Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Beat the Summer Heat with Ulta Beauty

When it's super hot out and the sweat starts dripping down your face, the last thing you want to do is put on a full face of makeup-- heavy foundation, thick liner, and mascara that starts running with your sweat- ick! When you're headed to the beach or the pool, fine, no makeup needed. But what about those other summer days when a no-makeup look is just not working for you? I recently visited my local Ulta Beauty store and picked up some products that are made to beat the heat and keep your skin glowing, eyes bright and hair looking on point all summer long. 

One of the many reasons I love Ulta Beauty is that I can get all my beauty needs in one place-- hair, makeup, skin, nails, they even have a hair salon and Benefit Brow Bar if I need to get touched-up on the spot! They have a solid mix of prestige and mass/drugstore brands, which is perfect for whatever the budget is. Plus, they always have deals, gifts with purchase, and coupon offers making this girl a very happy shopper. Keep reading for the scoop on my summer beauty favorites:

I started wearing BB cream last year as an alternative to foundation. I love the lightweight feel, as if I'm wearing nothing at all, but still reaping the benefits of smooth, even skin! This summer I have been reaching for Physicians Formula Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil BB Cream. I get some redness on my cheeks and this BB cream is a pro at covering it and evening out my skin. I've gotten several compliments on how gorgeous and glowing my skin looks and it's thanks to this guy right here. 

I had mentioned last month in this post that I had the chance to try out the Cargo Swimmables Water Resistant Bronzer (available online only) and blush at Ipsy Generation Beauty. I immediately had to get the blush for myself and it wasn't long until the bronzer followed as well. The water-resistant formula holds up to sweat and water so that no matter your summer plans, you don't have to worry about re-applying. This gorgeous bronzer has a light shimmer, gliding and blending easily over skin for a pretty glow. 

 Benefit Cosmetics BADgal Waterproof Mascara is a summer must as the waterproof formula keeps mascara from smudging or running off, ruining your gorgeous eye look. Raccoon eyes at the hottest weekend pool party? No thanks!

PS- Check out the gift with purchase select Benefit Cosmetics products, now until 8/1! SHOP

Summer is such a fun time to experiment with bright lip colors but you also want your lips to stay moisturized and hydrated as well. Luckily butter LONDON Lippy Bloody Brilliant Lip Crayon provides moisturization, bold color (that stays put!) and added antioxidant protection. Triple win! For summer, I am loving this poppy Primrose Hill pink, it looks amazing with glowing, bronzed skin.

I also recommend wearing a punchy shade on both finger and toe nails such as Sally Hanson Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in Pink Punk. For under $3, you can pick out some fun and trendy nail shades for summer without breaking the bank!

To keep my makeup looking perfect the entire day, one of my tips is to use the ULTA Makeup Setting Spray. You can also use it as a primer, a setting spray, or even keep it in your bag for a refresher throughout the day. This is such a lifesaver at outside events and festivals! Trust.

I will totally admit that I am a total sucker for the purchase line displays filled with sample and mini-sized items. Not only are these perfect for summer travel, it's a great way to try out products, which is what I did here picking up  Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Hair Cream for just $3! I've used a couple of Not Your Mother's hair products and really liked them and this one is no different. With humidity and heat at a high, this cream helps give my shorter hair some texture creating summery, beachy waves-- my go-to style for fuss-free summer hair!

Do you have any favorite products to beat the heat? I'd love to hear about some of your great beauty finds!


*I received a gift card to Ulta Beauty to shop products for this post however all opinions are my own.

Linking up with: Let It Shine, Mingle Monday, Oh, Hey Girl!,  Trendy Wednesday, Friday's Fab Favorites

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Good HUES-Day: Summer Eye Shadow Palettes

Whether your summer look consists of basic neutrals or bold crazy colors, mattes or shimmers, there's a perfect eye shadow palette out there for you! I'm currently loving Urban Decay's new Smoky palette (read my review here!), but here are a few others I have my eye on... pun totally intended.

Do you tend to wear more neutral shadows or bold shades during the summer?

Friday, July 24, 2015

DO or DON'T: Flared Jeans

Flare Jeans: Do or Don't

Flared jeans are making a come-back! Celebs and fashion gals alike have been seen sporting the 70's trend and the glossies have been all over flares since spring and are taking them right into fall. What do you say, are they a DO or DON'T?

