No more pores!

I have been searching for the perfect products for my face forever. I have experienced many hits and misses, more so misses with a majority of everything I have tried.  I have normal/oily combination skin and have been lucky enough to be blessed with large pores around my nose. However, I think I have found a winner to fix this problem!

“DDF Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer” is my new weapon of choice. I noticed an overnight difference when I used this lightweight serum underneath my make-up and also just as every day wear without applying any make-up.

 

Courtesy ddfskincare.com

Not only does this help my skin look amazing, it feels fantastic to apply AND it’s also an anti-aging product. I have heard that it’s never too early to start  using anti-aging products due to the fact that our skin is exposed to so many things our entire life. Skin starts losing it’s elasticity around age 23-24.

The serum is not heavy whatsoever and it leaves your skin feeling refreshed. I have had serums and moisturizers leave my skin feeling weighed down and applying make-up over top of that is just a recipe for disaster.

This product retails at about $85.00 for a 1.7oz bottle (pictured above). Which I know seems steep, but it literally takes me half of a pump of the stuff for my face. I can see this lasting a long time. However, I was also able to find the product on Amazon ranging from $35.00-$85.00.  I’ll post some pictures later to show you the proof of this amazing product!

May Birchbox Review

Broke girl Sandra Leah and I have recently hopped onto the Birchbox train, and needless to say, we are hooked!  According to their website:

Birchbox delivers the best products and the best insider secrets, without any fuss. Every month Birchbox members will receive a curated box of luxe beauty samples. Each box will span beauty categories and deliver exciting products that fit into both your day-to-day routine, and into those days when you want to turn up the drama a notch.

Being the beauty-fanatics that we are, and with a price tag of only $10/month, we signed up for one initial month.  Our first Birchbox (for the month of May) was delivered a few weeks after our sign up.  It was packaged beautifully in it’s “Gossip Girl” theme and featured impressive beauty product samples.

May Birchbox1. Color Club Nail Polish in Clambake Coral
2. Kérastase Cristalliste Brain Cristal (shampoo) and Kérastase Cristalliste Lait Cristal (conditioner)
3. Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer
4. Miracle Skin Transformer – Body SPF 20 in Glow
5. Kérastase Cristalliste Lumiere Luquide (hair shining serum)

My personal favorite in May’s box has been the nail polish (I’ve been wearing it for two weeks straight) – it’s fun, bright coral color that’s perfect for summer!

Can’t wait to see what this month’s box brings.

DIY Ombre Hair

I am a little behind the times with the Ombre Hair Sensation (I just coined that) which has taken Hollywood by storm.  Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel, and Gisele Bundchen are just a few of the ladies of Tinseltown that have made this look famous.  I have been wanting to give this a try because obviously, I will look exactly like them in every way if I copy their hair.

I scoured the internet for DIY videos for a whole 45 minutes and decided that I was ready to give it a try.  I have been coloring my hair at home for about 13 years now so I wasn’t terribly hesitant;  not that experience even matters for this look.  I think my 7 year old brother could have done this for me with his eyes closed.  Also, who wants to spend the “$350.00 Because I live in LA” price at a salon?  Not this girl.

The supplies you will likely need for this DIY project are:

  • A bleaching kit
  • A good conditioner
  • Some toner/toning shampoo (go to Sally’s and ask for purple shampoo)
  • A hair brush
  • Clothes that you would really love to ruin
  • Foil
  • A serious ventilation system for your bathroom (shit gets serious when the fumes start to reach your brain)

People say to make sure your hair is at least one day dirty.  WELP, I had to work that day and I do take showers often.  So, I skipped this tip.  Seriously…it didn’t make a difference as I wasn’t coloring my scalp.

The bleaching kit that I bought came with an applicator bottle.  I assume this is fine to use but I decided to mix it in a bowl and apply with my gloved hands.

Also, before beginning, understand that this will be a 2-step coloring process.  As in, color once…rinse…color again.  Make sense?

