Thursday, December 30, 2010

Carolyn Braden's Review of St. Tropez: A Great Self-Tanner

Looking for a great self tanner that will cure your winter, pasty, pale skin?  I love St. Tropez Self-Tan Bronzing Lotion!  
I am not going to does smell like self-tanner.  I've read other reviews of the product and I saw everything from "It smells nothing like self-tanner!" to "It stinks!".  I will honestly say, it smells good coming out of the bottle, but like most self-tanners, when it starts working (reacting with your body chemistry to tan the skin), it smells like self-tanner.  However, it does work.  Here are my tips on using it to do what it was meant to do:  give you natural looking color.

When you get out of the shower, dry off completely.  Then apply a light layer of lotion on your feet (don't forget between the toes!), elbows, knees, and face.  
Begin to use the lotion on your feet and work your way up your body.  Don't rub the lotion in; just lightly apply it, smoothing it until it is even.  Rubbing it will only make it start to ball up and come off (trust me on this).  When you've gotten it on your body, put some on your face.  I have sensitive skin and I was still able to use it on my face.  
When you are finished, use soap and a nail scrub brush to scrub the palms of your hands.  I do this a few times so I can get it all off.  To be on the safe side, rub a little of the plain lotion over your knees, hands, elbows, and feet to make sure these areas get evenly tanned.  Those are usually the areas where you end up seeing darker areas the next day.  If you use the plain lotion to "even it out" you are less likely to end up with streaks and dark spots.
A tip to make sure the tops of your hands aren't pale white compared to your body:  put some plain lotion on them and rub it in.  While that lotion soaks in, use a tiny amount of self tanner and rub (use finger tips only!) it over the tops of your hands and between the fingers.  Rub a little on your wrists too.  Use the wet scrub brush to gently scrub your finger tips clear of any of the tanner.  Dry hands completely. 

I like this lotion because it gives me a very natural looking color.  I am a red-head with freckles, and fairly pale skin.  I don't tan easily in the sun and I don't like wrinkles.  St. Tropez Self-Tanning Lotion is the answer to my pasty problems.  The 8 oz. bottle I purchased in September still has enough to tan me for another month and I use it about 2 times a week.

Carolyn Braden Tries Sally Hansen Salon Effects Polish Strips

I just purchased Sally Hansen Salon Effects Polish Strips.  I got the "Laced Up" design, which looks like my nail is covered in black lace.  My nails look great, but I am truly wondering if it will last.  The box says it can last up to 10 days.  Each design comes with 16 strips, so if you mess up putting one on, you can take it off and use one of the extra strips.  I felt like they were fairly easy to apply, as the directions were very detailed.  I will post whether they are worth trying or not when I see how long they last.  It took me about two hours to fully apply them, but I wanted to make sure I did it exactly correct so I could give an accurate review after I see how long they stay on my nails.

I am very interested in trying OPI's Axxium gel nail polish.  I know my salon does them for $45.00, which I thought was pretty expensive.  After doing a lot of reading about it, I am considering buying an Axxium kit online and trying it myself.  I have taught myself how to do so many things and have come out with very professional results when I've practiced enough,  We'll see what I do soon....... :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Carolyn Braden: Waiting for the Katy Perry OPI Line!

I want the Katy Perry OPI line to be in stores now! Beauty First said they'd have it in January 2011.  I know that's not too far away, but I want it now!  (I sound like Veruca Salt!).  One of the polishes crackles when you put it on, making it seem like leopard spots are all over your nails. It reminds me of the crackle paint you can buy at Lowe's or Home Depot.  The polishes are also named after some of the songs on her new album, Teenage Dream. 

Check out the colors at

The Burlesque line is a great one too!  Check that one out while you wait for the Katy Perry Line.  I love my Sparkle-icous!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Carolyn Braden Loves Reebok!

I received my Reebok hi-tops today!  Love, love, love them!!! is where I found them.  They were shipped from 
Re-visiting the 80's?  Oh yeah!

Carolyn Braden's Simple Christmas Wrapping!

Simple wrap!  Postal paper, ornaments (I bought 12 in a pack for $5.00 at Wal-Mart), and bridal tulle!  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Carolyn Braden says "Reebok Hi-Tops, Stylish Workout Shoes!"

I just found a great shoe!  My workout shoes were needing to be replaced.  While watching a video on Exercise TV, one of the instructors was wearing some really cool silver hi-tops.  After doing some research, I found out her shoes were Reebok's Freestyle Hi-Tops.  I truly fell in love with the shoes!  I just purchased the silver (with white bottoms) from  I received free shipping.  I can't wait to get them this week!  I do mostly aerobic types of workouts, so these shoes will truly fit into my personal fitness routine!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Carolyn Braden: Mad For Plaid!

Plaid is in! Get it out and wear it this holiday season!

Carolyn Braden

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the
--Dolly Parton

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Love this body tint, Charlotte Island, by Lush!

This is the best body tint ever! It smells like tropical bananas and
chocolate and will make you look like you spent the weekend in the
tropics! After you put it on, let it dry for a few minutes before
putting on your clothes. It's so lightweight and does not rub off on
your clothes. My sensitive skin even allowed it to be put on my face!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Carolyn Braden's Uggs!

These are my new Uggs.   I wore them with my Ladybug Girl costume.  (The Ladybug Girl is a children's book.  I wore them for my costume at my school's Book Character Day). I will definitely wear them this season.  They are so comfy and incredibly stylish.  They are a little less ordinary than traditional Uggs.  

Carolyn Braden's Creative Jewelry Organization

Here is a creative way to organize your jewelry.  I used a curio display cabinet that I was about to give away. It didn't match my dining room any longer so I thought it should have gone to someone who needed it.  Then I had a lightbulb go off in my head!  Use it for jewelry storage!  This way I can see everything that I have and it doesn't get dusty!  

Carolyn Braden's Latest T.J. Maxx Find!

I love T.J. Maxx!  If you are someone who doesn't mind looking through many clothing items to find something you like, go to T.J. Maxx.  The prices are so much better than many mall stores and they keep the latest trends in stock always!  This vest is a Cynthia Rowley and it was only $29.98!  I don't like the cold weather that is approaching Louisville but this vest may help make the winter blues less blue and much more stylish!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ballet Tutu's Anyone?

Ballet is on the up and up of current styles!  I just bought one for part of my Halloween costume.  The costume is based on a book character.  Our school celebrates Book Character Day right before Halloween.  The students get to dress up as their favorite book character.  I can't reveal my character yet, but she does wear a beautiful tutu.  

Ladybugs are certainly in style right now too!  

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Carolyn Braden says "Manicure anyone?"

I am teaching myself how to do the best manicure/pedicure ever! I
love having my nails done but it can be so expensive! I gave up my
fake nails one year ago and I think I have finally perfected doing my
own nails. After watching the ladies do my nails, I learned the whole
process. With a little trip over to Sally Beauty Supply store, I now
have all my own tools and even the little bottles of nail polish with
the thin brushes to paint cute details too! I even bought the
rhinestones I would always have put on my big toe and ring fingers.
It took some getting used to painting details onto my right hand with
my left hand (I'm right handed), but I can do it now!

Experiment for yourself! It takes a little patience, but you can do
it and save some money too! Ask your friends and family if you can
practice on them. Thanks to my mom and Jordan for lending their hands
(he he!) to me!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Carolyn Braden Says "New Fall Trend Update!"

Fashion, fashion, everywhere. There are so many trends that are born every day.  Now, the thing that we all must wonder now is "What generation are these "new" trends from"?  Every new trend seems to just be a repeat from the past.  I was reading in InStyle magazine yesterday about Julianne Moore.  There was a picture from a dance she went to in high school and her dress had spaghetti straps.  She made a comment how spaghetti straps are such a 1970's trend.  
So my question is, are there any truly new trends that are yet to be discovered?  

I do see lots and lots of ruffles and billowing draping happening for this upcoming fall style.  I see fabric being pushed, pulled, tucked, and pinned to make an old style shirt seem like a new style shirt.  The pleated skirt will be hot this fall.  Length of skirts and dresses are going to be longer and the heels are just going to keep getting taller.  (Good thing for me since I am super vertically challenged and the only way I can wear some of these long dress/skirt styles without having to pay money for alterations is to wear the super high heel).  The heels are going from leather with studs to soft and buttery suede.  I found my Mary Jane heels on Friday at Von Maur.  They are platform black heels with an elastic band that adorns a HUGE bow across it to form the strap.  I love the shoe!  I've wanted Mary Janes for so long now, but I wanted some that were a little different.  These fit the bill. Bracelets are the new necklaces for fall.  Patterns and prints in every color and style are going to be mixed in ways you never thought possible and yet, they will look good. I saw a small polka dotted blouse with a floral skirt yesterday in a magazine and thought they actually worked well together.   I'm still dead set on goth style being integrated into fall and winter style.  Spiders will show up somehow. 

