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Beauty Balm: BB Cream

9 Jul

Posted by: Katie

You guys might have been hearing a lot about beauty balms, or bb creams, lately. It is supposed to basically be a tinted moisturizer on steroids. They are a combination of a moisturizer, spf, face serum, and primer. It sounds like the ideal summer foundation.

I was first introduced to it by Birchbox when I got the Dr Jart+  version and I liked it so much I actually ordered the full size version.

There is so much water in this product that your skin looks insta-dewy

Since then I have seen these everywhere! It seems like every makeup brand is making one.  I have seen ads for Smashbox, Too Faced, and Stila  and I know there’s more to choose from at Sephora.

There’s even more to choose from!

Face Mapping

8 Jun

Posted by: Liz

Found this article today.  It discusses the idea that the acne on your face is linked to underlying factors occurring in your body (dehydration, allergies, hormones, etc.) and provides a few tips on how to possibly remedy the situation to clear up your skin.  I thought it’d be helpful to some of you!  Click here to read the full article.

Problem Skin

15 May

Posted by: Katie

My skin has caused me a lot of grief over the years. It’s not the worst in the entire world but can be frustrating. I have really sensitive skin and have also struggled with sometimes oily, combination skin and pimples. I have tried quite a few products and found what works best for me, so this is a list of the most effective products I have found:

Phisoderm Anti-Blemish Gel Facial Wash

This face wash has really been the best that I have ever found but I can’t find it in any of the typical stores (Walgreens, Target, etc) so I buy this on drugstore.com in bulk. It’s really cheap so that’s awesome, but the best thing is that it gently washes my face and keeps it (relatively) break out free.

Clarisonic

I put my face wash on this bad boy to get a super scrub. If I haven’t washed my face yet and I have had a face full of makeup I typically do a pre-wash. With just a little bit of face wash I do a quick rinse so when I use the Clarisonic it really gets the chance to get everything out of my pores. This also lets products soak deeper into your fresh, clean pores so if my skin is acting up I Clarisonic it (it can be a verb) and put a treatment cream on top. The Clarisonic is also supposed to reduce fine lines and wrinkles over time, so…. that’s cool.

Proactiv Repairing Lotion

This stuff is really incredible. I can’t use it too often because it dries my face out a lot, but it really makes a difference when I apply it after washing my face before bed when I have a breakout.

Biore Pore Strips

These are as effective as they are fun. A little gross, but it’s awesome being able to see something work!

Ponds Cold Cream

This is a makeup remover extraordinaire. This gets the most waterproof and difficult makeup off in no time. I just put it on my eyes, rub it in, and remove with a tissue. I’ve used this since extravagant Halloweens growing up!

Bare Minerals Moisturizer

This moisturizer is light and effective. It makes my skin feel hydrated but quenched, and doesn’t cause extra breakouts. I put this on under my makeup in the morning.

Katie’s Hair Routine

8 May

Posted by: Katie

Big hair is my favorite. Actually, just having as much hair as possible. You know how Barbie’s hair is about twice as big as her body? That’s what I’ve always wanted. Unfortunately, while I was blessed with a lot of hair, it’s thin and so straight that it can look a little flat. It also takes a little while to grow and tends to stop at a certain point, so after trying several different products I’ve managed to grow my hair out a couple extra inches. Here are my keys to more growth and volume.

Mane ‘n Tail Shampoo & Conditioner

This is for real. My friend Katy started using it and swore that it helped her hair grow. Because she has such a flowing mane, I got some for myself. I went to Walgreens and found a giant bottle for about $6. Fantastic. Colby saw it and said, “Is this animal shampoo?” It does have animal AND human instructions on the bottle, and a big picture of a horse so I understood the confusion, but this was for me. I use this most of the time (about 4 times a week) and because it’s good to switch up products occasionally, I also use the following;

Biolage Hydrating Shampoo

I used to always get volumizing shampoos (for obvious reasons) but now I go for moisturizing shampoos. I found that I like treating my dry hair against breakage and then use volumizing styling products afterward. This shampoo is light enough that I don’t feel like my hair is weighed down when I use it, and it smells and feels great. I use this when I don’t use the Mane ‘n Tail, so about 3 times a week.

Biolage Conditioning Balm

I use the Biolage Conditioning Balm about once a week in place of my conditioner, after I have used the Biolage hydrating shampoo. You leave it in for about 5 minutes so wash your hair first, then shave your legs or wash your body, etc. then rinse out the conditioner. It is awesome and makes your hair feel like silk.

Kerastase Ciment Thermique 

After I have towel dried my hair I apply a quarter size of Ciment Thermique. Kerastase is not cheap but I think this product is liquid gold. It has definitely made an improvement on the strength and look of my hair. This is a thermo-protective reconstructive milk for weakened hair and protects hair from styling tools.

Kerastase Volumactive Mousse

I don’t use the Volumactive mousse every time but it is very helpful with achieving substantial volume. If I want a lot of volume without styling my hair then this product will do that just by working it in before I blow dry my hair. It is the best mousse I have ever used. This might sound weird but I think blonde hair can tend to look greasy with some products. I think mousse and gel are the trickiest products for a  blonde to use because they can leave too much residue. This product is not too sticky but gets the job done. If you style your hair after using this product you will get a good hold as well.

Farouk CHI Professional 1300-watt Low EMF Hair Dryer

I air dry my hair when possible, mostly on the weekends or when I wash my hair at night during the week. But when I don’t air dry, I blow dry with this baby. I have had mine for about 4-5 years. It dries my hair quickly and doesn’t get it all tangled. I dry my hair upside down (you probably already know this, but it adds volume) and use a paddle brush to control it.

Finally, it’s been important for me, because I color my hair, to find a salon that uses products that compliment my hair. I found that while Redken is a great product, my hair just doesn’t respond as well and feels dry when I use those products and colors. So that is up to everyone’s own hair and is something you need to try out through trial and error.

My hair wizard is Nicole at Swank Salon.  If you’re looking for an amazing stylist in downtown Phoenix that, not only does your hair crazy good but will also make you laugh the whole time, look no further. Call 602-265-3068 for an appointment.

It’s a Swank -y little salon

Related: Liz’s Everyday Hair Routine

Tinted Lip Balms

10 Apr

Posted by: Liz

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a chapstick/lip balm girl.  My lips are naturally a darker pink so I never really noticed or cared about adding more color, I’ve only been concerned that they stay hydrated and soft.  However, I had my makeup professionally done for my wedding and at my trial the makeup artist asked what lipcolor I typically use.  I responded with “ummm, chapstick?” and she just about had a heart attack.  After seeing how complete my makeup looked with a little lipcolor, I became more and more interested in trying different products and colors.

I’ve always thought lipstick was too dry and tasted bad, and lip gloss is too gooey and sticky.  Recently, though, I’ve tried giving lipstick another chance as well as trying a variety of lip stains and long-lasting lipcolors, and while I’m not opposed to any of them, I still can’t stand that my lips aren’t constantly coated in the waxy, hydrated goodness I’m used to.  I’ve been doing some research and have found that a lot of different beauty companies are coming out with tinted lip balms!  How perfect, I get my chapstick texture while adding a bit of color.  I’ve purchased a few to see how they look so I wanted to share my favorites under $10:

Revlon – $7.49

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter (in Pink Parfait)

L’Oreal Paris – $7.99

L'Oreal Colour Riche Lip Balm (in Caring Coral)

NYX – $3.79

NYX Color Lip Balm (in Merci)

Burt’s Bees – $6.99

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm (in Hibiscus)

Ulta – $6.00

Ulta Tinted Lip Balm (in Sweet)

And just in case you’re wondering, these are my favorite lip sticks, lip stains, and long lasting lipcolors:

NYX – $3.99

NYX Round Case Lipstick (in Paris)

Revlon – $10.99

Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipcolor (in Prized Peach)

Cover Girl – $8.99

Cover Girl Outlast All Day Lipcolor (in Nude)

Cover Girl – $8.99

Cover Girl Outlast Lipstain (in Flirty Nude)

Stila – $24.00

Stila Lip & Cheek Stain (in Raspberry Crush)

*click on each photo to link to source

An Alternate to the Fishtail Braid

21 Mar

Posted By: Liz

If you don’t have the patience for the fishtail braid but still want something a little bit more fun than a traditional braid, try this out:

Image via thebeautydepartment.com

Separate your hair into three sections as if you’re going to start a traditional braid, but before you start, braid one of those sections and loosen it a bit.  Then braid normally with all three sections.  Once you’re finished, loosen it all over, make it look less refined and add some texture.  This style looks best when you already have some texture, like the day after you’ve curled your hair.  The first time I tried this, my hair was clean and straight, and almost immediately fell out. But it’s much easier than the fishtail and great when you’re in a hurry so give it a try!

 

Friday, I’m in LOVE…

9 Mar

…with NYX Round Case Lipstick
I’ve never been much of a lipstick girl.  In fact, I usually just apply some Spearmint ChapStick and call it a day.  However, I’ve been exploring some new beauty products and found NYX Lipstick.  With a vast array of color options and only costing $3.99 per tube, it’s hard not to try it!  I purchased Thalia and so far am loving it.  I apply chapstick underneath as to not dry out my lips, but the color is long lasting and doesn’t have that typical lipstick scent/taste.  I plan to buy a few more for Spring and Summer! *Liz*

NYX Lipstick: Thalia (Image via Ulta.com)

…with Sleep Masks
My eyes are so sensitive to light that I really rely on a sleep mask to guarantee a good night’s sleep. A comfortable one is obviously a must because you don’t want it to be too tight or the material to be obnoxious in any way. My favorite is the Lambie sleep mask from Bath & Body Works which, unfortunately, is not sold in stores anymore but can be found online for a high price. It is satin and soft, and super cute with the little eyelashes on the front. I am going to make my own mask in the near future so watch for that DIY to come soon!  *Katie*

(Image via kaboodle.com)

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