Royal Bridesmaid Blues Thursday, Apr 28 2011 

With the Royal Wedding just HOURS away, it is a safe bet that Miss Catherine Middleton (using her formal “commoner” name while we still can!) has selected her own divine gown for her upcoming ceremony, which of course has the world waiting with bated breath. But to digress for a moment from Kate’s attire, it’s also interesting to ponder what the future princess has chosen for her bridesmaid dress.

(image courtesy of dailymail.uk)

Kate’s lovely sister Philippa is of course her Maid of Honor, and adorable Prince Harry will serve as his big brother’s Best Man, but the royal family has been mum on the size of the royal bridal party to accompany the couple on the altar of Westminster Abbey come Friday, April 29, 2011. Kate’s “bridesmaids” are actually what we here in the States would call “flower girls”- i.e. under the age of 10. Aside from being totally adorable, it’s actually sort of smart to keep the bridal party to her one sister plus little tots, to avoid stepping on any political or royal toes when selecting a bridal party. You could just imagine how every cousin or college chum of Kate’s would be expecting to be included on the most special of days.

It’s a safe bet that most of us will serve as a bridesmaid at least once in our life. Maybe not 27 times with taffeta, tulle and saris, but it’s still in every girl’s best interest to keep a semi-eye on the bridesmaid fashion horizon. Here, I speculate about what Philippa Middleton herself might wear for the royal wedding. Let’s give little sis a moment in the sun, as the world watches her sister’s every move.

Historically, orange was the first popular “wedding color”, dating back to Queen Victoria, who carried orange blossoms when she wed Prince Albert in 1840. The ivory gowns for her twelve bridesmaids actually started the trend of a white wedding dress (useless wedding trivia at no extra charge), but the orange bouquet was featured across the globe for years to come.  I don’t think orange will be seen in fabric form at the royal wedding, however.

(images courtesy of priscillaofboston.com)

My guess for the royal wedding colors? The gold border on the invite might be a clue, but it might just be fitting with the formality of an invite coming from, you know, the Queen of England. If I had to bet, I would ponder that Kate might be selecting a royal blue hue for her ladies-in-waiting. Given the springtime season and Britain’s notoriously dreary weather, the proper shade of blue would allow the ladies to stand out, rain or shine. Any shade of sapphire would beautifully complement Kate’s gorgeous engagement ring, and stay in the same color family of the now-famous Issa dress she wore alongside her prince to announce her engagement.

(image courtesy of castnews.us)

So for those of you NOT obsessed with the royal wedding or currently trolling for bridesmaid dresses, it’s still an interesting avenue of fashion that one day, most of us will be highly interested in if not subjected to. Thankfully, the propensity for peach Little Bo Peep frocks are contained to Katherine Heigl films. Who else will be watching obsessively as Phillipa’s-oh and Kate’s – wedding attire will be revealed? Just a few more hours to go!!!

Blushing Bride Tuesday, Apr 26 2011 

To round out the countdown to the Royal Wedding in just, oh 3 DAYS, celebrity-wedding watchers got a petit amuse-bouche, if you will. We got to practice our gawking, oohing and ahhing a few weeks ago when devouring the beautiful- if only two- photos released from Reese Witherspoon’s wedding that took place in March at her home in California.

We all cried a little when our favorite Harvard Law graduate split from her scrumptious husband Ryan Philippe- yes, it was very hard to watch Cruel Intentions for a while. And we endured her breakup with equally adorable Jake Gyllenhall- doesn’t that seem like forever ago? But it seems that June Carter finally found her Johnny Cash in none other than CAA agent Jim Toth.

(photo courtesy of http://gossip.whyfame.com)

(Photo courtesy of http://en.nkfu.com)

Every princess needs the perfect gown, and Reese was no exception. For her second trip down the aisle, she chose a stunning blush-toned Monique Lhuillier. She wore her hair in its simple, signature straight locks, and looked every inch the blushing bride. Our only complaint is with People magazine- advertising Photos, as in plural, only to deliver the bare minimum of two shots of Reese on her big day! But we can’t complain for the Oscar winner wanting to keep her nuptials private and intimate- we heard Ava and Deacon were very much involved and it was a day full for family (plus Scarlett Johnason and other A-listers

During a special interview recently with E!, Reese played right into the royal wedding hype heard ‘round the world- she joked that Kate Middleton called her to make sure they weren’t wearing the same thing. We have Kate’s upcoming affair to look forward to, and no matter if she walks down the impressive aisle of Westminster Abbey in an Alexander McQueen, Issa or even perhaps a Monique Lhuillier as well, we can rest assured that there will be more than two photos released, and that the world will be swooning for years to come.

