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Monday, June 24, 2013

Vacation Time!

It's summer, so with that comes Family Vacation Time! We are heading to my hometown of San Francisco (East Bay, woop woop!). We will be traveling all over California for 2 weeks, spending time Sonoma county, San Francisco proper and West Hollywood. I know I want to hit up a lot of flagship stores, any recommendations for me? I'm also thinking about bringing my kit, any California peeps need their makeup done? I'm up for a TFP shoot! Wish me luck as I travel with my young boys, and I'll try to get a blog in while I'm out and about... happy Summer, everyone! -C

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Another Giveaway!

Hey all! This is a big one, you will WANT to be a part of it, I promise :)

I am part of a group of ladies with wonderful beauty blogs, and we decided it would be awesome to collaborate on a giveaway (super jealous of whoever wins this, but the way) that feature our favorite things! Another bonus? You may end up finding your next favorite beauty blogger!

blog URL

Box 1: NAILS INC. Nail Polish in Cambridge Terrace, Physicians Formula wet/dry formula eyeshadow, brown Tarte Eyeliner, Givenchy Nail Lacquer in Fuchsia Irrésistible, Reach vivid Dimensions Mascara, MCA Reality Cosmetics Eye-liner, Urban Decay Tint Blush, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable lip stain.

Box 2: Kate Spade mini polish set, Jouer cosmetics tinted blush, Jouer cosmetics crème eyeshadow stick, Urban Decay Palette Mariposa, 6 china glaze nail polishes, Shu Umera eyeshadow, Too Faced shadow insurance sample, Maybelline Illegal length mascara.

Box 3: Real Techniqes brush, Urban Decay Naked Polish set, EOS lip balm, Tarte Lipgloss, NYX sparkly eyeliner, STILA Spring Collection eyeshadow,

Box 4: Japonesque precision lash curler, Dior Nirvana polish, Bumble & Bumble Shine On spray, Sephora Pantone Universe Gleaming Lipgloss Collection, E.L.F 14 piece nail polish cube, fragrance flower ring. 

Enter now, and good luck!


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Sunday, June 9, 2013

A review! My take on makeup artists choice Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum

I really wanted to review the TCA peels first, but I haven't had a chance to do as many as I would like to do to get optimum results. The downtime on them is a mother, and I just don't have time for it with what we have going on with vacations and stuff (life's rough).

So I decided to go ahead and review this stuff now that my bottle is nearly empty. I have a hard time usually remembering moisturizer. I have crazy oily skin, and typically unless I see results immediately, I get bored. What's great about Hyaluronic Acid is that it is SO great for your skin long term, but it also has that instant gratification most of us love.

So, if you don't know exactly what HA is, let me tell you. From WebMD:

Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is naturally present in the human body. It is found in the highest concentrations in fluids in the eyes and joints. The hyaluronic acid that is used as medicine is extracted from rooster combs or made by bacteria in the laboratory.

People take hyaluronic acid for various joint disorders, including osteoarthritis. It can be taken by mouth or injected into the affected joint by a healthcare professional.

The FDA has approved the use of hyaluronic acid during certain eye surgeries including cataract removal, corneal transplantation, and repair of a detached retina and other eye injuries. It is injected into the eye during the procedure to help replace natural fluids.

Hyaluronic acid is also used as a lip filler in plastic surgery.

Some people apply hyaluronic acid to the skin for healing wounds, burns, skin ulcers, and as a moisturizer.

There is also a lot of interest in using hyaluronic acid to prevent the effects of aging. In fact, hyaluronic acid has been promoted as a "fountain of youth." However, there is no evidence to support the claim that taking it by mouth or applying it to the skin can prevent changes associated with aging.

How does it work?

Hyaluronic acid works by acting as a cushion and lubricant in the joints and other tissues. In addition, it might affect the way the body responds to injury.

Hold up... did someone say 'Fountain of Youth'? I'm in.

Really, though. It has a plumping effect, due to the fact that it holds 100x its weight in water. I have been using it as a primer on my oily skin and it just absorbs any oil my skin produces. It's literally amazing. I'm amazed.

