Monday, March 22, 2010

Sweat out the bad til the beautiful shines through. . .

It's been a long time since I've felt this pretty. I know that's an out-there thing to say, but it comes from a good place, not from conceit.

Today I attended my first bikram (hot yoga) class in over a year. My first obstacle was just getting out the door, and I'm so glad I did.

Honestly, in this day and age of fast everything (food, chores, errands, keeping up with family and friends), it's easy to let yourself go. I started feeling that way. . . like I was letting myself go. I don't want that for me, my husband, or my children. I need to be at my best to help keep them at theirs. So, this new leaf was turned, and I decided hot yoga was just the detox I needed. All the coffee, red wine, sodium, sugars. . . all the bad stuff I've consumed recently, needed to GO!

Ninety minutes in a room heated to 105 degrees, along with a packed class of 40 plus people, is enough to put your head in a weird place. I know enough about yoga to know that a capacity class, heated to that temperature could lead to some ugly happenings. But, I was ready to let it all pour out. And indeed, it did. I managed to get a spot at the back of the class, with enough arm space between me and the girl to my left and the guy to my right. Lots of men in this class, and I couldn't help but think they were there to prep for the Cooper River Bridge Run (this upcoming Saturday, March 27).

I'm not usually a person who perspires much, let alone sweats. But bikram is the magic trick for me. About a half hour into the class, and after several "lions breaths" to stoke the internal fire, I felt the glorious drops of sweat leaving my body and drenching my towel and mat. It felt amazing. I felt strong, capable, and "in the moment." That's what yoga does for me. Keeps me grounded and in the present. No thoughts of yesterdays or tomorrows. . . only about that one foot, rooted to the ground, supporting me and my body. As a Libra, balance is a theme in my life. Yoga is such a blessing because it's based on balance. What you do for one side of your body, you do for the other.

So, when the class came to an end, and I was lying there in corpse pose, thanking my body and my god for allowing me to do the entire class, I was sad to see it end. But happy to be leaving the guy next to me who was swishing around on his mat full of sweat.

When I got out to my car, I looked in the rear view mirror. I thought I looked really good. Not a stitch of makeup; hair matted down and wet, ponytail askew . . . but my face was flushed and glowed. I love yoga and all the natural beauty it brings to a body and a face.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

FStoppers Features Brownie Harris

If you've followed my blog, you'll know that Brownie Harris is a photographer and gentleman whom I admire greatly. Have since the day I met him. I was especially pleased that two young photographers from Charleston chose to do a short feature film about Brownie's life and career. This is an informative, entertaining 10 minutes. . . I hope you'll watch. I know you'll enjoy.

During my correspondence with Lee Morris, one of the filmmakers, I learned this about his company, FStoppers. . .

"Fstoppers was created in 2009 in an attempt to organize online information pertaining to professional photography of all kinds. Founders Patrick Hall ( and Lee Morris ( wanted to have a site that could not only feature high quality videos of photographers working but would also create a community for creative professionals to discuss their work and the work of others."

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Look I Love. . .

Kara DioGuardi, judge on American Idol, has been rocking a great look this year. Just sending props her way. . . or more likely, I should send kudos to her makeup artist and stylist.

I love, Love, LOVE the combo of brunette with great, strong eye brows along with a pop of pink lipstick. (See previous post about MAC's Viva Glam in "Lady Gaga.") I think that's what Kara's sporting these days on AI (though not in the photo above). I hope her MUA has plenty of Lady Gaga on hand because it sure is hard to come by at the MAC counters right now. Thanks to this look, it's been a sell-out everywhere.

In any case. . . great look, great job!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Multiple Orgasm. . .

. . .by NARS Cosmetics.

OK, so I couldn't resist the hook ;) If you are savvy to the makeup world, you'll know that's a reference to a very popular product by the French makeup artist, Francois Nars.

A NARS "Multiple" refers to the multi-tasking product that shades, blushes, and highlights everything from cheeks, eyes, lips, and body. It's an amazing bit of makeup. It's cream-stick formulation makes it easy to carry, and easy to apply. Use your fingers, a brush, or a cosmetic wedge. . . blend, and instant color, instant shimmer.

"Orgasm" is the name of the color. . . a peachy-pink, sparkly gold. It's NARS' best selling blush color. Absolutely beautiful on brides on their wedding day, but not my personal fave for photography. It's gorgeous in person, but makes a bit too much reflection in photos, for my taste.

My favorite color is "St. Barts." It's billed as a "taupe shimmer" but I think the shimmer is kept to a minimum. It's a shade of brown that true to its name, has a very Caribbean look that's wonderful to contour with.

Then, there's the best of both worlds: the Multiple Duo. It is the same creamy formulation, but is packaged in a compact with two shades. . . the darker for contouring, the lighter for highlighting. Again, my two faves are Copacabana/St. Barts and Orgasm/South Beach.

I consider a NARS Multiple, whatever shade you like best, to be an essential for spring and summer makeup bags.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sloughing off the Old. . . Slathering on the New (Lips!)

With spring just around the corner, and yet winter still having a vice grip on us, it's time to start thinking about Spring Cleaning for our faces. A great place to begin is our lips.

I was recently introduced to a product that is wonderful for sloughing off the ragged edges of chapped lip skin: The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ. My particular favorite is Cinnamon Sugar, although it is offered in several other flavors: Almond Creme, Peppermint, Vanilla Bean, Cocoa, and Brown Sugar.

I like to keep this tidy little jar in the shower. All you need is a dab. With a little heat from the water, it melts and you gently rub it in circles over your entire lip area. Lips have never been softer!

Don't forget to follow up with MAC's Lip Conditioner (see previous post, Dec 2009) and you'll be quite kissable! The brown box container says it all. . . you'll "Wonder How You Ever Lived Without It."

I purchased my lip scrub from the delightful Glow Spa in Mt. Pleasant, but you can also check out this entire line of lip care products at