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Archive for December, 2012

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

FF1This week Cindy of Prime Beauty is hosting Fashion Flash.  Prime Beauty  is  my go-to site for the best close-up and personal view of the latest beauty products.  Recently she   pushed me out of  my  same lipstick everyday rut, profiled the best of the after Christmas beauty sales and posted  an Aveeno guide  to radiant party skin. 

Cindy is also committed to trying out new  anti-aging  tools and products and I am so excited that she will soon be doing a guest post on No-Nonsense Beauty Blog. I am literally running out of skin parts  and Cindy will share  her own skin care experiences.

In my  beauty resolutions mode, I picked up a copy of Beauty Confidential by uber blogger Nadine of Jolie in NYC.  Nadine was  a fast rising beauty editor who had worked  at Instyle, Lucky and Ladies Home Journal.  Annonymously, Nadine  also wrote    her hugely popular blog  that dispensed  beauty advice and celebrity and publishing gossip with equal  enthusiasm.   She was about  to start as  beauty editor at Seventeen, when   her  blogger status became public.  In less than a day, the job at Seventeen was  revoked.  Jolie in NYC   has continued to be  an always entertaining souce of beauty and style news and advice.  

Beauty Confidential  is crammed with dozens of  quick, easy beauty tips that  really deliver.   INADINE tried out tried out her blow dry technique for   tousled curls on a  beauty buddy  that  looked like the work of a top tier salon.  Her trick?  Leave the ends of the  curling iron off the curling rod  so they remain straight to support the mass of  curls.   According to Nadine, bronze is a universal eyeshadow for  all eye colors.   It warms up the  eyes much the way a bronzer warms up the face. 

Nadine also has sensitive skin and she devotes an entire chapter to dealing with redness.   I loved her list of seven basic rules for  sensitive skin  that includes  choosing products with as few ingredients as posible and avoiding those  with botanicals including rosemary and mint.  She includes a lists of products  that will work  for people with rosacea, eczema and psoriasis that  add to my own list of sensitive skin care tools.   This year I made  up a few beauty  baskets for   close friends and I included copies of Beauty Confidential.   Its  earned  a permanent spot on my beauty bookshelf.

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handweightsIn  the chaos of the holidays,   just about the most  important  Fashion Flash post  seemed to  disappear into the net.  Calorie packed  holiday foods and  more alcohol than you see all year can  seem to add pounds and inches overnight.  Shawna of Female Fat Loss Over Forty has got you covered.  Even if you are traveling or just out of your regular routinue, this exercise guru  has the answers.

I clicked through a story on the high calorie  holiday foods and it was as though they were describing  the content of my  fridge.  My Christmas Day dinner was a roast goose, filledGOOSE with dried cherry and pecan stuffing with a pumpkin cheesecake for dessert.     A four ounce serving of goose  clocks in at 340 calories, 18 grams of fat and  137 mg of cholesterol. Scary.  I decided that next year  I will  stick with turkey  that is not only delicious it was the protein of choice  for Yale  obesity unit.

After sampling  just about everything  on too many buffet tables, this is the time of the year  when  people make that classic New Year’s Resolution to lose  weight.  Turns out its the most popular  resolution– and the one that few of  us keep.  For 2013 and I want to make resolutions where  there is actually a chance I will follow though.  Do you make  New Year’s Resolutions?   Which ones have you been able to keep?

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Its Fashion Flash Monday!

FF1I’m hosting  Fashion Flash this week and many of our bloggers are in a holiday mood:

* The Glam Gals of Fabulous After 40   discuss what type of jacket do you wear with holiday  cocktail dress when you’re over 40. 

* Staness of Menopause Makeover  offers a yummy holiday cocktail.  Coffee lovers will love the addition of Kahula.  Frangelico  adds a lovely  hazelnut note.

* Kari over at Fab Over 40 shows us how to wear  Emerald Green, the ultimat holiday color which is also the Pantone Color of the Year.

* Mirabai at Moving Free with Mirabai  offers a Mini Tme-Saver Workout that perfect  for a New Year’s resolution  to commit to fitness.

* Jodell of Black Cat Plus addresses the need to oversome plus size prejudice

* While  the Congress and the White House face off on America’s fiscal cliff, fix your fashion cliff with these tips from Jackie Silver  from Aging Backwards

* Cindy over at Prime Beauty shows us some of her favorite unique gifts for over 40 women.

