Beauty

4 Summer Nail Looks

Anyone who’s been reading this blog for some time knows that I’m a nail polish addict. I love experimenting with new shades and I can’t resist a walk down the nail polish aisle at any drug store.

Now that it’s summer, I’ve swapped out my pastels for brighter, richer shades like coral, peach and tropical reds. Here are four of my favorite colors this season.

Essie Peach side babe

Essie: Peach Side Babe, photo: Essie Envy

OPI Cajun Shrimp

OPI Cajun Shrimp

OPI Alpine SnowOPI Alpine Snow

Essie Bachelorette Bash

Essie Bachelorette Bash

If you’re looking for recommendations, my favorite nail polish brands are Essie, OPI and Sally Hansen Miracle Gel. My favorite top/base coat is Top 2 Bottom by Orly.

What are your favorites?

Beauty

Lunchtime Workout Survival Kit

By now, you all know I’m a fan of the lunchtime workout. It took me a while to finally give it a try because the idea of sweating and then showering at work freaked me out, but it turns out I was worried for nothing. I’ve managed to put together an Adidas bag full of the essentials for going from workout mode to cubicle mode in about 15 min. Here’s a look at some of the products that make that possible.

Dry Shampoo

dry shampoo

After working out, I pile my hair in a bun as high as it will go and jump into the shower to quickly soap up and wash my face. When I get out, I immediately let my hair down and spray it all over (especially at the roots) with Beyond the Zone Rock On Dry Shampoo. This product works miracles. I just spray, flip my head upside down, massage it through my hair, flip my head back over and I’m good to go.

Exfoliating Face Wash

exfoliating face wash

I use Neutrogena’s Deep Clean Invigorating foaming scrub to wash my face while I’m in the shower. The bottle is the perfect size to throw in a gallon sized plastic ziplock bag along with a travel bottle of body wash, deodorant and eye makeup remover.

Eye Makeup Remover

eye makeup remover

This is the very first thing I use after hopping off the treadmill and heading into the bathroom. While I wait for the shower to heat up I use my Target brand eye makeup remover to wipe off my eyeshadow and mascara so I don’t end up with raccoon eyes in the shower.

Body Spray

body spray

When I’m all showered, dressed and my makeup has been applied, I give myself a quick spritz of Bath and Body Work’s A Thousand Wishes body spray and I head back upstairs to work.

Voila!

Have you ever worked out on your lunch break?

Do you have any essential products from going from gym to work?

Beauty

My Everyday Beauty Products

Remember my What’s In Your Makeup Bag post? Well, this is very similar. I love hearing about the beauty products other women swear by so I figured we’d take a peek into my cabinet and hopefully you’ll share your favorites too.

Hair/Body

hair products

Ava Anderson Body Wash: I wrote about it here.

Ion Purifying Solutions: This is the BEST shampoo for anyone with oily hair. My hair is very fine so most shampoos and conditioners weigh my locks down, making them appear greasy as the day goes on. The Ion shampoo was a Sally’s Beauty find and it works wonders. Even better, it’s Paraban free.

Lee Stafford Treatment for Hair That Never Grows Past a Certain Length: This product is something a ton of bloggers have written about. I decided to give it a try on a whim since I’ve never been successful at growing my hair out. I’ve been using it once a week and I’ve noticed my hair is much softer. It has grown a little, but it’s difficult to know if that’s a result of the treatment or not. Either way, it makes my hair feel great!

Body/Face

face products

Aveeno Daily Moisturizer: I use this cream before bed during the winter months. It’s a little heavy for everyday use, but it keeps my skin nice and soft during the harsh New England winters. Aveeno is another Paraben free brand.

Clean and Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub: I use this scrub a few days a week while I’m getting ready for bed.

Ponds Dry Skin Cream: I use this in the morning before putting my makeup on and then again at night right after I wash my face. It’s hypoallergenic and it won’t clog your pores. It’ll just leave your face silky smooth.

