Friday, August 30, 2013

Purple & Gold Look for Fall

Disclaimer: First, I should apologize for the lighting on these photos. I'm working with a few different lights to get a light spectrum closest to the sun. Unfortunately that isn't going to happen tonight. I have hayfever like crazy right now, hence the red eyes. 

Having said that, I loved this look for fall so much that I had to share. In person the purples are much deeper than they look in the photos. But you can see the contrast enough to make sharing them worth while. 

For the eyes: I used a Nyx HD shadow base and laid Mary-Lou Manizer on my bottom lid and just beneath my brows. For the mid-shade I used Elf's ED01. It's a cool-toned beautiful plum color. For the outer corners of my lids and my crease I used Urban Decay's Frigid. It's a dark very-blue shade of purple. My brows were done with my ELF eyebrow kit in Ash. I used Urban Decays Crash (a deep eggplant color with gold shimmer) to line my upper water line and about 1/3 of the bottom water line. The other 2/3s were lined with Urban Decays Eldorado, a stunning bright gold color. As the highlight tone on the center of my lid I used a shimmery gold tone from the Nyx Natural palette and topped it off with my Covergirl Lashblastvolume mascara. I'd have put on false lashes but have no glue at the moment. My lips are Nyx butter gloss in Creme Brulee. My foundation is Revlon Colorstay in Ivory. My bronzer is Urban Decay's Baked, and my blush is Bare Minerals blush/luminizer in The One/The Love Affair. Oh, and my highlight is Benefit's Sunbeam. Everything is set with Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray.

Overall it's a stunning playful look for date night or to commune with the long fall nights that stretch into winter. And I promise to sort out the lighting and camera situation very soon. In the meantime? Thanks for reading, and stay beautiful! xoxox





Skin Care 101

I found this video on Youtube today on the Polished channel and hosted by Rachel Talbott (checkinthemirror on Youtube). The girl knows her stuff and gives us a clear and concise overview of the best products for healthy skin. We're talking vitamins and minerals basics.
I hope you enjoy. Thanks for watching and stay beautiful! xoxox

Life, the Ultimate Blank Canvas...


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

e.l.f. Eyebrow Kit

I ordered this kit off of Amazon.com recently and am so in love with the results that I had to post a review of it here. The color I use is Ash, as I've got blonde hair and fair skin. The pot on the left hand side is the colored wax that I use to shape and fill in my brows. The color on the right is the setting powder. The kit comes with a little two-sided brush that's more than usable. However I use my own eyebrow brushes in full sizes by Real Techniques when I do my brows. The longer handles make it all so much easier.

After using this kit my brows look natural, and I have the freedom to shape them any way I want to. Either thick or thin. And the color and look literally lasts me from sun-up until bedtime. With pencils it was always difficult to get my brows to look natural and not drawn on, and shaping them was never easy. This kit is a revelation for me in brow-beauty! 

Grade: A
Cost: $3.oo. Yes, seriously.
Would I Repurchase?" Absolutely! And I recommend it to anyone looking for an introductory beyond-the-pencil eyebrow kit.

Lemongrass Spa Mineral Primer


I had the opportunity to try out Lemongrass Spa's new mineral primer recently and thought I'd post a review for it here. This primer is described as being enriched with Vitamins E, C, Green Tea and Resveratrol as hydrating antioxidants while it prepares skin for a flawless makeup application. Sounds great, right? I so wanted this primer to work. I did.

Let me start by saying that there are a lot of products from Lemongrass Spas that I absolutely adore. Their body scrubs and body lotions are to die for. Their lip balms are a staple for me during the winter. Not to mention that their products are natural and healthy.

But...

Being a healthy product only gets them so far. Especially when the cost for their mineral makeup primer cost $24.00 per 1 oz. For that price point I expected a product that would really wow me. Or, at least work well. Or even just - work.

To do an accurate test of the product I did one half of my face using the Lemongrass primer. The other half of my face was done using the Smashbox Photo Ready primer. I put on a full face of makeup (liquid foundation, concealer, bronzer, blush and highlighter in addition to eyes, brows and lips) in order to put the product through it's paces. These are the results...

Application: This primer was very oily. Similar to putting avocado or olive oil on the face. I had to really work the primer into my skin before the shiny greasy look diminished enough to put on my foundation. In it's defense, a very little bit of the primer went a long way. And for aging skin, the hydrating properties of the oils would be good. But did it prepare my skin for flawless makeup application?

