2.27.2015

How To: Smooth & Centered Low Ponytail

This week has been a doozy, and I'm glad it's over. I'm not sure if it's the new year, or if it's this time of year, but I'm currently in a no-fuss kinda mode.  I've been more into things being clean, simple, and easy. It's translated into my beauty routine as well.  Hair is even having a minimalist moment. Take today's hairstyle, for instance.  Seen all over the runways, the smooth and sleek low ponytail with a dramatic center part is so big right now. It adds instant sophistication and luckily for us, it can be easily recreated. I was sent some of the amazing new Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Smoothing collection and was really impressed with how well it worked. This is so easy, y'all.

First, a little background on my hair. It's naturally wavy, coarse, and is frizzy. The latter trait is even further enhanced thanks to the humidity of living in the South. Wavy, frizzy city, y'all. And I managed to sleek it down using just one product.

1-I think this is the first time I've shared my wet hair on the blog. Ha! Anyway, the first thing I did was apply Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Smoothing Light Weight Weather Proof Cream through my combed out damp hair.

2-Using this brush and a hair dryer, I straightened my hair. I skipped using the nozzle on the dryer here, since I'm using this type of brush, but use if you'd like.

If you already have straight hair, go ahead and part hair down the center then smooth over frizz and flyaways with a dime sized amount of the Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Smoothing Light Weight Weather Proof Cream.

3-Gather hair into a low ponytail and secure with a clear elastic (pictured above). Wrap a small section of hair from the ponytail around the elastic and secure with bobby pins.

4-Optional: Run a flat iron over the ponytail for an extra smooth finish.

That's it! Thanks to the Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Smoothing Light Weight Weather Proof Cream, this hairstyle has survived the crazy weather this week of rain, snow, sleet, and more rain. All WEEK! It's that good. Now, go get ya some!



2.25.2015

This or That: NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette Vs. Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette

I'm keeping this short and sweet today! The contour and highlighting craze is at its peak, and beauty brands are all releasing their versions. I'm not gonna admit how many I own or have tried! I bought both, carefully reviewed them, and am ready to share the results with you!  I can't wait to share with you this week's This or That, where I compare two similar beauty products. Don't you love posts like these?

2.24.2015

Quick Tip: Longer Lasting Curled Lashes

I know, I know, you see the pic, the title, and know all about the lash curler. But, hear me out on this quick tip. Ready?

For most of us, we curl both sets of lashes and then move onto another step, whether it's applying shadow or makeup, or even mascara.

Instead, try this tip:

Pick an eye--let's say your left one. Curl lashes on your left eye, then apply mascara for your left eye. Repeat on the right eye.

The trick here is that if you curl both sets of lashes, by the time you apply mascara, one, if not both, will have lost their curl by the time you apply mascara.

Bonus tip: If I am doing mascara on someone with super-straight lashes (like someone Asian) I'll apply a small coat of waterproof mascara to hold the curl.

So repeat with me: curl then mascara...curl then mascara. Not curl, curl, mascara, mascara.

Extra Elle:

  • It's currently snowing as I write this! Oh, it'll be gone in about 5 minutes, but I love the peacefulness of watching it snow.
  • My Disney cold has returned. I went to sleep at 9 last night. 9!!! I'm usually a night owl-early riser. Hope your day is going well!
Ignore the lack of makeup (sick day) but can you tell the difference? 


2.23.2015

Best Drugstore-Exclusive Beauty Buys

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Hey you! How was your weekend? Did you watch the Academy Awards? I was in awe of the dresses, the jewels, the makeup, the hair, and the price tag that came with it all. A girl can dream, right? Well, today forget about those expensive prices. I'm going to save you some money! I'm sharing my best drugstore-exclusive beauty buys. That's right--I'm skipping the traditional drugstore brands and doing something different. Here are a few (I seriously could have picked more) of the top 3 drugstores.

Walgreens--They have an awesome beauty section and knowledgeable staff. They also wonderful in-house brand called Studio35Beauty. Here are 5 of my must-buy items.

