If I had to pick one thing that I’ve struggled with during my career as a Makeup Artist it would be eyeliner. Whether it’s doing it on myself or a client, winged, or ultra-tight to the lash line it has not always been easy. Perhaps you might feel the same? With so many women on Social Media making it appear that liner is an easy finesse; it can be hard to figure out what is going to work best for you. Luckily some friends of mine (at Positive Health Wellness) have broken the skill of liner down to an easy to follow guide. The guide explains how eye shape and other factors can contribute to the overall look you want to achieve. I’m like where was this in 2013! Check out The All in One Eyeliner Tips You Should Know.
If you’ve been here a while then you know I love my skincare; nearly as much as I love my makeup. A brand rep for skin visited my Sephora once and said, “You gotta treat before you beat.” I don’t know if she was the first to say this but it’s definitely brilliant. I literally want it framed in my beauty space. So today I want to share a skincare “hack” (so to speak) with you.
I know we all know about free samples, but do you know how to take the best advantage of them? I personally use any perks, points, or coupons I receive toward skincare. That may come as a shock to some of you, but skincare can be expensive, right? I have so many clients that tell me part of the reason they don’t invest in their skin is because they would rather spend their 52 bucks on the newest Naked palette. I get it. I’m a cosmetics junkie too! But your skin is so important; it is what you put all of that makeup on!
So here are a handful of my tricks for picking up samples of high priced skincare goodies.
1. Nordstrom Beauty: They always offer 3 complimentary samples at the end of your transaction! Pick all the skincare ones. You won’t regret it. I just used three and would never have discovered the magic that is Kiehl’s Hydro Plumping serum with it. If you’re a card holder…don’t forget to use your Nordstrom Notes on the really expensive full sizes you’ll want to purchase later on.
2. Ulta: No doubt most of you have shopped here, but when you shop online they always give a choice of samples. I almost always pick the Skincare Sampler. It’s not as luxurious as what you get from Nordstrom, but there are some useful items in there. Don’t forget about Ulta’s 21 days of Beauty…there are always pricey skincare products on sale during that time. It started on September 3rd and ends the 23rd. Not a freebie but saves green!
3. Sephora: Just like Nordstrom you can always get 3 free samples from Sephora during checkout when you shop online. However, there are some other little tricks that you may not know about. For instance: did you know that Sephora offers free 15 minute mini facials at all of their locations? This is a great way to try that $100 eye cream from Dior you’ve had your eye on! They also give 3 free samples every day of the week. Each client can have as many as 3 every day if you like. Now the employees may think you’re a bit excessive but they can’t stop you from getting them. Lastly, if you’re a Beauty Insider you can turn over your points for reward items and there is always skincare available.
That’s all of the ammo in my arsenal. Let me know if any of you decide to try any of these tricks. I’d love to hear about your experience!
Last Friday, August 25, 2017 Hurricane Harvey touched down in the Texas Coast and lay waste in its wake. Many South Texas cities, including Houston are submerged under feet of water. People have lost their lives, become separated from family and loved ones, and helpless animals have been left behind. Billions of dollars of destruction has been done to people’s homes and businesses, but the simple silver lining to all of this has been the goodness of people willing to help other people. Actress and Philanthropist, Sandra Bullock said of the situation, “There are no politics in 8 feet of water. There are human beings in 8 feet of water.” With such turmoil in the past few months where politics and racism have ruled the media airwaves; it is refreshing to see members of the HUMAN race help one another simply because we are all blood and bone at the end of the day.
For the first time in a while I am proud to be a human being. Not just a vessel capable of love and compassion but a real person who can act on those emotions in the face of adversity and in times of rejoicing. If you feel so inclined please donate anything you have (even if it is not monetary) to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Even if you cannot today, in the coming weeks let’s not forget about them. The road to recovery is going to be a long one. I myself plan to donate to the Red Cross next Wednesday when I get my next paycheck. Let’s keep being human and fighting for one another!