Results: Nada. It didn't. The foundation reacted to my wrinkles and pores as though there was no primer on my face at all. And if I'd used a powdered foundation? Yikes, I can't imagine how scary I'd look. I am all for products that work double duty. In this case I was hoping for a hydrating primer. That just didn't happen. I have a few dry patches on my cheeks (my darned rosacea makes life miserable sometimes) that the Smashbox primer smoothed right over. On the Lemongrass side of my face those patches are still blaring. The face makeup sticks to them and looks cakey. It's unfortunate but this primer just didn't work. My face lotion with SPF and similar minerals that cost half as much does just as well as this primer at priming my face.

Grade: D (only because of it's hydrating benefits did it not fail completely)
Cost: $24/oz
Would I Repurchase?: No. For the same price there are other products on the market that work better and also benefit the skin. Sorry Lemongrass!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Makeup for Eyeglass Wearers


Thanks to Bobbie Brown Cosmetics for this following information:

I wear glasses on a daily basis. Not just for reading, but for everything. Without them, anything further than three feet in front of me is blurry. And contact lenses are cost prohibitive. So what are some ways to apply makeup that plays into the strengths and weaknesses of wearing glasses?

Firstly, remember that wearing frames on your face is instantly going to draw attention to your eyes. So start by:

Defining Your Brows - Fill in any gaps, and style and set those brows.
Neutral Colors Make Your Eyes Pop - Browns and creams make your eyes look naturally healthy and beautiful.
Eyeliner - Eyeliner is crucial if you wear glasses. Remember the rule of size: On your top lid: Draw a thick line if you're wearing thick frames & if your frames are smaller you can get away with a more soft look. 


If your prescription makes your eyes look bigger...

Use a light hand, and be sure to blend everything carefully—the last thing you want to do is magnify any mistakes. For shadows, go with neutral shades like Gold Nugget Sparkle Eye Shadow. Liner should be delicate and thin, with one coat of mascara to open up the eyes.

If your prescription makes your eyes look smaller...

Be sure to line your eyes all the way around. Use a liner that is darker than your natural eye color to create contrast, which will help define the eyes. Finish with two coats of mascara for a refreshed look.
Complimenting Color on Lips - A pop of color is always beautiful, just make sure the color compliments your frames and skin tone.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Natural Oils for Your Face and Body


I was asked recently why I choose to use natural oils for my night moisturizer on my face and felt the response was worthy of a post on the blog. Because there's such a hesitancy and reluctance by most people to put oil on their skin, I did a little research so I could adequately explain to you why some pure oils are the best thing for your skin and why you might want to consider using oils on your face as well.


If you look around your local cosmetic store or supermarket, there is a wide variety of different skin moisturizers. All of them usually promising deeply hydrated, younger looking skin (often at a significant price).
But look a little closer at the ingredients list and the petrochemical derived additives like propylene glycol, cyclomethicone, petrolatum and methyl paraben may not sound so appealing. 
If, like mine, your skin is at all sensitive or problematic, it’s beneficial to have one simple, natural oil to use as a face moisturizer, rather than trying to work out which of two dozen different additives might be causing your skin problems.
So many people are concerned with putting oils on their skin, but once your skin gets used to it, you’ll see amazing results. The health benefits of coconut oil as a moisturizer and hair balm have been known for years. And many dermatologists recommend using avocado oil as a calming treatment for patients with rosacea. The benefits of natural oils on our skin have been known to medical science and health gurus for years. And finally knowledge of those benefits are being passed down to the rest of us.

What is a Face Oil?

Simply put, face oils are formulas made entirely from natural oils. They can be a blend of a few different plant-based oils, or a single-origin product such as olive, argan or avocado oil. 

Why Oil?

It’s simple. They are usually more effective at hydrating than a moisturizer and, despite their slick texture, absorb quickly. Most importantly, they nourish the skin, adding powerful vitamins and antioxidants. Because of all those super ingredients, oils nourish your skin, protect it from the sun and free radicals, and have antiseptic and firming qualities. They are especially important for dry and aging skin, which can suffer from a lack of collagen and elastin. You will see real results because oil gets below the surface and penetrates into two of the skin’s five layers to give you a soothing and smoothing effect.

Which Oil is for Me?

