Step Away from the Energy Drink!

Anxiety, hypertension, elevated heart rates, interrupted sleep patterns and headaches are just some of the side effects commonly associated with energy drinks, and those problems are more pronounced in children, according to a recent University of Miami study.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. These drinks have also been linked to heart palpitations, strokes and sudden death.

The term “energy” drink is an unfortunate misnomer, says food science expert Budge Collinson. They don’t give your body energy; they stimulate you with brief jolts of caffeine and unregulated herbal stimulants, he says.

“Soccer moms and dads buy these ‘stimulant’ drinks for their kids before matches because both kids and parents want that competitive advantage,” says Collinson, founder of Infusion Sciences and creator Youth Infusion, (, an effervescent, natural multivitamin beverage that helps people maintain consistent and healthy higher energy levels.

“For a few moments, you’ll get that spike, but it’s a short-term experience with a heavy long-term toll.”

So, what are some ways kids can get a healthy energy boost? Collinson offers the following tips.

Go for a speedy bike ride together, take a brisk walk or hold foot-races in the yard. Numerous studies demonstrate the power of vigorous exercise in boosting energy. Exercise pumps more oxygen – pure, healthy fuel — into the bloodstream and to the brain and muscles for a short-term energy boost. Exercising regularly will increase lung capacity, so the body will gets more oxygen on a sustained level for the long term. Exercise also releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemical, which makes us feel happy. And happy people are energized people.

Seek nutrition from a variety of sources. As humans, we need more than 40 different vitamins and minerals to keep our bodies functioning optimally. Since there is no single food that contains them all, it is important for children and adults to eat a variety, including as many different vegetables and fruits as possible. Adding a daily multivitamin supplement with essentials such as CoQ10, arginine, theanine, resveratrol and magnesium can help ensure bodies young and old are running at top speed.

Drink plenty of water – the natural energy drink. Even mild dehydration can leave children (and adults) feeling listless, so encourage children to make a habit of drinking plenty of water. Kids need more water than adults because they expend more energy, and they may not recognize when they’re slightly thirsty. Parents, too, often don’t recognize the signs of dehydration; a national survey of more than 800 parents of kids ages of one month to 10 years found that more than half feel they don’t know enough about dehydration. A quick, light pinch of the skin on the child’s hand or arm is an easy check. If the skin is slow to resume a smooth appearance, the child is likely at least mildly dehydrated.

image via


The Top Knot

The Top Knot can (and should!) be your go-to hairstyle when you need to look gorgeous in very little time. It’s actually best when done on “dirty” hair and looks just as great running around town as it does at a formal event. Jenny Balding, NYC Cutler/Redken Stylist, shares how to create the perfectly imperfect topknot:

  1. Start with day two hair onwards as your hair will be easier to manage with an already ‘lived -in’ texture.
  2. Mist hair with dry shampoo, focusing primarily on the roots for more texture, grip and volume.
  3. Then mist a light hairspray throughout for some hold and extra grip.
  4. Sweep your hair into high ponytail. Check what it looks like from your profile so you can position your ponytail at the most flattering point of your head for your face shape.
  5. Take the ponytail and back-brush from the underneath lightly to create a slight disheveled texture.
  6. Sweep around the base of the ponytail and pin using U shaped hairpins. These really anchor the hair best which means you will only need 2 or 3 to secure.


  • Clean Dry Shampoo ($10), a talc-free, paraben-free and sulfate-free formula that absorbs excess oil and leaves behind a light, fresh scent.
  • Bumble and Bumble Spray de Mode ($15) is a quick-drying, flake-free, flexible hold hairspray, perfect as a working or finishing spray.  (image via pinterest)


Suit Up!

In the past, I’ve written about my honeymoon in Italy when my newly minted husband and I carved out two whole weeks to sight-see, sun and sin. We scheduled a few days in Rome followed by Florence, Tuscany, Positano, Capri and Venice.

It all went according to plan until we hit the Amalfi Coast. It was by far our favorite place and a few days in Positano just wasn’t enough so we made reservations to return the following year but before the year was through I was pregnant with Emma and then Sam and then we bought a home outside the city and the vacations we took weren’t quite the same. We haven’t made it back.

Positano was just a distant and magical memory until I received this Positano print one piece ($90) from Island State Swimwear. I took one look and was immediately transported back in time to to the Hotel Il San Pietro and those laissez-faire and decadent days where we rented a private boat and swam in the Blue and Emerald Grottos. We explored small towns and climbed crazy-steep steps carved right into the cliffside to lunch on fresh figs and cheese and sip limoncello. I might not actually be in Positano, but if I look at myself and squint a bit I almost could be back on those gorgeous, rocky cliffs of Amalfi.

