For many years, I’ve gotten one of those Sephora perfume samplers for Christmas. I believe they’re available all year now, but for awhile, they were only available during the holidays. If you’ve never seen them, it’s basically a collection of perfume samples from their top 10-12 best sellers of the year. You get to try them all out, and then there’s a coupon tucked inside for a FREE 1-ounce bottle of your favorite one.
It’s seriously an awesome gift! Each year, I take this gift very seriously. I read all of the perfume descriptions, and I try them multiple times before I make my final decision. I know this seems really silly, but I definitely think of perfume as a complete luxury item. It’s not something we need, and it’s expensive. So, I want to get the right one.
Sometimes it takes me six months to make my decision and finally get to Sephora for my free bottle. Having said that, I definitely shattered my hand-selected bottle of Michael Kors’ Very Hollywood during my move to Texas two years ago. It fell off a shelf while I was packing, and despite its thick bottle (which was very pretty), it shattered and it was total heartbreak in slow motion. Ugh. It smelled wonderful.
Anyway, the sampler I got for Christmas in 2015 had some great scents in it, but I ruled my favorite pretty quickly: Burberry’s My Burberry. It has that masculine, wood smell that I love, but with a floral twist.
I went to Sephora… and they were out. Yes, I could have picked another perfume, or I could have purchased a different sized bottle and gotten money off for the 1-ounce freebie, but no. I waited.
I went back a few months later. Still out.
“If it’s on the sampler coupon, then we’re like, always out of it,” the saleswoman told me.
Uh, okay well that makes about zero sense. Still, I waited. I looked for other Sephora locations (you can’t use the coupon online). And waited.
And finally, I randomly stopped by that same Sephora Friday after work. Upon walking up to the shelf, I didn’t see it. But then, in the back, a 1-ounce box. What?!
I picked it up, looked around, and smiled (like a psycho). I walked briskly to the counter: IS THIS THE RIGHT ONE?! I tried to ask calmly, but I just thought it was too good to be true!
“Yep, it’s the one!” she said.
O M G.
I was even more delighted when I got home to open the box – the bottle is so pretty and even has a tortoise-shell cap!
To add a little more sparkle to this situation, she scanned my Beauty Insider card and saw I had a free birthday gift: I chose the Tarte set with the Matte Lip Paint in “Birthday Suit” (already used it and it’s the perfect nude) and the Clay 12-hour blush in “Pink Nude” (haven’t tried it just yet).
So, yeah – how perfect! This is my Monday motivation for you to persevere – even when it comes to perfume (ha)!
I still have my sampler set from LAST Christmas to tackle, but that’s a whole ‘nother adventure.
That’s right, I’ve been trying SO many different kinds of sunless tanners and bronzers ever since I got home from Vegas. I’ll be honest, I have always loved laying out in the sun. Even in high school, I’d lay out in my backyard (no pool present), complete with Sun-In in my hair (which looked really terrible) just to get that summer glow.
I’m not going to sit here and act like I’ve all of the sudden become super sun-conscious… Maybe a little but my recent obsession with a sunless glow is more about getting a good, even color (with no tan lines), and about time – it takes soooooo long to get a nice color and even though it’s fun to relax by the pool, sometimes there’s other things I’d rather be doing.
I used two sunless tanners during the winter months around the time I had dance performances, one was a gradual self-tanning lotion with added bronzer, which I liked but didn’t find I got much color from it, and I also used a foam – this gave great color but had a very strong tanning smell, and was hard not to get streaks, even using a tanning mitt.
So, the ones I’ve listed below are what I’ve used recently – some are self-tanners, some are just bronzers (the color washes off), and some have added firming because… cellulite.
Tan Towel – I’ve used this product before, but it had been awhile (I actually got a sample in my Birchbox a year ago), until I saw a pack of five in a clearance bin for $4!
If you’ve never used these, they are basically like a Wet Nap, but obviously have self-tanning agents.
The cool thing about these is there’s no need for a tanning mitt, and one towel is enough for face and your entire body. There is a slight scent, but it’s light and pleasant.
The tanner applies clear (which means you have to remember where you’ve already applied), but the color begins to appear with just a few hours. The color has always been streak-free for me, and looks natural. These are a win & especially great for travel.
NKD SKN Gradual Glow – I’ve seen this product on Birchbox.com and at Ulta, but was able to get a sample size on clearance (are you noticing a trend here?).
My first attraction to this product was that it’s organic, and even at full-price, it’s affordable.
Once I started using it, I realized it’s got quality ingredients – including aloe vera and vitamins – it makes for a really nice moisturizer and my skin felt healthy after using it just a few times. You can use this product on your face and body which is a bonus.
The color goes on clear (it’s a white lotion), and has little-to-no scent. I will say I didn’t notice a huge color difference when I used this, and I got about three applications from the sample.
On one hand, this is good because you don’t have to worry as much about messing up. On the other hand, it’s not good if you’re looking for deep color overnight. Perhaps continual use of this product would get richer after several back-to-back application.
However, this same brand has other sunless products, including tinted tanner and mousse, so those may be worth trying.
Jergen’s Natural Glow – After I used up my clearance rack finds, I needed to keep up my tan, so I picked this one up during my weekly grocery run.
It was $8 for a pretty big bottle, and it says it helps to firm skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite (I’m always looking for these types of things).
I got the “Medium to Tan” color in hopes of getting dark (or I guess as dark as you can get with sunless tanner). The scent is very light and pleasant.
The directions on the bottle suggest using this instead of a daily body lotion, because it is a gradual sunless tan. I haven’t been using it every day, but I put it on at least four times a week.
After two weeks, I can say I look pretty tan! The consistency of this lotion is pretty thick, which makes me feel like I’m doing wonders for my skin. I use this all over, and have tried it with and without a tanning mitt (doesn’t make much of a difference either way). A few times I got a little much around my ankles and toes, but a quick scrub and it was evened out.
Miracle Body Transformer Tinted Beauty Balm – I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I have always been insecure about my legs. Below the knee never tans well, so it looks weird with tan thighs (large ones, I should add) and white shins and feet.
