Ashley Elizabeth Beauty

May 17, 2016

My Favorite Blush Palettes

If there is anything I love more than individual blushes, it's blush palettes!  With blush palettes I feel more value in purchasing a beauty product that comes with several pans of blush.  It feels more versatile because I am getting more than one shade to wear with more than one makeup look!

Today I am going to be talking about just four of my favorite blush palettes.  These are the ones I find myself grabbing for the most, but we all know there are plenty more great ones out there.  Urban Decay, Makeup Revolution, Morphe Brushes, and BH Cosmetics all make high quality and professional brushes that just cannot be overlooked!  Drugstore palettes and high end palettes alike, there is no mistaking good quality.

Snap Me! AshleyEBeauty 

The 7 Best Nightly Beauty Products for Amazing Skin

May 16, 2016

Spring Pink and Gold Makeup Tutorial

Spring Pink and Gold Makeup TutorialSpring Pink and Gold Makeup Tutorial

Starting a YouTube channel was one of my foremost blogging goals for 2016, and the day has finally arrived!  After starting a blog I realized that while I enjoy writing and photography, I also wanted to add another interactive element to my makeup tutorials.

This makeup tutorial can be summed up in one word: SPRING!  It is a soft pink and gold look that is perfect for the usual marathon of spring and early summer events; bar-be-ques, weddings, graduations, just to name a few.  Hell, I would even rock this look on a casual day out in an air-conditioned mall while I browse stores and sip on an Iced Skinny Caramel Latte.

This look combines a lot of my most coveted makeup items for spring all into one very easy tutorial.  Sit back, sip some tea, and enjoy the video!

Snap Me! AshleyEBeauty

The 7 Best Nightly Beauty Products for Amazing Skin

May 09, 2016

The 7 Best Nightly Beauty Products for Amazing Skin

The 7 Best Nightly Beauty Products for Amazing Skin

Today we are talking about night time skin care!  I have found through trail and error over the years that my skin is always at its best when I am faithful to my night routine.  This means applying the right type of products to my skin in the right order, and never skipping a night even if I am beyond tired.  Healthy skin will not only make you feel great, but it will significantly help your makeup look and feel better over your skin.

I start by removing my makeup with either a makeup removing wipe or my favorite Pond's Cold Cream.  Below are the current products I am using and the order in which I apply them.  

The 7 Best Nightly Beauty Products for Amazing Skin

Step #1: Exfoliator

Once your skin is clean of all makeup, always start first with an exfoliation.   Exfoliating your face on a regular basis can completely change your skin.  Ridding your face of dead skin cells will help clear out acne and breakouts and reduce the appearance of large pores.  It also improves your skin's texture, allowing for newer and fresher skin cells to take the place of the dead skin cells.

The reason you should exfoliate as the first step in your nightly skincare routine is because serums and moisturizers are better absorbed when there isn't any dirt or dead skin cells in the way.  Exfoliating on a regular basis will allow your moisturizer to work more effectively and your makeup to go on smoother.

My current favorite is Origins Modern Friction.  It is a plant-based and cruelty-free formula that is soft on my sensitive skin.  I make sure that my skin is wet before massaging the product into my skin.  If you do not have an issue with sensitive skin you can apply this product to dry skin.

The 7 Best Nightly Beauty Products for Amazing Skin

Step #2: Cleanser

Cleansing your skin will remove any additional dirt, makeup, impurities, or excess oil that is still on your face.  You can cleanse your skin anywhere from 1-3 times.  The more times you use your cleanser the more dirt and oil you will be eliminating, and the better your skin will feel.

Your skin is a vital exit route in your body's expulsion of toxins and chemicals and 1-3 rounds of nightly cleansing will result in better skin hydration and keep your skin vibrant and healthy.

My current favorite is the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, but I recently ran out and quickly picked up Biore Baking Soda Pore Cleanser.  This product is great for combination skin and works for me in both warmer and dryer weather conditions.

The 7 Best Nightly Beauty Products for Amazing Skin

Step #3: Sprays or Mists

Facial sprays or mists are often a forgotten essential within the skincare routine.   Face sprays can soothe and refresh skin, especially important in a hot weather environment, and prepare the skin for premium moisturizer and serum absorption, which is particularly significant in colder climates.

