July Favorites

Products Mentioned:
NYC Smooth Skin Perfecting Primer
Wet n Wild Coverall Foundation
Psssst! Dry Shampoo
bareMinerals Original Foundation
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo, Brow Wiz & Lash Genius Waterproof
Blinc Ultrathin Liquid Eyeliner Pen
IT Cosmetics Vitality Blush Lipgloss in Je Ne Sais Quoi
Jose Eber Infrared Blow Dryer
Clinique 3-Step

Giveaway announcement: Win a Stila Palette from Daydreaming Beauty!


Busy Girl's Nail Art Challenge: Beach

It's beach week for #BusyGirlNails! I have to admit, I was very uninspired and I think that's why I copped out a bit. I chose to use blue, because it reminds me of the ocean, plus a sunset with palm trees. Wish I would have been a bit more creative with this one! I can't wait to see what you all come up with.

Last week, we showed off our mix match nails. I really enjoyed Pretty Squared's take. We have 2 weeks left but it's never too late to join #BusyGirlNails. Get the deets here.



What's In My Mom's Makeup Bag?

Over the weekend, my mom made a trip to our home (we live 6 hours apart). I thought it would be fun to share with you all what was in her makeup bag! My mom has always been a makeup wearer but has never owned a plethora (like me!) so it was enjoyable to see what she chose to bring. I asked her why she uses each product to give you a quick mini-review. 

1 Sara St. James Easy Color Blush in Sugar Berry: I bought the Sara St. James collection for my mom from Hautelook for something new for her to try. When I asked about this blush she said, "It's the only one I had, that's why I used it." That tells me, this isn't her favorite.

2 Lancôme Dual Finish Versatile Powder Makeup: This has been a staple in my mom's collection for many years. When I asked, she thought 10. Mom says, "it has good color and coverage. I can wear it without foundation under and I still have coverage."

3 Sara St. James Lipshine in Ginger: Mom's take, "It's my color. You know how some lip glosses feel sticky or sugary? This one isn't like that. When the wind blows my hair never gets caught in it."

4 Almay Smart Shade Perfect and Correct Primer: I was really curious about this primer and have thought about trying it out. Mom reports, "it seems to tone down my red tones and look more even. I can tell a difference when I use it and when I don't." I probably need to pick it up soon!

5 Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips in Vegas Strip: My mom said she's had this palette around for about 5 years. I was surprised when she said, "I use it as a highlight. It's overly shimmery so I go really light," because it appears to be a deep shade in the pan.

6 Almay Intense iColor for brown eyes: This was my go to palette in high school and it got me hooked on plums. Mom likes it because, "it makes my brown eyes look browner."

7 Revlon PhotoReady BB Cream: This one I had passed along to her because I wasn't a big fan. She disagreed and said, "I feel like my skin looks flawless."

8 Maybelline Line Stiletto: My mom has always been a liquid liner woman. She say this one, "goes on smooth, for a felt tip pen."

9 Maybelline Volum'Express The Colossal: On this one she said, "I like how it does the cat eyes but it's not my favorite mascara."

10 Revlon PhotoReady Concealer: This is a concealer I picked up after my mom raved about it a couple of months ago. She loves it because it, "definitely covers my dark spots and deflects the shadows on my face."

What I learned from this, my mom carries about quarter of what I do on a trip. I also noticed that she tends to hold on to products even if she doesn't love them. I'm completely the opposite in that respect! 

How do you and your mom differ on makeup?


Giveaway announcement: Win a Stila Palette from Daydreaming Beauty!


Collab Post with Geniabeme: Our 5 Beauty Secrets

I'm excited to share with you a collaboration with Eugenia, over at Geniabeme. We're sharing our 5 beauty secrets (for 10 total!). You can see her 5 secrets here

Arielle's 5 Beauty Secrets

Need to clean the gunk off of your makeup brushes? Dove soap is quick, cheap and easy. I leave a bar on my sink to quickly remove cream products from my brushes. Checkout how in my tutorial.

Have a nasty sunburn? Your old friend Noxzema Deep Cleansing Cream will be your savior! Make a mask, by applying liberally on affected areas, allow to set for 20-30 minutes then rinse. Repeat as necessary and the redness in your burn will reduce. 

Dry skin is never pretty but you can soften it up with this easy DIY face mask made from banana and honey. I always wake up with fresh, soft skin after using this mask.

Love painting your nails but hate to get nail polish all over your cuticles and skin? Slather some Vaseline around the perimeter of your nails and they will always look salon perfect. 

Use a lengthening mascara at the base of lashes and a volumizing on the ends to make your lashes pop. My tutorial will show you how, with some additional mascara secrets.

What are some of your beauty secrets? 


5 Favorite Foundations Collab with Elle Sees

Foundations mentioned:
Wet n Wild Coverall
Revlon Colorstay
NYX HD Studio Photogenic
bareMinerals Original
Estée Lauder Double Wear

Be sure to check out Elle Sees' 5 favorites, too!


Blinc Ultrathin Liquid Eyeliner Pen Review

What the company says: Blinc Ultrathin Liquid Eyeliner Pen has a .01mm brush that will allow you to create the precise look of your choosing. It cannot fade, run or smudge. Applies smoothly and intensely with no need to reapply throughout the day. Available online and at Sephora for $26.

My experience: The first thing I noticed was how incredibly thin the brush on this eyeliner is. If you're familiar with Revlon's eyeliner pen, Blinc's applicator is about a quarter of the size.

Blinc Ultrathin Liquid Eyeliner brush

Application is easy and precise. This eyeliner has been ah-mazing for creating winged looks. The slim brush helps me get my wing just right every time. I can't say that for a lot of liners! I also appreciate how easily you can get down to that tiny space between your lashes and the edge of your lid.

Blinc Ultrathin Liquid Eyeliner applied to the eye

The pigmentation is an intense black with a semi-matte finish. Results last throughout the day. You must allow it to dry fully before curling and applying mascara to lashes. If not, some of it will rub off. Once it's set, it won't budge. 

Blinc claims that you can rub your eyes or cry and this won't move. I'm going to call bluff on this one because every time I apply this eyeliner it does wear off from the inner 1/4 of my eye (nearest the tear duct) about 6-8 hours in. Also, I applied a swatch to my hand, allowed it to set, and it rubbed right off. I'm not an eye rubber, so this isn't a problem for me. As long as you are not messing with your eyes all day, your liner will last. 

  • Winged looks are easy with this applicator
  • Able to get down into the lash line
  • Highly pigmented
  • Results last all day

  • Price
  • I disagree with the claim that this won't rub off

Bottom line: If you love to wing it, you will want this liner in your collection.

Product was sent to me by the company for review consideration. All opinions are my own.



Busy Girl's Nail Art Challenge: Mix Match

We are on week 5 of #BusyGirlNails! This week is mix match. I thought this one would be easy, since you can basically do whatever you want, but I struggled with inspiration! I think I redid my middle nail 3-4 times.

I knew I wanted to stick with a neutral base. I love the way black looks on neutrals, so I ran with it. Since I needed gold for the animal print, I decided to incorporate that into the mix. By the way, if you haven't seen this pin on polka dots, get on it! It's a lifesaver.

Last week, I enjoyed seeing your gradient nails. I loved this color combo from The Beauty Girl. I'm looking forward to seeing your mix match nails, this week!

It's never too late to join #BusyGirlNails. Get the deets here.

Today, I'm linking up with Molly and Carly for Funday Monday.


OC8 Professional Mattifying Gel Review

What it claims: Apply after moisturizer but before makeup to ensure 8 hours of matte finish. Will even skin tone and improve the look of foundation.

My experience: I have combination skin. This summer, I have been changing up my skin care routine but none of the products had worked well to control oil. Thankfully, I was introduced to this product during this time and it kept my from becoming seriously oily. 

As soon as I applied, I noticed my shiny areas became matte. I allow it to soak into the skin, then apply my primer and foundation as normal.

I found that my Eve Pearl foundation causes me to turn into a oil disaster within hours. Thankfully, when I used it with OC8 Mattifying Gel, I was able to get through the work day with no breakdown. I did not notice that it improved the look of my foundation or evened my skin tone, though.

Now that I'm back to Clinique, my oil is well controlled so I no longer have a need for this product. If you are a very oily gal, I think you will be very happy with what this can do for you.

OC8 applied without a primer

  • Seriously mattifying!
  • Controls oil breakthrough for combo-oily skin types. As you can see in the photo, 8 hours later I'm still matte.

  • The smell is a bit chemical.
  • Must use a primer in addition to this. As you can see in the after photo, my makeup faded. 
  • Price, at $41, it's a splurge. 
Product was sent to me by the company for review consideration. All opinions are my own.



Q & A With Arielle

Some of the questions answered:
  • What do you enjoy doing in your spare time, outside of the blogging/vlogging world?
  • What made you decide to start blogging/ making videos?
  • The pros and cons of having a YouTube?
  • Favorite lip product of ALL time?
Be sure to watch to get answers to these questions and more!


The Busy Girl's Summer Nail Art Challenge: Gradient

I can't believe we are at the half way point of the Busy Girl's Summer Nail Art Challenge. So far, you all have created some gorgeous looks! I'm overjoyed with how many of you have joined us.

This week is gradient. Which is the bane of my existence. I have never particularly enjoyed this method because it tends to be messy, takes me forever and it requires some practice to get the colors right. I have done gradient before (here and here) so, knowing this I decided to just go with the accent nail. Hallelujah, did it save some time!

Last week was polka dot! I loved this one from Pretty Squared. I can't wait to see your gradient nails this week! If you want to join in, click here for all of the info.


IT Cosmetics Your Most Beautiful You 6-pc Collection


IT Cosmetics recently reached out to me to check out some of their products. I had been testing, testing, testing when they alerted me that they would be on QVC this Saturday, July 13, 2013 as the Today's Special Value (TSV). Their Your Most Beautiful You 6-pc Collection will be available at a special price on that day only. They are also launching the Vitality Lip Blush Hydrating Gloss Stain with this collection!

I have sampled most of the products from the collection, so I wanted to give you all the DL before it's on QVC.

Hello Light Anti-Aginig Crème Luminizer: This highlighter is packaged in a compact and is creamy in consistency. It gives a gorgeous candlelight glow. It has replaced Benefit High Beam, for me! It blends beautifully with the Heavenly Luxe Pointed Precision Complexion Brush, which is also included in the collection. The brush contours easily to the face and is silky soft.

Bye Bye Under Eye: Can you say full coverage?! If you need to cover under eye circles, this will do the job. It can also be used on blemishes or as a foundation. This concealer does not crease and applies smooth. You can apply it with the Heavenly Luxe Dual Airbrush Foundation/Concealer Brush, which you will find included in the collection.

YBBB Your Brows But Better Brow Power Skinny Pencil: This pencil adjusts to shade match. I was surprised that it blended well into my brows, when I saw the color in the tube. It also has a spoolie on the opposite end for combing. The lasting power was a bit sparse on me, so I set it with a gel. This is not a wow product, in my opinion, but it does the job.

Vitality Lip Blush Hydrating Gloss Stain: This is the one product I have yet to try. This Saturday will be the first time it is available. IT Cosmetics claims this will give you high shine, pigmentation and hydration. The flush of color will last all day.

What is your favorite IT Cosmetics product?

Today, I'm linking up with Happy Kids, Inc for the Bloglovin' Hop and Nykki Talks Beauty.

Products were sent to me by the company for review consideration. All opinions are my own.


Busy Girl's Summer Nail Art Challenge: Polka Dot

We are to week 3 of the Busy Girl's Summer Nail Art Challenge! We will be showing off our polka dots on Instagram

I went with a gradient polka dot nail to add some dimension and visual interest:

Last week was glitter. Many of you chose to incorporate 4th of July and I loved it! My favorite was from Nails Like Lace. Check out her mani!

Want to join in? Here is all the info you need. Don't forget to tag your hosts and use the hashtag #busygirlnails so we can see your gorgeous nails! 

Today, I'm linking up with My Thrifty Chic.



4th of July Recap: Our Current River Canoe Trip

I'm back from my mini-break! We took a long weekend trip down to Missouri to canoe on Current River with some friends. We departed Wednesday afternoon, packed 4 into a car and journeyed 5 hours. We spent the 4th and 5th canoeing over 30 miles down the river!

For this trip, we lodged in the small Ozark town of Salem, MO. Salem is about a 30 minute drive through the rolling hills to Aker's Ferry canoe rental. 

The rolling hills. We experienced some fog on Day 2.

