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The “D” Word

The dreaded “D” word in beauty, I’m talking about your favorite products being discontinued. I understand why companies do this, I just don’t like it when it happens to my favorite product. I guess it isn’t so bad when the product is being replaced with updated packaging or a better formula (although we all know when that formula changes it no longer is the same or has the same effect that we all once loved) or sometimes it’s the same product but a new name. Unfortunately, this is not the experience with what has happened to a favorite product of mine. My favorite primer ever (read about it here) has been discontinued. The only place I have been able to find it is on eBay, for like $40, when

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Image from us.boots.com

the original price was only $12.99. I also think that it is available in the UK under a different name, but I can’t be totally sure and I am not headed in that direction, and unfortunately, the UK retailer does not ship to the US. On the plus side, I still have some left, which will buy me some time to try and find a dupe. However, there is going to be the day, after scraping every last bit out, that it will be gone. Forever. And right now, I’m not ready for that day.

What did you do when your favorite product was discontinued? Find a dupe? Use the replacement product the company came out with? Purchase every last piece in the store? Share your discontinued experience below!

 

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Everything Is Coming Up Roses

Oh my, how time flies by. I guess I didn’t realize how quickly one day turns into 5…5 days turns into 2 weeks and now it’s been just over 2 months since my last post. Life’s been a bit chaotic with a newborn and toddler…and I’m the hostage. However, life has finally become a bit more…um, normal. I guess I can say that now. I think I’ve finally figured out a bit of a system, although that system is definitely flexible. One thing I try and do every day is to get dressed and put something on my face. This actually gives me motivation to do something. Whether I go for a walk with the dogs and kids or we go to the park or I have the opportunity to do a little Tracy Anderson workout, or even do a little cleaning around the house,  I feel productive that day. The days I don’t do a little makeup, I find myself sitting on the couch watching some series on Netflix or Hulu until the Husband comes home and finds me exactly where he left me…and I end up feeling a little hopeless.

Recently, I have seen a trend in some of the products I have recently picked up, received and already have. I think part of it is my subconscious giving me signs that things are going to be okay, things are turning around. If you read some of my previous posts, I was not only pregnant but kinda homeless (not really…just in limbo!). Well, my family and I found an area that we like that is also in close proximeter to both my job and the Husbands; the kid arrived and in great health and he’s pretty darn cute too. Life is blooming…and the products I have been using seem to be a reflection of this as well. I’ve been a little obsessed with rose in products. When a friend gave me the Matrix Oil Wonders Volume Rose Plumping Mousse, after using it and obsessing about not only the amazing bounce, lift and overall life my hair had, the smell gave me a little bit of happiness. Every time my hair bounced a little aroma of rose filled my personal space and I couldn’t help but smile. So I immediately purchased the shampoo and conditioner in the same formula. Which I also absolutely love! Again, the smell is amazing!  IMG_20160620_130829 (2)Captivating! And my fine hair loves the fullness and volume I get everytime I use the two together. Especially the conditioner, as volume conditioners have a tendancy to not really condition my hair or leave it dry and tangled, the Matrix Oil Wonders Volume Rose Conditioner makes every strand silky smooth, with out weighing it down! A must try if you have fine thin hair like mine. One of my go to easy products has been the Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses CC tinted moisturizer in Nude mixed with my favorite No 7 True Identity Foundation in Light (you can read about that post here). The duo together create just the perfect amount of coverage, making it look as though I am not wearing anything at all, just perfect looking skin! And it just so happens, every time I apply the 1000 Roses CC tinted moisturizer, a little smile emerges on my face.

Another recent obsession of mine has been the Stila Set & Bronze Baked Powder Trio, a rose hued bronzer that I found in Marshall’s for only $7.99, which I like to use as blush. This provides a rosy bronze gleam to my cheeks and looks as though I just came back from vacation. I think I love it even more because it was only $7.99! Unfortunately, it looks as though Stila has discontinued this product, as I don’t see it on the website…but I found a posting on eBay (although it was over $20…not the same deal I received..boo!) and you might also be able to find it on amazon. Another one of my go to products is from a line called, Catrice, that to my knowledge is only available at Ulta in the states. In fact, I have only ever seen the products on the Ulta website. But if you are looking for on trend products at a mere fraction of what even drug store products sell for, then this might be a new obsession for you as well! Anyway, I’m loving the Catrice Absolute Rose eyeshadow palette, which is only $6.99! While the pigment is not comparable to Urban Decay (which I don’t always like anyway) when used with a primer, these colors are just as beautiful and last a good 10-12 hours throughout the day (or night!)

