Thursday, July 24, 2014

Amp Up Your Style: Full Blown Volume with TRESemmé

Product Sent for Review Sponsored Post

Big volume blow dry

I'm all about volume this summer (have you noticed that I'm constantly posting about volumizing products?) and TRESemmé has a great tutorial for creating more volume over on their tutorial page! They're offering 5 different tutorials (pumped up pony, a super sleek look, rock ‘n roll waves, full blown volume and shine like a star), with the idea that you're Amping Up Your Style. The looks are all super easy to recreate on your own, and when you watch the tutorials you'll get a coupon for $1.75 off TRESemmé at Walmart!

adding volume to your hair with Tresemme

I followed the Full Blown Volume Tutorial, which started with washing my hair with the Anti-Breakage Shampoo and Conditioner. These products are super hydrating and help correct damage. I think they're actually the key to this look, not the mousse! After washing, I used the mousse, roughly the size of a large egg, and distributed it throughout my hair. I concentrated mostly at the roots. I probably could have used more mousse, it isn't sticky at all and really helped volumize my hair.

My hair definitely have quite a bit more volume than it usually does, but it is super soft, shiny and silky! I can't stop touching it today!

When you head over to watch the tutorials, you can enter to win a chance to attend the 2015 VMAs for you and a friend! Simply fill out the sweeps form.

Check Out TRESemmé's Amp Up Your Style Tutorials!

Don't forget! While watching the 2014 VMAs on August 24th post your VMA style and show how you amp up your style using the hashtag #ampupyourstyle for your chance to win TRESemmé samples.

Check Out TRESemmé's Amp Up Your Style Tutorials!
Product Sent for Review Sponsored Post

MAC's All About Beige Look In A Box Review and Swatches

I Bought It Affiliate Links

MAC All About Beige Look In A Box Review and Swatches

When I placed my massive Nordstrom Anniversary Sale order the other day (which was much pared down from everything that I originally put in my cart), the first thing to make the cut was the MAC All About Beige Look In A Box. While it looked a tad warm for my cool toned skin, I've been venturing into warmer territory since going auburn last year. Sometimes the results are good, sometimes bad. But this looked neutral enough that I would still be ok.

(FYI, you can check out the rest of my Nordstrom Sale Picks, but things are selling out so move fast!)

MAC All About Beige Look In A Box Review and Swatches

The great thing about this is that it is a pretty compact palette (it's about the dimensions of my iPhone, though thicker), and it has a lot of product in there! You could easily create a weekend's worth of looks using just this palette. It's great for those that just want to try a new look as well. After seeing how amazing the beige kit is, I'm really regretting taking the All About Plum kit out of my cart at the last minute.

MAC All About Beige Look In A Box Review and Swatches

Eyeshadows (top)
- Rocketgirl (satin finish)
- Plum Ember (satin finish)
- Sable Riche (frost finish)
- Cocktail Black (frost finish)
- Honesty (luster finish)
- Light Study (matte finish)

Powder Blushes (lower left)
- Love and Laughter (satin finish)
- Liberating (satin finish)

Lipsticks (bottom right)
- Modern Wow! (amplified finish)
- What’s Haute? (amplified finish)

- Duo-handled 275SE Brush/316SE Lip Brush

As usual, all of the products are very pigmented (you can't see Light Study very well because it blends into my skin, but there is a very light ivory shadow at the far left). They blend beautifully. The blushes are showing up as super pigmented in this swatch, but I applied them with a q-tip. With a regular brush they'll be a great compliment to the shadows. My only complaint is that I prefer my lippies to be separate lippies, that way they can join the collection in my purse that I carry around everywhere!

I'm still debating about picking up that All About Plum kit. Did you get it? How is it?

MAC All About Beige Look In A Box
I Bought It Affiliate Links

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Paraben Free Drugstore Makeup Kit: Yes, It Is Possible!