So, what do you think?  Are the new trends I listed above repeats of the past.  Yes, I do believe they are. Is there any new trend waiting to be discovered?  I really hope so.  Oh, by the way, celebs that are wearing their dresses backwards is not a new trend to follow. That came in style with KrisKross (remember them) and went out very quickly.  :) Cher is going to be back out in the spotlight again in full force soon.  Talk about a trend from the past. 
Can't wait! :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Carolyn Braden says "Check out Avon and Mark. for some great products!"

Keep safe in the sun!  Wear a hat this summer!  I got my black reversible cotton sun hat from Avon.  It was super packable for my recent beach vacation.  Have you checked out the latest Avon or Mark. Magalog?  They are totally in sync with the latest trends and staples you should always have on hand.  My mother-in-law sells Avon and I love looking through her catalogues.  I can never get through a book without wanting something out of it.  The prices are great!!!  They have things priced very well!  I recently ordered a evening purse.  It can double as a chic fanny pack for a hands free dancing purse!  I know that fanny packs may have a bad rep, but if you look at this one, it will show you how cute one can be. Another great Avon product is Mark. Glossblossom Ripening Lip Tint.  I usually order this in bulk so I never run out.   It goes on clear and then the color "ripens" to a wonderful color that matches your own skin tone.

Also, my husband and I love the deodorants by Avon.  My grandmother swore by the the Black Suede roll-on.  I ordered 2 dozen for her one year for Christmas so she wouldn't run out.  I always joked with her about using a men's deodorant.  When she passed away, there were several unused roll-on's left.  I decided I would see what all the hype was about the product.  It was great!  It was better than any other deodorant I've ever tried!  Some people may not like it, as it does go on pretty wet.  It dries very fast though, so you may end up liking it.

Go to to check out more products.  Or, click on the above photos and buy the products I listed in my blog from

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vote for Carolyn's OWN Audition!
Exactly only one more week left to vote! Thanks for your help! Yep,
I'm still way behind, but I'd still like you to vote for me. You just
never know......... :)

Carolyn Braden

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Carolyn Braden says "My Hallmark card is in stores now!"

My Hallmark card is for sale on-line and is now in stores! Go to a
Walgreen's or a Hallmark store, go to the birthday cards section and
look for a card in black and white with a white dog with glasses on
the front. My name and city and state is on the card divider above my
cards. My picture and bio is on the back of the cards. The card is
in the "anyone" category. I saw it in a Walgreen's during a recent
trip to Florida, so I know it's out there nationwide!
Sent from my iPhone

Carolyn's Audition: View and vote for her to win Oprah's win your OWN show contest!

Only about one week left to view and vote for me. If you have voted
for me, thank you so much! Yes, I am way behind many other people in
my number of views and votes, but nontheless, I will keep trying. I
have so many creative ideas and know I must share them with the
world. No matter if I win this contest or not, trying still puts me
out there. I always remember this saying: "You can't win if you don't
try". That is such a true statement. Remember that . :)

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Please subscribe to my blog if you are a reader ;)

Did you know that if you subscribe to my blog or blogsyou can choose
to not get e-mail updates whenever I post a new blog? So many people
read the same blogs every day but they never subscribe because they
think they will be bombarded with blog updates all the time. I know
I've unsubscribed to many sites because they've sent too many e-mails
to me.
The reason why I am asking for subscribers is because I'd like to know
if anyone out there likes the fashion ideas I know are going to be
hits in the fashion world (carolynsbloomingcreations), if anyone gets
home design ideas from my husband and I (bradenhomestyle),or if anyone
thinks the way I do or feels the same as I do (pammiepeacock). I have
received e-mails from people that have followed my blog to my website
so I know some people are at least viewing my blogs. So........if you
are one of those people that I listed above, subscribe to my blog or
blogs please :). I read Kelly Cutrone's book recently and I feel as
if I am searching for my "tribe", as Kelly described it. I'm a little
curious too. I've never asked for subscribers before and now I think
it's time for me to do so. Don't be afraid. :)

View and vote for Carolyn Braden's audition to win Oprah's win your OWN show contest!
Vote until July 3rd!!!

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, June 18, 2010

Please vote for Carolyn Braden's audition to win Oprah's Win Your OWN Show Talent Search!

Vote for Carolyn Braden's Audition to Win Oprah's Win Your OWN Show Contest!

Votes and views needed!
Please go vote for me to get Carolyn Braden's Turning the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary on Oprah Winfrey's new network, OWN!  You can vote until July 3rd.

See the full YouTube video on how to make the vinyl record bowl here: 

If you haven't stopped by my website or YouTube page yet, do it today!  

My website: 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vote for Carolyn Braden's Audition to Win Oprah's Win Your OWN Show Contest!

Votes and views needed!
Please go vote for me to get Carolyn Braden's Turning the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary on Oprah Winfrey's new network, OWN!  You can vote until July 3rd.

See the full YouTube video on how to make the vinyl record bowl here: 

If you haven't stopped by my website or YouTube page yet, do it today!  

My website: 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Carolyn Braden Says: The Pretty Bra worked!

I just wanted to update about the pretty bra straps I ordered from

They are wonderful!  I tried the silver ones today and it was so wonderful to not have to worry about my bra strap peeking out from my tank top.  They didn't look like bra straps.  They just looked like straps from a tank top.  

I'm ordering more soon!

Carolyn Braden Says "Make Your Own Tie Dye Fashions Instead of Buying Them!"

I was looking through the latest Vogue issue and on one of the pages there was a white tote bag that had been tie dyed.  The design looked just like some of the shibori designs I've done in the past.  This bag was over $300.00!  I figured you could make the bag yourself and save some cash.  Here's my video on how to do shibori (Japanese tie dye).  I would buy a white canvas bag and try to dye it yourself!  Pinch up small areas of the bag, wrap rubberbands tightly around the areas where you want the ring design, and dye it following directions for dying on the box of dye you choose (if you choose to use a cheaper dye like RIT, which is found in many grocery stores).  You could save around $270.00 by doing it yourself!  Score!

Vote for Carolyn Braden to win Oprah's Win Your OWN Show Contest!

Only 2 weeks left until the end of the contest!
Please go vote for me to get Carolyn Braden's Turning the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary on Oprah Winfrey's new network, OWN!  You can vote until July 3rd.

If you haven't stopped by my website or YouTube page yet, do it today!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Carolyn Braden Says: It's my birthday today so go vote for me to win Oprah's Win Your OWN Show Contest as my present!

It's my birthday today, so go vote for me as a wonderful present!
Please go vote for me to get Carolyn Braden's Turning the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary on Oprah Winfrey's new network, OWN!  You can vote until July 3rd.

If you haven't stopped by my website or YouTube page yet, do it today!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Carolyn Braden's YouTube Channel: Check it out!

If you haven't checked out my YouTube channel yet, do it!  My how to show, Carolyn Braden's Turning the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary, is posted there.  If you've ever wanted to be creative, but didn't think you could, my show could probably help you!  :)

Help Carolyn Braden Win Oprah's Win Your OWN Show Contest!

Here's your daily reminder:
Please go vote for me to get Carolyn Braden's Turning the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary on Oprah Winfrey's new network, OWN!  You can vote until July 3rd.

Thanks so much and have a sparkling day!  Click the link below and vote as many times as you wish!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Carolyn Braden says "Pretty Bra Straps...Get Them!"

Lucky Magazine just featured a bra from the new Maidenform line called "Charmed".  The bra was featured as the perfect summer dress bra.  It truly was pretty.  The straps were so cute that no one would suspect it truly was a bra strap if it was showing.  Unfortunately, the line is not for sale yet.  I signed up on the Charmed website so they could e-mail me when I could buy it.  It will be available mid-June, so that's soon!  Sign up at
They list the line as a "Junior" line, but there may be some that work for those outside of the "Junior" category. 

Now......this new bra with the pretty straps had me really thinking.  Could there be pretty bra straps out there that I could just attach to the bras I already have?  After putting "pretty bra straps" into my Google search engine, all kinds of bra strap sites popped up.  Do I sense a new trend?  Of course!  Why not make bra straps pretty if they are always going to somehow appear in the summer?  I HATE showing my bra straps.  It's a pet peeve of mine.  Maybe these will make that pet peeve go away?  After researching many sites, I found the most affordable ones (and still very pretty) on

I just ordered two pairs to see how I like them.  I wanted to order so many more because they have such beautiful ones!  I figured it would be best to wait and see how I like them and how well they are made before I go bra strap crazy!  I ordered a black beaded pair and a silver "liquid" glitter pair.  I thought those would be versatile with my current summer wardrobe.

So, while I wait for the Maidenform Charmed line, I will still be able to show my bra straps in style for once.  

Another solution I had for the showing bra straps was wearing a bikini top under your dress or shirt.  Of course this may not always work, but I had a green thin strapped dress that had black and white polka dots on it.  I wanted to wear it without covering up with a black sweater (to hide my bra straps, of course) but I had no idea how.  Then, the black and white bikini from Victoria's Secret I just purchased popped into my head.  I tried it and it worked!  The Victoria's Secret bathing suit line is very affordable and I've also seen the H&M line being advertised as "starting at $4.99".  It would be worth a shot to try to find more bikini tops that may work.  Some bikini tops have great lining and wire support, so see if one works for you.   

Monday, June 7, 2010

Vote for Carolyn Braden to Win Oprah's Win Your OWN Show Talent Search Contest!

Here's your daily reminder:
 Please go vote for me to get Carolyn Braden's Turning the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary on Oprah Winfrey's new network, OWN!  You can vote until July 3rd.

Thanks so much and have a sparkling day!  Click the link below and vote as many times as you wish!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Carolyn Braden: Figured Out Why Witches Were Standing Out

I think I figured out how witches will show up in style.  I believe this fall things are going to get a little dark in the fashion world.  I think goth style will merge into high fashion.  I can see studs sticking around, dark lace, dark eyeliner (like the kohl eyeliner that Carrie put on in the new Sex and the City movie), and black and white stripes.  I call it "Halloween" Style.  Halloween will come early this year; At least in the fashion world.

Help Carolyn Braden Win Oprah's Win Your OWN Show Talent Search Contest!

Here's your daily reminder:
 Please go vote for me to get Carolyn Braden's Turning the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary on Oprah Winfrey's new network, OWN!  You can vote until July 3rd.

Thanks so much and have a sparkling day!  Click the link below and vote as many times as you wish!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Help Carolyn Braden Win Her OWN Show! (Oprah Winfrey's Talent Search Contest)

Here's your daily reminder:
At least until July 3rd, when the voting window closes.  Please go vote for me to get Carolyn Braden's Turning the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary on Oprah Winfrey's new network, OWN!

Thanks so much and have a sparkling day!  Click the link below and vote as many times as you wish!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Carolyn Braden says "Vote for me to win the OWN (Oprah's Network) talent search contest!"

Here's your daily reminder:
At least until July 3rd, when the voting window closes.  Please go vote for me to get Carolyn Braden's Turning the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary on Oprah Winfrey's new network, OWN!

Thanks so much and have a sparkling day!  Click the link below and vote as many times as you wish!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Carolyn Braden says "Vote for me to get my show on OWN!"

I'm going to blog this all the time now!  At least until July 3rd, when the voting window closes.  Please go vote for me to get Carolyn Braden's Turning the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary on Oprah Winfrey's new network, OWN!

Thanks so much and have a sparkling day!  Click the link below and vote as many times as you wish!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Carolyn Braden says "Vote for me to have my own show on OWN!"

Put Carolyn Braden in the search box and vote for me!

I want Carolyn Braden's Turning the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary to move from YouTube to a cable network, OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network!

Vote for me every day as many times as you wish until July 3rd!  I need to be in the top five to be considered for a show!

Please vote for me and thank you so much in advance!  Have a sparkling day!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Carolyn Braden says "SWASH Anyone?"

I am contemplating trying this new line of products by Proctor and Gamble.  The line is SWASH by Tide.  I am so interested in a product that claims to freshen up my clothing without having to wash it.  Washing clothes over and over can break them down so quickly, so SWASH could help extend the life of my clothing.  I am all for that.  You can only buy it on right now.  Click the link below to go to Amazon and see if you are as interested as I am in trying this new line of products.  As of right now, you can not buy them in stores. 
Keeping clothes looking new and saving money from too much washing and having to purchase new clothes due to current clothing wearing out is always in style in my mind. 

Swash Variety Pack: Fresh It Up, Smooth It Out, Steam It Out [Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging]
 Swash Variety Pack: Fresh It Up, Smooth It Out, Steam It Out [Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging]

Monday, May 17, 2010

Carolyn Braden: Overalls coming back!

They will be very in very soon.

This time around though, wear them rolled a little with a tank top (or
tight shirt) and heels.

There's something about witches right now too. I don't know how they
are going to show up in fashion, but they are going to show up

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Carolyn Braden: Save Japan's Dolphins!

It's always in style to save our earth.  A part of our earth are the beautiful dolphins.  They are magical and serene.  Most of the time.
If you watched the Oprah's Earth Day special this past week, you would have seen something horrible happening to the dolphins.   The massacre (as I describe it) made me cringe and it was very hard to watch.  Dolphins at the cove of Taji are being brutally stabbed and killed.  The water turns to blood as the dolphins are slain for meat.  Do we want another beautiful mammal to go extinct?

You can help make awareness to this subject by visiting the link below:

I love dolphins.  I've seen them in their natural habitats during many vacations.  I just can't imagine the world without them.  There is a petition on the website you can sign that can help save them from slaughter.  Visit this link to sign it:
Help keep our world beautiful.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Carolyn Braden says "The Best Face Mask EVER"

While searching forever to find a place where I could purchase Bioelements "Emergency Soothing Powder", I discovered something great.  

I get facials every once in a while and my facialist always gives me a little of the Bioelements Emergency Soothing Powder to use at home whenever my skin gets super sensitive.  Whenever the temperature changes or for some other reason, my face just gets red and irritated.  It's nothing that a little ESP can't handle though.  I just mix a little water with this oatmeal like powder and smooth it over my face and my skin gets back to normal. 

Well, the other day, the temperature went from super warm to super cold and back to super warm.  My skin got red and I was out of the ESP.  I didn't want to go back to get a facial right away, so I searched the internet for the mask powder.  I found someone on E-Bay that was selling it for $40.00, but after bidding, they e-mailed me to let me know they were out of the product.  I asked my facialist if I could buy some the last time I was there (instead of always having to get a sample), and it's not a product I can buy due to it being part of their "professional" line for skincare specialists.  

I was in need of this product and I couldn't get any!  So, after many searches on-line, I came across one page link.  I clicked on the link and all it said was "Bioelements Emergency Soothing Powder----Colloidal Oatmeal."  Then I searched for Colloidal Oatmeal, just thinking that was one of the ingredients in the Bioelements product.  I discovered that Collidal Oatmeal is just finely ground up oatmeal.  People even posted recipes to make it.  I started searching for products that contained Collidal Oatmeal, thinking there was another mask on the market that contained the oatmeal and was similar to the Bioelements mask.  

Then it dawned on me.  Bioelements ESP is just Collidal Oatmeal repackaged.  I found Aveeno Active Naturals Soothing Bath Treatment.  These packets of bath treatment are merely 100% Colloidal Oatmeal.  I figured I would purchase the Aveeno product (retailed for less than $6.00 at my Target store) and try mixing it with water just like I did with the ESP.  

It was the same exact mask!  The smell, the texture, the color......all the same thing as the Bioelements product.  I have 8 huge packets of the Aveeno product and a tiny amount of the powder mixed with water is all you need to create this mask.  It will last me forever!  I have been using it every night now, and my skin loves it!  It really is a great facial mask!  

Try it out the next time your skin gets irritated, and you won't be sorry.  If your skin is super sensitive though, try testing it out on a little part of your skin before putting it all over your face.  I apply the mask with a make-up brush I bought to only use for putting on masks.  

Happy skin!  

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Carolyn Braden says again "Glitter is in!"

More great glitter nail polish:

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear nail color!

It's cheap and says it will last about 7 days. I love this color,
Rockstar Pink. I layered it over Twisted Pink. This glitter polish
would look great over others colors too such as blue and gold. Now
here's the test; Will it really last?

Stay tuned....

Carolyn Braden: Good skin, in style with Retin A!

I was so tired.  Tired of icky smelling drying potions, lotions, and creams. 
I've never had perfect skin.  Well, maybe I did if you count when I was a baby.  I have struggled with pimples since I was in the 5th grade.  I'll never forget all the different types of soaps and zit creams I tried as a teenager.  The dry, peeling skin, the nights of white dots all over my face, the hours studying my skin to try to determine when the next major pimple was going to pop up.  Then, going into adulthood, I was under the impression that all pimples would immediately vanish, and I'd then finally have perfect skin.  That was totally a lie!  As an adult, I've managed to find the right facial soap for my skin type (Aveda) and exfoliant (Aveda too) and a good facialist who can manage to get my skin under control when all hell breaks loose.  BUT. I. STILL. GET. PIMPLES!
Until now.
One day, I opened up my Lucky Magazine to a huge spread all about Retin A.  After reading the article, I was thinking I would try it to ward off my soon to be happening wrinkles.  I went to the dermatologist and explained I wanted to start on it due to wanting skin like my grandmother (she has been using Retin A for years, and has always had wonderfully flawless skin).  After getting my package and reading all about it, I found out it may also help my breakout problem.  I read the package directions carefully.  I am happy to say, I think I've finally found the solution for me.

My doctor prescribed Retin A Micro Gel in the pump.  I am using the 0.04% strength.  Know this please, Retin A may not be great for you.  I am not a doctor and can only vouch for my results thus far, but heed my advice if you are thinking about trying it.

*Make sure you read the pamphlet VERY carefully.  Your skin depends on it!  

*PLEASE wash your face 30 minutes prior to using the product.
*Do not pick your skin while on it!  When you first start the product, you may experience very heavy breakouts.  My research explained that all of the bad, icky stuff comes out of your pores and onto the surface of your skin, making it pretty bumpy.  The product has to bring the bad out to get the good going.  Even the tiniest whitehead, when picked or squeezed, can leave a red mark on your face for weeks.  The best thing I've tried to get rid of any bump during my first stages of using this product is Neosporin ointment.  I use the cream, not the gel like kind.  The gel like kind makes my skin look kind of greasy, which doesn't make your makeup go on well at all.

*Use a gentle soap and don't try any new soaps or scrubs while your skin is getting used to it.  I made this mistake and it felt like my skin became super sensitive, itchy, and red.
*Use it at night and follow with lots of moisturizer.  

* Wash it off first thing in the morning.  If you have any peeling skin, I've found that a warm, soft wash cloth rubbed very gently in a circular motion gets rid of that.  I follow up then with some more Neosporin and moisturizer.  I use Aveda Tourmaline moisturizer mixed with a little Cetaphil lotion during the day and Aveeno night cream at night. 

*Use a tiny pea sized amount.  I take that and dot it on my forehead, nose tip, cheeks, and bottom of my chin and jawline.  I then rub it gently in and totally avoid right under my eyes, the areas under my nose, and the line in my chin, right under my lip.   More of the product does not work any better.  Using more can actually irritate your skin.

*Be super, super patient.  I have now been using it since January 30th, and I am still experiencing a few pimples here and there, but nothing too major.  

*Use sunscreen and do not put direct UV rays on your face. (Like a tanning bed).  The UV rays will fry your skin as the product makes it more sensitive and it can burn very easily.

It is now February and I've noticed my skin feeling softer and softer every day.  I've noticed the lines in my forehead and between my eyebrows get less and less noticeable.  My skin's texture seems to be almost looking soft and velvet-like.  

I am excited to see my results in a few months.  I know it will continue to make my skin look better and better.  I am still experiencing a few pimples here and there, but they are not major.  I put a tiny dot of Retin A on the pimple when I am using it at night, and it seems to dry it up quick when used with Neosporin.

Again, this product may not be for everyone.  If you are interested in trying it, go see your doctor. They can help you decide.  I hope my information helps you.  There are may sites out there where you can read about people's results and I encourage you to look those up and read more.  Don't let others experience scare you too much.  I found that some people said they hated it, but they only used it for one day and didn't give it the time it needed to do it's job.  Some insurance companies cover this product, as mine did.  It was $290.00 retail when I looked at my prescription label to see what my insurance covered.  Pretty expensive, I thought.  The product will last you a long time if used correctly.  Even if you have to pay full price for this product, it may be worth it when you do your research on how much a facelift will cost in the future to rid you of the wrinkles you could have prevented earlier by using a product like Retin A.  


