Positively Beautiful by Carmindy

Last-Minute Stocking Stuffers

Holiday time is upon us, and the best gift to give this season is the gift of beauty to make every girlfriend and female family member in your life gorgeous and happy. I have three great stocking stuffer ideas to share with you that will make your loved ones’ spirits bright.

Fresh Sugar Kisses Mini Lip Trio

For healthy, smooth lips all year long, check out the Fresh Sugar Kisses Mini Lip Trio ($28, sephora.com). These adorable and buttery soft balms come in Passion, Honey and Berry hues to add a hint of tint, and with SPF 15, you get protection as well.

Philosophy body washes

Philosophy’s holiday-inspired bath and shower gels ($6-$16, philosophy.com) will keep bodies clean and smelling delicious in Snow Angel and Eggnog scents. The best thing about these sudsy shower treats? They work as a shampoo, a shower gel and a bubble bath all in one.

Burt's Bees Essentials Kit

For flawless skin, the Burt’s Bees Essentials Kit ($10, burtsbees.com) contains body lotion, hand salve, cleansing cream, foot cream and lip balm made with totally natural ingredients — and the price can’t be beat. So share the love with your fellow sisters, and help beautify the holidays!

4 Liner Looks, 4 Ways To Play Up Your Eyes

Cat eyes, smoky eyes, doe eyes and graphic eyes are all fun ways to play up your pretty peepers. The trick to getting it right? It’s all in the liner.

Get The Look: Cat Eye

Cat eye liner


For a sexy cat eye, my favorite trick is tracing. I like to line the upper lash line first with a pencil and then simply trace over it with a liquid liner. Because I’m using the penciled line as a guide, it’s super easy to stencil right over it. You may want to try a liquid lining pen for more precision. I love the Calligraphy and Script liners from Hourglass ($32 each, sephora.com). They glide on with ease, and the different shaped tips are amazing for perfecting the cat eye wing.

Get The Look: Smoky Eye

Smoky eye liner


If a smoky eye is your goal, then use an easily smudgeable eyeliner pencil for a sultry effect. I like the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils ($19, sephora.com), which I trace along the upper and lower lash lines and also apply on the inside rim. I then use a flat angle brush to smudge a little eye shadow over the liner to create a more smoldering look.

Get The Look: Doe Eyes

Doe eyed liner


To create those romantic Bambi doe eyes, line the inside rim with a flesh-colored pencil like Paula Dorf’s Baby Eyes Enhancer ($20, pauladorf.com). This trick will make your eyes look bigger and rounder. Curl the lashes and apply a few coats of black mascara on top and bottom.

Get The Look: Graphic Eye

Graphic eye liner


Create a modern graphic eye using gel liners in fun bold colors. Use a fine-tipped lining brush to draw sharp angles at the outer corners of the eyes, or try to apply a slash of one colorful hue on the top lash line and a different shade on the bottom for artistic flair. Try Make Up For Ever Aqua Creamliner ($22, makeupforever.com) or Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner ($9.99, maybelline.com).

What’s your favorite way to emphasize your eyes with liner?

Cold Weather Cures For Dry Skin

Cold weather cures for dry skin

Follow this advice to get glowing skin, even in the winter.
Photo: Luca Cannonieri/GoRunway.com

Brrrr! It’s getting cold out there, and as the weather starts to turn and the air gets chillier, it’s time to change up your beauty routine to keep your skin hydrated and fresh looking.

Between the frigid air and the dryness from all the heaters and hot showers, your complexion can become extremely parched. It doesn’t hurt to add a little moisture to the air when you sleep, so buy a humidifier to keep a little steamy goodness in your atmosphere at night.

Rid your face and body from dry flaky patches by exfoliating a few times each week. Use warm, not hot, water in the shower and lather up with a good creamy body wash like Organix Hydrating Moroccan Argan Oil Creamy Oil Body Wash ($7.99, ulta.com). On the face, try Skinceuticals Cleansing Cream ($30, dermstore.com). Next, take a handful of white sugar and buff and scrub your skin in circular motions to rid yourself of scaliness. When you dry off, your skin you will be super smooth, so now is the time to lock in moisture with oil like Ligne St. Barth Coconut Dry Oil ($45, newlondonpharmacy.com). I smooth this one on, and then apply a rich body lotion like Korres Guava Body Butter ($29, sephora.com) on top and the combo of coconut and guava makes my skin smell so yummy.

On your face, switch from light lotions to heavier creams to up the hydration factor. I’m never without my Crème De La Mer ($150, bloomingdales.com) for extra richness in the winter.

If you want smooth and supple lips in the winter, you need to stay away from long wearing lipsticks and crayons and forgo the stains and pencils, which will only lead to more hydration loss. Instead go for sheer, moist lipsticks and tinted balms, and strategically place them all over your life: your purse, nightstand, car console and even your office drawer. I’m addicted to the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments ($22.50, fresh.com) in every shade.

Use cream blushes, shadows and highlighters when doing your makeup instead of powder formulas, as your skin will appear more glowy and silky with the creams. Powders will just make you look chalky and drier during the drier winter months. I’m loving the Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo 24 HR Cream Gel Shadow ($6.99, maybelline.com) for eyes because the colors are incredible and the crease-free staying power for a cream is off the charts.

What are you winter fixes for dry skin?

Eat Your Way Beautiful

The Sakara Life founders choose healthy ingredients for their organic meal delivery service.
Photo: Sakara Life

As you know, my lovely ladies, I’m a huge fan of eating well and taking care of my body to help me achieve beauty from the inside out. I not only ingest my antioxidants and nutrients that help me look good by eating whole healthy foods and taking supplements, I tend to use a lot of skincare and makeup products that contain these skin-improving goodies as well. Now don’t get me wrong, I do have my Sundays where I eat whatever I want and don’t go to the gym to allow for some sanity, but overall I believe you are what you eat. Many women simply don’t understand the true impact that food has on your skin, hair, nails and teeth. Well, let me tell you sisters, it does make a difference. And if you can manage to clean up your act 80 percent of the time, a splurge here or there is not going to kill you.

I recently discovered a couple of true beauties based in New York City, Danielle DuBoise and Whitney Tingle, who have created an organic food delivery company called Sakara Life. The word “sakara” in an ancient Sanskrit word meaning “the manifestation of thoughts to things.” Their amazing company shares my philosophy completely about empowering yourself through health, balance and overall well being. These two empowered women have found a positive approach to eating healthy wholesome foods that are delivered straight to your door to not only instill beauty on the inside but on the outside as well. You are pretty much guaranteed to feel fabulous each day you are eating their beauty-boosting treats, which are delivered to your doorstep in five- to 20-day packages with weekends off for a little bad-for-you fun balance. I interviewed the girls at Sakara Life to have them share with me their motivation for creating this amazing system.

Carmindy: What two sentences best sum up your philosophy?
Sakara Life: Eat clean, organic, local and fresh foods that you can trust. Love what your putting in your body so your body can love you back (even if it’s an extra fudgy brownie sundae, own it and be proud of it — your thoughts matter)!

Why is it so important to have a food balance in your life?
As two people that have gone to extremes with food, we understand the need for quick fixes, easy eats and food on the go and that sometimes eating healthy takes too much time. When you’re too busy to worry about your own well-being, then you are out of balance. Living in balance means you take time to be mindful about what you are eating, drinking and thinking. It doesn’t have to be perfect but it does have to be thoughtful. Everything in your life has, is and will come from you and your well-being, so it’s important to take care of yourself and find balance.

What are the top three foods to combat aging?
Alkaline water, organic dark greens (kale, chard, etc.) and avocados.

What are some of the skin benefits when trying one of your programs?
Our program is full of fresh, organic fruits, veggies and whole grains. Most people think hydration comes from drinking your 64 ounces of water a day, but ideally, your hydration should come from the foods that you eat, like fresh fruits and veggies. There is a very particular molecular structure of water in these foods that is a super hydrator for the skin and helps flush out all of the toxins that cause inflammation and breakouts.

What would you consider skin superfoods?
Coconut oil, cacao (raw) and organic cucumbers.

What would you consider foods that are skin killers?
Anything with trans fats, non-organic dairy and highly processed foods (even vegan things like veggie burgers!).

The Holy Grail Of Foundation?

Giorgio Armani Maestro foundation

All of my career I’ve been completely obsessed with finding that perfect foundation that covers, protects and feels like you’re wearing nothing at all. I’ve dreamed of a magical foundation that would create angel-like skin, no matter what your age, yet couldn’t be detected by the human eye in direct sunlight.

For years, I thought this mythical foundation would never be found. I even developed my own two formulas for the Sally Hansen Natural Beauty line, and I thought they came darn close to being the best, until—drum roll—Giorgio Armani kicked foundation butt with their newest formula.

The new Maestro foundation is literally the Holy Grail for skin. Product developers at Armani created an ultra-fine oil pigment suspension called Fusion Technology that mimics skin’s natural texture, glides on like satin and leaves the most flawless, natural-looking finish ever. It also offers SPF 15 protection, works for any age or skin type, and lasts all day long. In fact, it’s so innovative, they’re not even calling it a foundation but rather a complexion perfector.

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup ($62, nordstrom.com) comes in 12 fabulous shades that all have a great blendability factor, allowing each shade to work on a wide range of skin tones. The formula contains extracts of lotus oil, which has free radical fighting properties, and hydrating agents that remain on top of the skin after application to leave a fresh clean feel. I have died and gone to heaven!

What’s your favorite foundation formula?