Weekly Feature Articles

  • Valentine's Day gifts that your man will actually appreciate

    It seems that as each year passes, men are put under increasing pressure to wow their significant others on Valentine's Day. As fun as it may be to watch them scramble to find the perfect gift, the true message of the holiday is to celebrate love and strong relationships, so your gift to him should reflect that. More importantly, this is your chance to have fun with the occasion and do something that you both really enjoy. After all, the holiday comes in the middle of winter, so both of you are probably in need of a little excitement. Give the following ideas a try and see if they put a smile on your significant other's face.

    1. A ski trip. Even though this winter has been underwhelming in terms of snowfall, getting away for a weekend with your hubby is a great escape from the working world. Rent a cabin and take a weekend together to hit the slopes, dine out at a few restaurants and enjoy some quality time with one another.

    2. Rent an exotic car. If you have a bit of money to play with, you won't believe the look on your boy toy's face when he gets the chance to drive a sports car for the day. Since the weather has been so mild in many parts of the country, this is a reality even in the middle of February. Your significant other will relish the chance to whip around in a hot rod and he'll be bragging to his friends long after the holiday.

    3. A quiet meal at home. While the aforementioned ideas will certainly wow your significant other, some guys simply love a quiet night at home. Get dressed up in your favorite little black dress, put on a bit of liquid eyeliner and whip up your guy's favorite meal. This is an inexpensive way to show your boyfriend or husband just how much you care, and it can be a welcome break from the rigors of the work week.

    Valentine's Day doesn't have to be so complicated when you get down to what makes your man really happy. Maybe this year you can knock his socks off with one of these dazzling gifts and raise the bar for the holiday.

  • Top 3 tips to regain your spring fashion sense

    After multiple seasons of wearing dark colors and sporting multiple layers, there can be a bit of a learning curve when the warmer weather rolls around. While you may be sifting through fashion blogs and reading best-dressed lists to get some ideas, it may be best to go out and try a few of them on your own. Thankfully, there are a few ways that you can explore some of the hottest spring trends yourself so you can wow friends and co-workers throughout the season.

    1. Visit a makeup artist. If you're heading into the salon or shopping at the mall, make sure to stop by and talk about the latest trends in makeup. Whether you're looking for hassle-free tube mascara or a dynamic liquid eyeliner, a makeup artist can point you in the right direction. Oftentimes you don't know how a specific cosmetic will look without matching it with your skin tone and trying it out yourself. This could be a wonderful way to refine your spring ensembles before the season arrives.

    2. Pick up a few accessories. Even the most scintillating makeup style will fall flat without the contrast of a few choice accessories, so pick up a few statement pieces for your spring wardrobe. Lightweight scarves are especially popular for the fickle weather of spring, and they can provide a dazzling pop of color that will brighten your look. Additionally, look into a few colorful bracelets - these are quick additions that can add complementary hues to your outfit.

    3. Lip color. Bold red lip color is a chic choice during the winter months, but it can look out of place with a spring ensemble. Do yourself a favor and look into the many vibrant lip colors that you can pair with your warm weather outfits. Whether you choose tangerine, lavender or a pale shade of pink, these cosmetics could be a ravishing finishing touch for a night on the town or with your work attire.

    This winter has been anything but ordinary, but many of the traditional seasonal trends stayed consistent. Thankfully, spring is on its way, and it's one of the most exciting times of the year for fashion-forward individuals. Whether you're trying out a new style this year or combining myriad seasonal trends, these tips will help you get back into the swing of things.

  • Reinventing your winter clothing for the spring season

    reinventing+your+winter+clothing+for+the+spring+season_3356_800712295_0_0_14015294_300The winter of 2012 certainly isn't going to be remembered for its significant snow accumulations, and as a result, many fashionistas splurged on winter garments only to have them gather dust in their closets. Luckily, with spring on the horizon, many of your cold weather purchases can be given new life in your spring ensembles and pair beautifully with your everyday tube mascara and liquid eyeliner. Keep the following winter digs in mind that you can sport with confidence this spring.

    1. Cable knit sweaters. These full-length sweaters are go-tos on frigid winter days, but they can be a perfect alternative to a jacket on a mild day. Throw on your best pair of jeans, a graphic tee and a pair of sneakers for a day at the mall or pair it with a lace top and open-toed heels for a brunch ensemble. The options are unlimited, and with the fickle weather of spring being so unpredictable, you'll be glad you brought it along.

