Category Archives: Best Of

Favorite products, tips and tricks and advice for makeup application.

Blissfulicious All Natural Skincare

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The Angelina Effect: Turning Awareness Into Action

Blissfulicious is an all-natural skincare line that is making waves with its ability to crush the thought that natural means ineffective. We are excited to profile Founder Jael Torrez as she shares how the line came to be and where it is going.
Many of us live in fear of getting cancer. But what if you knew that you stood an 85% chance of getting it? Would you lop off body parts in an attempt to outwit the cancer? Well, as most of us recall, that’s exactly what Angelina Jolie did after testing positive for BRCA1 – the “cancer gene.” She made that difficult decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in order to prolong her life.

After testing positive for the same cancer gene last year, Jael Torrez, has made it her mission to bring awareness to men and women of all ages of this deadly gene and what we can do to eliminate the effects of harmful chemicals in our personal care regimen.

Unable to find any face and body scrubs on the market that didn’t contain one or more of the harmful chemicals that her doctors told her to stay away from, she set out to create something on her own. And Blissfulicious was born!
She hand curated a long list of ingredients that she knew would be beneficial to her skin – lemon, lime, coconut oil, lavender, peppermint oil, cocoa powder, even coffee grounds – and went to work testing and researching in her own lab. Whatever got a passing grade from her and her doctors meant she could help other people in the same situation.

Her goal was very clear: she wanted the clinical effectiveness of expensive cosmetic actives, the healing aspect of natural ingredients, no animal testing, & every formulation was made with a conscious understanding of what our skin is: Our body’s largest organ.

One by one her testing and research came up as clear winners, and she began targeting the general population urging customers to become more informed about what they were using on their skin and the culprits that lurk in our personal care products that sometimes cause more harm than good.

This message instantly resonated with customers, with many voicing their surprise to the effectiveness of this natural product. Sales began to pick up week by week and they now have 9 different scrubs for sale on their website, as well as a men’s line and a teen’s line in the works.

What she ending up creating was not only natural – it turned out to be the best multi-tasker a woman could have. It’s a makeup remover, exfoliator, cleanser, and moisturizer – all in one jar. The coconut oil base soaks right into the skin without leaving a greasy mess as opposed to synthetic oils found in moisturizers. They like to say you will never need one drop of moisturizer after experiencing Blissfulicious.

The power is in your hands to take action with your health and be aware of what you put on your skin! Use the “Angelina Effect” to truly affect change for someone incredibly important: YOU. You owe it to yourself and those you love.

You can find Blissfulicious products at

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in Beauty for a Cause, Best Of, Skincare | Tagged , , , , ,

DIY Manicure At Home

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Manicures are a weakness of mine, but I just don't have time for regular appointments each time I want to change my color or style. Actually, I only have a manicure occasionally since I was taught by the professional manicurists on set how to do my own manicures at home that look just as good as professional. It's actually extremely cheap. Remember that most of the products you need can be used many times. Though I do recommend investing in a cheap nail dryer. Many are under $20, especially around the holidays.

What You'll Need

• Nail file
• Cotton balls
• Rubbing alcohol
• Water
• Polish remover
• Base coat
• Polish
• Top coat
• Cuticle oil
• Strengthening clear coat

Shape The Nails

Start by carefully filing and shaping each nail. Always file in a single direction, never back and forth. Look to your cuticle shape to find the natural shape for your nails. Of course, if you want something different, go for it.


I'm assuming you're starting with clean nails. If not, remove any polish now. Prepare a small mixture of one part water and two parts rubbing alcohol (you can keep this in a small bottle for future use). Clean each nail with the mixture.

Once dry, apply a clear base coat. A strengthening base coat is ideal if your nails are weak. If you tend to keep them covered in polish, go for strength as the chemicals often cause nails to crack and peel.


