Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Packing Beauty Essentials for Vacation!

One of my favorite Cosmetic Bags from Anne Taintor. The words on it just get me every time! haha

When it comes to packing my beauty bag for vacation, I am always a mess. I feel like I over pack because I never want to forget something and then regret not packing it once I realize I need it! Are any of you the same way? If so, hopefully through my trial and error, this blog post will assist you on being able to more efficiently pack your beauty essentials without ending up with a bag that weighs more than yourself! I thought it was fitting to post this blog now being that this weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, I will be packing this very bag, as I am heading out of state for vacation myself. :)

Here are the things that I am always sure to include in my travel beauty bag:


1. When traveling in heated areas, I am sure to pack a tinted moisturizer, you will find that you can avoid having foundation etc. slipping off of your face in the humidity and be glad that you opted for this instead!
2. A facial cleanser that doubles as a body wash (ex. Burt's Bees Milk and Shea Butter Bar). You may think I am crazy for this, but my Burt's Bees bar is all natural and this allows it to be gentle enough to use for my body AND face. This also means you have to pack one less thing :)
3. A good SPF to protect your beautiful faces! I personally like ones that are all natural and non-comedogenic. I have been using all natural/organic things on my face and let me tell you, it has completely changed how clear my skin is, this is so worth it. I would suggest ones like "Suntegrity, Kiss My Face, and Alba Botanical Organic Lavender Sunscreen", these are all great options and come in a variety of SPF ranges. Remember to ALWAYS apply this, even on overcast days, you are still at extreme risk for UV Ray damage!
4. Pack a Bronzer and or Blush that is compact and does the job. I like the Blush and Bronzer Duos from NARS, they are two things in one which means that they take up half the room! ELF also has a pretty good one that I am testing out myself at the moment :)


1. SPF lip balm. I had a friend who went to the beach and neglected to cover her lips with any UV Ray protection and ended up blistering horribly, and get this, the sun wasn't even out! Just because you don't see or feel the sun's harmful rays, doesn't mean they don't exist, protect yourself at all times. Your lips are one of the most sensitive things on your face, as well as your nose.
2. Pack two shades of lipstick that are on different ends of the color spectrum. These can be mixed if need be and you will find the colors you can make are endless and you are only using space for two separate lipsticks as opposed to 5 or 6. I usually bring a red and a nude :)
3. A lip gloss that will look well when put over any shade of lipstick. I love my NYX Beige lip gloss because in all honesty, it looks amazing over ANYTHING. This is definitely going in my travel bag this weekend.


1. An all in one eyeshadow palette. For this, I think of my Urban Decay Naked Palette instantly. Not only is it an amazing array of neutral shades, but there are also shades included that will give me everything I need to have a sultry eye :) This is my favorite everyday palette because there are so many different looks you can get without straying outside of it. If you don't have this, I recommend maybe your favorite MAC Quad? or a tiny palette by any other company. Remember, you want to avoid packing tons of eye shadows all colors of the rainbow, this defeats your mission to pack efficiently!
2. Eyeshadow Primer, this is a must, no matter what the weather is like, but ESPECIALLY in heated environments. This assures that your eye makeup stays in place and doesn't shift and crease all over the place. I will be packing my UD Primer Potion for this.
3. A good waterproof mascara. More often than not, a vacation entails some type of pool or ocean, and instead of going in the water looking gorgeous and coming out with trails of black mascara smeared all over your face, go waterproof! haha I never ever use waterproof except in weddings and on vacation and believe me it is a lifesaver! I love my L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black for this :)
4. An eyeliner of your choice. Don't go packing liquid, gel and pencil, that's just overdoing it! Choose one that you know you can use for both the top of your lid and your waterline, I recommend a Gel Liner, as  it can be used on both unlike the liquid.


