I always look to the runways for beauty inspiration and ideas of new ways to wear my hair or makeup. This season, it was all about minimal makeup and one of two extremes in hair – statement or polished and simple. Here are 5 Spring 2015 Fashion Week beauty looks to try now.
Coconut oil is everywhere – apparently, it can be used for everything from cooking to beauty treatments to curing something. Not sure exactly what, but there are supposedly health benefits to it too. So if you’re like me, you probably have tried 1-2 of these and whether or not you like using it, an entire bottle of coconut oil can be pretty difficult to use! I’ve been mostly using coconut oil for beauty treatments (since I don’t really like the taste of coconut to cook with it) and I’ve come up with 5 uses for coconut oil that have replaced my beauty products. Remember that a little bit of coconut oil goes a long way, so I recommend using as little as possible the first time you try any of these and adjust in the next use if necessary.
hair oil: My thick hair needs some additional moisture when I step out of the shower and hair oils tend to do the trick. But now, I can use only a teaspoon of coconut oil instead. To apply coconut oil to your hair to tame it and de-frizz, take about a teaspoon size of coconut oil, rub it all over your hands and fingers, and finger comb through your damp hair, focusing on the ends.
deep conditioning treatment: I’ve recommended this a few times here and coconut oil works exceptionally well as a deep conditioning treatment once a week. To apply it, section your hair in pieces and apply 1/2 teaspoon to each section. You can let it sit for a few minutes before washing out, or if you want an extra deep conditioning, try wrapping your hair with a warm towel for 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
shaving cream: I always seem to run out of shaving cream and forget to replace it so coconut oil is a perfect replacement for me. I just mix 2 parts coconut oil and 1 part body wash to make a shaving “cream”. It is exceptionally moisturizing for a super smooth shave.
body scrub: When I need a good body scrub, I just mix equal parts of coconut oil and sugar to get a gentle body scrub. Easy.
eye makeup remover: Before I started using coconut oil and I would run out of eye makeup remover, I would just use lotion. But, lotion doesn’t completely remove makeup whereas coconut oil does and is gentler on the eyes. To use coconut oil as an eye makeup remover, rub a very small amount on a cotton pad and wipe your eyes clean. I remove my makeup first, and then follow with my face wash and the rest of my skin care regimen.
Have you used coconut oil for any of these? Or, do you have any other uses for coconut oil? Let me know in the comments below!
The week after a long weekend always feels long, right? I actually had some long days this week and so really, my work week was longer than usual. Monday was the worst – 3 cups of espresso did nothing for me. By Tuesday I was fine but I’m looking forward to re-energizing this weekend! I hope you bounced back from the long weekend better than I did.
favorite ways to feel less lazy at work: Though I was feeling drowsy at work on Monday, #7 in particular is something I may buy for the office. Oh and the other 6 ways to be less sedentary at work are pretty good too. No picture needed! (via Summer Tomato)
favorite upcoming CA vacation spot: Big Sur is on my list of Nor Cal places to explore and with a friend coming to town next week, we’ll be taking a drive down the coast to explore Big Sur and the cities between. I was happy to be validated of my choice with this list of life-changing trips. And we’ll definitely be stopping at a few of these favorite beaches on our drive there. (image via Refinery 29)
favorite fashion lesson: In honor of Bastille Day (Monday!), it was interesting to catch some haute history on the Breton stipe. Did you know that Coco Chanel was responsible for making it fashionable? (via VMAC & Cheese)
favorite orange lipstick choices: GUYS. After testing out my first orange lipstick a few months ago, I just bought another much BRIGHTER orange lipstick (MAC Lady Danger). If you’re looking for ideas, these 3 very different lipsticks look so pretty! (via Cup of Jo)
I use a lot of beauty products on a daily basis. A year ago, it was mostly makeup and hair products, but now that I’m working for a skincare company I’m using a full skincare regimen as well. All of this is typically way too much to bring along on any trip, so when I travel I have to make choices.
Of course on an extended plane trip (where I check in a bag) or when I take a road trip, I may throw in more. Or, if I’m having some skin issues, I’ll go ahead and pack my entire skincare regimen. But otherwise I rely on the necessities and take advantage of products like shampoo, conditioner, and face wash that the hotel or friend who I may be staying with has.
My travel beauty essentials meet my needs when I’m on the road. The first of these being that I tend to get lazy so I need easy solutions. Bad, I know. But it happens to all of us right? At those times, I rely on these products.
Rodan + Fields Eye Clothes: I discovered these clothes just recently working at Rodan + Fields*. What I love about it is that it is dual purpose as a makeup remover with added skincare benefits.
Drybar Detox Shampoo: A great dry shampoo is a necessity for the days I don’t want to wash my hair.
