Beauty Brunch: Happy Legs with Skintimate

Disclosure: “I made my legs happy with Skintimate as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #SkintimateStars” All opinions are my own. 

#SkintimateStarsBeingZhenya

This fall I have taken on a new challenge – college! I am following my dream, my passion, my calling. Confidence is key, and there are days when I don’t have it, but then there are days when I am ready to take over the world. Dresses and boots have become my go-to look, my uniform of sorts. I am always out and about between the three campuses, and for some reason dresses work very well for me. Maybe it’s the ease of it, maybe it’s the fact that a dress is an outfit of it’s own. But when I get up in the morning it’s almost like BAM and I am ready for the day! Plus all the awesome superhero women always wear dresses and boots, so my outfits make me feel kick ass!

But my goal is to not only look good, but feel good as well. So I make sure I take care of my skin and make my legs happy. A couple weeks ago I switched to Skintimate Skin Therapy lotionized shave gels. Because let’s be honest, Minnesota winter isn’t here yet, and I still have time to show some leg.

#SkintimateStarsBeautyStyle

Skintimate helps nourish, moisturize and protect your skin, for silky smooth legs, so you can channel your inner wonder woman and be your own superhero. Here are some of my tips on achieving silky smooth legs.

  • exfoliate
  • take your time to shave to avoid cuts and/or missed spots
  • moisturize
  • be proud of who you are

#SkintimateStarsBeautifulLegs

Channel your inner wonder woman today!

#SkintimateStarsWonderWoman

Check out more Skintimate content on skintimate.tumblr.com

Grow Longer Hair Faster

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I have no problem experimenting with products and trying out new stuff. That’s why when Rozge came to me with an offer to try their GrowFast  shampoo and conditioner, I couldn’t say no. Summer was coming to an end, and I wanted to try out something that would help my hair grow faster in the fall/winter seasons.

Just like any normal girl I have several things that I don’t like about my hair, or that I think are currently wrong with it, but that’s all I got, and I am working with it.

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I have been using GrowFast shampoo and conditioner for 3 weeks now, and that’s how long it usually takes to see the first results. I didn’t start seeing the results until last week, and of course they aren’t huge! I didn’t grow a full head of hair overnight, I will never be able to compete with Rapunzel, and I am okay with that.

There is a trick to the shampoo and conditioner process, and I am not talking about the ingredients now. And that’s a good tip for anyone who uses shampoo and conditioner on a regular basis. The Rosge shampoo needs to be massaged into your scalp for 3-5 minutes. When I first read the instructions, I thought – alright, I can do this. But my arms started hurting after about 2 minutes. It definitely takes time get used to. A little scalp massage never hurt anyone to be honest.

As far as the ingredients go, the products include:

– Apigenin, which fights the follicle aging process and prevents hair loss. It works by increasing circulation to the scalp and providing a seamless pathway for nutrients to nurture the hair follicles.

– Oleanolic Acid  –  naturally occurring triterpenoid found in plants, this component is nontoxic and protects cells against stress. Oleanolic Acid strengthens hair, making it less susceptible to hair loss.

– Biotin – A form of Vitamin B, Biotin is essential for cellular growth in the body. Studies have reported that biotin helps strengthen hair. Vitamin B is found in a variety of foods including nuts, fish, meat, eggs, and dairy. Known as the Vitamin B Complex, B vitamins promote a healthy body function and cell renewal.

– Shea Butter Fruit is an emollient that locks in moisture without leaving hair feeling oily. This natural extract conditions the scalp and shields against damage from heat tools and harmful environmental factors.

Shampoo Ingredients: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Alaninate, Polyquaternium-7, Sodium PCA, PEG-8 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Apigenin, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1, Butylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Oleanolic Acid, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PG-26- Buteth-26, Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Fragrance (Parfum).

Conditioner Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride, Allantoin, Aminomethyl Propanol, Apigenin, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1, Butylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Calcium Pantothenate, Citric Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Hexylene Glycol, Hydrogenated C6-14 Olefin Polymers, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Hydroxyethyl Behenamidopropyl Dimonium Chloride, Maltodextrin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Minoxidil, Niacinamide, Oleanolic Acid, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PG-26-Buteth-26, Phenoxyethanol, Polyquaternium-37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Pyridoxine HCl, Silica, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Starch Octenyl Succinate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trideceth-6, Fragrance (Parfum).

Here are my before and after in just 3 weeks. I hope you notice the difference, because I sure do!

To get 25% off your Rozge order – enter BEINGZHENYA at checkout! 

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Have any tips on how to grow your hair out faster? Leave them in the comments below!

September

September-Inspiration

Right before my first class starts this semester, I am thinking about this quote, about the words of Maryl Streep that have been floating around the internet for the past few hours. I am sure you have already seen them.

