Winter Skin Care DIY

From your head to your toes, winter conditions are no fun for your skin. Not only does dry skin look unhealthy, it can be really uncomfortable, too. Did you know that everything you need to save your skin from winter is as close as your pantry or refrigerator? Below are Read more

Solid Lotion Bars from Faith, Soaps and Love

Know for their incredible handmade artisan soaps, Faith, Soaps & Love has another trick up their sleeves... or in this case, in their tubes. Good things come in 2 oz. packages. Don't let the small number fool you, as the Solid Lotion Bar tube is the size of my hand. Read more

How to Hide Unwanted Facial Hair #GoConfidently

No matter your age, unwanted facial hair can become a true confidence problem. From genetics to mature skin, it can be difficult to feel beautiful when dark excess hair lingers around. Bleaching the hair is an option and if you haven't tried it before and are curious, read on. First, Read more

nyakio ABC African Beauty Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen

I'm always on the lookout for a BB or CC cream that not only matches my skin tone but also has SPF 20 and over, covers without feeling heavy or oily, helps to reduce the size of my pores and gives me a little glow. My skin could be described as medium to Read more

Lancome Visionnaire [1 Minute] Blur #PhotoPerfectSkin #ad

I upgraded my beauty routine with Lancôme Visionnaire [1 Minute] Blur as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #PhotoPerfectSkin. All images and opinions are my own. Large pores, skin imperfections, fine lines, wrinkles - these are just some of the things that come with age (thanks 40.) Throw in Read more

TheFind

Be The Ultimate Beach Babe With These Ocean-Inspired Shadows

While the average person may be day-dreaming of summer breaks full of sun and sand, relaxation, beach days, barbecues, and a tropical vacation, we fashion and beauty addicts are more likely fondly thinking of candy-colored sandals, printed maxi dresses, and the perfect summer faux-tan. And now, just in time for that aforementioned tropical vacay, I’ve got yet another seasonal trend to covet: ocean eyeshadow shades! Incorporating pops of color into your makeup routine is a fun, fresh, and daring way to get into the summer spirit and make your eyes really stand out, and turquoise, aqua, and sea-inspired hues are undoubtedly beach-festive for the season at hand.   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Beauty Trends, eye shadow, Makeup Leave a comment

Ojon Rare Blend Oil: Your Hair’s Secret Weapon Against Summer

Despite doing wonders for our skin tone and our mental health, summer (and the harsh environmental factors that typically come with it) can do a serious number on our hair… and not in a good way. From prolonged sun exposure and heat to the frizz-inducing humidity, not to mention the chlorine from repeated dips in the pool, your hair is likely feeling less than stellar this season, but luckily you can give it a little TLC with just a single drop of Ojon’s Rare Blend OilRead more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care, Summer Beauty Leave a comment

Dr. Jart’s Water Fuse Beauty Balm Gets Put to the Test

While I’m still pondering whether my full year subscription to Birchbox was a wise purchase or a poorly-targeted impulse buy, after two months I can say that it has given me the chance to test out a few products I’ve been on the fence about. Take BB creams for example – since they’ve really started skyrocketing in popularity stateside, I’ve been on the prowl for the perfect one, and Birchbox let me give Dr. Jart’s Water Fuse Beauty Balm a test-drive.   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Makeup, skin care Leave a comment

Freshen Up and Cool Down With a Minty Exfoliator

Back in our school days, unless you were one of those unlucky kids that always got stuck in summer school, summer was a priceless chance for some serious “me” time. Between summer camps and beach days and trips to the amusement park, however, that three-month break from school as a kid was hardly ever relaxing, and nowadays with my busy work schedule, I wish I could go back in time and kick my childhood self for not sleeping in just a few minutes later each day and really milking it for all it was worth.

But of course, you don’t know how good you have it till it’s gone, but there are still plenty of ways to relax your present self this summer without the need for a time machine! All you need is to infuse a mint-infused scrub into your usual shower routine! Extremely refreshing with an added minty-fresh sensation, mint exfoliators provide the perfect way to slough off a hot day’s sweat and keep summer-dry skin fresh, smooth, and clean. Plus, there’s nothing like the therapeutic scent of mint to put your mind at ease after a long hard day at camp! – I mean, work.   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in bath and body, beauty, skin care Leave a comment

Hydrating Makeup Removers That Strip Your Makeup, Not Your Skin!

As someone who’s tried plenty of makeup removers and experienced her share of nights when I’m just too lazy to remove my makeup at all (ugh, naughty me!), I know all about the importance of finding a great makeup remover that does the job without drying out my skin and lashes. After all, you shouldn’t dread taking off your makeup; a quality remover should do the job without any extreme scrubbing on your part, and certainly shouldn’t leave skin violated or stripped. However, too much moisture can be a bummer too – if there’s anything worse than waking up and realizing that you went to bed with a full face of makeup, it’s waking up with oily, mascara-smudged residue left around your eyes and face.  Read more

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Sun-Proof Your Locks With These Nourishing Summer Hair Essentials

Warm weather equals fabulous seasonal fashion, hot-ticket summer movies, plenty of pool parties, barbecues, and beach days, and of course, all the sunblock your skin can handle. But while you’re spending all your energy having fun in the sun while taking good care of your skin, have you considered the fact that the beautiful beach-ready weather could be doing some serious harm to your hair? Yes, believe it or not, your locks need some TLC too, to avoid getting dried out, sun-bleached, and damaged from the harsh environmental conditions of our favorite care-free season. But don’t fret – there are plenty of quality hair essentials on the market that can help summer-proof your hair without sending you into hibernation or giving you a serious case of hat hair! From UV-filtering styling sprays and serums to after-sun styling treatments, you can make sure your hair isn’t defenseless against the summer weather – so you can look fabulous without frying your coif!   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Hair Care, Summer Beauty Leave a comment

3 BB Creams Worth Trying Now

Asia’s hottest beauty and skin care craze has slowly but surely been making its way to our neck of the woods, and just in the past few months or so, the product has seemed to have completely blown up in popularity! It’s hard to open a magazine, scan any sort of fashion blog, or pass by any store that sells makeup without being reminded that BB Creams are taking the makeup world by storm. And as someone who has overcome serious acne and no longer needs to hide behind her makeup, I love the idea of a lightweight, moisturizing product that can camouflage blemishes and imperfections, enhancing skin while still allowing it to breathe and be seen! But in the midst of all the BB cream hype, how do I choose the right one? I’m sure plenty of trial and error will be involved, but here’s the top 3 contenders on my shopping list that I think are worth trying out first, and why!

Dr. Brandt Flexitone BB Cream – I’m a huge fan of the brand’s Pores No More primer, and considering the BB cream is even cheaper (though still a slightly painful $39), I’m hoping it boasts the same amazing pore refining powers in BB cream form! I’m a little skeptical of its ‘Flexitone’ one-shade-adjusts-to-all technology, but if it works, I’ll be glad to spare myself the headache of trying to find my perfect shade!   Read more

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in acne, beauty, skin care Leave a comment

Yay or Nay: Bobbi Brown’s New In-Your-Face Neons

I have mixed feelings about Bobbi Brown’s new ‘Neons & Nudes‘ collection. Mainly because I do love wearing nude makeup shades, but just about every beauty brand right now already has the same obsession (with Urban Decay knocking it out of the park with their 2-part Naked palette of course!) In other words, it’s hard for me to be impressed by yet another series of not-so-blah neutrals.

The neons, on the other hand, totally intrigue me. I’m not one to regularly incorporate many not-seen-in-nature colors into my daily beauty routine, but I’m always open to experiment, and the more “adventurous” side of Bobbi’s new collection is definitely inspiring me to dabble outside my comfort zone! Some of my favorite collection highlights include the three punched-up lip gloss additions – now in Citrus, Cosmic Pink, and Ultra Violet – which are fun and spring-festive but sheer enough to not appear costume-y or kitschy.

I also adore the new eyeshadows, in Ultra Violet Shimmer Wash and the stunning cobalt Blue Bell. Of course, I realize that these shades aren’t for everyone (and they require a very skilled hand to wear them chicly), so what do you think – gorgeous or gimmicky?

- Alexandra Gambardella

*Guest beauty post from my friends at TheFind.com.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Beauty Trends, eye shadow, lip gloss, Makeup Leave a comment

Nail Down Your Perfect Shade with GelColor by OPI

If all these new developments in nail technology, from Axxium to Shellac and beyond, have you feeling dissatisfied with your typical run-of-the-mill spa treatment, you’re not alone in wanting more from your mani! OPI has answered your prayers with yet another way to boost lasting power for your lacquer, and after much speculation and anticipation, the brand’s brand-spanking-new GelColor shades are slowly but surely arriving at a salon near you… if you’re lucky!

After just 30 seconds under a salon’s LED lamp, you’ll have glossier color pay-off and a tough-as-nails finish that doesn’t feel any thicker than your regular manicure. For the trend-spotters who can’t wait to get gel versions of the most recent collections, you may be out of luck for now, but the good news is, GelColor comes in 30 of the brand’s most popular classic shades, including Lincoln Park After Dark, You Don’t Know Jacques, and I’m Not Really a Waitress. And there’s no better way to improve on the original than with a long-wearing gel coat that’ll keep your favorite shades chip-free for several weeks!

- Alexandra Gambardella

Guest beauty post from my friends at TheFind.com.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Nail Polish Leave a comment

Get Dazzling Eyes This Season With Tinsel-Colored Liner

Holiday party season is officially here, and if you’re opting to go the subtle route fashion-wise by avoiding ultra-sparkly cocktail dresses and glitter heels at all costs, there’s still plenty of ways to add some celebratory glitz to your seasonal party look! Instead, try focusing the festiveness on your makeup. Metallic silver liner adds just the slightest dash of holiday vixen appeal that makes a surprisingly gorgeous impact. It’s like tinsel for your eyes… which is way less painful than it sounds!

Try not to go too 90s-fabulous with the trend (that whole frosty lid look might make you look dated), and instead stick to just the corners of your eye and the inner rim. Similar to how white pencil makes peepers appear wider and brighter, silver liner will make eyes sparkle with a sexy metallic sheen. Also, make sure you pick an easy-glide, extra-bright chrome silver – darker gunmetal shades just won’t have the same tinselly effect!

Pictured above: Milani Liquif’Eye Metallic Eyeliner Pencil in Silver, L’Oreal HiP Chrome Eyeliner in Silver Lightning, Stila Smudge Stick in Silverdollar, and Bobbi Brown Dual Ended Eyeliner in Jet/Chrome.

Guest post for A Girl’s Gotta Spa! from my friends at TheFind.com.

Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, eyeliner, holiday, Makeup Leave a comment