Thursday, May 30, 2013

May Favorites

Another month has come and gone and May has brought some warmth, some damn hot days and some chilly days as well.  I've found a few new products that have quickly become favorites and also rediscovered some products in my collection that I never really gave a fair shot.

Make Up Favorites

Mally High Impact Mascara- I got this during winter time with a Mally value set I bought from QVC.  I finally began using it this month and it's fantastic!  It doesn't provide a lot of volume but gives TONS of length and a very eye opening effect.  I'll be doing a review on this soon!

Revlon Cherry Tart Lip Butter- I've only had this for about 2 weeks, but the first swipe of this I put on I loved!  It's the perfect "I just finished a cherry popsicle" color and is a great way to wear red during the summer months.

NYX Shadow in Morroco- I've had this color for a very long time and while I reached for it here and there, I've become to reach for it almost every time I've wanted a smokey or "going out" type eye look. I use this to either deepen the outer corner or use it as a liner to give a super smoldering look.

Stila Eye Kajal in Topaz- This is another product I've had for quite a while and only began using it frequently.  I use this on my water line to brighten up the whites of my eyes.  It doesn't last all that long, but by the time it wears off the red in my eyes is usually gone anyway.

Random Favorites

Cliff Kid Z Bar in Iced Oatmeal Cookie- I've been looking for low calorie bar for quite a while, and this is it!  The original Z bars are pretty high in calories, but this one is only 130.  It's so yummy!  I wouldn't recommend this as a breakfast or meal bar, but it's a fantastic snack.  I haven't tried any other flavors, but I'm excited to after this one.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pad- This has been my go to facial self tanner for the past two summers.  It provides such a deep, yet natural looking tan on my super pale face.  I use this on my freshly cleansed face in the evening and wake up to great bronzed skin.  Expect a review soon!

Deep Steep Moisture Stick- I received this in my Vita Cost box a few months ago and it has been a savior to my poor little battered nose this month.  My allergies have been out of control this season and the constant blowing and wiping of my nose has led to a super chapped nose.  I carry this around in my purse and apply it constantly.  It's very moisturizing with out being greasy and the scent is very yummy and energizing.

Favorite YouTuber

As you all know, I use YouTube to find a lot of my at home workouts.  Well, this month I have discovered a GEM in the Youtube Fitness world.  Her name is Keaira LaShae at Superherofitnesstv.  I love doing a lot of dance inspired workouts, and this girl's dance videos include moves that I wouldn't be embarassed doing out in public!  She's gorgeous, infectious and makes me want to clubbing every weekend.

What have been your favorites this month?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Colors of the Rainbow Tag

  You know I LOVE me some tag posts, so I had to do the Colors of the Rainbow Tag I've seen going around Youtube.  This tag is as simple as it gets, pick your favorite beauty product for each color of the rainbow!  This tag pointed out that I am not a bright and colorful makeup type of gal- but I've definitely made progress!

R- Revlon Cherry Tart Lip Butter- I recently bought this during the CVS Clearance sale and it is love!  It's such a fun and summery red.  Great way to test out the bright red lip trend without requiring a lip liner and heavy lipstick.
O- Ok so my NYC Sunny Bronzer ISN'T orange, but the packaging kind of is- so does that count?  This bronzer is as un-orangey as it gets.  It's the perfect matte drugstore bronzer.
Y- I literally do not have a yellow product in my entire collection.  I don't even have a yellow based concealer!
G- Tarte Skinny Eyes Smolder Eyes in Jade- I love this forest green liner.  It really helps pop the green in my eyes.
B- Mac shadow in Talent Pool- I really like using this blow as a subtle pop of color on the outer crease.  It's a color I find myself reaching for now that it's warm out.
I- NYX Shadow in Morocco- This color is beautiful.  I've been using this as a top and bottom liner and it really helps make any eye look appear smoldering.
V- WnW Paradise Cove Palette Top Purple- I wish this purple had a name, but it's one of my absolute favorite purples and I am a HUGE fan of purple shadow.

I tag any of you! Please link back if you do this tag, as you can see I need some color suggestions!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Fabulously Thrifty Girl's Guide to Tipping

   There's one area of life where I feel it's never appropriate to be "thrifty" and that's when it comes to tipping.  How much to tip is often confusing so I'm going to put together a little cheat sheet.

*Wait staff- 15% is the norm.  I usually like to tip 20% because I was a waitress back in the day and I know how absolutely difficult it can be.  I personally feel that 10% is the lowest to tip and this is only if the service is really crappy.  I know some people who don't leave a tip at all if the service is really crappy.  I have to disagree with this because you don't know what else that person has going on that lead to the service being crappy.  The only time I feel like it's absolutely ok to not leave a tip is if the server is outright rude to you.  In that case I would ask to speak with a supervisor.

*Bartender- I usually tip a $1 a drink if I'm not opening a tab and 15%-20% if I'm paying an entire bill. If you're at a PACKED bar, try tipping a bit higher and you may find that you get better service.

*Valet- $2-$3 is usually recommended for a valet.

*Mani/Pedi- %15 is usually recommended for a mani and pedi.  The nail place by me charges $20 for both a mani and a pedi.  However, usually there is one person doing my mani and one person doing my pedi.  I usually give $3 to each person.

*Eyebrows- At least $2.  Eyebrows are usually pretty inexpensive to get done so 15% would be a very small amount.  I recommend at least $2 and probably more if it's a place you go to a lot. You don't want to leave with janky brows!

*Spa services- Again the standard 15%-20% is recommended.

*Hairdresser- 15%-20%.  This rule still applies if you have someone doing a separate cut and color.  For the person cutting your hair you give a percentage of the haircut price and the same with the person coloring your hair.

*Shampoo girl- $2 is recommended, but I usually give more.  The shampooers do a lot of the grunt work and yet the scalp massage is my favorite part of getting a haircut!

*Housekeeper- When you're staying at a hotel it's recommended to tip anywhere from $2-$5 a night.  If your service is amazing, tip a bit more.

When using a service where a Groupon, Living Social Deal, etc. has been purchased you MUST tip on the original price of the service.  The person doing your massage shouldn't get tipped less because you scored an amazing deal on Groupon.

Try not to tip on a credit card.  I know I hate carrying around cash and am guilty of leaving tips on credit cards, but tipping in cash makes it easier for the person to take home the money immediately.

Source: Emily Post

Do your tipping guidelines differ from the ones above? Have you ever NOT left a tip?

Saturday, May 25, 2013

What's In My Bag: Spring 2013 Edition

  I love seeing What's In My Bag videos and posts and it's been quite a while since I've done a what's in my bag tag, so here I am!  Let's see what I'm lugging around with me this spring!

The Bag:

I LOVE this white leather bag from the Coach outlet.  I bought this in the Coach outlet in Atlantic City and I have no idea what it's called, but it was love at first sight!  I'm terrified as all hell carrying around a white bag, but I'll be extra careful and try my best to keep it clean.

I like how this bag is split into two sections.  I call one side the business side and one the pleasure side haha.

The Business Side:

*Purple Planet Fitness Pen- I'm obsessed with these free purple pens.  I have them stashed EVERYWHERE.

*Planner- I love this little planner.  It reminds of a tapestry.  I bought this at Barnes and Nobles around Christmas time.

*Coach Poppy Coral Wallet- Another outlet find.  I don't LOVE this wallet, when the change section gets more than like 4 coins in it, it doesn't zip.  I'll make do for now, because I just love the color.

*Vera Bradley ID Zip Holder- I think I got this for a Christmas present from a coworker a few years ago.  I use this to hold all of my gift cards and my rewards cards.  I hate having those clutter up my wallet.

The Party Side:

*Zyrtec- Ok, not very party like, but a TOTAL necessity in order for me to function at life during these warmer months.

*Thirty One Small Zip Pouch- I keep all of my makeup and health goodies in here.

*Extra Gum in Polar Ice- Because who loves stank breath?

*EOS Lip Balm in Summer Fruit- I've been using this EOS balm forever.  I'm almost up and even though I love them, I think I'm going to try something new soon.

*Deep Steep Tangerine Melon Moisture Stick- Since my allergies have been killing me and I've been blowing my nose so much my poor skin has taken a beating.  This moisture stick helps me spot treat some extra flaky spots.

*Tissues- ^^ See Zyrtec

The Girly Stuff:

*Mark Matte-nificent- Lordie, it's embarassing how long I have had this powder! I very rarely use powder to touch up, but when I do this stuff comes in handy.  The day I hit pan, I swear I will keel over.

*Mark Concealer- Again, have had this WAY too long, but I do use it to touch up blemishes sporadically throughout the day.  I find a stick concealer to be very handy for that.

*Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Butter- This is my current hand cream in my purse.  I usually use whatever travel or sample size lotions I have at home.  This one is good for my super dry hands and the scent is actually very clean and fresh.

*B&BW Antibacterial Hand Gel in Frosted Snowberry- I stock up on these little anti-bacs around Christmas time and this is one of my favoite scents.

*Band-aids- I have super sensitive feet when it comes to shoes, so I always keep a few band aids handy.

*Headphones- I always used to get on the train and realized I forgot my headphones.  Now I always keep this pair in my bag.

*Pill Case- I need to carry around some pepto and tylenol.

*Sumatriptan- Anyone else who's a fellow migraine sufferer knows this pill or ingredient way too well.

*ELF Makeup Remover Pen- I always seem to have the case of smudging liner so I love to keep this pen handy.  I used to love the pen that Revlon made, but they discontinued it.

*Jordana Lip Gloss in Caramelo- I like to bring whatever gloss I'm using for the day with me, but this is one I always keep in my bag just in case I forget.

*Nauzene- Whenever I get migraines or a belly ache I always end up getting naesceous.  These chewable pills actually help!

*Nail File Matchbook- I'm always the girl who has a nail file when you need one.  I love getting these little matchbook nail file sets at the Christmas Tree Shop for a buck.

*Hair tie and bobby pins- I usually walk around with at least 10 hair ties on me at all times, but just in case I'm with out I have my back up.

*Strap Perfect- This I keep in my bag in case I'm going out and need some oo la la cleavage haha.  If you have never used one of these on your bra straps, prepare to be amazed.

*Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens- I just started using these and I had them in a $10 value kit I bought from Sephora around black friday.  I knew I shouldn't have started using pricier oil blotting sheets, because frankly I'm hooked!

When I list everything out, it seems like I carry around so much damn stuff! Are your bags as packed as mine is?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tip Thursday: Ebooks the Free Way!

    I'm ashamed to say that I've had a kindle for quite a few years now, and I barely used it until recently! I'm the kind of person who doesn't need or want to buy every book that I want to read, so I usually get it from the library- for free! I felt the same with ebooks.  Why should I spend money on an ebook when I go to the library and get it for free?

  Well, thanks to the Overdrive search all of that has changed!  My library system has joined the Overdrive system which allows you to borrow an Ebook on your internet enabled reading device.  I'm currently reading Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows on my Kindle Fire as we speak and it was all free!  All you will need is your library card number!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Benefits of Body Brushing

Hello, my name is Melissa and I have cellulite.  Did you know that almost all women, no matter what size they are, suffer with cellulite?  Cellulite is a type of fat that causes dimpling in the skin, usually in the hips and thighs of women. 

As I've tried to incorporate more natural remedies into my beauty routine, I looked up some treatments for cellulite.  A treatment that I kept on seeing was body brushing. 

Body brushing consists of literally brushing your skin with a special type of body brush which you can find in drug stores, health and beauty stores and a lot on Amazon.  I ordered mine from Amazon and it is called the Manbino Organics Cellulite Body Brush.

The reason why I picked this Cellulite Body Brush
 is because of the nodules.  The nodules are said to massage out some of the dimpling in the skin.

Besides helping in the diminishing appearance of cellulite, there are some other benefits to body brushing.  These include:

*Removes dead skin
*Improves circulation
*Releases toxins
*Glowing skin

The most important tip to remember when body brushing is to brush towards your heart.  There are a lot of videos on body brushing and it's techniques.  This is one of my faves:

Have you ever tried body brushing? Any other more natural techniques to getting rid of cellulite?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tip Thursday: Citrus Way To Start Your Day

  For the past few weeks the first thing I have every morning is a hot cup of water with lemon.  A lot of the fitness/nutrition blogs I read recommend to start your day with this drink.  It took me quite a while to begin this morning routine because I am not a fan of lemon, but I forced myself to try this and while I still don't enjoy it, I'm able to get it down every morning.

The benefits include:

*Cleanses your system (you will notice that you are peeing more frequently)
*Helps boost your immune system
*Helps fight hunger cravings
*Gets you in a positive mindset to start your day!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lush Wishlist

   I've never been a Lush fanatic.  I went to a few stores here and there, but I was always a bit turned off by their  high prices.  I've tried a few products here and there, but I didn't become an actual Lush fan until I began using their Big shampoo.  They finally opened up a Lush by me and my mom and I spent a day getting facials there and making a long list of wish list products.

Again, I don't have much experience with Lush products so I'd love any feedback you may have on them!

Skin Care

Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser- This is a cleanser to get balanced skin and is sort of similar to the ANF Face Food where you have to add water to it to make a paste.  The summer time may be the perfect time to try this face wash out since it does contain kaolin clay which can be drying.

Grease Lightening Spot Treatment

I have been looking for a more natural acne spot treatment for a while and I've heard really good things about this.  This is a pretty good size bottle of product and will probably last quite a while.

Dream Steam

I love the idea of their steam tabs, which you add to boiling water to release a calming and skin soothing steam.  This one is is to calm and soothe troubled skin.

Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask 

This face mask is so fresh that they need to be refrigerated and has a quick expiration date.  I really do already have enough face masks, but this mask for dull skin just sounds amazing and definitely worth a shot!



I have and have tried plenty of products and treatments for the length of my hair, but I've never tried a scalp treatment before.  I do randomly suffer from dandruff and a dry scalp, so this is the number one product that I want to try from Lush!

Shower & Bath

I want to try EVERY SINGLE BUBBLE BAR! I absolutely love taking baths, and the idea of a bubble bath is just as beautiful and girly and pampering as they get.  I have never tried one of their bubble bars and I would loooove to try one!

Any feedback on any of these products or any must try products from Lush?  Any etailers or Etsy stores sell similar products?  I'd love to know!

Monday, May 13, 2013

My Fitness Pal App!

   When I looked at my dietary habits and what I had to do in order to not only lose weight but to be a healthier individual, I realized that I had no idea how many calories I consumed in a regular day.  I also had no idea how many calories a day I should be consuming.  I started reading up on diet and nutrition and the first thing that pretty much every weight loss plan/ healthy eating plan recommends is to track what you eat.  I knew I wouldn't write stuff down, so I downloaded the highly recommended My Fitness Pal App on my iPhone.

   When you first begin to use the My Fitness Pal app you have to enter in your weight, some basic measurements, activity level and your goal weight.  This is the information they use to calculate your daily calorie intake goal.  My weight when I began was 130 pounds and I'm about 5 feet even so they suggested 1200 calories daily (this is the lowest they will recommend).

Yes, I had birthday cake for breakfast.  So bad!

   After they give you this number you can begin using the app immediately.  Now I only suggest using this app if you are familiar with how proper portion sizes of items you eat look like or if you are going to measure out your meals.  You can search chicken but it won't help you with the calorie count unless you know how much chicken you are eating!

  When I first started using this app I was SHOCKED at how many calories I was consuming in a day. I mean no wonder why I gained weight- there were days where I was having 3000 calories with no problem.  This I think was the best part of this app- it opened up my eyes to my super unhealthy habits.

