Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Muddy Waters with UGLY MUD

I will try anything once and I love to sample all kids of skin care and beauty products in the search of the perfect combination for my skin and lifestyle. As we age our skin and our needs change, the trick is trying to keep up with it.

I was introduced to UGLY MUD Coffee Scrub back in December and was excited to give it a try.  I love the smell of coffee and to be honest it was the name that sold it for me.  I loved how clever and honest it was.

The mud was created by Mompreneur Rachel Streck to help her baby deal with the skin condition keratosis pilaris or KP. Her blend of coffee and other organic oils helped relieve the appearance of KP and was gently enough to use on her infant.  She began to share the MUD with her friends who had issues with acne scars, psoriasis, rosacea, fine lines/wrinkles, and cellulite. They were happy with the results over the four year period she made it exclusively for them. Now it's YOUR TURN to get UGLY with this mud.
Both myself and my husband used it. I love the smell of coffee and the scrub itself.  It is a mess but well worth my smooth and soft skin post scrub.  She did not include any artificial fragrance, dyes, or chemicals to make the mud "PRETTY", she believes "it is not okay to add poisonous substances like bleach or artificial fragrances in order to sell more products at the expense of your health". So the mud is what it is. It is UGLY but it WORKS.

What's In It? Ingredients and their applications according to her brochure.
*Coffee (tightening your skin, smoothing out cellulite)
*Dead Sea Salt (proven to remove toxins and scrub away dead skin)
*Grape Seed Oil (light antioxidant and provides skin with moisture)
*Jojoba Oil (Helps skin conditions by reducing appearance of "redness")
*Almond Oil (Gives your skin a radiant, healthy glow)
*Vitamin E Oil (nourishes and treats your skin)

I had a cross section of women of different ages (20-64) and occupations try UGLY MUD. Here is what they found:

Hayley Said:  "I love it!!..actually want to buy some. Its invigorating and i love how it leaves my skin nice and soft...and its not too abrasive which I like....SOLD!"

Jennifer Said: "I really loved the smell and ratio of coffee to oil however I would have liked the grain of coffee to be a little bigger. I didn't try it on my face but I'm sure it would have been great for that, I just used it on my legs and usually like a scrub to give me more of an exfoliation. But the smell was amazinngggg loved it! I would definitely purchase this item to use as a facial scrub!"

Kim Said: "I liked the scent of the scrub, but the texture could be refined s bit. The scrub felt gritty. However, my skin did feel as though it had received a good and exfoliation. I would use it again."

Jessica Said: "I like that its a scrub, it makes my skin feel really soft after I use it. It is pretty coffee-y and messy but when I use it in the shower it's not hard to clean up. I haven't really seen it make a difference on the appearance of my skin besides the softness, but I can say that I like using it!!"

Sydney Said: " I've gotta say, it was too coffee'ish for me. Both the smell and texture. Way too messy-not my thing. I'd have to see big results for me to use regularly. Enjoyed trying it"
Jensine Said: "I enjoy, more than anything, the sensation of a good scrub in the shower. I love getting my back scratched and a body scrub is the next best thing. I do enjoy the scent of coffee and like the idea that the caffeine may be giving my skin some tightening and/or smoothing. I can't say whether or not it has reduced cellulite, but it feels and smells great! I don't recommend using it on the face. I didn't like it for that purpose. I felt like it was too oily for that. It definitely makes a big mess, so I am grateful for my flexible shower head to rinse the walls when I'm done!"

Marie Said: "I have been using the UGLY MUD and i think i like it. It does smell quite strongly of coffee but I go used to it and I happen to be one to like that fragrance. I can see how some would not appreciate it though. The application does invigorate my skin, but I haven't used it long enough to know if there are any long term benefits. I found the consistency pretty good but I generally prefer an exfoliate a little thicker."

Carol Said: "I sampled the Ugly Mud and absolutely loved the smell. I have fibromyalgia and found that the coarse texture was a bit much for me. My skin felt smooth and nice afterwards but the shower was a mess and took a bit of time to clean up."

Erika Said: "ok so I just did my face and I'm impressed! it really is very soft after and doesn't feel dry at all.
A little messy, but I can see why it should be done in the shower and not over the sink!
and all I can smell is awesome coffee beans!!"

The UGLY MUD 411:

*$1 of every sale goes to CHARITY A different charity every month thus spreading the love and mud around!

*The offer a MONEY BACK Guarantee if you are not happy with the product or results.

*Connect with UGLY MUD & Rachel Via FACEBOOK and their WEBSITE

So What are you waiting for? 

Will you MUDDY UP?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Couch Critique: 2013 Oscars

I am always ready to throw my two cents into the digital ring when it comes to Fashion. I always look forward to award season because the women have unprecedented access to the most amazing, custom clothes and the most expensive and exquisite jewels on the planet. I once again was underwhelmed by the dress choices and the lack of jewelry on the carpet, by way of necklaces.

As I said in my Golden Globe blog there were a lot of bare chests! Strapless dresses are all the rage with NO necklaces it seems. What a waste when these celebrities have access to borrow the best jewelry in the world. Imagine A glamorous movie star like Elizabeth Taylor on an Oscar red carpet with no necklace? 

A necklace is obviously not appropriate to be styled with every look but can add some Hollywood glamour to a strapless dress on a red carpet.

The looks I liked BEST from the Red Carpet (in no particular order)
 Charlize Theron in DIOR. It is very clean and chic! She is always stunning. Here is an example where a necklace would have completed the look!

Georgina Chapman (Deisgner for Marchesa) is STUNNING and 8 months pregnant in a white Marchesa dress with jeweled shrug. (Pictured with husband Harvey Weinstein)

 Halle Berry in custom VERSACE. To me she is either tacky or in Marchesa when she hits the carpet. I love this departure for her. But PLEASE do something new with your hair. She is so beautiful, but its time for a change!
 Stacy Keibler gave the Actresses/Celebs a run for their money in this dress by Naeem Kahn, it was tailored to perfection!
Kerry Washington in Miu Miu. I love this coral color and the jewel encrusted bodice! Necklace next time please.

Naomi Watts & Jessica Chastaine both in Armani Prive. Each dress was perfectly tailored to their bodies. I LOVED Jessica's Vintage 1960's Harry Winston Bracelet (but she needed the matching necklace)

This year had BETTER after party looks. White was the color of the night!!

PARTY TIME: My Fav looks!

 Model Caroline Murphy in a dark Coral Calvin Klein

 Fan Bing Bing in a Peach Perfect Spring 2012 Elie Saab Couture Dress

  Model Molly Sims Wearing a White Hot Temperley London frock.

 Juliette Lewis in Vionnet, she looks fresh and beautiful. I love the draping and the print.

These sisters SHINE! Khloe Kardashian rocks Citrus Chic in Kaufman Franco Fall 2012 AND Kourtney is pure retro glamour in this red/black floral Brian Rennie for Basler. I LOVE the back cut out.

Nicole Richie is so chic in Robert Cavalli

 Miley OWNED in this white Azzaro backless dress. She's become so stylish since the hair cut. BRAVO!

Natalie Portman in DIOR. J'Adore
 Miranda Kerr channels a Vintage Vixen in this Valentino Gown

Kate Beckensale did not play it safe in this Monique Lhullier dress. It screams PARTY and I love the volume on the bottom. Fabulous!

BEST Correspondent Look:

Kimora Lee Simmons for E!. She was pure glamour in this black sheer over nude Maria Lucia Hohan Gown. I loved the touch of diamonds at the neck at ears and it is such a breath of fresh air to see her hair up. Very sleek and chic! 

That's a WRAP! 

Who wore your FAV looks?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Like a Hurricane: CLEO

Pole Dancing is much more than a brass rail a stripper or exotic dancer spins around to earn her cash. It is a bona fide sport, combining strength training, flexibility, competition and self esteem building. Literally where sexy and sport collide!  From the outside looking in it appears to be a lot of fun and an unconventional way to get fit as well as tap into your sensual side. It makes me sad, like many other things in life the HERD (a.k.a. general population) has attached a trashy stigma to the pole.  Like a Hurricane, CLEO is changing all of that, one ROCKIN routine at a time. 
Her amazing body is a true testament to the fitness aspect of pole training. She has been rocking the pole since 2007!

Cleo the Hurricane hails from Melbourne Australia and rocks the pole like no other; currently holding the title of Miss Pole Dance Champion 2012. She teaches pole fitness internationally with her home base in Sydney and is a professional pole performer.

She combines acrobatics, art, dance and a hard rock edge to create stellar performance which make jaws drop all over the globe. Check her tour schedule HERE 
Cleo also recently released a fitness DVD designed to target core strength and flexibility: ROCKIN LEGS & ABS No pole required ladies. I am EXCITED to give it a try and honestly I feel inspired. 

Stay tuned for my review!
I had the pleasure of chatting with Cleo recently.

LISA: How were you attracted to the pole? How did you start?

CLEO: I have always done some sort of dancing/exercise from Ballet in my early years to Capoeira in my 20's then I was getting close to 30 and I wanted to try something new and exciting and of course Pole Dancing was it. I fell in love with the heels, the sexy movements, the creative aspect to it, the feeling it gave me and of course the fact that it was a challenge!
*Capoeria is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance and music
LISA: Explain the way you see pole dancing / pole fitness

CLEO: I see pole dancing more of an art form. I guess it can be considered as a sport because it is competitive. But I love the more artistic and sexy side of pole, makes it really unique and appealing to me. I guess pole dancers who want it to be mainstream and not taboo try to push the whole sport element so it is more accepted.
LISA: What do you feel that pole training can do for a woman (besides the obvious fitness benefits)

CLEO: One of the biggest benefits of pole dancing is what it does for a woman's self esteem. It makes you feel sexy, it's empowering, gives you strength not only in body but in mind. It really has changed my life, as well as women around the world. They say stilettos are a symbol of power!!!
LISA:  Is pole for everyone? Explain the diversity

CLEO: I think pole can be for everyone! But many people will never try it because of the stigma attached to it.  But for the open minded men and women that do try it most of them get hooked straight away! Obviously it's a women dominated sport/art form, however in recent years it's become more popular with the boys but their style is mostly influenced by Chinese Pole. As for us girls, you see a wide range of different styles/studios etc. There's the sexy side of pole, then there's the more gymnastic/acrobatic, then you have more artistic.
LISA:  What is your ULTIMATE fitness tips/advice for my readers?

CLEO: EAT HEALTHY, lots of protein, vegetables, water! Train safely a few times a week, including strength and flexibility training. Find something that you get obsessed with and you will love every minute of training.. did i mention pole is addictive??

I for one am EXCITED to give the pole a second look as a part of my fitness routine.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

NAOMI: Model, Maven, Mentor

The name Naomi Campbell is synonymous with beauty. She is known around the globe for her iconic modelling career, signature walk and strong personality. I have watched Naomi since I was a young girl,a time when I was still a dreamer falling in love with FASHION. 
If the catwalks of the early 90's were the set of my dream, she certainly played a leading role.  You can imagine my great joy at the opportunity to interview her about her new show THE FACE.

I participated recently in a conference call with Naomi (mentor and executive producer) and her co-executive producer Eden Gaha. They both talked a lot about the authenticity of the show. They discussed the fact that the challenges on the FACE are actual 'jobs' and at  the finale of the show there is an actual prize: Becoming 'The FACE' of ULTA Beauty. 
Naomi spoke about her mother being her greatest mentor in life and pointed out that she is not a judge on the show but a mentor to her team during the shows taping and beyond.

The conference call still left me with a few questions for Naomi which she was gracious enough to answer.

Lisa: You mentioned your mother being your greatest mentor in life and fashion designer Gianni Versace taking you "under his wing." How did Gianni's "lessons" or help impact you as a mentor?
Naomi: I’ve been blessed to work with some of the greatest designers in the world, including Gianni Versace.  Many of these designers took me under their wing and taught me about what it takes to become a successful model and about life in general.  In my role as a mentor on “The Face,” I’ve passed along many of these lessons, including the fact that modeling requires thick skin, perseverance, drive and charisma in order to be successful.
Lisa: What do you feel is the most important "lesson" about the fashion industry or modeling specifically that you were able to teach your girls?
Naomi: I tried to teach my girls as many lessons as possible in my role as a mentor on “The Face.”  One of the most important things I tried to teach them is that modeling requires thick skin because rejection is inevitable.  I explained to them that if they don’t get a certain job, that doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with them, they’re just not the perfect person for that particular shoot or booking.

Lisa: Personal style and styling is an important part of fashion and important to models as first impressions, on go-see's etc.  Did you give the contestants style advice or guidance?

Naomi: Yes, I helped my girls with style tips here are there.  I told them to keep their style simple so that it doesn’t distract from their face! 
Lisa: If you have one piece of style advice for women what would it be?

Naomi: I think great style comes from individuality, confidence and a strong personality that comes through in one’s personal style.  You wear the clothes, the clothes don’t wear you!
Lisa: Your OMI quotes on twitter are very inspirational (I follow and love reading) - Who inspires you? and did you share some of this OMI wisdom with your girls during the competition?

Naomi: I’m glad you like my OMI quotes!  I’m inspired all different things – friends, family, great artists, pieces of art and designers, writers and more.  I love sharing quotes that inspire me with my fans and followers.
 Lisa: What have you personally taken away from being a mentor on the FACE? How has it impacted you personally/professionally?

Naomi: I’ve learned that I really enjoy mentoring.  I loved spending time with the girls on my team as I helped them become stronger models.  The experience has been more fulfilling and beneficial than I could have ever expected.  I’ve really missed all of my girls since the end of the show, because the bond we share is quite strong as a result of this experience. 
Lisa: You and Eden both talked about authenticity of the FACE as an honest reflection of the industry.  What do you hope will be the "take away" message for viewers of the show?

Naomi: Being a model is about more than just having a pretty face – you need to have the right look, charisma, talent, personality and smarts to represent a brand.  I hope that “The Face” will show viewers all that it takes to become a successful model and spokesperson. 
Naomi has been at the top of her game in the fashion industry for over 2 decades and I'm thrilled to see her back on my TV in the capacity of a mentor. What a wonderful opportunity she is providing the contestants. 

I am looking forward to the next episode.

Host Nigel Barker, Naomi, Karoline Kurkova, CoCo Rocha