Friday, May 25, 2012

Neon Nail Polishes

Neons are everywhere right now. I have a lot of neon pinks, corals, tangerine shades but have been on the hunt for a neon citrine nail polish for a while. When I was at Sally's the other night for my mermaid hair dye I saw the China Glaze shade Celtic Sun. HOLY MOLY. It's like highlighter yellow. So cool. I got it mainly for my toes. I put a coat of white nail polish down first, then did 3 coats of Celtic Sun and topped it with Seche Vite. IT'S SO BRIGHT. I didn't take a picture because, who wants to see someone else's toes, right? But trust me, it's awesome. This one is a little streakier than I normally like and I don't think it would be as bright without the white basecoat. But for a funky pedicure, it's definitely worth it.

photo courtesy of

I also grabbed this teeny bottle of Sally Girl Type A. It looks deeper online than it is in real life, it's a neon fuchsia/purple shade. Nothing deep or dark about it. They had these up by the register and it was such a pretty color I just had to grab it. I used this on my toes after my Celtic Sun pedi. These little nail polishes are suprisingly nice. It only took 2 coats, went on easily and stayed for a decent amount of time with Seche Vite as a topcoat. The only thing I don't like is the handle on the brush is so little it can be a little messy on the application, but a quick cleanup with a brush and some remover cleaned it up nicely.

photo courtesy of
 I also picked up another bottle of my all time favorite neon shade, China Glaze Shocking Pink. Again, looks darker online than it is in real life. This is electric highlighter pink on. Dries matte/satin so I always use Seche Vite on top. The downside to this polish is that it isn't long lasting on my fingers, it will basically come off my nail all in one peice after a few days, but it lasts much longer on my toes and makes feet look super tan.

photo courtesy of

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mermaid Hues

Not sure if it's the warmer weather, but I am obsessed with turquoise lately. The two main areas are my nails...and shockingly my hair. I have been wanting a fun, peekaboo streak in my hair for a long time and was wavering between pink and turquoise. I feel like pink is done, it's a little too girlie for me so turquoise was just a good choice with my blonde hair and my personality. It's SO PRETTY. I can't stop staring at it. I used Beyond the Zone's Color Jamz in Tripped up Turquoise.

photo courtesy of
First, I decided where I wanted it and how large of a section. As far as placement, I chose to do it behind the top of my ear. That way you can't see the roots when the bleach grows out and it appears more like a "peekaboo" strand than just a giant chunk of smurf hair. Then I bleached the hair using 40 vol. It took about 30 minutes to get the white blonde I wanted. I rinsed and blow dried it and then used gloves (IT STAINS EVERYTHING) and applied a thick coat to the entire strand. I placed it in a ziplock baggie, zipped it up and used a clip to secure the baggie to my head, ensuring it wouldn't bleed onto my blonde hair or on my face. I left it on for about an hour, applying heat from the blow dryer every 10 minutes or so to keep the strand warm and set the color. Rinsed in COLD water (no shampoo)and viola...Mermaid Streak! I didn't wash my hair the next day, I allowed 24 hours for the color to set before shampooing. Also, this stuff smells SO GOOD. There is no chemical stink with it at all, it's DEEP teal in the bottle and shimmery. It's pretty even in the bottle. I love it. It's semi permanent so it will totally fade, but this one bottle has enough product for weekly touchups, enough to get me and my Mermaid Streak through the summer.

The next thing I'm turquoise obsessed with is a nail polish from China Glaze called Turned Up Turquoise. It's literally a NEON turquoise, so saturated, has a nice shimmer to it and is opaque in only 2 coats. As with all neons, it dries matte/satin so I used Seche Vite to pop the gloss. The picture doesn't do it justice, I couldn't capture just how vivid this color is. It's not just bright, it's multifaceted and just so pretty and unique.

photo courtesy of

Monday, May 21, 2012

Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen

We have a  6 year old, very active son. Sunscreen has been a pain in my neck for such a long time with him. When he was a baby, we used Neutrogena Pure and Free sunscreen on him. It worked great, but he wasn't crawling around with sticky little hands or running away when I was trying to apply it. Once he started crawling and was on the move, I was in search of something that would dry quickly and not run into his eyes while providing excellent SPF. We tried the spray sunscreens, he always complained that those kinds "stung" or "burned"...not exactly the response you want regarding a sunscreen!! We tried Coppertone Water Babies, Coppertone Kids, Banana Boat Kids, Aveeno, Costco name it, we've tried it. Nothing really met the requirements. Fast drying, no "burn", not sticky and effective. So the hunt continued.

