Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Knowing your skin type

One of the most important things (in my opinion) to do before you begin building your makeup collection is to learn what your skin type is. It'll make it that much easier to choose foundations, concealers, powders and skin care.

Finding out what type of skin you have also takes a lot of trial and error. For me personally, I have combination/dry skin. My skin is super oily in my t-zone (mainly my nose), and is normal to dry on my cheeks. Up until the last year or so, I always assumed my entire face was oily because my nose was, but over time I've learned that I don't need as much coverage or powder over my cheeks or it can start to look cakey.

So how can you tell what skin type you have? A very basic version is that if your skin doesn't get too oily or dry, your skin type is normal. If your entire face becomes an oil slick after a few hours and you're prone to acne and large pores, you have oily type skin. If your skin gets oily in the t-zone and is normal or dry on your cheeks, I would say you're combination. Skin that has rosacea or reacts to skin care and makeup is sensitive. If your entire face gets tight or has dry flakes, your skin type is dry.

Some things to remember or look for when trying to learn your skin type:

1. Know the return policy of the store where you're buying products from. Drugstores, such as CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid have a great return policy. Basically, you can return any product you don't like whether or not you've used it. If you're buying from makeup counters or high-end boutiques, ask the associate what their return policy is before you leave.

2. If you have combination skin, you may need to buy more than one product for each need. I.e., you may need to buy one lotion that mattifies your t-zone and one that hydrates your cheeks. Or look for combination products that can do both.

3. If going to Sephora or a make-up counter, get some advice from the associates. They go through trainings with their company about products, so they have more knowledge than the general consumer. Also, ask for samples of the products to try at home before you make the investment.

4. Do your research. I almost never purchase a product without looking up reviews. On Sephora's website, reviewers are asked to share their skin type. You can put more weight on the reviews that have a skin type similar to yours to decide if the product might or might not work for you.

5. Consider your climate. I live in the Northeast where winters are brutal and summers are hot and humid. You may want to have different products for different types of the year. I keep products on hand that are more moisturizing for the winter months, and lighter for the summer months.

Sometimes, you just have to try a product to find out if it works for you. If it doesn't, keep your receipts so that you can return it and try something else! Learning your skin type off the bat will help you to avoid wasting money on products that don't work for you.

That being said, there is no golden rule for this. Try some products out and have fun with it!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Favorites!

I've had the luxury of having time off before starting my clinicals to finish my grad degree - so I was able to finish the loooong laundry list of things to do in our house. I'm happy (and relieved) to say that we're finally completely settled in!

1. This beauty was finally delivered this week and has settled into our living room nicely! It's from Pier 1, here's the link for the same style chair in a different print. The print I got isn't available.

2. Fall is my all-time favorite season. I could live year-round in 50-60-70 degree weather. Being that I live in New England and the weather is so unpredictable, it's been in the 80s the last few days. Thankfully fall temps are returning next week!

3. 'Nuff said. These didn't last too long in my house.

4. Sunbathing in the mudroom!

5. I'm so exciting to start my clinical next week! Stay tuned for some of the work I'll be doing while I'm there.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

DIY Makeup Brush Jars

Last year, I started saving old Yankee Candle jars to "use to make something" on a rainy day...which came and went, and over a year later, I've finally put them to use! I knew that I wanted to make some kind of makeup brush holder for my 30+ brushes that I have. So I decided to use ribbon, some leftover rhinestone-esque "ribbon" I had leftover, and bright green flowers. When we moved, we decided to keep the whole house in the same theme and color palette. Throughout the rooms, there is grey, black, white/cream and accents of green (I feel like it unifies the house, especially since it's one story).

To get started, I poured boiling water in the jars to get the leftover candle wax out. Once it cools, most of it has either floated to the surface, or is easy enough to get out of the bottom with a knife. After washing and drying, it looks like this:

Don't mind the mess. I prefer to work in chaos.

 The first step is to choose the ribbon you want for this project. Since everything else is black, white and green in my house, and I have black and white print totes in my closet (where my vanity is), I decided to go with black and white polka dots.

I then took the ribbon and measured around the cup to get the right size.

The seam where it will overlap doesn't matter, because depending on the size flower you choose, it will end up covering it up. I used craft spray adhesive to glue it to the jar. I sprayed a light layer on the back of the ribbon, and carefully but quickly wrapped it around the jar. It still leaves some room for adjustment if you didn't affix it right the first time. It should end up looking like this:

I wanted to add a little sparkle to the jar, so I used this leftover roll of "rhinestone cake ribbon":

This was leftover from a cake my mom had made when my vovo turned 80 this past December. You can find something similar here. I like it because it doesn't have actual rhinestones, so they won't ever chip or fall out. But it adds a cute little shine and detail.

