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Friday, July 31, 2015

Beauty Blender Dupe!?

Hey guys!

Let's talk for a hot minute about the Beauty Blender.

This little egg-shaped sponge has completely revolutionized the way we apply makeup. If you haven't heard about the Beauty Blender,  you should have. It's reusable, and makes all liquid and cream makeup products blend out flawlessly and seamlessly. What's the secret?

When you run it under water and squeeze it about 10 times or so, it absorbs the water and doubles in size. This step is VITAL to get the most out of this product! Turn off the faucet, gentle squeeze out the excess water (watching your fingernails so that you don't tear the delicate sponge), and get ready to see the magic happen. You can use this for almost any step in your makeup application, but my favorite way is to use it to blend out my under eye concealer. Because of the way it's shaped, and because of the nature of the material, it sucks up any excess product, leaving anywhere it touches perfectly blended and not cakey at all.

Do you get streaks in your liquid foundation?
Does your under eye concealer crease, look spotty, or cakey?
Have you tried to highlight and contour using cream or liquid products, but look like you're wearing war paint?

That's where this amazing little tool comes into play.

The only downside? 

The price. 

On Sephora, the original Beauty Blender goes for $20 a pop. On Amazon, you can get it here for $15 and here for $30 for 2 sponges. 

People look at the price and wonder, "why in the world would I pay that much for a sponge?"
I've had my Beauty Blenders for over a year, and because I've taken good care of them, they are in pristine condition. They have completely paid off, and can transform even the worst product into something usable.

The bottom line? It's worth the money.

However, I've had a bunch of friends brag about how they've gotten "beauty blenders" for cheap, and how they'd never spend that much on a sponge. 

This piece of crap right here is NOT the same thing as a Beauty Blender. I got one at Target to try it out, and it was a nightmare. It did not absorb water like the Original, and is way too firm to blend in the same way the Original does. It is not a victory to buy this instead of the Original for a cheaper price, because it does not make you look like a flawless goddess. It will leave streaks, and because it isn't as soft as a baby's butt, won't absorb excess product. 

But don't worry! I have a great alternative. 



This little baby right here IS an acceptable dupe for the Original Beauty Blender. It's called the Miracle Complexion Sponge by Real Techniques, which is owned by a professional makeup artist. This sponge can be used damp or dry, and has a flat side that is actually really nice for blending out the large areas of the face, like the cheeks and forehead. The best part is, you can get it at Ulta or Walmart, and it's around $5-$6. Please, for the love of God, use this one instead of the rock hard sponge above. 


I clean my Beauty Blender with bar soap, and then microwave it for 2 minutes in 2 inches of water to kill all the germs. When you clean it, make sure that it is wet before you put soap on it, or else you'll be washing out soap for almost an hour!!! Trust me. I may or may not know from experience.





Thanks for reading and see you next time!




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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Let's Talk About Skincare: Part Two

Hey guys!

We're back to talk about skincare, and today's installment will be addressing the internal effects of skincare. I know, I know, this is a long one, but there is a cheat sheet at the bottom if you want the facts fast.

Elle Macpherson has eaten an organic, vegetable rich diet for almost 20 years, and looks utterly flawless. She's 51 years old! The proof is in the pudding, people.


Think of it this way: your skin is almost like reading the footnotes to understand what's going on in your body. Not getting enough sleep? Your skin is sure to show it with dark circles and dullness. Eating lots of junk food? You can bet your sweet booty it'll show up on your face. Feeling stressed? Here's a blemish or two so everyone else can tell, too. While there are some factors that are uncontrollable, such as genetics, there is so much you can do to prevent aging, acne, and other skin problems.

What really turned me onto this was reading Kate Somerville's Book, Complexion Perfection. Kate Somerville takes care of Hollywood's most famous skin, and has partnered with dermatologists to create her own line of skin care. In her book, she talks about approaching skincare from every possible angle, but the part that interested me the most was about how what we put into our bodies shows up on our skin.

Have you ever heard the expression, "you are what you eat?" Well, it is more true than you realize. Exercising, drinking lots of water, and eating healthily (think veggies, veggies, and more veggies! Learn to love them!) will make you GLOW more than the most expensive serum or face mask on the market. Even though the products you use are definitely an important step in your routine, diet and supplementation are half the battle.

