Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Budget Busting Inspiration


Red by amariebeauty featuring a silk tank

In price this outfit is not practical but functionally it has you covered.  Find your fashion inspiration and create it using pieces in your budget.  I am sharing my look with Melanie at Keeping up with the Cantelmo's today.  Go there for more ideas.

Keeping up with the Cantelmo's

Tip Off Tuesday: Fortiy with Mayo

Fortify your nails with mayonnaise.  You might not always have luxurious cuticle cream around but most of us have mayo on hand.   It helps stop nail chips and breaks.  Apply some mayo to each finger for5 minutes or so and wash off with warm water. This can also help reduce the number of hangnails you get.

Monday, January 30, 2012

When in Doubt Throw It Out

The shelf life of cosmetics.

CONCEALER:  Up to 12 months

FOUNDATION:  Water based up to 12 months - Oil based up to 18 months

FACE POWDER:  Up to 2 years

EYE SHADOW:  Up to 2 years

EYE LINERS:  Up to 2 years

LIP COLOR:  Up to 2 years

MASCARA:  3 months

NAIL POLISH:  12 months - depends on the quality

Don't forget to wash your makeup bag too or it can become a bacteria breeding ground.
Rouge Bunny Rouge Beyond The Looking Glass Look for Winter 2011 |...

Rouge Bunny Rouge Beyond The Looking Glass Look for Winter 2011 via  polyvore.com

Friday, January 27, 2012

Basics for Uptown

personal photo

I compiled a list of casual wardrobe essentials that consisted of lots of basic pieces for every day wear.  This next set of clothing applies the same principal for dressed up looks.  Start with some solids that can be mixed and matched together and with your casual wear.  You can easily dress up your basic pieces for meetings, appointments and evenings out by adding some elements from your dress wardrobe.
uptown staples

Here are 8 ways to mix and match your casual wardrobe with your dress wardrobe.  
  • Add a blazer to jeans and a tee with heels.
  • Put heels on with jeans and a tunic or shirt dress.
  • Dress down a dress with a cardigan, leggings and flats.
  • Pair suit pants with a white button down and long necklace.
  • Use a clutch with leggings, layering a tee, tank and sweatshirt.
  • Wear a shirt dress with tights, boots and a blazer.
  • Put a cami under a white button down, leave it unbuttoned and pair with jeans.
  • Pair a fitted tee with suit pants and flats.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Liebster Award. Receiving and Showing Support.

For a small blog working to grow it's readership and be a strong source of info a little recognition and support go a long way.  Courtney of CourtneyCakes nominated amariebeauty for the Liebster Award which is a great show of support and I thank her!

The Liebster award is for blogs with less than 200 followers.  There are so many blogs, big and small, the Liebster Award reminds the growing blog that everyone's information is big to someone, in some way on any giving day.

Liebster in German means dearest, beloved, or favorite.
If you are awarded and choose to accept here is what to do next: 

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
3. Copy & paste the blog award on your blog.
4. Reveal your 5 blog picks.
5. Let them know you chose them by leaving a comment on their blog.
My choices for the Liebster Blog Award are....

Absolute Mommy
Absolute mommy writes about motherhood and life's challenges in the most honest and relatable way.

 At Oh So Nifty she is creatively inspiring and thrifty.

 For Lauren and Lauren puts pieces together to make stylish affordable outfits.

Celebrating Life as an Army Wife shares an interesting outlook, I love her 101 in 1001 post.
One Woman's Walking Shoes has great vintage taste.

Thanks again to Courtney who's blog keeps it light and funny.  She also shares fun pictures.  I wrote about a billion posts in my head before I ever actually started amariebeauty and I am so glad I finally just went for it!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tip Off Tuesday: Clean Your Makeup Brushes

Cleaning your brushes regularly insures better makeup application.  Skipping this step lets oils build up on the brushes, not to mention makeup and bacteria.  Cleaning them also preserves the life of the brush and if you own a nice set you want them to last.

When there is no build up on your brushes your makeup sticks better, shines less and applies faster.

I clean my brushes two ways.
  1. Spray on brush cleanser.  You spritz it on the brushes and brush them onto a rag or paper towel until no more makeup comes off the brush. 
  2. Shampoo.  Squeeze a pea size amount into the palm of your hand, dampen the brush and swirl it around.  The makeup will loosen up off the brush with the shampoo then you rinse it out under running water.  Shake the excess water off and let them air dry.  
I prefer to use shampoo, I use the spray when I am using my brushes on the go.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Skin Type, Product Overload and a Workable Routine.

It is easy to buy in to the hype of mass marketed skin care products with there lofty claims.  They lure you in with some heavy wording and a pretty package.  Take time to get to know your ingredients.  Familiarize yourself with how they work and what they do for skin.  You should also arm yourself with the knowledge of your own skin type.  Having a base line of product knowledge and skin type will help you sift through products to choose the right one for you.

A basic approach to your beauty routine can be best.  It is cost effective and simple.  The practices you use to care for your skin are just as important as the products you use.  Using them in conjunction produces the best looking skin.

Determining your skin type can be done by a skin analysis from a professional or at home with a few basic guidelines as the determining factor.  There are many skin types and other conditions that affect the skin and the proper course of action.

Skin Types
  • Dry.  Lacks any oil, may have flakiness or rough patches.
  • Combination.  Partly oily and dry.  T-zone oil and outer facial dryness.  Some enlarged pores may be visible.
  • Oily.  Excess oil is present.  Skin may appear shiny, thick and pores enlarged.  Follicles are easily clogged and breakouts may be a problem.
  • Normal.  The least common of all.  Appears perfect to the eye and touch.  This skin is plump, smooth, and has even color and pores.
  • Sensitive.  Skin is thinner, usually skin tone is uneven.  This skin is easily aggravated.
Common Conditions of the Skin
  • Aging.  Facial lines and wrinkles are present.  Dryer skin becomes present.  Loss of collagen causes skin to begin to sag or appear less full.
  • Acne.  Ongoing problems with breakouts, constant blemishes and clogged pores.
  • Sun and environmental damage.  Dehydrated, dark spots, wrinkles and discoloration.
  • Dehydration.  Visible lines, severe dryness and a sense of tightness.
  • Hyper and hypo pigmentation.  Hyper pigmentation is a darkening of skin cells.  Commonly caused from sun damage.  Freckles are also hyper pigmentation.  Hypo pigmentation is a lightening of skin cells also caused by sun damage.  Some more rare skin conditions can also cause hypo pigmentation.
  • Dark eye circles and bags.  Puffiness and darkness around and under the eyes.  Most affected by lifestyle but can be genetic.
Your type will fall into one of the skin type categories and may be affected by one or more of the skin conditions.  Your type can also vary depending on the season, hormones and other factors that cause fluctuations.

For every skin type there is a basic routine that can be applied when you are using a simplified approach to beauty. 

Cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize.

I recommend using a gentle non soap cleanser for all skin types.  Look for no added scents, dyes or harsh ingredients.  The cleanser itself is not on your skin long enough to treat or have any real acting purpose for anything other then cleansing. 
Looking for a good choice? Try this one.

This is the most variable step based on skin type.  You can go all natural and make your own using 1 part carrier oil, try grapeseed oil, to two parts sugar.  There are other DIY natural scrub recipes available or you can buy pre-made scrubs. 
Dry skin needs help to shed off dead layers of skin to allow the moisturizer to penetrate, exfoliate 2-3 times per week, follow this timeline for Normal and Combination skin.
Oily skin may be breakout prone so use caution and avoid exfoliating open blemishes or scabs.  1-2 times per week.  Sensitive skin should follow this timeline.
Aging skin also benefits from exfoliating 2-3 times per week because it aids in cellular turnover which produces younger, fresher looking skin.

This step is for all types.  There is a product out there for every type.  You need a moisturizer to create a barrier to protect the delicate skin on your face and to prevent dehydration which can affect all skin types, even oily, and lead to deeper wrinkles and dull skin.
Massage moisturizer onto skin in an upward motion.  

This information is for your daily basic skin care.  There are other steps that can be implemented as needed.  Such as using a facial mask, applying treatments and doing a facial steam

To treat is the most difficult because reversing the effects of nature or damage is nearly impossible.  Minimizing the signs can be achieved but is hard to accomplish using natural methods.  Prevention, proper care and maintenance are best when caring for your skin. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Comfy gets Cuter


Comfortable clothes are a necessity for working out and want for everyday living.  Being 'just' comfy can become a habit and with all kinds of busy hectic lifestyles that's okay.  You can take your easy clothes and turn them into more stylish outfits for running errands rather than just shlepping on the workout wardrobe and hitting the town.  After all you never know where the day might take you and its always nice to look prepared.

Any accessory is helpful in pulling an outfit together.  It gives the I care, I tried, about how I look feel.  Seriously try it…even with yoga pants, especially with yoga pants.  Picture it.  A cute tunic, jacket or tee, comfy stretchy pants and casual flats.  Now throw on an accessory and all the sudden you have the messy up do of outfits.

Speaking of up do’s…  
Give your casual/busy girl hair do an upgrade. Skip the simple pony tail and do a high bun, side bun, messy bun, okay I like buns but here is some other ideas…
  • side braid
  • low pig tails
  • fishtail braid
  • faux bob

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Re-Purposing without Crafting

I re-use and re-purpose things almost daily.  Most things are simple and serve a purpose or a function.  Sometimes the purpose is to be pretty and then I break out the craftiness.

These 3 projects required zero artistic ability to make and created pretty storage for things I use daily.  Not every project or re-purpose has to get all in depth and channel your inner designer.

I loathe clutter so I make the things I need to use daily functional and beautiful.   That means I don't buy many things just to decorate with, most things in our house serve a purpose.  The things we have just for decoration are things we love. 

The less stuff a gal has the less stuff she has to clean and the more time she can spend doing something she loves to do.

To clean candle jars to re-use them freeze the jar and remaining wax overnight and it will pop right out when tapped upside down.  Any residual wax from a messy candle comes off with Dawn dish soap and scrubbing. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What's in That Bag? Makeup To Go

I showed you how to stock your emergency beauty bag here.  How about I show you mine.

I like to have a small and easily totable makeup bag in my purse just in case I am on the fly and in need of a little pick me up to look like I belong in civilization, or at least awake.  I posted a tip about perking up with blush and neutral eyeshadow here so those are my must have's to stash in your on the go makeup supply. 

The lip gloss and mascara are part of a hook up set from Mark.  The eyeshadow is a light highlighter shade from Sephora's label.  The cream blush is mousse from Maybeline.  I like cream for quickie makeup because you don't need a brush.  Tinted moisturizer is not my fave but in a pinch you can get it on fast, evenly and get light coverage.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tip Off Tuesday: Use Excess Face Cream

A simple yet overlooked little bathroom habit.  Moisturize your cuticles and hands when you grab a little too much face or eye cream.  That is good stuff and hands need love too.  So before you rinse it down the drain slather in the extra.
Do you have an entire extra jar from trying a cream that did not work for your face?  The skin in on your face is different from that on your hands so stash it with your nail supplies and use it for moisturizing during your next at home manicure.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Emergency Beauty Routine

Pack a small makeup bag with these 5 products for days when you oversleep or what ever series of unfortunate events keep you from having time for your usual public readiness routine.
Tinted Moisturizer.Can be applied quickly with no tools and evens out the skin tone a bit.

Eye Shadow.    Choose a light shade.  For all over the eyelid.

Mascara.Sweep it on the top and bottom to open up the eyes.

Blush.Keeps the face looking lively and awake.

