Happy Thanksgiving!

happy thanksgiving

Just wanted to wish everyone a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving and to say…

Thank you all SO MUCH for your support!  I feel extremely blessed to have a great network of supportive family, friends and all the new friends I am able to connect with through this platform.  I am truly grateful to all who carve out a little bit of time out of their day to read my posts-it means the world! 🙂

With Gratitude, 

Stephanie

 

‘This or That’ Tag Post!

Hi readers!  I know I usually have a post on Tuesday but some things came up… and you know how that goes.  I decided to do a quick post that the lovely The World of Cos tagged me in over the weekend.  Thank you Cos so much for tagging me and if you haven’t already, head on over to her blog for some great beauty posts!

This is just a fun post where you can learn a little bit about me and vice versa.  It’s always nice to learn something new. 🙂

This or That Tag Rules:

  1. State who tagged  you (provide link) Answer all the questions
  2. Select one ‘This or That’ question for all your subbies to answer
  3. Tag 4 people to answer ALL the this or that questions on their blogs (provide links)… They say you really get to know people when they’re put in tight situations. Today’s “This or That” is going to do just that!”

Bloggers feel free to do this post on your own if I don’t tag you and readers, feel free to comment and share as well!

Tagged Blogs

Here are the blogs I tagged.

I hope you choose to accept this tag but no worries if you don’t want to.

Question for all my readers to answer #4

Questions

Beauty

1.  Blush or Bronzer? Blush- more color choices!

2. Eyeliner or Mascara? Mascara as I feel it opens up my eyes

3. Foundation or Concealer? Foundation so I can even out my skintone

4. Lipgloss or Lipstick? Lipgloss for sure as you can color and moisture

5. Neutral or color Shadow? Neutral as it can work for many looks/occasions

6. Sponges or Brushes? Brushes

Nails

7. OPI or China Glaze? OPI hands down.  They last a long time and the names they come up with? Genius

8. Acrylic or Natural? Natural

9. Long or Short? Short but not too short

10. Brights, Darks, or Neutrals? Depends on my mood.

Body

11. Perfumes or Mists? Perfumes

12. Lotion or Body Butter? Lotion when it is hot, body butters when it is cold

13. Body Wash or Soap? Body Wash

14. Wax or Shave? Depends but waxing does last longer

Fashion

15. Jeans or Joggers? Jeans as I have no clue what joggers are but you can’t go wrong with jeans

16. Skirts or Dresses? Dresses!

17. Stripes or Checkers? Stripes

18. Flip Flops or Sandals? Flip Flops

19. Boots or Stilettos? Depends on the outfit

Hair

20. Curly or Straight? Although I like it when my curly hair cooperates, I still love straight hair for some reason

21. Long or Short? Long

22. Bun or Ponytail? Bun

23. Light or Dark? Reddish (not sure where that lies)

24. Hair Spray or Gel? Mousse

Random

25. Rain or Shine? Sunshine

26. Summer or Winter? Winter as it seems it’s always summer in SoCal (not a bad thing but change is good…)

27. Autumn or Spring? Autumn

28. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate!

29. Fashion or Beauty? Beauty of course but I am working on some fashion 🙂

30. Leather or Sequins? Leather

I look forward to hearing what you guys have to say and I hope you enjoyed this!  🙂

Happy Wednesday and thanks for reading,

Stephanie 

 

 

Skin Tip: Why You Need to Stay Hydrated

As temperatures drop, you might notice changes in your skin.  Skin can become dry, tight, flaky and perhaps feel more sensitive/irritated. One crucial part of skincare is to keep your skin hydrated because this helps protect us from pathogens, irritation, and from the skin drying out.  If you find that even when you use your moisturizer, your skin still feels dry or tight, us the tips below as a guideline.

Dry Skin/Normal/Dry and Sensitive:  Switch to a heavier cream

Oily/Combination/Sensitive and Oily: Use a hydrating serum/booster underneath your current moisturizer to obtain hydration without heaviness that can lead to breakouts.

As always, if you have any questions, I am here to help. 🙂

Stay warm and hydrated,

Stephanie

My Tips and Tricks for a Special Occasion Look!

Skincare

Every so often, I am asked how I prepare my skin for special occasions so with the holiday season here, I decided to share my tips and tricks to achieving a great and lasting look.

Let’s get started!

Skincare Essential Tips 

1) Exfoliate!  One of the steps to achieve a smooth complexion is to exfoliate and a go-to favorite is Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment.  In the shower after cleansing, I apply it to my face, wait 2 minutes while the enzymes and lactic acid remove dead skin cells and rinse away to reveal a rosy glow. (For a full review, click here.)

Lips can also use some exfoliating to remove flakiness and allow your lip color a smooth application.  I like Fresh Sugar Lip Polish.

2)  Moisturize!  After exfoliating, it’s crucial to add in moisture to your skin.  This step can also help prevent a cakey look.  Choose a moisturizer that’s appropriate for your skin type.  I use Dermalogica Active Moist when my combination skin feels more on the oily side as it’s light-weight and works well under makeup.

3)  Use an Eye Cream!  Adding hydration underneath your eyes will give a youthful look and can lessen the appearance of fine lines.  A good eye cream I like is PCA Skin EyeXcellence.

Makeup

Pre and Post Makeup Essentials 

1)  Face Primer!  A face primer creates a barrier between your skin and makeup.  It helps make your makeup last longer and depending on the formula you choose, it can minimize the look of pores and ‘fill in’ lines and wrinkles (silicone based). 100% Pure Luminous Primer Vitamins + Antioxidants with Resveratrol has a nice blend of green tea and vitamins C and E for added antioxidant support.

2)  Eye Primer!  Eye primer is a must to even out any discoloration you may have on your eyelids and keep eyeshadow from creasing/fading.  My absolute favorite that I have used for years is Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

3)  Lip Balm!  Just as it’s key to moisturize your face, your lips also benefit from it too.  Swipe on a little bit while you’re getting ready so it has a chance to set.  Helpful tip: Mix it with your favorite lipstick to get a sheer look.  I love Vintage Sister Lip Balms (featured here: Chai Tea).

4)  Finish the look! (optional)  To really help set everything, use a finishing/setting spray or a light dusting of powder.  I alternate between  Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder and Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray.

And there you have it.  Whatever makeup colors/brands I choose depends on what I want to achieve, but these steps ensure a polished look.

What are your favorite products or tips for special occasions? Comment below! 

Thanks for reading,

Stephanie

 

Makeup 411- How To Prevent Cakey Foundation!

Dermalogica

With cold weather starting to set in, your skin’s moisture levels may drop causing your foundation to start to looking a bit cakey.  If that’s the case, first make sure you are applying your foundation over a moisturized face.  Mixing a small amount of your moisturizer into your foundation should also help your foundation glide on more smoothly.

Featured product I love: Dermalogica’s Active Moist.

Have you tried this trick?  How did it work for you? Comment below!

Have a great Wednesday,

Stephanie  

 

And The Winner Is….

VS Giveaway

The winner of my Vintage Sister Lip Balm Duo giveaway is Brooke from Beauty by Brooke LeAnne!  Congratulations Brooke!  I will send you a message to work out the details. 🙂

Take a moment to visit her blog http://beautybybrookeleanne.wordpress.com/; she has some pretty awesome posts!

Thank you so much to each of you who participated!!! Your support means the world to me!  🙂

I hope to do more giveaways in the future.

Wishing you a great Tuesday,

Stephanie 

 

Skin Tip: Less is More Money Saved!

How many times have we thought, “If this product is working wonders for me, imagine what it can do if I use more.”  When it comes to skin care, less is definitely more. Excessive amounts can cause skin problems and waste money.

A pea-sized amount for potent ingredients like retinol or concentrated serums should suffice and about a quarter-sized amount for cleanser and moisturizer should do.

Have a good weekend,

Stephanie

Reader Question: The Truth About Those Chemicals in Your Makeup

question mark

One of my good friends asked me if she should toss out all of her makeup items in lieu for a more natural and chemical free line.  I could tell she was very concerned about this and I know this is probably a question many people have.  Here is what I told her.

When we think of a chemical, we tend to associate the word with harsh acids that can lead to burns, redness, irritation, etc.  But, what is it really?

By definition, a chemical compound is basically two or more atoms of different elements united chemically.  The simplest way to illustrate this is by using water as an example.  Two atoms of Hydrogen are joined with one Oxygen atom giving you water (H2O) and (gasp!) a chemical compound.  So yes, water is a chemical.  You can see why it irks me when I hear makeup or skincare companies touting their products as ‘chemical’ free.  If that were the case, then they would be selling you nothing. In any case, most companies are phasing or have phased out controversial ingredients such as parabens and phthalates but that is a whole different story.

Second, the molecular structure of a product has a lot to do with how it works on your skin.  Makeup products typically have a large molecular structure which means they just ‘sit’ on the skin.  The molecule is too big to penetrate through all the layers of your skin and make its way into your bloodstream, and at the end of the day, you wash it off.

Bottom line, after I presented my view, I told my friend that it is ultimately up to her to decide what she feels is best for her.  I did tell her to keep in mind that most ‘organic’ products have a shorter shelf-life due to minimal, natural or no preservatives and to always conduct a patch test before trying out a product.  Just because something is ‘natural’ doesn’t mean it can’t cause a reaction/problem.

I hope you found this post informative and helpful and as always, if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email.

Oh, and don’t forget to enter my ‘thank you’ giveaway by clicking here.  Only a few more days before the winner is announced!

Have a great Thursday and thanks for reading,

Stephanie  

Weekend Makeup Purchases!

Hi readers, I hope you all had a great weekend!

Just wanted to share some of my purchases I made over the weekend.

Foundation

Since I had the 20% coupon for Sephora, I went ahead and purchased a few foundations.  Though I love my Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation, there’s always room for another favorite. 🙂  I picked up Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (Illuminating), Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation Serum and Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. Who knew Sephora now carries Giorgio Armani foundation.  I’ve always wanted to try this foundation based on all the great reviews and I’m glad I was able to get it at a discount.

 

Mini Bite Beauty

Bite Beauty has individual mini lipsticks and lipglosses that would make great gifts or stocking stuffers.  I picked up the Luminous Creme Duo in Musk and Retsina.

I also purchased Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette In the Tropics.  It was on sale online, making this a sale on sale item since I used the additional 20% off.  It should be arriving soon and I got it for $13! I think I got one of the last ones too because it’s no longer on the website.

Melted KissesI made a quick stop to Macy’s to see if they still had the Too Faced Melted Kisses Set ($25) and I got the last one there!  Which brings me to my next point.

Too Faced is having their Friends and Family Sale online where you get 20% off your purchase now through 11/14.  They have the Melted Kisses Set, so if you’re looking to try them out, give them as gifts, etc, head on over to the website and use the code: TAKE20 to receive a discount.

too faced sale

Reviews on these and other products coming soon so stay tuned and thanks for reading.

What are you most interested in purchasing this season? 

Stephanie 

 

Sephora Favorites Give Me More Lip 2014 Review!

SGMML1

 

Happy Thursday!  I picked up this set a while back and was finally able to complete my review for this kit  just in time for the Sephora VIB event!  This set contains 16 lip colors, one lip liner, and one lip brush for $59.  Aside from the Benefit sample, all products have a great amount of product in them and yet have a nice array of colors ranging from nudes to pinks and berries to reds-suitable for casual everyday looks and glam holiday occasions.  Read below for a breakdown of the kit and my thoughts.

 

SGMML

 

 

Nudes

Neutral Shades

bareMinerals, Too Faced, Laura Mercier, Stila, Make Up For Ever

Make Up For Ever Aqua Waterproof Lip Liner Pencil 3C

This lip liner is a medium neutral beige and although it’s small, you’ll get a decent amount of uses from it because it doesn’t rub off that easily.  Great to be paired underneath with the other nude shades to make the color last longer.  Not sure I would purchase the full size as I find M.A.C. or NYX work just as well on me.

Too Faced La Crème Color Drenched Lip Cream in Naked Dolly

This one wasn’t my favorite.  This color, worn alone, made my lips look too pale-almost corpse like.  It has a creamy consistency and is a bit hydrating but I wasn’t impressed.  I used it with the Make Up For Ever liner underneath and the Laura Mercier lipgloss on top to make it more wearable.

bareMineral Marvelous Moxie in Speak Your Mind 

This lipstick is good but not my favorite.  It’s described as a ‘blushing pink’ but can sometimes look pink or pink brown depending on the light-at least that was my experience.  The color payoff is great, and it’s creamy but not hydrating.  I need to put lip balm underneath to give it a more emollient consistency.

Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Blush (rose brown)

A nice, hydrating vanilla scented gloss that works well with a smokey eye or a natural look.  Although I like it, I don’t think I would purchase the full size as there are other lipglosses that do the same for less.

Stila Stay All Day Vinyl Lip Gloss in Nude (pink nude)

I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about this one.  It has a sticky feel, which I’m not a huge fan of but I am guessing that’s the reason the gloss stays on longer. If you have dry lips, you should exfoliate and moisturize your lips beforehand because this will cling on to any dry patches.  The color is a pink nude and as the name implies, gives a vinyl like finish.

Nudes

Make Up For Ever, Too Faced, bareMinerals, Laura Mercier, Stila

Pinks

Pink Shades

Too Faced, Benefit, Bite Beauty, Tarte

Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick in Palomino (magenta)

Absolutely love Bite Beauty products and this one doesn’t disappoint.  This magenta hued lipstick is richly pigmented, has a creamy formula that applies smoothly and is infused with antioxidant resveratrol.  The color will eventually wear off after a few hours especially after drinking or eating but it lasted a good 5 hours.

Benefit  Cosmetics  Hydrating Lip Balm in Posie

Another product that sadly didn’t work for me.  This lip balm boasts hyaluronic acid as an ingredient, and while I am a huge fan of hyaluronic acid for its hydrating nature, for some odd reason, this dried my lips out terribly.  The color is too sheer and there wasn’t much product to begin with in this sample.  I prefer Benefit’s Cheeck and Lip Tint in Posie as the color (poppy pink) is more intensified and lasts longer.

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wearing Lipstick in Melted Fuchsia 

The first time I tried the melted lipsticks, I wasn’t a huge fan because I found the formula to be too matte for my taste.  With this kit though I decided to give it a second chance and I am really glad I did.  The color is amazing and it lasts!  On me, it still has a matte finish but it wasn’t uncomfortably dry-you just need to get used to the formula.  These are cruelty free and I would definitely try out more colors from this line.

Tarte LipSurgence Power Pigment in Flush

I’m not sure how this lip tint is different from the Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tints-they seem the same to be with the exception of the design.  It comes in a retractable chubby pencil like form, has the signature peppermint scent, has good color payoff and the color can be worn sheer or intensified.  The website describes it as a sheer berry color, but it looked more pink on me.

pinks

Bite, Benefit, Too Faced, Tarte

 

Berries

Berry Shades

Fresh, Buxom, Tarte, OCC

Buxom Mini Full Bodied Lipstick in Menace

Finally a lip set that doesn’t include a Buxom lipgloss.  No offense to those who love it but I can’t stand the smell!  Okay, rant over.  Seriously, I am so happy that the set included this lipstick because I probably wouldn’t have ever considered looking at these.  It’s a beautiful  rich wine color that applies smooth-and is great for fall- but it’s not super moisturizing so applying a bit of lip balm underneath helps.  I would definitely purchase this.

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Berry

A lip balm with a sheer berry tint that has an added SPF 15 added as a bonus-lips need SPF too!  I do love these lip balms as they hydrate fairly well but they are on the pricey side making them a splurge.  Aside from the price, one thing I dislike about these are that they melt easy in the heat.

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in Moody

One of my favorite shades from Tarte’s LipSurgence collection as it’s a plum color that can be sheer or intensified .  It’s easy to apply, comes in a retractable pencil like form, smells like peppermint and has a lip balm texture.  It’s not as hydrating as I would like and isn’t a true stain but it does last.

Obsessive Compulsive Color  Lip Tar Matte in Black Dahlia (blackest blackened red)

I’ve always seen these but kind of just glossed over them.  I’m glad that this set included included a tube so that I could give these a try.  First of all, they included a lip brush with this set so don’t toss it out-you’ll definitely need it.  The formula is a bit thin but not runny so having using the brush will yield a more precise and even application.  The color is immensely pigmented-a deep burgundy red wine color- that will last a long time.  It fades slightly throughout the day but you’ll still be left with a very nice tint.  Bonus: these are 100% vegan and cruelty free.

Berry

Buxom, Fresh, Tarte, OCC

Reds

Red Shades

Kat Von D, Sephora, Laura Mercier, Hourglass

Sephora Collection Rouge Infusion in Red Essence

This lip color applies like a gloss but dries to a stain.  You can apply several layers to intensify the color and the drying time is fast with ample time to apply another coat before it completely dries.  This is a dark red lip stain that does stay on but somehow, it lasted longer on my arm when I swatched it than it did on my lips.  I even used it oil to try and rub it off my arm but I can still see some color on my arm.  So weird.  Despite this, though I do like it and for the price, you can stock up on a couple of shades.  I own this shade in Tangerine Ink and I love it.

 

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Outlaw

I love the color on this as it’s a vibrant, pretty red. However, that’s the only thing I like about this lipgloss.  I really wanted to like this lip stain and I gave it a few tries but it just didn’t work for me-it smeared all over the place.

Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour in Red Amour

Described as a classic neutral red, this is such a pretty color with a subtle sheen that wears much nicer than the Kat Von D one.  It glides smoothly on the lips and leaves behind a nice stain after it has faded.  This color would work extremely well for a classic red lip, cat eye look.

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon  (classic true red)

Highly pigmented color that applies like a gloss but dries to a matte finish.  I love the color but the texture is very weird.  On me, it felt a bit dry and sticky as the same time  and will slowly fade after about 4 hours.  The other nice thing about this is that it gave my lips a more poutier look so that’s always nice. I’ll use it until I finish it but probably won’t purchase on its own because of the texture.  We’ll see.

Reds

Sephora, Kat Von D, Laura Mercier, Hourglass

I hope you guys found this helpful!  It really is a great kit and if you’re a Sephora VIB or Rouge member, you get 20% off your purchases.

Tell me, have you tried this kit or any of the products here? Which ones do you like or dislike? 

Stephanie 

P.S. In case you missed it, I am doing a giveaway so be sure to take a look by clicking here