Monday, July 23, 2012

Loving Shower Time!

I love it when I find a shower/bath product that just makes me want to shower all the time.  My latest obsession - The Body Shop's Earth Lovers Shower Gel in Watermelon & Eucalyptus.  I went to The Body Shop to restock on my face wash products, and it turned out I hadn't used my $10 Birthday rewards yet.  The girl at the counter recommended that I try their new line of body wash, since there was a 2 for 1 deal and with my rewards, it'd be practically free!  So I said why not, and boy I'm so glad I did.  I am obsessed with not only the refreshing scent, but also the fact that there's no sulfates, parabens or colorants, and it's 100% biodegradable.  It's not as thick and gel-like, but it still foams up when you apply it.  According to the label, it contains watermelon and eucalyptus extract.  Probably another reason it doesn't smell artificial or chemical.  I love how the scent lingers after a shower.  It seriously makes me not want to leave the bathroom!

I also got the Apricot and Basil, and that smells great too!  However, the basil is quite overpowering, so if you're not a fan, I'd stick to Watermelon and Eucalyptus for a sweet refreshing scent.

Right now, there's a great deal online; these shower gels are half off, so they're only five bucks!

Friday, April 20, 2012

A True Beauty Quick Fix - BB Cream

I LOVE Smashbox BB Cream [period].  It is a moisturizer (with SPF), primer, foundation all in one.  The BB stands for "beauty balm", and it is really trending right now since its debut in Asia.  Clinique, Too Faced, Boscia, and Smashbox are just a few names who have come out with their very own BB cream.  I'm currently using Smashbox's BB Cream in Light.  You might think, BB cream is just a moisturizer with a different name.  Oh but Smashbox's BB cream is a tinted cream formula that does so much more.  It primes your face, provides some moisture with SPF 35; and it's matte cream formula helps control oils.  The formula is very light on this skin.  It doesn't feel heavy like a lot of tinted moisturizers out there can feel.  Because of the multi-tasking formula, I'm putting less product on my face.  I can eliminate moisturizer and primer!  Since we're still in winter and my face easily dries if I ever skip a day without moisturizer, I still apply just enough for a very light coverage before applying the BB cream.

This BB cream provides light to medium coverage, but it produces a smooth photo finish.  If you're used to heavy canvas coverage, you can top the BB cream with a light foundation powder.  I often do this if I want a real photo finished look, but for an everyday work look, the BB cream alone as my foundation works just fine.  Because it doesn't give a heavy coverage, I still advise using your concealer if you need to brighten up or cover up anything on your face.  Smashbox's description states that it also conceals, but I think that depends on how much you, as the user, need to conceal.  For example, I have dark circles under my eyes, and the BB cream, while provides some coverage, doesn't quite conceal the dark circles as an actual heavy grade concealer would.

The Smashbox BB cream costs $39 for a 1oz. tube.  It is a little steep for the amount that you get, but if you think about some of the products you can remove from your daily facial/makeup routine, I think it's worth the money.  I like the Smashbox's version because they do offer several shades.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Be Bright and Bold!

Chillin at work before I saw Mayer Hawthorne's
How Do You Do show at the 9:30 Club! Wearing
my shades because of my allergies.
Spring 2012 is all about being bright and bold.  You've probably seen neons making a comeback as well some fun tribal patterns.  Even the usual pastel colors got a makeover with all sorts of different hues.  While tangerine tango has been designated as the color for Spring, I thought I'd stick to a color I love wearing but where it bright and bold!

The NARS spring collection came out with this shocking matte pink shade, called Schiap.  I think this color is perfect for spring and summer!  I've worn it when going out at night, but it works for the daytime too.  I usually wear neutral colors for work - black, gray, khaki, cream.  This bright pink lipstick adds just the right amount of pop!  My only issue is this lipstick isn't a long lasting one.

I pair the lipstick with Makeup Forever's Lipliner in 16C Fuschia.  It matches really well with Schiap.  

NARS matte lipstick sells for $24, but if you want a wonderful alternative, Stila's Long Wear Lip Color in Exhilarating is a few bucks cheaper and is nearly identical in color and matte formula.

Me at Disneyworld's Magig Kingdom!
Wearing NARS' Schiap shade, which matched
my Longchamp tote and Minnie ears!
Minnie all grown up ;)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

DIY: Daily Makeup Brush Cleanser

I'm back!  A lot of personal things have been going on, which needed more attention than posting.  But now that 2012 seems to be going in the right direction, I'm back to posting!

     In a post back in October, I talked about shampooing your brushes to deep clean any gunk that have accumulated in your brushes.  Well, I thought I'd follow that post with one about cleaning your brushes daily.  Daily brush cleaning removes any product you just used and prevents serious build-up and any skin irritations due to build-up.  Of course, I still recommend shampooing once to twice a month, but until that time, daily cleaning keeps your brushes sanitized between uses.  Also, if you love switching products such as eyeshadows and blushes, daily cleansing ensures that your brushes will prevent transfers and mixing.

     Daily brush cleansers can cost anywhere between $10-15.  The cheapest I've seen is Sephora's daily brush cleanser for $6 (a 2 oz. spray).  MAC Cosmetic's version cost $13 (7 oz).  With the recipe below, I filled four bottles (ranging 1-4 oz) with just one mixture!  And the best part is that all the ingredients are multi-purpose products found around the house!
Pictured (left to right): 1 2-oz spritz bottle; 1 4-oz wide mouth
bottle (reserve); 1 1-oz spritz bottles. Not pictured: the other 2-oz bottle
Like my label? - it's to remind to "treat" my brushes with some TLC :)

I watched a youtube by EnKore Makeup. and followed his recipe.  You can check out his video or if you prefer a written recipe, keep reading!

-1 cup of distilled, purified, or bottled water
-1/4 cup of isopropyl alcohol (70% or 91%).  I used CVS's 70%.
-1/2 tbsp of baby shampoo/any moisturizing shampoo.  I used Johnson's Baby Shampoo in calm lavender
-1/2 tbsp of dish detergent.  I used Amway's Dish Drops detergent
-1 tbsp of spray in conditioner.  I used Garnier's Fructis Daily Spray In Conditioner

-Bowl or large measuring cup
-1 cup
-1/4 cup
-1 tbsp
-Funnel (optional)
-Spritz bottles.  Empty hair spray bottles work great (just make sure to really clean them out!).
-1 small plastic bottle (any type, optional).  This will be used if you have any extra solution.  This will be your reserves.

1.  Pour 1 cup of distilled water into a bowl or a large measuring cup.
2.  Add 1/4 cup of isopropyl alcohol to the water.
3.  Add 1/2 tbsp of shampoo and 1 tbsp of detergent.
4.  Stir slowly using the the tablespoon.   Some suds/bubbles will form, just do NOT mix too vigorously because you will get a lather/too much suds.
5.  Add 1 tbsp of leave-in conditioner.
6.  Stir slowly again ensuring all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed.  Depending on your products, you might have a solution with a tint of color.
7.  Using a funnel (optional), pour solution into spritz bottles.  If you have extra solution, pour that into another bottle.
8.  Label your bottles!

To clean brushes:
1.  Run each brush quickly through lukewarm water.
2.  Apply 1-2 sprays onto the bristles.
3.  With a paper towel, gently swirl bristles until no color is visible.
4.  Leave out to dry.  By the next day, your brushes will be dry and ready to use!

I love these cheap spritz bottles from The Container Store!
One the eft is the 1-oz bottle (which I plan on taking on trips) and
on the right is the 2-oz bottle (home use).  They're MADE IN THE USA!


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Holiday 2011 - #1 Lancome L'Absolu Rouge

At the #1 spot is none other than your staple red lipstick by Lancome.  Lancome's Absolu Rouge collection is currently my favorite collection for those bright bold shades for lipsticks.

Magnetic closure!
It has a creamy formula and goes on smoothly.  It stays put for the most part and even when the color starts to fade, it leaves a decent tint on your lips so the fading isn't as obvious.  It also contains a hydrating formula and SPF 12.  So no need real need to apply lip balm or lip ointment beforehand.  I do add a little primer or loose powder to hold the lip color more in place.  I matched myself with a Berry Noir shade, and I'm in love with it!  The collection has a wide range of neutrals, pinks, and

Another little perk is the magnetic closure of the cover to the base.  Neat!

It's a little expensive, but if you're going to invest in that perfect red lip color, then I think it's worth the money.  Just think how pretty you'll look in photos *wink*.

In the Catholic tradition, we still have the Epiphany to celebrate, but for all of you who are just about done with the holidays, I hope you enjoyed your holiday and that this new year brings you joy!  2012 here we go!

Light application of Berry Noir
Darker application of Berry Noir