Watch and Shop Best Lifestyle Finds with Joyus

by Melissa Meyers


As an editor, I am always looking for the best lifestyle products available to share with my readers. I recently discovered Joyus, an e-commerce website that has become my go-to for fabulous fashion, beauty, health, fitness and lifestyle product finds. Joyus has differentiated itself from other sites by providing viewers a video shopping experience that can become addicting. Top experts offer their tips, tricks and product picks in in the form of short, entertaining videos that educate you on the product. Fun Fact: PeopleStyleWatch is one of Joyus' partners so you know they have access to a dynamic group of editors who are constantly testing and seeking out the best lifestyle products.

Use discount code MELISSA10 for 10% off orders over $50 when you shop on Joyus until 4/30/15.

The Joyus website 

Check out some recent bestsellers videos on Joyus.

Some of my favorite products featured on Joyus include:

Trio of Round, Square, and Triangle Pave Pinch Bracelets, $162.00

The company was Co-Founded in 2011 by an all female executive team!

Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Co-Founder & Chairman, Joyus

Diana L. Williams, Co-Founder & VP Product, Joyus

Joyus will offer a 10% discount on orders over $50 when using the code MELISSA10.
Expires: 4/30/15.


5 Must-Haves to Stay Organized with Style

by Melissa Meyers


Keeping our "things" organized can be a constant challenge, especially if you are a hoarder (hello!). Over the years, I have worked with some of the best personal organizers who have given me their tips and tricks to keep my personal space looking chic and neat.

From your home office to the kitchen pantry, below are my top five must-have items that will help you achieve the organized environment you've always dreamed of.

1. Coordinating files and boxes for your home office

These assorted boxes are available in several colors and sizes and are perfect for storing papers, files and supplies. Make sure you purchase a label-maker (I like the one by Brother P-Touch) to label each box so you can easily find what you need.

2. Necklace and bracelet organizer & 80-pocket hanging jewelry organizer

I love that you can hang these on a closet rod or hook for quick access to your jewelry collection. The two-sided organizers hold up to 21 necklaces and 14 bracelets. These were life-changing for me as I like to change up my jewelry and accessories every day!

The 80-pocket version is perfect for earrings!

3. Glampetite Makeup Organizer by GLAMboxes

Make-up has a way of accumulating in drawers and cases where they never see the light of day. Try using these acrylic boxes to help organize your favorite cosmetics and keep what you use regularly on hand. The ones by GLAMboxes are high quality and look great in a bathroom.

4. Matching tupperware bins for the kitchen

To help with the clutter in your pantry, try using matching tupperware bins in assorted sizes for storing cereals, popcorn, pasta and other snacks. The photo below is my dream pantry (but close to impossible to maintain with teenage kids in the house). 

5. PurseN handbag organizer

Say good-bye to searching for your wallet, phone, keys, lipgloss or sunglasses in your handbag! These handbag organizer inserts by PurseN are available in two sizes and come in several fun patterns. I've been using them in my tote bags for years now!

Watch my video on how to best organize your bag with a PurseN organizer insert.


Eat Healthy & Lose Weight with Nutrition Guru Tanya Zuckerbrot

by Melissa Meyers


You want to know Tanya Zuckerbrot. Stunning, smart—and most importantly she can make you thin. But this well-known nutritionist won’t make you eat cabbage for 6 weeks or live without carbs. Instead, Tanya will provide you with delicious healthy eating tips, including how to order in restaurants. Says the New York Post: “She isn’t a killjoy who tells her clients to stay at home starving themselves with frozen dinners and mung beans.” Fad diets suck the fun out of food. But Tanya assures clients, “You will still love to eat, but you will do so with an appreciation and understanding that has lacked before" with the F-Factor Diet. 

Here's the 411 on my experience with Tanya and the F-Factor diet.

The F-Factor Diet is not just a diet, it’s a complete lifestyle about eating healthy for a longer, happier, and healthier life. I was intrigued by Tanya Zuckerbrot and the idea that she could transform my whole attitude toward food. During our brief consultation, I got a wake-up call about my body and what I was—and shouldn’t have been—putting into it.

