Olay Pro-X Advantage Cleansing System

With the wedding only a few months away….I’ve been pretty diligent with my face routine morning and night.  I finally think I have a regimen that works for me…THANK GOD!  I recently purchased the Olay Pro-X Advantage Cleansing System.  I originally wanted to buy the Clarisonic but I couldn’t bring myself to pay $150 for a face brush.  After searching around, I stumbled across the Olay Pro-X brush and figured the $20 price tag was way more budget friendly (and of course I had a coupon so it really only ended up costing $16…SCORE!)

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The brush  claims it can “cleanse skin 6x better” than basic cleansing using your hands.  It will also help maximize the immediate hydrating effectiveness of your moisturizer when applied right after cleansing.   The rotating system delivers deep cleansing and gentle exfoliation.

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I typically use it at night since that’s when I have the most gunk on my face from the day….makeup, dirt, etc.  And I usually put it on the slower of the 2 speeds.  I like that it’s water resistant for use in the shower!  I can definitely tell the difference since I started using the Pro-X brush.  My face feels cleaner and my breakouts have been minimized!

Now I can’t compare the Clarisonic to the Pro-X since I don’t own the Clarisonic but here is what people are saying who used both…

–          The Pro-X is smaller than the Clarisonic….by about half!  This makes the Pro-X easier to hold and its more lightweight.  Also makes it nice to travel with
–          The Clarisonic has more power (one would expect with it being double the size as the ProX)
–          Pro-X is powered by 2 AA batteries and the Clarisonic has a charging holder that you plug into the wall
–          While the Pro-X rotates with 2 speeds, the Clarisonic has a built in timer that tells you when you are finished and can both oscillate and rotate with a few different motions.
–          Because of the greater power with the Clarisonic, some users have said it gives their skin a polish the Olay brush didn’t

If you need an “umph” to your skincare routine and don’t want to spend a lot, I think the Olay Pro-X brush is a great tool to help you clean and exfoliate your skin beyond regular washing.  I like the fact that it’s small enough to travel with but still gets the job done.  I also feel that when I apply moisturizer or a treatment serum, it’s absorbed better!

If money wasn’t an object, I’m sure I’d buy the Clarisonic but to save $100+, I think the Pro-X brush is a steal!  And I definitely have seen an improvement in my skin.

MM

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Hot Tools Pink Titanium Curling Iron & Wavy Hair Tutorial

I’m always on a quest for that perfect loose, wavy hair look.  I’ve tried so many tutorials with various curling “wands” or irons and different curl products, but never seem to have perfected it…until recently.

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I purchased the Hot Tools Pink Titanium Curling Iron in a 1 inch barrel.  I LOVE IT!  Now, I have owned other Hot Tool Iron’s before but never the Titanium.  I like how it keeps my hair super smooth and doesn’t give off that “burnt hair” smell that some other irons tend to do.   I love how it heats up quick and can get up to 450 degree in no time.  And it has a swivel cord so you don’t have to worry about the cord tangling and getting all knotted up!

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Moving on to my technique….I found this Tutorial on YouTube and it seems to work great for my hair.  I also think the 1 inch is a perfect size for this look.    Take a peak (it’s much easier to watch her than me trying to explain the process).

Now, in the tutorial, she goes back to those straight pieces that were left out of the iron and adds more texture by taking her hair into the clamp and makes an “S” shape with the iron.   My hair is much thicker so it would take me a lot longer to go through each piece so I tend to leave most of those ends straight…and I’ll maybe go through a few pieces and “S” it out.  I think this also gives a more natural, messy effect anyways so it works for me but you can totally work with your hair and figure out what looks best.

When it’s done, I will finger-comb my hair and add some Moroccan or Argon Oil.  I usually don’t add hairspray (but if I do, I’ll use a comb thru spray so it doesn’t get knotted and tangly).

There you have it….my take on wavy, beachy hair and my fabulous new curling iron purchase!!!  Hope this helps ladies!!!!

MM

GlamGlow…

So there have been many requests for me to get back on the bloggin’ train! This year has been filled with lots of wedding planning and preparation and because of this, I haven’t been very dedicated to Mascaras & Martinis.  My goal is try to post at least once a week and see where it takes me!

In the quest for perfect skin for the Big Day, I’ve been trying out different skincare products from cleansers to serums to masks!  I finally think I found a routine that works great for my skin and there is one product in particular that seems to make a huge difference…..GLAMGLOW

GlamGlow

The Super Clearing Mud Mask Treatment from GlamGlow is a clay mask that helps fight all common skin concerns from breakouts to discoloration.  This particular mask target problematic skin.  They also have a Youthmud Tingle Exfoliate Treatment mask which would be ideal for people who don’t tend to have breakouts and have pretty normal skin.

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What its formulated to do…

Super Clearing – “A scientifically advanced SUPER-MUD™ clearing treatment to target, prevent, and heal problem skin..  This formula was clinically developed by GLAMGLOW® dermatological chemists to help fight all common skin concerns, including breakouts, discoloration, black and white heads, razor bumps and in-grown hair.”

Youth Mud – “This mud mask leaves skin noticeably radiant and glowing. It activates moisturizing collagen synthesis, provides gentle resurfacing exfoliation, and helps to leave skin smoother, brighter, and softer. While providing tighter skin texture and tighter pores, it provides a more youthful appearance and absorbs impurities without removing natural oils.”

It has what they call the “Acnecidic 6” ingredients in the formula. …

Glycolic – Helps Restore Photo Damaged Skin & Improves Skin Texture.
Salicylic – Helps De-clog to Minimize Pores & New Skin Rejuvenation.
Lactic – Helps Pigmentation, Moisture, Stimulation & Skin Collagen.
Mandelic – Helps Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Aging Skin & Skin Elasticity.
Pyruvic – Helps the Effects of Scaring & Clearer Skin.
Azelaic – Helps Fight Follicle Bacteria & Breakouts.

Before I purchased this, I was able to get a sample at my local Sephora .  I like to try things out before I fork over big bucks for skincare products.  Well, this product did not disappoint.  I put it on for about 20 minutes and it definitely did what it claims…pulled out all that excess dirt, oil, makeup, bacterial…..it’s basically like a vacuum for your face!  While its on, you can actually see it working.

GlamGlow NoseThis product really cleaned out my pores, help prevent future breakouts and treated some scarring & redness. And as an added bonus,  I definitely felt like I had a nice glow the next day!  The other great thing about GlamGlow is that it didn’t try me out like some other products tend to do.  Overall, very happy with the results!

The only downside is it can be pricey!  On Sephora’s website, its $69 but 1.2 ounces but I was able to find it on Cleopatra’s Choice for $50.  I find that this product is almost like a facial in a jar…if you think about how much you would spend a month on a professional facial, this product is actually not all that bad!  They say you can get 15-20 applications out of one jar.  From my research on this product, its recommended you use it it 1-3 times a week for best results.  The other option is to use as a spot-treatment.

I’ve only used it a few times so far…and I hear that the more you use it, the better your skin looks so stayed tuned!

MM

Beauty Pit Stops

It seems like these “In & Out” salons are all the rage right now….whether it’s a “ponytail hair bar” like the John Barrett Salon in NYC or a “blow dry bar” like Blo these salon’s are popping up left & right!   I personally have never had the pleasure of enjoying a service at these beauty pit stops but I have to say, I am a bit curious.

Let me explain a little more in detail….

The John Barrett Salon has a bunch of different services…The Pony Tail Bar offers celeb inspired ponytails and top knots.  You basically walk and receive a menu of images with different pony styles to choose from whether it a high sleek pony, a low messy pony or a braided pony…think Blake Lively’s go-to red carpet look!    Which brings me to the next service bar offered at the John Barrette Salon…Barrett’s Braid Bar.  I assume similar to the ponytail, they offer a slew of images (or you can always bring your own) and try to mimic it.  But this also comes with a hefty price tag…$50 for a PONYTAIL!!!!  What???  Then again, it is on the top floor of Bergdorf’s on Fifth Ave so I guess if you are in the area, you have the money to spend.  I like the concept but definitely not the price…maybe one of these days!

The Blo Salon is a little bit more realistic and affordable (and close to me…SCORE!).  They offer a range of blow-dry services on their hair menu….the Signature, the Red Carpet, High Society,  Sex Hugs and Rock & Roll, just to name a few.  The Signature blo starts at $35 which isn’t bad at all….and who doesn’t love a good blow-out???  I just would be a tad nervous they would charge me a lot more than that $35 starting price since my hair can be pretty thick and unruly!  But I do plan visiting the Boston location soon!  And if you can’t make in to the salon, they offer Blo On The Go and will show up right at your doorstep….now that’s convenient.

