Beauty School

learn the beauty basics and how to create your favorite celebrity’s looks at home


Take Advantage of Ultas 21 Days of Spring Beauty

Hi, dolls. Just a quick post today. I wanted to pop in and remind you to take advantage of Ulta’s 21 Days of Spring Beauty, which ends on April 4th.

Today’s deal is a fabulous one – 50% off of Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer, which is my current go-to shadow primer. Today, you can also get Strivectin Age-Fighting Discovery Kit for $20 (normally $35).

ulta-21-days ulta-21-days-2

And on top of all of the great steals, Ulta is hosting loads on in-store events, which you can read more about here. Now excuse me, please. I need to clean up from lounging around and high-tail it to the new Ulta that opened down the street from me.

What deal from the 21 Days of Spring Beauty if your favorite?

Photos: Ulta; Disclosure


$350 Beauty Blogazons Spring Giveaway

Hi there, beauties. Do I have something fabulous for you! To celebrate the start of Spring … even though the weather in Boston doesn’t seem to have gotten the message … I’ve teamed up with the other ladies of the Beauty Blogazons to bring you a huge Spring giveaway. $350 huge to be exact. You can enter using the widget below and find all information in the “terms and conditions” tab at the bottom of the widget.

Beauty Blogazons Spring Giveaway

Good luck to all who enter and happy Spring!

What would you use the Visa gift card for if you were to win?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

essential oils for acne prone skin

Have Acne? Don’t Overlook the Healing Properties of Essential Oils

Hi all. You know the drill. Another month, another skin care-related post from the lovely founder and CEO of Skin Authority — Celeste Hilling. Last month we talked about skin care basics, in January we talked about skin care resolutions and this month we’re talking about a questions I’ve received before. Can you use face oils for acne prone skin? I’m a huge fan of face oils, so I’m especially for this month’s post. And with that, I’ll turn things over to the always-fabulous Celeste.

Afraid to use oils because you think they’ll clog your pores and cause breakouts? I’m here to resolve your fears. With high concentrations of vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, essential oils are proven to soothe, restore, and instantly transform skin. The added benefit of using essential oils is the body’s stress-release response to the molecules in the oil, which elicits a sense of wellbeing and calm.

An essential oil is a concentrated liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are simply known as the “oil of” the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove. They are extremely concentrated; for example, it takes 16 pounds of peppermint leaves to yield one ounce of essential oil.

Pure essential oils can penetrate your skin because they are minuscule in molecular size. They are also very different than common carrier oils or fragrance oils that are found in most beauty products. If you see the word “fragrance”, “fragrance oil” or “perfume” on anything, you can assume the oils are synthetic; not natural.

There are numerous essential oils, each with specific benefits. A few of my favorites:

  • Avocado Seed Oil soothes, protects, and moisturizes skin with its high concentration of vitamins, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants.
  • Bergamot Oil is a natural antibiotic and disinfectant. The antibacterial action makes the oil great for those with acne, as it helps to kill bacteria on the skin before it can react to create blackheads and pimples. Bergamot has the added benefit of helping control excess oil production, thus, it attacks acne from two sides.
  • Cardamom Oil is rich in Vitamin C and manganese. It works as a potent antioxidant and detoxifies our whole body. The antiseptic property of cardamom oil is very helpful in treating a variety of skin infections and maintaining the health of hair.

Choosing a skin care formula that combines just the right combination of oils is the ideal way to ensure you will achieve the maximum benefits of the ingredients. My favorite is Skin Authority Oil Nutrient for Face, Hair & Nails.

Essential oils can be incorporated into any part of your skin care routine, but are particularly luxurious when included in masks and moisturizers. While wearing a mask, take long, slow, deep breaths to allow the oils to enter your body and calm your mind. When using a moisturizer with essential oils, massage in the product using slow, firm, upward circular motions for nourished skin and a clear mind.

I have to admit, I sighed a huge sigh of relief when Celeste answered my question. I’ve been recommended everyone and their mother incorporate face oils into their skin care routine, so I’m thrilled to know I wasn’t completely misguiding them. And with that, I’m off to apply some face oil and let my skin soak up the moisture and vitamin goodness.

