Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Everything you need to know about Charcoal!

Everything You Need to Know About Charcoal Soap!

There has been a wave of products with charcoal lately! I've seen soaps, masks, those pore strips, you name it!  And for good reason, charcoal is amazing! Charcoal is great for acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema. It's used in the medical field for detoxification, and works similarly on the skin. Charcoal boasts beauty benefits for skin by drawing oil, dirt and other harmful substances from clogged pores due to its adsorption powers. It can hold up to a 100 times its weight in impurities.

The key ingredients in the BeautyCounter charcoal cleansing bar are Charcoal Powder (drawing detoxifying), Coconut Oil (bacteria fighting), Witch Hazel ( astringent/bacteria fighting), and Green Tea ( bacteria fighting and energizing). The other beauty of this product is that is contains coconut oil and sunflower oil making it soothing to the skin

The Charcoal Cleansing Bar detoxifies and absorbs impurities in your skin without drying it out, resulting in a smoother, brighter complexion. Made with antioxidant-rich, organic green tea and hydrating organic coconut oil, the gentle formula can be used daily on your face and body.

 This product is not only great for the face but also your back, the back of your arms where many people struggle with keratosis pilaris, as well as and diaper rash.

Here are BeautyCounter's list of 7 reasons you should try the Charcoal Cleansing Bar!

If the idea of cleansing your face with charcoal sounds a little counterintuitive, we’re here to clear up (pun intended) any doubts. Our new Charcoal Face Bar works to clarify and detoxify your skin without drying it out. Read on for seven reasons this charcoal soap is the product you never knew you needed—until now.

1. Safety first: Soaps are often made with harsh surfactants such as sulfates that are overly drying and irritating to the skin. In addition, soaps may contain parabens as well as synthetic dyes, antioxidants, and fragrances that can act as hormone-disrupting chemicals. Our face bar doesn’t come with any of that.
2. Charcoal has gained a lot of attention lately as a buzzy skincare ingredient. Our bar contains a special type of charcoal powder called Binchotan, which helps to thoroughly cleanse skin and draw out dirt, oil, and impurities.
3. The fear with any deeply cleansing, detoxifying product is that it will also dry out your skin. Thanks to hydrating organic coconut and sunflower seed oils, our formula doesn’t.
4. Other noteworthy ingredients include antioxidant-rich organic green tea extract as well as organic witch hazel, an astringent that works to refine pores and balance skin.
5. Our formula works well for all skin types—not simply combination skin—and for men, women, and teens. It’s gentle enough to use daily on both your face and body.
6. Nothing looks cooler on your bathroom counter than a bar of black soap (plus, it’s a great conversation starter).
7. It’s designed to help give you a smoother, brighter, healthier-looking complexion—and who doesn’t want that?

Check it out here!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Megs Wedding Makeup

Megan's Wedding Makeup!

My sister informed me about two weeks ahead of time, that she wanted ME to do her makeup for her wedding! Cue instant panic and freakouts on my part!   Megan generally wears minimal makeup, and had felt to overdone and "pageanty" at the trials she had gone to.  While I understood what she meant, I was very nervous to undertake such a massive responsibility for her wedding (and without significant time to practice since she lives in Ohio and I live in New Jersey)

We were able to practice a few days before the wedding and get a feel of what Megan wanted, which was basically to look like herself but better! She wanted a bit of shimmer on her eyes, as well as the color purple, and a nude lip. 


Below are listed ALL the products I used. I'm sure many will be surprised as to how many products are used for such a natural look!

Before makeup-

I used BeautyCounter Skin balancing facial oil - I find this moisturizes and balances oil production preventing late day shininess, I don't think I reapplied powder to Megan at all. 

Primer - I used Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer which I have found to be the best photographed primer I have ever used. It smooths out skin and minimizes pores and fine lines. 

Foundation - Mac Face and Body foundation in C3 on the face. - I really like this because its light and natural looking and also photographs well. 

Concealer - I used BeautyCounter Concealer pen in light under eyes and around the nose. I love this concealer because it is just the right amount of color and highlight to diminish under eye darkness without caking in any fine lines (not that Megan has any of course).  * this item is not included in the picture because I gave the concealer to Megan and am awaiting another to come in!

