Tree Hut Shea Sugar Body Scrub

I love supporting smaller companies, especially when the products are made in the USA. It's hard to find a lot of beauty products that are made in the USA (I did make a list of as many as I know, which you can view here) so when I do I love to check them out. Tree Hut is a great brand available at Ulta, Walmart and Target stores. They make lotions, scrubs, and shower gels using natural ingredients and they do not test their products on animals (another plus!)

My favorite scrub and scent. The picture is from the Tree Hut site.

Body scrubs are an important part of a beauty ritual. I think it's sometimes overlooked and considered a luxury instead of a necessity. Unless you are blessed with wonderful genes that give you baby soft skin, there will always be spots on the body that need smoothing. For me, it's my elbows.

Oh my god, I have very persistent with my elbows to keep them smooth. I think they get rough because I lean on them a lot and they are usually resting on the table as I type. This scrub helps tremendously.
I also use the scrub to exfoliate between waxing to keep ingrowns at bay. Sometimes my skin can't take chemical exfoliants, so an old-fashioned sugar scrub works best. 

Before you get discouraged by the "Olive & Shea" description, this scrub is not oily or slimy AT ALL. That means no slipping in the shower or oily residue on the skin. The Tree Hut Olive & Sugar Body Scrub does its job then washes away without a trace. By the way, my favorite scent is Coconut Lime!

At an amazing price of $7.49, this high-quality scrub won't break the bank. Ulta often has BOGO sales on them as well. Check it out!


SALE! Dooney & Bourke for Disney

I love all things Disney. I even mention it in my Instagram and Twitter bios. I also love purses--so this is a very dangerous combination I'm talking about here!

For some reason (probably the usual price of high-end handbags) I was unaware of this collaboration between the Disney brand and Dooney & Bourke. Thanks to the awesome blog The Main Street Mouse, I found out about a 30% off sale for the "Charms" line.

Image from DisneyStore.com

That adorable wristlet retails for $85, but is on sale for $58. Perhaps I could use it as a makeup bag? The world knows I don't need another purse or makeup bag, but I also have my eyes on this tote:

Image from DisneyStore.com


This is perfect for the car ride. A bit too big for the parks, but great to hold anything else! It retails for $245 and is on sale for $170.  I am still looking for a cute backpack-like purse for the parks. Any suggestions?

Click here to view the sale!

PS- Let me know if you buy anything from the sale! 

10 Tips for Choosing a Bridal Makeup Artist



Makeup plays a very important role in weddings. You need to ensure your makeup lasts throughout the night and also enhances your best features for the many moments you will be photographed. While some brides do their own makeup (even the Duchess of Cambridge did!) hiring a makeup artist is a great way to ensure you have one less thing to worry about on your big day. Here are my Top 10 Tips to help you choose the right artist and make the best of your makeup on your wedding day.


1. Plan Your Look: If you have a certain makeup look you like, bring a magazine cut out or even a web image to show your makeup artist. He or she can use these images to get a better idea of what you’re looking for. Pinterest is a great tool for finding bridal makeup looks.


2. Use Social Media: Savvy makeup artists are all over social media promoting their work and their specials. You might get lucky and find a great deal on pricing all while getting to know your artist’s personality. Do searches featuring your location and what your looking for. For example, you could search: "miami bridal makeup artist."


3. Take Your Artist’s Advice: While a makeup artist’s main goal is to keep their clients happy, they also want you to look your best in your pictures, because those shots will be used to show other clients their work. Your favorite makeup look or product might not be the best for flash photography, so your artist will gently suggest something different. The techniques you usually prefer might ruin the photos taken on your special day. The makeup artist is a pro for a reason! Bridal makeup isn't supposed to be what you wear every day--keep that in mind!


4. Schedule A Trial: A bridal trial is your way to “interview” your artist before they do your makeup on the big day. Ideally, the makeup artist should do your makeup just as they would on your wedding day. The contract to secure the artist for your wedding date is also (usually) discussed at this time.


5. Party Hard...Right After That Trial: You won’t get much time to rest at your wedding reception. From the ceremony to the party, you will be moving about, stopped for photos and entertaining your guests. The last thing you need is a makeup meltdown. So, right after your wedding makeup trial, I recommend heading out for drinks or bowling or some other activity to really test your makeup. This will also help you see how your makeup looks in different lighting. If anything goes or looks wrong, bring it up to your artist!


6. Speak Up About Allergies/Product Reactions: Professional artists take great care in what they put into their makeup kits. They select the best products from all lines (not just one...because trust me, not one line is completely perfect!) and make sure those products are the best for their clients. But, they’re makeup artists...not magicians! You know your skin and body better than anyone else. If there are certain products you can’t use, speak up!


