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. 

Beauty’s 50 Power Products…

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I am an absolute sucker for beauty lists, top 10, top 20, top 30, they all get me excited.  So when I read an article the other day on Women’s Wear Daily written by Peter Born where they listed the top 50 power products that made a significant difference in the beauty industry, I was SUPER excited!  Basically it’s the top 50 best, the power players, the big dogs, those products that other brands copy.  The type of product that can “generate enough enough cash flow to sustain itself for years, if not decades.”

So, of course, me being the curious beauty junkie that I am, I had to read the list and see how many of these products truly impacted my beauty life.  Here’s their list in alphabetical order…

1.  Axe Deoderant Body Spray
2. Bare Escentuals Bareminerals Powder Foundation
3.  Benefit Brow Zings
4.  Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner
5.  Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray
6.  Calvin Klein CK One
7.  Chanel Vamp Nail Color
8.  Chanel No. 5
9.  Clairol Nice’N’Easy Root Touch Up
10.  Clarins Body Shaping Cream
11.  Clarisonic Sonic Facial Cleansing Brush
12.  Clinique Chubby Sticks
13. Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector
14. CND Shellac
15.  Covergirl Lash Exact Mascara
16.  Dior Diorshow Mascara
17.  Diptyque Paris Scented Candles
18.  Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel
19.  Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair
20.  Frederic Malle Editions de Parfum
21.  fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish
22.  Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment
23.  Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup
24.  Glam Glow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment
25.  Issey Miyake L’eau D’issey
26.  Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer
27.  JLo Glow
28.  John Frieda Frizz Ease Hair Serum
29.  Josie Maran Argan Oil
30.  Klorane Dry Shampoo
31.  La Mere Creme de la Mer
32.  Lacome Genefique Youth Activating Concentrate
33.  Lancome Juicy Tubes
34.  Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
35.  L’Oreal Paris Mousse Absolue Hair Color
36.  MAC Viva Glam
37.  Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB Cream
38.  Nars Orgasm Blush
39.   Proactiv Solution 3 Step System
40.  Pureology Serious Color Care
41.  Revlon Colorstay Lipstick
42.  Sally Hansen Miracle Gel
43.  Shiseido Benefiance Pure Retinol Intensive Revitalizing Face Mask
44.  Smashbox Primers
45.  Thierry Mugler Angel
46.  Tom Ford Oud Wood
47.  Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette
48.  Vaseline Intensive Care Spray Moisturizer
49.  Yves Saint Laurent Opium
50.  Yves Saint Laurent Touch Eclat

Honestly, some I could care less about.  Quite a few of things I had never tried, but am absolutely in love with copy-cats.  There were some though that did change my life!

Chanel No. 5-  To me, it’s magical.  You can be having a bad day and you spritz it on and somehow the day is a little bit better.

Clarisonic Facial Brush- Own one!  I am a tech gizmo nerd, so anytime I can mix that with beauty, I’m a happy camper!

John Frieda Frizz Ease Hair Serum- Made me like my hair again.  Enough said.

Lancome Juicy Tubes- Defined the late 90s for me.  Was my first “big girl” cosmetics purchase.  Nothing better than buying them at Macy’s during GWP.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel-  The only way to get my nail color to last longer than 12 hours.  No more acrylics for me.

Which ones on the list surprised you?  Which ones changed your life?

 

*Note: We do not work for nor received compensation of any kind from any of the companies listed in this article.

The Best Stuff In Life Is Free

Ahhh, living a life of simplicity…or at least attempting it. You see, I’ve challenged myself to not purchase any beauty products for as long as possible (unless of course,  I run out and need to replenish…for example, mascara and the 3 month rule, cleansing conditioner – I go through my bottle monthly…you get the idea). I think most self proclaimed beauty junkies go through phases in their lives when it’s time to go on a beauty purchasing freeze. I’ve been on my since May 1st (if you missed that original posting, click here), and I have to say it has been a challenge…I think I’d rather run a marathon without proper training than continue this beauty phase, or really, lack there of beauty phase. But I digress,  I will have a follow up for that post, that day is just not today.

