4.20.2014

Rants, Raves, & 90 Facts About Me!


Happy Easter! To celebrate the end of my Blogiversary Week (hey, I'm dragging this sucker out as long as possible) I'm sharing a video giving you 90 FACTS ABOUT ME! You want a personal post about me? Here ya go! But first, a quick recap of life lately:

Rants
  • My neighbors have a domestic disturbance that started about 2:30 this morning and then proceeded to go on and off for 8 hours. This sick girl just wants to sleep, okay?
Raves
  • My blog is 4, Charlie is 4, and my Youtube channel turns 1! Things just keep getting better with age around here. I've got an awesome giveaway you'll want to check out.
  • I spent way too much at Target--doesn't this happen to everyone? One of my best purchases would be Bubble Blaster--totally a kid at heart.
  • I bought an at-home laser hair removal system. I'll be sharing updates, if there are any!
  • I celebrated Rex Manning Day--tell me you love Empire Records as much as I do!
  • In honor of my 4th Blogiversary, I did a video of 90 Facts--I thought I had 50 until I counted!! I hope you watch and learn a bit more about me. Enjoy.
Can't see the video? Click here.

THREE GIVEAWAYS!
GIVEAWAYS for you!
$75 Sephora Gift Card + 2 more prizes

4.18.2014

Elle's All Day Beauty Tools With Neutrogena (Giveaway)

These products were provided to me by Neutrogena® . Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Think about all of your activities in a typical day--what if you had an all day beauty kit that could take you from one activity to the next? Neutrogena® and ABC’s hit show Nashville created an exclusive 3-part digital series, Nashville All Day Beauty, featuring Hayden Panettiere. Whether she’s performing, enjoying a night out, or just kicking back with friends, this series gives us a glimpse inside Hayden’s daily life in Music City and the Neutrogena® products that help her maintain her flawless glow. Check it out here.


Inspired by the products that Hayden uses to look and feel beautiful during her days, I wanted to let you in on one of my days--from day to night! Check out my All Day Beauty Tools Kit from Neutrogena that I use for every part of my day:

Two facts about this pic: I love mint and here I am with no makeup, wearing a shirt that's 20 years old. Um.

Check out that snazzy blog! Charlie is over the sun and is hiding out!

Morning: 
  • I start my day with a cup of coffee, endless emails, and commenting on blogs.
  • After an hour or two of this, Charlie wakes up, and taps me three times, signaling it's time for our morning walk. It's his 4th birthday today, by the way!
  • Since it's daylight in the mornings when we walk, I make sure to put on my Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture Sunscreen (don't forget the hands, too!) before heading out. It's perfect for dry skin, but check out other formulas for your skin type. I know the walk is over when Charlie heads for the shade. ;)
  • But it's time to get ready for work! I take a shower using the classic Rainbath Refreshing Bath & Shower Gel. I debate washing my hair--the Triple Moisture line is awesome--but decide to do it later. 



My All Day Beauty Tools from Neutrogena, me and this amazing bubble blaster, and the 4 year old's rainbow

Noon:
  • I'm so lucky that I get to dress super casual for work. I'm a nanny to an awesome 4 year old and 1 month old. We are always running around from activity to activity, so my beauty routine varies. Today, I knew we were going to be outside--a lot--after an unpredictable winter, we grab every opportunity we can. I kept my makeup very simple today, with the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Primer--it has SPF 15 and can be worn with or without makeup. I added foundation, mascara, and finished the look with one of my FAVORITE lip crayons, the MoistureSmooth Color Stick, in Bright Berry. Then I threw my hair into a quick fishtail braid. If you'd like a tutorial, let me know!
  • Here's a peek into my busy day: We headed to the park for a picnic (baby sis is at home with her parents) and play. I added more of the Oil-Free Moisture Sunscreen before our bubble popping adventures. Bubble popping is the 4 year old's specialty. She was not into the picnic on the blanket nor taking pics, but she thought it was hilarious I was using the timer and trying to smile AND not look awkward. Fun day.

Waiting on dinner (turkey burger and fries) and then The Grand Budapest Hotel--I loved it!

