Best products to not feel pasty

Is “pasty” officially a word? I think so. We women use it all the time to describe how we look when it is getting close to the season of summer sunshine but we have yet to really get a tan. I’ve heard this word (used interchangeably with “pale” or “ghostly”) at least a dozen times in the past few weeks so I know we’re all on the same schedule when it comes to getting rid of our winter white.

You’ve seen a few of my past posts on tanning products and spray tans, but it was high time a full post was dedicated to getting a little bit of a glow, including on your face. I’m going to the Denver Derby this weekend, a huge downtown Denver Kentucky Derby party, and I’m wearing a white dress. I don’t want my dress to look darker than my skin so I needed to get a little glow before Saturday!

Best face products for a glow:

Hands down, Dior Healthy Glow Sunlight is my favorite face bronzer. It never gives that orange-cheek or over-bronzed look and can be layered on for a darker look or just brushed on your cheeks, nose, forehead and chin for a quick addition of color. Sunset was too dark for me personally, but if you have naturally dark or ethnic skin, it would be a good option. Sunlight is perfect for anyone fair-medium.

If you like shimmer with your bronze or want a bronzer that also acts as a highlighter, look no farther than Bobbi Brown’s bronze shimmer brick. With a fantastic and not-too-crazy sheen and a gradient compact (so you can grab colors from the light end in winter, dark end in summer) it’s one of my top picks.

The Dior Healthy Glow is $55 and the Bobbi Brown is $42, so a nice price difference as well.

Best one-day-only tanning lotions:

My two favorites are Tantalizer Bronzer and St Tropez One Night Only lotion but they are still very different.

Tantalizer: More golden, more shimmer, easily washes off in one shower

St Tropez: More coffee/chocolate, easier to blend, lasts a little longer

Here they are side-by-side. Tantalizer is on the left, St Tropez is on the right. I did a blob and a quick streak test.

tanner 1

tanner 2

 

Best gradual glow:
This category has options in two price points.

SelfTANtalizer is the gradual bronzing option from Lorac. Find it here at the Beauty Bar for $32.

Jergen’s Natural Glow Graduall tanner for $7 is a classic. It’s been around for ages and is the best drugstore option for an easy, gradual tan. They have options for light/medium and medium/tan skin.

Massages with Arnica Gel

Last night, after a very stressful day at work, I treated myself to a massage at Elixir Massage in Denver. This was my third trip to Elixir and my first massage ever with Arnica Gel, a cooling and less medicinal-smelling version of Icy Hot that is spread over an area right after it is massaged. It was amazing! The massage itself was fantastic and the additional of the cooling, tingling gel was a huge plus. I could feel the circulation increasing as it cooled and refreshed my computer-worn muscles.

 

 

I’ve always loved going to Elixir massage in Denver because they really have it figured out. All they do is massage. No facials, nails, haircuts or laser hair. It is 100% massage. They know what they are doing and their therapists are some of the best around. For only another 3 days they are celebrating Spa Week and you can get some of the featured 60 minute services for a bargain price of $50. Amazing!

If you want to give arnica gel a try at home, click the photo above for a great price on a concentrated version. However, the drugstore versions do have some of the “icy hot” smell to them. While it isn’t strong it’s certainly there. Other brands I found that make similar products but with a more refined smell and other added benefits are these:

L’Occitane Revitalizing Leg Cream with cyprus and arnica for $25

 

Elemis Muscle Reviving Gel with camphor, arnica, cyprus and menthol. Spa-grade product available for $55

 

 

And a cellulite vanisher from the Neiman Marcus beauty counters!  Omorovicza gel includes caffeine, arnica and other potent ingredients to really boost circulation and moisturize to completely get rid of “dimples”. $85 for 5 ounces.

 

My favorite softer-smoother hair mask

Sad day. Sniffle sniffle. I just ran out of the very last drop of my all-time favorite hair mask, Redken Nature’s Rescue Cooling conditioner. I bought it on a whim over a year ago and it has lasted all that time using it about once every two weeks. It’s fantastic.

It’s more affordable then other deep conditioners (this link will take you to buy it only for $22. And remember, it lasts about a year), it has a wonderful cooling sensation, it deep conditions, I think it speeds up blow drying time and it makes your hair smell amazing all day. The smell is really unique, it’s this fresh, clean and warm smell. Kind of like puppies. I’m not kidding. (Redken would probably not love that I said that, but who doesn’t love puppies?)

After washing your hair, spread a quarter-sized amount from root to tip, massage in with your finger tips and let absorb for 1-2 minutes while you wash your face or do other shower routine things. Rinse and go! Your hair will be noticeably smoother and softer all day.

