Saturday, June 30, 2007

Bombshell Book

Under Construction: How I’ve Gained and Lost Millions of Dollars and Hundreds of Pounds autobiographically chronicles the ups and downs of actress/comedienne/jewelry designer and activist Jackie Guerra. The book traces her roots as a bubbly, life loving child of Mexican/American parents to the bubbly, life loving woman she is today. She talks through her personal tools for living a full life and infuses the book with optimism and a love for connecting with people (readers included).

Jackie shares the most impactful moments of her life, from quitting her job as a negotiator for a hotel union to pursue becoming a comedienne, to starring in her own network sitcom. She shares the devastating moments leading up to her mom’s death, and the difficult decision to undergo gastric bypass surgery. Jackie manages to share all this, and much more, with a sense of humor and an eye toward positivity and endurance.

I wasn’t expecting this book to resonate so clearly with me and my own personal life story. On the surface, we have very little in common. But I was drawn in by her positive outlook towards life. She’s been overweight for most of her life but has never used it as an excuse to avoid pursuing her lofty goals. She’s approached everything in her life with the assumption that she will succeed – and she has!

One of the most poignant parts of the book has Jackie recounting a conversation she had with a friend. The friend wanted to go back to school but thought she was too old to do it. “By the time I finish, “she said, “I’ll be 43.” “In three years, you’ll be 43 whether you go back to school or not, “ Jackie pointed out. It doesn’t matter where you are in life, you can accomplish anything you want to with focus and a firm belief in your abilities.

Jackie Guerra’s message of self love, determination and overall Bombshell diva-ness makes Under Construction a great read. Check it out, and let me know what you think in the comments.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bombshell Maternity Wear

What to expect when you're expecting can take on all new meaning when you're a Bombshell. Since I've never been pregnant, I won't pretend to be an expert on plus size pregnancy. However, half my girlfriends are suddenly with child and it's made me wonder: what the heck am I going to wear when it's my turn?

Muumuu dresses are (thankfully) no longer a staple in the Bombshell closet; they've been replaced by fitted tees and cropped pants, floaty dresses with plunging necklines, well cut clothes for well dressed women. Does that all disappear with the onset of pregnancy? Do muumuus reappear for nine months? (Shiver)

I was delighted to find that not only does Lane Bryant carry an extremely cool, very wearable line of maternity wear in sizes 14-28, so do several other retailers.

Motherhood Maternity carries plus sizes online - and they have some cute stuff at low prices (under $20). I've always heard maternity wear can be expensive, but their prices seemed very reasonable. For more discount Bombshell maternity wear, look into JC Penney and Fashion Bug, both of whom offer Bombshell maternity wear online.

In my quest to find out where to buy cute maternity clothes, I came across two additional resources for general information on plus size pregnancy. The first,, offers support, advocacy and a community for plus sized moms. The woman who runs this site became passionate about providing information on this topic after the experiences she had in giving birth to her four children. links to an interesting article written by Jacqueline Tourville, author of Big, Beautiful and Pregnant: Expert Advice and Comforting Wisdom for the Expecting Plus Size Woman. This page has a lot of links to retailers who make plus size feeding bras, etc.

If you know of any other stores or resources that pregnant Bombshells should know about, let me know in the comments.

Product Details:
From the Lane Bryant maternity collection, available online: short sleeved pointelle cardigan, $49.50; convertible cargo pant with half panel, $44.50; lace-bodice dress, $99.50.
New from Benefit, "that gal", is a skin perfecting primer that can be worn alone (for a healthy glow) or under makeup (for that extra polished look sheen). Currently available online only, the product hits stores this fall.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Show Some Skin- Part I

Out of deference to the balmy summer heat sweeping the country, I'm posting a series on how to show some skin- the Bombshell way. Any Bombshell worth her signature lip color knows that showing some skin can be the difference between "Oh," and "Wow!" She also knows that showing off too much skin at once can be the difference between, "Wow!" and "Ewww." Pick one feature to highlight with bare skin. One of my favorites is the shoulders.

Showing off your shoulders is great because, unlike legs, arms and cleavage, it's not over done. The surprise factor of bare shoulders is fabulous. Take a look at the shirt shown here. What do your eyes immediately zoom in on? The model's face! Perfect.

The bateau cut of this top puts the focus on the face, and then subtlely flows along the body. There's just enough seaming along the sides to allude to your shape, while the fabric creates a fluid, swingy effect through the torso and on the arms. This fluid cut is perfect for anyone who wants to deflect attention from heavy arms or the stomach.

