Review: Tarte Double Duty Beauty

I am always on the hunt for something new and interesting. Makeup is supposed to be fun and exciting. Even in the midst of looking for the next new thing, I have my go-to products that I always come back to. I recently realized that a lot of these products just happen to be from the Tarte Double Duty Beauty line. My love affair first started with the Hybrid Gel Foundation. This foundation was a God send after my skin dried out from taking isotretinoin. Since then, I have tried a lot of other products and Tarte has become one of my favorite brands.

One of the most popular items from Tarte’s Double Duty Beauty line is the Shape Tape Concealer. Though it is a little pricey at $25 a tube, it is so worth it! The formula is creamy, pigmented and blendable. It is perfect for covering blemishes as well as concealing under the eyes. The only problem is that it can be a little drying under the eyes if you have dryer skin. Currently, I like to layer it with my Maybelline Age Rewind and it is the perfect combo.

I am all about products that have dual purposes because I travel so much. They just make things easier and free up space in my bag. One of the newer Tarte products is their Blush & Glow highlighter and blush duo. I love the formula of this. The products are smooth and blend easily. The blush is not too pigmented, but buildable. I love the highlighter because it gives me a glow without being sparkly or accentuating texture. Beyond that, the packaging is beautiful, sleek and compact.

To help blend out concealer and foundation, there is the Double Duty Beauty Quickie Blending Sponge. I have to say, this isn’t my favorite sponge. It is just a little too stiff for my liking. I much prefer the Eco Tools sponge.

One of my all time favorite mascaras is the Light, Camera, Lashes from Tarte. So, I was more than happy to try out their Maneater Mascara. On their website, It claims to curl, lengthen and to give lashes 23x more volume. I have to say, I think it does all of the above. I love using this because it gives me the volume I want and keeps my lashes curled all day without any smudging or flaking.

Another awesome product to travel with is the Tarte Lip Sculptor lipstick and gloss duo. I love a glossy lip. With my skin being so dry, I need as many moisturizing products as possible. I love this because the formulas are pigmented and comfortable to wear. You can layer them or wear them on their own. The lipstick is so creamy and the gloss is not too sticky. Being that they are so compact, it is a great product to keep in your purse.
A similar concept to the lip sculptor is the Tarte Lip Architect. This is perfect for the girl on the go that does not want a glossy lip. It is a cream finish and it super moisturizing. One side is a lip liner and the other is a coordinating lipstick. While I enjoy the application, these are not the longest wearing but they are very comfortable.

The final product for today is the Sweet Tarte Fragrance Rollerball. This is a nice sweet fragrance. I like to keep this roller ball in my purse to use after going to the gym.

Over the last year, Tarte has become a favorite brand. Their double duty line has so many amazing products! Right now, Ulta even has a set with the full size highlighter/blush compact, lip architect, mini mascara and roller ball perfume. The whole kit is only $36!

What are some of your favorite Tarte products?

Xoxo Sammie

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Ciate Glitter Flip Liquid Lipsticks

It may only be August, but I already have the holidays on my mind. I am that crazy person who has their apartment decorated from Halloween all the way through New Years. Its crazy, I am already seeing Halloween and Christmas decorations in the stores. So when I first heard about the new Ciate Glitter Flip Liquid Lipsticks, I was intrigued. I mean who doesn’t want to rock a quick, easy, long lasting glitter lip for the holidays? Well, they have launched and they are even better than I expected. Happy #hallowthanksmas.


The Ciate Glitter Flips are currently available at Sephora and retail for $19 a piece. There are six colors, all swatched above. From left to right: Infamous, Fortune, Iconic, Forbidden, Siren, Hollywood and Candy. When they are first applied, they look like a slightly metallic matte. The magic happens after they dry.


After prepping your lips, apply one coat to lips without pressing them together. Allow the lipstick to dry for 2 minutes. When the 2 minutes is up, press your lips together and be ready for some magic. The glitter will become more apparent the more you press your lips together.


I picked up the colors Hollywood (in the video above) and Infamous. I am really in love with both of these colors. The formula dries down all of the way and is transfer proof. That being said, they are also comfortable to wear. They are long wearing and you can always add a balm on top if your lips are feeling a tad dry. They are also very pigmented and I was able to do my lips in one swipe. The applicator is great for getting a precise lip line, however a lip liner would be beneficial for the darker shades.


