How to clean your makeup brushes

So you want beautiful skin. Who doesn’t?! You’re willing to pay big money for the best skin care products and beautifying treatments out there, but did you know that the quality of your makeup and the makeup brushes you use play a huge role in how healthy your skin is?

Yes, that’s right! The makeup brushes too! Because with each use, dirt, oils, dead skin, and bacteria get trapped in between the fine bristles, and if we don’t clean them regularly, we apply all of those things on our skin with each makeup application.

Therefore, I will detail here how to cleanse your makeup brushes effortlessly.

First of all, you need to wash your brushes once a week. They take a few hours to dry out, so make sure you have spare ones to use or wash them after you have applied your makeup for the day. You could also use a hair dryer to dry them out quicker.

So you’ll need:

1. Warm running water

2. Baby shampoo or a sulfate/paraben free shampoo

3. Paper towels

You apply a few drops of shampoo in the palm of your hand, run the brush under lukewarm water until it is wet, then swirl the brush in the palm of your hand for a few seconds lathering up the shampoo. Rinse the brush and repeat this procedure until the foam and water in your palm is clear. Shake extra water off your brushes and lay them flat on a bed of paper towels until the next day.

And… Voila! Not hard or time consuming.

Secondly, I’d like to mention that after each use, it is recommended that you spray a disinfectant spray on each brush, and wipe off the residual makeup on a paper towel. I personally use the Color Science disinfectant spray, but you can use any daily brush cleaner you like.

 

Believe me, your skin will thank you!

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Tireless pursuit of shoes

shoe-black-edIn my tireless pursuit of decently priced shoes this past year I managed to acquire a few super cute and practical pairs, which I am very proud of. There is no secret anymore that there is nothing better out there for me than a great shoe sale.

Stuart Weitzman high heel bridal leather sandal. You find similar ones here. picmonkey-image-white

 

Schutz Enida cork high heels. Similar ones here
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French Sole Truffle grey suede flats. Similar ones herepicmonkey-image-shoesignature pic monkey ed 1

Oils for your forever beautiful skin (Part2)

Hello busy moms and dear followers!

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As promised a while ago I am following up with a couple of oils I love and I am using in my beauty routine on a daily basis. These two are in fact my favorite ones. I hope you’ll enjoy them too as they are very accessible and so easy to use.

 

Jojoba Oil

jojoba oil

This oil is not an oil. It’s actually a wax. Its amazing anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties make it one of the best “oils” for your skin. It has a very long shelf life so we can have it in our bathroom for a couple of years. However I go through a 4 oz bottle every couple of months, so no reason to keep it for so long. Use it! It’s an amazing oil with a lot of attributes that can work wonders when you want to remove your makeup in a natural way, to moisturize your skin (I apply 6-7 drops on my clean skin and dab off the extra with a tissue paper, for a matte finish), and its powerful properties will aid in the treatment of acne, killing the harmful bacteria that causes acne (or make it thrive) in some cases and reducing the inflammation often accompanying the acneic skin. It can help heal warts, Athlete’s foot infections and and nails that suffer with fungus!

These are just a few most important properties of this golden wax. You can massage it on your skin morning or night. When you buy yours make sure it’s a pure Jojoba oil and not a blend.

 

argan-oil

Moroccan Argan Oil

This oil is indeed a superfood for the skin. It’s so easy to use and it penetrates into the skin so nicely, without leaving any residual oily film on your skin. It has the ability to decongest the pores, while hydrating, nourishing and stimulating the skin’s regeneration. It is very rich in essential fatty acids, Vitamin E and other nutrients which help maintain the skin in great shape, without a huge effort.

You can massage it in your hair, on your scalp, use it on your hands, tips of fingers and on your feet (then put on socks and some gloves for a couple of hours) for a softer, smoother skin.