As a makeup junkie, I have always dreamed of basically “foundation” for my entire body so I could just look glowy and hide all of my weird skin issues. So you can image how difficult it was for me not to jump up and down in TJ-Maxx when I saw this product on the clearance shelf (I know)! This “Beauty Balm” has so much going on, you just have to see the official product description:
A high performance treatment body enhancer with SPF20. Transform the appearance of arms, legs and decollate – you’ll see a difference instantly. Skin looks smoother, feels firmer, and is totally flawless. Powerful moisture magnets such as jojoba oil, soy amino and hyaluronic acids relieve dry skin keeping it hydrated and radiant. Marine extracts optimize skin rejuvenation for smoother, suppler, more radiant looking skin. MIRACLE SKIN TRANSFORMER SPF20 BODY contains the M3 Complex; designed to improve the look and feel of skin – all over: Hydrate – Dry, rough skin on legs, arms, and decollate feels incredibly softer, smoother and hydrated. Enhance – Leaves skin looking younger, brighter and totally luminous.
That’s right – it’s a bronzer/illuminator (it does have a shimmer), with an SPF, moisturizer, AND a firming lotion! The only thing that would make this product better is a sunless tanning agent. However, this is nice to slap on over your sunless tanner for an instant glow. And when you shower, it comes off.
The particular color I got was pretty dark, so I mixed it with some regular body lotion to thin it out a little. I was worried the color would rub off on my clothes, so I only wear it on my arms or legs when they’re going to be “out”, i.e. with a tank top or a skirt. I really love the way it makes my skin look!
Hide & Glow Sleek – I have been a huge fan of Bliss Spa products, especially their “Fat Girl Slim” line, where this product can be found.
I’ll admit, I bought this product thinking it was a sunless tanner, but upon reading the directions before I sprayed it on, I found it’s a bronzer/illuminator, but it also offers firming qualities.
Nonetheless, I sprayed it on my legs before wearing a skirt to work one day and I loved it. It’s very light in texture, not sticky, and offers a subtle glow.
I think this would be great for travel or even for an event wear you just need a quick hit of bronze (because I do!).
It’s a little pricy, but it’s a product you can’t really screw up, plus it is clinically proven to firm skin! The scent is very light, as is the shimmer. There are two color options, so you may really be able to get some rich glow from it.
I’d love to know what sunless tanning products you’ve tried and loved (or hated)! Bring it on, summer!
Over the last few months, I have been testing several different primers under my daily makeup to see which one I like best.
Primers seem to be all the rage, given that basically every cosmetic brand has one – but how are we supposed to know what’s going to work for us? Because I have a Birchbox subscription, I have been able to sample three great options that I’m going to share with you here, today!
But first, what the heck IS a primer? The Huffington Post offered a great, simple explanation: Makeup primer is a base for foundation or face makeup that allows it to go on smoother and last longer.
Primer can come in the form of sprays, gels, creams, and even powder. While most users apply primer prior to applying tinted moisturizer, concealer, and/or foundation, it can also be worn alone.
I have been applying my primer after my moisturizer, but before my concealer and foundation, which seems to work. The three primers I want to share with you today are all creams and gels. Personally, I’m not sure I’d trust a spray or powder primer.
Perfecting Ultra-Smoothing Primer – Sephora Collection
According to Sephora.com, this is a makeup primer that perfects the appearance of skin and prolongs the wear of foundation. This primer softens the appearance of imperfections, prolongs the wear of your foundation, and keeps you looking flawless longer.
Infused with hydrating ceramides, this formula moisturizes and smooths, while protecting with antioxidant-rich vitamins E and A.
This product is not tested on animals, and does not contain parabens. This primer can be used on the eyes to smooth and enhance wear of eyeshadow.
This product is dermatologist tested, non-comedogenic, and comes in an airless pump bottle for freshness.
This is the primer I’m currently using, and I really like it. It goes on very smooth, and leaves a matte look that feels very soft and light on my skin. It’s clear, so you don’t have to worry about which shade to choose.
$29.99 for .5 ounces
Prime Time – Bare Minerals
According to Ulta.com, this primer helps to combat enlarged pores. Uneven texture. Flaky dryness. We’ve all had complexion problems. That’s why we created Prime Time, which prepares your skin for seamless coverage with bareMinerals SPF 15 Foundation. Apply it first for the smooth, evenly textured complexion you’ve been waiting for.
Combats rough patches, flaky dryness, fine lines, excess oil, uneven texture and enlarged pores so that your foundation goes on flawlessly.
Extends the wear of your foundation, keeping you looking fresh for longer.
Soothes and nourishes with plant extracts, antioxidants and vitamins C and E.
Free of preservatives and irritants so that your skin feels great.
Silky formula glides on without any stickiness.
For Christmas, I got a sample pack of Bare Minerals makeup – I’d never tried it before and the kit contained this primer, the mineral veil foundation, an eyeshadow duo, and a lip gloss. I have quickly come to love all of it!
This primer is very, very similar to the Sephora mentioned above: it’s clear, has a gel-like consistency, and offers a smooth, matte finish. While in some stores, it is a little more pricy than the Sephora brand, it takes about a pea-size drop to cover the entire face, and has a very light feeling.
$19.30 for 1 ounce
Radiant Primer – IPKN New York
According to Birchbox.com, great foundation requires, well, a great foundation. This creamy SPF 15 primer creates a smooth, radiant canvas for makeup, refining pores and enhancing skin tone. And thanks to the blend of nourishing fruit extracts and shimmer pearl powder, your skin will glow whether you’re wearing this under foundation or under nothing at all.
This was the first primer that I tried and I loved that it was lightly tinted. I have red areas on my skin and blemishes that I’m always trying to cover up, so why not start building the mask with a primer?
I also appreciate that it has an SPF! The only reason I didn’t make this my favorite was because it has more of a glossy finish – and I prefer the matte. However, if matte isn’t your thing, this is a great starter.
It’s light, great for the skin, and could be worn alone. And it’s got a great price!
$22 for 1.3 ounces.
I am still trying additional primers, so perhaps I’ll report back with something even better! If there’s one you’re using that you love, tell me about it in the comments.
One thing, among many, that has super sucked is my skin past the age of 25. Then, I chalked it up to my years working in the service industry, surrounded by smoke and guzzling way too much alcohol.
My skin at that point, was so bad, that after trying everything – from basic cleansers and treatments to the complete ProActive skincare line, I started getting professional facials once a week. My face was covered in zits, and not only was it embarrassing, it was very painful.