7. Know What You Don’t Want: I like to say knowing what you don’t want is just as important as knowing what you do want. The same applies to makeup. If you absolutely hate a color (matte brown, let’s say) or product (liquid liner) or technique (smokey eyes) let the makeup artist know that as well.


8. Bring Your Favorite Lip Gloss or Lipstick: If you have a favorite “everyday” lipstick or gloss, bring it with you on the big day. Bridal makeup is usually (unless otherwise requested) soft and neutral, so your natural lipstick or gloss will probably be great for touch ups. Some makeup artists will leave some gloss and lipstick in a small container for you, but it’s always best to be prepared.


9. Avoid Skin Procedures and New Products: Facials, peels, microdermabrasion,waxing and any other skincare procedures should be avoided a week or two before the wedding so your skin won’t have any irritation. Remember, a makeup artist can cover up the redness, discoloration, or the brown tones of sunspots, but they cannot cover up the texture (like bumps or pock marks).

10. Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute: Bridal makeup artists usually require deposits in advance to secure a date. If you wait until the last minute to book a makeup artist, few will want to take on the frantic bride and you will have to rely on makeup counters or less reliable options.


What advice would you give brides about bridal makeup and choosing a makeup artist on their wedding day?

Shimmer? Glitter? What's the Difference?

Image from www.fontcrafts.com. I happen to love glitter, so I agree!


There are a lot of positives about online shopping. If you live in a rural area, online shopping gives you access to beauty brands typically found in big cities and department stores. You can shop from anywhere at any time, but when it comes to determining if a color is right for your complexion, many shoppers run into trouble.

If we are given a color swatch, chances are it is digitally painted and not an actual photo of the product. We have to rely on the product description accompanying  the photo to pick the product we want to purchase. If we're lucky, the swatch is accompanied by a description of the product's texture and finish--but what if you don't understand the description?

Matte? Cream? Satin? Shimmer? What does that all mean anyway? Here is my quick breakdown:

Matte - The color is flat without any gleam at all. Think of a chalkboard/black board--all you have is a non-reflective surface in a certain color.

Satin - A step up from matte. While not completely flat, the product displays only the slightest gleam. Think of the slight sheen of a banana peel.

Cream - The product looks rich and, well, creamy! Think of the texture and shine of yogurt, but in a lipstick!

Gloss - This is the most reflective finish of all. Usually only found in lip products, gloss is very shiny and reflective--think of the shine of cooking oil or aloe vera gel.

Shimmer - Have you closely examined a pearl? It has a beautiful, glowing surface. But if you really take a moment to look at it, you will notice very small particles that sparkle.  This minuscule twinkle is shimmer. Subtle and elegant; perfect for eye shadows.

Sparkle - Think of the facets of a diamond. They reflect light beautifully. You can see the facets sparkle as you move around. Products with a sparkle finish behave in the same way.

Metallic - The shiniest finish of all. Think of the intense, gleaming. color on the blue area of a peacock feather--it almost looks like colored foil, right? Well, that's what most metallic finishes look like as well.




Gucci Envy Me: My Daily Fragrance (At the Moment)


Gucci Envy Me (2004)

Top Notes: Pink Peony, Pink Pepper, Cassia, Peach, Mango

Middle Notes: Litchi, Pomegranate, Pineapple

Base Notes: Sandalwood, White Tea, Teakwood, White Musk

What Stands Out Most: Peony, White Musk


I am too enamored with fragrance to wear one scent for the rest of my life. My mother has been wearing Armani Code for years and rarely, if ever, deviates from doing so. I just can't do that. While I think I have finally found a fragrance I can call my "signature", that doesn't mean I will be wearing it at all times. That scent (which I must keep secret, of course!) is best when going out and about--not for work. I know that defeats the purpose of a signature scent, but believe me, the scent isn't something the general public will be used to.

Therefore, I've been wearing Gucci's "Envy Me" as of late. It's a fresh scent without being too soft (like a cologne) without being too strong (like eau de parfums and scents with stronger notes). Envy Me is great for a professional environment and is light enough for warmer weather, without being too light to disappear in the cooler months. 

I'm about halfway through the bottle, after which I will think about switching to another fragrance. I wouldn't mind clearing up some space...my collection is pretty big!

Which fragrance do you like to wear to work?

Top 10 Under 20: Drugstore Deals for Oily/Combo Skin




1.  Revlon ColorStay Foundation - $12.99


The old standby remains the best drugstore foundation for combo to oily skin. While some complain the finish is too thick, using your fingers or a damp sponge to apply the product results in a more natural finish.

2. Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets - $6.49

These babies are a god send. Ladies, if your skin is shiny there is no use in attacking it with powder. The oil will break through soon enough and your makeup will cake. Now, if you gently press one of these sheets over the oily area you eliminate your main culprit and a dab of powder seals the deal.

3. e.l.f. Mineral Infused Primer - $6.00

Primers can be extremely expensive. Before giving this one a try, I was using Mister Mat by Givenchy. The tube lasts forever (and I still have some left) but it goes for $34. This primer has not broken me out, helps for a smoother foundation look, and helps keep the oil at bay. This is a great alternative to Smashbox's Photo Finish Primer, with a slightly lighter texture.

4. e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set - $3.00 

I discovered this after running out of my MAKE UP FOR EVER Mist & Fix (absolutely fantastic!) that, again, was a bit expensive at $29. While I still prefer the MUFE setting spray, this one does a great job for being $3.00!

5. Revlon ColorStay Concealer - $9.99

This is a great, blendable concealer from the ColorStay family. Although it is a long-wearing formula, I haven't had any issues using it in under the eyes. It doesn't settle into any lines or cake up. Considering you can use this product all over the face, it is definitely a great drugstore deal.
  6. Cetaphil Derma Control Oil Control Moisturizer (SPF 30) - $17.49

SPF is incredibly important, especially here in South Florida. But, as many of you with oily skin might already know, finding a non-greasy SPF is a nightmare. While this product feels a bit thick at first, it absorbs into the skin leaving a matte finish. There is a bit of a "sunscreen smell" but it quickly goes away. If you are extra oily, definitely try this product.


7. L'Oreal Paris Ideal Moisture Sensitive Skin Day Lotion (SPF 25) - $9.99

If your skin is a bit more combination than oily, you might enjoy this moisturizer. It is very lightweight and absorbs quickly, but doesn't leave a completely matte finish. It just gives you soft skin and sun protection. I use this under the e.l.f. primer and never experience pilling.


8. Milani Eyeshadow Primer - $6.99

You might have a heard time finding this item in drugstores, probably because this is the latest primer being raved about in the blogosphere. But if you see it peeking out of the Milani display, make sure you grab one for yourself!

9. Glam Eyes Liquid Liner by Rimmel - $5.49

I love liquid liner, mostly because I have yet to find a pencil liner that really stays on and gel liner always requires a brush. One of my favorite liners is Kat Von D's Tattoo Liquid Liner. That stuff is indelible once it dries. However, this post is all about saving some money, right? This Rimmel liner features a small brush tip that allows for a precise line. The liquid is a very dark black (perfect for vintage  looks) and you can feel it setting. Unless you rub the heck out of your eyes, this liner is not going anywhere.

10. Coty AirSpun Loose Powder - $7.49

This powder has been around for ages. The original comes with that floral, powdery smell of your grandmother's beauty products. There is also a sensitive skin version of the powder. Either way, this is a popular powder amongst performers and those that wear heavier makeup. Of course, you can still benefit from this powder by using a fluffy powder brush to set your foundation. For a heavier application, use the puff that comes with the product.


What are some of your best tips and products for dealing with oily skin?

Vintage Find of the Week






In case you missed my post last week , I decided to start featuring some great vintage finds from Etsy on the blog. I took the massive amounts of favorites I had and organized them into lists. If you would like to follow me there, please click here.

At a super affordable $13, this book would make a great gift for anyone. The seller notes a print date of 1954. The author also teaches the reader DIY projects for kids, such as costumes, that are easy and inexpensive to make.

You might want to think about grabbing this one to prepare for next Halloween.

Shopping Guide: Dita Von Teese

A gorgeous shot from Dita's upcoming beauty book...



Welcome to my Dita Von Teese Shopping Guide!

What is a shopping guide? Well, I have gathered every possible resource I could find regarding the products Ms. Von Teese designed (and where to purchase them) to include in this post.

I have also read numerous articles and interviews and noted every beauty product Dita Von Teese has mentioned in order to create this post. I hope all of the Dita fans out there enjoy it.

Disclaimer: Items with a (*) are affiliate links.  I have linked only the products that are a bit harder to find.

I will update this list as often as possible. Some of these items might be discontinued.

 I do not recommend using Just For Men Dye on the brows--this is something Dita Von Teese has practiced and done herself. 

Some of these items might not be available in the US.

Last Updated: 12/9/13



Official Dita Von Teese Products

Makeup

Dita Von Teese for Art Deco (Her favorite lipstick from her line is #628. You can also try www.tenderlovingskincare.co.uk for the makeup line as well as Debenham's. The line seems to have been discontinued, so make sure to grab what you can.)

