Beauty

Must-have Makeup Products for the Fall!

Hi everyone! I am so excited to share with you my favorite beauty products for the fall ranging from lipsticks to blushes to eyeshadows, etc. I love the fall time because of all of the rich colors and new textures and I think it is so fun to translate that into your makeup. I am going to show you four categories and my top five favorites in each. You don’t have to get the exact brands, but get ideas from the shades. Enjoy!

Lipstick

(from left to right)

  1. MAC “azalea banks”: For the fall time, a deep plum color with cool undertones is a must! I love this color because it is so rich and I love how purple it is. A lot of people think of burgandy and wine colors when it comes to lipsticks, but I think it is so fun to play around with more non-conventional colors.
  2. Sunday Riley “french nude”: This is definitely a staple not only during the fall season, but all year round. A really good nude color is always good to have, but make sure it doesn’t wash you out. You want a nude that is going to soften your natural lip’s color, but not make you appear lifeless. The fall time is the best time to go all out with dramatic smokey eyes so having a nude lip color to go with it is essential.
  3. YSL “opera rose”: You can never go wrong with a classic apple red. I love wearing the pin-up look and a perfect red lip can make or break the look. I also think a red lipstick with a little bit of a shine is great as well because it makes your lips appear more pouty.
  4. NARS “amsterdam”: This is the perfect burgandy color that has a warmer undertone (unlike the MAC lipstick). I love a good wine stained lip and especially a matte one. With such a bold and daring color, keeping it matte intensifies the look and makes it more dramatic. Pair this shade with nude eyes for the perfect combination.
  5. Burberry “antique pink”: If you don’t want to be as dramatic this fall, but want a little something extra for your lips try a taupe color. Taupe or any kind of tan color is going to make your face look more rich and interesting, without being too dramatic.

Blush

  1. Stila “coral”: Coral isn’t just for the summer. I think peachy coral colors are perfect for the fall season because most of the drama is in your lips and eyes so a nice, matte, toned down shade is perfect for the cheeks. This blush would go great with a really smokey bronzed eye because it compliments the warm shades in the eye.
  2. Stila custom color blush: This is a lot like the previous blush; however, it has a more plum undertone, which means a cooler undertone. I would pair this with a purple smokey eye or even a green smokey eye. This is a great shade for just a flush of color that won’t take away from a dramatic eye.
  3. Kevin Aucoin “Patrice”: I think this is such a rich and beautiful shade for the fall time and I love that it is a cream. The cream is going to make it last longer and really amplify the tone. I also love that it is matte so it goes on more dramatic. I would pair this blush with a winged liner and big lashes. The blush is definitely the star of the show here.
  4. MAC “early morning”: This is pretty much the same shade as the first stila blush, but this one is a mineralized blush so it has a hint of shimmer. I also love how warm it is and this will go great with a coral/red lip and warm eyeshadows. I think a little bit of shimmer for the fall is great because it is beginning to become more dry and a little shimmer will add that glow back to your face.
  5. Nars “liberte”: This is another great plummy shade, but it isn’t too dramatic. I also love that it is matte as well. I think this blush would look amazing with a dark, black smokey eye. This blush will give you just the right amount of color while leaving the drama to the eyes.

Nail polish

  1. MAC “rouge marie”: This is definitely a fall staple when it comes to nails. A deep wine color is a must-have for the fall season. I am loving all of the oxblood colors out right now and I think they add a whole new dimension to your look. This color goes great with everything and is great for all styles. I think it’s edgy, but not too harsh like a black.
  2. Nars “storm”: I love wearing deep greys on my nails in the cooler months. It is softer than black, but gives that edgy hint to your look. It is also neutral so I think it goes great with every outfit. This is definitely a more daring shade, but I think everyone can pull it off. Just add some more dainty accessories to your hands and fingers and the look will be much softer and feminine.
  3. RGB “beach”: This is a classic and should be worn all year round. There is nothing better than apple red and I think it adds such a feminine and powerful look to the nails. It also catches the eye very easily. I can always spot someone who is wearing bright red nails. If you want the attraction to be on you, this is the perfect shade.
  4. Essie “good as gold”: The fall time is full of such rich, warm tones and gold is one of the star players. I love wearing gold on my nails because it acts like an accessory. If you want to glam up your look, but don’t want to wear all of the wrist candy, try a gold shade. It is soft, light and not too daring, but gives your look that extra bit of sparkle.
  5. Dior “safari beige”: For that everyday look, a nude, matte, beige is the way to go. This is such a classic, polished and put together shade and goes great with everything. If you don’t want a lot of attention on your nails, but you want to look like you care about them, choose a tan, beige, taupe color.

Eyeshadow

  1. Illamasqua “human fundamentalism”: This is the perfect everyday go-to palette. I love the matte cream shadow, the matte black shadow, and matte brown shadow because these are all very wearable and will create a great, neutral smokey eye. I also love the fact that this palette has a shimmery gold for the days that you need an extra bit of something or you are going to a a night look after a day at work.
  2. Bareminerals “the winner is”: Mossy green is a total hit this fall and green on the eyes looks amazing for all eye colors. I think with a shade like this, you don’t need a whole lot of dimension. Just wing out your green shadow and add a little bit of a cream highlight in the inner corner with mascara and some liner and your good to go. When you have such strong shades, you don’t have to go all out with a complete smokey eye. Especially if this is for school or work. The green shade is going to do all of the work for you so compliment it with a light shade to bring some light to your eyes and that’s all you need.
  3. Kanebo “ES11″: Again, just like the mossy green, a deep plum purple is a definite go-to shade for this season. I would find a palette that offers you variations of the shade (like this one) so that you can play around with the colors and create a smokey eye or just go for a more simple eye. You want options depending on your mood and the occasion.
  4. Nars “douce france”: This is another fall staple color. If you aren’t wearing it on your lips, you should definitely be wearing it on your eyes or cheeks. A deep burgandy is my favorite color to wear on the lids and adding softer pinks and creams is going to soften the look and give your eyes more dimension. The darker shade won’t look so harsh against your skin.

