Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Birchbox is KILLING it!!...and other random thoughts #BeyondBlushing

You know, I just love trying new products. Stuff that I wouldn't necessarily try unless it just so happens to appear in a cute little box, in sample size, once a month. Which is why I love BIRCHBOX! **I get Ipsy too...but that's for another post on another day** I typically drool over skin care and fragrance products however the hair care products I have been receiving are AWESOME! 

In April I received Love Shampoo by Davines and Conditioner. This particular product is for wavy or curly hair--which I have bone straight hair but I still loved it!! My hair and scalp felt super clean and soft after using. This month, in my May Birchbox, I received two hair care products. At first I was like, "really?? I don't need two hair care products!!" But I take my thoughts back!! After using Beauty Protector: Protect&Detangle and Protect&Oil--I am SOLD. My hair feels salon soft and has a pretty shine!! And lets just talk about the scent of these products....OH. MY. GOSH! Heavenly. Sweet. Intoxicating.

In other exciting new (besides loving my soft, salon like locks) The past few weeks have been crazy busy and awesome for many different reasons. I've squeezed in visits with two of my favorite girl friends! Good medicine for the soul. One visit was action packed excitement and catching up at an Angels baseball game while the other was over a late night into the wee morning hours talking "girl talk" followed by a homemade breakfast and trip to Sephora for a total makeover and beauty haul! 

 Amongst all this goodness I've had the opportunity to watch my "babies" experience some life milestones. I watched as my son and his sweetheart got all dolled up for "Prom". They looked beautiful, sweet, and so grown up!! Warmed this Momma's heart!! My other "baby" has been working hard finishing up school at FIDM, interning for Peek Beauty, and working her booty off making connections and planning for her future. She has an exciting adventure waiting for her and I can't wait to share more on that later....! Now, time to plan for TWO graduations!! Fun, fun!! #ProudMom 

Alright, can we just talk about these manicures I've gotten over the last couple of months? (seen in product photos above) First I am a total copy-catter. I admit it. I see something cool on IG, FB or Pinterest and I copy it. LOL. The first manicure, with the gold foil strips...I saw a similar version on IG.The IG-er had vertical strips across her nails. Some nails had one strip while others had multiple. When I showed the lady that did my nails she asked if she could change it a little bit. I was like, "why not?!" I love her "spin" off the picture and the cool designs she created on my nails. Simple and cool. The second mani look was a copycat from IG too!! Okay, so i'm not super original when it comes to nails!! Awk!! This one was inspired off a picture posted on Peek Beauty's IG. I copied it's so simplistic and pretty and perfect for super duper short nails like my own!! And those cute little gold grommets!! Where do you get your nail inspiration?

Finally, just for a random close...I have to share my Trader Joe's find this week. Mint Watermelon Tea. I made a sun tea out of it and I was obsessed for three days straight!! Even after I realized it's a BLACK tea--which means it's caffeinated. I was wondering why I was still wide awake at 1am on a Monday night still sipping on my iced tea!! Yikes! That was not a fun Tuesday morning for me!! Still, the tea is perfectly flavored with hints of watermelon and mint. I don't sweeten my tea but even if I did, this tea does not need anything added to it. I'd pour myself another glass right now except that it's already after 8pm and I really shouldn't drink caffeinated beverages after 2ish--especially with my sleeping problems!! Ugh! But seriously, do yourself a favor and get the tea. You can thank me later :)  So from hair to besties to prom to manis to iced tea...this has got to be one of the most ADD posts I've written. Thanks for reading and hanging in there with me! 

#BIRCHBOX #BeyondBlushingBlog #StraightHair #Davines #HairCare #BeautyProtector #Sephora #Besties #AngelsBaseball #Prom2018 #ProudMom #Manicures #Inspiration #TraderJoes #IcedTea #Random #Thankful

Sunday, April 29, 2018


Hello beauties!! I love those casual conversations that strike up about beauty regiments and what products do you use for this or that! I can go on forever asking questions....answering questions, jotting down "must trys" in my Notes app, and going down the internet rabbit hole reading reviews! BUT honestly, I have a very basic, everyday "look" that I can nail in 15 minutes or less--that makes me feel put together and good! AND more importantly....lasts ALL DAY long!

