Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Makeup Tutorial- Jessica Alba Kid's Choice Awards Look

Before I moved I filmed about 10 videos I'd planned on uploading once a week or so while we waited for the new house to be finished being built. (Seems like my whole life is revolving around this house right now!  I can't wait for it to be finished so I can get my studio all set back up again finally.  I feel like my life is incredibly boring without meeting with clients every day lately.)  But then we moved, and I couldn't find the cords for my computer.  All the videos were on the hard drive, and now that I've finally gotten it all back together I can pull those files off an upload them!  Yay!

Here is the first of my celebrity tutorials- Jessica Alba from the Kid's Choice Awards.  It's a gorgeous glowing look (I mean seriously, is she ever not glowing and gorgeous?) with soft rosy cheeks and beautiful deep teal eyeliner.  I added a bit of sparkle with a line of glitter eyeliner over the top, just for a pop of fun.  I really hope you enjoy it!  Teal liner is really really in for summer, and although this is a bit more on the emerald end, you can definitely switch it up with a more blue shade.

What trend will YOU be rocking this summer for a hot date?

Products Used or Shown:
Elf Blushed and Bronzed
Clinique Blush in New Clover
Stila Waterproof Liners in Peacock and Starfish
Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer
NYX Glitter Liner in  #110 Crystal Jade
MAC Eyeshadows in Orb, Gesso, and Kid
Bite Beauty Lipstick in Musk
Victoria Secret Lipgloss in Mocktail Hour
L’Oreal True Match Lumi Foundation in W 1-2

You can view my other videos here:
HOW TO POWDER UNDER YOUR EYES- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXUVN7duRbo
HOW TO APPLY POWDER TO SET YOUR FOUNDATION- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDatlnwGArs

Monday, April 29, 2013

Product Review- Stila Convertible Color

Stila Convertible Color in Poppy, Fuchsia, Rose, Lillium, and Peony

Recently I've gotten more into using cream blushes.  Don't know why I never really used them before, but I figured it was time to break away from my normal routine and start using products I'd never used before.  One of my big purchases at IBS NYC two weeks ago was some of the Stila Convertible Colors.  I got five of them, and man it was hard to choose just those five!  I really wanted to take them all home with me.  They are so beautiful, and I love how the colors match the case.  (Just like my all time favorite blushes by Tarte!  Read my review of those here or watch my video review here.)

What really drew me to the Stila ones was that they can be used on the cheeks as well as the lips!  Having versatility in a product is a major draw for me.  I wore the color Lillium on my lips and cheeks all day the other day, and it was so beautiful!  I loved how natural the color was.  On my cheeks it looks a little more peachy and slightly darker, and on my lips it was a bit more baby pink.  But it coordinated perfectly and really kept my whole look pulled together.  I tossed it in my purse to touch up my lips with at dinner, and it was nice to just use my ring finger to pat it into my lips.

To apply, I used the flat fat bottom of my blender sponge after my foundation to apply the color to my cheekbones.  It kept the color sheer as I built it up.  With this method, I was also able to apply to my hairline and a little on my nose and chin without having to worry about it streaking or looking too flushed.

The color lasted really nicely throughout the day on my cheeks.  Since I drink constantly throughout the day, I have to reapply color frequently unless it's one of the all day lipcolors (which Stila makes amazing ones!  You can read my review of theirs here or watch the video on them here, too.  I got some more colors in NYC that I'll be swatching and doing an updated review on soon.)

Stila Convertible Color in Poppy, Fuchsia, Rose, Lillium, and Peony
In order: Top Row- Poppy, Fuchsia, Rose. Bottom Row- Lillium, Peony

I bought: Lillium (perfect blend of peachy pink, very neutral color, GREAT for fair skins!) Poppy (beautiful reddish color that looks amazing on the lips, GREAT for darker skin tones but can be used sparingly for fair skins) Fuchsia (bright pink color, looks amazing on tanned skins for popping the apples but still suitable for lighter or darker skin tones as well, BEAUTIFUL on the lips) Rose (lovely deep berry mauve color, looks great on all skin tones, cooler based tone) Peony (fair neutral nude color with just a touch of pink, GREAT for fair skins, gives the perfect amount of color for a super natural touch of color to cheeks and lips).

**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products.  All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.  These items were purchased with my own money.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Product Review- ColorEvolution Eye Color Stacks

Here's another of my great finds from IBS NYC!  I've been wanting to get more into using pigments and loose eyeshadows, and I was excited to see that at IBS there were a few companies there that specialized in them.  After careful consideration, the company ColorEvolution won me over simply based on price.  I tested all the products, and it just seemed to me that they were really all the same.  ColorEvolution's loose pigments were really dense in color, and used wet they are really intense.  I purchased four stacks of colors, and I got a little baggie with lip gloss base, nail polish base, and eyeshadow primer in it along with my colors for free.

Loose pigments and eyeshadows can be used in multiple ways, regardless of the brand they are made by.  Using them dry will give a sheerer wash of color that can be built up.  It's best to use them over an eyelid primer so that the loose powders have something to stick to.  To build up the intensity of the color, you can use a colored primer that matches or compliments the color of the loose pigment.

They an also be used wet to make the color super intense, and for metallic colors give the effect of liquified metal on the lids.  The best method for this is similar to when nail techs apply the acrylic powder to fake nails.  The wet the brush and pick up a bit of the powder with the tip.  Then, they allow the liquid to be absorbed by the powder and turn into a bit of a paste.  You can do this with water or another liquid and your loose pigments.  Once the color has turned to a paste consistency, you can pat it onto the lid and stroke it over the area you want the color to be.  The more powder you pick up, the more you will be applying, so start with just a little and do a very thin layer.  The color is already going to be very intense just because it's wet.  Keep in mind that once the water evaporates, you'll be left with all that eyeshadow on your lid, and it can smear all over if there's too much and no primer underneath.  I prefer instead of water to use Graftobian Magic Set, as it will make the loose pigment smudge and water resistant.  I use it on set all the time for their metallic powders for special effects.

