Saturday, September 21, 2013

Top 10 Tips on How to Shop Smart Online

Tip #1: Google an item before buying. Sometimes the deal isn't as good as it seems. Often the merchandise on offer is from a past season, so it could be found cheaper elsewhere.  A quick run through a search engine can also turn up helpful reviews and additional photos and angles.

Tip #2: Filter by size, color or stye. In other words, don't waste time browsing items that are available only in sizes 0 and 16 if you're a 6.

Tip #3: Start from the bottom up. Since most people scroll from the top down, there will be fewer people fighting for the items down below.

Tip # 4: Add to cart (even if you're unsure). If you snooze, you'll lose that DVF blazer. Put an item in your basket, then do the pondering. You usually have 15 minutes to make a final decision. (Word of caution: On some sites, the item isn't yours until you've checked out-it can be snatched away by another customer.) Even after purchasing, you may not be locked in. Many sites have an hour-long grace period for you to change you mind.

Tip #5: Use the wait list. The retailer will sometimes go back to the manufacturer and ask for more merchandise. 

Tip # 6: Return policy 101. Check if the item is marked "final sale" and nonreturnable. And even if your purchase is not final sale, find out if you'll be able to get your money back or be stuck with a merchandise credit. Also, keep in mind that if return shipping isn't free, you could be out $20 for round trip shipping. If you buy something that's final sale and end up not wanting it, contact the retail site anyway. The company may take it back to keep you happy, especially if it's for a reason that involved the retailer, like misleading color or description.

Tip # 7: Let others do the work for you. If you have your eye on a pricey sweater but it's not in the budget, sign up for This site alerts you when the brand, style, size and color that you like goes on sale. If you want to cast a wider net say, "black booties under $100,"  check out, which serves up a customized list of what you're looking for that's currently marked down.

Tip # 8: Stop wasting time on bunk coupon codes. Many coupon sites don't remove old discounts from the mix, so the web is littered with expired offers. verifies all codes on a daily basis, so you'll know that what you find there is legit.

Tip #9: Play hard to get. Put an item in your basket... then leave the site. You may get a follow-up email offering a discount or free shipping.

Tip #10: Change your web browser. Sites that recognize you may quote you a higher price based on your spending history or zip code (seriously). You can sometimes get around this by clearing your cookies or opening a new browser.

Remember: Factor in shipping. High shipping costs can spoil what seems to be a bargain. Typically, shipping runs about $10 but it could be more.

Sunday, January 1, 2012



To ward off new spots while dealing with existing ones, use a body wash that has the pore-unclogging ingredient salicylic acid. Let the cleanser sit on your skin for a few minutes before rinsing to reap all the anti-acne benefits. Postshower, apply the same spot-treatment you use on your face (it should contain 2 percent salicylic acid, or sulfur).


Ingrown hairs are a pain, but don't pick at them; just massage the area with cotton ball soaked in a glycolic or salicylic acid face cleanser. This sloughs off the skin's top layer and opens the follicle so the trapped hair can pass through.


Get this: Some budget ingredients can give you the same results as pricier potions. Add a handful of granulated sugar into a store-bought scrub to make it grittier. Or spike your body cream with a bit of honey to make it even more moisturizing. Another homespun tip: Squeeze half a lemon into the bath--the juice has natural acids that will brighten your skin.


The prime time to lube up: immediately following a shower. Any longer than three to five minutes after you step out and the moisture will evaporate from your skin before your cream can seal it in.


How you apply your body lotion is almost as important when. Slowly move your hands in circles toward the heart. It boosts blood flow for an allover flush.

Saturday, December 31, 2011



Mouse gives you volume that lasts all day long--and the more you use, the bouncier it gets. Before you blow-dry, you should apply it liberally to damp hair from the roots to the ends.


1. Partially dry. Flip your head upside down, and blow-dry your hair on medium heat until it's 80 percent dry.

2. Use rollers. Wrap two-inch sections around a round brush, drying each section on high heat. Once each section dries completely, wrap it tightly around Velcro roller.

3. Shake it out. Let your hair cool in the rollers for 15 minutes. Then unroll each roller and gently run your fingers through your hair to get perfectly tousled waves.


An hour glass brush. The cool shape prevents hair from sliding off the brush while you blow-dry. Look for one with a ceramic barrel, which holds on to the heat from the dryer to give you even softer waves.

A professional hair-dryer. Find one that's "ionic" (to dry hair faster) and that has more than 1,800 watts of power (to eliminate frizz). If it comes with a nozzle attachment, use it! The concentrated blast of heat will smooth the cuticle of your hair, which adds tons of shine. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

How to Choose the Best Foundation for your Skin Tone


Applying an undetectable base is the first step in  achieving a gorgeous face. Here's help for picking your perfect hue.

If you're shopping at a department store...

Swipe three possible matches on your lower cheek or jawline (the shade should closely match your neck as well as your face). Take a mirror and head toward a window or go outside so you can see the hues in natural light. The one that fades into your skin without much blending is the winner.

If you're shopping at a drugstore...

The trick is to first determine if you are pale, medium, or dark. Once you know your skin tone, use the bottle shade name as a guideline. Pale skin tends to have some redness, so it's best to stay away from pink-toned foundation shades. Look for a hue labeled beige or buff to neutralize ruddiness. Girls in the middle of a skin-tone spectrum have light beige, olive, or tan complexions with warm undertones. Asian skin also falls into this category since it has a lot of yellow in it. Stick with shades labeled warm, medium, or golden. Dark skin can range from as light as cafe au lait to as deep as ebony. To prevent a grayish cast, go for colours like tan, sable, or chestnut. Also, dark-skinned women often have oily skin, which can cause their base to oxidize and appear darker when it mixes with oil, so try a foundation that is slightly lighter than your complexion. 


