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.

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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!

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Beauty Brunch: Nails and Lips and Detox Drinks

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Welcome to beauty brunch! Today’s post is all about nails and lips. Remember the teaser I posted last week featuring Sinful Colors Nail Polish? Today we are going to talk about those, as well as some of the other products that I have been using to keep the polish on my nails for more than a day.

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Left to right: Solar Flux, Matte About Blue, Red Tired, Rubber Ball, Rain Rubber, Pipaya

These nail polishes have a very interesting grainy texture and remind me of a color my friend Luchessa sent me from Germany, but that one was specifically advertised as Sand Finish, while these say absolutely nothing on the bottle.

Of course the colors are brilliant and vibrant. I love the look and feel on my nails. As you may have guessed I wore blue and red ones for July 4th, and the color is still lasting. I am glad it didn’t chip on the first day. I have been making sure to use a top coat every time though. My new favorite is Sally Hansen base and top coat, as well as the Big Matte Top coat.

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Another summer beauty must-have I want to talk about today is lipsticks, glosses and tinted balms. I have been using a lot of different products lately, and wanted to share my thoughts, looks and opinions on.

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These two babies by NYX (Strawberry Milk and Narcissus) have been my go-to this season. I love the pale lip look, it compliments the tan.

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A couple other lip favorites have been Maybelline Baby Lips in Oh Orange ($3.99 on Maybelline.com)

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And Sigma Lip Gless in Get Ready ($10 on SigmaBeauty.com)

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And finally I want to share a couple detox drink recipes with you. If you are like me, plain water doesn’t taste good, so  that will help you stay hydrated and feel good.

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Bring 72 oz of water and 4 tablespoons of stevia to a boil, add 4-5 stalks of rhubarb cut up into 1 inch slices, and let boil for 5 minutes. Let cool, add ice and enjoy!

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1 thick slice of lemon, 5-6 freshly picked mint leaves, 5-6 freshly picked lemon balm leaves. Pour boiling water over everything, steep. Drink cold.

I hope you all had a great weekend! Thanks for reading!

Summer of Style, Weddings and Fun

 

 

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In less than a month Sam and I are taking a road trip to Colorado! Three years ago when we got married, my friend Doug walked me down the aisle. Now his daughter Dani is getting married and I am literally counting down the days.

I’ve known Dani since she was 13, we first met at a Russian Orphanage, which she’s travelled to with her dad. She immediately became popular with all the boys, because she was (and still is) an amazing soccer player. It’s hard to believe that she is getting married, but I can’t wait!

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I know that a lot of you are attending weddings this summer, and I wanted to make this post both personal, and helpful. Target has always been my favorite place to shop for wedding gifts, and their #TargetWedding registry catalogue couldn’t be more helpful. So today I am going to share a few things with you, which I hope inspire you!

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I have been loving the SodaStream, and I think it’s a perfect gift for everyone. Making your own drinks, experimenting with flavors, what can be more fun? Sharing them with friends and family at a party or a back yard gathering, that’s what! I am sure this will be a perfect gift for the newlyweds. I know I am throwing a party later this summer, once all of our home remodeling projects are over!

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And how fun are these drinks dispensers? I love the chalk board one the most. Which one is your favorite?

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Thank you so much for checking out my post! For more inspiration and ideas check out Target’s Wedding Board on Pinterest!

And now you have a chance to win $25 gift card to Target! Submit a link to your favorite Target registry product in the comments below! And I will pick a winner really soon!

Disclosure: #Sponsored content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.



Beauty Brunch

 

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Welcome to Beauty Brunch, a new blog series about beauty products, beauty tips, tricks and hacks. In today’s post I am going to share a few new items I’ve been able to get my hands on, some tips on hair care and previews of what’s to come.

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Last week I got my hair done, and just like before it was a balayage. I am so happy I have finally discovered what works for me. No more stripy hair! My colorist also recommended a few things for my hair, like the velcro rollers for volume, which I’ve been loving, and Aveda Sun Care protective hair veil. Since I am outside a lot this summer, I thought it couldn’t hurt. Now this is a more expensive product on the market, it retails for $24.50-$28, and there are cheaper options out there, like L’Oreal Ever Pure Spray $8.