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Cannelle - heavier concealer used on any discoloration

Contour - Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Cream Kit.
I used the peach shade for highlight under Megan's eyes, up cheekbone, down nose, and on cupids bow.  I used the lightest of the dark shades for under cheekbone, under jawline and down sides of nose. 
Bronzer - Nars Laguna bronzer on cheekbones, chin, and hairline. 
Blush - Nars Deep Throat (peach with shimmer) on apple of cheek
Highlight - Nars liquid Illuminator in Hot sand (Peach Champagne) on cheekbone
Highlight - Nars The Multiple in Copacabana (glistening pearl) on cheekbone,cupids bow.

Bronzer - Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Radiant light (golden beige) - used over what previously mentioned just adds a bit if shimmer.
Highlight - Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous light (champagne pearl)
Powder Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk powder in Shade 4 and set with Mac Fix+ spray.  (this is in the black powder container because it cracked and I transferred it into that container, I am not sure if you can still buy this powder but its a beautiful powder that photographs so well)

On lips -
Liner-  MAC Cremestick Liner in Beurre (plum/pinkish)
Lipstick - Burberry Lip Cover in Tulip Pink # 27 (rosey beige)
Lip Gloss - Nars Baby Doll lip gloss (shimmering candy pink) LOVE THIS!

Eyebrows - 
Brow Pencil - Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wix in Taupe
Brow color/highlight - Becca Shadow & Light Brow Contour Mousse in Cocoa - I used this highlight color below the brow.
Benefit Gimme Brow Voluminous Fiber Gel in Light - this gives brows thicker appearance.

On Eyes -
Primer - Urban Decay Primer Potion to start (great primer keeps eye shadow on and crease-free all day)

Eyeshadows -
Nars Single Eyeshadow in Ashes to Ashes (shimmering violet based brown) used all over lid and crease
Nars Duo Eyeshadow in Bellisima (shimmering beige/grey-brown) - used the darker shade in crease
Nars Dual Intensity Eye Shadow in Himalia (shimmering topaz)- used on center of lid for shimmer
Nars Single Eyeshadow in Lulu (bright eggplant) in outer corner of eye and in crease
Nars Single Eyeshadow in Night Bird (dark grey with violent/plum shimmer)- Smudged as liner on top eyelid and outer bottom.
Nars Eye Paint (liner)  in Tatar (black with purple shimmer) - Liner and winged out
Nars Audacious mascara
Eyeslashes from Target (cant remember make, but bought most natural looking ones I saw)
Nars The Multiple in Copacabana on inner corner of eye.

I will add more pictures as I receive them from the photographer!

*I do want to add a little disclaimer to explain to anyone that has seen my posts about my love of BeautyCounter products. I do use Beauty Counter products (skincare and makeup) everyday. I exclusively use their skincare. I use their foundation and concealer every day. I am still expanding my collection of Beauty Counter color makeup. I had considered using their products on Megan for her wedding, but did not as I owned a limited amount of Beauty Counter makeup and only had a few days to practice.   Since this makeup was for one day, i did not worry about the ingredients and focused on products I had used for years and could predict their wear and longevity.  So while I know the primers  and MAC products WORK. I would never use them regularly due to their ingredients. Hope that makes sense!   I will always be honest about the products and how I feel about them. I do not doubt that the BeautyCounter products could have produced just as beautiful of a result, but since I did not have enough time to test them myself, I did not feel comfortable testing them on Megan for her wedding and photographs. As i get more Beauty Counter makeup I will post more about them!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Holiday Gift Ideas!


Holiday shopping for your loved ones can often be a daunting task. If your significant other enjoys makeup or skincare products like I do, BeautyCounter has some awesome deals for the holidays.  Below I shared my favorites!  

Makeup palettes are ALWAYS a good choice. They combine eye shadow, bronzer, blush and highlight all in one spot!

Winter Dream Palette 
This palette mixes best sellers and new cool-toned shades for just the right balance of casual and glamorous. It’s the perfect one-stop-compact you can easily throw in your bag. 
 I find myself reaching for this palette often, and was even surprised that i liked the periwinkle shade which is very sheer and blends well with the navy shadow as liner. 

Palette Includes:

  • Marine (true navy) — New
  • Bellflower (vibrant periwinkle) — New
  • Opal (opalescent pink) — New
  • Dove (dusty lavender) — New
  • Pinot (satiny plum) — New
  • Night (soft charcoal black)
  • Matte Bronzer No. 1 (medium tan) 
  • Feather (opalescent sheen highlight) — New
  • Bloom (cool pink)

Winter Warmth Palette

One palette… Endless options. We’ve curated our most popular warm-toned shades, plus two new shades for eyes, cheeks and highlights. Mix, match, and take the guesswork out of creating beautiful looks. 

