Your beauty routine should change from season-to-season. Reality is that many do not change things up due to getting stuck in a routine. Having a baby threw my hair and skin through a loop, and having the season change simultaneously really did a number. I have been focusing on improving my hair and skin game. Below are what I found this last month and a half to be the best spring skin & hair products.
I am excited to start writing about my favorite products for each month. I honestly love products, and I love sharing what I find. For this last month, I developed a major adoration for Boots No7 Serum, Equate Original Clean Facial Towelettes (yes, from WALMART), and Urban Decay’s Primer Potion. Onto my January beauty product favorites with reviews & tips!
I have gnarly combination skin. I go through phases of bad acne and dryness. The winter makes this worse every year. Over time I have gotten better at combatting my skin’s drama. Thus, I present to you five skin products that I firmly believe to be the greatest moisturizers to cure your winter dryness woes.
In honor of National Pink Day, I want to talk about my favorite shades of pink lipstick. Pink lipstick is a makeup bag staple. Let’s be real, you can be wearing nothing but mascara and lipstick and look fantastic. Trust me. My husband constantly reminds me that I don’t need as much makeup as I wear, so on the days where I need to keep it minimal, I rock pink lipstick and mascara and call it good.
Considering that pink is my favorite color, I have three shades of pink that I am dedicated to wearing. So let’s go through this: in the swatch on my hand from the left to right I have Revlon Just Bitten Lip Balm Stain in Smitten ($5-6 at any Walmart or Walgreens), Estee Lauder Signature Hydra Lustre in Pink Champagne (Macy’s or any Estee Lauder counter $25), and Covergirl Lip Perfection in Enchantress ($5.99 at Target).
What is your favorite shade? Do you wear lipstick very often?
In the summer the sun unleashes all of its natural havoc upon my lips. They get dry and gross to the point where even lipstick can’t hide the disastrous area on my face–in fact it only accentuates it.
In order for any man or woman to avoid the sun’s havoc, he or she must take proper care of aforementioned lips. Personally, I use products to help me out with this endeavor.
|| 1. Smith’s Rose Bud Salve | This is perfect for everyday use. I always keep this in my bag. As a salve, you can put it on extra dry spots, including your elbows and knees. It’s only $7! Totally worth the purchase. Plus, it lasts FOREVER. It is available here. ||
||2. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment | This is great for everyday use or for a night out. It adds the perfect amount of color, while adding moisture and providing sun protection (SPF 15). I own in three out of the seven different colors! Purchase it here or here for $22.||
||3. Sun Bum Lip Balm | If you haven’t heard of Sun Bum, you are missing out. This California local favorite provides the best protection for your lips, while not looking like a fool and smelling like zinc. They have it in a bunch of different flavors, but my favorite is Coconut ($3.99). Get it here or here.||
||4. Bliss Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub| Okay, so this is a little pricey for a lip scrub if you ask me. You could probably make sugar lip scrub yourself using sugar, essential oils, and coconut oil, but I digress… This product is great for the lazy girl who needs something quick and effective. In my opinion this is the best lip scrub available. This gets ALL of the dead skin off and makes your lips feel silky smooth. It’s perfect for before a date, if you catch my drift. 😉 It smells great and gets the job done! Buy it here or here ($22).||
There you have it. Check out these products. Your lips will thank you greatly.
Who doesn’t love getting something fun in the mail every month? Something filled with treats that could have been picked out by your best friend.That is EXACTLY what Birchbox is.
So let’s jump into the pros and cons of Birchbox, but I have a feeling that one of the lists will be longer than the other… 😉
1. Um, can you say MONTHLY?!
Birchbox arrives every single month. It is great. I never quite know when it is going to arrive (I don’t bother tracking it), but when it arrives, it makes my day. It’s small enough that it fits into my mailbox, but large enough to cover all of the bills that I want to forget about. haha
2. Extremely affordable
The women’s box is $10 per month. Over the course of a year, you spend $120 if you go month-to-month. Usually, if you purchase a year up front you can receive a free box; however, if you enter code “BBSUBYEAR” at checkout this month, you get two boxes free! Deal much?
I get makeup and skin products; sure, that is to be expected. I also get monthly health products. I have received granola bars and vitamins, as well. Birchbox is clearly looking out for me. Maybe a health item per month will level out all of the Diet Cokes I may or may not consume during a given month…or not. haha
4. Tailored to you
When you sign up, you enter your preferences. They base what you receive in the boxes based off of your preferences. You enter what type of beauty “personality” you prefer, skin type, and style preferences.
5. Excellent customer service
They didn’t send out my box on time a month ago. To be honest, I didn’t notice, but it didn’t matter. I got my box along with an email saying that they were sending a little something extra as a “sorry.” Well, lo and behold, two different boxes came that month. I didn’t have to say a thing. I am impressed with Birchbox’s customer service.
6. Rewards & Discounts
Birchbox provides rewards to its users for writing reviews on specific products, and purchases. You can use your reward points to buy full size products.
7. Easy to buy full size
Birchbox groups the monthly products together for easy buying. They offer all of the included box items on their site. They even offer deals on items included in the monthly boxes.
