InTruBeauty: January 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

M.A.D. Skincare- Acne Review

The time has come to review some M.A.D. Skincare items that Jessica and I have received in the mail.  We have dropped all of our other skincare routines and products to test these out and were pretty excited by the results we got from these products.  If you want to check out M.A.D. Skincare, they are on Facebook and you can find them at  Stay tuned for reviews of their delicate, environmental, brightening, and anti-aging lines, all coming soon!

Our Review:

The first product I tested out was the Blemish Repelling Gel 5% BPO. This product retails at $34 for 2 oz.  Here is the product overview:
This light weight gel cream absorbs quickly delivering a potent blend of Benzoyl Peroxide, Green Tea, Licorice, Aloe Vera and Epilobium Flescheri Extract. (whatever that is LOL)  This combination of ingredients fights blemishes, minimizes pores, soothes the skin and delivers anti oxidants your skin needs to look and feel its best.  Does not contain parabens or chemical colorants.  Aids in the control of blemishes.  
Of all the products I tried from M.A.D. Skincare so far, this is by far my favorite.  I like that for the price you get a large quantity of product.  If you're like me and need a visual for 2 oz, I just realized if I hold my squeezy bottle up to the picture they have on their website, they're literally the exact same size.  I'm not sure if this will work for you at your home computer, but it's just what I've noticed.

The Blemish Gel is a really nice product and I feel it's made a difference in my skin.  Unlike most products that claim to banish acne, I feel that this one actually does, and it does so without irritating my skin.  Other products that I've tried include:  Burt's Bees Blemish Stick, Clinique Spot Treatment, Clinique Emergency Spot Healing Gel, and plain old toothpaste.  When you think of a blemish, you normally think of skin that is broken, open, irritated, and possibly infected.  Few people have very dainty pimples, I know I don't!  Anyhow, the product you put on your broken irritated skin has the possibility of making that area much worse.  This stuff sinks into the skin, and you can't even feel it afterwards.  Burt's Bees Blemish Stick has a very stong and horrible scent and stings when it goes on the face- it almost stings in an unnatural way, beyond how you think your skin would react to a product.  M.A.D.'s blemish gel has no odor that I can detect, and it feels like your average lotion on the skin, although I know when I put it on it's working its magic.

Rating= A+

Since that's my most loved product, that's my longest review. So....brief intermission. Here are a few face pictures to look at!  Don't judge me by my dark's been a long day!

 This is my face with absolutely no makeup on.  Note the under eye circles, YIKES! acne!  Hurray!

 So, funny story about that little red blemish floating in the middle of my used to be a huge ugly raised up thing!  It is a recurring pimple I've had since July.  A few days after I used the acne line, it completely came to the surface.  I squeezed (yeah, I know you're not supposed to do that) and got all the goo out.  Ever since, that little bugger has been drying out and slowly fading away.  Success!

The other side of my face.  No acne!   

 My forehead at an angle.  I did my best to show you guys the way my skin texture looks- on the left side of my face you can see the best!  

I know it's kind of weird that there's light shining on one side of my face- but I swear it's helping you see how smooth and not bumpy my left side is!  

Here's my next three reviews...I promise these will be shorter and more bearable!

Spot on Zinc and Sulfur Mask- 2 oz for $28
A great way to deliver botanicals to help remove excess oils from your pores.  A penetrating mask designed to speed up clear skin.  Calms irritated skin.  Try it overnight for best results.
I did like this product a lot.  The smell is mild and not irritating.  I tend to have to use a lot of moisturizing products and serums when I am using anti acne products, so I tried to use this sparingly.  I didn't want to stray much from the line so I could review it to the best of my ability, and I didn't want to dry out too badly.  I did feel that this was a bit more on the drying side, however, it really does work.  One thing I noticed was that once you spread it on your skin and it dries, you can move your hand over your face and it kind of rolls off in little pieces.  This is probably why they have you wear it at night!  I like that it is an intense acne product, but doesn't contain such crazy ingredients like some do.  I once used a product that was prescription for acne, and it dyed my bedsheets at night with bleach!  Yuck!  This stuff is nothing like that- it contains tea tree oil, camphor, and willow bark extract as it's active ingredients.  I like that the most active ingredients are things I can pronounce!

Rating= A

Salicylic Cleansing Gel- 6.75 oz for $28

This cleanser is designed for maximum effectiveness in the fight against blemishes.  A potent blend of 2% Salicylic Acid with botanicals to fight oil and help balance oily prone skin.  This is the first step to controlling Acne.  Gentle cleansers and botanicals lift away dirt to keep pores clear and protect your skin leaving it clean, clear and refreshed read to start the day.  Infused with our Trinity Tea Complex, and natural oil control botanicals that keep working to make your skin balanced and clear.

I felt that this cleanser was very average.  I really didn't notice a difference in my skin between using this.  I also thought it odd that the cleanser only had 2% Salicylic Acid, as I have read in multiple sources that a product needs at least 5% to be effective.  I kind of wanted to have a super clean and amazing feel to my skin after this, but I couldn't achieve that unless I used it in conjunction with my facial brush.  The upside to this cleanser is that it comes with a top that reminds me of a serum.  It's really easy to control the amount that comes out!

Rating= C

Breakout Control Daily Moisturizer- 1.7 oz for $38
A lightweight daily moisturizer that helps control oil production and calms irritated skin.  Your skin will look and feel great as the botanicals help control oil production and the gentle moisturization keeps your skin from feeling dry and irritated.  Active ingredients:  Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint Oil, Ginger Root Extract, Witch Hazel.

Let me start by saying I would never purchase such a small amount of a product for $38 unless it was on a super sale, because that is way out of my skin care price range, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. For that price, the product better REALLY deliver.  This one is ok.  I feel like I had almost enough moisture to my skin while wearing this, but not quite enough to help my makeup glide on smoothly over top.  Thankfully there's a controlled application on this product as well, because you wouldn't want to waste any!  I did like it, but if you choose to use it, you need to make sure and add a hydrating, oil free moisturizer over top.  Make sure it's oil free, otherwise using anti acne products is a waste of time!

Rating= B

Well, that concludes my Acne skincare line review.  I really enjoy these products, and I am excited to see what new products they come out with in the future.  The nice thing about this line is that they encourage moving across lines and trying different products from other lines at the same time.  You don't need to stay within the same line for every need!  Just remember if your problem with your skin is acne, to steer clear of products that have oil.  If you combine oil rich products with oil free, you are still clogging your pores.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more reviews coming up soon!

Yours in Beauty, and (not) acne,

Day 2/15- Our Favorite Bright Pink Eyeshadows

Bright pink eyeshadows can have many purposes in your makeup arsenal- use them all over the lid for a dramatic eye look, or just in the crease for a tiny pop of color.

Some of our favorites:

 No Flash

With Flash

Top to Bottom:
LA Colors Tiki Punch Trio - Middle shade
LA Colors Tiki Punch Trio- Left Shade
Urban Decay- Woodstock
Wet 'n Wild Spoiled Brat Trio- pink shade
Lancome Color Design- Makeover

Want us to do a cute look or a tutorial with a bright pink eyeshadow?  Just post a comment.  We read and respond to all of our comments!  Promise!

Yours in Beauty, Justina and Jessica

MyGlam February Sneak Peak

Here is a sneek peak from MyGlam. I am soooo beyond excited!!!

Pretty sure I know what these are:

Not sure if we are actually getting a straightener? Maybe a really tiny mini one? Otherwise these are expensive, retailing at $189. The mini is $115. My guess is a mini or a hair straightening product or heat protectant spray. 

Their clue is that we will be shining from head to toe. Therefore, my guess is for the Miracle Shine Spray.

Retail: $4.50

Monday, January 30, 2012

2012 SAG Awards Fashion & Beauty Trends

1. Edgy black looks 

2. Muted tone downed neutrals

She also had another trend on which was sparkly details and add ons

3. Vibrant colors: Red, Blues, Pinks, Greens

4. Loose Curls and Swept back curls 

5. Hair up with sparkly earrings & Braided Updos

Leave a comment if you want Justina to re-create Dianna Agron's hair look for you. I love this!!

My favorite and most surprising look of the night was: Ashlee Simpson

Yours in Beauty, and SAG Awards fashion, 


Bernie's Bad Day

Do any of you remember the book Bernie's Bad Day? Where poor Bernie the Bear just can't have anything go right? Well, here are a few tips to try for your own bad days to get rid of a case of the Bernies. And best of all, these are all free or very inexpensive.

1. Change out your shower curtain liner. This will cost around $3, but it feels so good to throw out that grubby liner thats been hanging in your shower and replace it with a brand new one. I finally got around to this today and it felt so wonderful to throw out my old liner.

2. Buy some good for you juice. My absolute favorite is Minute Maid Pomegranate Blueberry juice. This comes in a tea version, but I prefer the actual juice one. I feel so much better after having a glass of this. This is a 100% juice blend, tastes wonderful, and has antioxidants and vitamins in it which help nourish your brain.

3. Buy something cheap, but bright as a treat for yourself. These are the days where I see what coupons I have so I can get some super cheap deals. I had a $5 Old Navy rewards card, so I stopped by there and ended up with this scarf (above) which retailed for $12, and I ended up paying about $8 which is a pretty cheap pick me up.

4. Buy something you need. I bought a 3 pack of black dress socks for $5 at TJ Maxx. Buying things you actually need isn't as fun as buying things you want, so I had been holding off on buying this, making a bee line right for the makeup section instead. But my tosies have been really cold lately and I'm sick of running late in the morning trying to find socks that match and are warm. I feel much better now that I know I purchased something I actually need. Check!

5.  Wash your bed sheets and pillow cases, you will have a very sound sleep! Also, something simple like vaccuming or cleaning up one area or room of your house will make you feel more organized and active.

6. Paint your nails. I'm loving my new Zoya nail polishes in Audrina (bright pink) and Austine ( light copper). After I am done writing this post, I'm going to paint my nails a fun bright color.

7. Pamper yourself. This can mean taking a nice long bubble bath or shower. On days like this I like to use a hair mask or treatment like Argan hair mask that can be found at Sally's Beauty. These are days I also like to do a face mask. I'm contemplating the Freeman cucumber mask or my Avani mud mask right now.

