Best Beauty Buys of 2017: Perfect Stocking Stuffers

I’ve tried my fair share of beauty products this year. Some were duds and some were game changers for me. So I thought I would share all my favorites because these are perfect ideas for stocking stuffers!

Rubber Facial Scrubbers– I have debated for a seriously long time on getting a clarisonic. Done a ton of research and watched a ton of reviews. But I came across some of these little silicone scrubbers at TJ MAXX one time and decided to give them a try. For starters these are much more sanitary for your skin than a brush scrubber. They are also much more affordable and much easier to clean. I love these and they are available at Wal-Mart for under $3.00! These get a really good clean on your skin and I like to think this has helped with my occasional break out.

Outer Space Flexible Hair Spray– Yes I still use hair spray. Got to keep that hair looking fresh to death all day! And this is my absolute favorite. Like I had a meltdown when I ran out and wouldn’t be able to get more for a few days. The hold and the flexibility of this hairspray is unlike any other. It just does it’s job without being crunchy or sticky. And the smell is out of this world. A+ for the packaging as well.

Gimme Brow– Okay, I hate to admit this, but I’ve never done anything to my eyebrows before this year. Just tweezed and that’s that. Why? Because no company makes a good brow product for gingers. There was nothing light enough to make it not look like I was wearing clown makeup. Sure I could go through the trouble of finding a match in an eyeshadow and making it work, but let’s be honest, that’s too much work. This year Benefit Cosmetics came out with a new color for their brow products. And it works amazing for people with the lightest shade of eyebrows. I love this product, like seriously it’s made a difference. My brows aren’t overly dramatic but at least I feel like they are more “on fleek” now.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel– I started getting gel nail manicures this year. I hadn’t had a manicure in ages and loved the long wear of the polish since I work with my hands a lot. But that got extremely pricey. Seriously mad props to all you ladies who do this on a regular basis and have the cutest designs. I would just rather spend that money on tacos or a new bag. So I started looking for at home polishes that would have a long result. So I tried a bunch. Had some real failures. Enter Sally Hansen Miracle Gel. Lots of color options, long lasting and work tested. Plus much safer and affordable.

Aveda Volumizing Tonic– I have been testing all kinds of products to get some great volume in my hair for that messy chic look. This bottle of amazingness is my ticket for fresh washed hair and getting all the oomph I need. The only downfall with this product is the smell isn’t great. But it seriously helps me achieve that blow out volume look I have been aiming for.

Dry Bar Round Brush– So I have changed my hair big time. Last year I did a huge chop and have been playing around with the actual cut ever since. After lots of practice, watching videos and talking with stylist, I have finally figured out how to blow dry my hair properly and to get the style and volume I want. So I decided to invest in a good round brush. This brush might be a little more pricey than what you would consider, but it really does make a world of difference.

Kat Von D Eyeshadow Quad– I have purchased this before, but re-purchased. You know that’s when you love something, right? The formula is just the best on these eyeshadows. So creamy and so easy to blend. If you aren’t a pro with eye makeup, this is a great brand to try. It’s pretty much fool proof. That’s how creamy and well these blend. To be honest I’m still probably blending wrong but it looks fine!

Rootfoot Rose Water– I have been taking my skin care very seriously this year. Maybe it’s because I’m getting closer to middle age but oh well. This spray is soothing, calming and even moisturizing. This saved my skin during the summer. Any time I was in the sun, afterwards I would use this. I didn’t peel the entire season. This never happens. I’m also noticing with cooler weather and dry heat from the car, work and home I have been using this more and more for a skin drink.

 

 

Low Key Holiday Glam + Instagram ColourPop Giveaway

I am super simple when it comes to my make up. Even when the holiday events and parties roll around. I can’t do crazy dramatic eyes because I have extremely watery and sensitive eyes. So to avoid a mess and styes I keep it simple every day. I have been loving my Kat Von D palette for eyes and it goes perfect for the holidays as well since that rusty color is very popular. I kept my wing simple since I was going for a more dramatic lip. And by dramatic I mean sparkly. I love playing with make up just as much as the next person so thought I would go for a shimmery lip. I added Bad Blood by Urban Decay and then went over it with this new NYX Lip Of The Day Art Pen in a rose gold. I topped the entire look off with Bardot blush from ColourPop Cosmetics because it gives an equal part glowy goddess, equal part wind kissed cheeks.

