Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tightly Laced Kicks 10.10.10.

I attended Tighly Laced Kicks 10.10.10, which was a sneaker exhibit of rare, and limited edition sneakers.
Alex Saavedra spear-headed this event, asking sneaker enthusiasts in the Greater Boston Area to submit their rarest, most eccentric sneaks. There was also some graffiti art on display, and some local talent performed that night.

As you can see, a man can be just as serious about his sneaker game, as a woman can be about her shoes! I never imagined sneakers could be so polished and sophisticated, viewing them as casual, and laid back, but these sneakers are so elaborate in design they are far from that!


Some of these sneakers are discontinued, special edition, or came in limited colors and sizes. Exclusivity is the name of the game; the rarer the sneaker is, the more valuable it can be! High demand could drive these sneaker prices through the roof! These sneakers came in amazing, vibrant colors, and were in mint condition. Who knew sneakers could be seen as pieces of art?



It was amazing how artwork was incorporated into this sneaker exhibit! Sneakers, artwork, and performances worked together harmoniously to pay homage to the world of Hip Hop locally, and abroad.



What are your favorite sneaker brands?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!! My First Photo Post

I decided to treat myself to a photoshoot for my birthday, which was 10/10/2010, and to finally showcase some of my own outfits to my readers. Sequins, which is one of my favorite trends, is the theme I chose to wear on my birthday. To me, they represent Sophistication, glamour and celebration.

Here, I am wearing a sequined top and liquid leggings from H&M, and shoes from StellaBlu.

These strappy leather sandals are in the Jessica Simpson Collection. Don't sleep on her shoes, they are not only affordable, wearable and stylish, but also they exude her own style.

This multi-colored sequined jacket is one of my favorite pieces. I got it from H&M last year and I am impressed with the quality of the stitch-work for the price I paid for the jacket ($49.95). I wore red lipstick and nails as a fun contrast against this wonderfully colored jacket and black pants.

Thanks to my wonderful photographer George, for the amazing pictures!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Get Ready for Black Friday with Overstock.Com!!

What is Black Friday?                                        

Black Friday marks the beginning of the Christmas Holiday season, and usually falls on the day after Thanksgiving. This is the perfect opportunity to go out to the stores and take advantage of sales and other discounts offered during this time. However, while a wonderful opportunity, it could also mean long lines on the highways as well as at shopping malls and department stores. What a big inconvenience!

Therefore, some customers have taken other measures to get their Black Friday shopping done, and thanks to retail and technological advancements, people can opt to shop at home on their computers, lap tops and even cell phones! When shopping online, there are no long lines, power struggles in the parking lot, and shopping in your pajamas won't get you stares and glares.

This is where Overstock.Com can help! An online super-retailer, Overstock.Com has an extensive variety of brand name goods that you can purchase at bargain prices, such as furniture, sunglasses, and beautiful, exotic handcrafted jewelry. Why stand in line for good deals? With, you can take advantage of Black Friday Sales and get quality at a low price.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stuff Magazine's Own Erica Corsano Will Teach Class on Fashion Writing!!!

Got an interest in fashion writing or editing, but don't have an idea how to start? If you live in the Greater Boston area or in Massachusetts, an awesome opportunity awaits you. Erica Corsano, Editorial Director at STUFF Magazine, will be teaching a class on how to research and write about fashion, at Boston's Center for Adult Education BCAE, on November 10, 2010 from 6pm-9pm. Register today, as the class size is limited! Don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity to network with one of Boston's best fashion editors. Maybe you could be the student who gets his or her work published in a future issue of STUFF Magazine! For more information, click on the BCAE link above, or call 617-267-4430.

Press Release, by Shannon Igoe, Account Manager at Image Unlimited Communications, Ltd.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

How To Transition Into Fall By Shopping Your Own Closet

As fall has "befallen" us, and summer bbq's and vacations seem to be a distant memory, some of you may have some trouble adjusting to the sudden and dramatic change in temperature. However, don't go rushing into a retailer nearest you to drop money on clothes you think you might need to help you transition into fall. You can save a whole lot of money if you simply just shop in your own closet, with some minor adjustments, you could still rock some of your summer frocks (put away the terry cloth clothing please, you can't get away with wearing that material in the fall). Here is a short list of items that you can start adding into your wardrobe, that I am sure you already have at home, so roll up your sleeves and start digging in your closets!

  • Cardigans/Blazers: adding these classics to summer clothing, like shorts and dresses will give them fall appeal, as well as shield you from breezy fall days or chilly nights. For example, leggings are a necessity to me and are easy to assemble in an outfit. So I'd wear a nice pair with a cool blazer and heels or ballet flats.
  • Boots/Booties: although some of you may choose to rock sandals until the first flurry of snow arrives or even after, boots with a summer frock, or shorts, could change the outfit into a fall look. I'd pair my fave Gap denim jacket with a flowy floral dress & cowboy boots for an evening out with friends.
  • Scarves/Hats: another fun way to add fall flair to a summer wardrobe is by using accessories. They are also easier on the wallet, if you must buy some new fall additions to your closet. I've been wearing my favorite Sonia Rykiel Pour H&M scarf as a shawl to avoid wearing jackets right now! Have fun mixing fall accessories with summer clothes, so you don't have to wait until winter to start wearing scarves.
  • Socks/Tights: as seen on the runways lately, pair some slouchy socks with your fave sandals or shoes, or just add tights to a pair of high-waisted shorts, and voile! You've got a trendy fall outfit! (make sure your socks/tights work well into your outfit; don't be a fashion victim!)
Fall & spring are my two favorite seasons because it isn't too hot or cold, so you interchange more clothing, like summer clothing, into your wardrobe. Also, a layered look is very polished, and comfortable.

What's your favorite fall accessory and why?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Somewhere...Over The Rainbow: Irridescence Forcasted for Fall

     "For every cloud, there is a silver lining". But this fall, irridescent hues are lining the catwalk as well as the sidewalk. Irridescence is a phenomenon described when an object, surface, or living thing may appear to be various colors depending upon what angle it is being viewed from. That can also be interpreted as how we all view the world from different angles, depending on where we live, how we feel, among other aspects. Therefore, differences are what make this world so colorful, as well as beautiful and fun. It is befitting that, as we all approach the fall season, irridescence reflects in the clothing and accessories we are or will be wearing.

     Because irridescent fabrics mimic the same effects found in nature, such as an insect's wings, a rainbow or bubble, they will be very bold and it is very important that the garment, makeup or accessory worn stands alone. In other words, keep everything else simple so the irridescent pattern can shine on its own without clashing with another bold pattern or color, such as red or yellow. If you dare wear a dark colored dress, for example, wearing an irridescent accessory to reflect the color of the dress while the dark color absorbs light is a great balance (dark purples, and cobalt blues are wonderful examples).  Please note that the word "accessory" is singular, don't get carried away with this trend; this is one that could make for a recipe for disaster!

     If you want to try out this trend by using makeup and cosmetics (one approach I usually take before gravitating to garments and accessories), try a fun irridescent Dazzle Glass lipgloss by M-A-C, or try some eyeshadows and lipsticks from Illamasqua, a dramatic makeup line at Sephora. But remember, if you choose to have irridescent eyes, make sure your lipcolor is neutral, or simple enough to allow your eyes to pop. If you choose to rock an irridescent lipcolor, the same rules apply. keep the face as simple or natural as possible. Unless you've got a career that is appropriate for dramatic makeup, I suggest you limit the trend at work to a lipcolor.

  I view irridescence as a reflection of the moods of designers abroad: hopeful, bright and optimistic as we approach the end of a decennial and the beginning of a new season and new year, and maybe, just maybe, a flourishing economy. What's your view on this trend?

