Thursday, March 31, 2011

Say Goodbye to Dry Skin!

Bath & Body Works Triple Moisture Shower Cream

I received a tube of Bath & Body Works Triple Moisture Shower Cream as a gift for Christmas and have not stopped using this stuff ever since.  This body wash worked wonders on my dry, itchy winter skin!  This is the first moisturizing body wash that has ever left my skin feeling moisturized all day long!  The body wash lathers nicely and feels slightly oily in the shower, but after toweling off, my skin just feels silky smooth and smells wonderful.  The scent variety in the picture is Dark Lilies; however, this is not my favorite scent.  So far, Secret Wonderland is the best scent I've tried.  The only bad thing I can say about this product is that the tube is hard to squeeze as it gets near to being empty which can be slightly annoying with wet hands.  But, the results for my skin are so good that I can overlook the packaging flaws.  This body wash retails for $12 at Bath & Body Works, but the store always has some sort of sale going on. So, you never pay full price.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

I recently purchased Aveeno Active Naturals Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in fair to light, and so far, I am loving it!  A good tinted moisturizer with SPF is sometimes really hard to find; so many tinted moisturizers are hard to blend, greasy or too orangey for fair skin.  This Aveeno moisturizer applies nicely and seems to sink into my skin quickly while giving me a nice glow.  Once applied, I can see that my skin looks more even and fresh.  This will be a great moisturizer for the Spring and Summer when I want a lighter, more natural daily look.  I would recommend a dusting of powder over top of this to reduce shine and add a bit more coverage.  At $14-$18 this product is a bit pricey for a drugstore item, but I had a coupon and got it for around $12.  I highly recommend this moisturizer if you are looking for a low maintenance makeup routine this Summer!

Monday, March 21, 2011

For the Glossaholics!

Hard Candy Glossaholic in Gorgeous

Top: Regular doe foot applicator; Bottom: Glossaholic applicator
I had to check out this Hard Candy lip gloss for myself after seeing it in a haul video on the Beauty Broadcast.  This lip gloss is huuuuge and definitely for glossaholics only!  So of course, I love it!  I bought it in the shade Gorgeous which is a medium pink color with glitter in it.  The gloss has a very sweet candy scent and flavor.  One swipe of the giant applicator across your lips and you are done.  Overall, I really like this lip gloss; it's fun to whip out the giant wand, and the gloss looks and feels nice on my lips.

If you want to check out this gloss for yourself, Hard Candy is sold exclusively at Wal-Mart.

What is your favorite lip gloss or other lip product?  I'm always on the look out for a great gloss or balm.

Swatch of Hard Candy Glossaholic lip gloss in Gorgeous

Friday, March 18, 2011

Beauty Blender

Beauty Blender foundation blending sponge

OMG, this is the best foundation blending sponge ever!  For years, I have been using my fingers, wedge sponges, and, more recently, foundation brushes; but, nothing works as well as the Beauty Blender for seamlessly blending liquid foundation.  And, it's easy to use too!

First, you wet the sponge, and squeeze out the excess water.  Then, dab the sponge in some liquid foundation, (I usually put it on the back of my hand and dab the sponge into it.) and start applying the foundation all over your skin using a light dabbing motion.  You will notice immediately that it blends easily and has an airbrushed affect on the skin.  The pointed end is great for getting in close to the eye and around the nose.

Lastly, to clean your Beauty Blender, you just rub some of the Beauty Blender cleanser or baby shampoo into the sponge, rinse, and set the sponge back in the container to air dry.

I got my Beauty Blender from Sephora for about $20.  It seems pricey for a sponge, but it is worth the price!  Plus, it is reusable and cleans up easily.  So ladies, don't fight with your foundation anymore; get the Beauty Blender!

Have any of you tried the Beauty Blender?  If so, what do you think about it?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Nails

OPI "The Color to Watch" nail polish

OPI nail polish in The Color to Watch is a great lavender shade for Spring.  As with all OPI polishes I have used, the staying power is great, lasting about a week without major chipping.  The only downside to this beautiful polish is that it took three coats to achieve the solid color shown.  After two coats, it looked uneven and streaky.  That being said, the drying time is pretty quick; so, it didn't really take any longer to finish applying it.  Overall, I am pretty pleased with this polish; you really can't go wrong with OPI nail polishes.

Friday, March 11, 2011

March Birchbox!

I just got my March Birchbox!  Once again, I was super excited to receive my prettily wrapped box of samples this month.  See my previous blog entry for more information about Birchbox.

Here's what came in my box:
  • Alchimie Forever Kantic Mask -- moisturizing and brightening mask
  • Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad -- self-tanning towelettes
  • Marvis Classid Mint Toothpaste
  • Pangea Organics Lip Balm
  • Mini brow brush
  • Free download of Oh Land single for iPod
I wasn't quite as excited by this month's picks, but I will try them.  Who knows, I may be surprised and really like something.  I did whip open the lip balm and test it immediately, as I am a total lip balm junkie.  It had a definite herbal scent of lavender and citrus to it; but I kinda liked it for something different.

Now, I must wait another whole month for my next Birchbox!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wedding Day Makeup


I thought that since preparing for my wedding day was the impetus to my makeup obsession, I should give you all some ideas and tips for wedding day/special occasion makeup.

Product ideas and tips:
  • Face primers:  Face primer is essential to a great wedding day makeup look.  Primer will help make your makeup last all day, and allow for better blending when applying your foundation.  Some great primers are Avon Magix Face Perfector, Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer, Palladio Herbal Foundation Primer, and Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer.
  • Foundation:  Make Up Forever HD Invisible Coverage Foundation (HD foundations are great because you will be having a lot of pictures taken of you), Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation (this is a great long-lasting foundation that will stay put, though the shade selection is limited).  If you have trouble finding the right foundation shade to match your complexion, go someplace like Sephora or a beauty counter to have a professional choose the right shade for you.
  • Bronzer:  It's nice to have a healthy glow on your wedding day without tanning, so a good bronzer can do wonders.  I would recommend NYC Sunny bronzer because it is a matte bronzer rather than a shimmery bronzer.  Just a light dusting across the forehead, along the contours of the cheeks and down the nose is all you need.
  • Blush: Choose a classic rosy color and apply it just a bit heavier than normal so it shows up well in those wedding pics.  For some good blush choices check out my Favorite Blushes blog entry.
  • Highlighter:  Highlighter will reflect light from darker areas of the face and draw attention to areas you wish to "highlight".  I recommend Benefit Cosmetics' Highbeam luminizer or Physicians Formula Happy Booster Face Powder in Translucent.  Sweep a little highlighter across the tops of your cheek bones for a radiant look.  You can also dab a little at the inner corner of your eyes to add a little shimmer and make your eyes pop!
  • Eye primer:  Using an eye primer underneath your eye shadow will help keep it in place all day long, as well as improve the depth of the color of your eyeshadow.  I use Too Faced Shadow Insurance as my go-to eye primer.  However, you could grab a drugstore primer or try Palladio's Herbal Eyeshadow Primer which is available at Sally Beauty Supply stores or from the Palladio website.
  • Eyeshadow:  Use neutral colors that are don't want to look back at your wedding pics one day and think "Oh my God, what was I thinking wearing blue eyeshadow!".  Find colors that compliment your eye color and are good for everyday looks.  I used an eyeshadow trio that I had been using everyday for years on my wedding day, the Physicians Formula eyeshadow trio in Baked Oatmeal.  I really love this trio because is it neutral but has a lot of shimmer to make your eyes really standout.  Another shade I would particularly recommend is Stila's Kitten; this is the perfect shimmery, nude-pink shade for anyone.  Just put that all over your lid, add a mid-tone brown shade to your crease and you have a simple, beautiful eye look.
  • Eyeliner:  Eyeliners are so subjective; everyone has their favorite type.  So, I would say use what you are most comfortable with in terms of staying power and the type of look you are trying to achieve.  Personally, I like the look of liquid eyeliner for an occasion like this.  I used the Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen in blackened brown for my wedding day look.
  • Mascara:  Waterproof mascara is a must for this day; even if you aren't a crier, you just never know.  I wore false lashes to give eyes a little extra wow; so, it didn't matter too much what mascara I used other than that it was waterproof.  I would really recommend false lashes for a special occasion like this.  Once they are on, you get used to them pretty quickly.  If you are totally opposed to false lashes, I would highly recommend using L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara because gives great volume and length to lashes. 
  • Setting powder:  As a final step, lightly dust your face with setting powder using a big, fluffy brush.  Cover FX Translucent Setting Powder is great; and e.l.f.'s Translucent Matifying Powder is essential to keep on hand to blot out any shine on your face.
  • Lips:  Again, this is something you want to look timeless.  I chose to keep it simple and wore a long-wearing lip gloss for a natural look.  Also, I didn't want to be constantly reapplying lipstick all night.  Bare Escentuals makes a great long-wearing lip gloss.  You may even want to try a lip stain for lasting lip color, and top it with some gloss.  I strongly recommend experimenting with a few different lip products before the big day.
  • Extras:  Be sure to keep some blotting papers, tissue, Q-tips, and your lip products on hand through out the day for little touch-ups.
If you have decided to do your own wedding day makeup, experiment, experiment, experiment...I can't stress that enough.  Find out what works best for you and practice applying your makeup.  I found online makeup tutorials to be extremely helpful in honing my makeup application skills.  For really great makeup tutorials check out the Beauty Broadcast.  Emily does a fantastic job illustrating how to apply makeup.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

