Filed In: Beauty

Shop The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

It’s that time… the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale with everything you need to transition into fall. Over-the-knee boots, a wrap coat, oxfords and something velvet are a few items on my must-have list.

To kick the shopping off, here’s a $200 Nordstrom giveaway to {help} get you on your way. Good luck and happy shopping!

Prize: $200 Nordstrom Gift Card

Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 8/15 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!


Collagen Beauty Benefits

Collagen Pills

We’ve seen the claims made by beauty products with collagen…but what products really do work {or don’t} to help fight the signs of aging? In doing my due diligence around collagen beauty benefits, I recommend both a topical product as well as one to ingest.

First, let’s start with some basics…

What is collagen exactly? It’s the body’s most common protein.

Why is it important? Well, that depends on who you ask, but for me…it’s all about that youthful look aka lack of fine lines. Collagen helps your skin maintain its elasticity, avoiding fine lines and wrinkles from developing. As you age, collagen begins to break down and production slows, reducing elasticity causing the skin to wrinkle…resulting in aging skin.

So what can we do to boost collagen? Collagen injections can ‘fill in’ those wrinkles by boosting elasticity and thickness plus help stimulate new collagen growth. Note, collagen injections are not the same as Botox which freezes the muscles that are causing wrinkles and is best for preventative or to stop fine lines from worsening. But for those of us that are still a little nervous around needles, what are other options?

Go topical! While creams with collagen are unable penetrate your skin deep enough to make a noticeable difference, a serum can penetrate deeper and is great to target the face or even specific areas, like the eyes. I prefer using serums with peptides or Vitamin C to boost collagen stimulation.

I also think ingesting collagen is a great add to your daily vitamins. Even though the results can be difficult to track since the collagen is being absorbed by the body and not applied directly to the skin, the pro is that all of your skin {not just the face} is hopefully seeing the benefits. I like Reserveage products and recommend using their powder or capsules that also have Hyaluronic Acid to help hydrate the skin. These are found at your local vitamin store.


Travel Beauty Products For A Jet-Set Look

Travel beauty products

Adventurous, exciting, new…it’s how I describe travel, even when it’s completely exhausting. To keep my self sane and not feeling completely out of whack, there are a few travel beauty products that are must-haves and result in the ‘effortless travel chic’ look that we all want. Most of these are items you already have or can easily pick up before your next flight.

Hydrate! One obvious solve is to drink lots of mimosas water, starting by picking up a bottle of Fiji goodness at the airport so you have one handy on the plane. A mimosa or two won’t hurt, just drink some extra H2O.

Masks and moisture strips are my skin savior and so easy to travel with and just as easy to apply. My favorites include strips to brighten my eyes and a detoxifying or brightening sheet mask which brings me back to life after a long plane ride. Miss Spa line of masks are travel-friendly, packaged individually and are good for all skin types. You can find them at Target {win!}.

Cleansing oil is kind of my new thing. I love how hydrated my skin feels after using and it’s easy to find in travel size. This along with make up wipes are key for red eye and loooong international flights. For my upcoming flight to Croatia and Italy, I’m packing DHC Beauty deep cleansing oil.

Marula oil, like Marula Pure Beauty Facial Oil… another oil that I live, but has a different purpose than cleansing oil. It’s great to use on the plane as well as at any final destination {hot or cold}. Use on your face, cuticles…even your hair. Something else that works great, and you have in your cupboard, is coconut oil.

Hydrating face mists and essential oils are also amazing items to take when traveling as they help your skin not to freak out. They calm, hydrate, reduce irritation and add a glow. I’m traveling with Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist and Darphin Tangerine essential oil. The mist is great to carry around and reapply as needed {they don’t clog pores} and the essential oil helps hydrate skin while you sleep.

Find The Best Mascara For You

Find The Best Mascara For You

To find the best mascara isn’t always an easy task. You’ll know this just by going into any department or drug store and seeing how many mascaras there are on the shelves. Furthermore, all of these products claim to be “the best,” saying they can volumize your lashes, hydrate them, lengthen and stay on all day without smudging. When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. How do you know brand is telling the truth and worthwhile? The team at figured this out for us. 

They spent 45 hours consulting with beauty experts, reading through dozens of reviews and publications and tested out 15 of the mascaras that topped their list. Not only did they find the best overall mascara was Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Mascara, but they also created a comprehensive guide to help beauty fanatics find which mascara is best for the type of lashes they are trying to achieve. 

You can read the rest of the article and see the other six mascaras that made their list:

Matte Red Lips For The Perfect Kiss

Matte Red Lips

Red lips are always in style, but especially during a weekend like this….Valentine’s! So, how to achieve a matte red lip? Begin by picking a shade that’s right for you {Red Lips 101}. The general rule is that pink and blue-based shades look great on fair skin, orange and tomato reds are great on olive skin and brown-based shades are great for darker skin tones, while a true red will look stunning on everyone.