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Oils for your forever beautiful skin (Part 1)

Bianca-1smallAre you one of the people who’s suffered with acne all your teenage years and then some… and who has always tried to find the latest best thing in skin care which could help you get rid of that unwanted acne? Of course in your tireless searches you’d buy anything with the condition to be OIL FREE! Because in your mind your skin was already very oily naturally, so it didn’t make any sense to apply more oil on it…

Or maybe you are someone who has rosacea and sensitive skin and you’re always on the look for the best thing out there to hide and possibly treat that redness…

Or maybe you are like me, someone who has never dealt with the terrible acne or rosacea, but always conscious of the aging signs; always wanting to look good and for the skin to not look prematurely dry and wrinkled and stained…

Well, today I will tell you my secret about the oil cocktails I’ve been using on my skin, which work wonders, even on acneic or rosacea skin. Especially after I turned 30 my skin started looking less plump, more fatigued, dryer, my pores started looking enlarged…So I started reading about the use of oils in skin care and because I found them very accessible wherever I am, I said why not! Anything is worth trying when it comes to aging! Well, almost anything. So far I have been so happy with my results and I think when used correctly, they beat any moisturizer out there! Oils are lipophilic, which means that they love or are attracted to fat, so they are able to penetrate through the skin’s lipid layer faster and more effectively, providing the skin with moisture and preventing the water loss much better than other regular skin care products.

So here we go!

coconut oil

Coconut oil

It has a very light molecular formulation, which is why it is able to penetrate through the skin layers deeper than your regular skin care products, to hydrate and maintain that hydration in your skin, as it bonds really well with our skin proteins. I use it to massage my face lightly once or twice a week, to remove my makeup, I make my own body scrub with it (you can find my recipe here), I apply it on my cuticles and I also apply it in my hair (as you can see here), alone or in combination with a couple of other ingredients.

 

rosehip oil

Rosehip Oil

It’s an intensely hydrating, brightening and healing oil, rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, which has the ability to penetrate deeply into the skin as well, and it is perfect for applying on the skin at night for an instantly hydrated and plump skin in the morning. Before I massage the Rosehip oil into my skin though, I apply about 10 drops of pure Vitamin A oil on clean skin…and these nights I skip other brands of Retinol/RetinA, because this oil is a pure retinol acetate itself. So you wouldn’t want to use too much of it, because it can dry out and irritate the skin.

vitamina A

 

 

Vitamin A oil 

It’s a natural anti-aging, which stimulates your skin’s cell turnover, without the sting that some RetinA products can give you sometimes. It is also a very affordable product and it really delivers great radiant clear skin. Great for aging, acneic and dull skin. I usually like to apply it underneath Rosehip Oil or an anti-aging night moisturizer. And it’s also great for the eye area. I buy mine in Romania, but I am sure that with a little research you can find one in your area.

 

 

avocado oilAvocado Oil (cold pressed)

Very rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, similar with the ones contained in the olive oil, it’s a natural hydrator for the skin. It’s molecular formulation is very similar with the molecules that compose our natural oil (sebum) produced by our own skin. That’s why, when massaged into the skin, it’s able to penetrate, retain the moisture and give your skin this velvety smooth sensation. Being very rich as well in vitamin E, C and K, makes it also a great antioxidant. I like to apply it on damp skin. Just 4-5 drops, then follow with a mineral sunscreen and makeup and you’re good to go.

That’s all for today, but next timeI’ll write more about this topic, as I find oils so highly effective, and I have an entire collection in my bathroom. Thanks for reading!

Please share with me which are your favorite oils to use topically on your skin.

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1,2,3, beautiful skin for the holidays!

I’ve recently perfected an old recipe for a facial exfoliator using simple ingredients all of us have in our kitchen. It’s very easy to make and extremely effective for any skin type, but will provide the most benefits to congested, acneic, pigmented and dull skin types.

Here there are the ingredients you’ll need:

1 lemon or lime, 1 teaspoon honey,  2 teaspoons sugar (any kind),  2 teaspoons baking soda

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Preparation:

  1. Squeeze the juice of one lemon/lime
  2. Add the honey
  3. Add the sugar
  4. Add the baking soda and mix.

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Apply the mixture to the cleaned face, using a bit of friction in the problematic areas (nose, chin, jawline, etc.). Leave on skin for a maximum of 10 minutes and wash off with cold water. Your skin will start glowing instantly!  The acne and hyperpigmentation will start fading from the second use!

Follow with your favorite hydrator and repeat next week.

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Me, immediately after using this exfoliator on my face. Completely makeup free!

 

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I’m all about healthy skin…

One of my go to looks I’ve created with the makeup products I wrote about in my previous post. Easy! In 20 minutes I was ready to go! I love makeup and I love it even more when it’s easy to use and it is skin and environmental friendly.

Here are my favorite brands I wrote about, which are not going to damage your skin if you love wearing makeup.

1. Colorscience  2. Physician’s Formula 3. GS/Gerda Spillmann

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My latest makeup favorites

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Heart collage1. Colorscience Bronzing Primer. You’ll never find a better one! It comes in a few shades for different skin types, such as rosacea skin, oily or sensitive skin. My absolute favorite is the Bronzing one because my skin is naturally very pale, so I start building up my sun kissed glow even from the first step in my makeup application. Plus it has an SPF 20!

2. MAC Spice Lip Liner. This is such a creamy easy to use lip liner, true to color (a soft brown) and it lasts pretty much all day. I can combine it with natural, nude lipstick shades or sometimes I even mix in a pale pink lipstick. I don’t think I can use any other lip liners after using this one!

PicMonkey Collage 4.3. L’Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara. Over time I probably have tried 50% of the mascara brands out there. I always seem to come back to L’Oreal though. Easy to use, very accessible price wise, it builds up my lashes’ length, without leaving them looking heavy and clumpy. I also love the Waterproof one, but it’s a bit hard to remove at the end of the day, so I use that one only when needed 😉

4. Lancome L’Absolu Rouge. The most creamy, moisturizing and hydrating lipstick. Besides the fact that it feels really good on the lips and the color is amazing, the ingredients in it are some of the best, likePro-Xylane to enhance and lock in moisture and Vitamin E (one of my favorite most potent anti-oxidants out there), to protect against environmental aggressors.  PicMonkey Collage 2

5 and 6. ColorsciencePressed Mineral Eye Colore. I keep recommending Colorscience to everyone I meet. It’s a very environmental friendly and “healthy” makeup line out there…if there is such thing. These two palettes are all you need if you are like me and like more natural looks.

7. L’Oreal Lineur Intense. I believe that a good eye liner can change your life. There are days, (well majority of my week days) when all I wear is some concealer under my eyes, eyeliner, blush and a lipgloss. Easy! If you want one which gives you a lot of control and an intense black color, you might love this one as much as I do!

8. Benefit Speed BrowI love the easiness of this product. As soon as I apply, it dries out in seconds, giving my eyebrows a bit more of an organized look, since they are a bit unruly naturally 😉

9. Gabriel Concealer. Everyone who knows me, knows that I love Whole Foods. There was a time in Miami where I would eat every lunch there. So pretty much every day I was visiting a store, and pretty much every time I’d discover amazingly healthy options to not only regular food, but sometimes, makeup, house stuff or health supplements. This is how I discovered this super amazing, gluten free concealer that now is my go to concealer every morning.

10. Colorscience Pressed Mineral FoundationLet me tell you. If you don’t like to use powder foundation because it feels heavy and it makes you look older, I am exactly the same. But this powder is completely different. I love applying it with my Kabuky brush in big circles, very gently, so I obtain a natural flawless look in seconds. Again the ingredients in this powder are the best ingredients for your skin you’ll find in any other powder foundation!

11. L’Oreal Brow Stylist SculptorThis is what I sometimes use to shape my eyebrows for a more dramatic look, right before applying the Benefit Speed Brow Gel. Easy Peasy!

12. Physicians Formula Argan Wear BronzerI’ll be honest. Lately I’ve been traveling a lot and on one of my trips to Miami, my old bronzer broke. Went to Walgreens  and purchased pretty much the first one that looked better and to my surprise this is becoming my new favorite bronzer of all times, by far. Smooth, easy to apply, paraben free, gluten free, hypoallergenic, it even feels moisturizing, and the fragrance does not bother me at all. It has a light scent to it, but I love it and it makes my skin look sun kissed with just a few brush strokes.

13. Bio Fond Highlighter Whenever I need more coverage under eyes (because of my genetically inherited dark circles), this is my go to product. It’s more of a professional product I discovered in a skin care/makeup trade show and ever since I’ve been ordering it all the time. It covers all imperfections, while it has this silky/creamy consistency and it allows your skin to breathe. And of course, the ingredient list which obsesses me on every product I buy, is beautiful. Love this concealer/highlighter!

O.K. That’s all for now. Enjoy!

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