Photos:    DazzleGlass;

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In The Nude: Summer's Natural Hue

     When I think of summer, I think of many things: the beach, sipping ice cold cocktails while enjoying the warm breeze, and vacationing. But as a fashion blogger, and self-proclaimed fashionista, I cannot help but to also think of the latest trends that seem to accompany the warm summer months. While there are so many summer trends that there isn't enough paper, tweets, or Blackberry message statuses to mention, I couldn't help but sit up and take notice of the nude trend ths season, and no, I am not referring to a lack of clothing. We'll save that for another post.
     Brights are fun colors for the summer, but if you want to get closer to nature, there's nothing like the color nude. It gives that "barely there" appeal, so it is very soft and subtle. Just like the clothing we shed during the warmer climates it is also befitting to shed away some bold colors from our makeup palletes, wardrobes and shoe collection. Nude makeup (lips & eyes), clothing, and accessories (shoes, scarves, handbags, etc) allow other elements of your wardrobe to shine.

     For example, a nude pump worn with a pencil skirt could elomgate the legs, while a nude eye shadow pallette could give way for a red pout to stand alone. If you are new to the nude trend, trying out nude eye or nail colors is a great start. Too-Faced cosmetics has a natural eye pallete, called the Naked Eye Soft & Sexy Eye Shadow Collection (Sephora, $35). It is a blend of matte and shimmery eye colors that can transition from a "day" to "night" look. Although there are so many nude nail colors on the market these days my favorite is Sally Hansen's Cafe Au Lait, which reminds me of a tall, iced coffee. 

     Another way to wear this trend is to find some great nude accessories, like a sassy clutch, or nude colored garment (top, pants, shorts, suit, etc). Nude is sexy because it gives the illusion of nakedness, be it a natural face, alluring nails, or tawny legs. While being bold is fun and flirty, being nude takes a bit more vulnerability, more sex appeal. Although  nude seems very basic, it's versatile and looks great on everyone (now go out there and embrace your inner nudist!)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dita Deems Designers of "Fresh Baked Goods" Tastworthy

Tastworthy. (tays-t-wur-thee) adj: Any person, place, or thing, that Dita believes deserves honorable mention and is oozing with style and/or taste.

I must admit that I'm an avid sweet eater. But when I heard about Fresh Baked Goods, a clothing company that bakes the kind of sweets that would leave a man feeling "so fresh so clean", I just had to talk to one of FBG's creative masterminds, Marquis Thibodeaux, so I could satisfy my fashion "sweet tooth" for all things tastworthy.
So, I felt honored when he agreed to do an interview with me, just to answer some questions about the brand, it's concept, and even some advice Marquis could give to other young, aspiring designers.

Dita (Tastmakr): What is your background?
Marquis (FBG): I was born in Boston, MA, on November 15, 1988, and I went to several different schools while growing up, because I moved around alot. My mother was an artist and my father was a muscian/rapper.

Tastmakr: How did you come up with the FBG concept?
FBG: The idea of FBG wasn't mines. A friend from my first college I went to in North Carolina came to me with this idea of a clothing line called FBG cause he knew of my artistic skills. At first I didn't want to do it because of the "Johnny Cupcakes" concept in Boston, but then I just started to ease into it. I started to come up with ideas entirely on my own using my own artwork and cleverness. Then as it started to get bigger I started to figure out more things like creating a website and stickers and all kinds of things that I learned entirely on my own. When it first started out there was an original three: me, Dean Ross who came up with the idea, and another artist John Misshoun but things happened and Dean had to leave the group so FBG split into 2 parts, which is how Fresh Baked North and Fresh Baked South came about.

Tastmakr: Who is your target audience?
FBG: I dont really have a target audience just yet because it is still all so new, but so far the FBG line has attracted a hiphop/rocker crowd.

Tastmakr: What makes FBG stand out from, let's say, a company like Johnny Cupcakes?
FBG: To break it down from my point of view Johnny Cupcakes is more gimmick based; all of his t-shirts revolve around one type of image, which is the "cupcake"; basically when you name your brand around one specific thing there's only so many things you can do. Fresh Baked Goods revolves around so many things, not just food, but there are metaphors using slang, like "cake" means money, and you "bake a cake". Get it? lol. So there are so many ideas for my line and I try not to revolve around one thing. I like to change it up with every new design, while using street refrences, sarcasm, visuals, etc. so many things that can be used. Also from a product standpoint the graphics on the shirts are made with a special print that doesn't fade off over time, unlike other shirts.

Tastmakr: Where are you located? How can male customers purchase FBG merchandise?
FBG: Right now we are "street corner" based, using word-of-mouth to spread buzz about our product, and online-based, using social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and FBG's blog. I currently am located in Brockton/Boston, MA.

Tastmakr: Any role models? Who inspired you to design t-shirts and other apparel?
FBG: Pharrell Williams and Kanye West are my inspiration; they are multitalented!

Tastmakr: Any future plans for FBG? Where do you envision the company in 5+ years?
FBG: I like to stay in the present and not think that far into the future, that way I continue to build the company and make progress as I go along.

Tastmakr: What advice could you give to other young, aspiring designers/entrepreneurs?
FBG: Don't give up, and anything is possible.

Photos, courtesy of  Fresh Baked Goods

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Favorite Fragrance Du Jour: Armani Diamonds Intense

This perfume smells sooo good, and is very enticing. I've gotten several compliments on this perfume by men and women alike (mostly men, though). Rose is an aphrodisiac, as well as my favorite scent. So, when I did a bit of research on Armani Diamonds Intense, I was not shocked to find that it has notes of rose in it. This fragrance is soft, subtle, feminine and sexy. I suggest that you buy the 3.4oz ($69.50, Sephora Stores, or, because I bought the 1oz Eau de Parfum (here's a quick French lesson, ooh-DAY-PAR-foom) for $39.50 (at Sephora, of course), and the bottle was gone in less than two months. (Eau de Parfum is stronger than Eau de Toilette (TWA-lay), which is French for "toilet water". (Don't get too worried, "toilet water" isn't actually from the toilet, but is so weak it might as well be). As I've stated in my previous blog about fragrances, I love to layer, so what I did discover is that Macy's has a gift set (, unsure if it is available in stores) for $60, which is $9.50 cheaper (taxes not included), than purchasing the 3.4oz bottle alone. Although it includes a 6.7oz bottle of scented lotion, it only includes a 1.7oz bottle of Eau de Parfum. I must admit that I am quite vain and will covet things just because they look attractive, but I actually enjoyed the contents of this oval diamond-shaped bottle. If "diamonds are a girl's best friend", Armani Diamond Intense should be her "BFF" or "Best Friend Forever".

Photo: Armani Diamonds Intense

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Spring Cleaning Tips: What to Store, Wear, or Give Away

1. If you discover items that you have forgotten that you've own, chances are that you may not even use it, or wear it.

2. If you do stumble upon long-lost items, and you have trouble letting them go, try this: If you can add it to your current wardrobe within two weeks, it's a keeper. If you don't find yourself wearing soon after, get rid of it.

3. Store away items that can be used during the summer; Keep items that can be layered, or worn for the current winter season within reach.

4. Toss out those Old Navy flip flops from last Summer. Because they are affordable (2 for $5.00ea), they can be replaced. But also, dirt and bacteria from last year's strolls on the beach could have seeped into them.

5. Try to go over your garment/shoes each season to evaluate what to wear, store, or let go. This way you will always leave room for new things, but also compel you to wear what you already have. Get as much use from your purchases as much as possible!

6. Give away useful items, as well as those in good condition, to charity (Planet Aid, Red Cross, Salvation Army). Remember, successful people are also generous people who give back to the community in some way. (Sarah Jessica Parker gives many of her fabulous clothes to consignment Boutiques in NYC)

I recently gave away six (and counting) garbage bags of good clothing away to Planet Aid. Why hang on to things that others in need can put to good use?

photos: century 21 logo:; model & thinking bubble:; check mark:; salvationarmy logo:; flip flops clip art:; storage totes:; cardigan:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hottest New Women's Summer Fashions by William Rast

(Guest Blog, by Pammy Rosen, who works for Luello, a North American clothing company; I am both honored and delighted to have been chosen to feature her post on my blog :-)

William Rast is a fashion company based in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 2005 by Justin Timberlake and his longtime friend, Trace Ayala. The company name, William Rast, is a combination of Justin Timberlake's grandfather's first name and Trace Ayala's grandfather's last name. The brand initially made only denim clothing, but has since expanded into a lifestyle brand that includes shirts, knits, leather jackets and outerwear.
William Rast can be seen on many celebrities and in TV shows. There are William Rast retail stores in Los Angeles, and San Jose, California. William Rast is also available at specialty boutiques and high end department stores like Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales.

The new summer line for women includes flowing, lightweight tanks and shirts, fitted, feminine jackets, and classic William Rast denim pieces with a twist. Pieces range in price from $100-$600. All of the pieces are of the highest quality and are well worth the price. The pieces fall back on the classics with a twist of biker couture, but modernized with small, unique touches.

The tanks are light and flowing with a beautiful touch of femininity. The standout of the collection is a goregous, silk tank in a lush, deep, peacock color. It drapes beautifully and has a comfortable racerback. This tank would look stunning with a pair of jeans. It also comes in a lovely, light pink or a pale yellow. Other tanks have the same flowing fit and come in subtle patterns or fun, graphics that would work on everybody.

There are a handful 0f shirts, but they are all unique and beautiful. The woven blouse is an almost paper-like texture in  a stunning, flowing, cut. It has short sleeves and comes in a blossom pink, cream, and seafoam teal. There is also a more fitted, long sleeved shirt in a tailored cut. These come in  a Chambray blue, seafoam plaid, and a brown and cream plaid.

"Tony" Stretch Jegging in Midnight Oil, $ Available Upon Request
 sea foam cream & plaid shirt, $145

The roots of the collection are amazing denim, plus the collection expands into shirts, skirts, and capris on top of the classic jean. This collection also includes denim leggings called "jeggings". This is a fashion trend that is very in right now. William Rast offers 3 styles of leggings in 9 washes, ranging from white to black, and all the "blues" in between. The newest addition to the collection is the long, denim short, which falls just about the knee. It is built for comfort and versatility.

The new collection from William Rast is versatile and feminine. Built for comfort and durability, this collection will be a fashion investment worth the money.

Silk Raceback Tank, Peacock $110

Photos: JT & Trace Ayala, Raceback tank & plaid shirt:

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Garden Collection, By H&M

Let's cut to the chase: Either you love it or you hate it. "The Garden Collection", by H&M, a Swedish retail giant, is just as the title describes: An explosion of colorful flowers, printed or embroidered onto organic or recycled pallates in the forms of long, flowy gowns, billowy tops, form-fitting skirts and flouncy shorts. The prettiest garment, in my opinion, is the most desired in the collection: the multicolored kimono-style dress (pictured above). Thing is, I could imagine myself wearing it, while lounging around in the privacy of my own home.
The dress does nothing for the model wearing it. Matter of fact, her figure is obscured in it (and some customers thought that H&M on Newbury St not carrying it was an inconvenience). Another coveted item, the Red tube dress ( shown above, also in Beige) looks surprisingly good up close. The floral detail on the skirt is well assembled, and it doesn't look cheap, especially for the price ($34.95).
The multicolored smock dress, with "ethnic floral design" as H&M's press release describes it, looks like something I donned in an elementary school art class. The floral prints are too loud, and the color combinations are so grotesque, that the garment was rightfully named a "smock" because it belongs in an art class. Maybe paint splashing all over it doesn't seem like a bad idea, maybe it will improve!! The organic shorts look like they were made from a burlap sack that once held Idaho potatoes, and they wouldn't flatter any woman, if you ask me.
 However, my grief with this collection, lies in the fact that it fails to complement a curvy shape. Once again, I feel that H&M did not have a "womanly" shape in mind when creating the collection. Matter of fact, as a whole, I don't think they had anyone in mind when they decided that grandma's old house dresses should be revamped and would ever be considered vogue.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How To Wear..SEQUINS

As an H&M employee I am privy to new items, as well as old, and sale items. The latest trend that I have grown to adore is sequins. Currently, I own a sequined beret (H&M, $12.95); Jacket (Last two photos, bottom :H&M,Black, $49.95); Multicolored Jacket (Left,2nd photo, bottom: H&M, $49.95), and recently purchased a top,#rd &4th photo, bottom: H&M, orig. $49.95, sale $10!!) However, I know that in order to successfully pull off this trend (which incidentially revived after MJ's death), there are a few rules to abide by:

1. Don't wear more than one piece at a time, unless you want to look like your grandmother when she used to party at Studio 54. You'd look costumey and therefore become a "trend victim" by OD-ing on a trend.
2. Make sure you keep whatever else you are pairing with the sequins as simple as possible, so it wouldn't compete with the sequined piece of your outfit.

3. Wear sequin pieces that are flattering. Let me say that again-get pieces that are flattering to your body type. I am sick of people buying a trend because they see it in their size, but it doesn't complement their shape. For example, I am short and busty, and I know that sequined harem pants would not work well with my shape, and I'd look like an elf. Acknowledge that a trend or style doesn't work for you and move on. Everything isn't for everybody!

4. Get a garment whose sequins have been sewn on well, and have decent quality. There are certain stores that I've visited, and the sequined items I observed had such poor stitching that all it took was one pull, and all the sequins would fall off onto the ground. This is a trend that if you want to store the garment for future usage, I suggest that you pay a bit more for better quality. Furthermore, don't wear any materials that could get snagged by the sequins.

5. If you'd like to try this trend, but are nervous because it is a very flashy and daring look, start off small with a clutch, shoes,belt, or a headband. I started out purchasing the black sequined beret from H&M, then worked my way up. It is not entirely covered in sequins but just enough for a bit of sparkle.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Bathroom Sink, Part II: Body Products

I don't know about you, but I keep CVS in business. I am constantly buying products for my body to ensure smooth, healthy, and good-smelling skin. Unless you have a fragrance allergy (poor soul), everyone should smell good. Warning: take your shower before I do because I have a rigorous regimen that I stick to daily (thank goodness my roomate is a guy, who's low-maintenance!). I use all types of soaps, from natural shea or cocoa butter, to Dove ($1.99, CVS). My favorite is the exfoliating bar that has little blue beads embedded in it. It smells so good and makes me feel so fresh, and so clean. I also exfoliate my face and my feet, using a pedisponge for my feet that I purchased from CVS for about $4.00; One side is spongy and for lathering and the other side is like a scrub brush. My current occupation requires that I stand on my feet for hours on end so I have to take care of my feet daily (as we all should).
It says a lot when my nail tech tells me that my feet are so soft, so she must see some nasty feet! I also use a pumice stone, to remove dry skin. I also have a razor to slough away dry skin and calluses. I think you shouldn't wait to get to the nail shop to be told to take care of your feet. Also, after I use soap I prefer to follow up with a body wash, just to make sure I feel extra clean. My favorite body wash is Dove UltraRich Body Wash ($5 @ Target); But when I am strapped for cash I use CVS brands, Suave, or Tone, which would probably cost about $3-$4. Every once in a while, I'll use an exfoliating body scrub or polish.
This is where I splurge; Bath & Body Works has a chocolate body scrub and body butter-or at least they did a couple of years ago, and I stocked up on it. It is called Restorative Body Scrub $18, and Body Butter $16. I love to layer scents so I usually purchase body products as a set. Bath & Body Works also have aromatherapy scrubs, and Eucalyptus Spearmint (Relax) is my favorite, $20. It really does calm me down and I usually feel cool afterwards. Another favorite splurge of mines is Kiehl's original Rich Nourishing Cream(8.4oz @ $28). It is the best moisturizer I have ever used, and my skin just soaks it up. Thing is, you must not dress for several minutes to allow cream to work onto skin.
I also think Victoria's Secret has excellent body butters @ $10/jar; they smell good as well as moisturize well. My favorites are Pure Seduction, Secret Charm, and Amber Romance.

What are some of your favorite body products?

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Bathroom Sink, Part I

    (Brace yourself, this is more of an article, than it is any of my typical blogs, so sit tight, it's quite a long read!)

