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Get a Pore-fect Complexion!

I'm practically obsessed with getting a flawless complexion. So, I try to do a lot of research on the topic--experimenting with the best products, reading up on the subject, etc. Embarassingly enough, even though I'm 27, I still get the worst breakouts. Plus, since moving to Mobile, Ala., I've experienced some not-so-hot breakouts due to the high humidity here, which has only fueled my interest in getting a peaches 'n cream complexion. 

So what does it take to get perfect skin? Let's start with pore cleansing. Your pores are so important to care for because that's the root of all breakouts. Cleaning your pores daily helps prevent those unsightful blemishes and puts you one step closer to better looking skin. 

An exfoliant helps to clean off dead skin cells, grease, and impurities. If you suffer from very oily skin--this is what you need!

A mask will help to lift up dirt from your pores. I always feel so much better after using a mask! I love doing an overnight spot treatment with mask, too. Just dot it on blemishes and sleep on it. Most of the time, those unsightly pimples will be gone by morning! It's effect is best when used after an exfoliant. 

A cleanser is also necessary to remove dirt and oil. I recommend using it at least once daily. I am pretty much in love with Neutrogena's wide range of cleansers, so much so that I use it over my expensive Meaningful Beauty cleanser.

Lastly, a pore-minimizing makeup primer is also a great option to minimize the appearance of pores. I absolutely love the POREfessional Makeup primer, although it's so pricey! I try to use it sparingly to make it last as long as I can.

And don't forget to always take off your makeup at night! No matter how many glasses of wine you've had or how busy you are, do not ever forget this step!

Shop the look: DDF at Ulta; Microdelivery Exfoliation at Zappos; Neutrogena at Walgreens; POREfessional at Macy's.

Posted on August 08, 2013 at 9:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

Your Three Step Guide to an Easier Bedtime Beauty Routine

It sounds strange that we "get ready" for bed, but it's true that we actually do (or should) prep before we drift off to sleep. If I could give you only one piece of beauty advice that you had to use forever, it would be take off your makeup. There is nothing less attractive than layers of makeup from last night caking up on your face. But there is a simple solution: a three step beauty routine involving three affordable products. Not only will this routine leave your face refreshed, but it will also help clear up those unslightly blemishes! Plus, it's the skincare routine of yours truly, and I've been using it for years.

Step One: Remove Makeup with Pond's Cold Cream ($8.99 at Ulta). 

This product is a classic, and it's perfect for removing eye makeup. Plus, it lasts forever! And if your skin is feeling dry, you can also apply a generous amount to your face. Just be careful not to overdo it.

Step Two: Remove Face Makeup with Liquid Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Formula (about $10 from your local drugstore)

I just switched from Neutrogena Cream Cleanser ($5.99 by Neutrogena at Ulta) to this Liquid Neutrogena Facial Cleanser. Both products are great for their intended use, but I am obsessed with the Liquid Neutrogena Cleanser. My face is not only clearer, but the formula also instantly tightens my pores! I use it daily, and sometimes twice a day if my face feels dirty or oily. I don't plan on switching back any time soon!

Step Three: Spot Treat Your Blemishes with Neutrogena's On-The-Spot Acne Treatment (about $7 from your local drugstore)

This is a product I borrowed from my fiance about a year ago, and I've been using it ever since! It's ideal for clearing up a blemish, and it can get rid of an unsightly pimple almost overnight. Even if I don't have any visible blemishes on my face, I'll usually apply this product to areas of my face that are prone to breaking out, like around my nose, between my brows, and on my chin. 

What are some of your favorite bedtime beauty routine products? Let me know in the comments! I'm always up for trying something new!

Posted on June 13, 2012 at 9:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

Celebrity Beauty Picks: Kelly Osbourne

When the seasons begin to change, it's always best to change up your skincare routine, and Champneys has an affordable range of skincare products that Kelly Osbourne loves! The "Fashion Police" host uses Champneys to get summer-ready skin, and above are three fantastic skincare buys from the brand, which are all available at Target.

  1. Body Glow: Inspired by Mediterranean sunshine, this exfoliating blend with sugar, olive oil, olive stone granules, coconut oil and shea butter leaves your skin feeling moisturised, smooth and glowing. I absolutely love exfoliants, and at only $11.99 it's definitely on my shopping list!
  2. Body Hydrator: This deeply nourishing body hydrator ($9.99), with fig milk, olive leaf and green tomato is full of Mediterranean inspired sunshine, leaving your skin feeling deeply moisturised, radiant and soft.
  3. Shimmering Body Oil: This shimmering body oil ($10.99) full of Mediterranean inspired sunshine, is a heavenly blend of jojoba and sesame oils which moisturise and condition your skin giving it a subtle summery glow.


What are your favorite products to get summer-ready skin? Let me know in the comments below!

Posted on May 29, 2012 at 9:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

5 Beauty Habits You Need to Break Now (Are You Guilty?)

We've all got bad habits, but did you know that some of your bad beauty habits are effecting your skin? If you want to feel more beautiful and have healthier skin, do your best to kick these bad habits now!

  1. Biting your lips. This is my biggest issue, and you may be guilty of it too! It's a nervous habit that I can't seem to break, but I can tell you what helps--lip balm. It helps keep my lips from being cracked and dry, and it's also a good idea to apply it every time I feel the urge to bite my lip! I use  Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm ($5.49 for two at Walgreens).
  2. Sleeping with your makeup on. Make removing your makeup a nighttime ritual. Skipping this step in your beauty routine can clog your pores and lead to breakouts. If you've been out all night and you just want to crash when you get home, Pond's Clean Sweep, Original Clean Wet Cleansing Towelettes ($5.69 at drugstore.com) will be your best friend!
  3. Comparing yourself to other women (or celebrities). Guilty as charged! I'm 25, but I still compare myself to celebrities like a nerdy girl in junior high. There are so many beautiful women in the world (including you!) that it's time for us to stop comparing ourselves to everyone else. Let's appreciate ourselves for who we are and recognize our own beauty! Believing that you're beautiful isn't vanity unless it's done in excess. It's confidence! (Besides, it costs Jennifer Anniston $140,000 a year to be as beautiful as she is!)
  4. Over plucking your brows. Okay, here's one I'm actually not guilty of, but it's one of my biggest beauty pet peeves. Eyebrows are essential to making your face look stronger and more defined. Plus, a strong brow is really on trend in the beauty department right now. While you don't want bushy brows, you should also shy away from letting your brows disappear into thin air. My rule of thumb (which works on thin or thick brows) is to only pluck the hairs that seem out of place from your natural brow line. I never try to reshape my brows either, and in most cases you shouldn't even try it unless you're a professional.
  5. Not cleaning your makeup brushes. I know, it seems time consuming, but you probably use your makeup brushes every day. The makeup can build up over time, and just like sleeping with your makeup on, it can lead to breakouts. I try to clean my brushes at least once a week with shampoo.
Posted on March 09, 2012 at 10:18AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

The Lazy Girl's Guide to Better, Healthier Skin

Sometimes, it's not a bad idea to do it the easy way! Maybe you're not lazy, per se, but skincare might be an afterthought among your massive list of daily to-do's. You don't have to spend a lot of time or money to have beautiful glowing skin--sometimes it's as easy as changing your diet or adding a simple step to your beauty routine. So if you're ready for beautiful skin, hit the easy button now and follow these super simple tips!

Are you ready?

  1. Eat carrots and tomatoes. "Carrots and tomatoes are stocked with phytonutrients and antioxidants, both of which protect against damaging free radicals," says Robyn Flipse, MS, RD. "The beta carotene and lycopene found in them also protect your skin from sun damage and repair skin cells."
  2. Add a few cups of milk to your next bath to take advantage of its lactic acid, a natural skin-softener. Darrell McCurtain, a therapist at the Golden Door Spa, suggests throwing in a few teaspoons of honey for an anti-bacterial bonus.
  3. Sleep in. Need I say more? This is the perfect way for a lazy girl to get better skin! Not getting enough sleep can lead to stress, which leads to breakouts. "Skin cells are some of the most rapidly rejuvenating cells in the body. Take away adequate rest, and they suffer," says Colorado-based dermatologist Dr. Meg Lemon. “The body depends on sleep for every single thing it does. When skin cells don't turn over quickly enough, our skin looks dull and lifeless, and so do we."
  4. Put honey on dry, cracked lips. There is and endless amount of the different uses of honey, but Jodi Ranson, an esthetician at Utah's Golden Door Spa, recommends honey for taking care for dry, cracked lips. “It helps to heal wounds and hydrate parched skin, plus the anti-viral properties make it a good cold sore remedy, too.”
  5. Add a side salad to your dinner. Greens like spinach and broccoli are packed with anti-oxidants that will help you get a more clear, radiant complexion.
  6. Sleep with mask on your face. Instead of rinsing a mask off after ten minutes, sleep with it on! I used to do this all of the time to help with breakouts. It can zap a pimple or suck the oil out of your skin almost completly overnight!
  7. Use your eye cream to get rid of wrinkles. "Eye creams usually have a higher concentration of active ingredients, so use them on the nasal labial folds, the ‘11’ lines between your eyes, and around your lips to deliver more potent anti-aging ingredients to these wrinkle-prone areas," says Regina Viotto, skin-care specialist at Paul Labrecque.
  8. Rub lemon on your face. Marsha Brady tried this beauty trick to get rid of her freckles. While I don't suggest you try to mask those beautiful freckles (I have some too!), lemon can actually help you get a brighter complexion!
  9. Wear dairy on your face. “To control inflammation, apply a thin layer of cold yogurt over your face for five minutes in the morning,” suggests Richa Purohit of KeSARI beauty. “The probiotics will cool skin and help restore it to its natural pH balance.”



Posted on March 01, 2012 at 9:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

6 Beauty Products Beauty and the Budget Couldn't Live Without

I have my face routine, my beauty routine, and my hair styling routine, and it's all on a budget! While I do believe in spending a little more cash on skincare products (it's your skin, and totally worth it to keep it healthy!), some of my favorite beauty and skincare products are under $25. If my beauty cabinet were stripped bare of all of its contents, these are the products I absolutely couldn't live without.

  1. Neutrogena Cream Cleanser ($5.99 at Ulta). I use this cream to remove my makeup every night before bed. Sometimes, I'll also use it in the morning to feel refreshed and clean.
  2. Neutrogena Skin Clearing Blemish Concealer ($7.99 at drugstore.com). If I was robbed of all of my makeup, I couldn't go without concealer. Unfortunately I always have a few blemishes to cover up, and without this product, I'd feel insecure about my face! This concealer contains blemish treatment with Salicylic Acid and it conceals and treats blemishes with natural looking coverage.
  3. CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick Embrace ($6.99 at drugstore.com). This lipcolor is completely divine, and it is the perfect lipcolor for my skintone. Although it looks like a deep purple in the tube, it goes on a deep magenta color that is the perfect statement maker. Not only is this lipstick pretty, but it also transforms dry lips to noticeably smoother/more gorgeous lips in just 7 days.
  4. SEBASTIAN Professional Potion 9 Lite 5.1 oz ($18.99 at Walgreens). Yes, it's kind of expensive, but I live in Mississippi where the humidity can ruin a great hair day. I remember buying my first bottle of this at a hair salon when I was about 14. My head of hair was turning into nothing more than a lumpy frizz ball, until I was rescued by this perfect lightweight treatment styler.
  5. Cnd solar cuticle oil ($3.00 at Bliss). My nails are always dry and brittle, so a good cuticle oil is a must-have for keeping my hands healthy. Although cuticle oil is sometimes an after thought for me, I try to use it at least three times a week. For the ultimate pampering experience, use it before you give yourself a manicure, just like they do at the salon. For the best results, use it daily after washing your hands.
  6. Tokyo Milk Blue Birds Bubble Bath ($22.00 at Neiman Marcus). I take a bubble bath nearly every day of the week. It's my way of escaping reality for a little while, and it gets me rejuvenated to work on Beauty and the Budget after my 8 to 5 job. Tokyo Milk bubble bath is a bit pricey, but a 16 oz bottle lasts me about a month and a half with daily use. I'll admit when I first bought it I didn't think it would create a lot of bubbles (which it what I love about a good bubble bath), but it creates billions of moisturizing bubbles! Plus, it smells so wonderful you'll feel amazing once you get out of the tub! You can get it from Neiman Marcus, but I recommend buying it from Click Boutique if you live near Hattiesburg.

