Fav N Rave Fridays: Fall & Winter Skin Care

Have you noticed that as the days grow shorter and colder, your skin is changing right along with the season? Maybe it’s going into a full blown seasonal depression and you barely recognize the dull lifeless skin covering your face and body. Are you wondering how you’re going to be able afford to buy all new products when it feels like you just bought the final product to round out your summertime skin care regime? Well, don’t worry (it gives you frown lines) because this week’s Fav n Rave Friday is all about tweaking your warm weather skin care products with just a few inexpensive additions that will take you right into Groundhogs Day!

First, let’s talk about products for the body – this is where you can get away without having to change much of anything. The biggest issue my skin tends to have with colder weather, is that it starts to dry out big time (picture that 5000 year old frozen “Ice Man”.) So the key to keeping my skin from cracking is to moisturize, moisturize… and moisturize! Do you have a delicious-smelling body lotion that you just can’t part with during Fall and Winter? You don’t have to! Just make sure you crank up the moisture content and you’re golden. 

As shown above, I really love the Hempz body lotion brand – they smell divine and are very adequate warm weather moisturizers. All I do when the weather gets drier is add 1 part virgin coconut oil to 2 parts lotion and that adds in just enough extra moisture to make my parched skin happy. For my feet I like to take things a little further and add an intense shot of moisture to my easily cracked soles. When I get out of the shower and after I use my body lotion, I will rub a little Extra Emollient Night Cream from Mary Kay on my feet and immediately cover with thick socks for at least 15 minutes. 

So now that we’ve talked about the body, let’s get down to business and discuss the facial routine. As a sidebar, the products described herein are what work for me at the moment. We are all unique and have varying skin issues and needs to take into consideration – please use common sense, caution, and if unfamiliar with how you may react, do a skin test on the inside of your elbow overnight. If you are going to have a nasty allergic reaction – better to have it on the inside of your arm rather than all over your face. The principles of adding in extra moisture still apply when it comes to taking care of the skin on your face. I happen to have combination skin but once authentic Fall weather kicks in, I get much drier. So as to avoid my face tightening up like a recent face-lift recipient, I have to walk a fine line between getting enough moisture but not getting that slick greasy look where the product just sits on my skin. 

For my skin, I find the two most vital steps for me are daily (gentle) exfoliation and toning. I can usually get away with keeping my regular foaming face wash as long as I use it with my “broke girl’s clarisonic” as this provides regular exfoliation without being too harsh on my skin. After cleansing, I use a Moroccan Rose Water Toner mixed with just a hint of apple cider vinegar. This toning step serves to close my pores, calm my skin and slough off any remaining dead skin cells. Right now, I am not using a serum so in place of that I massage a few drops of grapefruit Essential oil into my skin to treat the little bit of acne I still get from time to time and as a serum of sorts. Since I have some major acne scars under my chin, I have been using a dark spot fade cream from Avon just in the areas with heavy acne scarring and on the rest of face I use a retinol moisturizer that is a little thicker than what I would wear during summer, this is also from Avon. Twice a week I’ll use a sulphur mask from Origins before toning and mmoisturizing to purge my skin of any toxins that may be just waiting to spring a surprise attack.

And that’s it folks! None of the products listed are going to set you back more than $20 at the very most, and others like the coconut oil and essential oil have multiple uses other than those listed here. So dear ones, this has bwent my Friday Fav n Rave product reviews and beauty tips. It is my sincere hope that your skin and your wallet can make it through the cold months ahead unscathed by applying these simple principles.

In closing, I leave you with the deep and insightful quote on inner beauty below…

Until next time Xo 

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Fav ‘N’ Rave Fridays!

Greetings and Happy Fall beauties! For many of you, the Fall season began weeks ago – but for those of us in Southern California, it feels like it literally snuck in overnight! We went 0-100 starting with, “Ugh! I’m sweaty, cranky and mad at the world” heatwave to “Yass UGGS season is finally upon us” all in the blink of an eye! Personally, I couldn’t be more thrilled to see the cool weather return. Besides being an excellent opportunity to spot cold weather clothing fails (I’m sure we can all think of a few unfortunate legging violations), this is also the time of year when makeup gets a little more glam and glitz!

It’s also a good time to experiment with new looks and makeup brands, which leads me to the subject of this article – Favorite and Rave product reviews on Fridays! This is where I give you the 411 on new product finds that I am completely smitten with. Recently I signed up as a beauty insider with a Southern California based company called Profusion Cosmetics. They kindly sent me a little care package of new products they were releasing to give a try in exchange for sharing my honest thoughts with all of you. 

I spent a full week trying out all of the products that I received, and while pretty much all of the products tried were instant additions to my work kit – there was one item in particular that I simply must rave about! This first ever product Fav ‘N’ Rave Friday goes to…(drumroll please) the *Velvet Matte Rouge Stick*!

These lippies are amazing for several reasons!

  1. They come in an adorable kit, called “Kiss me Up Velvet Matte Lipstick Set”
  2. It’s shockingly inexpensive 
  3. Smells ah-mazing
  4. They are a “staunchly cruelty-free” cosmetics line
  5. Quality, quality, quality!  

I had many days where I was running around, driving from appointment to appointment, with no real time or even a desire to check my makeup. In between application and doing a face check, I did the normal day to day actions – I sipped on beverages, got a quick bite to eat, touched my face like a gazillion times (terrible habit, I know.) When I would finally catch a moment to check my mouth, my lipstick was still at a full 80% non-smear coverage after 6 hours! I also never had a problem with dry lips while wearing, which has been an issue I’ve had with some of the long wearing lipsticks and creams I’ve tried in the past. 

From the above picture from tonight after 7hrs, you can see I am very pleased with the performance of this lipstick lol. For the price point (currently $6.99 for a set of six) there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t get one of these for yourself! Run, don’t walk, over to www.profusioncosmetics.com and after you add this set to your shopping cart, do a little browsing around the site for other goodies (gel eyeliner set also gets two thumbs up).

I thank you for spending a little time with me and my ramblings. As always, remember that you can finger paint your outside to your heart’s content… just don’t neglect the nurturing of your inner beauty.

Until next time Xo

Face Saving Tips for Keeping your Makeup Fresh all Day!

This past weekend I spent three days at my annual religious convention. I had a chance to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen for a while, take in some great spiritual “food” for the soul and scope out the *ahem* single men (I’m only human!) Throughout the weekend, I wanted to (literally) put my best face forward which meant keeping the face I started the day with (see above image) as fresh as possible. This was more than a notion when you consider my makeup had to last anywhere from 10-12 hours in 80°+ southern California weather. It may sound daunting, however, I was quite successful at keeping my face from melting by the end of the day. How, you may ask? Well, as you may have guessed from the title of this article, I fully intend to share my tips and tricks with you!

As it is true with most things in life that are intended to last, the quality of materials used and the foundation are the most important aspects. The same is true of a long-lasting makeup look. As you can see from the preceding image, I put some thought beforehand into what products I wanted to use and laid them out in advance. It may not seem like it from first glance, but this is a streamlined product assembly for me – I am a makeup artist after all. Since I knew that I was going to be in a warm & humid environment, I decided to go with airbrushed foundation as it tends to provide a longer lasting yet lighter feeling look. Like I do with any foundation, I primed my skin first using a primer that I could feed through my airbrush gun. I took great care to set my foundation thoroughly with translucent setting powder to lock it in and make it easier to blot later on in the day. I decided to forgo heavy contouring and even blush (since I forgot to pack my blush pallette – boo). As I was keeping the focus on one feature, bold red lips, the rest of my makeup was kept more neutral. I lined my eyes and used a few coats of mascara but eyeshadow was fairly light.

Now we get to the secret weapon – my touch up kit. This is essentially a personalized version of what I give all of my bridal clients to keep on hand. It is very simple: blotting papers to soak up excess oil, lip balm that will truly provide long-lasting moisture, a long wearing lipstick or cream, & a translucent powder to reset your makeup and erase shine. Not pictured is a makeup refreshing spray that I did use one day. The specific products I used are as follows:

  • Nyx Cosmetics blotting papers
  • MAC Retromatte in High Drama
  • Ben Nye Banana Powder
  • Wild Herb Soap Co Lip Balm in “Spearamint” 

My two favorites from this mini kit would be the lip cream and lip balm. I honestly cannot say enough about the lasting power of the Retromatte formula. I only had to touch up my lips twice in 12 hours… that includes eating, drinking and wiping my mouth in between. Part of the lip cream’s power has to do with the moisturizer you use underneath it. That brings me to my second product rave, the lip balm from Wild Herb Soap Co – it’s been my personal favorite for 2 years now. I keep it stashed Everywhere so I am never caught without it. There are no nut oils used so it never gives you that dry feeling you can sometimes get with other natural lip balms, it’s all natural and organic, and you never have to worry about any unwelcome allergic responses. I use it with all of my clients. For the quality and performance, it is surprisingly very inexpensive. Don’t just take my word for it, you can try it for yourself by clicking here. Trust me, it will change your life!

So what did my face look like at the end of the day? See for yourself! The picture below is of my mother and I at around 5pm, after we had been wearing our “faces” since before 6am. Naturally I shared my extensive face-saving knowledge with my best girl. 

