30 Days Of Beauty…Day 3

4 Jul

NailsHey, congrats me! Three days in a row and I’m still here! We now have a holiday weekend upon us, so let’s see if I can stay on course with my challenge. A few things are going on so we will see. My days have been busy lately but I’ve had time in the evenings when I can’t blog earlier. I don’t mind–it gets me in a fashionista mindset. I like that!

30DaysHere we are at “Day 3–Nails”. Oh… EASY PEASY! Especially since I just got a manicure Wednesday. I used to be a Monday Mani kind of girl. Come home from the day, turn on the TV, get my tools and favorite polish, and pamper myself with a jazzy manicure in all different colors and styles. Then I got frustrated. You see, with what I do during the day for a J*O*B, a pretty manicure lasts only about 24 hours. I would chip my nails on doors, drawers, metal, clipboards, sinks, you name it. Didn’t matter what I used for a base coat, a polish or a top coat–a chip would happen. One turns into two, then turns into three, and so on and so on. By Tuesday night, I’d be needing another manicure already. And then I was too tired, frazzled or frustrated to do it all over again. UGH!

Finally, a person I work with suggested I get an ANC manicure. ANC, short for Amazing Nail Concepts (http://amazingnailconcepts.com), is a process that is more gentle on your nails than a gel coat, but has a LONG wear. In fact, I found they actually grow out before they chip, loosen, or anything. The first time I got one, I was amazed. It was just a routine of filing, powder layers, special polish, more smoothing, and finally a shiny top coat. As a bonus, throw in a hand massage and I was good to go.

ANC RemovePutting on an ANC polish doesn’t take a really long time. Actually, taking off the old color takes just as long. Taking off ANC is a process: you get a piece of cotton soaked in acetone & put on the old coat of color, then each finger is wrapped in aluminum foil. Next?…. you sit. And sit. I sat for over 30 minutes. But the salon had TV and magazines, so I kept busy. And it was my time, so I was just zoned out. When they took the old ANC off, it had turned into a gooey gel which came right off. I had long, clean nails again. I picked a new color, and we did the process again. Still long and strong, my nails look FABULOUS!

Because ANC is new on the scene, you have to call salons to see if they do it. And if they do? Make sure it’s GENUINE ANC and not a cheap knockoff. It’s better for your nails if you can let your own grow since it doesn’t hurt the nails or nail bed. And it its MUCH better than acrylic ails, tips or gel. It’s just a good solid powder polish that protects your own nails with different styles and colors.

With Day 3 of “30 Days of Beauty” upon us, this one might be the easiest. It might not be for many of you, but from someone who has tried it, I would HIGHLY recommend it:

Day 3 – Nails:
ANC – Amazing Nail Concepts manicures (my current color choice was Blue Topaz…love them!)
ANC Nails

30 Days Of Beauty… Day 2

3 Jul

FluffBenter late than never, I say. Actually, I say it too much. Sometimes things get busy and I put things off. Other times, I just say “I’ll do it later.” That’s what I did today with this post. The problem was I took a nap when I got home earlier and woke up just in time to go to bed. *sigh*. Oh well, I’m (trying to) get Day 2 done before the clock strikes midnight. And that’s what counts. Right?

30DaysThis puts us at Day 2 which is “Daily Make Up Product”. This is tricky. I will have a product of one brand that I wear almost daily, but I have it in different colors, so in my opinion that really doesn’t count. I had to really look at stuff that is a daily use product, no matter what look I am wearing, what the temperature is, or what my skin feels like. A product that looks good and works well no matter what the conditions are. And yes… I have one.

Way back when, I fell in love with a big brand name micro powder that was the perfect setting powder I had ever used. It was luminous, colorless, evened out my look, and gave me a nice smooth finish to my face. I got a sample from Sephora and I fell in love. The only problem I had with it was it came from this high-end beauty store and was steep in price. Then, one of my absolute favorite “indie” makeup beauties told me she had a powder that was almost the same if not better. She sent me a full sized product to try just for an honest review on hers and other websites. It looked like the expensive stuff but with a touch of healthy shimmer (NOT glitter,–more like a light, sparkling glow). I got way more in this jar than I did with the other brand. And I used much less than the expensive stuff. What was even better? I was supporting an independent makeup “retailer” who takes pride in her products, containing natural ingredients while saving a good amount of money. Even though that jar of the “big brand” powder is still good and in my drawer?… I’ll still grab my new setting powder before any others. And I don’t think I’d ever change now!