Last summer we decided to go back to a Neutrogena brand since that worked before on Little Man. I found the Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunblock Lotion SPF 45. It alleges that it can be applied to dry OR WET skin, which...awesome right? We have a pool and this kid is in it all summer long. If I can slather this on wet or dry and guarantee a good sun block, I'm in. I forgot about it until these past few sunny weeks and grabbed another bottle of it. It dries REALLY quickly, has no harsh odors, lasts through swimming or sweaty days and he doesn't complain when it's time to reapply. I'm in love. Neutrogena wins again for my family!!

photo courtesy of

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Breezy Summer Beauty Tips

Warmer weather calls for LESS maintenance as far as I'm concerned. Summer is when I feel my best, a little bit of a tan, brighter clothes, blonder hair and low maintenace is just the best way to take advantage of all the perks of summer weather. Here are a few of my favorite summer tricks to beat the heat but play up natural, beachy beauty.

1. Ditch the foundation! Like...stat. There's no need for it, it's too heavy and won't make it through a hot sweaty day anyway. Rather than melt it off and clog your pores go with something lighter. A good tinted moisturizer will have a strong SPF but also offer some nice coverage. I adore the Aveeno tinted moisturizer and Origins VitaZing. Summer is also the time of year when glowier skin is not only acceptable, it's gorgeous. Don't bust out that powder at the first sign of glow. Use blotting papers instead if you really can't stand it, but summer skin is glowy. Go with it. In addition to ditching the foundation, I rarely wear eyeliner in the summer. A quick swipe of a Paint Pot from MAC or Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eyeshadow with 2 good coats of a black mascara (CoverGirl Lashblast 24 hour mascara is GREAT for hotter weather) is really all you need in the summer. I even ditch powder blushes and go for something easier like a cream blush or just bronzer on my cheeks.

2. Go with the flow! Let your hair be. If I flatiron my hair, step outside and instantly the hair around my face is wavy. What's the point?! There is nothing worse than standing in a hot bathroom under a blow dryer and flat iron in 90 degree weather. GROSS. Let your hair do it's thing. Wash, condition, comb it out and apply a product like Moroccan Oil to keep the flyaways down and let it dry naturally. Be creative, try different braids, fishtails, topknots, twists, ponytails, anything that takes advantage of your hairs natural texture. Your hair will love you and you'll love the sexy results.

3. Moisturize! What's sexier than healthy, glowy arms and legs in the summertime. Expose the best of your body, use a nice daily lotion with a good SPF (don't forget your decolletage!) and then a heavier cream at bedtime, paying special attention to feet, knees and elbows! There is no better way to fight aging while keeping your skin looking young than taking good care of it. Vaseline has a gel body oil that I love in the summertime. I also always keep Banana Boat After Sun lotion on hand at all times. It's got aloe and prolongs your tan while nourishing your skin.

4. Brighten up! If there is ever a time to take a risk and try some brighter hues, summer is it. Neons are in right now and my favorite way to use them is with neutrals. It's a much more grown up way to use these bright colors. For example, I'm loving the Sweet Tart lip butter from Revlon. It's a lot brighter than something I'd normally wear so when I use it, I use bronzer as a blush to naturally accentuate my cheeks and use a nice bronzey eyeshadow or go bare. Minimal everywhere else allows the bright lipstick to play up your best features and makes it a lot more wearable. Also try using brighter hues on your fingers and toes. Orly Passionfruit is one of my favorite summer shades for toes. It's a neon pink tangerine shade that compliments tan feet so well. Use a good top coat in the summer and you can get 2 weeks or more out of your at home pedicure. I use Seche Vite.

