Bronzer Edition

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To my dear friends & family, I apologize for my momentary absence. I know it has been too long, but as I am in ‘The City that Never Sleeps’ this summer, I have had little to no time for DIY projects or even time to purchase new makeup (*gasp*). Though it’s probably good for my wallet, it’s not good for the heart…well, my heart at least.

I stumbled into Sephora a few days ago, which is always dangerous especially when there is nothing specific you go in to purchase, but I walked out with only 2 items! One in which I want to talk about today; bronzer.

Bronzer is perfect for adding a sunkissed look to the face, neck & chest. Whether giving yourself an all over glow by dusting it on your face or using it to play up your facial features by contouring, everyone loves a little extra depth & adding some fake summer lovin’ to their face. Here are 6 overall bronzers in a variety of price ranges I have picked out to share!

Splurge: (for those of you who are willing to spend a little extra on bronzers)

1) I purchased the Benefit Hoola Bronzer ($28) after hearing many people rave about how wonderful it is & let me tell you, they were right! Even the little applicator brush is perfect for contouring the face. It’s a perfect matte color that blends so easily into the face. This is my absolute new favorite purchase. Hands down.
2) I checked out NARS Laguna Bronzer ($36) several times & have used it before but I am not a fan of shimmer on my face (other than eyeshadow) & this has just a small enough amount to make me steer clear. Bronzers that actually have any kind of shimmer/sparkle in them make the face look muddy (aka dirty) & I rather not have my face sparkle under the light or when I step outside.
3) Lastly, MAC’s Temperature Rising Pro Longwear Bronzer ($30) is a limited edition bronzer that is borderline matte & has a smidge of shimmer but blended in the right way, this is perfect for contouring & applying on the neck & chest.

Steal: (for those who are just looking to get by)

1) Rimmel Natural Bronzer ($5) is one that I’ve used for years but…it has a little shimmer. I use this mostly for the nights I go out & want a little extra sparkle to my face or chest, I don’t recommend this for contouring however. Overall it’s a great all over bronzer.
2) NYX Matte Bronzer ($9) is cheap, matte & gets the job done. It’s a small compact but for the price, it’s not bad. Great to throw in your purse or keep in your car when you need to add a little extra color.
3) Here’s a secret that I learned a few years ago, dark face powders work wonderfully for bronzers. There are so many colors to choose from & they’re all matte! How perfect right? Milani Face Powder ($7) has a great line of darker colors that I use for the extreme bronzed look. I’ve had mine for over a year & I haven’t even made a dent in this compact. I highly suggest this product.

What bronzers are your favorite? Any that have worked well for you?

Lipstick Edition

Lips
There is a large plethora of lipsticks out there, but Maybelline’s collection of Vivid’s & Whisper are by far my favorite. Not only are both lines inexpensive but they’re also very highly pigmented. They can be found in any drugstore & are under $10! The Whisper collection is more sheer & isn’t as strong on the lip as the Vivid collection but the Vivid collection ranges from neon reds to fuchsia like purples that last a long time on the lip & as I said, are a very strong color.
My only suggestion is, when you want to avoid lipsticks that settle into the lines in your lips & flake, shoot for the Whisper collection. The sheerness of this lipstick makes those trendy colored lipsticks easier to wear especially if you don’t want to commit to a full on vivid-type lip color.
But beware ladies, once you try one color, you’ll be tempted to purchase several tubes.

DIY Exfoliating Body Coffee Scrub

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“Michelle Pino, is a Spa Manager at Skana and Turning Stone Resort and Casino to Turning Stone Resort and Casino, a spa in upstate Verona, New Yoek. She enjoys DIY projects, healthy recipes, exercise, and all things related to skin care. If you have any comments or questions feel free to contact Michelle via email at michellepino@turningstone.com.”

Winter may be a memory for most of us, but chances are high that you are still carrying around a layer of that dry winter skin. As a mom finding the spare time or extra money to invest in a trip to the nearest day spa can be challenging. No worries! Revealing the softer side of your skin is as easy as mixing together a few common household ingredients and locking yourself away in your bathroom for the amount of time it takes you to shower.

The following coffee scrub recipe is easy to make, easy to use and has the added benefit of energizing your skin with the power of caffeine. The rough texture of the coffee grounds sloughs away dead winter skin while the caffeine contained within perks up your blood flow, resulting in more radiant looking skin. There is no need to purchase expensive coffee to make this scrub and you can actually save money by using the grounds from this morning’s pot of coffee. Simply spread the used grounds out on a baking sheet and allow them to dry out before mixing together all of the ingredients.

