May 28, 2013

Turmeric Spot Treatment and Facial Scrub

*Photo via
           I am not, nor will I ever be, a chef.  The only times you are going to find me in a kitchen is when I'm a) toasting a pop tart or making cereal or b) scrounging up some ingredients for a new facial mask recipe.  Being that this is a "beauty" blog, you can bet that I will be discussing the latter today.
           It's no secret that my skin is not perfect and my love for experimenting with random, often comedogenic, facial products is mostly to blame.  When it comes to spot treatments, I have tried it all from tea trea oil to manuka honey to lemon juice.  Some of these options are effective and others not so much.  I am happy to report that I have recently stumbled upon the miracle product of the Ayurvedic and Chinese skincare gods.  It is:  *drumroll*  TURMERIC.  I mean, seriously, this stuff is a hardcore anti-inflammatory and is used to help with symptoms of indigestion, alzheimer's and ulcerative colitis, amongst many other things.  Although I haven't gotten down to ingesting the stuff regularly, I've started to use it as a mild scrub and spot treatment.  I've found that it really reduces redness on blemishes and gives my skin a nice glow.  Here's how I do it:

What You Need
1.  Turmeric powder (duh): Any 'ole kind will work, but I think organic is a little better.
2.  An old t-shirt and an old wash cloth: Turmeric root is actually used as a component in many dyes, and for good reason, as it will dye about anything that it touches.
3.  Chamomile or green tea:  Water will suffice, but I like to add chamomile tea to my turmeric scrub/spot treatment mixture for its calming effects.
4.  Q-tips:  These are mainly necessary for when you use turmeric as a spot treatment.  They're much more efficient for use on small areas.

What to Do
The mixture for both the spot treatment and the scrub are the same, so listen up!
1.  For a facial scrub, you need to put about a teaspoon of turmeric in the palm of your hand, whereas you'll only need about a quarter of a teaspoon for a spot treatment.
2.  Create a paste with the turmeric powder by slow mixing it with your tea of choice (or water).  The paste should be thick, but spreadable.  Also, the paste needs to be thinner when used as a scrub as opposed to a spot treatment.  
3.  If you're using the turmeric mixture as a spot treatment, dip the Q-tip into the mixture in your hand.  If you are creating a scrub, simply spread the mixture all over your face.
4.  Spot treaters:  Leave the mixture on for no longer than 20 minutes.  Be sure to wash your entire face instead of simply rinsing or else you are going to look like an Oompa Loompa with a bad spray tan all day.  Like I said, this stuff is used as dye, people!
5.  Facial Scrubbers:  Massage the turmeric mixture onto your face for about 10 seconds then completely wash your face.  Don't be alarmed if you're a little orange after the first cleanse.  Simply wash, rinse, repeat. 
6.  Dry your face with the old wash cloth just in case some turmeric powder decided to stay around in the hopes of dying your nice, new towels.

               I understand that all of this talk about how turmeric temporarily dyes your skin is pretty intimidating, but the color will go away pretty quickly.  If you just use the turmeric mixture at night and cleanse thoroughly afterwards, the only thing people will notice about you in the morning is your sultry new complexion.  Now, get to scrubbin'!      

May 25, 2013

Sun Bum Sunscreen Face Stick

           Despite my skin's aversion to any products containing SPF, I still continually search for the perfect face sunscreen.  I've found that sunscreen lotions just do not work for me when I wear them underneath my makeup.  For this reason, I have extended my search into the world of stick sunscreens, which I use over top of my makeup and only in certain spots of my face. Sure, this is obviously not the dermatologist recommended method, but I've found they work perfectly for a girl like me who only spends a few minutes in the sun every day.  Most of my summer days are spent in an office, so before I head outside I do a few quick swipes of sunscreen over my nose and cheeks.  Thus far, I've gotten 0 sunburns this summer, so I must be doing something right!
*Photo via

            My stick sunscreen of choice is Sun Bum's Sunscreen Face Stick, not only is this sunscreen oil free, but it's also hypoallergenic, waterproof and sweatproof.  Did I mention it's banana scented?  As a girl who normally prefers fragrance free products, I can see how some may find this to be a little off putting, but it's really a pleasant smell.  You can buy Sun Bum products at Ulta, but I'd encourage you to also check out Sun Bum's own website, as they have a pretty cool brand/ philosophy.  Cheers to great summer sunscreen finds! 

