How to Use the Conair Bun Maker

A while back, I posted on Instagram that I purchased the Conair Bun Maker. I noted that I was having difficulties using it. Once I mastered it, it quickly became my go to hair tool. I use it several times a week to achieve a full bun (even with fine hair!).

In the kit, you get one hair tie. I ditched that and opted to use two clear (or black) elastic bands. I find for fine hair, those work best. 

I also suggest using day old hair that has been sprayed with dry shampoo, such as Batiste. This also helps the hair to hold in place.

Hope you enjoy this tutorial!

how to make a bun for fine hair
tools to make a bun
how to use a bun maker

Shop this post!

xo, arielle


Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Mask Review

Dying to have your face be as smooth as a baby's bottom? Me either, but it was an after effect of using Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Mask.

I had seen many a mention of this mask on blogs on YouTube. Once I saw it in the Allure best of beauty issue, I knew it was time to check it out. I had trouble finding it in my local stores, so I ended up ordering it on drugstore.com for $3.99 (what a steal!).

Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Mask

Freeman Facial Polishing Mask Charcoal and Black Sugar Mask has a very gritty texture. It reminds me of when you make a DIY sugar scrub. The scent is barely there. Freeman claims it will purify your pores and exfoliate.

Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Mask

How I like to use it:
  • Wash my face, tone, then apply this mask
  • Set for 5-10 minutes
  • Swirl the product in small circles around my face before rinsing (similar to how you use a Clarisonic)

What I like about it:
  • Deeply cleans and exfoliates my skin
  • Sloughs off dead skin
  • Leaves it extremely soft and smooth
  • Does not irritate my skin
  • No acne flare ups from it

What I'm not so in to: 
  • This is totally nitpicky but the sugar builds up at the opening of the tube and I can't close the cap

Overall, I love this mask. Particularly for sloughing off dead, dry skin. We all know how harsh this winter has been and I have found this to be a life saver. I also feel like it cleans the grime out of my pores. At $3.99, this is a fantastic face mask to add to your skin care routine.

Shop my skin care favorites!

xo, arielle


Busy Girl Nails: Glitter

The winter edition of Busy Girl Nails is turning out to be quite a success. I have loved seeing everyone's nail art on Instagram. There are so many talent artists out there!

This week, I chose to do the jelly sandwich method with my glitter. I have seen it all over Pinterest but never tried it for myself. I really enjoyed how it turned out!

I used Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Red My Lips (which I received from an Influenster Vox Box) and Essie Set in Stones to create this look.

Jelly Sandwich Nail

Jelly Sandwich Nail

Disclosure: The Sally Hansen product was sent for review consideration by Influenster.

xo, arielle


Arganio Argan Oil Review

If you haven't seen the argan oil craze in the beauty world, you must have been under a rock. I have seen it popping up in everything from hair to body care items. I had not tried the product in pure form until Arganio reached out to me to test theirs.

Arganio Argan Oil

Arganio is a company based out of Canada that specializes in argan oil products. They sell this oil, lotions, toners and more. This product sells for $21.99 on their website. 

Arganio claims:
  • it won't clog your pores
  • protects skin from damage in the sun
  • strengthens nails
  • repairs dry scalp
  • nourishes the skin
  • suitable for all skin types
The product is 100% pure organic. It is packaged in a glass container with a dropper. 

Arganio Argan Oil

How I like to use it:
  • Feet: eradicated dry spots.
  • Scalp: solved my dandruff.
  • Ends of hair: left it silky soft and smooth.

What I didn't like it for:
  • On the face it was a bit too oily for me.

Overall, this is a very nice product. Plus, it's less expensive than the other pure argan oil products available in stores. I absolutely loved what it did for my hair. It has never been softer! I enjoyed it so much, I passed it along to a co-worker to help her dry skin woes.

You can also find me over on Style Journey talking about lip products!

Disclosure: This product was sent by the PR company for review consideration.

xo, arielle


Cheetah Scarf

Wanted to drop in with this easy work outfit that I turn to when I'm in a hurry. Adding a print sweater to a simple outfit truly livens things up!

easy work outfit

Top: The Limited
Scarf: Wal-Mart
Watch: Kohl's
Pants: Victoria's Secret, thrifted
Shoes: Madden Girl via Shoe Carnival

Today, I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy.

xo, arielle


Books I Finished

Disclosure: Affiliate links are in this post.

This past month, my reading slowed a bit. Either way, I read a couple of great books that I wanted to share with you all!

The Ocean at the End of the Lane* by Neil Gaiman: This was our January book club pick. It was a quick but amazing read. It begins with the main character returning to his hometown for a funeral. He makes a stop by his childhood home and reminisces about what occurred 40 years earlier. When an opal miner died on his lane all hell, essentially, breaks loose.  This is when the narrator meets his neighbor, Lettie Hemstock, who claims their pond is an ocean. Her family is comprised of only women who have powers beyond the norm. In the end, Lettie must save the narrator from a brutal death. 