1. Makeup Remover Wipes in a soft plastic container. I find that these can be squeezed pretty much in any crevice in your bag and or luggage and won't take up much room at all. I especially love my Yes to Blueberries ones, they have a soft plastic outer but a hard plastic seal to assure that all of that moisture stays inside :) They are also all natural, which is amazing for your face!
2. Blotting Paper, again these take up almost no room at all, but can be a life saver if you are having one of those "extra shiny" days, the humidity does that to us sometimes!
3. A razor
4. Pack the color of nail polish that you currently have on your toes and hands and or a good top coat. You may find that midway through your vacation your lovely mani/pedi chips, and this is a pet peeve of mine although it is inevitable at times. To avoid being the girl in the picture with the chipped fingernails, apply a top coat of clear every few days or when it chips, you have the color on hand for touch-ups. You will thank me later for this gals!

** I didn't include any shampoos/conditioners etc in this blog post because those are a given, be sure whatever else you pack is in a travel size. This can be done by purchasing the miniature sizes or taking some of the product that you love from your regular stock and putting some of them into travel containers :)

Well that about sums up what I will be packing in my travel beauty bag tomorrow. Everyone has a different way of packing, and this may not fully satisfy the things you need on a trip, but in my experience, these are the only things necessary to bring without over packing. All of these things fit easily into my bag and I still have some room for more! Keep it stress free and minimal, the only thing you are missing from this bag is the sun and a drink with an umbrella, but I am SURE you will find this somewhere on your getaway! :)

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to everyone celebrating this weekend, and for those who are out of the country, this can be used for any vacations you are taking as well!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Ever So Talked About Orange Lip!

Orange Lipstick has been one of the most talked about beauty trends for this Spring and even the coming Summer season.  I have waited so long to delve into my thoughts on this because I wanted to find the perfect Orange Lipstick for myself and not only that, really wear it out and test possible outfits its looked best with. As one would rightfully assume, you are clearly not trying to be cast in the shadows while wearing this color lip, you are most definitely looking for some sort of spotlight, and when worn the right way, I am sure you will shine and deserve the spotlight :)

Here are a few of our favorite celebs sporting the look in different shades:

And Here is a pic of myself wearing my favorite orange lip, MAC's So Chaud:

Although this is a Matte Lipstick, it appears a little more shiny because I had some chap stick on before I applied it, and no lip liner :)
This Orange Lipstick, So Chaud, is more of a deep orange. I didn't line or prep my lips with any type of concealer etc to make the color look more true, this could be why it may appear more "red" on myself in this pic, but it is most definitely orange, trust me.  I love that it is Matte because I find with bold colors like this and red for example, I like to tone it down a little and keep the look not too shiny.  I recommend pairing this Orange lip color with a simple eye using natural colors as you won't want to over do it. I also love wearing this color with blue tops. I love how Orange and Blue compliment one another and this goes for in Beauty and fashion as well! Examples of some blouses/jewelry I could see myself pairing this with:

I did a previous post on my love for the color coral (which could be considered in the orange family) and turquoise (also in the blue family) This applies to blues and oranges as well :) I think the colors are just so easy on the eyes and show that you have edge to your style, but while you remain sophisticated and not tacky. Another great orange color would be MAC's Morange.  As far as a drugstore orange lipstick that I would recommend, I would have to say  Revlon Colorburst in Coral or Milani Mandarina, I have swatched these both and found them to be pretty similar to both of the aforementioned :)

To Oranges, Tangerines, Clementines and everything else orange!,


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fashions I'm Loving Right Now!

So I thought I would update you all on some of the fashion's I am loving at the moment. With me, it changes all the time, so this is the most recent haha

1. Fedoras: I have always loved hats, some people look great with hats, others not so much supposedly. I however, think it is about the right pairing of hat with your face shape. That is the hard part to figure out, but once you find a hat style that looks amazing on you, you are going to want to wear these babies all the time! I love the fact that on my off day for washing my hair, I can throw one of these on and still look very put together, I also love to wear them on days where I was my hair, but the weather is yukky outside, so I don't even blow dry/style my hair. Fedoras are my recent obsession for the past couple of months and I don't see this obsession going anywhere any time soon! I also see myself wearing these a lot by the pool in the summer to protect my hair from sun damage :)