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I have also been experimenting with my hair routine, and after one of the #BeautyChats that I participate in on Twitter, I decided to give cleansing conditioner a try. I’ve been using Herbal Essences Naked Cleansing Conditioner $6 for a week now, and it pleasantly surprised me and exceeded all my expectations since day 1. I love the smell and texture of the product, and cleans my hair as well as shampoo and conditioner, if not better. Switching to this product has also cut my shower time in half, so it’s a win-win.

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And for the times when I do want to use shampoo and conditioner, I turn to Catwalk by TiGi Elevating Shampoo and Nourishing Conditioner. Anything to add volume to my hair and protect it this summer! One of the things I have to mention about this product is the packaging, I love the twist tops! I don’t know why I’ve never had products with twist tops before!

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Skin care has also been at the top of my list, and that’s where California Naturel came in with their products. I am in love with the Lip Balm SPF 8 and All Natural Sunscreen SPF 30, which I’ve been using every day religiously. I am one of those people who doesn’t want to be tan, but is, due to the nature of my work. I do my 20 minutes of sun a day though, to make sure I get enough vitamin D and don’t fall into depression. But after that, it’s sunscreen all day every day.

I am still to try the Gentle Cleansing Gel and Balancing Complex. So there will be a separate post on those!

Makeup wise, this Glo-minerals Precision eye pencil in Twilight Blue has been my go to product for the past couple of weeks. When black becomes too dramatic for the natural summer look, this color is perfect! Too bad it’s not very long lasting.

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And finally a sneak peek at the new Sinful Color nail polishes that I will be using this summer and which will definitely appear in a separate post soon.

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I hope you enjoyed this very first Beauty Brunch post, and I’ll see you again next Sunday!

PS. Here is a picture from our Minneapolis Blogger Garage Sale that took place yesterday! It was a blast! Thank you all who came, I loved meeting you. I was also able to get rid of a lot of my clothes, and hopefully I won’t be buying as much this year!

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My Summer Look: Pretty Nails, Pretty Legs

Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This #MySummerLook shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. my-summer-look It’s easy to lose yourself in the busy season known as summer. After a 6 month long winter here in Minnesota, summers are full of fun, plans, and almost no time to myself. But it’s still important to keep it pretty! Pretty nails, pretty hair, pretty legs! If you follow me on Instagram you probably know that I just got another balayage! The second one turned out even better than the first. So now that I got my hair taken care of, I decided to spend sometime on my legs and nails. When it comes to buying beauty products, Target is my top choice. Living in Minnesota has it’s perks. Target is everywhere, and it’s so conveniently located, that I can walk there, when the weather is nice (which is also dangerous ;) ). I love the beauty stands there, they are always so original and well put together, that I can get all my products in one place. target-summer-look-products   So after another successful trip to Target, I spent some me time on my deck, painting my nails, listening to Spotify and drawing inspiration from fashion magazines. This summer one of my goals is mastering nail art, and Sally Hansen products, especially their nail art kit, are perfect for that. I picked a lot of “nature” colors this time. Greens, blues, maybe because they reflect how I feel, or maybe because I want to be closer to nature, create a simple, easy look. summer-nail-trends summer-passtime And then I simply enjoyed my “me-time”, browsed social media, sipping my citrus water. how-to-be-skinny minneapolis-fashion-blogger And of course I didn’t leave the store without my favorite sunscreen products. I once got a sunburn canoeing. Can you guess where the sunburn was? On the back of my legs! Because out of all the places, I didn’t put it on there. And when sun reflected off of the canoe bottom, it burnt me pretty bed. So never again, thought I. Sunscreen has been a major essential since then. Between sailing, and being outside for work with the kids, I go through sunscreen every 2-4 weeks, and the regular kind just doesn’t do. I like the moisturizing kind, the one that leaves my legs feeling soft and smelling good. While the spray comes in very handy on the boat.

And finally I have some great news for you! There is an Instagram contest with $2,250 in Target gift cards to help you get your summer ready look. Look for the #MySummerLook hashtag and follow the conversation. How to enter (June 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM (midnight) Eastern Time (“ET”) and ends on July 10, 2014 at 11:59:59 PM ET):

  • 1) SNAP – take a picture of you getting summer ready
  • 2) TAG – use #MySummerLook (and on Twitter @SummerReadyLook)
  • 3) POST – post to Instagram or Twitter

Good luck, and don’t forget to tell me what’s your summer look like?