Photos: Health Foundations Birth Center; Dislcosure

About the author: With two decades in the beauty and skin care industries, Celeste Hilling is the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority. Skin Authority is respected for developing pure and powerful products without the use of parabens, added fragrance, dyes or animal testing. More on, Facebook at Skin Authority, Twitter @SkinAuthority and @MissSkin.

drugstore makeup starter kit

Makeup Starter Kit: Drugstore Edition

Shocking statement: I own WAY more makeup than I could ever need. Between the stuff I purchase on my own and the stuff brands send me to test out, I could stock a beauty store.  But on a day-to-day basis, I only use a small fraction of my stash, and they tend to be more of the basics.

While I was packing for a recent trip, I realized the basics I packed were more-or-less a makeup starter kit. What does said starter kit look like? A nice base (BB cream, tinted moisturizer, foundation, etc), a concealer, brow gel/pencil, shadow primer, neutral eyeshadow palette, eye liner, mascara, blush and bronzer. And if you’re feeling a little saucy, a nice your-lips-but-better lippie.

So as I was packing, I figured I’d share with you my makeup starter kit – both a drugstore and designer version. As I’m sure you can tell by the title, this is the drugstore version. Two disclaimers before we hop in. One, you’ll notice that a shadow primer is missing from the mix. That’s because I have only ever found designer primers that work for my oily lids. I’ve heard amazing things about Milani’s primer, but I haven’t found it in stock at any of my drugstores … like ever. I guess I should take it as a good sign if it’s always sold out.

Two, in addition to the primer, you’ll also notice that I didn’t include any tools (i.e. brushes, makeup sponges, etc.). That’s because most of my tools are Sephora brand and thus not drugstore and because I figured I’d cover the tools in another post.

And with that, let’s get to the good stuff.

drugstore makeup starter kit

drugstore makeup starter kit

Foundation | Blush (in Luminoso) | Bronzer | Shadow Palette | Concealer | Brow Gel | Liner | Mascara

If all you have are these products on hand, you’ll be able to make a beautiful look. And like I said earlier, lippies aren’t a MUST to looking polished, but you can’t go wrong with swiping on a YLBB product. You can check out five of my favorites (drugstore included) here.  Keep an eye out in the coming week for the designer version of the makeup starter kit and let me know what you think below.

What are your go-to drugstore makeup basics?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

beauty blog coalition

Beauty Blog Coalition Weekend Roundup: February 15, 2015

Hi beauties! I hope you had a fabulous Valentine’s Day yesterday. To keep the love flowing, check out what the ladies of the Beauty Blog Coalition have been up to lately. Happy reading!

I hope you enjoyed the Beauty Blog Coalition’s most recent posts.

Did you read anything lovely this weekend? Sharing is caring!

Photo: beautyXposé; Disclosure

5-minute valentine's day makeup copy

My 5-Minute Valentine’s Day Makeup

If you’re like me, you love Valentine’s Day but your celebrations are pretty low key. My boyfriend and  I never do anything too elaborate. He’ll send flowers to my office then we’ll eat dinner together at home. Fighting the crowds for a table at an over-priced restaurant just isn’t our cup of tea.

Low-key celebrations call for easy outfits and quick makeup routines. This year I’ll be visiting my grandparents in DC and going to afternoon tea for the day of love, so I’ll be opting for a 5-minute Valentine’s Day makeup routine. I filmed a quick tutorial on this look, which you can watch below or on our YouTube channel. I hope you enjoy!

Moisturizing mist | Powder | Eyebrow gel | Concealer | Mascara | Blush | Bronzer | Lipgloss 

If you enjoyed this video and feel so inclined, pop over on to YouTube and give it a thumbs-up. It would be greatly appreciated!

What makeup look will you be wearing this Valentine’s Day?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

beauty blog coalition

Beauty Blog Coalition Weekend Roundup:February 8, 2015

Fancy seeing you here, you lovely gem, you. I hope your weekend was as fabulous as mine and that you were able to do everything you wanted. And while your weekend winds to a close, make sure to catch up with the ladies of the Beauty Blog Coalition. Happy reading!

I hope you enjoyed these beautiful posts and that you have a great week ahead of you!

What is the favorite thing you read this weekend? Put it in the comments section – sharing is caring!

