Saturday, August 24, 2013

Blissful Polish Combo: OPI "Princesses Rule!" & OPI "Suzi and the Lifeguard"

I remember, years ago, when I became obsessed with makeup products and nail polish, I saw a swatch of OPI's "Princesses Rule!" and became determined to purchase my own bottle. It is a light, sheer pink full of wonderfully sparkly glass flecks that reflect light in the most gorgeous, mesmerizing way.

I set out to find it, scouring shelves at every establishment near me that sold OPI. Despite my determination, I could not find the polish anywhere. I gave up my search about a year ago and resolved to be content with the various sparkly light pink polishes I could find.

 I was very delighted and surprised this afternoon when I found a bottle of this coveted polish at Target! It was a cool, unexpected discovery that I am really pleased with.

I applied the polish as soon as I got home. I found it to be a little sheer, so I applied OPI's "Suzi and the Lifeguard", a pale frosty pink that is far more opaque, underneath "Princesses Rule!" to achieve the color I wanted.

The effect is, if I do say so myself, magical. Something about it is so ethereal, so unique. Colors like this make me feel delighted every time I peek at my hands. The beauty and feeling the color gives me  seeps into my psyche and unleashes my imagination and creativity. This color is a definite mood enhancer!

What nail polish colors enhance your life? What colors are really good at conveying and expressing moods?

Let me know!

Friday, August 23, 2013

21 Day Yoga/Run Challlenge! A Mile a Day Keeps the Doctor Away...

Today I started my mile-a-day challenge. I first heard about this challenge via a blog post from Lululemon, and it really inspired me. I think a main point of this challenge is to practice consistency, one of the most integral qualities of a successful workout plan.  It is amazing how our minds work against us, how it  can convince us that getting out of bed  takes superhuman effort one day and how it can encourage us to run a marathon the next. The most important aspect of this challenge is that you are moving every single day with no opportunities to talk yourself out of it, and no opportunities for burn out since it's such a reasonable daily goal.

I am going to run at least a mile every day from today (Aug 23rd) until September 12th. I am also participating in Yoga Journal's 21 day yoga challenge concurrently. You can sign up for the free challenge here! This is a challenging (yet achievable) goal that, I hope, will encourage me to dedicate a portion of every day to improving my cardiovascular health, flexibility, and mental clarity and happiness. While I know a mile isn't a terribly long distance, I hope that I will run more on days I feel up for it and at least a mile on the days  I don't want to move at all.

I encourage anyone reading to also participate in this month-long challenge towards building exercise habits into ones' life. Regardless of how busy one is, it is incredibly important to make time for movement. It connects you to yourself and your body in a way that has the potential to alter your life for the better. I will update this blog on how I am doing and what I face along the way, and that will hopefully make it an even more rewarding experience.

What are you waiting for? Lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement with me. :)

Tea Tree Oil: Impressive Acne Treatment!

I have had this stubborn acne on the side of my face that would not respond to any typical acne treatment. I used benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and clindamycin gel on it to no avail. Finally, my friend gave me the idea to use tea tree oil as a spot treatment, so I began applying it before bed two days ago. Much to my surprise, my acne began to heal immediately. I can't get over how well this worked out for me, so I thought I should share it with the world. I know I am not the first to discover the healing, acne-fighting benefits of tea tree oil, but I can certainly act as another proponent of its effectiveness!

This has sparked a desire within me to learn about all of the beneficial health effects that essential oils offer. I am planning on researching on what oils I can use to help manage a variety of ailments that western medicine doesn't seem to have a helpful answer for. Anxiety, muscle cramps, headaches, and depression all come to mind.  I am prepared to dive into the world of alternative medicine! Let me know what your suggestions are. :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Current Personal Trend: Minimalistic Makeup

I love glamorous makeup. For a period of time, I wouldn't feel like "myself" if I didn't  have liquid liner on. I still love makeup that is somewhat dramatic and noticeable, but lately I've begun to form an appreciation for makeup that is so minimal it is almost invisible -- but not quite.

There's just enough color to accentuate, just enough pigment here and there to bring out the shape of one's eyes, one's lips, the fullness of one's cheeks -- but not enough to look powdery, chalky, or flaky. The goal here is to allow the makeup to melt into one's skin, to effectively allow it to work with it instead of against it.

I achieve this by using very few products. My makeup routine consists of the following:

0. Moisturizer (very important!) I am using Garnier's moisturizer for dry skin, which is not anything special. Any other moisturizer will probably work just as well.

1. BB Cream/ Moisturizing skin tone corrector. Shiseido Perfect Hydrating BB Cream -- Great because of its moisturizing properties and its superior sun protection.

2. Light, brightening concealer. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind  Dark Circle Eraser- This is a very light concealer, very moisturizing, too!

3. Bronzer. I'm using Dior bronzer in "Honey Tan". It is really great because it is matte, but other than that it is a little more orange than I would prefer. I am trying to use it up, however, so it's doing the trick at the moment! I only use bronzer because it works to shape and add color to my face. Blushes that are anything but the color you turn when you naturally blush tend to look artificial (as much as I love them!) so I prefer to just use bronzer to subtly contour my face.

4. Powder to set and de-shine. Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder- This powder is very finely milled and invisible on the skin. Of course, one must apply it with a  light hand in order to ensure it doesn't take away from the natural nature of the makeup.

5. L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes- This stuff is my absolute favorite mascara. It fans out your lashes, applies just the right amount of product EVENLY to them, and is easy to layer coats to attain the level of drama you desire.

6. (Optional) Black/Brown pencil liner. Sometimes I will apply the tiniest bit of black pencil liner to the outer third of my lower lash line and blend it until it looks like its a part of my skin in order to accentuate my eyes. This is a little more dramatic than my super minimalistic look, so I'm marking this step as optional.

6. Lip Balm. Fresh's Sugar Rose lip balm - This stuff is really great because it gives your lips a very subtle hint of color while also moisturizing them for hours. Tinted lip balms are the best, in my opinion, for a no-fuss, casual yet polished effect.

The key to getting the makeup to "melt" properly into your skin is to  blend it out as much as possible. I use my fingers to apply the BB cream, and this works really well because the natural heat from my hands heats up the product to my skin temperature and therefore allows it to immediately blend into my skin. I also use my ring finger to blend the under eye concealer. If I use black liner, I spend more time blending the liner under and into my lash line than I spend actually applying it. Again, when I apply the bronzer, I use a small amount and blend it very consciously. When it comes to mascara, I make sure that I don't leave any clumps, and I take extra care to ensure that every lash is separated as much as possible. Nothing is more obvious than spidery lashes!

While the minimal look does take more  time than one might expect due to the blending, it still takes considerably less time than it does to apply a normal full face of makeup!

What are your go-to makeup products that give you that polished yet natural look? Let me know. :)