On the go snacks

Disclosure: This #BarNutrition shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are my own. 

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I have to admit, going to college in September is terrifying. I know it will stretch me and push me out of my comfort zone. No, more like, pick me up like a tornado and drop me off in OZ. I am mentally preparing, and equipping myself with all sorts of tools. And of course the freshmen 15 come to mind (even though I am not going to be a freshman), and with all the commuting I am going to do, food will probably be the last thing on my mind. I can already see myself living off of coffee. But because I don’t want to faint in class, I decided to look into some snack options that are different from my usual choices, like these Wellness Life Choice Bars that are only available at Walmart in the cereal isle (see them right under the granola sign? I rarely go to Walmart because it’s out of the way, but I think these bars will make me go there more often). When it comes to on the go snacks, I am all about nutrition. So these peanut butter energy bars became a perfect solution. Plus right now there is a coupon you can use, and save $1 off a box of 5 (while supplies last).

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But why wait till september to stock up and eat those delicious bars? Yesterday my friend Jameson and I went to explore Minneapolis Institute of Art (a post about that to come!). As embarrassing as it is, having lived in Minneapolis for 3 years, this was my first visit there. And it was amazing. Of course after 3 hours that we spent walking around the most beautiful art space in Minneapolis (sorry, Walker Art Center), we were both tired and hungry. So I had a little snack on the bench.

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What are your favorite snacks? What do you eat when you are on the go?

Aren’t You a Doll Face?

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I have started using a new skincare brand called Doll Face about a week and a half ago, and wanted to share some info, and definitely my opinion with you.

A little history first, Doll Face was born in the shadow of the famed Hollywood sign by a team of visionary beauty “creationists” who have crafted a naturally potent, clean skincare brand with modern ethos inspired by the glamour and style of retro Hollywood.

Doll Face combines the best of science and nature, with super-effective blends of power-packed active ingredients that effectively cleanse, hydrate, perfect, refine and brighten the skin.

Some of the Doll Face clever ingredient are: Buriti Fruit Oil, Super Berry Seed Oil, Sea Buckthorn Berry, Willow Bark Extract, etc.

All of the products are never formulated with paragons, mineral oil, PABA, Phthalates, Propylene Glycol, Paraffin, DEA, Triclosan, Petrolatum, animal-derived ingredients or harmful dyes.

I got to try Intensive Age Defend cream, and a Balancing Tonic. Let’s talk about those.

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The Intensive Age Defense Cream helps visibly reduce the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles, is suitable for all skin types, and comes in a beautifully packaged 2 oz packaging. Retails for $58.

This is a gel-cream, and it was a little hard to get used to it at first, since I haven’t used one in a while. I definitely like it though, because I feel like with this product a little goes a long way! And I love that. I have tried using it twice a day, but so far I like it as my night treatment the best, because as you may have guessed it, it doesn’t contain SPF. I also noticed that it doesn’t mix well with other products, and by mixing, I mean layering. Or when worn by itself (on my day off, when I am not wearing makeup), it often gathers up and peels off of my skin. I am going to experiment more with what I use it with, but so far, I am giving it 3 out of 5 stars.

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Balancing tonic purifies pores and brightens dull skin, it’s suitable for normal-to-oily skin and comes in an 8 oz packaging. Retails for $24.

This product, in my opinion is suitable for even combination skin, and that’s what I have. I am definitely noticing my skin brighten after I use it, though sometimes I end up using extra powder to cover up the shine, as it starts looking too oily for my liking. The product smells great, and the packaging is definitely appealing. I really enjoy having it in my bathroom. I am a huge fan of toners and such, so this product fits right in! I am giving it 4 out of 5 stars. 

Overall my experience with Doll Face was nothing but pleasant. There were no breakouts, no allergic reactions. Just a new addition to my skincare routine! (Aren’t those the best?)

Have you ever tried Doll Face? What do you think? What kind of skin care products do you use in your daily routine?

Don’t forget that Milwaukee Blogger Bazaar is tomorrow, Saturday, June 14. I hope to see you there! I’ll be bringing a lot of vintage and hand-made items for you!

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And don’t forget to enter this Giveaway, you could win some paypal cash! And that’s always nice.

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