In the Mirror

Date Night

By Charlotte on February 8, 2011 1:46 PM

Why not set the stage for romance this Valentine's Day? Whether you're planning a cozy dinner at home or a big night on the town, you could just steel the scene with a little help from these date-night-perfect beauty boosters.

Boob Tube-100.jpgBetter Boobs

Bye, bye turtleneck ... hello plunging neckline. With Mama Mio's Boob Tube Bust & Neck Firmer in a supporting role, you can take years off your neck and chest. This crinkle-fighting formula includes CoQ10 to help defy gravity plus Omega 3, 6 and 9 to keep your neck and décolleté looking firm and plump. Milk Thistle, Evening Primrose Oil and Sweet Almond Oil maintain moisture, keeping your skin smooth and healthy.


Mama Mio recommends application every day, morning and night. The anti-oxidant rich cream works quickly but you'll really notice a difference in the skin on your neck, chest and boobs after using it for about 30 days.  


This bust friend comes with helpful instructions for performing a self-breast exam. Plus, for the next three years, Mama Mio is donating $1 for each Boob Tube Bust & Neck Firmer sold worldwide to Look Good...Feel Better, the caring charity that helps women cope with hair loss and other visible side effects of cancer treatment. Speaking as someone who's been there, this group's a real blessing to anyone facing chemotherapy.


On the Shelf: $45 (100 ml/3.4 fluid ounces) at mamamio.com



Color-rific Mani/Pedi

Turn up the heat with a knock-out nail color. I like A Beautiful Life's non-toxic nail lacquers because they're both beautiful and skin friendly. These sure-hits contain none of the nasty chemicals often found in other polishes (no DBP, Toluene or Formaldehyde). Instead, they're based on essential oils and natural compounds derived from soy. Plus, they're formulated to last and last.  


roxannehires-100.jpgThe stunning collection includes Valentine's-right shades like:

·         Frosh - a pretty, light pink-raspberry frost

·         Roxanne - a simply gorgeous, shiny deep pink

·         80's Pink - the hottest fucshia ever

·         Big Red - a classic bold red with blue undertones

·         Poison - a deep, crimson red


Not sure of your mood? You can go from delicate, sweet Frosh to sassy, sexy Poison with one swipe of A Beautiful Life's Soy Polish Remover. Like the nail colors, this gentle but effective formula is non-toxic and has a mild, grapefruit scent. 


Nail expert SSkyy Hadley 2 Approved Headshot-120.jpgkyy Hadley

Whatever your choice, nail expert Skyy Hadley, owner of As "U" Wish Nail Spa in Hoboken, NJ, suggests prepping your hands and feet with this ultra-moisturizing, do-it-yourself treatment. Gather:


1 cup oatmeal (not-instant)

½ cup milk



Combine the oatmeal and milk in a saucepan and heat on the stove, stirring, until cooked. Add sugar to thicken; then let the mixture cool a bit. Apply the cooled paste to your hands and feet, leaving it on for 5-10 minutes. The oatmeal softens and soothes while the milk exfoliates, helping get rid of dry, dead skin cells. Afterwards, moisturize with pure Shea butter or a product containing Shea butter.


On the Shelf: A Beautiful Life Polishes - $12 (12.6 ml); Polish Remover - $20 (4 ounces) at Urban Outfitters and abeautifullife.com, where you can enter the discount code FREEZE to save 10% off any order.



Close-Up-Ready Complexion

Preparing for all that Valentine's Day togetherness can be a challenge when Nurture Me 2-200.jpgyou're skin is dry, sensitive and prone to redness or rosacea (not to mention older) like mine. That's when you need a gentle moisturizer like Ole Henriksen's Nurture Me.


This soothing cream relies on Dimethicone, a smart synthetic ingredient, to hydrate skin and help lock in moisture. It also includes rich natural botanical extracts (Evening Primrose Oil, Wheat Germ Oil and Chamomile Extract) and nourishing vitamins to help smooth, calm and soften skin. In addition to improving overall skin health, using this light, paraben-free treatment twice daily on your face and neck can help repair and regenerate cells.


