Sunday, July 31, 2011

DIY: Pore Strips...

Using pore strips on a regular basis can be quite expensive. Here's a way to save money and still get the same results...


Here's what you'll need:
- 1 tbs of unflavored gelatin
- 1 tbs of milk
- a microwavable container
- and old makeup brush or popsicle stick

Combine the milk & gelatin in the microwaveable container. Microwave for 10 seconds. Stir them together. Use the brush/stick to apply the mixture to your nose. Wait 10 minutes. Then, it will peel off, taking your blackheads with it!!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fashion Friday: July 30, 2011...

Alexander McQueen Suede Finned-Wedge Peep-Toe ($1,050.00...neimanmarcus.com)

Founded by the late English designer Lee Alexander McQueen in 1992, this fashion house quickly gained a reputation for opulent (and sometimes outrageous) bespoke creations. Today the line is under the creative direction of Sarah Burton, who continues the house's tradition of turning out impeccably tailored, beautiful clothes. She created the gown worn by Catherine Middleton as she wed Prince William, becoming the Duchess of Cambridge.

A timeless peep-toe design throws you for a loop with a nipped-in wedge heel and ribbon ankle-strap on this unique shoe by Alexander McQueen. A crucial styling element of Sarah Burton's Pre-Fall collection.

I am in love. These are gorgeous!! You could wear them with jeans or a dress...dress them up or dress them down. They are the perfect fall shoe.


Sprinkle Toes...


I painted my toenails yesterday. Jeremiah says they look like sprinkles. This is so easy to do, and so cute!! Just painted my nails white, picked out a bunch of complimenting colors, and started dotting...I ordered a dotting tool from Sephora last week...


This thing is so fun. You can use it to make sprinkle toes. Or you can use the smaller end to swirl colors together to make a marble effect. The possibilities are endless. All you need is a wide variety of polish and a good imagination. My sister & I have been playing with this tool ($7.00) and some fake nails. I'll post all the different designs in a few days.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Beauty Bargains...

I know I post a lot of high end beauty products on here. Some people are under the impression that I spend way to much on makeup. I wanted to set the record straight. Not everything I buy costs a ton of money. I may do a lot of shopping at Sephora, but I get a lot of stuff on sale or even for free. Sephora has a great sale section on their website. You can get products for 50% off or higher. I ordered a couple eyeliners a few weeks ago, and got them for $1 a piece. You just have to do a little research. For example, when fall starts a lot of companies will mark down bronzers and self-tanners. Also, if you check out sites like retailmenot.com, you can find tons of coupon codes for free samples at places like Sephora and Ulta. You can also checkout allcosmeticswholesale.com for great prices on discontinued and hard to find items. Here are a few of my favorite beauty bargains...


Sephora Flashy Liner (sephora.com...$1.00, originally $8.00)
These are a lot like UD's 24/7 Liner ($18.00). They are waterproof and long wearing. They are also highly pigmented. I have the green and teal ones.


Tokidoki Brillante Glitter Liner (sephora.com...$5.00, originally $14.00)
I have 5 of these liners. They are gorgeous. So pigmented and sparkly. They add the right amount of POW to any look. Plus, they are long wearing and Tokidoki does not test on animals.


Too Faced Blush in La Vie En Rose (allcosmeticswholesale.com...$10.99, originally $20.00)
This is one of my favorite shades. It's a babydoll pink, with slight shimmer. It's a gorgeous way to add subtle color to your cheeks.


Urban Decay Shadows (allcosmeticswholesale.com...$8.99, originally $17.00)
UD makes the best eyeshadow. They are so pigmented, they blend easily, they stay on all day, and they have such a wide variety of shades. They are my favorite!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rave: My MAC Foundation & Powder...

After trying multiple drugstore foundations, and hating the majority of them, I decided to spend a little extra money and try something new. While Jeremiah & I were in Pittsburgh for our weekend away, I stopped by the MAC counter at Robinson and talked to Brittney (my favorite MAC MA). I told her what I wanted a medium to full coverage foundation that didn't heavy and a powder to not only set my foundation, but give me a little extra coverage if I needed it to. Here's what she hooked me up with...

This is MAC's Pro Longerwear SPF 10 Foundation ($29.50). According to maccosmetics.com, this is a long-wear foundation that gives up to 15 hours of wear in any environmental condition. Lightweight and creamy, applies smoothly to provide sheer to medium coverage. Even in hot and humid conditions, controls oil to keep skin fresh, natural and flawless. Provides everyday SPF protection.