8. Feel like giving in and ordering a pizza? That may make you feel better in the short term, but right after you are going to feel loaded down and greasy. Instead, I picked up a Lean Cuisine Pepperoni pizza. This has under 300 calories and is pretty tasty.

9. Eat something chewy. What is it about chewy food that just makes you feel better? I love fat free gummy worms or Archer Farms organic strawberry bars and fruit snacks which I purchased today.

10. Here's a seemingly easy one. Smile. :)

Yours in Beauty (and turning around bad days), 


Day 1 of 15- Deep, Dark, Shimmering Shades

This is the first post in our 15 day series where we will be swatching all of our favorite eyeshadow shades by stay tuned.  And don't forget to subscribe!

Here are a few of our favorite eye shades.  These are all deep, shimmering shades that work great as crease shades for neutrals.  We could have just told you to use the deep shimmering shades of the Urban Decay NAKED pallette, but that's too easy.  Here are all the crease color shades we'd use if we had to remake it!

 Far away shot of all the shades

Busy Signal, Backstage Pass, Mildew, Rockstar 

Zip Me Up, Mannequin, Rum Spice, Black Amethyst 

Left to Right-
Lancome Color Design- Zip Me Up
Lancome Color Design- Mannequin
Clinique Color Surge- Rum Spice
Clinique Color Surge- Black Amethyst
Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow- Busy Signal
Lancome Color Design- Backstage Pass
Urban Decay- Mildew
Urban Decay- Rockstar

These pictures are the property of TruBeautyGems, however, if you want to share them on your blog, feel free.  Please link to our blog site if you choose to show these to your readers!

This is day 1 of 15 days of beautiful eyeshadow shades, so stay tuned. And if you haven't already, subscribe to our blog.  Here's what you get a chance at if you are one of first 100 subscribers:

Click the link to see what our $350 worth of prizes are and then make sure to subscribe so you are eligible!  Can't wait to see who wins!!

Yours in Beauty, Justina and Jessica

Guest Blogger- Rebecca Frey, Mary Kay Super Star


Okay, now that we've started off on that akward note, I grew up in the small town of Onalaska, WI and

loved every minute of it. But unfortunately job security plays a huge role in our lives these days and my

Dad was relocated and chosen to take over his company as the CEO. What an amazing honor! So we

packed up our beautiful life, and headed to the golden state, California, specifically the awesome town of

Woodland CA.

If any of you know this place, you'll understand I'm joking when I describe Woodland as AWESOME, but

hey, you've got to make the best of any situation right! Graduated from Woodland High School in the top

50 of my class and was the only Senior of my graduating class to be accepted into UCLA, so.... of course,

I WENT! It was the opportunity of a lifetime and the time of my life. The only thing is, I wish someone

would have share the Mary Kay opportunity with me while I was there to avoid working 3 jobs and taking

on a full school schedule! Let me tell you, the TimeWise® Targeted-Action® Eye Revitalizer would

have SAVED my eyes from the darkness of night that seemed to stick with me for my 4 years in school!

Since I was the only person I knew in Los Angeles, I decided to RUSH a sorority and join the Greek life

to give me "something to do" and meet some new people. I called my mom after the first day of rush and

told her all about it. She was quite silent and then asked, "is everything okay, are you alright, do I need to

come visit?" The reason for the concerned questioning was because I've been a sports fanatic my whole

life and girlie shenanigans were NEVER my thing!

Neither was the color PINK, again, coincidence or fate I'm not sure, but my mother overdosed me with

PINK as a child which scarred my PINK liking for life, or so I thought!

Don't worry though, I'm SOOOO ready to ROCK that pearlescent prestigious PINK Cadillac by July of


Anyways, enough about PINK. I graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's degree in fine arts, had some

amazing times and met some of my best friends. Because of my sorority network, I was able to get an

interview for the job of a lifetime, at Universal Studios! I'm not sure exactly how I landed this job as I

was definitely not qualified but I was one of four assistants to a very established individual in the dream

makers city of Hollywood, CA.

My experiences at Universal Studios were far from boring and I loved every minute of the fast paced

corporate world! However, it was only a temporary position, which flew by in the blink of an eye. So

needless to say, I was spoiled with corporate paycheck straight out of college and was returned to the job

hunting world.

So, I moved back home to that AMAZING town, Woodland. I think a huge shout out is in order here to

my parents for allowing their first born to return after almost 5 years out of the nest! I LOVE YOU GUYS,


Started a graduate program in San Francisco, realized it wasn't for me, and started working at a local

gym, at $9 an hour, watching children, lots of them, with a degree from UCLA and absolutely NO jobs out

there for fine artists. I literally will probably have to be dead before I make a million bucks in artwork, but

hey, it's my passion and expression!

Somehow, not sure exactly what I said, but I convinced my best friend (and first MK team member), Ms.

Alexandra Dune to move up to Woodland, that awesome little place. She made a few friends, one of

which moved in with Alex & I around November 2010. Never met this girl in my life until she moved her

clothes in, but Ms. Michael Diaz, yes her name is Michael like a guy, but she is a girl, flipped my ENTIRE

world upside down and Into PINK with her life loving attitude and determined nature of her 19 year old


She decided to have a Mary Kay party at our house and told me about it. I said, "I'M LEAVING, and I

want nothing to do with Mary Kay or any of those "silly" things." Michael was slightly confused and

 skeptical, but still held her promise to her friend to have the party. Guess what, Michael signed her

beauty agreement ON THE SPOT that night and decided to become an Independent Beauty Consultant

with Mary Kay.

