Beauty, Makeup, Skin Care

May 2014 Birchbox Reveal

It is time for May’s Birchbox reveal. This is a little late but I wanted to use the products and be able to give a good review of them. I have yet to be disappointed by the selections put into my box. I am absolutely loving my subscription.

1. Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow: This is a great BB cream. It is hypo-allergenic and contains no fragrance. It boasts antioxidants and hydrating aloe. I really like this cream as I have combination/oily skin and so far my face has not become too oily while using it. The color matched my skin perfectly and gave it a nice glow.

2. Nexxus Color Assure Pre-wash primer, Shampoo & Conditioner: I have yet to use this line of products because I am waiting to get my hair re-colored to get the full effect. It is an oil-infused trio that is supposed to help keep color vibrant while being sulfate free. I will provide updates after use to let you know how it makes my hair look and feel.

3. Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm – Pixi Pink: This is a dual purpose balm that hydrates and provides a nice subtle pop of pink color. This could very well be my favorite product in this box. It has great hydration and not too much color. It is great when worn with a neutral eye as it does have a brighter color. I will definitely be carrying this around with me! I highly recommend it if you are looking for a lip balm with a little pop.

4. Supergoop! Everyday SPF 30 with Cellular Response Technology: This is a great light weight, water resistant SPF 30 protector. It will be great as a base when at the beach so you have SPF that is non-greasy on your face. It can also be used on the body. It is oil free and I have had no issues with it making my skin oily.

5. SmartyPants All-in-One Fiber Gummies for Weight Management: These vitamins are packed with fiber, have no caffeine and include omega-3 and vitamin D. The serving size is 6 with 50 calories. I am not a huge fan of how many calories are in a serving and I found the taste and texture a bit odd. At $47.59 for a bottle I will not be purchasing these.

If you have tried one of these products let us know what you think. I love hearing from you!

Back to Basics, Beauty

Get your brows in shape!

We have all seen brows of many shapes and sizes. You may have wondered how do I get my eyebrows to look fuller or put together? I have very thick eyebrows and was in need of shaping tips to keep them in control. If you have thinner eyebrows you will want to get the most out of them so shaping is very important. Here are some tools you will need and great tips on proper shaping.

Tools you will need to get perfectly shaped brows:

  1. white pencil
  2. tweezers
  3. eyebrow pencil
  4. spooley brush
  5. brow powder
  6. angled brush
  7. clear brow gel or wax
Photo Source
Photo Source

Shaping your eyebrows

To find out where your eyebrow should start, take the white pencil and put it against the side of your nose facing straight up. If any hairs are outside the pencil they can be plucked. Use the pencil to mark the line. To find where your eyebrow should end, line the pencil up with the outer corner of your eye. Mark it and pluck any hairs past the line. If your brow tail is too long it can drag your eye down. Look straight ahead and hold the pencil just to the outside of your iris. This is where the arch of your eyebrow should be. It needs to be right on the pencil line, not in front or behind it.

Tweezing and Coloring

Now that you have your shape, begin tweezing. You also want to tweeze the baby hairs above and below your brow to make them look fuller. Don’t raise your eyebrows when tweezing as it distorts the shape. After you are done use the eyebrow pencil with short strokes to add extra volume. Focus more color on the arch and sparse areas. If you don’t know what color to use a good tip is if you have dark brows go a shade lighter and if you have light brows pick a shade darker.

Now, run a spooley brush through your brows to blend the color.If you want fuller brows, use the powder with the angled brush to follow the shape of your brow. This helps further soften and blend the pencil into the hairs. Last, but not least, use the clear gel to add volume and hold your brows in place.

It is important that you don’t go crazy and over-tweeze your eyebrows. One of the worst things you can do is thin them too much. The hair will have to grow back to fix it and sometimes it comes back spotty and weird. Over time it may not grow back at all. If you follow the suggestions above you will be able to get the best look for your brows, full or thin.

Thank you for reading. If you have any suggestions or questions please leave them. I love hearing from you!

 

 

Back to Basics, Beauty, Makeup, Skin Care

What does non-comedogenic really mean?

You might have heard the term non-comedogenic before but are not really sure what it means and why it is important. It is most commonly used concerning acne and acne fighting products. It is a very popular term used for foundations, serums, moisturizers and many other products. Given that, you will want to know what it means and what the benefits are.

What does non-comedogenic mean?

The word comedone refers to pimples (closed) and blackheads (open). If a product is labeled non-comedogenic it means the ingredients in the product shouldn’t block pores and create acne. These products are typically for combination, oily, and acne prone skin. However, carrying the label non-comedogenic doesn’t ensure the product won’t be a cause of acne. These products are typically oil and emollient free.

Photo Source
Photo Source

Are the labels correct?

The next question is are the labels 100% correct? The answer is no, they have their limitations. The FDA doesn’t have a list of ingredients that need to be excluded in order to carry the label non-comedogenic. There also aren’t any standard tests to determine whether or not a product really is non-comedogenic. The most important piece is that skin is highly individual and what causes acne with one person may not have the same affect on someone else. This makes standardization very difficult.

Guidelines, not rules

Even though the labels aren’t a guarantee when it comes to preventing acne, they are usefully when choosing products. This is especially true for individuals with acne prone or oily skin. Look for products that carry this label and you will have better luck with controlling your acne, even though it may still take a little trial and error.

If you have acne prone skin I have a few tips to help with breakouts. Try not to touch your face as acne thrives on bacteria and your hands are covered with it. Wipe down things that go near your face often such as your cell phone or work phone with antibacterial wipes.  Cleanse at least once a day, twice if you can and use a oil free moisturizer.

If you have any suggestions or comments please leave them. I love hearing from you!

Beauty, Skin Care

Tips for healthy hands and nails

You may not realize it but your hands show your age more than any part of your body. They are exposed to extreme weather, harsh conditions, and general wear and tear. By age 30 your skin cell production decreases by 10% and your skin is not able to repair itself as easily. This causes wrinkles and thin, papery, dry skin.

Combating dry skin

Over-washing can cause the skin on your hands to dry out faster than it normally would. Using household cleaners without gloves on can also cause severe dryness. Use warm water, not hot water, to wash your hands as hot water dries your skin out. Use a moisturizing soap that won’t over-strip your skin, the Dove Beauty bar is a good choice. You can also use an emollient to combat dryness by adding and retaining moisture.

Photo Source
Photo Source

Smoothing rough skin

Moisturizing and exfoliants are a great way to fight rough skin. A good homemade remedy is:

¼ teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon olive oil

Massage into the back of your hands once a week. Olive oil is full of omega 3 fatty acids, a great source of moisture. The sugar serves as an exfoliant to get rid of rough spots. My personal favorite for rough, dry skin is the Satin Hands set by Mary Kay. It has the exfoliant, non-oily moisturizer, and a great emollient for the extra dry skin.

Healthy cuticles and nails

Just like the skin on your hands, your cuticles need moisture. When you are moisturizing your hands make sure to rub some on your cuticles. This helps reduce cracking and hangnails, which can lead to infections. If your cuticles are particularly dry, you might want to apply a cuticle oil nightly. This also helps strengthen your nails. Make sure your nails are kept a good length. If they are too long they can split or collect bacteria and if they are too short they won’t protect the ends of your fingers.

You also don’t want to leave nail polish on too long as it can cause the nails to yellow. A week is a good amount of time because by then it is generally chipping and not looking its best. Use a non-acetone nail polish remover as it is not as harsh. You should also check your nails for discoloration such as white spots, vertical lines, or dark spots. If there are an abnormal amount you should get them looked at as they could be caused by an infection or disease.

If you have any comments or suggestions please leave a comment. I love hearing from you!

Beauty

Must Have Spring makeup colors

Spring is in full bloom and so are the colors. If you love bright colors you are most likely loving the spring palettes. Orange is in as well as bright greens and blues. If you are going to experiment with these great colors choose either the eyes or the lips, not both.

How to wear orange lips

If you have darker skin you can go for the bolder oranges as it works well with those skin tones. If you have lighter skin, opt for a orange-coral color so you don’t over do it. To make your teeth look whiter choose a blue toned orange, warm toned colors can make your teeth appear more yellow. You can add a little lip gloss to tame the color as well. A bold orange lip with a nude eye is a great fresh, spring look.

orange lips
Photo Source

Spring eyeshadows for every eye color

Green eyeshadow flatters all eye colors, especially brown or dark eyes. If you choose the right shade and apply it correctly, even the lime hues will look flattering. To pull off this look make sure to wear peachy, nude colors on the rest of your face.

Brown Eyes: Choose a blue-green color to bring out the warm tones in your eyes. Apply a rich, blue-green right at the lash line for an extra pop. Try a sea foam or aquamarine color.

Blue Eyes: Blue eyes can be very versatile when it comes to greens. A good color is forest greens and warm gold shadows. Apply along the lash line or create a variation of the smoky eye.

Green Eyes: Look for colors that directly contrast your eye color or the opposite color. If you have lighter green eyes look for a darker green shadow and if you have lighter eyes find a darker green to contrast.

Hazel Eyes: Green eyeshadows compliment hazel eyes as it brings out the gold flecks. For a more natural look go for the earthy, darker colors.

If you have any questions or a favorite way you wear these trending colors please a comment! I love hearing from you.

 

Beauty

April 2014 Birchbox reviews

I recently received my second Birchbox for the month of April. This is a little late but I wanted to have a chance to try the products out first. I am still impressed by the variety and quality of the products in the box. The title is “Rainy Days” but the products inspire springtime and sunny days.

My April 2014 Birchbox
My April 201 Birchbox
  1. Beauty Protector: a leave in conditioner spray. Not only does it smell amazing but is is good for daily use and all hair types. It also touts many benefits including instant detangling, thermal protection, UV protection, seals cuticles, locks in color, adds shine, while being weightless and non-greasy. Spray generously on damp hair before styling.
  2. Color Club nail polish: Breakfast at…. It is the perfect spring shade that sports a little shimmer. Apply two coats and a top coat to keep it looking fresh.
  3. Yogini: by Harvey Prince. This is a stress-dissolving scent that is light, and crisp with notes of grapefruit and star jasmine. You will also find hints of sandalwood, and Egyptian myrrh mixed with natural essences and oils. I love perfumes and this is in the top running as my new favorite. It’s great for any occasion. Apply to pulse points.
  4. Sumita color intense pencil: Black. It is a soft wax liner that goes on super smooth for a long lasting, rich finish that won’t irritate eyes. This liner goes on so easy, it’s like a dream. You can blend it easily for a softer look.
  5. The lifestyle extra for this month is a KIND snacks healthy grains bar in Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt. The bars are gluten free and all natural non GMO (genetically modified organisms). It is 150 calories for one bar and the list of ingredients is completely readable. These are great tasting and full of whole grains.

This was a great combination of products to get me ready for spring and the sunny days ahead. I was thinking about canceling my subscription but I will definitely give it at least another month. I am going to have to come up with a good storage system in the near future. Thank you for keeping me trendy!

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below! I love to hear from you.

 

Beauty, Interesting Discoveries

Paint between the lines: A new nail polish tool that can help

I recently received my Julep maven box for May. Inside were a couple of pretty pink nail colors and a new nail polish tool called the the Plie Wand. I couldn’t wait to give it a try and see how it worked. The wand has a long handle that swivels to improve leverage, comfort and usability with either hand. It snaps on to a Julep nail polish cap and comes with it’s own set of applicators for fun designs and use with other nail polish brands.

Plie Wand

The wand comes with 4 pieces: the balanced wand, a striping brush and dotting tool, precision brush and a Plie overcap. To use with any Julep nail color you pull the cap off and replace it with the overcap so the wand can magnetically attach. The precision brush allows for uses with other brands.

Plie Wand

The wand itself is well balanced and easy to control. The wand is approximately 4 inches long but is light in your hand. The part I was really interested in was the swivel capability. I am not the best with my left hand so anything that can help that is welcome in my book. It allows you to get more leverage and have better control because of how it rests in your hand. You want to make sure that the flat part of the brush is always rotated the right way to get a even application.

Plie Wand Swivel
Swiveled Plie Wand

After using it I am very happy with it and it’s ability to help me paint in the lines with my left hand. It is a great set of tools for a reasonable price. It can be found at julep.com for $25. It is currently on back order. You can also find a great demo video to preview the product. I’m putting it on my must have list.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them. I would love to hear from you!