tips and tricks

THE BEST DRY SHAMPOO, EVER

THE BEST DRY SHAMPOO | VITAL BLONDE

I hate washing my hair. I love taking a good hot shower morning and night, but I absolutely despise washing my hair. When your hair is as fine as mine is, it gets pretty hard to go too long without looking like you put bacon grease directly on your roots. Okay, that’s a bit of an overstatement but you get the point. I’ve been on the hunt for the best dry shampoo I can get my hands on because ya girl loves dirty hair sans the whole looks-smells-and-feels-dirty part. That’s not asking for too much, right?

My problem with most dry shampoos is that they have an intense smell. No one wants gross smelling hair, I get it. But I also don’t want to walk around smelling like I poured a whole bottle of floral perfume on my hair when I woke up- it gives me headaches. But I also want something that smells nice, just not strong. Once again, is that too much to ask for?

Oh and I need volume. Lots and lots of volume. Fine hair also tends to be synonymous with flat hair, and this Texas girl ain’t here for flat hair. If a dry shampoo doesn’t give me killer volume, it’s a waste in my book.

For a long time, I just used magnolia-scented baby powder in my hair as dry shampoo. I loved the smell and it wasn’t too strong, plus the baby powder gave a decent amount of volume and soaked up any excess oil or grease in my roots. I can get away with using baby powder unless my roots are grown out… then it just looks like I am prematurely greying. Plus the powder ends up all over my bathroom floor and counter and then I look like I spend all my free time doing blow in my bathroom. Oops.

Then I met Ouai Dry Shampoo Foam. My first thought was, “yeah, not putting wet foam in my dry hair roots. You’re crazy, Sephora lady.” But, she convinced me to try it anyway and I walked out with a bottle.

YOU GUYS. This is life changing. One little dollop of foam removes oil, product buildup and gives the most volume I’ve ever gotten from ANY product. I use this when my hair is actually clean just for volume! The best part? It works for literally ALL hair types- straight, curly, wavy, blonde, black, red, you name it! It’s not made from powders like many other dry shampoos, so absolutely ZERO white residue in your hair is left.

Also, it legit smells like Tom Ford perfume, but the smell isn’t too strong either. Just a little bit of the foam goes a long way, which I love because I don’t like repurchasing hair product all the time. You will definitely get your money’s worth out of it!

Hate washing your hair too? Run, don’t walk to pick up this stuff. I won’t tell anyone you haven’t actually washed your hair… it can be our dirty little secret.

I’ve linked a few of my other favorite hair styling products below so you can go even longer without washing your hair. Dirty hair for everyone!!!

KEEP IT COOL

Platinum hair has been “in” for a while, and that’s no secret. From high school and through most of college I kept my blonde tone anywhere from strawberry to golden and never thought I’d vary from that. I jumped on the icy train quickly and switched to cool toned blonde around the time I moved to New York, and since then I’ve gotten questions about how I keep my hair cool and light.

MY ANSWER? Patience, for one.

AT THE SALON

If your hair isn’t light blonde to begin with, it’s best to take your time with lightening it so you don’t damage your hair (if you do, I have solutions.) If you have any sort of red in your hair, be it from your natural color or from dye, the process of getting that cool tone is going to be trickier. Work with a stylist that is skilled with blondes and you’ll be just fine!

Now, there are two ways you can lighten your hair — highlights or bleach and tone. It is probably safe to say that most strikingly ice platinum blondes do bleach and tone, where bleach is applied all over and then toned to the right color. If you’re going for dramatic, this may be the way to go. If you like more dimension in your hair, you’ll want to opt for highlights, which is what I do.

MY HIGHLIGHTS TRICK

There are several things I do for my highlights to give the all-over color feel while maintaining dimension. First, my stylist in Houston does heavy slices of highlights as opposed to weaving them. This is better if your hair is already light so you don’t have stripes. I also alternate doing full highlights and partial. I like my color to be bright around my face as well, so sometimes I’ll have my stylist lightly brighten the roots all around my hairline on my face. This is what works for me, and I always recommend talking everything over with your stylist to create the look that is best for your hair and what you’re going for!

THE TONER

If you want an icy, cool toned blonde, you may need to tone your hair.  I recommend opting for a toner that is grey, purple, or blue. Think about it like a color wheel. Purple is the opposite of yellow, so it will cancel out the yellow tones. Blue is the opposite of orange, so it will cancel out the orange tones. I’ll get more into those later!

I tend to favor more of a silver/grey tone to my hair, but I actually haven’t been toning it lately. I’ve been seeing Melanie at N Salon recently and she recommended not toning my hair, and I’ve loved the results so far. She just highlights and uses a purple shampoo on me. This is exactly why it’s best to talk through what your goals with your hair are with your stylist — they can recommend the best process for YOUR hair. 

AT HOME UPKEEP

Keeping your hair icy doesn’t end at the salon, unfortunately. Lucky for you, I’ve found an arsenal of products that help me maintain my color and banish gross, yellow brassiness.

JOICO COLOR BALANCE PURPLE SHAMPOO

This one is probably a no-brainer. You’ve likely heard to use a purple shampoo to get rid of brassy tones. I’ve tried a few, and my biggest complaint with most that I’ve tried is that they never seem to feel like they actually clean my hair. I don’t wash my hair often, so I want it to feel clean no matter what shampoo I use, and I really don’t want to wash it twice to get that feeling. 

I use the Joico Color Balance purple shampoo because it miraculously does give that clean feeling and just the right amount of color. I’ve heard great things about the Fanola No Yellow shampoo, but I have yet to try it. 

OVERTONE DAILY CONDITIONERS

This is what I use when I want a dramatically “cooler” look. I have both the pastel purple color and pastel silver. The pastel purple deposits a little too much color for my liking, so I usually stick with the pastel silver. The ends of my hair soak up color very easily, so the silver gives the cool tone without straight up turning my hair a different color. 

They have a ton of different colors so if you’re trying to maintain red, rose gold, or virtually any other color, they have something for you! 

EVA NYC LEAVE-IN FOAM

I don’t use this frequently either, because it also deposits quite a bit of purple color. However, I like to use it when I want my color to look amazing in photos. It also smells AMAZING which is always a plus. It’s definitely great for a little extra boost when needed! 


That’s about it! As I’ve mentioned a few times, it’s always best to work with your stylist on your color. They’ll be your ultimate resource for the results you’re looking for. Have you tried any of these products, or what are your secrets for keeping blonde color cool? Thank you for reading! 

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HOW TO KEEP YOUR HAIR HEALTHY

HOW TO KEEP YOUR HAIR HEALTHY | VITAL BLONDE

I don’t think it’s any secret that I highlight my hair- and with bleach comes damage. Whether you color your hair or not, it can be hard to maintain healthy hair. I’ve been coloring and highlighting my hair for about 10 years now, and I’ve learned a few tricks along the way to keep my hair strong, even through my transition to platinum.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR HAIR HEALTHY | VITAL BLONDE

MY NUMBER ONE SECRET?

STOP WASHING YOUR HAIR.

I mean, please wash your hair. Just don’t do it as often. I only wash my hair MAX twice a week. This allows for your natural oils to run through your hair and keep it moisturized. I definitely understand it can be hard to just switch to not washing your hair as often, but build yourself up to it. Add an extra day between washing your hair each time you wash it until you’re only washing it once or twice a week. I PROMISE you can do it! Get a good dry shampoo (I’ve got a post on my favorite one coming up!) and you’re good to go. If you’re blonde, baby powder works great too. Eventually, your hair will stop getting “greasy” or “oily” plus you won’t be putting as many harsh chemicals on your hair, it’s a win-win!

HOW TO KEEP YOUR HAIR HEALTHY | VITAL BLONDE

NOW LET’S TALK PRODUCTS.

I only use salon quality products on my hair, and I only purchase them from a salon or beauty store like Ulta, Sephora or Nordstrom where you know you’re getting the real deal. Don’t ever buy higher-end products from a drug store, Walmart, Target, etc, you don’t know what’s really in them.

For shampoo and conditioner, I recommend getting a product that is strengthening. I love Joico K-Pak shampoo and conditioner for colored hair so I don’t risk stripping out my toner that keeps my hair cool-toned. They have a version for colored hair and non-colored, so make sure you pick up the right one.

If your hair is already damaged and you’re trying to repair it, you will want some sort of damage therapy leave-in treatment. I use Aveda Damage Remedy, it’s also a heat protectant for an added bonus. I run this through my hair evenly, making sure it gets it all.

If you’re not one for blowdrying your hair, then great! No heat — that’s perfect. I can’t air-dry my hair. I hate it. It gets a weird texture, and I’m not about it. So since I’m inevitably going to put heat on my hair, I make sure to do it in a healthy-ish way. Aka a GOOD hairdryer. You may have a stroke at the price, but my last hair dryer lasted me for almost 10 years before it shot fire out of it. That was a fun day. Anyway, I use a slightly older version of this T3 hairdryer. I got mine at Costco for a bit cheaper, so check there first if you have a membership. They also have a mini version that’s cheaper too. My hair dries a lot faster now with this dryer and faster drying = less damage.

I also try to avoid styling my hair with a curling iron or straightener. I have naturally straight hair, so all I have to do is give it a 30-second hairdryer blast to smooth out any kinks. I also recommend sleeping with your hair in a bun with a crocodile clip or in a braid to keep it from getting tangly and breaking in your sleep.

THE HOLY GRAIL

O L A P L E X.

If you don’t know, now you know. This is the MAJOR secret. Ask your stylist about mixing Olaplex in with your color and also doing an Olaplex treatment. It will do WONDERS on your hair. This is truly the gamechanger in my hair-health routine. I have Olaplex added every time I highlight my hair, and I use the No.3 treatment at home. You know how chocolate can mend a broken heart? Olaplex can mend your broken hair. Okay now I’m just being dramatic, but, you need this.

OTHER COOL THINGS YOU WANT

By now, you’ve probably heard of sleeping with a satin pillowcase to prevent breakage. If not, this is a thing. And you should do it. My satin pillowcase is from Savvy Sleepers and I kinda want one in every color… is that too much?

I’ve also become hooked on these Invisibobble hair ties. They look like telephone cords and are actually super cute in your hair. More importantly, though, they don’t pull on your hair as much or rip hair out of your head, and they’re less likely to leave those dreaded kinks in your hair. They even make tiny ones for smaller sections of hair if you’re a fine-haired babe like me.

ANYTHING ELSE?

Get regular haircuts. If your hair is super damaged on the ends, cut it off. Even if it’s several inches. I promise your locks will grow back quicker than you think and won’t be constantly breaking anymore. If you’re trying to grow your hair out, this is way more important than you would think. My hair grows stupid fast and it’s solely because I keep my ends from getting damaged so it won’t break off. Also, those tiny hairs you see around my face are baby hairs, not breakage. I’ve had them for forever and they drive me nuts, but that’s neither here nor there.

It’s definitely not impossible to color/highlight your hair AND keep it healthy. Last time I got my hair highlighted my bae Chris said he’s never felt my hair so healthy ever before. For context, he’s been coloring my hair since I was 14. I’ve done A LOT to my hair with him — basically every shade of blonde, brunette, and even a short stint with red hair. This is by far the lightest my hair has ever been and also the HEALTHIEST. So it’s possible! Don’t let yourself believe otherwise.


And that’s all my tips! I have more hair-themed posts coming soon, including one on dry shampoo and how I keep my hair cool toned. If there are any other hair type posts you wanna see, definitely let me know! I also wanna know if you try out any of these tips and they help. You can always email me if you wanna chat or have more specific questions. All my luck with transitioning into not washing your hair! ♡

HAIR ROUTINE

Hair Routine | The Lipstick Tales

Living Proof: Shampoo, Conditioner | Pureology: Shampoo, Conditioner | Kevin Murphy: Shampoo, Conditioner | Aveda: Shampoo, Conditioner | Pureology Root Lift | Pureology Strength Cure | Spornette Round Brush | Moroccanoil Hairspray


Just a couple days ago, my sweet friend Tori asked me for all my hair product recommendations, and she inspired me to write an updated hair routine post! Thanks, Tori 😉

I have very fine chemically treated hair, so the products I use are catered to my hair’s needs. If your hair is thick and curly, these products may not work for you! Always use products for your specific hair type, and if you’re not sure if you have fine or coarse hair or what your hair type is, ask your stylist!

With that being said, make sure to ALWAYS buy your salon-quality hair products from salons ONLY or somewhere like Sephora, Ulta or Nordstrom where you know you’re getting the real deal. Don’t ever buy salon hair products from the drug store, or somewhere like Walmart or Target, because you could be getting a fake or expired product.

Now, onto the good stuff.

Shampoo/Conditioner

I like to switch out my shampoo and conditioner when I run out of one type so that my hair doesn’t get too used to a product. One of my all time favorites is Living Proof No Frizz, which is great for frizzy hair or if you live somewhere where humidity is a problem! Currently, I’m using Aveda Color Conserve Shampoo and Aveda Damage Remedy Conditioner. I absolutely love the way that Aveda products smell, and I wanted something that would protect and heal my highlighted locks. If your hair is colored in any way, you’ll want to be sure that you’re using color safe products, so your color doesn’t get stripped out of your hair.

For blondes specifically, I also love Pureology Perfect 4 Platinum. The shampoo has a blue tint to it that helps tone your blonde when you wash. Blue tint will cancel out orange tones, and purple tint will cancel out yellow. I also use a purple shampoo about once a week to keep brassy color out of my hair. My blonde tends to pull yellow, especially around when it’s time to get my highlights done again, and purple shampoo helps fix the color back to how I like it.

Styling Products

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of using styling products. I’m always hesitant to put something on the ends of my hair out of fear it will weigh my poor fine hair down. However, I’ve fixed this traditional “limp” fine hair problem with Pureology Root Lift. This is a root lifting spray that you spray directly into your roots when your hair is damp before blowdrying. As the name suggests, it lifts the roots of your hair, preventing hair from falling flat and it also helps absorb oil!

If i’m going to use anything on the ends of my hair, I make sure that it’s something that is strengthening and will help prevent breakage. I love using Pureology Strength Cure Split End Salve, but I don’t use it every time I wash my hair so that I’m not adding too much protein back into my hair.

When drying my hair, I style it with this Spornette round brush. The thing I love about this brush is that the barrel of the brush is longer, which makes it easier for styling your own hair. Using a round brush can be a little tricky until you get the hang of it!

I love finishing off a look with Moroccanoil hair spray, mainly because the scent is to die for! In between washes, I also use dry shampoo. I didn’t include a specific one in the post because I haven’t quite found one that I absolutely love yet! Every one I’ve tried has just seemed kind of  “eh” to me, or I get incredibly tired of the scent. I’ve been using this one lately and I like it, but I’m getting a little tired of the smell. If you have a favorite, let me know in the comments!

I can be a bit of a diva when it comes to my hair, but I think it’s worth it to keep it in good shape! Have you tried any of these products or which are your favorites?

HOW TO FAKE A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

How to Fake Good Night's Sleep | The Lipstick Tales How to Fake Good Night's Sleep | The Lipstick Tales

Being a college student isn’t very nice for your sleep schedule. Being a college student who is prone to terrible stress dreams and nightmares is even worse. (I literally wake up shaking and crying in the middle of the night, it’s a great time!) So needless to say, I’ve gotten pretty good at faking a well-rested look, or at least I’d like to think so. Here are a few of my little tips to make it look like that 4 hours of sleep was actually 8 hours.

White Eyeliner

I fee like this one is no secret anymore, but I’m telling you IT WORKS. I use this Chella highlighter pencil, and it’s perfect because it’s not too stark white but also isn’t too flesh toned. I swear this makes the biggest difference, if you haven’t tried it you have to!

Concealer

Not just any concealer, but a really good full coverage one. Something has to hide those dark circles! I wear shade 7, and this tube lasts so long. I apply it in a triangle shape under my eyes to make sure the whole area is brightened up. I also really want to try this YSL apricot color correcting concealer to help cancel out dark circles.

Mascara

A major trick to appearing well-rested is having that wide-eyed look, and full lashes is one of the easiest ways to achieve that. I have naturally long lashes that have curl to them already, (sorry I got the good genes, little sis!) I’ve mentioned before how one of my biggest makeup tricks is to use more than one mascara, and I’m sticking by that! Benefit Roller Lash, Maybelline Lash Sensational and L’Oreal Miss Manga Rock are the three in my rotation currently.

