Four Favorites: Makeup Remover Edition

Heavy Duty Makeup Removal

On any given day I wear makeup for an average of about 12 hours. When it’s finally time to clean my face, I don’t want to have to wash four separate times or scrub forever just to get it all off. This product removes all traces of makeup quickly and effectively. The Clinique Take the Day Off cleansing balm transforms into a silky oil as you massage it into your skin. All you do is rub a dime sized amount all over your face, rinse with warm water and towel dry.

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In my opinion, this is the BEST makeup remover. Here’s why:

  • It’s fragrance free
  • It doesn’t leave you feeling greasy
  • All the product comes off when you rinse your face and it leaves your skin silky smooth
  • Great for contact lens wearers (like me!)
  • It’s allergy tested and great for sensitive skin

I used to be a makeup wipe only kind of gal, but I will never go back after finding this balm. It has reduced my breakouts and completely removes stubborn mascara and lipstick. It also works as a cleanser so I don’t have to double wash my face. I can’t say enough good things about this product. Everyone needs it.

Makeup Removal and Moisturizer

If you have dry skin, Pond’s Cold Cream is a great alternative to take the day off. I know Pond’s makes everyone think of their grandma’s medicine cabinet, but there’s a reason why it’s been around so long; it works and it’s affordable.

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I will admit, I don’t love the smell, but it does a pretty good job removing makeup and hydrating my skin. The main ingredients are mineral oil which removes makeup and debris from the skin, and beeswax to lock moisture in.  Pick this one up on your next Target run and avoid dry skin this winter.

On-the-Go Removal

You don’t always have the time to wash your face and apply a thousand serums. I find that fully washing my face causes less irritation and removes my makeup more quickly, but for the times I’m in a rush, these do the trick.

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Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes are the only drug store brand that don’t make me breakout or feel greasy. I like to keep these in my gym bag to use after class. They’re also great for a quick trip when you can’t haul your entire skincare lineup with you.

For Stubborn Eye Makeup

Last but not least is Kiehl’s Supremely Gentle Eye Makeup Remover. I use a sulfur wash that is amazing for acne-prone skin, but it’s also drying. When I wash my face, the delicate skin on my eyelids gets dry and sensitive. This eye makeup remover has the consistency of moisturizer and is very gentle, so it doesn’t irritate my eyelids or contacts. It removes waterproof mascara and the little bottle lasts forever. This combined with take the day off and you are squeaky clean!

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I hope you find a product or two from this lists that works for you. If you have any other makeup removers I need to know about, please let me know in the comments!

Wake up and makeup!

Love, Leigh

3 Steps to Shiny Nails

Having my nails painted is one of those things that makes me feel like I have my life just a little bit more together. I love getting a manicure at the nail salon, but it’s pricey and time consuming.

On one of my weekly trips to Ulta, I stumbled upon the OPI Infinite Shine series. My manicure doesn’t usually last longer than two days, so I figured I would give this “long wear” polish a try.

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I was pleasantly surprised by the results and am completely obsessed with the new colors in the line.

Here’s how it works:

Buy the primer and finishing gloss together as a set for under $20. Then, pick any color in the Infinite Shine line and follow three simple steps for long lasting nail color.

  1. Apply one coat of the Infinite Shine Primer
  2. Apply two coats of your favorite Infinite Shine Gel Lacquer
  3. Apply one coat of the Infinite Shine Gloss

This manicure doesn’t last quite as long as gel polish or shellac, but it definitely outdoes standard polish. I have gotten about five to six days without any chips and up to 11 days before removing and reapplying.

Currently, my go-to color is “Chicago Champagne Toast” which is not only the best name ever, but also a beautiful shade of metallic pink. Here are some of my favorites:

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Chicago Champagne Toast

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We The Female

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Less is Norse

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Berlin There Done That

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Ornament To Be Together

If you are looking for a no chip polish that makes your nails super shiny, look no further! This set is great for a holiday gift or as a treat for yourself.

I hope you try it out and love it as much as I do! Please tag me in your nail pictures on Instagram, I can’t wait to see which colors you choose.