But, the facials were working (although they were also very painful and expensive) and over time, I was able to go once a month, and my skin was clearing up. Despite having gone through it all, I try to keep my skin routine simple – I am not someone who wants to spend 30 minutes at the sink before bed. I’m tired – which is probably why my skin looks haggard.
Currently, my skincare routine goes a little something like this: at night, I remove my makeup using a makeup remover towel. It requires no chemicals, and is so soft – it’s quite nice. Then, I use my Clarisonic brush along with the Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleanser.
Usually, every other night, I do a face mask of some sort, but other than that, that’s it! I’m currently debating using a night cream, so if you use one you love, please tell me!
In the morning, I skip the cleanser and use Mary Kay Eye Makeup Remover to get any mascara that’s creeped up from the night before, and then I use Formula 10.0.6 Acne Astringent all over my face, followed by Liz Earle Tonic Spritzer.
So, pretty simple. I leave it up to my collection of face masks to take care of any “specialty” skin issues. A few months ago, I was reading all these articles about how Korean skincare regimens were all the rage, but these suckers were like 12-steps! Hells no!
If you doubt me, go to Ulta and find the entire AISLE dedicated to all the Korean stuff (at the very least, it’s got cute packaging). I did try a bubbly foam cleanser in one of my monthly Birchboxes, and it was very luxurious.
And they’ve also introduced us to the sheet face mask. Here we were, just slathering green clay onto our faces like slobs, when everyone in the eastern hemisphere was simply slipping on a sheet mask while sipping tea.
While I’ve tried several sheet masks over the last year, I am still trying to figure out the hype, so I asked for “various face masks” for Christmas, and I got exactly what I asked for. So, here’s four different sheet masks I’ve used in the last month, and what I thought.
Lanocreme Manuka Honey Intensely Nourishing & Revitalising Formula
Description: Lanocrème Manuka Honey Face Mask is a rich formulation infused with a unique combination of New Zealand ingredients including UMF Manuka Honey to intensely nourish and moisturise dry skin. The activity of the UMF Honey, recognised for its remarkable nourishing and revitalising properties helps soothe and moisturise the skin whilst Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid promotes firmness. Enriched with UMF Manuka Honey, Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, Aloe Vera and Argan Oil. Each pack contains 5 individual face masks in their own sachet.
This is the second honey-based mask I’ve done in the last few months, and I just love them. This one really left my skin feeling great. You only have to leave it on for 10 minutes, but you do have to rinse your face afterward, which I’m not a huge fan of.
The other bonus is that unlike most sheet masks, its pretty well-priced – a box of 5 sells for $16 on Amazon (get it here).
Hyaluronic Acid Face Mask (Animated Penguin) by Creme Shop
Description: Animate your skin with The Crème Shop Shop’s Animal Masks! Keep your skin smooth and dewy like a penguin’s perfectly polished coat. Infused with hyaluronic acid, this ultra-moisturizing face mask quenches your skin’s thrist or an effortless, radiant glow.
- Infused with hyaluronic acid
- Unparalleled hydration
- Made in Korea
So, this one is a penguin face, which is cute! It’s a little pricier at $4 a pop (here), but would be fun if you were having a pampering party. This one requires a little more face time (ha, ha) – 15 minutes, but you don’t have to rinse or dry once its done.
I normally don’t mind keeping a mask on for awhile, sometimes hours, but the sheet masks are chilly, and I find I can’t do much while they’re on (you know, like drink wine). Could just be a personal problem.
IPKN Dia Goat Milk Black Mask
Description: Fresh New Zealand goat milk and real diamond powder in premium charcoal mask supplies highly effective nutrition with whitening and baby skin-like complexion.
This one was my favorite out of the bunch. It was soothing, and really made my skin feel nourished. My only complaint? Why is the mask black? Goat’s milk is white. Is it the charcoal? I hope it was black for a good reason, because it was just sort of creepy-looking.
But other than that, this was a quality mask. The sheet itself was very thick, which felt more substantial, and didn’t feel like it was going to tear. Plus, you leave it on for up to 20 minutes, and then you simply peel it off and “pat the essence into your skin”. You can get a pack of 10 for $25 here.
Look Beauty Pretty Animalz Panda
Description: This Panda Character Print Sheet Mask provides intensive hydration while Lavender helps to calm skin with its aromatic and skin soothing properties.
Aside from looking like a little panda, I’ll give this mask props for smelling wonderfully of lavender. I used it before bed just a few nights ago and felt nice and relaxed. This is another one that stays on a little longer – up to 20 minutes – and you can just leave any remaining mask on the skin.
So, there you have it! The honey and the goat’s milk were my favorite, but I think I’ll keep trying others just to see what’s out there. If you haven’t tried one yet, definitely take a look.
There are all sorts of brands that make them, but I’d recommend looking at each mask’s ingredients before purchasing – no parabens should be in the mask. I also found a pretty informative article on sheet masks if you’re interested.
Happy at-home spa-ing!
I’ve been searching for the perfect pair of destroyed denim for MONTHS. Let’s face facts – 90’s fashion is back in the form of loose, flannel shirts; graphic tees, and destroyed denim so ripped, it puts Abercrombie to shame. And I LOVE it.
But, when I started shopping around for said denim, I found that the prices were way out of my budget, and downright ridiculous. I don’t want to pay $80 for pristine denim, let alone a pair that looks like it’s been hit by a truck. Some of the pairs I came across were even more than $100, and one pair was $1,000! Shew!
I knew there had to be a way around it, and I was excited to see that one of my favorite fashion bloggers whom I follow on SnapChat and Instagram was offering her tips on DIY destroyed denim. Her name is Kathleen, and her blog is “Carrie Bradshaw Lied”. She collaborated with The Every Girl to offer her distressed denim tips.
For her project, Kathleen bought a pair of men’s denim from Forever 21 – as she was going for a baggy look. Me, however, I do lots of my shopping at Goodwill, and after a few weeks of hunting, I bought two pair of jeans to destroy. I bought one super skinny pair of light, stretch denim for $4, and a pair of darker, more straight-leg jeans for $7.