How to Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul)* by Ruth Soukup: In the past year, I have read several blogging books. None have been as good or as helpful as this one. I love that it is only in e-book form because the author wants to make changes as the blogging tide changes. The tips and tricks she provides are straightforward and to the point. After reading, I used some of her suggestions and have already seen an increase in revenue. Whether you are new or a veteran blogger, this book will certainly help you understand how to grow your blog's money making capabilities. 

The Night Circus* by Erin Morgenstern: I checked out this book at the recommendation of Quick Cheap & Pretty. Two illusionists are chosen, as children, to participate in a challenge. They each know of the challenge but do not know who their opponent is or the rules of the game. It is is not until they reach adulthood, when they are thrown into a mystical night circus, that they realize who the other is. Each chapter is from a different character's perspective. This takes the book a bit to get going but in the end, it's worth the read. The entire time I was reading, I thought this would translate amazingly into film.

*If you click on an affiliate link I may receive monetary compensation. For my full disclosure, click here.

xo, arielle


Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil - Face Review

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil - Face
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil - Face

Each winter my skin tries to get flaky on me. This time, I decided to try an oil to fight the dry. I stumbled upon Palmer's Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil Face in an issue of Allure. At under $10, I thought it would be worth a try.

I have been using it every evening for about a month. In that time, I have had very few dry spots. After use, my face feels extremely smooth and soft. I also apply a little under my eyes and I am seeing a difference in my fine lines. Since my skin tone has been even and no dark spots I cannot comment on the claims there. Having said that, I have been recommending it to all of my friends who are complaining of dry winter skin because of how amazingly moisturizing it is. It truly cured my dry winter skin problem.

I know a lot of us are anti-scent in skin care products but the "rosehip" is wonderful lightly floral hue. It did not cause any adverse reactions on my sensitive skin and I had no breakouts.

When I have been recommending this to people, they look at me like I'm crazy for putting oil on my face. I used to be one of those people, too. Particularly since I do get oily. Now that I have been using oils, I have not found that it increases oil product whatsoever. I use this oil at night so that it has plenty of time to absorb. I probably would not use it under my makeup because I do think it would cause some breakdown. However, for your evening skincare repertoire I believe you will be happy with the results!

Shop my favorite skin care items!

xo, arielle


Busy Girl Nails: White

Welcome to week 2 of Busy Girl Nails. This week's theme is white.

Surprisingly, I have never painted my nails white. Ever. I wan't into the plain white look so I added some glitter to make it pop. I'm really loving the elegance of it!

It's never too late to join us! Here is all the info you need to hop on in.

xo, arielle


How to Fill in Your Brows Like a Pro

I used to be an absolute dunce at filling in my brows. Luckily, a demo from the Anastasia Beverly Hills team at the Makeup Show fixed my dilemma. Now, I'm sharing my pro tips with you!

xo, arielle


Pinned It and Did It: A Pink Blazer

Today, I'm linking up with Style Journey for Pinned It & Did It! I love this link-up because I use Pinterest all of the time for inspro.
HK Style Journey

I found this beautiful pink blazer on eBay but was uncertain how to pair it. I searched around pinterest to find some inspiration. I really love the combination of it with stripes. I have worn this combination several times with crop pants and jeans, too. It's very versatile and stylish!

work outfit
Left photo reposted with permission from Lilly Style.

Blazer: Old Navy, thrifted
Top: The Loft, thrifted
Necklace: thrifted
Watch: Kohl's
Pants: Victoria's Secret. thrifted
Shoes: Madden Girl via Shoe Carnival

I'm also linking up with The Pleated Poppy.

xo, arielle


CRAP Products of 2013

My CRAP products of 2013! Watch my vid to see why I thought these were the worst.

Covergirl Clean Whipped Creme Foundation
Eve Pearl Flawless Face Palette
The Balm Jovi Palette
Inglot Eye Shadow and Blush
NYX Pore Filler
NYX Liquid Illuminator in Born to Glow
Almay Smart Shade Perfect and Correct Primer
Pixi Flawless and Poreless Primer 
Senna Totally Transforming Eyeshadow Primer
Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara
IT Cosmetics Tightline 
Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner
Maybelline MegaPlush Volum'Express Mascara
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
Sonia Kashuk brushes
Urban Decay brushes
ChapStick Hydration Lock
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes
Crown Brush Eye Liner
Famous Dave's Moisture Tan
Glo Head to Tow Self Tanning Towelettes 
Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion
CeraVe Suncare Sunscreen
Dollar General Eye Makeup Remover
Secret Outlast Gel Deodorant 
Schwarztkopf Osis+ Geltastic
Bumble + Bumble Surf Spray

Disclosure: Some of the products mentioned in this video were sent by the company for review consideration. All opinions are my own.

xo, arielle


Battle of the Products: Mario Badescu Dry Lotion v Bye Bye Blemish

affiliate links in this post

I hope y'all know how much I love a dupe. Anything that is cheaper than the high end version (but is exactly the same as it) makes me happy on my insides. 

A few months ago, I shared how I cleared up my skin. I mentioned Mario Badescu Drying Lotion* was part of my repertoire. In the comments of that post Traci, of Drinkcitra, recommended I try out Bye Bye Blemish*. I picked it up in hopes that it would be a dupe for Mario's.

dupe for mario badescu drying lotion

You guys, I am thrilled to report that it is! In fact, I like it better (and not just because of the price)!

I fell in love with Mario Badescu's when it dried up my little white heads and reduced the size of any cystic acne that popped up. After the first night with Bye Bye Blemish, I noticed a cystic acne spot reduced by half. HALF! Mario Badescu's is good but not that good. It has cleared up whiteheads and little spots as well as MB, too. The scent of BBB is less potent. Plus, it's half the price.

While I love them both, Bye Bye Blemish has replaced Mario Badescu in my skincare cabinet. 

As a side note, 2013 was the first time I had ever heard of a drying lotion. I wish I would have discovered these sooner because they have worked much better than any spot acne treatment I have ever tried. If you're struggling with acne or whiteheads, I cannot recommend either of these enough.

*This is an affiliate link. If you click on an affiliate link I may receive monetary compensation. For my full disclosure, click here.

xo, arielle


Busy Girl Nails: Teal

Welcome to the launch of the winter edition of #busygirlnails! This week's theme is teal. I used Wet n Wild's Caribbean Frost. 

I wanted to go with the winter theme and add a snowflake. I have to thank Lucy's Stash for this tutorial on how to make one. It's easy to follow and turned out great!

snowflake nail art

Hope you all join us this winter for Busy Girl Nails. Here is all the info you need to participate. 

xo, arielle


Pinned It and Did It: Can't Go Wrong with B&W

Today, I'm linking up with Style Journey for Pinned It & Did It! I love this link-up because I use Pinterest all of the time for inspro.
HK Style Journey

I don't think you can ever go wrong with a black and white combination. When I found this pin, I loved the overall look and already had the pieces for it. This is an easy but chic work outfit for me. I have a pair of tweed pants I may combine with this top this winter, too!

work outfit
Left from Ann Taylor

Top: The Limited, thrifted
Pants: Victoria's Secret, thrifted
Shoes: Madden Girl, via Shoe Carnival

I'm also linking up with The Pleated Poppy for WIWW.

xo, arielle


Favorite Products of 2013

I'm sharing the absolute BEST beauty products from 2013. 

(links are to my review)

Earth Therapeutics Tea Tree Oil Foot Repair Balm 
University Medical AcneFree Oatmeal & Jojoba Gentle Acne Scrub
Queen Helene Masque, Mint Julep

Conair Bun Maker
One 'n Only Argan Oil Hair Dye
Pssst! Dry Shampoo
Pantene Pro-V Fine Hair Solutions Volume
Jose Eber Infra Red Blow Dryer

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation
Revlon Colorstay for Combo/Oily Skin Makeup
IT Cosmetics Your Skin but Better CC+ Cream
NYC Smooth Skin Perfecting Primer
Pixi Correction Concealer in Brightening Peach
Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Bronzer/Blush Duo
BH Cosmetics 10 Color Professional Blush Palette

NYX High Defintion Eye Shadow Base
Lorac Pro Palette
Blinc Ultrathin Liquid Eyeliner Pen
Covergirl Bombshell Mascara 
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Duo Powder & Brow Wiz
Sonia Kashuk Tinted Brow Gel

Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge
C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries Rose Salve Lip Balm


Disclosure: Some of the products in this video were sent to me for review consideration. All opinions are my own. No companies are given preferential treatment. 

xo, arielle


Favorite Blogs of 2013

I read blogs every single day. I have many I frequent and love but these stood out as my favorites in 2013!

Blushing Basics: I have been reading Kristie's blog ever since I found it on the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards list in 2012. This year, she has taken things to a whole new level. She has made ├╝ber pinnable posts with her straight forward and easy to follow tutorials. She even taught me how to fix my crease problem with this amazing post

Style Journey: I love me some fashion blogs but, at times, they get a little too runway for my taste. That's why I love Heather's blog. She features outfits that are totally relatable for any woman. She has severed as an outfit inspiration to me on several occasions. Her daughter appears on the blog from time to time, making this a fun addition to her already amazing blog.