There's something incredibly sexy about sitting at an outdoor cafe with the sun (or moon) glowing down onto your bare shoulders. Go out and find the perfect top to highlight yours for a night out this weekend.

Product Details:
Igigi raglan top, $50, in purple, nautical blue and brown. Available on
Photo from

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Save at Kiyonna

Filling your closet with ultra flattering clothes from Kiyonna? Fabulous. Receiving online discounts from Kiyonna? Uber-fabulous!

Not only does offer free shipping on orders of $100 or more, until June 30th they're also giving you $20 back on any order of $150 or more. I can attest to the fact that spending $150 on Kiyonna is not difficult. At all. I couldn't resist this:

It's the Giraffe Wrap Tee, featuring princess seams for flattering shape, 3/4 sleeves and a classic wrap detail. Animal prints are going to be huge this fall and can easily look cheap or cheesy. Kiyonna's done the giraffe justice with this beautiful print. You can wear this look now, in the fall, through winter...stick it in the closet and it'll still be stylish the next time animal prints are everywhere (because we all know fashion is cyclical).

The Tab Front Stretch Bengaline Gauchos are crisp and cool, contemporary and classically stylish. That's a lot of impact for one pair of pants. The giraffe print wrap tee would look a-mazing paired with these gauchos. Throw on a pair of bright yellow or red heels and you've got yourself a look.

Product Details:
Giraffe wrap tee, $58; tab front stretch bengaline gauchos, regularly $58 on sale for $29.
Photos from

Nordstrom Exclusive Beauty Pre Sale

Pre-order special beauty buys, exclusive to Nordstrom, and they’ll bill and ship to you on July 20th. Take advantage of limited edition palettes, bundles and deluxe sizes of products not available elsewhere.

For example, pick up Philosophy favorite Purity Made Simple facial cleanser in a deluxe 32 oz. bottle. Or introduce yourself to a new brand by taking advantage of a bundle, like the Smashbox After Party beauty kit, full of 8 must-haves (lip gloss, primer, eye shadows galore!) and makeup bag.

One of my favorites offered is the Lancome Color Design Cool Eye and Face palette: Femme Feline. The leopard printed compact contains six eye shadows in cool berry tones, two complimentary blushes and a brush for maximum impact this fall.

You might be asking yourself, "Why would I want to pre order this stuff? I'll just hit up Nordstrom's on July 20th." Yeahhhh....these products are going to sell out. We're talking a limited quantity available.

Do yourself a favor - guarantee that you'll snag whatever it is you want by pre ordering now. When your package shows up shortly after the 20th, chances are you'll have forgotten just how fantastic whatever you ordered is - thereby increasing the excitement factor!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Spotlight on Svoboda by Jessica Svoboda

The Svoboda line carries a lot of appeal for women who like their clothes form fitting and funky. Especially impressive is the denim line; Svoboda is one of few Bombshell designers daring enough to create skinny jeans in sizes up to 26. I’ve made known my personal stance on skinny jeans – yuck, for any body type – but I appreciate the fact that this line is giving curvy women the choice to decide for themselves.

Thanks to creative and thoughtful detailing, Svoboda nails their cotton tops. With seaming, draping or a well-placed tie, the tops show the eye where to land on the wearer's body. This hoodie is fantastic because sweatshirts can become very loose and shapeless. The Michelle style defines the upper torso and is cut slim enough to allude to the shape of the body underneath. In addition to topping jeans, as shown, I can see this hoodie pulled on over a black dress and heels for a chic tough-girl vibe.

Click here to find a store location near you, or to order online.

Product Details:
Svoboda Michelle Hoodie, regularly $120 on sale for $60.
Photo courtesy of

Friday, June 22, 2007

More Summer Sales

Avenue is yet another Bombshell store tossing around one of my favorite words: SALE. Enjoy up to 40% off the already reasonable prices at your local Avenue, and check out some of the new clothes that have just hit the racks. One of my favorite new pieces in-store right now is this:

Doesn't the tie front burnout blouse just scream, "Toss me on over a denim skirt and wander through the Farmer's Market!"? Well, that's what I'm hearing, anyway. With it's brass buttons and tuxedo-style seaming down the front, this shirt is delicate and feminine (not to mention extremely versatile) without adding unneccessary frill and fluff.

I'm also loving these 3" platform Kimono leather slingbacks. Peep toe slingbacks are office appropriate and slightly glamourous. And who doesn't want to add some glam to the office?