Spoiler alert: I love food. Pretty much all of it. I love veggies (especially grilled. Yum.), but I also love cheese fries. I love berries that are packed with antioxidants, but I also love donuts. Every day is a struggle for me to choose what's best for my body. Don't get me wrong, I definitely indulge myself from time to time, but it's all about the little battles, like eating cucumber with salad dressing before I get so hungry that I lose all my willpower, or reaching for an apple when I really want ice cream. When I don't do that, and I grab fast food on the way home from work, I notice a difference in how I

Here's a handy little guide to getting that glow from the inside out (using Kate Somerville’s supplement recommendations):



  1. Drink a gallon of water per day.
I know, it sounds like a lot. This article explains how our poor little thirst mechanism in our bodies has been so beaten down by overeating and processed foods, oftentimes when we think we're hungry, we're actually just thirsty. So, drinking more water means that you are less likely to overeat. Furthermore, so many random problems are caused by dehydration: fatigue, high blood pressure, asthma/allergy related issues, skin disorders, high cholesterol, digestive issues, bladder/kidney issues, premature aging, etc. 


If you get bored with plain old water, try cutting up fruit and letting it sit in the water for a few hours! This will give you about 20% of the vitamins and antioxidants that are in the fruit, and tastes so yummy. My personal favorite is strawberry, lemon, and mint!

2. Eat healthy!

Fruits and vegetables, high-quality, lean protein, and high quality, unsaturated fats. Some of the winners in these areas for their complexion-enhancing properties? Almonds, avocados, black beans, blueberries, and flax seeds! Just say no to: refined white sugar/high fructose corn syrup, salt, refined white flour/grain products, trans fatty acids, hydrogenated oils, and alcohol. 

3. Supplementation

Some people will argue with me on this, claiming that if you eat a nutritious diet, you don't need vitamins. For me, I KNOW I don't get enough from my diet, and I just feel better when I supplement! More energy, a clear head, and a sense of well being. Take a good multivitamin (not just a hair/skin/nails supplement), green tea extract (which is better than just drinking tea, because you are actually ingesting the tea leaves), fish oil, flaxseed oil, hyaluronic acid (helps prevent aging), alpha-lipoic acid, grape seed extract, and gingko biloba extract, and probiotics.

Thanks for reading you guys, and be sure to check back for the next installment, where I will be talking about skincare products, and the mysterious Korean Method!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Let's Talk About Skincare: Part One

Hello beautiful people,

Tonight at work (my summer job at Bath and Body Works), a lady complimented me on my skin. Her friend quickly jumped in and said "Yeah, but look at how young she is!" I thanked them, and told them how I SLAVE over my skin, so I really appreciated that they noticed my hard work.

They asked me for some tips, so I thought it might be nice to share these tips in a series of posts that talk about all the different aspects of caring for your skin. No, I am not a dermatologist or an esthetician, but I have educated myself (through books, the trial-and-error of products, and in speaking with dermatologists and estheticians) enough to the point where I am comfortable sharing these tips with others. So let's jump in!

My Skin Type and Story:

I have been blessed with good genes: I have relatively dry, sensitive skin that is not prone to cystic acne or frequent blemishes. I typically break out when I am stressed or around "that time of the month." I moved from Maryland (a very humid climate) to Arizona (a very dry climate), and that made my dry to normal skin turn very very dry. My body is much dryer than my face, probably because I don't care for it the same way, and if I don't put on body cream after I shower, my skin turns red, itches, and feels like it's burning.

When I hit puberty, for a brief period of time my skin was more oily. However, I read an article that explained that oftentimes, skin that produces more oil is actually dehydrated, and so tries to compensate by overproducing sebum (what we consider to be oil). This led me to try the oil cleansing method, which can be read about in detail here. Basically, you make an oil mixture of castor oil and olive oil, and adjust the ratio depending on your skin type. The castor oil heals acne and blemishes, while the olive oil hydrates. You rub the mixture on your skin, and then steam your face by holding a hot, wet washcloth on it for a minute, and then wipe away excess oil when you're done.

Ultimately, I stopped using this method because I needed more daily exfoliation and better anti-aging/brightening products in my arsenal. I'll talk more about what products I use later.

Your makeup will only look as good as the surface its on will allow. Investing time and money into your skincare will pay off for the rest of your life, and makeup application will be a dream.

Check back for the next installment in this series: supplementation, diet, and why it matters!




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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Quick, flawless skin and NAKED3!

Hey guys!!


I am running to go shopping and get lunch with my mom. This is a quick look I did so that I would look presentable haha!

