Monday, October 13, 2014

DIY: Hand Sanitizer

The very first thing I learned when I started classes last month was that not all hand sanitizers are created equal. In order for a sanitizer to really SANITIZE it needs to contain at least 70% alcohol. Most of them don't. Go check yours, I'll wait....... Why 70%??? Alcohol-based sanitizers with a higher concentration of alcohol have been proven to kill bacteria more effectively. 

So today I'm going to show you what my instructor showed me... How to make your own hand sanitizer. It's so easy, all you need is:
  1. An empty spray bottle. 
  2. 70% alcohol.
  3. Your favorite body spray (I chose Coconut Vanilla body spray from Bath & Body Works- Any scent, from any store will do).
Fill about 2/3 of the bottle with the alcohol. Then fill the rest with the scent of your choosing to mask the odor of the alcohol... Voilà! Instant hand sanitizer, and best of all you will already love the smell... If you have a sensitive nose, you might want to add a little more fragrance. Try it out and see how you like it...

Just remember, sanitizer doesn't clean your hands. So if they are visibly dirty, you might want to use soap and water first. I had to explain that to my son... Boys...

Until next time!!!
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Trash Talk!!! September Empties

Yes, yes... It's that time of month again. And for once I'm (relatively) on time!!! I didn't have a ton of empties this month... However, there were eight products I thought warranted a mention, good and bad.

Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle. So this is a product I originally loved, and grew to dislike. Once upon a time, I received a sample size of this in a Birchbox, and I fell in love... with the scent. OMG, sosososososo good. When this is in your hair, you smell like a bakery treat. So I bought the full size. Only to realize that this does absolutely nothing to help my hair (It claims to smooth, moisturize, detangle, protect from heat and UV-rays, minimize frizz, safeguard color, and add shine. Uh, no.). I ended up using this on my boyfriend's daughter as a detangler since she also LOVED the scent. If it wasn't $22 I'd buy it again just for her. But that's a weeee bit pricey for a kid's detangler.

L'oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara. Another love/hate product for me- due to my own error. Honestly, this would've been a favorite mascara... Butttt I accidentally didn't buy the waterproof version (a necessity for my lashes) and so by the end of the day, this mascara was everywhere but on my lashes. The best part about it was the brush. I love the lil' "butterfly" wing to it, it's great at separating my outer lashes which tend to clump together. All in all, I'd try this again... As long as it's WATERPROOF.

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips. What's great about these is that they can be found everywhere (Walgreens, CVS, Target, Walmart, Ulta...Etc.) and they have a great selection with trendy/animal prints, geometric patterns, and french manicures. And for the price they aren't too bad. But I have two issues with these. 1. They don't last. For me, they chipped very easily and in some instances peeled right off. 2. You can't use a few at a time for accent nails. I mean you can, but then you'd be wasting the rest of them, because once you open the sealed package that they come in they "dry out" and lose their "stick". No bueno. I'll stick with my Jamberry Nail Wraps (review here). They are more expensive, but  are worth EVERY PENNY.

Bare Minerals Deep Cleansing Foam. This claims to be a "non-drying" cleanser, but after each use my face always felt a little toooo tight. Considering I have dry skin to begin with, it just didn't work for me. That being said, this stuffed foamed up like a champ. You only need a tiny bit. It'll last you forever. If you like foamy cleansers and don't have dry skin, check this one out.

Blue Diamond Blueberry Almonds. Yummmm... Go find these. Try them. And then let me know how much you love them too (In fact, try the coconut flavor too, while you're at it. Trust me, you WON'T regret it.).

Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Invisible Skin Foundation. This is the second sample I've gotten (and used up) from Sephora. I love this foundation. But it carries a hefty price tag... Cough$61CoughCough. It looks so natural and I know it'll be worth the money, but I need to use up what I already have first... Or at least I need to try to use up what I have first. ;-) #makeupjunkieproblems #thestruggleisreal

MAC Viva Glam V
MAC Viva Glam V. Love this lipstick. Great everyday neutral pink shade. Every girl should own this one and it should be a staple in their makeup routine.

Skyn Iceland Fresh Start Mask. This was an interesting mask. I received it in an Ipsy bag a while back and finally got around to using it. It's a two step mask. Step one, you put the clay in an even layer all over your face. Step two, you place the activating gel on top of the mud and gently massage in circular motions. When the two products combine they start to effervesce and you get a warm, tingly sensation. You leave it on for 10 minutes, rinse, and voilà! Fresh, smooth skin. I truly enjoyed this mask. My one suggestion is to do this before showering so that you can rinse it off easier.

