Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

Queen Helene Mint Julep MasqueOver the years I’ve been able to keep my acne at bay with the help of a great dermatologist and the magical ingredient Benzoyl Peroxide. I’m very meticulous about my beauty regimen and have stuck to the same products for the most part, with the occasional addition of new favorites.

Lately my biggest issue has been with blackheads, and not just on my nose but on my entire t-zone, leading to more breakouts as well. I bought the Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque to help with my KP and decided to try it for my face. It cleared up 90% of my blackheads and gave me a smooth finish with a soft glow. I don’t recommend it on inflamed breakouts because the mint is strong and could irritate the acne. For under $10, this gem is a must in your beauty cabinet. if you do try it, let me know what you think! Xo

Pillow Talk

Mug, Throw, LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl's, Blush Boutique, Savvy Sleepers

I genuinely love my sleep time and anything less than 8 hours makes me pretty cranky. Unfortunately, I have a lot of troubling falling asleep and I usually wake up numerous times during the night. Getting a good night’s rest is so important for our health, energy levels and general productivity so I’ve been making an active effort to tackle this problem.

  1. The right pillow: We each sleep in different positions and have our own comfort levels so make sure you invest in a pillow that works for you. I like them fluffy but not too soft and I usually change mine once a year because they get flat with use and washing.
  2. Temperature: My husband is like a hot furnace and likes the AC on maximum, while I shiver in temperatures below 20 degrees Celsius. A warm blanket and cozy pajamas are a constant for me all year round and really make a difference in my sleep comfort. So make sure you’re not too cold or too hot during the night because it can disrupt your rest.
  3. Switch off: I’m no doctor or scientist but I don’t need to be to tell you that loud noise and bright lights, especially from your phone/laptop/TV are over stimulating and keep you from falling asleep right away. Give yourself a good 20 minutes to unwind in bed with no tech interruption.
  4. Diet: I always avoid caffeine in the evening but I’ve noticed that even eating sugary foods can give me more energy than I need before bed. Don’t go to bed hungry nor with a full stomach. Finally, if you don’t want to wake up every 2 hours to hit the bathroom then don’t drink too much water before you sleep.
  5. Indulgence: I was recently sent a complimentary 100% pure satin pillow case from Savvy Sleepers and it’s ultra-smooth and relaxing. It’s supposed to prevent wrinkles which I can’t attest to yet, but it does help you avoid the bedhead look you get throughout the night and keeps your blowout in check. The upside to a satin case over silk is that it is machine washable and extremely durable. I seriously recommend spoiling yourself with one! Use code Blush15 to get 15% off your purchase.

Pillow Talk

Throw: LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s | Pillow Case: c/o Savvy Sleepers | Weekends Mug: The Blush Boutique

I hope these tips help you out dolls! Xo

Makeup Routine

Sweethearts, Too Faced, Blush, Bobbi Brown, Stila, MAC

I’m no pro at applying makeup by any means, but if you’re obsessed with beauty blogs like I am then you know that practice makes you learn what products and techniques are best for your features.  I like a subtle and natural makeup look with a beautiful touch of blush and a fierce cat eye. On a typical day I like to just apply concealer where it’s needed, some mascara and fill in my eyebrows. Here are some of my favorite products for when I want to get glammed up while keeping it simple.

1. Eyebrows: I used to say I’d never leave the house without concealer, but the truth is doing my eyebrows has become just as important. I’ve tried numerous creams, shadows and pencils, but the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil is the best thing since sliced bread. It’s easy to apply, comes in various beautiful colors and gives an extremely natural finish.

2. Base: I’m still in search for the best foundation for my skin but I’ve been using Maybelline’s Dream Pure BB Cream for the past 6 months and I love it. The color options are perfect for my skin tone, it lasts all day without giving me oily patches and it looks like skin especially when applied with a Beauty Blender.

3. Concealer: I recently started using Maybelline’s Age Rewind Concealer (in light) and it has the most beautiful texture. I apply it to my face, blend it in with a Micro Beauty Blender and set it with Rimmel’s Stay Matte Pressed Powder. The yellow undertones of both products really brightens up my under eye area and doesn’t crease one bit!

4. Liquid Liner: My best friend introduced me to Stila’s Waterproof Liquid Liner and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to find it. The felt tip makes it so easy to apply, and although it’s waterproof and lasts all day long, it’s also very easy to wash off. Run don’t walk and go get yourself one.

5. Bronzer: MAC Mineralize powder in Dark has been my go to bronzer for years now. It’s a beautiful golden brown and is also amazing for contouring.

