Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fake a Flawless Face - My Favorite Components: Step 2

Step numero dos to creating a flawless face is to summon the powers of great concealers. I say concealers, plural, because they come in a multitude of colors - specific to your personal skin needs.

My hands down, no questions asked, favorite normal concealer is from Nars. It is super creamy and blendable (seriously, how many times has your concealer been dry and cakey - actually bringing MORE attention to what you are wanting to conceal...sheesh). Their formula contains Vitamin E, which looooooves skin and is very moisturizing. This stuff literally melts into your skin. I like to use it under my eyes for brightening purposes (when I don't need to call on my friend 'yellow concealer' for help), on blemishes, and around my nose.

A makeup artist at Nars once gave me a few tricks that I now cannot live without...she recommended using a small concealer brush to apply the concealer right up to my lower lash line under my eyes - this creates a very blended, flawless look....and really brightens your eye area. In addition, she used the concealer on my nose and around my nostrils - I am not kidding, this made my ENTIRE face look even. I am one who has a lot of redness around my nose, and I was absolutely amazed at the difference this step made. Specifically, there is redness right at the base of my nostrils...this concealer is perfectly blendable for such an awkward spot. Again, I recommend using the brush for more precise application.

Click here for more info regarding the NARS concealer....my shade is honey if you need a frame of reference.

For more targeted skin issues, colored concealers can help a tremendous amount. I have had great success with Maybelline...I have the green and yellow colors. The green correction concealer is great for counteracting redness - so if you have a blemish that is really red and angry, use a little green AROUND the blemish - not on top - to suck that redness out. If you have darkness under your eyes, use a yellow corrective concealer to even the skin tone.  

Conceal to reveal, that's my motto.....XOXO, Tiff.  

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fake a Flawless Face - My Favorite Components: Step 1

I will be posting a series this week highlighting my favorite components of a "flawless" face; trust me, my skin is FAR from flawless, but these products help me fake it. I've tried tons and tons of product combinations, and the products I'll be mentioning are my favorites thus far.

First and foremost, one of the most important things you can do in your makeup routine is to make sure that your skin is fully prepped for the makeup you're about to use. If your canvas is rough or dry, your makeup will reflect, and even highlight, the uneven-ness of your skin. Make sure your skin is appropriately moisturized (*probably the most important component of healthy, happy skin = moisture!) and begin your routine with a great primer.

You've probably seen primers on the market, but do you know what they do and why they are amazing? The point of a primer is to provide a smooth, even canvas upon which to build your "face," and it does this by filling in fine lines and evening out your skin texture. The result is that makeup glides on your skin and is much, much easier to blend.

My favorite line of primers comes from Smashbox (I know, I know...I heart Smashbox) and suits a variety of needs. They have a clear, regular primer called Photo Finish, and they also have 3 color correcting primers (green to counteract redness in skin, apricot for under-eye circles, veins, and sunspots, and lavender to even out yellow skintones). I currently use the green primer, and have used the clear primer in the past. It seriously makes your skin feel like silk. For people with oily skin, Smashbox sells an oil-free version of Photo Finish.

I can't say enough how much I love a good primer - it makes the makeup routine a whole lot easier and your skin a whole lot more flawless looking. To that, I say, "Yes, please."

Happy priming........XOXO, Tiff.

Sulfate Free or Not Sulfate Free - That is the Question.

First and foremost, let me apologize for being M.I.A...my real job has been keeping me busy and tired. However, I cannot fail the 10 people (maybe) who read this, so giddy-up.

You may or may not have noticed the recent influx of sulfate-free hair care on the market...here is the low-down on why you may want to pay closer attention.

As it turns out, sulfates (you'll see it as "sodium laureth sulfate" on the bottle) are detergents responsible for the ridiculous lather you get from shampoo. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE a good lather, but these little guys can really wreak havoc on those amazing highlights you just paid for. While they really do clean well and are great at dissolving dirt, oil, etc. (it IS a detergent, after all), they can potentially dry out your hair and skin and also cause professional color to fade.