2. Maxi Dresses/Skirts: I LOVE this look. Very boho chic and very effortlessly classy looking. As you can see, I love pairing prints with these pieces. If you are going to go all out, go all out right?! lol These are perfect for the warm yet breezy days, I love when the breeze catches my skirt, don't ask haha

3. Wedge Sandals: These pictured above are all from Nine West! Wedges are my favorite type of heel year round because of their comfort and chicness.  I can literally walk around all day in wedges and my little toes don't suffer one bit!

4. Denim Jacket/Vest: Every girl should own at least one good denim jacket, it is something that you can throw over almost anything! In the summer I usually bring mine with me just in case it gets a little chilly at night, and these are great for layering over maxi dresses as pictured above :) A Denim Jacket or Vest is one of those things that you grab right as you're walking out the door and you are always glad that you did. ;)

I love each of these things separately but most of all I love them paired all together for a cute Spring, even into Summer ensemble.


NYX Makeup Haul/Swatches

So, it's that time, I have swatched everything that I got in my recent shopping adventure with NYX Cosmetics, and I am here to share my brief thoughts with you guys :) I know that I personally love seeing swatches of things on others before I go ahead and purchase things, and especially purchasing them online. The website I ordered these things from has the worse swatches ever I swear! lol However, when the price is right, and you want  a product enough, you deal with the possible "what?! this doesn't look how it looked online" thoughts. Ok, lets get to the good stuff!

From just these pics, they actually look more similar than they really are, let me explain each.

The top left corner is the shade Rose Bud, this color reminds me of a lipstick that would result if you made NARS Orgasm into a shade for NYX lol It is pinky peach with flecks of gold shimmer.  I like this lipstick, it isn't like anything that I have already, so I am glad I purchased it.  It goes on very metallic though, so I find that for everyday wear, it can be a bit over the top, you can also tone it down with a gloss though, up to you.

The top right hand corner is the shade Sky Pink. This is also a color that goes on with a metallic like finish. The shimmer however, isn't over powering and I find that the color is actually very flattering. It is a rosy pink color.

Bottom left corner is the shade Paris. This is absolutely my favorite of the bunch that I purchased this time around. It is a creamy medium pink color that just goes on so smooth! It doesn't have any shimmer in it so it is more of a wearable lipstick for everyday. 

Bottom right hand corner is the shade Margarita. I got this one on a whim, and let me say it is actually a very nice tangerine color. It goes on very creamy and the color is very true to what it looks like. I would wear this with a simple eye look because it is a very unique "out there" color. I can totally see wearing this orangey color with something blue. (Orange Lipstick post coming soon!)

Those are the lipsticks I purchased this shopping order. They are all the signature round lipsticks and over all I would say they are definitely worth trying. There are a nice variety of shades and I find that every single one that I have tried has gone on soft and smooth. I would say mine lasted about 4 hours before I had to reapply which isn't too too bad.


Natural, African Queen, Golden Pink, Nude Peach, Beige, Perfect Red, Sugar Pie, Dolly Pink
NYX Mega Shine Lipglosses are by far my absolute favorite glosses for the money. In all actuality, I prefer most of these to my MAC ones, and that's something I thought I would never say! I like these for a variety of reasons, the price, the quantity, the texture, the fact that I don't have those super sticky lips that my hair is sticking to as I walk down the street!, the color pay off and last but not least, the color variety! I love pairing these over a lipstick that just needs a little more "hype".  Sometimes I will wear African Queen, Perfect Red or Dolly Pink alone, that's how pigmented they are! They last a reasonable amount of time as well, something that I love because I don't always have the time to reapply my gloss. Definitely give these a try if you haven't!


