September 29, 2014

Coffee Delivered to Your Door (Giveaway!) Plus DIY Coffee Beauty Treatments

I was originally going to center this whole post around the fact that it is the perfect gift (and with gift-giving holidays coming up, it was perfect timing!) Then I thought to myself...hey...this is primarily a beauty blog (albeit, there are times some random posts will sneak in...just go with the flow, mmkay?) so I should find a way to tie it back into beauty somehow. While yes, I truly believe coffee makes me a better woman for MANY reasons, I just couldn't find myself typing the words "coffee makes me pretty"....but then, after sipping my last sip out of my enormous mug, a lightbulb went on above my head. Here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to tell you about the newest, coolest coffee delivery service and THEN I'm going to show you a very green, very eco-chic way to repurpose your old coffee grounds into something that will make your skin glow and your undereye bags tighten up! Ready??

First off, the coffee. How many times have you said to yourself "I wish someone would deliver coffee to my house!" (I know I say that to myself almost daily). While we're still waiting for a hand-delivered, piping hot (or iced) craft beverage to appear on our doorstep, we can get a box of 4 incredibly fresh, hand picked, locally roasted (in Seattle...which we all know is coffee MECCA) individually sealed bags of freshly roasted coffee from independent roasters from Washington. How cool is that?? It's like Birchbox but instead of beauty samples, it has sizeable coffee samples! They even include a chocolate from local chocolatiers for you to pair with one of your coffees! This would be such a fun and personal gift for the coffee-lovers in your life and it's just so unique! Sure beats the hell out of giving someone a gift card! Okay, enough with my blabbering, here are the details.

Who: BeanBox
What: Bean Box provides monthly subscription and gift deliveries of freshly roasted coffee from Seattle's premium artisan coffee roasters.
Where: The fresh artisan coffee comes from various "premier" Seattle roasters and can be delivered anywhere within the 50 states of the US and hopefully soon, internationally!
Cost: $20 per month and 15% off your first order if you use code: theodore at checkout! Awesome!
How: Check out all of their specifics by clicking here or just jump right in and subscribe here.

Bean Box has graciously offered to give a FREE 3-month subscription to one of my very lucky readers (within the 50 states of the US)! Enter via the Rafflecopter below! (Make sure you give it a few moments to load). Winner will be contacted by me via email no later than 10/11/14. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
You guys. This is some seriously delicious coffee. I was blown away by how incredible each of the 4 selections was, but my absolute favorite was the Roaster's Choice from Lighthouse Roasters. The other amazing roasters in this first BeanBox were: Kuma Coffee, Herkimer Coffee, and Longshoreman's Daughter Coffee Roasters (sorry, couldn't find a current website for them).

And now for the beauty tie-in! I don't know if y'all know this, but coffee grounds make the most UH-mazing little "beauty hack" (I really hate that term) ingredient! While I wouldn't recommend using unused grounds, because HELLO you can use those for coffee!! However, you can use your grounds that you just used to make your morning coffee, let them cool (please) and instead of throwing them in your garbage, do the following:

Coffee Grounds Body Scrub
Use this "recipe" for a DIY body scrub from Into the Gloss. I'm sure by now you've seen all of the products out there for cellulite that contain coffee or caffeine. While it's not a permanent solution, the caffeine and antioxidants in coffee can help mitigate the look of cellulite short-term or temporarily (which can be a great option if you have to slip into a bikini this weekend!)

Coffee Grounds Facial Scrub
Add a few teaspoons of coffee grounds to your usual facial cleanser to create an instant exfoliating scrub.

Coffee Grounds for Puffy Eyes
You have to take special care not to get any of this in your eyes (ouch!) but you can use used (and cooled) coffee grounds and carefully place a small amount on the under eye area. Sit down, tilt your head back, and relax for 20 minutes. The caffeine in the coffee will tighten up the puffy skin. Carefully rinse from face taking special care not to get in your eyes.

Coffee Grounds Facial Mask
Mix a few TBS of coffee grounds into a small amount of plain yogurt (Greek works best in my opinion because it is thicker and won't slide off your face as easily) apply to face and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat dry. This easy 2-ingredient mask really brightens the skin and depuffs the face and eyes.

How it works:
There are several scientific reasons why coffee has so many positive effects on the skin. The caffeine is very high in antioxidants and is easily absorbed into the skin. Once coffee grounds are placed on the face, they shrink blood vessels and remove water content, both of which help to deflate eye puffiness. Caffeine's anti-inflammatory properties also lessen the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. The grounds also reduce redness and tighten the skin, making it look brighter and firmer.

Alrighty! Hopefully by now, all this coffee-talk has got you buzzing! Go brew a cup, cool the grounds and slap it on your face! As if we needed yet another reason to love coffee, right???
September 25, 2014

How to Grow Out a Pixie Cut Gracefully

Last night, as I was trimming my hair (do not try that at home unless you are a professional or VERY brave), I thought to myself "I should help all my fellow home girls out who are trying to grow out their pixie cuts!" I first chopped off all my hair into a sassy pixie cut back in 2010 and I loved it. I then grew it out during my pregnancy and for a bit afterwards and then made the chop all over again during the summer of 2013. I love love LOVE short hair on women. I also love lush, flowing, long locks on women and wish I could pull it off, but I'm one of those broads who just looks more "me" with short hair. To each her own, eh?

Well as I was nipping the mullet off my neck last night (why the hell does hair always grow so fast in the back?!) and dusting off the split ends I had acquired over the past 6 months, I started making some mental notes on what has helped me get to this lightly layered bob I'm sporting in the above photos. Here they are:

1 | If you can't cut your own hair, you need to find a stylist you trust. It is imperative to find someone who knows how to shape a haircut as it is growing out as opposed to just trimming off ends. While it is important to remove old, dead hair during a growing out phase, it is just as important to have someone who understands how to remove the bulk that inevitably forms in those pesky places like behind the ear area, the nape area and anywhere else you start feeling "poofy". If you're anything like me, the back area grows way faster than the sides, so usually I just cut off the "mullet" and then remove bulk from the sides instead of taking their length off.
2 | Patience and understanding will get you very far. I can't tell you how many times I've seen women get frustrated with the grow out phase and just hack it all off again because they couldn't stand it. There are going to be awkward days. It happens to everyone (even us professionals). Just take a deep breath, accept that it won't last forever, and move to number 3.
3 | Find some cute accessories. I was a BIG fan of head scarves, slouchy beanies, headbands and cute bobby pins and barrettes when I was in "Pixie Purgatory". Go out and treat yourself to some new accessories that get you jazzed about your hair again. Sometimes I got the most compliments on my hair on days I was using an accessory to "mask" an awkward hair day. Here are some of my favorites. See how creative you can be? Hop on Pinterest or Google and find some inspiration!

4 | Texture is your best friend. Notice how none of the pictures above are super sleek and perfected? This is one of those times where the messy look is going to come in handy. Some of my favorite products when I'm growing out my pixie is dry shampoo, hair powder, spray pomade and matte texturizing taffy. Here are some of my absolute MUST have products for growing out a pixie. I don't think you need to run out and buy every single one of them. You may find one product that really works for you and others that don't blow your skirt up. These are just what I have on hand when I'm growing mine out.
* Batiste Dry Shampoo (This brand has TONS of options. Different scents, colors, etc.) easily found in drugstores, Ulta, or anywhere online.
* Pravana Nevo Lived-In Powder Potion
* Style Sexy Hair Play Dirty Dry Wax Spray 
* Kenra Platinum Texturizing Taffy (There are no earthly words to describe how incredible this smells. I think it was made by angels.)
5 | Familiarize yourself with Whippy Cake YouTube tutorials. She seriously has some of the cutest hair tutorials for pixie cuts and short bob hairstyles. This one was a lifesaver for me. And I mean....LOOK at this cuteness and this one right here is SO on my agenda for tomorrow. Basically, there is a ton of inspiration and help online and on YouTube. Use it! It's free!
6 | This is a no-brainer and everyone should be doing this anyway no matter what, but take good care of the hair you have. If you don't want your stylist to tell you that you need to have more than a quarter inch taken off at your appointment, go easy on the heat styling, use good products including a leave-in conditioner once in a while and once or twice a week give yourself a deep conditioning treatment.
7 | This may not work for everyone, but taking a fish oil supplement was a game changer in the growth of my hair and especially with the health of my scalp. I just can't tell you how much of a difference I saw in my scalp and hair after just a few weeks of taking fish oil. Here's what I take: Nature Made Fish Oil Gummies.

And there you have it! Hopefully you found at least one thing that will help you grow out your pixie a little easier. If you've been through this yourself and have some tips and tricks not mentioned above, feel free to leave them in the comments for all to see! Happy hair growing, all!
September 24, 2014

Target Shoes You NEED To See (On Sale Until 9.27.14)

It's the moooost wonderful tiiiiime of the year *singing*...okay, maybe not yet, but close. I love when Target does their Buy 1, Get 1 50% off sale. They typically include clothes, shoes and accessories when they do it but today I'm just showing the shoes some love because....well....LOOK at them! Target is busting out the big guns and this mommy likey what she sees. There are a ton of different styles included in this promo (ending 9/27/14) but these were the ones that reached out and caressed my face.

This promo is a "mix and match" meaning you can add any combination of clothing, shoes and accessories that qualify to get the second piece for half off. So go ahead and build that affordable Fall wardrobe your little money-saving self deserves!
September 23, 2014

Fall Beauty Must Haves | What I'm Currently Loving

Fall Must Haves
Links and descriptions for above products are listed below (keep scrolling....keep scrolling....there!)

Here I am wearing just about every single thing listed above and below! I say "just about" because I'm obviously only wearing one shade of the two blushes and obviously I don't have two facial moisturizers on...but you get the gist. I'm literally using everything in the above collage right now and I am LOVING it all. I didn't list my basic things I use and talk about all the time (i.e. foundation, brow powder, concealer, etc.) because I want you all to use what you love and just hear about some fun little nuggets I've been digging lately! If anyone is wondering what mascara I have on below, it's Ulta Amped Lashes Mascara in jet black.

Here's what is pictured in the top collage:

1 | Alpha Hydrox AHA Enhanced Lotion Okay here's the scoop with this lotion. I have had it for-EVER because a little teeny squirt goes a long way. What you need to know if you have sensitive skin: you're going to feel this stuff "working" (translation: tingling. Or if you're super sensitive...burning). If you've never used a lotion with alpha hydroxy acids or glycolic acids, it's best to mix it with a bit of a fragrance-free, sensitive skin formulated moisturizer until your skin gets used to it. You can keep adding a bit more (and reducing the other lotion) until you're using just this. Also important: just use it at night. There is no SPF and it makes you sensitive to sun so you'll want a daily moisturizer in addition to this powerhouse. Makes skin SO glowy. Pores smaller. Fine lines gone. If it had lips, I'd kiss it for what it does to my skinny skin skin.
2 | NYX Butter Lipstick in "Licorice and NYX Retractable Lip Liner in "Plum" Such a pretty plum shade. I'm wearing both the lipstick and liner in the photos above. It's cooler undertoned if the deep brick red lips of the moment are too "warm" for your liking. This plum would work on any skintone.
3 | Schwarzkopf Osis+ Hold Miracle Volume Mousse I'm bringing mousse back! I always feel like a bit of an 80s girl when I put a pump in my hand but I adore the volume it gives my little bob that I'm growing out. The body lasts all day and it makes my hairs feel plump!
4 | MAC Eyeshadow in "Texture" I'm wearing about 3 different shades of eyeshadow here, but if I had to tell you to run out and buy one shade of shadow, it's "Texture" by MAC. Every time I wear it, people ask what I have on my lids. It is the PERFECT crease shade and I also use it as my transition shade all the time (the area right above the crease). It's warm, it's flattering, it works with every single damn eyeshadow I own. Go get it. Do it.
5 | Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm *Aaaahhhhh* <-- Hear that? That was the sound of angels singing if you didn't quite catch it. Cleansing balm...evvvver heard of it? There are quite a few of these out there running around, but Clinique's is impressively effective and the price is oh-so-right. You take a little scoop out with your finger and massage it into your entire face INCLUDING your eyes. It will dissolve any makeup on your face including waterproof eye makeup. If you're like me, you like to use a warm cloth to wipe the gunk off. If you're a minimalist when it comes to makeup and your skin is parched, you can tissue it off and bask in your new, dewy, supple skin. 
6 | Pond's Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream Okay, peep this, shorties. I was walking through the travel section of my local Target, looking for toothpaste, and I saw the CUTEST mini jars of Pond's face cream. I had to have them. They looked so cute and chic! I grabbed the Rejuveness (pictured above) and the Clarant B3 formula (which is great for normal/oily skin and for lightening dark spots). Each was under $2 and you get an alarming amount of product for your money. I was so impressed with both formulas that I bought the regular size jars. I bounce back and forth at night with these ones and the moisturizer from #1 up top on this list.
7 | NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation I think I talk about this stuff a bit too often so I'll save my breath (and your eyes). It's my go-to finishing powder. It's legit. It will make you look airbrushed. 'Nuff said.
8 | Kinerase Advanced Eye Cream  Before I tell you how amazing this eye cream is, IT IS ON SALE AT ULTA RIGHT NOW. I'm sorry if you're reading this post after the price goes up. It attacks every undereye problem. Bags? Yep. Dark circles? You betcha. Fine lines? Totally. Puffiness? Sure thing! It's a multi-tasker in every sense of the word.
9 | Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat This is just a fun little bottle to have in your polish collection. Turns any nail polish into a "matte" finish. I love matte. Colleen + Matte = Love.
10 | Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in "Plum Wine" and "Coffee Cake"
I picked these blushes up in two colors that are a bit outside of my comfort zone. I say that because I typically go for petal pinks, warm peaches, soft get the idea. I'm wearing "Plum Wine" in the photos above so you can see how pretty and wearable it is. In the package, it looks pretty intense. You of course could build it up if you wanted it to be more dramatic. I love this shade. The other shade I grabbed is called "Coffee Cake" and it looks like it sounds. I LOVE THAT COLOR. It is a really gorgeous light but warm tan color and it is glorious on the skin. I wore it the other night and I got so many compliments on my complexion. If you haven't tried these blushes (I think there are about 10 shades in the line) they can be applied with your fingers like a cream blush, or you can swirl a brush into it and apply that way. They are incredible for the price and I don't think I'll rest until I have them all. You hear that, Dream Bouncy Blushes?? You will be mine. Oh yes, you will be mine.