So I have recently fallen in love with ColourPop this year. After hearing all the hype I decided I would give it a whirl and fell in love. **Most of the products are vegan (a few products are not), the entire line is cruelty free and all the product is made here in the USA. Plus let me not forget to mention the entire brand is affordable. So you think it might not be great. Nope way wrong. The quality is amazing for the price you pay. The matte lips I have purchased have stayed on longer than any liquid lipstick I own. You can find anyone some goodies from ColourPop for gifts; almost everyone I know is getting something from the brand for Christmas. (SHHH don’t tell)

So I wanted to share the love with all of you. I am giving away a Bardot Super Shock Cheek and a Ultra Matte Lip in Mink from the Blues Baby collection. All you have to do is find the picture below on my Instagram and follow the instructions there:

P.S. It’s really simple to enter! All you have to do is like the picture and follow me!

Also make sure you check back here and Instagram daily because I will be giving away a product from different companies all week!

Happy Glam Holidays!

Luxury Eye Pillows

Luxury Eye Pillows Luxury Eye PillowsLuxury Eye PillowsLuxury Eye PillowsLuxury Eye PillowsLuxury Eye Pillows

Who ever thought eye pillows could be so luxurious? Something you actually want to display in your home while you are not using it? With Rachel Weisberg’s Lavender Eye pillows you don’t have to sacrifice function over aesthetics. You will actually want to make this part of your bedside display!

All of Rachel Weisberg’s Lavender Eye Pillows are handmade here in Asheville. The inside packet is filled with French lavender, buckwheat hulls and flax seeds. By using these ingredients the pillow is guaranteed to last for several years and you can actually feel a difference on your face whether it is heated or cooled. Cooled works great for puffy eyes and any skin irritation. Heated works great for headaches, migraines and any facial tension due to stress or sickness. And since lavender is used it’s great for just a calming effect, possibly perfect for meditation. The fabric casing on the outside (which can be removed for hand washing) are organic, handmade and hand dyed fabrics.

Rachel Weisberg offers pre-made lavender eye pillows or she can create a custom one of a kind pillow just for you. You can purchase them here or shoot Rachel a message at rachel@rachel-weisberg.com for your own custom creations!

 

Don’t for get today is your last day to enter my Valentine’s Day Giveaway for a chance to win two tickets to Biltmore and a box of chocolates from French Broad Chocolates. You just need to “LIKE” 30 Shades of Stephanie on Facebook and comment your favorite Valentine’s Day memory on this blog post! 

July Favorites 2015

I can’t believe another month has come and gone, it seems like last week I just made my June favorites. But I do love August because Saturday (the first) is my birthday and this coming month I have a lot of exciting things happening.

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This month I haven’t been in love with that many new products but my favorites for the month are Too Faced Born This Way foundation (see my review here), Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer and the Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream.

I'm With The Band

Fashion wise I really just can’t get out of graphic tees this month. Probably as casual as you can get has been my go to this month because my life is about to get really really hectic. I’ve also been living in a pair of knock off Birkenstocks I picked up at Target.

Healthy Chicken Caesar Pasta SaladSweet Farm to TableGarlic, Lemon, Parmesan Brussel Sprouts

This month I have been trying a lot of new recipes because I was in a serious food funk of eating the same boring stuff. So I came up with some twists on things I like to eat regular. A different roasted brussel sprouts, a chicken cesar pasta salad, a berry crumble and a childhood favorite have been new in my kitchen this month.

 

I have recently came across Alex and Sierra who apparently recently won The X Factor, and I am in love. They remind me of a more eclectic sounding Civil Wars and I am in love. I can’t stop listening to their songs.

Another Day Another Hike

Andrew and I enjoy hiking so I will post our hike to Chimney Tops in Gatlinburg TN as my favorite even though it was literally the hike from hell. It was extremely steep and we got rained out at the top, but the adventure does make me pretty happy..

Born This Way Review

Born This Way ReviewBorn This Way ReviewBorn This Way Review

 

Too Faced recently came out with a new foundation called Born This Way and I had heard a lot of great reviews about the foundation. I was on the hunt for a new foundation because I have tried a few that I like and some I don’t. The one I really like is the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless but after wearing it, I’ve come to realize it wasn’t quite what I was looking for for an every day foundation and my favorite foundation by Clinique is no longer produced. When I received a 20% off coupon from Too Faced I thought I might as well give it a try and if I didn’t like it I knew some people just as pale as me that I could pass it along too.

When I got the bottle in the mail, I first off fell in love with the packaging. It’s sleek, in a glass bottle and comes with a pump! It is an oil free foundation with medium to full coverage, perfect for anyone with oily skin. This is also the first foundation I have come across that is infused with coconut water to moisturize the skin, alpine rose to brighten the skin and hyaluronic acid to make the skin appear more youthful. This foundation is a little more pricey coming in at $39.00 and available at Too Faced, Ulta and Sephora.

I have been wearing the foundation for about two weeks now so I could give you my honest opinion, and my honest opinion is I love this. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this. I have found my new favorite foundation! When pumping the foundation out it did look a little thick which first worried me, but it went on very smooth and blended in perfectly. I do wear the Clinique Superprimer under this, but I think the Born This Way foundation helps blur my redness even more. The foundation doesn’t have an overwhelming smell that some foundations have which I love. I hate “smelling” my foundation during the day. This foundation makes my skin look absolutely amazing. It makes my face look so awake and bright (which will be perfect for this upcoming fall semester) and gives it this natural glow that isn’t shiny or greasy looking. I normally set my entire face for oil control but I have only been setting the place where I have used concealer! The make up lasts all day, even in the summer heat which is a huge plus for me! It also doesn’t have that sticky feel to it, if I were to touch my face during the day it doesn’t feel cakey or greasy or essentially like I’m wearing makeup. Even though the foundation is a little bit more expensive I will be repurchasing this foundation.

All of you can receive 20% off your Too Faced order buy going to the homepage and on the right you have the option of sharing Too Faced via social media! Once you share you will receive a 20% discount for your entire purchase. The bronzers from Too Faced are awesome as well..

Review of Maybelline’s Master Conceal Concealer

This heatwave in Asheville has made my face breakout like it has never broken out before. With oily skin my main affected area has been my t-zone (my break outs have been around my eyebrows, all along my nose and on my chin) and have had a few break outs on my jaw line. I really love the Kat Von D Lock It Concealer but ran out during the winter months and have not repurchased due to the fact that it is $25.00. Don’t get me wrong I love this concealer but for the moment I needed something a little bit more affordable. Of course I went to Youtube (plus I love Melissa Autry) to look for some reviews and decided to give Maybelline New York Master Concealer a try.

Review of Maybelline's Master Conceal Concealer

I got my concealer at Ulta and with a coupon only paid 7.99 for it so the price was perfect. They were out of the the lightest shade of Fair so I had to go with Light and this will work for summer months but for winter months I would need to go with the lightest shade. The consistency is really light weight but does an awesome job at coverage. Due to the shade it doesn’t work as great with my light weight foundation but does work with my foundations that have a little more coverage. It’s not drying, it doesn’t appear cakey, it lasts all day, and it doesn’t look oily through the day. Review of Maybelline's Master Conceal Concealer

This for the moment is the most troubled side of my face and chin and I think the foundation does a great job of covering up the redness of the bumps and even a red birthmark I have.

Review of Maybelline's Master Conceal Concealer

 

Breakouts appear very minimal!

Review of Maybelline's Master Conceal ConcealerReview of Maybelline's Master Conceal Concealer

I does work great with covering my under eye circles. If using under eye I highly recommend priming your under eye first because it does sink into some fine lines, nothing will ever fully prevent this but some things work better than others.

Due to the fine line issue I would rate this 4.5 out of 5 stars, and the only concealer that has ever got 5 stars in my vote is the Kat Von D Lock It Concealer.

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The Best Beauty Advice

The Best Beauty AdviceThe Best Beauty AdviceThe Best Beauty Advice

When I was younger, I thought being tan was what was the prettiest; I have tried my hand at tanning oils, not wearing sunscreen and laying in a tanning bed. I’ve also paid the price. Melanoma is not something to play around with and I realized I’ve done a lot of damage to my skin over the years, I began to pay more attention to my skin, moles and certain freckles. Since the age of 21 I have visited a dermatologist twice a year to have my skin checked and I have had a few places removed due to concern. I have spoken with the dermatologist on how to better protect my skin and thought I would share with you. Wear sunscreen whenever you can! I am almost as pale as Casper and sometimes get burned while riding in the car. I wear moisturizer for my face and body that has an SPF in it. When I’m going out in the direct sun it is very important to wear a sunscreen. I don’t go any higher than an SPF 50 because research shows that SPF 45 blocks 98% of the suns harsh rays but higher doesn’t do much better because there is no guarantee of 100% protection. My dermatologist recommends to avoid spray sunscreens because you can not see the application as well and also when applying outside a lot may not even get to your skin. Also apply sunscreen 15 minutes prior to heading outside to let it settle into your skin, if you apply immediately before getting in water it has no chance of settling on your skin and you will loose it.  Reapply sunscreen every 45 minutes to an hour while outside. Wear protective clothing! Wear a hat to prevent sunburn on the face, ears and scalps and wear shirts or cover ups while in direct sunlight to prevent shoulder burns. Overcast weather is your most likely chance to get burned as well as under water. Avoid tanning beds, the artificial lighting is much harsher on the skin. Know your skin and take notice of moles, freckles and the texture. See your doctor if anything is worrying you or has changed.