5. Bronze baby! See my list of my favorite sunless tanners. There are so many GREAT sunless tanners on the market, the possiblities are endless and the results are fast. Take advantage and get that golden goddess glow without damaging your beautiful skin. Always exfoliate first to ensure even application and enjoy that tan!

6. Drink up! Easiest beauty tip in the warmer weather is drink your water. It's just the best way to get beautiful skin, stay hydrated and take good care of yourself. I know water can get boring, add something to it! Lemons, limes, orange slices. I even like the MIO water enhancers and keep one in my desk at work for when that 8th glass of water is getting to be a little BLAND.

7. Exfoliate! When the weather heats up, our skin tends to lose moisture and can dry up. Nothing is more gross than alligator skin. Exfoliating is the best way to clear your pores, keeping breakouts at bay and ensuring you that gorgeous summer skin. I use Neutrogena All-In-One daily scrub in the summer to exfoliate my face daily. For my body I like the Coconut body scrub from Bath and Body Works. It's gentle but effective. This also applies to less obvious areas like your feet! I use a PediEgg a few times a week, especially in the summer on areas like the heels of my feet and the results are immediate. I follow this up with a nice thick moisturizer like C.O. Bigelow Lemon & Pomegranate Body Cream from Bath and Body Works. This keeps my feet sandal ready all summer long!

8. Smooth Move. The warmer weather calls for less clothing. This means paying special attention to shaving to ensure smooth skin. I've found the coolest shaving cream and I swear by it all summer long. EOS Ultra Moisturizing Shave Cream. This stuff can be used wet OR DRY (for those last minute shaving emergencies when you don't have time to shower). It's super moisturizing, smells great and gets a super close shave on your legs. Because it's so moisturizing it also reduces razor burn and leaves your legs super smooth.

There you have it, my top tips for easier summer beauty!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Favorite Self Tanners

I've said it before...I'm a sun worshipper. However, I do realize it's awful for my skin and have been really trying to knock it off at least where my face is concerned. I love to be tan in the summer time. We are outside a lot and live in the country and so a little color is inevitable even with SPF. But I always keep a good sunless tanner on hand for a little extra color if I need it.

Over the years, I've tried several different brands and formulations, here are a few of my all time favorites that I always keep on hand.

1. Jergens Natural Glow Face. Because sometimes my skin can be cranky, I've never felt comfortable using a sunless tanner lotion on my face. I've also been wary of the dreaded orange around my hairline and eyebrows. I've had nothing but awesome results with this product. It's subtle but effective and blends easily. It's never broken me out. I always keep a bottle of this around now.

2. Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Self Tanner. I actually bought this on accident. I thought I was getting the Jergens Natural Glow Spray. I was hesitant to use a foam as it just seems less dependable and harder to apply evenly. Suprisingly, this is my new favorite. It dries SO FAST and there is little to no "sunless tanner odor". It's a very mousse like consistency, pump out about 1/4 less than you think you'll need, a little goes a long way. It's a little slower to build the color, I'd say it takes about a week to get the full deep tan color but this lasts really long and is never streaky or orange. I was pleasantly surprised by this product!

3. The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Every Day Summer Body Lotion. This smells SO good! It is super moisturizing, easy to use and SLOWLY builds a nice color. Because it's so subtle you can use this every day as your daily moisturizer and also get a little color in the process. I really enjoy this product.

4. True Blue Spa Solar Power All Angle Professional Airbrush Tan. I got this at Bath and Body Works. THIS STUFF WORKS. Dries quickly, the nozzle will spray in any direction making hard to reach areas like the backs of your legs or your back very easy to reach. Applies super evenly and makes a gorgeous bronzey golden tan. This also gets you color quickly. I'd say you notice a difference after only one use. GREAT product.

5. Loreal Sublime Bronze Any Angle Self-Tanning Spray. If you can't get your hands on the True Blue spray, this is almost an exact drugstore dupe. A little different scents to them, but the results are almost identical. This also sprays in any angle and dries quickly.

