I have been hearing a lot about the Strobe Genius palette from NYX. The NYX website listed it as one of their best sellers, so I decided to try it out along with a new set of Ecotools brushes. I picked one up at ULTA and used one of their $3.50 off everyday coupons.
First, I would recommend you buy it in person. I saw a a lot people on the NYX site complaining that the palettes arrived broken. You can find them at any well stocked ULTA or CVS. Both of these stores also have great sales/coupons you can use.
The colors are great and can be used for highlighting and bronzing. I bought it for the purple – it supposed to take away that sallow look from skin and color correct. It works pretty well, you just have to watch and not use too much if your skin is fair. My favorite highlighting color is “True Champagne”. The palette retails for $19. Overall it is a great palette for a great price that would work on any skin tone.
The brushes by Ecotools (I may get a commission from this link) were okay. I wanted a more substantial fan brush but this one is too thick and deposits too much color. The other brush is great for highlighting or all over color, $11.99 where Ecotools are sold.
My favorite skincare ingredient is hyaluronic acid. Found naturally in the human body, this acid can hold 1,000 times its weight in water and is the ultimate “plumper” in skincare. Hyaluronic acid is also the main ingredient in the skin injectable Juvederm. See where I’m going here? If you want healthy, moisturized and plumped up skin, this product is a good place to start.
L’Oreal Hydra Genius comes in three versions; Normal/Oily, Normal Dry and Extra Dry. The normals come in a tall bottle and are a lot like a serum. It sinks right into your skin and can be used anytime you need more moisture, even over some makeup. The extra dry product is thicker and comes in a jar.
I use in the am and pm, not too sure if it lasts for 72 hours because I put it on daily anyway! It doesn’t irritate my skin or cause breakouts. A little goes a long way and it comes in a glass bottle with a dispensing top. It even looks pretty on your bathroom counter! One of the best things about it is the price. It retails (I may get a commission from this link) for $18.99 but you can always find manufacturer and store coupons. This week it is on sale at CVS for $13.99. Sign up for Worth It Rewards and get 5 points for every dollar spent on L’Oreal products. You can link it to your store loyalty cards or simply upload your receipt. Exchange points for coupons, gift cards and other goodies!
One of the best benefits of joining those store rewards programs are the freebies! This year Sephora has three to choose from, skincare from Caudalie, blush and lipstick from Tarte or grooming essentials for men from Jack Black. This year I decided to go with Tarte. The blush is a nice pretty pink and the lip gloss is more like a liquid lipstick in a nude shade (and it smells minty). All you have to do to get your free birthday gift is sign up for the Beauty Insider club online or in store. You can get your free gift anytime during your birthday month – no purchase required!
ULTA changes their birthday gift every quarter or so. You can usually find it in the ad book sent out in the mail. Some stores are also giving out a freebie from Benefit (they used to do a free eyebrow wax). Getting your gift is harder. You have to be registered for the rewards program and wait to get an email in the mail that can be redeemed for your gift. Summer 2017’s gift is this cool NYX eyeshadow palette ($18 value ) filled with some great fall colors.
Other beauty rewards programs:
CVS Beauty – Separate from your regular CVS card, get $5 when you spend $50 and $3 for your birthday.
MAC – Free shipping, discounts and samples. No birthday gift but you’ll get a free full size product on your anniversary.
Applying false eyelashes can difficult the first time, and the second, third, fourth, you get the picture. Here is a short guide to help you in your quest for long lashes.
Choose your lashes based on the look you want to achieve. If you want fullness, choose a more natural look. If you want thick mink-like lashes (a la Housewives) choose a couture lash. My favs are the faux mink lashes from KISS. They can be used up to 10 times too!
Measure and trim the lashes. Use tweezers to peel the lashes from the outer corner then place the strip lash along your lash line, making sure to follow the natural curve of your lashes. Trim from the inner corner if you want to keep the ends long, or trim the same amount from each end for a natural look.
Apply the glue directly onto strip lash with KISS Lash Couture Strip Lash Adhesive. This is my favorite because you can glide the lash on the glue wand instead of squeezing it awkwardly from a tube.Wait a few seconds until glue is tacky before applying lash.
Apply lashes. With a mirror in front of you, tilt head back, looking down and use tweezers or fingers to apply from the outer corner moving towards the inner corner. Press down as you place the lashes onto your natural lash line. As you get close to the inner corner, it is best to look directly into the mirror. Use the back of the tweezer to easily secure into place.
Don’t wear lashes for the first time for a big event. If you are a bride or in the bridal party and plan to wear lashes, test drive them before the big day.
Don’t rip them off! If you have trouble peeling them off, use an oil based makeup remover to help ease them off.
I am always looking for alternatives to my favorite hgh boosting supplement, SeroVital. This powder by Optimum Nutrition is equivalent to half of the effective ingredients the BCAA or Branched Chain Amino Acids. It contains a mix of amino acids and 160 mg of caffeine from natural sources (see below).
You mix it with water and can consume it once daily or prior to workouts. It is formulated to give you more energy, improve focus and help you recover faster from workouts.
I used it for a couple of weeks and I liked the fact that it helped me workout longer without feeling as tired. As for building more muscle, I’m not sure if it made a difference. It can make your heart race a little if you are sensitive to caffeine. I had to STOP using it because something in it messed up my digestive system (I won’t give you the gory details). I was dairy free and I had to go back to eating probiotic yogurt to get back to normal.
So suffice to say, I won’t be consuming this anymore. I wouldn’t discourage others from trying it. It comes in 16 flavors and is priced at about $19 for 30 servings and $35 for a 65 serving container. You can find it online at Amazon (I may get a commission from this link), Allstar Health and many other health stores.