Earthy Shimmer, Deep Brown, Blue Marine, Prune, Rust, Ocean, Odyssey, Iced Mocha, Violetta
These swatches don't really do some of these colors justice. You know, sometimes I wonder if NYX is playing jokes on us, the customer, with these color names. For example, Deep Brown is in all actuality a deep purple, and with the lipglosses, Beige, in fact is a pink color, crazy right?! lol Anywho, I swatched these to the best of my ability to show you at least a little bit of an idea as to the colors of these shadows. Some of them look completely different before using them. Odyssey looks black here, but is a dark glittery blue, this reminds me of MAC's contrast a little. Rust, reminds me of MAC's Cranberry as well and Iced Mocha of Satin Taupe,  just in case you were interested in possible dupes for those.


Both pics are of the same 7 swatches, just in a different order. I will name the colors from the pic on the bottom in order from left to right. French Fries, Rocky Green Mountain, Milk, Purple Velvet, Pure Gold, Pots & Pans, Cottage Cheese.
These Jumbo Eyeshadow Pencils are great as eyeshadow bases. You do, however, have to prime your lids especially well before applying these because they will crease without a doubt if you don't. I like that they are easy to use because of the fact that they are packaged like a drawing utensil lol and I love the color shade variety that they offer. These are just a few and they were, as well as all of the other swatches in this post, swatched without a primer underneath. They really make your eyeshadow more vibrant when used as a base!


Nutmeg, Fuchsia, Deep Red, Hot Red, Coral
I have always been a big fan of NYX lip liners.  I love that they come in so many shades and work very well in accompaniment with a lot of their own lipsticks and glosses. These lip liners are perfect to make a lip look very long lasting. I am especially sure to make sure I line my lips before wearing dark lipsticks. When wearing bright pink or red lips, its all about wearing the right lip liner base to make that color stay looking like you it did when you first applied it. I would definitely recommend these!

Well guys, that's it! I think I am done purchasing NYX products for a while, I'm set! haha I hope you all found these swatches helpful, although I am not the best at situating the correct lighting etc.

Aside from the actual NYX website, here are some websites that often hold sales for your NYX addiction!

Happy Shopping! xox

Friday, May 13, 2011

Top 5 Go -To Blushes

Blush can completely change the way a face looks. Sometimes I will just add some mascara to my curled lashes and throw on some blush and chap stick and leave my house. Having that natural looking flush to your cheeks not only gives the look of healthiness, but also completes whatever look you're going for all together :) That being said, although I have way too many blushes to list here, I am going to share with you guys the ones that I find I am always reaching for. Regardless of season, these 5 blushes are all powder blushes, and cover all spectrum's of color from peach, natural, pink and fruit punch color! Lets get started (in no particular order, and allow me to apologize in advanced for the poor lighting. I am only able to take photos of swatches etc when I get home from work which is when the sun is already almost in hiding, I do my best though!) : 

From top to bottom:

1.  MAC Melba Blush

Melba is a Matte Peach colored Blush. I love that it is Matte because its hard to find a good blush that isn't overly shimmery. This blush goes on very pigmented and I use a light hand with it. 

2. NARS Orgasm

Who doesn't already know about NARS Orgasm right? lol This universally flattering pink/peach color is amazing. Its very build-able in my opinion, and although can be a bit sheer at first (swatch), It has just the right amount of shimmer in it to give you that perfect glow :) Definitely a must have in your makeup bag! A great dupe, which I own as well as a backup, is NYX powder blush in Pinched. This dupe is also VERY affordable, so its worth it to try the color out!

3. Lancome Blush Subtil in Rouge Glow

Right after I took these swatches, I realized that this color is no longer offered :( It is a mauvey/taupe color. VERY natural as you can tell from the swatch) I will however recommend any of the Lancome Blush Subtil colors. I have tried quite a few others and LOVE the formula of this product. My second favorite color aside from this would have to be Aplum or Rose Fresque :) Check them out: 

Aplum- deep rose color--Matte :)

Rose Fresque- a pinky peach color--Matte :)

4. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Flushed

*This is not my photo* I decided against using the photo that I took because in all honesty, it just didn't show the true color of this blush, and being that it such an amazing color, I didn't want to cheapen it :) The color that you see in the pan is exactly what you get on your cheeks. A BEAUTIFUL fruit punchy color, this blush is very potent and long lasting for sure, which I love. I have used it several times and have seen no fading out of the engraved print on the top of the blush which makes me think this is going to last me a long time!
5. NYX Powder Blush in Pinky

I love this blush as an alternative to MAC's Dollymix. Dollymix is another wonderful color, however at less than half the price, I feel, you can't really go wrong with this one. This blush can be a little chalky but it doesn't have to look chalky on your face, its all about how you apply! I use a light hand with this one as well because it is very pigmented, that perfect bubble gum pink :)
 Well, there you have it guys, my Top 5 Go-To blushes. As you can see some of them are pretty similar, but what can I say, when I like a color, I really like it! haha Although some may seem almost identical, these blushes all apply differently on my skin, and that's how they made it to this list, their beauty. NYX and Milani are my favorite Drugstore blushes and for almost any blush that you find high end, there is a close dupe within these brands, so fear not if your budget doesn't include a $25 blush, those are "treats" for me as well :) Hope you enjoyed! xo

Friday, May 6, 2011

My Citrus Obsession Took Over My Face Routine :)

Those of you that may know me know that I am absolutely obsessed with any and everything citrus, mainly oranges lol I don't know when this started, but recently I have been on the search for anything citrus scented etc. When I came across this in my local beauty store, it was only the label that I saw, it was all sold out :( I took it upon myself to order it online and actually got two of these jars, needless to say I'm already due for another order!

This is what the packaging looks like, they are small jars, you read correctly, only 2 oz., but totally worth it, and I will explain why later.

The product comes in a glass jar with a metal screw on top. I like this because I keep it in my shower and its guaranteed sealed every time I shut it so the consistency doesn't get all yukky from the water.

When I initially opened the jar, I was taken aback. I couldn't believe what was before my eyes because it looked like mud! haha After trying it, it definitely feels like mud too, but I don't mind this at all. It smells super natural of course and actually feels GREAT on my face. I use this every day in the shower and one jar lasts me about two months! You only need a little to get that gentle scrub going and it leaves your skin feeling so soft. You want to mix it with a tiny bit of water just to get it into a paste form and that's it!

This product is 99.94% natural according to the website and here are the ingredients:

glycerin, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) seed meal, avena sativa (oat) kernel flour, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel powder, rosa damascena (rose) flower oil, carya illinoensis (pecan) shell powder, citrus grandis (grapefruit) seed extract, myristica fragrans (nutmeg) fruit powder, eugenia caryophyllus (clove) flower powder, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil, tocopherol, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) extract, fragrance.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for a natural safe way to cleanse your face with a little more "umph". It is gentle on the skin regardless of the fact that it is a coarse scrub. The sweet almond oil is I believe what makes your skin feel so smooth when you finish using this and this definitely wasn't drying as some of  my other face cleansers were. I am glad that my citrus addiction brought me to this product haha Although it doesn't smell heavily of oranges, it definitely smells natural and that's always a good thing :)

Pick this up if you get a chance and let me know if you like it! This product retails for about $8.00


A Healthy Alternative!

I am going to try and do this once in a while for those of you who sometimes just don't see how you can substitute delicious foods for healthier ones without really sacrificing flavor. I know I am definitely one of these people, but slowly I am coming around to the realization that you don't have to sacrifice 100% of the great taste of the foods you love, just because you are making them healthier.

Today's Meal will be an alternative of your typical spaghetti with tomato sauce. The tomato sauce in itself doesn't have to be incredibly bad for you. Take for example a simple sauce that consists of tomato sauce, garlic, olive oil and onions. Tomatoes contain an antioxidant called lycopene, it is also found in ketchup. Antioxidants are great for our body, the problem I find with very tomato-y sauces is that they taste too acidic, to solve this I often take a PINCH of a sweetener, its not killing you, but it does usually handle the acidity problem. All in all you can truly add some other spices as well such as basil, parsley etc, these are great for you too!