The best face oils are natural products made from pure oils and other plant-based ingredients. If the product combines oils with synthetic fillers, it loses its effectiveness. Depending on your problem, different oils do different things. For example, avocado oil is used to treat rosacea since it is extremely calming. For hyperpigmentation or discoloration, pick one that has tons of vitamin C, such as pomegranate oil or avocado oil, because they will have a brightening effect on skin. Even oily skin can benefit from these natural hydrators. Try lavender oil, because of its calming and antiseptic qualities, as well as pomegranate oil, because it firms and minimizes pores. For acne-prone skin, combine the oil with a glycolic acid or hyaluronic acid serum, and applying in place of a moisturizer. That way it won’t give you an oily sensation or clog pores. 

How to apply the oil as a moisturizer?

You can apply oil to your face in the same way you would any other moisturizer – with a cotton wool pad or very clean fingers. Make sure your face is washed well and preferably still damp to spread the oil easily.
Use it straight after showering in the evening. You don’t need that much, a small dab per cheek, forehead, etc. A little goes a long way. This is part of the greasy learning curve I went through over the first few days of using the oils on my face. Using too much oil gives you a greasy feeling. Rub excess oil on your neck and decolletage to moisturize them as well.
While it is not absorbed as quickly as some moisturizers, face oils are usually barely noticeable in ten to fifteen minutes. If this bothers you, give it a few minutes to absorb, then gently wipe your face with a damp washcloth.
You could use it as a day moisturizer (and I often do on days off when I’m not rushing out the door to work), but because these oils are so rich, it seems better as a nightly moisturizer applied before bed.

Which oils do I use?

To start - I'm currently using olive oil (extra-virgin cold pressed) on my face nightly as a moisturizer. I just ordered avocado oil that I am planning to switch to because I have rosacea on my cheeks and avocado oil is more calming and repairative. I also use sweet almond oil on my body after showering as a moisturizer to great effect.

What effects am I seeing?

The first few nights after I started using the olive oil on my face, when I woke in the mornings, my complexion was a little greasy but looked hydrated and healthy. I was a little worried that using oil on my face would make me appear greasy, but once my skin acclimated to using the oil, the opposite was actually true. My skin is so well hydrated after using the face oil that it doesn’t produce excess sebum like it used to. Natural oils have the ability to soak through at least two of the five layers of the skin to deliver hydration and minerals to the deepest parts and work where it's needed the most - where new skin is formed. By using them as a night cream I'm actually making healthy skin from the inside out.

After the first few nights of using the oil on my face I would wake up and my skin was not greasy at all, but still had the hydrated and healthy glow. I'm more than pleased with the results I've seen. 

For More Information

I will continue to seek out relevant scientific reports and data about the health benefits of natural oils for the face and body and post what I find here on the blog. Websites like Livestrong.com, wholeliving.com, webmd.com, theresearchpedia.com, and many others are full of pertinent information. Google is your friend, and as long as you are discriminate on which sites you deem as reliable, you'll find a wealth of information. Good luck and I hope you bring face oils into your life. What's best for our bodies comes from nature, not a lab.

As if you needed more convincing, here's a video from my favorite Youtube Guru - Tati, where she talks about using oils and lists some of her favorites.
 

Thanks for your time, and stay beautiful! 
xoxox


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Back to School for Mommas


On every television and Youtube channel there are ads for "Back to School". My own children went back to school a few days ago, and I've been as caught up in the thrill of another school year as they have. It's a very exciting time of year and the harbinger of a new season. Back to School is synonymous with fall, with football season, apple pies and pumpkin carving. And even though most people think Back to School shopping is all about school supplies and school buses, I'm here to tell you there's a whole other page to the celebration.

Back to School for Mommas.

A new season isn't just about the weather. It's a blank slate, a new beginning, the advent of newness. And it's not like us ladies need an excuse to practice a little self-love. But why not? Back to School just went from erasers and pencils to new eyeliners, hair techniques and facial masks.



As the night winds blow cooler night after night, take a few extra minutes after your shower to throw in some hair oil. In the mornings, wake up a few minutes earlier than before and slap on some mascara and a bold beautiful lip color.

