Monday, February 21, 2011

Beauty Secretttttttttttts.

Hey girlies. This post is for you. :)

I asked a bit ago if you'd like to hear some of my beauty secrets, and the whole world flipped out and assumed that I had lots. I'm flattered.

But, unfortunately, I don't have a lot of secrets. I only have a few. And I'm about to have none, because in 10 minutes you will have read this and they won't be secrets anymore.

Also, I'm going to preface this by saying I am not a girl who spends an outrageous amount of money on cosmetics, hair product & skin care.

I lived this lifestyle briefly, and it broke both my bank and my heart. Why? I found out pretty quickly that the more I bought, the more time it took me to get ready in the morning. I also found that it sabotaged my definition of beauty, and how comfortable I was in my own skin. So, long story short, I decided it wasn't worth dropping a couple hundred a month in order to sleep less in the mornings and be more discontent with myself.

I also want to challenge you, women, to build your beauty routine around your desired lifestyle.


What on EARTH do I mean by that.

Here's what I mean. I can tell you right now that I look "better" with darker hair, and that for me, this means getting a full color every 8 weeks. This also means I have to use Schwarzkopf Bonacure Repair Rescue Shampoo (but NOT the corresponding conditioner, it's too heavy - have to pair it with Brocato Vibracolor Conditioner) because it is the ONLY shampoo in the entire world that can keep the dye from fading and pulling my natural red out in a strange way. No really, I even tried Moroccan Oil products and that didn't work.

Girls, that's well over a thousand dollars a year on just my hair - in one paragraph. And that doesn't even include at least four different kinds of product to keep stocked when I use heat (flat irons/curling irons) to "protect my hair." If that didn't bite, do some more math. Spend an hour in front of a mirror every morning Monday-Friday, and even if your time is only worth minimum wage, that adds another $1850 to the annual bill. Plus, I would argue that you are worth more than $7 an hour.


I know that I'm a bit unusual, but my lifestyle has GOT to allow me to spend only 10 minutes getting ready, and I can't be lugging a bag of beauty supplies every time I leave town for the weekend or have to get ready in the morning at a rest stop. I also know that I can't be spending that kind of money on something that's a massive inconvenience for me. It doesn't matter if you already have this lifestyle, or if this is the lifestyle you want to be able to live. Someone told me once to dress for the life I want, and I'll get it. Shallow? Maybe, but so damn true.

Knowing all of this, I stopped coloring my hair altogether, and I also decided to adjust to whatever the hell it is that my hair does on it's own every day. And to just leave it alone. I use Aveeno shampoo & conditioner, get out of the shower, half-blow dry my hair and go. That costs me $12 about every 2 or 3 months. Also? Don't wash your hair every day unless you absolutely have to. Everyone's hair is different, I know - but I wear my hair long both because I love it that way, and because I can go 4 or 5 months without getting a cut.

If I'm being perfectly honest, sometimes it sucks. I don't feel put together all the time, some days my hair just flat out drives me absolutely insane. I miss the amazingness that is $40 shampoo. But, then I remember that I can roll out of bed and be showered, dressed, and make-upped in 15 minutes - and that my close friends still think I'm beautiful. It's a difficult mental shift to decide to care only what they think, but it's one well worth it. Also, once you make it a month in, your skin starts breathing again and you find out it's better than you thought it was, and your hair becomes more healthy and helps fight the battle for you!

Alright. Secret time.

Skin:

Exfoliating: I used to use Origin's Modern Friction Dermabrasion. It's $37 for a small tube, and is the best you'll find, but you have to pair it with a ph balancer & lotion to not dry out your skin. Solution? Sea salt & olive oil. You can buy natural sea salt at the grocery store for less than $5, and the same with olive oil. Every couple days, pour some salt in your hand, mix it with olive oil, and scrub your face with it. Rinse, pat dry, and you'll freak out. The olive oil is a natural moisturizer, and you just bought about 6 months worth of skin care for $10.

Toner: Lemons. Lemons are amazing. If your skin is breaking out, or really dry, it's probably because your ph balance is off. Lemons naturally balance out your ph levels. Slice a piece of lemon and rub your face with it. It'll burn like hell the first couple times you do it, but hey, beauty is pain, right? And they're a lot cheaper than tiny bottles of Ph Balancing Toner.

Lotion: You know those bottles you pay like twenty bucks extra for because it has "real avocado oil" or "with all natural sesame seed oil extracts" about 25 ingredients down? Freaking just go by that AMAZING stuff and use it on it's own! Go to your local health food store and get either Avocado Oil or Sesame Seed Oil and use that as your lotion. It's incredible. It's gentle enough to use on your face if you need (you barely need any) and within 3 days of using it, you'll have people asking if you've been out in the sun and trying to figure out why you look so ALIVE. Oh, and it's also dirt cheap.

Face lift: Oh women you are about to adore me for this. Beat the hell out of some egg whites, and put them on your face! Yes! It's amazing for your skin and it's a 10 minute face lift. It strengthens, brightens and tightens your skin. For pretty much free.

Make-up:

Okay, this is where I spend money. I justify it with the previous paragraphs, and with the fact that I don't wear much makeup anyways. Most days it's just mascara & chapstick, but when I do...

Foundation: Foundation kills, please don't suffocate your face. Get MAC Studio Moisture Tint. It's $30 and lasts awhile - it covers/balances/protects/moisturizes without caking. It's great.

Mascara: MAC Opulash. Bad Gal sucks compared to Opulash, believe it or not. And MAC's Haute & Sexy is a nightmare. Just get Opulash.

Eyeliner: If you wear eyeliner a lot, go get MAC's Fluidline. You have to buy their brush for it too because it's potted gel, but holy crap it's incredible. And you can put it on as thick or thin as you want. It's also awesome for facepaint if you ever have ridiculous Halloween costumes like I do. You can spend money on it because it lasts FOREVER. I've been using it for six months & I'm not even halfway out.

Eye shadow: I don't really wear a lot of this, and I'll admit I'm not a pro. I really like MAC's four-palettes. I haven't had much luck with any department store brands because they don't last me throughout the day, or they smear. Suggestions? Let's hear 'em.

Blush/Bronzer: Easiest makeup category. I like Victoria's Secrets, but I've been using MAC's Powder Blush for awhile now and love it. Surprise, surprise.

Concealer: Okay if you listen to nothing else, just please go do this for me. If you ever use concealer, go buy MAC's Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer. It's $16 and has also lasted me a year, and I'm not out yet. You can skip out on dropping the $$ on the mascara & eyeliner, but not this.



Note: Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual sale ROCKS for makeup. I pick up most of my lip gloss, fun eyeliner (like white sparkly stuff!), eye shadows, etc here. I can get all of those items for $2-5 dollars, so I don't feel bad experimenting.

Make-up Application Note: BIG SECRET. Color is color, you guys! Don't limit your application of a product to it's intended use. If your bronzer is too pink that day, mix it with your gold eye shadow and brush it on your cheeks. If you want softer eyeliner, mix it with your foundation on your hand, and apply THAT. Want some intense eyeshadow but don't want to buy it? Use your lipstick color and mix it with some foundation and anything else you've got. If you're gonna paint your face, have fun, and see everything as paint and your face as canvas.

Disclaimer: This is just based on experience, and my own personal research. Feel free to disagree with me. And pleeeeeeease do not take offense if you are able to spend some extra time in front of the mirror to get hot and gorgeous, or if you spoil yourself with great haircuts and colors. Trust me, I know how amazing it is - and you deserve it. I have periods of my life where I fall back into this, and it's 100% fine. I'm a firm believer in spoiling yourself when it's needed, and if this is your way of doing it, be sexy and be blessed. These are just thoughts/suggestions based on where I am in my life!

 

23 comments:

Just me said...

Your last paragraph is so so so true!!! I wrote a couple of posts about beauty and they completely contradicted each other, but you have perfectly summed up my feelings on the subject in just a few sentences.

Question about applying olive oil to your face:
I had really awful acne for years and took a course of Accutane, which has almost entirely cleared me up but left me with really sensitive skin and very wary of what I put on my face. I'd already heard that olive oil was good for healing scars, and if so, I'm all for it. But is it okay to add oil to your face? My problem before is that my face was too oily, and since clearing up my skin, I'm afraid to put oil on it in case it restarts the problem. No worries if you don't know, I guess I should probably be asking a dermatologist! But since you mentioned it.. :)

Also,
"But, then I remember that I can roll out of bed and be showered, dressed, and make-upped in 15 minutes - and that my close friends still think I'm beautiful. It's a difficult mental shift to decide to care only what they think..."
I think you're beautiful too. It's not only people close to you who can see your beauty, Lauren! You radiate it! (I spent too long wondering if 'radiate beauty' is something you can say, and now the word 'radiate' doesn't make any sense at all in my head, so I'm sorry if that doesn't make any sense at all. Hope you know what I mean!!!)

laurennicolelove.com said...

@Just Me: Thanks, love. You are so sweet:) Great question about the olive oil. I have crazy sensitive skin, and it will break out over anything. I'm not an expert on different kinds of oils, but I know from my personal experience that olive oil won't make me break out. And pretty much everything else does. It might be the salt that prevents breakouts, or just that olive oil is healthy. Your face will produce oil on it's own as protection, and a lot of acne happens when your skin isn't clean & oil/dirt get mixed. Try it once or twice and just see what happens. And if you do break out, fix it with the lemons. :)

wallflower said...

Hey, thanks for these tips. I'm going to try some of those skin tips. My skin isn't terrible, but I've been stressing a lot and I haven't had nicely clear skin in weeeeeks.

I'll let you know how it works out for me. :)

I like your money saving tips, although I already don't spend almost anything on hair & make-up. :) So I'm proud of myself! (I used to spend lots haha..)

Cheers,
Keep it up girl!

Dori.

Just me said...

Thanks for your response :) I think I'll wait a couple more months as I'm still fairly recently off the medication, but I'm definitely up for giving it a go, especially if it helps with the scarring. Guess this means I'll need to buy salt. Is sea salt the same salt that's used for normal cooking? I have no idea about these things! :D

kelly summers said...

yay i love posts like this!
all the first skin tips are crazy! in a good way. definitely something i want to try.

i wear a lot of brightly colored eyeshadow between singing on stage at church and working in a mall, surrounded by dozens of girls who will wear just about anything. my favorite is urban decay. i have a pallet by them that's super bright, and their deluxe shadows are great. and their primer is ridiculous. it'll make my shadow last all day at work or church.

love you :)

Molly said...

LOVE your tips and tricks! I am so trying the skin treatments. My face is dryyyy this winter.

annakay said...

love all of these.

hit the spot, as always
xo

Rachel McPhillips said...

I am really wishin' I had some egg whites right now. Love the tips!!

Trish said...

Love the tips. I seriously made a list of what I want to go get. I have been using Bare Minerals for a few years now and it's great (covers up bad breakouts that I'm constantly dealing with) but I want to find something that lasts longer, BM is EXPENSIVE to buy often. I think my skin needs to just breathe and be makeup free for awhile - or at least keep it to a minimum and with natural makeup. Thanks for the tips, doll!

Just me said...

I agree with Trish - Bare Minerals are easily the best makeup I've ever come across, but so expensive for the amount of time it lasts. If you can afford it, it's worth it. I think it's about £16 (not sure in the US) for a small pot of foundation, which lasts maybe a few months at most.

Tiffany said...

I just recently started reading your blog and I am absolutely in love with it.
Your posts are amazing, which makes me believe that, even though I don't know you personally, you are amazing.

This one was fantastic. Partially because you are a MAC girl, like me. I sometimes think that I should just break down and put a category in my budget under "groceries" for "MAC". Just a quick suggestion for the eyeshadow. I had never had a single clue what to do with eyeshadow (grew up a child of the 80's where I thought the ideal was blue...eyelash to eyebrow... subtlety was not part of the program) so I went to the MAC counter and asked for their help. They sat me down and roughly 20 minutes later I was spending my whole check. ;) But, seriously, they gave me new ideas, and showed me the most bang for buck options - but, even with the primer I sort of felt like I got this lovely little crease in my pretty eye shadow 1/2 way through the day, until I discovered a little miracle product called MAC Prep + Prime finishing powder. It is white, you put it on over the top of your finished face, it goes on clear and light (I too think that their moisture tint is absolute perfection and can't imagine caking on think foundation ever again) and I stopped noticing any weird creasing or smearing.

