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WOMEN’S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2017

 
I’ve been hard at work putting together a Comprehensive Holiday Gift Guide for Women on Pinterest and on my YouTube Channel. Since I’ll be continually updating these Christmas gift ideas lists DAILY, it made sense for me to create them for you on Pinterest so you could check out my recommendations in one spot and link directly to the product to get more information or shop. If you check Pinterest, the Christmas gift ideas boards I created are at the top of all my boards. I encourage you to follow me on Pinterest if you’re not already!

The boards are below so you can check out my Christmas gift ideas and link through them here as well. I’m putting my Women’s Holiday Gift Guide video at the top which you can watch here or head over to YouTube to watch so you can see the description box with all the product names & links for more info or to shop. The response has been really great since upload so I moved it from the bottom to the top so you could check it out.

I hope you enjoy perusing these gift ideas as much as I’m enjoying creating them for you!

I’m adding products to my boards DAILY, so be sure to check in either here or over on my Pinterest to see what awesome gift ideas are added to each board! I’ve got some good stuff lined up!
 

CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR HER

Here’s my initial 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Her with TONS of various ideas in all price points. The full product list with links is over on my YouTube! So to see the comprehensive list, you may want to click to watch over there. Either way is fine!

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR HER | All Price Ranges | Home, Tech, Beauty, Style, Hostess, Secret Santa - YouTube
  HOSTESS GIFTS

Holiday parties are inevitable. So that you don’t show up at the door empty handed, I’ve put some ideas together for various types of hostess gifts. (These gifts can be given to anyone and don’t have to be reserved for just hostesses!)

If you’re wanting to show up to that party with something different than a bottle of bubbly, check these out these hostess gift ideas!


 

CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR WOMEN

Finding the perfect gift for the woman in your life can be a task when she seems to have everything! These women’s christmas gifts can be for ANY woman in your life. There’s some overlap with the Mom category below, but that’s OK. There are some varied ideas in both groups, from electronics to beauty to style to soft and cozy gifts.

 

CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR MOM

Yes you can find mom the best Christmas gift ever! There’s a wide variety of gifts to choose from in this assortment of products. Prices range from low to high. Give your mom something she wouldn’t think to buy for herself and something she’ll enjoy! If you’re looking for the best Christmas gift for mom, keep checking back because I’m updating this list daily!


 

CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR TWEENS, TEENS & COLLEGE GIRLS

Again, This Christmas gift guide has a wide variety of products to accommodate a wide age range. But let’s face it, a lot of these Christmas gift ideas, even a grown woman would love! Whether your tween or teenage girl likes to be silly or serious, likes jewelry, Harry Potter or makeup, you should find something for her here!


 

STOCKING STUFFERS

This stocking stuffer gift guide has stocking stuffer ideas galore! These Christmas stocking stuffers range from goofy to luxurious and are sure to please the recipient! I have stocking stuffer ideas for any woman in your life here…tweens, teenage and college girls, gifts for mom and for any woman in between.


Again, I’ll be updating my Pinterest boards DAILY, so check back in here or directly on Pinterest to see what I’ve added! I’ve got lots of awesome things in the queue! 

 

The post Women’s Holiday Gift Guide 2017 appeared first on Stephanie Marie Blogs.

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What IS Ebates anyway?

I know this isn’t my usual beauty related blog post. I suppose this falls under the “lifestyle” category. Since I’ve been using and telling people about Ebates for so long, I feel like this is a necessary post. Christmas is coming up and every online shopping experience done without utilizing a cashback service like Ebates leaves money on the table. Yes, free money for doing what you’re already doing…shopping! I know it sounds like some sort of scheme but I promise you, it’s NOT!

Usually if it’s sounds too good to be true it is, right? I usually stay far away from anything that says “free money” or “no catch” since that usually means there IS a catch and that the money really ISN’T free. Yet if you think about it, prior to the internet, consumers were redeeming rebates through the mail to get cash back for their purchases. It was just incredibly time consuming and labor intensive. Companies that offered rebates banked on the fact that you wouldn’t go to the trouble to fill out the paperwork and would end up throwing it in the garbage. Enter the Internet and Ebates which is essentially the same concept, only streamlined and with more perks.

Ebates has been around for almost 20 years. It’s not a new concept. I just now realized I’ve been using the service since August of 2008. I didn’t even realize it had been that long! All this time I’ve been telling people 4-5 years when it’s been close to 10 years!

Basically, you earn cash back on your online purchases (and now even some in-store purchases…we’ll talk about that in a minute!). Period. There is truly no catch. It’s free money for shopping online. You don’t even need a code. There are a couple of super easy ways to make sure you get your rebate which I’ll talk about below.

It’s a truly legitimate business and one of my favorite ways to earn extra side money.

EBATES Get Paid to Shop!

  How Does Ebates Work?

There are SO MANY various stores affiliated with Ebates. It’s worth it to sign up so that when you’re ready to shop, you can just click and earn cashback. Cashback bonuses usually range from 2-15%. But I’ve seen cashback offers up to 25% on occasion. Stores also do double cash back where I’ve even seen 40% cashback for shopping online!

A few of my favorite stores:

  • Amazon
  • Sephora
  • Ulta
  • Macy’s
  • Target
  • QVC
  • Tarte
  • Dermstore
  • Overstock
  • ebay
  • Etsy
  • ASOS
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Wal-Mart

Yes, everywhere from Wal-Mart to Saks is affiliated with Ebates folks. It’s a legit business!

Here are the two ways to earn money back online for the store at which you’re shopping:

THE EBATES BUTTON:

Over the years, I’ve left money on the table because I forgot to shop through the Ebates site before making a purchase. I could kick myself afterward! Since installing the browser extension that alerts me when a site I’m browsing on is cashback eligible, that’s been a non-issue for me! It also tags my internet search results to show me which merchants have cashback offers at that time. I simply have to click the Ebates button for it to apply the discount. It doesn’t redirect or even take me to the Ebates site when it applies my cash back bonus to my account! It’s a game changer! (After signing up for Ebates, the button can be installed from the bottom of your Ebates home page.)

THE EBATES SITE:

The other way is to click through the Ebates site. If you find a product you want to buy, go to the Ebates website to see if they’re offering cashback for that store OR for a similar store with that particular item. Then click on that store link which will take you straight to that store. If you already had the item in your cart, it will still be there. You make your purchase and your rebate is then added to your cash back balance in your Ebates account. You’ve just saved money in one extra click! It’s worth it!

You can also use Ebates to do things like book travel and send flowers.  It’s pretty darned amazing I tell ya! I like to visit the site sometimes just to see the various affiliated merchants.

Do pay attention to retailer restrictions. Some retailers only allow you to earn money back or save for shopping certain departments or types of products. I’ve only encountered that a few times in all my years. But it does happen.

USE THE APP TO SHOP IN-STORE!

You can use Ebates in store also.  Ebates has a helpful video that shows how to use it. I recommend downloading the app to fully utilize the in store function. This way you can just add the discount while in line to checkout if you hadn’t planned your shopping trip in advance.

With the app, you can also scan barcodes, compare prices and get in-store coupons and more.

Sign Up with Ebates & Earn $10

  When and How Do I Get my Ebates Cash Back Rewards?

You’re paid out quarterly via an actual check or Paypal.:

  • February 15: for the Oct 1 – Dec 31 cashback period
  • May 15: for the Jan 1 – Mar 31 cashback period
  • August 15: for the Apr 1 – Jun 20 cashback period
  • November 15 : for the Jul 1 – Sep 30 cashback period
  How Can You Increase Your Earnings Even More?

Even if you shop online a TON, you may want to maximize your earnings even beyond store rebates. That’s where referrals come in. Ebates has a wonderful referral program! I wanted to let you guys know about it since the holidays are coming up. And hey, who couldn’t use an extra $75-100 right?!

1) SIGN UP TO EARN $10

The ONLY thing you do for your first $10 is sign up using the link below and spend $25 within three months on an online purchase through Ebates.

Think about all the things you buy on a daily basis or something you might be buying within the next few months. Or wait to sign up until you’re ready to buy something. But I’m sure you can think of something that you could get online for $25 to where you can earn $10 of that money back! Also take into consideration that Christmas is around the corner! Spend that $25 on something you’re already planning to buy…don’t spend more money than you were planning to spend already! Buy your toilet paper, detergent or pens or a Christmas gift from Amazon or Target! Done! No rush. Do it when you’re ready!

It’s the easiest $10 you’ve ever earned.

Sign Up with Ebates & Earn $10

2) REFERRALS ARE WHERE IT’S AT!

Remember how I said Ebates had a wonderful referral program? This is where that comes into play.

  • You earn $5 for each person that signs up through your referral link and makes a $25 purchase within the first year.
  • In addition, there are bonuses for each quarter. In one quarter if ONE qualified person processes (signs up and purchases) with your referral link, you earn an ADDITIONAL $20 on top of the $5. If you refer TWO, you earn $40. THREE is $60…and it goes up).

So let’s say you referred just three people who signed up and made qualified purchases that fell within the same quarter, you’ve earned $15 for the 3 referrals and $60 for the bonus. That’s $75! It’s SO EASY. You send your link. They shop. Everyone saves and earns.

You can essentially make decent referral money for simply recommending Ebates to family and friends which is what we should all be doing anyway since it’s saves us all a significant amount of money!

  How Do You Sign Up?

It truly is free money with no catch. I’ve been using it for almost ten years and swear by it. I tell family and friends and everyone who watches my YouTube channel about it for a reason. It’s not for the referrals…it’s because I believe in it wholeheartedly for me and for everyone who uses it! You’re leaving money on the table by not using Ebates. With the Ebates browser button there’s no extra work required to make passive income! There’s literally NO REASON to NOT start using it to shop online!

EBATES  Get Paid To Shop!

The post What is EBATES? How does Ebates Work? Can You REALLY get cash back for shopping? appeared first on Stephanie Marie Blogs.

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ANTI-AGING SKINCARE NIGHTTIME ROUTINE

I recently shared my morning anti-aging skincare routine video with you here and broke it down on my blog here. While I attribute some of my skin to genes, a huge part of it is my skincare routine.

Because of my younger sun-worshipping days, I’m  fighting some pigmentation and sunspots as well as the fine lines that come with being over 40. While I use some treatment products in the morning, most of my actual treatment products are applied at night. This routine is a little more detailed than my morning routine.

I also shared my affordable anti-aging skincare products a few videos ago because you can certainly find quality affordable skincare products these days!  So if you’re looking for some great affordable and drugstore anti-aging skincare products, check out that video!