I will now step down from my soapbox…with all seriousness I haven’t felt much like blogging about anything because I’ve been down lately. It started before the hurricane for me because my health has been an issue. My migraines have gotten worse, but in light of other’s current situation I am thankful to have a bed to lie in when one comes on. Beauty may not be the most important topic in the world right now since we have half a state under water, pain and suffering, Korea bombings, and a Cheeto for a President to worry about, but it is how some of us keep our sanity!
Charlotte TIllbury recently launched her new line of liquid lipsticks. From what I understand, she has used these products on her celebrity clients for years but is finally letting us regular consumers in on them. At the moment I believe they can only be purchased at Nordstrom and Beautylish. I purchased mine from Nordie’s and selected two colors I felt would look medium-deep skin appropriate: Showgirl and Too Bad I’m Bad. Beautylish has photo swatches of both light and deep skin tones for each shade so you can get a good idea of how they will look.
The lipsticks come in 10 shades total at the moment and I feel it’s a good variety of pinks, nudes, and reds to start. My favorite thing about these liquid lips is the wand! It has such a strange shape and at first I will admit I was put off by it. Then I figured out it helps hug the lips for the perfect application. The formula has a creamy mousse like texture, very similar to how the Ofra Cosmetics liquid lips feel but more hydrating. These lipsticks also do not dry down to a crunchy matte finish. They don’t have any sheen or shine to them but they don’t emphasize cracks in the lips either.
They are very comfortable to wear and I found that they do leave a slight bit of tackiness to the lips behind but it isn’t unbearable, and it is mostly felt if you press your lips together. I have not had any longevity issues with the product so far. Each color lasts about 6-8 hours depending on how much eating or drinking you do. I did find that one color, Showgirl, was slightly more opaque in application than the other, Too Bad I’m Bad. Keep in mind though that my lips are very pigmented and sometimes their pigmentation pops through no matter the color. Overall, I genuinely like these lipsticks and would purchase them in more colors. Not to mention the Rose Gold packaging is so cute and looks super classy! Have you tried them yet?
Last week I shared a bit of what is going on in my professional world. I am still not satisfied with my Full Time job. Notice, I refer to it as a job as in most definitely NOT a career. At the moment I have submitted my resume to Media Bistro for a free evaluation, received said evaluation, and I am working on re-crafting it from the ground up. If you’ve never heard of Media Bistro…stop reading this right now and Google them. They are a fabulous company that provides employment resources. They specialize in working with individuals who would like to be in a Media related field (film, web design/programming, content creation, photography), but there are tons of good tips on their website for those just wanting to improve materials for job seeking. I will continue to keep you guys posted on where I am on my journey just in case it helps any of you figure out what your next steps will be.
Now that we’ve gotten the appetizers out of the way let’s get to the main course. Apparently I am hungry so just go with me here! I watched a movie over the weekend that I liked so much; I ordered it on Amazon as soon as it was over. That is a rare thing for me. I love movies and have seen a ton, but usually prefer old stuff (I’m talking black and white) over new stuff. Saturday evening I actually finished my shift at Sephora by 6:00. I completely didn’t know what to do with myself getting off work that early so I grabbed food and decided to watch a movie, which I also never have the time to do.
Naturally I checked Netflix first to see what was new. When nothing there piqued my interested I hit the Hulu button my Roku and they just released Nerve with Emma Roberts and Dave Franco. Admittedly, I remember seeing the preview to the film last year (it came out October 2016) and writing it off as just another teeny bopper film I would only watch, so I could drool over one of the Franco brothers (so sexy) for 90 minutes of my life. I punched the play button and started munching away at my Kroger Select Cookies and Cream.
It took about 15 minutes for me to realize I was very wrong. As the plot begins to unfold you realize Vee [played by Roberts] is more than your average “good girl, gone bad” and that Nerve is like Truth or Dare without the truth plus it’s on steroids. Without giving too much of the film’s stunning progression or ending away; I will say it ends up speaking volumes about what voyeurs our society has become. When was a collective decision made that it is okay to invade every facet of a person’s life simply because a camera makes it available for viewing?