May 22, 2013

Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition

                 I hardly ever rave about shampoo and conditioner, but especially not shampoo, so this post is a totally rare occasion.  I've never seen the point of buying $25 worth of a product (shampoo) that spends no more than 15 seconds on your body a day.  I do see how people can justify a conditioner splurge, though, as it is the final step of most in-shower routines and your hair spends a little more time soaking it up.  Luckily for me, I've discovered the most amazing shampoo/conditioner combo that costs only about $10 for the both of them: Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Fortifying Shampoo and Fortifying Conditioner.
In their natural habitat
                 The shampoo has considerably low lather, so foam fanatics beware.  I myself can get past this lack of suds simply because my hair feels clean, not stripped, after one wash-rinse cycle sans the typical repeat.  The conditioner is pretty great as well.  It's incredibly moisturizing, but it never leaves me with greasy hair.  After using this shampoo and conditioner for a few weeks, my hair is healthier and shinier.  I could definitely get used to this!

May 21, 2013

Late Night Blogging: Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner

                    Most of you are probably thinking "Late night blogging? What? It's only 10:45".  Unfortunately, my busy work schedule this summer is turning me into a sleepy old woman and, therefore, this is the new "late night" for me.  Understand? Moving on!  Birchbox had a bit of a WTF moment this month as they sent me things like a pen and Marvis toothpaste; however, I received one gem in my box of goodies that is just about the best thing to happen to my eyes ever.  Enter Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner.  The pencil I received is black and just perfect.  One swipe of Sumita's eyeliner provides color payoff that can take other eye pencils at least four or five strokes to achieve.  In addition to being bold and beautiful, this stuff lasted on my lids alllll dayyyy long, without budging in the slightest.  I'm hoping the Birchbox sample will hold up for a while, but I will more than likely be purchasing the full size when it runs out.  I am so in love with it!

*Photo via
                That's all I've got for you this fine Tuesday evening, but I hope everyone is having a great week so far!  Have you tried Sumita's eyeliner?  Do you love it?  Let me know!

May 20, 2013

Makeup Crush Monday: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15

          I'm reporting back to you, my lovely readers, after a long weekend of fun with my wonderful boyfriend.  On Friday, we saw "The Great Gatsby" and on Saturday we grabbed lunch and went to my best friend's graduation party, where I got to reunite with my group of besties from high school.

Kelsey, Amy, the Graduate- Katie, Katie and Me!
             Needless to say, it was an excellent weekend!  BUT, I am not here to blabber on about how much fun I had this weekend, but rather to discuss the best thing that has happened to my makeup wardrobe in a loooong time: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Sugar Plum.  Where to start?  I've sampled the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment line before, but it wasn't until this past weekend that I took the plunge and actually bought a full-sized tube for $22.50 at Sephora.  Amongst the eight colors in the line, I decided on Sugar Plum, a barely-there, sheer berry.  It is so perfect for the summer!  It offers a decent amount of sun protection and moisture, which makes it a must-have for sunny weather.  I've found it to compliment any look, whether I am bare faced or fully made up.  This product is a definite winner and well worth the price.
Fresh's delightfully pretty, yet utilitarian packaging.
Swatch Action!

May 16, 2013

Origins Super Spot Remover

         People who know me know that me leaving Sephora without buying something is like the Pope being a Southern just doesn't happen.  This can get me into a lot of trouble, especially when I'm trying to save up my money.  And since I'm traveling a lot this summer and working very little, save my money I must!  So, I've been avoiding Sephora.  Unfortunately I could no longer avoid it yesterday and I went in under the premise that I would only be purchasing a graduation/birthday gift for one of my best friends.  Surprise, surprise! I ended up buying myself a little something too: Origins Super Spot Remover.