Night:
  • I head home, walk Charlie, and start getting ready before dinner and a movie. Before applying foundation I again used the Healthy Skin Primer, but for my eyes I used the Neutrogena Crease Proof Shadow, which instantly brightens my eyes. Next, I took the Nourishing Eyeliner in the outer corner in a sideways V, then blended it with the smudge tip, giving my eyes that almond shape. Thanks to celeb makeup artist Amy Oresman for the tip! Once again, I used the MoistureSmooth Color Stick. I'm making it my mission to get one of every color.
  • I walk Charlie one last time and then it's time for wind down. Before showering, I remove my makeup with the Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover--it even gets rid of waterproof mascara with no oily residue. I like it because I have super sensitive eyes and it doesn't irritate them.
  • Shower time! Rainbath again and this time I wash my hair with the Triple Moisture Cream Lather Shampoo, skipping the conditioner but instead I use the Deep Recovery Hair Mask. I agree with celeb hair stylist Sam Leonardi's suggestion of using plastic wrap around your mask-covered hair to further intensify the moisture. I've done that for years and it works. What I find so crazy is how much my natural wave is enhanced and how much frizz is gone. Try this!
  • I end the night at midnight after finishing the next day's post. A sleepy Charlie is passed out on my pillow and he sighs when I move him. Does your dog sleep on your pillow, too? 
  • All in all, a fun and busy day!

So that's just a peek into my day, and how I use tools from Neutrogena for all day beauty.
And now FIVE of you will get All Day Beauty Kits similar to mine!

Simply leave a comment telling me a Neutrogena product you love or want to try.
Also, leave me a valid email to contact you! You may enter twice if desired.
The winner will be chosen May 18, 2014.
Open to US only. Good luck!

4.17.2014

Video: My 4 Biggest Blogging Mistakes


Hey you!  I've been dealing with some computer issues (yay) so this post is way later than usual. Yesterday on my Instagram I asked what personal post you wanted to see, and this had the most votes! I still can't believe I started my blog 4 years ago and my Youtube channel a year ago. Of course so much has changed (how could it not) but mostly importantly, I've changed. I've made a ton of blogging mistakes, but today I'm sharing 4 of them (for 4 years) and I'm sharing them in video, too!


1: Blog About What YOU Want
I started my blog because I wanted to show everyone how easy having a beauty routine can be. I wanted beauty to be accessible for everyone, and I wanted to dispel those beauty myths that I see every.single.week. Example: Preparation H won't do a thing for puffy eyes, ladies.

But did I start out doing a mostly-beauty blog? No. I thought no one but beauty fans would read it, so I blogged about everything else. It was a mess and kind of unpredictable as to what content I'd post. When I finally did move to mostly beauty, I lost readers who wanted just outfit collages or just my personal life, but this blog isn't about them. It's about what I like, so blog what makes you happy!

2: Bigger & Better Pictures
Cameras and Photoshop have now become a part of everyday lexicon, and of course, we are visual people. One of the biggest mistakes I made was my using my camera phone (all I had) for the first two years of pics on the blog. The pics were horrible and small, as Blogger automatically uploads in medium, and I never thought to make them larger. I know!

I don't have anyone to take or edit my pics, nor do I own a professional camera, but I can tell I have improved. I still have a long ways to go with learning pics and graphics, but I am truly proud at how much better they are now. You can have great content, but without great pics, the chances your post will get read decrease. I would also add a good blog design helps too with visuals.

3: Put Yourself Out There
Quick question: What's the difference between a magazine article and a blog? Short answer: with a blog, you feel you know the person, and maybe even trust her opinions. I've talked about this a few times before, but for the first year or so, you didn't see me on my blog. I wanted my blog to be a resource of information on all things beauty, but I didn't want "me" to be on here. It felt so self-centered. Ha!

Despite having a name for a blog title and blog address, there was no "Elle." Why? Since 5th grade on, people have felt the need to point out my physical flaws. Even to this day, it happens. If I have to deal with that in real life, why would I put myself out there to the world to be judged? Who would take beauty advice from an ugly girl? Look at the "big" bloggers--they are all gorgeous. Would anyone read what I had to say or just judge me first? I wasn't strong enough for that online ridicule yet.

