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Sponsored by HP & Intel: Add A Touch of Luxury To Your Life

To recognize the launch of the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook™ powered by Intel® Core™ processors I was asked to write about adding a Touch of Luxury to our lives. As a mom I know first hand laziness that could set in when it comes to personal appearance when you have to worry about getting everyone else ready. I will admit, I drop off my tiny dancer to school in sweat pants. Not yoga pants, but grey fleece sweatpants. But I draw the line there. Any other time I leave the house I try to look put together. It only takes a few more minutes and makes me feel a lot better than when I look like a scrub.

When you take the time out to make yourself look good, it automatically translates to you feeling better about yourself. Not only that, but you’re setting a good example for your kids. Here are some quick ways to add a Touch of Luxury to your everyday style…

perfume

Wear Perfume
This is probably the quickest way to add a Touch of Luxury but one of the most worthwhile. Scent is so intertwined with memory and emotion just a spritz of your favorite scent will make you smell lovely and lift your spirits.

Wear Clothing – Not Workout Wear
Aside from dropping off the little one at school – or when I’m actually on my way to or from the gym – I wear clothing in public. I don’t dress to the nines, but a pair of chinos and a collared-button up shirt are very comfortable and make you look put together in snap. It takes just as long to put on pants or jeans as it does to put on sweat pants.

makeup

Put On Some Lipstick (0r lipgloss, or mascara…)
So you don’t have time to make yourself up completely? Then what’s the one thing that you rely on for a face pick me up? Lipstick? Mascara? Whatever it is for you – put it on. You will look and feel better. I personally don’t just use one item but I’ve gotten my casual, everyday makeup application down to less than five minutes and I don’t leave the house without makeup (except when I’m wearing sweat pants and dropping off the little one to school).

Use a Real Handbag Not a Diaper Bag
I don’t get the design of most diaper bags – just because your carrying baby products the bag does not need to scream “baby!”. We’re adults – you can use an adult bag. All you need is a large tote or a bag with lots of pockets. If you opt for a tote, be prepared to have small pouches so that you can keep similar items together. Whatever your preference, you don’t need to carry around a pink diaper bag. You can carry a women’s bag that happens to have diapers in it.

Keep Your Hair Long
I grew up on Long Island and all of the moms there – once they hit a certain age – chop off their hair and have men’s haircuts. I don’t know if it’s the water or what but I cannot comprehend this phenomenon. Whenever I see it I think, there’s another person that just gave up. Keep your hair! It doesn’t have to be to your waist – or even to your mid back – but please don’t get a men’s haircut. You don’t need to fully style your hair everyday. A good blowout lasts a couple of days and when in doubt you can opt for a chic bun or pony tail.

I hope these easy tips help you to add a Touch of Luxury to your busy lives!

HP-&-Intel_-Project-Runway-'Pin-Your-Style'---HP-Spectre-XT-(Touch-of-Luxury)

Spectre XT Touchsmart Ultrabook™ The HP + Intel + Project Runway Pin Your Style Contest

Want to participate? Pin a photo of the HP Spectre XT Touchsmart Ultrabook™ via the Pin It button on the Pin Your Style contest page. Then, build a board that represents that week’s theme. Check out the weekly Pinsetter images on the site for inspiration.

Submit your board’s URL into the site to enter. Then, share your board with friends to earn the most votes!

Win prizes like an HP Spectre XT Touchsmart Ultrabook™ and a gift card to bring your style to life by getting the top votes for your board.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Gabriella
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Word on the Street: News from the MISS Network 07.13.12

MISS NEWS

Hello! It was so nice to have a week off and spend time with my husband and daughter. This week was back to the grind but it doesn’t hurt when you love what you do. Last week Chanel presented its Fall-Winter 2012/13 Haute Couture collection and on Lil’ Miss I’m writing about all things summer. Here’s some fun news to share from La Chanelphile and MISS

La Chanelphile

Learn more about the origin of the iconic double C – Flash Back Friday: The Legend of the Chanel Logo’s Double C

Take a look at the Chanel Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2012/13 runway presentation, beauty, look book, fittings and scenes from backstage.

Chanel debuted a new beauty film entitled Miroir, Miroir – Chanel’s Peter Philips Presents: Mirror, Mirror

MISS

Santigold debuted a new video for her single KeepersSantigold “Keepers” Video

Joyrich released its Fall/Winter 2012 look book – Joyrich Fall/Winter 2012-2013 Look Book

Hear my whine about nail art’s trendiness – My Two Cents: The Nail Art Takeover Is Making Me Sad

This is what I look like on the weekends – and yes, it involves Chanel – Mirror, Mirror: Weekend Casual July 2012

Have a great weekend!