So that brings us to my product choice for today. A High Definition Diamond Veil that softens the look of fine lines, reduces the appearance of pores, improves and evens out skin tone, smooths and mattifies your makeup look. I personally like the fact that it “seals” in my look, holding it strong all day. I don’t need touch ups, and if my day runs into overtime, a quick dusting will make it fresh again. It’s even easy to apply using a fluffy powder brush, with just a light layer dusted all over your finished makeup look. Then, you’re done–pretty powder perfect!

So, what’s this savior that is my must have? Easy…

image
Day 2: Daily Make Up Product
L.A. Minerals’ High Definition Diamond Powder. Found only at http://www.LAMinerals.com , $19.99

30 Days Of Beauty–Day 1…

1 Jul

30DaysHere we go. July is here and we are going to begin the 30 Days of Beauty challenge. It’s also the “Can You Remember To Write & Post Something For 30 Days” challenge for me. I set an alarm on my phone to remind me to do this. Let’s see if it works.

So Day 1 is “Favorite Lipstick”. Actually, this was difficult for me since I am more of a gloss girl. Plus, my very favorite lipstick is actually older than dirt and has been discontinued. I looked in my lipstick drawer to see if any of the ones that were in there were ones I would grab on an average day. And you know what?… There was.

A few months back I was asked to test, try and review a new lipstick by New York Color (NYC). It was a new, longer lasting formula with fade-resistant properties, long lasting shine, and didn’t feather or bleed. After my first use, it lived up to the hype. I really liked how it was long wearing but didn’t dry out my lips. There were many shades in all colors and hues. And the price? Awesome! I’ve paid 10x more for a lipstick that didn’t last half the time!

After a week of testing, I realized that this was a lipstick I could invest a few bucks in to get a couple more shades. I went with a very light frosted pink and also a rich chocolate shade. My daughter found the pink tube one day, wore it, and it’s been MIA from my vanity ever since. The chocolate shade gets used more in the fall. But the initial shade I tested–Sugar Plum–goes with everything. So when the day requires a bright, steady, non-drying lipstick with long lasting color, this is what I turn to:

Day 1: Favorite Lipstick
NYC (New York Color) Expert Last Lip Color in “Sugar Plum”. Found at drug stores, retail stores and at http://www.newyorkcolor.com, $1.99
NYC

30 Days Of Beauty…Starts NOW!

30 Jun

July calendarWell, I think I have found a challenge to keep me on my writing toes. I saw the photo below while looking for art to use with a past post on this blog. It made me think, “How about I push myself to write a blogpost, everyday, that corresponds with this photo?” This redhead is always up for a challenge so I thought HELL YEAH! Gloves on, bell rings, let’s do this!

Beginning tomorrow, July 1st, I will try to match the item I am wearing that day to the day’s corresponding request. If it is just a general question or favorite item that day, I’ll give my lifeline and the details about it. I will also share a photo if I can find one so you can see what the items look like if you decide to search go for them. And finally, if you want to comment with what you can contribute to the day’s challenge–go for it! I’d love to get ideas from my readers too on their daily choices or faves.

So this is what we will be doing this July, Sassinistas! Are you up for the challenge too? Join me and let’s have some fun!

30Days

Items In Your Pantry That Are Must Haves For Your Skin…

29 Jun

imageI know it can be an inconvenience to try and make skin and bath items yourself. Drug stores, organic body retail stores and high end department stores are all trying to get your business with up and coming anti aging products and ingredients. Some people insist they are the golden ticket. The magic potion that will stop time. It may be true, but it’s hard to say. I am definitely not the type of person who brags, but I don’t look my age at all. No one knows, and I don’t tell them. What I do tell them is all the fancy advertising and product testimonials can make some very expensive skin care lines seem inviting, but I’ve tried to stick with basic grocery store items and recipes to wash, exfoliate, pamper and moisturize my skin. And from what I’m told? I’m not doing too damn bad!

Being a skincare “mix master” does take time. You need to do a few things first:

  • Know your skin. Is your skin dry, oily, combination? Are your pores large? Do you have fine lines? If so, where? Is your skin tone uneven? Is your skin sensitive–especially to harsh chemicals, dyes and fragrances? What are you using on your skin now? Does it work? You should have an answer for ALL of these things. If you don’t? Look & touch then read & learn.
  • Know what natural ingredients do for your skin? Most people don’t know many of the benefits from certain items in each aisle of the market. Oh, and trust me when I say you can go down aisles and get just about everything you would need to make a simple, easy, inexpensive but targeted skin care routine. Just a little research is all you need to start.
  • Practice. Not every recipe has what you need. And some recipes have too much. The more you know your skin, the easier it will be to take a basic combination and tweak it just a bit to do exactly what you want it to do.

No matter what you are looking to do, there are a few things that you can purchase to keep on hand for when you want to make a skin care routine that will give you smooth, clean, soft, glowing skin. Head to toe. So if you are planning on making a skin care regimen that will give your skin what it needs and leaving out what it doesn’t–and still not feel guilty about a huge price tag–make sure you have these things to start:

  1. Raw honey: Look it up–you will see that honey has been healing cuts and wounds before we were all born. You gotta love those bees! An amazing fact about honey too is that it never spoils. It may get old, thick & concentrated but it will always be good. When wrinkles occur, it happens because the skin is dry (with minor, almost invisible cracks). Honey heals the cracks naturally with its natural healing properties. It is also a great ingredient in facial and body cleansers. It removes dirt and makeup gently and locks in natural moisture. Raw is the best because it is in its most natural form. Raw local honey is the freshest. Check small local markets or produce stands for the best.
  2. Coffee (instant and used grounds): Everyone knows that people turn to coffee for a wake-you-up fix when you need a boost. We can thank the caffeine in coffee’s oils for that. Well, that caffeine can also be useful to give your face a boost in the morning as well. Mix in a bit of instant into your regular cleanser or as an added ingredient to your homemade face wash to stimulate your cells, encourage blood circulation and wake up your skin. If you have used coffee grounds from your morning pot left over (no flavors!), let them dry out on a paper towel and grind them down a bit finer to add to your regular body wash. This awakening scent will help exfoliate you from head to toe while the caffeine gets the blood pumping. A fab waker upper!
  3. Vitamin E Capsules: This oily little vitamin is great for so many things, but at the same time it needs to be used with care. Some people can have allergies to the other chemicals in Vitamin E, so it’s better to use a few drops as an additive in your regular products to give you extra moisture from the oil and block free radicals. Combining it with vitamin C can help that as will a fight sun damage. Vitamin E is also a must have for homemade lip balms, lip scrubs, and body creams.
  4. Unsweetened Lemonade Packets: An odd one, huh? Well it is. But the benefits are worth it. Sometime coating your finger in Vitamin E and dipping it into unsweetened lemonade will lighten up dark circles (go easy on the lemonade around the eyes, though.) Adding to you grand mixture of coconut oil, Shea butter, a bit of honey and a capsule or two of vitamin e will give you your all-over body moisture moisturizing & healing properties with a fresh scent.
  5. Granulated Sugar: Ah, another it’s that might be better on your face than in your beverages! The coarseness of the sugar works as a great exfoliator from head to toe. It’s a must have for lip scrubs mad with a bit of oil, and a bit of Shea butter. Honey is a plus too. In the shower, add a packet of coffee shop sugar to a squirt of your favorite body wash to tone your skin and regenerate cells. Does white sugar seem too harsh? Not a problem–use a light brown sugar instead! You will find it a great asset to use regular sugar to keep skin smooth and fresh.
  6. Coconut Oil: Oh the oil that is changing the glamour industry. Coconut is an oil that melts as soon as I gets above body temperature. So keeping it in the fridge for long time use or in the bathroom when quickly needed is a must. Believe me when I say it is a blessing to all who want to look younger longer. Coconut oil can be used with a drop of peppermint oil to smooth & moisturize feet. It can be used straight out of the jar to remove eye makeup. It can be mixed with a little honey and some instant coffee pellets for a cleansing wake me up. And when whipped up with a little bit of honey, some Shea butter and a bit of citrus (see below) the fresh summer scent will freshen your body. In the fall/winter, replace the lemonade with cinnamon, cloves, a drop of orange extract or just a bit of pumpkin spice. Yummy!
  7. Heavy Cream: Not a common item, but I love it! This is one of my must haves for any face cleanser receive. The extra natural fat in heavy cream replenishes moisture to your skin naturally without chemicals, clogging pores, and added artificial ingredients. The sky is the limit on this. Blend with anything I’ve mentioned before. I like to was my face with heavy cream, honey, a touch of coffee, and a bit of extra fine oatmeal. Gentle, non abrasive and cleans my face gently leaving it soft and its out of my pantry.
  8. There are so many other ingredients out there that are perfect to help your skin. Check into other things like bananas & peaches (I use organic baby food–convenient and already processed!), coconut water, rose water, yogurt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, lemon juice–the options are endless. Just be a smart facial mixologist–read a lot, test everything, tweak the recipes when needed, and if its not right and doesn’t make your face feel and look the way you want…. no big deal. You’ll create your own 5 star “product”‘soon enough!!

