Beauty and Style

Favorite Foundations

I am always on the hunt for the perfect foundation. I have several requirements that a foundation must fulfill, so this task can prove difficult, but not impossible. I have found 3 recently that I am in love with and when I find something I love, I have to share!

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Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup. This is a liquid foundation that provides a light to medium coverage and stays in place really well. I can put this on in the morning and don’t have to worry about it being gone by lunchtime. It also feels really good. A lot of long-wear foundations can feel heavy and thick on my skin. But this one doesn’t even feel like I have anything on, yet evens out my skin tone (which is red and blotchy) and lasts more than a few hours. Win-win!

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Philosophy Hope in a Jar Hydrating Foundation. I picked this up at Ulta a few weeks ago and I am in love! It feels AMAZING on my skin but does a great job evening out my skintone. It doesn’t last as long as the Double Wear, so that is my only qualm with it. It does have a slightly odd smell, which I can’t decide if I like or don’t like.  It’s somewhere between coconuts and tanning lotion, but it’s barely noticeable when you are putting it on, and it goes away almost immediately once it is applied.  I really do love this foundation though and hope as they grow their foundation line, they will come out with a long-wear version.

WPY1_410x410Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Powder Makeup.  If you aren’t much for liquid foundation, this is a great alternative.  I was really impressed with how much this conceals the redness in my skin considering it is a powder.  I’ve used various powders from BareMinerals to Clinique to drugstore brands but none of them were sufficient enough to replace my liquid foundation.  This one actually could!  I keep it in my purse for a quick touch-up at the end of a long day or after going to the gym.  I usually manage to sweat most of my makeup off while exercising.  However, if I need to run errands or meet someone for dinner,  I throw this and a little mascara on and I am good to go!

What are your favorite foundations? I am always looking for new products to try!

Grammys 2014

One of the best parts about this time of year is all of the award shows.  Last night, the GRAMMYs was on, and it certainly did not disappoint!

I love seeing the red carpet looks especially as the Grammys offer a chance for the celebrities to be a little less formal than other events during this season.  However, it seemed like a lot of people played it safe this year.

Favorite Looks- Women

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1. Taylor Swift.  This outfit is a little “safe” for the Grammys, but she looks beautiful nonetheless.

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2. Katie Perry.  I don’t like her hair.  I think it was too tight and formal.  But I love her dress! Can’t get much more appropriate than music notes on your dress for the Grammys.

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3. Anna Kendrick.  Everything about this look.

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4. Kelly Osborne.  Some people may disagree with me, but I just like this look.  I love her hair, and the sequin shoulders just pop.

Favorite Looks- Couples

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1. Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert.  I just think they are cutest couple.

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2. Bruno Mars and Jessica Caban.

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3. Beyonce and Jay-Z. They look so happy in this shot.

Favorite Performances

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1. Pink performing “Try.”  All I can say is that woman is in great shape!

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2. Katy Perry performing “Dark Horse.”  Kinda of weird but that’s Katy Perry!

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3. Beyonce and Jay-Z.  Powerhouse couple right there.

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4. Lorde.  Not my favorite performance actually, but I love “Royals” too much to not include it.  Plus it won Song of the Year!

Did you watch the GRAMMYs? What were some of your favorite looks from the night?  Did your favorite artist perform or win?

My Philo(Sophi)

^^^See what I did there?!

I have been wanting to switch up my skin care routine/products for a while.  I’ve been using Clinique for about 18 months, and while I like it a lot, my skin had still been breaking out frequently.  Someone, please tell me when zits are supposed to clear up? I mean, come on, I’m  practically verging on 30.

My sister had been raving about Philosphy‘s skin care products for months, so I thought I would give them a shot.  I picked up trial size version of this set a couple of days ago after talking to one of the associates about my skin care needs.  It included the Purity Made Simple 3-n-1 cleanser, When Hope is Not Enough facial-firming serum, and Hope in a Jar moisturizer. The associate said this set would be a good one for clearing up the blemishes I struggle with, as well as offering some preventative anti-aging since I am not getting any younger. 😉

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It’s been 3 days since I started using this set and so far I am very happy!  I had a couple of zits on my chin (that’s where I break out most often) and already most of them have cleared up.  It also doesn’t irrate my sensitive skin at all.  My skin feels so clean and soft — I feel like it really gets all the makeup off which I was concerned about since it didn’t have a toner like Clinique.