Despite the strong message if you’re still looking for that fun aspect it has it. The film is non-stop once the action begins. From streaking through Bergdorf Goodman to laying on railroad tracks as a moving train goes overhead the stunts will not leave you disappointed. I was also pleasantly surprised to see other major actors/actresses in the film alongside Roberts and Franco. Juliette Lewis plays Vee’s mom, two Orange is the New Black regulars (Samira Wiley and Kimiko Glenn), and rapper MGK plays a rival Nerve contestant.
The film also has 4.5 stars on Amazon if that forces your hand any. If that doesn’t convince you and you still want to watch because Dave Franco is beyond nice to look at; I don’t blame you! Did I mention he spends 25% of the film on a really cool motorcycle?! (Insert Swoon here)
Last week was more than hectic. It was downright depressing. A few things hit me all at once and “real talk” I just wasn’t in a good headspace to write. If you know me (IRL) then you know I’m an open book with writing on every page and in the margins so I’ll share a couple of the conclusions I came to about where I am at this point. 1) I am not doing enough of what makes me happy. 2) I am not currently challenging myself to change my situation.
Those may not seem like much to some, but at the moment they are the center of my world. With that said, next week’s post will likely be one where I share what steps I’ve started to take to move forward on rectifying the aforementioned. Today’s post is one I’ve wanted to share with you guys though because I feel it’s a must. Without further delay…here is what I purchased at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!
I have this exact blazer in a maroon/oxblood shade that I purchased from The Rack at a fraction of the cost. I love that thing so much that I didn’t mind paying triple of the clearance price to get this season’s version in black. It fits like a glove and the knitted material doesn’t suffocate my (newly acquired) fat arms.
It wouldn’t even be one of my posts if it didn’t include a beauty product right? I saw a review of this set on Temptalia’s blog and the colors looked too good to pass up. Hey, I may work at Sephora but that hasn’t slowed down my shopping for cosmetics from all brands.
Girl! (Or Boy) When I tell you that I had to wait a day and refresh my browser like 50 million times to get this top in the size (Medium) and color (Chili) that I wanted I am not kidding. When I finally managed it I didn’t even care that it was a separate order but the good news is…it is out for delivery today with my first order!
Needless to say I did the fool by signing up to become a Nordie’s card holder after the sale began so I missed out on early access which also means I missed out on first dibs on the good stuff. There is always, next year now that I do have a card. I pretty much live in my local Nordstrom Rack since it’s around the corner from my office job. Despite the fact that I shopped the anniversary sale I still ended up there last Wednesday (payday) after work.
I picked up two tops from Pleione and RO & DE which are two brands that are quickly beginning to fill up my closet. The Pleione top is more of a light sweatshirt material and will be perfect going into autumn.
The RO & DE top is chiffon and flowy which is still perfect for this time of year. It will be wearable at least until late October. Dallas is always boiling hot until at least then, sometimes clear until December! I hope you enjoyed seeing my purchases. I enjoyed sharing them with you. What did you buy at the Nordie’s sale this year or did you skip it?
Moving is my absolute least favorite “adulting” thing to do. I have done a lot of it in the past two years, but I am finally settled in a new place with my younger sister. We have a beautiful, modern, two bedroom near both of our jobs and the cool spots Uptown and Downtown. I successfully removed the final moving boxes from my bedroom last week, and have been working on pulling the space together.
Of course most of my focus has been on the area where all the magic happens…my vanity. Last night, being the handy woman that I am (insert sarcasm here), I hung the shelves I purchased last week.
Please ignore the fact that I’m hanging out in the mirror.
If you know me at all then you know I am obsessed with anything acrylic, lucite, or basically see through. There is just something about it that looks so classy to me. So when I saw these acrylic shelves at The Container Store I knew I was going home with them. I initially went in there for more storage drawers or possibly even new ones (lusting over the cliché units that Desi Perkins has), but when the shelves caught my eye it was a done deal.
