On Mondays We Mask

I love to use face masks; they are such a great way to give your skin a little extra TLC. I usually mask 3-4 times a week but I try to never miss a Monday. It’s a great way to recharge and get back into my weekday schedule. Here are the masks I’m currently using:

If you want a quick mask:

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Peter Thomas Roth- Brightening Bubbling Mask: One of the downsides to traditional masks is that they take time, most take at least five minutes. This one by PTR can be used in as little as 30 seconds which makes it great to use before you apply your makeup. It does make your skin noticeably brighter, feels super good, and adds a little extra moisture.

If you want an inexpensive mask:

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Dr. Jart+- Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay: These clay masks are only $15 each and you get 1.7 ounces, which is cheap in the mask world. Each one works on a different skin concern, I have the one for refreshing and one for moisturizing. They contain a lovely, thick mud and leave your skin feeling smooth and clean after leaving them on for 15 minutes.

If you want a sleeping mask:

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Shiseido- Ibuki Sleeping Mask– This is a gel mask which contains little micro beads of moisture. You simply apply this after cleansing and sleep in it. It is quick absorbing and oil-free so it won’t damage your bedding like other sleeping masks.

If you want a mask you can feel working:

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Peter Thomas Roth- Pumpkin Enzyme Mask: This is my favorite mask because it is very effective, but it’s not for the faint of heart. We all now that pumpkin burns when it is applied to the face (it’s a very common spa treatment) and this mask is no exception. When you first apply it you can certainly feel a burning sensation and you have to rub it to activate the exfoliation and that makes it burn more and then leave it one for 7 minutes. But the results are amazing; after just one use it reduces texture and breakouts and helps with fine lines. It also smells incredible, just like pumpkin pie, and the smell lingers in your bathroom of for a long time which is lovely.

If you want a mask for post-workout:

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Kiehl’s- Calendula & Ale Soothing Hydration Masque: One of the main ways I motivate myself to work out is by treating my post-workout shower like a mini spa. I apply this mask and lay in the hot tub for 15 minutes while it works its magic and then I take an extra long hot shower after and I always leave feeling incredible. This mask is a gel formula with an incredible herbal scent. It is soothing on a hot, sweaty face and makes my skin feel nice and clean without being tight.

If you want an all-around, universally, great mask:

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GLAMGLOW- Gravity Mud Firming Treatment : This has got to be one of the most recognizable masks on the market. This bright silver goo looks just like unicorn blood from Harry Potter. But there might actually be some magic in this jar because this stuff is so great. It helps with texture, dryness, redness, fine lines, ect. I’m fairly certain any person, with any skin type would get a benefit from this mask. If you aren’t sure where to start with masks or skincare this is  great mask to get.

And if you want to be extra:

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Dr. Dennis Gross-Pro Facial Steamer: This is by no means a must have tool. But this tiny steamer produces the most decadent, hydrating steam I’ve ever seen. In my experience using this steamer before any skincare product dramatically helps with product absorption. So in order to get the most benefit from my masks I always steam for about 5-7 minutes before I apply them.

4 Things I Learned about Eyelash Extensions

img_2826I feel like eyelash extensions are a great example of a beauty enhancement that can either look amazing or terrifying (the same goes for fake tanning or hair extensions). I’ve seen so many girls with beautiful, natural looking eyelash extensions but an equal number whose were pointing all different directly and falling out everywhere.

But last week I decided to take the plunge and try them out for myself. So far I have really enjoyed having them. They looks stunning and give me that “my lashes but better” look that I was going for. The picture above is with zero make or curling; I just woke up and brushed them with a spooley. I like them most like this, with no makeup on, because they really stand out and make me look awake and refreshed. I especially like them at the gym because it looks like I have makeup on but I don’t. But there have been some unexpected things I have learned along the way as well. Here are four things I learned about eyelash extensions:

  1. They take about two hours to apply. You will have to lay on a table for two hours with your eyes closed and your lower lashes taped down during this time. You cannot get up or really move at all during this process so if you have a hard time sitting still this wouldn’t work for you.
  2. They have their own set of rules. You cannot get your eyes wet for 24 hours after the application (which can be tough to schedule). And you cannot use any type of oil-based product on your eyes while you have the extensions because it breaks down the glue. So if you are like me and like to use an oil-based beauty balm to remove makeup it will take some adjustment.
  3. Eye makeup becomes a little bit of a challenge. Getting shadows close the your lash line can be difficult and I have found applying eyeliner to be near impossible. You also can’t wear mascara which I really miss because I’m so used to it completing my look and making my lashes a little darker.
  4. Washing your face/lashes is difficult. You can definitely feel the lashes on your eyes when you touch them and they are a little bit delicate so you can’t really wipe your eyes. So I’ve found that when my face gets wet, my lashes get soaked, and I can’t really wipe them off for fear of poking myself in the eye or loosing some lashes so I end up getting a lot of water in my eyes.

Overall I think I would get them again. Eyelash extensions would be perfect for a special occasion, a vacation, or if you don’t wear a lot of eye makeup. I’m just not sure if they are super practical for 24/7 wear.

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What is an Eyelash Lift?

I’m always interested in trying out new beauty trends and I’ll pretty much do anything at least once. So when I heard that the Esthetician at my local nail salon was offering Eyelash Lifts I was immediately intrigued. The process costs around $50, takes 45 minutes, and lasts two months.

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A Lash Lift is basically semi-permanent eyelash curling. The Esthetician selects a “rod” of the correct thickness depending on the length and thickness of the eyelashes. The lashes are then rolled over the rod and the curling formula is applied. After waiting 15 minutes a neutralizer is applied and the lashes are rinsed. The result is lashes with a natural looking curl.

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I am very happy with the results I have seen. The “After” picture above is right out of the shower with zero makeup applied. My lashes are noticeably lifted and they look like I am wearing a couple of coats of mascara. It adds just a little extra drama to my eyes. My eyelashes do have a natural curl to them (probably because I have curly hair) so the results on me are not extremely dramatic. As an added bonus it is more comfortable to wear my glasses because my lashes don’t hit them.

An eyelash lift would be perfect for someone who has very straight eyelashes or someone who doesn’t like to wear mascara. Additionally if you have light colored eyelashes, a Lash Lift in conjunction with dying the eyelashes would be really beautiful. It is also a great alternative to Eyelash Extensions because it is cheaper, faster, and easier to maintain than extensions.

Tips:

  1. Don’t wear your contacts to the appointment. Pressure will be applied to the eye ball as well as some rubbing which can irritate your contacts.
  2. Don’t wear makeup to the appointment. You will not be able to get your eyes wet for 24 hours after the appointment so you won’t want to have a full face of makeup on.
  3. Make sure the Esthetician knows what he/she is doing. If the wrong size rod is applied it will over-curl the lashes, making it hard to apply eyeshadow and eyeliner.

My Esthetician:

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My 4 Favorite Lipsticks

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I recently dyed my hair much darker and I am loving it! But because my hair is now dark and my skin is light I feel like I have to have lipstick on every day to complete my look. Luckily there are so many great lipstick options on the market right now. Here are my four favorite lipsticks right now. 

dsc_0210Anastasia Beverly Hills- Liquid Lipstick- Pure Hollywood– The ABH liquid lipsticks are my favorite formula on the market right now. They dry so smooth and last for hours. I love to apply them, let them dry for 30 seconds and then apply a gloss over them. Pure Hollywood is a perfect brownish-nude shade. 

dsc_0208NARS- Velvet Lip Glide- Unlaced– NARS recently came out with this new Velvet Lip Glide formula it is a very unique formula that is a hybrid between a lipstick and a lipgloss. It is not long wearing but is so hydrating and easy to apply. If you are intimidated by highly pigmented matte lip products or are looking for something soft and natural these are a great option. The shade Unlaced is very neutral color that is wonderful for light skin tones. 

dsc_0215MAC- Lipstick- Velvet Teddy– MAC lipsticks are great because they are somewhat inexpensive ($17),  come in a million colors, are creamy, and pigmented. The shade Velvet Teddy is a beautiful reddish-brown. It matches tons of eye looks and during fall/winter I wear this at least once a week.
dsc_0216Kat Von D- Everlasting Liquid Lipstick- Lolita II– Kat Von D products always have the most beautiful packaging and the liquid lipsticks are no exception. I always feel like such a bad a$$ when I take this out of my purse. The shade Lolita II is a vampy, rich, maroon color and it looks beautiful with my new dark hair. These liquid lipsticks are extremely matte and long-wearing but can be somewhat drying. 

 

‘Tis the Season to Exfoliate

 

Exfoliation is such an important part of a skincare routine. Exfoliating removes the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and increases blood circulation; both of which contribute to a healthy glow. And in the cold, dry winter months it becomes even more important. I make it a point to a full body exfoliation at least twice a week. My skin really thanks me for this, it feels smooth and polished. This is also a good routine to follow before applying self tanner. Here are the products I’m currently using:

dsc_0165Face: Murad- AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser: The first thing I do is exfoliate my face. I always use a very gentle exfoliator on my face. This one from Murad has only small Jojoba beads instead of a rough sandy texture, which is perfect. And the AHA/BHA helps to prevent Milia, which I used to suffer from.

