Wardrobe Staples-Tops…Blissful Blazers

  

  

Blazers are a basic wardrobe staple that can be worn as a casual light jacket or as a part of a more conservative business outfit. But finding a blazer that provides the best fit or that flatters you as well as it could can be a bit confusing. 

The wide range of styles, cuts, and colors that women’s blazers are available in makes it possible for any woman to find a blazer that can provide an effortless finish to almost any outfit and  any event

There are several factors to consider when shopping for the perfect blazer.

  

Bust

Bust…Finding a blazer that is not too tight or loose across the bust area  can often one of the most challenging steps in finding the perfect blazer. 

If the blazer is too tight, it will be difficult to button…if the blazer is too loose, you will end up with an overly draped look and a significant amount of bunching.

Look for a blazer that goes across half of a breast on each side of the blazer.

      

    Buttons

    The number of buttons on a blazer will affect both the blazer’s fit and form.

    The “stance,”. the highest point where the buttons are, should be considered when shopping for the perfect blazer. 

    Each type of “stance” looks different on each of the different body types. For example, if you have a larger bust, choose a blazer with a higher “stance”-a blazer that has two or three buttons.

    The higher the “stance,” the more buttons you will find…A blazer that has a high stance might have three buttons..A blazer that has a low stance might only have one button. 

    When shopping for the perfect blazer, consider your body type and the drawbacks and benefits of each type of blazer.

      
    Open-front blazers, like the one above from Orvis, have a draped looked and are very flattering for women with larger bust sizes. Belted blazers, also have no buttons, but create a more structured straight or peplum look that adds more definition to your waist.

      
    One-Button Blazers...One-button blazers are more casual, but also the trickiest to wear. The single button must sit perfectly at the narrowest part of your waist. A one-button blazer that fits poorly can look awkward and be  uncomfortable. An example of a perfectly-fitted one-button blazer would be the one above from Tahari.

      
    Two-Button Blazer...The two-button blazer, like this one from Varani Formal Wear will fall more smoothly and is more appropriate for work.

        

      Three-Button Blazers...Three-button blazers, like this one from Sears, are best for taller women because the buttons sit higher on the blazer.The more buttons the blazer has, the more likely that the blazer will hold you in and stay in place.  

         
      Four- and Multi-Button Blazers…Women’s blazers, like this one from Alie Express, often have four or more buttons, with a higher “stance.” open too much at the bust as you go and are the better choice for large-breasted women.

        

          Color and Pattern

          There are all sorts of colors and patterns available—ranging from classic colors like black, gray, and navy blue to crazy colors like purple and neon yellow…from neutral stripes and plaids to bright floral prints and wild animal patterns.

            Since our goal is to create a minimalistic practical wardrobe, focus on the basic colors first.

              

             

              Lapels

              The style and fit of the lapel can also affect the overall look of your blazer. Larger lapels create more bulk on top and shorten the overall look.

              The size of the lapel should be in proportion to your figure. Petites generally look better in blazers with smaller lapels.

                  

                Length

                Women’s blazers can vary greatly in length. The most common and classic length stops at your hipbone…but depending on your figure, you may look better in slightly longer or slightly shorter jacket lengths.

                Cropped Blazers
                …Cropped blazers that are an inch or less above your waist are extremely casual. Cropped lengths look best when paired with pants or skirts that have a higher waist, .with longer tops, or with a well fitting dress.

                Waist-Length Blazers
                …Waist-length blazers are more casual than slightly longer blazers and are very flattering on all body types because they draw attention to your waist.

                Hip-Length Blazers…
                Hip-length blazers are the most traditional length and are very flattering…but women with very wide hips should avoid this cut. 

                Long Blazers…
                Longer blazers look best paired with a more fitted bottom, such as slim fit jeans. 

                   

                  
                  

                    Material

                    The fabric that makes up a blazer will greatly affect the blazer’s quality and the blazer’s price. Each fabric will have its own characteristics, so it is important to be familiar with each type of material.

                    • 1.  Blends…Blended fabrics are very common for blazers because the natural fibers make the fabric of the blazer feel richer and breathe better, but the synthetic fibers help cut down the cost of the blazer.
                    • 2.  Corduroy…Corduroy is typically velvet fabric woven in small, parallel rows. Corduroy blazers are typically seen as being very academic and are great for daily use.
                    • 3.  Cotton…Cotton blazers are best for warm weather.
                    • 4.  Knit…Knit blazers are usually designed to fit snugly like a sweater. Knit blazers are less formal than the standard blazer and are great for petites.
                    • 5.  Lace…Lace blazers can be are a great choice for weddings or other special events…but as a minimalist, are you ever actually going to wear it?
                    • 6.  Linen …Linen is typically associated with summer blazers. It is lightweight and very breathable. Most often, it is used in its neutral, beige color although some women’s styles used dyed linen. While linen has a crisp, refreshing feel, it wrinkles very easily, and some women will find it difficult to take care of.
                    • 7. Satin…Satin usually has a shiny, smooth finish that isn’t appropriate for work…so cross that off my capsule wardrobe list.
                    • 8.  Silk…Silk blazers are expensive, but can be worn year round. Silk is incredibly soft and “breathes” very well.
                    • 9. Synthetics…Blazers made from synthetic fabrics, such as nylon and polyester, are usually much cheaper than blazers made from natural fibers, such as wool. These blazers are are actually affordable, not investment pieces like wool Blazers and cashmere sweaters. option.
                    • 10.  Velvet..Velvet can be made from many different types of fibers. The fibers ar woven so that one side is made up of many short, soft threads called the “pile. ” Velvet is extremely soft and has a slight shine.  Even though velvet blazers aren’t gonna be worn to work, they are still a smart buy because they can be dressed up for holiday parties or dressed down with jeans for a night on the town.
                    • 11.  Wool…Wool blazers and suits are very professional-looking. Wool blazers are always a smart choice.

                      

                      Pockets

                      Pockets can make or break a blazer. Small pockets do not distract from the silhouette of the blazer as do larger pockets.. Bulky or patch pockets add bulk to the hips.

                        

                      Shoulders

                      All blazers have at least a little bit of  padding at the shoulder, because this padding is honestly what gives the blazer its shape. 

                      Removing the shoulder pads can change both the fit and drape of the blazer. Remember, you can always replace the shoulder pads if you need to.

                      The seams of the shoulder should be as close to the end of your shoulders as possible.

                      If the shoulders are too wide, you will look too broad-shouldered and the sleeve will begin too far down your arm, possibly causing restriction in arm movement and causing your shoulder bag to start pulling your blazer down from the shoulder.

                      If the shoulders are too small, you may not be able to raise your arms or move around comfortably. 

                      When trying on a blazer, stand near a wall and slowly lean against it.

                      If the shoulder pad hits the wall first and scrunches up, it’s too big. 

                      If the shoulder pad and your natural shoulder Both touch the wall at the same time, it’s a good fit. 

                      If your natural shoulder rests against the wall but the shoulder pad does not, it’s too small.

                      Reaching across your body with one arm to grab the opposite arm can also give you a good idea as to whether to go ahead and buy the blazer or not.

                          

                        Sleeves

                        The sleeves of your blazer are also important to take into account when shopping for a blazer.

                         Ideally, the sleeves of your blazers should end at the joint where your thumb connects at your wrist. 

                        Sleeves should also run close to your arm for a slim, sleek look. A wide sleeve can look bunchy and make the blazer look boxy. 

                         

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                        Dressing Without Stressing…The 100

                          

                        Although you should not necessarily avoid new trends that you actually fall in love with, it is important to fill your clothes closet primarily with wardrobe staples that can play the supporting role to those trendier pieces.

                        Having a closet filled with staple pieces that “every stylish woman must own” will make it easier to decide which options should be added to your collection each season.

                         The book, The One Hundred: A Guide To The Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own by Nina Garcia, contains a the following list of 100 things that every “stylish woman” should own…

                          Nina Garcia’s The 100:

                            1. (Tops)…A-line Dress
                            2. Blazer
                            3. Boyfriend Cardigan
                            4. Cable-Knit Sweater
                            5. Caftan
                            6. Cashmere Sweater
                            7. Denim Jacket
                            8. Evening Gown
                            9. Little Black Dress.
                            10. Little White Dress
                            11. Men’s White Shirt
                            12. Multiples
                            13. Missoni Knit. 
                            14. Old Concert T-Shirt
                            15. Plain White Tee
                            16. Polo Shirt
                            17. Safari Jacket
                            18. Striped Sailor Shirt
                            19. Suit
                            20. Tuxedo Jacket
                            21. Wrap Dress.
                            22. Zippered Hoodie
                            23. (Bottoms)…Jeans
                            24. Khakis
                            25. Leather Pants
                            26. Pencil Skirt
                            27. Sarong
                            28. Wide-leg Trousers
                            29. (Shoes)…Ankle Bootie
                            30. Ballet Flats
                            31. Converse
                            32. Cowboy Boots
                            33. Driving Shoe
                            34. Espadrilles
                            35. Frye Harness Boot
                            36. Havaianas
                            37. Knee Boots
                            38. Mary Janes
                            39. Minnetonka Moccasin
                            40. Sandals
                            41. Slippers
                            42. Stilettos
                            43. Vans
                            44. Wellington Boot
                            45. (Handbags)…Clutch
                            46. Cosmetics Bag
                            47. Exotic Skin Bag
                            48. Hobo Bag
                            49. Investment Bag
                            50. Jewelry Pouches
                            51. L.L. Bean Tote
                            52. Luggage
                            53. Belts
                            54. Silk Scarf
                            55. (Jewelry)…Turquoise and Coral Jewelry
                            56. Brooch
                            57. Pearl Necklace
                            58. Statement Necklace
                            59. Watch
                            60. Bangles
                            61. Charm Bracelet
                            62. Cuff
                            63. Cocktail Ring
                            64. Signet Ring
                            65. Diamond Studs
                            66. Hoop Earrings
                            67. (Outerwear)…Camel Coat
                            68. Cape
                            69. Fur
                            70. Motorcycle Jacket
                            71. Peacoat
                            72. Trench
                            73. Aviators
                            74. Gentleman’s Hat
                            75. Gloves
                            76. Sunhat
                            77. Umbrella
                            78. Wayfarers
                            79. (Underwear)…
                            80. Bikini
                            81. Black Opaque Tights
                            82. Fishnets
                            83. Lingerie
                            84. One-Piece Swimsuit
                            85. Pajamas
                            86. Pushup Bra
                            87. Robe
                            88. Spanx
                            89. Yoga Gear
                            90. (Miscellaneous)…Animal Print
                            91. Blackberry
                            92. Mad Money
                            93. Monogrammed Stationery
                            94. Nail Polish
                            95. Perfume
                            96. Pucci
                            97. Quality Champagne
                            98. Red Lipstick
                            99. Valid Passport
                            100. Vintage

                            Dressing Without Stressing……There’s An App for That 

                              

                              

                            I have also learned that there are many fashion apps and online shopping platforms that can help you keep track of what you own, teach me what to wear and what not to wear, and actually plan your outfits. these include…

                            1.  ClosetSpace…After adding the items that you already own to your profile and then tagging these items as to the brand, fabric, size, color, price paid, and where you purchased the item…

                            2.  Fab.com..The Fab shopping app, winner of the 2016 Webby Award for best mobile app in fashion and beauty, featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, New York Magazine, Huffington Post and more and allows you and the over 1 million people who already shoarly sp on Fab to…access a curated selection of vibrant and unexpected men’s, women’s, home, art and tech accessories from the world’s most exciting designers…browse products by designer, category, color, price, and more…discover 500+ emerging designers, artists and brands…discover the most unique accessories and decor to express your individuality…find design inspiration ideas…save on great deals…shop accents for your brilliant, modern life.  

                            3.   Hautelook is a member-only shopping website that offers flash-sales and limited-time sale events….and features top brands in women’s and men’s fashion and accessories, beauty, kids’ apparel and toys, and home décor. Items are typically discounted from 50% to 75 percent off retail prices with new sale events every morning at 10 AM CST.  

                            4.  The Hunt..The Hunt is a community of 4 million people who help each other find the fashion advice and inspiration that they are looking for. Members post a photo of anything they’re looking for and the community then helps each other find more affordable options. Members ask which trend to wear or which item to buy and the community give their two cents worth.

                            5.   Keep…Keep.com allows you to add the “Keep” button to your computer, similar to the “Pin It” button, and then “keep” any item that is for sale on the Internet into one great big wish list. Keep can also allows you to follow big name bloggers, magazines, and Instagram users to see what items they are “keeping.”

                            6.  Polyvore…Polyvore is a virtual mood board that allows you to collect images of home decoration, beauty, and fashion into collages…share these collages with friends, and browse other users’ sets for inspiration. 

                            7.   Stylebook...Stylebook allows you to add every article of clothing you own into your “virtual closet” and then plan out outfits in the calendar. 

                            8.  Stylicious...Using pictures of your taken earlier and from the shopping section of Stylicious, you can mix, match, play, and create your own lookbook. Stylicious also offers awesome looks and style tips created by stylists and alerts so that you can see when your favorite fashion brands go on sale. 

                            9.  Trendstop TrendTracker presents you with daily trends, fashion news, instant coverage from the catwalks during fashion weeks…and can be upgraded to access the latest seasonal trend forecasts, Pantone® colour palettes, street style trends, and retail analysis.   

                            10.  WEAR
                            … WEAR is the number one fashion app for finding new trends as they’re breaking and for discovering brands you’ll love. Follow top global fashion influencers, and shop your favorite looks in one place. Enter your outfits into style challenges with Refinery29, Vogue, T Magazine and Teen Vogue.

                              Dressing Without Stressing…The “F Word”

                                 
                              This year I set out on a quest to simplify each area of my life,starting with an attempt to create the perfect 40-piece capsule wardrobe…a wardrobe that supposedly would…

                              (1) eliminate the amount of time spent folding, organizing, buying and washing clothes

                              (2) fill my closet with clothes that make me feel fantastic, that I absolutely love, and that make me happy.

                              (3) keep me from mindlessly shopping despite the fact that I clearly have tons of clothing already

                              (4) keep me from staring at a closet full of clothing each morning, and yet feeling that I have nothing to wear

                              (5) weed out those pieces that I actually never wear
                              Many people seem to think that forty is the perfect number of items in the capsule wardrobe, but trying to consolidate my wardrobe into the perfect number has actually taught me many things are way more important than the number of items you have hanging in your closet.

                              1. Face the Facts…

                              Be completely honest with who you are now…not the person you used to be, the person you hope to one day become, or some other type of person that you honestly are not. Don’t think about what you wish you could afford, wish you could fit, and wish you had the lifestyle to wear.

                              2. Fewer But Better…

                              Buying fewer clothes will allow you to purchase higher quality, longer-lasting pieces that would otherwise be too expensive. 

                              3. Figure Out What You Actually Need..

                              .Having a list of what you already have and getting rid of those things that are simply occupying space enables you to actually see what you already have, figure what else you need, and create different outfit combinations.The following list of items might give you some idea of what your wardrobe might consist of.

                              Tops…1 trench…2 blazers…3 dresses…1 cardigan…2 lightweight sweaters…5 blouses…a layering tank…4 T-shirts

                              Bottoms..1 skirt…2 pairs of shorts…1 pair of white linen pants, full length…3 pairs of cropped pants (one colored, one khaki, one black)…1 pair of boyfriend jeans

                              Accessories…2 scarves…3 necklaces…1 set of bangles…1 cocktail ring…1 pair of sunglasses…1 neutral handbag…4 pairs of shoes

                              4. Find Your Favorites…

                              Your capsule wardrobe should consist only of those items Thad you absolutely love…Notice what gets the most wear and why. This can help you figure out what NOT to purchase in the future.

                              5. Find Your Niche..

                              Your lifestyle, tastes, job, budget, and even the climate will all play a role in defining what works for you. Define your own “personal style” and color palette. This will allow you to be more specific and selective when shopping.

                              6. Fit the Puzzle Together…..

                              Never buy anything if it doesn’t go with at least two to four other pieces. .Look for those retailers who best fit your figure, your budget, and your lifestyle. 

                              7. Forget Following the Trends..

                              Forget following trends that will be gone next year and replaced with new trends. Classics, such as a white buttondown and khaki pants, are the basics

                              8. Forget the Forty…

                              Forty is not some magical wardrobe number. No dress, skirt, or perfect 40-piece capsule wardrobe will magically transform your life or make you look ten years younger and twenty pounds thinner. What matters is that you have a wardrobe of clothing that you absolutely love and can’t bear to part with.

                              Hostess with the Mostest…(looking the part)…Lips

                                 

                                The right lipstick can take your makeup look from simple to splendid. 

                                Supposedly women with olive skin tone like mine can wear a wide range of lipstick colors-from subtle nude to electric orange-because our skin tones are generally neutral.

                                Yet choosing lip colors is a very personal thing that should take into consideration your skin tone, lip color, eye color, hair color, and personality…and it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut and to pull out the same neutral color over and over again…instead of thinking as lip color as another way to accessorise your outfit.

                                Avoid falling into this rut by creating a lipstick wardrobe. Creating a lipstick wardrobe with several lip colour options, both basic and not-so-basic, is well worth both the time and money.

                                Having a mixture of lipsticks, glosses and hybrid lip stains can help you create different looks for both everyday life and special occasions.

                                Now for a few staples for your makeup table…

                                Most lip products fall into general categories, including…

                                  1. Classic Red…Red lips have quite a reputation as the perfect go-to accent for the LBD. Look for a true blue-toned red with some serious pigment power and a slight satin sheen. 
                                  2. Colorful…A brave color-a fuchsia pink, a bold orange, or a Joan Holloway-esque coral-is always fun. Look for a richly pigmented creamy formula which applies opaque in just one coat and is bright, bold, and brilliant 
                                  3. Coral…Look for a coral shade that is basically an orange lipstick, yet very close to a neutral, that is super hydrating, has a fabulous colour pigment, and gives good staying power. 
                                  4. Lip Pencils…Lip pencils can serve as both lipliner and lipstick, and are great for frequent commuters or women who regularly reapply lipstick throughout the day. Lip pencils will also add ease and speed to your on-the-go makeup routine. Look for a shade that is neither too dark nor too bright and that is rather sheer and glossy.
                                  5. Neutral…This is the everyday lip warrior that you always keep close at hand and always make sure to keep in stock. A neutral or nude  lip should not be too matte or too beige. Look for a light peachy-pink with a creamy consistency and plenty of gold shimmer that you can apply even without a mirror.
                                  6. Pinks…Pink lips supposedly make you look younger. and can be worn both day or night without distracting from a defined and smokey eye. Look for pinks with a hint of mauve.
                                  7. Tinted Lip Balm ..Tinted lip balm is great even for women who avoid lipstick, because of its ease of use and subtle appearance. Look for lip balms that are are long-lasting and can be reapplied with ease. 

                                    ***

                                        
                                    1.  Alima Pure Lip Tint 

                                    • Founded by…Makeup artist Kate O’Brien created this 100 percent pure mineral pigment makeup line because she was reluctant to let her teenage daughter start wearing makeup because of her concerns with many of the ingredients…. 
                                    • Ingredients…Our products are free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, phthalates, dimethicone, petroleum, talc, bismuth oxychloride, and nanoparticles  . They’re absolutely never tested on animals….
                                    • Price Range…$14

                                       

                                       2.  Axiology 

                                      • Founded…Ericka’s holistic and vegan lifestyle emerged in her early twenties, when she became dedicated to creating raw vegan smoothies and natural beauty recipes. Once she realized that natural compounds were rarely used in her favorite beauty product—lipstick—she decided to get in her kitchen and give it a go. The result became a labor of love and passion-project, Axiology.
                                      • Ingredients…vegan ingredients such as avocado, castor seeds, orange, elderberry, coconut, candelilla wax, grapes! and vitamin e oil
                                      • Price Range…$28 

                                        
                                      3.  Beauty Counter 

                                      • Founded…by a wife and mom after she learned that when it comes to the personal care industry, companies are allowed to use harmful ingredients and make their own judgments about safety.
                                      • Price Range...$30 

                                        

                                      4.  Biba Lips

                                      • Ingredients…rosemary, rose hip oil, jojoba, grape seed oil, Kokomo butter, green tea extract
                                      • Price Range...$38 