    If you could only have a few beauty products in your cabinet, what couldn't you live without?

Posted on December 27, 2011 at 9:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

8 Money-Saving Beauty Tips

Of course, we'd all love to have a major beauty stash at our disposal, but sometimes we just don't have all of those cool tools at our disposal. When you're in need of a quick beauty fix, here are a few tips to get you through!

Extreme Curl Lashes...

There are several heated lash curlers on the market right now, but you can save yourself a few bucks by heating up your own lash curler with a blow dryer. Heat for a few seconds, then curl your lashes for a lasting effect.

Soft, Silky Tresses...

You're all out of hair serum, which, if you live in Mississippi, is a crisis situation. The humidity here will totally kill your hairstyle. When this happens, use a dime-sized amount of baby oil on your hair. Not only will it act as a frizz controlling hair serum, it will also add extra sheen.

Luxurious Legs...

Here's a Beauty and the Budget, tried and true shaving tip: When you're all out of shaving cream, substitute with conditioner. Suave conditioner has been my form of shaving cream in the past. I've found that not only do my legs turn out silkier, but they also smell wonderful!

Rosy Cheeks...

Did your favorite blush just crush into pieces all over the floor? (Ehem, not that that's ever happened!) No worries! Simply dab on your favorite pink or red lipstick on your cheeks. Rub in gently with your finger (or a makeup sponge) in a circular motion. Then cover lightly with powder, and voila!

A Lasting Smoky Eye...

When you want that perfect smokey eye, you don't have to spend lots of money on the perfect eyeliner or smudging tools. Although a smudge applicator is helpful, you can get the perfect smoky eye by simply heating up your eye pencil. You can hold the eye pencil over a candle, but since I don't typically light candles at 6 a.m. in the morning before work, I usually just hold the pencil close to my Chi. The heat will melt the liner, making the eye pencil go on extremely smooth. *Note: Do not hold pencil directly next to the Chi iron plate. Hold it close to the Chi for about three seconds.

The Perfect, Smudge-Free Mani...

When you're all out of Quick Dry, or if you just don't care to spend the money on it, skip it completely! Instead, let your nails air dry for about two to three minutes. Next, submerge nails in icy water for about three minutes.

A Wrinkle and Acne Free Face...

Can't afford expensive wrinkle creams? Retinoid creams actually help to smooth wrinkles and get rid of zits overnight!

Well-Groomed Cuticles...

If you don't regularly get a manicure or have a cuticle pusher in your beauty stash, simply use a warm washcloth to push back your cuticles. I like to let my nails soak in hot water first.

Posted on December 05, 2011 at 7:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

Are You Guilty of Shaking Your Nail Polish? 5 Mistakes People Make in At-Home Manicures

Recently, my boyfriend treated me to a manicure at the Aveda salon. The manicurist was wonderful--meticulous and efficient--so I made sure to pay attention so that I could replicate the manicure for myself at home. Of course, I was familiar with most of the process, except for one thing--I noticed the manicurist didn't shake the nail polish bottle. Instead, she rolled it between her palms.

That got me to thinking... what else is keeping me from getting the perfect at-home manicure?

Posted on September 08, 2011 at 7:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

Get Smooth, Supple Skin for under $8

Smooth, sexy skin is not only coveted, it's also a sign of good health. There's nothing sexy about dry, cracked skin, but it's also not good for you! I'll bet you didn't know that moisturized skin provides a barrier that protects you from bacteria and viruses. While several factors contribute to dry skin (smoking, age, genetics, seasonal weather, etc.), there are many products on the market that help keep your skin moisturized and rejuvenated!

