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Beauty Musings & Rogue Ramblings


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Holiday Gift Guide: Easy Gifts Under $50 for Her ♥

The holiday shopping season is in full force – seriously, I almost died 4 times driving to the area of the city one of the major malls is located in.

Anyways, I survived the chaos, and I know sometimes its easy to get stuck shopping for someone, so I came up with a quick list of easy (and nearly fool proof) gift options – all under $50!

ArtsyArchitette Holiday Gift Guide

1. For the Book Lover 

If you know she loves books and you can’t afford to buy her a new Kindle, then opt for a couple she doesn’t have yet; and when in doubt cross reference the NY Times, Amazon and Barnes & Noble Bestsellers lists for some that just her style.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble gift cards work too, especially if she already has an e-reader!

Featured Books Above: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins and The Millenium (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) Series by Stieg Larsson.

2. A Little Luxury Gloss

MAC has some genius little holiday sets out, with lovely packaging, for the make-up lover. I don’t think I know a make-up lover that would be disappointed!

Featured Set Above:  MAC Guilty Passions Lavish Rose Lip Gloss Set.

3. Pamper your lips

One of the best products I have come across for all day lip love is the Korres Lip Butter. They smell great, feel great, look gorgeous with just great flushes of color, and keep your lips healthy all day.

Sephora offers two sets – perfect for the holidays and a non-lipstick/lip gloss girl!

Featured Sets Above: Korres The Lip Blockbuster Volume II and Lip Butter Collection.

4. Something to keep her warm

It’s December!! Almost every girl I know loves a new pair of cozy socks, or a cute beanie and scarf, and of course – don’t forget the gloves!

Featured Items Above: Scarf and beanie from Banana Republic. Socks and Gloves from Gap.

5. For the body

A little sexy, a little sensual, but oh so amazing! The Victoria’s Secret Love My Body collections of body lotions, creams, sprays and oils. Perfect for a winter bath.

Featured Set Above: Jasmine & Water Lily (in my opinion the best fragrance of all the LMB scents) Lotion, Oil and Body Mist.

6. For the body… again 😉

For the girl that prefers the fresh and clean scent over the sexy and sensual. Soap & Glory body and hand products are some of the best out there and Sephora offers some awesome Soap & Glory sets – complete with travel totes!

Featured Set Above: The Best Things In Life Are Three Set.

7. Great for the home, great for the hostess

If she loves her place to smell lovely and inviting, Bath & Body Works 3-wick candles are great options. They offer some warm and fun scents for winter and they often have 2 for $20 sales – just make sure you smell them in-store. It is always best to avoid online ordering of candles, in  my opinion.

If you’re not sure what scents she prefers – gift card!

Featured Candles Above: Hot Buttered Rum, Spiced Apple Toddy and Frosted Cranberry.

8. Something a bit more personal

As many of you may know, I sell Chloe + Isabel, and we released some gorgeous holiday pieces – one of the most popular being the Pave Inital Disc Charm Necklaces! I have picked up a few myself for me and as gifts – so pretty in person!

Featured Initials Above: Pave Inital Disc Charm Necklaces in Gold-plated “M” and Silver-plated “S” (available in the 12 most popular letters).

9. For the true fashion and art lover

Coffee table books are awesome, but most people don’t buy them for themselves – they tend to be a bit pricey. Fashion and Art books are often beautifully put together and contain some very interesting/exclusive behind-the-scenes type content.

Perfect for fashion and art nerds!

Featured Book Above: Vogue: The Editor’s Eye.

10. Foolproof jewelry

Seriously, C+I’s Petite Rhinestone Open Bangles Sets are some of they most popular pieces selling as gifts for the holidays!

Four flexible rhinestone covered bangles, available in four different sets. I can wait to order mine!

Featured Sets Above: Deep Sea, Starry Night and Cha Cha Cha.

11. Something sweet

Fine chocolate and good wine! Need I say more.

Featured Items Above: Chuao Chocolatier Chunky Honeycomb Bark and Risata Moscato d’Asti.

12. For the TV addict 

Sometimes my life is run by my favorite TV shows schedules and I’m not the only one, so why not give her a season or two of her favorite show! Perfect to hold her over for the winter show hiatuses 😉

Featured Sets Above: The Walking Dead Seasons 1 and 2!!

There you have it Hopefully this inspired a few gifts for you – after doing this I think I’ll be back with a Gift Guide for Him in a few days!

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Beauty Confessions – “This Or That” Tag

It’s Friday!! And since I can’t go shopping today 😦 (major bummer) I thought I would tackle this beauty confessions tag from Tianna @StorybookApothecary 🙂

Beauty Confessions Tag Cover

It was fun reading through these by other bloggers (links below!), but grrrr…. this tag is a tough one for me.

1. Blush Or Bronzer? Hmmm… if I had to only choose one, it would be BLUSH. Blush can be extremely versatile and having a bit of a flush to your skin just helps to achieve that healthy look. When applied correctly to specific areas of your face, you can draw out your bone structure and naturals contours without having to turn to a bronzer. Though I do love my bronzers!

2. Lipstick or Lipgloss? LIPSTICK! You can wear it matte, satin, or even glossy. I also love “staining” with lipsticks and you can create a longer lasting illusion of fuller lips with lipstick. I do love lipgloss for certain looks or occasions, but I have strict lipgloss requirements, which are rarely met. I have to say that 98% of the glosses I own are MAC Cremesheen Glass – they are non-sticky, don’t become tacky, smell yummy and have quality pigment.

3. Chapstick or Lip Butter? LIP BUTTERS!! I don’t think I even own a “chapstick” – the closet thing would be my Neutrogena Lip Moisturizer, which comes in a chapstick type packaing, but I would never actually call it a chapstick formula. Lip butters are amazing, come in so many shades and keep your lips soft/smooth for longer.

4. Matte or Sparkle Eyeshadow? Gahhhh… this is a tough one, but first off I dislike the word “sparkle” that sounds cheap. They both have their place, matte are more versatile and you can create more polished and sophisticated looks with matte shadows, plus they are great for crease and liner work. “Sparkle” shadows are great for highlighting, fun looks and brightening the eye area up, and can be more forgiving on youthful skin, BUT the level of “sparkle” can create a mess and can draw attention to fine lines and wrinkles. So I guess, if forced to choose between the two, it would be matte.

5. Gel, Liquid, Cream or Pencil Liner? This is impossible to really answer! Gel, cream and pencil are tied for me. Liquid is great, especially for those not as skilled with liner, but once you have the hang of a liner brush and a quality gel/cream liner, the possibilities are endless! So liquid liner, I do like it, great for a quick look or a quick fix, and easy to use. Gel and cream liners are awesome, but you have use a quality gel/cream pot and store it properly – and yes, it might take a bit of practice to get it right, but they can be used in so many ways and I love them!! Pencil liners are classic and as long as you have a quality pencil, you really can’t go wrong with a pencil. They are quick and easy to use, but if you are looking for a long-lasting look (and you don’t have a long-lasting pencil) – topping with an eye shadow is best!

6. Foundation or Concealer? Foundation can be wonderful, especially for long-busy days and certain occasions, but I would have to go with concealer!! My skin is fairly clear, with the only odd spot here and there, and I often use only concealer to cover the under eye area, slight redness around the nose and brighten the center of my face (center of forehead, nose, chin). Concealer is great because you can add a lighter concealer in the places you want to highlight, like the tops of the cheekbones and brow bone, creating a natural highlight and illusion of contour without adding your bronzer. After setting my concealer and finishing up the rest of my make-up, I realize I don’t actually need foundation, and my skin has a very natural look/feel since I did use any foundation at all.

7. Liquid or Powder Foundation? I like both, but I lean towards liquid nowadays (if I wear it at all, usually I opt for concealer and tinted moisturizer, or concealer only). I used to use bareMinerals for 2 years, a couple years ago when my skin was a bit more oily, but my skin had normalized and stopped reacting as well to the bareMinerals, so I moved onto liquids. You can also get gorgeous finishes with liquids!

8. Neutral or Statement Eye? This question is mean! I can’t choose. I LOVE both! Same goes for lips!!

9. Pressed or Loose Shadows? I dislike this question… they both have their uses, but pressed are a bit easier to use and less of a mess. While loose shadows can be very vibrant and fun to use wet!

10. Waterproof or Non-Waterproof? Non-waterproof! I only buy a waterproof mascara if I have a specific need for it, then I use it and it sits there until I have to throw it away – being mostly a waste of money. Eyelashes are very delicate and waterproof is just a no go for me, I already wear mascara practically everyday, so the added resistance and need for a waterproof remover is no fun for me. Side note: I do use the Clinique Bottom Lash mascara, which is water-resistant.

11. Brushes, Sponges or Fingers? I am a brush fiend! I have dozens for every application possible! Sponges are rare for me, with the only few times I really use them is when applying other peoples make-up. I only have one that I use often enough, or well kind of two now, my MAC Pro Performance Sponge and the beautyblender (comparison review coming soon)! Fingers are easy and quick, great for warming up products and working them into the skin when needed.

12. Powder, Cream or Liquid Highlighters? LOVE them all! They all have their purpose, occasion and weather. Tip: I tend to add a bit of liquid/gel highlighter (Favorites: Benefit High Beam, Sun Beam or Moon Beam) into foundation for a little glow.

♥ Spill your beauty secrets! (Additional Q for you by D (Sweetjellybean.com)♥

Can’t Live Without Skincare Product?

This one is kind of easy for me. I only have a few skin care products and I stick to a strict rountine, so I would say my Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate!! Love it, won’t go a night without it – and it is a bit pricey at $70 a bottle, but the bottle lasts me a good 9 months – so worth it!!

Favorite Makeup Blusher?

Too many to choose! From MAC, to NARS, to Tarte and Maybelline… powder and creams…. I love a lot of them.

Take-it-with-me-always beauty product?

I’m going to cheat here and name a few… MAC Fix +, Laura Mericer Tinter Moisturizer Oil Free, Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer and Korres Lip Butter!

Bonus Question from Tianna @StorybookApothecary!

What Is One Beauty Item You’re Willing To Splurge On Even Though It’s Expensive?

I will probably have to agree with Tianna here and say my Clarisonic, as I think its the only thing I would consider a splurge that I use daily/regularly. I justify most of my beauty purchases very well hehehe…

There you have it! I know, I didn’t exactly follow the rules, but for a beauty junkie this was hard!

Checkout the tag chain and send a little love to these ladies:

Beauty Confessions – “This Or That” Tag

Something Fun: This or That, Beauty Tag – You’re It!

TAG: THIS OR THAT

This was fun to do, albeit a little frustrating, but overall so much fun! Oh, and of course, I TAG ALL OF YOU!!!!  


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It’s my BIRTHDAY and I’ll go to the BEACH if I want to!

Whoa… I feel like I have been M.I.A. from the blogosphere – gosh, sometimes having a job really gets in the way of blogging!

Well, guess what, I’m getting old – yeah, it’s my birthday very soon and one of my presents to myself is a mini-vacation to the BEACH!! So excited, haven’t been in a few years, plus I’m actually taking some vacation days from work! I haven’t taken any vacation days, whatsoever, since I have been working at my current job.

I’m not sure how the company will survive without me, BUT I don’t care ’cause I’ll be chillin’ at the beach!

So, since I’m obviously a make-up junkie, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ll be taking with me.

SKIN:

Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 50

Neutrogena SPF 15 Lip Moisturizer

MAC FIX+ Spray

Great for giving your skin a moisture boost!

MAKE-UP:

Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 in “Bisque” 

Great coverage and so light on the skin! Love it.

Neutrogena 3 in 1 concealer in “Buff 09” 

Lightweight concealer + Eye cream + SPF 20 = Awesomeness!

NARS Bronzer in “Laguna”

Check out my love and tips for bronzer here!

Tarte Matte Waterproof Bronzer in “Park Ave Princess”

Show me swatches! << Click!

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in “Medium”

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish  in “Whisper of Gilt”

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in “Glorify”

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24hr Eyeshadow in “45 Bold Gold”

Stays put forever!! Wear it sheer or layer it up for gold painted lids! Use it subtlety on other areas to highlight and brighten.

MAC Paint Pot in “Rubenesque”

Who doesn’t love a MAC paint pot and this one is perfect for that bronzed beach look!

Top: MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in “Buried Treasure”

A black-brown with gold shimmer and serious staying power. Hello waterproof!

Bottom: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in “Junkie”

Great way to add a pop of color at the beach without going heavy on the make-up! Waterproof!

Korres Lip Butter in “Mango” 

Great for keeping your lips soft and hydrated, with the perfect flush of coral color!

Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain and Balm in “Flame”

Long-lasting color, plus a balm – perfect for sunny beach days.

FRAGRANCE:

 Jo Malone Wild Bluebell 

Keep it light and fresh! Want more on Wild Bluebell?

 HAIR:

Tresemme Climate Protection Finishing Spray

For all hair types, won’t leave white residue in your hair, works against humidity, static, wind and has a UV blocker!

SUNBLOCK!!

 

 Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Faces SPF 50 Sunblock

Oil free, waterproof, sweatproof, fragrance free, tear free, hypoallergenic – if its good for a baby’s face its good for mine!

Neutrogena Fresh Cooling  Body Mist Sunblock SPF 45

Amazing feeling on the skin in hot weather! It’s also non-greasy and waterproof, also non-comedogenic (won’t clog your pores).

Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Sunblock Spray SPF 100

Ultra sweatproof, waterproof, non-greasy, non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores), oil free! Resists wear-off from friction, activities, sweat and water! Of course, you need to reapply throughout the day.

 So excited for my mini-vacation!!! Did I mention it was going to be PERFECT weather 😀 


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My (sometimes) Everyday Make-up

I have been asked quite a few times now to share some make-up looks, so I thought I’d share an everyday make-up look of mine. I’ll usually spend 20 to 30 minutes on my morning skin care and make-up routine, but I always do other things like getting dressed or combing my hair in between certain steps (example: combing my hair while letting my skin soak up my moisturizer for 5 minutes).

Here’s a look I’ll wear quite frequently, with cosmetic products from this particular day written below:

Make-up products used:

  • Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Light
  • MAC Pro Longwear SPF 10 Foundation in NC25
  • MAC Select Cover-Up Concealer in NW25 (under eyes only)
  • Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer in 330 Nude
  • MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer in NW45 (for contouring)
  • Benefit Sun Beam
  • MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt
  • Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush in 25 Rose Petal (Discontinued 😦 )
  • NARS Laguna Bronzer
  • Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette Eyeshadow in Foxy
  • MAC Eyeshadow in Woodwinked
  • Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink
  • NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in 630 Cashmere
  • CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara in Very Black
  • Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara in Black
  • Maybelline MasterShape Brow Pencil in Deep Brown
  • MAC Invisible Set Powder
  • Korres Lip Butter in Mango

It may seem like quite a few products, but each product has its purpose. Make-up lovers will understand that 😀

So I may be sharing some make-up looks from time to time.