010 - Demi Moore

I buy Bazaar from newstands and I miss out on the cool covers. The April subscriber issue has Demi standing on stairs next to a giraffe. Sounds odd but it was quite nice & artistic (you can see it on page 217). The whole Demi photo shoot was quite nice, great use of oversized props & interesting use of color.
There were a few good fashion articles in this issue, starting with the couture report (but isn't this normally a lot longer than 1 page? Hopefully they'll go more into depth later on) and shopping tips from top department store buyers. In the usual Fabulous at Every Age section they had two new sections; a Q&A about what trends are appropriate at what age and a 7 Day Wardrobe article which follows 4 women, 1 in each decade & shows outfits they wear for the week.
For articles, they had a short piece on Chelsea Handler, which includes a photo shoot with Abigail Breslin. I know Abigail is young but I would've liked it if she was mentioned more in the article.
I normally skip over the home section but I couldn't help but take a second (and third) look at A Fashionable Life: Natalie (and Simon) Fuller. *Stunning* decor. Not all that liviable but nice to look at and be inspired by.

Total pages: 270
Pages dog-earred: 3

Magazine Review: Allure April 2010 - Carrie Underwood

I normally love Allure but this issue didn't do much for me. Maybe because its the Anti-Aging Special (and I'm only in my mid-20s). Heidi Klum is part of the special & her (almost nude) body is *amazing*. Insane even if she hadn't had 4 kids. Life is not fair.
An article related to the anti-aging special is The Perfect Age, which is about the age in which people think you reach your physical peak of beauty. (Spoiler: it's 37)
More beauty-related, the article Shadow Play, which is about picking the right eye shadow for your eye color, has quite a few options & ideas for each eye color. I'm normally bored by the eye shadow/eye color thing (personally I think skintone matters a lot more than eye color when picking flattering shades) but the article was fairly interesting. Hair Force talks about working with your natural hair texture rather than trying to make it into something it's never going to be. Unfortunately the only hair types addressed are fine, thick & curly. I feel left out. lol

Total pages: 194
Pages dog-earred: 0

Magazine Review: Glamour April 2010 - Amanda Seyfried

This month's Glamour has 3 different cover girls: Amanda Seyfried, Zoe Saldana & Leighton Meester. All 3 are part of the 50 Most Glam Women of 2010. The Glam list includes newcomers like Blake Lively and Chanel Iman, glam couples like Tom Brady & Gisele, glam men like Jon Hamm, Hall of Famers like Jennifer Aniston & Kate Winslet & imports like Marion Cotillard. Many, many more are listed.
Didn't find much in the way of fashion inspiration although there were a few cute pastel pieces that stood out. Michael Kors Dos & Don'ts of Spring Chic had some good tips for keeping things season appropriate.
There are several beauty spreads but no fresh new looks/ideas. I did find a few hairstyles to try in Sexy Hair in 60 Seconds (liked 4 out of the 10 styles shown).
As far as articles, the only one that I bothered to read was What's Destroying Your Love Life? Oh... Could It Be You? It's very basic common sense stuff (like He's Just Not That Into You) but sometimes you just need to hear it.

Total pages: 238
Pages dog-earred: 4

Product Review: TRESemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo

I was excited when I first heard that TRESemme was coming out with a dry shampoo, since the only other drugstore dry shampoo is Pssssst!! It took awhile for me to find it & in that time I started to notice the bad reviews stacking up. I thought that maybe the reviewers just didn't know how to use it properly so I bought it anyway. Well, the reviewers weren't lying. My hair wasn't even that dirty when I tried this but it certainly felt gross after I used it. It's sticky for some odd reason. And it comes out white/gray & it takes a bit to rub it into your hair so if you aren't careful you could end up with gray splotches in your hair.
This stuff is horrible. I've heard that the foam shampoo is better but that's not something I'm interested in. I'll just stick with my cornstarch.

Movie Review: The September Issue

I had been looking forward to watching this for a long time. Movies about the magazine industry (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Devil Wears Prada, the upcoming Beauty & the Briefcase) have been very popular with women & an actual documentary on the subject was a no-brainer.

This follows Anna Wintour & her staff as they put together the September issue of Vogue. It shows them going to fashion shows, picking models, doing photo shoots & doing *tons* of editing. I was impressed by how artistic some of the photoshoots were & wished I had picked up that issue of Vogue when it was out.We really get to know Grace Coddington & how wonderful she is. Anna Wintour is actually much more approachable that you would think & it's cute how sweet she is when she's with her daughter.
Now I don't normally read Vogue (because its much more high-fashion than I can relate to) but after watching this I immediately went out and picked up the latest issue.

