In college I used to beat myself up about the way I looked. I wanted to have strong biceps and traps. I’m not talking about wanting a body like an East German body-builder, I just wanted to be athletic and have toned arms like Madonna. I was never fit enough.

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No matter how much I crunched, downward dogged, and ran, I could never get a completely flat stomach or feel satisfied with my weight. I picked at my food and didn’t allow myself to enjoy the foods I loved. Why couldn’t I have Janet Jackson’s abs? I didn’t think I was stylish at all.

I saw myself as a schlub, a messy spirit of a girl who could barely dress herself for a 9 AM class, let alone find something trendy to wear for a night out. I hated my face. I had big, round cheeks and my skin always looked ruddy and uneven. I experimented with make-up, but nothing seemed to help. My hair was the worst part — a random bunch of kinks and waves that took forever to blow dry and straighten. Forget putting it up in some fancy up-do — I could barely braid my own hair.

I was hopeless. I was going to be an untidy, uncool, unfit, ugly duckling. I was very much unlike the girls I saw on the front covers of Allure and Vogue.
I would never be like the Hollywood starlets who walked down the Red Carpet with their perfect hair, perfect bodies and perfect clothes.

I was body-conscious and starving for most of my 20′s. I was not happy.

In my mid-20′s, I started getting my nails done at a nail salon just outside of Hollywood that just happened to be cheap, very good, and frequented by celebrities. Women hopped in and out of the salon, their hair pulled back, wearing cut-off’s and a t-shirt, no ounce of make-up. I didn’t think anything of them as they chatted quietly with their manicurist or flipped through the latest magazines.

Occasionally, I had conversations with them about the best places to find fried calamari, boyfriends, and shoe sales. We were ordinary women who were getting pampered for a few hours. I overheard a conversation one day with the girl at the front desk and one of the manicurists. They were talking about a certain celebrity and what her favorite nail polish color was.

Why would they care about that? I watched carefully as the manicurist walked over to a young woman whose hair was in a messy top knot and wore sweats that were one size too big. Her face was flushed and she kept apologizing for not remembering the nail color. When the manicurist showed her the small nail polish bottle, the young woman’s face lit up and she giggled like a little girl as she hugged the manicurist.

Yes, that was the color she loved. And then I recognized her. Could she be the same woman that captivated millions of people across the world with her silly and upbeat personality? I suddenly realized I was staring and felt myself blush.

I was never star-struck until now, but this was different. As I sat in the massage chair, while someone massaged my calves and feet, I realized I was flanked by a who’s who of Hollywood’s elite — movie and TV stars. I finally realized that I’d been expecting too much of myself. I was comparing myself to women who were surrounded by facialists, nutrionists, personal chefs, stylists and trainers. But they were still women who dealt with the same body issues I struggled with on a daily basis. I learned to accept my body, and through my own hair stylist, friends, and acquaintances, I learned how to work the system so to speak and create the allusion of having gorgeous, flowing hair and a perfect body.

Hollywood Fashion Tape

Hollywood Fashion Tape

When I was trying to figure out what dress I was going to wear when I got married, I settled on a beautiful, contemporary, asymmetrical piece. The only problem was that it gaped in the front and showed too much skin.

I thought of sewing the front a little, but laughed. I could hardly thread a needle, let alone sew. I tried a safety-pin, but that looked terrible. At a local beauty supply store, a woman introduced me to Hollywood Fashion Tape. She claimed all of Hollywood used it, and that it would remedy any problem I had with my clothes.

I rushed my home and put this clear tape on to help with the pucker in the front of my dress. Problem solved! I was no longer falling out my dress. I keep this tape at home and in my purse for emergencies.

It’s great for keeping straps from slipping off your shoulders. If you find a hem is starting to come apart and fabric is falling down where it’s not supposed to, put this tape on as a quick fix-it. The company offers a variety of solutions for any of your fashion emergencies: bra converters, silicone breast enhancers, clear bra straps and bra extenders so your bra will fit you better.