I will definitely be replacing this container as part of my beauty routine.

Bobbi Brown Friends and Family Event- ENDS TODAY

Have you been waiting for the right  moment to try Bobbi Brown products? That moment is here! 20% off ends today!


The three Bobbi Brown products I’m currently using are the Skin Foundation in Warm Beige, the Shimmer Brick blush and the high shine gloss in Pink Sequin. Honestly, they are all amazing. I am becoming a huge fan of Bobbi Brown and a convert from Dior with every BB product I try.

But here are some things I’m lusting after on their website:

The Lilac Rose Eye Palette, amazing! Click here to get it 20% off today.

Brow kit with perfect brow brush. It comes in light and dark shades. Find it here.

Pore Clearing Mask from Origins

Last night I cozed up with my lavender neck wrap and my charcoal facial to watch TV with my husband on a chilly Sunday night. This was the second time I had tested the Origins Active Charcoal Pore Clearing Mask.

Said to to be good for all skin types, active charcoal, “acts like a magnet to draw out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers. White China clay absorbs environmental toxins, and lecithin dissolves impurities.”

I really like it. It is a fabulous, detoxifying boost that seems to balance and soften your face without overdrying. It also doesn’t seem to bring impurities to the surface, which is one of my biggest concerns with masks like this. I put on a fairly thick but even layer after washing my face and using a light mist of Sanitas face mist. Your face will get so bizarrely tight as the mask dries that you will barely be able to talk! Super strange. After about 10 minutes, the mask is completely dry and you can rinse it off easily with warm water. I applied a quick coat of my night cream and that was it!

I love that Sephora currently has a special on a package of products, including the mask, in a smaller size. For $47, you get to try the Charcoal Mask, the frothy face wash, the mimosa and algae face moisturizer and the anti-aging serum. Click here to buy it from Sephora.com and if you have one other thing in your shopping cart, such as a refill of your favorite makeup sponges, you’ll get free shipping.

VIB Sephora Sale Purchase

With the 15% off VIB sale in progress, I had to take advantage and try a few new things. And then, once I started looking at the samples I could cash in some points to try, I ended up with a whole online shopping basket full of samples, minis and new products for less than $60.

Here’s what I think about that:

Score

And here’s a shot of my shopping cart:

Shopping basket 2

Here are the products and links to give them a try with me!

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat, one of the highest rated concealers on Sephora.com.

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Gloss in Pink Sequin, which is advertised as a rose pink with gold pearl.

Sample size of Bobbi Brown Everything mascara, here’s a link to it from the Nordstrom beauty department, with free shipping and free returns, you could give the mascara a try without paying shipping.

Sample of Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Restoring Cream, I love Shiseido products and love their Bio-contour eye cream. I’m interested to try this. It says, “Excellent for all skin types, it features a patent-pending Bio-Restoring Complex to reduce furrows and unevenness, and promote elasticity and moisture retention.”

Sample of LaVanila Pure Vanilla. What’s not to like?

St. Tropez Tanning Essentials One Night Only body lotion. You know that for a quick glow, I love Tantilizer. Here’s a post on that.

That’s it! Get excited for some reviews of these products coming in the next few weeks!

Back to Basics: Cleaning your tools

It’s Spring! And that means time for some Spring Cleaning. Your beauty drawer is no exception and while we always hear how important it is to clean your makeup brushes, there are a few tools that are easily overlooked and desperately need a good cleaning. When was the last time you cleaned your blow dryer? You will be amazed how much dust, hair and just grime builds up on your blow dryer. And if you were thinking about replacing it, clean it first! You can get so much more power out of a clean dryer. Here is a step-by-step guide to making it nearly-new again.

1. Dry your hair one morning and then start the cleaning process. It’s important to let everything thoroughly dry so give it a few hours before using it again.

2. Start by wiping down the handle and outside of the dryer with Clorox or other disinfectant cleaning clothes. All of the times you put the product in your hair and then grabbed your dryer with product-y hands will be easily wiped off! For any tough spots or tough build up in the handle, makeup remover on a cotton ball will do the trick.

3. Each dryer is different, but most have the screen on the back. This can be either popped off or twisted off. My Hot Tools dryer needs about a 1/4 inch turn.

blowdryer 1

 

4. Take the little mesh screen out and set it aside. The back of your dryer will be exposed. Do not turn it on!

blowdryer 2

 

5. Wash the back guard and screen (the black net on the right) with mild soap and water and set on a towel to dry. Make 100% sure it’s dry before assembling the dryer. Rinse out the guard as well and let dry.

browdryer 3

 

6. Take tweezers and remove all the hair and dust from each little groove in the back of your dryer. If you are like me the first time I did this, you’ll be amazed! Once you’ve removed all visible buildup, take a damp wash cloth and wipe out any excess.

blowdryer 4

 

Once everything is dry, reassemble and get ready to be wowed with a more powerful and efficient dryer!

