Girls weekend mini makeovers! Check out the “recipe” here!

While up in Jackson, NH for a girls weekend we spent Saturday afternoon on the couch snacking and chatting. Does it get better than that? Quality time with your girlfriends is a treat that is hard to compete with. No big party or lavish dinner could ever compare to just hanging out uninterrupted with some of your closest friends.

In addition to a lot of catching up there were also mini makeovers – which was super fun for yours truly!  We used the same set of skincare and makeup products for all the ladies (4 ladies in total!). With a couples tweaks, the colors were adjusted for the different complexions. Below is a list and description of what we did. AND some before & after pics

“Everyday makeup” recipe:

Started with a clean face, of course!

1. Moisturizer. A good daytime moisturizer. I used Bluemercury’s m-61 hydraboost moisturizer. It’s just the right texture – not too heavy/not too light. Paraben free. And serves as a silicone-free makeup base, score! I typically use 2 pumps but depending on the gal, I used more or less judging on their existing hydration level (in other words, if I found dry patches, we used some extra). Lots of gentle patting to blend it in all over the face and neck

2. Eye cream. I used Bluemercury’s m-61 hydraboost eye cream on all the ladies. Usually 1 pump is enough for both eyes. Dryness under the eyes is not a good canvas and it’s always good to use a designated ‘eye cream’ for that sensitive area. I love the m-61 brand because it’s hydrating without being greasy, paraben free, and the handy pump is travel friendly / hygienic

m-61 hydraboost eye cream and moisturizer, the perfect pair

m-61 hydraboost eye cream and moisturizer, the perfect pair

3. Foundation. Now that our canvas was prepped – time for the foundation. Depending on the lady, some hadn’t worn foundation before and some swear by it. This foundation was definitely not a match for everyone’s skin tone which was risky – but I used moisturizer to dilute it – and because we were applying bronzer and blush at the end, I could take some liberties with a slightly paler foundation. I like this new foundation by YSL – it’s their new FusionInk foundation that’s been getting a lot of good reviews. It does have good lasting power (24 hrs – is the claim. I think that’s a bit of a stretch!) – but it gives great coverage – they call it “soft matte” – without being heavy or cakey. It feels super light on the skin. I used a couple drips just to even off any discoloration and start with an “even canvas”

YSL's new Inkfusion foundation. Great coverage, not heavy

YSL’s new FusionInk foundation. Great coverage, not heavy

4. Spot treatmeant with Eye Brightener & Concealer. Since I’ve had dark circles since birth, I’m almost certain I’ve tried everything to mask them. I have many favorites in this dept. But my latest love is the Eye Brightener wand by Bobbi Brown. It has a flesh tone to it so blends really well and can double as an eyeshadow primer. This looked nice on all the girls. Next, we did a little spot treatment with NARS radiant creamy concealer in Vanilla. Side note, I forgot my all time favorite concealer Clea de Peau Beaute concealer which is superb for the under eye area. But this one by Nars is great, does the trick (and much more afforable). Again, was able to get away with a lighter shade because I made up for it with added bronzer. Only a couple of light dots needed under the eyes and on any blemishes – lightly pat with finger tips to blend

Bobbi Brown eye brightener wand, goes on first - wear under concealer

Bobbi Brown eye brightener wand, goes on first – wear under concealer

Nars concealer - great for undereye coverage and spot treatment to cover blemi

Nars concealer – great for undereye coverage and spot treatment to cover blemishes

5. Eyeshadow. This was the first time I tried this eyeshadow palette and I loved it. Microsmooth eyeshadow palette by Sephora. A great combo of colors – I combined the lighter shades for all over the lid. I used the dark shades towards the outer corner to help open the eye. Also, a nice sweep of the lighter colors on the brow bone. I used this lovely brush by Bobbi Brown called the “eye sweep” brush to apply

Bobbi Brown eye sweep shadow brush and Sephora brand eyeshadow palette

Bobbi Brown eye sweep shadow brush and Sephora brand eyeshadow palette

6. Eyeliner. I only had 1 on hand but this baby did the trick. Bobbi Brown’s long wear eye pencil in Smoke. Because it’s a pencil I was able to vary how dark it went on. In other words, I pressed a bit harder if I was going for a darker line (I did this for Ashley who was a more olive complexion and darker hair). I lined the upper lid and lighter on the bottom – used more of a light dotting motion under the lash line. I always brush my finger tip ever so lightly over the bottom line so it doesn’t look so dramatic…blending it helps make it more natural vs. a stark line

Bobbi Brown long wear eye pencil - we used 'Smoke'

Bobbi Brown long wear eye pencil – we used ‘Smoke’ – it goes on nice and smooth

7. Mascara. I brought out 2 different  – I was disappointed to find that my Benefit’s “they’re real” mascara was chunking out a bit (might be because my sample is almost out) so I swapped to a tried & true Diorshow Iconic waterproof mascara. I put multiple coats on each girl. I’m big into mascara…a few coats per eye, it makes a big difference. Once applied, I typically dab lashes with a tissue to get off the excess

Two great mascaras for creating thick lashes - also anti-run, which is a must! Benefits "they're real" and Dior Show Iconic - both in black

Two great mascaras grfor creating thick lashes – also anti-run, which is a must! Benefits “they’re real” and Dior Show Iconic – both in black

8. Brow pencil. If anyone needed some brow fixing, I used this pencil liner by Chanel called the sculpting eyebrow pencil in blond clair which has a natural look. In other words, no harsh lines that scream ‘hey, I drew this on.’ I used it to buff in any bald or scarce brow areas. I’ve been hesitant with this step on myself in the past but have found if I do it right and use this pencil, it has a natural look and helps fill in my thin brows

Chanel eyebrow pencil - create for filling in bald spots in the brows, natural color and texture

Chanel eyebrow pencil – great for filling in bald spots in the brows, natural color and texture. Handy brush at end of stick to tame any wild brow hairs and blend in the color

9. Bronzer. I used this awesome, soft Bobbi Brown bronzer brush and Bobbi Brown bronzing powder in golden light. Thankfully, it was a good neutral color – not too dark or red and mixed well with each complexion

Bobbi brown bronzer and bronzer brush. Great combo

Bobbi brown bronzer in Golden Light and bronzer brush. Great combo

10. Blush. I love this one by Nars in the color Orgasm (thank you, Jilly Bean for making the introduction). Applied with a Bobbi Brown blush brush

Nars blush in Orgasm - used Bobbi Brown blush brush to apply (can you tell I love Bobbi brushes? so soft)

Nars blush in Orgasm – used Bobbi Brown blush brush to apply (can you tell I love Bobbi brushes? so soft)

11. Set it. We used Make Up Forever HD Finishing Powder to set everyone’s makeup using the sheer powder brush by Bobbi Brown. I’ve typically avoided this type of powder out of fear that it’ll be too heavy. But I love the lightness of this powder and have adopted into my routine to beat the excessive greasy glow I get on my forehead! I carry it in my purse because it tends to ramp up at the end of a work day

Make Up Forever HD finishing powder - swept on ever so lightly with Bobbi Brown's sheer powder brush

Make Up Forever HD finishing powder – swept on ever so lightly with Bobbi Brown’s sheer powder brush. Set make up and dull down unwanted shine

12. Lastly, lipgloss. I used a combination of this gloss by Sara Happ called The Lip Slip – The One Luxe color shine lip gloss in color ‘The Nude.’ Literally, the perfect nude gloss. On top of this, I put Nars lipgloss in Sweet Revenge. Nice POP of pink color. Looked good on everyone! This is a great combo for glossy lips with a pop of color without getting too dramatic

Great gloss combo - Sara Happ nude gloss and Nars lipgloss in xxx

Great gloss combo – Sara Happ nude gloss and Nars lipgloss in Sweet Revenge

Boom. done. Links to all products and brush accessories below.

The Before & After shots! Ashley, Whit, Jules, and Shannon <3

The Before & After shots! Shannon, Jules, Whit, Ashley  ❤

IMG_2619 IMG_2620 IMG_2621

It might seem like a lot of steps but this took all of 5 minutes per girl. It was an everyday look but everyone looked freshened up and ready to head out. We took our makeovers to a locally NH brewery – hooottties!!!

Links below to all products:

1. m-61 hydraboost moisturizer 2. m-61 hydraboost eye cream 3. YSL fusionink foundation 4. Bobbi Brown eye brightenerNARS radiant creamy concealer; Cle de Peau Beaute concealer 5. Sephora eyeshadow palette; Bobbi Brown eye sweep brush 6. Bobbi Brown eyeliner 7. Benefits “they’re real” mascara; Dior Iconic waterproof mascara 8. Chanel eyebrow pencil 9. Bobbi Brown bronzing powder ; Bobbi Brown bronzer brush 10. Nars blush ; Bobbi Brown blush brush 11. Make Up Forever finishing powder; Bobbi Brown sheer powder brush 12. Sara Happ nude lipgloss; Nars lipgloss

Tips from Mom: 1). pimple buster 2). power smoothie

She was my first and continues to be a go-to source for beauty and healthy lifestyle tips. She is my Mom – Jane!