Here are swatches wet and dry of the colors I purchased.  The individual colors don't have names.  They all come in predetermined stacks, and the stacks themselves are named.  They can be purchased online at: www.colorevolution.com

Double Date

A rainbow of colors, most of these are a slight duochrome in effect.  You can see the original pots of color in the background and how they change just slightly.  Top is the pigments dry.  Bottom is applied wet.


Half browns and half blues, these colors apply a lot darker when wet than they appear in the pots.  The lighting changed on me for this photo, so you can't quite tell but the far left color is a wine based brown. So gorgeous!

Bronze Baby

Top photo is the colors applied dry.  Bottom is of the colors applied wet.  This is the PERFECT stack for people who love neutrals but want something that's a bit "more" than everyday browns.  There's everything from light champagne to brilliant gold to ruddy copper and aged bronze.

Rainstorm- Not swatched

Overall, I really love the colors in these stacks and am extremely please with my purchase.  I can definitely see myself using just about any of them, even the really intense colors, and I'd definitely repurchase!

**Disclaimer: As with all my product reviews, I was not paid by the cosmetic company to provide feedback or review/promote their products.  All the opinions expressed in this article are my own.  These items were purchased with my own money.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Makeup Tip #3!

Today's makeup tip is all about the brows.  Filling in your brows is one of the fastest ways to give you an effortless polished look.  Well groomed brows frame your eyes and can instantly change your appearance.  There are lots of ways to fill in your eyebrows, so it's easy to find something that works for you!

Copyright Makeup Forever Cosmetics.  Image from Sephora.com.

Powders:  These can be either specifically made to fill in your eyebrows, or they can simply be an eyeshadow in a color that works for you.  One of my all time favorites is Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Brow Shaper and Eyeliner.  My color is Sable for my red hair.  The Urban Decay Brow Box has two colors of powder plus a wax for holding the hairs in place, a mini brush for applying, and a tiny pair of tweezers.  It's an amazing value for just $29!

Pencils: Probably the most common method, the wax in the pencil helps to adhere the product to the skin behind the hairs.  And since you can sharpen the tip of the pencil ultra sharp, you can get ultra thin lines that mimic the hairs of your eyebrows.  This is definitely one of the least natural looking methods if you over do it.  Pencils like the Anastasia Brow Wiz Skinny Brow Pencil come presharpened and have a spoolie brush on the other end to soften the color and make it look more natural.  Stila's Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color comes with a felt tip pencil applicator that allows for uber precise application, and it's waterproof.  I just bought some at IBS last week, and I really like how it applies.  The only downside is its limited shade range.

Copyright Tarte Cosmetics.  Image from Sephora.com.

Liquids/Creams/Gels/Mousses:  If you're into applying your brow color with an eyebrow brush, you might prefer using a more longwearing option than powders with a liquid, cream, gel, or mousse product.  There are a ton of them out there, but my top votes are Tarte emphasEYES Waterproof,  Amazonian Clay Brow Mousse, Makeup Forever Aqua Brow, and Anastasia's Tinted Brow Gel.  (There's a reason her products made my list twice- she's the queen of brows!)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

IBS Makeup Haul

Just a taste of my IBS haul!

Last week in my Life Update blog, I told you about my trip to NYC to the International Beauty Show.  Well, today I'm going to share with you some of the amazing things I got on my shopping trip!

There were several nail polish companies there, and I was super excited to see Essie was one of them!  They were only $4 a bottle, and when you bought 5 bottles you got a sixth free.  It was a no brainer to give everyone convenient six bottle boxes to hold their purchases in.  Not all of my colors are shown in the photo, and I plan on doing a separate blog with individual swatches, but it was mostly pinks/purples and fun summery colors.  China Glaze was there as well for even cheaper, and I got two Textured colors, a Holographic color, and a Crackle among the regular colors.

There were very few makeup companies there.  IBS is really more about hair than anything else, and since I haven't started cosmetology school yet, I didn't want to spend too much money on hair products that I can't use to their full potential.  I do a fair job at styling my clients for their boudoir shoots, but next year I'm looking forward to buying some really nice shears and salon equipment for my in home set up.

Just a small sample of the stuff I got from Stila!

However, Stila was there, and they had so many good deals I just couldn't say no to! There convertible colors were 5 for $55!  I mean, really?!  Who could walk away from that?!  I had never tried them, so I was excited to pick up five beautiful colors.  I've used them at a couple of shoots already, and they are so nice.  I love that you can use them for lips and cheeks.  I've got a more in depth review coming up next week on them with some nice swatches, too.  Also in my bag were four more of their stay all day lipcolors, a lip and cheek stain (that I realized after one use I'm allergic to!), and some eye liners.  I love everything from Stila, and could have totally spent a couple hundred more buying one of everything, but I have to save some for The Makeup Show coming up in two weeks!

I also got some lipstick palettes for work from Mehron and some individual pans of my favorite colors for myself in some beautiful bright shades.   I'm one of those customers the people at the booths love.  I walk right up, rattle off all the specific things I need, and just hand them a credit card.  I shop from Mehron once a year, so refilling my favs is always a necessity by the time the shows roll around in the spring.

I can't wait to show you some swatches next week of some loose pigment stacks I got from Color Revolution.  They are so gorgeous!  You can see three of the four stacks I got standing up in the back.