Worth noting, I always buy sunless tanners in the "Medium to Dark" category. I find that the lighter versions turn an unpleasant orangey color while the Medium to Dark versions give a more realistic tan color.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lazy Summer Makeup

I admit it...I've been "makeup lazy" lately. It's been beautiful here and I've gotten a little bit of color from the sunshine and admittedly have been wearing less makeup as of late.

My routine has been significantly slimmed down the past few weeks, so I wanted to let you know what I've been using daily.

Aveeno tinted moisturizer (as SPF, moisturizer and daily foundation)
Revlon PhotoReady cream blush in Coral Reef
Revlon PhotoReady bronzer in Bronzed and Chic
Maybelline Dream Lumi highlighting concealer under eyes
Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in Bad to the Bronze
Revlon LipButter in Sweet Tart
CoverGirl LashBlast mascara in Very Black

And...that's it. All of these products are very "light" on, as in they don't feel heavy and I can apply most with my fingers. However, they LAST all day long and look pulled together really well.

There you have it. A lazy girls guide to easy, breezy summer makeup!

I also rediscovered a body spray and lotion I got a while ago from Victoria's Secret, "Good Day Sunshine". I love this stuff. It's the nicest, grown up summery smell. It's light, but happy and stays all day long. Says it has notes of bright peach and blue freesia. To me it just smells feminine, happy and clean. Not sure if they still sell it but as fast as I'm using this up I'm going to need to restock soon!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush

Another part of the "Escapism" Summer collection. I was originally going to pass on these because I have cream blushes that I love, but this color was so unusual and BRIGHT, I had to investigate for myself.

This collection has 2 other colors, a nice bright pink and a peachy one. Coral Reef is intense, almost orange. THese containers are HUGE, the whole pot is full of product, I put it next to a Bouncy Blush for comparison. The color does blend out impressively, you get the bright tone, but in a sheer flattering way. This is honestly almost identical to the color that I blush naturally. It's so pretty on. Don't be intimidated by the brightness, it's very gorgeous. You can use it lightly for a gentle flush or layer it on to build to the color you want.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

You know that feeling when you use something that actually lives up to your expectations? How great that is?? I had that with this product.

I was trying to find something comparable to my Origins VitaZing. Because while I love it, it is pricey and I hate having to go to the department store for ONE THING on the weekend. So...I started looking around. I decided on the Aveeno because it had a higher SPF of 30 (VitaZing is only SPF 15) and came in 2 different shades. I got it in the medium tint. It's also oil free, which I love in a moisturizer.

This has some serious coverage for a tinted moisturizer. I actually wore only this to work on Friday with just some bronzer and my eye makeup and was pleasantly suprised at how well it held up. It has to the same "glowy" effect with light reflecting minerals as the VitaZing, but I like the Aveeno so much better. It's just such a nice, effective product. It alleges that it is the "only tinted moisturizer with clinically proven Total Soy Complex to brighten and even skin tone", while I don't know about that it does even your complexion when it's on. I don't know if it's long term or not though.

All in all, this gives good coverage, gives your skin a little color, has a great SPF, has a nice glowy effect and can be worn alone or under your foundation.

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Revlon PhotoReady "Bronzed and Chic"

I'm kind of loving the new Revlon PhotoReady "Escapism" collection by Gucci Westman. I saw it in Walgreens yesterday and they were having a BOGO sale so I snatched up a few things.

This collection screams "Summer" to me. It also has a few items that are new for a drugstore collection, like the cream blushes (that review is coming up).

I saw this bronzer and had to have it. it's called "Bronzed and Chic". I am almost out of my usual matte bronzer and just couldn't resist the coral reef pattern on this. It's also really large. I think they could do without the cheesy brush and decrease the packaging size of this bronzer, it's just too "extra".

For my skin tone, this is best used swirled together on a brush. But if you wanted to use a smaller brush, this could definitely be used for contouring as it's completely matte and gives you 4 different options. I'd think the lightest 2 shades would be perfect in the winter time just to perk up your skin. If you have even a little tan, this is a great bronzer. It's not orangey, doesn't muddy up your complexion. Just a clean, lovely bronzer.

I'd probably get away with just wearing this over my VitaZing on the weekends with some lip gloss. It's really nice. Good pigmentation without making you look like a character from Jersey Shore!!