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

beauty blogazons

The Beauty Blogazons Weekend Roundup: February 8, 2015

Hi there, beauties. Happy weekend! I hope you had a fabulous two days and were able to relax to your heart’s content. As your weekend comes to a close, make sure to catch up with the ladies from the Beauty Blogazons. Happy reading!

I hope you all enjoyed!

Did you read anything good this weekend? If so, share it in the comments section so we can all enjoy it. 

Photo: beautyXposé; Disclosure

skin care basics

The Skin Care Basics: Four Simple Steps for Busy Beauties

Hi beauties. As you know, skin care New Year’s resolutions are a must in 2015. To help you keep your resolutions, I’ve teamed up with the lovely Celeste from Skin Authority to answer skin care FAQs each month. This month – skin care basics. With that, I’ll turn it over to Celeste. Enjoy!


It’s February – how are you doing with those New Year’s resolutions? If taking better care of your skin is a goal – and, I hope it is – you can accomplish this without a lot of stress, drama or cash.

Just like every other form of self-improvement, a healthy skin lifestyle is a commitment to performing a daily regimen consistently. Skin care is like working out; just can’t just lift a weight once, or only cleanse your skin, and expect to look amazing. There are basic things you need to do daily.

Beauties, regardless of your crazy busy schedule, these steps are simple to incorporate into your lifestyle.

  • Let’s begin by opening your beauty cabinet: How many products do you see? 10, 20, more than you can count? Let’s simplify to no more than three to four steps in the morning and at night. In the morning, you need a mild gel cleanser, an anti-oxidant such as Vitamin C and a sunscreen moisturizer. Before going to bed, use resurfacing ingredients such as AHAs and retinols in addition to restorative peptides.
  • To dig a little deeper, I love Vitamins C and D. Skin Authority Super-C Serum is my face antioxidant and it’s an amazing multi-tasker. The Serum stimulates collagen production and helps absorb UV damage. I suggest putting it on in the mornings under your sunscreen. Now to D; did you know that seven out of every 10 women are D deficient? D is a happy hormone and makes your skin really bright. I use Skin Authority VitaD Topical Elixir and Whole Food Spice Powder daily for an inside-out approach to D sufficiency. The Spice Powder is simple to toss into your bag and sprinkle in coffee, smoothies, etc.
  • I also put my skin on a treadmill by resurfacing. You want your cells to turn over every day and resurfacing is the way to make this happen. I recommend using a natural resurfacing agent nightly, such as glycolic acid, to gently dissolve dead surface skin cells to be replaced with new, plump ones.
  • It’s likely that you are wearing sunscreen; good for you! Whether it’s raining, snowing or the sun is shining brightly, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or 30. You may not realize that that UV rays go through glass – car windows, those in your home and office, etc. – so, even if you won’t be outside, you’ll still want to practice safe sun.


I’m so honored to have Celeste answering questions for you each month, so don’t hesitate to ask one of your own. If you want Celeste to answer your burning questions, send them to me at and I’ll get them answered for you!

What is your skin care routine?

Photos:; Dislcosure

About the author: With two decades in the beauty and skin care industries, Celeste Hilling is the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority. Skin Authority is respected for developing pure and powerful products without the use of parabens, added fragrance, dyes or animal testing. More on, Facebook at Skin Authority, Twitter @SkinAuthority and @MissSkin.


Giveaway: Remington T|Studio Pink Silk Oval Wand

One of my blog goals for 2015 is to bring you all one fabulous giveaway a month. In January, I hosted the Makeup Forever giveaway, and seeing that we’re two days into February, it’s time for the second giveaway of the year. As you might recall, I shared my love for the Remington T|Studio Pink Silk Oval Wand at the end of 2014. Well, I’m beyond excited to bring you the chance to win a wand all for yourself. Trust me, your hair will thank you! And a huge thanks to the Remington PR team for providing the wand for this giveaway! Remington T|Studio Pink Silk Oval Wand Remington T|Studio Pink Silk Oval Wand The giveaway will run until 9PM on Monday, February 9th and is open to anyone 18 and older in the United States. You can enter in the below widget and find more information in the terms and conditions. Best of luck to all who enter the Remington giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is your favorite curly-haired look? Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure