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Makeup Minimalist

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“The best way to enjoy your favorite things every day is to only own your favorite things.”

When I became a mom, my normal everyday routine got flipped upside down in those first few months of newborn life.  Suddenly, everyday beauty rituals became obsolete and I distinctly remember asking my husband (while halfway crying) how moms ever have time to curl their hair in the morning.  Why did I ask my husband that?  As if he could ever answer the question! Sneaky, sneaky you are post-partum hormones…

Since then I have streamlined my hair and makeup routine and I have gotten rid of anything I don’t use on a daily basis.  Friends, this is huge coming from a MAKEUP ARTIST.  I have so many beauty products it’s ridiculous.  But I slowly learned that if I only had what I truly needed and loved that getting ready in the morning could be enjoyable if not, delightful.

Today I want to reveal how I was able to minimize my routine but also keep what I had around me beautiful and purposeful…

DECLUTTER

There is no magical formula for streamlining your beauty items because everyone is different in how they do their makeup but I do have a few suggestions.  Adopt a one item in, one item out mindset.  Stick to the basics and keep one of each: face primer, foundation, foundation powder/setting powder, blush, bronzer, eyeshadow primer, one eyeshadow palette, one brown eyeliner, lash curler and mascara. You should also have a lip color that you love and goes with anything.

Click here to read a post on my favorite everyday lip glosses, this will give you a good idea of what colors to look for.

CLEAN

Next, clean out your makeup bag or the area where you apply your makeup.  Alcohol your eyeliners and lip liners and sharpen them before putting them back into their homes.  Clean the edges, lids and mirrors of compacts and palettes with a baby wipe.  Items should be easy to spot and not look cluttered as a whole.  I adore these darling glass + gold trays from Target. They allow your makeup items to lay flat while making them easy to spot. Bonus points: these trays are on sale and would makeup a fabulous Christmas gift for someone!

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REFRESH

Next, clean and organize the top of your makeup vanity.  I prefer to have close to nothing on top of the table I do my makeup on.  It’s so incredibly refreshing to wake up and start your day with a blank slate.  While searching for makeup vanity inspiration I found an underlying component in all of the pictures that I loved, fresh flowers.  

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Fresh flowers make any bathroom look expensive, no matter how small or big your room is.  It’s one of the cheapest things you can do to make your space look elegant but also clean and inviting.

SANITIZE

I’ve recently been using the Honest Company Lavender Hand Sanitizing Spray and I plan to purchase a second one for my makeup bag.  I think it’s a genius idea considering that cold and flu season is upon us.  How perfect would this be to use right before you begin makeup in the morning to prevent germs from spreading?  Also, can you tell that I’m married to a nurse? 😉

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REBUILD

Last but not least, decide on a brush set that you love.  Stick to coordinating colors and create a beautiful template with it.  I adore the Bold Metals Collection from Real Techniques because I am a huge neutral lover in general.  These brushes are so beautiful and would look stunning next to your newly cleaned makeup items.

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And for the record, how adorable is their new Miracle Diamond Sponge applicator?  This is art in itself!

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If money is tight but you feel the urge to live a fabulous life, buy 1-2 brushes at a time.  Another great option is Sephora because their brushes are always in stock and you can pick between all black or all silver.  OCD freaks UNITE!  And don’t forget to add brush cleaner too.  If you keep it near your brushes in an easy-to-see spot, you’ll clean your brushes MUCH more often.  I like Sonia Kashuk’s brush cleaner because it’s gentle and smells like lavender.

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What’s weird is when I started this journey of becoming a minimalist (don’t worry, it’s transferred into every area of my life), is that it happened unintentionally.  I was an overstressed mom who felt like she hardly had time for anything.  Flash forward a year later and I truly appreciate the things that I have, each and every single item.  Getting ready is a joy and I’ve found staple products that work well and look good on me.  You’ll be surprised at how different you feel once you clean out the unwanted and welcome the new.

And for the record, it’s much easier to straighten your hair as a new mom than it is to curl it. 😉

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Current Necessities

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So I decided to compile a list of my current favorite products and once I was finished, I looked it over and realized how obsessed I actually was with this list.

I love these current 5 things so much that I could’ve made this the “Top 5 Products for 2016.” Folks, this post is that good.  And because of it, they are not current favorites, they are current necessities.

Enjoy.