Product Details:

Tie front burnout blouse, $24.95; Kimono leather slingbacks, on sale for $34.50 (sizes 9.5-13 available online, check store for availability).

Photos courtesy of

Bombshell Beauty on the Radio

If reading about Bombshell Beauty just isn't enough for you, tune into St. Paul's FM 107 this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. I'll be on their show, The Shop Girls, hosted by Pioneer Press columnist Allison Kaplan.

This show will precede an article in Sunday's Pioneer Press that Allison has written about Bombshell shopping in the Twin Cities. We'll be talking about trends in plus- size clothing, her favorite finds, my favorite finds and more.

You can listen online at and read Sunday's edition of the Press at

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

SALE at B & Lu

If you've not yet been to B & Lu, I don't know what the heck you're waiting for. Is it a sale? You need a sale to propel you over to one of the most exciting, innovative online Bombshell boutiques? Ok fine. You got it. 75% off truly fabulous clothes. We're talking $9 tee shirts. Beautiful skirts for under $25. Unbelievable deals on unique clothing, sizes 14-30. Still not convinced? Check out this a-mazing dress.
You know this dress would look gorgeous on you, in your closet, tossed on the floor of your bedroom after a fun night out, anywhere. $31.00. Seriously. Now, what are you waiting for? I've made this so simple for you - just click on B & Lu under Best Bombshell Shopping to your left. Browse, buy, fall in love. That's the power of a great sale.
Product Details:
Mallory Dress, was $54, on sale for $31.
Photos courtesy of

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Beauty Moment

It's no secret that I love Benefit cosmetics. Those smarty-pants have come up with yet another terrific beauty find- the D'finer D'liner. It's a clear lip liner that will help keep your lipstick or gloss in place.

I've never been a big fan of lip liner; for some reason, the liner is incredibly obvious on my lips, practically screaming, "Look at how hard she's trying!" Millions of women swear by lip liner, so there's obviously some kind of application deficiency on my part. D'finer D'liner is going to save women like myself who need to keep lip color from creasing and sliding around but aren't handy enough to use colored liner.

For more information on this Benefit beauty trick, click on the Benefit logo to your left - the one with the alluring Bathina lady showing off her legs.

Bombshell Book

I've long been a devoted reader of Lucky magazine, a magazine dedicated to shopping. Lucky is all about the clothes - you won't find "What's In/Out"lists or artistic spreads showing clothes on super-skinny 17- year old models.

What you will find are real options at average prices- a well edited selection of the latest, greatest clothes on the market and suggestions on how to wear them. I rely on Lucky for a monthly shot of inspiration; I'm able to look through the current trends, decide what I like and then head out to the stores to find my own version.

In addition to inspiration Lucky's beauty editor, Jean Godfrey-June, fills the magazine with all the beauty products a Bombshell needs/wants/has to have. I eagerly scour the pages for her fabulous finds and spot-on reviews. I was excited to see that she's written a book and rushed out to pick up a copy.

The book is a fun combination of beauty tips culled from years of being in the business, personal stories about her life and dishy tidbits on Vogue, Elle, various fashion designers and what goes on behind all the glamour of the fashion world.

Free Gift with Purchase- My Improbable Career in Magazines and Makeup by Jean Godfrey-June. It's a refreshing alternative to the usual "chick lit" summer beach reads. Available in book stores now.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Embrace the Heat, Bombshell Style

Sultry. Balmy. 95 degrees. All adjectives used by local news channels to describe the weather situation. The adjectives are accompanied by clip art of bright red suns wearing Ray Bans, steaming thermometers and exclamation points.

I get it. It's hot out. The only thing I want to do is lounge by a blue swimming pool, flipping through magazines while sipping cans of Coke nestled in a Koozie. Obviously a new bag, suit and coverup are in order. Obviously.

Here's what's in my new Old Navy ripstop buckle bag (in chocolate, above): Aveeno sunscreen, SPF 30; Harper's Bazaar, Lucky, Domino and the Sephora summer magalog; Nestle Pure Life water in raspeberry splash; oversized sunglasses; cell phone, flip flops and towel.

I'm loving this adorable brown polka dot halter tankini, also from Old Navy. The structured cups and floppy straps that tie around your neck are so Marilyn Monroe-esque. Bombshells will appreciate the practical benefits of a little extra support in the bust and the ability to untie the straps for maximum line-free tanning.

