Monday, February 9, 2015

Make-down Monday: Lash Extensions

(Pictures taken 4 days after lashes were applied)

I wanted to use this week's make-down Monday to review permanent lash extensions.  I have read so many great things about permanent lash extensions I couldn't wait to try them for myself.  I felt that an upcoming bachelorette weekend for my future sister in law was the perfect excuse (the fact that I found a Groupon for it was just an added bonus).

Main Purpose of the Product: Obviously to give the look of exaggerated and voluminous lashes

Price Point: Typically the price ranges from $50 to $75.  I lucked out and found a Groupon for half price so I only paid $35

Key Ingredients: I made sure that the lashes that were going to be applied were real human hair simply because they look the most natural despite the obvious intent to have fuller longer lashes. Real hair is also supposed to blend better with your natural lashes

5 Senses Description: The lashes come in small clusters of no more than 4 to 5 lashes.  She applied these clusters with a professional grade adhesive to the inner lid of my upper lashes.  This was where it got uncomfortable.  I have pretty sensitive eyes so this part was very unpleasant for me.  It was around a 20 minute process for both eyes.  I loved the end results and the best part was, you don't have to apply mascara for the duration the lashes stay on (that's how great they look).  I was told the best way to ensure they last is to not let them get wet. I tried my best not to get them wet during showers and avoided getting my makeup remover close to them as much as possible.

Best Attribute: The lashes are gorgeous and I love that for weeks I had the look of full lashes without the hassle of applying fake lashes daily.

Drawbacks: This is where I want y'all to pay close gorgeous as these lashes were at first I am still fighting the battle of getting them off.  The adhesive is no joke.  Once they started coming off where they were first applied (inside the lid of my upper lashes) they gradually moved outward and attached to my real lashes.  I thought surely if the adhesive had given enough to move off the inner lid, I could just gently pull them off...OUCH! Unfortunately I don't have an answer just yet as to the best way to get them off from here, but let's just say it's not pretty or painless.

Overall, I will probably never get lash extensions again.  As much of a pain it is sometimes to apply false lashes, at least you can control them coming off and there is no real danger of damaging your natural lashes.  This is one of those 'you live and learn beauty lessons', hopefully I can spare y'all the ordeal I have gone through.  How is that for an honest review!?  All that being said I thought I would link some of my favorite temporary false lashes to shop below!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Fashion Friday: Maxi Cardigan

Maxi Cardigan: Lundy's Boutique {c/o} // Cami: Lundy's Boutique {c/o} // Jeans: Paige Denim // Booties: Mia // Bracelets: Stella & Dot, Jamesandjoco {c/o} // Earrings: Tory Burch // Watch: Michael Kors // Lips: Ulta Lip Butter in Dubai // 

How amazing is this maxi cardigan?! I have always loved the long cardigan look, but was afraid that it may not be flattering because of my short legs.  With the combination of these wedge booties and the tapered bottom of the cardigan, my leg length was no longer a problem!  I also have to mention how comfortable and flattering the cardigan is too. Lundy's Boutique is a local shop that sells all kinds of fun cardigans, tops, and accessories.  Right now they are offering 40% off their winter styles with the code "WinterBlowout".  Hurry and shop this fabulous sale because the offer ends January 31st!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Make-down Monday: Miracle Skin Transformer Face

I wanted to use this week's make-down Monday to share with y'all my favorite beauty product that deserves the credit for any time my skin has looked beautiful.  Not only is this product excellent for your skin, it is magical with setting your makeup -  it's basically the unicorn of skin products.

Main Purpose of the Product5-in-1 tinted skin enhancer designed to Hydrate, Prime, Enhance, Mattify & Protect your skin in one simple step.

Price Point: $48 (don't tune me out yet, I promise it's worth every cent!)

Key Ingredients: Passion Fruit Extracts, Saw Palmetto, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and EcoPhysalis, among other natural ingredients

5 Senses Description: This product is virtually odorless.  It can be ordered with a tint (I use fair during winter months, and medium during summer months) as well as translucent for those who prefer no color.  The feel of this product is light and silky upon touch and once your skin has had time to absorb, it leaves a non-greasy smooth feeling.  The product comes packaged in a 1.7 FL. OZ tube, perfect size for travel.  