Not only are these colors festive for the holidays, but they are so fun for festivals or a girls night out. The glitter does not fall all over the place and is much quicker to apply than a regular glitter lip. Pick Hollywood or Candy for a classic look with a little sparkle or go with Siren or Iconic for something a little more trendy and edgy. No matter what color you choose, you will have a look that won’t soon be forgotten.

What are some of your favorite Holiday trends?

Xoxo Sammie

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DIY: Smoothie Face Mask

One of the best parts about summer has to be all the fresh fruit. While we can always find apples and oranges, during the summer I love indulging in apricots, cherries and mango. One of my favorite breakfasts during the summer is fruit smoothies. It a quick and yummy way to give your body a lot of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. So, I figured why not make a smoothie face mask?

 What you need:

1/3 Banana- has many different good skin ingredients. Potassium hydrates the skin, B-vitamins protect against free radicals, Vitamin-A heals scaring and Zinc fights acne.

¼ Ripe Mango- has high amounts of Vitamin-A and Vitamin-C. Vitamin-C has been shown to help boost collagen product as well as protecting against UV induced damage from free radicals.

1 Aloe Vera leaf- soothes and moisturizes skin without clogging pores. It also has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

 First, you will want to peel the skin off the aloe and add it to the bowl. I like to rage the skin and rub the excess on my face to make sure I’m using all of the plant. Then, all you need to do is take a fork and mash all the ingredients together or you can use a blender. You can double the recipe to accommodate multiple people or you can put any leftover mixture into the fridge for 2-3 days to use later. I would recommend keeping any left overs in an airtight container. Cleanse your face and apply the mask in an even, thick layer. I would recommend laying down after applying so that it does not slide off of your face. Let the mask sit for 15-20 minutes. Then just rinse with cool water and pat dry.

You can leave your skin as is, but I do use a moisturizer since I am taking isotretinoin. I love this mask! It leaves my skin feeling so soft and hydrated. It also gives me such a pretty glow. I like making a double batch and using it twice a week.

I really enjoy being able to use good, natural whole foods to benefit my skin. What are your favorite summer fruits?

Xoxo Sammie

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DIY: Sunburn Soothing Mask

The last two weeks have been insane. My husband officially finished his Ph.D. and now has been preparing to go visit his family in Lebanon and then move to Colorado. For me, I’m coming up on finals and end of semester projects. I’ve also been working, student teaching and I am currently out of state house hunting. To say it’s been insane is an understatement. Luckily, things are starting to calm down and fall into place.


While we are house hunting in Colorado, we decided to take a day trip to Estes Lake. It is so beautiful! Unfortunately for me, I forgot my new medication makes me super sensitive to the sun. I didn’t realize how burnt I had gotten until I woke up the next morning. Let me say: it’s pretty bad and pretty painful. 


Staying in a hotel, I don’t have access to my aloe vera, oils or butters. I didn’t want to purchase anything because I wouldn’t be able to take it back on my carry on and I was feeling pretty hopeless until I went down for breakfast. While making a bagel, I saw everything I needed: yogurt and a banana. So, I took a little to go bag and headed back to my room to make a DIY sunburn soothing mask. It’s so quick, easy and helps a lot!


What you need:

1 Banana: the potassium helps to hydrate, vitamins B, C and E protect the skin, Vitamin A heals dry skin, and the amino acids help nourish and strengthen skin.

1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt: Yogurt has moisturizing properties. It also has a cooling effect when applied to the skin and the zinc has antiinflammatory properties. The probiotics also help to get rid of and prevent infection.

The best part? Only 3 quick steps to sweet sunburn relief.


Step 1: Mash Banana in a bowl.

Step 2: Add yogurt to banana and mix. Place in fridge for 10 minutes.

Step 3: Apply even layer to sunburnt areas and let sit until dry, about 20 minutes. Gently rinse off in the shower or soak a rag and let it sit on mask for a minute before lightly wiping off.


I have to say, this mask saved me. It cooled the burn on my chest and took out some of the redness. Although my face wasn’t burnt, it helped moisturize and sooth my skin. Added bonus: if it gets on your lips it’s safe to eat and tastes pretty good!

What are your go to travel beauty hacks?

Have a Happy Monday!