I'm also loving this adorable blue floral hoodie coverup from Lane Bryant. Not only is it 36" long, fast-drying poyester but the pop of color compliments my pool bag.
Product Details:
Old Navy ripstop buckle back, $16.50; polka dot halter tankini, on sale for $39.99, available online.
Lane Bryant floral coverup, on sale for $27.65, online.
Photos courtesy of Old Navy and Lane Bryant.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Summer Bra Solutions

Visible bra straps are everywhere this summer, and one can't help but wonder if the women sporting them simply don't know any better or if they are under the mistaken impression that this misuse of undergarment is acceptable.

I don't mind saying it: Visible bra straps are vulgar and decidedly un-Bombshell. The whole point of undergarments is to support what's under one's clothes. Your overall look should draw appreciative stares; not your bra brazenly peeking out from under a tank top. To ensure you're not a neighborhood offender, assess your summer shirt collection and add bra styles as needed.

  • Racerback - the racerback bra fits perfectly beneath a racerback style tank. The straps are closer together and fuse with the base of the bra at your upper back.

  • Halter- a halter top calls for a bra with straps that wrap around your neck.

  • Strapless - when in doubt, go with a strapless bra. It will fit underneath both racerback tanks and halter tops, as well as spaghetti straps and strapless tops.

My bra of choice throughout the summertime is the Cacique convertible bra (shown above), available at Lane Bryant. The band is wide enough to support my bust and is coated with an extremely durable layer of rubber to keep my charms nice and high. In addition, the cups are molded and seamless in order to lay flat under t-shirt material. And for those tops that plunge in the back? This bra includes an invisi-band that can be switched out with the regular colored closure.

Of course there are a few naughty occasions when catching the slightest glimpse of a beautiful lacey bra is acceptable - shopping at the grocery store just isn't one of them!

Product Details:
Cacique's BRA6 convertible plunge bra, $42, can be worn six ways. Available at Lane Bryant, in stores and online.
Photo courtesy of

Summer Sale

Stock up on tanks, tees and other summer basics at Lane Bryant during their Everything Summer Sale.

While you're there check out some of their new arrivals, like this very cute scroll print tie kimono top. The print will draw all eyes toward you, Bombshell, so pair it with understated jewelry and pants in either white or black. Think about tying a solid-colored scarf in your hair for that on my way somewhere fabulous look.

Product Details:
Lane Bryant's scroll print tie kimono top, $36.50, available in stores and online.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Beauty Blitz

Today's Blitz is focusing on products that will get a girl through summer. In fact, I dug into my own personal beauty routine and came up with a handful of goodies to share.

Your concept of beauty should shift along with the temperatures; what is perfect for your face in January will melt right off your skin in June! Summer beauty is light and fresh; hair can be a little undone, makeup should subtly highlight your features. Touchable skin is the ultimate accessory.

I achieve a soft and glowy look by using Bobbi Brown Tinted Lip Balm in Citrus (above) on my lips, and Benefit's Sheer Cream Blusher in Hush on my cheeks. The color of both products is light, though buildable if you need a little extra kick. I really like pulling out apricot colors in the summertime because they look so fantastic with a tan (real or faux)! I line my eyes with Sephora Glitter Eye Pencil in Choco Electro for a very subtle glint of metallic chocolate shimmer. A little mascara on the lashes and my face is ready!

My hair takes a little more time. Usually, I happily succumb to the curly mass my hair becomes from June-August. But a girl can't wear her hair the same way, day in and out! When I need to straighten my hair, I rely on the one-two punch of Pantene Pro-V Restoratives Frizz Control Conditioner and John Frieda Straight Answer Straightening Spray.

The conditioner is a delicious blue color and smells slightly fruity. It locks in natural moisture while fighting off unwanted humidity. John Frieda's spray goes onto wet hair and makes every strand silky as can be. Combined with a little power from the blow dryer and my hair is tossably smooth and straight.

Product Details:
Bobbi Brown tinted lip balm, $17, available in stores and online.

Benefit Sheer cream blusher, $18, available in stores and online.

Sephora glitter eye pencil, $6, available in stores and online.

Pantene Pro-V Restoratives Frizz Control conditioner, $4.50, John Frieda Straight Answer Straightening Spray, $4.99, available in local drugstores.