I also pulled out my old bare minerals foundation for this look. I haven't used it for a long time so I thought I would revisit it. I prefer liquid foundation, but I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I was able to achieve a dewy glow!!

All of the eyeshadows on the lid were from the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette :) It's really unusual for me to do any kind of eye color that is not in the brown family but I bought this palette and haven't really used it to it's full potential.
FACE:

bareminerals Original Powder Foundation in Light
MAC Pro Conceal and Correct Palette in Medium
MAC Pro Shaping Powder in Lightsweep
Benefit Dallas Blush to Contour
Nars Orgasm blush
MAC Cream Colour Base in Shell
MAC Highlighting Powder in Silver Dusk
MAC Fix+



EYES:
MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre
Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
Clinique Brush On Cream Liner in True Black
Too Faced Lash Injection Mascara
Loreal Telescopic Mascara




Thanks for reading! Have a lovely day!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

FOTD!

Hey guys!! Happy Sunday!!


I am home for spring break and I am on the way to lunch with my family. Here's a peek at the makeup/hair I decided to go for!
FACE:
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Light
Covergirl TruBlend Liquid Makeup in M4
MAC Pro Conceal and Correct Palette in Medium
MAC Shaping Powder in Lightsweep
CHANEL Translucent Loose Powder
MAC Blush in Harmony 
NARS Blush in Orgasm
Benefit High Beam
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray

EYES:
Smashbox Shadow Insurance
MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre
MAC Eyeshadows in Blanc Type, Wedge, Swiss Chocolate, Embark, Carbon
Clinique Brush On Cream Liner in True Black
Benefit Gilded Eye Pencil
Loreal Telescopic Mascara

LIPS:
Maybelline Baby Lips (the nude one)
Maybelline Lipstick in Blushing Beige
Clinique Long Lasting Glosswear in Air Kiss



Thanks for reading!! Have a good day you guys!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

HG MASCARA: Loreal Telescopic Mascara Review!

Hey guys!

So I am really excited to do this review because I am so in love with this mascara. I'm one of those people that uses a rotation of mascaras on a regular basis, and I am always looking for the next best thing that will make my lashes look like falsies!

I guess I'm a little late to try this mascara. It's been out for a long time, but I didn't try it until a client told me how much she loves it.

I don't mind using drugstore products, ever, and I am more likely to buy drugstore mascaras (as opposed to high end) because I go through them so quickly and have to throw them out after a few months. I'd rather save money on mascara and use it to buy high end foundation or something!

So… onto the review!

This is how LONG and THICK my lashes look after ONE COAT of this mascara!!!

It's completely build able, and I am able to use it with my other mascaras to make my lashes look as crazy as I want them to!

My lashes DO NOT hold a curl. And as you can see, the curl is holding up really well with this mascara!

It is also really nice when worn under false lashes, and doesn't stick out at any weird angles. 

I will definitely re-purchase this product, and recommend it to everyone I know!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Get to Know me!

Hi guys!

So I thought it would be cool to make a little "get to know me" kind of post.

My name is Blair. I'm a college student at the U of A studying to be an art teacher! I will be 21 years old in April :)

This is the love of my life! We have been dating for over two years. He is my best friend and makes me laugh all the time, gives me the best advice, and makes me a better person!
These are our beautiful dogs, Stark (like Iron Man) and Roxy! They are both labs, Stark is 6 months, Roxy is 7 years old!
I am in Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority! (That's me in the front row, second from the left)

I have an absolute makeup addiction and am always trying to learn new things and try new products. I am thinking about going to beauty school to get my license to practice makeup artistry!

This blog is my outlet to share everything I know about makeup, to document what I learn, and to try out new looks!

If there are specific looks you would like to see, products you would like reviewed, or anything else, please leave me a comment to let me know! 



Natural, Everyday Makeup!

Hey guys!

So, today is a Tuesday and I just got ready for school. I thought I'd show y'all my go to makeup look for a weekday!

I was running late and didn't have time to wash my hair, so I just threw it up in a ponytail. I also apologize that the photos are not as high quality as usual, my camera decided to give me some trouble today!


This is as close to a "no makeup" look as I will go. I love it because it is all neutrals, glowy, and just really pretty.
PRODUCTS USED
FACE:
Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in #120
MAC Studio Conceal and Correct Palette in Medium
NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
Too Faced Sun Bunny Bronzer
MAC Blush in Harmony (to lightly contour)
MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray


EYES:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Naked, Buck
MAC Pigment in Tan
MAC Eyeshadow in Blanc Type
MAC Eyeshadow in Omega (to fill in brows)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Blackout to lightly define lashline
Loreal Telescopic Mascara Carbon Black

LIPS:
MAC Lipstick in High Tea


Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful day!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Current Skincare Routine

Hi guys!

