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.

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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.

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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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Beauty Brunch: What’s In My Travel Makeup Bag?

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What do you bring with you when you are on vacation? Do you pack all the necessary skincare, makeup and hair products? Or do you bring the bare minimum?

Road tripping is definitely different from air travel, I don’t have any restrictions on size and number of products, but I didn’t want to overpack! So here is everything I packed on my trip to Colorado.

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To be honest a few of the things were packed in hopes of finally using them up, which actually did happen with a couple of the products.

Do you think I overpacked or didn’t pack enough? What’s in your travel makeup bag?


Beauty Brunch: Mail Call

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Having spent 2 summers working at a camp, I am very familiar with mail call. Were I at camp this week, I would’ve had to sing once a day every day, if not twice a day for all my packages. I do love getting mail, but you don’t want to hear my singing voice, trust me.

From makeup to nail polish, to hair removal products, I got a lot of new stuff to try in the mail. I don’t really know where to begin, so let’s start with Sigma Standout Eyes collection of 6 gel eyeliners.

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Just in case you didn’t know, Sigma is a local company that first became known for their makeup brushes (at least to me, via YouTube). Now that they have added lines of well-pigmented and high-quality makeup, I like them even more. Last week I received this amazing set of gel liners in the mail. And let me tell you, the cat eye challenge is on! The set included liners in: Wicked (blackest black), Liberally Toasted (toasty warm brown), Stunningly Ladylike (dark brown-black), Standout Peacock (deep indigo blue), Royally Striking (true purple), and Unexpected (neutral stony grey). The colors are long-wearing, opaque, and saturated. All gel liners are versatile, yet unique and unexpected with intense pigmentation and a smooth, fluid-like finish. It also included two brushes: E06 Winged Liner Brush, which creates the perfect winged liner, and E68 Line Perfector Brush, for controlled liner application with powder products. I can’t wait to show you the makeup looks I’ll be creating with these liners and my other Sigma products. Use the hashtag – #standouteyes on social media for inspiration.

Next let’s talk about Luuux Makeup Brushes. I got 3 sets of those (yes, THREE!) and will be giving 2 of those away! One in today’s post, one on Instagram. So if you need makeup brushes, make sure to enter and get your hands on a pretty cool set, which includes: L150 Large Powder Brush, L187 Stippling Brush, L116 Blush Brush, L190 Foundation Brush, L224 Eyeshadow Blending Brush, L195 Concealer Brush, L239 Blending Brush, L242 Eyeshadow Brush, L219 The Pencil Brush, L217 Eyeshadow and blending brush, L208 angled brush, L316 Lip Brush.

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Since I will be quitting my job in the next month or so, I knew I wanted to order hand made all natural soaps from one of the teachers. She’s given me a couple before to try, and I loved them. When she brought me a box of 10 different scents on Wednesday, I knew I wanted them all. Connie started making soaps several years ago as a necessity, not a hobby. She had several health issues caused by chemicals found in every day beauty products. And that’s how her soaps came to be. To learn more about Connie’s soaps email her at conniejwelch@hotmail.com

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I am also excited to try these Completely Bare products that I got through Klout. I am always looking for alternative hair removal ways, as I seem to cut myself every time I shave with a razor. I am especially interested in the Body Moisturizer & Hair Inhibitor, it’s Lemon Grass and Green Tea scented, and promises to help reduce hair density by as much as 50%, reduce hair length by as much as 30%, reduce hair growth by as much as 55% in 28 days. I remember using a product like this before (about 5-6 years ago), and I really liked it. I’ll definitely keep you posted on this one.

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And, finally, I received some products from Gerard’s to try out, and I will write a separate post on those. But how cool does Caviar cream sound? So stay tuned!

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Made to Move: Carefree Feminine Care

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

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Summers are exciting and fun. My summers are full of activities. Every day brings something new and challenging, every day I push myself a little more. I will admit, sometimes I do regret not spending a couple extra hours in bed, sleeping, relaxing, or reading a book. But summer is the time to be active. Summers here are spent on the go, and I don’t want my period to get in the way. Among pads, tampons and other feminine care products available on the market today, Stayfree always stood out, and has been my go to brand since New York City days.

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I would spend all day running around Manhattan, attending events, meeting with friends, going for walks, runs or bike rides, and never have to second guess Stayfree Ultra Thin Regular.

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When the same brand came out with Stayfree Overnight pads, I knew I could cross off another concern off my list.

Now, no matter whether I am running around at work, or getting ready to jump back into college life, or being a tourist in my own town working on Twin Cities Travelin’ post, I know Stayfree won’t let me down.

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Stayfree Ultra Thin regular and Stayfree Overnight are available at Walmart, and what’s even better now is a $5 Walmart eGift card reward will be given to you when you buy any 3 products – Stayfree, Carefree, or o.b. – so stock up, ladies! I will be honest, I am finally getting the hang of shopping at Walmart. And the products that I purchased will last me a few months. So it’s a win-win on my end.

Questions? Comments! Feel free to connect with me on:

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Beauty Brunch: Bath and Beyond

 

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A couple weeks ago I asked Sam to pick up a new body wash for me at the store. Here is what he came home with. I think he did pretty well, don’t you?

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Sand, water, salt and wind. Summer obviously calls for constant manis, pedis, and pampering. Detox baths are relaxing, rejuvenating and according to some, even help weight-loss. I have 4 recipes for you today, enjoy!

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Cleopatra’s Scrub and Bath

For the bath:
1/4 gallon of milk
1/2 cup of honey

For the scrub:
2/3 cup sour cream
2/3 cup sea salt

Apply scrub, keep on for 10-15 minutes, rinse. Add milk and honey mix to the tub, soak for 20-25 minutes.

Hollywood Bath

1 egg
1/2 cup bodywash
1 tsp vanilla

Mix the ingredients and add to the bath. Soak for 20-25 minutes.

Baking Soda Bath

1 cup Baking Soda
1 cup Salt

No food or drink 2 hours prior/after this bath! Soak for no more than 10 minutes. Rest for 40 minutes after.

Rose Petal Bath

Few drops of Rose Essential oil
1/4 gallon of milk
Rose petals

Soak for 20-25 minutes.

And while you are taking your beauty bath, don’t forget about your hair! These are a few of the hair masks I’ve been using lately.

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I was pleasantly surprised by the L’Oreal ones ($5.99 each at Target), they both work great on my color treated hair, leaving it soft and shiny. Arvazallia product was already featured on my blog, so make sure to read the review here!

What hair products have you been using lately?

Thanks for tuning in to another beauty brunch! Have a great week!

Questions? Comments! Feel free to connect with me on:
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