This is MAC's Studio Tech Powder Plus Foundation ($26.50). According to maccosmetics.com, it is a  one-step application of foundation and powder. Gives skin a smooth, flawless, all-matte, full-coverage finish. Long-wearing: lasts for up to eight hours. A real all-in-one. The choice of pros, and a long time favourite of M∙A∙C fans.

I've been wearing both products for several weeks now, I will not go back to drugstore brands. Although these products are a bit pricey, they work amazingly. I've gotten so many compliments on my makeup. They last all day, and you use very little product. One pump of foundation will cover my whole face. They hold up under extreme conditions also. I wore them to Vacation Bible School last week during the heat wave and came home looking flawless. My sister wore them to work the other day. After one evening wearing them, she said she's going to purchase both products. What I like most about them is, you can wear them together for great coverage, or separately for a lighter look.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beauty Tricks From Around the World...

Over the millennia, isolated human populations found various ways to keep their hair, nails, and skin in good shape using simple ingredients from the environments around them. Now, with increasing globalization, we have access to a whole world's worth of accumulated beauty knowledge. Keep reading to check out these 10 cool recipes and secret ingredients from spots around the globe.

  • China: Camellia oil Worried about stretch marks? Camellia oil is one of the most common cooking oils in southern China, but it's also renowned for its ability to prevent stretch marks and discoloration.

  • Mexico: Tepezcohuite The bark of this tree has tons of astringent tannins in it, making it great for preventing infections and keeping scars from forming.

  • The Dominican Republic: Garlic Here's a smart secret from the DR for strong, healthy nails: chop up some garlic, throw it in a bottle of top coat, and then, after letting it soak for about a week, start using it as normal. It makes your nails stronger and also has antifungal and antimicrobial properties.

  • India: Neem Want glossy, strong hair? A weekly head massage with neem and coconut oil is Indian women's go-to treatment for gorgeous hair and a healthy scalp. Recipes for the combination have a long history in Ayurvedic medicine.

  • Japan: Sake Want an easy skin softener? Try a sake bath. Sake is high in kojic acid and enzymes that soften skin and help reduce hyper-pigmentation.

  • New Zealand: Manuka honey People have been using honey for its antimicrobial properties (and its deliciousness) since prehistoric times. The Kiwi type of honey, however, is even better as an antibacterial and antimicrobial than the regular kind, and it's even used in poultices to protect wounds.

  • Ghana: Black soap This great Ghanian soap is legendary for its gentle cleansing properties and skin-softening abilities. It's made with plantain skins, which have loads of vitamins A and E, and moisturizing shea butter. What you get is a cleanser that removes dirt and oil but doesn't strip skin of any natural moisture.

  • France: Milk Milk is full of gentle lactic acid, which exfoliates and softens without the harshness of stronger acid types. Pour some fresh whole milk or cream into your bath along with honey or lavender to get a gorgeous glow.

  • Morocco: Argan oil This antioxidant-packed oil is great for hair and skin, and it absorbs much more easily than common skin oils like apricot and avocado.

  • The Amazon: Passion flower oil Passion flower oil, aka maracuja, has been used in the Amazon for thousands of years because of its anti-inflammatory abilities, but it's also high in fatty acids and vitamin C.
  • Sunday, July 24, 2011

    Urban Decay 24/7Waterproof Liquid Liner...


    I'm not a huge liquid liner fan. I have a black one I wear when I'm feeling a little retro. When I saw these reviewed on Temptalia.com, I knew I had to have them. I even dreamt about them (pathetic, I know, don't judge). I took the plunge & ordered a couple...Smog (bronze) & Radium (royal blue). Then I was forced to wait 3 days for Sephora to ship them to me.

    Finally, they arrived. I wore Radium to Vacation Bible School the night I got it. Not only did it hold up in the heat/humidity, it also lasted through getting a bucket of water thrown in my face AND I still had it on when I woke up the next day. These liners are extremely pigmented, and easy to use. I will be ordering more of these. I want every color.

    You can get them at sephora.com or urbandecay.com for $18.00 a piece.

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    New Hair...Blue Hair...


    This is something I've always wanted to do, but never had the guts to go through with. I'm getting gutsy in my old age, so I decided to go for it. A lot of people have been asking about it, so here's what I used...


    I found this Splat Hair Color at Wal-Mart ($9.00). It comes with blue, red, and purple. It also comes with bleach & a highlighting cap. Since my hair is blonde, I didn't have to do the bleaching step. I took the dyes & put them on a plate. I took a bristle brush, dipped in the colors, and brushed it in. You leave it in for a half hour, then shampoo & condition. If the color isn't exactly like you want it, you can do it again. It's super easy. I love the way mine turned out!! I think I'm going to do pink next.