I also picked up Philosophy’s Total Matteness serum. This was another recommendation by my sister. She should really be writing this blog, not me! She always has great recommendations. 

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Anyway, I am IN LOVE with this product.  Both my sister and I have rather large pores especially around our noses.  I have tried several products and techniques over the years to cover them up, but nothing seemed to work.  This product has completely changed that!

I have been applying the serum morning and night right after I use the Purity 3-in-1 cleanser before the When Hope is not Enough serum and the difference is amazing already!  I wish I had though to take pictures before I started.  My pores are already looking significantly smaller and more tight.  I can’t wait to see the results after several more weeks of use.

What are your favorite skin care products? Have you ever used Philosophy?  I would love to hear your recommendations and experiences!

 

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Stitch Fix

I just signed up for Stitch Fix after reading about it on a blog I follow, The Christian Wife Life.

Have you heard of Stitch Fix? If you haven’t, they send you personalized clothes and accessories based on your Style Profile.

You pay a $20 fee for each box to be shipped, but it applies as a credit toward any of the items you decide to purchase.  Anything you don’t want, just ship it back for free!

I can’t wait to see what comes in my first box, which should come at the end of February!

If you decide to sign up for Stitch Fix, will you use my link? It is https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3401437!

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A Good Hair(dryer) Day

Sorry for the cheesy titles.  That is the thing I am probably the worst at when it comes to blog posts haha!

A few weeks ago, I picked up the Hot Tools Tourmaline Tools 2000 Turbo IONIC Professional Dryer at Ulta. My old dryer was literally falling apart and I had been eyeing this one from Hot Tools.  I had actually been in Ulta on Saturday and it was $84.99, and went back in on Sunday to get shampoo and conditioner that I knew was on sale.  I, of course, had to take a peak at the hair dryers again, and lo and behold, it had been marked down to $59.99! That sealed the deal for me (I LOVE a sale) so I picked it up!

Hot Tools Tourmaline IONIC Professional Dryer (Ulta.com)

Before my Hot Tools hair dryer, I had an older model of this Conair Infiniti Pro Hair Dryer (it was probably 2 years old). It was good hair dryer, especially for the price, but I really love my Hot Tools curling irons, so I figured I’d give one of their hair dryers a try and most of them were still reasonably priced. My dream hairdryer would be the Rusk Speed Freak 2000 but that was a little bit more than I wanted to spend.  

Conair Infiniti Pro Dryer (momluck.com)

So far, I have been very happy with my choice! Some things that I love about the Hot Tools dryer:

1) The weight!  The Hot Tools dryer is only 15 ounces versus the Conair which is 2.8 pounds. It took some getting used to actually.  I’m not sure why, but sometimes I worry that light = cheap.  This is definitely not the case with this hair dryer.

2) The noise (well, lack of it).  It is so much quieter than the Conair.  I think some of this has to do with it the fact that the “High” setting on the Hot Tools dryer doesn’t blow as hard as the Conair, but it dries my hair in the same amount of time.  I’ll talk more about that below.

3) It definitely seems to leave my hair softer and less frizzy than the Conair.  This is big deal for me since the summers are very humid hear and I battle daily with my hair wanting to frizz because of it.

4) It has both a concentrator, a diffuser, and a straightening pik. At least the in-store one does.  It only lists the concentrator on the Hot Tools dryer listed on Ulta.comI haven’t used either yet though.