    2. The military boot. Whether they helped you trudge through snow or plenty of puddles during this damp winter, a pair of brown boots looks great when paired with a warm weather floral pattern. They can combine beautifully with a lightweight denim and a cardigan or even your favorite sundress. However, banish your tights to the closet for the rest of the year and opt for colorful socks instead to give your outerwear a pop of unexpected hues.

    3. The boyfriend blazer. Men's clothing has made a surprising foray into women's fashion, so if you picked up a blazer over the winter, now is the perfect time to break it out. This piece of outerwear combines seamlessly with statement necklaces, colorful button-down shirts and even your favorite pair of jeans. Make sure to wear a colorful oversized cocktail ring to give your outfit an instant focal point and add a touch of glamor to your outfit.

    Spring is almost here, so if you consider yourself a fashion-forward individual, this is probably your favorite time of the year. Even though the mild winter has made spring a bit less exciting, there are plenty of dazzling clothing combinations you can utilize in the coming months that will make the most of your cold weather wardrobe.

  • Bad grocery store habits to break in order to start eating healthier

    bad+grocery+store+habits+to+break+in+order+to+start+eating+healthier_3356_800717031_0_0_14004030_300Spring and summer are just around the corner, so if you're trying to get into better shape to fit into that new swimsuit, you're going to have to improve the nutritional quality of your food. However, when you're trying to eat healthier, there are some common pitfalls at the grocery store that can cause ladies to undo all of their hard work. Whether you're trying to look your best in your new formal wear or getting ready to hit the beach, these bad grocery store habits should help you shed those unwanted pounds.

    1. Heading to the store hungry. When you're trying to lose weight, you shouldn't head to the grocery store on an empty stomach under any circumstances. This is one of the easiest ways to let your guard down and start to pick up the foods that can contribute to your weight gain. Do yourself a favor and eat an apple or a granola bar before you head to the store to curb any food cravings.

    2. Buying one day at a time. Planning your meals ahead of time can help you to better control your intake of vitamins and minerals and help you avoid succumbing to a bag of chips or ice cream. If you're only buying meals one day at a time, this increases the likelihood that you'll skip making dinner, head out and possibly make some bad nutritional choices. Weight loss is about discipline, and the easiest way to keep off those unwanted pounds is to make healthy meals at home.

    3. Staying in the middle aisles. Most modern grocery stores place the majority of their natural and healthier foods on the periphery of the store, while fattier foods, snacks and canned goods are relegated to the middle aisles. Make an effort to stick to the outer aisles of the store and only venture into the middle of the market when you need to.

    Whether you're getting amped for the warm weather or looking to renew your new year's resolution, it's never a bad time to start eating healthier. After losing a few pounds, you can even reward yourself with a new vial of tube mascara or a lash curler to revitalize your look for the coming seasons.

  • Easy recipes for an at-home facial

    Despite what you may think, some of the best beauty treatments available aren't found in salons or spas. They might be right at home in your own kitchen! If you're looking for an easy way to create a face mask or scrub at home, look no further. Here are a few easy recipes that'll help tackle all of your skincare issues.

    Normal skin
    If all your skin needs is a pick-me-up that will restore your outer glow, Marie Claire Magazine recommends whipping up a tropical banana face mask. Mash up one half of a banana (eat the rest - it's good for you!) then mix it with a tablespoon of orange juice and a tablespoon of honey. Apply the mixture to a clean face, then rinse it off with warm water 15 minutes later.

    Oily skin
    A little extra oil is easily fixed with a mask made with oil-zapping egg yolk and oatmeal. HealthyWomen.org suggests mixing one egg yolk, one tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of olive oil and ½ cup of oatmeal together. Apply the mixture to a freshly-washed face, then leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

    Dry skin
    For dry skin that's a bit on the sensitive side, you'll need a mask with plenty of moisturizing ingredients. According to Whole Living Magazine, you should mash up one small avocado and grate ½ of a cucumber. Mix these ingredients with one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and three tablespoons of green clay powder, which you can find at natural food stores. Chill the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes, then apply to a clean face. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, then wipe off and rinse with cool water.

    Face scrub
    To eliminate dead skin and restore the healthy surface of your skin, Whole Living Magazine recommends mixing up a pineapple scrub, which will dissolve the bonds that hold skin cells together, making dead cells slough off easily. Use a blender to mix ? cup of pineapple chunks with ¼ cup of olive oil until it's smooth. Add in ¼ cup fresh, chopped parsley, then blend the mixture so it doesn't liquify. Apply to clean skin for 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

    After using these skin treatments, your skin will be radiant - providing the perfect background for your blinc tube mascaras and liquid eyeliners!

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