I am so proud to say that I have worked so hard on this in the past year, and have certainly come a long way. I share more of myself on here (it is hard to marry beauty with your life in a post that isn't a mile long), started a Youtube (I was so nervous about my Southern accent. I would break out in hives after each video!), and I finally started accepting invites for blogging events.

Does it suck when I lost half my viewers after my first Youtube video last year when I was 40 pounds heavier? Yes. Do it suck when a pic of my coffee on Instagram gets twice the likes as a pic of myself? Yes. But at the end of the day, I love myself. And that's all that matters, which leads me into my last mistake:

4: You Can't Please Everyone
Hello, my name is Elle and I have been on a life-long mission to have everyone like me. But guess what? It is impossible. Impossible! No matter what I do, not everyone likes me, and that hurts. And that is just a part of life. To put it in a much, much bigger picture: name one celebrity everyone likes. You can't! Name a food everyone likes--you can't!

Things I tried: people wanted more reviews, so I did more of those, but then I got the same amount of people who don't like reviews. People wanted less drugstore, more high-end, and then I got complaints on that. People wanted videos so I started a Youtube last year, but it is my lowest-viewed content. I'm too conservative because I don't cuss or talk about my period. I'm too liberal because I posted pics of wine or because I accept everyone. Unfollow! I post too many pics of myself. I post too few. I talk too much about myself. I talk too little. You just can't win.

I know I'm a nice person, have great content, am knowledgeable, etc, but there are some people who will never like me or my blog. I don't get it. But what I do get is once you accept that you can't please everyone, you won't feel that stress of having to please people. To repeat #2, blog about what you want and what makes you happy.

What are your biggest blogging mistakes?

GIVEAWAYS for you!

4.16.2014

Shakeup Your Makeup for Spring with Vincent Longo

How has your week been? Mine has been speeding by, which is always a good thing, I think. The weather (minus yesterday) has been wonderful and everything is in bloom. Since it's spring (even if it's cold where you are) it's time to shakeup your makeup. Be gone, dark colors and paleness! Let's add some spring color with these easy steps, using products I was sent from Vincent Longo.















In case you aren't familiar with this amazing cosmetic line, here are some quick facts:

  • Vincent Longo earned a reputation for being a talented makeup artist during the Supermodel period--no wonder he developed a cult following!
  • He created his line, full of rich, vibrant colors in 1994 and is the CEO and Creative Director of Vincent Longo Cosmetics.
  • Vincent continues to collaborate with leading fashion magazines, creates makeup designs for the New York runway shows, shoots all of his company's beauty imagery and provides ongoing beauty commentary for shows including Live with Regis and Kelly, Good Morning America and The Early Show.
  • Vincent Longo has worked with celebs such as Senator Hillary Clinton, Gwyneth Paltrow, Claire Danes, Courtney Cox, Michelle Williams, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mena Suvari, Molly Sims, Paris Hilton, Jennifer Lopez, Jewel, Catherine Deneuve, Elizabeth Hurley, Monica Bellucci, Paulina Rubio and Lisa Marie Presley, among others.



Here is my spring look featuring Vincent Longo cosmetics--no Photoshop or editing, I promise! And since you all enjoyed my GIFS last time, here's a super quick tutorial to update your makeup for spring (and how I got that dewy glow):

I did apply foundation and eye makeup before starting this tutorial, so use whatever you'd like.
The first product I used is the infamous Lip & Cheek Gel Stain in My Sunshine. 
There's a reason this is a #1 seller--it's a paraben and gluten-free, water and kiss-proof gel.
I added some to my lips and my cheeks and blended it in--my shade is a dusty coral.
For those of you who love a really natural look, this is all you will need. 
It comes in 7 colors, is oil-free, buildable, and I want them ALL!



