Natalie Notions » Where Taste Meets Travel

Category Archives: Beauty


Summer braids are the best. Well, just braids are the best. There are so many creative styles that have evolved since I was a kid and wore one large braid to bed. I wish I could do my hair like these lovely leading ladies, but I think these call for some YouTube tutorials or an expert stylist. Regardless, it does provide some hair inspiration. Tomorrow is my sister-in-law’s baby shower and I’m hoping to be able to master one of these creative summer braids to wear to the garden party.


Note: Do you love braids just as much as I do?


I was recently sent some Soap and Glory products to test out some summer looks. This was the first time using the products and I was pretty impressed. The packaging is super cute! I love the retro style and play on words with the names. But most importantly, they deliver what they say they will do.

The Thick & Fast Super Volume Mascara has the full thick wand that I love. If you’ve ready my other beauty posts you know that I love testing different mascaras. This one really does make the lashes thicker and more voluminous. This mascara is packed with so much lash enhancing technology, it’s no wonder it works so well. It has Superfill False Lash Fillers, shine amplifiers {so your eyes will look extra sparkly} and a no-clump wax film former. It has everything I want in a mascara.

soap and glory

I’m not a big fan of lip plumping products, even though I have small lips. I don’t like that tingly irritating feeling and would rather go on with my small, O.G. Kylie Jenner Lips. But I went along and tested out the Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Plumping Gloss to see if it would change my mind. Although I like the color and the way it makes my lips look, I still don’t like the tingly plumping feel. I don’t know if it actually plumped my lips, but they did look smoother.


The Glow All Out Luminizing Radiance Face Powder gives the skin a subtle natural looking glow. It can be used just on the cheekbones as a highlighter or lightly dusted all over for a moonlit look. I’ve been using it both ways. I definitely use it on the tops of my cheeks after applying blush and if I’m not wearing much makeup, I’ll also dust it above my eyebrows, down my nose and underneath my bottom lip. It gives the skin a nice sheen without looking like a light bulb. If you’re new to highlighting or want a more natural looking highlighter this is all you.


Note: I think Soap and Glory is one of the best drugstore brands.

July Beauty favorites

My beauty routine in the hot summer is very minimal. Often times I’m without any makeup at all. This heatwave has made it especially hard to want to put anything on my face besides sunscreen, but here are a few items I have been using.

I used to think {and still sort of do} that the Evian Mineral Water Spray in a can was such a gimmick. It’s an amazing marketing idea. Put water in an aerosol can and sell as a spray. Then I started using it and it changed my mind. I used to keep this at my desk for a mid afternoon pick me up and it definitely came in handy. Now I keep it in my purse and use it as a pick me up on hot days. It feels so refreshing. Like going under a mister at a theme park. Maybe I love it for the nostalgia.

summer skincare

Since my skin has been breaking out a little more now that it’s summer, I’ve switched up my skincare routine and daily moisturizer. Murad’s Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 30 is perfect for summer. It’s lightweight and helps combat fine lines and wrinkles, as well as breakouts. Just what I need. My skin is usually pretty clear, but sweating it out this summer isn’t helping. Luckily I’m stocked up on Murad.

Benefit’s Hoola Matte Bronzer is a cult favorite. It gives the skin a beautiful sun kissed bronzed look. If you’re like me and have been busy indoors this summer, a little bronzer helps. Apply it to where you would naturally get tan, like the cheeks and top of the forehead along the hairline. I’ve also used it to contour the clavicle and bronze the chest.

Benefit Hoola bronzer

I am obsessed with this Hourglass brow pencil. Luckily I have dark thick eyebrows, so I don’t really need to pencil them in on the daily. But I have been using this when I wear makeup to help fill in the bald spots in my brows. When I was in high school I over plucked my brows and made them wider then they needed to be. They grew back, but not as thick. This auburn pencil matches my hair nicely and allows me to brush in the color for a natural look. It’s a soft pencil so it doesn’t give a harsh unnatural look to the brows. I seriously love it!

Hourglass brow pencil

Note: This summer is going by too fast!

Murad masks

My favorite skincare company, Murad, has launched two new masks. I use the word mask loosely because they aren’t ordinary masks. Both treat different skin concerns and are equally great for summer. I’ve been using both and love them!

InstaMatte oil control mask review

InstaMatte Oil-Control Mask is great for combating oil and maintaining matte skin. It’s a creamy rich, quick three minute mask that can also be used as a daily cleanser. This is why I say it’s not your average mask. You don’t need to keep it on as long and it can be used as a cleanser. It’s made with grapefruit extract, a natural astringent to help keep the pores tight. I use it a few times a week as a cleanser and every other week as a mask. As a cleanser, a little bit goes a long way. Also to note, when using it as a mask it doesn’t get dry and hard like clay based masks. I have dry skin, so I don’t use it every day. I don’t want to over dry it.

Murad InstaMatte Oil Control Mask

Murad’s other new unique mask is Rapid Resurfacing Peel. Unlike other at-home peels, you don’t need to wash this one off. Each box comes with 16 individually packaged pads pre-soaked with product. Designed more like a treatment than a mask, after you cleanse and tone you would wipe the peel pad all over the face. I also then wipe it on the back of my hands, chest and shoulders. Rapid Resurfacing Peel helps even skin tone and keeps the skin bright and glowing. It’s made with vitamin C and 10% Glycolic Acid to provide overnight results. It’s perfect after a day at the beach or out in the city, so you can wipe away the sun and environmental damage.

Rapid resurfacing peel

Note: I know you will love these Murad masks!



I’ve started writing more on a new topic, beauty on the inside, which as we all know means more than just the products you put on your face and body. Beauty on the inside means being happy, positive and doing what you love. It’s about being a beautiful soul in every way possible. There’s so much to it. It’s an area of life that we can all work to improve every day.

Last week I mentioned I had a lot of exciting things going on. The first is being engaged {to the love of my life}. And I’m finally ready to announce the second. I’m going back to school to get my masters degree. I’ll be attending the AFI Conservatory as a Screenwriting Fellow. The American Film Institute is one of the top three film school in the U.S. and noted all around the world. I still can’t believe I’m really going! Before I begin I’ll be watching lots of films and reading lots of books. I want to get ahead of the game. I’m following my heart and doing something I love. And that is beautiful.

Note: Can’t wait to share more of my journey in this ever changing life.