My Top 3 Healthy Summer Tips!

Hi everyone!

We’re into June (my birthday month!) and summer is right around the corner.  Many of us are looking for ways to look our best and today I’m sharing some easy tips for achieving a perfect, healthy summer glow.

Protect Your Skin

sunscreenw

One of the most important aspects on achieving healthy skin is to protect it from the sun’s harmful UV rays. While exposure to sunlight creates vitamin D, also known as the ‘the sunshine vitamin’, it is also responsible for 90% of all skin cancers.  Excessive and unprotected UV exposure accelerates the aging process, degrading collagen that results in premature wrinkle formation and rough leathery skin.  Using broad spectrum sunscreen everyday and reapplying every two hours, especially when outside is crucial and remember that 90% of UV reflection from sand and water bounces back!

Protect From Within!

blueberryw

Summer brings a bevy of delicious rich fruits and vegetables and eating these antioxidant rich foods does wonders for our body and skin! UV exposure and environmental pollution unleash free radicals that cause inflammation, oxidation, disease, and aging in the body- especially wrinkling and sagging of the skin. Because free radicals are unstable, they damage healthy cells when trying to stabilize themselves.  Luckily, antioxidants can help reverse this damage and work as shields against further damage to tissues and cells.  One of my favorite fruits that are in season during summer are blueberries.  These tiny berries are bursting with antioxidants, have a low glycemic index and can be tossed into smoothies or oatmeal.

Take A Break…A Water Break, That Is!

strawberriesw 

As temperatures rise, we need to keep in mind our daily fluid intake.  It’s so easy to get caught up in outdoor activities and forget to hydrate but our body and skin rely on water to function properly.  Water aids in the elimination of toxins and waste, helps regulate body temperature and sustains cell health.  If you’re not fond of plain water, try infusing it with your favorite fruit.  Strawberries are another great and in season fruit for summer.  High in vitamin C and folate, strawberries help with collagen maintenance, provide antioxidants, and boost circulation for healthy skin respectively. A win-win!

What are your tips for summer?

Stephanie

*All photography used here was done by my sister.

Summer Must Have: On the Go Beauty!

Travel Beauty!

Hi everyone!  How was your weekend? I had a great and relaxing weekend filled with yoga, massage, Pressed Juicery and Urth Caffe goodness. 🙂

I’m back today with products that are compact and simple to use.  Travel and purse friendly, see what products are great to get when you’re on the go!

Hair and Body

Bumble and bumble Pret-a-Powder 

 Toss this in your purse to refresh your hair on the go.  The powder quickly blends into the hair, absorbing any excess oil and is perfect if you have bangs that start to stick to your forehead after a few hours.

Davines SU Hair and Body Wash 

Streamline your shower routine by using this gender neutral scented item that cleanses skin and hair but won’t leave it feeling stripped.

Spongelle 

Included in June’s PopSugar Must Have, you can save time and space with this soap infused body buffer.  Just wet the sponge and enjoy a rich lather that will leaves your skin (and bathroom) lightly scented.

Face

Dermalogica Precleanse Wipes

One of the best makeup remover wipes I have tired, these oil saturated towelettes break up makeup and sunscreen quickly without any harsh tugging or pulling.

Makeup 

Fresh Sugar Berry Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15

Easy to apply, this lip balm requires no mirror, protects lips for the sun and is on trend with this season’s berry lip!

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (my shade: Light 2 Vanilla)  

The doe foot brush and formula conceals imperfections with a few dabs underneath your eyes.

*Note: If you’re concealing blemishes, dab some first onto a clean finger and then apply to affected area to prevent cross contamination.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil (my shade: Iced Mocha

Eyeshadow sticks are virtually the foolproof way to apply eyeshadow.  Glide some over the eyelid for day and take it up a notch at night by applying it to the lower lash line along with black eyeliner.

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour

Featured in my June Favorites, this product sculpts your face with ease, no brush required.

What are your favorite travel friendly items? 

Stephanie 

 

 

Summer Must Have: Eyes and Face!

MH EF

Hi everyone!

Almost down to the last post of my series and so far we have covered skincare, lipcolors, blushes, nails and hair.  Now, it’s time for the face and eyes. Take a peek at my picks in today’s quick read post!