The bronze and golds in this palette are gorgeous!

Palette includes:

  • Bronze (warm, golden metallic)
  • Malt (medium brown with a hint of sheen)
  • Goldleaf (rich, golden sheen) —New
  • Pearl (opalescent white)
  • Amethyst (warm purple)
  • Slate (grey sheen)
  • Tawny (warm tan with a hint of peach)
  • Feather (opalescent sheen highlight) — New
  • Whisper (soft peach with a hint of pink)
Luminous Nudes Gift Set

For a striking, yet understated look, go for nude lips this holiday season. Our best-selling Sheer Lipstick in Twig has met its match: New Lip Gloss in Bare Shimmer gives glistening sheen to accentuate any look. Jojoba esters and vitamin E are excellent for balancing and conditioning skin for the silkiest pout. Plus, it’s gift ready and wrapped in our exclusive holiday red box.

Set includes:

  • Sheer Lipstick in Twig 
  • Lip Gloss in Bare Shimmer — New

    Love & Luster Gift Set

    Just in the time for the holidays, this wishlist-worthy collection of four Glosses includes two NEW festive colors — Blossom, a pearly pink, and Sunshine, a sparkly gold — to add high-wattage luster to any look. Made with carnauba wax, a Brazilian plant that promotes long-lasting shine and vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant with hydrating and skin-conditioning properties. Plus, it all comes beautifully wrapped in our exclusive holiday box.

    Set includes:
    • Lip Gloss in Ruby 
    • Lip Gloss in Dahlia 
    • Lip Gloss in Sunshine — New
    • Lip Gloss in Blossom — New

Naughty to Nice Gift Set

Created without harsh ingredients that can be overly drying to skin, these little ‘lumps’ of coal are pretty much the best gift you can give your skin this season. Charcoal absorbs impurities and purifies congestion without drying out skin. Use these staples as part of your beauty routine for smoother, brighter, younger-looking skin in less than 15 minutes. This giftable duo comes in special holiday sizing and is packaged inside a limited edition red box.

Those products are two of my favorites!

Set includes:
  • Charcoal Cleansing Bar
  • Purifying Charcoal Mask

To see these items as well as many other great gift options click here!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My Favorite BeautyCounter Products - Balancing Facial Oil

I’ve been using BeautyCounter products for several months now and LOVE LOVE LOVE them. My favorites are shown here and are: the Charcoal Cleansing Bar, Charcoal Mask, Balancing Facial Oil, and Sunscreen. 

This past week I traveled to Ohio for my sister’s wedding (I was maid of honor!) and I had many people comment that my skin looked great and I agreed! I did my sister and my makeup for the wedding and used the facial oil on both of us before applying any makeup. I’ve found that using the right facial oil helps balance my own oil production and prevents me from getting oily or shiny throughout the day. I included a picture of my sister and I and I think it shows well the balance in our skin, giving a glow without being shiny (the picture was taken approximately 5 hours after makeup application)

The research-supported facts about what plant oils can do for skin is quite fascinating. They're not miracles, but the right plant oil (or, even better, a blend of oils) can make a significant difference for dry, flaky, or dehydrated skin. Facial oils are for anyone whose skin could use a boost of nourishing, smoothing rejuvenation, especially when seasonal cold or drier climates disturb your skin.

Facial oils are right for you if you struggle with occasional (think seasonal or climate-related dryness) or persistent dry, flaky, or dehydrated skin and your moisturizer just isn't doing enough no matter how enriched and emollient it is.

Instead of continually searching for a new moisturizer, you can easily add facial oil to your routine and see a striking difference. Your skin will feel smoother, softer, and more resilient, not to mention taking on a natural-looking glow.

The ingredients in the BeautyCounter Balancing Face Oil are:
Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Oil, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil*, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Oil, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil.

This oil has a fantastic ingredient lineup, with antioxidant-rich and emollient oils like rosehip, grapeseed, and sea buckthorn.

