Dec 6, 2013

Traveling??? I Think So

Kuang Si Fall, Luang Prabang, Laos
Allan and I have began our 3 month backpacking trip through Southeast Asia.

 I am currently taking a brief hiatus from this blog to document our travels and adventures on our travel blog.  If you haven't done so already, check it out at

Hope to see you there!


Sep 17, 2013

Which Is Your Best Brow Look?

Ever wondered what is the best shape for your eyebrows? Ever wondered if you could pull off the thick-I-want-to-be-Lily-Collins-look? Check out this guide to find your perfectly shaped eyebrows!

Jul 8, 2013

My Road to BB Cream

Check out my glowing skin?  Yes, I am sitting at my desk at work

I've heard the term "BB Cream" for a couple of years now.

I've heard it mentioned in magazines, books and even seen it featured on commercials yet I never gave it a passing thought because, until recently, I've always been a foundation/concealer/powder kind-of girl.  Yes, these three products have always been an integral part of my morning makeup routine.  In fact, these three products together create the "Christina" my family and friends have come to know and love.  However, a few months ago, something changed.

Two months ago I decided to start wearing less makeup.  And since wearing less makeup, my skin looks fantastic.  Since my skin looks fantastic, I go without makeup sometimes.  (It's been an amazing circle of events, actually.)  I decided to start wearing less makeup because I knew I wouldn't be able to carry my normal makeup routine while backpacking nor wear it in 42 degree temperatures without my face melting off.  So, the hunt for an all-in-one product overtook my life.

After searching high and low for a few weeks, listening to friend's reviews, and reading other blog posts, I discovered two of my "can't-live-without" products AND am finally able to go without foundation, concealer and powder.  My two favorite BB Creams are Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew BB Cream and Marcelle BB Cream Anti-Aging SPF 20.

Why two you ask?  I bought both with the intention of wearing them separately.  However, since I am so pastey pale, I began blending the two together (as one was a bit dark for me) and love the way they both feel on my skin.  I get the sunscreen and anti-aging properties of the Marcelle BB Cream and the texture and glow of the Garnier brand.  (I do, still use a bit of concealer should I have a blemish BUT no more powder for this gal!) 

Sometimes, you just want to post a picture that makes you feel good!
After what seems like such a long road, I finally understand the "less-is-more" phrase.  Not only is my skin in better condition than it ever has before but I am beginning to see makeup in a whole different light.  Plus, my back will definitely be thanking me in the months to come.  (No heavy backpack for this gal...) 

It's safe to say that I will never be a 3 product girl again!

What is your favorite BB Cream ladies?  What made you try a BB Cream out?


Jun 14, 2013

DIY Beauty Fridays: Homemade Salt Spray For Your Hair

Just got in the door after working out.  Still wavy!
My hair is getting really really really long. In fact, I haven't even had a trim since the before the wedding (can we say split ends!!!) However, since my hair is extremely thick, coarse, wavy and has a mind of it's own, I knew I'd have to find a simple way to style it for our trip.

For those of you that don't know, Allan and I are going backpacking for three months to Southeast Asia.  In fact, we leave on November 30 at 11:00am.  (And yes, I am counting the seconds too!  Ha)  Since I am only bringing one backpack for 90 days, I know there is no way I can pack my hair straightener, blow drier, curling iron, pomade, Moroccan oil, hair spray, hair treatments.......catch my drift?  25 pounds is the max I can carry for days on end and none of the products above are a necessity at this point.  Hence my desire to find one product I can spray on that will leave my hair looking pretty great AND is easy to carry.  Whew.

Excited by my waves
Sea Salt Spray it is ladies!  I have been reading so much about this spray ( like the Bumble and Bumble brand) but have been willing to fork out the money.  So, I made my own last night.

Beachy Waves via Salt Spray

1 cup distilled water, warm
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt or Epsom salts (I used a bit more than 2 tsp as my hair is super thick)
1 tsp hair gel (I used Frizz-Ease brand)
1/2 tsp leave-in conditioner
4-5 drops of coconut, argan or Moroccan oil (whichever is your preference)

Combine all ingredients and place in a spray bottle.  Wash or wet hair and spray immediately on to towel dried hair.  Spray onto sections, focusing on the roots.  Scrunch from the bottom up to the root to activate natural wave or curl.  You don't have to use the whole amount; stop when hair is saturated enough.  **TIP: Do not comb or brush your hair after you have towel dried your hair.  The purpose of this product is to enable your natural curl or wave to come out and be more prominent.**

I let me hair dry for about an hour then applied some more spray, scrunching again, and slept on my hair.  I woke up to a mound of curls.  I have been wearing this style all day AND just got home from the gym and my hair is still wavy.  I am absolutely making a batch of this before the trip.

Have you ever used a salt spray before?  What are your thoughts?

Happy Friday ladies


Jun 4, 2013

Guest Post: Summer Makeup Tips and Tricks

Summer is a season of fun, and your makeup should reflect that. You don't have to spend hours prepping and primping yourself to look flawless just to hang out with friends or spend some time in the sun. We’ll list some of the easiest ways to make (and keep) your makeup looking flawless during the summer months without a lot of extra effort.

Runny Makeup? 
If you're oily skinned and your makeup seems to run right off your face, start your daily routine with a really fantastic primer. Once your primer is on, your foundation should slide effortlessly onto your face. Set it with a good powder, and you'll be amazed at the staying power you get!

Oily Skin?
Got oily skin? There's a number of things you can do. First, eat the right foods and keep the junk off your plate – there is still some truth to the old adage ‘you are what you eat’. Carry blotting papers around with you to help dull down middle of the day shine. Make sure that you wash your face every single night before you lay down for bed, keep your hair pulled back out of your face, and wash your pillow cases every other night. Finally, look for the right makeup – you want makeup that’s made for oily skin, and there are increasingly more options available to you.

Dry Skin? 
Dry skin can be a hassle when trying to get your makeup just right also- it can make you look flaky and dried out. If you have dry skin, make sure to wash your skin every night, drink plenty of extra water, and moisturize your skin every night before bed. Apply sunscreen before going outside, and keep your showers cool and short.

Want To Go Bold? 
For a bold look this summer, you can either highlight your lips or eyes. To highlight your lips, go for an all-natural face paired with bright, shimmery lips. To highlight your eyes, keep your face and lipstick matte, and then choose dark or bold colors for your eyeshadow, with plenty of mascara.

Foundation Doesn't Match Anymore? 
You should always go one shade up from your winter shade during the summertime. This is because spending extra time out in the sun leads to a darker complexion, while during the winter, most people tend to (naturally) be less tan because they spend less time out in direct sunlight. It’s unlikely that you’ll have the good fortune of using the same foundation in the Winter and Summer, but if you’re really opposed to buying new foundation or your complexion changes often, you could always use some bronzing liquid to darken your existing foundation.

Foundation Too Runny? Or Too Thick? 
If your foundation is too runny, you can add ¼ of teaspoon of cornstarch or flour to thicken it up without drastically changing the coloring or look good properties it contains. If it's too thick, you can add ¼ of a teaspoon to a full teaspoon to your bottle to loosen things up a bit. Add just a smidgen at a time do you don't overdo it though.

Want Some Good General Tips? 
Stay hydrated, and eat right. Remember that what goes into your body, must come out- and it comes out through your skin. Everyone should wash their face and moisturize every single night. Steer clear of slippery lip gloss during the summer months because it will be even more prone to slipping and sliding off of your lips. Always go minimal. The less foundation, powder, concealer, or whatever it is that you put on your face, the less of a chance you run in clogging your pores.

That's it ladies! Those are our summer makeup tips and tricks, we hope you enjoyed them! If you have anything you'd like to say about our tips, or if you would like to offer up some of your own, please feel free to do so in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you!

Author Bio: Amanda is a skincare fanatic and author of where she shares her favorite beauty products and tips and tricks. Aside from writing about cosmetics, Amanda loves to travel and one day dreams of visiting Africa. Questions or comments for Amanda? Feel free to  connect with her @Skincare_HQ on Twitter!

May 27, 2013

Our 80s Costumes

As I mentioned in my last post, Allan and I were on our way to an 80s themed costume party. Not only was I finally going to be ROCKING leg warmers and crimped hair yet again, but Allan got to rock neon socks and crazy accessories too!

Check out our looks of the evening...

 Can you guys see Allan's cool seatbelt belt?  Still amazed that he got everything from Value Village.

What would be your ideal 80s outfit?


May 24, 2013

Acceptable In The....80s??

I am heading to an 80s party tonight and can not WAIT!

It's been so long since I've been to a theme party (I think my ugly Christmas sweater party was the last) but they are truly one of my favorite ways to get together with friends. Not only can you laugh at every one, to their face and get away with it BUT you can party in ways you might not have had the courage to do if you were dressed "normally".

With this in mind, I thought I would do a quick throw-back to the 80s and share with you some of my fave things from back in the day.

Man, I wanted to be Madonna.  She had amazing fluffy crimped hair and to-die-for red lips.  However, my mom would NEVER have let me rock a pointy bra.....ever.

My life was not complete without Lit-Brite.  Seriously, I can remember my sister and I playing this for hours.  Best time spent...

Okay, whoever said they hated slouch socks is a liar.  Easy to wear, super colorful and looked especially nice when wearing high heels!

Oh man.  I had such long, thick hair that I used to use a scrunchie everyday.  I would also put one around my ballet bun every dance class because, let's be honest, all the cool kids were doing it.  My favorite one was this sequined purple and blue scrunchie.

Stirrup pants!!!  My sister and I were obsessed with these bad boys.  I always wore them with this long purple sweater, crimpy hair and in a big side ponytail.  I was a rockstar.

Fanny packs.  Basically, the best invention ever.  So cool that people even use them today (think Coach...)  Anyway, I had a fluorescent pink one that I wore everywhere.  Especially when I went roller skating.  Ha

My absolute favorite show.  I am still just as confused now, as I was back then, about how there was only one female smurf....hmmmm.

What are some of your favorite 80s things?  Anything I missed?

Mar 14, 2013

The Talented and Gorgeous Lily Collins

Photo courtesy of
Sometimes, I adore specific celebrities for their style or their hairstyles. Other times I love them for their talent, their cause or their message.  This time, though, I adore Lily Collins for her entire presence.  Seriously, she is an extremely talented actress and has the most fabulous eyebrows.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of
I first saw Lily Collins in The Blind Side but it wasn't until Mirror Mirror that I actually took notice.  She is so young and I couldn't get over how much she resembles Audrey Hepburn, my idol.  Have you noticed the resemblance?
Photo courtesy of  Is the resemblance not uncanny?

Photo courtesy of
I am really looking forward to her playing Clary in the Mortal Instruments movies and have heard talk about her "potentially" playing Anastasia Steele in the Fifty Shades of Grey movies....Hmmmmm.

Whatever the outcome is, she is definitely someone to keep your eye on.  Wouldn't you agree?


Feb 13, 2013

Guest Post: Garnier BB Cream Review

Photo courtesy of
 I am so lucky to have such fantastic friends WHO also appreciate skin care and cosmetics.  My best pal, Bronwen, is in love with a new product and can't wait to share....without further adieu, here she is. 

Hello ladies!

I don't know about you but I'm a sucker when it comes to seeing things in ads and wanting to try them out.  When I saw the ads for Garnier's BB Cream I knew I had to try it.  You see I'm relatively new to the makeup front. I know... weird, right?  So since I knew this was basically a tinted moisturizer, I figured I couldn't really go wrong.

I should clarify that my morning routine, in my mind, needs to be really quick. I work extremely early in the morning (I have to be at work at 6:30am!!) so quick and easy solutions are what I gravitate towards, since I like to sleep as long as possible. This BB Cream works great for me as I can basically slap it on, throw on some mascara and lip gloss and be good to go (WOW, this makes my routine sound violent.  I assure you it's not). I've been blessed with pretty nice and clear skin that really only requires some evening out. This works great for me!  It really does even out my complexion and moisturizes all at the same time.

What really drew me to the product, and this may be a little weird, was the smell.  I don't know about you but if something smells off or has a really potent odor, I just won't use it.  Needless to say, I really like this product and I think it will stay in my arsenal for a while!  (Please excuse the horrible photos, I just got back from the gym and, good grief, my hair is a mess!)

Thanks again, Bronwen, for such a fantastic review.  After all you've been raving about it, I know I have to try it.  Have any of you ladies tried this before?  What are your thoughts?


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