April 18, 2014
Good Morning, friends! It’s Friday! Can I get a what what?
Sorry… I guess I am pretty excited about this one. Are any of you just as pumped about the holiday weekend? Although I will be missing our families, I am really looking forward to spending the weekend and Easter with friends.
Today’s Friday Favorites post is kind of a long one, but it’s also a special one. Continuing on with HWG Beauty Week, today’s compiled list of favorites is all about products you would find in my beauty drawers.
Lets get right to it!
Friday Favorites #33: Beauty Edition
• lip crayons + balms
Ever since I discovered these Revlon colorburst balms, I have also been on the hunt for lip crayons.
I love the mixture of lipstick and lip balm (or chap stick) all in one!
• PINK body sprays
I have always been a big fan of body sprays. I love perfume, but even more love the portability of sprays in plastic bottles and not feeling bad about spraying my clothes and self several times a day with a lighter fragrance.
Since Christmas, these bad boys have come in handy to keep ready in my purse, gym bag, and even car.
You can’t really go wrong with anything from the PINK beauty line.
• false eyelashes
A lot of women are terrified of wearing and applying false eyelashes. I have been wearing and applying them myself for dance competitions and performances for over fifteen years now. (!!!) I guess you could say they have become like a second skin to me, and now I hardly even notice when they’re on.
I wear a variety of brands and styles, but I have found a few favorites I turn to for games and fun nights out.
My go to pair for the entire 2013-14 NBA season and fancy dinner dates have been Ardell Wispies.
• warming face masque
I received this warming trend green tea masque as a present from a friend a few years ago and have been very careful to make it last ever since.
I absolutely love the warming sensation it gives as it dries and always look forward to my at-home facial nights knowing a layer of this stuff will be included. Very calming!
• press on nails
I am not a huge fan of acrylics, or spending a lot of money on my nails so I have turned to press-on nails for years.
My favorite kind is Kiss French Petites or Real Short length, and both retail for around $7-$8 a box. There are several skeptics out there about using press-ons, but I can personally assure you that they are wonderful.
The box includes easy-to-apply instructions, the entire process takes about ten minutes, and they always last at least five days after I put them on. Try adding a clear top coat for extra shine! I would bet money that no one will suspect they weren’t professionally done.
• bare Minerals makeup
I have been using Bare Escentuals as my primary foundation and powder for years, but rarely talk about it.
When I don’t need anything heavy (and by heavy I mean foundation for a game, a night out, or an appearance) I prefer the lighter every day coat of bare Minerals makeup.
I find it to be heavy enough to cover but light enough to look natural.
Also, I like to switch between buying the Original and Matte versions every now and then. If you aren’t sure what shade is yours, you can purchase it in stores and get matched up in ULTA.
Check out my 5-Minute Makeup Tutorial for more of my every day wear!
• bright lip colors
All of the following lipsticks are from MAC. (<- my absolute fav!)
From left to right: Sheen Supreme-Full Speed, Amplified-Full Fuchsia, Amplified-Impassioned, Satin-Pink Nouveau, Matte-Pink Plaid, Cremesheen-Creme Cup and lip liner is Process Magenta.
I love pink lips, but occasionally enjoy bright reds, corals, or even a nude lip depending on the outfit. A fun lip color can dress up your going-out look, and depending on the outfit become the focal point of color.
I am a MAC fanatic, especially for lips and eye shadows. Most shades go for $14.50, but prove to be worth every penny.
• self tanning lotions, wipes + sprays
Just in case you missed my Spray and Self-Tanning 101 post this week, here is my all star line up of products:
From left to right: Gradual: Neutrogena build-a-tan Sunless Lotion, In-between: California Tan Instant Sunless Lotion,In-between: L’Oreal Sublime Bronze, Medium Natural Tan, Instant: L’Oreal Sublime Luminous Bronzer, Instant Action, Instant : California Tan Instant Sunless Spray
• GUM soft picks
(Also part of a HWG Beauty Week tutorial I shared earlier on my Every Day Teeth Whitening routine!)
Soft picks are made to keep your teeth clean after meals and in-between brushes. I adore the travel case they come with and the minty fresh feeling I have after using them. I new must-have item I always have in my purse!
• argabeta oil
In the past, I have had problems with my hair tangling. I purchased this Dikson ArgaBeta oil from my hair salon back in October and it has significantly helped out with matting.
You only use a tiny bit, since the oil is really concentrated and goes a long way. It’s also been great to keep some of the frizz down and gets my hair looking closer to silky and smooth!
• curling wands
Once you get used to it, curling becomes much easier, and I love how much you can vary in curl shape.
• ALMAY liquid eyeliner
After trying out several over the years, this simple black liquid eyeliner from ALMAY is what I buy over and over.
I use it every time I wear eye shadow and love the control I have with the sharp point to make tiny wings.
• Essie nail polish
Besides O.P.I. I have only went out and purchased Essie over the past few years. In my opinion, it really is the best!
April 17, 2014
Hello, hello! This afternoon I am continuing HWG Beauty Week with a video I promised you weeks ago. (Are you getting sick of these yet?)
In those videos, I demonstrated my around the barrel and away from the face curling technique using a curling wand, along with how I create the look of tight curls vs. loose curls.
Today, I am sharing how to make that hairstyle last for days… i.e.:
How To Get More Wear Out of Your Hair (Tutorial)
Because who really washes their hair every single day anymore?
Before I get going, let me just throw this out there…
This is a judgement-free zone, people.
On average, I only wash my hair two to three times a week. Really. For those of you who don’t know already, my hair has a very weird frizzy, thin, but looks thick natural wavy/curly texture to it. Without blow drying and styling it, it isn’t pretty, and I wouldn’t wish the same hair upon my worst enemy.
Dealing with it pre-straightener days was a real treat.
I guarantee that the majority of pictures I post of myself, I am rocking at least day-old hair in them. A lot even have two-day-old styling, but you would probably never know!
To be one hundred percent real with you, I have been known to go three to four days without washing my hair, depending on what my activities look like. I started getting into that habit when I added a dark red tint to my hair, since it tends to wash out so easily.
If you’re thinking that’s gross or that you had no idea, that just means I am doing a good job at getting the most wear out of my hair and this is why I am sharing my ways! (Stop judging me.)
Per usual, I guess my techniques are best described in person, or in this case, via YouTube. I hope you enjoy it!
Products mentioned in the video:
• Beyond the Zone Rock On dry shampoo
• Sahag Air Power hairspray
• teasing combs
Thank you so much for tuning into my video! As always, please feel free to share questions and comments below.
See you back here tomorrow morning with this week’s Friday Favorites!
Previous HWG Beauty Week Posts:
April 17, 2014
As I felt the sun beaming through my window this morning, I realized it might have just warmed up which lead me to waking up in a great mood.
Considering it was snowing just two nights ago, I expected slush to be everywhere since that is usually what is to be expected when it warms up enough to melt the snow. So, on my morning walk with Roadie around the neighborhood this morning, I geared up with a lighter winter coat and trusty rain boots to get me through the muddy areas.
Soon out, however, I realized there was no snow or slush to be found.
Within 48 hours, our ground turned from white and fluffy to dry and green. I really can’t figure it out.
You’ve got me, Michigan.
But hey, I’m the furthest from complaining right now… bring on the sunshine and spring!
I only have a few minutes to check in before I have to get out the door to do this whole sharing a car with Scott business. I will truly be thankful for the day when I get my own set of wheels again!
Anyways, breakfast was an old standard I prepared last night: overnight oats.
Paired with the usual giant cup of coffee… a cup of plain Greek yogurt, Tbsp. of chia seeds, 1/2 cup of raw oats, and enough milk to make it liquidy mixed and set overnight.
In case that confuses you… I fully plan on dedicating an entire post to my strategy and favorite versions of overnight oats. Coming up!
Knowing I’ll be on the road for a little, I went ahead and made my lunch early. Using up the last of my prepared salad from Tuesday (<- it was still fresh!), I made a deli chicken and veggie filled wrap and plan to dive face first into it as soon as I publish this post.
Sliced deli chicken atop spinach, cucumbers, red, orange, and banana peppers, carrots, black and green olives, chick peas, feta cheese, cilantro, ground pepper, and a balsamic vinegar drizzle on a whole wheat tortilla.
As well as a bag of green grapes for the road!
I’m sure there will be another small meal and/or a lot of snacking that will take place throughout the day before taking Fitness Pilates tonight. Have I mentioned I just love that class? I’m sure you couldn’t tell at all…
All right, folks, I’m out! See you a bit later for today’s HWG Beauty Week post!
April 16, 2014
Today’s post of this special HWG Beauty Week is a subject I have been wanting to discuss for ages.
Seriously. I have had “self-tanning” and “spray-tanning” on my possible blog post ideas list for just about two years now.
Why it took me this long to finally put it together is beyond me! I guess I am just awesome at procrastinating like that.
Anyways, below you will find a complied list of all of my favorite self-tanners in the form of lotion, wipe, and even spray on. By no means am I an expert on this subject, however, I have been testing out these sort of products and getting spray tans since making my college dance team in 2004.
That makes ten (whoa!) years of trial and error… so what you see below had to go through strenuous testing to make this list.
Only the best of the best for you guys!
Spray and Self-Tanning 101
I touched on the subject of tanning back in September as part of my Top 20 Photoshoot Tips + Tricks. Just as I mentioned before, tans aren’t for everyone, but I think that a good one can only complement what is already there.
Personally, even just a hint of color makes me feel slimmer, toner, and (I think) helps my muscles become more visible. As much as I would love to go nuts in the sunlight and soak up natural rays of color, we all know that can inevitably up your chances of skin cancer… which I’m pretty confident in saying no one wants to deal with.
So – if you are like me – and like to maintain a healthy glow without damaging your skin, here is what I recommend.
(Shout out to Kristi at The Sun Oasis for all of the fabulous spray tans this year as well as for introducing me to California Tan products!)
Gradual to Instant Tanning
Starting with just a hint of color, meant to be used on a daily basis until you are happy with the color to a full on DIY spray tan aerosol.
In-between: California Tan Instant Sunless Lotion
In-between: L’Oreal Sublime Bronze, Medium Natural Tan
Instant : California Tan Instant Sunless Spray
I’m not the biggest fan on tanning wipes. Although I think they are easier to get an all over streak-free color, I just don’t notice that much of a difference to buy and use them regularly.
Similar, but not really at all is this Subrushed wash-on formula I was introduced to by my Orlando Magic Dancers coach back in 2007.
Each kit comes with a container of liquid formula, an exfoliater scrub, tan preserving lotion, plastic gloves, and a wash cloth to apply it with.
I almost forgot about this gem until I was digging through my bathroom cabinets to make sure I included all of my rock star products. It’s simply fantastic! The results are just as good as a professional spray tan, if not better, and this kit got me through four solid seasons of dancing professionally in Orlando. Love, love, love it!
Applications and Rotations
If I am not getting a spray tan at a salon, I will use a combination of these products depending on how tan I want to be and how fast I need it.
Most weeks I rotate using a regular moisturizing lotion and a gradual tanning lotion every other day. A couple of times a week, I exchange the gradual tanning product for an instant one. If I need to be court ready with a tan, I use the spray, make sure I am completely dry (try using a blow dryer!) and then finish it off with an instant lotion for a dramatic color change.
I know… the process is kind of psycho.
Exfoliators + Tan Extenders
It is just as important take the time to prep and maintain your tan as it is to apply it.
Before any spray tan (professional or self-application), make sure to shave and exfoliate before and consistently use a good moisturizer afterwards.
If you don’t want to get all that fancy, just make sure you give your body a good scrub in the shower before and moisturize with something after!
Things to Know About Self-Tanning
Okay… now that you are probably overwhelmed by products, let’s dive right into my tips and answers to FAQs.
• Start small with one layer at a time.
Before you get freaked out about being responsible for applying your own color, don’t. Start simple with one coat, see how it goes, then add more if you want. You don’t have to get all Jenna Marbles on me (<- flipping hilarious) and put all ten layers on at once.
The majority of self-tanners take hours to do anything, so just be patient.
• It goes on as evenly as you put it on.
The majority of tanners I use are dark in color, which allows you to instantly see where it is applied. If you notice it’s going on streaky, make sure to even it out before moving on to the next section.
• It doesn’t last forever.
Just like natural tans, self and spray tans don’t last longer than a couple of days, depending your level of activity. The longest I have made a spray tan last is a week, and that was only because I was extremely focused on being gentle and moisturizing 24/7.
Also, after getting a professional spray tan, you might look a little crazy before your first shower.
The extremely dark color and blotchiness will wash right off once all of the bronzers set in and it’s time to shower.
• In the process, things could get messy.
Every time I apply my own spray tan, I make sure to wipe down the walls, floor, and counter tops in my bathroom. The stuff gets everywhere and can do some serious damage if you aren’t good about cleaning up afterwards.
Also, the solutions tend to sweat off. If you have a fresh coat on, I wouldn’t recommend wearing white to the gym or sleeping in clean sheets.
Most of the time, however, everything washes off once it’s put through the washing machine… no big deal.
Tips For Spray Tanning
I have been getting professional airbrush spray tans for ten years now. Wow.
I have only used a spray tanning machine a couple of times, and just prefer someone to do it. I always fear pulling a Ross and turning the wrong way several times in a row, but I’m guessing most of you are more coordinated than I am and could easily handle it.
I have received a couple of requests for tips specifically related to spray tanning and finally have some answers for you!
The biggest one I can give you is to schedule them at night, if possible. Go in clean, and sleep in it overnight before showering in the morning to produce the best results.
• shower, shave + exfoliate using a washcloth or exfoliating gloves
• avoid applying lotion and deodorant unless you like splotches
• (optional): apply a pre-spray coat for evening (see color maximizer product above!)
• wear dark, baggy, covering clothes and avoid the urge to wear a bra or anything with tight elastic
• (optional): apply lotion to hands, feet, and nails only, if desired, once at appointment
If done correctly, your spray will intensify over the next couple of hours. Most people choose to stay at home during this time, but I have gotten over the embarrassment and continue on with my days carefree.
• make sure you are fully dry before dressing and try using a blow dryer to help it set!
• remove excess spray from nails by gently wiping it with a small towel
• be very careful where you sit and how long you sit, if it’s extremely fresh
• avoid working out, sweating, and showering for at least 4-6 hours (nobody likes white streaks!)
• avoid loofahs and sponges in the shower and use gentle foaming soap
• gently pat yourself dry after showering
• always moisturize at least once a day and especially after every shower
I truly apologize if I just gave you total information overload. Maybe now you see why I have put this post off for so long… there was a lot to it!
Okay, friends. I think it’s time for me to sign off here. I really hope that you have been enjoying Beauty Week so far and just like I mentioned yesterday, if you have a specific question or idea for a topic, feel free to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy (sunless) tanning!
Previous HWG Beauty Week Posts: