As I’m approaching my late twenties (omg!), I’m making a conscious effort to develop better skin care habits since it is the best time to prevent any visible signs of aging. Over the past month or so, I’ve locked down a beauty routine that has positively improved the elasticity, glow, and overall health of my facial skin! Keep reading to learn my top five favorite products this season…
As you could probably already tell… I CHANGED MY HAIR! I’m actually surprised that I pushed this off for so long because I’ve always been a short hair type of gal. I have super fine hair so the longer I grew it out, the more flat it became. I’m also not one to style my hair into braids or updos so I knew I needed something that would give my hair volume, style, and required little effort. For the cut, I was looking to get a textured bob that fell slightly below my chin area along with a slight a-line (meaning that the hair in the back would be gradually shorter than in the front). For the color, I wanted a balayage, with light ash brown sections throughout my dark hair. After a week or so of debating and hours at the salon, I’m incredibly happy with how my hair turned out! It’s light weight, natural, and perfect for Spring. If you’re looking into getting a similar style at the salon, keep reading to learn more about the preparation, process, and home care that goes into it!
WHAT IS A BALAYAGE?
First off, this is not to be confused with an Ombre! Although both end goals are to lighten the hair, an Ombre is a hair style that shows a dramatic transition of a “lighter shade from a darker shade.” In comparison, a Balayage (french for “Sweep”) is a technique that uses a freehand approach to create a natural blend of light and shade throughout the hair. This is done by painting color with a brush onto spaced out sections of the hair and progressively gets lighter as it reaches the ends. The result is subtle, sun-kissed, dimensional, and feels much more lived in (think beach vibes ya’ll).
The first thing you should do is RESEARCH! What type of hairstyle catches your eye? Both Pinterest and Instagram are amazing resources where you can easily take screenshots or pin images for future reference. Once you’ve gathered all your images, figure out what you specifically like about across each of them and lock down a style. Again, I decided to go with a Balayage, with light ash brown pieces throughout my dark hair.
Next is to research Salons in the area (don’t limit yourself to a specific location if you’re willing to trek far for quality work)! Look at their Yelp page and Instagram to get a glimpse of their portfolio. You want to make sure that they cater to the style you’re looking to achieve! The individual stylists generally have their own social feed as well so if you find a particular person who you would like to work with, don’t hesitate to request them when booking an appointment! I ended up getting mine done at Stem Salon located in Walnut Creek. I was also lucky enough to book a last minute session with Stephanie, a color stylist. This isn’t required but I found it helpful to compile all of the inspirational images into a mood board and share it with your stylist via e-mail prior to your appointment.
Note: If you’ve used box dye on your hair in the past – make sure to mention this to your stylist. Often times, this can affect how the color will react with your hair.
Honestly, be prepared to shell out a chunk of money at the salon. Depending on your length of hair and the location itself, you’d probably be spending anywhere between $150-300 for a Balayage.
Before you get started, make sure you and your stylist are on the same page! Refer back to the moodboard you provided and verbally explain what you would like. Remember to be as transparent as possible because your stylist can’t read your mind and the more detailed information they have, the happier you’ll be with the result! Asian hair tends to get brassy with it’s red/orange undertones so I made sure to point out that I wanted it as cool toned as possible. Once you have all your expectations laid out, expect to spend up to 4-8 hours at the salon (again, depending on your hair length and how good your hair takes the color).
This type of hairstyle is low maintenance (especially in comparison to ombre). However, this doesn’t mean that you should neglect a proper home care regime! As we approach the warmer months, our hair will be exposed to greater sun, saltwater, and chlorine — all of which can damage your balayage. If you don’t protect your hair from the sun, your hair will more than likely fade and expose it’s undertone (revealing orange/brassy hues). It is recommended that you go in for gloss treatments every 4-6 weeks to keep the tone in check! However, I recommend using a Purple Shampoo + Conditioner to maintain it’s color as long as possible like this one by Joico. Lastly, when styling with heat, make sure to always use some kind of heat protectant spray or oil.
I hope you found this helpful and let me know what you think of my new hair in the comments below!
xo, Donna Belle
FYI: This post is sponsored by Avatara Skin. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep SHESELLE going!
As we age, our skin inevitability experiences everything from discoloration, wrinkles, dryness, to unwelcome breakouts. This, in combination with other major factors such as fatigue, sun damage, alcohol, and stress can all help accelerate the development of these major skin issues. Although this is a normal part of life, there are preventable measures to keep your skin feeling healthier and visibly younger! Avatara carries eight serum-infused sheet masks that specialize in treating pretty much every problem area on your face. To show you just how versatile their masks are, I’ve come up with 8 unique scenarios and paired them with the perfect face mask to use! All you need is 10-20 minutes and you’ll be left with a glowing complexion. Not sure where to start? Keep reading and your skin will thank you!
HANGOVER: Plump Up Face Mask
Did you party a little too hard last night?! The morning after can be rough and chances are, you’re left with puffiness, dark circles, and incredibly dehydrated skin. The Plump Up Face Mask is perfect for reducing any puffiness around the eyes, provides much needed hydration, and ultimately restores tired looking skin!
BIRTHDAY TREAT: LIGHT UP FACE MASK
Treat your self to a little extra pampering on your special day! As you reach another year older, it’s even more important to take care of your skin. One of the many results of aging is skin discoloration. To brighten up those dark areas and achieve younger-looking skin, use the Light Up Face Mask!
TIME OF MONTH: CLEAR OUT FACE MASK
Before the start of a woman’s period, the skin experiences greater oil production due to increased hormone levels. This in turn can lead to clogged pores and eventual breakouts! Since your skin is generally more sensitive during this time, you’ll want to use beauty products that are gentle on your skin. The Clear Out Face Mask is a perfect exfoliant for managing oily skin and keeping those pores clean to keep breakouts at bay.
POST WORK-OUT: SHAPE UP FACE MASK
Although sagging is a major result of aging, any kind of intense exercise like running can also be a factor (which is due to the collagen in your skin being torn apart). Luckily, the Shape Up Face Mask can help restore elasticity in your skin!
DATE NIGHT: EVEN OUT FACE MASK
Anyone with large pores knows how challenging make-up application can be – especially when dealing with foundation! Whip out the Even Out Face Mask to shrink your pores and create a smoother base for your skin the next time you get dolled up!
FESTIVAL RECOVERY: FILL IT UP FACE MASK
Festival season is upon us and after multiple long weekends under the hot desert sun, your skin will more than likely need a major detox. Did you know that over exposure to the sun (especially without sunscreen) can lead to fine lines and wrinkles? Counteract the sun’s harmful UV damage by applying the Fill It Up Face Mask, which will leave you with softer skin and a younger appearance. You can also place your sheet mask in the fridge prior to application for an additional soothing treat!
TRAVEL PREP: DRINK UP FACE MASK
With all the environmental changes you experience while traveling, it’s important to step up your skin care routine! Sink moisture back into your skin by applying a deeply hydrating mask mid-flight – the cabin air is incredibly drying! The Drink Up Face Mask helps to rejuvenate dry skin and will give you that much needed glow once you land!
STRESSFUL DAY: CHILL OUT FACE MASK
When our schedule is jam-packed with things to do, we often neglect our skincare routine, leaving our skin feeling incredibly dull. During stressful times like these, take a moment to nourish your face with the Chill Out Face Mask for radiant looking skin!
5 ADDITIONAL TIPS
- TEST IT: Avatara’s sheet masks are gentle but like with all skin care products during your first use, I recommend applying a tiny amount of the serum to the back of your hand to test your skin’s sensitivity to the product.
- USE IT ALL: After application, allow the serum to soak up on your skin and use any excess by massaging into other areas of your body such as your hands and neck!
- MIX + MATCH: If you have more than one skin issue that you’re facing, feel free to mix and match! That’s the beauty of Avatara’s face masks – they have a solution for everything.
