Natural Day Look for Young Women

Lately, we have been getting a lot of questions about appropriate looks and budget makeup recommendations for teen and college aged girls. So we decided to make a quick tutorial on these subjects. It gives a few recommendations for budget buys on makeup and how to do a nice natural day look. I hope you enjoy!

Our fave budget brands: NYX, Rimmel, Physicians Formula, Sonia Kashuk, Maybeline & Covergirl.

Also, be on the lookout for our upcoming blog post on teen and college aged skin care. We are currently in our “TRY IT” phase and are getting a lot of great information for what is best for young skin.

Till Next Time!



Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee

Hi All! I am going to do a quick review today on Josie Maran’s cheek gelee. I began using this product about 9 months ago when I picked up Pink Escape.  I had such great results with it, I requested and received Vacay Rose and Poppy Paradise as Christmas gifts.  So, since I have been wearing these gelee’s for awhile now, I can say with complete confidence that this is by far my favorite non-powder blush product.

As the weather has warmed, I have been reaching for this product daily.  They have great staying power and a beautiful finish on the skin.  They are the perfect summertime blush. These gelee’s are light, blendable, and long lasting and buildable.  I like to apply them immediately after applying my base.  I have found using my fingers or a stippling brush works best for application. Then, I continue on with the rest of my makeup application,  Once I have finished putting on whatever makeup I have chosen for the day, I take another look at my blush application.  I find that with almost any non-powder blush product, after it has set on the skin for a bit, it tends “soak” into the skin.  Thus, I usually need to add another layer of product. This product goes on so smoothly, that I have no problems building up the color to my desired result.  After I have achieved whatever opacity I am looking for with my blush, I am good to go.

Josie Maran cheek gelee’s have great staying power. I am the kind of gal that can put on a full face of makeup and within 2 hours, it looks like I skipped makeup all together.  However, with the Jose Maran gelee’s I don’t find that to be the case. They last throughout the day. With that being said, I do find that towards the end of the day the color has worn off a bit, but there is usually still enough color left on the skin that I don’t look pale.  If I am going out in the evening, I usually add another layer of the gelee or layer a powder blush over the top of what was already there.  Just a side note, in the winter I usually wear this product paired with a powder blush.  Using the gelee as a base, helps to hold my blush in place most of the day and gives the blush a great finish.

If you are looking for a great summer time blush, I highly recommend this product.  A little goes a long way, so you really get a lot of bang for your buck!  You can purchase this product at QVC. They sell Poppy Paradise and Vacay Rose as a pair for $29.12.  They also sell them at Sephora for $22.00 each.  I was actually just on Sephora’s website and it looks like they offer a mini size of this product (.095 oz), for $13.00 each  The full size of this product is 1.8 oz.  Sephora also has a larger color selction.  They offer Poppy Paradise, Pink Escape, Get Away Red, Berry Bliss and Honeymoon Honey.

I could go on and on about this product.  But, all good blogs must come to an end ;)  I hope you all have a wonderful day and look forward to sharing my next review with you. See swatches below.


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The last picture is of my fingers after washing, using a cream makeup remover and a cleansing toner. As you can see this product has great staying power! Obviously, the more product you apply, the longer it lasts.  If you apply a sheer amount, it does not have the same result. However, as stated above, it does still stain the cheeks enough to get you through the day.





An Oily Skin’s Travel Must Haves



Recently my family and I had the amazing blessing and privilege to live out a dream and travel around Europe. The trip was years in the making! During the planning for the trip, I realized that I would be traveling through various types of climates. From cold and damp, to warm and humid. Not only that, with such a crazy itinerary as we had, there wasn’t going to be any down time. I started thinking, researching and planning for my skin regimen and what I was going to need. I wanted to make sure I was equipped with make-up that would handle the crazy schedule and differentiating climates.

Now that summer is upon us, you too are probably hitting the road and wondering what items you can use that will keep up with you – weather, activities and all. So now my research becomes your knowledge as I share with you the things that worked best on the trip.

