Mojitos on My Mind

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What can I say? I am in a mojito state of mind. Maybe it is because of my recent trip to the beach or maybe it’s just the warm weather. Whatever the cause I am mad for mojitos (speaking of which- share your favorite mojito recipe so I can make some minty goodness next weekend). Adding to my mojito fever is the new Essie nail polish in the color Mojito Madness. This minty green polish feels so summery and fresh. It reminds me of fresh, crisp summer vegetables.

I applied a coat of Orly bonder and then two coats of Essie’s Mojito Madness. I then applied a coat of Essie’s Set in Stones on just my ring finger for a fun accent nail on each band. I think applied a top coat of Seche Vite on all nails. Something about the color makes it such a different green.

What nail color have your been rocking this summer? Are there any colors that you completely stay away from in Fall? I’m already pulling out all of my deep Fall hues for the new season- marroon, brown and tan are favorites of mine.

Best Beauty Bargains

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Like many of you, I struggle to find a way to feed my beauty addiction while not breaking the bank. Lately, I have put myself on a bit of a beauty ban. No shopping for expensive products and trying to figure out find how to use my existing products to create new looks (considerably less exciting than a shopping spree at Sephora, but it’ll do). However, I have picked up a couple of drugstore products over the past few weeks and I am hoping to share here some of my favorite drugstore finds.

20120814-215212.jpgI have been completely loving Maybelline MegaPlush mascara. I had heard so many great things about this mascara and, let’s face it, the price was oh so right. I’ll be honest-this mascara works just as well as my L’oreal Voluminous and my Benefit Bad Gal mascaras. Honestly, I have become a drugstore mascara believer. The price is so much cheaper and the drama and effect are virtually undetectable from the pricier brands. The mascara comes off easily with makeup remover or wipes and I have not been experiencing any smudging under the eyes- AMAZING! I picked this up at CVS for $7.49.

20120814-215245.jpgI also have been using my E.L.F. cool bronzer from Target, which retails for $3.00 (THREE DOLLARS!!!). With pale skin I had always been afraid of bronzer, but this product is just the right tone and really allows you to apply and brush off the excess. My complaint with a lot of other bronzers is that if you get too much on it’s hard to get SOME off, without taking it all off. E.L.F.’s bronzers really allow you to do this and get the tone of the bronzer just right. I used this each night that we went out at the beach to give myself a little extra color on my face, without over-bronzing and going all orange face on my husband.

Thanks to my totally fabulous sister-in-law, I totally fell in love with Banana Boat Aloe Vera After Sun Lotion. Not only did this soothe my skin at the beach, but it left my skin so soft and smooth. I actually like the scent, although I know it’s probably not for everyone. It seriously feels like putting butter on your skin, without all of the greasiness. For a while I had convinced myself that all of the sand had exfoliated my skin and then (duh!) it hit me that this after sun lotion was the magic ingredient. What a simple product that I always overlooked! This looks to be retailing at Walgreens for $5.19- not bad at all.

20120814-215305.jpgFinally, my latest favorite lip product is Revlon’s Just Bitten Lip Stain. I held out for quite some time on this one. I think the packaging was turning me off for some reason. It just looked like a big marker or crayon. I decided to jump ship and I am so glad that I did. You can’t even feel this on your lips and the color payoff is really high. I picked up the color Sweetheart Valentine and it is a fantastic bright pink. I usually shy away from bright colors (I’m a nudist at heart), but this shade has made me obsessed with bright lip color. Figures that I would fall in love with bright colors just as Summer is winding down. Target is showing this available for $7.69. The stain will last you forever so I would imagine that the payoff is ideal.

Here are some of my old favorites that you guys have heard me talk about before. Click on the links to hear more about the product.