I then used a green flower that I bought from AC Moore. It was originally a lot larger than what I wanted, but it had an extra layer that I was able to pop off.

I then snipped off the stem so that I could glue it to the glass.

I then used a hot glue gun to glue the back of the flower to the seam of the ribbons. And it ended up looking like this!

I'm super happy with how it turned out. I plan on getting glass beads or something similar to put in the jars, like how Sephora has their makeup jars, so that my brushes will stand up on their own.

Check out Dear Creatives for more DIY projects!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Long time no see!

Like I alluded to in my last post - trying to find inspiration (or time) to write while I was finishing up grad school was darn near impossible. The good news? I'm done with classes! The program that I'm in isn't technically done since I still have six months of clinical to finish, but my days of writing papers and completing assignments are over! I couldn't be more excited!

More exciting news is that Matt and I bought a house! It's been very busy around here. We closed on August 6th, moved in two weeks later and have spent the better part of the last month painting, staining, cleaning, moving and building! We're just about done, and I'm grateful to have a dedicated room for an office. It'll be nice to have room to spread out and keep things organized.

I have some great posts planned, including a fun DIY project and my makeup/vanity setup. I recently bought a drawer specifically for my collection and I can't wait to show it! My photography is somewhat limited as I mostly use my cell phone or cheap-o digital camera. I'm planning on investing in a high-quality Canon or Nikon within the coming months. Any suggestions are appreciated!

Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

All work and no play...

So, who would have thought that being in graduate school and working full-time would eat up so much of your life? For the past month or so, I haven't posted a thing. I'm working on making a better schedule so that I can update at least 3 times a week (I would say that's pretty doable for how tight my schedule is). Thanks for understanding, hang in there! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Spiral Curls"

Disclaimer: I only wash my hair once a week, twice if it gets too oily. My hair is super dry, and my roots take about 4 days before they get oily. I consider myself lucky in that regard, because I get so bored when doing my hair! After I wash it, I'll either blow it out with a round brush, or run a 1 1/4 inch curling iron through it. Every once and a while I'll wear it up, but that's the extent of it.

I was browsing through my YouTube subscriptions when I came across this how-to by michele1218 (who is my favorite YT guru, you should definitely check out her channel!). I also have a 1 inch and a 3/4 inch curling iron, both of which I hardly ever use. I decided to bust out my 3/4 inch and copied her tutorial. My iron has a clip, but I used it like it was a curling wand.

It came out great! The technique takes some getting used to, and I could definitely use more practice. But it gave a more "natural" curled look. If you're getting bored with your everyday hair routine, try her tutorial!

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 2013 Birchbox!

Have you ever heard of Birchbox? It's a subscription service where you receive deluxe samples once a month. And it only costs $10! I've gotten the chance to try some products that I've really loved through it. It's so exciting to see one in my mailbox each month!

This month, I got quite a few products that I was already in the market for, which is great. Now I can test them before deciding what to purchase!

The first is Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo. I've been in the market for a clarifying shampoo to use once a month, but one that won't strip my color-treated hair, or dry it out. This shampoo is 100% vegan, sulfate and paraben free and gentle on hair. Can't wait to try it out!

 The next item was theBalm cosmetics Hot Mama eyeshadow/blush. To me, it looks exactly like Nars Orgasm (you can't really tell from the picture) which is my all-time favorite blush. Even though it is cheaper and just as pretty, I probably won't replace this for Nars in my collection. This size would be nice to travel with, though!

The third item is Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream. I currently use a Josie Maran tinted argan daily moisturizer, which doesn't work as great in the winter as it did in the fall, as far as moisture goes. But, it has SPF 40, and I prefer daily lotions with a high SPF. This may be good to try for a night cream, since it doesn't have SPF.

The next item is LASHEM Measurable Difference Lash Gel Serum. My lashes aren't pathetic by any means, but I definitely want thicker, fuller lashes! I've been in the market for a serum. I used to use the one by wet n wild, but it ended up giving me a stye along my lash line (eww...). I'm excited to try to see if this works, but the full-size is $69.99 - which I wouldn't pay unless there were dramatic results.

The perfume sample I received was Harvey Prince Skinny Chic. It says that it's a blend of green apple, mint and lotus blossom - and you can definitely smell the green apple! It will be a nice scent for spring.

The last piece that came was the Birchbox fold-out poster with 25 ideas "for maximizing your individual happiness."

That's it! I'm pretty happy with mine this month. Do you have a Birchbox?