Michael, the next day, asked me to have coffee with her and her director and I'm almost certain that I

refused before she could even get the invitation out of her mouth. Let's face it, I was the heckler.

After a gnarly awesome booty kicking workout with my trainer, I decided to hit up Target, because it's only

my FAVORITE store on earth! Well, guess who just happened to be there? That's right, Michael and her

director. I avoided them, sat a few tables away and ignored them until Michael came over and forced me

to not be rude and go sit and listen. Besides, it wasn't going to kill me right?

I sat there with my arms crossed, with no expression on my face while Crystal, Michael's director, whom

I thought was a "one in a million" success story, explained the business. Now I kept the straight face

throughout the entire share, but my ears perked when I heard the limitless advancement opportunities

with Mary Kay. I'm a go getter and I like to be the best at what I do, so naturally, I've always been held

back in positions by a boss, or maxed out my advancement in the first few months of a job.

I signed my beauty agreement on December 7th, 2010. Since then, only a short year later, I've promoted

myself to the top 2% of the company as an Independent Sales Director, earned my first free car, and after

this Tuesday, my first diamond ring! I've overcome my biggest fear of talking in front of groups, hence

the "PICTURE EVERYONE IN THEIR UNDERWEAR" kick off to my story!

Whatever your vision in life, know that this opportunity can work in your life as a supplemental income, a

growing experience, a change of life, or just to try something new. Whatever the reason I believe in this

company and KNOW it can and will provide everything and all that you want if you have the heart and the


"Champions are not champions because they are braver than other people, champions are champions

because they are braver LONGER than other people."

I am not a boss but a mentor, YOU are the CEO of your own company in Mary Kay!! I started this

Business December 2010. My goal is to build leaders and give my position and future positions away! I

love love love changing the lives of my Mary Kay brothers and sisters and instilling in them that anything

is possible if you dream it and dream big!

"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land amongst the stars"


We want to say thank you to Rebecca for writing this awesome, and inspirational blog post for us!  We urge you to check out her page to see what she has to offer.  We will be putting a link to her page on our blog site under "Where to Buy."

My Subtly Glamorous Valentine's Look

Just a couple short months ago, this was me at my wedding!  I was on our party bus, the Redneck Express, having a blast with a full bottle of champagne with my name on it.  This year, in just a few more short days, I will be celebrating my first Valentine's Day as a married couple.  

Jessica took this pic with her camera phone- cool huh?

Here's what I want to do:  Find a bottle of champagne, have a nice dinner and a fun night on the town, give myself a pretty little updo channeling this picture, and feel just as pretty as I did July 16, 2011.

Here's what I WILL be doing- departing from La Crosse, WI in a moving van and driving for 3 days across the country with my dog in my lap.  Destination- Wenatchee, WA.  *SAD FACE* totally unglamorous.

BUT, I do want to show my husband I still care that it's Valentine's Day, and so should he dammit, so I'm going to plan a surprise for at our hotel.  I'm not sure what yet, but in the meantime, I will be experimenting with some fun looks.

Whether my surprise involves freshening up with a few awesome products in the bathroom and ordering out pizza delivery for room service, or if I can actually plan a rendezvous out on the town somehow, this look is sure to capture his attention!  I will call this subtly glamorous.  It's a natural look with little pops of color.  Tell me what you think in the comments below!

Clinique Anti- Acne Foundation
Bare Minerals Medium Powder
Rimmel Bronzer in Sun Dance
RMS Luminizer

Tarte SmolderEyes in Golden Beige as a base
Urban Decay Woodstock in crease
Milani Infinite Liquid Eyeliner in Black
L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Lash in Black
Clinique Shaping Taupe brow powder

Revlon lipgloss in Pink Pop

This look was really quick and easy and has a good combination of high end and low end products.  If you really like the Golden Beige eyeshadow (it's a highly sparkly beige pencil shadow) you might find a dupe in Urban Decay's Midnight Cowboy.  If you like the Woodstock in my crease, watch for our Bright Pink Eyeshadow post within our 15 day series.  You might just find a really inexpensive dollar store dupe!

The rest of my look was achieved with a small barrel curling iron and heat protectant of course. I curled my hair leaving the last 1-2 inches out of the barrel.  This allows for a more natural look, and not such a curly sue look!  I pulled it back and twisted it into a bun, securing it with a handful of bobby pins, leaving the front pieces to hang out.

Since my look leans more towards natural with little pops of color, maybe we can get Jessica to do a high drama look.  She's good at those; her most recent dramatic post involved her awesome Illamasqua products- cosmetics for your alter ego.

That concludes my first Valentine's day post.  I'm sure I'll come up with another idea or two to share!  Happy Monday, ya'll!

Yours in Beauty, Justina

Sunday, January 29, 2012

15 Days of Eyeshadow Swatches!

Hey there eyeshadow lovers!  We are about to do an awesome 15 day series where we swatch eyeshadows from all of our favorite color categories, from nudes, to brights, to smokes, we'll do it all!  We absolutely can't wait to share some of our favorite shades.

Starting tomorrow, and every day thereafter for 15 days we will be wowing you with these pretty shades. Absolutely can't wait.

Teaser photo of some of the cool colors we swatched....

Beautiful?  I think so!  Stay tuned.

And if you haven't heard, we are doing a 100 subscriber giveaway.  The first 100 people to subscribe to our blog site will be automatically entered into a giveaway drawing for $350 worth of free products.  We have so much cool stuff going on right now on this page I'm kind of freaking out.

Peace, Love, and Subscribe,

L'oreal Infallible Eyeshadow Look

I just did a blog and vlog on the L'oreal Infallible Eyeshadows which I love. You can check out the blog and vlog HERE on that. It kind of reminded me that I have these and I should be using them and playing with them. I have Eternal Sunshine (soft gold color), Amber Rush, Midnight Blue, and Iced Latte. Today I created a look using the Eternal Sunshine all over the lid, Amber rush in the crease area, and Midnight Blue in the outer V area for a smokey eye look. Iced Latte was used as a highlight up to the brow bone. Also, using a eyeliner pencil brush, I lined my lower lash line with the Midnight blue and filled this in thicker with my Stila smudgestick in the navy blue color along with lining the upper lash line.

Foundation is Neutrogena Health Skin in Buff with Palladio finishing Rice Powder in Natural. Blush is Tarte in Peaceful (soft peachy pink, QVC exclusive). Lip stick is Kat Von D over a lighter pink NYX color. I will have to look up the colors. Leave a comment if you want to know what they are. Brows are filled in with ybf  universal taupe eyeliner pencil. Mascara is L'oreal Voluminous Carbon Black.

At first I started with the Amber Rush all the way up to the brown bone and brushed into the brow a little bit and then all the way in the under eye area because I wanted to create a very dramatic look. Probably not great for going out in public, but great for pictures! :) I had some fun playing tonight. 

Iced Latte, Amber Rush, Midnight Blue          Eternal Sunshine

I'm loving these L'oreal shadows and the different types of looks I can create with them. I believe there are some matte colors, but since I love shimmer, all of the colors used have shimmer in them. Two of the shades I have are more neutral, but you can still create dramatic looks with these.

Yours in Beauty, 


Friday, January 27, 2012

Stayin' Smooth: My Favorite Smoothing Products

We all want effortless shiny smooth hair. So let me tell you about some of my favorite products. This will be a 2 part blog so I can take additional photos of the products in my hair and bring you  a more complete review. The second part will focus more on glossing or shine creams. This post will focus more on smoothing creams and will highlight my three favorites. My hair is naturally curly, but was straightened today using TIGI Catwalk Straight Collection Sleek Mystique Heat protectant and a TIGI flat iron. If you've read my blog posts before you know I'm a huge fan of TIGI products which includes Bed Head, Rockaholic Catwalk, and S-factor lines.

While my  hair was wet, I applied TIGI Rockaholic Rock My World Stellar Smoothing Cream. You can use this product wet or dry and it acts as a heat protectant as well. (pictured below on left) Then the Catwalk Straight Collection was sprayed on while flat irnoning. It is very important to use a heat protectant whenever blow drying or straightening your hair to minimize any damage.

Another great product is 100% Pure Glossy Locks. This is a wonderful product and is also 100% Natural and 100% Vegan. It does have a strong smell and you only need a small amount of product. Applying too much product can leave your hair looking a little greasy. I like to apply this to the ends and the part where there may be some flyaways. If you're looking for natural, organic, vegetarian, and/or vegan products, be sure to check out 100% Pure. A lot of products have alcohol based products which can be very drying to your hair or other harsh chemicals. This is $15 for 2 oz. The only thing I don't like about this is that it has a stronger smell. Justina has this as well and likes the smell, so it is a matter of preference. Also, again don't apply too much or it can look a little oily or greasy. 

This can also be used as a heat protectant and can be applied wet or dry. The ingredients include Avocado Butter, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Vitamin E, Vitamin B5, Rosehip Oil, and Lavender Essential Oil. These products also do not animal test and are cruelty free. Best part: You can actually read the ingredients on the back of the bottle so you know exactly what you're putting in your hair. 

My third favorite smoothing product is TIGI Bed Head After Party Smoothing Cream. This is a fabulous product to apply after a long day if you don't have time to shower before heading back out, going to dinner, etc. This will make your hair look just as good as when you did it in the morning. It really restores my curls or smooths my hair. 

So stay tuned for Part 2 where I review some of my favorite shine serums/glossing creams including Fekkai and Rusk, Morrocan Spray among others!!! Here is a preview picture. Can you guess which shine product I used to get this great shiny hair look? Subscribe to make sure you don't miss it!

Yours in Beauty and Stayin' Smooth, 


What I wished I knew then...Makeup for Beginners

I am newer to the makeup junkie fold. I attribute this to going to an all girls school where no one cared about makeup or how they looked. We just wore sweats and pony tails and we loved it. I've always been kind of a mix between a girly girl and a sporty girl...if that makes sense. It's only been in the last couple years that my love for everything makeup has taken over. It has been about the last year to year in a half that I started wearing and buying higher end makeup....thanks a lot Justina!!!!! Justina has been a makeup junkie since middle school and I've learned a ton from her.

Here are the things I've learned in the last couple years that I wish I had known then. This post focuses more on preparation than application. I would suggest starting out to follow these steps. Don't worry at first about trying to figure out the perfect smokey dramatic eye, false lashes, mascara, etc. Start out with the basics for a natural look.

1. Your eyebrows are your everything
Your eyebrows shape the entire way your face looks. Well done eyebrows can make a world of difference. If you haven't plucked or waxed your eyebrows before, I would suggest going to a salon you trust and tell them that you want yours still very natural, but you basically want them to shape your brows. This will make it much easier to keep up with your brows by plucking. This will run you around $15, but it is well worth it. It is something where you will see instant results. A well shaped brow can lift up your eye area, making your eyes appear bigger. If you're lucky, you have a friend like Justina who is an expert at waxing and you can save yourself some money.

Once you have a great brow shape down, pencil this in by using light strokes. I highly recommend ybf universal taupe, $10-20 depending on packaging or Mabyelline Define a Brow, $5 range. Look at how much more lifted and larger my right eye looks than my left.

2. Blush
I use to think: "I have rosy cheeks, why on earth would I apply blush?" Now, blush is one of my absolute must haves before leaving the house. You can find so many great affordable blushes that will instantly brighten up your face and make you look healthier and more rested.

It seems kind of odd that I will first use foundation or powder to even out my skin tone and then add a red color onto what use to be my rosy cheeks. But this allows you to apply the color where you want it, giving you the look that you want. You can use blush to contour your face. Contoruing basically means using different colors (usually matte bronzers) to shape the way your face looks. You can also contour with blush.

The easiest way to apply blush is just to smile and apply it on the apples of your cheeks and brush this upwards to your temple. You want to bring the blush out to your hair line. You can also apply blush just on your cheek bone and then apply a highlighter color on top of that. Play around with blushes, bronzers, and highlighters, take pictures and look in the mirror to discover what looks best on you.

Great starter blush: Covergirl cheekers ($2-3), Phsycian's Formula happy booster blush in Rose ($9), E.l.f. Studio Blush Passion Pink ($3) or Fushia Fusion
Best upgrade blush: Benefit Belle Bamba, $28, The Balm Hot Mama  (retails $20, but I found a three piece set of the Balm products at TJ Maxx for $10 total including this blush!)

3. Contour
You are going to want to find a good matte bronzer to contour with. Again, contouring is using different powders (sometimes creams like ybf) to create contours in your face. The most common place to contour would probably be the hollows of your cheeks. Putting a darker color into that area makes it appear even more sunken in, giving your face a skinnier appearance.

Other places to contour include right under your chin and following through to the sides of your face and then lightly applying some powder downwards onto your neck. You can also contour at your hair line to make your forehead appear smaller or on the outsides of your nose. What contoruing you should use depends on what face shape you have and what you are trying to accomplish. I think a great starting point is to just apply the contour in the hollows of your cheeks for a slimmer look.

Best starter contour: NYC Bronzer in Sunny($2 range), Rimmel bronzer ($6 range)
Best upgrade contour: Too Faced Chocolate Soliel Bronzer ($30) and actually smells of chocolate!!

4. Highlight
A good highlight color is going to do wonders for you. You can apply this down the center of your nose to make your nose appear narrower, right underneath your eyebrow, the inner corners of your eye, cheek bone, power V area of your face (above eyebrow down to cheek bone in V shape), and your cupids bow. Basically anywhere you want the light to hit and reflect. Or the opposite almost of the contour.

Best starter highlight: Maybelline single eyeshadow in Champagne Fizz ($3) or Covergirl single eyeshadow in Champagne ($2). And yes apparently I own both of these and they are nearly the same color! Physician's Formula Mineral Glow Powder ($11)
Best upgrade highlight: The Balm Mary Lou iluminizer ($22-25 range), Benefit High Beam ($25 range)

Your can use products specifically meant to be highlighters or you can just use lighter shade eyeshadows.

5. Your skin is your canvas
If you're like me, you may have some artistic vision or ability, but not necessarily be able to get that down on paper or another more conventional way. Therefore, I put my creative instincts and love for playing with colors into makeup which can be an art form. :) This makes your skin your canvas.

The makeup, foundation, primer, and overall look that I do day to day depends on how my skin is looking.
Am I breaking out? Apply spot treatments like MAD Skincare acne gel or AcneFree spot treatment.
Is my skin dry? Apply a more moisturizing mineral based primer like bareMinerals face primer or mix my foundation with lotion. Avoid certain powder products.
Does my skin look very uneven? Use a neutralizing powder (usually yellow) and Estee Lauder Double Wear Light or Neutrogena Healthy Skin foundations.
Do I have dark circles underneath my eyes? Use Tarte Maracuja Concealer.

The better your skin looks, the better your makeup will look. So take great care of your skin and be sure to do an assessment in the morning so you know which products are going to improve your appearance and not make your face look worse. When my skin is looking good I may just apply a light powder like Palladio Rice Powder in Natural or Almay Smart Shade foundation which gives very light coverage.

