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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Natural Suncare for Summer Fun

Orginally posted for Denver Style Magazine

It's Summer, the sun is out, the clothes are shrinking, and skin it's making it's appearance all over the place. Summer is the perfect time for swimming and beaches and barbecues; but it's also a good time to think about suncare. I know many of us want to get tan during these warmer months, but it's not worth it (at least the sun-rays way) to your skin and health. I'm a pasty girl so I know the allure, but the science of beauty has given us other options. Or you can keep it pasty!

Either way, sunscreen is crucial on sunny or cloudy days. Remember UV rays aren't bothered by clouds, they can get you either way. I just got back from a vacation in Costa Rica where I layed and played in the sun and the clouds. To protect myself I brought a lot of sunscreen - all of it natural, green and cruelty-free... even better!

For the Body

I need a spray for body sunscreen... I don't know about you but I don't have time to play around with rubbing a cream in. This Alba spray was great to get to (almost) all my nooks and crannie. It doesn't have a "sunscreen-y" smell, which I appreciate!

For the Face

I bought a Coola travel pack from Ulta with tinted and non-tinted options. Both worked well and my face never burned, though they do have weird texture you might have to gete used to. It almost feels like a mineral makeup is mixed in with the cream... odd but effective. Also, if you're buying the full size I would suggest the one that's  not tinted as the tint doesn't show up on the skin at all.

For the lips, I used this tinted lip balm by Coola with an SPF 30. I've never burnt my lips but it doesn't sound fun so I don't think I will. This gives you a little color, a nice slip, and is moisturizing, so overall it's just a great lip balm.

For After the Sun (aka when you're burned to a crisp)

In Costa Rica I made a dumb move and didn't but sunscreen on my legs (ah! The shock and horror) so I got burned. It was lame and hurt and I totally learned my lesson. But luckily this Coola Environmental Repair Plus makes the healing process better. It feels nice and cooling on the burn is moisturizing and does help with the pain a bit. Much more comfortable to put on than lotion. Love this stuff!

All these products helped me enjoy my vacation safely and I would recommend them to anyone. I hope you all get to have fun in the sun this Summer. And if you do, remember your protection!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Anti-aging Skincare Routine

One day I woke up, looked in the mirror and realized, "Shit, I'm getting older!" It's subtle things I noticed; Like my eyes are more hooded, my eyebrows aren't quite as high, and my skin is not quite as taught. So it's nothing major but I notice it. And if you all are anything like me you're noticing the changes too. 

I've started researching more about anti-aging skincare and applying them to my routine... at least a little bit. According to (an amazing beauty resource btw), the most important ingredients for a great wrinkle cream (aka anti-aging products) are retinol and hyaluronic acid. And the great thing is, we've heard about these for years so they're easily accessible in the products out there at any price range. 

Good news! did reseach on the most effective wrinkle creams with these ingredients and they came up with the top 3 (read more here) one of which is cruelty-free! Yay for cruelty-free anti-aging. 

I haven't tried any of the top 3 yet, but I have been including those ingredients in my cruelty-free skincare routine. I use a hyaluronic acid serum in the morning and a retinol serum at night. 

Daytime Skincare

I keep my morning skincare routine pretty simple because, let's face it, I'm sleepy and don't want to deal with a million steps. But I make sure to get in a few power products with hyaluronic acid and SPF.

Nighttime Skincare

My night skincare routine is more involved as I feel my skin can absorb more overnight. I want a clean slate and lots of great ingredients for my skin to soak up.

Skincare Tips for Anti Aging and Beyond

Over the years of trial and error I feel that I have developed a pretty good cocktail of skincare. I have a few tips to help your skincare routine work it's best at any price point, complexity, or type.

