Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I Can't Quit You Clarisonic

As I washed my face the other night I got to thinking, I haven't written a post about my Clarisonic. One of my skincare staples, the Clarisonic Mia is pretty much the most expensive beauty item I've purchased. (And at just over $100, it better be a daily staple.) I've had it now for over two yearsthrough hundreds of showers, numerous accidental drops and two curious kids. The thing still works; it's a bit worse-for-wear, but it still works and my skin looks better than in has in years.

When I decided to purchase a Clarisonic I chose the most basic and least expensive model, the Miawhich has one universal speed and shuts off after one minute of use. I use it religiously two times a day, morning and night. In the evenings I remove my eye makeup first then use the Mia with a non-abrasive face wash (right now I'm using the Own Skin Health Anti-Aging Rejuvenating Cleanser). The Mia thoroughly removes makeup and excess oil without irritating my skin, which is some sort of miracle because everything seems to irritate my face. This little tool is amazing. Using it two times a day has completely transformed my skinthe textures is smoother and more radiant, and it buffs away any dry spots I have.

I reckon my Mia won't last too much longer but when it dies I'll be headed right out to get another, price be damned. But maybe this time I'll spring for the newer model.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Bold Spring Lip

From Left to Right: Glee, Vegas Volt, Coral Cutie, and Melted Violet

Put down the pastels and muted shades this spring. This season's makeup trend is bright, unapologetic, in-your-face (or should I say on-your-face) colorand nothing packs a punch like a bold lip. Are you game? If so, check out a few brazen shades I've assemble to amp up your look and put you right on trend...

The Pink/Red One    Tarte's LipSurgence in Glee, a shade that came in a limited edition holiday collection last year, is the most wearable of the bunch (can't find Glee? try Lively or Fiery.) A beautiful, deep watermelon, Glee goes on matte without drying out your lips. The formula is easily buildablego with one coat for a light wash of pink or apply two or three coats for an almost cherry red finish. Tarte, this little guy needs to be on permanent rotation!

The Coral One    In truth, MAC's Vegas Volt is a shade that I normally wouldn't gravitate toward. A warm coral-pink, I was worried that it wouldn't flatter my skin tone but once I put it on, I was in love. The quintessential summer shadeVolt will add a bit of playfulness to your look. Creamy and extremely opaque, a couple coats will do that trick. I like to use a lip liner with this one to get my lip shape just right.

The Orange One    I know what you're thinking, I can't pull off orange! I totally hear ya. I was skeptical as welluntil I tried The Body Shop's Coral Cutie 105. The key to wearing a bold orange lip is to go neutral with the rest of your makeup so the focus will be on your gorgeous lips. Coral Cutie, a red-based orange, is rich and intense. You can get away with out a liner with this one, but make sure to exfoliate your lips beforehand for smooth application.

The Purple One    Another wowza color, the Too Faced Melted Liquified Lipstick in Melted Violet is one of the most striking shades I've ever laid eyes on (what I'm wearing in above pic). Newly launched, this beaut is a lipstick, a lip gloss, and a lip stain all in one. Not for the faint of heart but oh so fun to wear, Melted Violet goes on like a dream and doesn't budge. No liner required. If you want easy application, no touch-ups, and a stand-out pout this is the one for you.

What bold shades are you looking forward to wearing this season?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

5 Self-Tanner Tips I've Learned Along the Way

I've been in the self-tanner game for as long as I can remember. (Living in Arizonawhere shorts, tank tops, and flip flops are a way of lifehas left me no choice.) And as I slapped on the faux tan lotion earlier this week (it's already 90 degree here, ugh!) I thought about all mistakes I'd made through the years. If only someone had given me these small, but helpful, tips in the beginning...

1.) Choose the Lighter One
I get it, I've been therestanding in front of the self-tanners debating on whether or not to get the "Ultra Dark" shade. You know you should probably just go with the "Medium" but what if it's not dark enough? You want that JLo glow yesterday. Go big or go home, right? No! Resist the urge. Start with the lighter shade first. Remember the movie There's Something About Mary? That's not a good look. A natural-looking self-tan should only be about two or three shades darker than you natural skin tone. Unless of course you're going for that leather bag lookthen by all means go dark. Otherwise start with a moderate shade. Tanners are buildable so if need be, amp up the "Medium" shade by reapplying the next day. When I first tried St. Tropez's Bronzing Mousse, I opted for the lighter shade then moved up to the darker after I knew how it reacted on my skin. Just remember that it's a lot harder to lighten up a overdone tan than to go a shade darker later.

2.) That Mitt ThingIt's Not Optional 
Almost every self-tanner brand sells an application mitt. Go ahead. Splurge and spend the $6. You'll thank me later. Tanning mitts are amazing little tools that disperses tanner quickly and evenly. Once you try 'em, you'll never go back. Trust me. Oh, and I suggest storing your used mitt in your cabinetway in the backwhere no one comes across it. My husband found my ratty-looking mitt on the sink a few weeks ago (see above pic). I'd never seen such a look of horror. "Is that some kind of feminine hygiene thing I don't know about?" Haha, gross!

3.) Forgo the Face
Just because it says on the bottle that self tanner can be used on the face doesn't necessarily mean you should. I don't know about you but my face is a bit more sensitive than my leg. I'll leave face-tanning to the products specifically made, well, for the face. Most tanning brands sell products specifically made for use on the faceones that are more sensitive and less likely to cause breakouts or bad reactions. Stick with those, or do what I doforgo face tanning altogether and show your cream bronzers some love.

4.) Combine Your Regular and Gradual Tanner
Throughout the years I've perfected my tanning craft. You all know the drillexfoliate, moisturize and apply (with a mitt). But what about gradual tanning lotions? How do they fit in? I use them in combination with my regular tanner. I use gradual tanning lotions to moisturize before applying regular tanner and also on days between tanning. Gradual tanning lotions help extend and intensify my regular tanner. The two products are the perfect summer duo.

5.) Avoid Others (and White Sheets) While Curing
Let's be honest self-tanners stink (even the non-stinky ones) and stain. Your best bet is to tan on a day when you're not going to be cozying up to anyone. Carve out a few hours in the afternoon or evening for some alone time. Then try to avoid contact with anything or anyone. I can't count the number of times I've stained sheets, towels, shirts, sinks, cabinet and doors. (And let's not forget the toilet seat.) Oh, and the smellI've gotten so used to it that I don't really notice it anymore. The other night after applying Paula's Choice Sun Care Self Tanner (a newbie that seems to work well but has that familiar odor) I lean in to give my daughter a hug and she asked me if I'd been eating corn nuts. *Sigh.* Is having a gorgeous faux glo worth it? Yes, it is.

Let me know if you have any self-tanner tips or tricks that you discovered; I've got my pen and paper ready.
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