Saturday, August 29, 2009

Festivus for the Rest-Of-Us

It's that time of year; rounding out summer in Portland with the Italian Fest. Although I may not have the honor of owning the Italian heritage (Ireland, woot woot!), with their pastas, cheeses and vino, I still get my kicks with some delicious food. Whilst, of course, enjoying a bottle of wine with my most-Italian-obsessed girlfriend, Dani.

With the gray clouds hovering over the city, an umbrella may be necessary while I chow down on some infamous pastas in Pioneer Square. It's already feeling like fall; ankle boots and blazers. But for moi, throw on some pink gloss (always a must) and hot neon nails-- summer isn't over yet!

Happy Weekend, all!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Totally Unrelated to Beauty: Books

To give a little taste of life outside of the beauty world, I thought I would hint upon a few books that have caught my eyes... and heart. From cooking lavish French feasts, to the disturbing world of poverty and family, there is sure to be a book here to keep you entertained while we close out the summer.
Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously {reading now}
Incredibly witty and inspiring.

Random Family
Intensely emotional, beautiful and eye-opening.

Are You There Vodka? It's me, Chelsea.
Absolutely hysterical but with a twist of bitchtastic attitude and smarts.

The Art of Racing in the Rain and Loving Frank {Next to read}

Always xo,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

MAC: Color Me Giddy

MAC Cosmetics keeps hitting the high notes with their current ad campaigns. Below my quaint NW apartment sits the newly renovated and grand opening of the MAC Store and it's already buzzing with cosmetic obsessed buyers.

And what is even more appealing? The ads. Below are my two favorite. Now this is the way to a girls makeup-loving heart; color and creativity. Makes a girl dream...

{ Painting by Richard Phillips, Fall 2009}

{Photography by Marily Minter, Fall 2009}

Lastly, I'm dying to experiment with their new line, Naked Honey. Hullo! Look at that dripping sticky honey down her arm. It's said to be the perfect mix of natural tones for all skin types. What's a queen bee to do? ;) Yes, please!

Back to my beehive...


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Loving Now: Scent of a Woman

The hunt for the right perfume is a task, and sometimes tedious. Some are too musky, others smell like you took a bath in Julia Child's mixing bowl of sugar and vanilla. There is a balance to it all, and obviously, everyone prefers different smells. I will always remember my mother's timeless classic Channel No.5. That is my childhood (along with her ungodly amount of Clarins' products).

I, for one, am a sucker for floral musks, mixed with a hint of citrus. A few of my all-time favorites: Stella by Stella McCartney, Burberry Brit, anything by Escada and wait for it...Curious by Britney Spears (I'm not even that ashamed...still waiting for that comeback!).

However, I have found a new love: Daisy by Marc Jacobs. There is a heavier floral tone, but not overpowering or too dry, with a sweet mix of strawberry and grapefruit. Perfection!

A few things to remember when buying perfume:

1. Don't fall for the sales person's pitch! Stick to your guns and ultimate goal-- finding a perfume you love! Don't buy it just because it's on sale, or because it promises to give you an extra set of lotions and/or makeup case. If you don't enjoy the smell, and it you aren't totally sold on it, say adios and keep looking.

2. Try the perfume on! Sometimes the smell on the paper card is delicious, but on your skin may smell completely different...and unfortunate. This has happened too many a times for moi and it's quite disheartening when you come home and the smell reeks on your skin.

3. There is a variety of concentration levels; Perfume, Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette. Perfume is the strongest concentrated scent, while Eau de Toilette is much lighter and wears quickly. With perfume, one spray and you are good for the day. With the other two concentration levels, a couple of sprays (wrist and neck) are enough. *Note, do not rub your wrists together, this actually removes the scent.

4. You never want to be able to smell yourself. If you can smell the perfume on your own body, that generally means you are either wearing too much, or the scent is wrong for your skin. I received the most compliments when I wore Stella, but I could never smell it on myself. Just because you can't smell it, doesn't mean others can't. So don't go overboard!

Smell ya' later. Love,

Monday, August 24, 2009

Who You Gonna Call? Myth Busters!

As cheesy as that may sound, it's time to demolish any and all beauty myths. Are you falling deep into beauty myth abyss and therefore, wasting time, money and sanity? If so, read up!

If I miss any, or if you have any further queries, shoot them my way! I will try my best to bust the mean beauty myths.

Myth 1: The more you pluck, the more will grow in its place.

This is completely untrue. Plucking hairs will not cause 3 or more hairs to fill its place. One follicle for one hair; simple as that. And interestingly enough, the more you pluck, the more your follicle will become accustomed to no longer growing hair and thus, less plucking needed! Just don't go overboard.

Myth 2: Shaving your legs and armpits will cause the hair to come back thicker and darker.

When you shave, you are only 'cutting' your hair down to your leg; the rooftop of the follicle, not the foundation, like any ol' haircut. You are not removing the hair from the follicle's root and therefore, it is actually impossible to make your hair grow back thicker and/or darker. That, is instead, puberty my friends.

Myth 3: You can repair split ends with shampoos and other hair-saving products.

The only cure for split ends is a haircut. No shampoo or cream or foam will save those frayed ends, so take your booty straight to your hair stylist for a nice trim. Your hair growth begins at the scalp, that is where you will see your growth. Split ends are just ugly and nasty, so get rid of them. Don't be afraid of the scissors, even if you are trying to grow out your hair (*cough, me).

Myth 4: Cold water or ice will make your pores smaller.

Totally false. Your pores and the size of these pores are a product of....GENETICS. These will not change. Try all the ice and cold water you like, it won't do much. Sorry, nothing you can do here.

Myth 5: Sun will clear up acne

This is false, but with a mini-disclaimer. When people get a sunburn or tan, the color of their skin hides the blemishes they normally see. It does not cure or clear your acne. It is a temporary solution. The sun also dries out your oily pores, making it seem like you have less acne. However, all the sun exposure can lead to skin damage, giving you sun spots and scars. But sun never hurt anyone when done right; so wear your spf and use face wash when you are done in the sun!

I hope I busted some beauty ghost myths for ya!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"I Like the Combo Plate"

The most hilarious Chelsea Handler used the above quote to describe Jamie Lynn Sigler (famously known as 'Meadow' of the Sopranos) as a mix between Marisa Tomei and Angie Harmon. She kills me.

However, I'm not talking about food or hybrid celebrities. I'm addressing the issue of combination skin, which can often tease and torment many women with little relief.

This is a tricky problem; you know the feeling of dry skin in the morning, so you lather on the face lotion, then BAM! afternoon hits and you're as greasy as a new oil change? I hear this too many times; I even suffer from this back and forth. Combination skin is quite common; basic acne even affects 90% of America. Nonetheless, a combination of oily and sensitive skin is harder to master.

If you have the time and money; facials are key and I mean professional ones. Sugar Laboratories in NE Portland has a fantastic esthetician. But as we all know, most don't have the luxury like celebrities to get the routine facials. So here we are; the lowly peons looking for some relief!

Take this all with a grain of salt; every single person has a completely different skin balance of oil and dryness, so I am speaking from my own experience. Take into account any medications you are on, topical creams, diet and exercise, and all will play a part in the look and feel of your skin. In addition, if you have sensitive skin, this is an additional aspect I will try to address; but remember this; try not to switch up your regimen too much. Your skin will freak.

First: Face Wash

I have tried a variety of face cleansers; foamers, scrubbers, creams, washes, cloths etc. From the many I have experimented with, I found two I love that seem to give me the results for which I'm always looking.

These are; Biore Revitalize 4-in-1 Self Foaming Cleanser, $11.49 (which I have blogged about before) and Neutrogena's Oil Free Acne Wash Cleansing Cloths, around $7.99. Both products include Salicylic Acid, the vital ingredient to combat acne.

If the cloths are too harsh for your skin, try Neutrogena's Make-Up Remover Cleansing Towelettes, $7.99, which are perfect for sensitive skin (Dermo tested). If you want to follow-up the towelettes with something a little deeper, try any foaming cleanser for sensitive skin (which I believe Clean and Clear has as an option) that contains salicylic acid.

The key here is looking for salicylic acid; you don't want high percentages of the ingredient, but just a little will help fight the pimples and bumps. The extra perk with the towelettes and cloths, PERFECT for traveling!

*Note; washing your skin too much and too long will also cause your skin to dry out heavily (especially with hot water) causing your skin to think it needs to produce a lot of oil to balance your skin and then, your oil glands end up over-producing. Hence, the greasy face. I recommend in the morning, washing with only cold water. If this is weird for you, try a DAB of foaming cleanser with cold water and make it a quick wash.

Second: Day Cream

As I've said, always buy a lotion that contains SPF (15+). The real trick to finding your best beauty product for your skin is to try, try and try. It often takes a search to figure out what is perfect for your skin. But at the same time, give your skin time to get used to the products; don't switch and throw it all in the garbage after just a week.

Always looks for oil-free, non-comodegenic (won't clog pores). SPF lotions will create a bit of a thicker feeling, so don't be alarmed, just use a small amount, like half a dime size. Clean and Clear as well as Neutrogena (no surprise here) make a plethora of day creams that are oil-free and non-comodegenic.

Clean & Clear Advantage Oil-Free Acne Moisturizer Salicylic Acne Medication, $7.49

Use a very small amount, blend in your palm, and rub in circular motions upwards on your face, which will train your skin to remain tight and elastic. Never rub or pull down. I never use my fingertips to blend lotion; it can often go on heavy. Instead, by rubbing the lotion with your palms, your hands will absorb some of the lotion, so as not to go on too thick on your face. But this might also be my OCD.

Third: Night Cream

If you are using a topical cream, your skin is going to be very sensitive and dry. Depending on how often you use the topical cream, my advice is to lather on the night cream. This is the time when your skin truly regenerates and rests, where it will rebuild the most cells. So give it the nourishment it needs. I absolutely LOVE:

Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Lotion (again, a previous blog item), $20 and Garnier Regenerating Night Cream, $10.99

Both are non-comodegenic, light but deeply moisturizing. And in the morning, rinse with cold water and slather on a tiny dab of day cream. Follow this with powder foundation if you are prone to get oily.

Now, after this entirely long blog, some of these may not work the best for your skin, but it's worth a try. And if not, search for yourself. Neutrogena is my go-to for almost everything. However, if you want to spend a little more, Mario Badescu and DDF--Doctor's Dermatologic are two great brands to fight acne and oil. {DDF can be found at Sephora stores}

In addition, remember that your skin is constantly transforming. Some years you will notice you are oiler than usual, and some years very dry. The climate you live in makes a difference; mountain air versus humidity (*cough, Portland in the summer). Hormones cause changes as well as EXERCISE. Researches have found the more you exercise, the less acne you have. So put on those running shoes and go sweat!

I hope this shed a little light on your skin regimen. The perfect balance is a hard line to walk, but I wish you the best of luck. Onward and upward!

{all products found at most drugstores; Walgreens, Target and Rite Aid}

Best xo,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Oh Gwyneth, My Gwyneth...

My live-in best friend/college partner in crime/roomie will concur that we are practically head-over-heels in love with Gwenyth Paltrow. Not only is she absolutely stunning, she is a legit actress, and talented mother and wife. I don't care if she's named her children after fruits and biblical characters (Apple and Moses), she knows how to create a look that is timeless and effortless. Plus, her bone structure is TO DIE for.

From red lips, to smoky eyes, to minimal makeup, to the middle part (which is a hard look for some), she never looks off-beat. A+ every time. Her skin also always seem to glow! Pay close attention to her balance; red lips, nude eyes. Dark eyeliner, peach lips. Gold dust on the inner corners of her eyes; a must!
If you haven't checked out her newsletter, click on the blog title above. It will take you directly to GOOP; all about travel, food, health (mind and body), fashion and beauty. "Get the scoop from GOOP." Sign up for the newsletter! An easy, fun read that relieves your stressed mind...

As always, smooches!
{photo credits:,,,}

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Weddings; Green with Envy

A dearest college friend of mine (whom I shall refer to as "E") is putting her efforts and creative vision into something she absolutely loves; weddings. She is currently interning with a Portland wedding planner and is beginning to flourish. I would say she is even bordering on obsession.

