Friday, May 23, 2014

Getting Ready for Summer Tips and Tricks

I doubt most people will be sitting inside reading blog posts this weekend (FINALLY amazing weather has come!), but I just wanted to share five quick beauty/makeup tips to get you ready for summer.

1.  Don't forget to wear sunscreen!  This is not a new or interesting tip, but skin cancer is at an all time high and why wouldn't you want to prevent wrinkles and premature aging if you can?!  Your face makeup may have a little added sunscreen, but it is not generally enough to really protect your skin, so add an extra layer beneath it- your skin will thank you.  There are all kinds of formulas out there (including lotions, creams, powders, gels, you name it), so there are no excuses to get you out of this one.
If you have oily/acne-prone, you should try something that is non-comedogenic (won't clog pores), such as Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral Powder SPF 30 ($30).  If your skin is dry, you should try a formula with added nutrients, like Vitamin E to help keep skin soft and moisturized, like L'Oreal Advanced Suncare Silky Sheer BB Face Lotion 50+ ( $10.99).  If you have sensitive/reactive skin, you should look into a sunscreen that uses physical UV blockers (think zinc) rather than chemical sunscreens which can aggregate skin (try Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Stick SPF 50 ($9.99)).  If you are looking for something to protect your skin and provide anti-aging benefits, try a sunscreen with chemical blockers like Helioplex or Mexoryl SX, which supposedly work wonders.  Give Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum Suncreen SPF 30 ($13.99) a whirl.

2.  Get a good trim and condition your hair!  With all the sun, sand, and beach/pool water you are bound to expose your hair to, you should try to start with as clean a slate as possible.  Go get a trim to clean up those scraggly ends and use as rich of a deep conditioner that your hair can take on a weekly basis.  If you need a DIY hair conditioner recipe, read my post Coconut Oil for Deep Conditioning.

3.  Keep hydrated!  Another no-brainer, but keeping your body well-hydrated will keep your skin, nails, hair- well, everything- in tip-top shape.  Also, a good swipe of lotion all over and a slick of lip balm does wonders:)  Something quick and easy for the summer: Vaseline Spray & Go Total Moisture Spray

4.  Try a bright lip color!  Generally, we all wear less makeup in the summer, but it is a great time to try a nice, juicy shade of lipstick or gloss- you probably have a little tan and a pink, orange or coral will look especially flattering.  Plus, you just need to add a little mascara and you look "done".  Revlon has some inexpensive and amazing options.

5.  Clean out your beauty supplies!  Technically, this does not need to be done at any particular part of the year, but I just thought it would be a good reminder.  Your makeup and skincare products do NOT stay good forever, so do an inventory on what you have that is still good, throw out what is not, and make a list for what you need to replace (or even upgrade!).  Generally speaking, you should chuck mascara whenever it starts getting dried out (3 months max, like a toothbrush!), liquids (like foundations and concealers) after about 6-12 months, and powders (blush, eyeshadow) after a couple years.
And clean your makeup brushes while you are at it:)

I hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, thanks again for reading!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Product Review: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

Hello lovelies! I am trying out a new format for product reviews, so please let me know what you think.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, shown in the color "Carina".

Product: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

Cost:  $22.00

Where to purchase:, Sephora, Ulta

Colors available: Ten colors, ranging from pale pink to deep red and plum

Packaging:  Comes in a lipgloss tube with a doe foot applicator

Feel:  Does not feel thick and sticky like a gloss; kind of a silky, creamy feel when first applied.  After wear for a couple hours, starts feeling dry on the lips.

Finish:  Matte, full coverage

Longevity:  Lasts for up to six hours without budging.  Product may start to fade on the inner part of the lips after eating and needs to be reapplied.

Worth it?  This is probably one of my favorite purchases I have made in awhile makeup-wise.  The color range is beautiful and the staying power is awesome.  My husband likes it because he can still kiss me without getting any lipstick on himself (haha).  I think it is a good buy, but beware- the color clings to your lips, so some scrubbing may be needed when you are ready to take it off.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Tutorial: Super Quick and Easy Smokey Eye

Since I have not posted a tutorial in awhile, I thought I would share this extremely easy and quick look.  It is probably the most fool-proof way of achieving a smokey eye, in my opinion.  You really only need three makeup products to achieve this look.

