Beauty Talk #4 – December Favorites

My last beauty post covering my September Favorites was surprisingly popular, so I’m picking back up with my favorites from last month.

 

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Acure Organics Moroccan Argan Stem Cell & Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner ~$10 each

I’ve been a big fan of the Acure skincare line recently so when I needed new Shampoo I decided to give them a chance and I’m incredibly impressed. They have a subtle almond scent which is delicious, and I find that my hair is less oily when using this shampoo. The Conditioner is effective but light which is great for my fine/thin hair. Definitely recommend.

Caudalie Hand & Nail Cream  $15 (full size)

I’m constantly using hand cream and I’m impatient when it comes to allowing lotion to soak in. The Caudalie hand cream has become my go to cream for when I’m working at my computer (which is always). I can apply, and immediately get back to work because it soaks in within seconds. The smell is classic Caudalie and a bit earthy but it fades rather quickly in case that bothers you.

Clairol Beautiful Brown – Amethyst (purchased from Sally Beauty Supply)  ~$6.00

When I was in college I used to box dye my hair Burgundy, I loved it and miss it…but growing it out was awful. The brassiness, the orange, I don’t want to go through that again. But I still like to dye my hair on occasion, to boost my already dark brown hair with a pop of color. My favorite hair dye, hands down, is Clairol Beautiful Browns. You can buy a bottle at most beauty supply stores for about $6 and it’s Semi-Permanent which means it fades gently over the course of about 28 washings. No grow out, no odd roots…it just naturally fades over time. Plus, I can usually get quite a few uses out of that little bottle.I switch between Wine Brown (burgundy tones) and Amethyst (more purple tones). Indoors my hair looks dark brown, but outside it has a beautiful glint of red/purple. Great for anyone that wants to avoid Permanent hair dye.

 

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Bare Minerals 5 in 1 Cream Shadow – Soft Linen $18

I actually use this cream shadow as an eye shadow base. It prevents my eye shadow from creasing and evens my skin tone to make eye shadow colors pop. It also dries to matte finish so it’s great for more mature lids that want to avoid shimmer (i.e. my mom uses this too!)

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Eye Shadow – Playa del Pink $18

Josie Maran has the Argan skincare market on target, I’m a fan. I really like her cleansing oil, but last month I was reaching for her Watercolor Eye shadows all the time. They pack a punch in terms of color, dry quickly, and blend fairly easily with just your fingers. They work well all alone for a simple wash of color but really shine when paired with darker shadows. I’ve only own this one color, but I swatched the others at Sephora and they are all beautiful.

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner – Midnight Cowboy $19

December was the perfect month to break out the glitter eyeliner. I’m in my 30’s so glitter liners can be a little tricky, as sometimes it can come across as too young. That is actually why I like the Urban Decay liner, it’s buildable (as in the picture), but light in application. I wing out my eyeliner using black liquid liner, then gently add a thin line of glitter above the black. it adds the most beautiful sparkle when the light hits it, and in my opinion comes across very classy/elegant. I get lots compliments when I wear this one out. I also own the silver and copper colors which are also gorgeous, but the beige of Midnight Cowboy tends to blend into my lid color better to give the subtle sparkle.

NUDE Skincare Advanced Renewal Serum $78 (full size)

I haven’t yet splurged on the full size of this produce but it’s on my wishlist. This small size was part of a gift set that I purchased in early in December and I’m impressed.  It’s light, soaks in immediately, and doesn’t compete with other skincare products. I use this at night and it leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft and moisturized. I haven’t been using it long enough to confirm any claims that it prevents the signs of aging or firms the skin, but I will say that I seem to have a good skin day after using this product. Whatever it’s doing, I like it. 

 

Thanks it! What Beauty products are you loving this month?

 

 

*Some of the above links are affiliate links. Clicking through the links do not change the price of the product of you, but awards me with a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Beauty Talk #3 – September Favorites

As cliché as it sounds, I can’t believe this year is flying by so quickly. Wasn’t it just January? I’ve been counting down the days until Fall, the heat this summer has been unbearable. Combine that with the drought we’re experiencing and it’s been pretty miserable. It’s going to be in the 100’s this weekend (in October?!?), and I am dreaming of a cool, damp fall/winter. With the heat, makeup hasn’t made the ‘To Do List’ very often. I’ve been keeping it very simple with a foundation for even skin, and then I used blush and nail polish for pops of beauty color. Here are a few of my beauty favorites from this past month.

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Bite Beauty Lush Lip Tint – Juice [~$24]

I love the Bite brand overall due to it’s focus on using Food Grade Ingredients. I feel safer using the Bite Brand products since we eat so much of the lip products we wear. I’m not very comfortable using bright lipsticks, so I have a special love for the Lush Lip Tints. They are moisturizing and give wash of color that feels comfortably colorful. 

