My Beauty Faves

I thought I’d write a post about the beauty products I use since I was just showing off my organization of them.  If I had to forsake all beauty products but one, I’d keep my chapstick.  I’m typically extremely loyal to Softlips, but the hubs found a multi-pack of these flavored Aquafina lip balms on sale, so that’s what I’ve been using recently.


I’m not much of a lipstick gal, but I do like a little color, so I also use Burts Bees tinted lip balms.  My favorite and most used is Red Dahlia, but I also like the Peony, which I found in a “lip shimmer” that is a little fanicer.


Lotion is my other MUST have.  Technically, I could use the lotion on my lips if I had to pare down to just one product, but luckily I don’t!  I’ve found that Johnson’s baby lotion works the best for me.  My theory is if it’s good enough for baby’s sensitive skin then it should be just fine for adult skin.  I started using the lavender scented variety after getting a travel size lotion for my desk and liking it.  That’s still my preference, but honestly I buy whatever is on sale or available at the store I happen to be at when I remember I need more. I’ve also used the honey oatmeal variety and liked it as well, although it doesn’t smell quite as “pretty” and well… it’s not purple! LOL


Another essential item in my repertoire is my deodorant.  I’m a sweater.  I sweat.  Even when cold.  I can’t explain it.  After trying many other varieties and brands I finally found Dove Cleartone, which keeps my underarms dry and irritation free.  Hopefully they don’t have plans to change or pull this line anytime soon because if they did I’d be extremely upset.


I long ago gave up foundation in lieu of a tinted moisturizer.  Living in Alaska you take all the moisturizing you can get!  I like that it doesn’t feel as heavy as foundation but still provides adequate coverage.  I’ve also found that my skin feels and looks healthier using a tinted moisturizer rather than foundation.  I really like Sonia Kashuk’s brand, especially because I can get it at Target with a coupon!  Unfortunately she doesn’t offer a color that fits me perfectly, so I mix these two.  Works well when the seasons change and I do get a bit of color back in my complexion, I just adjust the mixture to match.


I recently had a session with a make-up artist about to get her certification and learned a lot of techniques, like stippling my tinted moisturizer rather than applying with a sponge.  I thought her eyes might fall out of her head when I told her I typically put the moisturizer on the sponge and then mix it on my forehead and blend it out from there.  Apparently that’s not the best method.  I explained that the women in my family aren’t the “girly” type who teach each other the best techniques, so I just do whatever habits I’ve picked up over the years – usually those that result in the quickest “ready to go” finish.  She taught me to mix the colors on my  hand and then stipple them on with a special brush.  I picked up this ecotools brush at Walmart after my session for around $5 and am really happy with it.  I also have a Kabuki brush from Bare Minerals, which I use to apply their Clear Radiance as a setting powder – another tip from the expert. 🙂

FoundationBrushes  FoundationPowder

My long nights and early mornings require a concealer.  I discovered Make Up Forever’s Full Cover after my favorite blogger did a review on it.  I still apply this with a sponge, but wet the sponge before hand and mix the concealer with some tinted moisturizer on my hand rather than go directly from sponge to face. My make-up instructor would be proud! This is my one splurge item, as it comes from that beauty wonderland known as Sephora.  I’m running low these days and have been avoiding a trip to replace it because I know I want to check out an eyeshadow pencil reviewed by the same blogger….I’m sensing a pattern here.


I tend to stick with neutral eye shadows in browns or grey.  I picked up this Sonia Kashuk palette at the drugstore for the the gold color (which I thought might be similar to that eyeshadow pencil), but found that it’s ALL glitter and no color, so I ended up using the other three palettes.  I also subscribe to the white in the corner of the eye to make you look more awake.  I’m not sure if that’s exactly what it does, but it does help detract from the dark circles I usually have, even after concealer.  I have a few Bare Minerals eye shadows I play with from time to time, but I always return to this grey color called celestine because it has just the right amount of sparkle.


My eye shadow brush inventory expanded from one to three after my make up session.  I use the white flat brush, which came as a set with my stippling brush, for the white shadow and the other flat brush to create an eyeliner effect with the darkest shadow.  The rest are applied with the regular eyeshadow brush.


Another result of having non-girly women in my family means I don’t have a lot of knowledge when it comes to hair styling.  My mom and sister have beautiful naturally curly hair and I somehow got stick straight baby fine hair.  You could always tell which of them did my hair for photos.  Mom would create Farah Faucette ‘wings’, while my sister would leave everything straight and top my forehead with a 4″ high teased bang.  Luckily, we’ve all matured a bit since then but it’s still an education in progress.  I’ve discovered dry shampoo is my secret weapon because it gives my fine hair a little hold and texture so I can actually do things with it besides leave it down.  I tried a couple different ones and found Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak to work best for me.  It’s not overly sticky and it sprays in a nice even amount, rather than the high pressure burst some dispensers give.  And the fact that I can get it at Target for around $5 is the cherry on top!


Along with dry shampoo, I use a fine mist, volumizing hair spray.  I’m a fan of Vavoom and used it for a long time, but it’s not easy to find up here unless I hit the high end salons in the mall, which I tend to avoid.  I picked up this CHI hairspray at TJMaxx during a trip to Portland last year and like it (likely more so because of the purple packaging!).  Unfortunately, I’m running low so I picked up this John Freida voluminous hair spray at the drug store.  I’ve only used it once so far, but it seems ok.  Not quite as great as the Vavoom or CHI, but not bad for a drugstore option.


I’m not a big perfume buff, so I tend to stick with a single simple, clean scent.  I like Clinique Happy because it’s light and fresh, but still a little sweet.  This is my every day scent.  I also have a bottle of Miss Cherie Dior, which I love and break out for special occasions or when I want something a little more intense, although I find it a bit much for my daily office gig.


And lastly I need something to take it all off every night, which is why I use make-up wipes.  I usually buy the generic, exfoliating ones at Walmart because I find they work just as well as the other brands, but the hubs found a bulk pack of these Neutrogena wipes at CostCo, so that’s what I’m using right now.


So that’s my beauty line-up.  Fairly simple, although it’s gotten a bit more complex over the past few years as I learn new tips and tricks.  And it’s all pretty frugal since everything is available at a drug store with the exception of my concealer.  And let’s face it, if you’re gonna spend big bucks on a makeup product that’s the one to splurge on!  Now I want to hear from you.  What beauty product could you not live without?


To Cut or Not to Cut… That is the Question!

I’ve mentioned before that my hair and I have a love/hate relationship.  Maybe it’s the whole, “you always want what you don’t have” theory that makes me detest the limp, straight, baby fine hair I’ve been cursed with.  I seriously lust after the thick curls that seem to dominate Pinterest these days a’ la’ Kate Middleton’s gorgeous locks, but I know I’ll never achieve that exact look – unless I bite the bullet and get hair extensions to increase my skimpy strands.

Thankfully, I view my hair as an accessory in the way that if I don’t like it, I can change it and with my creative personality that tends to happen A LOT!  Although I was born blonde and remained so through high school, I’ve sported strawberry blonde, brunette, auburn and now red manes.  And my hair stylist knows I have a routine of growing my hair out and then chopping it, only to grow it out once again – which luckily is a fairly quick process for me.

I’ve spent the last several months growing my hair from a bob to below my shoulders and now I’m getting tired of the extra styling it requires so the itch to chop it all has returned.  My husband is that one strange man who prefers women to have short hair, so he of course would vote for me to give in and chop several inches.

However, I know full well that short hair styles can sometimes require more styling time than long hair does, which can be a big hiccup on the rare mornings when I wake up late.  Short hair also usually means you’re stuck with the same look all the time.  Plus, when I see pictures of myself with shorter hair I think my face looks very round which I don’t care for on myself.

Picture 2I’ve really liked some of my mid-length cuts, especially when layered for volume like this one, but they tend to be just short enough to not work for multiple styles so I end up wearing it the same way all the time and when I do pull it up the shorter pieces fall out, making the rest of the do more likely to ‘migrate’ on my head due to a lack of volume holding it in place.

So which look do you think I should sport?  Short, medium, or long?  Here are examples of me with each.


Granted the long picture isn’t much longer than the medium, but it looks shorter then it was because of the curls.  It’s now quite a bit longer than this.  One option I’ve been toying with is keeping the length, but having long layers added in, like this.

My concern is that fine hair tends to get super frizzy when layered.  But Jennifer Aniston seems to make it work, so there’s hope right? Maybe all I really need is a live in hair stylist like that stars! 🙂