Au Naturale Eye Essentials Kit

C & G Beauty Focus 2009

I don't normally make New Year's Resolutions. If I am not 100% ready to commit to something, I won't stick to the resolution, so I find that making them for myself is a bit silly.

Ever since I was about 21, I have resolved to lose "a little" weight. Granted, I had no need to do this since I was a size 4 or 6 at the time, but it's just one of those things. I'd eat like a rabbit (silly, I know) for most of January and then fall off the wagon.

Last year, I didn't make the resolution and I actually lost a great deal of weight.

I knew that if I did set a resolution to get back into my pre-wedding day size, I'd be headed for failure since I make appetizers during football (the only part of the game I enjoy) and eat to my heart's content at the annual Super Bowl party. I would've fallen off of a "diet" by doing this and I would've beaten myself up over this infraction and found comfort in a pink of Wegmans Creme Brulee ice cream and a pan of my homemade mac & cheese.

So I just made conscious, small changes and lost 28 pounds in 2008 without being on a diet, for a grand total of 39 pounds and 3 jean sizes lost since last summer. After having 2 kids 21 months apart and being an emotional eater, I did need to lose that weight to get into my confident, comfortable zone which had been lost the day we moved to Savannah (when I doscovered sweet tea and Paula Deen's restaurant). Thankfully we're several hundred miles away from Savannah-style food so I'm not facing daily temptation!

I have just one resolution of sorts this year, and that is for Chic & Green. I will spend more time on makeup, to make it a true balance of Indie shopping and beauty, but with a "catch"--no more more Jane Iredale and other expensive brands. The goal is to spend no more than $10 per item, preferably even less with my CVS Extra Care card, Wegmans Shopper's Club Card, and manufactuer's coupons. My focus for beauty will not only be on paraben-free and green cosmetics, but also on saving you (and me) some $$$.

I have found lots of great low-cost cosmetics over the years, and my comparison of the Tarte mascara and Physicians Formula Organic Wear mascara reminded me that you can find high quality beauty on a budget. I originally learned this back when I was working for Lancome and saw how some Lancome and L'Oreal (its parent company) products were nearly identical in terms of ingredients and all depends, in many cases, if you're willing to splurge to have a higher-end compact or luxury packaging...

I am resolving to splurge no more on makeup! I know I'll come across some duds--but I'd much rather have a $7 dud than a $27 dud, which has happened before.

Look for some bargain sharing, recommendations and lots more reviews coming very soon!