Sunday, August 26, 2012

Magazine Articles, Blog Posts Galore ... Recommending Products You'd Need Millions to Score?!

Okay, so does it bother anyone else when you read real people magazines and articles and online posts about makeup, hair, pretty much anything beauty and they recommend products WAY out of our budget? I just got an e-mail today from a website that discusses everything beauty and fashion. They e-mail you articles and I got one today with basically your go-to products for specific events that a clutch is more practical over a big purse for. The tips were super interesting and helpful. They recommended specific products you'd need for certain events like petal heel inserts for a night out and mini mascaras for wedding tears and even the ideal style clutch for each event. I found the article both informative and helpful.

What I didn't like though was for each event they suggested a clutch-ful of products for, they included a picture and recommended products below. Some of the items just baffled me. For example, the mascara duo they recommend for a wedding was $24 and for the night out clubbing, all-over shimmer for $22. I get it some of you may have the budget to run out and grab those things for events that will cost you money already (you've heard of the whole "buying you and your guest's dinner plates as your gift amount minimum and price of drinks while you're out? Not cheap!) or you may even have these items at home, but what about the rest of us?

Another example. I just love when magazines take gorgeous, runway outfits and show us how to shop in our malls and get a $5,000 runway look for $500 (if you're lucky), but even $1,000 beats the hell out of a $5,000 head to toe look. But come on! People who have a random $500-$1,000 laying around to go recreate that have-to-have look are the only ones interested in fashion? No. And I get it they show you a picture of the runway look and the "discount" look so you can hit discount stores, consignment shops, and thrift stores to try to piece it together yourself. But why the hell is it so hard to give us a third look in the magazine? I know, you'd be shrinking two looks where stores are named and I'm sure are paid advertisement, but you'd be helping the rest of us. Tell us how we can get something similar to that look cheaper. Recommend pieces that we'd probably already have in our wardrobe: a black tank for example would be like $150 in the runway look and $48.50 from some store ... don't most of us own a black tank? Or could find one at Target for like $10 ... or Walmart for $5! Please, we're not stupid and you'd get more loyal readers and subscriptions if you recommended things we could actually consider. A third look wouldn't kill the magazines. I know I'd be much more likely to buy regularly or subscribe if these magazines offered more than "10 Dirty Things Your Man Wish You'd Do" ... please I can find that elsewhere ... like talking to my man! Give us more out of your magazines than ads after ads and articles that make us drool over things we'll never afford!

That's why I just love First magazine. I know this sort of seems like a plug for them, but I mean it. It's not so much fashion as it is health, wellness, beauty, home-life tips that actually affect everyday people ... and things you can afford! I have my guilty-pleasure magazines as much as the next girl, but something that can actually be useful in my life? Yes, please!

I'd love to hear my readers' thoughts on this article. I know many of you love your magazines and maybe you have or haven't thought of this, but I'd love to hear if I'm the only one that feels this way. Like thanks for recommending what people with great careers can afford, but what about students, minimum wage workers, people on fixed incomes? We count too!

Here's the link to the article on "Evening Purse Essentials" from
And, I've provided this link before, but in case anyone is interested again: First for women Magazine

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pretty Little Liars? More like "Pretty Little Makeup Addicts" ... ;)

which is just fine by me! I've recently been watching old seasons of television shows on Netflix at home and just got into Pretty Little Liars from ABC Family. I was afraid it was going to be kind of stupid and young for me, but it's actually really a great show. It's got drama and makes your heart race and makes you really root for relationships ... oh and it makes you super jealous of their makeup looks! If you're looking for a new show to watch, I'd definitely give them a try!

Anyway, back to the point of this blog post: Pretty Little Liars makeup looks. I was searching online about their makeup looks and found a link with an interview from the head makeup artist of the show, Cindy Miguens. She basically describes the personality of the characters and the makeup looks that go with them. It was interesting to hear, well read, about what went into the thought process of creating the girls' looks and how they executed them.

I'll include the link to that article from, but this post is about my 2 favorites, look-wise anyway. Hanna and Aria are so very different. Hanna is pop-bubblegum while Aria is dark-mysterious, but I just love both of their looks, from head to toe. Hanna always has a smokey eye and super luscious lips, which I adore. Aria has the dark, sexy look going, with the deep brunette hair, generally fairly simple, but dark eye makeup, and a subtle, yet noticeable lip. Hanna always wears super magazine-cover friendly outfits, while Aria looks like she goes estate and/or thrift shopping to piece together a killer (no pun intended), chic, old-yet-new look. I love both of their looks completely and think each of the girls' characters fit the looks they are given.

In the picture below, found in a Google Image Search, is Hanna at her prime. A little less girly than typical in the show, she still has her nails done, hair flawlessly messy-chic, and her ever-seductive smokey eyes and soft, sexy lip. And of course, in a gorgeous dress and heels.


In the pictures below, also found in a Google Image Search, is Aria, in all her many style-forms. She rocks an edgy, almost punk look in a super stylish way. She also wears clothes you would find in the special brand-name sections of department stores, and then below, in the pink dress, she rocks a Betsey Johnson dress and the necklace, Betsey Johnson too! Punk princess, edgy glam, and so much more could be used to describe her ever-changing style ... which I just love!  And her hair and makeup? Stylish, classic, and perfect from day-to-night, school-to-going out and pretty easy to recreate. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

*New Product Alert* from e.l.f. cosmetics

I just wanted to make a quick little announcement for all my beauty lovers out there, especially those that love killer beauty deals. Many of my fellow makeup addicts know about e.l.f. cosmetics and their amazing deals and I know anyone who has followed my blog at all has certainly heard of them. Anyway e.l.f. cosmetics shared a picture today through Instagram on Facebook of a new product they 're releasing soon: 

e.l.f. cosmetics Pressed Mineral Eye Shadow!  I am so so so excited for these. They come in ADORABLE packaging and remind me of MAC's shadows' package. Here's hoping they're highly pigmented, gorgeous colors!

I'll keep my readers posted once I find them in stores and see how they work! Fingers crossed.

Picture from e.l.f. cosmetics on Facebook through Instagram. Follow them on Instagram at OfficialElfCosmetics!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

School's Starting ... Flawless Face For Under $20.00!

Well August is officially coming to an end signaling cooler weather and of course, back to school! Whether you're starting a new chapter in your life and heading off to high school or college for the first time, going back to school after years of working and you've finally figured out your calling, or simply heading back for another just another year, why not look your absolute best? Especially if you can do so for under $20.00 for a flawless face!

I am going to show you how to create an even, flawless, face using a handful of drug store and dollar store cosmetics to keep you face, from primer to powder to blush and bronzer under $20. I know most girls have their go-to mascara and eye look and have more lip glosses than they could count. However, the most common problem I've come across is ladies of all ages not knowing how to create that billboard-worthy, flaw-free face. And as my readers know well, I have had and will have plenty of posts on different eye looks and lip looks and I will happily take questions in my comments or on my Facebook page if you'd like to know tips on a full-face or a particular eye and/or lip look ... especially how to do it inexpensively. For now, a picture-perfect face:

1. NYC New York Color Smooth Skin Perfecting Primer (Shade 684 - only comes in 1 shade) $3.99
2. Hard Candy Glamoflauge heavy duty concealer (medium - found at Walmart) $6.00
3. NYC Smooth Skin Liquid Makeup with Vitamins A & E (my shade is #679 Soft Beige) $2.99
4. NYC Smooth Skin Loose Face Powder (#741A Translucent) $2.99
5. L.A. Colors Pressed Powder (BPP320 Nude - found at Dollar Trees & Family Dollars) $1.00
6. L.A. Colors expressions Bronzer w/ Brush (in Bronze Glow- Dollar Tree) $1.00
7. L.A. Colors expressions Blush w/ Applicator (in Berry Plum-Dollar Tree) $1.00
For a grand total of: $18.97!
- Begin by applying the primer to your face. Make sure your face is clean and moisturized, but let any moisturizer absorb fully before applying anything else. If you don't, as the moisturizer absorbs, it'll pull anything else on your face in with it, causing your makeup to disappear and clog your pores.
- Next apply the Hard Candy concealer to any areas you'd like extra coverage on. For me, I cover redness, under-eye circles, and any blemishes. This concealer is not kidding when they say "heavy duty" so a little does a lot! Keep that in mind.
- Then apply the foundation to your entire face to give a blended, even coverage and look. Use a stippling application technique to apply to makeup, not spread/paint it on. Stippling in this sense, by definition, means to apply paint, powder, etc. to something with many light dabs. Essentially, apply the foundation by quickly dabbing the makeup on your face repeatedly until achieving desired coverage.
- Using a powder brush, apply the loose powder by dabbing it on over your foundation to set your makeup. The one I recommended above is translucent, meaning it has no color, so it does NOT add any coverage or color; it merely sets liquid makeup.
- *This step is NOT necessary; I just prefer it.* I take a powder brush and apply a pressed powder in a matching shade, like L.A. Colors Pressed Powder, in nude for me, to give the entire face a finished look. It helps set the liquid makeup with the loose powder while absorbing any oil and/or sweat. It also gives a last layer or barrier of coverage and color which I always appreciate.
- This step is optional as well, but I recommend it. Here is where you apply the bronzer. Many people are afraid of bronzer or feel it always looks fake or orange. The key is finding a natural shade and applying it accurately. Take a bronzer or powder brush and apply it in the shape of a "3". Begin in the center of your forehead, wrap around the outer corner of your eye and come in over your cheek bone, back out and around your mouth and finish in the center of your chin. Repeat on the opposite side. Run the brush down your nose and lightly brush over your forehead and chin again. Essentially, you want it look like the bronzer is where the sunlight would hit your face naturally for a sun-kissed look.
- Apply your blush now. I recommend L.A. Colors in "Berry Plum" for the perfect fall shade. It's also what I have on in the pictures below. Feel free to use another color if you'd like, but for the upcoming season and clothing colors, it'll be a great color for just about everyone. Apply the blush in an upward motion from the apples of your cheeks outward to your hairline. Bring the color up around your eye, essentially the temple area, for a contoured, professional look.
... and voilà! You are camera ready ... and certainly hallway ready! Strut your stuff knowing your face will be the envy of the class! Lots of love and remember any questions about this or any other looks are more than welcomed! Comment below or visit me on Facebook, my loves!
Full face (ignore eyes & lips for above post)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Subtle Saturdays!

