Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My Favorite Spring & Summer Products!

Spring is very quickly coming to an end, and I have put together some of the products that I reached for the most during the season that I'm absolutely mad about. I will definitely carry on some of these favs for the summertime as well. Keep on reading to see what I'm lovin' right now!


FACE & BODY


St. Ives Green Tea Scrub, $6.99


If you're a fan of the classic St. Ives apricot scrub, then you'll most likely love, and possibly prefer this Green Tea scrub. It's really gentle, yet does the job pretty darn well. It helps reduce redness, clears break outs, removes dry skin and left-over makeup. It smells really nice, and it always makes my skin feel baby smooth. The texture is a lot finer than the apricot scrub as well.





Aveeno Daily Moisturizing
Lotion, $8.99



Hands down, my all time favorite moisturizer. I use it mainly on my face after a shower. I have oily/combination skin and this has worked the best for me so far. My skin literally soaks it up in a matter of seconds and leaves no greasy residue whatsoever. And, I like that it is fragrance free, so it doesn't irritate  my skin.
Caress Tahitian
Renewal, $4.99




This smells like summer in paradise! Scents of coconut and tropical fruits invigorate your senses while you lather up in a hot, steamy shower. It has bits of pomegranate seeds to gently exfoliate your skin and leaves you feeling incredibly soft and smooth.
Fiji Passion Fruit
Body Lotion, $10.50



Yup, another tropical scent! This body lotion from Bath & Body Works smells divine, and makes you almost want to drink it! The smell of passion fruit screams summer to me. I keep the travel size version of this in my purse and I get complimented every time I wear it.


Dove Ultimate Fresh
Deodorant, $3.99



Anyone else notice a trend here? Haha. You just can't go wrong with Dove deodorants. I just recently purchased this scent, and I just adore it. I get a whiff of it throughout the day, and it's very pleasant. It also smooths, soothes, and hydrates the underarm area.








HAIR

Granier Fructis anti Humidity
Hairspray, $4.29




I like to use this hairspray during the warmer months because of it's flexible hold and staying power. It doesn't hurt that it smells sweet and fruity too! It doesn't flake, dries fairly quickly, and the fruity scent dissipates after about an hour. The bamboo extract truly does keep humidity at bay.

Got2B Smooth Operator
Satin Drops, $7.99





I am a total sucker for cute packaging. Not only does this serum do the job, but the packaging is adorable, and is adorned with various little charms that are removable and can be used for anything. This serum helps to seal my dry, split end and it tames those pesky fly-aways. The result is a smooth, shiny finish.








MAKE-UP & OTHER COSMETICS

CoverGirl Lip Perfection in
Spellbound, $6.99





This is the perfect blue-based hot pink/fuchsia lipstick. Be prepared to have this on your lips all day, because it does not budge. Unlike other long-wearing lipsticks, this one keeps your lips moisturized and soft for hours on end. The formula is super creamy and opaque. I have been reaching for this lip color almost everyday, and I believe it looks great on everyone.  If hot pink is quite your forte, they offer a variety of gorgeous shades. (I'm wearing this in my about me picture!)









ELF blush in Candid Coral, $3


This product has been raved about for a while now, and for a good reason. For being only $3, this pigmentation and staying power is incredible. Not to mention that the color is beautiful, and totally appropriate for spring/summer. This blush does have shimmer, but it is very subtle and gives a radiant golden glow to your cheeks. This is a must have!





LypSyl Lyp Moisturizer
Original Formula, $3.99



I used to swear by Burt's Bees lip balm, until I met this baby. I purchased this on a whim at my local CVS, and I was not disappointed. If you are a lip balm addict, you will die for this. The packaging is very unique, and the actual applicator is shaped to perfectly fit the contours of your lips. It is not waxy or sticky. It is slightly minty, and it feels phenomenal. I've been using it for about two months now, and it has greatly improved the look and texture of my lips.



Wet n Wild Megalast
Nail Polish in
Club Havana, $1.99



The ideal nail shade for the summer! Coral looks stunning on tanned skin, and can make pale skin appear warmer and create an illusion of a tanner complexion. This color is bright, but is a creamier coral than other polishes out there. It also leans more towards the orange side. I think this is such a fun, vibrant polish! I prefer to wear this color on my toes, but it will look lovely on your fingers as well.







So these are just a few of my favorite things this season! What are your favorites? I would love to know. Also, if you have any requests for future blogposts, let me know in the comments below!

XO

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sorry for the lack of posts!

I have had a very busy and crazy week, to say the least. I will be back in the swing of things very soon! Thanks for your patience.


XO

Monday, May 23, 2011

How to Care for Your Skin & Hair During the Summer

Summer is quickly creeping up on us. There's nothing quite like soaking up the sun while drinking a long island iced tea, warm breezes, the beach, pool parties, BBQ's....the list goes on and on! But all of that fun in the sun can surely take a toll on your delicate skin and hair. Here are a few tips to help prevent damage and how to stay looking fresh and beautiful all summer long. Also, I will share my personal recommendations.



