Archive - Beauty Tips

Your Hair Has a New Secret Weapon, and It’s a Tool for Teeth

Published in: Beauty Tips, Hair, Makeup Tips/How To

toothbrush as hair tool final

Why walk around with a misbehaving mop when your favorite dental dynamo can help? Yaaaas, girl! Toothbrushes aren’t just for cleaning teeth (or gunky lash combs) anymore. They’re also great for taming unruly stray hairs.

Here’s what you do…

  1. Grab a spare toothbrush — the stiffer the bristles, the better. Ideally, you’d want to dedicate a spare NEW one, but if you have an old one sitting around, and it doesn’t gross you out to repurpose it, go for it.
  2. Spray the bristles with your favorite firm-hold hairspray, and don’t be afraid to douse that ish!
  3. Now, gently comb the wet toothbrush through any rebellious stray hairs — much like you’d use a hair brush — to get them to obey orders and fall into place.

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What’s Your Current Face Makeup Routine? (Here’s Mine)

Published in: Beauty Tips, Face, Makeup, Makeup Tips/How To, Skin Care

MAC Julia Petit Lipstick in Boca

Wearing my current face makeup routine…

Do you have 2 hours?

No! Just kidding. It doesn’t take me 2 hours, but it is a process. I mean, one thing I’ve learned along the way is that you can’t just slap a sh*t-ton of product on your face and expect it to look “natural.”

There’s definitely an art to getting the skin to look smooth and not so fussy, and I’m always tweaking my steps and products, but here are the broad strokes for my current routine…

For me, the first part has to be primer. I’m a big believer in primer. Bobbi Brown’s Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm and Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing — those are the two I’ve been keeping in my bag and using daily.

After primer I go in with some combination of lightweight medium to full-coverage foundations, which I mix because it’s difficult for me to find one color that matches my skin. Plus, you know, your skin is always changing (Bobbi Brown’s videos emphasize this). I may have gotten a little more sun yesterday, so I might have less noticeable yellow tones in my skin today and more pink or red. Or maybe I didn’t get enough sleep last night (happens often), so I look super tired.

Lately I’ve been mixing two or more (usually two) of these three together: NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, L’Oreal True Match Lumi, or the new Diorskin Nude Air Serum SPF 20.

MAC Bao Bao Wan Lipstick in Forbidden Sunrise

Another look with a similar foundation/concealer routine

And I don’t go heavy with this combo. I use as little foundation as I can — just the faintest amount — because it’s the next step that really helps get that more “flawless” look, or as close to it as I ever get. I take a small amount of that same foundation mix and add a full-coverage concealer, which I then use on my cheeks, around my mouth and around my nose.

Under-eye circles are a totally different story, though, and I’ll get to that in a minute.

I set the foundation combo with a powder, and one I’ve been loving lately is MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. But I don’t just slap it on there willy-nilly. I take time to blend and buff it in so it doesn’t look like it’s sitting on top.

And that’s basically it for foundation.

I handle my under-eye situation separately, and I know it sounds involved, but I try to use as little of each product as possible to keep the area from looking cakey.

This time again, I start with a primer, and I’ve been using one called Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer.

It’s bomb!
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Help for Dry Winter Lips

Published in: Beauty Tips, Lips, Makeup Tips/How To

Help for Dry Winter Lips

I saw a ChapStick ad this morning before a video on YouTube, and the girl in it said that our skin is thinnest on our lips.

I thought, yeah…maybe that’s why mine hurt so much every winter!

It’s always the same, too, every year. When winter rolls around, so much ouch. My lips get cracked and dry, and it hurts.

It gets worse for a few weeks after we visit my in-laws in Redding, which is a town near the Oregon border.

Weirdly, Oregon gets a ton of rain, but Redding, even though it’s close, does not. I swear, the air there gets drier than the inside of a hot oven.

But time has taught me a few things that help my perpetually parched pout. I hope they help yours too. :)

1. Scrub-a-dub-dub

Exfoliate. It’s easier when my lips are soft and damp, like right after I get out of the shower.

Every once in a while I’ll mix a spoonful of sugar with a little honey or olive oil, and gently scrub (more like rub) that on my lips with an old toothbrush after I shower.

The Nimbus Microfine Regulars are awesome for this, by the way. Softest toothbrushes I’ve ever used.

They’re kind of hard to track down in stores… I’m not sure why, but here’s a five-pack on Amazon for $14. Highly recommended.

Brush your teeth (and your lips), kids! (And don’t forget to floss.)

If DIY doesn’t sound good, then you can use a regular lip exfoliator instead. Fresh Sugar Lip Polish ($22.50) is an excellent choice, as is Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub.

2. A balm before bed

And keep it right on your nightstand, where it’ll be easy to remember (and reach).

I apply a thick layer of balm after I kiss El Hub and Tabs goodnight. It’s become part of my regular bedtime routine — 1) kiss El Hub, 2) kiss Tabs, 3) insert mouth guard, and 4) smear a thick layer of lip balm on my lips. Zzzz…

Nuxe Reve De Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm ($19) is the one on my nightstand now. It’s almost as thick as a paste and tastes and smells like honey.

The big glass jar isn’t super convenient to carry around during the day, but it’s purrfect for bedtime at night.

3. Guzzle water

For real though! Drink a sh*t-ton throughout the day. I notice a HUGE difference when I fall out of the habit of drinking enough water, and it’s not just that my lips get drier. My skin gets worse and less, I dunno…plump?

The difference is crystal clear, especially in winter. When I don’t drink enough water, my lips get tow up.
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:)

3 Things That Helped My Hormonal Chin Acne

Published in: Beauty Tips, Makeup Tips/How To, Skin Care

Wearing no makeup

Wearing absolutely zero makeup

Shortly after I turned 36, all hell broke loose on my chin, and what had previously been the clearest part of my face was suddenly a pimple farm.

They were the painful pimples, too! A mix of tiny bumps that seemed to never go away and big ol’ painful zits that felt like they had 100-year-old roots.

I went to the dermatologist, tried antibiotics and different prescription topical meds, but nothing really helped. Not enough.

Eventually, I discovered a few things that did work. It took a while, some experimenting with my diet and lots of weeding through ineffective products, but over the following year, my chin situation improved a lot.

Here’s what helped turn the tides against my hormonal chin acne!

1. Creating a skincare cocktail by combining and layering different products

I had hoped to find one magic bullet, but it turned out that the best thing for my combination oily/dry skin was a cocktail of different over-the-counter products.

It took a lot of trial and error to find the right combination of products for me. My skin seems to respond best to benzoyl peroxide, antioxidants and exfoliating acids. That may not be the case for you, but in the hopes that it is, the products I’ve had the most success with are…

3 Things That Helped My Hormonal Chin Acne

  • Kate Somerville’s Anti Bac Clearing Face Lotion ($39), a 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion that absorbs quickly, layers well underneath makeup and doesn’t have that funky benzoyl peroxide scent. I’ve tried a bunch of BP lotions before, and this was the one that made the biggest difference for me.
  • Skinceuticals CE Ferulic ($153), an antioxidant serum with Vitamins C, E and ferulic acid (an antioxidant). Designed to bolster skin against the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays and to stimulate collagen production, it really helped reduce the flakiness and post-acne discoloration I was seeing.
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment ($105). This lightly hydrating serum contains unneutralized lactic acid and seems to improve the smoothness and texture of the skin around my chin.
  • Neutrogena All-in-1 Acne Control Daily Scrub ($8). I keep this cleanser, which contains beta hydroxy acid (or BHA), in my shower and use it every morning.

(read more…)

5 Wacky but Extremely Useful Beauty Tools!

Published in: Beauty Tips, Guest Post

Wacky but useful beauty tools

Great things have been achieved with the simplest of inventions.

Like the wheel. And ink. And simple beauty tools that make life so much easier and happier. Imagine removing facial hair with a spring, pinning up your hair with Velcro, or using tape to reinforce or alter the shape of your eyelid.

Epistick Facial Hair Remover

If I were the manufacturer, I’d have named it The EPICstick! — because the results I get from this little spring are nothing short of epic. Lodged between two rubber handles is a tightly coiled metal spring that works to remove those little hairs on your upper lip, cheeks, chins, and forehead.

Epistick Facial Hair Remover

To use the Epistick, grab it at both ends, and bend it into an inverted U-shape. Then, roll it in an outward motion along the surface of your skin to remove the hair in that area. Simple instructions for one of the most amazing tools ever invented to remove facial hair.

Epistick Facial Hair Remover

The sensation is similar to threading, a little prickly, but oh-so-worth it. I find it hurts less than threading actually because how much pain you endure during threading depends on the skill of the person performing the procedure. When you do it yourself, you can always pause in between for a breather. I usually do it while watching TV to distract myself from the pain, and because, well, I don’t have to look at myself in the mirror to know where my upper lip and chin are.

Having a face clear of obvious facial hair not only makes you look fresher and cleaner, it also allows for a smoother canvas for makeup application. WE WANT!

Mascara Guard

Ever done a fantastic rainbow eyeshadow look only to ruin it by accidentally getting mascara on your lids? And do you also avoid applying mascara on your lower lashes to reduce the risk of getting the product on your under-eye area? Hell, YES to both questions!

But those sad times are a thing of the past ever since I got the Mascara Guard. This oddly-shaped piece of plastic fits the contours of the eye area so that you can apply mascara without fear of staining your eyelids and under-eyes. Because I don’t have to be as careful when I use it, it also effectively cuts down the time it takes to apply mascara on my lower lashes. I don’t like to be careful because careful takes time. The double-sided comb on the other end can also be used to comb out mascara clumps or separate individual lashes.

Mascara Guard

Mascara Guard Closeup

Mascara Guard Closeup

Hair Fringe Velcro

What do you use to pin up your hair when you apply makeup? Bobbi pins, butterfly clips, a hairband?

Me? I use this.
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