January 2012

Give Yourself a Mini-Facial at Home

For ladies that have a more do-it-yourself attitude towards beauty, consider eschewing pricey facials and commercial masks to make your own at home! It’s cheaper and you know that there aren’t harmful chemicals in them. My favorite is to do a mini facial at home using honey, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil.

A bit of a warning here. If you have sensitive or dry skin, ABORT! Don’t even try this. It is too strong for your skin.

How to Wake Up Tired, Baggy Eyes

Use One or All of These Techniques to Wake Up Your Eyes.

I don't tend to get dark circles and other signs that point to tiredness that often unless I'm either sick or have been awoken by my 10-month-old several times during the night. However, when I do, I have figured out through trial and research what works and what doesn't to get rid of tired eyes fast. For example, if I use the wrong color of concealer under my peepers, they'll appear even more exhausted than before I started. Use one or all of these techniques to wake up your eyes.


Remove your makeup and wash your face before you go to bed to decrease the chance that you'll wake up with tired eyes. Puffy eyes in the morning, according to makeup artists, can result from an unwashed face from the night before.

Eyeliner is HiP

Eyeliner is a girl’s best friend.


There are many choices, walking through the makeup aisle in the drugstore might seem a little intimidating. My favorite is listed here:

Loreal HiP Color Truth Cream Eyeliner is amazing. It’s super creamy and floats onto your lids magically. You can smear it for a dark, gothic or vampy night time look. Or you can use a pencil brush to sweep it along your waterline to make your eyes really pop for day time!

Keep your Hands Soft During Winter With Bath and Body Work's Product

It's a well-known fact that winter wreaks havoc on your hands. Each year, the cold dry air filters in, leaving me excited for the changing weather except for one thing: lack of moisture. I always receive complements from my husband about my soft skin.(I try to apply body lotion almost every day.) However, even with taking part in a daily moisturizing routine that pleases my honey, they still ended up dry. That is, until I discovered the one beauty item that would turn things around for me. Now, I can look forward to the cooler weather without sacrificing soft hands.

Essie Sugar Daddy – The Perfect Neutral Nail Polish

I regularly paint my nails various shades of nail polish. I love a range of colors, from dark and vampy colors to soft neutral pinks. The reason that I don’t wear a lot of dark colors on my fingernails is that that they chip fast, no matter what I use. I hate seeing chips. So, I use those colors on my toes. Some of my favorites include OPI Lincoln Park After Dark, a purple, reddish, almost black color, and China Glaze Ruby Pumps, a glittery red. For my fingernails, I wear Essie Sugar Daddy, a sheer pink, most of the time. It is the very best neutral nail polish that I’ve ever used.

5 Skin Care Staples I Truly Love!

Oil Of Olay- Cleansing Cloths

You know those commercials where the girls are washing their faces and just splashing the water perfectly from the sink? That doesn't really happen in real life. I think a lot of us actually dread washing our face at night, but we know that the alternative is clogged pores, dirty pillow cases, and breakouts! Notice those girls in the commercials never look like they are wearing any makeup either? A good face wash doesn't necessarily go hand in hand with a good total makeup remover. They are two different worlds. One for dirt/oil and one for makeup. When I came across the cleansing cloths from Oil of Olay, I was impressed with how easy they were. Just get them wet suds it up and wash away all of the above!  Maybe these are made for lazy people, but I love using these! The only thing to worry about is keeping the case closed (otherwise they won't get as soapy), and make sure the water is warm enough. This provides a fast alternative to those that just want to take it off before we go to bed.  I usually follow up with a real good cleanse in the morning and then a toner. You can almost always find a $1 off coupon for Olay products in your Sunday paper. (Typically cost $4-$6 and last 1-2 months)

Lancome- Bi-Facil

I never could get behind an eye makeup remover that felt oily, especially when I was acne prone.  The problem with most non oily makeup removers though is they don't work as well, or they are just flat out still greasy. Bi-Facil smells wonderful, and as soon as I started using it to take off my makeup I finally felt it was time to cross over into something like this. The greasy feeling is actually conditioning your lashes for the night. I always start by taking off my eye makeup and then follow up with my facial cleanse to make sure I get rid of any excess oil on the skin.  This formula works perfect, even on waterproof liners and mascaras! One product that I wish the cost was a little less on, but I try and buy when I get the best value. (Gifts, or discount time) (Typical cost $26, lasts about 4-5 months)

Clinique- Dramatically Different Gel/Lotion

I was only introduced to this product over the past year. Clinique is famous for their yellow moisturizer, and sells a bottle about every 3 seconds.  It comes in two different formulas, gel and lotion.  The gel is great for oily skin, and the lotion is formulated for dryer skin.  A lot of people like to wear the gel in the summer and the lotion and winter but it really depends on how you feel it works for you.  I never used a moisturizer for more than a week before I met the yellow gel.  I have combination, acne prone skin, and the lightweight gel is just refreshing when I put it on every morning.  Unlike other moisturizers, you don't have to wait 5 minutes for it to sink in. Your skin instantly drinks this right up! Having a good moisturizer also means that your foundation absorbs and wears better as well.  If you have had issues in the past, this may be a great item for you to try! (Typically $23-$25, also available in a smaller travel/trial size for $13)

