Switch Up Your Style with Hair Jewelry

The easiest way to get out of a hairstyle rut is with a great hair accessory, and the best way to wear it is a bit unconventional. I’m thinking decorative headbands, bobbies and even special necklaces pinned in place (see above) for a statement-making finishing touch.

3 ways accessorize your hair and do it right:

  1. Slip a headband into a loose style without pulling hair back.
  2. You don’t have to be invited to a British royal wedding to pull off this look but you do have to have loads of confidence. For when more is more!
  3. Pretty barrettes and bobbies dress up long and short hair alike. Hold back bangs, decorate a carefree twist or add some magic with three in a row to accompany a low side part.

(featured image courtesy of lefashionimageblogspot.com)

(gallery images (left to right), Athena Headband, $20 at urbanoutfitters.com, Katie Burley Millenery Midnight Flight Feather Headband, $200 at urbanoutfitters.com, Dipali Bobbies, $24 at anthropologie.com)

The Turtle Beats the Hare…AGAIN!

I’m an avid walker. I do run from time to time but it’s always the walking that gets my heart racing–I love breathing in the fresh air, checking out the beautiful homes in my town, experiencing major stress-relief and getting in a nice workout that doesn’t necessarily feel like a workout. I know I enjoy it and I know it has many health benefits but I didn’t know (until now) that walking is actually better than running!

In a six year study conducted by researchers in the Life Science Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the walkers actually beat out the runners when it came to decreasing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Click here for details.

(photography courtesy of realsimple.com)


A New Beauty Subscription Service you’ll want in on!

From the Lab is a cool monthly subscription service that works with top beauty research labs to get product delivered to your door 18 months before they’re available to the public! When you become a member you’ll receive a box with up to 3 full-size, high-end skin care, hair care and makeup products. If you love a product you can continue buying it through their online store.

I got a sneak peak at the new Transforming Hair Cleanser No. 724. It’s way different than any shampoo I’ve ever tried before. In the shower, I poured a bit into my palm and was surprised at how oily it felt. I couldn’t imagine putting it into my hair–the thought of past olive oil hair treatments that left me with greasy locks that took numerous shampoos to get out filled me with fear!–but in the name of research for The Beauty Wall I did it.

I massaged No. 724 into my scalp and through my strands. Then, I went to rinse my hands and amazingly my hands had no oily residue on them. I rinsed my hair and thought about adding my usual conditioner (I never go without!) but I wanted a true test so instead, I stepped out of the shower to towel dry. My comb through was easy with no tangles. Instead of harsh sulfates that strip hair of nutrients and protectants Transforming Hair Cleanser No. 724 contains a blend of oils and stem cell technology plus andiroba oil, a new ingredient to the U.S., said to enhance thin, damaged hair by strengthening and promoting new hair growth, while curly and coarse hair is left weightless and tamed. After just one use I noticed how shiny and silky smooth my hair hair looked and felt. Once No. 724 gets into the hands of big beauty companies you can be sure it will retail for way more than the $29.95 starting price for a monthly subscription. I can’t wait to get in on this service! If their other products are half as good as 724 this is one beauty subscription service that’ll be worth every penny!

Click here for more information or to join From the Lab.

Hop On Over to LUSH for Limited Edition Easter Bars, Bubbles and Bombs!

My daughter is addicted to LUSH. She was hooked from the moment she walked into her first LUSH store and now she’s got me hooked, too! The scent envelopes you in the best way possible and has you picking up everything and smelling it. I love to accompany her because every time I step foot in our local LUSH I have the friendliest salespeople offer me a complimentary hand, shoulder, back or scalp massage. And who am I to deny them?

So imagine how excited we both were when I received a limited edition, perfectly-timed for Easter package of LUSH products to review for The Beauty Wall. We tried everything they sent…and the verdict is in. WE LOVE IT ALL!!!

Brightside Bubble Bar, $10.95. Crumble under warm running water. It turns the bath sunset colors as white bubbles fill the tub and a bright,  energizing citrus blend scent fills the air. Feel free to break in half for two baths as this makes a lot of bubbles.

Bunny Bubble Bar, $6.95 was inspired by the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. It softens your skin and envelopes you in a creamy candy scent. Break in two as it’s enough for two baths if desired.