Best attribute: I feel that the best attribute of this product is the fact that it is beneficial in multiple ways without the hassle of using different products.  This serves as a moisturizer, primer, mattifer, and sun protectant all in one application.  You can't find a more cost or time efficient product to effectively beautify and protect your skin.

Drawbacks: As a teacher, I understand the financial drawback that comes with this product. However, as someone who values quality beauty products, you can take my word that this product has proven worth the monetary value at least twice over.  The multiple purposes it serves ends up being very cost efficient.  

I use this product literally every day, whether it be to even out my skin tone so I don't scare people at the gym or to mattify and help my foundation last throughout the day.  I believe this product will serve me well in the years to come as a protectant against UV rays as well as making sure my face makeup lasts through events and typical days at work.  Shop the link below to order online!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fashion Friday: Fitness Resolution Necessities

Every year, I tend to make some sort of fitness new year's resolution.  Whether it be losing weight, getting in shape, eating healthy or all of the above; nothing is more motivating to me than a cute gym wardrobe.  In the past, I have posted about my fitness routine but this time around I want to go through my favorite staples that are both functional and have that cute motivational factor.


For the types of workout I prefer, a comfortable shoe is a must.  I've picked out a few of my favorites to share with y'all, including the shoes I currently workout in.  I am definitely not a long distance runner so my shoes recommended here would probably not be best for that type of exercise.
Without a doubt, my favorite workout pants/capris are lululemon.  This opinion is not one that I jumped to purely because of the hype.  I have tried just about every workout capri on the market and bottom line, nothing is as breathable and comfortable as lululemon.  I can do a full workout in my lululemon pants and never have to adjust or pull up on the waist once.  The adorable patterns and quality materials are just the icing on the cake.  Here are a few of my favorites (I own and can personally vouch all of these styles recommended).
I personally have always preferred sleeveless workout tops.  There are very few tops I have found with sleeves that are not restrictive when I'm working out.  Tops also tend to be one of the best ways to add a fun fashion flare to your gym ensemble. I've listed my favorite tops below!

Because I tend to prefer sleeveless workout tops, workout jackets area must through the cold weather months.  Even when you're hot and sweaty from working out, it's important to never leave the gym without a jacket on in order to keep your muscles warm and not shock your system with the extreme temperature change.  These cute jackets can serve that purpose as well as being the perfect addition to your outfit.

Sports Bras:
Even though these are rarely seen, we all know how important a great sports bra is.  Too much support is uncomfortable and restrictive and not enough support can be even more uncomfortable.  I tend to prefer sports bras with structure and cups.  Here are a few of my favorites...

Other accessories: 
I've listed a few of my other favorite workout accessories below...

Hopefully this post has reinforced your healthy new year's resolutions! It's amazing how motivating great workout clothes can be! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tutorial Tuesday: How to fix broken palettes

As much as I love my makeup, y'all should know I'm not willing to let go of my favorite palettes over some broken pieces.  I wanted to take this 'Tutorial Tuesday' to show you how I've recently learned to remedy my favorite broken palettes.

First off, you should know that I used an easier broken palette to practice on initially and then once I knew this method worked I used it on one of my favorite eye shadow palettes I own.  I think this method served me well and if you happen to have more than one palette you plan on trying this method with, its best to practice first to make certain you feel confident.

My two broken palettes that I couldn't part with, even though they were broken, were my sephora bronzer and my 'eyes are the window' stila eyeshadow palette.  Both of these are used in my daily beauty routine so I figured they were perfect to use for this tutorial.  My bronzer was pretty much all used when it broke up at the end so it was the obvious choice to use as my 'tester'.

What you'll need:

-Small spray bottle (I used a recycled travel sized hair spray bottle)
-Rubbing Alcohol (70% Isopropyl)
-Makeup brush
-Flat topped makeup product (I used my NYX eyeshadow primer)
-Hair Dryer

Starting from the beginning, this is what my bronzer palette looked like:

I used the end of my makeup brush to crush the broken palette into as small of pieces as I could.

Because I couldn't find a miniature spray bottle, I ended up using a recycled travel sized bottle of hairspray to put the rubbing alcohol into (side note: I rinsed the bottle with very hot water multiple times to ensure that no hairspray residue was left).  This ended up being the perfect bottle to apply the rubbing alcohol evenly throughout the palette. I used about 6-8 sprays total.