Nails

Kiss Nails - Get Dita's signature "Moon Manicure" look.

Fragrance

Home Shopping Network - (Woman, Rouge, FleurTeese) I can't pick a favorite. I'm stuck between Rouge and FleurTeese.

Beautylish - Woman, Rouge and the newest fragrance, Erotique

Clothing

Wheels & Dollbaby - Cardigans (Australia)

Bettie Page Clothing - Dresses ($400 and up)

Olivia Pin Up Shirts - Tees with art by the amazing pin up artist Olivia

Von Follies Lingerie - Debenham's International

Secrets in Lace Nylon Stockings - According to Dita, her stockings were designed using the same materials used to make stocking in the 40's and 50's.

Books 


Burlesque and the Art of the Teese/Fetish and the Art of the Teese*

Your Beauty Mark: All You Need to Get The Hair, Makeup, Glow, and Glam (Estimated date of release is January 2014, but the pre-order options have disappeared from Amazon.com. Overstock.com is listing the release date as 1-15-16.)

Products Dita Von Teese Has Mentioned in Interviews



Skin/Body

Creme de la Mer

Dior Snow White Reveal UV Base



Latisse Lash Growth Serum

L'Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur

MAC Careblends Oil

MAC Cleansing Oil

MD Solar Science Mineral Lotion SPF
Shiseido Sunscreen (specifically, Shiseido Extra Smooth SPF from Japan)


Face/Cheeks

Cle de Peau Concealer

Dior Capture Totale Foundation

L'Oreal Tru Match Foundation

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Powder


Eyes

Diorshow Mascara

Guerlain Divinora Liquid Liner

Guerlain Le 2 de Guerlain Mascara

Givenchy Phenomen'eyes Mascara

MAC Blacktrack Gel Liner

MAC Liquid Last Liner (Especially for performances)


Lips

Dior Rouge Dolce Vita

Diorific Roulette Red (also called Rouge Bingo)

Guerlain Exces de Rouge 

Lip Ink Products (No specific color mentioned, but she raved about how long the color lasts)

MAC Lipliner - Beet

MAC Lipliner - Cherry

MAC Lip Mix - Fuschia, Blue, Red, White (Mixed to create a custom shade)

MAC - Relentlessly Red

MAC - Ruby Woo

MAC - Russian Red

Revlon Pinkfoil (One of the first lipsticks she wore)

Tarte Lip Surgence Lip Luster (Fever)

YSL Rouge Pur #1

YSL Rouge Pur #13 (Rose Tempura)


Hair

Ecoly Formulas Willow Bark Heat Curling Lotion

Garnier Blue Black Hair Dye

Just for Men Dye (for her brows)

Mason Pearson Hairbrush

Obliphica Hair Care

TIGI Masterpiece Massive Shine Hairspray


Quelques Fleurs by Houbigant for Women - 3.3 Ounce EDP Spray* (She has called this her signature scent)

Nails


MAC Rouge Marie (For a nice dupe, try "Quench" by Cult Nails Nail Polish)

MAC Shirelle


Products Inspired By/ Named Dita

Zoya Nailpolish in "Dita" (Great alternate to red, but still classic)

NCLA Nail Wraps in "Dita Did It" (A super easy way to get her signature manicure!)

Vintage Find of the Week





KC's Vintage Treasures on Etsy

Miner's Foto-Matic Make Up Kit for Black and White Photos


Etsy is heaven for vintage fiends and not everything comes at a hefty price tag. This amazing makeup kit from the 1930's is going for $65 at KC's Vintage Treasures. While I wouldn't recommend putting the product on the skin, it would be an amazing product to display in a curio or on a shelf. As noted in the description, the colors of these products were made for the days of black and white movies. 

The makeup used on actresses in black and white movies was not what we are used to today. Thanks to HD technology, film stars and television personalities need to wear makeup that is as natural and as close of a match to the skin tone as possible. However, black and white film needed to use certain colors in order to make features (like the lips on female actresses) stand out.

Here is a great video by Sam of Pixiwoo talking about the techniques and color selection of makeup products for black and white film:




What's your favorite black and white movie? Did you know this fact about makeup for film stars in the 30's?

Makeup Monday: OPI Minnie Mouse Collection

It's no secret I love Disney. I grew up wanting to be an animator after becoming obsessed with The Little Mermaid. One of the only things I like about living in Florida is that the Walt Disney World Resort is three hours away.

Due to unforeseen circumstances I was unable to make my yearly trip to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas last year and that was a bitter pill to swallow.

