Friday, June 29, 2012

10 best beauty buys for $10

I had such a good response to my 5 best beauty buys for $5, and heard from many of you that you were interested in a 10 for $10. So naturally I picked some of my favorite beauty products, and some of the biggest drugstore classics all under $10. 

I am a firm believer that good beauty products don't always have to cost a fortune. Some of my favorite beauty staples are those I don't have to justify buying. As always I would never recommend a product to you I haven't tried and loved myself.

This was a recent beauty purchase when my myself and friend and fellow beauty blogger Charlotte reviewed it for our new post series call Drugstore Beauty Battles. Both of us are big fans of the coveted Tarte Lip Stain and were hesitant that this could compare. To our surprise though it was amazing, and we might even like it better than the $24 Tarte. 

If you follow my posts and vlogs you know this is my everyday face primer. I really love it. It's silky smooth, affordable, and works wonders. If you are going to add an extra step into your beauty routine, primer is hands down the step you should add. It makes all the difference.

Obviously this is a drugstore classic. This scrub has been awarded by every major magazine, website, blogger, and customer out there. The normal one has always been a little harsh for me but the sensitive is just right. I use this twice a week to exfoliate my skin and feel new. Definitely a beauty bargain must have!

Another drugstore beauty classic, this cleanser has also been awarded so many times it's irrelevant to count. Perfect for every day use and sensitive skin, it is gentle yet strong at the same time. This is one of my favorite cleansers to use in conjunction with my Clarisonic Mia.

Not the best mascara of all time but easily one of the best affordable versions. This mascara really gives that soft, feathered look and no tarantula eyes. Plus for under $10 and conveniently available at practically every drugstore and grocer it's a no-brainer.

This was one of the first Mark products I became completely obsessed with. As hesitant as I was to try cream blush it was really quite easy to apply. I love how natural this looks and how easy it is to blend with other Just Pinched colors. My favorite is "Nude" but I love to layer it with "Cheeky". One of the best parts is no shimmer/glitter, which is hard to find in blushes.

Ok hear me out on this one... First off I want to say I am not a doctor, nor have I been recommended this by a doctor but my mom discovered an amazing beauty secret that I just have to share with all of you. TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK! This cold sore gel is hands down the most effective and amazing pimple treatment I have ever used. When you get a major blemish (it doesn't work well on smaller ones), especially the kind that are painful or underground, use this gel as a spot treatment and not only will it vanish overnight, the pain will also subside due to the numbing component in the gel. It has a very strong smell and is shiny so it's best used behind closed doors. I have also found that it tends to cause breakouts if it's rubbed into the skin or used all over. Just simply spot treat the actual blemish and let it do it's thing.

I am a big fan of Almay. It is one of the first brands I discovered that my super sensitive skin has no negative reactions to. I love how natural and light Almay feels too. I use the Clear Complexion foundation everyday and when this new concealer + treatment gel duo was released I was instantly smitten. The concealer formula is really creamy and easily blended and build-able. To have the treatment gel so handy on the same stick is a major plus. I really love the treatment gel alone as well and would actually buy it if it was sold solo. It is (like all Almay products) really gentle yet effective. I carry one of these in my bag at all times. It is the only make-up product I keep on hand. 

This is easily one of the best gradual tanning lotions available at drugstores. Another classic, it has won countless awards. It is virtually impossible to get the streaky orangish look with this lotion. The perfect beauty buy to give your skin that extra glow.

I love baths and I love this bath treatment. I use it a lot in the winter to give my skin a much needed break from the harsh cold, but I also use it in the warmer months too. I always feel like my skin is brand new as soon as I finish a bath with this. 

So what do you lovelies think?
Do you use any of these products?
What are some of your best beauty buys?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

beauty interview with ali fedotowsky + giveaway

Hi Lovelies!

I am so excited to share with all of you my exclusive interview + giveaway with former Bachlorette Ali Fedotowsky! I am obviously a huge fan of Ali and watched both her seasons religiously, so when I got this opportunity I jumped at it! You may recall my recent post about the website Open Sky and my slight obsession with it. Well Ali is one of thier amazing curators, who handpicks items to share with all her followers. Anyone who knows of Ali knows that she has impeccable taste and an awesome look. She really embodies the girl next door look of being drop dead gorgeous without looking like she tried

Every girl out there who adores make-up loves a good natural look, but it is actually quite hard to achieve. Believe it or not, it is actually easier to look like you have on too much make-up than just the right amount. And like I've said before every girl could use a little make-up.