Friday, June 8, 2007

BITTEN for Bombshells

Sarah Jessica Parker's debut line of clothing, BITTEN, is now available at Steve and Barry's stores across the nation. And guess what, ladies? She didn't forget about us. Her clothes are available up to size 22. How fabulous is that? To the best of this Bombshell's knowledge, she's the first of the celebrities out there to be so inclusive in a signature clothing lines.

If you've somehow missed all the buzz and media attention paid to SJP and BITTEN here's the rundown: The most fashionable woman in America feels that well made, stylish clothes should be universally available at low prices. And she's talking actual low prices, not Hollywood's idea of low prices. Her line ranges from t-shirts and button-downs to three-piece suits, and also includes accessories. So go out and get BITTEN, then report back here to dish on what you bought.

To take a look at the BITTEN line and to find a store near you, click here:

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Bombshell Find

We can thank Spiegel for designing the perfect Bombshell tank top. They call it the Signature Ponte' Knit Collectino: Scoopneck Tank. I call it simply divine. Created with a polyester/rayon knit with a little spandex for added comfort, the true heros of this design are the darts and princess seaming. So often, tank tops that are cut in our sizes are utterly shapeless. Spiegel's genius version is all about highlighting the best of our shapes. I especially love the scoop neck, which will show off as much or as little decolletage as you wish.

Available in black, white and desert (shown), the scoopneck tank is on sale for $27 (regularly $34). Stock up on all three because they'll go the distance, all year round, for your wardrobe.

Product Details:
Available at

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Fabulous Find

I know the term "Must Have" has become so overused as to almost become devoid of meaning, but trust me when I say that I don't use the words lightly. This jacket from Liz Claiborne's Elisabeth line is absolutely amazing.

It's a crepe swing jacket, made of silk and cotton shot through with subtle metallic thread. The drape is extremely modern (in that 1960's retro kind of way) and extremely flattering to a curvy figure. The oval neckline shows enough skin to really draw all of the focus right where it should be - on your pretty face. The coat swings away from the body, which is a fantastic feature for warm weather outtings - sometimes you need a jacket to toss on over a tank and jeans or a strapless dress, but don't want to add another layer of fabric to cling to your body. There's no clinging here.

This jacket will wear well into the fall and winter, too. Throw it on over a turtleneck or a thin sweater. It's elegantly sweet. Or is it sweetly elegant? It's both! And for $199, it's a worthy splurge, considering the mileage you can expect from this jacket.

Product Details:
Elisabeth metallic crepe swing jacket, $199, available at

Photo courtesy of

Building a Bombshell Wardrobe- LBD

Ahhh, the fabled Little Black Dress (LBD for short). The one article of clothing that's almost become a cliché if not for one saving grace: everything said about a woman in her LBD is true. She’s put together in an instant. No need to go crazy matching purse and shoes, jewelry and lipstick – black is complimented by any color. An LBD is the go-anywhere, do-anything garment that every woman should have hanging in her closet, just waiting for that occasion when nothing else will do.

One of my favorite sources for the most flattering, most curvaceous, most Bombshell LBD is an online boutique called Kiyonna. Kiyonna’s design team really understands how to make a woman look and feel like a woman. The fabrics are soft and drapy, the styles walk a fine line between vintage throw-back (think Bombshell icons Marilyn Monroe and Co.) and modern interpretation.

If you haven’t found your perfect Little Black Dress, make it your mission to do so. No Bombshell wants to be caught with nothing to wear! Or does she...?

Product Details:
Kiyonna 3/4-Sleeved Scalloped Boudoir Lace Dress, $168, available at

Photo courtesy of

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Beauty Moment- Makeup Primer

After a really tough day at work recently, I sought comfort and refuge at my local Sephora. After wandering aimlessly from display to display, dazzled by the bright lights and colorful packaging but too down and out to engage, a makeup artist from Benefit reeled me into her chair and worked some magic on my tired-looking face.

I consider myself to be a true makeup maven, skilled in the application and understanding of products. So, I sat back and relaxed, not expecting to learn anything new. Until I caught sight of my Benefit friend opening a metal tub of clear wax, dabbing it with a sponge and approaching me with it.

“What is that?” I asked, dodging her sponge-wielding hand.

“It’s Dr. Feelgood, a primer that goes on before your makeup, to make your skin silky and smooth. The makeup goes on flawlessly over primer, and it contains chamomile which will help soothe the redness in your cheeks.”

Huh. Call me stunned. Especially since Dr. Feelgood felt extremely good and did all the miraculous things she promised. I’m now hooked and am wondering how I made it to the age of 27 before hearing about primer. Am I the last Bombshell on the block to learn about this product? Do you have a different primer that you love? Share it in the comments.