I wanted to add some more color for spring, and I used the Vincent Longo Slanted Blush Brush (made from 100% goat hair) and the Dew Drop Radiant Blush in Sandalwood.  Dew drops of subtle pearl in a demi-matte powder base layer a personal touch of color and delicate glimmer with every brush stroke. The dew drops release their tint and texture providing a kiss of light to the skin resulting in a lasting radiant color and finish. Comes in 6 colors. So pretty.



To warm up my skin, I used La Rivera Sun Bronzer in Golden Glow
These bronzers come in 4 shades and give a natural, healthy, luminous glow. I usually shy away from bronzers that glow, but the glow this one gives is so gorgeous and natural! 


I completed the look with this gorgeous Original Perfect Shine Lip Gloss in Cherros
Does this color make you think spring or what?? Look at it below:
 It features Aloe Vera and Vitamin E to moisturize and condition the lips,
 plus it smells like Vanilla!
It's a shiny, but not sticky gloss.

Aren't these colors beautiful?
This is just a sampling of the many products in the Vincent Longo line. 
I highly recommend checking them out for any time of year!

Products were sent to try and I loved them so much, I shared them here, with my honest-as-always-reviews. 

GIVEAWAYS for you!

4.15.2014

Music Festival Beauty Essentials



First off, thanks everyone for the well-wishes on my Blogiversary post--and don't forget to enter my giveaway! Speaking of celebrations, Coachella started last weekend and continues this weekend. That means music festival season is HERE! And there are 16 of them I want to attend (I wish)! Today I'm sharing some fun products I was sent that you're going to love, even if your music festival means dancing in your kitchen (I do this--do you?). Let's channel that inner-flower child and check out these music festival beauty essentials that are under $5:

Cleansing Conditioner, Sheer Shine Mist, Flexible Hold Spritzer, Volumizing Souffle, Dry Shampoo

First up, let's talk about hair. Herbal Essences has a new NAKED Collection of hair care products--think paraben-free and free from dyes.

  • Cleansing Conditioner--Clean your hair in just one step! Add a few pumps, work into hair, and rinse. That's it! This is also sulfate-free and has a nice mint scent. Very gentle, too.
  • Hold those hairstyles in place with the Flexible Hold Spritzer--I like how light-weight this is, and it's non-aerosol, making it great for on-the-go.
  • One of my favorite festival styles are Milkmaid braids, and here's how to get them:
    • Get the perfect texture to create this style by spraying the Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo (I've shared this on the blog a few times--love)rub at the roots to give a boost of volume (and an amazing fresh mint scent)
    • Part your hair down the middle and braid the two sides going down, securing each with a clear elastic. Then, wrap each braid around the top of your head, securing behind each ear with a bobby pin (make sure the wavy side is against your scalp)
  • Easy, tousled waves (my fave!!) are the way to go when rocking out to your favorite music at Coachella:
    • To get amazing volume right from the start, work Herbal Essences Naked Volumizing SoufflĂ© into very wet hair, rubbing gently at the scalp area to provide lift and control at the root
    • Use a diffuser on a high heat setting and low wind speed to force out the excess moisture and keep the hair’s natural body and movement
    • Then, wrap the mid shaft of sections of the hair around a 1-inch curling iron, leaving out the ends to keep the wave more edgy and chic
    • Mist a bit of the Herbal Essences Naked Sheer Shine Mist onto waves to give them a soft, beautiful finish (thanks to Herbal Essences Celebrity Stylist, Charles Baker Strahan for tips #getnaked)
Brazil, Paris, Hawaii--where should we go?
  • So now that you've got the perfect outfit and your hair looks great, it's all over if you don't smell nice, am I right? Luckily, the new Secret Destinations Collection has you, um, covered! Imagine yourself in far-off places within reach—and three new scents offer patented 48-hour odor protection to keep you feeling fresh during even the most #Epic48 festival adventures:
  • In the mood for a festival romance? Try Paris Romantic Rose.
  • Want to channel a flower-child vibe? Hawaii Citrus Breeze is for you.
  • Need to cool off before the party heats up? Refresh with Brazil Rainforest Mist (my fave at the moment).
  • All scents are available in Clear Gel (no white marks!) and Invisible Solid forms (goes on dry, stays dry!)designed to capture odor (not mask it!) and release the perfect balance of fragrance throughout the day. 
I'm wearing loose waves, all Herbal Essences NAKED products and Secret deodorant! Now, which festival should I go to?



