Eventually I would like to do a full overhaul of my happy space, but I am taking it a few items at a time. I like to mix modern with vintage and sometimes it takes some hunting to track down the latter. Needless to say I have never met an antique store I didn’t like! Fortunately for me I found my French Provincial vanity on Craigslist for 100 bucks! That was back in 2012 and since then pieces like it have sold for triple. Look out for my next post on bedroom décor and I am sure there will be a vintage find included.
I hope you all have an amazing rest of your week!
Last week I shared what it takes to get my face squeaky clean. So what happens when I have to rebalance my skin’s PH? That is where my superstar arsenal of skin care products comes in.
Before I worked at Sephora I had no idea what an essence was. I would see the fancy bottles and just assume they weren’t worth the price tag. Man, was I wrong! I have tried two since receiving products in gratis, but the one I’ve liked the most is by SK-II. This skin treatment essence is created to balance the skin’s hydration levels and support cell renewal which is important for combatting wrinkles and other signs of aging. You can read more on SK-II’s essence here. It is the first thing I apply after cleansing my skin and it just makes it feel smoother and ready to accept more products.
Next I apply my Caudalie Radiance Serum. This serum helps shatter melanin particles which are responsible for the pigmentation of dark spots. I have several post acne marks and I will say since using this serum they have continuously gotten lighter without disturbing the natural pigmentation of my skin. Caudalie’s secret weapon for making this serum great is viniferine. This natural ingredient derived from grapevines is 62 times more powerful than Vitamin C. Check out more info on this miracle serum here.
Because you can see my dark circles from outer space, an eye cream is a must! I use It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye. It contains high quality ingredients like hyaluronic acid and peptides which have been proven to improve under eye brightness. With two jobs and a weekly blog to run I never sleep so this product is my knight in shining armor! This product also de-puffs and smooths.
I swear this post is in no way sponsored by It Cosmetics…they have no idea who I am! They just happen to have great products that my skin really likes. As my nightly moisturizer I’ve been using It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream. This product is a stand out for me because it can also be used on the neck. I’m 30 now and one of my biggest fears is having a “turkey neck” when I am older. Needless to say, if it will firm the neck and face I am all about it! Niacin, peptides, collagen, and other anti-aging ingredients make this product a powerful force against wrinkles and dehydration.
My skin can be finicky now that my biggest worry isn’t P. Acne. I don’t always use the same source of moisturizer all the time. Aside from my Confidence in a Cream I really like facial oils. Seems counter intuitive for an oily skin type to place oil on the skin but it actually makes me less oily. Oils trick the skin into producing less surface oil because it thinks it more than hydrated when there is an extra layer of oil on top. I love Drunk Elephant’s Virgin Marula Oil. It’s light weight so I don’t feel greasy and I’m convinced it helped my usually sparse eyebrows grow a bit.
More recently I have been trying Noni Glow Oil by a new brand called Kora. Kora was developed super model Miranda Kerr. The oil is also light weight but it isn’t intended to be used alone. It’s basically a booster before using your regular moisturizer. I like it so far but I’m not in love with the smell. Luckily the scent doesn’t linger! I don’t know how long it will be part of my routine unless I start to see some amazing benefits, but I’ll stick with it to give it a fair chance.
When it comes to hydrating in the morning after my micellar water; I run back to good old Ole. Ole Henriksen that is. Ole created a line specifically for us oily beasts! The Counter Balance line combats oils by mattifying while still hydrating and balancing moisture levels in the skin. The Counter Balance Oil Control Hydrator uses botanicals and AHAs to reduce oil and still hydrate. This product can also act as a cosmetic primer improving the wear of foundation for up to 8 hours. How cool is that!
I haven’t posted on skincare since 2015! Since I started work at Sephora (9 months ago) I have received tons on great skin care items in my Gratis. Gratis is just fancy (Italian) for free stuff. This has definitely helped me step up my skin care routine. I definitely do a lot more than I used to but that also comes with the knowledge of how to better care for my super sensitive, oily skin type. I’ve broken this post down into two parts so you don’t strain your eyes reading it all! Hope you enjoy Part I.
