December 11, 2015

Day to Night Look Perfect for Holiday Parties


It's that time of year! Among many other things, tis the season of countless holiday parties. Now I don't know about y'all, but I don't like applying my makeup twice in one day. That may come as a surprise, seeing as, well, makeup is LIFE, but let's get real WHO HAS THE TIME?! I'm going to show you two different looks using the exact same kit so you can do your face for the office (or daytime) then make a few super simple updates to kick your look into nighttime mode.

First things first, I used the Borghese 9-Piece Skincare + Color Collection Set. You can buy all these products individually, but as a set it's only $75 (instead of $207)! That's a whopper of a savings! Use that extra cash on dirty martinis, or groceries...whatever! This is a no judgment zone. I'll list the products individually as I go so that you can see the product info, but here's what you get in the set. I would spend $75 on the eyeshadow palette alone. It's that good.

For my daytime look


1 | I applied the Prima Viso Face Primer all over before I applied my foundation with a dampened Beauty Blender.
2 | I then highlighted and contoured my face using the step-by-step detailed in this post.
3 | I applied a warm, apricot shade to my cheeks, filled in my eyebrows with my favorite pencil, and dusted my whole face with loose powder
4 | I used the Borghese Eclissare Color Eclipse Shadow and Light Luminous Eye Palette (holy pigmentation, Batman! This palette is INCREDIBLE. The shadows are so rich, creamy and chock full of pigment!) Here's what I did:

For the lid, I used the included brush (larger side) to apply shade "Impact" all over my eyelid but stopping at the crease.

For the crease, I used the included brush (the smaller pointier side) to apply shade "Wane" only in my crease. Then I blended it slightly upward just up to my brow bone. 

5| At this point, I just applied the Eclissare ColorEdge Eye Pencil in "pitchblack" to my upper lid and very lightly onto my lower lid and very subtly smudged it out. I am typically a liquid liner gal, but this pencil is soooo creamy! It doesn't tug or pull when applying, but once it's set, it's SET. I had this liner on for hours and it never transferred or smudged onto my brow bone which pencil liners always manage to do no matter how waterproof they claim to be. This may be a new Holy Grail pencil liner!
6 | I curled my top lashes and then applied the Superiore State-of-the-Art Mascara in "black" to top and bottom lashes. Now I chose to apply my false lashes for the daytime look for a couple reasons: one being I like a little drama even for the daytime. Falsies really open up the eyes and give you that wide doe-eyed look. Secondly, there's nothing worse than trying to rush from work to a party, trying to refresh your makeup, toss on some fresh deodorant, slip into stilettos, etc. The last thing you're going to want to worry about is applying false lashes under pressure. But hey, if that's your thing, you do YOU, Boo Boo.
7 | For my lips I just lined them with a nude liner, filled them in, and then applied the Eclissare Color Eclipse Color Glass Lip Gloss in the lighter shade in the kit called "Simmer". I'm not much of a gloss gal, but this one is fantastic. It's shimmery without being glittery (read: cheesy) and it really added a lovely pearlescence to my nude lip.

Now...to kick it into overdrive, just add these few steps and you're ready to party like it's 1999!


1 | I added a deeper shade to the outer corners of my eyelids and blended it up into the crease to make it a bit more dramatic. I used shade "Downfall" for this. I popped a second coat of mascara onto my lower lashes and deepened up my liner as well.

2 | I used a clean blending brush to apply a pretty shimmery color to my brow bones for a little extra punch. For this I used shade "Afterglow". I also applied a tiny bit of this color the the inner corners of my eyes. A little beauty "hack" for you is if you have a really lightly packed brush (a light fan brush works brilliantly) use this same shade and lightly dust it over your cheekbones, on the tip of your nose, and on your cupid's bow. Boom! You're highlighted and you didn't even need to pack an extra product!

3 | I deepened my blush to a spiced plum shade so I wouldn't become washed out by my newly emphasized eyes and lips.
4 | I lined my lips with a deep berry liner and then filled them in. I topped them with B Moisture Advanced Care Lip Color in "Grappa". I'm not kidding when I say that this color is universally flattering. For those of you looking for the perfect TRUE berry shade without the purple undertones, this is your winner. Just like the shadows, it is so creamy and pigmented! This shade belongs in everyone's bag for the holidays this year.

And that's it! You just took your look from day to night in 4 easy steps! My hair took less than 5 minutes as well. I made a deep side part (parted to the right), and then pulled my hair over to the opposite side and secured it in a super low chignon bun. Spritz with a light hold hairspray and you're good to go!


 
December 9, 2015

Hightlight & Contour Made Easy with PÜR Cosmetics Cameo Contour


So.....when did highlighting and contouring your face become such an event?! It's always funny to me as a makeup artist when the simplest things become so convoluted that they turn into this big, bad, intimidating technique that people don't think they can do at home themselves. Just like any other makeup "technique" (winged liner, false lashes, the perfectly lined lip) highlighting and contouring takes a bit of practice, but it's not as scary as you might think!

Enter PÜR Cosmetics {new} Cameo Contour Stick. I fell in love with PÜR when I discovered the BEST CC Cream I've ever used about 3 years ago. That's saying a lot. I've used them all. Anyhoo, back to the Contour Stick. This thing is like a magic wand! The coverage of the foundation end (the lighter shade) is a medium to full coverage and dries to a beautiful powder finish. The contour (deeper shade) end is PERFECTLY cool-toned which is a MUST for contouring. We're creating shadows here, and shadows are gray toned, not bronze. I'm the shade "light" but this guy also comes in medium, tan, dark, and deep.


