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Holiday Shopping

Shopping (without dropping) this Black Friday

That fated day is just around the corner: Black Friday. You’ve heard stories of deal-seekers trampled in stampedes and normally sweet elderly ladies turning into shopping ninja-gladiator hybrid terminators ready to take you out over a deal. Never fear. Here are 10 tips to surviving Black Friday.

1. Do your research. Read the newspaper, flyers and check sites like in the weeks leading up to Black Friday for the best deals. Don’t expect to find crazy haute deals by just roaming the mall. This is not the time for a Sunday stroll.

2. Use your apps. Black Friday apps can help you research, plan and execute the best Black Friday shopping, from sneak peeks at Black Friday ads to personal shopping lists. Try these free apps: TGI Black Friday by Ecatcher, The Black Friday App by and Black Friday by Bradsdeals.

3. Shop in a group. Divide up the store to cover ground more quickly. (I even saw a family with walkie-talkies doing this one year.) To get in and out faster, have one person stand in line while the others shop.

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4. Get in, get out. There is no browsing on Black Friday! Get in, get what you want and get out.

5. Beware of impulse buys. Do you really need it? Many deal-seekers waste money by purchasing things they don’t need because they think it’s a good deal. Just because an item has a big red “sale” sticker on it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right gift.

6. Avoid the “one for you, one for me” trap. I know it’s hard not to fall into the “I’ll get one of these for myself too” mentality. Stay focused. Remember your purpose. Buying gifts! Not for yourself!

7. Dress comfortably. Comfort and functionality are the keys for a hectic shopping day. I’m not saying to head out in sweats or PJs (yes, I’ve seen this), just ditch the heels for sensible flats.

8. Leave the expensive handbag at home. You want your hands free — a cross-body bag that fits your wallet and phone is all you need.

9. Caffeinate and eat a good breakfast. You don’t want to be cranky and have a grumbly tummy while engaged in retail battle.

10. Color yourself relaxed. Wear relaxing colors like pinks, aquas, greens or just about any light color in the spectrum to give you the energy for attracting that special deal — and the patience to handle the most distressed of shoppers.


Moustache is KingI mustache you a favor

Have you noticed a dramatic increase in mustache sightings lately — from handlebars to walruses, from Fu Manchus to Tom Selleck-style chevrons? It might be due to Movember (that’s mustache + November), a month devoted to doing good with the power of facial hair. It began in 1999 with a small group of Australian men and is now the world’s largest global men’s health charity. The power of the ’stache raises awareness and money for men’s health, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.

How does it work? Movember encourages men to grow mustaches throughout November while getting friends and families to donate to their “growing” efforts. With campaigns in 21 countries, Movember has raised more than $299 million globally to date and $126 million in the US. Funds raised in the U.S. benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG. Dying to start your mo? Register at

Is your mo a no-go? If genetics are failing you or you have a chaetophobic boss (!), you can still support Movember by supporting their partners who create special products with a portion of the proceeds going to the Movember cause.

Glasses•[1] Electric Hero Sunglasses available at

•Fuzzy Ink “I Heart Mo” T-shirt available at

•[2] Fuzzy Ink “Moustache is King” T-shirt available at

•[3] TOMS Movember Botas ($78) and Classics ($58) available at select TOMS retailers,

•hook + ALBERT Movember Socks available at  — C.M.


Thank gourd for pumpkin

Pumpkin is good for so much more than jack o'lanterns and pie.  Pumpkin is the perfect pore refiner, exfoliant and break-out inhibitor (plus, it smells delish), making it the perfect ingredient in skin-care products. Carve into this season's best pumpkin beauty products.

WEN Fall ginger pumpkin cleansing conditioner
This conditioner is hair-raising -- literally.  This blend contains pumpkin seed extract, which is a natural DHT blocker (DHT is the enzyme thast causes male pattern baldness). $32,

Isvara Organics pumpkin facial mask
This mask isn't scary.  This healing and rejuvenating mask contains pumpkin, sugar cane extract, vitamin C and 5 percent alpha-hydroxl acids (those are enzymes that digest dead skin cells). $27.95,

Om Aroma pumpkin night serum
Rub a few drops of this organic serum on at night before bed -- and wake up to fresh, rejuvenated skin, $58, -- C.M.

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