As you can see, keeping your makeup looking fresh throught a long day is pretty easy as long as you put a little thought and planning into the types of products you use beforehand. Not having to worry about my face turning into something that resembled those oil stains left behind in the driveway after a leaky car has been there, allowed me to focus on the reason I was at my convention in the first place – to enjoy the association with good friends and feed my soul. I hope these tips will be of assistance to you dear readers – all 5 of you – the next time you have an event that requires you to put your makeup to the test. Most importantly though, remember that no matter what your face or clothing looks like – the most beautiful thing any of us can wear is a genuine smile!

Until next time, keep smiling 🙂

XOXO 

All Dressed Up with Nowhere to Go

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Let’s face it, at some point or another we’ve all experienced the sting of being stood up for a date. The circumstances may vary, but the result is the same; you’ve taken the time and effort, and in some cases gone to expense, to put together your very best outfit, you’ve spent a good amount of time on your hair and makeup and you are eagerly anticipating whatever the evening holds. Then you sit yourself down and await the call or the car to arrive. The agreed upon time comes and goes, yet there you sit, all dolled up, still waiting. If you are like me, you may even wait far past the point where it’s obvious he isn’t going to show – eventually becoming angry at both him for being thoughtless and yourself for continuing to hold on to that tiny bit of hope.

Well dear readers, this very thing happened to me this evening. As embarrassing as it is to admit, this is not the first, second…or third time something like this has happened to me. Every now and then I go against my better judgement and find myself attracted to the type of men who don’t know how to pick up a phone to let me know their plans have changed (simple concept right?) But since this is a beauty related blog and not a place for bad relationship advice, I will tell you how I turned a negative evening into an opportunity for some self care and some much needed self love.

After I finally realized tonight wasn’t happening, I took an inventory of my skin and hair care supplies. I realized that this would be an excellent opportunity to try out some of the new beauty products I had acquired over the past week. I had received a Vox Box product from Influenster with a full size sample of L’Oreal Ever Creme. It’s a 6in1 cleansing balm for “dry damaged hair”, which fits the current situation on top of my head perfectly. I also picked up a skin care set at Sephora today by Belif – it was one of their “Winter Moisture Land” kits that they still had in stock from Christmas. It came with their Aqua bomb moisturizer, Hungarian water essence, and Creamy cleansing foam.
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Bringing my new finds with me, I ran a nice warm shower with a few drops of grapefruit oil on the shower floor for an instant mood lift. I washed my hair with the cleansing balm and immediately felt how soft my curls were becoming from the moisture injection – they sprang back to life. I then washed my face with the creamy cleansing foam which took care of the rest of my makeup and cleansed thoroughly. After I finished my shower and dried off, I added a very small amount of the Ever Creme to my hair as a leave in conditioner. I then used the toner and moisturizers included in my skin care kit.
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I now finish writing this blog entry feeling stress free from the comfort of my bed with soft supple skin and hair that feels repaired and smells wonderful. I would encourage any woman who has been through a similar experience to turn to self love, taking the time to care for yourself as it can do wonders to lift your spirits. It is a much better alternative to letting yourself waste any more time lamenting over someone who, to be honest, wasn’t worth your time in the first place. You will always attract people who treat you the way you treat and value yourself, so why not choose to start loving yourself right here and now so that next time you can spot a waste of time from a mile away. Please don’t evet forget you are all goddesses and you are worthy of being treated as such and should accept nothing less. I thank you for taking this journey with me this evening.

Natural Hair – Overcoming the Struggle!

So since I last left you, I was beyond frustrated with my natural hair and almost ready to throw in the towel. Well, I am happy to report that I have overcome the tug of war struggle with my natural locks, and we have called a truce.
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I realized that all I really needed to do was figure out what my hair needs at this stage in the game is. As you go natural, there are many different stages with their own individual needs – this is true especially if you decide to keep letting your hair grow, rather than sricking to a particular style. I had to assess what my hair needed in order to thrive, and with a little trial and error and some ingenuity on my part – I found my answer.

First off, no matter what you are doing, you must keep your hair moisturized!  I wasn’t giving it the moisture love it needed. So I put together my own hair spritz, moisturizer and revitalizer into a spray bottle and went to town. I mixed 1 part safflower oil to 3 parts water, about a half dollar sized amount of conditioner and  a few drops of peppermint essential oil and shook vigorously to mix all ingredients.

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After washing my hair, I used this hair spritz all over my towel dried hair and then added my secret weapon – face primer! Sounds crazy right? But what I discovered is that Younique cosmetics “Glorious Face and Eye Primer” is a fantastic all natural protector for heat styling, blow outs, etc – as well as being a nice sealant for my hair spritz. You only need about 3-4 pumps (depending on your hair type) in your hand to distrubute evenly throughout your hair.