With the exception of identical twins, no two faces (or facial structures) are exactly the same. If they were, we'd be able to create an exact road map of where to place product to achieve the perfectly chiseled mug. Instead, we have to work by guidelines. Luckily for you, this box comes with an enclosed cheat sheet, and if you lose that, there's one on the box as well!


I'm going to break this down real simple for you guys out there that have been intimidated or maybe unsuccessful at this highlighting and contouring technique. But before I do I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Are you ready? Highlighting and contouring is just adding dimension to your face. That's it. I feel like once you look at it like this, it makes the process a bit more subjective on how and where YOU place your dark and light shades. I'll elaborate...

 Before highlighting and contouring | Just looks like a big ole flat face comin' at cha! We're about to fix that.

All you're doing by contouring is shading the areas you'd like to "recede" or slim. All you're doing by highlighting is bringing forth the areas you's like to emphasize or "bring out". It's literally that simple. You may be saying to yourself "but wait, I'm still confused"...Go grab a mirror. Go ahead I'll wait......got it?

Highlighting is a bit easier so let's start there. I typically highlight the center of my lower forehead, down the bridge of my nose, the inverted triangle beneath my eyes, center of chin, and below my cheek contour.


Whoa, now! Don't get scared off! Things are just getting good!


Now look into the mirror and make a fishy face (pucker up and suck in your cheeks). Can you see that hollow area? That's where you're going to apply your darker contour shade. If you're still unsure, take your fingers and find your temple. If you kind of roll your fingers down you should be able to feel your cheekbone. We all have them! Some of us (*cough* me *cough cough*) have some seriously ample cheeks padding them making them harder to locate, but I promise they're under there! Once you've located your cheekbones you should be able to roll your fingers down again and feel it "drop off" into a hollow area. BINGO. There's your contour area. Just make sure you don't bring it down too far into your jaw area. If you do, I'll show you how to fix that before we're finished. If you have a tiny forehead, skip the forehead contouring. If you're like me and have what my husband lovingly refers to as my "fivehead", you'll want to take your contour shade around the outer perimeter close to your hairline (see photo above). Then I contour down the sides of my nose to slim it a bit, and lastly along my jaw and just under my chin.


And now we blend. Blend blend blend. Then blend some more. The PÜR Cosmetics Cameo Contour Stick that we're using comes with it's own amazing blending sponge. This is super similar to the Beauty Blender except PÜR's comes with a flattened, angled area that makes it extremely easy to press into the skin and wedge up under the eye area. I hold mine under luke warm water, squeeze out the excess, then squeeze it again into a clean, dry towel. You want it just slightly dampened and softened up. I highly advise starting with your light shade first as opposed to the darker shade. Other wise you'll end up with dark product on your sponge and your light areas won't be so light anymore. You dig? Now if you feel like you blended your dark shade too far down on your cheeks and it looks like a big, ugly mess...fret not! Just grab your Cameo Contour stick, apply the light end starting at the corner of your mouth and drawing out towards your earlobe. Carefully blend that area in an outward motion. You'll know you've blended properly when you can't see any harsh lines, but you can see the subtle shadows.


And voila! You're so multi-faceted it's ludicrous! All of a sudden you have peaks and valleys on your face that would make a third-grader's diorama project envious! No more giant, puffy face! I can actually see angles and hollows as opposed to my first picture that just looked....blah...and well, to be frank, about 5 pounds fuller. Oh hiiiii, chin! Oh hiiiiii, jaw! I knew you were in there somewhere!

Of course the fun doesn't stop there. Once you've created this beautiful, dimensional canvas, you're going to want to swirl some blush onto your cheeks, maybe a dusting of a shimmery highlighter on your cheekbones, and don't forget your lips and eyes!


A subtle difference, but one that takes you from "mall walker" to someone who doesn't have to pay for their drinks all night.


You can find the PÜR Cosmetics Cameo Contour Stick on the PÜR website, at ULTA, at Kohl's, and a few other retailers listed here. I highly suggest getting your mitts on it if you are interested in making your life a whole lot easier and your face a whole lot sexier.
November 12, 2015

My Postpartum Hair Routine


Let's chat about what happens to your hair after you have a baby. It starts innocently enough with a few strands falling out here and there, then it escalates to grabbing damn near entire handfuls in the shower as they wash down the drain along with your tears and dignity.

Dramatic? Maybe. True? In my case this time around, yes. I barely lost any hair after I had my first son a few years ago, then I chopped it all off into a pixie cut when he was around 8 months old. Short hair is WAY less obvious when its shedding. This time around, I'm attempting to grow out my hair (bad timing on my part) and I have discovered a few things that have really been helping. Read on for the products I've been obsessed with lately and how I've been using them. Before I tell you about the fun stuff, I've been taking the generic Target (Up & Up brand) hair skin and nails supplement for a couple weeks and I am super impressed with it. My nails are rock hard and I swear I have been losing MUCH less hair. This could totally be that my hormones are starting to level out, but for under $15 a bottle, I'm going to keep taking them in case they're the reason. As always, if you start taking any supplement with a high level of biotin, make sure you are drinking a ton of water to flush your system so the biotin doesn't end up working its way out of your system in the form of cystic acne. I drink about a gallon of water a day (at least) so this has never been an issue for me. 

Firstly, I have two different shampoo/conditioner regimins that I am using. I don't shampoo my hair every day. But when I do shampoo, I alternate (every other shampoo) between a super duper extra moisturizing argan oil based shampoo and conditioner that smells like HEAVEN (kind of like orange creamsicle) and the volumizing, thickening set below that I'll also tell you about. The first mentioned duo is HASK which is free of sulfates, parabens, phthlates, gluten, drying alcohol and artificial colors. This stuff is so nourishing and doesn't weigh down my fine hair. You can find HASK at Ulta, Walgreens or online. Make sure you follow their Instagram, too. It's such a cute account with all sorts of girly eye candy! Fun fun.


The other shampoo and conditioner that I've been using (c/o iFabbo) is Keranique (pictured below). It is a scalp stimulating shampoo and a keratin smoothing conditioner. This stuff has been awesome for my scalp. I had some dry patches along my hairline and in my temple area and within two uses, it was totally gone. Both the shampoo and conditioner have kind of a tingly feeling that is really nice. I use this duo as my volumizing/clarifying/scalp energizing regimen. Keranique has a lift and repair treatment spray and a hair regrowth treatment (all products includes FDA approved regrowth treatment) in their line as well. I've been using this for almost 2 months and am getting near the end of my bottles and this is one of those products that I will most definitely be replenishing. I get a lot of products sent to me to use and review and honestly, most of them I use a few times and forget about. Keranique is most definitely not in that category. You can get 25% off any Keranique purchase when you shop online at www.keranique.com. Use promo code: THICKER25 at checkout. Offer expires 12/31/15.


The other little vials up there in that photo are HASK treatment oils which I have become OBSESSED with. I absolutely will not blow dry my hair without working one of these babies into my ends and midshaft first. If I have no where to go and know I'll just be bumming around the house with my babies (which let's be honest, is most of the time) then I shower, gently towel dry my hair, work one of these HASK oils through before I use my wide tooth comb to detangle, spritz in my favorite thickening tonic, then I toss it into a clip (less breakage than with an elastic) and I let it air dry. If I have to blow dry, I do the same steps, but after I work the oil through and detangle, I spray in my root lifter/volumizer and then blow dry in sections using a big round brush.


I don't use a ton of styling product in my hair, but one thing I use without fail when I want my hair to look fuller, thicker and more voluminous, is a hair powder. I fell in love with Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion years ago and it's still one of my absolute favorites. The other one I sometimes grab when I'm at beauty supply is Big Sexy Hair Powder Play which is really incredible. Hair powders (if you haven't worked with them) are sprinkled in at the root and then "tousled" with the fingers to get major volume and lift. I always work it through to my hair's midshaft as well to make it look like I have twice the amount of hair as I do. I do this step after I curl my hair (not before) as kind of a finishing step and a way to make my waves/curls look a little messier and "undone" which I prefer. 


My wand that I've been IN LOVE WITH is my 25mm NuMe Classic Wand (also pictured above). I have fine hair that holds a curl pretty well, but if you have stubborn hair that typically doesn't hold curl, you'll want to go with a Magic Wand which has a titanium barrel as opposed to a ceramic barrel. I have a ton of great coupon codes for you below so make sure you check them out. It literally takes me 5 minutes to curl my entire head, then I finger comb through all of my hair and then do my hair powder (read paragraph above this one) and I'm finished! If I want to save time in the morning, I make sure I shampoo and blow dry my hair before I go to bed, then in the morning I just spritz in a dry shampoo, and then continue on with my routine. 

NuMe deals for my readers!


Alrighty, ladies and gents! That should be enough hair info to hold you over into the new year! Hope you enjoy and are able to snatch up a new hot tool for yourself (you deserve it) or a friend or family member for holiday gifts!

November 9, 2015

WELEDA Baby


I didn't make a baby registry for my second child. *Cue the sad violins* Don't worry, I've been saving for both boys' therapy funds that they will no doubt be dipping into having me as a mother. In my defense, I have an older son who is incredibly easy on his clothes, shoes and pretty much everything  and we already had, so we knew we'd be passing it right on down to baby numero dos.

There were, of course, items we knew we would be buying ourselves (obviously diapers, wipes, etc.) and more importantly, bath products! We are big fans of the Babyganics line which is what we still use on my toddler, so we loaded up with that stuff when the second (pictured) guy came along. He wanted me to tell you all that that is his real hair. No wigs were used in the drafting of this blog post.

Recently, I had the pleasure of trying out some new products from the Weleda line that I fell in love with, and when I told the sweet gal who sent them to me how much I loved them, she went and sent me just about the whole darn baby line! (EEEEEP!) I wanted to take a couple weeks to make sure I tried each and every product so that I could tell you guys which ones were the standouts.


Firstly, if you're not into natural scented products, this line probably isn't for you. I happen to come from an Aveda background, so I adore earthy, natural scents. This line smells so clean and healthy and free from all the synthetic garbage. I personally love the calendula (yellow packaging) scent, which is somewhat similar to a mild lavender and chamomile. We've been using the Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash for every bath and it is so creamy and gentle. It does lather up a bit, but it's more like an in-shower moisturizer. Fantastic for the colder, dryer months. The light purple and white packaging is the White Mallow line and it is SO DREAMY. It doesn't have a scent (fragrance free) so if you or your baby is sensitive skinned (most babies are) this would be a fantastic choice. I'll just tell you right now that I totally stole the White Mallow Face Cream for myself. I used it on my guy once and I loved it so much, I quickly put it in my bathroom along with all my other fancy skin care! In my defense, we received 2 other really lovely moisturizers that I could use on him....I GAVE HIM LIFE, HE CAN GIVE ME HIS WHITE MALLOW FACE CREAM!! He obviously kept the diaper rash cream all to himself which has been really nice for after baths.