Now when it comes to the actual pasta, this is the part where it can get carb filled. Sure you can opt for the whole wheat pasta, but in all actuality, this isn't a whole lot better than the regular pasta! I would like to introduce to you, or remind you if you already know of this, to spaghetti squash. This vegetable is an awesome alternative to regular spaghetti and is pretty delicious too might I add :) Here are a few simple steps to make this dish happen for you!

1. When you purchase a spaghetti squash (yes its called that), be sure that it looks good all the way around, no bruising etc. It should also be a nice yellow color. Like bananas, if it is green, it is probably not quite done yet :)

2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

3. Wash the squash as you would any other vegetable and dry it completely.

4. Slice the squash in half long ways and scoop out any of the pulp that is inside the little pocket, this can be done with a spoon easily :) This always reminds me of taking the seeds and pulp out of a pumpkin before you carve it haha What an imagination I have!

5. Once you have completely removed all the stuff inside and it looks clean and ready to go, drizzle a little olive oil over the cut side of the squash and sprinkle some salt and pepper as well to your liking.

6. Place the squash cut side down onto an oven safe dish and let that baby cook! This can take anywhere between 35-40 mins give or take a few minutes depending on how big of a squash you are dealing with.

7. When the squash is tender enough where you can stick a fork into it easily, then it is done. Now you want to flip the squash back over so you are seeing where you originally "gutted" it and with a fork, scrape out the inside of the squash. This is the actual squash that you are going to eat! It should look rather stringy just like spaghetti :)

8. Serve this with your favorite sauce of some salt and pepper and Parmesan cheese, whatever you like!

There you have it, a healthier alternative to your everyday spaghetti dish, without sacrificing the flavor.


National Women's Health Week

Sunday, May 8th, starts the beginning of Women's Health Week. Being a woman myself, I take a strong interest in participating in this special week of  tasks.  The Office of Women's Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services started the Woman Challenge in 2001 as a part of National Women's Health Week to encourage women across the country to get active. I'm sure we all know that eating right and getting the right amount of exercise can lead to a longer healthy life where we feel so much better about ourselves. The problem us women have is finding the time to make this all happen. Planning out healthy meals for ourselves is hard enough (I often find that in order to really stick to eating healthy, planning ahead is a must), let alone when we have a family to care for as well. On top of that add a full day of work, school for those like myself who don't have children to care for yet, and then you're telling me I need to find time to exercise a certain amount too?! Sounds like mission impossible right? WRONG!

Eating healthy foods takes time to get used to. Instead of that bag of chips, you may opt to snack on celery or fruit. Instead of greasy bacon and eggs for breakfast, you may opt for oatmeal with cinnamon. These are things that take getting used to, but can certainly be done. Don't beat yourself up for not being able to do it cold turkey, IT'S OK to take your time with this, I for one definitely do. Another great tip would be to make sure that when skimming the grocery circular, skip the snack section completely. The minute you lay your eyes on those chips and cookies, you will see how fast they make their way to your shopping list. Remember, you can only eat what you buy, so purchase with the health of your body in mind and you will find yourself on the road to a healthier you who feels so much better about yourself :)

High blood pressure is also known as the silent killer. There may be no signs at all of having high blood pressure and this can be extremely dangerous. Your blood pressure indicates the pressure of blood against the wall of your arteries.  High blood pressure, untreated, can lead to severe damage to the heart, brain, kidneys and even your eyes! As a women, be sure to request a blood pressure reading during your routine check ups, it can save your life!