When One Isn’t Enough…

13 Jun

imageI am guessing that if you ask any true fashion- or glamourista how many pairs of black shoes they own, the response of “just one” would be slim to none. There are times we need several STYLES of something in the same color, but only a few of us can actually say we have MANY colors/sizes of the same item or brand. As I put on my eyeshadow this morning, I am one of those select few. Certain makeup items will jazz me so that I will actually go to the store to get more of the one that I bought to try. Although it is not as frequent, I will also find an an article of clothing that I like so much that I will get it in every style and color. I guess, as a fashion follower, this is every brand’s dream. Get the buyer hooked. No matter what the competition offers, they know they have you as a loyal customer to at least one thing.

So, I guess you’re asking yourself, “What item does Sassy have an abundance of colors of in her makeup drawer or closet?” Let me answer that for you:

imageLancôme Eye Shadow – Once upon a time, I was a winner of a huge bag of goodies from Glamour Magazine. Holy bonanza, the stuff I got was insane. Makeup from high end designers, a flat iron, perfumes, brushes, bags… it was crazy. One thing I got was a Lancôme eyeshadow in “blue”. I thought I might never use it because I never wear blue on my eyes. In fact, other than jeans, I don’t wear blue anything. But this color actually coordinated perfectly with denim and I began using it as contour color often. The formula was soft, easy to apply (wet or dry) and had an all-day wear without fading or falling out. I was so happy with it that I picked up a few other shades. Then a few more. And a few more. I probably have over 20 single Lancôme shadows in my collection now and I always have a combination to compliment my look of the day. Do I need more? Probably not. Will I GET more? Most likely. Macy’s, $20.00

imageBuxom Full-On Lip Polish – Again, let’s talk about the “gift with purchase” program shall we? Way back when, I got my birthday mini gift from Sephora. It was a nice mini lip pencil and a small tube of a Buxom lip color in a very neutral shade (no longer available). I used it often. I loved the thick consistency and that little bit of tingle that made my lips fresh and plump. Although the gloss gave my lips a natural look and kept them moisturized, it didn’t have an “all day” wear. Didn’t matter to me though. In almost 100 different shades, there is a color for anything, anytime, anywhere. A touch up now and then doesn’t bother me at all. It must not–I own over 20 and am still adding! Sephora, $19.00

imageRimmel London ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner – A while back, I took it upon myself to test drug store pencil liners against high-end department and speciality store brands. I did my research and tried three popular brands of each. With a high recommendation, one of the drug store brands I tried was ScandalEyes. I will be honest…I was hesitant to put a lot of stock into into its reviews. Most Rimmel eye products I had tried in the past was a serious fail for me. Smudging, running, flaking. Not good. But it got rave reviews from many consumer and reader’s choice awards so I put it in. My first thought?…GREAT color selection! Even though I’m usually a strictly black waterline girl, I loved the fact they also had a Sparkling Black with a hint of shimmer, a cool turquoise for a layering look with pop, and an epic silver to layer with other colors for a dramatic look. These colors, no lie, held their own all day without fail. Not a bit of smudging, no running, stay put color, a wide variety of shades. I like that they can be sharpened. I like this because I can get two of each pencil–one that I can give a crisp, sharp tip to for fine lining, and the other can be more blendable for a bit of smudging. Do I need two pencils for lining? Hell no, I could just use one. But at this great price? Why not! Last count, I think I had eight of these liners–two in each black and one each in four other shades. If they came out with others? I’d definitely be quick to pick one (or more) up! Ulta, $4.49

imagePINK by Victoria’s Secret Athletic Hoodies/Tops – Trust me when I say I am not a name shopper. I know good brands and what would be considered a good deal on some names or designers. But do I fill my closet on just high-end fashions? Oh HELL NO! I am all about style, fit, and what I like. That simple. But when a name or brand has something I like, that fits good, and is stylish? I’ll set aside some dough-rae-mee to get what I like. If I can land a sale or deal? Even better. And that’s what happened when I found this line by PINK at VS. It started with a limited edition melon-colored athletic hoodie that I fell in love with at a retail store. I got a coupon and immediately ordered another color (flecked grey) after the first wear. When the line was discontinued, I moved from a full zip to a curved-hem half zip in Minty Fresh. Am I done? Probably not yet. I got one more coupon in the mail and will probably get another curved half-zip before the month is out. They are easy to wash, comfortable to wear, stylish and eye catching. My kind of fashion!
PINK, $45.95