For step one, Kathleen says to put the jeans on and mark where you want distressed areas, using a marker. So, I tried on my jeans and got in front of a mirror to make my marks. I also took a look at some of the pictures I’d saved over the months for inspiration – I have loads of pics and clips for fashion ideas and I use them for help in times like these!
After marking, it’s time to start destroying (after you take the jeans off)! Kathleen suggests using scissors, sandpaper, and tweezers to get the job done. So, I gathered up those supplies and got started on the skinny stretch denim first. I started with the sandpaper – I had a variety pack I’d gotten at the Dollar Tree awhile back and tried various pieces on the jeans.
It does give the jeans a faded look, but you’ve really got to work at it. I wanted mine to be pretty faded and ripped, so I searched my apartment for additional tools. I ended up finding: a beer bottle cap, a wine opener, a serrated bread knife, and a bristly sponge.
It’s about this time I should suggest putting on a good movie or TV series, because this process takes HOURS. Who knew denim was so, so sturdy? After getting some good faded spots, I made slits using scissors and the wine opener. Of course, you don’t have to cut actual holes if that’s not the look you’re going for.
You can use the tweezers to pull out the denim threads (that run vertical) and that will reveal only the white, horizontal threads if you’re going for that look – which I love. However, this does take time.
I made some sections using the tweezers, and also used the wine opener to rip small holes and pull white threads through. You could also splatter white (or any color) paint on the jeans for added flair.
While it seems like a long process, I enjoyed a “craft” project that forced me to sit on my couch and watch some TV on a Sunday afternoon. I’ve worked on my jeans a little each night, and found it’s a nice way to wind down. And, at the end of the project we’re all going to have completely custom, destroyed denim that didn’t break the bank. I consider that a major win!
A few months ago, I was invited to be a +1 at a fall wedding. I quickly said yes, as it was a guy I really liked, and I also realized that I’ve never been asked to be a serious +1. Sure, I’ve gone with girlfriends and guy friends, but never as a real date.
Given that was wedding is in the fall, and in Indiana, I quickly started looking up ideas on what to wear. Sure, it would be chilly out, but not quite cold enough to constitute tights, so I needed something chic (the bride is super gorgeous and sure to have quality taste) and of course, sexy.
The guy and I have since stopped talking, so I have no need for these looks anymore. However, some of them were so adorable, I had to share. If you’re going to a fall wedding in the coming months, maybe you can snag one of these looks and tell me how it goes!
Of course, the look you choose depends a lot on the time of day of the wedding – day or night wedding – and the location, an outdoor look will be different than an indoor one. But I’m all about finding a fabulous coat!
So, I saw a lot of these looks (above) with the flowy, tule skirts and a more fitted top. I know these are more fun and whimsical than sexy, but I love them! I especially love the gray and taupe on the far left; I would never dare to wear white to a wedding, but if you know the bride well enough, I saw do YOU.
Given that I will find any excuse to wear sequins or sparkles, this look (left) was my top choice. I am definitely a fan of choosing what you want to show vs. what to keep hidden, and this look balances that perfectly – shows off the legs, accentuates curves, but hides the arms.
I probably would have gone for more of a beige shoe, to keep the focus on the dress. Here’s a cute gold dress I found, that has back detail and shows off the arm – if you’re into that (I’m self-conscious about my upper arm). I also found a cute black dress that is long-sleeved, but just has sequin detailing, instead of solid sequins.
Too afraid to go all out with the sequins? Understandable. You could still wear a sparkly pencil skirt, or any skirt, and then pair it with a simple, plain top, and/or a jacket that will tone things down a bit. Here’s a longer pencil skirt that comes in silver or dark green sequins, and I also found a floor-length gold sparkly skirt that would be SUPER chic!
I stumbled across these next two looks (right), which are both more structure, but look incredibly cool, and I think you could wear either one at a day or a night wedding, depending on how you did hair and accessories.
Given that we’re all voting for Hillary this November, why not give a nod to her pantsuit look with this chic little number? The pants hit the floor, so simple shoes would work, and I love the way the hair is styled in this picture. You could also go for a colored blazer if it’s an outdoor wedding.
The dress? I really just love the blazer-like neckline and sleeves, and the gold belt. It looks really put together, minus the massive bag she has. Always go for the clutch – the giant bag looks more like an office look, and weddings are not for work.
So, there you have it – some fall wedding looks for guests. Maybe I’ll still get a sequined dress for myself and hop on over to a martini bar with a friend. It’s been a minute since I’ve been to a wedding – it seems as though everyone is already married. But, I’m a fan of weddings, mainly because there’s cake and champagne involved. So, cheers to fall weddings!
I don’t want to call it “high-maintenance”, because A. I hate that term, and B. It’s not about material things or money, it’s just about the fact that my beauty regimen is endless.
In my early twenties, I can easily say that I pretty much looked the same with or without makeup. Now, I have always loved wearing makeup – I love putting it on, and I love experimenting with new things, different looks.
But now? The makeup isn’t really an option. My skin is tired. Part of this is because I spent way too much time in the tanning bed as a teenager, and probably because I’ve never gotten enough water. And well, now, I’m just getting old.
It’s not just about the makeup – my skincare routine is no longer just “take off makeup” or slapping a simple pump of orange Neutrogena on my face. It involves makeup removers, brushes to wash, specialty soaps, moisturizers and tightening creams, and of course, face masks almost daily.
There’s also the other areas of my body – my skin all over that probably can’t get enough moisturizer, and hair-inhibiting gels, and creams that fight cellulite. I use body scrubs in hopes of softening my skin, and shaving my legs? It doesn’t leave them as silky smooth as it once did. Bronzers and sunless tanners help with the tiny sunspots on my shins.
Hair? My hair is probably one of my least concerns, but that’s because I make a standing appointment for a cut, color, and deep condition. I do use color-safe shampoo and conditioner, and once a week I do an in-shower protein treatment. But for the most part, my hair has not been affected by my age (if there’s gray under the brown/red, I’ve got no clue and I’m okay with that!).
Nails. I feel like the at-home mani-pedi just isn’t cutting it. I’m not to the point where I regularly get manicures or pedicures (I’m a little too cheap for that), but no matter how long I spend soaking my feet or how carefully I file my nails, it just never looks that great.
According to Allure magazine, our skin cells start to dull around age 30, which is why we’ve got to do more to get that “glow” back. Le sigh.