    All About Eyes!

    Clinique All About Eyes

    I didn't know I needed an eye cream until I tried a sample of Clinique's All About Eyes eye cream.  I loooooove this eye cream!  It has a silky-smooth texture which is great for applying in the delicate eye area.  After I put this cream around my eyes, it immediately sinks into my skin leaving the area around my eyes feeling soft and soothed.  I have tried a couple other heavier eye creams that tend to feel thick and greasy.  All About Eyes is by far the best eye cream I have ever used; it feels so good that I didn't even feel bad shelling out the $30 for the .5 oz. jar.  You actually only need to use the tiniest dab of this for each eye; so, the jar should last several months.  I suggest waiting to buy this during the Clinigue bonus days at your local department store like I did because you will get a little makeup bag full of samples to make your pricey purchase more worthwhile.

    Here is what Clinique says about the product: "Lightweight eye cream diminishes the appearance of eye puffs, darkness and fine lines. Non-creep, cream/gel formula actually helps hold eye makeup in place. For use morning and night, both under eyes and on lids."

    I'm not sure how this product will affect my eyes in terms of aging over the long term, as I do not currently have any wrinkles.  I am also not concerned with eye puffiness or darkness.  But, I will say that it feels great and keeps my eye area moisturized and soothed.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Avon Haul

    Avon Nail Experts Fresh Aloe Cuticle Gel & Avon Magix Face Perfector
    For those of you who have not tried Avon products, you are missing out!   I have only been ordering through my Avon rep for a little over a year now, but most of the products I have tried I have really liked and ordered over and over again.  The Magix Face Perfector being one of those.  I think this is a really wonderful face primer; it blends into my skin well, leaves my face feeling smooth and looking noticeably fresh and matte.  Additionally, it is SPF 20; this is great because everyone should have a little sun protection.  I really love two-in-one products like this for days when I am in a rush and need to speed up my makeup routine.  I cannot stress enough how important a good face primer is!  I don't know how I went so many years without using one; primers make applying and blending foundation and blush so much easier, as well as improving the longevity of your makeup wear throughout the day.  At $8 to $10 depending on whether or not it is on sale, Magix Face Perfector is a great buy.

    I have been trying out the Avon Nail Experts Fresh Aloe Cuticle Gel for about a week now.  So far, I am really liking this product.  I was in love with Avon's lavender cuticle oil pen, but it was discontinued...sigh.  (On a side note: If you find something you love from Avon, order backups, as products come and go frequently.)  So, I thought I would try the cuticle gel to see how it compared.  The gel smells lovely, it has a light, fresh scent.  I find that the gel formula is really nice to apply to my cuticles because it does not drip like many oils do.  You only need to use the very tiniest dab of this; so, a tube will probably last quite some time.  And, the gel really feels moisturizing, which is of course the most important thing!

     Mark Infinity and Beyond Scarf
    I also ordered this gray and white striped cotton infinity scarf from the Mark catalog.  I have picked up on the scarf trend and become totally obsessed with scarfs lately.  And, this scarf is a great addition to my collection.  It is really soft and adds a nice accent to an otherwise boring casual look.  I have ordered other Mark accessories in the past, and they are always great quality and super cute, too!

    I welcome any comments about this post and would love to know if there are any makeup products my readers are curious about.