 

one of my favorite pics of my Mom. Taken at my wedding. She looks so happy, bright, and beautiful!

one of my favorite pics of my Mom. Taken at my wedding. She looks so happy, bright, and beautiful!

From an early age, I always remember my Mom taking good care of her skin and having a good skincare regimen morning & night. One of my favorite things to do was play around with her vanity…so many things to try! It felt so glamorous sitting in that chair reaching into her brush jars, opening her lipstick draw, and testing all the products she had in there. This is also the seat where I over-plucked my eyebrows for the majority of my middle school and high school years. She had a great, magnified mirror soooo with some tweezers in hand I’d go to town on my brows – it was always a bad idea.

Now, I have a vanity of my own full of products and samples. And I always opt for professional brow styling vs. my own “design.” (Believe me, it’s worth the money to have a professional shape your brows.) One thing will never change though, I still look to my Mom for tips – and this weekend she shared 2 great ones…one is more skincare the other is more lifestyle/healthy living:

 

  1. If/when you get a bad pimple (I actually had one on my neck this past weekend – so gross) – she told me to crush up an ASPIRIN add some water to it and make a paste. Apply the paste directly to the pimple. Aspirin is derived from salicylic acid which has known anti-acne/anti-inflammatory properties. People have long used Aspirin topically (in small doses) to treat blemishes. Speaking from experience, I applied the paste to this cyst-like pimple for about 30 minutes. When I removed the paste, the pimple was definitely dried up and today it is in full healing mode (i.e. no more inflammation or the feeling that something is under the skin). I’m just going to put some triple antibiotic on it because it was seriously a painful red pimple that seemed to be infected. I find triple antibiotic ointment (used as a spot treatment) speeds up the heeling process without drying out my skin and within a day or so the scab (sorry, gross…but true) will dry up and flake off

 

I bought this marble mortar at HomeGoods for under $5! Originally, I bought it to smash up avocados but it's kinda small so instead I use it to crush up ASPIRIN! Clearly you don't need this but it's a handy tool

I bought this marble mortar at HomeGoods for under $5! Originally, I bought it to smash up avocados but it’s kinda small so instead I use it to crush up ASPIRIN! Clearly you don’t need this but it’s a handy tool

I use Bayer Aspirin for the paste - this is a mini bottle - less than $5 @ the pharmacy. Make sure to buy the TABLETS

I use Bayer Aspirin for the paste – this is a mini bottle – less than $5 @ the pharmacy. Make sure to buy the TABLETS

there is the Aspirin/water paste! Use a clean fingertip or Q-tip to apply to the blemish, let sit for 15-20 mins and wash off

there is the Aspirin/water PASTE! Use a clean fingertip or Q-tip to apply to the blemish, let sit for 15-20 mins, and wash off

  1. If you’re having trouble taking your vitamins – add them to your morning / daily smoothie. I have these large pre-natal vitamins I’ve been trying to choke down daily. I got them from The Honest Company. I like that they are more natural but the ‘serving size’ is 3 hard pills. I gag trying to put them down. So, using my Mom’s recommendation, I added them to my morning smoothie – which included some greens, coconut water, water, and frozen strawberries. I was able to get it all down easily! A high powered blender is key (I’m still wishing for the Vitamix) but just make sure you run the blender a few times and stir things around so that it can chop up the pills. I like that I got everything down at once – it was fun to make my smoothie even more super powered with vitamins!
Vitamins, Green Super Food mix by Amazing Grass, and my compact Cuisinart blender

Vitamins, Green Super Food mix by Amazing Grass, and my compact Cuisinart blender

upside down! I throw in a couple organic frozen strawberries to cool it down

upside down! I throw in a couple organic frozen strawberries to cool it down

I added some chocolate coconut water to sweeten it up

I added some chocolate coconut water to sweeten it up

don't forget some extra water to keep it from getting too thick

don’t forget some extra water to keep it from getting too thick

now, I a pic of the vitamins - I used my ring to show how big these babies are! I threw all 3 into the blender and boom - delish, refreshing smoothie. And I COULDN'T taste the vitamins!

now, I a pic of the vitamins – I used my ring to show how big these babies are! I threw all 3 into the blender and boom – delish, refreshing smoothie. And I COULDN’T taste the vitamins!

 

I hope you enjoy Jane’s tips. Do you have any beauty tips from your Mom? Please share!

Tools of tha’ trade…sharing some secrets here!

