Best Summer Facial Cleansers

Here comes the heat and with my newly chopped full bangs I am in full-on grease mode. Here are a few facial cleanser recommendations to  battle the summer oil and sweat. I only exfoliate my face in the shower and limit it to once a week in the summer months. If you over exfoliate your skin produces more oil to keep itself hydrated leading to more breakouts. These cleansers strip the dirt, oil and makeup away without leaving my skin feeling tight and dry.

1. One Love Organics Easy Does It foaming cleanser, $29 for 8.8 oz, available at www.oneloveorganics.com: This cleansers claims it’s “soap-free” meaning no harsh detergents. It has a nice lather and an earthly scent. I love the fact it comes in a pump so I don’t waste it and it removes stubborn eye makeup easily however the steep price tag leaves this cleanser on my splurge list.

2. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, around $12 for 16 oz, available at local drugstores: This is a dermatologist recommended brand and I highly recommend it for acne prone skin. It is so gentle that you might feel like you didn’t wash you face – but you did, you just didn’t irritate it with something too harsh or too strong (think cleansers with benzol peroxide or salicylic acid). It’s  not my favorite for taking off makeup but it is so gentle on over stressed skin that it is a winner in my book.

3. Dove Beauty Cream Bar, around $8 for a 6-pack, available at local drugstore and grocery stores: Nothing is more gentle on dry and stressed skin than Dove. I’m not a huge fan of washing my face with bar soap but Dove really does the trick. It’s cheap, you can use it on your whole body and it’s ultra moisturizing without leaving skin greasy. In a pinch (or when I’ve gotten too much sun on my face, Yikes!) it’s my go-to product. The ultra rich cream base helps reduce skin peeling or dryness due to over exposure of sun and wind.u

Regardless of which face wash you use always – and I mean always –  follow it with a moisturizer containing SPF 30 or higher.

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Add a comment June 2, 2011

Quick Tip: Nix Nail Polish Bubbles

I recently painted my nails and, like always, I rushed to slap on the topcoat. Around 20 minutes later I looked at my nails and on top of the Barbie pink polish were these pesky bubbles. My first thought was “Great, old topcoat” but then I started thinking. My nail polish always does this when I rush. Bingo! When you layer topcoat over wet nail polish it creates bubbles. So there it is ladies, the simple trick to nix nail polish bubbles it let the nail polsih dry for a few minutes before you apply top coat. Try dipping your wet nails in a bowl of room temperature water or put your hand under running water (let the water hit the top of your hand and run down your finger tips so you don’t smudge your nails!) to set your polish. Also use the ever-so-handy blow dryer on a cool setting to speed up the process. I don’t recommend using a polish dry spray because it will create a film under the topcoat. Reserve the spray for after the topcoat.

1 comment May 28, 2011

Product of Interest: Body Lotions I Love!

I wish I posed this earlier during the cold, dry and itchy winter months however it still holds value now – you need lotion to lock in that amazing and healthy tan, right!? Here are a few staples I keep around the house to battle dry and itchy skin.

1. Nivea Smooth Sensation Daily Lotion for dry skin, around $5, available at drugstores: I love this lotion for my whole body after a shower. It uses “Hydra IQ Technology” to lock it moisture. Yeah I am not 100 percent sure what that means but it really works. My skin feels hydrated all day long plus the scent is fresh not flowery. Totally worth the measly $5 price tag.

2. Lush Boutique Dream Cream Body Lotion, $24.95 for 8.4 oz., available online at www.lushusa.com: If I have the extra cash on hand this cream is so worth the splurge. The formula is extra rich so you don’t need a lot. To conserve it, due to its hefty price tag, I use daily only on my elbows, knees and heels. Then once in awhile – when I’m feeling really ashy – I’ll use it on my legs. My friend swears by this stuff to help treat her psoriasis. The smell is really earthy but not at all flowery. This cream is amazing but is it worth the price tag? If you use it sparingly then yes, shell out the $25!