This year I can go back and I can't wait! I've made a countdown on my iPhone and I am already thinking of the goodies I want from the Beautifully Disney makeup collection.

I got a bit of a head start at Target and Ulta, though.



I ordered OPI's Minnie Mouse collection from Ulta. The set included all of the colors except for the polka-dot topper, which I ordered separately. It's not really your usual glitter topper, as some of the flecks are matte. It's very cute and goes with Minnie's signature dress. It doesn't seem like the set is available online anymore, so you will have to purchase any shades individually. 



At Target I discovered an adorable purse mirror and lipgloss set by Bonne Bell. The mirror has a stylish Minnie illustration on the front with a regular and magnifying mirror on the inside. A magnifying mirror is your best friend, ladies.


The lip glosses are from the same collection and feature four super-wearable colors. They are all extremely sheer with little-to-no color! Even the shimmer in the darker gloss barely shows through--anyone can wear these!


One warning though: The lip glosses have a VERY strong vanilla/coffee/cappuccino scent. I would stay away if you are "scentsitive."


Have you tried any Disney-related beauty products? Let me know in the comments!




A Makeup Quote by Kat Von D


If you're a fan of Kat Von D you need to get this issue of Latina Magazine!

“Putting on makeup to me is a lot like meditation. It’s an uninterrupted time where it’s just me, and I don’t have to think about anything. People make fun of me when I do one blue eye or one smoky brown eye. But I think if you take [makeup] too seriously, you kind of miss the point. It’s all about being creative and having fun. It's makeup, not childbirth!" -Kat Von D

I'm not sure where the quote above came from, but I made note of it so that I could blog about it. 

People react in interesting ways once they find out I'm obsessed with makeup and beauty. While it's easy for people to understand a baseball card collection or a Precious Moments collection, most people would see a makeup collection as wasteful and unnecessary. That is because most people consider makeup a necessity, a burden, not something to be curated or enjoyed. Obviously, I disagree, and so does Kat Von D.

Makeup is and should be fun. It's always nice to have a few moments to yourself before heading out for the day (or night). When makeup lovers apply lipstick or shadow, they enjoy every sensation and visual. They pay attention to how the lipstick glides on. Some lipstick glides on like butter, others give the lip a bit of a fight (yet stay on the whole night.) Some shadows sparkle like tinsel while others give the skin the slightest glow. Basically, we have fun with it.

While I wouldn't wear two different shadow colors as Miss Von D does, I do enjoy putting on makeup, researching new products and even seeking out unique items from across the globe. Makeup shouldn't be viewed as a symbol of oppression or control. You have the ability to create the best version of yourself, or even a different version of yourself for the day. Have fun with it. "It's makeup, not childbirth!"

Drugstore Skincare Reviews: L'Oreal Hydrafresh Toner

I was convinced that toner didn't really do anything for my skin. I figured it was just an extra step that I didn't need, since I had the negative belief my skin would always be a hot mess. As a teen my skin was very oily and acne-prone. One positive to getting older is that my skin has calmed down a bit. While it still gets oily, it can now get dry as easily as the shine used to break through just a few hours after applying my makeup.  I briefly used Shiseido's Balancing Toner from their amazing Pureness line, but I couldn't see much of a change in my skin. I continued to read about the importance of toners (removing trace amounts of makeup and dead skin cells, helping with the appearance of pores, balancing the skin, etc.) so I decided to give it another try and add toner into my skincare routine. 

I've wanted to cut down on spending, so I wanted to find a drugstore skincare product I could use. I usually advocate avoiding drugstores for skincare, only because I have mostly had negative experiences with those products. However, since I never found ANY toner that worked, I decided to give L'Oreal's HydraFresh Toner a try.

Here are the product claims from the L'Oreal website:

"HydraFresh Toner’s gentle, nondrying formula refreshes and softens skin in a splash, revealing a smoother, brighter complexion and leaving skin smooth and supple.
  • Beta Hydroxy Acid gently sweeps away dull, tired skin while Pro-Vitamin B5 helps protect against moisture loss.
  • 99% alcohol free.
  • Dermatologist tested for gentleness."

The keywords that made me pick up that bottle? "99% Alcohol Free", "Beta Hydroxy Acid", and "Pro-Vitamin B5". Those are all great ingredients for the skin.

I have to say I will be repurchasing this product. I honestly feel it keeps my skin balanced and I do see less redness. Pores are a major problem for me, and I have seen a slight improvement in the appearance of pores and the texture of my skin. Good price, good product, win win!

L'Oreal HydraFresh Toner retails for around $7 USD, but you can find it cheaper.

Do you believe a toner is worth using? Have you seen a difference in your skin?