                                        
                                      5.  Dr Hauschka

                                      • Founded…Dr. Rudolf Hauschka, a German doctor established this company in 1935.
                                      • Ingredients…anthyllis, calendula, apricot, sweet almond, carrot, borage, St.  John’s wort, shea nuts, red clover, birch, quince
                                      • Price Range...$17 

                                        

                                      7.  Herbivore Botanicals

                                      • Founded…”by Julia Wills and Alexander Kummerow in 2011 in their Seattle kitchen”
                                      • Ingredients…natural ingredients, plant-based food-grade cold-pressed oils, steam-pressed therapeautic-grade essential oils, GMO free soy wax
                                      • Price Range…$24

                                        
                                      8. Hynt Beauty

                                      • Founded…co-founded by Meryl Marshall after recovering from breast cancer
                                      • Ingredients…free of everything unwanted and anything else questioned or known to be harmful to the skin or our environment…free of parabens, nano particles, artificial preservatives
                                      • Price Range… $29

                                        

                                      9.  Ilia Beauty

                                      • Founded…launched its first collection of six tinted lip conditioners in Vancouver, Canada in 2011
                                      • Ingredients…natural and organic, cruelty-free, certified bioactive organic ingredients sourced from organic farmers around the world and manufactured in an organic certified lab that hold certification with Gluten-Free, USDA Organic, and Leaping Bunny
                                      • Price Range…$26 

                                        
                                       10. Lippy Girl

                                         

                                      11. Nudus.

                                      1. Ingredients… • vitamins, A, B, C, D, E and K…antioxidants, including pomegranate, raspberry and kiwi cold pressed oils…colors made from flowers, fruits, herbs and minerals…free from parabens, petro-chemicals, lanolin, hydrogenated oils,fd&c and lake dyes, nano-particles, gmo, pesticides and fungicides…not tested on animals…gluten free
                                      2. Price Range…$42

                                        

                                      12. Pacifica

                                      • Ingredients…
                                      • Coconut Oil – Absorbs easily and keeps lips soft and supple. Helps to slow down the signs of aging.
                                      • Shea Butter – Rich in essential fatty acids that are super antioxidants. Provides moisturization and hydrates lips.
                                      • Jojoba Esters – Provides a buttery smooth application.
                                      • Vitamin E – Helps minimize fine lines and fights free radicals.
                                      • Price Range…$10

                                        

                                      13. Tarte

                                      • Ingredients…jojoba seed oil, shea butter, peppermint oil
                                      • Price Range…$13

                                        
                                      14. W3LL People

                                      • Ingredients…jojoba/sunflower seed wax, candelila wax, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, red raspberry seed oil, carrot seed oil
                                      • Price Range…$14

                                       
                                       

                                         

                                        Hostess with the Mostest…(looking the part)…Eyes

                                          
                                         Lately I have been researching organic products to replace the products that I have used in the past.  Here are the products that I have discovered and am willing to try first…

                                           

                                          1.  Eye Primer…

                                          Organic eyeshadows are not exactly known for their staying power because they like to congregate near eye creases or fall off altogether. Eye primers help shadows show their true pigment, blend easier, and last all day without smudging or creasing.

                                          Jane Iredale Eyeshadow Primer…Jane Iredale Eyeshadow Primer…is a  cream-to-powder eyelid primer and highlighter that keeps eye shadows from creasing and moving by absorbing excess oil from the eyelid area and improving your skin’s texture.

                                              

                                            2.  Eyeshadow.

                                            Eyeshadow creases and melts with perspiration, heat and humidity, so always apply a primer before applying eyeshadow. 

                                            Choose light eye shadow colors, such as vanilla or gold, that are close to your skin tone. This gives you good color without looking too made-up.

                                               
                                            1. Alima Pure

                                            • Color of Choice…Icon
                                            • Colors Available…13
                                            • Ingredients…rice powder, avocado oil, jojoba seed oil
                                            • Price…$26
                                            • Review…Truth in Aging

                                                

                                             
                                            2. Lily Lolo

                                            • Color of Choice…Sand Dune
                                            • Colors Available… 36
                                            • Ingredients…Vegan Friendly, Gluten Free
                                            • Price…$12
                                            • Review…We Were Raised By Wolves

                                             

                                            3.  Eyeliner…

                                               

                                                 
                                                Lily Lolo

                                                • Best Colors for Green Eyes…amethyst, aubergine, bronze,.garnet, mahogany, rust
                                                • Color of Choice…brown
                                                • Colors Available… 3
                                                • Ingredients…Natural. Organic. Gluten Free. Vegan
                                                • Price…$16
                                                • Review…The Beauty Proof
                                                • Note…Line the lid in black first to help shades with reddish undertones from making you look tired.

                                                   

                                                 

                                                4.  Mascara…

                                                Mascara tends to smudge often, giving you a ‘raccoon effect’ after just a few hours…so it’s important to use a waterproof mascara. 

                                                This Pacifica AQUARIAN GAZE WATER-RESISTANT LONG LASH MINERAL MASCARA was the only mascara from my list of makeup brands that actually claimed to be waterproof.
                                                  

                                                5.  Brows…

                                                100% Pure: Fruit Pigmented Eye Brow Powder Gel is an all-natural eyebrow powder made with pigments from fruits, vegetables, flowers, seeds and herbs….as well as anti-aging antioxidants and vitamins…but without artificial preservatives, fragrances, synthetic chemicals or any other toxins.

                                                    Hostess with the Mostest…(looking the part)…Face

                                                      

                                                      

                                                      If like me, one of your main goals for the year has been to live a simpler and more minimalistic lifestyle and to start practicing more “intentional” shopping of quality both “nontoxic” foods and products, you’re on the upswing of a learning curve.

                                                      This learning curve involves finding more products and brands that are comparable to your favorites, but even better.

                                                      So in my own personal attempt to find “politically correct”  makeup, here are some of the “facial” products that seem highly recommended…
                                                        

                                                        

                                                      1.  Face Primer..

                                                      .

                                                      Primers seal in your skincare products, help fill in pores and fine lines, create a smooth surface on which to apply your foundation, and help your makeup last all day. Look for an oil-free, water-based primer…such as this Vapour STRATUS SOFT FOCUS SKIN PERFECTING PRIMER… a 3–in–1 moisturizer, primer, and no-color foundation. 
                                                         

                                                      2.  Foundation..

                                                      .

                                                      Opt for an oil-free foundation. Oil-based products improve the risk of your makeup “sliding” out of place. Use a beauty blender to apply light layers to create a smooth, natural look. 