In the AM my routine is pretty minimal. Over the years I’ve learned that washing my face with hardcore cleansers in the morning does my skin no favors. So I just take a cotton round and use some micellar water to cleanse away any debris I didn’t catch the night before. I like Garnier most mornings, but my Caudalie water is awesome as well and it was free.99!
I always remove my makeup. To me it’s like a layer of stuff that has be wiped away before cleansing. Most of the time I jump straight into my shower and use a nickel sized amount of It Cosmetics’ Bye Bye Makeup Melting Balm. It is fantastic! It removes hard to get off mascara and/or lash glue. You can read more about its benefits here. On the occasion where I am feeling lazy or need a quick nap I reach for my Simple Skin Care makeup removing wipes. These do not cleanse as deeply as the balm, but they work at getting everything off the surface until you can cleanse your skin.
At night after I am ready to wash my day away I need a bit more help than my hands can give. That’s where my Clarisonic (complements of Sephora) comes in. I’m currently using Skin Laundry Gentle Foaming Cleanser. I had never heard of Skin Laundry before I received this product in my Sephora Gratis; but I am glad I did. This cleanser is amazing! It is gentle but it cleanses my skin after makeup removal perfectly. It never leaves my skin feeling dried out or stripped. Skin Laundry is a niche brand founded by Asia native, Yen Reis. You can read more about Yen and her brand here
When I need to exfoliate there is nothing like my Ole Henriksen Pore Balance Facial Sauna Scrub. I first heard of this brand before I worked for Sephora. I received a sample in my Sephora Play Box. Ole Henriksen is a Danish Esthetician who launched his skin care line after suffering from Cystic Acne himself. You can read more of Ole’s story here. This brand is amazing enough to give frequently to Sephora employees. I received this scrub about 2 weeks ago so it is relatively new to my routine, but I love it! The beads have the perfect amount of grit and it has a warming sensation as it goes onto your skin. This sensation intensifies (not uncomfortably) and then gradually fades to a cooling sensation.
Image Credit: northparkcenter.com
Receiving employment update emails from large cosmetic companies is part of my weekly norm. I have wanted to work for L’Oreal in particular for some time now and I get their updates all the time. Most of them are positions I am not qualified for at this time or in areas I have no desire to relocate to. Imagine my surprise when I open last week’s email and there are some new positions available in Dallas. Specifically at a location near my home with a brand I had no idea was coming to the DFW area. Seriously, I used to think that we never got anything because Houston seemed to always one up us. Apparently things are changing for “Baby New York” as my grandpa used to fondly refer to the big D. I by no means think we are on a New York status but the birth place of Neiman Marcus is on the up-rise.
Dallas’ Northpark Center is one of the largest shopping malls in Dallas proper, and getting bigger all the time. Joining us this Summer is NYX Cosmetics! Their stores have already graced other large cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Austin with their presence. My email from L’Oreal advertised management positions with the upcoming store. However, I have no intent to leave Sephora at this time. I’m kind of loyal like that! Although, that isn’t going to stop my makeup addicted self from shopping till I drop. If you live in the Metroplex will you be checking out the new NYX store? Let me know in the comments!
In the past I’ve kept this blog’s main focus on the beauty industry. While that is and will always be my first love; I love a lot of other things. Some of you may know that I got my Bachelor of Arts in English. I have always been enamored with a great story and a continued passion for writing. With that being stated, I am going to help this blog continue to flourish writing about what I view as beautiful. From my perspective writing is an art form and novels, poems, and short stories are the expression. I initially chose beautybymbell as my blog name because of my trade and my obsession with beauty products, but as we all know this is a highly saturated blogging market. I need to set myself apart and be true to myself so I am not changing the name but I’m shifting the focus of this blog to more lifestyle related content including the books I’m reading.
So far this month has been one of dramas for me when it comes to novel genres. I’m currently in the middle of reading a series by Lisa Gardner featuring a snappy female police sergeant named D. D. Warren. I actually started reading the books out of order until I figured out they were a series. I started with the fourth book Live to Tell and was hooked. Then I figured out I could get more D.D. by picking up the others so I went back to the beginning. Now I have finished the sixth book plus the novella in between books six and seven. The novella, aptly titled 7th Month tells a short story featuring a bored D.D. on desk duty at the precinct in the seventh month of her pregnancy. A bit of luck shows D.D. favor when a bumbling movie producer stops in looking for a consultant for his film.
