Wednesday, May 30, 2012

You Tell Me: What is your summer beauty secret?

This is my 200th post! WOOHOO! Now onto the actual content. Last week, in what has become a very popular post on this blog, I shared with you my top summer makeup and beauty tips. I have more to share in an upcoming post, but I really want to know what you all think. What do you do differently in your routine during summer? Is there a summer tip that I was missing? Do you actually wear sunscreen in the summer or do you skip it (despite all the warnings against it)? Let me know your favorite summer beauty tips in the comments below! 
[To access comments just click on the post title]

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Stay beautiful!
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What's On My Toes? Color Club Electro Candy

I realize that I haven't been posting as many swatches as I normally like to. Lately, I have been intensely busy and haven't had time to do my nails. I have been *gasp* polish free for the past couple of weeks. It has been nice to let me nails take a rest, but I am back in the nail polish saddle. This week I went for something bright and fun on my toes, but also kept this as my manicure for a few days, so my toes and nails finally matched (which they never do). Here's Color Club Electro Candy from the 2009 Electro Candy collection:



This is one of those polishes that is just really fun. Looking at it, even in the bottle, makes me smile. It has a really beautiful slight blue shimmer, that often reads more golden than blue. This gives this polish, and the others in this collection, a little something extra - not just your basic neon matte. It also keeps the neon from being too 80s. The other thing I love about this polish is that it makes my skin look more tan and gives it a healthy glow. This is a great summer pedicure color! What are you sporting on your toes?


Stay beautiful!

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

You Tell Me: What's your go to summer nail polish pedicure color?

Summer is upon us. Now is the time for many of us to actually take care of our feet and get our toes pretty with a pedicure. Bright colors certainly reflect the mood of the season, and neons appear to be all the rage this summer. So you tell me - what is your favorite summer pedicure summer? Last year I was really into blues and greens, but this year I am drawn towards corals and reds. 
I'm currently sporting OPI I Eat Maine-ly Lobster.

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Click on the post title to access comments, and let me know your favorite pedicure color in the comments! 

Stay beautiful! 
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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Summer Makeup and Beauty Tips

I love the summer months. I used to hate how hot and sweaty they are, but now summer calls me to read out by the pool, take my dog to the dog park, and drink margaritas. Summer is also the time when I can start wearing eye makeup again since my allergies have calmed down. That being said, summer is often not very friendly to my regular beauty routine. Here are my top summer makeup tips to help keep you looking fabulous and feeling beautiful, even through the dog days.

1. Wear Sunscreen

I know this one is a given, but it is something that I often forget to do! Even if you are wearing makeup that has an SPF in it, that might not be enough. Makeup products tend to use different types of sun-blocking ingredients than good ole sunscreen. I highly recommend using a specialty sunscreen for your face. These tend to be less greasy and kinder to skin. My favorites are Aveeno and Neutrogeena facial sunscreens. Also, be sure to apply sunscreens to your chest and decotage. These areas in particular show sun damage very easily. Technically, we should all be wearing sunscreen year round, but it is especially important in the summertime.

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2. Ease Up on Foundation

Hot weather  = sweating. Heavy liquid foundations and sweat do not mix. Raise your hand if you have ever had foundation running on your face during the summer? I am totally guilty of this. The remedy: ease up on your foundation. Try to pick a foundation with lighter coverage or that is less liquid. I love Maybelline Dream Nude Air Foam precisely for this reason. It is light on the skin, yet still provides coverage. If you can, abandon liquid foundations all together. Opt for a powder foundation instead. My favorite is by bareMinerals, but many drugstore brands also have powder foundations. Powder foundations tend to soak up sweat and stay in place better than liquid based foundations. Alternatively, try a BB cream. These even out skin tones and tend to be a bit less heavy on the face. If you must use a liquid foundation, try setting it with translucent powder.

