July 2015 Favorites

Hi friends! It’s been a while. I’ve been doing this thing, wedding planning, and it’s consuming my life. Plz 4give.

I’ll cut to the chase – here are my favorites from July!

  1. Up & Up Luminous White whitening wraps, $16 at Target – I hate Crest Whitestrips. I think they’re slimy, inconvenient, and they give me awful tooth sensitivity. Oh, and they’re heinously overpriced for essentially being a film of hydrogen peroxide. SO, on my quest for white teeth many moons ago, I decided to try this product. (The packaging has since been updated in stores) They’re purple wax trays that mold around your teeth. I love these because they actually stay adhered to my teeth – you can talk with them in! – and do pretty dramatic whitening in a short amount of time. I am  usually able to get a good deal on these with Cartwheel or in-store coupons at Target. I’ve been using them since I was in high school, so you could say I’m biased loyal to the results. I do experience mild tooth sensitivity, but I have normally sensitive teeth anyway.
  2. Plus White 5 Minute Speed Whitening System, $11.49 at Walgreens – This is my holy grail whitening product, and with my wedding coming up, I’ve been using it non-stop! The only part of the kit I use is the whitening gel – the rinse exploded while I was moving, and I don’t really like the tray. I put a thin strip of the gel in a 99-cent mouthguard and leave it in for ~20 minutes, 30 if I’m really bored. This process tends to be a little drool-ier, so you won’t really be able to talk while whitening. I usually do this while showering. The gel foams up and gets in all the little nooks and crannies of your teeth, and it’s pretty cheap. It’ll last me forever and it works really well.
  3. CoverGirl Outlast All-Day Primer, $12ish at Ulta – I like to explore all beauty trends. Primers have been a pretty big thing in the beauty scene over the last couple of years, and I’ve had a difficult time jumping on the bandwagon. This particular primer has the consistency and texture of a moisturizer, and soaks into your skin in the same way. It doesn’t have the silicone-texture of the Smashbox or Benefit primers. When used in combination with the ELDW (see below) foundation, I can wear my makeup for 18 hours with minimal touch-ups. What did you just say, Shelbie? 18 hours with minimal touch-ups. I have super oily skin, so it’s practically a miracle. I really like this product.
  4. Orlando Pita Revive Dry Instant Boost Shampoo, $50 for 2pk at Beauty’s Most Wanted, purchased at Costco – My mom actually picked this up for me at Costco, and I’m in dry shampoo heaven every time I use it. It gives my hair such a silky, dry texture (bye-bye, evidence of unwashed hair) and smells lightly floral. I haven’t experienced any white residue, and the powder itself is very fine, so it blends into my hair nicely. I don’t believe Costco sells this anymore, and I haven’t had much luck locating it online, which is a bummer. Anyone know where I can find some more?
  5. Jergens Instant Sun Tanning Mousse, $12 at Target – After falling in love with my beloved Fake Bake Flawless Darker, I pretty much swore off drugstore tanning products. I was a sucker at Target a few weeks ago, and bought this. I’ve been applying it with a mitt, and I really like the color it gives. The mousse is really runny, which I don’t like, but I’ve been enjoying the results of this product and have used it several times. I would maybe repurchase this to keep in my bathroom in case I run out of the Fake Bake. It does transfer onto clothing and take about 10-15 minutes to dry completely, but I would recommend this!
  6. Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation, $38 at Sephora – ERMAGERD LERVE THIS. (It’s past my bedtime) I have pined over this foundation for close to two years, and I finally took the plunge and bought it. I have the shade Dawn 2W1, which is a light-medium warm tone. It looks great with my fake tan and this stuff seriously lasts all. day. long. The sales rep told me it should be applied with a brush, but I prefer it with a damp beauty blender. I get a slight sheen after ~5ish hours of wear, but it’s more of a natural glow and can be easily blotted away. With other foundations of mine, I get mega-greasy after 2-3 hours, so I’m definitely satisfied with the oil controlling properties of this foundation. It has a runny, thin consistency, which is a positive as well, as it doesn’t feel thick or heavy on the skin. 10 million/5 stars.
  7. Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Acne Moisturizer, $6.50 at Walmart – I’m trying to conserve my Clinique moisturizer, so I’ve been using this every other day. I think it does a decent job of light moisturization, and I have noticed a slight decrease in my acne as well. I don’t think this product is something to write your great aunt Sue about, but I will probably repurchase it.Also, it smells good.
  8. L’Oreal Quick Dry Primer Spray, $5 at Ulta – This is sorcery. You spray this in your hair and it cuts down on the time it takes to blow-dry your hair. I’m honestly  not sure how, but it smells delicious and really works. I have a ton of hair, so I hate blow drying it, but this has actually given me a little bit of an incentive. At the time of this posting, Target has a Cartwheel on this product for 20% off, so it’s a great time to try it!

