Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Favorites

Friday is finally here!!! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!!

Love this pink blazer, tribal top, gold watch, & wrap bracelet look!!

Kate Bosworth simple makeup with pretty tinted lips.

Lemon, vanilla bean, blueberry cheesecake

Summer corn cakes with avocado salsa

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

DIY Face Masks

Totally overdue on this…here is my homemade face mask tidbit.  It has been about 15 years since I have made my own face mask, yet am always intrigued to pick up where I left off.  I love my Mojo Spa Bombshell Mask & Mojo makes their products in house, so I thought I'd look into some fun options.

Homemade face masks are great for skin & the budget.  You can make as need or in bulk.  Masking is important because it nourishes skin, removes debri, loosens blackheads, cleans pores, shrinks pores, evens skin tone, & can offer hydration/moisture.

Whenever I use a mask, always on freshly cleansed & exfoliated skin, unless mask offers thorough exfoliation, my skin looks impeccable.

Here are some homemade face masks I found that sound pretty awesome.

Honey, Cinnamon, Nutmeg Mask by

Variety by

More varieties by

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How To Efficiently Cleanse Your Face

Cleansing your face is essential for skin's well being, as well as enhancing one's beauty.  I believe cleansing your skin should always be conducted morning & night.  I don't believe in the simple splash of water in the morning.  Your skin gets dirty while you sleep, as dust, dust mites, dirt from your hair that's transferred onto your pillow case, all deter the health of your skin.

In the morning:

1.  I like to dampen hands with warm water if using a gel or foam cleanser.  If using an oil or cream cleanser omit this step.

2.  Apply a dime to nickel size amount of cleanser & spread through the palms to fingers.

3.  Apply to face, neck, & décolleté.

4.  Using the pads of your fingers, cleanse by using circular motions, where cleanser is applied.  Spend about 10 seconds on each area…forehead, nose, cheeks, chin, etc.  Avoid the eye area.  I even like to cleanse behind my ears both morning & night.

5.  I believe you get better cleansing using a wash cloth rather than a rinsing action.  I believe in making your warm water warmer.  Soak your wash cloth & wring out.  Open the wash cloth fully and rest all over your face.  Press the wash cloth onto your skin gently.  The warmth & pressing helps loosen debri in the pores, thoroughly removes dirt, and when wiped away lightly sloughs dead skin=brighter, healthier, flawless skin.  Follow where you've applied cleanser & do this a couple times for each area.

6.  Follow with a mist of your favorite toner.

7.  Apply eye cream with ring finger, lightly patting from inner corner out.

8.  Follow with serum lightly patting into skin.

9.  Follow with moisturizer, gently pressing into skin.

10.  If your moisturizer does not contain an SPF, follow with SPF.

In the evening:

1.  Thoroughly remove eye makeup with cotton squares or rounds & eye makeup remover.  The most efficient way is to wet pad & hold on your closed eye for 5 seconds, then sweep away.  Always be gentle, as the skin around the eye is very delicate & thin.

2.  Follow steps 1-9, above.

I realize this may seem like a lot of steps to wash your face but once done for a day, it's a breeze & your skin will thank you!!!!

You only have one you, take care of you.  : )

Below is a fun guide to ingredients & the impact they have on your skin.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mani Monday

Wooo!!!  I've fallen off the map a bit.  It's nuts over here, we're preparing for Penelope's baptism, which is Sunday.  Not only that, but Pipp has become slightly clingy (typical for this age…6.5 months).  Jay & I were sick for the past two weeks & Jay has been hogging the computer.  : )  

I am trying to rearrange my schedule to fit my (Insane Amount) day to day schedule, so bare with me.  I promise to get some fun stuff out!!

Hope everyone is awesome & Happy Monday…it's the start of another lovely week!

So, last night I popped into my nearest Sally's Beauty Supply.  I needed buffers, files, & Seche Vite Top Coat.  Of course, I scanned the nail polish over & over & over.  I found an Orly The Original French Manicure Kit.  With the baptism coming up, I thought this would perfect to test out, plus it could be my baptism day polish.  Yes, I totally think about these things in advance.  The kit is labeled "pink".  The kit contains Orly Top2 Bottom (ooohhhh, duh Top 2 Bottom) a base & top coat.  This stuff offers UV protection= no yellowing from the sun.  There is also a shade called Pink Nude & white color, White Tips.  Direction description & guide stickers.  

