Cleansing Oils: The new fad?


Ouidad Cleansing OilI’ve currently been obsessed with Lana Del Rey’s fresh faced look. She always looks super glamorous. It amazes me that she’s not that passionate about fashion. I suppose all of her soul goes into her musical creativity. As you can see I’m a little Lanasessed and  I especially covet her hair. I did a little online digging as to what her beauty regimen is. Turns out she uses Shu Uemura shampoo. I don’t know about you but there is no way I’m paying $55.00 each for a shampoo and conditioner. I tried to budget and figure out what I could get rid of in order to buy these extremely expensive shampoos but alas it did not work out. Maybe one day. It seems face oils and cleansing oils have become all the rage. I’ve skimmed through countless magazine articles on the benefits of argan and moroccan oil. I just couldn’t fathom oil being used to counter attack oil. I was a little put down when the only cleansing oil that would come up in my Google search was Shu Uemura. Then I learned that Apple Cider Vinegar helped remove buildup in your hair as well as preserve your dye job. I started using it once a week until the other day when I was blessed with Ouidad’s Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil in my Sample Society Box (which I have since cancelled to make room for other beauty expenses).

Don’t be put off by the fact that it says “Curl Recovery”. It can be used for straight hair too. I can’t really explain my hair but I would say it’s somewhat wavy. It’s wavy when it’s wet, straight when it’s dry, and wavy when it’s oily. It can’t seem to make up it’s mind. Anyway, I tried this product the second I pulled it out of the box. I was glad that it would basically perform the way the Apple Cidar Vinegar had but even better. I proceeded to shampoo and condition as usual and then applied it last. It lathers rather easily and has a very distinct yet delightful smell. I have to say I quite enjoy applying it to my hair and making it foam. I believe it does a terrific job removing buildup and repairing damaged hair. I’ve dyed my hair so many colors it was starting to look like straw. It was also due to the fact that I hadn’t had a descent haircut in two years (which changed just recently). My hair has never looked healthier or shinier. I definitely recommend you add this product to your hair arsenal. Since I have this product, I don’t use any other on my hair. It stands on its own. Now, I’m still trying to decide if it’s considered a conditioner or shampoo so that it why I save it for last.

Sulfate free shampoos, conditioner’s and hair products will help anyone with damaged hair gain healthy, shiny locks. I believe a lot of the dullness and damage my hair endured was due to the chemical filled shampoos and conditioners I was using previously. Ever since I have switched to organic/sulfate free, my hair has forever changed. So, if you are looking to experiment with cleansing oils and do not have the budget to spend over $100 on Shu Uemura or = want to deal with the smell of vinegar, this product is right for you. Again, don’t be off put by “Curl Recovery”. It may have originally been for curly hair but it works wonders for straight/wavy as well.

Origins


Origins skin care has currently been hailed as my go to skin care line. I was using Yes to Carrots, which while a good ORIGINS Ctr_Logobrand itself, it wasn’t quite cutting it for me and I wanted to explore other options. I’ve always seen the origins advertisements in the magazines but never really thought about purchasing their products until Birchbox was running a promotion that if you bought $50.oo worth of products you would get a free $90 Gorjana necklace. I discovered the Zero Oil line and decided it was a well deserved purchase. Since then it has extended into an advanced skin care line which I have created based on trial and error. Yes, it can cost money to try products only to realize they are not for you but once you have your perfect skin regimen, it is worth it. I currently have ten items I use in my everyday regimen, which is quite crazy but I believe each is crucial. Do I think I have fallen into disillusion that I need so many products at the hand of sales and advertisements? Yes, but that is besides the point. While I may not need so many products I find them crucial.

Daytime Routine

Since I usually have very little time and tend to focus more on my makeup, I keep my skin care at a minimum in the morning.

No Puffery1. Eye roller – So far I have not found an eye cream I’m very fond of and some even suggest that eye creams are unnecessary. I usually just use the moisturizer for my face on my eyes. But I have fallen in love with Origins No Puffery Cooling Roll-on for puffy eyes. It does a great job in itself preventing puffy eyes and minimizing dark circles. I also sleep with two pillows instead of one which prevents eye fluids from collecting around the eye creating puffy eyes and dark circles.

2. Serum  - At first I wasn’t thoroughly convinced that you needed a serum and a moisturizer but apparently serums seep deeper into the skin where a moisturizer can not venture. So I decided to keep the Origins Plantscription Anti-aging serum I received with one of the gift sets I purchased. While I’m still not convinced, I love how it feels on my skin and it’s the only anti-aging product I currently have.