Thanks for journeying through my trash with me once again!!! Let me know if you used any of the products mentioned and what your thoughts were! Until next time... 
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P.S. I'm thinking about doing a blog sale. I have a ton of makeup I either haven't used or just grew out of. So look for that in the near future!
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Monday, September 29, 2014

Product Spotlight: Fresh Sugar Lip Polish

Happy Monday, everyone!!! It's a new week and today I've got a new product to talk about... Well new to me, that is. It's the Sugar Lip Polish by fresh

Here's the thing... I got a deluxe sample of this and two other fresh items for free when I placed a Sephora order online. I figured why not give it a shot, I LOVEEEE a good lip scrub. If you have read any of my past blog posts, you may have noticed I talk about a particular homemade recipe for one repeatedly. It is a Mint Cacao Scrub and it's THE perfect, ultimate, holy grail lip scrub to which all other lip scrubs are compared... Unfortunately for this particular one. 

I broke this little guy open about a week and half ago- yup, I'm bringing you a review THAT quickly- when I ran out of the one I had been using. I like to try new 
products out and I have been using the DIY recipe for almost 8 months now. Here's the "claims" straight from the source, fresh:
Photo taken from
My initial reaction to the fresh polish was "this is not gritty enough". I get that this is supposed to be "gentle", but I didn't feel it doing anything. At all. How does this exfoliate??? My second thought was "why is it so oily???". I mean SUPER greasy feeling. Not a smoother, moisturized, hydrated feeling. More like a my-lips-are-covered-in-slimy-oil-feeling. Typically, I put on a lip scrub. Rub it in for about 30 seconds and then rinse it off. With this, I rubbed for about a minute and then spent another minute washing the grease off my chin. Ick. Lastly, I must mention the scent... Not good. It literally. Just. Smells. bad. Considering that the lips are directly below the nose, you'd think cosmetic companies would try to make all their lip products nasally appealing... or at the very least, UNSCENTED. Despite all these red flags and being the product junkie that I am, I continued to use the scrub over the next couple days...

And that's when I noticed TWO big problems. One, my lips were dry, chapped, and flaky. Unlike anything I have ever seen before. I was so uncomfortable and no amount of lip balm was curing my shedding, peeling, bleeding(!!!) lips (I even doubled up on my water intake to make sure I wasn't dehydrated, I was not). Now I have always liked to use a lip scrub because I love wearing lipstick which tends to dry out the lips. So I have occasionally had teeny-tiny flakes that I use my scrub to combat, but this... This was not teeny-tiny, these flakes were pea-sized. It was terrible. The second problem I had was a breakout, on my chin. Basically when I would try to wash this oily mess of my lips, it would seep down onto my chin. And apparently my chin was none too thrilled about this. It responded with those mountainous pimples that sit under the skin and do nothing but cause you pain. 

Needless to say, this scrub went straight into the trash. And a brand new homemade Mint Cacao scrub (recipe here) is sitting on my bathroom counter as we speak. I used it last night and already my lips are feeling better. I honestly have never had such a bad reaction to a product before. Has anything like this every happened to you? Let me know in the comments!!! Until next time... xoxoxo
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*All reviews, opinions, and thoughts are my own. Just because a product does/doesn't work for me, does not mean the same will happen for you.*

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Little Bit of Everything Tag!

I love watching and reading other people's answers to tag's like these so I decided to do it myself! Feel free to leave your answers in the comments below or do the tag on your own blog and let me know! xoxoxo

1. Do you keep up with the Kardashians? On and off, right now ON.
2. If you could have an old muscle car which one would you choose? A mustang.
3. Do you curse like a sailor when the camera isn't rolling? Well I don't usually have a camera rolling, but the answer would be the same regardless... Always. 
4. If your significant other gave you a 'Hall Pass' who would you use it on? Be honest. Hmmm... My first thought is Channing Tatum (like so many others...) but then I remembered Mark Sloan from Grey's Anatomy... McSteamy. Yummm.
5. What is one thing you do that you hate to admit? I tend to overreact. I hate admitting that, but it's the truth.
6. Do you really brush your teeth in the morning and at night? Be honest. I do NOW, but I didn't brush at night until recently.
7. What is your go-to drink at Starbucks? Venti Iced Coffee with Non-fat milk. And I bring Truvia with me. ;-)
8. Is your current hair color your real hair color? Yup. I haven't died my hair in years... But I'm itching to. I just hate the maintenance that goes with it all...
9. If you could swap bodies with someone, who would it be and why? Jlo. Need I say more?
10. Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey? If so, what did you think? Of course. Are there people left in this world who haven't? Honestly, not a fan. I found so much of the books repetitive. It drove me insane.
11. Do you crack your knuckles? Yes. So bad, I know.
12. Have you accidentally text messaged someone something you were suppose to be sending to your special someone? Yes! But it wasn't anything racy. It was something not so nice. And I sent it to THAT person. OMG. But truth is truth.
13. Have you ever created a fake profile to creep on someone? No! Who would do that?!? I mean really... coughMyBestiecoughcough...
14. Which is your weakness- cookies or pastries? Cookies. Nomnomnomnomnom.
15. What do you love about yourself? Everything. Duh. Just kidding... Probably my sense of humor. I crack myself up.
16. Do you have to match your nail polish to your toe nail polish? No. In fact... I can pretty much guarantee they almost never match. 
17. Tell us a few things about you that people would be surprised to know about you. I don't think there is much that would surprise anyone. 
18. Heels or flats? Wedges. They give you height without the balancing issues...
19. If you could do anything for one day and money wasn't an option, how would you spend your day? Dream big. I'd shop. A lot.
20. What was the last YouTube video you watched? ItsKeerstin- My Drunk Haul. I love her. She is hilarious. 
21. Do you have road rage? Yes.
22. What is your favorite Rock 'n' Roll song? Rock n' Roll?!? Ummmm... Oh! Here I Go Again by Whitesnake (That's Rock n' Roll, right???)
23. Who was your first kiss? Do you still talk to them? A boy named Matt, and occasionally on FB.
24. If you could have one YouTubers closet whose would it be? Marlena from Makeupgeek.
25. If you could have one YouTubers makeup collection, whose would it be? EmilyNoel83 just for the sheer vastness of it.
26. Do you have a nickname? Stevie. Long story short, there are toooo many Stephanie's in this world.
27. What do you think is the best thing about your YouTube channel? The fact that I don't upload! I use it just to watch. I am a voyeur. But not the creepy kind! Wellllll... Maybe a little creepy. Lol.
28. How many cars have you had? What were they? '96 Buick Regal, '01 Honda Civic, another '01 Honda Civic, and now an '09 Honda Accord.
29. What's your favorite pizza? Thin crust with bacon!!!!
30. If you could only have 1 lipstick for the rest of your life which lipstick would you choose? Mac. It's more affordable than most high end and there are so many different colors and finishes to choose from. 

Until next time!!!
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Monday, September 22, 2014


In honor of my new favorite WEEKLY holiday, I have a #ManiMonday post for you...

If you know me, or if you follow me on IG (@the_wonKy_brow), than you know I am OBSESSED with nail polish. Seriously, OBSESSED. In the last year or so, I removed my acrylics (which I had FOREVERRRRR) and started doing my nails at home. Now... I'm not a professional (YET. I'm working on that though) but I try... and I enjoy it... and it makes me happy. 

So without further ado... Here are some of my favorite manis:

Current #ManiMonday
Ombre on the Left, Water Marble on the Right (still practicing both, not as easy as they look) done with Essie's Playdate, Boom Boom Room, and Romper Room

Here's a few things I've learned in the last year... 

  1. It's all about the brush. Wether it's eyeshadow or nail polish, it is ALWAYS all about the brush! So try different brands and find one that you are comfortable with. I prefer a flatter, wider brush (Rimmel 60 Seconds is a good example of this) especially because I'm an amateur.
  2. Not all polish was created equal. And just because it's more expensive, DOESN'T mean it's BETTER. I love Essie... For their color selection. Formulation wise, eh... They kinda suck. My nails will chip within 24 hours. And sometimes you need three coats to reach the optimum level of opacity. THREE... Do you know how long that takes to dry?!?!? I can't. I just can't. Right now, my favorite polish for their formula is Julep. I also like to use nail wraps. I am a fan of Jamberry. They are much more high maintenance and more expensive than the Sally Hansen ones you can get at your local drugstore. BUT, they last a lot longer and are more durable than the drugstore versions. 
  3. Take your time. It's Murphy's Law... If you're in a rush, you're gonna mess up. And always, always, always... Pee before you polish. Not trying to be gross, it's a simple truth. Nothing messes up a fresh manicure like a potty break.
  4. Just like dogs, the polish can sense your fear. Relax, it's not life and death... So if you do screw it up, just start over. 
  5. You don't have to cover your ENTIRE nail. Start a little bit above the cuticle and away from the nail grooves so that you don't get polish on the skin all around the nail (I still have trouble with this).
  6. If you do get polish on your skin, use a short eye smudger brush dipped in acetone to remove it. Because these types of brushes are usually shorter and smaller, you can really get into the nail grooves to remove your renegade polish.
  7. YouTube. There are a bazillion nail tutorials out there. For everyone, even the beginners. I like to watch MissJenFABULOUS. I also like to search Instagram and Pinterest. Everyone is obsessed with nail art right now. Finally, a trend that truly touches my heart...
  8. Scotch Tape is for more than wrapping paper. You can use tape when doing nail art to get straight lines. Polish your nail. Let it dry (thoroughly). Place a piece of tape on your nail at any angle and polish again. Remove tape, instant nail art. Once you've tried it a couple times you can get a little more fancy... Like making triangles. Ohhhhhh yeahhhhhh. ;-)
  9. Lastly, don't be scared. Have FUN and be creative. What's the worst that can happen?!? 