On the Shelf: $40 (1.7 ounces) at Sephora and Olehenriksen.com


Wow Brows

If your brows are doing a disappearing act, you're not alone. As the March 2011 issue of ShopSmart Magazine points out, our brows get lighter and thinner with time (thank goodness it's not just me).


That means a little brow know-how can give your whole face a lift. To renew aging brows, ShopSmart advises filling sparse areas with a brow pencil a shade lighter than your hair, using quick, feathery strokes. Then, finish the look with a brow gel to keep hairs from straying.


My picks:Eyebrow Pencil 2-200.jpg

·         Sante Naturkosmetik Eye Brow Pencil - Made with all-natural ingredients, this two-in-one tool includes soft blonde or brown color (nothing harsh here) on one end and a helpful brush tip on the other. Sante, a top-selling European brand, Brow Gel-100.jpgmade its stateside debut last fall.

On the Shelf: $10 at Santeamerica.com


·         Piret and Tamara Brow Gel - This long-wearing, lightweight gel glides on clear, smoothing hairs and setting them in place with its unique brush. It's another winner from makeup artists Piret Aava and Tamara Palumbo, the talented duo who created Eye Silk (a creamy, waterproof shadow that's become a favorite at The Brief).

On the Shelf: $25 at Piretandtamara.com



Look-at-Me Lashes

Lush, full eyelashes are a must for a star-quality Valentine's Day look. And "Smoke and Mirrors Beauty" lashes offer a great way to get them. Trust me. I'm a "falsies" pro. After losing my own lashes to chemotherapy last year (talk about depressing), I wore false eyelashes everyday for about five months. Too bad I didn't have "Smoke and Mirrors" then.


Miamilash-200.jpgThese edgy, new eyelashes by make-up artist Stephen Moleski, the man behind the killer lashes of celebs like Kim Kardashian and Carrie Underwood, come in seven lash-lengthening styles. I prefer Miami and Nashville because they give you a thick, natural look.



"Smoke and Mirrors" Miami lashes



Donning one of these dramatic duos is simpler than you'd think. All you need are some small scissors (to trim the lashes to fit the width of your eye), eyelash adhesive and a toothpick ... the perfect tool for applying just the right touch of adhesive. They go on easy thanks to "Smoke and Mirrors" clear, flexible band. Made of 100 percent human hair, these quick beauty fixers are so light you'll soon forget you have them on.


On the Shelf: $13.50/set at Smokeandmirrorsbeauty.com, where a portion of each sale benefits Heather's Hope, a non-profit that supports charities around the world who help children affected by cancer and HIV.Bitten-50.jpg


Hot Lips

You gotta go red. No color's more of a show stopper. Besides capturing his heart, a luscious red can rev up your look for Valentine's Day and beyond since red's right on-trend this spring.


Worried about putting your lips in the spotlight at our age? Try one of these boomer-licious hues to get gorgeous without fear of feathering. These hydrating glosses leave lips feeling moist; never sticky or dry.


·         Piret and Tamara Lip Slip in Bitten - A flirty, candy apple red wash of color and high shine. On the Shelf: $25 at Piretandtamara.com


·         Sante Naturkosmetik Lip Duo Contour & Gloss No. 03 - A sultry, orangey red twosome lip Duo-250.jpgwith lip liner on one end and shiny gloss on the other. This 100% natural option smoothes lips with organic sesame oil. On the Shelf: $12 at Santeamerica.comtrilogy lip glos-150.jpg


·         Three Custom Colors Killer Heat Gloss - A delicious, sheer crimson with a delicate champagne shimmer inspired by best-selling author Brenda Novak's Killer Heat novel. On the Shelf: $21.50 at Threecustom.com



Fabulous Feet

There's nothing like a pair of heels to take your Valentine's Day to an all-time higsexysoles-158.jpgh. And with Sexy Soles from Foot Petals you can carry off even scene-stealing stilettos in comfort. Perfect for boots and other closed-toe shoes, these cushiony, full-length insoles have a unique virtual arch support and an invisible edge that conforms to both your shoe and foot. (Ahhh!) You just trim them to fit, slide them in and go.


What's more, Sexy Soles are made with an open cell, breathable material that lets air escape so your soles stay sweat-free. Less sweat means more stability - especially when strolling in sky-high boots.


On the Shelf: $18.95/set at Footpetals.com

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Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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