Golden Egg Bath Melt Bomb, $8.95 is almost too pretty to use. This gilded egg is perfect for a long soak in the tub. This bomb/ melt hybrid is dusted with a gorgeous golden luster and smells amazing. It leaves behind light and delicious honey/toffee fragrance plus it turns your skin silky.

Fluffy Egg Bath Bomb, $5.95 is Easter personified. It’s a bright, happy, sweet marshmallow and jellybean scented effervescent bath bomb.

Carrot Soap, $7.75 for 1/4 lb. has a bunny hiding in every bar. Formulated with carrot oil, cocoa butter and select essential oils to moisturize, soften and surround your senses. If you love soap like I love soap you’ll love this one.

All LUSH products are cruelty-free. No animal testing! For more information or  LUSH storefront locations, click here.


Pro Lip Tip!

Makeup artists in the know always dab a bit of foundation on the lips to tone down natural lip color before applying lipstick. It’s the best way to  get a true-to-the-tube color.

(photography courtesy of wwd.com)

Eye Opening! Dr. Susan Resnick, O.D., F.A.A.O

About a year ago I became frustrated with the length of my arms. I know that sounds a little strange, but if you’re around 40 you know exactly what I mean! I went to the drugstore and I bought some reading glasses and suddenly it didn’t matter that I wasn’t related to Stretch Armstrong. I had presbyopia and unless an extra serving of carrot sticks and some eye exercises could reverse or slow down the process reading glasses were my new norm.

Though I was seeing 20/20 with my prescription for distance and my presbyopia was corrected with readers I was hopeful that there would be a simple solution to put a stop to all this “eye-aging” business, so I jumped at the invitation to meet the distinguished  NYC based, Dr. Susan Resnick, O.D., F.A.A.O,. I realized most of us seek a second opinion when a medical doctor gives us an unfavorable diagnose…wasn’t this the same thing? I’d get  get a second opinion, and an extremely well-respected one at that!

What is Presbyopia?

Dr. Resnick explained that presbyopia is basically the natural aging process of the eye “where reading vision becomes more difficult and a separate prescription is required or when the nearsighted patient has to remove their distance eyeglasses to see close objects clearly” due to the eye’s internal lens becoming less elastic and less able to change shape to refocus. Resnick says “it typically starts around age 40 but can vary depending upon factors which may include genetics, pupil size and distance prescription.”

Dr. Resnick informed me “there is no cure for presbyopia and eye exercises typically do not influence the age of onset or rate of progression.” Even though “general health and good nutrition might be a factor as to when it first appears, there are no definitive studies to quantify this.”

What Can Be Done?

  • Progressive addition eyeglasses are multi-focal glasses that allow more than one vision field to be in a single lens without any line of distinction between the fields themselves. They correct all distances (near and far) with lenses that have a smooth transition for different focal lengths.
  • Monovision  is the process of having one eye focused at a distance while the other is focused at near. After about a week the person’s brain automatically and seamlessly adapts to this way of vision, allowing you to seamlessly see near and far. Though some close-up activities might still require reading glasses it can help tremendously. Monovision is usually obtained through contact lenses (with different prescriptions for each eye) but it can also be had through refractive laser techniques like Lasik or PRK.
  • Contacts for Presbyopia. Dr. Resnick likes Acuvue OASYS for Presbyopia contact lenses which allow for a very smooth transition between distance and near focus. A huge bonus with these lenses is that they contain Hydraclear–an internal wetting agent–making them better than other contacts for patients with dry eyes, a common condition for those in this age group. Another plus for Acuvue OASYS for Presbyopia lenses is that they have built-in UV blockers to prevent cataracts, also common as we age. If you’re a contact lens wearer with presbyopia this is an ideal choice for most.

To determine which option is best for you, Dr. Resnick recommends you and your doctor take the following into consideration: lifestyle, type of visual tasks, prescription and ocular physiology. Most patients choose both contact lenses and glasses but each offers different benefits. Those with very active lifestyles might choose contacts as their primary choice whereas those who have specific, prolonged and critical visual tasks might find glasses would be more appropriate.  There are also those who are very visually sensitive, ie. are frustrated with anything less than 20/20, and multifocal contact lenses might not be an option because the images are not quite as sharp at all distances as they are with eyeglasses. This has to do with the smaller optical zone in contact lenses as compared to eyeglasses.

