Look fabulous in nothing flat

Save precious minutes with our tried and true favouritesAre your mornings frantic? Do you need a streamlined beauty regimen? Here are tried and true beauty products that will save you precious minutes without shortchanging your look. Some of these are so good you will want to stash an extra one in your gym bag or office drawer.
The Olay Wet Cleansing Cloths for normal complexions are handy little wipes that whisk away makeup and grime. You can pay more, but you will not find anything better. Follow with a quick rinse when you can. If you have the skin-destroying habit of falling asleep with your makeup on, stash a pack on your bedside table. These are fabulous for travel too.
Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer gives skin a glow as it masks small flaws and protects with SPF20. Laura Mercier is known for natural and beautiful foundation finishes. Their tinted moisturizers are a favourite of models, makeup artists, and mavens. This one comes in five shades and takes seconds to apply.
Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Tone Correcting Moisturizer + Sunscreen Broad Spectrum is also a pretty and affrodable alternative. This drugstore alternative has Olay’s niacin- and gluscomine-rich formula, and offers amazing coverage. It is a bargain for women of all ages with normal to dry skin. Around $20.
If you have acne prone or oily skin, you may prefer a powder or mineral makeup. We love the dermatologist’s choice, Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Base Mineral Foundation – SPF 20. It goes on like a dream and doesn’t look flat or cakey, like many other popular mineral powder bases.
L'Oreal – True Match Super-Blendable Concealer comes in a zillion shades, so finding the one for you is easy. It stays on and does not cake. It is a great concealer with medium coverage. You can apply it quickly, and it looks natural. It is under $10, so you can buy afford to an extra. Keep one in your bag for touchups. Try it and you may never buy a pricey cover-up again.
Carmex Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm Tint SPF 15  is a lip balm with such intense colour you can wear it in place of lipstick or gloss. It comes in several shades and costs only $3. It looks great and keeps your lips super soft. Our contributor Angela D’Amario loves it.
Physician’s Formula Bronze Booster comes two shades, light-medium and medium-dark, so you can choose the right intensity for you. The Bronze Booster also has tan activators as well as antioxidants and Vitamins C and E. They protect your skin and defend against environmental damage.
Evidence suggests it is wise to use an antioxidant with sun blocks to prevent aging. I now always apply an antioxidant under my sunscreen to prevent photo aging. I really like the formulation of this product. You’ll still need to apply a higher SPF sun block
Dry shampoo can refresh and fluff your hair after a workout, let you skip a shampoo, or remove smoke and cooking odors from your hair. It can also fluff up fine hair and make it more manageable. We love dry shampoo.
A few of our favourites to try include: Rene Furterer Naturia dry shampoo smells great and is full of essential oils; Tresemme makes a full range of dry shampoos for all hair types. At about $5 each, it’s true beauty bargain;Umberto Umberto Dry Clean Dry Shampoo is another of our well-priced favourites.
Dry shampoo belongs in every beauty’s bathroom.
Hot rollers, a beauty staple of the 80s, can save you time, and help save your hair. Big flocked hot rollers can smooth hair as well as give you big bouncy waves with less damage and breakage than daily blow-drying and flat irons.

How to stick to your diet

Dr. Brian AlmanMany of us have tried to lose weight and failed. 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 Dr. 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. 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 aloud 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 not to fight to get out of a strong rip current. It never works, only exhausts them, and makes things worse. Instead, they should let themselves go with the current, ride with it, and 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. Feel it fully and wholeheartedly, and 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 aloud. 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, 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 yourself and your weight-loss challenge. Give this technique some time and energy, and you will be amazed to find yourself feeling more relaxed and accepting of yourself, and of what you are going through with your diet.
These five techniques are only a small part of my Lose Weight and Keep It Off program. It has helped thousands of people at Kaiser Permanente meet their weight-loss goals. Deepak Chopra recommends it as "very effective." 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

Ponytails rule the runway

Redken Creative Consultant Guido refines the ponytail at Marc by Marc Jacobs fall 2012 show. "The clothes at the Marc by Marc Jacobs collection today have a lot of volume," said Guido describing the look. "So we wanted to create a small head to compliment the clothing. The hair itself is a nod to minimalism, very clean, fresh, and young."

How to get the look:


  • Apply Redken satinwear 02 ultimate blow-dry lotion to damp hair and blow-dry straight.
  • Create a deep left side part and with your fingers, pull the hair into a low ponytail at the nape of the neck.
  • Tuck hair behind the ears.
  • Apply Redken outshine 01 anti-frizz polishing milk to the ponytail for lasting smoothness and a sleek finished look.

    Beauty bargain

    We love a beauty bargain. The Healthy Hair Nutrition line from Salon Grafix is a true beauty bargain.

