Saturday, April 25, 2015

Office Beauty Essentials


I have to confess something, I have a fear of being away from home and being unprepared. I like to keep little kits of essentials with me everywhere. Today I'm going to be talking about some of my favorites to keep at my desk. Take a look at the list below and maybe you can get some ideas of what to keep handy when you're at the office.

Hand Sanitizer - Working in an office setting means you come in contact with a lot of people and a lot of germs. It's always nice to have some hand sanitizer on your desk to remind you to use it often.

Lotion - My hands always seem to be dry while I'm at work, especially in the colder months. I like to keep a lotion on my desk that has a nice scent and absorbs quickly.

Hairbrush / Hair Products /Bobby Pins - Most mornings I'll sit down at my desk and realize that the walk in has caused my hair to become crazy looking. Having a brush or something to tame it with saves me from feeling self-conscious all day. Having a hairtie, bobby pin or clip can also help tame a crazy mane on the go.

Oral Hygiene Products - This includes any of the following: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, gum and/or mints. Especially if you have a big meeting after lunch, it's nice to be able to feel confident that you don't have bad breath or something in your teeth.

Feminine Hygiene Products - I'm lucky enough that my workplace provides tampons in our bathrooms but if yours does not, it's a good idea to have a few on hand, just in case!

Lip Balm - I am one of those lip balm addicted people that can't live without it for more than an hour. So, for me, this is a no-brainer.

Lipstick - Where I work, employees are often asked to do last minute video shoots or get pulled into an important meeting on the spot. I like to have a nice lipstick or gloss on hand just to make me look a little bit more pulled together.

Lint Roller - This is an essential if you are a pet owner. There is nothing more unprofessional (or gross) than meeting with an important client with cat hair all over your sweater!

Powder / Oil Blotting Sheets - About halfway through the day, I start to get a little oily. I love using oil-blotting sheets because it's not piling any more makeup on, just removing the oil. But, in a pinch powder works as well.

Deodorant - I feel silly admitting this but sometimes when I'm rushing around in the morning, trying to get out the door, I forget deodorant. I'm not a really sweaty person but just knowing I forgot it, makes me conscious of it. I like to keep a travel version in my desk, in case I forget!

Perfume - I like to take the little perfume samples that come with Sephora orders and leave them at my desk. If I've gone out to lunch at a particularly fragrant restaurant, I like to spray a little perfume when I get back to work. It makes me feel less self conscious and I'm sure my coworkers will thank me.

Medications - For example: Tums, Tylenol, Allegra, Midol, etc. It sucks not feeling well at work, but it's worse not being able to do anything about it. Be prepared and bring in the medications you commonly find yourself needing.

Tide To-Go Pen - Just in case you spill anything on yourself during the day, this will help to get the stain out.

This seems like a lot, but if you get minis or travel-size items, they can all fit in a medium size makeup bag. Hopefully this post will give you some new ideas of what to keep at your desk!

Let me know if you think of anything else that I NEED at my desk. 


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ray's Favs - Budget Brush Brands & How I Clean My Brushes


After quite a break I think I can officially say...I'm back! I want to become a lot more dedicated to the blog and get back on my posting twice a week schedule. Today is the first post in a new series, I'm calling "Ray's Favs", which is essentially a post where I write about some of my favorite things. Pretty simple, right? Today's topic is budget brush brands. I have a lot of brushes but my two favorite brands have to be Real Techniques and e.l.f. Both are affordable, readily available and great quality.

Real Techniques is a brand created by two Youtube beauty gurus, Sam and Nic from the channel Pixiwoo. The brushes are really amazing for the price and often come in value sets, so you get even more for your dollar. My two favorites, pictured above are the Expert Face Brush (far left) and the Blush Brush (third from left). I use both everyday and would recommend them to everyone. The Expert Face Brush is so nice for applying liquid foundation and the Blush Brush is so fluffy, it never applies too much blush. Real Techniques can be found at most drugstores, Target and Ulta.com. I actually bought the blush brush at my local Wegmans! Talk about accessible!

e.l.f. is a company founded on the idea that makeup should be high quality but also affordable. I remember the first time I placed an order on elf.com and being so excited for how much I could get for such little money. I was also skeptical, thinking "there has to be a catch, right?" But there wasn't! Everything was really high quality, including the brushes! I bought the e.l.f Studio 11 Piece Brush Collection, which at the time was on sale for about $10 (regularly about $30). This was about 4 years ago and I still use some of the brushes daily. My two favorites are the Complexion Brush (far right) and the Blush Brush (second from left). The Complexion Brush is a perfect fluffy brush for applying setting powder and the Blush Brush, I actually use for bronzer! It is the perfect shape to get into the hollows of my cheeks to do a little contouring. You can purchase e.l.f brushes at Target or eyeslipsface.com.

Because we're talking about brushes, I thought I would also throw in a little bit about how I clean my brushes. You'll be glad to know it is a simple process that you can do with supplies you (probably) already have; water and clear hand soap.


How I Wash My Brushes:
1. Run some water until it gets to be a lukewarm temperature.
2. Dispense 2 pumps of clear hand soap onto your wet hand.
3. Wet your brush and swirl it into the soap on your hand.
4. Rinse brush thoroughly. Repeat 2 - 4 until water runs clean.
5. Check to make sure you can't see any trace of old makeup on the brush.
6. Lay brush flat on a towel or washcloth to dry. You never want to let the brush dry vertically because water will loosen the glue that holds the bristles together and will cause the brush to shed.

That's it! Super simple but really important for keeping your brushes in good condition and your face free of bacteria.

What are your favorite brush brands? Do you have a different way of cleaning them?
Let me know!



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Affordable Spring Nail Polish


Now that the snow is melting and the temperatures are above freezing, I'm ready to bring some color and brightness back into my life! One of the best ways to do that is with some bright nails. I like to change my polish often so I usually buy a lot of affordable polish, rather than splurge on a few pricey ones. Some of my favorite drugstore brands are Wet 'n' Wild, Sinful Colors, Revlon, NYC and Covergirl. Below are some of my favorite colors!

NYC Ocean Blue ($2.00) - This color is so vibrant, it's perfect for adding a nice pop of color to a tired winter look. I've used this color before on the blog for my "Weekend Manicure" post, if you'd like to see how it applies. For a $2 nail polish, it's surprisingly opaque and fairly long lasting. I like to add a topcoat no matter what, though.





Wet 'n' Wild Club Havana ($2.29) - I'm really liking this peachy coral polish for spring. It reminds me of some juicy fresh fruit! The brush on the Megalast polishes is really wide and flat with a curved bottom, This makes it so easy to paint your nails in basically one swipe.








Sinful Colors Savage ($1.99) - This color works perfectly as a transition from winter to spring because it's not too bright but not too dark either, a great in-between shade. I chose this one rather than a brighter teal because it's a bit more subdued. I'm all for a neon nail but this brings in a bit of color without being too in your face.







Wet 'n' Wild On a Trip ($2.00) - This is one of my spring and summer go to nail polishes. I find the color to be really unique and often get compliments when I wear it. Again, this has that great wide & flat brush that makes it so simple to paint your nails in a snap.








 Sinful Colors Timbleberry ($1.99) - I first saw this color on my sister's nails and knew I had to have it. The photo is a little deceiving but it's a nice mix of bright pink and coral, something a little different. This is a shade I love to wear on my toes and looks nice through spring into summer.







Revlon Flirt ($4.99) - Out of all of the polishes I posted, this is my favorite for spring. It reminds me of easter and lilacs, so pretty! It's such a unique color, mixing lavender and bubblegum pink to create a pop of pastel goodness! Although this is the most expensive of the bunch, it's still totally affordable at under $5. Out of all the shades, if you pick up one, this is the one to get!






Covergirl Glosstinis Blue Hawaiian ($2.99) - Somewhere between sky and robin's egg blue, this color just screams spring. Even on a dreary spring day, this color can remind you of the blue skiies yet to come. The little size is so cute! These really do "outlast," they seem to last longer than the average polish, which is awesome.







Do you have a favorite Spring nail polish? Let me know down in the comments!


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Bare Minerals Up Close & Beautiful Kit Review


I have been curious about bareMinerals for quite some time now. I did a recent small Sephora haul and decided to pick up the 30 day bareMinerals starter kit. The kit includes the original loose powder foundation, mineral veil, concealer, Prime Time primer, mini face brush and mini concealer brush. I got my kit in fairly light (light with neutral undertones) and I paid $22 on Sephora.com.



Prime Time Primer - I think this primer has a nice texture to it and really preps the skin for makeup. The sample size is large enough that I won't have to worry about running out any time soon. I'm not typically a primer person so I would not repurchase this. If you are a primer person, I think you can find something just as good from the drugstore. 

Mini Face & Concealer Brushes - These brushes seem to work fine. I have noticed some shedding with the face brush but I am doing some vigorous swirling with it, so I guess that's to be expected. 

Original Foundation in Fairly Light - I think this foundation really lives up to it's hype. It smooths out my complexion without a heavy feeling left on my skin. I love that the foundation includes SPF 15, something I wouldn't normally expect from a powder. Even though the sample size is quite small, I find that you don't really need that much. In fact, I think it looks better when you use less. The one thing I did not like about this is the fact you have to build up multiple layers, taking more time than traditional liquid foundation. Most mornings, I'm trying to get my makeup on a quick as possible and this does not work with that. 

Mineral Veil - I LOVE this product. It is such a nice finishing powder, I am considering buying a full size! It makes your skin look airbrushed and flawless. I really have nothing bad to say about this except I wish there was more!

Original Concealer in Bisque - UGH. This is my least favorite product in the kit. Why in the world would you put a medium toned concealer in a light kit, that makes no sense to me. I tried to use this but its about 2 shades darker than the actual foundation, so it looked terrible! Normally concealer is the same color or lighter than foundation, what the heck bareMinerals?! So basically, this product is unusable. If you have darker skin than me, it will probably work fine. 

Overall, I think this a great kit if you are wanting to give bareMinerals a try or already love it and need a travel set. For $22, I feel like I got my money's worth and a decent amount to give these products a fair go. I am glad, because I did not have to buy the large size product only to discover bareMinerals wasn't for me. They are nice enough products but I think I will be sticking with my Covergirl 3-in-1 foundation, Maybelline Age Rewind concealer and Rimmel Stay Matte powder. 

bareMinerals Up Close & Beautiful: 30 Day Complexion Starter Kit


Have you tried bareMinerals? Let me know what you think of their products in the comments!



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant Review


Hey there readers! Long time, no blog! I have to apologize for the utter lack of content these past few weeks, I'm in the midst of a move. Every time I think "oh, I should blog" I get distracted by something else that needs to be packed. Today, the urge to blog won over my packing needs. 

I recently placed a small order on Sephora.com and the Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant was one of the things included. I know what you're thinking, why am I reading a review about deodorant?! Well I would've thought the same thing before reading all the positive reviews on the Sephora website. I had heard several beauty bloggers talk about this product and know that regular deodorant can be full of some nasty chemicals, so I decided to give this natural version a try. One full-size deodorant is $14 for 1.7oz but I picked up the mini 2-pack which is $14 for 1.8oz all together. Always trying to find a deal! 

Pros: 
  • This deodorant is 100% natural, and free of parabens and aluminum. 
  • It has a nice cooling effect when applied.
  • It seems to keep me BO free all day.


Cons:
  • The smell takes some getting used to. Originally I hated it, now it's growing on me. 
  • This is only a deodorant, not an antiperspirant. If you are really sweaty, this won't help.
  • The price is the biggest hurdle for me. I don't think I can justify spending so much on a deodorant!


Overall:
I think this is definitely a great product. I love that it's all natural and free of some gross chemicals. I don't love that it's so expensive but I suppose you get what you pay for. For now, I will continue to use this deodorant until it's gone but I think I'll end up switching back to my regular Secret or perhaps making a DIY version?! Let me know if that's something you would want to see. 

If you are interested in trying out Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant,
 you can find it at Sephora, Amazon or the Lavanila website.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Target Clearance Haul


Hey there readers! Today I got to do one of my favorite things ever, shop at Target! I know, I know, I must live a very sad life if that is one of my favorite things but I find it really therapeutic. Along with being something I find comfort in, Target is a great place to find high-quality products at a great price. And if you're like me, you can scour the store for even better deals than usual... CLEARANCE! I get so excited when I go down an aisle and see those little read stickers. The main reason I went to Target today was to use the Cartwheel deal for 20% off clearance clothing, shoes and accessories. So exciting! Check out what I picked up below!

target-clearance-haul-heythereray

As you can see, I picked up 6 items that were all on clearance. The original total for all of these things was $70.26. Yikes! I rarely pay full price for something at Target unless it's something I really need and can't live without. After the clearance reductions and the 20% off Cartwheel deal, my out of pocket total was $26.06! That's a savings of 63%! Such a great deal.

Here's a breakdown of all the prices:


Towel: Original - $2.79  Clearance Price - $2.08 (30% off)  Final - $2.08  Savings - $.71

Slippers: Original - $21.99  Clearance Price - $6.58 (70% off)  Final - $5.26  Savings - $16.73

Earrings: Original - $9.99  Clearance Price - $4.98 (50% off)  Final - $3.98  Savings - $6.01

Gloves: Original - $3.50  Clearance Price - $2.45 (30% off)  Final - $1.96  Savings - $1.54

Striped Shirt: Original - $12.00  Clearance Price - $6.00 (50% off)  Final - $4.80  Savings - $7.20

Floral Shirt: Original - $19.99  Clearance Price - $9.98 (50% off)  Final - $7.98  Savings - $12.01

Obviously, Target is the place to be if you are wanting to save a little money. I think it's kind of fun too, like a treasure hunt! Haha! Unfortunately, today is that last day that the 20% off clearance Cartwheel deal is going on but, if you hurry you can still make it! If not, be sure to watch Cartwheel for other great offers. If you're looking for some other ways to save at Target and beyond, be sure to check out my Money Saving Tips & Tricks!

Where is your favorite place to shop when you're looking for a great deal! 
Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Love & Beauty Shades of Love Eye Palette Review


Hey there, readers! Today I have a review of a very budget friendly neutral eye palette. This is the 'Shades of Love' eye shadow palette from Love & Beauty, which is Forever 21's beauty brand. I got this palette for Christmas but it is still available on the site for only $8.80. Check it out!

First. let me back up and give you a little back story on this palette. I am constantly coveting eye shadow palettes. Lorac Pro, Naked (1,2 & 3!), Too Faced Chocolate Bar... the list goes on. There are two things that all of those palettes have in common: the are mainly neutral colors and they are all over $40. Yikes! I'm sure for some girls that would be a great investment and they wouldn't bat an eye at spending extra money on a high-end palette of great quality shadows. For me, I honestly don't wear powder eye shadows most days (Maybelline Color Tattoo!) so the price to experiment is just too high. I wanted something that I could play around with and sharpen my eye shadow skills before dropping a ton of money on a fancy palette. That's where this Love & Beauty palette comes in.




Let's start with the color selection. Much like those high-end palettes, this one has a large selection of neutral shades in a mix of shimmers and mattes. This contains 18 shadows, which is actually more than any of those more expensive palettes.

But are they nice? YES! They are so pigmented and buttery smooth, gliding on the eye so nicely. I will say that you do get a bit of fallout from the shimmery shadows but that's sort of to be expected. These shadows blend out nicely and you can get some really nice color combinations from this. Below are a few that I've tried and really like. Maybe someday I'll get a little more adventurous!



Overall, this palette is a great value for the price. If you divide it out, each shadow cost less than 50 cents! It's perfect for someone just starting out or for a spare palette for travel. It even includes 2 mini eyeliners if you're really in a pinch, but I have not tried them. I highly recommend you give this eye shadow palette a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed!

Do you have any high-end products you want me to find a dupe for? Let me know!


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January IPSY Bag Review


Every month I contemplate cancelling my IPSY subscription. What a way to start out a review, huh? I really do have too many samples but, I usually get at least one product each month that makes me glad that I keep getting the bag. This month's bag was titled "Fresh Start," which is quite appropriate for the first bag of the year. The bag itself is one of my favorites, it is really sturdy and not too flashy or flimsy. Inside this nice little bag, I received 5 products, varying from full-size to deluxe sample sized. Check out what I got in my January IPSY bag, maybe you'll want to give this subscription box a try!

Elizabeth Mott All Over Shadow Brush - This brush is fairly short so it seems like it would be great for travel. I really like the pink color as most of my brushes are black, it makes it stand out in my brush holder! The bristles themselves are really, really soft! It also seems to pick up shadow really nicely. Overall a nice little brush!

Hikari Cosmetics Mechanical Eye Liner - This eyeliner is a toss up for me. I like the formula, it seems to glide on the eye nicely but the color is really weird. I guess that is all preference though, I'm not really into being adventurous with eyeliner colors. I wouldn't really recommend you run out and buy this product but it's alright.

MALIN+GOETZ Mojito Lip Balm - I LOVE THIS PRODUCT! Mojito is one of my favorite flavors ever so I knew right as I pulled this out of the bag, I was going to love it. I usually stick to lip balm in stick form but this is just as moisturizing if not more! Out of all of the products, this is the one that I would consider purchasing the full-size of!

Pacifica Natural Mineral Coconut Eye Shadow - Pacifica is a brand that I have used before and all of their products seem to be really high quality. I know that they are also on the pricier side for drugstore so it was exciting to pull this out of the bag. This eye shadow is very versatile, it can be used all over the lid or as a face highlighter. It even has nice, light coconut smell!

Velvet 59 Velvet Rose Lipgloss - I DO NOT like this lipgloss. It smells like baby wipes and that completely turns me off to it. The color is so-so but really that smell, YUCK! I do not want something fresh or baby-ish smelling near my mouth. It seems like a cheap product overall, not a fan.


Looks like my IPSY subscription won't be cancelled just yet. If you would like to subscribe please use this link
Do you have a favorite monthly subscription service? Let me know down in the comments!


Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil Review

Cleansing Oil Review | Hey There Ray

Today I've got a product review for you! After reading the title, I bet I can guess what you are thinking. "Why would I ever want to put oil on my face, much less cleanse with it?!" Well, I can assure you, I felt the same way at first. It seems a bit counter-intuitive, at least for us oily-skinned girls, to purposely put oil onto our faces. Well, after using several cleansing balms and reading/watching many reviews, I thought I should give a cleansing oil a try. This one is from the Body Shop, and you get 200 ml for $18. This seems pricey but The Body Shop always has sales and I can bet this amount will last a very long time.

It claims to "effortlessly lift away impurities and remove waterproof makeup." First, I started with a full face of makeup, nothing crazy but I was wearing waterproof mascara. I also have to mention that my face was dry, that's how the product is meant to be used but it felt pretty strange at first. I put one pump of the oil into my hand and began to blend it onto my face. I like to massage it in everywhere except my eyes, which I leave for last. With a second pump of product, I massage it into my eyes while they are closed. I have gotten the oil into my eyes before, it doesn't really hurt but it kind of sucks. Avoid that if you can! The mascara and eyeliner began to dissolve almost instantly and turn me into a very greasy looking panda. Messy but very satisfying! Then, as instructed, take some warm water and massage it into your face to "emulsify" the oil. It turns into a milky liquid and is much easier to wash off. I prefer to take the oil off with a warm wash cloth but you could just rinse it off in the shower or sink. The result is a clean face, completely free of makeup! This cleansing oil also does not leave behind any strange residue.

Although I do love this cleansing oil, there are a few things that I would change about it. First, the packaging. I like that it has a pump but the oil is so runny that when it comes out it kind of splashes everywhere. After the first few times it did this, I learned to just keep my hand sort of cupped around the pump to minimize splashing. This seemed to work but I wish it wasn't an issue. Secondly, the smell. This is supposed to smell like chamomile (I don't think I actually know what that smells like) but I wish it was just unscented or had a fresher scent. It smells a bit floral-y or old lady-ish. So, I'm not a huge fan of the scent but it's not unbearable.

Overall, if you wear makeup you should give a cleansing oil a try, regardless of your skin type. Even though mine can be oily, this didn't make me breakout or cause me to be extra oily. It works wonderfully on stubborn eye makeup and leaves my face feeling extra clean. I usually use it at night and follow it up with a toner and night moisturizer. I would recommend this product! Try it out!

PS - The Body Shop is having a 40% off sale right now! The cleansing oil is only $10.80, yay!

Have you used a cleansing balm or oil before? Do you have any favorites? Let me know!



Friday, January 2, 2015

DIY Tassel Garland


I feel like I have been seeing tassel garland everywhere! It adds such a cute, whimsical touch that I knew I wanted to make some. After some searching, I found the perfect tutorial on HGTV and thought I would share my process with you. I made a couple small changes, so feel free to follow along. 

Supplies Needed:
Tissue Paper
Scissors
String
Tape

Each sheet of tissue paper makes 2 tassels. Choose how many tassels you would like to make and divide that by 2. That is how many sheets you'll need.


Start by folding a single piece of tissue paper in half.


And then fold it in half again, your paper should form a square.


Cut small strips in the paper, leaving about an inch uncut at the top.


When you've cut all of your strips, unfold the paper once and cut the entire thing in half. This is how you get 2 tassels out of one piece of paper. 


After cutting your tissue paper in half, open it up and lay it flat.


Then, just roll the paper up! This part seems easy but I had some trouble with my tassels getting tangled. Just roll it up and then straighten them out after.


Once you've rolled up the paper, tape the end down and fold it in half.


After you've created all of the tassels you need, you can start laying them out on a string. I just placed the string between the fold. Pretty simple!


Once you've spaced out the tassels perfectly, take some tape and wrap it around the fold to help the tassel stay in place.


Now you have a finished, whimsical tassel garland that you could use for any occasion! I chose to make mine silver and white for a New Years party but you could use any color to suit your needs, Perfect for birthday parties, kids rooms or really anywhere, Enjoy!

Are there any other DIYs you'd like me to try? Let me know down in the comments!