You’re Better with Bronzer!

I’m a big believer in protecting my skin from the damaging effects of the sun but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the look of a safe summer glow. I find that powdered bronzer is the easiest and quickest way to wake up my complexion and add some natural-looking, lit-from-within color.

Bronzing 101:

  1. The color you choose should only be a few shades darker than your complexion, anything too dark, too orange or too shimmery will look dirty or fake.
  2. If you have oily skin or have recently applied moisturizer or sunscreen, begin with a base of translucent powder to avoid streaks.
  3. Using a wide, fluffy, rounded brush, swirl it in bronzer and tap off excess. Only apply where the sun hits naturally–your forehead, cheeks, bridge of nose and chin. Blend well.
  4. Add a touch of a warm, rosy blush to your apples for younger-looking radiance. 


Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder, $38 at

glominerals Shimmer Brick, $33 at

Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Light/Medium Matte Bronzer, $30 at

Best Reason for Waterproof Mascara? Camp!

It feels like yesterday that I was dropping Emma and Sam off at preschool. While the other kids sobbed and screamed clinging to  legs, my kiddos ran right into the thick of things checking out toys, the teacher and all the new faces. If at first I felt that something was amiss, the teachers stepped in and I was quickly assured that I had obviously done something right, my children were confident and secure–they’d thrive! A few years removed from this incident and I’m left wondering what those other parents were told. No doubt it was something to make them feel equally comforted. Even though it feels like it to me, it wasn’t yesterday that I was dropping them off at preschool. A few days ago they graduated from 5th and 3rd grades and in less than a week they’re headed to sleep away camp for the very first time.

Though Emma and Sam are overjoyed at the thought of a month away from home to swim, hike, learn to waterski, sign up for sports and activities, be in a band, a play and participate in color war, I’m having a much harder time. They’re looking forward to meeting new friends and telling stories around a camp fire, I’m thinking about how quiet the house will be.

In all fairness, I knew this day was coming. My husband was a camper from the age of seven practically until he went off to college. When we were dating he actually took me to see his camp! He has lifelong friends from those long-ago summers and one of his old bunkmates even officiated at our wedding so it was only a matter of time. I do know they’ll have the time of their lives, but I sure wish I had some words of wisdom from those teachers now. One thing I do have is waterproof mascara…I have a feeling I’ll be needing it!

I love L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara, $7.99 at It gives me gorgeous lashes that won’t smudge or smear, no matter how many tears may fall.


(photo courtesy of






My New Look-Younger Makeup Trick!

Last week, I headed to Nordstroms in the Short Hills Mall for my scheduled makeover with Jill Sofis, who represents Chanel at major shows and promotional events around the nation. It felt quite decadent to be doing this at noon when the kids were in school, but twist my arm…I’ll do anything for The Beauty Wall!

It’s my job to pay strict attention and ask lots and lots of questions so that I can always share whatever knowledge I uncover. Though Jill was chock full of advice on many of Chanel’s different products the most important tip I left with was “to look younger use a foundation brush when applying your makeup.”

For years I’d been using my fingertips for a for a smooth, even application and was always pretty happy with the results, but after seeing Jill’s handiwork with a foundation brush I’m a convert. My skin looked even better (ie. younger!) when she was done. The brush feathers your makeup in a way that’s completely natural and gives you a softer, more youthful finish.

The technique I like best is to apply a bit of makeup to the back of your hand and then using the brush, make little x’s on your face and blend down and out in little flicking motions. Work one area at a time (your forehead, each cheek, your entire nose area, etc.) and only move on to the next when that is completed. You’ll look natural, your skin will look flawless and you’ll use less foundation this way.

If you want to look younger, this splurge is worth every penny!

Chanel Foundation Brush #6, $45, available at for flawless, even coverage.

Chanel Vitalumiere, $55, available at is my favorite makeup and loved by those with normal to dry skin. It’s super creamy, moisturizing, boosts radiance and has a soft-focus effect to blur imperfections and give you a younger looking glow. If your skin is more on the normal to oily side try  Vitalumiere Aqua, $45 at



blogshot-vitalumiere(photos courtesy of Chanel)


A Posthumous Letter to my Dad…on Father’s Day

Dear Dad,

This is a hard one…it’s the first year that I won’t get to personally hand you a Father’s Day card and tell you how much I love you and give you a big hug and wish you a happy father’s day. You won’t be at the family barbecue and you won’t be saying that my cake is the best you’ve ever tasted. If I was giving you a card I’d tell you how thankful I am for all you’ve taught me, like…

  • family is everything.
  • make friends from all different walks of life–it’s what makes life interesting.
  • a little beef jerky can fix anything.
  • the importance of hard work and even harder play.
  • never chase a bet.
  • it’s nice to reminisce–the good old days really were good days.
  • there’s nothing better than bagels & lox for Sunday brunch.
  • keep learning.
  • always make room at the table when a friend stops by.
  • there are do-ers and there are talk-ers. Be a do-er.
  • treat everyone with respect, regardless of their station in life.
  • help when you can.
  • don’t let others drag you down.
  • life is too short…even when you live to be 85!

Today is 295 days without you and not a day goes by that I don’t think of you and miss you. I will always love you and I will always remember. xoxoNancy

The Bar Scene

Product Review: Lather Vanilla Bean & Shea Soap, $8, available at

My name is Nancy and I’m an addict…addicted to soap that is. I’ve yet to meet a bar that didn’t make me want to put it right up to my nose and sniff it. Or immediately rush home, rip off my clothes and step into the shower with it. Over the years, I’m sure I’ve had well over a thousand bars of soap in my stash, some used to freshen drawers and closets, some used as party favors, and of course the majority used to shower and bathe. I just can’t help myself and really, do I need to?

Lately I’d been eyeing one sitting near the top of the pile. Lather Vanilla Bean & Shea Soap is said to work well for all skin types, but is ideal for normal to dry skin thanks to an olive oil base with added shea butter to soothe and soften.  It also contains organic vanilla bean powder to gently exfoliate skin as well as vanilla and lemon essential oils for a warm, happy scent.

Lather Vanilla Bean & Shea Soap  is even better than I expected! After wetting it under the warm spray, it lathered nicely and smelled delicious, but what really got my attention was the vanilla bean powder which you could actually feel–it was grainy to the touch. I rubbed it all over my body, being gentle on the more sensitive areas and using a more vigorous approach on others.

This soap smells amazing and my skin feels fresh, clean, soft, smooth and moisturized. I highly recommend it! Treat yourself, help the world! For every olive oil soap sold, LATHER with donate the equivalent of five bars of soap to Clean The World, a non-profit organization that recycles and distributes soap around the world to people in need.



Flutter Bys!

I’ve got bugs and insects on the brain thanks to the thousands of cicadas I’m left to dodge daily–they blanket the sidewalks and street during my morning run. Creepy crawlies are most definitely not my thing, but butterflies that flutter by…they can hang around me any day, any way. Unfortunately their season is short-lived, which is why I’m drawn to anything with a butterfly on it. If you like papillons (and who doesn’t!) I know you’ll love these:

Butterfly Book Plates, $10 for 5 at Some books are keepers! If you lend out your favorites the way I do, I highly recommend you write your name inside…or  better yet, attach a personalized book plate to the inside cover so there will be no mistaking ownership. Know an avid reader or recent grad? These gorgeous butterfly book plates make the best gift when paired with a book. At only $10 for a set of 5, I plan on stocking up!

Museum Quality Insects Collection – Butterflies, $2229 at I’ve been eyeing this (and dropping major hints) for years! If I ever have a few $thousand lying around that isn’t earmarked for bills, the college-fund or a family vacation, this is the first thing I’ll buy!



The Procrastinators Father’s Day Gift Guide 2013

Father’s Day is less than a week away!  If you’ve yet to get something for those special dads in your life, it’s not too late if you act now. Though any man would be thrilled with tickets to a sporting event or concert, a gift card to his favorite store or free time to go fishing or golfing, here are some other, more unique ways to spread the love:

The Chef: If your guy is glued to the tv watching cooking shows he’ll appreciate a Williams-Sonoma Cooking Class. See availability at Sign him up for a grilling, cooking techniques or specialty menu class, taught in your area by talented chefs and culinary experts . Hopefully, my husband Eric skips today’s post…this is what the kids and I have in store for him.

The Sentimentalist: For a one-of-a-kind piece of art that he’ll truly treasure forever, gift him with a personalized museum quality archival pigment print, the Custom Print Collage Heart, from $35 at Or, be inspired by this idea and make your own version with a glue stick and the perfect photos.

The Metrosexual: If you’ve ever caught your guy using your grooming products, surprise him with his own stash. Aveda Men Pure-Formance Grooming Essentials Kit, $32.50 at contains shampoo, conditioner, grooming clay and aftershave, all sized right for travel. He’ll love the rich, spicy, refreshing scent as much as you do.