imageGuess? Jeans – Here is another case where the name doesn’t sell the product…the look and fit does. We all know Guess? jeans have been around since 1981, making them one of THE most popular brands of denim for both men and women. Since then, Guess has introduced many other fashions and accessories. Ranging from t-shirts and coats to jewelry, fragrances, purses and more, Guess continues to be a big name in the fashion industry. The Guess brand in Sassy’s house is HUGE! I have several pieces of stylish jewelry, gorgeous handbags, shoes, coats, t-shirts and more. But what I have the most of and continue to add to often is my collection of jeans. I remember purchasing my first pair of Guess jeans after a mini windfall over 8 years ago. Fact: I still have those jeans. They have never faded, lost their shape, shrunk, ripped, nothing! That’s a good product if you ask me. Another reason I love my Guess jeans? I take the same size every time. I don’t have to worry about a different fit or style. The size I order in skinny jeans is the size I order in straight cut and that’s the same size I order in boot cut. No “guessing”, not wondering. I love that. Plus it makes it easier to keep an eye out for sales too. Right now? I’d be willing to bet I have over ten pairs of Guess jeans in all different styles and colors. And I’d also be willing to bet they will ALWAYS be a fashionable choice. Guess or Guess Factory, prices vary.

imagee.l.f. Makeup Brushes – Any artist will tell you that the painting is only as good as the materials you used to create it. I honestly have to say that you if you bought a high end foundation, blush, eye shadow, powder, lipstick, etc. then applied them with a cotton ball and a few Q-tips, my guess is that you wouldn’t achieve that epic look you just saw in Glamour magazine. There is no doubt that there are probably more makeup brushes that do different things than you could count. Are all necessary for a very nice, professional glamour look? If you are a makeup artist working Fashion Week in NYC, then yes. But for home? No. Hell no! No more than a few are necessary for an above-average, put together do-it-yourself look. A long time ago when I decided to work with makeup, my first glamour priority was to get myself some professional brushes. I spent a lot. Probably more than I should have. Do I like them? I love them! They are about eight years old now, haven’t shed, wash easy, kept their shape, and only a little wear & tear on the wooden handles. But, I have to ask myself: were all these brushes worth what I spent? Probably not,…but they are cool! Recently, my daughter bought an e.l.f. Concealer Brush to help her with her mineral coverup. She loved the brush so much, she went out and got three others. They were soft, non-shedding, good handle length, easy to clean. So now I was intrigued. Were brushes priced from $1+ comparable to ones I had paid up to $40 for? I guess it depends on what you want to do with them, the types you want, and the look you want. But looking back, I think many of the e.l.f. brushes would have been just fine for a beginners collection to use various types of makeup with professional results. My favorites? e.l.f. Studio Blush Brush, $3; Defining Eye Brush, $1; Studio Angled Eyeliner Brush, $3; Small Stipple Brush, $3; Lip Defining Brush, $3. I probably use one of these brushes each day, find them an asset to my makeup look as well as my wallet, and give my already large professional brush collection a great boost! Walmart, $1 and up

So, you have my specific list of frequent items you’ll find in my glamour routine, all in various shades, shapes and styles. I’m sure there are others, but these are necessary for my own edge and panache to create a look I am happy with. They can have subtle differences, but these precious few that I turn to almost daily gives me that extra hint of jazz and confidence in my step. How about you? Have a go-to line or brand that you would own everything of if you had the chance? Feel free to confess to Sassy… tell me you secret glamour addiction. I promise I won’t tell!
image

S.O.S. — I’ve “Hit Pan”!!!!

19 Apr

Running outIn the dark world of us makeup addicts, we often use a secret phrase: “I’ve hit pan.” This is a secret code us color junkies use to tell others that we have run out of a product we love. Usually us makeup lovers know when we are getting low on a fave and pick up a backup for a smooth transition when we run out. Of course, certain products we won’t stress too much about because, since makeup addicts are always trying new things, we may have already found a new love with a different brand of a former mainstay. But every glamour guru will have a few select items that are always–ALWAYS–around. And when we see the bottom, we tend to panic a bit. But we are professionals. We will fix it. And fast.

So, a few things started to get low–or worse–disappear this week in my makeup drawer. A couple I tried “alternatives” to, maybe to test the competition or save a buck or two. But the fact is that they are items I will be loyal to till someone says they aren’t around anymore. (*Gasp*–don’t even want to think about that!). Here is what I have/had to restock in my makeup drawer recently:

Lancome**Lancôme CILS Booster XL**: I never thought I needed a mascara primer…until I used a mascara primer! This was the first one I bought after a makeover day at a local department store. I bought it immediately. I used it only when I wanted really *POW!* lashes like for a night out or a dinner date. I started running low, plus it started to get some age on it, so I grabbed an inexpensive drugstore brand to see if I could save a few dollars with the same results. Yeah….no. The drugstore brand did nothing really–not like Lancôme’s did. It probably is the most expensive on the market, but you do get what you pay for. My lashes are longer, thicker, bolder when I use Booster XL. And it puts a nice barrier of Vitamin E between my lashes and mascara, keeping them healthy and preventing lash dry-out. Heading out tomorrow for a new tube! Macys.com, $25

Maybeline**Maybelline Fit Me® Shine-Free Foundation**: The weather here at home is (finally!) changing. Temperatures are changing and my j*o*b is throwing me a little stress. Let’s add a few hormone issues I’d prefer not to speak of, and the result is a skin texture and tone that is hard to work with. My winter moisture-packed foundation is too heavy; my powder mineral foundation is too light. So I dug out what I had put off to the side and found my Fit Me® foundation from last year. After using it just once this year, I knew it was now my go-to foundation for the season. After a week, I noticed my ‘swivel’ was tapped. I was at the end! Next day on my way to work, I made sure I stopped at my local drugstore to get another. My face looks smooth, natural, and the foundation controls oil, fading and streaking all day. I don’t have a lot of free time for makeup touch ups during the day–I want to do what I can to make sure my look stays put all day. This Maybelline foundation helps to make sure that happens! CVS, $8.99

Rimmel**Rimmel London’s Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Liner in Sparkling Black**: I did a whole eyeliner comparison last year–drugstores vs. department stores, waterproof vs. long wear, liquid vs. pencils. I think when it was all said and done, my go-to brand ended up being Rimmel’s Scandaleyes. The color variety was huge, the stay power was great, nothing smudged or ran ALL DAY, and oh–the price was EPIC. Even though I tend to always use black on my waterline with color underneath, I had began using the sparkling black because the hint of glitter softened the heavy black and gave it a nice glimmer. I ended up buying another one so I had two: one for home and a backup in the purse. Well, I switched them out when home’s got low and now sharpening is getting difficult again. So it’s time for a new full one–that kind, that brand, that color. Walmart, $3.97

image**Perfectly Posh’s The Daily Grind Body Coffee Scrub**: Okay, I have to be honest here. This is not the first time I have “hit pan” with this product. In fact? I think I’m probably on my 6th container of this little beauty. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a coffee fanatic. Then to find a natural bath product that does what I want with the feeling of bathing in an espresso is even better! The Daily Grind energizes skin and gets your blood pumping with a cup of coffee before you get out of the shower. It’s packed with the cleansing and rejuvenating properties of coffee, as well as clearing, anti-cellulite and energizing traits. This scrub cleanses as well as removes the dead skin cells keeping your skin soft, fresh and glowing. Oh, and did I mention it smells damn good? I don’t even want to think of this gem not ever being in my bathroom. I shudder at the thought. PerfectlyPosh.com or an Independent Represenative, $24

Simple**Simple Facial Wipes**: I will forever stand firm on something a friend told me years ago. I’m not sure if it’s true, but it was enough to scare the mascara off my eyes. “If you fall asleep with your makeup on, your face will age an extra six days.” Okay, ummm, NO! I’m fighting against time now and my age lying is getting pathetic even for me (although no one usually questions it.) I did a little reach on my own and did find articles that say not washing your face before bed WILL age your appearance. The good news? No one is sure how much. The bad news? Six days was the LOWEST number! Eeek! So, since then I try to remember to take off my face for the day with a nice gentle cleanser then treat it with a good serum. But, I will admit, I get tired, get upstairs in bed, then realize I forgot my bedtime facial. So, let’s just say I’m a bit lazy. If I’m in bed?…I’m in bed. I have phones, remotes, food, reading material and ice packs on a rough day. So, I figured if I can make sure I have a “stash” of goodies for lazy evenings, I can include skin care too. I have a little bag with skin care necessities: hand cream, cotton balls, mini eye makeup remover, trial sized night cream and eye cream, and my Simple Cleansing Wipes. They do the trick when I need to get the “crud” off and prepare myself for a night of cell rejuvenating. The formula doesn’t bother my sensitive skin, it gets off the toughest makeup, eye color, eyeliners and mascaras. They aren’t abrasive, they do the trick, they are easy to keep where I need them and they aren’t expensive. I have gone through two packs of Simple Wipes and a pack of a different brand. I went right back to Simple’s. They just did the trick–no fuss, no muss. And no more waiting…I need a new pack tomorrow! Walmart, $4.49

So that, my makeup beauties, is what it means to “hit pan”. I’ll be anxious to see if I find any other products this year that I will fall in love with, worthy enough to create chaos if I “hit pan”. I’ve tried a few new products recently: a new face wash, a perfume, new body cream, long wear mascara. Will any of them make themselves worthy to enter the “hit pan” elites? I don’t know yet, but I’ve got a lot of time ahead, a bunch of products to trial, and a whole lotta time to see what other items big named cosmetic companies come up with.. Let’s see if anything else in my makeup drawer becomes worthy to enter my “I hit pan” club soon!