Me? If you can rock it, wear it! If you're on the DO side too, here's a great list of tips on how to wear flared jeans.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Top 5 Beauty Steals

#NSale Beauty Deals

The Nordstrom Anniversary sale is still going strong and today I wanted to showcase a few top beauty deals that I spotted at the sale. Here's what's topping my list:

1. ChloĆ© Love Story Eau de Parfum Set... $125
It's definitely a love story between me and this fragrance-- it's floral, feminine and light. Classy stuff.

2. MAC Look In a Box Travel Brush Set... $52.50
It can get pricey to purchase full-sized MAC brushes separately so I tend to go for the deals on their travel brushes! This is a great set of 6 brushes and the price won't have my wallet cringing.

3. Smashbox Photo Op Mega Palette... $69
This awesome palette contains 8 of Smashbox's popular Photo Op eye shadow trios (24 shadows total!), three blushes PLUS a travel size Full Exposure Mascara. Now that's a lotta makeup!

Also noteworthy is the Smashbox Studio Pro 10-piece Brush Set... $89. That is such a steal for these brushes!

4. Clinique  Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream... $46.50 for jumbo size 4.2 oz.
I switched to this moisturizer last year and I haven't looked back and I don't plan to any time soon. I have normal-dry skin and it works wonders, leaving my skin feeling moisturized all day long but not greasy. Definitely a winner in my book!

5. butter LONDON Coveted Classics Patent Shine Set... $45
How pretty are the nail shades in this set?? This is one of those sets that can take you through summer and straight into fall. At just $45 for 6 nail shades, this set is a steal!

Have you purchased any beauty deals from this #Nsale? Share!


Monday, July 20, 2015

Makeup Monday: Your Ultimate Guide to Contouring, Strobing, and Baking

Contoruing continues to be one of the biggest trends in beauty, with more and more products being created and marketed solely for contouring and I don't see that stopping anytime soon. To compliment the popular contouring trend are two other makeup techniques that have been taking over my social media feeds: strobing and baking (and no, not the culinary kind!).

While some may argue that these enhancement methods aren't necessarily "trends" and have been used in the makeup artistry and performance industries for years, they are definitely having their own shining (pun intended!) moment. Below, I've broken down each of these techniques and provided tips on how to achieve the look at home:


By now, unless you've been living under a rock, you should be familiar with contouring-- if you've ever seen an image of Kim Kardashian, then you've seen contouring. This is a makeup artistry technique of shading and highlighting specific areas to help define and enhance facial features such as cheekbones, nose, forehead and more. Lately, clown contouring has been all the rage but I opt for a more natural contoured look. Check out this video from makeup artist Lisa Eldridge for creating a perfectly contoured face:

For more contouring tips, please visit my 'Contouring Tips for the Clueless' post.

Think you're a contouring pro? Shop my TOP 5 CONTOURING products:


While it sounds like a new club or rave dance with extreme strobe lights flashing, strobing in the makeup world is basically highlighting on steroids. With contouring, you darken facial areas you want recessed and highlight those to bring out. Strobing focuses on the light and cuts out the contouring/bronzing step by applying almost-to-the-point-of-excess highlighter to areas light would naturally hit and are most prominent: tops of cheeks, middle of forehead, down the length of nose, tip of chin, brow bone, and even cupids bow.

I've mentioned many times before that I am a highlighting nut so this is one look I definitely want to try.Okay so I may have already be trying this out but I haven't gotten too crazy with strobing yet, I think I need to play around with this technique some more. Amanda Ensing gives the perfect break down of strobing in this video, and shares a step-by-step on how to achieve the look and where exactly you should be highlighting:

Ready to get strobing? Shop my TOP 5 HIGHLIGHTERS:


The latest trend in the contouring family is baking (AKA cooking), a caking technique popular with drag queens and performers (and evidently Kim Kardashian is a fan!) used to set makeup for a flawless, pore-less look and to highlight certain areas of the face. Basically you apply a thick coat of translucent loose powder over concealer/foundation and let it "cook" for 10+ minutes. The result is a flawless finish, and perfectly highlighted features, although the look can be too heavy for every day wear or if you're not taking photos.

Australian makeup artist Heidi Hamoud breaks the technique down and shares how to bake/cook your face:

Ready to get baking? Shop these TOP 5 BAKING must-haves:

Tell me, have you tried any of these beauty contouring trends? I'd love to see your look!