Matte Nails Using Steam

Hello Lovelies!

Today I’m bringing you a super simple matte manicure using nothing but plain old polish and steam. Yes, you read that correctly, steam. No more fancy matte polishes and top coats. Go bust out a pot and get some water boiling, and find your favorite polish. If you want to multi-task and make your spouse think you’ve been slaving away and cleaning the house, add some essential oils (like eucalyptus) or sliced lemons to your boiling water. Your house will smell amazing!

wash

Step 1. After shaping your nails and cleaning up your cuticles, wash your hands thoroughly.

exfoliate

If you have dry, winter hands, use a pumice to gently exfoliate your hands.

boil

2.|| Start boiling water.

paint

3.|| While you wait for your water to boil, start painting your nails with whichever polish you’ve chosen. I used Formula X by Sephora in Unmistakable, a pale jade color. I’m craving spring!!

steam4.|| After applying 2 coats of polish, hold your hand over the steam (while the polish is still wet) for 5-10 seconds. Ta-da! Matte nails.

matte nails2Hope you all have a great day!

XO – Samantha

My Morning Skincare Routine

I’ve had lots of requests to share my morning & evening skincare routines with all of you, especially after listing a few of the products that I use regularly. Many of you were surprised by the number of products I listed, and asked to know in what order I used them all. To clear up any misconceptions, I have an arsenal of products that I use, but not everyday. I interchange my skincare products depending on what my skin needs (for example: moisture, blemishes dullness, puffy eyes, exfoliation, etc). I am sharing the products that make it into my morning routine most frequently. If you still have any questions, just leave me a comment below!skincare

1.|| I start my morning routine by wetting a washcloth under hot water, and then placing it (wrung out) over my face. This helps wake me up, increases bloodflow to my skin, and “opens my pores”. I use that term lightly because your pores are not doors that open and close, despite what every pore refining skin treatment on the market wants you to believe. The heat from the washcloth does help unclog and loosen any dirt/bacteria that is clogging my pores, which makes cleansing my face more effective. The pores on your face will appear larger if they are clogged, so if you can visibly see blackheads, clear the little bastards out!

2.| After I’ve steamed my face, I begin washing using either my Clinique Take the Day Off, or my Avalon Organics Vitamin C cleansing milk. I prefer balms and cleansing milks because they are hydrating, and don’t strip my skin of moisture. I also use my Clinique cleansing balm every evening to remove my makeup (even eyes) and as my first cleanse (I double cleanse in the evenings…more on that soon.) I’ll use the Avalon Organics cleanser when my skin is looking dull, or when I’m having any acne issues. The vitamin C helps brighten my complexion and fights acne.

3.||Twice a week I follow-up my cleansing with the Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Paste to exfoliate any dead skin away, which keeps my face smooth and clear of any rough patches. I prefer to exfoliate in the AM because it allows my makeup to apply more smoothly, and prevents my foundation from clinging to any dry patches of skin.

4.|| I often use a cotton pad and my Bioderma Micellar Water to remove any remaining mascara smudges, and as a final cleanse before applying moisturizer. My Bioderma also comes in handy when drawing a cat-eye with liquid liner, and I need to clean up any mistakes and sharpen the line. I use a cotton pad soaked in Bioderma, a clean makeup brush (flat brush), and simply wipe the brush on the pad and then wipe away any eyeliner that you don’t want. You could also use a q-tip, but I find a small makeup brush is more precise.

5.|| I use Origins GinZing eye cream, and I love it! This cream is slightly peachy and reflects light which helps brighten and covers my dark circles. This is the eye cream for tired moms. :-)

6.|| I have combination skin, but during the winter months I tend to be more dry than oily. I use the Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre to hydrate and plump my skin. I purchased this in Paris after hearing review after review from beauty bloggers that I follow. They were right, this stuff is amazing, and so well priced. It’s rich and creamy, and leaves my skin feeling hydrated all day. I wouldn’t recommend this product to anyone with very oily skin. When my skin is looking grey and dull I’ll add Cosmedix Pure C to my moisturizer to brighten and even out skin tone.

7.|| I use Aquaphor on everything. My hands, cuticles, feet, and even my daughters bum when she would get diaper rashes. It’s one of the products that I couldn’t live without. I apply this to my lips every single day; after I brush my teeth in the morning, and before I go to bed at night. 

Many of these products were featured in my 2013 Favorites of the Year, if you want to read more about them.

I’ll post my evening skincare routine for you all soon.

XO – Samantha

My Daily Makeup Routine

I had a few requests lately for my daily skincare and makeup routines, so I put together my everyday/basic makeup must-haves. I will go through my morning and evening skincare routines with you soon.daily makeup routine1.|| Following my skincare routine, I begin my makeup with foundation. I rarely use primer unless I really need my makeup to last a long time, or I’m doing a heavy makeup look and want a perfected complexion. I am currently using Guerlain Lingerie De Peau in 02 Beige Clair.

2.|| I have dark circles as well as visible veins under my eyes, so I prefer a brightening and hydrating concealer for my eye area. I use Loreal’s Magic Lumi in Light. If I’m looking for a more full coverage concealer, I turn to Bobbi Brown’s Color Corrector in bisque.

3.|| I conceal all other blemishes with a matte concealer. Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage concealer is perfect for mixing and matching my skin tone year round. It offers very full coverage.

4.|| I set my concealed areas (under eyes, blemishes) with Make Up For Ever HD Powder. I have dry to combination skin, so I rarely powder my entire face, only where I need it. This powder is made of natural silica, which helps fill in fine lines, and smooths/blurs imperfections.

5.|| I have a round face, so I always contour using my Benefit Hoola Bronzer. I run it under my cheek bones, on my temples and hairline, and under my chin.

6.|| My favorite blush is the Chanel Rose Initial. It offers the perfect flush, but never looks over the top. Just a little on the apples of my cheeks.

7.|| I don’t always apply eyeshadow, especially if I’m just running errands with Camryn, or playing at the park. If/when I do wear eyeshadow, I grab my Urban Decay palettes most often.

8.|| I line my upper lid using Stila’s Stay All Day waterproof liner. I tend to have oily lids, and this eyeliner doesn’t budge. I like to have a cat-eye effect with my liner, and the very thin applicator makes drawing a precise line much easier than most eyeliners I’ve tried.

9.|| Before applying any mascara, I curl my lashes really well. I have stick-straight lashes, and have to apply a waterproof formula first to hold the curl. I have been using The Falsies for as long as I can remember, and I love, love, love it! I prefer the original “black drama” formula.

10.|| If I’m looking to va-va-voom my lashes, I’ll add a coat of Chanel’s Le Volume mascara. Trust me, you only need one coat. The formula is very wet, very volumizing, and creates a dramatic, false lash look. I always get compliments when wearing this mascara.

You may have noticed that my brow routine was left out, and that was for a reason. Eyebrows are so important, and frame your eyes, and I’m always on the hunt for the best products. I’ve been sampling and testing many brow products lately, and will be reviewing my favorites for you soon.

What are your must-have daily makeup items?

XO – Samantha

 

Talia Handler Art + A Peek at My New Hair!

sketch

closeup

painting

bluestache

I met the sweetest, and most crazy talented artist, on Instagram. Her name is Talia Handler (@taliahandlerart), and she went to Parsons School of Design, and dreams of being a childrens wear designer. She draws and paints the most beautiful portraits using photos straight from your IG feed if you want.