Matte Red Lips: How To

  1. Prep your lips by exfoliating your lips with a lip scrub (Lush Mint Julips, $10 is my favorite) or a warm, damp washcloth will do the job also. Follow by applying a hydrating lip treatment (fresh lip sugar treatment, $22) and blot. Blotting lip balm helps the color from gliding off according to Bobbi Brown. Your lips are both flake free and shine-free now. Ready for color.
  2. For a done look, line your lips with a color that matches the natural color of the inside of your lip (no dark liner please) or try an invisible lip liner like the one by Lipstick Queen, $18. Another option is to use a concealer to outline the lips, highlighting their shape. The liner will create a bumper to prevent pigment from “bleeding”. For an undone look, forget lining the lips and go for a stain with blurred edges (Blurred Lines is now stuck in my head!).
  3. Apply lipstick by dabbing the bottom lip, then purse lips together. Continue to apply straight from the tube or with a brush…or, for the undone look, with your finger to rub the color in. Then press a tissue on lips to absorb shine or dust on translucent powder. Reapply and repeat so that the color is saturated, but without shine. Blotting papers also work fantastic to create a matte finish. To finish creating the undone look, makeup pro Pat McGrath suggests buffing the lips’ borders with a moist cloth.


Hydrate Skin Fast This Winter. Brrrring It On!

Hydrate Your Skin

As winter keeps bringing hit after hit of frigid temperatures, it’s time to winterize and hydrate skin fast this winter in a few easy steps. Polar vortex? No problem.

Hydrate Skin Fast

The eyes have it and definitely need the extra TLC. Easy to neglect, the skin around our eyes is thinner and contains fewer oil glands. This all results in dryness. Use an eye cream that contains hyaluronic acid, which ‘attracts’ moisture. My pick: ARCONA ‘Eye Dew’ Anti Aging Formula. Bonus! Look younger and bright eyed in the process.

Eliminate pucker problems with a lip balm that contains petroleum jelly or hyaluronic to lock in moisture, like Chapstick Hydration Lock. Coat your lips before bed and wake to super soft lips. For more healing power, try Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm For Lips.

Keep itchy, flaky skin away with a thicker body cream containing ingredients like shea butter, oils and glycerin. My favorite quick fix is Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream. Seriously does wonders. Other favorites, bliss ‘Naked’ Body Butter does a body good as does TOKYOMILK DARK.

Elbows and knees, here’s looking at you. Use an exfoliant once a week to promote cell turnover and allow that thicker body lotion to work its magic, soaking into the skin. Whish Coconut Sugar Scrub or JJBegonia’s homemade salt scrub works perfectly!

Same goes for feet. Soak and scrub weekly {or more} then slather on that thick lotion and cover up with a pair of socks.

Always, always, always apply sunscreen. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean the sun has stopped shining. Get an all-in-one with Miracle Skin Transformer SPF 20 Face to keep your morning routine quick and to the point.

Make sure you’re drinking your {infused} H2O and staying hydrated from the inside out.

Does your hair need some winter help? Winter-proof your locks.

Wear A Bold Wine Lip This Winter

Bite Lip Lab, wine lip

This time last year we saw a lot of plum and deep red lips and this year, we are seeing the same. A bold wine lip in shades from burgundy to merlot are the trend, but finding the shade right for you is only half of the search. We know cold weather means dry skin and unfortunately, that also means chapped lips. So what are the best wine color lipsticks to keep your pout soft?

The Best Wine Lipsticks For Chapped Lips

Lipstick Queen ‘All That Jazz’ Lipstick in Paint The Town {$30} Poppy is the queen of lipstick and this formula has Algomega, Omega 3, Jojoba Oil, and Lady’s Thistle to keep your lips moisturized and happy.

Bite Beauty Crème Deluxe 001 {$36} and Agave Lip Mask {$26} The mix of vitamins, protein and silk offers natural moisture-adjusting benefits. If you find yourself in Soho, stop by the Lip Lab to create your own perfect shade.

Tom Ford Lip Color Matte in Velvet Cherry {$52} It’s spendy. It’s also Tom Ford. This dark color is a mix of cocoa and dark cherry and while it’s not necessarily hydrating, it’s not drying either. With a 6 hour life, and easy application, that’s not bad.

stila ‘stay all day’ liquid lipstick in Amore {$24} This will go on as a gloss, but wears like a paint. It stays on all day. Literally. All day. The formula is infused with vitamin E and avocado oil to help keep lips soft.

Here’s more great lipstick finds and tips for the perfect red lip.

Anti-Aging Eye Creams That Actually Work

anti-aging eye cream

Looking my best is a priority and there are a couple few beauty products that I rely on. As you probably guessed, lipstick is top on that list along with anti-aging everything…My plan of never getting old hinges on these products, so it’s incredibly important that they actually do work. But…how do I find the products that really do work? Through a lot of hard work, researching all in the name of beauty. But guess what?! You don’t have to do all of the research these days. analyzes products and services that you’re interested in…doing the work so that you don’t have to. Sarah Ban researched ant-aging eye creams with more info than you ever thought you needed.

” To find out, we delved into the science behind high-powered ingredients proven to make a visible difference, and tapped a celebrity esthetician, dermatologist, and skincare-formulation chemist. We also scoured user reviews on major beauty sites, magazines, and reputable blogs, paying attention to award winners with top nods from “best of” lists.

The selection process went from 150 eye creams to a single best: The Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum. This eye cream is the ultimate all-around eye cream, delivering truly exceptional results for every eye concern, offering the best age-defying bang for its buck — from start to finish, from day one to day 365. “

See which other eye creams made the list here.


Pumpkin Beauty Benefits + How To Use Year-Round

Pumpkin Beauty BenefitsFall is the season for boots, scarves and football. It’s also the season for all things pumpkin…pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice latte…sound familiar? Well guess what?! Pumpkin isn’t only great to eat and drink. It’s also a fantastic addition to your beauty routine. Yep, pumpkin beauty benefits are abundant and the even better news is you can incorporate these year-round.


Eat your pumpkin. Canned pure pumpkin puree can be found anytime of the year and is full of vitamins A, C and E. These antioxidants are great for skin and have anti-aging benefits. Pumpkin also is full of fiber to keep you feeling full and potassium for post-workout recovery. I’m thinking to make some sort of a pumpkin smoothie to start my mornings off right.


The vitamins and nutrients found in pumpkin are also great for your hair. Vitamin A is great for your scalp by balancing the hair oils and vitamin C helps prevent hair loss by preventing free radicals oxidation. Vitamin E improves circulation to the scalp improving hair growth rate for that Rapunzel effect.

Pumpkin Hair Mask

  1. 1 cup pumpkin puree
  2. 1 cup plain yogurt with live, active cultures {Greek yogurt}
  3. 1/4 cup pure coconut oil

Mix ingredients and apply to scalp and hair. Leave on for 15 minutes then rinse.


Pumpkin kind of does it all. Besides containing anti-aging antioxidants A, C and E, pumpkin is 90% water and contains enzymes. So while protecting against wrinkles, pumpkin will also hydrate and gently exfoliate for a perfect fall glow.

Pumpkin Face Mask

  1. 2 tbs pumpkin puree
  2. 2 tbs plain yogurt with live, active cultures {Greek yogurt}
  3. 1 tsp honey or coconut oil

Mix ingredients and apply to face. Leave on for 15-20 minutes then rinse.

Ingredient Benefits

*Yogurt contains lactic acid and enzymes which helps dissolve dead skin, plus other age-fighting benefits.

*Coconut oil is very hydrating for both skin and hair and also contains antibacterial properties.

*Honey locks in moisture and also contains antibacterial properties.

Retinol Skin Products. The Anti-Aging Super Ingredient.

Retinol Skin Products, ARCONA Vitamin A

Now that I’m in my 30s {sigh}, retinols are a must-have in my skincare routine. Recommended by my dermatologist {and every skin expert I talk to} for its anti-aging benefits, this super ingredient reverses sun damage, reduces the appearance of wrinkles, diminishes pores and evens out skin tone. This is why everyone is buzzing about retinol skin products. It does it all.

How does retinol work? This over-the-counter vitamin A derivative is small enough to penetrate the skin’s outer layers to signal your skin to produce new collagen and speed cell turnover {exfoliation}. This then creates firmer, smoother skin.

The downside to this super ingredient is that it can cause dryness. To avoid irritation, look for products that also list hyaluronic acid, for moisturizing, and anti-inflammatory peptides. Retinol also doesn’t always mix well with the sun. UV exposure can deactivate the ingredient {which is no bueno}, and the basic science of cell turnover revealing delicate skin means you definitely should be wearing sunblock.

Build your skin’s tolerance by using two-three times per week at night and if results begin to plateau, talk to your dermatologist about using a prescription strength retinoid.

3 Retinol Products To Renew Your Skin

ARCONA Vitamin A Complex – My Pick.  “The overnight anti-aging formula contains patented retinaldehyde, which is a highly stable form of vitamin A that works to restore your skin, diminishing signs of aging and acne while rebuilding your complexion so it returns to health and vitality.” Use 2-3 times per week.

Kate Somerville ‘RetAsphere’ 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream – “The RetAsphere Smart Release™ Carrier System delivers pure Retinol, Seaweed Extract and bio-derived Hyaluronic Acid to help prevent over-drying.” Use nightly.

StriVectin-AR Advanced Retinol Concentrated Serum  – “Advanced Retinol Concentrated Serum by StriVectin brightens, smoothes and hydrates your skin while reducing the appearance of pores for an overall youthful appearance.” Use nightly.