1.) Sally Hansen “Miracle Gel” Nail Polish in Pinky Promisecurrent necessities (1)I have been on a recent mission to find the perfect brand of nail polish that fits my lifestyle.  I know it sounds silly but I NEED a polish that lasts more than a day and doesn’t take forever to dry.  This Sally Hansen brand has been a lifesaver because it coats the nail so well in two coats that there’s no need for a base or a top coat, seriously!

*Make sure you let the first coat fully dry before you apply the second.

 

2.) Makeup Forever Lipstick in “N4”N4Guys, this lipstick….ohhhh this lipstick.  I adore it!  It has looked fabulous on a countless # of my makeup clients.  It is the perfect pinky beige and it pairs so well with a gloss too!  Refer back to my post on the NYX lip glosses to see what you could wear it with!  And let me tell you why you shouldn’t buy a “nude lipstick” from a drugstore brand…because 9 times out of 10 it’s either too frosty or too sheer.  Save your wallet the heartache.

 

3.) “5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit” by Nicki Koziarz5habits

Truly, I have never read a better book than this one right here.  I’m still debating on whether or not I want I should dedicate an entire post to this book.  It’s life-changing, it’s mind-opening, and it’s the kind where you will highlight the entire book.  After I read this book I could not believe all the things I quit without even realizing it.  This book has changed me from the inside out and I want to share one of my favorite snippets from the book:

“She is able to look into the future with confidence because she is determined to become the vessel for what she has been created to do.  She’s not tossing pennies into the wishing well of life.  Her focus is contagious, and she has the ability to stick with things long enough to master them.  She understands that the days, weeks, months, and years aren’t here forever.  And the passions within her have the ability to become forgotten daydreams.”

 

4.) Stella & Dot “Geometric Crosby Bag” on sale for $75Crosby

My mom bought this bag when it first came out and I have been so in love with it ever since.  I love how clean and simple it looks but nevermind the fact that it’s still just sooo cute!  I think it’s a great bag to transition with between summer and fall and I love the idea of pairing it with skinny jeans, camel booties, and an ivory silk blouse for fall.  (I’m not the only one who plans out an entire outfit from a bag, am I?)

My sister is a Stella & Dot stylist so please contact me to order if you’re interested!

 

5.) Gold Decor Accentsbunbun

For Easter this year my mom bought me, herself and my sister this adorable gold bunny as a gift.  Even though we got it in the spring, all 3 of us still have it out for display in our homes.  I love the idea of meaningful (and beautiful) gifts in your home and there’s nothing more fabulous than little pops of bling if you ask me!

The little bun bun from above is from Hobby Lobby.  I’m not 100% sure if it’s still in stock but you’re bound to find something similar!

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Q&A Video Session Part 3

In part 3 of the beauty + skincare questions you submitted, I cover my favorite all-natural brands and how to find the right serum for your skin type.  I also include a fabulous tip for keeping your skin well hydrated!

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Skin Ammo :: What To Keep In Your Arsenal

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I love to read. I am such book nerd. And one thing I REALLY love to read about is beauty & skincare & health.  And what I love even more is sharing the information that I learn.  When it comes down to it, what’s better than learning? Nothing really, right?

So in the past few months I’ve done some research and what I’ve stumbled upon is something that I had to share with my readers.  Something that I think personally, every person should own (I’m talking males and females.)  I am talking about the power and fascination of OILS!!

Any time I can cut out unhealthy chemicals and swap in natural ingredients I am thrilled to do so.

All-natural oils do just that and can help cut out so many toxic ingredients we absorb every day. I know all of you oily/acne sufferers are shaking your head right now but just hear me out. You need to set out and find an oil that works for your skin type.  There are so many oils out there and they can do wonderous things for all skin conditions.

Oils are great for: hydration (duh), hydration for oily skin when it has been dried out by acne medication + products, dullness, flakiness, texture, for men – softening the beard and preventing ingrown hairs pre & post shave, plumping the skin, soothing sensitive skin, psoriasis, rosacea, dermatitis, and even smoothing out your foundation.

Here is a list of a few of my favorite oils, I recommend them to almost every person who comes into my spa and I love incorporating them into my year-round skincare routine!

1.) Josie Maran Argan OIl and Argan Oil Light $40+ 

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I love this brand of oils because they immediately absorb into the skin.  They are not heavy by any means and the light version is great for people who are oily and acneic.  *Please note, it’s a complicated explanation, but most often oily skin can be balanced out by adding hydration back into the skin.  Skin is very much like a thermostat and if you moisturize correctly, it will stop producing excess oil to hydrate itself.