GIVEAWAYS for you!


4.14.2014

Happy 4th Blogiversary, ELLESEES ($75 Sephora Giveaway)


Hey you! Happy 4th Blogiversary to the blog!! I can't believe it--times has surely flown by. I am so blessed to have readers like YOU. And to thank you for reading my blog, it's time for my annual Sephora giveaway! And no, this isn't a giveaway where you have to follow hundreds of blogs...just follow mine if you'd like. There will be 3 winners--each a different prize. Check out the prizes below:


PRIZES:
Grand Prize: $75 Sephora E-Card to one winner


2nd place: Lacquer Cabinet Nailtini Polishes (6 Polishes, 4 empty mixing bottles $88 Value) to one winner. Originally reviewed here.

3rd Place: From the Lab Skincare Box to one winner ($165 value). Originally reviewed here.

The not-so-fine print:
  • There will be 3 winners. One wins Sephora, a different winner for the polishes, and a different winner for the skincare. 
  • The Sephora prize is international (an e-gift card via Cashstar, so be sure to check your email spam if you're the winner), but the 2nd and 3rd place prizes are US only, due to shipping restrictions.
  • ElleSees is not responsible for the condition of prizes when received. I will make every way possible to ensure they are in perfect condition.
  • I believe in as fair of a giveaway as possible--these are real prizes given to valid entrants. Once the giveaway is over, Punchtab randomly chooses the winner. I will check to make sure the entry is a valid winning entry, then contact the winner via email. Once I have the information needed from that winner, then the name will be posted on this post only. That means the winners won't be announced here UNTIL all of the above steps have been completed. Please do not contact me asking for the winners. Keep checking the post until they are posted. Thank you.
  • Please do not contact me asking how to follow or unfollow my blog--I can't do that for you.
  • If you are a sore loser, please don't enter this giveaway. I do this annually as a FUN way to thank my readers and followers. Thank you and GOOD LUCK!
  • The giveaway runs from April 14, 2014 to May 14, 2014 EST.

PS: There will be SEVERAL giveaways this month, 

4.11.2014

DIY: Peeps Feet Fizzies for Easter


Quick question: what's your favorite Easter candy? Confession time: Peeps are probably my least fave! But since Easter is next weekend, I wanted to share a DIY featuring this popular treat. This is great for kids and adults, and it's an option for those who don't like/can't have candy. Simply pop in a Peep and soak your feet. Instant relaxation from all of the candy eating Easter egg hunting. Let's hop to it!

Need:
1c baking soda
1/2c citric acid (available online and in stores like Whole Foods)
1/2c cornstarch
2 tablespoons vitamin E oil
2 tablespoons witch hazel or water
5 drops orange essential oil
soap colorant in different colors (try craft stores)
Bunny mold for Peeps
food coloring marker (or brown food coloring)






Do:
  • Mix the dry ingredients. If you are doing different colors, pour an equal amount of mixture into separate bowls.
  • Mix the oils and soap colorant and add to dry ingredients. 
  • Stir until the mix turns desired color.
  • Add a few drops at a time of witch hazel to the mix and rapidly stir until it has a mushy consistency.
  • Work quickly, because if you add too much witch hazel at a time, your mix will bubble and fizz. The color should pop once the liquid is added.
  • Press into molds and allow to dry for a few hours. I usually do this over night.
  • Pop the Peeps out of the mold and decorate as you'd like. I used a food coloring marker, but food coloring mixed into brown and then dotted on for the eyes and ears works well.


FYI:
  • Your feet will be soft and smell nice--I love using orange for this, but use what you like. 
  • While this is for your feet, these are traditional bath bombs and can be used as such.
  • If giving this to a kid, be sure to check with parents/guardians first, in case of allergies.
Happy Easter from Elle and Charlie!


Want More DIY?

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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