Ashley Brooke // Florida and Los Angeles Beauty and Fashion Blog by Ashley Nicholas: April 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

OWN Lifting Eye Cream


I never understood why my mom would slather her face with all sorts of creams and serums every night. It seemed like such a time consuming, messy, and unnecessary process...and then I got my first wrinkle.Suddenly I understood. I would do anything- well, almost anything- to prevent this tragedy from happening again. 

I immediately began my journey into the world of anti-aging skincare, but I ran into several obstacles. My combination/oily/acne-prone skin did not like the heavy night creams one bit. I looked like I had decided to take a bath in Crisco. I also had a hard time finding products that weren't insanely expensive. $90 for an eye cream? It can't be THAT good. 

I'm still looking for my ideal products, but I have found an eye cream that I am liking a lot: Own Lifting Eye Cream. I was so lucky to be able to try this product thanks to OWN and iFabbo. I don't have a massive amount of wrinkles or skin damage, so I can't brag about dramatic results; however, I have noticed that I look slightly less tired, my eye area is moisturized without feeling greasy, and my eye and undereye makeup seems to be going on smoother and easier. The formula dermatologist-tested, retinol-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free, and sulfate-free, so it's fairly gentle on your skin. I haven't noticed any redness or irritation.

So far, I love the results, and I'll continue using the product every morning and night. Maybe it's all placebo effect, but if it makes me worry about my wrinkles less- who cares? I'm also testing out OWN's Refining Moisture Night Cream and Firming Silk Concentrate, so I'll post about my experience with those products asap! Own Lifting Cream is normally priced around $23, but the lovely people at OWN are allowing Ashley Brooke readers to get 30% off your first Own Skin Health order with the code CLAIFABBO1. You can use this code for any OWN products, not just the eye cream. 

What are your favorite anti-aging products? Are you freaking about wrinkles too, or am I just crazy haha?

Product was sent for review consideration by OWN and iFabbo. All stated opinions are my genuine thoughts. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Favorite YouTubers! {Part One}

I love YouTube, but I don't just love the cute baby videos or funny prank videos (although I will admit that I've probably definitely watched all of the cute baby videos on YouTube). My cousin Michelle and I are fully addicted to YouTube, and we're constantly messaging each other with new channels to subscribe to. I thought that I'd share some of my favorites with you today! 

Left: Ingrid aka MissGlamorazzi      |      Right: Fleur aka FleurdeForce

Ingrid aka MissGlamorazzi: Ingrid is an LA girl that is as cute as a button. She seems like the sweetest girl, and she is kind of a big nerd like me! I love her style and personality, and she happens to be completely gorgeous too! I love all of her videos- especially her Get Ready With Me videos-, and I'm constantly watching her main channel and her vlogging channel! Oh, and I love her cat Nugget too!

Fleur aka FleurdeForce: Yes, her real name is Fleur, and she's amazing! She makes beauty and fashion videos on her main channel,  shows her day-to-day life on her vlogging channel, shares her wedding planning tips on her bridal channel, and features beauty reviews on her blog. Fleur has a very posh British accent, and just seems like a classy, level-headed girl. 

Left: Louise aka SprinkleofGlitter      |      Right: Zoe aka Zoella280390

Louise aka SprinkleofGlitter: Louise and Zoe have to go together because they're BFFs, and they're both fabulous British girls. They are both hilarious and incredible, and I want to be their best friends. Seriously. Louise is a bubbly mommy to Darcy aka Baby Glitter aka the cutest 2-year-old you've ever seen. Like her main channel name suggests, she's a fan of anything and everything sparkly (a girl after my own heart!). Go subscribe to her vlogging channel and blog too!

Zoe aka Zoella280390: Zoe is just amazing. Her videos on her main channel and vlogging channel just make me so happy. She has incredible taste in everything, but I mainly love how genuine she is. I love all of her videos and her blog, and I think it's amazing how she openly talks about she deals with her anxiety and panic attacks. LOVE her.