Hello, my loves, and Happy Saturday! Today is the final day in August 2012 beauty week and the next beauty week, in September, will be when I've just begun cosmetology school so exciting things are coming! Anyway, Saturdays are Subtle Saturdays in my blog beauty week and today is no exception. Whether you had a Friday Night Out and are having a Saturday Night In, or vice versa, I'm going to help you today with some subtleties, meaning small things that make the big difference in your look.

Subtle Saturdays (#2 August 18, 2012)

1. Brows. This is number one because it's one of the most important and most forgotten parts of a full face routine. I mentioned this briefly in yesterday's post since Fierce Friday's focus wasn't brows so I'll elaborate a little more here. Full brows are in style according to the trends in fashion and makeup for Fall 2012, meaning no more pencil-thin brows. Your eyebrows frame your eyes and help give structure to your face and whether you have the blondest blonde or the blackest black brows, age/waxing/tweezing and more cause thinning. Whether you have some holes in your brows, the tail ends have started thinning out, the shade of your brow hair color is fading, whatever your case may be, touch them up! Maintaining your brows isn't simply keeping them from looking like you were finally found after being stranded on an island for months; it's keeping them clean, neat, full, and even. And face facts: if you're out of high school, you probably need a little assistance. Waxes, gels, powders, pencils and more are out there to keep your brows looking perfect and staying that way for the day!

2. Lips. This one will never cease to amaze me. Watch your favorite TV shows, especially with younger characters, look around you in the mall and grocery store, or at least think for a minute and tell me what you notice everyone seems to just forget. THEIR LIPS! You take all that time to conceal, blend, set, highlight, contour your face, then your eyes, whether you simply swipe on some mascara or do the whole nine yards. And then after all that you say, "ahh screw the lips"? No. Not okay. You don't have to go crazy with it and wear some super noticeable, red, sexy look. But simply forgetting them is NOT okay either. You look unfinished, like you just forgot something. There's simple solutions out there too: nude lipsticks, sheer glosses, tinted chap stick for crying out loud! There is NO excuse to doing a full face of makeup and just leaving your lips out. Your lips are where you speak, and smile, and kiss, and so much more from .. don't leave them out!

3. Blush. I understand the thought here why many forgo cheek color. I have too too too much redness in my face, especially my cheeks and I know I'm not alone in that at all. You spend all that time applying primer tinted to reduce redness, then concealing the redness, then blending that out with the rest of your skin, then setting all your work and now you're supposed to add color back to your cheeks?! The answer is yes. When you successfully cover your redness (or whatever else you may be concealing), you are left with an even, smooth canvas. And I know once you find the right products and application techniques to achieve this, it's a godsend ... but you can't stop there. If you don't add some sort of cheek color, you look washed out. No one in the world, not even a baby with perfectly untouched skin that you envy, has an exactly even skin tone. It's just not natural. And if you choose to forget the blush, you look undone, washed out .. like you're going for the living-dead look. Find a shade that's natural and complimentary to your skin tone and the other makeup you're going to wear, not one that will fight with your eyes or lips. As you get more comfortable adding color to the same place you just hid color, experiment with different cheek colors. Blush is honestly one of my favorite portions of cosmetics and there was a time I never ever thought I'd say that, but it's true!

4. CORRECT shade choice of foundation. Oh boy, is this a big one! It amazes me walking through drug stores and even department stores and seeing how people think they choose the correct color. I've seen matching to the under side of the wrist, matching directly to their face in the cheek area, matching to the top side of the hand, and more. Wrong, wrong, wrong! And it's not even your fault! Magazines, home shopping channels, and many other places you turn are all giving different, conflicting advice as to how to match your color to your skin tone. Here is how, and it's a two-parter:
  • Begin along your jawline. When you apply your foundation, it needs to match along your jaw and into your neck. Your face gets more sun than your neck, obviously, so matching to your face alone will inevitably leave a line once your makeup meets your neck. The first step is to figure out your undertones: are you cool (pink) or warm (yellow). Next, choose 2-3 shades around your skin tone and run a swatch from the bottom of your cheek, down your jawline, into your neck. Place all 3 swatches next to each other and the one that seems to "disappear" is the right one.
  • Also!!! Make sure when the makeup is on, your chin matches your collarbone and chest (cleavage) area. When someone looks at you dead-on, if your face is a different shade or undertone than your natural skin on your chest, it stands out! Don't forget that when finding the right makeup color, there are TWO key points!!!

Well I know that's only 4 tips, but they are certainly not short ones so I won't dump a huge book on you for Subtle Saturdays. These are just a few crucial points that are truly "subtle" differences that will make a HUGE impact on your look! I hope you find them helpful and if you have any questions about them or anything else comment away or come find me on Facebook!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fierce Fridays!

TGIF! It is the weekend! Now since this is Friday and in my monthly beauty week Fridays are Fierce Fridays, I want to help all my gorgeous girls and style-conscious men work their own version of fierce every weekend. It is officially the end half of August, which means school will be starting in 2-3 weeks for most of us and for anyone and everyone else that doesn't have a "back-to-whatever" event, Fall isn't too far away! Whether you're gearing up to dress-to-impress for classes or just getting ready for all the autumn looks arriving, you certainly want to look fierce doing it, right?!

Of course you do! BUT, I know you don't want to drain an entire paycheck to do it. Doesn't it sound just WONDERFUL to sneak out of work a little early and pamper yourself before the weekend plans? Hit your salon or spa to get a mani/pedi, touch up your color, try a new color, or get some low-lights for the Fall season? How about a quick wax to make your eyebrows perfect since the fall trend is full, natural brows?
I have to stray off topic quickly and mention, THANK GOODNESS FULL BROWS ARE BACK for the Fall 2012 trends! I'm not talking bush, cave woman, au natural look, but you don't need to look like you drew a line ... the thickness of a pencil ... to create eyebrows. Eyebrows are an ESSENTIAL portion of your look. They frame not only the eyes, but the entire face as well. Believe me, do your makeup from soup to nuts and leave your eyebrows undone and look in the mirror: you will look completely unfinished from just that one thing! And if you weren't blessed with full brows or have over-tweezed or waxed, remember there's plenty of products to help with that, from serums to help the hair regrow to pencils, waxes, and powders.

Anyway, what about getting your makeup done to save yourself the time getting ready tonight? Spend it, oh I don't know, drinking a glass of wine while you dress instead of rushing around with a curling iron in one hand and a mascara wand in the other, tripping on the wire. I know sounds fabulous to be spoiled and pampered, doesn't it? I also know you're thinking, "Sure, how in the hell would you like me to afford all that ... and even be able to consider going out tonight to show it all off?", aren't you? Well, lovey, I will tell you how!

I, as most of you know, FINALLY am getting to cosmetology school this fall! My orientation is on September 4th and classes begin on the 10th. There are different stages in cosmetology school based on how much you've learned and how much supervised work you're able to preform on live clients. Well eventually when you reach the "senior level", you do any and every salon service available on live clients to get the most practice in a real-life environment, all under the supervision of experienced teachers, aka professionals in the field.

These clients are you. People who want salon services can go to most local cosmetology schools for a full menu of salon services, done by students under the supervision of their teachers, at a discounted rate. I know the school I will be attending says about their prices that they "charge for the reasonable cost of materials and products", meaning you're not paying the crazy salon prices for the salon name. And you'd be surprised: many of the schools have a beautiful, state-of-the-art student salon and you'll still feel like you're being pampered, without the headache of hundreds of dollars to do it!

Quick example at my school for anyone to walk in:
(*List of schools & links to their sites below for Delaware County, PA*)

Haircolor (shampoo, conditioner, any style)- $20.00
Haircut (same as above) - $8.00
Brow Wax - $5.00
Makeup Application - $10.00
Spa Mani/Pedi (Hand & Arm Massage, Foot & Leg Massage, Mask, Polish) - $24.00
_____________________________________________ Totaling: $67.00

Where the hell can a woman get a single process color, cut and style for under $70.00? And this includes hair, nails (with a massage!), wax, and makeup ... for $67.00!

Men's Haircut (Shampoo, Conditioner, Any Style)- $5.00
Basic Manicure (Hand & Arm Massage, Mask, Polish Optional-Clear)- $5.00
___________________________________________Totaling: $10.00

Most men's haircuts at discount, in-and-out places cost $8-$10 alone. They offer basic facials, waxing, and more for men as well!

And kids cuts: $3.00!!!

This way you can completely pamper yourself and still let hubby and kids in on it too .. all for under $100! It's the perfect way to treat everyone after a long, hard week or to get them all ready for back to school without pouring that whole paycheck into a salon.