Love, Leigh

10 Things I Learned From Being a Team Player

In ninth grade I broke my dad’s heart when I decided to quit running track to join the JV pompon team. For those of you who aren’t from the Midwest, Pompon is a combination of cheer and dance with a focus of sharp movements and Rockettes style high kicks. 

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2010- Tenth grade Mid American Pompon summer camp with my staff sister, and now friend, Leah

As high school went on, I loved performing and competing and knew that I wanted to continue my journey with pom beyond high school. When I decided to go to MSU, I tried out for the pompon team and the rest is history.

I spent my summers working for Mid American Pompon summer camps as a counselor and instructor, better known as a “staff sister”. During the school year I practiced and competed with MSU pom.

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2016- Fourth years at camp

For those four years, pom was a huge part of my life. I learned so much about myself, made more memories than I can count and built friendships that will last me a lifetime.

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2013- Freshman year on MSU

Yesterday the Spartans took home the title of 2017 Collegiate High Kick Champions. I am so proud to be an alum of the MSU Pompon program and it got me thinking about just how much being a team member molded me as a person.

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2016- My senior year on MSU

Here are the top ten things being a team player taught me:

1. Lead by example

Actions speak louder than words. If you want people to follow, start leading.

2. Find your tribe and love them hard

Having a group of people that make you feel like you’re a part of something bigger than yourself can get you through anything. Lean on the ones you trust and always be there when they need you, too.

3. Mind over matter

You are so much stronger than you know – both mentally and physically. Your body will do just about anything your mind tells it to. When I didn’t want to go to practice, I always felt better after it was over. Now the same goes for the gym. Tell yourself you can and get it done.

4. You can learn from everyone

Older, younger or new to the game. Any industry, any gym, any work setting. Listen to those around you and you will learn something new every single day.

5. Stronger together than apart

Embracing the team mentality allows for growth and productivity. Hearing new perspectives makes you smarter. Working together is invaluable.

6. Balance is everything

Spending so many hours juggling class, internships and practice made me pretty good at time management. I’m thankful to know when and how to take time for myself.

7. Accountability

When you are working toward a common goal, you have to be able to depend on your teammates. Following through and taking responsibility for your actions builds trust and respect.

8. Dependability

This goes hand in hand with accountability, but I think it all comes down to knowing how your actions affect others. Say what you mean and mean what you say, and always, always be honest.

9. Raise your hand

Sometimes you have to volunteer to do the thing nobody else wants to. It’s just the way it is and people appreciate it.

10. Attitude is everything

Every practice, and now that I’m adulting, every morning, I make the decision to have a positive attitude. Your attitude is contagious, so if you want others to be happy, you have to start with yourself.

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2017- Collegiate Championships

What other skills did you learn from playing a sport? I would love to hear them in the comments. Let’s focus on being good teammates in all aspects of our lives this week.

Love, Leigh

Smile at Yourself

Like many women, I am often told to smile more by men on the street. Every time this happens, it leaves me with an uncomfortable feeling. I get a pit in my stomach that sticks with me for the whole day.

I think the reason why it feels so intrusive when a stranger demands that you smile is because a genuine smile is one of the most valuable things you can give to someone. The reflection of joy that you present when you smile is special and should never be faked or forced.

A stranger demanding you to smile did nothing to warrant a joyful display of appreciation…but do you know who did? Do you know who deserves recognition for bringing you happiness? You. 

When was the last time that you smiled at yourself? Not to check your teeth for lipstick, but to see the real-time happiness in your own face?

As you know by now, I exercise at The Barre Code. Each studio has mirrored walls that allow you to check your form while you work out. Often times you are right up at the barre staring at your reflection in the mirror.

Sometimes during class I meet my own eyes in the mirror and am surprised by the intensity and fire I see in myself. What is more surprising, however, is how little we smile at ourselves.

It always seemed weird to me when the instructor would say, “look at the beautiful, strong woman staring back at you in the mirror and smile at her, she worked so hard for the last 50 minutes.”

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A smile represents so much more than a happy facial expression. A smile shows gratitude and appreciation. Smiling at yourself is just another way to show self-love and be grateful for giving yourself time to become mentally and physically stronger. Smiling at myself after a hard workout has taught me to recognize the aspects of my life that bring me joy.

If you don’t exercise in front of a mirror, I suggest taking a second to smile at yourself every morning when you are getting ready. It might seem silly, but it gives you a chance to reflect and be thankful. This leads me to my next point…

Smiling makes you feel happy. When I’m not having a great day, I consciously try to be a little nicer to others, in hopes that it may reflect back on me. Like karma, if you give smiles away, they usually come back to you.

Small acts of kindness, even things as small as a smile, can make all the difference in your own mood and others lives.

So, I’ll leave you with this, LoveLeighs – I hope you all know the worth of your smile and power of your happiness. It comes from within and when it’s there, it cannot be contained. Create your own joy and spread it to those around you, even when it seems hard to find.

 

Love, Leigh

RACKin’ Up the Deals

Nordstrom Rack is one of my very favorite stores to get a good deal on the brands I love. I recently downloaded the Rack app and have been finding the cutest pieces for 40-75% off.

I wanted to share some of my online shopping tips and favorite Rack items that I know you all will love.

First off, when shopping, make sure you filter by category and size. This lets you avoid shopping clothes or shoes that aren’t even available in your size. If you are looking for a specific color or brand, filtering is also helpful.

The other thing I like to do is sort the page by “best value” or “price lowest to highest”. This let’s you find the best deals and bang for your buck.

The Rack clearance section is constantly being updated so if you are looking for something specific, filter by “newest arrivals”.

What other stores do you like to shop for sales? Share your favorite finds with me on Instagram at @herloveleighlife!

Here are some of my favorite Nordstrom Rack items under $50:

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I LOVE these for a holiday party or with dark denim – $37.48
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This shirt is 71% off and comes in four colors!
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Leopard everything, please!
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This TOPSHOP pullover is under $20!
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I love the hem and detail on these – $26.40
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I got this Caslon sweater last week and it is so cute. Under $15!
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BAUBLEBAR earrings under $10!
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This mustard velvet skirt is the perfect length and under $30
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All about the ruffles this season!

My Favorite Cauliflower Crust Pizza Toppings

As promised in the Trader Joe’s Haul post, I am here to share with you a few of my favorite cauliflower pizza crust combinations.

I make a few of these a month and have found both a vegetarian and a meat lovers recipe that are simple, quick and delicious!

For those of you who have never made/bought a cauliflower pizza crust, the frozen one from Trader Joe’s is my favorite. It’s gluten free, crispy and half a pizza has less grams of carbs than a bagel!

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A standard bagel has about 50 grams of carbohydrates. This WHOLE pizza has 96. That’s pretty impressive. A medium Jet’s Pizza (my favorite) has 224 grams of carbs…Not to say that a Jet’s Pizza shouldn’t be enjoyed with a FULL bottle of ranch, but once a week? Maybe not.

The point is that this pizza crust is amazing and you can’t tell it’s made out of vegetables. Let’s get topping!

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Veggie Pizza

I cook the crust as instructed on the box and then top it with the Trader Joe’s Fat Free Pizza Sauce and lots (and lots) of shredded mozzarella.

Next I add about a cup of sliced mushrooms, some dollops of ricotta, a few fresh basil leaves and thinly sliced tomatoes. I also like to add some sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

I broil it for about about five minutes and serve!

Meatball Pizza

Like the veggie pizza, I bake the crust as instructed, spread the sauce and cover in mozzarella.

For this one I add sliced tomatoes and basil (and sometimes bacon bits! NOM).

After I’ve broiled those toppings, I add my microwaved Trader Joe’s meatballs. You can find them in the freezer section. I don’t like to broil them because it makes them extra crispy, but to each his own.

I have tried a lot of combinations of toppings on this crust, but these two recipes are my very favorite.

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What do you add to your cauliflower crust?

I love to hear from you guys and I hope you all enjoy these as much as I do.

Love, Leigh

Snooze it & Lose it

I don’t run for elevators. I don’t run to catch planes. I don’t like to run late.

Your alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m. and you immediately hit snooze. 8 minutes later the piercing sound of reality rings in your ear again and again and again… 

It’s a vicious cycle: hit snooze, doze off, wake up with the absolute minimum amount of time required to get out the door.

Now you’ve had no time to get coffee, forgot to put on the super cute necklace that matches your outfit and you feel rushed and flustered.

This used to be my daily routine. I was always rushing and feeling anxious about being late or forgetting something.

I realized that my problems were stemming from the way I started my day. The solution for these morning woes is something I like to call “getting vertical“.

Here’s how it works:

Pop out of bed the second your alarm goes off.

Don’t sit up and stare at your phone for a minute. Literally stand up. Get vertical the minute the alarm rings and don’t look back. Physically getting out of bed is the hardest part, so make like Nike and Just Do It.

After I’m vertical, I go into the kitchen and immediately drink at least eight ounces of water. Drinking water on an empty stomach helps reset your body and aids digestion. I never want to do this. I want to stick an IV of coffee straight into my arm, but having water truly does make me feel better throughout the day and wakes me up.

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After my water, I usually get ready to work out. Exercising in the morning keeps me energized all day long. It’s also nice to get home from work and know that I can spend time on other things.

If I’m not headed off to The Barre Code for a class (or once I’m back and showered), it’s time to get dressed for work.

My outfit is always planned out the night before, which is a tip I totally recommend. Laying your clothes out before bed saves you time in the morning and prevents the age old tale of trying on everything in your closet and trashing your room.

After I’m dressed, I grab my coffee, prepare my breakfast and allow myself 20 minutes to relax.

Sometimes I turn on Good Morning America, scroll through Instagram, or read a few chapters of whatever book I’m reading.

This might seem like a total waste of time, but giving myself some me-time in the morning allows me to relax and enjoy the day before I get crazy busy.

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Once I feel ready to get the day going I put on my makeup, do my hair and head off to work.

I know most of you are not morning people, but neither was I. There was a point where I had to be dragged out of bed, hated going to morning workout classes and didn’t even want to speak to another soul before sunrise.

If you are always running late, start by not hitting snooze. It helps me start every day in a good mood, which in turn allows me to feel more in control and less anxious about rushing out the door.

I truly believe that getting vertical as fast as you can and giving yourself a moment of relaxation in the morning sets you up for a successful day.

What other tips do you have for starting out your day right and being on time? Let me know in the comments!

We made it through another work week. Will you try to be a morning person next week? Have an amazing weekend, LoveLeighs!

Love, Leigh

Easiest Updo Ever!

I wear my hair in a high ponytail almost every day. I like having it out of my face, and I’ve found that wearing it up is the easiest way to keep it looking decent all day.

I stumbled upon a version of this quick updo on Pinterest and tweaked it to make it my own (and easy for people with long hair).

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Here’s how to get this look:

  1. Make a low ponytail with a part. Make sure you use an elastic the color of your hair!IMG_1095
  2. Loosen the pony a little and make a hole with your fingers just above the elasticIMG_1111
  3. Flip your hair under and through the top of the holeIMG_1085
  4. Braid your ponytail and secure with a skinny elasticIMG_1077
  5. Roll the braid toward the base of your headIMG_1042
  6. Secure with pins IMG_1059
  7. Pull at sides and front of hair for volume

This look is great for work and out for date night! It is so easy and fancier than your average pony or bun.

View the video tutorial here!

I hope you try it out! Please comment or DM me any beauty posts or tutorials you would like to see on the blog.

May your Monday be short and your coffee be strong!

Love, Leigh

Conceal & Feel Fierce

After my fall lip combinations post, I got a few requests for a concealer and foundation post. I decided it was easiest to do a full complexion post and share all my favorite face makeup products for everyday and glam occasions in one spot!

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When it comes to makeup, there are a thousand ways to wear it and even more products to decide between. I have a powder based routine for everyday wear and a more full coverage liquid base for long wear or special occasions.

For reference, I have very sensitive skin. I would say it’s fairly normal, not particularly dry or oily, but I do get some dry patches in the cold months.