Pretty Polish

Most polish calls for two layers. Apply the first layer heavier than the second. Something I never thought about was applying polish horizontally. Pros recommend applying vertically and then applying a light strip horizontally along the top edge for added protection against chipping.

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in Beauty Tips and Tricks, Best Of, Makeup Artist Tips, Makeup Products

Get Gorgeous Brows

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Beauty Looks ~ It’s All About the Brows Baby!

Remember the days of plucking your brows down to what felt like their very last strand? It was time consuming and although on trend, in hindsight not very attractive. Thank God in today’s beauty world, brows are back!! This look is all about a strong but structured brow to give your face natural drama and dimension. Here are the tools you’ll need to achieve this look:

White out: Before shaping brows, use a white eye pencil and an eyebrow stencil (we recommend one by Senna Cosmetics) to determine your best arch and trace it out.

Pencil me in: Next, use a brow pencil to fill in the shape of the brow and then use a brow powder to give the brow more depth. To choose the right color, follow this simple rule: for blondes, go one shade darker than your hair color, for brunettes go one shade lighter. Redheads should try to stay as close to their shade as possible or choose a very light brown.

Shape n Tweeze: Now that you have the size and shape you desire, use tweezers to pluck stray brows. Be careful not to over pluck as more is more here, and no one wants a repeat of a bad early 90’s brow (Sorry Pam Anderson!)

Welcome back brows: Guilty of over plucking for the last decade and now have little brow to speak of? No worries, the latest brow serums, like this one from Anastasia Beverly Hills, are guaranteed to bring awesome back to your arch. It may take a few months of consistent application, but no one ever said beauty was easy right?

by Sian Bitner Kearney

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in Beauty Tips and Tricks, Best Of, Makeup Artist Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Estee Lauder Double Wear

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Everyone knows how much I love a good concealer, and one of my staples for the past 17 years has been Estee Lauder Double Wear concealer.

Recently, I was asked to try out some other Double Wear products, and it only confirmed my love and loyalty to the line.  In fact, this weekend is my wedding (squeee!!!)  and I will be using my new Double Wear products for my rehearsal dinner. We are getting married in Temecula, and thanks to the CA heat wave, I need a foundation that will withstand the heat.  This will do it, and I know that I won't have a makeup meltdown disaster.  

I went to the Estee Lauder counter to get i-matched, and we decided I was a firm 2.0.  It couldn't have been easier to color match!  I decided I wanted to have a glowy, but medium coverage, so we combined the Double Wear BB Cream and the Double Wear Light foundation to a customized look.  I also grabbed up the Double Wear highlighter, which is my new obsession.  The coverage is more opaque than normal highlighters, and could work well as a concealer replacement if you are not riddled with under eye circles like I am.

Honestly, I will be using these three new products on a daily basis.  It gave me a gorgeous glow AND didn't budge all day.  If it is good enough for my wedding weekend, than it is good enough to be added to my permanent makeup wardrobe.

How it Works

  • Double Wear Makeup is formulated to last 15-hours and helps to maintain a worry-free fresh and natural look through heat, humidity and nonstop activity.
  • Won't change color, smudge or come off on clothes.
  • Feels lightweight and comfortable.
  • Fragrance- and oil-free, dermatologist-tested, and non-acnegenic.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from Estee Lauder through Conde Nast.  All opinions are my own (I even used this product on my wedding day!)


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in Beauty Tips and Tricks, Best Of, Makeup Artist Tips, Makeup Products | Tagged , , , ,

Beauty Bag Essentials

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Beauty Bag Essentials

As a woman and self proclaimed makeup addict, I of course have drawers full of goodies at my house; however, when traveling or simply heading out for the day, my collection of necessities has to be limited. I do love to change up my eye color on occasion and even shades of blush and lipstick, but for my everyday look and every day needs, here are my top beauty recommendations.