Tanya informed me that my total body fat was 24%, which is very high, and surprising, as I’m naturally slim. I had never thought about my percentage of body fat. Since I always try to lead a healthy lifestyle to promote longevity, I decided to try the diet. Although it was tough the first few days, I adjusted easily. Whatever Tanya tells you to cut out of your diet, she’ll provide a healthier alternative. For example, to curb that sweet tooth after dinner, I now turn to Curb Bites Chocolate Covered Caramels. They’re actually delicious—they taste like other chocolate but they’re high in fiber and calcium. I like one after lunch and one after dinner so it feels like a treat.

Tanya suggests eating eight GG Bran Crispbread crackers to maintain your daily fiber intake. I would be lying if I said they were delicious, but when you eat one it’s like your stomach blows up! It’s a cracker, but they’re so filling it feels like a three-course meal. A little tip to make them more appealing: spread them with Better’n Peanut Butter or Laughing Cow Light cheese, and they taste a lot better.

What you eat affects not only the size of your jeans, but it can affect your heart, cholesterol levels, and risk of illnesses like cancer and diabetes. I didn’t think my diet was the model of perfection, but I didn’t realize quite how bad it was. I was eating a lot of cheese, olive oil, and carbohydrates—I have such a weakness for pasta and bagels! I was really lacking fiber, the key to Tanya’s whole philosophy. In Tanya’s book, The F-Factor Diet, she explains: “Fiber fills you up without filling you out. . . . Fiber may not be the sexy answer you were hoping for, but nothing works better.” I’ve come to appreciate the importance of fiber, and I’m an advocate of her mantra: “Fiber and protein at every meal makes losing weight no big deal!”

Since the F-Factor Diet, I have made changes that I feel are going to keep me healthier for life. I was amazed when I lost 6 pounds in the first 2 weeks and decreased my body fat percentage to 22%. It wasn’t the weight loss that appealed to me, however. It was her promise that my energy levels would rocket, my metabolism would speed up, and I’d feel full and satisfied throughout the day without sacrificing the things I love to eat.

Her healthy eating guidelines have 3 basic tenets:

  1. Step 1 is the strictest: proteins, good fats, and high-fiber carbs, which curb cravings for all things bad (translation—sweets, starches, and anything from a bakery!).
  2. Step 2: adding more carbs, while keeping weight off!
  3. Three daily musts: drink 3 litres of water; take a multivitamin; and keep a food journal.

Here are my top healthy eating tips I learned from the F-Factor Diet:

  • Eat GG Bran Crackers for breakfast, as well as throughout the day. To eat your eight a day, it really helps having two in the morning!
  • Spread Laughing Cow Low-Fat Cheese or Better’n Peanut Butter over the crackers to improve the taste!
  • Eat Curb Bites Chocolate Covered Caramels (sugar-free) after lunch and dinner to curb your sweet tooth and increase your calcium intake.
  • Replace all cheeses, milks, and oils with low-fat, healthier alternatives.
  • Remember the three-bite rule when ordering dessert.
  • Live by these words: Meat and protein at every meal make losing weight no big deal!

Tanya's clients include Hollywood meets the Hamptons crowd. You can schedule an appointment to see Tanya by emailing appointments@ffactor.com. Or, you can buy her book,The F-Factor Diet, for $12, at amazon.com.

For healthy eating tips and more information on the F-factor diet, check out my interview with Tanya!


Five Face Creams You Need to Try

by Melissa Meyers


As an editor covering beauty for many years, I have road tested just about every facial moisturizer out there and have come up with my "best of" list. The creams below are top notch, and have some of the best anti-aging properties to keep your skin glowing and looking younger.

1. Shiseido Bio-Performance Revitalizing Cream, $75

My list of the best face creams wouldn’t be complete without Shiseido’s Bio-Performance. This pink hued formula in a tub boasts a patent-pending blend of ingredients which boosts skin elasticity and promotes moisture retention. It feels super luxurious on the skin and also has impeccable firming capabilities. I use it nightly and before I do any outdoor activities like hiking, skiing or running (it’s great for preventing wind burn). This unique cream has a very special texture that is super nourishing on the skin!