5 Makeup Staples I Cannot Go Without

Urban Decay- Primer Potion

Before I knew what an eyelid primer was, I would use stick eyeliner to create a base for my shadows. I had always tried to formulate really colorful shadows with water (Later I found out what mixing medium was.) The more of a base you create for the shadow the longer it lasts. Using primer potion has been a miracle, especially if you have oily eyelids! The biggest complaint I ever heard about the potion was the packaging, there was a lot of wasted product.  Urban Decay took the negative rants to heart and re-packaged their magical primer into a squeeze tube.  This comes in a few neutral shades now, but I like just the basic. Application is simple, just swipe across the lid, give it a minute to dry and then top with your favorite shadows.  You can basically sleep in your shadow and still look the same the next day. (Though I would not recommend it.) Crease free is the way to be! (Typically cost $19 and last at least 6 months!)

Palladio- Pencil Liner

I had tried 20 different pencil liners before I came across one I truly fell in love with. I first saw the Palladio brand at Sally Beauty Supply and decided to give it a shot. The pencil comes already sharpened, and for the first 3-4 uses you will notice nothing spectacular.  After it wears a little on the tip, this pencil liner starts to glide on like a liquid.  I apply on my water line (which is something some people frown upon) , and the finished look it gives is like having a liquid liner on bottom.  When working for Lancome I would get compliments all the time on how it never smudged or budged.  I have tried rather expensive liners, waterproof liners, and automatic liners, but none compare to the Palladio. It comes in some really great shades, though I truly love my black. Say goodbye to the days of heating your stick liners with a hair dryer!  (Typically cost $3-$6, lasts about 6 months!)

How to Make a Homemade Coffee Scrub

"This scrub can also work as a homemade gift."

Coffee, one of my favorite drinks, can double as a homemade body scrub. The caffeine in coffee works to move the water around in your body which, in turn, makes your skin tighten. The tightening of your skin results in making your skin look younger and firmer. Coffee scrubs reverse skin acne and slows down the formation of wrinkles on your skin. The beneficial ingredients in the scrub also help keep your skin soft, according to a Livestrong article written by Holly L. Roberts titled “Homemade Coffee Scrub.”

The Cost of Foundation

I have not used a drug store brand foundation in over 5 years.  I am not saying that good ones don't exist, but sometimes in this case you do get what you pay for.  (For the record I am not a makeup snob, I love cosmetics from both high and low ends of the earth.)  When you buy a $5-$10 foundation every other month, the cost stacks up. You end up using much more than if you found a match that you really loved. I had a makeover a few years ago at a Lancome counter.  My skin was a mess at the time and I sat down and listened to suggestions for skin care.  When I left that day I bought some of the products they reviewed with me, but most importantly that day they sent me home with a sample of foundation that changed me.  I used the sample and had to have it within a week. I have been in it ever since, and have no plans of changing in the near future.  I get funny looks when I tell people that the foundation cost $42, but in all honesty I get 10 months out of it, and would have a hard time finding something similar.

The Perfect Foundation

"There really is something out there for everyone. It is not worth being unhappy with your skin."

There are some women born with beautiful, even, and flawless skin. I have never been one of those lucky ladies, and for a long time the search for the perfect coverage foundation was a very frustrating experience.  I have worn liquid foundation for about 15 years, and though I love my mineral makeup, I could swirl, tap, and buff all day and not get a full coverage look.

So where to start? You truly have to have a little bit of an idea as far as coverage goes, what you would like.  When I do makeovers I tend to keep the younger aged girls with good complexion in something sheer and water based, or a nice tinted moisturizer.   Younger girls prone to acne I love a good matte foundation with full coverage.  Most (not all) matte foundations are oil free.  For about 75%  of us out here, we don't want an oily foundation!  When age starts to come into play we usually move you up into a line for dry skin to help replenish moisture loss and keep you from getting cakey.  Most cosmetic lines have a foundation targeted to lift and firm wrinkles throughout the day as well.  Somewhere in the middle? Look for a nice moderate coverage balancing foundation.  The type of skin you have, is more important than the type of skin you want.

Candy Cane Lane

I love Philosophy brand beauty products.

Urban Outfitters has three collections representing Philosophy brand beauty products featured in their product list for this year. My favorite is Candy Cane Lane. The price is right at a scant 22 dollars. As stated on the label, this set is “a merry blend of red and white”. This wonderful collection includes three products. These are # 1: 3-in-1 peppermint scented shampoo, bubble bath and shower gel. # 2: super skin drenching peppermint scented body lotion infused with shea butter. # 3: A high intensity, high shine lip gloss with this phrase stated on the label: “may you find yourself smiling with cheer”.