A healthier, happier you

     Summer may be on its way out, but it's never too late to get started on your beach bod.  Maybe you're even getting a head start on your figure for your winter vacation.  Although all of our fitness goals vary, one common factor that we should all strive for is to be healthy.  Sometimes the best way to go about this is baby steps.  When making small changes it'll take some time to take effect, but in the meantime there are other tricks that can help you fake your slim down.

Watch your intake.

     Your beverages should not be hindering your diet.  I'd much rather eat my calories, carbs and sugars than drink them.  Replace sugary drinks and limit yourself to water, green tea and unsweetened black coffee and tea.  Green tea is beneficial in many ways because it's rich in antioxidants.  It can lower cholesterol, increase your metabolism and decrease signs of aging.  Nuts are also a great food to add to your diet.  For snacking purposes grab a handful of nuts or put some peanut butter on an apple.  They are full of protein and fiber so it'll leave you feeling full longer and prevent you from eating unhealthier alternatives.

Move your body!

     Try to stay active even if it just means going for a walk or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  Maybe even add a set of 25 squats during your lunchbreak at work, whatever you can do to get your heart pumping.  If you have a gym membership but find it difficult to get motivated to actually go, consider buying some new active wear.  Some sassy gym wear might be just the push you need!  Check out Kate Hudson's athletic line here for some trendy clothing sets at an affordable price.  Once you get moving it's easier to keep your body in motion!

Dress the part.

     To have your body looking its best while you shape up, find clothes that flatter your figure.  The first step is determining what body type you have.  From there you can figure out what pieces highlight your assets and downplay any not so flattering areas.  Dressing for your body will have you looking great and feeling confident in no time.  For some tips from the professionals for every body type take a peep at this slideshow.

Camouflage your cellulite.

    A tan not only makes you feel better, but can actually make you look better.  Since we are nearing the end of the summer chances are you've got a little bit of natural sun already.  A sunless tanner can enhance any complexion and give you a nice, dark glow.  Try Glymed Plus Tan In for a natural look.  Darker skin not only hides some of your imperfections such as cellulite but it also shows off your muscle definition.

Avert their eyes.

     If you aren't feeling confident enough to play up your body just yet try pulling the focus to your face.  Use your hair to flatter your face and bring the eyes in.  You can pull your hair up into a top knot or whisk it to the side in a braid to leave the attention on your face.  If you love your eyes play them up with a smoky eye or some cat eye liner.  In any situation a bold lip is sure to bring the attention to your face.  Try classic red lipstick for a night out or maybe a fuschia when you're feeling funky.

Use the buddy system!

     Find a friend with common goals as yourself.  You're more likely to hold yourself to your workouts if there is someone else who is depending on you for gym time, as well.  Meal preparation becomes a lot more fun and less work when there's someone cooking with you.  A healthy buddy gives you a support system as well as someone to keep you in line when you need it.



Midsummer Manicure

     Hair and makeup trends this season look very natural, it only makes sense that the nails follow suit.  Super lengthy, acrylic tips are a thing of the past.  Embrace your natural nail and follow these tips to stay stylish this summer.

Shape it up!

    Trim those nails down and get your files ready!  Shorter nails with softened edges are all the rage this summer.  Rounded edges are flattering on most hands and can actually make the hands appear thinner.  A cross between a square and an oval, the "squoval" is the newest trending shape this season.  Round nails have also increased in popularity and maintain a conservative, natural look.  Although almond nails have declined more recently, they still have a strong presence in this season's trends.  To learn more about these shapes and how to achieve them, check out this link.

Shades of summer.

     As always, neons are appropriate and complimentary for the warm weather.  But even more popular this season are muted pastels, desert tones and mermaid blues.  Some hues may even fit all three descriptions such as Can't Find my Czechbook by OPI.  Desert tones include colors ranging from nudes to tangerines to yellow greens.

White out.

     All white nails is such a universal trend right now that it needed its own category.  White pops against tan skin almost as any bright color would, but still offers the wearer a neutral nail.  White fingers, toes and clothes will have you looking stylish and ready for any occasion this summer.  Try OPI's Alpine Snow for a full coverage white polish.

Negative space.

     Negative space nails are the latest trend in nail art..  This design leaves some portion of the nail uncovered with nail lacquer, or "naked".  This can be achieved in a variety of ways and the possibilities are endless ranging from bare half moon nails to a chevron manicure.  This look is striking when combined with the all white trend.  Search "negative space nails" on Pinterest for some inspiration. 


Star Spangled Style

     Whether you're hosting a Fourth of July cookout or just attending one, here are a few tips to display your patriotism and keep your look sparking from the day well into the night.  The Fourth of July is a holiday where you can do as little or as much as you'd like as far as makeup, accessories and clothing go.  Chances are you're enjoying Independence Day with your friends and family by having a cookout or pool party, going to a parade and watching a fireworks show.  Everything is about fun and relaxing so get your sparklers ready!

Get your freedom face on.

     There are plenty of ideas online for bold, festive makeup looks.  You can find something appropriate for almost any kind of celebration you attend that day whether it includes glitter and stars or something a little more simplified.  Click on this link for some inspiration  For a more discrete look, apply nude toned shadows to your lids and sweep some blue liquid eye liner along your upper lash line.

American accessories.

     Wearing clothing with the American flag on it is a must.  If you don't have anything adorned with the star spangled banner at least opt for red, white and blue.  For just a festive pop, couple a pair of red shoes with an otherwise blue and white outfit.  All American is the way to go so don't be afraid to throw on a flag bandana and some distressed jean shorts.  For some great tips when putting together your Independence Day outfit check out this article.

Patriotic pedi.

     Showing your patriotism goes literally from head to toe.  If you want to add stars and stripes to your nails, the feet are a good place for a busier design.  Keep your fingernails simple with just a pop of glitter or a design on one or two of your fingers.  As long as you stick to the color theme, your nails will be on point.  Search "Fourth of July nails" on Pinterest for some ideas.

Festivity essentials.

     While many of these Fourth of July demands are just for show, there are a few must haves to get you through the day and night.  Daytime essentials include sunglasses and sunblock.  Nobody wants a headache from squinting all afternoon just in time for the bangs and booms of firecrackers.  Sunscreen is always important during the day in the summer, especially on a day like the Fourth where most people are spending the majority of it outside.  To help transition your day celebration into the night you need a hoodie and bug spray.  Temperatures will be dropping and chances are you'll be finding a spot in the grass to sit and watch fireworks illuminate the night sky.  A hoodie or sweater of some sort and bug spray will both help keep you comfortable.

God Bless America!


Radiant Summer Skin

     Summer is finally upon us and chances are you're showing off more skin than you have in the last 6 months.  Here are some tips that'll have your skin looking flawless and radiant for any occasion.

Slather on SPF.

     It's inevitable that you'll be getting some sunshine this summer,  Because your bathing suit isn't protecting your skin from the sun's rays, you should apply your sunscreen in the buff to make sure everything is covered.  And if you're going to be outside for some time, ALWAYS reapply throughout the course of the day!  Don't forget about your scalp or the delicate skin on your lips either.  A spray sunscreen makes it easy to protect your part in your hair and a lip balm with SPF can keep your lips from getting sore and flaky.

Drink up!

     Reservatrol is a powerful antioxidant that has many anti-inflammatory and anti-aging benefits.  Lucky for us, reservatrol can be found in red wine.  By drinking red wine your body produces a natural sunscreen, but don't let that deter you from applying sunblock.  Reservatrol also has the ability to decrease redness from acute sunburns.

Cool off with a shower.

     After a hot, sweaty day there's nothing like a refreshing shower.  Taking a cold shower, as opposed to a warm shower, decreases acne breakouts.  The cold water also dilates capillaries near the surface of your skin, which invigorates your body. This rush of blood to your skin gives you a rosy and healthy glow.  You can learn more about other benefits of a cold shower here.

Eat some melon.

     In addition to red wine, watermelon is also a natural way to boost your body's SPF.  Watermelon is rich in antioxidants such as lycopene, vitamin A and vitamin C, making it beneficial to anti-aging, as well.  It can even be applied to the skin to help soothe a sunburn.  As they are related, cantaloupe is also antioxidant rich and hydrating to the skin.  It is especially high in vitamin A, which promotes a  healthy glow in your complexion.

Shine bright!

     Shimmer lotion can help highlight certain parts of your body such as your decolletage or your legs.  It also bronzes your skin and camouflages small imperfections.  Although it isn't appropriate for day to day use, it can leave you luminous for a night out with the girls or date night.