My Beauty Philosophy Part II – Keeping It Natural

The second most important part of my beauty philosophy and routine is keeping it natural. Not just using natural products, but sticking to a natural look. I think it evokes the highest level of confidence when you can wear little to no make up and walk down the street with the wind at your back.

Yet again this goes back to my mother. Never once did I ever see her apply foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow, lipstick, or any heavy make up. I think that always stuck with me because she didn’t  put an emphasis on appearance.

Or, she just let her appearance be. 

I stopped applying makeup (eyeliner, mascara, lipstick) in college because I was always running out of time and quite frankly, I didn’t care anymore. And what I noticed is that people still called me pretty either way. I figured if someone was gonna love me, he’d love me without all the gunk and goo.

So that’s why I stick to moisturizers and my CC Cream. Or maybe just a flick of eyeliner and mascara. I never wanna step out on a Wednesday on my way to work and look like I’m heading to an episode of FaceOff. That’s not to say when I go to a special event I may do a smoky eye, but then again, that’s a special event.

In the words of Tess Munster, “Eff your beauty standards.”

’Til Wednesday,

Stephanie

Ooh-La-La! Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream Review

My second series of product reviews will be focusing on hand creams. It’s winter and even though I live in an area that can’t make up its mind about what season it’s in, the fluctuation in temperature and humidity causes dry skin.

I was introduced to this hand and nail cream by Caudalie via Birchbox. I didn’t use it until recently — the first week of November to be exact. The weather started to get drier and colder, so it was definitely the perfect time to bust out one’s moisturizing arsenal. I stopped using the lotion around the last week of November, when the tube ran out.

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The scent of this lotion is how I envision a character in a Jane Austen novel would smell. It’s light, citrusy, and with jasmine notes. Lovely. Absolutely lovely. I started applying it in the morning at work, and I noticed I would have to reapply about every two hours. While it would leave my skin feeling soft for a little while, it wouldn’t leave my skin feeling truly moisturized. What I mean is the effect of softness wouldn’t last.

Would I buy this hand lotion again? Probably. It seems like this product would be better able to tackle spring or summer dryness, a time when constant application of moisturizers wouldn’t be necessary. Up next for review in this series is Burt’s Bees Honey & Grapeseed Hand Cream.

Happy Christmas,

Stephanie

My Beauty Philosophy – Part 1

My Beauty Philosophy – Part 1

My philosophy on beauty started with my mother. Growing up, I saw her consistently do one thing that continues to this day – moisturize. Always applying lotion to her hands, I have never seen this woman without a bottle of Jergen’s nearby. Her face routine was also pretty simple: cleanse and moisturize. She used Oil of Olay on her face for years, and eventually moved to Revlon‘s anti-aging skincare products. I say she doesn’t need it. Oh, she’s always drinking water.

After my bouts with acne through my pre-teen and teenage years, I stuck to my mom’s basic routine: cleanse and moisturize. I stick to products that don’t contain harsh chemicals and are formulated for sensitive skin. I also moisturize every morning with coconut oil. I also go through bottles of Smart Water like it’s nobody’s business (don’t worry I recycle, and Smart Water – you’re welcome).

But the routine is simple. The actions here are simple.

Which is the point – simplicity. Beauty doesn’t have to be a complex process, especially with your skin. Your skin is beautiful as it is. Several layers of make up are not needed, which I know is probably shocking to read considering this is a beauty blog. Cleansing, moisturizing, seeing a dermatologist, and using sunscreen are all easy tactics to employ to feel more beautiful. And drinking water.

Now before anyone calls bullcrap, I do use Supergoop’s CC cream, a tinted moisturizer. It doesn’t cover up my skin or look cakey, and my attraction to this product is mainly because it’s SPF 35. (No parabens, petrochemicals, fragrances and it being cruelty free is also a plus.) So, I wouldn’t qualify using this as “several layers of make up”.

Simplicity. Simple care for yourself. KISS Method – Keep It Simple, Stupid. You get the point here.

Maybe it has to do with freedom. If you feel at ease and keep it simple, you don’t have anything to worry about, right? If you’re free from the constraints of how or why or when to apply your make up and what tools to use and that’s not the right eyeshadow and omgyoudon’tdoyourbrowswhatsthematterwithyou! Then you’re probably happier.