Lastly….this is such a fabulous concept brought to us by Fix Beauty Bar.  They basically give you a blow out while simultaneously give you a mani!!!! How genius!?!?!   Pricing isn’t all that bad….a Wash. Blow. Style. Any way you like it is $40 plus a luxe mani for $15.  Not bad!!!!  And if you are feeling really crazy…throw in a pedicure too for $35!   A Full-on Fix is $85 which includes all 3 services (and they even throw in a cocktail and snacks).  Unfortunately for me, this salon is in NYC but I suspect there will be more places like Fix Beauty Bar popping up in cities nearby so keep our eye out.

I am loving that these salon’s are working with the modern day “on the go” woman.  Whats better than a blow-out, mani/pedi and a cocktail between work and a dinner date….Genius I tell ya!

Would love to hear of anyone who has visiting one of these salons….

Helpful Makeup Tips

Today I want to share with you some very helpful (and easy) makeup tips that should help improve your makeup skills!!!

–     Spend some money on your tools.  Tools and products are equally as important as the makeup skills that you have.  Look for richer pigmented products and well made tools.  When in doubt…go with MAC!

–     Do the eyes first.  You can get a lot of “fall out” from shadow when you apply to your eyes.  You are better off doing your eyes first , then can clean up all the power that has fallen below so as not to enhance dark circles


–     To fake a fresh-faced look, make sure you really massage your cleanser, serum and moisturizer into the skin. It gets the circulation flowing and the blood comes to the surface of the skin


–     To get the perfect winged liner, “apply slightly tacky sticky tape under each eye as a guide for where you want your liner to follow


–     Bronzer should be applied before blush where the sun naturally hits your face: the tops of your cheekbones, tip of your chin, bridge of your nose, and on your forehead at the temples and the hairline


–     Using a concealer brush, apply cover-up to any pimples, making short, quick motions, like you’re spackling. Why a brush? The tapered bristles can get into the crevices of a blemish better than your fingers can.  et everything in place with a skin-tone matching powder

Hope these tips help to achieve that perfect flawless face!!!

Beachy Hair

I’ve had a few requests to post how to achieve a “beachy” hair look.  Now for me, I have it a little easy since my hair is naturally wavy but anyone can achieve this look with a little practice and some good techniques.

There are tons of different tutorials out there but to date, my favorite so far is Barefoot Blondes technique.  Which can be found here

Here is my take on the beachy wave look which is pretty simple…
–      Wrap wet hair up in a towel (DON’T BRUSH – I usually comb through my hair when the conditioner is in it in the shower)
–      Spritz a salt spray on wet hair….some favorites are Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray and Bumble Bumble Surf Spray
–      Try to use a cotton t-shirt to scrunch…not your hands.  This will prevent frizz
–      Diffuse or air-dry hair (I personally prefer air-drying but we all don’t have the time).
–      Once hair is dry, use a curling iron (I use 1-1/4″ Hot Tools Spring Iron) to polish up a few random piece (now would be the time to incorporate Barefood Blondes technique of curling the top part of hair and then waving the bottom part).
–      For those of us that have the naturally wavy hair, you don’t really need to do that 2nd part…I just curl the top half and leave the bottom half of my hair out of the barrel
–      When curling…don’t go crazy with it…the messier, the better

Favorite Makeup Dupes

Two of my all time favorite products for my daily makeup routine is Benefit Hoola Brozing Powder & Nars Blush in Orgasm.  Both are complimentary shades that seem to work well with all skin tones.  Here is the lowdown…

Benefit Hoola is one of the very few matte bronzers out there that does not contain “shimmer”.  Don’t get me wrong, the shimmer can be nice every once and a while but I like to have that healthy, natural looking tan year-round, and Hoola does the trick.

Nars Orgasm is probably one of the most popular blushes out there now.  The color is a peachy pink with a slight shimmer and is a universally flattering shade.  This coupled with Hoola gives you that perfect healthy glow to flatter any skintone.

Now moving on to what today’s post is really about….a Hoola and Orgasm Dupe!!!  These 2 products I’m about to introduce will give you the same effect as the above but at a fraction of the cost!!!

MILANI Minerals blush in Luminous gives you the same peachy pink undertones with the hint of shimmer and a price tag around $5….

NYC Bronzer in “Sunny” provides that matte bronzer that you get with Hoola at a much more affordable cost.

Personally, I think that Nars and Benefit are better quality products and tend to stay on the skin longer but if you are looking for a more price-conscience option or maybe for an extra set in your gym bag, definitely check them out!!!

Airbrush Makeup – TEMPTU!

I recently purchased the Temptu airbrush system.  I’m a HUGE fan of airbrush makeup thanks to Caitlin Murphy Stylist (who by the way is my very talented makeup/hair stylist for my wedding!!!).  Anyways….after MUCH research, I finally decided to breakdown and try the Temptu.  They are doing this pretty cool trial offer….try it for 90 days for $29.95.  Not a bad deal at all.  Worse that happens if you try it out for a little and decide it’s not for you.  Let me lay out some of the great benefits to airbrush makeup…

* You get such a flawless finish.  It doesn’t settle into creases and pores but more “sits on top” of the skin and creates a feather-light look
* Since this comes straight from the “pod” to the face, there is no bacterial exposed to the hand, brush or sponge that you may normal get
* Airbrush is sweat-proof, smudge-proof and water-proof….SCORE!
* Buildable coverage.  You have the flexibility to create a minimal effect or really go for the full coverage base

The kit includes the air compressor, a foundation, blush and a highlighter which are all apply via the airbrush technique.  I also received a concealer (non-airbrush) as a “bonus” offer.

I only tried it out the first night to “test” it so I’ll have a more detailed review after a wear it for a full day or night and see how it lasts.  Stay tuned!!!!

And if airbrush makeup isn’t for you, you can typically get a similar “flawless” look with a good foundation brush.  I purchased this brush at Sephora and basically buff the foundation into my skin for a flawless finish.  Big fan!!!

May Birchbox

My very first Birchbox arrived last week.  For those of you who are hearing the term “Birchbox”…let me get you up to speed…Birchbox delivers luxe beauty samples to your door each month for a $10 monthly charge.  The subscription includes everything from skincare to makeup, as well as fun non-beauty extras.  So…without further adu, here is my first BirchBox review.

 

 

 

May’s Birchbox was a Gossip Girl feature suitable for Manhattan’s Elite.  This included…

Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm.  Dark circles don’t stand a chance against this rich eye cream, which softens fine lines and deflates puffiness with a unique microalgae compound.  Full Size Retails at $65

Color Club Foil Collection. Disco Nap is a metallic gold with a silvery finish, while Foil Me Once is an icy pink with faint mauve undertones. Full Size Retails at $8

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25+.  A moisturizer, sunscreen, and treatment serum all-in-one, this tinted balm even helps hide imperfections—so there’s no need for foundation or cover-up. Think of it as the Swiss Army Knife of your beauty cabinet.  Full Size Retails at $32

Ojon Volume Advance Volumizing Shampoo.  A trio of plants works to purify hair while pumping up volume. The star ingredient is ojon oil.  Ojon’s coconut-derived formula boosts volume by gently getting rid of the scalp oils and residue that weigh hair down. Full Size Retails at $22

So my opinion on my first Birchbox….the concept is very cool…try new products and discover what’s out there without the commitment of sky-high prices.   You are bound to get stuff that can be pretty useless and just another product to add to the collection.  The Eye Balm and BB Cream were probably my 2 favs out of this box….I have thick hair and don’t need ANYMORE volume so the Ojon was just so-so and the gold nail polish can be much for me as I like to play it safe with my light pinks….but I am definitely willing to stick it out a few months to see what comes next.  Stay tuned for June’s Birchbox review!

 

 

DIY Lashes

I came across this little DIY Lash tutorial on The Beauty Department and had to share.  You know how I love me some lashes!!!   This tutorial gives you some different options for false lashes…and I really love the Homemade Individuals.  I have the individual lashes at home and I seem to have a hard time getting them to stay in place and look right….I find strips so much easier!  But I like that they are using the “demi wispies”  to make your own “individual lashes” since they are one of my favorites.

Photo courtesy of The Beauty Department

Basically to make the homemade individuals, you cute them between the groupings – you will definitely be able to tell on the Demi Wispies as it’s pretty pronounced.  So you are actually making them to be little lash clusters as opposed to really small individuals!  I have a pair of wispies at home that I am going to have to try this with!

Another thing you can do is halfies!  Cut the strip in half and use the end that would normally be on the inside corner, on the outside!  Plus its pretty economical…you get 4 lashes out of 1 set!

Just to add a few of my favorite “lashes” out there…

Ardell Invisibands Demi Wispies

Ardell Invisibands Sexies
Ardell Invisibands Sweeties