Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Touch of Glamour

When I was little I used to buy these cute little candies at a local shop. The candy was basically gumballs and frosting, all made up to look like cute little animal figurines. The reason I remember them so well is that as a kid I thought they were so darn adorable that I refused to ever eat them, even if they were meant to be a delicious candy. Their purpose might have been to be an edible treat,  but I remember keeping them on my bookshelf as a little girl for a cute decoration.

I'm sure that all sounds like a bunch of gibberish, but the reason I bring it up is that I had a similar feeling with the new nail polish from Christian Louboutin. I recently won the polish from the amazing Your Beauty Fix and had yet to use it because it was just so stunningly beautiful. That is, until now. After seeing a few pictures of it on bloggers and celebrities (here's looking at you, crazy eyes Ashlee from Bachelor in Paradise) I was just blown away by how gorgeous the lacquer was, and I knew I had to just take the leap and open it up.

So my verdict? As would be expected from a $50 nail polish, it's beautiful perfection. After two coats you have a shiny, vibrant red that looks sexy yet sophisticated on your nails. It's a truly statement color, and I've found that it brings any outfit that extra spark. As someone who chips their nails after about a minute, I can also say that this polish brings some serious strength. It's as bulletproof as it is gorgeous (that's a possible exaggeration...), and I truly couldn't be happier with it.

Now if only I could become a millionaire so I could afford the rest of the colors in the collection (I'm looking at you, Miss Loubi)...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Beach Hair, Don't Care

The end of summer might be fast approaching, but I'm not willing to give up on this gorgeous weather just yet. I've been rocking some messy, beach hair recently and loving the effortless volume and body it gives me. To achieve the look, I've been using my handmade Sea Salt Shampoo to add some texture and body to my hair (as well as keeping it squeaky clean!), and following it up with a double helping of salt by using the Big Solid Conditioner from Lush. I don't know whether I've written about this conditioner before, but it's truly a game changer. It leaves your hair soft and lovely without leaving you feeling oily in the least (thanks to the main ingredient of sea salt).

After drying my hair, I've been using my straightening iron to put a little wave in my hair. One of my favorite easy styles can be achieved by just moving the iron through your hair, twisting it up and down as you go (if that makes sense?). It kinks up your hair a bit, leaving it with soft (or more defined, if you so wish) waves within five minutes. When I don't feel like full-on curling my hair, this is usually the style I go with and I love it.

Anyone else still rocking beachy hair this close to Labor Day?


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

DIY Sea Salt Shampoo

A few months ago I fell head over heels in love with Lush's Big Shampoo, a lovely sea salt clarifying shampoo that works to volumize your roots. Our love affair was cute short, however, after I got through my first container and was hit with the harsh reality of spending $27 on a repurchase. I know, I know, a bit hypocritical for a girl that will spend $67 on a tinted moisturizer, but there are just some times that I need to draw the line (albeit a hard line to cross).

Anyways, while perusing Pinterest a few days ago I came across a DIY for the Big Shampoo, courtesy of over at The Makeup Dummy (a lovely place for all your DIY needs). I decided to give it a try, mainly because it made up entirely of ingredients I already had around the house. So I took some liberties with the recipe, but here are the ingredients, as listed by her blog:
  • 6 tbsp. Coarse Sea Salt
  • Any kind of shampoo
  • 1.5 tbsp. Lemon or Lime Juice
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • Empty Container
Now, as I said, I took a few liberties with this recipe. For one, I used a shampoo that contained Coconut Oil, so I didn't add anymore to that. I also had some serious trial and error with how much Sea Salt to add - let's just say that at first I added so much that it felt like a hail storm when I used it in the shower.

For my container I used an old black tub from Lush (I love these things, so many different uses!), and I started my little experiment off by adding Sea Salt and Lime Juice, mixing, and then filling the rest of the container up with my Coconut Shampoo. Now this is the part where I should have let the concoction sit, mainly because the Sea Salt will soak in much of the Shampoo, instead of the two just being separate entities. It also will help you figure out how much Salt is necessary, because without letting the formula settle I kept adding more Sea Salt.