* Geri at Fab Over Fifty  tells you how NOT  to  break your New Year’s workout resolution . 

I love New York during  holiday time and nothing is more iconic for  the season than the tree50  Rock and the lights at Rockefeller Center.  On many streets,  leafless trees are bound with  lights that sparkle in the night.  The entire Cartier building is wrapped in a giant red ribbon and bow while  store windows are packed with  little vignettes like turn of the century skaters or surrealistic visions like Lady Gaga.  In recent years, the Salvation army bellringers now rock  out Christmas favorites.  The army of little girls that  troop to see the Nutcracker ballet at Lincoln Center put the ladies of Fashion Week to shame.     In France, the nighttime street fairs offer hot mulled cidar to warm up cold shoppers while in London I never tire of  the way Harrods is lit up like a giant ornament.   What are  your favorite holiday  sites?  Any  photos to share?

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Q&A2Question:  My Mom  reads your blog and  has been talking about getting Botox  or the “lunchtime laser.”  I want to get  her a treatment for Christmas but don’t know which one to choose.  I can afford  only one  and I want  her to see the biggest results.

Answer:  What a great question and you’re a great daughter! Both  Botox and  Intense Pulsed Light  laser  ( also known as the lunchtime laser) will make a major  difference in her appearance.  The choice depends on the condition of her skin.  If she has spent many  happy hours in the sun, its likely that she has lots of freckles and dark patches.  An Intense Pulsed Light treatment  will literally vaporize this aging pigmentation and leave her skin younger and refreshed.  The results are permanent but brown spots will return if she goes out without sun protection.  If she was not a beach bunny and  her skin  has   lines along the cheeks, forehead and  and around the eyes, Botox will erase them– for about 3-4 months.   Because lasers leave the skin extra sensitive for a few days,  you can also give her a stocking  filled with a gentle cleanser ( eg Cetaphil), sunscreen ( Neutrogena for Sensitive Skin)  and soothing water spray ( eg Dermalogica UltraCalming Spray).

The Right Tool  at the Right Time

Which anti-aging tool to use  and when to use it  was the fundamental question   behind the No-Nonsense Beauty Blog.   Initially, I planned to start with  Retin A  to reve up the circulation and skin growth, add Botox to reduce lines and polish things up by removing  large freckles and age spots with a laser.  But  as it turned out,  lasers work best on darkest spots, so I started the anti-aging journey  by removing them with a   traditional laser and then continuing with  my  plan. 

But in the past  few years since I started, there have been so  many new options  that  my new plan has become  an exploration  of new forms of Retin A, new lasers and new machines that  deal  both singly and in combination with a slew of aging issues.  At a recent dermatology  conference at Mount Sinai, the experts  came up with an effective anti-aging game plan  that started with   gentle lasers like Intense Pulsed Light  to brighten and Botox to smooth the skin.

I’d love to hear which treatment you chose.  Happy holidays!

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  DeborahChaseBeforeShapingOctober2012Before  I start on my second and final round of Invisalign devices, Dr Jacquie shaped my teeth. I didn’t  even know that this technique existed.  Most people have  little “saw tooth” edges on the tips of newly emerged permanent teeth.   Over the next few years, the edges gradually smooth off.  Not me.  The ridges that were there when I was in third grade were still there  when my third grandchild arrived.

Using a tiny, fine sanding tool, Dr Jacquie smoothed off the bumps and ridges, Then, not unlike a  sculptor, she worked to refine the actual shape of the teeth.  The teeth of the ideal female smile have gently rounded edges.  By contrast, the teeth of an ideal male smile  have square, straight edges. As it turned out, my front teeth had a decidedly square shape– perfect for a dude.  For a 50 plus women, not so much.  I  had always focused on my overbite and I was totally unaware  how tooth shape was affecting my smile. The 15 minute painless shaping made a striking difference in my smile and a huge boost to my self confidence.  The  ‘before’ photo at the top  clearly show the ridges and masculine angles.  The ‘after’ photo below    reveal a smoother, softer smile.  Very nice.

Next Steps With Invisalign

Tomorrow I get my new set of aligners and I wonder if  I will now need the  buttons and bandsDeborahChaseAfterShapingOctober2012 for increased  impact. As long as I continue to wear the aligners as directed and return for follow-up during the  treatment period, there is no additional charge.  No problem.  I waited so long  to get orthodenture, I am the  poster child for  the good patient. 