We all have a few beauty tools up our sleeve. Tools we’ve used for years and ‘swear by.’ Below I wanted to share a couple of mine with you. Some of them ain’t that sexy – but they do the trick. If it’s pesky hairs, dark circles, or greasy hair…we all have our gripes…so please feel free to share your beauty tool staples with us!

  • Sephora Targeted eye remover swabs – ($9 @ Sephora) I saw these in the check out line at Sephora. Those damn bins full of goodies always get me while I wait! This time however, I found something great AND functional. Ever have trouble getting the left over eyeliner or mascara off of your lash line? These babies will do the trick. They are also travel-friendly. No more spilling liquid eye remover! These swabs can fit easily and legally within a carry on or purse for seamless airline travel

    Uber convenient Sephora Eye Remover Swabs

    Uber convenient Sephora Eye Remover Swabs

  • Pssssst Dry Shampoo – ($7, available at most pharmacies but also @ Drugstore.com) yes, I’ve blogged about the wonders of dry shampoo before. I even have another favorite brand (Suave). But the other day when my husband was swinging by CVS, I asked him to pick me up a bottle since I was running out. Apparently, he couldn’t find the Sauve brand. So he brought home Psssst. I laughed out loud at the name. But then I tried it. It works! Perfectly. And smells nice too. They also re-designed the bottle so it’s a bit more modern 😉

    dang, look at that product re-design! Psssst Dry Shampoo is modernized and works great!

    dang, look at that product re-design! Psssst Dry Shampoo is modernized and works great!

  • Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller in Sheer Tint – ($12.99, available at most pharmacies but also @ Drugstore.com)  I’ll start by admitting that this isn’t a “natural” beauty product but I often exercise the saying ‘everything in moderation.’ Same thing with gummy frogs. I bought this roller off a recommendation from a friend. I was skeptical. But it has become an AM staple for me if I am running out of the house to do some errands or, even going for a work out. No, I don’t think I ‘need’ make up for these things but sometimes I need a little ‘spruce up’ so I can feel better. So I do one roll under each eye, a couple pats, and BOOM, I look less tired. Love this product. I’ve tried other ‘higher end’ alternatives…and still haven’t found one better than this

    bye bye raccoon eyes! Garnier's eye roller works MAGIC

    bye bye raccoon eyes! Garnier’s eye roller works MAGIC

  • Plackers Dental Flossers Gentle Fine – ($2.99, available at most pharmacies but also @ Drugstore.com) I hate flossing. I don’t do it everyday, eek. But when I do, I use Plackers. These little thingies get right in between my teeth. I find them quicker and easier to use than regular floss. I keep a bowl-full in the bathroom

    screw dental floss. Use these handy, quick Placker picks

    screw dental floss. Use these handy, quick Placker picks

  • Sally Hansen Microwaveable Eyebrow, Face, and Lip Wax – get the non-strips kind – ($6, available at most pharmacies) I always keep this on hand. I opt for the salon when it comes to my eyebrows because there is definitely a ‘design element’ to waxing the ‘brows. But, one area you can do on your own is the mustache. That’s right…the dreaded upper lip hair. And with Sally Hansen, there really is no excuse to let this grow in. I won’t lie…every once in awhile my husband nicely points out that I might want to ‘wax my mustache.’ And no, I don’t get mad…I freaking microwave this stuff and wax that stache off! It is super easy and comes with a small pot of wax in a microwaveable container, mini tweezers, and a Popsicle-type stick for application. The only caution I will mention – be sure to not overheat the wax. I typically microwave for 2 minutes, max. But to be sure, if you dip the Popsicle stick in and the wax runs off like water…it’s too hot. Wait until it has a slow, honey-like drip. You can always test on another area first (hand?) before applying to your face, just to be sure. This stuff is amazing and cheap. It picks up all those pesky hairs. Save yourself the money, do your ‘stache at home. Does it hurt? Um ya, it hurts a bit to pull ya hair out. But, I think it’s more bearable because YOU pull the wax yourself, you’re in control!

    pot of gold right here. Sally Hansen Wax Kit for face!

    pot of gold right here. Sally Hansen Wax Kit for face!

  • Philips Precision Perfect Trimmer – this isn’t for what you think. It’s for those pesky facial hairs. For me, it’s the peachy fuzz. My sister once told me I had a blond beard. What a sweetheart. Either way, I keep this handy tool nearby to quickly clean up pesky, long hair. Maybe I should keep this beauty tool to myself since I’m sure some people will think I’m a hairy polar bear. But no, I’m not that selfish. This thing works wonders. And I’d rather trim than wax my ENTIRE face. Oh and, I don’t think my hair is laser-removal appropriate. Even if it is, I’d rather spend my money elsewhere right now. You may (secretly) thank me later for this tool

    a handy tool to have. Philips Precision Trimmer set

    a handy tool to have. Philips Precision Trimmer set

Quick Beauty Tip #4: the lazy woman’s ‘iron’

Wow, it’s been awhile since I posted last…but, I’m back! And ready to share more tips and tricks.