Alright, let’s do this.

STEP ONE-

Comb your hair out and part it down the middle as shown below (FYI, I hate taking pictures of myself.  They are purposely blurry and obscure).

STEP TWO-

Decision making time.  How high from the tips of your hair do you want your ombre hair to be in effect?  I went just below my shoulders.

Using my hands, I saturated the hair that I wanted to be colored.

I let this sit for about 8 minutes and then rinsed my hair in the sink.  If you have hair as dark as mine, you will easily see the hair developing and lightening.  Don’t overdo this or you will be a sad, sad panda.  You can see here that it is obviously changing and it has been less than 10 minutes:

Seriously, watch the clock.  Don’t let this get away from you.

STEP THREE-

Completely blow dry your hair.  Apply the bleach to half of what you colored in the first development.  This is important because it will help with the ombre/gradient effect: darkest on the top, fading to a lighter brown, then blondest on the tips.  Hopefully that makes decent sense.  At this point, you can put some foil on the ends to keep the color on the ends from drying out in the air.  See my incredibly chic photo below:

I left this last bit of color on my tips for another 5 minutes.  Feel free to leave it on longer if you have lighter hair or want a more dramatic look.  I just didn’t want it to be so incredibly drastic (a-la Drew Barrymore…seriously… Google that shit) so I didn’t let this process for too long.

STEP FOUR-

Shower time!  I rinsed all of the bleach out of my hair.  Then, I used the toning shampoo to try to remove any brassiness that might be lingering.  Once this step was completed, I did a serious deep conditioning.  I really recommend this as bleach terrorizes relentlessly.

Blow dry and check it out!  If you don’t think it is drastic enough, you should have some bleach left over to go in for a third processing.  Good luck with that.  Your hair will murder you in your sleep.

I was satisfied with my end result and didn’t go back for more.  Yeah, this is an instagrammed photo and I don’t care who knows it.

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Rollerball

As displayed in my Philosophy Purity Made Simple – Travel Size post, I have an affinity towards small and travel size beauty products.  Not only do smaller, high end beauty products allow me to try/shop around to find what I like, but the items are almost always inexpensive.

My favorite perfume is Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb. The sensual, floral scent is unparalleled to any other perfume I’ve had before and honestly smells amazing. The downside? A Flowerbomb 3.4 oz Eau de Parfum Spray will run upwards of $150. You obviously get more bang for your buck the larger the size, but why not try out a smaller option before you make the big purchase? Flowerbomb’s rollerball is now available at Sephora for only $25!

Viktor Rolf Flowebomb RollerballPhoto courtesy of Sephora

I purchased the rollerball for budgetary reasons about six months ago and it’s still going strong.  I use it everyday by adding a few quick rolls to my wrists.

If you are interested in a specific perfume, I definitely recommend checking out to see if a rollerball option is available.  You’ll save money and smell like a million bucks!

Quick Way to Dry Nail Polish

In a hurry with wet nails? Here is a quick way to speed up the drying process. I actually first read about this tip in one of my teenybopper magazines years ago (perhaps Seventeen?) and I still use it today!

In a sink or large bowl, add ice and water.  Stick your fingernails in the ice water and wait 2-3 minutes – then continue on with your daily activities!

Quick Dry Nail PolishPhoto courtesy of Real Simple

Miracle DIY Mask!

It seems like stress and the holiday season go hand in hand, right?  Who’s skin really enjoys all of the stress and craziness? Not mine! I found an amazing and super easy face mask to help relax my skin and reduce any inflammation and brighten it all at once without any harmful chemicals! What makes this mask even better? It’s DIY and can be done for under $10.00!

  • 2 Tablespoons Honey ($5.00 from Vons)
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon  ($1.49 from Vons)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg       ($3.00 from Vons)
**Note** It’s always a good idea to do a small test of the mixture on a small patch of your skin to make sure you don’t have a reaction.