  • Be gentle - this is your face afterall, it's been nice to you. Try to be gentle as you wash, put on products and apply eye creams. 
  • Press in your heavy-hitting produts - After I lightly swipe my serums, oils, and/or moisturizers over my face I got back and press it all in all around my face. This helps the product sink and and ensures you get it all off your fingers.
  • Take your time between steps - some products (serum especially) should settle in before you move on. That's usually when I do the eye cream.
  • Don't forget your neck and decollete - all of the serums, oils, and moisturizers I talk about I'm also applying to these areas.
I hope this post has been helpful to you! I know skincare can sometimes be complicated and confusing. But I swear it gets better - talk to professionals, do your research, and keep trying different things until something works. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

New and Loving: Summer Beauty

I know it's been a long while since I've done a favorites post (see my last one here). Truth be told, I haven't tried too many new products over the last few months... that is until recently. Within the last few weeks I've brought or received a few new products I wanted to share with you all!

So here's which makeup and hair products I've been loving so far this summer!


Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation - fair-light neutral
I've been looking for a new foundation for AGES and haven't found anything. I feel like most foundations are too thick and cakey, too luminous, too matte, too whatever! So I usually do my "foundation" with concealer. But as I'm still always on the search, I got a sample of this at Sephora and really loved it, so I bought the full-size. This almost never happens, so you now it's a big deal.

This foundation is watery as the name would suggest and goes on super thin. It's a light coverage but you can build it up to light/medium. It looks super natural on the skin, which, of course, is the look I'm going for.

Sephora Birthday Gift
Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush - paaarty
Tarteist Lip Paint - birthday suit

Sephora's gift this year was a good one. I love Tarte blushes but never owned one, so now I do! I really like this color to enhance a really bronzed look. The brown base means it adds nice color to the cheeks without detracting from my bronzy-goddess glow.

Now the lip paint is kind of funny. As you probably know (if not see here and here) I have a love/hate relationship with lipstick of any kind. But I have yet to find a liquid lipstick that I really like at all. This little guy actually shocked me! First the color is the perfect nude, it's very beige but doesn't make you look dead. I don't know how and I don't need to know, it's awesome! The formula is thin and pigmented and stays pretty well. But what I like is that it doesn't ever really dry down, it stays slightly soft and moveable. This means my lips don't turn into dry prunes, score!

Wet n Wild (not pictured)

Photofocus Concealer - light/medium beige

Oops I forgot to add this to the pic, sorry guys! Oh concealer, the other challenge, after foundation and mascara. Hard to get right, so important. This one has become a fave and it's only around $4! What? I use it as a foundation (do you want to see a tutorial of this?) and for any redness or blemishes I have. I'll also use it under my eyes for a more natural look when I'm not looking for an intense highlight.  I think I'm in love!

Vert Beauty

Organic Concealer Pencil - lumiere

Vert is a local green beauty store and brand here in Denver, CO. I was lucky enough to receive a care package from them for summer beauty this June. In the box was this concealer pencil. I'll be honest, I wasn't excited about this product because I've never had much luck with concealer pencils in the past. They can be very waxy and hard to blend. This pencil is so differnt, it's creamy, full coverage, and easy to blend. Been using it pretty much the same as the Wet n Wild concealer and loving it!

Urban Decay

All-Night Setting Spray

Ok, ok we all know, holy grail status. Not even really worth talking about. But this stuff is raved about in the blogger and YouTube worlds for a reason. It is the best at locking in your makeup. I do notice a difference in the longevity of my makeup when I use this, especially for a glam night look. But I also use this daily to take down any powdery-ness and keep my makeup looking fresh.

This is the best, but if it's a little out of your price range, the Wet n Wild Photofocus Setting Spray is a pretty good dupe.

OGX (not cruelty-free)

Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco

I try to be honest with you guys about going cruelty-free with my beauty products. And with that I have to admit that sometimes I buy something that's not cruelty-free. Life happens.

Before my vacation I was having ridiculously dry, brittle, straw-like hair. And I wasn't having any of it. It just kept getting worse and worse. So the day before my trip I made a stop at Walmart for some Argan Oil and this is what I found. And like it or not, it has saved my hair. No more straw! I'm back to soft, manageable hair. I call it a win!

