Beauty

No time to do your hair? Try a quick top knot/bun!

There are so many different ways to create a top knot or bun, but this one is my go-to because it literally takes seconds to create, and is a great look for day old, unwashed hair. I cannot tell you how many late mornings this bun has saved me from! All you’ll need is 1 hair tie, some bobby pins and hairspray.

(I took these pictures with clean hair, so my bun is not as tight as it normally would be, but you’ll get the point) 😉

Enjoy this simple tutorial!

Step 1: Gather all of your hair at the top of your crown. Pull tightly!

Step 2: Using the hand you usually don’t tie your hair with- dig your first four fingers into the hair in front of the ponytail and create a fist without letting up your grip.

Step 3: Using your free hand, tie an elastic around the ponytail without pulling the hair all the way through…creating a bun.

Step 4: Be sure to keep it tight!

Step 5: You should now have a bun similar to this –>

Step 6: Gather stray hairs and tuck underneath bun with bobby pins. If the bun feels loose you can pin the hair on the bottom side of the bun to the top of your head.

Step 7: Here’s what the top on the bun should look like…

Step 8: Spray everything with hairspray and secure fly aways with a bobby pin.

And Ta-da! Smile, because you have a cute bun that took minutes to create! Sometimes I’ll add a flower or fun clip to accent.

Do you have a go-to top knot or bun that you regularly wear? I’d love to hear how you create yours. Share in the comments below! 🙂

Pucker Up! Pretty Pink Lips

I love makeup as much as the next girl, but I’ve never been one to spend a lot of money for it…especially when it comes to trends.

Right now I am loving bright pink lips! Over the past few weeks I’ve picked up four different lip sticks/stains/balms and glosses…all available in nearly every drugstore, and all under $15! Check out my new favorites…

(Left to right) NYC Liquid LipShine, Soft Lips Tinted Lip Balm, COVERGIRL Lipslicks, and COVERGIRL Outlast Lip Color

1)

COVERGIRL LipSlicks Lip Gloss "Princess 110" ($5.99 at my local grocery store)
It appears much more sheer on my lips than I thought it would, I would suggest using it over a darker pink lipstick if you want it to pop- I think it's too light to stand on it's own, but a great product for every day use or when lounging.

2)

NYC Liquid Lip Shine "Fashion Avenue Fuchsia 579" ($2.99 at CVS)
I LOVE this gloss, it smells like cake or something of the sort, SO yummy. Its a great gloss, and is dark enough to stand on it's own...I think it's a tad darker in person...this picture doesn't really do it justice.

3)

Soft Lips Tinted Lip Balm "Pearl" ($3.99 at Walmart)
This lip balm wears so light...almost white, which is too light for me. However, I have used it over a red lipstick and that combination creates a phenomenal shimmery pink color.

4)

COVERGIRL Outlast All Day Lip Color "Rose Pearl 547" ($12.49 at CVS)
I'm a huge fan of the Outlast Lip products, I swear they really do last and have a huge selection of colors. This pink is my favorite product out of every one in this post! I'm not sure why the picture appears red/orange...but the pink color is absolutely perfect.

Hand swatches…

(Left to right) COVERGIRL Outlast, NYC Liquid Lip Shine, COVERGIRL Lipslicks, Soft Lips Tinted Lip Balm

Even Khloe Kardashian is rocking the hot pink lips!

I snapped this picture of Khloe on WWHL Sunday night. I was loving her hair/makeup/outfit- she looked amazing! 🙂

Do you have a particular pink lip product that you swear by? Let me know in the comments below!

Gelish “Starburst” & “Rendezvous” Manicure

After about a 3 week hiatus, I am back on my gel manicures! I was missing my long lasting, shiny, strong manicures. After posting about the new Gelish Candy Land Collection I was dying to pick up their new yellow shade “Don’t Be Such a Sourpuss”.

They were nearly out! They had one of each color, except for "You're So Sweet, You're Giving Me a Toothache" which luckily, I already had!

I was so excited that there was one left…it appeared to be a pastel-yellow, but when I took a closer look, it was much more Frenchs Mustard-ish…with a hint of shimmer. I was so bummed, I didn’t end up getting it 🙁

I don't think I'd care to look at this color on my nails for 2 weeks lol

This Sallys had a poor selection of Gelish colors in general, so I didn’t end up buying anything new. I got home and decided to work with colors I already had.

I chose to work with Gelish Starburst and Rendezvous.

I used Rendezvous, a deep magenta/pink on all of my fingers except for my thumb, and ring finger…which were painted with Starburst.

I'm not sure that I love these colors together, but it was something different! (Rendezvous isn't as red as this picture would suggest)
Day 5: Still chip free and shiny 🙂 (Oh I've missed manis that last longer than 2 days!) This shows a more realistic shade of "Rendezvous"

UPDATE: (I like to note the longevity of my gel manicures) I tweeted a picture of my manicure on day 11…it was still holding up, but I am really ready for a change.