Best starter foundation: Rimmel Clean Finish ($5-$7 range), Neutrogena Healthy Skin Foundation ($12 range), Revlon Photoready
Best upgrade foundation: L'ancome Teinte Idole, Estee Lauder Double Wear/Double Wear Light

6. Prime, prime, prime
I'll admit it. I use to be like what the hell is a primer and what is it's purpose. Well now I know! There are a wide variety of primers, but basically they are going to prime your face or lids for makeup. This often smooths out any imperfections leaving a smooth canvas to apply makeup or which can hide imperfections. This is also going to make your makeup last longer and for eyeshadows especially, the shade will appear more vibrant. This allows you to actually use less product because it will last longer and the color payoff will be better.

This is also a must for any eye products that are prone to creasing, you know when the product cakes up in the crease of your lid or any tiny line?!? I hate creasing! Most drug store cream shadows are notorious for doing this (with the exception of the newest Maybelline color tattoos)

I gave my mom some bareMinerals primer for Christmas, she has never used a product like that and actually called to say that her foundation lasted so much longer and it looked better and smoother. I love turning other people onto these great products. You only need a small amount of a primer so whatever product you use you will not have to repurchase for awhile. I would recommend a nude colored primer if you have imperfections on your lid regarding uneven color, etc that you want to tone down.

Great starter face primer: Palladio Herbal primer (sally's beauty) $7 range, Hard Candy Sheer Envy ($6-8), Rimmel Fix and Perfect ($7)
Best upgrade face primer: bareMinerals, Benefit That Gal

Best starter eye primer: Palladio herbal primer (sally's beauty) $6, E.l.f. mineral primer ($1)
Best upgrade eye primer: Urban Decay Primer Potion $18, Too Faced Shadow Insurance $18

7. Double & triple duty eyeshadows
Look for eyeshadows that can be worn either wet or dry and used as a shadow or a liner. This will make the shadow more versatile since you can wear it in three different ways. Applying a shadow wet by applying some water to the brush or spritzing water onto your eyeshadow brush can make the shadow much more dramatic. You can also use a lot of shadows as eyeliners. Simply take an eyeliner pencil, dip it in the product, and line your lash line. I find these to work the best on the lower lash line. I will apply a good staying liner on my water line such as Stila Smudgestick ($20) and then apply the shadow underneath on the lash line. If you have an eyeliner that is a little bit wetter or sticker when first applied, you can layer the shadow over top this and it will stick great and gives your liner more staying power too.

Example: the Balm eye shadows & liners. This is a higher end brand, but you can also find these at Marshalls and T.J. Maxx for close to 1/2 the price.

8. The brush makes all the difference
One of the first leaps I took into the makeup world was getting some good makeup brushes. Now I completely see why there is such a fuss over brushes and why there are so many. They make a ton of difference! I started out slowly building up my collection and haven't quite taken the leap to get some of the more higher end recommended brushes although I do have some Tarte and bareMinerals brushes. Sigma and MAC are often high end brushes that are mentioned ad nauseum.

The essentials: Blush brush, Flat eyeshadow brush, Eyeliner brush, Crease brush, Kabuki brush
The best starter brushes: E.l.f. ($1-3), Eco tools ($3-10), Kirkland (10 piece set at COSTCO $25), Sonia Kashuk at Target ($4-$20)

The brush I use the most would have to be the Kabuki brush. This is mainly for applying powder. I use a flat head Kabuki to apply my finishing powder (Palladio Rice Powder) and swirl the powder into my face using this brush in order to provide a seamless finish to my look and seal in my foundation. I also have a looser fluffier Kabuki brush which I use to just apply an all over brightening powder or all over face color.

As you can see, a lot of great tips regarding makeup is more about the application, preparation, and methods rather than the colors, etc. Of course you also want to pick complimentary colors, but with these tips you are set to pretty much rock any look! If you use these prep steps and apply some blush you will be amazed at how much better your skin appears.

Yours in Beauty, 

If there is anything you wish I had touched on, please leave a comment below!

L'oreal Infallible Eye Shadow Review & Seche Vite Trial update

Here is my youtube review on the L'oreal Infallible Eye Shadows. In brief, I love them! They are some of the easiest, highly pigmented, creamy drugstore eyeshadows there are....dare I say the best! These rival some high end shadows! Apply with your finger. You can't mess these up!

Top to bottom: Iced Latte, Amber Rush, Midnight Blue
(i was just looking through my shadows trying to find something else and realized I own a 4th of these too....thats when you know its time to stop buying!!)



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

100 Subscriber Giveaway Prizes!

Greetings, beauty fanatics!

I think it's time to announce what our giveaway will include for having 100 subscribers/followers by February 1st!  It's not too late to make our goal if you keep telling all your friends, sharing us with others on Facebook, and tweeting about us.  We can make it happen!

Ok, so now to get you pumped up....

We have TWO grand prizes that we will pick two special people at random to win.

1st prize

60 day supply of Cellceuticals!
(read more about them HERE)
Extremely Gentle Skin Cleanser
Extreme Defense Anti-Cell Damage Skin Treatment
CellGenesis Regenerative Skin Treatment
Neo-Cell Microsurfacing Skin Treatment
CerActive Active Moisture + Barrier Repair Skin Treatment

Approximate Value:  $200


2nd prize

Deluxe Goody Bag!
1 week supply of Crest Whitestrips
Luxx Eyeshadow (full size) in Thunder
Bead for Life Peppermint Organic Ugandan Shea butter lip balm 
Clinique deluxe sample 7 day scrub cream
Clinique deluxe sample Dramatically Different Moisturizer
Clinique Superbalm in Currant
Mirai full size body wash
Revlon full size mascara
M.A.D. Skincare deluxe samples
+ a couple more goodies!

Approximate Value:  $150

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Things I Learned Today!

Hey everyone!  I wanted to share a variety of unrelated information I learned today!  I spent a couple hours today reading through some magazines, and on YouTube and I came out smarter!

Amazing Discovery #1
Are your eyebrows sparse?  There are a few things you can do to make them appear fuller, like fill them in with a brow pencil, obviously.  Today I learned that if you steer clear of eye creams and SPF on your eyebrow area, your eyebrows will start filling in again within a month or so.  Apparently we are so used to putting all kinds of pore clogging ingredients on and around our brows that we clog our pores up and make our little hairs unable to sprout up!  The person writing the magazine article is a doctor and claims that her patients that do this are in shock at how much of a difference it makes.  COOL! Gonna try it.

Amazing Discovery #2
Thinking of hopping on the bandwagon with the BB creams?  If you don't know what that means, it stands for Blemish Balm or Beauty Balm.  I was thinking it sounded like a cool new thing I'd like to try, until I watched this video- I think I'll stick with my tinted moisturizer!

Amazing Discovery #3
Do you know that the people at Kohl's literally have a button on their register they can push that says 20% off?  Today I was there and had forgotten my coupon (or at least that's what I said, I'm not actually sure if I had one) and before I could even pretend dig through my purse, she pressed the magic 20% off register button. She then told me, that at any time, say that you would like to use your 20% off coupon that you don't have with you, and the employee will always be able to do that for you.  How awesome!  What a great store- you never have to pay full price!  

A couple more random nuggets of info:

1.  I found an awesome Bedhead product today- It was called Peppermint Hair Mask, and was in a huge liter bottle like their shampoo is normally in.  Jessica and I have been really into the S Factor hair mask, but it's very expensive, so if this is a cheaper dupe within their line, I'm on board for sure. I got it for $7.99 at our local discount store.  Has anyone tried it?

2.  Have you ever had Kohl's cash or one of those $10 off a $10 purchase in a store and you are literally stumpted at what to buy?  If you are constantly searching for deals and shopping like some of us do, every so often you might think "I have no idea what I'm going to use this for."  My mom taught me to always use those coupons no matter what- because it's free stuff, duh!- and if you can't think of anything you want, use it to buy underwear, socks, and undershirts.  Three things you will always need!  Today I used my $40 in Kohl's cash to buy a bunch of undies for me and some undershirts for the hubby.  FREE money well spent.  :-)

Just had to share my random little factoids.  Do you have any to share with me?  I read the eyebrow thing today and I was squirming in my seat at work in anticipation of sharing that with ya'll.  I will make sure to keep my eye cream FAR away from those little brows tonight.

Yours in Beauty, Justina

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Cutest Nude Palette on the Block

Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow & Liner in Nude Eyes

Move over Urban Decay Naked, Naked 2, the Balm Nude Tude (second cutest packaging award)
, and NYX Nude on Nude, there is a new Nude palette on the block and it is the cutest thing EVER! It's obviously a smaller size than some of the aforementioned palletes, but still it wins the cutest award. Plus, the shadows rock. Their whole new line has the cutest packaging including a jeans design with a zipper (casual), faux snake skin with a button (flash), and a shiny black case with a jewel (smokey). 

This retails around $10-$11. Physican's Formula is one of the more expensive drugstore brands, but I absolutely love their products. I couldn't pass this up even though it was full price. Plus you get 9 amazing shadows and even though they aren't the largest of shadows, when was the last time you ever actually hit pan on an eyeshadow?  

The packaging gives you instructions on how to create three different looks and has the shadows paired in groups of three, so this is very user friendly if you aren't that comfortable mixing and playing with shadows. It takes all the guess work out of it. There was also a set of three eyeliners 


This is one of those palettes where the pictures just don't do it justice. I can't stop looking at these on my arm. They have a really nice pigment and sheen to them and are super creamy. These look so much better on my HD camera screen than my computer. So you'll have to trust me on the color of these. :) These swatches above are without primer. These all have shimmer except for the darkest shadow seems to be more matte. There are also at least four shades that are dupes or near dupes for Naked shades Sin, Sidecar, Hustle, and Creep.

I really like this palette, but there are some negative reviews out there saying these are too sheer. But they're nudes! So its not like you're going to get an insane dramatic dark color. I would recommend using primer with these. I used Urban Decay's primer potion.  These four lighter colors can be used more as a highlighter too. I think they're all just gorgeous. 

Here are the designs of all the shimmer strips in this line:

Yours in Beauty (and Nudes), 



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