Visit Google and look up some local cosmetology schools near you. Check out their sites and see if they offer a "guest menu" online or call the schools to find out the services they offer, prices, and hours. Often they only take color appointments up to 2 hours before they close since the services take a little longer since they are being preformed by the students. Many schools take walk-ins, but if you need a certain service at a specific time and they take appointments, make one. In today's economy everyone is looking for the best deal so they are often busy places!

Local to my area: Delaware County, PA

Empire Beauty School Guest Services (Springfield, PA)
- They also have an Exton campus too

Jean Madeline Aveda Institutes Client Menu
Jean Madeline Aveda Institutes' Local Campuses List

Venus Beauty Academy (Sharon Hill and Aston, PA)
Venus Beauty Academy Clinic Menu

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Teaching Thursday!

Happy Thursday, aka: the day to let you know the weekend is finally not so far away! As you probably remember from last month, today is all about teaching! Once a month, for a week in the middle of the month, I host a beauty week for my blog. Each day gets its own theme, Thursday being Teaching Thursday, where I give a mini lesson a technique for makeup application and so much more. Since many of my readers will be going back to school in a few short weeks or maybe beginning a new job after graduating this summer, or have a fall wedding coming up, I thought this lesson would be perfect for my readers and beyond since this applies to a large group of people. Without any further adieu:

Teaching Thursdays (#2 August 16, 2012)

For Teaching Thursday in my second installment of beauty week, August edition, I will be covering ... drum roll please ... TATTOO COVERAGE ... AND FOR UNDER $15! For those of you who have ever looked into this and the products on the market designed for tattoo covering, you know the individual concealer can run well into $20-$30, not to mention the foundation/body makeup and setting powder you'd need to get it to look natural. Anyway, I will include a list of items used, step-by-step directions, with step-by-step pictures so you can see for yourself! My husband volunteered to be my model so thank you very much to him for letting me play with makeup on him!

Products Used:
- Hard Candy Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer with Concealer Pencil (I used "Medium 313") - $6.00 (can be found at Walmart)
- NYC (New York Color) Smooth Skin Liquid Makeup in "Classic Beige" - $2.99 (Walmart)
- NYC (New York Color) Loose Setting Powder in "Translucent" - $2.99 (Walmart)
- L.A. Colors Expressions Pressed Powder in "Nude" - $1.00 (Dollar Tree)
- e.l.f. Professional Foundation Brush - $1.00 (Dollar Tree)
- e.l.f. Essential Powder Brush - $1.00 (, Dollar Tree, Kmart, Target)
For a grand total of: $14.98 (plus applicable taxes in your area + shipping if ordered online)

*Keep in mind if you already have a foundation brush, powder brush, foundation and/or powders you are happy with, you may only have to buy the Hard Candy Concealing set. I just wanted to let all my readers know exactly what I used in case you don't have success with your own products so you know what to buy without breaking the bank.*

1. Make sure the area is clean and dry. I used a baby wipe on it first to remove any dirt, oil, and/or impurities and allowed it to dry.

2. Take the Hard Candy Concealer Pencil and line the outline and boarders of the tattoo and then fill in between the lines, coloring over the tattoo.

3. Take the Hard Candy Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer and apply it to the area using the foundation brush. Use a "stippling" application technique, meaning you essentially dab the brush repeatedly and quickly over the area. Painting it on can end up removing makeup you had already applied or just moving around the concealer instead of applying it for good coverage.

4. Take the NYC Foundation and apply it over the concealer to give a blended look so it can be smoothed into the skin. Apply this using the stippling technique as well to avoid moving and/or removing work you've already done.

5. Now, apply the loose powder to set the makeup using a powder brush. Again, don't "paint" it on, rather dab over as if you are pressing the powder into the skin.

*This is how the tattoo looked after 1 layer, so I needed a second one.*
6. This step may vary for you depending on how dark your tattoo is. As you can see from the original picture, some places on the skull are very dark, like the eye sockets, so I did a second layer of product for coverage. If yours is lighter or you just feel you have enough coverage, this is the point where you'd apply your pressed powder for the finishing touch to have a natural, blended look and fully set your work. Remember to use (especially for this final touch) a powder that matches your skin tone IN THAT AREA, not just a face powder unless it matches!!!

7. I reapplied a second layer, skipping the concealing pencil. I applied Hard Candy Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer, followed by the NYC Foundation, using the stippling technique for both. I applied the Translucent setting powder, followed by the pressed powder to match the skin tone.

And there you have it! You can go get that tattoo you've always wanted and know you can cover it for special events rather inexpensively. You can keep the tattoo concealed while you're in the process of having it removed without going into any more debt, since tattoo removal is painful, physically AND financially. And if you're sticking with what you've got, but have one in a hard to hide location, this post is for you! It doesn't take too long, many of the products you may already have, and even buying it all, it still doesn't cost much.

Give it a try and let me know how it works for you! If you have any questions, suggestions, and/or tips for tattoo concealing let me and all of the readers know!