If you know of any good hair oils that are cruelty-free I would love to try them out. Send them my way!

Also, I've been loving this purse for summer so cute and practical. It still holds all my stuff. And I love that I can change the straps; over-the-shoulder, cross-body, and clutch. I'm a sucker for multitasking products!

I hope you all have been enjoying your summer months! I'd love to hear what products are keeping you feeling great this summer... drop them below! And keep enjoying all this sunshine (safely of course).

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Friday, July 7, 2017

5 Tips to Get Out of a Funk

First off, I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July! I am playing around with my blog schedule and formatting so there may be some tweaks in the coming weeks. But please know I will still be posting weekly on this space. Hopefully I'll find a good fit soon :)

 Got the blahs? doldrums? boredom? or funk? Yea me too! We all get that way now and again. Maybe our social lives aren't as lively as we'd like, we're lacking motivation to start something, getting out of the house seems more and more a challenge, that guy/girl hasn't called us back, etc... The list goes on and on and it just gets more and more overwhelming to get yourself back up and functioning again.

I think especially as a single person,  a lot of these feelings/issues are exacerbated by feeling alone and lonely. And though I wish, I could give you the magic formula to find love (I'm still working on that front), I can offer support. I've compiled some tips & tricks that I use to pull myself out of these funky times and back into my life:

#1 - Allow Yourself Some Alone Time

Maybe you're in the doldrums because you need some time alone to recharge and refresh. And you know that's ok. Start a great book or series on Netflix, make a delicious dinner for one, or have an at-home spa night. Just take the cue and focus on yourself for a bit before taking the next steps.

I love to spend time snuggling with my dog and cats. Giving them extra attention is always good for everyone! Also taking time to write in a journal and/or remember what you have to be gateful for in your life are great ways to bring some perspective.

#2 - Say Yes!

The funny thing about having the blahs is that I start to live in this dark state of mind and withdraw from the outside world. So I start then saying no to offers to get out and do something... no bueno. Say yes and get off your couch, into some real clothes, and back into the world.

For example a few weeks ago (when I was pinnacle funky) I was offered to do makeup for a photo shoot by a local blogger (VanessaLand). Normally, I might have talked myself out of this, "Who am I to think I can do makeup for others?" But I talked myself up, picked up my confident mask and said yes! And guess what? It was an amazing experience; I met great ladies, did some beautiful makeup, and was so proud of myself. I walked away from that feeling powerful!

#3 - Reach Out to People

Obviously you've got some free time, so what better way to rekindle a relationship or start a new friendship with someone.

I'm terrible at keeping in touch with friends, so I use this time to reach out and setup happy hour or lunch dates. Also, what a great time to focus on networking. I've made some great connections online and in person by actively reaching out to other bloggers.

#4 - Do Something that Scares You 

As you may remember from my birthday post (here) one of my goals this year was to not let fear rule me. And to that point doing something that makes me afraid or nervous can do wonders for my mood.

Just this last weekend I went shooting for the first time. At first, I was terrified! Here I had a gun in my hand that could potentially kill me or others, and it was scarey. But as I went on and learned about the weapons, safeties, and aiming I became more comfortable. And I walked away feeling empowered and so proud of myself. It's a high that I could get used to!

#5 - Set or Re-evaluate Your Goals

I often find the reason behind my blahs is that I'm unhappy with where I am in life. I don't know about you all, but I often feel stuck. And as much as I'd like to think a new relationship, job, degree, or whatever will fix that, it's usually that I'm not actively pursuing the things I want out of life.

In my most recent bout of funk I was really unhappy with my job and started job searching. But it dawned on me that I actually should go back to school, as that will help me more in my future than a new position. Even just the act of researching degrees and schools, helped pull me out of the funk.

I hope these tips help you the next time you're in a funk that you just can't seem to crawl out of! Good luck to you all and remember "if we're all alone, then we're all in that together" (quote from P.S. I Love You).

Have a great week lovelies!

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