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Gabriella
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Word on the Street: News from the MISS Network 06.22.12

MISS NEWSIt’s been a crazy week and I’m sorry for the lack of posts.  Between webinars, collaborative projects and photo shoots there’s been little time for actual blog posting.  I did manage to get a few goodies up so here are some highlights from MISS and La Chanelphile.

New Looks from VANS and Gravis via MISS

Learn how to make light lipstick work for you – MISS Beauty Tip of the Week: How I Made a Light Lipstick Work for Me

See what kicks celebrities are wearing – Celebrity Style: Feminine Inspiration While Rocking Sneakers

Chanel’s The Little Black Jacket exhibit moved to Taipei last week – CHANEL The Little Black Jacket in Taipei – The Film

Catch up on the latest Chanel News and Karl Lagerfeld News via La Chanelphile

Karl Lagerfeld designed a $45,000 collar – Karl Lagerfeld Designs Diamond Collar for Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

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Gabriella
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Beauty on a Dime! 5 Amazing Party Looks In Time for the Holidays

Thanks to Walgreens for underwriting this post. I was paid as a member of the
Clever Girls Collective
, but the content is all mine. Visit http://moms.dailybuzz.com/channel/style

The holidays are coming and that means two things: gifts and holiday parties. Since I’m trying to save my pretty pennies for gifts for my family, I’m trying to get glamorous for the holiday parties on a cheap and cheerful budget. Thankfully, drugstores like Walgreens have come a long way baby and you can find any beauty product you might be looking for right in the cosmetics aisle of your local store. I recently went to Walgreens to get some inspiration for amazing party looks and came up with 5 ideas in 5 minutes. Here they are…

1. Nail It! Nails are having a moment – long gone are the days of only pink and red nail polish. You can paint your fingertips in virtually any shade of the rainbow. Just figure out your ensemble for your holiday parties and pick out a fun contrasting color – matchy matchy is no fun. When in doubt some silver or gold glitter says “holiday cheer” like no other.

2. Bat Your Eyelashes! I wish I were one of those girls who could wear false eyelashes all day every day but alas, I’m not. False lashes up the glamour factor instantly. So, for special occasions like holiday parties I like to go the extra mile and put on the lashes. Just remember that if you’re playing up your eyes, try to keep your lips and cheeks subtle.

3. Wing It! I’m a huge fan of winged eyeliner and since it’s been popular for a while now (thank you Amy Winehouse for the revival) many cosmetics companies not only offer liquid eyeliner with easy applicators, they offer an array of colors. Basic black is always pretty but you can go for green, blue or purple. This year, I’m going with gold!

4. Pucker Up! Nothing completes a look like lipstick or lip gloss. After not being so popular for many years, lipstick is making a comeback. Opaque lips, especially matte ones, are very on trend right now. I love the look of a matte red lip for the holidays (or anytime for that matter) but red lipstick is not for everyone. If you want something more subtle or with some shine, you can’t go wrong with lip gloss. From very natural to very bright, from matte to super shellacked – your lip color will complete your makeup look.

5. Pile It Up! If you look on the runwways and fashion magazines you’ll notice that hair is up. Whether it’s a high ponytail or a low side bun, up-dos are popular now. Fortunately the hairstyles that always seemed so difficult to master are getting easier with a few handy tools. I personally want to try a low side bun this holiday season – with these tools, I’m not afraid anymore!

I hope these tips inspire you to come up with amazing party looks of your own! Happy Glamorous Holidays!

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Gabriella
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Bliss Poetic Waxing Wax Strips for Face

bliss wax strips

When I received my sample of Bliss’s Poetic Waxing Wax Strips for Face they could not have arrived at a better time. I was between waxes and my upper lip had some hair growing in and I wanted them gone! When it comes to beauty regimens I’m pretty low maintenance. I don’t have a lot of time so I keep my beauty routine pretty basic and limit it to products that work fast. I’m also a big baby, hate pain and have had little success in my “waxing at home” attempts. That has all changed.

The Bliss Poetic Waxing Wax Strips for face are easy to heat, easy to apply and easy to remove. You heat the double-sided strip in your hands in between 15-30 seconds. You peel one side and apply it to the area you want to wax and massage onto your skin. Next, you pull your skin taut and pull the strip off. Easy! You can finish an upper lip wax in about 2 minutes!

The Bliss Poetic Waxing kit comes with azulene oil that helps remove any remnant wax and soothe your skin. I have pretty sensitive skin and I didn’t have any issues with the wax or the oil.

