Beauty & Lifestyle

July 23, 2016

Holy Grail | My Favorite Drugstore Beauty Products

NYX San Paulo Lip Cream & Milani Delizioso Blush, Pink, Flowers, Girly, Blush, Lip, Makeup, Beauty
So I have to admit, sometimes I can be a little bit of a... snob. (With THINGS, not people). The fact is, quality often comes at a price. However, there are some absolute GEMS to be found at the drugstore that are super inexpensive. 

I've been using these products forever and will probably never switch to anything higher-end, because they really work for me. And that's really what everything in beauty (and life) is all about: finding what works for YOU. These are all products that I've used for years and have been truly tried and tested. If you're looking for some inexpensive drugstore beauty or makeup recommendations, these are my top nine!

NYX San Paulo Lip Cream & Milani Delizioso Blush, Lip, Makeup, Beauty, Drugstore, Pink, Flowers, Girly
Rimmel Scandal Eyes Mascara
Love love loveeee! There are few things that make your eyes look better than full, dark lashes and this mascara provides just that. Now here's the only thing... I'll only use this mascara on top of another high-end mascara. My all-time favorite Dior Diorshow is a dry mascara, so it really separates and defines your lashes. Adding this on top builds major MAJOR volume. Because Scandal Eyes is a wet mascara I find that if I apply it directly to my lashes they look thin (like that spider-y unnatural thing - not about it). So, find your favorite dry mascara and then apply two coats of this on top and I promise your lashes will never look bigger.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Cottage Cheese
Highlighting makes a HUGE difference in your face. I always apply this on my brow bone and inner corners of my eyes. It really catches the light and opens everything up. This one glides on smoothly, blends beautifully, and seriously lasts forever. And it's like, $4 - you can't go wrong.

Milani Baked Blush in Delisioso
This blush is sensitive-skin approved, lasts forever (like actually way longer than most I've used), inexpensive, and this color is the absolute perfect shade of glow-from-within-baby-pink. I can't say enough good things about it.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in San Paolo
Admittedly I'm not the biggest fan of decidedly matte lip products because they can be super drying. Flaky lips are not cute. I apply my favorite lip balm and then dot this on and blend to create a not-so-matte pink pout with decent lasting power. This color is to die for! I love inexpensive lip products like these for experimenting with different colors.
Holy Grail Drugstore Beauty Products featuring Batiste, NYX, Milani, Rimmel, Neutrogena, Johnson & Johnson
Neutrogena Healthy Defence SPF 45 Moisturizer
I LOVE this moisturizer. (Is it weird to love an inanimate object?) It's super hydrating and perfect for sensitive-skin. I even took it into my dermatologist and had her go over all the ingredients - approved! Daily SPF is so important no matter your age to prevent wrinkles and sun damage. This one has just enough while still feeling light. Win-win- win. Unfortunately, this is the most expensive on the list - at about $15, but it's still way less than most moisturizers you'll find!

CVS Beauty 360 Jumbo Cosmetic Applicators
If you're of the Beauty Blender cult (good girl), then you already know the magic of applying your foundation with a damp sponge. These work just as well, but are one-time use which make me feel 100% better about the germs. I swear every time I find makeup sponges I like they magically disappear from store shelves never to be heard of or seen again. SIGH. My ultimate favorite are these Beauty 360 latex-free applicators that are sold at CVS. They quadruple in size when wet and apply liquid foundation so beautifully. These are the closest, cheapest disposable Beauty Blender dupe I've found. If you truly want a flawless face (uhm, who doesn't?), always use a damp sponge to apply your foundation/concealer/etc.  If you can't find these in stores, the "Swisspers" brand also makes pretty good ones.

Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
This makeup remover is the real MVP. I have pretty sensitive eyes, I was a long-time contact lens wearer and then had laser eye surgery (read about my experience here), and this stuff has never irritated them. It's oil-free so it's safe to use on your face as well (sensitive skin, too!)

Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo
I'm religious about cleaning my makeup brushes (once a week, thank you). Bacteria and dirt can accumulate so quickly on your brushes, especially if they're constantly in and out of your makeup bag, and then that dirt and gunk gets transferred to your face every time you apply...YUCK. So cleaning them is so necessary! I love using baby shampoo because it's gentle and effective (and cheap)!

Batiste Original Dry Shampoo
I have tried a million (obvious exaggeration) different dry shampoos, from the cheapest (this) to the most expensive (Oribe?), and this is my hands down favorite. Why? IT WORKS. I feel like a lot of hair products try to mask their inefficiency by adding scents or shimmer or claiming disease-curing properties. Not this. It just works. Crazy concept, right? I have the thickest hair that I only wash once a week. This takes out any extra oil at the end of the week and adds a little volume in the process. Love!

What are your favourite drugstore finds?

July 17, 2016

Perfect Protein Pancakes

One of the reasons I love the weekends is because it gives you a chance to slow down and an awesome excuse to cook a delicious breakfast. Who doesn't love pancakes? I mean seriously, they're the ultimate weekend breakfast (or in my case, lunch...or dinner...). 

The only problem with "traditional" pancakes is that they're usually not great for you. Especially when they come from a box you mix with water. No bueno. (Also boringggg). These are the best-tasting protein pancakes I've come up with so far and there are so many ways you can be creative with this recipe.
These protein pancakes are super healthy, high in protein, easy, and delicious! Best of all - they only need a few ingredients. Egg whites, oats, greek yogurt, and protein powder make up the bulk of this recipe. One of the reasons I love this recipe so much is because it's an awesome way to utilize healthy staples in a way that doesn't feel as routine. And it's gluten-free! (I think. There seems to be an ongoing debate about whether or not oats are gluten-free. I don't have an issue with gluten so I'll leave that up to your judgement.)
I use Cellucor cinnamon-flavored whey protein as my protein powder of choice in this recipe. If you're into baking with protein powder I highly suggest this flavor as it really lends a hint of cinnamon, but otherwise disappears into the background of your baked good. Cellucor and Genuine Health are my go-to brands for protein powders - but feel free to use the brand and flavor of your choice. Or, omit the protein powder altogether and just add a little more oats to maintain the consistency of the pancake batter.
Easy! Once you make pancakes from scratch I promise you won't want to go back to the just-add-water boxed variety. Actually, I feel that way about ALL food - that's why I really wanted to share recipes on my blog. It's so easy and ridiculously satisfying to cook real food at home from scratch. 

And SO much better for you.
I generally top my pancakes with homemade jam and calorie-free maple syrup, but you can also add fresh berries, coconut whip, chocolate chips, nuts, honey - the possibilities are endless! I'll be sharing the recipe for my incredibly easy and healthy three ingredient triple berry jam that you see the pancakes topped with very soon. It's heaven and you're going to love it!

If you try this recipe I'd love to know your thoughts, topping variations, and see your beautiful pictures! Tag me on social media #jessicaclaranoelle !

June 25, 2016

Four Keys to a Successful Relationship

Couple Picture Caribbean, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Champagne, Beach, St Kitts, Kittitian Hill
Relationships shouldn't be hard, but sometimes we all need a gentle reminder to put in that little extra bit of effort. These four tips/realizations have really helped me keep things in perspective and maintain a healthy relationship. The love doctor is in... (just kidding) 

Love Someone the Way They Want to be Loved
This one I learned from a colleague during a casual conversation about relationships. It was something he had realized and as soon as he said it was like a giant light bulb went on. It was literally an "aha!" moment. Like, duh. It's so incredibly obvious, but makes such a big difference. Everyone shows love differently and everyone wants to be loved differently. You have to do the things that make the other person happy and give the kind of love they want to receive, rather than the kind you want to give. Even if that means you have to be the big spoon (despite your rightful place as the little one...)