The accomplished look was very time consuming, but I anticipated that.  I began my mani & the french mani process around 7:30pm and had slight sheet marks on my nails=too much polish…go lighter.  Lesson learned.  I am glad I test drove it because, I could've gone thinner with the polish.  I also think I may utilize one of my Essie's for the sheer color, rather than the Pink Nude.  I'd like something a little more sheer & pinker.  All in all, I could've gotten a new white polish, UV top coat, & guide stickers for roughly the same, maybe a little less.  
Ultimately, I am enjoying playing with something different yet classic.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How I've Been Keeping "Warm" & Beating the Winter Blues

Granted we are experiencing a warm up, with this extra snowy cold winter, I find myself constantly day dreaming about spring & summer.  Longing for the days that I can walk endlessly with my baby doll in tow, feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin.

Due to this longing, I have debated on hitting up the tanning salon but would rather not expose my skin to that harshness, just yet.  I have decided to endure Jergen's Natural Glow moisturizers, an occasional indulgence in Clarin's Delectable Mousse Self Tanner, some beachy smelling goodness, bronzer, and slightly vibrant tinted lip shades adorned with shimmery gold shadow, beachy hair, & tousled braids.

My favorite scents are Bobbi Brown Beach (oil & perfume) & Creed's Virgin Island Water.  Even Tocca's Cleopatra fragrance has a fresh spring/summer smell to it.  I LOVE Bumble & Bumble Brilliantine hair cream along with Surf Spray for a beachy textured look.

This profoundly helps quite a bit, although I find myself aching for spring & summer, even more so.  What do you do to feel the warmth?  Do you endure in any of the above?

Bronzed skin, vibrant lip, & beachy hair

Gold/bronze shadow, bronzed/highlighted skin, & summery lip

Tan skin, beachy hair

Beachy hair, tan skin

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mani Monday

With President's Day & Valentine's Day still on my mind, I went for a red.  This red is the most perfect shade of red!  This polish wears amazingly well.  This was another goodie from my Christmas stocking.

Dior Rouge Altesse 999

Monday, February 10, 2014

Mani Monday

Happy Monday!!!!  Hope you all have an amazing week & St. Valentine's Day!!  With that in mind I went with a simple polished look & my fav Valentine shade, Essie's French Affair.

This shade is a beautiful pale pink, very girly.  

Essie French Affair

Friday, February 7, 2014

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!!  Hope you have a great weekend!

Love this look!

Love these Hunter's, as they would work with any wardrobe colors.

Avocado Hummus…YUM!

An Adorable Valentine Idea

Thursday, February 6, 2014

At Home Facial

Some of us don't have the time or money to consistently get facials, although they are extremely beneficial for your skin.  I'm going to give you some easy step by step instructions for a beneficial facial, you can conduct in your own home.  I recommend doing this monthly for the best results.

First off, I have to say it is extremely important to clean your skin morning & night with an appropriate cleanser.  Also, moisturizer is key for all skin types, even oily skin needs hydration.  Exfoliating is very crucial too.  Everyone should exfoliate at least 2 times a week.  Once you begin your 20's, your skin stops exfoliating on it's own.  Eye cream or eye gelee is important too, 16 year olds should begin using eye cream.  Seriously.
If you have certain concerns such as fine lines, pigmentation, and/or sagging, it is easy to find the appropriate products to aid in correcting or minimizing these concerns.  I personally have been using serums for many years, as they penetrate deeper into the skin, offering better results.

1.  Fill a large pot with water, place on your stove, & bring the water to a boil, then simmer on low.  Grab a bath towel & keep it near by.

2.  Remove any eye makeup with an eye makeup remover.  Please do not use baby oil or vaseline.  These are not appropriate for removal, as they can seep into the eye & irritate.  They can also clog pores surrounding the eye area, creating break outs.

3.  Cleanse your face, neck, & décolleté thoroughly & remove with a warm, wet washcloth.

4.  Tone your skin if you have a toner.  Toner helps regulate the pH in the skin & also allows for better product efficiency.

5.  Exfoliate your face, neck, & décolleté with either a fruit acid exfoliant, beaded exfoliant, or facial brush.  Always use light circular motions & stay away from the eye area.  Then remove exfoliant with a warm, wet washcloth.

6.  Tone your skin & head over to your steamy pot of water.  Lean over the pot keeping 12 inches from the pot & hold your bath towel over your head & face, locking the steam in.  Steam your face for about 5-8 minutes.  Steaming is crucial for opening pores & allowing gunk or build up to be removed easily.  If you plan on removing any black heads, this is the time to do it.  Please be mindful, cover your index fingers with damp cotton squares & be gentle.  This should be conducted by a professional but we all know that may not always be the case.

