Athleisure + Monday Mode Link Up

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Have you heard of athleisure? It’s my favorite trend ever, because you get to combine workout clothes with everyday clothes, like jeans and this Gap body top. I also can’t get over these Reeboks I thrifted for $5.55!

Do you athleisure? Make sure to tell me by leaving a comment below!

Please join us for the weekly link up and let us know if you’d like to co-host! I’ll be sending out a reminder email later this week with a sign up doc ūüôā

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My Balayage Experience at Get Dolled Up Salon with Melissa

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I love getting my hair done period. So when Melissa from Get Dolled Up reached out to me offering a balayage and hair cut experience at a Shorewood based salon I couldn’t say no!

I switched from highlights to balayage in 2014, when I saw an picture on Instagram and knew that my hair didn’t have to look stripey, but could have a beautiful blended effect. And have been a balayage convert ever since.

Melissa spent about 4 hours on the cut and color but it was so worth it! Last time I got my hair done I wasn’t happy with the cut. The girl cut out a weird bang portion that I was looking to get blended in, resulting in me requesting Melissa to take about 2 inches off.

The balayage looks amazing, I got baby lights added, which I’ve never had before, they make the blond strands stand out even more. I also got to try Schwarzkopf hair dye again after a very long break. Schwarzkopf is a really popular brand in Russia, but having been living in the States for a long time, and coming from Minneapolis, which is Aveda central, it was a nice change.

Now bleached hair can be tricky to take care of, that’s why I also want to share my favorite products that help me keep my hair looking blonder and healthier longer.

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  1. Shimmer Lights Shampoo and Conditioner – use these once or twice a week to keep your hair from looking too yellow.
  2. Maple Holistics Grapeseed Oil – rich in vitamin E, it’s perfect for hair growth. I love deep conditioning my hair and massaging my scalp with it about once a week.
  3. Coconut Curls by OGX – even though my hair is pretty straight, I use this product on my ends to keep them from being too dry.
  4. Matrix Heat Buffer – a must have spray for every time I use a styling tool, like the GHD curve featured in last weeks Beauty Brunch Post, a blow dryer or a straightener.
  5. Matrix So Long Damage Iron Tamer – a cream type of heat protectant. I use this on damp hair more than anything. The heat buffer (#4) is perfect for dry hair.
  6. L’Oreal Extraordinary Oil – perfect for a finishing touch to make my hair smooth and shiny. See the full review on L’Oreal’s Extraordinary Hair line on my YouTube channel.
  7. Dessange Paris Color Restorative Top Coat Serum with UV filter – same idea as the oil above, but the UV protectant makes it my number one choice!

I hope you enjoyed my hair transformation and find my list of products helpful! Let me know if you’ve tried any of the above and what your opinion is! Have a product that works for you? Please share that as well in the comments below!

Luminess Air Airbrush Essentials

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Testing out and reviewing new beauty products is probably one of the main reasons why I love blogging so much. Today I wanted to share my review of the Airbrush Essentials from Luminess Air.

I started using Luminess Air products about a year or so ago, and quickly fell in love with the ease of application, ability to determine the coverage, and the long lasting effect of it.

This fall¬†I’ve partnered up with Luminess Air again to bring you a series of reviews that I will be sharing over the course of the next few months.

I started with the Airbrush Essentials. A set of 3 products aimed to target different skin concerns. The set includes:

  1. Porcelain – helps create the smoothest, most flawless skin.
  2. Eraser – erases uneven skin texture and large pores.
  3. X-out – conceals dark circles under eyes.

All of these products are meant to be used pre-foundation. Porcelain is a primer, Eraser is a serum, and X-out is a concealer. So you are getting a variety of products in this set.

Now when it comes to using them, I definitely prefer Porcelain most days, with a little X-out thrown in as needed.

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Now if you’ve never used airbrush makeup, I would recommend starting out with as little as possible and gradually layer up. When applying multiple layers of product, like I have here, don’t over-do it. Less is more, and a little goes a long ways are the two rules that are¬†definitely applied¬†to airbrush cosmetics. My other tip, always use finishing powder. I’ve been trying out Luminess Translucent powder, however I am not impressed with the brush and how the dispenser is set up. So I would definitely not recommend that.

Overall Airbrush Essentials set impressed me with the¬†performance, color (that was a concern, because I thought it wouldn’t match or layer with the foundation well) and ease of use. I do appreciate Airbrush Cosmetics for eliminating the need to touch my face, and its ability to conceal almost everything.

