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DIY Beauty With Epsom Salt

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One of the best beauty investments you can make is a simple $5 bag of Epsom Salt. It will change your beauty life!  DIY beauty with Epsom Salt is easy and there are so many great treatments you can make to treat yourself at home.

DIY Beauty With Epsom Salt

I’m all about DIY beauty treatments, and as a busy mom there’s really nothing better than to spend some time during the week masking, scrubbing, and moisturizing my woes away. It’s a necessity!

Epsom Salt Beauty DIY

I recently picked up a bag of Epsom Salt from Target that’s going to be my beauty best friend for months to come. There are so many great beauty uses that I honestly did not know anything about until I received an email from The Epsom Salt Council.

Epsom Salt

All I ever knew about Epsom Salt before is that you could put a bit into your bath to relax sore muscles. That’s true, but there are so many more body benefits from Epsom Salt. For a soothing foot soak, dissolve a half cup of Epsom Salt into two quarts of warm water. Soak your feet for 15 minutes and use extra Epsom Salt to exfoliate your heels.

Epsom Salt Foot Soak

For one of the best body scrubs you’ll ever use, mix Epsom Salt with petroleum jelly.

Epsom Salt Body Scrub

Add a couple of drops the essential oil of your choice to the mix. I use Lavender Oil for soothing relaxation.

DIY Body Scrub With Epsom Salt and Lavender Oil

The results? The kind of scrub that will leave your skin buttery smooth! You can also add Epsom Salt to your facial cleanser for a deep microdermabrasion treatment.

Body Scrub With Epsom Salt

For a soothing bath, add two cups of Epsom Salt to the water in a standard-sized bathtub and soak for at least 12 minutes, three times we1ekly. For  a true spa feeling, add few drops of eucalyptus oil.

Package your Epsom Salt in a glass bottle, dress it up with a fancy tulle bow, add a couple of bottles of essential oils, and voila!  You have a great spa night gift package to give as a thoughtful present to anyone you know who deserves some pampering. DIY Beauty With Epsom Salt Tutorial

For more information about the great benefits of Epsom Salt for beauty, your home, and garden, visit The Epsom Salt Council.

Ipsy May 2015 Jetsetter Glam Bag

My Ipsy May 2015 Jetsetter Glam Bag arrived in record time earlier this week, and I must say, it’s one of the best Ipsy shipments I’ve received in a quite a while.

Ipsy May 2015 Jetsetter Glam Bag

With Ipsy, sometimes you get a great value for your $10 monthly subscription fee, and other months (like last month’s Glam Bag), the value isn’t the equivalent of your investment. Still, I can’t bring myself to cancel Ipsy after over a year of receiving Glam Bags, because when you do receive a great bag, it’s really great! This month’s falls into the great category, starting with the darling canvas makeup bag created for Ipsy by Breakups To Makeup.

Ipsy May 2015 Jetsetter Glam Bag Review

The contents of my May Ipsy Glam Bag included two full-sized items, and three generously-sized sample items.

Review Ipsy May 2015 Jetsetter Glam Bag

Even though you have the option of earning Ipsy points to redeem for products with a sneak peek of your Glam Bag at the beginning of the month, receiving and opening my Glam Bag is still all kind of exciting. It’s a bit like Christmas every month.

Review of the Ipsy May 2015 Jetsetter Glam Bag

With Ipsy, everyone receives customized samples based on a survey you can retake at any time and feedback you get on your monthly shipments. I’ve been happy with my bags so far, so I probably won’t retake my survey anytime soon. I have to confess I don’t generally get excited about skin and hair samples, but I’m looking forward to trying the two that were in my May Glam Bag: Amie Morning Dew Matte Finish Moisturizer and Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray. With the heat tools I’ve been using on my hair lately, this is a welcome treat!

Ipsy May 2015 Jetsetter Glam Bag Eyeshadow Brush and Liners

The exciting part of my Glam Bag is the Luxie Beauty Tapered Eye Brush 205 ($12), the BellaPierre Waterproof Mineral Gel Eyeliner Pencil ($14.99), and the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Lips Pencil, which is clear, deluxe sample sized, and also includes 2 Urban Decay Revolution Lipgloss samples.