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Friday, September 19, 2014

Trash Talk! August Empties...

Another month, Another pile of trash... Let's just jump right in...
Bath and Body Works Villa Bergamot three wick candle. It's one of those scents that comes and goes with all their different sales. I'm sure it will be back, and when it is, you NEED to check it out. It smells delicious. It smells like... Man. I said that to The Boyfriend and he looked at me like I was crazy. But once you go smell it, you'll understand.
Hempz Vanilla Plum body lotion. I loved this lotion. It just smelled nice. Not overwhelming. Just Nice. And the lotion it's self was great. Not too thick, not too thin. It was juuuuust right. (I sound like Goldilocks). It blends right into the skin and it moisturizes. I'm sad it's gone and I would definitely buy it again... Once I've run out of the hundred-slight exaggeration-or so other body lotions I have.
European Wax Center's The Exfoliate. Ok. Soooo... I go every month to EWC for my wax. And every month they try and sell me products. You'd think after almost two years they'd realize, I AIN'T BUYIN'. Just wax me up and let me go... Howeverrrrr. My girl said "let me show you..." and put this stuff on my hand and gave me two samples to try at home. This right here... It's a must have. It is a gentle exfoliator. You use it on DRY skin, rub it on in circular motions and literally watch the dead skin peel up and away. The best part is... You can use this on your face (I mean come on, if it's gentle enough for your schmundi, than it's gentle enough for your face). So if you have sensitive skin and can't use those harsh exfoliators, go check this out ASAP.
Lush's SuperBalm Scalp Treatment. Ummmm. No. I bought this hoping it would help with my flakes (yes, I have flakes. It sucks and it's a battle I'm currently losing, so if you have any suggestions PLEASE mention them in the comments below). It did not. It did nothing in fact. Except stink. And go bad. It was a greasy mess and I just hated using this.
Matrix Exquisite Oil Shampoo and Conditioner. I got these samples packs when I placed an order on I usually love Matrix products and hate having these little samples lying around so I used them right away. And then I dumped them out. These left my hair feeling sticky and dry at the same time. I don't know how that's possible, but somehow these managed to do just that. I wasn't willing to try them again to see if that was a fluke. #nothankyou
Stila All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner. I have a love/hate relationship with this liner. I love the fact that it has an easy-to-use marker-like tip, I love the formula, I hate the way the tip frays. This liner would've lasted me longer but the fraying tip just ruins it. There's nothing like a winged liner with an extra little branch coming out of it... Really though, this would be an amazing liner that would last a long time if only the tip was as durable as the formula is.
That's all I've got this month... Thanks for reading and I hope you follow me on BlogLovin' and Instagram!!! Until next time...
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Is Ipsy Worth it???

Short answer: YES. 
Longer answer. My favorite day of the month is the day I open my mailbox and see the famous pink bubble mailer in it. It just makes me happy. 

Ipsy is a beauty subscription service (formally known as MyGlam) that you sign up for. It costs $10 a month and you receive 5 sample, trial, or full sized products plus a cute lil' cosmetic bag. Every month is different. When you initially sign up, you take a beauty survey so that they can gear the products you receive to your specific likes/dislikes (no worries though if your preferences change, you can retake the short quiz anytime to update it). This isn't a guarantee but it helps. There is a wait list once you've signed up, however, I've been told if you "share" that you've signed up on FB it significantly decrease the amount of time you are on said wait list. 

Now I'm not gonna lie... I have not loved the products I've received EVERY single month. It can be hit or miss. But I'd say I'm extremely happy 90% of the time. Even when I don't love the items I've been sent, the value is still worth more than the $10 I've shelled out. Also, it's a great way to learn about or try brands and products I wouldn't normally choose for myself. 

