Why Are My Boots Blooming?

Hunter BootsAbout two weeks ago I pulled out my beloved Hunter boots after a summer of being stored in the closet and found them covered in “dust.” I rubbed them with a damp microfiber cloth. They seemed to get better for a brief moment then went back to looking “dusty,” almost powder covered.

Then I turned to my most knowledgable friend, Google.  According to the Hunter website,

Occasionally, you may notice white powdery marks on your Hunter rubber footwear. This is described by the term “blooming” and is completely normal for natural rubber products. Blooming may occur in certain conditions when insoluble particles rise to the surface of the rubber. This is a process that is a known characteristic of high quality, natural rubber and nothing to be concerned about.

Great. So they ‘bloomed.” Fearing permanent damage or that I was going to have to find a shoe repair shop, I was beyond pleased to find out that all I had to do was purchase a $12 bottle of  Hunter Boot Buffer from the store where I purchased my boots, take it home and apply it to my boots with a clean microfiber cloth and they’d be restored.

With my $12 spent, I drove back home and with seemingly the least amount of effort necessary, I applied the Buffer by spraying it as per the instructions on the bottle. Within seconds I saw a great difference in the appearance of the boots. In less than 5 minutes both of my boots were fully reconditioned.

A week later I went to wear my boots again and they had lost some of their luster. While not in full “bloom,” they were dull looking. I took a few minutes and applied the Buffer again which restored them to near-mint condition.

This October You Can Drink From Kate Moss’s Breast

Kate Moss ChampagneOkay, that headline isn’t 100% true- it’s a crystalized mold of Kate Moss’s breast, not that it’s any less novel.

The story goes that the first champagne coupe was modelled on Marie Antoinette’s left breast. Now, Kate Moss, the model whose party antics are well-documented, has been honored (?) with the same treatment thanks to 34, an upscale restaurant in London’s posh Mayfair district.

As a tribute to Moss’s 25 years in the fashion industry, restaurants 34, The Ivy, Daphne’s and Scott’s will all serve champagne in the special glasses.

For her part, Moss, who was active in the glasses creation says, “I was excited to participate in this project, what an honour to be alongside Marie Antoinette – she was a very intriguing and mischievous character.”

10 Tips for Boosting Your Immune System

Flu SeasonWith all these reports about ebola and with flu season just around the corner, it is the perfect time to think about what you can do to boost your immune system. Dr. Christopher Hobbs, Ph.D., L.Ac., A.H.G., the Director at Rainbow Light, is a a licensed herbalist with over 30 years of experience and offers up these 10 tips:

  1. Get regular exercise. Regular exercise helps condition resistance to infections by circulating blood and immune cells.
  2. Practice hydrotherapy. After exercise, get into a cool swimming pool or shower to help circulate surface immunity. Hydrotherapy has been practiced in many cultures for at least 2,000 years to help maintain and restore health.
  3. Sleep is vital. In one study, the cold virus was swabbed into two groups of volunteers. One group was allowed eight hours sleep, while the other was restricted to less than seven hours. The latter group was three times more likely to contract a respiratory infection (Cohen et al, 2009).
  4. Address symptoms early. If you start feeling under the weather, try an herbal remedy with herbs researched for immune support (elderberry, andrographis, berberine) like Rainbow Light® Counter Attack™ Immuno-Response to bolster immunity and reduce symptom severity.
  5. Try adding immune-boosting products and nutrients into your diet.
  6. Limit sugar and processed foods. These items can have a negative effect on your health, especially when immunity is compromised.
  7. Incorporate garlic into dishes. Fresh garlic has natural immune-boosting qualities. Try to incorporate it into dishes, particularly if you aren’t feeling well.
  8. Take a daily multivitamin. It’s difficult to get all of our daily nutrients from food. Fill gaps in your diet through a multivitamin to get what you need for optimal health - Rainbow Light has a great variety of multivitamins for the entire family.
  9. Drink hot green tea. It contains compounds that help strengthen resistance.
  10. Get fresh air. Dress warmly and venture outdoors, even if only for a short, brisk walk. The fresh air invigorates and boosts natural defenses.

Is Altuzarra’s Collaboration With Target Too Much of a Risk?

AltuzarraTarget has been known for the their designer and celebrity fashion line collaborations for years. But, now that Target is more pervasive in American communities and has a wider, more mainstream audience, does it make sense for the big box store to continue these collaborations?

