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It’s a beauty blogger tradition to make a post about beauty secrets we’ve learned from our mothers.  After all, who else has been influencing our decisions since the day we were born?  My very first memories of using makeup were with my mother; she used to let me use a bit of her blush whenever we went out for dinner or something and it honestly made me feel like a million bucks.  She bought me my very first tube of Great Lash.  She introduced me to the wonderful world of Clinique Beauty Bonuses.

She is also right above me right now, on the second floor, making me dinner.

So here goes.

1. Don’t wash your hair everyday.

My hair gets oily during the summer.  VERY oily.  And I used to wash it every day, because it seemed like the obvious thing to do.  But my mother taught me that washing your hair every day actually makes it more prone to oil and frizz and all that bad stuff, and she also taught me that washing your hair less frequently is better for your skin.  Seriously.  When I’m washing once every two days, I notice a difference in my acne.

2. 

Some days, I just wake up feeling U.G.L.Y.  I know that’s terrible.  I know my gender has a stereotype that we all sit around groaning all day saying I’M SO FAT AND UGLY AND I LOVE EATING ROCKY ROAD AND WATCHING GOSSIP GIRL AND ONLINE SHOPPING but sometimes I do just want to lie around at my very own pity party eating a tub of ice cream, watching Blair Waldorf wear clothes I’ll never own, and add on-sale gift sets to my shopping basket on Sephora.com.  And I’m not an advocate that you need a full face of makeup and blow-dried hair and designer clothes to be or feel beautiful, because I feel most beautiful in a cheapo bikini and sunglasses wearing nothing but moisturizer.

But sometimes you just need a little extra boost to FINALLY TEXT HIM or GET YOUR BUTT OUT THE DOOR or reach an otherwise seemingly unattainable goal.

1. Side braid your hair.  It can look messy and still be cool and intentional, it’s super-easy, and with just a couple bobby pins and some hairspray it’ll stay all day.

2. Slip on a crazy/wild/just plain awesome pair of sunglasses.  Sunglasses are amazing.  They’re an outfit-maker, they shield your eyes from harmful UV rays, and they hide those under-eye circles and mascara smudges you’ve been aimlessly trying to cover with Touche Eclat.   Urban Outfitters has the best selection and as far as I’ve seen they’re all under 20 bucks.

3. Paint your nails.  My favorite thing to do every night is sit in front of the TV with a magazine and a new bottle of nail polish, a deep conditioning mask in my hair and my face freshly exfoliated.  I don’t care how sad that sounds, it’s the easiest way to relax I know since my psychologist isn’t on call (JOKING).  Pick a bright neon shade or, if you have a wide range of colors, do something ombre (it’s easier than nail art and looks like you had a pro do it).  What I mean is if you have a ton of purple polish like me, paint a different one on each nail, going lightest to darkest across the hand.  it takes the same amount of time as all one color, and suddenly playing Temple Run will be even more fun with pretty nails to admire.

 

You never truly realize how much you rely on a full face of makeup until you’re in a Starbucks bathroom for over twenty minutes and some little kid is banging on the door.
I’m having a really bad day.  I’m in a fight with my best friend, I chickened out over asking my almost-boyfriend out (when the opportunity was RIGHT THERE) and my hair is looking terrible (I let it air dry with just a touch of Moroccanoil and the frizz factor is still unbearable).  So I guess this is what compelled me to duck into the nearest Starbucks, order a green tea that tastes like my garborator, and hide in the bathroom crying, trying to slap some makeup on my bare face and recover an ounce of confidence.
I’m fully aware of how pathetic I am.
Before leaving the house (two minutes post shower), I grabbed my travel makeup bag, where I keep only the essentials (I.e., not the powder blue kohl eyeliner and bright pink Tarte LipSurgence). I figured that before I met up with The Almost Boyfriend I’d make up my face and side braid my hair and be done.  But, as i mentioned earlier, I chickened out, and didn’t ask him out. Instead, I faced a dimly lit bathroom and a bad beverage, and my hair was a halo of half curls and frizz. 
And this is when you learn to really appreciate the basics.
My face had not a SPECK of makeup on, and I was genuinely frightened to look.  I always have at least some lip loss and concealer on.  The sight I saw wasn’t as scary as I thought, bit I have pretty bad acne and my face was still a sensitive red mess.
And this is what I did:
I mixed my moisturizer and concealer together and spread it all over my face, and then covered my undereye circles with my trusty MAC Radiant Highlighter.  Then I put on some brown mascara and concealer all over my lid (you need this extra step if you really want brightened eyes) and dabbed on some sparkly fuschia lipgloss.
I’m not going to lie. I still feel like complete crap. But it helped a little.  And this weekend, when I went to the beach, I only put on moisturizer, mascara and lip balm and I felt pretty. So I guess it all depends on your mood. Makeup helps, but only you can make yourself feel pretty.
Anyways, you’re probably wondering just what’s in this travel bag right? No? Well I’m still gonna tell you.
– Clinique Acne Solutions Clearing Concealer in 01 (what I mix with my moisturizer)
– Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 (I’m currently almost done my second bottle and planning my trip to the drug store for a third, and I’m not usually a repeat product buyer)
– MAC Prep + Prime  Highlighter in Radiant Rose (this was mentioned on Shake Your Beauty and i love love love it)
– Sephora Loose Powder Mineral Foundation on 15 (just keeps everything on my face all day
– Benefit High Beam (a total multi-tasker)
– Maybelline Lots of Lashes Great Lash Mascara in Brownish Black (so far, its the only mascara I’ve tried that actually stays on all day, but its a bit clumpy)
– BareEscentuals Kabuki Brush
– Crab tree and Evelyn Apple Lip Tint (instant face brighter, instant confidence booster, instant SEXY)

Raccoon Eyes

Maybe it’s the humidity, but mascara seems to be melting off my face lately.  How annoying is that?

Mascara’s I’ve tried:

Essence Get BIG Lashes! Waterproof

Revlon Grow Luscious

Maybelline The Falsies Waterproof

TO NO AVAIL

I think that for about 3 hours, it would be fun to be stranded on a desert island.  Think of the anecdotes about exploring the jungle!  But after a while, my hair would get dirty (and not the cool, just got off the beach from surfing waves way), my legs would be unshaven (sorry I had to) and my lips would be hella un-moisturized.  So when the sexy pirates showed up (a la Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens, great book), I’d look like an awful mess and they’s just turn right around and leave me there forever.

But I guess if I had my favorite beauty and skin products, I could save all this from happening…

I’m going into excruciating detail because I’m watching a particularly dull episode of Gossip Girl and need to feel like I’m actually doing something.

Face wash: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

Exfoliater: Marcelle Ac-Solutions Daily Exfoliating Gel

Moisturizer: Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 (the sun protection is an added bonus)

A little something for the eyes: Clinique Roll-On Eye Serum (OHMYGOSH this stuff is refreshing)

Foundation: Sephora Loose Powder Mineral Foundation in 15

Concealer: Clinique Acne Solutions Clearing Concealer in 01

Highlighter: MAC Highlighter in Radiant Rose (doubles as an amazing concealer, even better than my beloved Touche Eclat)

Blush: The Body Shop Hot Brights Blush in 01

Lip balm: Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm

Eyeliner: Wet n Wild ColorIcon Eyeliner in Black Black

Mascara: Maybelline The Falsies Waterproof Mascara in Brownish Black (because it would stay on in the water)

Eyeshadow: Clinique Lid Smoothie in 01 Bit ‘O Honey

Nail polish: Revlon Gold Coin or Urban Outfitters Nail Lacquer in Hot Tub

 

Whenever I think of Urban Outfitters, I obviously think of hipster music and scarves and overpriced but way to unique to pass up clothing…but I don’t think of nail polish.  I’m a die-hard drugstore nail polish girl, and I can spend hours raving about the wonders of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, but I’ll never say no to a new bottle.  And that’s why when I went to Urban Outfitters a couple weeks ago, I couldn’t stop myself from picking up two polishes (2 for $8!)

First of all, the price is really good.  2 for 8$?  That’s cheaper than most Sally Hansens.  Second of all…well, let’s just skip to the point, the point where I proclaim OHMYGOD THESE ARE SO PERFECT WHERE HAVE THEY BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!

I know, I know, I’m getting way too excited over nail polish.  But these are no ordinary polishes.  They go on incredibly smoothly and dry in seconds, the bottles are completely amazing (square, unmarked glass with a thin black brush; they look really cute on any surface), and, most importantly, the colors are GREAT.

I got two, a neon pink and a neon purple(called Hot Tub and Bandeau), and when I tried the pink on last week, it did the most peculiar thing: it changed color and finish in the span of 24 hours.  It started out matte and slightly less neon than it looked in the bottle, but by lunchtime the next day, it was bright as hell (and kind of unintentionally ombre: it was purple-y at the cuticles and pink at the tips) and glossy.  Cool, eh?  Side note: I didn’t add a topcoat, maybe that effected it?

Anyways, I used the two for my MOTD: I call it Neon Half ‘n Half.  I started out with a coat of Hot Tub (the hot pink), and then once it was completely dry, I place a piece of tape in a diagonal line across my nail so it was sectioned into two (am I being clear?  It’s hard to give nail polish instructions without sounding like a loser…).  I then painted the rest of the nail not covered by paint with Bandeau (two coats), and peeled the tape away immediately…

And it looks amazing!  I wish I could show you guys but…oh, you know what?  I’m just too lazy.

I’m currently really curious about those Dream Mousse Blushes…they look so cute!

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