Tuesday, July 31, 2012


So as we slide into the last month of the summer-technically the last month, I'm looking at what sad shape has become of my hair. The color has washed out care of the sun and pool. The moisture went bye bye as well and the bounce has definitely lost it's sizzle.  If you can relate and I'm sure you can here are some tips to regain some hair composure.  First, a nice trim always is in order. Oh, what a 1/4 of an inch off can do! Second, beat up some egg and drizzle a bit of honey into the mixture and apply that all over the hair for 10 minutes before shampooing.  Lastly, if you can't make it in for color I love Clairol demi permanent colors at Sally Beauty Supply.  They are mild, non toxic and add great color to fading flocks.  The girls there are very knowledgable and can help figure out the best color for you.  At about $8 you can't beat it. Turn that frizzed, fried summer hair into autumn goodness simply and beautifully.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I recently had a conversation with Kyle Richards from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (no duh.) I actually know her personally and although we initially got off to a rocky start-if you don't know why watch season 1 of the show, I have grown to adore her over the past couple of years. Not only is she funny as hell, she is truly beautiful, right up close and personal!! I wanted to ask her how she does it. She always looks polished in a very organic way-like she rolls out of bed naturally looking so good! She is an amazing mother and wife and is able to juggle her career and family so seamlessly it leaves us all with mouths agape and wondering how she does it. She is the quintessential modern woman! In my behind the scenes interview I found out just how she does it!!

1.  You are incredibly beautiful, what is your daily beauty routine?  Is there one product you swear by and can't live without?

My Mom always taught my sisters and me to take care of our skin and hair. I love the clarisonic brush because it really gets all the make up off. No matter how late I get to bed , I always go through my routine. My husband does not understand or like that it takes 20 minutes just to get my face ready for bed. First the cleaning, then my creams. You do not need to use expensive creams for the face. Just what works for you. My Mom used Nivea and had the best skin ever! I change what I use all the time but always keep my skin moisturized.

2. I know you've been  getting really fit and you look great. What have you been doing to get so svelte?!

My weight has always been my battle. Up and down all my life. If I am thin then I am eating too little and exercising too much. It does not come naturally! I gained a lot of weight during season 2 of RHOBH and after that decided "That's it!" I started spinning again (which I love) and hiking in the hills near my home. I gave up sodas in December and try to avoid carbs and dairy. Emphasis on TRY ;-)

3.I think inner beauty is far more appealing than outer beauty and I feel that is the case with you. People that know you know you have a wicked sense of humor and are really down to earth.  What is your philosophy for maintaining such lightness and positivity?

I truly believe that laughter is the best medicine. My friends know that I will do anything for a laugh. Like doing the splits on a table at a cocktail party! ;-)

 4.I think whats so great about you is that you have such healthy relationships with all your kids and especially with your husband Mauricio.  How have you managed to balance your career and the needs of your family to make all of them feel as special as you obviously do?

When I decided to do RHOBH , my husband and I made a pact. If the show ever started taking away from our family or started creating and negativity between us, I would walk away. My family knows they come first. ALWAYS.

5.Lastly, do you have a favorite ritual that you do to ground yourself and help you to create inner peace?

To me the things that bring me peace are the simple things in life. Being outdoors with my kids, teaching Portia how to plant strawberries , and LITERALLY taking time to stop and smell the roses!

So true Kyle!  The most important moments are always the simplest.  My thanks to Kyle for sharing a part of herself with us.

You can see Kyle on her hit show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills this fall on Bravo.  
Follow her on twitter @kylerichards18


Monday, July 23, 2012


With time to kill at the mall today I stumbled upon this makeup palette that takes the cake at Sephora!  It's by Smashbox and most appropriately called "The Master's Palette."  It was created by Smashbox artists combining  the loads of shadows and glosses in their kits and putting them into a nice, convenient  palette. I know what they were talking about! I spend more time looking for products in my kit then actually putting them on! Here you have all the shadow colors you need-there's 28. There's also 4 brow colors, 8 cream eyeliners, 2 blushes, 3 highlighters and 4 lip colors!! The best thing about it, besides the quality is the price.  Ready for this? 59 dollars. Crazy good. Run, don't walk, over the Sephora and pick yourself up one.  Talk about Simple Beaute!!


