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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

How to Solve These Three Common Eye Problems

If eyes are the window to your soul, you most certainly don't want them to look tired and dull. Concealers can do a quick cover up (currently I'm obsessed with Mally Beauty Cancellation Concealer System $35.00 at Beauty.com) to create brighter eyes, but when that just isn't enough and when you're ready to invest in some serious skincare here's what will really do the trick:

Dark Circles Under the Eyes: When you have hyperpigmentation--or when there is more melanin concentrated under the eyes than on the rest of your face--topical creams are what work best. Find beauty products that have Vitamin C, hydroquinone (a lightening agent), and other lightening ingredients such as kojic acid and arbutin.
Invest in: 
Vichy ProEven Daily Eye Corrector ($39.50 by Vichy at Ulta)

Crows Feet: Crow's feet are the wrinkles that develop on the outer corners of your eyes, and they tend to develop more as we age. If you're like me and plan on aging gracefully, look for creams that are hydrating. And it's never too early to start thinking about wrinkles!
Invest in: Dr. Brandt Dark Circles Away Collagen Eye Serum ($55.00 at Ulta)--BONUS: This product also helps with dark circles, tired, puffy, hollow eyes, and under eye bags.

Puffiness: The most common cause of puffiness under the eyes is water retention. Sometimes I think this comes from lack of sleep, but it also comes from drinking alcohol or eaty lots of salty foods. 
Invest in: Clarins Advanced Extra-Firming Eye Contour Serum ($60.00 at Dillard's)

Posted on March 04, 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

7 Beauty Habits You Need in Your Daily Routine

There are a lot of do's and don'ts in the world of beauty, but generally speaking here are the seven easy beauty habits that you must have in your daily routine to maintain healthier skin! Bonus: I suggest affordable beauty products that I use daily, and most of these beauty tips will only take a few seconds of your time!

  1. Remove makeup before bed. If you don't read the rest of my beauty tips below, at least read this first one! Taking off your makeup before bedtime is fundamental to having clear skin. Leaving your makeup on overnight will clog your pores and eventually lead to nasty breakouts. I use Neutrogena Deep Clean Long Lasting Cleansing Mask ($7.99) to remove my face makeup, and I use Pond's Cold Cream ($8.99) to remove my eye makeup.
  2. Wash your face in the morning. Removing your makeup before bed is vital to healthier skin, but washing your face in the morning is also a good idea! Wash your face in the morning before you apply makeup to unclog pores, remove impurities, kill germs, and wash away excess oils your skin produced during the night. I use my Neutrogena Cleansing Mask in the mornings, but when my skin is feeling extra oily, I'll also use Neutrogena Clear Pore Oil-Controlling Astringent ($5.79).
  3. Lotion up! Applying lotion daily is a great way to prevent dry skin, especially in the winter. Adding this beauty habit to your routine will help make your skin silkier and smoother, and who doesn't want that? I use Vaseline Intensive Rescue Soothing Moisture Lotion in Cocoa Butter ($8.49). Remember, a little can go a long way. Only use a dime sized amount for each area of your body.
  4. Use a facial moisturizer. Right now I'm using Perricone MD Advanced Face Firming Activator ($120.00 at Nordstrom). It was a free sample I got along with a few other beauty products I reviewed for the company. It works great and it has lasted at least five or six months, but the expensive price tag will keep me from buying it again. Once I'm out, I'm going back to my drugstore favorites, like Neutrogena Facial Moisturizer ($9.99), which is still a great buy.
  5. Curl your lashes. This is the easiest way to add oomph to your eyes, especially if you are going for a minimal makeup look or if you are not wearing makeup at all. Curl your lashes before applying mascara. Why? For two reasons, it prevents gunky mascara build up in your lash curler and you minimize the risk of pulling out your lashes. To really help the curl to hold, blast your eyelash curler with a hairdryer for a few seconds. The last curler will then act as a curling iron--the heat will really help your lashes to stay curled and full!
  6. Shade in your brows. I highly recommend this step for women who have light hair or thin brows. A strong brow can really take your face to the next level, and it only takes a few seconds to properly shade them in. I recommend using shadow instead of a pencil. The shadow allows for a more natural, light and feathery application, whereas an eyeliner pencil is more harsh. Lightly shade in your brows using an eyeshadow brush and a brown or black shadow, depending on the color of your hair. Then use a brow brush to soften the look and straighten any unruly brows.
  7. Wear chapstick. I have very dry lips, so I apply chapstick at least six to seven times a day. Most of the time, I use chapstick in place of lipstick because my lips tend to crack so easily. I haven't found the miracle worker of all chapsticks yet, but I really love how hydrated and refreshed my lips feel when I use Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil ($5.49 for two).


What part of your daily beauty routine do you think is the most essential? Let me know in the comments below!

Posted on March 07, 2012 at 9:00AM | 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