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle
Cetaphil 24-Hour Facial Moisturizer
Revlon Lip Butter
CoverGirl Shimmering Sands Palette
Maybelline Baby Lips

July My Glam Bag and Birchbox

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Okay so I know this is way overdue. I just never can seem to find the time to record and I just feel like the subscription services come across so much better over video so that’s why you haven’t heard about them this month yet. Below you will find a video recap of what I received in my July My Glam Bag and Birchbox (the Glamour magazine version). I filmed this like 10 days ago and just now got around to editing and uploading. I promise to be better over the next couple of months.

Let me know what you think! What did you think of the July subscription services? Follow the links here to learn more about Birchbox and MyGlam Bag.

P.S. I know my hair looks a hot mess in the video. I swear I thought it looked more together than this when I was filming. Sigh.

Penny For Your Thoughts

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20120812-214005.jpgWhat is it about a shiny new penny that makes you happy? Have you ever recieved a just minted penny and truly appreciated the color and the sheen of that cent? I always loved them. My stepdad actually saves them because he loves them so much. Well, I was very excited to see that Essie appreciates the copper beauty of the penny just as much as I do. They released a new metallics line of polishes and I loved the colors so much that I picked up Penny Talk, which is literally the color of copper pennies.

The polish has great coverage. In some cases I didn’t even need a second coat, although I did two coats anyway. It goes on fairly 20120812-214031.jpgsmooth, although I did notice if you have any bumps or divets in your nails a metallic polish will make those more noticeable. I seem to have one hand with smooth and perfect nails and the other with bumpy and peeling nails. Why is that? Does anyone else have this?

Sorry, I was gone so long my lovelies. I was busy wearing my penny nails at the beach for vacation. Now it’s back to the daily grind and I feel Fall trends just around the corner. What Fall trends are you planning to rock?

More soon!

Olympic Beauty Superlatives

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If you are anything like me you have spent the past week with your eyeballs glued to the TV screen, learning the rules of table tennis and volleyball. I found myself yelling in my bedroom at 11 p.m. trying to urge Phelps whoop some tail. Seriously, this is so not me. I have always been a fan of the Summer Games, in particular swimming and gymnastics, but for some reason this summer I have crossed the line into crazy. Naturally, I had to figure out some ways to incorporate my new crazy, unhealthy obsession in with my blog (if you missed my Olympics mani check it out here). Today, I will be announcing my beauty superlatives for the Olympics. Did I miss anyone? Add yours below! It’s still early so I might need to do a second edition of this.

Most Creative
Brazilian gymnast Daniele Matias Hypolito sported her country’s colors in her amazing blue, green and yellow eye makeup. Brazil may not have medaled in the country competition, but Hypolito was memorable because she wasn’t afraid to wear her pride on her… eyes. I will admit- I was almost taken about when I first saw her, but I totally have appreciation for that pride. You go girl!

Most Sophisticated
U.S. Olympic gymnast Jordyn Wieber represented well, both in gymnasts and her appearance. Look at this face! Flawless, I tell you. Seriously though, her skin is amazing. Her eye makeup was classy and trendy (incorporating more of a brown smoky eye). Her hair was consistently pulled back into a classic ponytail and her makeup was demure, but beautiful. Way to represent, girlfriend! Oh and I may have cried when the team won the Gold- don’t judge.

Most Trendy
I kind of have fallen in love with Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings during this Olympics. Not only are these girls completely badass and dominating, they are such natural beauties. First, I need to say that watching these girls play volleyball in bikinis lit a fire under my bum to get in shape. Most of all I spent hours admiring their braids. They took Katniss inspiration to a whole new level. It’s no secret that braids are in and the ladies showed off high braids that looked so trendy and summery. It almost makes me wish my hair was long again!

Most Naturally Beautiful
I will admit it- I think she’s amazing. Up to this point, Lolo Jones has not competed on the track, but she has been in the news and let’s face you- you don’t want to avoid her. This girl is just downright beautiful. She has unabashedly told reporters about her virginity and embraced the backlash that ensued. She is funny. Don’t believe me? Go follow her Twitter. Girl has sass and attitude (my two favorite things, well if the attitude is positive). Also, can we just talk about how well she pulled off the opening ceremonies uniform- like a CHAMP.

While the men aren’t likely to be trying out any beauty trends, we can’t mention the Olympics and not address our favorite men…

Most Likely to Become a History Lesson
Michael Phelps

Most Over-Confident
Ryan Lochte and Lebron James

Most Embarrassing Parent
Mr (and Mrs.) Raisman

Biggest Team Player
Jonathan Horton

Why I Blog?

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This blog is a bit more personal than most of my others. It’s about why I blog. I have had a lot of people who know me seem surprised when they find out I have a beauty blog. I guess it probably just never really seemed like my thing. Sure I wore a small amount of makeup in high school and college, but I never had confidence in applying it. I saw other girls who really knew what they were doing and it made me too intimidated to try anything new with my makeup (much less my hair and style). I just chalked it up to the fact that I “just wasn’t good at it.”

I’m not saying that you need to be into your appearance to have confidence, but for me learning how to apply makeup and style myself in a more professional way has given me confidence. I remember asking a friend of mine about a year ago how do you LEARN to apply makeup well. She said, “You just practice. It just takes time.” Boy, was she right. I have learned so much from doing this blog and forcing myself to practice with my makeup.

Starting this blog took a lot of courage for me. I was sure that people would judge me (and maybe they do) and I was afraid of looking foolish or ameteurish (which I might). However, gathering the courage to say, “I have something to say that people are interested in,” was so empowering. Whether or not you read each blog post, it’s a hobby and a purpose for me. I look forward to sharing the latest thing I have discovered and seeing what you think.

I know many of you have blogs of your own so I am curious why you started yours. What is the story behind your story? What has beauty blogging (or any kind of blogging) done for you- what have you gained?

On a side note, I am excited to announce that I have some guest bloggers that will be joining us soon. I have reached out to some amazing and beautiful women that I know to share their experiences with me (and you) and I can’t wait to introduce them to you.

Life’s a Beach!

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That’s right lovelies, it’s beach time! All summer long I have been reading everyone’s posts and watching everyone’s videos about their vacations and lying on the beach or by the pool. Well guess what? It’s finally my turn! FINALLY! So to celebrate my pending vacation and to motivate my lazy bum to start packing I thought I would give you a glimpse into what I am planning to take with me. I have broken this down into categories so you can skip around if you don’t care about clothes or accessories or makeup (although hopefully you do since you are reading this- duh!).

20120731-205756.jpgClothes
So I wanted a lot of light-weight clothes for this trip seeing as how I will be spending time on the beach and in a bathing suit so I opted for some flowy dresses that can double as cover-ups. The colorblock maxi and the lavender dress were picked up from Target and they really were very reasonably priced. Some tanks and comfy shorts for basking in the 90 degree heat (I’m mellllllting!) are next. These are different styles that I have picked up over the years. I am also 20120731-205830.jpgpacking some more “classy” shorts (for lack of a better term). They are also both Target shorts as well, but I love them. They are not too short (because, well, I am too old and too”bootylicious” for short shorts), but also still give my legs room to breathe. I am also bringing t-shirts and shorts to sleep in, as well as, bathing suits. My favorite suit is this pinky/peach suit that I bought for my honeymoon last November. It has the retro feel, but is still young and a really fun color. I also have a similar one in black that I am planning to bring (I am so over the bikini- also I feel a little too old to be running around in a bikini- agree or disagree?). On a side note, my dog would not move so enjoy him posing with my clothes.

20120731-205920.jpgAccessories
The beach is the BEST place for accessories in my opinion. Wearing minimal clothes means more space for all of those fab accessories and I plan to bring them all :). First off are the hats. I have this amazing huge floppy hat from Badgley Mischka from a few years back. Not only does it protect my face, but it looks totally fab. The other hat is one I got in my recent Little Black Bag that is a multi-color fedora. Jewelry is next. Wrap bracelets are so in this summer and I am bringing every single one that I own. I am 20120731-210054.jpgalso planning on bringing my white Anne Klein watch and a bunch of long draping necklaces and earrings. I tried to bring lighter jewelry, not in terms of color, but in terms of heaviness. When the air is thick and humid the last thing you want is a heavy jewelry weighing you down. Bracelets are a favorite of mine at the beach though.  Also in my 20120731-210533.jpgpile are some fun scarves and most importantly SUNGLASSES!!!! I am bringing about five pairs because they are all so different. Protect your pupils, lovelies! Plus, who wants their eyelids to get burned. Trust me. It has happened to me before. Sunglasses are good for your eyes AND they  are fashion forward.

Makeup
20120731-210147.jpgOkay, the truth is that I am going to probably bring most of my everyday makeup and a couple of palettes, but I don’t plan to wear all of that everyday so I am just including my everyday beach makeup. First off, I am bringing a waterproof mascara for everyday use. This will stay put through saltwater, chlorine and sweat (yes, women really do sweat). Also, in my bag is Smashbox BB cream, instead of foundation, and bronzer. I also am bringing every tinted lip balm I own, especially my Burt’s Bees ones. I want to layer on the SPF on my lips, but these are also the perfect opportunity to add a little color too. I am also planning to put my eyelash 20120731-210313.jpgcurlers to work this week and use a bit of highlighter. Nothing major, just a touch here and there. I am sure I will sweat it off anyway. Can we talk for a second about how cute this makeup bag is? I bought it on Etsy a while back from the shop MarineParents. I am completely in love AND I can actually fit my palettes in here if I squeeze. So wonderful! Definitely go check them out- she has tons of colors and these would make fabulous gifts.

BEAUTY
So some of this might seem obvious, but hey, this is a packing blog post so this is what you get. For the shower I am bringing my sample size of the Living Proof Restore collection (to save room) as well as the Living Proof Anti-Frizz Styling Cream (just in case). I also will be bringing some clarifying shampoo (this is the Neutrogena brand) and my Aussie 3-Minute Miracle. I am throwing in a pack of Venus Spa Breeze razors to cut down my need to haul shave gel too. Nivea body wash is going in the bag, as well as the other bathroom essentials. The other main beauty product that I am bringing is sunscreen. I am bringing a number of different kinds including Hawaiian Tropic (which I got as a sample in my VoxBox from Influenster) and a generic Target brand. I also have Aloe Vera for emergencies (like when one of your toes doesn’t get suncreen and burns or your husband burns because he doesn’t apply sunscreen due to the fact that he “never burns”). For my face I will be applying a couple of different things. First off is my Cetaphil Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15. I use this everyday, but I do worry about my face and skin so I will probably apply some additional sunscreen as well- in this case Aveeno sunscreen specifically made for your face.

Whew! That was exhausting. Anyway, I am already packing and it is only Tuesday. Bad sign? Have you already had your vacation? What am I forgetting in my bag? :)

July Favorites

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Wait… what? July is over? But it just began. This seriously was the fastest month ever in the history of fast months. Trust me- I just know that. So what happened in July? Well I finished summer semester in grad school (three cheers) and I finished all A’s (excuse me while I brush my shoulders off). I also made the official decision to leave my current job at the end of August and start substitute teaching full time while attending school full time. New adventures are super exciting and super scary. Okay, everyone leave me a comment about something totally scary you did and how it paid off. I need confidence and optimism.

So without further ado here are my favorites this month!

1. THE OLYMPICS!!! Okay I know I am a total nut-job, but I seriously am obsessed- like borderline unhealthy. I didn’t post a blog this weekend because I couldn’t take my eyes off the TV. I also stayed up until midnight last night watching gymnastics and nearly had a heart attack watching the men’s relay race. I need an intervention.