- DEVELOP GOOD HABITS: On top of maintaining a good skin care routine, remember to keep yourself hydrated by drinking water on a daily basis and getting some beauty rest!
- TAKE A QUIZ: Still need some guidance? Avatara has a Skin Quiz that you can take that will match you with the best face mask to use to aid any specific skin concerns you may have.
Phew, that was a long list but I hope you found it helpful! The next time you find yourself in any one of these situations, make sure to break out any of these face masks! You can learn more about Avatara’s magical face masks here and/or you can find them at your local Target!
xo, Donna Belle
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by BioClarity. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank you for the supporting the brands that keep Sheselle going!
I’ve been having issues with my skin for the past couple of months, primarily around my chin area which I found to be the most prone to breaking out. I’ve tried acne medication like Proactive in my teen years, but I remember it being incredibly harsh for my sensitive skin, which caused me to break out even more. With that experience, I was a bit reluctant to try out anything else but after reading all the positive reviews on BioClarity, I thought it was worth taking the chance! Keep reading to learn more about the entire process, my results, and how you can purchase your own at a discounted rate!
BioClarity’s products contain no harmful chemicals and are made up of all natural ingredients such as Green Tea, Chamomile, Oat Kernel, and Cucumber — all of which help calm, sooth, and repair your skin!
BioClarity offers a quick and easy three-step process for application in the morning and night. Here’s a quick run down on how it works…
- Cleanser: Pour a dime size amount onto your finger tips and apply to slightly dampen skin. The formula is super gentle and leaves your skin feeling refreshed.
- Treatment: Apply this cream to your trouble areas and use it very sparingly (this product contains 2.0% Salicylic Acid)! If you tend to have super dry skin like me, make sure to skip this step and apply every other night to avoid completely drying out your skin.
- Restore Gel: Apply a thin green layer over desired areas and wait for the magic to happen! The unique aspect about this product is that it carries the ingredient, Floralux (a compound created from Chlorphyll, which in turn comes from plants).
After incorporating these products into my daily routine for the past 2+ weeks, I’ve already seen drastic improvements in my skin! As I mentioned earlier, I had a mini break out in my chin area earlier this month and since then, they’ve diminished to super faint blemishes that I’m sure will disappear after a couple more uses. In short, my skin has never consistently felt and looked this good!
Please keep in mind that these products may or may not work for everyone and could yield different results. If you’re interested in trying it out, you could purchase your own set at 50% the cost (originally $29.95) by using the code SHESELLE at checkout here.
xo, Donna Belle
With Spring in full bloom, it’s been incredibly nice to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and overall, it’s been such an instant mood booster. Winter blues is the real deal, ya’ll! These photos were literally taken by a small bush next to a construction site by my home but we made it work and it turned out looking like I was in some tropical paradise (which I totally wish I were at…). Anyway, I had so much fun shooting this with my sister and while I was editing them, I wanted to create something with a more editorial feel! I hope you enjoy this mini look book and continue reading for more details on my outfit!
I got this denim skirt from Zara during my trip to New York in the beginning of the year but I’ve been waiting for the weather to warm up so I can finally whip it out of my closet! I also found the polka dot top from the pajama section at Nordstrom Rack but it feels much more polished when tucked in! Plus, being the lazy person that I am, this is perfect to roll straight out of bed from (ha).
xo, Donna Belle
Dislcaimer: I received this bag from Fossil as a partner. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Sheselle going!
The first weekend of Spring is approaching and the best way to welcome the warmer days ahead is to GO BRIGHT! As someone who’s wardrobe mainly consists of black (this might be surprising to some of you considering how colorful my photos are), I want to make it a goal to incorporate more color into what I wear. Fossil already made it super easy for me to transition into the new season with this bright cobalt bag. Keep reading to find out what five items I’ve got my eye on this Spring…
I. Glossy Everything: I’m seriously so in love with this trend, which I believe gained popularity from Milk Cosmetics. Adding a bit of gloss to your lids, cheeks, and lips really gives you that sun kissed glow that pairs beautifully with the sun! II. Floral Scents: Perfumes with floral notes are perfect for Spring because they’re lightweight and refreshing! My all time favorite is Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb but there are a ton of other perfumes that recently launched that caught my eye! (ie. Miu Miu’s newest perfume, L’Eau Bleue is a lovely combination of lily of the valley and honeysuckle). III. Vibrant Bags: As I mentioned earlier, I’m not one to wear very much color so accessories are a great way to add that pop to any outfit! The one featured above is the Maya Hobo bag by Fossil and is the perfect size to carry all my Spring essentials. Plus, it’s big enough to double as a Picnic Basket!
What are some of your favorite things in the Spring?!
xo, Donna Belle
DISCLAIMER: I received these frames from Felix Gray for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Sheselle going!
I’m really trying to get in the habit of wearing eyeglasses more often, especially since I work in front of the computer screen a majority of my time and my eyes end up feeling super strained by the end of the day. Luckily, I got the exciting opportunity to try out some stylish frames from Felix Gray and after using them for the past couple weeks, they’ve already made a huge difference in terms of comfort (they’re specifically designed to filter blue light)! With all of that said, I’ve also developed a specific beauty routine when wearing frames because I swear, nothing is more annoying than your lashes hitting your lenses. Keep reading to learn some helpful tips when applying make-up…
1. WEAR CONCEALER
When you wear frames, they tend to cast dark shadows over your eyes so it’s even more important to apply concealer and/or color-corrector to brighten up your under eye area. Remember: Yellow counteracts red and Peach works best for cooler tones.
2. APPLY NEUTRAL SHADOWS
You don’t want to go too heavy on your eye make-up (ie. smokey eyes) and instead, go for more warmer, neutral shades like golds, tans, and browns. Again, darker colors when magnified behind your frames can make you appear more tired.
3. BALANCE YOUR LINER
If you’re wearing a thicker frame style, it’s good to define your eyes with a thick liner and the same goes vice versa. A winged cat eye is also a great way to make your eyes stand out!
4. ADD SOME GLOW TO YOUR SKIN
It’s hard to make your eyes stand out behind frames so make sure the rest of your skin looks flawless! Wear a good foundation and don’t forget to highlight areas like your cheekbones, nose bridge, and/or above brow bone.
5. GO BOLD ON THE BROWS
You already know that the brows frame the face and since you went slightly simple on your eyes, definitely make sure to emphasize those brows so that your eyeglasses don’t overpower everything else.
6. VOLUMIZE + CURL YOUR LASHES
If you’re going to apply mascara, make sure to curl your lashes first. A good tip is to use a hairdryer to carefully warm up your curler before curling to ensure that they hold the curl longer.
I’m wearing the style, Nash in Whiskey Tortoise with +.25 magnified lenses. If you’re interested, you can learn more about Felix Gray and explore all their frame styles here. Do you have any additional tips you’d like to share?! Let me know in the comments below!
xo, Donna Belle
Disclaimer: I received these beauty products from Joanna Vargas for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Sheselle going! Items gifted will be marked with an *
Mondays can be a bit of a drag and it’s the day I’m usually left feeling the most drained. I mean, how do you expect anyone to transition out of weekend mode and straight into the grind of the workweek?! It doesn’t have to be all terrible, though, and reserving some time for yourself can instantly lift your spirits. One way that I like to do this is by pampering myself to a relaxing spa night to end my day on positive note and prepare myself for the crazy week ahead. I’m partnering with Joanna Vargas, a NYC Salon that carries an incredible line of skin care products, to show you my extended beauty routine! Hopefully this inspires you to occasionally treat yourself, especially when it comes to your body.
Before anything else, make sure to cleanse your face and remove all the dirt, oil, and make-up you’ve accumulated through out the day.
2. LIP TREATMENT
Avoid chapped lips by applying a hydrating and soothing lip balm. If you wear a lot of lip products like me, this will help create a much smoother base for your make-up to shine the next day!
3. BUBBLE BATH
I don’t think there’s anything more relaxing than a bubble bath! Go ahead and fill your tub with warm water and gently drop in any bath bomb of your choice until it fizzes out.
4. FACE MASK*
While you relax in the tub, apply a face mask for 15-20 minutes (remember to apply excess to your hands and neck)! Joanna Vargas’ Twilight Deep Conditioning Face Mask is made with bamboo and actually helps reverse negative effects from sun damage. After one use, I already felt like my skin was much firmer and vibrant.
5. HAIR MASK*
While you’re soaking in the tub, apply a restorative healing mask to your hair. I used one by Ouai Haircare and let me tell you, after only minutes of using it, my hair felt incredibly soft! Also, if you color or heat your hair often, this product does an amazing job at repairing damage.
6. FACIAL MOISTURIZER*
After that relaxing bubble bath, it’s time to moisturize… starting with your face! I used the Daily Hydrating Cream by Joanna Vargas, which is full of nourishing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that hydrates and helps create more youthful glowing skin! It’s super gentle on the skin and has a lovely coconut scent.
7. BODY MOISTURIZER*
Finish off with a rich body creme to restore moisture back into your skin. I used Oribe Cote d’Azur Restorative Body Creme, which is made up of a combination of essential oils and shea butter, all of which help soften and protect your skin from damage. It feels SO luxurious when applied and you’ll wake up with a much healthier glow!
8. HAIR MOISTURIZER*
Lastly, add some moisture back into your hair! I used R+Co’s High Dive Moisture + Shine Creme and after working it through my towel-dried hair, it looked instantly shiny!
And that’s pretty much my routine for nights where I wan’t to feel extra special. Have you done a Spa Night before? Share your favorite products in the comments below! Also, make sure to check out Joanna Vargas, R+Co, and Oribe for more details on their beauty and skin care products.
xo, Donna Belle
Don’t sleep through Valentines Day! If you’re still looking for some last minute gifts for that special person(s) in your life… don’t worry, I have you covered! I put together a little guide customized for your bae, bestie, and most importantly, yourself! Whoever it’s for, your bound to find something sweet for that special person in your life.
ITEMS MENTIONED: Heart Socks | Pizza Pin | Sugar Lips Candies | Weirdo Keychain | Throb Top
ITEMS MENTIONED: Modern Love Book | Heart Emoji Balloon | Chocolate Truffles | Peony Candle | Love Struck Bubble Bar | Instax Camera | World Card
What are you planning to get your loved one this year? I’d love to hear your plans in the comments below!
xo, Donna Belle
We’re 3 days away from Valentines Day and if you’re looking for some make-up inspiration for your date (or whatever you have planned), here’s a sweet rosy make-up look that I put together! I was inspired by a romantic sunset and used a combination of orange, red, and gold hues for the eyes. Keep reading to learn what products I used and how to recreate this…
- After cleaning, apply moisturizer and face primer lotion to get rid of any dry patches and lessen the appearance of your pores.
- Apply a BB cream like SmashBox Camera Ready for a light coverage.
- Set your face with a translucent powder.
- Once face is set, apply a rosy colored blush to your cheeks and highlighter to bridge of nose and above your cheekbones.
- Begin by applying eyeshadow primer to your eye lids to make all the colors last longer!
- Using the Lorac palette, pack on Tangerine all over your entire lid.
- Then use Love Letter from the Anastasia palette in your crease.
- Go back to Goji from the Lorac palette and blend out the crease up to the brow area.
- Add a bit of definition to your eyes by applying Venetian Red from the Anastasia palette to your outer lids. Again, blend out with Goji from the Lorac palette until everything is like a seamless gradient!
- Apply the Mac lipstick to your lips and blot with tissue several times to reduce intensity.
- Follow with Bite lip gloss for a touch of shimmer (use sparingly!)
If you decide to recreate this look, I’d love to see it! Share via Instagram using #shesellebeauty so I can see!
xo, Donna Belle