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

Beauty Snob?

I had a very big need for a little retail therapy after a visit to the doctor’s office (don’t worry, I’m okay, the little unborn kid is good too, I just didn’t love the visit) Anyway, I decided to go to Ulta to grab some makeup goodies, as I have been seeing so much about some of the new products being launched. Since this visit I didn’t have my gold card with me, I opted to look mainly in the mass brands half of the store. I was in search of something new…something that maybe could change my life. Okay, so not my life, but maybe my brows? Or how about perfect looking skin?

With my wish list in hand (and coupons and of course sales galore — this is Ulta after all) I stepped in side all for a little retail therapy. I B lined for the mass department and not only saw a few items on my wish list, there were new products I had not yet heard of or seen. Oh, a feeling of beauty euphoria was warming my soul.

On my visit, I ultimately ended up grabbing a Rimmel foundation – Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation With Comfort Serum (not a new product, however, new packaging – I  read some really fab reviews, and thought what the heck. $6.99? I’m gonna go for it). Since it was buy 1 get 1 50% off, I also went for the new Brow This Way Eyebrow Gel(in hopes in would be a dupe for the Benefit Gimme Brow Eyebrow Gel). While I’ve been loving my current mascara, the new Maybelline mascara -Lash Sensational Luscious Washable Mascara – was intriguing me…so I put that in my Ulta shopping tote too. Since that was buy 1 get 1 50% off, I grabbed yet another brow product to see how it compared to my NYX Micro Brow Pencil or Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil, the Maybelline Brow Define And Fill Duo – Again, I was hoping I would find another dupe. Then I grabbed a couple other NYX products, NYX Hydra Touch Brightener and  Soft Focus Primer, “cause guess what? Buy 1 get 1 50% off those too. After points and my $3.50 off $10 coupon, I walked away not spending more than a week’s worth of Starbucks Grande White Mochas. I felt better. Much better. That feeling of beauty euphoria had enveloped me and that doctor’s visit was a distant memory. But alas, I had to go to work, so I had to wait a full day before I could even start to play!

The following day I decided to start off with the Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Rimmel FoundationFoundation With Comfort Serum  and to be fair, I had to stick to my otherwise normal routine. I mean, I’d hate to try the NYX primer and Rimmel foundation and not like the finished look. Then how would I know which product, if any wasn’t right for me? So, starting with my current priming team (Boots No7 True Identity in Light and Andalou Naturals BB Cream; equal parts mixed) I then followed with the Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation With Comfort Serum. So far so good. I chose the right color. As reviews had indicated, nice coverage, satin matte finish and a flawless coverage. Setting powder I later learned was really optional, depending on how much more matte you would like to be vs a natural finish without powder. Now, I’m focusing on this product because prior to the Rimmel foundation, I was using the Dior Star Fluid Foundation, which I was really enjoying. Nice medium natural coverage, long lasting, satin finish…I loved every aspect of the product, except the color. I just couldn’t find a color that I felt was a perfect match…not even really a good match. Just decent and that was with some bronzer and blending. Back to the Rimmel foundation. Overall, it really has exceeded my expectations. But I think the part that blows my mind the most is the price. After coupons and discounts it was just over $5 for a 1 oz bottle. The Dior Star Fluid Foundation? Just a bit over $40 and that was with my 20% off Sephora coupon I had. While I was really crushing on the Dior Star Fluid Foundation it wasn’t until I noticed how hard it was to get the color to work with my skin, (but that is what happens when a store doesn’t have the best lighting to choose your best color and the other choices were not even close to a match), that I realized how disappointed I was. However, the Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation With Comfort Serum seemed to meet all of my requirements and it was just about $5. And with that, I felt even better about my Ulta shopping session. Who needs a therapist when there are beauty products?

Prior to my cheapie foundation discovery, I have always believed that foundations from prestige brands were better. Not only can you sample them, you can make sure the color is best for you, and of course the packaging and marketing make me fall in love with them even more so. I mean, I still have my Dior Star Fluid Foundation. The bottle really is fabulous…but it now just sits there. I know that it will sit there until it goes rancid or I find a friend or family member that can use it instead. As with my  Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation With Comfort Serum, maybe because it is a UK brand and in Europe there are just higher standards when it comes to the ingredients and making of a product. The packaging is okay, I didn’t buy it because it looked beautiful, but more so because the reviews it has received were high. Oh, and the price…how could I not try a raved review product for just about $5? While I have purchased cheapie foundations in the past, I never stuck with them. It was an impulse purchase because at that time I was selling products that competed with those cheapie brands and I wanted to know what those other products could and couldn’t do. However, I would still wear my prestige foundations 95% of the time…Looking back, I’d totally call myself a foundation snob.

I guess now, especially being in different circumstances to where I was when I could easily purchase the prestige/higher end products I never really gave those mass brands a chance. Now that I really can’t just go to Sephora or Ulta or visit the beauty counters in the department store and drop some serious cash, I really have been able to see that many mass brands in fact do live up to the quality and performance of those prestige brands.

If you are a current beauty snob I suggest heading over to your local drugstore or Ulta and checking out some of the mass beauty products. There are some really great finds that will meet and or exceed the expectations of some of your current prestige products.

Are you a beauty snob? Or do you like to mix and match? Or do you stick to mass products that have received the top notch reviews for quality and performance? Leave your comments below!

Time For A Cocktail

cocktailsIt was a looong week and I haven’t been getting enough sleep (which is one of my favorite ‘me time’ things to do…I love naps!) and I’ve been looking a little dumpy, tired, with dull looking skin and overall just not the best version of myself. This is when I either buy a new product in hopes of an instant miracle or mix one or two products together for a quick mini skin treatment, a beauty cocktail of sorts.