6. Blush/Illuminator: Bobbi Brown’s Blush in Peony is my all-time favorite pink blusher. When I want a more peachy tone with a built-in illuminator I use the Too Faced Sweetheart Perfect Flush Blush.

Le Blush Crème de Chanel

Chanel Creme Blush

 

I had purchased this blush a while back because I’ve been anxious to try cream blush and the colors options from Chanel were stunning. I chose Presage which is a highly pigmented true peach shade. These blushes have a cream to powder finish and blend beautifully on the skin. A little bit goes a long way so you only have to apply a little bit and it’ll give a sweet flushed look that’ll last you all day. I used my fingers which is a bit risky because you can end up using too much product that way, but I was very gentle and it was easy to blend in. A stippling brush is probably the best way to apply it, and Sephora has a great one here. Have you tried this blush before and if so, what did you think of it?

Le Blush Crème de Chanel($38, prices may vary): Available at Sephora

Chanel Creme Blush Swatch
IMG_4290

Brazilian Blowout: Say bye-bye to Frizzy Hair

Frizz-free

I may or may not have complained numerously about struggling with frizzy hair in an extremely humid climate. In a previous post I talked about my best tips for healthy hair and although those methods really kept it soft, the water in Dubai is very damaging and no matter what I did my hair stayed unmanageable. I even started rinsing it out with drinking water after each shower (I know, what a princess right?) and that really made a difference for me, but still not good enough.

When I was in Michigan for Christmas break my hair was healthier than ever and I was able to do a blowout and curl it in 30-45 mins, which is amazing for its length. As soon as I got back home, I realized it was taking me twice as long to do and I still had to go over it a couple of times later on. The demands of my job require that my tresses be styled most of the time, and although my natural curls are cute they are not suitable for outfit posts. I started feeling guilty about all the heat I’m applying to my hair and worried that it would destroy all my efforts at keeping it healthy.

The Blow Dry Bar at Marquee has an offer for the month of February where you can get a  Brazilian Blowout at AED 1,000 regardless of the length of your hair. The blowout is supposed to last 3-4 months as long as you use Sulfate-free shampoo. The purpose is to eliminate frizz completely and while it does diminish 70% of your curls, it’s not supposed to make your hair pin straight. I just got it done this past weekend and I’m amazed at my hair. It’s exceptionally soft and shiny, I don’t have to blow dry it anymore because it’s barely curly and I just went over it with my curling iron and the whole thing took about 15 minutes. I was afraid I would lose volume but it’s barely a difference.

I didn’t buy the Sulfate-free shampoo from the salon (AED 180) and instead I’m using one by Vichy which I got at the pharmacy for AED 75. I will update you on the progress of the blowout, but if you’ve been thinking about getting it done this is such a great deal. Xo

Update: I’ve done a lot research on Brazilian Blowout and other similar treatments and found that there are harsh chemicals in these products. Please do your research before undergoing such treatments on your hair. 

Guest Spot: Gabrielle Vossler

doing makeup 2

I’ve recently been doing my own blow dry and curling which I haven’t done since high school, and I’ve found it to be cost-effective and less of a hassle then visiting the salon once or twice a week. Practice makes perfect and it doesn’t hurt to learn some killer tips from an expert, so here is a step-by-step tutorial from Gabie Vossler.

As a hairstylist, I have to say the number one thing my clients in the salon want to learn is how to do a good blowout at home on their own hair. A good blow out can last anywhere from 2-4 days depending on the person’s hair and technique. Here are a few tips on getting that perfect, smooth, and least damaging blowout!

  1. In order to prolong your hair tools (round brush, paddle brush, etc.) Do not touch the nozzle of the hair drier to the bristles of the brush. Not only does this damage the brush bristles, but it can also singe the hair. Keep the nozzle just above the hair and brush when smoothing and drying.
  2. Although it does speed the drying time to flip your hair over and wave the hair drier back and forth over the hair, it is not doing your style any justice. To get a smooth blow out like you receive in the salon, always point the nozzle on the dryer downwards when going over the hair shaft. This smooths the cuticles of the hair down and will reduce the amount of frizz.
  3. Use a concentrator on the nozzle of the dryer to focus the airflow where you want it. The grill of the hairdryer is extremely hot and will damage the hair if it is being pressed against it. Also, a concentrator helps make it easier to smooth hair down and eliminate frizz.
  4. It is important to keep the hair drier moving to prevent heat damage. If you choose to use a round brush, keep twirling the brush slowly as you move down the hair strands. Slow movement is easier on the arms rather than pulling the brush through the hair quickly over and over.
  5. Sectioning your hair will make a blow out so much easier. If you have thick hair, section the hair into four sections. For fine hair, typically one section will work. Take one inch sections and lift the hair up with the brush for more volume, and down for less (still point the nozzle downwards.)
  6. After you have mastered smoothing the hair, when it is about 80% dry, you can twist the round brush around 2-3 times to create a loose curl or wave. Product (mouse, hairspray, volumizing spray) can help hold the style if you have straight hair naturally (zero texture). The top two pictures to the right have been styled using the twisting technique.

