Nailed it !


Skincare of a beauty female feet
This week we tackle the nails. This may be old news for some of you I know. But for others maybe not. So here we go.  I am not a huge fan of going for manicures. After you have worked in a hospital you get a bit touchy about germs and cross-contamination etc. So only for special occasions do I venture out of my isolation booth and get a manicure or pedicure. Another reason I like doing them myself if that I save a lot of money that can then be put toward other fun beauty products I find more rewarding and beneficial.
SO that said. Here are a few of my tips for doing your own mani/pedis. I often get asked “how does your manicure last so long?” I do think it’s all in the prep. Of course, it is not going to have the staying power of a shellac/gel manicure but that’s ok for me. I find those types of manicures very damaging for my thin nails, taking months for them to recover.
Step 1:

Make sure your palette is clean, smooth and prepared. Using your regular nail clippers, files, and buffing pads all help to get the nail ready. You all know this drill. What I like to do to prior to a mani, is the night before I soak my nails in olive oil or use my homemade cuticle/nail balm. This really moisturizes my nails and cuticles and then it allows the polish to go on better. You can use coconut oil on your cuticles/nails too which really helps to soften them. A great nail oil is Solar oil.

cuticle oil
Step 2:

Base coat— The best base coat I have found is China Glaze- Strong Adhesion Base coat. One coat of this gives your nails a slight “tooth” so that the polish can adhere better and really helps your manicure to last.

Step 3:

Good quality polish. Yes there are differences in polishes. Brands like OPI, Essie, China Glaze are great quality. But there are some drugstore brands like Loreal that make a nice polish. Always use two coats and make sure to get those edges so that you don’t get chips.
Step 4:

Top coat: The absolute best top coat I have found is “Seche Vite”. This gives you the look of a gel manicure and will make your manicure last. This polish tends to shrink when dry, so get as close to the edges of your nails as you can. This top coat also is great if you do nail art and will smooth out any waviness in the polish from your art design, stickers etc.
Step 5: Wear gloves for washing dishes. The best thing you can do to keep your manicure lasting longer is avoid soaking hands in water and keep oils away from the edges. Oil causes polish to lift.

Rough Heels?
Some of you may already use this or have had it used on you at a salon but this is really the best way to get rid of the dreaded “Hoof” heel. I have used all the cool hand held motorized callous buffing tools. And the sandpaper hand held callous file/removers. But by far the microplane cheese grater works the best. You can purchase these anywhere there are kitchen tools. It will last forever (the other foot devices all require replacement heads etc.) Be careful, these can be sharp. I find that using it on dry skin works the best. Use it to get off the hard callous and then use your sandpaper foot file to smooth it out to a fine finish. YOU will be shocked at how much stuff comes off. Be sure not to go too deep or you will have sensitive feet for a while. Moisturize when done and you will have the prettiest Pilates feet in class.

Maintenance: Want to keep things looking nice longer? Pop on another layer of top coat 2 days after your manicure. Also make sure to keep cuticles moisturized and skin soft. Keep the oils to the perimeter of the nails to avoid oil seeping under polish.
Enjoy these tips and let me know how they work for you.

Make-up Problem Solvers

So continuing on with our Pilates Beauties- Series Week 3. I think its time for my secret tips to help with common problems that all of us girls struggle with.
After being a glam-life girl for a while now, I have found several items that help to solve problems that we all experience. Does your foundation breakdown during the day, eye shadow crease, do you have large pores, dark under eye circle or get goopy globs in the corners of your mouth with lip gloss? Many of these problems can be solved by using the right prep and the right products. Sometimes though it is just trial and error until you find the right product for your skin type. Here are a few of my holy grail items that I have to have to keep my glam going all day- EVEN while doing Pilates. Don’t judge- I do like to look pretty while working out.
1. Face Primer– First things first. Just like your walls you must prime your face. Face primers go on after you moisturize. They help to keep your foundation IN PLACE all day, without breaking down. Apply your moisturizer let set and then you can apply your primer. Usually you should let that set too for a couple minutes. I have tested MANY of these primers to help deal with my oily T- zone problem. There are sooooo many to choose from when you go into the store- oil control, brightening, color correcting (for redness). You may have to test a few. Ask for samples. The ones I have found that work great are the Smash box Photo Finish Foundation Primer
(available at Ulta and Sephora) and the Boots No 7 Photo Fix Wrinkle Filler and Primer (available at Target and Ulta). These both work great to keep make up fresh all day. There are also spray primers. A highly recommended one by make-up artists is Skindinavia Make- up primer spray (available on line). It’s a bit pricier but it works. So if you have a wedding or special event you need to go to and have your face last all day, it’s worth the investment.


