July 2014

  1. Beauty treatments from room service

    SugarpacketjpgClick on top title to open and scroll

    Packing for a trip these days can be tricky with security regulations and baggage fees. Some airlines are now even charging for carry-ons. Packing your lotions and potions can be a chore, as many of these items don’t come in travel sizes and it tedious to squeeze them into little containers. So here are a few ways to use the little packets of items you can find on room and coffee service trays and in cafes, to replace a few jars and bottles in your luggage.

    Sugar: Little packets of white or brown sugar can be found everywhere. You will find them with the free coffee service in most hotel rooms, on the room service tray, and at coffee shops. Use them with your cleanser for a face scrub or with soap or body wash to smooth the rest of you.

    Salt: Use table salt mixed with a little body wash or shampoo to scrub your feet. If you have blisters skip the salt and stick to sugar. Sugar has healing properties and doesn’t sting like salt.

    Milk: If you manage to get a sunburn or itchy bug bite a cold milk compress will help. Apply cool milk several times and then rinse with cool water and pat dry. Serious burns or allergic reactions need medical attention.

    Honey: One of those little honey packets you find in with the jam at the coffee shop or on the room service tray makes a great masque for dry skin. Apply it to a clean face for 10 minutes. It is best to do this before washing your hair as honey tends get everywhere, but it leaves skin silky soft.

    Soap: Soap can help a sticky zipper glide more smoothly. Close the zipper and rub it with soap on the wrong side to protect the fabric. Try to work a little soap in to the zipper’s teeth.



  2. Make Melasma less noticeable

    melasma-forehead-femaleClick on top title to open and scroll

    According to the American Academy of Dermatology, melasma affects more than six million women in the U.S. alone. It causes brown to gray-brown patches on the face that can look like freckles or age spots. The AAD says it is “more likely to affect women and people with darker skin tones. The exact causes of melasma are unclear, common triggers include sun exposure, pregnancy, birth control pills, and cosmetics.”

    “Melasma usually appears on the cheeks, forehead, chin, bridge of the nose and above the upper lip, but it can also appear on the forearms or neck,” says Bethanee J. Schlosser, MD, PhD, FAAD, assistant professor of dermatology and director of Women’s Skin Health at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “Although it is not harmful, many people dislike the way melasma looks and seek treatment to make it less noticeable.”

    Here are Dr. Schlosser’s tips for making melasma less noticeable and maintaining a more even skin tone:

    Wear sunscreen daily: One of the most common treatments for melasma is sun protection. Since sunlight triggers melasma, it is important to wear sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days and after swimming or sweating. Choose a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more, and zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide to physically limit the effects of the sun’s rays on your skin. Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside and reapply at least every two hours.

    Wear a wide-brimmed hat when you’re outside: As a recent study in the journal Nature illustrates, sunscreen alone may not give you the sun protection you need. Whenever possible, seek shade and wear protective clothing in addition to applying sunscreen.

    Choose gentle skin care products: Choose skin care products that don’t sting or burn, as products that irritate the skin may worsen melasma.

    Avoid waxing: Waxing may cause skin inflammation which can worsen melasma, so it’s important to avoid waxing areas of the body affected by the condition. Ask a dermatologist about other types of hair removal that may be right for you.

    “Sometimes melasma will fade on its own, particularly if it is triggered by pregnancy or birth controls pills,” said Dr. Schlosser. “After a woman has her baby or stops taking the birth control pills, melasma can fade. However, if your melasma does not go away or you want to keep taking birth control pills, see a board-certified dermatologist to discuss available treatments for melasma, such as prescription medications or in-office procedures.”

    www.aad.org  Twitter (@AADskin).



  3. Banish panty line

    Click on top title to open and scroll invisibulles-thongjpg

     If panty lines drive you crazy, try Invisi’bulles Light As Air Thong from Simone Pérèle.

    This is the softest and most comfortable “invisible” thing we have ever found. The fabric lies flat on your skin with no binding elastic and stays firmly in place.

     The Invisi’bulles Light As Air Thong is priced at $20.





  4. Give summer skin a “Lift”

    Click on top title to open and scroll  LiftLabjpg.jpg

    If your skin has taken a beating from too much fun in the sun it needs effective, anti-aging TLC to help it recover and regenerate.

    According to scientists at LIFTLAB, “Cell Protection Protein or CPP has the ability to strengthen cell membranes, boost cell regeneration and encourage the formation of protective anti-oxidants.” There are decades of scientific studies to show how it works with your skin to promote the formation of over 40 natural proteins, including collagen and elastin for firmness, resiliency, and bounce.

    LIFT & REPAIR Treatment Serum is designed to “target and repair visible fine lines, deep wrinkles, sun damage and uneven skin tone.” According LIFTLAB,” It has the highest concentration and number of active peptides and proteins in the entire line.”

    This line is ideal for women with sensitive skin who don’t want to risk irritation but still want effective anti-aging benefits. I have tried LIFT & REPAIR Treatment Serum as well as LIFT + FIX Restore Serum, which, the company says, was designed to calm, eliminate and prevent inflammation. I found it really does offer quick relief for skin irritated from sun exposure, extreme temperatures, pollutants and cosmetic treatments. It also contains Cell Protection Protein as well as special ingredients to sooth and firm skin.

    I have sensitive skin that can break out in hives in minutes and the LIFT + FIX Restore Serum has calmed my skin down in hours. CCP and peptides are very effective anti-aging ingredients and much less irritating than retinol.

    Products in the line range from $65 to $250. You can find them at your local Neiman Marcus store or online.