                                                        

                                                        
                                                       1.  Alima Pressed Foundation

                                                      • Ingredients…made from a proprietary blend of all-natural essential oils—Sunflower Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Argan Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, Lavender Oil, Sweet Orange Peel Oil, 
                                                      • Price…$34
                                                      • Shades Available…17
                                                      • Where to Find…The Detox Market
                                                      • Review..    The Vegan Crazy Cat Lady

                                                         
                                                       2. Gabriel Dual Powder Foundation

                                                      • Ingredients…include avocado fruit extract, jojoba seed oil, and sea fennel extract
                                                      • Price…$28
                                                      • Shades Available…6
                                                      • Where to find…Whole Foods, Sprouts
                                                      • Review… Influensters

                                                        

                                                      3.  Ilia Vivid Foundation

                                                      • Ingredients…water, glycerin, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, rosehip seed oil, jasmine extract, lavender extract, clove extract, grape extract, orange peel wax, cranberry fruit
                                                      • Price…$44
                                                      • Shades Available…9
                                                      • Review…We We’re Raised By Wolves    

                                                        

                                                      4.  Jane Iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation

                                                      • Ingredients…plankton extract, algae extract, pine bark extract, pomegranate extract
                                                      • Price…$44
                                                      • Shades Available…24
                                                      • Review…Makeup Alley    

                                                        
                                                      5. Kjaaer Weiss Paper Thin Foundation

                                                      • Ingredients…sweet almond seed oil, coconut oil, jojoba seed oil, sunflower seed oil
                                                      • Price…$68
                                                      • Shades Available…10
                                                      • Review…Organic Bunny    

                                                        

                                                       6.  Mineral Fusion Pressed Powder Mineral Foundation

                                                      • Ingredients…mango juice extract, white tea leaf extract, sea kelp extract, rooibus red tea leaf extract, licorice root extract, pomegranate seed extract, aloe vera extract, cucumber extract
                                                      • Price…$33
                                                      • Shades Available…15
                                                      • Where to find…Whole Foods, Sprouts
                                                      • Review…Makeup Alley 

                                                        

                                                       

                                                       7.  Nu Evolution Pressed Powder Foundation

                                                      • Ingredients… oregano leaf extract, thyme extract, cinnamon bark extract, rosemary leaf extract, lavender flower extract, lemon peel extract
                                                      • Price…$45
                                                      • Shades Available…6
                                                      • Review…Organic Beauty Lover

                                                        
                                                      8.  Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation

                                                      • Ingredients…camellia seed oil, sunflower seed oil, castor seed oil, beeswax, tomato extract, myrrh gum oil, frankincense gum, holy basil leaf extract, lotus leaf extract
                                                      • Price… $50
                                                      • Shades Available…12
                                                      • Review… This Organic Girl

                                                          

                                                        3.   Concealor…

                                                        Concealor should be lightweight and actually help get rid of undereye dark circles, allergy-induced redness, and occasional breakouts…not simply hide them…

                                                        And of course, a natural concealor should contain no skin-irritating synthetics, chemicals, wax, preservatives, parabens, phthalates, or talc…all without looking dry or cakey.

                                                        Choosing the best under-eye concealer depends on what you’re trying to cover up…

                                                                • To cover bluish undereye circles, use a yellow-tone concealer.To cover brown or yellowish circles, peach-tone concealers are best.
                                                                • To cover fine lines around your eyes, pat moisturizer all around the eyes, using your ring finger. Allow it to sink in for a few minutes before applying concealer. Creamy, hydrating concealers work best for the delicate and dry skin around the eyes.
                                                                • To cover pimples, dot a pigment-rich, opaque concealer directly on the pimple. Sweep the brush around the base of the pimple, using tiny strokes in order to precisely blend the concealor without using your fingers. 
                                                                • To cover redness, choose a concealer that matches your skin exact

                                                                Never apply concealer to…

                                                                • 1. Crow’s feet…this draws attention to them
                                                                • 2. Eyelids…this makes them look heavy
                                                                • 3. Undereye bags…this highlights them…instead press a touch of foundation on the bags, and then dot a highlighting cream (peachy for fair skin, golden on darker skin) at the inner corners of the eyes and just underneath the bags. 

                                                                Using Concealor..

                                                                .(1)Place three tiny dots of concealor under the eyes from the inner corners to the centers, using a synthetic concealer brush. A synthetic brush is best for applying concealor. Applying concealer with your fingers results in creasing and caking. Applying concealer with a natural bristles results in applying too much color..
                                                                .(2)Blend in with your fingertips.
                                                                ..( 3.) Apply a lightweight, loose translucent powder to set the concealor and prevent any shimmer and shine…Pressed powder can draw attention to fine lines by settling into creases.

                                                                Here are a few of the best natural concealors currently on the market…

                                                                   

                                                                   

                                                                1. 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Brightening Concealer With SPF 20..

                                                                • Ingredients…caffeine-rich green tea, green coffee, anti-aging vitamins, antioxidants, nourishing rosehip oil, and pigments from fruits and vegetables
                                                                • Price: $25 per tube
                                                                • Shades Available…six shades available, ranging from pale to medium

                                                                  
                                                                2. Dr. Hauschka Concealer

                                                                • Ingredients…antioxidant-rich carrot and calendula extracts, shea butter, avocado extract, mineral pigments 
                                                                • Price…$25
                                                                • Shades Available…three  

                                                                  

                                                                 
                                                                 3. Ecco Bella, FlowerColor Cover Up,

                                                                •  Ingredients…castor oil, palm oil, candelilla wax, beeswax, organic calendula oil, organic chamomile oil, organic jojoba oil, 100iu Vitamin E, titanium dioxide, and flower wax iron oxides.
                                                                • Price…$21.95
                                                                • Shades Available…two

                                                                  

                                                                3. Hynt Beauty Duet Perfecting Concealer

                                                                • Ingredients…avocado oil, aloe vera leaf, cuppacked seed butter
                                                                • Price…$24
                                                                • Shades Available…six

                                                                   
                                                                 4. Jane Iredale Circle Delete Under Eye Concealer

                                                                • Ingredients…moringa butter, avocado oil, green tea extract
                                                                • Price…$30
                                                                • Shades Available…two    

                                                                  
                                                                5. Jane Iredale Disappear Concealor 

                                                                • Ingredients…jojoba, green tea, willow bark extract, radish root extract
                                                                • Price…$30
                                                                • Shades Available…five
                                                                • Review

                                                                  

                                                                   6. Lavera Natural Concealer

                                                                  • Ingredients…shea butter, jojoba and coconut oil, licorice root and sea buckthorn extracts, Vitamin C 
                                                                  • Price…$21
                                                                  • Shades Available…two  

                                                                    

                                                                  4. Powder...A lightweight translucent pressed setting powder sets your makeup for longer wear and can easily be taken with you and used to soak up any excess oil throughout the day. A good option is this Jane Iredale pure Matte Finish Powder.

                                                                    

                                                                    

                                                                   

                                                                  5. Setting Spray...Setting sprays seal your makeup for a very natural look that lasts all day and refresh your makeup throughout the day. 


                                                                  Dr. Axe’s DIY Makeup Setting Spray with Lavender Oil

                                                                  1.  Mix together…

                                                                  • 1Tbsp aloe vera gel 
                                                                  • 1Tbsp witch hazel
                                                                  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil
                                                                  • 2½Tbsp purified water

                                                                  2.  Funnel into glass spray bottle. Shake well.

                                                                  3.  To use…Hold the bottle a few inches away from the face and mist the face with one or two pumps of this spray after applying your makeup…Allow it to air dry.

                                                                  6. Blotting Papers...Blotting papers may soak up oils during the day, but often take off more of your makeup than you would probably like. Try using Beauty Blender’s Bloterazzi Sponge instead.

                                                                  Hostess with the Mostest…(looking the part)…Tools of the Trade

                                                                    

                                                                  Part of being the hostess of a bed and breakfast, or any other job, is looking the part…projecting an image that makes people interested in you and whatever it is that you are doing…

                                                                  So these next few posts are going to serve as a basic framework to build my professional image around..la framework that will be tweaked in the days and months ahead as I learn more and understand what is expected in whatever changes my days hold in store…helping me to one day hopefully be…

                                                                  The Hostess with the Mostest

                                                                  Now that I’ve started upgrading my makeup collection, I want to be able to take better care of what I buy. Spending at least $35 for a foundation makes you think at least twice before having to replace it because it was somehow “contaminated.”

                                                                  After all, makeup that has not been taken care of properly can cause such gruesome things as breakouts, acne, pink eye, infections, the common cold, flu, cold sores, hepatitis…need I say more?

                                                                  And replacing the “better stuff” hurts alot more than replacing a $2 eyeliner that you can’t get to sharpen or $8 mascara that gets ooey and gooey.

                                                                  Treat your products with care and attention…and they will last longer and look healthier.

                                                                    

                                                                  1.  Hands…It may seem like common sense, but don’t bother cleaning anything if you don’t first wash your hands…it’s kinda pointless, right?!
                                                                  Washing your hands keeps you from transferring whatever bacteria may be having a field day on your hands…ever since you handed that Kleenex to the fat lady on the seat next to you in the plane or rummaged through library books that no telling who already touched…from being transferred to your face.

                                                                  Whether you prefer hand sanitizer or just soap and water, clean hands are the foundation of not only good makeup hygiene, but of a good life. 

                                                                  I always keep a medium hand sanitizer on my desk, in my kitchen, in my car, anywhere and everywhere else that I can think of…and one in every pocket of the outfit I am wearing and every section of my purse. That’s how obsessive-compulsive germophones function, right?!

                                                                  Anyway, moving onto your “stash”…

                                                                    

                                                                  2.  Lips…Some people freeze lipstick overnight to weaken and help get rid of any germs and bacteria. (The fact that you should let lipstick “thaw” a little before applying to your lips the next day probably could be go unsaid)..

                                                                  However, freezing only cripples the microorganisms to some degree without actually killing them.

                                                                  Instead, spray your lipstick once with a light mist of rubbing alcohol or use a cosmetic sanitizer wipe to remove the top layer.

                                                                  You would also be smart to use a lip brush perhaps.

                                                                    

                                                                  3.  Mascara…Mascara is one of the highest risk products as far as infections go. In order to avoid eye infections, consider using a disposable mascara spoolie instead of the wand that came with your mascara every single day and rubbing the same whatever-the-heck-that-was onto your eyelashes every single day.

                                                                  4.  Pencils…Sanitize makeup pencils by spritzing them with alcohol and sharpening each pencil after you’ve used it to shed the outer layer where the bacteria collect. Remember to clean your sharpener also.

                                                                  5.  Powders…(eyeshadow, powders, blush)…Powders do not harbor bacteria, and for this reason these products have the longest shelf life of all cosmetics.

                                                                  Once you are finished using the product, wipe the top layer off of your product with a tissue. Wiping down the first layer of your powder products removes any oil that has settled on the top of your product… meaning that the oil cannot collect on the product and produce harmful bacteria.

                                                                  Fill a small spray bottle with alcohol and mist the alcohol onto the surface of the powder to help remove bacteria and keep your products looking new. Just be careful that the alcohol does not compromise the texture of the product and allow the alcohol to evaporate from the product before putting the lid back on.

                                                                    
                                                                  Another option is Beauty So Clean, a cosmetic sanitizer mist whose main ingredient is alcohol.

                                                                  6.  Creams…Bacteria can form rapidly in any wet producr…so cream foundation, lipsticks, and blushes are all prime breeding ground for bacteria due to their dark, warm moist atmospheres. 

                                                                  Never dip a brush directly into cream makeup. Instead use a palette knife or disposable spatula to scoop these products out so that you will not contaminate your product’s container.

                                                                    

                                                                  7.  Brushes…Makeup brushes come into contact with your face on a daily basis and require proper cleaning to remove caked-on makeup, dirt, and bacteria…and to avoid infection, inflammation and irritation.

                                                                  Clean brushes last longer, stay softer, feel better on your face, and keep you from applying any extra makeup that has caked up on the bristles.

                                                                  High-quality brushes require special attention because the bristles may easily distort, curl, or become damaged. It is important to use a cleaner that gets rid of bacteria and dirt without damaging or altering the brush hairs. If your brushes are made of expensive natural fibers or hair, consider using a professional brush cleansing spray.

                                                                  After each use, lightly wipe your makeup brushes with an antibacterial wipe.

                                                                  Powder brushes, blush brushes, and foundation brushes should be cleaned once a week…eye shadow brushes, every other day.

                                                                  The longer you let bacteria and old makeup build up on your brushes, the more risk you’re exposing your skin to. The more regularly you disinfect your brushes, the quicker and easier they’ll be to clean and the safer they’ll be to use.

                                                                     

                                                                  8.  Tools…Clean tools…tweezers, scissors, sharpeners, spatulas, mixing palettes, eyelash curlers…with spritz of alcohol and a tissue.

                                                                  9.  Sharpeners…Soak sharpeners in hot water and some cleaner. Dry with a tissue. Use Q-tips to clean out any stuck sharpenings.

                                                                  10.  Eyelash Curlers…Use a lighter to remove the gunk of your eyelash curler. Light the lighter, gently put the fire into the curler for about five till ten seconds top. Clean the residue off the curler using tissue, and then you can clean your curler up thoroughly.

                                                                    

                                                                   11.  Sponges/Powder Puffs...Use liquid soap on your makeup sponge at least once each week to ensure that they are free from bacteria. Dip the sponge in water. Let soak for fifteen minutes.Be sure to get a nice lather and to clean it thoroughly. Rinse until it is completely clean. Let it dry. Squeeze any excess water out before putting it back into your makeup bag or organizer.

                                                                  12.  Beauty Blenders…Sanitize Beauty Blenders by running them through a wash cycle in the washing machine, or by soaking overnight in brush cleaner.

                                                                    

                                                                  13.  The Makeup Bag Itself...Finally, clean your makeup bag before putting your newly cleaned cosmetics and brushes back into it..

                                                                  Putting the brushes back without cleaning the bag re-contaminates the brushes before you’ve even zipped the case. The bacteria that the brushes may have picked up are still present in the case unless you clean and sanitize the bag also.