These are not harmful in any way, but how annoying is it to pay uber-bucks for a killer color job only to have it fade quickly? To give your hair color longer life and care, look for a sulfate-free shampoo. Conditioners should already be free of sulfates (conditioner should NOT be foaming).

A great drug-store find is a line by Organix. Every product is natural and sulfate-free...and they smell AMAZING. I am currently using Coconut Milk - nourishing blend - and I have to say that my hair is super shiny and soft, healthy, and my color/highlights combo still looks great. I'm sold. They are about $6 a pop - a great price.

Check out the Organix website here...wait until you see all of the amazing scents available!

You know you want to try some......XOXO, Tiff.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mission: Beautiful Hair

Okay, so I have to admit that I am not brand loyal when it comes to, well, pretty much any product out there on the market...sorry brands. However, when it comes to a shampoo and conditioner I think I have been transformed into a one brand gal. The brand is...drum roll please..Ojon. Their products are absolutely wonderful. I have been using Ojon since November of last year and can totally tell the difference in the texture and the sheen of my hair. Did I mention that I absolutely love it!!! Being a girl that goes to the salon and gets highlights (I mean, yes this is my natural color) I need a shampoo and conditioner that is actually going to live up to the fancy description on the bottle. And, believe me, it does.
Not only do the products give you the beautiful hair that you have always wanted, but it comes with a pretty cool background story as well. Ojon is inspired by rare palm nut oil found in the tropical Ojon tree. For over 500 years the people of the Tawira village, living along the coast of Honduras, have been using this rich Ojon oil as their secret to their beautiful hair and skin. This unique tree grows only in the rainforest of the Mosquitia region of Central America. Interesting enough, the Miskito Indians are referred to as Tawira Indians, which means “the people of beautiful hair”. And, if you like companies that like to give back, Ojon has also set up a partnership with the Tawira village to help them with rebuilding their village without trying to modernize them into a totally different society.
Because I was a little skeptical at first (mostly because of the price point), I actually bought the travel sizes at Sephora first, then quickly went back to buy the big guys. Totally Worth It!
If you would like to check out Ojon you can do so at Sephora or just visit Ojon (where you can also read more about the company and their products).



Thursday, March 12, 2009

Go Get This Body Wash NOW!

Ok, ok...you don't have to go now, but soon.  In my efforts to curb spending, I have been relying more on drugstore brands for body wash, hair care, etc.  A recent find is a new body wash by Caress, called "Evenly Gorgeous."  This is an exfoliating wash, and lathers like nothing you've seen before.  And who doesn't like a luxurious lather?  It is super moisturizing....and did I mention the smell?  Oh, the delicious smell.  The bottle says "burnt brown sugar," so it ends up smelling like a soapy dark vanilla.  My skin feels happy, I smell great, and my skin tone is more even....that makes me one happy camper.  All for around $4.00?  Even better.    

Get your free sample by going here.    

Oh, you smell delicious!  XOXO, Tiff.  

Win Fun Stuff @ Women's Health!

Listen, you want free stuff.  You know you do.  Here's a way to snag some really cool stuff (if you're a lucky one) for free dollars and free cents.  Click here to have a shot...it's at womenshealth.com.  Every month there is a theme to the stuff they give away - this month, it's all about gadgets.  So far, they have given away mp3 players, a turntable (live out all of your dj-ing dreams), games...and upcoming prizes include HDTV's, camcorders, etc.  Check it out.  It's FREE.  

You look so lucky today!!!  -Tiff. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hair How-To #1: French Braiding

Check out this video from Real Simple...I never learned how to French Braid (yes, I'm almost 30) and this is a great tutorial.  Click here for the website, which includes a photo step-by-step as well.

Wow, your hair looks LOVELY today......Tiff.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Indy Food Specials: Oh Yumm! Bistro

Introducing Sunset Specials!
Oh Yumm! cordially invites you to try our Sunset Specials.  For under $19 between 4:30 and 6:30, Tuesday through Friday, you will get a four course dinner with your choice of tapas, your choice of soup or salad, and one of five entrees:

Beef Tenderloin Medallions
Stuffed Pork Chop
Chicken Pot Pie
Basa Meuniere
Gourmet Mac & Cheese du Jour

Also included will be your choice of one of your favorite desserts! (Try the S'more Brulee featured in Indianapolis Monthly!)

