Fast Beauty Fixes

Lovely Elizabeth Olsen at Sundance. Her look by Joshua-Myles Ristaino, He used some of our favourite René Furterer and Avène products. Photo Courtesy of Getty Images.  Elizabeth Olsen ar Sundance. H er look is by Joshua-Myles Ristaino. He used some of our favourites to create her look Avène Eluage Eye Contour Care, René Furterer Glossing Spray, and Avène Thermal Spring Water Dry winter air, hectic schedules, and the occasional cold or flu can leave anyone looking less than their best. Here are a few fast beauty fixes, as well as some of our favourite products to help you glow all winter long.

 Glossy locks in an instant: Dry winter air can leave even healthy hair dull-looking. A spritz of one of the new glossing sprays won’t weigh hair down, but will give it a mirror-like finish. Our favourite, Rene Furterer Glossing Spray.
Tame static in hair or clothes with a quick swipe of a dryer sheet. Keep a spare dryer sheet in your bag or desk for “static” emergencies.
Tame fly-away hair or split ends: Make split ends and other hair damage disappear with White Sand’s Porosity the Fix. This weightless spray makes hair look smooth and flawless. If your hair is dry and dull-looking try a few drops of IT&LY Pure Water Drops. These little drops are a runway secret for making hair shine.  
Dark circles and puffy under eyes: If you look like a raccoon, make sure you are getting enough sleep and stay hydrated. Also try Exuviance Age Reverse Eye Cream. It has caffeine and other great ingredients to make your eyes look fabulous.   Olay Anti-Aging Regenerist Eye Roller’s little metal balls work like magic to smooth way puffiness. For effective anti-aging protection and a flawless look we also like Glytone Anti-Oxidant Eye Cream with Caffeine and Red Tea and Avène Eluage Eye Contour Care.  
Get a glow on: Keep a pretty blush on your checks all year long. If your skin is dry, switch to a cream blush. No matter what your age try CoverGirl and Olay Simply Ageless Sculpting Blush. It will give you a warm glow and is full of skin-nourishing antioxidants.  A pretty golden bronze on your cheek bones will light up your face too. One of the prettiest we have found is a warm golden rose by Chanel in Orchid Rose.  
Keep skin soft:  Daily gently exfoliation will keep skin soft and help products penetrate. Use a clean wash cloth to remove cleanser and exfoliate dead skin cells daily.
Spa at home: Don’t wait for a trip to the spa to pamper yourself. Make time to do it weekly. Treat your face to a rich moisture mask. We enjoy Elemis Exotic Cream Moisturizing Mask and Elizabeth Grant’s Cucumber Gel Mask. You can also try a mask of just plain honey. Honey is full of vitamins and is very moisturizing. Use this time to put a thick conditioner on your hair. Lie back and relax.
Moisturize your face or body with pure olive oil straight from the kitchen. Plain yogurt or leftover oatmeal make a great face mask. Deep condition dry hair with warm olive oil for 10 minutes.
Baby feet: Keep feet soft and smooth all winter long by using a Ped Egg or similar “cheese grater” type of device to smooth calluses. Use it before you soak your feet, and then apply a rich moisturizing cream or lotion such as Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E Lotion. To keep feet super-soft, treat them to a scrub such as Kiss My Face Peppermint Foot Scrub. Consider using a using lotion with alpha hydroxy acid such as AmLactin to exfoliate and moisturize.
A bit of bronze:  From an all-over tan to a light golden glow there is nothing like a bit of bronze to beat the winter blahs.
Gradual self-tanners deposit a little colour daily and are less likely to streak and show mistakes. Olay Radiance Reviver for Normal Skin has no nasty tanner scent and keeps skin soft. Mary Kay Subtle Tanning Lotion has a lovely honeysuckle scent and skin conditioners. Both build up a soft glow without streaking.
No time to shampoo: Maybe your hair has flopped after a workout or a long sweaty day, and you have no time to shampoo. Fluff it up with a quick instant shampoo; they absorb oil, leave hair smelling fresh, and bolster volume. We adore Rene Furterer Naturia with clay, rice, silica, and essential oils. It’s the model’s favourite and ours too. We also like Salon Grafix Invisible Dry Shampoo, for under $10.
Instant glamour: Red lipstick, a sexy eye liner, and animal prints may be clichéd, but they also spell glamour. Do not wear all three of these at once, but if you are feeling and looking blah just one will make you look glam in less than a minute. We like Mary Kay Liquid Eyeliner because it easy to apply and it stays put all day. CoverGirl Lip Perfection in "Hot” is to-die-for sexy – even the packaging is sleek! Or, if you just don’t like red, try Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Champagne on Ice.
Wear red lipstick without smearing: Line your lips with a flesh-toned pencil to lipstick from smearing. You can use a red pencil in for evening if you prefer, but most experts use nude. Follow your natural lip line. There is no need to splurge on a pricey pencil, makeup artists swear by wet n wild in brandywine or MAC in Spice.
Remove a sudden wine or tea stain by rubbing your teeth with a lemon slice.
This tip from Anne Gravel.
Sudden break-outs:  The best thing for a deep flat cystic pimple is to find a dermatologist and get a cortisone injection – ASAP! Failing that, apply a small amount of cortisone cream or Visine to help calm the inflammation. Any other treatment, except an injection from a doctor, will make the pimple worse before it gets better. If the pimple is ready to break, use a warm wash cloth and let it. Do not squeeze. Apply antibiotic ointment. Severe acne should be treated by a doctor.
The best concealer for break-outs is Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage. Its different shades cover almost anything completely and stays in place for hours.
Keep lips soft and moist all winter long: Be sure to exfoliate your lips daily. Use a clean wash cloth to gently rub your lips. It will remove dead skin cells and let the balm penetrate.
Unless you think you have an infection, avoid medicated balms especially those with antibiotics. You do not want to apply antibiotics to you lips for no reason.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E Swivel Stick is perfect to soothe dry lips. It’s also great for any other parched spots including elbows or under-eyes. Use it right over make-up; it is a fabulous, inexpensive beauty helper.
Keep  Avene Thermal Sprung Water  handy to mist away dryness. 
Image of Elizabeth Olsen  courtesy of Getty Images.



Stick to your diet

Dr.  Brian AlmanMany of us have tried to lose weight. For some it is that stubborn 10 pounds that keeps coming back, or just won’t budge. Others need to lose 50 pounds or more. The process can be daunting and discouraging. There are many good diets, but they won’t help if you can’t stick to them. Psychologist Brian Alman has helped thousands of people lose weight by showing them how to stay motivated. Let him help you too.

Five secrets for sticking to your diet, by Dr. Brian Alman:
When trying to stick to your diet, willpower doesn’t work; you know that already. Why? Because willpower is all in your head, and the root causes of overeating are emotional and personal, all about stress and family relationships. Whether you’re trying to lose that last 10 pounds, those stubborn 30 pounds, or more, one thing is clear: Unless you do something to lighten the emotional weight you’re carrying inside — unless you begin to become aware of your feelings, to accept them, and to express them — you’ll continue to struggle with your diet. You might lose some weight, but soon you’ll give in and gain it all back … and usually more.
Here are my five favorite quick-tips for breaking this “yo-yo” cycle. They will help you get in touch with your feelings and begin to accept yourself just as you are. This is the secret to staying with your diet: Once you start to be friendlier, caring, and compassionate with yourself, you’ll begin to lose weight effortlessly. And more importantly, you’ll keep it off for good.
Tip 1: Breathe through your cravings
Whenever you feel the urge to eat, don’t try to stop the craving — that will only make it stronger. Instead, take a few deep, satisfying breaths. Watch the rise and fall of your breathing. Accept your breathing as it is; there’s nothing to do right, there’s nothing you can do wrong. Now focus on the cycle — inhale and exhale — and pause for a moment at the turning points, at the top and bottom of each breath. Inhale deeply, pause, exhale deeply, and pause. Inhale deeply, pause, then push the exhale, throw out all the air. Let go … let go … let go…. Drink a refreshing glass of water and feel more alive.
Tip 2: Three times is the charm
When any weight-loss challenge comes up for you — an urge, a craving, anger, guilt, anything that stresses you — just be aware of it, just notice that it’s there inside of you, and name it slowly three times. For example, if it’s a craving, just notice it and say to yourself, “craving … craving … craving.” Or go ahead and say what it is you’re craving: “chocolate … chocolate … chocolate.” Or let’s say you’re angry at something or somebody, maybe at yourself for being fat, or at others for being thin — just recognize what you’re feeling and say, “anger … anger … anger.” Say it out loud softly, or say it to yourself. But say it slowly three times. Don’t miss a single opportunity. Whenever you feel weighed down by any thought or feeling, say it slowly three times, and watch what happens.
Tip 3: “Watch” what you eat
The next time you sit down to a meal imagine a camera just to your side filming you as you eat. Watch yourself through the eye of that camera. Notice your mood, your attitude, how tense or relaxed you are. Observe your breathing, shallow or deep, nose or chest. Watch how you hold your knife and fork. Zoom in and look at the food closely. What shape is it? How many shades of color does it have? Watch the food as it goes into your mouth. How do you chew? Turn up the sound: what can you hear? Crackling, swishing, crunching? Do you notice the flavors? The smells? What texture does the food have? Grainy, spongy, crisp? How hot or cold is it? What aftertaste does it leave? Watch the food as it goes into your stomach. Is your stomach happy to receive it? When you eat this way, with total presence and awareness, your overeating will change by itself.
Tip 4: Go with the Flow
Ocean lifeguards teach swimmers that, when they realize they’re caught in a strong rip current, they should not fight to get out of it. It never works and only exhausts them and makes things worse. Instead, they should let themselves go with the current, ride with it — even swim along with it. Soon they will come out of it without any trouble. The same goes for any challenges you may have staying on your diet. Instead of fighting your inner emotional current and drowning in your feelings, you can choose to “go with the flow.” If you feel hungry, or angry, or weak, or like bingeing, don’t try to fight your feeling and make it go away. Simply go with your feeling, let yourself feel it fully and wholeheartedly, even exaggerate it. You’ll find that you quickly come out of it. In a few minutes, your feeling will simply be gone. You’re soon going on about your day wondering what all the fuss was about.
Tip 5: Say Your Name
When you’re feeling caught up in your struggles with food and dieting, when you feel “beside” yourself with a craving, or self-hatred, or guilt, sadness, anger — whatever it is — just pause for a moment and focus on your breathing. Even if your breathing is tight, shallow, and stressful, just observe your inhale and exhale … inhale … and then exhale. Then, after a few breaths, on an exhale, say your name to yourself, but not out loud, just say your own name. First name, last name, full name or a favorite name you use when you talk to yourself. Just inhale, pause, and on the exhale say your name to yourself, and continue doing this for 10 to 15 breaths). Make it a kind of silent mantra of unconditional acceptance of your self and your weight-loss challenge. Give this technique some time and energy, and you’ll be amazed to find yourself feeling more relaxed and accepting of yourself, and of what you’re going through with your diet.
These five techniques are only a small part of my Lose Weight and Keep It Off program, which has helped thousands of people at Kaiser Permanente meet their weight-loss goals, and which has been recommended as “very effective” by Deepak Chopra. Longer versions of these tips, along with many more of my weight-loss techniques, are ready to be accessed at the iPhone app store. In addition, my new book, The Voice: Overcome Negative Self-Talk and Discover Your Inner Wisdom, includes these tips as part of a larger personal growth program for anyone dealing with an emotional challenge.
More from Dr. Brian Alman

