Favorite Beauty Products

I visited my parents a few weeks ago and forgot my foundation at their place.  Instead of going out and buying another one, I used the other foundations I had.  After a couple of days, I couldn’t take it and had to buy another one.  While I love trying new beauty products, there are a few items that I keep repurchasing time and time again.  With so many great beauty products out there, it really says a lot when you continue to repurchase a certain product.  Below are 10 products that I just can’t get enough of.

foundation2BareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation
I have very sensitive skin and no matter how many foundations I try, I keep coming back to this one.  I prefer a more natural look and this mineral foundation gives a flawless finish without feeling heavy.  I love the versatility because you can achieve a light coverage for an everyday look or full coverage for a night out.

pure radiance2BareMinerals All-Over Face Color in Pure Radiance
This is my go-to blush/face powder because it’s a soft wash of color for those days when you don’t want a bright cheek.  Sometimes I’ll also put a light layer over a darker blush to blend it out (similar to how you would put a light, pale lip gloss over a darker lipstick).  It blends beautifully and has a touch of shimmer for a dewy glow.

h2o mist2
H2O Plus Face Oasis Mist
Since I have dry skin, my face can have dry patches after I apply foundation and blush.  This face mist sets my makeup and turns the powdery look into a nice dewy finish. It’s amazing how it blends all of the mineral makeup while also hydrating your skin.  I use a very light amount of mist.

olay fluid2Olay Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid & Olay Hydrating Facial Cream
Since I was a little girl, my mom has used Olay moisturizers and has amazing skin.  Although I’ve tried lots of moisturizers, I always come back to Olay.  Last year, I tried a new moisturizer and my skin broke out so bad that I was scared to put anything on my face.  The only thing I trusted was Olay because I knew how gentle and wonderful it was.  Since then, I haven’t used anything else.

milani eyeliner3Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eye Liner in Blackest Black
My eyelids get oily as the day goes on and causes my eyeliner to smudge in the outer corners…not cute when you’re going for a crisp cat eye.  I don’t like to bother with eyelid primer on a daily basis so I need an eyeliner that will stay put.  This eyeliner does the trick and by the end of the work day, no gross eyeliner gunk in the corner of my eyes.  The felt tip allows you to get a very fine flick on your cat eye, which is a must for me.  It’s also very dark and opaque.

lash discovery2Maybelline Lash Discovery Mini Brush Washable Mascara in Very Black
I use two different mascaras.  One for my top lashes and this one specifically for my bottom lashes.  The mini brush is perfect and doesn’t give you clumpy bottom lashes.  Instead, you can get every single lash and they all look defined.  My dear friend introduced me to this back in college and I’ve been using it ever since.

neutrogena remover2
Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover
I have loved this product since high school because it gets the job done!  I’ve heard so many great things about Bioderma that I just had to compare the two.  While Bioderma worked OK, it did not melt away my eye makeup as easily as the Neutrogena remover.  I also had to rub a lot harder with the Bioderma.

Ardell Demi Wispies Lashes
These are great because they really extenuate the eyes without looking too bold and obvious.  Love.


viva glam v
MAC Viva Glam V Lipstick
I’m not a lipstick kind of gal, so when I use a full tube of lipstick I must love it.  I’m already on my third tube of this.


Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray
A no-fuss product that works great.  My hair is very fine and this spray doesn’t weigh it down.  I’ve used this since college and have probably gone through 30 bottles.


And those are my favorite beauty items.  If you’re ever looking to try a new product, I’d definitely recommend any of these.

Now I’m off to clean and organize the closet.  Stay tuned for a future blog post.  I hope you’re all having a great weekend!


Makeup Vanity Organization

A blog reader suggested that I do an updated post on my DIY Ikea Makeup Vanity and how it’s held up over the years and I think that’s a good idea.  Since I didn’t include how I organized the vanity in the first post, I thought I’d take the time and do that as well.

**For a list of products used to build this vanity, please visit the original blog post.


I’ve used the vanity every single day over the last 2.5 years and I still love it.  The glass top and glossy shelves make it so easy to wipe clean and keeps it looking new.  If I had to change one thing, I would probably attach the legs closer together because I do sometimes worry about putting too much weight in the middle.  I’m also still loving the stool because it’s small and doesn’t get in the way.


Above is how the vanity was originally set up and organized.


However, we recently rearranged the bedroom furniture and the vanity now sits in the corner between the closet and Mel’s nightstand.  Since I tend to sit more to the right of the vanity, the mirror is hung off center.  Moving it was not a problem at all and we just reattached the mirror.



Source: Ikea

The Godmorgon Box is great because it has so many compartments.

1)  Face brushes and Q-tips

2)  Eyeliners, eye pencils, and lip liners

3)  Liquid foundations, tinted moisturizers, and highlighters that are better standing up than laying in the trays

4)  Lipsticks and perfume

5)  Precision brushes (i.e. angled eyeliner and pencil brushes)

6)  Dense brushes for packing on eyeshadow and pigments

7)  Blending brushes

8)  Mascara primer, mascara, and eyebrow products (brush, spooly, and setting gel)

9)  Lash glue and eye primers

The brush compartment lifts up and allows for more storage underneath.  This is where I keep miscellaneous products such as a pencil sharpener, extra foundation, and eyelashes.


10)  Eye shadow bases, pigments, and cream eye shadows.  I don’t use these items often so I put them out of reach.


11)  Brown and neutral eye shadows

12)  Color eye shadows

13)  Naked and Naked2 eye shadow palettes


14)  Foundations, concealers, bronzers, and highlighters

15)  Blushes

16)  MAC and Inglot eye shadow palettes

This vanity really keeps me in check because it forces me to purge and give away makeup when there’s no more space in the trays.  This prevents me from accumulating more makeup and getting out of control. =)

If you’re looking for a way to organize all your makeup, I hope this post was helpful!

Treating Keratosis Pilaris — aka “Chicken Skin” Bumps

Since Mel was a little kid, he’s had keratosis pilaris (KP), also know as “chicken skin” bumps.  KP is a skin condition that creates a lot of small, rough, red/tan bumps around hair follicles typically on the upper arms and legs.  Poor Mel has always been a little self conscious about it.

Years ago, he tried the popular DERMAdoctor KP Duty Body Scrub and Moisturizing Therapy.  He used it religiously for months but didn’t see a big difference.  After that, he tried other body scrubs, but nothing really seemed to work…until now.

About a month ago, my mom gave us a couple of South of France bar soaps in Pure Gardenia.  After a few weeks, Mel said his upper arms were a lot smoother and he was right!  I couldn’t even feel the little bumps anymore.  We tried to figure out why his upper arms were so smooth all of a sudden and we thought it might be the new soap, but we weren’t completely sure.  So we (actually, Mel) decided to do a little test.  A few days ago he went back to our regular soap and, lo and behold, the chicken bumps have started to reappear.

Mel’s not sure if all of the South of France bar soaps would have the same results, but he’s sticking with the Pure Gardenia one. =)  The bar soaps are made of 100% vegetable oils (palm oil, coconut oil, or olive oil, vegetable glycerin, organic shea butter, and natural and essential oils.  They are also free of sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, paraben and phthalates and never tested on animals.  They’re gluten free, soy free, and vegan.  Sounds pretty good, huh?! =)

The bar soaps are available at your local World Market or Whole Foods.  Everyone’s skin is different so although this works for Mel, it might not necessarily work for you.  However, if you suffer from KP yourself and haven’t found anything that really helps, Mel and I would definitely recommend that you try out this gardenia bar soap. =)

P.S.  The reason my mom decided to buy this soap was because our wedding bouquet had gardenias and it reminded her of that day.  She’s so cute. =)