Ipsy May 2015 Jetsetter Glam Bag Urban Decay

The nice thing about Ipsy is that they offer generous coupon codes for the products in your Glam Bag, which is good news if you’ve fallen in love with something in particular.

My Final Thought: Ipsy is kind of like that nursery rhyme about the little girl with the little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When it’s good, it’s very good, and when it’s bad, no so much!Overall, I’m really pleased with my Ipsy May 2015 Jetsetter Glam Bag. Sans samples, the value of this month’s bag is $26.99.

If you’re interested in signing up for Ipsy yourself, here’s my referral link. Thank you!

Rating: A

Price: $10 per month (includes shipping)

Value of Full Sized Items: $26.99

Makeup Of The Day 111 With BFTE Cosmetics Dragon Slayer

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After I did a bit of cleaning last week, I found my long lost container of BFTE Cosmetics Dragon Slayer. How could I have possibly neglected this gorgeous gold for so long? There’s no reasonable explanation! Here’s I’ve paired it with brown smoky eyes from my Wet n Wild Milano palette, and accented with the carnation I received for Mother’s Day!

Wet n Wild Milano Palette BFTE Dragon Slayer makeup

Keep reading for more photos and to find out what products I used for this look!

Continue reading Makeup Of The Day 111 With BFTE Cosmetics Dragon Slayer

NYX Define And Refine Powder Foundation Is A Bargain Beauty Powder Win

Press Sample

NYX Define and Refine Powder Foundation in Beige recently became part of my foundation wardrobe, and I have to tell you, it’s pretty much perfect.

NYX Define & Refine Powder Foundation

Now, I have to confess, I did not have extremely high expectations when I first came across this bargain beauty product, which rings in at a whopping $12. Call it negative association with past bargain powder fails, but I didn’t even bother to photograph this innocent looking foundation before I started using it.

NYX Cosmetics Define & Refine Powder Foundation Review

As a beauty blogging makeup junkie, there is a struggle I deal with on a very regular basis. You see, pretty much every product that comes my way has to be photographed in a pristine, untouched state before it can ever be used. I want to share beautiful makeup photos with you, and try to avoid photographing used products as much as I can. Go figure the NYX Define and Refine Powder Foundation I thought I’d hate ended up being a major win! Thankfully, I don’t think you can tell I’d dug into this powder a couple of times before taking the photos.

NYX Define & Refine Powder Foundation Review

What can I say about this powder foundation except that it offers a flawless, weightless, long-wearing matte finish that gives great medium to full-coverage either worn alone or on top of a liquid foundation or BB Cream.

NYX Define & Refine Powder Foundation in Beige

The powder itself is matte and includes a portion of a deeper colored powder with a pearl finish that you mix together either with the sponge that’s included, or a brush. The darker shade included is intended to be used to customize your color.

NYX Define & Refine Powder Foundation in Beige Swatch

I am really impressed with some new products I’ve been using from NYX, and especially the results I get from this powder foundation.

Stilazzi PS11 Eyeshadow NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow in Mermaid Cailyn Lipgloss Basic Instinct FOTD

NYX Define and Refine Powder Foundation comes in 6 shades, and I found Beige to be a good match for my skin, which is typically NC40 in MAC foundations.

My Final Thoughts: Innocent looking but powerful, NYX Define and Refine Powder Foundation offers excellent coverage and a lovely finish to your skin. I cannot remember coming across a bargain powder foundation I’ve liked so much – this is a win! The only downfall is that they are not available in stores and there aren’t many swatches available online to determine your perfect match.

Rating: A

Price: $12

Availability: www.nyxcosmetics.com

Cruelty-free? Yes

Paraben-free? Yes

9 Essential Hair Straightening Tools

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As you may have noticed, I’ve been wearing my hair straight more frequently this year, more than ever! I love my curls, but it was time to try new things and I’ve been enjoying wearing my hair differently every couple of weeks or so. Over time I’ve developed a technique that streamlined the process and creates straight hair that last about 4 days. Here is a list of my 9 essential hair straightening tools, and I hope these can be of use to you, as well!

9 Essential Hair Straightening Tools

While it used to take an hour plus to flat iron my hair, I’ve gotten the process down to the 20 – 30 minute mark. Here are my curls before.

Living Proof Curl Collection Results

And my hair straight (and then curled again) after. And yes, my hair is definitely a bit longer when I wear it straight!

T3 Micro Twirl 360 Results

My 9 Esssential Hair Straightening Tools:

1. A Wide Tooth Comb

To get the party started, I use a wide tooth comb ($3.99) on dry hair that’s been washed the day before. I’ll use a bit of my heat protectant to help detangle my curls and get it ready for the flat iron.

2. A Leave-In Conditioner

When I’m washing my hair in preparation for using the flat iron, I’ll use moisturizing products and make sure to add in the best leave-in conditioner of all time ever, the Living Proof No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner ($24). With all the heat you’re going to inflict upon your hair, it’s wise to baby it as best as you can before and after.

3. A Heat Protectant

Hot tools can really do a number on hair, so to make sure your hair stays in good condition a heat protectant is ESSENTIAL! I’ve been using Blowout Beauty Anti-Frizz Volume Boost Treatment Oil ($45) for a while now, and it leaves me with great results. It does contain silicone, but I use it sparingly and haven’t had any build up problems. Another great product for this purpose is the TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray ($4.89)

4. A Flat Iron

At the moment I’m using a flat iron from Karmin G3 Salon Pro Hair Styling Iron ($160) that I reviewed a few years ago. It’s a work horse that gets super hot and gets the job done quickly with only 2 or 3 passes needed per section of hair.

5. Alligator Clips

Alligator clips are another essential for sectioning off my hair and keeping it in place when all is said and done. I would be lost without these nifty tools!

6. Hairspray

Elnett ($14.99) is a hairspray I’ve been using for years and it really does keep my hair in place when I’ve completely finished styling my hair.

7. Styling Tools

After flat ironing I always need to add a little bit of volume to my hair, which is when I reach for my Voloom or T3 Micro Twirl 360. I also love and adore the Hot Tools 1″ Salon Curling Iron/Wand ($49.99), which works really well to create long-lasting mermaid curls.

8. A Dry Shampoo

Batiste Dry Shampoo ($7.99) will be your best friend in the days to come after you’ve straightened your hair. I typically wear a head band to the gym to absorb sweat and rely heavily on a dry shampoo to keep my hair looking it’s best. Just don’t do what I did recently and mistake a sample size of hairspray for a similarsized dry shampoo! It was a disaster!

Here’s a look at how I use a dry shampoo on my curly hair – it’s also exactly how I use it on my straight hair.

 9. A Deep Conditioning Mask

When you’re ready to get back to your curls, a deep conditioning treatment is in order. I’ll co-wash my hair with Dermorganic Intensive Hair Repair Masque  ($18), which is literally one of the best conditioning treatments I have ever used, if not the best.

Here are some quick tips for straightening your hair:

1. Wash your hair the day before. I use moisturizing products and always, always, always the Living Proof No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner.

2. You will  have to touch up your hair every day, but the process will only take about 5 minutes or so. Some people sleep with their hair in braids or buns, but I just throw it backwards, which is what I do with my curls, as well.

3. A sweat band for the gym and dry shampoo will be your best friends. Trust.

A few months ago I created a quick video sharing my flat ironing technique.

I hope this list is helpful to your future hair straightening endeavors? What are some of your essential beauty tools for straightening your hair?

3 Ways To Wear Aqua Eyeshadow With NYX Cosmetics Prismatic Eyeshadow In Mermaid

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The moment I laid my eyes on NYX Cosmetics Prismatic Eyeshadow in Mermaid, I knew right away it was love at first sight. A lover of all things shimmery and blue, I think this iridescent  is a gorgeous color to incorporate into Spring and Summer makeup. The possibilities are endless, so I thought it would be helpful to narrow it down to 3 ways to wear aqua eyeshadow.