Beautiful indulgences

Crabtree & Evelyn’s New Citron, Honey and Coriander Body Care collection is a delightful way to bring a breath of spring into dreary winter days. The luxurious line is inspired by the crisp scents of lush Mediterranean orchards.

The line is full of botanicals and contains a combination of vitamin-rich fruit extracts. The products are also blended with purifying herbs, luxurious shea butter, evening primrose oil as well as AHA sugar acids, to smooth and refine your skin. This Crabtree & Evelyn line leaves your skin feeling soft, rejuvenated and pampered even in the most drying weather.
The light citrus fragrance mixed with notes of sweet honey, juniper and cypress, and is finished with just a hint of peppery coriander seed. There are few things that make a woman feel more pampered than a whole range of luxurious bath and body products.
Print this out if you feel your honey needs help with Valentine’s Day shopping. Most men appreciate helpful hints. Or treat yourself, your mother, or a friend. Prices range between $10 and $28.
The line is free from all parabens, phthalates, sulfates, propylene glycol, and mineral oil. The collection includes: Skin Indulging Body Soufflé, Skin Smoothing Body Scrub, Skin Cleansing Bath & Shower Gel, Skin Quenching Body Lotion and a Refreshing Body Bar.

Beauty on the go

Darlings, if you want beautiful skin don’t neglect it. Dirt, pollution and perspiration are the enemies of smooth and glowing complexion. Any top dermatologist will tell you cleaning your skin properly is one of the best things you can do for it. Rushing from home to job to gym to dinner can make it hard to find time to take care for your skin properly. Avène Micellar Lotion Cleanser and Make-up Remover on a clean cotton pad will clean your skin gently and thoroughly by removing all makeup in few swipes.

The lotion contains Avène Thermal spring water to soothe and soften skin, calming chamomile, moisturizing hyaluronic acid and a gentle cleanser to remove makeup and dirt.

Pick up a few bottles of Avène Lotion Micellar lotion if you are always on the go. Stash one in your gym bag, another in your desk, and leave one at home. You’ll be amazed at the change in your skin with regular gentle cleansing.
 1 800 41 AVENE (USA) 1 877 441 2011 (CANADA)

Wear a hat like Kate

Kate Middleton in a face flattering beretNow that the young and fashionable royal fiancée, Kate Middleton, is in the spotlight, you can bet that hats will be hotter than ever. Hats are a fun way to add drama and flair to your look. But there are some simple rules to keep in mind.