So, for the past few months, these rose hued and rose scented products have really kept me going. Which begs the question, why? Well, I guess it’s not surprising that makeup and really any beauty product will make me feel better, but then why not just use anything? It turns out that the aroma of rose has medicinal properties that have been known to help with depression as well as stress (and a whole lot of other ailments!). So every time I’m taking a whiff of my shampoo or tinted moisturizer, that smile that sneaks across my face is a natural side effect of that rose aroma. No wonder people tell you to stop and smell the roses…not only are they telling you to slow down, but to relax, de-stress, unwind…give yourself some you time. So, while life can definitely be challenging, unpredictable and down right crappy at times, don’t worry, go grab the shampoo or tinted moisturizer and take a good whiff, because everything will eventually come up roses.

 

I do not work for any of the companies listed nor did I receive any compensation for this post.

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My Rosy Makeup Look

Help A New Mom Feel Beautiful

Apologies to any reader who is not or has not ever been pregnant…I promise, these posts regarding pregnancy will end soon (thank goodness!) because baby boy will be arriving very, very soon now.

I just gotta vent a little bit about being pregnant. First, it’s different for everyone and each time can be different as well. This being my number 2 I am truly amazed at how different this pregnancy was vs the first, minus the fact that both resulted in boys. I think for some women, the attention that you receive can be fun…until…well, there are lots of things that people say that can leave you feeling not so great about being pregnant. I remember in my 5th month, a women told me I looked ready to pop any day now. Wow, I don’t feel like a house anymore. And in my 8th month, I had a woman share with me that I looked so small compared to her coworker who was huge! But, I shouldn’t worry if my baby was smaller than the other woman’s, as he’d eventually grow. Really?

I understand that being pregnant is an exciting time, bringing a new life into this world many people get excited, including random strangers! And for those long 9 months while the mother is being asked all the questions, they really are all about the baby. Then there is the baby shower, which is fantastic really. I mean, how awesome is it for friends and family to purchase necessities for your new little one? However, (and I really hope this doesn’t come off as unappreciative, or selfish, although it just might…)but what about Mom?

With my first kid I received lots of goodies for the little guy…some awesome necessities (which at the time, I didn’t even realize I needed…of course the things that you also don’t want to have to go out and purchase, because buying wipes isn’t as fun as purchasing cute onesies). And then there was the friend who gifted mom some skincare mini’s that I could use while staying in the hospital. Awesome. One of my favorite gifts.

This time around I was lucky enough to have my mother in law treat me. In fact, I was ready for the, do it myself route, with my hair and nails. (Because what they don’t share with you is that a random camera person comes into your hospital room on the 2nd or 3rd day to take baby’s picture with mom. Well, when that happened to me, my hair hadn’t been washed for 3 days, it was greasy and my nails were gross, and I didn’t want my photo taken, but also didn’t want to miss an opportunity for a professional photographer with my new little guy).

Anyway, being treated was such a luxury as I haven’t had my nails done in over a year in addition to my hair. Well, I have done my own hair, but again, to have a professional do it was a real treat. Thank goodness that my mom in law sent me to Salon Cuvee and Day Spa for my hair. All I wanted was a partial/baby highlights to blend into my ombre hair. My stylist was fabulous. Even though she was super booked (another stylist was running 2 hours late and she was taking some of his clients that couldn’t reschedule) she took her time to explain to me what she was doing, making sure it was what I had asked, as well as what I would expect during my appointment. While she suggested a cut or additional color, she didn’t pressure me when I said no. All in all, beautifully done. And I felt fantastic.       20160408_104753

When it comes to knowing a friend or family member being pregnant, I suggest that yes you purchase an item or 3 from their registry, but also treat them to feeling normal again. I mean, it takes a while to feel normal again after being pregnant. Of course celebrities and the media make it look as though normalcy is just around the corner, but let me tell you it is not.

Now, of course that little treat you get for the new mom should be something she would normally want to do, but just isn’t able to do it for herself…I mean, I totally feel guilty purchasing anything for me instead of baby. In fact, I go out because I need an eyecream, but after looking and seeing the price, I figure I could use that $30+ to purchase clothes or diapers for the baby. So I go home empty handed, (I guess I’ll just use my face cream instead) But if someone else is getting it for me, well, then yes, I’ll happily accept. And thank you!

I’m sorry if this seems like something selfish to say out loud, I just want to help any pregnant woman out there feel normal, feel beautiful, feel like her self during a time that can seem so alien.

Not sure what you can get for that new mom? Here are some suggestions…but of course, feel free to ask the new mom what she misses the most…that can help too.