To maintain a healthy heart and ultimately a healthy you, proper exercise is a must. You can have the highest cholesterol in the world and be a size 0.  The US Department of Health and Women's Services states that women should get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, 1 hour and 15 mins of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of both, each week. Do you think your daily exercise adds up? I find that as a girl, could just be me, but I find that I get so much more dedicated when I have a walking partner (Yes walking counts too! haha). I often ask my boyfriend to come with me, and when he is unable to, I will grab my dog. When I do my jogs around the park, I find that I do many more laps with a companion at my side haha So there is no excuse ladies, the weather is just about warming up here in the US and that means spending more time outdoors (or indoors if you have the equipment) should become more of a priority.  Grab the stroller (if you have a child), a friend, or a pet and get to it!

Women's Health should indeed exist everyday, but this coming week in May is just a designated week where the government attempts to raise awareness about maintaining a healthy lifestyle as a woman, I feel super special that they care about us this much haha During this week, there are events in your area that allow you to check your blood pressure for free, meet other women who are trying to get on the path to a healthier life just like you, and there are different activities to promote staying healthy. Hey, who knows maybe you will meet your running/walking partner at one of these events! :)

It is a privilege to be a woman in my eyes, yes child birth hurts, we have those few days a month where we are "out of commission", we have the hardest job in the world, raising our children, but being a woman is the most rewarding thing ever. Women are overcoming new obstacles every day making us that much stronger,  and I'm proud to be one!

For more incredible information on Women's Health Week Check out the links below! :

Events in your area: click here
The Women's Challenge 2011: click here
National Women's Health Website: click here

Happy & Healthy Women are the most beautiful ones :) <3 xox

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

5 Favorite Lipsticks for the Spring!

Spring is a time to showcase those beautiful vibrant colors that were hidden beneath the cold days of winter. When I think of spring makeup, nothing strikes me more than a nice bright lip color! You can do a whole face of neutral tones and throw on a bright shade of lipstick and your look is complete. I myself have a medium skin tone, so the swatches below reflect what the colors would look like on that skin tone, and they may just appear differently on you, but no doubt about it I'm sure they will look fabulous either way.

Starting from top to bottom, these are my top 5 favorite lipsticks for the Spring (and even maybe the summer too!) :

 1. Neutrogena's Moistureshine SPF 20 Lipstick in Poppy Red. This is a gorgeous true red color, the swatch makes it look a little more sheer than it actually is, on the lips its very red, which I love. I also love that it has an SPF in it, something I think is another plus as well as the fact that it is a Moistureshine, which means that without a doubt when wearing this you won't be suffering from dry cracked lips :)

2. MAC's Blankety, which is an amplified lipstick. It is the perfect nude shade I think, as it doesn't wash you completely out. As you can tell from the swatch, it almost has a slight undertone of flesh toned pink, which I think is the key in what makes this a more wearable nude for those of my skin tone. For fairer skin tones, Myth would probably be a better option.

3. MAC's So Chaud, which is a matte burnt orange/coral color. I went searching high and low for the perfect orange lipstick that wouldn't scare people away from me, but would still be very orange and not shy away from the fact that I was wearing an orange lipstick lol I finally found "So Chaud" at my local MAC counter and I was pleasantly surprised with how it swatched. I love that its matte, I feel like something as vibrant and bright as orange, may look a bit overdone if it was too shiny or glossy so I feel like matte was totally the way to go with this one. I also love that its so pigmented, this is definitely a lipstick that will make people say "wow", and that's what I was going for so I'm happy I found it :) MAC Morange is also another great vibrant orange for those of you looking.

4. Victoria's Secret Lipstick in Heated is a beautiful plumy magenta color. I love that reminds me of the color of a flower (don't ask haha), and therefore reminds me of Spring so much. A lot of fashions that include a floral print have this color in it, which may be why it reminds me of flowers, but nonetheless, it is a gorgeous deep plum pink color. It is build-able, and on the swatch above I just went back and forth twice without a heavy hand.