And the best part about this time of year? The transition from bright neon summer colors to the deeper jewel tones of fall. The most seductive time of year. ;)

Happy Back-to-School Mommas! :)



My First Urban Decay Purchase :)

Today I checked out Urban Decay's website on a whim, and stumbled across their Sale Page. I never thought I'd be able to afford Urban Decay products. They're high-end and way out of my price range. But on their sale page I found nice high end products for drug store prices. I bought a few eye liners, some baked blush, tinted moisturizer, some lip balm, and eye shadow. If you haven't checked out their sale page, go for it! And remember, don't buy things just because you can. Buy things you need, and at a great price! I'll post reviews once I've tried out their goods.

Monday, August 19, 2013

DIY Pore Strips - These Work!

When I first saw this video, I was leery. Does this really work? The strips you buy at the store are hugely expensive. And because of this I stopped buying them years ago. I need a product like this, however. I have blackheads on my nose and chin. And even with a steady routine of daily clarisonic cleansing and a deep pore cleansing toner, they just won't budge.

I went to the grocery store. On the bottom shelf, beneath the droves of flavored jello, I saw the unflavored gelatin. This recipe was so easy my five-year-old could do it. A tablespoon of milk, a tablespoon of gelatin and 10 seconds in the microwave. I used an artist's brush and painted it on my nose and chin where I needed it the most. Another benefit to this recipe is that you dictate where the product goes, not the predetermined shape of a pore strip.

So I tried not to faint from the nasty smell (like a dirty crotch smell!) and painted it on and waited ten minutes for it to dry. Then the fun part - the reveal. And this worked! I was able to admire the gross blackheads that came out of my face and feel the gratifying peeling off of dead skin.

Bottom Line: The cost of the gelatin was $1.30. I already had the milk. And it worked!
Would I Do It Again?: Absolutely!

Another alternative for anyone not wanting to use the gelatin?

After I wash my face in the morning, I dry with a washcloth and then put a thin layer of Elmer's glue on my nose and chin (where I have tenacious blackheads). I let it dry (it takes about 10 minutes) and then peel the glue off. It's amazing, but this actually works! Not to mention that a bottle of glue costs $1 and will last you for months. A little bit goes a long way. ;)

Eye Makeup Tutorial for Beginners!

I love TheMakeUpChair and follow her on Youtube and Facebook. She knows her stuff and always comes up with beautiful looks. And even better? She makes videos like this...for beginners! I've watched countless tutorials on makeup looks, and they all make it look so simple. But when I try to do it myself it never turns out just right. Now I know, step-by-step exactly where on my lids to apply what eyeshadow tones and what brushes to use while doing it. Awesome! I hope you enjoy this video as much as I have. If you don't already subscribe to TheMakeUpChair, then start now and don't miss a thing. Thanks and stay beautiful, friends! xoxox

L'Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm



Cost: $6.99
Grade: A+
Where to Buy: Amazon.com/Walmart/Ulta/Online

I couldn't wait to put a review of this conditioner up on the blog. I'd shout this from the mountaintops if I thought anyone would hear me. I first heard about this deep conditioner from Tati on Youtube (GlamLifeGuru). It was one of her couldn't-live-without products. I've been working on getting my hair uber healthy so I can grow it out. And now that I have this conditioner and use it, I know why it's her favorite.

To start, I use a coconut/jojoba oil hair mask every wednesday. And I thought it was enough to make my hair stronger and more healthy. Then I started using this deep conditioner and my hair has never been better. Not ever. Not even when I was 16 with this full hair. My strands are silky smooth, they shine and even better? My hair is thicker and feels stronger. I wrap it around my finger and there's substance to it, not just the whispy strands I'm used to.

How and when do I use it? First, I wash my hair every other day. I use a shower cap for the days I don't wash my hair. On the days I wash my hair I shampoo like usual (I use Pantene Pro-V). Then I put about a quarter size dollop of this into my hands and work it into the tips of my hair and then up into my scalp. I leave it in for 3 to 5 minutes while I clean my body and wash my face and then rinse it off.

Bottom Line: This is the real deal. The good stuff. And it doesn't cost a fortune. This is the golden ticket I've been looking for, for years.
Would I Repurchase: Absolutely! In fact I plan on picking up a few more jars of this stuff as soon as I can to have on hand. Beauty products come and go, but when I find something this good I stock up!