                                                                  Empty everything from your makeup bag. Flip the bag inside out. Gently use makeup remover wipes to clean the lining. Another option is to flip the bag inside out and simply wash the makeup bag in the washing machine along with your next load of dark-colored clothes.

                                                                    20 Organic Food Subscription Boxes

                                                                      
                                                                    While we’re on the subject of subscription boxes, I thought that this would be a good time to share this list of twenty food subscription boxes again…

                                                                    1.  Blue Apron
                                                                      

                                                                    • Who:  People who want to experiment with fun and creative recipes, avoid grocery shopping, and adventurous chefs who enjoy trying new ingredients.
                                                                    • What:  Fresh ingredients with seasonal recipes that are never repeated during the year.
                                                                    • How much: Prices start at $59.94/week (for a 2 person, 3 meals a week plan) and $69.92/week (for a 4 person, 2 meals a week plan)

                                                                    2.  Batch

                                                                      

                                                                    • Who: People who enjoy Southern hospitality and food
                                                                    • What:  limited-edition, themed collection of handmade goods from Southern makers from Nashville, Memphis, Austin, and Charleston
                                                                    • How Much:  Batch’s holiday subscription box ships twice: February and May.Cost: Two-month subscription boxes cost $98 for standard or $198 for deluxe boxes. Their one-off, non-subscription boxes make fantastic gifts, too, and run from $39 to $119 a box.

                                                                    3.  Carnivore Club

                                                                       
                                                                     

                                                                      • Who:  discerning carnivores
                                                                      • What:  Each month members receive an impressive faux-wood box filled with four to six of the very best artisanal curated cured meat,  featuring artisans from around the world. Each month’s box is themed around one producer specializing in a particular style of cured meats—such as French Charcuterie, Italian Salumi, Spanish Chorizo, South African Biltong and Artisanal Jerky.
                                                                      • How much:  Carnivore Club has a range of delivery options including monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly.Cost: $50/month. 

                                                                      4.  Cocoa Runners

                                                                        

                                                                      • Who:  Chocolate connoisseurs
                                                                      • What:   A box of four different full-size chocolate bars, made from high-quality artisanal chocolate from around the world
                                                                      • How much:  $30/month 

                                                                      5.  Degustabox

                                                                        

                                                                      • Who:  adventuresome and trendy Foodstirs
                                                                      • What:  11-15 full-size food items that are new to the market. 
                                                                      • How much: Regularly $19.99, but use coupon code DEGUSTA10 to get your first box for $9.99.

                                                                      6.  Farm to People

                                                                        

                                                                      • Who:  people who are addicts to shopping at a farmer’s market. 
                                                                      • What:  three to four products for “The Casual Foodie” box, or five to eight for “The Food Critic”…small-batch, artisanal goodies made with sustainable ingredients straight from farms across America… no GMOs and nothing artificial, ever.
                                                                      • How much:  $30/month for “The Casual Foodie” or $50/month for “The Food Critic”

                                                                      7.  Graze  

                                                                       

                                                                      • Who:  people looking for healthy, properly portioned, and nutritious snacks
                                                                      • What:  subscriber’s choice of eight of the 100 available choices of snacks…
                                                                      • How much: $11.99 for 8 snacks per box

                                                                      8.  HelloFresh

                                                                        

                                                                      • Who: people who enjoy cooking healthy home-cooked meals 
                                                                      • What:  meal subscription boxes that deliver fresh, nutritious, pre-portioned ingredients—including meat, fish, produce, and grains—along with chef-inspired recipe cards 
                                                                      • How much:  offers options 3, 4 or 5 meals per week for 2 or for 4 people for basically $10-11.50/per person per meal

                                                                      9.  Healthy Surprise

                                                                        

                                                                      • Who: people on a “clean eating” or paleo diet
                                                                      • What: a selection of all natural, 100% guilt-free, gluten-free, GMO, soy, corn, wheat, and gluten-free treats
                                                                      • How much:  starts  at $50/box for 15 full size snacks.

                                                                      10.  Love with Food Tasting Box

                                                                        

                                                                      • Who: healthy snackers who like to “give back”
                                                                      • What:  12 to 15 natural and organic gluten-free and celiac-safe snacks and sweets…no trans fats, no hydrogenated oils, no artificial flavors/colors, and no high-fructose corn syrup
                                                                      • How much:  $10/box for 8 snacks…plus for every box Love With Food sends out, two meals are donated to a food bank in America.

                                                                      11.  Mantry.

                                                                        

                                                                      • Who: men who like trying new snacks, liquors, prepared sauces, and mixes made in America.
                                                                      • What:  Branded, lidded wooden crates containing six full-size, non-perishable, stereotypically male-marketed artisan dude-friendly food products such as snacks, liquor, prepared sauces, or flavor enhancers…each box has a particular theme…past themes have included Bacon Nation, Tailgate Tour and Bourbon BBQ.
                                                                      • How much:  Each box costs $75. 

                                                                        12.  Nature Box

                                                                          

                                                                        • Who:  snackers who want to choose exactly what snacks go in their pack 
                                                                        • What: a choice of 100+ super-healthy, super-delicious snacks, from chocolate hazelnut granola to sriracha rice crackers
                                                                        • How much:  $20 for 5 full-sized snack bags

                                                                        13.  Orange Glad

                                                                          

                                                                        • Who:  people with a taste for exotic treats 
                                                                        • What:  a gourmet dessert subscription box featuring tasty delights like Russian tea cakes and chocolate almond macaroons
                                                                        • How much: $20-$22/month depending on subscription length

                                                                        14.  Peach Dish

                                                                          
                                                                         

                                                                        • Who:  people whose goal is to cook dinner more often and enjoy trying new recipes
                                                                        • What:  a meal kit delivery service offering Southern-infused seasonally inspired recipes to cook at home. Each kit includes all the ingredients along with a detailed, step-by-step instruction card needed to prepare for two dinner of the eight different meals offered each week (four meat/fish and four vegetarian). PeachDish also has a separate store on its website with desserts, jams, spice blends, flavored salts, meats, cookbooks, and more.
                                                                        • How much:  Prices vary based on how many servings you order. The minimum order is $50, which is the standard box that includes two meals each for two individuals, breaking down to $12.50 per person. 

                                                                        15.  Plated

                                                                          

                                                                        • Who:  people who don’t have the time or the energy to plan what’s for dinner, go to the grocery store, and get everything you need for the week
                                                                        • What:  all of the ingredients — except for salt, pepper, olive or vegetable oil, and eggs — and step-by-step cooking instructions printed on recipe cards for your choice of seven different meat, seafood, and vegetarian dinners
                                                                        • How much:  $48/box…all of the meal kits serve two people at $12 per person. You can choose anywhere from two to seven dinners per week. You can also upgrade any dinner to a Chef’s Table dinner, which includes specialty cuts of meat and seafood, for additional $2 to $18 per person, per dinner…and add dessert to the box for $4 per person, per dessert. The most popular kit is three dinners a week for $72.