*My husband didn't remove the makeup for about 6 hours and it didn't fade or sweat/melt off so you know you'll be good for awhile.*

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wellness Wednesday!

Welcome to Wellness Wednesday ... August 2012 edition! As you know from last month, today is the day for fun tips for general well being. Some tips will be beauty geared, others will just be for feeling good overall. Each month on Wellness Wednesday, I find my tips from First for women magazine. They offer tons of tips for first aid, beauty, health, fitness, and saving money while you take care of you. It's a super affordable magazine at generally $2.50 per issue, but you can subscribe for one year of issues for just about $20.00, saving you over 50% per issue! Visit First magazine online or your local magazine rack to get all the amazing information they pack into each issue, as I only share a tidbit of what they have to offer!

Wellness Wednesday (#2 August 15, 2012)
(Tips from "Special Walmart Edition of First for women magazine dated August 20, 2012)

1. Ever experience facial swelling in the warm summer months? Well First tells us "Dehydrating can cause the lymphatic system to become sluggish, which can result in facial swelling." Dr. Hunter recommends that you "pop an ice cube in your mouth and hold it against the roof of your mouth with your tongue for about a minute." Dr. Fusco says that "we have ultra sensitive nerves in the roof of our mouth, which are connected to the blood vessels in our face. Ice triggers these nerves to cause constrictions in the vessels, reducing swelling from the inside out." (Found on page 17)

2. Notice your gorgeous locks become brassy in summer months? Well that's because the sunlight (UV rays) break down "violet and blue pigments in color-treated hair, causing it to take on a yellow or orangey tinge." No one likes spending their hard earned money to beautify their hair, which is one of the top features men list as things they are first attracted to on women, to go have a nice day at the beach and come home with faded hair. First's surprising fix? "Sprinkle Kool-Aid mix into your conditioner. The powder's dyes replenish cool-toned pigments to neutralize brassiness and restore hair to a rich, beautiful hue. To do: Mix a pinch of powder (purple for blondes, blue for brunettes) into 2 Tbs. of conditioner. Comb through wet hair, wait 5 minutes, then rinse." Killer tip that I just HAD to share. Think of how much money and time this will save to avoid touch-ups!!! (Page 18)

3. Flaky scalp from all that excess oil during the summer? First tells us that "instead of using a dandruff shampoo, which can leaves strands parched, mix 4 drops of rosemary oil and 1 tsp. of olive oil, massage into scalp for 3 minutes, then rinse. The anti fungal compound alpha-pinene heals dandruff while olive oil's rich fatty acids hydrate the hair. (Page 18)

4. Fun Food Facts:
- Jalapenos have a unique compound that gives them their spicy flavor, capsaicin, which prompts cells to burn stored fat for energy. Researchers at the University of Maryland found they, along with anaheims, or milder banana peppers "can raise metabolic rate by 25% for 3 hours straight."
- Shrimp give the body a TON of omega-3 fatty acids. "A serving of four large shrimp packs 32% more omega-3 fatty acids than an equivalent amount of cod, haddock, and pike. Omega-3's jump start the body's production of leptin. A study at Italy's University of Milan revealed that this hormone increases the body's ability to burn fat by 200%, essentially emptying fat cells of their stores so they shrivel up." Go get that shrimp cocktail, huh?!
- We all know green tea is great for us, but do we realize how good it truly is? "Sipping 24 oz. of iced green tea daily can double weight loss on any diet plan - and chase away fatigue in just 5 days. Polyphenols in the brew help fire up fat-burning enzymes in cells. Hint: Add a squeeze of lemon to boost the absorption of green tea's active ingredients by 80%!" Yummy! (Pages 24-25)

5. Thick thighs (or not so thick thighs) chafing in shorts in summer's heat? First recommends "Apply a diaper rash cream directly to inflamed skin. The cream works for you the same way it does for a baby. The thick emollients form a protective barrier and reduce irritation-causing friction, so thighs glide past each other." They recommend A+D Original Ointment since it contains petroleum (to moisturize), lanolin (feels cool on the skin), and cod liver oil (which is rich in cell-repairing vitamin A). (Page 13)

6. Tiny tan lines left over from your swim suit? First suggests "a tan towel. Unlike lotions or sprays that drip and run, these cloths give you more control in small areas so you know exactly where you're applying the tanner. For the most even coverage, look for small towels infused with alpha hydroxy acids and vitamin D.) (Page 14)

7. And last, but certainly not least, plan summer parties in blues and greens! "Layers of blue and green turn any outdoor spot into your own Eden. According to color expert Stacy Garcia, green inspires feelings of refreshment while blue slows breathing and heart rate for maximum tranquility", according to First. Hence the color theme of this post so you could read helpful tips in a relaxing fashion! (Page 88)

So there you have it: your August's wellness tips! Lots of love!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Truth Tuesdays!