Xoxo Sammie

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3 Steps To Naturally Long, Strong Nails

I have always loved painting my nails. In high school I would often spend Sunday night creating fun nail art for the coming school week. I absolutely loved it, except I could never get my nails to grow out long and strong. My nails would chip, crack and flake. It was terrible! Even worse, I would spend hours creating nail artwork just to have it be ruined when my nails broke a couple days later. Eventually, I stopped painting my nails altogether.


Fast forward a few years into college and I started alternating between acrylic and gel manicures. I loved having long beautiful nails. That is, until it was time to take the manicures off. Acrylic and gel manicures left my nails weak, thin and brittle.


After many years of searching, I finally found the secret to achieving naturally long strong nails. The best part? It is a quick, easy and inexpensive.

First, we all know this, but you should drink lots of water. Now, you don’t have to drink a gallon a day, but you should really push yourself to drink a minimum of 8 glasses (64 ounces) a day. It will not only help your nails but also your skin and hair. Overall, it’s just a really good habit to get into.

Second, you need some good ole fashion vitamins. I always use to think that vitamins were kind of pointless. I mean how can something make such a big difference? The truth, it has completely changed my nails. All you need is a hair, skin and nails vitamin. I am currently using this one from Sam’s Club, but any brand will do.


My third, and final, step I use to achieve naturally long, strong nails is the CND Rescue Rxx Treatment. Guys, this stuff is amazing! I found this while looking for a product to save my nails after the last time I had acrylics. I really love it because I know about most of the ingrediants in it: Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Water, Alcohol, Keratin and Perfume. The only ingredient I was not familiar with was Sorbitan Oleate. A quick look at EWG.org informed me it is a low risk product that helps to mix the oils and water together.


I like to paint this on my nails once or twice a week when I think about it, or just as needed. All you have to do it paint it on and let it sit while watching an episode of Scandal. I definitely noticed a difference after only a week of use. I can’t recommend this product enough.

Thanks to these three products, my nails have never been better! I no longer have to spend tons of money at the nail salon and my nails stay almost effortlessly long and strong. I’ve also noticed that when my nails are healthy, nail polish lasts longer.


Other tips to keep your nails happy are to use a good moisturizer daily. I really enjoy First Aid Beauty and Cetaphil lotions. Also, use a nail file to shorten your nails instead of just cutting them. Make sure to file lightly and only in one direction instead of back and forth. Finally, be gentle. When typing, use the pads of your fingers instead of the tips. This will help from putting excessive pressure on the nail tip.

That’s all for today lovelies! I hope you find this helpful! Are there any nail products or polishes that you are loving right now?

See you Friday!

Sammie

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DIY: Whipped Sugar Scrub

Though I may be in love with spring, there is just one thing I dislike: my skin. It is still dry from winter, and now I have to start wearing dresses and shorts again. Ugh, so not appealing. But, I have found an answer that is not only quick and easy but leaves my skin so soft, smooth and moisturized. I came up with a Sugar Scrub that will buff away all the dry skin while moisturizing it for a beautiful glow. The best part? You only need a few ingredients and it takes less than 10 minutes to make!

What you’ll need: 

1/2 cup Coconut Oil

1/2 cup Sugar 

Mixing bowl and Mixer

Jar to hold the finished product

Optional: Essential Oil and Food Coloring


First, measure out your coconut oil and place in mixing bowl. If you want to add essential oils, now is the time. For 1/2 cup of oil, I added 4 drops of lemongrass essential oil. 


Now you are going to beat the coconut oil until it takes on a light, whipped consistency. What this will do is make the coconut oil easier to use as well as prevent it from creating clumps as it sits in the container.


After a couple of minutes you should have something that looks like this.


Now you want to add in the Sugar and any food coloring. I used 1/2 sugar and one drop of food coloring to make it look pretty.


Now you just fold on the sugar and coloring and you are done! This diy is so simple and fun. 


I keep mine in a plastic ice cream cup from talenti (don’t judge) because I get nervous about keeping glass in my shower. I just use this on my arms and legs before I get out of the shower. The sugar will exfoliate while the coconut oil will moisturize. The best part? No need to slather on lotion when you get out of the shower. 

Side note: the coconut oil will leave a slight oily feeling when you first get out of the shower, but sinks in within a couple minutes.

What do you think? Will you be trying this out?

Have a happy Monday!

Sammie

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DIY Honey Rose Face Mask

I love face masks. I have at least three different ones one had at all time. Only problem is, that they can get pretty pricey at $30-$40 per container. Recently, I have been playing around with making my own beauty products. I have been doing this because it is inexpensive, I can customize each product for my needs, and it is fun!

Today, I’m sharing a simple three ingredient mask. All you will need is honey, Greek yogurt and Rose Hip Seed Oil. First of all, here is why I chose each ingredient:

Honey is antibacterial and works great for acne prone skin. It is also moisturizing and soothing on the skin.

Greek Yogurt is full of lactic acid and will help break down dead skin cells as well as tighten pores.

Rose Hip Oil is very hydrating. It is also good for anti-aging due to the high content of essential fatty acids. It sinks in without leaving your skin oily.

Now that you know why I created this mask, here is how you can do it too.

Diy Rose hip honey mask
You will need:

2 tbps Greek yogurt

1 tsp honey

3-4 drops of Rose hip oil


Mix all three ingredients together and apply to clean, dry skin. Once you have an even coat, let sit for 15-20 minute.

As a side note, this mask makes enough for two as demonstrated by my husband and I. Isn’t he such a good sport?


After 15-20 minutes, wash the mask off with cool water. It will be a little thick, but it should come off fairly easily. After drying your face, take 2-3 more drops of the Rose Hip Oil and warm in your palm before patting onto face and neck.

Personally, the mask leaves my skin feeling smooth, soft and moisturized. I also see an immediate decrease in redness and inflammation.

Do you have any at home beauty treatments that you do? Let me know below.

Xoxo Sammie 

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DIY Monday: Easy, Clean Bath Bombs

I’m the first to admit it: I love pampering myself. I love having girl’s nights and spa days. Spending the time to do nails and face masks is just so relaxing. Unfortunately, I don’t seem to find the time to do all that between work and school. But, something I can find time for is a long, hot bath.

When I take a bath, I love using bath bombs. They smell so good and are so much fun. However, they can get very expensive when you are paying $5 or more a piece. So, I tested out a bunch of recipes so I could find out the perfect homemade bath bomb for less than $1 a piece.

What You’ll Need:


1 Cup Citric Acid (Amazon, Walmart)

2 Cups Baking Soda

1 TBSP melted coconut oil

20-30 drops essential oil (optional)

Silicone Mold (Walmart)

Spray bottle of water (not pictured)

I found that this combination works perfectly! My mix made 8 bath bombs, but that will vary depending on the size of molds you use.

First, start by mixing all of your dry ingredients together.

Then, melt the coconut oil in a separate bowl and add any essential oils and/or food coloring. Side note: I do not add food coloring to mine because I don’t trust the bathtub in my apartment to not attract all the dye. Another option is to use mica pigments.


Now here is the hardest part. With one hand, continuously mix the dry ingredients. With the other hand, very slowly add the wet ingredients while continuing to mix. It is important to mix the ingredients continuously and add the liquid slowly because if you go too fast, the liquid will activate the citric acid and then your bath bombs will not fizz in the bath. 

Once everything is mixed together, you may need to add the tiniest amount of water to help the bath bombs stay together. I judge if I need water by squeezing a bit of the mixture in my hand and then seeing if it holds the shape or not. If not, spray the mixture once while mixing continuously.


After your mixture is complete, you just need to put it in the mold. On the left, you will see the mixture is loose and on the right it is pressed. You will need to press the mixture as hard as you can so that it will be tightly packed and the bath bombs will maintain their shape once you take them out of the mold.

And that’s it! You just need to let them dry for at least a few hours. I kept mine under a lamp (because it happened to rain all weekend) for about 4 hours. You will want to make sure that you store them in a dry place as well.


The bath was so relaxing! The citric acid makes the bombs fizz, the baking soda acts as a detox, the essential oils are for aroma therapy and the coconut oil is soothing and hydrating. In mine, I used 10 drops of peppermint, 10 drops tea tree and 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oils.

Just as a note, these bath bombs don’t float as much as Lush or other store bought ones because I have omitted corn starch. I have read that is can help cause yeast infections, and that sure didn’t sound relaxing to me!


I plan on keeping a couple of these for myself and using the rest for gifts! What about you? Will you be giving these diy bath bombs a try? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Hope you have a happy Monday!

Xoxo Sammie

Side note: for something fun and different, try different molds, such as these fun doughnut bath bombs 🍩

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