I hope you enjoyed all of these beautiful colors and encourage all of you to try out some of them and have fun with it. Fall is all about rich tones so don’t be afraid!

XO Alexa

Fall 2012 makeup tutorial: “Changing of the leaves”

Fall is HERE! I am so excited for all of the beautiful shades this season is bring so I decided to take a little inspiration from the changing colors of the leaves and apply it to my makeup. I hope you enjoy!

Makeup products I used:

-Maybelline color tattoo “bold gold”

-Mac shimmery yellow-gold shadow

-Mac shimmery brassy red shadow

-Mirabella “semi formal” shadow

-Maybelline instant age rewind concealer “light”

-Sephora pencil liner “brown”

-L’Oreal voluminous mascara “carbon black”

-Too faced brow envy palette

-Milani face powder “medium tan”

-Any nude/peach blush

-TIGI loose face powder “light”

-Mac matte lipstick “taupe”

What I’m wearing:

-Blazer: Gwen Stefani harajuku little girl’s line at Target (not available anymore)

-Feather earrings: Forever 21

-Necklace: Urban outfitters

-Beaded bracelet (red): Target

-Leather stud cuff: Forever 21

-Silver watch: Swiss army (men’s)

-Beaded ring (orange): IDK???

How to sculpt your face: Highlighting & Contouring 101

Hello everyone! I really hoped you like the favorite today and if you missed it, go check it out!

I am so excited to post this new video today because this is something that I struggled with a lot when I first started to really get into makeup. I have a very round face and round cheeks so I always wanted the perfect cheekbones, the defined jaw line, and that “perfect” woman face if you know what I mean ;)

Well, I have a great tutorial for y’all today that is going to show you how to make your face look more 3D. This means accentuating different areas of your face that are going to make it look more distinguished, yet natural.

This is a great visual to show you just what I am talking about. Now, this is a very dramatic representation, but it shows you just how much highlighting and contouring can really change the shape of your face. Without shading and highlighting the appropriate areas of your face, it would appear flat and washed out (like a cartoon character).

I really hope you enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments! (I’m sorry it’s so long, but I tried to be as thorough as possible)

P.S. please SUBSCRIBE to my Youtube channel! You will get update on any videos I post and I would really appreciate it :)

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZnd-SekLWZw8MBftd7IRqQ?feature=mhee

Products: -L’Oreal true match foundation “sun beige” -Maybelline instant age rewind concealer “light” -TIGI loose face powder “light” -L’Oreal true match pressed powder “sand beige” -Milani face powder “medium tan” -Milani baked blush “luminoso” -MAC highlighting powder “silver dusk” -Maybelline color tattoo “barely beige”

XO Alexa

Fall-inspired makeup tutorial *Glamourous gold*

I am so excited for the fall and I know that gold is definitely going to be a staple color for me. I hope you enjoy this autumn tutorial and let me know what you think!

Products: -Maybelline color tattoo “bold gold” -UD “half baked” eyeshadow -UD “virgin” eyeshadow -Victoria’s Secret beauty rush gold eyeliner -Milani liquid liner “black” -Milani liquif’eye metallic liner “black” -L’Oreal voluminous mascara “carbon black” -Milani baked bronzer (idk the name) -Milani baked blush “red vino” -Too Faced brow envy brow palette -Revlon lipstick “siren”

XO Alexa

Gel, pencil, liquid, pen…which eyeliner should I use?

I get asked this question a lot and I also ask myself this question…what type of eyeliner should I use? Does one work better than the other? How long do they last? Well, I am going to do my best to answer these questions based on my own experience :)  I will list what I think works for each product and what I think doesn’t work as well as my suggestions for products to buy :)

Gel liner

What works:

  • Smudge proof
  • Super creamy
  • Easy to apply
  • Lasts all day
  • GREAT for winged liner
  • Very pigmented

What doesn’t work:

  • more expensive than other liners
  • dries out really fast
  • have to use a separate brush for some (some drugstore gels come with an applicator)
  • hard to apply on water line
  • great for smudging (I know I said it doesn’t smudge, but that is after it dries)

Suggestions:

  • Maybelline eye studio lasting drama gel liner
  • MAC “black track” (for a black gel liner)

Liquid liner

What works:

  • very precise
  • usually good color payoff
  • depending on the brand, lasts all day (from my experience)
  • GREAT for strong eyeliner (winged, shapes, bold)

What doesn’t work:

  • hard to apply (takes a lot of practice and it’s easy to mess up)
  • can crease, depending on the brand
  • takes more time to dry
  • have to keep dipping applicator in the tube just for one eye

Suggestions:

  • NYX “the curve” (this is great for beginners because the packaging is curved and easy to reach around your eye)
  • Maybelline line stilleto

Pen

What works:

  • easy to apply (it’s like drawing…on your face)
  • doesn’t smudge
  • GREAT for winged liner and really precise liner shapes

What doesn’t work

  • usually creases (from my experience)
  • dries out really fast (not dipping into any product. it works just like a pen)

Suggestions:

  • Maybelline eye studio master precise ink pen eyeliner
  • Revlon colorstay liquid eye pen

Pencil (Kohl and Waterproof)

What works:

  • GREAT for smudging (kohl)
  • can be used for different purposes (you can double as a cream shadow)
  • a more soft look
  • easy to apply (if the formula is really buttery)
  • you typically get more product compared to other liners

What doesn’t work

  • can crease (some pencils are awful and crease really bad…to fix this, set with a black eyeshadow on top)(kohl)
  • not as precise
  • have to keep sharpening to get the finest point

Suggestions:

  • Urban decay 24/7 glide on eye pencils
  • Rimmel special eyes eyeliner pencil (need to set with a black eyeshadow)
  • Milani liquif’eye metallic eye pencil (this is my FAVORITE and it is super buttery…not good for really thin liner because it is so creamy and thick)

I hope this was helpful and let me know of any liners that you really like. I would love to try them!