It might not work perfect for everyone - but that has been my experience. AND it is $24 and you use the tiniest little bit, so, like most of their products it will last at least 100 years.

Thank you for the other secrets. I can not wait to go home and try them. I have super dry skin so the idea of putting oil on it sounds absolutely divine.

Krista said...

Amazing tips here... I LOVED the way you broke your time into money being spent. Love the free/cheap tips to enhance your beauty and I felt this is a powerful read. Thanks for your advice I will surely give somethings a whirl!

whollyafool said...

I normally would totally skip over a post like this, but I feel like your way of presenting it is quite a lot less superficial than normal. So thank you! And I will save this, for future reference, because I'm completely inexperienced with this stuff.

I will add just because I noticed someone commenting about olive oil, that I have had pretty bad acne for awhile now and have been using Vitamin E oil for scars and for when my face wash dries out my face. I think it is helping the scarring and hasn't seemed to make me break out - if anything, I get less acne when I'm using it! Just a thought :)

Gillion said...

My mum has good skin. So I just briefly took one of her SKII to use, which I assume is a moisturizer. It's good man I tell you! She gave me a small bottle of eye cream before but the effects weren't that great and I stopped using. But my mum's eye cream is good! I can feel it reacting once I applied it

Peace, Love, and Critical Thinking said...

I love your skincare tips- not only cheap and effective, but eco-friendly and you're not putting chemicals and crap all over your body's largest organ. win-win! Now, if only hair dye grew on trees....

intomilkyway said...

To think we laugh at the Egyptians of Khufu's day for doing the same thing: To appear acceptable in public, ladies slather multiple layers of expensive pigment onto their faces. This, of course, is the signal of requisite prosperity. Men not bearing diamond rings to enfinger need not apply.

Chantelle said...

I love love looooove your skin care tips. I don't know if I'll ever go completely non-product based, but considering I'm cutting out most of my products...then I'm on my way there!

kelseyhoule said...

i'm totally trying some of the skin tips... especially want to do the lemons! my skin is dry, i do use a toner that is part of a moisturizing line but i still feel like it dries a little (probably just because of the chemicals...?)

anyway, do you have any technical tips on how to keep the lemons?? for example, if I slice one in half, can i use it multiple times (is that weird)? and can i keep them sliced at room temp, or should they go in the fridge?

also.. really getting creative here, haha... have you ever tried squeezing a bunch and keeping the juice in a eye-dropper type container, and using with a cotton ball to apply to the skin? trying to think of convenience, ha! sorry for so many questions, hope to hear back from you!

Bethy said...

For the eyeshadow try putting on a primer underneath. I just bought some for Katie (Urban Decay's primer is AMAZING) and I give you permission to steal hers and try it :-)

wittyuniquename said...

Thank You I am going to try some of these things out for sure, as I am taking a much simpler approach these days as well. If you are still looking for some eye shadow advice (I am kind of a pro) Urban Decay makes an eye shadow primer called Primer Potion its pricey but lasts forever, especially if you don't wear eye make up daily. I love Urban Decay eyeshadows as well, but the primer can be used with any eyeshadow. It makes your colors a bit richer, and they last all day long, even in TX heat! L' Oreal HiP colors (eyeshadows) are really good, what I call, over the counter eyeshadows, and Bed Head makes some good ones too. My only other "secret" is using scotch tape going from corner of eye to outside of eyebrow to make a very defined line if you want a pin up like cat eye look, it works amazing! Ok that's all I got!

wittyuniquename said...

ha ha I just noticed some one told you about Urban Decay primer in MARCH! Oh well, Thanks again lady!

Sal said...

I use mostly Mary Kay products because my aunt is a SA and I get get nice discounts, and sometimes free stuff ;) I like their conditioner, and I've been using MK foundation, but maybe I should switch to the Tinted Moisturizer instead.

Liz Monroe said...

Lauren I am seriously in love with your blog. And now that I know you are as obsessed with MAC as I am makes me pretty sure that we would be best friends. I have also currently been using olive oil as my cleanser and love it. I have been looking for a good natural moisturizer so I will for sure check out those oils. I'm leaving for the World Race so my beauty regime has been going into a major overhaul. Thanks for the post.

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