Highlight

Lack of sleep can leave your skin looking rather dull. Giving your skin a good glow will fool just about anyone into thinking you got a full night of sleep! MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle is my holy grail highlighter, it gives the perfect natural-looking highlight. Pair it with a good blush (this one is my favorite!) and kiss dull, tired skin goodbye.

Do you have any tricks to faking the well-rested look?

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Melt Proof Makeup

Melt Proof Makeup | The Lipstick Tales

The most asked question I’ve had lately from my friends is, “How do I get my makeup to stay in place?” Living in Texas, makeup can easily sort of “melt off” especially in the summer months. No one wants to have re-apply makeup throughout the day, but you also don’t want to use heavy products that will just weigh you down in the heat. Of course, I definitely don’t wear makeup every day in the summer, but when I do I want it to stay put. I’ve rounded up my best tips so you can have melt proof makeup this summer.

1. Prime.

Priming everything is essential to keeping your makeup in place. Start with clean, moisturized skin. I tend to opt for a gel moisturizer like First Aid Beauty Mattifying Gel or Boscia Black Hydration Gel since I have oily skin, and this is great for normal skin in the summer too. You’ll then want to use an all over face primer. Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector has been my favorite lately. It’s got kind of a strange consistency, it starts off kind of sticky but then just dissolves perfectly into your skin. Also be sure to use an eye primer before applying any eyeshadow.

2. Foundation.

I love lightweight foundations in general, but they’re essential in the summer. Who wants full coverage heavy foundation when it’s over 100 degrees out? Not me! Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue and Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet are the ones I find myself reaching for most when it’s hot outside. They’re lightweight but still provide great coverage. If you can’t separate yourself from your favorite full coverage foundation, I suggest adding a little bit of moisturizer to keep it from being heavy in the heat.

3. Powder.

Powdering will not only help set your makeup, but also help prevent any unwanted shine that you might gain throughout the day in the heat. Over-powdering is traditionally a no-no, but in the case of the Texas heat you will most likely want to. The powder will be absorbed throughout the day preventing shine without making you look dull. I love this powder, and it’s universal!

4. Bronze.

What’s summer without bronze skin? If you fake tan like me, chances are your face is at least 3 shades lighter than the rest of your body and bronzer is your BFF. I love matte bronzers so that I can contour just a little while getting an all over glow. This one is my go-to, and this palette is amazing as well.

5. Blush.

I love using cream blushes in the summer. They’ll absorb into your skin and you can’t necessarily sweat it off like you could a powder blush. This one by Josie Maran is my favorite. It provides 14 hours of color and it’s moisturizing. Seriously, it feels amazing on your skin – no sticky feeling whatsoever. I love that the color is buildable, so I never end up with too much color.

6. Lips.

It’s no secret that I love lipstick. However, lipstick can feel a bit heavy on a hot day. I always find myself reaching for lip stains like this one, or one of YSL’s Glossy Stains. The also just came out with this line of “Pop Water” stains that I’m dying to try. This way you get the lip color that’s suited for summer!

7. Set.

The biggest trick to keeping your makeup in place? Setting spray. Urban Decay’s De-slick does the trick for me. My bottle has lasted me forever – you can tell since it’s still the old packaging. This one will keep your makeup lasting all day, even in the summer heat. I spray my face with it after completely finishing my makeup, but for extra staying power, I’ll spray my face before too as a sort of primer.

And that’s it! Following those tips will ensure that your makeup will stay in place all day, even in the heat. I hope these are useful to you, thanks so much for reading! Do you have any favorite products suited for summer? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

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P. S. Texas girls prepping for sorority recruitment in August, these tips and oil blotting sheets will be your lifesaver!

The Perfect Tan

St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse

First off: I’M BACK. This semester was by far my hardest semester of college, hence the unplanned 2 1/2 month hiatus. It’s over now (thankfully) so I’m switching my focus back here! Now on to the good stuff.