2. Eye Primer– SO just like your face you need to prime those lids. Eye shadow primer does a few things- smooths out your lids (if crepey lids are a problem), allows your shadows to go on with full color payoff, and keeps your eyeshadow from creasing all day. My favorites are Urban Decay Primer Potion. I use the anti-aging one or sometimes a tinted one called Eden. Eden hides blue veins if you have those. I also like the Tarte Clean Slate 360 Creaseless 12 hour Smoothing Eye primer. Both can be found at Ulta and Sephora. Since beginning to use these years ago I absolutely cannot live without them. Your eyeshadow will stay, and won’t budge all day. I even got dipped in the ocean while para-sailing in the Caribbean and my shadow was still ON.

3. Bye Bye Under-Eye (by IT Cosmetics) – Do you have dark circles under your eyes, age spots, scars? This stuff is amazing!! You can even hide tattoos with it. You only need a TINY, and I mean TINY bit of this to conceal any redness, blueness, or darkness anywhere on your face. I used it,after having a spot removed on my face, to hide post-surgery redness and it worked like a dream. This product has won many awards by the beauty magazines for how good it works. Use a brush to dab on and then you can either pat in with your finger or beauty blender sponge. Set with a light finishing powder. You can get this at Ulta or my preference QVC. At QVC it will come with the brush which is a huge bonus.

4. BUXOM Lip gloss– I love lip gloss but hate STICKY lip gloss that clumps in the corners of your mouth after talking for a bit. You’ve been there right? I usually will use a lipstick and put a bit of gloss in the center of my lip for a highlight. My favorite gloss, and it happens to be a plumping formula, is by Buxom. These lip-glosses are available at Ulta and Sephora and are great! I talk A LOT in a class and it keeps my lips moisturized and never leaves me feeling dry. You will get a slight tingling sensation when you apply, that’s the plumping happening. Give them a try. I think you’ll like them and there are TONS of colors to choose from. I’ve tried others but always go back to these.


5. Bye Bye Pores— As we age many of us will begin to notice our pores getting larger. This product from IT Cosmetics is a great finishing powder and also causes pores to disappear. It comes in a loose formula and a pressed (to take with you) The best way to apply a finishing powder is with a puff. I know – you’re thinking WHAT? Not a brush? Try it. Use a small bit of powder on a puff and press/roll it into your problem areas. This is available at Ulta and QVC or the IT cosmetics website.


6. Finishing Spray– Okay so you did all this beautiful make-up application. Now what? Your last step. A finishing spray. Much like the primers this last step helps lock in your foundation, powder and blushes for the long run. I have found 2 that work amazing. Urban Decay- All Nighter ( available at Ulta and Sephora) and Skindinavia- Finishing spray ( available on line) I don’t always use these sprays, but if I have a day when I know I do not have time for touch ups or I will be at a special event, I will use them.


7. Rose water spray– An alternative to the finishing spray could be a Rose Water spray. This is not only refreshing but will keep your skin looking dewy. If you’ve over done it with the powder, give yourself a spritz and it will make your powder melt into your skin and look natural again. When traveling, I carry a small bottle of this on the plane with me to mist my face and refresh my makeup. It also smells great and makes you feel like you just cleansed.
You can find Rose water sprays at Whole Foods, Better Health, and on line. Buy smaller containers at the drugstore for your purse and just fill.

rose water

SKINCARE…A Ba-zillion Dollar Industry


You’re Beautiful !