There were lots of booths selling cute beauty industry related jewelry, and I loved this little lipstick necklace so much I couldn't walk away.  Next year I'll be sure to have a bigger budget for the "fun" stuff vs the "work" stuff. 

I'm such a sucker to a live demonstration on myself.  If you can get me to sit down in a chair to show me how your works, I'm already 90% sold.  I barely make eye contact with the people at the kiosks in the mall who want to buff my nails or straighten my hair blah blah blah.  I'm just not interested.  But at big trade shows, I'm there to shop for the best new products for my beauty arsenal, so you've got a pretty good chance of selling me a flat iron so long as it doesn't burn my hair off. And that's totally what happened.  I'm the proud new owner of yet another flat iron! haha.  But this was a fancy one that didn't cost only $19.99 at Target, so maybe I'll actually use it on myself for once.

Another random buy- a ring cleaning kit.  I've bought the solution from a bridal show before, so I know that the nice "professional" stuff is way better than the crap I usually pick up from Walmart's jewelry department, and this set was only $30.  Oh, and it was pink.  It came with a polishing paste, cloth, small basket for soaking, and a large bottle of the solution.

Not shown but also purchased were lots of makeup brushes (like I need anymore... I own over 300 already), a roll up makeup organizer, lash extensions supplies, some skincare from HydroPeptide, and other various makeup supplies like spatulas and metal mixing palettes. 

I got a new bag for my boudoir makeup kit, and after needing to carry it up the six flights of stairs to the studio this past week, and I can tell you it was worth every penny!  Best buy of the show, hands down!

Overall, it was a very successful trip, and I'm so thankful this year I brought a rolling suitcase.  It was a really long day.  I had to be up super early to catch the bus out of Arlington for the four and a half hour ride there, and then didn't get back until after 11 pm that night.  But the deals were totally worth it.  There's very little on my list that I need to purchase at the Makeup Show next month, but I'll still probably bring a suitcase with me anyway.  Inglot is going to be there, and I'm already thinking of the rainbow in my head of colors I want to grab...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tarte Makeup Haul

I'm totally loving just about everything that I've gotten from TarteCosmetics.com lately, and my recent haul purchases are no exception.  I placed an order online a few weeks ago for some more of their lovely blushes, since all I had was Blushing Bride and a limited edition travel size in Adventurous.

While I was surfing around the site, I found a really cool new product called a brow mousse.  I'd never heard of it before, but you pretty much apply it just as you would a powder.  It looks more like a gel liner than a brow product, and it's super pigmented.  So if you're going to use it be sure to go easy.  I barely touched the brush into the product, and it gave me great coverage.  It comes with a dual ended brush that has the angled applicator brush side and a spoolie for combing the color through the eyebrows and shaping the hairs into place.  Overall, I really really like this product!

I know I've talked ad nauseum about how much I love their Amazonian Clay 12 hr blushes, but the three new colors I got are quickly becoming my go to colors.  I'd heard amazing things about Exposed all over YouTube and the beauty blogging world, so that was definitely on my list.  It's perfect for when I'm doing a monochromatic bronzy look.  Or when I don't really want a lot of "color" so to speak, so not pink or peach, but just a something so that my skin doesn't look naked.  Hope that makes sense to you! haha.  Frisky is a gorgeous slightly warm reddish pink with some subtle golden shimmer, and Amused is a nice candy pink that's not chalky at all.  Frisky is definitely my go-to color these days, as it looks fabulous with my red hair!

What do you think of the Tarte brand?  Any products you love and would recommend?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Makeup Tip #2!

***Here is the second post that should have gone live yesterday!  Today's post coming later this afternoon!***

Today's makeup tip can also be applied to doing your nails, too!  Whenever you want your color to pop and be really vibrant, start with a white base.

For eye makeup:  Use a white cream color on your eyelid and then pat the brighter color over the top for the most impact.  This works especially well for loose pigments, as the cream give the loose powder color something to stick to, and the white eliminates any skin color that could dull down the vibrancy.  You can use a cream color in a jar or pot or a convenient stick, like the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk.

Jumbo Eye Pencil

For nails:  If you're doing a bright color, especially a neon (which is so in for spring!), coat your nails with a white nailpolish first.  Once that's dry, put on two coats of your favorite color and watch how bright it appears!  Revlon even sells dual ended nail polish duos that have a white base color and a neon color in the same container for your convenience- Nail Art Neon.

Nail Art Neon

Monday, April 22, 2013

Get to Know Me TAG

***This blog was supposed to auto-post on Monday, when I knew I wasn't going to be getting much computer time while my father in law was in town.  Sadly, it didn't go according to my technologically defunct plans.  So here is one of three posts today to catch back up on what should have been going on earlier in the week!***

I saw this on the blog of the lovely Emily of Beauty Broadcast and thought this would be a great addition to my blog.  Being fairly new to blogging again outside the wedding world, I think it's a great way to put information out there for new readers to read as they find my blog!  (BTW, if you haven't checked out Emily's blog or her YouTube channel, I highly recommend it!  She's very personable and knowledgeable and one of my favorite artists to follow!)

1. Is your hair naturally curly or straight?
Neither.  It's got a bit of wave to it when I let it air dry.

2. Do you dye it yourself or go to a salon?
Again, neither.  Being in the beauty industry, I have a lot of friends who are hairdressers! lol.  My business partner Krystal is the one I trust with my cuts and colors and is responsible for my vibrant red.

3. Do you wear the same style everyday, or do you change it?
I pretty much keep it in a ponytail most days.  I'm trying to grow my hair out, so I'm not sure how to style it right now.  And the only times I really "do" my hair, it's when I'm working, and it's easier for me to throw it in a ponytail to get it out of my face or in a sock bun. 
4. Do you do your own mani/pedi or go to a salon?
Pedicures in a salon always!  It's my time to get out of the house away from the chores, the kids, the dog, the husband. haha.  I'll gladly pay $30-40 for someone else to rub my feet and pamper me.  It's great after a stressful day.  I don't really do my fingernails much b/c I spend so much time typing, but I want to start experimenting and trying new brands and colors, especially for the blog.
5. How often do you change your nail polish?
Not very b/c it's not on much.  But when I wear it, I have to redo it every 3 days b/c typing makes it chip so much.  Unless it's a gel mani.   
6. Do you polish your toes in the winter or just the summer?
Year-round.  I need just as much relaxation in winter as in the summer, even if the only one to see my toes is my hubby.

7. How long does it take for you to put on makeup?
About 25 minutes. 
8. What do you do first? Face or eyes?
Face.  I just always learned that way. And I think that if I'm having a "good skin day" (come on, you know what I mean) and my face looks really good, I don't necessarily need more eye makeup.

9. Do you collect makeup or just buy what you need when you need it?
Collect.  As in hoarder style.  It's an addiction.

10. How often do you wear false eyelashes?
Almost never.  Only if I'm doing a specific look that requires it, but I take them off right after.  I'm not a fan of how they look on me.

11. Do you do a full face of makeup everyday?
 Nope.  Only when I'm doing a wedding and I might be in the background of people's photos.  I make sure that for weddings I'm always looking put together and professional.
12. Do you wear makeup when you're home alone or with family?
 Nope.  When I'm not filming a tutorial or testing products, I don't put makeup on myself.  I feel like it's almost a waste, haha.  Not that I'm going to run out any time soon of course...
13. Will you leave the house without makeup?
Yup.  All the time.  Like I mentioned before, I do my makeup for events and stuff, but I don't feel the need to wear it all the time.  I've gotten away from really doing much for my own looks lately, and I've got to turn that around.  I swore I'd never become one of those moms who completely ignores their looks, and after two kids and total burnout from work it took me over.
14. How many high-end products do you have?
I have no clue how many products I own at all, but about 80% are high end.  I've started to buy more drugstore brands to evaluate them compared to my high end products, but so far I'm still a proponent of investing in good makeup that will last and is better for your skin.

15. Do you plan your OOTD every night or decide when you're getting dressed?
  I work from home most of the time, so my outfits really consist mostly of pj's.  But when I'm going out and need "real clothes" I definitely put a lot of thought into it.
16. How often do you change your handbag?
Every season.  I usually do a basic black for winter, bright colors for spring and summer, and warm tones for fall.
17. What time do you wake up and go to sleep?
I'm "up" by 7 am every morning with my kids, but every other day my husband and I take turns on who gets up with them to get them ready for school, etc.  Weekends I might be up as early as 4 am to get ready for a wedding.  I'm usually in bed between 11 and 12 every night, but I have insomnia problems and fall asleep around 2 am.
18. How often or when do you workout?
 Never.  I'm the laziest person you'll probably ever meet.
19. Left handed or right handed?
20. How tall are you?
21. Do you speak any foreign languages?
I can read a fair amount of French, but I really can't speak it or any other languages beside English.

22. How many pets do you have?
Do my kids or husband count? No?  Ok.  Then I have one dog, Bebe, an eight year old Sheltie.  We also have to fish tanks with a ton of Platys and Mollies.  They breed worse than rabbits, but I have no idea how many are in there right now.

23. How often are you on Blogger?
Every weekday.  I try to make sure that I'm posting the day's blog or working ahead to get blogs ready for future days.  On weekends I'm busy with weddings and spending some time with my family, but I do try to keep my iPad open at night on the couch to read through my favorite blogs via Bloglovin' or SheSaidBeauty.

24. Do you read comments posted on blogs?
Any that are posted on my own, but I don't really read through the posts before mine when I comment on someone else's blog.

25. Do you keep a list of products to try as you see other posts?
Yes.  I have a little notepad that I keep track of product I want to try based on blogs and YouTube videos along with ideas for future blog articles I want to write.  I try to keep with with me any time that I'm watching or reading.

26. How did you come up with your blog name?
It's based on my freelance makeup company.

27. What kind of camera do you use for your photographs?
I love doing photography as a hobby, but my recent move has made it difficult to get my professional quality equipment out and use.  But when I am, I shoot with a Canon 5D or Canon Rebel T3i (for videos).  Lately though I've been relegated to using my iPhone 4.
28. How often do you clean your house?
I have a cleaning service come in weekly.  Besides pedicures every 6 weeks or so, it's the one thing I treat myself to.  I figure my husband and I work really hard for our money, and we invest and save and are pretty frugal for most things, that I can splurge a little so that I have more time in my day to spend with my kids.

29. What's your favorite color?
30. Do you swear?
Like an f'ing sailor.  It's a very very bad habit that I've had since I was a kid.  Thankfully, my husband isn't totally turned off by it nor does he have a potty mouth like me.  Our kids take after him instead of me!

31. What are you doing with the rest of your day?
Right now it's 9 pm, so I'm going to chat some with my mother in law and watch a little tv before bed.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hair and Makeup Online Coupon Codes- April

Who doesn't love a good deal when shopping for makeup online or hair/skincare products on the web?  Here are the current coupon codes that I've rounded up this month!