I know it’s something I’m forced to accept; and some of it is kind of nice (I’ll take a nice facial or a mani-pedi any day). But it’s just one of those things… I’d love to know what some of your favorite products are, or how your beauty and skincare regimen has changed over the years.
I’m heading to the beach TOMORROW, and yes, this makeup junkie is not leaving home without her stash of cosmetics. I know what you’re thinking – ugh, don’t be THAT girl at the beach.
In all truth, I don’t think I’ve ever been to the beach wearing makeup, but I think I’ve just reached a point wear I don’t really feel comfortable going without it. And, if it helps my case at all, I’m going to a music festival, where there will be thousands of people, shirtless dudes, and selfies. That’s more the reason why I’m choosing to wear makeup.
But, I will also say that, after digging through my stash, I found lots of products that will be appropriate for the sun and sand – I am not going to wear my full face; I just want to even out my skin and appear very glow-y. So, here’s what I’ve packed, my beach-friendly makeup:
Silky Sheer BB Cream (tinted) with SPF 30 by L’Oreal – I’m using this instead of concealer and foundation. L’Oreal Paris Advanced Suncare introduces its first-ever BB facial broad spectrum sunscreen. It protects skin with a patented UVA/UVB filter and evens skin for a healthy tinted complexion. This multi-acting formula is infused with powerful antioxidants vitamin E and white grape seed to help keep skin healthy and youthful-looking.
Mineral Sunscreen with SPF 30 by COOLA – This unscented and lightly tinted formula is made with natural rose hip oil which is rich in free radical fighting vitamin c. Naturally calming evening primrose and flax seed oils deliver abundant omega-3 and gamma-linoleic acid to improve elasticity and help skin retain moisture. Natural shea butter smoothes and hydrates while the phyto-protector plankton extract rejuvenates skin. Formulated for all skin types and tones, including those that are especially sensitive or oily.
Brightening Illuminator by Cynthia Rowley – This velvety highlighter works for all skin tones, delivering a subtle sheen that lights up your features. It’s an ace at strobing, or just adding a little extra brightness to cheekbones, brows, and the inner corners of your eyes.
Water Resistant Blush in Los Cabos by Cargo – This sweatproof, weatherproof blush has been tested by the make-up artists for Dancing with the Stars on the latest live tour. Water resistant blush stood up to hours of dancing. This long-wearing formula withstands moisture so you don’t have to fuss with re-application. Specially formulated with a unique silicone-coated powder that provides better adhesion to the skin and withstands water.
Eye shadow duo in Beach & Bridge by Cargo This duo of two highly pigmented eye shadows takes inspiration from the sand, water, and foliage found on the coast. Use Beach on the lid and Bridge in the crease.
Shimmer eyeliner pencil in black by E.L.F. – The smooth formulation glides on effortlessly without tugging at the delicate eye area. These pencils are designed to add depth, definition and a special sparkle to create a very glamorous look. Each pencil includes a convenient sharpener cap for easy use.
Illuminating Palette in Catwalk Pink by Wet n Wild – Illuminating powder in four harmonious shades can be used individually or together on face, cheeks and body for a luminescent radiance.
Lip Balmer in Mint with SPF 15 by Mission Skincare – With powerful sun protection and a long-lasting, vitamin-enriched formula, MISSION Mint Lip Balmer SPF 15 is clinically proven to lock in moisture for up to 8 hours. It can withstand some of the harshest environments, so you know it can handle your busy lifestyle. Our Mint Lip Balmer contains natural moisturizing ingredients that keep lips feeling smooth and soft, whether you’re in the heat of competition or out on the town.
See? Nothing too heavy; I still want to look natural, and most of these products have an SPF. I am most excited to try the products by Cargo – I’m really curious about the water-resistant blush, and the Beach & Bridge eye shadows are so pretty!
I will also say that 75% of these products came in Birchboxes I’ve gotten over the last few months. Not familiar with Birchbox? It’s a monthly subscription, and for $10/month, you get a box of high-end samples (usually 5-6 samples) that are picked just for you, based on a profile you create.
I look forward to getting the box each month, and as you can tell, I love being able to try products I wouldn’t otherwise be able to try. And, if you buy the full-size product, you earn points and can use the points for cash toward more products (I used points to get $20 off my Clarisonic brush). Check out Birchbox here.
Alright, I should probably go finish packing. But don’t worry, I’ll still be blogging! See y’all right here, tomorrow!
As many of you know, I’m currently on the road to getting tan… or at least, I’m trying to be. Awhile ago, I tried St. Tropez’s gradual in-shower tan, and that really didn’t do much (get the full scoop here) for me. So, I have still been on the hunt for the perfect sunless tanner.
Two Sundays ago, I went on a little adventure across the street and treated myself to a cup of frozen yogurt (I love the original tart flavor…yum!) with rainbow sprinkles, because I am a child, and I gazed longingly at the flourescent sign for DARQUE TAN, that is right next to the yogurt shop.
I was a long-time tanning bed addict, and quit cold turkey upon my move to Austin in September. Even though I know it’s bad for me, I really quit just to save a few bucks. But here we are, in the early stages of skirt season, and my legs are shockingly white. And it is just not a good look.
After my disappointment with the St. Tropez, I looked online for something else to try and I settled on ModelCo’s Gradual Tan Everyday Body Mousse. It had good reviews on Birchbox’s website, and it was $17 for a decent-sized bottle.
For now, I’m only worried about tanning the lower half of my legs, and my arms and chest, so I figured I could get several applications from the single bottle. I also purchased a tanning mitt for $6 to help with streak-free application, since I’ve never used a tanning foam before.
This foam is meant to be used post-shower; so I have been using it every time I shower. I get out, dry off completely, and then apply the mousse to desired areas. The bottle’s directions say to wait 10 minutes before getting dressed, so that’s what I do. I often stand in front of the fan I have in my bedroom, but it’s more out of sheer boredom than anything.
For the most part, this goes on really well and it has a pleasant scent. I never had any issues with streaking or an uneven look, but it does come off when you sweat. A plus is that the foam is brown so you can see where you’ve applied it.
My only complaint is that I wouldn’t consider this a gradual tan. I felt like it rinsed off every time I showered; which for some people is probably good, but I was hoping for a darker tan. This would definitely be good if you just need a quick tan for an event or a night out.
It was definitely better than the St. Tropez, but not something I’m dying to buy again. I actually bought something else over the weekend (since my apartment’s pool is STILL closed), so I’ll be reporting back on that shortly.
One thing I love about having my own blog is that when I find a new, cool product, I can tell you all about it, my experiences with it, and the best ways to use it. And since my blog is not sponsored in anyway, I can also tell you when a product sucks completely.
And today, that product is St. Tropez Gradual Tan In-Shower.
Let me back up a little here and say that I’ve used many different types of sunless tanners over the years. My first experience was when Bath & Body Works came out with their sunless tanner…remember that?
I remember it being a nice color and it smelled awesome, but my ankles always looked dirty and it was kind of orange-ish. But, I was also in 6th grade and I’m sure technology in the sunless tanning industry has improved since 1996.
I will also say that I have a history of using the tanning bed. I’ve used the tanning bed since high school, and I’ll admit I’ve probably done the worst types of things when it comes to taking care of my skin – purposely not using sun screen, or using regular lotion in the tanning bed instead of any type of tanning lotion or protective gear.
I just love a tan! Who doesn’t love a sun-kissed look, especially in the spring and summer months? But when I moved to Austin, I was (and still am) making an effort on cutting back my spending, which includes monthly bills for things like unlimited tanning packages.
So, even though I live ACROSS THE STREET from a tanning bed, I haven’t stepped foot inside. Instead, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect sunless tan that will get me a little bronze until I can sit poolside each weekend (one of my favorite hobbies).
I got a sample of the St. Tropez Gradual Tan In-Shower in one of my monthly Birchboxes. The sample was probably about 3 ounces of product, so I was able to try it at least 3 times (I just used it on my legs).
Here’s how it works: You take a shower, turn the shower off, rub the tanner on your wet skin, rinse off your hands, wait in the shower for at least 3 minutes, and then turn the shower back on and rinse off the tanner.
Let’s get a few things straight. For starters, the whole concept is pretty awesome. I mean you can take care of everything right there in the shower – no risk of getting sunless tanner all over your white bathroom. Plus, you get to rinse the product off, so no worries about that.
But, think about it… how the hell WOULD this product even work?!? I mean you’re putting the lotion on top of wet skin, which seems like a giant mistake. Then, you only have to wait for three minutes. That’s like, not even long enough to heat up dinner. And THEN, you rinse it off. There’s no way the product could work.
And as I mentioned, it didn’t. I don’t think I got even the slightest bit of color. I should have taken pictures, but I’m not that organized of a blogger, I admit.
Here’s the other little added layer of humor here with this particular tanner. When I was working full time retail early last year, I was secretly hunting for a full-time, salary job in my industry. I had an interview scheduled that overlapped with my work shift, so I lied and told my job I needed to take an extra long lunch for a doctor’s appointment.
“Sure, is everything okay?” my then-boss asked.
I felt terrible for lying over my health, so I at least tried to think of something not as serious. I told her I was just going to the dermatologist for an annual mole check.
Even though it was none of her business, she asked me if everything turned out okay when I returned for my next shift. I told her yes, and she was asking me if I’d ever had a scare with an irregular mole.
I am lucky to say that I haven’t, but I do know people that have and I know it’s very serious. Turns out, my then-boss had to have some skin removed, so she told me she strictly used sunless tanner. She said the St. Tropez looked incredibly natural.
Now, I believe she was referring to the foam version, and I haven’t tried that version, so I can’t speak on it. But, the St. Tropez line of products aren’t cheap. The In-Shower is $25 for a 6oz bottle.
I’m not upset over the product, I’m actually glad I didn’t buy it and was able to try the sample. I kind of forgot about the product and moved onto the next one (which I’ll blog about later), until I went to the hair salon.
I was talking with the stylist about spray tans and self-tanners, and she mentioned this exact product! I told her I didn’t like it and she agreed.
“Isn’t it weird to stand in the shower with no water running for 3 minutes?” she asked.
I laughed because that is absolutely the weirdest part about the product. I don’t have a clock in my shower, or even in my bathroom, so I never had a great way of telling when it had been 3 minutes. I started by washing my face with my Clarisonic – that shuts off after 1 minute, so at least I had 1/3 of the time down.
Other than that I would just stand there, and/or sway back and forth, naked, and wet like the next Intervention candidate, amirite?
So, there’s that. I’ll tell you about the second sunless tanner I tried on the next “Road Test” (it’s official, I need theme music). Until then, you guys have a great weekend – I’m going to another Texas Stars hockey game! Catch it all on SnapChat @ OrangeJulius7
It’s FRI-DAAAAAY! If you’ve been here all week, I really hope you’ve enjoyed the blog’s fun little twist. I really had a blast writing these posts and I’m so excited for all of the fun, HONEST content that’s coming your way.
But enough business talk, and let’s get to the real shit: it’s the freakin’ weekend and this one is a biggie! I’m performing for the first time (in a really long time) with my dance studio for their semi-annual “Love Hangover” showcase.
I am performing at The North Door in downtown Austin, at 8pm. It’s 18+, and there’ll be drinks and yummy food, so come out! It’ll really be a blast. I’ve been practicing now for 6 weeks, and I’m ready to shake it!
And then there’s the long-awaited Netflix release of Fuller House, which happened today! But more on this later. Let me get to the Fresh Friday scent profile of the week: Candy by Prada. As described by Sephora:
Prada CANDY is instantly seductive—pure pleasure wrapped in impulsive charm. In an explosion of shocking pink and gold, Prada CANDY takes us on a walk on the wild side, showing us a new facet of Prada femininity where more is more and excess is everything. Magnified by white musks, noble benzoin comes together with a modern caramel accord to give the fragrance a truly unique signature.
Notes: Caramel, Musk, Vanilla, Benzoin.
Style: Carefree. Sophisticated. Sensual.
This scent really does smell sweet, in a good way. It’s unique and I’ve really enjoyed wearing it for the past week. It’s in the running to be my favorite, but we’ll see… I honestly just keep thinking about Mandy Moore when I wear it.