2. SK-II Essential Power Moisturizing Cream, $215 

SK-II contains a scientifically proven moisturizing ingredient called Pitera, made of a fermented yeast that produces a unique blend of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids. This “secret key” (SK) ingredient was discovered in Japan at a sake brewery–the older people who worked there had mysteriously beautiful, age defied hands as a result of regularly immersing them in a similar fermented yeast mixture. I have been using this product for over ten years and really believe in it. SK-II has a HUGE celebrity following--Cate Blanchett was a fan long before she became the brand’s ambassador.

3. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Hydra-Pure Oil Free Moisturizer, $78

New York City dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross created an impressively effective line of skin care after years of advanced scientific research and technology. The Hydra-Pure Oil Free moisturizer is a perfect choice for daily use if you have combination skin or break out easily. Great for wearing underneath your make-up, this moisturizer is non greasy, fragrance-free and animal cruelty-free. I have dry skin and like to use it after applying the Dr. Dennis Gross Active Vitamin D Serum-Oil on my face– it's amazing!

 

4. OLAY Regenerist Moisturizer (unscented), $29

I love when I find a drugstore brand product that can compete with the department store brands. For a fraction of the price of luxury skincare, Olay’s Micro-Sculpting Cream works wonders in repairing your skin and is perfect to use day or night. Proven to hydrate better than several luxury creams costing hundreds of dollars, it’s no surprise that it’s America’s #1 selling anti-aging moisturizer. I prefer the fragrance-free version, and like to alternate between this product and some of my more expensive favorites. 

5. ESPA Lifestage Stage Release Eye Moisturizer, $100 

Made specifically for women 45 and older, this lightweight cream is a great daily moisturizer that also nourishes the eye area, preventing fine lines and signs of aging. One of the key ingredients is Resveratrol, known to help prolong skin cell vitality. Perk: The formula also contains ginseng and golden root so it helps reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. This powerful formula is another one of my skincare must-haves!


Best Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

by Melissa Meyers


Now's the time to starting thinking about what to get your special someone for Valentine's Day. Flowers and chocolates are always nice but giving is more fun when you get creative. Below are some ideas that are guaranteed to delight any of the loves in your life!

 

1. Eberjey Gisele PJ Set, $155.00

I recently purchased these AMAZINGLY soft PJ's by Eberjey at my favorite LA lingerie and jewelry store, Rocks & Silk. They are made from "soft-like-butter" jersey and trimmed with pastel pink piping for a sweet, vintage-inspired touch. These make the perfect gift for any woman--they're an understated sexy take on the men's pajama and look great on all body types. 

2. Jimmy Jane Afterglow Natural Massage Oil candle, $29.00

Rub each other the right way for Valentine’s Day and set a sensual mood when you light up the room with this aphrodisiac-scented candle. Make the mood last even after the candle burns down—you’re left with warm oil to smooth onto skin for a massage. Scents include bourbon, cucumber water, dark vanilla, and pink lotus.
 

3. Kacey K lips necklace with white pave diamonds, $450

I met designer Kacey Karp of Kacey K in the Hamptons last summer and was wowed by her selection of gorgeous and trendy fine jewelry. These delicate 14K gold lips look beautiful on their own or as a layering piece. Plus, they come in six different versions from plain gold ($250) to rose gold with black diamonds. 

4. 911 Caviar

911 Caviar distributes the finest caviar and specialty gourmet foods anywhere in the US. Products include Iranian Beluga, Sevruga and Osetra as well as American Caviar. One of the best caviars to try for the price is their sturgeon caviar (4 oz. for $78). It has a sweet and buttery, nut-like flavor and compares in color and taste to Caspian Osetra caviar. I order this delicious American caviar for all special occasions!  

Valentine's Day special: Receive 10% off your order when using the promotional code VAL2014. 

Pictured: Sturgeon Caviar, 8 oz. for $156.00.  Each order comes with a hand-crafted mother of pearl caviar spoon and is delivered in an insulted caviar carrier bag.