  • Rosehip oil is widely used in various skin care products. It helps fight the signs of aging and assists in diminishing photo aging.
  • Oral and topical applications of sea buckthorn oil both have benefits on skin problems. It promotes skin hydration, elasticity, and skin regeneration, and even helps treat and prevent acne. 
  • Sea buckthorn oil may also be beneficial for rosacea, a chronic inflammatory condition that causes small red bumps on the face. 
  • Research has shown that marula oil can improve hyper-pigmentation. 
  • Ylang ylang oil has been proven to help regulate the production of sebum, an oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands, to protect your hair and skin from drying out. It has many cosmetic uses, including: maintaining skin moisture, clearing and healing acne, as well as antimicrobial properties that can help reduce skin irritation and redness. 
  • Chamomile  oil can help calm or treat acne, rashes, eczema, wounds, dermatitis, and dry and itchy skin

You would use the facial oil under your moisturizer or on its own. I adore this face oil and used it day and night.  I use three drops after washing morning and night. In the morning I follow it with sunscreen and I use it alone at night.

Those still afraid of breakouts, listen up: “Oils can help stabilize and regulate the overproduction of sebum, and actually help get rid of acne,” says France born facialist Isabelle Bellis, It’s essential not to “over-exfoliate,” she says, adding that an appropriate oil will balance out “your skin’s ecosystem and protect it from the external environment.” (Vogue, April 2016)

I started using facial oils several years ago and had never found one I was sold on. The balancing face oil changed that. I am curious to try the other two oils, hydrating and soothing, but have so enjoyed the balancing face oil that I have yet to do so. 

The difference between the oils are the last ingredients listed.  The added ingredients that make the Balancing Face oil are Ylang Ylang and Chamomile

  • The Hydrating Face Oil also has Jasmine Oil.  Jasmine Oil is traditionally used to restore skin, the essential oils and botanical extracts of jasmine increase skin’s elasticity and help balance moisture in the skin to naturally reduce dryness.  Jasmine oil is a cicatrizer, meaning it helps fade scars left in the wake of acne, skin wounds, eruptions, and stretch marks.
  • The Soothing  Face Oil also has Calendula  Oil which has great anti-inflammatory and healing properties. It helps soothe sore, inflamed, and itchy skin conditions.

If you feel your skin could use that extra boost especially in this coming winter,  consider trying a BeautyCounter Face Oil!


Sunday, October 30, 2016

BeautyCounter OBSESSED!

I am so excited to share this amazing company that I LOVE.

For those that know me, you know I have always been very into fitness and health. I’ve always been active, always belonging to a gym, running, talking Pilates reformer classes, and in the past few years have become one of those crazy CrossFit people! I have always felt that your body is the only thing you truly own in life. I try to take care of myself the best I can. While fitness has always been important to me I have only more recently taken care with what I eat. In 2013 I went “paleo”, eating only meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. I saw significant health benefits (and positive changes to my cholesterol even eating eggs every day). While I still eat mostly paleo, I have definitely become slightly more easygoing and include some dairy, and gluten free carbs (and lets be serious, if an amazing dessert in front of me I am going to eat it!) I have always found fitness and health so interesting, I found myself reading journal articles about health especially in regards to health issues that have seemed to be increasing in my lifetime: dementia, Alzheimer’s, autism as well as so many other health issues. While I do not claim that I know any certain answers, all the reading did lead me to eating paleo. I do believe many modern day heath issues have to do with so many of the artificial foods we eat nowadays. I make the vast majority of the food I eat myself from real whole food ingredients.

It was only this year that I had a lightbulb moment….. I take so much care with my food and fitness, but I really never thought about the products I use on my body’s largest organ, my skin!

I have always been a self-proclaimed makeup/beauty junkie. I LOVE makeup. My OBSESSION started at age 18 when I went to NYC and had my makeup done by a Nars makeup artist named Gianni. It was pure art on my face!  I have always enjoyed buying and wearing all kids of makeup (with Nars being my number one since age 18!) Along with that I have also tried MANY different skin care brands, always looking for the next big thing, new ingredient, new product that claims to make you glow, reduce wrinkles, etc. I NEVER considered the ingredients in these products other than the claims the company made stating how great they were. When I had this lightbulb moment I realized I had no idea what was in any of these expensive products I had been buying.

I then heard about a company called Beauty Counter on a paleo podcast I listen to called Balanced Bites with Diane SanFilippo and Liz Wolfe. I had listened to this podcast since 2013 and neither person had EVER pushed a product, so when they both praised BeautyCounter for its all natural products, I listened. I also was starting to notice friends posting about their love for these products and this company!  I looked into the company and was instantly impressed.

The mission of BeautyCounter is to get safer products into the hands of everyone. “Decades of research indicate that serious health issues (including but not limited to asthma, cancer, and infertility) are on the rise and are due in some part to our ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals—whether it’s in the shower, on our commute, while we eat lunch at a local restaurant, or when we clean our kitchens at home.

