Bluemercury at Macy’s Southdale

bluemercury bluemercury bluemercury-m61 bluemercury bluemercury-tara-smith bluemercury-tara-smith bluemercury-lune-and-aster

Bluemercury, a new and exciting luxury beauty space opened in Macy’s Southdale in Edina June,11. And as one of the biggest beauty and make up junkies I was there last Friday to check it out.

The new store space is located to the left of the entrance, if you are coming in from the Macy’s parking lot off of W 66th street. It’s a wide-open space, set up to showcase some of the products and brands Macy’s has never carried before, like Trish McEvoy, Guerlain, SK-II. The space also includes a spa room, where you can schedule an appointment for microdermabrasion, brow tinting, facial, waxing and more.

I got to spend a few minutes at the location, getting the tour, learning about the products. The staff was incredibly knowledgable, friendly and helpful.

I was happy to see some brands I recognized like Klorane, Bliss, Nars and Darphin, but I was more interested in the lines I’ve never tried before, like M-61, RMS Beauty, and Tara Smith haircare.

I can’t wait to share some of the beauty product reviews of the items I was able to get my hands on from Bluemercury. I am especially excited about the M-61 Power Glow Peel, Hydraboost Eye and Lune and Aster makeup (mascara and primer).

One last thing, Bluemercury gift wrap is amazing! Go check them out, try out the products, share some beauty love!

Floating Around with SwimWays

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by SwimWays as part of an Activation for Influence Central. I received products to facilitate my review.

SwimWays Spring Float Recliner SwimWays Spring Float Recliner SwimWays Spring Float Recliner SwimWays Spring Float Recliner SwimWays Spring Float Recliner

Temperature is rising, swimsuits are out, I can’t wait to spend more time at the beach and the pool, now that we are all done moving from St Louis Park, to Lowry Hill. I am so excited to spend this summer in Uptown Minneapolis. Sam and I spent the first 2 years of our marriage in an apartment in Loring Park, and going to the lake was one of our favorite things to do.

We always try to be active when we go to the lake or pool, whether it’s swimming, or kayaking, or paddle boarding. But sometimes you just need to relax and float around. So this year I decided to make my water activities more relaxing, and the SwimWays Spring Float Recliner is more than perfect for it.

I personally have a hard time laying on a recliner by the pool, I need to be in the pool. And this is what this floating recliner does. This luxury fabric-covered inflatable float is designed for relaxing downtime at the pool. It’s ultra comfortable, features a sit-up style, backrest, headrest, ottoman, and the always necessary – beverage holder! Plus the patented Inner Spring Technology allows it to be easily inflated, closed and carried. It’s so fast and easy to pack/unpack, inflate/deflate and carry around, I would definitely recommend it! It’s so comfy, and matches my swimsuit, which is an added bonus.

I wanted to also share a couple advice when it comes to picking a swimsuit.

  1. Right size. A swimsuit bottom that’s too big will cause a diaper butt when it gets wet. A bottom that’s too tight will pinch on the body in places where you don’t want it to.
  2. Right fit. Some look good in halters, others look good in bandeaus, others look good in one pieces. Try on a lot of different styles (not colors), and
  3. Right attitude. Swimsuit shopping can be stressful and emotional. Find a way that works for you. Don’t mind ordering a wide variety of sizes and styles online and then trying it all at home? – Then go for it! Like to try things on at a store? – There are so many great locations out there!
  4. Right color. First of all, you can’t go wrong with black. Second, you can’t go wrong if you have a favorite color. Love patterns? Then pick patterns. Have a lot of suits already? Take photos before you go shopping, so you don’t end up with a similar suit to what you already have (we tend to gravitate towards items that are similar to the ones already existing in our wardrobe, watch out for that!)
  5. Focus on the good. Nobody knows your body better than you! Have killer legs? Don’t cover them up with a swim skirt. In fact, swim skirts are evil, and make the legs look shorter. Even a swim skirt with a slit is evil. They are all evil. Got nice shoulders, show them off! Highlight your advantages, it will make you feel better!
  6. Go for the quality. A $30 swimsuit from Target or H&M is definitely appealing, but if it falls apart after a couple trips to the pool, and one wash, you are going to have to spend another $30, and so on! A few brands I would recommend are Seafolly, Vix, Gottex and their other line called Profile, that offers a lot of size options, Maaji, Isola, and Lenny Niemeyer.
  7. Take care of your suit. Hand wash and lay flat to dry only, no washing machine, even if it has a gentle cycle. Use a special soap that helps wash out chlorine. If you don’t have a special swimsuit soap, use baby shampoo, or a gentle cleaner. Another tip: don’t let chlorine dry in your suit. It’s better to keep it damp on the way home from the pool, and wash it then, chlorine causes discoloration and yellowing of the fabric.

SwimWays Spring Float Recliner is available at Walmart, you can also follow them on  Facebook and Twitter.

I hope you find this post and my tips helpful. Feel free to message me with any questions!

Copper Dress + Vigil for Orlando

copper dress copper dress copper dress copper dress copper dress

We spent all weekend moving from our house, to Sam’s parents’ basement. I woke up Sunday morning and told him how happy I felt. He replied – that’s because when you lived in New York you lived on the ground floor. He was right. Sometimes it still surprises me how well my husband knows me. I will talk about home ownership, and our house more later this week. But I am so happy in this ground floor “apartment” of ours for the time being.

Last night we took a walk through downtown, all the way to Stone Arch Bridge and around, it was beautiful. We ended it at the vigil for Orlando victims in Loring Park. So much sadness, but so much love at the same time. And love is the greatest of them all, remember it this week.

This copper dress is a little something I found at Target recently, it’s a WhoWhatWear line, I own the same one in black. It has spaghetti straps, but last night was chilly, so I threw this Francesca’s crop top over it. Sometimes a crop top makes all the difference. And of course my new favorite TOMS 😉

Happy Monday!

We will not give in to hate, we will not give in to fear. We never have and we won’t start 🌈

A photo posted by Zhenya Hutson || MPLS (@beingzhenya) on

So much love tonight!

A photo posted by Zhenya Hutson || MPLS (@beingzhenya) on

Aixallia Skincare Review

“This post was sponsored by Aixallia as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.”

Aixallia skin care Aixallia skin care Aixallia skin care Aixallia skin care Aixallia skin care

Taking care of my skin in the summer has never been easy. Between my regular trips to the beach, sailing and hanging out on the town, I can never seem to achieve a lifestyle balance, and end up using a wide plethora of products aiming to tame one skin condition or other (seriously everything from wrinkles to acne to sun damage, throw in some stress rash and you have, well, my skin).

But maybe there is hope for a lost cause like me! I was recently introduced to a French brand Aixallia, which was founded in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur of Southern France. Aixallia combines a unique proprietary ultra-pure water with Mediterranean botanicals to produce fresh and rich products that help cleanse and hydrate, it is formulated with locally harvested, organic French Mediterranean botanicals, and is ECOCERT French organic certified.

I got to try out the initial line of Aixallia products, which includes:

  • Rose and Argan Revitalizing Eye Cream $45 for 0.5 oz (shea butter, organ oil, rose water, apricot kernel oil) 
  • Green Tea Protective Day Cream $48 for 1.7 oz (olive oil, vitamin E, rose water, green tea) 
  • Lavender Soothing Night Cream $52 for 1.7 oz (lavender water, sea heather) 
  • Olive and Rose Hydrating Hand Cream $20 for 1.7 oz (olive oil, shea butter, beeswax, floral rose) 
  • Rose and Almond Hydrating Body Lotion $28 for 6.8 oz (amino acids, Vitamins A, D, E, K, almond oil, Provencal honey, floral rose water)
  • Five Plants Emulsifying Make-Up Remover $28 for 5.1 oz ( floral cornflower water, plant extracts, mallow extract, red vine and blueberry organic floral waters) 
  • Coconut and Calendula Exfoliating Shower Gel $16 for 6.8 oz (fine coconut powder, calendula extracts)

The greatest thing about Aixallia products was how easily I could incorporate them into my daily routine. From moisturizing to cleansing, to removing makeup I got all the bases covered, with an exception of a face wash. I love the slightly scented products, I strongly believe in the power of fragrance, and how it can affect one’s daily mood. So far it’s only been positive with Aixallia.

Aixallia day, night and eye creams are conveniently equipped with pumps, making it so much easier to dispense and eliminate the unnecessary contact between the product and air. When we had a dog, I always used to find its hair in my skincare creams, and even before that twist off lids were one of my biggest pet peeves.

The hand cream has quickly occupied a permanent spot in my makeup bag and gets transferred from purse to purse. I try not to leave my house without it at all. Bonus perk – it can also be used as a foot cream! I am all about multi-purpose products this season!

And finally, the exfoliating shower gel is perfect for the summer, especially after long days at the beach. The extra coconut powder particles really help get all the impurities out and smooth the skin to prepare it for all the intended and unintended tanning.

Aixallia is proud to support charitywater.org, a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations, by donating 1% of net product sales revenue.

If you would like to try out some of the Aixallia products make sure to use code Blog20 to get 20% off of your online order! Just a little bonus something for you for following me and my blog!

What kind of skincare do you use in the summer?

Beauty Favorites // May

Beauty Favorites May

It’s finally time to round up some of my May beauty favorites, and yes, I am fully aware it’s June 😉

1. NYX Liquid Suede cream lipstick in Sandstorm ($6.99) provides soft light brown matte finish on your lips and lasts through a few cups of coffee.

2. NYX Lip Lingerie in Baby Doll ($6.99) a light and brighter creamier nude that once again provides a matte finish for your lips.

3. It Cosmetics Sunshine in a Compact Vitality Anti-Aging Matte Bronzer in Warmth ($34) a soft lighter bronzer that makes contouring a breeze and comes with anti-aging ingredients including hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, and vitamins A, C & E.

4. Matrix Oil Wonders Volume Rose pre-shampoo treatment for fine hair ($24) is an oil that you use before shampoo and conditioner and leave on for 3-5 minutes. It changed my hair washing routine and my hair for the best. In addition to volume, shine and light rose fragrance is a bonus perk.

5. Sigma 3DHD Kabuki brush ($24) designed for all areas of the face to apply liquid, cream and powder products, this brush has been perfect for blush this spring, and I can’t wait to use it with bronzer this summer!

6. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant ($55) is a rice-based enzyme powder that activates upon contact with water, releasing Papain, Salicylic Acid and Rice Enzymes to smooth the skin and accelerate cell renewal. Perfect for every day use, I prefer to use it in the shower.

7. It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ ($38) a full coverage product that improves skin texture, brightness and increases skin hydration. I stopped using a day cream when I started using it. I am stepping up from the light to medium shade for the summer as well.

8. It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Transforming Moisturizing Super Cream ($48) works for all skin types, even the most sensitive (worked for me when I had my semi-annual finals stress rash breakout). This product deeply hydrates, restores radiance and reduces the look of pores, uneven texture and discoloration with collagen, hyaluronic acid, peptides, ceramides, antioxidants and colloidal oatmeal. It also smells amazing!

9. NYX Wonder Pencil ($4.49) A concealer, eye brightener and reverse lip liner all in one, it’s a must-have for everyone! I use medium shade for the summer.

10. It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eye Brow Pencil ($24) when it comes to eyebrows, I’ve done it all – gel, dye, eyeshadow, numerous pencils, but this has been my favorite out of all! This universal (yes, one color does fit all + covers gray!) and long-lasting eyebrow pencil has an oval shaped tip which makes it perfect for both thin and thick brows. The spooly end brush gives a natural polished look.

11. NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Prague ($5.99) one of the few bright colors that I have been wearing after I switched to the nude side. Being a lipstick junkie is hard, but this raspberry color makes it easy and fun. And, of course, once again I am a fan of the matte finish.

12. NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator in Sunbeam ($7.49) perfect for face and body and for when I get tired of all the matte finishes.

13. It Cosmetics You Sculpted! ($40) foolproof contouring, hands down! So far I’ve been using soft contour, matte and radiance highlight the most, and it doesn’t take more than 2 minutes every day. Make up is really not that hard when you think about it.

14. Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Foaming Mask ($56) brightens, detoxifies and refreshes skin, because that’s exactly what I needed after stressful days and sleepless nights during the finals. It’s like an instant miniature face lift! On the side note, I still can’t believe I pulled 23 credits off.

15. It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Complexion Perfection Brush # 7 ($48) a foundation and concealer brush that I’ve been using with powder and only powder. I still think nothing is better for applying foundation than your own fingertips. The concealer brush is perfect for applying powder in the eye area, I specifically use it to blend out any eye shadow imperfections that I’ve created (because you know, I am almost 30 years old, I have yet to learn how to do a good crease blend 😉 )

16. Eco. Refresh Cleansing Lotion ($12) an odd one out of this whole review, random product I came across, which actually got the job done. Made in Australia specifically to care for sensitive, dehydrated or combination skin. This lotion contains Papaya, Vitamin E and Oat Extract to easily remove makeup while calming and nourishing the skin and repairing damaged tissue. For someone who constantly suffers from stress rash breakouts, this product was perfect.

17. Heavenly Luxe Angled Radiance Brush #10 ($38) a brush that I use with the You Sculpted! palette, works so well, because I, for once, followed directions 😉

18. Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender ($20 for a full size, $10 for travel) That meme that’s going around telling everyone that by the end of the week my hair is 92% dry shampoo is true, and I can’t tell you how many times this product has saved me time this past month. Texture is an added bonus.

Well here you have it, my May favorites! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these, and what your thoughts are. Also, was this too long of a list? Not long enough? Do share! And finally here is a fun little Periscope video by yours truly! Enjoy!

Green Tea Smoothie Recipe

green tea smoothie recipe

green tea smoothie recipe

green tea smoothie recipe

This is my favorite smoothie, I drink that at least once a day. I hope you like the recipe as much as I do!

1 cup frozen spinach

1 cup frozen fruit

16 oz green tea – 4 oz strong green tea mixed with 12 oz water (you can change the tea to water ratio to taste)

1 tbsp protein powder (I use Lean 1 or Orgain)

1 tsp vegetable powder blend (I use Green Vitae Essence)

Blend and enjoy!

NYX Blogger Dinner at Mall of America

"BLOOMINGTON, MN - APRIL 14: Bloggers got a preview of the new NYX Cosmetics at the Mall of America on April 14, 2016 in Bloomington, Minnesota. (Photo by Jules Ameel/Getty Images for NYX Professional Makeup )"

“BLOOMINGTON, MN – APRIL 14: Bloggers got a preview of the new NYX Cosmetics at the Mall of America on April 14, 2016 in Bloomington, Minnesota. (Photo by Jules Ameel/Getty Images for NYX Professional Makeup )”

"BLOOMINGTON, MN - APRIL 14: CEO of Nyx Cosmetics Scott Friedman greets bloggers at NYX Cosmetics at the Mall of America on April 14, 2016 in Bloomington, Minnesota. (Photo by Jules Ameel/Getty Images for NYX Professional Makeup )"

"BLOOMINGTON, MN - APRIL 14: Bloggers got a preview of the new NYX Cosmetics at the Mall of America on April 14, 2016 in Bloomington, Minnesota. (Photo by Jules Ameel/Getty Images for NYX Professional Makeup )"

"BLOOMINGTON, MN - APRIL 14: Bloggers got a preview of the new NYX Cosmetics at the Mall of America on April 14, 2016 in Bloomington, Minnesota. (Photo by Jules Ameel/Getty Images for NYX Professional Makeup )"

"BLOOMINGTON, MN - APRIL 14: Bloggers got a preview of the new NYX Cosmetics at the Mall of America on April 14, 2016 in Bloomington, Minnesota. (Photo by Jules Ameel/Getty Images for NYX Professional Makeup )"

"BLOOMINGTON, MN - APRIL 14: Bloggers got a preview of the new NYX Cosmetics at the Mall of America on April 14, 2016 in Bloomington, Minnesota. (Photo by Jules Ameel/Getty Images for NYX Professional Makeup )"

Last week I got invited to check out the new NYX store at the Mall of America. This is the 8th store the company has opened in the US so far. All the other locations are on the coasts.

Being a huge makeup junkie, and in absolute love with NYX products, I wasn’t disappointed with what I saw. The store is beautiful, offering a full selection of products (something you can’t find at Ulta or Target), knowledgable staff, iPads with tutorials that can teach you new makeup techniques. It is amazing.

I was extremely fortunate to meet the CEO of the company Scott Friedman, and learn more abut NYX from him. And as you can see from the photos I was absolutely smitten with him.

Overall it was a great night that ended with delicious dinner at Cedar + Stone. I highly recommend the Torn Kale Salad, as well as 12 Hour Braised Beef Short Rib.