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    Love Urban Decay's 24/7 Eye Pencils? Check This Out!!...


    For their 15th anniversary, UD has released 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Liners.This eyeliner lets you draw waterproof liquid lines so sharp they could cut glass. Urban Decay's slender brush lays down long-lasting matte, slick, and shimmery shades sure to satisfy your color lust. Available in a veritable rainbow of long-lasting, highly-pigmented color options, these shades can be applied in thick or thin strokes with an ultra-fine brush tip that's short and easy enough to control. The slim pens are conveniently color-matched to each shade. (I got the description from sephora.com.) 

    I'm not big on liquid liner, but I'm excited to try these. I ordered Radium (royal blue with silver sparkle...fourth from the left), and Smog (like the shadow in the Naked Palette, bronzey-brown with gold shimmer...seventh from the left). I'll be sure to review them when they get here.

    You can find these at sephora.com for $18.00 a piece.

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Passion Peel Off Pomegranate & Passion Flower Mask...


    This is the best $1.37 I have ever spent. I saw a bunch of different facial masks on an end of an isle at Wal-Mart. I chose this one because it was a peel off one. I did a little research online about this product before I tried it, since the package didn't say too much. I found that Montage Jennesse is a company from England, who uses all natural products, and does not test on animals. We like that.
    After washing & patting my face dry, I applied the Passion Peel Off mask. It smelled delicious. I wanted to lick my face. No joke. But, the package tells you not to eat it...lol. It felt like jelly on my face, and the red color made me look like I had a nasty sunburn. As it dried, it made my face feel tight. After 20 minutes, it peeled away, taking all my dry skin with it. My face looked awesome after using this mask. My skin is so soft. It didn't break me out of harm my skin like other peels have done in the past. I loved this product so much, I made a special trip back to Wal-Mart to pick up some more.
    So, get off the computer, head to the store, and pick up one of these masks. You will love it. Promise.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Benefits of Drinking Water...


    The benefits of drinking water for skin - and body - are numerous. It's true! You've heard it many times before... drink lots of water. But will water really improve the appearance of your skin? While not everyone agrees, in my experience the answer is a resounding yes!

    Many people spend their days in a state of mild dehydration. Consuming far fewer fluids than they should. Water comprises approximately 60% of your body. It's basic for survival. If you're stranded on a deserted isle, find drinking water first.

    Skin is intricately tied to the overall health of your body. When your body is properly hydrated, you'll look better and feel better.
    Adequate water rewards you with...
    • Enhanced health
    • Increased energy
    • Bright, clear eyes
    • A radiant complexion
    In addition, bloating and puffiness often disappear. How does this liquid work its magic? Behind the scenes, water...
    • Carries nutrients to every cell in your body
    • Flushes out nasty toxins
    • Improves circulation and blood flow
    • Lubricates your joints.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette...

    To celebrate their 15 year anniverary, Urban Decay has put out a new palette, featuring 15 brand new, limited edition shades. With just the right balance of neutrals and brights, darks and lights, the 15-Year Anniversary Palette is both versatile and the ultimate UD junkie collection. This set was released today on urbandecay.com, and is sadly already sold out. You can be put on a waiting list (yep, I'm on it). It will set you back $55.00 (which really is a deal, UD eyeshadows retail for $17.00 a piece). I'm dying to get my hands on this thing. I'm so not a patient person, so I hope it comes back in stock soon. Ugh.


    Included in this kit: Deeper (deep shimmery golden brown), M.I.A. (soft shimmery dark brown), Ace (dark gunmetal shimmer), Blackout (darkest, most saturated black), Half Truth (shimmery smoky purple), Tainted (pale matte purple with golden shimmer), Junkshow (bright pink w/fuchsia shift), Omen (shimmery metallic bright purple w/blue shift), Evidence (deep metallic blue), Deep End (bright teal shimmer), Midnight Rodeo (medium metallic brown w/silver and gold glitter), Midnight 15 (oyster pearl w/silver glitter), Vanilla (shimmery white gold), Flow (soft peach shimmer), Chase (metallic bright bronze)





    

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    My Night in Pittsburgh...

    I've been kind of MIA this weekend. It was the tail-end of Jeremiah's vacation week, so we took a little time out for ourselves. We spent Friday night in Pittsburgh. We went to the Pirates game, and did a little shopping. It was so nice to get away. It had been a year & a half since we did something like that.


    I love Pittsburgh. There's something new to do everytime we go up there. We walk all over the city. The restaurants are amazing. It's the #4 city in the US for families (bet you didn't know that...lol). And the best part?? Shopping. You know me, I can't go to the Burgh without hitting up Robinson. I HAD to visit my favorite MAC counter (and Sephora).

    My first stop was at Sephora. Here's what I got from there...


    I'm running low on my Too Faced Shadow Insurance ($18), so I picked up a tube of it. This is the best eye shadow primer, hands down. 

    I love Tweezerman Tweezers. I had the Go Green ones, but the mysteriously disappeared. I think Jeremiah stole them. He loves them as much as I do. So, I picked up these ($15). They are the mini ones. They fit better in my hand. The regular ones are a bit long.


    I was just going to get the 2 items above, because I needed those. But Jeremiah insisted that I get something else (I'm still trying to figure out why he was sucking up...lol). Since I love their polishes so much, I picked this out. It's called "I'm Wired" ($9.50). It's a bright red-coral color. It's a lot brighter than it looks in the pic. I love it with my tan. If you're a polish lover, you have to try Sephora by OPI. My mom raves about it all of the time. She wore it to the beach 2 weeks ago, and it still looks good.

    After, my mini Sephora spree, I stopped by MAC. I've tried a ton of their color products (eye shadows, blush, lipsticks, liners, highlighters), but I've been dying to try foundation & powder. The MA (makeup artist) there was very patient & helpful. They were swamped, and she took the time out to explain the different types, and she even had me take my makeup off so she could try different foundations on me. Here's what I ended up with...


    MAC Pro Longwear Foundation ($29.50)
    I wish I would've stop buying drugstore foundations and started using this a long time ago. This is a medium to ful coverage foundation (depending on how light you go). It's so light feeling. There's nothing worse than feeling like you're wearing a mask. It contains spf 10, and stays on for up to 15 hours. I slept in mine the other night, and when I got up, it was still on. It may seem a little expensive, but one tiny pump covers my whole face. I am in love.

    MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation ($26.50)
    I love this product. It can be worn by it's self or over foundation, depending on the coverage you want. It's light weight and easy to blend. This is a must for celebrity makeup artists, so of course I had to try it. So far, so good. It makes my skin look amazing.




    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    Household Beauty Tricks...

    Lots of us today are just plain tired of throwing away big bucks on beauty products that simply don’t work as advertised. Rather than throwing more good money after bad, some women today are pulling out products that they already have on hand to make their own beauty products. Here are some of my favorites:


    Tip #1 – Repair dry, damaged hair with an avocado conditioner made right in your own kitchen. Cut the avocado into small pieces and throw into your blender, food processor, or Magic Bullet. Mix in one-half cup of mayonnaise or a few tablespoons of olive oil. Next, wash and towel the hair. Apply the conditioner liberally and work it throughout the hair using a wide tooth comb. Cover it with a shower cap and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Rinse, dry, and style as usual.
    Tip #2 – Lighten skin discoloration while you soften it by adding buttermilk to your bath water. Between a pint and a half-quart is more than enough to do the trick. You can also add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil to make a luxurious spa treatment that your skin will love.
    Tip #3 - Keep your heart healthy by eating chocolate. But not just any chocolate will do, and you can’t eat as much of the sweet confection as you might like! According to various studies, a couple of squares of unsweetened or semi-sweet dark chocolate a day will do the trick.
    Tip #4 – Use old coffee grounds to chase away unsightly cellulite. Apply the grounds directly to the affected area, then wrap it with kitchen plastic wrap. Let the grounds sit in place for about 30 minutes. Remove the wrap and wash away the grounds. Repeat the treatment regularly to continue fading the marks.
    Tip #5 - Make your own facial mask with honey, yogurt, and bananas. Mix one-half cup of plain yogurt with one tablespoon of raw honey and one-quarter mashed banana. Blend well in a blender, food processor, or Magic Bullet. Apply the mixture liberally to the freshly cleansed skin of the face and neck. Let the mask sit for between 15 and 20 minutes. Rinse the mask off with cool water, pat dry, and go.
    Tip #6 – Make your own facial scrub by mixing the juice of one orange with a few tablespoons for cornstarch and a few grains of kosher salt. Apply the scrub to the face and neck area, working it in gently with small circular motions. Then rinse the skin, pat it dry, and apply your normal skin care regimen.
    Tip #7 - Use a dab of olive oil to freshly shampooed hair to add shine and youthful vitality. About a nickel size portion should be enough for short to chin-length hair. A quarter’s portion may be required for longer tresses. Just pour the oil into the center of your hands and then rub them together. Work the oil throughout the hair. Follow up by using a wide tooth comb to make sure the oil is evenly distributed. Let sit in place for between 10 and 20 minutes. Rinse with cool water, dry, and style as usual.
    Tip #8 - Get rid of the old dead, flaky skin on your feet and heels with a homemade foot scrub made from strawberries. Blend about a dozen strawberries together with one teaspoon of kosher salt and your favorite essential oil or some olive oil from the kitchen. Apply the scrub to the feet, rubbing it in thoroughly with strong, circular motions. Next, soak feet in Epsom salt for about 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse, dry, and apply the moisturizing cream of your choice.
    Tip #9 – Make that green cast on your hair that is caused by too much pool chlorine go away with a tomato juice rinse. Simply wash the hair normally. Then apply the tomato juice straight from the can. Work throughout the hair using a wide tooth comb. Cover and let sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then rinse, condition, dry, and style as usual.
    Tip #10 - Help cleanse and detangle hair easily with vinegar. It has been used for decades as a natural hair rinse. It will remove product build-up from hairspray, mousse, gel, and other hair setting lotions while it also works to keep the hair from tangling. Simply mix equal parts of vinegar together with water. After shampooing the hair, apply your normal conditioner and rinse. Then add the vinegar mixture and work it through the hair to the ends. Rinse again, dry, and style as normal.

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    Rant: Maybelline Fit Me Foundation...

    After running low on L'Oreal True Match, I decided to try Maybelline Fit Me Foundation ($7 at Wal-Mart). My sister uses it, and loves it. I picked up color 225, which is the exact match for my L'Oreal N4. I was so excited to try this. After trying it, my excitement faded fast.
    First of all, the consistency was weird. It's a medium coverage, but I found it to be a little too watery. The color turned a bit orange on my skin. I don't understand how it can be an exact color match to what I had been using, but show up on my skin like an Oompa Loompa. It also made my skin greasy. I have normal skin. It never gets oily. By the end of the day in this foundation, my face had broken out. It was awful. I've tried it with different moisturizers & primers, but still got the same results. So, I'll be giving mine to my sister and trying something else.

    **Please keep in mind, this was just my experience. You might end up loving it. Everyone is different. So, we'll all have different results.**

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Temporary Tattoos For Your Lips...


     
    I was watching Kandee Johnson's 4th of July video yesterday (click here to watch it). She was showing all kinds of crazy Patriotic looks. Her lips looked like an American flag. She mentioned the product "Violent Lips". She showed the package, but didn't go into detail. So, I went investigating.  

    I checked out violentlips.com. The website states Violent Lips are safe for Ages 3+, Vitamin enhanced and lasts 4-8 hours depending on skin type and care. The product is FDA approved, contains no animal products and is tested on supermodels, not animals. You apply them just like the temporary tattoos you had as a kid. They are easily removed with baby oil. How cool are these?! The 45 designs range from mild to wild, and come in packs of 3. The cost ranges from $10-$16.

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    Summer Beauty Courtesy of Victoria's Secret...

    When I think of a typical place to purchase beauty products for this time of year, Victoria's Secret is probably the last place that would come to mind. After a couple of random shopping trips, I've stumbled upon two great product I want to share with you...

    Soft & Tousled Wave Enhancing Spray ($14.00)
    I'm a sucker for wave enhancing products. I've tried a billion of them. I love not having to blow dry and style my hair, especially after having Odin. This is by far one of the best. It's light weight, doesn't make your hair crunchy, and the smell is amazing. A few sprays on damp hair & you'll look like you spent the day at the beach. This has replaced my Herbal Essence Tousle Me Softly.


    Instant Self Tan Lotion With Tint ($12.00)
    This reminds me of L'Oreal Sublime Bronze, minus the fake tan smell. The color is beautiful, and didn't leave me looking orange. It's dark brown in color, so you can see exactly where it goes. It also has a hint of gold shimmer. But don't worry, you won't look like a disco ball. Plus, shimmer disguises cellulite. This stuff dries quickly, and doesn't transfer onto my clothes. I love this product.

    Saturday, July 2, 2011

    I Haven't Forgotten About You...

    Hey, dolls!! I'm so sorry for the long break!! Just wanted to give you a quick update. I went to the doctor this past week, she put me on new medication & it's been making me sick. I haven't felt like doing anything but laying on the couch, so that's why I haven't been blogging. On the up side, I lost 10 pounds (not the ideal way to lose it, but I'll take it...lol). Since Jeremiah is on vacation, I should be able to sneak away & post this evening. Please check back.