Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring 2014: Beauty and Style Trends

I'm so excited to share all of this goodness with you! This season has some pretty amazing and fresh trends that anyone can try. I think a lot of it is actually very simple and very flattering.


1. Red Orange Lips:


I know this color looks intimidating, but it is gorgeous and it can look great on everyone.  Here's another example.


This is more red, but still is red orange. This photo also shows trend number two.

2. Glowing skin from highlighter/illuminator

3. Natural Skin

How gorgeous is this! I love how with less coverage you focus on the skin more than the makeup. Also if you have freckles isn't it nice to let them show?

4. Very defined minimal eye makeup

See the pictures above and see how there definitely is liner and mascara, but it is not overstated or sloppy at all.

5. Metallic eye makeup

Pinterest, original unknown

6. Extended eye liner

Both winged and cat eye, eye liner (worn separately).

7. Neutral manicures

8. Messy hair


Messy braids,


messy half done hair,

(this picture also shows...

9. Hair accessories
(flowers, bling, clips, bandanas, headbands, etc.)


messy buns,

Pinterest, original unknown

messy ponys, and of course messy just plain down hair.

10. Big, bold, but natural looking brows


1. Floral pants


2. Loose flowy tops

3. Tops tucked in at least partially


4. Boyfriend jeans


5. High waist shorts


That's as much as I can think of for you right now :)  I'll try to do a post with how to do some of these easily and on a budget.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Quick and easy top knot with braid

To be completely honest, doing my hair is not my thing. I can get it took look pretty good most of the time. I don't do anything too complex though, and I rarely try anything new. So basically if I can do this anyone can.

First brush or comb your hair straight back.

Take a section about three to four inches wide in the front middle and about two inches deep (the top front middle of your hair)

Split it in three and braid neatly while holding it back so it will lay flat against your head without bumps 

Braid about six inches. Secure end with small elastic or bobby pin/clip (this is just temporary)

Put hair including braid into a high pony

Remove elastic, clip, etc from end of braid

Twist hair into bun and secure with elastic or pins (I tuck the end into the elastic of my pony)


Friday, March 14, 2014

The best tips for how to grow long, healthy hair fast

I LOVE long hair. I have had hair down to my waist a few times in my life and I have only had it shorter than my shoulder blades three times. My hair is naturally pretty healthy and usually grows fast. The last year or so I have started to have more breakage. That combined with a botched hair cut has left me with shoulder blade length hair that I intend to grow out ASAP. 

I have done quite a bit of research lately and I wanted to share it and my own experience with other long hair addicts and dreamers out there.

Welcome to hair school!

First you want to encourage growth and secondly you want to prevent breakage. (Duh, right?) But seriously all tips fit into one of these two.

Encourage growth:

1.  Healthy diet:
  Lots of fruits and veggies
  Whole grains
  Healthy fats and proteins (fish, legumes, yogurt, eggs, avocados, etc.)

2.  Biotin/hair and skin vitamins

3.  Exercise

4.  Enough sleep

5.  Scalp stimulation:
  Brush/comb from scalp
  Scalp massage
  Part hair in different spots to style and also to brush/comb (putting your head       upside down and brushing your hair out feels sooo good on your scalp)

Preventing breakage:

6.  Use good MOISTURIZING shampoo and conditioner (choose moisturizing over volumizing, etc.)

7.  Deep condition every week or every other week (can do this with coconut oil, tutorial here)

8.  Wash hair every other day at the most

9.  Lather shampoo in hands before shampooing roots (if your shampoo lathers)

10.  Shampoo roots only

11.  Condition all of your hair, start at the roots and scalp and work to ends (use the conditioner to massage your scalp for about two minutes after you've coated all of your hair)

12.  Don't brush through wet hair

13.  Satin or silk pillow case

14.  Braid hair before going to bed

15.  Don't pull hair up into a bun or pony tail every day (I have been guilty of this and think it's the cause of a lot of my breakage)

16.  Use bobby pins, clips and barrettes more than pony tail bands to prevent breaking hair

17.  Trim broken and split ends when you notice them (great tutorial here)

18.  Only trim breakage don't get trims just "to keep hair healthy" or "to help it grow."   Your hair is dead and has no way of even knowing it has been trimmed. It will not make it grow faster, but breakage needs to be removed as splits and breaks will continue up the hair shaft and will also contribute to tangles and more breakage

19.  Avoid heat styling: do bun curls, sock bun curls, braids, etc. to get body and different styles.

20.  Air dry hair, if you have to use a blow dryer, let your hair dry almost all of the way and then use blow dryer, don't towel dry hair.