Face Fiasco Saturday, Apr 2 2011 

Lately, it seems the stress of choosing a floral designer, cake flavors, centerpiece vessels, reserving a block of hotel rooms, etc. has really taken a toll and manifested itself in not-so-lovely little blemishes all over my face. Yes, it could be stress and anxiety, but the superior probability of excess Easter candy lurks within my mind as well.

(photo courtesy of free-makeup-tips.com)

Whatever the reason, it seems that my face- and neck and shoulders- have decided to rebel against me. When I think about all the money, time and energy (usually in short supply after hours when my cozy bed is eagerly calling my name) I put into skincare, the more frustrated I become at these unwelcome visitors.

So I took stock of everything my face and neck come into contact with. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that I wipe my face with my hands during a sweaty workout (ew!). I swapped out my pillowcase-silk, and my favorite jersey fabric seems to be better already than the yucky, scratchy cotton or a pore-clogging satin sheen. I examined all my make-up- um, Chanel I think is ok, but I tossed the 2-year old CVS brand concealer I sporadically dabble on. Moisturizing seems to be incredibly important, so I started using my super Ginseng-rich, thick Jo Malone more sparingly in the mornings only, and stocked up on ever-favorite for off-days and before bedtime. It’s weird to think about all the different chemicals we put on and around our face, and then we freak out when our skin erupts.

Sure, it’s nothing a little spa treatment won’t fix. But as a budget-conscious, college graduating bride-to-be, I indulge in my very own at-home spa face mask treatment, courtesy of Origins. All the expensive products in the world, combined with the influx of beauty ads (Olay, Neutrogena, Aveeno, your head starts spinning eventually), it’s hard to narrow down exactly what works for each skin type, and more importantly, for my skin.

The trick to beautiful skin seems to be sifting through your existing products, trying new ones, moisturizing like crazy, drinking tons of water (check!) and above all, following your instincts to find your own perfect skin care regimen. Maybe laying off the Cadbury confections can’t hurt- at least Easter season is almost over!! My skin will be thankful.

Shampoo Star Friday, Apr 1 2011 

With the advent of April comes the unavoidable adage “April Showers”. While we await the May flowers and impending Pilgrims, it’s time to talk about what this wacky weather does to our lovely, flowing locks. Whether it’s humidity, rain, or hours of ponytail-bound workouts and runs outside, this season wreaks some serious havoc on our hair. Luckily, there are some great products available to combat the daily stresses we put our tresses through- just in time to keep everything nice and conditioned for a summer of sun, sand and surf.

(photo courtesy of stylestips101.com)

Next time you’re stocking up on Easter candy, be sure to meander over to the hair care aisle for some spring rejuvenation.

I’ve found that Pantene gives you the most bang for your buck, and they literally have a huge selection for everyone. The Garnier products smell amazing, but I’ve found that my hair tends to get used to their formula quickly and will hold onto oil. I love Aussie conditioner as well.

Of course, not all hair treatments come cheap. I recommend indulging in one super salon styler, to use sparingly- only once a week or for super special occasions. One of my favorite brands is by hair mastermind John Frieda, who specializes by hair color (another plus: smells divine!) Whether you’re a brilliant brunette, sheer blonde, or a fellow radiant red, his products will keep your hair healthy and happy all season long.  If you’re willing to fork over a little bit more dough, you could indulge in one of the highest selling hair care products for the stars- Kerastase uses a luxurious French formula, and carries ranges of products depending upon your hair type and specific needs.

(photo courtesy of moroccanoil.com)

But my all-time favorite hair care secret is Moroccan Oil. The pretty turquoise packaging and French writing will reveal a deliciously smelling hair serum that will flatten fly-aways and keep hair smooth and soft. I slather some on before I use any harsh blowdryers or straighteners, and you can actually feel your hair become softer within about a week. They also carry hair masks to really coat in the moisture and heal damage. Moroccan oil shampoo and conditioner are a bit on the pricey side, but you’ll smell and feel a difference. Check with your hairstylist about what else she recommends for your particular hair type.