I knew I needed to make the alcohol/makeup mixture compact at this point and made the mistake of using the flat top of my NYX eye makeup primer without anything between the makeup and the top and that made a mess.  I then remembered I had seen somewhere to use a tissue between the two and it made a world of difference.  The makeup compacted beautifully, and barely any residue was left on the tissue.

Although it is not as pretty as when I first purchased it, I feel like I got another couple weeks (at least) out of this palette that I usually would have just thrown away!

Now for the eyeshadow palette.  This was a little different to do because it was still among perfectly in tact eyeshadow colors that I definitely didn't want to mess up.  For this, I used a smaller makeup brush to break up the pieces (relative to the size of the eyeshadow, of course)

I contemplated using the same spray bottle as I used with the bronzer but decided it wasn't worth spraying the other shadows in my palette so I instead opted for using a straw to suction the rubbing alcohol out and dropping it into the eyeshadow to ensure I was precise with my placement. The cute straw was just a bonus I happened to have on hand! 

I made sure to use the tissue this time around...

to speed up the process I cheated and used my hair dryer (which is the best dryer on the market by the way...that's a whole different post though)

and voila, it's practically new!

Happy repairing your favorite palettes! I listed these products below in case you wanted to experience what prompted me to find a way to save these amazing products!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Make-down Monday: Micellar Cleansing Towelettes

Just when I thought I couldn't love Trader Joe's any more, I find these fabulous makeup removing towelettes.  I know that this type of product is a dime a dozen, but I wanted to put together a comprehensive review about why these should be a staple in your daily beauty routine.

I must confess that one of my guilty pleasures is going to bed with my makeup on, but now that I found these it's almost too easy to not use.  Bedtime routines can be as important to adults as they are to young children.  Going through a familiar routine at night helps your mind begin to wind down and prepare for a good night's sleep.  My routine usually includes some hot tea (Tazo Passion Tea is my favorite) or a glass of wine.  I then use my Micellar makeup removing wipes, take my eye makeup off with the avon remover, rinse my face with water, moisturize, brush my teeth, and go to bed.  

In order to add consistency to my Make-down Monday reviews I came up with a template of key points to make sure I am as thorough as possible.

Main Purpose of the Product: To take off makeup and cleanse your skin with the convenience of a disposable towelette.

Price Point: Just under $4 (can't be beat!)

Key Ingredients: Water is the first ingredient and beyond that is mostly all natural plant extracts.  Like most Trader Joe's products, these are made as environmentally friendly and all natural as possible.  I personally don't have super sensitive skin, but this product claims to be good for sensitive skin as well.

5 Senses Description: The smell of these is one of my favorite things about them.  It is a perfectly soft feminine smell that is also crisp enough to smell clean and fresh.  The towelettes themselves are a good size and sturdy enough to not tear while making sure your face is clean and also soft enough to not irritate your skin.  My skin feels somewhat sticky sometimes after using these, but a simple rinse with water and pat dry with a clean towel leaves my skin feeling soft and clean. The package is made of flexible plastic so it is easy to store in a bathroom drawer or travel in a suitcase, if need be. I love the feminine, almost french inspired look of the packaging. I'm definitely a sucker for pretty packaging! These wipes say to make sure they stay out of your eyes.  I've read a few other reviews that say people take off eye makeup with them, but my eyes are typically sensitive so I just stick to my usual Avon eye makeup remover to be safe.

Best attribute: I have found so many other wipes with the sticky top that end up drying out and these don't.  The fact I can use a whole pack of these and they feel the same as the day I opened them is the best attribute to me.  I think it has to do with the fact that the hole in the bag is smaller which I would imagine keeps the moisture in easier.

Drawbacks: I would say the only drawback about this product is the sometimes sticky feeling it can leave behind, but it can be so easily remedied with a quick splash of water - the good definitely outweighs this small drawback! 

Unfortunately, you cannot buy this product online but these are always in stock at my local Trader Joe's store.  Don't hesitate to leave me a comment and let me know what y'all think!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Last Minute New Years

New years is the time of year where you can't be too glittery or gold! I take full advantage of this!  But if you're anything like me though, you have waited until the last minute to find the perfect New Years Eve outfit. Lucky for us, Zappos has free 2 day business shipping! So this is it, party people...we are down to the wire.  I've chosen some of my favorite outfit pieces to help narrow down all the options available on Zappos. Have I mentioned yet how much I love Zappos!?

Buy one or buy them all! Best news is, you can always return everything for FREE up to 365 days after the purchase date!