1. Tarte’s Amazonian clay 12-hour full coverage foundation.

1249    I came across this foundation on a trip up to see my sister for her 40th b-day just this past April!! We always love going and playing in Ulta or Sephora! This play time led us to this foundation. It read like the perfect solution for what I was looking for. Here is what the website says about this foundation:

long-wearing, skin-perfecting full coverage foundation with UVA/UVB SPF 15 infused with Amazonian clay for better, longer, truer wear. 

Product Performance: Achieve flawless skin that looks healthy and natural. This supremely blendable, buildable and full coverage formula delivers up to 12 hours of satin-matte coverage with a weightless texture. Reduce the appearance of pores, discolorations and imperfections and ensure a perfectly flawless complexion every time with this best seller.

Powered By: Amazonian clay: This nutrient-rich, multitasking and total-skin-balancing clay reduces dryness and flakiness, improves skin clarity, elasticity, firmness, and texture while removing oil from the skin’s surface for smooth application and wear”

This appealed to me because I have a lot of scarring from cystic acne and wanted a good coverage that would  stay put in different climates as well as be good for my skin. I typically do not like or use liquid foundations (due to the heavy feeling and it causing more acne). But after trying this one on, it finished more like a silky powder, but covered like a foundation. I was sold. I’m pleased to report, the foundation preformed  exactly as it claimed it would. I was in every climate from rain to humidity and the foundation stayed on perfectly. It didn’t cause me to breakout or look shiny. It had a great natural finish.


2. Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Gel Eyeliner

s1287408-main-hero    I knew I was going to need an eyeliner with some staying power that wouldn’t make me look like a raccoon at the end of the day. I didn’t want to have to frequently check my eyes in a mirror to make sure there wasn’t  goop in the corners or black running down under my eyes. After much research I decided I would take along this lovely eyeliner, which is now a permanent part of my daily routine. There are no false claims with this baby! Here is what Sephora states:

What it is:
A bestselling, award-winning formula that makes lining your eyes like a pro easy.

What it does:
Get the precision of a liquid liner with the ease of a gel-based formula. The eyeliner glides on smoothly and precisely, then quickly dries down to a long-wearing, water-resistant finish.

What else you need to know:
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is an Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner.”

Not only does this do what it says, but the look of this liner is not harsh at all. For my “aging” eyes  liquid liners tend to branch out onto my lid creases,  accentuating  the lines. This eyeliner does not. Because it is a thicker formula it doesn’t “settle,” thus it creates a beautiful smooth and even finish.  The fact this eyeliner comes in 11 different shades only makes me love it more!


3. Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel

81fw8wszduL._SL1500_   Ok, so when you have oily, acne prone skin, great skin care is your best defense. I knew that I couldn’t bring my Clarisonic with me on the trip, so I wanted to make sure that the products I brought would get my skin good and clean without over drying. I came across this product as I was wandering around Whole Foods Market one day.  An employee there told me she lives by this stuff. After researching, it appears this is true with a lot of people. I decided to give it a shot. I have since fallen in love with this and use it twice daily as my toner.

What the products claims:

indications – Thayers Rose Petal Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Formula Toner will make your skin bloom. Rose Thayers remarkably soothing Toner is made with rose-petal water, Vitamin E and our proprietary Witch Hazel extract. Toner with Aloe Vera Formula with Vitamin E 12oz bottle. Made of extract from the Witch Hazel shrub (Hamamelis Virginiana) and a blend of other time-tested ingredients — these natural elixirs have been a medicine-cabinet fixture for generations.

Purified Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Certified Organic Filet Of Aloe Vera), Glycerin (Vegetable), Fragrance (Natural Rose), Hamamelis Virginiana Extract (made from Certified Organic Witch Hazel), Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Flower Water, Citric Acid, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract.”

You won’t be sorry by adding this to your routine. When traveling this is an amazing refresher after the beach, or just a great way to get the sweat or make-up off at the end of the day. So refreshing, smooth and hydrating! It removed my makeup and gave me a nice glow – not to mention is really working to help decrease the sharpness of my scarring. LOVE IT!