Stylists do it, estheticians do it, and I do it…and by “it” I am referring to “cocktailing” your products for a faster yet still effective way to use your products. It can also save the amount of product you use overall, thus saving you money down the road.

So, back to my skin. It’s stressed out and needs to calm down. But what is my skin in the mood for? It definitely needs a beauty cocktail! Well, I know that I need some moisture yet I’m also getting a little breakout and besides my Clarisonic, I haven’t exfoliated in I don’t know how long it’s been. So, that means I’m also going to need to exfoliate. In my arsenal I keep on hand is my favorite instant gratification exfoliator, Boots No7 Total Renewal Microdermabrasion Exfoliator. Love it! This is a super fine, intense exfoliator that really brightens your skin the first time you use it. My skin always feels amazing and baby smooth immediately after using it.

I remember an esthetician I used to know and how she taught me that oil fights oil, meaning, in order to get rid of oily skin, she told me to use an oil. The logic is that the skin receives oil from application so it does not need to produce it’s own oil for moisture. In the end, your skin produces less oil so you become less oily over time. So, I wanted to combat the oiliness I was getting in my t-zone and thought of my recent purchase of the Wholly Hemp Moisturizing Cream Tea Tree Oil. Perfect! Not only will I be getting oil to combat that t- zone oiliness, it’s also Hemp Oil, which I previously learned naturally thins out sebum in the skin, making pores less noticeable. And of course tea tree oil is known to be a natural remedy for acne. Even better.

I decided to do equal parts of No7 Microdermabrasion and my Wholly Hemp Oil with Tea Tree Moisturizer (this is like a butter consistency) then massaged on my face for about 60 seconds, allowing the microdermabrasion to really push the hemp moisturizer with tea tree into the skin. Then I rinsed my face with look warm water. I was left with super smooth skin, moisturized and so glowy. But, more importantly, I looked…awake. Yay! It worked!

The morale to this post is, you do not need to spend a bunch of money on a new product. You may already have two or three products you too can cocktail together for a quick yet effective skin treatment. Below are some of my favorite beauty cocktails. Do you beauty cocktail?

Clay Mask with Foaming Cleanser (detoxifying cleanser)
Clay Mask with Exfoliator (detoxifying exfoliation)
Shampoo and Hair Serum (gentle shampoo, less hair fallout)
Foundation and Moisturizer (personalized BB or CC cream)
Liquid Highlighter and Foundation (sheer foundation with dewy finish)
Liquid Highlighter and Moisturizer (clear BB cream)

 

 

 

We do not work for any of the companies listed in the post nor did we receive any compensation.

My Favorite Primer…Ever.

This is a bold statement. I mean, it seems like even when I find a product I love, I think, “What if there is something better?” And so it goes, I try the so called next latest and greatest, only to be disappointed and ultimately return to the product that I originally loved.

Well, I have finally learned my lesson and found the absolute Best. Primer. Ever. It has now been about 3 years and I have yet to find or try anything else out there that performs the same. Nothing has come close.

Why is this primer so amazing? Well, it hides and disguises fine lines and pores, making them less noticeable. Also, my foundation layers beautifully, and I don’t need to use as much either, because the primer has a little bit of coloring to also disguise any imperfections on the skin. On days I want a “No Makeup-Makeup Look” this is my immediate go to. Just a dab will give me the, “I have perfect skin” look with out it looking like anything is on my skin. I have received compliments on my skin when I wear this primer alone. On days when I want the full coverage look, I start with my primer and do a light layer of foundation followed by a light layer of powder and I never get the cake-y look (You know what I mean, when you need a chisel to remove that full coverage foundation).

Now, I have to be honest with you. The product I am speaking of doesn’t really exist. I mean it is actually two products. Years ago, I was bored and after playing around I discovered the amazingness they created. I fell in love with the results and have not changed since. Okay, so what are the products I so highly speak of?

The first is from one of my favorite lines, Becca, and the product is the Shimmering Skin Perfector in White Pearl.

Image from Beccacosmetics.com

Image from Beccacosmetics.com

This is a wonderful highlighter that can be used alone or as I have done, mixed with another

product (you can even mix with your foundation for a more radiant, glow-y, finish). The second product is from Boots No7, the True Identity Foundation in LightYes, it is called a foundation.  However, it is so very, very sheer, and the texture and finish is so similar to the Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer, that really, it should be listed as a Primer, but, hey, I didn’t name the product, I  just use it. True Identity has a light tint that minimizes redness in the skin, but has the benefits of a primer, filling in fine lines and pores so they are less noticeable. The product has a matte look with the feeling of a powder. It can also be used to touch up your T-zone throughout the day with out becoming cake-y like a powder can do when you reapply during the day to those oilier areas.

Now, both products alone are fabulous. However, combined, they truly are the ultimate primer. Your skin will look naturally flawless, not too matte, not too dewy, just the perfect combination. I have found that my perfect combination is a 1:1 ratio. You may want to play with the ratio a bit more if you tend to be on the more oily side (more No7 and less Becca) or if you are on the dry side you may prefer more of the Becca product and less of the No7 product. I myself am Normal – Dry, and find the 1:1 ration is perfect for me.

If you are on the lookout for a perfect primer, I urge you to give this a try. Another benefit of two products is that it will last twice as long.

Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector retails for $41 for 1.7 ounces and can be found on the Becca website, Sephora and Ulta to name a few.
Boots No7 True Identity Foundation retails for $12.49 for 1.35 ounces and can be found at Target, Drugstore.com or the Boots website.

Image from us.boots.com

Image from us.boots.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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