That's it for now! If I discover any new goodies (and I'm sure I will) I'll be sure to let you lovelies know! I am so thrilled Fall is finally here! Enjoy the cozy weather, the beautiful colors and all the GREAT food!

Perfectly Coutured
September 19, 2014

Fresh Faced Back to School Look

Hey hey heeeeey, ladies! I'm back! So sorry for the lapse in posts. Wrapping up Summer has been more hectic than I had anticipated AND we just got back from Hawaii (North Shore of Kauai...Princeville in case anyone was wondering) and it was uh-mazing. Seriously. I can't get back there soon enough.

The title of this post is probably annoying to some as 1) you've already been "back to school" for a couple weeks or 2) like me, you haven't been IN school for longer than you care to admit. But here's the rub: anyone can wear this look. Young, old, in between...we don't discriminate around these parts! I think every woman should have a pretty, fresh-faced "look" in their makeup application arsenal so I'm going to show you an easy-peasy way to achieve it without breaking the bank. I created a widget (below) with all of the products and brushes I used with the exception of eye shadow which I will leave info for separately since they are from Younique. Aside from the eyeshadows, everything can be found at your local drugstore or Ulta. I used a high end blush (YSL Creme de Blush in color "02 Powdery Rose" which is my all time favorite) but I included an affordable alternate (Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in "Fresh Pink") if you'd rather save some scrill. The powder highlighter from NARS in 'Hungry Heart' is another favorite, but any powder highlighter will do (or you can skip it all together, but it really adds such a healthy, pretty flush so I suggest getting your mits on one in the near future if you want that "glow"). Okay, now that that's all out of the way, here's what was used...

I will leave the specific steps and placement details down below but as far as product info and specific colors used, here you go. On my eyelids, I first applied Younique Glorious Face & Eye Primer. Holy moly. That stuff glides on like butter and a teeny tiny bit goes a long way. This primer is really nice because you can use it on your face as well as your eyelids, so for those who hate toting around extra products, this one is a multi-tasker for sure. The Younique Moodstruck Minerals Pigments I used on my eyelids are: Sexy, Giddy, Provoked and Infatuated. Just like the primer, these pigments go a LONG way. You only need a tiny bit. Here's how I got from point A to point B. Again, all products used are up above in the widget.