I have to admit it….. I’m a skincare junkie. I have tried hundreds maybe more skincare products and always perk up and pay attention when any new product claims to be the fountain of youth. I will buy the snake oil- yes sir. But over the years of doing a lot of research into the science behind skin care and what really works and what doesn’t I have, for myself, settled on some products that I have truly seen results with. Now just a disclaimer—I am not an esthetician, I am not a dermatologist. I am just an average woman who likes to see results and these products have worked for me, they may or may not work for you. SO don’t hold me responsible if you don’t look 20 by next week. Oh and get some snacks and refreshments this is gonna be a long blog.

Microdermabrasion treatments
MICRODERMABRASION-also known as Microderm, is a cosmetic procedure used to remove the top layer of sun-damaged and dead skin cells and leaving behind a healthier, younger looking skin. This is an exfoliating treatment (that can be done at a spa or home) of the outer-most layer of your skin. What does it do?
1. Rejuvenates sun damaged skin – The sun can do a number on your skin if you were like me as a child and never wore sunscreen, causing sun spots, wrinkles and enlarge pores.
2. Eases age spots – Microderm is like giving your skin cells a pep talk, stimulating new cells to replace the damaged ones as you watch your age spots — which is actually caused by sun damage that can strike at any age – fade into the sunset.
3. Painless – This is a very comfortable and relaxing treatment. SO needles.
4. Improves the look of fine lines and wrinkles – Regardless of your age, exposing your skin to UV rays is like begging lines and wrinkles to riddle your face regardless of your age. However, microderm can step in and soften those creases and turn back the clock on aging.
5. Works quickly – Also dubbed a lunchtime procedure, microdermabrasion is a fast technique with immediate results – and with little to no downtime to force you to hide your face from your fans or your friends. Watch for Groupons, that’s how I first tried a session. You get a series of 3 to start and then you can schedule monthly visits to continue.
6. Makes other cosmetic procedures work better – Microderm can be combined with other procedures such as chemical peels to rejuvenate your complexion. It also helps makes it a piece of cake for topical products to penetrate through the surface layer.
7. Helps makeup look smoother – By ridding your complexion of dead skin cells and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles, microdermabrasion lets your makeup glide on for a flawless finish.
8. Gives acne treatment the advantage – Microderm opens up clogged pores that lead to acne, helping to get rid of the junk and leaving cleaner, smoother skin behind. It also opens the door for topical anti-acne treatments, making it easier for medication to penetrate the skin.
9. Improves acne scars – Softening the top layer of your skin with microderm can smooth very superficial acne scars by removing the skin’s dead cells on the surface of your skin and improving the smoothness and texture of your mug.
10. Shrinks pores – Enlarged pores aren’t a pretty sight, but luckily this affordable Tinsel Town favorite will tighten enlarged pores and get your complexion paparazzi-ready
11. At home option: I went for salon microderm for about 2 years. It helped significantly with a scar I had after some surgery. Then I decided to test one of the at home microderms. I have had very good success with mine and have received the same salon results with the diamond tips. My unit is no longer available but there are others out there. Get them from somewhere where you can try and return if you are not happy. That’s why I always shop at QVC and HSN for these new products. You have 30 days to try and can send it back no questions asked if you don’t like it.


LED LIGHT THERAPY FOR WRINKLES: Instead of trying to explain this I am giving you the professional link. I have used this for 3 years now with great results. I can TELL when I do not use it. Not only does it help with fine lines and wrinkles but with under eye puffiness. Shop around for a great price. I got mine for $149 but that again was from QVC so I could try and return.