Hope for the Flowers



It's so easy to read the news and get disheartened about our world, our species and our future. And today I had a shift in perspective that's given me hope. The older I get the more I realize hope is faith is salvation is happiness. So what did I realize? We've created republics, democracy, civil rights, suffrage, childrens rights, gay rights …and we keep moving forward. This is just a slice of the progress we've made as a species from the days of might makes right and the pure evil we commited upon each other. Yes, there's still evil in this world. But over time we've overcome and will continue to do so. As a whole. It's a great way to think of life.

The Astronomical Price of Cosmetics and Skin Care Products

I'm often taken aback at how expensive makeup and skin care products are. This is a billion dollar + a year business, and it's easy to see why. The latest example? I was looking for an eyebrow kit. Milani sells one for just around $11 but our local store didn't carry them. So I found one by Benefit for $30. It's what I'm looking for, but honestly can't afford. So I was calculating out my Birchbox points and figured I'd have to wait a few more months to buy it. MONTHS. For an eyebrow kit. I watched a video by Shaanaxo on Youtube (she does phenomenal makeup, by the way) where she mentioned she uses the ELF brow kit. I checked on Amazon and it was identical looking to Benefit's but cost $3. I'm going to repeat that. It cost $3. I was elated! That difference is huge! And I was sort of disgusted at the same time. Benefit is a high-end product, and it's marketed toward people who can afford it. I don't blame them for charging what they can get.

But when you step back and look at the bigger picture of the cosmetics world, the old drug store vs. high-end debate, I'm just grateful there is a drug-store option to suit my needs. Or I'd never be able to afford to wear any makeup.

And the moral of the story? I'm happy using what I can afford. Even if the pigmentation isn't as strong as its high-end equivalent or the product doesn't last 15 hours. Because I'm starting out in this world of beauty. And now isn't the time to spend a fortune on products I haven't used, or used much. I'll do the leg work in the real world using real products I really can afford. And if there's something I love, like an eyebrow kit, and feel the NEED to find something better/stronger/longer lasting then I'll wait the few months until I can afford it.

So much of the marketing for these things is BUY NOW, and LOOK MORE BEAUTIFUL NOW. I can't afford it now. There was a moment when that frustrated me and I wanted it all, NOW. Now I see my inability to splurge as a gift. I'm taking my time. I'm doing it right and learning what I'm doing with one product at a time so I don't become overwhelmed and wasteful. And that's a good thing. Especially for the long haul.

Thanks for reading, and stay beautiful! xoxox

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Em Cosmetics Has Officially Launched!

 
Michelle Phan has launched her new cosmetics brand today. Her pilot store will open in NYC and she says she'll open somewhere internationally in the near future. Michelle is one of those beauty gurus who's Youtube videos changed the way I see myself and the possibilities for makeup and skin care. I've seen every one of her videos. She also bought and revamped the Ipsy Glam Bag Subscription Service. When I heard she was launching a cosmetic line inspired by her viewers and community, I knew it would be good.

She's revamped the way I look at collecting makeup and designing new looks with her new Life Palette.
Four looks, one palette? Phenomenal. I love that the pots are interchangeable. There's everything from blush to lipstick to eyeshadow for each look. Right now the price is $75 and you get a free travel-sized palette as well. I can't afford it personally, but I'll be watching for reviews and innovations to the way women apply their makeup after this launch. Amazing!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Happiness Takes Effort

So much wisdom and clarity from CloudyApple in this video. There are certain truths in life, and the sooner we grasp them the sooner we can move past them and be happier daily, and appreciate each day on so many levels. Some of these truths are:

- Your average day will be - average.
- Life is mostly mundane.
- If you wait for happiness you may never get there. If you can begin any sentence with, "I'll be happy when..." then stop and re-evaluate.
- We all have to work hard in life.
- Good things happen because you earn them. Not because Prince Charming swept you off your feet or you won the lottery.

Thank you to Cloudy Apple for the video. If you're reading this and haven't subscribed to her channel then I suggest you do. She's intelligent, inspirational and full of beauty information.
Your happiness is worth so much more than somebody else's opinion. Love everything that you do, every day, and even the mundane will take on a shimmer.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Finding Your Eye Shape, and What to Do With That Information When Applying Makeup


A friend of mine recently asked me for some more information on the various eye shapes. Each eye is shaped differently and there are good and not-so-good ways to enhance your naturally beauty depending on your shape. The best information I have found on the various eye shapes is a video posted on Youtube by GossMakeupArtist. Not only does he show photos and help you decide what shape your eyes are, he also makes makeup suggestions for each type. I love this guy, he's the real deal.

If you don't have time to watch the video, here's a synopsis:

Standard Eye: Lucky you! You've won the eye shape lottery. Go ahead and style your makeup anyway you want.
Natural Hooded Eye: You, too, are a fairly lucky lady and can handle almost any type of eye-shadow application. That said, Goss recommends shimmer shadows as the best way to open up a hooded eye.
Aged Hooded Eye: Unlike the natural version of this shape, a more mature hooded eye won't do well with metallics, as they draw attention to sagging. Instead, opt for a matte-finish shadow.
Close-Set Eyes: Avoid dark colors near the inside of the eye—instead, focus on the outer corners, pulling the colors away from the nose.
Wide-Set Eyes: For this type of eye, do the exact opposite of the above, applying darker colors on the inner corners, and pulling everything inwards, toward the nose.
Downturned Eyes: In the case of so-called 'droopy eyes', Goss advises to end your eyeliner application a bit before the outer corner of your eye, so as to avoid highlighting the 'sad' nature of the shape.
Deep-Set Eyes: Unless you’re doing a smoky eye, avoid dark shadow on the lid as it pulls the eye back even further. Try a light shimmer shadow instead.
Prominent Eyes: If you want to add a bit of subtly to your large eyes, contouring and matte shadows are your friend.

Professional makeup artist advice or not, just remember the key to looking beautiful is to do whatever makes you feel most beautiful with your eye-makeup. If you believe dark shadow on the outer corners of your wide-set eyes makes you look like Audrey Hepburn, please continue to wear it.Then strut your beautiful unique stuff all over town.

Without further ado...

\
And from my favorite Irish woman I give you "Finding Your Eye Shape":
  
For more in-depth tutorials on different eye shapes check out Type F's composium of beauty tutorial articles. There's enough to keep you busy there for a very long time. 
Thanks for reading, and stay beautiful!
XoxoX

Color Blocking and The Color Wheel

I love Wendy, she does amazing tutorials and her scarf video is something I watch all of the time. Having said that, it was her I turned to when I started hearing about color blocking and the summer trend to use it in style. What the heck is color blocking? Watch the video and find out. Wendy is so good at explaining, even I can understand it. I also looked up a nice color wheel I'm going to print out and tape to my closet door for when I'm deciding what to wear.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My Makeup Inspiration

I spent a lot of time looking for actresses that had a similar skin tone, hair and eye color and eye shape as myself. I'm going to refer back to these particular images when I'm working on my makeup in the future, and as inspiration to continue to care for my skin, hair, body and soul.

Cameron Diaz - She has the same cooler tone complexion that I do and a playful use of color in her look.

 Jennifer Anniston - She has the same naturally hooded eyes that I do, and her look is always minimal but bright and beautiful.
Sarah Jessica Parker - She has the closest match in hair/eye color and skin tone to myself. Her signature look is the tight lined eyeliner on both of her lids with lots of mascara. I'm not interested in going that far, I'd look like a racoon. But I like the color choices she makes with her makeup and chose most of these pictures for the inspiration.







Blake Lively - She has a warmer toned skin than I do, but she has naturally hooded eyes and I like how she applies her shadow and her overall look.




Saturday, August 10, 2013

My First Makeup Look :)

I went to the store today and bought some of the basics ...concealer, foundation, translucent powder and BRUSHES! You may think it's not a big deal, but to me this was so much fun to do and a huge success. I've watched a few tutorials on makeup and felt ready to give it a go. I did the whole nine yards, contouring and everything! I wish I'd done a closeup of my eyes. It's hard to see in this pic but I have bare minerals pearl on my lids. I have a beautiful L'Oreal rose color in my creases and bare minerals Moon Light at the outer lid. I topped it all off with a soft pink glossy lip.I'm not hugely into dramatic looks, so for me this was PERFECT!





Friday, August 9, 2013

August 2013 Birchbox


This month is my second month receiving a Birchbox. Today is August 9th and there was a beautiful little email in my inbox saying my box has shipped. The countdown has begun and I can't wait for it to arrive. Check back in a few days for a full review. I was really pleased with last month's box, I hope the trend continues. And I've decided to set up a nice light box and take some product shots of the samples that are in my box. So hopefully you'll enjoy the full experience. Come on Mr. Postman, bring me a dream! ;)

A Tip To Make Your Feet Happy


What's the point in trying to whip the rest of me into a beautiful shape if I let me feet suffer, right? So yesterday I found a really easy trick to treat my feet right.

Step 1: Rub your favorite lotion all over your feet.
Step 2: Slide your feet into shopping bags and tie them off to keep them from coming off.
Step 3: Then slide your bag-covered foot into a wooly sock or fluffy booty slipper.
I kept the bags on my feet for over an hour. I was amazed when I took off the bags that the lotion had been completely soaked into my feet. They were soft and what dead skin I had just sloughed off. Amazing!



Just a Reminder to You Beautiful Souls...

You hold the whole world of possibilities in your hands.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Ole Business Card Mascara Trick

You can go online or into any Sephora and find those mascara cards. They're a card with a crescent cut out of one end. You put them behind your lashes, and when you apply your mascara you can get more on the lash and the excess goes on the card instead of your eyelid. Genius, except why buy a fancy card when you can just use a business card?

We've all got them laying around. Old business cards we'll never look at again. Throw a few in your beauty kit. Curl your lashes and then bend the short end of the card to match the curvature of your eye. Then go to town and apply mascara like crazy. Get it on thick and thorough. (That sounds so dirty!) I then turn the card around and use it for the bottom lashes as well.

My lashes have never looked so full and covered. Win!

Here's a video of Michelle Phan giving us 4 different ways to use a business card for our eye makeup. Love it, thanks Michelle!

Thanks for reading, and stay beautiful! XoxoX

The Science of Skin Care

I've embarked on a mission to learn about the science of good skin, and thanks to CloudyApples on Youtube we now have the best video I have yet to see on the matter. In fact, I've poured over so many skin care websites, I've lost count. And none are as good as her 8 minute tutorial.

Acid mantle? Oh yeah, I'll be looking that up ASAP.

Why do I care about all of this? Why not just buy the latest products and trust the manufacturers to get what my skin needs right?

Because I've been "blessed" with sensitive (read "angry") skin. It takes very little for my skin to flare up in crazy, chaotic and painful ways.

I'm 34 years old. I've tried it all, I've done and used it all. I've tweaked my routine so many times hoping for a working combination that I've just given up hope that manufacturers will magically nail what my skin needs down.

So I'm learning the science behind good skin and am going to come at getting good skin more educated about what good skin needs to be healthy. Follow along for more info in the future.


Happy "Happiness Happens" Day Everyone!

What will you do today that makes you happy? :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Seasonal Color Analysis

A friend of mine just turned me onto this. For an easy and free seasonal color analysis you can check out this website. There is oodles of more information here. It takes your natural coloring and gives you recommendations for what colors and palettes best suit you. Great for clothing and makeup selections! I'm going to print a 4x6 of my suggested palette (cool summer) and laminate it and keep it in my purse. Hoorah!

XoxoX

PS - Here are a few more "cool summer" swatches I found. I'll put them here until I have a chance to print them later. I'm fairly certain I'm a cool tone now. How do I know? This morning my lips were blue. Blue. It didn't wash off, either. Yup, blue lips. Pffft.

Birchbox Referral Code


If anyone is looking to get a monthly subscription to Birchbox and would like to use a referral code, here's mine:
http://birch.ly/11gDIf1


You are welcome to it. For the sake of transparency, for every one person who uses the code when subscribing, I receive 50 (I think!) Birchbox points, that I can then translate into savings when I buy products from their site.

In turn, after you've subscribed, you'll have your own code and will have the same opportunity.

So far I have LOVED my Birchboxes, and everything in them. I'll post reviews on the monthly boxes from this point forward now that I've started this blog. You can find them here under the topic "Birchbox".

Thanks!
XoxoX

IT Cosmetics Universal Brow Pencil


This pencil was something that came in my Birchbox CEW Prestige box last month. It has a spindly on one end and an oval-shaped universally-suitable colored brow pencil on the other. When I first saw this I was a little apprehensive. I pencil my brows every day, but was leery of a shade that suited everyone. Until I tried it. And honestly? My brows have never looked so good. Something about the products make-up just adheres to my brows, and even when I'm shaping them creatively, everything still looks natural.

Grade? A
I would totally recommend this to anyone and everyone.