Another cool feature Ipsy has going for it is the IpsyPoints system. You can earn points a couple different ways. One, sharing on FB (gives you 5-10 points). Two, reviewing your glambag every month (gives you 10 points for each item you review). Three, when a friend uses your referral link to also sign up for Ipsy (250 points every time). Once you've reached 1000 points you can then redeem for a number of different items. I just redeemed mine for the first time. I chose a cheek/lip stain and mineral bronzer from bellapierre cosmetics that I should receive next month (I am unsure if these items are full sized or not- but since I am going to start a monthly Ipsy blogpost, I'll let you know as soon as I receive them).

So what came in my GlamBag this month, you ask? Take a look...

Cute silver bag with silver studs.
September Glambag "Street Style"

Pacifica Nail Color in Red Red Wine (Full size. $9 value)

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Mask (1oz sample size. $4.95 value)

Crown Brush Infinity Eyeshadow/Crease Duet Brush (Full size. $6.99 value)

NYX Hot Singles Eyeshadow in Velvet (Full size. $4.50 value)

Cailyn Air Touch Tinted Lip Gloss in Basic Instinct (Full size. $19 value)

I'm extremely happy with this month's products. The bag is adorable. I love getting nail polish. I'm excited to try the deep conditioner (I've never heard of the brand, but it smells great). I've always wanted to try Crown Brush brushes and this gives me TWO. I love NYX, love their eyeshadows and this is a great neutral shade. The lipgloss is a decent size and color, I just don't love lipgloss. I'll pass this one along... But 4/5 is a solid "A" for me.

Here's a collage of some of my past Ipsy bags, decide for yourself... Is Ipsy worth it???

If you are interested in signing up for Ipsy you can do so here. Like I said previously, this is a referral link and I will receive points if you choose to sign up through it (Disclaimer- I am not sponsored, endorsed, or affiliated with Ipsy. I was not paid to write this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own).

Are you an Ipsy subscriber? Is there a better subscription service out there?? Let me know in the comments below! xoxoxo
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Life Happens...

I know, I know... I have been AWOL. But I swear it's for good reason. Two good reasons actually. One is that August was an extremely chaotic month with having to get FOUR kiddos ready for school. Four supply lists, Three Meet-N-Greets (Yes. We missed one. For shame...), end of summer camp stuff, all kinds of crazy. But we got it done.

The second reason isssss... I started school. Esthetics and Nail Technician. I am going to be a Full Specialist. I am soooooo excited. I have been wanting to start beauty school for a loooong time now. And finally I made the decision to just DO IT. No more waiting... And regretting...  I am starting with the nail portion of the class and will be focused only on nails until November when the skincare portion will begin.  I am attending school three days a week (until Esthetics and then I'll increase to 4) because, again... with four kids and The Boyfriend's work schedule, things are hectic. 

I just finished my first week so there isn't tooooo much to say, yet. The school is a technical school and so you pretty much learn at your own pace. It's not like "regular" school where everyone starts at the same time and works on the same chapters all together and then takes the test the same day. It's much more individual. Which I like. Some girls started right away practicing their nail art "skills", while I prefer to get all my book work and tests out of the way. So when I get back on Tuesday I will already be taking the test for chapter 2. #boom

Also really random but I've had the song All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor STUCK IN MY HEAD for three days now. Cuz I mean, really... I'm all about that bass, 'bout that bass, no treble. ;-)

So that has been my little life update and where I've been. I know I'm late but I'll be posting my August Empties shortly, I also have a Product Fail for you guys and a Beauty Tag post coming up. So I have been working on some stuff, please don't be too mad at me for the lack of content. Life tends to happen. xoxoxo
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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Product Spotlight: Pantene Expert Collection Advanced+ Keratin Repair

Today is a rare day. Seriously, RARE. I am going to recommend a drugstore hair product. THREE drugstore hair products actually, but they are all from the same line and I use them all together. Pick yourselves up off the floor and lets get into it...

I have dry, frizzy, fine hair. Quite the combo, I know. If I allow it to just air dry, I look like a hybrid Medusa-Einstein. No joke. My hair drives me crazy. So it's not often that I find a product I feel like truly CHANGES my hair. It's even less often that, that product is a drugstore product. Alas, it has happened...

I bought a sample set of the Pantene Expert Collection Advanced+ Keratin Repair (what a friggin' mouthful) products when I saw it on clearance for about $5.00 and I had a $3.00 coupon (#score). I figured for $2 bucks, it couldn't hurt. And it hasn't. The set came with the shampoo, conditioner, and the split end fuser.

Now Pantene claims this stuff "repairs two years of damage in two minutes." Ummmm... I don't think I'd agree with that. To me, "repairing" means there is no longer damage. That's not the case. My hair still has it's issues (grrrrrrr) BUT when I use all three items, there is a noticeable difference in how my hair looks, feels, and responds to styling. 