So while I had some definite little bumps in my DIY journey, I eventually did get the formula just right. And the results? Well they were just darn fantastic! It might not have worked exactly like the Big Shampoo, but after saving $27 I can certainly live with it. My hair felt cleansed, volumized and even a teensy bit wavy (a very difficult feat to achieve with my hair, mind you). Plus, it was kind of cool knowing exactly what was going into my shampoo (oh, and it smells like a pina colada, there's that too). Overall a super easy and fun DIY that I'm glad I did.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Red Lips + Untamed Brows

Yesterday I was truly dreading going into work. That sounds sort of silly, because it's not like people are usually chomping at the bit at the idea of going to work Monday morning, but yesterday was a particularly dreadful day. Anyways, the point of saying all that is that I have a kind of strange thing that makes me a little happier on days like that - I love going all out with my look. Yup, you know I'm a beauty nerd when playing with my look for the day makes the idea of work a little more hopeful.

Since the look had to be work-appropriate I obviously couldn't go all too crazy. For the most part, I stuck with my usual routine of a light base and concealed dark circles (with some Charisma Skin Tint thrown in there, because I just can never resist!) but I added a little pop of color on my lips, using my much loved Clinique Chubby Stick in Mightiest Maraschino. Now, while this is supposed to be a pure red, on my lips (with only one layer) it definitely comes out as more of a reddish pink. However, it's still a more bold lip color than my usual, so I'm just going to use some creative license and call it a red for the sake of the post title.

The last part of my look actually required no maintenance, and that was my brows. Usually, if nothing else, I'll run a spoolie and some brow gel through my eyebrows, but yesterday I just decided to let them run free. My brows are in the process of growing back in (after a particularly unfortunate waxing experience - threading is the way to go, people!) so they're a little crazy looking at the moment, but for whatever reason I just said screw it yesterday and left them as they were.

So voila! That was my "I don't want to go to work, but at least I'll look done up" face of the day. Am I crazy, am I the only one who loves looking dolled up when I'm dreading going to work (answer: yes)?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Why Did I Start Blogging?

I recently saw a question on the #lbloggers tag on Twitter, and it asked everyone they started blogging. I spent a solid hour looking through other people's answers, and was both fascinated and inspired by all of the different answers. So many people started their blogs as a way to get out of a period of depression or as an outlet in a stressful life, and they ended up finding their passions from it. I find that truly inspirational, and reading all of these stories really warmed my heart. It also got me thinking about why I started blogging.

I've been reading blogs for years now. I started off reading beauty blogs as a way of getting real people's opinions on different products, because I was more inclined to trust the opinion of a blogger versus a sales associate trying to sell me the product. It was through reading some reviews that I found blogs that really stuck with me, and they were ones that I found myself returning to daily (many of which I still read to this day). I can pin point the first time I truly considered starting a blog myself to one day a few years ago, but it was a thought I brushed under the rug because I didn't have enough confidence in myself to write anything of interest.

Now, when I first started this blog back in March, I wrote that it was because I was nervous about my impending college graduation and wanted a place to write about my passions (fashion, beauty, life) freely. While that is certainly still true, there was a bigger reason for starting my blog, and it's one that I don't talk about as openly.

I've been struggling with anxiety (both generalized and social) for a large portion of my life, and a few years back I was officially diagnosed with it. It's something that I've learned to cope with (and I'm certainly doing better with it than I had been a few years back) but it's still a daily part of my life. I won't go into too much detail about it because I don't want to bore you with it, but the point of me bringing it up is to say that my anxiety has kept me from doing a lot of things I would have liked to do in my life.