  • Hair appointment for mom
  • Nail appointment for mom
  • Pregnancy Massage
  • Favorite Meal (home made or from her favorite restaurant)
  • Babysit her other kiddos (or hire a sitter for her other kiddos and take her out for a girl’s night…because those just don’t really exist for some time after birth)
  • Pregnancy Facial
  • Hair Blow Out/Style (I suggest the Dry Bar – they can even come to your home)
  • Shopping spree for after delivery

 

I do not work for any company listed, nor did I receive any compensation for this post.

Buh – Bye Dry

Living in Southern California a majority of my life, I’ve never really suffered with dry skin. Even after spending day after day in the salty Pacific Ocean.  I’ve experienced mini bouts when I traveled to Arizona where it truly is super dry, however, my skin would just get dry and when I used moisturizer (it didn’t really matter which one) my skin would positively respond.

Well, when my family relocated to the Tahoe area, in the middle of winter, with snow and super cold weather, my skin (and even my toddler’s skin) freaked out. My poor little kid’s face got all red and cracked, while the skin on my arms and legs developed these little scabby bumps (sorry, kinda gross, but not that gross…promise). From my wrists to upper arms as well as all over my upper legs, these little bumps were everywhere. It wasn’t eczema or psoriasis, and it for sure was not chicken pox. My doctor let me know that it was a skin condition known as Keratosis Pilaris, which is a harmless yet common skin

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Image of Kerattosis Pilaris on the arm – taken from Google images

condition that causes small hard bumps on the skin that can make it feel like sand paper.

But why me? Turns out being pregnant can make you more susceptible as well as the condition can worsen during winter months when there is less moisture in the air. And what do I do when it’s cold outside? Take a steaming hot shower…which also makes the condition worse. While I was using moisturizer every day after the shower, nothing was  helping. I was embarrassed as it looked as though I had some nasty contagious skin disease.

Doctor, what can I do? Apparently there is no cure...however, there are treatments you can do to make the skin look and feel better and eventually it can go away as well. For example, using a topical exfoliant to remove the buildup of dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Another option is to use a topical retinoid to prevent the hair follicles from getting plugged in the first place. Well, the doctor advised me to avoid the retinal option since I am pregnant. But at the same time, the exfoliant option can result in mild burning or redness when applied, and I was already embarrassed by how my skin looked now…what would happen when I added redness and irritation to the area? The next option was to use a rich moisturizer. I thought I had been using one, so I used this as the perfect excuse to by another skin care product for my body.

I went to Target, because well, Target is awesome. Of course, there is an entire aisle devoted to body moisturizers…I just had to figure out which one to purchase. The current moisturizer I was using for myself and kid, was a “dermatologist recommended” product that specifically said for super dry skin (okay, so maybe it didn’t say super dry, but something close to that) and on a day to day basis, it was a decent moisturizer, even though my kid’s skin would still experience patchy dryness on his legs or arms. I’m not sure why, but for some reason I grabbed the basic Nivea Original Daily Moisture Lotion for normal to dry skin. You know the one, in the dark blue bottle. Mainly it was because I was with the NBC_Original-Daily-Moisture_bottle_2016-02-24husband and kid at the time and they were both getting anxious after I was in the aisle for about 5 minutes too long.

I started using the Nivea Original Daily Moisture lotion that very same night after taking a shower and continued to use it the rest
of the week, not only on myself but on my kid as well. I kid you not, it wasn’t a full 5 days later that my skin was totally clear. I was surprised and excited at the same time. In addition, my kid’s skin was totally clear. No more dry eczema patches on his arms or legs, his face was back to its normal cute self and he was back to just perfectly soft baby skin. I was even more surprised because it is a very basic and inexpensive moisturizer and because of the results, I am still using it today!

So, what exactly is so great about Nivea’s lotion? I read the ingredients and immediately saw why it was working so well…Lanolin. Some people are not a fan of Lanolin as it is a by product of Sheep’s wool. While sheep are not harmed in the process of extracting the lanolin from the wool, if you are allergic or sensitive to wool, you most likely want to avoid this ingredient all together. For everyone else, lanolin is the perfect ingredient for skin that is especially dry because it penetrates deeper in the skin and doesn’t just moisturize but creates a barrier in the underlying layers of the skin to prevent moisture from escaping. This keeps the skin supple longer so that when you use it you do not have to apply it as often as other moisturizers not containing lanolin. In addition, the moisturizing properties of lanolin can help ease itching often associated with dry skin. Now that winter is over and it officially is Spring (even though Tahoe hasn’t gotten the memo yet) as we start to wear sandals and have our feet exposed to the elements, using a lanolin based moisturizer on your feet and heels will allow tools that exfoliate those areas to work better preventing that thickness of dead skin that happens so often when sandals or flip flops are worn throughout the Spring/Summer season (and for those in Southern California, so many of us wear flip flops and sandals year round!).