Even though a product make be changed out due to my current skin care needs, weather, event, or time of day, this is my go to process:

1. First, I always start with a moisturizer. Sometimes I add a face primer too--but not typically. My moisturizer varies all the time. Sometimes daily; sometimes weekly; sometimes monthly--but I always incorporate a moisturizer. Lately, I've been cycling between Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell moisturizer, or MAC Cosmetics Strobe Creme (PinkLite--I love the subtle glow it leaves on the skin), or Murad Invisablur SPF 30, or--even though it's a night time moisturizer--I really like Origins Night-a-mins. I typically will brush my teeth and apply eye drops (for my very, very dry eyes) after I apply my moisturizer just to give some time for my moisturizer to seep in, leaving a smooth(er) canvas.

2. Next, I apply foundation. I typically apply my foundation (or tinted moisturizer if I am foregoing foundation) with a brush. I just like the smooth coverage you get when using a brush. Other times, when I prefer a more "dewy" or very, very lightweight sheer coverage I will apply with my fingers, really rubbing into my skin. My foundation choices vary just as often as my choice of moisturizer!! I guess I just like options and my skin tends to change resulting in different needs all the time! I honestly think that my water consumption, sleep patterns, and weather are constantly playing with the "consistency" and needs of my skincare!! So, if I am looking for more coverage I LOVE IT Cosmetics--Your Skin But Better CC Cream with 50 SPF! I wear "Light." It's the second color in their spectrum of seven colors. I've also have been a long time fan of MAC Cosmetics Face and Body Foundation. I like to Mix C2 and N2--since my skin does not know if it wants to be "cool" or "warm"! Doh! What's awesome about Face and Body is it's SHEER coverage. It's water-based and build for extra coverage, if needed, in the most beautiful natural finish. I USED TO love Spin the Bottle PlayStick Foundation and You Rebel Tinted Moisturizer from Benefit Cosmetics but they have discontinued both!! ( #BenefitCosmetics Please bring back #YouRebel and #PlaySticks ). I haven't found a better stick foundation that I like more. But, as far as tinted Moisturizers go, my go-to is definitely Laura Mercier! I wear Nude and it sets to a beautiful, natural finish (not too shiny!).

3. Time to set the canvas! I brush on a light dusting of Bare Minerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder. Sometimes I use a barely damp sponge to apply my setting powder too--especially when my skin is on the dryer side. It just makes for a smoother surface.

4. Eyes. My eye products are super basic and neutral (most of the time).
--> I ALWAYS use a primer. Most days, its a MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Paint Pot. I have a few that I interchange all the time--Painterly, Bare Study, or Vintage Selection. They provide the perfect NUDE undertone and can be worn alone too! If I don't use a Paint Pot then I use Prep + Prime 24 hour Extend Eye Base. It's a simple, transparent primer that does the trick to keep your eyeshadow in place, no creasing, and water resistant.
--> After priming I will apply, using a paddle brush (or my finger when working with my favorite nude pigment), a neutral nude eyeshadow all over my eyelid--from lash line to brow bone. I use a range of neutral nudes...a few of my faves--MAC Cosmetics Pigment in Nude, MAC Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Orb, Urban Decay NAKED 2 Palette nude shades are matte and beautiful, and I also love "Naked" in their original NAKED palette!
--> Next, using my crease brush in a windshield wiper motion, I do a very basic smokey crease using MAC Cosmetics Corduroy It's a beautiful, matte brown that can go on light and be built up to a very warm, perfectly brown shadow. I will also dig my crease brush in very small circular motions on the outside corners of my crease--just to add some deeper depth. I also use this shadow, with my pencil brush, along my lower eyelash line and the corners of my upper lash line. If I want to intensify my crease (for a more polished and/or bold look) I will simply go back into the outside crease and add a darker brown, grey, or black shadow. Other "touches" I might add to spruce up my everyday look is to add a highlighter to my brow bone (under my outer eyebrow) which add a little more dimension and defining the brow bone from the eye crease. The trick is to BLEND, BLEND, BLEND, BLEND (remember that windshield wiper motion! It is your best makeup trick friend). You want a seamless but defined finish (if that makes sense). I also like to add highlights in the corner of my eyes (in that little duct area) and inner corner of bottom lash line. Again, it's just a little added dazzle that make your eyes "pop"!
--> Nine out of Ten times I wear eyeliner. I really love eyeliner. My absolute all time favorite is MAC Cosmetics PowerPoint Eyeliner in Stubborn Brown. I wear it 99% of the time that I wear eyeliner. It's the PERFECT rich, dark brown! It stays put all day and can be smudged easily into a smokey eye before setting! I also love Engraved, which is the black version--when I want a more intense look. I line my waterline (the inside line of your eye) both on top and the bottom. When I line my eyes I will also smudge it a bit in my lash line and go back in with my pencil brush and Corduroy eyeshadow to "set" my liner in place. Next I will line my top lip--but only the mid to outside edges (extending past my eyelid and slightly upward) for a little, simple cat-eye effect. I like to emphasize--play up a more almond shape on my eyes. I probably line my eyes backwards--I start from the outside and work my way in--but it works for me. A fun trick you can do to help get flawless liquid eyeliner look is to first line your eyes--creating that cat-eye with a pencil eyeliner and then going back over your "base" with your liquid eye liner! It looks beautiful and flawless--and makes applying that sleek liquid eyeliner much easier!
--> Obviously you absolutely can never, EVER forget mascara. It is a staple. Even if that's the ONLY product you have time to use--use it!! Mascara is everything. It's your finishing look on your eye that makes your eyes stand out in the most beautiful way. My FAVORITE is Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Lengthening Mascara. I love the brush; I love the finish; I even love the smell of this mascara!!!  It lasts all day, doesn't transfer, doesn't flake. Haven't found a product yet that has made me want to ditch it and move on.
--> Brows. I don't always fill in my eyebrows. Actually, more often then not, I don't. But when I do, I ask myself, "why don't you do this every day?!!" It really does make a nice finish to framing your eyes/face. I've been a long time lover of Fling brow liner pencil from MAC Cosmetics. I also use Charcoal Brown eyeshadow. Yes! An eyeshadow!! Simply use an angled brush to go in and fill your eyebrows in for a beautiful look!! You can "cut" or "define" a perfectly angled brow using your angled brush. I'm also a fan of Brow-zing in Medium from Benefit Cosmetics. It's a tinted wax and powder that not only fills in your brows but sets them in place, perfectly all day!!

5. Cheeks!! I love blush. I know I'm writing about my "15 minute" look--but I also have a 5 minute look that always includes blush!!!! Haha! Hoola and Hoola Light are my "contouring" friends. I caution when using the word "contouring" since I really do not dabble much with it. Years ago I learned three-steps to perfect cheeks and I have followed those steps ever since!
Step 1. using a contour brush (or your blush brush pinched into a straight line) use a tan blush or matte bronzer to cut under your cheeks. This steps actually defines your cheekbone and forces your eye to the apple of your cheek. For girls like me, who tend to have "rounder" faces--this step is very important!! I simply pinch my blush brush bristles together and sweep on my Hoola from the top of my ear down diagonally and a loose-elongated "C" shape under the fullness-apple area of my cheek. I go back and forth doing a sweeping motion to blend out/blur any lines. Again, I never want "lines" but instead a perfectly blended look in which you do not know where one color starts and the other finishes.
Step 2. Next I pick a pop of color for the apples of my cheeks and sweep that color in a rounded motion on my cheeks and up towards my temple. I can't pick on blush that I love the most. Sugarbomb, Dandelion, or Rockateur by Benefit are all longtime favorites. As well as New Romance and Warm Soul in MAC's Mineralize Blush. I typically pick blushes that have a little bit of a sheen or shimmer. Especially with my "drier" skin, I like like a pretty shimmer vs. a matte on my cheeks.
Step 3. Lastly, I use a highlighter near my temple and outer edge of my cheek. I have this beautiful Smashbox highlighter that I still use and love (but I believe it's been discontinued). But other highlighters that I love, love, love are HighBeam (pinky/silvery), SunBeam (gold) and Girl Meets Pearl (just a perfect shimmer) all from Benefit Cosmetics. I also LOVE MAC Cosmetics Extra Dimension Skin Finish in Show Gold! It's this beautiful gold highlighter that reflects the prettiest pink!!!  I adore it!

6. Lips! I'm not a big lipstick person. I obsessively use chapstick though.  I cannot live without chapstick. But when I want to add more color/shimmer/shine to the lips my go to is lipgloss. I much prefer a lip stain and gloss or a lipliner and gloss combination. I'm a fan of the neutral, pinky, peach-y high shine or glittery lip gloss. I recently discover Peek Beauty lip balm in Miracle. It's amazing and the packaging reminds me of a vintage lipgloss!! The color is the perfect shimmery nude!!  MAC Cosmetics Dazzleglass Lipgloss in RollerGirl is my all time F A V O R I T E gloss ever!! I also obsess over Moth to Flame, and for a little pizazz, Date Night or Money Honey!! Those names though!!! I'm also falling more in love with Buxom's Dolly! Just a beautiful, shimmery mauve-ish color.

When all done with my makeup, I will sometimes set my makeup with a setting spray--usually Fix + from MAC Cosmetics. I'll then go back and just touch up my t-zone with a pressed powder.

So that's it!! I packed a lot of information in for a "quick" and neutral makeup look!!

What are your makeup staples? Any advice or tips for me??? I would love to read your advice and opinions!!

#MACCosmetics #BenefitCosmetics #ITCosmetics #PeterThomasRoth #Murad #Origins #BareMinerals #LauraMercier #PeekBeauty #SmashBoxCosmetics

Monday, April 02, 2018

So Maybe I'm a Little Fragrance Obsessed...

 I mean, doesn't everybody put on perfume just to go downstairs and hang out with the dogs for the day? I do. And I'm not ashamed. I just like to smell good, and florally, and sweet, or spicy, and light, or sultry...and mixing and matching all of the above! I think my fur babies like it too 😊🐢🐾 Every Birthday, Christmas, Valentines Day, Mothers Day or "just because I love you" gift giving opportunity--I want fragrances!! I have my favorites (anything with Gardenia), of course, but that said I'm super open minded and am game to try/wear most fragrances. I pick what I wear depending on my mood and where I'm going or what I'm doing for the day. I thought it would be fun to spotlight some fragrances that I'm currently obsessed with. Recently I've been adding to my Jo Malone collection (in which one of my best girlfriends bought me that first bottle of English Pear & Freesia several years ago) and I have been a hooked ever since!
Nothing better than smelling good...and even better being complimented on smelling good, right? Part of my routine in getting ready is also deciding what fragrance I want to wear. Sometimes the weather helps determine that choice; sometimes it's the occasion, or my planned daily activities --but my choice of perfume is ALWAYS in my thoughts. Just recently, on Easter Day, I put together a light floral mix. I knew I would be attending church, and I figured it would be a full house so of course I didn't want to wear anything too bold or strong. My mix was just perfect!! Light, sweet, and just a hint of woodsy. It started in the shower --First, sampling the amazing Jo Malone Geranium & Walnut body scrub, --THIS scrub...OMG... is so intoxicating! It smells amazing, leaves your skin perfectly exfoliated, soft, and lightly scented--all while leaving the bathroom air full of that amazing rich scent of geranium and warm walnut. Next, I always lather up in lotion from head to toe after I shower. Fortunately my March Ipsy goodie-- Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Body Lotion did the trick! This lotion is perfect! Not too heavy but the greatest kind of daytime moisturizer--lightweight and leaves skin smooth and moisturized. The lotion glided on effortlessly and was a nice light rose scent that complimented the light geranium scent that lingered on my skin from the Jo Malone Geranium & Walnut shower scrub. I tied up my heavenly scented trio by adding my latest Valentine's gift Jo Malone Red Roses cologne. Perfection. It just felt Easter-y to me and the combination of the three was warm and rose-y sweet. I was obsessed --with my wrist to my nose throughout the day!! I was smelling SO good! Hahahaaa. Good stuff, I tell you!

I could go on and on about the dozen other fragrances I'm obsessed with....and I a later time--PROMISE!! The first thing that popped into my mind after writing that sentence was the hear products that I use JUST BECAUSE they smell so freakin' amazing (Dry Bar and OUAI come to mind)--Oh, the joys of having so much to talk about. What are some of your favorite fragrances? Do you like to explore, mix, and match? Or do you find your signature scent and stick with it?? I'd love to hear all about it!! xo

#JoMalone #Ipsy #Andalou #1000RosesBodyLotion #FurBabies #Perfume #Fragrance

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


So, as much as I love to smile, I have to admit I'm very self conscious of anything involving my mouth--like big teeth-y smiles or speaking publicly! I know where these insecurities come from and even though I can reason through them in my mind, I still don't typically draw attention to my mouth on purpose. I have to be feeling super bold and confident when I get the guts to throw on a red lipstick!!

Anyway, after seriously going back and forth in my mind and ultimately deciding that I wasn't going to let my insecurity get the best of me, I decided to participate in a 10 day toothpaste challenge to see what sort of whitening results I could get. I drink coffee daily, enjoy red wine, and I do NOT use a whitening toothpaste. Just the basic Colgate, or Arm and Hammer, or Crest, or honestly whatever is on sale at target when I run out. So I figured, what the heck...what do I have to lose? Let's give this AP-24 Whitening with Fluoride toothpaste a try and see if I could get any good at home results....

I used AP-24 each morning for the first 10 day trial. The toothpaste is a little different in texture then I am used to. It is not as thick, paste-y and it doesn't lather up as much as my typical toothpaste. It's not bad, just different. Oh, and it has a very subtle vanilla/mint flavor. I wonder if I would have used the toothpaste both morning and night if I would have seen even whiter teeth or maybe just whiter sooner??  Looking back at my pictures I can totally see brightening and whitening results! 

Without a doubt I am a believer in this product! The proof that it works is in the putting...and my pics!! Give it a try y'all and let me know what you think!! 

#AP24WhiteningFluorideToothpaste  #smile

Sunday, March 18, 2018

#MindBlown #IHeartNuFace

I know, I intentions were to update BeyondBlushing weekly. Hahaha. I laugh. Lofty goals for a Special Education teacher/Case Manager/CoDept Chair/This Team Member/That Team Member/After School Tutor/Breakfast Club Interventionist/Trouble Maker/Peace Maker/etc., etc. --Also, one who admittedly
  has major difficulties saying "no" and who has enough work to keep two people busy full time!! I'm trying hard to work on balance so after working VERY long days on a regular basis I've been trying to come home and be "present" with my hubby, fur babies, and human adult babies (when they're home). So here I am, updating....and trying to decide what goodie I want to share with you all!  I have a few golden nuggets that I'm excited to write about!!

Probably one of the best days this month was celebrating my daughter's 20th birthday--March 5th!! She was able to take a couple of days off work and come home so we could celebrate her! Yea!! She's majoring in Beauty at FIDM this year and I thought it would only be appropriate to celebrate with a day at the spa! This would be her first real spa day experience so I wanted it to be awesome and wonderful for her....and win win for me!! Fortunately we don't live too far from the amazing Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa. They have an awesome promotion where the cover charge (to utilize their spa amenities and pools) is free ON your birthday!! So, we booked a couple of facials and off we went to experience much of what Glen Ivy has to offer!!

The day was beautiful, high 70s, and being a Monday the grounds were quiet--without too many other spa goers. It was perfect--and I didn't have to hide from too many people prancing around in my bathing suit!! We had planned to stay at the spa for just a few hours. Long enough to enjoy lunch, the Grotto, and some R&R. We knew the highlight of our visit would be our facial spa treatments since we are both excited/interested/slightly obsessed with skincare :) When I was trying to decide from the skincare menu what facial I was going to book, my interest was peaked when I came across "NuFace Quick Lift Microcurrent Facial" Holy moly! no, #HolyMoly !! Okay, wait...disclaimer....I have only had a handful of "professional" facials but in comparing all of them, THIS FACIAL was BOMB! So bomb I had to actually ask to get my phone from my bag so I could take a progress picture. I could literally feel the benefits of this particular facial working INSTANTLY!! I was floored. Shocked. Excited!

The facial started like most typical facials--some calming aroma therapy, deep cleaning, exfoliating, toning, extractions....always awkward...then moisturizing. It was great and I felt good not realizing what magic was just around the corner. My esthetician let me know that she would be starting the NuFace microcurrent session and what I should expect as she applied the topical gel and began the treatment. The attachment that she was using had these two metal spheres that just felt so good, --cool and slick, as the glided across my face.

I could feel certain areas of my skin "tightening" especially around my mouth and brow. When she had completed one side of my face she handed me a mirror so I could compare the two sides of my face. I was dumbfounded! Can y'all see the difference from the left and right side of my face??? The apples of my cheek just look youthful and the lines around my mouth were tightened and lifted. I could not believe how drastic the results were--instantly! Hence, my selfie session for the purposes of needing to blog about this!! The esthetician told me that the results would be instant and would continue to develop over the next 48 hours. She was right and I was instantly coveting this product. She told me I could purchase my own NuFace Facial Toning device from the spa store. My heart was racing at the thought of owning this little piece of heaven....

So, apparently purchasing this amazing NuFace tool at the no-big-deal (haha) price tag of $325 (not including all the attachments that I would want with it) is just slightly out of my budget and I would just have to settle with this amazing experience for now. But seriously, one day I will own this. Santa Baby will come

What amazing spa services have you experienced?? Please share with me!! I want to read all about it :)

#MyNuFace #NuFaceTrinity #GlenIvySpa #NuFaceQuickLiftMicrocurrentFacial