Beauty, Beauty on a Budget, Makeup, Skin Care

Beauty on a Budget: The art of finding a good deal

We all know beauty products can cost a fortune and many of us are on a tight budget. Spending the extra cash for the good stuff can be very difficult, especially if you like to try new products. Large chain stores have a wide array of products, however they only carry certain brands and if you are looking for a specific one you might be out of luck. There are many different ways to buy beauty products ranging from a specialized store, online,and to independent consultants.

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Join the club!

Many stores such as Sally Beauty Supply and Ulta offer rewards program benefits. Some programs give you points based on dollar amounts, others have a small membership fees. There are other types but these are the most common. In return for shopping you can get discounts, free samples, gifts and more. Loyalty programs are a great way to get extra savings if you already plan on spending the money. Once you sign up you can watch your email for good deals.

Free Samples

Many stores, consultants, and salons offer free samples when you make a purchase. This gives you an opportunity to try before you buy. There is usually only one or two uses in them but the information you get can be invaluable. They can turn you onto a great product or keep you from buying a bad one.

Subscription sites

Birchbox and other sites have become increasingly popular as a way to try products at a low cost. If you consider yourself a maven on a budget you may consider looking into this as an option. There is usually a subscription fee involved and in return you receive a monthly package with different sized beauty products. Some are samples and some are full sized products, it depends on the site.

Multitasking products

One way to stretch a budget is finding out how to use products you have for new purposes. There are plenty of resources online to go to when looking for a way to revamp your cosmetic bag. You may find tips and tricks you would have never thought off. It is important to do research in the buying stage if this is important to you.

These are just a few ways to save your hard earned cash when it comes to beauty and they are the most readily available. Online shopping is also a good option but I don’t recommend buying anything online unless you have previously tried it. Almost nothing is worse than spending money on a product that has great reviews and it doesn’t work for you.

This is my favorite way to save, what’s your’s? Let us know below or ask any questions you may have.


Skin Care

Your skin and Windburn: Tips on treatment and prevention

This weekend I was at a desert motorcycle race up in the mountains where it was windy and cold. When I got home I was burnt out and then I realized my face was literally burned, but not sunburned.  It was from being in the cold wind two full days in a row without protection. I had an idea about what caused it but I wasn’t sure what the best way to treat it was. Your face is hard to protect because you can’t fully cover it up like your neck and hands. Now the questions become what causes windburn, how do you prevent it, and what do you do when it’s too late?

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What is windburn?

Windburn has nothing to do with sunscreen or UV rays, although it can feel and look similar. Cold temperatures and dry air draw the natural moisture out of skin, causing blood vessels towards the top of the skin to dilate, creating a red complexion. Your skin can also peel as a result. Windburn is generally associated with skiers but it can happen anytime of the year, especially in high altitudes.


So, what do you when your face is windburned? Your skin will be particularly sensitive to products so make sure you steer clear of products with harsh ingredients. A great product for sensitive skin in general, including windburned skin is Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser. You also want to re-moisturize your skin and trusty aloe vera will get the job done.


Obviously, the best way to avoid it is not go outside in extreme conditions and if you must, only go out for short periods of time. A good skin care regimen is important because if your skin is properly moisturized to start with the windburn will be less severe. If you are going to be out in those conditions make sure to use a moisturizer with occlusive ingredients. Occlusive ingredients create a layer over your skin to help prevent moisture loss. Beeswax and shea butter are common ingredients that do this.

Even though windburn has nothing to do with UV rays I still want to stress the importance of using sunscreen. I understand not wanting to use the same sunscreen on your face that you do on your body and there are options. A great option for you face is tinted moisturizers with SPF, this will help take care of both kinds of burn. Another option is the increasingly popular CC (color correcting) creams with SPF.

If you found this helpful please share or leave a comment if you have suggestions or questions.

Beauty, Inner Beauty

Tales of a beauty editor without makeup

I recently read an article written by a beauty expert who wears little to no makeup. This surprised me because it is usually the opposite. Beauty bloggers are always very put together looking as it makes them seem more credible. Since part of this is about inner beauty I wanted to explore why Jessica making this statement is actually a good thing.

I also just recently did part of a video for my blog with no makeup on. It was very hard to do because I normally don’t even like my husband to see me like that. It makes me feel uncomfortable to let my guard down. I was happy to see another writer do the same thing I did, except for her it is her normal. I am still struggling with the idea of it.

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Photo Source

I was amazed at how she described being afraid to create a makeup routine because someday she may feel as if makeup is necessary to look like herself. She also describes how wearing her flaws has helped her learn to embrace them. For her putting makeup accentuates the things she would want to change about herself. What she does do is have a extensive skin care routine to make her complexion the best it can be.

This article struck home for me as I have been on a journey to learn to be comfortable with myself and this is a new perspective I have never heard. What it does do is fully reinforce the importance of a good skin care regimen. The better your skin looks without makeup, the more comfortable you will feel in your skin. I will say I have to agree with what Jessica has to say. It is inspiring and bold, especially for a beauty expert.

It turns out that “going nude” is becoming more and more popular. A campaign to raise money for breast cancer promoted posting a selfie without makeup. While the campaign got some negative attention I was impressed with how many women participated, even if there is some scrutiny. That shows that we are more comfortable than we think.

Ultimately, make up is just a tool used to enhance our appearance. What does the real dirty work is the skin care regiment behind it. That is why I focus so much on skin care, it builds the foundation you will be working with the rest of your life. It is important to take care of it and keep it strong. If you do that, you are on the right track.

If you found this helpful please share or leave a comment if you have suggestions or questions.

Beauty, Skin Care

Going Natural: Top ingredients to avoid in your products

Going natural is not new but is a popular trend in skin care products. It turns out the products you use on your face daily could contain chemical ingredients that wreck havoc on your skin. Your skin absorbs more than you may think and if you have sensitive skin some ingredients can cause you problems. If you are concerned about what you’re putting on your skin you will need to pay attention and read the labels for some common ingredients to avoid.

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Parabens: Parabens are used widely as preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast in cosmetic products. Doesn’t sound like a problem right? Parabens also mimic estrogen properties that are associated with increased risk of breast cancer. They are absorbed through the skin and can be found in makeup, skin care products, shampoo, conditioner and more.

Fragrances: These could be almost anything. They are used to protect “secret ingredients” in products. They also can cause allergic reactions such as rashes, dermatitis, and respiratory issues. If you are sensitive to fragrances look for products that are fragrance free. This is becoming more common and are prevalent on the label.

Polyethylene Glycol: It is used as a thickening agent and in multiple caustic products such as oven cleaners and others designed to remove grease. It can alter the moisture content of your skin, giving an aged appearance to your skin. It is found in moisturizers, sunscreen and makeup.

Alcohol, isopropyl: It can be drying and irritating to your skin, stripping it of the natural moisture and immune system barrier. This can lead to an earlier appearance of aging and wrinkles. It can be found in many hair and skin products. There are other forms of alcohol in acne products that can have similar outcomes.

This is not meant to scare you away from most products. Chances are you won’t have issues with many of them. The goal is to bring awareness to the fact that you are putting products on your skin that could have adverse effects. Your skin absorbs more than you may think and one ingredient could cause major problems. As with what you eat, it is a very good idea to become familiar with ingredients in the products you use and skim the labels to look for something out of place.

It is always a good idea to be a more aware consumer. You can have an impact on the industry and what the future looks like if you know what to look for and what the effects are. I hope this gives you an idea of what to keep your eye out for. The internet is a great place to go if you are unsure what an ingredient is or does.


Beauty, Skin Care

Gym time and your skin: Tips to keeping a clear complexion

Your daily workout is great for your mind and body. Regular exercise also has great benefits for your skin. The focus is usually on your cardiovascular system but when you build up a sweat it promotes healthy circulation that helps your skin healthy and vibrant. There’s almost nothing like the stress relief working out provides. That stress relief can extend to helping stress related skin issues such as acne and eczema.

Even with all those benefits, there are possible down sides if you don’t take proper care of your skin during and afterwards. You may notice extra breakouts around the T zone, chin or hairline. Here are some tips on how to maintain your skin without skipping your workouts.

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  1. Take your makeup off before the workout. The mixture of sweat and makeup is a great recipe for breakouts. One recommendation is to keep no water needed facial cleansing cloths around to easily wipe makeup off.
  2. Try to relax your face during workouts. You’ve probably been told to relax your face and focus on breathing to help with the exercises. It turns out you want to relax for a different reason as well. All that grimacing from concentrating could cause wrinkles down the line.
  3. Clean off the equipment before use. Bacteria and free radicals play a major part in causing breakouts. Other people touch their face and then the equipment all the time. If you then touch it and touch your face you are transferring the bad stuff directly onto your skin. All gyms have cleaning materials available for use before and after your workout.
  4. Use sunscreen if outside. Exercising outdoors is refreshing, however, can be damaging to your skin. Use a moisturizer with SPF on your face and don’t forget the rest of your body. Sunburns ultimately lead to wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity.
  5. Wash your face after your workout. Exercising flushes out toxins in the skin, which is good, however, build up causes clogged pores and breakouts, especially along the hairline. A mild cleanser is recommended as over-cleansing can lead to dry skin. If you have oily skin you may need something stronger.
  6. Change out of your sweaty clothes. Staying in your workout clothes can cause breakouts below the neckline. It is a good idea to shower after working out with a gentle body wash.

You also want to make sure you drink plenty of water before, during and after a workout. Dehydration is not only bad for your body as a whole but can be visible on your skin. It will show up as crepey appearances around the eyes and neck. There are many ways of determining the proper amount of water to drink. The eight glasses a day model is still widely used because it is fairly close and easy to remember. It’s a good place to start.

If you found this helpful please share or leave a comment if you have suggestions or questions.

Beauty, Makeup

Could your makeup habits age you?

For most women makeup is an essential part of the morning routine. It is when you get to cover up what you don’t like and accentuate what you do like. You probably didn’t think that if you used the wrong products or applied it wrong that it could actually age you, or make you appear older than you really are. Yikes!

As women age we tend to fall into two groups, those who go too bold in an effort to hang on to their youth and those who are just trying to cover it up and stay too neutral. Neither extreme provides the benefits you want. This may not be something many of you are worried about now but you will be so I have gone out and found some great tips to help you avoid making these mistakes.

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1. Skip foundation powder. You may be using powder to set your makeup but what you may not see is that powder settling into fine lines and wrinkles. Powder also absorbs oil and moisture, which can over-dry already dry skin. Keep in mind as you get old your skin tends to be drier. If you don’t want to give it up there are translucent powders that will function the same way as your old trusty.

2. Relinquish your black eyeliner.  Eyeliner is great for making your eyes pop and appear more open, however black can be too harsh. One major trend is moving away from black as the end all be all color for eyeliner to browns and other darker, jewel toned colors that compliment your eye shadow. You get the same effect without looking overdone.

3. Don’t overdo the eyes. This goes for putting too much eye shadow on the lid as well as over concealing under the eye. If you put too much on the eyelid it can make them look heavy and weighed down. It can also create a crepey appearance. Apply a thin layer of primer, let it dry and then apply eye shadow. The primer allows you to use less. On the other side, concealer seems like a good way to get rid of the dark circles under your eyes. While this is true, if overdone it accentuates wrinkles and lines in this area. Use a moisturizing eye cream and pat it in with a finger. This helps it melt into your skin.

4. Keep lip liner and lip color light. As we age our lips lose their pigment and color, making lip color more and more important. What you don’t want to do is overdo the liner or the color. Heavy lip liner went out with the 90’s so to avoid this dated look use a liner that closely matches your lip color and follow the natural lip line. Another way to prevent your lip color from going astray is to use a brush instead of applying from the tube. Applying from the tube tends to apply more than you need so instead use a brush by dipping it into the lip color and apply, starting from the middle and working out.

Those are some easy, natural way to retain youth. If you found this helpful please share or leave a comment if you have suggestions or questions.

Back to Basics, Skin Care

Back to Basics: What should you look for in a facial mask?

You may have found the perfect combination of cleanser, moisturizer, and serums. However, you may still be lacking a touch of moisture or want softer skin. You are thinking you already apply quite a few products during your morning/evening routine so what else can you do? Facials at spas can be very pricey, especially when done on a regular basis.

At home facial masks may be the answer to your problem. Their possible benefits cover a wide range of needs, all you have to do is identify what you want. Masks blanket the skin, helping the active ingredients be absorbed more deeply. Depending on the mask, it can draw out impurities, eliminate dead cells, moisturize and tighten or tone skin.

Masks are typically worn for 10-15 minutes, depending on the mask. However, some deep moisturizing masks are worn overnight to allow maximum penetration. When applying a mask you should do so on clean skin before you put any moisturizer on. It is also recommended to gently steam your skin over a cup of hot water or pat with a warm washcloth to open the pores up and loosen impurities.

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Best mask by skin type:

1. Dry and/or sensitive skin: A hydrating mask is the only one you should use. Anything else will be too harsh. Chose a cream formula over a clay or exfoliating mask. The purpose is to rejuvenate and protect your skin. One great DIY mask for dry skin is greek yogurt with a teaspoon of honey. The enzymes in the yogurt help remove dry, flaky skin while maintaining your skin’s natural oil balance.

2. Acne prone skin: Avoid using any mask that strips too much moisture. One powerful recommendation is to use oil to fight oil. As the case with oil facial cleansers, masks with oil are beneficial to acne prone skin as the oil bonds with oil to remove the excess. Start with a clay or gel mask, you can even add a little oil to the formula for double the effect.

3. Oily skin: Clay and exfoliating masks are the way to go. The minerals from the clay will leave your face feeling soft and supple, however, they tend to dry your skin out a bit too much. To counteract that use a hydrating mask afterward to add the necessary moisture back into your skin.

4. Combination skin: Use a clay mask on the t zone and a hydrating mask, such as the DIY enzyme mask on the rest of your face. Another twist on the yogurt mask is to mash up pineapple or papaya as the enzymes found in these fruits are great for removing dead skin cells. Your skin may change with the seasons so adjust accordingly.

If you have a favorite DIY mask or mask in general please share or leave a comment with questions or suggestions.