I would give this 4 out of 5 stars

NOTD: OPI Strawberry Margaita

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Food: Southwest Salad

I like to make simple, yummy meals. This is one of my favorite salads. It's spinach, crumbled up tortilla chips, corn, black beans, tomatoes & chipotle-ranch dressing. I usually skip the cheese just to save a few calories. Spinach adds even more vitamins. Don't skip the tomatoes, it makes the flavor even better. No meat required since you are getting protein from the beans so its quite cheap too. Since chipotle-ranch dressing can be difficult to find (and I'm in the Southwest US) just mix a bit of chipotle powder in with regular ranch dressing.

Try it! It's a great salad.

My HG Hair Products

I never used to fuss much with my hair. I still keep things pretty simple. But I have come across some amazing products (mostly drugstore) and I would like to share them with you. NOTE: I have straight fine-to-medium hair, color-treated, usually just a bit past my shoulders.

My HG shampoo is Cristophe Purely Natural Daily Shampoo. It's sulfate-free (I went sulfate-free several years ago), leaves hair feeling clean yet not at all stripped. Holds volume quite well. Can be found at CVS.

My HG conditioner is Biolage Conditioning Balm. I use this for every wash on the ends & also all over when I need a deep conditioning treatment. This doesn't weigh my hair down at all.

This is a recent discovery. I'm always trying new volumizing products & saw that this had great reviews. Now I don't use this for volume as much as texture. This gives *amazing* texture. The piece-y, almost beachy look that I have always wanted to acheive. Doesn't build-up or weigh hair down.

My HG serum is Pureology SuperSmooth Smoothing Elixir. It's amazing stuff. Doesn't weigh hair down at all but smoothes & protects it. I use it mainly on my ends. A little goes a long way, which is great because it's not cheap.

My HG hairspray is Got2Be Smooth Operator Smoothing Hairspray. Nice scent, strong hold & brushes out easily. Much less sticky than other hairsprays. Great for finishing too.

My HG heat protectant is TRESemme Heat Tamer. Hardly any scent, doesn't buildup or weigh down hair.

My HG finishing cream is John Frieda Sheer Blonde Dream Creme. Pretty sure it's discontinued in the US. Hopefully my bottle will last a long time so I don't have to worry about finding a replacement.

Lol. No this is not a mistake. This is my HG dry shampoo. Even though I have medium brown hair this works much better as a dry shampoo than any other ones I've tried. The trick is to get a bit on your fingers, then rub into your scalp, approaching from the underside of your hair. Works great to soak up any oil & adds amazing volume. TIP: If you have any extra oil on the top of your hair, take a fluffy blush brush, dip into loose face powder, tap off excess & then lightly brush over top of hair. With either one of these you can use a hairdryer for a minute if you are worried there might be any residue.

My HG haircolor is Revlon Colorsilk in Medium Rich Brown. This is about 2 shades darker than my natural shade. I love that this doesn't smell harsh & my hair is left feeling better than before I dyed it. I've been using this for several years now. I used a few of the different medium brown shades but I like this one the best.

Great style: Emmy Rossum

Emmy Rossum wearing Christian Siriano. Ignore the makeup though. lol

Magazine Review: Women's Health April 2010 - Kara DioGuardi

Women's Health is definitely one of my favorite magazines. Not only do they cover fitness and diet but also beauty, fashion & lifestyle issues, not to mention all the little tips sprinkled among the pages, like Eat This, Not That (from the popular books) & things like How to Arrange Flowers in a Vase.
For fitness articles, they have a great article about warming up through dynamic stretching. The monthly 15 Minute Workout is 4 crunch-less moves using Core Fusion techniques. They also listed a diet plan for a healthier cleanse.
Lots of good stuff for fashion and beauty this month. Several cute day dresses, flattering ways to wear things like t-shirt dresses, granny sweaters, buttondowns, etc, and they had several ways to dress 10 lbs thinner. For beauty, they had a section on how to apply blush for your face shape, something that I haven't really seen mentioned elsewhere.
A must-read article would be How to Not Be a Starter Wife. Very eye-opening & realistic. The media often gives us fairytale ideas about how a marriage should be & most of us end up disappointed. I'm glad that such a popular magazine is addressing the issue in this way.