So, it’s June. And if you’re in Texas, chances are your skin hasn’t seen the sun in a good month. How on earth do you convince yourself it’s actually summer with all this rain? Two words: self. tanner. St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse (pictured above) is by far my favorite. It has a green undertone, so it won’t make you look orange at all and it dries SO FAST. So how do you get the perfect tan? Just follow these four easy steps.

One. Exfoliate! Trust me, you don’t want to skip this. Don’t come crying to me if you do and a week later you’re scaly and your arms are 2 different skin colors. Exfoliating will help make sure your tan is even and help it last longer. Also, a loofah alone is not enough. Get yourself a heavy duty scrub and be rid of all the dead skin you possibly can. I recommend exfoliating about a day before you plan to apply your self tanner, this way your skin cells can rebuild just enough for perfect application.

Two. Apply your tanner. Clean skin is a must- this means no lotions and no deodorant. Deodorant can sometimes make the self tan turn green. I don’t know about you, but green pits are not my jam. If you’re using a mousse like the St. Tropez one, be sure to purchase the mitt that goes with it. This will ensure even and easy application, and you won’t have any over-tanned hand mishaps. For tanning lotions, I just use my bare hands and wash them immediately after.

Three. Rinse off. Most self tanners you’ll want to rinse off a set amount of time later. Some are okay to rinse off after a few hours, but only if the bottle specifies this (try the express bronzing mousse if you wanna shower earlier!) For most other products you’ll want to wait 8-12 hours before getting your skin wet again. If you feel sticky at all during this time, brush your skin with baby powder and a powder brush to keep the stickiness at bay. When you shower, use a shower gel without any exfoliation (no washcloths, loofahs, exfoliation beads in the wash) and PAT your skin dry with your towel. Rubbing your skin with a towel after showering exfoliates your skin, hence taking off your tan that you’ve so carefully applied.

Four. Moisturize frequently. This is so important! You have to keep your skin moisturized if you want your tan to last. The best lotions to use are those that are unscented and have very low (preferably none) alcohol contents. I really like Eucerin for post-tanning. I also love Jergens gradual tanning daily moisturizer in medium to tan. Alcohol is higher up on the ingredients in this one, but it also is gradually maintaining your tan as you moisturize. Even though I don’t exactly fit the bill for “medium to tan” skin, I like that this one gives more color than the “light to medium” formula.

 And there you have it! Following these steps will help give you a beautiful, lasting tan that will trick everyone into thinking you just spent a week at the beach. Do you have a favorite tanning product? Let me know!

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How to Get Better Skin

Your skincare routine has a great effect on determining how “good” or “bad” your skin is. I used to be perfectly content with simply using a makeup wipe to take off makeup and then go straight to bed. That lazy girl within me was probably the entire cause for any skin problems I had. My skin right now is the best it’s ever been, because of my skincare routine. Although I’ve been pretty lucky I’ve never had problems with acne, (thanks for the good genes Mom & Dad!) I do still get an occasional breakout like everyone else. However, with my current skincare routine I’ve seen less redness, softer skin, and I can’t remember the last zit I had (knocking on wood now…) You can live this dream of great skin too! Here are my suggestions on how to get better skin.

The Lipstick Tales - Skincare Favorites

1. Actually wash your face.

Okay, I know that this seems like a no-brainer but a face wipe does NOT count as washing your face. I used to be so guilty of this. Face wipes don’t clean your pores as well as they need to be, but they can be a good first step to remove makeup. However, I suggest using a cleansing oil or cleansing milk to remove makeup. (Read my whole post about these here!)

2. Wash it again (and use a wash cloth!)

My post on cleansing oils also talks about why double cleansing is great. It helps you deeper clean your pores. After removing makeup with a cleansing oil, I wash my face with this detoxifying cleanser. Also, using a wash cloth will help clean your face better. Into the Gloss has a great article on how to pick the best wash cloth.

3. Use a toner.

Toners will help remove anything your cleanser left behind – any little traces of makeup, oil or dead skin. Avoid using one that contains alcohol because it can be too drying on your skin. I really like this one because it’s natural and soothing.

4. MOISTURIZE.

This was the hardest one for me to learn. My thought was always, “I don’t need to moisturize, I’ve got oily skin.” I was wrong. Not moisturizing can actually make your skin over-produce oil, which can lead to breakouts. You have to make sure to pick a moisturizer that is suited to your skin type. If you’ve got oily skin like I do, opt for something lightweight or a gel. If your skin is dry, you’ll want something more like a cream. You will also want to use something with SPF during the day. I use this moisturizer in the morning, and this one at night.

5. Use face masks or pore strips.

Masks and pore strips are also great to deep clean your face in ways cleansers can’t. I love Lush’s face masks (especially cupcake – smells so good!) as well as this Boscia mask (I really like the whole Boscia black line ok) and Biore pore strips to get rid of unwanted blackheads.

6. Drink lots of water.

Seriously. LOTS of it. Your skin and body will thank you. Avoid hot showers too – they strip your skin and hair of moisture!

7. Sleep (on a satin pillowcase!)

Of course, get plenty of zzz’s as well. You’ll get more health benefits than just great skin from that. You should also sleep on a satin pillowcase. It’s easier for your skin & hair to slide around on satin than cotton, so it will help prevent wrinkles, keep natural oils in, and it’s also nicer to your hair and eyelashes. Mine is from Savvy Sleepers and I love it.

8. Be Consistent.

This one is SO important! One night of sleeping in your makeup can wreck all of your hard work maintaining your skin. Believe me, I learned this lesson the hard way. Consistency in your skincare routine is key to see lasting results!

So there you have it! These are all things I’ve done to improve my skin. Keep in mind that not everything that works for me will work for you, since everyone’s skin is different. Each tip is a pretty general category so that you can find products within it that work for you. Always test out new products to see how they will react with your skin to find what works and what doesn’t! Sephora is awesome at giving out samples, next time you’re there just ask for a one of any product you want to try out before purchasing the full size.

As always, thank you so much for reading! What products are your skincare must-haves?

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Minimalist Nail Art

Minimalist Nail Art - The Lipstick Tales

The trick to great nail art is minimalism. It’s so much easier to do and harder to mess up. This design is inspired in by the nails from the Delpozo Fall 15 show.

When I’m at home I typically just go to the salon and have gel nails done. I have a love affair with that salon and I can’t find one that compares here in Austin. So when I’m away at college (about 80% of the year) I forgo the salon trips unless it’s for a formal and just paint my nails in my apartment. I’ve got a ridiculous collection of nail polish (think 100+ polishes…. it’s a problem) but even then I sometimes get bored of just a simple one-color manicure. Too much nail art can look tacky, and any amount can be difficult to accomplish on short nails.

Enter this beyond easy and still chic look. Here’s what you need:

minimalist nail art polishes

Start out by applying a base coat. I use OPI Nail Envy because it’s a great strengthener and my nails can be pretty weak and break easily. It’s pricey (way cheaper from Amazon!) but I’ve used barely half the bottle in a year & a half, and I paint my nails A LOT. Then apply your nail color. You can use whatever color you want, but I used 3 coats of Essie Marshmallow– 2 coats looked too streaky. Let this dry completely. Once dry, use a nail striper to apply a straight line down the center of your nail. You can use a specific nail striping polish like this gold one I have, use a striper brush with any polish, or use striping tape. Then apply your top coat and you’re good to go! My favorite is Seche Vite – it dries so quick.

minimalist nail art process

Seriously the easiest “nail art” ever. I love all of these nail looks from NYFW last week! Have you ever tried nail art yourself before? Thank you so much for reading!

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Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading 2-22{image via theyallhateus}

I guess I should probably have titled this “Sunday Reading” but better late than never right?

1. Obsessed with the makeup look from Rachel Zoe’s Fall 15 show.

2. My other favorite makeup look from NYFW? Diane von Furstenberg, of course.

3. Wishing I could have makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury’s life after watching this.

4. Some great resume & cover letter advice for those job or internship searching!

5. Definitely going to trying out this metallic nail look.

6. We’re getting almost to the midterms point of the semester. Here’s how to stop stress eating.

7. The top six trends from NYFW.

8. Can we predict who will win the Oscars tonight from what designer they’re wearing?

Hope that you all are having great weekend!

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