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Read on for more tips!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Everyday Favorites: The Body Shop Almond Hand and Nail Butter

I have always had really dry cuticles and skin around my nails. It seemed like no matter how often I moisturized or what treatments I used, I would still get hangnails and ripped cuticles. A year or so ago, I discovered The Body Shop's Almond Hand and Nail Butter. This was a miracle worker for me!

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The texture on this is nice a creamy and very thick. It is not greasy, but it does leave residue on your hands. I don't mind this to be honest. In fact, I like to be able to feel the moisturizer on my hands. The residue doesn't last long - only 10 to 15 minutes. This leaves my hands feeling both incredibly soft and smooth. I really work it into my cuticles, and it has had a huge positive impact on the condition of my hands and cuticles. 

I really love the smell of this as well. I am a sucker for anything almond based. This does distinctly smell of almond, but is not to sweet. Think the smell of natural almonds rather than marzipan. The scent is not overpowering so it is appropriate to put on in enclosed spaces - like the car with other passengers or in an office setting. Have you tried this cream before?

Stay beautiful!
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Guest Post: Laura from For Those About To Shop

I am so excited to present to you today a guest post from one of my favorite bloggers: Laura from For Those About To Shop. Her blog is an absolute must read for me (and should be for you too!). Her posts delve into fashion as well as beauty and are both incredibly well written and insightful. The post she wrote for all of you lovely readers here is titled "Beauty Belongs to Us All."

Beauty Belongs to Us All by Laura from For Those About To Shop

Working as a fashion writer, I’ve had the privilege of attending and reporting on
international events including New York, London, and Toronto Fashion Weeks. I loved
being immersed in high glamour as I had been preoccupied with fashion since childhood,
when I dressed up my Barbies in carefully selected outfits and sent them off to work in
their topless convertible. In 2009 my approach to fashion changed when I attended a show
in Toronto, notable because of its use of “regular” women on the runway. The models were
professionals but did not look like the girls I was used to viewing on the catwalk.


The women all came from the Ben Barry model agency, founded by a Canadian who
couldn’t understand why someone wasn’t considered attractive enough to model if she
weren’t young, tall, Caucasian, and wore a size 2 dress. What I learned that day and what I
decided to begin promoting with my writing is the idea that beauty belongs to all of us.

I believe the conviction Ben Barry expressed in opening his agency with a mission of
promoting diversity has directly impacted the industry and helped bring about changes
such as the recent health initiative at Vogue. (The world’s leading fashion magazine has
stated publicly its editors will not work with underage models or those who appear to have
an eating disorder.)


Soon after that 2009 show, I interviewed Ben Barry for my blog and I believe his
words describe the opportunity the fashion industry has to make beauty a source of
empowerment for women rather than something to which only a select few can aspire:

Many people in the fashion industry get confused when they hear a fashion show or magazine
is using real women. They think the image will look like a driver’s license picture – safe,
drab,and dull. That is the very opposite of what I envision. When we showcase diversity in
fashion, we have to remember it is fashion: diverse models should have the same glamour and
artistry as the other models. Diverse images are aspirational, but also attainable and honest.
A woman can actually look like the model, achieve her look, if she too got her hair and make-
up done and put on a similar outfit. It’s about authenticity.


Great post, Laura!  I hope all of you will pop on over to her fabulous blog.

Stay beautiful!
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Beauty Blog Coalition Weekly Roundup

Links for this week are posted after the jump. Be sure to click "Read More" as there are a ton of great links this week!



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

3LAB Perfect BB SPF 40/PA+++ Review

I love the idea of BB creams which are meant to moisturize, improve skin tone, brighten, and clear up imperfections. I have tried several, and I must say that 3LAB Perfect BB SPF 40 is the best one I have encountered. It isn't a miracle worker, but it is pretty darn close. 3LAB Perfect BB SPF 40 claims to "treats fine lines and wrinkles using anti-oxidants, vitamins and botanicals including Phytocell Tec, Nano Clair GY™ and β-white to improve and even skin tone, brightens the skin, alleviate irritation and protect the skin from harmful UV rays and oxidative stress." Let's see if it meets these claims.

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First, I love that this product has such a high SPF. I would still recommend using a sunscreen in the summer, but an SPF 40 in a BB cream is fantastic! 3LAB Perfect BB has a really lovely texture. It goes on as a cream that is akin to the texture of a medium density daily moisturizer. Not too runny but not too thick either. It glides onto the face with ease and applies flawlessly. It is very easy to get even coverage with this product. On the face, the product feels very light - which I love. If you have been reading my blog consistently, you know I am not a fan of heavy facial products. The product does have a light scent, which I found pleasing. It smells very fresh and almost smells like it has a hint of ginger. I wear a color level 2 for your reference. Apparently level 1 is extremely light. What I really appreciated was that this shade blended nicely with my pink undertones, which is frequently a problem for me.




Does it work? YES! A resounding yes! Though this product goes as a cream, it dries to what I would call a slight powder finish. It is not a matte look, but it helps prevent the face from looking greasy, which can happen with some liquid foundation products. When you first put this on, it looks like it has a matte finish, but after about 5 minutes the finish starts to change. It made my skin look absolutely flawless and gave it a nice bright glow. I can look sallow - especially when I am tired - so I was incredibly pleased that it brightened my skin. Best of all, it looked like I wasn't wearing any make-up. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

What's on My Toes? Essie Barefoot in Blue

I was lucky enough to win a bottle of Essie Barefoot in Blue from their online sweepstakes. Both Toms and Essie gave away a few thousand bottles of this polish, and I believe that winning it was the only way to get original access to the polish. I was pleasantly surprised to find this polish in my mailbox as the sweepstakes didn't notify winners. Boy do I like surprises like this! Since Barefoot in Blue is a cross-promoted polish with the Toms shoe brand for their Go Barefoot campaign, I decided to try this on my toes. It is a great color for spring and summer!

Natural lighting
Barefoot in Blue is a cornflower blue. I think it was meant to be a Toms blue - i.e. the color of the logo, but it was too purple to achieve this. The color is really lovely and isn't close to anything I have in my collection, so it was a nice addition. This color is also a bit of a lighting chameleon. At home, it looks really purple - more of a French blue. In the sun it looks like a lighter blue - closer to a Carolina blue for you basketball fans out there. That is the best way to describe it. Regardless of the lighting, the color still looked great. 

Indoor lighting

Beauty Blog Coalition Weekly Roundup

There are a ton of links this week, which is wonderful. Because the post is so long, I am putting the links after the jump. Don't be shy to click "Read More." These ladies are fabulous and their posts are great reads!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Everyday Favorites: Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner

So I know this is a bit out of my blogging comfort zone, but since summer is coming and in some places has already showed her true colors (hello 90+ degrees!), I wanted to share one of my favorite summer beauty products: Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner.

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During the summer my hair really takes a beating. I tend to wash it more since it gets more greasy from simply sweating, especially in the South where it is really intensely humid. This means that my hair gets stripped of it's natural oils repeatedly. I also really like to lay out by the pool during the summer (with sunscreen of course), and the suns rays can really do a doozy on my hair. 

I like to switch over from my regular deep conditioning treatments that I use for the rest of the year as I find they can be a bit heavy and really weigh down hair, especially during the summer. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle is very aptly named. It moisturizes and conditions my hair without weighing it down. I have also found it helps repair some of my split ends and certainly helps with flyaways! I also really enjoy the smell and love how soft and shiny it makes my hair.  As a final plus, the price point is exceptional. 

On a final note, I noticed recently that in some stores this has different packaging, as the company is continuously updating their image. Don't worry though, it is still the same product even if it looks different. Do you change your hair care routine for the summer?

Stay beautiful! 
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