dsc_0173Body:  Josie Maran- Argan Oil Body Scrub: Next, I exfoliate my entire body. I take extra time on my elbows and where my bra goes. This one by Jose Maran is great because it is very moisturizing and luxurious so it doesn’t strip my skin. However, I just looked on Sephora and it doesn’t look like they sell this anymore. 

dsc_0168Hands: Lush- Salted Coconut Hand Scrub: I feel like hand exfoliation is a step that a lot of people skip. But it feels absolutely incredible and leaves my hands so smooth. I also think it eliminates the need to trim my cuticles as often. This one from Lush smells like a tropical vacation and of course is made with all natural ingredients.

dsc_0171Lips: Fresh- Sugar Lip Polish : I actually exfoliate my lips 3-4 times a week because they get so dry in the winter and I LOVE to wear lipstick. Lip exfoliation only takes 30 seconds but can make a matte lipstick look so much better. This one from Fresh is great because you get a ton of product and it tastes like brown sugar. But I do have a hard time getting the scrub out of the container because I have long nails. 

My New Obsession | Mario Badescu Skin Care

dsc_0130Over the past week I have become completely obsessed with Mario Badescu Skin Care. I had heard about this brand a few times, mainly in some of Jaclyn Hill’s older videos, but for some reason I thought it was expensive and never really looked into it for myself. But boy was I missing out! This line is incredibly effective and reasonably priced. So far I have purchased five products, geared towards my dry winter skin, and I have yet to be disappointed. 

dsc_0135Enzyme Cleansing Gel $7.00- This is a basic gentle cleanser. It doesn’t foam up much but removes my makeup incredibly well. After using this my face feels super clean but not dry and tight. I was using a product that was three times as expensive that did not remove my makeup nearly as well. 

dsc_0137Cellufirm Drops $25.00- These drops are used similar to a serum. They are applied after cleansing but before moisturizer to provide extra moisture and elasticity. These absorb quickly and didn’t make me break out. I also like that he bottle is plastic which makes it great for travel. 

dsc_0139Protein Night Creme $22.00- This is my favorite item that I have tried so far! This creme is everything I’ve ever wanted (but couldn’t find) in a night creme. It is so thick and luxurious and leaves behind a lovely oil which is absorbed while you sleep. I would not recommend this for oily skin, but for me it is better than the $45 creme I’ve been using. 

DSC_0141.jpgDrying Lotion $17.00- This is the product that Mario Badescu is most known for but when I first saw the name “Drying Lotion” I was like hell no. But the reviews were so good that I decided to give it a try. It is a spot treatment to be applied to blemishes. I have been lucky enough to have clear skin most of my life. But recently I’ve started to get painful, stubborn, cystic acne. My blemishes  take forever to go away, are painful, and even leave behind discoloration. This lotion has defiantly been helping, I’ve seen about 50% reduction in the size of my acne bumps each night that I use this. 

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A.H.A Botanical Body Soap $8.00- I have a very hard time finding body soaps that don’t irritate my dry sensitive skin but still rinse clean and make me feel fresh. This soap has been a lifesaver. It has a light fresh scent, foams up, and rinses without stripping my skin. It is made with papaya and grapefruit extract so it removes dead skin cells naturally and gently. And you can’t beat the price!

Brand Spotlight | Charlotte Tilbury

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For me the brand Charlotte Tilbury kind of popped up out of nowhere. I had never heard of her products and suddenly every YouTube Beauty Guru was talking about how great her lipsticks are. But I love to try new brands so this intrigued me. Her products are definitely on the more expensive side, I would consider them between High-end and Designer. I purchased three products from her collection and I think they are worth the hype and the money.

dsc_0127Charlotte Tilbury ‘Filmstar Bronze & Glow’ -$68 This is my favorite product that I purchased! The packaging is so beautiful and sturdy. This compact is designed for people with fair to medium skin (they also have a medium to dark version). I have very fair skin so finding a bronzer and highlighter can sometimes be a challenge. I’ve found that cool-toned bronzers and finely milled highlighters work the best. For me, the tones in this compact are perfect. It looks so natural and not orange at all.

dsc_0126Charlotte Tilbury ‘Hot Lips’ Lipstick -$32 This lipstick in the shade Kim K. W caused a little bit of a stir on YouTube because everyone was talking about it seemingly overnight. But after using it I understand the hype. It is by far the most creamy and moisturizing lipstick I have ever used. It glides on the lips and is pigmented and glossy. Great product for the winter because you can use it all day without worrying about it drying our your lips.

dsc_0129Charlotte Tilbury ‘The Feline Flick’– $30 I prefer to use pen for my eyeliner rather than a pencil or a gel so I was very invested in this product. It is definitely the best eyeliner pen that I have every used. It is a true black, has high-quality packaging, and dries almost immediately. The pointed tip makes it so easy to apply eyeliner. You only need one layer and you have the perfect line.