How to Make Your Summer Glow Last

Remember when you were little and you would steal your mom’s clothes and shoes to play with? Well, now that we’re older and more mature… we can still do it and get some real use out of it.

A couple of weeks ago, I had my eye on the St. Tropez Gradual Tan shower gel but held out because I didn’t want to spend $25. The reviews for the product were about 50-50, good and bad, so I decided to opt out for a while. But then, guess who pulled through? 

You guessed it. My mom. When I saw the newly purchased product in her shower, I reached for it instantly. That might explain the currently sun-kissed skin, formerly known as fair skin.

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The thing that drew me in about the shower gel is the simplicity it promised. The bottle states five easy steps: rinse off in the shower, apply the gel (in circular motions) to clean skin, let it soak in for three minutes (away from the water), rinse it off and gently pat dry. Knowing I had nothing to lose, but pale skin, I decided to give it a try.

Before: 

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To prep for the tanning shower gel, I used the Pretty and Perky sugar scrub in Watermelon Lemonade scent to exfoliate. I then applied the gel to my freshly smooth skin. As promised, the product is easy to use. The gel itself is an off-white color, it didn’t give me Oompa Loompa hands, but I did wash the product off my hands before I let it soak for three minutes, as directed.

Before the three minute way time, I scrubbed my Macadamia Conditioning Hair Mask into my hair, so I could kill two birds with one stone, as I let both products sit. This is embarrassing, but I’ll share it with you guys anyways. I actually did a few squats one day while I waited. Is that weird?!

After: 

Now, this product is gradual so I didn’t notice results right when I got out of the shower. I used the product three days in a row and although I didn’t notice a difference, my coworkers did. I had about five people tell me that I looked tan. And my mom noticed that my legs looked a bit darker, as well.

The Bad: 

-One frequent con mentioned in reviews is the strong cologne scent of the product. I did notice a clean, cologne smell to it and, unfortunately, I still smelled like it after drying off. However, a few pumps of sweetly fragranced lotion and a spritz of Pink Sugar perfume, and I was good to go.

-Somehow, I dropped a small glob on my toe and didn’t notice. I now have a small tan smudge on my foot, but it’s not too noticeable and I know it’ll wash off eventually. I also have a small streak on my inner arm from where I didn’t massage the gel in enough. Although these spots are annoying, those are the only two I have and it made me feel reassured that: yes, the product works and  that I should be careful and thorough when applying it.

The good: 

-The product adds a gradual color that doesn’t wipe off on your towel, sheets or clothes.

-Because the tan is gradual, it’s believable. Did you use a self tanner or did you spend a few days in Cabo? No one knows ;)

-Quick and easy at-home method of tanning that won’t dye your hands (wash them before letting product sit), make a mess or leave streaks if you massage it in with circular motions.

I would give this product a four out of five star-rating and recommend it to anyone willing to spend $25 to try out a new product. I’ve tried the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs before and found this to be easier to use with better results.

What’s your favorite self tanner? Let me know!

Bye for now, XO- Ashley (@ashleysita)

The Drugstore Makeup that You Need in Your Life. Now!

I don’t know if you guys have been on the Ulta website recently, but a majority of their drugstore makeup is on sale, buy one & get one 50% off right now!

This isn’t a sponsored blog, Ulta please endorse me, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this awesome deal with you. Because, who doesn’t love a good sale?! Oh, and shipping is free when you spend $50!

Here’s some of the best-rated products I’ve got my eyes on.

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Revlon Colorstay Foundation $12.99 

*Wide range of colors, strong staying power, blendable, made for combination/oily skin.

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Revlon Photo Ready Powder $13.99

*Very subtle shimmer tones meant to attract light when taking pictures, hence the name, “photo-ready.”

*Buildable, good for sensitive skin and covers well.

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NYX Wonder Stick $11.99

Meant for easy highlighting and contouring to add extra depth to your face. And MUA babes Naomi Giannopoulos and Shayla are on the box! LOVE!

*Great for beginners, long lasting and blendable.

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NYX C’Est La Vie Eyeshadows, Jumbo Eye Pencil and Mascara $19.99

*Shimmery bronzes, beiges and green shadows will whisk you into the fall season with this three-in-one package. Full size Jumbo Eye Pencil in “Milk” and Boudoir Mascara sounds too good to be true, especially at a BOGO 50% off price tag.

