Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sometimes you need a $35 blush

I usually use a highlighter along with my blush for dimension. Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Blush ($35) combines the two. Mood Exposure is described as a soft plum blush fused with Mood Light to brighten the complexion. Mood Light is a sheer lavender pink powder that mimics soft light revealing your brightest complexion.

In the pan it looks kind of boring, I'll admit. But once you blend the colors and buff it onto your cheeks it creates a beautiful golden bronze rose. It works well with dark hair and platinum (which I'm sporting now). I love it so much I might need to get another one. Available at Sephora.

face candy grade: A+

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Face Base Trifecta

My skin used to be dry but lately it's been more combination. I can't stand flaky skin so I gave Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream (1.7 oz. jar is $26.50) a try.  This 24-hour cream gives you weightless moisturization without a heavy or greasy feeling. I know that I'm still going to be loving this come spring until I switch it up with a gel moisturizer once it's sweaty outside. If it's good enough for Greenland hikers, it must really work.  The price makes me happy, too.  I'd been eyeing up the Restorsea Rejuvenating Day Cream but at $150 it's going on my wishlist.

After rubbing in the Ultra Facial Cream, I pour a quarter sized amount of Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ (1.7 oz. bottle is $38) into my hand and slather it over my entire face and neck. Since I turned 29 in November, I'm forcing myself to be more responsible about sun protection (SUN SPOTS!) and saving money. Well, at least I've done well on the sun protection front.

You may think that $40 is a lot to spend on a tiny bottle but I feel like it will last you the whole summer and think of how much money you'll save by reducing your skin aging. I've been using it all winter and love the thin, unscented, moisturizing formula. You know how sometimes you get the white cast in photos if you're wearing sunscreen?  This doesn't do it. And in the summer if you wear sunscreen on your forehead it drips down into your eyes and burns? It doesn't do that. And did I mention SPF 50??
For primer I've been using Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 30/pa+++ ($33), it's a gel primer with extra sun protection. It creates the perfect canvas by filling in pores and preparing your face for makeup.

Do you have a favorite moisturizer/sunscreen/primer combo?

*photos courtesy of the brands.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

STEAMCREAM for the Holidays


STEAMCREAM ($18) is a multipurpose cream that is made using a steam-infused manufacturing process that produces a loosely-bound emulsion that allows ingredients like oatmeal infusion, orange flower water and lavender oil to fully penetrate the skin. This cream can be used on face, hands and body but because of the strong citrus scent I don't use it on my face. The texture feels like a lotion, more liquidy than Nivea Creme. It absorbs into skin very quickly and give a bit of a cooling effect. 

One of the coolest things about STEAMCREAM is the packaging. There are so many different designs for the little tins. I love the idea of gifting them because the receiver is sure to not only love the cream inside but the tin once the cream is gone. 


If you don't care about the design, at you can buy 2 and get 1 FREE, original design only. 

face candy grade: B+

Disclosure: Sample provided free of charge from a PR Company or brand for consideration. That did not change my opinion of those products. See disclosure for more info.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fall Favorites


-Blee Inara Enamel Letter Mini Balls Necklace ($40) is available in black and white. Mine's black because I like black and gold.
-House of Harlow 1960 Sunburst Button Earrings ($30) add class to any outfit.
-Tory Burch Reva Ballet Flats ($225) are not the comfiest shoes I've owned but they're so classic and look very nice if you're going to wear flats. Definitely wait for a sale to purchase. You can get up to 25% off if you keep your eyes open.
-New Balance Custom 547 ($139) are the comfiest shoes I own. My husband bought these for me, and he customized them with Ravens colors. Everything about them is customizable, which is pretty cool. They're also made in the USA. And really I've never owned any shoes nearly as comfortable.
-Revlon Kissable Balm Stain ($8) in Crush has a lovely glossy texture and the color, a deep aubergine is gorgeous. If you're not going to sport vampy lips in the fall, then when are you? Just make sure you don't throw it in your purse loosey-goosey, because I did that and somehow the top came off and there was deep aubergine gloss stick on everything.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Beauty from Within - NeoCell Beauty Bursts

I love the idea of getting better skin and nails from eating candy. NeoCell Beauty Bursts ($19.95) contain collagen types 1&3, hyaluronic acid and vitamin c. Collagen strengthens hair, skin and nails and hyaluronic acid hydrate. I tried the fruit punch flavor and they taste and feel kind of like starbursts. The serving size is 2 chews and there are 40 calories and only 4 grams of sugar. They're tasty and make you feel a little bit better about indulging. I even caught my husband sneaking them when I wasn't looking. These are available at vitamin shops like GNC and online at They come in chocolate mint and fruit punch.

Disclosure: Sample provided free of charge from a PR Company or brand for consideration. That did not change my opinion of those products. See disclosure for more info.

face candy grade: A

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Honest Face + Body Lotion

I love lotion. I especially love a good unscented lotion. Some of my favorites include Eucerin Calming Daily Skin Moisturizing Creme and Nivea Original Moisture. The fact that all of the ingredients in the Honest Face + Body Lotion are organic makes it even better. I'm smitten with the quick absorbing formula that contains olive, shea, jojoba and safflower oils. It also has aloe in it to soothe. 8 fl oz. costs $9.95, it's certified organic and made in the USA. This has quickly made its way to the top of my favorites list.

face candy grade: A+

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

30% Off NCLA

In the back of my Lucky magazine I noticed that was offering 30% off everything. In addition to glitter and creme nail lacquers they offer a wide selection of nail wraps. They're not your standard boring nail wraps, these have awesome designs. Each set has 2 sheets of 22 wraps for 3-4 applications and cost $16. Being the end of the summer I couldn't help but be drawn to the SO LA! wraps. Aren't they super cute? 

Be sure to check out the Nailing Hollywood collection. Above are the Electric Gradient wraps designed by nail artist Madeline Poole. I went to high school with her and now she creates amazing nail designs for celebrities. For the 30% discount, use code "luckybreaks1" at checkout.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Summer Scent: Caldrea Tea Olive Lime


Caldrea has 3 fragrances to choose from:

No. 1 - Aloe Water Apricot - A modern addictive femininity. Sensual white woods & musk are grounded in florals and citrus.
Top notes: Ozone, Orange, Bergamot, Lemon
Middle notes: Aqua Lotus, Peony, Apricot, Tuberose
Base notes: Cashmere, White Wood, Musk

No. 2 - Tea Olive Lime - A green fragrance with a wink of intrigue. A trio of citrus stays bright-eyed over more subtle notes of tea.
Top notes: Lime, Mandarin, Orange
Middle notes: Osmanthus, Lime Blossom, Tea
Base notes: Vanilla, Orchid, Sandalwood

No. 3 - Coconut Fig Leaf - Exotic, unexpected, yet instantly yours. Violet paired with the fruity spice of fig and green coconut.
Top notes: Coconut, White Fig, Plum
Middle notes: Violet, Clover
Base notes: Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Musk

My favorite is Tea Olive Lime, so I was happy to receive all of the body products. The scent is fresh and citrusy and the hint of tea is really what makes it special. I don't usually go for fruity fragrances, but I brought it on vacation with me and I love it. My husband commented he liked it too.

Each fragrance has a bar soap ($10), body wash ($18), body lotion ($22), body oil ($28), body creme ($28) and perfume ($18). My favorites of the mix were the body oil, perfume and body creme. I love oils in general and this one is rich in grapeseed and apricot kernel oil. It sinks into the skin and leaves a pretty sheen. I love the ease of the rollerball perfume, it's almost impossible to overdo it and its great for traveling or in your purse. The body creme comes in a huge glass container and has shea butter and glycerin. I think that the texture is more of a gel than a creme.

*Disclosure: All products provided by Caldrea via a Lucky Magazine contest I won.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Rave: Kevyn Aucoin Precision Brow Pencil

My last favorite eyebrow pencil that I used up was Anastasia's Brow Wiz ($21) in Medium Ash. I love the super thin mechanical point and grayish brown color. When I went to re-up on it, it was out of stock! So I chose Kevyn Aucoin's Precision Brow Pencil ($24) in Brunette instead. It has the same precision point that I love and the colors are very similar.

There are some points to consider; Brow Wiz is $3 less and available in a whopping 6 shades (last time I checked there were only 3). Both of them have capped spoolies on the opposite end. But here's why I am forever a convert to the Precision Brow Pencil. My makeup usually gets lost somewhere in my purse and ends up getting battered. Inevitably both caps on my Brow Wiz either broke or got lost. That caused the spoolie to get all kinds of hair and dust in it and the brown pencil ended up on all kinds of things. The cap on the Precision Brow Pencil spoolie is sturdier and has a nice click. It's survived a couple months loose in my purse. And since the tip is retractable, it doesn't end up anywhere it shouldn't! For me, this product is holy grail.

face candy grade: A+

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sun Protection at the Beach

I used to be pretty nonchalant about sunscreen but as I'm approaching 30 I'm finally realizing its importance. Here is my routine when I'm at the beach and know I'm going to be exposed to a good amount of sun.

After showering, I rub in a waterproof sunscreen all over. Lately I've been using Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40* ($16.99). I like that it's natural, waterproof, and SPF 40. It's very white when you first apply it but it doesn't give your skin that white tint. I will say you should exfoliate before using because it will accentuate any dry flaky skin.

*Disclosure: Sample provided free of charge from a PR Company or brand for consideration. That did not change my opinion of those products. See disclosure for more info.

I then apply some Make Up For Ever UV Prime Daily Protective Make-Up Primer. I can't find this product on Sephora, so I'm not sure if they still make it. I bought it a long time ago. It doesn't give skin a gray tint, has SPF 50 and helps my makeup stay on longer.

If you're looking for something similar, Laura Mercier just came out with a Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 30/pa+++ Foundation Primer ($32). If you aren't familiar, she has many versions: Mineral, Radiance, Oil-Free, Hydrating and Regular. This one is an oil-free gel that protects with UVB/UVA SPF 30.

On top of that I smooth on some Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream for Combination to Oily Skin. Read my review here. It's waterproof and evens skin tone nicely.
While I'm still naked I spray my entire body with Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 70 ($10.99). I love the mist, it makes it so easy to spray your back. I also read somewhere that it's what Victoria's Secret models get sprayed down with for the swimwear catalog to get their skin glowing. It's so easy to use, I love it.

In my bag, I pack Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush SPF 30 ($50). The light-weight mineral powder is sheer and provides instant broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection. It comes in 6 shades and if you run out of powder, you can buy a refill or you can purchase it in a jar and use your own brush. This is available in SPF 30 and SPF 50.

You'd think with all this stuff on I'd never get sunburned, but it still happens. 

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