3. Aveda Hand Relief, $20 for 4.2 oz. ($8 for 1.4 oz., travel size), available at Aveda Salons or www.aveda.com: This product is great for the winter months but I keep a travel size on hand during the summer. If you use it sparingly is really does last. I love it’s super think consistency and of course the amazing “aveda smell” (which can best be described as clean, earthy and relaxing – literally it smells like a day at the spa!). Best part: this lotion lasts all day long, even between hand washes. I think the large size is unaffordable but if you get a small travel size and leave it in your purse you can’t go wrong.

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Add a comment May 26, 2011

Product of Interest: Best SPF for face

During my stay in Italy I spent many days lying on the beach (Amazing, I know). My face started to look like a leather catcher’s mitt and my forehead was an oil pit. I went to the local pharmacy (apparently the pharmacists in Italy know more than the doctors, so much for socialized medicine) and asked the pharmacists what I should do about my face situation. She recommended using a mild gel cleanser twice a day and for sun protection she recommended Vichy Laboratories Capital Soleil SPF 50 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid. I cleansed twice a day, morning and night, and reapplied the SPF around every 2 hours. This combo got my face looking substantially better in about 3 days and I was still getting a healthy glow. It was a miracle. The gel cleanser brand she recommended isn’t sold in the U.S. (go figure) but I came across the “Vichy SPF” online. You only need a little bit so you have to be careful when you pour it out because it’s very liquidy/runny and you don’t want to waste (trust me, this stuff is liquid gold). It’s pricey, $19.50 plus shipping, but isn’t your skin worth it? Find it at www.vichyusa.com. Happy and healthy tanning!

Vichy Laboratories Capital Soleil SPF 50 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid

Vichy Laboratories Capital Soleil SPF 50 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid

Add a comment May 25, 2011

Product of Interest: Best Bronzers 2011

Here are three of my favorite bronzers to get you that oh-so-necessary-glow this time of year. What I look for in a bronzer is NO ORANGE! My skin is a yellow base so I steer clear from really red based bronzers because they give me a “Jersery Shore” orange that just isn’t… quite me. Here is a list of my faves from priciest to drugstore cheapie.

1. Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess, $30, available at department stores or online at www.esteelauder.com: This one shade seems to match everyone flawlessly. It lasts through humid days and nights and can double as a blush during fall. What more could you ask for. It’s $30 price tag is more then I like to spend on bronzer (or any makeup for that matter) but I you have the extra cash it’s definitely worth the splurge.

2. M.A.C Bronzing Powder in Matte Bronze, $23, available at department stores or www.maccosmetics.com: This is a great bronzer for oily skin, like mine. I always seem to break out during early summer months but this bronzer really helps keep my face in check. It’s definitely not cheap, especially on my college girl salary, but it’s worth coughing up the dough for. Also, I love the shimmery finish. It’s just a hint of “dewy” and not too much sparkle.

3. Physicians Formula Magic Mosaic, $12.95, available at drugstores and www.physiciansformula.com: I like this product because it’s buildable. In the early spring months when I am pale and rather sickly looking I can use just a swipe on my temples to cheeks and forehead to nose area for an “alive” look. Come summer I can layer this bronzer to get the desired shade of tan I want. For around $10 (check for coupons! I have never bought it without one.) you really can’t go wrong. Tip” Ditch the little brush it comes with, it’s pointless even for quick touch-ups. It leaves your skin a blotchy mess.

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Add a comment May 25, 2011

Most Under-rated Make-up: Blush

I consider blush to be the most under-rated makeup out there. Do you ladies not understand how amazing this product is!? Not only does it contour your face but it creates a youthful glow. Depending on face shape blush can be applied to the apples of your cheeks (the round section of your cheek when you smile) and temple to cheek in a downward vertical stroke. Here are my three favorite blushes I would like to share with you gorgeous ladies:

Benefit Benetint Lip and Cheek Stain: This is my hands down favorite for of blush, a stain. I use the applicator (which looks kind of like a nail polish brush) and paint three downward strokes from temple to cheek on my face. I then take my pointer finer, middle finer and ring finger to blend the stain into my cheeks. If you use too much no worry just pat a bit of powder over it to dull the color. Love! ($28 at www.sephora.com or www.ulta.com)

