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Beauty & Beyond: New Products and Fun Finds


I'??ve found myself straightening things up a lot lately. Don'??t get me wrong. My house is still a mess and my posture (I'??m convinced) will never be spectacular. My hair, however'?¦pin straight. I mean, I have pretty straight hair anyway, but after seeing what a flat iron can do to it (have you seen shiny glass before?), I'??m a believer.

One thing has me stressed me about my straight tresses. My flat iron goes up to 425 degrees. Excuse me? Don'??t I bake meatloaf at that temperature? Clearly, I'??m not doing my hair any favors.

Until I found my new best friend'??diamonds. OK, not really diamonds. More like the quartz crystals in Smooth N Shine'??s Diamond Luster Poof Eraser serum. It'??s specifically for 425 degree heat styling protection. Quartz and silicone blend together to create a new dimension of smooth. As your flat iron smooths the cuticles down, wheat proteins boost them up and Vitamin E shows them a little anti-oxidant love. It'??s even good for chemically treated hair, which is good since I'??ve been coloring my hair since I was 18. Don'??t judge.

With this protection, it'??s actually OK that I'??ve been ironing a lot. Well, my husband shirts are still wrinkled. But I look fabulous.

Diamond Luster Poof Eraser is available at drug stores nationwide for $4.99.


When my daughter bats her eyelashes, she gets whatever she wants. Seriously. We'??re saving for a pony. It has something to do with the doll-like quality of them. They're unbelievable long and thick. I'??m jealous.

I had heard about Lancome'??s newest mascara venture this month'??the new Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara. Since I'??m a sucker for any new mascara, I decided to give it one long lash look. It promised to channel the big baby doll flutters that are all over my daughter'??s toy room (both in her dolls and when she looks in the mirror). The mascara'??s I-Conic brush is a cone-shaped wand that pushes up the lashes with support and the FiberShine formula is enriched with nylon powder to sculpt lashes with a jet-black finish.

To complete the '??doll'? look, they also just launched three new shadow palettes'??Color Design 5 Pan Palettes in Rose Coquette (my favorite), Pink Envy and Violet Sweetheart. For sweetie pie come-hither lashes, they gave me a great tip'??squiggle the wand from lash root to top, then repeat the extra coats only on the outer corner.

Now I don'??t covet my daughter'??s lashes anymore. I'??m moving on to her perfectly smooth skin. That'??ll be next week.

Lancome'??s Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara ($25) and Color Design 5 Pan Palettes ($48) are available at Lancome counters nationwide and

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I have a confession to make. I can only carry so much. I know, I know. I sound like a quitter. But it'??s true. I mean, really'?¦how many things can you fit into a fashionable bag? I stopped carrying a diaper bag two years and seven months ago (but who'??s counting). I'??m not about to start again just so I can lug around half the house for whatever might occur while we'??re out.

That'??s why when I went grocery shopping at Whole Foods the other day, I giggled like a little girl and clapped my hands upon seeing the travel-sized Peace Soap from Kiss My Face. Yes, people looked at me strangely. They were all carrying big purses. They didn'??t understand.

I keep the big container of this 100% natural All-Purpose pure castile soap under our sink. We'??ve plowed through several of their hundreds of usage suggestions'??hands, dishes, clothes, our dog, etc. We even took it camping. It was the perfect do-it-all cleanser for pots, bodies and my husband'??s socks'?¦you know, the ones he wore with the shoes I told him weren'??t waterproof but he decided to walk the canoe back from the shore wearing them anyway.

To have this in a tiny version that we can pop anywhere and be ready for any mess was a huge deal. It'??s gentle and free of things that you don'??t want (parabens, phthalates, etc) and cleans the other stuff you don'??t want (germs, dirt, grease). My favorite scent is the Grassy Mint, but there'??s also Lemongrass Clary Sage, Lavender Mandarin and Pomegranate Acai.

Now I can finally make peace with my small purses.

Travel Size Peace Soap is available for $2.99 at Whole Foods Markets and


I don'??t have a green thumb, which you would clearly know if you saw my brown garden. But every spring after the frost fear is gone, my daughter and I plant and plant and plant, hoping that vegetables will grow. Sometimes they do. Then the bunnies notice. You see where this is going.

Even though I'??m not green, I would like other aspects of my life to be. Like our skincare products. Especially for my daughter. Which is why I think the new lineLittle Green is a great addition to our beauty garden.

The line was created by a man who not only has a background as a high-end hair and skin care developer but also is a doting grandfather. He struggled watching his grandchildren cope with sensitive skin and allergies, so Little Green was born.

A complete line of products (shampoo & body wash and body lotion for babies and kids; a conditioning hair detangler for kids) that has all the things that you would expect from gentle formulas. Aloe for healing and moisturizing; oat extract and licorice root for naturally soothing irritated skin. As kids should take their vitamins, in this case it'??s Vitamins B5 and E that help moisturize and soothe scalp and skin, and silk proteins promote healthy hair and skin.

I'??m blessed that my child has no allergies or sensitivities. But that doesn'??t mean I want harsh ingredients on her cute little body. These are safe, gentle ways to cleanse and moisturize (and even detangle that ridiculous blob of fine hair she has in the back of her head). Now, if only our garden could be blessed.

The Little Green product line is available from $6-$17 at

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