3. Moisturizer – I currently have two that I love. I recently received GinzingRen Hydra-Calm Global Protection Day Cream in a Sample Society box. It feels heavenly on my skin and I decided to purchase a full size bottle. Yes, $45.00 is a little steep for a moisturizer but it serves as a great addition to my winter care. For summer, (when I’m not busy testing out products from beauty boxes) I use Origins GinZing moisturizer. I’m very finicky when it comes to moisturizers. Most leave my skin feeling greasy and slimy but this is very lightweight and doesn’t irritate my skin at all. Ren’s moisturizer is a little heavier but you tend to need a heavy duty moisturizer in the winter.

Night Time Skin Routine

Nighttime is when you should put more focus on your skin care since the skin repairs and replenishes itself at night. Most of my skin care products I use before bed time.

Cleansing Oil1.Cleansing Oil – Usually I would shy away from anything with the word “oil” since I have very oily skin but it turns out oil can actually be beneficial. Not oily does it act as a facial oil, it also helps disintegrate makeup and dirt. I will warn you that Origins Clear Energy does burn the eyes a little bit. I’ve heard Origins Well Off is no better and this works as two products in one.

2. Cleanser – I have been debating between Origins Checks and Balances or Zero Oil. I feel none of them completely help with my oily skin and I like the fact that Zero Oil doesn’t foam as much. I believe after this bottle of Checks and Balances I will be returning to Zero Oil. Foam does not equal clean.

3. Toner – Origins United States Balancing Tonic helps me feel fresh, clean and removes the dirt and makeup that the Balancing Toniccleansing oil and cleanser could not.

4. Serum – Again, I use Origins Plantscription Anti-aging Serum

5. Night Cream – I never knew that you needed both a day and a night cream but apparently night creams are thicker and deliver more nutrients to the skin so I have recently invested in Origins Night-A-Mins. I’ll see how that fares. Thicker creams tend to scare me since most of them make my face break out in horrendous red bumps.

6. Treatment – Every now and then when the time calls for it i will apply Origins Super Spot Remover to quickly treat a pimple

7. Eye roller – Once again, I use Origins No Puffery

Occasional Skin Care

These products I use up to twice a week when the time calls for it.

Clear improvement1. Clay Mask – This mask is great for removing impurities and giving you an all over clean feeling. The mask is very stiff until you wash it off, but it’s well worth it.

2. Exfoliator - Origins Never a Dull Moment Exfoliator helps my skin stay bright and luminous. It also feels like your smearing fruit goop all over your face. It’s hard to spread around bit it’s a ton of fun and filled with great skin benefits.

No makeup, No problem


no makeupIt’s true makeup can enhance the features, but too much can make you look like a clown. We’ve all gone through those phases where we wore makeup that made us look like a goth wannabe or a rainbow color brite. Ever since I started working in the mortgage industry, I’ve had to learn how to tone down my look. I’ve come to embrace a more natural look when it comes to putting on my face. When you slather your face with makeup, your natural beauty dwindles and can’t shine through. Every since I cut my hair short and dyed it darker, it’s made me come to like the fact that I am different and considered an unconventional beauty. I can also get away with wearing darker colors. While my makeup collection has become quite modest, there are still a few things I can not live without

1. A deep, black mascara - I’m currently in love with Boxum Amplified Lash Mascara. I always coat both sides of my lashes to create a more dramatic effect. Two coats is the maximum. Anymore and you may have spider legs on your hands.

2. Eyelash Curler – This is key to having the illusion of long lashes and a wide awake appearance.

3. Eyeliner – I line my eyes as close to the lash line as possible and add a thin line on my waterline until where my bottom lashes end.

4. Eyeshadow – Since I have hooded eyes, this part is quite difficult so I tend to stick to two colors. I have a current obsession with Kevyn Aucoin eyeshadow. I don’t know what it is about his eyeshadow but it seems to bring out my eyes in the best way. I first apply a medium shade to my lid and a darker color in my crease which I extend below my eyes as well. I’ve learned that for hooded eyes, lining the bottom of your eyes with eyeshadow can define them.

5. CC Cream – I have fairly decent skin. I am considered fortunate that I do not have to deal with hyper-pigmentation yet. Then again I am only 24. I only have to contend with mild adult acne and oiliness. Ever since the BB and the CC cream came out, I have ditched the heavy, thick foundations out there on the market. I love the sheer coverage with a hint of color. I also think the less makeup I put on my oily skin the better. I love Origins Smarty Plants CC cream.

6. Blush – I’ve opted for a purple/pink blush. I find most pink blushes downright too bright. I currently love TIGI’s blush in Lovely which I so happened to receive in a Glossybox.

7. Lip balm – I haven’t really been into lipstick lately so I’ve opted for the Yes to Carrots color balms. They give me great hydration with a hint of color

8. Eyebrow pencil – While I may be gifted with great eyelashes, I kind of destroyed my eyebrows back in high school. Since I have barely there eyebrows, I have become greatly skilled at the art of drawing eyebrows, which I may have to do for a long time. I’m trying to let them grow out but they are growing at a snail’s pace. I have found that IT Cosmetics Your Brows But Better offers natural looking brows that don’t look cartoonish.

9. Eye shadow primer – I’ve become tired of my eye shadow being eaten away by my face oil so I decided to try the hyped Urban Decay Primer Anti-Aging Potion. I’m excited for it to come and I hope it will live up to its reputation. I have tried other primers previously but my oil always overpowers them. And I figured since I’m not a big eye cream fan this would compensate for that.

This is my typical work makeup which may still seem a bit unprofessional but it’s a start. On the weekends when I need to go somewhere in a flash I tend to stick solely to my CC cream, eyeliner, a hint of blush, and lip balm. Let your natural beauty shine through and invest in optimal skin care instead of investing in tons of makeup.

Have Stars Lost Their Shine?


Celebrity collageGoing off of the Bling Ring topic, while reading the book with the same name written by Nancy Jo Sales, she brings up the topic as to whether or not stars have lost their shine. Before we had Twitter, Facebook, and Stars, there was the mysterious world of celebrities. Though there were scandals, celebrities remained elusive, god-like figures. They were otherworldly, beautiful and glamorous. They were celebrated for their accomplishments and merits. They were not famous for being famous or famous based on a sex tape.

Recently, however, celebrities have been shown to be humans just like us thanks to publications such as Stars which show celebrities doing daily things that us regular humans do on a daily basis. While we see it as an average, everyday chore, when celebrities do these chores, it has to be documented. Makeup free faces are splashed across the pages of gossip mags to make us average women feel better about our looks. When I go out makeup free, nobody particularly cares.

Because celebrities have been marketed as being normal, everyday humans with a little extra money, could it be that there are ways in which we can relate to the celebrity figure? And because we can now relate to the celebrity figure, did the Bling Ring kids feel like they knew these people on a personal level and were comfortable visiting their homes on a whim as if they were best friends? It seems celebrities through media have lost their God-like mystery. While media has helped us keep in touch with what the stars are up to and what goes on in their daily lives, it has also diminished the mystery of what we call celebrity. Now anyone and their brother can post a video on Youtube and potentially become famous based on one comical act or musical performance. There are some, however, that do not participate in social media and have been able to keep their mystery. Grimes, a Canadian music artist, shys away from social media and doesn’t even own a phone. Lana Del Rey is another artist that has been able to keep the mystery behind her fame under wraps.

I believe this sense of mystery is what can make a celebrity even more desirable. I realize there are many who do not like Lana Del Rey because she may have lied about her humble beginnings but potentially so did Lady Gaga. I believe some stars lie about their humble beginnings to create a sense of mystery and to separate themselves from their artistic identity. Maybe Lizzie Grant didn’t stay in a trailer park, but maybe Lana Del Rey did. Being an artist is all about creating an altar identity and presenting that identity to the public. Artists create, fabricate and write based on life experiences. I don’t know what it is about Lana that intrigues me. Sure, I think she made most of that stuff up about living in a trailer park and having no money, but I can relate to her music. Most of her music is about a girl looking for love and sometimes losing herself along the way. It’s about love and heartbreak.

While media has advanced the way we communicate, I also believe it has debunked the mystery of the celebrity and now we can know their daily itinerary just by checking their twitter. The advancement in media has potentially damaged the reason why we were so taken with celebrities in the first place. Celebrities who are not media savvy are the ones I respect the most. For the most part, I don’t care what celebrities do every second of everyday. I’d rather keep an air of mystery around the celebrities I admire.

We’ll Never Be Royals


ImageOn a day in November when I stayed home sick from work, I decided to watch The Bling Ring. I had rented it from Amazon and realized it was about to expire in two days. While I’m not a big fan of Sofia Coppola in general, I found the movie rather interesting and kept my attention through its duration. After watching the movie, I purchased the book by the same title written by Nancy Jo Sales. While reading, I just couldn’t fathom a bunch of kids becoming so obsessed with the celebrity lifestyle that they would be willing to break into celebrity homes and steal millions of dollars of clothing. The whole story seemed like a ridiculous, fictional story. But while most people would never perform such a daring feat, if most of us were truly honest, we would admit that we do envy the celebrity lifestyle. Who wouldn’t want notoriety, adoring fans, priceless couture, free clothing, the whole ten yards? But with this notoriety comes great responsibility which many do not consider. Celebrities, for the most part, constantly work, have no time for friends, can not trust anybody, are hounded by paparazzi, and their lives are splashed across the pages of magazines. When we make a mistake only a few know about it but when celebrities take a fall, millions can view it on next day’s newsstand.

The film was not just about a delusional bunch of teenagers but it pointed out our culture’s obsession with the celebrity figure and excess. While viewing the movie, I was awed and amazed by the access of clothes and accessories Paris Hilton had. I also couldn’t believe how vain she is. I mean, pillows with your face on it? Pictures of yourself lining the wall? Clearly, this is someone who is consumed with themselves.  Did you see Paris Hilton’s closet? Even Emma Watson herself said she was amazed at how much stuff Paris had obtained and most of it she probably has never worn and will never wear. My mother always complains that I have too much stuff but compared to Paris Hilton, we’re not in the same ball field. Granted, she is an heiress/socialite and I’m a middle class girl living in a town home but I’ve done pretty well for myself. In my journey of access, I have acquired thousands of dollars of debt which I am working on paying off. I have come to realize that while I do enjoy designer duds, excess does not profit anyone. Excess bulges from our closets, spills out of our drawers only to find a year later we still haven’t worn it. We also find ourselves in exorbitant credit card debt.

There is a dark side to celebrity and while money and fame may buy happiness for a while, it is only short-lived. Many celebrities have the same pressures and problems we do, they’re just richer. But riches can not help them get through a difficult time or reach a helping hand. Excess is temporary happiness. While the celebrity lifestyle is one of intrigue, this is not my image of success. Success is when you work hard, apply your intellect, and surround yourself with loving friends while giving others a helping hand. Reaching other people’s lives is the greatest form of success. Maybe I’ll never wear a Versace gown, never go on an exotic vacation or have VIP access, but if I learn to love myself and love others well, that will be all the accomplishment and notoriety I need.

Lorde’s song Royals has shown me that most of the pop/rap songs depict a lifestyle that is so over the top that even the celebrities themselves do not live this lifestyle on a daily basis. Most people dream of having the life but others find it absolutely ridiculous. There are very few who live that lifestyle. We’re meant to be the rulers of our own lives and determine what it’s going to be like. We may never be royals but we make our lives what they are. They can either be miserable and lousy or we can be content gaining success on our own terms and driving Cadillacs in our dreams. We can never stop dreaming big and maybe one day we will have some of the things that we want.

Review: Pixi Eyeshadow Pencils


Pixi-Holiday-2012-Eyeshadow-PencilsI’m not quite sure how this happened but I received another March Glossybox. I believe it was because they had shipped my box out before I had a chance to delete my duplicate account. I was happy that I received yet another Pixi eyeshadow pen. I browsed through Target to do price checking and I would never pay $18 for eyeshadow pens but I will say if you ever get your hands on one they are one of the best eye products I have tried. Application is easy and smooth as the color dispenses with ease onto your eyes. While I have very oily skin, the eyeshadow pencils lasts longer than my other eyeshadows that I have. Both of the colors in the picture are the ones I have tried. Usually pink makes my eyes look bloodshot and just downright horrible, but was delighted with the pearly color this eye pencil delivered. It gives me a very ethereal feel without looking gaudy and overdone. The gray is also a very admirable color, especially if you want to go for a more smokey, night look. I’m grateful to Glossybox for introducing me to such a great product. I don’t believe it is worth the price, however. Perhaps Ebay sells them for a more affordable price.

Maybelline Baby Lips Vs. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment


fresh-sugar-lip-treatment-spf-15 I was at the Sephora store the other days and have heard rave reviews about Fresh Sugar lip treatment balms. Unfortunately, I was not willing to pay $22 for lip balm. Fortunately I found two small deluxe sizes on Ebay for the price of one. The packaging itself draws you in and is definitely made for the modern day chic and fashionistas of society. Never has lip balm looked so appealing. It has a minty smell and glides on smoothly leaving your lips supple and soft. If there is one lip balm that could compare it would be Maybelline Baby Lips. For only $4, Baby lips also delivers smooth coverage which provides moisture to your lips and a sheer tint (depending on which one you buy). tumblr_m7h67wVTru1qdetvyI’m currently obsessed with the coral colored limited edition Baby Lips shade. The Baby Lips balms do not have a distinct smell as far as I can tell. Maybelline stands up to the higher brands and the packaging is also aesthetically pleasing to the eye despite its more plastic appearance. Baby lips will always remain my favorite but perhaps I’ll invest in a full size Sugar Lip Treatment one day.

Review: Nars Orgasm Illuminator Vs. Maybelline Bouncy Blush Rose Petal


ImageSo, I just recently received my Nars Orgasm Illuminator in the mail and was able to apply some to my cheeks in the car on my mad dash to work while my co-worker drove. It’s a little sticky but not as sticky as Tarte cheek stain blush. I love the color but it’s just too sticky for me to want to use it as an everyday staple. It’s as if a slug slimed on your cheeks. The color is very subtle but gives your skin a dewy, natural appearance. 515vagIJbnL._SY300_While I got a great deal on a tube of the Nars illuminator on Ebay the price may or may not be worth it too you. A more economic alternative is Maybelline Bouncy Blush in Rose Petal. It also gives you a nice soft, pink flush. There is little difference between the two. The Nars may be a little warmer but they both deliver just enough color to your cheeks to liven them up without being overdone.

Review: Be a Bombshell Blush in Sweet Cheeks


Image

I know I have posted non-stop about products I rave about so here is a blush I’m not too fond of. You have to understand that when it comes to mascara, blush, and eyeliner, I am excessively obsessed. I am constantly looking for the newest dewy pink blush and blackest black mascara. When I found out that this month I was going to be receiving excess amounts of blush I was excited beyond belief. The color of the blush itself is beautiful and the pictures online do not do it justice. However, I recommend using as little as possible on the brush. I made the mistake of believing it was like every other blush and only provided a subtle shade of color. A swipe on the check and my cheeks looked as pink as a Raggedy Anne doll. I had to blend, blend, blend to make it look publicly descent. The color is a brighter pink which is not what I wear in daily life. I prefer the subtle light pink shades. The price for a full size blush is $16. $16? I think that is a little excessive for a small amount of blush. I will not be purchasing this item in the future but I will experiment with what I have.

Boxes Boxes Everywhere


Beauty boxThe beauty box phenomenon has enabled women from all walks of life to access the world of designer brand makeup and luxury products for a fraction of the price. Beauty box subscriptions can be purchased for a monthly or yearly fee and each box includes an assortment of 4-5 luxury items which can be tried and experimented with. This can open people up to new products and brands they may not have been aware of or never would have thought to purchase on a daily basis. Many beauty boxes range from $10 to $21 per month which is what I pay for my current subscriptions. I am currently subscribed to three beauty box services which include Glossybox, Birchbox and Ipsy. I have found different aspects I like and dislike in each. Personally, my favorite beauty box subscription is Glossybox. It is $21 per month and includes 5 deluxe sized beauty products. Many of the products included in the Glossybox are full-sized and allow the consumer to determine accurately how effective a product works and if it proves to be an investment. While Glossybox does not have a vast array of beauty brands like others I have seen, I have never been unsatisfied with my boxes. The only problems I find with this service is their customer service is mediocre at best and take days to return inquiries. Also, shipping takes forever and packages never arrive until 10 days later. But this is most beauty box subscriptions I have observed.

Birchbox is a $10 monthly service and includes 5 beauty products/food goods in each box. They have a vast array of beauty participants compared to Glossybox. However, most of the samples are very small and do not allow the consumer to gain an exact picture of how a product works. They are something you could get at a beauty counter at the department store or in a hotel room. That’s what you get for $10 I suppose. Much like Glossybox, it can take up to 12 days for the box to arrive in the mailbox. I have, however, never been disappointed with the contents of my boxes. birchbox

Ipsy is still yet to be determined but will say it ranks high in shipping services. I just received my first one this week and was not dazzled but not heartbroken. Most of the brands I have never heard of and the all pink theme was less than riveting. Pink eye shadow does not do wonders for my eyes. It makes my baby blues look bloodshot and less than dazzling. I do like that each month the products are encased in a custom makeup bag that coincides with each theme.

The verdict: Glossybox reigns over all three but Birchbox does have potential as well. Ipsy is still in question.

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