Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Beauty Regimen Vol. 1

Ever since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with make-up. From the time I got my first Lisa Frank stationary set and my first Barbie Lip gloss I have been completely obsessed. I always loved playing with my mom's makeup and looking at all the fun bottles, packets, and compacts that she had. Now, the absolute best place on earth for great makeup is none other than... 
I mean look how flossy this lady is… An icon for the ladies for sure. Just check out that flawless skin.
If I could have any dream in my life fulfilled, for sure it would be to have my own Merle Norman studio.  Maybe I should start saving up? It is such magical place. I love to go and sit and let them try new products on me. They also did my make-up for my wedding and my face was flawless. Here is my local MN where all the magic has happened since I was 13.
Wendy's Merle Norman Cosmetics

See that chair to the right and that lovely little table? That's where the magic happens!
The new owner Wendy is really nice and Misty is a great make-up artist! They are really good at showing you new products as well as having all your standard Merle Norman staple products in stock. I love nothing more than a “Promotion” time (which is right now by the way...get going!). They always give you free samples and new products to try and usually some sort of little make-up bag (I have tons from over the years that I can’t part with). They are always really cute and just the perfect size for all your daily essentials.

Luckily, I have always been blessed with really great skin. I owe it all to Merle and the good Lord. I started using Merle Norman when I was 13 (maybe before if you count all the times I got into mom’s makeup).  I always loved to watch my mother (and still do) sit and put on her make-up. YES! She would sit down in front of the mirror at her vanity (which I now have) and apply all of her moisturizers and beauty products. It is also a really great time to sit and talk with her :) So, thanks mom for taking me to Merle Norman.  I started out as a make-up diva at a young age so naturally I would LOVE makeup today. 
One of the things that aggravate me about makeup on people is that it does not match their skin tone. You must have this done by a professional.  Again, MN is the best place for this.  They can look at my face and pretty much guess my foundation color. Professionals. Yes they are. 

Now, to get started.
First, you must apply the MN Luxiva Daily Moisture Cream. Now, I don’t use this everyday but I should… Sometimes I get started with my makeup routine and I forget because I’m running late or whatever. But, when I do remember it gives you such great moisturizing and a great protective layer against the oils in makeup or daily facial dirt. I get MUCH better results with my makeup when I remember.

Second, MN Total Finish is the ABSOLUTE best product they make. This foundation is so magical that it can cover any flaw, blemish, or scar on your face. It is very similar to a theatrical type makeup. It is heavy but whenever I have this on, I ALWAYS get compliments on my skin and face. It is worth every penny and more! It comes with a large sponge that you can also wet for a matte finish. The most EXCELLENT product ever. If you have blemishes or need heavy covering around the eyes (like me) it is a MUST!
Total Finish....also comes with a large sponge applicator :)
Now, I have had this makeup combo for YEARS because it truly gives me that flawless look and it works so well with my skin.  Remember that what works for me may not work for you. It is such a good combination that I actually feel so much better when my face is complete.
Next, you need to apply the MN Luxiva Ultra Powder Foundation. This is a foundation combined with pressed powder. It is more powder than anything and it takes away the oily look of foundation, leaving you with a soft fresh look and feel. It also smells great and can be used alone without the foundation layer underneath. This is a MUST for your purse because it is great for touch ups. I have one in my car, purse, and my desk drawer. See…
They did just recently change the packaging which completely broke my heart. It has been the exact same since I began using it all those years ago. This white compact was a classic and I love the big mirror on the inside. It also looks a tad bit pearly in your makeup bag which you all know I love.

Now it is black. eww :(
 They switched it to this which just does not float my boat but hey, still the same great product inside. It went down in size by .5 oz and is now a dollar cheaper. Maybe it will fit in my MN makeup travel bag better? I still cannot justify the change. Me no likey!
Finally, if I’ve been tanning or chillin’ pool side I cover with an amazing product I stumbled upon at Ulta. Smashbox is the next best thing to Merle Norman. However, I only use their accessory type products such as bronzers or eyeshadows. It is not a staple cosmetic company in my opinion.
Use this with a large kubuki brush or large loose powder brush. Do not "dab" it on your face or it will be spotty.
Speaking of lip pencils, nothing finishes my face better than my MN Lip Pencil Plus.
The title really is Gold Amber...Unbelievable I know.
Just looking at it reminds me of another thing I like about Merle Norman.  Most of their products are accented with gold which is another classic trait of mine. I love GOLD. Jewelry, shoes, bags, makeup adornment. LOVE LOVE LOVE me some gold anything. A true Diva. You see? This lip pencil is dual action. A lip pencil on one end; the color on the other. And Merle was tricky on this.  It only fits in MN sharpeners so you must purchase one of those also. But, the sharpener is so handy and it saves a lot of your pencil by only trimming down the wood part and not the makeup. A smart purchase for sure. This lip pencil is called Gold Amber (Imagine that?) two great things in one :) It is my fave. This is also my final step in fixing my face. This color works best for all year round depending on what gloss you put over it. (See gloss in accessory photo below as #3)

One thing I cannot stand is for my face and my body to be different colors. NO m’am! So, the bronzer really helps with that.  I dust a little bronzer on my neck to in order to make it look more natural. Note to self: check out MN’s bronzers. Pile all of this together and you have one amazing, glowing, fresh look. Especially during summer. Have you ever taken a picture with your make-up just perfect and your face comes out really white? I have found that this is due to the SPF in the makeup. Now, Merle does have some SPF in her makeup to rid you of those harmful UV rays. Thank you Merle for looking out for us. But, in order to fix this you must use a bronzer on top of your foundation and pressed powder. Then you will not have the glowing ghost face :)
  Finally, some of my accessory products that compliment all that perfect face polishing would be….

#1. New MN Eyeshadow. This came in my latest promotion pack called “An Eye-deal Gift.” It is just the right color for summer. It is shimmery and has those pewter and gold tones that makes your eyes glow. The color is called Desert Shimmer.
#2. Blush. This is a staple I’ve used for a while from MN. Also a find from a promotion. This is why it is so great to experiment with your make-up. You find just the right compliments for your face.The color here is Sugar Melon.
#3. MN Moist Lip Color. Now, I am not a fan of sticky wet lips like most lip glosses. However. This gives you a clean finished look over the dual lip pencil plus gives your lips a little *pop*. Especially in photos. I got this for the wedding and honeymoon and it was PERFECT! The color here is sheer kiss and it compliments many different shades of the dual lip pencil.
#4. Lash Prep. This really is a great product for extending and giving you very full lashes. Cover your entire lashes top and bottom. Then cover with MN Lash Lift for some super scrumptious lashes. You may have to use a lash comb to remove a few clumps.  I fell in love with this when I had my bridal portraits done.

My last and final thought for today is do not waste your money on lame products that simply will not do the job. If you have never tried MN you needs to get on that ASAP!  Go see Wendy and the girls on N. Main in the Rox.

More beauty tips coming in Vol. 2 of Summer Beauty Regimens. I'll give some info on keeping that skin looking good, facial cleansers and treatments, and some of my other favorite shower must-haves!


  1. Love this blog, Amber. (And all of them for that matter) MN was my first make-up too but, it was in Morehead City. Actually, the old owner in Roxboro is the Aunt of an old high school friend from home. Small World! Love the tip about the "Ghost Face" in pics. I always wondered how this happened!

  2. I just love the part about you watchin your mom apply make up as you were growin up. <3

  3. I commented from my phone obviously didn't work....

    Anyhoo .... I love the mention of watching your mom put on her make up. I remember doing that too...even though I am not a priss. :)

    Love you!


Thank you for reading and following my blog. I would love to hear what you have to say! Love, Amber