Why you should be using Toner as part of your skincare routine

I had never used Toner until a few weeks ago. I didn’t know what Toner was.

I didn’t know if it was a makeup remover, a moisturizer, something I needed, or just some additional beauty product companies were pushing you to buy.

I researched. I found out that at any age, any stage, Toner can work wonders for your skin. Toner is also supposed to help with breakouts and oily skin. I’ve been breaking out pretty badly on my forehead due to an increase in humidity – hello, late summer in Florida – and huge amounts of stress due to home renovations.

So I purchased a bottle of Thayer’s Witch Hazel Aloe Vera Formula Alcohol-Free Toner ($9.85, from Amazon) to try out for myself.

The beauty of toner is that most of them are all natural and alcohol-free, so they won’t dry out or damage our skin. And they’re pretty gentle enough for all skin types.

After a few uses, I quickly found out I LOVED using Toner. Here’s why!

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You won’t believe how dirty these are (makeup brushes, that is!)

you-wont-believe-how-dirty-these-areOmg. So I let my brushes get very, very dirty recently. We’ve had so much going on, I let them go for quite a while. I knew it was time to clean them about two months ago /ashamed to admit. My face had been breaking out too, which I’m sure is partly stress but another part had to be what I was putting on my face.

I read on Pinterest a few years ago how to effectively clean makeup brushes. You need only 3 ingredients:

  1. Dawn Dish Soap
  2. White vinegar
  3. Hot water

A quick how-to guide to clean your makeup brushes!:

  1. Gather up your makeup brushes, no matter how often or rarely you use them. Make sure to get any specialty brushes (i.e. the brushes that come with eye shadow palettes!) And don’t forget those Beauty Blenders!
  2. Fill a small glass jar with 1 part vinegar, 2 parts dish soap and 3 parts hot water. Take a brush, swish it in the water (try not to get the metal connector part wet, if possible, because it’ll wear out the bristles faster). Rinse the brush with hot water, swish in the cleaner mixture again, then rinse again with hot water.
  3. Repeat with other brushes. If your cleaner mixture starts to get cloudy and change color, dump out the water and start anew with a new batch of Dawn, vinegar, and hot water. You will need to dump and refresh several times.
  4. Lay the brush out to dry. Leaving the brush bristles out over the edge of a counter top so that it can get the ultimate air circulation is the best. Let dry overnight.

What about my Beauty Blenders?

  1. Fill a small container with Dawn Dish Soap and hot water.
  2. Take your Beauty Blender and soak it in the mixture, squishing it in so that it fills with the clean water.
  3. Repeat several times.
  4. Rinse the Beauty Blender with hot water and repeat. You will probably need to dump out the Dawn + water mixture a few times, depending on how dirty your sponge is.
  5. Once you are pleased with the cleanliness of your sponge (aka when it’s returned to its normal Pink color… or black or white or whatever color it is), place it in a microwave-safe container.
  6. Microwave the Beauty Blender for 20 seconds.
  7. Take it out (caution: HOT!) and let it air dry overnight.

There you have it! It does take some time, but you’ll definitely be glad you cleaned your brushes. Your face will appreciate it, too.



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5 must-haves for when you absolutely have 0 time for makeup

5 must haves for when you have 0 time for makeup | Emily Gets ElegantYou’ve seen the videos on YouTube:

  • “How to do your makeup in 5 minutes”
  • “Do your makeup when you’re running late”
  • “Look made-up when you’ve just woken up!”


With 5 minutes, you still have time to actually sit at your vanity/stand in front of your bathroom sink.

You have a freakin’ MIRROR.

Some of us can’t afford those luxuries when you decide to commute with your husband to work and you woke up at an ungodly hour. Did you even get time to shower? … And FORGET the hair. But luckily you somehow managed to grab a few makeup items on the way out.

Sometimes, I’m doing my makeup at 70 mph on the highway (disclaimer: in the passenger seat, y’all)

Sometimes, I’m doing my makeup in the parking lot.

And by now I’ve gotten pretty good at doing my makeup super-fast and still look decent.

So ladies, pull down your visor or aim your rearview at that pretty face. Here’s how to do your makeup when you are squeezing every moment out of the 0 time that you have.

What’s in the bag?

1. Spare sponges

Do yourself a ‘fave and the next time you’re at the store, purchase those triangle-shaped makeup sponges.

They are useful for EVERYTHING. You can use and throw away and not feel bad, because they start at $2.

2. Light coverage foundation — preferably with its own applicator

Last thing you want to be doing is applying anything with your hands or touching your face in this unsanitary environment (I am SO against touching the face with hands. Oil, dirt, grime and God-knows-what-else can be on your hands).

Makeup with its own applicator is a win. Plus, less to carry.

I prefer L’Oreal Lumi Cushion Foundation because it goes on with a nice, light coverage, makes you look fresh (see: Lumi), and comes with its own super soft sponge applicator.

If you want to use a different foundation without its own applicator, grab one of those spare sponges you bought and blend away!

3. Eyelid primer

Eyelid primer will ensure a smooth color on your eyelids, whether or not you have time to dust on eyeshadow or not. A quick swipe with a sponge on both eyelids and you’re good to go.

ELF’s Eyelid Primer is one of my makeup essentials. And it’s about $2, found at most big box and drugstores.

4. Gel eye liner

In my extensive experience with eye liners, I’ve found that a gel-based eyeliner works best as far as easy application and staying power. Once it’s on, it can essentially be smudge-proof. Just let it dry thoroughly after applying (fan your eyes a bit).

Coupled with the eyelid primer (and maybe some eyeshadow, if you have some, you lucky dog you), the eyeliner will frame your face nicely. If you try to use eye liner without primer, you can end up with an oily eyelid and smudgy lines. Yuck.

DO take a bit of time on applying this as you MUST have even lines, otherwise you’ll look like you had 0 time to put your makeup on (see what I did there 😉 ).

I’ve been using Marc Jacobs High Liner Gel Crayon in Black that I got as a sample from Sephora.

5. Tinted lip balm

There’s NO time to make sure you get the perfect pout (maybe after lunch?), so glide on that tinted balm, like CoverGirl’s Oh Sugar!

You’ll get a hint of color, moisturize those lips, and no need to worry about lipstick on the teeth or bleeding color ’cause, ****, by this time you’re already late! 😮

Ok, so you need at least 30 seconds to 1 minute for this makeup routine…

But anyone can do this while sitting in their car, at a red light, or running to the bathroom before being seen by co-workers!

Do you often find yourself doing your makeup at the last minute? Let me know in the comments below!

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