Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Uniform Project.

This is the most amazing idea! Akanksha is an extremely talented and creative girl with a great vision. She started The Uniform Project to fund education for slum children in India. She is blogging about her outfits each day for one year to raise awareness and money for these children. The catch? She is wearing the SAME DRESS for one full year! You have to check this out!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day at Wingaersheek Beach.

Ben and I both had a rare day off together today. Even though it was chilly this morning we decided to take a trip to the beach. Our first adventure of the day was rescuing this pretty painted turtle from getting crushed by passing cars. This is the third turtle that we have rescued so far this summer. Mr. Turtle didn't appreciate the rescue mission. He hissed at Ben an then peed on him. Then we headed off to Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester MA. It was a great, quiet beach in a little cove with plenty of rocks and tide pools to explore. It warmed up and ended up being a beautiful day. We had lunch at the beach and napped and read and then stopped at a few antique stores on the way home. All in all it was a nice, relaxing day. Here are a few pics.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Beauty product 'Must Have List'.

Though it is no longer my profession, I am a licensed esthetician and makeup artist. I still thoroughly enjoy playing with makeup and will take the occasional wedding makeup or photo shoot makeup gig. I am a self-confessed 'product junkie' and am extremely particular when it comes to my favorite products. I try to use the most eco-friendly and natural products while still focusing on great results.

As soon as people find out that I am an esthetician they inevitably ask me to recommend products to them. It has occured to me that there are so many women out there in need of some real advice on beauty products. Because of this, as well as my LOVE of reading about celebrities 'Must Have' beauty essentials, I decided to compile and share with you my own list. I am a dedicated student of the 'less is more' and 'beauty is only skin deep' schools. However, these are my favorite products in case I flunk out.

Skin Care~

Cleanser: Aveda All-Sensitive Cleanser- $21
I pre-wash my face with this creamy cleanser (that's right, my skin care routine is like a car wash). It has no irritating fragrance and doesn't leave a residue or dry skin.

Acne: Glymed Serious Action Pac- price varies
A kit for acne prone skin that comes in different stages for different levels of acne. More intensive but I find most people have better results with this kit than with Proactiv. Includes cleanser, toner, and medicating lotion.

Exfoliant: Cosmedix Pure Enzymes-$50
This brand is amazing but very pricey. I love this exfoliating gel mask. You can feel it dissolving dead skin cells and it leaves your skin so smooth and fresh feeling.

Blemish Control: Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil- $8.99
Just a drop on a damp Q-tip helps to dry up blemishes naturally.

Eye Makeup Remover: Aveda Pure Comfort Eye M/U Remover- $16
Very gentle. Works great. That's all you need to know!

Moisturizer: Bio-elements Beyond Hydration-$33
I have very oily skin so this light-weight, lavender scented, gel moisturizer is great to smooth on under makeup. It doesn't make my skin look like an oil slick.

Moisturizer with sunscreen: Glymed Photo-Age Environmental Protection Gel- $35
Not really a gel at all. Creamier lotion with an SPF of 15. Great for if you need a little extra moisture. And it smells like the beach!

Eye Cream: Cosmedix Eye Believe- $90
Anti-Aging eye serum. The tiniest dab firms skin around eyes...thank goodness because at $90 it needs to last a year!

Concealer: Jane Iredale Disappear Concealer in Medium Light- $24
Thick, creamy concealer and a little goes a long way. I tend to thin it out with a bit of moisturizer and blend over problem areas. A tube lasts forever!

Foundation: Bare Minerals Foundation in Medium Beige- $25
I will never go back to liquid foundation. I recommend trying to Get Started Kit ($60) to find your shade and to test out the products. Works well with other brands.

Blush: Nars blush in Orgasm- $25
I know, I know- everyone loves this blush. The most amazing peachy gold color, it works on so many skin types from fair to African-American.

Lip Balm: Jane Iredale Lip Drink- $12
Addicting. Silky smooth and very moistuizing. Plus it doesn't leave that gross film on your lips that so many balms an chapsticks do. Light citrusy flavor.

Lip color: Stila Lip Rouge in Baci- $20
I can't seem to find this at Sephora anymore and it was my favorite. I'm not super into lipsticks as they wear off so quickly and even use lip stains on brides. This one was like a felt tip pen in a great natural flushed peach color. Let me know if you can find it!

Lip Gloss: Jane Iredale Pure Gloss in Apricot Fizz and Cotton Candy- $15
Just the right amount of shine. Not sticky. Great sheer colors with a hint of shimmer.

Eye Liner: Ecco Bella Soft Eye Liner Pencil in Seal and Velvet- $15.95
I really like how soft and blendable this pencil is. Made with natural flower waxes.

Mascara: Maybelline Define-a-Lash Mascara- $8
Maybelline knows lashes man! This really does define and doesn't clump at all. Also comes in water-proof.

Bronzer: Bronzy Babe Fake Bake- $18
I'm not an advocate of bronzer, I'd rather use a swipe of a shade darker foundation followed by a shimmer powder. However, this one is actually natural looking and not orangey.

Shimmer Powder: Bare Escentuals Clear Radiance- $18
Natural, dewey shimmer that doesn't overpower.

Nail Polish: Essie Nail Laquer in Mademoiselle and Canteloupe- $8 each
Essie has great, formaldehyde-free colors that stay on really well. These are my two favorite shades. A delicate, french pink and a fun, coral that's great for summer. They also have a nail strengthener that works wonders.

Eyeshadow and other: M.A.C.- prices vary
I use M.A.C. pigments for eyeshadows, colored mascaras and liners, lipsticks and anything else. Their colors are superior to anything I've tried and though I love the colors that mineral makeup brands have out there, they don't tend to stay put as well.

Tweezers: Tweezerman Slant Tweezer-$20

Makeup Brushes: The Body Shop Makeup Brushes- prices vary
These brushes are all vegan and still work wonderfully. I always use brushes to apply makeup and sometimes even skincare products.

Hair Care~
Shampoo and Conditioner: Pureology Hydrate duo- about $55
I can't afford this stuff but ohhh how I love it. Has a minty tingle on the scalp and makes my hair feel like silk. The greatest thing is that it is completely vegan. Little do you know but I really only chopped my hair off because I couldn't afford Pureology anymore ;)

Runner Up: Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo and Conditioner- $7.95 each

Styling Product: Giovanni Wicked Wax- $9.99
I don't like a lot in my hair but this pomade has just the right amount of soft hold when I want to have fun with my hair. This and a spritz of their hairspray and I'm good to go.

Body Lotion: Giovanni Body Lotion in Grapefruit Sky- $9.95
I don't use body lotion too often because I hate feeling greasy. This one is great though. I bought it because the smell is amazing but it's actually absorbs very well and is non-greasy and all natural.

Exfoliant: Sea Salt- price varies
Yup. Plain old sea salt. Just scoop a handful and rub over damp skin. Works great, it's cheap and it doesn't have any unnecessary ingredients. Add a drop of essential oil if you'd like.

Body Wash: EO Shower Gel in Rose Chamomile- $6.99
Great soothing smell. Rinses clean. Wonderful ingredients.

Fragrance: Aura Cacia Essential Oils- price varies
These are all natural and pure. Great fragrances. I put a drop or two in the shower for a spa experience and use them in homemade face masks and moisturizers.

Dior Miss Cherie Perfume-$56-$92
My current summer time favorite. Light and feminine.

Aveda Balancing Body Mist (Chakra 5)- $30
This herbal infused body mist comes in 7 fragrances to represent the 7 chakras. I like Chakra 5 which represents self-expression and creativity. Use after a warm shower, before and after yoga or spritz on a warmed towel and drape around your neck before meditating.

So there you go. Those are my absolute favorites. I'd love to know if you have tried any of these products and what you think. I'd also love to hear reviews of your top beauty product picks!