My First Indie Nail Polish Haul from Black Cat Lacquer

I was introduced to the world of indie nail polish via Instagram. For awhile, all I did was like and follow certain accounts and drool over the gorgeous swatches. Really, if you haven't signed up for Instagram and you're a beauty addict you MUST go do so IMMEDIATELY! The amount of "makeup porn" on there is incredible.

Anyhow, back to the nail polishes. I am a sucker for packaging and special collections, so when I saw that Black Cat Lacquer had a Disney-related collection I was done. I love Disney. I am obsessed with Disney. I grew up wanting to be a Disney animator (they weren't called Imagineers yet) and I dream of one day traveling to ALL of the Disney parks across the globe. So, these babies HAD to be mine!

999 Happy Haunts is described as a " a glitterbomb filled with black, white , neon green and lavender glitters with rainbow shimmer," a perfect description for this gorgeously ghoulish polish!


                                     *


Oh, Mickey You're So Fine! is "a glitterbomb made of silver holo, red, black & white glitters with a rainbow shimmer base." And some of those little pieces of glitter are shaped just like a certain famous mouse!


I have yet to do a mani with these as I just received them the other day, but I will probably post photos of that mani on Instagram. Speaking of which; did you make that account yet? Make sure you follow me!

Makeup Tip Scrapbook- A Collection of Tips I Find Along the Way...

((This will be updated constantly! Feel free to add your tips in the comments :) xoxo))

From Masuimi Max: Use your skin-toned powder to blend/highlight the brow bone when doing a dramatic smokey look

From Risa: Do your crease color first to aid in blending eyeshadow

From Laura Mercier: Tightline (line the inside of the upper lash line) your eyes to add definition without traditional lining methods.

From Kevyn Aucoin: Always wipe off your mascara wand. The excess product will wilt curled lashes, could cause clumps and make for a sloppier application.

From FashionFaceTV: Use a soft crease brush (like a MAC 224) to apply your concealer for a blended and flawless finish.

At work: Use an angled brush to apply a thin line of highlight right under the brow. Not only does it give an extra pop without full on highlight, it also cleans up the brow line.

My Current Go-To Lipstick

I'm a pale person. Despite living in Florida, I have embraced my fair skin and have decided to protect it as much as possible from the sun's harmful effects. The downside is, without certain makeup items, I can look too pale...and people will make sure to let me know that. "Are you sick?" "You look different today." "What happened?" I am definitely not someone that can go without SOME sort of makeup. Usually, lipstick is the first item I will reach for.


It's no secret I love VS Beauty. Their blushes, bronzers and lip glosses are some of the best I have ever used and the prices are affordable. Lately, their Color Drama Lipstick in "Wish" has been my go-to color.

I'm willing to call this color the "Perfect Pink." Sometimes, pink lipsticks make your teeth look yellow and aren't flattering at all. This pink, thanks to the slight warm tone, brightens up my complexion without giving me Barbie lips. The texture is smooth and creamy with a nice sheen and slightly sheer pigmentation. As you can see in the image above, there is also a slight shimmer to the product. I assure you, all it does is give your lips the illusion of fullness--there is no "sparkle" visible once applied. This will definitely be a lipstick I repurchase.

Have you tried the VS Beauty lipsticks yet?


Travelling Light: How I Stuck to My Carry-On

I had never seen an apple tree before! I was so excited. Kalamazoo, Michigan 2013.
I think it's safe to say that flying has lost a lot of its magic. I'm not even referring to the days of Pan Am (I miss that show), I'm talking about flying pre-TSA takeover.

The 3-1-1 Rule has caused a lot of grief for travelers. Mothers with infants have had issues traveling with formula and those with illnesses , such as diabetes, that require a lot of care have also been held back in airport lines or had their items confiscated.

For those of us that like to travel with a makeup arsenal, though the inconvenience isn't as severe as those listed above, the 3-1-1 rule is our worst enemy. So many beauty products come in liquid form and often in sizes much larger than the allotted 3 oz.--especially fragrance.

As far as my packing style? I am notorious for over packing. People tell me every joke in the book: "Do you have a dead body in there?" "Are you moving away?" "It's only a few days!" I've had to pay for luggage that passes the weight limit and, at times, I've had to store some of my things in another person's luggage.

So, I promised myself that I would use only a carry-on on a recent trip to Michigan--and somehow I did! I used two makeup bags for this trip, one for liquids/creams and the other for powders/solids. The powder bag I tossed into my carry-on while I kept the liquids bag in my backpack for easy inspection.