Because I’ve had so many bad experiences with my favorite powdered eyeshadows, blushes, and foundations shattering in transit, I avoid bringing those altogether. Instead, I stick with liquid form foundation and blush, bring a makeup setting spray, and keep my eyes simple with an eyeliner and mascara that can be layered to look dramatic for the evening. All of these are my favorites, travel or at home!
Bobbi Brown BB Cream
Tarte Cheek Stain in Pink Coral
Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray
MAC Penultimate Eyeliner
Benefit ‘They’re Real’ Mascara
Lastly, when it comes to my daily beauty must-haves (lipstick, hair styler, perfume), I walk away from the many options I have at home depending on my outfit, mood, or whatever may come up and select just one of each for my travel bag.
Maybelline Lipstick in Continuous Cranberry: Someone gave this to me recently, and it is the perfect summer color. It is a vibrant berry and goes with pretty much everything, day to night.
Sebastian Professional Taming Elixir Cream Styler: I was introduced to this styling product when I worked on Sebastian, and it has a great balance of conditioning and hold especially for my frizzy, curly hair. It has enough hold for when I want to let my curls loose and it also has a heat protectant if I want to fix my curls or straighten. It doesn’t come in a travel size, but easy to transfer into a smaller bottle for the plane.
Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb Rollerball: This is a classic floral scent that works for any occasion.
Do you have any travel beauty secrets? What are your travel essentials? Let me know in the comments below.
*I currently work for Rodan+Fields. The comments above (and anything else you’ll find on this site) are my own opinions and not reflective of that of the company.
When it comes to writing about products on this blog, I like to follow the “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all” policy. But with the amount of hype around the new Benefit ‘They’re Real’ Push-Up Liner, I feel obligated to share my less than amazing experience.
As you probably know, I love Benefit Cosmetics. The products are so fun and always deliver what they promise. My absolute favorite Benefit product is the ‘They’re Real’ Mascara. It gives more volume and length compared to any other mascara I’ve tried (YSL, Dior, Lancome, you name it). So, I was really excited when I heard about the new liner! Though I have practiced enough to apply eyeliner pretty well, I know that it can be difficult for most of us. The idea of a ‘lash-hugging’ liner made me believe that the Benefit ‘They’re Real’ liner would be really easy to apply very close to the lashes for a very natural eye popping effect, similar to that of my minimalist eye makeup tutorial.
Not quite. After pushing up the eyeliner, I went to apply it and bam. Something broke off of the pen – a dried out chunk of gel. Frustrated and disappointed, I went ahead and pushed some more. There was so much gel coming out that I could only apply a very thick amount of eyeliner. Not exactly the look I was going for and didn’t experience anything ‘lash-hugging’. As a marketer, I should have known better to fall for that!
The awesome thing about makeup versus something like hair is that when you don’t get the look you want, you can easily just remove your makeup and start from scratch. So I gave the eyeliner a few additional tries. At the end, I couldn’t get the same “close to the lashes” application that I’m able to with the uber precise MAC Penultimate that I’ve been using for years. Ultimately, I settled on a much thicker application with the Benefit one.
Not all was bad though – the big win with the Benefit eyeliner was that the angled applicator made it really easy to add winged ends for a subtle cat eye – something that I often struggle with. It’s a look I rarely go for though, so I’ll be sticking to my MAC eyeliner. Oh, and Benefit is not exaggerating by calling this long-wearing. It may actually be TOO long wearing; it took me a lot of makeup remover to get rid of all of the eyeliner and I still woke up with a raccoon eye the next morning! Maybe that is why they also have their own ‘They’re Real’ Makeup Remover?
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a close to the lash, precise application for a natural everyday look, I recommend MAC Penultimate.
If you’re looking for an easier way to apply a dramatic, thick, and possibly ‘cat eye’ eyeliner, I recommend trying the Benefit ‘They’re Real’ Eyeliner.
In case you’re curious to try it out yourself, Sephora is currently having an online only promotion where you can get a free sample of the Benefit ‘they’re real’ eyeliner with a purchase of $25 or more (click here and use the code PUSHUP).
- Start with liquid foundation to even your skin tone.
- Set your foundation with loose powder.
- Use a pressed powder for any touch ups.
Now we live in a world of BB and CC creams, liquid to powder foundations, mineral powders, pressed powder foundations and more. Ugh. And that’s not even including primers or concealers. It’s complicated! If you want perfect looking complexion and have some time and money, the best way to get it is still the traditional route of liquid foundation, followed by your loose setting powder, and carrying a pressed powder for touch ups. Maybe even add a primer before all that and a concealer for any imperfections. But very few of us have the time or money for that, or honestly… it’s just too much work and we don’t care enough. Right? So what to use?