Ali just launched her new shop in Open Sky and is sharing all of her beauty favorites, tips, and tricks with us. 
Open Sky was kind enough to offer one lucky reader a $35 credit to shop Ali's favorite beauty products. 

Ali also filmed a "What's In My Bag" video to share with all of you, check out a clip below or the full video HERE.

So without further ado let's get right to the interview...

Q: What are your daily beauty must-haves?

o Indie Lee Blemish stick - If you don't have clear skin then no matter what makeup you put on your face it won't look the way you want it to. I put this in my purse and apply it throughout the day!

o Fake LASHES! I'm offering an AMAZING pair on Opensky soon. I am seriously obsessed with them. Lately I have been playing down my eye makeup, but playing with bigger and more flirty lashes!

o Since I travel so much I don't have to worry much about travel size products because I always check a bag. I like what I like and some products don't come in travel size. But, I do have some travel sized things that I love. Not because they are small and good for travel, but just because I really love them. I always carry my Essential makeup bag by Rain Cosmetics  - it has a mini lip gloss, bronzer, mascara, an eye pencil, and makeup wipes. Almost everything I need I can carry on board my plane in case my luggage gets lost! Hasn't happened yet!

Q: If you had to use only three of your daily must-haves what would they be, and why?

o   Highlighter pen - I use certain products to highlight parts of my face in order to contour my face. It something I didn't even know existed before getting into the entertainment industry. Now I'm obsessed with learning new contouring techniques.

o   Vassuer skin lotion - I cannot stress how much I like to be tan and I cannot stress EVEN MORE how I never go in the sun without SFP lotion on. I really love this particular lotion because it doesn't dry sticky and it smells so good! I put it on every morning before I put on my makeup.

o   Great mascara - I'm all about the lashes. I couldn't live without great mascara.

Q: We all have to deal with blemishes, and they always seem to happen at the worst of times. How do you handle blemishes, and what products do you use?

Again, the Indie Lee Blemish stick because a blemish stick to carry with me on the go is so essential, especially with all the traveling I do.

Q: When you want to take your look a little more dramatic what steps do you take and what products do you use?

I rarely use eyeshadow and don't use dark eyeshadow at all! I just don't know how to use it. I try to learn, but every time I try to do my eyeshadow I end up looking like I've gotten punched in the eye. Ha! So I try to stick to a light shimmer or nothing at all.

Q: Name one of your biggest beauty battles (i.e. shine, limp lashes, under eye circles etc) and how you conquer it.

Considering the fact that I never sleep, I must have major dark circles. My cure?… Dunkin Donuts coffee. Ha. Kidding. I just use concealer under my eyes, but the Ellis Faas LIGHTS Highlighter Pen might just be my secret weapon when it comes to brightening up my entire face. I recently posted a video to my twitter, FB, and opensky pages of how I use this stick to look fresher faced. It is probably one of my favorite things I use :)

Q: What is the best beauty tip you have ever heard?

I try not to wash my hair everyday and have started using dry shampoo lately. Ever since I started doing this my hair is so much healthier. 

Q: Anything else you would like to share with me and my readers?
I can sum up beauty in two words: fresh face. I believe less is more.  For example, I think a nude or peach lipstick is always best in making it look effortless.

Thank you so very much Ali for taking the time to answer my questions and share your beauty favorites, secrets, tips, and tricks with us! Nothing is better than a good old fashioned word of mouth recommendation from one beauty lover to the next.

$35 Open Sky credit to shop Ali's Beauty Favorites

Contest Rules:
- Join Open Sky using THIS LINK (it's super fun and they have awesome stuff).
- LIKE Open Sky on Facebook.
Make sure to include your FB name in your comment below
- Leave a comment below.
- Only open to the continental US. Sorry :(
 - Contest ends July 8, 2012 at 11.59PM EST. 
- One entry per person please
- Winner will be chosen at random and notified via e-mail by Open Sky around July 9, 2012.

Once again thank you to Ali and Open Sky for giving myself and my lovely readers this awesome opportunity! I can't wait to try some of Ali's recommendations. I have my eye on the travel kit, the blemish stick, setting spray, and the lash + brow kit! 

