Thursday, July 28, 2011

Beauty: Britain Bans L'Oreal Age-Erasing Ads

When Julia Roberts was the Pretty Woman, we were also wearing midriff-baring shirts and skirts that could better be described as big belts. When Christy Turlington was in Duran Duran's 1987 video, we were pretending to be Girls on Film in nightclubs. We all grew up together.

Recently Britain's Advertising Standards Authority banned L'Oreal's ads featuring Roberts and Turlington, saying that the photos of the 40licious women had been too doctored to fall within truth-in-advertising standards. Which reminds me of when Jamie Lee Curtis had a groundbreaking revelation in 2002 about what she really looks like without the Photoshop for a spread in More magazine.

Which makes me wonder if anyone at all really believes an over-the-counter cosmetic product could erase their life lines the megastars wear so beautifully on their faces? Come on, L'Oreal. We weren't born yesterday. Far from it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Spirit: What Are Your Core Values?

Pat Love
When I mentioned my blog and forthcoming book to my cousin Jo Robinson, who is a rock star in the health and relationship writing arena, she said I absolutely must talk to Pat Love. And she was right, because after we spoke, I realized that the work Love is doing is the lynchpin to what we’re navigating as 40licious women. The aptly-named Love is an expert on relationships and authored many books including “Hot Monogamy” with Jo, and “The Truth About Love.” Her new book, "Never be Lonely Again: the Way Out of Isolation, Emptiness, and a Life Unfulfilled" takes cues from the Dalai Lama and asks readers to address a basic question: “Who am I”?

The next few posts will be pearls of wisdom from my interview with Love. I hope you find them as insightful as I do.

Vanessa: What are you seeing in relationships for women in their 40s?
Pat: It's interesting I just spoke with a group of 40-something group of women on Saturday in a small group, spa setting. It was an exclusive group and they asked me to talk about sex over 40.

V: We love that.
P: So if I had to make some generalizations, I'd would say, in their 40's, women come up for air. At this point, they've launched the activities that involve major tasks in life. If they wanted to have children, they've probably done that, or taken the means to make that happen. They've launched some kind of a job or career or some kind of a work history. They've probably tried a love relationship or two. I think what happens in your 40's is you become consciously aware that "I'm a person too" and you start asking the question, "Who am I?"

In fact I had a woman in my office just yesterday, a couple, actually, and she was just approaching 40. And I asked a question, "What are your core values?" In other words, "When you're dead and gone, how do you want the people you love to remember you: your children, your friends," and she teared up and she couldn't answer the question. It's a very thought-provoking question.

To be honest with you, I'm not sure I had a conscious thought 'til I was close to 40. But somehow, and maybe this is projection, because of the biological imperative that's built into our bodies, 40-something is the first time you might get to think about yourself, and I think that's a major life task of your 40's. And I think that's a major life task of your 40s. And so I don't know if that's an answer that you're seeing. To think about yourself might be, "Well, I'm not really interested in sex, and why should I have sex if I'd don't feel like having sex, and yet, it's a deal-breaker with my partner, OK, I've gotta figure out a way to feel sexier and more motivated," or, "You know what? I'm tired of working for somebody, I want to work for myself," or "Now that I have my teenagers at least I have part of my day" if it's a stay at home mom, "I can do something, and maybe this is the time I'll go back to school, or whatever feels right."

PLEASE COMMENT: What are your core values? What actions do you take to demonstrate your personal "brand" to the world?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Money: How to Land on Your Feet When You're out of Work

Today's Q & A is with Lisa Beck, the national strategy officer for Fresh Start Women's Foundation. The organization is dedicated to helping women in transition.

1. What is Fresh Start and how did it begin?

Sisters Pat Petznick and Beverly Stewart wanted to help women who, like their grandmother, suddenly became the sole support of their families. So in 1992, they started a non-profit organization in Phoenix called Fresh Start Women’s Foundation. Aiming to empower women to transform their lives through engagement and education, they created the first comprehensive self-help center for women in the country. And it has been quite a success. Fresh Start has helped more than 200,000 women through career changes, divorce, new financial plans and other life transitions.