 Left: Nikki Phillippi      |      Right: Tracy and Stephanie aka EleventhGorgeous

Nikki Phillippi: Nikki is one of the most upbeat, positive girls on YouTube. In addition to beauty and fashion videos on her main channel, she also features about fitness, home decor, and achieving your goals! She also has a vlogging channel with her husband Dan where she features her life in California. I love her sunny outlook on life and her huge smile.

Tracy and Stephanie aka EleventhGorgeous: Tracy and Stephanie are sisters from Alabama. Like me, they're bargain hunters and are always looking for a good deal. I love how they don't just feature high-end products. The majority of their beauty and fashion finds are incredibly affordable, and I love their down-to-earth Southern girl attitude. As Tracy and Stephanie would say, "Go get you some" EleventhGorgeous on their main channel and vlogging channel.

Left: Grace aka DailyGrace      |      Michelle and Laura aka MMandLShow

Grace aka DailyGrace: Ryan and I are both a bit obsessed with Grace's daily videos. She's a comedian living in LA, and thanks to her videos, Ryan and I are constantly Grace-facing in pictures and shouting "You've been hazed!" at any and every possible opportunity. Our favorites are Commenting on Comments Tuesdays and Sexy Friday. Subscribe. Do it.

Michelle and Laura aka MMandLShow: Speaking of hilarious...if you are not subscribed to the MMandLShow...why? Michelle (Michelle Money from Brad's season of The Bachelor) and Laura are the greatest. They have amazing beauty, fashion, home decor, and diet videos, and you need them in your life.

Left: Emily aka EmilyNoel83      |      Right: Allison aka Amarixe

Emily aka EmilyNoel83: Emily is a former newscaster, and she features the most amazing tutorials and beauty reviews on her main channel and blog. She also features great daily life and career videos on her vlogging channel. Emily is incredibly knowledgable about beauty products, and her reviews are always incredibly thorough!

Allison aka Amarixe: Allison is a really sweet girl living in LA who makes beauty, fashion, and home decor videos on her main channel, reviews beauty products on her blog, and daily life and fitness videos on her vlogging channel. She just seems like a real girl, and I really enjoy all of the content that she creates!

Left: Jennifer aka OrganizedLikeJen / MyHousewifeLife / TheBusyBeeBuzz       |       Tanya aka Pixi2Woo

Jennifer aka OrganizedLikeJen / TheBusyBeeBuzz / MyHousewifeLife: Jen is quickly becoming one of my favorites. She's incredibly sweet and upbeat, and she chronicles her daily life with her husband Don on her vlogging channel, MyHousewifeLife. Jen is an organization enthusiast and creates incredibly in-depth organization videos on her OrganizedLikeJen channel. She also does beauty and fashion videos on TheBusyBeeBuzz. In addition to her three YouTube channels, she also maintains three blogs. I'm not sure how she does it! Her main blog, OrganizedJen, features beauty, fashion, organization, home, and life posts, while Positively Polished features nail polish swatches and reviews, and Winnie the Tzu features pictures of her adorable Shih Tzu Winnie!

Tanya aka Pixi2Woo: Tanya is a stunning makeup artist from England who makes incredible tutorials and beauty videos on her main channel and films her day-to-day life on her vlogging channel. While she always looks like a glamazon, she's down to earth and an overall great girl.

Blair aka JuicyStar07 and Elle aka AllThatGlitters21

Blair aka JuicyStar07: How can I make a post about YouTubers without mentioning the Fowler sisters? Elle and Blair are basically YouTube celebrities, and they're created an empire from their YouTube channels. So far they have a makeup line, book series, shoe line, and constant appearances on various TV shows. Blair was actually the very first beauty guru I started watching on YouTube, and I still love her. She talks a mile a minute, and even though she lives in LA now, she still maintains her small town Tennessee roots. She makes great beauty and fashion videos on her main channel, and she chronicles her life in LA on her vlogging channel.

Elle aka AllThatGlitters21: Elle is Blair's older sister, and she is a bit calmer and more of a dreamer. Elle makes incredible beauty, fashion, and home decor videos on her main channel and does all sorts of videos on her vlogging channel- diet/fitness videos, book reviews, daily vlogs, and chats that she calls GlitterGossip.

Do yourself a favor and susbcribe to all of these girls! They're all incredible and fun to watch. Let me know what your favorite YouTubers are. Even though I am already subscribed to way too many channels, I'm always looking for new YouTubers!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Laguna Beach Love

Let's be real. You watched Laguna Beach, and you totally liked it. I definitely watched every single episode even though I would tell all of my friends that it was stupid. Every girl I know loved to dream that they had LC's life and Stephen for a boyfriend. 

And then there was also the location of the show.  Laguna Beach is one of the most gorgeous places I've ever been to, and I am so lucky that I live within driving distance of such a breathtaking locale. My brother was in town last week, so Ryan and I decided to show him Aliso Beach, one of our favorite spots in Laguna.



Every single time I visit I want to live there even more.


Yep, I think I could get used to living in Laguna.

Excuse my strange facial expression. I was probably thinking about how soon I could move.

My brother only stayed with us for one week, but he's already told my parents he wants to move to California. Sorry Mom and Dad!

I think we'd definitely fit in, right? Again, excuse my hair. As beautiful as the backdrops are, windy beach weather is not ideal for photography.


If you ever get a chance to visit the beaches in Orange County, DO IT. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go plot my future move.

What are you favorite places to visit? Am I the only one who wanted still wants to be Lauren Conrad?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

March Favorites {Beauty + Skincare}

 I'm always a beauty product fanatic, but I have just had so much fun playing with makeup this month. I normally just throw some makeup on in the morning to avoid looking like a monster, but I have genuinely enjoyed applying my makeup each day this past month. I fell in love with a few new purchases, and rediscovered past loves. Because I was enjoying this month so much, I kind of have an obscene amounts of favorites. I guess that means it was a really good month haha.

Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick in Sweet Watermelon: I was actually planning on buying this exact product based on Emily's suggestion, but I was lucky enough to receive it in the mail from BzzAgent before I had the chance to buy it. This product is ideal for laid-back spring days. The pencil design and smooth application make it foolproof to apply, and the light watermelon pink provides the perfect spring pop of color. As much as I love this product's performance, I love its smell even more. It smells like a tropical smoothie, which means I am absolutely going to be stalking my Target's Neutrogena display to snag a few more shades from this line.

Rimmel ScandalEyes Eyeliner in Nude: I have been searching for a brightening nude eyeliner for my waterline for months, but I've only been able to find high-end versions for $25+. I was amazed to find this Rimmel eyeliner at Target this month for less than $5, and it's a lifesaver. Pop a little of this bad boy in the waterline of your eye, and you'll instantly look more awake. The pencil's formula is amazing- so smooth and long-lasting. I'd buy more colors, but I already own WAY too many eyeliners. If you aren't an eyeliner hoarder like me, I'd highly recommend checking out this affordable line.

Hourglass Film Noir Mascara in Onyx: I've bragged on this product before, but it's a simple way to get dramatic lashes without falsies. Love the brush and formula.

Maybelline 24-Hour Color Tattoo in Barely Branded: If you're a fan of MAC's Paint Pots, do you yourself a favor and switch to the Maybelline 24-Hour Color Tattoos. They're basically the same product, but for 1/5 of the cost. I've been using the Barely Branded shade, a shimmery pale champagne, as my everyday eyeshadow base. It evens out the color of my eyelids, adds a natural highlight to my browbone and the inner corners of my eyes, and helps my eyeshadows to last all day long.

Benefit Hervana Blush: The prettiest baby pink with a pinch of peach blush you've ever seen. I love this blush because you can't mess it up. It's provides the perfect healthy flush without making you look like a clown.

Urban Decay Naked Palette: All-time favorite. I've recently switched back to the original Naked palette from Naked 2, and I am rediscovering my undying love. If you still haven't bought this palette, WHY?

