Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Too Faced Le Grand Parais Holiday Collection Review!!

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Welcome back, beauties!!

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've last posted. I have been super busy, and super stressed. However, I was determined to get this post out for you guys and dolls because I had to share this amazing product that I am currently obsessed with.

Not only is Fall my favorite season, but it also means that another favorite season of mine is upon us...
Yes, my friends, it is holiday palette season!!!!! *Screams and dances around the room*

I am SO excited to see what my favorite brands have in store for the holiday season! We're slowly being introduced to the amazing value sets, palettes, and special editions, and I cannot wait to see what else is released in the upcoming weeks!

Due to being a VIB Rouge member at Sephora, I was able to get early access to a special holiday palette about a month ago. I held off on posting about it until I knew it was released to the public (which it now is) so I HAD to share how beautiful this palette is.

Introducing...

The Too Faced Le Grand Palais!



ARE YOU FREAKING OUT? BECAUSE I AM FREAKING OUT.

This set is stunning. The presentation of this set from Too Faced is nothing short of spectacular. 

Look. At. It.

This is one of three holiday collections from Too Faced's Christmas in Paris Collection. Currently, this is the only one I own, therefore, it is the only one I will talk about!

If you are interested in the others, there is a smaller collection exclusive to Ulta Beauty, and a medium collection available through Sephora, Ulta, and Too Faced.

Too Faced Le Grand Parais is exclusive to Sephora, and the most expensive of the three, but this also offers you the most bang for your buck!

Le Grand Parais is a $58.00 holiday set valued at $378.00. That is amazing!

Let's dive right in, shall we?


This is what the outer packaging looks like. The quality is top notch. Very sleek, very classic. Beautiful to give as a gift. You don't even have to wrap this. 

The attention to detail that was put into this packaging is epic. This is no ordinary cardboard box. Here's a close-up shot of the details:


Do we see the raised etching? ARE WE SEEING THE BEAUTY? And the ribbon is real ribbon. Ugh. Slaying me sideways.

When you remove the set from the outer box, you see this:


More perfection. 

Take off the lid of this adorbs gift box, unfold it, and be amazed...


How. Beautiful. Is. This. The detail is incredible. THE SCENERY. FOR A HOLIDAY SET. SLAY.


Here is a closeup shot of the freebies. A deluxe-size Better Than Sex Mascara, a deluxe-size Liquid Lipstick in Melted Peony, and a Shadow Insurance Eye Primer.

How cute is this? Seriously. Look at the shopping bags. I spy a Chocolate Bar palette, some Too Faced blush, and some Liquid Lipsticks. And the wrought iron staircase? The mannequin with her fancy dress and pearls? Where you goin', gurl?!

When you lift up the bottom half, you dive into the palette...


Featuring 18 eyeshadows varying between mattes, shimmers, and sheers, with adorable holiday-themed names, two blushes, a bronzer, and a highlighter... this palette gives you everything you need.


How gorgeous are these shades? 

Now, I will say... the pigmentation... not the best of Too Faced's work. 

The highlighter, Flush, is stunning. The matte shadows are very pigmented. The blushes are on the sheer side, but I think they're buildable if you play around.

The colors such as Eiffel, Midnight in Paris, Wish List, and Party Dress... a bit disappointing in the pigmentation category. They're beautiful shades, and they're buildable, but I wish you didn't have to work that hard to get good pigmentation. 

Like all Too Faced palettes, Le Grand Parais comes with a Glamour Guide to help you create beautiful looks with all of these shades. 

If you'd like, I can do a tutorial using one of the looks in the Glamour Guide! 

All in all, this palette is a fantastic gift for any makeup lover, or anyone looking for a great palette that covers lips, primer,shadow, mascara, contour, and highlight! This palette has got you covered! 

And it's an adorable piece that can be displayed on any vanity, dresser, desk, etc. 

I praise this palette. Definitely very impressive. I'm curious as to how Too Faced will top it next holiday season! Do you plan on picking this up? Gifting it or keeping it for yourself? 

Have you tried the other Too Faced Christmas in Paris sets? How are they? 

I'm going to have a fun Fall tutorial up next! Stay on the lookout for that!

Until then, stay beautiful 
Christina Bracco
xoxoxoxo

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Order to Apply Makeup- Feat. Product Suggestions!

Happy Friday, beauties!!

I hope you're all having a spectacular week! Happy October :)

Today's post is all about the right way to apply makeup! 

Did you know that there is an order in which you're supposed to apply your makeup products? Mhmm, that's right! 

There is a specific order to ensure that you are getting proper use, coverage, and pigmentation out of your products! I'm sharing with you all, that order, and some product recommendations along the way. Let's jump in, shall we?!

First, of course, apply whatever moisturizer you use. Depending on the consistency of your specific moisturizer, give it some time to soak into your skin before starting your makeup application. I use Argan Oil as a moisturizer, so I wait about 5 minutes after I apply it, to sit down and start applying my makeup! 

Now, if we're in a rush, or we're not doing a full face, we may jump around in the order in which we apply, but especially if you're doing a full face, try to stick to this order!
_________________________________________________________________________________

Some people like to apply the beginnings of their face makeup (i.e. foundation/concealer) before working on their eyes. However, this is not the best move, and I do not recommend doing that.

When we apply eyeshadow, there is always fallout. If you're patting a shadow on your lid, some of the shadow is falling onto your under eyes/cheeks. Even just moving the shadow brush towards your eye, fallout is happening, ladies! So, if you have your foundation, and even your concealer, applied, you're getting little pink, gold, black, whatever color shadow your applying, dustings on your face! Then, you're going to have to touch up the mess.That's why, it's best to first work on your eyes, and then move on to your face.

  • Start off priming your eyes. I've shared that I like to prime my eyes with a concealer and powder, but if you'd prefer a shadow primer on the market, go for it! However you chose to prime, just make sure that you prime! It seriously gives your shadow long wear, crease free.
          Eye Primer suggestions: Too Faced Shadow Insurance/ Urban Decay Primer Potion.

  • Next, apply your shadows as you normally would. I always apply my shadows by applying a base color. Usually a light shadow just to give a little extra evening out and brightening of the eye area. Then, I go in with my lid shadow, patting it gently all over the lid. Next, in windshield wiper motions, I apply my transition shade in the crease, and then finally, I apply my darker shadow to my outer corner. Easy enough! 
          I won't give any shadow suggestions, because that's just impossible. There are way too        
         many shadows out there, haha. But if you'd like a universal palette recommendation, the    
         Too Faced Chocolate Bar is a go-to!

  • Once you're done applying your shadow, then it's on to curl your lashes! 
          Eyelash Curler suggestion: Sephora Collection Eyelash Curler.

  • Next, it's time to apply your mascara. Note: After curling my lashes, I only apply one coat of mascara to my top lashes. Do not apply your second coat to your top (if you're one who applies a second coat) and do not apply to your bottom lashes yet. We will get to that in a while, and I will explain why we're not finishing that step yet.
         Mascara suggestions: Please see my post on my Top 5 Favorite Mascaras for suggestions!   


Now it's time to move on to the face!

  • Prime your face! I'm a firm believer in priming your face before applying foundation/concealer/bronzer/etc. - It truly helps to keep your makeup in place, lasting long, and bulletproof. The only time I do not prime my face is if I'm wearing a tinted gel or tined moisturizer. Otherwise, prime, prime, PRIME!
          Face Primer suggestions: Mally Beauty Perfect Prep Poreless Primer/ Tarte BB Tinted  
         Treatment 12-Hour Primer/ Benefit Porefessional.

  • Foundation time! If you are using a liquid foundation, apply one pump to the back of your hand, then take your CLEAN ring finger, and dot the foundation all over your face. Then take your brush and buff it into your skin, or take your damp BeautyBlender and pat it out gently! If you're using a powder foundation, simply swirl your brush into the product, tap out the excess, and then swirl the brush onto your skin, buffing out the product evenly! 
          Foundation suggestions: Make Up Forever HD Foundation/ bareMinerals Original   
          Foundation/ Mally Beauty Poreless Perfection Foundation. 

  • Concealer! Now is the time to apply concealer under your eyes, and to any blemishes that you'd like to give a little extra coverage! I apply my under eye concealer in a triangle shape, and then I take a damp BeautyBlender and pay it out very gently. The same technique goes for blending out concealer on a blemishes, pat it out with a BeautyBlender. Tapping out provides better coverage and keeps the concealer in place. Wiping just removes the product. Don't forget to set your concealer with a powder if you do that step! I do not. With the concealers I named below, there is no need for me to set them. They don't move :)
          Concealer suggestions: Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage 
          Concealer/ It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye.

  • Now it's time for bronzer! Now is the time to warm up your face by swirling bronzer on the sides of your forehead and your cheeks. If you're contouring, chisel out those cheekbones and your temples! 
         Bronzer suggestions: Mally Beauty Believable Bronzer/ Benefit Hoola Bronzer.

  • Time to highlight! After you've put a shadow effect on the parts of you're face you're trying to pull backwards with your bronzer, it's time to brighten and apply light to the parts of your face you'd like to pull forward. Apply highlighter to the tops of your cheekbones, your cupids bow, down the bridge of your nose, the center of your chin, and the center of your forehead. If you'd like a more detailed explanation on how to highlight, HERE is a complete post dedicated to just that! 
         Highlighter suggestion: Josie Maran Argan Elightenment Illuminizing Wand.

  • Blush! It's time to give those cheeks a glowing color! Tap your brush into your blush, tap out the excess, and then smile and swirl your blush onto the apples of your cheeks, working backwards.
         Blush suggestions: Benefit Rockateur Blush/ Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush.

Remember when we paused on our eyes? We're back to finish them up!

  • Now it's time to apply your second coat of mascara to your top lashes. This helps to lift your lashes an blacken them up after all that powder from our foundation, blush, bronzer was applied and dusting around! Also, apply one coat of mascara to your bottom lashes. We didn't do this step earlier, because if we had, we would have just went on to apply our foundation and our concealer. When blending and tapping those products out, we would have hit our lashes and gotten product on them giving your lashes a lighter effect. Now, they're safe, long, and black! 

  • Eyebrows! Highlight your brow bone with your favorite eyeshadow or highlighter! Similar to the mascara scenario, we wait to do our eyebrows so that we do not get product all over our fresh brows. Foundation, concealer, brow highlight, bronzer, all get stuck in our brows while we're applying, either by fallout or by swiping over them with a brush. This moves our brow hairs around, and lightens them. By applying our brow product now, we are getting the most out of our application. Brush out your brows with a spooly, apply your favorite brow product, and then git them with a brow gel to keep them bulletproof all day! 
         Brow Product suggestions: It Cosmetics Universal Brow Power (here is a post all about 
         this holy grail product of mine: BROWS / Brow Gel: Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow 
         Gel. 

  • Finally, apply your fav lip color, whether it's a lipstick or a gloss, and hit your face with some setting spray! 
         Setting Spray suggestion: NYX Dewey Finish Setting Spray. 

There you have it, ladies! Now, your makeup is bulletproof, pigmented, and ready to take on the day with perfection! 

Go off and enjoy your makeup!

I'll be back next week with some fun, Fall, vampy, makeup tutorials, and other goodies! 

Until then, stay beautiful,
Christina Bracco
xoxoxoxo

For PR inquiries, questions, comments, suggestions, please email Christina.f.b@aol.com or please fill out a Contact Form in the sidebar. Thank you.

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Jaclyn Hill Fall Favorites Tag!!

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Happy Fall, beauties!!

Okay, Fall officially starts tomorrow, but the festivities have been in full swing! There's Pumpkin Spice- Everything, and the air is getting crisper and crisper!

Fall is my favorite season, so, I decided to participate in the Jaclyn Hill Fall Favorites Tag! Though I was not tagged, Jaclyn gave everyone full permission to use this tag, and I will take any opportunity to share some of my Fall favorites!

If any of you are interested in participating in the Fall Favorites Tag, I will have the questions listed below!

Let's get started!

Favorite Candle: My absolute favorite Fall candle is Mahogany Teakwood by Bath and Body Works. I'm pretty sure this is not an official "Fall" scent, because its sold year round, but due to its scent, I only find it appropriate to be used in the Fall season.

It is described as, "the luxurious scents of fine woods enlightened by delicate lavender and geranium." Basically, it smells like a mans cologne, and I love it. It's very musky, perfect to match the crisp Fall air blowing through your window! I am waiting until tomorrow (the official first day of Fall) to burn it! YAY!

An honorable mention... We Love Fall by Bath and Body Works! It's a fragrance trio, and it consists of three layers of scents to burn through. Sweater Weather, Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, and Pumpkin Apple! Three for the price of one!

Favorite Lip Color: I've really been loving the Mally Beauty Lip Creme in the shade, Sangria. It's a gorgeous, deep, vampy lip that works perfect for the deep-lip Fall trend. Because it's a creme, it leaves your lips super hydrated! Hydration is key during the Fall/Winter months when the air gets a bit drier.

Favorite Drink: If I was asked this a week ago, I would have had a different answer, but due to recent discovery, my answer HAS to be the Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino. Oh. Em. GEE.  It is soooooo good!!! I actually intend on swinging by a Starbucks and picking one up today. There is also a Salted Caramel Mocha Latte that I'm sure is just as delicious, but I've yet to try it. GO TRY THIS DRINK! Can you tell I love it?

Favorite Blush: I don't really have a blush that I use primarily in the Fall, but the first one that comes to mind is the Benefit Cosmetics Rockateur blush. It's a rose gold cheek powder. I think rose-anything is perfect for Fall makeup. It's a little deeper than the pinks and peaches of Spring an Summer!

Favorite Clothing Item: HANDS DOWN... plaid flannel shirts. I live for flannel, and I live for plaid. Therefore, I own WAY too many plaid flannel shirts. They are the staple item in my wardrobe for Fall. I'm counting down the days until I can bust them out!

Favorite Fall Movie: While I probably should say Hocus Pocus, I'm going to go with another classic: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! All of the Charlie Brown classics are staples of mine in their respective seasons. Hocus Pocus is practically shown all year round, but It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is only shown ONCE, maybe twice a year. Right before Halloween. That's what makes it so special!

Favorite TV Show: I am anxiously awaiting American Horror Story's return! I cannot wait to see what AHS: Hotel has in store!

Favorite Thanksgiving Food: I have so many loves for this question! I'm going to go with my Grandmothers recipe for Vegetable Medley. I only have it on this ONE day, and I always look forward to it! It's a secret recipe, so I can't tell you what it is. Shhhhhh! ;)

Favorite Halloween Costume: I think my favorite Halloween costume that I have ever worn, it's going to have to be a Scarecrow costume I wore two years ago! I thought it was soooo cute! Especially the hat. But I'm also pretty amped for the one I will be wearing to a party this year as well. ;D

There you have it, my friends! Those are all of the questions, and my answers, to the Jaclyn Hill Fall Favorites Tag! I left the questions below for you peeps to answer if you'd like to do it yourselves, and please share some of your favs with me! Introduce me to some new Fall loves!

Until next time, Stay beautiful,
Christina Bracco
xoxoxoxo

Jaclyn Hill Fall Favorites Tag Questions:

Favorite Candle?
Favorite Lip Color?
Favorite Drink?
Favorite Blush?
Favorite Clothing Item?
Favorite Fall Movie?
Favorite TV Show?
Favorite Thanksgiving Food?
Favorite Halloween Costume?

For PR inquiries, questions, comments, suggestions, please email: Christina.f.b@aol.com. Or please fill out a Contact Form in the sidebar. Thank you. 

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Top 5 Must-Have Mascaras!

Hello again, beauties!!

I hope everyone had a happy and safe Labor Day weekend! Now that summer is coming to a close, and autumn is upon us, I will be back weekly on my blog! Though I am so incredibly sad to see summer go, I am ready for all the great things autumn brings along. I have some great favorites, routines, and tutorials planned for fall, and all fall beauty trends! Yay!

Today, I wanted to share with you all my top 5 must-have mascaras! 

I own quite a number of mascaras. I'm not even entirely sure how I've accumulated them all, but my makeup organizer now has an entire drawer dedicated to all of my mascaras. As I was sitting down doing my makeup yesterday, I looked at that drawer, and thought it would be fun to share my favorites! I love all of the mascaras I own, but I narrowed it down to my top 5. I do have a drugstore honorable mention at the end, for those that are looking for something less expensive!

My top 5 are the mascaras that I nearly ALWAYS rotate in reaching for whenever I'm doing my makeup!




My Top 5 Favs:

  1. Lorac Pro Mascara
  2. Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Mascara
  3. Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara
  4. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
  5. Mally Beauty Get the Last Lash Maximizing Duo Mascara
_________________________________________________________________________________

Let's start with the Lorac Pro Mascara, shall we?



I love to use this mascara whenever I'm looking for natural-looking volume. The wand is so unique, and the thickness of the bottom leaves my lashes looking so beautifully fluffy. The pointed tip makes it easy to separate, avoid clumping, and lengthen my lashes.


It is a lengthening, thickening professional mascara. It's smudge proof, and flake-proof. Only downfall: It's not waterproof. However, I have never experienced any panda eyes, or situations where it ran, and I'm a crier!

The Lorac Pro Mascara costs $23.00 at Ulta Beauty.

Next up, the Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Mascara!

 

It's so crazy to me that I've included this mascara in my top 5 favorites, because I wasn't sure about this one when I first tried it! I was gifted this mascara, and when I first used it, I did not like it at all. Whomp whomp. I'm not even sure why I didn't like it, I just didn't. So, it just sat in my mascara drawer, untouched for a while. 

I have seen countless beauty vloggers and bloggers use and praise this mascara, so I thought, "let me give it another try," and it has become a fav of mine! Maybe it caught me on a cranky makeup day. 

This mascara wand is so incredibly unique. It is a straight wand, but it has a little ball at the tip. Use the mascara as per usual: holding the wand horizontally and wiggling your way up. The staggered bristles grab close to the root, giving more length and volume. Then, go vertically: use the ball at the tip, filled with tiny precision bristles, to lift, define, and curl every single lash.

I use this mascara when I want a bit more drama with my look. I curl my lashes, and then apply two coats of this mascara, and I have beautiful, long, dramatic lashes! Unfortunately, this mascara is also not waterproof, but as I said for Lorac, I have never experienced panda eyes! 

Benefit Cosmetics They're Real Macara costs $24.00 at Sephora. If you want a try-before-you- buy, Sephora sells a travel size for $12.00! I've been thinking of trying the new Benefit They're Real in blue... how do we feel about this? Should I give it a try? Have you? Let me know! 

Tarte Gifted Mascara! I've talked about this mascara on my blog before. I mentioned it in a monthly favorites. As you can see, I am consistent! Haha


I own this mascara in a travel size, but I fully intend on purchasing a full size when I run out! This is another mascara I like to use for a natural, fluffy, volumized look with no clumping! 

This mascara is unique because it's infused with Amazonian Clay, like many other Tarte products! This mascara was created to offer long-term reparative, rebuilding, and strengthening benefits with each use. Amazonian clay also works to keep lashes hydrated and nourished to prevent fallout and brittle lashes. The amazonian clay also works to improve pigmentation and volume, making your lashes look brighter, blacker, longer, and more full! This mascara is not waterproof, but still no panda eyes happening.

A full size tube of Tarte Gifted Mascara costs $21.00 at Sephora.

On to the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara! 


This mascara is in the top 5 just for it's name alone! Just kidding, but how daring. I love it! 

This mascara is a fav among beauty lovers, and it's not hard to see why. I was so excited when I received this mascara in a kit from HSN a while back. 

It has a beautiful, hourglass-shaped wand that clings to every lash, long or short, that curls and lengthens your lashes, and has incredibly black pigment. I like to wear this mascara when I'm doing a smokey, vampy eye look and I'm looking for some plump, dark, intense, voluminous lashes. It just pulls a smoked out look together. Two coats on the top, one coat on the bottom, and this collagen-infused mascara has your lashes long, defined, and intense. I love it!!


Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara costs $23.00 at Sephora. 

Finally, we have the Mally Beauty Get the Last Lash Maximizing Duo Mascara!



Mally Beauty is famous for its award winning mascaras, and this one does not disappoint! I cannot begin to express the perfection of this mascara. It's probably my favorite of the five. The volume and definition your lashes get with just one coat, it's insane! 

This mascara is probably the most unique of the five, due to its duel-ended wands with two different formulas for two different purposes. On one end, the maximizing wand is thicker, with a special formula for maximizing, volumizing, lifting, and filling your lashes. The thinner wand, for defining, has a formula created to define the curl of your lashes and keep it in place.

I apply this mascara by first, curling my lashes, and then applying two coats of the maximizing end, and one coat of the defining end to the top lashes; and then one coat of the defining end to the bottom lashes. I naturally have very long lashes, but this mascara takes my lashes to a whole new level.

If you need an idea of how amazing Mally Beauty mascaras are, I remember when I was backstage at the Rachael Ray show when filming my segment with Mally Roncal, after I got my makeup done, everyone backstage was asking me if they were my natural lashes, or if I was wearing falsies. That's the kind of reaction you want to a mascara! 

You can get the Mally Beauty Get the Last Lash Maximizing Duo Mascara for just $25.00 at QVC.com! 

On to my honorable drugstore mention... L'Oreal Paris Volumizing Original Mascara!

Before I got into more high end makeup, this mascara was my go-to. I LOVED it! It works great! Def one of the best drugstore mascaras, and for just around five or six dollars at Target? You cannot beat it! 

And there you have it! There are my Top 5 Favorite Mascaras, and one drugstore honorable mention! 
What are some of your favorite mascaras? I have many others, but I'm always looking for suggestions. Send them my way!

Until next time, have a wonderful week! And for those going back to school this week, best of luck! Wear a smile :)

Stay beautiful, 
Christina Bracco
xoxoxoxo

For PR inquiries, questions, comments, suggestions, please email Christina.f.b@aol.com or please fill out a Contact Form in the sidebar. Thank you. 

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

My All-Natural Tips on How to Achieve That Perfect Glow!


Hello again, my beauties!

I hope you all are thoroughly soaking up the last few weeks of summer! I have certainly been spending plenty of time basking in the suns rays!



Today's post is all about my favorite healthy and all-natural tips for helping to maintain beautiful, glowing skin throughout the summer months. Sometimes, the elements of summer (i.e., sweat, excessive heat and humidity, air conditioning), can cause our skin to get out of whack! I'd like to share a few tips on how to keep your beautiful skin using all-natural remedies!


One of my favorite ways to keep my skin hydrated, nourished, and looking radiant and healthy is lemon water! 