3 Ways To Wear Aqua Eyeshadow Tutorial

1. On The Lower Lid

Adding a colorful eyeshadow or eyeliner to your lower lid is the best way to incorporate color, in my opinion. If you’re used to neutrals, or just looking to change things up from your typical makeup, try a bit of fun color underneath your lower lashes!

EOTD Wet n Wild Milano Palette NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow Mermaid

2. In The Inner Lid

A pop of color on the inner lid is a fun way to make your eyeshadow stand out. Here, paired with purple eyeshadow, it makes for a striking statement!

Stilazzi PS11 Eyeshadow NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow in Mermaid MAC Embark Eyeshadow Design

3. As The Main Event

I have to admit that when I first started wearing makeup (eons ago), I was quite perplexed with how to wear aqua eyeshadow. However, a kindly makeup artist took me under her wings and showed me how to blend matte medium browns into the outer corner and crease of my eyelids to create an eyeshadow look worthy of such a color.

Lorac Pro NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow in Mermaid

Now, for a closer look at Mermaid, which I know will be my main eyeshadow squeeze in the coming Summer months

Review NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow in Mermaid

This eyeshadow is truly spectacular, and the good news is, it offers tons of color payoff and is one of 11 Prismatic Eyeshadows from NYX.

NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow in Mermaid Swatch

Even the packaging with the bow clasp is totally adorable!

NYX Cosmetics Prismatic Eyeshadow Packaging

My Final Thoughts: Mermaid is my first Prismatic Eyeshadow from NYX, but it’s definitely not going to be my last! I’m planning on snapping up some more of these super buttery and pigmented shimmery shadows, stat!

Rating: A

Price: $6

Availability: Ulta

Cruelty-free? Yes

Paraben-free? Yes

Makeup Of The Day 110 With NYX Cosmetics Prismatic Eyeshadow in Mermaid

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NYX Cosmetics Prismatic Eyeshadow in Mermaid could pretty much be the perfect aqua eyeshadow. It has the perfect amount of iridescence and is just lovely on it’s own or paired with other colors.

Stilazzi PS11 Eyeshadow NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow in Mermaid Cailyn Lipgloss Basic Instinct FOTD

Keep reading for more photos and to find out what products I used for this look!

Continue reading Makeup Of The Day 110 With NYX Cosmetics Prismatic Eyeshadow in Mermaid

A Look At Bonita Salon Nail Colors

I Bought It

There’s one thing that happens when a beauty blogging beauty junkie finds herself in front of a display of gorgeous nail polishes under $4. She gets busy shopping. That’s what happened a few weeks ago when I encountered Bonita Salon Nail Polish, a new-to-me bargain brand that was at a local Rite Aid store.

Review Bonita Salon Nail Polish Cocktails in Aruba and Nightlife in Ibiza

Fancy that! Yes, there are always new beauty brands out there to be discovered, a wonderful thought for this cosmetics obsessed beauty blogger.

Bonita Salon Nail Polish Cocktails in Aruba and Nightlife in Ibiza Swatches

The Bonita Salon display had a buy one, get one 50% off deal, and priced at $3.99 each, I could not resist bringing home both Cocktails in Aruba and Ibiza Nightlife.

Bonita Salon Nail Polish Cocktails in Aruba and Nightlife in Ibiza Review

These two colors are right up my alley!

Bonita Salon Nail Polish Cocktails in Aruba and Nightlife in Ibiza

Cocktails in Aruba is a beach-y, mermaid green that I’ve been wearing on my nails and love. It’s a step up from my favorite mint green nail colors, and a perfect color to usher in Summer.

Bonita Salon Nail Polish Cocktails in Aruba

Ibiza Nightlife is a vibrant fuchsia that is the perfect pedicure color. Seriously, I don’t think this is coming off for the next few months!

Bonita Salon Nail Polish Nightlife in Ibiza

My Final Thoughts: The good news is that both polishes are chip resistant, long-wearing, and the Bonita Salon collection is available online. The Bonita Colors brand offers more cosmetics besides nail polish – to keep up with them, follow them on Instagram!

Rating: A

Price: $3.99

Availability: www.bonitacolors.com

Gorgeous, Bouncy Curls Are Easy With The T3 Micro Twirl 360 Curling Iron

Press Sample

While it might sound funny for a person with notoriously curly hair to say this, it has been my great pleasure to spend some time getting to know the T3 Micro Twirl 360 curling iron lately.

T3 Micro Twirl 360 Curling Iron Review

On those occasions I flat iron my hair, I have to admit I miss the natural “oomph” from my curls and I find myself adding curls back with a curling iron. With technology that comes from the aviation and space exploration industries, the T3 Micro Twirl 360 is definitely one of the coolest beauty tools I’ve ever used. You have to see for yourself how this curling iron works!

The T3 Micro Twirl 360 is the first of it’s kind – with the push of a button, it is able to sense the movement of your hand and rotates in your desired direction. The results are uniformly shiny curls that don’t fall out in a few minutes.  Plus, this saves time and wrist movements from the traditional curling iron.

T3 Micro Twirl 360  How To Use

I have to admit, it’s a lot of fun to use this high-tech curling iron!

T3 Micro Twirl 360 How To Use 1

When you release the iron, you’re left with shiny, bouncy curls.

T3 Micro Twirl 360 How To Use 2

It’s easy to use and the results are flawless. When I’m done adding curls randomly throughout my hair, I loosen them up, add a layer of hairspray, and I’m set for the day!

T3 Micro Twirl 360 Results

If you would have asked the gawky and awkward 11 year old version of myself if this hair would have been possible, I would never have believed  you!

T3 Micro Twirl 360

The T3 has five heat settings up to 410°, two speeds that you control from the power button at the base of the iron.

T3 Micro Twirl 360 Power Button

The curling motion is controlled with a button near the clamp. After you place your hair in the 1.25″ barrel, simply push the button and you’re off and on the way to curls!

T3 Micro Twirl 360 Barrel

The barrel is made with T3 tourmaline and ceramic technology and is really easy to use. It heats up really fast and

T3 Micro Twirl 360 Handle

My Final Thoughts: The T3 Micro Twirl 360 is a beauty gadget that will save time and wrist pain and give you a head full of gorgeous, bouncy curls, to boot.

How To Use The T3 Micro Twirl 360

Rating: A

Price: $230

Availability: Sephora

My Instagram Life, 5/10/15

Here’s a look behind the scenes and the week that was on Painted Ladies, as seen on Instagram.

My favorite seasoning of all time – so good I keep it in my purse! Available at Penzey’s.

Penzey's Lemon Pepper

Your regularly scheduled beauty public service announcement – have you taken the time to wash your makeup brushes lately?

How To Wash Makeup Brushes

These doubled-ended liners from Pur Minerals are fun to play around with!

Pur Minerals Double Ego Liners

A look at these gorgeous luxury nail polishes from Butter London and the chance for two readers to win a set!

Butter London Patent Shine

Serving up some copper smoky eyeshadow inspiration.

Copper Smoky Shadow

My many favorites from April 2015.

April 2015 Beauty Favorites

Another awesome contest – one will win this eyeshadow palette from Pacifica.

Pacifica Beauty Contest

An eyeshadow design I created with the aforementioned Pacifica palette.

Pacifica Eyeshadow Inspriation

My pick for the top online exclusive beauty brands.

Online Beauty Brands

The cutest Mother’s Day present ever!

IMG_5652

A look at some new Stilazzi shadows I added to my collection.

Stilazzi

I’m excited to share the review of the curling iron I’m using in this photo! It’s coming up next week.

T3 Curling Iron

Gone fishing! This is actually a park near our house that feels like it’s in the mountains or somewhere remote.

IMG_5655

This is how we roll on Mother’s day weekend. Happy Mother’s Day to the moms, guardians, and caretakers out there!

IMG_5656

Here’s to a blessed week!