IS LASER HAIR REMOVAL WORTH IT?

Screenshot_2015-06-04-12-52-07-1[1]

If you are anything like me, you probably hate your hair. No not the hair on your head, although sometimes that can be an annoyance on humid days, I am referring to your body hair. Having milky pale skin with pretty much black hair means that I have probably about the worst combo when it comes to body hair. It is extremely noticeable.

When I was younger I shaved all the time, and of course that was the only option for me at the time. I had considered the electrolysis treatments of the past , but after talking to people who had it done, I decided it wouldn’t be worth the investment. A few years later I decided to start looking into laser hair removal, and I can tell you it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I have been getting a lot of questions about this topic lately, so I thought I would summarize some key points for anyone who is interested in doing these treatments.

Screenshot_2015-06-04-12-59-09-1[1]

• What is laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal is a professional cosmetic treatment that is performed to remove unwanted facial and body hair. A laser is used to beam concentrated light into hair follicles. The pigment in the follicles absorb the light and the hair is destroyed. After several treatments, your hair removal will become permanent.

• Who is a good candidate for the treatment?

Unfortunately laser hair removal is not ideal for people with very fine light, or vellus hair. The laser is much more effective on dark, coarse, terminal hair. Having really light hair means that the follicle will not absorb the light.

• Where can you get the treatments done, and what are the best places?

Most all dermatologist offices will offer laser hair removal treatments, and that is the place that I would recommend the most since a dermatologist specializes in skin. Sometimes you can get the treatments done in a doctor’s office or a medical spa. I personally have only ever gone to a dermatologist, simply because they are better trained professionals. You can always look up someone’s credentials, which I also recommend doing.

• How much does it cost?

The cost varies significantly depending on the areas you are treating  and how many times you need to have it done. Sometimes you can get a better deal if you purchase a treatment package. I have even heard of buying 5 treatments and getting 1 for free. My arms for example cost me around $400 when all was said and done. I purchased a package for 5 treatments and that was all I needed for the hair to be completely gone on my arms. My legs were obviously more expensive. I would recommend you start with a smaller problem area first (hint hint) then work your way up to the larger areas.

• Do you see immediate results?

After you get your first treatment done you may feel a moment of disappointment when you see that your hair is growing back! That is normal. The hair is just pushing its way through and will fall out. You can usually schedule another treatment within 4 to 6 weeks. You will continue to get them done until your hair no longer grows back. Once that happens it is smooth sailing!

• What are the risks?

As with all cosmetic procedures, there are some risks associated with getting laser hair removal. For a couple of days the area of the skin that was treated will feel sort of like it was sunburned. You may experience some tenderness or slight swelling. Using cold compresses or cool unscented aloe vera gel will help to soothe irritation. There are also a number of post-treatment moisturizers that you can buy specifically for that. There have been instances where blisters can develop and even scarring. These are more rare side effects and are exactly the reason why you should always go to a skin professional.

• What do I do to prepare?

Do not tweeze, wax, thread, or do any sort of electrolysis treatment before laser hair removal. Remember the laser needs to detect the follicle, and if you have plucked it out it will not work. Also not tanning or excessive sun exposure, as this will also make the laser less effective.

• What does the treatment feel like?

If you go by my account it feels like little rubber bands snapping against your skin. Personally I find that very therapeutic. With every little zap I know a hair follicle is dying a slow death! It is not painful and should never be. Always trust your gut instinct. If something feels not quite right let the person performing the treatment know immediately! Always ask a ton of questions before and after so you can have all of the facts.

• What can I expect afterwards?

As I mentioned above, you will treat the areas like you would a sunburn. Do not, and I can not stress this enough, do not go to a tanning bed for at least 6 weeks afterwards. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! If you are a tanner this may not be a good thing for you to pursue as you will basically be advised not to tan for over 6 months if you keep up your treatments consistently. I never, ever, ever tan, never, so for me there was no great sacrifice.

Bottom line:

If you simply abhor your body hair and you meet the requirements to have the procedure done, then this is something that you will most likely find a worthwhile investment. I never had any adverse reactions to the treatments aside from some minor irritation and redness. I love my smooth skin! In my opinion getting laser hair removal pays for itself in the long run. When you think about how much money you will save on shaving cream, razors, water bills, and natural gas and propane bills over your lifetime it’s kind of a no brainer. Also consider how much time you will save in the mornings or evenings getting ready. It would not be amiss for me to also mention the fact that not having to shave while on vacation is a mini vacation all in itself! I absolutely recommend this as an investment in yourself!

Is laser hair removal something you are considering? If you have any questions let me know!

SEPHORA HAUL

June is here. I can hardly believe the year is halfway over. I was so excited because not only is it officially the start of my birthday month, but according to my weather app it was supposed to be pretty mild temps this week. Not so. High 80’s. That is a bit out of my comfort zone. Thankfully I have Sephora to perk me up!

 Some of these are new products for me so we will see if they make it to permanence in my product closet.

20150601_102753[1]

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF2 25 $7.50
Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF2 25 $7.50 

This is one of the best lip balms I have ever tried. It makes my lips so soft and smooth and is the best winter lip saver hands down. I always use a little bit under any lip product I am wearing. It is a thicker balm but not too sticky. This is very long-lasting. I put it on before bed and it is still there in the morning. There are several flavours to choose from, but this mint one is my favourite. I love that it includes SPF.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed $38
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed $38 

I have been wanting to get a new highlighting powder. I usually use the Kevin Aucoin Candlelight, but that one gets really flaky if you swipe the brush too hard. That really vexes me since I feel like I am wasting a lot of product. I had my reservations about this one because of the shimmer, but one of my Ulta gals put it on and stepped outside and it looked amazing on her, so I decided to give it a try.

20150601_102246[1]

I got the Moonstone shade, which is a very light champagne color. The texture of this one is creamier than the Kevin Aucoin and not as golden. I think this would be a universally flattering shade. The shimmer is very subtle, not chunky glitter at all.

Urban Decay Afterglow Blush $26
Urban Decay Afterglow Blush $26 

This is another product that I have seen on someone else and thought it looked great. These blushes are supposed to last quite awhile. So far they have gotten great reviews.

20150601_102143[1]

I got the shade Obsessed, which is a vivid light pink. I like that it has that blue undertone. I dislike anything with an orange undertone on myself.

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Excess Mascara $32
Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Excess Mascara $32 

I have been waiting for this mascara to come back in stock for a while. It got some good reviews so far so we’ll see how I like it compared to the Guerlain Cils d’Enfer.

Urban Decay Ultimate Ozone The Multi-Purpose   Primer Pencil $16
Urban Decay Ultimate Ozone The Multi-Purpose Primer Pencil $16 

This is getting such rave reviews so I had to see what all of the fuss is about. You can apparently use this as a lip primer, a correcter stick, and an eye primer. I want to see if it will make my eyeliner even more smudge-proof.

Lancome Cils Booster XL Super Enhancing Mascara Base $25
Lancome Cils Booster XL Super Enhancing Mascara Base $25

I read that this will help keep mascara from flaking. Even the best mascaras tend to flake a little, so I am hoping that this will prevent that for the most part.

Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask $58
Peter Thomas Roth Irish Moor Mud Purifying Black Mask $58 

I am finally getting around to trying this and I am so excited to! Peter Thomas Roth products are some of my favourites. I hope I will have a better experience with this than I did with the Bliss Multifaceted mask.

Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector$29
Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector$29 

When I first saw this I was a little confused at how it was supposed to work, since the texture is very sticky. You actually use it as a primer of sorts for your under eye concealer. It is supposed to keep your concealer from creasing and brighten up the under eye area. My friend really likes this stuff so I thought I would try it too.

L'Occitane Shea Clensing Oil $22
L’Occitane Shea Clensing Oil $22 

This is my absolute favourite cleansing oil right now! It gets all of my makeup off, including eye makeup. This leaves NO greasy residue after using it. It smells great and you get so much product for the price. If you love L’Occitane as much as I do, you will probably love this.

Have you tried any of these products? What is on your current Sephora wish list?

COACH SEMI-ANNUAL SALE REVEAL

Some of you may remember my recent post about the Coach Semi-Annual Sale about a week ago. Well today I got a package!

20150529_125058[1]

Oh yes!!!

20150529_124902[1]

Here she is! I decided to get the Gramercy Satchel in Mink. I am loving the croc-embossing, it makes it timeless. This is the perfect neutral to wear with anything. It is a warm grey, but depending on what you are wearing it with, it can look like a light taupe brown. I love the turn-lock closures, they are secure yet make the bag very easy to get into. The hang-tag on the front actually has a flap that flips open to reveal a little information card, you know, in case you lose it and someone finds it. (I think I would die of shame if I did lose it though!) This does come with a shoulder strap, but I never use them. I love the size. I actually thought it would be larger, but it is the perfect in between size. Not too big, nor too small. It fits all of my stuff and more.The turn-locks on the sides come open so you can expand and fit more things. It will not fit a laptop, but it will accommodate a smaller tablet when the sides are expanded.

She is just so beautiful! The only complaint I would have with this bag is that the leather is a bit smooth and more matte in finish. Aesthetically that is not a bad thing, it just means it is more likely to show scratches if you are not careful. I love it so much though, it will very easily transition between all seasons. This will pair beautifully with all of your whites, yellow, light pinks, and light blues for summer; then on to your blacks, burgundys, navys, and dark greens for winter. So versatile. I do believe this one is still on the Coach website for now, so if you are wanting it you should consider purchasing soon as they tend to sell out quickly.

What do you think of my new Gramercy? Did you get anything at the Coach sale yet?

FATHER’S DAY GIFT GUIDE

The notion that men are easier to shop for than women is confounding. If you are anything like me, you are always stumped when it comes to finding the perfect gift for a man. With Father’s Day fast approaching, I though it would be advisable to do a gift guide to take out the guesswork.

The Hunting Party, Alexander F. Rolfe
The Hunting Party-Alexander F. Rolfe

For the outdoor adventurer:

The North Face Wasatch 20 Degree Sleeping Bag $89-99
The North Face Wasatch 20 Degree Sleeping Bag $89-99 

I have actually been inside one of these, and I can say with certainty that they are amazing! The mummy style keeps you warm and cozy. These have the added bonus of being easy to pack. Perfect for that camper in your life!

Nikon Monarch 5 8x42 Binoculars $299.99
Nikon Monarch 5 8×42 Binoculars $299.99 

Nikon makes some of the best binoculars. This pair got amazing reviews. They are lightweight, and O-ring sealed for water-proof and fog-proof performance.

Cabela's Gift Card
Cabela’s Gift Card 

Sometimes you just need to get him a gift card. Getting one from Cabelas’ however, ensures that he will be able to get exactly what he wants.

Parasailing lessons
Parasailing lessons

If you are near the water this might be a fun idea for your guy. I do not know what man would not want to go parasailing, and it could be a fun thing for you to do together as well.

GoPro Hero4 Black $499.99
GoPro Hero4 Black $499.99

If your man is the outdoorsy type, at some point in his life he is going to want a GoPro! Why not surprise him for Father’s Day?

Cow-pocalypse Crate $109.99
Cow-pocalypse Crate $109.99 

It is a right of passage that when men are camping, they eat beef jerky. This is a particularly awesome gift idea from mancrates.com. It is stuffed to the brim with all kinds of premium beef jerky. They also have several other crates to choose from for every type of guy in mind, check out their awesome gifts for men page! The crates are sealed shut with no gift wrap or anything. It has to be opened with a crowbar! You can’t get anymore manlier than that. How much would he love this? I am thinking this would be something I would most likely purchase myself.

Fitbit Surge $249.95
Fitbit Surge $249.95 

This is more than just a watch, and it does so much more than the regular Fitbit bands. If your guy is an exercise fanatic he will love it!

A Game of Chess, Jules Jacquet
A Game of Chess-Jules Jacquet

For the steadfast gamer:

Gamefly Giftcard
Gamefly subscription 

This is pretty much self-explanatory no? What else could he want for?

Xbox One $389.99
Xbox One $389.99 

Of course he will need a game console to play all of his Gamefly games on. If this is indeed something you are considering, make sure you shop around because you can usually find some great deals on bundles. Gamestop or Best Buy are usually the best places to find the better deals.

Oskar Media Tower $128.65
Oskar Media Tower $128.65 

He will of course also need a cabinet to store all of those said games!

X Rocker II Wireless Video Game Chair $198.90
X Rocker II Wireless Video Game Chair $198.90 

I do not play video games, but if I did, I would definitely want this chair! This chair got great reviews and is compatible with most gaming systems. It is equipped with side speakers!

Portrait of a Man Reading, Gerard Terborch
Portrait of a Man Reading-Gerard Terborch

For the learned reader:

Kindle Voyage $199
Kindle Voyage $199 

This is something I would like to have myself. This is the thinnest Kindle model to date. It features a high-resolution 300 ppi display, an adaptive front light, and an unprecedented battery life. This got outstanding reviews as well.

Audible Subscription
Audible Subscription 

If he is on the go most of the time, he might like to listen to audiobooks. My husband particularly enjoys it. He has to travel for work frequently and always has all of his devices with him so that he can listen to his latest download.

Carpenter-Thomas Rogers
Carpenter-Thomas Rogers

For the DIYer:

The Home Depot Gift Card
The Home Depot Gift Card

Think of this as a win win scenario for the both of you. He might use it to buy the tile for that new backsplash you have been wanting!

Craftsman 15
Craftsman 15″ Drill Press with Laser and LED Light $419.98 

If your husband is anything like mine, then he reads reviews before he buys. This is one of the best reviewed drill presses I have been able to find. My husband loves his!

Mechanix Wear Cg Heavy Duty Glove $41.10
Mechanix Wear Cg Heavy Duty Glove $41.10 

These leather work gloves feature a  multi-zone padded palm, flexible molded rubber ribbing, and a low profile wrist cuff.

Kazbek Polarized Safety Glasses with Copper Lens $24.99
Kazbek Polarized Safety Glasses with Copper Lens $24.99 

These polarized safety glasses would be good for transitioning from inside projects to yard work.

Portrait of George Vernables Vernon, 2nd Lord Vernon-Thomas Gainsborough
Portrait of George Vernables Vernon, 2nd Lord Vernon-Thomas Gainsborough

For the metro man:

Burberry Brit Henry Trim Fit Stretch Cotton Sport Shirt $250
Burberry Brit Henry Trim Fit Stretch Cotton Sport Shirt $250 

This shirt is so undeniably suave. I love the classic Burberry print cuffs!

Tom Ford Noir Extreme $100
Tom Ford Noir Extreme $100 

I do not care what type of man you are, you will smell like a million dollars wearing this impeccable new fragrance from the impeccable man himself, Tom Ford. I love men’s fragrances that include a leather accord in their makeup. The leather gives it that soft distinctive depth. Love this fragrance for men!

Cole Haan Grant Canoe Penny Loafer $168
Cole Haan Grant Canoe Penny Loafer $168 

Cole Haan makes some very comfortable and durable shoes. These are very nice loafers. They are casual, yet are still simplistically elegant. The added extra treading would make these ideal for walking for a good part of the day.

Ted Baker London Multi-function Leather Strap Watch $165
Ted Baker London Multi-function Leather Strap Watch $165 

I love these watches from Ted Baker. They are classy with a modern edge.

Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton-Godfrey Kneller
Portrait of Sir Isaac Newton-Godfrey Kneller 

For the gadget lover:

Logitech Harmony 650 * Device Universal Remote $59.99
Logitech Harmony 650 8 Device Universal Remote $59.99 

According to my husband, every man would love one of these; and if he doesn’t, he will once he knows what it’s like to have one. It does exactly what it says by controlling 8 different devices.

Beats by Dre Powerbeats 2 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones $199.99
Beats by Dre Powerbeats 2 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones $199.99 

Also according to my husband, you apparently cannot beat the sound quality of these headphones. The bluetooth feature makes them very ideal for a runner or someone who is on the go and finds wires cumbersome.

The Court of Chancery Durung The Reign of George I
The Court of Chancery During The Reign of George I-Benjamin Ferrers

For the business professional:

Jack Spade Grant Briefcase $398
Jack Spade Grant Briefcase $398 

This leather briefcase is sleek and practical. It features so much space and organization. As a brother company to Kate Spade, you can rest assured that the quality will be amazing.

MONTBLANC E-Starwalker $525
MONTBLANC E-Starwalker $525 

Montblanc is certainly a luxury item, but it is that special kind of one that will last a lifetime. When I think of Montblanc, I think of Don Draper signing loan documents or something.

Hermes Tarmac PM Passport Holder $240
Hermes Tarmac PM Passport Holder $240 

Does your guy do a lot of travelling that requires him to whip out his passport? If so, imagine how suave he will look doing it with a passport cover from Hermès!

Well I think that about covers it. What do you think are some great gift ideas for Father’s Day?

BEST WARM WEATHER MOISTURIZERS

Warmer weather! The time when most people adopt a “less is more” mantra, especially when it comes to their moisturizers. I tend to stick to my regimen no matter what the season, only because I always want my skin to be in the most ideal shape. However, there are times when I cave and go for something a little more lightweight. The problem for me is finding something lightweight that is still moisturizing enough.

I love trying new products, but finding something to suit my skin is not always the most exciting task. In fact, it can be quite daunting because I never know how my skin will react to a new formula. I am sure that is true for most of you as well. So in light of that, I thought I would compile a list of moisturizer options that I have used in the past and present, that would be good for almost every skin type.

Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer $65
Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer $65 

This was my HG moisturizer while I was living on the East Coast. Sadly, when I moved to the Northwest I had to give this one up. It is very lightweight and completely fragrance and oil free. This one uses some great algae-based moisturizers to keep skin supple. I am not an advocate for using mattifying moisturizers as most contain alcohol. This would be an excellent choice for anyone who is very oily or acne prone. I would not recommend this if you are living in a drier climate, as you do need extra moisture in that case.

Dermalogica Active Moist $41
Dermalogica Active Moist $41 

This one is a bit heavier than the previous, yet still light and silky. It smells naturally of lavender, so it is very soothing. This one is a pretty simple formulation, not too much in the way of anti aging, but still a good all around basic. If you layer serums like I do, this one would be good for that. I never felt greasy while using this. You also get a pretty good amount for the money. The only thing to note is that if you are sensitive to fragrant plant oils, you might want to approach this one with caution. There is a minuscule amount of lavender extract in this, but could still cause a reaction for ultra sensitive skins.

Perricone MD Photoplasma $69
Perricone MD Photoplasma $69

I cannot say enough about this product! I have been using this for a few years now, and I will continue to buy it as long as they make it. It has a light almost mousse like texture. It has some great anti-oxidants, higher Spf, ant-aging ingredients, and it is fragrance and oil free. Yes you can probably find other sunscreens that are not as expensive, but this has prevented me from getting burnt on more than one occasion, makes my skin look amazing, and all without having to worry about breakouts. I feel this would be great for all skin types, as it uses gentle mineral sunscreens. I am hooked on this stuff!

Belif Milky Hydra Balancing Moisturizer $38
Belif Milky Hydra Balancing Moisturizer $38 

This is PACKED full of anti-oxidants and most of them all-natural. I got a sample of this and I love the texture. Very lightweight. This would also be a good option for extra oily or acne prone skins. The only reason I didn’t end up buying the full size of this is because it lacks some anti-aging ingredients that I prefer in my moisturizers. If aging is not at the forefront of your concerns though, this one is worth a try.

Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion $42
Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion $42 

This one is a great all around solution for summer. It is sheer, silky, anti-aging, contains anti-oxidants, and offers sun protection. I am just addicted to my Photoplasma, so I do not need another moisturizer with an Spf. This one does give you an added bonus with the addition of vitamin C, so it will brighten as well!

Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Lotion $75
Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Lotion $75 

This one is going to be the heaviest out of the bunch. It has some heavier emollients, like shea butter, but it is still in a lotion form, so it will still be lighter than a cream. This is foremost an anti-aging moisturizer, with all of the ingredients I look for and then some. I really liked the sample of this lotion, so I am doing some more research to decide if I want to make this my new daytime moisturizer. I don’t feel like this made me oily as the day progressed, but when I tried it, it was still plenty cold. I will have to see how this would do now that it is warmer outside.

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief $52
Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief $52 

This has been a favorite product of mine for years! You honestly get so much hydration for a gel form consistency. It feels so good going on the skin. A great thing about this one is that you can pat it on over dry spots if you get a little dry later in the day. Such a great option for oily and acne prone skin. It is fragrance free as well for those of you who are sensitive. I have a good tip for this one too: Get a tiny little jar, put some in, stick it in the fridge, and then slather it on your face after a long day. Seriously, the most refreshing thing.

I hope this guide has proven helpful. What is your go to moisturizer for Summer?

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: CHARLOTTE OLYMPIA

If ever whimsy was an art form, which it is, Charlotte Olympia would have it down to a “T”. Her shoes and accessories are just so delightfully fanciful. I have kept my eye on this London based designer since shortly after her brand launched in 2008. I always look forward to seeing what she comes up with next!

First let’s talk about her shoes. Imagine what the offspring of a Picasso painting and a pair of Jimmy Choo’s would look like. That is how I would describe most of her shoes designs. There are others with a more subtle makeup, but the vivid ones are what she is known for. Just enjoy the eye candy!

Celebration Meredith Embroidered Wedge Sandal
Celebration Meredith Embroidered Wedge Sandal 

These belong at the most elegant of garden parties!

Dolly Studs Platform Pump
Dolly Studs Platform Pump

     Reminiscent of Dipping Dots, these call for a red silk dress!

Daisy PVC Ankle Wrap Sandal
Daisy PVC Ankle Wrap Sandal 

If I could get married all over again, these would be my wedding shoes!

Debbie Embroidered Suede Platform Pump
Debbie Embroidered Suede Platform Pump 

These are vixenous! Yes, I made up that word. I just love that little flash of red you get on the bottom of the sole.

Love Me Heart Applique Pump
Love Me Heart Applique Pump

Never has there ever been a shoe that was more meant to wear on Valentine’s day………until these. They are my favourite so far from her newest collection.

Arizona Suede Trim Mesh Platform Sandal
Arizona Suede Trim Mesh Platform Sandal 

With a blue Turquoise statement necklace….that’s all I have to say.

Now for the bags! She does some amazing clutch designs. They are all pretty much of a solid construction, mostly acrylic.

Lime Shape Perspex Clutch
Lime Shape Perspex Clutch 

With the garden party shoes, I know!

Kandinsky Printed Pandora Clutch
Kandinsky Printed Pandora Clutch 

This is her popular Pandora style. It gets new prints so often. This design represents the epitome of colour blocking!

Pandora Clear PomPom Clutch
Pandora Clear PomPom Clutch 

I would wear all black and just let that pompom on top be my “flash of bold colour”.

Kitty Square Acrylic Box Clutch
Kitty Square Acrylic Box Clutch 

Who doesn’t want a clutch with a kitty cat face on it?

What do you think of the latest from Charlotte Olympia?

THE LATEST FROM CLINIQUE

Clinique has really been impressing me with some of their latest product innovations. The newest additions to their skincare arsenal include some new formulations from their Turnaround line.tempFile_2015-05-13-11-01-30[1]

The Turnaround line focuses on lost radiance by addressing all of the issues that can cause it, including dryness and lack of exfoliation. I have used a few products from this line in the past, and while they were not bad formulas, they were not as potent as I needed them to be. I am used to more puissant exfoliation at this point.

Having said that, my curiosity for new products was piqued and I headed over to  Macy’s to check out the new Turnaround additions for myself. There is a new treatment oil, a daytime moisturizer, and a revitalizing lotion. I ended up leaving with the new Turnaround Revitalizing Lotion, which is in essence, an essence!

20150514_084612[1]

Essences are fast becoming staples in the everyday skincare routine. I have been using an essence now for about a year, and I do consider it a necessary step now. An essence should be used after cleansing and toning and before any other treatments or moisturizers. Think of it as an after toner.

First impressions:

This lotion has the consistency of a thinner serum. It is fragrance free, oil free, and suitable for all skin types. This formula will treat your skin to some great anti-oxidants, moisturizers, and yeast extracts. Yes you want yeast extracts on your skin! Yeast extracts aids in reducing hyper-pigmentation, increases cell turnover, and  is a very effective humecant thanks to the mixture of sugars and amino acids. Usage is pretty cut and dry, you just shake a few drops from the bottle into the palm of your hand, and pat into your skin. 

20150514_094335[1]

The other impressive thing about this product is how much you get for the price. This bottle is huge! You get 6.7 oz. for $34. This will last for quite a while. I will do a more in-depth review after I have used it for a few weeks.

Have you tried this out yet? Do you use an essence in your skincare routine?

TAG: HOW MUCH DOES MY FACE COST?

I have never given much thought as to how much all of the makeup I use on a daily basis costs as a whole. I can think of a rough estimate, but I would probably be wrong. I think most of us would be wrong!

I was tagged by the awe-inspiring glamnecessities to participate in this, so here we go!

20150510_175634[1]

That doesn’t look nearly as hoard like as I thought it was going to. No turning back now!

Eyes and Brows:

20150510_180102[1]

• Urban Decay eye-shadow in Sellout=$18

• Urban Decay eye-shadow in Busted=$18

• Urban Decay Primer Potion=$20

•Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade in Ash Brown=$18

• Anastasia Clear Brow Gel=$22

• Anastasia Brow Brush #12=$18

• Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner in Black Ink=$25

• Lancôme Maquicomplet Concealer in Correcteur=$31

• Guerlain Cils d’Enfer Mascara in Black=$30

• It Cosmetics Airbrush Angled Liner Brush=$12

• It Cosmetics Live Beauty Fully Eye Smudger Brush #221=$18

• It Cosmetics Live Beauty Fully Small Shadow Brush #220=$18

• It Cosmetics Live Beauty Fully All-Over Shadow Brush #216=$20

• It Cosmetics Velvet Luxe Effortless Crease Brush #320=$26

• It Cosmetics Velvet Luxe Plush All-Over Shadow Brush #322=$26

• It Cosmetics Velvet Luxe Smooth Concealer Brush #314=$28

Lips:

20150510_180014[1]

• Clinique Pop Lip Colour+Primer in Bare Pop=$18

• Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lip Liner in Thrilled=$15

Face:

20150510_175831[1]

• Benefit Dandelion=$28

• Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Original=$36

• Benefit The POREfessional=$31

• Bare Minerals Well Rested=$19

• Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light=$45

• Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder=$33

• It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation in Fair=$35

• It Cosmetics Velvet Luxe Flawless Face Brush #311=$38

• It Cosmetics Velvet Luxe LBD Powder Brush #307=$48

• It Cosmetics Velvet Luxe LBD Foundation Brush #302=$38

• It Cosmetics Velvet Luxe Plush Powder Brush #313=$38

• It Cosmetics Velvet Luxe Soft Focus Sculpting Brush #315=$34

• It Cosmetics Live Beauty Fully Highlight & Blending Brush #223=$26

• It Cosmetics Live Beauty Fully Blending Concealer Brush #203=$22

Grand total=$842! Deep breath!

In my defense, I am sure that mine is not the most expensive face. Since there were no rules I am tagging everyone who would like to participate in this as well. I need to compare! Tell me I am not the only one!

REVIEW: IT COSMETICS BRUSHES

“You cannot achieve good makeup without good tools.”

∼François Nars

This is a universal truth. A truth that I have learned even more so as I have progressed through years. I was first, a fledgling ignoramus buying whichever inexpensive makeup brushes I came across. I thought, “It is only a brush”, “A brush is a brush, is a brush”. Flash forward to present day and the au courant maven I am now will tell you, “I was so wrong”.

I have had some very good brushes in the past. I have had a mixture. Some from Sigma, a few from Bare Escentuals, one or two from Mac etc. Last year I decided to invest in a really nice brush set from It Cosmetics. The ones I got were from their Airbrush line. I really liked them. They were soft and applied my makeup beautifully. I was content………was.

 For Mother’s Day, I decided to go to Ulta and treat myself to a major brush upgrade.

It Cosmetics Velvet Luxe Collection Brushes
It Cosmetics Velvet Luxe Collection Brushes

These brushes are about the softest ones I have ever been able to get my hands on. They are not however, so soft that they do not pick up your product and apply it with the greatest of ease. My only complaint, which is more of a lamentation, is that they do not have a huge selection of eye-shadow brushes from this line. All of the brushes from the Velvet Luxe line feature soft, rubbery easy to grip handles, the softest cruelty free hair, their own plastic cones to keep the brushes neat and compact when not in use, and their own velvet pouches to store them in.

Plush Powder Brush #313
Plush Powder Brush #313, $38

This is the best fluffy brush for picking up loose powder. I love how it applies my Tarte loose powder without it being dusted everywhere else but on my face.

LBD Foundation Brush #302, $38
LBD Foundation Brush #302, $38

This is a very dense full coverage brush that can be used for either powder, cream, or liquid foundation. It works great with my Bare Minerals base foundation.

Plush All-Over Shadow Brush #322, $26
Plush All-Over Shadow Brush #322, $26

This is described as an all-over shadow, but it also does a great job at some precision application. I do not notice very much shadow fall out with this brush.

Effortless Crease Brush #320, $26
Effortless Crease Brush #320, $26

This is hands down the best crease brush I have ever used. It blends so nicely.

Soft Focus Sculpting Brush #315, $34
Soft Focus Sculpting Brush #315, $34

This brush is actually meant for contouring and highlighting, but I cheat and use it as a blush brush. I like to contour my blush with precision! This is a great multi-tasker whatever way you want to use it.

LBD Powder Brush #307, $48
LBD Powder Brush #307, $48

This is the best brush for pressed finishing powders. I use it with my Hourglass Ambient powder and it gives a great all-over application.

Flawless Face Brush #311, $38
Flawless Face Brush #311, $38

This brush has an angled flat top. It gets all the contours of your face. I use it for my powder foundation, and it applies very evenly and smooth. This will apply full coverage as well, without making your powders look too caked on.

Smooth Concealer Brush #314, $28
Smooth Concealer Brush #314, $28

These smooth bristles will apply your liquid and cream concealers like a pro. I just love it. A concealer brush was never something I thought I would have a preference as to which one I used. Me and my naive ways!

It Cosmetics Live Beautifully Heavenly Luxe Collection Brushes
It Cosmetics Live Beautifully Heavenly Luxe Collection Brushes

As I mentioned, there is not a huge selection of eye brushes from the Velvet Luxe collection, so I supplemented with other brushes from the Live Beautifully line. These brushes are very soft as well and feature the Heavenly Luxe cruelty free hair. They also come with their own protective caps with lids for storing. The handles are weighted silver plate, so they are very substantial.

All-Over Shadow Brush #216, $20
All-Over Shadow Brush #216, $20

This is truly an all-over shadow brush. Minimal fall out. I use this for my base shadow. It really will get the shadow on your entire lid in one fell swoop.

Small Shadow Brush #220, $18
Small Shadow Brush #220, $18

This is great for precise areas, like inner corners and the cupid’s bow. I also use this to highlight my brow bone.

Eye Smudger #221, $18
Eye Smudger #221, $18

This is actually the first eye-smudger brush I have ever bought. How did I live without it? There are some secrets the universe must still only possess I suppose. I smudge my eyeliner and apply shadow at my lash line so effortlessly with this.

Blending Concealer Brush #203, $22
Blending Concealer Brush #203, $22

This is meant for powder concealers. I use it around my nose and to set my concealer on my eyes. It is really soft so I use it to highlight around my eyes as well.

Highlight and Blending Brush #223, $26
Highlight and Blending Brush #223, $26

You can use this for bronzing or highlighting. I use it for my powder highlighter over my cheekbones. I really love that it actually applies the product and then can be used to blend it nicely.

There you have it. The summation of my new and above par brush collection. I am so in love with these brushes and cannot say enough about them! They are my favorites over any others I have had in the past.

What do you think? Have you tried these? You all are amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: GUERLAIN CILS D’ENFER SO VOLUME MASCARA

Is there such a thing as “The Perfect Mascara”? I would love to think so, as we live in a world where technology allows me to start my washer and dryer from the convenience of my smart phone. It only makes sense that something as simple as a mascara brush should outperform itself in this day and age, right? I have tried so many different mascaras throughout my life, some of them bad, some of them good, some of them great.

Someone should really develop a mascara Bingo game!

My latest venture in mascara is the new Guerlain Cils d’Enfer So Volume, or Maxi Lash So Volume. This is supposed to be an even more volumizing version of the original popular Maxi Lash, with a blacker than black color. There are oil pigments in the formula that is supposed to keep it from flaking. The brush is modernized with the plastic teeth, that are supposed to grab the lashes.

Cils d’Enfer, French for “lashes from hell”. Scandaleux de troisième degré!

20150509_124847[1]

20150509_125239[1]

Pros:

• This is the blackest mascara I have ever used. I mean the blackest! You definitely get your color payoff with this one.

• You really, REALLY do not need to apply a ton of coats with this. In fact if you do, you will end up with the dreaded “tarantula lashes”. With the first coat you will see some good length.

• You get some pretty decent curl with this one.

• It washes off so easily with cleanser and water. That is very important to me, because I hate having to rub my lashes at all in order to get anything off.

Cons:

• It tends to be a bit clumpy. Having said that, I do not think that there will ever be a mascara that is completely clump free.

• There is a heavy floral fragrance to it. I have never had a fragranced mascara before. As long as it is not irritating to my eyes I do not mind it. So far so good.

• I did notice a very tiny amount of flaking by the end of the night. In the mascara’s defense however, I did put it on at 9 a.m. and didn’t wash it off until about 10:30 that night. It lasted through lunch with friends (sushi and crab-cakes), errands, meeting friends at a fine art gallery for an expo, then dinner (sushi again). It was a full day! Some flakiness should be expected I suppose.

• For a price tag of $30, I expect it to completely live up to the price.

Overall, I like this mascara. The trick is to apply it with a light hand, light coats at a time. Otherwise, you can easily overdo it and have to start over. I do not think that this is “The Perfect Mascara”, but it is a great one that would be worth trying.

Now, I swear on all that is Chanel that I bought this at Sephora, but for some reason it is not on the website at the moment. You can however purchase it at Nordstrom.

Have you gotten your hands on this yet? If so what do you think?

INFINITY DREAMS AWARD

 I have been nominated for the Infinity Dreams Award by SilkyResh. Thank you so much to her! This is the second time she has nominated me for an award. She is just so sweet, and her nail art she does is amazing! Go have a look at her site, you will be so happy you did!

Rules of the nomination:

1. Thank and follow the blog that nominated you.

2. Display the award on your blog.

3. Answer the questions given to you by the amazing person who nominated you.

4. Nominate other bloggers and come up with questions for them to answer.

My questions from SilkyResh:

1. What made you decide to become a blogger?

My mother and friends. People always come to me for beauty, style, and skin advice and my mom said, “You should just start a blog”. So I did!

2. What beauty product can you not live without?

Tweezers! As long as you have a pair of good tweezers, everything will be peachy.

3. What is your biggest fear?

Roaches……..they are of the devil!

4. Do you listen to music while putting on your makeup?

The question is, when am I not listening to music! I am a classical music aficionado! I love instrumentals.

5. What is your favorite ice cream flavour?

Strawberry. Not the fake off brand kinds. The brands that have real chunks of strawberries in it.

6. What is your favorite holiday destination?

Any place with very mild weather. We’re talking maybe 65° for a high. I love visiting historical places.

7. If you could be best friends with a celebrity, who would you choose?

Tom Ford!

8. What instantly puts a smile on your face?

My guinea pigs. Who by the way, are the smartest, sweetest, potty trained (yes potty trained), loving little animals in the world.

9. When was the last time you saw a movie, and what was it?

The Longest Ride. With my mother. She is a major Nicholas Sparks fan.

10. What is your favorite eye-shadow of all time (brand and colour) of all time?

Busted by Urban Decay. It is a satin mocha brown shade, I wear it everyday.

11. Where do you go for style inspiration?

Straight to the runway! I follow fashion shows and of course all the fashion magazines. I am all about elegant fashion. I wear a lot of dresses for the office and pant suits. I just love all types of dresses really. You can make it look casual or extremely dressy.

My nominees are:

Megan

Chanele Edwards

TiffanyLee

christy2010

jodi-a brash attitude

itsagustasif

courtneyrenaesmith

Questions for my nominees:

1. Who is your favorite designer?

2. If you could only own one handbag, which one would it be?

3. What is the worst beauty mistake you ever made?

4. What is the last book you read?

5. What period of time do you consider to be the most fashionable?

6. What is your favorite series on television right now?

7. Do you have an absolute favourite fragrance? If so what is it?

SKINCARE SPOTLIGHT: BELIF FACE MASKS

I recently came across a brand that Sephora is now carrying called Belif. I have to say that after investigating the range of products they offer, I am fairly impressed. They have several cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and treatments to choose from. All of the ingredients they use are pretty much natural. There seems to be a good mix of superb plant extracts in all of their products. They also claim to have no added fragrance, which is always a plus in my book.

The products that stood out to me the most are their line of First Aid face masks. Face masks are such an important addition to your skincare routine. Just like a deep conditioner can do wonders for your hair, a face mask can do wonders for your skin.

It is important to try to weed out what you do and do not want in a face mask. Just like with a lot of products with a cult following, I have found some to be not worth the hype. Figuring out your skin type is the best thing you can do.

That is why I am liking the look of these face masks from Belif. They have a few different options for different concerns.

Belif First Aid Aqua Rush Mask $34
Belif First Aid Aqua Rush Mask $34 

This one is obviously for people with drier skins. The addition of oat extract is such a huge plus for this formula. Oat extract holds in moisture and soothes parched and stressed skin. If you have any issues with redness this one would be a good option. Have you ever had those days where you just want to smear some lukewarm oatmeal on your face? I have, and while I have not literally tried it, I do not think I would find it necessary if I had this mask to use!

Belif First Aid Transforming Peel Off Mask $34
Belif First Aid Transforming Peel Off Mask $34 

This mask features lemon extracts and white willow bark. Using lemon is such a great and natural way to detox your pores, incidentally it does the same thing for your body when you drink it! I love lemon water! In fact I love all things lemon. I am now thinking of lemon bars and getting off track………..Anyway, this is going to be a good choice for congested skin that needs some extra purging. The mix of ingredients in this mask are quite gentle. I think it could also work well for anyone with sensitive skin, without causing irritation.

Belif First Aid Overnight Brightening Mask $34
Belif First Aid Overnight Brightening Mask $34 

This last one is an overnight mask designed to brighten the skin and give it a new-found radiance. The star ingredient in this mask is black truffle! Surely you know what a black truffle is? No not a chocolate truffle, although I wouldn’t complain if I had a few right now. The black gold of Perigord in France? The fungus that sells for $300,000 for a mere 3 pounds? Oh the prized black truffle! Yes my friends, that is what is in this face mask! Shiitake mushroom extracts have been used in skincare for a while now because of their brightening effects. By the way 3 pounds of shiitake mushrooms will NOT cost you $300,000. Probably more like $9.99 at Costco. This mask is the one I am most excited about. I want to see for myself what a black truffle will do for my skin. I am not traveling to Perigord any time soon so this will have to do!

What do you think of these new face masks?

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: VIKTORIA HAYMAN

Summer is on the way, which means so are the nautical and beachy themed accessories. Straw hats and bags, and jewelry in the shape of seashells and crabs. I have to say I am not so much a fan of overly ocean creature inspired ready to wear and accessories, although I do have a pavé diamond starfish pendant that I love.