…But why is she like, so pissed off in her room? And that Sony discman… but speaking of the 90’s: Full House! Full House ran from 1987-1995 and was the totally un-realistic sitcom about a widower and his three daughters, and he gets help from his friends and family, who somehow all live under the same roof.
So, Netflix announced a few months ago they were going to air “Fuller House”, the story of one of the daughters from Full House, DJ, now a widow, and she moves back to the old house and gets help from her family and friends to raise her three kids. Aw, how sweeeeeet.
Most of the original cast is back, including Uncle Jesse, Aunt Becky, and even Kimmie Gibbler. Michelle is missing, but the preview proved that she’s not forgotten.
It looks decent, right? Well, let’s amp things up a bit with a DRINKING GAME!
Drink every time:
- There’s a Full-House-ism including, but not limited to: Cut it Out, Tanneritos, Have Mercy, How Rude, You Got it Dude, etc.
- Someone learns a lesson/hugs it out
- Jodi Sweetin, “Stephanie” looks old
- Someone alludes to “Michelle”
- Nikki & Alex look cute (sorry, had to)
- Steve steals food
- You find yourself singing the remixed theme song
I FULLY expect to get snaps @OrangeJulius7 from you all while this is happening! Other than that, y’all have a great weekend!
Valentine’s Day is two days away, and I’m single, very single. I don’t even have a crush and I ALWAYS have a crush. I mean, I’ve still got John Mayer, so no worries there. So, what does a single girl LOVE on Valentine’s Day? Let me tell you what:
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser – I treated myself to the “starter kit” when I got a coupon for the Birchbox store. The face wash itself is kind of like Noxema (hello, 90’s!) in texture, but it gets off ALL my makeup. I still can’t get over how awesome this stuff is. So, the other part of this system is the muslin cloth you use to remove the cleanser: it’s gentle, but exfoliating so it really gets things clean. Try Birchbox to get exclusive Liz Earle products!
Origins Active Charcoal mask – I use a mask at every night. I am really trying to up my skincare regimen, and I love trying different things to see what works. My latest purchase is the Active Charcoal Mask from Origins. I get blackheads on my nose, chin, and between my eyebrows, and I use this at least once a week to (hopefully) dry up the suckers.
Green Chef meals – It’s been about two months since I signed up to have organic ingredients delivered right to my doorstep each week. I really love this service more than I expected! The ingredients are always fresh, the recipes are things I’ve never made before, and they are easy to make, but it still feels like I’m cooking. I rarely have to go to the grocery store, so it saves me time, and it even cuts back on my food costs since I’m not loading up my cart with unnecessary purchases. Want to try it? You can get 4 FREE meals using my code! I’d love you know what you think.
Ban.do Drink Sleeve – “Fries Before Guys” is my life motto. I love fries, and fuck it, I’m putting them first in my life, forever. Calories be dammed. The cool thing about Ban.do, is that aside from having all sorts of bad ass goodies, they also have free downloads on their website. So, I promptly downloaded a “Fries Before Guys” phone wallpaper, so I won’t get it twisted. Ever.
Amazon Prime – Who doesn’t love free two-day shipping? It makes me want to buy EVERYTHING on Amazon (and I probably have). But, I also enjoy watching free videos (such as seasons of The Newsroom), streaming music, and getting free Kindle books. It’s a pretty great deal, and another excuse for me to avoid public shopping situations. Are you sensing a trend here? Try Amazon Prime for 30 days, for FREE, and see how awesome it is!
ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm – This crazy, cool lip balm adjusts to your unique pH, enhancing each wearer’s natural lip color to create the perfect, just-for-you hue. It also contains mango seed butter to hydrate and protect lips. Another perk? It boasts a lovely minty scent. I like to keep this in my desk drawer at work, because I know I can slather it on before a meeting, and without a mirror, it looks perfect!
DW Home hand-poured candle in Sun Bleached Denim – “Fresh hints of brushed cotton with bright bergamot, zesty lemon, and herbaceous greens over silver sage leaf, earthy patchouli, and cool woody musk.” Holy hell. I don’t know why this is called “Sun Bleached Denim” because it smells like a fine ass man stepping out of a hot shower, and he can’t find his towel ANYWHERE, and I about fainted when I got a whiff of this thing in T.J. Maxx. Get this candle, like, now. It is everything fantasies are made of.
Dexter reruns – A few weeks ago, I discovered FM is airing old episodes of Dexter, in chronological order. Record series. Get popcorn. Binge. Drool. No second thoughts. Who doesn’t love a sexy Mr. Morgan battling crime in his unique code so we all can sleep at night? Count me in.
Not Soap, Radio Body Wash – Funny name, but seriously awesome! Each scent uses the power of smell to hack away at your problems: from relationships to struggles at the office, just hit the shower with this stuff. I’m currently using “Liquid Freud“, which smells of mango and coconut, and aims at calming. Next? I’m getting “Bathing with Sharks” to boost confidence in the boardroom. The bonus? It’s free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates and is never tested on animals.
SkinnyGirl Popcorn – I have a love/hate relationship with popcorn, but when I saw SkinnyGirl popcorn at the grocery, I wanted to try it. I got the “Sea Salt and Lime” flavor, and it is unique and delish! The box is filled with mini bags, which are good for a low-calorie, delicious snack. I’ve seen ads for the “Rosemary and Olive Oil” flavor, but haven’t seen it in-store yet. I cannot wait to try that one!
…And there you have it; all of my lovely favorites right now, just in time for Heart’s Day. If you’re coupled and have something fantastic planned, hey, I’m happy for you. If you’re single, head up, and pop some bottles (See: my complete guide to bubbly). Me? I’ll be at dance rehearsal for a good chunk of the day. This year, Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating strength, and being okay with my #CatLady life! See y’all right here on Monday! xoxo
Many years ago, I bought a plum lip pot from Victoria’s Secret (similar item here). It was so dark in the little jar, but when you put it on, it was sheer, yet bold. I used it up quickly, because it was an incredibly luxe gloss that I absolutely loved. Ever since, I’m always on the look out for similar looks that are sexy, yet easy to pull off.
The key to pulling off a wine lip is to pay attention to the other makeup you’re wearing. Many people say that if you want to do a bold lip, you’ve got to mute everything else… not quite true. If you do that, you’ll look like a vampire and/or Wednesday Adams. If that’s not your thing, wear makeup that’s dewy and well, full of life!