Never buy a tight hat. It will not only give you hat hair, but you are sure to get a headache.
Small hats that are attached by combs or a headband are called “fascinators”.
They are trendy now and easy to wear.
Hats may be worn indoors by women, but not by men.
If you have a long face, do not buy a hat with too high a crown.
If you are petite, do not wear a very big hat as it will overwhelm you.
Never wear a hat with evening clothes; it looks tacky.
Hats can be practical as well as pretty. Look for crushable berets and sunhats that you can collect. Eric Javits and Tilley make some great ones that can actually pack.

A Discovery of Witches

Imagine a grownup Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the Da Vinci Code full of witches and vampires and you will have a good idea of what A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is like. It’s a riveting page-turner full of magic and dark romance. The hefty tome chronicles the meeting of Diana Bishop, the last of a famous family of witches, and a charismatic vampire cum scientist Matthew Clairmont. 

Professor Diana Bishop is doing research in Oxford’s old Bodleian Library when she finds a famous missing volume on alchemy. The book turns out to be enchanted. When Diana accidentally breaks the enchantment she attracts a horde of witches, daemons, and vampires. This is when she meets Matthew Clairmont, a dark mysterious, and charismatic vampire. Diana, has never consciously practiced witchcraft, so she is at a loss when she confronted by so many magical forces. She is also thrown by her attraction to the dark and handsome vampire.

Deborah Harkness is a historian, so — as with the popular Da Vinci Code — she has hidden nuggets of history and obscure facts among her vampires and witches. And her character Diana, like Buffy, is an unwilling but appealing combatant in the metaphysical struggle that ensues.
While a fantasy, A Discovery of Witches is also sophisticated, witty, and well-researched. The characters are compelling and interesting. 
Harkness’ attention to historical and scientific detail brings this fantastic tale well above the level of most books in this general. The writing is impeccable.
A Discovery of Witches is the first book in the All Souls trilogy. I for one am hooked on Deborah Harkness and her mystical tale. Don’t miss this one. Available Feb 1, 2010.

Southern girl gone wild

Confessions of a Rebel Debutante by Anna Fields is a bittersweet memoir that is heavy on the bitter. Anna details her idyllic small town childhood as a tomboy, but even then she has issues with the bullies. According to Anna, she begins her "debutante training" at age 11, with dance classes and finishing school. This is when Anna’s so-called “rebellion” begins. 

It is not unique; it consists of truancy, smoking and the usual teenage cutting up. The book is a fascinating contradiction, in that while Anna sees herself as rebel, but she adores everything about the South. She can’t get enough of Southern traditions or her own mythologized family
Anna’s biggest problem is that she can’t click with “in crowd”. And even though she doesn’t admit it, that’s what she wants to be — in with the “in crowd”. In true ‘belle’ style, she attributes all her problems to her superior intellect. After completing finishing school she goes an Ivy League university where she doesn’t fit in either. Anna then takes a fling at acting in Hollywood where she also works as Diana Ross’ assistant.
Eventually, Anna returns to New York to attend graduate school. She works for Jill Zarin of The Real Housewives of New York City. Those two tales alone are worth the price of the book.
Anna is a perpetual victim as she tries to conquer both Hollywood and New York. One thing we learn from Fields is that Southern debutante training gives a girl plenty of chutzpah. 
If you aren’t familiar with debutante rituals or Southern traditions you’ll be fascinated and amused.

Tempting treats

Dufflet's CrackleSometimes I don’t have time to bake. The next best thing is something scrumptious from a fabulous bakery. Dufflet bakeryhas long been a favourite of Toronto foodies. Everyone who visits for more than a day or two, including film stars attending the famous Toronto International Film Festival and other luminaries, are often treated to a delicious desert from Dufflet. Their sweets are legendary.

Now they have created decadent chocolate treats called Small Indulgences. Dufflet’s Crackle, Tumbles, andMorsels are all-natural and so delicious.

Crackle is a twist on the classic Florentine cookie. They are full of nuts and caramel, covered in chocolate, and come in several flavours. I loved cinnamon. Distinctively European, Crackle is a wonderful blend of slightly salty and sweet. Morsels are grown up chocolate balls with tasty fruit or nut centers. Tumbles melt on your mouth. These are decidedly grown-up sweets. They are the perfect gift for someone who has everything. Think of them for Valentine’s Day, to say thank you, or as a hostess gift.