"Powder/Solids" Bag


  • Travel-size deodorant 
  • Blush (VS Makeup Luminous Mineral Blush Duo...I LOVE these!)
  • Pressed Powder (I did not bring loose powder. I used pressed  L'Oreal True Match powder to set and touch up.)
  • Eyeshadow Quad ( Shu Uemura...an old favorite LE palette.)
  • Toothbrush
  • Makeup Brushes (Blush, Foundation, Shadow, Blending, Kabuki, Eyebrow/Angle Brush)
  • Dry Shampoo (My favorite, Pronto Dry Shampoo by Oscar Blandi)
  • Baby Wipes (These do not have to go in your "liquids" bag. I use them to remove makeup.)
  • Lip Balm (Green Apple Chapstick) **There is some controversy as to whether lip balm and lipstick count as solids or not. I left my lipbalm in my backpack and I had no problems. However, I played it safe and put lipstick in the other bag.


"Creams/Liquids" Bag

I used the 3D Clear Organizer by Tom Bihn. It's very sturdy and easy to clean; plus, it won't burst open like a plastic baggie will and I will be able to reuse it for a very long time. While I decanted most of my skincare into smaller bottles, next time I will use empty contact lens cases for all. Each well holds enough product for a 3-4 day trip and it saves a LOT of space! Inside the bag went:




And yes, all of that fit!

I have to say I am very excited to pack for another trip. I really want to streamline my technique and be a packing pro.

Blavia Skincare

As a native Floridian, I like to highlight local products and places in my blog.  I always welcome the idea of South Florida companies contacting me to check out their goods, so I was excited to get an email from the folks at Blavia Skincare.

Blavia Skincare sent me their Contour Moisturizer to review. Skincare is very important in Florida. The heat and humidity can wreak havoc on the skin and change the way the skin absorbs product. Thick, creamy lotions work best on the feet to keep them flip-flop ready--otherwise, you feel like an oil slick throughout the day. You won't have that issue with the Contour Moisturizer.

Event: Lord & Taylor Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Mizner Park



Luxury department store Lord & Taylor has chosen Mizner Park as the spot to reintroduce itself into the South Florida market. The NY original, founded in 1932, closed its Florida locations after the economy tanked in the early 2000's. 

Members of the public (that means you!) are invited to the ribbon cutting ceremony on October 10th at 9:00am. Inside the department store you will find luxury brands not usually featured in other department stores.

Event: Juicy Couture Viva Noir Launch in Pembroke Pines!


Juicy Couture's "Night is for Noir"
#NightIsForNoir

Macy's Pembroke Lakes Mall
11605 Pines Blvd
Pembroke Pines, FL
(954) 438-2400

1:00pm-7:00pm

I love fragrance. There are so many beauty blogs but they rarely talk about the world of perfume--I hope to change that as much as possible! And, since I am in South Florida, I like to let you know about local beauty events. The lovely ladies of Juicy Couture sent me some info about their Viva La Juicy Noir launch in Pembroke Pines along with some specific details about their latest fragrance.

"Shopping" Back in the Day

Photo retouching (Photoshop is the program) always sets off intense conversation. Some artists are completely against it (and I use artist to encompass all kinds of creative positions) and others use photo retouching to bring a surrealistic feel to their work. This editing process is very time consuming. Many photographers spend more time

This link features two images of the legendary Joan Crawford, one of them retouched. Remember, all of this was done by hand. The article states the photo took six hours to retouch. Six hours for one beautiful photograph.

Can you imagine the hours a photographer would have to pull back then to meet the demands of today's industry?

Jennifer Lawrence Goes Without Makeup...And Causes Controversy?

As much as I love makeup, I realize that it is a person's choice whether or not to wear it. That person also has a choice as to how much to wear. I stumbled upon this article on how The Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence wore minimal makeup at the premiere of The Great Gatsby. Of course, as with everything in this age, the "controversial" decision lit up the social media world with various opinions. Well, here's mine.



I think Ms. Lawrence looks beautiful. At 22 she is blessed with amazing skin. I don't blame her for not wanting to pile on the makeup every time she attends a function. I would understand if she looked unkempt, but she still looks put together. Her hair is swept back and she IS wearing makeup--just not a lot of it. Millions of young women look up to this actress after her portrayal of Katniss Everdeen, so I don't think it's a bad thing that she goes out in public obviously comfortable in her own skin.

Makeup is about feeling comfortable with yourself, whether you wear a ton of it or barely any at all, or whether you stick to neutrals or pile on black lipstick. But makeup should never be something that is forced upon a person. My message is simple: wear as much or as little as you like, but where what YOU want, when and HOW you want to!