       Last year, I published a blog titled "The Kitchen Sink", describing what I thought people should carry on their person just in case of mishaps that can happen out in public. I decided to do a follow-up blog about products that I use everyday, and maybe some of you should too. These are products I use when I wake up and before I go to bed, and aid in cleaner and healthier skin on a daily basis. From facial, to body, as well as oral, I've got an arsenal of  "cosmetic assistants" that get my skin through the day and overnight. 
     I think every woman should have daily skin regimens, as well as every man. However, I think there should be a difference in the way a woman's skin feels than a man's. There's a problem if we both have dry, poorly manicured hands, as well as feet, and we both have stubbly legs. I've compiled a list of the things that I use everyday, while some are necessities for us all, I've also included extra products that I thought you should know about. As I stated in my blog about skin care (, when you wash your face and body, you should moisturize; when you brush your teeth, you should floss and gargle (with mouthwash). 
     I know, I know, I know, we were taught these things as children, but you'd be surprise who has either forgot, or never weren't taught these things (for some strange reason). For the sake of my time and yours, let's start with the face: I've got some very dry skin and use a combination of products to ensure that my face is clean, clear (of breakouts), and moisturized. Also, I use extra products to wipe off excess makeup. (CVS is the place to be if your dollars don't stretch far and you still want quality products). I use St. Ives Fresh Skin Olive Cleanser (photo:, $5.99 CVS). I use it to wash my face in the mornings because it smooths away extra oil from last night's application of night cream (as well as makeup), and it makes my skin extra clean. However I noticed that it can leave the face extra dry right after you clean it so apply moisturizer immediately. Right now, I use CVS brand Daily Serum, which acts the same as Olay's version, for the fraction of the price.  (Photo,, $15.00). My skin feels hydrated, especially against the freeing cold (especially today). Use minimally, you don't need to apply the whole container of product in one application in order to make it work (Nana: I love you dearly, but you are the queen of "overkill"). 
     Also, there are sometimes that I must admit to myself when a generic brand just won't cut it, and I will remain loyal to certain brands because of their effectiveness. Bliss All Around Eye Cream is one of those products. (Photo: $24 0.5oz @ Sephora). This product is worth the splurge, and before you start to judge, TRY using a product repeatedly first, then decide whether it works. Don't be the person who tries a facial product ONCE, or never, and then try to form an opinion about it. Anyhow, because I use this product regularly, and have been for over a year, it does reduce puffiness around the eyes and minimizes dark circles. Another word of advice: Don't wait until it is too late to start using eye products because aging starts at the creases of the eyes and mouth, and you want to take preventative measures now (well hell, I know I do!) As I stated before, these products are not "magic" and don't work over night so you need to use these repeatedly for them to work. Another skin cleanser I use to exfoliate (gently remove dead skin cells from my face) is CVS brand Daily Renewal Cleanser $9.00) which is similar to, as well as cheaper than Olay Regenerist Cleanser. (Note: I have tried BOTH Olay and CVS brands long enough to know the difference 2+ years).  They have exfoliating beads that are gentle yet effective enough to soften away dry skin, but it is not potent enough to remove make up alone.  So I use Olay Refreshing Toner to remove excess make up and oils from my face (photo: $4 @CVS). As you can tell, I use a combination of expensive and affordable products for my face (my skin is worth it!) If I ever have a break out, I use Neutrogena Transparent Facial Bar for Acne Prone Skin ( photo: $3 @ CVS)


     Their products are excellent for oily skin, but also because I have dry skin, must follow immediately with a moisturizer. I know most people wouldn't have a separate night cream from the one they use during the day but I do! I use CVS brand Night Cream that is similar to Olay Regenerist Night Cream ($14.97). It is heavier than the day cream, but it smells so good and makes my face feel so smooth. It replenishes moisture washed away when I cleanse my face at night.  Finally, for my "back up" skin products, I use a line called Rx for Brown Skin Bright & Even (Bright & Clear for oily skin), featured at Sephora. These products are wonderful, yet expensive, so these are my back ups when the more affordable products don't seem to work (very rare, but when it gets bitter cold, my skin gets chafed and blotched, and this line almost works like "magic", if I had to say so myself).  The starter kit is $55, and it includes: Toner, cleanser, serum, and botanical brightener (evens skin tone, NOT a bleaching agent).


Your skin may not need the intensive care and high maintenance that mines need, but it is important to have a skin regimen, using products that do work. (Stay Tuned for Part II, Body Products, coming soon!!) Also, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to let me know!