Clean fingers can provide the sheerest, most natural effect since the warmth of your hands help "melt" the base onto your skin. It's best to use your fingers with liquid and cream foundation formulas.

Sponges provide more coverage and are good for blending cream-to-powder or thicker liquid foundations. Tap, don't rub, the base into your face with the sponge for an even finish.

A foundation brush gives a heavier, more velvety finish because you're literally painting on a liquid or cream base. This is ideal if you're going for a very polished look. 


A single concealer won't cut it on every area of your face. You need one with yellow or even green undertones for tackling the redness in a zit, plus a pink-tinged shade to counteract the blue in under-eye circles.


When you need minimal help:

A liquid foundation or tinted moisturizer. They are sheer, blend easily, and will even out your skin tone. Look for versions that have light-reflecting pigments if you want to boost glow.

When you have some obvious red spots:

A cream to powder formula. It'll give you medium coverage and a noncakey finish.

When you won't be able to touch up your makeup all day:

A transfer-proof base-- it forms a light, flexible film that ensures the pigment won't fade for hours. Quick tip: Let your moisturizer absorb before applying your base, then blot your face with a tissue to remove any excess.

When your face is breaking out or you're more oily:

An oil-free foundation that contains the zit-fighting ingredient salicylic acid (it will say so on the package) won't clog pores or slide off your face. 


Foundation. It will be the base for everything. It evens out skin tone, so you can really see where, or if, you need concealer. 


Mix your foundation with an equal part face lotion to create a tinted moisturizer. 

Blend foundation over your eyelids to hide any red blood vessels. It'll also serve as a base for your shadow. 

Use the foundation that pools and thickens in the bottle cap as a concealer in a pinch.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


There are certain phrases that guys just can't resist. Bust out the following lines in early days of dating.

  • "That's hilarious!" When a dude is trying to impress you, he'll crack jokes to ease the tension and show off his personality. Telling him that you dig his sense of humour will help him relax, and it means even more to him than simply hearing you laugh (though he wants that too), because it reassures him that your chuckle is genuine. 
  • "Let's eat Italian tonight." Men crave a chick who expresses her opinions. So when he asks what you want to do, don't respond with "I don't know." Instead, suggest something you're in the mood for. Worried he won't be into it? Present a few options, and have him choose his favourite.
  • "You really get me." When you feel like a guy is connecting with you, tell him. Men often don't pick up on the subtle signals you send and wind up stressing about whether you like them. Vocalizing that he understands you boosts his confidence and lets him know you're bonding. 


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Makeup- How To Tell When It's Expired

We all have our beauty staples that we can't live without- some we use often, some we wear on occasion. Unfortunately, a lot of women are unaware of the fact that makeup DOES expire! Here is your beauty expiration guide:

Foundation: Specifically liquid foundations (powder foundations do not collect bacteria). These should be replaced after 6-12 months of use. Most are water based, some are oil based- making them bacteria magnets! Using a bacteria- infected foundation can cause breakouts and inflammation. I suggest using a foundation with a pump or a squeeze tube and storing it away from heat and bathrooms.

Concealer: They should last about a year. When the colors start to turn, that's when you know it's time to toss it. Continuing use can result in breakouts.

Face Powders and Blush: These babies can last up to two years before needing to replace them! The reason being is that powders contain a tiny amount of, if any, water so there is less of a chance of bacteria growth. Another indication of expiration is when your powders are too hard to pick up on the brush.

Mascara and Eyeliner: Mascara is the fastest product to expire; it should be replaced every 3-4 months. Every time you coat your lashes, dip the brush back in the tube, and coat again you are contaminating the tube with bacteria. Bacteria will grow in the closed off environment and will put you at risk for an eye infection! Eyeliner also has a shelf life of 3-4 months due to application around the mucous membrane. Pencils tend to last longer than liquids if you remember to keep sharpening them!

Eye Shadows: They have a surprisingly short shelf life, again due to application around the mucous membrane- about 5-6 months.

Lipstick and Gloss: Another shocker- they last up to about a year! They contain no water so they do not collect as much bacteria as expected. Since lip products are repeatedly exposed to the mouth area, toss them after about a year (especially if you've been sick).

Tools: Most tools will last YEARS if you take proper care of them. I recommend deep cleaning them every two weeks. When brushes aren't cleaned, they breed tones of bacteria and can cause breakouts. Spray alcohol on tweezers, lash curlers, or any other tools (not brushes!) to kill bacteria every few months.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Safe Sipping!

Yes, alcohol always poses some risks, but experts offer this advice for keeping your intake within reasonable bounds.

Never drink on an empty stomach. Eat before you hit the bar to slow the rate at which the alcohol passes into your bloodstream. 

Water down mixed drinks with ice, and avoid shots--they’re almost impossible to nurse.

Try alternating water, soda or juice with alcoholic drinks to slow yourself down (leave the vodka out of the seabreeze next round).

If you plan to have more than one, nurse each 12-ounce beer, 5 ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor in a cocktail for an hour.

For lowest risk, try to keep your intake to no more than two drinks in one day and no more than seven over the course of a week.