Alex Box Tries Out the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Check out this video of the amazing Alex Box, one of my personal makeup inspirations, opining on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0. If you haven't heard of Ms. Box before, you might have heard about her amazing makeup line, Illamasqua. If you haven't heard of either of them--what are you waiting for?! Ms. Box is a true artist in the beauty world.



"Being Betty" by Lisa Eldridge

I love Lisa Eldridge, I love Bettie Page, and I love Gemma Arterton; so I was delighted to hear about Lisa Eldridge's short film for Love Magazine, entitled "Being Betty." Fans of Bettie Page will be familiar with the imagery of Ms. Eldridge's film, but for those that aren't, the original inspiration came from this video:




You might be wondering why Ms. Page carries a sign that spells her name as "Betty" yet you will mostly find her name spelled "Bettie" throughout this post and other references. I promise, it's not a mistake!

"While it reportedly says "Betty Mae Page" on her birth certificate, "Bettie" is the form that she has always used since she was a child (such as for signatures), so Bettie is therefore the preferred spelling. However, whether due to oversight or for the sake of simplification, in her 1950's photos and films she was often billed as "Betty Page." So for Bettie or worse, today the two spellings are used more or less interchangeably." -Vampress.net

See? You learn something new every day! Now, check out the Lisa Eldridge version, starring Gemma Arterton. I hope you love it as much as I do!




Beauty News! Dita Von Teese's Beauty Book

If you have met me "in real life" or even if you know me via social media, you will know that I LOVE Dita Von Teese! When I first heard she was coming out with a beauty book I was beyond excited. That was over a year ago, however, and soon I started to think the project had been shelved.

Isn't she gorgeous?

So, when I saw this interview with Ms. Von Teese and her hair stylist John Blaine today, I was stoked (yes, stoked) to hear that she was still working on it! Then, I went over to Amazon.com and saw that the book is already available for pre-order. The current release date is January 28th, 2014 which seems oh so far away right now, but it will be here before you know it.

Click here if you want to pre-order Dita Von Teese's beauty book "Your Beauty Mark: All You Need to Get the Hair, Makeup, Glow and Glam".

*The above link is not an affiliate link.




Product Reviews: Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara

There are so many mascara formulas out there that you would think the market is over saturated, but new formulas continue to be launched and people continue to buy them. The search for a "holy grail" item is part of what makes the cosmetics industry so lucrative--we buy an item hoping it does something and are disappointed, so we buy another and another. Every now and then a formula does what it promises and the product becomes a smash hit. On today's Makeup Monday Product Review, I will be talking about Clinique's wonderful Bottom Lash Mascara.
Image from clinique.com



 Clinique's blurb:

Now bottom lashes get in on the action with a brush engineered for tiny tasks and a formula that resists smears. Pair it with any mascara on top, and watch what happens. A full 90-day supply. $10.00 suggested retail. It is good for your bottom line. 

At $10 USD you get an adorable little mascara tube with the smallest "wand" I've ever seen. I hardly ever wear makeup on the lower lash line due to my oily skin, so I was very skeptical of this mascara. However, once I tried it I was pleasantly surprised. The wand lets you get every teeny lash and provides a dark and nicely separated look. You can apply more or less depending on the drama you want to achieve. I found that even in the Florida humidity it won't budge or smear!

I was very pleased with this mascara and used it on the top lashes as well for great definition. Granted this makes the application time a bit longer, but you don't get crunchy lashes like you do with some longer-lasting mascaras. Available in Black and Black/Brown for only $10 USD this is one product that is definitely worth the hype. Let me know if you have it or if you pick it up in the comments section below!

xo

American Beauty



Happy 4th of July to my American friends and clients! I'm sure everyone is ready to head out on the water, to your local park or even your backyard. I, of course, have makeup on my mind. Supporting small business, especially American small business, is very important to me--even if they've grown to make it big! So, I figured I would make a little list of American beauty companies, big and small, for you to support! I tried to make sure their products were also made in the USA. If you know of any other companies please feel free to mention them in the comments below!

*To the best of my knowledge, these companies started in the US and also manufacture in the US. If you find an error, please correct me in the comments below.

Bare Escentuals

Benefit Cosmetics

Benjabelle Brush Tree

Besame Cosmetics

Bomber Betty Custom Cosmetics

Clean Brush Shampoo

Cult Nails

Dr. Bronner's Magic All-in-One Soaps

Fyrinnae Cosmetics

Jao Hand Sanitizer

Layrite Pomade

Lime Crime

Margarita Bloom Retro Vintage Beauty & Skincare

Morgana Minerals

philosophy

Sara Happ Lip Scrub

Senna Cosmetics

Smith's Rosebud Salve

Sugarpill Cosmetics

The Balm Cosmetics



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