You will need a cream eyeshadow or cream/gel eyeliner product (I used Stila's Smudge Pot in Brown), a neutral eyeshadow for blending (I used the shade "Tease" from my Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, which is a mauvey-taupe color), and a regular eyeliner pencil in either black or brown (on this day, I used Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Zero).  You will also need two makeup brushes; a flat, synthetic eye shadow brush (a concealer brush will work perfectly if you do not have a synthetic eyeshadow brush) and a small blending brush.  

***This is a side note, but I bought a Wayne Goss flat eyeshadow brush at the Makeup Show last weekend and it is seriously amazing- so soft, and applies product beautifully!  If you are in the market for new makeup brushes, these are pretty nice and are sold in handy kits (eyes, face, etc).***

Anyway, back to to business!

1.  Apply foundation, concealer, complexion products of your choice.  If you are new to the smokey eye technique, you can always start with your eye makeup instead, which allows you to clean up any shadow fall out.  Since we are starting with a cream based product, there really shouldn't be much mess though:)

2.  Dip your flat eyeshadow brush into your cream eyeshadow/eyeliner product.  Using a tiny bit of product, start pressing the eyeshadow color all over your eyelid.  Repeat over entire eyelid and then on the other eye.  Take the skinny side of the brush and the cream shadow and draw a line under your lower eyelids, starting at the inner corner and drawing toward the outer corner.  This does not need to be perfect, since you will be smudging in the next step!

3.  Take your blending brush and start blending all over the eyelid in circular motions.  Blend upward toward the crease of your eyelid, so the color starts looking diffused.  Gently swipe the blending brush back and forth along your lower lash line as well.

4.  Dip your blending brush into a neutral eyeshadow and using a windshield wiper motion, blend the eyeshadow into the crease of your eyelid.  Once again, gently swipe the brush over the lower lash line carefully.

5.  Using your pencil liner, if you wish, line the waterlines of the eyes.  This helps enhance the smoldering effect of the smokey eye look.

6.  Curl lashes and apply your favorite mascara- and groom brows, of course!

There you have it!  Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the products or instructions in this post.  If you try this look, please let me know what you think:)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Product Review: BareMinerals Bare Skin Brightening Serum Foundation

If you are a reader of my blog, you should already be aware of my love for the original BareMinerals powder foundation. I have been using it for about 5 years, as it is the only thing my sensitive, acne-prone skin can handle. When BareMinerals announced their new liquid foundation launch, I ran to my local Sephora to buy it (launch was May 1st). This foundation is unlike any other I have tried. The salesperson at Sephora compared it to the Georgio Armani Maestro foundation, which has a nice, light feel and looks amazing, but contains silicones. If your skin is not sensitive, silicones are not an issue, and actually help give the complexion a smoother finish (for those with more mature skin especially). However, silicones can make sensitive or acne-prone skin react/breakout, so unfortunately they are a no-go for me. Anyway, the Bare Skin foundation feels like a serum; it is not the typical liquid or cream foundation. The ingredients include Vitamin C, which helps brighten the skin, and lilac stem cells, which are antioxidants. In addition to the anti-aging ingredients, titanium dioxide is added as a physical sunscreen (SPF 20), just like in the original BareMinerals formula. The Bare Skin foundation is totally buildable, which means you can obtain anywhere from sheer coverage to full coverage, depending on how much you apply.  To apply, simply shake the bottle, apply 2-6 drops onto a foundation brush (or your hands if you prefer), and blend.  Pretty easy!   Today is my second time wearing this foundation and I have  to tell you, it is awesome! It basically just makes your skin look beautiful and fresh, rather than "makeupy" or cakey. Plus it is feels nice and light on the skin, which I know is a big concern for those who wear foundation. I recommend setting the Bare Skin with a powder (especially if you have oily skin) such as BareMinerals Mineral Veil, to keep everything in place after application. It truly is a great product, in my opinion!The foundation is sold (separately) with a special brush ($28) to allow a perfect application, which works well, but in my opinion you could probably use any foundation brush with it.
The BareSkin Brightening Serum foundation is available in 20 shades and can be purchased for about $29 at Sephora, Ulta or BareMinerals stores.
Me wearing my new fave product! I am wearing the foundation in "ivory". Lipstick is Nars Red Square. 

If you try this out, please let me know your thoughts in the comments section.  I am sorry about the font/formatting of this post, I wrote it on the Blogger app.  

* Update- I think this is a great product, but I did start breaking out while using it.  I went back to the original BM formula, but will keep this in my vanity to use when I want a little more coverage.  Just wanted to be up front with you guys!