Category Archives: health and beauty

WIT :: of freaking out, fitness and faking it


So those of you who know me well know that I don’t believe in scales.

I gauge my “fitness/wellness” level by how my clothes fit me. My fave pencil skirt a bit snug around the waist? Time to haul out ye ol’ treadmill. Those boyfriend jeans fitting more like skinnies? It’s portion control time and no more midnight snackies as I try to finish yet another YA novel.

But last weekend really did a number on me. Literally and figuratively. You see, the hubs had asked for the newest Fitbit gadget for Father’s Day and since he hardly ever asks for anything at all, I was only too happy to oblige. In return, he gave me his old Fitbit One and eagerly downloaded the app on my phone and signed me up for my own account.

Unfortunately, in order to do the sign-up, he needed my height and weight. I dragged out his scale – the one in his bathroom that I’ve studiously pretended didn’t exist – and hopped on. To my utter horror, I found myself twenty pounds heavier than what I thought I weighed.


I didn’t care that it was the “girl time”. I ignored Aly’s assertion that the scale was wrong because when she got on it, it read ten pounds heavier than what the doctor’s office had told her she was. TWENTY POUNDS, people. There’s no denying that. I was shattered.

This was worse than the time I came home from Yale last summer and couldn’t pull my skinnies over my hips. This was a legit, quantifiable number, right in front of me in digital accusation. No amount of perfunctory treadmill walking or half-hearted attempts at “eating healthy” was gonna cut it. And since I can’t do that college thing and put myself on the water/cigarettes diet anymore, I had to face the facts: I was actually gonna have to work for it this time.

So I’m gonna wrestle this beast and win, people. And to do so, I’m gonna use the very thing that slapped me in the face in the first place. This Fitbit One is gonna bust my balls and help me lose the TWENTY POUNDS. This, I swear! I’m already planning ways to get my 10,000 steps in. Because apparently my usual 30 minutes of fast walking on the treadmill only affords me a measly 1950 steps.

I’ll keep you posted as I create my very own personal fitness plan and I promise not to whinge or self-flagellate often. In the meantime, I’m gonna use every style skill I’ve accrued in the course of my fashion journey and I’m gonna fake it till I make it. Guess this means good-bye skinnies and hello skater skirts, eh?


HGB :: Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Toner

tonerBefore KS#1 got a hold of me and taught me the ways, before I started blogging and had to care about grooming as well as clothing, BFF introduced me to the amazing Beauty Bible by Paula Begoun. The blurb on Amazon explains the premise of the book quite handily so I’ll skip the description and share instead my personal takeaway from having read it: a clearer understanding of what to put and what not to put on my face to preserve my skin as best as I can without resorting to surgery.

At the time, I was primarily concerned with cleansing and moisturizing and protecting. I was nearing forty and beginning to notice The Signs. (Previous to this, I was washing my face in the shower with whatever my body wash du jour, moisturizing with perfumed hand lotions and leaving the house bare-faced with no thought to sunscreen or antioxidants. Hell, I didn’t even know what an antioxidant was!)

My parameters were very specific, however. Yes, I wanted the best product for my skin (dry to very dry and prone to eczema) but I also didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg for very little. I also didn’t want to have to plan a special trip to the mall to procure the goods; I needed them easily accessible, preferably online.

And at the risk of sounding like a sucker or a secret promoter (which I’m not), I ended up choosing Paula’s own facial beauty products, specifically items from the Skin Recovery line. I’ve been using them now for over four years and I can safely say that they are totally HGB.

Today, I want to highlight the toner, which is Step 1 of my regimen. I don’t actually use Paula’s cleanser (I’ve talked about my choice of that here) so if you choose to invest, this will probably be your Step 2. Anyhow, I absolutely adore this toner because it’s odorless, refreshing and non-drying. You know that skin-tightening feeling you got using those astringent high school staples? Well, you get none of that with Paula’s Skin Recovery Toner. Also, not only does it make your face feel extra special clean and supple after application, it also feels as if it firms up my face as well.¬† It really is a miracle in a bottle.

Speaking of bottles, a little goes a long way. I can keep an entire 6oz. going for a good 4-5 months, and that’s using it everyday and applying liberally into an absorbent cotton swab. And when I run out, it’s just a matter of reordering online direct from Paula’s website.

At $18 a bottle, it’s already a steal, but if you wait for the frequent sales and free shipping offers, it really becomes a deal you can’t afford to pass up. I usually stock up on several bottles when these come rolling around.

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HGB :: Garnier Surf Hair Texture Paste

garnierSometimes, a girl’s just gotta get dirty.

Dirty hair, that is.

You know what I’m talking about, right, ladies? It’s not a matter of lack of hygiene. It’s when you actually managed to style your hair perfectly that day and it stayed and you throw on a shower cap when you get in the shower to protect the perfection so you get to take advantage of it for at least one more day.

Or when you know the style you’re attempting won’t work if your hair is clean and shiny, when a little bit of natural oil is a must to create the perfect bun.

Oh, is that just me? Eheh.

Well, if you must know, I’m a night shower person. And sure, sometimes I skip the ‘poo because of the above reasons. But then there’ll be the time when I did wash my hair the night before but I’ll wake up and realize I needed just a little bit of dirt and stiffness to complete my planned ‘do for the day. What’s a gal to do?

Garnier Surf Hair Texture Paste to the rescue!

This stuff is golden, my friends. And a little goes a long way. When they say dime-sized, they mean dime-sized. I put a dollop in my hands, rub to activate, then just scrunch it into my hair et voil√†! Instant styleable, manageable dirty hair. That doesn’t look stiff. Or feel stiff. And it smells fantastic. What else could you ask for?


HGB :: L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Powder


Back when I was a makeup neophyte, I used this and only this as my face product and I ended up wondering time and again why I never looked like the cosmetic counter girls.

Okay, not that I aspire to look like cosmetic counter girls (their makeup looks extremely time-consuming and complex for the likes of me) but I did wish my face retained a modicum of their polish and professionalism. Back then, I truly thought a dusting of this stuff should and would give me my desired effect.

How naive I was!

I now know that L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Powder is actually the final step to a multi-step layering process, not the whole shebang. Once I figured that out, this powder became my best friend. After foundation and blush and mascara and lipstick, I take my handy-dandy Kabuki brush, swirl it on the compact and proceed to lightly dust my entire face, blending a bit more on the cheeks to make my blush look natural.

And I swear to you, my friends, that my makeup stays put.

All. Damn. Day.

Other reasons this little treasure has made my HGB list:

  1. super accessibility – As long as there’s a drugstore in the area, I know I will never be left wanting.
  2. vast color choices – This was actually a con rather than a pro since decisions are daunting for me. But once I cut my choices in half by determining that I’m a “cool” as opposed to “warm”, it was actually pretty simple to find my “true match”. (I’m a C2 – natural ivory, btw.)
  3. lovely price tag – $8 for a product that lasts me at least 3 months, if not more? Pshaw! That’s a no-brainer.

So really, you have no more excuses. Honestly! What are you waiting for? As if you needed a reason to go to Target…

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