What were your favorites for July? Anything I should try out in August? Let me know in the comments!



How I Stay Tan Without Tanning

  If you’re like me, with skin deserving of the nickname “Snow White,” you’ve probably wanted a tan at some point in your life. Usually, I rock my inner vampire proudly, but usually by the time spring comes around, I get tired of blinding people with my paleness. In comes fake tanning! I used to tan in a tanning bed (sorry mom) 3-5 times a week when I was a sophomore in college and not only is it horrible for your skin, it’s expensive and relatively inconvenient.

I’ve been using self-tanning products since I was in middle school, and I even used them when I was tanning in a tanning bed (apparently I was desperate), so I’ve got a lot of experience and I’ve tried a lot of products. The one I’ve been using lately is pictured above, the Fake Bake Flawless Darker ($14.50 on Amazon with Prime shipping, $30 at Ulta). It has got to be the most natural looking self-tanning product I’ve ever used – remember when I used to tan all the time in a tanning bed? I get the exact same tan with this product. There’s no orange, absolutely no streaks (it even comes with 2 disposable gloves and a tanning mitt), and it smells faintly of powdered donuts. It’s supposed to be tropical scented, but I just don’t get that. Maybe I’m weird. Regardless, it doesn’t leave you with that narsty self-tanner smell that’s an unfortunate mixture of chemicals and body odor that screams, “I’m fake tanning!” And who doesn’t love powdered donuts?

I would say this product brings my natural skin, which is in between an NC15 and NC20 to about an NC30 to NC35 in a single use. I haven’t had any splotchiness as it wears off, but I also apply it daily to every other day to maintain the tan, and I exfoliate any rough spots with my Clarisonic. The single bottle will probably last me 3-5 months with constant use (compare that to your $30/month tanning salon membership), and buying it from Amazon saves you a bunch of money over buying it at Ulta.

I use two sprays for my forearms/hands, 2 sprays for my upper arms, 3 sprays for my chest, 3 sprays for my calves, feet, and 4 sprays for my thighs. When you use the mitt, keep one of the included black disposable gloves on underneath, unless you want to have brown palms. You don’t want brown palms. I find that this product dries instantly, which is awesome, because I can do it in the morning after my shower and immediately put on clothes without feeling sticky or having the color transfer onto my outfit.

I highly, highly recommend trying this product out! I bought it on a whim and I could not be happier with the results. It’s also paraben, preservative, and cruelty free. More reasons to love it!

My other tanning picks are…

  1. L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Mousse in Deep ($9.50 at Walmart) – This is a staple in my regular tanning routine and I typically combine it with other products and it tends to even out any self-tanner with red or green undertones and makes my tan look more natural.
  2. L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Lotion in Deep ($12 at Ulta) – First of all this is not a lotion, it’s a gel. And it has a lot of shimmer in it, so if that bugs you, skip this one. Second of all, don’t waste your money on the Medium shade, because it will not make you tan. Also, fair warning that this takes forever to dry, so I usually only apply it at night and I can’t put clothes on for 15-20 minutes without feeling totally sticky. But the color is really nice and it’s relatively inexpensive and has lasted me 6+ months and I’ve repurchased several times.
  3. Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Tinted Tanning Lotion ($15 at Victoria’s Secret) – This is a little pricier compared to the L’Oreal products, but I use this one on occasion as well. This is more of a golden tan, so if you’re looking for something deep and looks like it came from the sun, definitely give the Fake Bake product above a try. Otherwise this gives a nice glow, and has a golden shimmer/sheen. This product also takes forever to dry, and it’s the most yellow/orange of the tanning products I have, which is why  I use it the least. I already have yellow undertones, so a tanning product like this one is not ideal for my skin tone, but like I said it gives a great glow and I do still use it!

I have a crate full of other self-tanning products, so if you want any more reviews or tanning suggestions let me know! And leave your favorite self-tanner in the comments below 🙂

Have a happy, sunny Thursday everyone! Xx