Fragrance

Ava Anderson

Since I loved the Ava Anderson body wash so much, I decided to order the Love Fragrance Oil. Like the rest of the Ava Anderson products, this contains no harmful chemicals or toxins. It also smells like candy.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

I received two bottles of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish for Christmas and I fell in love with how smooth the polish looks and how long it lasts. I bought these two bottles over the weekend. The brownish colored one is called “Spice Age.” The magenta looking one is called “Mad Women.”

Your turn! What are some of your favorite beauty products?

Beauty

Non-Toxic Beauty Products + A Way to Help Out a Great Cause

Remember when I told you guys about Think Dirty, the app that allows you to scan the barcode of your beauty products and see exactly what chemicals they contain? Well, ever since then I’ve been very conscious about the beauty products I use. I make it habit to read the ingredients listed on the back of my shampoo, body wash, moisturizer, etc. It’s actually really hard to find any products that don’t have sketchy chemicals in them, things that are considered carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, allergens and other substances that can be harmful.

A few weeks ago, a reader named Jessica Cintineo reached out to me and told me about Ava Anderson, a company that produces non-toxic beauty products without harmful chemicals. Jessica is a consultant with Ava Anderson. Full disclosure, she gave the chance to try the Ava Anderson body wash free of charge. I was a huge fan of it and now I’m hooked so I wanted to share my experience with you guys since I know many of you share my views on healthy living and sticking to products that are as natural as possible.

Ava Anderson products

The first thing I liked about the body wash was the ingredient list:

Aloe Barbadensis (aloe vera leaf juice)

Cocos Nucifera (coconut oil)

Coco Glucoside (derived from coconut oil and fruit sugar)

Vegetable Glycerin: (derived from plant oils)

Radish Root Ferment Extract: (has moisturizing and antimicrobial properties)

Helianthus Annus: (sunflower seed oil)

Xanthan Gum

Citrus Aurantifolia: (lime essential oil)

Citrus Medica Limonum: (lemon essential oil)

I’m sure I’m not the only one who recognizes the ingredients here. Right away I knew this was a product I would feel comfortable using. I even put the body wash in a travel sized bottle so I could take it with me on my recent work trip. In case you’re wondering, it smells like lime with a hint of coconut. That’s how I would describe it anyway. The gel also left my skin feeling incredibly smooth. Before trying this product, I was using Dove Moisturizing body wash and I was a little disappointed because even though it was supposed to be “moisturizing” I really felt like it wasn’t doing anything at all for my skin and it was as dry as ever. When I started using the Ava Anderson body wash I noticed a difference right away and my skin didn’t feel as irritated.

Check out the Ava Anderson website and look around. They have just about everything you can imagine: makeup, lotion, moisturizer, men’s aftershave…..

Here’s a link to Jessica’s consultant page on the website. If you decide to purchase anything please do so using the link I provided. I highly suggest you at least browse the site because I think you’ll be as impressed as I was with the company’s dedication to creating healthy, non-toxic products. And, like I said before, those are not easy to find.

I loved the body wash so much that I’ve already decided to go ahead and purchase the Ava Anderson Love fragrance oil. This purchase also supports a great cause called Caring for Connor, which you can read about below.

Additional Info:

Jessica’s email: jessica.cintineo@gmail.com

Fundraiser: Jessica is currently donating 15% of each sale to Caring for Connor, in honor of her mother’s former co-worker’s son. Connor can be seen in the photo below.

connor

 

He is two years old and has been diagnosed with Type B Leukemia. If you’d like to support Connor with a purchase you must use  Party ID# 53575 when you place your order. Anyone who chooses to participate will be entered into a raffle to win a 5 piece AvaBODY travel set.

Thank you in advance to anyone who decides to help out! Have a great Monday. I will see you all tomorrow.

 

 

Beauty

What’s In Your Makeup Bag?

