Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Seasonal Makeup

I don't know where you live, but right now it is sunny and gorgeous in my neck of the woods (though to be fair this is Oregon so that could change by time I hit publish) and my head is full of summer plans. Warm weather means more than just shorts though, it means you need to adapt your beauty routine from winter time to summer time. The deep plums and rich blushes of winter will look out of place in the balmy summer months, and heavy moisturizers may not be needed now that the cold air isn't sucking all of the moisture from my skin. So here's a quick guide to help you shift your beauty routine like the shifting seasons.

Skin Care: Winter time calls for heavier moisturizers to counteract the drying air and dull skin requires more exfoliating to keep it looking smooth. Ditch the heavy lotion for a lighter one (with SPF!) to keep your skin soft without being overly greasy. Extra time outside enjoying the sun means more exposure to harmful ray which can not only prematurely age your skin but will increase your risk for skin cancers. Make sure all of your products contain some level of SPF, especially those areas you typically forget like your lips, and pick up a tube of sunscreen to use when you plan on spending any amount of time outside.

Colors: While winter called for darker, deeper colors, like my favorite deep plum lipstick, summer colors should be brighter to reflect the changing season. A coral lipstick looks great this time of year, or that bold pink you've been coveting for months now. Now is a perfect time to play with the pantone color of the year, orchid eyeshadow screams spring time to me.

Face: As the temperatures soar keep in mind that a heavy face of makeup will be more prone to melting and slipping all over the place, nobody wants to wipe their eyeliner off their cheek. Invest in a tinted moisturizer (with SPF!) and some cheek stains to help keep everything light and less likely to melt on you. Heavy eye makeup can pose the same problem, so either use a makeup setting spray or use a lighter hand when applying.

Tanning: I can't say this enough, exposure to the harmful rays of the sun can have very nasty effects of you. The days of oiling yourself up and sitting in the sun all day should be tossed aside like hammer pants, never to be thought of again. If you crave a golden tan, invest in a good bronzer for your face and maybe give some fake tan a try. Word of warning, self tanners will stain your hands so either use a tanner mitt or have a professional do it for you.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Weekend Tips and Tricks

Hello and welcome to this week's tips and tricks! I know there weren't any for last weekend, but between the holidays and computer issues I just couldn't find time to write it.

Tip #1: Rinse the conditioner out of your hair with cold water. It will help seal up the hair follicles, making your hair shinier and sleeker.

 Tip #2: Hydrate. Getting enough water each day is not only good for you but will help you look better. Dehydration can lead to brittle nails and hair, skin issues, and water retention (leaving you looking puffy). So make sure you drink about 2 liters of water a day.

Tip #3: Maximize the benefits of your hand and foot lotion by putting it on before bed then slipping a pair of socks or gloves on to help trap the moisture in. You can even buy socks that have aloe built right in.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Post Holiday Self Care

Did everybody survive the Easter weekend? I know I barely did, and I'm betting most people are in the same boat. Holidays can be rough, especially for people who may not have the best relationship with their family or loved ones. Now that the holidays are over for a bit, let's focus on some self care to help you feel and look good again. These are things I like to do to destress and relax after a chaotic and family filled weekend.

Never underestimate the healing powers of a hot bath. Throw in some bath salts and maybe some bath oils to really take it up a notch then climb in and relax. Let the hot water soothe any sore muscles and let the steam open up all of your pores. If you have a facial mask you like, now is a great time to use it. I also like to make myself a big mug of tea (chamomile or the Celestial brand Sleepy Time Vanilla are my two favorites for relaxing), but just a glass of cool water next to the tub can help you feel pampered. Put some mint leaves or sliced cucumbers into the water for that extra spa feeling.

Once out of the tub, slather on some nice lotion to make the most out of the moisture your skin absorbed. Rinse off the mask and follow up with whatever facial products you would like. I use a soothing eye gel to help depuff my eyes and reduce the dark circles I know I will have. Try and drink a full 8 oz of cool water once you get out of the bath as well. Now go put on your favorite relaxing around the house clothes and take some time to do what you want to do. Holidays are always about pleasing others, so having some you time to balance that out is crucial. Decompressing is important, so don't skip this step unless you absolutely have to. And lastly, go get a decent night's sleep, you've earned it.

