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Valentine’s Day Prepping – Pucker Up, Part 1

Who doesn’t think about lips, kissing, and wanting it to all go smoothly on Valentine’s Day? Of course, I may be the only one obsessed with having the most kissable lips this side of the world year-round, but let me share with you a few product finds I’ve been playing around with for the past month.

Peter Thomas Roth’s Lips To Die For Lip Facial Trio ($60.00) gives you three products for three steps to make your lips their most kissable this lovin’ season. Use the lemony sugar scrub to exfoliate lips to give them a smooth finish. Next, apply the lip putty, which is clay-based, that goes on for a few minutes, rinsed off with lukewarm water, and gives your lips some hydration and moisturization. Finish with a cute pink balm that gives the slightest tint to natural lips while keeping them soft.

Bella Il Fiore Sweet Talk Spice Set ($15.00) is a cute trinket to keep stashed in your purse for last minute lips and breath. See, it’s a multi-tasking product! You get this cute mini gloss that’s a sheer shimmery grapefruit kind of color. The mints are underneath the lipgloss, and they’re quite tasty (cinnamon-y). The only downside to this is that minty dust can wind up on the lipgloss. It feels like every girl’s emergency kit for all those impromptu love connections, though!

Philosophy Candy Hearts Set ($25.00) is like a Valentine’s Day stocking stuffer (heart stuffer?). Three darling tubes that say “love you” (raspberry sorbet), “ask me” (vanilla birthday cake), and “be mine” (melon daiquiri). I love me some good lip balm/clear gloss for those lazy days, and if I’m going to go gloss, I want to go super glossy. This is why I have a good relationship with Philosophy’s lip shines–they give me that shiny result that I lust after with a subtle scent and no real stickiness.

theBalm’s Stainiac ($14.00) in Beauty Queen appears as a deep red color in the tube, but it goes on as a light reddish/berry stain (more pink-red than purple-red). I found this product a little tough to work with – I honestly could not seem to get the product to adhere to my upper lip (maybe mine is wonky, it wouldn’t surprise me!). It looked fab on my bottom lip, but unfortunately, without the top lip tinted, I look like a bee stung my bottom lip! Nevertheless, as a true blue beauty blogger, I made sure to wear it around the house to check out the wear time on it. It was great – it rubbed off minimally and the stain kept for hours.

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Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas For Him – Boyfriend Tested and Approved

It may be only a few days away, but it’s never too late to pick something up for your very favorite boy.  These two ideas were items my boyfriend, who is low maintenance and not into beauty, enjoyed.  Although, admittedly, I think I’ll be stealing away his Every Man Jack body wash!

Try the Every Man Jack Valentine’s Day Gift Set, which is only $16.00, available at www.everymanjack.com or www.target.com. It includes a Shave Gel Hydrating Formula, Post-Shave Face Lotion, Body Wash, and Body Bars. The shaving products are fragrance free, while the body products have a lovely woody, spicy cedar scent. I’m actually opting for my man’s Every Man Jack Body Wash these days (what can I say, I give gifts early!). It’s just a great scent that I’m attracted to, because it is a bit atypical for a female scent, and yet it is so subtle that you don’t smell like the woods all day by any means!

Diesel Fuel For Life Gift Set ($55.00) contains both 1.7 oz eau de toilette spray and a 1.7 oz after shave balm. It is a packaged gift set of a fragrance that’s very much masculine, with some woodiness and spicy flavor to it. Notes of Star Anise and Dry Woods are noticeable, with a faint hint of raspberry in the aftermath. My boy, who is ever-so-picky, enjoyed this scent, so I feel EXTRA good about recommending it (but this comes from a girl who’d wear Unforgivable [for men] on herself).

Valentine’s Day Makeup – Get the Perfect Pout, Part 3

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about red lips, because there are some fabulous combinations of pink to be used to entice your sweetie or rope in that hottie at the bar.  Here are some of my favorites by MAC! Psst, Girl About Town lipstick (pictured above) is a permanent color, which means you can grab it without fear it no longer is available!  The point of this post is to show you that hot pink lips are perfect for a Valentine Day’s pout, and you can find a shade of pink that works for you.  MAC alone makes several vibrant pink lipsticks that are part of their permanent line, so get ye to the MAC store pronto (and get the artist to try them on you!).

