Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer Mini Sephora Haul!

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Sidenote: I'm getting a little frustrated with this site, because every time I upload my high res. photos, they become fuzzy. I'm at a loss on how to fix this problem. If anyone has any ideas, please email me at Christina.f.b@aol.com or please fill out a contact form in the sidebar. Thank you!

Well helloooooo, beauties!! It's been way too long since my last post. I wanted to wait until I received/purchased a few products before I wrote a post. I'm so sorry. I really missed writing for you all. But now I'm back, and I have a mini Sephora haul with some purchases I have been dying to try for the summer time! 

Summer is for golden tans and light makeup, so I've had my eye on a few of these products, plus some freebies that I was lucky enough to snatch up! Let's jump right in, shall we?


First up, I was very excited when I noticed that the FAB (First Aid Beauty) Facial Radiance Serum was on sale! Seriously, beauties, make sure you always shop the sale tab when shopping on Sephora.com. You can get some pretty good deals every once in a while. 
Its regular price is $44.00, but it was on sale for $22.00. That's a sweet deal! I hope it doesn't mean they're discontinuing it, though. 

First Aid Beauty is a great brand, in my opinion. I've tried a couple of their products (and hope to try more), and really enjoyed them. I have some darkness/redness/hyper-pigmentation on my face, so I have been looking into getting a product to boost and brighten my complexion. 

It's a very nice, white serum. It absorbs into the face rather quickly, and you don't need to use a lot. I feel like I've seen a clearer/more even complexion since using it. For a sale of $22.00 dollars, I would give it a try! The site says there's only a few left, so hurry!



Next up, I purchased a travel-size, mini Tarte Cosmetics BB Tinted Treatment 12 Hour Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30! When I purchased this, I didn't realize it was actually just a primer and not a regular BB Cream, but I am still looking forward to giving it a try since it has coverage! I've been very into lightweight BB Creams and tinted moisturizers lately, so I've been trying out a few. It's $14.00 ( a little pricey for its 0.05oz tube) but it appears to have good coverage. I've only swatched it on my hand, but I like it so far. Since it's a primer, I may decide to wear it under a powder foundation, but more than likely, I will just wear it on its own when I don't want to put much on my face in this heat!

I also purchased the Josie Maran Argan Tinted Moisturizer, but it hasn't arrived yet, and I really needed to get this post up. I've been dying to try it, and I look forward to getting it in my Argan-loving hands! I'll let you know how I love it ;)


I purchased the BeautyBlender Solid Blender Cleanser! I dare you to try and say that 5 times fast, haha! I usually wash my brushes with soap, but I've seen some people wash their brushes with this product. I also just recently purchased my first BeautyBlender, and I don't think that my usual method of washing would safely clean my BB without damaging it. This makeup sponge and brush cleaner is highly praised by beauty bloggers and vloggers alike, so I figured I'd invest the $15.95 and give it a try! I actually intend on washing my brushes tomorrow, so I'll let you all know how it goes on Twitter!


I am SO excited about this next product! The Josie Maran Argan Liquid Gold Self-Tanning Oil! I saw this product being presented on QVC when it was first released to the world, but I didn't purchase it because self-tanners and I have a bad history. As I mentioned last month in my post about the importance of Sunscreen and how to heal a sunburn, I got a weird burn/tan that left me with some wonky tan lines. I really wanted to even myself out, as well as speeding up the summer glow process, so I wanted to turn to this product because I trust Josie Maran and her products.

WELL, I went onto QVC.com... sold out. Sephora.com... sold out. Amazon.com... sold out. JosieMaranCosmetics.com... sold out. WHAT!?

That's when I knew for SURE that I had to get my hands on this product. I took a chance and went into my local Sephora with fingers crossed because I had seen this product in there when it was first released. To my surprise, they actually did have a few bottles left! I snatched this up so fast. I was so happy. I showered, exfoliated, and applied it once I got home. I. Am. In. LOVE. First of all, the mitt that comes with it is amazing. It's impossible to get any blotches/streaks with that mitt. Just shake the bottle very well, and then put a few drops into the mitt, and apply it in sections at a time, in circular motions. I immediately saw such a difference. Air dry! I woke up this morning with a GORGEOUS natural-looking golden tan. I can't believe how well this product worked for me! Well, it's Josie Maran, so I can believe it, but I am BEYOND happy. Go. Buy. This. (But only in your local Sephora, since it's sold out online everywhere, haha!) This has easily become a holy grail, ride or die product for me. I need 1,000 bottles delivered to me ASAP. It was $36.00 in my Sephora, WELL worth the money.

Finally, I wanted to let you guys know about some freebies that I really loved! I was saving up my points for this specific reward...


I rarely get the 500-point rewards because they're usually not really worth it to me. However, having never tried Laura Mercier before, this looked like a sweet deal!

This reward comes with:

And they're some decent-sized samples! I'm very excited to try it. The Lip Glacé shade is gorgeous- a perfect summer shade! The bronzer is beautiful and perfect for a natural-contoured look! I'm not sure if it's still available, but if it is, jump on it!


Finally, I cashed in on one of the many freebies they always have going on on Sephora.com, and got this Giorgio Armani trio! I received an email about this freebie, and it really caught my eye. It comes with a gorgeous true-red lipgloss sample, a sample of their mascara, and a sample of their face primer. They are very generous sample sizes compared to the usual ones. The samples will last you a while. I'm not sure if it's still available, but you can try! Just type in VIBTRIO (if you're a VIB or above) and it will go into your cart if it's not sold out!

I also got the usual 3 free samples, but there weren't very good choices, so I just got my man some cologne samples, haha!

But there you have it!

Oh... 

But wait...

Something very exciting happened when I purchased my Josie Maran self tanner yesterday...


YES, ladies and gentleman, I am officially a VIB ROUGE member! I am beyond excited. (But also omg because I have spent so much freaking money). Now that I am a Rouge member, can I put that on my resume??? Can I get a job with a cosmetics/skincare company now, like I've been dying to? Does this make me even more qualified? I hope so. Call me ;)

I hope I've inspired you to go try out some of these products for yourself! Let me know if you do, I'd love to hear how you like them!

Until then, stay beautiful! 
Christina Bracco
xoxoxoxo

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June Favorites: Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Eyeshadows!

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Hi, beauties!!

I'm back with a new feature on my blog! "Favorites" will now be once a month, featuring a product that has been my absolute favorite for that month! What better way to kick off this new feature than with the amazing Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Eyeshadows!


It's no secret that I am a huge fan of the entire Josie Maran Cosmetics line.  I wish I could own every single product she makes. The very first piece I wrote for this blog was dedicated to her 100% pure Argan Oil. (You can read that post HERE ), and I have featured various products from her line 
on my blog countless times. Josie Maran Cosmetics is one half of my top two favorite cosmetics/skincare lines, and that's why I felt I should kick off my new feature with her! 

I first saw these unique eyeshadows being featured on one of the Josie Maran Cosmetics shows on QVC. I loved the simplicity of these shadows, and the benefits that came along with them!

Eyeshadows can contain some wonky ingredients. Cosmetics/skincare in general can contain some wonky ingredients. We have to be careful what we put on our skin, especially such a sensitive/vulnerable area like our eyes. This is why I love Josie Maran Cosmetics so much. The slogan is "Luxury with a Conscience." We can look beautiful while still using all natural/organic ingredients. All of the ingredients in these eyeshadows, and all of her products for that matter, are all-natural and organic. 

The two main ingredients, obviously being Argan Oil and Coconut Water, are extremely beneficial to the skin. You can read an in-depth post about ALL of the benefits of Argan Oil in the post I shared a link to in the first paragraph, but essentially, the Argan Oil will moisturize and nourish your lids while the 50% of coconut water will hydrate your lids- leaving your eyes looking awake, juicy, and bright!

The eyeshadows are so refreshing! Due to their being liquid, they leave a slight cooling affect when you first swipe the doe-foot applicator over your lid, and you feel instant hydration! There are two layers to these liquid eyeshadows that you can see through the bottle itself. The first layer delivers refreshing coconut water, while the second delivers the Argan-infused pigments that diminish fine lines. You can see the two layers here:



I LOVE how pigmented these shadows are! They're so fun to play with because they're so versatile. The doe-foot applicator, and blend-ability of the shadows provide so many options! You can use one shadow on its own, mix two on your lid, mix three on your lid, swipe one above your lash line as a liner, and so on! Play with these shadows and mix it up! Just swipe the shadow on your lid wherever you wish, and blend it out with your fingertip. You have about 30 seconds of playtime before the shadow begins to dry, but that's plenty of time!

I wanted to show you all the shadows in different lighting so you can see how beautifully pigmented and bright they are! I paired the shadows with the new Josie Maran Argan Illuminizing Wand because I like to pop that under my brow as a highlighter when using these shadows. You can read more about my feelings on the Illuminizing wand HERE ! 

From left to right: Rio De Rose Gold/ Polynesian Purple/ Bora Bora Bronze/ Illuminizing Wand




As you can see, no matter what the lighting situation is, all of these shadows POP! 

There are a handful of gorgeous colors! I currently own three, and hope to get more as time goes on. They're $18.00 a piece, which is a great deal. You only need one quick swipe each use, so these shadows last you a long while! You can only find great deals such as duos and kits that will get you these shadows along with other Josie Maran products on QVC.com, so shop around there and try out these shadows with a great deal!

I hope I've convinced you to purchase some of the Josie Maran Coconut Water Eyeshadows! They're perfect for the Summer months when we want a pop of color on our eyes, but we don't necessarily want to go through with creating an entire eye look, or if you decided to sleep in late one morning and you need to get out the door in a flash. Pair these shadows with the Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara (another fav of mine) and run out the door! 

I'll be back with a post on Friday! I have an order from Sephora.com that is expected to arrive that day with new goodies! :)

Until then, stay beautiful! 
Christina Bracco

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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Friday, June 12, 2015

Beat The Heat! How To Keep Your Makeup From Melting in The Summer!

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Happy Friday, beauties!!!

It's been a while since my last post. I'm so sorry I've been slacking, but I will make up for it this upcoming week with a few different reviews of skincare and makeup products. Be on the lookout next week via my Instagram, Twitter, or the blog itself for my new posts! :)

Now that summer is almost here (9 days away, YAY) the weather has been getting hotter and hotter, and more recently, more and more humid. Humid weather is just a pain in the bum for so many reasons. It makes my hair frizz, and it makes my makeup melt. Even the most high end products are victims of hot/humid weather... unless you take the proper precautions! That's why today's post is all about some of my tips for keeping your makeup from melting, creasing, smudging, and running, in these hot, sweaty summer months!

My number one tip for surviving the summer months: Keep it natural. Try to rock your natural beauty as much as possible in the summertime. Let your natural beauty shine through. You can do this while still looking beautiful, and making sure your precious skin is protected! If you're going to be outside in the sun, you want to make sure to apply SPF to your face. I hate applying regular sunscreen to my face. It's greasy, oily, white, gross... yuck! I don't mind it on the rest of my body, but I want something a little more gentle for my face, while still receiving all the safety benefits and coverage.


  • My go-to product: Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47. This is essentially a hydrating, fast-absorbing, non-greasy, Argan Oil-infused, all natural moisturizer and sunscreen in one! You can skip your usual moisturizer (my daily moisturizer is Argan Oil anyway, so I'm not so far off) and apply this amazing product instead. It absorbs right into the skin, giving you a hydrated/dewy glow, and it has SPF 47. Does it get any better? It doesn't smell, it's all natural, it's not greasy, it goes on in a breeze, it has the all-natural skincare benefits of Argan Oil and Green Tea, and it protects you. What more do I have to say? It's perfect for all skin types, including sensitive skin, and it doesn't leave any irritation like a regular sunscreen would.  Texture-smoothing, skin-nourishing, radiance-boosting GOODNESS IN A BOTTLE.


 Less is more. The more layers of makeup you apply, the more at risk you are for your makeup to start melting throughout the day. If you really must apply some sort of coverage to your face, whether it be to even out your skin tone, or camouflage blemishes, I would suggest using a tinted moisturizer or a BB Cream. If you're going to be out in the sun, coverage with an SPF is a must.


  • My go-to product: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream with SPF 30. I LOVE this product!!! You can skip your moisturizer for the day (less chance of melting), as well as getting sheer coverage. It evens out your skin tone, without feeling like you have any product on your skin. This product simply makes you look naturally beautiful. The Complexion Rescue is perfect for all skin types! 


If you insist on wearing a foundation, it's so important that you PRIME. 

I cannot stress the importance of priming your skin before foundation, ESPECIALLY in the summer months. If you don't use a primer on your skin, I can almost guarantee you will be creasing, smudging, and melting within the first hour of being outside. I recommend staying away from liquid foundations if you're going to be outside. They're liquid foundations. They can melt off in an instance. Stick with a powder foundation. Regardless, primer is a necessity. But, make sure you're using the right primer. You want a primer that's bulletproof, mattifying, long-lasting, smoothing, translucent, and not greasy. 

  • My go-to products: Benefit Cosmetics Porefessional or Mally Beauty Perfect Prep Poreless Primer. I've talked about my love for the Mally Beauty Perfect Prep Poreless Primer on my page before. It's a go-to, must-have primer for me. I use it daily. It's everything I said a primer should be above. The Benefit Porefessional is another favorite of mine. It keeps you matte and bulletproof throughout the day. Sometimes, if I want double-duty priming, I'll use both of these primers at once! Put that foundation on lockdown.
 




Wear a waterproof mascara! 

If you're out in the summer heat, you sweat. It's natural, ladies and gents. This can cause your mascara to smudge underneath your eyes. We don't want to get the I-Just-Got-Punched-In-The-Face look or raccoon eyes, so it's important to make your lashes bulletproof against sweat! 

My go-to product: Tarte Cosmetics Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara. This mascara is amazing! It's totally bulletproof thanks to its waterproof properties, so it won't smudge around your eye area. Along with it being waterproof, it's also volumizing, lengthening, curling, and conditioning. It doesn't clump ( a pet peeve of mine) and I've never experienced any fall out. Definitely my top pick for the summer months, and all year round, really! 


Set your eyes! If you want to wear eyeshadows and/or eyeliners while in the summer heat, it's important to mattify your eyelids so they don't crease, sweat, and smudge throughout the day! Our eyelids are one of the most oily parts of the face, therefore, we have to set them properly so our beautiful eyeshadows don't start melting off. I'm not a total fan of eye primers, I use them every once in a blue moon. I feel as though most of them are a little too greasy and don't totally set the eyelids properly. That's why I have my own method of priming and setting my eyes. 

  • My go-to Product: bareMinerals Mineral Veil. Normally, I take a concealer, and I use that to prep my eyes. As you all know from my On-The-Go Makeup bag post, I use the CoverGirl Ready Set Gorgeous Concealer on most days. I use this to even out my eyelids, brighten them, hide any redness/veins, and lay down a base for my shadow. After concealing my lids, I take a brush and I tap on a little Mineral Veil over them, and my eyelids are set for the rest of the day. I put on my shadows, do my thing, and my eyeshadow (no matter what the brand) does NOT MOVE. Totally matte, totally bulletproof. I do this every single day. 



Set Your Makeup! If you don't want to keep it natural,  you want more coverage than just a tinted moisturizer or a BB Cream, and you're looking to do a full face of makeup- blush, contour, and all... then just like priming, it's incredibly important to set your makeup. Setting your makeup will help your foundation to settle into your skin and lay properly, as well as keeping it all from moving and melting off. I usually go for a dewy finish, but for the sake of today's post, we'll talk about keeping it matte for all the girls who don't want any extra shine in the summer months. 

  • My go-to product: Nyx Cosmetics Matte Finishing Spray. This long-lasting, durable setting spray will keep your makeup in place, and keep you from getting extra shine throughout the day. For those of you (like myself) who enjoy the dewy look more, than I'd go with the Nyx Dewy Finishing Spray. It does the same as the matte, except it doesn't make you look matte, lol!

There you have it, peeps! These are a few of my makeup tips for surviving the summer heat and still looking fierce and beautiful! Try to rock your natural beauty throughout the summer months, but if you still feel like being a glam diva, you can do it without worrying about looking like a greased chicken! 

I love you all, and I will be back next week with some more fun posts!

Stay beautiful,
Christina Bracco
xoxoxoxo

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Monday, June 1, 2015

Tips To Heal A Bad Sunburn Quickly! No Pain, No Peeling!

Bonjour, beauties!!

I hope you're all doing well! I know this post is a few days late, but I've been so busy since my Graduation on Thursday. Please forgive me!

As I shared in my last post, I went to the beach last week, I walked away with a bit of sunburn... and it wasn't pretty. I quickly went to the internet to find some extra tips on how to heal the sunburn as quickly, and as painlessly as possible, while also turning it into a nice tan, and what I discovered was pretty whacky! Even though it was whacky, it worked! So, for this post, I wanted to take what I know about treating a sunburn, and the whacky tip that I learned about healing sunburn, and share it with all of you!

It's very important to state that I in NO WAY support getting a sunburn to turn it into a tan. The UV rays of the sun are INCREDIBLY harmful, and the damage just 15 minutes in the sun can do to your skin is intense. Rapid aging, wrinkles, sun spots, sun poisoning, skin cancer, etc. 
It is incredibly, incredibly important to wear SPF when you're going to be out in the sun, and cover up appropriately  Even if it is cloudy, and you don't believe the sun is strong, it is, and you can still walk away with damage if you are not taking the proper precautions. 

I spent about 5 hours at the beach last Tuesday. It was my first beach day of the season. I wore SPF 50 on my face, and my body, but the sun was just too strong for my fair/porcelain skin that day, and I got sunburn pretty much all over my body. Things happen, and I will try to be much more careful during my next beach trip. 

So, how did I treat this sunburn? Here's what I do when I come back from the beach looking like a roasted tomato:

  • Once you get home from the beach, take a shower. It's important to take the right type of shower. When your skin is sunburned, there is heat trapped under your skin. That's why your skin feels so hot to the touch. Therefore, we don't want to shock the skin with any more heat. It's best to take a lukewarm shower when you have sunburn. A warm/hot shower will burn your already burnt skin some more, and a cold shower will close your pores and trap the heat inside. A lukewarm shower is the perfect balance. 
  • Aloe Vera. Apply the soothing gel to your burned area for instant cooling relief. For the first day and night, keep this on hand to help ease your pain
  • Ibuprofen. When you have sunburn, your skin is inflamed. For the first 48 hours, take an Ibuprofen as directed. This will help to decrease inflammation, as well as relieving pain associated with the burn. It's a major lifesaver for me! Do NOT take more than directed on the bottle of the Ibuprofen you own. 
  • Sleep with a fan. As mentioned above, your skin has heat trapped inside. If you sleep without a fan, especially in the summer, your body heat rises. We don't need any more extra heat going on! Sleeping with a fan blowing on you will help to keep your body cooler. 
  • Moisturize and hydrate! Sunburn dries you out from the inside out. Keep applying fragrance free lotion to your skin, (like Eucerin), and drink lots and lots of water!
  • Loose clothing! You want your skin to be able to breathe. It's irritated enough due to the burn, don't irritate it anymore by having tight clothing rubbing and chaffing against it. Wear loose clothing as often as you can to give your skin some space!
Now let's move on to the whacky tip...

Apple Cider Vinegar. 

Why yes, reader... you are reading that right. I am indeed telling you to rub Apple Cider Vinegar all over your body. 

I read several articles advising the usage of Apple Cider Vinegar on sunburned skin. I had so many questions, "Won't it burn? Will I smell terribly? Will this actually WORK?"- but what do I have to lose? I had Apple Cider Vinegar sitting in a kitchen cabinet, so I grabbed it!

I advise you to start on the morning of the day after you get your sunburn. Your skin has had a day to take in the Aloe, and now you bring in the vinegar.

I also advise you to apply it in the shower, for it can get a bit messy. Undress, and pour out handfuls into your hand and rub it into your skin. I actually found a spare spray bottle in my linen closet, so I filled it with the Apple Cider Vinegar, sprayed it onto my sunburn and then rubbed it in.

There's no burning, no itchiness, no irritation. It's actually quite soothing. As far as the smell goes... yes, you will smell. However, the Apple Cider Vinegar absorbs into the skin rather quickly, and the scent evaporates. 

I reapplied every hour. I don't know how little or how often you should apply, but I found this best for me. Especially since it is soothing to the skin. I advise to at least apply in the morning and at night. 

I did this, along with wearing loose clothing, hydrating, Ibuprofen, lukewarm showers, and sleeping with a fan, and in just 2 days, my sunburn was completely gone and turned into a tan. No pain, no blisters, no itchiness, no peeling. It was amazing! 

I read that you can use any type of vinegar, but that Apple Cider Vinegar works best! That is the only one that I used, so that is all I can vouch for. It worked wonders for me! I really suggest it! And it's just really fun to watch people's reactions when you tell them how you've been treating your sunburn, haha. 

What are your tips for treating a sunburn? What's the whackiest thing you've done? Share with me!

Remember, WEAR SPF IN THE SUN!!! Protect yourself. It's important. And if, for whatever reason,   you get a burn, use these tips to your advantage!

I'll have a new post later this week! Stay safe, put on that SPF. 

Much love, stay beautiful,
Christina Bracco
xoxoxoxo

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