Hard Candy Glamoflauge Concealer: Long time favorite. This concealer will cover just about everything, and you only need a tiny amount. It's my weapon of choice for my scary undereye circles.

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation: Ok, so I discovered this foundation this month, and I am hooked. It provides medium coverage with a slightly dewy finish. This foundation feels so light on your skin. Once I lightly set this foundation with powder, it stays on all day. I'm in love. 

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Liquid Foundation: I've had this Benefit foundation for quite some time now, but for some reason I never used it frequently until now. I find this product to be fairly similar to the Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation. Again, it provides medium coverage with a lightweight feel. I love this foundation, but I probably wouldn't repurchase solely because I think that Nearly Naked is a close enough dupe that's also $29 less expensive! Despite this fact, I thought I should still include it because I do love the product, and I've been trading off between Hello Flawless and Nearly Naked.

NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in Sunny: Despite being born and raised in Florida and currently living in southern California, I am tragically pale. During fall and winter, I don't really notice how pale I am because I'm wearing pants, sweaters, and boots. Now that the weather is warming up, I am literally shocked at my paleness. I have already broken out the self-tanner for my body, so I thought I should step up my facial bronzing as well. This bronzer is perfect for light complexions that want a subtle bronzer that won't make you look orange. This matte bronzer is also ideal for creating a subtle contour. Did I mention it's under $3? Amazing product at an amazing price.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser in Brightener: I'm a devotee of this line in general, but I recently discovered the Brightener version, which is a pinky-nude shade that helps to brighten the undereye area. I use this under and over my undereye concealer of the day as well as along my cheekbones for a natural highlighting effect.

Neutrogena Healthy Lengths Mascara: Unfortunately I forgot to add this mascara to the group picture at the top of the post, but that doesn't mean that I'm not crazy about this product. I really didn't think I was going to like this mascara when I received it from BzzAgent. I'd never heard anyone mention this product, and I don't really associate Neutrogena with eye makeup. I was so wrong. This mascara is a wonderful everyday mascara that lengthens lashes without clumping or leaving your lashes stiff. Crispy lashes? Nobody's got time for that! 

Close-up of Benefit's Hervana blush and NYC Smooth Skin Bronzer in Sunny

OWN Lifting Eye Cream: While I don't have a crazy amount of wrinkles right now, I'd like to keep it that way. I've been trying my best to incorporate as many anti-aging skincare items into my routine as possible lately, and this OWN eye cream is one of my favorite additions. I had been looking into eye creams for weeks, and I was so excited when I found out that I'd be receiving this eye cream from iFabbo to try out. It provides just enough moisture to the undereye area without becoming greasy, and it helps to slightly plump up the skin to smooth out wrinkles. I've used this product for a few weeks, so I can't attest to it's wrinkle-fighting properties; however, I've really liked using it so far, so I'll keep you posted!

Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response in Serene Citrus: Ok, so it's kind of weird to talk about your deodorant, but I really like this one haha. It smells incredible, and it seems to be pretty effective at preventing me from becoming a sweaty gross mess during my dance classes. Love this stuff. 

St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Moisturizer: I originally saw this moisturizer floating around Pinterest. It's supposedly just as effective as high-end brands, but it only costs $4.50. I honestly haven't used many high end moisturizers, but I do like this product. This moisturizer doesn't make my skin too oily as long as I use it lightly around my T-zone. After using this product for a month, my skin is noticeably softer.

Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner: I've told you before that I am a total toner addict. It's my favorite part of my skincare routine, and I'm always looking for new versions. I heard about this toner from Ingrid, and I've been using it nearly everyday to remove excess oil/sweat. I've also put this toner in a spray bottle and used as a refreshing mist throughout the day. 

I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend with your friends and family! What were your favorite products this month?

The Neutrogena masacara and lip pencil and the OWN eye cream were provided by BzzAgent and iFabbo, respectively, for review consideration. All opinions expressed are my honest and genuine thoughts.