Make sure to visit the NYX store if you are ever at Mall of America. It’s on the 1st floor near Sears! You can’t miss it. I also created a roundup of my favorite NYX products, check it out if you have a second!

Amuse Bouche by Bite Beauty Review

Amuse Bouche Beetroot Amuse Bouche

When it comes to lipstick, I don’t ask for much. I need it to be matte or satin, non-sticky, and long lasting. I also need the color to be vibrant, something that will distinguish me from the crowd. I like to stand out.

I found all these characteristics in the Amuse Bouche by Bite Beauty. Having received 3 lipsticks in the mail about a month ago, I wanted to make sure I really put these products to the test.

 

Amuse Bouche Beetroot

Color: Beetroot 

Amuse Bouche Gazpacho Amuse Bouche Gazpacho

Color: Gazpacho

Amuse Bouche Pepper Amuse Bouche Pepper

Color: Pepper

Hands down Beetroot is my favorite color, it’s new and different in my collection, and I was pleasantly surprised that the color lasted even after a visit to Starbucks, and I make those more than once a day 😉

Gazpacho is a play on the traditional red lipstick, it’s bright and vibrant, definitely not a deep red some may be looking for, but definitely worth considering for the summer.

And finally Pepper, probably the most “neutral” of the trio, it’s a safe color for those who don’t like to draw attention to themselves, or chose to accentuate the eyes.

These are my new favorite lipsticks, and I can’t imagine my beauty routine without them.

Thanks to Influenster for providing me with these samples for review! 

Valentia Eye Cream and Mask Review

valentia

I love new skincare products, and I can never say no to a new brand reaching out to me offering their latests and greatest. As some of you know, my skin acts all weird when I am stressed, and there are very few products that I can use to keep it from getting worse. Fortunately, it’s only the beginning of the semester and I had no problem trying the new Valentia products.

So here is what I got: True Glow Eye Cream and Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask. The True Glow Eye Cream is supposed to diminish fine lines & wrinkles, nourish & hydrate, tighten the under eye area, brighten dark circles, and reduce puffiness. I simply wanted the cream not to cause an allergic reaction, or make my eyes water, and it didn’t. The rest of the claims are the claims that every eye cream makes, I am yet to see the difference.

valentia plumping mask

The Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask was yellow, like a really weird yellow color, that I totally didn’t expect when I opened the package. However, it smelled wonderfully and worked really well with my skin. The directions said to keep it on for 15-30 minutes. Go big or go home, I thought, and left it on for the whole 30. The mask promises to boost collagen production, increase skin radiance, reduces fine lines, lock in skins moisture and reveals softer smoother skin.

Overall I am extremely happy with Valentia products, I feel like the eye cream is an especially good product, and the mask is a nice way to relax and unwind after a long day.

Check out some of my other favorite skin care products

Easy Half Up Bun

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RethinkColour #CollectiveBias

John Frieda Root Blur

There are three hairstyles that I wear to school these days. Straight, wavy and a half bun, or as I prefer to call it – the man bun. And since I often wear my hair half up half down, I’ve been looking for a product that would help me blend the color in a little bit more, so that the contrast between my bleached hair and darker roots wouldn’t appear so drastic. That’s why I was really excited to try out the new Root Blur™ Colour Blending Concealer by John Frieda in Platinum to Champagne For Light to Medium Blonde available at Target in the hair color aisle.

John Frieda Root Blur

I have never heard of root concealer before, but it seemed like a perfect temporary solution for the times when my balayage grows out, and I need to soften the color. The powder also made sense, because I figured it’ll have an effect similar to the dry shampoo, so on the second or third day between shampooing, it would help absorb that extra oil and make hair look fresher.

Back to my favorite hairstyle though. A half up bun is only half the fun when the hair is straight. That’s why I normally curl my hair before setting my foot out the door. I normally use a Remington curling wand, but add the finish with sea salt beach spray instead of hairspray. Once the hair is dry and styled I use the John Frieda Root Blur, and the applicator that came with it to quickly blur the roots away, and add more color to frame the face. It takes only a couple minutes, and lasts till the next shampooing.

John Frieda Root Blur half up bun half up bun

And finally, a special promotion to take advantage of: Buy 3 Products Get a $5 Target Gift Card! You can look for the product on a special endcap display until the 5th!

John Frieda Root Blur

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