Please note that these are coupon codes that I have accumulated from various avenues such as subscriptions to the company Facebook page, newsletters, referrals from industry friends and fans, as well as internet searches.  I do not guarantee that these are all accurate and currently valid, but I will do my best to check codes when possible before posting and update this article at least once a month or when new codes cross my path.  For more up to date and faster access, be sure to like my Facebook Page for Faces By SAM Makeup Artistry as I tend to post a link as soon as I hear about new codes, sales, and limited time offers.  Thank you for reading!

ULTA Beauty

CrownBrush.com: 10% off your order {SOCIAL10}
Smashbox.com: $15 off your order of $75 or more plus Free Shipping {WELCOME2}
Tartecosmetics.com: Free Shipping on orders of $40 or more everyday; 10% off {GGA}
Stilacosmetics.com: 20% off your order {20OFF}
Sephora.com: 2 Deluxe Samples {2013}; 15% off your order (expires 4/23/13) {CHIC}; Get a Mystery Gift with purchase of $25 or more {YOURGIFT}; Free Fresh Sugar Lip Polish Mini with purchase of $35 or more {SUGARLIP}
ULTA Beauty: 20% off your purchase (expires 4/20/13) {FF20}
Benefit.com: 15% off your purchase (expires 7/12/13) {CHIC}
Lancome.com: Free 4 Pc Sample Set plus Free Shipping (expires 4/30/13) {LANAPRIL}, Free 5 Pc Sample Set plus Free Shipping {WELCOME10 or WELCOME14}
Clarins.com: Free Shipping plus 3 Samples (12/31/13) {FSE1}; 10% off your purchase of $35 or more {9NBGT}
Murad: $25 off purchase of $100 or more (expires 5/14/13) {SAVE25}/ $20 off purchase of $80 or more (expires 6/30/13) {CPNLGY20}; 15% off any purchase (expires 5/9/13) {PERCENT15}
GLOSSYBOX: Free Nail Polish with your first subscription box {FUN}
e.l.f. Cosmetics - $1 Makeup: 10% off your purchase (expires 12/31/13) {EGTENAZ}, Free Shipping on purchases of $25 or more {SHIP25}, Free Shipping on purchases of $15 or more {DREAM}
Beauty.com: Free Shipping on purchases of $25 or more plus 3 Free Samples (expires 4/30/13) {EZ123}; $20 off purchases of $100 or more for New Customers Only {47DB18C4}
Perfumania.com: 15% off your purchase plus Free Shipping {BLM15}
Pacifica.com: Free Pacifica Sea Foam Face Complete Wash sample with every order! Code: seafoam.

These sites offer Free Shipping on minimum orders with NO CODE REQUIRED:
Mario Badescu Skin Care: Minimum Order of $50
Tarte.com: Minimum Order of $40

Do you have a coupon code for your favorite makeup brand or hair care brand online that you'd like to share?  Post it in the comments section below!

Don't forget to bookmark this page and check back often for updated makeup online coupon codes and discounts!

Friday, April 19, 2013

25 Ways to Use Coconut Oil

Yesterday I posted about my experience with using coconut oil as a hair mask to moisturize my color-treated hair.  Today I wanted to go a little more in depth with the whole coconut oil thing and give you a list of 50 ways to use coconut oil from my research online and experiences using the product itself.  Feel free to share the ways you use coconut oil in the comments section below!

1. As a hair mask.  Read more about that on my blog post here.  Be sure to wet your hair thoroughly to pre-rinse some of the oil out before you shampoo or else you might have problems getting your shampoo to lather.  Also, if you're worried about it getting all over your pillowcase, wrap your hair in a towel instead.  Don't worry about it getting onto your skin, because it's actually really good for your skin!  It won't cause you to break out.

2. Skin moisturizer.  Let a scoop melt in your hand and apply liberally to your skin.  It will absorb and keep your skin hydrated with a sweet nutty scent.  Safe for even the most sensitive of skins.

3. Skin protectant. A few years ago when my youngest was suffering from a particularly bad bought of diaper rash while on vacation in Florida, my aunt suggested putting coconut oil on it.  She had some at her house, and while I was there I used that instead of Desitin on his bottom.  It cleared it up so quickly I was amazed!  I've read that you can also use coconut oil on scrapes and cuts to provide a protective barrier.

4. Lip Moisturizer.  Rub some on your lips for an all natural sweet way to keep your lips from drying out!

5. Body Scrub.  Mix coconut oil with some salt or sugar to create a paste and massage over your skin.  The salt or sugar will buff away dead skin cells while the oil absorbs to moisturize.  Plus, your skin will be left smelling amazing and no extra lotion needed!

6.  Massage oil.  Use a tablespoon melted in the palm of your hands to massage sore achy muscles.

7. Scented Bath Oil.  Warm up about a quarter cup of oil on the defrost setting in your microwave for 10 seconds then add to warm bath water.  Soak and enjoy the softening benefits and let the delicious scent relax you after a long day!

8. Sexual Lubricant/Feminine Moisturizer.  All natural all the way.  As with any oil, do not use in conjunction with a latex condom, as oils can cause them to break.

9.  Fight Age Spots.  I've found claims that coconut oil used on a regular basis will fade age spots on your skin.  Haven't examined this claim yet, but thought I'd at least pass it along!

10. Remove Eye Makeup.  Use it to remove your eye makeup, and you won't have to worry about it clogging your pores.  Also moisturizes the delicate eye area with each use.

11.  All Natural Eyelash Growth.  It's been claimed to increase your eyelashes.  While I'm not sure if this is true, I'm in the process of testing this out by applying a bit to my eyelashes every night.  Either way, they'll break less, because they'll be ultra moisturized, which should make them appear thicker and longer even if it's not actually stimulating growth.

12. Shave Oil.  Use this to lubricate your skin and provide a barrier against razor burn.

13.  Bake Brownies.  Replace the vegetable oil in your regular brown recipe with coconut oil for health boosting benefits!

14. Reduce Your Cholesterol.  According to an article on the Dr. Oz website, coconut oil can help raise your levels of "good" cholesterol and burn stubborn belly fat.

15. Kills Bacteria And Fungus.  Along the lines of applying to scrapes and cuts, sources like CoconutOil.com say that it actually kills bacteria and fungus.

16.  Energy.  One of my Facebook Fans posted that they put a scoop of it in their coffee and it gives her energy for hours.  More from the Dr. Oz website, "Coconut oil can boost thyroid function helping to increase metabolism, energy and endurance."  It is said to help maintain glucose levels, which is why it keeps energy up when you would otherwise crash from low blood sugar mid-day.

17.  Skin Ailments.  My eldest has severe eczema, and coconut oil is one of the only few things that soothes his skin without burning when he has a bad breakout.  I had never used the pure coconut oil, but a mixed balm that contained it and some other natural oils along with beeswax, and it was the only that didn't make  him scream other than his steroid creams from the dermatologist.  Other people use it to treat psoriasis.

18.  Cooking.  There are recipes abound for using coconut oil in food.  Everything from frying, to buttering your toast, to salad dressings.  Here are some favorites from my Facebook community:

  • Spread on Ezekiel toast, drizzle with honey and then sprinkle some cinnamon on top. (From Anna.)
  • Paleo Coconut Chicken (From Kim)
  • Boneless Chicken Thighs- Melt about a quarter cup coconut oil and add roughly half a tablespoon mustard to it and half a table spoon rosemary. Spread the mixture over boneless skinless chicken thighs (4-6) and bake for 25- 30 minutes at 350, delicious!  (From Sara.)
  • Chunk up sweet potatoes and covered them in coconut oil and salt and bake for an hour to get sweet potato "fries" (From Sara) ~  I'm totally trying this one!
  • Vegan, Gluten Free Platain and Rice Pancakes (From Sandhya)
19.   Reduce Stretch Marks.  Here's a recipe from Molly Sims!

20.  Flavor Your Smoothies.  Add a scoop to your fruit smoothie and pretend you're in the islands!

21.  Fry Eggs.  Instead of butter or cooking spray, use melted coconut oil for delicious healthy eggs.

22.  Popcorn Topping.  Cut out the salt and fats from butter and use coconut oil instead!

23.  Deodorant. Yes, you read that right.  The stuff that goes under your arms.  Lush sells a powdered version and this website has a recipe for homemade.

24.  Hair Serum. You don't have to slather it all over your scalp and head to get the hair benefits from coconut oil.  Just a little bit warmed in your hands will help tame frizz, flyaways, and static.

25.  Condition Your Cuticles.  Massage a few drops into your cuticles to soften the nail bed and promote growth.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Coconut Oil Hair Mask

I've been hearing things all over YouTube and the internet about coconut oil lately, about how it's so amazing for your skin and hair and how it can even make your eyelashes grow!  Curious, I picked up a tub of it at Costco a few weeks ago and have been experimenting with it.

So far I'm really liking it.  It has a light nutty scent that isn't overpowering and doesn't smell like fake "coconut" scents cosmetic companies tell you smells like coconut.  I'm also such a child inside, because I think it's super cool how it starts out solid and then melts into liquid with your body heat.

Starts as solid coconut oil

Then melts with your body heat to become liquid coconut oil!

Last night I tried it out as a hair mask.  I scooped out a few teaspoons and let them melt in my hands before applying it to my scalp and down the shaft of my hair.  I initially started out with my hair up in a high bun, but I couldn't sleep like that and had to take it out around 3 am. 

In the morning, I thought it would be more difficult to get out of my hair, but it rinsed clean after just one round of lather with the shampoo.  I still applied regular conditioner to my hair after, and it felt super slick and soft in the shower.  Once I dried it with the hair dryer about 75% of the way, I couldn't tell much of a difference though and got disappointed.

Then it was time to head off to a photoshoot while my hair air dried the rest of the way.  By the time I got there, my hair was 100% dry and felt very soft and smooth.  It didn't frizz up, even though it was rainy/misty out.  I still think that if I wanted a super slick look though I'd opt to dry it all the way and then flat iron it to make it really smooth.

I haven't noticed it helping my lashes grow yet, but I've only used it a few times a week for two weeks, so it hasn't had time to kick in yet I guess.  I took a before photo, so in a month or so I'll take another an compare and let you know if I think it's a good DIY lash growth recipe or not.

Have you used coconut oil for your hair before?  Did you like it?  Tell me about your experiences with coconut oil hair masks!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Life Update and A Bit of An Apology

Here's just inside the entrance to IBS in NYC on Monday.  I'm so short you can't get a real gauge how far back it goes, but it literally takes HOURS to walk it all!

First let's start with the apology:  I'm sorry I haven't been blogging in almost two weeks!  Aack!  It's been one thing after another for the past week and a half, and this is literally the first time I'm sitting down to a computer in nearly two weeks.  And it's just my laptop, which I JUST figured out I can use an SD card with! Yay for learning new things.

This is what adventures in SuzanneLand has looked like for the past 9 days:

Monday, April 8th-  I got up at the buttcrack of dawn to drive an hour away for a photoshoot at a BBQ place for a local magazine.  Tons of fun!  I got to work with one of my favorite photographers in the area, Jonathan Thorpe, and one of my super beautiful model friends Jessica on this shoot.  I haven't seen either of them in almost a year, so it was extra nice to have them on set.  The theme was a bride and groom eating BBQ, and they got crazy messy- on purpose!- for the pictures.  I can't wait to see the final product, but I did snap a few phone shots for fun.  Here's one of them chowing down on the saucy mess!

