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

AaaaaCHOooo…winter cold? Read here for some remedies, treatments, and just plain treats

I’ve been a little under the weather this week and it’s given my a lot of time to think…and try (although it’s against my always-on-the-go nature) to relax and rest so I can kick this cold. I’ve found myself making a list in my head of my favorite, some new and some old, cold treatments (or shall I say, cold accessories?). These aren’t your typical treatments or remedies…but I thought, since cold season seems to be in full swing, that I’d share:

A good lip scrub and hydrator

  • Coughing and sneezing leads to repeat tissue usage…I try to reach for the extra soft kind, but sometimes they’re not at arms reach. By the end of a long day, both my nose and lips are chapped and red from all the wiping and blowing. Sick. During my latest cold, it got so bad that my lips started to peel, yowza. I needed 2 things…1. Something that would get off the dead skin without hurting my lips more 2. Something that would smooth out my lips and take away the rough appearance. I’ve been using these 2 gems and totally recommend them for complete healing. Hey, you could even use them if your lips just need a good cold weather treatment:
      1. “The Lip Scrub” by Sara Happ: $24 @ Dermstore, I like Vanilla Bean. It’s simple to use, grab a dot from the tub, rub in light circular motions on lips (and I did a little buffing around my mouth too, since skin was chapped above my lips). Buff, buff, buff – then wipe gently with a tissue. On a side note, this stuff tastes lovely as it’s sugar based. This scrub buffs right off those dead skin pieces so you can create a smooth canvas for a good lip treatment!
        • PS: I actually got this scrub as a gift from my friend, Robyn – THANK YOU, BINNY!! Maaaarvelous find

          Sara Happ "the lip scrub" in brown sugar. comes in a bunch of different flavors!

          Sara Happ “the lip scrub” in brown sugar. comes in a bunch of different flavors!

      2. Derma/e Hydrating Lip Repair With Hyaluronic Acid: $14.50 @ Dermstore, also sold at Whole Foods. Seriously, nothing was working…even some heavier balms I had in my beauty drawer of tricks. So, I got this wonderous tube at Whole Foods. I like that I don’t have to reach my finger into a pot for this…and it’s travel friendly. I squeeze a bit of the white cream onto my finger and rub on my lips. It takes a moment or so to sink in. At first, I was skeptical that this was enough to really hydrate. But the hyaluronic acid really helps and seals in the moisture. I found that this REALLY WORKS. And I’ve only had to re-apply a couples times during the day, bravo!

        derma e hydrating lip repair with Hyaluronic acid - a lip saver!

        derma e hydrating lip repair with Hyaluronic acid – a lip saver

Intense face balm (that won’t do anything crazy to my skin)

Oh my red nose, it’s a dead give away that I’m sick. And then, it starts peeling and I look like something out Silence of the Lambs. Sick. I tried a few different things and it just.wasn’t.getting.better. Well, after a reco from someone at a Health Food store in nearby Quincy, MA, I bought a pot of Medicine Mama’s Sweet Bee Magic. I’ve heard of this stuff…I like that it has minimal ingredients. No petroleum. So I put it on. Rubbed it all over my nose and above my lip. It’s shiny, don’t get me wrong. But it sinks in. I’ve found that it moisturizes well – takes away the flakes, calms the redness. I’ve applied it a couple times a day. Ahhh relief…it is really a lovely product. And according to their site and many reviewers, it can be used daily and has many benefits including, healing very dry skin, soothing red/itchy/sunburnt skin, repairs minor cuts/scrapes/burns, and improves skin tone and texture.

  • Medicine Mama’s Sweet Bee Magic: $30 @ iHerb.com (note, I’ve never ordered from this site) or, you can find a some Whole Foods
    • Full list of ingredients: organic extra virgin olive oil, organic beeswax, organic honey, propolis extract, bee pollen, royal jelly
Medicine Mama's Sweet Bee Magic...working wonders on chapped skin

Medicine Mama’s Sweet Bee Magic…working wonders on chapped skin

Tea, and more tea

Of course pushing fluids is key when you’re under the weather…and tea is magic when you’re sick. It’s warm, comforting…the steam helps you breath easier. I’ve been rotating between a couple caffeine-free Yogi teas and this lovely bedtime tea by Pukka Herbs that I found at Whole Foods. I’ve found that my symptoms kick up at night – so this tea has helped me relax a bit and lull off to sleep. And yea, I’ve had to pee during the night, but it’s helped to go and feel like I’m flushing the system. I envision peeing out the sick…is that weird? Whatever makes you feel better, right?!

  • Pukka tea in Nighttime: ~$5 at Whole Foods
    • Ingredients: Oat flower (30%), licorice root, chamomile flower, lavender flower (14%), lime flower (10%), valerian root, tulsi leaf
Pukka night time tea...organic, yummy, makes you zzzz

Pukka night time tea…organic, yummy, makes you zzzz

 

Comfy PJs

I really think comfy PJs are an imperative. A couple times this past week, I came home from work and felt so sick I just wanted to fall asleep in my work clothes because it was easier than changing. Sad. Well, instead, I forced myself to take the 3 minutes and change out of my tight and layered work clothes, to comfy PJs. I’ve always loved Victoria’s Secret Afterhours Satin PJs. But, I’ve found a new brand that I’m in love with. A bit on the priceier side, but I splurged on a set over Christmas with some Christmas money I had. Wildfox pants and comfy top. Softest fabric ever. like nothing else I’ve felt. And they also look quite cute…I feel pretty damn fly in them even when my nose is peeling.

Material is 47% polyester, 47% rayon, 6% spandex.

Technically not ‘PJs’ – you can wear them out and about, running errands, to the gym, as a beach cover up etc. Just a few ways to justify the cost. But damn, I can’t dress enough how comfy they are.

big fan of this brand - especially their quirky tops and t's that have fun sayings on the front

big fan of this brand – especially their quirky tops and t’s that have fun sayings on the front

All-natural meds

Another recommendation I got – and I’ve popped a couple a day is for KOLD KARE. I can’t vouch for ingredients. It’s all herbal. But I can say, I’ve used it for the alst 2 days and I’ve noticed improvement in my symptoms. Worth a try.

no frills cold care by Kold Kare

no frills cold care by Kold Kare

A treat

With my appetite all over the place and my temp a’ rising…for some reason, I just wanted a cool treat. My tum doesn’t always appreciate ice cream – so instead, my husband and I opted for the frozen hot chocolate at Coffee Break in Quincy, MA. If there isn’t a place near you that makes this treat – below is a recipe so you can make at home! I opted for soy milk vs. dairy milk in mine. If I made at home, I’d probably use almond milk. Yes, this treat isn’t low in sugar – but dang, it made me feel better. And I wanted a cool treat (even though its cool outside) between my headache and sweats, it was SOOOOTHING

 

Those are just a couple of my out of the box rememdies. Do you have anything good?? Please share!