Wear Sunscreen

This is by far, the best thing you can do for your skin, especially during the summer months. The harsh UVA/UVB rays can radically damage your skin, like premature wrinkles, sun spots, uneven skin tone, and worst of all, skin cancer. If at all possible, stay out of the sun between 10am and 4pm. The rays are at their strongest during these hours.

There are plenty of sunscreens to choose from. I like going for the higher SPFs. Anything above 30 is ideal, and the key is to re-apply throughout the day. If you are planning to be in the water, go for a waterproof formula. Try:

Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch
 Sunblock SPF 85, $10.99







I love this sunscreen because it absorbs nicely into the skin, dries matte and it won't leave you looking shiny or greasy. This also comes in a face only formula.





Wet Skin Sunblock
 Spray SPF 85+, $10.99











This sunblock stays PUT! Sweat, humdity, and waterproof. This is ideal for a pool or beach day. It comes in a kids formula as well.








If you happen to get a sunburn, treat it with a quality aloe vera gel, or better yet, use an actual aloe vera plant. It soothes the skin and gives it a cooling sensation. Another tip is one that my mother-in-law taught me--Grab some baking soda and water and make it into a paste in a bowl. Apply it to the affected area, and it instantly cools the burn. Re-apply as often as you like, and finish it off with some aloe.


Moisturize

Jergens Soft
Shimmer,  $9.99





Make your skin glow and shimmer as you moisturize. I love this product from Jergens. It leaves a super subtle golden shimmer that makes your skin look radiant and healthy.


Get a Sun Kissed Look 

Jergens Natural
Glow, $6.99

   




Self tanners can be tricky. Some leave your skin looking as orange as an oompa loompa, or a cheeto puff...I mean, unless that's your thing. If you want to look like a bronzed Goddess and have complete control then try out this one out. 


Protect Your Under-Eye Area

The skin under your eyes is extremely sensitive and it is one of the thinnest areas of skin on your body and can lead to pre-mature wrinkling and aging if exposed to the sun. Because of that, we need to need to pay extra attention to the area.




One of the quickest, easiest and surprisingly effective ways to care for the area is to use cucumber slices on your eyes at night. It helps reduce the appearance of dark circles, reduces swelling, and improves circulation.





Another simple way to protect your under eyes is to simply wear sunglasses! There are plenty of styles to choose from. I personally love sunglasses because I believe that they certainly bring a lot of fun and style to your look. Don't be afraid to try a bold, fun pair of shades. I like larger frames and aviator styles best for summer since they shield the area better than smaller glasses. Try something like these:

Forever 21, F2015 Sunglasses $5.80

Forever 21, F7729 Sunglasses, $5.80 

Hair Care

Try not to use hair sprays during the times you will be in the sunlight, since they contain alcohol and further dry out your tresses. Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner every other day. Washing too often can lead to extra-dryness. Also, use a deep conditioner 1-2 times a week.
Aussie is my favorite affordable hair care line. 


Try to reduce the use of heat styling tools such as blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons. But, if you do decide to, use a heat protection spray.
Schwarzkopf got2b Guardian
Angel is heaven sent.
Instead of heat styling, try creating a cute, beachy look. If you have straight hair, simply split your hair into 4 sections while it's still damp. Then, braid each section and tie the ends with a band. Let it air dry, and then reveal your waves.  If you have curly hair, you can try out some french braids like Rachel McAdams and add a colorful flower to compliment the look.



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Your secret weapon.


Apply some texturizing spray that contains some sort of sodium to get that natural looking, beachy style.  Like this one from Bumble & Bumble. It is a bit on the pricey side, ($25-$30), but you can easily create your own sea salt sprayAll you need is 8oz of H20, a spray bottle, 1/2 tsp of coconut scented conditioner and 1 tsp of sea saltSimply spray on damp hair, scrunch, and you're ready to go!

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Now you should be all set for the season! Not only will you have a blast this summer, but you will look great doing it as well. I hope this was helpful to you! Let me know YOUR best beauty tip for the warm summer months in the comment section below!

XO



Friday, May 20, 2011

How to Make Your Eye Color POP!


People have always said that our eyes are the windows to the soul. Personally, I believe that someone's eyes are the best feature on the face, no matter what the color. Eye colors can range from almost clear blue, to almost black and they are all stunning in their own unique way. It's easier than you think to make your eyes stand out!


When figuring out what color eye shadow(s) to apply, it's nice to have a color wheel chart handy, like this one for example:




You simply start out with your eye color or whatever is closest to it, and whatever color is opposite of your eyes is the color shadow you want to use. You can also go a couple of colors to the right or left, but the result won't be as dramatic.

I have created 3 looks for you guys using the three most popular eye colors: Blue, Green and Brown. It's incredible how contrasting colors can make such a noticeable difference with your eye color.

