What’s in my gym bag? – Beauty Brunch Link Up

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As promised #BeautyBrunch is now a weekly weekend Link Up! Today I wanted to talk about one of the biggest parts of my life and how it impacts my beauty routine – working out at the gym.

Since moving to Milwaukee and starting my job at Kohl’s I’ve been going to the gym at least 8 times a month. I go to the WAC which is a wonderful facility and has so many locations! I love it.  During the week I mostly do cardio like running on the treadmill, elliptical or stair master. On the weekends I take a strength class and do yoga. I have also recently started to use Kayla Itsine’s Bikiny Body Guides and these are the 28 minute workouts I do at home 2-3 days a week. I know this seems like a lot, but it’s much needed because I work in the office.

There are a few other things you should know about my workout routines. I always work out at night during the week, weekend workouts are the only morning ones due to class schedule. That will explain my product choices.

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Let’s start with hair care, because that’s the biggest part of my gym beauty routine. As you can see there are 2 sets of shampoo/conditioner. One is Clairol Shimmer Lights, aka the purple shampoo. I use it once a week to brighten up my balayage. I always think this product is going to stain my apartment shower, and use it only at the gym. If you have bleach blonde hair I highly recommend this set. I got it at Sally’s Beauty Supply a couple years ago, and since I only use it once a week, it’s lasted me a very long time. Do you have a favorite purple shampoo? Do tell, because I am always up for trying new things!

The other shampoo and conditioner set is OGX Biotin and Collagen series. It’s essentially the thickening series filled with high performance blend of powerful ProVitamin B7, collagen, and hydrolyzed wheat proteins. I love the smell of these products and how my hair feels after.

But a shampoo and conditioner duo are only as good as the leave-in treatments I use after. I have two as well. Once again my obsession with having two of almost everything is surfacing. Don’t worry, I also think it’s weird 😉

The first one that I use is Argan Oil of Morocco Creamy Hair Butter by OGX. The cool thing about this product is that it can be either left in or rinsed out. If you choose to rinse it out, then it acts like a mask. Otherwise you can use it as a leave in treatment, which I prefer to be completely honest. I feel like my hair has been extremely weakened by all the bleaching that’s why I like to use this as a leave in. This product contains argan oil, silk amino acids, soybean oil, coconut oil, and shea butter extract. Plus OGX is an extremely affordable brand.

When I choose to rinse out the OGX hair butter, I follow up with Nexxus Humectress Luxe Lightweight Conditioning Mist. I have written a very detailed blog post about this Nexxus series before, so if you are interested in reading it, you can check it out here. This product contains Vitamin E, Coconut Oil, and Honey Extract. Once again it aims to strengthen your hair and reduce breakage. I spray it on towel dry hair and comb through. Easy 🙂

Now that I am done walking you through my hair care, let’s talk about skin care. I use Exposed Skincare Microderm Scrub. I have to admit I use it as a face wash and feel like it gets the job done.

Next I apply Pevonia Power Repair Hydrating Toner. It’s a spray so no need to pack cotton rounds for the gym!

Lastly I use Brevena Restore and Hydrate Overnight Cream. This skincare line is made in Minnesota, and I have been using this moisturizer for a while now. Sometimes I use it as a day time cream. Breaking all the skincare rules over here, I know. This lotion contains Macro B Complex®, Hyaluronic Acid, Jojoba Oil and Vitamins C and E.

Well there you have it, the contents of my gym bag 😉 What skincare products do you use? Would you be interested in a more detailed post about my workouts?

Make sure to link up your latest beauty posts! I can’t wait to see what products you have been trying out:

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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!

Beauty Brunch – GHD Curve Review

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Happy Sunday beautiful people! This year I am bringing back the weekly Beauty Brunch section on my blog, where you’ll be able to find lists of my favorite products, reviews and all other beauty related updates.

I want to start this series with a GHD Curve review, a styling tool that I have been using for the past couple of months. It’s a barrel shaped curling wand that has replaced all the other wands I own. This ghd tool combines patented tri-zone technology and the optimum curling temperature to help style all hair types and textures. From my personal experience it’s definitely easier to use when your hair is on the longer side. I recently got a hair cut and it’s a bit challenging to curl my hair. I also recommend using a heat protectant when styling with GHD Curve. Another helpful tip – hair spray before and after the use! That will make your curls last longer.

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The Tool

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The Before

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The after

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The after I ran my fingers through it

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The end

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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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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