The other morning, while ironing a black Gap dress in a hotel room…atop of a hotel towel in the bathroom…working feverishly to get all the wrinkles out of the dress that had been stuffed in my carry-on, I realized how much I missed my ‘iron.’

Some people aren’t bothered much by clothes wrinkles…I am not one of those people. I hate wrinkles – to me, nothing makes a cute outfit look straight up sloppy than tons of wrinkles. The funny thing is, I’m also the type of gal who keeps a lot of clothing thrown around my room…including, on the floor. So, needless to say, my clothes are naturally prone to wrinkles – but I refuse to leave the house until they are smoothed out.

So, to get to the point/Quick Beauty Tip #4 – first, let me caveat that I own a traditional iron. I love me a good iron – that has strong steam, multiple material settings, and an automatic shut off…in case I forget to unplug, eeek! However, upon moving into a condo with a washer/dryer, I have since abandoned (for the most part) my trusty iron. Why you ask?

BECAUSE, I adopted the lazy woman’s iron – or, what I would like to call, the ‘I’m too busy in the morning to plug in an iron, wait for it to heat up, iron my clothes, and then remember to unplug it before I run out the door.’

The tip/trick – it is simple, you have something (a shirt, pants, skirt, dress etc.) with wrinkles – you put it into THE DRYER on a medium setting for a few minutes to remove the wrinkles. Then, you take the time you would have spent ironing – and do your hair, make up, eat breakfast, or watch Good Morning America with full attention.

BUT, the coolest trick – if you have an item that is prone to wrinkles and harder to get wrinkles out of — you need to take this extra step…

  • Take a clean wash clothwet in with water, ring it out a little because you don’t want it sopping wet
  • Throw the wet wash cloth in the dryer with your wrinkle prone clothing – with the dryer heat, the wetness will help smooth out harder to smooth wrinkles, almost like the steam from an iron!
  • Sometimes I throw a dryer sheet in if I need to freshen up a piece of clothing that’s been in a heap on the floor 🙂
  • Set the dryer on medium heat, and give it 8-10 minutes or so
  • Then remove…your item is wrinkle free!

And another bonus, when you open the dryer it shuts off…and you’re done. I can’t tell you how many times I used a traditional iron and while driving to work spent at least 20 minutes panicking that I left it on…envisioning my building engulfed in flames, seriously.

There it is…the BUSY woman’s iron. Use it if you get a chance!

Quick Beauty Tip #3: the many functions of baby wipes

Quick Beauty Tip #3:

Baby wipes…they can play an even more valuable role outside of the bathroom/away from the changing table.

For me – baby wipes come in handy in other situations – specifically for air travel, car travel, at the beach, and while applying make up  

And when I say baby wipes, I mean baby wipes…not antibacterial wipes…I usually go with sensitive skin-version.

 How/when I use them:

  • Aside from hand sanitizer and lotion, I always pack a travel size set of wipes in my purse when flying. They’re great for freshening up during/after a long flight (hello, layovers!).  You never know when there might be a spill, and patting one on your neck mid-flight can cool you off…especially if you’re a nervous flyer like me!
  • I keep them in the car…good to have around if you’re eating something sticky, or during the summer when eating an ice cream cone in traffic, who else does this?!
  • At the beach – maybe I have OCD, but I have to have wipes at the beach. I hate sunblock/sand hands, ew. I use the wipes to get the sand off my hands / keep myself stick-free
  • When I am doing my make up, I use one to wipe my foundation-covered hands. Or, if I am blending eye shadows with my fingers (which I usually prefer over an applicator), I wash my finger tips clean with a wipe, as not to mix colors! Some people might go to the bathroom to wash, or use a towel, I find baby wipes helpful while I’m in the midst of doing my make up

 Typically, I use the CVS-brand Soft Clothes for sensitive skin:

They have a $0.99 travel pack which is great, takes up little room in my purse. Target also has good wipes, for cheap (up & up brand)

 If you’re looking for an eco-friendly, paraben-free alternative – they sell Punky Business wipes on Drugstore.com. They’re a bit more expensive @ $4.99 a pack, but they’re gentle, made in the USA, and better for the environment.