XO Alexa

How to: Full coverage foundation application

Happy Wednesday everyone! (and happy hump day) I have been getting a few requests to do a foundation routine post so I decided to film my routine so you can see how I apply my full coverage foundation, what tools I use, and what shade I use. I hope this is helpful and if you have any questions, please leave a comment! AND everything is drugstore!!!

*Also, if you have a foundation video/post, please share it with me!

Products:

  • -SIMPLE replenishing rich moisturizer
  • -L’Oreal anti-dull skin face primer
  • -Revlon PhotoReady foundation “medium beige”
  • -Real Techniques expert face brush
  • -Maybelline instant age rewind concealer “light”
  • -e.l.f. tone correcting powder
  • -L’Oreal true match pressed powder “sand beige”
  • -e.l.f. kabuki face brush

XO Alexa

Makeup tutorial: Taylor Swift

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!! I really hope everyone had a great (and short) week :)  If you read my Fav of the Day a few days ago you know how much I am loving Taylor Swift’s latest music video. Her bold red lips and flirty winged liner are the perfect combination so I decided to film a tutorial for this look. I think this is the perfect look for the office, a date night, night out with the girls, or even just a fun day with the family.

Here are some stills from the video:

*I didn’t go into depth about how I did the winged liner so if you would like to see a tutorial, please let me know!

SO… try this look out for the weekend and you are for sure going to be turning heads :)  I am definitely rocking it this weekend for sure!

Enjoy in HD!

Products: -Philosophy “take a deep breath” moisturizer -NYC smooth skin primer -Revlon photoready “medium beige” -MAC 190 foundation brush -Maybelline instant age rewind concealer “light” -L’Oreal true match pressed powder “W5″ -e.l.f. eyelid primer -Marbella eyeliner pen (black) -matte tan eye shadow (for crease) -L’Oreal voluminous mascara “carbon black” -Maybelline falsies flared mascara “very black” -e.l.f. eyebrow kit “medium” -L’Oreal true match blush “subtle sable” -Soho stippling brush -Jordana lip pencil “plush plum” -Revlon liquid lipstick “top tomato”

*If you have a Youtube channel, please SUBSCRIBE! I would love to hear from you and take any video requests :)

*Check out the music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA4iX5D9Z64

XO Alexa

Get ready with me! *Saturday with friends*

Happy Sunday! I hope everyone’s weekend is going well and you are relaxing and enjoying the day off (hopefully you aren’t working). My husband and I went to a party yesterday because he is transferring squadrons in October so I decided to film my makeup routine while I got ready :)

Enjoy in HD!

*Do you like these kind of videos? Please comment below and let me know!

Makeup products: -L’Oreal anti-dull skin primer -Revlon photoready foundation “medium beige” -L’Oreal true match foundation “W5″ -Neutrogena 3-in-1 concealer -L’Oreal true match pressed powder “W6″ -UD primer potion -Maybelline color tattoo “barely beige” -UD naked palette: “toasted,” “hustle,” “virgin,” “buck” -Milani liquif’eye metallic eye pencil “black” -Milani easyliner retractable pencil “black” -L’oreal voluminous mascara “carbon black” -e.l.f. eyebrow kit “medium” -NYC smooth skin bronzer “sunny” -Milani baked blush “corallina” -MAC highlighting powder “silver dusk” -Revlon just bitten kissable balm stain “smitten” -Nail polish: Sally Hansen “flirt”

Makeup tools: -Foundation: real techniques buffing brush -Eyes: UD shadow brush, FASH UK small shadow brush, MAC 37 -Maybelline eyelash curler -FASH UK contour brush (bronzer and blush) -FASH UK angled brush (brows) -FASH UK fan brush (highlight)

Outfit: -white tank: H&M -necklace: charlotte russe -leather cuff w/ studs: ??? -hoops: forever 21 -watch: Swiss army (men’s) -ring: Target -skinny jeans: American eagle -boots: madden girl (Ross) -bag: Barney’s

Music: M83 “midnight city”

XO Alexa

Makeup Organization Tips!

Having makeup to play around with is super fun, but when you have to search and dig and fight your way through all of your products, it also makes it stresful. These are some of my tips on how to organize your makeup while using resources around the house and finding affordable alternatives at the store! I hope you enjoy :)

Here are some photos of my makeup just to give you an idea of how I currently store my makeup before you see the tools in the video:

Here is my video where I talk about all of the different organizers and tips on how to use them!

Products mentioned: –

Other great products to try out

Makeup tutorial: Black smokey eye

I am loving the dark smokey eye trend that I have been seeing in so many fall collections and on the runway, so I wanted to take that inspiration and create a really dark black smokey cat eye. If this is too dark for you, try using more browns and greys to soften the look.

I hope you enjoy! (in HD)

*p.s. Hair tutorials coming soon!

Products: -Maybelline color tattoo “audacious asphalt” -Matte black eye shadow (any kind will work, as long as it is pigmented) -Dark grey matte eye shadow (i don’t know the name…sorry) -Cream matte highlight color (no name) -Milani Liquif’eye metallic eye pencil “black” -L’Oreal voluminous mascara “carbon black”

-e.l.f. lifter and filler eyebrow pencil -TIGI loose face powder “light” -Covergirl concealer “205″ -NYC smooth skin bronzer “sunny” -Nude, peachy blush (no name) -Burt’s bees lip balm -MAC matte lipstick “taupe”

XO Alexa

*My skin care routine* All drugstore!

I have been getting some requests to share my skincare routine with y’all so here it is! All of these are drugstore products and are easily accessible; however, everyone’s skin is different so I encourage you to talk to a dermatologist or skin specialist first before trying anything. I have combination and extremely sensitive skin and these are the products that work for me. Enjoy in HD!

Products:

-Noxzema original deep cleansing cream: $4 any drugstores

-SIMPLE replenishing rich moisturizer: $4 at Target

-SIMPLE cleansing facial wipes: $5 at Target

-Jarrow coconut oil: $10 at Vitamin Shoppe (you can purchase any brand of this anywhere)

-Eclos cellular activator facial serum: $20 at Target

-Eclos moisture therapy regenerative cream: $20 at Target

-Queen Helene mint julep and clay masks: $4 any drugstore

-Equate apricot scrub: $5 at Walmart or Target

XO Alexa

Get ready with me! *Job interview*

I recently had a job interview and this is my makeup routine that morning. I stuck with a medium coverage foundation that would cover up any hyper pigmentation and blemishes, but would also let my skin show through slightly for a more natural appearance. I chose neutral toned eyeshadows and skipped out on the eyeliner so I didn’t look so “made up.” I chose a very nude lip balm that would leave my lips looking neutral, yet moisturized (no one likes dry, cracked lips when they are speaking). I also kept my hair out of my face so the hiring manager could focus on my face and what I was saying rather than the hair in my face.

Enjoy! (watch in HD)

*Tip: highlight under your eyes and in the inner corner of your eyes to appear more awake and “bright eyed.” This is going to show you that you are ready for the job and you took the time to get ready that morning (you didn’t oversleep).

  • -L’Oreal true match foundation “Sun beige”
  • -Maybelline instant age rewind under eye concealer “light”
  • -Rimmel stay matte pressed powder “nude beige”
  • -Maybelline color tattoo “too cool” and “barely beige”
  • -Urban Decay “ammo” palette: “Sin,” “chopper,” “smog,” and “polyester bride”
  • -L’Oreal voluminous mascara “carbon black”
  • -Milani face powder “medium tan” (used as a bronzer)
  • -Milani baked blush “corallina”
  • -Too faced brow envy palette
  • -Covergirl+Olay concealer “210″ (used under brow bone”
  • -Revlon lip butter “creamsicle”

XO Alexa

Retro Rocker Chic makeup look!

I had a little fun with my makeup today and decided to bring out my inner Gwen Stefani and go for a retro rocker look. I used heavy winged liner, bright blush, and a dramatic lip. Everything else is pretty toned down to compliment the boldness. I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think! :)

Products: -NYC smooth skin primer -Revlon photoready foundation -Neutrogena under eye concealer -L’Oreal true match pressed powder -TIGI face powder “light” -Maybelline color tattoos “Too cool” “Barely beige” -Matte brown crease color -Milani 24-hour liquid liner (black) -Milani liquif’eye metallic pencil (black) -Rimmel extra super lash mascara -Ebay eyelashes -Too faced eyebrow palette (discontinued) -NYC smooth skin bronzer “Sunny” -Hot pink blush from blush palette (ebay) -MAC highlighter “Silver dusk” -Jordana lip pencil “Plush plum” -MAC lipstick “Girl about town” -Covergirl+Olay eye concealer (used under brows and around lips)

XO Alexa

Get ready with me! Anniversary dinner with my hubby 🙂

So, as I mentioned before, last night was my one year anniversary so I thought I would film my makeup routine and show y’all what I wore :)  Let me know if you like these kind of posts in the comments below.

Enjoy! (watch in HD)

Products I used: -Maybelline color tattoos: “Too cool” and “Barely beige” -Ulta baked eyeshadow duo: Taken” -Milani liquif’eye metallic eyeliner pencil “Black” -Eyelashes in bulk from ebay -L’Oreal voluminous carbon black mascara -Physician’s formula bronze booster: “Medium to dark” -Milani baked blush “Luminoso” -MAC highligher: “Silver dusk” -e.l.f. eyebrow kit: “medium” -Revlon lip butter “Creamsicle” -Bare escentuals buxom lip plumper “Sugar”

XO Alexa

Easy, natural back-to-school makeup tutorial

Hey everyone! I just filmed a really cool makeup tutorial that I think is perfect for any age for back-to-school. I went with very neutral shades that are going to look flawless, yet natural.

Check it out! (watch in HD)

Products:

  • -SIMPLE light moisturizer
  • -Garnier anti-dark-circle roller
  • -Revlon photoready foundation
  • -Maybelline FitMe foundation
  • -MAC 190 foundation brush
  • -Maybelline instant age rewind concealer “light”
  • -e.l.f. tone correcting powder
  • -L’Oreal true match pressed powder W5
  • -e.l.f kabuki face brush
  • -Physician’s formula bronze booster “medium to dark”
  • -Milani blush “luminoso”
  • -Maybelline color tattoo “barely beige”
  • -any kind of matte, brown crease color
  • -L’oreal voluminous carbon black mascara
  • -Covergirl+Olay eye concealer
  • -Revlon lip butter “creamsicle”
  • -Bare escentuals buxom lip gloss “sugar”

XO Alexa

How to: Store your makeup brushes

http://secretsliesandmargaritas.blogspot.com

Hello everyone and happy hump day!. That sounds so weird… anyways, I want to share with y’all how I store my makeup brushes on my beauty desk and some crafty ways you can too without spending a lot of money because that is pretty important, right?

The biggest thing to consider when storing your brushes is protecting the hairs. Always keep your brushes either standing up or in a brush fold so the hairs aren’t being pushed in different directions and nothing is sitting on top of them.

Here I have all of my bigger brushes: foundation, powder, blush and bronzer brushes. I keep these in a glass candle holder so I can see exactly what brushes are inside. This was just a large candle and after I was done with it, I cleaned all of the wax out and kept the jar.

This is where I keep all of my skinny, tall brushes: angled, fan, eyeshadow, etc. This is an old banana pepper jar and I like it because it is clear and stores all of my skinny brushes really nicely.

This is where I keep all of my odd shaped brushes that are too short to fit in the other jars. This jar was once a small candle from Bath & Body Works and I cleaned it out when I had burned through the candle.

This is how I store my brushes on my beauty desk. The stand is a bathroom stand that once had a toothbrush holder and soap dispenser that went with it from Kirkland’s. Be resourceful! Use stuff around the house that you may not be using for anything else. Even drinking glasses that you may not use or may be more decorative than practical will work as well. Another idea is going to Target and looking in the $1 section. They have all kinds of little baskets and bins and jars :)

*Also, putting coffee beans, lentils, beans, beads, etc. inside the jars will keep all of the brushes separated from each other and it will ensure that they are standing straight up as well.

I hope this was helpful and I will talk to you later!

*In case you missed it, here is my latest video on my August Myglam bag: https://alexachanbeauty.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/august-myglam-bag-unveiled/

XO Alexa

*Fall 2012 makeup trends*

Fall is almost here and I am so excited for all of the really neat makeup trends that are already in magazines and on runway. Here are some of my favorite:

Strong liner: Thick, bold eyeliner is definitely a must this fall and this was definitely a must for the September issue of Vogue China. Lisa Eldridge, a celebrity makeup artist, create a thick, black winged liner on the top last line and then mimicked the line underneath on the bottom of the eye about 1/4 inch below the bottom lash line.

Bold lips: Deep burgandy’s and royal purples are going to take the stage this fall and I am so excited. Summer brought pinks and nudes and orange, but now the rich tones of autumn are going to be covering the lips of every model this season.

Bold statement brows: I love bold brows and this fall, they are coming out! Having a great set of brows can really help frame your face and in the fall months, try not to overdo your makeup. Let your brows do the talking.

Bright, yet smokey eyes: The smokey eye is always a favorite and this fall it is taking a new turn. Bright colors like green and blue and purple are going to be in, but layer these colors on top of a charcoal grey or black for a perfect smokey look.

It seems like the reoccurring trend here is BOLD. I am so excited for this fall and I can’t want to whip out my bold purple lips :)

XO Alexa

Beauty bargain buys!

Here is a video of some of my tips to buying beauty products on a budget. Enjoy :)

XO Alexa

*Also, I forgot to mention a coupon book. I mentioned getting coupons online, but having a book to keep them in where they are organized is essential.

I use a small photo album that I wasn’t using and I put all of my coupons in it organized by brand and by date, with all of the older coupons at the front because they expire first. This is really going to help you keep track of what coupons you have and whenever you are at the store and you see something you may like, you can flip through your book and find a coupon. :)

Beauty Balm Bonanza: What is all the fuss about?

http://goodhealthnewstoday.com

What was once only a high-end beauty secret is now taking over the shelves at drugstores and everyone seems to be going crazy over them. I am talking about BB creams or Blemish Balm creams and I am going to let you in on the big secret behind this small product.

This unique “cream” originated in 1950′s Germany and was used as a treatment for laser skin surgery by dermatologists. Word spread quickly and 30 years later Korea was looking into how they could market this miracle cream to those willing to pay for it. Korean celebrities flaunted this newfound beauty balm and thus began the whirlwind of the BB cream.

Why all the fuss? The BB creams have been marketed as an all-in-one product: moisturizer+primer+foundation+sunscreen. The formulation has been said to be soothing and anti-inflammatory, which sounds pretty great, right? BB creams are 13% of the cosmetics market and with reason.

When the hype hit the States, the reaction was pretty insane. Asian beauty stores all across the country began to sell these secret creams and beauty gurus began their quests to let us all in on the secret. So, are they really what they claim to be?

There are so many brands to choose from now:

Asian brands:

http://thescienceofbeautifulskin.com

  1. Missha
  2. Etude House
  3. Skinfood
  4. Hanskin (first in Korea)
  5. Skin 79

American brands:

  1. Smashbox camera ready
  2. Garnier skin renew
  3. Clinique age defense
  4. Maybelline dream fresh
  5. L’Oreal youth code

It seems like every brand is coming out with some form of BB cream and honestly, most of the drugstore brands remind me of a glamorized tinted moisturizer. The BB creams are supposed to be less coverage than a foundation, but more coverage than a tinted moistrizer. I think for the money that you are going to spend on a BB cream ($10-$15), it isn’t worth the product. I don’t think the “blemish balm” name suits the product either. I am not speaking for all BB creams because I haven’t tried nearly enough to generalize, but from what I have tried at the drugstore, the results aren’t that great. I would much rather just mix a foundation that matches my skin (BB creams only come with a few shades: light, medium, dark) with a moisturizer that has SPF and is hydrating for my skin, which the BB creams claim to be.

I think these creams are worth a try if you have never tried one, but I would suggest a Korean BB cream, rather than one at the drugstore.

Let me know what you think and if there are any BB creams you think I should try. I am always up for some new products!

XO Alexa

*DIY self-tanner*

http://www.nevertootanned.co.uk/

This summer it is all about the GLOW. Even if you’re not out in the sun, you need to look like you have been.

This can be pretty tricky…what kind of products should I use? What color should I use? What products are right for my skin type? Should I do it home or go to a salon?  How much should I spend?

These are the questions that I asked myself all of the time because I LOVE being tan all the time (even in the winter), but for me, the hardest thing was the money. If I was going to be tanning all of the time, I would be spending a lot of money.

I love St. Tropex bronzing mousse. I think this is the best self-tanner out there. It is pricey ($40), but I think it gives the best application and it looks the most natural.

Well, I have found the solution to all of your tanning problems! Well, maybe not, but I definitely found the answer to mine and I am so excited to share it with you. This is an easy, affordable way to make your own tanner at home with only a few ingredients!

What you will need:

  1. Bronzer (powder): This can be any shade depending on your skin tone and how dark you want your tan to be. You can also decide whether or not you want a little shimmer or a matte finish. If you don’t want to use a bronzer or you don’t have one, use a brown eyeshadow in the desirable shade. Remember, this is an affordable alternative to self-tanners at the store so I wouldn’t use your favorite NARS laguna bronzer. Try sticking to products you already have at home or an affordable one like NYC bronzer in “Sunny” (only $3).
  2. Lotion/sunscreen: Depending on where you are going, you will need either a lotion or sunscreen. If you are going for a night out and you just want a little color on your arms and legs, I would suggest a lotion. Also, if there is a specific smell that you want from a lotion, choose that. If you are going to be outside at the beach or at a barbecue, etc., you are going to need a sunscreen with a higher SPF.
  3. Bowl
  4. Knife
  5. Spoon
  6. YOUR SKIN!

How to:

  1. De-pot your bronzer. This means, remove all of the powder from the pan of the bronzer with a knife. There isn’t a “right” way to do this, so just get out as much as you can and empty it into your bowl.
  2. Put as much lotion/sunscreen into the bowl as there is bronzer (1:1 ratio).
  3. Mix the lotion/sunscreen and bronzer powder together until really smooth and there isn’t any dry powder left. Using a spoon, press the ingredients together on the side of the bowl (like you would mix cake batter) to get rid of any bubbles or pockets of powder.
  4. Apply! Put where you need it and this is definitely buildable. You can put on as many layers to reach the right shade for you.

I hope you enjoyed this DIY and let me know how it works for you :)  Happy glowing!

XO Alexa

Youthful summer makeup routine 🙂

I wanted to create a very young, fresh summer look that would be appropriate for any age. I used a lot of nudes, pinks, and light shimmers to give warmth to the face and a glow that will radiate in the sunlight.

I hope you enjoy this video and a special thanks to my sister for allowing me to paint her face :)

*My summer makeup routine*

Here is a video of my everyday summer makeup routine. I don’t wear a lot of makeup on a daily basis during the summer, so this is pretty simple and doesn’t involve a lot of products. Let me know what you think of this kind of post and if you would like to see anymore videos in the comments below :)

p.s. i don’t have the best quality camera, but this is mainly for the purpose of going through the routine :)

XO Alexa

*Drugstore dupes for high-end makeup*

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Last week I said I would be revealing some drugstore dupes (versions) of very popular high-end makeup products and here it is!

I can’t spend a lot of money on my beauty products because I go through them so fast and I like to try a bunch of different products. Unless there is a product that I just absolutely love and I can’t find any dupes for, I usually go for only drugstore brands.

That is why I am writing about dupes. I think it’s important to look at all brands and see what they have to offer. I have found quite a few dupes that are going to save you a lot of money.

1. NARS laguna and orgasm blush/bronze duo ($40)

I absolutely love this blush and bronzer. They are the perfect colors and this duo is extremely popular.

My dupe is…

E.L.F blush and bronzer duo ($3)

These products are so incredibly similar. Even though the elf product looks lighter in the photo, it is not that way in real life. I am so excited I found this!

2. Makeup Forever HD powder ($32)

My dupe is…

E.L.F. High definition powder ($6)

This powder is used to set your liquid foundation and give you a more flawless, “HD” look. The powder is white, but when it sets onto your face, it is translucent.

3. MAC matte lipstick in “Taupe” ($14.50)

My dupe is…

Revlon Colorstay liquid lipstick “Nude” ($8.54)

Although the price doesn’t vary much, I find that the Revlon lipstick is a much better product. It lasts ALL day. I am not kidding. This is the best long lasting lipstick I have found. It comes out of the tube like a gloss, but it dries on your lips after about 30 seconds.

*if you are looking for a no-fail red lipstick try this liquid lipstick in “Top tomato”

4. MAC paint pots ($18 each)

My dupe is…

Maybelline 24 hour color tattoo eye shadows ($6.99)

These are the best cream eye shadows (as you probably know) and they are so affordable for the quality of the product. I also think there are more of these than the MAC paint pots as well, which is great for a better color selection.

5. Bobbi Brown gel liner ($22)

My dupe is…

Maybelline eyes studio lasting drama gel eyeliner ($7.94)

Gel eye liners have such a short shelf life because they dry out quickly. The new Maybelline gel liners are incredible and I found that they don’t dry out as fast as my Bobbi Brown gel liner, which is great because it is so much more affordable!

6. Smashbox photo finish luminizing primer ($38)

My dupe is…

L’Oreal anti-dull skin primer ($12.99)

Although the drugstore dupe is still a little bit pricey, the product is amazing. I just bought this a few days ago and I love it. The pink in the primer cancels out any blue/grey tones in your skin, making your skin look more radiant and “luminizing.” The smashbox primer does the exact same thing. The smashbox primer does have a little more product (.4 oz more), but it is still a lot more expensive than the L’Oreal dupe :)

I really hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you have any dupes that you really like!

XO Alexa

*My haircare routine*

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A lot of the time, our hair takes a backseat when it comes to TLC. We crimp it, straighten it, curl it, and everything else we can possible do to it because we love our hair! But we don’t give it the protection it needs to withstand all of the heat and tugging and pinning, etc.

I am going to share with you my haircare routine because I like to style my hair and get it colored and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! We just need to pamper our hair every once in a while as well.

Shampoo/Conditioner:

I do not spend a lot on my shampoo. It is usually a drugstore brand and I typically try different brands every time I run out. I spend a little more on my conditioners because I think this is the most important for my hair and no matter how often I shampoo, I always condition.

I use the Pantene brand for “fine” hair. I use both the shampoo and conditioner, but I have recently been using the NUME hydro punch conditioner to see how I like it. When I am in the shower, I shampoo my hair first (if I am shampooing that day) and then I apply my conditioner. After I apply, I use a wide tooth comb and comb it through my hair. I leave my conditioner in for the entire duration of the shower to allow for the conditioner to really work through my hair. I also keep a clip in my shower so I can clip it up while I do the rest of my shower routine.

*I would spend more on conditioner, not shampoo

Leave in treatment:

I LOVE the RUSK deep shine leave in conditioning treatment. I have been using this forever and I have never found a leave-in as good as this one. I put this in my hair right after I get out of the shower and before I comb through my hair. I put about a dime sized amount and start at my ends and work my way up.

Another great product is Moroccan Oil. It is a more pricey, but this is also a great leave-in. It’s a little too oily for me, but if you tend to have dry hair, this is a great alternative!

After I put the deep shine in, I spray Garnier Fructis triple nutrient spray just to my ends. This spray is for dry and damaged hair and it leaves my ends feeling more full and thick.

*deep shine and spray can be purchased at drugstores. Moroccan oil can be purchased at beauty stores, such as Ulta.

Curl product:

This summer I don’t like to use a lot of heat on my hair and I have been wearing it natural most of the time. When I want my hair to embody its natural wave :)  I use Garnier Fructis curl scrunch gel in extra strong. This product was in my June favorites post and it is still a major favorite. After I get out of the shower, I spray the nutrient spray to my ends and then apply a dime sized amount of the curl scrunch gel to my hair and scrunch my hair using my hands. This gel doesn’t leave my hair sticky or crunchy or dry. When my hair dries, it doesn’t feel like I have any product in my hair. This is a really great and affordable gel for those of you who just want to give your hair a little help with its natural curl.

Styling:

When I want to curl, straighten, blow dry, etc. my hair, I always use a styling product/heat protectant. The one I am currently using is the Living Proof nourishing styling cream. This isn’t like a wax or putty, but more of a protectant against humidity and frizz and acts almost like a jacket against the environment. I put this on after my deep shine and spray on damp hair before I blow dry or style.

*This product retails for $26 (http://www.livingproof.com/buy/no-frizz-nourishing-styling-cream)

Mask:

This is definitely a no-brainer. I love my coconut oil mask and I do this about twice a week along along with my hair fertilizer. This leaves my hair feeling incredibly soft and I feel like it even adds a little bit of volume. If you haven’t already, read my post about my coconut oil mask: https://alexachanbeauty.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/easy-diy-hair-mask/

When I don’t wash my hair:

I do not wash my hair everyday. This helps to preserve my hair color and keeps my hair from being too dry. The longer, thicker, curlier, or more processed your hair is, the less you should shampoo it. The more you shampoo, oils from the scalp don’t travel down the hair shaft as quickly so the hair tends to be dry (Heather Woolery Lloyd, Director of ethnic skin care at U. of Miami).

So, to keep from being an oily mess at my scalp on the days I don’t shampoo, I use the John Frieda luxurious volume dry shampoo spray. I love this stuff because when my scalp is feeling really oily, I spray this right at the root and my hair is instantly more volumized and my scalp isn’t oily. I carry it in my purse so anytime I need an extra little kick throughout the day, I whip this out and spray my hair a few times. Dry shampoo is definitely worth a shot if you haven’t tried it yet. This is the only brand I have tried, but there are so many out there, drugstore and high end.

I hope this was helpful and if you have any hair tips, please let me know!

XO Alexa

Revealed: July MYGLAM bag

If you have not already heard about the MYGLAM monthly subscription bag, I am going to tell you about it :)

This is a monthly subscription service (like a magazine subscription) where you create an account online and pay $10/month for a new bag every month. When creating an account, you take a series of style quizzes and every month they send you 4-5 beauty items based on your style quiz scores.The point of subscribing is too get high-end products (full and sample sizes) for only $10/month. Brands range from Bobbi Brown to NYX to Bare Escentuals, Philosophy, etc.

The items come in a different bag each month and this is what July’s looks like

I have been subscribed to this one for 3 months and I have been very pleased with the products. I am going to share with you what I got in my July bag and towards the end of the month, I will let you know what I think of the products after I have used them.

1. Yes to Cucumber facial towelettes-travel size (retail $5.99 for full size)

2. Juice beauty green apple moisturizer- sample size (retail $18 full size)

3. Circus by Andrea’s Choice nail polish in “somersault” (retail N/A- collection doesn’t debut until the fall)

4. Bare Escentuals buxom lipgloss in “sugar”- sample size .07 oz (retail $18 for full size which is .15 oz)

I have already tried this lip gloss and it is AMAZING!!! It is a lip plumping gloss and when you put it on, it tingles :)

5. NUME hydrating conditioner– sample size(retail $24.99 full size)

6. NUME coupon codes (I got a %50 coupon for the entire site)

I think this is a great subscription service if you like to try out different beauty products, especially brands that may not be affordable to buy. It’s also fun to just get a little something every month :)  There are so many different websites that have these kind of subscription services and not just for makeup

  • Shoemint.com: $80/month and you receive a new pair of shoes every month
  • Jewelmint.com: $29.99/month and you receive a piece of jewelry every month
  • Birchbox: $12/month and you get 3-4 beauty items each month
  • Littleblackbag.com: $49.95/month and you get 3-4 items (accessories, bags, clothes, etc.) and you can trade these items as well

The list goes on and on. There are so many out there and if you really like to shop and you are going to spend the money plus more each month on these items, I would definitely try them out. All of the brands are high end and retail for more than what the subscription costs.

I hope you enjoyed this and I will let you know how I like my July items!

XO Alexa

My skincare routine: night & day

Taking care of my skin is so important and cleansing and moisturizing is something I definitely have to be diligent about. I am going to share with you my skincare routine and what products I love the most when it comes to my skin!

Prevention!!!

This is the most important part for me when it comes to taking care of my skin. Even if I don’t have breakouts or acne or blemishes, it’s all about preventing them. I have a very strict and sometimes lengthy routine, but my skin has never looked better!

These are the products I use right when I wake up and right before I go to sleep and how I use them :)

MORNING:

1. Noxzema deep cleansing cream: This is the best cleanser I have ever used and I have definitely tried my share of brands (Clinique, Proactive, Cetaphil, Olay, etc.). This cleanser has eucalyptus oil, which gives it that minty tingly feeling on your skin. If I am in the shower, I will put it on first thing and leave it on my face for the duration of the shower to get a steam room effect. The steam from the shower opens the pores on my face allowing the Noxzema to get deep into my skin and remove all of the dirt. (When washing your face, always use warm water) Don’t forget your neck! The neck or declate area (neck extending into the chest area) is the first part of your upper body to show signs of aging so show this area some TLC! At the very end of the shower, I wash it off with hot water and my skin feels amazing. It has a cooling effect so it feels so refreshing. Another great thing about this product is the fact that is super affordable. I got mine at Target for around $4, but at Ulta, they are buy one get one %50 off (around $6 for 2). I have not tried the Noxzema moisturizer, but when I go get my cleanser I will pick some up and let you know how I like it.