E is not tall in stature, but her personality makes up for the lack of inches. She is always positive, more than generous, and has a wicked sense of wit. I envy her bright freckles and freakishly healthy hair (never dyed it a day in her life).

So here she is, the J-Lo of wedding planning, but only the Nob Hill version :) And what is even better? She is all about green, and I DIG the green! Especially since I scour Green Wedding Shoes blog, daily. Enjoy!

Hello beelux readers! While Beebs is off on a deserted island for a mini-vacation I just had to chime in! I could not help but pass along these fabulous colors for a wedding.

4 leaf clovers are a perfect accent as each leaflet represents something: the first is for hope, the second faith, the third love, and the fourth luck… very fitting for such a special occasion.

Also don’t forget to insert your color accent into your shoes.

As always, bee green!

{ photo credits:, Brides!, Candy Buffet, Martha Stewart Wedding}

Monday, August 17, 2009

Deserted Island Must Haves


Just let me pretend; let me pretend for one minute that I am on a a tropical island with only a cocktail and loved ones to interrupt my personal paradise. How yummy does that sound? To leave the 'real world' per say and shack up here, on a hammock, with no care in the world.

I always love asking people, "if you could only have 3 beauty items on a deserted island, what would they be?" And so, I am asking you today. I challenge you to find your three most prized beauty products/items that you 'must have' on a deserted island, minus Jack Sparrow and his Caribbean pirates.

For moi, it is pretty simple. I will just assume that there will be a supple plethora of SPF for everyone, so not to worry. Imagine that! Now, is this a vain question to ask? I think not...some women still require their favorites, no matter the circumstances. My 3 'must have' products are as follows:

1. Mascara, 2. deodorant and 3. spf chapstick

Mascara (lately I've been using Maybelline's famous pink tube) to give those eyes definition and pronunciation; deodorant to keep you fresh and obviously BO free (LOVE Dove); and finally, Neutrogena's Moisture Shine Tinted Lip balm with spf 20 to keep your lips lush and protected without the sticky gloss.

We're going to assume that the sun combined with the supplied spf will give a fantastic glow and bronze, so bronzer, blush or tinted lotions are a moot point. There is also a understanding in my mind that the sun will keep your skin even and clear, hence no concealers, powders or foundations.

But again, this is just my day dreaming. So, what would you take? (Besides Bradley Cooper or Brad Pitt) ;)

It's always sunny in Portland xo,

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy {freaking} Anniversary!

A quick and most congratulatory happy anniversary (August 16th, 2008) to M&M Guzzo; my beautiful sister and fabulous second brother.

How quickly the first year has flown and I wish you all the happiness, gut aching laughter (which is sure for these two) and health in the world. On to another fantastic year! And can I just say, what a stunning couple are they? Quite the blend of genes to make some great lookin' babies :)

I remember this day so fondly; I even helped my sister with her makeup! (sorry, I had to put in a little plug). This photo doesn't even do justice to the beauty of the night.

I love you, Guzzos! And as my favorite signing out line: "Live long and prosper" xox

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Overwhelmed, Underwhelmed, Whelmed...?

It has been a crazy month of work already prepping for the new school year and lately, I've been feeling all sorts of emotional angst. The unfortunate thing is, I can't promise any new blog entries for the rest of the week and through the weekend. Dare I say, please forgive me?

I want to, but with all circumstances at hand--friends moving chic apartments, a KICKBALL tournament (holler) and an extended family reunion (plus, no internet at home), I must make my amends and have a little solitude for the weekend.

One beauty idea I'm digging right now? Light pink and bronze eyeshadow over the entire lid, blendid. Makes your eyes look WIDE awake. Gorge!

So, thinking cap is on with a little R&R (not totally) and I promise to be back with a bang!

Much love,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Rolling Rock Gets the Moss

I absolutely love Kate Moss. I think she is divine. Although she has participated in some less than appropriate behaviors and may be hated by most of the mass public, I still find joy and inspiration when I come across a photog of Ms. Moss.