 

5. Brookie's Cookies NYC

Instead of bringing a that same old box of chocolates, try these clever conversation heart cookies by Brookie's Cookies NYC. These yummy white chocolate-covered oreo cookies are decadent and sure to please any Valentine with a sweet tooth!

Valentine's Day Gift Box, $35

6. Ugg Slippers, $80 for Him, $100 for Her)

I love these cuddly slippers and wear mine everyday! And with Tom Brady plastered all over the home page of the Ugg website, it's worth visiting to buy a pair for your special someone. These will surely be a much appreciated gift!

Womens's Ansley Ugg Slipper, $100 (available in several colors)

7. Nescafe Dolce Gusto Circolo, $180

Give the gift of love and coffee with NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto. This unique single-serve coffee machine can whip up 19 different hot and cold coffeehouse-quality beverages in seconds, including cappuccinos, lattes and peach iced tea. The sleek design and LED back-lit screen give the Circolo a hip edge, while a personalized auto scroll allows you to customize the strength and blend of your brew. Available in red (perfect for V-day) and in stainless steel.

8. Essie Collection Heart Ring $45

I adore this heart ring from the Essie Collection made of sterling silver covered in rose gold with delicate black crystals. The open-heart design lays perfectly against the finger and it looks great worn on any finger, either alone or worn with other delicate rings. The romantic bauble offers a lot of look for the price!

Essie Collection Heart Ring $45.  Available in sizes 6 and 7

Essie Collection Heart Ring $45.  Available in sizes 6 and 7


Mani Monday: It's All About the Grey

by Melissa Meyers


 

While at a recent L'Oreal Paris party in Beverly Hills, I asked nail guru Tom Bachik what the latest trend in nails was these days. His response: "It's all about the grey!" I always like to follow Tom's nail advice and tried this dark grey combo (below). The look is so fresh and chic for winter!

L'Oreal Nail Color, Miss Grey - 707, Caution Please (textured accent nail) - 702

L'Oreal Nail Color, Miss Grey - 707, Caution Please (textured accent nail) - 702

Tom Bachik, Celebrity MANicurist, Global Nail Designer, L'Oreal Paris

Tom Bachik, Celebrity MANicurist, Global Nail Designer, L'Oreal Paris

At the L'Oreal Paris (post Golden Globes event) with beauty scouts Romy Raves and Stacy Cox.

At the L'Oreal Paris (post Golden Globes event) with beauty scouts Romy Raves and Stacy Cox.


Best Cover-Ups for Dark Under Eye Circles

by Melissa Meyers


Dark under eye circles are one of the most common beauty complaints and are usually inherited, accrued from late nights at the office or home, lack of sleep and general stress. I've tried hundreds of products that promise to cover and hide the "sleepless night look" and found that the ones below work best to conceal under eye circles. These will help anyone who's tired of looking tired!

Before using Amazing Cosmetics AmazingConcealer

After using Amazing Cosmetics AmazingConcealer

After using Amazing Cosmetics AmazingConcealer

1. Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer, $42

This full coverage concealer is the perfect product to use if you want to hide any kind of skin imperfection. It really does work miracles when used to hide under eye circles! The formula is very concentrated and you only need to use a pin dot amount of product to get great results. The AmazingConcealer literally works like a magic eraser and is a must-have product of many celebrity and red carpet make-up artists. There are so many shades and to choose from so you can easily match your skin tone perfectly. I recently discovered this product and was blown away by how well it works!

2. Bobbi Brown Face Touch Up Stick concealer stick, $28 

Carry this mini touch up stick by Bobbi Brown in your makeup bag, and use it to conceal any imperfections, redness, or blemishes. Its creamy, full-coverage formula is perfect for covering dark under eye circles and other imperfections on cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin. Love to use this one on the go!

3. Chantecaille Le Camouflage Stylo Anti-fatigue Corrector Pen, $49 

This new fab camouflage pen by Chantecaille works wonders in de-puffing the under eye area, helping to reduce dark circles and enhance skin's elasticity. It also helps even out skin tone and prevent formation and darkening of sun and age spots. Another perk--it keeps you crease-free all day!

4. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiant Touch, $41.00

YSL’s Touche Eclat is one of the beauty industry’s best concealer products, used by models, make-up artists and celebrities. It's true that this product does what it claims--gives you the look of an instant eight hours of sleep with the click of a pen! The complexion highlighter makes dark circles, fatigue and fine lines virtually vanish. I have been using this concealer pen for several years (thanks Mom!) and would say it is my most important make-up essential. I even carry an extra one in my handbag for touch-ups. 

5. Judith August Orange Masking Creme-Superior Cover for Dark Circles, $25

This is one of the best concealers used to specifically hide dark under eye circles. The orange based concealer miraculously removes the darkness from under the eyes and the two undertones are then used to blend to your exact skin tone. This moisturizing  formula contains vitamin A and E. Also works wonders on bruises! Apply with a brush or dab on for best results.

6. Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer, $28

Laura Mercier's three-in-one concealer covers, de-puffs and brightens under eye circles. I like that you can build and blend this highly pigmented formula and use a tiny amount of product. It also contains honey and vitamin E. 

7. Covergirl + Olay The De-Puffer in 350 Medium, $9.50

The cooling metal applicator of the Covergirl + Olay product helps to diminish the look of puffy eyes and dark circles. This formula goes on thin and blends very well so you don't feel like you are wearing make-up. An excellent drugstore choice!


Emerging Abstract Artist You Should Know About: Randi Russo

by Melissa Meyers


Randi Russo, besides being my seriously talented sister, is a rising contemporary artist whose first solo exhibition is currently being held at the Thomas Masters Gallery in Chicago. The show is called LIFE LINES and will be up until January 31st. Her abstract paintings are inspired by the post-World War II era (think Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky). I have seen Randi evolve over the years and this recent body of work is stellar. If you are interested in collecting contemporary emerging art, Randi Russo is one to watch! Below are some of my favorite paintings.

                      Marching Across Memory Mines, acrylic and watercolor pencil on canvas, 54"x 63"

                      Marching Across Memory Mines, acrylic and watercolor pencil on canvas, 54"x 63"

It is the organic gestural line work that distinguishes Randi Russo's paintings.  These lyrical lines define her style.  Biological themes are subtly represented through magnification and abstraction. As Randi put it, "[It's] as if I cannot pull myself away from what we're made of."

Large painting hanging at the Thomas Masters Gallery (sold). Invasion from the Inside Out, 65x65

In her artist statement, she goes on further to say: "It's now a time for me to reaffirm LIFE, to consider what life means in the face of adversity; how it travels from innocence to experience, from joy to despair and back to joy again, from tragedy to defiance to victory." 

Pinnacle, acrylic, watercolor pencil, chalk on linen, 42" x 50"

                 The Militant March of the Heart, acrylic, watercolor pencil, color sticks on canvas, 58" x 78"

What makes Randi Russo's work so special is the texture of each painting and use of different materials.

Topography Falling, acrylic paint and pencil on panel, 18" x 24"

Topography Falling, acrylic paint and pencil on panel, 18" x 24"

Cells in Motion, acrylic, pencil and chalk on panel, 24"x 30"

Wisdom and Angst (What it is to be a Woman), acrylic paint, glass beads and pencil on panel, 18" x 24"

About the Artist

Randi Russo was born and raised in New York, where she created a life and career through her songwriting and performing. The Village Voice has called her a “guitar goddess,” and that she’s “someone to keep your eye on… [and] her fame is pretty much guaranteed.” She has toured the U.S. and Europe, recorded three albums and two EPs, and has opened for well-known acts. In 2012, Randi moved to Chicago to pursue her painting while she continues to create music in two new projects. She has painted since she was a child and studied painting at Washington University in St. Louis. Her works have been featured in several group shows, including one at the Chicago Cultural Center. She is represented by Thomas Masters Gallery.

 

For any inquiries, contact:

THOMAS MASTERS GALLERY
245 W. North Avenue
Chicago, IL
312-440-2322

thomas@thomasmastersgallery.com
www.thomasmastersgallery.com

Randi Russo:                                                                                                           rr@randirusso.com                                                                                            www.randirusso.com 

Paintings priced between $3000-$5500. 


