Saturday, April 28, 2012

pretty crazy beauty haul

EEK! So, I've been trying to cut back on my spending some...but then there was this super awesome employee discount at work...and um, I tried to stay strong. I failed. Something just happened, I don't know what but here is what I bought (with a great discount):

  1. Clarisonic replacement brushes 2 pack. I counted this as a necessity, and therefore easily justified it.
  2. eye liner brush from Clinique. My current brush needed to be replaced, and these get used daily and cleaned daily at their I know they last (justified!!)
  3. Chanel waterproof eyeliner pencil in ebony...I've tried this before at their counter and really liked how long it lasts. Expensive yes, but larger discount than normal, so, justified splurge?
  4. Bobbi Brown cream shadow in galaxy...admired the color for a while and used up my whole sample forever ago...still this one was pure splurge...which leads me to:
  5. Bobbi Brown fragrance in Beach. Impulse buy, near the register. Seriously, I sprayed it on while we were finishing the transaction and I bought it. It's light and beachy and makes me feel like good. whatev.
And now I will cut back on my splurges...until the next time. ; )

What's your favorite thing to splurge on?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

all in a pretty night's sleep

This is my evening looks like more than it is..I think.

  •  I start with Clinique's naturally gentle makeup remover because it is really gentle; I can put it on and let it work while I brush my teeth.  
  • I use a second makeup remover with cotton to remove any leftover eye makeup (I have a Bobbi Brown remover pictured, because that is what is currently in the bathroom, but I use whatever I happen to have samples of so it tends to vary)
  • I cleanse my face using a face wash (again, pictured is what I'm currently using, but I like trying new things...the Desert Essence one is cruelty free though which I consider a big plus) and I use the Clarisonic Mia every other day or so. I do love how my skin feels after using it.
  • I follow up with a serum. Right now I'm using Clinique's Repairwear Laser Focus, which is supposed to be good for wrinkle fighting and correcting sun damage.
  • For a night cream I use one from Puritan's Pride. It's a Retinol (Vitamin A) cream.  Vitamin A is a great product for use in wrinkle fighting (it also helps with acne).  It is a vitamin than can be applied topically and actually absorb into the skin, but it can also be a skin thinner and it should only be used at night because of how it reacts with sun exposure.
  • I like this eye gel (gelee) from Puritan's Pride too. Super inexpensive so I don't feel bad using it like a mini eye mask at night.all in a pretty night's sleep

Are there any products that you love right now? How many products do you use before bed?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

boxes of pretty part 2 (beauty subscription sites) **UPDATED 3/23/13

I currently subscribe to My Glam and the Look Bag (but if I win the lottery I'll join them all).  Listed below are some that are available in the United States (there are many more available in Canada, Europe and Australia). There are also more available in the US, but these are pretty affordable (others available range from $20-$50ish per month or they ship quarterly...what's the fun in that?).  Anyway prepare to sign up and possibly be put on a waiting list, but don't fret I was on my waiting lists for less than a month (then a bunch had openings, I picked two).  I figured I'd join for a while then switch it up down the road. Enjoy!

Beauty Sample Subscription Sites available in the US:

birchbox $10 a month, brands like kiehl's, smashbox, stila
test tube quarterly program $29.95/box, brands like philosophy, ahava, garnier, olay
beauty army $12 a month, brands like korres, boo boo fix, nyx, pur~lisse
crave box $10 a month, with beauty products and products for your home, health, pets, tastebuds
ipsy (formerly myglam) $10 a month, brands like urban decay, dermstore, pur~lisse
eco emi $15 a month, eco-friendly and green items
look bag $10 a month, products like lalicious, cattiva cosmetics, rain cosmetics, laura mercier
beauty bar/sample society $15 a month, in conjunction with Allure magazine, brands like bliss, boscia, dermalogica, jemma kid
beauty box 5 $12 a month ($30/quarterly or $100/yearly) brands like weleda, supergoop, makeup geek
goode box $16 a month, brands like josie maran, coola, youngblood, 100% pure
green grab bag $15 a month, "an eco friendly bag of natural beauty products"
klutch club $18 a month (or less?) this one is more for health, wellness and fitness

beautyfix $50/quarterly (plus tax in some states), brought to you by dermstore they pick some products and you pick 8 samples (there are a lot to choose from)

soapbox $20/quarterly "hand crafted bath and body products"

subscription boxes  a whole site devoted to subscription boxes (beauty included) and's like a one stop shop! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

pretty and "wrinkle free forever"

I just started a book by Howard Murad, M.D. called "Wrinkle-Free Forever, the 5 minute 5 week Dermatologist's Program" (I'm taking a short break from the Fifty Shades of Grey series).  I'm really enjoying the book.

It deals a lot with staying wrinkle free by starting from the inside...with the idea that a healthy body will lead to healthy skin.  Of course he talks about eating right, but he also delves into using supplements.  I'm only on chapter six, but I feel like everything being said makes a certain amount of sense. I even remembered to take my multivitamin this morning.

He goes into detail about what to look for in your products, and while he does bring attention to the Murad line, it's not just one big advertisement (which I appreciate). I've become weary of when the author also has their own product line, it seems like they often just end up promoting themselves and then slack on the information.

I picked up my copy from the library, but I'm sure it would be easy to get from a bookstore or online.

Have you read anything interesting lately?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

my pretty wishlist

I've put myself on a bit of a beauty (and other non-essential item) spending hold. It's not going to be easy, what with working in the cosmetics department and loving beauty products and knowing that there is an extra employee discount coming up. I'm staying strong though! There will always be things I want and want to try, and so I've created this little wishlist, also I'm new to Polyvore and still getting the hang of it.

my pretty wishlist

Urban Decay makeup
$50 -   (Yes, I've got the original, but these colors are so pretty too!)

Benefit Cosmetics eye makeup
$19 -  (I've got one, in RSVP and like it and want to try more)

Bulgari fragrance
$64 -  (I have the original Omnia Cristalline, but I like this new one more)

Too Faced Cosmetics gift sets kit
$46 -  (Love a great value kit! Especially with cute bags)

John Masters Organics haircare
€30 -  (Read about it in a blog, helps make hair healthy, I'm in!)

NARS Wicked Attraction Set
$49 -  (Always wanted to try NARS, and a value kit is a great way to start)

What items are on your wishlist?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

boxes of pretty (delivered monthly!)

Several of the beauty blogs I read have been talking about their monthly beauty boxes. These sounded like some fun programs, so I checked them out.  Basically, you sign up (or more likely, you put your name on a waiting list) and when there is room for you, you subscribe.  Most programs run about $10 a month, with options to cancel.  For the money, you receive a package of assorted samples (and sometimes full size products, depending on the program).  Sadly, a lot of these programs are not yet available in the US (but the websites promise their working on it).

I put my name on a bunch of the lists, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best.  Within about a month I got notifications from two programs; My Glam Bag and The Look Bag.  I signed up for both (and quietly vowed to cut back on my willy-nilly beauty spending)...shortly thereafter a few more of the sites let me know that I could join their programs too...maybe later.

I came home from my lovely weekend and had both packages waiting for me.

I was super happy with the Glam Bag. There is a LipQuench from the Dermstore that has become a daily use product for me.  I appreciated the brushes too (I've been needing a new slanted eyeliner brush anyway). The bag is small and cute, a lovely little purse size. There was also a liner from Urban Decay in a teal color (which I may not have picked up on my own, but is worth a try).  I went out and bought some eyelash glue, so I'm looking forward to trying out the lashes too. So far I'm totally jazzed about my beauty subscription.

The Look Bag was a little less jazzy for me.  The Jovie lotion is a great size, but a little too much fragrance for my taste. I'm looking forward to trying the Pur~lisse essential daily moisturizer with SPF 30. There is a Laura Mercier perfecting water, that I'll have to check out online, because I'm not 100% sure what it's for. There is a fragrance sample (in Water Garden, could be nice..we'll see) and lastly I received a hair oil from Orofludo (?, never heard of them, but with summer coming my hair is sure to get dry at the ends).

The Look Bag, after the Glam Bag was a little bit of a let down...but hey if it doesn't work out I'll cancel and try a different program. No worries.

Friday, April 20, 2012

pretty blissful

Took myself for a little facial the other day (to use a gift certificate that I'd received at Christmas).  There is a small spa by me that is just super relaxing called Wild Earth Spa. I went in for their "Spring Cleaning Skin Therapy" which included their Organic Bliss Facial and Eye Treatment. My service was performed by a girl named Tanya, who I've had for various services and she is super sweet.  The spa uses Eminence Organics products which always smell lovely.

I enjoy Eminence products, I've gone to watch their Master Trainer, Boldijarre Koronczay speak and do demonstrations at the Esthetic and Spa Congress in Long Beach. He is so upbeat and entertaining.

My skin felt all dewy and glowy when I left so I passed on having the dusting of makeup the spa offers.  I enjoy  going on little spa trips.  It is super relaxing...even when I'm not stressed.

pretty for summer SPF edition

I, like the majority of people out there, don't use sunscreen correctly (by that, I mostly mean that I do not wear enough). I use a sunscreen on my face daily...but for my body I tend to only use that when I'm going to be in the sun (which is where the problems start).  Sun damage is cumulative, so even non beach days count for sun exposure...and here I am only protecting my face, when it turns out that most people show the signs of aging on their hand and neck areas...yep, I need to be protecting my skin more.

To cover your body with sunscreen you should use about two ounces, (or a full shot glass).  My average size sunscreen bottle is 6 ounces...even if I use less on days when I don't expect to be in the sun (days working or running errands) I should still be using probably at least an ounce or so to cover my arms, hands, neck and chest areas.

Here were my basic questions about sunscreen, and the answers I found to be useful (be advised: as with all beauty topics, there is also information to the contrary out there).

What's new in the world of sunscreen? (Yes, this was my first question, because I received an email newsletter with a topic of "New FDA Rules Regarding Sunscreen")
  • Products will have to pass FDA tests for UVA and UVB exposure to be labeled broad spectrum
  • From now on all sunscreens will be required to have the standard 'drug facts' on their labels
  • Products will no longer be able to claim 'sweatproof' or 'waterproof'; the FDA will only allow 'water resistant 40 minutes' or 'extra water resistant 80 minutes'
What do the SPF numbers really mean? (I knew they had to do with exposure time, but could not remember what exactly)
  • If it takes you 15 minutes to burn an SPF of 15 would keep you from burning for 15 times that long...however, that is only true if you were getting the exact same amount of sun exposure the entire time...which is pretty impossible considering the whole Earth rotating the Sun thing we've got going on. From what I understand, the FDA is tackling this kind of outdated logic too, so as more regulations pass the SPF guides will either change or drop away.

Is a higher SPF better? (I've held strongly to the notion that there is really no need to go higher than 30 for a long time...but have things changed?)
  •  For that, I trusted this article on WebMD. I feel the info on there is well worded and worth a read, if you're so inclined.
Basically, in regards to sunscreen use the correct amount of coverage or you'll just be fooling yourself about how protected you are...always always reapply...and make it a part of your daily routine or you may end up an old leather lady before your time.

Monday, April 16, 2012

pretty short little note

Just got back from a lovely (although at first very cold) weekend in Palm Springs/Coachella.  Will totally write more about that later...but for now, I'm happy to be back and excited to go through my first beauty boxes which came while I was gone. My Glam bag came with an adorable little cosmetics bag (which I know I don't need, but I'm sure I'll find a use for). I also received my bag from The Look Store. So I'll report on those pretty little gifties soon too.  ♥ ♥

Thursday, April 12, 2012

pretty in Palm Springs

Coachella Weekend One!

My good friend has an email that she sends out per request to friends attending their first Coachella.  She's been going for years and years and she is a total pro.  I just read a blog entry regarding Coachella (see: broke girls guide: coachella survival kit ) and have decided to create my own. 

  • hat or parasol (provide yourself with shade, because the nice shady areas get crowded)
  • sunscreen (kind of a given but whatev), I'm going to be putting on a Clarins progressive tanning sunscreen with spf 20 in the am and reapplying with a Hawaiian Tropic spf 30 later in the day.
  • no blankets are allowed, but I'm bringing an old sarong to sit on (sometimes the grass is itchy), they recommend a small beach towel, but I think the sarong takes up less space.
  • Wet Ones antibacterial hand wipes (for after the porta potty situation, before meals, and any other time that my hands may need it).
  • speaking of porta potties, it doesn't hurt to bring a little tp with you (just in case)
  • if you can get a locker, it's a good thing. You can stash your day stuff (hats, parasols) for the next day and leave jackets and such there for the day til they're needed. It's also a great spot to meet up at the end of the night.
Dress for comfort...that's my plan, but def not a rule. I look forward to seeing all the different Coachella fashions but I myself and my friends we dress pretty comfy. I tend toward shorts and skirts (but as my friend has pointed out if your skirt or dress is really long it may just trap in heat).  I pack a sweater or jacket for later in the day.  For shoes I just go with my flips. Make up wise, again while I look forward to see some people go all out, I'm sticking with my Smashbox BB Cream (because of the high SPF), and a little powder (I use Bare Escentuals in Golden Medium for a quick dusting over any areas that'll get shiny).

I'm so excited for my weekend to begin!

Monday, April 9, 2012

pretty beachy and cheers for volunteers

I love the beach and oh so many things beachy...(note: the above pic is not me loving the beach...sadly, it's not me at all...oh well) :)

What I'm currently loving to help me achieve a beachy summertime look (never too early to start eh?):

Moist Hemp Bronzing Moisturizer (by Creative Lab) 
 I bought this based on some popular reviews.  Mainly I purchased it because the reviews assured me that it doesn't smell like self-tanner. Hallelujah! It's also moisturizing and doesn't stain your hands. At first I was not applying it everyday, but I would say that the last four days I have and am starting to see a very gradual tan developing (and it looks natural not orange).  This has me looking forward to summer everytime I put it on.  I just wish I could find a bronzer sunscreen combo. 
**I noticed there was a search on whether or not this stained clothes, I've been using it for a few weeks now and have not noticed that it has left any staining.  I do wait for it to be pretty dry though, which doesn't take too long.**



  Park Ave Princess Mineral Powder Bronzer (by Tarte)
Started with a sample of this a while ago. Now I'm on my second regular size purchase of it.  It gives my skin the right hint of "yes the beach was great today" and just a little shimmer.  I'm pretty fair skinned and wear this almost daily throughout the year.  I mainly just apply it to the apples of my cheeks (and tend to skip blushers because I feel my cheeks have enough pink in them) and if I ever feel that I may have gone a little overboard with it, a quick dusting of loose powder or translucent powder seems to do the trick nicely for toning it down.

Summer time is beach time and I can hardly wait...and this is the summer that I will get involved in Surfrider's beach clean ups. Beach cleanup is something I do while at the beach (I pickup after myself and my surrounding area), but every so often I remind myself that I need to get more involved in beach cleanups.  It's awful what gets left behind at the beach and how much of it.  Thanks to my weekly Surfrider newsletter for providing some info (see below) and cheers to the 598,076 volunteers who got out there and worked together on Coastal Cleanup Day.

Interesting facts on the clean up: Ocean Conservancy
Also check out:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

pretty with plastcizers? (a note on nail polish ingredients)

Looking at the title, I suppose this could be a post on a salt scrub...but it's not.  I recently took a class regarding the ingredients that go into cosmetics.  One of my classmates recommended "Not Just a Pretty Face" (2007; Malkan, Stacy) for further reading.  I'm only on the second chapter, and I keep going back to a main lesson we learned in class that day; take cosmetic ingredient info with a grain of salt.  As in, there are many shades of gray in this area.

The chapter I'm reading is talking about phthalates in cosmetics.  They are what is considered to be a plasticizers; meaning basically that they help to keep things from being brittle.  They are have been found in things like nail polish and hair spray.  After reading the chapter I went online to do a little recent research. I found this interesting from the environmental working group:

DBP as a plasticizer in nail enamel

The plasticizing and film-formation properties of DBP make the chemical particularly useful for nail polish. After nail polish is applied, some of the ingredients volatilize and leave behind a film that is the coating over the nail. DBP is one of the ingredients left behind, reducing brittleness and cracking in the polish.
If the DBP stayed intact in the polish, women might absorb negligible amounts of the chemical into their bodies. But a group of scientists in Hamburg, Germany showed that water-soluble components of the polish, like DBP, are dissolved out of the polish each time they contact water, a conclusion they reached after measuring the leaching of DBP from nail polish that had dried for three days. In fact, one of the reasons nail polish eventually chips is that it becomes brittle as DBP is leached out of the film. This means that every time a woman washes her hands, DBP is washed out of her nail polish and contacts her skin. The scientists conclude that "water-soluble components... attain the skin during extensive but transient contact." Therefore, a woman wearing nail polish not only can absorb DBP through her nail, but also has multiple opportunities to absorb DBP directly through her skin.

The book I'm reading has phthalates seeming way more harmful, which is why I suppose that all of this info needs to be taken with a grain of salt...and also why it's important to wash your hands. :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

pretty good deal

Clinique is currently in their bonus time (or GWP) and their gift this time around is a pretty good deal.

It comes with two bags (a larger cosmetic bag and a smaller coin purse type bag) and:
  • A 1oz Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion, which is nice to use right after you wash and/or tone your face.
  • A mini High Impact Mascara in black, which is one of my favorites
  • A two-sided lipstick and gloss (the pink set is Raspberry Glace/and Fireberry, the nude set is Think Bronze/Sunset)
  • A mini palette with a blush and three shadows
  • A 1oz Moisture Surge sample, which is (in my opinion) the best part of the deal.  A 1.7oz retails for $36 by itself.  It is a great product that can be used on all skin types when your skin is feeling dehydrated.  Use it by itself as a lotion or at night before bed as a mask.  During the winter, this product really helped my skin out. 

The gift comes with any $23.50 Clinique purchase, which as far as bonuses go is pretty affordable.  For my purchase I picked up a new BB Cream in Shade 2 (this is now the only BB cream that I've bought twice, I really like this one so much).

 I also got a Naturally Gentle Eye Makeup Remover; after receiving a sample of this from the counter one day I knew it was something I needed. I wear contacts and this makeup remover is gentle enough that I can put some on let it set and breakdown my eye makeup and remove it without any eye irritation.  It has a creamy consistency rather than a liquidy-oily type that is the norm as far as most makeup removers go.

 Side note/mini rant: I enjoy getting the Clinique gift, but it is because I also like their products.  Working in the Cosmetics section it astounds me how many people want a "free gift" even when they say they don't like the products that a line has to offer.  It's only a deal if you actually intend on using the items you get.

If you do enjoy Clinique products, or want to try them out bonus time is a great time to stop by and it only comes a couple times a year.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

pretty tutorial on a breakfast at tiffany's look ♥

I love Breakfast at Tiffany's, the book (Truman Capote is one of my all time favorite authors), the movie (how could you not like something with Audrey Hepburn), and even that song from the 90s (don't remember who sang it though).  Anyway if I shared this right it should be a tutorial on how to achieve the makeup look that Audrey sported.  I enjoy the tutor's accent in this so much that I even subscribed to her youtube channel... Enjoy! (note: it's about 10mins long)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

pretty sweet benefit GWP

I had never heard the term GWP until about a year or so ago when I started working in cosmetics.  It stands for Gift With Purchase and people ask about them all the time, which makes sense because if you already want to purchase a product you love, why not get a bonus?  I've come to love GWPs and look forward to them because some brands really make them special.  I recently scored a Benefit GWP with a two item purchase.  The bag was just so charming I couldn't resist (and I'm starting to feel like I've got a zillion makeup bags, so it take a pretty special one to be hard to resist).

It's hot pink and printed with their various product logos, but it's a nice large size that will be great for travel (as I am going out of town next week) and when I come home I think will be my new bag inside my gym bag.  I'm also looking forward to using the cream shadow I picked up from them.  I have been trying to replace a Bobbi Brown cream shadow that came in a palette, and this one felt it would be pretty close.

Monday, April 2, 2012

pretty good school day

I've been attending classes at the International Dermal Institute for the last couple of months.  It's nice that they offer post-graduate education for estheticians because you really don't learn enough in school.  I feel like I learned just enough to pass the State Board exams...but we didn't really delve into some of the skin care areas that I find interesting.

Today I took a class in cosmeceutical ingredients.  And right off the bat it was pointed out that actually "cosmeceutical" is actually more of a made up marketing term than anything else.  All it really is, is a combo of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. So basically any product out there that uses vitamins, antioxidants, and/or peptides can go ahead and give itself the fancy-schmancy title of being a cosmeceutical.

I got a lot out of the class, and hope to incorporate some of my new found/refreshed knowledge in future posts.

pretty and eau so fresh

I love Spring and Summer fragrances...I wear them all throughout the year.  I'm just not a big fan of heavier "Winter" scents.  One of my absolute favorites is Marc Jacob's Daisy Eau So Fresh.  The scent is pretty and light, and the bottle is charming with little pink white and yellow daisies on top.

Other personal favorites of mine are:

Bulgarri's Omni Crystalline (and the new Omni Coral)
Burberry Summer
Chanel's Chance au Tendre (the au Fraiche is nice too)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

pretty bomb balms...yay for BB creams!

All sorts of lines are coming out with their BB creams (Beauty Balm, Blemish Balm, what have you).  Typically they offer more sunscreen protection than a tinted moisturizer. They're also supposed to improve your skin with antioxidants, and many may claim to even out your skin tone.

I'm a fan.  I feel like they offer more coverage than a tinted moisturizer and as California girl, I feel the added sun protection is a plus.  Of the one's that I've tried Clinique's BB Cream (in shade 2, spf 30) remains my favorite.  When I first used it, it seem thick on my skin and I would mix it with my foundation...over the first couple of weeks though I found myself using less and less foundation. Now, I use a little moisturizer to hydrate my skin and a little dab of the BB and I'm good to go (well not counting the makeup steps).

I've also tried the following:

  • Smashbox Camera Ready (shade light, spf 35): almost a little too light for me, but really seems to calm redness after a work out.
  • Estee Lauder's BB cream (#1 light): the fragrance is too strong for me, it's a fresh scent and all...just too much for my taste.
  • Too Faced (Cream Glow, spf 20): I really like this one a would be my favorite, except for the shimmer in it.  I like a little shimmer now and then, but not every day.
  • Skin 79: (BB pink mini set): Admittedly I was warned (via another blog) that this is better on Asian skin.  The product comes from Korea, and it was a good price so I gave it a just didn't work on my skin tone.
  • Origins (shade 1): Just received a sample of this from their counter the other day.  I love the scent it has a little fruity/sweet but light and fades quickly.  The coverage is very light compared to the others I've tried, but good for an all natural kind of day.  They do come in six shades which is more options than anyone else is offering right now.
  • Clarins also has their Beauty Balm, which has no tint and no spf.  I love this product because you can put it on before your makeup, or later in the day you can rehydrate your face by gently patting this product into your skin...they don't market it as a BB cream, but I thought I'd throw it in anyway.