Beauty Favorites: New & Old

I clearly never got around to putting together a list of yearly favorites at the beginning of 2017, so I’ve decided to share with you some of my current favorites and daily go-to items. While I like to try new beauty products, my daily routine doesn’t stray too far away from my favorites. Like a great pair of jeans, these are just a few of the products that have won over my heart and make me feel confident and sexy on a daily basis.

photo1.jpg

I love my travel sized Aveda Hand Relief creme. Winter in Chicago means dry, chapped skin which is obviously no fun, so I like to use this hand lotion. The size is perfect to tote around in my bag on a daily basis and the formula is super moisturizing without feeling greasy. While this little bottle runs about $10, a little bit goes a long way – I’ve been using this same bottle since the beginning of December. My nose is also extremely sensitive to scents – I can’t use or be near Jergens lotion at all – this one has a really natural, floral scent. I’ll definitely buy another one of these once this bottle is empty.

OPI is definitely one of my go-to nail polish brands when I have the money to spend on it, but there are certain colors I can’t live without, like Cajun Shrimp. I’ve tried to find dupes in Essie or random inexpensive brands, but no one does this spicy coral better than OPI. This color is my signature shade and something I always come back to.

YSL’s Black Opium is one of my all-time favorite fragrances. I would go as far to say it’s my new signature scent. This perfume is so intoxicating and sexy, I was hooked the first time I checked it out at my local Sephora. It’s a scent that’s exciting, soft, and sensual. I have the one ounce bottle that I keep at home and the travel spray that I carry with me. While it’s on the pricier side, it’s definitely worth it.

I was pretty late to jump on the Anastasia Beverly Hills band wagon, but my life has changed since purchasing the Brow Wiz. Honestly, I was super hesitant to spend around $20 on an eyebrow pencil since I’ve had trouble getting my desired brow look with pencils in the past. I kept visiting Sephora to try it out and look at the different shades, until I finally pulled the trigger. I honestly don’t know how I lived without this product. The pencil tip is so precise and gives such a natural look. This brow product has made its way into my daily makeup routine.

Lastly, the Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics palette has become my favorite eyeshadow palette. I find cool tones look best on me and the shades available in this palette are perfect for an everyday eye look. Like other Urban Decay products, the colors are very pigmented and easy to blend. This palette is the perfect size to tote around if I’m changing my look later in the day for a cool, smokier date night look.

Again, these are just a few of my favorite beauty items that I’m finding I can’t live without. Using these products makes confident, sexy, and put together. While most of these are on the pricier side, the quality makes them hard to pass up. What are some of your beauty staples?

Bedtime is When Beauty Happens

By now most of us have learned that going to sleep with a full face of makeup can wreak havoc on our skin and do more damage than good. Not only do you get your pillows and bedding filthy, but you can wake up with pimples, encourage wrinkles and so much more. The worst part of this bad habit is that you’re missing out on nourishing your skin while you’re fully at rest and out of the sun and pollution. When you instill a nighttime beauty routine you’re allowing targeted skin care products to penetrate and work their magic. Bedtime is when beauty happens. It is the best time for deep moisturizing, fighting wrinkles and treating other problem areas, such as your lips and heels.

My mother taught me at a young age to take care of my skin and this has become much more important to me now that I’m in my mid-twenties. It’s really never too early to begin an anti-aging regiment. My nighttime beauty routine has evolved over the years, but I’ve become quite comfortable with the products I’m currently using. Overall, it’s pretty simple, but I believe it’s the foundation for building good habits and keeping great skin. Here are some of the staples I use and they’ve helped.

Face Wash

Cleansing your face at night is one of the single most important and basic things you can do to help your skin. Whether you like it or not, your skin is an organ that is aging every day. It’s important to remove any pollutants and makeup from your face to allow the skin to literally breathe and get the oxygen it needs to repair itself.

My favorite cleanser is the Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser. I’ve been using this product for years and it’s never let me down. The cleanser is so soft and gentle, giving your skin a deep cleanse. It includes beta hydroxyl that penetrates the pores, dissolving dirt, oil, and makeup. It also removes dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, and reveals softer, fresher skin.

nightly-beauty-routine.jpg

Exfoliator

Exfoliation is super important to remove dry and dead skin cells from your skin in a gentle way. Some of the top benefits to exfoliating include improved skin texture, preventing breakouts, and, of course, anti-aging. Regular exfoliation also helps increase blood circulation which makes it possible achieve healthy, radiant skin. It’s generally recommended to exfoliate a couple times a week.

I like to use St. Ives Apricot Scrub once a week. This is another product I’ve been using for years because it works well for my skin type. This exfoliator is somewhat coarse, but if used gently and not in a harsh scrubbing manner, it can deliver excellent results.

Moisturizer

As we age, our skin becomes drier, so moisturizing is an essential part of both your daytime and nighttime beauty routine. When you leave moisturizer out of your routine, you run the risk of developing deep wrinkles – and lots of them. When your
skin is dry, there’s a low-grade chronic inflammation that occurs which can lead to a breakdown of collagen, ultimately accelerating aging.

Moisturizer also gives you a layer of protection against the elements and improves the look of your makeup application.

I learned my lesson about moisturizer a couple years ago when I was breaking out really badly. I stopped using moisturizer because I thought it was contributing to my acne, but come to find out my skin was irritated and acne was part of the result of extremely dehydrated skin which overproduced oil. It was a nightmare, but now I apply moisturizer in the morning and at night no matter what.

Acne Spot Treatment

While this may not be necessary for everyone, this is a no-brainer in my bedtime routine. I suffer from the occasional pimple or two and try to get rid of them immediately, for obvious reasons – no one likes acne. The spot treatment I like to use applies and dries white, so I use it at night and at home. If you do have to use spot treatments, I would recommend moisturizing that area the morning after using this type of product because I find most of them are drying. If you know of a spot treatment that’s not drying, please let me know in the comments below!

Eye Cream

I never believed in eye cream. I always thought it was a way for companies to sell you products you don’t actually need, but after trying the one I received in my February Ipsy bag, I’m hooked. While some eye creams may not work, there definitely are two main benefits to using this type of product, which are anti-aging and deep moisturizing.

Anti-aging eye creams often contain ingredients that promote increased skin cell turnover which decreases the appearance of age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. The ingredients that help replace old skin cells with new ones can often lead to skin sensitivity, so that’s why these are generally used at night, out of sun exposure.

Deep moisturizing eye creams are deep nourishing and restorative. While your skin doesn’t necessarily absorb more moisture at night than during the day, if you find your skin to be drier at the end of the day, you might want to use a moisturizing eye cream.

The eye cream I received is supposed to be nourishing and brightening. I don’t generally notice bags under my eyes because my glasses usually cast a shadow to hide them if they were there – so I’m not sure I’m experiencing the benefits of brightening, but I do see a difference in that the skin seems more supple and my makeup applies more smoothly under my eyes.

Face Oil

A couple Ipsy bags ago, I received a sample of Tarte Cosmetics Maracuja Oil. It’s a facial oil. With all the problems I’ve had with my skin in the past this is something I was not interested in trying – until recently. With facial oils being all the rage lately, I finally looked up the benefits of this type of oil and took the plunge. I’ve seen outstanding benefits in my skin after using this oil daily for a few weeks. Due to the oil’s high dose of vitamin C, my dark spots from previous breakouts have lightened up and my overall complexion has improved.

After dabbling in the world of facial oils I now know they offer a wide variety of benefits. Ancient Egyptians maintained vibrant and flawless skin by using facial oils – and if the Egyptians did it, maybe we should, too! Do keep in mind that not all facial oils are the same and while some may benefit your skin immensely, others may cause irritation. Some of the many benefits to these oils include reducing wrinkles, protecting skin, and improving dry skin.

In conclusion, bedtime is prime time to care for your skin. We now know the importance of cleansing your face at night and using products that provide both nourishing and anti-aging benefits without being exposed to the damaging rays of the sun. By creating a routine that works for you, you can take five to ten minutes before bed to pamper yourself and take steps to improving your skin for the future.

What are some of your favorite bedtime and anti-aging products? What types of facial oils have you found effective?

100 Years of Beauty in Mexico in 60 Seconds

I was so glad I came across this video again! I’m half Hispanic, on my dad’s side, and I was raised very American. I didn’t even take Spanish in high school, I took French… *rolls eyes at myself* French was fun and interesting, and somehow even six years after high school, I can recall basic words and phrases so it wasn’t a complete waste. Now that I’m older, I do wish I had learned Spanish when I was younger and simply learned more about the culture and my heritage. So, better late than never, I’m trying to learn the language and more about the culture.

I know this video has been floating around the internet for some time now, but I find it so interesting how beauty has changed throughout the years and how some looks are simply timeless. Just in case you didn’t know, this is a series that features several different countries – like the United States, Italy, and Germany!

 

Now Trending: Color Correcting

Color correcting has been talked about a lot lately, and with so many palettes coming out, it’s hard to know what to use and how to use it!

From my own experience, I was really surprised to hear about this, but it makes total sense that certain colors cancel out others. The first time I tried color correcting was on the dark circles under my eyes. I used a peach concealer before applying my foundation and it worked wonders. I haven’t tried any other correcting, mostly because I don’t know what colors, but I found this really great guide that breaks down the colors and how they conceal different imperfections:

Color-Correcting.png

Read more about color correcting basics at Hairspray and High Heels!

Half Year Favorites

I’ve been meaning to do this post for a few weeks now, but never got around to doing it until now. This first half of the year has really flown by! We’re nearly into the middle of June and I’m finishing up our second quarter at work – it’s pretty wild stuff. I thought this would be the perfect time to sit down and share some of my favorite things – almost like monthly favorites, but half year favorites. I’m pretty much winging this right now, so we’ll see how it goes!

Clothing

To be honest, I haven’t done much shopping at all – at least I’ve been trying really hard to not shop because I’m working on a savings plan. But there are a few things that my heart gave into that I’ve been loving and getting so much use out of, it’s ridiculous. These items have definitely paid for themselves in use!

One of the first items I bought this year were my favorite pair of jeans. I had been having a lot of trouble finding jeans lately. My body type is pretty average, kind of on the athletic side, but I have a pretty big butt – maybe miniature Kim K. I can be pretty self-conscious about it, but it is what it is. Anyway, jeans were usually too low or too high, too tight in the legs, basically every single problem you could think of, I had. It wasn’t until I went shopping with my boyfriend’s mom that I finally found a pair that were perfect! The jeans are by Lucky Brand and they are “Brooke Straight” in a dark wash. I got them on a great sale for about 50% off. Literally perfect. I wear them as often as I can. They sit perfectly on my waist and have enough give for my butt. Lucky Brand has definitely become my latest jean obsession.

309e177e-4e46-41d5-baea-5dc9f92f6b8f.jpg

My next best purchase this year was a pair of Franco Sarto ankle boots. I was looking for a great pair of brown boots, but the ones I’d seen in stores were either way too expensive or just not the right style. I found these on clearance at Marshall’s and snatched them on the spot. They took a little while to break in, but I’ve gotten so much use out of them and I know I’ll continue to get use out of them throughout the year. They look incredible with cuffed jeans and dresses. They’re perfect!

51215139-28d1-42b3-b962-57d5e2dd1a18.jpg

Another shoe purchase made me feel like I reverted back to my rebellious teenage years. When the weather started getting nicer, I was in search of a sneaker that I could wear to work. I was tired of wearing boots and flats and really needed something comfortable for all occasions. That’s when I went to my local Vans store and picked up my Washed Authentic Slim in Cream and True White with the brown leather laces. I wear these so, so much. They’re perfect for a casual outfit during the warmer months. I typically wear them with jeans at the office or shorts when I’m running around my town.

Lastly, my most recent purchase, which you can read more about here, is my Louis Vuitton Cles Pouchette. I literally use this every single day. It’s so chic and cute. It holds my driver’s license, cards, some money and it’s attached to my keys. When I’m running out the door, it’s the only thing I need.

Experiences

Back in March, my very loving and wonderful boyfriend agreed to go with me to the Fall Out Boy concert here in Chicago. I had been debating for nearly two months whether or not to buy tickets, and the day of, I just decided to buy the tickets and we went! I’ve been a huge fan of them forever. I mean they’re Chicago boys and their songs are basically the anthem of my youth. Surprisingly I hadn’t seen them until this year – so that was pretty exciting. It was such a good time!

Beauty

I’ve talked about Marlowe No. 2 Extra Moisturizing Body Lotion before and I’m going to talk about it again because I love it. This stuff is great. I bought it earlier this year when it was still winter in Chicago because my hands were getting really dry with the weather, but I think my hands are just dry all the time. I tend to wash my hands pretty often – just trying to staying clean – so my palms will get pretty dry and scaly. I’m always hesitant about buying new lotion because I hate strong scents and I can’t stand greasy hands. This lotion is super hydrating, has a really light, kind of sweet smell and it’s not greasy.  I would absolutely recommend checking this out.

6eb88f62-2246-494d-a352-e53ba45ef398.jpg

Some other purchase I’ve made include two really inexpensive and long lasting nail polishes. I recently purchased Vacation Time by Sinful Colors and it’s a really awesome muted mauve nude that’s perfect for summer. The other polish is Get Down by Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear. It’s a really cool magenta. It definitely looks like a berry type color. It’s so pretty!

The last product, which I’ve used before and loved, is the Volumizing Dry Shampoo by Tresemme. This is great for after workouts or after sweating all day in the sun. My hair usually gets pretty flat throughout the day and this is a lifesaver. It gives my hair a lot of body and volume without having to wash and style it again.

Hopefully this post was interesting and helpful in some way. Like I said, I haven’t been buying too many things lately because I’m trying to save for some larger items. These are just some of my favorite things from the first six months of the year. I’ll compile some more favorites throughout the rest of the year to share. If you have any questions about the items, feel free to leave a comment or message me!