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” – Meryl Streep

And when there are of course many life applications to those, think of her words from a blogger perspective.

How many times do we leave a comment on someones post in hopes that they will in return go to our blog?

How many times have we asked for #followforfollow or joined a link up party?

How many relationships have we built, but how many have we destroyed?

Are our priorities as bloggers straight, or are we willing to sell our soul for a free dress or shirt, or a pair of shoes?

Have we been focusing on the real world or the one online, and how honest have we been with each other and with ourselves?

Happy September!

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Style tip: Shift dresses and boots are a perfect combo, check out my picks for both below!

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Beauty Brunch: Pevonia Stem Cells Phyto-Elite

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As you know I am a huge fan of de-aging and anti-aging products, and Pevonia Stem Cells Phyto-Elite line couldn’t be more perfect.

It’s a 3 step system that includes a

Multi-active foaming cleanser

Intensive serum

Intensive cream 

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Pevonia skincare began in 1991, named after the wondrous flower, Peonia, discovered by Painon, who was the physician to the Gods. This flower was filled with pure essential extracts that were so powerful that it was capable of curing the skin of every Goddess. Inspired by this myth, and using only natural product formulations and superior developing process, Pevonia Botanica soon became one of the most desirable skin care lines in Europe. Pevonia Botanica is proud to offer products that are innovative and unique, sold only by expertly trained and highly educated skin care specialists around the world.

Pevonia Botanica is a highly-distinguished spa care line whose expert skin care specialists are dedicated to exhaustive research and the development of remarkably effective skin care products for both men and women. 

Pevonia Botanica manufactures products devised with only the purest marine and holistic botanical ingredients for unique formulations that provide exceptionally singular results instantly visible in skin. There’s no question as to why Pevonia is favored by some of the most prominent spas worldwide. Pevonia Botanica truly nourishes and enhances the skin for improved beauty, health and function, resulting in a rejuvenated finish that appears younger, brighter and healthier than ever before.

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Notice how every product says what time to use it on the back? And the Intensive cream comes with an applicator, which has come in very handy.

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Excited to learn more and find out what I think of the products? Stay tuned for my video review soon!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.


Beauty Brunch: Collagen Factor

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Having been obsessed with serums and anti-aging products for the past year or so, I started researching collagen and it’s benefits. 

Collagen is a type of fibrous protein arranged in a triple helix pattern and found extensively throughout the bodies of people and animals. It supports skin, internal organs, muscles, bone, joints, and cartilage. There are at least 16 types of collagen that occur naturally in the body, with the most abundant form in the human body being known as type 1 collagen. Collagen works in tandem with elastin to give skin its texture, structure, ability to stretch, and appearance. Sun damage (extrinsic aging) and chronologic aging (intrinsic aging) causes collagen in the skin to deteriorate (Sources Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, December 2013, ePublication; PLoS One, August 2013, eCollection; and Molecular Cell Biology, 4th Edition, W.H. Freeman, 2000) – Paulaschoice.com

Meehan Formulations has a small, but effective collagen line, called Collagen Factor, which helps restore skins elasticity, and slow down anti-aging process caused by sun, environment, and chemicals.

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I was lucky to try Collagen Serum and Finishing Moisturizer. And here is what I thought.

Collagen serum 

A lightweight serum formulated to stimulate the growth of collagen and greatly reduce the signs of aging that occurs from diminished elasticity. The tinted version contains pine bark and vitamin C which add a little sun kissed glow to your skin!

The product came in 1 oz amber glass bottle with a dropper. Are you thinking what I am thinking? How very vintage! I love using the dropper. It makes me feel like I work in an apothecary. The serum itself goes on smoothly, but leaves my skin feeling wet, so I let it dry for about a minute before applying the moisturizer. The product doesn’t really have any smell, and that’s definitely a plus. I normally use about 5-10 drops, and measure them off separately for the different parts of my face, mainly forehead and cheeks. Having spent the majority of my summer outdoors, this is the product I want to keep around for as long as I can to prevent/slow down sun damage.

CollagenFactor

Finishing Moisturizer

A light moisturizer, inclusive of the serum, designed to stimulate the growth of collagen and greatly reduce the signs of aging that occurs from diminished elasticity.  Moisturizer base is a non allergenic foundation moisturizer that supports all skin types, including sensitive skin. 

The moisturizer has a pinkish tint to it. I am so used to white colored products, that I was a little surprised by that. As you can see in the picture, the moisturizer comes out from the pump and holds it shape. If it can do it to my skin in the long run, I am in 110%! Once again the product has no obvious smell. It goes on very smoothly, absorbs quickly, but leaves my skin feeling a little sticky, until I apply my regular foundation, or simply touch up with a finishing powder.