Target’s domestic traffic has been negative for nine quarters in a row and the brand’s launch in Canada has been struggling according to CNNMoney

Though the Peter Pilotto collection sold out in minutes on Net-a-Porter, remnants of the collection still remain on clearance racks in stores across the county, as I discovered during stops at Target along my 2200 mile summer vacation road trip. It’s easy to see why bold clashing patterns and asymmetrical hemlines wouldn’t appeal to the masses in Erie, Pennsylvania or Eliabethtown, Kentucky. For many everyday Target customers, the line is just impractical.

Yes, fashion is meant to be fun and whimsical, full of imagination allowing the wearer to experiment and indulge. But, does Tammy from Flowood, Mississippi who just stopped in to Target for diapers but ends up walking out with $100 in other spontaneous purchases have a piece from the latest fashion-forward collection in her cart? Probably not.

The newest collaboration, with Altuzarra launches on September 14 and we just got a peek at the look book. While the collection is a far cry from Target’s last collaboration and, possibly more mainstream- especially with Halloween coming quickly, the question still lingers about Target’s focus on their main audience.

With each collection, Target has the conscious decision to alienate more of its customer base that shops there frequently and whose money has provided the company to rapidly expand. Perhaps the fashion forward lines would be better left for a new set of select Target boutique stores? 

images courtesy of Altuzarra for Target

BELLI Up to the Sink for Remarkable Results

BELLIFinding the right blend of skin care treatments for a child just starting to see the effects of adolescence (namely acne and excess sweating), can be challenging. Add in a family history of frustratingly dry skin and milia, and, let’s be honest, we’re just trying to figure out a way for the process to not traumatize her too much.

Then along came a ring of the doorbell and Dan, our usual UPS delivery man handed me a package from BELLI, a line of skincare products championed by both OB/GYNs and dermatologists. Advertising a solution to the breakout cycle common in early pregnancy, the line also touts that it is missing many of the ingredients discouraged during pregnancy.

Having just reached a new level in the adolescence skin experience with the onset of the hot and humid summertime in Georgia, I asked our tween if she wanted to give the products a shot. Here we are, a month later and not only is she seeing results, she’s also gaining confidence in her skin that she hasn’t had in a while.

The two products- BELLI Anti-Blemish Facial Wash and Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub, can be used together as a skin care system or separately. With an eye toward not overdoing it, we decided on a system of using the scrub on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays while using the Facial Wash each day of the week in both the morning and at night.      Continue reading

MOROCCANOIL Shower Gel Helps Me Figure Out the Forecast

MOROCCANOIL Shower GelYou never know what you’re going to find in a swag bag. Usually packed full of branded things you really don’t want, this particular bag had a bottle of 2.5 oz (aka the perfect travel size) MOROCCANOIL Shower Gel in it. With a summer vacation in my future, I decided it was time to give it a go.

The first day I showered with it, there was a noticeable lack of later. Having used the usual dime sized amount, I thought maybe it was the weave (if that’s even the right word) of my shower poof so the next day I switched. The later was much better on the more loosely constructed poof but I also had to use a bit more gel.

I toweled off and went about getting ready and my skin got itchy. Not allergy itchy but dry skin, dead of winter, I have dry shaved my legs every day for a week and never used moisturizer dry. I slathered on moisturizer and all was well.

The next day, it rained. I took a shower late and used the gel again. This time, my skin felt supple- almost dewey.

Through the vacation, my skin became a barometer. I’d use the gel on humid days and have no dryness issues. On more moderate weather days, I couldn’t reach for the moisturizer fast enough.

Combine that with the heavy, almost masculine scent of the gel and I happily sent the sample on to its new home in a landfill.

If I need to know the forecast, I’ll ask Siri, watch the news, or go online. I don’t need a shower gel that does that for me.

Blue Lagoon “Icon” to Launch Orange-Based Cosmetic Line

Brooke Shields Icon MAC

As the 80s embodiment of “the girl with the eyebrows,” Brooke Shields was lusted after by many men currently hovering around 40 years old. Now, she’s an icon. Well, at least MAC seems to think she is.

Following in the footsteps of beloved celebrities Diana Ross and Racquel Welsh, the 49 year old Shields has worked with MAC to develop a 15-piece collection that will be priced from $17 for an eyebrow gel to $85 for a 16-color eyeshadow pallete. WWD says the collaboration is the largest MAC has done thus far.

Tied strongly to the everyday Brooke Shields rather than her red carpet persona, the line gives something for everyone offering from satin and frost to Veluxe pearl and shimmer giving women on the go a variety of options all in one place. Shields even named one of the colors after her dog- Pepper.

Unlike the bold black MAC is usually known for, this Icon line will feature orange and gray packaging reminiscent of the colors Shields sees around her home in New York City.

The collection will enter North American MAC stores on Oct. 2 and be available internationally later that month.

The One Product I Wish I’d Never Spent Money On

rare-minerals-rareminerals-renew--reveal-facial-cleanserI was cleaning out underneath my sink over the weekend and came across an ivory bottle. There it was. It’s been four years since I shelled out somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 for BareMinerals RareMinerals Renew & Reveal Facial Cleanser.

I can’t bring myself to throw it away. Every few months I’ll take it out and try to use it, fumbling with the chalky grains of the dry powder as I add water to it to try to make it sudsy all while rubbing it on my face.

Nothing has changed in four years. The product still reacts as it did the first few times I used it. After you’re done cleansing, it still feels like you feel on a hot day when you’re sweaty and walking down a dirt road as a truck rushes by you, throwing dust in the air, covering the sweat and matting it to your face.

I always end up washing my face again, with something else, then having to use a fair amount of moisturizer.

And yet, it sits there, like a beacon warning me about other ill-fated product decisions in my future.

Product Review: Bumble and bumble hairdresser’s invisible oil shampoo and conditioner

Bumble and bumble invisible oilWhile I do live in one of the most humid climates in the continental United States, I do readily admit that my hair craves moisture. I’m forever looking to find that balance between still washing my hair every day and silky locks that resist the inevitable weather-driven frizz.

When I first got my hands on Bumble and bumble’s hairdressers invisible oil shampoo and conditioner, I was excited. This company, after all, makes two of my most loved go-to products- straight blow dry and Bb. texture.

The shampoo is billed as having, “6 featherlight oils to help soften, silken, tame, de-frizz, detangle and protect.” Featherweight is the keyword here. While some oil infused soaps and shampoos can leave your skin and hair feeling greasy, the invisible oil shampoo did not, even after I used almost .5 oz on my short-medium length hair.

Why so much? The shampoo felt like it was disappearing. There was no rich later, no typical shampoo-like signs of cleansing success until I had used that much.

The same thing happened with the conditioner. While my hair wasn’t dried out or fried and looking for soothing moisture, it was certainly ready to absorb some. About the same amount of conditioner was applied before I felt like there was enough on there to do the job.

After trying the routine for several days in a row, I was quickly down half a bottle of shampoo and conditioner, which, at $30 for 8.5 oz. of shampoo and $33 for 6.7 oz. of conditioner was an expensive week in the shower.

Not only that, I felt like the shampoo and conditioner weren’t making my hair as soft, silky, tame, de-frizzed, or detangled as my much cheaper usual brand. My usual routine of inexpensive L’oreal shampoo and conditioner paired with the Bb. texture left my hair much softer than when using the invisible oil line while using the straight blow dry I managed to keep my frizz in check better than the invisible oil combination.

I’m ditching the invisible oil line and sticking with the Bumble and bumble products I already know and love.

Derek Jeter’s Retirement Plan Includes “Tempur-Pedic Banana Hammocks”

FRIGO RevolutionWearThough it was first reported a month ago, I think it bears writing about here because, let’s be honest, there are enough Yankees fans out there willing to buy a pair of Jeter’s britches to make him a multi-millionaire all over again.

As first reported by the NY Post, Yankees shortstop turned third baseman Derek Jeter owns a stake in FRIGO RevolutionWear, a company that claims to have, “merged technology, design and the best available materials to come up with FRIGO® RevolutionWear – a game-changing product line for men.”

Perhaps fearing a comparison to former Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer whose careers as a model for Jockey overshadowed his 19 years of professional ball playing, Jeter kept his involvement with the brand a secret up until this summer and, according to what a source told Details, you won’t see him in any advertisements wearing the manties anytime soon.

The underwear, which uses the tagline “Men! Stop wearing underwear” is currently available at select Neiman Marcus and Lord and Taylor stores as well as online at freshpair.com with the brand, which launched in 2012, is poised to compete with Under Armour and SPANX for Men.

image courtesy of RevolutionWear