  5. Trend alert: “Grandma” hued blue and lavender hair

    NicoleRichiejpgClick on top title to open and scroll  Kicked up blue and lavender hair have been seen on Katy Perry and other rockers for years, and now it is getting popular with the fashion crowd too.  The kicked up “Grandma” blue and lavender hues have been spotted on Kylie and Kendall Jenner as well Nicole Richie.

    Try the trend without ruining your hair with the Hair Chalk Kit from Scunci or Streekers’ line of temporary colors! Find both for about $12 online or at big box and drug stores.



  6. Trend alert: Strapless floral party dress

     TheiaKimberlyWilliamsPaisley-PlanesClick on top title to open and scroll  We love this trend spotted on Actress Kimberly Williams Paisley. She looks perfect at the Premier of Disney’s “Planes: Fire & Rescue” with her husband Brad Paisley in her one of a kind strapless sweetheart jacquard dress from THEIA. This dress is feminine, lady like and sexy.


  7. Natural skincare

    WeilClick on top title to open and scroll  Dr. Andrew Weil is a Harvard-trained physician and one of the world’s most respected wellness experts. Dr. Weil also created a skincare line for Origins Mega Mushroom skincare. The foundation of this line is the antioxidant-rich sea buckthorn combined with a blend of mushrooms that are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

    I recently tried samples of Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Face Cleanser. This gentle cleanser smells amazing and feels refreshing. It contains Cordyceps and Reishi Mushrooms, Ginger, Turmeric, Holy Basil and Licorice Extract. The soothing cleanser is recommended for dry, red and sensitive skin. I followed it with the Mega-Mushroom Skin Soothing Treatment Lotion. I really like this cleanser. Anyone looking for a natural approach should take a look at this line.

    Dr. Weil donates all of his after-tax profits from royalties from sales of Origins products directly to the Weil Foundation. To learn more, visit: www.weilfoundation.org.




  8. Guilt-free chocolate

    NumiChocSpiceTeaClick on top title to open and scroll Numi organic tea makes several flavours of chocolate tea for a calorie-free, guilt-free chocolate fix. A cup of tea – even delicious tea – won’t give you the mouth-feel of chocolate or a fat-fix, but these teas are special. Chocolate Spice is my favourite. I find the blend of tea, rich cacao, with ginger, allspice, cardamom, and cinnamon delicious and satisfying.  Numi also makes Chocolate Mint, Cholate Earl Grey. and Cholate Rooibos.


  9. Tasty low-cal gazpacho

    Gazpachojpg.jpgClick on top title to open and scroll  I just can’t get enough of cool and spicy gazpacho all summer long. It’s a perfect light lunch, or as a low-cal, late-afternoon appetite spoiler. Technically the name connotes a bread soup, so my recipe is not authentic at all. But it is delicious and perfect if you are watching your weight and your carbs – so nobody call the food police.

    Place all of these ingredients in a food processor or a blender, and buzz until blended. If you like your soup chunky, pulse the machine. I like to blend it almost smooth. You can thin it with water, chicken stock, or vegetable juice if you like – and chill. Sometimes I add additional chunks of cucumber before serving.

    1 can of tomatoes, either San Marazano or Muir Garden Fire Roasted. (You can use 2½ cups of chopped fresh chopped tomatoes if you have them. I like canned in this recipe, as they are quick and delicious – and I make this a lot.)

    1/3 to ½ a small to medium-sized zucchini, chopped roughly

    1/3 chopped unpeeled English cucumber

    ½ small sweet onion, chopped roughly

    ½ sweet red bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, and chopped roughly

    1 lg. clove of peeled and chopped garlic

    1 tsp. Kosher salt

    1 tsp. green jalapeño sauce

    1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

    Juice from 1 lemon

    Taste the seasoning and correct before chilling.

    Things to add:

    1-2 tbsp. per serving of chick peas, for protein to make it meal;

    1-2 tbsp. of low-fat or no-fat feta, to make it a meal;

    1 tbsp. of ground cumin to the mix for a smoky flavour.



  10. When is someone an “askhole”?

    DSCF0136Click on top title to open  I don’t know who coined the term “askhole,” but I love it. I learned it from Carole Radziwell while watching the Real Housewives of New York. I am not much on bad language but this word, as defined by the literate scribe, is irresistible. It came up when she was discussing her dislike of a fellow cast mate “I give Aviva (Drescher) advice when she asks, none of which she takes.” Radziwell said, “My friends and I have a name for people like that. We call them ‘askholes’. You know, people who constantly ask for advice then always ignore it.”

    Radziwell continued, “Aviva just doesn’t seem genuine to me. It appears as though she’s flattering me but it’s always a build-up to ‘The Ask.’

    I know what she means. The techniques of askholes vary. Some use flattery while others will call for help when you are ill and under the cover of concern hit you up for something. What these people all have in common is that advice, favours, and friendship flow one way.  They only “ask” for things. There is none of the give-and-take or fun of a genuine friendship. It is draining and insulting.

    Don’t get me wrong; I love to help. I believe one should give to others without expectation and with no strings attached. I know I am not alone. Most of my closest friends feel the same way. We all know the value of mentoring younger people. We are all happy to lend a hand, ear, or connection as needed. Connecting makes life richer and sweeter. What I resent is being used, or attempts to manipulate me.  I don’t know anyone who likes it.

    When is someone an “askhole”? I think we all know when we have one in our life. The next step is to emulate Carole Radziwell and decline their calls.

    Make time for the things you enjoy and the people you love because, my darlings, that is truly where the sweet life lies.

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    Gracey Hitchcock

    Editor, DolceDolce

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