If you must be tan, I highly recommend a spray tan or a self tanner. St. Tropez is a great brand (pricey) that reduces streaks and doesn’t have that orange look to it.

Also the Giveaway winner is Ashley Cronin! Congratulations!.

FIT ME! Foundation Review

FIT ME Foundation Review

 

In case you have been out of the loop Maybelline came out with two new foundations under the Fit Me! line. There is a dewy finish and a matte and poreless finish! Since my skin tends to be more on the oily side, I thought I would try the matte finish. This foundation is also really affordable; it’s any where between 6 and 8 dollars depending on where you purchase.

FIT ME! Foundation Review

The foundation is actually very lightweight and almost watery which is what I look for in a foundation because I don’t want it to be “heavy on my skin” and feel natural.

FIT ME! Foundation ReviewFIT ME! Foundation ReviewFIT ME! Foundation ReviewFIT ME! Foundation Review

 

These pictures are taken about 4 hours after the initial application and it still looks very matte. I also like the way it feels, it doesn’t really feel like I’m wearing any makeup. The entire time I wore this foundation, I got compliments on my skin or makeup so I take that as a plus. When applying I think you should use a beauty blender or the Real Techniques version, I used a buffing brush, but think the blender would work better. The only downside I have to this foundation is I wish the bottle had a pump to it..

Manicure Monday

Manicure Monday

I have a new addiction thanks to my friend Katie and it is Jamberry Nail Wraps!! These wraps are much more easier than actually painting your nails; no painting your skin and waiting the time for the paint to actually dry. These “wraps” (essentially nail stickers) come in hundreds of designs (one for every style) and are really affordable; $15.00 for a sheet which gets you two manicures and two pedicures. This is a whole lot cheaper than the nail salon, plus there’s no smell and they aren’t harmful to your nails. I’ve been using wraps since about November and after about two weeks and removing my nails are not stained, bumpy or “flakey” like I often get with salon quality gel nails, acrylics, or plain polish.

Manicure MondayManicure Monday

The wrap comes on a clear sheet so you can easily find the right wrap for the right finger. All you need to do this at home manicure is your Jamberry nails, a blow dryer, nail file, scissors and a cuticle stick. Here’s a video on how simple it is. Wrap picture above is Confused Canvas!

Manicure MondayManicure MondayManicure Monday

I love how much I can express my own personal style now through my nails with graphics instead of plain colors. Wraps pictures above are Reminisce and Black and White Skinny!

I’m currently hosting a Jamberry party on Facebook that will go until March 22nd! I made the party public so any of you can actually join the party if you would like. Join the party HERE and get ready for fun, games and shopping.

Or you can always shop Jamberry HERE!.

Spring Wants (Under $50.00)

Spring Wants (Under $50.00)

T-Shirt Dress // Boyfriend Shorts // Hat // Floral Kimono // Weekender Bag // Urban Decay’s Solstice Eye Shadow // Agate Bracelet // Lorac’s Unzipped Cheek Palette and Alter Ego Lipstick Set // Tribal Print Bag // Sunnies // Chucks //

Spring is literally right around the corner (17 days to be exact) and I’m getting really excited about it. When a new season comes around, the stores fill up with all new things but this year I’m keeping my wish list pretty simple for the new season and going to try to work around the items I already have in my closet. I am in need of a new bathing suit and some basic t-shirt but to me those are pretty boring things to shop for. I’m really into the whole boho beach girl vibe this year and really think it is going to reflect in my wardrobe this upcoming season! Most of the things I have picked out are under $35.00 which is a score for me and all of these things on my “wishlist” are going to be perfect for my vacation in early May!!!

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