What you will need:

2 cups ground coffee
1/2 cup raw sugar or sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
5-10 drops scent oil of choice, if desired

Directions:
-In a medium size bowl, combine coffee and sugar or salt and mix well to evenly distribute the ingredients.
-Add oil(s) and mix until well combined.
-If you wish to scent your scrub, be sure to use scents that complement the aroma of the coffee, such as cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate or hazelnut.
-(Coffee has a strong scent that cannot be masked.)
-Store your scrub in an airtight container and use within a week to avoid the mixture turning rancid.

To Use:
Apply the scrub directly to small sections of your skin using your hands, washcloth or bath mitt and gently work into the skin using small circular motions. Be sure to rinse well to avoid finding coffee grounds in uncomfortable locations of your body. Pat dry and apply a moisturizing lotion to help seal, soften and protect your baby soft skin. For best results, use once or twice a week to keep your skin fresh and glowing.

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(This post has been supported by Skana, Spa)

Sephora Haul

Sephora Haul
Oh, Sephora. This place is considered luxurious to me, it holds many top name brands that I swoon over  every time I step inside. As a girl who loves Target (and their prices), I find myself cringing once I step up to the cashiers & pay way too much for such a little tiny bag of goodies. But nonetheless, I find myself shopping here on very rare occasions & knowing that I can buy all of the latest products in sample size form, makes me feel all giddy.
This post is dedicated to 5 products that I’ve purchased over the last month or two, and I just wanted to share a little bit about my reviews on each item.
1) Philosophy’s Purity Face Wash: 
A little goes a long way, plus it promises to clean beyond the surface which is what stuck out to me. Cetaphil will always be my go-to face wash, but sometimes I feel like I need a little deeper clean. I also purchased a small little face scrub brush that I pair with this cleanser & my skin has never felt more clean! It’s pricey, but an investment in great facial products is always worth it, especially when it works well with your skin type.
2) BeautyBlender:
I’ve mentioned this little guy several times in previous posts, mostly on how bad I’ve wanted to try it yet how I refused to pay $20 for a pretty pink sponge. Well, it was just one of those days, I picked it up and just bought it. You know, I don’t regret it. This sponge is marvelous. literal magic. The trick is running it under hot water for a few seconds allowing it to expand almost twice its size, then you place a few dots of foundation on your face and gently blot the foundation into your skin. It leaves a flawless amount of coverage no matter what type of foundation you’re using & the best part of all, is that it leaves such a dewy beautiful glow that I often times skip setting powder & just leave it bare.
3) Urban Decay All Night Makeup Setting Spray:
This product I’m still a little iffy on. Does it really work? Well…lets just say I wouldn’t try to sell this to anyone. I purchased the small sample bottle to try it & I haven’t noticed much of a difference. It promises to keep your makeup in place for hours, which is great for long days at the office or nights out on the town, but I find myself applying some face powder here & there.
4) Too Faced Primed & Poreless Primer:
I’ve never tried Too Faced products until now & I have to say, I’m not impressed. First off, I’m not a fan of primer. It doesn’t work for me & I see absolutely no difference. Honestly, I think primers are gimics. I’ve tried several kinds & I haven’t noticed a darn difference like they promise. Thankfully, this was a free give away that I was able to test, but my advice would be to stay away.
5) Too Faced Lash Injection Mascara:
Darn cute packaging! I’m a sucker for any type of packaging that catches my eye. I needed a new mascara one day & decided to give this one a shot. I don’t love it, I’ve had others work a lot better but I also don’t hate this mascara. I usually just use this after I apply a first coat of Maybelliene mascara & it gives a little more volume, but my eyelashes aren’t very thick nor long, so I find it difficult to use. Plus, when I wash it off, it looks & feels like little black pieces of glue are falling from your face. Would I buy this again? No, I wouldn’t, but everyone’s mascara needs are different & unfortunately this product just didn’t work for me.
What do you all think? Has there been any product that’s worked for you?

Drugstore Beauty Products for Spring

Drugstore Beauty Finds
It’s here! It’s finally here, Spring is in the air & though I’m a little late on this post, I wanted to post a few of my Spring faves for face, body & hair.
  1. Face:
    -Cetaphil: My go-to face cleanser. I am in love with this stuff. I experienced that, when I used products with any type of acne medication it dried out my skin & left it worse than when I started. My mom actually recommended this product to me a while back & I’ve used nothing since & I have clear skin, yahoo!

    -Ponds Dry Skin Lotion: This stuff is magical! I got this tub back in the winter to use at night so my skin would be nice & moisturized throughout the day, but since I still have half a tub left, I’ve continued to use it at night. Though it is a thicker, heavier lotion, it really soaks into my skin & doesn’t leave any greasy residue & when I wake up, my skin is literally glowing.

  2. -Maybelliene BB Cream: Forget foundation when I’m running late for class or when I know it’ll be way too hot outside to even attempt to wear my favorite liquid foundation! This BB Cream is the first ever BB Cream I’ve tried & I’ve yet to switch products. It works so well with my skin! It doesn’t leave my face shiny & gives the perfect amount of coverage.

  3. Body:
    -Jergens Natural Glow Firming Lotion: Oh my gosh. This stuff. They recently came out with a new version of this product, promising it leaves no odor, but that’s pretty much unrealistic when you’re talking about a self-tanner. This stuff has always worked & gives a beautiful color whether you’re looking in getting a gradual tan OR by using their 3-day advance lotion. The smell isn’t as bad as it used to be but is still there & will linger throughout the day. Regardless I use this religiously & I haven’t turned orange yet!

    -Jergens Skin Firming Daily moisturizer: This lotion has reduced cellulite on the back of my legs. Need I say more? It’s inexpensive, smells great & when I rub it on the back of my thighs after a shower for a minute each leg, I’ve seriously, in all honesty, seen a difference in the appearance of cellulite! Buy this.

    -St.Ives Exfoliating Salt Body Scrub: I’ve never loved an exfoliation product more. This step is essential when you’re trying to achieve glowing,silky skin, especially before using tanning lotion! I highly suggest this great smelling body scrub that feels like little nourishing pieces of ground salt on your skin. It also helps reduce the appearance of cellulite as well, so what’s not to love?

  4. Hair:
    -Organix Moroccan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner: Moroccan oil is the new thing…along with kreatine and aragon oil but before this gets too confusing with words I have trouble pronouncing, I can however, say that if you purchase any type of hair product with these three ingredients in them, then you are purchasing the right thing. These oils are so moisturizingfor your hair but this Moroccan oil shampoo & condition have been wonderful in nourishing my hair. It leaves my hair so much softer & shinier, it smells great & is inexpensive.

    -Chi Silk Infusion: This product has recently become a “drugstore” edition since it’s still pretty pricey but let me tell you, it’s worth every penny. I’ve used this product for years & when Spring & Summer time roll around I just lessen the amount I use since I try not to use as many heat related products. The great thing about this product is that it comes in either a large or small bottle so it can fit within anyones price range. Not only does this stuff last a long time but it’s in all honesty the best smelling thing I’ve ever come across for hair. Not to mention it makes my hair the best it has ever been!

What time of products do you recommend for the Spring? Let me know what you think!

DIY Metallic Bottles

This project was so easy, fun & cheap! Since I’ve been on a gold kick lately, I’ve tried finding any excuse to re-do ordinary household items. The first step is to collect any type of glass items, bottles, figurines, vases, mostly anything will do. I chose to use some wine bottles we had laying in our recycling bin & here are the steps I took to re-create something so simple!

First, wash out the inside & soak the bottle so the labels are easy to come off. I got a little impatient waiting so I used a brillo pad to help out. Then set it outside or on the counter to dry for at least 30 minutes.

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Second, lay out some newspapers outside so you don’t turn your grass-green (although I would love that…). I purchased this miniature can of metallic spray paint at Joann’s for around $3.

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Third, spray away! The first coat covered the whole bottle, so I sprayed on another one almost immediately after the first. With the wine bottles it was easy to put my finger in the bottle to ensure that I sprayed all around evenly. It’s dry to the touch after about 30 minutes so I didn’t leave it outside long.

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Lastly, once your bottles (or other items) are dry, you can place it anywhere! I added a little baby’s breath to mine while placing it near my pillows. I think it’s a pretty chic look, don’t you? If you want to get really fancy, you can add some paint tape to make a chevron design or even a monogram!

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What other items would be great covered in metallic spray paint?!

DIY Sequin Pillow

I saw this DIY project on another blog & knew I had to give it a try. I purchased all of my materials at Joann’s where I used a 40% off coupon & my 10% off student card. Joann’s is a great place to buy craft materials since they’re always sending out coupons, plus their website has them available as well. I downloaded the Joann’s app so it’s easy for me to pull up whatever promotional discount they’re having at the time!

Materials needed:

  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Font insert (made on Microsoft Word)
  • Sequin string (purchased in yards, I used around 2)

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Once I gathered all of my supplies & plugged in my glue gun, I cut off the excess paper around my font insert since my pillow is pretty small. Slip it in through the zipper & place it wherever you think looks best (also, you may want to carefully tear or cut off the tag on your pillow).

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Now this part is pretty tricky, half way through this step I realized that my letters were a little too close together so I suggest either using a bigger pillow, put spaces between the letters or simply using another font. Hot glue along the font insert only parts at a time while you work the sequin string the way you want.

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Once you’re finished, just cut the string & ta-da! I loved the way my Chic & Amour pillow turned out. They’re nestled on my chair in my room & the sequins add a pop of bling.

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What other DIY objects could you use this sequin string on!?

Lipcolor Ready

Alright ladies, it’s almost spring & the perfect time to get those lips ready for bright colors & sunny days! These are a few of my favorite things that I use, including; lipstick & an exfoliator. I’m not one for heavy lipsticks, which is why the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm is my favorite. It’s moisterizing it gives great coverage, it’s basically like a colored chapstick for your lips, plus you just twist the bottom to push the lip color up when it starts becoming too low.

Spring is the best time to break out new lipstick colors & I always encourage friends to try new colors beyond nude & red. The first step to get those lips spring time ready is to exfoliate! This Lip Polish works like a charm,  (found at your local drugstore) I just scrub it on my lips with my finger than wash it off with a washcloth. A cheaper alternative is to use sugar (mix with a little vaseline to make it more moisterizing). Once I exfoliate, I slather my lips in vaseline. This is a magical product that is a cult favorite. I probably have a tub in every part of the house, in every handbag & in several places in my room…it’s a little ridiculous. But for $1 at Target, how could I not splurge on a few handfuls?!

Lastly, lipsticks & lipglosses. I hate lipgloss. It’s sticky, it dries out my lips & overall, it’s such a nightmare but these two tubes from Revlon are anything but normal lipgloss. I usually just apply them on top of whatever lipstick I’m wearing to add a little shine. As far as lipstick goes, I’m not too picky. MAC always has great colors but instead of spending $15+ a lipstick, drugstore ones work great too. Everyone has their preferences, but my only suggestion is to sluff away the dead skin, moisterize & try a new color!

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(Revlon Kissable Balm colors shown: Honey, Crush & Sweetheart)

What lip products or colors are your favorite?

Drawer Makeover In 5 Easy Steps!

This is a simple & easy DIY project that can take little to no time at all! If any of you have been stumbling around on Pinterest lately, I’m sure you’ve seen the popular trend where fellow crafters use either wrapping or wallpaper to decorate the back-splash in their bookcases. Well as much as I would love to try this, the only ‘bookshelf’ I have is a dinky 4 cube ensemble I purchased at IKEA that has absolutely no back whats so ever. With that being said, I decided to give my drawers a little makeover! Here are the few simple steps I took to complete a brand-new, ultra-chic look:

1) Gather supplies! I purchased this wrapping paper at Target in the dollar section. The tape & scissors I found laying around the house.

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2) Take everything out of your drawer(s). Should you clean it is up to you or if you’re like me, you can always just place the wrapping paper over all of the dust.

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3) Measure out how much you’ll need to fit inside your drawer, you don’t have to be percise or take much time making sure all the sides are even or lay flat. A little extra would be ideal so it’s easier for Step 4.

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4) Once you’re satistfied with how you’ve placed your wrapping paper in the drawer, pull out your tape & start taping down the sides! (Clear tape works the best for this)

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5) Now you can take time to organize & place items back in drawer!

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See how easy that was? The best part about this type of project is that if you get tired of the wrapping paper, want to change it or if it just gets dirty, you can tear it out & do it all over again!

What other itmes would be fun to use wrapping paper for?

Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter

Is anyone else tired of under eye circles (every pun intended…)? I never really thought I had under eye circles until I started using liquid concealer a shade or two lighter than my foundation under my eyes to highlight that area. Every time when I would get ready without it, I noticed a big difference! Even if you don’t deem yourself in that category of women who suffer from under eye circles, highlighting along with concealing can make a big difference!

Now you may not know what highlighting exactly is, but in a post below I mentioned how I had bought MAC’s Soft & Gentle highlighter which is a powder consistency that’s used above the cheekbones, on the bridge of your nose & on your temples. This whole routine lightens up your face & gives you the perfect dewy glow.

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(www.mac.com Soft & Gental Mineralize Skinfinish $27)

However, instead of purchasing an expensive product that you’re not sure is for you or you may not want to get too complicated with your whole makeup look, I suggest Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer. It’s a Maybelline product that is super affordable & gives you the perfect coverage & highlighting effect for under your eyes.

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(Color: Radiant http://www.maybelline.com/Products/Face-Makeup/Concealer/Dream-Lumi-Touch-Highlighting-Concealer.aspx $7.99 at your local drugstore!)

My suggestions on applying:

  1. You simply twist the bottom & the product comes out of the brush on top where you apply in small strokes under the eye.
  2. Take your ring finger (I suggest warming up your hands by rubbing them together to help set the product better) & dab it until blended.
  3. Set with a loose powder a shade lighter than your foundation or just sweep across some compact powder to finish off the look!

This product comes in 6 different shades & in the photo above, I used the ‘Radiant’ highlighting concealer. You’ll notice a big difference & it will awaken your whole face! Why not try it? Let me know your thoughts on this product & if you have it, then let me know how you use it!