Hair Extensions

Hair Extensions

I remember seeing a celebrity one time and noticing how long and beautiful her hair was. My curiosity was piqued because I had just seen pictures of her a few weeks before with a bob. Was she wearing a wig? But her hair looked so natural, so healthy. I was envious and just had to find out. I went to my hair stylist and asked her about this mystery.

She laughed and looked at me like I was from another planet. “How long have you lived in Los Angeles?” she asked as she eyed my frizzy hair. “Almost 10 years now,” I proclaimed, curious as to where she was going with this.

“And you still don’t know about hair extensions?” her voice echoed throughout the salon and I was positive everyone was looking at me as if I’d committed the biggest crime ever. Hair extensions have been around for a very long time. They don’t look abnormal and unreal like some wigs do. Most hair extensions are made from real, natural human hair and can be matched to your specific hair color.

Depending on the look and style you’re trying to create, your stylist attaches the extensions directly onto your hair. Your hair will move freely and and you never have to worry that the extensions will fall out. Hair extensions like the ones from Great Lengths are very soft and very expensive. You can easily spend over $1000 to have these extensions applied.

Too pricey for me. That’s where Ken Paves comes in. Hair stylist to the stars like Ashlee and Jessica Simpson, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz, Paves brought a more affordable version of hair extensions called the hairdo to the market. Instead of being bonded directly to your hair with glues, Paves’ hairdo clips into your hair. You have the choice of buying natural-looking synthetic hair for under $100 or real human hair extensions — these are obviously more expensive. I own a hairdo extension, and although I don’t wear it very often, it looks great and blends very well with my own hair. The best part is that it easy to apply, there are many color choices, and different hair lengths and styles to choose from.

You can have full, luscious hair for the weekend.


Shape wear

Not everyone has a perfect body or can be a size 2. Women come in all shapes and sizes. To create the illusion of being slim and shapely, many celebrities use shapewear. I’ve used Spanx for years, along with Oprah, Tyra Banks and Gwenyth PaItrow.

It’s been a lifesaver for many occasions, especially after giving birth and the darn baby weight would not go away. Spanx has a great line of shapewear — everything from slips and camisoles to bodysuits and bras. Spanx eliminates visible bra and panty lines. And it does wonders for a protruding belly. I wasn’t endowed with a shapely body.

In fact, through most of my life, I had a boyish figure — no curves, just sort of straight all over. I couldn’t fill out a sweater to save my life and jeans never looked good over my flat bottom. Thank goodness for padded bras. I don’t have to look like a boy anymore. A few years ago I read about celebrities using butt-enhancers. I couldn’t believe there was even such a thing, but I wasn’t surprised.

I looked at my backside in the mirror, just recently wearing my favorite pair of jeans. Hmmm… I could use a little ooomph. I found Huit’s Magic Pulp Boxer Boyshorts at Nordstrom. The sales associate here said they couldn’t keep them in stock. I bought it and couldn’t wait to get home. I tried it on with my jeans, and what do you know — I suddenly had some shape in the back.

Motherhood has given me some curves, but I welcome any help!

Foot Petals

foot petals

I hate walking in new heels. I get calluses, my feet slide forward, and my skin gets rubbed uncomfortably against the straps and heels. Foot Petals to the rescue. Foot Petals offers a multitude of foot cushions like padded arches, insoles to prevent form your foot sliding forward, and strips that attach to the slimmest of straps to prevent rubbing and falling.

You can go out dancing with your favorite heels and not feel like you need to be in crutches the following day.Where were these cushions when I got married and had to suffer through painful straps and uncomfortable insoles?

There are many products in the market that will enhance your look, from make-up to clothing to undergarments. Being comfortable in your own skin is difficult when we’re bombarded on what a woman’s aesthetic should be through magazines and movies.

Just know that the images you see in print and in magazines have been heavily Photoshopped, teased and tweezed, pulled-up and separated. What you see is not what you always get in real life. Embrace your body, even if you think you need a little help. We’re not all perfect.

Pic of the Day: Happy fox

Happy fox