necessary nothings

by corinne iaia

Masks have always been an integral part of my skincare routine for treating specific skin conditions as they arise, as well as for maintaining soft, glowy skin all year round. While I love masks and use them religiously, it can also be quite hard to go through entire pots of product before they dry up or expire. That's why I'm sharing which 5 types of masks you truly *need* in your routine to tackle pretty much any skin concern you may have.
1) Moisturizing Mask - Every skin type can benefit from this treatment, which helps give back a soft, dewy feel to even the driest of skin. One of my personal favorites is the Sisley Express Flower Gel Mask, which can be used different ways depending on your skin type. If you have dry skin, this can be left on to be fully absorbed, and if you have oilier skin, you can cleanse or remove excess after 5-10 minutes. Either way, softer, fresher and plumper skin is what this will leave you with.
2) Exfoliating Mask - I always keep a chemical exfoliator on hand for moments when your skin needs a bit of help in the glow department. Not only do these instantly give the appearance of tighter skin and a brighter tone; overtime, they also help you to maintain clear, blemish-free skin. The Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask is a long-time favorite for it's natural formula and fast-results.
3) Detoxifying Mask - These types of treatments should be looked at as multi-taskers if you ask me. They are typically clay-based and draw out impurities, but some can also be rich in nutrients that make the skin glow post-use, and can even be used as spot treatments for blemishes. My favorite non-drying clay mask that leaves my skin feeling balanced and poreless is the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask.
4) Perfecting Mask - These types of masks are great for anti-aging, toning and refreshing the skin so that it looks more plump and fresh. The Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask is the holy-grail in this department as far as I'm concerned. It feels amazing on the skin - like cold, whipped cucumber and tea - and soothes the skin while giving it a lifted appearance and dose of moisture.
5) Overnight Mask - Want to wake up to smooth, bright, and well-rested skin? Then you'll want to give overnight masks a go. They often feel similar to moisturizers, but are packed with active ingredients and boast hydrating properties like no other. The Lancôme Energie de Vie Overnight Recovery Sleeping Mask is a favorite for it's thin, cushiony texture that melts into the skin instantly and leaves skin feeling soothed and radiant come morning.
What are some of your mask staples?
You may have gathered from my lack of posts lately that the past months have been busy ones. And no...I haven't been traveling the globe as I wish I were; instead I've been busy with work, spending time with friends and family on the weekends, and I have genuinely tried to enjoy what little free time I can find. Before I get into my busy-girl summer beauty routine, I do, however, want to mention that I will be posting fresh content much more often around here now, so stick around! I've missed writing regularly and have returned feeling more inspired to create new articles, and some even on topics you haven't seen from me before. 
Of course, it wouldn't be the Necessary Nothings you know (and hopefully love) without a good beauty chat first. It's been a while since I've updated you on my full daily beauty routine and it's about time because there are some products I haven't been able to put down. You'll notice a few trends amongst the products I'm loving, and while they're not all brand new releases they are simply some of the best I've ever come across - new and old - for creating a fresh, glowy look in a short period of time that really lasts.

First off, as I'm now passed my mid-twenties, I make sure to apply sunscreen daily and the one I've grown most fond of is the Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen. After applying a pea-sized amount of this all over, on a typical day I'll use a perfectly balanced base like the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. I'll save you the smalltalk on this product because you've heard its praises sung before, but it really is the best lightweight base with medium coverage.
After foundation, I apply my new favorite concealer, the Nars Soft Matte Concealer with my fingers on the innermost corners of my eyes and then go in with a bit of blush. After a year of using it, I can confidently say that the Lancôme Cushion Blush is one of my all-time favorites for it's watercolor like dose of color. It's virtually undetectable on the skin, which I love. Sometimes I dab the La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush in Berry Glow overtop for a bit of extra longevity and for a more tawny, brown based color.
You'll notice that I'm all about a bit of product customization by mixing a few to get the right finish and color for your skin tone. For highlight, I like to be glowy...but I also like a bit of strategically placed iridescence, so I use a combination of the Burberry Fresh Glow Highlighting Pen on the inner corners of my eyes and down my nose, and the Rituel de Fille Rare Light Luminizer in Ghost Light along my cheekbones for that opal effect.

On my lids, if I'm feeling a very natural look I will sometimes skip shadow or use a light stroke of the Burberry highlighting pen along my lids for a more awakened look. If I do need a bit of definition, I will almost always reach for one of my trusty shadow sticks. I love the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks, the By Terry Ombre Blackstars, and the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Sticks.
Then, it's time for a lick slathering of mascara, which I can honestly say changes often, but right now I'm loving this one from Dior. At this point, I'll also tend to my brows with the Glossier Boy Brow and a bit of pencil in sparse areas. During the summer, I'm very low maintenance with my lip products, so I'll either reach for a balm, sheer lipstick, or a light layer of my perfect nude...the Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Lipstick in Super Cindy.

As a fragrance addict, I also can't leave the house with a spritz or two of my scent du jour. Right now, I'm back to loving the Byredo Bal D'Afrique and Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt
And voila! That's my current routine complete. I will give myself a bit of a spritz with a setting spray and tousle my hair...then I'm off. All of these steps may seem lengthy, but I'm being completely honest when I tell you that this takes me about 7 minutes. I use my fingers for most of the steps and occasionally grab a brush for a bit of added blend. I am really happy with this routine at the moment, so I hope you've picked up some good recommendations here. 

What are your favorite summer makeup products for a quick but healthy look?
I feel like there has really been a "look" this summer; let's say it's the "Summer 2017 Uniform." I've been seeing a lot of really great crisp white dresses, gingham, floaty tops with oversized sleeves, classic prints in new cuts, bronzed makeup, tousled hair...you get the idea. I'm sure you've spotted the same trends all over social media, and even IRL. I have to say, I am really loving the vibes of this summer's beauty and fashion; it's easy, classic, and easy to make your own. Below I'm sharing my top picks for fashion, swimwear, beauty...and the "summer weekend essentials" I haven't been able to get enough of. 

Summer Wardrobe: Club Monaco Dress (on sale now!), Marysia Swim Bikini (the best-fitting swimsuits ever made), Gucci Cat Eye Sunglasses, Soludos Sandals (from last summer, similar here). 

Weekend Beauty Favorites: 

More Perfect Summer Dresses: 

From lightening to blowdrying and adding waves with hot tools, it's safe to say I'm no stranger to the potential for hair damage. I've shared styling tips with you in the past, but today I'm highlighting all of my favorite products for keeping my hair healthy and happy, while making it easy to style. 

CLEANSE

I like to alternate my shampoos and conditioners every few months, but I almost always choose between the same few brands. I am very much into Oribe and Christophe Robin (as you will learn) for cleansers, as they always leave my hair swishy, soft, and with the most amount of volume possible. The Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo and Conditioner are such an incredible duo that nurture hair that is dull or fragile from damage. While my hair isn't too visibly damaged, I do get balayage color and heat style - so stopping issues before they occur is always on my agenda. 

For my heavy hair, I sometimes need serious products to give me back the volume I want - but I don't want to compromise on hair health. This is exactly why I love the unique Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing Paste. This dark, thick paste contains Rassoul mineral clay and rose extracts, and transforms into a foamy gently scrub upon contact with wet hair. I typically really work this into my hair, making sure to cleanse thoroughly so that I'm left with lifted roots and vibrant color - which, by the way is an effect of this product. When I use this, I follow up with a lightweight, but ultra nourishing conditioner, specifically, the Christophe Robin Volumizing Conditioner with Rose Extract. It doesn't hurt that this duo leaves your hair smelling like you just bathed in roses 😍.

PREP & PROTECT

Before truly identifying my hair type, I always struggled finding primers, detanglers and oils that wouldn't weigh down my hair. Over the past years and countless visits to hairdressers, I've learned that I have a lot of really fine hair, which means with my thick hair, my roots already have enough weight to hold up on their own. I can't use heavy products; so I've really grown fond of lightweight leave-in conditioners and moisturizing products that I apply only to the ends and dry areas that need an extra dose of health. 

I love using the Oribe Run Through Detangling Primer when I get out of the shower to give my hair a bit of prior to brushing; it helps prevent breakage. Coating your hair in a moisturizing product prior to heat styling is also a good idea, as it helps to protect the strands and keep the hair soft. After styling, I always add a dime-sized amount of the Christophe Robin Moisturizing Hair Cream to the mid-lengths and ends of my hair. This product feels like real lotion for your hair, and doesn't alter hair color with added alcohol or chemicals. It also boasts a light dose of SPF, so that you can prevent color from fading in the sun as well. 

STYLE 

As I mentioned, if I use the wrong styling products, I'll end up with limp hair that feels dirty. My favorites are dry texturizers, salt sprays and light lotions that help to absorb (not add) too much oil to my hair. My favorites are the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, Sachajuan Ocean Mist, and Oribe Matte Waves Texture Lotion. I don't typically use all three at once, but I do love the look I get when I use a bit of texture lotion and ocean mist together. 

What products help keep your hair looking its best? 

*pr samples included.
A few weeks back, with Father's Day approaching, I thought about what to gifts to pick up for a few of the Father's in my family. I know some may call it cliché, but I've always gravitated toward fragrance as a foolproof gift option. The only issue is actually choosing said scents when the time came; especially when it's something for the opposite sex and something so...personal. While the holiday has came and gone, there are still quite a few birthdays just around the corner for which I know I will choosing more scents as gifts. In the past, I've garnered the help of a few male & female volunteers who really know their scents. But now, I've looked to the professionals, or more specifically, the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) for advice, and these very fragrances were award-winners of the CEW Beauty Awards. Yes, the organization who virtually leads the conversation in beauty has hand chosen these scents as top of their class. 

1) L'Homme Prada - A layered, amber-meets-iris scent whose main notes are juxtaposed by fresher, floral notes of neroli and patchouli. It's both sensual and distinct at the same time; certainly one that will leave a lasting impression.

2) Bottega Veneta Parco Palladiano V - Pine, pepper and patchouli combine to create a seriously tempting, yet classic fragrance that seems to draw the wearer close to nature. Don't be fooled by the inclusion of patchouli, though; this rendition smells more of swanky Italian leather than other versions I've encountered and gives it incredible sillage. Think of this as the ultimate fragrance gift to give someone who really appreciates a good one.

3) Narciso Rodriguez For Him Bleu Noir - This elegant scent is inherently masculine with its musk base, but it's the unexpected cedar and nutmeg that give it an added zest. It's edgy, but seems to me a foolproof choice for the timeless man.

4) Issey Miyake L'eau D'Issey Pour Homme Fraîche - This aquatic, fresh fragrance is classically clean and fresh; just like the well-groomed man who wears it. Unlike typical crisp fragrances, this one has a certain warmth that gives it incredible longevity and a tempting edge. 

5) Axe Black Body Spray - A budget option, yes. But this one doesn't sacrifice on scent power, that's for sure. I recommend all men having one of these on hand for emergencies, as notes of bergamot and rosemary make this a warm, comforting scent. 

6) YSL L'Homme Ultime - Fresh sage mixes with aromatic woods in this cool, yet deep scent that boasts a uniqueness not unlike its wearer. It's powerful - addictive, almost - and has the rose and ginger notes to prove it. Beware, this is one that ladies just may want to "borrow" sometimes.

*pr samples included.
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