2. Little Pink Monster- This is a blog written by a local mom in the D.C. area. I was introduced to her blog because I am a huge fan of the Kane Show, which is a radio show in D.C. that features some of the most talented and interesting radio personalities I have heard (that coming from a former radio intern is a big compliment because I have heard a lot). Wow, I got off topic. Anyway, Little Pink Monster is written by Kane from the Kane Show’s wife. She is adorable and creative. She features her adorable daughters in some of her DIY videos as well- which is such a treat. She has done some great tutorials (i.e. the pin curls tutorial is my fave). In addition, she shares her life with her readers. She writes touching and moving blogs that I can relate to. In fact, her blog post about losing her dog made me cry when I read it, when I thought about it later AND when I told my husband about it. Long story short- this blog and blogger are amazing.

3. Nude ‘Tude Palette from the Balm- I have really discovered this palette this month. I have had it for months, but never really explored with it. Well I have embraced it this month. The color payoff is great and there is not a lot of fall out. I love trying out new combinations of colors with shimmer and matte colors. There are a lot of dupes with the NAKED palette from Urban Decay, but there are some different colors with different finishes too. I am so glad I picked this one up. My favorite shades are Snobby, Silly and Seductive.

20120730-193901.jpg4. O.P.I. nail polish in Malaysian Mist- This is THE perfect nude polish. Sometimes after a wild and crazy manicure all I want is a calm and demure manicure. The polish goes on smooth and cleanly. I do have to use three coats of this to get the desired coverage, but the color is exactly right. I usually make the last coat super thick to give a smooth and even finish. If yet?ou are an avid reader you know that I love O.P.I.’s polishes and this one is probably my all-time favorite and go-to shade. Have I convinced you to go buy this one yet? Try it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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5. Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater- I love this spray. First off, the scent of roses is amazing and reminds me so much of my grandma. It totally makes my face feel so much more fresh (so fresh and so clean). Sometimes as the day goes on my face has a tendency to just feel tired and my skin loses it’s fresh morning feel. This really does seem to help give my skin as extra spring in its step. I love to appy this late in the afternoon, but also right before applying my makeup in the morning to help set some moisture in my skin.

6. Target Colorblock Maxi Dress- I guess it’s kind of cheating to include this in July because I just bought this, but I am so in love with it. The dress is the same as the one in the picture, but mine is teal up top, yellow in the middle and puple on the bottom. It’s so summery and beachy and I can’t wait to break it out next week (NEXT WEEK- YAY!). I have struggled to find a maxi dress that fits my body type right, but this one feels so much more right.

So there ya have it- my faves. What were your faves this month?

Let the Games Begin

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20120725-212821.jpgThe time is upon is! The 2012 London Olympics have already started (a little under the radar, but whatever). Some competition has already begun and the opening ceremonies are this Friday. I keep telling everyone that and no one seems quite as excited as I am. I seriously am obsessed. You know what else makes me excited (you really are going to laugh at me now)?  We have some super cute and in fashion gymnasts competing for the U.S. this year. I am so stoked to see what makeup and fashion they are sporting- you know, besides the leotards.

So to honor the games I have been looking for a unique Olympics themed manicure online and I found a winner. It combines my 20120725-212846.jpglove for the Olympics with my love for all things beauty! So here is what I did. I applied a coat of Orly bonder first. Then I used Sinful Colors nail polish in White as my base coast. I applied three coats of this, as the polish is not super thick and needs to be built up a bit. Then I went through my polish collection and attempted to find the colors closest to the Olympic rings’ colors within my collection. I did not have a green color so I used some my elementary art skills and swirled together the blue and yellow polishes to give me a green. For the blue ring I used Essie in Aruba. The yellow ring was made using Circus by Andrea’s Choice in Somersault. The Black ring was from Sally Hansen in Pat in on Black. The red ring was made using O.P.I. in Got the Blues for Red. I used a nail art brush and free-handed my rings. Word to the wise- these would look so much better with some kind of circle guide like circle bandaids or hole reinforcers. I was just plain lazy tonight.

