Monday, October 29, 2012

I Don't Think We're In Kansas Anymore!




Well friends, we are bracing ourselves for hurricane Sandy which is scheduled to hit NJ directly later today. It's suppose to last for a couple of days and winds are expected to be 70-90 MPH.  Needless to say we are scared to death!  This year, since Halloween is basically a bust, i decided to dress my girls up on Saturday and let them enjoy their costumes for a bit.  Coincidentally they are dressed up as Dorothy and Glenda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz!  Now I'm used to 'twinadoes' but certainly not hurricanes of this dimension!  So, while we still have power, I'm desperately trying to stay up to date on all the wonderful comments you leave me.  I'm visiting as many of your blogs as i can.  I can only assume that in a few short hours, i will no longer have access to the web.  So, if you leave a comment and follow... rest assured i will (God willing) get back to you as soon as i am able.

Until then, i ask that you all say a prayer for everyone in the NY/NJ area and of course all those directly affected by this monstrous storm! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nars Outlaw



A month or so ago, i wandered into my local Sephora and immediately waltzed on over to the Nars section to drool over all the new Fall goodies!  I was instantly drawn to their new blush in  Outlaw... a stunning deep berry hue totally in keeping with the season's current oxblood obsession!  I swatched it on my hand and knew that this baby was mine... MINE!  But then, as i reached for a box to take home i realized that it was sold out!  What? Sold out?!  Well, sold out means everyone has it but me and now I'm a crazy woman on a MISSION!  As the sweat beads rolled down my face, i practically ran out of the store and drove home like a mad woman hoping to get on my laptop asap!  After all, there was searching to be done!  I checked out Sephora online and SOLD OUT!  Now I'm not even thinking rationally at this point!  I'm envisioning every cool girl in town wearing this totally awesome 'gotta have' shade because it's the total IT color of the season and if i don't get my hands on it, I won't be invited to any of the cool parties!  I'll be the laughing stock of the school... oh wait... OK um, excuse me while i dust my high school self off, hop on the 'back to the future' contraption and slap some reality back!  Composure... yes deep breaths and determination!  So, i strolled on over to the Nars website and guess what??!!!!  I scored myself one gorgeous, stunning, totally rockin' Nars Outlaw blush!  I was so excited when it arrived in the mail!  I immediately put in on and it was love at first swipe.  In fact, i knew this love affair would last for weeks to come!  Yes weeks... I'm a beauty blogger so i switch up my beauty/makeup routine almost as often as JLo switches hubbies! Ahem... OK that wasn't so nice...  OK, back to the blush!  It's worth every penny!  I've worn it every day since!   So lets chat, what's your favorite NARS product?  I will be sharing a few more of mine in the weeks ahead so stay tuned!  As always, thank you SO MUCH for reading!  XOXO Carla



 



Friday, October 19, 2012

Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo




I don't know about where you live, but it was rainy and miserable here in Jersey... to say the least!  Thankfully, this beauty blogger's got a few secrets up her sleeve to combat 'bad hair day' kinda weather!  Well, days like today call for the one and only Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo!  Nothing else will get the job done ladies!  This dry shampoo will immediately take your hair from blah to hot momma in a matter of seconds!  It's that simple! This dry shampoo also works wonders for days when you simply don't have time to wash your locks.  This pretty baby will take care of that for you and leave you looking like you just stepped out of a salon!  OK, well maybe not exactly like you just stepped out of a salon, but i promise your hair will look clean  and pretty! I've tried several other brands and can assure you there is none better then my wonderful Oscar... he brightens my day when the sun chooses not to! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

About Me



Hi, I'm Carla...a fashion obsessed beauty junkie!  I'm also mommy to beautiful twin girls Mia and Olivia!  I believe that accessories are EVERYTHING!  I was recently selected as an alternate in Allure's Beauty Blogger of the Year Awards and had the time of my life completing the challenges involved.  I'm so excited and honored that my blog is on Allure.com's blog roll!  This experience was truly life changing because it confirmed that following my dreams is the right thing to do.  So here i am... blogging my little heart out!  Hope you enjoy :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pantone Universe Lip Luster Lipstick




So we all know I'm a huge fan of Sephora!  It's my like candy store!  I mean, every time i walk in, I'm immediately mesmerized by the wonderful array of beauty must haves!  Pantone Universe for Sephora always manages to have amazing, innovative products that are a beauty bloggers dream!  I feasted my eyes on this amazing lip luster lipstick in Raspberry Radiance and was immediately drawn to its unique applicator.  You see, it's not just your average lip product.  This pretty baby is a double-chambered lipstick that combines rich, bold pigment with a moisturizing lip balm.  Hello??!!!  Lipstick WITH balm!  Basically, it's layered!  There's one layer of balm and one layer of a gorgeous shimmery plum hue that is just perfect for celebrating the Fall season's must-have trend! It goes on sheer... you'll definitely get some color, but it's not intense.  If you're not feeling this plum shade, you'll be happy to know you'll have four other shades to choose from ranging from nude to 'Tangerine Tango', Pantone Universe's color of the year!  Overall, i give this product an A plus because it not only looks amazing but feels insanely good on my lips! 


 

Soooo speaking of sephora.. today is the last day to enter my SEPHORA GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY!  What will you buy if you're the big winner???

Thank you SO MUCH for reading!  XOXO Carla

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Skin Cleansing Routine

 

So a few months back, i knew it was time to invest in a Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System.  I asked many of you for help in deciding which would make the best investment for me.  After much deliberating, it was obvious that the Clarisonic Mia 2 was the one for me!  First, one of my twins is named Mia so I'm a bit biased to the name!  On a more serious note, after reading more about this product, i felt that it was a great investment!  Yes, it's not exactly cheap, but... when you factor in the costs of all those expensive treatments/procedures geared towards keeping your skin young and refreshed, well... why not opt to just take really good care of it on a daily basis to avoid needing any of those other things right?  Now I'm not claiming that this product will keep wrinkles away or anything like that.  But I'm a firm believer that if you keep your skin clean, hydrated and protected on a daily basis, you can essentially delay some of the 'aging' factors. 

So on a daily basis (and yes, it is a bit of a commitment but if i can do it with my twinadoes, certainly you can find the time as well), i dab a few drops of my favorite skin cleanser Purity by Philosophy (i love Philosophy products, particularly their fragrances) on to my Clarisonic Mia 2 and proceed to cleanse my skin.  This product has an automatic timer, making it practically fool proof! This is ideal since i can get easily distracted!  The timer helps keep me on track!  It's basically 20 seconds on your chin, 20 seconds on your forehead and 10 seconds on each cheek.   So I'm pretty sure you have ONE minute out of the day to do this no?  Here's a little trick... i use it right before heading to the shower so that i don't even have to rinse my face off in the sink.  I simply use my Clarisonic, and when when the timer stops, i step into the shower and rinse there!   Just to be sure i never forget to deep cleanse my skin, i also keep my favorite skin polish in the shower which you can read about here

See, easy peasy!  So do you have a Clarisonic Cleansing system?  What are your thoughts?  I love all their fabulous colors and was so excited to get mine in 'Mango'!  I honestly felt a huge difference in my skin the very FIRST time i used it!  Isn't that insane??? 

XOXO, Carla

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Uncurly - The Answer to Every Woman's Prayers!


Ok ladies, sit down... no really, you'll want to sit down for what I'm about to share with you!  I am seriously about to change your life!  Yep, you heard correctly!  How many of you spend hundreds of dollars on Keratin Treatments?  How many of you wish you could afford to do a Keratin treatment but simply don't have the $250-$500 these treatments cost??   I hear you loud and clear!  Let me give you a little background on my lovely hair!  For years, I've struggled with thick, unruly hair!  On average, blowing out my hair took at least one hour of complete torture!  Even so, five minutes after walking out of my house, my hair would swell and frizz!  Then came the awkward random waves that would show up in various parts of my head (though never where I'd like for them to actually be)! 
No seriously... last year, at back to school night (I'm a teacher), i straightened my hair and thought i looked super cute.  However, as the day progressed, my hair began to do it's typical swelling and frizzing.  However, this time, it was on a whole other level!  By the time my students' parents walked into my classroom, i looked like i had stuck my finger through and electrical socket!  Yep, that was the lovely impression my students' parents walked away with!  I... was... MORTIFIED!

 I'd been researching the various treatments/ straighteners available on the market to find the perfect one for my hair!  I ended up doing Thermafuse F450 which set me back a whopping $360!!!  Oh yeah, i had to sell a lot of junk on eBay to afford that one!  Don't get me wrong, it was worth every penny because my hair looked and felt amazing!  However, i seriously stressed about how i was going to continue to afford this treatment every few months!  Back in my single days, i could easily rock my Pradas and Guccis, but now i'm a mommy which means i have to think twice before investing in these kinds of luxuries.  Since my first Thermafuse treatment, I've done two Keratin treatments and another Thermafuse which happens to have only been a few short weeks ago.  Let me tell you about that experience!  The hair dresser felt that since I'm a blond, she'd only use a flat iron at 400 degrees vs. 450.  Well, guess what?? It didn't work!  Can you imagine how annoyed i was???  I mean, who wants to spend that kind of money and end up with a treatment that doesn't work!  As you can imagine, I was fuming and completely frustrated!

Into my life walks Uncurly!  Uncurly is a 'salon Keratin without the salon' product!  Uncurly's mission is to make this 'life-changing' treatment available to all.  They believe that if you can wash, dry and flat iron your hair, you are essentially over qualified to do this yourself!   When you think about needing an actual professional to cut your hair, i mean, that makes total sense right?  It takes knowledge, practice and skill.  Washing hair... applying a product... blow drying... flat ironing... anyone can do this!  It's NOT brain surgery!  So why do we need a salon?  Forget the political mumbo jumbo... this is the real conspiracy! OK, I'm being silly but really... why (until now) has this product been limited to salons!!!  I mean, if you'd rather have it done at a salon for the mere fact that someone else is doing the treatment, that's fine!  But are you seriously willing to pay an extra couple of hundred dollars or more just for that?  If you're truly not comfortable doing it yourself, certainly there is someone in your life who'll be more than willing to help you out I'm sure!  In fact, one kit allows you 3-8 treatments so why not have a KERATIN PARTY??!!  Invite some friends over, and do the treatment on each other!  In my case, my lovely sister (who BTW has no professional training) did my hair!  I, in turn, did my mother's hair and i can assure you that I've never been to beauty school! 

Here are some before pics of my mom.  This is what her hair looks like after washing, blow drying and flat ironing (prior to using Uncurly Keratin).   As you can see, her hair is quite unruly because by the time she arrived at my house, it looked like this! Guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!




OK so here's how it works!  I did the treatment on my mom first, and will show you those pics to illustrate this amazing product .  My mom was diagnosed with lupus several years ago.  All the meds she takes have completely taken a toll on her hair.  I was thrilled to be able to do this for her and have to tell you i am thrilled with the results... as is she!  




Step 1... wash your hair thoroughly with Uncurly's pre-shampoo which prepares the hair for the keratin application.  Comb your hair out.  Blow dry.





Step 2:  Section hair off and begin by applying the Brazilian Keratin Straightener.  You only need a tiny bit.  Hair should look damp not drenched.  In fact, if you run a comb through the hair and you see product residuals on the comb, you've probably applied too much.  In the event that this happens, don't worry, it won't affect the outcome!  But try to use small amounts evenly through your entire hair.



Step 3:  Blow dry hair completely!  Once it's dry, section off hair and begin by flat ironing small sections (flat iron should be at 450 degrees) to seal in the keratin.

Here is one side of my mom's hair that had already been flat ironed.



Here's the other side of my mom's hair prior to flat ironing.  Quite the difference right?




Here's the finished product!  How uhhhh-mazing does my mom's hair look??!!! 






Step 4:  Leave the product in for three days.  During this time, it is important to keep the hair dry.  If for some reason it does get a little wet, simply blow dry and flat iron.  The great thing about this keratin treatment versus others I've done is that YOU CAN crease your hair!  So go ahead and put it up in a pony tail or a clip because it simply will not affect the results!  After three days, wash your hair using Uncurly's Finish Shampoo to wash out the solution. 

Now to address some concerns that have been instilled in us regarding keratin treatments!  I was under the impression that you should only use sulfate free products on your hair after doing a such treatment.  I was quite surprised that studies have shown no difference between a group of people that only used sulfate free versus those who didn't.  You can read more about this here.

Additionally, there have been concerns about the use of formaldehyde in these types of products.  Many have immediately discarded them simply because we tend to associate formaldehyde with well.. dead people!  The truth is, formaldehyde is a basic part of the natural world and is not harmful in appropriate concentrations.  Our own bodies produce it during normal metabolism, causing us no harm.  You can read more about it here.

Overall, this is absolutely an amazing product!  I can assure you that i will never EVER step foot in a salon again to have this treatment done!  It's so easy to do at home and completely affordable!  The starter kit which includes a baby bliss flat iron costs only $98.99!!  If you already own a flat iron that reaches 450 degrees, than you can skip the starter kit and order solely the products costing you only $69.99!  Remember, one set of the three products is good for 3-8 treatments depending on the length and thickness of your hair! So do the math!!!  You can't NOT get it... it's way too good of a deal to pass up! 

OK, now that I've shown you my mom's hair, I'll let you peek at my hair and share with you my own personal experience since it's been a few weeks since I've done it on myself.  Basically, the three day 'wait period' was easier then i expected.  I attribute this to the fact that i was able to push my hair back in a pony tail when necessary.  When i first washed the product out, after the three day wait period, i quickly noticed how much lighter my hair felt!  I knew immediately the product had worked!  The true test, however was the blow drying time and of course a few hours in pure humidity!  It took 10 minutes to fully blow dry my hair!  I used very little hair product and didn't need the flat iron at all.  Oh and guess what??  We just had our 'back to school' night last week and it was sooo humid!  But this time, you'd never know it by my hair!  It was straight, sleek, not frizzy or swollen... in fact, I've received nothing but compliments since having this treatment done! 

 Here's a pic of my hair last week (several weeks after the treatment).  I have no product on my hair and all i did was blow dry it.  I didn't even use a brush, let alone a flat iron!  It was very humid out and this was mid afternoon!  No frizz, no swelling... yay!  If you want to see what my hair looks like without keratin (air dried), click here.  But be warned, it's not pretty!



YOU'RE WELCOME!