See five more fun favorites…

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Valentine’s Day For Two – Get Your Massage On with LUSH

LUSH Knows How to Spend Valentine’s Day

As evidenced by our guide to pampering yourself when you’re single, LUSH knows how to make the 14th one rockin’ day. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I adore LUSH’s massage bars for their portability and moisturizing capabilities. So, it’s obvious I had to try out the Massage a Trois set ($29.95) as well as the Play Your Cards Right massage bar ($8.95). I am happy to report that both are worthy of earning my approval. I had the pleasure of having these fabulous products tested out on me (too bad I had to return the favor!), but they sink in so nicely and make massaging effortless.

Massage a Trois includes Soft Coeur (honey cocoa treat with a melty center), Mange Too (lickable honey, white chocolate, and peppermint), and Nutts (extra rich, smells very nutty, and it’s a vegan product). Of course, they all come shaped in big solid hearts, and I’m girly, so I love the shape. I used Mange Too on my boyfriend’s elbow/arm because it’s been stiff lately and it made it so easy to get my fingers into the muscle and massage everything into a boneless puddle. Oh, and while these are specially packaged together as a trio, all three flavors are available in the permanent LUSH line in their standardized shapes and sizes, so don’t fear getting addicted, there’s more where it came from!

Play Your Cards Right is a special Valentine’s Day offering, and it is a regular massage bar in the shape of a playing card. Instead of numbers, it has hearts in the corners. The red dye from the hearts does seem to smear a touch when you put it to the skin, but it disappears instantly once you start to work and knead your hands into the muscles, so it didn’t bother me. The scent is full of jasmine and ylang ylang, as it is the famous Sex Bomb scent.

As with whenever I use a massage bar, I like to sprinkle (I always tell my boyfriend I’m seasoning him) Silky Underwear dusting powder ($10.45) at the end, because I find it really locks in and absorbs the melted massage bar and lets you go about your business completely relaxed.

Pamper Yourself Day aka Valentine’s Day for Singles, Part 2

LUSH Happy Pill ($5.70) and LUSH Think Pink ($5.55)
There is few things more relaxing and satisfying as a hot bath (add music and/or a book for a complete mini-vacation). I love LUSH products for giving the ultimate bath experience. They’re cute, fun products, and they all smell wonderful.

Happy Pill: “Take one and don’t worry about calling us in the morning. The citrus notes of grapefruit and bergamot uplift, and frankincense eases anxiety. You’ll feel so much better after a bath with the Happy Pill, it’s the only medicine you’ll need.”

Think Pink: “If you make a funny face at the very thought of pink, think again. One bath with this candy-topped vanilla and tonka bean number leaves you feeling so wonderful and marvelous, you’ll think you’ve just been dancing with Fred Astaire.”

LUSH Creamy Candy Bath Melt ($5.95) and LUSH Sunny Side Bubble Bar ($5.85)
Make your bath even dreamier by adding Creamy Candy Bath Melt, which is totally optimal for dry skin and it being winter, a fabulous idea. Leave your bath with super smooth skin that smells and feels fabulous. Want some fun in the tub? Try Sunny Side Bubble Bar, which you simply crumble into the tub and watch it foam and bubble up.

Creamy Candy: “This sweet treat doesn’t melt in your mouth or your hand. It melts in the bath. At first it fizzles, then this sweet vanilla concoction with cocoa butter and almond oil melts into the warm water and nourishes your skin, leaving it supple and lovely.”

Sunny Side: “Soak in the sunshine, float in the rays and get your daily dose of Vitamin D. As the days get darker and shorter, it seems harder to find light in the dreary. If you can’t escape to Mexico, let the happy citrus of Sunny Side take you to sun-drenched shores of your own.”

bliss hot salt scrub ($36.00)
This is a sea salt body scrub that contains eucalyptus and rosemary oils to give you amazingly soft skin when it is all said and done. It is a great way to give yourself an at-home spa treatment with less fuss and a much nicer pricetag. Exfoliating the body is incredibly luxurious feeling, because the skin just ends up feeling like silk.

Aromatherapy Foot Soak Stress Relief – Tranquil Mint ($15.00)
Pamper those tired feet (who has feet that aren’t tired?) with this foot soak that helps to soothe and soften those tired puppies with moisturizing sunflower oil and refreshing lemon balm. “Peppermint essential oil refreshes and combats mental fatigue while Rosemary essential oil improves thinking to foster creativity.”