Lately, I've been trying to give my hair a break from all the heat damage, so I haven't been styling it too often. I thought I would try out this set and see what happened. I wasn't expecting much. But after just getting out of the shower (before I even used the split end fuser) I could feel a difference. My hair felt smoother and softer. However, my skepticism remained. I combed my hair, worked some of the split end fuser into my ends, and busted out my Turbie Twist (don't hate). I thought I was hallucinating... After my hair was completely dry, it still felt soft AND was less frizzy (I say less cuz, let's face it, frizz is like the fungi of the hairstyling world-it never goes away completely). 

So then I got curious... How would my hair react when I used this set and just blow-dried it? And what about if I flat-ironed?? I was very impressed both times. When using just the blow-dryer, my hair was smooth, relatively straight, and remarkably less frizzy. I didn't even need to flat-iron. But I still wanted to see those results too, so I did it anyway. My hair felt and looked great. For THREE WHOLE days (mind you, I did use dry shampoo the following mornings just to make sure the roots were clean). I couldn't believe it. I still kind of don't... Every time I do my hair now, I'm still surprised. It's like I keep waiting for it to stop working, like "Ha Ha! Gotcha!" but it doesn't. It just WORKS!

After using it for a few weeks, I got worried. I bought this stuff on clearance... Will I be able to find it in stores?!?!? And you can, for the most part. The shampoo and conditioner are easy to find. I've seen it at Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, and Target. The split end fuser... That's a little harder. I haven't seen it in stores but I did find it online (you can get it here or here or here). I even found some of the small sample size at my local Big Lots. This stuff is worth a shot, I promise.

Have you tried the Pantene Expert Collection Advanced+ Keratin Repair products before? Did they work for you? Let me know! xoxoxo
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Trash Talk!!! Better Late than Never?!?!

I skipped my May and June empties (because I was in the process of moving) and I'm late with July's... Tsk tsk. But I'm going with the "Beter late than never" philosophy, so here we go!

I finally finished up my second sample of the L'oreal Youthcode Pore Vanisher. I stand by my original statement. (Check it out here!) This stuff is awesome.

INM Out the Door Topcoat, you can find it at Sally's Beauty Supply, online at Amazon, and I've even seen it in my local grocery store. You see, I have a love hate relationship with Seche Vite. So I needed to find a topcoat that would do me right, when Seche Vite does me wrong. This is it. It dries so fast. You can do your nails and walk OUT THE DOOR in less than five minutes. ANDDDD it's only $5.49 ($4.99 with your Sally's card). I'll take a savings + quality any day of the week. However, like most topcoats... It did get goopy on me two-thirds of the way through.

Bath and Body Works Espresso Bar candle. OMG. If you appreciate the smell of a coffee bar, this candle is for you! They don't have the 3-wicks anymore BUT they still have the small size AND it's on sale! (Get it here!) It has amazing scent throw, I mean I could smell it before I even lit it. Ohhh soooo gooood. But my kiddos didn't like it. Someday they will. Someday they'll "get it". ;-)

Bath and Body Works Golden Sugar Scrub (The scent happens to be Warm Vanilla Sugar-LOVE-The thoughts are about the actual scrub). I thought I loved these scrubs. I've come to realize it was not true love. True love just doesn't leave you feeling greasy and filmy. I don't love the residue that is left behind with these scrubs. I want a scrub that exfoliates, smells good, and then washes away without leaving a trace. This is not that product. I still have 3 or 4 more left, and I will use them. But they won't be repurchased. #ontothenextone.

La Fresh Oil Free Face Cleanser Wipes. I received these in my Ipsy bag and was sooooooooooo excited. I had been dying to try these. I'd seen them on YouTube. And Hautelook. And I was curious... What a disappointment. They are just so dry. And barely took off my eye makeup, which is really what I use wipes for. I'm just glad I found out before I bought some. $10 on an Ipsy bag with four other products is better than the $10 I was going to spend on just these wipes alone. So, YAY for Ipsy. BOO for these wipes.

That's all I've got for you this month! What did you use up in July? Let me know! xoxoxo...
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Friday, August 1, 2014

To Spray Tan or Not To Spray Tan, That is the Question...

And I can tell you... I am alllllllllll about the Spray Tan. MMMMMHMMMM. I prefer my Vitamin D in pill form and if you ask any of my friends or family they will tell you, I'm part Vampire. Allergic to the sun. And the sweating from the sun. No thank you. That being said, once upon a long long time ago... I was not a Spray Tan Fan. Simply because it scared me. (That ooompa loompa orange looks good on NOONE.) So today I thought I would let you in on my thoughts on the different types of spray tanning and a few tips and tricks I have learned along the way...

