Friday, April 1, 2016

Korean Beauty - Snail Cream and why I can't stop lathering myself in it

I posted about this cream awhile back, but am just now comprehending how amazing this stuff is. I was going through a rough couple of months with my skin. I had crazy hormonal breakouts, a facial that really irritated my skin, and just overall redness, peeling, and ugliness in general. I remembered this was suppose to be super healing and great for acne. I put it on before bed one night and I kid you not - ALL of my zits were gone and this dry, red patch I'd had for months was 100x better. I have not skipped one day of using this in 2 months and my skin is 100% clear and pretty dang perfect right now. Overall my skin feels calm and happy when I use this. This is seriously a miracle worker! And incase you've been living under a rock - here's the 411 on snail cream:

Snail cream is made from the secretion snails leave behind when they move, scooped up and purified into a powder. The slime is packed with nutrients like hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein, enzymes, antimicrobial peptides, and proteoglycans (fillers that plump). In case you're concerned, all of the slime is harvested in a snail-friendly laboratory environment. Here's some more snail cream benefits: fades scars, heals acne, heals burns, smooths skin, plumps skin, revitalizes skin, boosts collagen and elastic, fades dark spots.

What you might not know is that the snail slime and other Korean skincare ingredients are supported my some serious R&D. Skincare in Korea is an integral part of their culture - your complexion is a treasured possession and regimens focus on prevention and skin fortification. As a result, Korea has produced some of the most cutting edge R&D labs in the world, supported by government funding.

The brand I use (Mizon) is the #1 selling snail cream in Korea. It has one of the highest concentrations of snail extracts. The texture is almost gel like, has a nice fresh scent, and I promise it won't gross you out! I use it like a serum under my moisturizer. If you have oily skin you may not need a moisturizer over it, but if you are dry I would recommend the extra moisture. The spray is really amazing too. I use it before (on a clean face) I put the snail repair cream on and after or throughout the day as well. Click photos for link to product!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Charlotte Tilbury

Just wanted to share this gorgeous Charlotte Tilbury The Dolce Vita set with you! It is one of the best sets out there because you will actually use everything! Most sets always have some awful lip color or eyeshadow you will never use. You will use every single thing in this set over and over. 

My favorite thing so far is the blush. You use the outside color on the entire cheekbone then pop the center color on the apples. Such a neat concept and the BEST cheek color! The lippie set is the most perfect nude. The lip liner is possibly my new favorite liner ever. It's all just stunning!!

One of the reasons I got this set is because of this tutorial! It's super easy to follow, uses everything in this set, and the end result is makeup perfection. Watch here!

Shop the set here!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Dark Eye Circle Fixes

I've really been struggling with dark under eye circles lately. I wanted to do a quick post on a few of the products that have truly been life savers!
Obagi ELASTIderm Eye Serum - I went to my dermatologist to talk about some options for my dark circles. She said unless I wanted to get my under eyes injected with filler, lasered, or both there is really not much she can do. She didn't recommend getting fillers (she would inject fillers over the dark circles to hide them) because sometimes it can cover the dark circles, but leave you with puffy eyes. Kind of a lose, lose situation. I'm still debating the laser treatment and researching more before I decide. Until then, she highly recommended this Obagi ELASTIderm Eye Serum. I love that it goes on with a cooling roller ball. It is infused with caffeine which really helps your eyes look bright, awake, and less puffy. This eye serum also helps fight wrinkles-- always a plus. I noticed my dark circles were much less visible the first week I started using. I use it day and night! I love that it's not greasy.

BECCA Under Eye Brightening Corrector -  This has been a MUST HAVE when I do my makeup. I can't go without it. It is a "primer" for your concealer that brightens and lightens. A little goes a LONG way. It is very moisturizing and concentrated, so setting the eye with powder after your concealer is a must! You will  notice right away that your entire under eye area looks bright and youthful.

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder - I am so mad at myself for not getting this product ages ago! It is a game changer! I call it my magical powder. I use a little powder brush, swirl it around in the lid and tap, and apply under and around my eye area. It perfectly sets your concealer so that it won't crease and it completely brightens and opens up your eyes. It is truly incredible. Love love love this stuff! You will never use anything else to set your concealer!

Here is the last post I did on some of my favorite concealers.

Hope this helps with those pesky dark circles!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Pure Genius - The Dollup Case

Wanted to share one of my latest must-haves AKA obsessions. Where has this been all my life? It's a clutch, a magnetic makeup palette, a tool belt, and a mirror all in one! It comes in tons of amazing colors, is super high quality, and looks chic with any outfit.

I am doing makeup for a wedding this coming weekend, but am also a guest. I am going to be doing her touch-ups throughout the wedding and this will be PERFECT to carry all my touch-up makeup in, but also look like I'm just carrying my clutch around.

There is still enough time to get this as an AMAZING Christmas gift for the beauty lover in your life. This would be such unique gift! You can order here!

I basically had a photo shoot for this beauty because it's just too pretty not to. Enjoy the 3,897 photos I took. I couldn't stop!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

From Hawaii With Love

I have very few beauty lines that I fall head over heels in love with. Especially the natural/organic lines. I love love love the idea of only using natural and organic ingredients in my skincare, but when you have difficult skin sometimes you just need to get straight to the chemicals. I know that sounds awful, but essential oils can only take you so far - for me anyway! But that's neither here nor there! Let's get to the point...I have found the mother of all natural and organic skincare lines.

I stumbled across her page on Instagram. The beautiful photos of Hawaii, her beautifully descriptive captions, the warmth that exuded from her page...I felt like I was taking a little trip to the islands. I could practically smell the tropical flowers, honey, and coconut. I needed everything she made and I needed it right then and there! Growing up on an island myself, I am always a sucker for anything that reminds me of being there.

Here are a few of the products I ordered and my thoughts on them. 

Coco Infusion: A tropical luxury body oil made with pure unrefined coconut oil, cold pressed organic macadamia & kukui nut oils and gently infused with sea buckthorn oil. I got the scent 'Mahana' which is a fusion of organic vanilla and coconut cream. The smell alone will take you to the warmth and sunshine of the tropics. I use this on my entire body when I get out of the shower. I got the one that has a beautiful gold sheen to it. I swear I look like I am glowing from within. Since it has coconut oil in it, it can solidify with colder temps. Just keep it in your shower so it's nice and warmed! 

Mermaid Mask: This mask is a superfood for your skin. With Hawaiian raw honey, Hawaiian spirulina, Chlorella, sea buckthorn, luminess algae and 15 botanicals. Your skin will drink up this elixir and radiate. I swear one product smells better than the next. This feels like a nice, thick honey consistency and glides right onto the skin. It never hardens or cracks. It leaves your face so happy, plumped, and glowing. I just feel so good knowing I'm feeding my face with such goodness!

Sexy, I know!
Champagne Serum: A dime size amount is all you need to dramatically change the appearance and texture of your skin. Loaded with antioxidants, your skin will drink up this cocktail and be sure to thank you later. I have been using this as my daytime serum under my SPF moisturizer. It has quickly become the ONLY oil I can use on my face. Usually they all break me out. This is so light, absorbs right away, and is never greasy. This is a must have! It contains: organic cold pressed grape seed oil, organic jojoba oil, organic rose hip oil, Vitamin C & E, ginkgo boloba, olive leaf extract, roobibos leaf, white tea, green tea, rose water, and rosemary antioxidant. WOW!

Honey Love Microdermabrasion 3-in-1 Cleanser, Mask, & Exfoliator: A blend of essential oils, vitamin C & E, organic flower powders and 100% raw and organic Hawaiian honey made from Hawaiian Island bees will transform your skin, and leave you with a soft and dewy complexion. Raw honey is a humectant, attracted and retaining moisture to your skin. Honey also contains flavonoids and antioxidants which work as antibacterial agents making it great for oily and acne prone skin! As soon as you open the jar and smell the rich Hawaiian honey, you will be hooked! It is truly a sensory experience. I have to say my skin has been super clear and soft since I've been using this. I already reordered because I want it on hand when I run out!

If you have a moment take the time to read this. I LOVE the way she sums up her process of creating and one of the many reasons why I fell in love with this line:

"There is a lot of research that goes into each ingredient, and then a very long testing phase. An ingredient has to captivate all of my senses. The texture, the scent, the feeling on my skin when applying, and how the skin resonates with each ingredient once it is left on the skin and once it is washed off.

The entire experience of using each ingredient must be lovely, it should be unique and thoroughly enjoyable. And then, once you start blending and infusing, that's when the magic happens. Ingredients begin to transform and metamorphose. It is pure plant, oil, fruit, and nectar alchemy for me. It is very similar to cooking in a way and I am very much in love with the entire process.

Skin benefits are essential for choosing ingredients. I adore pure, raw organic Hawaiian honey for its antibacterial properties and moisturizing factors. You can find it in our Honey Love, Mermaid Mask and new products we will be launching soon. Tropical oils are some of my favorite, you will find cold pressed, organic oils in our Coco Infusions and Serums. Essential oils are crucial for their skin and aromatherapy benefits. I am particularly fond of French Lavender, Chamomile, Blue Tansy and Neroli.

I love superfood ingredients that promote cellular renewal and literally "feed" your skin. You can feel them working their magic on the skin, and the glow that you are left with is the proof. Our Mermaid Mask is full of superfood ingredients, and is essentially a 'skin food'. I love both calming and stimulating ingredients. Some women enjoy clothing or shoe shopping, for me, its ingredients shopping for my products that makes my heart skip a beat.

You know- my husband named our company 'Leahlani', Lani means heaven in Hawaiian, and he said when I was talking about skincare of facials in the studio blending...I was in heaven. He is right! All of our ingredients I use are the best that mother nature has to offer and help the heal and replenish the skin, tried and true."

***Note: Even though it ships from Hawaii, the shipping is SUPER fast! Mine got to me in a few days! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My Microblading Experience

Microblade, eyebrow feathering, hair stroke, semi permanent makeup, it what you want, I'm just glad I discovered it! After YEARS of research, stalking the best permanent makeup artists, making apppointments, chickening out and canceling appointments - I finally said enough was enough and went for it!

What is microblading?

Microblading is a relatively new, manual method of permanent eyebrow cosmetics. It is actually considered to be semi-permanent. It is done using a very fine blade to deposit pigments into the epidermis to "tattoo" individual hairs. Because the color is impacted closer to the surface, the strokes appear crisp and very fine. There is no "spilling" under the skin.

How did I choose/find my permanent makeup artist?

Three years ago I randomly stumbled upon Permanent Makeup by Mary online. She is based out of Tampa, but I was willing to fly to her because she is so talented. This was when I discovered that actual teeny tiny hairs could be tattooed on. No one really knew about microblading at this point, so I quickly got an appointment with her (she even offered to pick me up from the airport). At this same time I ended up finding out I was pregnant and had to cancel my appointment (obviously a no no for pregnant women). Fast forward to almost 3 years later...she is now on a year long waiting list!! Good for her, bad for me!

I was beyond lucky though and RANDOMLY found a woman in my area (we just moved to Knoxville, TN) who is a personal friend of Mary and was trained by her! What a small world! Her before and after photos were phenomenal. I called and had an appointment that next week! When choosing someone it is so so so important that you see their work beforehand! Here are some of the photos from Kim's Permanent Cosmetics (who did mine).

As you can see in this before picture of me - I had hardly any eyebrows. Penciling/drawing my eyebrows on had become the norm for me. I had to do it every single day for the most part because I looked like I literally had none. They were so thin and and sparse, doing my eyebrow makeup had become something I dreaded. I had to completely create a brow each time I did my makeup and it was exhausting! One wrong move and I had a bad eyebrow day on my hands.

I'm going to walk you through my experience in the photos below!