D.D. initially accuses him of being a serial killer after he insults her rank by assuming she’s the receptionist. After the unpleasant exchange D.D. discovers that the guy is looking for a police consultant for his film and it pays a generous amount. She quickly decides to take on the role thinking of nursery money for her new born. She ends up getting a lot more than she bargained for when the previous consultant is bludgeoned to death and her team is assigned to the investigation. Shenanigans ensue from there as D.D. tries to catch a killer in the midst of a bunch of wanna-be famous actors.
This was overall enjoyable for a short look into D.D.’s pregnancy. Some other personal facts about the protagonist are revealed in this story that I don’t know if the next book will glaze over or not. However, I didn’t like how shaky the plot in this one felt when it came to the crimes committed and by whom. It just did not feel as authentic as Gardner’s previous full length novels. I guess I shouldn’t have had high expectations for a condensed D.D. book. In terms of characterization Gardner shines as she always does with well developed main and sub characters carrying out this loose plot line about a killer on a movie set. I give this one a B-. I enjoyed reading it but I don’t know that it’s pertinent to the course of events in book seven, entitled Catch Me.
When I am not reading the D.D. Warren books I often listen to audio books on the Overdrive app on my iPhone. If you haven’t used that app check it out! It’s a great one that easily connects you to audio and e-books from your local library. All you need is a library card and you’ll have access to some amazing titles. While I was waiting for 7th Month to arrive from Amazon; I randomly selected a book under the mystery/drama section. I had never heard of the author but before I read one of Lisa Gardner’s books I’d never heard of her either. The book was titled Among the Missing by Morag Joss. The novel is set in Scotland, U.K. as that is where the writer is from. Each of the narrators had a heavy accent, but were not difficult to understand. The book’s limited summary does not give any of the mystery of the story away, in fact it is almost misleading because there is a lot more going on that it reveals.
The story is told from three viewpoints, the first being Ron’s who has just been released from prison for negligent homicide. His former occupation was a school bus driver, until he fell asleep at the wheel one afternoon, killing six children and a pregnant teacher. Ron is a nomad with no place to call home. Despite that event being an accident even his sister will not take him in. She sends money which Ron takes to buy an old Land Rover which he drives around picking up hitch hikers to help himself regain some shred of humanity.
Silva and her husband Stephan are illegal immigrants. They have left a small village in a country that is not named to live in Scotland with their toddler, Anna. They live shrouded in secrecy in a trailer with a leaky roof. They live in squalor with only hopes for a better life and fear that people will find out they do not belong. Stephan has plans that Silva deems extreme for establishing a new life.
The other female character, who’s real name the author does not reveal, is on a vacation with her new husband. They are staying in a hotel near the town Silva and Stephan live it. It is just across a large bridge. Although she is in her forties, she is newly pregnant. When she tells her husband, Cullen he is not happy at all and gives her an ultimatum. Either she can have a life with him or she can have the child but not both. Tortured at the thought of abortion she contemplates what her next move is. When the aforementioned bridge collapses one day, each of the main characters’ live intertwine. Each of them having a secret unspoken to the other. Assumptions and accusations flare as these three people struggle to figure out how to be whole again in the middle of a horrific event.
Without giving too much away from the novel I will say these things: it starts off slow so you have to stay with it to get to the better parts, you’ll be annoyed at the pregnant character who is given a fake name of Annabelle throughout the story, you will be furious with Silva at some point for being so hateful, and lastly you will be bewildered at the unanswered questions by the end of this book. Overall I give it a B+ for the eloquent switches of point of view, the descriptive nature of the novel itself, and the well developed characters that you will feel an attachment to. Not an A for the frustrating ending and the subtle undertones that suggest women are weak creatures with no control over emotions.