So I had a really, really bad hair trim in January.  I finally had the courage to go in and get it fixed last weekend.  I knew I was going to lose a lot of length, but it was so uneven that I couldn't even wear my hair down.  Here's the before and after of my "fix it" cut.

Do you have any good tips I left out?  Share them below, pretty please!  :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The best of elf cosmetics: what to get and what to skip (plus huge half off sale)

50% OFF BS + NEW

I was already working on this post of what I've tried from e.l.f. Cosmetics. The post was going to be "what to get and what to skip." Now they're having this amazing sale....and a lot of my "picks" are half off. Sweet! 

If you've wanted to try e.l.f., if you like e.l.f., or want to try new products, now is the time. If you order $35 or more they have free shipping. I would buddy up with one or two other people and put together an order for the free shipping. Here's my recommendations.


Essential line:
All over color stick
Clear brow mascara
Luscious liquid lipstick
Facial whip
Eye shadow brush

Loose mineral eye shadow (on sale)

Mineral infused face primer (on sale)
Studio kabuki brush (on sale)
Studio makeup mist and set (on sale)
Studio baked blush (on sale)
Studio baked bronzer (on sale)


Studio corrective concealer
Studio HD powder

And based on reviews and my current's my wish list or to try list.

What I want to try:

Smudge pots (on sale)
Studio HD blush (on sale)
Blush palette (on sale)
BB cream (on sale)
Studio eye brow kit (on sale)
Studio baked highlighter (on sale)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Testing, testing 1 2 3: Mascara contact solution fix

So there have been a lot of pins on Pinterest about adding contact solution or saline eye drops to old mascara. This is supposed to fix the dry, clumpy, old mascara you already have so you don't have to buy a replacement as soon. Sounds great to me!

Here's my test of this mascara fix. I added about five drops of contact lens solution to my old mascara.

So far it's great! I will update this in about a week with whether it is still working.

If you want to test this out now...

Take your kinda clumpy old mascara and add four drops solution (contact lens or saline eye drops). Put your wand back in and twist tightly shut. Shake it up. Start untwisting your wand then twist back shut, do this a few times to continue mixing. Don't pump the wand in and out to mix. This introduces more air and dries mascara out.

**It's been a week now and my mascara is still working just fine.  It is starting to slowly thicken up again, but it is about perfect and not clumpy.  It was getting to the point that it was clumping and flaking before I "fixed" it and I haven't had any problems since :)

It works!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Inspiration: Alternatives to "Kardashian" make up

I was exploring popular posts on Instagram today and came across a make up artist's page. He was very talented but all of his looks appeared to be basically the same. The models all had beautiful tan skin, dark hair, perfect smokey eyes, and skilled highlighting and contouring. I was scrolling through the beautiful pictures when I realized I was bored. I then realized that this "Kardashian" style make up has taken over Pinterest and YouTube and beauty blogs for the last few years.

These photos show the airbrushed skin, perfect bronzer, highlighting and contouring, nude lips, perfectly filled in thin brows, and perfect smoky eyes that I refer to as "Kardashian" style make up.

I'm sure if I'm getting bored of just one style of make up dominating social media, that others must be too. Here's a post to show there is other make up inspiration out there. It should be refreshing to see a bunch of different beautiful ideas.
I love how dewy her skin is, the freckles peeking through, the light berry lip light blush, natural eye makeup, very understated contouring and the luminance throughout.

I love the natural make up in this look, allowing the bold thick winged eye to be the center of attention.
I love the dewy, natural look of her skin, light eye makeup and natural pink lips.
I love how the blush is the center of this makeup look and how the lip and simple black eye makeup complement the peachy blush.
I love the matte finish and flawless skin paired with the bold eye look, light blush and highlighted lips. This look reminds me of Angelina Jolie.
I love the luminosity of the skin, the white liner on her waterline and the bold fuscia lips.
I love her bold, slightly messy brows, the natural eye makeup, light peachy blush, and the highlighting to the center of her face.
I love the highlighting, the light rosy blush, the copper under eye makeup and the glossy pink lip with more natural looking brows.
I love the freckles and the liner and mascara.

I love the highlighting, the light berry lip, contoured blush, and natural eye makeup.

I hope you enjoyed looking at all of these beautiful faces and feel inspired!  

(None of these pictures are mine and I am sharing them purely as inspiration, all images were on Pinterest and I have spent over an hour trying to track down original sources to credit.)