1 | Apply moisturizer to clean face and neck. NEVER forget your neck, ladies. If your mama didn't teach you that one, then you heard it from me. So so important.
2 | I didn't apply a primer before foundation because the CoverGirl 3-in-1 foundation used says it has a primer in it and if you're on a budget or a time crunch (moms, students, every woman in the world, etc.) then it's one less step to worry about. I love foundations that come in a pump format. So easy and so sanitary! This is a full coverage foundation and I was so impressed with the coverage and pigment. I only needed one pump for my whole face. Squirt a pump into your palm and then use your index finger to dot it all over your face concentrating on areas that need more coverage (forehead, nose, inner cheeks).
3 | Use a flat top brush to "swirl" the foundation into your skin. Don't press too hard, but make sure you really work it into your complexion so that it isn't sitting on top of your skin looking mask-like.
4 | Apply a brightening concealer (I love that Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer because it has a sponge top and is SO easy to apply!) under eyes, down the sides of nose and then back up to the outer corner of your eyes creating an inverted (upside down) triangle. Fill it in with concealer lightly. Use your fingers to lightly "press" it into your skin as opposed to rubbing it. I usually use "fair" or "light" but if you can find the shade "radiant" it has a slight pinkish undertone and is gorgeous used as a highlighting concealer. If you're unsure about which shade to choose, there is one called "neutralizer" which is universal and will cancel out redness, undereye circles, dark spots, etc.)
5 | If contouring has you scratching your head in confusion, it doesn't have to be so tricky. Sometimes I use a powder with a slim brush, other times I use a stick formula to "draw" on my contour. In this case, I used L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Concealer in a shade that is about 3 to 4 shades darker than my natural skintone. I used N 6-7-8. Draw a slim line right under your cheek bones, around the curve of your upper forhead, down the sides of your nose, right underneath your jawbone and right above your inner brows (see photo above in collage). Don't overthink this. You're basically adding color to the widest or largest parts of your face to bring life back to your complexion. That's all! Once you've drawn all your pretty lines on, use a blending brush to buff it out and blend it in working in the direction of the shape of the lines you just drew on. I love using the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush to blend out my contouring lines. That brush is a badass. If you don't use it for contouring or blending, you can use it to apply liquid foundation instead. It's awesome. Very soft, very densely packed fibers.
6 | Apply blush of choice. Again, I used YSL but you can use your favorite. Apply right above cheek bones and bring ever so slightly into the apples of your cheeks without coming too far in.
7 |  Using a big fluffy brush, swirl it into a setting powder and blot it onto your forehead, nose, inner cheek area and chin. Don't sweep it on, but rather press it in so you don't move your previously applied work all around.
8 | Apply highlighter of choice above cheekbones (right above where you applied your blush) using a fan brush turning on its side (horizontally) so you're tracing a very slim line of highlighter on. You can dust some down the bridge of your nose and above your brows as well.
9 | Get your brows in order. I use a powder and clear gel along with an angled brush to fill mine in. See here for how I typically fill mine in. That video is getting pretty old so I'll do an updated tutorial soon since there are a few changes I've made to my routine.
10 | I applied Younique Moodstruck Mineral Pigments to my eyes in the following order: all over my lid I applied "Sexy". I applied "Provoked" in my crease. I applied "Giddy" as my transition color (just above crease almost up to brow bone) and blended the dickens out of it. I applied "Infatuated" on the outer corners and blend blend blended. Then I took an angled brush and took "Provoked" along my lower lash line and smudged it out. If you have blue eyes, you NEED the color "Provoked" as it is the best shade of copper which every blue-eyed beauty knows will make them POP like nothing you've ever seen. After I was finished, I applied a thin line of black liquid liner, curled my lashes and applied black mascara to both top and bottom lashes. These are loose pigments (as opposed to pressed cake shadows) so start small. They are highly pigmented and a little bit goes a long way. They have the prettiest shimmery glow without being full-on glittery and if used with the primer mentioned up above, they will last alllllll day.
11 | Lastly, I applied a peachy-nude lipstick all over my lips. I used NYX Butter Lipstick in "Bit of Honey". Creamy, dreamy, fool-proof.

I know that seems like a lot of steps but it really isn't...I'm just extremely long winded. It took me less than 10 minutes to go from looking like the Hot Mess Express to simple and understated but very put-together and chic. If I wanted to take this look from day-to-night, I'd take the Younique pigment in "Giddy" and really intensify my crease as well as the outer corners with "Infatuated" and then I'd apply my 3-D Fiber Lashes. If you guys missed my before and after with those puppies, here it is. They're incredible. You can get them through Alane Clark by CLICKING HERE. All of her contact info is on her site should you have any questions or you can contact her here and she'll get right back to you.

Hope you enjoy! I'd say we've made a BIG improvement here...

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