Anyway, this is my attempt at a creative Olympics tribute. I have seen a lot of British flags and nails will all of the rings on one finger and I just don’t have the skills for it tonight.

Next up for nails next week is a sunset themed manicure. I gotta get ready for the beach!

Girls’ Eyes Only

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Well, if you are a man and you really do want to read this then help yourself, but consider yourself warned. I thought I would review a couple of girly hygiene products that I have tried out recently. I often find myself staring at the rows of shaving lotions, razors and makeup removers and wondering where to start. We don’t often talk a lot about it on the blogs (why is that?). Let’s face it ladies- we all have a period. We all shave our legs (well for the most part) and we all try to keep our bodies so fresh and so clean.

20120724-212312.jpgFirst off, if you follow me on Twitter (@OhApostrophe1) you have probably been seeing all of the posts about the goodies I received in my VoxBox from Inflenster. I have been trying them out one by one and honestly I have liked most of the products more than I thought I would. One of the products I haven’t talked about yet is Tampax’s Radiant line. The box came with a cute pouch that had some tampons, pads and liners from the new line (you have probably seen he ads for them on tv). To be honest, they were just like regular tampons. The only thing different is they came in a resealable wrapper. So if you are trying to be discreet about being on your period you can seal it back up and not have to worry about leaving it in the trash for your hosts to find. Cool idea. Will most women make use of the packaging? Not so sure about that…

Next up are razors. So my hubby accidentally knocked my razor off it’s shelf (which may have been on top of his shampoo bottle, but I digress) in the shower and the blade popped off. After a few choice curse words (I’m sure) he stuck it back on and then realized he had attached it upside down and now it was stuck that way. Needless to say, I was off to the store to pick out a new razor. I have always used the Venus original razor for no other reason than I didn’t know what else to try. In the spirit of trying new things I picked up the Venus Spa Breeze razors, which have shave gel bars on each side of the bars. Now, let me backtrack and tell you about my poor legs. They are extremely sensitive and I usually have to lather on the shave gel to protect from nicks and irritation. However, I have been so pleasantly surprised with these razors. As long as the razor is wet (i.e. the shave gel bars are wet) they really work well. It is a perfect razor for under the arms because it makes the job faster and easier. I actually really like these and just went out and bought another. The only downside is that they don’t last really long. These would be great to take on vacation if you are trying to pack light, but you will have to buy a lot of these if you are planning to use them all the time. The good news is that even after the shave gel bars are gone you can still use them as a regular razor. If you try these out let me know if they work for you.

One of my biggest challenges is finding the right makeup remover. I will admit that I am lazy about makeup removing and tend to just buy wipes. Why? Well I know I won’t do it if it’s not easy. That sounds so lazy, but by the end of the day I am exhausted and the last thing I want to do is a leisurely makeup removing. So I have been trying out makeup removing wipes lately. I have tried Neutrogena, Target brand, E.L.F. brand and most recently Simple brand. The verdict? E.L.F. wipes don’t seem to be saturated enough. The Simple brand has a strange smell. Neutrogena and Target were good, but I haven’t found anything I love yet. 20120724-212338.jpgI did receive a sample of Yes to Cucumbers in my July GlamBag, but I have been saving that for my upcoming week at the week (I’ll let you know what I think soon). So what kind of makeup remover do you use? Are you a wiper like me? :)

Finally, I picked up some EOS shave cream in vanilla bliss. So far I really like this. I have loved using the EOS lip balms so these were a natural to try out. I haven’t been using this long enough to tell if I like it for the long-term, but I love the scent. The texture is soft and smooth, almost reminds me of styling mousse. The packaging is also super cute, which never hurts.

What beauty/hygiene products have you been loving, my lovelies?

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