Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Peanut Butter Balls!

My kids are ALWAYS starving when they come home from school. It's hard to find the right snack that will stick to their ribs without making them too full for dinner or, filling their bellies with junk food.  These simple high protein treats have been just the perfect kid/mom pleaser. Even the kiddos can help!

Peanut Butter Balls
1/2 cup (7 Tbsp.) peanut butter (lightly spray your measuring cup with Pam for easy release)
1/2 cup honey (we do local raw honey to help with allergies!)
2 Tbsp powdered milk
1 cup toasted wheat germ - high in folic acid and vitamin a

I have heard some people say they like to roll their balls in different things like raisins, chocolate chips, coconut, crushed peanuts, cocoa powder, etc.  We like ours plain, but feel free to spice yours up!

Mix well.  I suggest using your hands at the end.  This is a good time to get your kiddos to help because everyone knows kids love messes. 

Then, take tablespoon sized scoops and roll into balls.  I like to use a cookie dough scoop so they will be even in size - just spray with Pam before scooping.  My kids like to roll out a couple snakes.  I don't care what you do...just have fun!  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  They will firm up and be tasty little energy bites that you can take to go or just eat while you run around outside and play!  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Game Changer

I've been a licensed skin care therapist/makeup artist since 2003 and I can't even begin to tell you how many products I have tried.  I wear a full face of makeup fairly regularly and am always looking for the least amount of steps that lead to the best results.  This leads me to the cleanser that I received in my Ipsy bag this month that has completely replaced my former cleanser.  This is huge.  Trust me.

Pur~lisse pur~delicate Gentle Soy Milk Cleanser and Makeup Remover  They tried to think of a long name for the cleanser, but they just decided to go with this.  I'm kidding.  It's 9 words! 
But seriously -  This. Stuff.  So good!  Despite the fact that it's a creamy consistency, it works for all skin types, including true sensitive skin.  In fact, it's even great for oily skin because cleansers with sulfates can strip your skin making your skin produce more oil as a defense mechanism.  Cruel irony.  I know and I'm sorry. 

This is a soap free gentle cleanser that will completely remove your makeup.  I have put it to the test with long wearing liquid eye liners and waterproof mascara.  Wash hands, then apply a nickel sized amount onto your face with your wet hands, gently massage across your face and even onto your eyes!  Rinse with a soft cloth (I like to use baby wash cloths), repeat.  Skin rinses clean with no residue and no trace of makeup.  Soft, clean and healthy skin. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Beauty Trends for 2015

2015 has brought gorgeous wearable beauty trends for every woman. This season is showing classic red and nude lips, glowing skin, plum shadows, and lashes lashes lashes.  Stiff, perfectly coiffed hair is no longer representing the on trend girl of this year.  Messy, coming-undone styles are the way to go!  And let's not forget those finger tips!  Negative space manicure's are always gorgeous and classy with a touch of edge that is still "office appropriate". 

Pairing a plum eye with a nude lip is a gorgeous way to show off those peepers.  If you feel your best asset is your pout, slick on a highly pigmented red.  Matte and semi-matte reds are not only beautiful on, but when you pick one with little to no shine, you don't have to worry about it moving around and going where it isn't supposed to. And talk about a POWER color!  As someone wise once said "Put on some red lipstick and live a little!". 

I hate even calling this a "trend" because glowing healthy skin isn't a phase.  It's imperative to looking your best and feeling your best all the time, at any age.  This starts with a customized at-home skincare routine and regular visits with your facialist.  When your skin is healthy, makeup accentuates that.  However, if you're feeling a little less than fabulous, but want to be radiant right now, try swiping on a powder luminizer on the top of your cheek bones and in the inner corners of your eyes.  Or, mix an illuminator from Nars into your foundation for more coverage or into your moisturizer for a more natural glow all over.

Letting your hair do it's natural thing is the way to go this spring.  The less you do to your hair, i.e. straightening, curling, blow drying, the better.  You can still tease your hair...a little.  Don't get crazy but, we're going for texture, and a touch of volume so go on then.  Tease.  Ok, that's enough.  If you're not a teaser - and some of us are not, thank you VERY much, I recommend a dry shampoo/volumizer/texturizer/surfspray or a combo of these to achieve the volume and texture you need to get the look you're going for.  Braids are very much still in, but this season we're keeping them really loose and sexy.  For us, "high maintenance" gals, this can sound a little daunting letting it go.  Just try it for a day.  You'll have that much more time for perfecting your manicure!

Let's discuss that manicure... I'm sorry but - it's time to leave those dated french mani/pedi's behind.  If you wore it on your wedding day/prom...it's time to ditch it.  Gone, but never forgotten. :) Here are some perfectly respectable replacements until the french mani makes it's comeback.  Classic nude tones are making a comeback in a big way.  Cult faves, Essie Mademoiselle and OPI Bubble Bath even made cameos on the runways this spring.  Negative space manicures are so fresh and shouldn't be only reserved for the 25 and under crowd.  Try a swipe of a metallic silver or gold for this summer.  Gorgeous!

Here are some products The Makeup Bar recommends to be the beauty expert in your crowd!

For that perfect pout:


Glowing skin:
B. Kamins BB cream
Nars Illuminators in Laguna, Orgasm, and Copacabana
Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Candlelight
The Balm Mary, Betty, and Cindy Loumanizer

For perfectly tousled hair:
Bumble and Bumble City Swept, Surfspray, Infusion
Moroccan oil Dry Shampoo

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Sometimes your skin just doesn't look its best.  Lack of sleep, too much caffeine - not enough water, sleeping in your makeup (nooooo!), busy with life, stress stress stress.  There are lots of reasons why we tend to neglect our complexions until we look in the mirror and say "whoa.  what's happening here?!". 

Why should you exfoliate?

The basic idea of exfoliation is to help your body with sloughing off the dead skin cells on the skin's surface - which in turn encourage cell turnover.  The buildup of dead skin on the skin's surface is what causes lackluster "tired" skin.  These dead skin cells make wrinkles look more pronounced, pores look larger, and they are certainly no help for those of us who are prone to breakouts.  Know that expensive cream you slather on your face every night before bed?  Imagine how much more effective it would be if you didn't have several layers of dead nasty skin for it to try to penetrate!

Exfoliation also has an instant awesome factor - smooth soft skin.  It's extremely effective for those who have keratosis pilaris (those rough patches and little red bumps on the back of your upper arms and can show up on your thighs as well). Grab a little sugar scrub, go to town on your arms and legs- feel the circulation and, depending how crazy you are when you scrub, maybe even get your heart rate up.  Multitasking, y'all.

What should I exfoliate with and how often?

There are 2 forms of exfoliation: Physical and Chemical

Physical exfoliation is achieved by the use of a brush or a scrub with an abrasive in it.  Abrasives can be anything from a super finely milled rice powder to various types of sugars and salts.  FYI, I know we all used apricot scrub in the 90's to "help" with breakouts.  I'm here to tell you that it belongs in the incinerator.  Any type of crushed seed will have rough edges that cause microtears in your skin.  This leads to inflamed, irritated, sensitized, angry skin.  Please.  For the LOVE.  Stop using this!

Physical exfoliant recommendations:
Kiehls Epidermal Re-Texturizing Microdermabrasian
Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub

The other form of exfoliation is chemical.  It sounds scary.  I wish we could change the name of it to something sweet like "fresh skin revealer", but scientists worldwide would balk at this.  However, do not be afraid!  There are ways to incorporate low doses of chemical exfoliation even into your DAILY routine.  Chemical exfoliants are categorized as acids or enzymes. They gently dissolve dead skin and are able to penetrate deeper into the skin than your typical physical scrub, thus encouraging cell turnover = fresh new skin at the surface.  Many moisturizers and creams have Retinol or Acids - AHAs, BHAs in them which makes it easy to get your exfoliation in since you will probably moisturize anyway!

Chemical exfoliant recommendations:
Alpha Hydrox 12% AHA Souffle (my personal favorite)
Alpha Hydrox Retinol ResQ (another favorite!)
Paulas Choice Resist Daily Pore-Refining Treatment 2% BHA

After you pick out the exfoliator that is right for you, make sure you follow up with a broad spectrum SPF - these block UVA and UVB rays.  UVA - rays that penetrate deeply and cause aging.  UVB rays don't go as deep but will Burn the surface of your skin. Follow with a moisturizer and an eye cream.  With consistent use, you will notice a difference within a couple weeks!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Powder Foundations Vs Liquid Foundations

A lot of people love the convenience of a powder foundation.  I get it.  I do.  However, don't forget about the beauty of a liquid, or even a cream foundation!  Most of the powder foundation lovers in my world seem to do it out of convenience.  When I have used it in the past, that was the main reason for me.  'I have small needy children!  I have 2 minutes to get out the door! I don't care how I look but, I don't want to scare anyone either!'

There are a few major differences between powder foundations and liquid foundations. Let's discuss.

Powder Foundations
1. Easy to blend and rarely leaves weird discolored lines on your jawline, i.e. the dreaded makeup mask.
2. Easier to color match.  Your chances of walking out of the store with a color you can use is much higher than if you walk into Walmart/Sephora/Ulta/wherever and randomly pickup a liquid foundation.
3. Takes 2 seconds to put it on. (a MAJOR pro)
4. Depending on the formula, it can leave a really nice finish with a lovely allover glow.
5. Light coverage.
6. Powder foundations tend to have a shorter ingredient list and you can usually find a formulation with less preservatives and chemicals then your standard liquid foundation.  - Although there are definitely more and more options being introduced every day for both liquid and powder.
7. Great for sensitive skin types.

1. It will start to wear off after a few hours if you are at all oily, and/or touch your face a lot, frequently use a phone, have hair that sweeps across your face, etc.  Basically, it's pretty finicky and I find that though the application is quick, it is more maintenance throughout the day.
2. I don't know about you, but when I use powder foundation, it gets EVERYWHERE.  I will have powder on my clothes, my counter tops, and if I ever attempt to apply it in my car...well, let me just encourage you to turn off your A/C. (lesson learned the hard way)
3. Buildable coverage isn't it's strongsuit.  In my experience, the more you put on, the cakier it looks.  And it gets cakey quickly!  Especially if you used a liquid primer, are oily, or didn't let your moisturizer soak all the way into your skin.
4. Powders tend to settle into fine lines and wrinkles.  Sorry.  It's true.
5. It can get a little funky as it wears if you are a combo skin type - wearing off in your oily areas earlier and potentially changing color as it absorbs the oil.
6. Light coverage. (on both pro and con list!)

Alright.  Now let's talk about my favorite - liquid foundations.
1. Lots of different formulas for skintype and coverage needs/wants.
2. Provides beautiful buildable coverage.  Have rosacea?  A pimple? Dab a little extra right on top of what you don't want to see anymore, blend it out, and bye Felicia.
3. Gives you a smooth finish on your skin that powders just can't give you.
4. Some liquid foundations are designed to be long wearing and I can tell you that I have found a couple that are AWESOME.  They don't dry out your complexion, give beautiful coverage, and last until you decide that you are ready to take them off. 
5. Some formulas sit beautifully on your skin and help minimize the look of pore size and any fine lines and wrinkles.
6. It's adjustable. Purchased a heavy coverage, long wearing foundation but you don't want to look too "made up" on a casual Saturday afternoon flea market shopping trip? Mix in a touch of your moisturizer to give you a lighter application AND an extra dose of hydration.

1. Require a darn near perfect color match, and a little TLC and some good lighting to have it looking well blended and flawless.
2. Some don't like the way it feels on your face.  "heavy" is the word I hear a lot.
3. Depending on how you apply it, it can take a little time to get that "perfect" finish.
4. Can stain clothing. I've seen perfectly good white button up shirts RUINED because of liquid foundation that simply wouldn't come out!

Clearly, I am a fan of liquid foundation, but I don't mind the extra application time.  For me personally, I find there is nothing that gives you that flawless, smooth complexion than a full coverage liquid foundation.  Powders are great for those who have limited time, don't need a lot of corrective coverage, and don't like the feel of a liquid foundation.

Whatever is best for you and your lifestyle is right choice for you!

Here is a list of some foundations I recommend.

High end liquids and powders:
Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation
Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Mineral Makeup SPF 15

Drugstore liquids and powders:
L'oreal True Match
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Makeup
e.l.f. Studio Pressed Mineral Foundation

Something New (not borrowed)

I have been invited to be a part of something really cool, y'all. Splendry.com has asked me to share some of my beauty knowledge with them! I am so excited to start writing again, and also talk about what is constantly swirling around in my head - ALL THINGS BEAUTY! Please "like" this page so you can stay up to date with what is happening in the world of fashion, home decor, books, food, everything beauty related that I can think of. Stay tuned!