Vitamin C is a very popular ingredient in skin care products because it is a free-radical fighter and helps produce collagen naturally. This is because the serum from vitamin C has a higher concentration of L-ascorbic acid. When starting out with a vitamin C cream, it’s a good idea to gradually increase usage by starting off with the cream that has a lower L-ascorbic acid concentration. You can start with a vitamin c serum that has a 10% concentration, and as your skin gets used to it, you can increase to a serum that has a concentration in the 15-20% range.
What does the serum do?
• Acts as an antioxidant – The process of oxidation damages the skin cells. Vitamin C serums are rich in anti-oxidants that repair and renew the cells and give the skin a healthier look.
• Helps produce collagen – Collagen binds the cells of our body. Vitamin C serum stimulates the synthesis of collagen in the skin which will give you a tighter, firmer and less sagged feel. It is a good first-step solution to treat the onset of wrinkles.
• Restores and regenerates – Vitamin C attacks the free radicals in your body and does some hardcore damage management. If you have any acne scars left from your previous breakout, you’ll find them fading with regular application.
• Protects you from the sun – Getting overexposed to the sun can cause hyperpigmentation and sun spotting. A vitamin C serTHum will counteract any harmful effect of the sun and also decrease the chances of skin cancer by thickening the dermis layer. But it is important to note that a vitamin c serum cannot replace your sunscreen. A sunscreen provides the much needed SPF protection by shielding the outer layer of the skin while the vitamin c serum acts as a sun barrier from within the skin. You should apply the sunscreen as well as the vitamin C serum before going outside for prolonged periods of time.
How to apply it.
After you’ve chosen a vitamin C serum, it is important that you use it right. Correct method of application will definitely increase the effectiveness of the cream.
• Dampen your face with water and start by applying the serum to your face and neck.
• Let it dry for some time and then apply a moisturizer, if possible use one with a sunscreen in it. It is important that you use the serum before moisturizing and not after. This is because the serum is easily absorbed into the skin, while moisturizers work on the surface. If you use the moisturizer first, your skin will not be able to absorb the vitamin c serum.
• Vitamin C serums are oil free preparations that are perfect for balancing oily skin by exfoliating naturally. Because of its exfoliating properties, it is a good idea to follow up a vitamin c serum application with a moisturizer, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Lastly, after purchasing the serum, it’s a good idea to keep it refrigerated. This will keep the serum from oxidizing too quickly, and will give you a better result for the price. I get my favorite one that is a great price from TIMELESS SKINCARE.

I have been using argan oil for years now. The brand I prefer is by JOSIE MARAN. It is available on QVC, Sephora and the Jose Maran website. It really helps to restore moisture and plumpness to dry skin. Again there are so many benefits that you should really read up on it and decide if this is for you. My favorite products are the Pure oil itself and the Josie Maran Argan oil Body Butter. Your skin with be soft, and smooth for HOURS. Even in the winter. Read up on all the uses.

Paulas choice

Retinol or Retin A is the gold standard of wrinkle repair. There is 30 years of science behind it. You want to see wrinkles change you need this. You can get a prescription strength Retin A from your dermatologist or you can use Retinol a weaker strength that can be purchased over the counter and can be found in varying strengths from many beauty brands. I chose Retinol since I have sensitive skin and Retin A was too harsh for me. Both Retin A and Retinol require a careful and committed weaning in process. I use Paula’s Choice brand. This is one of the strongest ones you can find on the market and has a gentler delivery system. That said, I still had to let my skin get used to it over the course of a month- Using one night a week, then twice a week, then 3 times etc. until I did not notice any redness or irritation. If you use too much or get too anxious you WILL see redness and peeling. This can vary from person to person. It is a commitment so be ready. It’s worth it – you will see results. Here’s a video from Paula’s choice on this product and how Retinol works.
Here is the FAQ’s video

So once you use all this great stuff to get rid of the skin damage you MUST protect yourself from further damage. Sunscreen is a must (especially if using Retinol). Cerave skin care lotions are what I use AM and PM. They are affordable and are highly recommended by dermatologists. I use a CC CREAM moisturizer / foundation during the day that is truly amazing. Great coverage and has an SPF 50. Apply with your beauty sponge or brush and set with a light translucent powder. It is by IT COSMETICS and I get it from either QVC (supersize with the brush, a major deal) or from Ulta. Read up on the product info: