Hangover Beauty Helpers

I don't know about you, but after a night of drinking and dancing I look like a tiger attacked me.  My skin is duller than a matte nail polish and you could easily mistake me for the female version of Mr. Fester... pretty much the opposite of pretty ... which I definitely looked the night before 😉 Now, I know many of you will be out celebrating this weekend.  Here are some tips to look presentable come Sunday sans Snapchat filter. Hangover Helpers DULL SKIN Cause: Alcohol is a notorious dehydrator. Fix:
  • Moisturize the face - Before going to bed, try Anew Clinical Overnight Hydration Mask.  This will deeply replenish the lost moisture as you sleep.
  • Use a face scrub - it will remove the dry, dead skin cells and bring blood to the surface for better circulation.
  • Drink a TON of water to rehydrate the body and skin.
  • Try a Vitamin C Serum.  It reduces inflammation and brightens your complexion.  Plus it's filled with antioxidants which is the body's damage fighter.
DARK CIRCLES & PUFFY EYES Cause: For starters, you've probably gotten minimal sleep. Fix:
  • Get some caffeine under those eyes, it constricts blood vessels and reduces fluid!  For a natural remedy, steep 2 tea bags, let them cool, then place directly under closed eyes.  Or, try Garnier Fructis Renew Anti-Puff eye roller.
  • There's another tried and true tip - place 2 spoons in the freezer and put over eyes.  Not only is it completely refreshing, the delightful chill will also constrict under eye blood vessells.
  • Put on sunless tanner.  I don't have a good reason other than the fact that when I drink, I end up looking super pale.  So if I tan myself up, dark circles don't seem as prevalent.
  • And the most obvious solution.  Concealer is a girl's best friend.  Make sure to moisturize properly then pat on and set with powder.
KNOTTY HAIR Cause:  Too much product, teasing and quite possibly head banging. Fix:  
  • Use a detangler BEFORE going in the shower.
  • When in the shower condition first!  The conditioner will act like a clarifying shampoo, breaking down all of the product in your hair.  Follow it  up with shampoo, and another round of conditioner.  No joke, this works and doesn't leave your hair knotty or greasy.
PS - If you're feeling really blah try MegaHydrate this was a miracle saver in Vegas

Tools for Flawless Makeup

I spend a lot of money at Sephora on "designer" makeup.  However, I'm learning the magic is in the tools, not the makeup.  This is what you should invest in, you won't regret it. tools for makeup application Here's the basics of what you'll need for a flawless application. 1. Beauty Blender This is essential.  Don't let the imitations deceive you. They're a lot denser, don't blend the same way, and get dirty quickly.  You must get the Beauty Blender brand.  A few tips for using the Beauty Bledner
  • Wet the sponge to reduce the amount of makeup needed per application (you'll save money!)
  • Roll the Beauty Blender right into the hairline to blend
  • Use the pointy end for under your eyes
2. Bdellium Kabuki Airbrushed Effect 957 When I don't have my Beauty Blender handy, I use this.  It's affordable and cleans easily.  It's best used for blending in foundation.  I like to use it to really blend in the neckline.  It also works great for powder foundation like Bare Esentuals.  Because it is more compact, you'll get heavier coverage. 3.  Sephora Pro Bronzer Brush Highly compact, this brush deposits the color exactly where you want it for a flawless application.  I use it with my Too Faced Poreless Bronzer. 4.  Tarte Eyelash Curler  This is one of my favorite brands of makeup, but they also make fabulous tools.  I went into Sephora looking for the Shu Ueumura eyelash curler, but tried this instead based on the employee's recommendations.  I love it.  The results are immediately obvious. It grips the eyelashes perfectly and results in a natural curl.  

Lichtenstein Comic Book Woman Costume

I was too cheap to buy a Halloween costume this year, so I relied solely on makeup to transform myself into a comic book woman. Out of curiosity (and questioning my ability to actually do it) I did a trial run the night before.  I ended up looking like a clown as opposed to a super hero.  Actually I grabbed a slice of pizza looking like that, and the guy behind the counter stared at me awkwardly before he finally said "I'm trying to figure out who you are". He then asked if I was some creepy woman from a scary movie.  Hopefully the below doesn't give you nightmares... Here's what I botched and learned:

Do's and Don'ts for Lichtenstein Comic Book Makeup:

botchUsing eye shadow for white dots.  This lightened up and was virtually non-existent after an hour. What a waste. Drawing in eyelashes.  These came out atrocious.  Unless you're an artist, just don't. Using liquid eyeliner for black lines.  It just doesn't have the stamina to create thick long lines... umm that sounds a little dirty (or is that just me) Draw in the face you wish you had.  I wish my face was a little narrower so I drew it that way.  While it looked fine head on, any tilt of the head looked ridiculous.

learnUse face paint.  Don't apply with a Qtip either.  Use something hard so it doesn't absorb all the paint.

Apply false eyelashes.  They'll make you look more attractive and comic book like.

Use wet eyeshadow and an eyeliner brush to draw lines.  The lines come out bolder and crisper.

Outline the face as close to the hairline as possible.  This will help you avoid any gaps.

Spray paint your hair with colored hair spray.  I only bought one can and it was not enough, get 2.  Also - you can curl it!!! woo

PS - sorry for the boings in the video. lichtenstein makeup

Must Have Tools for Braids

Lately, I have been braid obsessed... french braids, dutch braids, fishtails, waterfall braids, etc.  Oh the possibilities are endless if you combine different types.  Man, I love braids. Okay #endrant #braidobsessed I've learned that certain tools and products are necessary for braiding.  As my lovely face below displays, if you don't have these products and you love braids, you cray.  Here's the arsenal of goods that you must have to perfect the braided look. tools and products for braids Bobby Pins:  Make sure they match your hair.  My hair is ombre, so I have blonde and brunette bobby pins to camouflage them.  I recommend placing the bobby-pins in the form of an "X" for a more secure hold.  Also the curved end should always face down.  I didn't know these tricks until like a year ago.  No wonder I left a trail of bobby pins everywhere I went. Clear Elastics: I bought a 500 pack at Target for less than $5.  They're like the size of your pinky but stretch enough to secure a whole head of hair if necessary.  Use these instead of ponytail holders to blend more naturally in your hair.  Hey, they're not just for 5 year olds! Clip-In Extensions:  We're all not blessed with luxurious, long, thick hair.  Braids shorten your hair.  When you see those Elsa-like braids, chances are there's some extensions hidden up in there. The extensions will help the braid look fuller and longer.  I'd use at least 2 wefts for most braided styles. Teasing Comb:  Use the pointy end to section off hair or even pull the braid apart.  Use the comb part to backcomb your hair and tease it.  You can do this along a section to secure extensions or at the top of the head to add volume. Volumizing Powder:  My favorite is Smart Solutions Volumizing Styling Dust.  Sprinkle a little on your roots to add weightless texture, volume, and hold.  It's perfect for most braids.  I swear, this stuff really did come from a fairy because it is a miracle worker. Aerosol Hair Spray:  I finish off a braid with a healthy dose of Tresseme Aerosol Hair Spray.  I also spritz my teasing comb and then smooth along flyaways etc for a sleeker look. braids

4 Must Have Brushes

Wow, it's been a month since my last blog post!  My bad.  Some may consider that slacking.  However, I made this video the day after my sister's wedding... Obviously hungover.  Now that's ambitious!  I truly made it because I couldn't let that $85 hairstyle go to waste.  Looking back, I should have done a post on how to keep your updo intact.  I got 4 days out of that bad boy.  Instead, I talked about brushes... when I couldn't even brush my hair.  Always botching and learning on the job. Without further adieu... the much anticipated... brush vlog. I've tried a myriad of hair brushes.  I've finally found the only 4 brushes I ever use.  With these 4 brushes, you can work hair miracles. What are they? The Tangle Teaser is perfect for getting through knotty hair without damaging. Don't let the funky shape fool you.  This works! The Wet Brush is another great detangling brush.  I use it in the shower, at the beach, whenever my hair is wet.  This can replace your comb, pick, paddle brush, etc. If you want to rock the poof, you need a teasing brush.  Back comb the roots of your hair for extra volume. I love Olivia Gardens brushes.  Talk about quality.  I discovered these beauties at a trade show.  They're the real deal.  Here's the one I use for  blow drying.

Affordable Makeup

Affordable Makeup   While I love Sephora, the majority of my makeup staples are drug store and Avon!  Because they're so cheap, I've gotten to experiment with dozens and here's the handful that pass the Botch and Learn test.  They're high quality at low prices! 1.  Mark On The Edge Liquid Eye Liner - I have this in blackest black and it is the bomb.  It's waterproof and doesn't smudge.  Plus the applicator is thin and firm so it's so easy to apply!  If you're a liquid eye liner newbie I recommend starting with this one.  The application is easy! 2.  Avon Mineral Foundation in Bronze - I use this as my regular bronzer.  The container is mess proof. While that's a huge plus and convenience the real win is the actual color.  It's highly pigmented.  The texture is light and it's just phenomenal. 3.  Avon Glimmerstick Eyeliner - I used to always avoid putting eyeliner on my lower lash line since it would bleed into my under eye circles and enhance them.  Not anymore!  I like this retractable pencil.  It stays exactly where I put it. 4.  Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush - Gotta love anything with the word bouncy in it's name.  This is a mousse blush with a fun consistency.  They have a great color palette.  I like that it leaves the cheeks a little dewy and livens up the face. 5.  Neutrogena Healthy Skin Pressed Powder - Your welcome Neutrogena for this free advertising.  This stuff is a MUST have.  It's the only product I've stuck to religiously for years.  It's affordable, sets my makeup, removes shine and is just A-mazing.  Get it!!!  

Hair Tutorial: Using the Perfector Heated Brush

One Christmas, my mom asked me for the Perfector.  A $99 heated styling brush.  I used a Bed Bath and Beyond coupon and got it at Harmons for $80.  It was a bit pricier than any hair tool I ever bought, but it was for my mom.  My mom has shorter hair, and she wanted to use it to just curl the bottom pieces under and add some volume in the back. Anyway, I was home for winter break and decided to give it a whirl.  I immediately fell in love with it and went out and got myself one too. So what is the Perfector?  It's a heated styling brush.  Other heated brushes exist, and I'm sure they work the same way.  I particularly use mine for loose waves, and volume.  It smooths out an unruly blow dry and adds some shine to hair. Here's how to use this nifty gadget: If you're so inclined, it can be purchased here: Calista Tools Perfecter Fusion Hair Styler Heated Round Brush Plus Bonuses  

Foundation Reviews

Foundation is perhaps one of the most difficult makeup products to buy. Once you find one that actually matches your skintone, stays on all day, and doesn't settle in your creases it becomes an eternal piece of your beauty arsenal. But the makeup addict always loves to explore and find the next best thing. Yes, my name is Katie... and I am a makeup addict. I'm currently rotating between dozens of foundations. Here's what I've found: PS - if you like my hair in the video I did it with the Perfector. Tune in next week to find out what exactly the Perfector is, and how to use it.

Carry On Essentials

Carry On Essentials Tote: I've been eyeing the OG Bag by Lo & Sons.  It's the perfect woman's carry on.  There's hidden pockets everywhere, which will satisfy any organized nut on the go.  There's a slot for a 13" laptop, front pockets, and even side pockets. But here's why it's really the perfect travel tote - there's an adjustable sleeve at the back that allows you to attach it to your suitcase's handle.  Bye bye bag falling off my suitcase and dumping on the floor. It's slightly pricy at nearly $300, but I may just treat myself to it, and double it as a gym bag (when I finally get my butt going there again!) Entertainment: Airlines are getting stingy.  I can't tell you the last time there was a movie on during flight, or when the stewardess gave me a free set of headphones.  Delta charges $16 for a 24 hour wifi pass.  So on a 6 hour flight, you've got to entertain yourself.  Especially if you can't take a siesta on a plane (like me). I always bring a notebook when travelling.  Travel time can be productive brainstorming sessions or just time to get organized.  I find myself making to do lists, to buy lists, and blog post idea lists.  Ummm... so am I type A?? Headphones are mandatory.  I rarely listen to music on flight.  So why do I need headphones?
  1. In case that stingy airline decides to play a free movie
  2. To make it clear to the Chatty Cathy sitting next to me that I'm not interested in engaging in 5 hours of dialect
  3. To reduce the noise of crying babies around me
My iPad is also an essential.  I always purchase an ebook before the flight and download it to my kindle app while I'm still connected to wifi.  Airlines recently changed their policies which allow you to keep the ipad on from take-off to touch-down (provided it's on airplane mode).  Hello uninterrupted reading... bye bye bulky book. Just finished The Girl on the Train on a flight back from Florida. i highly reccommend it. So Fresh So Clean: I don't know what it is,  but flying makes me feel dirty and dried out.  I have a compulsive need to wash my face.  Meanwhile my face feels tighter than an unopened jar of artichokes. (Did that even make sense?! Totally not Simon Cowell with the analogies). I'm pretty sure I'm getting ripped off here, but I need my Evian Mineral Water Spray.  A quick mist rehydrates skin and/or refreshes makeup. I just paid $7.50 for 1.5oz of water, so I've convinced myself it's just as powerful as a face shower.  I'd also like to point out that over 10,000 people have given this a Sephora like, so I'm not that crazy. If you're really having the urge to wash your face, try a cleansing wipe.  One of my favorites is Simple.  I also use these to wipe down areas around me like my tray table and arm rest. Hand cream - does that need to be explained? Germs are rampant on flights.  You've got sick people flying (why can't they just stay home), tiny dirty bathrooms, and sneezing culprits. Use Purel as a precautionary measure so you're not arriving to paradise with the flu. There - now you can travel in style, entertain yourself for hours, and ward off dirt and germs making flying more appealing.

Spray Deodorant Review

Sometimes, you need to freshen up an old product.  No pun intended, but when have you seen a serious reshaping of everyday items like deodorant?  It's easy to settle for what's working fine and dandy.  But just about everything in this world could be improved in some shape or form.  Deodorant is no exception. I was hesitant to try spray deodorant since I was accustomed to the stick version.  Yet, it wasn't really working for me. Anyway, the Dove and Degree deodorant cans both tout up to 48 hour protection.  I love the little "up to" clause.  However, I have to say, the verdict is this stuff works!!! Initial impression, this is cold!  Seriously, you're spraying something on a sensitive area and this something is stored in an aluminum can.  The blast of frostiness was a little alarming at first to my delicate underarms.  However, there's some sort of miracle ingredient in there because it dried instantaneously. I am  officially hooked on spray deodorant.  I walked around the city for 8 hours, in a mint colored chiffon shirt.  The kind that usually shows sweat marks without a doubt.  I kept lifting my underarm to check it out... but never once did those marks show. Can't wait to try this on chub rub this summer. Who knew I could write that much about deodorant?!?!