Face 

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Sunscreen Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 

Light-weight makeup is key for me in summer months and this is one fits the bill.  This foundation provides enough coverage to conceal redness yet still allows skin to like skin.  Another slightly less expensive option is Make Up For Ever Face & Body Liquid Makeup. 

bareMinerals Ready Translucent Touch-Up Veil SPF 15

This is great for setting your makeup and helping to control shine. Bonus: it has SPF.

Eyes

Urban Decay Naked Palette

The original product that started it all, this palette has a great color selection and a variety of finishes that take you from workday neutrals to sultry bronze summer nights.  My favorite picks: Half-Baked and Smog.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Jet Back 

Just as the name implies, this liquid eyeliner will last all day without creasing or transferring.  Just a little primer underneath and you can create a thin or thick line thanks to the fine tip.

Rimmel London ScandalEyes Eyeshadow Stick in Witness White

An easy way to brighten your look, just pop this shade in the inner corners of your eyes and you’ll instantly look awake.  You can also use this as a base to accentuate other eyeshadow shades.

Do you use any of these? What are your favorites? 

Stephanie

 

 

Summer Must Have: Blushes!

Bright Blush

Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope your weekend went well. 🙂

My ‘Summer Must Have’ series continues with a current obsession: blush!

Let’s dive right in.

Bobbi Brown Blush in Pretty Coral 31

Although I’m not sure why the word coral appears in the name of this blush-even the MUA was confused- this is such a nice pink color that goes perfectly over bronzer.  Looks very natural on the skin and can be used as an everyday/work blush.

Burberry  Beauty Light Glow Earthy Blush No. 07

A versatile product that can be used as a blush or contour shade.  This taupe shade has an incredible smooth and  buttery consistency and  although there is no shimmer, it has a subtle ‘glowy’ look and is one of the products I reach for when I want the ‘no blush’ blush look.

Cargo Cosmetics Swimmables Water Resistant  Blush in Los Cabos

A generous sample that I received in my May Birchbox, this is what coral looks like to me. I can’t attest to the water resistant claim but I can say it is long-lasting and nicely pigmented. Blending is easy, I think this would look great on multiple skin tones and if this shade doesn’t scream summer, I don’t know what will.

YSL Creme de Blush No. 4 Audacious Orange 

Despite the bright orange color, once blended in, this leaves behind a nice flushed look. Only very little is needed because it’s highly pigmented, it’s easy to work with and holds up in the summer heat. You can’t beat that.

*Note: As I write this, I just noticed that this isn’t readily available anymore but if you can find, I highly recommend it.  A great and inexpensive alternative is the Colour Pop Super Shock Cheek blushes and my favorite shade is Trickery.  You can read my review here.

B Swatches

Bottom to Top: Pretty Coral, Earthy Blush, Los Cabos, Audacious Orange

What are your favorite blushes?

Stephanie

 

Skin Tip: Dry Brushing for Cellulite!

With swimsuit and short season here, reduce the appearance of cellulite with dry brushing.  A form of exfoliation, dry brushing helps remove toxins and allows lymph fluid to move into the lymph nodes, thus eliminating waste.

How to use: gently brush legs with long, upward strokes.

Have a great weekend everyone and be on the lookout for a bonus post featuring July’s Birchbox unboxing and first impressions on Monday!

Stephanie

Summer Must Have: Lip Colors!

SMH Lips

Hello readers and welcome to my second installment of my ‘Summer Must Have’ series in which I share products I think are perfect for summer.  Today, it’s all about my favorite lippies!  From neutral to bright, drugstore to high-end, you’re bound to find something you’ll like.

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Palomino

Love this magenta hued lipstick as it’s richly pigmented and creamy formula applies smoothly. The color will eventually wear off after a few hours especially after drinking or eating but it’ll leave behind a stain.

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella 

Part of the Sephora Beauty Insider birthday gift, this crimson red lip pencil soon became one of my favorites.  The pencil tip allows for a smoother and precise application and the matte formula is comfortable to wear.

NYX High Voltage Lipstick in Rags to Riches

Highly pigmented color and budget friendly, this lipstick is a beautiful pink shade that has a creamy application. Not the longest-wearing shade but it does last a solid 4 hours.

Sonia Kashuk Velvet Matte Lip Crayon in Raspberry Nude

A vibrant berry shade, this lip crayon is very similar to the Nars Matte Velvet Pencil for a fraction of the price:  easy to apply and the matte formula ensures lasting color.

Swatch 1

L-R: Palomino, Cruella, Rags to Riches, Raspberry Nude

 

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in Moody 

This dark berry/plum color can be worn sheer or layered for more intensified color .  It comes in a retractable pencil like form which means you never have to worry about sharpening it and can spend those precious seconds having fun.

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Nude 

Packaged in a squeeze tube, the soft angled tip allows for easy application and the neutral color is a forgiving shade that can be applied on the go.

Urban Decay Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in Punch Drunk

If you want to venture out of your comfort zone and are looking for a lovely orange hue, look no further. Rich, creamy and glossy color, all encapsulated in one pencil.

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis A Levres Glossy Stain in Corail Aquatique

The most luxurious of the bunch, this gorgeous coral pink gloss is speckled with subtle gold shimmer and leaves behind a lovely stain.  The unique applicator has a wider base that deposits color on your lips while the pointed edge makes it easy to get a precise application.

Swatch 2

L-R: Moody, Melted Nude, Punch Drunk, Corail Aquatique

That does it for today!

What are your favorite lip products for summer? 

Stephanie 

P.S. In case you missed my first post in the series, click here.

 

Summer Must Have: Skincare!

Summer Skincare

Happy Tuesday readers!  Hopefully everyone had a relaxing and fun weekend and to all U.S. readers, a safe fourth of July. 🙂

With summer here, I thought it would be a good idea to create a ‘Summer Must Have’ series in which I  feature products I love and think would be great for summer.  From skincare to hair tips and beauty essentials, it will be a well-rounded guide.

First up is skincare.  Sun protection is key anytime of the year and while I’ll share my picks for sunscreens, find out what products are great when you have too much fun in the sun.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47

If your skin is on the drier side, this sunscreen just may be what you’re looking for.  It’s hydrating yet light and is a physical sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, making it a nice alternative to those whose skin don’t react well to chemical sunscreens. Argan and jojoba oils help keep skin hydrated while green tea and vitamin E provide antioxidant support. *Note: If you’re acne prone or sensitive to any kind of fragrance (synthetic or natural), this may not be the best option.

Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid-Lotion Sunscreen 

Acne prone and oily skin types may love this sunscreen.  Though it smells like a traditional sunscreen it does not have that thick, greasy texture.  As the name implies, it feels like lotion (just a tad bit thicker) absorbs quickly and leaves the skin with a mattifying feel.

Renee Rouleau Bio Calm Repair Masque 

This light, chamomile tea scented gel mask soothes skin and reduces sensitivity and inflammation with oat kernel extract bisabolol and chamomilla recutita flower oil.  A versatile mask that can be used after sun exposure or skin treatments including chemical peels and lasers. Also perfect for rosacea flare ups that tend to be exacerbated by the summer heat.  Just apply a thin layer to clean skin, leave on for about 10 minutes and rinse off.  My favorite tip: store in the fridge for an extra cooling effect.

Dermalogica After Sun Repair

Another great product to use if you’re sunburned, this gel greatly reduces redness and calms skin irritation caused by UV exposure or waxing.  This product is left on and is formulated with lavender, cucumber, chamomile, yucca and algae extract to restore moisture loss and aid skin recovery.  Can be used on the face and body (avoid eye area) alone or underneath a basic moisturizer and can be reapplied as needed.

What are your favorite summer skincare items?

Stephanie

 

 

Summer Makeup Product Ideas!

I never really need an excuse to purchase makeup-colors and textures are always oh-so pretty!- but summer brings a great reason to try out new shades and products.  I compiled a mix of new and old products I think would work great for summer.

Bobbi-Brown-Surf-Sand-Collection-2

nordstrom; $65 each

Bobbi Brown Surf and Sand Eyeshadow Palette 

The colors featured in these palettes sure do captivate the essence of the ocean.  Personally, I would try out the Surf Palette as the colors are unique and  season appropriate.  Sand Palette can be used every day and year round as they are  beautiful neutral shades.