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Carolyn Braden Suggests: Cheap beauty!

New products I am loving!!!!
Johnson's Melt Away Stress Lavender and Chamomile Lotion is
wonderful! I got it at the grocery store on a recent trip. It was
about $2.50 and is one of the best inexpensive lotions out there. I
put it on right before bed. I put it on my feet and use shea butter
socks to seal in the moisture. It is working miracles on my dry
winter hands too! And the smell is so nice to fall asleep to.
I just discovered how forgiving glitter topcoats are! My nails have
been chipping more than usual with the washing of the hands constantly
(I am teaching art right now.....messy!) and the dry winter air is so
harsh! When I am in a pinch, I put a glitter polish on such as Cover
Girl Boundless Color in Crystal Mist to pretty up my nails quick!
It's also great to put on top of solid colors to help disguise tiny
The last great product I just discovered tonight is all of the Hard
Candy products at Wal-Mart! The Louisville stores finally have
them!!! I've loved Hard Candy forever and couldn't wait to be able to
find them at a store where I can grocery shop too! I just bought a
turquoise polish called Frenzy. I love, love, love the lipstick
too! It's a super moisturizing tube of lipstick that looks almost
like a gloss when it goes on. I bought Rush Hour, a beautiful pink.
I've been looking for an almost hot pink lipstick and I found that in
this Hard Candy product. The lipstick type I bought is called Painted
Lady. There are many other lip products including big tubes of
glosses that are lip plumpers too!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Carolyn Braden says: Conan, So Long But Not For Long!

Great last Tonight Show!
So long but hopefully not for too long, Conan O'Brien!  You'll always be in style to me!  Twenty years of great comedic style you have shown through your 20 year run with NBC. 
Loved the message, one that we should all listen to:
Things don't always turn out the way we want them to.  Be happy for what you have and leave cynicism on the side. Good things will happen to good people.  Sometimes those people just have to wait a little while. 

You are super talented in my mind and will have so many more years of great comedy fun.  Hopefully we will see you soon, maybe September?  And hopefully we'll see Andy too!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Carolyn Braden: Style Book App in Lucky Magazine

Over the holidays I decided to start a style file, documenting all the outfits I create and want to remember.  I thought it would be a good idea due to always going to my closet and thinking I have nothing to wear.

Well, the people at Lucky Magazine were thinking the same thing as I was.  Instead of taking pictures of the outfits and printing them out and then putting them in a binder, I can skip all that and save it in my iPhone.  I downloaded an app one of the Lucky staff members created.  It's called Style Book.  

Here's my take on the app:
In the magazine blurb in February's issue, it seemed to me that you just had to take pictures with your iPhone of your clothes, accesories, shoes, etc, then the app would put together your outfits for you based on your photos.  I was wrong.

The downside:

Instead, you take the pictures, create the outfits yourself and save them in the app.  Then you can just refer to the app when you need ideas for what to wear.  A little disappointing that I have to think of the combinations.  I really did think the app would do it for me based on the app description.  I was in a fashion dream world on that thought. 

The upside:  
I can keep up with the outfits I create more easily (no more printing out photos and putting them in a binder) and I now have started an inventory of everything I own within this app.  I haven't taken photos of EVERYTHING yet, but it is an ongoing project.  I've gotten through my sweaters and t-shirts so far.  :)  This will be good for when I go shopping and I just have to have ANOTHER pair of skinny jeans.  I'll just refer to my app and know I already have about 10 pairs.

If you have a hard time piecing together outfits and you want an app to do it for you, you are out of luck with this one.
If you can piece together outfits, want to remember them, and have some free time to take photos of your clothes and accessories, this app is for you.

Now if someone can just create the app that will do it all for me.............
Maybe soon.  :)


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Carolyn Braden Prediction: Lookin' like a fool with your pants on the ground!

I must admit, I have to watch the pre-shows of American Idol every season.  They truly can make you laugh.  The latest "hit" by a 62 year old man that will be everywhere soon:  Lookin' like a fool wit' your pants on the ground! 

Google it.  YouTube it.  Twitter it.  Facebook it.  It's silly and it will be the "in style" conversation of work tomorrow!  :)