Day 11

How I Beat Acne

I have such sympathy for those who struggle with acne and are consistently trying to achieve clear skin, because I’ve been there. It can be one of the most difficult, and frustrating beauty challenges to face…especially when those who’ve never dealt with skin problems are quick to criticize. I struggled with cystic acne towards the end of high school and for a couple years while I was in college, and it honestly put me into a slight depression.

Before I move on, let me clarify that while my skin was bad, it was not nearly as severe as others have suffered. I wish I had quality pictures to share with my face completely stripped of any and all makeup- but to be honest, I did everything in my power to not be photographed- so the pictures I was able to find are not 100% accurate of my skin at the time.

Me in my senior year of high school after a softball game. You can see some of my active acne, as well as many of my scars.

I was a clean person, I took excellent care of my skin, and just could not understand why it wouldn’t clear up. I tried every product under the sun (Clean & Clear, Neutrogena, Clearasil, Cetaphil, Dove, Biore, Aveeno, ProActiv..the list goes on), I used a handful of different prescription creams and face washes from my dermatologist- (benzaclin and tazorac worked for a while, but I ended up with a crazy allergic reaction- half of my face was swollen for 2 days!),  I concocted every home remedy I could find on the internet (crushed Tylenol pills mixed with lemon juice to reduce redness, tomato face masks…), I tried tanning, I tried completely avoiding the sun (definitely a buzz kill during my Summer beach vacation) I drank tons of water…but still nothing. My hormones were not going to let up. I strongly considered Accutane, but was turned off by it’s ridiculously strict rules and harsh side effects.

This was taken during my sophomore year of college. I was tanning a lot during this time.

I wish I could tell you that I found a miracle OTC product that cleared my skin up overnight, but that was not the case, and I went through a lot of trial and error before finding a solution.

In my Junior year of college, I decided to start taking birth control pills- I had been so against birth control for the longest time, I didn’t want to take any kind of medication that would alter something natural, but I opted to try it for its promise to clear up my skin. I had exhausted every other opportunity.

I began taking Necon 1/35 – the generic contraceptive for Ortho-Novum 1/35 in the Fall of 2008.

Necon 1/35

I quickly began to see results. My skin wasn’t breaking out as badly, or frequently as it had been.

FALL 2008: A couple of weeks after I started taking Necon 1/35
SUMMER 2009
FALL 2009
WINTER 2009: Completely clear!

A little over a year after starting Necon 1/35 my skin had fully recovered. Today I occasionally deal with a major pimple or two, but I’ve developed a skin care routine that has helped me to maintain an overall clear complexion.  A couple rules that I live by:

1) NEVER go to bed without washing your face.

I scrub my face every single night with St. Ives apricot scrub. It's the only facewash that actually feels like it works.

2) TONE!

Never underestimate using a toner!

3) Always moisturize!

I usually tan my face at night (this is totally optional) many people would disagree with using tanning products, but I find it helps to even out my skin-tone before morning.

When I opt out of tanning lotion, I prefer to use Ponds Dry Skin cream. It keeps my face super hydrated all day/night.

Taking care of your skin is a lot of work. It can be expensive, time consuming, and tedious, but it is important! If I could only secure one physical beauty attribute- it’d be a clear face. Like I said, I feel for anyone who struggles with acne.

If you currently take a birth control- check with your gynecologist that it is also beneficial for your skin. I’ve recommended Necon 1/35 to a couple of friends and they have seen incredible results as well. It truly saved my skin, and was not as difficult as committing to Accutane or other prescription medications.

A recent picture! (I may be a little gummy..lol) but my skin has been doing excellent 🙂

I wish anyone struggling with clear skin lots of luck!

Do you have a story about your journey to clear skin? What helped you beat acne? Do you have any favorite products?

Gelish Spring 2012 Candy Land Collection

Even though I have been on a gel-hiatus the past couple of weeks, it hasn’t stopped me from stocking up on new polishes. My preferred brand of gel nail polish, Gelish, recently came out with its Spring 2012 Candy Land Collection, and I couldn’t resist these new colors!

Gelish Candy Land Collection
Sugar Daddy, You're such a Sweet-Tart, Don't Be Such a Sourpuss, Sugar N' Spice & Everything Nice, Orange Cream Dream, You're So Sweet You're Giving Me a Toothache.

I visited my local Sally’s Beauty Supply store a few weeks ago, and picked up the two new pink shades…

“Sugar N’ Spice and Everything Nice”…

and “You’re So Sweet You’re Giving Me a Toothache”…

These colors are perfect for the Spring! I’ve worn both already- I can’t decide which is my favorite… “You’re So Sweet..” is basically the gel equivalent to Essie’s FIJI- one of my all time favorite colors .

"You're So Sweet..."

“Sugar N’ Spice” is so bright and fun! I got tons of compliments on it 🙂

"Sugar 'N Spice..."

I can’t wait to pick up “Sugar Daddy” and “Don’t Be Such a Sourpuss” next! “Sugar Daddy” reminds me of the blue manicure I was wearing last week…

My current lilac manicure color would fit perfectly into this gel collection! If only… sigh.

Have you tried any of the colors from the Candy Land Collection yet? Which are your favorites?

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