Lip Color. Finish it off with your favorite lip product.

Pick a pretty little bag that you can throw in your purse.  Stash a pack of peppermint gum  too, mint is good for the wake up senses.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Chocolate & Black

The chocolate and black trend has got to be the number one trend you do not have to shop to try.  Nearly everyone has something black and brown.  So search through your accessories, scarfs, shoes, tights and all of that goodness.  Pick through your closet and pull out those black and brown pieces that are usually part of pulling separate outfits together as good basic colors.  Put the two strong colors together, you will like it.

Easy new look right from your very own shop de closet.

A simpler style yet is adding brown accessories to your black tee.  Layer on brown bangles, add a brown scarf and pair with brown shoes.  Try different textures and shades too.  Use what you have and mix and match.
pleated poppy

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Bathroom Drawer. More About Me

Here is how I store my makeup goods.

When I make new purchases I leave it out of the drawer for new product stalking pleasure, that is short lived.  My inner OCD takes over and I must organize it to its 'home'.  My daughters share my need to display stuff they love, not the inner OCD.  Truly I am a neat freak so this can make me slightly insane but then I remember that I raise them to be there own little person and I step off, to a point, I have to monitor the situation to keep it from becoming dirty hamster territory.  That brings me to this theory...

My room is not a mess.  Everything is just on display.  Like a museum.  -Unknown

A favorite of my fourteen year old and many other teenager I am sure.
I will take my organization please.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tip Off Tuesday: Keep a Steady Hand for Polishing Nails

If you are shaky when you polish your own nails try anchoring your pinky finger to polish smoothly.

Simple. Make sure the pinky of the hand you are polishing with is touching something. You might rest it on a part of your hand or on the surface you are polish your nail on. It stops the shakiness.

This is perfect for trying nail art too.  Get more manicure help here.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pro Manicure Tips

Remove old polish.

Trim, file and shape nails.

Clean and exfoliate your hands and nails.
I use a teaspoon of sea salt mixed with a pump of my favorite hand soap.  Packaged exfoilator will work too.
Pay attention to dry or rough areas and work in around the cuticle and nail.
Rinse well.
Care for your cuticles.  Apply cuticle cream and push back the cuticle gently.    

Moisturize to the maximum, massage in a rich cream.

Clean nail bed off with polish remover.  Leaving the oils from the moisturizer on your nail make it hard for the polish to adhere. 

Apply base coat.  Bonder from Orly does just that, bonds.  I get my longest wearing mani using Bonder.

Apply two coats of color.

Finish with a top coat.  The shine a salon mani has seems like magic.  It's not, it is just a good shiny top coat like Glosser from Orly.

If you need a quick dry method use a drying top coat, manicurist's finishing sprayor this free DIY method.
Your DIY manicure can look and last like a salon job.

The quality of the products make a difference but the steps you follow when you do your own manicure really define the results. 

About the products, as far as polish goes if you have a good quality base and top coat the polish color is going to stick and last longer without chipping.  The polish color itself doesn’t have to be top of the line to look primo.

Friday, January 6, 2012

5 Colors for Your Manicure Stash

nail polish

Polish is a quick outfit pick me up.  This is especially true for a girl who likes her clothes simple.  You can get experimental with trendy colors and use polish as a simple accessory.
To stock your at home manicure stash start with 5 colors from these groups.

Nude.  Very modern, light colors wear easily and chips are harder to notice.

Nearly black.  Goes with everything and looks sophisticated.

Signature color.  I mentioned knowing and using your signature color here.  You will look at yours hands and feel happy and it will add your personality to basic outfits.

Glitter.  Enough said.

Trendy.  Just because it will keep you from getting stuck in a rut and its seasonal.  ‘It’ colors change each season so it will keep you trying new things.

**TIP** Don’t forget to grab a good base and top coat.  If you buy these two things right you can make less expensive polish colors look pro and last longer.  Pro manicure steps coming next week!

I linked up to other ladies sharing polish stories below.