The fact that the Positano print one piece is super flattering and totally glam is just the icing on the cake and for now, it’s the next best thing to being there. Try one on…see where it takes you!

Island State Swimwear is a new to the states collection of swimwear, kaftans, dresses and more.

(photo courtesy of Island State Swimwear)

August 6th is Fresh Breath Day!!!

Apparently there’s a “day” for almost everything…and if this isn’t proof, I don’t know what is. Today, August 6th is officially National Fresh Breath Day (shouldn’t it be every day!!!) and with 65% of Americans suffering from persistent halitosis there’s no time like the present to jump-start your extra attention to oral hygiene. Here, some help for halitosis:

  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day to keep your saliva oxygen-rich.
  • Brush and floss after every meal to remove plaque and food particles.
  • Brush or scrape your tongue daily since 90% of odor causing bacteria resides on the tongue. Try DenTek’s Comfort Clean Tongue Cleaner ($2.50), designed to clean your tongue in 3 easy swipes.
  • Stay away from breath mints or gum with sugar in it.  Sulfur-producing bacteria flourishes in the presence of sugar. Instead, you’ll like Hello BreathSpray ($3.75) in Supermint. It’s small enough to tuck in your bag or pocket. The line also includes mouthwash, toothpaste and more, available in a variety of flavors and promises clean breath without the use of alcohol, artificial sweeteners, dyes or chemicals.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages and mouthwashes containing alcohol. They dry the mouth out, an ideal breeding situation for bacteria.

Now, you’ve got something to smile about!


(featured image, Kate Moss by Paolo Roversi)

Foundation Salvation!

If you’re not 100% satisfied with your foundation, check out my latest story here for Beauty in the Bag to help you find your perfect match! xoxoNancy


photography courtesy of

A not so basic “basic”!

Review: Marika Magic Slimming Capri Legging ($55), available in S-M-L-XL.

When it comes to my workout gear I’m not one to hop on the latest trends–I usually stick with basics. I recently had the opportunity to try these slimming workout pants and am thrilled they’re now part of my wardrobe! They’re made from a cotton/spandex blend for comfort, support and control and they  definitely flatter in all the right places. My thighs looked slimmer, my butt looked higher and best of all I had more energy during my workout. I’m not sure what to attribute that to, maybe the extra confidence I felt knowing I looked good in these pants.

They’re basic enough to be mixed and matched with any top, have contour seaming to sculpt, power mesh lining along the thigh area, a 4 inch flat waistband and a Coolmax gusset. I love the capri but longer pants are also available in a straight leg and boot leg cut. Marika’s Executive VP/General Manager, Carrie Henley says, “from the moment they are worn, women find instant confidence knowing that they are wearing the most flattering product in the marketplace.” I couldn’t agree more!

The Marika Magic Slimming Capri Legging is available at

**The Beauty Wall readers get 30% off entire purchase with the code MM30. Good through August 31, 2014

Full Disclosure: I was given a review sample for consideration. As a reminder, please note that when I receive samples to consider, I only write about the ones I love…and I do love Marika’s Magic Pants.




Got 5 minutes?

For those days when you’re feeling lazy, it’s nice to know that you can still get in a mini workout that has mega benefits on your health. Apparently, running just 5 minutes a day can have significant benefits and help you live a longer, healthier life.

Click here to read full article.


(photography courtesy of pinterest)

Nationwide Model Search and Giveaway

Calling all male and female wannabe models…have you got what it takes?

If you’ve got great hair and great style you could be the next L.A. Looks® model! All you have to do is be a fan of L.A. Looks Facebook page and  submit a photo with your best “L.A. Look. All 18 and older male and female fans will get the chance to win a trip to L.A. for a professional photo shoot and a surprise VIP experience, including airfare, L.A. car rental, hotel and even a trip stipend.

Plus, The Beauty Wall readers will get a chance to win a basket full of L.A. Looks® products. The basket contains L.A. Looks Absolute Curls, L.A. Looks Volcanic Rush Glue Gel, L.A. Looks Mega Mega Hold gel and L.A. Looks Define & Shine gel.

To enter to be a model, simply click here and like L.A. Looks Facebook page. Also, submit a hair shot of yourself (your personal L.A. Look). The deadline for this is 9/6/14. *

To enter to win the basket of L.A. Looks® products, simply leave a message on this post or leave a message on my Facebook Wall. One winner will be randomly selected. The deadline for this is 7/25/14.

*Model search entries will be judged on originality, creativity, quality of photo and overall appeal. Using these criteria, the judges will select 10 women and men for the finalist stage. Starting on Sept. 22, 2014, L.A. Looks will ask its fans to vote and determine who the two grand-prize winners will be, with the winner announcement to be made later in the fall. The model search will be promoted on product packaging, social media and the website.