Tuesday, April 9th- I actually had a day where I wasn't working, but it was time to get things ready for the final move what was supposed to be the following day...

Wednesday, April 10th-  Moving day... or Day 1 rather.  We moved our furniture in a Uhaul and figured we could get the rest in our van with trips back and forth between our house and my mother in law's house where we're staying until our new house is finished being built this June.  So much for that plan!

Thursday, April 11th-  After several pulled muscles, two Uhaul loads, and being up until nearly 1 am, we still weren't finished!  I also had a lash extensions client and a mobile spray tanning client in the middle of all that.  My right toes still have dark brown drip marks from where my gun leaked and I was wearing sandals.  (Note to self: When moving, leave yourself more than one available pair of shoes.)

Friday, April 12th-  Closing day.  We were able to get a moving company in the early morning to help us load up the rest of the stuff before the new owners took possession.  My back was so sore I could barely move, so I had to cancel my photoshoot at the boudoir company and find a replacement artist.  Thankfully, one of my team members Samantha was able to step in for me.  I treated myself to some ice cream for lunch, because honestly, it was an ice-cream-for-lunch kind of day.  My three year old loved the concept and has been asking for more "Frosty Moose!" for lunch since.  (It's going to be dangerous living about a mile away from such an awesome ice cream parlor!)

Saturday, April 13th-  Early wedding in Washington, D.C. for a group of uber blonde bridesmaids and bride.  She wanted them all to look like Barbie dolls, and we accommodated!  I finished out my day with some R&R at the spa for a facial, manicure, and pedicure.  This time I tried a shimmery dark blue on my toes, and I still don't know how I feel about it.

Sunday, April 14th- I slept.  For 14 hours straight and still was exhausted. Thankfully, I didn't have anything pressing on my agenda.  I had originally planned to go to NYC for The International Beauty Show, but since my ticket wasn't dated, I went on Monday instead.

Monday, April 15th-  Got up at 5 am to take a 4 1/2 hour bus ride up to NYC for The International Beauty Show.  Spent the next five hours walking every booth in the convention and hitting up the spa convention as well for even more amazing finds.  The deals were extraordinary, and I probably overspent.  Ok, so I totally overspent, but there were some things I just couldn't say no to.  I made out like a fox at Essie, China Glaze, Stila, and more.  I can't wait to show you guys some amazing new products!

As if IBS wasn't big enough, there was a whole other convention included in my ticket, The International Esthetics, Cosmetics, and Spa Conference.  I was in skin care heaven!

Tuesday, April 16th-  One errand after another, I did manage to fit in a quick round of golf with my husband before he left on his annual golf trip in Georgia with his father.  It's our tradition every year that I play 9 holes with him, which means that I only play golf once a year.  Which also in turn means I spend the first three holes getting hopping mad that I suck and not having a good time at all.  Logically, I know I can't be competitive, but emotionally it just drives me bonkers not to "do" what I'm thinking.  You know what I mean?

And that brings us to today.  It's after 7 pm, and in between boiling some pasta for my kids I'm typing this up.  I spent the morning watching The Hunger Games while my little guy watched Busytown and just enjoying it being the two of us.  Then it was time to get to work.  I had emails galore to return, and with six weddings, one wedding trial, and four upcoming boudoir photoshoots between now and the end of the month, I need to get ahead of the game or I'll lose my marbles.

What's your least favorite part about moving?  Is there anything you like about it?  Share your thoughts with me!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Makeup Tips #1!

Copyright Urban Decay Cosmetics

I'm starting a new series here on the blog- Makeup Tips!  Quick little posts with some of my favorite tips for making your makeup look amazing.

Tip #1:  Use an eye primer before putting on your eye color

Using an eye primer will allow your eyeshadow to cling to the eyelid better and last all day.  I hear from women all the time that they get frustrated when their eyeshadow fades or settles into the creases of their eyelids.  Yet when I ask them if they use an eye primer first, they look at me like I have two heads.

Not only will it help your eye color last longer through the day (especially important if you have oily lids or lots of fine lines), it will also keep the color truer.  Ever put an eye shadow on your lid only to  have it look completely different from how it did in the pan?  Eye primers counteract this problem!

And if that wasn't enough, many eye primers now come with a multitude of skincare benefits, from hydrating to firming.  How awesome is that?!

Do you have a favorite eye primer?  Here are mine:

  1. Tarte 360 degree Creaseless Eye Primer.  It's silky smooth and very hydrating.  And I love that Tarte doesn't test on animals and uses natural ingredients in a lot of their products.
  2. Benefit Stay Don't Stray.  This is best for fair skinned women, as it's got a built in concealer that completely blocks out discoloration on the lid.  Perfect for those days when you don't really want to wear shadow, but you want your lids to look fresh.  Goes under your undereye concealer as well to keep it in place!
  3. Too Faced Shadow Insurance.  Available in a variety of shades to give your eyes exactly what they need.  Comes in clear, lemony yellow, candlelight (shimmery golden), champagne, and glitter glue- perfect if you wear glittery shadows or loose pigments!
  4. Urban Decay Primer Potion.  Also available in a variety of colors.  Eden (a nude), Original (clear), Sin (shimmering champagne- gorgeous on its own!), and Greed (shimmering golden).

Friday, April 5, 2013

Huge Ulta Haul- March 2013

I haven't ordered from Ulta in a long time, and let's just say that this time I went a little buck wild.  I had a coupon for 20% off, they had BOGO 1/2 off on L'Oreal and NYX products, freebies from a lot of my favorite prestige brands, and on top of that for using my link through ShopAtHome.com, I got 8% cash back on me entire purchase. Overall I'd say I came close to saving at least $100, including the rebate, coupon, freebies, sales, and free shipping.