4. Waterproof Mascara: A. Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill or B. L’Oreal Voluminous Power Volume 24hr

                                                       3605521038982_1_EYESTOKILLMASCARA                            Cos36n_6_pack-shot

Ok, so I put two of these because even though I LOVE the Eyes To Kill it is pretty expensive. It stays great though and has a wonderful pigment. It never clumps, and with it being waterproof it doesn’t budge. I love the nice big wand that really adds volume and lengthens the lashes. It never flakes off or gets smeared. A great all day mascara choice whether  in rain or sun. Now for a cheaper alternative I really like L’Oreal’s Voluminous Power Volume 24 hour.  It has great pigment, stays put, doesn’t flake or smudge. Now the only thing with this one is that you have to be careful when applying it. I use a nice Smashbox or Dior lash primer before applying this one because it tends to clump and no one wants clumpy pigmented lashes. But it really does work well and has great staying power rain or shine.


So these are my traveling must have’s. I won’t leave home without them. It is hard to find products that do what they claim and after putting these 4 items through the traveling wringer I am a true believer!

Happy Traveling!

*For more info on any of the products just click on their name

Buyers Beware: Yves St. Laurent Makeup Remover


Yves Saint Laurent – Instant Eye Make-Up Remover

Today’s post is a buyer beware! Recently, I was given a sample of Yves Saint Laurent’s eye make-up remover. I was excited about this because I am always on the look out for effective products that do not contain harsh sulfates, triclosan, synthetic fragrance, etc.  This product claimed not only to remove even stubborn waterproof eye make-up but to also help strengthen your lashes and calm the eye area. I have to admit when I first applied this with a cotton ball it did what it said. My waterproof make-up came off in a flash and I wasn’t left with raccoon eyes or having to scrub half my lashes off to get everything off.  I went to bed thinking, “Wow that was a great product.” When I awoke, it was a different story. Now mind you, this product claims to be safe and gentle enough for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers, but I whole heartedly disagree. I awoke excited and energized to get our morning going, because we were headed for a week long vacation to SeaWorld and Legoland with our kiddos. However, upon awaking, I couldn’t fully open my eyes due to a layer of goop gluing my eyelashes together. I felt my way to the bathroom and grabbed a washed cloth and some warm water and started wiping away to reveal some brilliantly red eyes and green goup. Great, I thought, where did I get pink eye from? And on the day we were leaving! Now the whole week I would be attempting to wear my glasses while going on roller coasters. Not what I was anticipating. Luckily I had some drops left over from an eye infection my son had some 6 months previously (shhhh….don’t tell the dr.) and I used my gel tears to clear up the redness. I struggled with the infection the whole week we were gone.

My thoughts came to the conclusion that the only way this could have come about was from the eye make-up remover, since it was the only new thing I had used.  But since I am one who over analyzes things, I wanted to really make sure. So after we came back from our vacation and my eyes had fully healed I set out to use the remover again. Of course I incurred the same result.  I even washed my eyes with Cetaphil after applying the eye make-up remover to see if this would help, but it didn’t.

Do I have overly sensitive eyes? No, I have been wearing contacts for the past 20 years and although my eyes tend to prefer certain cleaners and drops I don’t regularly get eye infections. In fact, I can only remember one other time and that is when I was doing a photo shoot and decided to try some fake lashes and ended up with an infection from the glue that I used. I use all different types of mascaras and lengthening lotions on my lashes with no problems, so I wouldn’t put myself in the overly sensitive category.

The consensus of the reviews I have read about this product have stated that it does what it’s supposed to, but leaves an oil slick in it’s wake and works no better than your typical drug store brand. I didn’t find this to be true with me, but the eye infections are definitely not worth the effectiveness of the product. I agree that you can find something that will actually be sensitive on the eye and be effective for the price you are paying. My pick: Bobbi Brown’s Instant Long-Wear Makeup Remover (received 4.6 stars out of 70 reviews on It is effective and gentle and worth the price. Budget buy at this point would be the Almay Moisturizing Longwear & Waterproof Gentle Eye Makeup Remover (Ulta $5.99 and Target & Walmart for $4.99).

Happy Cleansing.

Budget Buy: Remington S9620 Silk 2″ Ceramic Flat Iron


The Remington T|Studio 2″ Ceramic Flat Iron

Straight hair – I have tried everything from $200 flat irons and Brazilian blowouts to gels and shampoos that claim to get your hair straight and shiny…but this is the first I have actually been satisfied with something and for a low price – the Remington T|Studio (S9620) Silk 2″ Ceramic Flat Iron. I have used numerous flat irons and I really love this one. Not only was it a great price at $38.00 from Wal-Mart (can also be found for same price at Target), but it really does the job quickly and efficiently. This iron heats up to temperatures as high as 455 degrees, which for my coarse hair is a must. The ceramic plates make a nice smooth and frizz free finish.