                                                                        16.  Treatsie

                                                                           
                                                                           

                                                                        1. Who:  chocolate lovers and those with a sweet tooth
                                                                        2. What:  a box of up to $25 worth of delicious artisan sweets—cookies and chocolate to candies and caramel—from three different candy makers each month—indie candy labels, small batch artisanal sweets, and other under-the-radar goodness. You can also choose a subscription that only sends candy bars.
                                                                        3. How much:  $20 per month

                                                                        17.  Try The World

                                                                          

                                                                        • Who:  world travelers with foreign tastes 
                                                                        • What:  tasty treats from other countries, such as cookies from Paris and turkish delights from Turkey
                                                                        • How much:  $29-$39 per box 

                                                                        18.  Turntable Kitchen

                                                                          

                                                                        • Who. hostesses that would like to find rising artists, enjoy an original menu, get to know unique ingredients, and wow their friends with a playlist of the best new music each month.
                                                                        • What:  Pairings Box with perfectly coordinated soundtrack and menu—includes  three seasonal recipes, one or two dried ingredients, a digital mixtape, and a limited-edition vinyl record.
                                                                        • How much:  $25/month

                                                                        19.  Vegan Cuts

                                                                          

                                                                        • Who:  vegans and other people interested in finding new gluten-free snacks
                                                                        • What:  10 or more vegan-certified snacks (from soda to kale chips
                                                                        • How much:  $20 per month

                                                                        20. Vegin’ Out

                                                                          
                                                                         

                                                                        • Who:  vegetarians and vegans interested in having convenient, completely pre-made, customizable meals 
                                                                        • What:  3 vegetarian vegan entrees, 4 vegetarian vegan side dishes, 1 vegetarian vegan soup, and 5 vegan cookies
                                                                        • How much: $128-$170 depending on location

                                                                        10 More Beauty Subscription Boxes for the Rest of Us

                                                                          
                                                                        An important part of creating the minimalistic stash is to weed out products that do not belong in your capsule makeup bag and learn to choose only those products that you will actually use.

                                                                        Subscription boxes offer the opportunity to to explore new beauty and makeup products from a number of popular and up and coming beauty and cosmetic brands without cramming your drawers and cabinets full of products that you didn’t actually need to buy in the first, but just can’t manage to throw away because you spent good time and money on them…kinda like always eating that one last piece of cake because you can’t let it go to waste, right?!

                                                                        Many of these subscription boxes tailor your monthly samples on questions that you have answered regarding your skin tone, hair, and goals.

                                                                        Ten possible options are listed here…I’m still trying to decide which is the best option…so if you have any advice, let me know…


                                                                        1.  Allure Beauty Box

                                                                        • What it will cost you…$15 a month
                                                                        • What you will get…five or six deluxe-sized samples from major high-end brands like Benefit and Alterna and innovative newcomers all chosen by an Allure magazine editor…plus a special Allure mini-magazine
                                                                        • What others like you are saying…Review


                                                                        2.  Beauty Army

                                                                        • What it will cost you…$12 per month
                                                                        • What you will get…your choice of options targeted to your own goals, such as creating a natural look or all-out glam, based on your stated profile
                                                                        • What others like you are saying…Review
                                                                        • What else you should know…if nothing strikes your fancy one month, you can go ahead and skip it, at no charge


                                                                        3.  Beauty Box 5

                                                                        • What it will cost you…$12 per month or $30 per quarter or $99 per year
                                                                        • What you will get…four or five deluxe or full-size samples from a blend of under-the-radar brands such as Becca, Skyn Iceland, Supergoop…and green lines like Blum Naturals and Weleda
                                                                        • What other like you are saying…Review
                                                                        • What else you should know…samples tend to be more useful, such as  Smith’s Rosebud Salve and sunscreen wipes, instead of the trendy or ultraluxe?..also oxes are often customized for your stated skin tone, complexion issues, hair color, and beauty “personality”

                                                                         4.  BeautyFix

                                                                        • What it will cost you…$24.95 per month
                                                                        • What you will get…six or more deluxe travel-size to full-size makeup, skincare and haircare products usually valued around the $100 mark from dermatologist-approved skincare brands such as DDF, Glytone, Vichy…natural and organic choices…high-end makeup and hair care with a problem-solving slant, such as Peter Thomas Roth plumping mascara and Nick Chavez body-building clay for hair
                                                                        • What others like you are saying about it…Review
                                                                        • What else you should know… spin-off club of online giant Dermstore.com

                                                                        5. Birchbox

                                                                        • What it will cost you…$10 per month
                                                                        • What you will get…four or five beauty samples, all picked to match your beauty profile, including one actually chosen by you yourself, from brands such as Dr. Jart+, Kérastase, Kiehl’s and Stila…along with one lifestyle item, such as stationery or tea
                                                                        • What others like you are saying about it…Review
                                                                        • What else you should know…referring friends and leaving feedback will both earn you purchase points good towards full-size products in the Birchbox shop…also selections are tailored to your responses to questions about hair or skin type and concerns and your stated level of makeup proficiency

                                                                        6.  Boxycharm

                                                                        • What it will cost you…$21 per month
                                                                        • What you will get…over $100 worth of full-size beauty and makeup products
                                                                        • What others like you are saying about it…Review
                                                                        • What else you should know…if you are not sure how to use a product, go to YouTube for tutorials and reviews…also, subscribers get “charms” for reviewing products and referring friends that can be redeemed for more products.

                                                                        7.   Glossybox

                                                                        • What it will cost you…$60 per quarter..$111 semi-annually…$210 per year
                                                                        • What you will get…five luxurious beauty products from more than 400 niche, high-end, and emerging brands…such as Oscar de la Renta, Burberry, and Fresh…personalized according to age, skin, hair type, and “overall style
                                                                        • What others like you are saying…Review

                                                                        8.  Ipsy

                                                                        • What it will cost you…$10 per month
                                                                        • What you will get…”Glam Bags” containing five full-size makeup samples and beauty “tools”…ranging from high-end, mid-range, and drugstore brands, including Benefit, Josie Maran, and Urban Decay…valued at $40 or more…selected at least in part according to your fave brands and the style profile you choose
                                                                        • What others like you are saying…Review
                                                                        • What else you should know…co-founded by makeup artist and YouTube star Michelle Phan…online video tutorials to help you re-create specific looks using that month’s picks

                                                                        9.  MUSTHAVE.POPSUGAR.COM

                                                                        • What it will cost you…$39.95 per month…$109.85 per quarter… $214.70 per 6 months
                                                                        • What you will get…a mix of the best of the best in fashion, beauty, home, fitness and food inspired by that specific time of year…the most recent box contained items like a fashionable scarf, coffee mug, lunch box, lip balm and more
                                                                        • What others like you are saying…Review

                                                                        10.  Play by Sephora

                                                                        • What it will cost you…$10 per month
                                                                        • What you will get…five good sized skin care, makeup, and hair care samples from high-end brands and some of their own branded products
                                                                        • What others like you are saying…Review