Just a side note, since my eyes are naturally brown, I am wearing what I like to call, "Virtual Contact Lenses", (in other words, I photoshopped my eye color) so that I can have blue and green eyes to pull the looks together.








For you blue eyed gals (and guys!) out there, try using shades of gold, brown, cranberry and bronze. It will make your eyes look as blue as the Mediterranean Sea.







  


If you have green eyes, consider yourself lucky! It is one the rarest colors on the planet. Only 1-2% of people have a pair of green eyes. Play up your emerald peepers by using vibrant purples, mauves, violets, and pinks.

(Will also work with hazel eyes)










Who said ordinary brown eyes are boring? People with brown eyes can pull off many people colors than those with lighter eyes. Make your warm, mysterious brown eyes look even more striking with contrasting cool tones. All shades of blue, purples and even greens are dazzling with brown eyes. 

(Will also work with hazel eyes)





You can achieve this beautiful effect even with subtle makeup. It certainly isn't necessary for dramatic smoky shadows like the ones above. If that isn't your style, you can try using a lighter shade of color on your lid with a thin application of liner along your lash line and some mascara, or you can even use a colored eye pencil in your water line, like so:

Jennifer Connelly

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I hope this was helpful, and have lots of fun experimenting with colors! No matter which eye color you were born with, flaunt them and be confident. If you have any questions, suggestions or if you tried out one of these looks, please let me know. I'd love to check them out :)

XO 


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Must-Have Makeup Brushes!

There is no denying that there are tons of makeup brushes out there to choose from. There are a few that are completely useless, yet some are a staple to have in your makeup bag. I have narrowed down my favorite and must have brushes in no particular order to have in your kit; whether you are a make-up artist or just love to apply it on yourself. I will also included which brushes are a waste of money!

The best brushes I have used are definitely by MAC....but they are a little expensive. No need to worry! There are plenty of other makers that offer affordable, yet amazing quality brushes, such as Sigma. Check out their website at http://www.sigmabeauty.com. I also have a few brushes by ELF that I really love, and some are only $1 a brush.

EYE BRUSHES:

Flat Eyeshadow Brush:


This is my favorite eye brush. It is used for a basic application of eyeshadow on the lid and if used correctly, you can do quite a few other techniques, like blending for example. This is best to used to pack on a lot of color on the eyelid.
Angled Eyeliner Brush

 
This brush is AWESOME. It is my favorite brush to use to apply eyeliner (liquid or gel). The cool feature about this brush is the bent tip. It offers more control and it keeps your hand from being in the way so you can see exactly what you're doing.











Angled Eyeliner Brush:




Some people prefer to use this brush to apply eyeliner, but I love using it to smoke out my pencil liner application. For example, I line my upper lash line with a Kohl pencil, and I top it off with a black eyeshadow to set it. This brush is perfect for pressing the eyeshadow into the lash line.








Blending/Fluffy Brush:




This brush is ideal for blending out the harsh edges left from an eyeshadow application. Essential for a flawless smoky eye! It can also be used for a lighter application of eyeshadow.




Crease Brush:






A crease brush is used for, well....your crease!
A defined crease can create a very beautiful 
and dramatic effect. It can also be used on 
the outer-V area and the lower lash line.





Eyebrow Comb & Brush:





Used for brushing out unruly brows. You can also use the comb side for your lashes if your mascara is too clumpy.











FACE BRUSHES:

Kabuki Brush:



The kabuki brush is a face brush used to achieve a heavier application of powder or powder foundation, since the bristles are plentiful and closer compacted. Buff it into your skin for an air-brushed finish.






Powder Brush:





This brush is similar to the kabuki brush, but offers
a lighter application. I like to use this one to apply 
loose translucent powder after applying my foundation.










Stippling Brush:



This brush is made with two different fibers. It is
perfect for applying liquid foundation leaving with
you with an air-brushed finish. Simply pour some
foundation on the back of your hand, dip the brush 
into it and start stippling the product onto your skin 
until you get the desired effect.




Angled Blush Brush:


Used for applying blush and/or bronzer. The angle helps 
with getting a more precise application, rather than using 
a round brush. I use the fluffy side of the brush to blend out 
the edges.















BRUSHES TO PASS ON:

Fan Brush:








This brush is supposed to be used to either
sweep eyeshadow fall out, or for applying a highlighter.
Seriously? Just use a powder brush and save a few
bucks. No need for this one.







Foundation Brush:




Some people love this brush...I happen to hate it. I end 
up using way too much product and it leave my face uber
streaky, no matter what I do. I usually use my hand,
but when in need of a brush, I reach for a stippling brush.







Sponge Tip Applicators:



I hate these things! They just don't offer the control 
that I want and aren't as precise as a brush. 


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So there you have it! Those are my must-have brushes. I believe the key to a flawless looking face is using the right brushes and the correct technique. Like always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment and I will be prompt and glad to help!

XO