What products do you want to try?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

little loves

So once again it has been a while since I did a little loves. I filmed a few new vlogs this week and have been busy editing those so that is why I have been a bit MIA. I also started my NEW kickboxing class this week, and let me tell you it was INTENSE! I used to take the class at Asian Sun Martial Arts but it was so expensive and not flexible. I found out my local YMCA has the class (and you hit bags there too) for way cheaper and more flexibility. It was also WAY harder and fun. It's practically like a boot camp.

Last week I received an advance copy of the book "Such a Rush" by Jennifer Echols from the lovely little ladies at Small Girls PR. It has been the perfect summer read thus far. I brought it to the pool with me, and have been sneaking in reading every chance I get. It's definitely a page turner! I am filming a "what's in my beach bag" vlog next week and will have finished it by then. I will be sure to give you my final thoughts.
Don't worry I'm not driving. Was waiting for the boyfriend and parked.

 I have become a huge huge fan of Simple products. I went to CVS this week to get the gel cleanser you see on the far right because I love it with my Clarisonic MIA, and I found this travel size display! I was really excited because I also love the wipes but they are a little more expensive then my trusty Olay wipes. Though I definitely snatched up the travel size pack for my beach bag and for my Lyndsey Emergency Kit. Of course I bought the last gel cleanser and decided to try the make-up remover too. 

Also while I was at CVS I saw this Skinny Girl Beauty display. I had not heard about it at all and was really surprised and intrigued. I posted a picture via FB and Instagram and asked for feedback. My reader Sheila said the plumping lip gloss was sticky and another reader Lindsay said she loved the lip gloss, lip scrub, and body scrub, but was underwhelmed by the tinted moisturizer. I think I am going to try the wipes (because they are fairly low price), the body scrub (which isn't pictured here), the face mask for sure, and probably a million others if I like the results with those first buys. 

Have any of you tried any Skinny Girl Beauty yet? What did you try and what are your thoughts?!

Wednesday night my friends Jessalyn + Kristen had a thirty-one party. It was a night with the girls and I had been aching to finally wear my new statement necklace (from this haul), so I did. It was like 90* so I kept the outfit simple and cool with a blue high-waisted skirt, sheer white tie top, and simple gold jewelry. Loved this outfit!

Myself + Sadie (who's birthday it was this week!) at the party.

We made mini-sundae's after the party and girl talked till 2AM. Love nights like those.

Thursday date night was just going to be casual and chill. It was once again crazy hot so this top was perfect and cool. I got it years ago from express and just love the detail and simpleness of it. I paired it with my favorite boyfriend jeans from American Eagle (years ago), brown sandals (Target- 2 years ago), H+M cross body bag, and some simple bracelets. I have been pulling my hair back into a bun using my Goody spin-pins and then letting it out when it dries to make the most beautiful natural waves without heat. It is just too hot to blow dry my hair right now. 

I have been looking everywhere for a bralet top like this that will allow me to still wear a real bra underneath for support. I finally found some at Target this week. They had a few different styles but only this one and a black with studs thats straps were thick enough to cover my real bras straps. I really love this look and am going to try and pull it off. It only shows maybe an inch of my stomach. I think one of the boyfriends gigs at a less upscale bar will be perfect. 

What do you think? Hoochy or Hot? 

Yesterday my boyfriend had a gig at Russo's in Cuyahoga Falls. I love Russo's! The food is out of this world (the owner/chef trained under Emeril), and it's a bit classier than most of their gigs so I had the opportunity to get dolled (Kardashian lingo here) up for it. I wore the BB Dakota skirt I scored off Open Sky for $19 (normally $119), my color block Express Tee, and blue Gianni Bini pumps. I even did the signature Kardashian bun. 

I hope you lovelies had a great week! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

swim-suit mix up

This post is underwritten by Old Navy. Whether you're looking for a tankini, bikini, or a one piece, Old Navy has you confidently covered at a great price.

Its no surprise that swim wear is a very scary thing to many women. Stripping down to basically your lingerie, in the very unflattering and unforgiving sunlight, in front of potentially thousands of strangers is not something the majority of women look forward to all year. However the endless possibilities you have of mixing and matching your tops and bottoms almost overshadows that dread of actually putting your suit on. There isn't one girl I know who doesn't love to buy mix-and-match separates and come up with fun and fresh new combos. 

