May 31, 2011

How Many Fragrances Do You Use?

clean summer escape and ralph lauren eau de parfume
CLEAN Summer Escape Eau Fraiche Spray & Ralph Lauren Romance Eau de Parfum

In a recent post on Allure magazine's beauty blog, Raven-Symoné reveales she wears THREE frangrances at once. I scratched my head because I never thought to mix perfumes. Mix nail colors? Of course. Mix fragrances? Never. I took a stab at mixing and matching my fragrances and found the perfect scent.

Combining Ralph Lauren Romance Eau de Parfum with CLEAN Summer Escape Eau Fraiche Spray creates a smell that is flowery, but light enough that I don't smell like a garden.

What do you think? How many fragrances do you use?

Look Ma, No Sleeves!

dove go sleeveless deodorant
Yup, that's my underarm.
Remember when I asked you guys to go sleeveless with Dove and me? Well, take a look to your left! After 5 days (as promised on the label), my armpits were soft. I even noticed that when new hair began to grow, my underarms still looked attractive.

SUMMER SLIMDOWN: A Hearty Breakfast!

Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal with brown sugar

I'll admit, I haven't been too good with the exercise part of my Summer Slimdown. I am trying to focus on my eating first, but I plan on going on a walk today to get my blood flowing and prepare my body for intense workouts.

Right now I am obsessed with oatmeal. But not just any oatmeal. I specifically adore Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal. The bowl above is from a can of McCann's Irish Oatmeal.

Oatmeal is the perfect breakfast because it is not only good for your heart, it is filled with fiber. It will also keep you pleasantly full until lunch time!

What's your version of a healthy breakfast?

I Will NEVER Spin Again!!

The only spinning I'll be doing.

While I'm on my Summer Slimdown grind, spinning will not be in my exercise regimen. This is an exercise class in which you peddle on a stationary bike for an entire hour. Woo.

I went to my first and last spinning (or eh, cycling) class a couple months ago. I love bike riding, so I was excited for a vigorous cardio class. Little did I know that the class would be boring. Yeah, I said BORING. Sitting on the bike seat and standing up on the bike as you peddle to the metal is as exciting as your typical cycling class will get.

The entire hour I was thinking about how bad the bike seat was chaffing my girl area. Seriously. The rubbing against my inner thighs was so painful, I walked funny for three days. I still cringe every time I see a stationary bike.

Have you ever taken a cycling class?

May 27, 2011

RULE BREAKER: I Use TWO Cleansers at ONCE!

clear face
YUP. That's right! I'm not sure if my dermatologist would approve of said morning ritual decision, but I recently started using TWO cleansers in the morning. I use Benzoyl Peroxide to wash my face normally. And while it does the job of cleaning out my pores and battling acne, I seem to still combat oily skin.

Oily skin is the root of all my pimply problems. My face produces an excess amount of oil, so I am always trying to find the best product that will dry up my face while still moisturizing it. Clean & Clear did the job, but it left me with dry, cracked skin. Specifically, around my nose (Imagine how I felt blowing my nose--something I do every morning!!). Ultimately, I just hate how shiny my face looks when the oil sits on top of my skin.

Last month, I decided to tack on Olay's Shine Control Lathering Cleanser on to my morning routine. I use less than a dime size because the cleanser is a silver color that scares me. Heh, just kidding. OK. I'm not. I can't help but think of something radioactive when I open the bottle. Combining Olay's Shine Control Lathering Cleanser with the Benzoyl Peroxide Creamy Wash seems to be working. I ceased use of the silver goop everyday because I'm still not sure how using two cleansers at once will affect my sensitive skin. Now it's a twice, sometimes three times, a week treatment.

What do you think? Have you ever dared to use two cleansers at once?

Summer Slimdown is in FULL EFFECT!

cheerleading dara
Little me circa 1998

I've been an athlete for almost my entire life. From the age of 5 until the age of 18, I was what you would call a jock. I've done Karate, Swimming, Gymnastics, Tennis, Softball, Cheerleading, Track/Field and even Crew. There's just something I love about playing a sport; the competition, the adrenaline, and of course, the exercise--the heart pumping, muscle aching cruel exercise. Being an athlete teaches you multiples things: discipline, persistence, and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Going away to college and no longer having an athletic outlet forced my healthy living to plummet. Exercise was no longer at the core of my being, but working/interning was my new pride and joy. I don't even know how much weight I gained because I am that scared to look at the scale. All I know is, these stretch marks caused by unhealthy extra baggage have got to go.

I'm going to be switching up the way I eat and reintroduce a little thing called exercise into my life. Blogging about it will probably keep me on track. If you want to join my Summer Slimdown, let me know. We can keep each other motivated!

May 26, 2011

Do you wear textured nails?

matte nails
Picture taken from Huffington Post

HUFFPOST STYLE recently posted about The Next Evolution of Nail Polish: Texture. The blog post covers cracked, matte, tweed and rubber (?!) nail polish. While I'm no newbie to this nail trend, I am astonished by how it has taken off.

I've also seen an increase in nail blogs. More specifically, nail art blogs and it's interesting to see the many different ways my fellow nail polish addicts use this trend. I follow at least 10 nail blogs on my Google Reader. My favorite is Fancy Fingers--a good nail art aggregator.

While I'm not a huge fan of textured nails, I can appreciate it. I lost it after a friend sent me a link to A SNAKESKIN PEDICURE (Seriously, WHY?!?!). You see, I'm a perpetual classicist. I truly enjoy classic beauty in all aspects of life. A shiny coat (and some funky designs) is all I need in a manicure.

Between cracked, matte, tweed, rubber and velvet nail polish, do you wear textured nails?

May 24, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Nivea Hydra IQ Line - Valued at $60!

nivea hydra iq
Nivea Express Hydration Body Lotion | Nivea Express Hydration Freshening Gel | Nivea Touch of Serenity Body Wash

Nivea has recently launched a new line of products that are exclusively equipped with Hydra IQ Technology. This system is brand spanking new and allows the lotions and body washes to deliver everlasting moisture to your skin. You'll be able to go for more than 24 hours without having to reapply lotion. With daily use, your skin will become smoother than you can imagine!

It's no secret I love having soft skin. I think it's fair to say that I am obsessed with finding the best products to upkeep my baby-soft complexion. Growing up in my house, I observed my mother experiment with different lotions. Before she became devoted to Cetaphil, I watched her steadfastly use Nivea body lotion.

Needless to say, I'm pretty excited about Nivea's new Hydra IQ Technology!! I am all for new cutting-edge technology that will enhance my ability to have soft skin!! Once I get my hands on a bottle of lotion, I'll be sure to tell you all about my experience. I envision it to be smooth sailing.

I'm also really excited to give one of you a chance to win four products from the Nivea Hydra IQ line: Nivea Express Body Lotion ($8.99), Nivea Refreshing Body Lotion ($7.99), Nivea Touch of Cashmere Body Wash ($5.99), and Nivea Touch of Serenity Body Wash ($5.99). VALUED AT $60!!

Simply enter by leaving a comment on this blog post, telling me your NUMBER ONE BEAUTY-MUST! Mine is obviously having soft skin.

GIVEAWAY ENDS: May 31, 2011

May 21, 2011

NAILS: Hofstra University Class of 2011!

graduation nails
Gumdrop from Orly | Sheer 24K Sparkle from CND Effects

Tomorrow, I graduate from college!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The excessive amount of exclamation points were necessary.

It took me two hours to decide how I wanted to paint my nails. I was wavering between trying color block nails a-la All Lacquered Up, but I ran out of scotch tape. A nail color that matched my cactus green graduation dress and my cobalt blue graduation robe, was imperative. I wavered between a nude nail and something blue and gold. However, I couldn't make up my mind so I decided to meet somewhere in the middle. I chose the Gumdrop from Orly color because it's a blue that goes well with anything. It excitedly screams spring and a new beginning. I also went with the Sheer 24K Sparkle from CND Effects because I wanted a hit of glamor.

My nails are simple and sweet. That's exactly how I want them to be for tomorrow's festivities.

May 20, 2011

Sometimes, I Use Two Mascaras!

wearing Maybelline New York Lash Stiletto Voluptuous Mascara
Wearing Maybelline New York Lash Stiletto Voluptuous Mascara

Lengthen and spread are the two things I need in a good mascara. No matter how great the brand, I can never find both in one tube. For a very long time I wore Maybelline New York Lash Stiletto Voluptuous Mascara because it is the closest one I found to achieving long and volumnious eyelashes.

I collect mascaras like I'm some type of makeup Bounty Hunter, so I decided to give my go-to brush a break. Shortly after, I noticed I started using two mascaras at once. This was discovered after I applied Benefit's They're Real! Beyond Mascara (not out yet). As great as the mascara is, it didn't spread out my lashes. I grabbed on of the mascaras I knew had a plastic brush (Maybelline Volume Express One By One) and used it to even out the space between my lashes.

The only problem with wearing two mascaras at once is that it takes me a little bit longer to get the makeup off my lashes. Do you use two mascaras?

May 19, 2011

Rihanna Claims She Doesn't Workout!!!!

YEAH, RIGHT. I was listening to the radio the other day, and one of the djs reported that Rihanna doesn't exercise. The only girl in the world claims she gets a lot of exercise walking around in airports. WALKING AROUND IN AIRPORTS?! I'm heading to JFK right now to do some walking.

Not sure if I believe this, but what do you guys think?

Boscia Skin Perfecting Primer is Simply Perfect!

Boscia Skin Perfecting Primer
Boscia Skin Perfecting Primer

Never have I been one to use makeup primers. The last time I used one was senior year of high school, when I attended my senior prom. Primers allow your makeup to stay on for a very long time. I used Boscia's Skin Perfecting Primer two weeks ago during my formals. I found that the primer kept my makeup looking fresh as I danced the night away!

Anyone else use a primer?

May 18, 2011

OBSESSED: Revlon Just Bitten Lipstains

Revlon Just Bitten Lipstains

It's no secret I'm in love with Revlon's Just Bitten line of Lipstains. However, I was looking in my cosmetic case and realized I have almost every color. I've got a sick obsession...

NAILS: Tangy Ombre

dark berry beauty nails I Believe in You from SpaRitual | Poppy from American Apparel | Sooki from Zoya
Topped with Copper Shimmer from CND Effects

The other day, a friend asked me if I tried ombre nails. I didn't, but it was a nail idea that had been lingering in my head! To make sure I chose the right colors, I had to whip out a piece of paper and swab each nail lacquer on it. My goal was to make my nails look like a natural transition from one color to the next. I hit a couple bumps while doing this.

The I Believe in You from SpaRitual wasn't as bright as I hoped it would be and Poppy from American Apparel (the middle color) didn't have its own shade. It blended with my base color (I Believe in You) and formed a color that was between orange and pink. As soon as I placed Sooki from Zoya on the tips of my nails, I noticed that the color change wasn't gradual. To fix this, I slabbed on a layer of Copper Shimmer from CND Effects. Thus, the end result above.

May 17, 2011

Go Sleeveless with Dove and me!!

dove ultimate deodorant
Dove recently launched the Dove Ultimate go sleeveless campaign and go sleeveless Fashion Challenge!

Apparently, the Dove Ultimate go sleeveless anti-perspirant/deodorant will make your underarms smoother in just 5 days. 5 days, ay??

I have been a long time supporter of Dove, using their body wash religiously. The possibility of having smooth and beautiful armpits in just 5 days is enough to have me join the Dove go sleeveless campaign. I use Certain Dri at night, but this could be a great underarm supplement for the morning.

I started using it today and so far, so good. The Dove Ultimate go sleeveless anti-perspirant/deodorant goes on invisible (seriously, it does.) and smells delightful :). So come on! Join me so we can make every girl want to go sleeveless!!

May 16, 2011

NAILS: I've got the blues...

circle of life spa ritual i juggle men opi
Circle of Life from SpaRitual | I Juggle... Men from OPI

Decided to go a little more "professional" this week. This was also slightly inspired by someone on twitter revealing to me they are really into cobalt blue as a nail color. I think this is cobalt blue, or close to it. No?

May 14, 2011

NAILS: For Scarlett

nails for scarlett
Base: Havana Dreams from Sephora by OPI
Top: Austin-Tatious Turquoise from OPI
Letters: White Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen

This is for my deceased best friend Scarlett Hubbard. She passed away in January from Cystic Fibrosis. There is a CF walk going on near my school tomorrow and a whole bunch of us are going to walk in memory of her. I chose Turquoise as the base because that was her favorite color and the nail color she wore the first time her and I hung out alone; we saw Fast and Furious 4. That's when I knew we'd become best friends. It was really nice to find someone who was into boyish things, such as action movies, like me.

Please donate if you can. We must find a cure, so no one loses another loved one.