My current favorite is Mario Badescu's Facial Spray.  It contains aloe, herbs and rose water, which have long been a skincare favorites of mine because they are natural products with many great benefits for the skin.  In addition, Mario Badescu makes other amazing and affordable skin care products and I urge you to give them a try!

The 7 Best Nightly Beauty Products for Amazing Skin

Step #4: Toner

Using a toner, even if you do not have an acne problem, is a skin care essential.  Toner shrinks pores, moisturizes and refreshes skin, as well as prevents in-grown hairs.  One of the most important functions of using a toner is that it gives your skin pH balance.  After cleansing your skin's natural pH balance is disturbed due to the alkaline nature of soap, and using a toner will help to restore that balance.

My current favorite is SK-II Facial Treatment Essence.  The price for this product is quite steep, but it is well worth the money if you can budget it.  My skin has never felt so soft, smooth and refreshed as it has while I've been using this product.  I've noticed pigmented areas on my face diminishing, and the places where I normally get break outs are clear.

The 7 Best Nightly Beauty Products for Amazing Skin

Step #5: Serums

The final step before continuing on to a moisturizer is to apply any type of additional serum of your choosing.  For most people this is usually an acne or anti-aging serum.  It is important to do this step after the toner because it is at this point that your skin is most primed to benefit from these additional serums.

The only serum I currently use is Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum.  I started noticing my fine lines diminishing within a few weeks of using this product and definitely plan on re-purchasing once it is finished.  This is the first anti-aging product I have ever used, and chose this specific one because of it's plant-based formula.

The 7 Best Nightly Beauty Products for Amazing Skin

Step #6: Moisturizer

The next step in the process is the moisturizer!  You should be moisturizing your face after you shower, before you apply makeup, and before you go to bed at night.  You should always choose a moisturizer based upon your skin type.  Moisturizing helps in the natural healing of your skin, helps protect it against damaging chemicals, and can promote skin cell regeneration and stop premature wrinkles.

I have one moisturizer that I use for during the day and before makeup application, and another one that I use primarily at night.  My current favorite night time moisturizer is Origins High-Potency Night-A-Mins.  This product is very rich and creamy, and packed with extra vitamins and minerals to bring ultimate hydration into the skin. 

The 7 Best Nightly Beauty Products for Amazing Skin

Step #7: Eye Cream

The final step in my night time skin care routine is eye cream.  The skin around your eyes are thinner and more sensitive, and needs to be treated delicately.  A regular moisturizer should not be used in this area because your dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines or wrinkles need extra care.  Eye creams should be applied in a gentle dabbing motion working inwards towards your nose.

My eye cream favorite for quite some time has been Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream.  It makes my under-eye area feel hydrated and refreshed with a cooling sensation as I apply it to my skin.  Over time I have noticed it has made my eyes brighter, my dark circles less noticeable, and puffiness has completely diminished.

I am always tweaking and changing up my skin care routine to include new and better products.  Using this routine I have found that my skin is always clean, clear and refreshed.

What are some of your most coveted night time skin care products?

The 7 Best Nightly Beauty Products for Amazing Skin

Snap Me! AshleyEBeauty 

May 03, 2016

The 5 Most Important Tips to Contour like a Pro

Today we are discussing CONTOURING!  Contouring has changed the makeup game within the last few years and it's momentum hasn't slowed.  New to contouring?  Need some refresher tips?  Here are my top five contouring basics that you need to know now.

On a separate note, I am back again blogging with more enthusiasm than ever!  I have felt so ready to get back to my normal schedule of posts, and I have plenty of ideas in the works.  After traveling across the country, visiting places I never thought I would see in my lifetime, I am refreshed and ready to get back to blogging!

Brandon and I have been in Portland approximately one month and we are absolutely loving it.  Oregon is a gorgeous state and Portland has so many unique qualities as a city.  It has already begun influencing new and fresh ideas I have for makeup, beauty and style.

The 5 Most Important Tips to Contour like a Pro

1. Use Powder Over Cream

When first embarking on your contour journey, you will find that working with powders are much easier than working with creams.  If you begin with creams you will find yourself frustrated (and possibly a looking little draq-queen-esque) because creams are much less forgiving than powders when you make a mistake.

