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Monday, August 11, 2014

Morning Skin Care Diet

Years of fighting my skin, scrubbing it raw and dousing it in anything that swore to rid me of blemishes, has taught me to focus on quality not quantity. Sure, I can go crazy with a mask every now and then, but my daily routine is nice and light. The morning is just for refreshing my skin, making sure it gets a nice drink of water, and clearing away any buildup from overnight.

I start by dampening my konjac sponge, the one I'm currently using is the Eco Tools' Deep Cleansing Pure Complexion Facial Sponge, and splashing some water on my face, neck, and decolletage. Then I take a small dollop of manuka honey- aka the nectar of the acne fighting gods- and lightly work the honey over my face with the sponge. The combination so gentle on the skin, but it feels like a deep clean in the best way. I splash a little more water over my face and cleansing is done. I use Juice Beauty's Blemish Clearing Serum on my most congested areas and then go into locking in some hydration.

If I'm wearing makeup I use Juice Beauty's SPF 30 Tinted Moisturizer in Sand, to give a little extra umpf of color, and from there go into my makeup. When I go makeup free, I have been reaching for a sample I received in my Petit Vour subscription box, Pelle Beauty's Nourish Facial Oil. My dehydrated skin has been drinking it up. After that I like to treat my eyes to a tiny dab of Juice Beauty's Green Apply Nutrient Eye Cream to make sure I'm fighting back wrinkles as I make my exit through the last of my 20's. Then, if I am planning on doing anything more ambitious than video games on the sofa all day, I apply Hang Ten's Classic Body SPF 50 over my face. I've just been working through a sample of this, and it was not until I just looked it up that I realized it may not be for the face. Oh well, no breakouts to report. 

So that's it. It's simple and quick and very, very kind to the skin. 

What are your go to morning essentials?

Monday, August 4, 2014

The All Natural Face: Cream Blush

There is something about the ease of a cream product in the summery months, it gives that nice hydrated glow. Heck, in winter months too because oh gosh does my skin love the extra moisture to soak in. I've been afraid of conventional cream products, that always creep in ingredients that break me out and that ain't cute no matter how dewy your cheeks are. A few months back I ordered four of the Cream Lip and Cheek Color's from the All Natural Face and they very much filled the empty spot in my makeup collection for cream blush, without acne side effects.

The four shades I ordered are all matte, as my naturally oily skin gives me enough shine to make me not want to add any more shimmer. I find each of these colors to blend beautifully, wear all day, and not melt down to my jaw line. There is not a single disappointment in the bunch. Though, the times I have used them on my lips I couldn't stand to breath in the smell. I must note these are unscented products, they just smell like natural stuff and I'm chalking my reaction up to me just being weird. But! I didn't buy them for my lips, though the colors are just as lovely on the lips as on the cheek, and with a minty balm on top I'm fine.

Suntan is the perfect taupe, brown for my fair skin's contouring needs, plush with a bit of extra blendy-blendy I can work it out to a soft natural almost tan.

With the other three, which are the blushes of this blush mix, are freaking gorgeous on my cheeks. I love each one because they make me feel completely different. Dusky Rose as my grown up plum-ish, mauve-ish, brown-ish color. I feel like an adult doing taxes and drinking black coffee with this on. Peachy Rose is my ballerina peach, making me feel like I'm on a train to New York on my way to an audition I'm going to kill. Terra Cotta is my funky orange, going bold and bright. This is my kick ass and take names color. I can't help but feel cool with this one on.

I have skipped showing an "on cheek" example, mostly because blush never seems to show up well enough on my skin, so forgive that, But... These colors are just what I wanted, and I think I've worn at least one of them everyday since they arrived. Overall, a great product that I will absolutely purchase more, just don't tell my wallet.

What are your recommendations from The All Natural Face?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Butter London's Cream Tea

Butter London is a company that prides itself on high fashion, trending colors. They are also a brand free of formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, phthalates, and parabens. The polishes do result in a pricey cost, at around $15 depending on the retailer. I picked up Cream Tea for a steal, at Marshalls, for $6.99 as it was on the way out of the line. While the product is no longer available, I still wanted to share my thoughts and findings to give you a good idea of what the Butter London brand puts out. 

It caught my eye, first for the price, and, second, due to the color. Since switching to cruelty free cosmetics and formaldehyde free nail polish, I had not picked up a basic white. Though, this is an off white it was close enough for me. In this photo set I applied three coats of Cream Tea in total, over Zoya's Anchor Base Coat and finishing it up with Orly's Glosser Top Coat

(Right to left, top to bottom: One coat, two, three, top coat, three days of wear, packaging)

This polish really needs more than three coats to go full opaque, but- as they say- aint no body got time for that. It's so disappointing to work with, but when I want a almost complete white base for some nail art on top, this does just fine.

When it comes to wear time I will say it holds up well. Polish usually begins to chip on me next day, so three days of minor chipping is a win in my boat. It is just a question of whether or not you feel like the time to apply is worth it. Personally, I'm still on the hunt for a two coat white.

What is your go to white that's cruelty and 3 or 5 free?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Petit Vour: May Reflections & June Reactions

Oh my gosh, Becky. Look at that box. Petit Vour is a $15 a month luxury beauty subscription service, which highlights high end cruelty free and vegan products. It is a box I am quickly falling in deep, deep love with.

May was my first Petit Vour box. The first product was Aromi Lip Gloss in Rouge. I'm not a gloss fan, and the metallic color in the bottle wasn't appealing. However, when applied the color looses some of the metal sheen and turns into a color that is surprisingly flattering. Bonus, it smells like a rice crispy treats. It is still a gloss texture, but I'm willing to deal. The Deep Steep Hand Cream in Bergamot and Grapefruit was the biggest surprise from the box. A hand cream, meh. Until you feel how quickly it sinks in! I'm sold on the formula, though I plan to pick it up in the rosemary and mint scent, as I have already collected a few of products in that scent. Another surprise was with the perfume sample from Harvey Prince in Hello. Perfume samples in subscription boxes are about as happily received as foil packets. However, the scent of this one was beautiful. I definitely see myself pick this one up. Last but not least, Paula's Choice Resist C15 Super Booster. I'm not sure if I see a difference in the brightness of my skin, but I have been looking for a serum to help me age gracefully and so far I have not reacted negatively to this. 

June was a pure surprise box. The most exciting thing in the box has to be the NCLA 5 Free Luxury Nail Lacquer in Lets Stay Forever. The polish is a robins egg blue, not a color I would go out and purchase but it's beautiful on. The brush, however, is in rough shape, though its large size carried so much potential. There are quite a few bent bristles and how annoying for a luxury product to arrive damaged. With the Tay Rosehip Balancing Cleanser with Seabuckthorn Oil I was sold as soon as I read rosehip and seabuckthorn, my two favorite oils. It's a creamy concealer and smells like a ritzy spa. This next product I thought was a perfume sample but wound up being a facial oil. Mun No. 1 Aknari smells heavily of rose, one of my least favorite scents. I know! Call the beauty blogger police! It makes me gag, so I'm not going to be putting this on my face. The last two products in the mix are Evolvh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner in very good travel size. I'm planing to save these for a vacation in August. I want these to be amazing, because the scent is so pleasing and I need to have results to justify my want to splurge on them.

So far, this subscription is wonderful. I'm so pleased to get cruelty free products that aren't full of chemicals and I am already excited for next month.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

DIY Peel Off Egg Mask

There has been a bought of neighborhood vandalism, resulting in a missing light fixture and an egg coated car. While I am turning into an old woman, concerned over kids these days, I have found myself thinking about eggs. What a waste, smashing them into your neighbors car in a search for self during ones rebellious youth. They are incredible, edible, protein packed suckers. But, the real reason I'm talking eggs on here is over a DIY mask I first spotted on pintrest. 

Lets start with the recipe because I always hate reading, and wanting, the benefits of a DIY mask, only to find out I need two gold bricks, and a can of not-sold-in-stores voodoo. 

1 Egg White 
For those icked out over raw egg, as long as I am mindful of the freshness and quality of the egg, slapping some on the skin is not a concern to me. It doesn't feel horrible, actually quite cooling, and there is no smell.

1 Tissue - separated into two thin sheets
1 Bowl
1 Face Brush - optional, but so worth it

If you aren't on a vegan diet, my guess is you can round these things up pretty quick.

Now that that is out of the way, lets talk benefits. I've heard that egg on the face can help tighten pores, leave the skin glowing, and feel super soft. My skin did feel very soft after this treatment, but what I was hoping for with this particular mask was that of a pore strip. If you have followed me for a few posts, you might know I hate my blackheads and love the satisfaction of ripping them out of me. Dramatic, I know. After going cruelty free, I had to ditch the traditional strips and go on the hunt for something new. This mask has defiantly filled that gap.

You simply dip your brush into a small bowl of egg whites, and paint your face. You can concentrate this in areas of congestion, or apply it all over. While your skin is still wet with egg, layer a thin sheet of tissue, and re-coat with egg. You can repeat the steps if you like, but I didn't have to much trouble peeling the mask off with only one layer. Then, you simply wait until the mask dries to a hard finish and gently peel off. After, I like to steam my face in a hot shower, to remove the excess egg and reward my skin for the damage that a drying mask can cause.

What I found, from using traditional strips, is a pimple retaliation after use. In comparison, the DIY version just took out the gunk without building up any nastiness. The strips I once used, that I think must share similar recipes to glue, really rip out the gunk. The thin texture of the DIY tissue makes the clogs harder to see and perhaps, as it is just egg causing the stick, less comes out overall. While I do believe less is being yanked out, I do think it causes less stress to my skin- which I think plays into the lack of pimples popping up after use.

