FIT PHOTAGE

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This fall I worked my tail off in a program called Fit Photage. The brainchild of trainer Michele Sodon, Fit Photage is a focused plan that “promotes the production and preservation of lean muscle mass and the reduction of adipose tissue”. TRANSLATION, 12 weeks with a serious commitment to strength training and a super clean diet with an emphasis on protein and you’ll loose the jiggle, the muffin, the double-buckle, and look fit and strong!

So what’s the difference between Fit Photage and all the other fitness programs filling up your inbox this resolution week?  The photage part! Trust me when I say you work a little harder knowing your results will be documented! I was a little nervous, but shouldn’t have been, photographer Dustin Sheffield was amazing to work with, the photo shoot was fun and we laughed a lot.

Michele provides the exercise and nutrition plans including menus and recipes. You can train with her like I did, or get all of the info and participate remotely – she has Fit Photage clients all over.

My two cents: I loved the work outs, Michele has changed my mind-set from one of working out just to fit in my skinny jeans, to one of working out to feel strong, inside and out. Also, I adore hot power vinyasa (yoga) and was able to keep that in the mix during my 12 week program. I’d give myself an A+ on following the exercise guidelines and a C on the nutrition – I’m a pretty clean eater but I can stand to clean it up a little more!

Here are a couple “before” pictures (nice face), you can see I’m pretty skinny but soft, and are those love handles???

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And the “afters”, big thanks to Mika Yoga Wear for the awesome outfit in the first 3! (I’m wearing the Lynn top, $43 and the Mikaela short, $36).

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My photo shoot was in late November, afterwards I decided to ease up, not be so strict and let life happen for a little while. Well, what happened for me were Thanksgiving pies, Christmas cookies and cocktails – you know the drill. So, the new year brings new focus and I’m back at it! I’ll post photos again!

Happy Exercising!

10,000 VIEWS

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When I first started my blog (a whole 38 days ago), I hired the genius behind one of my very favorite daily reads for a 90 minute consultation on all things blog.  Victoria McGinley of Vmac&Cheese was kind enough to share her time, thoughts, experience and wisdom with me.  She was insightful and helpful, but also straight up honest, which I totally appreciate.  I look up to her, which is a little funny because she’s, ahem, much younger. 

One of the things that Victoria told me, and that I fixated on because I love a good goal, was that you’re not really legit (I’m paraphrasing here) until you have at least 10,000 page views.  I have checked my site stats every day since then, yes I’m that obsessive, and today friends, I reached 10,059 page views!

So, many, many thanks to all of you who have read, followed or even just once put your eyeballs on this blog – I appreciate it.  I’m thrilled to be legit and thrilled that this happened on a Friday afternoon, because luckily, I had some champagne chilling – just in case.

Cheers!

STATE OF BLISS

So this is something fun for a Friday, I have a treat for you:

A few years ago on a trip to NYC, my sweet hub treated me to an afternoon at the Bliss Spa.  Heaven.  It was a head to toe experience.  My pores have never been cleaner.  I was waxed, polished, rubbed down and wrapped up (they literally burrito’ed me up in all this yummy skin stuff and let it soak in to my skin).  Anyway, being the product junkie that I am, I immediately became a devotee of their catalog and website, Blissworld.com.  Excitingly enough, the good people at Bliss have allowed me to offer you, my loyal readers, a fun give-away!

Today through April 30th, 7014luxe.com readers can enjoy a free jam packed canvas tote with your blissworld.com purchase of $75 or more! Use code GLAMBAG at checkout. 

This is not some lame free gift, check it out, these are some goodies and the tote is cute and totally usable.

Here’s what I’d order, just sayin’…

Prevage Anti-aging Daily Serum, my every day, can’t live without, holy grail of moisturizers.

As I mentioned in the hair blog – these vitamins make my hair grow crazy fast, strong and long, I’m obsessed. Phytophanere Dietary Supplement for Hair and Nails.

I’m not generally a foundation girl, but occasionally, for an evening out or when I need a little boost, this is my go-to: Chantecaille Future Skin – This is like the un-foundation foundation, it’s good for your skin, it’s oil-free, stacked with seaweed and other botanicals, and this light-reflecting magic stuff that makes you look flawless.  I put it on with a brush for a really light natural look.

Supergoop! spf 30+ endless summer pump 18oz. This is brilliant.  This is Costco-sized good stuff with none of the bad stuff like parabens, fragrances, petrochemicals or oxybenzone.  I’m putting one in our bathroom and one in the kid’s.  Did I mention that it has a pump?  Love.