Be patient of the blow out does not come out perfectly the first time. Blowing out hair takes patience and practice, but the outcome is worth it! I recommend Olivia Garden round brushes as they evenly distribute heat through the hair, move smoothly, and do not rip out strands. Good luck!

Check out this video for a visual demonstration: http://youtu.be/BxlwOojH7oc

Gabrielle Vossler is a stylist at the Glass Door Salon & Spa and has over 6 years of experience in the industry. You can view some beautiful photos of Gabie’s work on her website: www.gabriellevossler.com

 

Winter Favorites

Winter faves

The cold and dry weather can be really harsh on our skin and if you don’t keep maintaining it you can lose that luminosity. There’s a few things that have really kept that glow in my skin the past few months and I just had to share them with you all!

Rub Rub Rub

  1. The Rub Rub Rub shower scrub has sea salt and lemon extract so it exfoliates and moisturizes simultaneously without irritating the skin.
  2. I’ve tried every single lip balm there is out there and although most smell amazing and some look good on the lips, the vaseline lip therapy the only thing that replenishes, hydrates and smooths my lips in just a few hours. It’s also now available in rose which I linked for you below.
  3. Illuminators have never been my thing because I usually like my makeup to be pretty minimal and natural looking, well as of now I am officially obsessed! They give you a nice glow and sparkle on your skin, and you can choose how heavy or natural you want it to be. My 2 favorites are the NYX powder illuminator which is very build-able, and the Watt’s up by Benefit Cosmetics which is a creamy stick that is so easy to apply.
  4. My favorite home-made mask is the dewy skin mask I’ve shared with you before. I get lazy sometimes or forget about it and the minute I go back to it I realize how amazing it really is. It evens the skin, treats acne, heals scars and smooths the overall complexion of my face. If you’ve never tried it, I suggest you do that right away because you won’t regret it.
  5. The most obvious thing I can advise you to do is drink lots of water. I can see a difference in my skin from head-to-toe when I drink more water and I even see improvements in energy and digestion.

I hope these tips help you out, let me know you best kept secrets to combat the winter blues! Xo

Mac Snob Dupe

Photo Jan 21, 3 12 51 PM

Have you ever chosen a beautiful shade of lipstick and gone home so excited to wear it non-stop for the next few days, only to find out you have about 10 of the same ones already? Well that’s what just happened to me – ok, maybe not 10 other lipsticks but 1 that is pretty identical. While I was at the airport heading back from Michigan and drying my tears, I thought I’d cheer myself up with a MAC lipstick. I chose Snob and was so in love with it I kept applying it during my trip. When I got home I realized that Revlon’s Pink Pout is almost exactly the same. Snob has more bluish undertones and is better lasting, but Pink Pout is a little bit more creamy and applies really nicely. Next time you want to pick up Snob from the MAC counter I suggest trying Pink Pout first and seeing if it’s a suitable alternative for you! Xo

Photo Jan 21, 3 14 50 PMTop: MAC Snob | Bottom: Revlon Pink Pout

12 Days of Christmas with Lush

12daysofchristmas

There’s nothing like preparing for the holidays, and with Thanksgiving just around the corner I may get a little carried away with jumpstarting the Christmas theme everywhere. As per usual, Lush has created the cutest and most festive gift sets this year. Instead of just describing my favorites, I wanted to show you a few bubbles and bombs in motion. So, If you love listening to Christmas music and want to see some fun and glittery Lush products in action, sit back and enjoy the show! Xo

  1. Sparkly Pumpkin (Halloween Collection):  Glitter-coated mini pumpkin with grapefruit, juniper berry and lime undertones which result in a fresh and sparkly mountain of bubbles.
  2. Holly Go Lightly (12 Days of Christmas): The epitome of the Christmas spirit, this spicy cinnamon silver ball explodes into a shimmery green bath.
  3. Lord of Misrule (12 Days of Christmas): This one really surprised me, and you should watch my video to see what it does. The delicious herbal blend of scents it releases is really invigorating.