The kit was easy to use and the results were great. I’m so happy that I have a home remedy that I actually can use and gets the job done. I suppose if you’re crafty and/or skilled you could apply this to your brows (or any other part of your face) but I didn’t trust myself to get the shape of my brows right.

You can purchase the Bliss Poetic Waxing Wax Strips for Face on Sephora.com.

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Gabriella
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Hormonal Acne Be Gone! Bliss “No Zit Sherlock” To The Rescue

The past two years have been a bit hormonal to say the least.  Between getting pregnant, having a baby and nursing for a year, my hormones were on a rollercoaster.  When the Tiny Dancer turned one, I stopped nursing and slowly, bit by bit, my body started becoming mine again.  Along with that came a surge (or loss of) hormones that wreaked havoc on my face.  I went from having clear skin to having small bumps along my forehead, temples and around my mouth.  When I received my complimentary sample of Bliss’s No Zit Sherlock Complete Acne System the timing could not be more perfect.

The sample pack included the no ‘zit’ sherlock purifying cleanser+toner (2 oz), correcting serum (.5 oz) and oil control moisturizer (1 oz).  First you wash with the cleanser +toner and then you apply the serum and then moisturizer.  It seems like a lot of steps but it just takes a minute.  I used the No Zit Sherlock Complete Acne System in the morning and at night and in a few days my skin started clearing up!  I’ve never used an acne treatment with such quick results.  Once my skin cleared up I went back to my regular skin routine but occasionally when my skin flares up I reach for the No Zit Sherlock products and my skin settles down.  I also love that instead of committing to giant bottles of product that you don’t know will work for your skin, you can try the sample pack (which is perfect for travel too!).

You can purchase the Bliss’s No Zit Sherlock Complete Acne System on BlissWorld.com.  You can also “like” Bliss on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

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Gabriella
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Mama Mio Bootcamp for Tummies Skincare & Exercise

I miss my pre-pregnancy body.  There. I said it. I’m tired of hearing people say “but wasn’t she worth it?”  Yes, of course I love my daughter but am I wrong for missing my old tummy and belly button?  Now, I never had a six pack or even the flattest of abs but how I wish I had my old abs back.  I’ve lost almost all of the pregnancy weight – the last five pounds have been lingering and I got lazy.  Since I had a c-section no matter how much I worked out, no amount of ab exercises helped – I couldn’t feel my abs.  That was until I received the Mama Mio Bootcamp Tummies Skincare & Exercise System.

When I was offered a free kit to try out, I jumped at the chance. I was willing to try anything that would get my tummy back to the way it was.  The Mama Mio Bootcamp Tummies Skincare & Exercise System includes Skin Tight Toning Serum, Get Waisted Cream and 4 minute tummy-tucking exercise programme by ab rehab guru, Julie Tupler. You are supposed to follow the steps for 30 days (applying the cream and doing the ab exercises) and see results. When I apply the serum and cream I definitely feel a tingly sensation which makes me feel like something is happening – which is a good thing. The cream is supposed to last 30 days but the supply is so generous it’s lasted well more than 30 days. It’s actually lasted me at least 3 months which is nice because at $99 for the set, it doesn’t make it seem that expensive if you know you’ll get a lot of use out of it.

My favorite part of the set is the exercise programme by Julie Tupler – the creator of the Tupler technique to treat Diastasis Recti (separation of the outermost abdominal muscles during pregnancy). Her ab exercises were the first ones where I actually felt a difference in my abs. It’s been very slow going but I am seeing small improvements in my abs.

I think the Mama Mio Bootcamp for Tummies Skincare & Exercise kit is a great addition to any woman’s workout arsenal. While I was using the kit I was also running, working out with free weights and eating healthy. It’s not a miracle cream – I don’t have my pre-pregnancy abs – but I definitely think it’s helping me get there. It’s much cheaper than a tummy tuck and won’t leave any scars! You can purchase the kit online and check out the videos below to hear about the science behind the serums.

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Gabriella
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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

mother's day gift ideas Clockwise from top left: Tiffany Pearl earrings, Tiffany Mom charm and necklace, Louis Vuitton bracelet, Asiya Nameplate, David Yurman silver ring.

Mother’s day is just around the corner, and if you’re anything like me – you probably haven’t gotten your mom a gift yet. It’s not that you don’t appreciate your mom, you’re just so busy being a mom. I know, I get it. So, I thought I’d hit 2 birds with one stone and throw out some ideas for mother’s day gifts that our moms would love – and that we would love receiving. Either way, everybody wins!

