Friday, September 28, 2012

Hooray for Trader Joe's!

This past week I did a little grocery run to Trader Joe's. For about $30 I got several healthy microwave meals, a few various bags of frozen vegetables, some chicken burritos, a couple of $3 bottles of wine, and an extra dark chocolate bar, because I always need to have one of those on hand! The first meal I tried was a Vegetarian Pad Thai which I do not have a picture of because I inhaled it before I thought to capture it, but just trust me, it was delicious! Then last night when I got home from work I was really craving something healthy that I could throw together quickly and decided to give one of the bagged vegetable mixes a try. I also had some goat cheese medallions on hand that a friend had so thoughtfully given me (also from Trader Joe's) that I thought would be a nice little addition.
So here's how it came together:

First I defrosted some chicken breast tenderloins (this was the only part of the meal not from Trader Joe's, these were previously purchased at Publix) in the micro, then popped them in a skillet with some olive oil and a sprinkle of one of my favorite all purpose seasonings, Cavender's.
I cooked it covered with a little splash of water on medium heat for about 10 minutes on each side. Then took the lid off and let it get just a tad crispy for the last few minutes.

Meanwhile, I threw the frozen Fire Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Dressing into a glass bowl, covered and microwaved for  6 minutes.

Finally, I put it all on a plate and crumbled a little bit of goat cheese over the top of everything with a fork and poured myself a nice glass of Malbec.

The finished result was so delicious and I had the rest of it today for lunch!
So far, I'm loving everything I've tried from Trader Joe's! It's all quick and convenient but tastes like real food and not microwaved mush! So, hooray for Trader Joe's! I shall definitely be shopping there more often now!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fall Beauty

I love the changing of seasons and the opportunity to try new things with hair and makeup! This morning was one of those amazing mornings where the sun was ultra bright, the wind was blowing everything about, and it was hard not to smile at the pure joy of it! Because there was that perfect mixture of coolness and warmth in the air, I was inspired to create a makeup look that would blend the cooler tones of Fall with the warm ones. And pretty much like clockwork, when Fall comes around, I start itching for red hair and Brittany was happy to oblige me! Keep reading to see what I used to create the look.
I love how this hair color changes in different lights!

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough As Taupe, Urban Decay Smoked Palette using Kinky, Freestyle, & Mushroom applied with the Real Techniques Domed Shadow Brush, Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Eyeliner for Hazel Eyes  applied with the Real Techniques Fine Liner Brush

Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light to Medium Bisque and Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream in Light Sheer Tint
glominerals pressed base in honey light applied with the Ecotools Kabuki Brush, & mark bronze pro applied with the Real Techniques Blush Brush

Origins blush in Autumn Glow (discontinued but you could use this instead) applied with the Real Techniques Multi Task Brush & Bobbi Brown eyeshadow in Stonewash (discontinued but you could use this instead) applied to brows with the glominerals Dual Brow Brush
Origins Flower Fusion lipstick in Tulip & Almay One Coat Get Up & Grow Mascara

What makeup colors say "Fall" to you?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Stormy Day Makeup

I realize this may be somewhat abnormal, but sometimes I like to match my makeup to the weather. Or my mood. Sometimes the weather and my mood match, and that makes it even better! For instance, one morning last week I woke up and saw these beautiful, bright, yellow rays of sun coming out from behind a big, ominous looking cloud. So that day I wore a silvery grey eyeshadow all over the lid with a pop of bright yellow at the inner corners. It makes me happy, what can I say! Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of that day's makeup so I can't share that with you, but yesterday dawned a very, dark and stormy day. And it pretty much stayed that way all day. So, I decided it was the perfect day for a dark, blue smoky eye and I had just the palette in mind to complete the look: The Smoked Palette from Urban Decay!

 Here's what I used to create the look:

1. MAC Paint Pot in Painterly smudged all over the lids with finger
2. Avon Big Color Pencil in Night Glisten scribbled on the lower half of lid and then blended in & upward with the glominerals texture eye brush
3. Urban Decay shadow in Evidence pressed into Night Glisten with the Real Techniques Shading Brush, then blended upward with the glominerals texture eye brush

4. Urban Decay shadows in Mushroom & Verve blended together from the crease upward with the glominerals texture eye brush
5. Urban Decay shadow in Freestyle blended into & above Mushroom & Verve to blur the dark line with the Real Techniques Domed Shadow Brush

6. Urban Decay shadow in Kinky pressed under the brow line with the Real Techniques Domed Shadow Brush
7. Urban Decay shadow in Verve tapped into the inner corners with the Real Techniques Shading Brush
8. Urban Decay shadow in Evidence smudged 3/4 of the way under the eye with the Real Techniques Shading Brush
9. Loreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara on the top & bottom lashes to finish it off

I wonder what tomorrow's weather will be?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Public Service Announcement!

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment we have been waiting for throughout the long and burning summer has arrived.
I hearby authorize you to officially pull out all your cozy sweaters, fuzzy socks, and beautifully patterned scarves (well, if only to look at longingly) because Fall has arrived! Now I know that neither the calendar nor the thermometer agree with this statement, but the presence of PSL in our lives makes it so!

*I'd like to thank my friend Robyn for bringing this breaking news to my attention!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Day Off Breakfast Food!

Today is a holiday and I love having a lazy morning on a holiday! Usually I stick to a pretty quick and easy breakfast, but when I have a day off with nowhere to go I indulge in this yummy breakfast that brings me back to my childhood! This isn't going to win any awards for being the healthiest breakfast, but it's not so bad and it does make me happy! You have to live a little sometimes! What's your favorite holiday morning breakfast?

  1. Make one packet of instant Butter Grits in a bowl in the microwave.
  2. Spray a small skillet with Olive Oil spray and heat.
  3. Crack one egg into skillet, turn heat to medium, add a splash of water to pan, and cover.
  4. Allow egg to cook according to how runny or firm you like your egg. (I like mine runny in the middle!)
  5. Meanwhile, add one Jimmy Dean fully cooked sausage link to the micro & cook for 30 seconds.
  6. Give Grits a good stir, add egg to the top, and then the sausage on the side.
  7. Devour with a second cup of coffee! (Optional) ;)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

My Skincare Routine

Alright, this is going to be a lengthy post. There's just no way around it. So, go grab a cup of coffee, snuggle up, and let's get to it!
 In the last year my skin has really changed and not for the better! While I've always loved having a skincare regimen, it used to be relatively simple for me to keep my skin clear and soft. Not so now! A few months ago the dermatologist told me that I have the beginning stages of rosacea. While not the worst skin ailment in the world, it certainly isn't pretty. :( For me, rosacea presents itself as blotchy, red, blemish-prone skin that's become increasingly sensitive with lots and lots of broken capillaries. Sigh.  Now when I get a blemish and it goes away, a lovely red broken capillary is left behind. This is different from a red hyperpigmentation spot that can sometimes be left behind after a blemish. This is a little broken blood vessel that stays red. At this point in the skincare world, there really isn't any easy fix for broken capillaries except laser therapy, and that is a very expensive option. The best course of action then, is to avoid getting broken capillaries in the first place and to cover up the one's that are already there. So, over the past year I've been on a constant journey of finding the right mix of skincare products to best suit my finicky skin. I do sometimes add in new items or exclude others but the following regimen seems to be keeping my skin somewhat happy! Here are the products in the order in which they are used.

A.M. Routine:
Loreal Go 360 Clean Deep Cleanser for Sensitive Skin - this is a super cheapy cleanser that works great on my skin. It has no scent whatsoever, feels very gentle, but effective and does not dry me out.  I use this one every other day in the shower.
glotherapeutics Purifying Gel Cleanser - This one contains salicylic acid which is a great ingredient to keep those pesky rosacea bumps at bay. I use this in the shower on alternate days since it can be a little drying for everyday use for me. (However, if you have oily skin it's great for daily use.)
Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser - I've been coming back to this exfoliating cleanser for years. I just can't seem to find anything else that works better for me! The AHA/BHA combo really gets into the pores and cleans them all out, and the jojoba beads are gentle enough to buff off dead skin cells without being too harsh for sensitive skin. I usually use this in the shower 2 times a week.
glotherapeutics Ultra 15% Vitamin C serum - my Esthetician, previous boss, and dear friend Nikki Greene reminded me a few months ago that I should be using Vitamin C on my face every day. It's one of those things that I tell my clients to do but was completely forgetting to do myself! This serum is full of powerful antioxidants that strengthen the skin's defenses against damaging and aging elements, and also boosts collagen production, among other things. And Nikki was right, it is helping!
glotherapeutics DailyDefense SPF 30+ - which one I use depends on how my skin is feeling that day. The Oil-Free SPF is not greasy, and it absorbs well, but it also gives my skin a little bit more of a nourished & hydrated feel than the DailyDefense which is better for hot, muggy, oily days. The DailyDefense also has a little bit of a primer feel to it, so it works great at binding foundation to the skin and keeping it in place all day.
Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream - Ah! I love this eye cream! I love it so much that I think I might have to do a separate review on it sometime, so I'll just say here that this is my ultimate go-to eye cream. You can get this online, or if you're in SC go see my friend Robyn at the BB counter in Belk. She's awesome! I mostly use this eye cream in the daytime under my concealer. Mostly. (Aliens reference anyone?)

P.M. Routine:
Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes - to remove my makeup at night, I have been using the same cleanser for years, Origins Clean Energy. It's smells exotic, removes every trace of makeup, and leaves my skin feeling so clean and soft and not stripped. BUT, let's face it, sometimes I have lazy nights and for those I reach for the Simple wipes! They are unscented and unirritating (yes, I made up a word) and they take off the most stubborn makeup!
glotherapeutics Conditioning Tonic - I like to follow up the oil cleanser with the complexion pads when my skin is acting up and needs a little more aggressive treatment. These contain salicylic acid to which my skin reacts very well. Or for those days when my skin is dry and feeling sensitive, I love the Conditioning Tonic. It's so soothing and hydrating!
Alpha H Liquid Gold - I found out about this UK brand from one of my favorite bloggers A Model Recommends  You really have to check her out, she's amazing! Anyway, after reading her rave reviews about Alpha H, I had to give it a try and it really has been wonderful! It's an exfoliating serum that helps to smooth, brighten, and clear your skin. The label does say that it's not intended for sensitive skin but as long as I only use it every other or every two nights, my skin doesn't get irritated at all. And best of all, when I wake up the morning after, my skin feels so soft and smooth!  One word of warning, this does ship from the UK (for free!) so expect it to take a little while to ship if you're in the US!
Emybrolisse Lait-creme Concentre - this is a French brand moisturizer that is well-loved by makeup artists and skincare lovers round the world! It's really not a fancy moisturizer with lots of gimmicky anti-aging ingredients. It's just a nice, simple, all-around great lotion! It makes your skin feel like Buttah! It can be a little rich for oily skin but is so soothing for most skin types.
Or if I'm breaking out I will use
Clearasil Overnight Face Lotion  - yes, i did say Clearasil. It's an oldie but a goodie! I've honestly tried TONS of blemish creams and most of them are way too harsh for my skin. Then one day, out of sheer desperation, I grabbed a tube of this and had great success with it! Doesn't irritate at all! This also contains salicylic acid, are you sensing a theme here? Now, I am mentioning a lot of exfoliating products here and it is very important to note that I do not use all of these on the same day! For instance, on a break out day, I might use the complexion pads and the Clearasil lotion but not the Alpha H serum. You definitely don't want to over-exfoliate your skin, which can make it more irritated and lead to more bumps and no one wants that! So, rotate your exfoliants people!
bareMinerals Pure Transformation Night Treatment - this product is so weird. I know skincare and in my experience there really isn't anything else like this on the market! Let me know if you know of something similar. This is a mineral powder that you put on as the very last step in your nighttime routine and it is supposed to reduce pores, even skintone, and improve skin's texture. Now, I honestly can't really say that it does all that, but I usually use this when I'm having bad skin times, usually over the Clearasil cream, and somehow I do wake up with prettier skin. I'm really not even sure if putting a layer of my glominerals pressed base over the top of my nighttime skincare wouldn't do the same exact thing! But apparently this mineral contains special clay ingredients or some such. I dunno. It's so crazy! Anyone else out there using this? I'm not sure if I would repurchase, but I am enjoying it for now.
Nuance Smoothing Anti-Aging Eye Cream - I have this really pesky problem of getting little irritation bumps all around my eye area from eye creams which is why I am constantly on the hunt for ones that don't cause this! As stated previously, I love the BB one but it lives in my makeup area which is on the other side of the house, and I was intrigued by this one from Salma Hayek's line Nuance, so I picked one up and it now lives on my bedside table. It is nice and thick, doesn't give me bumps, and leaves the eye area feeling very hydrated. Thanks, Salma! ;)
Dr. Weil for Origins Conditioning Lip Balm with Turmeric - Holy Moly, this is the best lip balm in the whole world! I am a lip product junkie and I have yet to find a balm that tops this one. It doesn't just hydrate your lips, it HEALS them. It's amazing. Go get some. And buy some for me while you're at it because I'm out! ;)