           The Origins Super Spot Remover is a treatment for blemishes and the active ingredient is 1.50% salicylic acid, which is all well and good because my skin usually responds well to that.  However, Origins went ahead and included a bunch of unnecessary fragrant plant oils.  This does nothing for inflammation and redness, but rather exacerbates it, in my opinion.  Why do most natural brands feel as though their skincare has to smell good?  Fragrance has almost nothing to offer in the way of benefits for your skin. UGH!  Ok... rant aside, the Super Spot Remover did dry out my blemish, but it also left the surrounding area very red and sore.  I think for $14.50 I will be returning this one to Sephora ASAP.

May 13, 2013

Makeup Crush Monday: The Belated Mothers Day Post

       Over the years, we've all been given some great motherly advice on all subjects, one of those subjects invariably pertaining to cosmetics and/or skincare.  One of my personal faves that my mom always told me was: "Don't over tweeze your eyebrows".  Like any good teenager, I did not listen and I still have a few sparse patches of brows today to prove it.  I've learned a few other valuable tips and tricks over the years from family members that I one day hope to pass on to my daughters (although I'll probably have all boys because life is just funny like that), but until then, you are my only audience.  Enjoy!

1.  A smile makes you prettier:  Ok, so it is a bit ironic that one of my favorite beauty tricks in this "Mothers Day" post comes from my Dad, but this one is so true.  No one looks pretty with a scowl, so keep that in mind next time when you're having a bad day and don't forget to smile!

2.  Merle Norman's Super Lube: What a name.  This product is really a glorified Vaseline and my Meme and Mom are huge fans.  It's perfect for chapped lips or a tissue-worn nose.

3.  Wear your hair down (at least every once in a while):  If I could, I would wear my hair in a clip or bun every day of my life.  Hair hanging in my face is not something I care to deal with, especially if it's humid outside.  My Mamaw brought up a good point, however, that wearing your hair down just makes you look a little better, perhaps more fancy.  And I completely agree.  Whenever I wear my hair down I feel prettier and more dressed up.

4.  Invest in Tweezerman:  Not everyone wants to drop $22 on a metal beauty utensil, but with brows like my sisters and I have been blessed with, it is an absolute necessity to invest in a good pair of tweezers.  It was my mother who told us about Tweezerman and the fact that you can send any pair back for free sharpening!


      I have many more tips, of course, but these are the best I've got to offer today.  I hope you all had a lovely time with your mothers and grandmothers yesterday.  I know I did!  What are some of your favorite tips you've learned from the women in your life over the years?

May 9, 2013

NARS Satin Lip Pencil

       NARS... What can I say about NARS?  Can they just do something wrong already so that I won't be coerced by my fellow bloggers to go out and purchase their rather pricey products?  I thought I was strong, but after reading rave beauty blog reviews I had to go buy one of their newest Satin Lip Pencils.  Ok, FINE! I bought 2, dangit.  The shades I found most appealing were Yu and Luxembourg.  Yu is described by Sephora as "bright pink" and Luxembourg is described as "watermelon".  Both colors are brighter than anything I've ever worn, but I figured hey, it's summer now and I want to look sassy.
        These Satin Lip Pencils perform in a manner that reflects their name.  They glide on like, well, satin, and they are extremely pigmented.  I've been slowly, but surely, easing myself into wearing these during the day by mixing them with Smith's Rosebud Salve and then applying them to my lips.  This way they look more like a balm stain.  When mixed with the salve, these lip pencils have a staying power of about one hour, which definitely leaves something to be desired.  For longer wear I would recommend wearing them alone with only a coat of a clear lip gloss on top.  This should give you at least 3 hours of wear sans reapplication.