 

 

tarte

sephora; $36

Tarte Golden Days and Sultry Nights Amazonian Clay Collector’s Shadow Palette 

Smaller (and cheaper!) than Bobbi Brown’s Surf and Sand Eyeshadow Palette, this set is a simple mix of gold and bronze eyeshadows with a pop of color in between.  You also get two matte shades that are perfect for blending out colors.

Bite

sephora; $24

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil

Absolutely L-O-V-E these pencils.  Highly saturated with color, these will last you a while- on your lips as well as in the tube.  They contain antioxidant resveratrol and come in neutral, bold and deep shades.  Fun, bold shades to try: Zinfandel and Corvina.

vivids

drugstores, ulta; $7.49

Maybelline Color Sensation Vivids 

At about half the price of Bite’s High Pigment Pencils, one swipe provides ‘notice me’ color.  There are no neutral shades in this collection so be prepared for bold look!

ud eyeliner

macys; $20

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil 

Long-lasting eyeliners with an impressive array of colors, you’ll find just about any shade you desire.  These glides on creamy and albeit unattractively named, Chaos, Freak and Mildew are fun colors that can speak for themselves.

 

benefit eyeliner

macys; $24

Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Push Up Liner 

If you’re more inclined toward liquid liner than pencil, this may be one to try out.  It’s waterproof and claims to facilitate application thanks to a custom angled tip.  Anything that can make a cat eye easier is always welcome in my book.  Note: For a limited time, Sephora Beauty Insiders may receive a free mini sample with any $25 online purchase! 

nars multiple

sephora; $39

Nars Matte Multiple 

Gotta love a 2-in-1 lip and cheek product that ranges from bronze to pink/coral.  You can take it on the go and the matte finish is great for those who don’t want or need added shine.  Can be used wet or dry resulting in a sheer or pigmented look respectively.  Looking for a glow? You can try Nars The Multiple.

MUFE mascara

sephora; $12 mini/$24 full size

Make Up Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara 

Currently using and loving this mascara.  I received this in the Sephora Beauty Insiders Birthday gift a few weeks ago and it’s amazing.  Separates and defines lashes with ease and the best part is it does not irritate my eyes.  It’s not waterproof but it does last.

 

What summer products are you looking forward to exploring? 

Camping Guide 101!

Fisherman camping at a wilderness lake

School is out, summer is here and if you’re like my family, camping trips may soon make their way into your schedule.  The outdoors can provide beautiful imagery, new perspectives, fresh air but also has some not so nice perks.  Bugs attacking you from every angle or inadvertently providing a feast for neighboring critters is something I can do without.  So whether you’re out on the road in an RV or truck/car, here are some suggestions on what to pack and some tips I learned along the way.

What To Pack

first aid kit

Mini First Aid Kit

Always a great item to have.  You can pick up a few at your local dollar store for, well a dollar.  Can’t beat that!

sunscreen3

SPF Products

You’ll definitely want to take your broad spectrum sunscreen (make sure the cap is sealed tight- I learned this the hard way!), an eye cream with SPF (if you have one), and lip balm with SPF.  Sunburn looks good on no one.

travelbottles

Travel Sized Bottles

You can take your cleanser, toner, moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner and bodywash in tiny bottles so you don’t have to lug huge bottles around, and in case they accidentally get left behind, no major loss there.

towel

Unscented Towelettes/Unscented Baby Wipes

In case you don’t have access to a sink to wash your face, you can use these.  A trick I used:  I spritzed toner into a towelette and used it to remove the sunscreen, dirt and oil that accumulated throughout the day.  Plus, they come in handy to wipe down surfaces, sticky/dirty hands, etc.

purell

Mini Antibacterial Soap

Another good product to have when soap might not be readily available.

medications

Medications

Make certain to pack your medication if you take any; there are little tiny plastic containers you can purchase to store them in.  You might want to also keep Benadryl on hand in case of allergies and aspirin or ibuprofen.  Some camping sites have small stores that provide these items but they tend to hike up the prices a bit.

bug repell

Bug Repellent

My ‘perfume’ for the trip and a total life saver!  There are also ones you can hang outside your tent- sorry bugs, you’ll need to find your victims elsewhere.

temperature

Warm Clothes

Regardless if the weather is super hot during the day, keep at least a jacket, an extra pair of socks, and pants to keep warm in case the temperatures decide to drop at night.