My final opinion of this mask is, as I hinted above, a good one. I am very exited to incorporate this mask into my routine. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

December Ipsy Bag: The Lost Post

This post was (sadly) long forgotten. I am gearing up to get this site active and full of makeup and style goodness. In the mean time- enjoy!

This month I wanted to change it up and not only share my initial thoughts on the products that I received in my Ipsy beauty bag but share a makeup look inspired by the goodies inside.

Pop Beauty Bright Up Your Life Eye Shadow Trio in Smokin Hot
Full pallet of 10 shadows for $24.00.
I like the quality of these shadows so far, but the color selection is not something I would reach for on a regular basis. But, that's part of what makes Ipsy fun. You get out of your comfort zone. I like the dark navy color a lot and will make a point to use this in place of black shadow as liner.

Be A Bombshell The One Stick in Sunset
This brand makes nice products to apply and blend, but the ingredient list is less than savory. The color is really nice, very pigmented. I have just applied it to my cheeks and I really like the red, orange, gold shimmer that shows up even under powder over to set.

Mirabella Eye Blender Brush
I love this brush, it's soft to the touch but the weight of it is so unexpected. It feels great to hold. I'm purposing this brush to be my constantly clean pure blending brush. I've used this every day since receiving this very pricey brush and I'm very happy about how it is working.

Salon Perfect Perfectly Natural Strip Eyeylashes in #53
This are pretty sparce false lashes, which I like. I don't want to bat my lashes with a set of boy entrances (ode to Georgia Nicolson) and have a tornado start up due to an updraft, which is very scientifically accurate with those crazy falsies. While these lashes are natural, they are very sparse. The hairs are very spread out which is a bit frustrating with many slap and go lashes.

J. Cat Beauty Big Lip Pencil in Red Rose
The more I learn about this brand the more pleasantly surprised I am to have received this and even more excited to try other things from the brand. The color is okay, just a bit to bright, true red for daily use, but with a deeper color layered on top I'll be just fine.

Before we get into the look, I just want to make a quick note that the bag for this month is such a nice one.

Now for the fun part! I got a bit carried away. I wanted a simple under-eye, smokey look and wound up looking like a dramatic blue eyed, red lipped vamp.

Monday, December 9, 2013

November Ipsy Bag: Glam It Up

(Massively late post, I apologize)

I am not one to shy away from spoilers. I sometimes like knowing what is going to happen in the future of a TV show or movie, or occasionally books. There is one place I will not stand for spoilers: Ipsy. I love the surprise of "What's in the bag?" in my most dramatic Brad Pit impression. (Extra points if you catch the reference I'm trying to make there.) My sister and I have gotten into the habit of texting each other when we get the mail in, so we don't go instagraming pictures and spoiling the others fun. So, hopefully you have looked away by now, if you're bag has not yet come in.

em Cosmetics Lash Gallery
I'm fairly excited to try this, as em has obviously gotten a lot of online buzz. It is supposed to be dramatically volumizing, unfortunately I can tell as I am still working through a good deal of other mascaras.

Be a... Bombshell Cosmetics Lip Crayon in Shameless
This is a annoying product because it is a nice red with decent staying power and mineral oil. The color is a little bit like that unnatural pink that red lipsticks often stain your lips, so I do prefer this layer rather than alone. So far, it's nice but I don't think I'll be using this up anytime soon.

Nailtini Nail Lacquer  in Champagne 
This is the champion in the bag, I do believe I already did a posting about this a few weeks back. I wore this color for a few weeks in a row, so that will tell you how much I like it. The downside is that it smell very strongly, headache inducing strong, so paint with a fan on.

Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched
$18.00 with Kabuki
I have come to like this brand through my introduction of it via Ipsy. I haven't tried much, just a polish that I picked up after receiving a mascara in my Ipsy bag, but I was quite impressed with the quality and I am happy to see another product fall into my collection. This looks like a blush bronzer combo once applied. Definitely a good way to condense on the go.

Starlooks Gem Pencil in Amethyst 
This is okay. It's the second liner pencil I've gotten from Starlooks in my Ipsy bag and, if this is their ambassador product, it's not doing much for my want to shell out cash on the brand. They're okay for liner, if you want something smudgy and smokey, but they wear off so easily, even with a primer underneath. As a shadow base, it fades, as I said, plus who has the time to fill in their eyelid with a slim pencil?

BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic Backed Eyeshadow in Sun
$22.95 for full pallet.
This color looks very unappealing in the packaging, a bright orange-red, but after I swatches it I realized it's a lovely warm bronze. A well done surprise. I cant see myself needing the whole pallet, as some BH shadows have proven to be flops, but I think this shadow will be nice for simple days and the summer, though that seems ages away.

I really enjoyed this November bag. So now that it's almost December Ipsy time, what did you think of your products?