Mascara Cocktail ||

Mixing beauty products to produce a superior end result is nothing new.  From hair serums, to facial moisturizers, to shampoos and conditioners, to primers and foundations; the trend has been happening for quite some time.  And in many cases, I think the theory is spot on.  The final product, often referred to as a 'cocktail', is generally better than any of the single products used alone.  Some people combine products for simple time restraints.  Why take twice the time to apply two products when you can save a few precious moments in the morning by applying simultaneously?  Some choose to cocktail their ablutions (or what-have-you) because they feel that the two, once combined, enhance each other.  Or, where one product is lacking, the other may pick up the slack.  For example, a vitamin rich shampoo combined with a shine enhancing shampoo.

Whatever your reasons, the trend is tempting.

I had heard about mixing mascaras, but never really considered this particular beauty product, simply because I have my 
special favorite that never steers me wrong.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it, as it were.  The only reason I was tempted was because during my last excursion to Sephora, I happened to receive a free sample of They're Real! Mascara with my purchase.  One fine morning, not so long ago, I was applying my makeup and discovered to my great dismay that my Covergirl LashBlastVolume was down to its last dregs!  Desperate, I grabbed the free sample of They're Real! and applied it to my bare lashes.

I was pleasantly surprised with the result.  Despite the color (the sample was black, but I prefer black/brown as it feels more natural), the application and end result was amazing!  The end of the wand, instead of tapering like most mascara wands (including my LashBlast), was sphere-shaped.  This was the first time I'd used this type of wand and I found it ideal for targeting those impossibly tough-to-coat mini-lashes at the corners of my eyes.  The application was smooth as silk, and when I was finished with my two coats (I always apply two coats of mascara), my lashes looked miles long!

The only downside I found with They're Real! is the flaking.  At the end of the day it was apparent that the longevity of the product was lacking, as little flakes dusted my under-eyes and cheeks.  Also, I found that it smudged easily.  Even on a dry, cool day with no watery eyes, a little smudging occurred.

Because of these shortcomings, I decided to try a mascara cocktail the following morning.  This time I applied the They're Real! first, then I applied my (brand new!) LashBlast, as that baby NEVER flakes on me.

Perfect combination!

They're Real! allowed me to coat every single lash and the LashBlast kept all flaking OUT OF THE EQUATION.

All in all, I will definitely continue my cocktail trending, both with mascaras and other beauty products.

The Non-Tanner ||

My mother is gorgeous.  Truly, she could pass for a woman a decade and a half younger.  That’s how healthy and wrinkle-free her skin is.
It’s through her example, and a little research, that I’ve learned how to care for my own skin.  This post centers on tanning and its dangers.  If you’re a regular tanner and are already pissed off, please read on.  Seriously.  This isn’t a roast (no pun intended), it’s an education.
Here’s a confession:  I never tan.
I know, having said this, I’m risking the ‘attack of the tanner,’ both religious and occasional, but it’s true.  I know it’s tempting.  I’m not going to deny it; tanned skin makes you look thinner.  It makes you feel beautiful.  All I can say to those (even occasional!) tanners is that ANY color to your skin is skin DAMAGE.  We’ve all heard about the free radicals and how they damage your skin and make it age faster, and you know what?  It’s true.
But wait!  Someone interjects. You get vitamin D from the sun and you’ve got to get your vitamin D!!
Yes, you get vitamin D from the sun. Actually your body makes vitamin D from the sun.   And vit D is great.  Helps you absorb calcium.  It helps your immune system and muscle functions, etc. 
Most people get all the vitamin D they’ll ever need by just walking around, doing their normal activities, wearing their normal clothes (as opposed to a bathing suit) outside on a daily basis.  Any tanning beyond that is pure vanity.
There are exceptions.
The darker your skin color, the more sunlight you’ll need to produce a necessary amount of vitamin D.
If you live in a northern climate, you’ll need more sun exposure because there are less hours in a day for direct sunlight in general.
If you are elderly your body can’t produce as much vitamin D, so you’ll need more sun.  Keep in mind though, that thin, elderly skin is tender skin that can burn and dehydrate easily.
If you have a sedentary job or are housebound for much of the day, you’ll need more sun.
Even with the above exceptions, however, these people would only need an additional 10 to 15 minutes in strong, mid-day sunlight with exposed arms and legs and no sunscreen.  And these 10 to 15 minute ‘tanning’ sessions are only necessary about 2 to 3 times a week.
You’re probably wondering where I’m getting my information.  Well, research it.  Seriously, just research it on the internet from reputable websites.  All I did was type in ‘what are the benefits of vitamin D’ and ‘hazards of tanning’ in the search bar.

Glittered Reverse French Manicure
I love this manicure because it's so simple, but looks like you spent SO LONG on it!  It's basically a reverse french manicure, but instead of using another solid color, I used glittery nail polish.

I love using glitter for regular or half moon manicures because it eliminates the necessity for perfect lines.  If you have coffee hands like I do, this is perfect!  The picture below is the end result of MY reverse french manicure in a solid burgundy, berry color that I got in the clearance section of Forever21 and the cuticle is painted in a pink chunky glitter nail polish that I got at Sally Beauty.  <3

 All you have to do is do a basic manicure with whatever color you want.  I did the burgundy of course.  Then use whatever glittery nail polish you'd like and concentrate it over your cuticle area.  No need to be fussy.  Top with a clear coat and that's it!  Simple, right?!  And the color schemes are endless!

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