Throughout high school and college, there were so many times that I stayed in instead of going out with friends because my anxiety would tell me that people wouldn't like me, or I'd embarrass myself, etc. So when the idea of starting a blog came about, I had that same fear. I thought that my writing wouldn't be good or interesting enough, that I was ugly and people would comment about it whenever I posted pictures. Just about every horrible thought imaginable ran through my mind. But one day in March I decided to just say screw it to all of that. I wanted to blog, and dammit I wasn't going to let my anxiety take one more thing from me. And now I find myself here, five months later and still blogging (with no intention of stopping, I might add).

I hope this post doesn't come off as depressing or self-pitying because it's certainly not meant to. Honestly, I hesitated writing all of this down because of that, but after seeing so many inspiring answers on the #lbloggers tag I wanted to put into writing my own thoughts on the subject.

So now I turn to you bloggers out there reading this, and I want to ask you:

Why did you start blogging?


Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Keys to Looking Well Rested

I'm absolutely exhausted. You may have noticed my lack of posts this week, as well as my general disappearance from social media, and I completely blame it on how little sleep I've gotten these past few days. This week I've been working 4 am to 2 pm shifts (helping out with visuals at my store) and while I absolutely love the work my sleep schedule has been thrown into total disarray because of it.

Anyways, I can't complain because, as I said, I love the work I do. That being said, the lack of sleep has created a serious need for a beauty makeover to help me look like a functioning human being. For this critical of a task, I entrust a few select products that always get the job done when it comes to taking me from a zombie to something slightly less horrific looking. Times like these call for desperate measures, and so I turn to these key products:

By Terry Touche Veloutee - My little miracle worker. This amazing concealer/highlighter hybrid is something I talk about constantly on the blog, and for good reason. The thin formula manages to act as a medium coverage concealer and illuminator (to brighten up under the eyes), all without settling into fines lines or looking crepe-y underneath your eyes. It's beautifully hydrating and just looks wonderfully natural - it's truly one product I cannot live without, and I've already found myself repurchasing it (though I will say that one of these pens will last for months, even with daily use!). This guy is key for me looking a little more awake - it helps bring light to even the darkest of dark circles (and believe me, I've been rocking some raccoon eyes recently). Not only is it a holy grail product for me, but it's one that I cannot be without when I'm running on too little sleep.

Lush Charisma Skin Tint - I recently reviewed this little gem, which is a wonderful bronzing tint that will warm any complexion. It's a cream-y consistency and can be added to moisturizer, makeup, or even worn alone! It blends seamlessly, leaving your skin with a natural looking, healthy glow. Recently I've been reaching for this in lieu of blush (which is a shocker because I'm a total blush fiend) and it just leaves my cheeks with the loveliest flush of color! Something about this guy really helps bring life to my skin, and the added pop of color helps bring my skin from looking like the undead to resembling a human being in no time.

Natura Bisse The Cure Sheer Cream - This beauty is the queen of all tinted moisturizers. The skincare/makeup hybrid (emphasis on skincare) is the most expensive beauty product I own, but besides the hefty price tag I have no complaints about this dreamy product. This moisturizer comes in one beige shade and adapts to all different skin tones when applied. It provides very light coverage, but instead imparts a healthy "your skin but better" type glow, giving your skin an almost soft-focus affect. When my skin is looking a bit sallow or worn out, I turn to this guy to brighten it up and bring it back to life. It might not do much for covering up redness or acne, but I find that this compared with the other two products makes for a wonderful, glowing finish.

What products do you rely on when you're running low on sleep? Let me know in the comments below!


Monday, August 18, 2014

A Little Something Different

You guys probably all know by now that I'm quite partial to natural looking makeup. More often than not, I'll toss on some tinted moisturizer, concealer and mascara and call it a day. Partially, I do this because I'm just kind of lazy, but also I usually keep it minimal because I find that I'm not one of those girls that looks good with a bunch of makeup. Maybe I'm just overly critical of myself, but with a small mouth and gigantically huge eyes I find that it's easy for me to look like a bit of a clown with too much makeup on.