The only “negative” in my opinion is that the box claimed that it would dry my hair 50% faster compared to other dryers.  I actually timed it and it saved me about 5 seconds (with the Conair it took about 4 min. 20 sec.; for the Hot Tools it took about 4 min. 16 sec.).  However, as I mentioned above, it is a lot quieter than the Conair and the “high” setting isn’t as powerful as the Conair’s was (to keep it quieter would be my guess), so with that in mind, it does dry pretty fast.  I just put that as a negative as it doesn’t hold up to its claim, but it’s not a big deal for me.  I could see it might be important for someone whose hair takes much longer to blow dry than mine.

To wrap it up, I think this is a very good hair dryer and would highly recommend it.  Do you have a hair styling tool that you love?

July Birchbox

Have you heard of Birchbox? It’s only $10/month and you get a box (you would’ve never guessed that right?!) of sample-sized products (on occasion you even get a full-sized item).  Sometimes the boxes are a let-down, but overall they have some great products in them! This month was one of those months that I was excited about pretty much everything when I opened it.  I can’t wait to try the products, especially the Benefit It’s Potent! eye cream and I LOVE the bobby pins.   Not sure if I will use the blush since I use Benefit’s Fine One One, which I talk about here, but I will probably give everything else a try and I will let you know how I like them!

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From left to right: DDF Acne Control Treatment, Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect leave-in conditioner, Benefit It’s Potent! eye cream

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theBalm InStain Long-Wearing Powder Staining Blush (left) and Birchbox Bobby Pins (right)

DIY Heated Eyelash Curler

ImagePart of my daily makeup routine is applying mascara.  But before I apply the mascara, I always use an eyelash curler because my eyelashes are relatively straight.  A few years ago, I read a tip in some magazine about heating your eyelash curler to make the curl even better.  Lifechanging!!! AND you don’t have to buy an expensive heated eyelash curler like one of these.  All you have to do is take your regular metal eyelash curler, get your hairdryer, and point the hairdryer at the eyelash curler for a couple of seconds with the setting on warm.  You can also press the curler against your straightener or curling iron if it is on.  Be careful not to get the curler too hot or you’ll burn your eyes.

What is one of your little beauty tricks/secrets?

Dirty Little Secret

I have a secret… it’s kind of a dirty one.  Do you promise not to tell?

Okay… I admit it…  I don’t wash my hair every day.

Now that I have that off my chest, I can fill you in on how I keep this a secret: dry shampoo! I discovered them about 2 years ago and it changed my life (ok, I’m exaggerating a little).  But they have been the key in being able to skip days between shampoos, which has made my hair so much healthier and my highlights last longer.

I’ve tried several different ones over the last couple of years, but these two are my favorites right now:

Bedhead Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo

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I really like this one on days I want to wear my hair up because it give a lot of texture to my hair.

***Bonus! Bedhead products are Buy 2, Get 1 Free at Ulta this week!***

KMS Hair Play

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I like this one on days I want to just straighten my hair and leave it down.  It absorbs the oil but keep my hair feeling soft.

Do you use dry shampoo?  If so, what is your favorite one?

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Makeup Mash-up

I love playing with makeup and beauty products.   I really enjoy trying new products, but when I find something I love, I will use it every day.  Here are a few of my current faves:

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1. Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner:  This stuff holds up to its name!  I put this on in the morning and it lasts ALL day.  Usually after an 8 hour work day, my makeup does not look very “fresh,” but this eyeliner still looks like it was just applied.

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2. Eos Smooth Sphere Lip Balm:  Makes your lips so soft!!!  I carry one of these in my purse and one in my workbag so I have one handy at all times.  However, 1-2 applications a day is all you need.  This balm doesn’t dry out your lips like other  lip balms, which mean you don’t feel the need to constantly apply it.

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3.  Benefit Fine-One-One:  This is a blush and highlighter, plus you can wear as a lip tint (I haven’t tried that yet though).  I was a little wary about this product at first because I haven’t liked cream blushes before, but this one glides on smoothly and blends really well.  It is a little pricey but has lasted a long time.  I bought it 3 months ago, wear it every day, and I’d say I still have another month before I run out.

What are some of your favorite makeup products?

 (I shop at Ulta for most of my beauty products, and all of the items below can be found at your local store or online.)