Wine lip hues to try:
Desire Tinted Lipglass by Mac ($18) – Tinted Lipglass is a unique lip gloss can create a high-gloss, glass-like finish or a subtle sheen. Designed to be worn on its own or over a lip pencil or a lipstick, it’s the perfect product for creating shine that lasts. It’s pigmented, very shiny and can impart subtle or dramatic color. It’s formulated with jojoba oil to help soften and condition lips.
Wine Tour Moisturizing Lipstick by e.l.f. Studio ($6) – All e.l.f. lipsticks provide even, natural-looking lip color, without fading or drying out. Each lipstick has been formulated with key ingredients and vitamins to nourish and moisturize lips for a healthy, long-lasting look. e.l.f. Cosmetics offers the best selection of high-quality, affordable lipstick cosmetics.
Shiraz Lip Tint by Wine Country Organics ($7) – This organic grape seed oil lip tint provides rich organic moisturizing with a touch of natural pigment. This 100% natural formula – made with 97% certified organic ingredients – soothes, conditions and moisturizes for soft, beautiful and kissable lips.
Merlot Crème Smooth Lip Colour by Laura Mercier ($27) – Laura introduces a luxurious new lipstick that gives lips the ultimate in colour, texture, and finish. In one smoothing swipe, the creme formula envelops lips in rich colour with a semi-lustrous finish. The cushiony, lightweight texture feels comfortable, while pure Olive Oil and Vitamin E nourish lips. Features an elegant, modern case with a metalized finish. Application technique: Press bullet to lips using even pressure to apply colour on both upper and lower lips; to refresh press lip together.
Divine Wine Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Color by Maybelline ($6) – Maybelline’s Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Color delivers a burst of bold lip color and a surge of creamy texture in make-a-statement shades, for mattes your lips will love to wear!
Copenhagen Soft Matte Lip Cream by Nyx Cosmetics ($9) – This matte lip cream is a new kind of lip color that goes on silky smooth and sets to a matte finish. Soft Matte Lip Cream is surprisingly durable and, unlike some matte lipstick formulas, also moisturizing. Delightfully creamy and lightweight, our award winning line just expanded with two captivating new shades. Apply directly to lips, or over lipstick. Apply with lip liner to define outline of lips.
If you’re a wino, like me, and have experience true wine lips after downing a glass a bottle, it’s not really the look you’re going for. To prevent REAL wine lips, make sure you’re regularly exfoliating the lips (try The Lip Scrub). Red wine sticks to dry skin. It’s also a good idea to smear on a little lip balm with olive oil before indulging in a sip session (try 80 Acres).
If it’s too late, and you’re mid-date in the bathroom with wine lips, dap on a dark red hue over the wine-stain and it’ll look like you meant to do it this entire time!
The other part of the problem could be wine teeth. This is not a good look! Avoid getting wine teeth by brushing your teeth before you hit the bar. If possible, sip water between sips of wine. And finally, load up your purse with some Wine Wipes – these suckers are safe for your teeth and will clean up that Merlot mouth ASAP.
So, there you have it – you can master the wine lip in the right way, and avoid the downsides (though they are few and far between) of sipping the sauce.
First thing’s first: I got new hair and I. DON’T. CARE. You know Chris Brown’s song, “Zero”? That’s my new theme song, ‘cuz that’s how manyyyy f*cks I give…
That’s right, my new hair is sassy, but more importantly, it’s easy to style and it feels healthy. I was rocking the same haircut and color for quite awhile, and although it was still looking great, it’s never too soon (or too late) to change up the game.
I think it’s true: women change their hair, or their look in some way, when they’ve reached a turning point. And after last week’s epiphany, I’m still feeling like a whole new woman, so why not get a fresh cut?
I have been eyeing this short, wavy style for a few months, wondering if I could pull it off. The women that wear it best have great bone structure, and let’s face facts, I could stand to lose a few pounds, and I’ve always had chubby cheeks.
I still kind of wonder how it ultimately looks, but when I woke up on Saturday morning, still in question, I decided “fuck it.” Who cares if I’ve got a round face, it’s my hair and I’m going to cut it. Booyah.
Truthfully, I’ve never been too worried about my hair. If it’s too short, I’ll grow it out, and if it looks terrible, it’s usually nothing a good wash and blow dry can’t fix. Perhaps I’ve been lucky enough to have some great stylists touch my locks, because I’ve really never had any hair disasters (and I definitely dyed my hair from a box for years and sometimes cut it myself).
But I put my faith in my hair stylist (Lydia @ The Garrett Neal Studio; you should check her out), showed her a picture, and we were on our way. She hacked a good chunk off the bottom (2-4 inches, depending on the layers), and added in some ombre highlights, aside from my usual refresh of reddish-brown color (you did know I’m a natural blonde, right?).
In years passed, I’ve spent a lot of time on my hair. I used to get up and wash it every morning, blow dry it with a flat brush to get it smooth, and then choose my hot tool of choice – I’ve done hot curlers, curling irons, straighteners, wave irons, and in the early 90’s, I definitely used a crimper.
But as of late, my plate is very full with other things: work, dance, blogging, freelance editing, my blog class, and general laziness in front of the TV. So, I cut the corners where I can. And while I still put on a full face of makeup before heading to work every morning, I don’t mind skipping on my hair.
This means my hair routine has consisted of this: washing it at night (with sulfate-free shampoo to treat my color), brushing it wet before bed, letting it air dry as I sleep…and then assessing the situation in the morning. Most of the time, it looks pretty good (my hair has some natural wave), and all it takes is a few sprays of something: dry shampoo (try Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak), texturizing spray (try Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe), or extra hold hairspray, and I’m good to go after a strategically placed bobby pin.
And my new cut completely supports this lack-of-care routine I’ve got going on. No fuss here.
Aside from my daily routine, I do a weekly protein treatment using Paul Mitchell’s Hair Repair and I throw on a hair mask (I like Amika Obliphica Nourishing Mask) a few days later, for good measure. Other than that, it’s easy, breezy, beautiful… (CoverGirl) over here.
Are you thinking of changing up your look this year? I’d love to see what style icons you’re admiring! Follow me on SnapChat @OrangeJulius7 to see more of my fairly beauty regimen (and other ridiculous nonsense).