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Rockin’ outfit for a casual Saturday. Leather jacket w/graphic top, jeans, boots, edgy accessories and flashy makeup tones.

18 Apr
Rockin' outfit for a casual Saturday. Leather jacket w/graphic top, jeans, boots, edgy accessories and flashy makeup tones.

An easy-going Tuesday outfit for spring! Simple jeans & tshirt, Chucks & an epic bag, highlighted by nice silver accessories and spring-toned makeup. Casual with an edgy? Perfect!

14 Apr
An easy-going Tuesday outfit for spring! Simple jeans & tshirt, Chucks & an epic bag, highlighted by nice silver accessories and spring-toned makeup. Casual with an edgy? Perfect!

Juicy Couture white top
$80 – harrods.com

GUESS blue jeans
lordandtaylor.com

Converse shoes
$99 – mytheresa.com

Hoop earrings
jcpenney.com

Lips makeup
sephora.com

Rimmel black eyeliner
$8.01 – asos.com

Whipped Shimmer Butter
bathandbodyworks.com

My skin has announced “It’s That Time Of Year”…

2 Apr

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Let’s follow that “mix ’em up” theme again today, shall we?

imageEvery once in a while–usually springtime–my face gets “grumpy”. High-end and drugstore makeups make my face itch. Some eye shadows and mascaras can make my eyes burn and water. Some moisturizers and serums make my face irritated. But what’s worse? The face and eye creams that are supposed to keep me looking young actually causing meto break out, get puffy and make me look old. Sometimes it can get so bad that it can even require me to take an anti-inflammatory medicine to calm it down. Sad to say?…I’m used to it. It goes with my auto-immune diseases. The products that can help a “normal” person the most can cause flares with me the worst. Most of the time, simple irritations can be triggered by simple seasonal allergies–new grass, budding trees, wild flowers growing. Sometimes but rarely it can be a food. Too often, however, it’s because I’ve taken a chance on a new product only to find out I can’t use it for whatever ingredient or additive it contains. At that point, it’s hard to fight the test of time while I watch my skin loose its youthful luster. Like Grumpy Cat?… I say phooey.

imageSo what do I do when my skin gets “irritable”? Well, I go back to the basics. Way back when I could barely use anything commercial, I made my own cleansers and creams with 100% natural ingredients to help wash, moisturize and fight aging without additives, perfumes, dyes, harmful chemicals, or worse–the “what the hell is that?” ingredients. And I got good at it! I did a lot of research and trial batches to find what would work the best. Eventually, my skin would calm down and natural-type skin care products from a store were okay to use again. But even now, when I hit a skin ‘flare’ for whatever reason, daily necessities like washes, masks and moisturizers can be put together with ease from simple home ingredients I always keep handy to get me through this irritating phase.

imageWhen it came to long-term anti-aging products however, it was the one thing I never really thought too much about. I figured a good moisturizer would be enough, but now I’m seeing I need just a bit more to fight the signs time. So after A LOT of research and a little bit of tweaking, I have managed to create a great night cream recipe that is easy to prepare and can sit next to my bedside or bathroom counter for a long time. Nothing in it can “spoil”. And seeing how little I use? I’m sure my 10 gram jar will last a long, long time. I will give you my recipe and why each ingredient is important and you can fight the test of time naturally too. If you are someone who is a little (or a lot) questionable about the chemicals and additives in your anti-aging creams, this is the thing for you. Let nature keep you young! Here’s what I’ve created:

SASSY AUBURN’S AGE-FIGHTING NIGHT CREAM
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp organic virgin coconut oil
1 tsp beeswax
1 drop peppermint oil
1 drop grapefruit oil
1 medium sized drop of raw honey
1/3 tsp Bentonite Clay
2 capsules Vitamin E

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Purposes:
Extra Virgin Oil contains anti-oxidants which protects the skin from premature aging. People have been using for centuries. It also restores the skin’s smooth surface and prevents free-radical damage to the skin. Oh, and it’s easy to find anywhere!!