Getting braces, albeit  invisable  ones, was a hard decision to make at my age.  Most people  are dealing with SAT’s and  acne when they get orthodenture.  I,  on the other hand now get AARP    and need stronger reading glasses. But  I am so glad I  did follow though.  Maybe I’m reading too much into  it  but I think there is a life lesson here– to make changes and take chances at  any age.   Do you have a life issue  that  you finally changed?  How did you make the decision to take action?

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FF1This week the  Glam Gals of Fabulous After 40 are hosting Fashion Flash.  Check out their new feature  where they post a fashion  challenge and ask readers to send in their own  suggestions.  Awesome!  Its wonderful to  see great photos of real women  wearing real clothes.  This week they are looking at holiday dressing, something that  I have found increasingly challenging as decades go by. When I was a very  young mom, I felt great in  fashion forward looks.  For one New Year’s party I can’t foget a certain purple velvet bell bottom pants and long vest. And  I topped this  look off by a pixie haircut and a long string of beads.  But as time went  by, I turned to black  as a safety net  with a little black dress, black pants suit,   or just black pants and sweater– what the Glam Gals call  ABD– Abundant Black Disorder  This year with their help, I rocked a silver sweater over black pants at a Media Mavens  meet-up in a local bar and if I don’t lose my nerve, I going to wear  a pair of gold print   “party pants” to a  Secret Santa  party.   

And speaking of   black clothing, I little book caught my eye as I was walking through StrandDRESS DIET bookstore.  There are  truck loads  of diet books out there, but  The Little Black Dress Diet captured my imagination.  Written by  UK specialist in complementary medicine, Michael Van Straten,  this little book offers several short term menu plans to  erase  holiday bloat and  weight gain.  What I liked about all  the three little menus was their simplicity.  They recommended real food that was  easy to find and affordable.  Too many diet  plans are soooo complicated .  They have elaborate spread sheets on  exercise, meditation, nutritional supplements,  juice combos and menus that would take up most of my day.    By contrast, The Little Black Dress Diet  has the same practical simplicity of a  LBD.   Breakfast is yogurt and a banana, lunch a bowl of vegetable soup and dinner a plate of chicken, rice and vegetables.  After New Year’s I’m committed to trying  the LBD Detox  plan.

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Q&A2Question:  Is there a moisturizer that doesn’t clog pores?  When my skin gets dry from RetinA or a laser type treatment, I need to  put on a moisturizer to relieve dryness and flaking.  But whatever I try  seems to provoke acne  breakouts.  Any ideas?

Answer:  This is such a common problem and until last week I didn’t have  much of an answer.  Sometimes a moisturizer that was both oil and fragrance free would work, but often that too  could provoke problems.  Then at a recent dermatology conference in New York,  laser care expert Dr Mark Nestor of Miami recommended a  water based spray to provide moisture.  In addition to water, the spray should contain glycerin and  natural  moisturizing factors  such as hyaluronic acid. Plain water sprays would actually increase dryness but  the glycerin and hyaluronic acid would help the skin hold onto the water that had been sprayed on the  irritated face.

I found three such products and they all delivered as promised:

Thermal Spring Water Soothing Serum ( Avene,  $34, for 1oz)-  Don’t confuse this product with the  Eau Thermale  from Avene which is  just plain water– albeit apparently  very healthy water.   The Soothing Serum includes  both glycerin and dimethicone which provides  long lasting moisture holding  properties.  No hyaluronic acid, but it still hydrates the skin beautifully.

Ultracalming Mist ( Dermalogica, $32 for 6oz)- I really love product although it does not contain hyaluronic acid.  The  soothing ingredients like oat kernal extract and the water  holding glycerin really  provide hydration without  clogging the pores. 

Hyaluronic Hydrating Mist ( Derma e, $13 for 2 oz)– So far this is the only mist that I have found with all the ingredients recommended by Dr Nestor.   It also  has antioxidant rich green tea and two   super soothers– allantoin and aloe vera.

There are two other types of  water sprays that are less effective.  Some like those from Evian  have just plain water which can actually dry out the skin further.  Others  have oils  and waxes that put  it back in the category of a traditional moisturizer.   You need to read  the labels  carefully to spot unwanted  ingredients like oils and alcohol.

You can use the spray before bedtime or in the morning.  However during the day you will also need to use  a sunscreen to protect against aging UV rays. If  you find sunscreens, even oil free formulas   provoke acne breakouts,  brush on a SPF fortified powder such as Brush On BlockSPF 30 from Susan Posnick.

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