GOOD LUCK!!! xoxoNancy

Road Tested: Ultherapy / Dr. Jacono Reviews

We all have our bad beauty days–you wake up and regret the salty food you ate the day before or the extra-late night or the second cocktail. But you get through the day, get some extra shut-eye, eat lots of fruit and veggies and within a day or two your eyes are bright again and your skin glows. Lately though, I’d been noticing it took me a little longer to bounce back and my skin wasn’t as taut as I remembered. I couldn’t blame it on anything but age. My less-than-tight jawline was all I could see when I looked in the mirror and I was hoping there was a solution to reverse this downward shift, short of cosmetic surgery.

I’d heard about Ultherapy and thought it might be just what I was looking for but there were conflicting reports–some people seemed to love their results and others couldn’t even see a difference. Said to improve loose, sagging skin in the face and neck in a significant but completely non-surgical way, Ultherapy is a non-invasive, no-downtime, anti-aging, in-office procedure that uses focused ultrasound waves to bypass the skin’s surface and heat the deep layers of skin tissue, stimulating collagen production for subtle yet visible tightening (the best candidates can expect about a 30% improvement).

I made an appointment with world renowned Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Andrew Jacono at his NYC office. He explained how the loss of volume in my lower face was contributing to my less than taut jawline. Though everyone is not an ideal candidate for Ultherapy (possibly the reason for the mixed reviews) he  accessed my skin and assured me great results. Apparently, those with a fair-ish, on-the-dry side, thinner-skinned complexions will get better results than those with oily, thicker skin. Since it’s hard for people to determine this on their own, speak to your doctor about your skin type and whether you’re a good candidate for it as well.

Before my treatment I took some Advil to make it a bit easier to handle. Through an imaging window (that looks very much like a computer) Dr. Jacono looked below my skin to determine which specific areas needed the most energy to jumpstart new collagen growth. He marked up my skin like a roadmap (see my before picture) so that Joyce, his Laser Technician/Aesthetician would know the precise locations and depths to direct the energy. I had to stay very still as Joyce used the hand-held transducer  to zap me a few times in each area Dr. J had marked. The whole procedure took about 60 minutes.

It can be uncomfortable at times (especially around the bonier areas), but Joyce was calming and patient as she got the job done. She didn’t even bat an eye when I found that the lamaze breathing I learned many years ago was helping me get through it. In fact, once I started doing the breathing techniques it was quite easy to handle. The second the treatment was over any discomfort was all but forgotten.

Afterwards, I had almost no redness and was able to go about my day as if I hadn’t done anything. I went to a work event and even met a friend for dinner. Over the next week or so I did experience some mild tenderness that almost felt like what a sunburn or mild bruise feels like even though there weren’t any visible marks on my skin. I was actually happy for it since I knew it meant it was working.

Ultherapy prices vary from office to office but it costs approximately $2000 – $6000 depending on the area(s) being treated and the doctor or technician’s expertise. Though it’s non-invasive with no downtime whatsoever, don’t count on a spa-like experience. Basically, Ultherapy heats small, targeted amounts of soft tissue below the surface of the skin to the point that it contracts and the body will starts creating new collagen. It’s tricky because the right amount of heat needs to be delivered to the right depths of tissue, without injuring the surface of the skin.Re-building collagen takes time and I was informed that results can take 2-3 months to appear and many clients experience continued gradual lifting and firming for up to 6 months afterwards. My after  photo is taken just 2 months post-treatment and you can already see a more defined jawline, so I’m excited to see this through to the 6 month mark. Though the results aren’t as dramatic as they’d be with surgery, I’m quite pleased. I actually prefer maintenance types of treatments like this that no one will ever mistake for surgery. You’ll look like yourself, but you on your best day all the time.

If you’re looking for a non-invasive, anti-aging treatment with no downtime that can put off (or put an end to) the need for surgery Ultherapy has got what it takes. I’d do it again in a heartbeat!



Add a Pop of Color!

Product Review: Laura Geller Love Me Dew Moisturizing Lip Crayon, $16 at

For someone who doesn’t wear a lot of lipstick, I’m crazy about my new Laura Geller Lip Crayon. I’m loving it in Purple Currant but it also comes in shades of pink, cranberry, plum, orange, coral and more.

Laura Geller Love Me Dew Moisturizing Lip Crayon is the perfect blend of balm, color and shine. It leaves my lips super-moisturized and it never feels tacky.

Since the bright, bold lip trend is going nowhere I keep it in my bag at all times–whenever I need to look good, out it comes and on it goes!


(photography courtesy of