Luxembourg and Smith's Rosebud Salve
Top to Bottom: Yu, Luxembourg
       The NARS Satin Lip Pencils cost $25 each at Sephora and they come in 13 different shades.  The texture and pigmentation are the true selling points of this product.  I would definitely recommend trying the colors in store before purchasing them on line, as they may be brighter than expected in person.  All in all, these babies are a great product and their slim profile makes them perfect to throw into any purse or clutch.  I recommend!  

Have you tried the Satin Lip Pencils?  Love 'em? Hate 'em? 

May 8, 2013

Better than the Clarisonic?

      First of all, don't get too carried away with the title of this post.  Notice the question mark at the end, which shows a bit of doubt.  I just wanted to get your attention.  I am still highly attached to/in love with my Clarisonic, but I must admit that a little $5 tool that I've discovered at Sephora has really been a godsend for my troubled skin these past few days.  This tool is the Sephora Collection Precision Pore Cleansing Pad and yes, it costs only $5. 

      I am actually really surprised that I've never blogged about the pore pad before because I owned one last year.  I finally threw my old one out, though, because I figured keeping it for too long probably wasn't sanitary.  I am so glad I decided to repurchase because I truly forgot how great this thing is.  The surface of the little scrublet, which is made of silicone, is covered with silicone bristles.  These soft bristles massage your face and really give your cleansing routine an exfoliating boost.  I have found the Precision Pore Cleansing Pad to be safe for everyday use on my face, but as usual, I would advise you to figure out what works best for your skin, whether that means using it 7 days a week or only 2. 
       So, as far as being better than the Clarisonic goes.... Better price? Oh yea.  Better performance?  That depends on the user.  The Clarisonic is great, but many people find it to be too harsh for daily use.  The Precision Pore Cleansing Pad is extremely gentle and the degree of exfoliation really just depends on how much pressure you apply with your hand while using it, making it safe for daily use.  Either way I love them both!

What are your favorite exfoliating tools/ products?

*Photo Credit to 

May 7, 2013

Etsy Finds: The Gnarly Whale

       A couple weeks back in my "What I Want Today: Etsy Edition" post, I mentioned a brand called The Gnarly Whale.  The brand features 100% vegan and cruelty free products ranging from hair detangler to lip balm.  The main product of theirs that I've been lusting after is their Beach Waves spray.  Like most products geared toward providing you with the coveted "beach goddess" look, this spray is based heavily on sea salt (mediterranean sea salt, if we're talking specifics), but it also includes conditioning ingredients such as aloe vera and coconut oil.  The directions say to "spray liberally over wet hair [and] let dry".  I did as I was told and I am pretty pleased with the results.  My hair is already naturally wavy, so the Beach Waves spray wasn't totally responsible for creating my waves, but it did magnify them.

         I bought this Beach Waves spray in a two pack which includes two 4 oz. bottles of a Beach Waves spray and a Detangler for about $12.50 on Etsy.  I have been just as pleased with the Detangler as I have been with the Beach Waves.  The ingredients in both products are extremely simple and don't require a scientist's translation for the average user.  Also, The Gnarly Whale offers an amazing selection of scents for every product.  I chose Coconut Lime Verbena, a scent I find very appropriate for the summer.  So all in all, two thumbs up for The Gnarly Whale!  Check them out here or here.

May 6, 2013

Life's Little Annoyances

     Tomorrow is the first day of my internship and tonight, while preparing an outfit, I came to the not so shocking realization that my wardrobe is simply not prepared for the real world.  Just about every item of clothing falls into one of the following categories:
1) yoga pants
2) sorority t-shirts (holy sorority t-shirts... I own like 100)
3) "going out" clothes; A.k.a. too tight/too low cut for any work environment
4) Boyfriend attire; All the shirts, sweatshirts and basketball shorts that I have acquired as a result of a 2-year-long relationship

Do you see anything in any of these previous categories that seems office appropriate? No?  I don't either. So tomorrow I am wearing a basic H&M LBD and hopefully I'll soon find time in my schedule to go shopping in hopes of creating at least a semblance of a wardrobe.  I'm not a fashion blogger by any means, so this is going to be the biggest fashion complaint you'll be hearing out of me for a while.  However, if you're wanting to get your little beauty problem fix, riddle me this:

What do you do when you're done with exams, but your skin is still stressing like finals took all year?  Help a girl out.  I've got a bit of facial "activity" as Annie of so aptly describes it here.