A Clarisonic, a Clarisonic, a Clarisonic.  As life changing as it is exfoliating, I’ve washed my face with this brush for 6 years.  Don’t be grossed out, I buy replacement brush heads all the time.

Happy shopping!

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HOW’S YOUR FACIAL FITNESS?

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A couple of weeks ago I modeled for the web launch of a new product called Face Fitnez.  The premise is simple, if we can tone the muscles in our body through exercise, why not the muscles in our face?  I’m a bit of a skeptic, so for me, the jury is still out, but it got me thinking.  There could be something to this – and it’s a lot less invasive then some of the alternatives out there.

The concept isn’t revolutionary, TIME Magazine ran a cool photo essay on Facial Yoga and proclaimed “Skip the Botox, try Facial Yoga”.  The yoga lion pose, for example, stretches the jaw muscles and engages muscles around the eyes as well as the platysma muscle of the throat. To perform it, open your mouth wide while turning your eyes toward the middle of your forehead, exhale powerfully and reach out with your tongue.  Hmmm.

I did a little research, and learned that there are approximately 30 muscles in your face. They are responsible for tasks such as closing your eyes and lips, chewing, speaking, kissing and expressing emotions.  Wikipedia says that they generally originate on bone, and insert on the skin of the face.

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The general response from the medical world suggests that although the concept of exercising facial muscles in order to achieve a youthful look is compelling, there is no credible evidence to suggest efficacy.  We exercise our facial muscles thousands of times a day, yet the aging process still marches on.

So… I thought I’d share the scoop and let you be the judge.  Don’t laugh, I’ve got some sweet moves.

Here’s their pitch:

As you age, you face and neck muscles weaken and sag. Soon, tired, drained and old replaces toned firm and young. Just as a body builder can develop and sculpt specific muscles on their body, face and neck muscles can be firmed, lifted and sculpted…. effectively erasing years off your face.

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It’s not just for the ladies either, men too can tone their faces just like they pump up their pecs.  This male model, his name is Dan, is a jujitsu master, this is not for sissies:

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Face Fitnez claims that with regular, consistent exercise you can:

  • Get rid of frown lines, worry wrinkles and crows feet
  • Dramatically diminish under eye circles, puffy hooded eyes and crepey skin
  • You can re-define your jawline banishing jowls, double chin, and deep creases that form from your nose to the sides of your mouth
  • You can firm and tone your neck, getting rid of turkey waddle, and neck banding.
  • Your skin will rejuvenate and have a healthy, natural glow
  • ….all these benefits can be had in 15-20 minutes a day!

Sounds good, right?

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Once they’re up and running, Face Fitnez will offer downloadable Basic Training E-DVD’s, one on one coaching lessons via Skype and live workshops.

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If you’re in Colorado and interested in attending an introductory workshop (the first one is this Friday), follow this link Facefitnez Workshop, or contact Grace Mosgeller, licensed esthetician, massage therapist, spa owner and creator of FaceFitnez at contact@espriskin.com

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OUR FAVORITE THINGS

On my recent reunion with far flung friends from college days, we thought it would be fun to steal a page from Oprah’s playbook and gift each other with one of our “Favorite Things”.  Since there were nine of us, and none of us are Oprah, we set a $20 limit and each brought a gift for the other eight girls.  Here’s a peak at some of the gorgeous loot:

This stuff ROCKS:  It’s Josie Maran and it’s legendary.  It’s a lightweight oil rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids. It can be used as a moisturizer, or to heal and condition everything from cuticles to split ends. Plus it is 100% organic!

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get it at josiemarancosmetics.com $14.00

Yummy-licious philosophy lip shine:  it’s high gloss, high flavor and very emollient:

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click for similar, $10

Cutest scarf ever – it’s lightweight and gauzy for Spring & Summer and comes in so many colors every girl got their own :

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Pompom stripe infinity scarf, find it at Nordstrom, $18

Haute Gel Polish (from a girl after my own heart – salon quality gel nails at home!!) – a ton of fun colors:

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get it at beautybar.com $17.00

Hanky Pankies in new Spring & Summer colors, we went for apple zing, orange crush and tulip pink:

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$18.00 at hankypanky.com

Um, enough said…

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Chocolove.com

How cute is this little bowl, it’s a hefty ceramic – not plastic, it’s microwave and dishwasher safe and it STEAMS!

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This was sort of a Sorority reunion after all, so who doesn’t love a little Pi Beta Phi lip gloss?!?  These pucker up glosses are ridiculously cute, memory inspiring and oh my gosh the colors!