Drinking water in general is INCREDIBLY important for our bodies, but adding lemon provides an even bigger boost of benefits! Vitamins C and B, more vitamins, fiber, iron, calcium, and so much more! Not to mention, the benefits of water. Keeping your body nourished will give your skin a brighter complexion, even out your skin tone, and keep your skin hydrated and naturally moisturized. 


Lemon water reduces inflammation, the antioxidants in lemon water keep your skin blemish- free, and reduces wrinkles, as well as diminishing age spots and scarring! Lemon water is perfect to maintain your skins radiance!

Honey Masks!


I've talked about honey masks in the past (full in-depth post HERE ) but I will share a summary of why honey is SO beneficial to the skin.


Yes, I mean raw honey that comes in the little bear-shaped tube that you use for baking, or to put into your tea, etc. etc. There are so, so, so many skincare benefits of honey, it does absolute wonders. It's important to note, when purchasing your honey, make sure you're purchasing "raw", "natural", "pure", or "organic" honey to ensure that it's in its most natural form. 

First, let's talk about why raw honey is so amazing for skincare.
  • It is full of antioxidants, making it a secret agent in fighting aging. 
  • Honey is EXTREMELY moisturizing and soothing, giving your skin a beautiful glow.
  • It unclogs pores!
Here are my favorite benefits of honey:


  • It's a natural antibacterial, therefore, it's amazing for treating acne, as well as preventing it. 
  • It protects against skin damage. 
  • Promotes wound healing.


  • After cleansing your skin and drying, take a generous amount of honey in the palm of your hand, and simply apply it as you would a mask all over your face. You will look extremely weird, but it's very worth it. 

    The amount of time you leave the mask on varies depending on the severity of your skin. If you just want a quick mask, leave it on for about 15 minutes, a little more: 20 minutes, if your skin is in really bad shape: an hour. 

    I normally leave my mask on for an hour, sometimes more if I get caught up doing things. After an hour, I simply wash it off and all of my redness, inflammation, and irritation is absolutely GONE. It's amazing how quickly your skin clears up within just an hour. 

    I did some research, because I'm always interested in the ways what we put inside our bodies helps how we look on the outside, and I found some of the most beneficial fruits and veggies to add to your diet for glowing skin! 



    • Apples: Apples have a huge amount of vitamin C, which keeps your skin firm and gives it an inner radiance. Apples also prevent free-radical damage which causes premature skin aging. You can receive these benefits by simply eating an apple a day! You know, the old saying, "an apple a day..." haha. You can even apply the juice of an apple to your face as a sort of mask! Just wash it off with water in 10 minutes. 
    • Carrots: Carrots are high in beta carotene which our bodies turn into vitamin A. Not only does the vitamin A give your skin a beautiful natural glow, but it also helps fight wrinkles, and improves your skins clarity! Just add some carrots to your diet! I love to snack on carrots and organic hummus every day. Or add some carrots to your cooking. I'll have a link below where you can find amazing, natural recipes to incorporate all of these healthy fruits and veggies! 
    • Strawberries: Strawberries have a strong presence of malic acid, making them a natural whitening agent. Did you know that strawberries help to whiten teeth? Yep! That's right! The huge amount of antioxidants in strawberries give you a healthy glow from within! I like to snack on some strawberries with a little dash of sugar. You can add strawberries to a salad, yogurt, smoothies, cereal, etc. You can find recipies for some amazing smoothies, cereals, yummy desserts, and more that incorporate strawberries by clicking HERE !!
    • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are rich in an important antioxidant called Lycopene. This antioxidant has anti-aging properties within! Also, due to tomatoes being naturally acidic, they work to tighten pores and prevent pimples! Eat them raw, add them to a yummy salad, a delicious dinner, or apply the pulp directly to your face and wash it off after 10 minutes! I love adding tomatoes to salad. I also love making a tomato salad by simply cutting up some tomatoes, add some basil and spices of your choosing, throw in some fresh mozzarella, and add some balsamic vinaigrette! Serve cold. I also LOVE this recipe by Aloha.com for a delicious vegan pizza that incorporates tomatoes, and another fav of mine, avocados. https://aloha.com/shop/recipes/meals/best-healthy-vegan-pizza

    Another way to achieve a beautiful glow with amazing benefits for the skin, is my tried and true, all-natural skin bff, Josie Maran's 100% pure Argan Oil! 

    The list of benefits from this one organic product is as endless as its list of uses. Not only do you apply this to your skin, hair, nails, etc., but you can even incorporate it in your foods as well! Add a few drops of Argan Oil to a smoothie, a meal you're cooking, a salad, and take in all those benefits! 

    I have written an entire post dedicated to all the benefits of Josie Maran's Argan Oil, which I will link right HERE for you all to read in-depth, but for a simple summary of Argan Oil... 


    What makes Josie Maran Cosmetics Argan oil so different from other brands claiming to have pure Argan oil, is that everything is done by hand and naturally. Each seed is cold pressed, by hand, between two rocks by women in Morocco. Cool, or what? It's so important to state that the seeds are cold pressed to extract the oil because by cold pressing, you are not ridding the oil of any essential nutrients. By pressing the seeds with heat, like many companies do due to the cheapness and quickness of the task in factories, you are eliminating the pure essential nutrients of the oil itself. 

    So what are some of the benefits of Argan oil? Specifically, Josie Maran Cosmetics Argan oil? 

    Argan oil is essentially a lightweight oil that deeply hydrates and nourishes the skin; providing the skin with essential fatty acids, Vitamin E, and enzymes that it needs, but our bodies don't produce. It heals, conditions, and hydrates the skin with anti-aging properties that help fight wrinkles. Argan oil absorbs quickly, deep into the skin, making it a beneficial moisturizer, leaving you with dewy skin throughout the day.
    Josie Maran Cosmetics 100% Pure Argan Oil contains NO Parabens, Sulfates, or Phthalates.

    Argan oil actually helps to balance out your skin. Your skin stops producing excess amounts of oil because it is receiving oil more frequently. It's perfectly safe to use in the summer, and all year round! Now, you're still going to be oily, that's just your natural skin type, but you will notice a significant decrease in oil production. Argan oil will not make you break out. In fact, it will help your breakouts heal. Any dry patches, red patches, acne scars: This product will help you rid your face of them all! Talk about a life-savor! 

    With these all-natural skin superhero's, your skin is going to be as radiant as the sun throughout the summer! Not only will you have a beautifully radiant glow, but the benefits that you will feel within due to the benefits of the super foods will be so empowering! I always feel so healthy, full of energy, and my strongest, when I eat clean! 

    Remember, look up some AMAZING recipes including the fruits and veggies I mentioned above, as well as a bundle of other amazing recipes over at Aloha.com! Aloha is dedicated to making health simple, fun, and accessible through honesty, simplicity, and quality! You can learn more about Aloha at their website which I will link for you: HERE

    Thank you all so much for reading, and I look forward to sharing more beauty tips, products, and finds with you very soon! 

    Until then, stay beautiful,
    Christina Bracco
    xoxoxoxo

    For PR inquiries, questions, comments, suggestions, please email: Christina.f.b@aol.com, or please fill out a Contact Form in the sidebar. Thank you.

    INSTAGRAM <---- CLICK AND FOLLOW ME HERE!!

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    Thursday, August 6, 2015

    Skincare Favorite: Mario Badescu Cucumber Cleansing Lotion!

    Welcome back, beauties!

    Spending an awful lot of time in the sun/heat during the summer months, or all year round, we know the effects the sun can have on our skin.

    Dark spots, freckles, breakouts, burns, dryness, excess oil; it can get our skin real cray cray!

    That's why, I wanted to focus today's post about a skincare product that has really been helping my skin to stay calm, cool, and clear during the summer.

    I'll admit, up until recently, I was not using a toner in my skincare routine. I have heard countless times how important a toner is for balancing your skin, but I never wanted to use one because I felt they'd be too harsh for my sensitive skin, cause breakouts, and/or dry me out.

    Finally, after reading reviews, watching beauty vloggers, and doing research, I decided to purchase the Mario Badescu Cucumber Cleansing Lotion. AMAZING.


    First off, let's talk about the fact that it's a toner, but the name refers to it as a "cleanser." 9 times out of 10, if a skincare product has the name "lotion" in it, but it is in pure liquid form, it's a toner. Don't get confused!

    So what is this toner made to do? 
    This toner disinfects and rids the skin of any pore-clogging bacteria, excess oil, and residue that may be lurking-perfect to prevent breakouts and protect any open wounds for a weak moment of picking (DON'T DO IT, BEAUTIES!).

    It's just 4% alcohol, and soothing cucumber extract astringent.

    This product is AMAZING! I've mentioned countless times, I have extremely sensitive skin. This product states that it is intended for normal to dry skin, however, it is INCREDIBLY sensitive and soothing and leaves my skin feeling incredibly refreshed with no negative side effects. 

    I use this once a day, at night, after I cleanse my skin with my Philosophy Purity One Step Facial Cleanser and Clarisonic. Pat your face dry after cleansing your skin, and then take a little cotton ball and gently swipe it all over your face and down your neck. I personally feel using a toner twice a day is way too much for your skin, you don't want to strip the skin of its natural oils. Just like cleansing, toning once a day is enough to get the job done.

    And can we talk about the price?

    I really love Mario Badescu products because they're SO high quality, and work amazingly well, but compared to other skincare products out there, they're way more wallet friendly.

    Just $26.00 for a 16 oz bottle. Try to find that deal for a toner in Sephora! 

    Pick this up! You won't regret it. I promise. Would I lie to you, my loves? It's really transformed my skin.

    I'm thinking of doing a whole skincare routine post. How do we feel about this? Take to Twitter or Instagram and let me know. And let me know some of your fav skincare products. I'm trying to find a good brightening serum because I think the FAB one I'm using has been discontinued. Wah! Let me know! (Links to both my Twitter and Instagram below!)

    Until next time, stay beautiful.
    Christina Bracco
    xoxoxoxo

    For PR inquiries, questions, comments, suggestions, please email: Christina.f.b@aol.com, or please fill out a Contact Form in the sidebar. Thank you. 

    INSTAGRAM  <---- CLICK AND FOLLOW ME HERE!! 

    TWITTER <----- CLICK AND FOLLOW ME HERE!!

    Now, I'm on Pinterest! https://www.pinterest.com/ChrissyBracco/

    Sunday, July 26, 2015

    Mally Beauty Poreless Perfection Foundation!

    *Click photos for higher resolution :)*

    Long time, no chat!!!

    Welcome back, my beauties!!!

    I have missed this blog so much, but I have been incredibly busy (while also enjoying my summer in the sun.) After a two week hiatus, I'm back regularly, and I cannot wait to share with you some products that I have been LOVING in the next few posts!

    I wanted to dedicate today's post to my fav makeup guru, Mally Roncal from Mally Beauty, because she has gifted me with such an incredible foundation!
    For those of you who are new here, or those that need some refreshing, back in December I filmed a segment for the Rachel Ray show with Mally, and she ever so graciously gifted me with a bunch of Mally Beauty goodies! If you'd like to read about that experience, (the episode aired in January), then please click HERE ! :)

    One of the products I received was the Mally Beauty Poreless Perfection Foundation in Medium Light. I am a pale momma, honey, so I was a little iffy about it matching my skin tone. However, I knew that once summer rolled around, and I got some color, the foundation would match me perfectly! And I was right!! Oh em gee, you guys. I have been loving this product.

    Peep Mally's book; Love, Lashes, and Lipstick: My Secrets for a Gorgeous and Happy Life! Its a great read! It's available now, so go snag it if you need some positivity, and uplifting inspiration!



    I don't like to wear heavy foundations in the summer, for multiple reasons, but this foundation doesn't even feel like you're wearing anything, yet it gives you FULL coverage.

    This is my favorite foundation at the moment. After soaking up some of the suns rays (with SPF, of course), and even a little sunless tanning, the shade matches me perfectly. When I put on this foundation, I have lightweight, excellent coverage with a flawless glow and brightened complexion. I don't even need a concealer!

    I highly, highly recommend this foundation for anyone who doesn't like the feeling of foundation on their skin, especially in the summer. I always prep my skin with the Mally Beauty Perfect Prep Poreless Primer, and the foundation is locked in place all day.

    The ingredients in this foundation's formula are also meant to soften the skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles! Extra score!

    If you order from MallyBeauty.com, you get the foundation and a sponge applicator for $45.00. If you order from QVC.com, you get the foundation, a sponge applicator, and a brush for $45.00. The sponge is to be used for heavier coverage, while the brush is to be used for lighter coverage. However, I always use the brush, and just layer a the foundation until I get the coverage I want. Another bonus to mention at this point... this foundation NEVER cakes.

    You seriously will not regret purchasing this amazios product! It's such a fav of mine, I need it by the truckload. Along with every single other product of hers that I have/haven't tried. Go buy it, beauties!!!

    Will you give this foundation a try? Please say, "Yes!" If you do, let me know how you love it. I'd love to hear about your experience!

    Until next time, stay beautiful!
    Christina Bracco
    xoxoxoxo

    For PR inquiries, questions, comments, suggestions, please email: Christina.f.b@aol.com or please fill out a Contact Form in the sidebar. 

    INSTAGRAM  <---- CLICK AND FOLLOW ME HERE!!

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    Monday, July 13, 2015

    Go-To Product for Highlighting AKA Strobing: Plus How-To!

    Welcome back, beauties!!!

    I'm loving this summer so far. I've been so busy, but I've been enjoying myself so much! So many beautiful experiences! I spent 5 hours at the beach yesterday, basking under the sun with no makeup and my SPF protection getting a natural bronze-y glow!

    I think everyone here knows by now that I am a sucker for a natural glow, and that's why I wanted to share my favorite highlighter that I use for my natural glow from within shine every day!

    Highlighting just might be my favorite makeup technique to date. I don't contour all that often (but when I do, I love a good contour, honey), but I've also reached for my highlighter!

    There's been a "new" makeup technique introduced to the makeup world in the last month or so called, "Strobing." I'm not quite sure why it has this name, because strobing is, essentially, highlighting! 

    So, in honor of this "new" technique, I thought I'd jump in and share one of my favorite products that I've mentioned on my channel several times since purchasing it, and teach you all how to highlight (strobe)!

    Tadaaaaaaaa! 

    The Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand! 
    This Illuminizing wand was released just a few months ago with a few different types of Illuminzers (highlighters)! When I first saw it online, I just HAD to have it. It looked like it gave such a beautiful glow.

    And I was right! 
    Since getting this product, I've worn it almost every makeup day. I liiiiiiiive for this Illuminizer! It's so versatile. You can do so much with it. And the amount of product due to it being a wand? Endless! 

    For $28.00 at Sephora, I think it's so worth it. It's currently sold out at Sephora.com, but you can shop around in your local Sephora, JosieMaran.com, Amazon, QVC, etc. 

    So how do you highlight (or "Strobe") using the Illuminizing wand, or, any other type of highlighter you may have?

    It's simple! 

    When you contour, you're putting a bronzer that's a little lighter than your skin tone in the places on your face that you'd like to shadow and bring inward. You contour your cheekbones, along the sides of your nose, along your jawline, at your hairline... anywhere you get a natural shadow that you would like to give a slimmer effect, and bring inward.

    So, when highlighting or "strobing," you want to highlight any place on your face where the light hits that you'd like to bring forward. 

    What are those spots?

    Your brow bone, your cupids bow, the peaks of your cheekbones, along the bridge of your nose, the center of your forehead, the center of your chin, your collarbones, shoulders, etc.! 

    Here's a handy diagram to make it easier to understand!


    Strobing is essentially making it look like someone is following you around with a bunch of fancy lights, giving you a beautiful shine all day long. 

    I love highlighting. I love looking like a glowy, dewy, shining goddess! 

    It's important to note, highlighting does not make you look greasy... it just makes you look glowy. There's a difference, beauties! 

    The Josie Maran Illuminizing Wand is the best highlighter I have found on the market so far. It gives your skin a beautiful shine and shimmer that the light catches so beautifully, but it doesn't look like too much. It's the perfect amount. 

    I'll post some photos below of me applying the highlighter, as well as photos where you can see how beautifully it sits on the skin.

    Because it's a beautiful wand infused with Argan Oil, it has a light, creamy, hydrating texture. You can swipe it onto the parts you'd like to highlight, and blend it out with your fingers. 

    However, what I like to do is swipe it along the spots I mentioned above, also shown in the diagram, and then blend it out by tapping it with a damp Beauty Blender! (As shown below.)






    Here's some shots to show how amazingly gorgeous it makes your skin look! 


    That gloooooooow!!! I love it. 



    I really love the highlight you get with this wand, and if you're new to highlighting aka strobing, then I think this gorgeous, easy way to highlight is the best way  to start! Even if you're a seasoned highlighter, you will LOVE this Illuminizer, and that's a promise! :)

    That's all for now! Let me know if you plan on purchasing this highlight! I'll be back next week with a product that I've really been loving lately. 

    I love you all, thanks for stopping by! Stay beautiful, 
    Christina Bracco
    Xoxoxo

    For PR inquiries, questions, comments, suggestions, please email: Christina.f.b@aol.com, or please fill out the Contact Form in the sidebar. Thank you.


    Wednesday, July 8, 2015

    Current Every Day Makeup Look for Summer!

    *For HD resolution on mobile, scroll to bottom of post and click "View Web Version", or click image :)* 

    Well hellooooo, beauties!

    I've missed you all, but I have been so incredibly busy lately. I hope you all had an amazing, and safe, Fourth of July celebration (if you live here in the states.)

    Today, I wanted to share with you my every day go-to makeup look that I've been rocking on days when I don't want to wear a full face of makeup, but still want to do a little something- something! 

    I have been reaching for these products every single day for the last two or three weeks on days when I'm wearing makeup, but not a full face, as stated above. I love, love, love these products, and they give me such a beautiful, natural  glow-from-within complexion that stays put on these hot summer days. 

    Let's jump in, shall we?! 

    I always work on my eyes first. I always conceal my eyes with my Ready, Set, Gorgeous concealer from CoverGirl. I do this as a way to even out my eye area, conceal any redness, darkness, veins, etc; in order to have my shadows apply evenly and prime my eyes. After I conceal I always make sure to set my concealer with the bareMinerals Mineral Veil. When I do this, my shadow stays in place ALL day!

    As far as shadows, it varies every day depending on what colors I'm wearing etc. etc., but my go-to is still my every day summer eye look that I told you all how to accomplish using the Coastal Scents Revealed 2 palette. This eye look goes with everything bright and summery, and it is super easy! Check out how to get this look HERE! :)




    After I do my eyeshadow, I will curl my lashes and apply my mascara! I've been loving the Tarte Gifted Mascara lately. It gives your lashes such a wispy, fluffy, beautiful look with crazy good volume! If you're going to be outdoors where you're sweating, then I'd recommend a waterproof mascara like the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! And then we move on to face... 





     I have been L.O.V. I. N.G. this product lately... the bareMinerals Complexion Resuce: Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream. Oh em gee, you guys! I am living for this product. I need it by the case! 
    This is me BEFORE the Complexion Rescue. A little redness, uneven skin tone, discoloration.
    This is the perfect way to get that natural no- makeup look. It's amazing weightless since it's not a foundation. It's basically a moisturizer, with a tint to even out, brighten, and hydrate your skin. When I wear this. It doesn't feel like anything is on my skin at all, yet it still gives me a flawless complexion.
    This is me AFTER applying Complexion Rescue. Brighter, even complexion!

    The coverage is buildable. This is NOT if you're looking for full coverage. This isn't a foundation. It's for sheer to medium coverage. I highly recommend this product if you want some coverage, but hate the feeling of foundation sitting on your face.

    It's perfect for days when you just don't want to be bothered with a full face, or if you want something light that you can't feel. It's perfect for being outdoors for long periods of time, because it doesn't slide all over your face. I don't use a primer when I use this product, and it stays put all day. Perrrrfect for a beach day! Plus, it has SPF 30 so it will protect your precious faces. 

    And, for how amazing this product is, I think it's an amazing price! $28.00 for a 1.18 fl oz tube. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this product. Please buy it, haha!

    Next up, after I apply my Complexion Rescue, I reach for my Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer. This product slays!! I have never found a concealer that I've loved so much. Ugh. Guys and gals. This concealer is so beautiful, so weightless, gives such coverage, and blends so easily. It's amazing!

    I apply it using the wand, in a "V" shape around my eye. I start at the inner corner, take the wand down the side of my nose, and then up at an angle toward the outer corner of my eye. Then, I simply take my damp beauty blender, and use the pointed end to tap out this concealer and it blends FLAWLESSLY. Sweet babies, is it flawless. I can't say enough about it. Well worth the $26.00 at Sephora, in my opinion.



    Then, I always fill in my brows! I may skip this step if I realllllly don't want to be bothered, but 9 times out of 10, I put the brows on, honey! I always use my go-to brow product... The It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil. You can read my post on how to fill in your brows using this product (or any) by clicking HERE!

    Hit it with a quick sweep of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel to set them in place and make sure they don't move!



     I  always want to quickly pop on some color to make my cheeks stand out a bit more and give myself a little more color, I apply my Josie Maran Cosmetics Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil. Squeeze a tiny bit onto the tip of your ring finger and blend between the two ring fingers, and then tap a bit of this on your cheeks, blend it out, and you've got a beautiful, natural color to your cheeks while getting extra hydration. 




    Finally, before I finish, I do a little highlighting using the new strobing technique. I've always been highlighting this way, but now it has a name, haha! I use the new Josie Maran Elightenment Illuminizing Wand that I told you all I recently purchased in a recent haul. I won't share how I apply the illuminzer just yet, my next post will be about strobing ;) 


    And here's the finished product! Dewey, even, lightweight, and fresh!! I love it!





    ________________________________________
    An alternative for this every day look, if you really want to go for a no-makeup look, or if you're don't want to apply anything extra If you're just going to go to the beach, I normally... 

    ALWAYS conceal my eyelids, curl my lashes, and apply mascara. It just makes your eyes look my awake and alive. If you don't want to conceal or apply mascara, at least curl them. This opens up the eye to give a more awake and alert appearance. Then, apply the Complexion rescue, use a quick swipe of the Argan Color Stick (and blend) to give a pinch of color to your skin, and be done! 

    And there you have it! I hope I've convinced you to get some of these products, if you do, please let me know so I can get excited! Share with me your every day looks and be on the lookout for my next post coming this week about strobing with the Josie Maran Illuminizing Wand! 
    Until then, stay beautiful! 
    Christina Bracco 
    Xoxoxoxo

    For PR inquiries, questions, comments, suggestions, please email: Christina.f.b@aol.com or please fill out a Contact Form in the sidebar. Thank you. 

    INSTAGRAM  <---- CLICK AND FOLLOW ME HERE!!

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