Why Spray Tan?
Let us consider the options.

A. Lay out in the sun (ohhhh the sweat)... for hours ("So what did you do today?" Ummmmm)... in the hopes that you tan and not burn (for us pale-faces). Not to mention the necessity of tanning oils/lotions (coughHasslecough)... and once again, UVB rays (those are the burning ones), they just aren't good for you. Science (and those 70+ year old women at the pool) has taught us this.

B. Use a tanning bed. Ok, so here I still have all of the same concerns minus the time issue. Tanning beds can take as little as 8min.

C. Self-Tan. Ya know, like every beauty guru on YouTube does. I'm gonna be honest, I haven't ever tried... I'm scared of the unknown and the possibility of a streaky, patchy, (dare I say) WONKY tan... And also, HOW am I supposed to reach the hard-to-reach places by mySELF???

Which leaves us withhhhh...

D. Spray Tanning. You get to be indoors. It takes a few minutes. You will not get burned or turned into a crocodile. And you can customize your tan. (I'll take a lil' Snooki with my Jwoww, please...)

What is this Stuff?
When I first started spray tanning, I didn't understand the process I was putting my skin through. I didn't even think to find out what type of chemicals I was putting on my skin. So I  was a little relieved to learn that the main ingredient in most solutions is DHA, a carbohydrate compound usually derived from beets or sugar cane. The reason your skin changes color is not because it's a dye or a stain but a reaction to the amino acids in your dead skin cells (yum). And that is why the tans typically last 4-6 days, as you "shed" your dead skin cells, your tan goes with it. 

Keep in mind it can take up to 4 hours for the color from your spray to appear once it's been applied, however, waiting at least 8 hours before showering will increase the darkness of the color and the longevity of the tan. That being said, you can customize your tan. You can add bronzing drops so that you see color instantly. You can add a scent so that you smell pleasant. You can add an accelerator which cuts the developing time in half. These additives can cost extra so make sure you ask first. 

If you are a spray tan-virgin... I suggest going with the basic tan, no extras, to see how your skin reacts. Everyone is different. Even though I am extremely pale, my skin doesn't take the color easily so I have to use a dark solution and add bronzing drops. And even then, sometimes I'm still not dark enough. Also, ask what brand of solution they use and which shades they have. (My favorite brand of solution is Norvell. I like the Venetian but my Bestie is all about their Double Dark.) Keep track of what is used on you incase you don't like the finished look or in case you absolutely LOVEEE the way it turned out. And want it again. And again. And again. Yes, It's addicting. You've been warned. 

Hand-held Vs. Booth...
There are two main types of spray tan... Hand-held, where a technician will spray you front to back, head to toe using a spray gun... and a Booth, which is basically a little cubicle similar to a shower with a machine that sprays you. When trying to decide which one is right for you, take two things into consideration... How accurate do you want your tan to be? and How modest are you? If you want a more precise tan, go with the hand-held... If you are on the shy side about showing some skin, the booth may be the better option for you... At least to start with. Personally, I like the convenience of the booth. It's quick and private, but not perfect. If I want perfect, I call my spray tan technician. 

  • Shave and exfoliate THE DAY BEFORE you spray.
  • Don't put anything on your skin before going to tan. No lotions, oils, perfume, makeup, nothing. However, you can wear chapstick/lipbalm on your lips to keep them from being tanned.
  • Wear dark, loose fitting clothes to the salon. And whatever you are most comfortable with underneath. Bikini, bra and panties, your choice. Girls, if you don't want tan lines- you don't NEED to wear a top. Guys, don't get over excited- bottoms are always required. 
  • Use a barrier cream. If you don't see one, ask for it. This will help prevent the dreaded "Orange fingers/toes". It happens, so be prepared. The skin on your hands and feet are simply drier than any other parts of your body and will absorb the most color. (You also might want to use a little on your elbows and knees if you are extremely dry.)
  • Get your nails/facials/massage/wax/whatever done the day BEFORE (or AFTER your initial shower). 
  • Ask questions. Don't be scared, if you want to know something, ASK.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY... DON'T decide the day before your big event (Wedding/Prom/Etc.) to get your first spray tan. Try it out a couple weeks before to see how your skin reacts and what customizations you may need or want.
  • Don't get wet. Don't sweat. You will have water streaks or spots if you do...
  • Wait the 8 hours before showering if you can. Truthfully, I prefer to tan in the evening so that I can just sleep in the solution and shower the next morning. 
  • Stay Moisturized. The more hydrated you keep your skin, the longer your tan will last.
  • Don't exfoliate. This will literally rub your tan right off. Don't do it.
  • AVOID the pool. Chlorine will detoriorate your tan quickly. I learned this when the bestie and I went to Aquatica. We walked in, brown biscuits. We walked out, transparent...
  • Don't buy all new makeup for your "tanned look". You don't need it, the spray tan actually gives decent coverage, similar to a foundation. It hides your imperfections and evens out your skin tone. Just use a little moisturizer and bronzer and you are good to go. (I usually use a bb cream and my Benefit Hoola bronzer as a face powder)
I'm super excited right now because I am officially working with a tanning salon in town and will be spray tanning all of Saint Cloud, Fl. in the very near future. Whether they want it or not... I kid, I kid. Got any questions for me? Or maybe I left something out?? Or do you disagree and prefer a different method of tanning altogether??? Let me know in the comments!!! Xoxoxo
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Lip Product Addict Tag!!!

