All in Health

Take This And Call Me In The Morning

Before I left for New York, my son Heath had a bad cold—the kind that starts with a sore throat, then morphs into a stuffy nose…and lingers for weeks. So, when my plane touched down at LaGuardia and I felt the start of a scratchy throat, I knew what I was in for. Two days later, as I circled Central Park for the Shape Half Marathon, I was drugged up on DayQuil and sucking on Chloraseptic lozenges. The morning after the race, I headed out for meetings armed with a wad of tissues. Yuck. Thus, I was grateful when I met up with my friend Jaime, a beauty publicist, for lunch, and she slid Farmacy’s Honey Savior across the table to me.

Five (No Way!) Things I Learned Last Week

In the past week, I’ve been to New York City, Greenwich, Bronxville, Jersey, and Tennessee. All this traveling did prevent me from posting—but not from stockpiling new beauty and health info. My trip to the East Coast was peppered with breakfasts, lunches and cocktails with editors and publicists (and I took copious notes). Then Mary Kay took me—and about two dozen other beauty editors—to Blackberry Farm outside of Knoxville to showcase their new spring and summer launches. I’ll be weaving info from this weeklong trip into posts for weeks to come, but here, to start, are five (surprising!) tips and tricks I picked up along the way.

Make Your Own Moisturizer

When I was the beauty editor at teen magazine CosmoGirl!, we frequently published recipes for skin and hair masks made from common kitchen ingredients like honey, avocado, yogurt and eggs. The treatments were easy to make (albeit messy) and mildly effective. The new Facial Moisturizer Kit from Ktchn Apothecary is kind of like that, but with more grownup, potent ingredients—and far less cleanup.

Why I Shop for Beauty Products on Vacation

Of course pictures help recall a memorable vacation. But, for me, nothing brings back a treasured trip like a scent. Jasmine whisks me back to my honeymoon in Bali. Lavender conjures our tenth wedding anniversary in Napa. Cherry blossoms call to mind a magical trip I took with Shiseido to Tokyo. And rum punch and cigarette smoke remind me of Key West Spring Break 1994 (hah). Thus, when we travel, I always look for an aromatic token I can bring home to evoke happy memories of my trip, later on.

Spend Or Skip? Évolis Reverse Activator For Thinning Hair (UPDATE!)

I have been using the Évolis Reverse Activator for about a month now. It is worth noting that I did not stop using minoxidil because Maria Halasz, Évolis' CEO, said that could cause shedding for a few weeks, making it hard to properly review Évolis. So I’ve been applying a one-two punch of minoxidil topped with the Evolis treatment twice daily, and although it is still early days, I do have new hair growth. For sure.

If You Aren't already Doing This, I'd Suggest You Start

I know the abundance of anti-aging options can sometimes feel like more of a blessing than a curse. They can be time-consuming. Expensive. And ever-evolving. Just when you commit to a skincare or haircare routine, you're told it's time to upgrade to something newer and better. I get it. But like most things in life (especially as we're older and wiser), I believe you pick and choose what matters most to you, then allocate your time and money there. That may be Botox, private yoga lessons, gel manicures, salon haircolor, acupuncture, or even blepharoplasty. The bottom like is that you get to choose what treatments make you feel good at every age—then skip the rest. However, there is one exception. If you're not whitening your teeth at least once a year, I think you're missing out.

What Works: Naomi Whittel

As part of a regular series, I’ll be asking inspiring, in-the-know women (all 40+, of course) to share their best tips and favorite products. The point? As always, to find out what works. This week's beauty insider:  Naomi Whittel, 43, founder of Reserveage Nutrition and current CEO of Twinlab 

Spend Or Skip? Évolis Reverse Activator For Thinning Hair

If every anti-aging product on the market really did what it claimed, we'd all look 18. And while there are many effective products that help make the most of our looks as we age (and I, for one, like the way I look better at 45 than I did at 18), there are also many that are nothing but snake oil. Thus, I've created this series, Spend or Skip?, in which I will apply my twenty years as a beauty guinea pig to objectively road-test and review buzz-generating, anti-aging products that everyone's talking about. The mission: to help you decide whether to buy—or bypass—the latest fountain of youth.

Ice Cream You Can't Overeat

Here in Ann Arbor, it's been freakishly warm: 60s and sunny. This has triggered some early spring fever: I've been writing on the porch, driving with the windows down—and craving rosé before dinner and ice cream after. Last Friday, I stopped by Whole Foods to pick up a pint of Talenti Sea Salt Caramel Gelato, but was sidelined by a display of Halo Top, a low-cal, low-sugar, low-carb, high-protein ice cream brand I’d been reading about on nutrition blogs.

All I Want For Valentine's Day

I don’t particularly like roses. I’ve nothing against them really, they’re just a little traditional for my taste. And my favorite flowers—tulips and peonies—aren’t readily available this time of year. I’m also not a big fan of going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day, largely because February 14 usually falls somewhere in the middle of the work/school week, which means we have to be up early the next day. What I really want today? Cozy ambiance—at home.