From the Remington website:

Remington’s T|Studio SILK Ceramic 2″ Flat Iron features the most advanced ceramic coating, with real SILK proteins that provide more ceramic content than traditional straighteners. This gives you an effortless glide and smooth, healthy hair with less frizz and damage. Silk ceramic combined with 455-degree high heat and professional performance creates a silky smooth salon finish for any hair type in no time.

  • 2″ Ceramic plates provide high, even ionic heat to reduce frizz and damage
  • Silk Technology: Silk powder coating infused on to the Ceramic surface.
  • 455 degree F digital salon high heat
  • 20 second heat up time and digital display controls with turbo boost to the highest temperature
  • Floating Plate for constant contact and faster styling
  • Temperature control lock and 60 minute auto shut off

Audible Feedback:No

Automatic Shutoff:Yes

Digital Display:Yes

Floating Plates:Yes

Heat Up Time:20 Seconds

Highest Temp:455⁰F

Plate Technology:Ceramic with silk

Temperature Lock:Yes

Turbo Boost:Yes

Variable Heat Settings:Digital

Warranty:4 Year Warranty

I checked around quite a bit before buying another flat-iron when my Chi broke. The reviews for this flat-iron were terrific…with: a 4.9/5 (17 reviewers) on the Remington site; a 4.8/5 (22 reviewers) from Wal-Mart; a 5/5 (18 reviewers) from Target. So I decided to give it a go and I am really happy with it. I have been using it consistently for the past 4 months and it is still working like the day I brought it home. It heats up quickly and I am able to run through my hair super fast to get my desired straightness.

Here is a before and after picture for dramatic effect:


The picture on the left shows after I blowed dried with a brush – and then of course the left is after straightening with the Remington. It took me all of 15 minutes to get my hair this straight – this was what you call a before taking the kids to school rusher. But it turned out great.

So in conclusion:

A great tool for a great price…I would highly recommend!

Laura Geller Waterproof Eye Spackle Hues

stock picAlright ladies lets chat about Laura Geller’s waterproof eye spackle hues. I have not tried many of Laura Geller’s products.  I have heard good things about Balance and Brighten, so I was excited to give the eye spackle hues a try.

I received my first eye spackle in the color Mauve Majesty, in the beauty test tube from QVC.  When I first tried this product out, I really liked it.  That peaked my interest to try additional colors in the eye spackle hues line.  I went on to purchase three other eye spackle products.  I purchased Mink Mademoiselle, Prosecco Pearl, and the original eye spackle in Fair/Light.  I purchased them from for $23.00 each.


The eye spackle products come in a pen form with a brush applicator.  You twist the bottom of the applicator to get more product, much like Maybelline Dream Lumi wand.  This applicator has pluses and minuses.  On the plus side, the packaging helps to keep the majority of the product from drying out.  Unlike paint pots or other potted cream shadows, where the product is exposed to air every time you use it, thus drying the product out faster.  However with that being said, you need to be careful how much product you leave on the brush applicator. The left over product on the brush applicator can dry out easily, making your next application difficult.  So, only twist the applicator one or two times when applying.  Also, with this packaging, you can’t see how much product is in the pen.  So, you don’t know how much product you are getting, or when you are getting close to running out.

When I first started using this product I really did like it.  It seemed to keep my eye shadow on all day and I didn’t notice much creasing.  However, as I have continue to wear the eye spackle hues, my excitement for them has diminished.  Of the four eye spackle products I have, mauve majesty seems to works the best.  It stays on all day with minimal fade.  It does crease a bit, but not too bad.  However, the Prosecco Pearl creased like crazy on me.  I also noticed the eye shadow I layered on top, faded.  I was really disappointed.  I was particularly disappointed with the Pearl because I really liked the color.  I compared it with Mac’s paint pot in Bare Study and Maybelline 24 hour eye tattoo in 70 Barley Branded (see pic below).  Laura Geller’s eye spackle hues in Prosecco Pearl is a beautiful, bright, creamy “pearl” color.  It has a bit of a shimmer, but not glittery.  It blends out beautifully on the lid.  So, I was really bummed when I noticed it creasing after wearing it for a couple of hours.  I experienced the same issue with the Mink Mademoiselle and the Fair/Light. I also compared the Fair/Light to Urban decay’s Eden, again just to give you a color comparison.