What’s with all the anti-aging products, Zhenya?

You may be wondering, why I have been so obsessed with anti-aging products. There are two reasons. No woman wants to look older than she really is. If I can slow down the appearance of wrinkles without Botox, using only the skincare products, I will take full advantage of that. I am going back to college to get another bachelor’s degree, and want to put my best face forward.

Have a great Sunday! How do you take care of your skin?

Disclosure: These products have been provided by Meehan Formulations. All opinions are my own. 

Floral Embroidery

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I have been loving the floral embroidery trend this summer, and couldn’t wait to try it. I was even considering doing my own embroidery on a dress I’ve already owned. But then I thrifted this beauty in Colorado. And I knew we couldn’t part. The beauty of an embroidered dress, you may ask? No need to accessorize. Just throw on your favorite pair of shoes, and a purse.

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courtesy of www.fashaholicsanonymous.com

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courtesy of www.cinzee.wordpress.com

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courtesy of www.simonamar.com

See my top picks for embroidered dresses and embroidered tops below:

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And make sure to check out one of my latest Thrift Haul Videos from my summer travels! Happy Friday!


Gerard’s USA Natural Beauty Products Review and Giveaway

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My trip to Chicago was an absolute blast. I had such an amazing time reconnecting with my old friends and meeting new ones. And since traveling by car is so much easier than by air, because I can bring and pack as many beauty products as I want, I packed my Gerard’s USA Caviar Cream and Top Base Face Primer first.

 

Gerard’s is the first skin and body care company to use flower and plant extract, natural organic and active ingredients to protect, maintain and improve the skin. Founded in the Italian Alps region of Italy, where the soil is rich in minerals, they pride themselves in producing the finest products for each skin type and need, using pure extracts. Gerard’s on-site laboratories use cutting edge manufacturing methods to produce non irritating, dermatology tested, results oriented therapeutic face and body products. Gerard’s philosophy is to enrich people’s lives through face and body treatments and products using pure natural active ingredients.

Gerard’s is the world’s only skin care brand which uses refill containers as a way to reduce the ecological burden on our beautiful earth <- How awesome is that?

So let’s talk about the Caviar Cream, because I am obsessed. The packaging is so creative and amazing, that when you see it, you think caviar right away! You just can’t think anything else! This rich and luxurious cream is a deep restoring treatment that helps renew and protect your skin from all sorts of damage. It contains Caviar and marine Collagen, created for skins that need vital nourishment, energy and deep moisturization. It reactivates the cell’s regeneration, reduces wrinkles and expression lines, while protecting from UV rays. Skin will look vital, supple, toned and deeply renewed.

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Active ingredients: Hydroglicolic extract of Caviar, marine Collagen, Oak Extract, Allantoin, Solar Filter.

Use: Apply it in the morning or at night onto a perfectly clean and tonic skin.

When I first started using it, I noticed slight tingling in my skin, that quickly went away. But every time I apply it now, it leaves my skin feeling soft, nourished and pampered. Needless to say, I get complimented on it a lot.

Face Primer Top Base is something that I’ve really wanted to try. My only other experience with face primers came from a drug store, and I remember not exactly enjoying it. So this was a great opportunity to rewrite my beauty history. This primer covers imperfections, removes redness and creates a flawless finish for the skin. Apply a small amount all over the skin, let dry for one minute. Top base brings an incredible luminosity and firmness to the skin. May be used as foundation when skin tone matches. And guess what? It matches pretty well, so I am skipping out on foundation for a while.

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I have been greatly impressed with the products, from packaging to quality to scent. And am extremely happy to have them in my beauty arsenal.

And now for the giveaway! You can win $150 to Gerard’s USA online store and pick the products that you like! How amazing is that?
Please read the following rules and conditions before entering
- Open to US mailing addresses only.
- All entries will be verified.
- The winner has 48 hours to reply to our email announcement of the winner; otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beauty Brunch: Camille Albane Salon in Maple Grove

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My last hair cut wasn’t the bomb. I had a really hard time with it. It looked good when my hair was curled, but when it was straight you could see it wasn’t blended enough and my top layer stuck over my bottom one a good 2 inches. And you know it’s not a good hair cut when you come to work and your co-teacher tells you that it looks weird. I do appreciate the honesty though.

So when an opportunity came up to visit the new Camille Albane Paris Salon in Maple Grove, I knew I couldn’t miss it.

Last Wednesday after a long and tiring day at work, I drove up 169 all the way to Maple Grove to this brand new salon. The calming white interior, Coldplay through the speakers and incredible staff helped me relax and forget about my troubles almost instantly.
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Black capes are non-existent at Camille Albane Paris. You wear a white robe instead, which creates the atmosphere of a spa, and not a salon.

Tammy, the manager, and my stylist for the night was attentive and addressed all my concerns, answered all questions and was so much fun to talk to. She even saved my pink extension I got at Glamorama ;)

In addition to the haircut I also got a balayage. It was a little different for me, because Tammy didn’t wrap my hair in Saran Wrap, like they usually do at Aveda. The formula that they use doesn’t dry out as fast, so that wasn’t necessary.

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Camille Albane Paris was founded in France, where they have the laboratories and create all of the products. The other salon in the United States is located in Boston.

Camille Albane is a breath of fresh air among the existing salons in the Twin Cities area. It’s new, different, and adds to the edge that we’ve been missing here in the Midwest.

And this Wednesday, August, 13 the salon has it’s official opening. I would love to see you there! So if you are planning on coming make sure to send your RSVP to RSVP@lolaredpr.com. Hope to see you there.
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The salon is located at 7808 Main Street, Maple Grove, MN 55369 between Panera and Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Phone # 763-316-6957

Road Tripping to Colorado with Gillette

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

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Sam and I have just returned from our road trip to Colorado. We were so lucky to have been able to make this trip happen. From getting time off at work, to driving all the way there, to admiring nature, to hiking, to spending time with friends, it was an awesome trip. Except for one thing. Sam thought he could skip out on shaving that whole time. But I quickly went to Walmart (luckily they are everywhere in Colorado) and bought him the new Gillette Flexball Razor to fix that. Gillette Flexball Razors are creating a smooth summer face. Gillette provided my husband with that handsome faceI could die for, because a #SmoothSummer is the best kind of summer.

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Colorado is a perfect place. We loved it there. It was Sam’s first trip there, and I was so excited I could share one of my favorite places in the US with him. Of course, Doug and Marianne are the ones to thank, it wouldn’t have happened without them either.

I remember a couple years ago putting “Trip to Colorado” on my New Years resolutions list, and it finally happened. 2014 has been an awesome year, and I can’t wait to share the rest of it with my friends, family and you, my dear readers.

So away we go and I am going to let the pictures tell the story.

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Our first stop in South Dakota. The view was so breathtaking we had to pull over for selfies. And since it was so gorgeous, we forgot the name of this river :)

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We made it to Colorado right on time for Dani’s wedding. It was absolutely beautiful and special! Thank you for sharing your happy day with us Dani and Ryan!

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What trip would it have been without us goofing off at a candy store in Boulder? That’s right! A boring one! But we are far away from that, we help spread bird love!

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Hiking for 6 miles is a breeze when you are at the Garden of the Gods. But sometimes Sam got lost among the rocks.

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Since there aren’t that many bodies of water in Colorado, Sam and I opted for a frozen version of it. At the top of Pikes Peak! That was the only day I can justify him keeping his facial hair – for warmth.

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At the end of the trip we made a detour to visit Mount Rushmore, and see the presidents! Sam blended in well with all the bikers who were there for a rally.

Overall it was an amazing trip and I am happy to announce that Sam did indeed shave, on Friday, before work. He loved the razor for it’s flexibility, precision and design.

I hope you are enjoying your summer, your vacation, the great outdoors, and this post about our trip out west. This weekend we are coming down to Chicago and Quad Cities! See you there?

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The Inverted Smokey Eye

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Have you ever been stuck in a makeup rut? Stuck so deep, that you didn’t want to wear eye makeup anymore?
If you know anything about my makeup preferences, you may know that I am an eyeshadow freak, palettes, singles, special editions – I am there. Lipstick is the second favorite on my list, but it’s nowhere near eyeshadow.

I have been using less makeup over the summer, but by less I mean I cut out eyeshadow, and that didn’t make sense to me. So when one of my friends on Twitter suggested I do an inverted smokey eye, I thought to myself – why not?

The inverted trend has always been on my radar, but for some reason I’ve never tried it. It was time for a change. And Macy’s Glamorama was the perfect occasion.

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I naturally reached for my Naked palette for this look. Since Glamorama I have experimented with a few inverted smokey eye combos and if you are familiar with the palette, here are the combos that I’ve tried and loved (from the inner corner out):

Dark Horse -> Smog -> Half Baked

Hustle -> Toasted -> Sin

Creep -> Gunmetal

Sidecar -> Sin

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And this is the rest of my beauty arsenal ;) Haha

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Before (sometime no makeup is great too!) Remember, we are all beautiful!

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And the afters! I have finally been able to create the perfect cat eye. Well, it’s perfect in my world, because I haven’t been able to (and been lazy) do a good cat eye. It’s all in the brush, and I have been in love with my Sigma E06!

Happy Tuesday! How is your week going?
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