Monday, July 29, 2013

Bronze Goddess

This summer has been my pastiest of all.  Normally, I am a sun worshiper.  I will either hit the public pool, my friend's pool, or even pull out a kiddie pool in my yard.  This summer as I have been pregnant and we have had the crappiest pool weather, I have not worked on my Vitamin D allowance, at all.

I have always been a huge lover of self tanner.  Heck, I prepped my skin for my Mexico wedding, basked in the sun in Mexico, and then even added self tanner to get my best possible tan for my wedding day & reception back home.

As I have used self tanner since the 8th grade, I have years of practice and tried many different kinds.  I have tried to find a dark enough self tanner to accommodate for my lack of summer sunbathing and had a difficult time finding one that would give me the best color while not having to use more than 1 brand & minimal amount of applications.  

I normally am a huge advocate for St. Tropez Bronzing Lotion and Mousse.  I love the color these give my skin on top of a base tan, for fall, winter, or spring months, or even the color I get from 2 back to back applications.  I love that they don't get overly stinky & never turn orange, hence the greenish brown base color when applying.  I have found that these fade quicker than I'd care for, even with proper exfoliation & moisturization, which makes sense as they are lighter in color. I am also a huge fan of Clarins Delicious Self Tanning Creme and Intense Self Tanning Tint.  Clarins Delicious Creme is beautiful for color, lasts nicely but is not quite dark enough to make up for the amount of color I get in the summer.  The Intense tint is a little difficult to get the right amount mixed with lotion, as it is very watery.  This is much nicer for face & décolleté, as these areas are washed more frequently and fade quick.  I have attempted booths that spray you down but believe these fade unevenly & can get costly.  I like these best when added to an existing base tan.  I also have attempted getting air brushed, while this gives beautiful color, fades fairly nicely yet a tad splotchy, is very expensive to have done consistently.

Needless to say, my standard St. Tropez was not cutting it for color depth, nor wearability for summer months.  I then attempted adding Jergen's Gradual body & face tanners in Medium-Dark.  I slathered them on daily hoping to enhance my St. Tropez color, only to find myself not very pleased.
I then thought I'd try using the L'Oreal Sublime Airbrush Tan in Medium-Dark.  Not only is this product very disappointing in the way it is applied but the color was a bit too orange and faded extremely unevenly.  Not worth the $8.

With much research and angst, I decided to give St. Tropez's new "Dark" Bronzing Mousse a try.  I was hesitant because I was worried I'd spend the $40 to simply be stuck with a product that could be either too dark, fade badly, or fade too quickly.
This turned out to be THE BEST EVER!!!!!!!  I anxiously prepped my skin the day I knew the self tanner would arrive at my door step.  I was excited, nervous, yet so anxious to give this a try.  I was so hopeful that this would be the perfect self tan for summer!!  I do apply self tanner to my face & décolleté mid-week to keep the color.

This self tanner is well worth every dollar spent!  The color goes on VERY DARK, almost scary, but when rinsed/washed off the following day, leaves you with an incredibly gorgeous tan!  The color does fade very evenly and not as quickly as other self tanners' or it's sister product, The standard Mousse.  It does not have a funky smell at all, yet is best applied at night due to the tint being SUPER dark.  It does rub off on clothing & bedding but washes right out without any staining.

Tips for perfect color:
1. Exfoliate & shave prior to self tanning.
2.  Moisturize thoroughly with a light weight lotion or body &/or face oil.
3.  I prefer applying from bottom working my way up.
4.  Mix a little lotion with self tanner for feet & hand application.  Don't forget to clean up feet & hands with a damp cotton square & clean around nails well.
* For best back application, purchase a lotion applicator.  Don't forget to wear gloves when applying your self tanner.

Happy Tanning, folks!!

Where I purchased my items:
local cvs, walgreens, or jewel grocery store.

lotion or mousse applicator
purchased at

Clarins Delicious Self Tanning Creme

Clarins Intense Self Tanning Tint

Clarins Delectable Self Tanning Mousse
* This color is really pretty for spring

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!!!!  St. Tropez Dark Bronzing Mousse
Perfect summer color

St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse
My fav for fall, winter, spring.

St. Tropez Bronzing Lotion

Jergens Natural Glow Self Tanner Medium - Dark
*Great for a light boost of color or very pale skin tones

Clarins Self Tanning Gel
*Light, natural hint of color.  I recommend for pale skin or if you prefer a hint of sun kissed glow.

L'Oreal Sublime Bronze Airbrush
Great concept & great price but I was not a fan.  : /

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Easy Everyday Makeup

Hi all!!!!  Here's my first makeup tutorial.  It's my version of the everyday uber casual makeup look.  I hope you enjoy.  I apologize ahead of's super HOT in Chicago & even with the AC blazing, I am sweating.  Also, my allergies have been CRAZY, so sorry for the sniffles. lighting kinda stinks.   Obviously as time progresses, my videos will get better.  

This specific look I typically apply in under 15 minutes.  It's longer on here as I am showing you each step in detail.  Products & brushes are listed below.

Hope you enjoy.....soon to come a more detailed look.  : )
Benefit You Rebel Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 15
Noted option: Natura Bisse The Cure Sheer Cream with SPF 20
Benefit Ooh La La
Mary Kay Black Gel Eyeliner
Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara in Black
Le Metier De Beaute Eye Brow Pencil in Fawn
Trish McEvoy Medium Matte Bronzer
Stila Convertible Color Blush in Lillium
Max Factor Whipped Cream Moisturizing Makeup in 347 Shimmering Natural
Plump My Pucker by The Balm in Tutti My Frutti

Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush
Trish McEvoy Eye Lash Curler
Trish McEvoy Brow Brush/Comb
Trish McEvoy Bronzer Brush

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Handbag & Accessory Love from Le Chateau

So I recently discovered Le Chateau website.  I love the selection of handbags & to mention amazing price range!!!!  Check out

here is my wish list of items...clearly with all the color I am loving summer!!!!

Love different

Pregnancy Health

I am not a huge fan of working out with heavy weights or breaking a major sweat.  I do love a girly workout that brings out my femininity, yet also delivers results.  My favorite workout for a year plus now, is delivered through Mary Helen Bowers with Ballet Beautiful.  She is most famous for training Natalie Portman for Black Swan.  I love her workout because it is attainable, portable, & can be done on your own time frame.  Ballet Beautiful gives you that beautiful, lean, dancer body.  Don't let her workout by appearance fool you, it looks really easy but is actually very difficult & for the 1st week, left me extremely achy.  I do prefer to perform the workout in a leotard & ballet shoes, although it can be done in just about any workout attire.  

As my pregnant belly has grown & my balance has disintegrated, I have had a hard time completing her workouts, as effectively as I can.  I have found an amazing workout that delivers similar results, specifically for us pregnant ladies.  She is actually enjoyable to hear & not as annoying as some in workout videos.  Suzanne Bowen's Slim & Toned Prenatal Barre Workout along with long walks has taken up my time these days.  Her workout is great, enjoyable & offers great results.  I do long for Mary Helen to come up with Prenatal Ballet Beautiful but am loving Suzanne for now.  

Mary Helen Bowers of Ballet Beautiful

Monday, July 8, 2013

General Baby Must Have's

Here are some General Baby Must Have's

BabyGanics Nasal Saline Spray is THE only nasal spray I could find that was safe for newborns up.  I doubt I'll honestly use this while Penelope is so fresh & new but I wanted to air on the side of caution.

The only place I was able to find this at is giggle:,default,pd.html?start=43&cgid=bath-potty-skincare
 We luckily received a lot of hand me downs from family including baby bath towels & wash cloths.  I did want to get a couple extra & loved these sturdy organic Better Basics from Giggle.  I just loved this ivory & orange duck set.  I felt that it would work if our 2nd baby should happen to be a boy, plus I've been very attracted to ducks throughout the whole pregnancy.  This set is a hooded towel & duck wash mit.  I also got an additional matching hooded towel & set of 3 washcloths.

For this set or to see the other cute options available visit:,default,pd.html?start=5&cgid=bath-potty-bath
For bathing, I went back & forth between this Eurobath & the Puj Infant Sink Tub.  This Eurobath is huge, yet fits on our kitchen counter & works great from newborn to 2 years.  I settled on this option because after about a year, the kid can take a bath in the kitchen sink or bath tub.  I loved that this tub supports an infant's head & body, til they can sit up on their own.  I really want to eventually get the bath stand for this bathtub.  It is so Euro-Chic, a tad more expensive than I'd like but practical.

The Primo Eurobath can be found at:,default,pd.html?start=9&cgid=bath-potty-bath

The Bath Stand:
This bib & burp cloth set is made by Dwell Studio.  Dwell Studio has other bib & burp cloth sets available.  This set definitely said, "You need me in your life!"  I thought this would make a great bib & burp cloth for the diaper bag.  Around the house we plan to use hand me downs (also very cute & may end up in the diaper bag) & Gerber Cloth Diapers.
We also received a really cute Baby Dior bib, which will go into the diaper bag.
This & other Dwell Studio bib/burp cloth sets can be found at:,default,pd.html
 Here is my Bottle Brush.  I chose the Beaba Sorbet colored bottle brush because it has great reviews compared to others, not to mention it's SUPER CUTE!!  This does come in another color selection.  Get yours at:

 The Beaba Bottle Drying Rack was my top choice because again, amazing reviews!!  I wasn't fond of the whole grass thing cause all I could think about was how difficult it must be to clean & fester mold & mildew.
You can get one or check it out at:
This is my Diaper Bag, diaper changing pad.  This is by Apple&Bee.  There are other really cute options found at Apple& &
I have been planning on using a white Jansport backpack for our diaper bag.  I like that its multifunctional, sturdy, and can be used by both Jay & I, without having to have 2 bags or constantly switch the bag's contents in & out.  Maybe we will splurge on a fancy diaper bag at some point, but for now this is what I want.  : )  As Jansports do not come with changing pads, I found this one & loved the colors, giraffes, &'s organic.  I definitely hope to get the matching bottle holder.  SO CUTE!!!
Get yours at:

Get a Jansport at

Here are some images of the Honest Diapers.  These are biodegradable, cute, & top rated compared to others.  I have a weird aversion to the thought of using tons of diapers for years among all the babies in the world & those diapers never disappear.  GROSS!

Honest Diaper bundle is actually a tad bit more expensive versus regular diapers but I think you make up for that cost with the free wipes offered with the bundle.  You can also get a trial sent to you.

 Safety 1st has an awesome option for a grooming kit.  I loved the easy to grip handles & quality of the items.  I'm not fond of the nasal sucker, as I researched & found the NoseFrida Snot Sucker is best.  This kit is great though because it comes with your medicine dispenser, standard thermometer, nail clippers, comb, cradle cap comb, brush, & nail files.  I don't plan on using the bag that it comes with but love the set.,default,pd.html?start=4&cgid=bath-potty-bath

NoseFrida Snot Sucker:

 My bottles of choice are LifeFactory.  I received both the 4 oz & 9 oz bottles.  These are all glass with rubber protectant sleeves & silicone nipples.  They are easy to grip, reusable as snack containers, sippy cups, or jars.
My mom, who has been running her very own home day care (for over 18 years) swore by these, so much so, she gifted them.  I actually just cleaned these, disinfected, & stored them yesterday.  I am so excited for these bottles.  I love how easy they are to handle, the colors, and multi-functionality.  I've heard that babies respond very well to the nipples & when these are thrown on the ground, never ever break.  LOVE!!!!

 The Oral Care Rabbit cleans your baby's mouth and removes plaque & bacteria.  I thought this was a definite must have because I'd like to promote good brushing habits right away. I can't help but think while a baby sucks down milk or formula all day, that must create a film on those precious little pink gums.  I believe while gently using the oral care rabbit, you can remove that gunky build up.   Teeth are so important and good healthy gums are too.  I plan on using this within Penelope's first month, if not immediately.,default,pd.html?start=55&cgid=bath-potty-skincare
 How can anyone forget fun?!  As soon as I found out we were expecting, my very first purchase was Sophie the Giraffe.  While we initially intended on naming Penelope, Sophie/Sophia, I thought she was the cutest, most practical baby toy.  Not to mention she comes from Paris.  So I recently went ahead & purchased the Sophie Bath Toy.
Another great place for baby items is Apple Park.  My mom got some adorable baby toys for Penelope & I absolutely love them!!!
Hope you enjoyed my insights.  I swear I'm not all about organic but I like to be able to do some organic as it is most beneficial.  You do what you can, right?!  Please feel free to leave a comment & let me know your Baby Must Have's!!!

Baby Skin Care Must Have's

As my career is focused around good skincare, I want the absolute best for my lil peanut girl.  I have done quite a bit of research, as to different brands, ingredients, consumer reviews, etc.    I have carefully chosen my Must Have's for her.  
Please feel free to leave a comment on what your baby must have's are!!!

 Boudreaux's Butt Paste is my chosen cooli cream.  My sister in-law highly recommended it as well as my mom.  I received this original formula & an all natural formula, I will try both & see which is preferred.
Can be purchased at
Mustela Dermo-Cleansing Cleanser was chosen because it is soap free & easily removed from newborn's skin specifically during those early sponge bath moments, as we must avoid getting the delicate umbilical cord wet for proper healing.  I also really like that this cleanser is soothing with coconut oil which also preserves the hydrolopidic film, aka skin's natural moisture barrier.  After we use this cleanser up, I plan to use Honest's Shampoo & Body Wash.  This is an organic cleanser that can & will be used for the whole family containing jojoba & quinoa, plus amino acids.

Mustela Dermo-Cleansing can be purchased at giggle:,default,pd.html?start=16&cgid=bath-potty-skincare

Honest Shampoo & Body Wash can be purchased at Honest:
Mustela Facial Cleansing Cloths, I thought would be great for the diaper bag.  They are gentle and soothing.  I may find that these are more frivolous than necessary,  but couldn't resist.  : ),default,pd.html?start=11&cgid=bath-potty-skincare
I truly do hope & pray everyday that our Lil Penelope has hair when she's born.  I had a lot of hair & so did Jay.  Don't get me wrong, bald babies are super cute & along with that I pray for her health, which is of the utmost importance.  I just want my lil one's born with hair, it's just a goofy little thing I have.  If she is not, then I will be equally as happy.  : )
I did purchase this Mustela Foam Shampoo for Newborns specifically because it offers a mild exfoliation that helps soften & rinse away cradle cap flakes.  I don't mind cradle cap on other babies, I just again have a weird little quirk where I'd rather eliminate it as much as possible on my kids.  : )  It is tear free, as well.

Mustela Foam Shampoo for Newborns can be purchased from giggle:,default,pd.html?start=14&cgid=bath-potty-skincare
I chose Honest Bubble Bath for later down the line.  This is ultra-pure & soothing.  It will not dry, irritate, or cause tears.  It has a light refreshing tangerine scent which gently calms & relaxes.  I plan on using this for myself, as well.  Honest products can be purchased at :
Along with skincare comes laundry detergent.  Clothing touches skin so this was equally as important to me.  I have actually always had issues with laundry detergents, softeners, and drier sheets, as they have caused me to itch & break out in hives.  Now I know Dreft is a hugely popular choice for baby wash but due to all the crazy chemicals & strong smell, I decided not to go with it.  Honest laundry detergent is amazing!!!!  It cleans incredibly, has no scent, offers a neutral pH, & is hypo-allergenic.

I actually partake in Honest's bundle programs.  I do not work a full time job outside of the home and do not have a car at this moment, so being that our Honest bundles ship to our home, the products are better for us, our future baby, better for the earth, & so on, it was a no-brainer.  We are signed up for 2 of their bundles.  The Diapers & Wipes bundle which is postponed til I need it & the Essentials Bundle.  The Essentials Bundle is about $35/ month.  You can chose between every 4, 6, or 8 weeks.  I tend to need my bundle shipped every 4 or 6 weeks.  You do not get charged til your next bundle ships.  I love that everything within the bundle plan is adjustable by time frame, items needed, and can be put on hold whenever necessary. You can also add more than the 5 products that you choose from for $35.
So everything in our home is turning into Honest products.  You can purchase these items individually, if you like.
Purchase or sign up for your Honest Bundle:
With our Honest Diaper & wipe program, we pay for the diapers & receive FREE wipes!!  These wipes are cloth, thicker, stronger, more absorbent, & softer medical grade cloth.  They are soothing & biodegradable!!!
Purchase Honest Wipes:

Mustela PhysiObebe is a no-rinse cleansing fluid.  This is amazing for the face & diaper area.  Softens skin with allantoin & aloe vera.  I've read countless times that when a baby is a super fresh newborn, you should refrain from using wipes.  I thought this would be an excellent product for the first weeks & use with soft gentle wash rags or cotton, to clean her little cooli.  I realize this may be a bit frivolous of a product but I really wanted it.  : )
Mustela PhysiObebe can be purchased at giggle:,default,pd.html?start=12&cgid=bath-potty-skincare
Now, I have always heard amazing things about California Baby from both my sister in-laws.  This travel caddy I received as a gift from one of those heavenly women.  : )  I was thrilled to get this because I did see this at Target & thought what a great way to try the different products.  The sizes are amazing for travel & I love that this set comes with everything baby needs.  The products on the bottom row are also reusable & refillable....LOVE!!!!
California Baby products are gluten, soy, oat, & dairy free.  Free from various nuts except coconut derivatives.  Offer no synthetic fragrances, tear free, & organic.  They are also made in a solar powered facility...FUN! : )
Travel caddy can be purchased within some local Target Stores or:

California Baby Calendula Cream, I did purchase in the family size.  I figured, why not?!  I plan to use it on Penelope's face & body.  It can be used for the diaper area.  Calendula is soothing & this cream offers deep hydration, absorbs well, and works very well for that dreaded cradle cap! : )  Might I add, it smells heavenly with added natural aromatherapy blend that includes French Lavender.  

Calendula Cream can be purchased in 2 sizes at:

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Makeup Brush Hygiene

Hi there!!!

Thought I'd do a quick how to on Makeup Brush Hygiene.

I promise a video makeup tutorial coming this week!!

My brushes were in dire need of a good thorough cleaning, so I thought I'd share how I clean my brushes.  I try to thoroughly clean them every 2 weeks, depending on how much use they're getting.  If I have clients then, they get cleaned before & after each person.  Weekly on my own, I clean them with paper towel & spray cleaner.  I'll post a photo tutorial on that later.  But bi-weekly I clean them with baby wash & luke warm water.

1.  First, I gather all my brushes, a couple paper towels, a fresh/clean hand towel, & Mustela baby wash.  I also gather a couple more paper towels, windex, and Honest multi-purpose spray cleaner, to wipe down the bathroom sink area & brush jar when finished.

2.  I fill the sink with a shallow amount of lukewarm water & squirt a touch of baby wash to get the water bubbly.  I put two doubled-up paper towels to one end of the sink & clean hand towel folded once, on the other side.

3.  I tend to gather brushes by handle & bristle size.  I get the brush hair damp with the bubbly water then work them into the palm of my hand that has a bit of baby wash.  I swirl the brushes gently yet thoroughly to ensure good cleaning yet preserve the delicate brush hair.  I set these to the side on the paper towel & move onto the next few brushes.  Follow the same directions & move on to your other brushes.

4.  When I have cleaned all the brushes, I then completely dunk them into the sink of warm bubbly water.  Swish them in the water a few times & then promptly remove. Note: Leaving the brushes in the water can lead to major brush damage!!!  This can cause the handle to separate from the brush head.  **I have had most of my brushes for over 13 years & they are still in amazing condition because of good care while cleansing.
I then drain the water & rinse the brushes, gently ringing them dry.  I then lay them on the clean hand towel.

5.  Take your brushes in the hand towel to a flat surface for them to dry for 24 hours.  I shape the brush hair according to brush & stagger on the towel.  See last photo.

6.  Return to the bathroom & clean up your mess.  I wipe the entire sink down & everything around the sink.  I also clean the bathroom mirror because it usually could use a wipe down anyway.  I always, always clean the brush jar or any container you normally store your brushes in.

Note: If you use a foundation brush or sponge daily, you may want to clean this item more frequently!!!!  I tend to use a tinted moisturizer or BB cream daily & apply with my fingers.  When I do apply foundation I either use my fingers or a damp sponge.  The sponge gets cleaned either immediately after makeup application or the following day before the next use.  I do not leave a dirty makeup covered sponge near any tools due to contamination.  : )

You can get the Mustela Baby Hair & Body Wash at or
You can use any gentle shampoo or baby shampoo for this purpose.  I would NOT recommend dish soap, standard shampoo, or hand soap.  These can either be way too harsh & damaging or not clean them thoroughly.
Also, most of my makeup brushes are Trish McEvoy.  These can be a bit of an investment but SO WORTH IT!!!  These are my all time fav brushes!!!!  Some seen are Bobbi Brown, Mary Kay, Estee Lauder & Benefit Cosmetics.  I also use Trish McEvoy's Eyelash Curler.  I love this lash curler soo much, an old friend sniped it from me, I never got it back & had to go out & buy another!!  I do have powder poofs although I don't use them very often so they're not seen here.  My fav powder poofs are Trish McEvoy & Laura Mercier.  My makeup sponge preference is Laura Mercier.  Also, my brush jar is a recycled candle jar by Lafco Candles.