The first step is to decide between liquid, cream, and powder foundation. The top choices:
- Liquid foundation: There are the widest range of options with liquid foundations. From a matte to dewy finish, full to light coverage, and oil-free to moisturizing options, there is something for everyone. From my experience, this is also the best in evening out the skin tone and giving a smooth look. BB creams fall into this liquid foundation category. MY PICKS: Clinique (for fair skin tones), Bobbi Brown (for everyone else), or BB creams here
- Mineral loose powder foundation: For a long time, loose powders were merely setting powders. That is until Bare Escentuals introduced a loose mineral foundation, which is a powder that feels creamy, applies silky, and finishes with a natural look. It doesn’t even out the skin tone as well as a liquid and it doesn’t provide as much coverage, but it does give a pretty natural look. MY PICKS: MAC ‘Mineralize’ Loose Powder Foundation, bareMinerals Original Foundation
- Pressed powder foundation: Similarly, pressed powders evolved from being only a touch up powder to a foundation. These have the lightest amount of coverage. Pressed powder foundations can also give a very chalky finish for dry skin types and cakey finish for oily skin types. So the bottom line – pressed powder foundation works well for combination skin types who need minimal coverage. If you have that type of skin and prefer the pressed form, go for it! MY PICKS: Benefit ‘Hello Flawless!’, NARS Powder Foundation
If you prefer the powder options, you can start with a primer for the powder to apply smoothly. Then you can apply the powder foundation and you’re done.
If you prefer liquid foundation, you probably want to follow that with a setting powder. A setting powder seals your foundation so that it’ll last throughout the day. The choices:
- Loose powder: A loose powder is the better choice if you’re looking for a natural finish. It is a true setting powder that maintains the smooth finish of your foundation. MY PICKS: MAC ‘Magically Cool’ Liquid Powder, Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Loose Powder
- Pressed setting powder: This will give you a powdery matte finish. It also absorbs oil and can be used for touch ups through the day. MY PICKS: Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder, Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Pressed Finishing Powder
- Setting Spray: (more info here)
If you picked loose powder or even a setting spray, you may want to have a pressed powder on the go for any touch ups. MY PICKS: Dior Invisible Retouch Powder, Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder
What kind of foundation are you wearing? Any other tips out there? Let me know in the comments below!
I tend to go with bold lipsticks – berry, red, and most recently orange. Sometimes I experiment with new colors and love it, other times I don’t. Awhile back, I bought a Barbie pink lipstick and it has been sitting in my makeup bag unused since. It happens to all of us right? A color can look so pretty at the makeup counter and once we get home, well… it’s just not. Instead of giving this pink color to a friend or merely throwing it out, I figured I could actually make it into a few other colors that I could actually use.
If you also have a color that you don’t like, or just a lipstick that you rarely wear and want to make into other colors, you can easily use a few additional ingredients and transform 1 lipstick into 3.
What you’ll need: lipstick, food coloring (works best if you use primary colors – red, blue, yellow), pressed coconut oil, small pots (I used old MAC concealer pots), butter knife, makeup brush
What you’ll do:
Scoop a small amount of coconut oil into a bowl – I recommend 1/4-1/2 teaspoon. Warm up the coconut oil in the microwave for 15 seconds (or until melted). Pour about half of that into a pot.
Next, you’ll use the spatula to slice off a small amount of lipstick into the pot. Use the spatula to crush into the coconut oil and mix until well blended.
The next step is to add food coloring. Follow basic rules of the color wheel here – I added a few drops of red to the bright lipstick to get the color more vibrant, and then followed with a small drop of blue to get the color to a berry shade. Food coloring can add a lot of color, so I recommend using 1 drop at a time, checking the color, and adding more if needed.
Once you get to the desired shade in one pot (which in my case was a berry), set that pot aside. To make your next color, follow the same steps of pouring coconut oil and cutting a piece of lipstick in the next pot. This time you can experiment with a different set of food colorings – I added yellow to get the pink to more of a rosy-coral color.
Mix the colors in the pot very well with a makeup brush to make sure that the food coloring is completely blended with coconut oil and lipstick. To make a lipstick sheer, add more oil. Alternatively, add more pressed coconut oil (not melted) and lipstick to make the color more vibrant.
Once you are done blending, refridgerate the lipstick pots for 2-3 hours until set. Then you can apply the lipsticks using a lipstick brush.
1 lipstick – 3 colors!
Eyebrows may be the most important feature to maintain. I’ve heard that eyes are the windows to the soul and the eyebrows are the window treatment – we all know that the treatment is what draws the attention! The same person can look completely different based on their eyebrow shape. It’s crazy! And the thing is, no one has perfect eyebrows naturally. Some eyebrows are very thin, others are VERY thick and bushy (hello, me!), and the list goes on with the perceived imperfections. That means that we all have some level of maintenance to get our brows looking their best.
