Sunday, December 7, 2014

Book Review: Love, Lashes and Lipstick by Mally Roncal

    I don't know about you, but when I can't find anything on tv I automatically turn on QVC or HSN.  I've purchased quite a few things from both networks, but I must say I prefer QVC.  One of the biggest reasons why I prefer QVC is because of Mally and Mally Beauty.  If you have never watched Mally, I urge you to find out when she is on QVC next and sit back and enjoy.

    Mally is adorably happy and confident and gorgeous.  Her makeup line is fantastic and she is the makeup artist to some big stars, including Beyonce.  When I found out that she wrote a book I automatically snatched it up from my library.

   Mally's book, Love, Lashes and Lipstick: My Secrets for a Gorgeous, Happy Life, is part self-help book, part autobiography and part makeup book.  It's a very quick read and a book that I must say actually made me happy reading it.

  Mally, whose real name is Melissa (more of a reason for me to love her), tells her life story including the death of her mother from breast cancer.  She tells how her mother knew she was going to die so squeezed a lifetime full of memories into a few short years.  I must admit, I cried while reading some of this chapter.  Some people can be very bitter about suffering such a loss in their life, but Mally used it to create something beautiful in her life, which is very admirable.

   Mally also shares stories about her start in the makeup industry.  She stresses the fact that no job is too small and to say yes to everything.  You never know when a small opportunity can lead to a big one, or if you can meet someone life changing (she met her husband on a list minute shoot) by just saying yes.

   Dispersed throughout the book are pages with makeup tips and tricks.  There were a few that I really liked.

The first makeup tip I liked (and already started using) is the "starburst" mascara tip.  When I normally put mascara on I bring the wand towards the outer edge of my eye, giving a cat eye like effect to my lashes.  Mally says to bring the lashes towards the bridge of your nose which gives your eyes a more open eyed effect.  I've been doing this and I really like the result!  Especially under my glasses and with tired eyes, this does help my eyes look a bit more awake.

The second tip I really liked is her natural eyeliner tip, which it turns out is a tip I've been using for quite a while.  Mally says to use a darker liner on your top lash line and a lighter shade on your lower lash line.  This gives a more natural look and also helps cut down on such a stark contrast on your under eye.  For my daily use I prefer using an espresso brown on top and a bronze on bottom.

All in all, I must say I really enjoyed this book and I think next time I see Mally on QVC I will enjoy watching her even more.  

Have you ever used any of Mally's products or watched her on QVC? 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Fitness Friday: How to Not Go TOO Crazy Over the Holidays

   The holiday season is officially upon us!  I hope everyone had a beautiful and delicious Thanksgiving Day.

   As someone who has zero willpower, I know how easy it can be to overindulge over the holiday season.  I myself am usually the first to overindulge.  However, a big birthday is looming right after Christmas as well as a hot little dress I have my eye on, so this season will not be an overindulgent one for me.

Here are some tips and tricks that I'm going to make myself follow this holiday season:

*Don't starve yourself prior to an event

I used to subscribe to the idea that if I starve myself before a big event than I would be able to enjoy myself at the event.  Well, this plan usually backfires as I'm SO famished that I end up over doing it.  If you are going to an event where you know you will be eating a lot or drinking a lot, make sure you have a well balanced breakfast or lunch and to include some protein and lots of water.

*Have one "good thing" for every one "bad thing"

Finger foods are my absolute weakness.  At a party I usually skip the veggie platter and go right for the cheeses and fun stuff.  No more of that.  For every finger food I take, I'm stocking up on a veggie.  This way even if I'm eating a lot of crap, I can still know that I got a good dose of vitamins and minerals.

*Try a little bit of everything, instead of a lot of one thing

I can sit and have a meal of pasta anytime I want, but this is the time to try a little bit of everything that a party has to offer.  Trying a little bit of everything turns into a meal and you won't be overindulging on one fatty meal.

*Drink a large glass of water for every alcoholic drink

I'm queen of the hangover, which is not a title that I want to have.  If I have more than one drink I am almost guaranteed at least a headache the next day.  If I really go for it, I wake up the next day sick as a dog and with a raging fever.  Do I think a drink of water between boozy drinks will keep my hangover at bay? No, but it may help!

*Know when to say no

While my taste buds have matured quite a bit over the last few years, I am still incredibly picky.  If there's something I know I don't like or have no interest in trying, I am just going to politely say no.

*Throw in some active dates

It's the season to get together with friends and loved ones, but who says these get togethers have to involve dinner and drinks?  Why not get together and try a fitness class?  Or walk around the mall and get some steps and shopping in?  Even getting together and wrapping gifts or going for a wintery walk is better and healthier than the typical drinks and dinner.

*Don't forget your exercise routine

Things may be a bit more active for you this time of year, but it's not the time to forget about your exercise routine.  Everyone can squeeze in a minimum of 20 minutes of physical activity a day.  If you find yourself too swamped in the evening, make time for it by waking up a bit earlier.  I know it's a pain in the ass, but it will help you in the long run.

*Try some healthy swaps

I know it's definitely the time for baking, so check out some of these healthier substitutions to use in your baking.  It won't make your cookies healthy, but any little difference in something you are going to eat anyway can definitely help.

Here are just SOME of the healthy holiday tips that I will be forcing myself to follow this year.

Do you have any tips or tricks on how to avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain? 
Please comment below!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Quick Tip: Preserve that Blowout

   I like to wash my hair as little as possible.  Before you think that sounds gross, it's not.  My hair could absorb half of the Atlantic Ocean and still be fine.  The best tip I found on preserving a blowout or maintaining any style longer, is to KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF!  The oils from your hands and your fingers transfer to your hair creating a big ol' mess.  This may be difficult for those of you nervous hair twirlers or flirtatious hair flippers (like myself), but the more you keep your hands off your hair, the longer your style will last!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Style Sunday: Warby Parker Review

    I am blind as a bat.  My vision has always been horrible and is continually getting worse.  When I go to buy glasses I usually can't spend less than a couple hundred due to the severity of my prescription.  When I started seeing all of these glasses websites pop up on the web advertising super cheap prices, I had to jump on the bandwagon.
      I've already done a review on one of these sites, called, here.  However, I kept hearing raves about Warby Parker.  What I liked about Warby Parker was that you could pick out five frames to be sent to you to try on at home.  This is a brilliant idea as you can really play around with the different frames and get family and friends opinion.  Oh, did I also mention a complete pair of prescription glasses is $95??!!!

   I was so excited when I got my frames and couldn't wait to photograph them to see how they truly looked.

                                                                  Wilkie Greystone

Nedwin Summer Green

Langston Whiskey

Ramsay Jet Silver

Welty Plum Marblewood

    I was super impressed with the quality of all of these glasses.  Even the rimless glasses had some heft to them and were not flimsy by any means.  I also love the try on at home option.  It was fun to take pictures in them, try them on with different hair and makeup styles and got the input of my family and friends.  I also love that Warby Parker donates a pair of glasses to someone in need- what an amazing thing!

So, which pair did I pick?


    I am absolutely in love with these glasses!  They fit perfectly and give me just enough of the nerdy/chic look.  

   The process of ordering them was quite easy as well.  I didn't have an exact copy of my prescription so I provided Warby Parker with my eye doctor's information and they called him to get my information.  I would say it took about 11 days from the time I ordered until the time I got my glasses.  I think mine took a bit longer than usual due to the fact that they had trouble contacting my eye doctor.  They come packaged beautifully with a hard case and soft pouch as well as a cleaning cloth.  You also have 30 days to return them in case you aren't in love with them.

    I will only be purchasing my glasses from Warby Parker from now on.  My one and only complaint? My prescription is SO bad that they can't do it for sunglasses.  I don't understand the science behind it, but they are unable to do it with the glass that they use.  So I will still have to spend hundreds on my prescription sunnies. :(

   Have you ever ordered glasses online?  Do you agree with my frames decision? 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Book Review: The Everygirl's Guide to Life

   One of the books on my summer reading list was, The EveryGirl's Guide to Life, by Maria Menounos.  I ended up borrowing it from my library because I tend to like non-fiction books to be real books as opposed to ebooks.

       I've never really watched a whole lot of Maria Menounos on tv, but I like her personality and I'm really a sucker for any girly self-helpy type of book.  This book was a fun read and actually was full of great tips and tricks.

Here are some of my favorite tidbits from the book:

*Maria stresses the importance of having a regular cleaning schedule.  This way when guests are coming over you won't have to do a deep cleaning, things will already be spic and span.

*She recommends setting up a "black book" otherwise known as a home management binder.  As I begin condo shopping I think this will be very helpful, and I'll be setting it up more or less like this.

*Every New Year's Eve she writes out her resolutions and the steps to get them.  She then posts the goals and steps to obtain them in a very visible place.  I know we all have resolutions, but seeing the steps to get them everyday may act as a gentle reminder.

*This is a great tip for when dressing for a night out or when you know you are going to have your picture taken: take a flash photo of your outfit to make sure nothing shows up sheer or see through on camera!

*Maria emphasizes the importance of meditation in her life.  I have never once given thought to meditation, but as a frequent sufferer of anxiety and migraines, I will be looking into this.  I didn't know meditation has been proven to lessen severity of migraines.

*A tip I've never heard to help with a minor panic/anxiety attack is to use a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel placed on your chest.  The weight and the warmth of the bottle is supposed to be soothing.

*In a world where the economy still sucks, making connections is super important.  Maria recommends keeping a little notebook to collect business cards.  Glue the business card in and jot down a few notes as to how you know the person and what you may have chatted about.  It's a great resource to have.

All in all, I have to say I really enjoyed this book.  It had quite a few makeup and hair tips that were new to me, great advice on how to design your dream home on a budget, some lazy girl workouts and great recipes.  This is a book that I wouldn't mind having on my bookshelf to take out every now and then for inspiration or to use as a reference.

Are you a Maria Menounous fan?  Would you read this book?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Quick Tip: Sanitizing Eyeliners

    The quickest and easiest way to sanitize your pencil liners? Sharpen them!  Sharpening the pencil removes the last used layer and reveals a brand new one.  You don't have to do this every time, because you'll be using up tons of product.  However, I would sharpen your pencil prior to every use in the waterline to bay off any nasty infections.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Style Sunday: Caring For Your Bathing Suits

   Earlier this week was my first time in a bathing suit for summer 2014.  I usually buy one or two new bathing suits a year and rotate these in and out with a few bathing suits I own from previous years.

   Bathing suits are like bras, they need to be cared for a bit more gently then our regular clothing.  Here are some tips and tricks to keep your bathing suits in primal condition!

 ✺ If possible, rinse before putting a bathing suit on.  A common culprit of bathing suit "decay" is body oils and odors, so rinsing prior to putting a suit on can help cut down on these.

 ✺ Try to do a large majority of your sunbathing prior to getting your suit wet.  A wet bathing suit drying in the sun leads to fading.

✺  If possible, rinse your bathing suit in cold tap water after hitting the pool or the waves.  A bottle of water can work also.

  ✺ If you're changing at the beach or pool, don't throw your damp bathing suit in a plastic bag- this can lead to mildew growth.  Try one of those cute bathing suit storage bags made out of towel material, or poke holes in a plastic bag so some dampness can drain out.

 ✺  Try to avoid washing your suit in a washing machine after every wash.  Try hand washing in your sink with detergent formulated for delicates or even mild hand soap.

 ✺ If you must wash your bathing suit in a washing machine, try to hold off on every 4-5 wears and throw it in a delicates washing bag or even a pillowcase.

✺ Never, never throw your suit in the dryer.  The material isn't formulated to be heated that much and it can quickly lose its shape.

✺ Never, ever wring out your bathing suit to dry either.  From what I've read, it's recommended to lay a bathing suit flat between two tools, gently roll out the moisture and then dry flatly somewhere.

✺ Rotate your suits, especially the bottoms!  We all have a favorite bathing suit, but try not to wear the same one every time to give each suit a break.

✺ Finally, ROCK IT!  We wait all summer to hit up the beach or the pool, even if you didn't lose those 10 pounds like you wanted or haven't perfected your tan, you better rock that bathing suit, for it'll be winter again before we know it!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Quick Tip: Polish Remover Double Duty

  This is a tip that will most likely seem pretty obvious, but it's a tip I use on the regular so I thought I would share.

    I love using the nail polish remover jars with the sponges in them, however sometimes they dry out so quickly.  Instead of buying a new one, just add a decent amount of your favorite bottled nail polish remover to the jar and let sit for a bit.  It's like new and removes your polish super easily!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quick Tip : What do I apply when?

   If you're anything like me, you have a cabinet or drawer full of skin care products.  Skin care products aren't cheap, so why wouldn't you want to get the biggest bang for your buck?  Did you know the order that you apply your products can add or take away from their effectiveness?  Based on skin a lot of information compiled by a lot of skin care experts here is the order we should all be following:

Google Images

1.  Serums first.  These are the lightest and sink into the skin the deepest.  Hylauronic acid and Retinol's would also be the first step.

2.  Seal in that serum with a moisturizer.

3.  If you are using a face oil it can go after a moisturizer, or in place of.

4.  Eye cream next.

5.  If it's day time, SPF is last.

Have you been applying your skincare products properly?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Quick Tip: No More Greasies!

   I'm normally a dry skinned gal.  However, once the summer months roll around and the New York City humidity kicks in, I turn into a grease ball!  I usually carry around a pack of oil blotting sheets in my bag.  That is until my friend Serafina told me a brilliant tip.

   Did you know Starbucks napkins make the BEST oil blotting sheets?  Yup!  She brought me a whole stack of Starbucks napkins and they work as well as those oil blotting sheets.  Save yourself the few bucks and pick up some extra napkins next time you're picking up your latte!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Quick Tip: Boot Storage Tip #2

    A while back I posted this cheap tip to help keep the shapes of your boots.  Well, here's another one!

Throw a wine bottle inside your boot!  A wine bottle is the perfect shape and thickness to help maintain the shape of your boot when storing it for the off-season!  If you're anything like me, you'll have quite a few bottles lying around to help you in this project. :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tips for Making Your Makeup Last

    As this is a blog for my fabulous budget minded beauties, I was contacts by HSN about a recent blog post they did on saving makeup, saving money.  I decided to share some of their great tips and add a few of my own!

1. Build a Better Makeup Bag

At times, I look through my stash and find no fewer than a dozen variations of the exact same lip shade. None of these products get used consistently and they mostly end up expiring before I can even scratch the surface. I've learned that by better editing my purchase decisions, I can make sure that I have a variety of products that I use more frequently – and I’m more likely to use them to the very last drop.

*Fabulously Thrifty Tip- Keep a list on your phone or planner of colors, finishes, products that you want or feel your collection lacks.  Hopefully this will keep you from purchasing 5 of the same shades of coral.

2. Clean your Brushes

Not only are makeup brushes expensive, but they also touch all of your makeup. By keeping them clean, not only are you extending their life, but also the life of your products. Keeping powders and blushes free and clear of oils and bacteria that tend to break them down will help them live a longer life.

*Fabulously Thrifty Tip- Washing is super important, but just as important is the way you dry them!  Try to dry them with the brush head facing downwards so water can't enter the ferule and eat away at the glue.