Total pages: 134
Pages dog-earred: 11 (but could have a lot more marked)

Magazine Review: Lucky April 2010 - Jessica Szohr

First thing I want to say, I used to stay away from prints & I'm still a little shy about wearing them but I'm feeling very drawn to them this season. Maybe I'm more comfortable with myself? IDK. But on to this issue...
In the What I Want Now! pages I was mostly attracted to the pieces in the Breezy Retro section. Cute stripey skirts, dresses & a very crisp white tunic. Overall still feels a bit mature for me but I do like it. They also had a great blurb on pieces using prints designed from artist Salvatore Principe paintings. *Gorgeous*.
This month is the Lucky Spring Bag Guide. I liked the wooden frame clutches, although being a mom I rarely get to use only a clutch when I go. All the other bags I liked were over $1k. lol. Guess I have expensive taste,
They also had a great article, A Month of Outfits. I found many cute looks & several individual pieces that I'm now lemming. Also looks like I need to swing by Old Navy to check out their summer scarves (summer scarves are a weakness for me).
The only thing in the Beauty pages that stood out were the lilac nailpolishes. I still don't have any n/p in that shade although I have a frankened shade that has been holding me over. LOVING the pastel polishes this season.

Total pages: 156
Dog-earred pages: 8

Magazine Review: Marie Claire April 2010 - Heidi Klum

My first thought when I got this issue was, "They aren't showing much of the Project Runway winning dress". Seriously, WTH? Plus Heidi's face looks really... odd. Not exactly sure what it is about the pic but something is off.
As for the content, I was very underwhelmed. Nothing in the fashion pages stood out to me. For beauty, they had a page of eco-beauty items, mentioning the new Sonia Kashuk brushes, the Physican's Formula Bamboo Bronzer (which I've seen mentioned in a lot of magazines this month. I'm going to look for it at the store today, even though I don't really need another bronzer. lol) and two pretty shades of China Glaze nailpolish (Four Leaf Clover which is a mint creme & Re-fresh Mint, teal creme). This month's Beauty Report is on London and I always find those articles interesting.
MC is normally good for interesting articles. Again, a bit lacking this month. I did get my interest piqued regarding "k-celebs" which are overnight celebrity sensations in South Korea that have a high rate of suicide. The article Sperm & the Single Girl was interesting too. It's about single women going to sperm banks.

Total pages: 225
Pages dog-earred? 1

Magazine Review: People StyleWatch April 2010 - Jennifer Aniston

The best part of the issue (for me) were the 2 pages of Jennifer Aniston's style. I always look to her for casual simple chic. They have an 8 page spread on spring denim, including how to wear denim-on-denim & a few different denim legging options, neither of which are looks I plan on wearing. I did mark a few pages of cute outfits to try & am now lemming a splatter-paint tee, Kendra Scott turquoise earrings & the Nine West knockoff of the Valentino Rose bag.
As for beauty, I checked several reviews after reading The Look for Less: Kim Kardashian (wearing her typical nude-glowy look). They had some very low priced options in both columns. And I found a few new hairstyles to try after reading the Spring Hair Guide.

Total pages: 170
Pages Dog-Earred? (for inspiration, to buy or to check reviews: 12

Welcome to my blog!

I've always wanted to start a blog but never knew where to go with it. I read a lot of beauty blogs, some fashion, not many lifestyle. I mainly want to review magazines since I read almost every popular magazine every month and I haven't come across any other magazine reviews. I will probably also throw in some product reviews, mostly drugstore since that's what I prefer to use. I'm not a very fashionable person, I tend to wear basics w/a cute scarf or statement necklace on top. My clothes also tend to be very affordable (from Target, etc) although I do think I have a decent eye for things that look much more expensive than they are.

I'm told I'm a good cook & I cook mostly from scratch, although nothing that fancy (at least I don't think its fancy. Depends on your perspective, I guess). I don't go out a lot but I do watch decent amount of tv. lol. How did people watch tv without DVRs? Can't imagine being a slave to their time slots. I don't read nearly as much as I used to but I am quite proud of my small library, its quite varied & well-edited. I don't listen to much music, just the radio when in the car, usually to a Top 40-type station. Also love the alt rock from the 90s-early 00s & classic rock.

Not sure how much time I'll have to put into this blog & I do have a lot of different ideas pulling me in different directions. Guess I'll just start typing & see where it all ends up.

Open to constructive criticism & editing tips since I'm new at this. Hope I can give you some interesting & useful info. Enjoy!