Also, do check out my Over 40 Anti-Aging Nighttime Skincare Routine video down below the post. I have more product suggestions and talk you through a lot of the reasons why I use what I use.

CLEANSING

I always double cleanse at night, meaning I first remove my stubborn makeup with an emulsifying type of cleanser and then cleanse my face. This has been very effective for my sensitive skin with keeping it clear and clean.

To remove makeup, I use either Belif Cleansing Gel Oil Enriched or Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm. Both remove makeup (even my waterproof eye makeup), so that when I go in with my regular cleanser, it can do what it needs to do in an effective manner.

I have acne prone, sensitive skin, so I’ve always been intimidated by balm cleansers. But the Clinique is a MUST HAVE makeup remover for me.

Neither one of these break me out or aggravate my skin in any way! They’re extremely effective yet very gentle on my skin at the same time.

I use the same cleanser at night that I use in the morning which is my beloved Skinmedica Facial Cleanser. It’s been a staple for me for about two years now. I love how it cleanses thoroughly without stripping or leaving my face feeling tight and without leaving a film.

Most nights I use my Foreo Luna Mini during this second step to leave my face feeling extra clean and to ensure dirt and oil, as well as makeup residue and dead skin cells are removed… without irritating the skin. I love this thing!

NIACINAMIDE

The first thing that goes on my skin every single night is Paula’s 10% Choice Niacinamide Booster.

What is niacinamide? And why do I use THIS one?

Niacinamide is Vitamin B3 which:

  • visibly minimizes pore size
  • dramatically improves uneven skin tone
  • refines skin texture and fine lines.
  • promotes a brighter, younger-looking appearance

Paula’s choice niacinamide is my brand of choice simply because I’ve never found another comparable formulation. The texture is like a cloudy water. It applies and sinks into the skin like water because of its extremely sheer formula. You can use it alone or add it into any product you put on your face. I’ve tried others and just don’t like them as much.

SERUM

I use my serum morning and night. In my video (at the bottom of this video), I mention another serum I’ve been using an enjoying. But the serum I always return to is the TNS Essential Serum by Skinmedica.

This serum is in a dual chamber pump and has two formulas that “combine to smooth wrinkles and regenerate skin cells for a more youthful appearance. The TNS complex is a protein- and amino acid-rich serum to reduce inflammation and the signs of aging. The APS corrective complex is a mixture of anti-aging ingredients, peptides and antioxidants to strengthen sagging skin.”

I’ve seen wonderful changes in my skin since using this serum. It’s truly the best anti aging serum for me and seems to make my face appear more plumped and appear brighter and more even in tone. It’s pricey but is one of the items I splurge for because it does make a huge difference in my skin.

TREATMENT PRODUCTS

This is where my routine gets a little more complicated. I rotate nights of using a retinol product with using acids. I’ll stop there and go into further detail within those categories…

RETINOL

I’ve tried different types of treatments through the years. Years ago, I used Differin Gel for my adult acne problems when it was prescription-only. It’s great stuff and is now over the counter! I also tried Retin-a micro and Tazorac at different points in my life. Both tore up my sensitive skin horribly. So I assumed my skin couldn’t handle any retinol product at all.

But thankfully, something made me try the Skinmedica Retinol Complex products. I ramped the strength up slowly, starting with the .25, moving up to the .50 after finishing my initial bottle, and ending with the 1.0.

Since then, I’ve moved on to the Osmosis Level 3 and am now on the highest level, Osmosis Level 4, Renew. These are used in conjunction with the Osmosis Clear Plus spray which helps maintain a balanced level of hydration so your skin doesn’t get dried out from using such products.

From here, I may be ready to move up to prescription level products again!

ACIDS

I use Sunday Riley Good Genes twice a week as my primary acid product. It’s a fantastic lactic acid product which actually does what it claims without drying my skin out.

Despite having rosacea and sensitive skin, I can use this with no problems because of the ingredients they use.

Good Genes is a high potency, purified grade lactic acid that exfoliates dull, pore-clogging dead skin cells. It reveals brighter, smoother, more radiant, fresh looking skin. It also plumps my fine lines and has helped with hyperpigmentation. I use products that I truly see a difference with and this is one product I can’t be without.

The hype is real with this product! I think I’m on my fourth bottle and finally caved and bought the HUGE jumbo bottle. This is a truly excellent anti-aging skincare that delivers results!

After hearing the hype about Pixi Glow Tonic, I decided to try it out within the last year. I’d had bad experiences with glycolic acid products in the past with my sensitive skin. So I didn’t have high hopes. But this works really well for getting rid of dead skin cells and brightening the skin without making my skin react. I’m glad to have a glycolic acid product to work into my routine! I use Pixi Glow Tonic once a week.

ROSACEA TREATMENT

My rosacea has been under control for a long while now, thanks to dietary changes and good skincare, including Finacea prescription treatment. Earlier this year I did a brand review on The Ordinary Skincare. The Ordinary Azaelic Acid Suspension was one of the products I tested out.

It’s quite a bit thicker (yet still lightweight) in consistency than Finacea’s lotion-like consistency. I do much better when I wait several minutes after applying before going in with any other products. But it works well at keeping my rosacea flare-ups under control. I use my rosacea treatment on my acid nights.

MOISTURE Facial Oil

The oil I’ve been using and loving lately is L’Occitane Divine Youth Oil. It functions differently than other facial oils that are applied as the last step by pressing them into the face after you’ve put on your moisturizer. L’Occitane recommends applying the Divine Youth Oil to the face (including the undereye area!!), neck and chest prior to your moisturizer.

So that’s what I’ve been doing and it’s been working very well for me. As a combination/oily skinned gal, I LOVE this oil! It doesn’t sit on top of my face the way a lot of oils do but sinks into my skin. I wake up in the morning feeling so much less greasy than when I was using other oils. I have more detail on this oil here.

MOISTURIZER

Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream is hands down my nighttime moisturizer of choice and I think, the best anti aging cream around! It’s packed FULL of anti-aging ingredients like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, peptides, aloe, plant extracts, collagen, elastin, green tea that make my skin look healthy and radiant when I wake up in the morning!

Before trying this night cream, I always assumed it would clog my pores and be too thick and heavy for my sensitive skin. But it sinks right into the skin and feels luxurious. I’d buy it by the VAT if I could!!

EYES

Just like in my morning routine, I apply Skinceuticals A.G.E Eye Complex under my eyes and on my lids right over where I just pressed my L’Occitane oil. It moisturizes and treats with ingredients like vitamin E and peptides to help reduce fine lines and puffiness.

BROWS & LIPS

My final nighttime anti-aging skincare steps are just like my morning skincare steps…brows and lips. I apply my NeuBrow Brow Serum to help my sparse uneven brows grow in. It’s really working to change my brows. They’re not perfect but they’re more even than they were and I’m having to spend less time filling them in.

Glossier Balm DotCom is my current lip balm of choice that I apply to my lips as my very last skincare step before bed. I mess around with other balms but have a steady relationship with her right now. I love how my lips are nice and hydrated when I wake up in the morning!

Since I’m constantly trying new products, things change during the year. Some products may be replaced. But these are consistent staples in my nighttime anti-aging skincare routine right now. All of these nighttime anti-aging skincare products are working incredibly well for my over 40 skin. I always share what works on my combo oily sensitive skin so that you can check out the products to see if they might work for you as well!

My more detailed skincare routine is in the video below:

My Over 40 Anti-Aging Nighttime Skincare Routine - YouTube

The post ANTI-AGING SKINCARE NIGHTTIME ROUTINE appeared first on Stephanie Marie Blogs.

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ANTI-AGING SKINCARE MORNING ROUTINE

I really wish I’d started with anti-aging skincare long before my mid-30’s. I’m lucky that I have young looking parents. So assuming I’d get that trait, I just went with it. But I lived in the sun-worshipping 80’s and 90’s which isn’t good for anyone, no matter what genes you have. Though I still get told I look young for my age, I’m definitely fighting signs of aging like fine lines and pigmentation and facial fat loss. It’s not fun!

One thing I’ve always done regarding any type of makeup or skincare product is research. I’m especially diligent with it now because I not only have a responsibility to my own skin, but because you guys rely on me for thorough information. I know I’ve learned the hard way that just because a product says it will moisturize doesn’t mean that’s the case. I’ve seen countless moisturizers on the shelves with alcohol as one of the main ingredients.

Talk about empty promises!

Although I use a mix of high and low end skincare in my own routines, I shared my affordable anti-aging skincare products a few videos ago because I don’t think good, quality skincare has to be expensive.  So if you’re looking for some great affordable and drugstore anti-aging skincare products, check out that video!

Also, do check out my Over 40 Anti-Aging Morning Skincare Routine video down below the post. I have more product suggestions and talk you through a lot of the reasons why I use what I use.

CLEANSING

I use one of two cleansers in the morning. Skinmedica Facial Cleanser has been a staple for me for about two years now. It cleanses thoroughly without stripping or leaving my face feeling tight and without leaving a film. Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser is a more basic cleanser for me that I keep in my shower. It doesn’t remove my makeup at night like the Skinmedica does (follow-up post coming with my evening skincare routine!) but it does make my face feel nice and silky and again…it doesn’t leave a film.

Neither are drying but I feel the Skinmedica is a little more thorough. This is why it’s had a permanent place in my skincare routine for a couple of years now. I apply a small amount of cleanser to my fingers then apply it on my damp face and rub gently and rinse. I reserve using my Foreo Luna for nighttime as I don’t want to over-exfoliate and cause my sensitive skin more problems.

SERUM

I never use acids and retinols in the morning and reserve them only for nighttime use as they make the skin more vulnerable to the effects of the sun. I DO use my serum morning and night. The serum I always return to is the TNS Essential Serum by Skinmedica. This serum is in a dual chamber pump and has two formulas that “combine to smooth wrinkles and regenerate skin cells for a more youthful appearance. The TNS complex is a protein- and amino acid-rich serum to reduce inflammation and the signs of aging. The APS corrective complex is a mixture of anti-aging ingredients, peptides and antioxidants to strengthen sagging skin.”

I’ve seen wonderful changes in my skin since using this serum. It seems to make my face appear more plumped and appear brighter and more even in tone. It’s pricey but is one of the items I splurge for because it does make a huge difference in my skin.

VITAMIN C

There are occasions where I try other facial serums that don’t have Vitamin C in them. That’s the nature of constantly testing out products! My current favorite Vitamin-C product is Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum. This serum fights free radicals, plumps up my skin and helps reduce hyperpigmantation. All I need is one pump for my face and neck. Using vitamin C in the morning is ideal since it will enhance your sunscreen protection from your SPF.

SPF

Sunscreen is a MUST for aging prevention. Relying on foundation for SPF protection isn’t good enough. My sunscreen of choice is Paula’s Choice RESIST Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30. It contains anti-oxidants that fight free radicals and increase collagen to help combat the signs of aging. What I love about this sunscreen is that the lightly tinted formula blends into the skin beautifully so that your skin doesn’t appear ghostly white as it can with many mineral sunscreens. The tint is just enough to look natural, yet not so much that it alters your skin tone or makeup you put on top. The finish is a soft matte finish that can also be used as a primer for many. It’s truly a wonderful, multi-tasking product and one of the best sunscreens I’ve found!

MOISTURIZER

If it’s winter and I feel like the Paula’s Choice SPF may not provide quite enough hydration for the entire day, if I’m wearing a super matte foundation or if I’m going out at night or staying indoors during the day and want a straight moisturizer, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream has been my anti-aging moisturizer of choice. It’s a GORGEOUS unscented moisturizer with a gel cream formula that doesn’t make me greasy and provides all day hydration. It contains hyaluronic acid, which is naturally occurring in the body and depletes as we age. HA is an excellent source for hydration for any skin type!

EYES

Now that the face is finished, it’s time for under eye hydration. I find that as I age, my under eyes are more dry and textured. It can be very frustrating! I find that applying 1/2-1 drop of oil (total) to my under eye area before I apply my eye cream helps keep this area hydrated and looking less crepey during the day. The oil I’ve been using and loving lately is L’Occitane Divine Youth Oil.

Prior to discovering the L’Occitane, I was applying The Ordinary Squalane in the same manner.

I then take a tiny amount of Skinceuticals A.G.E Eye Complex and apply it under my eyes and on my lids. I love this eye cream so much. Prior to discovering it, I was using a hydrating eye cream during the day and one to treat at night because I don’t like the way most treatment eye creams sit under makeup. But this one does it all and does it well!

BROWS & LIPS

My final morning anti-aging skincare steps are brows and lips. Morning and night I apply my NeuBrow Brow Serum. I got a great deal on this during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. Boy am I glad! I was skeptical at first but it’s really changed my brows. They’re not perfect but they’re more even than they were and I’m having to spend less time filling them in.

Glossier Balm DotCom is my current lip balm of choice that I apply to my lips as my very last skincare step. I like for my balm to sink in while I’m doing the rest of my makeup so that when I go in later with my liner and lipstick, my lips are nice and hydrated!

Although things change throughout the year since I’m constantly trying new things, these are consistent staples in my morning anti-aging skincare routine right now. All of these skincare products are working incredibly well for my over 40 skin. I always share what works on my combo oily sensitive skin so that you can check out the products to see if they might work for you as well!

 

 

My more detailed skincare routine is in the video below:

My Over 40 Anti-Aging Morning Skincare Routine - YouTube

The post ANTI-AGING SKINCARE MORNING ROUTINE appeared first on Stephanie Marie Blogs.

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Most of us with hooded eyes don’t need winged liner, dramatic eyeshadow and false lashes on a daily basis. Yet most hooded eyes tutorials show this. This will show you REALISTIC everyday eye makeup for hooded eyes if you don’t have much time but still want to look your best.

While, this is pretty thorough, the full video tutorial at the end that contains all the steps. It’s fairly short and contains do’s and don’ts in a well explained manner. It’s truly so much easier to learn makeup techniques by watching them than by seeing photos. I hope you take some things away from this post. But do head over to the video after to get each step because it’s already helped so many people in the short duration that it’s been up!

Subtle tweaks make the left eye appear slightly more downturned than the right  Disclaimer

**The images in this post are taken directly from my short video tutorial at the end of the post. So if they’re not extremely sharp, that’s why! You can skip straight there to see it in action with easy to follow instructions or click to have it open up in YouTube so you have all the product links in the description as well. Whatever you choose, I think you’ll find it beneficial.**

DO I HAVE HOODED EYES?

Well, I know I have hooded eyes! But do you know if YOU have hooded eyes? It’s a common misperception that if your entire mobile lid (the eyelid that opens and closes over your eyeball) isn’t invisible and covered by the hood (the crease of the eye up to the brow bone), when looking straight ahead then you can’t possibly have hooded eyes.

That simply isn’t true!

There are many degrees of hooded eyes. You can have severely hooded eyes where you see no mobile lid when you look straight into a mirror, thus making it extremely difficult to line the eye (aside from tightlining).

And there’s moderately hooded eyes.

Moderately hooded eyes come with several options. One can have all of these options or just one or two…

  • The crease shade you just applied seems to disappear when your eyes are opened and looking straight forward.
  • Your hood appears heavier towards the outside of the eye than the inside…you may have some visible mobile lid towards the inner eye and less towards the outside of the eye.
  • Some days your eyes seem more/less hooded than others.
  • The crease/fold extends down past the outside corner of your eye, often making flicked or winged liner difficult.

Let’s talk about what we can do no matter what type of hooded eyes you have…

The Forgotten Step

First things first…before we even THINK about shadow, we want to address concealer. One of the most common mistakes people make is NOT applying concealer (and corrector if you use that too!) underneath the OUTER corner of the eye. They concentrate on the dark circles and inner corner and completely forget about the outer part of the eye!

L: Outer corner not concealed R: Outer corner concealed

As we get older, we develop some redness and discoloration there. Neglecting this one tiny area can drag that outer corner down and make our already hooded eyes appear even more droopy!

Prepping the Eye

Primer. Primer. Primer. I cannot stress using eyeshadow primer enough! It not only evens out discoloration and disguises veins, it helps our shadows apply more smoothly and evenly, last longer, helps prevent creasing and makes colors more vibrant! If you’re skipping this step and have hooded eyes, start today!!

STILLLLL Prepping!

Primer alone just won’t cut it! Priming and NOT setting that primer well with either a neutral shadow or a loose powder is a common mistake that leads to creasing, eyeliner and mascara smudging/transfer or patchy eyeshadow application. Set that primer!

Where’s my shadow??

The most important thing you can do when applying shadow and liner is to

LOOK STRAIGHT AHEAD INTO A MIRROR.

There may be times when you need to look or glance down to do things. But always always always check back in that mirror to see what your makeup looks like with your eyes open!

Placing a transition shade that’s a shade deeper than your skintone (it can even be peach or slightly pink!) into and above the crease (almost up to the brow bone) will create a shadow onto that hood so it’s not so pronounced and heavy. Light protrudes and darkness retracts.

We want that shadow there to make the hood like it’s receding instead of protruding. Even on minimal makeup days, I take 30 seconds to do this one simple step because it makes a HUGE difference in how awake and open my eyes look!

Transition shade applied. the hood looks slightly less heavy than…. …using no transition shade and just applying shadow applied in the crease.

If I attempt to use just a crease shade, it all but disappears when I open my eyes and look straight ahead.

Shadow issues

Going back to that primer… If you didn’t take the time to apply and set your shadow primer earlier, you may have some blending issues when you go in with shadow on your lid and in your crease.

Highlighting

Another common shadow mistake made by many is with highlighter. Using a tiny brush and highlighting directly underneath the brow bone (and blending into that transition shade) is all you need to do when you have hooded eyes. Many people take a fluffy brush and place too much highlighter under the brow bone and down onto the hood, thus taking away any shadow that’s necessary for that hood to appear recessed. When you highlight the most pronounced part of the hood, it emphasizes the hooded eyes and drags the eye down even further.

Eyeliner: A Realistic DON’T!

This is my realistic “don’t” eye using a pencil and closing my eye, the way many do. Most people also reach for pencil to line. It’s not as subtle as shadow, takes more time and transfers more easily too. I smudged it along the lashline from the inner corner to the outer corner and extended it just slightly past my outer corner…

It looks pretty good when my eye is closed right?

But when I open it, you can see that the liner is slanted slightly down instead of out and the corner of the liner is below the outer corner of my eye instead of next to or slightly above it where it should be. This is a common mistake that pulls down the outer corner of the eye and can make the eyes appear more droopy, especially once mascara is added.

Do: Eyeliner for Hooded Eyes

This is the part where I’d say to go watch the video because I show two super easy methods for genuinely easy hooded eye eyeliner that’s easy to do in a rush or daily. I recommend using a good quality shadow and an angled brush. I have some other easy techniques on my channel using different types of brushes but this one is very quick and simple.

The first technique involves using your outer corner and brow tail as your guide.

Simply place a dot or a tiny dash in the same direction as your lower lash line as if it’s continuing on into infinity. Place that tiny dot/dash slightly above where the lash line ends. This gives more lift than placing it right at the lash line. (This is seen better in the video).

Next press and lightly smudge the liner brush against your lash line. I only do the outer 2/3 of my eye because it elongates and lifts my eye more so than when I go all the way to my inner corner. You’ll smudge and meet that dot/dash and blend the two together. It takes less than 30 seconds. Done!

There are some people that are simply too hooded for that dash/dot and that’s OK! If that’s the case, just do the smudging or tightline and you’ll get definition from that.

I continued (post-mascara) with a technique to show you what to do if you have a fold but want to do a flick or winged liner for your hooded eyes.

You can see here, I simply stamped the brush down directly over that fold.

When I closed my eye there is a gap.

I then fill the gap in and build that line up however thick I want that flick to be that day. This is my “professional” wing. Again…30 seconds and done!

A close-up of the “don’t” eye after mascara. The “don’t” eye from a distance The “do” eye from a distance The Finale

Curl those lashes! Nothing lifts the eye more than curled lashes! It truly does make a huge difference! Again, I highly recommend watching the video because it has a couple of more steps and is a little more specific than I can get in a blog post tutorial. I hope you enjoy it. I know hooded eyes can be so difficult to deal with! If you found this post helpful or the video helpful, please share with people you know could use it or anywhere you feel it could help people! XOXO

HOODED EYES DOs and DONTs | EVERYDAY QUICK Makeup - YouTube

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You know how sometimes you just have specific favorite perfume that you reach for more than others? I’m having one of those moments.

Is it the weather?

Maybe it’s the in-between seasons. It’s supposed to be fall here but it’s NOT. It’s October but it’s still 90º here which is frustrating. I want my HOT lattes. I want to wear my boots and sweaters and scarves.

This weather is for the birds!

The confusion!