7.  Apply your mask appropriate to your skin type on the face, neck, & décolleté.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Remove thoroughly with a warm, wet washcloth.  Tone again.

8.  If you have facial oils & aren't heading anywhere for the day, apply your facial oil using light circular motions, as to lightly massage the skin.  Do not remove.
If you do not have a facial oil or are heading out later, apply your appropriate facial serum to face, neck, & décolleté.  Always apply lightly, using gentle sweeping motions, then pat into skin gently.  Do not rub.

9.  Apply your eye product of choice & apply with your ring finger gently.  The skin around the eye area is very delicate & thin.  Tugging, rubbing, or using force can create lines & wrinkles or even irritate the eye area.

10.  Finish with your moisturizer on your face, neck, & décolleté.  Use light sweeping motions moving from the bottom up or gently pat into skin.

Admire your beauty & freshly renewed skin.  : )

Check back next week for homemade masks ideas.  Hope you like! XO

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Favorite Products for January

So many goodies for the month of January, mostly due to my mom's awesome stocking stuffers.  She always gives the BEST stocking goodies.  

So for skincare, my favorites this month are the Clarisonic Mia, Fresh Soy Face Wash, Mojo Spa Clarifying Facial Mask, Egyptian Magic Face Cream, Kiehl's Creme De Corps body cream, Josie Maran Argan Oil, Jergens Natural Glow Body Lotion & Face Lotion Medium to Dark shade.

For makeup my favorites this month are the NARS Guy Bourdin palette & Physicians Formula Blush in Blushing Mocha.  

The Clarisonic Mia is an amazing tool everyone should own & use.  It's a facial cleansing brush that removes impurities, sloughs dead skin, & improves skin's tone & texture.  

Fresh Soy Face Wash is a gentle, effective cleanser for all skin types.  This cleanser suds up & smells great, while thoroughly removing makeup & grime that gets on the skin through out the day.  

Mojo Spa Clarifying Mask is a gentle soft mask that detoxifies & balances skin.  The mask states that it's best for acne prone skin, yet the driest of skin can benefit from this puppy.  
It smells like heaven & has poppy seeds, which aid in exfoliation.  

Egyptian Magic Face Cream is truly magic.  A tiny bit goes a long way & moisturizes beautifully, making the skin looking impeccable.  It is a rich moisturizer but great for all skin types.  It has saved my skin a great deal with this dry, bitter winter.

Kiehl's Creme De Corps body cream (grapefruit scented) is another magical item.  This one is specifically a whipped version and leaves your skin feeling richly hydrated.  After using this amazing body cream, it truly makes your skin look & feel better.  

Josie Maran Argan Oil, I use this for my face, neck, and décolleté.  I use a different less expensive version on my hair.  Argan Oil has essential fatty acids & heals any skin ailments.  It moisturizes well as a light moisturizer.  I really love this as a serum before moisturizer.  

Jergens Natural Glow Face & Body Lotion has been my savior this winter.  I tried to embrace my pale skin in the fall & did pretty well without using any self tanners, but this harsh Chicago winter has pushed me to endure a gradual tanner.  I personally LOVE having a bit of a glow all the time, while in spring & summer, LOVE a deeper tan.  This stuff gives my skin a pretty glow & much needed warmth.  

As for makeup, I have a ton of favorites heading your way for February & chose only a couple as January was more focused on skin care.

The NARS Guy Bourdin palette is an ultimate fav.  The shadows, blush, & bronzer, & gloss are so pretty & wearable.  The light highlight shade is probably one of my favorite highlighters.  The warm brown is beautiful & really makes my eyes pop.  The black is a richly pigmented black, great for lining.  The blush looks almost like Orgasm but is so much prettier.  The bronzer is similar to Laguna but not quite the perfection of it, still pretty though.  The gloss is (I believe) Deep Throat & a pretty barely pigmented gloss.  I love wearing the warm brown on my lid & in my crease, this is an easy way to wear it, while still being fun & pretty.  I actually prefer wearing a lipstick with the gloss on top, as I like color on my lips.  But for running out to do errands I like the gloss alone with my day makeup.  

Physicians Formula Blush in Blushing Mocha is similar to a bronzer.  It is beautiful for contouring & adds a soft warm glow to your skin.  Need I say more: Blake Lively's favorite blush/bronzer.  So of course, I was sold.  LOVE Blake Lively!!!  : )  This is a really pretty blush that goes beautifully with any lip color & especially red lips.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Mani Monday

Happy Monday!!  I went with a pretty pink, purple shade for this week.  Hope you like! Have a great week!!

Essie Cascade Cool