I adore her mod bangs and constant pout (much better than those damn Olson twins, who constantly look like a deer in the headlights). What I would give to paint a deep red or punchy pink on those lips. Plus, the tossled hair and beach look is always a winner. She is so Euro.

Kate also has the "barely there" makeup look on patent. If she wants to vamp things up, she adds some 60s style eyeliner with a clean face and nude lips. Fabulous!

The picture below is a perfect example of silver and black eyeliner for a smolderous look, but never overdone.

I also cannot stand Sienna Miller and her waifish, snobby ways. A bad example for a Brit. But more than anything, Kate's bone structure is sensational. I can only imagine how excited a makeup artist must be when he or she gets to experiment and work on Kate's face. What I would give to work on that canvas!

You may love her, you may hate her, you may not even care about her. However, Kate Moss has the face that could kill, even more so than those delicious Cullen vampires (yes, Twilight!) My point is only to honor her timeless beauty.

Always xo,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mamma Wants Some Grapefruit Suds

Neutrogena makes some solid products, but nothing gets me as excited as their grapefruit body wash. Although I really can't stand Vanessa Hudgens (woof), her ploy worked. I am hooked on this Neutrogena Clear Body Wash in Pink Grapefruit, $5.99.

The best part about this gooey gob is not only the delicious citrus smell, but there are distinct ingredients to fight body acne. If you are an active human being, participating in runs, outdoor sports or just the basic gym go-er, you'll want this stuff to combat those pesky pimples.

Yes, we'd like to think we are out of the teenage acne horror stage, but sometimes, sadly, we all need a little help. If you need some serious exfoliation and treatment, try Neutrogena's Clear Body wash in the original smell. The exfoliating buds are dense and thick, to really smooth the skin.

You will step out of your shower feeling clean, refreshed and incredibly soft. Don't forget to lotion up and hydrate that skin. My favorite, the tub of Cetaphil; no heavy ingredients or additives.

Suds up and bee free! xo,

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mercy, Mercy!

A line that has always held a soft spot in my heart is Laura Mercier. From a family of fair tones and sensitive skin, Ms. Mercier has continued to impress. However, she is not only for the faint of heart (or should I say faint of skin).

She makes a fabulous line of products, giving you the most flawless face. Yes, her stuff can be a bit on the spendy side, but its worth your bucks.

For those with heavy sun spots, acne scars or just plain old redness and dark circles, Laura Mercier will hook you up!

Press on the title of the blog to bring you directly to Laura Mercier's flawless face collection. I love her face primer and brightener.

Be sure to browse and try out other products of your own; that is the only way you will ever find what you truly love. But spring for the good stuff when you can afford it.

Love it! Oh mercy, mercy!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sunny Blondes: Beer and Lemon

Happy sunny {beer} days!

With the heat rising and the sun rays blasting in full force, here is one tip for the blondes: beer and lemons!

Summer days as a childhood true blonde; thanks mamma.

Back in the day, people often tried Sun-In and I'm sorry, the result was less than desirable. Hello, orange hair! Yucky. This is not what I am suggesting.

Instead, try my mother's age old trick. Before you jet out to bask in the rays, dampen your hair with sink or shower water. This will help with absorption.

Next, dump half a beer (any kind, we're not picky...) on your full head of hair, focusing on the roots. My mother often used Budweiser heavy ("it tastes like a turkey sandwich" ) or Coors, the family favorite.

After the beer is soaked in, squeeze an entire large lemon all over the top of your head, again, focusing on the roots. Once finished, comb through with a wide tooth comb.

The smell may not be the most enjoyable, but after a couple hours in the sun, your hair color will be accelerated and come out bright and blonde! Wash as normal once you are done with the sun.

Cheers! xo,

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Johnson

A very happy and momentous congratulations to the newest married couple, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson! After a stunning ceremony in Bellingham, we toasted to our beautiful friends and partied until the sun came up (well, almost...).

Thank you for a fantastic evening and cheers to a life of happiness!

Pictures of the festivities (or what we were able to catch on camera between cocktails and cupcakes) captured below...

my rocks of the NW, love you!

FAB 10 + 1(minus a few); gorgeous!

flower girls

Glowing bride xo

Walking the aisle

attendees and dear college friends

loves! xo