How Blogging Makes You Beautiful

The First Annual Swaggy Awards

Blogging makes you beautiful in so many ways: you get deeper through your self expression, you get more compassionate through blogging for a cause. Your inner self shines…ah, who am I kidding?   Blogging makes you more beautiful because you get a free beauty products. Of course, if the number of free beauty you got made you beautiful, I’d be Gwyneth Paltrow by now.  But every little bit helps. (I hope)

Hey, I’m over forty. A lot over.  I need all the help I can get.

Companies, however, don’t give me free stuff so I’ll look better, so I’ll stave off the inevitable end of being even remotely appealing to anyone under the age of 80, so I don’t look at my wrinkly knees while in downward dog and think “why yes! Yes I am a dog.” No, they give me free product in the hopes that I will write about it.

So I’m going to.  I’m awarding the Swaggies: Best Blogger Swag.(In the beauty category) Consider this full disclosure: Every thing I’m writing about in this post was given to me at some blogging event or another. There were other things too.  But I feel it best not to mention the “It’s a scarf! No, it’s sleeves” item I got a while back.  No need to dwell on that super stinky soap.  Maybe somebody out there likes smelling like furniture polish that’s been dipped in peppermint and chocolate.  Who am I to judge? And those flip fops that cut my feet? ‘Nuf said.

This is a list of the good stuff, acquired here and there.  And all of it destined to make me (and maybe you) fabulous.

The Swaggy for Best Eye Cream goes to:

Mama Mio Eye Know. This stuff saved me at Blogher.  I got it at a MomTrends event, and who knew how needed it would be. The sleepless nights, the long days.  My eyes looked like Philip Seymour Hoffman’s on a sunny day.  But just a dab of this stuff really made a difference.  Kind of miraculous difference. Pouffies gone.  Maybe temporarily, but that’s ok. The bottle is small enough to stick in my purse, and that’s just what I’ve been doing with it. Where I go, Eye Know goes.

The Swaggy for Overall Best Face Cream goes to:

Genics, by Avon.  This one I just got at SheStreams.  Mostly, when products claim that “over 90% of women saw visible improvement” blah blah blah, I end up being in the 10% that see nothing at all.  But this stuff really works.  My skin, after just two weeks, really does feel firmer, and – dare I say it – look a bit brighter over all. Amazing. But true.

The Swaggy for Best Packaging of a Beauty Product goes to:

Brazilian Peel by Advanced Home Actives.  They had me at faux-syringe.  Seriously, this is an at home Glycolic peel designed so that you can’t leave it on too long. You cannot end up burning your skin like Samantha in that episode of Sex and the City. It’s idiot proof.  I’m not sure if I saw dramatic results – but the design makes you feel like you’re doing something very seriously good for you skin. I do think it helped a bit, and- had my skin not already been used to the Glycolic pads my dermatologist gives me, it would have made a bigger difference.

The Swaggy for Best Exercise Video that is Completely NOT Annoying goes to:

Rodney Yee‘s Daily Yoga.  I love Gaiam.  I love Rodney Yee.  And I am not saying this becasue they gave me a $30 DVD.  I like Gaiam because they offer REAL yoga DVD’s by actual yogis – not gym bunnies who call chatarunga “that push uppy thing.” I like it because while I love Yoga, I don’t often have the time for a 90 minute class.  But a DVD, I can do. I take my (paid for) Gaiam Mat, block and belt, and go to it.  And there’s nobody better to do it with than Rodney Yee. Trust me.

The Swaggy for Best Badly Named but it Works Product goes to:

Lady Anti Money Butt powder. Yes, you read that right. What they’ve inexplicably decided to name it would certainly have kept me from buying it.  But I like it.  It has calamine lotion in it.  Soothing, Simple. Good.

The Swaggy for Best Make-Up I Never Thought I’d Like:

NYX.  Turqoise, lavender?  These are not eyeshadow colors I would ever remotely consider.  But they were free!  So I gave them a shot.  Love ’em. Love how they go on.  Love how all I need is the teeniest, teeniset bit of that turquiose along my top lashes to make my eyes pop.  The lipstick was also a funky bright pink. Love.

The Swaggy for Best Socks goes to

Socks you say?  Aren’t socks, well…socks?  No, actually, they’re not. The Hanes Comfort sport sock I got at last year’s Getting Gorgeous event are so fabulous it’s weird.  Truly weird. They are super cushiony without being overly thick. Go figure.

And while we’re on the subject of feet –

The Swaggy for Best Beauty Product I didn’t know I wanted goes to:

Fresh Feet wipes.  Refreshing. Minty. Love wiping my feet after a long day of walking around NYC in flip flops. Yuck interupted. (And a shout out to Mama Mio’s Lucky Legs peppermint leg lotion. Who knew a lotion really could make your tired legs less tired?)

The Swaggy for “I used to be too much of a snob to shop here” goes to:

It’s a tie! Lands End and Ann Taylor.  Let’s face it, neither of these two brands is cutting edge…or particularly chic.  When I think Lands End, I think “handsome woman with cooking mitts for hands.”  When I think Ann Taylor I think “secretary on a budget.” Wrong.  Well, sort of wrong.  Lands End is still kind of– handsome.  But I do love my new LE chinos.  Low rise, but not too low rise, stretch, but not tight.  Plus, they have vanity sizing, always a plus! Ann Taylor must have changed while I wasn’t looking.  While they still have plenty of secretarial (oh, sorry administrative assistant) garb, they also have surprising hip and affordable clothes. Who knew?  Thanks to MomTrends once again!

And the Swaggy for Best Beauty Swag I didn’t even get goes to:

Zumba for Xbox Kinect.  Now, I know from their press materials that they like to be referred to Zumba Fitness – not just Zumba.  And maybe if they ever send me a game I’ll oblige.  But all I got was a demo on site.  It was fun, it was a workout, it was nothing I would ever do in public but really might at home.  So are you listening?  Zumba Fitness people?  This is swag I really want.

There’s more: the Vintage Body Spa Grapefruit Peppermint body creme is to die for. And it’s organic. The portable Colgate Wisp toothbrushes from Blogher 2010 are a life saver on overnight plane trips. The Planet Botanticals Fair Trade Organic coffe body scrub really does help me wake up int he morning. And Boiron’s Oscillococsinum, while unpronouncable, helped my entire family stave off colds last year. (No one looks beautiful with a runny nose.)

So there you have it: The Swaggies.

May the winners all know how much I appreciate them. And not just because they were free.


  1. says

    Wow! thanks for the honest info on these. I have been looking at eye creams and just had no idea which one to try… now I do. And Zumba? I know someone who just lost over 50 pounds doing the Zumba fitness class over the last year. Aside from not having the time to take a 90 minute class 2 nights a week, I cannot get up the courage to actually try it in a public setting, but at home? Definitely going to take a serious look at that one now.
    So, although I get no freebies I feel like I do… free, real life critiques of the products that I read about, see on TV, hear about from every media venue known to man… I till take whatever freebie I can get and be thankful for it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *