Archive | October, 2008

Oh-So October…

24 Oct

Reasons Why I Love October:

1.   Digging out the extra blanket on that first chilly night.

2.   Goodbye bright summer fashion shades, hello rich warm hues.

3.   The smell of pumpkin and spice fragranced oils and candles.

4.   Being able to crack a window for a little cool, fresh air.

5.   Warm fresh apple pie.

6.   Watching the leaves turn bright colors that even Crayola couldn’t invent.

7.   No more oily skin from hot, humid days.

8.   Less lawn mowing.

9.   Long sweaters that cover a multitude of sins (and cookies).

10. Baseball playoffs!

11. The warm fuzzy robe and matching slippers.

12. Sorting through your kids’ bag of Halloween candy “for safety reasons”. (I’ve managed to convince my children that Charlston Chews, Baby Ruths, and Kit Kats are the root of all evil.)

  
Reasons Why I Hate October:

  1. Getting out of the shower on a freezing cold morning..

  2. Digging your warmer clothes out of the storage bins that are in the deep depths of your closet, that got covered in endless flip flops and sunny tote bags.

  3. Your rose bushes are no longer green.

  4. Chapped lips.

  5. Endless comfort foods that seem to go straight to your hips.

  6. Trick or treaters that don’t say “thank you”.

  7. Christmas decorations in the department stores BEFORE Halloween.

  8. Raking leaves non-stop.

  9. The hibernation of young, buff, shirtless landscapers. Sigh.

10. Baseball playoffs when your team doesn’t make it.

11. The beginning of cold and flu season, and little kids that feel the need to cough on you in the supermarket.

12. Candy corn (my husband said that).

“Cougars” On The Prowl…

17 Oct

The definition of a cougar from dictionary.com reads as follows:
“A large, tawny cat, Felis concolor, of North and South America: now greatly reduced in number and endangered in some areas.”

 The definition of a cougar from therealcougarwoman.com states:
“She is style, she is grace, she is smart, she is a leader. She has worked hard, learned a lot and excelled at whatever she chose to do. She doesn’t ever have to apologize for being successful – she has earned her stripes.”

 Then there is the definition that everything2.com gives us:
“…a woman over the age of 35 who is single or divorced (the more times, the better) who seeks out younger males for sex. Cougars can be tacky women with big hair and loud mouths or they can be graceful and eloquent. Either way, their attraction to younger men is always apparent in their social habits and body language.”

Hmmm. Let’s work with that last one, shall we?

 Last week, my husband and I decided to go out and have a couple of drinks at a local bar/restaurant that we are fond of. We decided to go out early and get home before the weekend Happy Hour craziness began. After a microbrew beer for him and an appletini for me, a shared plate of killer chicken wings, and some humorous conversation, we headed back out for home. On our way to the car, we passed a couple on their way to the entrance. The guy seemed to be in his late 20’s, decent shape, nicely dressed. The woman looked in her mid 40’s, good body with tight clothes outdated hairstyle and a little too much makeup. After we got in our vehicle, my husband turned to me and said, “Check her out, she’s a cougar just like you.” WTF?

 I do not hide the fact that I’m older than my husband. It’s just a little over five years. When we met, I was 30 and he was just about to turn 25. He acted older, I acted my age, so it all balanced out. Of course when we talk about our school days he gets his kicks by joking that when I was picking up my diploma, he was picking up his Scooby Doo lunchbox. Ha ha, real funny. Fast forward to now with me being in my early 40’s and him being in his mid 30’s. That’s like no big whoop at this stage in our life. Now I act younger, he still acts older. I think I’ve even managed to take care of myself so I can pull off looking younger than him too. I’m not sure if that thrills him completely, but hey… it works for me. I often thought that because I was a mom who looked good and younger than she actually was, I would be thought of more as a “MILF” than a cougar. After being skeeved out when my nephew—eight years younger than me—said one of his friends referred to me as a MILF, I processed it a bit and then took it as a compliment. Especially as I made my way through my 30’s. Then somewhere along the way, this cougar thing came to life. 