Dr. Jart+ Beauty Balm
Admittedly, I rarely use a regular foundation. I hate how heavy they feel and how the seem to seep into my fine lines and wrinkles. For a while, I used to only use a concealer; however, as time started to march across my face leaving behind sun damage and wrinkles, I decided to step up my coverage a bit. This beauty balm has multiple benefits; it perfects and protects the skin, contains anti-aging properties and has an SPF 45. So, on days when I’m I a rush, this one product serves as a moisturizer, sunscreen, ant-aging serum and foundation all in one shot.

bareMinerals Mineral Veil
This loose powder is the mac daddy of powders. It’s light enough to use on dry skin but still keeps shine away on oily skin. Mostly I love it because every time I apply it, it gives my skin a gorgeous airbrushed look with just a tiny dusting. Another reason I love this powder is the fact that aside from super hot and humid days, one application typically lasts me all day long… even my T-zone area!

bareMinerals Ready Bronzer
Much like the mineral veil, a little of this product goes a long way. This bronzer gives my skin a much-needed J-lo type glow without the sparkly afterglow. The gorgeous bronzer also contains SeaNutrive Mineral complex to help fight the signs of aging.

Make Up Forever HD Blush in Coral
This is by far my favorite blush and I go on record to say it’s worth every single penny! The creamy formula can be applied with fingertips or a brush, and instead of sitting on your skin like most blushes, it sinks in, leaving behind nothing but a gorgeous glow! The coral color is buildable and perfect for giving a healthy flush any time of year. This is another product that once in place, seems to last me all day long without needing to be reapplied.


Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
I love my mascara. In my opinion, eyelashes are the number one item to creating a beautiful face and this mascara gives some serious bang for the buck. Not only does it create length, it also adds definition, separation and serious volume without needing multiple coats to get the job done. At less than $10.00 a tube, I say fill up on this awesome product ASAP!

Maybelline The Nudes Eye Shadow Palette
As I mentioned, I do occasionally like to mix up my eye shadow shades. That being said, for my everyday look, this is my all time favorite palette. The shades range from light taupe and pinkish pearl colors to golden bronzy shades. There’s even a smoky black color for those nights when you need a little extra drama. The colors are very pigmented, requiring very little to get the job done and are extremely long lasting, even in high humidity. While I may switch off on what colors I apply every day, I rarely leave town without this palette in my bag.

Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner
Another great product from Maybelline, this liner gives amazing color and drama and is totally smudge resistant. Whether I need a bold line for a hot, smokey eye or a thinner line for the workday, I can always count on this eyeliner to give me exactly the look I was hoping for.

EOS Lip Balm
I’m not sure if it’s the fun and convenient shape, the delicious flavors or the long-lasting moisture that keeps me stocking up on this product, but I rarely leave home without at least two of them in my bag. I used to be a Burt’s Bees girl, but after being introduced to these yummy lip treatments by a co-worker, I have to say I may just be sold for life!

So remember, while venturing out of your beauty comfort zone is always a trip worth taking, it’s never a bad idea to keep an arsenal of favorites nearby. The new and trendy products may keep you looking fashionable, but the classics will forever keep you looking beautiful.

By Sian Bitner Kearney:

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in Beauty Tips and Tricks, Best Of, Cheap and Fabulous | Tagged , , ,

Have A Spa Day At Home with Suave!

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 Between work, family and other commitments, a trip to the spa is out of the question. You still deserve a few relaxing minutes for a more beautiful you. We all feel better when we feel like we look our best. Suave Professionals feels the same way and the new Suave® Professionals Sea Mineral Infusion series of hair and body products can help you get an easy, everyday beautiful look.


Beautiful, Luxurious Hair

Lock the world away for a hour and spend some time pampering yourself. The first step is a relaxing shower. Start by giving your hair a sea-inspired spa treatment with the Suave Professionals® Sea Mineral Infusion Moisturizing Buoyant Body Shampoo and Suave Professionals® Sea Mineral Infusion Moisturizing Buoyant Body Conditioner. The soft sea-inspired fragrance instantly takes you away from your stress to a seaside spa.