Ummmm....S'more Brulee?  Not to mention the other delish offerings in such a quaint, cute atmosphere.  Who's coming with me?


Yes, Your Makeup Expires!

How many of you have makeup from years and years ago?  You will be shocked when you see what some of the expiration dates on makeup are...I know I was!

From the time when you open the product:

Powders (pressed powders, eye shadows, blush):  1 year

Cream Shadows: 12-18 months

Liquid Foundation: 3-6 months
*Look for the foundation to begin to settle and/or separate; also look for texture changes

Cream Foundation: 4-6 months

Concealer: 6-8 months

Lipstick, Lip gloss, and Lip liner: 1 year

Eyeliner:  1 year
*Be sure to sharpen pencils (eye and lip) weekly to decrease the transfer of bacteria to eye  and lip areas.

Mascara: 3 months (!!!)
*because you are constantly pushing air into the tube, this increases the bacteria levels -  you should never "pump" your mascara before applying.

Makeup Brushes - clean weekly with mild detergent to extend use

Makeup Sponges - replace weekly

Keep in mind that if you use minerals (like Bare Escentuals), there is no expiration date
 since it is all natural.  I could not believe the short shelf-life of mascara...I know I've had mascara for waaaaaaay too long.  

Now you have a great excuse for some spring purging/cleaning, not to mention a little shopping trip for new makeup to replace the old!

Just say no to bacteria in your makeup......Tiff.  

Monday, March 9, 2009

Something Fun At The Villa

JOIN US for our Work 
Week Wine Down!

Thursday 5:30-6:30PM

As the week winds down stop by The Villa and enjoy some 

of the best things in life-and this night they are FREE. 

Free samplings of chair massage and invigorating wines. 

Stay for dinner after or enjoy a full spa treatment of 

your choice. Wine Down from 5:30-6:30pm this Thursday!

1456 N. Delaware Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202. 317-916-8500

Indy Dining: Scholar's Inn Specials

Skincare 101

I found an article from Real Simple that educates about common skincare product ingredients.  Have you ever read multiple labels, only to be confused about what it is exactly that you're slathering all over your face?  Here is the low-down on what they are and why you might want them or not want them in your regimen.  

1.  Vitamin C (a.k.a. ascorbic acid, l-ascorbic acid, ascorbate, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate,                                     ascorbyl palmitate)

Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant (meaning that it combats the free-radicals our skin encounters daily) that is good for aging and sun-damaged skin.  Watch for this ingredient if your skin is sensitive.

2.  Salicylic Acid (a.k.a. beta-hydroxy acid)

Look for this ingredient if you have normal-oily skin and want to treat acne.  Do not use products containing salicylic acid if you have sensitive skin, dry skin, or have an allergy to aspirin (FYI - I just read in a magazine that a quick at-home remedy for combating a pimple is to crush an aspirin and make a paste with water - leave mixture on pimple for 10 minutes and rinse off).  Aspirin and salicylic acid come from the same family.  

3.  Ferulic Acid (a.k.a. 4-hydroxy-3-methoxycinnamic acid)

Use products with this ingredient if you have normal-dry skin and are interested in fighting sun damage and aging.  According to Real Simple, this ingredient is usually used in conjunction with Vitamins E and C as a stabilizer.

4.  Retinol (a.k.a. retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate)

This ingredient is good for normal-oily skin and treats acne, aging, and sun-damage.  Avoid   this one if you have sensitive skin.  

5.  Idebenone (a.k.a. ubiquinone, coenzyme Q-10)

This one is good for all skin types and is a powerful antioxidant that treats sun damage, 
irritation, and aging.  As an antioxidant, it possesses anti-inflammatory properties that strengthen the skin.    

6.  Hyaluronic Acid (a.k.a. sodium hyaluronate)

Look for this ingredient if you want to treat aging; it's good for all skin types - especially 
dry skin.  