Organic Virgin Coconut Oil keeps the natural moisture in the skin with its fatty acids. It also contains Capricorn/Caprylic/Lauric acids. These three fatty acids have strong disinfectant and antimicrobial properties to keep the skin fresh and healthy, fighting off ‘nasties’ in the air.

Beeswax…oh those glorious bees! Because of those hard workers, beeswax helps our skin because it’s moisturizing, softening, and contains Vitamin A which is necessary to lock in your skin’s natural moisture. Beeswax is also one of the oldest healers known to man, and the wax can help repair small cuts and tears in the surface of the skin where fine lines can begin.

Peppermint oil is a natural skin soother and calmer. Grapefruit oil contains Vitamin C which helps brighten & nourish the skin. Plus they both smell naturally great together.

Raw honey has been known for over hundreds of years to heal the nastiest of cuts and wounds. Too much is a sticky mess, but just a good sized drop in the mixture helps to target little surface tears on the skin that can lead to deeper, darker wrinkles and blemishes.

Bentonite Clay has been known in history as the “healing clay.” The clay that actually comes from volcanic ash, actually expels toxins we take into our body or, in this case, pick up on our face. These can be residues of cleaning solutions, paint, unpurified water, etc. A mixture containing Bentonite Clay powder can rid these impurities from the skin’s surface–especially the face–where age can show the fastest. In addition to taking out the bad, it can also put in Bentonite’s good minerals. This include potassium, protein, calcium and so many others! It’s not easy to find, but many private herbalists can get it for you (it is on EBay too).

Vitamin E is kind of self explanatory. Vitamin E, a substance found naturally in many foods, carries tremendous benefits for skin cells. Through its antioxidant properties, topical vitamin E creams help decrease the roughness of skin, the depth of wrinkles, and the length of facial lines. Although many more studies must be done, some recent research shows that vitamin E may reduce the risk of UV-induced skin cancer as well.

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Okay, so now you’ve got the ingredients, the reasons you need them, and the knowledge that this is a healthy, natural nigh cream using basic things that have been used for ages to keep skin looking great. Ready to make a batch that will last you a LONG time without costing an arm & a leg? Let’s do this:


1) Shave approximately 1 tsp of beeswax off a cosmetic bar (available on a Ebay for cheap) into a small glass microwaveable bowl. (If you can, try to find honey in a comb-a local farm stand may have some-and chew up a large scoop. Don’t eat the wax–just chew it like gum. Ingesting natural raw honey in this form will help YOU fight against diseases and boost your immune system. You can then add the remaining wax pieces equal to 1 tsp to the mixture, just break them up into small pieces!)
2) Add the wax along with the olive oil, coconut oil, peppermint oil & grapefruit oil in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. Take out (Careful–HOT!!), stir. If wax isn’t melted, go another 30 seconds.
3) Next add the Bentonite Clay. If it turns into solid droplets in the mixture and won’t blend, put it back in the microwave and cook on high another 30 seconds. Carefully remove again (VERY HOT WAX!!) and blend the clay with a fork till its dissolved. Your cream will be a slightly cloudy yellowish white.
4) Add the Vitamin E capsules by puncturing them and squeezing them into the mixture before it begins to settle & thicken. Mix with the fork again. Throw out the empty Vitamin E “shells”.
5) Pour complete mixture into a 10 gram cosmetic jar or even a 4 oz. empty canning jelly jar. An empty, clean glass baby food jar works great too. I find glass is best to keep it fresh.
6) Put in fridge till it solidifies.
Afterwards, you can put the mixture in the bathroom or next to your bed for your nighttime skin routine. Nothing in it can spoil. It will last about a year.

That’s it. It might get hard with the wax (less creamy), but it will dissolve to the temperature of your hand. It’s easy to make with simple ingredients for pennies with the same results you might get from an $85 tiny jar of cream and unknown chemicals at the local department store. If it’s heathy enough to eat, I’m guessing it’s healthy enough to put on your face. Stay young and healthy without chemical irritants with an easy to make cream that keeps you looking & feeling like a million but only cost you less than a bottled water. And you don’t have to worry about funky ingredients you can’t pronounce. It’s au naturale. Perfectly pure!

Any questions or feedback?…. I want to hear from you!!

This non-irritating, natural, anti-oxidant skin care will make and keep you’re skin looking young and healthy, better than high-end, high cost retail jars. So, let’s go all Walter White in our private domicile, don’t be harassed, and cook up some fab anti-aging night cream! Good luck & have fun!
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