Delicious & Smart Snacks to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

by Melissa Meyers


One of the best ways to control your weight is to choose healthy snacks that do not pack on the pounds in between meals. A cup of fruit or a handful of almonds are always great choices but do they really satisfy your sweet tooth? I've recently tried some delicious snacks that are healthier choices for those of us who just can't give up the taste of sugary treats! Below are some of my new favorites--ditch the power bars and give them a try!

1. ELEMENT SNACKS Rice Cakes, $19 for sampler pack

The rice cakes from ELEMENT are delicious and only 80 calories each! They satisfy your craving to crunch and your sweet tooth at the same time. With only 5 grams of sugar, you can munch on them guilt-free. The Founders are European and source and produce all the ingredients from small local farms in Italy. They are available in a variety of great flavors like dark chocolate (my personal fave), milk chocolate, sweet vanilla orange, and strawberry 'n'cream. My whole family is obsessed with these incredible snacks!

 ELEMENT Snacks are GMO free, gluten free, vegan (dark chocolate) and dairy free. They contain no preservatives, artificial flavors, corn syrup, trans fats, and cholesterol.

 ELEMENT Snacks are GMO free, gluten free, vegan (dark chocolate) and dairy free. They contain no preservatives, artificial flavors, corn syrup, trans fats, and cholesterol.

2. Natures All Foods Freeze Dried Organic Strawberry, $6 

Organic Strawberries from Nature's All Foods are yummy freeze-dried strawberries that are sweet and provide a natural source of vitamin C. They are a great addition to cereals, lunch boxes, desserts or just by themselves as a crunchy snack. They are raw, vegan, free of gluten, GMOs, colorings, preservatives, added sugar, wheat, dairy, peanut and tree nuts making it the perfect sweet snack for those with restrictive diets.

3. sweetriot 65% Dark Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs, $44.99 (12-pack)

The socially responsible company sweetriot created amazing on-the-go treats that are good for you and your waistline. I love their all-natural dark chocolate covered cacao nibs--they are dairy free, gluten free and kosher too. Plus, they are filled with antioxidants and only one to two calories each. It's no surprise that celeb fans include Eva Longoria and Sarah Jessica Parker. Just pop a few in your mouth after a meal to satisfy your sweet tooth completely guilt-free! 

4.Chocolate Covered Calcium (Carmel) Bites, $7.49 for a can of 12

Get your daily calcium and your candy-bar craving satisfied at the same time with these Chocolate Covered Calcium (Caramel) Bites. The chewy bites taste like Rolos and contain 500mg of calcium and 6 grams of fiber. Plus, they are sugar-free and only 30 calories per piece. Fun fact--you burn 30 calories by doing any of the following: 8 minutes of walking, 3 minutes of jogging, two minutes of swimming, and five minutes of cycling. 

Going gluten-free? You will not give up on taste with The Good Cookies gluten-free almond butter chocolate chip cookies! I must admit, I am addicted. These delicious and chewy organic cookies are also wheat, dairy, and casein free. Each cookie is 100 calories, contains 7 grams of sugar and 13 grams of carbs. It's been the company’s goal to share their treats with people who are gluten intolerant ever since the Founder's Mom was diagnosed with Celiac disease. 

All cookies are beautifully hand-packaged and can be sent anywhere in the US. 



Mani Monday: Winter Wonderland

by Melissa Meyers


I am obsessed with opaque white as a winter nail color these days. Looks so fresh, clean, edgy--it's the cool girl color for this season. 

Loreal Nail color, Hit the Slopes

I decided to try this fashionable nail trend at the suggestion of celebrity "MAN"icurist and Global Nail Designer for L'Oreal Paris Tom Bachik who mentioned at a recent blogger soiree, "one the hottest nail trends now is to wear white after the summer. White is the new black."

With Tom Bachik, Global Nail Designer for L'Oreal Paris.

With Tom Bachik, Global Nail Designer for L'Oreal Paris.

White nails look great alone or as shown below with a sparkly, gold accent nail!

Loreal Nail color, Hit the Slopes. Highlight nail in 24 carat.