    Healthy Hair Nutrition products contains botanical ingredients such as Camellia Sinensis (green tea) leaf extract which tones and protects the scalp and Geranium Maculatum (Geranium leaf extract) which helps to repair dry, damaged hair as well as restore balance to oily hair. The citrus crème fragrance is delightful.
    Healthy Hair Nutrition Conditioning Cleanser is a gentle lather-free shampoo that leaves even fine hair full of body and shiny. It also will not strip colour.
    Healthy Hair Nutrition Intensive Hair Repair Masque is a weekly intensive treatment designed to work with the shampoo. It is also the perfect treatment for over-styled, colour-treated, or straightened hair. Healthy Hair Nutrition Intensive Hair Repair Masque smells delicious and leaves hair shiny and manageable.
    Both products sell for $8.49 each at drugstores and big box stores. I really like this line.

    Red carpet glamour

    We love red carpet season with all its glamour! It satisfies our beauty loving souls. The looks we loved the patented leather, glossy lips, and perfect porcelain skin that harken back to old Hollywood.
    One of favorite ways to get those perfect retro glam lips is with Mary Kay. Start with Mary Kay Crème Lipstick in Really Red. This creamy lipstick is enhanced with Vitamin E and a Vitamin C derivative to help stop wrinkle-causing free radicals. $13.
    Top with Mary Kay NouriShine Plus Lip Gloss. This ultra-shiny gloss is packed with anti-oxidants and botanical extracts. It comes in Rockin Red and Mango Tango for brilliant retro lips.
    It also comes in in pretty candy pink called Pink Parfait. It’s perfect with Mary Kay lipstick in Pink Satin.
    For porcelain, skin try Mary Kay Foundation Primer. It keeps foundation fresh for hours. It also helps makeup glide on more smoothly. At $16, it is a beauty bargain. Top it with Mary Kay TimeWise Luminous -Wear Foundation. This lightweight foundation is full of anti-aging ingredients and comes in many natural-looking shades to match your skin.

    A haunting love story

    The House I Loved is a haunting love story byTatiana de Rosnay, the author of the bestselling novel, Sarah’s Key.
    The story opens Paris in 1860. Emperor Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann are building "modern Paris" as we know it today. To make way for scenic wide boulevards, many small medieval neighborhoods are torn down and thousands of people are uprooted. Families are forced out of the homes where their families had lived for generations.
    The House I Loved  tells the story of one house and one family through letters Rose Brazlet writes to her beloved husband, even though he is dead. As her neighbourhood falls around her, Rose tenderly recalls their life together. She tells him about the friends she made after his death, and how she learned to cope with her grief.
    As her friends flee the rubble consuming her neighbourhood, Rose refuses to leave the house that holds the memories of her life and loves.
    Some critics complain that this poignant love story, with it delicate plot twists, is disappointing and lacks drama. I disagree.
    The House that I loved  is a quiet and unforgettable love story. If you love Paris, lovely old houses, and are a true romantic, put his book on your must-read list.

    Gossip, addiction, and growing up

    Spin by Catherine McKenzie is a wry look at the all-too-common dilemma of waking up and finding out that all your friends have grown up and left you behind.
    At 30, Kate Sanford still lives like a grad student and parties like a rock star. She wants to be a writer and ekes out a living reviewing local bands for small magazines. When she gets a crack at her dream job, she blows it by showing up drunk from the night before.
    Kate gets a second chance, but has to go undercover at a top rehab facility to get the story that will get her the job she wants.
    Kate has to grow up when she is thrown into rehab and the world of tabloid journalism. She is force to choose between betraying her own ideals or standing up for herself and risking her "dream job".
    Kate finds out that nothing is as simple as it seems in the sober light of day.

    Elegant and easy tomato soup

    I adore soup. It makes a fabulous lunch or an elegant first course. I particularly love spicy tomato soup and its endless variations. This recipe makes your life easy when you entertain and are pressed for time, yet no one will be short-changed.
    Serve it hot or cold.
    Grind 1tbsp Chipotle chilies in adobe sauce (canned) with 1 lg. clove of garlic in a processor or blender. This is a smoky chili in smoky-sweet tomato sauce. Canned is easy to use and find. It is hot.
    Or, roast 1-2 dried chipotle Chile(s), cool and de-seed.
    Soak for 20 minutes and then grind with 1 large garlic clove in a processor or blender.
    (Save extra in jar)
    Sauté 1 small chopped onion in 1tbsp. of good olive oil (not best) until soft, not brown
    Add 1 scant tsp. chili paste, and sauté 2 minutes with 1 heaping tsp. of ground cumin. If you like spicy, add more, but be cautious.
    Purée and then add 1 large can Glen Muir Organic Fire Roast tomatoes or a large can of good quality San Marzano tomatoes. Must be this quality. In the summer, you can substitute three cups of seeded and pureed very juicy fresh tomatoes.
    ½ cup water
    1½ tsp. smoked paprika
    1 tbsp. sugar
    Bring to a light boil, and then simmer for 10 minutes
    1 tbsp. Kosher salt.
    Correct salt and serve.
    To serve, finish the soup with a good olive oil and large toasted croutons of good bread. Just put a light circle of oil on the top of the soup.
    Toast the bread lightly. Rub it with a peeled clove of garlic, and sprinkle lightly with the fried or fresh herbs of your choosing. Then toast it again lightly! Simple and delicious.