20 Apr

Happy Tuesday: an interview and a giveaway!

I don’t know about you, but I always get a little intimidated when I hit up the beauty counters in a department store.  The girls behind the counter are so adorable, and somehow I always end up there on the days when I choose to forego makeup.  Well, my days of beauty counter intimidation are over (and your will hopefully be too), thanks to an awesome chat I had with former Lancome employee, Megan McCauley. (And find out at the bottom of the page how you can win a sample of one of her favorite beauty products— Lancome Genefique!)

Megan says she has been interested in the beauty industry since about preschool (her first beauty product was a strawberry Lipsmacker— remember those?) Since then, she has taken in any and every beauty tip that she could. She just recently resigned from her job as a beauty advisor for Lancome to finish the last leg of her English degree at the University of San Francisco. Until then, she remained the go-to stylist and on-call makeup artist for all of her roommates and friends and family!

Check out our interview:

{blending beautiful}: What interested you about working in the beauty industry?

Megan: I think that beauty and fashion are extremely important. A lot of people view the entire beauty industry as vain. I began to understand this stereotype after working for Lancome—the cattiness and the immaturity that many of my coworkers displayed was astounding. This was a large part of why I left the job. However, this is not to say that this is representative of the entire beauty industry. I think that it is easy to get caught up in the idea that looks are all that matter. However, the thing that interests me about beauty is that it can do wonders for every part of your life. When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you’re confident, and when you’re confident, you can literally do anything. The best part of working at a makeup counter was the women who would come by looking insecure, looking simply to refill their face cream, or their mascara. My favorite thing to do was to sit them down for ten minutes, and give them a fresh makeup look. They would walk away feeling so much better about themselves, with colors that they normally would never try. To me, beauty is not about getting guys to look at you, or even having people notice. It is about that amazing feeling you get when you know you are looking good that day, that may lead you to nail the job interview, or rock your final exam.

{bb}: What are your top 5 favorite beauty splurges and why?

M: 1. Bumble and Bumble Styling Lotion: This is the do-it-all hair product! Spray it on wet hair before you blow dry for a sleek, shiny blowout, or spray it on your towel-dried hair for beachy looking waves!

2. MAC StudioFix Fluid Foundation: I have tried so many liquid foundations over the years, and while I worked at Lancome I tried to switch over to their products, but I never could stray from MAC’s formula. This foundation makes my skin look literally airbrushed. Every time I wear it, I get compliments on how great my skin looks! The only downside to this product is that you can NOT sleep in it! MAC is great for the daytime, but if I even sleep in this foundation one time I get an immediate break out.

3. Genifique Eye: I have to admit, I would never buy this if I hadn’t had the ability to sample it at work first. However, after I used it for a week, I was hooked! This is the essential eye cream for the college student. I use this over my regular eye cream to banish dark circles and puffiness. Although I don’t have fine lines yet, I still use an eye cream to prevent those. However, I DO have dark circles and puffiness already at the ripe age of 22 (all nighters or long nights of drinking, anyone?). Genifique Eye works instantly to banish dark circles—I see a brighter result almost instantly. I know this sounds like a Neutrogena commercial, but it really is true.

4. MAC 109 Small Contour Brush: Before I talk about this brush, I should probably admit that I live at the MAC counter. I love this brand. Their skincare is terrible, but their color and their brushes are unbeatable! This brush will change your life. It is a smaller buffing brush, but it can be used for foundation, bronzer, and blush! Sometimes I even put a bit of bronzer on it and buff it over my eyeshadow to blend it all together.

5. Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner: I am a big fan of the cat eye look for Spring. The Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner gives the perfect cat eye. I use an eyeliner brush from Sephora to apply it, and I just sweep it at the corners of my eyes, then run it over the base of my eyelids, as close to my lashes as possible. The only thing about this product that I don’t like is that it’s high-maintenance: you have to close the lid really tight after every use, or it will dry out. Also, you have to clean the brush after every use, or the bristles will get hard and gunky.

{bb}: What are your top 5 favorite inexpensive beauty products and why?

M: 1. L’oreal Vive Pro Shampoo and Conditioner: These shampoos and conditioners are super affordable, but the formula is amazing! Their line for color treated/damaged hair is amazing! I used to use Bumble&Bumble shampoo, and this beats it by a mile!

2. Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser: For awhile, I was a slave to the makeup removing wipes. They were easy, and they took my makeup off quickly. However, they left my skin feeling slightly sticky and I noticed my skin breaking out more than usual when I used them. I started to use this face wash instead to remove my makeup, and it is actually quicker than the wipes! This cleanser also leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean.

3. Vaseline! I use it for everything, but mostly on my hands and my lips. I have really sensitive skin and this is one of the few things I can use to moisturize my lips without irritating them!

4. OPI by Sephora Nail Polish: This nail polish is amazing. It doesn’t chip easily, and they have the cutest colors!

5. Ardell False Eyelashes: These are my beauty secret when I am ready for a night on the town. I save my eyelashes for the night by not putting on mascara, and put these on instead! I get the thin, more natural looking ones and no one can ever tell that I am wearing them! One tip that I have learned is to cut them to fit, and also to make sure to let the glue sit for about 30 seconds before you apply them to your eye.

{bb}: You have great skin. Do you have a skin routine? If so, what is it?

M: Cleanse, tone, and moisturize! I always washed my face and moisturized… but until I worked for Lancome, I never realized how important it is to tone in between those two steps! If you don’t tone after you cleanse, you are missing the important step of sweeping away the dead cells. Ever since I have followed these three steps, I have had glowing skin!

{bb}: Are there any at-home beauty remedies that you use? If so, what are they?

M: I’ve never been very creative when it comes to at-home beauty remedies. But I am a firm believer in breaking open Vitamin E capsules on my scars. I have a lot of scars on my feet from blisters and such (too many nights in painful high heels…) and this always cures them!

{bb}: I posted an article claiming that men take longer to get ready than women. How long do you spend getting ready in the morning? And do the guys in your life take more or less time than you?

M: I take about an hour to get ready in the morning. I feel very accomplished that I have gotten my routine down to an hour! The men in my life are probably the lowest maintenance possible. I would say they all spend about twenty minutes tops.

Thanks so much to Megan for talking beauty with me!  Interested in trying one of her favorite beauty products?

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a sample of Lancome Genefique! Entries are due by midnight on Thursday— the winner will be announced Friday!

Update: Congratulations to Annie, the winner of this week’s giveaway!  If this is you, email me within 24 hours to claim your prize!


14 Apr

Wednesday Giveaway: More bathtime deliciousness from L’Occitane!

Hello Lovelies!  Wednesdays are the best day for a giveaway, don’t you think?  It sure makes that mid-week lull a little more bearable!  Well check out what I have for you this week…

A great little sample size bath set from L’Occitane!

This set includes L’Occitane Verbena Shampoo, Conditioner and Shower Gel, PLUS their Shea Butter Soap, and a Refreshening Cloth with Shea Extract!  These products smell so clean and fresh— you’ll feel like you’re away on a spa retreat in your own bathroom.

Here’s how you can enter:

1) Leave a comment on this post for ONE entry.

2) Leave a comment on another post (and tell me about it here) for ONE entry.

3) Become a fan of {blending beautiful} on Facebook (and tell me about it here) for TWO entries.

4) Follow {blending beautiful} on Twitter (and tell me about it here) for TWO entries.

5) Post a link to {blending beautiful} on your blog or website (and tell me about it here) for FOUR entries.

All entries must be in by Midnight on Friday.  The name of the winner will be posted on the blog on Monday, and you must check back in order to win.  If you are chosen, email me at kim@blendingbeautiful.com within 24 hours to claim your prize, or I will choose a new winner.

Good luck!

Update: Congratulations to our winner, Jennifer Bobbitt.  Email me (kim@blendingbeautiful.com) within 24 hours to claim your prize!

31 Mar

Check out this yummy giveaway!

Whether you have a birthday coming up, know someone who does, or just love the delicious smell of  birthday cake, you will adore the giveaway I have for you this week!

Check out this cute bubble bath from Sephora.  It smells like cake, and will definitely make any bath more enjoyable.  Seriously, I can’t stop sniffing this stuff!

There are a bunch of ways to enter— I’ll pick the winner on Friday at Midnight and announce it on the blog on Monday.

Here’s how you can enter:

1) Leave a comment on this post for ONE entry.

2) Leave a comment on another post (and tell me about it here) for ONE entry.

3) Become a fan of {blending beautiful} on Facebook (and tell me about it here) for TWO entries.

4) Follow {blending beautiful} on Twitter (and tell me about it here) for TWO entries.

5) Post a link to {blending beautiful} on your blog or website (and tell me about it here) for FOUR entries.

All entries must be in by Midnight on Friday.  The name of the winner will be posted on the blog, and you must check back in order to win.  If you are chosen, email me at kim@blendingbeautiful.com within 24 hours to claim your prize, or I will choose a new winner.

Update: Congratulations Shannon Baas for winning the Sephora bubble bath!

17 Mar

Hump day mega giveaway!

There are a lot of things about this morning that could put you in a funk.  Of course, it’s the dreaded hump day… Wednesdays always make me wonder if the week will ever actually end.  Plus, with the time change this past weekend, people tend to get a little grumpy.  But it is St. Patrick’s Day today!  (And Travis and I have been together 2 1/2 years as of today… but maybe I’m the only one who cares about that…)  If this isn’t enough to get you going this morning, I bet I know something that will:

FREE BEAUTY PRODUCTS!

Here’s what I’m giving away today:

-Lancome Bi-Facil eye makeup remover
-A sample of Lancome mascara (my mascara brand of choice… you will LOVE the way your lashes look!)
-A sample of Lancome Genifique, which will lessen the appearance of dark eye circles and keep you looking fresh!
-A sample of Lancome foundation (some of the best coverage I’ve seen, yet still so sheer!)
-A tube of Lancome Juicy Tubes lipgloss
-An adorable charm keychain from Benefit Cosmetics

I’m going to be honest… I wish I could keep this stuff for myself!

Here’s what you do to enter (you can get up to SIX entries if you do it all):

-If you leave a comment on this post telling me which of these items you’d most like to try, you’ll get one entry
-If you leave a comment on another post, and tell me about it by commenting on this post, you’ll get another entry
-If you become a fan of {blending beautiful} on Facebook, and tell me about it by commenting on this post, you’ll get TWO more entries
-If you follow {blending beautiful} on Twitter, and tell me about it by commenting on this post, you’ll get another TWO entries

You have until midnight on Friday to enter, and I’ll announce the winner on Monday morning!  Don’t forget to check back on Monday to see if you won!

Update: Congrats to Marina, this week’s winner!

1 Mar

Beauty giveaway— Benefit Cosmetics!

Would you like to win some free makeup from Benefit?  All you have to do is comment!

Answer the following question:

If you could only use one beauty product for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Leave a comment below with your answer!  Two lucky winners will receive this cute gift from Benefit:

-a sample of Benefit Posie Tint (a super cute cheek and lip stain that’s perfect for Spring!)

-a double tube of Benefit lip gloss!

-a super cute Benefit charm key chain!

Plus: Your answer could be featured in a future {blending beautiful} post!

You have until Thursday at midnight to enter; winners will be announced on Friday.

Update: Congrats to Tina and Nina, this week’s winners!