2. Philosophy “take a deep breath” gel cream moisturizer: this is my favorite moisturizer for the morning. It is so refreshing and although it doesn’t have any kind of minty ingredients, it has an extremely cooling effect on my skin, which is why I love it right when I get up. The great thing about this product is it has coffee seed extract so it gives the needed caffeine to my skin so it looks more resilient and puffy free. It definitely gives me the pick-me-up I need in the morning. I use about a pea-size amount and put it all over my face and neck (a little goes a long way). The only downside to this product is that it doesn’t have an SPF, which I like to have in my daytime moisturizer. However, if I am wearing makeup that day, my foundation does have an SPF. If I’m not going to wear makeup, then I will apply a small amount of SPF 20 sunscreen to my face after moisturizing. Philosophy is a little more pricey ($34 for a full size jar at Sephora), but it is definitely worth it! I also have several other products from this brand and they never let me down. It’s a good idea to invest in a good cream that suits your skin needs. Like I said, it is all about prevention. You don’t want to have to pay for other products later to get rid of your blemishes if you don’t have to.

3. Garnier nutritioniste skin renew anti-dark circle roller: This is my newest find and I am so hooked! This is an under eye roller from the Skin Renew line of Garnier that I use right after I moisturize in the morning. As we all know, dark circles under our eyes are inevitable due to the slowing of micro-circulation causing the skin to thin and look more translucent.This roller helps to diminish these dark circles and is even tinted so it can also double as a light coverage concealer. The roller is a small metal ball, which makes the effect more cooling and helps relieve puffiness. This product also has caffeine in it, like the Philosophy moisturizer, which is why I love it for the morning. I want to look fresh and bright-eyed (literally) so I use this before putting makeup on and I keep it in my purse so I can use it throughout the day if I am looking tired or puffy. You can get this roller at any drugstore, beauty supply store, Target, Walmart, etc. It is around $12 depending on where you go.

After I have completed these three steps in the morning, I put on makeup and I am ready for the day. (I don’t always put on makeup, but on a normal workday I do)

NIGHTTIME:

1. Coconut oil:I know I have talked about this so much because I absolutely love this product. At nighttime, I use this to remove all of my eye makeup (especially if I am wearing waterproof mascara). I use this before anything else. I apply a small amount to each eye and rub in a circular motion with my fingers until I can see that all my makeup is loosened from my eyes and I can rinse. The oil is going to separate the makeup from your skin, just like oils remove makeup from your brushes (an earlier post). After this, I will either get in the shower and cleanse my face using Noxzema or I will just cleanse at the sink.

2. Olay active hydrating cream (original formula):This is my nighttime moisturizer and this is tried and true favorite. I have been using this since I was little and it works for me so I never changed. I love this cream because it is a little thicker than my daytime moisturizer. I like this because at night, my skin tends to get more oily while I sleep. I know that sounds backwards, but your skin actually produces more oils if it is lacking the oils it needs. It overcompensates for what it needs. Cool, right? So after I cleanse, I moisturize with this all over my face and neck. I have had this for about 5 months and I am only halfway through it so it lasts a while. This is also a more affordable product that Olay carries, which is great! (I think mine was around $6-$8 at Target)

I don’t have a very lengthy nighttime routine, but I do have some products that I do 2-3 times a week in addition to the oil, cleanser, and moisturizer mentioned above.

3. Clean & Clear persa-gel: I use this only when I do get a blemish here and there. I put a very small amount of this on the problem area at night and sleep with overnight and then clean it off in the morning (it dries white so I wouldn’t do this in the morning unless you are going to be around the house). The active ingredient in this product that helps dry out the problem area is benzoyl peroxide so any spot treatment product with that ingredient will work as well. This is just the one that I use. Also, any product with witch hazel, an all natural astringent, will work as well.

4. Equate apricot scrub: I only use scrubs 2-3 times a week because the exfoliation tends to dry out my skin and can be harsh if I use it too many times. I love this one from Equate, which is a more affordable dupe for St.Ives apricot scrub. I love how rough the scrub is because it really sloughs off all of the dead skin and gets all of the dirt from that day out of my pores and leaves my face feeling really fresh and clean. Just like I would with the Noxzema, I do this right after the coconut oil and before my mask (which I will explain next). You can purchase this at any drugstore or Target or Walmart.

5. Queen Helene mint julep mask: This is by far my favorite mask. I only use this mask 2-3 times a week because I don’t want it to dry out my skin and I always use it right after my scrub because the scrub “roughs” up my pores so when I apply the mask, it can really get in there and suck everything out (that sounds so gross). I love the minty feeling of this mask and I love the cooling sensation when I take it off. I leave it on until I can see that the mask has sunken into my pores (you can actually see the pores all over your face) and then I rinse it off with warm water. I then apply my Olay nighttime moisturizer (this is KEY!) so my face doesn’t dry out. You can purchase this at any drugstore and it is super affordable!

This is my skin care routine and based on your skin’s needs, the products are going to differ. If you have more dry skin or oily skin or even combination, you need to choose the best products that aren’t going to work against your skin. Like I said before, the key is to prevent breakouts from happening. This routine is pretty lengthy and can be a nuisance, but it is best for the long run.

Some products, like the moisturizers and even the cleansers, might be a little more pricey, but if it works for your skin then I think it is worth the small investment. However; like I have shown above, you can also get great products for really great prices and they work just as well as high end products.

I really hope this was helpful and comment below if you would like me to do more posts like this!

XO Alexa

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