Anyway, while I haven’t made a beauty purchase since May 1 (I’ve even suspended my Birchbox subscription) I have received some pretty cool beauty freebies. Some have come to me via gratis for a line I rep, while others have been goodies for being a member of a store rewards program. Anyway, if you too are on the beauty wagon, here are some freebie tips and tricks-

  • ULTA beauty – okay, so for this one, I admit I received it in March, but I didn’t pull it out of my bin until May 1. Anyway, during the first quarter of the year, Ulta had this 5 pan eye shadow palette as a freebie to ULTAmate reward members if their birthday was in January, February or March. My birthday was in March, so pretty good beauty score. I am also a platinum
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    Happy Birthday to me from ULTA. If your birthday is past the month of March and an Ultamate Rewards member, there is something different for your birthday month.

    rewards member so Ulta sends me a $10 off coupon plus I earn double points during the entire month of my birthday. Not too shabby. With that $10 credit, you could easily get a full size product from a mass brand without paying any additional, plus the eyeshadow?!? Crazy good beauty deal!

  • Sephora – so this mecca of a beauty retailer also has a rewards program that gifts during birthdays, the Beauty Insider rewards program. Again, while I received mine in March, I didn’t even open it until this beauty challenge began. Anyway, I received the Nars mini lip pencil duo, which included the matte velvet lip pencil in Cruella and the mini lip satin pencil in Rikugien. Well, that’s not all. Over the year I have racked up just over 500 insider points. Have you seen the recent 500 point reward Sephora is offering? This one is pretty good too! A total of 5 deluxe minis from Laura Mercier perfect for creating flawlessness! What a perfect way to try Laura Mercier’s products with out forking over the investment.
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Sephora’s current 500 point reward. You do not need to purchase anything additional. Just redeem points in store (on line you will need to make a purchase to add to your cart).

 

 

 

  • Start working for a beauty company – yes, it’s true…companies want you to sell their products, so they will give you the product to use, hoping you love it and share that love with the world! So, I am a rep for a line that I really do love. I honestly couldn’t rep a line that I didn’t love the product because I just can’t recommend product that I don’t love and use. And what’s the point in getting freebies if you don’t like the products? Jeanette’s the one who got me introduced to the brand as she is also a rep. Anyway, so it’s been a few months and I am loving the products I have so far tried from W3ll People. A totally natural line that really performs as well as any mainstream cosmetics line. I am super impressed as I never really found “natural” cosmetics or products that really perform, but W3ll People’s cosmetics give me that natural beauty look I’ve always wanted to have but never could quite create. I’ve received quite a few products thus far, but some of my favorites are their Narcissist foundation sticks as well as their Universalist multi sticks.
  • Find a BFF at your cosmetics counter – yes, when you come to the store often, have a go to associate at the beauty counter, you will get free goodies, sometimes even with out making a purchase. But you gotta be a loyal shopper to that one associate. For example, call the store prior to coming in to make sure that beauty associate is working. If not, hope you don’t need that product today. Find out when they will be in store next and then go replenish that mascara. Often times beauty associates will have deluxe freebies to give their best, most loyal clients…that could be you!
  • Bargain shop/hunt. Yep, keep those coupons from your Sunday paper. You never know what kind of beauty steal will be available. For example, ULTA beauty accepts coupons for beauty products, plus they usually have a store coupon to offer as well as some type of promotion like buy 1 get 1 half off,  and you end up getting your product at practically nothing if not free. Drug stores have similar promotions as well as loyal shopper programs to get you the ultimate savings on your beauty products. You just have to be willing to wait it out. I tend to maximize on the offers with my favorite L’Oreal mascara. Recently Rite Aid had a 40% off promotion and I had a $2 off coupon for any L’Oreal item…purchased my favorite mascara (doesn’t count! It was a replenishable item that I did indeed need to replenish) for just about $3 bucks. That’s less than what my quad grande white mocha costs…awesome!
  • My last tip is more of a shout out to a blogger that focuses on scoring beauty products for as little as possible and does it on the daily. If you want the 411 on low cost beauty then go visit nouveaucheap.blogspot.com.

 

I hope these tips and tricks help you on your beauty buying freeze. So far, it’s helped me but who knows how much longer I’ll be able to be beauty celibate.