Found the cutest picture of Miley Cyrus on http://www.huffingtonpost.com the other day.  What a cutie!  I think she is growing up so beautifully.  She  really invested in her health and well being and it shows!   I have to say, I personally am loving her simple style. Very Californian. Age appropriate and sweet.  Her skin looks vibrant with a nice dewy glow and a nice lip stain to give a punch of color to the pucker.  Must be the Gluten Free Diet she follows!  Love it!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


You know I love to hook y'all up with tips on products that pack more punch for less $$.  I get a lot of questions about liquid eye liner too so I thought I'd tell you about one I like.  Revlon's Liquid Eye Pen.
It is so easy to use.  Smooth, fine lines, easy execution and intense, rich color.
Each pen lasts a long time and for about $9  compared to Shu Uemura's Eye Pen at $35, you can't beat it!
Beauty Tip:  Steady hand holding the pen against cheek for balance and easy placement. Lift eyebrow with other hand to create tautness of eyelid for easy access to lash line.

Friday, July 20, 2012


When do we say "Enough is enough?"  When recently looking at images TheHuffingtonPost.com I came across images on two women who have been in the "Biz" for a long time and who have both had some level of fame. Both based on their looks.  I found the comparison staggering.  Elle Macpherson looks stunning.  I'm not sure if she's had work done.  I'm sure she's had some (who hasn't in that world-lets be real.)  She looks beautiful in a very natural, simple way. There is a confidence about her that is stunning.

Then there's Janice Dickinson. Oh, what to say.  Totally overdone in my opinion.  Too skinny, too hard, too fake. When did we decide that this is beautiful?  Is it something we have put on ourselves or is it something men have put on us?  
There is nothing more beautiful to me than a woman who is confident, happy and full of life.
That is the ultimate in "Simple Beaute."

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Learn how I do red lips just like how I did it for UGG.(Pictured here.)


Here's how to leave it and love it for less!
So lately the trend in lips is "long wearing" lip colors.  I love the idea for a couple of reasons. One, professionally it's great because if I'm on set or doing a bride that I won't see again I don't have to worry about re-applying. And personally,  who doesn't love it when you put your lips on in the morning and when you brush your teeth at night the lips are still there?! Hello?? Gotta love that!!
I have talked about the Just Bitten by Revlon pencils.  But they are definitely worth mentioning again here.  I am kinda addicted to them now.  They work like a pencil in terms of defining and they also are emollient like a balm.  Packed with vitamin E and color that stays all day.

My other new fav is by Maybelline.  Called appropriately Super Stain 10 hour Stain Gloss.  Now I know I have talked about this "same" product by YSL for $40 but I swear for $9 you can get Maybelline's and it is identical.  No joke.  It is a stain and gloss that glides on smooth and again-stays all day!! Amazingly great color choices too!

Loving this trend, so simple and so beautiful!

Monday, July 9, 2012


This week I am very honored again to share another real woman of inspiration.  Her name is Becky Santolamazza and she is an incredibly dynamic, beautiful, down to earth woman!  She has lived a couple of lives in her one life and has gracefully managed to move from one life to another.  What I love the most about Becky is she's salt of the earth good.  She's incredibly friendly, out going and charismatic in a very "real" way that is not often seen. (At least in these parts.)  She's the kind of person that you could call in the middle of the night and she would be there without question.  She's a business owner and a mom to 4 kids and she handles it all with ease.  I am proud to share some of her story with you.

1. Becky, one reason I asked you to participate in my series on "Real Women of Inspiration" is because I saw you jogging down the street one day with your beautiful hair flowing, no makeup and I thought, "She is so gorgeous! Who looks that good exercising?!" So my first question is, how do you stay looking so young (not that your old)? What beauty products do you use? and please don't tell us it's genetics!!

