Spring Hair Care Tips

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(This Post is Brought to you by Macadamia Professional Hair Care and The Beauty Council. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own Please see my disclosure policy here for more details.)

Officially Spring is here and our hair just survived another Winter. It’s time for a Spring hair makeover!!! Lets get our tresses ready for warmer days and outdoor activities. Just like Winter wreaks havoc on your skin, it usually has the same effect on your hair. Dry winter air can cause static, frizziness, dryness, brittleness, breakage and split ends. Now we all know the only sure fire way to rid yourself of split ends is t trim them off. Your other Winter related hair woes can sometimes be solved with the right combination of products and technique, resulting in sleek hair refreshed for the warmer Spring days ahead!

everyday beauty blog macadamia professional lightweight

Macadamia Professional Weightless Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner

SLS Free Shampoo – I swear by SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) free shampoos and to be honest I use them exclusively most of them time. While I find they don’t cleanse as well as shampoos that contain SLS, I do find that my hair responds better to the SLS free shampoos. My hair is much more shiny, manageable and voluminous without the drying effect that shampoos containing SLS  usually leaves.

Conditioning – This covers any type of conditioning you do in the shower: oils, store bought, DIY, etc. Most women should be using conditioner only on the lengths of your hair. Starting with the hair that is at ear level, add conditioner and work it to the ends. Hair closest to your scalp generally doesn’t need to be conditioned as your natural oils will usually take care of that. Conditioning your scalp will make your hair oily sooner which means more washing which leads me to my next tip.

Daily Washing – If you don’t need to do it, I highly suggest washing your hair every other day (or every third day like moi!). I will say this: showering and NOT washing your hair takes some time to get used to. Once your hair gets used to your new shampoo skipping routine (takes about a month!) you’ll find it’s softer, shinier and healthier than it ever was before. Invest in a dry shampoo can also help extend your shampoo free days.

Clarifying Shampoo – SLS free shampoos usually will not cut it once there is an ample amount of product build up so every two weeks you’re going to need to clarify your hair. You can do this a number of ways but the easiest for me is to use a clarifying shampoo. Just make sure your chosen way to clarify is color safe even if you don’t have colored hair. Why you ask? When a hair product is color safe that usually means it’s not as harsh as other products and it won’t overly strip your hair. I always follow up a clarifying shampoo with a hair masque to restore any moisture I might lose as clarifying no matter how gentle it is, can lead to drier hair.

Damp vs Wet – Making sure you that you are applying your products at the correct time greatly impacts their performance. Applying product to wet hair is like dumping it down the toilet. Before applying any leave in, styling products, etc. check the label to see if it reads: apply to damp hair or apply to wet. Damp hair is NOT towel dried hair out of the shower. When hair is damp it’s still has some moisture on it but it’s not completely dry yet.

Heat – I can’t avoid using heat on my hair. I have to blow dry my hair for it to look normal. A flat iron or curling rod are optional for me. ANYTIME I use heat, I use a heat protectant. I concentrate this product on my ends which is the most fragile part of the hair shaft. Want to go heat free? You can achieve very similar results to using heat tools without the damage when wet setting. Wet setting usually involves braiding or sleeping in soft foam rollers.

Hair Oils/Serums – These are optional products that when used correctly can bring your hair to the next level. Finding the right type of hair oil/serum really depends on what hair type you have. Fine/Thin Hair will need a drier, lighter oil/serum. Normal Hair Types will need a oil/serum that absorbs quickly and is not too heavy. Dry/Coarse/Thick hair will all need a heavier oil/serum packed with ingredients that meet their hair care needs. In all cases use the minimal amount of product needed because over saturating your hair with an oil/serum can actually make it dirtier leading to tangles and breakage.

everyday beauty blog spring hair care

My Spring Hair Care picks!

Following these simple hair care tips will make sure your hair is on point all season long. What are some of your favorite hair care tips? Is there anything you change up in the Spring?

X’s & O’s



(This Post is Brought to you by Macadamia Professional Hair Care and The Beauty Council. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own Please see my disclosure policy here for more details.)

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Beauty Tools Giveaway Featuring Makeup Forever and Beauty Blender

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Beauty tools are an essential piece of your everyday beauty routine. Who’s ready for a completely and utterly awesome beauty tools giveaway?!?! The ladies of The Beauty Council have curated an 11 piece beauty tools set featuring only the absolute B-E-S-T from Make Up For Ever and Beauty Blender. This beauty tool prize is a must have for any beauty fan. And are you ready for the value of this set? It is $475!!! Let’s take a look at what we’re giving away!

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Look at all those PREMIUM beauty tools! Everything you need to create your everyday beauty looks are in one set. Don’t know what to do with those tiny Beauty Blenders? Your first thought might be to use the pointed edge. Reverse them and use the rounded bottom portion of the Beauty Blender Mini. They are perfect for having your concealer game on point. Just dampen and dab to apply your concealer for a completely blended look.

Of course all of the details are in the Rafflecopter widget below. I know I’ll get asked this so: Yes, this is giveaway is open internationally! I want to wish everyone good luck. Remember to spread the word and share this giveaway with family and friends. Brought you by The Beauty Council. Make sure to follow our hashtag (#thebeautycouncil) on all your social media channels.

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Girl’s Night Out with black|Up Cosmetics

((Press Samples – This post brought to you by black|Up and The Beauty Council))


I was recently invited to a Painting Party and I was so excited about that I almost wet my pants. Well, that has more to do with the twins literally playing kickball with my bladder but I digress. I was so excited because I was going out to a non family/non date night function. Waa-hoo! I can wear my glittery shadows, rock my red lipstick without any off comment about not being kissable, let my hair down (literally!). and wear my cool, patterned leggings without the in-law side eye! I was so besides myself that I didn’t even know where to start and then I saw it… I had a rather large collection of black|Up cosmetics goodies to play with. I broke out my new goodies and whipped up a fun look for that night out when it’s just about looking good for you. This look is SO beyond easy and customizable to your taste. Do as much or as little as you want but remember to have fun with it!

black|Up Main 1 everyday beauty blog

From L to R: Ombres 5 Couleurs PAL02, Blush 09, Poudre Sublime 01, Rouge a Levres M15 and 33, Le Khol Smoky Wateproof KS01 and KS08

Step 1 – We’re going to be using the true gold glitter from the black|Up Ombres 5 Couleurs in PAL02 so I suggest starting with the eyes first and then finish your base. Prime your eyes and then lay down a a thin layer of your concealer to even out your skin tone.  Apply a thick line of Le Kohl Smoky Waterproof Pencil in KS08 on your upper lash line and smoke it out. You can go as far in with this line as you want.

Step 2 – You’re going to take matte brown in the black|Up Ombres 5 Couleurs and define your outer “V” to your liking.  The true gold glitter shadow in this palette insane but prone to fallout so you’re going to need a glitter glue in order to make sure this shadow stays in place. Apply a light layer of your glitter glue to your lid and then with your finger apply the gold glitter shadow on top of it. Intensify your liner by lining your eyes with Le Kohl Smoky Waterproof Pencil in KS01 and slightly smudging the edges.

Step 3 – Clean up any fall out and apply your foundation/concealer as you normally would. Now is also a good time to fill in your brows.

Step 4 – Apply Le Kohl Smoky Waterproof Pencil in KS01 on your waterline and then smudge Le Kohl Smoky Waterproof Pencil in KS08 on your lower lash line. Apply mascara and for some extra drama false lashes!

Step 5 – Contour, highlight and blush to your liking. I used Poudre Sublime 01 to slightly contour my face. I defined my cheek bones and nose. I warmed up my skin using Poudre Sublime on the perimeter of my face. With a light hand I applied Blush 09 onto cheek bones.

Step 6 – I went with red for my lip. The glitter on the eyes is subtle enough that you can pair it with a bold lip. You could also do a pinky nude or a brown. Playing with lip colors can be fun and a great way to create your own color. For this look I mixed black|Up Rouge a Levres in M15 and 33 to get the right shade of red for my lips. To intensify the look and to give me a crisp clean shape I lined my lips with a fine lip brush and black|Up Rouge a Levres 33.

Scary blogger before photo coming up in 3, 2, 1……

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No brows either! This is like spotting a unicorn!

And after in 3, 2, 1….

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Baby weight gain is real in this photo!!!

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Selfie in the “powder room” time

everyday beauty blog ashley pena eyes closed black|Up

Creepy eyeshadow look closeup in 3, 2, 1…

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This is what eyeshadow looks like close up with NO touchups. Not what you see on Instagram…

I really wish the glittery gold shadow photographed better as it is STUNNING in real life. The way  it catches the light just makes my eyes sparkle. I loved my night out with the girls. Yeah, I felt funny being a pregnant lady in a bar BUT the painting was fun and I got a ton of compliments on my look. The eyes and the lips were co-stars that night thanks to black|Up Cosmetics. If you want to score some of the goodies I used in the tutorial black|Up is now offering 20% from now until February 28th, 2015 (My birthday!!!). Just use code LOVE15 at checkout. My girl’s in The Beauty Council also had the chance to sample black|Up. Check out their posts below!

X’s & O’s


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The Beauty Council Lipstick Lovers Giveaway!!!

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Have you ever been part of something that is just amazing and works? I am in a collaborative group with some fellow beauty bloggers who are absolutely amazing: the Beauty Council! We collab twice a month with some special one shot posts mixed in between.

Today we have an awesome giveaway we are currently running. And guess what? It’s open internationally?!?! One lucky winner will receive 17 of the Beauty Council’s favorite MAC Lipsticks. Yup, you heard me right….. SEVENTEEN full sized, brand new MAC Lipsticks. It’s the Beauty Council’s Lipstick Lovers giveaway! Check out the shades you can win below AND see why each blogger chose their respective shade.

lipstick lover MAC giveaway

All of the details are in the Rafflcopter widget below! Remember to support The Beauty Council by following us on all of our social media accounts and by searching our hashtag:#thebeautycouncil . This is a lipstick lover’s dream come true! Good luck to all of you who enter.

X’s & O’s


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My Winter Beauty Staples

(Press Samples and Purchased)

everyday beauty blog winter beauty staples

After a rather mild December, we here in Chicago are definitely feeling the bitter bite of Winter. Nothing like subzero temps with the added pleasure of the lovely windchill factor to make you really “appreciate” the Winter. The harsh cold temps and dry air can wreak havoc on our face, skin, nails and hair which can often it’s time to swap out our beauty staples. This Winter I changed up most of my winter beauty staples and I have to say I have been pretty pleased with the results. I wanted to share five of my Winter Beauty Staples that I feel are a MUST for everyone.

shiseido ebblog winter beauty staples

Shiseido ULTIMUNE Power Infusing Concentrate ($65-$125) – Admittedly I am not a huge fan of serums, potions, concentrates, etc. but I have fallen head over heals in LOVE with this gem from Shiseido. The ULTIMUNE Power Infusing Concentrate is almost what I would call a skin care primer on steroids. Your are supposed to apply this after cleansing but before your lotions/serums and it will “enhance” their effects. This is SO good that I haven’t had to swap out my skin care for my usual winter items. There are also some anti-aging and skin defense properties too and it can be used aloe without the aid of a serum, etc. That is exactly how I use it: alone. I apply the ULTIMUNE Power Infusing Concentrate before my moisturizer in the morning and evening and I have definitely noticed a huge difference in my skin. My drier spots have cleared up, my makeup wears better and my overall skin tone is improved.   It has even helped me combat pregnancy skin too! My hormonal breakouts have been very minimal. I adore this product, it may be pricey, but it is easily one my winter beauty staples.

ebblog best of 2014

DermOrganic Shine Therapy Spray ($19.99 ) – When  find something I love, I will continue to sing its praises. DermOrganic’s Shine Theraapy Spray has received a ton of love from me lately, trust me it is all well deserved. I am one of those people who absolutely cannot leave the house with wet hair when it is cold outside or I’ll end up sick. So, I use my blow dryer several times a weak. Shine Therapy Spray cuts my drying time, seals in moisture so I don’t look like I am wearing a wig made of straw, smells FAB and combats static hair. This leave in is a MUST have in my daily hair routine and a new addition to my winter beauty staples.

everyday beauty blog winter beauty staples  besame

A Dark Lip (Available at any price point) – Normally I’m not one for “seasonal” beauty trends but I have to admit there is something about a bold, dark lip during the holidays/winter that is just so pretty and classic. A darker lip is just an easy way to punch up a look and also beat the winter blahs. I’ve been head over heals in love with a few lipsticks from Besame Cosmetics: 1933-Merlot (pictured above), 1946-Red Velvet and 1969-Dusty Rose. All of which are phenomenal and bring me out of my nude lip comfort zone and into the trendy, darker lips.

winter beauty staples ebblog hempz

Hempz Pomegranate Body Herbal Moisturizer ($23.00) – It’s a well known fact that diabetics have severely dry skin and my skin unfortunately falls into this category. There are several variations in the line but I prefer the Pomegranate scent/formula. I get the fruity Bath & Body Works scent in a powerhouse body moisturizer without the cheap (sorry B&BW!) lotion feel to it. I need a body lotion that is fast absorbing, not greasy and actually prevents my skin from looking like Smaug’s long lost sister. If you have tried EVERYTHING on the Target shelf and nothing worked, give the Hempz Pomegranate Body Herbal Moisturizer shot and let me know if it makes it on to your winter beauty staples list?

chapstick ebblog winter beauty staples

Chapstick Total Hydration Luscious Lemon Delight ($2.99 exclusively at Target) – Never in a million years did I think a Chapstick product would ever be featured on this blog. Chapstick just takes me back to those cold winter days of my childhood when my Grandma would slather my face with a thick layer of their original, wax-like formula. I swore it off for years and then along came Chapstick’s Total Hydration Luscious Lemon Delight and knocked my once beloved EOS Lip Balm out of the picture. This intensely moisturizing lip balm is just everything I need to combat dry, chapped lips or to sooth already dry, cracked lips. It smells good, feels great on and has cute name too: Luscious Lemon Delight. I just wish it tasted like lemons but I guess the fact that it has no taste prevents me from eating Luscious Lemon Delight straight from the tube! The only downside it the packaging says that it is only available at Target but I have a feeling this might see a wider release. Another fabulous new addition to my winter beauty staples.

I am daydreaming of the Spring already but until then I’ll be relying on my winter beauty staples to keep me in tip top beauty shape. If you’re interested in reading what my fellow Beauty Council members consider their winter beauty staples click on any of the links below. Oh! And stay warm!

X’s & O’s


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(Press Samples and Purchased)