Who doesn't love a good lip product??? So it is with great pleasure that I bring you today's post... The Lip Product Addict Tag! Diving right in...

Favorite Balm/Treatment... Right now it's the (MALIN+GOETZ) Mojito Lip Balm I received in an Ipsy bag a while back. The scent really does remind me of a mojito (mmmmmmm) which automatically makes this a winner for me. Also, I really feel like this balm moisturizes my lips. I use it every night after I exfoliate my lips and before bed.

Best Eye-Catching Red... Mac's RiRi Woo. Now I know this was a Limited Edition lipstick but I had to include it for this reason: IT LOOKS GOOD ON EVERYONE. Myself and two of my friends have this lipstick (and all three of us have different coloring) and we can all rock this shade, easily. It just looks goooooood. Check out this link from Temptalia if you were unable to get your hands on this lippy when it was released...

Best Luxury & Drugstore... For me, Luxury would have to be ANY lipstick from Bite Beauty. I absolutely love this formula. It's creamy. It's opaque. It has a great shade range. It lasts. And I love the way it feels on my lips, not drying at allllll. Drugstore would be the Revlon Matte Balms, hands down. I don't know how Revlon did it, but these MATTE balm sticks, are BALM-Y. I mean it. They are creamy and do not dry out your lips like most matte lipsticks. My Favorite shade from that line is Elusive. It's just a beautiful natural shade that can be worn everyday, with any look.

Best MAC Lipstick... I cheated. I couldn't pick just one. That is simply impossible. My two favorites are Angel and Pure Zen. They are both lighter, more natural shades. Angel is a light pink shade and is a frost formula. But don't let the frost description fool you, this isn't your grandmother's frosty pink lipstick. It looks beautiful on the lips. Go try it. Pure Zen is described as a rosy-beige nude and is a creamsheen formula. I never hear anyone talking about this color. I fell in love with it when it was released with the Marilyn Monroe collection and am eternally grateful that this color is in the permanent line. I love them both and could not live without either of them. #truestatement

The Most Disappointing... Please don't stake me. YSL's Rouge Voluptè. I don't get it. Yes, the formula is nice. It glides on the lips, it feels good, and it doesn't dry my lips out. But I can say the same for lipsticks that cost half the price. Why should I pay more? Cause it's fancy??? No thanks.

Liner- Yes or No??? Haha. No. Ain't nobody got time for that. (Unless it's a red lip. Otherwise, No.)

Best Gloss... NYX Butter Gloss. Any shade, you pick. I love them. This is literally the ONLY gloss I like and have purchased multiples of. They have decent color payoff, aren't too sticky, and they smell delicious.

Something Extra... More important than ANYTHING else for my lips... Is a lip scrub. I use it every night before bed to keep my lips from flaking (then I put on my mojito lip balm). I'll also use it before wearing a bright or bold lipstick since these tend to accentuate imperfections. LOVE. I make my own using PinkSoFoxy's recipe (get it here!)... It's her version of the Lush Mint Julips lip scrub (which I've also used) only it's better. The sugar she recommends you use is finer, and "scrubs" your lips better. Plus it smells (and tastes) like thin mints. #win.

I'd love to hear your answers to this tag! Leave them in the comments below. Until next time...
Top Row (L to R)- Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Elusive,
MAC Riri Woo (Retro Matte, LE),  Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstic in Lilac
Bottom Row (L to R)- NYX Butter Gloss in Maple Blondie,
YSL Rouge Voluptè 1-Nude Beige, MAC Angel (Frost),
MAC Pure Zen (Creamsheen, LE packaging)