Archive for June, 2011

true beauty reflects.

Posted: June 28, 2011 in beauty, music is alive., vids


Posted: June 28, 2011 in music is alive., vids

The first time I heard this song I was driving up Westheimer with my mom… I was probably 14 or 15 because I couldn’t yet drive. It was blasting from a Jeep Wrangler next to us and I immediately made [/asked] her pull into Blockbuster Music (yeah, old school!) and we bought the CD. I remember this event so clearly; ah, the moment a teenager realizes they can choose their own music. Most important day EVER in a kid’s life. A devoted fan was born. Creed was one of my first concerts, too… could have been the actual FIRST, but I can’t remember. I still love Creed… I ain’t ashamed! A girl’s first concert… music she loves… it’s a ethereal thing.



Posted: June 28, 2011 in music is alive., vids
Tags: , ,

rdj. ily.

A friend asked me over the weekend for a recommendation on a good tinted moisturizer – there are a couple that I have used and LOVED since the revolution of the fresh-faced look a couple years ago. Here in Houston we have a lot to deal with when it comes to our makeup; it’s HOT, it’s HUMID, it’s STICKY, and all around uncomfortable outside during the summer, so foundation of a normal or heavy consistency just isn’t an option unless you want unbearable breakouts and meltface syndrome. Behold, I give you a dewy sheen of even color without the sticky mess later! These are in no particular order, but I have used each and every one of these personally and wouldn’t recommend them if I hadn’t had a good experience with the product.


Cover FX Skin Tint

1. Cover FX Skin Tint. I just started using this last week, and I love it. One of the things that initially drew me to Cover FX was their attention to undertones. Knowing whether your skin has yellow, pink or combination undertones is one of the first steps to successfully choosing foundation consistently. Ignoring your undertones is what leaves you with that ridiculous faceplant look, like you just fell into a mudpuddle of wrong. Choosing a foundation with yellow undertones if you actually have pink ones will give you an oompa-loompa face as soon as you step outdoors. Likewise, if you do the reverse, you’re going to look unnaturally peony-toned for the day. Why I like Skin Tint: it’s water- and sweat-resistant, which ladies in humid climates need. It has an SPF of 30, which ladies in ALL climates need. This also has a pearlized tint, which is great as long as you don’t have extremely oily skin. It gives that summery, dewy look without having to use a highlighter. What I don’t like: $42 for 1 oz.


Dior Hydra Life

2. Dior Hydra Life Pro-Youth Skin Tint. This is hands down my favorite. I’ve been a dedicated Dior fan for YEARS, and although I experiment with foundations, Dior’s DiorSkin Forever Extreme Wear foundation is my every-day MUST HAVE. I can’t be without it. It literally perfects the face. Anyway. Back to the product at hand (/face). Hydra Life is equally amazing as the foundation I was just ranting about; it offers just a bit more coverage than the usual tinted moisturizer (which I love). It also has SPF coverage to defend against those pesky UVA and UVB rays. What I love: Dior products notoriously last forever. A little goes a verrry long way, and at $39 for 1.7 oz, it’s already a good deal. It also smells amazing. What I don’t like: Dior doesn’t have the widest range of colors available. With only three shades available for this product, it can be hard to match your skin tone.


Urban Decay Urban Defense

3. Urban Decay Urban Defense Tinted Moisturizer. If I had to choose a #2 favorite that was nearly tied with #1, this would be it. Urban Decay is pretty much my favorite brand ever for all things eyes- I adore their eyeliners, shadows, primers and palettes. I first bought this tinted moisturizer several months back, and took it on vacation with me to Maui. It has SPF 20 and buildable coverage for a customizable look, although one layer gives pretty outstanding coverage on its own. What I like: It’s VERY moisturizing, completely nixing the need for a separate moisturizer, and the coverage is very natural-looking. It stands up to heat and humidity well. What I don’t like: Only four shades available so if they don’t have yours, you’re out of luck. Also, it dries VERY quickly, which makes it hard to blend fully. If you don’t take the time to make sure it is well-blended, you will end up looking streaky. At $30 for 1.67 oz, it’s a good deal, too.


Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

4. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer (Oil Free). This was my go-to tinted moisturizer last summer.  LM has tinted moisturizers in several different options, including this oil free version, the classic tinted moisturizer for normal skin, and an illuminating option for dry skin. On top of that, each product offers a huge array of shades (ten shades for the oil free version alone). What I like: It offers SPF, it has only a tiny scent to it, a little goes a VERY long way, and just the right amount of product comes out, so none is wasted. What I don’t like: this is an EXTREMELY sheer product and will not cover any blemishes or problem areas. It is only for evening skin tone. At $42, and as someone who likes just a bit more coverage, I’d like more for my money. However – if you have relatively even skin tone and don’t want to look like you’re wearing makeup, this might be your top choice.

I love summer.

The End.

Just kidding. I love summer for so many reasons… the warmth, the glowy skin, the vacation time, beach trips on the weekend, totally justified weekly spa trips to keep my skin looking healthy and refreshed, the shorts and tank tops, pedicures in orange (EVERYTHING in orange!), and almost especially (almost), gold eyeshadow. Seriously, gold eyeshadow is so beautiful if it’s done properly. The thing to remember with your face + summer is that less = more. And overall, anything on your body + summer = less is more. Except if we’re talking sunscreen. But I won’t confuse you with the math, my brain goes on vacay during the summer as well.

SO! Without further adieu!- I give you a list. I love lists. These are the Top HowevermanyIcomeupwith Things That You Need For Summer! These are all products I own and use and love.

1. The Naked Palette by Urban Decay. I am a HUGE Urban Decay fan (their eyeshadow primer potion is to DIE for, both under shadow and solo on the lids, and Half Baked is one eye color I can NEVER be without), and I have a ton of different color palettes. This is definitely my fave. I tend to gravitate towards neutral colors because they leave you looking polished but not overdone, and they are optimal for a professional workplace. This particular palette has 12 different toasty coordinated colors and UD shadows are notorious for being ridiculously easy to blend and match. Go buy it. Spend $2 more and get free shipping. Another really good neutral palette (but with much darker shades; these are amaaaazing for a summer night out) is LORAC’s Color Me Couture set.  LORAC really has a way with browns. They are rich and silky and universally flattering; I have one LORAC palette that is literally down to dust, but I can’t get rid of it. It has the best light cognac brown that I’ve ever encountered.

wanna get naked?

2. Bumble & Bumble Tonic Lotion. Aaahhhhmazziingggg. You know how the description says it’s for men? That’s garbage. The product however, is TREASURE. I’ve used this on my own hair, on my daughter’s hair, on wet hair, on dry hair… on ALL hair! It’s practically Dr. Seuss-worthy. With melaleuca, peppermint, rosemary and nettle extract, it’s full of lovely head-friendly botanicals. It detangles, it refreshes the scalp (mmm, tingly) and it mixes well with SPF if you hate summer-fried hair like I do. This Alterna Summer Hair Sun Recovery Spray is a new product for me, but I like it so far. If you’re not blonde you may not have experienced how truly straw-like hair can look and feel in the summer… I’m still in the testing phase with this spray, but so far so good.

bumbling tonic

3. Plus White Whitening and Brightening system. Forget whitestrips and kits and syringes and appointments and ANY whitening crap that costs you more than $5. The link for this one shows it at $11, but that’s because it comes with that blue liquid garbage, which you don’t need. You can buy the gel separately for about $4 at any store, anywhere, so grab some quarters… Target, Walmart (please don’t shop there), Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid, whatever the hell store you have around you. This stuff is cheap and it works really well; leave it on for up to 10 minutes, or just use it in the shower so you can spit it out discreetly (it does have an unpleasant taste, as most whitening gels/liquids do). You will see a difference after the first use, I promise! I likes it. It’s cheap and good. That’s a powerful combination.

4. Okay, this is literally one of the best things I’ve ever purchased. Ironically, I actually discovered this while I was IN Hawaii (on the beautiful, bodacious island of Maui… I think I belong there). I got a murderously horrific sunburn while hiking Haleakala at 8 in the morning at about a 9500 ft elevation. It was literally so bad that it made me realize how people die of exposure. Anyway, I went down to Long’s (their drugstore) and bought a bottle of Oils of Aloha Kukui Oil. Oh, the delicious, soothing, refreshing moisture! I used it solo when my skin was snake-peeling away (it is VERY concentrated and a little goes a VERY long way – used solo, it WILL make you shiny!), and I still use a dime-sized amount mixed in with my regular lotion for a nice, dewy look and to add a tiny extra bit of moisture to my summery-dry skin. It’s $12. I’ve had one bottle for almost two months. Math not necessary. Buy it at Target.

Kukui Oil

5. Johnson’s Baby Oil. It’s your everything. It’s a makeup remover, it’s a slight sheen for summer, with a touch of lemon juice it can fix a streaky tan,  it locks in moisturizer in the shower (slather it on, rinse it off, loofah with body wash, use your normal lotion after you towel dry… and then come thank me). Enough said. Also, I hear you can use it on your baby. Even better for your baby, use this: Earth Mama Angel Baby Lotion. It smells like vanilla oranges. Yeah. Wrap your nose around that.

6. Random? I think not. You need this. Is all your best music on your phone or your iPod? Do you want to listen to it in the car, static-free and in all it’s superbass glory? AUX cord. It’s summer. I know you want to drive somewhere. Don’t use the radio. It’s lame.

7. The best nail polish colors EVER are only $1 at Walgreens. I’m not joking. They are called Sinful Colors and they’re right next to the checkout in their so-called “beauty department.” They have extremely matte colors and extremely shiny colors. Make sure you know what you’re grabbing. The application is always smooth, the polish has a great consistency and the colors are vibrant and fun. Use a top coat, because they do have a tendency to chip if you type a lot. I grab a new bottle every time I go into the store (seriously!).

Done. Maybe more later!

I love Lilith’s videos. I’m not very dextrous personally, but if you have cooperative fingers she can teach you anything. I’ve managed to recreate several of her looks and as a person who never gave a damn about what my hair looks like, I’ve started to find it fun. This is next on the menu; I’m hoping my hair is long enough! I’ll have to straighten it before curling it to maximize the length, I think, but other than that I should be good.

You know how Sally Hansen makes sub-par products and then sells them for inflated prices? Yeah, me too. But don’t get me started on Sally Hansen. Do us all a favor and go buy OPI. Same price, better colors, better applicators, better consistency, better quality… see what I’m getting at? Anyway, let’s talk nail art pens. Sally Hansen’s suck, by the way. They don’t give a consistent stream of polish, they’re not thin-tipped enough, and the color choices are lacking. BUT! There is hope! Insert Migi Nail Art pens here (oh wait, I just did it for you). These are pretty rad. They’re priced well, they have several different sets of colors (I like the gold collection and the silver collection), and they come with free refills (plus S&H). They can be used as art pens or as nail polish and can only be purchased online. I found a cute video demonstrating the pens from one of my fave YouTube channels and it is below.

This is ridiculously adorable. I don’t know that I’d do rosebuds all over my nails, but I can definitely come up with some other ideas for these pens. Like eyeballs.


I’m still going strong with the ibuprofen/benzoyl mix; I’ve been using it every morning and evening since my post and I’ve seen the most amazing improvement in my skin. Even over the weekend, my skin stayed fresh and only slightly dewy (on weekends, I never use foundation unless I’m going out – just mineral powder for a light evening of my skin tone). I used a bit too much of ibuprofen last night and my skin stung horribly, but hey, lesson learned. Don’t over-do it on the ibuprofen gel.

This week, I bring you a new experiment. During some random YouTube browsing to see if anyone had mentioned the above fix-it, I found another video about oily skin control… and then about a hundred more as I realized that this was not a new development (just one I hadn’t heard of). The strange solution? Milk of Magnesia. Yeahhh, the stomach stuff. I watched this video and read this article and I’ve decided to try it. Don’t worry, I won’t use ibuprofen, benzoyl peroxide and this whacky crap on my face all at once. That’s just asking for trouble.


Post-experiment product (aka NEXT!) = Cover FX’s Skin Tint FX Moisturizing Treatment & Tint, SPF 30 (that was a mouthful).