I think that more than “looking” young, I “feel” young. Living an active lifestyle and eating healthy is very important to me. However, I must confess that I love unhealthy snacks and eat dessert after lunch and dinner. Let’s just say I’m working on eating healthy…very hard… because I believe when I feel good on the inside, it radiates to the outside.  

When it comes to my beauty routine, I have a “less is more” approach and like to keep it simple. I wash my face morning and night with a gentle cleanser (I use Purpose soap, a great product my dermatologist recommended years ago and I’ve been using ever since), follow with astringent, and finish with a SPF15-30 moisturizer. On days I wear makeup, I keep it classic & simple with blush, eye shadow & liner, mascara, and chapstick – I’m addicted! Bobbi Brown makes great cosmetic products and I love her natural approach to beauty. Most of my skin care products I purchase from Avon – they have quality products at an unbeatable price, what’s not to love about that! I am very comfortable in my own skin and feel I look and feel my best by staying true to who I am – which is keeping my makeup minimal and taking care of myself.

2. I know you say you run daily and you have set a personal goal for yourself for that. Would you speak about where that comes from and why?

For me, if I set a goal, I try very hard to make it happen…it motivates me. I make my exercise routine a priority because I feel so much better when I do it. I have more energy, am more focused, and overall feel I am a better wife and mother.

The  past few years my goal has been to run 1500 miles a year…2012 I upped it to1600 miles. I plan to add 100 miles to my yearly goal until I reach age 50…only 5 years left…and then I’ll see how I’m doing. I am recognized in my town..at the grocery store, gas station, post office…as “the lady who runs”..I guess it could be worse right? Oh yeah, and then there are those “ab” exercises…I think I’d rather run 10 extra miles a day than do 100 crunches but I am trying desperately to be faithful…they work! 

I also find my running time is a great time to pray. After about 4 miles it gets a little harder to focus but I try to give each of my 4 children a “mile of prayer”…when one of them needs a little more prayer then they get it! 

I spend about 5-7 hours a week in my exercise routine…well worth the time for the benefits you get!

3. Not to get too personal but I know your marriage to your amazing husband Luis is a second marriage, can you speak to your journey blending children from two marriages and the lessons you have learned with that? Also, I can tell you have a very successful marriage with Luis, can you speak about how you make that happen?

I was a single mom until my two older children were teenagers. I so wanted them to have the wonderful, traditional childhood that I had grown up with (dad, mom, family). Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. However, a few years into my “single parent” life, when a  friend  told me her daughter loved coming over to my house because it felt like “home”…I knew I could create that environment  even if it wasn’t the ideal “picture” I had in mind. While I didn’t have a lot of “quantity” time with them, I made sure our time together was “quality” and that kept us very close. With my second “set” of kids, I am creating a “home” with the support of my wonderful husband who is truly an amazing hand’s on dad. My boys say that “dad teaches us stuff” and “mom takes care of us”…which is just fine with me. 

I’ve had several women tell me I’ve inspired them with a second marriage and another “set” of children…my children are ages 24, 23, 7, & 6…yes, I decided to do it all over again when my kids were teenagers! They may find it inspiring…I say I am blessed! 

Marriage is never easy and it takes a lot of work but as long as two people are committed, you can enjoy a long, happy life together. It’s been nine years, not easy, tons of work, but we are committed and I must say genuinely happy!

4. You and Luis have two amazingly adorable kids, (one of which my daughter has a crush on,btw), how do you juggle your family and your very successful handmade card and memory book business, Hugs and Kisses xo?