I decided to try and reach away from my comfort zone, though, and decided to use a little more makeup than I might normally wear. Specifically, I relied on my Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Espresso. On days where I'm looking to define my eyes, I usually draw just a light line on my top lid, as close to the lashline as possible. For this look, I decided to put this eyeliner's name to the test and go a little heavier, with a lot of smudging. I lined my top lid, and half of my bottom lid, and went to town smudging. The eyeliner is gorgeously pigmented, waterproof and easy to smudge, making it one of the best eyeliners I've used in recent years (and, believe me, when I was rockin' raccoon eyes in high school I was going through eyeliners like water).

The look ended up being something I would not normally wear on a daily basis, but it's good to know that, at 23, I can finally put on a decent amount of eyeliner without looking like I've been punched in both eyes (I do not miss those days).

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weekly Favorites #12

Lately I've found myself getting in a bit of a daily routine for makeup, which has meant that I haven't really been straying from the same few products each day. Because of that, I've found most of my favorites from this past week to be more skincare and bodycare related, some real skin saviors.

One of my favorites this week is a product that's been in my arsenal for some time now, but has kind of flown under the radar as an underrated gem. The Body Shop's Tea Tree Face Wash is actually part of the men's collection, but I've found that it works wonderfully at cleansing my skin while fighting blemishes and even minimizing acne scars. When used in combination with the brand's Tea Tree Night Lotion, I find I can honestly dramatically decrease any blemishes overnight. It's not a particularly fancy products, but it's one that gets the job done, making it a very dependable favorite.

Another skincare goodie that I cannot live without is my much loved (and excessively written about) Natura Bisse The Cure Sheer Eye. I know I've been a bit of a broken record about this eye cream, but it has truly been a life changing product for me. Aside from the rather nauseating price, this cream has so many amazing long-term benefits for the delicate skin underneath the eyes, and it even works in the short-term to hydrate and add luminosity underneath your eyes (a more natural way to lighten any shadows underneath the eyes). I shudder to think of the price I have to pay for this guy, but the benefits have been so wonderful that I'm willing to do it.

And, of course, I've got to add a few Lush goodies into my weekly favorites (they do seem to be a constant). I wrote a few days ago about the amazing bronzer from their makeup line, the Charisma Skin Tint. I've been wearing this tint daily to add a healthy, natural looking glow to my face that I haven't been able to achieve with any makeup before. It manages to look wonderful whether you're already tan, or if your skin hasn't seen the sun in months. It's perfectly subtle, adding just a healthy hint of glow.

Another game-changer that I recently bought from Lush is their Buffy Body Butter. This lovely bar works as both an exfoliator (is that a word?) and body conditioner in one, which has been a godsend combination for my dry skin. It helps to exfoliate any dead skin while (heavily) conditioning the new layer of skin underneath. My legs and feet are constantly dry, no matter how much lotion I use, and it wasn't until I started using this that I really noticed a difference. This eliminates the need for lotion, as it hydrates your skin wonderfully. I've been using this daily and already plan on repurchasing it when I'm done!

Lush Charisma

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Little Charisma

On my most recent Lush trip (trips that seem to quickly be becoming a weekly staple) I finally picked up a little makeup piece that I have been adoring from the brand, their Charisma Skin Tint. While most of my Lush favorites are more skin, body and haircare related, I've tried a few samplings from their makeup collection and have constantly been impressed. I was given a sample of Charisma on my last visit, and was told that it's a lovely little creamy that gives your skin a bit of a warm glow. That teensy sample lasted me quite awhile, and I used up every last bit!

I was so happy to pick up the full size of this because I think it's going to be a great year-round staple in my routine. It can be used alone, or with other makeup, and adds just a healthy bronze to your skin. I've found that it works well whether I'm tanned or pale, and rubbing just a dot of it on my cheeks in lieu of blush adds the loveliest flush of color. I'm head over heels in love with this guy, and it's made me want to try out more offerings from Lush's makeup line.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dreaming Of... #3

My wishlist seems to be never ending (and expensive!). Right now, I have quite a few items I'm pining over from Charlotte Tilbury's line (which will be available this September in the US!), as well as several gems from Lush (a store I always seem to have on my wishlist).

This time around my wishlist is kind of all over the place, with picks from makeup, body care, skincare, and haircare - just about everything you could think of! I'll be popping my shopping list down below, and if anyone has tried out any of these products and wants to leave their 2 cents in the comments I always love reading your guys' opinions.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Sit Back, Relax and Read a Book

I love reading. I'm one of those people who, when I pick up a good book, I can finish it within 24 hours, no problem. My favorite time to read seems to be during the summer, when I can take a book outside and read while soaking up a little bit of sunshine (while drinking my iced coffee, obviously). I haven't been able to read as much as I would have liked to this summer, but currently am looking to change that with a long list of books waiting to be read. So I decided I'd share a few books that I have read recently, and one's that I'm looking forward to reading soon.

My first big read of the summer was a fantasy novel, a popular bestseller, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.When I first read the description of the novel (about a romance between a witch named Diana and a vampire named Matthew) I was filled with dread that this would just be a more adult version of the Twilight series, but luckily I was proven wrong. The novel starts off when Diana, a witch who has tried to stay away from the magical world of witches, daemons and vampires, comes across a manuscript, Ashmole 782. After discovering the manuscript, she is suddenly thrust into the magical world, and forced to confront her history whether she likes it or not. The novel had some strong points, and was a fun summer read. Overall, it was not exactly what I expected, and unfortunately I found that it dragged quite a bit in the beginning (seriously, how many scenes can there be of Matthew and Diana drinking tea or wine? It seemed like there were approx. 4,323). That being said, once I get through all the other books on my reading list I would be interested to pick up the sequel, because the first novel left off in a spot that I think could lead to some interesting stories.

Most recently, I just finished the book The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty, and I can truthfully say that it is one of the best books I've ever read. I genuinely couldn't put this novel down, and found myself finishing it within a day's time. Moriarty is a wonderful writer (as I type this, I've already begun her newest novel Big Little Lies) and manages to write a novel that's a blend of suspense and mystery all while taking place in a grounded world with flawed characters. The novel tells the tale of three women - Cecilia, Tess and Rachel - who are all tied together after Cecilia discovers a letter from her husband, a letter that was meant to be opened after his death, but one that she opens while he is very much alive. It's a fascinatingly novel filled with the complexities and often mundane nuances of the human character. I loved every second of it, and

Next up on my reading list is the fantasy novel Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. I believe that I first read about this book on HelloGiggles (love that site) where it was being hailed as a more feminine Game of Thrones. Naturally, I was intrigued by what that could possibly mean, so I picked it up on my most recent trip to the library. According to the summary, the novel is about Princess Kelsea Glynn, a girl raised in exile, who sets out to claim her right to the throne in a dystopian-fantasy country. Honestly, while this type of book might not be my cup of tea, I've found myself interested in seeing what all the hype is about surrounding it. I'll fully admit that I'm one of those people that tends to believe the hype surrounding a movie, book (or beauty product, of course), and while I might be kind of late to the game on this one I'm intrigued to give it a read and find out for myself.

What books have you been reading this summer? Let me know in the comments below!


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Weekly Favorites #11

I've got a lot of repeats in my weekly favorites this week, but for good reason. These are products that have all become part of my daily routine, especially during these past few weeks, and they're all essentials that I could not live my (beauty) life without.

First up is TheBalm's BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer. I know I talk about a new favorite TM in just about every post, but this guy has really been one that's gone above and beyond the call of duty. I'll admit that in recent months I've gotten a bit "snobby" with my beauty purchases, and started falling under the belief that the more you pay for a product the better quality you receive. This offering from TheBalm is by no means a drugstore purchase (it retails for around $25, though I bought mine through HauteLook for a bargain at $10) but it's a far cry from some more overpriced options (I'm looking at you Chantecaille...I love you, though!). This TM has it all - it's incredibly natural looking while still giving you an even skin tone and a healthy glow. While I still use other bases in my rotation, more and more I've been favoring this one for how nice it's been making my skin look. Just a great all-around TM that I haven't been able to get enough of.

Another base favorite has been my very much loved concealer/highlighter hybrid, By Terry's Touche Veloutee. I've probably written about this countless times by now, but I truly love it more now than the day I got it. I have some pretty serious dark circles, so this doesn't provide enough coverage to fully conceal them, but it gives me just enough coverage and illumination that my eyes look more awake and brightened. Plus, the formula is a very thin liquid that neither settles into fine lines nor looks cake-y (two major pet peeves of mine, when it comes to concealer). I own it in the shade Cream, and it's been the perfect shade for year-round use.

As always, there have to be some Lush products in my weekly favorites! This week, those favorites are the amazing Vanilla Puff Powder and their Liquid Lipstick in Believe.The Vanilla Puff Powder is in my favorite scent, the Vanillary fragrance from Lush. The powder is multi-use, and can be used for everything from dry shampoo to softening your skin. I use it every day and have barely made a dent in it, which for the price of $7 a bottle is not a bad deal! I've written about the Liquid Lipstick several times before, and I am still loving it in the shade Believe! It's so pigmented, and can be used as both a lip and cheek stain. I've personally been diluting it with some chapstick on my lips, making the color a little less intense. It lasts forever on your lips, and you need such a small amount that I feel like this bottle could easily last me the year until it expires. I really need to pick up some more shades of this guy, because I have just been so blown away by the amazing formula.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Life Lately: One Year

This past Wednesday was Jake and my one year anniversary. Our story is a bit of a long one, so I won't bore you with the details, but the jist of it is that we met four years ago, during my first year of college. We had both transferred to Marist from other schools, and immediately we hit it off. After a failed attempt at dating originally, we decided to remain friends, and since then he has become the best friend I could ever have asked for.

I'm just going to come right out and say that I've always had "more than friend" feelings for him (which will come as no surprise to our friends, family or even random acquaintances) but a year ago he told me he felt the same way and we've been together ever since. It's been a pretty crazy year, full of a lot of long-distance (with more on the way, as he moves to Florida tomorrow) and hard times, but there's no partner I'd rather share the crazy times of early adulthood with. I know there will be many more years to come and I look forward to the journey.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Zooey D Inspired Redux

One of my first posts on this blog was a Zooey Deschanel inspired look. I realize that I only started this blog back in March, so that post really wasn't too long ago, but I decided to do another Zooey inspired look for my post today. Why, you ask? Well, as I said in my original post, Zooey Deschanel is my ultimate beauty inspiration. I love everything about her style, and often find myself drawing inspiration from some of her makeup looks because I love the way it looks (seriously, check out my Pinterest and you'll see many Zooey/New Girl related pins all over the place).
Anyways, I'm going to stop talking about my girl crush for a moment because it could go on and on and I've already begun sounding slightly creepy. I started off my look with a base of Diorskin's Nude BB Creme in 002, and followed that up with a combination of Natura Bisse The Cure Sheer Eye + By Terry Touche Veloutee to conceal and brighten up the area around my eyes. After that, I added a bit of highlighter to my cheekbones and down my nose using Lush's incredible Feeling Younger Skin Tint. This cream-y highlighter instantly sinks into my skin, leaving behind a luminous finish that I'm kind of obsessed with at the moment.

After the base was all done, I brushed a little Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful on my cheeks, and used a combination of chapstick and Lush's raspberry-pink lip pigment (in the shade Believe) on my lips. I finished off by lining (and smudging) my top and bottom lashlines with Stila's Smudge Waterproof Eyeliner in Espresso, and then added a few layers of Tarte's Lights, Camera, Splashes Mascara and I was done! Overall a pretty easy look, with some fun inspiration from my girl Zooey D.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Life Lately: The Beach

If you happened to miss my constant posting throughout social media (in which case consider yourself lucky, because I was quite obnoxious) then you might not know that I spent my last week on vacation at the lovely beaches in Ocean City, New Jersey. My family is lucky enough to spend a week or two there each summer at my grandparent's beach house, and the town is truly like a second home to me.

We ended up being lucky enough to get nearly perfect weather on the trip, so we spent a ton of time playing games and (in my case) reading on the beach. It was so relaxing and wonderful, and I'm getting nostalgic talking about it because I just want to go back. My one and only regret is that I really didn't use my camera too much, mostly because I didn't want to take the chance of getting sand in it. I managed to snap quite a few shots with my iPhone, but I truly regret that I didn't take some video on my camera for a possible vlog (or, more regrettably, just to have the memories on film). 

Just for reference (in case you're curious) pictured above, from left to right, is my brother Ryan, my brother Dylan's girlfriend Brianna, my brother Dylan, me, my boyfriend Jake (the weirdo wearing sneakers at the beach), my brother Logan and Ryan's friend Alex. The main takeaway from the picture is that I am the shortest person alive. And that I have a lot of brothers.

There were so many highlights to the trip, from a day trip to Atlantic City to the many wonderful games of Kan Jam we played on the beach. I was so happy to spend the week with my family, and I'm already looking forward to going back next year.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Weekly Favorites #10

This week's favorites feature a lot of rediscovered products that I had forgotten how much I loved. Since my past week has been spent at the beach, most of them have been more skincare or tanning related products that are absolutely perfect for summer!

The first "rediscovered" favorite is the absolutely amazing tanning product, the Tarte Marajuca Face and Body Self-Tanner. I had forgotten just how well this works for creating a totally natural looking tan, but after using it religiously this past week I think I'm hooked again! I find that this is the perfect face tanner as it bronzes your face to a perfect glow instead of leaving any nasty orange-hue behind. The marajuca oil infused formula also helps to keep your skin hydrated and plump, which is lovely. I personally only use this on my face, because I find that my face is always a few shades lighter than the rest of my body when I'm tan. This helps me even out my skin all over to give me a natural looking, bronze glow.

Speaking of bronze-y products, the Honey Bronze Gel from The Body Shop has been another awesome way to add a little tan to my face. I've loved using this alone for a little glow, or combining it with a tinted moisturizer to add a bit more warmth and color to my face. Either way, it's a rediscovered love that I'll certainly be using more in the coming weeks. Another favorite I've been using to add a bit of color and just a teensy amount of coverage is the much raved about Origins VitaZing. I did a post on this awhile back, but I've since rediscovered just how much I love this guy. It somehow manages to perfect your skin (at any color, since it blends to your skin tone) without looking like you're wearing anything, my favorite kind of product! Totally natural, and a must have during these hot months when I haven't felt like wearing anything on my face.

Finally, my last favorite has been a godsend over the past week, and that is the amazing Blemish Fade Night Lotion from The Body Shop. This Tea Tree Oil lotion has always been a must have for me, but it's been working over time this past week as my skin suffered from a major breakout. For whatever reason, not wearing makeup or really any products did not agree with my skin this past week, and that combined with pore-clogging sunscreen caused a blemish overload. It was awful and, as someone who doesn't normally suffer from major breakouts, I didn't exactly know what to do. After just a few nights of using this, however, the red dots were tamed significantly, and I could not be happier. This guy has always been a major part of my skin routine, but this week especially I would say that it has definitely been a favorite of mine.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Bronzed Cheeks and Beach Waves

For the past week I have been soaking up the sun at the beach (just in case you haven't seen my obnoxious amount of pictures on my Instagram). Because I've been spending most of my time outside I've been on a bit of a makeup detox, wearing absolutely nothing but sunscreen all week (which my skin hasn't been loving...but more on that later). However, we always have family pictures on the last night of vacation at the beach house, so I decided to embrace the natural glow with just a tiny bit of makeup for the family pics...and a selfie or two, of course.

For my hair I kept it pretty natural, only using a few spritzed of my much loved R + Co Rockaway Salt Spray. On my face I buffed in a tiny bit of my Natura Bisse The Cure Sheer Cream, as well as my Natura Bisse The Cure Sheer Eye. I finished off the look with an amazing new discovery, the Lush Charisma Skin Tint, which I used a few strokes of on my cheekbones and nose. After that I added a bit of gloss (Chantecaille's Brilliant Gloss, of course) and mascara and I was done! Easy, breezy and bronzed, my favorite kind of effortless look.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Time After Time...#1

I'm fairly ADD with my beauty purchases. I'm pretty fickle when it comes to makeup and skincare, and while I might be head over heels in love with something one day, after a month or so I sometimes find myself tiring of it. Having said that, there are a few products out there that have survived the test of time, and these are ones that I plan on repurchasing time and time again.

Unfortunately for me, most of the products I've fallen head over heels for have been the most ridiculously expensive products I could have found (slap on the wrist, Morgan). I try and use these guys as slowly as possible, but because they're so good they're definitely the ones I reach for most frequently. So here are the products that I intend on repurchasing (or already have) whenever I run out.

Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturizer - If you've been following my blog for the past several months, you'll know just how much I love this dewy, natural looking offering from Chantecaille. The price tag is rather gasp worthy, but you need such a small amount that one bottle will easily last for months (even with everyday use). I currently own this in the shades Glow and Bliss (for the summer and winter months, respectively) and find myself reaching for it any day I want a healthy glow.It provides the perfect amount of hydration without leaving my face oil-y, and a great amount of coverage without looking cake-y or unnatural. It's a great year-rounder, and easily one of the best tinted moisturizers I've ever tried. If only the price were about $30 cheaper...

Natura Bisse The Cure Sheer Eye - I have ridiculously dark, genetic undereye circles, so throughout the years I've tried dozens of different eye creams. Unfortunately for me, the best one I've tried is also the most ridiculously expensive. However, I've yet to find anything that works just as well as this option from Natura Bisse, which works to immediately illuminate and conceal dark circles while helping to cure them long-term. I can't imagine my dark circles will ever fully disappear, but after a few months of using this guy I can say that they have drastically improved. So while this product has a nauseatingly high price, the results have been so great that I'm willing to spend the price to repurchase this in the future.

By Terry Touche Veloutee - As the queen of concealers (specifically for undereye use), I can be rather picky with what options I would want to repurchase. This concealer/highlighter hybrid from By Terry is one that I already have repurchased, and one that I intend to buy again whenever I run out. It lasts for several months with daily use which, if you ask me, is great for a highlighter. It's not much more expensive than the YSL Touche Eclat, and you get far more product as well as better coverage for that price. This is a Holy Grail product for me that I cannot be without, and it's one that I will continue to repurchase time and time again.

Lush Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser - This cleanser is incredible. The combination of lavender and almond helps to gently exfoliate, cleanse and soothe your skin, and it's my cleanser of choice both in the morning and at night (the scent somehow manages to both wake me up and soothe me to sleep - go figure). It's a "fresh" formulation from Lush, so it only lasts a few months before expiring. When I first picked this up in June, I made the mistake of not looking at the expiration date (which is August 30th), so I've been trying to make sure I use this up before it goes bad. I bought the smaller size, and am still struggling to use enough of it to get use of it before it expires, so I will definitely be looking at the dates before future purchases. Either way, other than that mistake by me, this stuff is perfection ad=nd something I cannot be without.

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