Beauty

Beauty do or don’t: matching your lipstick to your dress

Beauty do or don’t? Megan Fox attended Ferrarri’s 60th anniversary gala last week with an interesting beauty/fashion combo: red lipstick that perfectly matched her red gown.

 

It used to be going matchy-matchy with your makeup and clothing was a bit of a faux pas, but lately celebrities have been rocking this look more often. Personally I think Megan looks great, but I wonder: is this a beauty do or don’t? Is this maybe something you can only pull off when you’re a Hollywood actress in full femme fatale mode at a red carpet event?

 

If you’re curious about the shade she’s wearing here: it’s Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick in Icon [$30], but if you want a cheaper, vegan alternative, I would suggest Flower Beauty Kiss Stick High Shine Lip Color in Rose Bud [$6.98 at Walmart stores]. It’s a great classic red! Check out my review here or check out these three swatches and tell me: which one would be your “go-to” red?

Beauty do or don't: matching your lips to your dress? Consider these cruelty-free red lippies!

What do you think? Would you ever wear this look for a daytime/casual everyday event? What beauty do or don’t have you broken recently?

Busy Girl Nails summer 2014: Week 2: Watercolor

Busy Girl Nails summer 2014

I’m a little late posting the week #2 nail art for this challenge, only because I got busy and didn’t paint my nails at all last week. But I found a technique that makes watercolor (or marbled) nails super-easy and eliminates all the mess of water marbling, so I had to share my mani. I only did an accent finger but I think I’ll be doing this manicure again shortly for a how-to and showing it off on all ten fingers!

Watercolor nail art

I used Flower nail polish in Gorgeous Gerbera for my main shade and Flower nail polish in Thistle or That? on my ring finger. These two color also went into the watercolor on my middle finger. (The base is Purity by Zoya.)

I’ll try to do a tutorial sometime next week with a video so you can see how easy it is to do watercolor nails!

Review + GIVEAWAY: Hurraw! lip balm

Hurraw lip balm

Today I have a review and a giveaway for you! I’m going to tell you about my favorite lip balms and then give you a chance to win a few of your own. You can enter using the Rafflecopter widget at the end of the post!

The product: Hurraw! vegan lip balms, $3.79-$4.29; available in 22 flavors at hurrawbalm.com or in select natural foods stores.

The claim: Smooth, not too sweet or sticky, free of animal ingredients or harsh chemical additives, and won’t melt in your pocket. It’s (take a deep breath) raw, organic, vegan, and fair trade, and it’s free of gluten, soy, shea, petroleum, parabens, preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, and GMOs. Whew!

Core ingredients: Almond oil, coconut oil, cacao butter, jojoba oil, olive oil, castor oil, sesame oil, and candelilla wax; flavors and colors are naturally extracted or distilled.

I tried it: I’ve gone through several tubes of this lip balm and somehow never got around to writing up a review. As you can see from the above picture, my current faves are chocolate, grapefruit, mint and chai, all of which taste exactly as you’d expect. The formula is super-smooth and not too slippery or tacky. I slather it on all day long and even use it under lipstick to keep my lips comfortable. I feel like the formula is far superior to some other lip balms I’ve tried that turn gritty or slick halfway through the tube.

The balms have a faint scent and taste pertaining to their flavor, but it’s nothing artificial or overpowering. I love knowing that I’m not putting nasty chemicals on my lips when I use this lip balm. The lip balm comes in a flattened oval tube with bright, cute, simple packaging. I like that these tubes fit well in pockets and also that the product doesn’t melt in the heat or turn hard when it’s cold out.

There is an SPF lip balm (made with zinc) for the summer months if you want sun protection for your lips, but I love the flavored non-SPF tubes the rest of the time, especially in the winter. They really make my lips feel great and I love that I can layer them under other lip products without my mouth turning into a slippery mess. (Chronic chapped lip sufferers know: if you can’t layer it with a lip balm, you’re not wearing it during the winter months! Great lip balm is a must for wearing bold lipsticks and lip glosses when the weather turns dry and cold.)

Speaking of the winter months–I like that this balm is really gentle. When my lips are dry and sore (or heaven forbid, cracked), the last thing I want is a balm that’s going to irritate them further. This stuff moisturizes without stinging, no matter how thickly or how often you apply it.

My final rating: 10/10. I could not be happier with this balm. It feels great on my lips and comes in so many yummy flavors that I can keep a different one in my purse, my car, my desk, my nightstand, etc. and sample several at any given time! I also love the company’s commitment to natural and green business practices (read more on that here). I love the price. I love the cute packaging. In short, I love everything!

 

And now on to the giveaway!

Visit the Hurraw! website and choose your own trio of flavors, then use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway. It’s open worldwide through the 20th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monthly covers: August 2014

I thought it might be fun to start doing a monthly run-down of the magazines I’m reading for the month and what’s inside. I read quite a few, but these are the more popular fashion and beauty-related titles that showed up in my mailbox this month.

Monthly covers Aug14 1

Allure. On the cover: Rachel McAdams. Highlights: Finding out that lots of fall’s hottest clothes are already in my closet. Not so hot: Yet another article on the “new” nude makeup. (Is there really anything “new” about it?)

Elle. On the cover: Kristin Wiig. Highlights: Guys, Kristen is wearing my uniform, aka my Olivia Dunham outfit. Not so hot: More of the same ol’ “miracle products” and “sexy hair without a blow-dryer” articles that have been done to death. Yawn.

Glamour. On the cover: Katie Holmes. Highlights: An awesome ’60s-mod fashion shoot with Anna Kendrick. Not so hot: Most of this issue was a bit of a yawn, which is weird, since I normally love Glamour. Oh well.

InStyle. On the cover: Zooey Deschanel. Highlights: Zooey talking about feminism. Not so hot: So much fur. Why does fall fashion have to include so much fur?

Monthly covers Aug14 2

Lucky. On the cover: Solange Knowles. Highlights: A piece on fall’s pants silhouettes, plus some neat jeans to shop for autumn. Not so hot: This was another issue that just felt really snoozy to me.

Marie Claire. On the cover: Zoe Saldana. Highlights: Zoe’s interview. She’s so feisty. Not so hot: Everyone’s going bonkers about denim right now, and so many of the pieces featured are just out of my budget range or not at all suited to my body.

Natural Health. On the cover: Jenna Dewan-Tatum. Highlights: I didn’t know Jenna was a vegan! Some interesting articles on mediation, yoga and natural stress relief. Not so hot: Product recommendations that are only partially natural or are tested on animals.

Women’s Health. On the cover: Shailene Woodley. Highlights: Shai’s interview; I feel like we’d be great friends in real life. Plus, a really interesting article delving into the possible root cause and recommended cure for most types of chronic pain (like migraines). I struggle with migraines so any chance at a natural cure is always interesting to me. Not so hot: Swimsuit magic? Please. It’ll take more than a magic swimsuit to get me beach-ready. I like fitness magazines because they inspire me to be healthier, but I also feel like some of the articles can really trigger self-loathing–if people who are already so hyper-fit are looking for visually slimming swimsuits, what hope is there for the rest of us?

 

Busy Girl Nails summer challenge 2014: neon

Busy Girl Nails summer 2014

The Busy Girl Nails nail art challenge is back for summer 2014! I love these challenges, even though I don’t often get to do all of the weekly art prompts. I’m going to try to complete all five this year.

This week’s prompt is “neon”, so I went with a bright turquoise green base (Wet n Wild Fergie “Miami Spirit”) and striped a neon yellow-green on top (Zoya “Mitzi”). In retrospect, I shouldn’t have used a matte for the striping–it dried too fast to apply as I intended–but it looked okay once I smoothed a glossy topcoat over everything. (For those of you wondering, without topcoat, Mitzi is a matte, and Miami Spirit is a tad darker and has a satin finish.)

Neon stripe nail art

You can find the YouTube how-to video for this type of striping here via Cute Polish–it uses a floss wand instead of a special brush. I used a more haphazard application instead of straight stripes, but those look cool too.

How to get Megan Fox’s makeup look from the 2014 Kids’ Choice Awards

I rarely dislike Megan Fox’s red carpet makeup, and her pretty summer look from last night’s Kids’ Choice Awards is no exception. Peachy, light and sweet, it’s great for both fancy events and low-key casual days. Here’s how to recreate her look.

1. Start with a tinted moisturizer, or use a concealer to cover any blemishes. One of the hallmarks of Megan’s makeup is her flawless skin, so make sure to conceal any redness around the nose and mouth. I like to set my concealer with the E.L.F. HD Undereye Setting Powder ($3) to lock it in place and also brighten up my face.

2. Sweep a peach or apricot blush on the cheekbones (peach is better if you’re very fair, while apricot is better for warmer skin tones).

3. Apply a shimmery champagne shadow over the lid and along the lower lash line. Blend a shimmery medium brown shadow at the outer corners of the upper and lower lash lines.

4. Curl lashes and sweep on two coats of lengthening black mascara (since it’s summer, choose your favorite budgeproof formula).

5. Optional: fill in and define your brows. Megan has very dark, precise arches, but if bold brows aren’t your thing, don’t stress on this point. Make the look your own!

6. Finish with a peachy-nude lipstick.

By the way, isn’t her ombre amazing?

$25 Sephora gift card GIVEAWAY

Sephora gift card

 

Happy Monday everyone! To celebrate the rebranding/relaunch of my blog, I’m giving away a $25 e-gift card to Sephora. All  you have to do to enter is use the Rafflecopter widget below! Here are a few quick things you need to know about the giveaway:

  • It’s open until midnight on July 20th.
  • You can use as many or as few options on the widget as you like.
  • Please make sure that if you follow via Bloglovin’, you’re following my new Bloglovin’ feed (for IRBR). There is a new one that connects to this blog; the old one (from my Blogspot QCP site) is no longer updating.
  • This giveaway is open internationally. However, Sephora limits shipping and e-gift card use outside of the U.S., so for an international winner a PayPal cash sum of $25 will be substituted for the gift card. (If you live in the U.S. and would rather just take the cash instead of the gift card, that’s fine too.) Please make sure you have a valid PayPal email address if you’ll be entering for this option.
  • Once the gift card is sent, it cannot be canceled or re-sent, so please make sure you enter using a valid e-mail address!

Good luck, and as always thanks for reading!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A cute (and easy) hairdo for the braid-challenged

I’m braid-challenged. I admit it. But I love the look of braids, and they’re so perfect for hot days when you just can’t be bothered to style your hair, which is why I love the look of this ponytail/braid combo on Blake Lively.

It starts with a slicked-back pony–perfect for hiding flat roots, grown-out layers, and a host of other hair issues. After the ponytail it turns into a rough, messy braid. It looks like her stylist teased her hair (and possibly added some dry shampoo for grip and body), then wove differently-sized sections of hair into a loose braid. You could tug on sections and/or rough up the tail a little more with a brush to make the braid even bigger and messier.

 

 

Here’s another view of it from the back:

Cute, right? And simple enough for even the clumsy-thumbsys among us to do. Just add some statement earrings and you’re ready to go. (Blake wore this look at Cannes, so you know it’s good to go for evening events, too!)