3. Keep it Pretty

You will never find my hard earned makeup knocking around in a vanity drawer or at the bottom of my purse. Oh, the horror! I’m careful to keep my beauty treasures tucked inside of pouches when I’m on the go or on a tray sitting on my vanity at home. This way, there’s far less chance that they will crack or explode, wasting precious product.

*Fabulously Thrifty- Traveling with a palette?  I tend to keep my palettes separate when traveling and wrapping them in towels or wash cloths to keep them safe.

4. Scrape the Bottom

I recently discovered these little spatulas that you can use to actually scrape the bottom of your makeup bottles to get to the very end of them. I’ve also been known to use them after cutting open tubes of concealer and lip glossto collect one final application. Brilliant!

5. Portion Control

It may go without saying, but using only what you need can really make your makeup last. I found that I was always left with unneeded foundation or extra moisturizer after applying, so I downsized my dose and I’m wasting less. Making other small changes like not spraying my fragrance into the air and walking through it has also helped!

*Fabulously Thrifty- Apply concealer after foundation.  A lot of foundation application methods will just wipe away concealer, which means you will need to apply more.  

How do you guys make your makeup last longer?  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Quick Tip Thursday: Repurposing Candles….Again

    I love my crappy little tarte burner that I bought at Costco years ago.  It's ugly, filthy and a not my style, but I don't know what about it, it helps scents travel further than candle does.  Sometimes though, I don't love the scentsy like cubes that Walmart and Target sell and want something more along the lines of my Bath and Body Works scents.

     Well, when a candle won't burn down anymore and you're left with that little bit of wax in the bottom, pop the candle in the freezer for a few hours, use a butter knife to take out the wax and plop it in your burner!  It's like a free tarte!

Right now I have my favorite, Marshmallow Fireside!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

My Beauty Emergency Car Kit

     As a suburbanite I spend a lot of time in my car.  Unless I'm going into the city, I'm traveling by car. I decided to put together a little beauty emergency kit to keep in my car so I don't have to haul around all of this stuff in my purse!
    If you don't want to keep this in your car (due to temperatures maybe?) than it would be a great thing to stash in your desk for impromptu happy hours.

I got this cute Coach makeup bag for Christmas from my dad.  It's a nice material and easy to clean in case something spills on or in it.

*Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Dry Shampoo- I feel like every beauty emergency kit should contain a dry shampoo!  This dry shampoo not only sops up oil, but provides great volume!  It also gives your hair a bit of texture in case you want to throw it up into some sort of undo.

*Mini Hairbrush- I don't know about you, but this constant change of cold weather into heated buildings and constant hair crushing  by jackets makes my hair turn into a rat's nest!  A baby brush is a must!

*Victoria's Secret Lotion and Body Spray- I normally have a hand lotion and body spray in my purse, but in case I have a clutch for some reason or want something a bit more girly I go for this combo of Victoria's Secret Such a Flirt Lotion and Aqua Kiss Body Spray.

*The Body Shop Coconut Oil Hair Shine- This pomade is great in TINY doses for providing hair with shine and for taming frizzies.  It also smells AMAZING!

*Secret Deodorant- No one likes a stanky gal!

*Hair Tie and Bobby Pins- I usually have a hair tie around my wrist or in my purse, but again it's nice to have an extra just in case.  I also have a lot more bobby pins in my emergency bag, but didn't need to show you all of them.  I need to get a cute little container of some sort to store my bobby pins in.

*Pointed Q-Tips- I was going to keep a sample size bottle of eye makeup remover in my bag, but no matter where I take remover and what kind I take, it always seems to leak!  This q-tips will have to do until I get to Target to get that ELF Eye Makeup Remover Stick.

Does anyone else keep a beauty emergency kit in their car, desk or purse?  I'd love to know what else to add to mine!!

**The Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo was sent to me by Influenster in a Voxbox.  I am not affiliated with Not Your Mother's or Influenster in anyway.  All other items were purchased by me or gifted by friends and family.

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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