This fall-not-fall business is conflicting. Do I wear my booties anyway or throw on my flip flops as the weather indicates I should? Technically, I can wear sleeveless tops! But I feel like I should throw a cardi or a blazer on and just deal. I rationalize it by thinking I’m only outside for a limited amount of time anyway. Since I’ll be inside where it’s cooler, layering is just fine! But I have to admit, layering IS a bit toasty…even if I am only walking from my car into and out of buildings.

Favorite Perfume RIGHT NOW!

Though I have a nice selection of fragrances to pick from, I noticed I keep picking up these four bottles. Over and over, they make their way into my hands. I always recommend trying perfumes before buying them as they wear so differently on everyone. But for me, these are so lovely any time of year.

Gucci Bamboo

A white floral with notes of bergamot, casablanca lily, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, amber and vanilla, it’s elegant and feminine yet not overly floral. One could say this is a summer daytime fragrance yet easily crosses from summer into fall for me. Gucci Bamboo is one of my most recent fragrance acquisitions and has worked its way into my fragrance favorites easily.

Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede

I don’t like overly floral perfumes. So take note that any floral sounding perfume isn’t an over the top floral. I do believe Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede is my top favorite fragrance right now, having replaced Chanel Chance Eau Tendre for the top spot. It’s definitely a daytime, any occasion perfume but can easily be worn any time of year for me. It has notes of peony, red apple, suede, rose, jasmine and carnation that blend together beautifully to create a gorgeous subtle scent. I picked this up at the airport in the spring on the spur of the moment and couldn’t be happier about this addition to my perfume collection.

Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Abricot

Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Abricot is one of my favorite perfume purchases. With notes like vanilla, sugar, apricot, papaya and jackfruit, it sounds like a sickly sweet fragrance bomb that would make anyone nauseated. I’ve tried many vanilla perfumes that I’ve had to give away because they made me ill with their sugary sweet scent. But there’s a reason for the popularity of this fragrance and of this line in general. I do feel like this wears differently on everyone. One me, the notes blend perfectly to create a soft vanilla that’s cut enough of everything else that it smells heavenly. This perfume instantly puts me in a good mood. It leans more summertime but I still like it in the fall. Something about it reminds me a bit of the beach…perhaps I try to take a bit of that into the fall with me. Side note: I just received a sample of CSP Vanille Blackberry and it’s pretty great too!

Narciso Rodriguez for Her

Disclaimer: I loathe most fragrances that have patchouli. It just doesn’t do well on me at all. Musk, african orange flower, osmanthus, amber, vetiver, bergamot, vanilla and patchouli make up the fabulosity that is Narciso Rodriguez for Her. Somehow these notes come together to create a sultry, creamy, musky scent that’s feminine, refined and cozy at the same time. I usually reserve this for nighttime but have worn it during the day on rare occasion. It leans more fall/winter but I’ve also thrown it on in the summer. This is one that I’ll have in my fragrance collection forever.

Changes

I’m known to change my mind on a whim. Who knows what perfumes I’ll be reaching for this time next month. But these are my favorite fragrances during this summer (non)transition into fall. What are your favorite fragrances right now?

The post Favorite Perfume of the Moment appeared first on Stephanie Marie Blogs.

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I know there are some of you that check the blog but don’t check my YouTube channel. And some of you are relatively new to my YouTube channel and may not have seen this video. When I first started my blog (which was a while after I began my channel), I was trying to link my previous videos but then realized you may not want to see blog posts of videos.

But there are occasions where I feel like those videos are pertinent.

Today I’m going to link a video that’s done well on my channel because it shows how to use Tarte Shape Tape if you’re not a YouTuber or a Beauty Guru and have texture or mature under eyes AND dark circles. I created this video because SO MANY Tarte Shape Tape tutorials show it being applied in this big triangular shape underneath the eye. The reality is that this may work for young, perfect skin or if one wears a ton of makeup and likes the cakey look. But in real life, the triangle method of concealer application just isn’t effective. It only emphasizes our texture and looks worse as the day goes on.

As much as I’m trying to get away from doing blog posts that simply re-link videos, this one deserves a spot on the blog. Anytime a video has helped out so many women, I want to share it with everyone! If it helps even one of you with your Shape Tape (or any concealer for that matter) struggles, then my job is done here!

How To Use TARTE SHAPE TAPE If You're NOT A YOUTUBER | Talk Through Demo - YouTube

The post How to Apply Tarte Shape Tape Concealer if You’re Not a Beauty Guru appeared first on Stephanie Marie Blogs.

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It’s time for September monthly beauty favorites 2017! My September beauty faves and fails video is REALLY RANDOM and is packed with products! I’ll put the link below (and list products as well) so you can watch it in full if you like. It’s packed with a wide variety of products. Some are general product favorites while others are beauty favorites. I also mention my monthly fails too!

Here’s a peek at some of the fall favorites I loved this month. The Mossimo D’Orsay Flats from Target are fantastic and only $16.99! They’re so comfy that I bought them in black and gray!
 

Mossimo Flats and other options (that come in many colors!)

I’m attempting to transition into fall despite the heat we’re still having down here! Also from Target, I found the SOFTEST pullover and lounge pants! I’ll be living in these this fall and winter. I also discovered the Capri Blue Volcano candle. It’s a heavenly blend of citrus and sugar that’s not too much of either and fills the room with such a pleasant aroma. I love the mercury glass jar for reuse too!


To see all my September favorites AND FAILS, including the Beauty Favorites, the video is below!

September Favorites and Fails | Monthly Beauty Favorites 2017 | Long & RANDOM! - YouTube

The post September Beauty Favorites appeared first on Stephanie Marie Blogs.

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Claims

I love that It Cosmetics includes healthy skin ingredients in their face products. It makes wearing makeup a little more bearable. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines Foundation claims to be an anti-aging serum foundation that hydrates the skin to blur lines, wrinkles and imperfections that gives you an airbrushed, lit-from-within glow. It’s suitable for all skin types and contains anti-aging peptides, caviar extract, hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, argan oil and babassu oil, plus vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B7, B9 and CoQ10. It’s supposed to give sheer-to-medium coverage that makes your skin look younger.

I just loaded my Foundation Road Test on this if you want to see the application, check-ins, serum and my thoughts on the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines Serum in full.

The foundation retails for $38. Both the foundation and  serum can be found at Ulta. For some reason, Sephora only carries the serum.

What I found…

Despite It Bye Bye Lines foundation dispensing quite thickly, it applies like a dream no matter what application method I use. Though I do prefer using a dense foundation brush to apply it for the quickness and the extra coverage. It also worked quite well with any primer and powder I tried it out with. It’s been extremely flexible, easy and reliable.

It looks great in flash photography too. Excuse this potato-quality no-flash photo. I’m not sure what happened.  

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines Foundation No Flash Photo It Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines Foundation Flash Photo Summary

I’ll say that, for me, this foundation lives up to the claims.I feel like this foundation would work well for any skin type. Oily/combo skin types like mine definitely need to set it. But once it’s set, it looks wonderful! It gives me light to medium coverage and wears well all day in the heat and humidity. It doesn’t slide off my face as the day goes on and feels weightless all day. This foundation has been a great find for me. I only wish I’d discovered it before I did my Top 5 Natural Looking Foundations video. It definitely would have made the cut!

Healthy Skin Foundation | IT COSMETICS Bye Bye Lines Foundation + Serum Review | ROAD TEST - YouTube

The post It Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines Foundation Review appeared first on Stephanie Marie Blogs.

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L’Occitane’s Immortelle Divine line of products is centered around Immortelle essential oil in combination with a carefully selected blend of natural ingredients which help give the skin a radiant, youthful glow and fight visible signs of aging. L’Occitane Divine Youth Oil is a multi-usage face oil that helps fight against visible signs of aging to reveal a skin texture that appears replenished and plumped from within. This blog post is sponsored by L’Occitane. All opinions and wording are my own.

WHAT IS IMMORTELLE OIL?

This earthy rich oil is distilled from the Immortelle flower which is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, regenerative and healing properties. This oil is used quite often in all natural and holistic skincare products and medicines to help treat inflammation and infections. Immortelle oil also helps treat various inflammatory and infectious conditions like muscle pain, liver issues, arthritis, respiratory conditions, and much more.

Immortelle Flower IMMORTELLE OIL & THE SKIN

The incredible healing properties are why Immortelle oil has also been used repair skin scarring and damage after tattooing and body piercing. These same healing and anti-bacterial properties make it perfect for acne and inflamed blemishes, and thus, rosacea as it clarifies complexions while reducing redness and soothing sensitive skin. Immortelle oil’s particular ability to stimulate the production of new skin cells makes it a wonderful oil to treat mature skin.

BENEFITS FOR ME

Even having oily/combination skin, I incorporate both squalane and a facial oil each night as part of my skincare routine. I find that both have helped balance my skin so it’s not as oily during the day as well as helps eliminate any surface dehydration that might occur around the perimeter of my face. Since Divine Youth Oil contains both, it’s everything in one for me!

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT L’OCCITANE DIVINE YOUTH OIL

The soft floral scent is pleasant and not overwhelming. I find many facial oils to have an underlying “oil” smell to them. If you’ve applied facial oil to your face, you know what I’m talking about. Because this is a flower based oil extract combined with plant extracts, this has a blend of these scents, which I, personally, find quite pleasant.

My skin looks healthier and more plumped and fine lines seem slightly diminished after applying. I’ve never ever used another oil that absorbs this quickly and was this non-greasy and made my skin feel SO silky soft. Often times when applying oils, my skin looks quite greasy. It’s a tradeoff that I really don’t mind since the benefits outweigh the grease-factor and no one is seeing me except my family! But if you have oily skin, this would be a great oil for you to try if you dislike the greasiness of other facial oils!

TIPS & TRICKS FOR APPLYING

I use my Divine Youth Oil and moisturizer as the last steps of my skincare routine in the evening. I warm a 1-3 drops of Divine Youth Oil in the palm of my hand and apply to my face, neck and décolleté either alone or before my moisturizer. Sometimes, I mix the oil into my moisturizer to save a step. That’s the beauty of facial oil, it’s truly so versatile! I also make sure to concentrate a bit directly only my delicate under eye area. This ensures some is under my eye cream. Any extra that’s left, I rub onto the backs of my hands. I’m trying to slow the aging process down as much as I can!

CLICK HERE to get a for more information or to purchase L’Occitane Immortelle Divine Youth Oil.

The post L’Occitane Divine Youth Oil appeared first on Stephanie Marie Blogs.

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