In March 2011, Fresh Start launched a new national website to offer women around the country these same resources. Through, women can now take interactive e-learning courses on career, finance and personal development.

2. It's heartbreaking to have to start over in a job or relationship when you're in your 40s. What's the first step after chocolate and wine?
The first step would be to reach out for support. There are people and organizations such as ours that can help get you back on your feet financially, professionally and personally.

3. What's the most important thing a woman in her 40s should know about looking for a new job?
There is a new world of work out there. The concept of “go to college, find a good job and stay there until retirement” really no longer applies. One of our career e-courses titled Career Invention shows women how to take advantage of the new opportunities the modern-day work environment offers.

4. How can you act confident when it seems like every answer is always "no"?
One of the most important rules in this new work environment is “Work Has Many Unexpected Forms.” There are many new opportunities to make money. So if you don’t land the job in the corporate world right away, consider turning a hobby into an online business. With modern-day tools, you can get a business up and running quickly and with little to no overhead. (Our Career Invention e-course can show you how.)

5. Can you tell us a success story about a Fresh Start member?
Ann DeWolf was a 51-year-old divorcee stuck in the humdrum of administrative work for more than six years. Wishing to go back to her love of sales, the fear of failure kept her from pursuing her dream.

Seeking guidance in her career change, Ann came to Fresh Start, and what she learned truly changed her life.

Not only did Fresh Start give her the necessary tools and knowledge but a new-found perspective on how to find the right career for her. The career courses helped her create a vision and the strategies to achieve her goals. She learned interview techniques, how to highlight her skills and gained the confidence to apply for positions she may never have considered before.

A residential resale representative for the no. 1 security company in America, Ann now has an exciting career that challenges her every day.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Relationships: Who's Got Your Back?

Yesterday I took a few hours off from the most adorable child in the universe to visit one of my favorite LA spots, Wi Spa, a traditional Korean bathhouse. After soaking in various hot tubs and resting in rooms heated to 135 degrees or more, I got the scrub. For those who have never had the unique pleasure: For $30, a woman wearing only a black bra and panties will use a rough webbed glove, which we will call the Mitten from Hell, to exfoliate your skin. Every single inch of it as you lie on a vinyl covered table, watching the dead skin roll off with each pass of the Mitten. You emerge, new and soft and clean and ready to take on your life again.

There are babies and grannies and everyone in between at these places. As I was lounging in a tub, I noticed pairs of old women helping each other in and out of the pools and saunas, and taking turns scrubbing each other with their own personal Mittens from Hell. I made a mental list of potential girlfriends who would trade back scrubs with me when we are 70licious.

If you ever want to know who is in your largest circle of friends, have a life event -- a wedding, a baby, a major illness, that kind of thing. But if you want to know who your dearest circle is, imagine who is most likely to scrub your back when you are 75, when the babies are off and gone, when the wedding pictures have faded, when the illness has left its faint scars.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Style: Use Coupon Codes for Online Shopping

If the surfing you do today is more on the web than on the waves, try these coupon codes for smokin' hot deals:

1. Kohl's: Take 15% off everything with coupon STACK15.
2. Ann Taylor: Extra 40% off Sale Styles with code EXTRA40.
3. Sears: Get $20 off orders of $200 or more with coupon code FIREWORKS.
4. The Body Shop: Get $10 off orders of $40 or more with coupon code 10OFF.
5. Coldwater Creek: Receive $20 off orders of $80 or more with coupon AFLC628.
6. Sierra Trading Post: Save 20% off your order with code ALVJUNE1.
7. Crate and Barrel: Get 15% off all outdoor furniture purchases.
8. Finish Line: Take $10 off orders of $60 or more with coupon code GAN2011.
9. HP: Get $30 off orders of $150 or more with code SAVE30HP.
10. Take 20% off your order with code SECRET20.

This great info today comes from our friends at, which is one of four websites operating under the brand name and is dedicated to helping consumers save money and live more frugally. Other members of The Frugals family include, and