To quote Miss Hepburn, “Happy girls are the prettiest”.

Til Wednesday,

Stephanie

An Ode To Juicing & Smoothies

How nutritious

& full of possibility!

Some may become suspicious,

but there’s no comparability.

Juicing will enlighten

your body & the product is tasty.

Smoothies are delicious

too & the processes shouldn’t frighten.

My skin now looks beautiful, not pasty,

so juice or blend, it will be auspicious.

Sally Hans-NO: A Top Coat Review

This is my third and final top coat review. (Yay! Or not, maybe you’ve been enjoying these, reader, in which case, thank you.) Up next I’ll be reviewing hand creams, and then lip balms. My reviews will include products from companies like Burt’s Bees, EOS, and Caudalie. Stay posted!

I did my nails Saturday, December 7. I remember it being warm, but dry. I used Ruffian Nail Laquer in Hedge Fund, a product I discovered via Birchbox, and Zoya Nail Polish in Elisa. I tried to do three dots on each nail, failed, and each hand ended up having a different design.

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(This photo is just of my left hand. The right had the dot design.) Anyway, after having mucked up my nail design I applied an extra coat of Sally Hansen Strengthening Nail Polish. Two coats, folks. They both dried pretty quickly, which was nice. The glossiness of the top coat was pretty average, too. However, those two coats didn’t due much. My nails were growing back and I had a full week at work typing at computer. So this is what happened:

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Yeah… The results of this top coat by Sally Hansen were about as disappointing as this past year’s World Series. This nail polish was around $3 at Wal-Mart, but you can find it in most drugstores/pharmacies like Walgreens. In comparison to the top coat by O.P.I and Essie’s All In One 3-Way Glaze, this would be at the bottom of the list. The only top coat that performed like the 1976 Steelers offensive line was Essie’s, and I chock that up not to its expensive price but that it was a base coat as well.

Sorry for the post being short. I promise next week I’ll have a good review in store for y’all when I start the hand creams. My first hand cream review will be of Caudalie’s Hand and Nail cream.

Thanks for reading!

‘Til Friday,

Stephanie

 

THE BIG SCARY W.

By that I mean waxing. Waxing is the “big scary W” for women. 

I’ve been getting full leg waxes, on both legs, for close to three years now. It started as a bit of a feminist revolt, or really just my big “F U” to men, beauty standards, and whatever else I was pissed about in 2010. It was the year I had a couple of failed relationships, and I was burnt out. So I thought, “Screw it, No Shave November can go both ways, guys.”

Also, no women really likes shaving. It’s a pain in the ass, takes too long, and razors cost a king’s ransom.

Back to the story… 

Relationships failed, I say screw it, and my leg hair grows out. Now, I have very thick, dark, and wavy Greek hair. My legs looked like the hippie girls’ legs in Without A Paddle. Those leggings sold in China to prevent male attention – the ones that look like hairy legs? Yep, that was me. After I felt like my leg hair grew to a satisfactory length, I called up a local spa and booked an appointment.

The pain. Dear Lord. The pain. That first wax took an hour and a half. It was so painful. It was worse than getting my wisdom teeth removed. I had bruised my ribs while visiting Dublin (Ireland, not Ohio, believe me people have made that mistake), and it was worse than that pain. But after awhile, like with breakups, the pain became easier to deal with. I know the meatier parts of my legs don’t hurt as badly as my shins when I get waxed, but I deal with it. The pain lessened as well because my hair grew out thinner and lighter.

I have spots on my legs where the hair doesn’t grow anymore. Some parts of my legs the hair has gotten so light you can’t even tell there’s hair there. And that’s the benefit of waxing to me. As far as how often I go, it depends on temperature. So I’ll get waxed every four weeks in Summer, but can go up to six weeks in Autumn or Winter. If I’m dating someone, I’ll get waxed more often, of course. My legs usually do get red after the wax, but the redness goes down in a couple of hours.

My favorite place to go? Alba’s Holistic Spa in Myrtle Beach. Alba is fantastic, and if you’re in the Grand Strand area, definitely check her out. Prices are competitive and the wax she uses sticks to the hair, not the skin, so redness and inflammation is minimal.

My suggestion is to try it. At least once. Take some Tylenol beforehand, put in your earbuds and crank the metal, and you’ll be fine.

Til Wednesday,

Stephanie