Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Instant Tan

As summer winds down, so does my self-tanning frenzy; my strict once a week (come hell or high water) tanning routine slowly peters out until my once glorious faux glow is completely gone. I'd love to rock a healthy tint all year-round but I'm just not one of those gals. Let's be honest, a fake tan requires time, money and most importantly, a whole lotta dedication. I lack the dedication. Unfortunately it's not quite sweater weather yet, and my pasty white limbs have no place rolling around town in a pair of denim shorts. Luckily, I've found a solution... the temporary tanner. I know, I know! Who needs the mess and hassle for one day of wear? I felt the same way until I discovered the these three. Hear me out on this...

It's no secret that The Body Shop Honey Bronze Shimmer Dry Oil and I are on good terms (as you can tell by the well-loved, worn-off label). Lightly moisturizing with just a hint of golden shimmer, this lovely smelling oil will give your body lotion a run for its money. I slather it on liberally right after my shower and it's dry by the time I've picked out my outfit for the day. Don't expect a copious amount of color payoff from this one; it provides a subtle, but healthy luminous glow well worth the effort. I'm half-way through the bottle and plan on picking up another before the summer's over. At just over $20, a third of the cost of the very similar Nars Body Glow, the Honey Bronze doesn't disappoint.

If a deep tint is what you're after, give the St. Topez Perfect Legs Spray a go. This sample-size bottle came with my St. Tropez Gradual Tanning Mousse and I have to admit, I was hesitant to try it (tanning sprays scare me). There's definitely a learning curve with this one, but once you develop a technique, it's easy peasy. The key is to contain the potential mess; the shower or tub is a perfect location. Remember to moisturize first, otherwise blending becomes a nightmare. Hold the can about six inches from your legs and lightly sprayspray too close and you may end up with a bunch of brown streaks down your legs (just a guess). Then use a tanning mitt to blend going easy on the knees, ankles and tops of feet. Okay, so maybe that sounded like a lot of work, but it takes me less than 10 minutes and you can't beat the resultan amazing, covetable sun-kissed tan.

My new favorite of the bunch is the Xen-Tan Scent Secure Gold Tinted Moisturizer. I bought it hoping that it would live up to its claim as a self-tan deodorant. What? Yes, this miracle cream covers that stinky self-tanner smell with a delightful cucumber melon scent. I'd been slathering it over my St. Tropez tanner all summer long, but just realized a few weeks ago that I could use it on its own as a tinted moisturizer. It delivers a gold megawatt sheen that will leave you wowed! I barely recognize my own legs after applying this stuff. And all you have to do is rub it on just like a regular lotion and let dry for a few minutes before getting dressed. It's a bit pricey$35 to be exactbut I'm willing to pay extra for instant JLo-esk skin. Oh, and did I mention that it's made with 24K gold leaf? So worth it!

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Beachy Bob

Well, I finally did it. I chopped off a solid eight inches of hair, and I now have a proper hairdo. It's been a long time coming; my hair's been in the "growing out" phase for about six years. Believe it or not just after my son was born (he's eight now) I donned a super-duper short pixie cut, Halle Berry style. I liked it but my husband wasn't a fan, although he'd never come right out and say it. "Cut your hair however you wantwhatever makes you happy. Just maybe not too short and well, you know how I feel about bangs..." He really, really hates bangs? Don't ask me why because I haven't a clue (and I'm kinda afraid to ask).

I'd wanted to cut my hair to a more manageable length for the summer but for some reason that didn't happen. Maybe because subconsciously I knew long, throw-it-into-a-quick-ponytail-or-bun hair is actually easier to deal with during pool season, but with fall just around the corner, it was timetime for a change (that sounded unnecessarily dramatic). Don't get me wrong, I've never been one of those gals who needs a hair security blanket. (My security blanket is obviously a thick quilt made up of foundation, mascara, lipstick and the like.) So when my friend Shannon asked what I wanted, I said, "To my shoulders and some highlights might be nice. Whatever you think." Shannon is an amazing hair stylist and I had no doubt she'd give my heavy, drab locks a much-needed update.

Three hoursand a pile of hair on the floor that'd make you cringelater I had a layered, shoulder-length bob with subtle caramel highlights. The volume! So much volume. I'm absolutely thrilled; my new hair makes me so happy. Now I just have to figure out how to style it myself; unfortunately my new do doesn't lend itself to the ponytail or bun. Achieving that messy, beachy look ain't easy and I'm on the hunt for products. I've already found one that's gone into regular rotation (a future post perhaps).

So whaddya think? Let me know of any hair products you recommend. I've literally been living under a curtain of hair for the past several years and I'm rather lost when it comes to styling. I'll take any help I can get.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Perfect Pairings #1

Peanut butter and jelly, Batman and Robin, dinner and a moviesome things just go better together. The same can be said about certain beauty and makeup products. Like I always say, why rely on one when you can get more bang for your buck with two (I apply this reasoning often  yes, I have two kids... and two dogs). That's why I've decided to start a series of posts entitled "Perfect Pairings." Each post will highlight two products that compliment each other perfectlyones well worth the double hit to the wallet. Hey, no one said beauty was cheap (at least that's what I tell my husband).

And the first pairing goes to Benefit Cha Cha Tint and The Body Shop Coral Shimmer Wave. Cha Cha Tint on it's own is a lovely coral stain that perks up the complexion in just a few dabs and doesn't budge once set. I've been wearing it on and off throughout the summer; excessive heat, sweat and the occasional dip in the pool are no match for this vibrant tint. Blend Shimmer Waves in Coral over Cha Cha Tint and wowza! Cheeks are instantly highlighted; the term "ethereal glow" comes to mind. Oh, it's that good! Lately I've been going easy on the eye makeup and lipstick, letting this punchy pair be the focus. Two blushes that worn together give me a full-face pick-me-upI'll do double duty for that.

What product pairings do you use on the regular?
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