Whew! And that is my skincare routine! I promise, I do this stuff in my sleep now, so it's really not a production!
One final word of caution. I love telling people what I use, and trying to help them find the best skincare for their particular needs, but please remember, all skin is different, and what works for me may not work for you. Also, if you decide to try some of the things that I use,  gradually introduce one or two products at a time. The skin doesn't like to be overloaded by too many new ingredients at once! As much as I'd like to say that there is a magic skin potion out there, it's simply not true! We're born with perfect new skin and as we get older, it changes. And that's as it should be. Should a 65 year old woman with a world of experience under her belt look like a 20 year old? No way! She's earned a few lines and looks all the more beautiful for them, in my opinion. My Mom has said to me several times, "Don't worry about crows feet, Bethany, they just mean you've smiled a lot!" I love that and I try to repeat that to myself often! For me, it's important to remember that beauty really does come from within. I also believe that it's important to put your best foot forward, and to take care of what you've been given. So to that end, go forth and cleanse thy face!
Much love and happy skin to you all from a crinkly eyed girl!

Thanks to my sister, Jo for capturing my crinkles! :)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Top 10 Makeup Items I Would Repurchase

Lately I've seen a bunch of people blogging or YouTubing this Tag: Top 10 Items I Would Repurchase. As usual, I love seeing what makeup goodies other people can't live without, so I was inspired to create my own list. The premise behind the tag is that these 10 items would be the first things you would repurchase if somehow all your makeup had been lost, stolen, broken, etc.
At first it was really hard to narrow the list down because one of the things I love about makeup is changing it up every day! But when I went through everything, I did have some clear cut go-to items that I really would not want to be without. These are also the items that I am most likely to travel with when I am only able to pack the essentials. I did cheat a little bit and put two items per category on some things, since the shade I wear depends on how light/dark my skin is at the moment!
So without further ado, My Top 10 Items I Would Repurchase are:
  1. glominerals pressed base in golden light or golden medium
  2. glominerals camouflage concealer (for the face) in golden or natural
  3. Bobbi Brown Corrector (for undereyes) in Light Bisque or Light to Medium Bisque
  4. mark by Avon bronze pro in Pro Golden
  5. glominerals blush in bellini or glominerals cream blush in guava
  6. MAC Paint Pot (eyeshadow primer) in Painterly
  7. Almay One Coat Get Up & Grow mascara
  8. Bobbi Brown Stonewashed Nudes Palette (but since it was limited edition & can't be repurchased, my close 2nd choice for eyeshadow is) glominerals Alloy Eyes Collection (both palettes contain shades that I use to fill in my brows too, so they do double duty!)
  9. Physicians Formula Eyeliner Trio for Hazel Eyes (a brown, black, & purple/pink)
  10. MAC Viva Glam V if I want a nude lipstick, Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie if I want a pink lipstick
Hope you enjoy this list and I would love to know what your Top 10 Items would be, so leave me your list in the comments below!
Also, leave me a comment if you'd like an individual review on any of the products listed here!

glominerals pressed base & glominerals camouflage

Bobbi Brown Corrector & mark bronze pro

glominerals blush & MAC Paint Pot

Almay Get Up & Grow, glominerals Alloy Eyes, & BB Stonewashed Nudes

Physicians Formula Eyeliners, MAC lipstick, & Revlon LipButter