When I opened the package, my (almost three year old) son zeroed in on the Calendula Toothpaste. It was like he had a laser focus and just nabbed it immediately. I went on to tell him he probably wouldn't like it as it wouldn't taste like his artificial strawberry kid's toothpaste, but he just haaaaad to see for himself. At first taste, he kind of looked at me like I told him Thomas the Train wasn't real, but then something shifted and he kept squeezing it out onto this toothbrush. Score! Hey, I'm all for kids brushing their teeth no matter what, but if he's using a better toothpaste without a bunch of extra chemicals, well then, count me way in! I don't think I have to tell you that I also had to try it out for myself, you know, for testing purposes (hehe) and it's so delicious! If you are a black licorice fan, this toothpaste will be your favorite thing ever. I happen to be a gigantic black licorice aficionado, so this was right up my alley. I was expecting it to taste like the other Calendula products smelled (does that make sense?) but luckily, it had kind of an anise and mint taste which was much more appropriate for a toothpaste than the lavender-esque fragrance from the other calendula products.

Lastly, I was really excited to see the two oils she sent me. There is one for baby and one for Mamacita. We've been using the Baby Tummy Oil after every bath and he absolutely loves it! There's the sweetest little insert in the box that tells you how to do baby massage which is SO great right before bed. He's gotten to the point where he sees the bottle and gets all wide-eyed and kicky footed and knows he's about to get a spa treatment! The larger bottle of oil is the Stretch Mark Massage Oil. Now, if I'm being 100% honest here, I have to tell you that I did not get stretch marks with either pregnancy. Please please, don't roll your eyes just yet, I'm as surprised as you are seeing as both of my boys weighed in at 9.8 pounds and 9.13 pounds (respectively) yes, the second baby was bigger....*sigh* BUT I am a huge advocate for skin elasticity and I really believe that part of the reason my stomach looked better than it did pre-pregnancy after my first son (other than a clean diet and lots of exercise) was that I used a belly oil and wore my Belly Bandit in the early months. So I'm using this oil in place of the Clarins that I used the first time around. I still love the Clarins and highly recommend it, but I will report back on whether or not this one had better, comparable or worse results. If you are pregnant or know a pregnant gal, get your hands on this oil. It smells so beautiful and it slips and slides around really nicely without any tugging of the skin.

What is your favorite baby care line? I'm always on the lookout for new ones to try! Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoyed the "baby in the bath" photo that my son will be mortified about when he's in his teens! Muahahahaha! 


Weleda Twitter | Weleda Facebook | Weleda YouTube | Weleda Pinterest
October 30, 2015

Perfect Clean Eating Pumpkin Muffins


My dear neighbor and good friend just gave me this beautiful jar of homemade apple purée. It's literally just Fuji apples, puréed into the smoothest, silkiest dream of a "sauce". Other than spooning it directly into my face, I decided I wanted to find a healthy (preferably clean) recipe for pumpkin muffins so that I would have another vessel to slather it on and inhale. I stumbled on this recipe from Lovely Little Kitchen which is adapted from a recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction. I made just a couple modifications to make the recipe 100% clean...and may I just say...the muffins are PERFECT. I'll never need to look for another pumpkin muffin recipe because I've found it!! No refined sugar, no refined flour, no dairy! It does call for eggs, so if you are egg free, you may want to look into making a "chia egg". Although I have not used a chia egg in this recipe so I cannot guarantee the results. I used Farmer's Market Foods organic canned pumpkin which my local grocery store carries, but you can use good old Libby's OR if you want to up the flavor quotient about a billion percent, use fresh pumpkin purée. It's super easy to roast whole sugar pumpkins if you have a little extra time. I, however, have a toddler and a 16 week old baby, so making these damn muffins from scratch is as "Martha-esque" as it's going to get for right now. 


Now, in the spirit of keeping things a bit on the light side, I didn't make any frosting for these. Remember I was slappin' on that Fuji applesauce?! But if you wanted to make these downright sinful, I suggest a yummy cream cheese frosting. There are all sorts of clean recipes if you hop onto Google, but his is the one I typically use if I have to have cream cheese frosting when I'm also trying to be mindful of my sugar and fat intake: 

Clean Eating Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese, softened (I like the Trader Joe's Organic Light Whipped Cream Cheese)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup local fair trade honey

Clean Eating Pumpkin Muffins
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur brand)
  • 1 1/2 cup organic coconut palm sugar (I used Simply Balanced brand from Target)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup organic virgin coconut oil (I use Nutiva and buy from Costco)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place 12 paper liners into each well of your standard size muffin baking pan.
  2. Measure out the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, coconut oil and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together. Do not over mix, just stir until everything is incorporated into the batter.
  5. It is helpful to use a large scoop (like an ice cream scoop) to evenly distribute the batter into each well. They will be nearly full. This will help give your muffins a nice puffy dome.
  6. Bake your muffins for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Enjoy!
October 11, 2015

New! Wet n Wild Fergie Velvet Matte Lip Pencils Review


Oy. Where do I start. I was SOOOO excited when I saw these at Walgreens the other night! I thought to myself....could these possibly be little cheapo dupes for my beloved NARS Velvet Mattes?! (For the record, my favorite NARS Velvet Matte shade is "Red Square".) Obviously they weren't going to be as amazing quality and pigment-wise, but I thought they might be an affordable alternative to the NARS version if anyone was curious about trying out the velvet matte lip trend. The crazy thing is, wet n wild has some of the most incredible matte lipsticks I have ever found at the drugstore. They're called MegaLast Lipsticks. Great pigment, long wearing, truly matte finish, not too drying (hey, it's cheap lipstick, what can we really expect here?!) They are so so so good and there are a TON of colors! My faves are Cherry Bomb, Spiked with Rum, Purty Persimmon, In the Flesh, and 24 Carrot Gold. For under $3 a pop, you can swoop up as many as your heart desires. Here's a shade chart for the wet n wild Mega Last Lip Colors in case you're interested.