Many of the products to ">relieve dry skin are expensive, but I've found that drugstore beauty products do just as good! I have your typical dry skin issues, like chapped lips, dry cuticles, ashy legs, rough elbows, dry patches on my face--Okay, that sounds like a lot! But I use several skincare products under $10 that are effective in clearing up my skin care issues.

You can't go wrong with anything Neutrogena! This oil-free moisturizer is perfect for dry skin without being too greasy.

I can't live without Burt's Bees lip balm. I always have a tube handy because my worst problem is dry, cracked lips.

On to my second worst skincare issue--dry cuticles. I am now using CND's SolarOil after giving myself a manicure. Then I apply hand lotion. My hands feel so much better afterward! Now, if only I could discipline myself to use it everyday! It's definitely something you should work in your skincare routine.

As a Visual Merchandiser, I am constantly on my feet for seven to eight hours a day. I wear comfortable shoes, but that doesn't keep my feet from getting dry! Using a foot cream at night before bed will solve this problem.

Smith & Vandiver have an amazing moisturizing stick with Shea and Cocoa butter to help mend extra dry, rough skin. It is ideal for hands, feet, elbows, cuticles or anywhere else the skin is dry or chapped. I use the Refreshing Moisture stick on my cuticles and elbows every morning before work, and use the Soothing Moisture for my lips! After shaving, my skin gets flaky and ashy. Vaseline's Deep Conditioning Cocoa Butter makes my skin feel silky and oh-so-smooth! It also takes away the itchy irritation I get after shaving.

What are some of your favorite drug store products to relieve dry skin?

Posted on July 21, 2011 at 7:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments

How to Get Professional Skincare Results at Home (and for less!)

Radiant glowing skin is among the most coveted traits women want, but professional skincare is extremely pricey. While there are effective and inexpensive drugstore products that can improve your skin, sometimes we need a product that's a little more powerful to deliver the best results.

If you have dull skin, sun spots, or acne scarring and you haven't seen any improvements with your over the counter products, the Brazilian Peel by Advanced Home Actives is your best alternative. It was the number one skincare sku at Sephora, and it  was also recently nominated for Allure Magazines Reader's Choice best skincare breakthrough.

The one-step Brazilian Peel combines 30% glycolic acid (five times stronger than the leading over the counter product) with ethically sourced Acai to visibly brighten, smooth, firm and tone skin. This amazing peel removes dead skin cells, stimulating cell regeneration to minimize fine lines, sun spots and dryness caused by UV rays. And the best part is--you can see the results after just one use.

The Brazilian Peel sells for $78 for a one-month supply at Sephora. And although it is expensive, I'll tell you what I love about it and whether or not this product can fit into your budget.

Beauty and the Budget's Review:

I have an uneven skin tone, slight acne scarring, and dull skin--so I wanted a quick pick me up. After receiving a four week treatment from the Advanced Home Actives representatives, I was ecstatic to give this product a try.

I can attest that the Brazilian Peel delivers! Everyone wants immediate results these days, and this product noticeably improves your skin after the first application. It felt (and looked) like I had just received a facial--and for nearly half the cost!

I give the Brazilian Peel four stars because it is a fabulous product, but a little pricey for a Beauty on a Budget.

Brazilian Peel: ★★★★ (4/5)

Is this product affordable?

A one month supply breaks down to $19.50 a tube (or a one week application). I think the cost is extremely high, especially if you're on a tight budget. That's $936 a year.

However, you get what you pay for--an extremely effective product. Taking care of your skin is vitally important. It isn't about anti-aging, it's about aging gracefully. I wouldn't spend $18 on MAC eyeshadow because I can get the same results with L'Oreal. But you can't get the same results as the Brazilian Peel with an over the counter product.

This treatment works best for those who really have trouble with their complexion and/or skin tone. It's a less expensive alternative to seeing a skincare professional and getting perscription treatments.

It can fit into your budget if you are considering or have already shelled out hundreds of dollars on professional, doctor recommended treatments. And if you can't afford it--put it on your Christmas wishlist!

Posted on July 06, 2011 at 7:00AM | Permalink | 0 Comments