Tips

animals

Do be sure to pack away any edible items lest you want to attract unwanted strangers.  Trust me, animals can and will find a way to open bags and boxes.  Store items in coolers or plastic containers and make sure to secure them.

fishing hats

Activities like hiking or fishing mean long periods of time out in the sun, so make sure to take along your sunscreen to reapply and prevent sunburn.  Hats and sunglasses are great to take along too.

waterbottle

 

Keep hydrated to help control your heart rate and blood pressure as well as regulate your body temperature.

grill

Nothing beats coming back from a day-long activity and firing up the grill to cook a delicious meal.  One caveat?  If you did get sunburned, the heat generated from the grill can further aggravate an already irritated complexion.  Keep some aloe vera gel (and maybe some ibuprofen) handy if this is the case. 

Camping or any other outdoor activity is always an adventure from making smores to setting up tents.  Enjoy it, stay sun protected and safe, and embrace the experience- you’ll be home in no time. 

What do you pack for your outdoor excursions? 

My Summer Essential Product List!

With summer around the corner, I decided to write a post and share a few of my favorite must haves for summer.

PCA

PCA Skin Representative/Dermstore $40

PCA Skin Weightless Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 45

Love this sunscreen!  True to its name, it has weightless, non-greasy formulation that has caffeine and silybin added as antioxidants.  It does not make me breakout and wears well under makeup.

too faced

Sephora, $30

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

This is a matte bronzer, (no shimmer or shine) which I find perfect  for summer since my skin tends to be more on the oily side.  Sometimes I use it to contour my cheekbones and sometimes I use it as I would a blush to get a hint if color.  For some weird reason, the smell reminds me of those chocolate scratch and sniff stickers you would get in elementary school.

Stila Eye

Sephora, $20

Stila All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

This eyeliner will last all day without smearing.  I have worn this without an eye primer and it didn’t budge.  The tip allows for both a thin, precise line or a thick bolder one.  Apply once and forget about it the rest of the day.

stila-convertible-colour

Sephora, $25

Stila Convertible Color

I received a deluxe sample of  this 2-in-1 product that is both a lipstick and a blush.  It is creamy without feeling heavy, sheer with buildable color, and you can toss it in your purse and take it on the go.  The color I got was Peony, a brownish rose that looks pretty and natural.

ysl

Sephora, $35

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Coutre Vernis A Levris Glossy Stain

These lip stains are on the pricey side, but in my opinion well worth it. Unlike other stains I have tried, these don’t feel drying, there is a great color selection and are nicely pigmented- one swipe and you’re good to go. The long-lasting staying power ensures you don’t have to reapply frequently and you don’t have to worry about it leaving a mark on your drinkware.

NYX

Drugstores, $5

NYX Cosmetics Butter Gloss

These come in a variety of shades (neutral to bright) and the price tag allows for multiple purchases.  The consistency is a bit sticky ( not as moisturizing as I would have hoped) but they do last a good 2-3 hours on the lips and the color payoff is excellent.  I really like Cherry Cheese Cake as it is a wearable summer orange color.

Gio Sugar Scrub

Giovanni Cosmetics/Individual Representative, $14

Giovanni Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub

When I’m not making my own body scrubs, I like to use this one. The yummy chocolate scent makes for a sweet body treat that is not abrasive but still effective in smoothing away rough skin, especially on elbows, knees and feet.

Milani

Drugstores, $5-$10

Milani Total Lash Cover Mascara with 3 Zone Brush

This mascara is one of the few mascaras out there that doesn’t irritate by eyes.  Other mascaras leave a burning sensation on my eyes towards the end of  the day, but not this one.  I also love the brush as I can use the tip to coat harder to reach lashes such as the inner corners and bottom ones.

 I always love trying other products, so please share your favorites!