Next up on your cleaning spree, your eyelash curler. When was the last time you cleaned that sucker?! Luckily, it will take less than three minutes and you’ll have a sparkling new curler.

1. Check out how dirty it is! Yuck. Even when curling bare lashes some leftover mascara and eye makeup always ends up on the pads of the curler.
eyelash curlereyelash curler2

 

2. Take a cotton ball with eye makeup remove and swipe all sides of the pad and the top and bottom pieces of the curler.

3. Once all buildup is removed, take a disinfectant wipe and wipe the whole thing down. Rise with water and let dry!

What beauty tools do you have to keep clean? Is there anything you’d like to know how to clean? Leave it in the comments and I’ll give it a try! 🙂

 

 

Luxury Lusting for La Mer Cream

Here’s a post category I haven’t hit for a while: Luxury Lusting. Chances are you’ve heard of the cream I’m featuring today because it is a cult favorite. It’s also a cool $275 for 2 ounces. La Mer face cream is on my luxury lust list for a variety of reasons but mostly because I just think it’d be fun to see if a $275 face cream could outdo a $50 face cream.

Description: At its heart is nutrient-rich Miracle Broth™. Exclusive Lime Tea, a powerful antioxidant, is also utilized in its original concentration to repair skin. Sea kelp, a natural humectant, moisturizes and gives skin an airlight feel.

Naturally, it has 5 out of 5 stars on every single site I checked for reviews. Users rave, “This is the best moisturizer I ever tried” and “Nothing else works for me.”

Would you spend this much on a face cream? What have you heard about La Mer products? Let me know in the comments! And of course, if you’d like to splurge on this amazing cream, click here to buy it .

Crazy cute beach totes

Before our trip to Mexico, I upgraded my beach bag from something that kind of resembled a cloth grocery bag to a real beach tote. After much research, I settled on the practical yet stylish Crocs beach tote for $40.

I loved it! It’s easy to clean, looks cute, it’s light weight and it’s cheap enough where you don’t feel bad if you throw sandy shoes in it or spill sunscreen on it. It was such a winner! So I know this post has nothing to do with beauty products, but I still wanted to share my favorite beach totes with you lovely ladies. 🙂 Plus, you DO have to have somewhere to put all the sunscreens, lipglosses and lotions you’ll take to the beach!

This woven tote is one of my favorites. For $143, it’s still not so expensive where you’d feel like you needed to protect it and it would be sure to get many compliments around the pool! JADEtribe beach bag for $143.

This gorgeous blue bag from the Catrinka project just looks like it was meant to be on the beach. I love the wavy print and nautical touches. $85 PLUS you are benefiting women in Uganda from a project called One Mango Tree who hand-made this beautiful bag.

I’ve always loved this shape for beach totes. It’s so fun, albeit maybe a little unwieldly. But when it’s going to spend most of its life sitting next to you while you sip a cocktail, who cares? Plus, this bag is a deal at $45 from L-atitude and comes in many other colors.

Isn’t this fun? A totally shimmering beach bag from Free People to hold all of your stuff! It’s ultra-stylish, really unique and fully lined to keep the sand from getting near your things. $98 from Free People.

My first eyebrow waxing experience

Believe it or not, I’ve never waxed my eyebrows. Well, up until last week! They either needed some serious plucking or a quick wax so I scheduled an appointment across the street with Jenn at the Oxford who is also my go-to facial gal. I’ve always heard mixed reviews about eyebrow waxing. Some say that it hurt so much the first time they’d never do it again and some say they will never pluck their brows again.

Well after my brow wax, I fall into the second category and will be saying goodbye to my tweezers!

The whole experience took less than 15 minutes. I was in, waxed and out before I knew it. Jenn used a slightly warm wax and after applying would edge it off just slightly (pull just 2-3 tiny times on the edge of the strip) then pull it all the way off in one quick motion. Did it hurt? Honestly, not really. After waxing the top, bottom and center of my brows, she cleaned up any stray hairs with tweezers and then I was out the door.

I was concerned I might have a little redness after the waxing so I scheduled my appointment in the evening. I easily could have gone right back to work because there was no redness, lingering tingling or anything I’d heard from friends with waxing horror stories.

I’m interested to see how long it lasts! Typically, I would use the tweezers to catch stray hairs every other day. After 5 days, I have a few hairs I might tweeze but certainly am not ready for a wax again. Do you wax your brows? Let me know in the comments!