I followed her for a couple days, and knew quickly that I wanted her to paint Camryn, so I e-mailed her and let her choose any photo from my Instagram. About a week later, the first sketch popped up in my feed, and then the painting, followed by a close up. I was dying; they turned out even better than I had ever imagined. The painting is so detailed, and rich in color, and blows my mind everytime I look at it. I was so happy that she chose a fun picture of Camryn, and know that it will forever be a conversation starter when people see it. I’m calling it “The blue mustache lady”. :-)

My husband has already claimed it for his office, and it’s currently being matted and framed. I guess I’ll just have to order another picture for myself. :-)

If you are interested in commissioning a piece from Talia or just want to see more of her awesome work, check our her Instagram feed, and her website. You can also e-mail her at trhandle@gmail.com. She’s super nice and will gladly answer any questions you might have. She also offers multiple size options for portraits, and will paint your animals or anything else you might like. These portraits would be an amazing gift for family, and friends, brides, and especially for a new mom. I’m pretty sure my sister-in-law is getting one of these of my teeny tiny nephew when he arrives.

Go say hi, and oohh and ahhh over her art! She also posts pictures of her clothing designs, which look awesome, and I can’t wait for her to launch her line.

In other news…

I had my hair done yesterday! I started posting sneaky pics on IG, but wanted to save the “big reveal” for all of you today. I went to milk + honey salon (and spa) and spent wayyyy too much time showing my stylist pictures and trying to explain what I wanted. Yes, I’m that girl…you know, the one who says stupid things like “I want my hair ombre, but I want it to look really natural”, or “I want to cut my hair, and change things up, but I don’t want to lose any length”…helpful, right? She had me pull up my “hairspiration” pics, and pretty much knew exactly what to do from there. My hair is crazy THICK and LONG, and it turns into a giant knot if you even look at it the wrong way, so she had her work cut out for her.

She started by back combing my hair (I knew right then she was going to have a hell of a time getting those knots out), and then applied 3 different colors/bleaches (I dunno what they were, sorry!) to the ends. I looked like a tin foiled lion for awhile. After she rinsed the bleach, she had to brush out all the knots…she had to call in reinforcement, and it still took awhile, and did not feel awesome on my scalp. I joked that it was a form of torture. ;-) I do not think that madness happens to most people, so don’t be scared to try this, it’s just my hair.

Because I was so nervous, and scared of anything too dramatic, she blended the color really well and kept most of the color to the very ends. I’m in love with how it turned out. IN LOVE.

I made my hubs take pics for me last night, and it was dark outside already, so crappy, indoor (flash) pics are just what you’re gonna have to live with. Ready?!

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Pretty close to my inspiration picture, right?! …and here’s a picture without flash.ombrenoflash

The lighting was creating a red-ish shadow (you can see it on my face and arms too) so my hair looks slightly more auburn/brassy in this pic than it does in real life. She faded the color in so well that you can hardly notice how blonde the ends are, but if I hold them up to my roots it’s a HUGE difference in color. I’ll post more pictures on IG for you all soon. I’ll also update with a photo of our framed blue mustache lady soon.

I hope you’re all having a great week!

XO – Samantha

Your Beauty Questions Answered

SKINCARE
-How many times do you wash your face daily?

I try to wash twice a day, but if I’m being lazy I’ll at least wash once. (I double cleanse when washing my face. Once to remove makeup and dirt, a second time to remove anything left on my skin.)

-What skin type do you have? (dry,oily,combo)

Combo. Oily around my eyelids, and nose, but dry everywhere else. When I’m pregnant I turn into a crazy oil slick.

-What is your current facial wash?

Clinique “Take the day off” to remove makeup, and Cosmedix Purity Cleanse.

-Do you exfoliate?

Yes. My sister recently bought me the Dr. Brandt microdermabrasion paste and it’s amazing! I also use the Ren Glycol Lactic mask. My next mask purchase will be the Rodan + Fields microdermabrasion paste. I tried a sample and seriously fell in love with it.

-What moisturizer do you use?

I try to use a combination of products, especially moisturizers. I’m currently rotating Cosmedix Hydrate Plus, Embryolisse (I could not live without this moisturizer), and Josie Maran Argon Oil at night. I also use Cosmedix Rescue when my skin is dehydrated and needs an overnight overhaul, and it’s like a big drink of water for my face.

Do you use eye creams? / What eye creams do you use?

I have really dark, and already wrinkled skin under my eyes, so eye creams are a MUST. I use Opti Crystal at night, and although it’s quite the investment, it lasts a really long time. You literally need less than a pea sized amount; you need a pin-prick amount under each eye. Here’s a little more on the product: “With liquid crystals to replenish damaged, thinning skin around the eyes and growth factors and alpha lipoic acid to dramatically diminish the appearance of eye lines and wrinkles, Opti Crystal (formerly Eye Believe) is the ultimate tool in anti-aging eye care. A chirally correct blend of protective, corrective and cell-stimulating ingredients, this powerful eye serum actively revitalizes delicate skin for a radiant, younger-looking finish.”

I also use Origins GinZing during the day to hydrate and brighten my under eyes. It has a peachy color which helps conceal blueish circles, and makes you look more rested.

-Do you have freckles?

Yes. My entire face is becoming a freckle. :-(

-Do you or did you have acne prone skin?

I get the occasional hormonal breakout, but my skin rarely gets congested unless I’ve been lazy about exfoliating. When I was a teen and into my early twenties I would get breakouts.

-Did you ever have to use Proactiv?

Yes. I thought the product was amazing at clearing breakouts when I was in my early twenties, but it’s too drying for my skin now.

MAKE-UP
-What foundation do you use?

I use a few different foundations depending on what I’m doing that day, or how fair or dark my skin is. My favorites include: MUFE HD foundation (cult classic, and for good reason), Geurlain Lingerie de Peau foundation (a new favorite), Dr. Jart BB Cream, and Revlon Colorstay whipped.

-How about concealer?

I use the Bobbi Brown Color Corrector under my eyes, and layer the Loreal Magic Lumi over it. For blemishes on the rest of my face I prefer the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage.

-Do you know your undertone color?

Yes, I am neutral – warm. You can check your undertone by looking at the veins on your wrist. If they’re blue you have a cool undertone, green veins mean you’re a warm/yellow undertone, and both means you’re neutral.

-What brand of mascara do you use?

I always use “The Falsies” mascara in waterproof formula, and then layer another mascara over the top. I’ve been loving Chanel’s Le Volume mascara which gives false lash looks.

-Sephora or MAC?

Sephora.

-What makeup tools do you use in make up application?

Brushes mostly, and my fingers.

-Do you use make-up base/primer for the eyes?

Not usually, but if I’m going out at night wearing a lot of eye makeup I will.

-For the face?

Rarely.

-What is your favorite eyeshadow (color or shade)?

Naked 1 Palette. Naked Lunch by Mac. Stilla Kitten.

-Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner?

Liquid.

-How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?

Never. Mascara wand on the other hand…

-What do you think of pigment eyeshadows?

Messy.

-Do you use mineral makeup?

Bare Minerals when my face isn’t overly dehydrated. It tends to dry my skin out, so I prefer dewy looking foundations.

-What is your favorite lipstick?

Rimmel’s Airy Fairy - Your lips but better.

-How about lipgloss?

Chanel’s Glossimers

-What is your favorite blush to use?

Chanel Rose Initial

-Do you like drugstore makeup?

Yes. Rimmel is my favorite drugstore brand.

-Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?

Not usually, no. Trying to create a cat winged liner, yes.

-Do you like colorful shades of makeup (lipstick,eyeshadow) or neutral ones?

Mostly Neutral. I prefer makeup that enhances your features.

-If you could leave the house using just ONE make up item,what would you use?

Concealer.

-Do you ever leave home without makeup?

Umm yes, I’m a mom.

-Do you think you look good even without any makeup on?

Umm, no.

-What is your favorite makeup line?

I’m loving Geurlain recently, and I always love Chanel. Nars has been a longtime love, as has Rimmel.

Phew! That was a lot of questions! I hope I answered some of the big questions that you guys have had lately. Please leave questions below and I’ll answer them all in a future post.

XO – Samantha

2013 Beauty Favorites

Happy New Years!! Wow, 2014…It’s so cliche to say, but the last year came and went in a blink…a beautiful, memorable, fun, and adventurous, blink.

I posted a photo collage of my favorite moments in 2013 over on my instagram, so check those out if you want to see what my life (pre-blog) looked like.

I wanted to share all my favorite beauty products from the last year with you; the items I repurchase over and over again, and would hate to ever live without. I broke things into sections, and linked to everything that I could. What are your must-have products?

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 9.46.14 PM

HAIR

DermOrganics Hair Oil - This is what keeps my hair healthy & glossy…for those of you who ask me constantly. Shhh…top secret info! ;-)
It’s a 10 Leave-In Conditioner + Keratin
The Sultra Bombshell Curling Wand 1″

Wet Brush

SKIN CARE
Clarisonic
Origins GinZing Eye Cream
 
Cosmedix Pure C - antioxidant rich crystals (dot powder over blemishes or discolored areas and be AMAZED when they begin disappearing. Great for adding to your everyday moisturizer.)
Ren Glycolactic Exfoliating Mask
Embryolisse Moisturizer (Discovered in Paris, and hooked ever since. This stuff is so hydrating, and feels beautiful on the skin.)
Blistex Deep Renewal

BODY
St. Tropez Self Tanning Mouse
Laura Mercier Body Souffle
Organic Coconut Oil - I love using coconut oil around my eyes when they’re extra dry, and all over my body after I’ve shaved and exfoliated.
Aquaphor - I literally could NOT live without this. I put it on dry lips, my feet when they’re dry from wearing flip-flops all summer, my daughters diaper rashes, and on any other dry or irritated skin.

NAILS
Formula X by Sephora Nail Polish
Seche Vite Top Coat
 
Revlon Gray Suede

MAKEUP
Guerlain Lingerie De Peau
YSL Touche Eclat OR L’Oreal Magic Lumi
Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage
chanel-bronze-universal-chanel1587Chanel Bronze Universal
Nars Orgasm Blush

MUFE HD Microfinish Powder

Dior Shimmer Star Highlighting Powder – Amber Diamonds
Naked2 Palette
Stilla Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner
Shiseido Eyelash Curler
The Falsies Mascara - I curl my lashes and then apply 1 coat of this mascara in the WATERPROOF formula, which helps keep my lashes curled. I then apply a coat of Chanel’s Volume de Chanel mascara over this for big, long, dramatic lashes. (Skip the chanel mascara for everyday looks)

Le Volume de Chanel Mascara
Anastasia Brow Wiz
Chanel Glissimer Lip Gloss

PERFUME

Miss Dior

Michael Kors

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb

Those are all the products I love, and have been using for the last year+, and will continue using throughout the new year. I always love trying new products, and will undoubtedly discover new loves to share with all of you in 2014.

On a side note, I just want you all to know how amazing the past few months have been for me, and what an incredible impact this blog and all of you reading it have had on me. I’ve met some of the sweetest ladies, blogged on some pretty awesome blogs, and worked with companies that put out the coolest products. All of the comments, tweets, and interactions on facebook and instagram mean so very much to me, and I just love getting to know all of you. I started blogging to create a happy place where people with similar interests as me could get together, chat, and support each other, and I’m SO in awe of all of you who are making that dream come true for me. I’ve always been a little shy in large crowds, and never really put myself “out there”, so starting this blog was a big leap for me but I’m so glad I jumped! You guys are constantly building each other up, supporting one anothers goals, and just making this little corner of the internet a happier place. For all of you, I am grateful. 2014 is going to be a really, really good year.

Happy New Years Friends!

XO – Samantha

$100 Sephora Giveaway

Happy Holidays Everyone! Only 2 more days until Christmas!! :-)

My husband, Sister, Brother-in-law, and I took Camryn to see the “Trail of Lights” here in Austin for the first time last night, and so did everyone else in Texas. It was packed!!

trailoflightsOn Saturday we had a package delivered (Overnighted…Saturday delivery…very important) from Tiffany & Co. I went to go open it and realized it was NOT my name on the package. Noooooo!!! I called Tiffany’s and they apologized and are sending a manager to my house, an hour away from the nearest Tiffany store, to pick it up. The box is sitting on my counter, staring at me, begging me to open it. Why are you not addressed to me?! Ha!

We are visiting my husbands grandparents tonight, and then we’ll be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my sister and BIL. My mom and her husband arrive on the 26th, my birthday….25 again this year ;-), and they’ll be staying with us for a few days. I’ll still be instagramming and on twitter, but today will be my last blog post for a few days.

I had intended on running 3 more small giveaways between last Friday and Christmas Day, but I want to combine those and do one last BIG giveaway.We all love Sephora, right? My final Giveaway of 2013 is a $100 Sephora gift card!! All entries will be verified, so please make sure you’re completing all entry requirements. Many of the previous winners had not met all requirements, and a new winner had to be chosen, so don’t let that be you.

I hope you all have the very best Christmas!! I’ve starting compiling a list of all my favorite products of 2013, so I’ll be sharing those with you very soon. There are so many amazing products to share with you, I might need to vlog it.

XO – Samantha

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Influenster: Jolly Vox Box

The nice people at Influenster sent me some complimentary goodies this week to test out and I thought I’d share my thoughts with all of you. You’re probably wondering what Influenster is, and why they’re sending me free stuff…Influenster creates a bridge between companies and bloggers (or youtubers, etc). If you’re a blogger, vlogger, or just have a large social network, then Influenster might be of interest to you.

influensterThis is my “Jolly Vox Box”, as they call it, which contained:

Rimmel London Show Off Lip Lacquer

NYC HD Color Trio Eyeshadow

Ducklings Mini (duck tape) Rolls

Skinny Cow Candy

Puffs Tissues

What an awesome surprise this was! All of the products are full-sized, which is great because sometimes it’s hard to really test a product off a sample. Things like skincare especially need full-size or generous sized samples.

I busted open the skinny cow chocolates first, of course, and they are so yummy! They have peanut butter filling and taste a lot like a reese’s peanut butter cup. These are the perfect late night snack when your sugar cravings kick in.

I’ve been wearing the NYC eyeshadows the last few days and I’m really impressed. I knew I would like the NYC eyeshadows because I’ve tried other palettes of theirs before. I am really loving the neutral colors in this palette, called Long Beach Sands, because they are slightly shimmery, and easy to wear day-to-day. They are a little bit chalky in comparison to a higher end palette like Naked’s, but have good color payoff and are a bargain.

I’ve also been wearing the Rimmel Lip Lacquer, and no surprise, I love this product. Rimmel is easily my favorite drug store brand, and I frequently order products online from them that aren’t available here in the US. The “Wake-me-up” foundation and concealer are two of my favorite products from them. I was actually lucky enough to try this lip lacquer prior to them sending it to me because I snagged one on my trip to Paris. You guys know I watch beauty videos on Youtube, and I had heard all my favorite girls raving about this product, so I had to get my hands on it ASAP. I had purchased “Big Bang” which is a gorgeous red, and I was just sent “Aurora” which is a beautiful pinky mauve. These lip lacquers aren’t sticky, they stay glossy for a really long time, and leave behind a beautiful stain so you don’t have to reapply constantly. I would compare them to the YSL glossy stains.

The Puff tissues are a no-brainer. I buy them constantly to keep in my purse, and they always come in handy, especially with a 2 year old. If you’ve never used a Puffs tissue, you’ve been living on another planet.

The Mini Duckling tape is so fun, and Camryn and I have been using it to craft this week. I got a paint splatter effect that is bright and colorful. These would be great alternatives to washi-tape for crafting, and I’ll be using mine to tape gift cards into Christmas cards this year. Speaking of Christmas….is it seriously less than a week away?! AHHHHH!! I’m in full-on panic mode now, and shopping and wrapping gifts like a mad woman.

Have you guys tried any of these products? Bloggers, are you Influenster members? What fun goodies have you received and enjoyed?

Have you entered all this weeks giveaways? Click on the “Giveaways” to the right of your screen to view all posts containing giveaways.

Come visit me over on My Simple Kitchen. I’m reviewing the food delivery company “Plated”, and cooking white bean chicken chili.

XO – Samantha

Lust List: 12/12

Lust List Image1.|| I’m co-hosting a giveaway for a beautiful Bindya scarf with Lulu of Simply Lulu Style today, so come say hi and enter to win!

2.|| Urban Decay released their Naked3 palette, featuring rose hued neutrals. I own both the Naked1 & Naked2 palettes and love them. (Naked1 is my favorite of the two, if you’re curious) The palette sells for $52 and features 12 NEW shades that are exclusive to this palette. I am not a fan of the packaging, which is the same as the 2nd palette. I do love their brushes though, and use mine everyday for my concealer (not for applying their eyeshadows).

3.|| I ordered kitty cat shoes from Daily Look for myself to match the ones that I bought from Old Navy for Camryn. I also bought her the fox ones, just because I know they’ll make me laugh every time I see her wear them.

4.|| This interview with Susan Petersen of Freshly Picked is so inspiring.

5.|| I’m loving this indian inlay stencil by Cutting Edge Stencils and really want to get my hands on one. Wouldn’t this be awesome on a console table?

6.|| I ordered this darling sweatshirt from GreyThread on Etsy for my tiny lady. Go check out Nichole’s etsy shop, she has a ton of super cute apparel, like this other shirt I bought Camryn.

7.|| Popular mens brand, Bonobos, is launching AYR for women.

8.|| 7th Day of Christmas Giveaway!! Win a manicure kit containing the ever-so-popular Seche Vite topcoat, Seche Vite’s Iconic Red nail polish, Absolute! nail polish removing pads in spring fresh scent, and an Apricot Vanilla hand cream. Enter to win below. Don’t forget to go enter Day 5, and Day 6 before they end.

Have a great weekend!

XO – Samantha

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How To: Wash Your Makeup Brushes

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We all wash our faces daily (at least I hope you do) and we spend so much time and money on our skin care regimens, but so often our makeup brushes get overlooked. Just like we cleanse the dirt and makeup from our skin, we need to regularly cleanse our brushes for the same reasons. Not only are these tools touching your delicate skin on a day-to-day basis, but they’re often times being dipped into your makeup.

These are the brushes I use most frequently, and tend to wash on a weekly basis. I also have a 2 year old who thoroughly enjoys playing in her makeup (aka chapsticks and clean makeup brushes) so I’m often having to wash more makeup brushes than I actually use in a week. Her little face is dirty, so makeup or not, her brushes get cleaned too.

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I am NOT a fan of cleaning my brushes. It’s a chore, just like doing dishes, and often times my brushes will still be damp the next morning, but it’s a necessary evil. If anyone has any tips or tricks to offer, leave me a comment!!

To cleanse my brushes I use Blender Cleanser, which can be purchased through Sephora. You could also use baby shampoo, or other brush cleansers (MAC sells some). I use warm water, a pea sized amount of cleanser in the palm of my hand, and then I swirl my brush in it and rinse. If you’re washing foundation brushes you’ll likely need to repeat this step until the water runs clear. Squeeze all the water from your brush and reshape them, and then lay flat to dry on a clean towel. Smaller brushes will typically be dry within a few hours, but larger brushes will take overnight. Clean a Beauty Blender in a similar fashion by applying a pea sized amount of cleanser to the soiled area of your blender, and lather and rinse until water runs clear. Set on towel to dry.

Here are a few of my favorite makeup brushes & cleanser (which are featured above):

RT-TRAVEL-ESSENTIALS-002Real Techniques Travel Essentials

I love the domed shadow brush for applying my under eye concealer, and the multi-task brush for my bronzer.

Blender Cleanser

Beauty Blender

Flawless foundation and concealer application.

These 3 amazing items are part of todays GIVEAWAY, valued at over $50! Enter below. Good Luck!

XO – Samantha

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