1. Little bottles EVERYWHERE
Now, I did mention that I love everything I get from Birchbox. The issue is that I can’t move through all of the products fast enough, resulting in tiny bottles everywhere. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve discovered tons of great new products without having to try full size, but the trade off is a ton of little bottles. Otherwise, I can’t think of any other cons. Birchbox provides great products accompanied with a low price.
I’m a fan of liquid eyeliner. I, like many women, have experimented with eyeliner for many years. First, I started with a pencil. I lined all the way around my eyes on the ledges. This subsequently made my eyes look smaller. I moved on to gel liner. I found that gel liner tends to get in my eye and float on my contact. Gross, but true. Then my dear sisters introduced me to the liquid liner pen.
Here is the issue. My sisters swear on Stila’s liquid liner–that is what I’ve been using for the last two years; however, several other liners are serious contenders. I disliked Maybelline’s liquid liner. I bought it when I left my Stila liner at home, while vacationing. It rubbed off too easily and didn’t have a deep black like I prefer. In February I received a Cynthia Rowley liner in my Birchbox. It was love at first use.
It really does contend with Stila’s eyeliner.
Here are the pros and cons of each.
- Richest color
- Stays puts
Stila Not So Much Love
- Less control compared to Cynthia Rowley
- Thin lines take more work
Cynthia Rowley Love
- Total control of the eyeliner
- Stays put
Cynthia Rowley Not So Much Love
- Not as rich as Stila’s eyeliner
*A note about each of the eyeliners, when I went to remove the eyeliner, Cynthia Rowley removes MUCH easier. Now for many, this is a good thing. However, I just prefer a liner that is really hard to come off. If you’re crier, Cynthia Rowley probably isn’t for you. Yet, if you hate how you can never get your eyeliner off, then go with Cynthia Rowley.
So there you have it. Which one do you prefer? Stila or Cynthia Rowley? Comment below!
Hi ya’ll! If you know me, you know I love nail polish. I always have and most definitely always will. On Monday I’m featuring a polish review for Ruby Wing Color Changing Polish. As I filmed myself, I realized that I know some handy tricks to get great looking nails at home.
Thus, here they are!
10 Tips So You Can Get a Great Manicure At Home
1. You should avoid the cheap stuff. I know that the dollar bin of nail polish is tempting. I’ve fallen victim to the dollar bin many times, but usually dollar nail polish behaves like cheap nail polish. It becomes sticky and chips easily in short amounts of time. I’m a HUGE fan of Essie polish and Orly Bonder (base coat).
2. Figure out your favorite base and top coats and actually use them. It is easy to skip base and top coats. However, using both base and top coats helps keep your nail polish put. Plus, it makes application easier. The polish will absolutely glide on smoothly with a good base coat (my favorite is Orly’s Bonder like I mentioned earlier). I vary on top coats. I’ve heard good things about Seche Vite, but I need to try it myself.
3. If you know you mess up your nails while they are wet, use finishing spray to help your nails dry faster. I’m notorious for messing up my nails after painting them. Buy the spray. You’ll thank me later.
4. Try to only make three strokes of paint per each nail. I always start with a stroke down the middle and then make a stroke on each side. I sometimes break my own rule, but I get the best result when I follow this rule.
5. Use multiple coats of your chosen colors. Most lacquers look best with a couple coats. Again, this is not for the impatient polish painter. It makes the polish thicker, but reality is that you will be happier with result. The second coat gives you the opportunity to make the color richer, as well as smooth out the polish from the first coat. Make sure to let the polish dry in between coats or at least dry seventy-five percent.
6. File your nails in one direction (and not like the band). Filing back and forth damages the nail. It is best to file in a single chosen direction. It does not matter if you choose to file to the right or left, as long as you are consistent.
7. If you have stains on your nails from your prior mani or pedi, use a tbsp of lemon juice in warm water to soak your nails. The stains disappear usually within a few minutes. Make sure to moisturize after this step. The lemon can dry out your skin.
8. If you soaked and tried to get off stains on your nails and they are still yellow, try soaking your nails in a solution. You can make this solution using 1/2 cup HOT water in a bowl, 4 tablespoons baking soda (dissolve the baking soda in the water), and add 2 tablespoons of peroxide. Soak your nails for about a minute.
9. When cutting your nails, make sure you cut them the RIGHT length. It is tempting to have long beautiful nails, but often they end up looking scraggly within a few days. It is best to cut your nails just barely past your skin. Do not cut too far in or too far out. It is better to have well-kept short nails, than long, dirty nails.
10. Don’t cut your own cuticles. I know, I know, it is tempting, and they are annoying, and they look ugly sometimes. The best practice is to gently push back your cuticles daily and keep your hands (including nails) moisturized. If you must get your cuticles cut, go see a professional manicurist.
Don’t forget to check back in on Eyeliner and Erasers for a video review on Ruby Wing color changing polish on Monday. You’ll be able to see many of these tips in action.
Do you have a nail polish trick? Share below in the comments!
