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I like many others have been obsessed with the matte nail look. It is classic, never goes out of style, and it looks good in almost any color you choose, but on the flip side it can get a little boring. In the past year we have been exposed to all sorts of nail kits that give us velvet, glitter and beaded nails, and we soon realized the matte nail is on its way out. 

A kit seems so simple and easy to use, and they are. There are multiple steps involved in order to get your desired look, and let’s be honest, not everyone can do all the steps correctly to get what they want. Luckily for us, the nail industry has done it again and invited a new trend, texturized nails. True to their name, these simple one-step polishes will give the illusion of the added beads and glitter without all the added fuss. For me, no one does nail polishes better than OPI and with the textured Bond Girls Liquid Sand Polish Collection, you’ll get the glam, bad-girl flare like the Bond girls they’re named after.

You can get each individual polish for $9 or the mini nail set for $12.95 at Ulta.com

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As a professional makeup artist, it is easy for me to want to spend a ton of money on products each time I go to the store, but as a twenty-something-year-old girl who has other bills to pay, I know it’s not the best idea for me to be spending money frivolously on them. So I went searching high and low to find five best products under $15! You will get the department store product and results for less than half of the price.

The Lip Crayon

Colored lips are all the rage this season and not everyone is a fan of a lipstick, and lip glosses have the tendency to leave you feeling sticky. Fortunately, the geniuses at cosmetics company got together and came up with the lip crayon, which does exactly what you would expect it to given its name. The Neutrogena Moisturesmooth Color Stick gives your lips an added amount of color, but doesn’t stain like a stick or gloss. On top of that, it also works to condition your lips every time you apply it. You can find it at any drugstore for only $8.99!

The Foundation

Foundation is often the most expensive product you will buy, especially when you want a near flawless finish, so I am always unsure about trying to bargain shop — that was until I found the Maybelline Fit Me Shine Free Foundation. First, the number of shade choices you can choose from makes it is nearly impossible not to find the shade that works for you. Another thing that drew me to this particular product is that it is shine free. A lot of cheaper foundations don’t work to control shine and when you have oily skin like I do, that can be a huge problem. This one you can get for $6.99.

The Body Lotion

Finding a good body lotion can be difficult because you don’t want something with an overly strong smell but you also don’t want something with no scent. The L’Oreal Moisture Even Tone Tinted Day Lotion is oil-free and works to give the skin an add glow while not clogging your pores. The skin softening formula with make your skin feel hydrated and fresh for a full 48 hours while the SPF 25 will help protect your skin from the sun’s rays. You can get this for $6.49. 

The Makeup Remover

Removing your makeup after a night out is usually the last thing on anyone’s mind, but it is usually one of the most important things to do in order to keep your skin healthy and fresh. In the summer this becomes even more difficult because the waterproof products we wear in order to beat the heat are tough to remove, which is why I love Almay Longwearing and Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Pads. Instead of fighting with soap and water, you can remove water-resistant products with one pad, and unlike other products that are rough on your skin, these work to hydrate as they attack makeup. These range from $5.49 to $8.49 in your local drugstores. 

The Matte Lip Color

There have been two big lip trends the past couple of seasons. The first was bold, bright lips and the second was neutral matte colors — and again, the battle of the lipstick and lip gloss played out, but the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream helped solve this problem. The cream texture allows for the perfect matte finish instead of the clumps a lipstick could leave or the shine of a gloss. Also, NYX came out with a wide variety of colors ranging from bright pinks to neutral beiges. This product you can find for $6.00.

Late nights are a given in any season, but during the summertime it becomes even harder to get to bed at a decent hour, even when we have to get up in the morning to go to work. But don’t you worry ladies! I have found two amazing eye creams, that may be a little pricey but are well worth every penny because they will leave you feeling wide awake, younger and refreshed while brightening up your eyes and face.

Cane + Austin

The Corrective Treatment Eye Cream comes in a 15 mL bottle, which may not seem like a lot but all you need each morning is a dime sized drop so it should last you a little while. Not only does this cream help prevent and reverse signs of aging, but it does amazing things for fatigue. It will restructure your fine lines and wrinkles to look less intense and defined, it will decrease the puffiness from the lack of sleep, and most importantly get rid of the dreaded undereye darkness. Personally, I have extremely dark undereyes so when I don’t get enough sleep, it becomes an even bigger issue, but thankfully since starting to use this I have seen a significant reduction in the purple color under my eyes.

