Saturday, August 6, 2011

DIY French Manicure

I've never had any luck with those itty bitty nail guides for french manicures, so I was looking up some other DIY methods for french mani's and came across the idea to just use scotch tape.  Easy, cheap, and most of us already have it in the house!

All I did was take a strip of tape and start at one edge of my nail and as I went from one side of the nail to the other, I let it follow the natural curve.  The tape will buckle from making the curve but as long as the edge is pressed tight against the nail, you won't have any polish seeping underneath.  I taped all ten nails, applied two coats of polish and let it dry.  Then peeled off the tape and finished the entire nail with a topcoat.  You can see on my pinky that the topcoat picked up a little colour and smeared it, so I will have to let it dry a bit longer next time.  

Give it a try!  I think it turned out pretty well for a first attempt and now I can get a french without having to shell out extra $$ at the salon.  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My Acne Arsenal!


At 34, I still get breakouts, especially on my chin and a little bit around my nose.  I never had breakouts in my teens... go figure!!!  I have tried prescriptions, including a retinol product, which works wonders, but makes my skin dry, sensitive and sometimes rather painful.  For the small breakouts that I do get, I really don't need something so strong.  So here is my every day solution...

In the morning, I use the Tea Tree Concealer stick from the Body Shop.  It is thick enough that it covers blemishes well, but not so thick that it looks like a cakey mess.  The tea tree oil in the product also acts as an antiseptic.  The other reason I use this during the day is because it doesn't dry out my skin or leave me with flakies part way through the day like a Salacylic Acid product will.  Those have just never worked for me.

In the evening, before bed, OR on days when I don't need a lot of coverage, I use Clearasil's tinted acne treatment.  It is a Benzoyl Peroxide cream and has a very natural tint.  It covers well and in the morning, my skin is generally clear!  My boyfriend introduced me to this after years of buying expensive products.  Turns out, good ole Clearasil is my savior!  

I highly recommend both of these products.  They are gentle on the skin and very effective.  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Product Review: Paula's Choice Exfoliating 8% AHA Gel

This gel is recommended for Normal/Dry skin, however I have combination, acne prone skin and I LOVE it.  Especially since I use Benzoyl Peroxide on my skin when I have a breakout, this is perfect to slough off the dry skin that is a side effect of the BP.  

Every day after cleansing and toning, I apply this to my skin before my serum and moisturizer.  Using this every day keeps my skin looking "new"  :)  The first few times you use it, I would recommend every other day for your skin to get used to it.  It may feel like it's burning a touch, but the sensitivity to it goes away after a few uses.  Also, don't use it if your skin is feeling very irritated.  It IS a chemical exfoliant.  

I highly recommend this product.  I much prefer this kind of exfoliant over a physical one (like a scrub) as it's gentler and I can use it every day.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Beat the Heat Makeup Tips

Okay everyone it is time to beat this heat! Here are some tips for these ooey gooey, gross, melt-your-face-off kind of days.

  • Skip the foundation and just use a pressed or loose powder -- and if you must use foundation, go for something like a mineralized powder which will be light enough not to slide off as the day goes on
  • Skip eyeshadow -- and if you must use eyeshadow, make sure to use a base to prevent your eyeshadow from creasing in the humidity. My favourite base is MAC's paint. Don't use too much or it will crease as well
  • Skip all cream based makeup products like cream blushes, cream shadows, cream foundations and stick with powders
  • Use a waterproof eyeliner like MAC's Fluidline's. These have amazing staying power and are also great on the waterline
  • Use a waterproof mascara as well -- you may not be going swimming, but on days like this, sweat from your forehead can get into your eyes and make a major mess of your mascara
  • Skip filling your brows -- why?? If you are going to be outside at all, you're going to sweat a bit and the last thing you want is to be smearing your eyebrows all over your face! If any of you know of a sure thing stay in place eyebrow filler, please let me know because I have yet to find a fail-safe one!
  • Switch up heavy moisturizers with lightweight lotions, or even gels
  • Carry along a misting bottle with water to give your face a light spritz now and again
So if you're stuck inside, go out and buy a kiddie pool and relax in your yard cause come January, you'll be wishing it was this hot again!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Product Review: Biotherm Biocils Eye Makeup Remover

This is a re-post from two years ago. This is still, by far, my favourite eye makeup remover. The sad part is that you can't buy Biotherm in the US. So sad :( I guess I will have to get someone to mail me a care package from home!
As I mentioned in my last review, I like a really hardcore eyemakeup remover! And this stuff is my holy grail!

From the Biotherm website:

  • This gentle, fluid, two-phased formula quickly dissolves waterproof makeup while gently cleansing eye contour without leaving an oily film. Waterproof and non-greasy, suitable for senstitive eyes and contact lens wearers.
The above says it all, and aside fom not being able to vouch for the part about contact lenses since I don't wear them, I find their claims to be 100% accurate. I LOVE this stuff. It removes my most stubborn waterproof eyemakeup with very little rubbing and leaves my skin feeling soft. It doesn't leave a really oily film on my eyeballs like some other two-phase or oil based makeup removers. For $27.00 CAN for 125mL, I find this to be a reasonable price as it lasts a very long time since I don't need to use a lot. I always stock up when Biotherm has one of their great bonuses!

Product Review: Trader Joe's Enrich Lotion

I have been trying out some beauty on a budget products recently and after a recommendation from a webcast on I decided to give this a try. It is a fantastic daytime moisturizer with SPF 15. It's not greasy at all, which is something I hate about lotions with sunscreen. Now that I am back in California, I figure I should be using sunscreen daily again (as much as the girl-who-loves-a-tan in me resists!). It has no colour or fragrance and gives just the right amount of moisture for my combination skin. And with a pricetag under $3.00... well, it's an incredible budget beauty buy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I am back in Oakville, Ontario for three weeks and my allergies have gone haywire! I have had a couple of spring/summer seasons where my days were spent trying to make my eyes less red and puffy, and using all my willpower not to rub my eyes into mascara-smeared racoon eyes. I tried to avoid using allergy meds as much as possible, but after talking to my Doctor, it is worth it to make sure to take those over the counter antihistamines as soon as you feel any symptoms in conjunction with an eye drop specifically for allergies. I like the Clear Eyes allergy drops and for an antihistamine, I stick with the Life Brand from shoppers since it's the same stuff as the brand name. Now all won't work for everyone. For example, Claratin and Reactine are two totally different medications, so try one and if it doesn't work for you, try the other. Loratadine (generic name) works best for me. So why am I posting about this on a beauty blog? There is nothing worse than itchy, watery eyes, a red nose and a puffy face when all you want to do is feel spring pretty!! Keep those allergies at bay and during the really bad days, focus your makeup around your lips and keep your eyes neutral with minimal liner and definitely use waterproof mascara so that you don't end up a runny mess.