Organic Bath Company Bubble Bath Leaves, Lavender Vanilla
Add some feminine details to your fabulous bath by tossing in a few of these bubble bath leaves (petals?). They’re cute, girly, and perfect for pampering.

Have any recommendations on how to Pamper Yourself to the max? Share them in the comments!

Pamper Yourself Day aka Valentine’s Day for Singles, Part 1

It’s not Valentine’s Day–it’s PAMPER YOURSELF DAY!

I didn’t get my first boyfriend (who is also my current beau) until I nearly 19 (and this will actually be the first Valentine’s Day we’ll spend together in person!). So trust me when I say I’ve endured many Valentine’s Day as a single gal, who also suffered from incredibly low self-esteem and self-worth. Talk about the trifecta to make you feel your lowest on a day devoted to the lovey-dovey. To be perfectly honest, my misery was slightly offset, because I had the most thoughtful Daddy a girl could ask for; when I lived at home, he always gave me a bouquet of mixed flowers with a card, and even when I moved away to college, he sent me a care package with treats and a card.

Make It More Than Romance

With that sentiment, I have to say that sometimes you can make Valentine’s Day about showing the people you love your appreciation–not just your significant other. I’ve spent several of mine with my best friend, and we would go out to dinner and gorge ourselves on 24oz. steaks and ice cream sundaes (hello, Claimjumper’s for V-Day ’03?). We’d head home completely full and dying from it to watch cheesy movies and laugh together. When you think about it, is it really such a bad way to spend the holiday?

Don’t Commiserate On Your Own

If you have a hunch that you’ll feel like sobbing come the 14th, get some of your single friends together for a nice holiday bash. Indulge yourselves in some manicures/pedicures, or bake cookies and play board games. Even down Screwdrivers, but doing things with others makes you less likely to succumb to your own personal thoughts that you know will only make you feel lonely. Go out with your favorite pals to the club and dance until they shut the place down (exercise produces endorphins, which should keep your mood higher rather than lower).

Give In — Pamper Yourself

I’m a firm believer that every once in awhile, you really do need to treat yourself and appreciate everything you are and may be in the future. This is why I think if you’re single, Valentine’s Day is really Pamper Yourself Day. It is a reminder that you are an amazing person, which means it is time to pat yourself on the back and do things that make you smile. Watch your favorite movies, go to your favorite restaurant or get some ultra yummy takeout and cozy up on the couch.

If you’re staying home…Mix up your own do-it-yourself face mask or buy a pre-made one (Prescriptives’ Instant Gratification, anyone?). If you live near a LUSH store, they have some fantastic tubs of masks that will feel like a dream. Take a hot shower before you settle in for the night, because this way you can apply a deliciously scented body butter from head to toe, really taking your time to massage the lotion into your skin to make it look amazing. Give yourself an at-home manicure/pedicure while watching your favorite movie. Light a few candles to help turn the night into one of relaxation. (By the way, one thing I often did while single was create to-do lists and really get things done; being productive was a great way to spend the night, plus I was too busy to concentrate on being alone.)

If you’re going out… have fun, but don’t forget that it’s only one day out of the year, so don’t do anything you’ll regret! (Wink!) Go to the bar, club, or just a fancy schmancy restaurant where you can feel more like a queen than you normally do. You can even go to the gym to work out your frustration and aggression (punching bags are a good target!), and you never know who you might meet that’s single and totally available at the gym that night! Head to the mall for some retail therapy if that’s your bag, and don’t forget to stop off at the MAC store for a pick-me-up lipstick (I had to work beauty into it, right?). Oh, while we’re on that topic, go ahead and spend an hour primping before going out. You deserve to look your absolute best tonight!

Some things I’ve done to get me through Valentine’s Day…

  • Hang out with my best friend watching movies and snacking, plus an expensive dinner out
  • Do my makeup in experimental ways–I’m not going anywhere, why not have fun? I always found it quite amusing!
  • Organize your beauty stash; lay it all out on the floor/table and admire all the goodies you have and figure out how to manage it all
  • Went out for a manicure/pedicure, then got some Italian take out (and Starbucks!)
  • Watch Disney movies and pretend that I’m five years old without any cares in the world
  • Long, drawn out bubble baths with a good book
  • Bought myself flowers (you read right, I don’t need nobody to buy me something pretty, I can do it all on my own!)

Remember: You’re FABULOUS, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

If you have advice for surviving Valentine’s Day, please share your thoughts in the comments!