Aker's Ferry launch

This was my first canoe experience ever. Within 30 minutes of launch, my husband and I capsized. We hit a falling tree on the bank and were done for. The water was cold, the canoe was quickly filling and my water shoes were useless for swimming. We made it to land and I wasn't sure whether to sob or chuckle. I chose the latter. Until noon, I was quite shook up. With each bump from a rock or stump, my heart would quicken and I thought sinking was looming. Luckily, I got the hang of it. 

The nature scenes along Current River are breathtaking and the water is gorgeous. In most places, the water is crystal clear. Some of the waters reminded me of the ocean. The spring that flows into the river were the bluest shades of water I have ever seen (they were also about the coldest!). Jagged rock faces and mature trees line both sides of the river. The silence of the nature is tranquil. There are also spots for swimming, leaping off rocks and a rope swing here and there. Natural banks make for easy stops to rest and eat. 

Lesson learned on this trip...never ever, ever use a metal canoe. I seriously recommend fighting for a fiberglass canoe. We had a metal one the first day and I believe it was a major factor in our capsizing. They are heavier, harder to maneuver and ours was leaky. Each bump seemed catastrophic. I swear we hit everything with that thing. On day 2, we had the fiberglass and it glided easily over stumps and rocks, it was sturdier and quite comfy. We never had an issue with it.  

This trip was an excellent bonding and team building activity with my partner. We traveled with some friends and it gave us all a chance to get to know one another better. Plus, they were a lot of fun! I'm very thankful we were able to take this little break and I look forward to partaking in the future!

*Bloggers, if you are looking for a point and shoot camera, I am selling my Panasonic Lumix. I used it on my blog up until a month or two ago. I'm willing to do the purchase outside of ebay, too. See the listing here.

Today, I'm linking up with Lipgloss and Crayons & Sami's Shenanigans.



How to Apply Gel Eye Liner Tutorial

I meant to post my Q&A but half of the video crashed. Instead, I'm bringing you this tutorial on applying gel eye liner. Hope you enjoy!

I'm taking a little blogging break to go on a canoe trip! Stay up to date with my happenings on instagram. Also, don't forget to enter my Pantene giveaway.


Pantene Pro-V Overnight Miracle Repair Serum Review + Giveaway

Today, I bringing you another hair care review! The Overnight Miracle Repair Serum is a new product from Pantene Pro-V.

Product Claims: A weightless and non-sticky formula that will repair your hair while you sleep. Hair will be smooth, shiny and soft. No residue will be left on your pillow. The bottle also says it will erase 6 months of damage.

My experience: This serum comes in pump form. I usually do 2 pumps of products and apply to the ends of my hair right before bed. It leaves my hair damp and I never see any product left on my pillow. The serum itself is milky in color, unscented and spreads easily on hair.

I heat style everyday and regularly color my hair, so it tends to be quite dry. On the first morning, I immediately noticed my locks were softer.  Now that I'm a few weeks in, I think the Pantene Pro-V Overnight Miracle Repair Serum has helped my hair from becoming completely fried. Do I think it erases 6 months of damage? No, but I do think it protects from further damage and softens things up. 

I like this for anyone who washes their hair every other day but needs moisture to be added back in, in between. I also use this when out in the sun to protect my hair. After my most recent color treatment, I was sure to apply it and my hair appeared healthy in the morning.

Want a chance to try this for yourself? Pantene is graciously sharing one with a BBA reader! This giveaway is open to the US only. You will be disqualified for false entries or not including all parts of the entry (i.e. links or usernames). Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Product was sent to me by the company for review consideration. All opinions are my own.


Busy Girl Nail Challenge: Glitter 4th of July Nails

We're on week 2 of the Busy Girl's Summer Nail Art Challenge! This week is glitter. Since this week is also 4th of July, I really wanted to incorporate it into my mani. I was inspired by Pink You Rock on this one.

To keep with the glitter theme, I used polishes that all had some glitter in them. The all over glitter nail is Essie's Set in Stones, the red is Sally Hansen's Red Carpet (my favorite red ever!) and the blue, which is apparently the only blue I own, is Zoya.

Last week, bloggers created some amazing looks for #busygirlnails. Check out my favorite, from Haute Lacquer, here. It was gorgeous!

I cannot wait to see what you all do with glitter this week! If you want to join in this challenge, you can at any time. Here is the info post