I’m sure there were many others, but the most famous cougar portrayed on screen was in the infamous movie, The Graduate. “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?” Oh yes she was, and oh yes she did. The way cougars are portrayed on TV is not flattering, especially when I think the most well-known cougar of my day was Blanche from “The Golden Girls”. When I think of a woman who is a cougar, I get a vision of some lady who looks like my late Aunt Gail, a bleached blonde, 50 year-old alcoholic who, when I was younger, would get frisky on gin and tonics and grab young waiters’ butts when we went out to dinner with her and my parents. Now I know why we didn’t go out with Aunt Gail much. The thought of me reaching the age where I was in the same category as Blanche and Aunt Gail made me a little queasy. Maybe it was the backlash of the wings I had ate, but I doubt it.

 Hollywood’s selection of cougars ranges from tolerable to terrible. Let’s take the well-known gossip source TMZ for example. A few of their featured cougars include: Sophia Loren (age 73); Kim Cattrall (age 52); Demi Moore (age 45); Christy Brinkley (age 54); and Bo Derek (age 51). Most of those names are of stars that I grew up watching—clothed and naked. I remember when Bo Derek came out in the movie “10”. I was young and she was old THEN. Now, according to the cougar fad AND my husband, I’m in the same category as her? Being on the same level as Demi or Teri Hatcher is something I can almost handle. Being on the same level as Sophia Loren or Cher is wrong on so many levels.

 I guess it’s an age thing. Twenty- to thirty-year olds can be MILFS. And a MILF can be married or single. They dress in chic, stylin’ clothes and drive a super-shiny SUV known as “the MILF-mobile”. The cougar is someone older and single, with their ages generally beginning around the mid- to late forties. They drive cars like a Lexus and dress in slinky outfits. From what I’m reading, she also seems to be really horny too. Maybe she is looking for someone with energy and stamina because she’s tired of guys her age acting like lumpy couch potatoes. As long as I can remember, older women would often joke about how they needed a “boy toy” during their mid-life crisis. In case you don’t know, a “boy toy” is a younger guy who would stroke a woman’s ego and was fun the play with when they got bored. The newest star to the cougar club, Hulk Hogan’s ex-wife Linda, is 49 and her boy toy is 19. He’s not even old enough to drink! He is old enough, however, to not be considered a felony.

 This epidemic has created all sorts of cougar-friendly websites. There are those for the self-proclaimed cougar looking a Viagra-free hunk to inject some fun and excitement in her life. Then there are the cougar hunters that either want to experience the older-woman fantasy or flat-out want a sugar mama to finance their cell phone and Xbox habits. There are no lessons involved for the cougars when it comes to finding a younger man. Why? Because they obviously have had A LOT of experience picking up men in general and do not need any “How To” tips. Young studs on the other hand have to do a little research because there is a big difference between how a cougar wants to be stimulated—physically and mentally—and what a girl his age wants. This is a whole new dating arena. Cougar-seekers need to be taught the difference between a “true” cougar and a hot older chick that has a jealous husband waiting to kick his ass. Where to find a cougar doesn’t change though. Bars and on-line dating services are still the most popular. Blind dates, however, happen almost never. Not many twenty-something girls offer to set their mom up with their boyfriend’s younger brother. Eww, that’s just gross. A possible porno scenario, but still gross.

 After I did my research on cougars, I informed my husband unless we became divorced and/or I became desperate, I will not allow myself to be considered as a member of this growing prowler population. I will hold my ground as the neighborhood MILF for as long as possible. I will continue to wear my fun form-fitting jeans, stylish tops, cool boots, and sparkly-yet-tasteful makeup. I will borrow my teenage-daughter’s clothing whenever possible. I will refuse to look my age and lie about it to anyone who might believe me. I will nominate any supermarket cashier for “Employee Of The Month” if they ask for my I.D. when I buy beer. But to be considered a cougar? Nope, not me. The closest thing I’ll get to being a cougar is wearing a light brown, faux-fur jacket with the purse to match.

