Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What's on My Face: Everyday Basics

On a day-to-day basis, I don't wear all that much makeup - if any at all, but I thought I'd share with you the things that I've been putting on my face the most lately. Let's get into it!

I like to start with my eyes since I'm terrible at applying eye liner and it takes me frackin' forever! I'm obsessed with navy blue at the moment, but I didn't want to commit to a more expensive one until I knew it would work with my skin tone and eye color - hence the uber cheap Cover Girl Perfect Point Plus Eye Pencil in 220 Midnight Blue. This one is a twist up style with a little smudgy nib at the other end. I really like the twist up style eye liners, but this one just doesn't have the lasting power more expensive ones do. It does go on super easy, but about halfway through the day it transfers to my upper eye lid for that really sexy double line look *NOT*.

Because I am strange and like to use the things I spend money on - I know *gasp* right - I refuse to buy a new liner until the one I have is gone. Therefore, I need something to make this one stick a bit better. Enter the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Eden (this is just a sample sachet that I got with a Sephora order). I use my Bare Escentuals Precision Concealer brush to put this just along my lash line where I apply the eye liner. I've found that it does help it stay where I put it better, but I do still end up with the double line by the end of the day:( I guess it's a good thing the eye liner is so soft - I will use it up faster!

Next, I go in with my Shu Uemura Eye Lash Curlers and give my lashes a good curl. Then I follow up with the M.A.C. Zoom Fast Black Lash Mascara. This is my favorite mascara at the moment. It is a bit of a wetter formula, so application can be a bit tricky, but the result is super black super dramatic lashes - which I love!

To finish up the eyes, I dab a bit of the Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter into the inner corners and use my finger to blend a tiny bit.
Lastly, I slick on a healthy coat of the Almay Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm in 700 Cantaloupe Cream. Et Voila! There you have my go to face of the moment.

Do you have items that are your basic essentials? What can you not give up in your routine? Clearly, I forego the face base for a stronger eye. BTW, what is the best navy eye liner?!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Family Values: Vacation with Kids Under 10

It's Summer time and most of us are trying to get our vacations in before the good weather is gone. I am no exception to this rule. I do, however, have some major requirements to fulfill for any vacation I plan due to the fact that I have 2 kids under the age of 10...which begs the question - is it really a vacation [for me and the mister]? I'll leave that to you...

Because I am always travelling with 2 under 10, I have come up with a few suggestions for keeping things from getting mutinous 30 minutes into the trip.

Have a Plan
"Who wants to have a plan when they are on vacation?" - you may ask. Parents of small children! This is probably the simplest concept of them all, but also the easiest to overlook. No one expects you to have your itinerary written out to the last minute before you fall out at night, but having a rough idea of what you are doing each day and in what order never hurt anyone. I promise you, sitting down the night before to come up with a 'plan of attack' will make the day to come a lot more enjoyable. When you already know what you are doing and your kids know what to expect, there is more time to actually participate in your activities. My boys are 4 and 9, or other words, the decade of questioning. They must ask what we are doing or where we are going or what day it is or what time it is...*sigh* a BILLION times a day. And that is on a regular day - not even vacation! I just find it takes that down a notch to tell them exactly what we are doing and in what order. Yes, we still get questions, but not to the same degree...let's say a HUNDRED times a day, and I'm ok with that.

Pack Snacks
What do kids always want when they are bored? Food! Mine do at least...It is one of the few things they can generally control themselves when we are at home, and when they are out of their element the desire to have the snacks they are used to is strong. Aside from my want to save money, having a cooler full of snacks and drinks that your kids are used to can make them feel comfortable in a new environment. Also, you know these things *ahem* agree with them - and NO ONE wants a kid who's eaten something that doesn't agree with them while on vacation - I promise you! Plus, if your kids are like mine, they will get a kick out of the whole picnic style of eating while traveling.

Book Entertainment
Let's be honest, a vacation with kids is not the vacation we hope for as adults. I actually find it less of a vacation than just being home for a week. When you are home, they have all of their things and everything is set up in a way that you have to do little to keep them entertained. But when you are in a new place, you have to be 'ON' all the time and Lord forbid you don't have something exciting planned each day - no to mention the actual travel time. Enter the portable DVD player or tablet device. I've had a portable DVD player in my vehicle since my oldest was a baby. No, I don't think kids should be in front of a TV all of the time, but once you've exhausted all of the Punch Buggy, License Plate, and Car Color games that you have in your arsenal - a movie can be a welcome break for the adults in the car. Most of the time one or both of my boys end up falling asleep during this time anyway - which is a bonus if you ask me! My oldest will sometimes play a game on the iPad, and this keeps his appetite sated so when we are ready to do family things, he isn't begging to play video games. Although a vacation is full exciting things to do and see, kids sometimes just want something they are used to. It can serve as downtime in between other plans and even give us adults a little time to take a nap - after all, it's our vacation too!

These suggestions may seem simple and even quite obvious, but until you've prepared for and actually embarked on a trip with small children...you know nothing of the limits to which your brain will go to shut out even the most mundane of items from being added to your "To Pack" list! I can't tell you how many times I've forgotten to bring a bra because I've been so intent on not forgetting anything for the kids...

I hope these give you some ideas for your next family trip. What are your go to tips for traveling with the kids?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Product Spotlight: Supergoop! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50

Ever since I finished my cycle of Accutane (Claravis), my skin has been uber sensitive. Anyone that has ever gone through this treatment will know what I'm talking about! But for those of you who haven't, and simply have sensistive skin...this pertains to you too!

It is the summer and I am out in the sun more frequently than usual. This calls for extra SPF! This is a problem with my sensitive skin...I find that anything over an SPF of 15 burns and irritates my skin. I've tried lotions and sprays of all kinds, but all to the same end - angry skin! I started seeing advertisements and posts about Sunscreen Oils. These got me interested. I use a lot of skincare oils for my face and body and my skin LOVES them! I figured a sunscreen oil might be just as well recieved, so I took off to my local Sephora.

There were 2 I was interested in after reading about them: Clarins Sunscreen Care Oil Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 30 and the SUPERGOOP! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50. I initially went in looking for the Clarins version, but didn't see it in store and couldn't find it in stock online. So, I set my sights on the SUPERGOOP! spray. I found this on the Sephora website and it was cheaper than the Clarins one with a higher SPF - bonus!

I used this for 10 days while I was on vacation last week and it performed beautifully without irritating my skin! It went on nicely and sunk in right away. I wasn't left with that icky suntan lotion stickiness on my body either. I HATE that! I applied it once a day and never burned. I do have a naturally pigmented skin, so I tend to tan very easily with very little sun, but as I've aged I have burned more. This sunscreen oil kept the burn away and left me with nicely colored skin that was perfectly conditioned. There is a very very subtle scent, but nothing you'd notice after applying, so even my husband liked it!

All in all, I will definetly be repurchasing this and I'd recommend it to anyone with a sensitive skin that leans toward the dry side.

Have you tried a sunscreen oil? What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June Empties: Just the Basics

What better way to jump back into the blog than with a good ol' Empties Post! I have no excuses...sometimes life gets in the way, but I love this blog and I work hard to create the content that you find here. Back to your regularly scheduled blog posts!

Dove Hair Therapy Refresh+Care Volume Dry Shampoo
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this dry shampoo before. I find it to be my favorite of all the brands I've tried - which truthfully, isn't saying much - but we won't focus on that. I have fine hair, but a lot of it, and this stuff does the trick for my every 3 day shampooing routine. It does give a bit of white tint to my hair, but I just brush it through and it's perfect. If you just want a bit of grit and texture to your locks, give this a go, it's great for that too!

Skintimate Skin Therapy Moisturizing Shave Gel for Sensitive Skin
This is my go to shaving product. It does the job and leaves my legs smooth and moisturized. It's also nice and inexpensive.

Harney & Sons White Vanilla Grapefruit Tea
Shocker, I have some Harney & Sons tea in an empty post! At least this time it is something other than my beloved Royal Wedding Tea. I love citrus and vanilla, so a white tea with both was a no brainer. I expected this to have more of that astringent citrusy flavor like most teas flavored with citrus, but I was happily surprised! It is extremely smooth. The vanilla takes the edge off what you'd expect from grapefruit and just makes it bright and fresh. As always, I add a bit of agave and almond milk and I'm a happy girl. I will be repurchasing this!

Secret Outlast Invisible Solid in Sport Fresh
Here is another highly repurcahsed item. This is my favorite brand and variation of deodorant. I am not particular to any one scent, but this one smells like you have been snuggling with a sexy man...Who doesn't want that!?

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream
Again, it wouldn't be an empties post without something from Soap & Glory. Today there are 2! I have grown to absolutely LOVE this brand and every product I try from them. This thick and creamy cream smells like a limey Summer drink and feels amazing on the skin. Even the driest of skins will love this stuff.

Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter Body Moisturizer
With the signature Soap & Glory scent, this body butter is not only moisturizing, but also so relaxing. I use it mainly at night after my shower or bath, and my senses have been trained to know it is time to relax when I put this on. I will continue to go back to this as my whole body moisturizer.

Maybelline The Falsies Flared Volum' Express Waterproof in Very Black
Only a few things I can say about this mascara - I LOVE the drama and length the formula and brush gives, but HATE that it dries up and flakes like no ones business! Maybelline mascaras are some of the better drugstore versions in my opinion, but I just can't do the panda eyes and this stuff gives some extreme drop down about halfway through the day. I liked the instant results, but this will not be a repurchase for me.

Origins Starting Over Age-Erasing Eye Cream with Mimosa
I used this eye cream as my night time eye cream. It is a bit on the thick side, so I'm not sure how it would do under eye makeup, but it is perfect for slathering on before bed. I did notice that if you get it too close to your eye, you wake up with puffy eyes in the morning. I don't have any visible fine lines at this stage of my life, but I will consider repurchasing this again. I just happen to be an eye cream whore - there are just so many out there to try!

Nivea A Kiss of Milk & Honey Soothing Lip Care
I've already talked about this lip balm in the past. It's super cheap and great stuff! I will continue to repurchase this with the occasional Fresh lip treatment as a treat. I use this mainly at bedtime because it is nice and creamy, but that doesn't mean it can't be used all the time.

ChapStick Lip Shield 365 with SPF 50+
My sister gave this to me a few years ago when I was going on a snowboarding trip. You need something with good SPF when riding up and down a mountain in snow, wind, and ice conditions. I thought it tackled all of that really well at the time, but when I used it recently it made my lips burn. I have since gone through a cycle of Accutane and believe that gave me a sensitivity to certain ingredients of SPF products. Because of this, I won't be repurchasing, but that's not because I don't think it's a good product. If you don't have a sensitivity to the ingredients, this is one of the highest SPF lip balms I've seen at this price.

June was a month of good ol' basic items for me, and most are items I will continue to repurchase. When I find a brand or product that I love, I am very loyal - I am still on the hunt for some holy grail items though. With so many choices out there, it would be a shame not to branch out...right?!

What products did you use up this month? Do you find that there are certain products that you go through faster than others? If so, what are they? Mine is definitely body butters!