When I had the opportunity to preview the new and largest ever Old Navy swimwear line I was super impressed with the amount of options and the really chic high end prints. I picked my eight favorite tops, and eight favorite bottoms and went to town making the cutest combinations ever. I had a blast doing it too!



Now let's see all the fun combos I came up with. I will warn you I got a bit carried away!

red plaid

ruffle top

plaid top

flag top

chevron top

leopard top

black top

white top

Phew! 31 different combos that I was smitten for! And I am sure you could come up with more using my selections but these were just my favorites! Most of these separates are only $10 a piece! And this isn't even half of the new swim collection! Just think of all the killer combos you could come up with! 

I was going to try and pick my top 3 combos but I am honestly obsessed with too many of them! The Red, White, and Blue flag suit is so on-trend this summer, I love the pin-up style leopard top with the boy short bottoms, the blue ruffle top and the polka-dot boy shorts, and the black and white chevron suit is just super sexy.

Which is your favorite combo?

Thank you again to Old Navy for sponsoring my post. 
I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective but the content is all my own.

fashion haul

Hey Lovelies!

As always I did a little shopping and thought I'd film a little video to show you all my finds and where you can get them!

In Order of Appearance:

Lace Dress
Lace Detail Pocket Tee
Mustard Flower Dress
Color Block Pocket Tank
Gold + Teal Chunky Necklace
 ... all from Figleaf

Picture of the color block tank :)

Hawaiian Tank
Polka-Dot Button Front Tank
Gold Earrings
... all from Room 9 

Lace Front Tee
... all from Express

What is your favorite piece I bought?

Any suggestions on how to style some of the pieces here?

Friday, June 8, 2012

lovely little obsession

This morning I received a $20 Open Sky credit in my inbox and thought I'd browse around the site. For those of you who don't know about Open Sky, let me fill you in. An online shopping site that hosts 80+ influential people in blogging, food, interior design, fashion, fitness, and many more; who all hand pick items to shop from. The items all run small discounts too! It's awesome because not only have I discovered some awesome products on Open Sky, I have also gotten some awesome deals on some brands I love! 

Take today for example, I found the exact same pair of $100 Steve Madden boots I bought from Macy's in black on sale for $50 ($30 with my credit applied)! I wanted them in brown last year, so obviously I snatched them up! Then I found the gorgeous Jack by BB Dakota leather skirt below, and might have shed a tear over my size being sold out. Normally it ran $118 and is on sale for $39, it would have been $19 with my credit! They are also running sales on the famous Supergoop Sunscreen, my new skincare obsession One Love Organics, the celebrity secret Prtty Peaushun, the crazy popular and cute Ms. + Mrs. Survival Kit, and so much more!

Open Sky is too good not to share, so I am sharing! 

Find anything you LOVE that I didn't mention? Tell me about it :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

drugstore beauty battles no. 1

Hey Lovelies! This is a project that has been in the works for a while now, and I am excited to finally share it with all of you! Basically every month, my fellow beauty blogger friend Charlotte and I will pick 1-3 drugstore beauty products and review them. 

I thought it would be fun to see different beauty enthusiasts opinions on the same products and the same time. We will eventually incorporate other beauty bloggers, have our own blog for the battles, and make profiles on our skin and hair types, but for now we just started simple!

We picked 3 products this month:
Garnier Beauty Balm - 

See what Charlotte thinks of these products HERE!

Make sure to comment on our posts! Let us know if you've tried any of these products, want to try any, have suggestions for future reviews, etc! We can't wait to hear what you think!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

may bloom beauty ambassador

For those of you who missed my first two posts on this you can check them out HERE and HERE. I have gotten the amazing opportunity to be a Beauty Ambassador for an amazing site called Bloom. Bloom is basically an online mega-store with every brand from Stila to Almay and everything in between. Not online do the carry awesome brands, and constantly run promotions, they also have an amazing beauty community, recommendations, and cash back rewards! 

This months kit had two more Lash Food products to accompany the Lash Food Conditioner we got in Aprils kit, and an Alchimie Forever Mask. I was super excited about the Lash Food products because I have heard a lot about them and I was really enjoying the conditioner so far. I knew Alchimie Forever was a popular, high-end brand but that was about the extent of my knowledge on it. 