Powder Foundation Routine

This is mostly personal preference, but when I use a powder, I like to apply concealer first and finish off with the powder to lock it in. When I use a liquid foundation, I apply it before I put on concealer.

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So, first off I use Benefit’s Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer in shade no. 01. This is my favorite product of all time. It covers pretty much any blemish out there and it stays on all day.

I like to use the It Smoothing Concealer brush (from this set) or my finger to apply it to any blemishes and red spots.

Next, I use Benefit’s Boi-ing Hydrating Concealer in shade no. 01 on my eyelids and under eyes. It’s a great eye shadow primer and prevents under eye creases. If putting moisturizer on before applying makeup makes your skin look greasy, this product is a great solution.

I finish off concealing with Benefit’s Boi-ing Brightening Concealer in shade no. 01. I apply it under my eyes to cover any dark circles, and on any other parts of my face I want to highlight (most often the bridge of my nose and my chin).

Once I am all concealed, I use the It Cosmetics Airbrush Complexion Perfection brush no. 115 to blend the It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation into my face and neck. I wear shade “light”.

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I am usually not a fan of powder foundations, but this one is great. It’s mid to full coverage and contains vitamins A, C and E, as well as collagen and aloe. It goes on silky smooth and doesn’t crack. I gave this powder a shot when it was on sale during Ulta’s 21 days of Beauty and will definitely repurchase it.

Liquid Foundation Routine

For special occasions or days when I know I will be out all night or in a lot of pictures, I opt for a liquid foundation to avoid having to reapply.

I start out by using the Urban Decay Optical Blurring brush to blend my Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup (in shade 02) to my entire face and neck.

Clinique’s Acne Solutions has been one of my favorite product lines since high school. I have continued to use it even now that I don’t have very acne-prone skin because of the silky texture and full coverage. This is a great liquid makeup for anyone with sensitive skin!

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After that is on I go through all the concealing steps I mentioned above. Quick recap:

  1. Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer on my blemishes.
  2. Boi-ing Hydrating Concealer on my eyelids and under eyes.
  3. Boi-ing Brightening Concealer under my eyes, on the bridge of my nose and my chin.

(Benefit, I’m waiting on that sponsorship any day now.)

If I know I will have makeup on for a long period of time, or I really want to make sure I look glam all night, I like to apply my Clinique Stay Matte Sheer Pressed Powder shade 02 (stay neutral) as a final step.

And that’s it, LoveLeighs. I know it sounds like a lot, but it takes less than three minutes and gives you a clean base for bronzer and blush.

If you’d like to see any specific beauty posts, videos, tutorials or product reviews, please let me know in the comments! I appreciate all of your feedback!

Love, Leigh

Going Bananas for Smoothies

If you thought my No-Bake Power Bites were easy, get ready for another quick and simple recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Behold the four ingredient smoothie I make at least once (sometimes twice) a day.

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Here are the ingredients you need:

  • 1 frozen banana (freeze peeled)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of peanut butter (or PB2)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (2-3 dashes)
  • 1 tablespoon of your choice of milk (I use lactose free 2%)

Directions:

  • Put all the ingredients in a NutriBullet or blender and blend until smooth
  • Add milk or ice for preferred consistency
  • Enjoy

The first reason I love this smoothie is that it’s even better as nice cream. That’s right, if you freeze it for an hour it transforms into a creamy ice cream-like substance. It’s a great way to cut down on sugar and I swear it tastes like a frozen cinnamon roll. Amazing.

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I have never been one for protein supplements. I would rather get my protein from whole foods than processed powders. If you are looking for a post-workout snack, your search is over!

The peanut butter supplies healthy fats, protein and fiber, and the banana is rich in potassium and magnesium. Lots of health benefits without the kidney and liver damage that often results from protein powder consumption.

If you don’t like peanut butter, I highly suggest using chocolate flavored PB2 as a substitute. You mix the powder with water for a creamy chocolate flavored spread (with less fat calories than peanut butter). I use a little less cinnamon with the PB2 to highlight the chocolate flavor.

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Easy, filling and delicious: the three requirements for a LoveLeigh approved recipe.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Please let me know what other kinds of recipes you’d like to see on the blog!

Love, Leigh