Thursday, June 30, 2011

LIFTLAB Skin Regeneration

A few months ago, I was one of the winners of a Spring Giveaway hosted by My Fashion Juice!  It included a number of awesome items, including one LIFTLAB Skin Regeneration Lift & Fix High Potency Solution.  I hadn't heard of LIFTLAB until I received my prize.   The scientists behind LIFTLAB discovered a protein found in plants and animals in the Arctic.  This protein helps these organisms survive the harsh cold and dry climates of the arctic environment.  They call it the Cell Protection Protein, and combined with antioxidants and vitamins, this solution does quite a lot!  If you want to read more about the studies and history of LIFTLAB, click here!  The Lift & Fix is basically a serum that helps protect your skin from the elements, like harsh climates and UV rays, improves your skin's natural barrier, and promotes skin cell renewal.  I'm turning 28 soon, and although I don't really feel compelled

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vera Bradley's Fall Collection 2011

Two weeks ago, I received an invitation to attend Tiara Galleries' Vera Bradley Fall Collection Launch Party!  Of course, they used pretty VB stationery for the invitations.  What's even more exciting about this particular launch party is that the daughter of Vera Bradley and Brand Ambassador, Joan Bradley Reedy, will be a guest at this Rockville store, and I'll have the chance to meet her!  What's even more exciting is that I can finally make it to a launch party!  I've racked up so many days of leave; I have no summer classes getting in the way; and, the event is happening just two days after my birthday!  Hopefully, I'll get some birthday money to spend *wink*.  They've asked guests to bring our oldest VB patterned item. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Huffington Post's "How To Talk To Little Girls" - My two cents and some tunes

Huffington Post - Lisa Bloom: "How To Talk To Little Girls"
     I'm posting my Potpourri Wednesday just a few hours early.  This article from the Huffington Post really interested me.  It discusses how society teaches girls at a young age to care about their looks with the compliments we give to little girls regarding their general appearance when they are as little as five years old.  I agree with this article.  Today's world focuses on appearances way too much.  A lot of reality shows portray women who can't make life decisions, yet can spend hours on makeup and follow fashion trends.  You might be thinking, "Well, you do write a beauty blog..."  Yes, I write about beauty products and trends and what not.  But I would never ask any of you to change the person you are.  We are all beautiful in our own way.  I think of makeup and skincare and everything in between as part of everyone's strive to live a good quality of life.  Healthy skin, and with that a healthy appearance, is important to our well-being.  Does that we mean we need to conform to stereotypes just to get a compliment out of peers.  No.  You should look and feel the way that makes you the happiest.  If that means sporting your favorite color as your eyeshadow, then go for it!
     My beauty blog is a way to share the products that I find have worked for me and have helped me look my personal best - not someone else's best.  I try to give guidance whenever I can based on my experiences with certain products, in hopes that maybe you, as a reader, can skip the trials and errors and make better decisions.  In the long run, once you've got your makeup/skincare regiment down, you can focus on bigger things like education, world news, travel, helping others.  For me, brains and beauty must always go together.  And by beauty, I mean truly feeling good on the inside and out and taking good care of your health.  I could go on and on about this topic, but I won't.  I want my blog to be a platform to share experiences from the world of makeup but also a place where you can find things that keep you alive and well - things that make you smile...and blush! (cheesy, I know, haha)

Here are some feel-good songs that I enjoy listening to - feeling good about yourself and enjoying the ride called life :)

What You Are - Jewel
Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield
The Beauty In Ugly - Jason Mraz
Beautiful - Christina Aguilera
Fast Cars and Freedom - Rascal Flatts
Unpretty - TLC
I Hope You Dance - LeeAn Womack
So Small - Carrie Underwood

NYC Smooch Proof 16H Lip Stain

I'm starting to like NYC New York Color a lot.  They have great swatches from eyeshadow to lip color.  I decided to try their lip stain.  I got the NYC Smooch Proof 16H Lip Stain in Berry Long Time.  The product has a stiff applicator, just like a felt-tip marker from the good ole school days.  What I like about the color is that you can go from sheer to intense.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Benefit's b.right! Radiant Skincare

I was recently introduced to Benefit's b.right! Radiant Skincare line by a makeup artist at Sephora.  I was skeptical at first, because Benefit to me is a cosmetic line, a very good one and one of my favorites; so Benefit skincare was a bit foreign to me.  She applied the triple performing facial emulsion, and I fell in love with it.  It's an oil-free lotion that hydrates, protects, and comforts the skin.  It felt so light-weight on my skin, and the scent was subtle, yet refreshing!  She recommended the emulsion, because it's a light product, since I have slightly oily skin during the summer months.  The facial emulsion also contains SPF 15!  Lightweight and SPF coverage = perfect for summer!

I love the brightening eye cream, called it's potent! eye cream.    It, too, is a lightweight product.  After an application, I barely felt it on my face.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Just think 'Bright!'

Summer is here (well, officially)!  Summer is one of my favorite seasons, because of the bright colors, the vacations, and my birthday!  The days are longer, and relaxing and being lazy are perpetually on your to-do list.  If you're on a budget like me, you can't always buy every new summer trend out there.  I know I'd be broke.  One way to create a summer look is bright colored nail polish!  I've got a few colors that would be great for the summer (if you start this June, you can try a new color through September).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Birthday Wish List 2011

As my birthday gets closer and closer, family and friends have started asking, "What do you want for your birthday?  Anything in mind?"  As much as I love all things makeup, fashion, and style, I'm definitely a low-key simple gal.  I'm happy with just receiving greeting cards and letters via snail mail.  Call me old-fashioned :).   Next to makeup, I love love love handbags and stationery and doing calligraphy; I love sending mail to family and friends.  Naturally, I appreciate when I get some mail love too!  But, for my family and friends (or anyone, hehe) out there, who still want to get me a little something, what better than a few makeup items that I need or have been wanting to try!  Here's my wish list...

Monday, June 20, 2011

'The Body Shop' Shopping Spree!

Top: Chamomile Eye Makeup Remover (2), Tea Tree Foaming Cleanser,
Tea Tree Exfoliating pads, Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion.
Bottom: DeoDry deodorant (2), Shea Body Butter, Eye Makeup palette
Last weekend, I went to The Body Shop because 1) I needed to refill on my tea tree face wash and 2) I've been wanting to try their deodorant, DeoDry.  And boy, did I shop and save!!!  As I went around the store picking up my essentials, the BOGO ("Buy One, Get One") deals started popping up everywhere.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Prince William's Favorite Chocolate Biscuit Cake (take two)

Just because the Royal Wedding happened nearly two months ago, it doesn't mean we can't continue celebrating, right?  Haha.  One of the wedding cakes served was Prince William's all-time favorite tea biscuit cake that the former Royal Chef, Darren McGrady, used to make for him when he was little (Aww!).  The chefs for the wedding tweaked the recipe a bit to make it a little more special for the wedding (so the news said).

I tried the "basic" recipe a few days after the Wedding, but I was sort of rushed because I was just excited to try this no-baking-required recipe; and I was trying to do a million other things at once.  I used the recipe featured on a Daily Candy post which was actually provided by Tea & Sympathy restaurant.  I didn't use UK's McVities tea biscuits; instead I used honey graham crackers (the recipe said it was a perfect substitute); I also used Ghiradelli's dark and milk chocolate.  
Asthetically, it didn't look like the biscuit cake in the video/article, lol.  I used a slightly bigger pan, so my cake was thin; second, I slightly "overmelted" the dark chocolate topping.  I didn't use a double boiler at all (in the video, they didn't use one!).  As for taste, it was pretty good!  It's very chocolatey, but the raisins and almonds add a nice balance.

This time, I found the actual Royal recipe on the former Royal chef's website.  But, since I was pleased with the Tea & Sympathy recipe, I decided to do a little merging of the two.  Here's my merged recipe:

8oz of McVities biscuits (I finally found them at a market that specializes in goods from around the world; graham crackers still work fine if you can't find McVities)
8oz of Ghiradelli 60% bittersweet chocolate (2 bars)
1 14oz of sweetened condensed milk
6 tbsp of unsalted butter (@ room temperature)
1/4 cup of raisins
1/4 cup of almonds (or any nuts of your choice)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fun-Sized Hand Lotion

The EOS hand lotion next to my Coach card wallet.
Just like those addicting fun-sized chocolates during Halloween, you will enjoy this fun-sized hand lotion by EOS!  I'm really loving EOS products now.  I just blogged about their Smooth Sphere Lip Balm earlier this week, and already, I'm blogging about their handy dandy Everyday Hand Lotion in Cucumber!  At 1.5oz., it's small and slim and holds a good enough amount of product.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Join me at tarte's tokens!

I was browsing around tarte cosmetics, wondering what I want to purchase next and what to add to my birthday wish list (*wink*).  I came across their version of Sephora's Beauty Insider points, where you get discounts, a birthday gift, promos, etc.  It's called tarte tokens!  It's quick, easy, and free to sign-up.  These kinds of programs work best when you love their products, because the more you buy, the more you can save and occasionally get free stuff (who doesn't love free?!). Here's a print screen of what tarte tokens is all about!  Just follow this LINK to sign up!  And invite your friends!

Keep Your Products Up-To-Date!

Last night, I was on cleaning mode after work and going to the gym (where I found the energy, I have no idea, but I did have my first Shake Shack burger and fries last night; so maybe that's it? lol).  And while on this cleaning spree, I focused on the bathroom, which lead to the medicine cabinet, which lead to the cabinets underneath the sink and above the toilet, which ultimately lead to my dresser and makeup train case.  Phew!

Anyway, I was so focused on throwing old products and products I simply didn't use anymore.  I had two plastic bags full of stuff!  Anyway, this lead me to write about expiration dates on beauty products for Potpourri Wednesday!  I've learned these tips from the many times I've visited makeup counters, Sephora, and read magazines.  I figured I'd give my two cents on what I've learned.  If you have any tips, feel free to share in the comments!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

EOS Smooth Spheres

I have always been meaning to try EOS (stands for Evolution of Smooth) products for quite some time.  I read in one of my many magazines about this new drugstore line made of organic ingredients.  It's USDA approved organic, paraben-free, and contains shea butter and jojoba oil among other organic ingredients.  The lip balm-smooth sphere was just over $3, about a dollar or a little more than your usual choice of lip balm.  Am I the only one that thinks this was a play on the word "evolution" with the shape looking like an egg?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Couture Brushes

I spent a considerable amount of time this past weekend on a makeup shopping spree!  I got a few items from Target and CVS as well as from Urban Decay and M.A.C.  I needed a new powder brush for my bronzer.  I've learned a new technique to applying bronzer

Friday, June 3, 2011

On-The-Go Foot Pampering

Photo image: The Body Shop USA
Using my Groupon coupon for The Body Shop, I purchased Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray and the Cooling Gel.  I work out pretty frequently, and as a downtown DC commuter, I walk around a lot.  In either circumstance, my feet get pretty tired by mid afternoon.  I've used the cooling gel before, but since I had a coupon, I decided to take a chance on the foot spray.