Something I did learn about myself during this process is I suck at taking eye-lash photos. I must have taken 100 every time and I was never very pleased with any of them! I also need a better camera then my little point and shoot. Anyway this is my before and after shots, NO product. I honestly don't feel like my lashes improved too dramatically but I did see a small difference. I was hoping to see more volume but only saw more length, but that is okay. Last week I also decided to start putting the conditioner in my eyebrows and I really think they are getting fuller. I am going to take a picture of the progress and show you lovelies in about a month!

I was extremely hesitant about the Lash Food Liquid Liner but I was very pleasantly surprised. It went on really nicely, stayed put, and has a nice shine to it. I am not much of a liner girl in general but I got so many compliments on my eyes that day, maybe I should be! It lasted all day, and didn't smudge or flake but it came off with one swipe of my make-up remover! Love it!

I have only good things to say about the Lash Food Mascara. Out of the 5 different mascara's I currently have in my make-up bag I found myself constantly reaching for this one. It really lengthened, separated, and didn't make my lashes "droop". So many mascaras are too heavy and my curled lashes fall limp within the hour. It gave my lashes a really pretty natural look, and even my boyfriend said something about them! This also lasted all day, and came off in a breeze, no raccoon eyes at all!

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you know I started something called Mask Monday's. Face masks and hair masks are important to any beauty routine and should be done weekly. I was finding I would lose track of when I last did a mask, or forget to do one so I made a night of it and now every Monday I remember. I was really excited when I saw this Alchimie Forever Kantic Mask because I had a new mask to add to the mix!

I had heard of the brand, and knew it was a high-end brand so I was really excited to get to test it out! I was really surprised when I opened the lid to find this lush, creamy, purplish goop inside. This specific mask is for brightening the skin, soothing skin, and calming irritations and redness, among other things. I am generally pretty nervous to put on new face masks because sometimes my skin has very bad reactions to them, but after reading the ingredients, smelling it, and seeing how soothing it looked I was less nervous. 

This mask doesn't dry, you simply put it on and let it sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse. I'm not 100% sure if it brightened my complexion but it definitely soothed it, and combated some of the redness. I felt like I was at a day spa getting a incredibly expensive facial. I have used this mask multiple times since then and continue to love it. If anything, my skiing feels calm afterwards.

Overall I loved my May kit! I will most likely buy the Lash Food Conditioner, and mascara again, as well as the Alchimie Forever mask. I probably won't buy the liner, simple because I don't use liner too often.

Have you ever used any of these products? 

Which would you most want to try?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

utilizing samples + girly emergency kit

It's no secret I adore samples. I am a Birchbox subscriber, I get an email alert daily about freebies (many of which are awesome beauty ones), and I attend lots of blogger events with awesome sample swag. I am the exact kind of person companies hope their samples get to when they put them out there. I not only put them to use, but I also end of buying full size versions almost always. 

I've gotten a lot of feedback asking what I do with my samples and how to not let them go to waste. Many girls get caught up in getting some new freebies they often forget about the last freebie that lays in the bottom of a unused drawer until it's thrown out a year later. It took some time but my sampling has become an organized and efficient way to get the best of the little guys, and I am here to show you how to do the same.

-When you first get a sample decide if it's something you really want to try right away or not.

-If it is something you're anxious to try then put it where where it will be used right away. If it belongs in the shower, put it there. If it belongs in your make-up bag get it there. Quickly, before it gathers dust on your dresser!

-If it's not something you want to try right away put it in either, your single use bin, or your deluxe sample bin.

-Keep your sample bins in a place you will access and see frequently. Samples that aren't seen, aren't used.

-When you come across a single use sample that would come in handy in desperate times, put it in your "girly emergency kit". 

-Things I like to have in my Lyndsey Emergency Kit:
-Travel Pack of Face Wipes
-Nail Clippers
-"Lady" Business
-Blotting Papers
-Small Perfume
-Any samples that might come in handy later. Currently I have shampoo/conditioner duo, powdered mouthwash, Mac Fix+, tinted moisturizer, mascara, SPF, and more. You'll want to use your smaller and single use samples here because they are lightweight and small.