The Wanderer: Win win situation–the Scratch Map, $24 at looks cool on the wall and makes it easy for him to keep track of his travels.

The Workaholic: If he’s burning the candle at both ends, get him the Hanging Hammock Sky Swing Chair, $84.99 at because he more than deserves a little R&R.


(photo courtesy of


Tips for a Whiter, Brighter, Healthier Smile!

A happy smile will help you look years younger, boost your self-confidence and make you more approachable! Here’s how to make your smile your best feature:

Practice Proper Dental Hygiene: I have to state the obvious…brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss once and visit your dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups.

Eat For Healthy Gums: Eat these foods as often as possible: Salmon, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, will reduce inflammation as will pistachio nuts, high in CoQ10. Strawberries, chock full of Vitamin C, can prevent gingivitis. Whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal contain iron and B Vitamins, essential to gum health. Drink green tea–it’s high in antioxidants and will combat mouth bacteria.

Don’t Smoke: Among the long list of reasons you should never smoke (lung and other cancers, cardiovascular disease, emphysema, fertility problems, macular degeneration, bad breath, wrinkles, etc.) tobacco also turns teeth yellow.

Steer Clear of the Tooth-Stainers: Over time, red wine, coffee, tea and dark sodas will turn teeth dingy. If you must indulge, drink them through a straw which will prevent the drink from coming in contact with your teeth.

Choose your Whitener: Available in your local drugstore or pharmacy, over-the-counter whitening treatments can remove surface stains. To make sure they work, look for the ADA Seal of Approval on any at-home whitening treatments you purchase. If you’re looking for something more effective than what you can buy yourself, your dentist can fit you for a whitening tray. You’ll use it at home and results will be reached in up to 7 days of use. Laser whitening is the fastest way to whiten your teeth. Though you’ll pay a lot more for this treatment, it’s like magic, all it takes is one 30 minute session.

If you prefer to go the do-it-yourself route, here’s something to smile about, courtesy of Dr. Oz:

  • In a small bowl, mix a little bit of baking soda with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon. The mixture should bubble slightly.
  • Use a q-tip to wipe saliva and excess plaque from your teeth before brushing on the mixture.
  • Leave the mixture on your teeth for a minute before gently brushing it off with a toothbrush.

Note: Don’t leave the mixture on your teeth for any longer than one minute or it can damage your enamel.

Now, say cheese!



Beach Babes!

A few days ago, I got 4-5 inches cut off my hair. It’s still below my shoulders, but what a difference…my dry, fried ends are gone! My daily use of a flat-iron got me in trouble. I know that summer is extra hard on your hair–the sun, chlorine and weather-induced over styling can all take a toll. My plan? To avoid heat appliances as much as possible and use a weekly deep conditioning treatment.

If I’m going to stick to this less is more approach with styling I need an option besides pulling it back in a ponytail or putting it up in a top-knot, neither of which will make me a slave to a blow-dryer. For hair inspiration I looked to Gisele, Sienna Miller and Alexa Chung, all modern style icons and all known to sport variations of the beachy wave style. No matter what length your hair, the key to pulling off this subtle “non-styled” style is long layers.

  1. Begin with freshly washed and conditioned hair.
  2. Apply your product. Use a texturizing cream or sea spray for fine, straight hair, a styling lotion for medium, straight or slightly wavy hair and styling cream for thick, wavy to curly hair. To do, rub a bit of product in hands, from palm to fingertips and take random sections (choose slightly different widths) and cover each section from root to end as you twist it. This look is all about separation and this is how you get it.
  3. Air dry or use a diffuser to keep the wave or curl intact and don’t touch. When completely dry, loosen a bit with fingers.
  4. Spritz with a light-hold hairspray if desired.

Products to try: Ouidad Wave Create Sea Spray, $23 at, Kiehl’s Creme with Silk Groom, $18 at or Bumble and bumble Curl Conscious DefiningCreme, $29 at

(photo courtesy of




Look What I Found…Your New Summer Bag!

New season, best reason for a new bag!

For day, play and evening:

Sturdy leather on canvas with a nautical motif. Pottok Geoff McFetridge Canvas Tote in Charcoal Wales, $165, at

Boho vibe with leather trim, wool exterior and canvas interior. Mexican Bazaar, Blue Leather Tote, $105 at

Envelope style straw bag with gold metallic threads woven throughout. Hat Attack Clutch, $78 at

(photos courtesy of,,