The United States has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938. Over the past two decades, the European Union has banned more than 1,300 chemicals in the product formulas of personal care products and restricted the levels of over 250 more in such products. The United States has only partially banned 11 to date.
BeautyCounter is committed to a health and safety standard that goes well beyond what’s required by U.S. law: They have banned the use of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals through their "Never List”—all while ensuring our products perform and that they’re as indulgent as any other luxe shampoo, lipstick, or oil in the market.”

This leads me to one of the most important parts of this post…. These products do PERFORM! started using the products as soon as they arrived and was OBSESSED! The first products I bought and fell in love with were the charcoal cleaning bar, charcoal mask, and facial oil! As I read about the products I just wanted to try more and more!

Once I used these products for a short time, and loved them, like any beauty junkie, I wanted more! I ordered a few makeup products and was so excited when they arrived! Again, I was blown away but the quality of these products. So when you add the amazing performance of these products to their high quality ingredients I absolutely fell in love!

I am so excited to share these amazing products! Consider making the switch! Below is my link that will take you to the BeautyCounter website that clearly shows the ingredients to all products. You can also click on the ingredients to go to a master list and explanation of ingredients. There are currently holiday sets available that are a great way to try out some smaller size products if you are interested!

 I plan to try to restart this blog with the BeautyCounter products I am loving as well as any other products!  My work schedule is crazy as always but I just love these products so much that I cant help but want to share them!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Nars Makeover - Makeup Event at Blue Mercury

Nars Event at Blue Mercury

I attended a beauty event at my local Blue Mercury today. I actually had made the appointment over a month ago when I found out a Nars artist would be coming in today. The town I live in has a Blue Mercury THREE blocks from where I live which is very dangerous for me. I try to limit my trips to events such as today or if I refill on something because otherwise I would be there way to often and buying ALL the Nars! I was excited to try out the new Dual Intensity Eyeshadows and see the Holiday gift sets.  I was very impressed with the Dual Intensity eyeshadow and their consistency and staying power. These pictures are from 8 hours later.

The MUA used a cream pencil as a base which I did not think would last like this.  My only experiance is with nars cream eyeshadows and they crease like crazy. I thought it was a really interesting blend of colors.  I had always been intimidated by Pandora which is a duo eyeshadow that looks black/white.  The black side blends out to the nice silvery/grey you see.

Here is what she used

Brightening serum on my face before anything
the Luminous Mouisturizer and replenish eye cream

for my makeup she used
Light Optimizing Primer
Alaska Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer - light with neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones
Vanilla Radiant Creamy concealer - tiny cast of pink for fair complexions

Goddess soft touch pencil as a base - pink champagne
Callisto eyeshadow on my lid  - Icy Pink Silver
Subra Dual Intensity Eyeshadow on bridge - Black Orchid
Pandora Duo (black side) to add dimension - Sheer White Shimmer/Matte Black (shows grey when blended)
Black Valley eye paint as liner  - Black
Via Venuto Larger than Life Long Wear eyeliner on waterline - Black
Black volumizing mascara
Blondie eyeshadow for brows - neutral soft matte
Laguna Bronzer - diffused brown powder with golden shimmer
Orgasm blush - peach pink with golden shimmer
Copacabana liquid illuminator - glistening pearl

Biscayne Park Satin Lip Pencil - guava pink

Turkish Delight Lipgloss - pink sherbert

I really liked the new palette out for Christmas- the Laser cut eye/cheek/lip palette. It is beautiful!  I figured I spent enough and could add this to my Christmas list!

A futuristic vision for eyes, cheeks, and lips in a tech-chic double layer compact. Enter a continuum of cutting-edge color, coded for endless beauty.
Set Includes:
  • 3 shades of Hardwired Eyeshadow, a new formulation in limited edition shades, created exclusively for the NARS Laced with Edge Holiday Collection
  • Day Dream Blush
  • Laguna Bronzing Powder
  • Dolce Vita Lip Gloss
I would definitely consider Nars gift sets for any makeup lover!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I'm Back!

Hello to any readers left to this blog!  I took a little hiatus from blogging, but will be coming back soon with new blogs! 

Here is whats coming
- current favorites
- new skin are! (Sunday Riley, Le metier de beaute, cle de peau)
- collection post
- Nars 2013 collection
- review of juice cleanse I am doing

any suggestions or requests?