Here is the lovely room where I spent 3 entire hours getting my brows done! It was super clean and very professional.
I believe the machine to the left is the actual tattoo machine. A microblade was used for me, but I thought you would like to see this anyway!
These are the tools she used to measure and draw the perimeters of my new brows. She spent over an hour meticulously measuring and drawing my brows so that they were the perfect shape and size for my face. I was able to review what she had done and tweak it as needed. I was really happy with the perimeters she chose. I wanted my brows to be extremely natural because I could always go back for a fuller brow later on.
Here I am after she completed drawing the perimeters for my brows. After she was done she applied some numbing cream, so here I am waiting for it to kick in! 
I couldn't take any photos of the actual procedure because I was there alone and had to hold VERY still. I took this after the procedure was done. It took almost 2 hours. Here is the actual micro blade she used and the pigments as well. 
These are my actual results immediately after the procedure. I am beyond happy with how natural they look. The shape is absolutely perfect. She even raised my arch just a tad so I really feel like it lifted my eyes. I am thrilled with them!
I naturally tend to raise one of my eyebrows when I smile, but I promise they are even! This is right after it was done. It was a long 3 hours! I was starving. 
The price for mine was $425. I think this is extremely reasonable. I have seen other places that are well over $1000. I don't think it has become super popular in my area yet, so I really lucked out by finding someone as experienced and as reasonable.

With microblading she is bascially taking a fine blade and scraping many hair-like lines into your skin. I felt it. I for sure felt it. I am also a person that felt the entire child birthing experience even with an epidural. I am just extremely aware of my body and of pain. Most people say they can't feel microblading. To each their own, but for me it was pretty painful. I just tried to zone out.

Caring for brows:
- No water can touch your brows for 10 days! This was really though.
- On day 4 start applying grape seed oil to your brows at night with a q-tip
- After Day 10 you can get brows wet and use a mild soap when you wash your face until they are completely healed. Continue to use grape seed oil.
- They do require touch-ups every now and then as needed. Once they are healed they urge you to come back with any places that may need to be filled in or tweaked.
- They are suppose to last anywhere from 1 to 3 years.

My final thoughts:
The first week my brows were scabbed over and very dark. I had to wear a hat in public because I felt like a crazy person. After a week they began to itch and the scabs began to flake off. They looked pretty normal at this point. After Day 10 the scabs were almost all gone and the color started to look really natural. I am at Day 14 now and they are almost 100% healed. I am so so happy with my results. I haven't worn makeup with them yet, but I feel like it will really cut down my getting ready time. I do know that I feel so much better without makeup now! I wish I had done this years ago! Please feel free to email me with any questions or anything I may have left out. Hope this helps some of you contemplating microblading!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Current MAC Favorites

MAC Eye Shadow Palette x 9: Purple • M·A·C Hands down all the most flattering purple/plum shades I've ever seen. You can go light or dramatic. Purple will make your eye color pop like crazy! 
MAC Eye Shadow Palette x 9: Burgundy • M·A·C I have been using this every day lately - it's all the most beautiful reddish brown/nudes ever.
MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil • M·A·C I love lip liner, but hate having to take the time to reapply it. Usually it wears off and I'm reapplying just my lipstick. This really stays on so I don't have to touch up! I have been using the color 'Nice n' Spicy'.
MAC Matchmaster Concealer • M·A·C MAC use to have a very similar concealer in a stick and I would buy the darkest one and use it as a contour stick. I'm so excited they have come out with these! I am using 7.5 right now. They make the best contour sticks! 
MAC Paints • M·A·C I have been using 'Bare Canvas' nonstop as an eyeshadow base. I was using Benefit Stay Don't Stray religiously until they changed the formula! Boo! Now this is my go to. 
MAC Mineralize Charged Water • M·A·C This is just so refreshing and feels so good on my skin. I spray it all over before I start my makeup. It's just heavenly. 
MAC Strobe Cream • M·A·C I've been mixing a bit of this is my foundation for an extra glow and WOW what a difference. It really gives my dull, winter skin such a pick me up. You will be so in love with this stuff after one use! 
MAC Powder Blush • M·A·C I saw the color 'Melba' was the #1 selling blush on the MAC website so I decided to give it a try. I absolutely love it. A great natural, neutral shade - I've been wearing it nonstop!
MAC Patent Polish Lip Pencil • M·A·C I have been using the color "Spontaneous" as my every day lip color. It's a nice plum and just gives me a teeny pop of color. I am not a huge color person (I like my nudes and light pinks), but this I love for a little color! The color "Kittenish" is one shade lighter with the same tones and I like it just as well!
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