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Friday, September 9, 2011

A Few New Favorites...

A couple of weeks ago, I took a trip to the Galleria (surprise, surprise...) and found some great buys. Here's a few of my favorites...
Skirt: Zara; Lipstick: MAC 

I can't wait to wear the skirt with some cute boots for fall. I'm excited because we just implemented a new dress code at work which consists of black, white, and grey, with a pop of color in our accessories. So, this means I can still wear my new skirt, which is black with a grey/silver metallic finish.
Of course I am also obsessed with the new lipsticks I picked up from MAC. Here's a close-up.
Left: Vegas Volt; Right: Speed Dial

I'm already hooked on Speed Dial. I wore it for a week straight, until today, when I switched it up and went with Vegas Volt. I love the pop of color it adds to my otherwise natural daily makeup look.

I also added a little prettiness to my kitchen table yesterday. I picked up a rose from the grocery store's floral department and used a wine bottle as a vase to create a new centerpiece. It's simple, but cute. Side note: the wine was awesome, so if you're into reds, I'd recommend this one. It's called Chain Gang Sonoma County Red Wine, and can be found at HEB.

Hope everyone is having a great Friday night! As for me, I'm about to lie down on the couch and take it easy. Tonight is going to be pretty low-key because tomorrow's going to be a busy day at the salon!

Natalie Delaine

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summer Skincare

When it comes to beauty products, my weakness is in skincare. I absolutely love trying new things and discovering what works and what doesn't. I want to share with you guys what my routine has been as of late, and give an overview of each step.

From left to right:

boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil
I've been using this as my nightly cleanser for about six months now, and I am OBSESSED. I have never found a product that removes my facial makeup and cleanses my skin so well at the same time. I was skeptical to try it at first, because it actually is an oil and my skin doesn't react to oily products very pleasantly, but this leaves my skin feeling incredibly clean and refreshed. I was hooked after a week.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
This cream is a miracle moisturizer. I've had eczema almost my entire life, and it's been a pain trying to find moisturizers for my hands and body that don't cause irritation or worsen my eczema when I have flare-ups, but this stuff is formulated specifically to hydrate parched, cracked skin, and it protects against environmental irritants. I use the Repair Cream daily on my hands, and it's so relieving after a busy day at the salon when my hands are in and out of water. Love this stuff.

Sephora Smart Dual Action Exfoliator
I use this twice a week as a regular exfoliant. It has two different steps inside the tub - one side is white and one side is green. First, I use the white exfoliant on my whole face after I've finished using my basic cleanser, rubbing in small circles. Then I use the green exfoliant directly on top of the white, but I only place it on my oiliest areas (the T-zone) and rub that in for a few seconds. To finish, I use a warm washcloth and wipe the exfoliant off. My skin always feels so smooth and polished afterward.

Smashbox Emulsion Lip Exfoliant
This sugar-based, peppermint lip-exfoliant is awesome. I use this only as needed, because it is a tiny tube, and it's a little on the pricey side ($18 for a 0.75oz tube), which kind of bums me out, but in my opinion that is literally the only downside. I wear lipstick daily, and when my lips get dry in extreme heat or extreme cold weather, the lipstick starts to look dull and almost clumpy. However, if I use the exfoliant in the morning before I put on my lipstick, my lips look smooth and soft all day long.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum
I love anything that makes my skin radiant, and let me tell you, this stuff did to my skin exactly what it says it will do. I noticed a big difference in even skin-tone and my face looks so much more glowy and radiant after a few months of using the serum. This one is very pricey ($79 for a 1oz bottle), but I was lucky enough to snag a sample-size (which is almost .05oz) for free in a Caudalie gift-package from Sephora when I saved up my Beauty Insider points a few months back. It pays off to spend so much time in that store! I use just a few drops of the serum on my face every night after using the MakeUp BreakUp cleanser. I'm addicted.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
This classic moisturizer by Clinique has been a staple in my beauty routine for a long time. I use this every morning and every night as the last step before putting on my makeup or going to sleep. It's very gentle and light, and my skin stays moisturized all day/night with this lotion.

boscia B.B. Cream
At the beginning of summer, I started seeing lots of other bloggers post about B.B. creams, which I had never heard of. I did a little bit of research and found out that B.B. cream (also referred to as "blemish balm" or "beauty balm") has been around for years, but it was mainly sold in East and Southeast Asia. There are lots of different types of B.B. creams, most containing SPF and some sort of antioxidants that improve the skin. Lucky for us, B.B. creams are all over the market in America now, and I was excited when I discovered that Sephora started carrying one from boscia. I decided to give it a shot, and so far I actually really like it. It contains SPF 27, is oil-free, hydrates, and firms the skin. The best part is that it comes in a universal shade that adjusts with your individual skin-tone, and it gives a flawless, smooth look. I love wearing this when I'm spending the day outside, because it gives just enough color and it has SPF, so I know I'm protected from the harsh rays in this Houston heat. After I use up this B.B. cream, I want to try a few other brands' creams, so I'll update on those later on down the line.

All of the products above can be found in Sephora stores or on the Sephora website. I promise I wasn't set up to endorse any of these products, but I absolutely love them all, and my skin does, too! 

Hope everyone is having a fantastic Tuesday!

Natalie Delaine

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Weekend...

I've been a busy girl lately, so I'm taking some time to sit down and share a little bit of what's been going on this weekend! 
On Saturday, at work, I was surprised when my boss informed me that I am being promoted to Senior Stylist! I couldn't be more grateful for this new chapter in my career. Later that night, I went to a dear friend's wedding reception. Here's a shot of me and the beautiful bride. It was so amazing to see and feel the love that was present in that room. I wish you guys the best, Serena and Chase!

Sunday afternoon, I attended my niece's third birthday party. A good time was had by all. There was even a moon bounce - I couldn't resist jumping for a while myself. And of course, little miss Seppy had a blast at her party. I love that little girl so dearly! Here she is in her tiara about to blow out her birthday candles.

Today is Labor Day, which is a holiday for most of us, but it feels like a normal Monday for me, as we stylists are always off on Mondays. I did take advantage of the day, however, by cleaning my apartment and baking some cupcakes with my new mixer that I purchased this morning. 
I chose the KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer. It comes in 27 different colors (incredible and almost a little overwhelming - I know), but I decided Pistachio was my favorite. It's very vintage-looking. I love this thing so much, and I've had my eye on it for a long, long time. Finally seeing it in my kitchen makes me so happy.

I baked homemade red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing and coconut.

They turned out perfect! I'm about to head over to my boyfriend's house to share these treats with his family. I can't wait to eat another one. :)

Hope everyone is having a relaxing Labor Day, and if you worked today, go have a cold brew - you deserve one. 

Natalie Delaine