May 2014 Empties

Happy Memorial Day beauties! As May draws to a close I’m happy to report that I’m still successfully sticking to my shopping ban! I’ll admit, I’ve felt a little temptation, and I’m really missing my Birchbox subscription, but I’ve tried some great products, and I’m committed to continuing through the end of the year. Here’s what I used up this month:
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Softsoap Body Butter Strawberry Smoother: This thick and creamy body wash uses strawberry seeds to exfoliate and jojoba butter to moisturize all in one go. It did soften my skin considerably, allowing me to skip my normal post-shower lotion, but acne-prone girls beware – I found little blemishes occasionally popped up on my arms and legs while using this product.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment: Sad to see this one go! This whole line of lip balms, from this original version to the many tinted ones, is fantastic. A must have for smooth lips in one swipe.

Benefit They’re Real! Mascara: This is hands down one of the best mascaras on the market today. It really does amp up lashes to a surprising degree. Use this if you want thicker, longer, darker, fuller lashes. You can even get away with skipping your eyelash curler if you’ve got this on!

Clinique High Impact Mascara: This is a perfect day-to-day mascara. It looks natural, with a touch of polish. It also won’t clump, flake, or hurt sensitive eyes.

Naked Princess Naked Shine in Barely Coco: I used up this tiny sample in a matter of days. If you’re looking for a new workday lip gloss, this is it. It’s light and smooth, and Barely Coco is a lovely pinky brown shade that looks natural but better. I will absolutely be buying this when my ban is up!

Covergirl CGSmoothers BB Cream: This is not the first time this has showed up in my empties list. Again, this is my favorite wintertime daily moisturizer, as it is a perfect match for my fair complexion and evens out imperfections in a flash.

Crest 3D White Flouride Anticavity Toothpaste in Radiant Mint: I’m always trying different whitening toothpastes, and I always seem to come back to this one. It has a nice flavor, it brightens my smile and it leaves my mouth feeling fresh.

Degree Motionsense in Shower Clean: Lately I’ve found it increasingly difficult to find a decent antiperspirant. This one is a wonderful exception. I am obsessed with the fresh scent, it keeps me clean and fresh all day, and it doesn’t rub off or stain my clothes. This one is definitely a winner.

Lady or Tramp?

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My favorite look this season is decidedly ladylike but not too nice; it’s all about clean lines and classic shades, just a little rough around the edges. A lot of fall fashions are jumping on this naughty-lady bandwagon, and, not surprisingly, I’m embracing it in my makeup routine. Here, my guide to achieving this look on your own:

1. First things first: you want to start with clear skin and a smooth canvas. I keep it simple with a tinted moisturizer or BB cream and some concealer under the eyes and on any blemishes. Then, to give myself a very pretty, very ladylike glow, I blend By Terry Color Skin Enhancer in Glowing Rose into my cheek and brow bones. It smells heavenly and gives a pretty light pink sheen to the skin. Finish with a light dusting of loose powder just where you need it – nose, chin, forehead.

2. Gloss your lips with a sheer nude or light pink gloss. The trick is to find a shade that looks demure and classy, without washing you out. As I recently mentioned, I love Korres Lip Butter in Jasmine (a soft pink), and Korres Lip Glaze in the same shade is a great on-the-go version, as it comes in a tube instead of a jar. I’ve also always liked Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush Lip Gloss in Slice of Heaven (a shimmery nude).

3. Play up those eyes! Curl your lashes and line your upper lash line with black liner. I’m currently obsessed with Noir Long Wear Eyeliner in Forever Noir. It’s a fat black liner that glides easily and smudges well. I like to wing up a bit at the outer corners for a bit of a cat eye; smudge the line a little or a lot to achieve your desired level of naughtiness. Finish with a generous application of Benefit They’re Real! Mascara. This wonder product thickens, lengthens, curls and lasts all day. It’s an easy way to give your eyes some oomph.

4. The final step in the process, and one of my favorite fall beauty trends, is to pair this mostly-prim face with a super-chic, super-dark nail polish. This looks best with shorter nails, and you have to be diligent about touch-ups, but a nice, dark manicure is perfect with this look. I’m hooked on Essie’s Power Clutch, a dark greenish-gray. Essie’s Wicked (a deep, blood red) is another good choice. Pair with your sassiest pencil skirt, your sexiest heels, and your most conservative pearls and you’ll have everybody wondering: lady, or tramp?