Friday, May 31, 2013

Some Wonderful Self-Tanners

  Since summer is almost officially here I decided I wanted to try to get and keep a healthy bronzed look this year.  It's tempting to enjoy the sunshine and tan out by my apartment pool, but I've seen too many people in their late 20s-30s with skin cancer and premature wrinkles to know that I want to protect my skin by always wearing SPF outside.  For that same reason, I won't go anywhere near a tanning salon either (unless I'm getting a spray tan ;) )

  Now, I'm usually all for loving your natural skin tone and not trying too hard to follow the beauty trend of always looking tan, but I do think that a nice golden bronze looks good for summer.  I've tried a lot of different drugstore self-tanners in the past, and none seemed to really work that well. One exception that does a decent job is the Jergens® Natural Glow line of products.  I bought the daily moisturizing lotion at Walmart and it wasn't all that expensive, I think it cost a little less than $10.  I really liked that I could just use this in place of my regular daily moisturizing lotion and build a nice even tan without much effort. However, this stains more than I'd like and the lotion takes a fairly long time to dry. Overall, this is a pretty good everyday budget-friendly choice. 

  Last month I started looking for a better self-tanner that I could use to look glowing and healthy for my college graduation pictures.  I searched on Amazon and found 2 professional grade self-tanners that I absolutely love! First, I bought Fake Bake® Flawless Self-tanning Liquid.  The 6oz spray bottle came with a nice applicator mitt, which is awesome for getting a perfectly even application! To apply, you lightly spray your body or the mitt (I sprayed directly on my body so it wasted less and wasn't as messy) and then gently rub it in with the mitt to get an even application.  I love that this dries the fastest and smells the best out of any self-tanner that I've tried so far, and it wasn't a whole lot more expensive than drugstore brands. I was able to get dressed almost immediately after applying it, and it hardly stained my bra and undies at all. The color turned out to be a nice light-medium golden tan.
  It retails for about $25 if you buy directly from the company, but I got it for around $16 from Amazon.   The only downside that I found was that it wasn't as dark as I wanted, and it faded in less than 2 days without daily reapplication. The company has darker shades though, so I may try a different shade or type once I run out of the Flawless.  

  The second self-tanner I tried was St. Moriz Self Tanning Mousse in the medium shade.  St. Moriz is basically the drugstore version of St. Tropez, but it's only available in the U.K., so you have to order it online. Once again, I got mine from Amazon and paid about $5 for it, plus another $4 or so for shipping and handling. I love that this provides a great brown-bronze color and the mousse dries a lot faster than a lotion does. I used the medium shade and it's perfect for my skin tone; it should work for just about everyone unless you have incredibly fair skin to begin with. If you are super-fair skinned, choose a lighter shade to look more natural. I do want to eventually try the dark shade, but I'm hesitant because I am afraid it may look awful with my skin tone.   
  I used a self-tanner mitt to apply the foam because I think it helps provide more even coverage, but you have to be careful when applying this to avoid streaks.  I was a little bit nervous at first because the color indicator makes your skin look almost like it's covered in dirt, but that rinses away and leaves a good bronze color the next time you shower.   The biggest drawback to this is that it does need careful application to avoid streaks, but the color and price are amazing!  
Hopefully this helps you choose the perfect self-tanner to look beach ready all summer! Also, I'll put up some real pics of what the Fake Bake and St. Moriz look like on once I get my camera working again.  

*Disclaimer: Just FYI, I was not compensated in any way for this post.  I bought and tried all of the above products with my own money, on my own volition, and liked them enough to share with my meager blog following : ) 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Budget Weddings Part 3 (Beauty Essentials)

Hair and makeup for your wedding are a few things that can vary greatly in cost.  You can get either or both done at a salon, or you can get a beauty savvy friend to help out.  Depending on where you live and what you're getting done, plan to budget anywhere from $30-100 to get your hair done professionally, and $20-$50 more for make-up.  You can definitely save money by doing your own, but you'll also have to invest in tools and products if you don't already have them.  For example, I spent a little over $100 at Sephora on the make-up products I used. In retrospect, I probably should have used less expensive drugstore brands or just had it done professionally, but at least now I do have a supply of quality make-up I can use whenever I need to.   I do recommend buying the best quality make-up you can, just because it is going to have to stand up to a lot of scrutiny and stress throughout the day.  Generally, a higher quality make-up will last longer and photograph better, so you won't have to worry about touch-ups in the middle of your day! I used the LORAC PRO Palette for my eyes, and it worked great! However, it definitely was bigger than I needed because I only used 4 of the colors so I would suggest picking what colors you plan on using and buying a palette or set with only those.  Also, I recommend using a HD or photo-ready foundation that doesn't have SPF because it photographs best and ensures you don't look washed out from the white tint that SPF foundations can have.  

When I bought my make-up at Sephora, I had an employee show me what would look best and how to apply it, but lately I've been watching beauty tutorials on Youtube and I have been learning so much more! If you already have the make-up products and tools to use and are mostly adept at using them, it can be a fun and memorable experience to do your own hair and make-up with your bridesmaids.  I definitely recommend having all your supplies well in advance and practicing until you can achieve the look you want without any trouble!  You want your wedding day to be as stress-free as possible, so full practice runs for your hair/make-up are essential!

As I said before, I did my own make-up for my
wedding, but I've since learned a lot of techniques that I really wish I had known before hand.  I think my make-up looked pretty good, but it would have looked even BETTER if I had known to use some of the tips I've found on Youtube and Pinterest.  One Vlogger that has really good beauty tutorials is Jaclyn Hill.  I really love her foundation and contouring videos, like the one above