Beauty Favorites for Summer!

It may not be officially summer, but here in California it is in full swing! We’ve already had two 100 degree days and there’s probably more to come, so no matter where you live, if you are looking to stay looking great without much effort, I got you.

Though I am a makeup junkie, the hot weather makes me want to pare back on the amount of products I use for a fresher looking face. So far, these products have made it into my “Go To” drawer for summer! It’s a mix of budget friendly and higher end goodies.

  1. FAVE FOUNDATION: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer. 

neutrogena foundation

Though technically this is a tinted moisturizer, it does build to a medium coverage if you want that extra cover. It’s lightweight, not greasy, and the color stays true throughout the day. I especially like that it includes a SPF 20 to help with sun protection and Retinol for anti aging (great for my late 40s skin!). I have sensitive skin and have to be picky about my foundations, but this does the trick for a lightweight, dewy (but not oily) finish without breakouts! Budget friendly, ranging from $8-12, depending on the vendor. The only downside? It comes in 6 shades, and I feel there could be more deeper shades offered.

Here is a pic with me wearing it! My skin still shows through, but I’m still evened out. Note: I do use primer with this, so there’s less likelihood of it melting away.

ALSO – Neutrogena’s Clear Face Liquid Sunscreen in SPF 55 is a MUST for my Irish fair skin!

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2. MOISTURIZER – GLAM GLOW  Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer

Glam Glow Glowstarter

Nude Glow

I discovered this moisturizer from a sample in my Sephora PLAY subscription, and I LOVE it. Available in three shades (Nude Glow- above, Pearl Glow, and Sun Glow), this moisturizer not only hydrates my skin, but also adds a healthy warmth to my color without me looking “self tanned.” I use Nude Glow for that effect, plus I like it to give myself that Victoria’s Secret model “is she wearing makeup” look (and yeah, they do!).

A jar IS pricey – anywhere from $39-$49. You can also get the mini from Sephora for $15, or just ask for a sample to try!

I wore this with just a little concealer, mascara, and nude lip color when we were on a date!

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3. MASCARA – Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir and Loreal Voluminous Lash Paradise (tie)

Who doesn’t love a great mascara? Even if you are not a big makeup person, mascara opens the eyes and makes you look more awake. Depending on what you want from a mascara, there’s a ton of options (thicken, darken, lengthen..), but these two are the ones I’ve been using the most lately. Both are long wearing but easy to remove with a makeup wipe or cleanser, non irritating, and don’t dry out your lashes. Both have great wands to build your look and easily coat those hard-to-get-right lower lashes!

The big difference between the two is the price – Marc Jacobs retails from $20-$26, Loreal ranges from $9-$12. What makes Marc Jacobs worth the purchase is it gives you the “are those real?” lashes while still looking natural. Either way, you can’t go wrong with these.

marc jacobs

Lash Paradise

4. Finishing Spray – Urban Decay All Nighter and E.L.F. Makeup & Set Finishing Spray

A finishing spray is a MUST if you are planning to be out for several hours without access to a makeup touch up, or if you are in a warmer climate. Both of these sprays have worked very well for me; but if I had to pick just one it would be Urban Decay’s All Nighter. This sealed in my makeup without any weird fragrance or making my skin feel tight. No creasing of my foundation or eye shadow for HOURS.

Urban Decay

Downside? It is expensive for a full size bottle ($33), but it will last a long time. I usually stick with the small size ($15) because it’s easy for travel.

Don’t have the budget for that? No worries! I bought E.L.F.’s Makeup Mist & Set spray and it worked almost as well as Urban Decay’s spray. The main difference would be it does have an alcohol smell and you have to spray it lightly, or it could feel a bit sticky to the skin. Best part? It’s only $4-$6:)

ELF spray

And there you have it! These are the types of items I’m reaching for over and over again during this warmer weather. What are some Must Haves for your summer beauty regimen? 

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post. Everything is my own opinion from my experiences!

Until next time –

Love, laughter, and lipstick,

Melanie.

The Truth About Getting Older!

Hello Lovelies,

I think the month of January ran by me without my realizing it. My every day life has been incredibly busy for a month straight – between teaching, doing parties, and now launching a new business with makeup and skin care (more to come on that later!!), I think my body decided to revolt!

Some of you know that I’ve become pretty passionate about getting healthy. For almost a year, I’ve watched my diet and worked out at least 3-4 times a week, focusing on a cardio/weight lift circuit. It’s worked out great, as I’ve lost 33 pounds. Pretty nifty keen, if I say so myself!

March 2016

March 2016

January 2017

January 2017

But here’s the thing. Though I am stronger and more fit, somehow my body decided maybe I was trying to do too much and as a result, my sciatic nerve GOT MAD last Saturday morning and the Hubby and I spent most of the day at the emergency room. So, imagine my frustration when I am told to rest for a few days and take medications for pain. UGH!

Besides all that, I am realizing that my eye sight is going downhill. More and more I am having to rely on my reading glasses – and that’s not such a bad thing, as my glasses are kinda cute, but damn….it means I am definitely getting older!

I want to tell all young women out there – CHERISH your bodies. Love them as they are; don’t wish for something else. Now that I am in my mid 40s, my beauty routine has become much more elaborate to fight gravity. More supportive bras, firming creams, regular masks and facials. Yes, I know – we all get older. However, it doesn’t mean I have to just let gravity and stress tell the story of my life! Call me vain, but I want to look as young as my heart feels.

Dress. LuLaRoe. Bag, Just Fab. Necklace, Premier Designs.

Dress. LuLaRoe. Bag, Just Fab. Necklace, Premier Designs.

I take care of my skin. No longer do I trust just anything to put on it – chemicals make me red and the inflammation ends up breaking down cells, causing loss of tone and creating wrinkles. I discovered a professional grade skincare and makeup line, LimeLight by Alcone, which uses no chemicals, is free of parabens, plus is cruelty free (which I especially love!). Check out my before and after! You can see more at my Facebook page: Giving Good Face by Melanie! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1069186336560621/

Left, last December. Right, Feb 3 2017 after using LimeLight by Alcone's skin care and makeup consistently. No photoshop or filters!

Left, last December. Right, Feb 3 2017 after using LimeLight by Alcone’s skin care and makeup consistently. No photoshop or filters!

So yes – physically, aging sucks. Over time, things wear out. However, one thing I know is true: With age, comes wisdom. I don’t get sucked into others’ dramas, I focus on what’s really important to me and my family, I believe kindness is much more effective and needed, and true friendships are precious and few. I have no patience for toxic people or situations.

Getting older has given me more confidence. I say what I mean, and mean what I say. I don’t have time for games. If I want to try something, I will do it. Appeasing others to save face doesn’t interest me. The cliche’ of “life is too short” becomes very clear as one gets older.

So, yes I’ll have to do more physical therapy, wear glasses more frequently, maybe pass on more commitments to reduce stress. However, I’ve got one life and I want to live it the best I can!

Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo, Melanie:)

 

Resurrecting My You Tube Channel!

 

Hey lovelies!

How has your week been? It’s been a bit up and down for me, as I ended up having to get a molar pulled this morning (yuck!). So, I’m all drugged up with nothing to do on a Friday night – except I can devote some time to you!

Anyway, I have a You Tube channel that I recently brought back from the dead by making a new video! Now, I don’t have a fancy pants camera or special lighting, but I do my best to be entertaining. Here I reveal some tricks on looking younger and taking care of the skin!

I review the fantastic Younique magic lashes, Josie Maran Argan Oil, and Acure Moisturizer.  Please check it out and let me know what you think!

Here’s a look I rocked a few days ago – a new dress from my London shopping at Primark! Five pounds for this dress! Oh yeah.

Working it with a Forever 21 cardigan.

Working it with a Forever 21 cardigan.

Primark leopard 2

 

My FIFTY CENT clutch from a thrift market!

My FIFTY CENT clutch from a thrift market!

Hubby is really getting good at pics!

Hubby is really getting good at pics!

What are YOU rockin’ this weekend? Let me know!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.