M.A.C Powder Blush: This blush has a super silky and smooth finish and lasts throughout the day. There are so many colors to chose from I recommend heading to a nearby department store or M.A.C store and have a sales associate help you shoes your best shade. ($19.50, www.maccosmetics.com)

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Blends: This is my go-to cheapie blush when I am low on cash. It is just as good and my expensive favorites but doesn’t last as long throughout the day. For under $12 it’s a steal. (available at most drugstores)

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Add a comment April 28, 2011

Product of Interest: NYX Candy Glitter Liner

I am so in love with this adorable and cheap glitter eyeliner for spring and summer. It comes in 18 different shades and if you layer it over a like eyeshadow it just adds enough sparkle to make your eyes pop. My personal fave is the gold glitter liner (see photo) because it makes my brownish-green eyes sparkle. It takes a second to get the hang of applying it. I use the applicator it come with and apply 3-4 layers of it over gold shadow using short strokes then hit it with the blow-dryer on a cool setting so it doesn’t smear. For only $4.50 it’s definitely worth a try. If your reluctant to trying glitter for fear of looking “too-over-the-top” stick with a neutral shade like gold, french silk (brown) or jade (green).

NYX Candy Glitter Liner

NYX Candy Glitter Liner

Add a comment April 28, 2011

Quick Tip: Cheap Makeup Brushes

I have a quick tip I wanted to share with everyone. My good friend, who is also a makeup artist, shared this wonderful money-saving tip with me. She sugessted to purchase artist paint brushes to use as makeup brushes. She said the hairfibers are about the same (sometimes better) and they work incredibly well. Make sure you buy natural hair brushes and not the synthetic ones. They are available at all craft stores and are super cheap. Check it out!

2 comments February 24, 2011

Product of Interest: Suave Naturals Almond and Shea Butter Shampoo and Conditioner

After I heard the claims that the new Suave Naturals Almond and Shea Butter shampoo and conditioner is “comparable” to Aveda Dry Remedy i was, to say the very least, skeptical. I am huge fan of Aveda products not just because they are more natural than most brands but because they work. Before I run out and buy the shampoo and conditioner I did some research.. I searched for the ingredients…

Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol (moisturizing emollient), Cyclopentasiloxane (type of silicone), Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine (hair cleansing detergent), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice [Aloe Vera]*, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil [Lemongrass]*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil*, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower/Leaf Extract*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract*, Dimethiconol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Fragrance (Parfum), Dipropylene Glycol, Potassium Chloride, Lactic Acid, Disodium EDTA, TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, PEG-150 Distearate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone
*Certified Organic Ingredient

This is astonishing to see that a drugstore brand contains this many high-end ingredients. I am a partial believer. I’m going out to but the shampoo and conditioner tonight. Look forward to my official review soon.

 

Suave Naturals Almond and Shea Butter Shampoo

Suave Naturals Almond and Shea Butter Shampoo

 

 

1 comment February 24, 2011

Coconut Oil: My “Not-So-Secret” Secret Hair Necessity

Anyone who knows my knows that I have long, dark hair. I am always asked how do I keep my hair looking so shiny and healthy, and I tell them my “not-so-secret” secret weapon is organic coconut oil. I say it’s my “not-so-secret” secret necessity because women from India have been using this amazing oil on their hair for centuries. I like using organic because I feel (I don’t know for sure but…) it is more pure. Does it matter if you use organic or regular coconut oil off the shelf, I have no idea? I have always used organic. It comes in a solid state (like cold butter) but you can put it a pan of hot water on the stove (think double boiler) and let it heat up. I have also put it in the microwave, but watch because it melts really fast. Another oil I switch off with is and oil made with Indian gooseberry. It has a much less pleasant smell compared to the coconut oil and it is not recommended for blonds (it tends to darken the hair over time) but the results are amazing. I have been told you can weaken the strong smell with peppermint oil. I love both of these oils, so I tend to switch between the two. for both oils I leave them on my hair for at least 2 hours, then shampoo twice and condition. Style as usual and feel the difference. I do this routine about twice a week and trust me once you see the results you’ll never stop this routine.

Spectrum Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Spectrum Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Add a comment February 22, 2011

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