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Green living doesn't have to mean forgoing the latest looks, especially when eco-conscious beauty is the hottest thing going. Formulations driven by nature, practices that are kind to the earth and minimal packaging are all cool ways to celebrate the warm weather.
Here are some of the hottest eco-conscious beauty trends going:

Fresh as a Rose

The classic and perfect rose inspires some of the hottest colors and scents of the season. Cheeks blush in pretty shades of pink for day and bold fuchsia for evening while glamorous pink lips perfectly accompany spring smiles. For an all-over ethereal glow, the Roseflower Radiance Stick from The Body Shop is a soft, natural and preservative-free way to achieve a dewy spring glow. Match spring's romantic mood and sweep the silky, sheer golden pink highlighter along the cheekbones for a subtle shimmer that enhances the complexion.

Style Highlight

Made with rose oil from the "valley of roses" near the Atlas Mountains, The Body Shop Moroccan Rose Body Butter melts on contact with the skin for superb hydration and releases the delectable fragrance of roses harvested at dawn, at their fragrance peak. It also features rich Community Trade ingredients from Ghana and Brazil.

The date is set, the dress is bought and the tuxes are rented -- now you get to plan your first vacation together as husband and wife. Whether your ideal honeymoon is traveling to the Swiss Alps for some mountain fun or relaxing on an exotic beach in the Caribbean, it's a special time you'll never forget. So what do you need to know to plan the perfect honeymoon that goes off without a hitch?

"Everyone wants the greatest honeymoon possible, but be sure to review the little details so they don't turn into big problems," says Michael Kelly, president of On Call International, a medical and travel assistance company. "The best thing you can do is research, plan and prepare together as a team."

When hosting a bridal shower or a bachelorette party, it can be easy to get carried away. Hosts, typically a close friend or relative of the bride, often feel obligated to give the bride the "perfect" party—a concept as elusive as it is expensive.

However, if you find yourself planning an upcoming bridal shower on a budget, have no fear: It's entirely possible to plan a tasteful, fun and sentimental gathering without breaking the bank. Here are five time-saving and cost-cutting ways to throw a beautiful bridal shower:


It can be tempting to blow your entire budget for the party on the invitations, but consider saving money (and time) by sending them electronically. Web sites like Pingg.com make sending invitations and tracking responses electronically a breeze. And with an enormous online image database, it's almost guaranteed that even the pickiest planner will find the perfect invitation design.

(ARA)—With award season in full swing, all eyes are on celebrities and their red carpet style. For every A-lister, looking great at an awards show is almost as important as remembering an acceptance speech. While most celebrities have a team to get them picture perfect, there are some simple tricks you can do at home to make sure you're camera ready for your next big event whether it's a first date or family reunion.

Giuliana Rancic, host of E! News and a red carpet staple, shares some simple beauty tips that are sure to make you look and feel your best all night long—without a celebrity-sized budget.

(ARA)—When your best friend or sister announces she's engaged and wants you to be her maid of honor, of course you jump up and down with excitement—for her. But inside, you're starting to cringe. Dresses, presents and planning at least one bridal shower—you can feel the pressure building up.

If the thought of the bridal shower creates more stress than satisfaction, there's help. Culinary expert and newlywed, Kendall McFarland, research and development manager at Simply Organic, suggests cutting down on hassles with these five timesaving tips for simple but sensational shower refreshments.

(ARA) - Engaged couples long for a wedding day that will be unique and memorable, but in these tough economic times many are becoming more cautious about how they plan and spend their budget.

"You can rent almost anything you need to make your wedding match your vision," says Christine Wehrman, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American Rental Association (ARA), the global trade association for the rental industry. "By renting items for your wedding, you have access to products that may have otherwise been too expensive in large quantities. You can get exactly what you want at a price that meets your budget."

(ARA)—While the fondue pot and ice cream maker seem like must-haves when you're adding items to your bridal registry, it's important to ask yourself, "Will I really use these items on a regular basis?" You may want to reconsider your selections. And, although making a wedding gift wish list can be daunting, the following tips can keep the happy couple celebrating wedded bliss for years to come.

Registry Basics

Before you and your sweetheart start scanning items for your registry, do your homework. Consider the size of your space and where you will store your new items. If you're living in an apartment or smaller condominium, you may want to rethink registering for the super-deluxe size barbecue grill. You'll be surprised how quickly your new gifts can fill up your space.

By Linda Smreczak of Amanda Rose Weddings

How to Plan a Wedding On a Budget

Your wedding will be one of the biggest parties you will ever plan. Many couples don’t realize how costly a wedding can be until they start planning their own. The average wedding in the US is now estimated at $28,000 for 100 people. No matter the size of your guest list, planning is the key to any successful wedding.

You're probably thinking, "Can I still have my dream wedding for less?" Yes, you can!

How to Construct Your Wedding Budget

weddingbudget1When brides envision their weddings as little girls, it’s doubtful the cost of the beautiful setting, stunning flowers and dream dress ever enter those fantasies.

After you’ve made your requisite phone calls to all of your friends and family spreading the news of your engagement, start saving money for the big day now! The average wedding costs $25,000. Experts recommend saving 20% of your monthly income, which means drastically cutting corners. Your weekly mani-pedi, daily Starbucks run and weekend movie nights may have to go. For a more detailed look at your budget, use Monthly’s Wedding Budget Planner to help you lay out all of the financial details.


If you are currently in the market to purchase a diamond, or have been in the past, you may be familiar with the "4 Cs" most experts say are key when it comes to selecting a stone. The 4 Cs include: cut, carat, color and clarity.

What you may not know is the difference in the words "carat" and "karat." While the two sound the same and are similar in spelling, their meanings are not the same.

How Do You Know Which Word Is Correct?

The origin of both words dates back quite some time and is very interesting. Have you ever heard the term "carob," which refers to a common substitute for chocolate? Well, carob trees have reportedly grown in the Mediterranean region since ancient times and, surprisingly, carat and karat can both be traced back to the word carob.

New (and traditional) ideas for dresses, flowers, venues and more.

Beachside nuptials or an elegant garden wedding? Roses or lilies? So many choices! Ever since girlhood, the bride has dreamt of what her wedding day would be like, but the reality of planning a wedding can leave many feeling indecisive and frazzled. Here are some inspiring, hot new trends to help with wedding planning.

The Dress

Friends and family will anxiously be waiting to see the bride as she walks down the aisle, so finding the perfect wedding dress is possibly the biggest decision she will make. It reflects personal style, along with the theme and mood of the wedding ceremony and reception. With so many possibilities to choose from, check out these current wedding dress trends:

Concierge and Co.’s Serena Crumley and Amanda Spencer create the perfect day for two couples with dramatically different wedding ideas.

Lasting memories are made on a wedding day¬ – whether large or small, traditional or modern, local or destination, the affair involves a number of important details; and each detail can be a cause for celebration – or stress – for both the couple and their guests. Therefore, many brides- and grooms-to-be opt to The unique and picturesque Lowcountry is home to hundreds of weddings each year, as well as an abundance of professionals who are well-versed in creating memorable affairs. But with so many choices, it’s often difficult for many couples to know where to begin.

Before you tie the knot, don’t forget to plan one last big hurrah as a single girl with the ultimate bachelorette party. With all of the stress that can accompany planning a wedding, celebrating with friends is a great way to take a break and let your hair down – try to enjoy it!

Hand over the plans to your best friend or maid of honor. Don’t forget to invite your closest friends and even family members. Let your 'planner' know what kind of bachelorette party you have in mind and what dates will work for you. Instead of planning the traditional night out with the girls, consider celebrating at a spa, a comedy club, or a concert.