Oil Free is the Way to Be

Summertime is my favorite time of the year because my BIRTHDAY is in July!!  However, with the greatness of this season comes one annoying factor: oiliness. gross.
I focus heavily on products controlling oily skin because it’s my biggest problem that I’m still trying to overcome.  Below are two great products that have been able to help me look matte and fresh despite feroooosh humidity and sweaty days. again, gross.
First, as soon as you wake up in the morning you need to prep your skin for the summer day ahead.  I use the same 2 facial cleaners all year round (it works best for me), you may want to sub in a oil-free cleanser during the warmer months. If you think that would work best for you I suggest Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Pink Grapefruit Cleanser.  If you click on that link it’ll bring you to Allure’s website, I’m the first (and right now only) person who wrote a short review on it — what can I say? I was a tad bit bored earlier.  I use it occasionally (way more so in the summer), like when I can sense a breakout, but this  is not one of my everyday, OMG I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU cleansers.

As I’ve mentioned before I use Origins Vita-Zing moisturizer religiously.  I still use it everyday but now that the weather is changing I’ve been combining my Vita-Zing with Murad’s Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15.  I really love to mix the two together, and just by looking I can see the results of both after I’ve applied them.  The Murad moisturizer really does control shine (their website says 8 hours, I’m not sure I 100% agree with that) and having the SPF, minus the greasy-look, is perfect too!

Go to Murad’s website and check out their entire line of skincare– I got interested in this brand when Massage Envy began using this brand for their facials.  While I haven’t tried out as many products as I would like, what I have tried so far I’ve loved (reviews to come)!  Right now they are offering 20% off until tomorrow– just enter the promo code “THANKS” at checkout. ALSO, just like the wonderful Sephora, Murad’s website offers free samples with every order and has some great limited edition promotions!!
PS: I’m taking advantage of this 20% off coupon as I type this. =]

April Favorites

I know I’ve been seriously MIA lately, but with junior year almost ending things have been hectic and for some reason, super dramatic!  BUT, I’m back with my April must haves and I’s super excited about them!! 
 
The first product I’ve noticed I cannot stop using is my Bumble and Bumble Classic hair spray.  This hair spray definitely isn’t light– and I’m going to have to disagree with the website’s claim of it’s easy to brush through.  BUTTT I LOVEEEE using this for when I go out at night– I know I won’t frizz or fall limp (meaning my hair of course) while dancing the night away.
Urm, this is actually empty…  
I have combination hair, it’s have wavy but not really…and can get super frizzy.  Most hair sprays in my opinion are too sticky and just leave my hair gross– the Bumble and Bumble Classic spray doesn’t do either.  I would use another one of the Bumble and Bumble hair sprays to begin with while styling your hair, but def end with the Classic for the strongest hold and shine.
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My second love of the month is my Present Clear Makeup Primer by Philosophy.  It really is like clear makeup.  The key to using this product is not using too much– a little bit seriously goes a long way.  During the warmer months I like to go light on makeup, so using this product def helps me have that bright, clear, and super even complexion without loading up on foundation or anything else (besides concealer).  When I used too much (although I didn’t think I had) it made me look shiny, so make sure you use a small amount.  Remember, even though it is a thicker formula and you’ll think you need more to cover your entire face…YOU DON’T!
Can you tell I love this?
You can also use Present at night before you layer on your bedtime products.  I would suggest you trying it for a week with just layering serum on top since Present is already moisturizing.  If you don’t think it’s moisturizing enough then add a small amount of your typical nighttime moisturizer on top of the serum like usual!
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My last favorite product I’ve been using is Zero Oil by Origins.  You already know I loveee Origins, so this product was quick to become another one of my favorites.  I tend to have oily skin in one area of my face, so this is a perfect way to mattify and treat that one area.  I put this on top of my VitaZing in the morning (esp since it’s getting hot outside which equals humidity yuckkkkkkkkkkkkkk).  HOWEVER, Zero Oil is totally liquid…like water…so I just pat it into my skin–VitaZing has pigment in it so if you rub in Zero Oil on top it’s not too pretty.  
Shake the bottle well before using!
As great as Zero Oil is I reallyyyyyyyyyy wish it came in a spray bottle, it’d make it way easier to use! Nonetheless, I have seen a great improvement in my complexion throughout the day when I don’t always have time to touch up and focus on my shiny areas!! 
 
Click the links above to shop each product!!

Summer Skin

Thank god winter is over and spring has sprung. I can tell because I can’t stop seeing and my eyes are always watering. Gross. ANYWAY yesterday it was 80 degrees in DC and everyone was wearing their shorts, sundresses, etc. and it made me think of one thing…exfoliating that yuck winter skin away. I have three fabulous remedies for getting lackluster winter skin ready for sundresses!
The first is my absolute favorite, Trish McEvoy’s N° 9 Blackberry & Vanilla Musk Body Polish Sugar Scrub.  This is a little pricey at $48.00 but I got it for my best friend and I last year and we both love it!  To conserve it, I only use this product once every other week.  I got it last summer and I’m just about to finish it, so it lasted me about a year!  The smell of this scrub is so good, it’s not super overpowering and it makes the bathroom smell great too after you use it, which is always a plus.  
I put the scrub on pre-shower which is extra exfoliating.  It also has tons of moisturizing agents in it so your skin feels hydrated instantly, you don’t even need to moisturize once out of the shower (although you always should)! You can find this product at BlueMercury (one of my favorite stores) or the Trish McEvoy website!    
Photo: TrishMcEvoy.com
My second favorite exfoliate comes from my first love, Lush Cosmetics.  This exfoliate is a little different than most scrubs you’ll find, but its amazing none the less. Buffy Body Butter will literally leave your skin feeling like silk, even more so than the Trish McEvoy scrub.  The reason I like the Trish scrub better overall is because it does what it’s supposed it do, exfoliate.  I find the Buffy Body Butter bar to be more relaxing and accomplishes more moisturizing (hence butter) than exfoliating.  
The bar contains ground rice and almonds, and is a vegan product, like most Lush products!  One down side to this product is that it melts away very quickly, I never use very warm or hot water because it just melts away and that’s no fun.  This product is less expensive than the Trish McEvoy ($23) and can be bought at any Lush store or online!
Photo: The Gloss
My last option for getting beautiful sundress-ready skin is Neutrogena’s Energizing Sugar Body Scrub, Fresh Citrus.  I really like this product in the morning before I shave if I know I’ll be wearing a dress/ shorts that day.  The citrus smell is amazing and wakes you right up!  If you tend to use a lot of product in a short amount of time, this is perfect for you!!  This citrus scrub is sugar based and basically has the same effects as the Trish scrub, although I would def still moisturize after using it, but is much more less expensive at $10! Click the link above to purchase this scrub from Ulta!  You can also find it at CVS and Walgreens, super convenient!
Photo: Total Beauty
So, here is the final break down (in order of how much I love them)
Trish McEvoy’s N° 9 Blackberry & Vanilla Musk Body Polish Sugar Scrub: luxurious “save for something special” exfoliate
Lush Cosmetics Buffy Body Bar: more moisturizing, less exfoliating
Neutrogena’s Energizing Sugar Body Scrub, Fresh Citrus: everyday exfoliate, gets the job done

D.C. Happenings: Fashion for Paws 2011

This passed Saturday night I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to the 5th annual Fashion for Paws, which benefits the Washington Humane Society.  I intern for the WHS’s special event department, so I was more than happy to help work at the event.  The event was held in DC’s National Building Museum, I was expecting the venue to be gorgeous but what I saw when I walked in FAR exceeded my expectations! 
The colors of pink and turquoise were absolutely stunning.  The VIP tables were so elegantly set, and the white runway was bright and stood out beautifully with the purply-pink trees lining it.  Opposite the runway, in the general admission area, vitaminwater (a mayyjahhh sponsor of the night) set up quite an interesting runway.  The background of the runway (as seen below) was covered in vitaminwater bottles.  (I still haven’t figured out how they got those bottles to stay on like that, I need to ask someone)
Once the event started at 7pm models representing 4 different types of vitaminwater just stood on the runway for a couple hours. #ouch. BUT they looked beauitful, so I guess that’s all that matters!
Check out the video below, which highlights some of the two and four legged models strutttinnn their stuff on the runway! All clothes were provided by Tyson’s Galleria (my fave mall in the area). 
I’m SO happy I was at this event, and I CANNOT wait for next year!  
PS: I was interviewed by the CW news..on camera…which is terrifying. I need to find the video so I can post it. #prayingimnotsuperembarrassed
XO.
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Spring Splurge: Kate Spade

I’m a magazine junkie, and I’m honestly loving all the Kate Spade spring campaign ads with Bryce Dallas Howard I’ve been seeing for months now.  I don’t think its possible to not instantly perk up when you see these ads, I mean COME ON they’re so bright and as I like to call them, candyesque.  I. want. everything.
I love Kate Spade, I remember my mom let me one of her Kate Spade black bags when I was likeeeee 12, and I was on cloud nine when I used it.  Although, I’m sure the general public thought I was weird because it’s just so classic looking, and I was 12. ANYWAY, I don’t care! 
Another reason why I’m so pro Spade right now is their efforts to help empower women around the world!  The Women for Women International campaign has helped to heighten awareness of women empowerment issues throughout Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Rwanda.  I def plan on purchasing this straw tote, which was made by women in Rwanda.  Proceeds from the purchase of this bag will go directly back to the Rwandian women.  And, since I’m always skeptical about things like this I have made sure that this is 100% true.  While I wouldn’t use this as an everyday bag, I’m a huge beach girl and would def bring this down the shore!
Although Kate Spade may be pricey for some, their shoes will certainly last you a long time!  I have flats and sandals that I’ve had for years and they still all look great!  As far as spring 2011 goes I’m wanting more neon in my life, which fits in perfectly with the shoes below!
I know for an absolute fact I’ll be buying the Tipsy flats in pink!  They also come in yellow, but I’m much more of a pink girl.   I love the mix of neon and canvas, which can be seen through the spring collection in shoes and bags.
Photo: Fashionologie
For an everyday sandal, I’m loving the Hula Too photoed below!  It’s functional and you can build on the intensity of the color with great accessories.  And, I’m all about the extra glitz so I also love the top of them.  
Photo: Polyvore
For right now, the bag and two pairs of shoes are on my wish list for April and May! Def check out the Kate Spade website for tons more spring options that are to die for!

Origins VitaZing Moisturizer

I. LOVE. ORIGINS VITAZING. LOVE IT.
I purchased Origins VitaZing sometime right after Thanksgiving.  I will NEVER look back to any other type of morning moisturizer (I used to use philosphy hope in a jar religiously).  I have absolutely nothing negative to say about VitaZing, I know for a fact it has helped my skin become more radiant and even toned since I have started using it back in November.  
This moisturizer contains mangosteen, which has TONS of antioxidants in it.  It also has a SPF of 15, and we all know you should never wear a moisturizer without SPF in it!  It took me awhile to figure out how much I should be using, but I really only need about a penny size.  I smooth it all over my face and I literally instantly look awake, refreshed, and glow-y. Not to mention, you can feel your skin being hydrated and replenished when using it.
An interesting aspect of this moisturizer is that VitaZing has tiny beads in it that gives your face some tint, I like to think of it as the smallest amount of tinted moisturizer possible.  For my 8am class, bio-psychology….I rarely go…, I literally just put on my VitaZing and add some concealer.  The product is great, and super easy for early morning because it makes me look so alive!  And…my favorite part about VitaZing is…its oil-free! YAY!
Oh, one quick FYI, don’t use this at night, it’s strictly an AM moisturizer, but I’m sure the fact that there’s SPF and tint in it kind of gave that away.
Lastly, since December I started coupling my VitaZing with Origins GinZing eye cream and I am equally addicted.  My eyes look brighter, which matches my overall bright face thanks to VitaZing! 
My skincare routine has become so important to me and Origins products (just like Lush) are extremely environmentally friendly to both the planet, and our faces!  Using natural products should become everyone’s must because with all the pollution our bodies are exposed to nonstop we should give our skin a break with real ingredients !!
XO.
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Help Japan with Beauty

There are no words to describe how terrible the situation in Japan is, and just like with Haiti the world needs to come together to help rebuild a nation.  Thankfully, in today’s world there are a million different outlets that make helping out that much easier.  Using fashion and beauty were great ways to get people involved in the Haiti relief, and I suspect the same will be said for the efforts in Japan.
Here are just a few ways to help out!
Tory Burch has a limited edition, Japan relief t-shirt for $29.  All the proceeds go directly to the Red Cross and will be available until September.  If you’re a member of Rue La La they’ll have the t-shirt in a boutique for the next 4 days.  I preordered mine a few days ago, and now they are officially on sale!

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Travel Life: London + Rome | Spring Break Wrap Up

I got back last night from my fabulous London/ Rome spring break.  I didn’t want it to end!!!  I wanted to do more posts while I was overseas but Internet access was limited.
I had so much fun shopping in London, everyone dresses so cute & the vibe is different than in the States.  I didn’t see as much fashion on the street in Rome as I did in London.  & Rome’s street fashion, as my bff had told me, was a little…off…but they did have a fabulous five story Zara…enough said.
My favorite purchases this trip were def my two new scarves from Marks and Spencer, a department store in London.  Spring has sprung, which means the addition of bright exciting colors to everyone’s wardrobe!  Both of these scarves were affordable, and I know they’ll go with almost anything I wear.  Also, the fabric is so soft and cuddly, I just love it.

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Travel Life: London

I have been fortunate enough to have the most fabulous and glamorous time in London thus far!! Yesterday, my friend Sonia and I got into Heathrow around 10:30 in the morning, and went to her cousin’s apartment in Holborn.  It’s so cute, we walked around on the roof and I just started taking it all in. So beautiful!
We went to a nice steakhouse, Sophie’s Steakhouse, for lunch and then I settled in at the Grange Holbone Hotel, my home for the next few days.  The hotel is absolutely beautiful, and of course I got the hookup and I’m in a super nice suite.  Since we were jet lagged we just walked around town for a little bit and then took a nap to rest up before her cousin’s 21st birthday party!

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Benefit High Beam Highlighter

I leave for London in a few hours, but I really wanted to get a post in first!  One thing I know I will be wearing every single day while I’m in London and Rome is Benefit’s High Beam liquid highlighter!
I purchased my first High Beam about a year ago– and I can def say it has become a year round staple in my makeup bag.  I bring it everywhere with me!
High Beam can be used anywhere on your face…I use it on my eyes, on the top of my cheekbones, and a tiny bit above my brow bone and on the bridge of my nose.  It instantly brightens up my complexion without doing too much….so easy and effortless!!
I also sometimes mix a small amount into my tinted moisturizer…but depending on how you apply bronzer, it may lose its effect.  If you just go through the day with tinted moisturizer on, I suggest mixing some High Beam in…you’ll have an awesome glow throughout the day!

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