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Get some for your sisters at amazon.com, $10.00 for 3

So practical, especially with Summer coming, and DARLING, it works at the beach, the farmer’s market, you name it!  This is the Rock, Flower, Paper Jute Tote – so many cute color combos:

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go to rockflowerpaper.com for where to buy

This one is a DIY & I think its a MUST DO:

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With a little help from a graphic artist, my super creative friend made one of these for each of us.  These are the PLACES where our college memories were made!  Bars, restaurants, campus hang outs, the school stadium and even the address of our Sorority house.  She nailed it.  Mine’s getting matted and framed ASAP.

The fabulous gifters:

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on me, orange home plate dress, The Blue Door Boutique, $44.00

THE SKIN WE’RE IN

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This is me, age eight, the same age my daughter is now.  Look at all those cute little freckles.  Somewhere along the line, they stopped being cute freckles and became “brown spots”, “sun damage” and “hyper pigmentation”.  They’re bigger now and decidedly not cute.  I’ve used hydroquinone, lasers, chemical peels and most recently, a Dermaroller treatment to get rid of them.

I’ll share pictures of the Dermaroller process here, be forewarned its a little graphic.  The things we put ourselves through for beauty can be mind-numbing.  You can read more about the Dermaroller here, its also known as “Micro Needling” or “Collagen Induction Therapy”, it is effectively used to treat wrinkles or fine lines, hyperpgimentation, sagging skin and scars.  It can also be used preventatively, (i.e. start your treatments now and you won’t get as many fine lines and wrinkles down the road).  It all looked good on paper, I was all for it – I aspire to age gracefully, but intend to be  proactive in the process.

Before they can “micro needle” your face, they have to numb you up with a topical cream:

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Then, the rolling starts, a derma roller is rolled over your skin like a paint roller and produces thousands of micro-needle punches in your skin.  these “injuries” trigger the body to fill these micro wounds by producing more collagen and elastin, and by stimulating skin cell regeneration.

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See what I mean?  Pretty graphic!

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Immediately after treatment, your skin is “calmed” with a soothing mask:

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Though Dermaroller’s promotional materials promise “no social downtime”, 24 hours later I still looked like a burn victim and my skin felt tight and hot.

Cost may vary depending upon where you live, but are usually in the neighborhood of $600-$900.  Good nutrition, lots of vitamin C and protein are recommended for recovery.  Topically, I used:

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Epionce Enriched Firming Mask, Rhonda Allison Hyaluronic Serum, Rhonda Allison Growth Factor Serum and Visual Changes Collagen-C Young Skin Complex.  All are really soothing and great for healing post-procedure skin.

My reovery was a little rough, check this out.  I had the treatment done on a Sunday, his was how I looked on Monday:

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And this was Tuesday, still OUCH:

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And Wednesday,

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Umm, so not pretty.  I found that the treatment removed a lot of hyperpigmentation and damage and revealed smoother baby soft skin, but also brought a lot of things to the surface (blemishes and what not) that may have been hiding deep underneath.  The final result is great, but the recovery is tough – unless you can hide out in your house for a week!

As I write this, eight days post procedure, my skin looks pretty darn flawless, but I can’t say I’d ever do it again. I was uncomfortable and my husband and kids were scared.   As I wrote on Friday, I’m working towards embracing the skin I’m in and coming to terms with being and looking 40 (39 and 1/2).

THE DAILY FACE

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Unless I’m being photographed, or going “out”, I keep my make-up pretty minimal.  Minimal at 39 1/2 is a tad more than minimal was at 20-something.  Back then it was a swipe of lip gloss & a little mascara.

This is my daily ritual now, I mix Elizabeth Arden Prevage advanced anti-aging serum (this is magic stuff, its my mini fountain of youth) with and tinted moisturizer (I like NARS or Laura Mercier) or BB cream (Dr. Brandt flexitone BB cream is a good one – stay tuned for an entire post devoted to reviewing BB creams!) or maybe a little of both.  I mix them up in the palm of my hand and slather them all over my face.  If I know going to be out in the sun I’ll add a dab of my Tizo Facial Mineral Fusion sunscreen to the mix.  It’s always a mix, I almost never use one product alone.

I like to add a smidge of bronzer (I like NARS in Laguna – its a powder, and SOLEIL TAN DE CHANEL – its a liquid).  OR a dab of NARS Illuminator in Orgasm. I might swipe my Laura Mercier eye colour caviar stick in Rosegold over my eyelids and definitely add a quick pop of mascara (I like Bobbi Brown Everything Mascara or MAC False Lashes Extreme Black if I need a little extra oomph).

My simple lips for day right now are Christian Dior Addict Lipstick in Vintage, NARS satin lip pencil in Rikugien, Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie in Free Spirit, YSL Volupte Sheer Candy Balm and Bonne Bell Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker – a consistent staple since the mid 80’s.

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