Friday, April 18, 2014

April 2014 Ipsy Bag Review

*This post contains a referral link*

This was my first month getting an Ipsy Glam Bag, and waiting patiently for it to come was the hardest thing I've had to do all month. For those who don't know, Ipsy is a beauty subscription service that delivers 4-5 deluxe sample and full sized makeup and skin care products to your door once a month in an awesome makeup bag, all for $10 a month (in the USA). When you sign up you take a beauty personality quiz to help Ipsy narrow down what products out of the monthly list are the best fit for you, and you can retake the quiz at any point to better sync your style up. Each month has a theme and this month's theme was Beauty Rocks, which is reflected in both the products picked and the bag. If you would like to sign up and skip the wait list, you can use my referral link here.

My April Ispy bag arrived with 5 items, 3 of them full sized. Initially I was super happy with what I got minus the eyelashes (I wear glasses so fake eyelashes are not practicle for me), would much rather have gotten the jasmine roll on perfume instead.  Let's start with the bag, shall we?

The bag is taller than the average makeup bag, which is an added plus, and has this great record player design on it. I loved it but I've got another bag I prefer for my makeup right now so this will hold cords and chargers in my bag instead.

These are the eyelashes I received, and while I won't be wearing them I can appreciate the company's attempt to make them look more natural by tapering the ends. I'll be either swapping these or gifting them to someone. These retail for $3.99, so at least it wasn't a high value item.

I received the Cailyn Cosmetics Tinted Lip Balm in Acid Pink, which is my favorite thing from the bag. The color is shockingly bright pink and has an amazing amount of pigment for a tint. The packaging was really clever too, the lip brush sits inside the lid so you'll always have it available. The other color was a more neutral mauve sort of color, so I'm doubly glad I got this one. These retail for $19, which is a little high for me but between the color and the fact that a little goes a long way I would for sure buy this on my own.

I seem to think everybody received an Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide On Eye Pencil in black, which was a pretty awesome thing to get in the bag. The color was very well pigmented and very matte, which I like. I don't know how well it will survive allergy season but I'd definitely call it smudge proof for the most part. A casual rub of your eye won't ruin it but after a day outside rubbing and having watery eyes it was looking less than stellar. This is a travel size according to Ipsy, 25% smaller than a full sized (which is crazy expensive at $20 for a friggin eye pencil!) making this about $15 in value.

The Color City Cream Eyeshadow and Highlighter was on my wish list, so I was very pleased to get it. I'm experimenting with highlighters, trying to find just the right one and this is pretty high on the list. The texture was velvety and smooth and while I think it'd suck for a straight up eyeshadow it rocks as a highlighter. In the jar it looked pearly but on my skin it had this beautiful gold sheen to it that complimented my skin tone incredibly well. The price online is $3.99, which is a great value. I did discover that a cream eyeshadow from E.L.F Cosmetics that I received by accident is an exact dupe so I'll have to do a post about that later.

I received the coveted Benefit Lollitint Cheek and Lip Stain, and this may make me the odd man out but I hated it. The shade is the exact same color as the jar, and as you can tell I'm fairly tan so this color looked awful on me. There's obviously a learning curve to applying a cheek stain and making it look good, but this color just made me look like I had a rash. I think it would be fantastic on someone really pale for sure, but those of us with warmer tones should try something else instead. I'm going to try it on my lips and see it that works a little better, I'd hate for this to go to waste. A full sized bottle is 12.5 mL and retails for a whopping $30, this deluxe sample is only 2.5 mL so I'm valuing it at $6.

This extra large picture should give you a pretty good idea of the colors. From left to right is Cailyn Lip Tint, the Urban Decay Eyeliner, the Lollitint, and the City Color Cream Eyeshadow/Highlighter.