  • Masques--They have some really great facial masques, with something for every skin type. If I don't feel like making my own, I'll grab a few for when I travel. And they're only a dollar or two!
  • AHA Face Cream--This is the BEST deal out there. I've bought so many of these for myself as well as family. If you're looking for an exfoliator, give this a try. Note: if you have acne-prone or sensitive skin, do a patch test first. This does have 8% aha (alpha hydroxy acid) and will tingle the skin. It's only $9 and it WORKS for my dry skin.
  • Textured Cotton Rounds--I have tried just about every cotton pad and cotton round there is. Most end up disintegrating when product, like makeup remover, is applied, but not these! They are textured on one side and are the almost the size of the palm. They are wonderful and are $2.79 for 80!
  • Nail Remover Pump--For quick polish removal, take a cotton round, do a couple of pumps on the remover and wipe away! If you've ever spilled polish remover anywhere (me) you'll need this.
  • Heel Sleeves--Sandal weather is coming! Let's get those feet prepare with these heel sleeves. And because I can't stand sleeping in socks. I lose them every night!
    • BONUS: Jordana--LOVE this much more affordable sister company to Milani. You can also find this brand at Kmart, but thought I'd mention them here. See my best-worst Jordan picks here.
Rite Aid--I love the selection of brands at this store. If I'm looking for a new item and can't find it anywhere, I'll always find it at Rite Aid.
  • Bye Bye Blemish--I thank Arielle for turning me onto this product, a much more affordable dupe of the Mario Badescu version. Dip a Qtip into the solution (don't shake the bottle) and apply to your pimple. $9.99 as opposed to $17 for the MB version. This can also be purchased at Amazon.
  • Jessie's Girl Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner--This unique Japanese calligraphy-style brush allows for precise, super-fine application that lets you create lines as small as one millimeter thickness! Combined with a formula that dries super-quick for a smudge-proof application, the liquid eyeliner glides on smoothly without tugging or pulling. Must try for only $6.99
  • Rite Aid Renewal Sulfate-Free Color Protect Moisturizing Shampoo--This is the affordable version of the L'Oreal one. They have others as well, but this one I have used often.
  • Julie G Nail Polish--I picked up this brand randomly one day and found out it was created by a famous YouTuber! I love the polishes, the price, and that each color has a sample painted nail so you can actually see what the polish looks like on! $3.99
  • Rite Aid Makeup Remover Eyelid Wipes--I have super sensitive eyes that require $200 eye drops from a bottle the size of a quarter. I rely on wipes every night to make sure my eyelids are clean and dry. You would like these for makeup remover.
CVS--While they have a great in-house version of products (I love their version of the Garner BB Cream for dry skin) I wanted to feature Nuance, the brand by Salma Hayek. She really, really knows her stuff, especially when it comes to skincare. I don't know why this brand isn't talked about more.

  • Moisturizing Day Cream--Shea butter, jojoba & sunflower oil provide long-lasting nourishment. Natural licorice extract helps renew brightness and even skin tone. Pomegranate butter & vitamin E help protect against the harmful effects of daily toxins. Mimosa, blue agave, camapu & prickly pear extracts continuously sooth, hydrate and firm skin. SPF 30
  • Eye Serum--Instantly improves the appearance of skin firmness, while diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Acacia senegal gum helps tone, tighten and firm the delicate skin around the eye area for a more youthful-looking appearance. Vitamin C helps revitalize the skin. Lumisphere, an instant skin brightener, gives the skin a healthy-looking glow. 
  • Retional Capules--Anti-aging, advanced rejuvenation formula helps smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol is pure and active vitamin A that gently penetrates deep into the skin to help enhance elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin ton, while improving overall texture. After just a few nightly uses, skin appears smoother, younger-looking and more radiant as the signs of aging begin to diminish.
  • Lipstick--Love the formula of this and their Dusty Rose is an absolute dupe for Bobbi Brown's Brownie.
  • Blue Agave Wave Enchancing Styling Swirl--With meadowfoam seed oil, mimosa extract & wave boosting polymers. Combines two formulas to help control frizz and provide flexible hold for soft, flowing waves. Love this stuff!
Which of these would you try?

Extra Elle:
  • So I was hosting an Oscar party (very informal, trust) and was so bummed with the ENews RedCarpet coverage (as in, there was none). I missed a lot of the red carpet arrivals, so we played catchup on ABC. I'd ask your faves, but I'm sure you've answered that 100 times already on other blogs, right? I loved NPH as host. Lady Gaga was AMAZING, and then Julie Andrews came out and I lost. I always get emotional with the speeches or film subject matter. #stayweird #staydifferent 
  • I had planned on heading back home to see my newborn niece, but wasn't feeling too swift (#disneygerms) so I stayed here and organized my makeup, which took hours, partly because of my ADD! ;)
  • Since it's the last week of the month, I wanted to remind you of a giveaway that is ending:
  • I also did a Makeup Swap with blogger friend LaNae. IT WAS SO FUN!!! I'm wearing Julie G polish in it, btw. Watch me open up the makeup she got me (and act like it's Christmas) below:

2.20.2015

My Secret Trick for Red Carpet Beauty


I was at an event the other night, when I got asked what my must-have beauty tool is. "You can tell me!" she said. "Let me guess--some special cream from an ancient land made with unicorn tears?" she joked, but was completely surprised when she heard my answer. I leaned and and whispered my secret trick:

2.19.2015

Ipsy: February Review

Hey you! I'm finally back from my annual trip to the Magic Kingdom. I had grand plans of blogging and keeping up my normal schedule, but the beautiful weather all of the magic had me happily occupied! I brought back a few souvenirs including a nasty cold. I need a vacation from my vacation! ;) I'll share more on my trip on this month's Chit Chat video, so stay tuned. In the meantime, let's get into this month's Ipsy bag. It's a good one!


How cute is it? The theme is #ipsylove--perfect for February and Valentine's! So now that you've seen the bag, let's check out the goodies inside:

2.16.2015

Must Try Beauty Buys: February

Hey you! Did you have a wonderful weekend? Do anything special for Valentine's Day? You already know what I've been up to! I'll get into all of it below. But first, I want to share some products that I think you might want to check out. Let me know which ones you're interested in!

Disclaimer:

All products mentioned are purchased by me unless stated.
All pics, thoughts, etc, are mine unless otherwise noted. Publishing or redistributing any content from this blog is strictly prohibited. Please seek permission first. Thank you.




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