That's all I've got for you this evening, but I hope everyone is having a lovely summer break so far.  You deserve it! 

Evian's Brumisateur

As your resident beauty addict, it is my responsibility to share with you all of my recent beauty purchases, even the obnoxious ones. And when I say obnoxious, I am specifically referring to Evian's Brumisateur, one of the absolutely most pretentious beauty items in the world. $7 for 1.7 oz. of water in a can from Sephora? Sign me up! Why? It's refreshing, it's luxurious... and devastatingly unimpressive. The mist of water expressed from the can is lovely, but I have not experienced any benefits from it that tap water doesn't already offer. However, I will continue to use it (after cleansing and before moisturizing) because it makes my often haphazard bedtime cleansing habits seem a little more "routine-y". Also, I can see the appeal of this item to people who travel. Plane travels can leave one feeling a little gross. A quick spritz of clean water can do a lot to boost morale, especially if you just traveled to a warm/ humid climate. So all in all, this could be something nice to keep in your carry on, but it's not a necessary purchase by any means. Save your bucks and just go get a little plastic spray bottle and add some water. You won't hardly know a difference!

May 2, 2013

Simple Sugars with a Side of My Life's Story

            Let me begin this post with the most exciting news I've had this semester:  I AM DONE WITH FINALS.  College is amazing (hands down the best way to spend 4 years avoiding the real world), but this past semester was absolutely the hardest semester I've had to endure.  Along with having to accept the devastating fact that I will  not be able to graduate on time because of ONE CLASS, I also had to participate in the ever-arduous internship hunt.  Luckily for me, I ended up getting the one I wanted, where I will be doing journalism and communications things.  However, finding this internship was no easy task.  It's a scary world kids, and I, as a college junior, was not prepared to face as much rejection as I did.  However, when people tell you it will all work out, listen to them.  It really all works out.  And just like that, I am on my way to being the magazine beauty editor of my dreams!  HA! just kidding. But, I will continue on, probably fetching coffee and copies, with that dream in mind.
           So now that I've given you an update on my life, let's move into the beauty segment of this program.  A month or two ago, I watched Simple Sugars' Lani Lazzari pitch her business to the terrifying board of investors on ABC's Shark Tank and I was sincerely impressed.  Put me in front of a board of people and my speech will end up being a jumbled heap of "uhms" and "ahs".  Lani knocked it right out of the park, spouting off financial stats like nobody's business.  Before you know it, I had already purchased myself a container of the Simple Sugars Handmade, All-natural Facial Scrub in Green Tea with Tea Tree for about $17, not including S&H.



              It did take the product a while to arrive, but that didn't bother me at all.  I mean, they started out as a company with 5 employees before going on Shark Tank and after their appearance they received 15,000 new orders.  That is an unimaginable sales increase for a small business... and far too much for 5 people to handle (though they obviously hired a few more people later on to lighten the load).  Once my scrub arrived, I was thrilled to check it out.  It is dark green with an amazing smell and so far, it seems to be worth the investment.  I do have a confession to make though: I have yet to use it on my face.  I'm not sure what I was thinking ordering a scrub made out of sugar for my face.  I believe this could benefit someone with really coarse skin, but my skin is far too sensitive.  It does make an amazing body scrub, though, and I plan on using the entire tub as such.  Check out the website here.  I think young women who have the initiative to start their own company are amazing.  Props to you, Lani Lazzari!