While I am a big fan of Nivea because of the lanolin (as well as other awesome moisturizing ingredients) I know there are other products that also contain lanolin as a moisturizing agent, I just haven’t tried them all!

Are you a fan of lanolin? What products would you recommend that contain lanolin?

 

 

I do not work for any of the companies listed above nor did I receive compensation for this blog post.

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Beauty Sleep

I just woke up…or at least as I am writing this, I’ve just woken up. It’s about 1:30 in the afternoon. This has been my routine for the last six weeks. Every time the kid goes down for a nap, I too take this time to catch some needed shut eye. I’m about 2 weeks away from delivery and while I have been taking it easy (went part time with work, staying in the room and playing with the kid when I’m off) I have not gotten a good night’s sleep since…well, possibly the past 3 months. Every time I move at night, I wake up due to pains in my groin and then it’s time to go to the bathroom and then right as I am ready to fall asleep, the husband’s loud snores keeps me awake for the next 2 hours. Before I know it, the alarm is going off and it’s time to start the day.

The necessity of a nap is definitely required while pregnant, however, I think napping is much needed for everyone. I remember when I was a kid, my dad would come home from work and while not every day, but maybe 3-4 days out of the week, he’d take a nap before dinner. He’d first make sure that he had done everything he could before he went down, but he would take a nap. My mom would do this occasionally too. While not as often as my dad, she would indulge in a nap every now and then.

Since taking my daily naps with the kid, I’ve found myself to be a nicer person during the day, no longer groggy in the morning or immediately after the nap, and an additional bonus, my skin is looking clearer, brighter and more radiant.

It turns out there is truth in beauty sleep. In fact, WebMD informed me that getting enough sleep will provide six key beauty benefits, which include:

  1. Fewer Wrinkles- skin creates more collagen while your body is in sleep mode, and more collagen means less sagging which means less wrinkles. At the same time, not getting enough sleep can create more wrinkles, as the skin can become drier and make wrinkles more visible. During the night is also the time that your skin goes into repair mode, and not having enough sleep, your skin can’t do the full repair that it needs to do.
  2. A Glowing Complexion – While sleeping, your body boosts blood flow to the skin, which promotes a brighter, more glowing complexion. Skip the zzzz’s and your skin can look tired, ashy or grey even lifeless. When your body misses out on the much needed sleep, your skin isn’t getting the blood that it needs which results in dull skin and no more rosy cheeks.
  3. Brighter, Less Puffy Eyes – Anytime I don’t get enough sleep, extra concealer is definitely required! My go to is Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla, however, even better is to get enough sleep so you don’t have to use concealer. Puffy eyes can also be a symptom of lack of sleep. Just getting enough shut eye will keep your eyes looking bright.
  4. Healthier, Fuller Hair – Hair follicles receive their nutrients from blood flow and when you lack sleep, the blood flow slows down as well, and your hair has a greater difficulty growing. In addition, when we lack sleep, stress can increase as well. When stress increases, the hormone cortisol increases which has the side affect of hair loss.
  5. Happier and Healthier Appearance – Lack of sleep can cause the corners of your mouth to droop, making you look sadder than after a good night’s rest. Has anyone ever said you look tired? Well, that’s because you probably do. Turns out there are subtle changes in facial expressions that can make us furrow or frown more making us look, well, tired.
  6. Products Work Better – Your skin can focus on repairing itself when you are sleeping, especially since it doesn’t have to defend itself from all those elements/free radicals you face everyday. In addition, blood flow is more consistent, and this allows your skin to benefit from the flesh repairing ingredients in your skin care. However, skin can lose more water while sleeping than during the day (unless you drink water while sleeping) so make sure you are applying a creamier moisturizer at night (ever wonder why the beauty counter girl is trying to sell you the day cream and night cream? It’s not just about having you spend more money, but truly about getting the most benefit from your products…your skin needs that extra moisture at night!)

All in all, sleep looks good on everyone. If you don’t normally get a full night’s sleep (8-9 hours), maybe scheduling a nap would be a good thing for you. Don’t think of it as being lazy but a much needed prescription for your beauty routine.

 

Are you a napper? When do you take a nap? Daily, or just when you feel you need a few extra zzz’s?

 

I do not work for any of the companies listed, nor did I receive any compensation for this blog post.