Organize Your Makeup…On The Cheap!

10 Oct

How would you like to organize all of your glamour goodies and restore sanity to your lavatory?

After being in the skin care and makeup industry for over 10 years, it is fair to say I have collected my fair share of items in my bathroom. Vanity drawers have been jammed with bottles, packets, pencils, tubes, sifters and applicators of all shapes and sizes. My husband, the loving tolerant man that he is, knows that I am a glamour junkie and my products are my haven. He also knows not to touch them or organize them in a way he thinks might be good for me. Even if I had yet to try that MAC.lip gloss trial I got with my last purchase, I’ll know in a heartbeat if it is missing from my drawer. Guess that’s my sample sonar going off!

I honestly tried to keep things under control with all kinds of categorizing. After a while, little dividers became big dividers, which became entire drawers, which became boxes, which invaded the bathroom counter, which became hell to my family. My stuff was everywhere and multiplying by the minute. Some of these things I loved and couldn’t be without, others were just not for me. Some things I used daily, some had never been opened. I think the day I realized I needed help was the day that I saw someone had done the New Yorker crossword puzzle with an Avon black eyeliner. I needed some sort of an organization system and fast.

One day, while shopping online with Staples for some general home office stuff, I noticed a sale going on for desk organizers. Hmmm. This might be a good thing. I had all of my paperclips, rubber bands, pencils, pens, highlighters and other desk-type goodies sorted out in my office. Why couldn’t I implement the same system in my bathroom with my makeup? I placed my regular office supplies order and in addition, I got myself this slammin’ little rotating desk organizer for my bathroom counter that was on sale. It had over 10 little compartments with room for all different sized items, took up very little room, and spun around for easy access. When it came the next day, I swear I heard angels sing as I took it out of the box. It was a methodical makeup miracle.

I held it tight like a caveman would hold onto fire, and rushed into the bathroom to fill it with all my goodies. There was a place for almost everything. Almost. I still have a drawer organizer to keep bigger items under control. And the counter still holds the big things, such as cleanser bottles, moisturizer jars and eye cream pumps. But the drawer consumption was down to just one, and the counter space that is being occupied is a quarter of what it had been. Just knowing where everything was and having it neat, right at my fingertips did not just bring sanity back to my home and family, but also cut my daily routine time down significantly.

A year later, my spinning organizer is still standing strong. The exact item I have is featured in the picture posted above. It is still available at staples.com and comes in a couple of different sizes. I paid approximately $7 for it, on sale. Without a doubt, it was the best glamour investment I ever made. In case you are wondering how I sorted my stash, I filled the compartments with the following:
* Makeup Brushes
* Lip Glosses
* Eye Liners
* Lip Liners
* Eye Creams
* Concealers
* Cotton Balls
* Q-Tips
* Eye Primer
* Samples I Want To Try
* Foundations
* Tweezers & Eye Lash Curlers

A small investment for a bit of bathroom sanity? Absolutely. Go for it, and have fun organizing!

Getting Sample Crazy!!!

4 Oct

It is without a doubt that women love free samples. We act like it’s Christmas when we go to the mailbox and inside are colorful packets, tubes, bottles and squares of mini versions of what’s hot on the market. Sometimes we actually try them and like them so much that we go out and invest in the full sized product. Other times, we stash them in the bottom drawer of the bathroom for those “just in case” moments. Then there are times we just love the little buggers so much, we create a new name online and get more of the sample so we have something to put in our overnight bag.