Mix all ingredients into a small bowl until they form a paste.

Apply to face in a circular motion until applied evenly on entire face. Let the mask sit for a half hour.

Wash the mask off with warm water in a circular motion for exfoliation

Voila! Your skin will feel refreshed, relaxed and bright!

Go for a Polish Change!

As in nails, not people from Poland!

Do you love having natural, manicured nails because for some reason, you can never paint them as well as a professional?  Unfortunately, even when painted by a pro, the polish just doesn’t stay on.  No matter what, your nails are chipped within days of having them done.  Does this tempt you to go in for a manicure as often as once a week?  The bummer is, even the “cheap” express manicures/pedicures can be $15.00-25.00.

Solution?  Go for a polish change!  They aren’t as intensive as the manicure (no cuticle trimming, detailed shaping, or massage) but they will beautifully paint your nails, gloss them up with a good layer of top coat, and some will give some slight nail shaping.  You walk out in less than half the time with what looks like a fresh manicure.  The golden ticket: most places charge around $5.00!

It is a great option for in-between mani’s or when you want to try out a new color on a whim!

Photo Courtesy of Beaut.Ie

Save that Gooey Nail Polish

We all have those bottles of nail polish that might be a little old and have gotten goopy, gooey, and gross.  Although they are impossible to use, you do not have to toss these out!  Most of the time, it is salvageable! Just add some nail polish remover to the bottle and shake it up.

Cutex Nail Polish remover, $2.69 at Walgreens

After your first try, check it out and see how smoothly it applies.  If it is still pretty thick, try again.  Do it a couple of times until you reach a good consistency that you can work with.

Another tip, don’t store your polishes where there is a lot of heat; this adds to the goop factor!

Pictured: Essie’s Casy Study.  $6.00-8.00

Make your hair feel like a million bucks, for less than $20!

I have been on the hunt for years to find the perfect shampoo and conditioner for my hair. Keeping your look up to date means changing your hair style or color. All of the chemicals, products and styling tools that we subject our beautiful tresses to can do some serious damage. How many of us knew that the shampoo and conditioner can do just as much damage as those chemicals do? The sulfates in most shampoos and conditioners are harsh detergents with small molecules that penetrate into the shaft of the hair and strip away color, moisture, dirt and weaken the hair. Uh, that doesn’t sound so hot.  So that fantastic color that you just splurged on for yourself? It’ll most likely be faded 75% within 3 weeks. Bummer.

After all of my product testing and navigation for a product that will rescue my hair from all of the damage, i finally found a winner! I never expected to find the winner without looking, but I did! And here it is!

Melaleuca

A company I was recently introduced to, Melaleuca, carries the products.  Sei Bella Luxary hair care line and Affinia hair care line.

I tried the Sei Bella moisture shampoo right after I got my hair colored. Normally, I would see my color washing out in front of my eyes. But with the Sei Bella, I hardly saw any color coming out.  The Affinia moisture conditioner started working right on contact with my hair.  I could feel a huge difference just in the product itself.  It wasn’t heavy or super creamy like most conditioners.

Melaleuca

These two products made my hair super easy to manage and comb through.  The real test is the blow drying and styling part. Again, these products nailed the taming of the frizz and knots right on the head (No pun intended.)  Score! Another great thing about both products (and all of Melaleuca’s products) is that they are a “going green” company and don’t use all of the harmful chemicals that other name brands do.

And did I mention the BEST part? The hair care product line is so incredibly affordable. I signed up with Melaleuca as a preferred customer (for $1.00, again , you can’t beat it) The Sei Bella is normally $22.50, but as a preferred customer you can snag it for $15.50.  The Affinia line is just as good and you can score these products for as low as $4.99. I have to tell you, these products work better than the normal brand name products that I have used that have cost me $24.95 and up! I recommend that you try these products out! Your hair will shine like the million bucks that you will be saving!