Develop a Healthy Skin Care Routine

I am currently obsessed with taking care of my skin. Probably because I took it for granted all my life and now that I have hit my mid-thirties, I am starting to have break outs and its driving me crazy.
As women, there are so many factors that impact the condition of our skin like age, skin type (dry, oily, combination), skin color (fair, medium or dark) and our uncontrollable hormones!!!
With that said, I am writing this post as a gentle reminder about how through some easy steps we can take care of our skin and achieve that beautiful glowing complexion that all of us strive for.

Skin Care Essentials

1. Its important to have a daily ritual for taking care of your skin.
Day Time
Cleanse: Wash your face with a mild cleanser suited for your skin type. Cleansing helps remove dirt and grime and helps with the skin renewal process.
Tone: Use a toner to tighten the pores
Moisturize: Apply a moisturizer with SPF
Exfoliate/Masks: Frequency depends on your skin type. Helps remove dead skin cells

Night Time
Cleanse: Wash your face with a mild cleanser suited for your skin type
Extra Step: Apply a vitamin C serum. Helps tighten the skin.
Moisturize: Apply a night time moisturizer (without any SPF)

2. Pick a brand that you like and try and pick your cleanser, toner and moisturizer from the same brand. Scrubs, masks and serums can be from a different brand but try and keep the basics should be from the same brand.

3. Get a facial every 4-6 weeks for a deep cleansing of your skin but make sure the esthetician is experienced. Best to do some research by asking your friends and then work with them on a regular basis. 

4. To avoid breakouts, wash your  makeup brushes once a month or so. To wash your makeup brushes, just use a small amount of gentle shampoo and water, and then rub the bristles between your fingers. Do this until the water runs clean. Air dry the brushes.

5. Maintain a healthy diet as that has a huge impact on your skin. Incorporate lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and leafy greens.

6. Drink lots of water. Helps flush out all the toxins from your body.

Some of my Favorite Skin Care Products 


Daily Cleanser: CeraVe Hydrating CleanserDaily 
Light Weight Moisturizer with SPF: Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital Moisturizer with SPF 30Moisturizer: Chantecaille Flower Harmonizing Cream
Exfoliant: Benefit Pineapple Facial Polish
Masque: Kiehl's Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque
Vitamin C Serum: Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum
Pimple Healer: Mario Badescu Drying Lotion


What Lies Beneath.

The secret to a great outfit is shapewear!
I'm a big believer.
No matter how proportionate, thin, or muscular you are,  the right shapewear can enhance your curves, smoothen out the bulges and really make your body look its best in fitted clothing. Truly every woman can benefit from it.
There is a myth out there that shapewear is uncomfortable but the shapewear available today is actually quite comfortable and less constricting. Depending on the areas you wish to target, you can find shapewear in the form of tank tops, briefs, slips and bodysuits.  The most effective shapewear pieces will be true to your own clothing size and have a comfortable fit.

Photo Credit: Spanx

There are lots of options for shapewear but here are the most popular styles. Pick one based on what area you would like to target.

1. Mid-Thigh Waist Shaper 

The most common type of shapewear is the Mid-Thigh Waist Shaper. This type of shapewear fits over your stomach and upper thighs, generally stopping just above the knee. You slip it on like you would a pair of spandex workout shorts. The Mid-Thigh Waist Shaper is designed to conceal both your thighs and waist, giving you an overall slim look. Because it smooths and compresses both your abdominal region and your thighs–problem areas for many women–it’s a very versatile piece. You can wear it under dresses, pants and skirts. If you are looking for a light weight version for the summer, try Skinny Britches by Spanx.

2. Slimming Cami 

If you’re looking to conceal your upper half only, a slimming cami is your best option. Wearing a slimming cami is a great way to conceal your love handles or to give your stomach a flat and firm look. It can also flatten your bustline. For all these reasons it’s a very useful undergarment to have if you frequently wear blouses or form-fitting tops to work.

3. Slimming Briefs 

If your lower abdomen is what you’re trying to conceal, a slimming brief is all you need. You wear it just like you would any basic underwear; the difference is that a slimming brief smooths everything out. Your lower abdomen isn’t the only area concealed–this type of shapewear also compresses your rear. Since slimming briefs are generally seamless, you can wear them under all kinds of garments without having to worry about visible panty lines. They’re great pieces to own if you wish to specifically target the areas covered by your underwear.

4. Body Suit 

For all-over coverage and a piece with maximum function, a body suit is the winner. A combination of the Mid-Thigh Waist Shaper and the slimming cami, a body suit smooths and slims everything underneath your clothing. It’s best worn for special events or short functions since it can be impractical to slip on an off–it’s essentially like wearing a leotard under your clothing. If you’re looking for the right undergarment to wear under a slinky dress, though, a body suit is your best option.

Here are my picks for top shapewear brands


If I were to pick two pieces to own, they would be -
Spanx Skinny Britches Shorts - Light material so can be worn during the warm weather months. You can layer them for extra support.
Spanx Mid Thight Bodysuit - Excellent under dresses, skirts and even pants.

And guess what? Shapewear is supposed to help improve your posture and wearing it regularly can help tighten certain parts of your body so go ahead and give it a try. I'll end with a before and after photo of wearing shapewear!


Essential Jackets & Coats for your Wardrobe.

Women's jackets - trench coats, blazers, denim jacket, leather jacket and any type of
outerwear for that matter - add a flair to any outfit. And for the cooler days, they might be the last finishing touch! A jacket can instantly add edge, trendiness or simply make an outfit look polished. 