Happy Tuesday! It's a very gloomy, rainy one here, but sometimes that's nice to just cuddle up indoors, if you can. Anyway, I'm going to get right to it:

Truth Tuesday (#2 August 14, 2012)

I'm sure everyone out there over the age of like 20 max has worried about aging, at least as far as your skin goes. You hear commercials, read ads, are fed a whole lot of information about skin care, skin care products, ingredients, and just overall telling you what you need to essentially find the fountain of youth via creams and serums. I have some good and bad news and I'll start with the bad. No cream, bottle, serum, or pill is going to reverse any visible signs of aging. In order to truly alter the appearance of aging, visit a dermatologist for Botox or something more permanent. No topical ointment or ingesting of "miracle pills" is going to do much good for you, I'm sorry to say.

However, I have good news too for those of you who've spent countless time, money, and energy in trying to find a non-invasive or non-surgical solution. You can prevent future damage.

Did you know that beginning at age 12 (according to research I learned about from Lancôme cosmetics) your skin begins aging? Cell turnover decreases, collagen and elastin (collagen gives skin its strength and elastin gives skin its flexibility) break down, and therefore causes the skin's structure to age. You form fine lines and wrinkles in dry, overused areas. Generally, the eye area ages first and fastest because there are no sebaceous, or sweat, glands around the eye area. If not properly hydrated, the area shows signs of aging fastest because that area of the body, most specifically the face, is never naturally moisturized.

Aging is a natural part of life and can not really be stopped, especially not with something off the shelves in a store. Prevention is key. Sun damage, exposure to the elements, and lack of hydration, along with your genes, play key roles in the aging of your skin. Using sun protection DAILY, not just in the sun, by wearing a daily moisturizer and/or makeup with SPF is very important. If you're going to be in extreme elements, be smart about your delicate skin. Wear hats, scarves, anything suitable for added protection. Remember to keep your face clean by removing makeup, dirt, oils, and impurities off daily each night and morning and always, always, always: hydrate your skin. A facial moisturizer and a cream/gel/serum for your eyes are more than enough.

So whether you're 18 or 88, remember to just take good care and you can help keep your skin from aging much further with that proper care. And if you want to and can afford to, consider Botox and other more permanent options later in life, after you've created all the laugh lines and frown marks that reflect all the struggles you've faced and wonderful memories you've made and maybe, just maybe, you'll want to hang on to them.

Lots of love!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mascara Mondays

Hey love! Beauty week is back for the August installment. As you already know Monday is Mascara Monday, where I will review a different mascara for my readers. My post yesterday for Seasonal Sunday's reviewed ULTA's Fall 2012 GWP, which included a full size mascara. I briefly reviewed it, but I am certainly a fan, so I'll go into a little more detail today for Mascara Monday! So here goes ...

Mascara Monday's (#2 August 13, 2012)

ULTA Legendary Lengths Mascara-$10.00

First, mascaras come in a big price range, from dollar store/discount store prices all the way up to some crazy high-end department store pricing. Sure, formulas vary and brushes vary, but almost every mascara is optimologist tested and has a basically acceptable formula. In my experience, the real difference is the brush. That mascara wand completely decides the contouring of your lashes during application and if too fat, it won't reach tiny, inner corner lashes. However, if too skinny, it may not add the curl and volume you're searching for.

This mascara is defined by ULTA's description to have an "hour glass" wand. It is made out of silicone so it can really get in there and define each lash to add length of course, but in my experience, volume and curl as well. For a lengthening mascara, I found you don't have to sacrifice the other things you'd want out of a mascara when you use this one.

Another important feature to note is that this product is not tested on animals, which is a big issue in the cosmetic world right now. And, this mascara comes in not just 2, but 3 color choices: Jet Black, Soft Black, and Black/Brown. I always use black unless it's being worn on someone with truly red or blonde lashes and/or brows so as to not look fake or overdone. I have and love Jet Black, but the Soft Black would be perfect for someone with lighter brunette hair or for a softer, daytime friendly look.

It's a known brand, offers color choices, does both length and volume in my experience, and is not animal tested ... and all for $10.00. Sounds like a winner mascara to me!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Seasonal Sundays! (August 2012)


Hey there, my loves! I sincerely apologize for the delay in postings! My lap top's display randomly decided to crap out so I have had to wait to get to a computer! Luckily I am just in time to begin August's beauty week!!! Again, I apologize for the delay and appreciate my readers' loyalty and will do my very best to ensure all my posts are up at a more reasonable time for the beauty week (unlike today's at like 9pm!).

As today is Seasonal Sunday, I typically will post a seasonal look. However, my life has been very hectic and I haven't had time to decide on a look and since September will be the next month and therefore more fitting for a fall look, I've decided to review a seasonal GWP (gift with purchase) at one of my favorite beauty stores, ULTA!