7.  Green Tea (a.k.a. EGCG [epigallocatechin gallate])

This is another antioxidant good for all skin types.  It treats sun damage, irritation, and aging.  An interesting factoid on the Real Simple page states that "...studies have shown that a product containing at least 5% green tea extract may help prevent skin cancer."  

8.   Niacinamide (a.k.a. nicotinamide)

Especially good for dry skin, this ingredient treats sun damage, irritation, and aging (I'm noticing a theme here - ha).  A full description regarding what exactly this ingredient does can be found on the website, but it translates to this: that it gives your skin a "healthy, youthful glow."  Yes, please.

9.  Alpha Lipoic Acid (a.k.a. lipoic acid)

This is a powerful exfoliator used to treat sun damage and aging.  All skin types can use this, but avoid it if you have very sensitive skin.  

This completes our first lesson; now you are armed with more knowledge to go out and embark on the wonderful world of skincare.  At the very least, you will know what those ingredients are doing in your products.  Check out the full article here; it goes into more depth regarding why these ingredients work and provide some examples of products containing the ingredients.      

Happy skin-caring......Tiff.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sass up your Shoes!!

I just found an adorable website that sells shoe clips.  This is an unbelievably easy way to change the look of a plain pair of shoes...and the clips are adorable.  The website is called Absolutely Audrey (cute already, right?) and you can visit it here.  

Shoe clips are categorized in three ways: vintage, chic, and bridal (!!).  As a gal who recently got married, I can tell you that bridal shoes, I mean - really, really great bridal shoes, are hard to come by unless you're willing to spend gobs of cash.  In my case, after hearing the "cha-ching" sound one too many times during the planning process, spending a ton on shoes was not in the realm of practical possibilities.  Here, you can find a great pair of satin pumps and attach a pretty clip to them and, voila!!  Beeeeeee-u-ti-full shoes you have for your wedding day.  

Otherwise, how many plan pairs of shoes do you have?  And speaking of your shoes - how tired are you of the shoes you own?  I know we're tired of hearing and talking about our terrible economy, but here is a great solution.  I'm thinking going out and indulging in some shoe shopping is not in the budget right now for many, so what a great option.  Buy some shoe clips (most appear to be in the $10-$25 range) and BAM!  New shoes for you.  I love it!  

New shoes for $10-$25?  Yes, I think I will, please.  

Happy shoe embellishing.......XOXO - Tiff  

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Elusive Smoky Eye

I found this new kit by Benefit that looks pretty amazing...I love the colors in this smoky eye palette.  Benefit is great because their products are so thoughtful - included in this set are tools to groom your brows as well.  This comes with a tutorial on creating the perfect smoky eye, which is one hot look if we're being honest.  Check this out here.

Go get 'em, you sexy thing you......Tiff

Monday, March 2, 2009

Try Bare Escentuals Foundation for FREE!

I personally love this stuff - if you haven't tried Bare Escentuals foundation, it provides great coverage but feels light and natural on your skin.  Not only does it feel natural, it looks natural - super goof-proof (i.e., virtually NO WAY to leave the dreaded foundation line).  If you'd like to give BE a whirl, you have a couple options.  They are offering a free 10-day supply of their foundation (with SPF-15) with a mini-buki brush - you can order it online and pay a $3.95 shipping/handling fee, or you can pop by one of their boutiques (Indy peeps - there is one at the Fashion Mall) and pick it up.  

Click here for details!

Happy swirling, tapping, and buffing.....Tiff

Sunday, March 1, 2009

File Under: I Want

So I just found these ooooh-la-la luxury pillow cases...check out this description:

"The ideal beauty sleep™ - This 100% silk Charmeuse Case™ allows the best glide for your hair and delicate facial skin while helping to minimize wrinkles by preventing morning creases. Silk aminos restore hair elasticity and shine.  Branché 100% Charmeuse Case™ also extends your hairstyle, eliminating tedious and damaging daily styling."

Ummmm....yes, please!  A pillow case (PILLOW CASE!!!!) that helps minimize wrinkles?  It restores hair elasticity and shine?  How!?!  I don't care, I just want.  
Check it out here.
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