After I moisturize and seal my hair, I put it into several twists to dry and curl and the next day I can do my twist out. Healthy hair, better style, happy girl!

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My advice to all natural divas, no matter what stage you’re at – do not give up and don’t give in to the temptation of going back to the creamy crack if you are still desiring to maintain your beatiful natural tresses. A little extra work and time spent on your hair now,  will keep it manageable and easier to work with later. So keep at it naturalists – if my lazy butt can do this,  I know you all can!

To order Younique’s Glorious Face and Eye Primer (by the way it is incredible when used as  was meant to be as an actual primer lol) check with younique.com to find a local sales associate.

Natural Hair – The Struggle

A little while ago, I wrote about how happy I was to be going natural with my hair. In fact, when my one year “natural anniversary” came around in April – I felt like a new woman. I had made it a full year without putting any harsh straightening chemicals in my hair – I felt like I could conquer the world!

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Fast forward just under six months later, and my elation and excitement about being natural has begun to wane a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I am still very happy and proud of myself for staying off the creamy crack for such a long period of time. The problem is, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do next. Do I cut it and rock a short natural doo, or do I continue to let it grow and try to get like some of my hair crushes with long beautiful natural tresses. In the meantime, I am not doing my hair justice by keeping it in pinned up twists 24/7 that usually end up with fuzzy edges – BORING.

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Some days I am so close to walking around the corner to CVS and getting myself a Dark n Lovely relaxer kit, turning off the phone, closing the curtains and blinds and just slathering it all over my head . Other days I just want to break out the clippers, chop it all off and start over. In this journey, I am discovering that there is so much more than just going natural. I thought I would stop relaxing and that would be the end all be all of my story. But I am here to tell those of you just starting out or maybe considering it – that when these women talk about their “natural journey”, that is exactly what it is, a journey that is ever evolving.

Even though I have had my temptations to undo all the progress I have made,  I do not regret it for one second. No matter what style I embrace next or when putting in the extra work that I now realize is required for proper care, I have ultimately taken a huge step in rediscovering myself. I love washing my hair and seeing the true texture that God has blessed me with. When putting in the good smelling natural oils and creams that I make or buy, I know that I am nourishing my hair and scalp rather than stripping it.

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So yes, this is a journey that I, and I’m sure many others struggle with from time to time – but at the end of the day, I know it is an investment in myself and that I am revealing the person I was meant to be.

And I most certainly do not miss those chemical burns on my scalp due to my hair dresser running her mouth while I sat in the chair squirming!

Jeepers Creepers, Where’d You Get Those Peepers!

Ladies, I’m in love. I have finally found the one… and I ain’t talking about a MAN! Lol My love affair is with the one and only eyelash product that I have ever found that actually delivers what it promises – banging lashes!

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Girls, the struggle is real when it comes to my eyelashes. Due to a little cooking “experiment” when I was in the 5th grade (there’s a reason why cooking shows say kids need parental supervision) I singed what little eyelashes I had to begin with, and I have been cursed with ittty bitty lashes ever since. I have tried just about every mascara on the market (as my Tupperware container filled to the brim will confirm) only to find that all those promises of long thick lashes are actually for people who have decent lashes to begin with.

Eventually I realized that my only hope would be false lashes. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my falsies. I could be a different gal every time I applied that strip. Only problem was, it added at least an extra 15 minutes onto my makeup routine. Then there’s the glue issue – finding out after many itchy eyed days and nights, that I was allergic to the regular DUO so I had to get non latex adhesive. And let’s not forget the dreaded scene where you are chatting up a cute guy only to have one of your lashes choose that exact moment to start running away from the corner of your eye. Also, quality lashes aren’t cheap and you have to keep buying tubes of adhesive if you are a regular wearer… it quickly adds up! But fear not ladies, for I have found the holy grail of solutions!

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Younique cosmetics 3D Fiber Lashes is my new boo I told you about earlier. This kit comes with a sealing gel and a tube a fibers that attatch to your lashes giving you lashes up to 3x longer and thicker. This has saved me SO much time on my makeup application and there’s no worrying about glues or aligning the lashes right or them coming off – because they are your lashes! You also needn’t worry about allergies because this product, as with all of Younique’s line, is all natural,  organic and vegan. It will not irritate your eyes. Oh and for my divas on a budget – this kit is only $29! I have mascaras that cost more lol.

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Something else you will love about this product and the company, is The Love It Guarantee.  If you don’t love it, you aren’t stuck with it. Although,  after you try it for the first time I have a feeling you will be hooked for life just like me.

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