Seasonal Sundays (#2 July 12, 2012)

Ulta has an amazing GWP for Fall 2012! First of all and most importantly to my finance-conscious beauties, a $17.50 purchase in Ulta products gets you a free gift! This is one of the BEST deals I've seen to qualify for a GWP. Also, Ulta offers a $3.50 off $10 purchase coupon, so you can get $21.00 worth of product for $17.50 after the coupon AND a free gift worth over $88.00!!!

This gift is overflowing in great beauty products to try! It comes in an adorable and totally usable clutch! You choose from 3 different color palettes: Mystic Cool, Willow Trendy, or Molten Warm. While all the bags are cute and all the cosmetic colors are gorgeous, I picked Mystic Cool since it was perfect for fall! That is the color palette I will be reviewing as it is perfect for Seasonal Sunday to gear up for fall colors, back to school, and it's out now!

- The clutch bag is a faux snakeskin look in a deep burgundy/purple. It zips closed and attached to the zipper is a handle to use the bag as a clutch. The bag also folds down and has a magnetic clasp so it's super secure so no makeup, money, or cards will "run away"!

- It comes with a 3 piece brush set: a blush brush, eye shadow brush, an a sponge-tipped applicator. This offers convenience for on-the-go applications and the brushes aren't terrible, but if you have brushes at home, go with them. The bristles are rather rough, but that is generally expected. Brushes in mini's or free gifts are generally mass-produced and not made with the same care as the full size, individually purchased brushes. I know even MAC cosmetics, who make AMAZING brushes, offer mini to-go brush sets around the holidays, and those are no where near the same quality as the brushes they typically sell. Generally, spring for the full sized brushes, whether individual or in sets, from a brand you've heard of before. Even Ulta's brushes are nice, just not the ones in the gift. Who cares though? I know you're not getting this gift for that!

- Ulta recently came out with their own skin care line and they want you to give it a try. That's why they offer a travel size of their Instant Nourish Facial Moisturizer. It's got a decent texture and hydrates well. It's a small sample so it's not going to last you very long as your actual home moisturizer, but keep it in your bag or the car for touch ups and dry moments! Cold weather is coming (fingers crossed lol) so your skin will need hydration before all that dry heat gets turned on!

- A full sized mascara too?! Yes! It's Ulta's new mascara: Legendary Lengths in "Black". It's a nice mascara that truly does lengthen your lashes and making them look darker and more dramatic. It's not over the top so it can be worn daily, but can be layered for a more "nighttime-appealing" look.

- "Cheek Color" ... aka blush. It is a GORGEOUS shade! I apologize that I am unsure of the color names since I'm not home, but I'll update this post later with the color names for you. It's a deeper color, definitely fall-friendly. It looks a little dark in the container, but when worn, it's perfect. It's like the perfect combination of plum, pink, and brown to give your cheeks a fabulous autumn pop of color!

- 2, yes TWO, eye shadow QUADS! Yes, you get EIGHT eye shadows total! They're pretty colors with decent pigment. They're not too dark so they can be worn during the day, and more color can be layered to create a nighttime look. One quad is a purple/plum set and the other is a gray/blue gray/brown set. All perfect for fall!

- Dual-ended eye liner pencil in "Black" and "Deep Brown". They both have great pigment and a gorgeous color. They glide on easily and aren't rough like some pencils. They apply almost like the retractable liners instead, which I love, but they don't run or smear!

*** The next 3 items are by far my absolute favorites and have-to-haves. They are literally the reason (along with the ADORABLE bag) you NEED to go find $17.50 worth of Ulta products to buy just to get them. I know, get excited! ***

- Nail polish. Yum. It's just absolutely perfect. It's like a plum/burgundy color, so perfect for fall and even into winter. 2 layers will give you the perfect pigment and of course, apply a top coat. It's just gorgeous though! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!

- Lipstick. It's uh-mazing. It goes PERFECTLY with the nail polish. They are damn near the same exact color. The actual lipstick is smooth and creamy and hydrating, but doesn't feather or run. It's a deep plum/burgundy color, but when worn with the provided gloss, it's gorgeous! If you're daring though and/or love deep, fall colors, you'll love it on its own too!

- Lip gloss. Ulta's Super Shiny Lip Gloss, I mean. In love. It's a pretty color that's almost sheer, but when worn over the above mentioned lip gloss, it's perfection. It's shiny and makes your pout perfect, but is not sticky or drying! Apply it over the lipstick, paint your nails, and you are Autumn Amazing, love!

And there you have it: the very next time to invest your next paycheck in! If you've seen the fall clothes start to come out or the Halloween decorations arriving in stores, I'm sure end of summer and cooler weather are on your mind! Get this killer gift from ULTA as soon as possible and you'll be more than ready for leaves, pumpkin pie, and some trick-or-treating!

From's Online Catalog. Visit ULTA online for more information or your local stores!