Okay, I got a bit off topic since we're not talking about their fantastic matte lipsticks. We're talking about their new matte lip pencils. Here's where the daydream turns into a nightmare. THEY ARE NOT DUPES for NARS. These poor, sad little excuses for matte lip pencils are just disappointing. Not only is the pigment nonexistent, but they aren't even a true matte finish! They are more of a satin finish. I had to apply about 397 coats to get the color to appear, and then I had to blot with tissue to get them to appear matte...and then it took about 40% of the pigment with it. Ugh. If you're looking for a pretty good drugstore velvet matte lip pencil, go with the Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm sticks. So much better than these little pieces of shit. I'll show you swatches of the 4 I bought below. Hang onto your seats, ladies and germs. Things are about to get u-g-l-y.


Here are the 4 I purchased. These were the shades I thought I would wear the most out of the 9-shade options. A warm orange, a deep berry, a good neutral pink and a brick shade perfect for Fall. They look so promising, right??

Here are the shade names of the 4 I nabbed.


I mean....in what world do these qualify as matte?! Look at the sheen! And look at the swatches in comparison to the packaging colors! They couldn't be further from accurate! It's not that the shades are terrible, they're not. But they are not at all indicative of what's on the outside packaging. Not only that, but when I opened 2 of the 4, they were BROKEN! The colored pencil part came flying out at me when I removed the cap! And it's not even like I was pulling the cap off like a savage! If wet n wild did a better job at getting the outside packaging colors to reflect what is really inside, AND if they marketed these accurately as what they really are, which is a satin-finish, almost sheer lip crayon, then I might be writing a totally different review.

So, to sum things up: if you want an affordable matte lip pencil, go with the Revlon ones (make sure you're not grabbing the glossy ones, they have glossy finish and matte finish available). Unfortunately there aren't a ton of shades, but you should be able to find at least one in their range that fits the bill. Other wise, if you have the pennies to get the real deal, pick up the NARS version. They are worth the money in my very humble opinion. Sometimes you just have to 'treat yo self'!




October 9, 2015

Weleda Skin Care


I am in love with a lot of things, product-wise. But for every amazing product out there, there are 5 that I've tried and hated. Until recently, I was in the camp of "skincare not being effective unless it was loaded with chemicals". Chemicals = results was always my train of thought. Well....no more! Don't get me wrong, I am a BIG FAN of things like glycolic and alpha hydroxy acids, but I see those more as natural alternatives to lasers and botox when used before things start getting too cray. I am an advocate for taking care of your skin BEFORE the damage sets in. Yes, some things are inevitable...I'm looking at YOU, Father Time! But things like sun damage, not removing your makeup before bed (one of my top 3 pet peeves right up there with baby-talking and PDA), staying out too late and drinking your meals, smoking, and things of the like WILL take a toll on your skin. Maybe not right now, but trust me, you'll remember my words when you're staring back at a leather-like reflection in your bathroom mirror. It's a miracle I made it out of my early twenties with decent skin, because I'm not going to lie, I was an offender of multiple aforementioned skincare crimes. Remind me to write genetics a thank-you card later.

But I digress. Back to the products. Recently I started using a few notable products from the Weleda line. I remembered seeing this line when I was researching baby bath products for my first son (once the second kid came, we just started using whatever was closest #secondchildproblems). I really liked what this company is about. Sustainable products, Biodynamic farming methods, developing Fair Trade partnerships, creating meaningful products that are gentle yet effective. I think the older I get, the more attention I put into what's going on my skin. If I can get results without pumping myself full of chemicals, well then, sign me up.

Here's what I've been loving lately.


Weleda Almond Soothing Facial Oil. I've always known that almond oil is gentle and hypoallergenic, but I didn't know until recently that regular use of the oil can protect your skin from oxidative stress and UV radiation damage! I've been cleansing my skin as usual, then after I pat dry, I've been rubbing a few drops of this into my face and neck. It absorbs so quickly and doesn't leave that greasy feel we so often associate with oils. I'm convinced this Weleda almond oil is responsible for clearing up the 3 dry, red, rough patches that have been plaguing me lately that I haven't been able to get rid of. If you have hyper sensitive skin, try this either on its own or right before your moisturizer!



I'm allllllways game to try new night creams. This Iris Hydrating Night Cream is so lovely! The scent is very mild calendula, which is like a much less obnoxious lavender (even though I love lavender). This moisturizer calms minor inflammation and calms irritation. Perfect for my touchy skin. I kid you not, when I wake up after using this, my skin is almost glowing! 


Skin Food!!! OMG. This is going to be one of those products I start telling all my girlfriends and family members about. Apparently it has a cult following and I can see why. I've been using it as a hand, elbow, knee moisturizer and it has completely destroyed all my rough patches. I am constantly crawling around on my knees with my sons playing trucks, changing diapers, acting like zoo animals, etc. So my knees and knuckles have started developing these scaly, rough patches that will not leave!! Hashtag: boy mom life. Skin Food, after only 3 or four uses, has totally gotten rid of them. This stuff has a thick layer of oil over it when you take the cap off the first time (don't worry, it's only there for the initial use) and it has some "slip" to it, meaning it's not one of those moisturizers that sinks in right away, but I love that. I just wouldn't apply it then go race car driving....your hands are going to be slick for about 5 minutes. Everyone in my family is getting a tube of this in their Christmas gifts this year. Even the guys. Especially the guys. Giddy up!

Weleda can be found at Target and Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Drugstore.com and Whole Foods. 