 

What are some of your tips and tricks to scoring major beauty deals for free or next to nothing?

 

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Selfie – I’m rockin, the Sephora Birthday freebie Nars matte velvet lip pencil in Cruella. I also used the Aveda lip pencil in fire maple – another freebie I received from a good friend 🙂

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Selfie #2 – This time I’m not only using my W3ll People Narcissist Foundation stick #3 and Universalist #9, I’m also wearing my Nars satin lip pencil in Rikugien. All free!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have not received any compensation for this post, however, I am a rep for W3ll People cosmetics, the products I received were quarterly gratis- I did not receive any compensation for writing about the products or company. Any other companies listed I do not work for.

 

 

Happy Birthday To Me

 

Image from Google

Image from Google

When I was a kid birthdays were great. Parties, friends, cake, presents and of course another year older, which meant closer to getting my driver’s license or able to purchase cigarettes (no, I don’t and didn’t smoke, it was just being able to purchase them) or whatever else that next year entitled you. Now, as an adult, if I want a party, I have to plan it (and that’s not fun for me). Cake? Buy it or make it myself. My close friends do not live near me, although getting a happy birthday via text or Facebook is nice, or even a phone call from a friend is something to look forward to on my birthday. And of course when it comes to presents, I’m all over that by myself too. (The Husband likes to buy me something when I am there so he gets it right, but he is anti beauty anything as he thinks I already have too much and why would I want more?) So, this leaves me with figuring out which amazing 1 or 2 products I can afford to purchase for myself, and this is especially hard when there are lots of new products I’ve been dying to try! So below is my little wish list of beauty goodies…even if I can’t get them all, you may want to give one a try yourself or add it to your birthday wish list. Or give me your two cents on which ones I should try!

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Image from Lancôme-USA.com

First, I’ve been wanting to jump on the contouring train, and currently the Lancôme Le Duo Stick has caught my eye and I’ve been wanting to give it a go. Especially with all the tutorials/how to videos that everyone is putting out there. Anyway, I’ve always had a love for Lancôme products and maybe it’s the packaging…but this is a great time, because there is also a pretty good GWP at Nordstrom right now.

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Image from Ulta.com

What’s great about the timing of my Birthday is that it coincides with Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty, where there are some super fab beauty steals and sets exclusive to Ulta for some great prices. Well, it just so happens one of my favorite brands, Becca, has an awesome just for Ulta set that has already sold out online, however, still available in the store near me. It contains the best items of Becca, many of which I already own, I just don’t have the colors that the kit includes. This should be a must for me as I also have $10 towards the purchase of any product during my birthday month (it pays to be an Ulta rewards member!)

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Colour Riche La Palette Nude Image from http://www.lorealparisusa.com

I tend to be a palette whore…more so, I love to collect them. Which is ridiculous, I know, but sometimes beauty can be a little bit ridiculous! Anyway, L’Oreal just came out with two palettes which is rather interesting as L’Oreal now owns Urban Decay…could the L’Oreal palettes be a dupe for any of the Naked palettes? Not sure, but I’d love to get my hands on one and find out! But of course that would mean I need to own one of the Naked palettes as well…I’d love to get my hands on either the Urban Decay Naked Palette (original) or the Naked 3 Palette. (I know, how do I not yet own one of these? I must be 1 of 10 people who have yet to purchase one!)

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Image from Sephora.com

Did I mention I like palettes? Okay, so I am also lusting over Nars’ Virtual Domination Cheek Palette. It’s Nars…need I say more?

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Image from Sephora.com

I used to have a fabulous Solano blow dryer, but after many years of daily use, it finally gave up on me during my friends weekend wedding. Since then, I have yet to replace it with another pro dryer. I’ve been eyeing the GHD Rose Gold Deluxe set which includes a blow dryer and flat iron which is featured on Sephora.com. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about the brand and the fact that this set is Rose Gold!?! LOVE.

 

So, that is my beauty birthday wish list. Of course, I never think I’d get every item on my list, but I just need to figure out which one(s) I will be getting for myself. However, if you’ve tried any of the above or have an opinion on which one I should get, please let me know by commenting on this post!

 

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