I have been obsessed with my skincare ever since I hit puberty. When I was living on the east coast, I had combination skin that would occasionally get oily in the t-zone.

However, about 3 years ago I moved to Arizona, and my skin DRASTICALLY changed!! It went from combination to dry to super dry!!

So, without further ado, here are my current skincare products!!!

***MORNING***

Cleanser: Clinique Liquid Facial Soap in Extra Mild
Exfoliator: Freeman Facial Charcoal and Black Sugar Mask/Scrub
Facial Oil: Rose Hip Seed Oil
Facial Moisturizer: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer
(I alternate between these depending on which foundation I'm using and how my skin is feeling that day!)
Eye Cream: Clinique All About Eyes


***NIGHT***

Cleanser: Clinique Liquid Facial Soap in Extra Mild
Face Treatment: Aztec Secret Indian Healing ClayGLAMGLOW YOUTHMUD™ TINGLEXFOLIATE TREATMENT
Facial Oil: Rose Hip Seed OilCoconut Oil
Night Cream: Olay Regenerist Night Recovery CreamClinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask


I also take this amazing multivitamin, and take green tea extract, fish oil, and vitamin C.


I think that's everything!! If you have any questions let me know or if you would like to see specific reviews of products :)


AMAZING SKINCARE SECRET!!!!

Hi guys!

So.. What if I could tell you that I had an amazing skincare secret that could clear your pores, make them smaller, tighten your skin, detox your poor ol' tired skin and much more??

Sounds too good to be true, right?

Wrong!

The secret is something called Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
I am seriously OBSESSED with this stuff! It is $8 (for the smaller size) for an ENTIRE POUND, and you only need a teaspoon or two for each time you use it!

You guys, I have incredibly sensitive skin. Since I moved to the desert, it is dry, and irritable, and yet somehow manages to still break out!! So, I need a skincare army that will fight all those nasty symptoms without making my poor skin freak out!

HOW TO USE:

Mix equal parts of the clay and apple cider vinegar, and put on your face! That's literally it! You can use water, but I use the apple cider vinegar to get the full results. It creates a chemical reaction on your skin that sucks up all the gunk and badness.

I leave it on for about 10 minutes, but you can leave it on for longer if your skin is not as sensitive. I only do it once every 1-2 weeks!

Sometimes after I wash this off, my skin is red and tingly. THAT IS COMPLETELY NORMAL and will go away after about 15-30 minutes.

Has anyone else used this??

Thanks for reading!!


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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Return to blogging!

Hey guys!

I know it's been about two years since I've blogged. It's been a CRAZY time in my life! This fall, I'll be starting my junior year of college. I'm in a wonderful relationship with the love of my life, and we've been dating for about a year and a half. I'm working to get my degree in Art Education from the University of Arizona, and then I'm going to be working to get my personal training certification and going to beauty school to be a makeup artist! It's an exciting and wonderful time.

Over the past couple years, I've learned a lot--in life, and with makeup! I'm tremendously excited to be getting back into blogging and sharing what I've learned with you :)

Thanks for reading, and I can't wait to get started!

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

EOTD/FOTD Tutorial! Pic heavy!

Hey guys! This is the look I did today. I'll post it step by step, all products MAC unless stated otherwise.

Step by step:

Face moisturized with Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer
I've applied Chanel Vitalumière Foundation in 20 with a foundation brush

I've applied Laura Mercier Concealer (I think it's the secret camouflage one?)
and Chanel Loose Powder

Urban Decay Primer Potion
Vanilla e/s on browbone
Urban Decay Virgin e/s in inner corner
Woodwinked on outer 2/3s of lid

Patina e/s in crease
Carbon e/s packed in outer corner, then I'll blend that out. I think I added a little more Woodwinked to blend it out. 


Clinique Cream liner and the brush I use to apply liner. It's just a craft store brush that I bent with pliers to get more precise application

Clinique liner flicked out at the corner

Final look!
NARS Orgasm blush on cheeks
NARS Laguna bronzer to contour and add dimension
theBalm Mary-lou-manizer highlighting powder on cheekbones
Hue lipstick

Thanks for looking!