 I recently asked a few of my blogger girlfriends to tell me where they go to get hot new samples. I also wanted to know what sample they got recently and fell in love with. Fell in love so hard that they actually wasted no time to go and buy the full sized product. I found that some discovered their new finds just recently, while others have been faithful after using the sample for many, many years. Here’s what they had to say:

Lancome’s Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover: “I got a small bottle [as] a gift with purchase and fell in love. It’s so gentle! I wear waterproof eye makeup every day and Bi-Facil makes it so easy to remove.” –Carol (age 48)

MD Skincare’s All-In-One Facial Cleanser With Toner: “Whenever I get samples of cleansers, I’m very hesitant to try them since my skin is so sensitive. I got a few sample packets when I was at my Sephora retail store a few weeks back. After one day I was in love! It’s very mild and can be used for all skin types. It’s cleans very thoroughly but is not drying at all. I bought the full size within a week! –Tammy (age 29)

Clinique All About Eyes Rich: “I swear, that stuff helped me get over a black eye fairly quick! I did buy the full size.” –1shell1

Beauty Bliss Cosmetic’s Original Mineral Foundation: “I told my friend I was in search of a good loose mineral foundation without any talc in it, because my face had become super sensitive. She suggested I try BBC’s foundation. It isn’t available in retail stores and can only be bought online. They offer samples of ANY of their mineral products at only $1.25 each. And the samples come in decent-sized jars! It’s nice to be able to try different shades without investing a ton. This foundation is amazing. Great coverage and I can match my skin tone perfectly. I’ll never use anything else.” –Lyn (age 42)

 Clinique’s Naturally Glossy Mascara: “I remember going to the mall with my Aunt when I was about 14 and she gave me the gift she got with her purchase. In it was a little green tube…and I tried it on in the car, I was in love. It was smooth and shiny and clump free and so black. I bought my first full sized tube not long after that, and that slim silver tube has occupied my makeup drawer ever since!” -Sally (age 25)

mark. Eye Shadows: “I have had bad luck with eye shadows not lasting so without the samples I most likely would not have tried them. These are really the best.” –Melissa (age 31)

mark. Glow Baby Glow Lip Gloss: I got the sample of [this lip gloss] and ordered the full size. It lasts, has a natural color, and a great minty smell.” –Four4Me

Make Up For Ever’s HD Microfinish Powder: “When I got my sample…I almost gave it away but after using it I can’t imagine I went without before. I ordered the full size.” – Melissa (age 31) and “I love the MUFE HD powder too! I was a bit skeptical of the whiteness–but it’s really a great powder, I won’t use anything else now.” –Coalieluv

Bumble & Bumble’s Prep Spray, Thickening Spray & Thickening Shampoo: “My salon in Maine converted to a B&B salon and my stylist gave me a few samples to try. I’ve been hooked ever since. Prep Spray is my HG [holy grail] hair product. And I don’t even want to know what my hair would look like without Thickening Spray at the roots.” –Nicole (age 31)

Vera Wang’s Fragrance Princess: “I would smell the perfume all the time in magazine ads and every time I did, I would think to myself, ‘Man I MUST get some of this! It smells divine!’ It got to the point when I could just get a waft of it and I would immediately know it was Vera Wang Princess. I love the smell THAT much. So, I finally went and bought the biggest size Nordstroms had and I have never regretted it. It’s light, fresh and feminine, yet musky and sophisticated at the same time.” –Julie (age 22)

Very often you can find samples of all kinds of goodies at your local cosmetic stores or the counter at fine department stores. Don’t be afraid to ask! Many of the associates work on commission and your new addiction could be a bump in their paycheck meaning they’d be MORE than willing to help you out. If you aren’t out and about that much and find that your computer is your shopping heaven, click below to try out the following websites for cool samples too:

www.freesamplesblog.com (a great listing of free samples of ALL kinds!)
Wal-Mart Samples (everything from perfume to tampons—depends on the week)
Beauty Bliss Cosmetics (good sized, inexpensive samples of mineral foundation, blush & eye shadows)
mark. Cosmetics (if you ask nice, the rep may send you goodies!)
and of course… www.sephora.com (my favorite shopping heaven!)