Home Beautiful Home

Have you ever had your life get flipped upside down, sideways and then diagonal on you? I’m sure many of you have and it just so happens that life has decided to really go topsy turvy. It started in January, however, really hit me and my family in February. You see, the husband accepted a fantastic position about 2 hours away from where we were living. That meant we needed to move. Good thing, however, is that our lease was up anyway, so that was the easy part. The hard part was moving to an area where we didn’t already have a place to live. My go with the flow kind of attitude and bright eyed optimism gave me the idea that we would be able to find a place within a couple weeks…a month at most. In the mean time, we could stay at a hotel for a somewhat extended period of time. Well, it’s been two months and we are still in a hotel.

While some may think hotel living can be a fabulous lifestyle, let me be the one to tell you that fabulous it is not. Life with out a home down right sucks. It has been more than a challenge every day, especially with out the luxuries that a home has to offer. Whether an apartment or house, when you have a place that you can go to at the end of the day and be able to unwind, what a beautiful and peaceful thing to have. Something that I may have taken for granted before.

Suffice it to say, during this time my beauty routine has gone down the drain. Part of the reason is that I have a fraction of my beauty tools with me. Oh, how I miss my own bathroom! However, I have learned the absolute minimal routine that allows me to be able to go outside with out looking like I just got out of bed (even though that is exactly what I am doing every morning!)

So far, my absolute minimal routine is using 3 of my favorite products. First and one of the most important are my brows, mainly because I over plucked through out the years (I grew up in the 90’s and 90210 was a major beauty influence for me…you should see my high school sophomore photo…no, never mind, you should not). Anyway, one of my go to brow products is either Anastasia Brow Wiz or NYX Micro Brow pencils. I love them because they are so fine, I can fill in my brows and make them look full yet natural at the same time. I can use either with or with out make up and I just look as though I have naturally full brows! I have been able to fill my brows in less than 30 seconds, which is just about the time I have before I walk out of the hotel room. Of course, when I first wake up it looks like I just woke up…and since I don’t have a coffee maker in the room, I need to fake it with a little concealer. My go to concealer is from Nars, Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla,  which melts into my skin and allows me to fake perfect skin with out looking as though I have any makeup on! A little around my eyes, on my lids, down the bridge of my nose, on the outer corners of my nose and outer corners of my lips, then just tap in and voila! Perfect skin faked. Love this product and I have written about it before…it still is my go to concealer for every day. And I am still on the same tube…this product lasts a really, really, really long time!

Lastly, I finish with mascara…especially since my lashes are fine, light brown with blonde tips, which makes them disappear when I do not wear any mascara. Needless to say, mascara is a definite must for me. Now, recently I have been playing with some different mascaras as there have been some new formulas I have wanted to try or some crazy deals out there that I just couldn’t pass up. Anyway, my normal go to is the L’Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara that I have written about in the past. But then I started using Revlon’s Ultimate All In One Mascara (which surprisingly I am able to use as in the past my eyes were unable to use Revlon mascaras or liners) and I really, really like it, (minus the flake factor towards the end of the day). Well then, Nouveau Cheap blog shared a great deal on the Nordstrom site where I was able to snag a freebie sample of the Chanel Mascara, which I have been using for the past week or so and this one has become my absolute favorite! I love how the deep black color makes my lashes pop at the same time it also separates, lengthens and volumizes the base of my lashes…all with out flaking through out the day!

While not having a home to go to everyday, it is nice to have a mini beauty routine to keep me going as well as keep my sanity. I know that as soon as the popular snow season is over, inventory will be available and we will be moving into our home beautiful home in no time.

 

I do not work for any of the companies listed nor did I receive payment or product for this blog post. 

Happy Valentine’s Day

In the spirit of the holiday and that FLESH beauty is about loving yourself and in honor of #loveyourselfiemonth, I decided to embrace this holiday even though I have not done so in the past.

First, I need to share our FLESH beauty love to all of you who follow either the blog, Instagram, Facebook or even those occasional likes. We love that you do!

Second, I need to embrace more of this #loveyourselfiemonth as I have not been feeling so great about myself…this is hard to do when your body is changing on a daily basis. Yes, pregnancy is beautiful except when it’s happening to you! And if you can’t love yourself then who will really ever be able to love you?

So, despite my inner voice telling me not to..I’m posting a pregnancy pic…which I have to say I have never done before. Even with the first round, I refused to do so. Why? Pure vanity. Yes, I said it. I did not want to see myself that way even though I thought other pregnant women looked fabulous and amazing, I just felt like a beached whale. So in honor of #loveyourselfiemonth and Valentine’s Day and of course the mission of FLESH beauty….tn

 

I hope whatever your “flaws” might be take this day to embrace and love them. After all, this is a day to celebrate love.