Have you tried Airbrush Cosmetics? What did you think?

Get a discount off your next Luminess Air order with code: Beingzhenya25

Back to School Hair Styles with Folica.com

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Happy New School Year to all the Gophers and everyone who started college classes today! Major FOMO over here, so major I can’t even, but the fact that I don’t have any more homework to do definitely helps ūüėČ

Today I partnered up with Folica to share a few of my favorite college hairstyles and hair care tips. ¬†There are two essential tools that I think ever girl needs in college: a straightener and a curling iron. I don’t know what I would’ve done without the two! Thanks to Folica I got to try two new styling tools: Solia Superhot Professional Titanium Flat Iron and 1″ Salon Curling Iron/Wand by Hot Tools.

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Other than wearing my hair down and the go-to bun, today I am going to share a few looks that have been a favorite for a while.

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1. Tucked away.¬†And not behind the ear ūüėõ

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2. Trucker hat. Because sometimes you have to put a hat on it!

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3. Side cornrows. These are also a golden opportunity for creating glitter roots! Stay tuned for more on that soon!  Back to school hair styles with Folica.com

4. High pony or half pony.¬†The 90’s are back not only in fashion, but in beauty as well! My mom used to call this high pony a palm tree. So there you have it – a palm tree with you wherever you go, even though the summer is almost over!¬† Back to school hair styles with Folica.com

When it comes to hair care, I follow two simple rules: choose what’s best for your hair and switch between brands often. That’s why I went with Grow Gorgeous Density Shampoo and Conditioner as well as Grow Gorgeous Density Shampoo and Conditioner set. When you have fine, color treated hair like mine, these two product lines make the most sense.

I hope you find what’s good for your hair, style it like never before, and have an amazing school year!

PS. Folica is a great resource not just for purchasing tools and hair care products, but hair inspirations, glam guide and latest news from the beauty world!

PPS. I also have a fun announcement! Next Monday Rachel of Rachel’s Lookbook, Jewel of Style Optimist and yours truly are starting a hot new trendy link up for all you style, fashion and beauty bloggers out there! Stay tuned for more info! Psssst – there will be a giveaway too!

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 ūüėČ

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 ūüėČ )

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¬†ūüėČ

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!

Facing Acne

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Summer is my favorite season, hands down. But my skin breaks out the most during this season. All the time I spent sailing, or hanging outside at the beach can negatively impact my skin. Fortunately, I have a go-to product when it comes to dealing with breakouts – Proactiv.

I partnered up with FacingAcne.com to talk about this product with you today. The three step system helps take care of everything, from cleansing, to toning to moisturizing. They even have an SPF containing moisturizer for those of us concerned with sun damage. I have found out that Proactive works best for me when I use it once a day, or as a week-long treatment. My skin is sensitive, so using it for more than 7 days dries it out.

Having worked in a beauty industry, I’ve learned the importance of a 3-step program. A lot of people skip out on the toner, or substitute it with serum. And that’s not okay. I would recommend using the toner at least once a day before going to sleep, because that’s whats really going to help remove the dead skin cells and help the skin absorb moisturizer better. And that to me is the best anti-aging tip out there! (Coming from a girl who turns 29 next week!)

What are some of your favorite skin care products? How do you fight acne?

Disclosure: Facing Acne provided me with the product, all opinions are my own. FacingAcne.com does not sell any of the products mentioned above.

Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Mat Review

  
Cleaning makeup brushes is an important and necessary task, but if you are like me, it takes a while. The amount of brushes that I have, plus the amount of brushes that are tucked away, still in their packaging is seriously scary. It used to take me at least 20 minutes to wash the entire collection. Until I got the Sigma Brush Mat. 

Sigma, if you didn’t know, is a Minnesota based company, and a YouTube sensation. Their brushes are known for incredible quality and ease of use, and the constantly changing makeup collection keeps surprising the customers with new colors. Anything to help us be more creative and bold when it comes to our makeup. 

  
The brush mat has suction cups on the bottom, and attaches to your sink. The right side is for face brushes, while the left one is for eyes. There are seven different sections (textures) for cleaning, refining and rinsing the brushes. And it’s incredibly time saving. I was done washing all my brushes in under 10 minutes. My life has never been easier! 

  
The Spa Brush Mat is $32 and is available on Sigmabeauty.com or at their Mall of America location. 

  

One last thing, don’t clean your beauty blender using the mat, it will be destroyed! 

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. 

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 ūüėČ

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

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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