My Freebies

It was the perfect opportunity for me to purchase some things that I've been wanting to try, like the Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation.  A girlfriend of mine, and fellow makeup artist, has been using this for a few months and raves about it to everyone that she sees.  I tried it for the first time yesterday, and I can see why. It truly lives up to its name.  It looked like I wasn't wearing anything at all, and it evened out my skintone really nicely.  I won't go into a full review now.  I'll save that for a future post, but I'm really impressed with it after my first test run of it.

Other notable greats were the Benefit Hello Flawless pressed powder.  I've been using the foundation for a few weeks now, and it made my list of March Favorites, so I really wanted to try the powder.  I love it when I can get matching foundation and powder from the same line.  Plus, Ulta was giving away a free 10 day sample of the foundation, so I've got an awesome travel size to take with me.  Yay!  I also got the Fakeup Concealer stick, and I'm still undecided about this one.  It will require further experimentation before I'll make a ruling on it. (I feel like a lawyer here!  I need to lay off the crime dramas on tv I guess. lol.)

I was super excited to see that Ulta was doing BOGO 1/2 off on L'Oreal and NYX products, so I stocked up on things I've been wanting to try.  I read a review of the Infalliable eyeshadows, and from the blogger's swatches, I picked my six favorite colors.  In person, they didn't disappoint.  I did a quick swatch of each color on my arm for you to see how richly pigmented they are.  I love the way they feel so creamy, yet finish like a powder.  I put Bronzed Taupe on my eyelid with some Eternal Sunshine above the crease and on my browbone for a quick eye look while I did some videos, and it's held up really nicely.  The lids have a bit of a glossy look from the metallic shimmer of the brown color, but it's a super quick and easy smokey eye.  I can see this being an amazing shadow base for more intricate looks.  I don't know about the whole 24 hour claim, but after wearing it for nine hours before hitting the sheets, it didn't crease up at all.  I'll definitely be buying the remaining colors the next time I see a sale on them.  I can see them being a staple in my personal makeup bag this summer when I want something quick and easy with lots of impact.

In order from left to right: Liquid Diamond, Endless Sea, Golden Emerald, Eternal Sunshine, Bronzed Taupe, Amber Rush.  Kinda looks like a rainbow, eh?  Totally unintentional! lol.

For NYX, I tried out their HD foundation primer.  I'll need to experiment with it more under other foundations, because under the Naked Skin, it wasn't shown off so to speak.  The foundation was so awesome, it didn't feel like it needs a primer at all.  I was surprised though how thick it was, like a lotion.  And it smelled strongly, almost like cheap sunscreen.  It was also a bluish white color instead of clear.

I also grabbed two of their eyebrow pencils in Auburn and Medium Brown.  Auburn was really red, and the medium brown was too light for my brows.  I'll need to pick up a few other colors to see what works best with my dyed red brows and my dyed red hair.  I may just stick to using my eyeshadow colors for now and avoid pencils.  Red brows are super tricky, and I've yet to find a pencil that I liked as much as a powder product.  Also in the eye department, I got the Faux Lashes mascara.  I'm not a fan of the brush, as it didn't volumize at all, and the formula was very thin.  I barely looked like I was wearing anything, despite the fibers in the product meant to lengthen and thicken my lashes.  I'll have to try again with multiple coats.

I rounded out my NYX haul with two blushes- Dusty Rose and Mocha.  I was shocked at how pigmented they were!  For a drugstore brand, their blushes pack a lot of punch.  I can see me getting more of these down the road.

Now on to the Smashbox purchases.  (Can you see where I'm getting the whole buck wild thing here?)  They had a nice little set with bronze colored products in it, including a bronze blush that has a gorgeous shimmer and is a wearable brown color meant to be a blush not a bronzer.  There was a bronze lipgloss, full size Be Legendary Lipstick in Honey, and a full size Full Exposure mascara (LOVE this stuff!).

There was also a "create your own kit" deal where I got two eyeshadow trios and a dual ended lipgloss for $33.  There Photo Op eyeshadows are pretty amazing and really pigmented.  I got the Fixed Focus and Macro Lens trios.  Gorgeous neutral browns.  I know they'll look amazing with the Hint of Bronze collection.

Their Be Legendary lipsticks are the bomb, and I've wanted to try out other colors (I own Honey already and now have another full size of it from the kit).  But I didn't want to use the testers in the store (I'm a germ freak when it comes to testers after having worked at cosmetics counters) and didn't want to buy the full size colors only to hate the color.  Enter the Be Legendary lipstick palette!  It's got 8 colors in a nifty little travel worthy palette complete with lip brush.  I'm already planning on buying at least one more for my personal use and using this one for my makeup kit.  I can carry 8 shades with me that I can custom mix for my clients, and when I run out I can refill it with a slice off the full size shade.  It means I won't have to carry 8 lipsticks with me on vacation!  Yay!  (Can you tell I'm soooo ready for a vacation?)

Also included in this massive haul were two nail polishes from L'Oreal (I'll be swatching those with another polish later in the month), a bronzer/highlighter duo from Lorac, the Lorac PRO mascara, and a set of 4 mini nail polishes from OPI.  Plus of course my freebies and samples.

I tried to film a haul video for YouTube yesterday, but it was so long I'm either going to have to find a creative way to edit it into three shorter videos or just try to refilm it.

Have you bought anything new lately you're loving?  Share your recent purchases below in the comments section!
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