Product Details:

Benefit's Dr. Feelgood, $26, available at your local Benefit counter or online at

Monday, June 4, 2007

What to Wear- Street Fair

June is the perfect month to get outside and enjoy picking your way through a throng of people, stopping at booth after booth to sample gyros or pancetta wrapped melon, checking out local arts and crafts, sipping cold beer from a plastic cup. A cultural street fair, or other fair-type of event, calls for a casual outfit that can go the distance (up and down the street) while ensuring maximum comfort and cuteness.

I love this dress from Avenue. It's easy to throw on and, while the model is shown dressing it up with heels, I prefer to pair it with flip flops or espadrilles, no jewelry. We're going for simple - there's nothing pretentious about a street fair! You've got to be prepared for a fellow reveler to spill a soda down the front of you or to sit on a grassy knoll while a local dance troupe performs.

The peasant dress is made of cotton and features ruching right at the bustline. Best of all, it comes in red or black - dark colors that will mask the sins of all kinds of fun! Get out there and do this dress proud.

Product Details:
Avenue's Peasant Dress, on sale $29.99, style number 4620847A, available at
Photo courtesy of Avenue.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Bombshell Tip

Want instant cropped jeans, without hitting up Lane Bryant or a department store and shelling out $49.50 for a pair? Me too! Pocket the money and simply roll up a pair of jeans already in your closet. Bootcut jeans work best; they're roomy enough to create big cuffs but won't fall down like a wider cut.

While wearing them, fold your jeans up, stopping about 5 inches below the knee. Make sure the fold is straight all the way around your leg. Now, fold them again to create a wide cuff. So cute! The fact that it's sort of apparent you've cuffed your own jeans ups the fun quotient- it feels so spontaneous and spunky. Plus, if a warm summer day fades into a cool evening, just unroll and you're completely covered.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Beauty Moment- A moisturizing sunscreen

Blah, blah, blah everyone knows that sunscreen is a must each and every day. I admit, though, that I have been confused as to how best to wear it on my face - is the SPF protection in my makeup enough? How about if I combine it with an SPF in my moisturizer? Am I covered?
The jury is still out on that one; I've heard conflicting information one way or another. Luckily, my sister-in-law introduced me to Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock Lotion for Face SPF 30.
No doubt about it, this is a sunscreen first and foremost. But it's the first sunscreen I've come across that truly does go on and feel like a bonafide moisturizer. I use it in place of my usual moisturizer and it leaves my skin feeling silky smooth and hydrated. Serves as a great base for the rest of my makeup. And at $9.99 a tube, I can slather it on at will. Love it!
Product Details:
Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock Lotion for Face SPF 30, $9.99 at Target, Wal-Greens and other drugstores.
Bombshells don't believe in beauty myths. We know that "gorgeous" doesn't end at size 12; gorgeous is whatever size you are. We also know that personal style can't be bought off a mannequin, and that beauty routines are not one size fits all. You're not going to purchase beauty at a counter in Macy's; your own personal beauty will evolve over time until you find those clothes, those products that work for you. What works for you might not work for your best friend, and it might not be the newest, most exciting product lining a store's counters.

I spent last weekend with my family at our lake house. One bathroom shared amongst a handful of adults and kids, including my mom, sister-in-law and myself. In close quarters such as these, it's impossible to resist the urge to peek into one another's makeup bags. I dabbed on some of the eye cream in my sister-in-law's stash; my mom watched me go through my nightly cleansing ritual. She was amused at the cleanser, exfoliant, toner and moisturizer that I applied religiously throughout the weekend.

"All it takes to wash your face is soap, water and a little bit of Dramatically Different moisturizer," she said. "You don't need all that."

My mom has flawless skin, firm and smooth - all of which screams of retinoids and exfoliation, fancy cream and serum. Right? Nope.

I paused, mid stroke to think about my own ritual. Was it necessary? Do I really need all those steps? Probably not. But I love the way my cleanser smells, the way it swishes across my face, building up lather. And my mom loves the quick, easy application of her routine.
Maybe mom's skin care routine would work for me, maybe mine would work for her. But what fun is in that?

Today, try a new shade of lipstick, a new moisturizer or concealer. Or, dig out the same product you've been loving for years and apply it with new appreciation. Enjoy the time it takes you to get ready to face the world, whether it's 5 minutes or 25 minutes. Enjoy living within your own beauty.