I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say juggling a family, home, and business is difficult…I am always pulled in a hundred different directions. I keep myself organized by planning ahead. I always make a weekly meal plan and then grocery shop according to that. I love to cook for my family so if I know what I’m making for dinner and have the ingredients on hand, it’s easy to put it out of my mind during the day knowing that when dinner time rolls around, I am ready to go! I’m also a big list person. Sometimes I write things on my list that I already did just so I can cross them off to feel like I’ve accomplished more! 
Prioritizing and keeping things in perspective is a must. If I have to choose between work & family, I try to ask myself what I will remember years from now….going on that bike ride with my boys or making a few more phone calls… it makes my decisions a lot easier!  Don’t get me wrong, you have to work, but time is precious and something you can never get back.

Which is one reason why I started my home based business Hugs and Kisses XO… because I wanted to be home with my growing family. I am a firm believer in loving what you do. I feel very fortunate that my business has allowed me to use my creative talents to generate money to help provide for my family…and all the while I get to be at home with a flexible schedule. I couldn’t do any of it without the help of my husband….he does all the “business” stuff. After 10 years in business, we are proud to sell our baby memory books, gift enclosure cards, and greeting cards wholesale to over 200 specialty boutiques across the US and have recently launched our own online boutique www.hugsandkissesxo.com.  We are looking forward to the next 10 years of growing Hugs and Kisses XO! 

5. What is your daily routine and can you share your philosophy to keep yourself looking so beautiful on the outside but more importantly your grounded and confident self on the inside? Do you meditate, follow any spiritual practice?

I love mornings so my day usually starts around 5:30 with a cup of coffee, reading my Bible and my run. After that, I am ready for whatever is thrown my way! I know…after 45 years of living…that you can’t do it all…so I make sure I get the important things done every day …and whatever isn’t done must not be THAT important – like cleaning my house! 

I think more than being happy I have joy…God has blessed me and I try to remember that every day. I had wonderful parents and grandparents who passed on their unshakeable faith in God to me and I know that with Him, all things are possible. I truly believe that and it keeps me grounded in this crazy, busy world we live in!

6. Finally through your life and the hurdles you have faced is there any one thing or couple of things you can draw on that has been the most positive influence for you?

My family and the core values that have been passed down to me through the generations inspire me every day to be a better person and to leave this world a better place. I am a religious person. I was raised and am a Christian. I read my Bible daily and am in my 3rd year of reading it from cover to cover. It never gets old. Each year something new stands out for me. This year I was reading Proverbs 16 and this verse stood out, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” …so, so true! 

I have so much energy and passion for life I like to say I will live to be 100 because there is so much I want and need to do! 

Truer words were never spoken!! Honoring our families values and traditions. Trusting in God and living each day to it's fullest.  No wonder she's so beautiful.  Both inside and out!!  

Find Becky's adorable products(shown here) on her website www.hugsandkissesxo.com and follow her business on twitter http://twitter.com/#!/_HugsKissesXO

Friday, July 6, 2012


So I recently did a photo shoot for a magazine, Gladys. Named after the editor's inspiring mother, Andrea Forte decided to live out her dreams and create her own magazine.  Thought you might enjoy some of the shots from it. On the "smokey eye" shot on the cover I used the technique I talk about on my 5 minute smokey eye video. Hope you enjoy!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Add a little sparkle to your 4th of July with Nars' Orgasm Collection. They even have a Super Orgasm blush that adds even more sparkle.  Healthy, natural looking color with just a hint of sparkle.  I love them because they add fun simply and beautifully and are just the right amount of color for a hot July night!!
Enjoying a holiday never looked so good.

Beauty tip:  To get proper placement of color on your cheeks look into the mirror and smile. Brush color on the apple of your cheek in a downward motion. The color will fall naturally creating a healthy glow!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


 Today is a simple summer day.  The very best kind.  Playing out in the sun with the kids. Taking a long bike ride and feeling the sweet breeze grace my skin.  And ending up at my favorite Sunday stop, the farmers market where I ran into one of my favorite vendors. The Squid Balm gals!! Love those products. Today I picked up a sweet treat, Honeysuckle Perfume Oil. Awe, the scent of it!! Intoxicating.
These are the days to live for. Simple, pure and beautiful!!