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NYX Honey Dew Me Serum & Primer

Gel primer infused with honey, light reflective gold flakes and collagen.

*Reduces redness, provides healthy and dewy glow.  

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NYX Avant Pop! Surreal My Heart $16.99

The Surreal My Heart is a good combination of the Avant Pop’s other two palettes: brightly colorful Art Throb and subtle earthy toned Nouveau Chic.

*Works best with primer, good pigmentation and sturdy packaging.

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NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Copenhagen & Transylvania $5.99 Not BOGO

*As a side note, these matte lip creams are not BOGO 50%, but I had to point out that popular fall colors, Copenhagen and Transylvania are back in stock online! I also love the versatile nude lip cream in “London.”

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Maybelline The Nudes Palette $9.99

*Who doesn’t need a great collection of earthy, day-to-night shadows?

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L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte 24-Hour Foundation $12.99

*Blendable, full coverage, long-lasting, fair-priced and MUA Lustrelux loves it… Need I say more?

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L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes $8.99

*Glamorous packaging, lengthening formula and a wand that easily separates lashes.

I hope you get some great back-to-school makeup shopping in with these great skills, or in my case, just makeup shopping in general. I’d love to know which of these products sparked your interest or if any products flew under my radar.

Until next week, XO- Ashley (@ashleysita)

13 Items You Should Always Carry in Your Purse (Or Backpack)

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We all remember the iconic scene from Mary Poppin’s as she pulled countless items from her magic purse. There is truth in that scene, that’s for sure- women come prepared. So whether you’re headed back to school or off to work, here’s a list of necessary goodies to toss in your own bag.

And I didn’t list any lady products, because those are a given!

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Don’t Sweat It

Ever rush out of the house and remember that you forgot to put on deodorant?! That’s the worst. But with a handy travel-sized deodorant, you’ve got nothing to fear.

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Freshen Up

Whether you forgot to spritz on some perfume, or you’re just looking to freshen up, rollerball perfumes are the way to go! Find your favorite scents in these convenient travel perfumes, like Pink Sugar ($20 at Kohl’s). Britney Spear’s rollerball is especially great because it’s double-sided perfume and lipgloss!

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Tissue for Your Issue

You never know when you’re going to have a sneeze attack, runny nose or an accidental spill. These cute travel-size tissues will ensure you’re prepared.

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Lipstick Fixes Everything

If you hit a midday slump on your appearance, toss on a coat of lipstick and you’re good to go. One of my favorites is the NYX Lip Butter because it gives the same moisture as a lip balm. For a cute travel size lipstick, grab Kat Von D’s Lip Vixen Duo: palm-sized lipstick and gloss, $18 at Sephora.

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Pain Free

Cramps, headaches, earaches, etc. Advil’s got you covered.

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Silence is Golden

Pop ’em in and forget about the world. You can turn on some Missy Elliot for a little pick me up or classical music if you’re busy at work and need to focus.

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Emergency $20

You don’t want to be without cash if your card breaks, demagnetizes or glitches out. And while we’re not all ballin’ like Jamie Kennedy in Malibu’s Most Wanted (he stores an emergency hundred in his Coach wallet), an emergency twenty will do. The hardest part of this task is not spending it on a Starbucks Frap, but hey, sometimes that’s an emergency, right?!

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Tie it Up

This is the cutest, most organized way to carry hair ties without losing them! Hair Ties are always convenient.

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Clip it Back

Bobby pins are great when you need to fix your updo a bit or put a loose hair back into place. They even help with wardrobe malfunctions!

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Kill the Germs

Hand sanitizer is a must. Always.

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Stay Smooth

Grab a 2-for-1 deal at Bath & Body Works with a smell-good sanitizer and lotion, and leave everyone in the room drooling over the sweet scents.

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Charge Up

Sometimes you use your phone more than expected and since it seems that phone batteries last all of 3 minutes at times, a quick charge helps!

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Power Boost

Feeling like your own batteries running low? Combat drowsiness and hunger with a delicious granola bar or snack. My favorite is the BelVita “Brown Sugar Cinnamon” snacks, they taste like graham crackers and provide steady energy.

What’s in your purse that you can’t live without?

Bye for now, XO- Ashley (@ashleysita)

3 Minutes to a Beautiful Complexion

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One part of my makeup that I struggle with is blush and bronzer. I often do the “little bit to this side, little bit to that side” in attempts to even it out until patting some of the intense color away.