2.) Tarte Maracuja Oil $48

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This oil is probably my favorite of all time.  I have dry skin and my skin drinks this up like iced tea on a hot summer day!  The oil itself has an amazing texture to it, almost bubbly.  I love putting a few drops into my foundation to smooth out the appearance of it and the maracuja fruits helps to brighten the skin as well. It’s also gluten free!

3.) CoverFX Custom Infusion Drops $48

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While I haven’t personally tried this product yet, I was blown away by the reviews on Sephora.com.  31/39 people gave it 5 out of 5 stars!  That is a great stat for a beauty product!! This one contains vitamin E, chamomile, cucumber, and a blend of 4 different oils combined. It’s perfect for those who are sensitive and really want to calm their skin.  I read in one review that a user puts 2 drops of this into her acne cream at night, genius!


If you’re scared to purchase an expensive oil, hit a local Sephora store and ask for the “Beauty-to-Go” size.  They often have a small, trial size version of their most popular products for people to try at a lower price point.  And if nothing else, you can ask for a sample to try out before you buy it as well (perfect if you’re oily and scared to commit.) 

 

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A Healthy Winter : How to Eat Your Way to Merry & Bright Skin!

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Cool little known fact about me?  I was halfway through a dietetics program at Kansas State before I decided to leave and begin a dance teacher/esthetician career that I’m halfway in now. It’s a long story…I originally planned to open a dance studio with my sister and teach at night, which is actually the reason I started esthetics school.  I didn’t want to be laying around eating Cheetos all day while waiting for school to get out so I could teach.  Little did I know that God had a different plan for me and that instead of teaching little girls how to do turnout, I would be waxing and shaping their Mommy’s brows!

SINCE I am so in love with nutrition & all forms of health, I thought now would be a good time to do a post on the best things to eat and also promotes skin clarity and brightness during the cold + dreary winter months! One of the reasons I renamed the website and blog is because I wanted “The Blush Life” to encompass any and all things beauty related and unless you don’t have a pulse, nutrition will always be at the forefront of everything that you do.  If you want to look beautiful, you have to feel beautiful. And you can’t do that without giving your entire body the TLC it needs.

I have in fact tried and tasted each of these tasty recipes.  The goal for this post is list powerful meals that leave you feeling full but energetic, that are easily digestible, and that contain many (seasonal) produce items that pack a powerful punch of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

1.) “Lover’s Salad” from www.thediva-dish.com

http://thediva-dish.com/uncategorized/lovers-salad-with-easy-balsamic-dressing/

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Many yummy ingredients including: apples, grapes, dried cranberries, strawberries, parmesan & candied walnuts. 

I can’t tell you how much I love Ari’s blog and recipe site on The Diva Dish.  She has such a well-written blog that is oh-so-relatable as she on takes on finding everyday “unhealthy” meals and converts them into a lightened, higher-quality version.  I think she has one of the best blogs to “dive into” if you’re scared to step into “healthy land.” Most of the recipes on her site are staple meals that you probably already make for your own family on a weekly basis.  The Lover’s Salad has so many different ingredients that it is a perfect meal for holiday months when you’re stuck in a rut and you’re feeling your waistline grow by the hour!  I also love the idea of making it for a family get together, so many people are used to the regular ranch + crouton combo that this delectable dish is more than satisfying for your tastebuds.

 

2.) Lentil Soup from Dinner was Delicious 

http://www.dinnerwasdelicious.com/post/44230372095/lentil-soup-lentil-soup-is-one-of-those-powerhouse

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So many reasons to include this in your WEEKLY lineup.  It’s super easy, super cheap, and it’s great to enjoy either as a meal in a bowl or in a cup with half a sandwich or salad.  What’s great about this meal is that the fiber from the lentils keep you feeling full while the assortment of veggies and chopped onion are great for fighting colds since it’s a clear based broth and you are avoiding excess dairy from cream or milk based broths.  Writer tip — I may or may not add more than one bay leaf to this recipe when I make it.  If I could OD on bay leaf I would!

 

3.) Spinach Artichoke Pizza from Two Peas and Their Pod

http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/spinach-artichoke-pesto-pizza/

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When I first started cooking for my then boyfriend/now husband it was a challenge to say the least.  I could serve him spaghetti with Ragu beef sauce every night of his life and he would die a happy man.  Because I lean towards more meatless meals, combining our food choices once we started living together was near impossible, literally, because I’ve come to find out that this is the ONLY meatless meal he will eat.  In fact, the first time I ever made it, he didn’t say his usual “this doesn’t have meat in it, does it?” I’ve made it so many times now, it’s the only recipe I can make by memory.  Ok I’m lying because really all you’re doing is adding your favorite toppings to an unbaked crust base, but don’t stray too far from this simple recipe.  I love this because I usually bake it on a thin crust to keep the carbs down and I pile as many veggies on top as I can. The only thing I ever change or add is hummus, sun-dried tomatoes and garbanzo/black beans.  Enjoy!

 

4.) Garlicky Baked Shrimp from Normal Cooking

http://normalcooking.com/2012/07/26/garlicky-baked-shrimp/

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This is in my regular routine and for good measure, it has two of my favorite ingredients to cook with: garlic and white wine.  The ingredients are small and simple and because of that, it’s more likely to be thrown into the weekly lineup during hectic weeknight rushes.  Low-cal and quick to cook, you can sub olive oil for butter if you’re looking for a dairy-free option.  Shrimp is a great alternative to any red meat options and it packs on the antioxidants and omega fatty acids. Pair it with some lemon + feta roasted potatoes and you’re on your way to one of the best meals of your life.

 

5.) Triple Chocolate Muffin from Maria Kang

http://www.mariakang.com/2012/09/10/clean-eating-triple-chocolate-chunk-muffin/

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If you’re ever on Pinterest you see about 8392 pins a minute on clean eating/gluten free/low-carb dessert recipes.  How I found this gem of a recipe I will not know.  It beats all the others and it makes life worth living again.  This recipe is a knockoff of the Chocolate Muffins from VitaTops if you’ve ever tried those.  This recipe uses oats for fiber, egg whites for protein and applesauce and greek yogurt for a moist and rich muffin. These are the perfect sidekick for your sweet tooth and the recipe makes a huge batch so I would recommend freezing them so they don’t all go bad.  That would be very, very sad.

Are there any healthy staples you add to your winter meal plans? Comment below!

 

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CASHMERE HANDS

Words cannot express the value I hold in keeping my hands protected and hydrated during the winter months.  I have concocted a miracle routine that will blow your socks off in the field of hydrated skin.  My favorite thing about this post is how “natural” and low-cost it is.

As always, I bypass the other frou-frou steps that other bloggers/experts tell you to do. Why? Because if it’s that far of a stretch, you’re more than likely, 9 times out of 10, NOT going to it make it part of your regular routine.

So here’s what I do to prevent my hands from looking like Crocodile Dundee…  

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1.) By a giant bottle of Alba lotion (shown above) from Target that is UNSCENTED.  If you want to keep your hands from stinging and burning after you wash them/use lotion, you will NOT buy anything with artificial fragrance in them.  This is the #1 way to develop fast irritation and redness.  This bottle sits on my nightstand where I can use it every night before I go to bed.

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2.) Buy a .99 cent bottle to use as a mini bottle in your purse. This cuts down on buying a $10 “mini” sized hand lotion from Sephora and you can continuously refill it for practically next to nothing! The bottle, shown above, come in clear, pink or blue so that you can buy one for each member of your family!

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3.) Incorporate The Honest Company Healing Balm.  I like to think of this healing balm as the “healthy” version of Vaseline.  I drop a dime size amount of my Alba lotion onto my hand with an equal sized drop of the healing balm on my hands with it to mix in.  It might be because of the great formulation of the Honest Balm, but it does not feel greasy on my skin after I rub it in with my lotion AND it gives the greatest + softest texture to my hands! It forms such a nice coating over my hands that it honestly feels like I have a pair of gloves on.

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4.) Restock from your kitchen.  Olive oil, who doesn’t have this at home? I could “get spiffy” and tell you to go out and buy coconut oil but who has time for that? Keep a bottle of olive oil on your nightstand to mix in with your hand lotion if you don’t have the Honest Healing Balm.  For a further step of comfort, nuke the olive oil for 5 seconds and the heated oil will soothe itchy skin and replace fat/moisture lost in the skin.

Quick note: you can add the olive oil or healing balm into your .99 cent bottle that you bought for your purse!

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5.) Exfoliate with brown sugar and honey 1-2 days a week.  If you do not do this, the money you’ve spent on lotion and creams will go down the drain.  Product cannot work or hydrate through thick and flaky dry skin.  You also have no excuse because everyone has honey and brown sugar in their kitchen.  If you don’t have honey, use olive oil again.

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6.) Lastly, wear gloves every single time you go outside.  Nothing will chap hands quicker than cold wind.