There are a TON of products in this line. So as soon as I find any others that blow my skirt up, I'll let y'all know! 
October 5, 2015

{Product Review} Close Up Instant Wrinkle Reducer & Treatment


What better time than right off the bat to tell you that when I first received Christie Brinkley's Close Up Instant Wrinkle Reducer, I was using it wrong. Hehehe. I was like "huh...this stuff isn't bad....but it's not great either..."

And THEN I decided to play around with it a bit and it made alllllllll the difference. What I was doing before was using this as a wrinkle treatment, kind of like an eye treatment. I noticed immediately that it did tighten and smooth the area, but it didn't feel like it was treating my skin like a serum or moisturizer would. I also applied it to my forehead between my brows and slightly "patted in" above that area. 

Here's where I had my "aha!" moment: when I woke up the next morning after applying this to my clean face, my skin was taut but not tight (that's a good thing) and it was totally matte where it's usually super oily. I couldn't believe it! I though to myself, if this product can keep my skin matte and smooth overnight, when my skin is usually sloughing off old skin, getting greasy and generally just "doin' it's thang", then it would work beautifully as a makeup primer/mattifier! And guess what....I was right! This stuff totally rocks when applied as a primer before you apply your foundation! Whenever I have tried mattifying primers, they usually ball up on my skin (you know those tiny little "rolls" of product that appear when you're trying to smooth your foundation on) this did nothing of the sort. After cleansing my face and applying moisturizer as I normally do, I applied it on and around my nose, around my eye area, on my smile lines, and my inner cheek area where my pores are really enlarged. The really cool thing about this product is that it doesn't break down with moisturizer like a lot of wrinkle treatments do. You can apply it under or over your moisturizer. I then applied my foundation using a dampened Beauty Blender sponge. The results were so pretty! I like that I can't feel this on my skin like I can with a standard primer. It's incredibly lightweight. I think of it more as an instant fix to pores and wrinkles (which DUH is kind of in the description, I just had my own preconceived ideas of what this stuff does). Here's what I should have read before using it:

Benefits:
  • Immediate sensation of tighter and smoother-looking skin.
  • Potent formula maximizes anti-wrinkle effects.
  • Smooth under-eye bags and puffiness.
  • Tightens skin on contact and takes years off appearance.
  • Lasts for hours and can be reapplied throughout the day.
  • Will wash off easily with water and no make-up remover required.
  • Breakthrough discovery that tightens skin on contact to take years off appearance. 
Here's a nice before/after shot of my pasty, pale hand using natural sunlight. I used my hand for a couple reasons: 1) it's a larger surface area than my under eye area so you can see the detail better and 2) I don't have severe wrinkles under my eyes (yet) and my hands are dry, crackly, and full of divots and follicles in need of smoothing. This was literally 30 seconds after applying the Close Up Instant Wrinkle Reducer so you can see how quickly this smooths and perfects the skin. Pay close attention to that skin up by the knuckles and fingers!


Here's the downside: it's spendy. One small tube is $80. Yes, a little bit goes a long way. Truly. But I wouldn't use this every single day as my primer. I'll be saving it for special occasions when I know I'll be being photographed a lot or for my tutorials when I need my skin to look really flawless. This would be a great little luxury item to keep in your beauty arsenal when you want to look 100% FLAWLESS for a special event. I see myself using this on every single bride I do makeup for. It really is an instant perfector!
September 26, 2015

Splurge vs Steal: Fall Edition

Splurge vs Steal: Fall Edition

It's Fall, y'all! It's also been a hot minute and a half since I've done one of my "Splurge vs Steal" posts! I thought now would be a great time seeing as there are a ton of things I've been lusting after but can't justify spending the cashola on now that I have 2 kiddos #priorities. Soooooo I can take the savings and spend it on everyone's favorite purchase: DIAPERS! Make sure to scoot over to my friend Corianne's adorably authentic blog for a fun little "Weekly Roundup" post she put together on my all time favorite topic: FALL! There are some really great blogs featured for you to discover! Creep away! 

All of the "splurge" items you see above are things I legitimately want or have been wanting (aside from the curling wand...I already own the "steal" version and love it! And the Becca tint...I just bought it) It's way easier for me to explain makeup purchases to my husband as opposed to a pair of $230 booties when I already own 6 pairs "just like them" (his words not mine). But for all the other items I was determined to find suitable alternatives and thought I'd share them with you guys! I feel like I also need to tell you that the "steal" version of the rubber boots are buy 1, get a pair 1/2 off right now (limited sale) so grab a friend and go in on them together and get them for even less! 

Rainboots for puddle jumping! | Splurge // Steal
Clubmaster Sunnies for those crisp sunny days! | Splurge // Steal
Eyeshadow Palette with yummy plummy tones! | Splurge // Steal
Ankle Booties that go with evvvverygthing! | Splurge // Steal 
Lip & Cheek Tint in a deep berry shade! | Splurge // Steal
Buffalo Plaid Coat screams "lumberjack chic"! | Splurge // Steal
Liquid Lipstick the ULTIMATE beauty item for Fall! | Splurge // Steal
Curling Wand for those perfect tousled waves! (Sometimes Amazon pricing changes from day to day so the price on this may vary a bit. You can always Google "NuMe coupon codes" for killer deals on these wands for the NuMe website) | Splurge // Steal
September 23, 2015

Transitional Fall Makeup Tutorial



Did you read this title and go "um....what in the heck is a transitional Fall makeup tutorial, you nitwit?!" Well, hopefully you left out the name calling, but I've been called worse so let's proceed. What I mean by "transitional" is that while yes, technically today is the first day of Fall, there are a ton of people who are not quite yet ready for full on FALL makeup (i.e. deep vampy lips, plum cheeks, mocha drenched eyes) for the record, I am always ready for every and all things related to Fall. I hate Summer. I hate the heat, I hate the clothes, I hate the sweat, I hate the heat, I am not fond of the sun, I hate the heat. You catch my drift, eh?

But I always take myself ever so gingerly into a Fall makeup routine. I like to work my way in slowly since our weather here in the Pacific Northwest is usually still pretty warm and sunny in September (try as I might to drop it like it's hot for some damn rain, naw-what-I'm-sayin'?) and it doesn't truly feel like the crisp, cold Fall until October. I want to really appreciate all that Fall has to offer in the arena of makeup colors, ya feel me? That alllllllll being said, I wanted to create a look that is super wearable, but had some autumn vibes running throughout to get me through the end of the month until I can start looking all "Morticia Adams" for you guys. Get ready for some questionably dark lips come October/November/December, y'all. I'm going balls to the WALL.

We'll start with a naked face....geez, maybe I AM prepping you for Halloween after all! (Don't be scurred!) None of the following photos are filtered, just good lighting and my new Nikon D3300 so you can see as much detail as possible. Get nice and comfy with my pores, everyone. They're here to stay.


1 | Apply a medium to full coverage foundation of your choice to entire face and blend, blend, BLEND the hell out of it with a dampened Beauty Blender. (Here I used Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation).
2 | Dot on concealer with finger as shown here. Don't feel like you have to be all "Instagram worthy" with this step, that shit is just going to get blended as well so no need to turn this into an art form. Ain't no one got time for that. Or maybe you do. This is a no judgment zone. I used Maybelline Master Conceal but I've also really been digging my Tarte Creaseless Concealer for this step. It's just kind of an acquired taste as far as consistency goes (super thick) so the Maybelline is more "for the masses". Then again, blend this out with the same dampened Beauty Blender (this is where the pointed end is super helpful, especially under the eyes and around the nose and mouth).


3 | In the photo on the left, I am pointing to the color I used to contour, which you can see is the darkest shade in the palette. I used NYX Contour, Correct, Conceal palette and to keep it super simple, I just used a foundation brush to gently "paint" on the darkest color as demonstrated in step 4. This is such a great way for novices to play around with contouring because it is very difficult to get harsh lines this way. You really have to brush with intention to get your shadowing to show up, so there aren't many "OOPS" moments.
4| I left my contouring very dark and harsh here so you can see where I painted it on (we'll blend in a moment). Below the cheekbones, bordering the forehead, along the jawline, under the chin. Then you guess it....I blended it all out with a light hand using a Beauty Blender. Then I just set my nose, forehead, chin, inner cheeks and undereye area with a good setting powder.

OMG. If you guys don't know about Nonie Creme's new line Colour Prevail, allow me to introduce you.


This is a new line that is all about giving you luxury products and packaging with an affordable price tag. I was super fortunate and was sent some really gorgeous products from this line to try out and I was blown away by how well they performed. Right now you can find them at Walgreens, Walgreens.com, and Drugstore.com. Look how pretty this packaging is! The butterfly wings! The gold! I totally dig it.


5 | This is the Bashful Beauty Multi Stick in color "Coy Coral" that can either be applied directly to your cheeks and lips, or you can do what I like to do with these kinds of sticks, and use a blush brush to swirl around on the product and then apply to the cheeks like you would a traditional blush. I love applying cream blushes this way because it gives the prettiest airbrushed look. I haven't applied it yet in step 6 because I wanted you to see my blended-out contour. I applied my multi stick right above my contour line along the apples of my cheeks and blended up into my hairline. These multi sticks are great for people like me because I can toss it in my handbag and either apply it directly to my cheeks and lips out of the tube, or I can use my fingers. And this color is soooooo dreamy! This is a KILLER dupe for Nars The Multiple in Portofino!
6 | Take a blush brush and swipe it over the multi stick until you have a nice even amount of product on your bristles. Gently swirl over your cheeks in an upward, circular motion. If you are using your multi stick as your lip color, you can either dab it on with a finger to get a pretty, subtle wash of color. Or you can apply it right from the tube to your lips for a more dramatic look. I did not use this color on my lips for this look, however. We'll get to that part!


7 | My eyes were SO simple to create. I used all MAC shadows on my eyes. Apply MAC shadow in "Twinks" to your entire lid, stopping where your eyelid creases. Apply MAC shadow in "Texture" to your crease. Using a blending brush, blend your crease color taking it just up onto your brow bone slightly. Don't be afraid to open your eye while you're blending so you can see where you're laying your color. Sometimes you need to bring it up higher than you think and that's difficult to see when your eyeball is shut. Then use a clean stiff angled brush to trace your bottom lash line with MAC shadow in "Amber Lights". Inner corners of the eyes is MAC shadow in "Phloof".
8 | After you've blended the daylight out of your shadow. Apply a thick line of black liner on your top lid only. I use Almay Liquid Eyeliner. It is my baby. I buy it in bulk. It dries truly matte. It doesn't budge. It is gentle on the eyes but is SO pigmented. It is under $10. Go buy it. Then curl your lashes and apply a hefty dose of black mascara. When in doubt....add more. And then some more. I also dropped in about 10 individual Ardell flare lashes (medium length) on each side for a little extra sass appeal. Brows are Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in "Caramel". Just fill in with a light but steady hand, using short strokes to mimic the look of brow hairs. If you don't follow me on Instagram, I posted a before/after photo of my brows so people can see that homegirl does NOT carry these brows with me naturally.


9 & 10 | Here's another multi-tasking product for you! It's a lip liner on one end and a lip color on the other! I used Colour Prevails Lip Design Sheer Colour/Liner Duo in "Burnt Pink" (it's the top stick pictured in step 9). This is such a perfect shade for Fall, especially if you're not keen on wearing darker colors on your lips. The liner is really easy to work with and creates a nice, blended line that is impossible to make look harsh. Then you just flip the stick over and apply the sheer color! I'd describe this color as the lovechild of MAC "Spirit" and "Twig" and then sheered out just a smidge. Absolutely gorgeous and so wearable.


And there you have it! Kicked up and warmed up just a notch from those Summertime faces! Kind of makes you want to run out in your Ugg boots and puffy vest and snag yourself a Pumpkin Spice Latte, right?

September 18, 2015

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites


Happy Friday, friends! It's been a minute and a half since I've done a "favorites" post and there are a few little nuggets I've been swooning over the past few weeks/months that I thought I'd share with y'all! Let's just cut the crap and get right down to it, shall we?

The Brows | Okay so let me first tell you I own Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, her Duo Brow Powder AND the Brow Wiz (pictured above) and while I ADORE each one in their own way (hey...kind of like children!) I have been obsessed with the good old fashioned pencil these days. I will go on record by saying I have YET to find a pencil that compares to the Brow Wiz. The formula is unmatched, it doesn't budge, the twist-up mechanical end gives you a skinny and sharp application every.single.time. and there's just something about the spoolie that is even superior to others....it's like it perfectly brushes out harsh lines without effing up all your hard work. But the best part is it is the ONLY pencil I have found that makes it possible to mimic tiny little hairs as opposed to harsh lines, which is what we're all trying to achieve. And if you're anything like me, which is a naked mole rat, being able to fake having actual brow hairs is a NECESSITY. Case in point...(you can see here it looks like I have textured brow hairs towards the inner brow when in fact, that's just skin, baby!)


The Foundation | I really wanted to hate the new Too Faced Born This Way foundation. Why? I don't even know. Maybe a combination of the kitschy name and the price tag turned me off. Maybe I'm just a dirty hipster at heart and want to hate popular things. But some things are popular for good reason and lemme just tell you: it rocked my sockolas off. It is such beautiful coverage and the finish. THE FINISH. Get thee to Ulta or Sephora or wherever is closest to you that carries this foundation and give her a go. I wear shade "Ivory". And real quickly, I have reallllly been liking this It Cosmetics CC Cream. Guys - this line shouldn't be overlooked. It might not be the sexiest and attention-grabbing, but it deserves your attention. This CC cream is fantastic coverage and I adore the pump applicator. I wear shade "Fair". If you follow me on Instagram, you know how I feel about the Deluxe Buffer brush by Morphe. It is a MUST if you are using the Too Faced foundation. It gives the best airbrushed finish. It's on sale right now for like, $14. I suggest you swoop.

The Lips | I finally caved and tried the Lorac Alter Ego lipsticks because they were a part of the 21 Days of Beauty at Ulta and it was only $8. I'm so glad I did because this shade "Girl Next Door" is the exact shade of pinky coral. It's a flat finish with no shine which I have also been digging lately. I believe they're still on sale for $8 as of right now. Hurry.

The Perfect Boyfriend Jeans | Aren't we always on the lookout for the perfect jeans? If you're a fan of the slouchy-without-being-dumpy "boyfriend" style, this pair by Madewell is amazing. And they're on KILLER sale right now for $50 and I even got free shipping!! There isn't much that Madewell does that I don't like. I celebrate their entire catalog (Office Space reference anyone?) I am typically a size 4 or 6 and I wear a size 27 in this style. They run kind of roomy.

The "Bra" for Your Lashes | I got a sample of this bad boy and loved it so much I bought a full sized tube. I was never a fan of lash primers before I used this one by Tarte and now I'm hooked. This stuff makes even my cheapo $6 Cover Girl mascara look like I'm wearing $30 YSL mascara.

The Skin | There are quite a few products here so in the spirit of saving time, I'll link up the two StriVectin product reviews HERE so you can read about how much I lurve them. Okay...now that just leaves us with two more! Firstly, this cleanser by Nip+Fab that I picked up at Ulta is fantastical! It's really economical (under $10) and a teeny tiny bit goes a long way! It comes out kind of fast so you think it's going to be a thinner, liquidy consistency, but once you start applying it to your skin, it's somehow thick and substantial. Almost honey-like. It has glycolic acid in it which is my forever BAE (yeah...I said Bae...I'm trying to be like the cool kids) so if you have sensitive skin, this may not be your guy. BUT if you have tougher, lackluster skin that needs some oomph and a bit of brightening up, get your hands on this stuff. It sloughs off all the old, dead skin without peeling your face off. You'll love it. I also grabbed their Dragon's Blood Fix Pads and Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Pads and Serum and have really been digging those as well. I use the Dragon's Blood ones in the morning and the Glycolic Acid ones at night. Lastly, I snagged a full-sized bottle of this Pur Minerals Miracle Mist during the 21 Days of Beauty event at Ulta for TEN DOLLARS (regularly $19). I'm soooooo loving it! I use it to set my foundation and it gives the prettiest finish (makes my full-coverage foundation and powder look like skin...not makeup). It can also be used just as a mist to moisturize and energize! You can use it on your face and entire body and it smells absolutely divine. Perfectly citrusy without being "cleaning product-like". So refreshing!

Voila! Hope you enjoy these little diamonds in the rough as much as I have been! What have you been loving this month? Shout it out below! Thanks so much for stopping by!
 
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