Since I’m usually in contact lenses for distance and I rarely wear my eyeglasses I was most attracted to the idea of the Acuvue OASYS for Presbyopia which would get me out of my readers and allow me to see both near and far without having to go the monovision route. Unfortunately for me, I’m “visually sensitive” so I’m not a candidate.  So for me, readers it is! xoxoNancy




Suncare Stash

You know the drill. Harmful UVA and UVB rays cause skin damage even when it’s cloudy outside. Sunscreen applied each and every day will help maintain the health of your skin and prevent wrinkles, spots and other aging skin damage. Look for chemical sunscreens like those with avobenzone and oxybenzone or physical sunblocks such as those containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

To stay safe:

  • Avoid the sun between the peak hours of 10:00am to 2:00pm.
  • Apply generously. The average adult needs a shot-glass full for the body plus an additional 2/3 a teaspoon for the face and neck.
  • Reapply every 2 hours and immediately after swimming, even with water resistant products

My Sun Stash:

Coola Sport SPF 45 Unscented Moisturizer ($32 for 5 oz.) is sweat and water resistant up to 80 minutes, paraben free and ultra sheer plus it’s formulated with 70% certified organic inactive ingredients.

Coola Face SPF 20 Unscented ($36 for 1.7 oz.) works well for sensitive skin. This mineral-based sunblock is hypoallergenic, ultra-sheer and enriched with anti-aging antioxidants.

Mustela Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion 50+ ($22 for 3.4 oz.) is gentle enough for infants thanks to the physical blockers micronized titanium and zinc and is ideal for the most sensitive skin.

Australian Gold Sheer Coverage Continuous Spray SPF 50 with Kona Bronzers ($11.99) gives you an instant sun-kissed glow while it protects you from sun damage. Quickly absorbs, oil-free formula and water resistant for 80 minutes.

Kiss My Face Kids Defense™ with Air Powered Spray™ SPF 50 ($16.99 for 6 oz) combines broad spectrum sunscreen with a blend of Antioxidants for extra protection. It’s water resistant for 40 minutes, clear and rub free plus it sprays at any angle so it’s easy to cover those hard to reach places.

Kiss My Face Face Factor SPF 30 for Face and Neck with Hydresia®  ($12.95 for 2 oz ) has UVA and UVB protection plus natural peptides and extracts to combat aging and skin soothing ingredients.

Kiss My Face Sensitive Side™ SPF 30 ($12.95 for 4 oz) is non irritating for sensitive skin thanks to soothing Oat Protein , Green Tea and Carrot Extract and extra moisturizing.

eos Smooth Sphere Lip Balm in Lemon Drop ($3.29) protects lips with SPF 15, Vitamin E and natural oils so lips stay soft, moist and protected.

(featured image courtesy of Pinterest)


The Power of Red

Colors have different meanings in different cultures and they’re even known to change over time but right now in the U.S., researchers have found this to be true about RED:

  • Red is an intense, extreme color known to affect all who see it.
  • Men and women are seen as more attractive when wearing red.
  • Red is the color of confidence but too much can be interpreted as aggressive.
  • In clothing, decor, wildlife and more, red always gets attention.

The best way to reap the benefits of red without inviting negative reactions is to take your red in small doses. Just a hint will make you that much more appealing, add visual interest and jump-start any outfit. Check out these ruby red accent pieces:

Zoya Nail Polish in Tamsen, $9 at zoya.com. I love this for fingers and toes. Orange undertones make it a Spring/Summer staple.

Eugenia Kim Chiara Headband, $90 at shopbop.com. The ombre shading and center-knot take this to another level.

Gahara Links Transfixion Necklace, $58 at anthropologie.com. Go global with this Rwandan made, hand-beaded pendant necklace.

Super Ciccio Eyeglasses, $169 at madewell.com. Oversized, retro frames in a “notice-me” color.

Cole Haan Jen & Oil Mary Jane Suede Platform Sandal, $125 at lastcall.com. Because red, grown-up Mary Janes are hot!