I have however, discovered some new and amazingly chic mother-of-pearl statement necklaces from Viktoria Hayman. I love mother-of-pearl, and I love Viktoria Hayman’s pieces. Her pieces are simply works of art. Lately I have been gravitating towards all things statement when it comes to the jewelry I buy, and these necklaces certainly fit the bill.

Viktoria Hayman Tiger Wood and Mother-of-Pearl Triple Strand Necklace $375
Viktoria Hayman Tiger Wood and Mother-of-Pearl Triple Strand Necklace $375 

I love this combination with the tiger wood. This necklace is actually really long, 30″ to be exact. That’s a lot of necklace. A lot of gorgeous necklace that is!

Viktoria Hayman Mother- of-Pearl Statement Collar $450
Viktoria Hayman Mother- of-Pearl Statement Collar $450

This one is described as a collar and it is absolutely accurate. All the varying tones and staggered lengths of the shells, plus being gargantuan in size, makes this the epitome of a statement necklace. Imagine just a plain, simple, white, and flowing dress with just this necklace. Perfection!

Viktoria Hayman Black Lip Mother-of-Pearl Statement Necklace $495
Viktoria Hayman Black Lip Mother-of-Pearl Statement Necklace $495 

I love the darker gray mother-of-pearl! I think this hue goes so beautifully with black and jewel tones.

Viktoria Hayman Mother-of-Pearl Statement Necklace $450
Viktoria Hayman Mother-of-Pearl Statement Necklace $450 

I think this one is probably my favorite. It will go with just about any color! Just look at the varying shapes she used for this one. So breathtakingly gorgeous!

Which one is your favorite?

JeNu ULTRA SONIC INFUSER

2015-01-02-21-04-35-1[1]

Some of you may remember about a month ago I did a post featuring the new JeNu Ultra Sonic Infuser.

A week ago the marketing director of JeNu approached me about wanting to send me the JeNu system to try and compare with the OpalSonic system. Of course I enthusiastically accepted! I had tried the OpalSonic system and was not impressed the results. A few days ago I received the JeNu system in the mail and I have been using it faithfully for the past few days. Here are my findings so far.

20150205_175612-1[1]

The system consists of The JeNu wand and the MicroSphere conducting gel. You will also receive a charger and usage instructions. This system is designed to maximize the absorption of your skincare products through ultrasound energy, making them more effective.

20150205_175947-1[1]

20150205_175743[1]

The wand itself is very lightweight and extremely easy as far as maintenance goes. You just wipe off the metal disk when finished. I would not recommend submerging this device in water in order to clean it.

20150205_180445-1[1]

The device connects to the charger like so and it has a magnetic like hold, sort of like the pLink chargers for the Clarisonics. The charger holds the device steady while plugged into the wall.

The first time I used it I was impressed with the fact that it is a very gentle device, unlike the OpalSonic there is no potentially irritating motion. I placed a very small pea sized amount of the gel onto the wand and turned it on. The gel reminds me of the gel used when performing a pregnancy ultrasound, it is fragrance free and non sticky. I then ran the device over my targeted areas in slow small circles. I focused on the main potential trouble spots on my face such as my forehead, around my eyes, and the nasolabial area. You can use this device on your entire face or trouble spots only, it is up to you. During use I did feel a slight warming sensation with a very slight tingle. Those sensations were in no way unpleasant, very relaxing rather, and according to the directions completely normal. After one minute of use the device automatically shuts off.

After my first initial use I did notice that the areas where I had used it were plumper. The next morning those areas seemed a lot smoother. I have been following that same routine until tonight when I used it on my whole face. We will see what my face looks like in the morning!

So far no negative reactions to the device or the gel. Here are a few tips and extra info if you decide to try this device:

1. You MUST use the gel with the wand. They were designed to work together. You do get quite a bit of gel, so it should last about 3 months or longer if you use it sparingly. A tube of gel will run you $28. The first few times I used it I think I used a little bit too much. On the website it says that if you have gel left over on your skin, you have used too much. Eventually you will be able to determine how much gel is the right amount. A pearl size or smaller is recommended for smaller areas, and a dime size for an entire side of your face.

2. As I said DO NOT submerge this in water. There is no need. I would recommend just taking a cotton ball with a bit of alcohol and wiping gently to sanitize.

3. The best time to use this is going to be after you use your most potent product. That will usually be your serums and retinol treatments. I wash my face, tone, use my mineral mist, essence, then retinol and serum, then I use the JeNu. I then follow with my moisturizer. I do also apply my eye cream before I use the JeNu around my eyes. Do note that you must not use this on your eyelids, and take care to not get any of the gel into your eyes. I am also interested to discover what results I would get if I use the JeNu after my entire face routine. I may try that after my initial 30 day trial.

Overall, so far I really like this device, and MUCH prefer it to the OpalSonic. I will continue to use this every night, and in a few more weeks I will give another review of my results. Also, right now on their website there is a limited time special offer for the device, usb charger, a nice travel bag, and the MicroSphere gel for $ 195, at jenu.com.

I am so excited to continue to use my JeNu device! Anything to stave off Botox!

Please feel free to ask any and all questions!

See disclaimer located at the end of the site.

THE BIGGEST ICE CREAM SUNDAE EVER

I have been pretty quiet on my blog for the past week, I’ve had a lot going on. So last night my husband took my daughter and I out for a family date night. After The Hunger Games we went to this restaurant called Dockside, which is at the resort about 10 minutes from my house. The food is pretty good, but what they are most famous for is ice cream sundaes the size of fishbowls!

20150119_193708[1]

The cool lounge in the restaurant. Look at the fireplace!

20150119_193750[1]

Speaking of fishbowls, check out this one that these fortunate fish get to live in.

20150119_191800-1[1]

Oh no, I don’t think you understand! The picture doesn’t do it justice. All three of us could barely finish half of it! A colony of goldfish would be happy in there!

Have you been to any amazing restaurants lately?