Powders are easy to apply and easy to blend.  You can place a small amount of product onto the desired area of your face and lightly blend until it looks like a natural shadow.  If you need additional product it is easy to add more and blend evenly.  If you make a mistake, such as applying too much product in one area, simply use a dense brush to move the product and blend away.

Once you have mastered the perfect powder contour, grab some cream contour and go for it!

The 5 Most Important Tips to Contour like a Pro

2. Practice With Different Lighting

We have all had that moment when we finish our makeup and head outside, only to discover that different lighting has revealed a much less appealing makeup look.  Often makeup will even look off in different indoor lighting, varying types of light bulbs, and different lighting designs.

The best way to solve this problem is to practice contouring in different lighting.  As you are applying your counting take a hand mirror and head to the window.  See any splotches or areas that need to be blended more?  This is the time to fix it and learn from your mistakes.  Soon you will learn how much to apply and where to apply it to keep your contour appearing as natural as possible.

One helpful addition is to make sure you are using a proper makeup application mirror and proper lighting.  If you do not have a vanity with all-around lighting, consider investing in a medium or large lighted oval mirror, such as this one from Conair.  You'll find that your indoor makeup application will start looking just as natural in the outdoor light.

3. Blending, Blending, Blending

One of the biggest mistakes first-time contour-ists make is they do not blend enough, or blend in the wrong manner.  They forget that powder is very movable and can easily be blended into foundation or other powders.  Too little blending can have the opposite effect of what you are trying to accomplish with contouring, which is to diminish certain parts of the face while making other parts pop.  For example, if you do not blend well enough in the hollows of your cheeks you will end up with a very dark, harsh line.  This will do nothing to help you in making your cheekbones stand out and look more defined, which is the ultimate goal.

Blend, blend, and blend.  Think you're done blending?  Go ahead and blend some more.

Using the proper tools will also help in making sure your contour is properly blended.  My favorite contouring tool is the Real Techniques Sculpting Brush.  I use this to both apply and blend my contour in the hollows of my cheeks, temples, forehead, and jawline.  The bristles are very densely packed, which makes it perfect for moving product and blending.

The 5 Most Important Tips to Contour like a Pro

4. Know Your Face Shape

Contouring your face incorrectly for your face shape often has the opposite effect of what contouring is all about: it could possibly emphasize the parts of your face that you wish to minimize.

A diamond shaped face should be contouring below the cheekbones and up to the temples; a heart shaped face along the forehead, below the cheekbones, and beneath the chin; an oval face on the sides of the forehead and below the cheekbones; a round face along the temples, sides of the forehead, below the cheekbones, and along the jawline; and a square shaped face along the top of the forehead, jawline, and below the cheekbones.

My best advice: practice!  You know your face shape better than anyone else.

5. Warm vs. Cool Tone Shades

Everyone has different undertones to their skin, no matter the complexion; most fall into the categories of cool, warm or neutral undertones.  Knowing the undertone of your skin type will not only help you choose the best contouring shade, but will also help you when choosing most other types of makeup products.  Best of all is that it can prevent you from making many makeup mistakes and give your makeup a more natural appearance.

Makeup Geek has one of the most diverse ranges of contour tones that I have ever seen.  They have eight different shades, four warm and four cool, all with varying tones from fair to deep.  I have neutral undertones and love mixing Infidelity, a cool fair, and Bad Habit, a warm fair.
Cool Undertones: if your skin is more likely to burn than tan, you most likely have a cool undertone.  Another way to know if you have cool undertones is to check out the veins on your wrist, which would appear blue or purple beneath natural light.

Warm Undertones: if your skin takes very well to tanning and usually tans a beautiful golden brown, you most likely have a warm undertone.  Another way to know if you have warm undertones is to check out the veins on your wrist, which would appear slightly green beneath natural light.

Neutral Undertones: if you have both pink and yellow hues within your complexion, you most likely have a neutral undertone, which is in the middle of cool and warm.  Another way to know if you have neutral undertones is to check out the veins on your wrist, which would appear a mix of green and blue beneath natural light.

The 5 Most Important Tips to Contour like a Pro

Contouring takes time and practice to get just right.  Utilizing these tips and tricks will help you figure out how to make contouring work for YOU.  Soon you will be contouring on a daily basis and not thinking twice about it.

What are your biggest challenges when it comes to contouring?

The 5 Most Important Tips to Contour like a Pro

Snap Me! AshleyEBeauty