Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Review: Kramers Health Foods

Today, I wandered across the street from one of my downtown classes and I came across a great hidden gem in Chicago. Kramers Health Foods on South Wabash in the Loop. I saw it as I was exiting my class building so I thought I'd go in for a bottle of shampoo... I was shocked by the size of the store and the amount of products they had.

You walk in and there are coolers of healthy pre-made foods from kale salads, to sandwiches, to vegan and gluten free nachos. Not to mention the amount of cold drinks they had with the most healthy ingredients. I got a Bragg Organic ACV Apple Cinnamon drink and it was delicious. Only 32 calories!

Keep walking down the store and there are aisles and aisles of nutritious protein bars, vitamins, supplements,
homeopathic remedies, healthy snacks, teas, and a mini grocery section FILLED with non-GMO, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free foods that were priced fairly well. It will make you want things you never knew you needed. Never thought you needed bee pollen capsules? You do now. I don't know what Fenugreek Seed is but I want it.

The right side of the store has everything beauty related ranging from makeup, to hair products, to mouth care, to soaps and everything in between. Of course I picked up a few things... An aloe vera shampoo for oily hair, a bee pollen soap, and Now Solutions sweet almond oil. So excited to try out my new products and expand my cabinet of natural products.

Upstairs they have a Cafe that I unfortunately didn't have time to go in, but from the looks of it, it seemed great! Pressed juices, salads, soups and sandwiches. I'll have to go back one day after class.

I'm so happy I finally went into Kramer's because I know it will become a staple store for me.

--Ms. Makeup

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Skincare Routine

Spring is finally here! Because it is getting warmer, I've switched up my skincare a little with my products from

I wash my face morning and night with the NutriBiotic Non-Soap Skin Cleanser. I love this stuff! It's a PH balancing cleanser so it doesn't leave that tight, dry feeling. It's fragrance free, paraben free, all that good stuff. Highly recommend! Purchase

I'm still using the Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner (morning and night.) I don't think I'll be using a different toner for a very long time. This one is natural, smells amazing and gives your face that extra step of feeling really clean. And it's alcohol free! Purchase

During the day I use the Aubrey Organics Every Day Basics Moisturizer. I do like this moisturizer a lot, but it's not the absolute best I've ever used. You need a very minimal amount because a little goes a looong way with this stuff. I rub it between my hands and apply a layer to my face to where the moisturizer gets very white. I let it sit for a few seconds and then I really rub it in. You can tell upon using this product that it really sinks into your skin. It controls my oily skin without drying. Purchase 

At night I have been using the Now Solutions Avocado Oil. Now, although I do have oily skin, for whatever reason, avocado oil doesn't increase the oilyness in my skin over night. It really seeps into the skin and doesn't just sit as a layer above your pores. This is the greatest way of moisturizing I have ever found for my skin type. Purchase

Finally, before bed I apply a little 100% cocoa butter to my lips for extra moisture at night. Purchase 

My skin has never looked so "normal" and clear before and I really believe it's from these products. Using more natural products has really helped me and I encourage others to make the switch. I have even received a few compliments on how nice my skin has looked lately, which is always a great boost of confidence!

--Ms. Makeup

Friday, March 14, 2014

Obsession: Subtle Ombre

One of my favorite Spring trends is ombre hair. I think the idea is so cool and it gives an awesome twist to your look. I think it's a great way to transition into the Spring season if you want lighter hair but you don't want too much of a drastic change. I actually prefer the more subtle ombre effect rather than those who go overboard. It has to be done right or else you'll look like you haven't been keeping up with your hair appointments (see Ciara below.) But with that being said, this is a grate style for someone who can't run to get their hair done every 6 weeks, as long as it's done gradually enough the first time and it will continue to grow out that way. I have been wanting to get a slight ombre for a while and now that my roots are really growing out, I think I just might go for it!  

What do you think of this trend? 

--Ms. Makeup

Sorry Ciara, but you've gotta fix this...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


The products I ordered from on Sunday night arrived so quickly (it's only Tuesday!) I didn't even pay for shipping, so 10 points for iHerb right off the bat! For this post I'm just going to show what I got and discuss my initial thoughts on each item (packaging, smell, taste, etc.) Refer to the picture above for what each product looks like.

1. Reviva Labs Intercell Hyaluronic Acid Night Gel. The first thing I notice is the expiration sticker. 2/17. Most creams/gel/lotions don't have an expiration date, and if they do, I don't notice. This was $9.80 and the container is pretty small so I'm hoping I don't need a lot of product. It smells like the Flarp Putty I used to play with as a kid... It feels nice on my hand, pretty light and the scent goes away after a few seconds. 

2. Every Man Jack Deodorant. First thought: really nice packaging. The cap really suctions back onto the top so that is nice and something I haven't seen before. It smells good (scent is cedarwood), but like a less-strong version of Old Spice. It seems like a normal clear stick deodorant with more organic ingredients, which is what we're going for here!

3. Now Solutions Xyli White Toothpaste. I got the mint flavor and that it is- very minty. Its a gel formula but it's kind of oily. Tastes good, though!

4. NutriBiotic Non-Soap Skin Cleanser. This is what I'm most excited for. This is a fragrance free, ph balanced, hypoallergenic, and paraben free facewash. This had great reviews, so hopefully I like it. It doesn't really have a scent, but it kind of smells like gel (if that's a thing?) It has a really jelly-like formula, too. The bottle is huge and this was under $6, so thats great!

5. Now Solutions Avocado Oil. This is 100% pure avocado and it's supposed to be amazing for your face. It can also be used on the scalp as a conditioner or as an emollient. It doesn't really smell like much, a little bit like oil. 

6. Cococare Argan Oil. I got this for my hair as opposed to using something from a drugstore that only has a little Argan Oil in it. The only ingredient in this bottle is 100% pure authentic and expeller pressed Argan Oil. To my surprise, this doesn't have any scent at all. The ones you buy from CVS that smell amazing, that's all fragrance. Argan Oil doesn't actually smell like that (I have just learned.)

7. Nature's Way AKN SkinCare. This formula had extremely high reviews saying their skin cleared and looked perfect from the inside out. They smell like... vitamins... which they are. Not much to say here. I'm really, really hoping these take away the bumpiness in my skin.

8. Cococare The Yellow Stick. This is just a thick stick of 100% cocoa butter. It's hard to open, so initially, I don't like the packaging. The plastic already cracked on the side, but this was only $1.79. I don't even care about that though because this stuff tastes SO GOOD. It melts on your skin and lips. 

9. Now Solutions Better Stevia. This was one of my freebies. Thank god, because this stuff tastes horrible (on its own at least.) Like bitter medicine. No words. How is this used as a sweetener? Someone explain.

10. Aubrey EveryDay Basics Moisturizer. When purchasing, I didn't realize how small this was. It's only 1.7 fl oz. But it's chalk full of organic oils and extracts, and I can pronounce every ingredient! It smells like lavender and feels very moisturizing on my hand- good consistency. I think I'll like this.

11. Sierra Bees Organic Honey Lip Balm. Last but not least, this is like a smoother Burts Bees type of chapstick. Tastes and smells good and the ingredients are: EVOO, Beeswax, Flavor (?), Sunflower Seed Oil, Non GMO Vitamin E, Honey Extract (all organic.) Love it!

So far, so good! I'm happy with my picks and can't wait to start using them! Hopefully, I'll love these and they can replace my current chemical filled products that are taking over my bathroom. I'm extremely happy with the website ( The shipping was free and it got here in 2 days. 2! I also got $10 off and they have such a great variety of products to choose from. I will definitely be shopping there from now on! I highly recommend!

--Ms. Makeup

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring 2014 Essentials

With the warmer months approaching I thought I would compile my Spring 2014 Makeup Essentials. Let's get ready for Spring with a focus on peach, coral and hot pink!


1. NYX Rouge Cream Blush in "Hot Pink" ($6). Cream blush is great for the warmer days because it lasts much longer than powder blush if you're going to be hot and sweaty. 

2. Bare Minerals The Ready Blush in "The Aphrodisiac" ($22). This peachy coral shade is perfect for a spring day and will add a nice pop of color to the cheeks!

3. NARS blush in "Deep Throat" ($30). Use this blush when you need a little shimmer in your life! This shade really illuminates your cheeks with a peachy glow.

4. MAC Cosmetics blush in "Trace Gold" ($21). This is one of my favorite Spring and Summer blushes because of its unique shade. It's a golden shimmer that can also be used as a highlight. Very Greek Goddess-esque!


5. Revlon Color Burst Matte Balm in #235 "Mischievous" ($8.99). Matte lips are a big trend for spring so try out this cute orange shade for something new and different.

6. Revlon Matte Lipstick in "Stormy Pink" ($6.99). A really pretty Barbie hot pink. Be sure to have moisturized lips when applying matte lip products because they are very drying.

7. MAC Cosmetics lipstick in "Coral Bliss". The perfect coral lip shade for Spring.


8. NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in "Sunny" ($2.99). This is a cult favorite bronzer and the price can't be beat! This is a great shade if you have paler skin but want to add a little color that will look natural without the shimmer. 

9. NYX Matte Bronzer in "Medium" ($9.00). This bronzer is comparable to #8^, but comes in a few  darker shades. 


10. MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in "Lightscapade" ($30). This is my all time favorite highlighter for the Spring. Its really light and subtle but it gives a really pretty glow when the sun hits you. It looks awesome on tan skin!


11. Essie "Romper Room"($8.50). This is a new shade from their Spring Collection. Great for a neutral nail.

12. Essie "Style Hunter"($8.50). I am obsessed with this color! It is also from their new Spring Collection. A buildable hot pink. I did three coats to get it really opaque but if you're looking for a hot pink that can also be worn sheer, this is your color.

What are your Spring essentials for the upcoming season?

--Ms. Makeup

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My New Favorite Website


After watching this video on youtube, I instantly went over to iHerb and placed an order. I got oils, lotions, face wash, deodorant, natural sweeteners, etc. I'm so excited about it. The amount of products this website has is insane. Over 35,000 things to choose from! They've got foods, vitamins, makeup, beauty products and stuff for the home. It's easy to choose your price range because they have a wide assortment of prices from low to high. And everything is almost 100% natural, which is amazing! They also have freebies and small amounts of products to test out for a couple of bucks. I can't wait to get my order and review all the products. You can use the coupon code HPV433 for a discount on your first order! 

Coming soon!

--Ms. Makeup


Check out EcoholicBeauty's videos on YouTube!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Natural Beauty: Skin Care

I have recently realized the importance of using all things natural. I have very sensitive skin and the smallest ingredient can change my skin and make me itchy and uncomfortable. Because of this, I have decided to go natural. It can become expensive, but I have compiled a list of my natural skincare essentials that are also affordable: 

Makeup Remover

Olive Oil or Coconut Oil. Simple as that. Since these are oils, they will break down your makeup as well as moisturize. Put a small amount on a cotton pad and that's it!

Face Wash

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap. This comes in both liquid and bar, but I prefer the bar soap. Dr. Bronner's is an amazing brand that is 100% natural, cruelty-free and vegan. I have only tried their soap, but my parents have used their products forever. They have lotions, lip products, shaving cream, etc. They smell amazing and are inexpensive too, at $4.69 a bar. 

I like this soap because it doesn't give my skin that tight feeling after I wash it off. It leaves me feeling really clean and it doesn't break me out or give me any problems. I also use it as a body soap. Peppermint is my favorite! You can purchase it here


Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner. I found this product on a whim off of and I am so happy I bought it! This product is alcohol free so it won't dry out your skin. This toner has witch hazel in it which is often used medicinally, but also for acne. If you like the smell of rose, then you will looove this scent. Since using this, I have noticed a difference in my skin's texture. It is more calm and feels more smooth to the touch. You can purchase it here

Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. Who knew that something that smells as bad as vinegar would be a miracle, multi-use product?! Not only does ACV have a ton of health benefits when you drink it, but it can also be used as a toner. I thought it would be harsh on my sensitive skin, but not at all! Once you get past the smell, it feels really nice on your skin and the smell does go away once it dries. I take about one part vinegar to two parts water, mix it up and put it on a cotton pad. Feel free to dilute it to your skin's liking. ACV is amazing for skin because it naturally balances the ph, which means it will equal out the oily and dry patches. It also helps with big pores and acne scarring. 
*Can also be used as a conditioner! Again, mix 1 part ACV- 2 or 3 parts water. After shampooing, apply to scalp and hair and let it sit for about 2 minutes. Makes hair feel great- shiny and moisturized!


Sadly, I have yet to find an all natural moisturizer that I actually like. The best I can do is give my favorite paraben free ones-
1. Alba Even Advanced Sea Lipids Daily Cream. Best moisturizer I have used. 
2. Trader Joe's Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion. Not the best for oily skin, but it does have SPF.


Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask. This is a mask made out of 100% bentonite clay and it's awesome. Completely minimizes pores to help clear up skin. Although this is extremely messy and hard to take off, it's worth it and gives your skin a good deep clean. Can be used with ACV as well! You can buy it here

Don't be fooled by a product that claims to be "ALL NATURAL". Familiarize yourself with unnatural ingredients and check all the products you buy. I have recently come to find that LUSH, the all natural cosmetic company, actually puts methylparaben and propylparaben in quite a few of their products. BAD. Unfortunately I realized this after purchasing the Ocean Salt face scrub (which I love, so this really sucks.) Moral of the story, check the ingredients on everything!!! Don't be lazy, read the label.

Here's's schpiel on why you should care about parabens: 

Parabens are used to prevent the growth of microbes in cosmetics products and can be absorbed through skin, blood and the digestive system. Parabens have been found in biopsies from breast tumors at concentrations similar to those found in consumer products. Parabens may be found in a wide variety of products including shampoos, lotions, deodorants, scrubs and eye makeup, and are found in nearly all urine samples from U.S. adults regardless of ethnic, socioeconomic or geographic backgrounds. Adolescents and adult females had higher levels of methylparaben and propylparaben in their urine than did males of similar ages.

Your skin is an organ and anything that gets applied directly to it will end up in your blood stream... Think about it. To find more amazing natural products, check out here.

--Ms. Makeup

**Added Bonus**
A humidifier really helps your skin retain moisture during the winter and if the air in your home tends to dry you out. I highly recommend. Helps with sleep too! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Favorite: Songs of the Moment feat. Gossip Girl

After recently finishing Gossip Girl, I've become obsessed with the music. Every single song fit each moment in the show perfectly. Whoever chose the music for the show was a genius and deserves more credit. I love reading blogs with lists and lists of people's current favorite music, so I thought I'd share mine, GG style --->

When Did Your Heart Go Missing - Rooney

Young Folks - Beter Bjorn & John *This song IS Gossip Girl, in my opinion. Think 1st episode...

Janglin - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

I'm In Here - Sia

You've Got the Love - Florence + The Machine *Probably my favorite song

Between Two Lungs - Florence + The Machine

All That I Want - The Weepies

Sour Cherry - The Kills

Lies - The Black Keys

Tighten Up - The Black Keys

Your Love's a Drug - Leighton Meester *You go, Blair

Do The Panic - Phantom Planet

Moon River (Original Main Title) - Henry Mancini

Hanging On - Ellie Goulding *Another favorite song

Tongue Tied - Grouplove

Youth - Foxes

Somewhere Only We Know - Keane

No Sex For Ben - The Rapture

If you're a big GG fan like me, then trust me, you will enjoy this playlist. I can hear some of the songs and think back to that moment it was on the show. Crazy how music can do that. I found the best songs (in my opinion) from the show and compiled it into one big playlist & it took weeks! Feel free to follow the full playlist on Spotify I'm Chuck Bass.

What's on your go-to playlist at the moment?

Ms. Makeup

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Eating Healthy in College

This post is to share some of my tips and tricks on how to eat healthy in college because I have become quite the health freak!

1. Hummus. One of my favorite things in the world. Hummus is a great alternative to any dip because it's really healthy! Skip the chips and buy cucumber, celery or carrots to dip in the hummus. If you're feeling brave try and make your own! All you need is a small (magic bullet like) blender, one can of garbanzo beans, oil, garlic, and some spices! Sesame tahini makes it better but if you don't have it, it's not a big deal. Blend it all up and voila- hummus! You can add hot sauce for spice, avocado, edamame, or anything you enjoy into the dip. 

2. Quinoa & Black Bean Chips. If you are a chip lover, I have found the most amazing chips from Trader Joe's- Quinoa and Black Bean Infused Tortilla Chips. I am obsessed with these things. They're gluten free, have all natural i
ngredients and not to mention delicious. I'm talking almost better than a potato chip...

3. Kale. I have recently been loooving kale. I buy it prewashed from Trader Joe's, de-stem it and place it in a salad bowl with a small mixture of olive oil and soy sauce- sounds weird but its amazing. Then I add some avocado. This is an easy and tasty salad and only takes a few minutes with minimal ingredients. If you have access to an oven, mix the kale in a big bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil and soy sauce. Make sure that the kale is dry before mixing it with the ingredients. Place the kale on a baking sheet and bake at 375 until the kale turns crispy. Delicious! If you enjoy the taste of kale, try it with just olive oil and sea salt (same procedure).

4. Steamed veggies. These are great for college, especially since you can throw them in the microwave and they cook inside the bag. Super cheap and easy! Trader Joe's has great ones and so does the SteamFresh brand that you can find at Target.

5. Spaghetti Squash. If you have access to an oven this is a great alternative to pasta (I might even like it more!) Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and drizzle the squash with a little olive oil. Place it face up in the oven with about an inch of water on the pan for around 40 minutes at 375. I prefer to eat it either with a little salt and parmesan or my favorite pasta sauce. 

6. Fruit, fruit, fruit. I can't stress enough how great it is to start off your day with fruit. Whether it be a smoothie, granola with berries, or just fruit alone, this is my favorite way to start my morning. A cheap and easy way to make smoothies is to buy the prepackaged frozen fruit, but make sure there aren't any preservatives. Trader Joe's is really good with that, but if you go to Target, for example, be sure to read the ingredients. 

7. Green Tea. Another thing I cannot walk out the door in the morning without having. I love green tea. I drink between 2 and 4 cups a day. I have gotten to the point where I don't even need sugar. There are amazing health benefits to green tea and it's a perfect alternative if you don't enjoy drinking coffee. If you don't enjoy green tea, try and drink any type of bagged, natural tea and check the ingredients!

8. Rice cakes. Rice cakes with peanut butter & jelly are a great alternative to using bread. They're light, crispy and tasty!

Now that I have a full kitchen in college, I have become absolutely obsessed with cooking healthy dinners and snacks for myself. It has become one of the highlights of my day. It makes me feel great knowing that I am putting good food into my system and I'm not sitting around eating Oreos and Doritos. 

What are your favorite healthy snacks?

--Ms. Makeup

Monday, February 3, 2014

Review: Alba Even Advanced Sea Lipids Daily Cream

Face lotion is always a product that I feel like I struggle with. I just settle for whatever I have at the moment and I've never really used a great lotion for my skin. However, after using the Alba Sea Lipids Daily Cream, I now realize how important it is.

This lotion caught my eye because it's supposed to help the appearance of skin to make it look more even and less blotchy/dull. It's also hypoallergenic and Alba is generally a more natural based brand. It's paraben free, too- very important!

I am almost finished with this product and I will be repurchasing it. It's a really light moisturizer but it's still hydrating. It doesn't clog my pores or cause me to break out at all. I actually feel like it has improved my skins texture. This lotion has a nice, fresh scent, but it's not overpowering. It wears nicely under makeup and doesn't cause me to get greasy during the day. One thing I will say is that if I shower with this on my face at night, it tends to get in my eyes and this stuff burns a little. So watch out for that.

The container has lasted me about a month and a half and it costs $16.99, so it's not too bad on the price. I would recommend this for any skin type. This comes in a night cream as well and I'm interested in trying that out, too. You can find this at most drugstores, Target, and some health food stores.

Link to Alba lotion

--Ms. Makeup

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Review: YSL Lipstick

Long time no blog! I have lots of posts planned out so prepare yourselves for makeup overload!

Today's post is on an item that I have always, always wanted but never felt the urge to splurge on lipstick. Luckily, I received it for Christmas!

The YSL Rouge Volupté Shine lipsticks are amazing. Hands down. They are extremely pigmented, creamy, glossy and luxurious. The only drawback is that they're $34... but its YSL, people! I got one in the color "Fuchsia in Excess" (5). Its a hot hot hot pink and it looks nice on pale skin (me.) These also taste and smell delicious. Not only that, but they are really moisturizing as well which is often hard to find in a lipstick. Nothing like sticky MAC lipsticks. I loved the feeling of 5 so much that I went to Sephora and got the Volupté Sheer Candy in 03 Juicy Grapefruit which is just clear with a hint of shimmer. It actually tastes like candy, not kidding! Now, for $32 this may seem crazy to spend on something that is essentially a chaptstick, but let me tell you... My lips haven't been chapped since! The sales woman at Sephora told me these are pumped with vitamins and rosemary oil which is supposed to be really great for your lips. And by how they feel, I'd have to say I agree! Basically, if nothing else, you put this on and it feels like you've gone to heaven... They're that good. 

If you can, try and pick one of these up. Even the packaging is gorgeous and elegant! You need at least one in your makeup collection! 

-Ms. Makeup 
Color 5