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More Spring Musings…Spring Beauty Prep…Part 2

imgres-1I am ready to shed heavy winter make up. My last post was all about prepping the skin and finding your perfect lash look. The next step is to find new fresh products to add to my beauty routine.  I love indie brands so I look to them for Spring ideas that will compliment my natural style and take 5 minutes or less to apply in the morning. My go-to beauty products have to fit my lifestyle and let my skin breathe. If they fit into a cute clutch and are multi-functional I am a happy girl! I think I have found my new beauty savior in @Milk


I received a sample Milk’s Sunshine Skin Tint and was instantly hooked. The preservative-free tinted moisturizer went on smooth and gave me even coverage. It dried to a dewy finish without looking oily or feeling heavy. milk-makeup-sunshine-skin-tintMy next step was to check out the website and peruse the other products. The Milk website is FUN! Lots of videos that show you exactly how to use the products. The Looks section and the Us section explain the brand’s philosophy and makes you feel like you are a part of a social movement. Love love love that!

 

milk-makeup-00Milk Make Up’s creators believe that it’s not just about how you create your look; it’s what you do in it that matters. Live Your Look takes self-expression to the next level, showing how our physical choices reflect who we are underneath and unify us all on our paths to self-discovery. 

 

images-2I wanted to test out these products right away so I watched reviews on YouTube and found them pretty lacking. The next step was Amazon and was pretty disappointed at the price difference. I could get most of the products I wanted with my next day Prime membership but was not about to pay the crazy prices. The Blur stick that promised to blur my pores and make me feel like I was not wearing make up at all is $36 on the brand’s website and a whopping $62.99 on Amazon. Amazon fills the order but gets the product from a third-party seller but damn….where they do that at?! I checked Urban Outfitters and Sephora but couldn’t get a guarantee that they had the full product line. My local Sephora had just enough travel-sized products and the Blur stick for me to get started. Back home I spent the evening testing the line and I am in lovvvvvve! 

The Blur stick is basically a tinted primer and made my skin look matte and minimized my pores with a few swipes across my t-zone. Some reviewers feel as if it tugs at your skin and looks clumpy but I took the time to apply the Cooling Water stick first so my skin was nicely hydrated. milk-x-uo-32The combined products made my skin look great all day. I tried the bronzer and it gave me just enough color to counteract the matte look of the Blur stick. The Lip Color is smooth and creamy with full coverage. It looks fresh without the glossy look that I am trying to avoid.  I stuck with the skin products because I want to sort out the base of my Spring look before jumping into the Milk pool with both feet.Milk Makeup has a full range of productsAs I said before I love it and can not WAIT to buy more. Check them out on Instagram @milkmakeup

 

 

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Spring Make Up….Those Eyes

images-1Spring make up looks should be Fresh and Flirty! Keep your look natural and low maintenance but don’t skimp on the glamour. Weddings, Girl’s Nights and Happy Hours are all occasions that call for extra glamour. ZivaLash has set the bar high with a line of luxury lashes for every occasion and won’t put a major dent in your budget. 

I am all about a low maintenance beauty regime and my lash choice for Spring is the Gigi lash. The Gigi gives the eyes life…that oomph that makes every woman feel special as she walks out the door!  Yasssss hunty! Work those eyes and give the world SASS! Eyelashes have long been considered an indicator of beauty, so it is no surprise that ZivaLash has a style that is perfect for every occasion. 

 


Summer is around the corner and everyone is ready to shake the winter blues and prep for warm weather vacations. Although we are taking a break from our hectic lives, we still want to look amazing on a tropical beach or rustic outdoor trip. Lash extenkejalashes_1024x1024.pngsions can be a must-have accessory for vacations, since they require minimal maintenance, and allow you to go virtually “make-up free. Along with the Gigi Lash I am a big fan of the Keija Lash. Soft and sweet, the Keja Lash enhances your natural lashes with silky gathered lash clusters that add length and volume.

Visit http://www.zivalash.com to choose your Lash look! Free shipping, a blog and how-to videos make the ZivaLash experience a vital part of your journey to your best self. 

 

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Make Up Musings….Spring Prep part 1

Spring is in our sights…that groundhog be damned! I am looking to freshen up my beauty look with the addition of a few new products. Take advantage of the time cooped up inside avoiding the bitter cold by researching your Spring look. All the information is at your fingertips with a lot or the footwork done by bloggers and subscription beauty services like Ipsy or Birchbox. Sign up and share the code with your friends for referral credit or glam points. Don’t stop there! The beauty industry has a plethora of beauty subscriptions to choose from. 

Don’t let the winter doldrums conquer you. Use this time to refresh your skin from the inside out. I start my Spring prep by adding a few teaspoons of Bragg’s images-2ACV to my daily water intake to clear up any residual skin issues and maintain my weight. Bragg’s is my go to and costs about $5.00 a bottle this appeals to my budget and my inner hippie. The benefits of Bragg’s ACV are far reaching with some using the natural remedy for everything from digestive issues to skin toner. Do the research and figure out what works for you. 

I regularly cleanse my skin with African black soap. Black soap cleanses gently, so it’s ideal for people with rosacea, rashes, dryness and other skin conditions. Some African black soap products contain a plantain extract, which has antibacterial properties that may help treat acne breakouts. abs2Some
people use the soap as a shampoo or mild makeup remover. Available at Whole Foods. Coconut oil, shea butter and cocoa butter round out my skin care regime and keep my skin clear and ready for the sun. Shea and cocoa butter make my skin soft and supple and coconut oil is perfect for oil pulling. Coconut oil pulling is my secret to white teeth but contributes to my overall good health. 

Go easy on your skin. Make the changes a part of your daily routine and you will see the changes in no time. 

Spring Prep Part 2 coming soon….

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Musings….Subscription Boxes

I love SUBSCRIPTION BOXES! You can get just about anything delivered to your door these days. Wine, Food, Hair and Beauty products, even Chocolate! The subscription ipsy-vs-birchbox-2-1400x756box craze started in 2010 when two friends started Birchbox a subscription box service that revolutionized the way we shop and discover new products. It’s all so easy and convenient. Go to the website and fill out a profile that gathers information on your skin tone, eye color and product preferences and a sample box shows up on your doorstep with 4-5 make up and skin products curated especially for you. The success of this subscription mail service spawned hundreds of other mail order services and changed the way we discover new products. 

My obsession with subscription boxes started with my love for all things beauty and make up.  Birchbox and Ipsy (try it with this code) are the biggest players in the subscription box craze. Each service costs $10 per month and 4-5 specially curated sample products ship to your address every month.  Birchbox samples arrive in a box, while  its mainipsy-vs-birchbox-2-1400x756 competitor Ipsy sa pink quilted envelope with a make up bag inside. The make up bag alone feels like a free gift and it is a different marketing strategy but equally exciting. I like the idea of a cute decorative make up bag and recycle the bags for other beauty knick knacks that I have lying around and a mystery gift every month is so much fun. 

I am currently signed up for Ipsy and Stitch Fix, a clothing subscription service that has gained popularity in the last two years. I contemplated signing up for Stitch Fix for months andimages-2 it took a pair of amazing jeans on my good friend @WhineandWhimsy for me to get on board. I’d never seen a pair of jeans flatter someone so well and I have been hooked ever since.  Exchanges are allowed and a defective sweater was replaced within days. I have had to tweak my profile and send items back that just didn’t work but I am a very satisfied customer.

Here’s how it works…

The Stitch Fix experience is not merely curated, it’s truly personalized to your taste, budget and lifestyle.The Stitch Fix Style Profile is easy to fill out and takes a few a-partial-group-of-subscription-boxes-weve-runminutes. A stylist is assigned to your profile and personalizes your Fix but it helps to have a Pinterest page that gives some insight to your personal style. The key to success for all subscription services is to realistic about your tastes, your sizes and your budget. I have heard horror stories from people that didn’t like anything in their monthly box. My first question to them…were you honest on your style profile? Do you know your sizes and the colors/patterns/shapes that you like? Most people can’t answer that question. 

Stitch Fix makes shopping not just convenient, but effortless. Like other online retailers, Stitch Fix saves you a trip to the store by shipping items directly to you. Try on and choose the items you want and send the rest back. Returns are easy. Slip the items you’re returning into the prepaid mailing envelope and drop into any USPS mailbox. A 25% discount is the perk of keeping everything that you receive in your shipment. Refer a friend and earn a $25 credit when their first Fix ships!

I love my monthly surprises! Subscription services fill my need for a little something new every month and keep me out of the shopping mall. Do you have a subscribe to a service? Share your experience.

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Finding Your Signature Style

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Adulting is…Developing your Signature Style! Every woman needs to know what her IT factor is…that thing about her that garners compliments from everyone from the stranger in the elevator to the guy you have your eye on. It could be shiny hair, that budget-busting lipstick or that mesmerizing scent that drives the masses wild.

images-2A woman with a signature style exudes confidence. She knows exactly who she is and has embraced her inner goddess with efficiency and style. Do you know what that thing is about you? Women today are driven by style influences. We change our hair, make up and wardrobes that reflect the trends of the day. A woman with a signature scent oozes confidence. Your signature scent becomes a part of your identity and for most of us it doesn’t change. How do you choose that scent? The first step is to know what image you want to convey. How do you do that? Know your tastes. Are you drawn to natural scents? Vanilla, jasmine or musk based scents? When you know your favorite top note it is easier to experiment with scent. A few tips to help you in your sensory journey…… Find a scent that gives you confidence and makes you feel good.

images-1Your signature scent is your way of expressing yourself in a non-visual manner. Make finding a scent a part of your personal life journey. Experiment with different scents…ask your friends what they are wearing if you find it appealing. Preferences change over time and through the seasons and your scent should change as you move through life. A scent that you love in your twenties can become nauseating in your thirties or forties. Don’t worry….it was a moment in time. A time you can leave in your past. Summer scents that are perfect with your favorite tank tops, shorts and maxi dresses may not be enough to compete with autumn changes. And if you can Subscription boxes take all the hard work out of finding a signature scent. A Google search led me to a list of that will guide you and allow you to experiment for a monthly fee.

Subscription services have exploded in the last few years and provide everything from clothing, wine, food, beauty and hair products. Try a few scents and gift the rejects to your girlfriends! There are different options in the subscription box world here are a few that have had great success.

imgres-1What it is: Scentbird

Who it’s for: The curious woman who wants a fabulous scent for different occasions.

What do you do? Take a scent quiz and choose from a selection.

How much> $14.95 am month

 

What it is: Pinrose

Who it’s for: The artistic woman How it works: The Scent Profiler quiz uses synesthesia and asks questions about your perfume experience level, style, favorite colors and music to determine your three best bets from the brand’s line of 10 perfumes. You can order single-use scent wipes called Petal Packs, or a full-size vial.

The cost: $7 for a sample starter kit that includes a single-use satchet of each perfume; $20 for a Petal Pack of 25; $50 for 1 oz.

What it is: Olfactif

Who it’s for: The woman that sets the trends

How it works: At the beginning of each month, Olfactif sends you a curated collection of three niche fragrance samples (each one large enough to last for a month) along with an $18 credit toward a full-size fragrance of your choice. For the rest of the month, the site is updated with interviews with the perfumers and interesting backstories on the hard-to-find scents.

The cost: $18.00 per month with options

 

images-1What it is: Commodity

Who it’s for: The minimalist that believe less is more. How it works: Try a range of specialty fragrances through their Fitting Kit

The cost: $9 for a Fitting Kit, $108 for 100 ml bottle

Don’t limit yourself! Try the florals, the musks and all the others. Find the scent that lift your mood and makes you feel put together and ready to take on the world. Hint: My signature scent is Coco Mademoiselle and I have a secret smile for every compliment!

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Winter Skin Makeover: Embrace facial oils!

 

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It’s time to change your skin care routine. Fall is in full swing! The leaves are changing and the nights are getting cooler. Why not change your skin care routine! You’ve given your wardrobe a makeover do the same for your skin! It is important to hydrate your skin from the inside out with the most basic of beauty treatments…water! Don’t skimp on your water intake! Water is good for your internal system all year round and hydrated skin glows.A great way to achieve that super soft, glowy look is adding a facial oil to your night routine. Learn what works for your skin and you can maximize moisture!

Here is a breakdown of facial oils and the skin type they work for!

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Dry Skin Loves Coconut Oil! Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer and provides maximum hydration to dry, parched skin. Coconut oil has healthy, fatty acids that make dry skin glow. If you have dry skin, apply coconut oil to your face after washing and drying it lightly with a towel. Use a small amount since the oil spreads well. Take just ¼ teaspoon oil in the palm of one hand rub it with the other. Apply it on the face with both palms, gently massaging it in. Wait for 5-10 minutes for the oil to absorb into the skin, and wipe away any excess with a soft cotton towel. A thin layer is all you need to prevent moisture loss through evaporation from the skin surface.

If you have oily skin don’t avoid this wonder oil you can still make use of the moisturizing effect of this oil. For oily skin, apply warm coconut oil liberally on the face and neck after washing with a mild soap. Leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash with warm water and dry with a soft towel. Repeat this for several days to condition your skin. You may experience an initial flare up of acne, but you can ignore it unless it is too severe. Your skin would eventually reduce sebum secretion. Gentle on the skin coconut oil is a great make up remover.

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Avocado oil soothes sensitive skin and cleanses deep without irritating skin further. If you suffer from eczema or rosacea this oil is for you! You can apply avocado oil to your face in the same way you would any other moisturizer – with a cotton wool pad or very clean fingers. Make sure your face is washed well and preferably still damp to spread the oil easily.

It is important to look for cold pressed avocado oil if you’re interested in the potential skin restorative properties, rather than just the moisturizing effects. The minimal refinement of cold pressed avocado oil preserves more of the important plant sterols, chlorophyll, vitamin E and other antioxidants.

 

pomegranate-oil

 

Pomegranate seed oil stimulates “keratinocytes”, major cells found in the outer layer of the skin. This helps to reverse skin damage, revive skin and reveal a more youthful appearance. Pomegranate seed oil also contains a unique polyunsaturated oil called “punicic acid”, an omega 5 fatty acid, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties. The oil fends off free radicals to keep skin aging at bay. Spend the summer in the sun? This amazing oil also provides protection against sun damage. Like most essential oil, pomegranate seed oil penetrates deeply into the skin, creating lasting and healthy moisture. The oil absorbs deeply into the skin without leaving any greasy residue behind. The oil is perfect for all skin types, including oily and acne prone skin. The oil is used in products meant for oily skin, to control acne breakout, reduce scarring and soothe minor irritation.

Let me know what works for you!

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It’s Fall Y’all!

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I never thought I would become a a devotee of Pampered Chef but I was hooked after a neighbor gave an amazing party that featured Fall products. I immediately signed up for my own party and scored hundreds of dollars of free quality items and had a great time hosting my Pampered Chef party in my local watering hole. So I decided to host a Pampered Chef Fall catalogue party. It is time for pumpkin-spiced everything and who doesn’t love making homemade whipped cream?! Save a few bucks and add some whipped love in a variety of flavors to your favorite hot beverage!

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How do you make this whipped love? I have just the tool for you!

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The Whipped Cream maker is available on my Pampered Chef catalogue

www.pamperedchef.com/go/tonimcdowell

Another of my favorite Pampered Chef treasures is the Deep Covered Baker. I use it in the microwave and the oven for everything from Herb-Roasted Chicken and Roasted Veggies to Italian Roast Beef that I shred for Portillo’s-style beef sandwiches.

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Some of the Pampered Chef staples that I use every time I cook are back so you can be your domestic goddess on….these products take the pain out of chopping, dicing and shredding. Next post I will share with you all the products I am scoring for myself. Let’s Pamper our kitchen.

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FALLing for you!

As I sit at home on a Friday night afraid to brave the 89 degree air that feels like 105.I am dreaming of FALL! It is sweaty, muggy and the mosquitos are having a field day on my skin.  Oh Fall I have missed you and can wait to Fall in love with you all over again. So I turn to Pinterest and start planning my Fall look. It is therapeutic to flip through the images of boots, sweaters and luscious camel coats. Images of scarves and booties with my soft worn in skinnies are burned into my brain. My look doesn’t change much I stick to classic, structured looks that are easy to update every season. Fall is the easiest because I love coats, boots and bags!

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I have started no fewer than three pages devoted to my favorite looks of Fall on Pinterest. You can take a look here https://www.pinterest.com/tonimcdowell1/its-almost-fall-stitchfix/. Olive khaki jackets and pony hair flats are my go-to look for Fall. The flats go with my scarves, skinnies, skirts and French style striped T’s. What is your go to look for Fall?

 

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I know…I know I have a lot of trench coats but who can resist Gap’s classic trench coat? They have updated the cut but kept it classic lines. It’s also on sale for $89.97. Yes it is also on my list. The denim shirt jacket is another look that I love and I scored this jacket from the GAP on Tuesday….the day they have 30% to 40% off!

 

So many looks to explore with me….check out my Pinterest page for amazing ways to update your Fall look!

 

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Rock The ZivaLash Collection!

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Want your Instagram photos to pop! Be adventurous with your look. It is fun and easy to try new products. I love the way mink lashes look if applied properly. The key is to apply them properly no one wants to look like a cartoon character or the newest Internet meme! A Natural lash look can enhance your natural beauty. The ZivaLash collection features lush mink lashes that are light as a feather and easy to apply. Shave time off your beauty routine and a glamour to your look by following these easy steps.

DO 

  • Start with clean hands
  • The best time to apply mink lashes is following full makeup application, which will avoid eye shadow particles on the lash
  • Trim the lash to frame your lids
  • Apply DUO eyelash adhesive to the outer seam of the eyelash strip.  Allow the glue to dry for a minute before applying .  Do  not overdo it…a little goes a long way
  • Place the lash along your natural lash line
  • To remove mink lashes gently pinch on the end if they don’t loosen easily use a drop of makeup remover 

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Don’t

  • Don’t be cheap with eyelash adhesive. There are horror stories on the ‘Net of people using hair bonding glue to apply strip lashes
  • If you use the wrong adhesive you run the risk of losing your own lashes and eye damage
  • Wear your eyelashes overnight, you risk messing up the shape. 
  • Use an eyelash adhesive that is only for eyelashes

 Lashes are just as diverse as any other fashion, makeup or hair accessory. The ZivaLash Collection has an option that is perfect for practically every personality, style and occasion so don’t be afraid to try something new! Feeling a little extra flirty? Choose a longer lash. Want to be bold and dramatic, choose one with feathers! Lashes are the perfect way to express yourself and can be a creative conversation starter. Be sure to choose the right look for the right occasion, bat your lashes and get ready to be the beauty of the beholder.

 

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The EyeLash Chronicles

13729095_566723563510441_5301021628944187057_nThe Eyes Are The Window Of The Soul!

They frame the face and make your eyes pop! There is nothing sexier than a woman that uses her eyes to communicate. The eyes can communicate love, laughter and sorrow. Invest in your eyes and accessorize the way women did in years gone by. ZivaLash has developed a line of lashes that are full, lush and inspired by celebrity mink lashes.

 

Here are 5 Facts that will make you an instant fan of eyelashes….

You can instantly change your look!

When you want to look glamorous for that Girl’s Night Out or that Hot New Guy! Keep your look natural and pretty with a pair of ZivaLashes and skip the mascara! Prep your eye lids with primer and a subtle swipe of shadow and you are ready for the night!

Lashes are perfect for that finished look that every Bride, Bridesmaid and Mother of the Bride!

ZivaLashes are the go to lash for weddings….you look amazing without having to worry about your mascara running or fading for that special day! You can be emotional and dance the night away without a care!

They come in a VARIETY of materials and styles!

Don’t settle for off-brand! Lashes come in human hair, synthetic and mink. But these are your eyes that you are showcasing  GO FOR THE BEST!

That sought-after Celebrity look!

Instagram Photos! Do I need to say more? Get that I woke up like this look and be your own Kardashian! You can do it with this little gem right here! See! I love all of my divas and this is for you! A SALE yes I said it….you can get full luxurious lashes and rock it like a celebrity!

They are AFFORDABLE!

Stay in your price point but treat yourself! Madame ZivaLash is hosting a Pre-Launch Promotional offer of 25% off that will make you feel like a celebrity and keep you on your price point!

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Become a fan…..stay tuned for tips, videos and promotional offers. I am ordering mine tonight!

https://www.facebook.com/ZivaLash/