Mudrad

The Instant Radiance Eye Cream does more than wonders for the undereye, it also works for the lid as well! Because, let’s be honest, you can get dark circles on top of your eye just as easily as under it, so having a cream that attacks both areas is ideal. The clinically proven formula can reduce dark circles by 30% within the first 15 minutes of application and if you make this part of your daily routine, can ultimately reduce them by 48%. Aside from attacking the darkness, it will also work to smooth your skin giving it a more youthful look, so this is a great cream for older women to use to fight the signs of aging. 

Two years ago, my summers changed for good after I got diagnosed with skin cancer and, honestly, I didn’t pay much attention to what my doctors told me to do, which I know was not the smartest thing. Then this year, I had another scare so I immediately decided to smarten up, because as much as I love a good tan, I love my health more. So I started doing research and found the best products that can help protect me from the most harmful UV rays, and surprisingly, not all of them come with high SPFs.

Aveeno
I have always been a fan of their products so I wasn’t surprised when I used one of their sunscreens and loved it. The Protect + Hydrate Sunscreen (SPF 30) has broad spectrum SPF and is designed to do exactly as the name entails protect you from the sun while moisturizing and hydrating your skin. The cream’s advanced formula contains nourishing active natural oats that help keep the skin looking fresh.

Hawaiian Tropic
This may be one of the most popular brands of sunscreens so it was one of the first companies I looked into, and even my doctor agreed with this choice. The Sheer Touch (SPF 50) lotion contains exotic botanicals that will soothe your skin while simultaneously protecting it. To top it off, this lotion is extremely water resistant so you won’t have to reapply as frequently. 

Shiseido
This company has come to the rescue with not only one product, but two. First up is the Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion (SPF 50+). Most of the time you need to have a sunscreen for your face and one for your body, but this lotion covers both areas. The nourishing formula with broad spectrum protection helps defend against the sun’s most harmful rays that cause sunburn, premature aging and cell damage. Also, it doesn’t leave behind a filmy residue and stays invisible on skin even after numerous applications. Secondly, is the Sun Protection Lip Treatment (SPF 36). The hydrating lip balm defends against both UVA and UVB rays while making sure your lips stay moisturized. 

To top off all of the amazing qualities about these products, the Skin Cancer Foundation has backed all of these companies for making effective UV sunscreen products.

I have been a dancer and athlete my entire life so I am no stranger to the dreaded body acne. I know how embarrassing it can be and how hard it is to hide or treat — and to top it all off, body acne becomes an even bigger issue in weather like we have been having this summer. I have searched high and low for the best acne fighting products, here are my favorites.

Burt’s Bees
This isn’t a company name new to anyone — they make some of my favorite lip balms — but until recently, I didn’t really know they made much else. Most of the time we tend to think of moisturizers as not being the best for acne skin, but the Natural Acne Solutions Moisturizing Lotion is composed of lemongrass, witch hazel, and goldenseal, which all come together to fight oily skin and banish blemishes. 

Kiehl’s
The Blue Herbal Spot Treatment is a salicylic acid spot treatment targets blackheads, whiteheads and blemishes, dries them out and works deep to clear the skin. The gel works through all the oil and dirt to go after the exact problem causing the acne and works perfectly.

Neutrogena
I have always been a huge fan of Neutrogena products, I’ve been using the face wash for as long as I could remember, so naturally when looking for a body wash, I went straight for one of theirs. The Body Clear Body Wash in Grapefruit not only smells great, but contains salicylic acid and works to clear pores all over the body without over-drying the skin. 

Clinique
Some people aren’t huge fans of body washes and prefer soap bars so I have a cleanser for you as well. The Acne Solutions Cleansing Bar for Face and Body works to wash away all the hidden dirt that can be left on the body after a day or night of activity and works to unclog your pores just like the body wash utilizing salicylic acid. 

Using all or some of these products will leave your body feeling refreshed, clean and clear. You will, without a doubt, feel comfortable wearing as little clothing as you want this summer.

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