The Importance of Rallying
These are all super important, but this is a game-changer. Imagine you're super excited to do something and the person you're going with is just not feeling it. It drags you down, ruins the day, and eventually, makes you resent that person for ruining it. This past May was our one year anniversary and we spent three nights at a beautiful inn (love love love). Going into the weekend I was starting to get a sore throat, but by the third night of excessive wine (not complaining), it was bad. I was headache-y, achey, and it hurt to even swallow. Jay said we could stay in and order room service if I wanted, but I could tell he was not into the idea at all. This was his beautiful anniversary weekend that he planned and I was being a sucky baby and ruining it. I needed to rally. I felt like crap, but I was also allowing myself to feel like crap. So I got up, had a shot of espresso, amped up the makeup and put on a sexy dress and heels. And you know what? We had a great dinner and night together and I completely forgot about my sore throat. Sometimes you really need to push through for the sake of the other person. This applies to everything from an activity you're not feeling to sex. Rally!

The Benefit of the Doubt
This is one I still occasionally struggle with. I'm definitely prone to being a little sensitive and over-analyzing things, especially when I'm stressed. Why did he say that? What did he really mean by that? You know the spiral. It's beyond important to CHILL and give the other person the benefit of the doubt that they're not saying or doing something with the intention to hurt or upset you.

Remember Why You Love Them
This ties in with giving them the benefit of the doubt, but in those moments when you are annoyed or upset, just remind yourself why you love them. It's easy to get worked up about things but if you can take a step back and remember all the ways they make you happy, you'll stop being shitty real quick.

What are things you've learned that make relationships successful?

June 10, 2016

Father's Day 2016 Gift Guide

Father's Day 2016 Gift Guide featuring books (Shoe Dog by Phil Knight and Food & Beer by Daniel Burns), risotto recipe, Vilebrequin swim trunks, and Blue Jays sports tickets
Photos property of their respective brands.

Sometimes I'm so on point and have planned out gifts months in advance...but I also have a tendency to occasionally procrastinate...just a little bit... Father's Day is quickly approaching so I thought I would put together an easy gift guide that you can get last minute. (Because there's nothing worse than getting your heart set on something only to find out it can't be delivered in time)

TATEOSSIAN Skeleton Rhodium-Plated Cufflinks
These little babies are the splurgy, but if Dad is always in suits - they're a showstopper. Forget another tie and really impress him with these vintage watch movement-inspired cufflinks. Seriously gorgeous. Bonus: the shipping from Net-a-Porter/Mr. Porter is ridiculously fast so if you *cough cough* forget, these can be in your hands in a day.

Vilebrequin Moorea Sharks Swim Trunks
These are so vintage #dadvibes in the best way possible. The "Moorea" fit (mid-length only. ever.) is classic of the 70's and the print is perfect for summer. If you have a mini-me in the family, many of Vilebrequin's prints also come in kids sizes - too cute!

Food & Beer by Daniel Burns and Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso
If you've got a foodie-father, this book is perfect. Not only is it a gorgeous coffee table book, but has some awesome recipes with beer pairings. I'm probably going to get it for my boyfriend as well.

Blue Jays Tickets (or any Sporting/Live Event)
What dad doesn't love sports and what dad doesn't love spending an afternoon with their child? Win-win. And again, if you've forgotten 'til the last minute, you can always buy tickets online for an upcoming game and just print out the confirmation and put it inside your card. Win-win-win.

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
This new release chronicles the rise of Nike and t's founder and board chairman, Phil Knight. It's ideal for pretty much anyone (on my to-read list), but will appeal especially to those with an entrepreneurial spirit (or biography lovers).

Deep down, though, you know the only thing your dad ever really wants from you is your time and to know you care. So spend the day together and make him my delicious (and healthy!) mushroom risotto - after all, the way to any man's heart is through his stomach!

What are you planning for Father's Day?!
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