All total the value of this bag comes to $47.98 by my calculations, and since I only paid $10 for it I'm calling that a huge win! The value of the items I will use on a regular basis is $37.99, which I think is still really good. If you received the April Ipsy Bag what did you get and what did you think of it all?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Weekend Tips and Tricks

I'm going to try a new thing called "Weekend Tips and Tricks", a list of 3-5 little tips and/or tricks to help your life run a little smoother. This will bump me up to 2 posts a week, which is getting to where I want this blog to be. I'm going to attempt to have these written during the week and then queued so they will publish Saturday mornings. Here's to hoping everything goes smooth and these tips/tricks help your life run a little bit smoother as well.

Tip #1: Clothes a little wrinkly but no time to iron them? Hang them in the bathroom as you take your morning shower. The steam will help the wrinkles release and the fabric relax. Just be careful not to splash water on them.

Tip #2: Unruly eyebrows but no eyebrow gel? Spray a little hairspray on a clean mascara wand and run that through your brow to tame the errant hair(s).

Tip #3: Never underestimate the power of a good nights sleep to make you both look and feel good. While it is so tempting to check email or Twitter in bed (guilty as charged), these can delay you falling asleep and before you know it it's well past midnight and you have to be up in a few hours for work.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Malin+Goetz Mojito Lip Balm Review

Everybody needs at least one good lip balm in their beauty arsenal, and boy have I found an amazing one. It's a little more (ok, a lot more) than I typically spend on lip balm, but this stuff is amazing! What am I raving about? The Malin+Goetz Mojito Lip Balm, which is $12 on their site (link can be found here) though you may be able to find it cheaper if you do some looking online. What makes this better than all the other lip balms I own? Lasting power for one, this product is THICK so you don't need a lot and you don't have to reapply often. I'm sitting here eating a snack and drinking a smoothie and I can still feel it on my lips. The scent actually smells like mojitos (also comes in unscented for those who don't like fragrances), which is refreshing and perfect for getting me in a sunny day mood. I don't detect a flavor, which is fine by me, just means less junk on my skin.

mojito lip balm.
The formula boosts "fatty acid absorption technology", which is something I've never seen on other products. According to their site, this allows the product to start working instantly and will provide a layer of protection throughout the day. It is a little sticky, sort of like a lip gloss, but really not bad and the less you apply the less sticky it is. This will definitely be a permanent stay in my makeup bag, my lips feel amazing already from it. The size isn't bad at all, about as long as a tube of lipstick (according to the tube there is .35 oz of lip balm in it) so it won't take up a ton of space unlike the tin of lip balm I've been using. Have you tried this product yet? If so, what were your thoughts?

The image above is directly from the Malin+Goetz website.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Target's Up and Up brand

I, like probably most of you, see no point in paying extra money just to have a "good" name attached to a product. While I have to doubt that that $50 lipstick is very nice, why would I pay $50 when there are exact duplicates for a fraction of the price? I have spent hours scouring the internet for cheap dupes for expensive makeup, but that's a post for another time. Today I'd like to talk about a store brand across the board dupe I'm a big fan of.

I live within walking distance of a Target, so combine that with the pretty good prices and a wide variety of things, we do quite a bit of shopping there. They have a brand of their own called Up and Up, and there is a dupe for just about every product out there. Some are total crap while others are really good and always a few bucks cheaper than the name brand version. I've been slowly working my way through the bath and beauty products and so far I've been really happy with everything. Their version of baby shampoo/wash is really good, so we get that a lot for my son, and I've been known to steal the lavender scented shampoo from him when my skin is to sensitive for regular shampoo. I'm a REALLY big fan of their apricot scrub, an exact dupe for St Ives apricot scrub and like $2 cheaper. I use the scrub on my face and chest about once a week, so I go through a tube about every other month. In fact I need to go buy some more soon so I'll update this with an exact price breakdown later. I also really like their deep cleaning cream that's a dupe for a Clean and Clear deep cleaning cream. Big price difference with no actual difference between the two. I think the Up and Up one is actually a bigger bottle but I could be wrong, I'll check next time I'm at Target.

Knock off brands can be really awesome or really awful, you're just going to have to experiment or look for reviews online. But when there's a big price difference I think a bit of experimenting is well worth it. What knock off brand do you really like?