Let’s Get Real, Really Quickly
Reality is that most women experiences feelings of inadequacy. This emotion can result in emotional disapproval of her outward or inward self image. My focus is to empower women. I want my daughters (and even my sons) to live in a world where it is both okay and encouraged to feel beautiful. I think society as it is now, doesn’t allow that environment.
Fashion Versus Self Image: The Careful Balance
I want to feature fashion on my blog, but I don’t want to give off the impression that I am the ideal. Usually the only thing that I dislike about most blogs is that so many bloggers choose to present their lives perfectly. I plan to do video reviews on this blog. I found myself not wanting to post those videos, because I didn’t look perfect; however, this isn’t a blog about perfection. This is a blog about learning to love you, even if loving yourself means putting on makeup and a cute outfit. I feel my prettiest when I dress up for my husband, but also when I arrive home from a great workout. I know that I don’t get the most compliments when I’m done with a workout, so sometimes I get nervous. Maybe I’m not as pretty, as I feel, but I’m working on not feeling that way. Being and feeling beautiful should be something that can be felt 100% of the time. Thus, this blog came into existence. There are so many more important things to accomplish in life that can be inhibited by worrying about one’s adequacy and the question, “Am I enough?”
Your Challenge & My Goal
My goal is to post pictures that only empower women. My goal isn’t to post pictures to say, “Hey! Look how cute and perfect I am.” My goal is to show the world that it is okay to admit to yourself that you are pretty, and there are things that you can do to help you feel prettier. This is my journey to loving myself inside and out. I invite you to join me.
Let’s start with a story.
Girl walks into party. She smiles and walks toward you. She is confident and secure. You compliment her and she responds, “Thank you. I like my eyes, too.” Perhaps, you further compliment her and mention how pretty her face is. Again, she says, “Thank you. I like my face, too.” Her responses throw you off guard. You think about how she responded with “odd” responses. You are immediately unattracted to the girl that is attracted to herself. After all, you expected one of the more likely answers:
- “Aw, I don’t think so, but that is so sweet of you!”
- “Thanks” (with an awkward smile).
- “I really don’t like it.”
I have heard a huge amount of guys and girls talk about how unattractive it is to meet an individual that knows that he or she is attractive. However, I pose the argument that it IS attractive to meet someone who knows that he or she is attractive. There is nothing wrong with loving yourself. I believe that our society has yet another double standard, and this one really upsets me. Individuals want to date individuals that are confident, but not so confident to be willing to acknowledge his or her attractiveness. This issue is found in men, women, straight, gay, etc. Everyone faces this and feels this.
While I’ll admit that acknowledging what that you are complimented for can be a bit socially awkward, I don’t think there is anything wrong with saying you mutually like something about yourself. After all, I used to be one of those girls that had a hard time with compliments. Even learning to say “Thanks,” instead of immediately refuting the compliment was difficult for me. Within the last year of my life, I’ve developed a new kind of confidence. I’ve taught myself to notice what I like about myself. I’ve allowed myself to be open about what I like about myself. Also, my husband encouraged me to always compliment my own self whenever I say something bad about myself.
ALL of this was hard for me. I found that the longer I let myself hate something about me, the worse it became. For instance, I used to really hate my hips. I told myself that there were large and ugly. I covered my disdain for my hips by saying that I just have Latina hips and there was nothing that I could do about it, but secretly would stare in the mirror every night and wonder why they were so large (note: my hips weren’t beautiful Christina Hendricks, Kimmy K, Beyonce kind of hips–they were “Hi! my name is Evi, and I love copious amounts of fast food”-kind of hips). My sadness, frustration, and negativity drove me to further to think negatively and mistreat my body. I ate more and more junk food, thus perpetuating the issue.
Now that being said, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with having curvy hips. In fact, I’ve come to love mine. After all, Beyonce didn’t build her empire on a flat butt. That girl used every bit of female strength, including those rocking and strong glutes. Nevertheless, I started to learn to love me when I began to take care of me. I started eating better and exploring healthy food that I had never tried before. I started going on walks with my husband to exercise. I began to write in my journal about what I loved about that day. I forced myself to do an exercise that my modern dance teacher made me do in high school: look in the mirror for a minute and not judge myself.
Sure, I’m not perfect. Still, I noticed that felt happier and like I was in control. Today, I have control of my emotions and my body. Best of all, I know that I am beautiful. I still have curvier hips than most of the girls around me. However, I love them. Why? Because loving yourself shouldn’t be viewed as a problem.
So here is what to do when you meet someone who knows that her or himself is attractive: tell them that you love his or her confidence. Don’t speak negatively of that person. Don’t say that you think it is unattractive. Even if it is fake confidence, fake confidence is better than NO confidence. Also, if you don’t think that it is attractive to know you’re attractive, likelihood is that you have issues of your own.
Dating hint: Relationships that involve two confident people are fore more likely to last and be happier. Plus, then you won’t have to worry about your woman asking you if she looks fat in that dress.
Shout out to all of the people who know they are beautiful.
Send this to every person you believe needs to be reminded that it is ok to recognize you are beautiful!