04/21/17

Beauty Favorites Lately

I am a little behind on the beauty department shares. I have been loving so many things but these are a few of my favorites!!! 🙂

 

KAT VON D Lock-IT Foundation: When I first used this product, it applied really thick and blotchy. Then I went back to using my usual foundation and noticed it wasnt lasting as long as this one did. I tried using it again and actually adding a tiny bit of water to help make it easier to apply. It totally helped and this stuff is amazing!

TARTE Make Believe In Yourself Palette: Most of you know I love anything with some sparkle. This stuff has the right amount of color and sparkle and is not overwhelming. It is also a cheek palette and the color lasts all day! Totally worth it!

KENRA Color Balance Purple Shampoo: I used this product daily for one week and had a noticeable change in my hair’s brassiness! I have always had heavy blonde highlights in my hair that turn brassy over time. I’ve tried several other products that I was less than satisfied with but this one definitely works! It smells great and doesn’t leave your hair feeling or looking greasy! I would recommend this to anyone that colors their hair blonde!

HOPE in a Jar Skin Tint: I have used Hope in a Jar for awhile now as my daily moisturizer. When I saw this version I was like “Bye Bye Pale Face”!!! Moisturizer + Bronzer = Amazing! I use this everyday as a primer before my foundation!

St. Tropez Self Tanner Mouse: Speaking of bronzer… this stuff has been my lifesaver for my see-through skin! I worked for a tanning salon for 5 years and would spray tan like every other day. GROSE! These days the spray tan solution are so much better than they used to be. The application and color of this stuff is so natural looking. No streaking or weird spots. Perfect for summer!

 BED HEAD Flat Iron: My CHI finally went out after 10 years! I have no idea how it even lasted that long (or how I never lost it)… I heard so many great things about this one and it definitely does not disappoint. It heats up super fast and I only straighten each strand once! Game changer!

EMJOI Electric Razor: I received this from the company in return for a review and I was a little nervous to try it. I normally dont use electric razors for anything. I used it on my bikini line before we went to Mexico and it was really easy. (Kinda weird but definitely easier than regular shaving) It has 18 blades and doesnt leaves cuts or scratches. 🙂

BITE BEAUTY Lipstick:  I first got this lipstick from Influenster for testing purposes and fell in love. I had nt heard of the brand before but I love the quality so much. It literally lasts all day! The texture and the color are amazing. I love it!

I hope y’all have a fabulous weekend ladies!!! 

Brittany 🙂

Linking up with: Friday Favorites, Friday Favorites with Meet @ The Barre, Oh Hey, Friday, High Five for Friday Weekend Wear Link Up, Flashback Fashion Friday Link Up, Friday Favorites with Lizzie in Lace, Passion for Fashion Link Up, Fun Fashion Friday Link Up

Brittany
11/23/16

Holiday Gift Guide & Black Friday Deals

If you are anything like me then you are super psycho about Black Friday! Once Thanksgiving lunch/dinner is over, I am putting on my fat pants, grabbing my “sippy cup” and grabbing the hubby’s credit card 🙂

Yes, I do agree stores have been a little crazy opening so much earlier on Thanksgiving Day than normal but I spend the entire weekend with family. Being such a short week anyway, I am with a 3 year old most of my time so I am ready to get out of the house by then. Usually me and my mom are out the door by 7-8pm ready to tackle the crowds. The real crazies are usually cleared out by then anyway 🙂 I have done my annual Black Friday research for the best deals and have given you all the details. We usually try to hit up most of these stores for their great deals but sometimes there just isnt enough coffee to keep your eyes and body running 🙂

Black Friday Sales Guide:

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J.Crew: 30% off storewide and an extra 40% off the lowest marked price on all sale items.

Aldo: 50% off on select shoes and up to 20% off with an early-bird coupon if you complete your in-store or online purchase before 10:00AM on Friday.

H&M: Up to 70% off storewide.

Kate Spade New York: 25% off storewide.

Lord & Taylor: Up to 75% off storewide

Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th: Up to 75% off online with deals starting on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

Sephora: Up to 80% off storewide.

Steve Madden: Up to 30% off in stores and online.

Victoria’s Secret: Free gift with purchase.

Nike: Up to 25% off.

Old Navy: Up to 40% off in stores and online

Target: Get 20% off $75 or more instore

Forever 21: Sales starting from $3 and up in store and online

Kohls: $15 kohls cash for every $50 spent storewide

Macy’s: Up to 60% off storewide starting Wednesday before Thanksgiving

I have also rounded up some of my favorite gifts for the holidays. Here are some of my picks for the ladies whether it’s your mom, sister, roomie, a friend or even for yourself. (Treat yo’self!) I had so much fun picking these out and putting them together it has been quite a while since I have done a gift guide or wish list post, I hope you like it!

Holiday Gift Guide

gift

Shop The Look:

Brittany
08/24/16

Secrets to Acne-Free Skin

Whether you struggled with acne as a teen, battled dark spots as an adult, or you have not quite figured out how to get clear skin, we all struggle with less than perfect skin. Is your skin prone to breakouts or irritation? Having acne or blemish prone skin can be frustrating and challenging at times. Luckily, there are simple tricks to help your skin look its best it has ever looked.

These are a few of my secrets I have tested through the years. Overtime, these will help heal any acne spots and scarring.

Pick the right Foundation:

One of the hardest things about having acne-prone skin is finding a foundation that won’t trigger your breakouts. Besides choosing a foundation that matches your skin color exactly, you also need to look out for makeup that’s gentle & “safe” for pimple-prone skin and provides shine-free, natural coverage to cover marks from past breakouts. Look for oil- free, liquid or powder formulas (without any irritating chemicals or fragrances) that are designed to correct & conceal redness and blemishes and also control oil & shine throughout the day with a weightless matte finish.

Here are a few drugstore foundations that I have tested and are great for acne prone skin:

rimmel  elf    fit me

 Clean your Utensils:

The best thing you can do for acne prone skin is to use proper hygiene. Washing your makeup brushes and skincare utensils is key to keeping bacteria away. I do this weekly and have seen a huge improvement in my skin. I use dish washing soap and my fingers to wash away makeup buildup on my brushes. I also use my son’s old bottle dryer to set them out to dry. Another huge tip: Avoid wearing makeup during breakouts and when you know you will not be able to wash it off before going to bed. Of course you should never go to bed without taking your make up off first. Always use a new, clean towel when drying your face.

Sanitize your Phone:

You would not believe the germs and bacteria your cell phone builds up over time. To keep skin clean and clear on the go, I use Clixit Sport Wipes to sanitize my phone. They are formulated with ingredients to keep acne-prone skin healthy, clean and blemish-free. I listen to music on my phone at the gym or while I am running and it tends to get a little sweaty. These wipes help control sebum (oil) and wipes away any bacteria leaving acneic skin clean, refreshed and conditioned. Also, holding your cell phone away from your face helps prevent skin irritation and breakouts, especially on the cheek and jawline. Clixit offers products to help with acne prone skin and trouble spots. I recommend all of their products.

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Sleep on Acne-Fighting Pillowcases:

Loads of moisture can escape from your skin while you sleep. This moisture loss, compounded by night after night of collagen-weakening sleep lines is bad news for your complexion. If you repeatedly sleep in the same position, form the same sleep lines, and deplete skin elasticity in the same areas, it could cause permanent lines to form. Invest in a good, acne-fighting pillowcase that will prevent germs and bacteria from living on your face. This pillow is great for blocking allergens and fighting acne. Wash your pillow cases often to avoid the oils from your hair when sleeping.

 

Hygenie Acne Fighting Silver Ionic Pillowcase, $29.99

pillow

Steam it Out:

Steam your face at least once a week to open and cleanse the pores. Do not steam  it if you have inflamed acne lesions. Cover your head with a towel and boil some water. Put your face over the  bowl of boiling water and let the steam moisturize for 2-3 minutes. This helps remove dirt, dust and oil from your pores of the skin without aggravating pimples. It will also help keep your skin moisturized and smooth.

 

Wash Twice a Day:

Wash the areas affected by acne in the morning and evening to remove the buildup of oil and dirt. Do not wash them more than twice a day since excessive washing dries the skin and triggers increased oil production which can lead to more breakouts which are referred to as acne detergens. If you need to remove excessive oil from your face during the day, use a pH balanced toner to wipe it off. Ensure that the toner does not contain alcohol or acetone since these ingredients can irritate and dry the skin excessively. If  you have very oily skin you may think that you need to dry your skin completely, but this actually triggers increased production of oil. Use toners with witch hazel as they are less likely to dry the skin.

 

Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate:

No matter what your skin type is, be gentle when exfoliating. Choose chemical exfoliants over physical exfoliants. Physical exfoliants utilize the physical action of rubbing to remove the dead cells. Examples include apricot scrubs with ground apricot pits and homemade sugar and salt body scrubs. These physical exfoliants can worsen inflammation by causing micro-tears in the skin. Chemical exfoliants are mild acids that use chemical reactions to get rid of these dead skin cells. Examples include AHA or alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids BHA. Beta hydroxy acid (BHA) is perfect for oily and acne prone skin since it removes the dead cells on the skin’s surface and it can also penetrate deep into the pores of oily skin and prevent clogging. These two exfoliators have totally changed my skin.  Dr Brandt is a little on the pricey side but totally worth the price. A more affordable version and one of my go-to exfoliators is on the right.

scrub scrub

Do you have acne prone skin? What are some secrets that have helped your skin?

Brittany 🙂

 

Brittany
08/17/16

Beauty Hacks and Tricks

Hello lovelies! As I’m sure you all know by now, I have kind of a crazy busy life. And after running around most days morning til night, the last thing I want to do the next day is get up extra early to spend time on my hair and makeup. So over the years, I’ve discovered quite a few super useful and time-saving beauty hacks for all you lazy girls out there like me. There are some things that are super easy but not many of us would ever think of them.

Get ready to extend that beauty sleep!

 

 

Apple Cider Vinegar

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I shared some great beauty tips here using Apple Cider Vinegar. But here are just a few beauty tricks using ACV:

-Rinse hair to remove shampoo buildup

-Use as a toner to help prevent acne

-Get rid of warts & skin tags

-Helps lighten dark spots on face

Lemons

lemons

Lemon is one of the fruits that can be used for a wide variety of health purposes, including beauty goals. Lemon can actually play the role of a beauty product, more precisely a deodorant that perfectly serves against sweating. Using the fruit for this purpose is very easy: all you have to do is take one slice of lemon and gently rub it on your armpits. In terms of dieting, lemon represents an important and powerful ingredient because it can stimulate digestion; this is the reason why it is especially recommended for people who suffer from digestive problems. Here are a few beauty tricks using lemons:

-Skin toner & helps lighten age spots

-Helps highlight hair in the sun

-Lessens stretch marks

– Rub on elbows to get rid of discoloration

Dry Shampoo

dry shampoo

Dry shampoo is your best friend. It is perfect for those early mornings or even those cold winter mornings when you just aren’t feeling like getting your hair wet. Dry shampoo can come in a powder or a spray. In both cases, the product latches on and sucks up the oils in the hair. It’s really a more sophisticated version of the baby powder trick we all tried in college. Be sure to apply it in quick bursts of spray along your part, and then comb it through the rest of your hair. If you’re pressed for time, use heat from a blow dryer to speed up the process. Heat helps the oils absorb and the force of the air from the blow dryer helps to distribute the product from roots through ends. If your hair tends to get oily pretty quickly, apply dry shampoo at night before you go to sleep and you will wake up with fresh locks. This gives it time to soak up the oils. Here is a list of dry shampoo’s that are highly recommended.

Cold Water Rinse

girl at the shower

Speaking of shampoo, rinsing your hair with cold water will leave it smooth and shiny. This is especially important in the summer to help with the dryness and heat of the sun. Cold water helps to close the cuticle and lock in the moisturizer. Here is how I do it, before I wash my face/body I will apply conditioner and let it sit while I continue my shower routine. When I am ready to rinse, I will turn the temperature to cold and rinse it out. It is a little striking at first but you get used to it. It is also a great way to wake up in the morning! 🙂

Coconut Oil

coconut oil

Coconut oil is everywhere right now. You don’t know whether to eat it, drink it, or bathe in it. If you haven’t already hopped on board the coconut oil train, you’re missing out on one of the most amazing natural substances on the planet. I first started using coconut oil as a moisturizer, and then I found out that it works great as a mouthwash, and then I realized I wanted to learn all the incredible uses for coconut oil. Not only is it my favorite cooking oil, but coconut oil can be used for natural beauty treatments and so much more. Here a few tricks using coconut oil:

-Shaving your legs

-Used as a body deodorant

-Strengthen nail cuticles

-Helps soothe eczema

-Great lipgloss

Eye-Lash Curler

curler

This is one of my everyday beauty tricks: Hold a blow dryer up next to your lash curler for about 3-5 seconds. The heat works the same way as it does with your curling iron, giving you those flirty lashes that will last all day. Another trick for eyeliner: Apply eyeliner to the edge of your lash curler to curl your lashes and line them at the same time. While you’re squeezing and holding on the curler, the liner will press right onto the base of your lashes for a perfect line!

Scotch Tape

tape

To help prevent access eyeshadow that falls from application, put a small piece of scotch tape on the outer part of the eye. This is also helpful for that fabulous winged eyeliner that can be challenging at times. It will help create a balanced look on both sides. When you are done, slowly remove the tape as it will pull the skin.

 

Taming Fly-Aways

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To keep those annoying little hairs at bay, apply a dryer sheet to your hair brush and brush through your hair a couple times. Wrap a rubber band around the bottom so it stays intact. Doing this will also help with frizz and it smells great too!

PAM Spray and Nail Polish

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This is probably my favorite beauty hack I found on Pinterest. I have no idea who even thought of this but it was easy and it’s kinda genius! Literally a huge time saver!

So… all you do is:
1. One coat of nail polish
2. Spray your nails with PAM, let it sit for about a minute to a minute and a half
3. Wash your hands and TA DA! Your nails are dry and actually have a nice gloss to them. Use another coat, then repeat! Easy peasy. =)
What are some beauty hacks and tricks you love?
Brittany 🙂
Brittany
07/18/16

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar


the-health-benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar-by-green-blender

 You will not believe how many uses there are for this remarkable liquid. Apple cider vinegar has been reported to heal many conditions – from weight loss to health concerns. Some people swear by it. For example, apple cider vinegar is used across the world as a natural/alternative treatment for allergies, and is thought to reduce the risk of cancer. Apple cider vinegar is made via fermentation, which is very beneficial for digestion and has in some cases worked as a cure for acne. Apple cider vinegar is also commonly used as a treatment for other skin disorders such as warts. In fact, studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can clear up blemishes and breakouts – avoiding the need for potentially harmful prescription medications such as Retin A or Acutane.

But why exactly does ACV contain so many healing properties?

The secret may lie in its alkalizing effect! Even though ACV is acidic (like a lemon or lime), it creates a perfect alkaline environment in your body that is the exact opposite of what most diseases require to thrive.

And then there’s the incredible concentration of naturally occurring vital nutrients…

Raw, organic ACV is made from organic apples and undergoes a double fermentation process, which produces enzymes and preserves its health-promoting characteristics. Some of the most beneficial nutrients in raw, organic ACV include:

apple

Potassium: essential for normal heart, kidney and other organ and cellular function

Iron: important for blood health

Magnesium: vital to heart health

Enzymes: boost chemical reactions in the body

Malic acid: protects vinegar from viruses, bacteria and fungus

Acetic acid: slows the digestion of starch and inhibits bacterial growth

Calcium: builds strong bones and teeth

Pectin: helps regulate blood pressure and cholesterol

Ash: maintains a healthy alkaline state in the body

Now that you have the facts, I am sharing some things that ACV has helped me with personally. I would recommend this product for several reasons but here are just a few:

(Disclaimer – consult a doctor first if you are taking other medications)

 

Weight Loss

weightloss

ACV has been used in weight loss by helping the body flush out more fats and it helps speed up the body’s metabolism to promote weight loss. Acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar can help you shed those extra kilos if taken on a daily basis. ACV prevents uncontrollable sugar spikes and crashes that make you want to nibble between meals. When your blood sugar is stable, it’s much easier to stick to your diet and eat only when your body needs it. ACV will not provide you with a quick weight loss. The changes will be gradual, but permanent. Don’t be impatient and allow it some time. Sometimes losing just one pound a month and not re-gaining it afterwards, can be the real success.

What to do:

The quickest way to drink for weight loss is to mix apple cider vinegar with warm water every morning. You can also sip it throughout the day to shed excess fat.

Relieves Migraines

migraine

Those people who often suffer from migraines (ME) know how intolerable that pain is…The migraine is ready to make your life so difficult and sometimes the migraine is very resistant even to the painkillers. Now you don’t have to spend money on expensive pills and painkillers when you can make this natural drink with salt and lemon at your home in only 5 minutes. You will create this wonderful cure against a migraine.

What to do:

Mix a little bit of high quality salt (Himalayan is great), squeeze 2 lemons and add 2 tablespoons of ACV to some warm water. You will feel the pressure start decreasing and shortly your migraine will be gone.

Conditions & Strengthens Hair

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Your grandmother can probably attest to this old-time favorite beauty use for ACV… If you wash your hair with conventional shampoo, a residue builds up over time. This can cause your hair to become dull and lifeless. The shine that ACV leaves behind is absolutely gorgeous! And think about how little it will cost you compared to the expensive “clarifiers” found at the salon. And this DIY treatment can be done on your time in your own home!

What to do:

Mix 1/2 teaspoon of ACV with 1 cup of water

Pour onto your hair

Rinse with water

 

Helps Prevent/Reduce Acne

face

 

Not many people realize that our skin comes equipped with a protective acid mantle, which can be maintained by using a pH-balancing toner after washing your face. ACV has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, which unblocks pores and keeps acne in check. The malic and lactic acids in ACV also act to exfoliate and soften skin and reduce the red spots known as rosacea. I have suffered with acne my entire life and I use ACV every day. I always use my daily moisturizer but this has replaced my toner!

Here’s how to do it:

• Mix 1 tsp. vinegar to a half-cup of water
• Store at room temperature
• Apply to skin with a cotton ball

 

Lowers Blood Pressure/Cholesterol

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ACV does work in lowering high blood pressure in many people and is worth adding it to your own healthy diet to see what it can do for you. First, it is a great component in helping to lower bad cholesterol, which in turn has a positive effect on blood pressure. AVC is also a detoxifier, and can help your body fight off diseases and release free radicals that wreak havoc on your body on a daily basis, which also indirectly can help to reduce blood pressure. When you use ACV for high blood pressure remedy, you are most likely giving your entire body a boost, not just treating your blood pressure issues.

How to use:

Add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV to warm water. Add honey if the taste is too tart.

Boost Energy

Woman celebrating sport success

There are times during the busy day that your energy level dips a little bit.  I can’t tell you how many cups of coffee I have consumed to give me an energy boost.  Then I realized a healthier way to give myself a energy boost that is long term. Both exercise and stress can cause a build-up of lactic acid, which causes fatigue. ACV counters the condition with amino acids. When taken, ACV has an alkaline effect on our bodies, ensuring pH levels are balanced while also boosting energy with a hefty dose of potassium and enzymes. You can use the energy drink to jump start your day, give you a mid morning or afternoon boost, or give you a night-time boost.  This healthy drink will recharge your batteries without the health concerns of many cups of coffee.  Simply make this energy drink in the morning and bring enough to work so that you can take it several times per day.

How to use:

8 oz purified water

1 – 2 tablespoons ACV

1/2 teaspoon Honey

Sprinkle of Cinnamon

Helps With Digestion

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Do you ever feel like you have a rock/small baby hippopotamus in your belly hours after eating a meal? If yes, you may not be digesting your food properly.

These uncomfortable feelings were so well-known to me that I used to just let them slide as “normal”. But there is no such thing as “normal” pain or discomfort: it is an indication from our body that something is not right. So without adequate stomach acid, food is incompletely digested and nutrients are not properly assimilated. This is a BIG. DEAL. Drinking a glass of water mixed with a few tablespoons of ACV 15-20 minutes before a meal can improve digestion and nutrient assimilation by increasing HCl production.

How to use:

Add 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water and drink it 30 minutes before you each meal.

How to take ACV?

As I mentioned at the beginning….as GOOD as ACV is for you….that’s how BAD it tastes! Which begs the question….how on earth are you supposed to get past that??? Well, for the hard core ACV enthusiasts it’s just added to some water and then “bottoms up!” But for more sensitive folks, like myself, there’s still hope! Just add some raw honey, stevia or agave to give it a little sweetness. Or you can chase it with a little sweetened grapefruit juice. Whatever works for you! I will be honest that it may take you a little while to get used to the taste. You can start with less ACV and work up to adding more as you get used to the flavor. But I’m willing to bet that you will start to crave this drink especially when you start seeing results.

My go-to ACV concoction:

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1 cup of grapefruit juice

 2 tablespoons of ACV

Stir and enjoy!!

(If it is a little too tart, add a tablespoon of honey and mix… This helps make it a little sweeter.)

 

 

Do you use apple cider vinegar in your health and/or beauty regimens? I would love to hear your feedback and how you take ACV!

Brittany 🙂

Brittany