Pearl     fairLight

A couple of other things about this product.  It does claim to be waterproof.  I did run the swatches on my arm through the water and gave them a good rub, and they didn’t budge.  So, they seem to hold up to that claim.  It is just when they mix with the oils of your eyelid, that they start to break down a bit. Also, I noticed while reading up on Laura Geller’s eye spackle on her website, she claims that these products also make your regular eye shadow waterproof.  I also gave this a test run.  I didn’t have much success with this.  After layering eye shadow on top of the above swatches and running them under water, the eye shadow did fade.  Also, when I ran my hand over the swatches after applying the water to the eye shadow/eye spackle combo, I had quite a mess on my hands. Literally!

Overall, I think for the price these are just ok.  With the access to so many other cream eye shadow options, for a cheaper price, I just don’t see me repurchasing these.  Granted not many others claim to be waterproof, but I don’t wear my eye shadow in the shower, so I feel ok not having that option in my cream shadows. Obviously, the chances that these shadows would hold up in the pool isn’t that great.  Once you introduce chlorine to the mix, it’s a whole different ball game.

I hope this review was helpful to you.  If you have anything you would like to see a review on, let us know. We would love to hear from you.  Till next time!

Budget Battle: Origins Zero Oil Cleanser VS Neutrogena Naturals Cleanser

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For this weeks Budget Battle we will be looking at two “natural” facial cleansers both containing Salicylic Acid: Origins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser retailing for $21.00 and Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser retailing for $7.50.
I used both of these products until the bottles were empty.  I use them only once a day at night with my Clarisonic Mia. Neutrogena lasted me a little over 3 months and the Origins about 2 and a half. But considering Neutrogena comes with 6fl ounces and the Origins is 5fl ounces that is not surprising.
Both cleansers are clear cleansers with a nice “spa” like smell. They both left my face feeling clean and dirt free. Both cleansers claim to be “natural” and made without silicones, harsh chemicals, sulfates, parabens, petrochemicals, dyes,  phthalates, or triclosan.  For me the silicones and triclosan are very important – I try to stay away from anything that has either of those products in it.
I would have to say I would almost feel like these two cleansers are identical. I wouldn’t be surprised if Neutrogena purposefully copied Origins and just sold it cheaper since they are identical in how they perform. The Origins has a slight minty smell to it, since it does contain mint which I really liked because it gave me a nice fresh feeling. Some people, however, might react to this, if you tend to have really sensitive skin. Both contain Salicylic Acid, but Origins contains a slight bit more, whereas, Neutrogena adds Salicylic Acid by way of including Willow Bark in their ingredients. Therefore, I would say in the sense of acne and deep cleaning that Origins has performed slightly better on my skin. I noticed a slight decrease in acne reoccurrence when using the Origins. Worth $15 more dollars?? That’s up to you.  Origins too has about 12 fruit oils or juices/extracts from plants that is lacking from the Neutrogena formula. This of course has its place in taming redness, even skin tone and texture. But Neutrogena claims they accomplish this with their use of coconut. I actually found that neither performed in this area as well as I would have liked and I turn more to my moisturizer and night creams for this.
If I find myself having more breakouts than normal I might go and pick up the Origins, but for the most of my daily needs the Neutrogena performed well. It was a very nice smelling daily cleanser. Would I use it without my Clarisonic. NO. I don’t think either of these would be a good daily cleanser without a Clarisonic. If you do want to use these daily and don’t have a Clarisonic, I would recommend doing a weekly mask, peel. or scrub to get off dead skin cells and deep down dirt that these two would miss.
So winner – I would have to say the Neutrogena – only because of price. You can’t beat a cleanser that performs well and lasts 3 months for $7.50 even if it smell better and performs slightly better. I just can’t get myself to pay an extra $15.00 unless I really need to.