Using the shampoo and conditioner brings back your hair’s natural bounce while adding much needed moisture. The best part is you don’t have to worry about heavy build up from silicones or moisturizers. It’s the perfect balance of clean and conditioned for hair that’s easier to style. Another thing you’ll love is the extra body and moisture lasts for a full day, so your hair doesn’t frizz and fall flat an hour after styling.


Treat Skin To Dead Sea Minerals

Rejuvenate your skin next with Suave® Professionals Sea Mineral Infusion Exfoliating Body Wash. The wash smooths skin without feeling harsh and leaves behind a luxurious, soothing fragrance. The Dead Sea Salts help to gently polish and rejuvenate skin naturally.

Finishing Your Everyday Beauty

The new sea-inspired Suave Professionals line is extremely easy to use in the shower, but the spa treatment doesn’t stop there. Continue your spa hour by applying Suave® Professionals Sea Mineral Infusion Body Lotion. It truly does leave skin feeling soft and smooth for hours. The beautiful fragrance makes you feel beautiful and radiant. The body lotion is infused with rejuvenating Dead Sea minerals for even more luminous skin.

The final step is to style your hair with Suave Professionals® Sea Mineral Infusion Texturizing Sea Salt Spray. It’s incredibly easy to use and it only takes a few sprays to help create full-bodied waves that last all day. The time savings alone make this a must have styling product. 

It’s not hard to bring out your inner beauty and feel like you’ve just been treated to a spa day everyday with this Suave Professionals line. I gave myself a much deserved spa treatment and couldn’t believe the difference this line made in my hair and skin.

Discover the Beauty of the Sea with NEW Suave® Professionals Sea Mineral Infusion products.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Suave Professionals ®. The opinions and text are all mine.



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Suave Professionals ®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.


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in Best Of, Haircare, Skincare | Tagged , , ,

Natural Looking Makeup!

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Many summer looks might be packed with bright and crazy colors but there is something to be said for the minimalist. Whether it’s a picnic at the park or a romantic date night, the naked look is the perfect match for the hot summer ahead. This look is soft, sensual, natural, and easy to pull off with the right tools. Follow these steps and go naked tonight!

Because you are going for a “natural beauty” look here, the face should be flawless. This look requires something lighter than the average foundation but with more coverage than a BB crème. The Naked Skin foundation by Urban Decay is the perfect tool for flawless skin. It provides optimal coverage but is infused with light making it look less like makeup and more like gorgeous skin.
To piggy back on that gorgeous glow you’ve started with foundation, try adding a highlighter like Candlelight Glow from Too Faced. Applying the highlighter to cheeks bones, nose, temples, and inner corners of the eyes makes the skin look luminous and flawless in any light.

While the general rule of thumb with the nude look is to stick with neutral colors, adding a slight pop of color to cheeks keeps your complexion from looking sickly or washed out. Apply NARS blush in Orgasm to apples of cheeks for the perfect complement to the naked background.

The eyes in this look are very natural. No dark smoky looks or heavy liner. Simply apply a shade of brown, gold, or bronze to the eye (or layer a few colors if you desire a bolder affect). We love the warm shades in Urban Decay’s Naked 2 palette. Next skip the liner and focus on the lashes. No need for heavy black mascara either. Simply apply 2-3 coats of a dark brown like the black/brown shade from Neutrogena Healthy Lengths and voila… your naked eye is complete.

Much like the cheeks, you’re looking for just a pop of color here. Keeping lips too nude will make you look like a corpse, and adding too much color will eradicate the whole point of the nude face. Choose a gloss in a shade of pink close to natural lips like NARS Space NK lip gloss in Sweet Revenge and your nude face is ready to bare to the world!


Get the Look: Go Naked!!  by Sian Bitner Kearney

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in Beauty Tips and Tricks, Best Of, Cheap and Fabulous | Tagged , , , ,