This week I finally realized the reason– and it’s not the makeup products or brushes that I use. It’s my skin. 

I stared at the dark patch of makeup on my left cheek and cursed it for not matching my right. After taking a closer glance, I noticed a light dry patch of skin on my cheek. This dry patch made my bronzer darker and stripe-like.

Not wanting to look like the tiger, that I sometimes am (rawr), I reached for my July Birchbox and grabbed out the Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel.

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I’ve never done a peel before and I was a bit intimidated. But, the box assured that the product gently exfoliated skin.

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I applied the product to target areas: cheeks, forehead and chin. The box said to apply it to the neck as well, but that’s easier in the shower. Immediately after dotting the product on my face and gently rubbing it in, small white solids formed– the gel combining with my dead skins! Goodbye icky patch of dead skin! The other benefit of seeing these solids form? I knew it was working!

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During the two minute massage, my skin felt normal– no stinging or pain. The small solids were a little difficult to remove, so it took about two minutes for me to make sure it was thoroughly washed off. The peel left my skin feeling smooth and bright, and my bronzer looked great that day!

This product is a great addition to my face mask collection and I recommend trying it. You can sample two 5mL bottles of this product for free (usually $5.75 each) on the Real Chemistry website, with a $6 shipping fee using the code “freesamples.” It doesn’t say how long this deal will last, so if you’re interested in trying it, don’t procrastinate!

Bye for now, XO- Ashley (@ashleysita)

10 Beauty Secrets that “Friends” Taught Us

Summer days and the fact that Friends is on Netflix has resulted in some serious binge watching. But, alas, some good has come out of it as inspiration struck and I extracted a few beauty tips from the highly revered show.c3aacb1dfcae5b875b55309f12563bfc

1.) Never underestimate the power of a neutral lip

The running beauty trend for babes Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow in Friends can be summarized in two words: mascara and lipstick. You can’t go wrong with a bright clean face, highlighted eyes and a neutral lipstick or lip stain!

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2.) Don’t be afraid to change your hairstyle 

 Friends was on for 10 years, debuting a whopping 10 seasons! During this time, the three actresses rocked about five hairstyles each. Sure, 10 years seems like a long time, but think about how many hairstyles you’ve gone through in that time. I know I’ve had long hair for about seven years now. And yes, I picked Rachel as the example because she’s my favorite. ;p

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3.) There’s nothing a bubble bath can’t fix

In a world that’s constantly fast-paced, it’s nice to stop and take a few minutes for yourself. What a better place to do that than in the bath? So draw a bath, sprinkle in some fragranced bath salts, light a few candles and drown your worries away. Don’t forget your toy boat if you’re looking for that masculine touch.

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4.) We all have bad hair days 

It’s true. Especially when humidity is involved. We feel your pain, Monica. There’s ways around it, though. In Monica’s case, throw on a hat or show off some dreadlocks (a treat for the eyes and the ears). In my case, throw on a headband and wrap your hair into a sock bun.

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5.) They created the “Boyfriend does my makeup tag”

The writers of Friends had Ross doing Rachel’s makeup long before YouTube makeup gurus jumped on it. Too bad Rachel ended up looking like Mimi from The Drew Carey Show. 

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6.) Waxing is no joke

Before the 40-year-old Virgin (ah,Kelly Clarkson) Monica and Phoebe discovered the pains of waxing while trapped inside their bedroom. “Painless” leg waxing kit, my ass. Sigh, guys may never know the struggle.

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7.) Spray tans can be scary

Ever stepped foot into a spray tan booth? The misters pointing at you, like guns ready to fire, liquid sprays at you and you feel like you’re being gassed. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but the results can shock you if you’re not careful to hold your position and rub the color in evenly.
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8.) Eyebrows are important 

When Joey attempts to have his eyebrows tweezed and backs out after the first one’s done, Chandler has to get them back on fleek for Joey. I almost pulled a Joey the first time I got mine threaded! Regardless, we all know that brows play an important part of our makeup routine. So, remember to be cautious when fixing yours up!

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9.) There is such a thing as too white of teeth 

Of course, home-remedy teeth whitening can’t be as extreme as Ross’s ultra pearly whites, but for some it’s a terrifying image that some of won’t forget.