I’m always curious about the beauty products other women use. I don’t wear a lot of makeup on a daily basis, but I do love to try out new products and experiment with my look for special occasions. I thought it might be fun to take a little peek inside my makeup bag for a look at the products I use everyday. I want to hear all about your favorite products too. Is there any item or brand you swear by? Let me know in the comments!

everyday makeup

Inside my bag you’ll find:

Foundation: (liquid) Maybelline Fit Me Foundation in Ivory (115)

Foundation: (powder) Covergirl TruBlend Mineral powder in Fair

Concealer: (if needed) Covergirl

Bronzer: Covergirl

Blush: Maybelline Fit Me Blush in Light Rose or Bare Minerals in Hint

Eyeshadow: Bare Minerals in Nude Beach, Celestine and Queen Phyllis 

Eyeliner: Maybelline Eye Studio Master Drama cream pencil in Midnight Master

Mascara: Maybelline Great Lash w/ curved brush

I’m pretty laid back about my makeup choices. It’s mostly drugstore brands for me with the exception of my Bare Minerals products. A few years ago my mom bought me a Bare Minerals starter kit with samples of their most popular makeup products and I got hooked. After a while, my love for Bare Minerals got a tad expensive so I started replacing the items I used everyday (like foundation) with cheaper drugstore versions and I haven’t looked back since. I’m just as happy with my Covergirl mineral powder as I was with its more expensive cousin.

My makeup routine looks like this:

1. moisturizer

2. small amount of liquid foundation or powder foundation (I only use liquid if my skin looks splotchy since it offers fuller coverage)

3. concealer under my eyes (If I need it)

4. sweep on some bronzer

5. blush on the apples of my cheeks

6. eyeshadow

7. liner

8. three coats of mascara

Done!

What are your favorite makeup products? How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

Beauty · style

Holiday Gift Guide Series + My Little Shopping Trick

One of the hardest things about the holiday season is the pressure of buying gifts. Don’t get me wrong. I love the end result, but Christmas shopping can be downright stressful. I hate leaving my shopping to the last minute. Being a procrastinator means more stress and higher prices since a lot of stores have promotional sales early in the season. Plus, I worked enough holidays in retail during college to know that absolutely everything good is sold out long before Christmas.

I typically buy gifts for my two sisters, my parents, Brian,  his parents and his sister and brother-in-law. Whenever I’m “stuck” on gift ideas (which happens a lot) I try to pick a theme and choose a few items that fit. I thought it would be fun to put together a few themed gift guides to share. Who knows, they might spark some ideas of your own.

Gifts for Bookworms

Gifts for Book Lovers

This guide was inspired by my twin sister who’s an English teacher and a book lover. If you happen to have a friend or family member like her then I think these gifts will go over well.

1). Book locket via Etsy

2). Well Read Women: Portraits of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines-– a coffee table book for the literary crowd

3). Reading is Sexy mug via Cafe Press

4). Barnes and Noble gift card

Gifts for Fashionistas

Gifts for fashionistas

1. iPhone case via Charming Charlie

2. Scarf via Forever 21

3. Statement necklace via Francesca’s

4. Travel makeup case via Ulta

Happy shopping!

Beauty

Favorite Fall Nail Polish

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time then I don’t need to tell you that I love nail polish. I paint my nails at least twice a week, sometimes three. I know I’m insane, but I often change the color with my mood.

When it comes to fall, I put away my famous pinks and pull out darker, moodier shades and alternate those with a few of my favorite go-to neutral polishes. Here are some of my fall favorites.

First up, the darks.
dark fall nail polish

From left to right: (Top) OPI Magala Wine, Essie Devil’s Advocate, (Bottom) Essie After School Boy Blazer, Revlon Vixen.

neutral fall nail polish

Now for the neutrals.

From left to right: (Top) Essie Ballet Slippers, OPI Tickle My Francey, (Bottom) OPI Yoga then Yogurt, Sally Hansen Commander in Chic.

Btw, all these photos came from Pinterest. I did not take them.

What are your favorite fall colors?