Happy Things

Thrilled it’s Friday! I’m looking forward to a weekend of blogging, rest and spending some time with Jon, who has been out of town for about a million years. That’s one reason I have not been posting recipes lately. When … Continue reading

My Current Skincare Routine & Product Favorites

I’m always curious to know what other ladies swear by when it comes to skincare so I wanted to share my current must-haves with you!  Last year I did a post about essential skincare steps and products, which you can … Continue reading

My 10 Favorite Beauty Products From 2012!

Happy Thursday beauties!  I discovered quite a few fantastic products in 2012 and shared them on Gourmet Beauty, and some of these have become staples that I continue to repurchase.  Here are my top 10 beauty products that I fell … Continue reading

My Hawaiian Vacation Beauty Essentials

We are off to Oahu today for a much needed vacation! I won’t be updating my blog much over the next two weeks but promise to return to it as soon as we get settled back in! I loved when … Continue reading

Happy Things

Happy Friday! I’m looking forward to a long holiday weekend filled with reading, relaxing, friends and getting ready for our upcoming Hawaii family vacation! We leave early next week for Oahu with Jon’s family and we are so looking forward to a tropical getaway! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. If you’re attending any BBQs I would highly suggest bringing my tequila soaked watermelon wedges with you. They are easy and will instantly make you the life of the party. 🙂 Here are the highlights of my week in pictures!

{The Marriott resort in Oahu that we will be staying at next week!}

20120830-112253.jpg{Philosophy Amazing Grace perfume was my go-to scent this week. After my August Beauty listed that in her top 5 beauty essentials I pulled it out of my medicine cabinet and now I remember how wonderful it is. LOVE this scent.}

20120830-112301.jpg{Pinot Noir and Call of Duty on Xbox Live with Jon was a great way to spend an evening. Yes, I play video games. I’m actually pretty good!}

20120830-112309.jpg{Crab legs were definitely my favorite meal this week! We had a date night at Pelicans, one of our favorite spots, and I ordered my usual crab legs with steamed vegetables instead of rice. Little modifications like that make it possible to eat healthy at restaurants. I also use mostly fresh lemon juice on the crab instead of drenching it in butter. It still tastes heavenly, I swear.}

20120830-112316.jpg{MAC Snob was my lipstick of choice this week. This is probably my favorite shade of all time next to Creme Cup. I need a new tube, clearly.}

20120830-112325.jpg{My blogging friend Kayla from Peace Love and Glitter tagged me on Instagram to share my top 3 skincare essentials. These are CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream and Argan Oil}

20120830-112332.jpg{I read an interview with Essie Weingarten, creator of Essie polish, on Into the Gloss, and she mentioned that applying one coat of Essie Marshmallow with one coat of Ballet Slippers gives a beautiful color. I tried this but it was a bit streaky so I added a final coat of Marshmallow to get the opaque look. Love it. This is actually what the Vogue girls are said to wear from The Devil Wears Prada. I posted recently that Ballet Slippers with Mademoiselle is the Vogue color but that is actually Essie’s favorite combination. I’ve corrected this information on the previous post…clearly this is very serious so I need to get it right. LOL }

20120830-112341.jpg{I’ve been putting a few drops of Aveda’s Lavender Fleurs essential oil on our pillows at night. It really helps with sleeping and relaxation. It feels like a treat to have lavender scented pillows.}

20120830-130608.jpg{I read recently that applying a thin coat of top coat each day after a manicure will help keep chips at bay and prolong the life of your manicure. I just bought Essie 3-Way Glaze and tried this trick with this week’s polish application and it really works! My nails always chip within 1 day of painting my own nails, even with the best base and top coats, so I was really surprised that this finally worked for me! I just keep the top coat in my purse…it takes about 15 seconds to do each day and it dries quickly!}

What made your week great?

Two products that will give you glowing skin


Peace Love and Glitter is a fellow beauty blogger and one of my first blogging friends I made when I started Gourmet Beauty (read my beauty interview with her here).  She’s currently in aesthetics school and she’s a huge fan of Image Skincare, as am I. She recently posted a picture of two Image masques on Instagram and said that combining them sheds dead skin and leaves your face luminous. I have both of these masques and had to try it immediately! I absolutely love both of these masques on their own so I was looking forward to seeing the results of using them together. I tried this routine before our girls night out this past weekend and was thrilled with the glow I achieved.  Details are below and both of these products are for all skin types so I would suggest this to anyone!

Step 1:  The first product is the Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Masque. This masque is full of enzymes that gently exfoliate dead skin while the antioxidants and vitamins replenish skin. It’s for all skin types and is particularly great for dry skin, aging skin, or Rosacea. This masque has a creamy consistency that just melts into the skin and smells like oranges.

Apply this mask first and allow the enzymes to start sloughing off the skin. You will feel a tingling sensation as the product does its magic. After about 10-15 minutes, apply the second masque.

Step 2:  The second masque is the Ageless Total Resurfacing Masque. This one is my personal favorite due to the minty fresh smell. This masque contains Glycolic and Salicylic acids to exfoliate and cleanse while a lightening agent lessens any discolorations or brown spots. This masque is also ideal for all skin types, although it does have exfoliating beads in it, unlike the above Enzyme Masque, and people with severe acne may want to avoid it. These beads can rupture acne and make it worse.

After letting the Enzyme Masque start working, don’t rinse it off. Rub the Resurfacing Masque into skin so it mixes with the first product. The blend of both products and all the active ingredients work wonders on skin. This combo hydrates and nourishes skin while deep cleaning and shedding dead skin. Leave this on your face for another 10 minutes or so, then wet heads and rub the products into your skin one last time before rinsing it all off thoroughly.

Your skin should feel soft and look luminous. After using these products and all other masques I rub a nourishing oil or serum into my skin to amp up the glow factor and rehydrate. My favorites are Argan and coconut oil or Vinie’s Dry Skin Dew Drops.

After you achieve the glow that these two masques will give you, you can increase your luminosity by following my dewy skin makeup routine!

Clarisonic Mia

I recently won a Clarisonic Mia from the awesome online beauty boutique, B-Glowing!  They have amazing giveaways and this was one of them.  When I found out I won I starting screeching like a banshee and running around the apartment like a 3-year-old.  Jon was really excited for me too, though he didn’t join in on the screeching.  A lot of people have been asking me what a Clarisonic Mia is, so I thought I’d blog about this awesome skincare tool and my experience with it so far!

Clarisonic is a sonic skincare tool that gives more than 300 moves per second to gently remove 6x more makeup and 2x more dirt than cleansing with your hands.  It also allows products to absorb and work to their full capacity and it exfoliates.

They have several different versions, the Mia being the smallest and least expensive.  It’s travel-friendly, comes in 17 shades (mine is a lovely soft yellow) and it’s waterproof.  It’s also gentle enough to use twice daily.  I only use it at night, though.

I’ve been using the Mia for about a week now and I can tell the difference in my skin.  My skin’s texture is smoother and softer and it has a radiance to it.  This is probably due to the fact that it gently sloughs off dead skin each night that would normally dull my complexion.  I’ve been applying either coconut oil or Argan oil nightly after cleansing with the Mia and I feel like it absorbs more thoroughly into my skin.

I’m totally hooked on the Mia and would suggest it to anyone.  It’s $119.  Clarisonic does have more advanced sonic tools that cost more and can be used all over the body, have multiple speeds, etc.  Here is a chart that gives a simple comparison of the various options so you can pick the one just right for you.

Have you tried the Clarisonic?

Vegas Lush Haul!


Jon and I spent last weekend in Vegas for our anniversary.  The very first thing I did was make a beeline to the only Lush store on the strip.  I dragged Jon in a cab from the our hotel (the Encore) to Mandalay Bay to stock up at my favorite bath and body store EVER.  While I was there I learned some of the most exciting news I’ve received in a loooong time….Lush is finally coming to Albuquerque!!!  They plan on opening a store before the end of the year.  I was practically doing cartwheels around the store when they told me this!

Once I calmed down, I stocked up on some of my Lush faves and also purchased a few items I haven’t tried before.  Here are the details on the goodies I picked up:


Butterball Bath Bomb:  This bath bomb is one of my favorites and I picked up two.  It’s a great buy at only $4.95 and it’s full of pure cocoa butter to soften skin.  I’t also deliciously fragranced with vanilla musk and ylang ylang, making a vanilla custard scent that’s good enough to eat.  This bomb leaves skin ridiculously soft and hydrated.

Sex Bomb Bath Bomb:  This is the most fragrant bath bomb I’ve ever used from Lush.  It smells of jasmine, clary sage and ylang ylang and the gorgeous scent fills up the whole bathroom and lingers on skin. I can still smell it on my skin the morning after I use this.  I only use this one when I have time for a long bath so I can really enjoy the scent and the gorgeous pink and purple color.

Twilight Bath Bomb:  This is one of the most relaxing and soothing bath bombs I’ve ever used.  It’s full of lavender, ylang ylang and ovaltine to lull you to sleep.  It also colors the water a beautiful pinkish purple.

French Kiss Bubble Bar:  This bubble bar fills your tub with romantic and soothing bubbles, scented with lavender, rosemary and thyme.  I get two baths out of this bar.  Pieces of dried lavender float around in the tub, which I really like.

Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner:  This is one of the most indulgent and delicious bath treats I’ve tried in a long time.  It’s a fancy in-shower body lotion and it leaves skin perfumed with an angelic and delicious scent of roses and shea butter.  It’s extremely hydrating due to all the Argan oil, cocoa butter, shea butter and almond oil.  After the Lush salesperson gave me a hand and arm treatment with this stuff I was sold.  This will definitely become one of Lush must-haves.

Honey Trap Lip Balm:  This is the 4th tin I’ve purchased.  This is by far one of the best balms I’ve ever used.  It smells and feels like delicious frosting but it doesn’t taste sweet, which I love.  It’s full of real honey, white chocolate, peppermint, sweet orange, almond oil and beeswax.  It’s ultra hydrating and addictive.  Anyone who tries my Honey Trap lip balm raves about it.

Happy Blooming Cherry Bath Melt:  I’ve tried the Dream Time and You’ve Been Mangoed Bath Melts before and fell in love.  The Lush person that was helping me suggested I try this cherry melt.  Lush bath melts are for hydrating and softening skin and this one is full of cocoa butter and scented with cherry, passion fruit and ylang ylang.  The melt also breaks up into three pieces so it’s a good buy and allows for three separate baths.

No Drought Dry Shampoo:  I normally use a dry shampoo in an aerosol can and it’s gone before I know it.  This product is in powder form so it will last forever.  It’s full of grapefruit and lime oil so it smells really fresh and uplifting.  It also does a great job of sprucing up hair in a pinch.


Green Bubbleroon Bubble Bar: I’ve tried this before and LOVED it.  It actually comes with two halves bound together by a coconut oil “jam” so you get two baths out of this bar.  I used one half in Vegas because we had an awesome tub in our suite so there’s only the other half left in the picture above.  This bar smells so uplifting and cheerful with orange and lime oils.  It also turns the water a lovely emerald green.

Karma Bubble Bar:  Karma is Lush’s signature scent and I’ve never tried this bar so I definitely wanted to pick one up.  Karma smells of patchouli and lemongrass.  I’m not usually a fan of patchouli but it smells really refreshing and clean in the bubble bar.  This bar is large so you can get at least two baths out of it.

Whoosh Shower Jelly:  Lush’s shower jellies are so fun.  I’m doing a separate post on this product by itself next week so keep an eye out for that!

Sea Vegetable Soap and Demon In The Dark Soap: I wanted to treat Jon to something since he was such a good sport by going with me and letting me shove various products in his face for his opinion on the scents.  He picked out Sea Vegetable Soap and Demon In The Dark Soap.  Sea Vegetable is scented with  lime, seaweed and lavender, and it’s topped with a crust of  sea salt for exfoliation.

Demon In The Dark is scented with peppermint, spearmint and green apple.  It cools and cleanses and smells really fresh.

The people at Lush were kind enough to send us home with free samples of Dirty Springwash and It’s Raining Men shower gels.  Dirty Springwash is an invigorating blue gel that smells of spearmint, menthol and sea salt.  It’s Raining Men is a delicious honey and caramel scented gel.  I definitely want to pick up a full-sized bottle of this next.

New Beauty Find! Organic Argan Oil


I’ve been hearing a lot about Argan Oil over the last few months and have been really wanting to try it. I picked up 100% Pure Organic Argan Oil from Broadway Skin & Body Retreat and I’m totally in love. The oil is produced from the kernels of the Argan tree, known by the Moroccan Berber community as the “Tree of Life.”

It has some amazing beauty benefits including:

  • Extremely high levels of Vitamin E
  • 80% fatty acids
  • Heals skin ailments
  • Protects again premature aging by restoring skin’s hydro-lipid layer
  • Triterpenoids help with tissue healing and also have anti-inflammatory, sun-protective and disinfectant properties
  • Sterolins reduce inflammation and assist with moisture retention

It has many uses, including a face and body moisturizer, cuticle treatment, hair hydrator, etc. Basically anything that needs a boost of moisture can benefit from argan oil. I’ve been using it on my face twice a day; in the morning before I apply my daily moisturizer with SPF and at night before I apply my coconut oil.

The oil absorbs quickly and leaves my skin glowing and hydrated. My skin is extremely dry but it seems light enough for most skin types. It absorbs quickly and feels really nourishing. I also picked up a sample size of Josie Maran’s Argan Oil from Sephora recently to compare it with 100% Pure’s version. The texture is basically the same and the feel on the skin is identical. I did notice that Josie Maran’s version has no smell at all and 100% Pure’s product has a bit of a natural scent. It’s mild and goes away once applied.

100% Pure Organic Argan Oil is $19 for 1 fl oz and Josie Maran Argan Oil is 1.7 fl oz for $48. they are both amazing treatments. I highly recommend either of these oils.

Have you tried Argan Oil yet?