1. The first step is getting the best eyebrow shape for your eyes and face. I don’t recommend “DIY-ing” this – I think getting a great eyebrow shape is as important as getting your hair or nails done, so invest in this as needed. I love eyebrow threading because it gives the most definition and doesn’t pull on your skin like waxing does. If you’re on a tight budget, get your eyebrows done once a month or so and get a good tweezer for in between visits.
2. Ok, so now you’re getting your eyebrows professionally shaped. In addition to using a tweezer to remove stray hairs between visits, trimming your eyebrows will open your eyes and give you a clean and polished look. To do this, push your eyebrow hairs upward in the opposite direction as they grow. You can then trim off the excess hair above your upper eyebrow line.
3. Any makeup that you apply to your eyebrows will be the last step of your makeup routine – after foundation, blush, eyes, everything. For those of us who are missing hair (as you can see in my eyebrow below), I recommend using an eyebrow pencil before powder to specifically fill that area. This is because a powder alone does not provide enough coverage to fill missing spots. When choosing a pencil color, select a shade slightly lighter than your natural eyebrows. Keep your pencil sharpened, and fill in only those missing areas.
4.The final step is to filling in all of your eyebrows with powder. For many of you, this is the only step that you will do on a daily basis. To apply the powder, use a brush and brush the powder to the entire eyebrow area.
It was nearly a year ago that I talked about bb creams in my bb/cc/dd cream cheat sheet. A lot changes in a year. Now I’m using a BB cream most days and a regular foundation only for special occasions and evenings when I want better makeup coverage.
BB cream is probably the topic I get the most questions about. “Should I use one?” “Which one should I use?”
BB creams are great because they are a time saver and are a moisturizer, SPF, primer, foundation, and sometimes more in 1. Unless you answer yes to one of the below questions, then yes, yes… you should be using a BB cream:
are you spending the day in the sun?
are you looking for full makeup coverage?
Although BB creams have a SPF, it is not sufficient for spending the day in the sun so be sure to wear a separate sunscreen. If you’re looking for full coverage, then you just need to use a regular foundation since most BB creams have sheer to moderate coverage.
Okay so now you know you want a BB cream. Which should you use?
Although many brands are making BB creams, there are very few that make ones that have enough color options and provide even the slightest bit of coverage to replace your foundation. Actually, there really are only 3 that I could find.
3? What about the loads of other ones? Well, typically if there are only a few shades of BB creams, that means that it is actually a tinted moisturizer and not sufficient to replace a foundation. These 3 passed the coverage test and offer all those great benefits of BB creams – being a primer, moisturizer, sunscreen, and more all in 1.
Are you using any of these? Have another BB cream you love? Let me know in the comments below.
There are those beauty products we buy and use up almost too quickly. Then there are those that we buy and use so little that they feel like a waste of money. Makeup brush cleaners are one of those. I’ve never been able to use an entire, or even half, a bottle before it “expired”. So, I’ve stopped buying them completely.
I shared my list of makeup brush essentials here a few weeks ago so now it’s time to also share my tips on taking care of those brushes. While great brushes make it easier to apply makeup and are totally worth the investment, they can also be bacteria traps and cause breakouts and irritated skin without the proper care. So, regular cleaning is mandatory (ideally once a week). Instead of the wasteful makeup brush cleaners, here is an easy do it yourself makeup brush cleaner that I’ve learned from makeup artists throughout the years.
By the way, for the shampoo and conditioner you can use the cheap stuff. Leave your pricey salon products for your hair only. A moisturizing body wash can also work.
What you’ll need:
1 teaspoon of shampoo
1 teaspoon of conditioner
hot water in a bowl
room temperature water in a bowl
What you’ll do:
1. Mix 1 teaspoon shampoo with 1 teaspoon conditioner. The shampoo will wash the brushes while the conditioner will help keep the bristles soft.
2. Take a brush and directly dip into the shampoo and conditioner mixture.
3. Carefully dip the brush bristles into the bowl with hot water. The metal should not go into the bowl as the heat may weaken the adhesive and your brush hairs may start falling out.
4. Gently wipe the brush on a paper towel to remove the makeup from it. If after a few swipes you still see a lot of makeup, you may want to repeat the step 3.
5. Take the clean brush and place into the cup or bowl with the room temperature water.
6. Repeat the steps with all your brushes and then let the brushes sit in the cold water for another 30 minutes.
7. Remove the brushes out of the cold water, gently dab off any excess water with a paper towel, and let them sit until they dry.