The Beauty Milk: Talk about amazing photography and makeup skills. Coco is a multi-talented blogger. She features comprehensive reviews combined with amazing photography and editing skills. She is certainly a blogging inspiration to me.

Hello, Gorgeous: I dub Yasi the Layering Queen. I'm sure you have all seen her outfits on Pinterest. Literally, this girl has the best work ensembles out there. I wish I could get in her closet, roll around in her clothing and hope I sop up an ounce of her fashion sense. 

Vanity Rouge: Angie revamped her blog, formally YourBFF, to Vanity Rouge. She has done an absolutely amazing job. Seeing her transformation has been beautiful. Her photography and editing skills are top-knotch magazine quality. I could not be happier to see how she is succeeding in this new venture!

Check out my blogroll for all of the blogs I regularly read!

xo, arielle


Biotin + Folic Acid: My Secret to Hair Growth

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This is a regime that worked for me. Please consult your physician before adding any supplements to your diet. 

You may recall last January when I chopped my hair off. While I loved it at first, I soon regretted the decision. I let it grow out some and did the a-line look. This served me well until about August. I then decided to cut my hair to all one length and grow it back out. Unfortunately, my hair grows at a snail's pace.

I'm sure most of you have heard about using Biotin to help with hair growth. I had done it in the past and it helped (but no better than taking a multivitamin). One day, I stumbled upon YouTuber, tiffanyespinosa, talking about combining Folic Acid with Biotin to achieve results. Since it worked out well for her, I decided to try it myself. I picked up a bottle of each at Dollar General for less than $10.

It took a few months for me to notice any changes. In about November, all of the sudden it was BAM! long. People started to comment on how long my hair had gotten. The day where I no longer needed a bobby pin to hold up fly aways when I had my hair pulled up was a good one.

A bonus to the regime is what it does for nails, too! They grew so much faster, were stronger and looked quite healthy. 

Overall, combining Biotin and Folic acid has been the best way for me to grow out my hair. I have never had such quick results. Now that I'm to a length I like, I'm back to taking just a multivitamin. However, I'm definitely recommending this quick fix to anyone out there who is needing long locks fast.

What do you do to grow your hair out?

Today, I'm linking up with Lipgloss & Crayons + Still Being Molly for Monday Funday.

xo, arielle


Busy Girl Nails: Back for Winter!

I'm very excited to share with you that Busy Girl Nails is back for winter! In case you are not familiar, Busy Girl Nails is a very easy weekly nail art challenge that anyone can participate in. It takes place on Instagram.

Your hosts are @Mirandasmakeup@drinkcitra@Fiercemakeupandnails@Marijonails and me, @beautybyarielle. Be sure to follow us!

Thanks Drinkcitra for the awesome button!

Here's the nitty gritty of Busy Girl Nails:
  • Use this image on your blog or instagram to spread the word.
  • Launches January 13, 2014.
  • Post your mani on instagram and please use the hashtag #busygirlnails. We would also love if you would tag the hosts. If you don't have instagram, feel free to post on your blog and tweet the link to us!
  • Post the week's prompt starting Monday's. You can post your mani any time during that week. (Ex: Week 1 is the week of January 13, Week 2 is the week of January 20, etc.) 
  • Follow the prompt to be as simple or creative as you would like. If all you have time for is to paint your nails a color, that's ok! If you have more time, we would love to see how creative you can be!
  • Participate in as many or as few weeks as you can!

Can't wait to see your creations!

xo, arielle


Beauty for the Soul: A Year for Visions

Each New Year, many people decide to declare some resolutions. I don't find these particularly useful, as many people give up a few weeks in. That's why I stopped doing this a long time ago. Instead, I created a vision board of personal life goals to meet with no deadline. They are all tangible things I am working on in my life.

A vision board is a collection of goals with images that represent your desires. I keep mine as a secret board on Pinterest. I incorporate my vision board into my meditation practice by putting thought into some of the things I am hoping to attract. Of course, I am also putting action behind it, too. Vision boards are a useful way to organize your goals and can be life changing. Over the course of my life, I have had several of these and when I go back and look at them (to see what has come to me) it's an amazing experience. 

Here's my vision board:

I try not to put limitations on my visions with timelines or putting exactly what I want to happen (that's trying to have too much control, which is impossible). Instead I keep it broad and allow the goal to come into my life in whatever form. Whenever one of my goals is completed, I express gratitude and remove it from the board. 

If you want to join my in the vision board process, here is a fantastic article on them from Oprah.com.

What are some of your life goals that you would like to begin attracting this year?

xo, arielle