5. Last but not least is my ultimate favorite lipstick for this Spring, which I have mentioned in a previous blog, Rimmel's Latino. I mentioned before that the only reason I purchased this was because I, being a Latina myself, was drawn to the name, little did I know I was going to fall in love with it! This is the perfect mix of peachy pink with a slight golden shimmer undertone. I love the way Rimmel lipsticks smell too, odd I know lol I often throw on this lipstick when I'm in a hurry because it truly goes with almost anything! Definitely check it out :)

Well there you have it, I have so many lipsticks that I would have loved to have included in this post, but to make it easier on you guys, I only included 5. These are the 5 lipsticks that I have found myself using a ton of during this Spring season, and I have a feeling they are going to lead me into Summer as well because they are just such great colors!


Monday, May 2, 2011

May is Melanoma Awareness Month!

May is Melanoma awareness month, and what perfect timing since the sun is starting to shine just a little brighter these days in my part of the world. I can't stress enough how important is is to protect your skin as it is even more vulnerable than you may think. I am taking this opportunity now to give you some tips to keep your skin in tip top condition so that you avoid being overly susceptible to something deadly like Melanoma. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and it begins with skin cells called Melanocytes, which are responsible for producing Melanin (which is what makes our skin darker).  When we are exposed to UV rays via the sun or a tanning booth etc, the Melanocytes begin to increase the rate at which they are producing Melanin. Being exposed to an unhealthy amount of sun (especially unprotected!) can cause these cells to begin to grow abnormally and can ultimately lead to them becoming cancerous.

This may seem like a lot of information to take in, but I tried my best to break it down in laymen terms so that you feel well educated and not "talked at". I spend my summers at the pool almost everyday, and as a young teen, I never bothered myself with being aware of protecting myself beyond an SPF 8, this is something I regret. It is understandable to want that golden glow during the summer warm months, and this can indeed me accomplished, just at a slower pace and with much more protection for your darling skin. I did another blog post on harmful sunscreens vs. safe ones, so if you are interested in reading that, I will link to the blog post below.

There are a few ways to detect if you are already showing signs of Melanoma, and if you fit any of these I would definitely make an appointment to get a check up at your doctor soon. You are also at a higher risk if you have a family member who has had skin cancer before.  Better to be safe than sorry!  In women, melanoma often develops on the lower legs as well as between the shoulders and hips. Whereas in men, melanomas are often found between the shoulders and hips, or the head and neck area.  Don't let this fool you though, rest assured, Melanoma can start ANYWHERE on the body, these are just key areas I would check daily after exposure to UV rays. suggests also visiting a doctor is any of the following are noticeable on your skin:

  • If you notice any of the following on your skin, see your doctor as soon as possible:
  • A growth that increases in size and looks pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, red, pink, or multicolored
  • A mole that changes in color or in texture, takes on an uneven shape, gets larger, or is bigger than a pencil eraser
  • A spot or growth that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, fade, or bleed
  • An open sore that lasts for more than 4 weeks, or heals and then reopens
  • A scaly or crusty bump that is dry, rough, and pointed (sticks out like a horn) and may sometimes cause a pricking or tender feeling in the skin

Now how to protect yourself:

Avoid, if possible, direct exposure to sunlight during the hours of 11 am and 3 pm, as these are the times when the suns harmful rays are most hitting the Earth's surface. Wear a hat to protect your face and wear other forms of clothing protection where possible, I know it's normally super hot with the sun, but find ways to compromise, after all it is for your skin. ALWAYS protect yourself with sunscreen, even on cloudy overcast days, there is still a high risk believe it or not. Make sure your sunscreen provides a broad spectrum of protection and includes protection against UVA and UVB rays. Remember that water reflects off of water, snow etc, so if you are playing in a pool, your risk still exists. Another thing to remember for small children is that they are at the highest risk of all, be sure to have them wear a "sun shirt" while in the pool, and lather them up with sunscreen. Also remember that sunscreen, after exposed to water (ocean, pool etc) needs to be reapplied every few hours, regardless if it says waterproof, do it anyway!

The best way to be proactive in maintaining healthy, cancer-free skin is to get educated, knowledge is power, and I hope I have done this for you all today.


Previous Sunscreen Blog
Melanoma Self Examination
Melanoma Website

Sending HEALTHY sun your way,