You choose, she speaks..From the Desk of Mariana Howard…

Hey ladies! Wow, I am SO psyched to be guest-blogging on my girl DiPaola Momma’s page. She is truly a gem, and I am beyond HUMBLED by the hype she has built over this post! Thank you for having me!
Ok, brief bio: I have worked in the Beauty industry for almost 14 years. For the past 8, my career has been in Training & Development. I’ve represented such companies as Origins, Shiseido, Dr. Perricone, Dr. Brandt and am now an Instructional Designer for Victoria’s Secret Beauty. My husband is the touring drummer for Avril Lavigne and Gavin Degraw (he is lucky enough to be able to alternate between them). I love what I do with a genuine passion, because at heart I am just a girl who is a total Beauty junkie.
I am loving the winning topic because ALL women can relate to it. Whether you’re a career-driven workaholic, or a kick-ass housewife we all have something in common: our femininity.
Somehow, as life takes over and we get older, we tend to lose sight of that simple pleasure we enjoyed as little girls playing with mom’s makeup bag. Demands on our time mean that most of our beauty choices are ultimately dictated by two things: function and practicality. Nothing wrong with that at all! But since it is Valentine’s Day, I am proposing a different approach…
Keep an open mind – some of these suggestions may seem frivolous or time-consuming. But that’s exactly the point! We come up with so many reasons NOT to take time for ourselves that this list is the antidote for that habit. For the record, I’m keeping it real: there will be no mentions of Balinese Spa getaways or hiring a private masseuse (although that would truly rock).
SO – your life is exhausting! How do you keep your face from showing it?
In keeping with the Freebie theme, most of these products can be found at Sephora (or as I call it, “Mecca”). Here are my suggestions to look like you’ve had a full 8-hours of rest (when you’ve really only had five…like, this whole week):
Facial peel. Hands down, this is the easiest and FASTEST way to look refreshed and renewed. It takes 10 minutes once a week and the results are instant. A great one is the Green Apple Peel for Sensitive Skin by Juice Beauty (Sephora). It’s made with organic fruit extracts that gently dissolve away dull skill, revealing a healthy, radiant glow. Now be aware: the very nature of what makes this so effective is that fruit extracts are acidic, which means that you WILL FEEL this working. You may even get a little red right after. Everyone’s threshold is different, so I won’t tell you it’s no big deal (although for me, the tingling sensation is totally tolerable). But I WILL tell you that the payoff is fabulous – an hour later, my skin looks and feels brand new.

Gradual self-tanner. Don’t freak out, I’m not talking about the hard-to-manage, messy Oompa-Loompa stuff. A daily moisturizer (which you’d probably use anyway) with a touch of self-tanner to slowly give you a natural, peachy glow can work wonders over a few days. Sephora makes a good one for $6. But if you’re like me and have a deeper skin tone, this may not have enough pigment. I like Jergen’s Natural Glow Face Moisturizer in Medium/Tan (at drugstores).

Concealer. A good one will forever become your BFF. My new obsession is Time Balm (Sephora). The shades are great, the coverage is natural but effective and…ready for this?…it has anti-aging ingredients, so you can wear it to bed and it will fight fine lines! My hubby actually thinks I wake up with no dark circles! Bwahahaha!

Eye gel. Everyone knows about the importance of using eye cream, but why does its cousin Eye Gel get no love? There really is nothing better for banishing puffiness. Here’s the trick – find one with Cucumber or Rose extract – they help shrink tiny engorged capillaries and aid in releasing excess fluids around the eyes. Eye Contour Gel by Clarins has been a longtime favorite (Sephora). Then KEEP IT IN THE FRIDGE and put it on when you enter the kitchen each morning. Feels great and works for de-puffing. No joke.

Ice-blue eyeliner. No really, hear me out! It’s called Eye Brightening Stick and it’s made by Origins ($14 at department stores). You don’t use this like a regular eyeliner. You actually use this on the inner rim of the eyes. The ice blue tint counteracts redness, so tired bloodshot eyes look clearer and more rested. Use it before mascara, and remember to be conservative with it (too much will create an early-80’s New Wave vibe).
Thanks again for having me as your guest! All the best for a beauty-full Valentine’s Day

Thanks Mariana!! Okay now it’s up to you gang.. tell me what piece of this GREAT advice you think you’ll put to use first. I’ll pick one person (at random) and award them a gift card to Sephora.. or as Mariana calls it Mecca. I hope you enjoyed this post.. if you did let me know, maybe we can bribe her to come back and give us more advice! OH and don’t forget to enter to win WOO HOO part DEUX I’ve made some great additons already.. more on Sunday!

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