Product Sent for Review Affiliate Links Bought It Myself

Paraben Free Drugstore Makeup Kit: Yes, It Is Possible! via

Hello. I just read your post on a makeup starter kit and it inspired me to write to you with a question of my own that I have been struggling with for a while now.

I am 14 years old and I would like to start wearing makeup. The only problem is that I am allergic to parabens, which are in almost every makeup that I can find. I cannot find any makeup or makeup companies that are completely free of parabens.

I have blond hair and light blue deep set eyes. My skin is very fair and it has a cooler undertone. I'm looking for a basic BB Cream or Foundation, Concealer, blush, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara, and any tools. I also have very oily skin and would like some type of powder or oil absorbing sheets. I'm not sure if I will be able to find any paraben free products in a drug store, but there is a CVS nearby and also a Sephora that is within driving distance. I am ok with spending a good amount of money as long as I don't react to the products.

Thank you for helping.

Parabens are a hot topic these days. While the medical community feels they're safe based upon our current level of knowledge and scientific research (Dr. Cynthia Bailey has a great post going over parabens in skin care), there are people who want to avoid them due to safety concerns. However, this weekend I received an email from a reader asking about paraben free products due to an allergy, in which case she can't really fudge it and ignore the paraben in her blush. Luckily, parabens are getting easier to avoid, even when you're shopping at the drugstore!

I've spent a few days looking for products that I recommend and building a makeup kit full of paraben free products. I looked primarily at drugstore products (as a teen I would have had to save for quite a while to shop at Sephora instead of CVS), and I looked at ingredient lists on manufacturer websites, CVS, Walgreen's,, etc. I've found some higher price alternatives that are paraben free, and while they're not in the graphic I've listed those below.

This is an epic long post (with an even bigger collage), so read more after the jump!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Getting Ready Morning Essentials

Sponsored Post

I have a few essentials that I can’t seem to start my day without. From jewelry to face wash, to my new favorite maternity jeans, here’s how I start my day along with a few changes I’ve incorporated to account for my growing bump.

Getting Ready Morning Essentials

1. Fun Necklace: I'm a big fan of fun, cheap necklaces. It's amazing how much dressier and special you'll feel with a big necklace even if you're just wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I have a lot of places that I buy necklaces, but most of my favorites are from Accessory Concierge, both their website and the Facebook sales. This is one of my current favs, the Monarch Gem Collar.

2. Elie Saab 'Le Parfum' Eau de Toilette: This perfume is the reason I rarely do perfume reviews. In the past I did one review a week, now I only want to wear Elie Saab, all day every day. This light floral is perfect for every day!

3. Jonathan Product Infinite Volume Thickening Foam: I'm a sucker for extra volume, so I'm in love with the Infinite Volume series from Jonathan Product. Its effortless volume, the mousse is lightweight and I can't feel it in my hair. Perfect!

4. Pond's Luminous BB Cream: I love this stuff! It's one step for my moisturizer, primer and foundation. I love that it has just the right light coverage for the summer.

5. Chanel Coco Rouge Shine in Mutine: I've only had Chanel nail polishes in the past, but when you're in the airport on your way to your grandmother's funeral, you deserve to buy yourself the Chanel lipstick trio in the duty free shop. I opted for the Coco Rouge Shine because it is pretty translucent but still has color, and feels very hydrating. Mutine was my favorite of the trio, it's the perfect pinky-nude shade and I carry it with me everywhere.

6. Carefree Acti-Fresh Pantiliners: Yes, for real. When you're pregnant, you have certain issues, and you need to feel fresh. These pantiliners are soft and thin and work all day. Buy in bulk!

7. Gap 1969 Demi Panel Always Skinny Jeans: These jeans are everything. At 24 weeks I finally have more baby bump, and I can't fit into any of my regular jeans (even with a Bella Band). The Gap Always Skinny jeans got me through my first pregnancy, and with my second I've been wearing them in dark blue almost every day. I just got a white pair a few days ago, I know I'll be wearing them just as much!

8. Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash: I seem to collect little bottles of this face wash from hotels. For years I've loved using it, but I didn't buy a big bottle until a few weeks ago. I don't know what took me so long! It gets everything off without overly drying my skin, I love the light exfoliation and it feels like a big step up from my previous boring cleanser.

9. Tory Burch Aaden Ballet Flat in Natural/Tan/Gold: I'm a big Tory Burch fan, and I've been wearing these flats everywhere! They go with every outfit. I wear them with my skinny maternity jeans rolled up just a little over my ankles and I get so many compliments! The Aadens are more comfortable than my Revas (even when I size the Revas up 1/2 size), and they run true to size. I'll be buying more colors for the fall.

Sponsored Post
Disclosure: This post is part of a collaboration with Carefree and SheKnows

The Best Drugstore Skin Savers

Product Sent for Review I Bought It Affiliate Links

The Best Drugstore Skin Savers

Yesterday I posted about my favorite skin saving products for Makeup Wars. Except, I had a problem. There were a lot of skin issues I wanted to cover, and I had a lot of products that I've loved over the years for those issues! I split the post into high end (yesterday) and drugstore (today). These are products that I've tried and had great results with, and recommend to friends, family and people who email me with questions!


1. Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask: I love that this is both a cleanser and a mask. It pulls some stuff out of your pores, feels cooling, exfoliates... It's a great multi-tasker and I've had a few dermatologists recommend it to me recently for Babble posts.

2. Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10: Persa-Gel is what I was taught to recommend as a spot treatment in all of my peds training. Yes, general pediatricians treat a lot of acne. And it turns out there's a reason they recommend this stuff, it really does get in there and work. You need to use it with caution, it will bleach fabrics (hello, new duvet cover!) and it can dry out your face and make it more sensitive to the sun.

Clogged Pores

3. Alba Botanica Hawaiian Facial Mask, Pore-fecting Papaya Enzyme: Another fun mask. It has a lot of fruit extracts and really clears stuff out of pores while exfoliating your skin. Definitely the answer to dull, clogged up skin.

4. Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque: When I want to really suck things out of my pores, this is what I reach for. It can feel a bit tight/hurt when it dries, so use in moderation.

Dry Skin

5. L'Oreal Paris Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Glow Renewal Facial Oil: This is the L'Oreal dupe of the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. The oils are different, but they work the same way, except this one feels a little bit heavier on my skin. Super glowy results!

6. Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Hydration Mask: This is a great mask for when you want to pamper your skin and include a hydrating mask in your at home facial. It does really hydrate and plump up the skin, but it doesn't seem to be "too much" resulting in shine or blemishes.

Chapped Lips

7. Aquaphor Lip Repair Ointment: This is super hydrating and gentle on lips that are already irritated. I like to use it in the morning when I apply my moisturizer, it helps prep my lips for lippies later on.

Irritated Skin

8. Derma-e Soothing Facial Treatment Oil (see my review of Derma-e Facial Oils): This hydrates but also calms down irritate skin. I actually use it pretty frequently on my hands for eczema flares. My eczema doesn't like the anti-bacterial foam we use in my ICU, so after a few days at work I can start to get rashy. If I apply a few drops of this at night to the back of my hands, then all is well with the world.

Dark Spots

9. Aveeno Positively Radiant Tone Corrector: Rather than working with hydroquinone, this targeted treatment uses Soy and increases cell turnover with a retinoid (not pregnancy safe).

Puffy Eyes

10. Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller: This is somehow the only eye product that I've ever used and really seen an immediate difference in my puffy eyes. I use it when I'm having allergy issues (again, not pregnancy safe).


11. RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream and 12. RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream are both retinoid creams, but they've altered the release of the retinoid, so it is slower. You'll get more results and less irritation that way. Did you notice I didn't have a high end retinoid product to recommend yesterday? That's because these ones are much better than any I've used that are more expensive. Buy the RoC. (Again, not pregnancy safe.)

Product Sent for Review I Bought It Affiliate Links