 

Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation – No. 1.0 [~$39]

Earlier this year I splurged on the Urban Decay Foundation when ULTA had a 20% off coupon available. First off, it’s a great color match for my light skin, which is often a challenge to find. The formula is great, light and comfortable even in the hot summer months. It also leaves a very natural finish, not cakey or heavy at all. 

 

Butter London Nail Polish – SNOG [~$15]

I love bright coral-pink-red nail polishes. SNOG is a bright, but dark pink that is an absolute stunner! Easily a one coat polish as well, the formula is fantastic. If you want to try a similar color for less $$, check out an Essie polish in the color Watermelon.That polish is also a favorite of mine. 

 

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush – Coral [~$10]

This blush has been a favorite since the day I bought it. It’s better than many of the high end blushes that I have in my collection (yes, I said collection…it’s a problem). It’s the perfect Coral/Peach blush with just enough glow to also double as a highlighter. Excellent color, coverage and price (around $10 and often on sale).

 

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Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil [~$5]

I still love my regular Coconut oil for so many reasons, but the Vatika Enriched Hair Oil has replaced regular coconut oil for my hair. The first ingredient of The Vatika brand is Coconut Oil, but it also has Neem, Henna, and other herbs/extracts. It has a lemon scent and it does an AMAZING job at moisturizing my hair. My hair is typically very dry and frizzy, but with this stuff, my hair has never been healthier. I use it about once a week, overnight. I haven’t had any problems with it staining my pillows either.

 

Acure Seriously Hydrating Facial Toner for Normal to Dry Skin [~$15]

Since my skin tends to run on the dry side, I use a facial mist morning and night. I’m a fan of the Acure brand and the Seriously Hydrating Facial Toner is excellent as well. It’s a great formula that is incredibly moisturizing, without being sticky. It soaks in quickly, and feels nourishing over or under other beauty products.

 

Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream [~$30 per 4oz]

Egyptian Magic is not cheap, but it’s so worth it! I picked up the 2oz bottle (shown) and a 4oz tub at Costco for about $40. The texture is more oil/balm than cream and you don’t need much at all. A few times a week, I will wash my face and apply the Acure Toner, then a facial oil, and lastly a very thin layer of Egyptian Magic. It soaks in and leaves the most incredible glow/softness to my skin overnight. 

 

What Beauty products are you loving this month?

 

*Some of the above links are affiliate links.

Beauty Talk #2

 

My favorite recent beauty tip involves a way to turn a steamy shower into a aromatherapy experience. It’s very simple, and completely customizable to your mood. 

For a spa like shower, mix a few drops of essential oil with water in a spray bottle. Spritz into a steamy shower before you step in, and enjoy the aromatherapy. You can mix a variety of oils to create a scent you love. Citrus & Mint is great for an uplifting morning shower, Eucalyptus if you’re feeling sick, Lavender & Chamomile are excellent for relaxing in the evening. Maybe try a little Neroli or Rose before date night 😉 Mix, Spritz, Enjoy!

I created a lovely mix of Peppermint and Vanilla recently. It’s an amazing pick me up in the morning.

 

 

In other beauty news lately…these are a few insta-posts from the last few weeks! You can read the specifics of each picture over at Instagram!

 

 

 

 

   

 

Beauty Talk #1

 

Having been gone from this blog for so long, has not only been upsetting for me (I miss this space!), but also a bit daunting. I’ve sat down multiple times to write a ‘I’m back’ post and I couldn’t figure out what to say. I’m sure that’s not an uncommon feeling for bloggers that have to take a break away from the web. Sometimes the words just don’t flow so well…

 

I don’t have any extraordinary reason as to why I stopped blogging lately. Life and work have been overwhelming (we’re going through layoffs again), and I honestly didn’t feel like I had anything interesting to share. I hadn’t completed many projects around the house and I wasn’t trying any new recipes. Life felt more than a little boring. So, instead of boring you with the mundane catch up…let’s just move on, shall we? In the past few weeks I’ve been getting back into home projects and I have a few fun crafts planned. I’ve redone the backyard grass planters which I’ll post about soon. That post will answer the multitude of questions that have been emailed to me about the project. I never knew so many of you would benefit from a ‘growing grass on concrete’ project, so hopefully that future post will answer some of your questions. Click here if you have no idea what I’m talking about. I’ve also made some progress on the office and made a few other tweaks around the house. More on that soon…

 

One fun thing I’ve done lately (blogging wise) is start up a new Instagram account. I’ve mentioned my love of beauty, makeup, skincare on the blog in the past. I’ve even done a few monthly favorite posts, but I wasn’t thrilled with those. Instead I’ve started up a dedicated beauty Instagram account where I can chat all things beauty, share my likes (and dislikes), etc. For anyone that wants to follow me, you can find me @evolovelybeauty. For the blog, I thought I’d share a recap from time to time along with any of my favorite posts/tips.

 

So today, is a little weekly beauty recap and a recipe!

 

My favorite post of the week was sharing how I start my day, detox style. Each morning I get up and make the drink below while the pup is eating. I drink this along with a probiotic capsule, then wait 30-60 minutes before eating. I started doing this in September and have seen a dramatic difference in my skin since doing so. I used to get hormonal cystic acne regularly and that has completely cleared up. I have not had a single cystic spot since drinking this at the start of my day. My skin is brighter, clearer, and overall I just feel better. My mom also drinks this and has seen a big difference as well.

I created this recipe using other detox drinks as a guide. You have probably heard of people drinking hot water with lemon, or taking a Ginger Bomb. This is essentially a combination of those drinks. It’s something that works for me.

 

Morning Detox Drink:

If you’re not used to drinking Apple Cider Vinegar, this can take some getting used to. Thanks to the other ingredients, it’s not overwhelmingly strong in this drink. You can alter the amount of water you use while you get used to the taste. Add more in the beginning if you need to, just be sure to drink the whole thing.

 

The Basics

1-2 Cups Water (I prefer hot, like for tea…but you can also drink this iced/cold if you prefer the taste that way)

1 Tablespoon Organic Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Raw Organic Honey

Juice of 1/2 a fresh Lime (you can also use a lemon, I just prefer the lime)

Add all ingredients, stir and drink. I prefer to drink with a straw, and while I don’t chug it, I do drink it all rather quickly. It’s not something I like to sip on…you get the point.

 

Give it the best ability to absorb by not eating for 30-60 minutes after you finish the drink.

 

The Optional Additions:

After I had been drinking the above for about 2 months, I started adding the below. You may choose to skip these, or maybe you prefer to add them from the start. I’ll leave that to your discretion. Please note that with all the ingredients, do your own research (or talk to your doctor) to find out if these ingredients would be beneficial to you.

 

1/8 teaspoon of Ground Turmeric (I’m slowing adding more over time, it’s a strong taste)

1/8 teaspoon Ground Ginger (I’ll probably slowly up this amount over time as well)

The other 1/2 of fresh lime (so that you are juicing the entire lime into you drink each morning)

Mix well and drink.

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Like a lot of super healthy things, I don’t always jump out of bed excited to drink this. But more often than not, I crave it. I’ve seen such a dramatic difference in my health (and particularly my skin), that I don’t really want to give it up.

 

In other beauty news lately…these are a few insta-posts from the last week! You can read the specifics of each picture over at Instagram!

  

 

 

 

What I Want Now – Winter Skincare

Living in Southern California, winter is mild. Having lived near the beach most of my life, I had never really experienced a dry skin winter, but things have changed. Moving inland has hampered more than my love for an ocean breeze. I also have some serious dry skin during the winter and it took me the entire cold season last year to figure out the perfect winter skincare routine for me.

In reality, the winters anywhere in So Cal are mild in comparison to other parts of the country. I don’t deal with snow or below freezing temperatures. I never use to be the type of person who changed their skincare routine with the season, I’ve been very lucky to only deal with an occasional breakout. Maybe it’s because I’m almost 30 or maybe it really has something to do with the move inland, I’m not sure. What I do know is that this works for me.

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I’ve been washing my face with Cetaphil for years and it’s never let me down.If I don’t have Cetaphil then I’ll use Dove, they are my favorites. I also use a Clairsonic face brush year round, usually only at night. After washing my face, while my skin is still damp I use the Bio Oil, it’s the only thing that stops my face from getting too dry. I also use this year around, but I use it twice a day during the winter months. During the summer I use a lighter sunscreen, but when I need something thicker I always go for Clinique Superdefense, it’s thick but soaks in without feeling greasy.  The only other thing, not listed, is Clinique All About Eyes. I don’t always use it everyday, but I always keep it in my medicine cabinets for the puffy eye days.

1. Clinique Superdefense SPF 25 Age Defense Moisturizer Dry Combination $44.50

2. Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser $9

3. Bio Oil Scar Treatment $11

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Once a week I use a face scrub in the shower, Khiel’s Pineapple Papaya Scrub is my absolute favorite. It’s very gentle and works miracles. You don’t need a lot to do the job, so usually lasts a long time. I tend to jump from body lotion to body lotion, always looking for a new favorite, but always come back to two. For super dry days I use Vaseline Intensive Rescue; but my usual ‘go to’ winter lotion is Lubriderm Daily Nourishing. I could say it’s for the great formula, but really it’s because the smell reminds me of summer and it isn’t greasy. For the days when I need a little extra moisture for hands or face, I use Josie Maran Argan Oil Stick. It’s easy to carry around, smells great, and works like a charm. I also keep lip balm with me 24/7, but I don’t have a favorite brand. I have them all over the house, and in every purse, so I’ll use whatever is within reach. 

4. Khiel’s Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub $28

5. Lubriderm Daily Nourishing Radiance Lotion (with Shea  and Cocoa Butter) $9

6. Josie Maran Argan Oil Moisturizing Stick $22

 

What are your winter skincare favorites?

I’m Feeling Inspired…Hair Stylin’

I’m getting my Hair cut again next week. After I cut off 20 inches a few months back, and with the incredible heat lately, I’m really digging the short styles. Right now, these are my favorites.

Absolutely love this style, I wish I looked this good. Period.

 

This was the actual inspiration for my current cut. On a good day (meaning I’ve taken the time to style it) it looks exactly like this.

 

 

I’m wondering if I’m brave enough to do this…it’s a bit shorter overall than what I have now.

Source: etsy.com via Addison on Pinterest

 

No matter how much I love my short hair right now, this is by far my favorite style.

 

…and this is my favorite inspiration for bangs. Hmmm…wonder if I could pull off being blonde?

 

No, I don’t think I could, but it’s fun to dream.

 

Why the pug? Hmmm, I don’t know…why not?

Making My Way Back Home & A Drastic Change

A week into the new blog, and I’m going MIA! What’s with that?

I actually hit the power switch on all my electronics yesterday and this morning (I don’t even know where my phone is right now) to enjoy the last few days of my vacation. I go back to work on Monday and I’m starting to feel claustrophobic already. This vacation has been amazing, so relaxing and rejuvenating. I have a whole new outlook on life after this week and a brand new hairstyle too.

Yesterday was my first time driving back to Orange County in over a year. A little over a year ago I purchased my first home and moved inland to South Riverside County. The most common question I get when I share this information is , WHY? Why would you move from Orange County, it’s beautiful! That is usually followed by someone that wants to know if I know any of the OC Housewives or anything about Laguna Beach.

For the record I don’t know any of the Housewives, although I think one of them lives near my brother, and I saw another in line at Paradise Bakery a while back. I do watch the show because it’s fun to recognize the areas where I grew up. Wait, I take that back, I grew up in Santa Ana, I’m pretty sure they won’t venture there. As for Laguna Beach, I never saw the show, sorry. Although I did play Volleyball at Laguna Beach High School a few times, it is a beautiful school.

Now…as to why I moved from Orange County… it’s all about the $$$

As you can imagine, property prices in Orange County are ridiculous! My main goal in moving was to find a place with an enclosed yard for my not so little pup and a second bedroom for an office, and it was difficult to find in the OC. I’m not married and live on a single income so obviously $$ was an issue. So at this point in my life I decided to sacrifice location and move inland. I was able to find a great place with 3+ bedrooms, garage, backyard, etc for a excellent price. I was also able to take advantage of some federal/state credits which made all this possible. I do plan to move back toward the beach in the next few years, but for now it’s all working out pretty well. I’ll give you a home tour in a future post.

Back to Yesterday…

I desperately needed my haircut. Yes, I could get my haircut near my house, but this was going to be drastic and I wanted someone that I trusted completely. So I jumped in the car and headed to Fashion Island in Newport Beach to chop off all my hair. By the way, if you are ever in Newport, schedule an appointment with Lauren at Toni & Guy…you will not be disappointed!

This is my absolutely crap-tastic before picture. I hate pictures of myself, so you’re lucky that you got half of me. When straightened, my hair hit just above my butt, and was a wild hot mess.

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The salon was somewhat giddy to see me cut so much hair, 17 inches to be exact. Plus another 3 inches after the ponytail was cut. This will be donated to Locks of Love so it can go to a good cause.

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About an hour later, I literally had a weight off my shoulders. I was worried about cutting it so short, but Lauren taught me how to style it and I am thrilled with the final cut. It’s a HUGE change, but feels so good. (Not the greatest picture below, I had to take it with my phone). I thought the shorter cut would make my face look, ummm rounder. But it had the opposite effect and it actually made my face look thinner.

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On the way home I drove along PCH which is what I miss the most. Driving along the beach is always so beautiful and relaxing.

Corona Del Mar…

Corona Del Mar, PCH

I always loved this building…

 Corona Del Mar, PCH, Concept Studio

Driving from Newport to Laguna …

 PCH, Beach Highway

Sweet Beach houses in Laguna…

 Beach House along PCH, Laguna Beach

My trip to the beach was over way too fast so I’m excited to go back in 6 weeks when I get my hair trimmed.