For mother’s day, you can’t go wrong with a spa treatment – or if that’s too pricey – then spa products. I don’t know a woman that doesn’t like pampering. In fact, at the top of my list is a Fully Loaded Facial from Bliss Spa. Also along the line of pampering is fragrance – perfume, candles and the like. Department stores have great deals on fragrance for Mother’s Day – if your mom likes perfume you can get her a nice gift set that comes with body lotion, etc. Finally, Estee Lauder always has pretty compacts available – and all ladies need to powder their nose at some point.

You also can’t go wrong with jewelry. Tiffany has simple, elegant pieces for under $200 and Louis Vuitton has fun costume jewelry if your budget is a little spendier. The best mom-related piece of jewelry I received was a nameplate with my daughter’s name on it. I’m a big nameplate person (I got my first for my Sweet Sixteen) and having my daughter’s nameplate is special to me now, and is something I can pass on to her. Custom jewelry is always the best kind.

I hope that I was able to help with some ideas for gifts for your mom. Remember, whatever you do end up getting, I’m sure your mom will love it. Wouldn’t you love anything that your beautiful kids got you? :)

mother's day gift ideas Clockwise from top left: Bliss Spa, Chanel Beige, Guerlain Shalimar, Estee Lauder compact, Bliss spa products.

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Gabriella
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Top 5 Makeup Must Haves for Mamas On The Go

top 5 makeup must haves for mamas on the goI really hate the stereotypes of frazzled moms who don’t have time to shower let alone put on makeup.  Ok, yes, I have less time to primp but that doesn’t mean that I leave the house looking like Night of the Living Dead.  It just means that I need to be efficient and use products that are easy to use and last all day.  These are my top 5 makeup products that I use on the daily…

1.  Chanel Precision Hydramax + Active Teinte – I’ve never been a fan of foundation so I was hesitant to try this tinted moisturizer.  I’m so glad I did though.  It evens out your skin tone but has the lightness of moisturizer.  Two jobs – one product.

2.  Benefit Benetint – I love this stuff! I put it on my cheeks and lips and it gives you a naturally flushed look.

3.  Benefit Erase Paste – I’ve had dark circles under my eyes for as long as I can remember.  Being exhausted from taking care of the Tiny Dancer is not helping the circles get any lighter.  Benefit’s Erase Paste is one of the best concealers I’ve used.

4.  L’Oreal Double Extend Mascara – This is my favorite mascara and it’s the best mascara I’ve used.  It’s like fake lashes in a tube.  First you put on the white layer and you can see how much longer it actually makes your lashes and then you put on the color (in my case Blackest Black).  It makes your lashes longer and thicker.  Yay!

5.  Vaseline – My lip balm of choice. Can’t live without it.  It moisturizes my lips and makes ‘em shiny like lipgloss.

Don’t get me wrong.  I have a makeup bag full of goodies – I try to add some neutral eyeshadow or eyeliner when I have an extra minute but if I’m in a crunch, these are my top 5 products that I love and will help me look put together.  What products can’t you live without?

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Lucky Kids for Stylish Moms

Lucky Kids Magazine is out now

Lucky Kids Magazine is out now

It must have been my lucky day because my mailbox contained not one, but TWO Lucky magazines.  I have a subscription to the shopping and style mag, and was quite delighted to see that the extra magazine was the first issue of Lucky Kids.  How perfect is it that the premier issue is for Spring?

I’ve had my fair share of kid-related magazine subscriptions when my little one was younger, but now, everything in those mags seems too babyish for our lives now that she’s 10.  But in flipping through Lucky Kids, it’s refreshing to see that this magazine is very much a fashion magazine, only with a focus on the kiddos.

The content in this spring issue covers everything from shopping suggestions for lunch boxes, whimsical room decor, and even a mommy care section.  The fashion editorials feature school-aged children, which is a sigh of relief for me because every time I see cutesy clothes for the tiny tots, I can’t help but reminisce when my girl was that small.  But for the mommies with little ones, don’t worry because there are plenty of toy and fashion suggestions for babies and toddlers.

I won’t spoil the whole issue for you, but one thing to note is that instead of the random child-related advertisements for x-product, Lucky Kids has full-page ads for the kid-sized brands that you wear, or wish you could wear (hello, J-Lo and the Twins for Gucci)!  I love looking at the kiddy ads because it’s so interesting to see how these big time brands style these cute little models and advertise to the fashion-loving mommies.

The Lucky Kids magazine is a supplement to Lucky Magazine, so you can keep up with fashions for you and your family in the print form.  Check it out on the news stands now!

Looks like M.I.S.S. isn’t the only media coming out with something for the mamas!

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