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10.) It’s not always a good idea to let your friends cut your hair 

It may save you a few bucks, or you may be acting as a model for your beauty salon friend, but always keep in mind the outcomes if you don’t  like your hair in the end. Especially if you’re particular about your hair like Monica! If anything, make sure you’re specific about the look you’re hoping for, so you don’t end up looking like Dudley Moore instead of Demi Moore.

Bye for now, XO- Ashley (@ashleysita)

Out with Contouring, In with Strobing

It’s a debate that beauty bloggers and beauty fanatics everywhere are arguing: strobing versus contouring. Strobing focuses on highlighting the areas of the face that light naturally hits, rather than on facial angles to create a chiseled “Kardashian” look by contouring.

My mom would always tell me, “Makeup is meant to enhance your natural features.” This idea fits perfectly with the concept of strobing.

I know what some of you are thinking.

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It’s apparent that this “new” trend isn’t new at all. Whether it’s new or just renamed- The Art Formerly Known as Highlighting, is a definite hot topic right now.

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The great thing about highlighting is that it only adds an extra five minutes tops to your makeup routine, it’s hard to mess up and there’s a 99% chance you’ve already got these tools in your makeup bag.

Accentuating these naturally lit areas of the face gives the skin a bright, dewey glow that is perfect for summer.

Great Highlighting Tools (Right from My Makeup Bag) 

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For a look that is not as shiny or translucent, I recommend using a relatively matte highlighter that is two shades lighter than your skin tone. I like to use my Glamoflauge concealer in the light shade.

Use your ring finger to gently dab product onto upper cheekbones, the center of your nose to the bottom, temples, cupid’s bow and center of chin. Some prefer the technique of highlighting the center of the forehead, I like to keep it simple by doing just the temples. Blend product in with a beauty blender, brush or your fingers. Afterwards, apply some bronzer or blush to cheekbones and you’re ready to go!

And of course, don’t forget to highlight the upper brow bones. I usually like to do this with a matte white shadow.

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For a more shimmery application, I use the Clinique chubby stick in 01 Hefty Highlight. This highlighter chubby stick makes for extra easy application and the smooth product is easily blendible.When first applied the color has a bit of a frosty tint. Once blended, it’s a soft pearly shimmer. I love that the moisturizing formula results in an extra dewey glow!

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I know, I talk about this palette ALL the time. But, I recently discovered that the Too Faced Chocolate Bar has yet another trick up its sleeve. The Champagne Truffle eyeshadow is a perfect pale pink, shimmery highlighter! This color is slightly more pink than the Clinique highlighter and has a bit more shimmer when blended.

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I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the strobing or highlighting look, and that it comes in handy for your summer days and nights.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read): 

“New” trend takes us back to basics with the rediscovered highlighting technique. Enjoy!

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Bye for now, XO- Ashley (@ashleysita)

Palettes for a Girl on the Go

Hello! I’ve taken a mini vacation this week and traveled up north to see J. Cole in concert! Giving my over-packing self a back seat, I tried to pack light this trip. Yes, I forgot my jean jacket in the midst of this, but that’s another story. As I grabbed my typical day-to-day makeup bag: mascara, Glamophlauge concealer, brow kit, face makeup, brushes and 4 lipsticks: nude, magenta, deep bold mahogany and classic red, I knew I didn’t have much room for eyeshadows. I grabbed my favorite two palettes and want to share them with you. These may be familiar to you… I can’t help but write about products right when I get them! Trust me, though. These are the best I’ve seen!

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The Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette is my all-time favorite. To start, it has a wide range of colors, more than half of them being stable neutrals suitable for day or night looks. Second, the palette actually smells like chocolate, (yum!). When smoothing these shadows on my lids I can’t help but inhale deeply. While in San Fran, I’ve used this palette for hikes, day lunches and dinners. White chocolate is my favorite as it’s the ultimate base color. Salted caramel is my second favorite because it’s a warm, orangey color which works well for day or night looks. It warms up the eyes, looking great with a bronzey gold shadow or a deeper color for a night on the time.

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At $39 the Smashbox Mini Palette is a complete steal. Complete with deeper shades, a few neutral tones and blush/ bronzer the palette can’t get much better than this! Although I usually reach for the enchanting scent of the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette, I can’t resist this honey bronzer that sculpts my cheekbones and the shimmery high lights that bring out the apples of my cheeks.

So, if you’re looking for a new palette, I highly suggest you turn to these versatile babies. You won’t regret it!

XO, Bye for now- Ashley (@ashleysita).