So, this product I've been using is from Makeup Artists Choice, and you can find it here. It's $26.95, and in my opinion that's a very fair price.

There is little to no scent, and a little goes a VERY long way. I use one pump for my whole face. Here is an excerpt from their website:
When the air is dry and less humid, your skin will lose moisture.  Regular moisturizers typically give about 30 minutes of topical moisture...and they *feel* moisturizing for a brief period of time until environmental elements dry the skin once again.  Humectants work by helping the skin retain natural moisture from the liquids you drink and work as a "water-reservoir" for skin cells....they bind water within the intercellular structure of the skin.  When skin cells can't get enough water from the reservoir, aging issues are more pronounced.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is the most effective humectant available and is found in most hospital burn units for the hydration of severely damaged skin. 
The addition of MDI complex helps to protect the skin's matrix levels and ensures
proper bonding of hyaluronic acid to the skin's water reservoirs for maximum benefit.

  • Deep hydration of skin cells.
  • "Plumps-up" skin tissue to soften wrinkles, lines.
  • Great for plumping lips.
  • Reduces appearance of spider veins.
  • Reduces the appearance of varicose veins.
  • Reduces dark circles around eyes.
  • Reduces appearance of Rosacea.
  • Protects against environmental skin irritation.
  • An excellent post chemical peeling humectant

She also addresses the issue of looking for 100% pure HA:
Let me address some very misleading claims other cosmetic companies may make regarding product percentage.  Hyaluronic Acid cannot be "pure 100% hyaluronic" as it must be mixed with water to become a serum or gel.  It's raw form is a thick pastey consistency that is too high in molecular weight to be an on-the-shelf skin care product in its raw form.  It must be diluted... and diluted with water, the product is no longer 100% pure.  Period. 

We could certainly claim our HA is 100% pure *active* ingredient.  Yes, the active is 100%.  BUT, once the water is added, it is then diluted... thus making it a lesser strength.  In our case, our FDA/EPA registered chemists/lab have formulated our product to a very high 95% concentration.

Those offering convuluted explanations as to how their product becomes a 100% pure hyaluronic acid product *after* adding water, alcohol, and preservatives mislead readers into thinking they are getting a stronger product.  It's a ridiculous claim and quite simply a misleading ploy that doesn't provide you with a true understanding of what you are purchasing.  

So, there you have it! I love this stuff. I've seen a huge difference in how my makeup wears, as well as the feel of my skin when I don't have makeup on. I feel like it has probably decreased my oil production by at least 30%. 

Do you think you might give it a try? They have samples, too! 


Monday, June 3, 2013

Before and after: beautiful moms edition!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of making a few ladies feel their best for a small photo shoot with my MOPS group. Myself and a friend who happens to be a hobbyist photographer thought it would be a great idea to get the moms and kids together for pictures in the park. As moms we are always the ones taking the pictures. A lot of times I think that we hide because we aren't dressed right, have no makeup on, feel fat, etc. We wanted to help these moms make memories with their kiddos. I loved the way these turned out, but left he pictures of the kids off of my portfolio and blog for privacy reasons. Here are a few I can share!

This is Chelsea. Chelsea has a 2 year old boy and a sweet 3 month old girl. She has the most perfect skin, and beautiful eyes, so I wanted to bring a little bit of glow to her face, nothing to distract from the flawless perfection! I evened her out a bit, added a peachy pink blush and a little bit of highlighter on her cheek bone. I finished it off with tight lining and a little bit of mascara. A lip stain added to her naturally pink pout, and she was ready to go!

Sisha is a lovely mom with 2 gorgeous boys. Needless to say, with 2 toddlers, makeup is not high priority. I wanted to show her how to achieve a natural and polished look in just 10 minutes. I evened out her skin tone with a cream foundation, which worked well for her having skin on the dry side. I filled in her brows a bit to frame her face, and bring out her gorgeous eyes. A dusting of a depp pink blush for her yellow undertoned skin really makes her glow! I created a lightly smoked eye using brown eyeliner and bronzer, then topped it all off with a little gloss... voila!

Thanks for taking a look, this was a fun day for me, and I got to multi task a little, since I had my own kids with me, too!