Below is a list of jackets and coats that I consider essentials for any woman's wardrobe. Pick styles that flatter your figure best -

  • Boyfriend Blazer 
    Great wardrobe staple. Black or Navy blazer is a safe choice, if you want to be adventurous, go for a white tuxedo jacket. Looks especially great with jeans, dresses and short skirts. I particularly like a style which has cinched sleeves so you can wear some arm candy and has a little shape to it.
Example of the boyfriend blazer worn with a skirt, casual denim ensemble and a more dressy denim ensemble
  • Leather Jacket 
    Everyone should have at least one leather jacket whether it is a cropped motorcycle jacket or a longer, belted style. I love the combination of a cropped leather jacket over a long maxi dress as it balances the feminine style with some edginess. Be different and pick a leather jacket in a colored hue or a flesh tone.

Example of a cropped leather jacket with feminine outfits

Cropped leather jackets in different colors and styles
  • Denim Jacket
    This versatile pieces can be worn with pretty much any casual outfit. It never seems to go out of fashion and comes in so many styles and finishes. My personal favorite is a cropped denim jacket and love to wear it over short and long dresses.
    Example of denim jackets worn with different casual outfits

  • Trench Coat
    A trench coat is never out of style. When you don't know what jacket to wear with an outfit, reach for your trench coat! Whether you are going for a coffee with a friend or a job interview or a late-night drink, a trench just makes sense. Pick one in a neutral color like khaki, olive or tan as it goes with everything or be a fashion risk-taker and pick one in a bold hue of the season.
Example of trench coats in different styles and colors

  • Cardi-Wraps
    I can't have enough of these in my wardrobe! I love the combination of a cardigan and wrap and wear these with my workout clothes, casual outfits and formal outfits. They come in so many colors, textures and materials that you can wear these year round.
    Example of three different ways to wear a cardi-wrap

  • Woolen Coat
    A woolen coat is a wardrobe staple. Pick one that suits your figure and personality the best - either a solid color or with a slight embellishment or fur around the collar and sleeves or with a slight texture or pattern to it. 
    Example of different styles of woolen coats

  • Puffer Jacket
    It's great to have at least one puffer jacket in your wardrobe for the rainy season and the snow. People tend to have a love/hate relationship with this style. They love that they’re uber-warm and super comfy but hate that they can make one look like a sack of potatoes. So my suggestion would be to stick with slimming black styles or belted version
    Example of puffer jackets in different lengths and styles

  • Evening Coat
    Its nice to have an evening coat when you are dressed up as it completes the outfit. Go for a long style in silk or a short style in fur (real or faux). If you are more adventurous then go for a long style in fur (real or faux).
    Example of a fur evening cropped jacket
    Photo Credit: Neiman Marcus
    Example of a silk evening jacket
    Photo Credit: Neiman Marcus


Sunglasses 101.

Just like one can't have too many shoes and handbags, I don't think one can have too many sunglasses! This small yet essential accessory is very telling about your personality and individual style. Plus they serve the very important function of protecting your beautiful eyes.
Since summer is around the corner, I was inspired to write about sunglasses in case you are looking for a new pair.
Your sunglasses should fit your personality, face and budget so here are some tips to help you find your perfect pair!

Personality fit:
Pick a pair that fits your personality best. Here's a quick interpretation on the various styles of sunglasses.

Aviators - sporty, stylish and confident
Wayfarers - clever, unique and carefree
Oversized - chic, glamorous and mysteriousCat eyes - fashion forward, risk-taker and unpredictable
Classic - easy going, friendly, well put-together 
Wraparounds - sporty, active and adventurous
Small and round - artsy and creative

Face Fit:
Your sunglasses should flatter you so its important to find a pair that is complimentary to your face shape.

Face Shape : Round 
Frame: Angular, squares, or rectangles as the  angularity of frame balances the roundness of the face. Wide frames that extend beyond the cheekbones will slim down the round cheeks. Avoid rounded or oval glasses.
Natalie Portman (Round face) in Wayfarers
Face Shape: Oval 
Frame: The face shape can wear pretty much any shape sunglasses. 

Jennifer Lopez (oval face) in oversized, cat eye glasses

Face Shape: Heart 
Frame: Aviators, wraparound frames, cat eye frames. By carrying the frame around the temples will soften the wide forehead and balance the pointy chin. Wide top is the key.

Eva Longoria (heart face) in Aviators
Face Shape: Square
Frame: Soft, rounded edges, delicate, feminine designs soften the contours of the face. Ovals and oversized round glasses are advisable.

Demi Moore (square face) in Oversized glasses with rounded edges
Face Shape: Long 
Frame: Wide frames, decorated rims or detailing on the temples The idea is to make the face appear wide and short. Size is more important than shape for this face type. Avoid small frames as they accentuate the length of your face.

Sarah Jessica Parker (long face) in Wraparound frames

Budget Fit:
Sunglasses come in a wide price range. If you are patient, you can find your perfect pair within your budget (on sale) but if you need to buy a pair right away, then here's a basic price range based on popular brands/designers. 
Below $150:  Ray Ban, DKNY, Juicy Couture
$150-$250: Coach, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Burberry
$250-$350: Gucci, Dior, Fendi, Prada
Above $350: Chanel, Bulgari, Tiffany, Tom Ford, Roberto Cavalli