  I LOVE this app!  This app, along with a good attitude, has already helped me lose 6 pounds!  Now this is in about a 3-4 month span, but for someone who has never monitored what they eat or really exercised regularly this is a big accomplishment.

Tips for Success with My Fitness Pal:

* Be honest.  You're only lying to yourself if you say you ate 1/3 of your plate of mac and cheese and you really ate all of it.

*Underestimate your exercise calories.  After doing some research it appears that the app over-calculates how many calories you are burning during your workout.  I usually subtract 5 minutes from the time I enter for my workouts to get a more accurate count.

*When you first begin calorie counting use measuring tools until you become familiar with what a serving size looks like.

*Add your friends! I always get motivated when I see how many calories one of my girlfriends burned during their workout.

*Utilize the community message boards.  This is probably one of my favorite parts of the app.  The message boards are full of SO much information and recipes and tips and tricks.  It's also a very positive environment.

*You don't have to use this EVERYDAY.  I'm not even going to lie, I barely use this on the weekends.  Between skipping breakfast because I sleep late or having a few cocktails at happy hour, I'm not as strict with it on same days as I should be.  Once you become familiar with what 1200-1500 calories looks like in a day, you won't have to be as strict.

* Don't beat yourself up or give up.  For the first time in my life I became aware of what I was eating and stuck to a regular exercise routine, but I didn't see weight loss for a good 6-7 weeks.  Sometimes it takes a while to see results, but you MUST stick with it.

Has anyone else used the My Fitness Pal app? I'd love to add you as a friend?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Met Gala 2013 Beauty Recap

  The 2013 Met Gala showcased some of the craziest hair and makeup looks that have been seen on celebrities lately.  Again, while the punk theme/look is not my favorite; there are still some makeup and hair looks that us non-celebrity gals can incorporate into our own lives.

Single Wash of Color Eyeshadow

While Kristen Steward is not my favorite, there's no denying that she looks FIERCE in her gala ensemble.  The single shade of burnt auburn around her eyes is absolutely stunning.  It makes her green eyes piercing and is such a simple look to pull off.  I love doing a single color wash using Wet and Wild's Nutty.

Super Contouring

While I absolutely despise the fact that Jessica Biel rocked a faux nose ring for this look, I am obsessed with her cheek contours.  The woman has beautiful cheekbones to begin with, but this all nude look with contoured cheeks is gorgeous.  I would give NYX Blush in Taupe a whirl for a similar look.

Return of Crimps

I never thought I would see crimped hair return and I love the way that Taylor Swift incorporated these subtle crimps into her mermaid like look.  Not every strand is crimped and it's not super crimped and crunchy like my childhood days in the 80's.  Love, love, love this!

Over the Shoulder

This hair look is as simple and easy as it gets.  To me nothing is sexier or more romantic than the over the shoulder look.  It's so easy and add a couple of bobby pins to the back to make it hold.

What was your favorite beauty look from the 2013 Met Gala?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Met Gala 2013 Fashion Highlights

   The Met Gala is one of my favorite fashion events of the year.  This year's theme was "punk".  The punk look is not my favorite look or trend, so I wasn't IN LOVE with a lot of the fashions, but there were some trends that us casual gals can take away from the gala and incorporate into our every day lives.

Showing Some Skin

This years' gala was all about showing some skin!  My favorite dressed of the night was definitely Hermoine, I mean Emma Watson.  She is absolutely stunning and the dress was the right amount of punk and glam in my mind.

Tea Length Dresses

The tea length dress is a hard look to pull off, but I think it's such a classic look for graduation parties, weddings and any fancy spring/summer occasion.  Jennifer Lawrence looks STUNNING in this tea length black dress and again works with the punk theme without going overboard.

Girly Meets Biker

I love, love, love the juxtaposition of Sienna's feminine white dress with this tough ass leather jacket.  Again, it's the perfect way of working with the punk theme with out taking it overboard (a la Madonna).

FTC Disclosure

All products are purchased by me unless noted otherwise. If a product is supplied for review, this does not affect my opinion. My opinions can not be bought.
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