NAILS: Perfect for Prom

I Am The Light from SpaRitual | Frisky from Orly | Face of Destiny from SpaRitual
Covered with Perfectly Bare Shimmer from CND Effects

I wanted to take a stab at multicolored nails this past week. I decided to go with these colors and didn't know what the outcome would be. When I look at my fingers, I get the feeling of prom and I don't know why. These colors tend to be very popular for prom dresses, no?

May 12, 2011

Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo is AMAZING!

suave professionals dry shampoo
Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo
Last Thursday, I headed to a Gala at my school. I just got my hair relaxed 5 days prior, so I wasn't quite ready to wash and set it. Instead, I went with a slicked back look as seen here. Sophisticated-chic, no? I used the Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo to freshen up my roots and then I used my Motions Shine Enhancing Pomade to slick back my hair. To make sure my hair stayed back, even while I was breaking it down on the dance floor, I sprayed the back of my hair with a generous amount of Nexxus Maxxium Super Hold Styling And Finishing Mist.

I'm convinced that without the dry shampoo, my hair wouldn't have cooperated with the other products. My hair was greasy and gross looking prior to using the dry shampoo. Afterwards, I had perfectly parted locks and matted hair.

May 11, 2011

Certain Dri Anti-Persipirant Saved My Social Life

Certain Dri Anti-Persiprant
I was 11 when my under arm perspiration problems began. My mother told me it was "normal" but I knew it wasn't. I mean, was it "normal" for a 10 year old to put on a shirt and then to have apple-sized pit stains under her arms by the time she got to school?! NO. I don't think so. I never really wore colored shirts for most of my tween years. And if I did, I stuffed tissues in my armpits. Oh yes. I did such a thing.

Let's be honest. Pit stains are very embarrassing. Sure it's normal to sweat under your arms, but who wants to have proof that they actually do sweat there outside of rigorous activity?! Not me.

I was a freshman in high school when I started using Certain Dri. After seeing a cheesy commercial for the anti-perspirant days before my first day of high school, I went to CVS with one of my best friends and purchased Certain Dri. I knew this was my last resort to stop my problem before I tried to convince my mother botox injections were the only solution to stop this social-suicide problem of mine.

Certain Dri is to be applied at night. And in September 2003, I did just. I woke up the next morning anxious to see if I would get the results I desired. By the end of the day, my under arms were so dry I couldn't stop staring at my pit stainless shirt! 8 years later and I have never looked back. I use Certain Dri every single night and sometimes an anti-persiprant/deodorant in the morning. I used to use their AM Deodorant, but I can't find it in stores and think it's too pricey online.

May 10, 2011

Get Soft Skin with Eucerin Daily + Strength Skin Fortifying Body Creme

Eucerin Daily + Strength Skin Fortifying Body Creme
Eucerin Daily + Strength Skin Fortifying Body Creme
Last month, one of my girlfriends told me she started using Eucerin's body lotion. "I saw your blog post about smooth skin," she said with excitement. "Well, I've been using Eucerin for a while now and my skin is so soft! Even my boyfriend noticed a difference!" This made me want to give Eucerin a try. And since I've been on a body cream kick, I decided to go with Eucerin's Daily + Strength Skin Fortifying Body Creme!

I just finished my tub and I couldn't be more impressed with the current texture of my skin. As you all know, I am a long-time Cetaphil devotee. I would never stray away from said company's body lotion or cream products, but I just might consider switching over to Eucerin for life...

May 9, 2011

NAILS: Yellow, Pink & Blue Backpack!

Enlightened Soul Creme from SpaRitual
Pink Nail Art Pen from Sally Hansen
Zenith from TOPSHOP

Tomorrow is my last day of class!!! My nails were inspired by my backpack, which has been with me through thick and thin! I no longer will use it to carry books across campus, but to carry whatever I want! WOO!! We did it class of 2011!!!

May 8, 2011

NAILS: Grecian Goddess

Feelin' Hot-Hot-Hot! from OPI Glow Up Already! from OPI
Feelin' Hot-Hot-Hot! from OPI
Glow Up Already! from OPI

I wore this sage Grecian dress to my last formal, ever. I decided to choose a pink base and green glittery top for my nails. I was going for a watermelon meets fairy meets goddess look. It worked out perfectly because I wore multi-glittered flats.

May 6, 2011

Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain is phenomenal!!

Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain in Gothic
Breaking it down on the dance floor w/ a friend!
This isn't the first time I've worn one of Revlon's Just Bitten Lipstains. But, this is the first time I wore it at a function where there was a lot of drinking and eating.

The picture to your left was snapped around 10:45 P.M.! That's almost 5 hours after I first applied the lipstain. I'm floored by how rich in color my lips still look! The color I am wearing is Gothic.

I have tried other lipstains to see if Revlon's was the best and right now, it's one of my favorites! Maybelline's Color Sensational Lipstain didn't last very long. I think it might be perfect for days I just want to wear a lipstain for the sake of it, but I'm not wearing a lipstain to just wear it. I'm wearing it to make sure that when I drink, eat and do whatever with my mouth, the color stays on my lips. This my friends is another reason I detest lipsticks.

NAILS: Black & Sliver

Blackjack from CND Nicole's Nickel from Nicole by OPI
Blackjack from CND
Nicole's Nickel from Nicole by OPI

Last night I had one of the two formals I had been talking about. It really wasn't a "formal" but a Gala. It was my school's annual Gala where money is raised for scholarship purposes. I was lucky to be invited by the department I work for on campus. There were only a handful of students and the rest were elder individuals who contribute a lot of time and money to my university. It was quite the swanky affair and I'm so glad I got to share the night with a lot of people I loved meeting over the past 4 years.

I actually changed my dress from the black and pink number seen here, to a silver dress!

@SoniaKashuk cosmetic bags are perfect for the weekend!

Sonia Kashuk for Target Makeup Bags
The little clear bags that came with my cosmetic bag

I went home last weekend and used Sonia Kashuk for Target cosmetic bags to lug all my beauty products across state lines. (Get yourself a bag for half the price with one of these Target promo codes!) Needless to say, I was absolutely satisfied by the fact the bags held all my beauty elements! I usually have to carry more than one bag.

I got this Sonia Kashuk stripe duffle. My hair, body, skin, makeup and etc went in the duffle and my nail equipment went in the little clear bags that come with the duffle. While all my stuff fit, I think I may need to invest in a bigger cosmetic duffle because my top-shelf just keeps growing!!

Which travel cosmetic bags do you use?

May 5, 2011

NAILS: 2 Formals - What to do?

Dress 1: Rosette Sweetheart Dress from Forever 21
Dress 2: Mossimo Grecian One Shoulder Dress from Target

The semester is coming to a close and that means it's formal season! Formals are the equivalent of high school proms. As stated in my previous post, I'm going to two formals. They are back-to-back; one happening today and the other tomorrow.

I usually have no problem planning my styling choice once I purchase my dress, but for some reason, I'm in quite the pickle. My problem is both of my dresses are very different, so I'm having a hard time picking a nail color. While complaining to a friend of mine, she said, "Yeah, I don't know. Both of your dresses are very different. You might just have to paint your nails again on Friday." And you know what, she's right. I think I may just paint my nails twice! The colors I choose will be revealed later, woo!

May 3, 2011

NAILS: Formal Inspiration From @Ciara

ciara's nails at the 2011 Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Formal season is here! I'm going to a Gala at my school on Thursday and a club formal on Friday. I not only need a glorious gown, but an appropriate (but extravagant) manicure. After seeing the nails Ciara wore for the 2011 Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I think I found my new nail venture.

What do you think?

May 2, 2011

When did my "top-shelf" get so large??

dbb top shelf

As stated in my previous post, I went home this past weekend. When I was unpacking the contents of my cosmetic bag, I noticed that I was pulling products out of my bag like I was Mary Poppins. A few items are missing: My perfume Romance by Ralph Lauren, my makeup, hand cream, foot cream, hair spray, and etc.

I call this my "top-shelf" because your top-shelf is the most important shelf in your bathroom cabinet. It's where you keep your excellent products. Since I don't actually have a physical top-shelf (read: away at college), I consider it my essential items since all my beauty products are exquisite and treat me right.

What's on your top-shelf?

NAILS: Blue-Spotted Manicure

Ecume from NARS and Estee Lauder Wild Blue
WHITE: NARS Nail Lacquer in Écume
BLUE: Estée Lauder Nail Lacquer in Wild Blue
BLUE SPOTS: Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Blue

I can't really tell you the inspiration behind this nail design. I took a trip home this past weekend and neglected to do my nails before rushing out the door for my Saturday hair appointment in my hometown. I grabbed the nail polishes I knew I wanted to use, threw them in my Sonia Kashuk cosmetic bags and hit the road. Nautical stripes were on my mind when picking my nail colors, but I thought it was too soon for sailor nails.
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