August 30, 2014
SMOOTH OPERATOR

SMOOTH OPERATOR


The end of summer rears weather that just can't seem to make up its' own mind. It's either as cool and breezy as a mid-October day or as hot and humid as the middle of summer. I tend to make sure my skin is in check around this time of the year just to keep things running smoothly, and these few bits have been doing just that. The Bliss Micro Magic Spa-Powered Microdermabrasion is a by far the most amazing manual exfoliator I am yet to come across. It is made up of tiny volcanic pumice pieces and infused with aloe and mushroom extract to soothe and maintain calmness in the skin all while brightening and keeping dull skin at bay. 

After exfoliating, I find it important to keep things moisturized and the Boscia Cool Blue Hydration Essence is a new sake based gel-serum that is instantly absorbed into the skin and leaves it cooled and ultra comfortable. Since I began using this serum, things have been looking pretty bright and minor imperfections have faded, so if you are looking for a product to fade scars or marks I would say this is a good one. As the last step, I use a lightweight natural moisturizer, Ren Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream. I have spoken about this before, and my skin is never happier than when I use this cream on a regular basis, as it's full of vitamins and antioxidants. This trio complement each other nicely and work together to keep things bright, smooth, and hydrated. 

What products do you rely on to keep things fresh, bright, and smooth? 
August 29, 2014
TRANSITIONAL PINKS

TRANSITIONAL PINKS

CHANEL LES 4 OMBRES

CHANEL LES 4 OMBRES

August 27, 2014
LOVING RIGHT NOW

LOVING RIGHT NOW


August 25, 2014
THE BRUSHES EVERY GIRL NEEDS

THE BRUSHES EVERY GIRL NEEDS


August 20, 2014
MY "UN" FAVORITES

MY "UN" FAVORITES


August 15, 2014
SHORT(ER) HAIR DAILY GRABS

SHORT(ER) HAIR DAILY GRABS


August 07, 2014
GO FOR THE GLOW

GO FOR THE GLOW


If you're a regular around these parts then you will know my opinion on how summer skin should look. Glowy, fresh, radiant, you know the drill. It wasn't always my makeup mantra but it would appear that as I grow up I find myself wanting different things from my skin. At 23, my teenage skin woes have, for the most part, vanished and I now long for a lustrously milky complexion with a sheen in all the right places. 

Enter: my mini edit of glow-getting products, all with a seal of approval from editors, bloggers, and makeup mavens alike. If you cringe when you hear the word "highlight," then chances are you have been using the wrong and likely glitter-laden products. "Highlight" and "shimmer" are not to be confused with glitter and fairy dust, which seem to be active ingredients in some products, meh

My first foray into the world of daily highlighting was courtesy of the Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight, which is so finely milled that it almost melts into the skin the same way a cream-to-powder formula would. I also love this option because it sits more on the golden side of the spectrum, versus the pink side, which tends to look a bit chalky on my olive toned skin. Another favorite is the Nars Hot Sand Illuminator* of the Nars Adult Swim Summer collection and in my eyes it's the best liquid illuminator out there. The color is a peachy champagne and it's super thin consistency makes a little go a very, very long way. I like to either mix this with my tinted moisturizer (on a good skin day) or rub it into my hands and dab onto cheekbones, cupids bow, and down the nose. For all you organic product lovers and sensitive skinned gals, the coconut oil and mica based RMS Living Luminizer is probably your best bet as it illuminates, moisturizes, and adds an amazing glow. Tap into one of these three illuminators and people will be wondering who your facialist is, guaranteed. 
August 06, 2014
NARS YACHIYO BRUSH

NARS YACHIYO BRUSH


This brush, oh my. I don't think I know enough brush related adjectives to describe the perfection that is the Nars Yachiyo Brush. Crafted in a traditional Japanese method that preserves the kabuki's original character, the soft goat hair fibers are hand wrapped in black wisteria. Not only is this brush the most beautiful brush in my collection, but it is also the most functional and useful I have yet to come across. 

The Yachiyo brush is a member of the Nars Kabuki Artisan Range, a range that has now piqued my interest due to the quality and versatility that this brush offers. The tapered, slightly pointed shape of the brush head makes it precise enough for soft contouring, applying targeted setting powder, and dusting on a natural looking and diffused highlight. While I love that I can pick up one brush and be done with the aforementioned steps of my makeup application, my favorite use of the brush is for applying blush. This brush is unique in that it somehow picks up the right amount of product no matter the pigmentation of the blush itself. I reach for this when I want to pick up more color from my sheerer blushes, but also for when I need a lighter hand when using my more intense blushes, for example, the Nars Blush in 413 Bleeker. (Pictured above) 

The many uses of the Yachiyo justify the price tag so much so that I wouldn't mind having two of these brushes lying around for the sake of not cross contaminating product categories. Let's just say I have already developed quite the little love affair with this guy...
August 05, 2014
CREAM BLUSH FOR THE BEACH

CREAM BLUSH FOR THE BEACH


With the weather being all kinds of gorgeous this week, it's hard not to daydream about spending this coming weekend on the beach. Only three more days to get through...keep on keepin' on! 

We all know that throwing together a makeup bag suitable for balmy beach days is one of the hardest beauty codes to crack, but have no fear, cream blushes are here. Creamy products can sometimes be intimidating, and whether the worry stems from the possibility of the sun melting the product or that it will get gunky all up in your pores, I promise they are not as scary as they appear. Taking the plunge and adding cream blushes to your beach beauty edit is one of the best and simplest ways to step up your game during the summer months. It can definitely be a struggle to define the line between wearing too much and too little on your face while frolicking on the sandy shores - but dabbing cream blush on the cheeks and lips is a fail proof formula for barely there beauty that requires only the tiniest bit of effort. 

If you are new to this category of beauty products, allow me to introduce you to some of my all time favorites for a fail proof smudge of color. In case you haven't heard, Nars tends to crank out some pretty amazing blushes and their cream products are no different. I love the Nars Matte Multiple in Laos, for a glitz-free rose colored stain and the Nars Multiple in Portofino, for a shimmering wash of coral that flatters all skin tones alike. For a stick that offers a bit more color variation there is the Benefit Fine One One, which is almost a hybrid of the two Nars multiples, but in a less pigmented version.  Don't get me wrong, a less intense flush can be a very good thing when it comes to beach days, so don't overlook this one. Another that I have been loving this summer is the Jouer Tint in Honeysuckle, a honeyed pink that casts a lit from within glow on the apples of the cheeks. Don't be fooled by its teeny size, this little babe packs a serious punch and is my personal favorite when it comes to multiple use, as it is the glossiest of the bunch making it perfect for adding some color to your pucker. 

All that's left is a bit of concealer and a slick of waterproof mascara and your good to go. Will you be trying your hand with cream blushes on your next beach trip?
August 04, 2014
BENEFIT THEY'RE REAL! PUSH-UP LINER

BENEFIT THEY'RE REAL! PUSH-UP LINER



Benefit is a brand known for their cutting-edge product releases and adorably chic packaging, so it is no surprise that one of their recent innovations has had the beauty world buzzing with excitement. I love any product that cuts down on application time and makes things easier and the new addition to the "They're Real!" family, the They're Real Push-Up Liner does just that. I'll admit I have tampered with many a liner in my day - gels, powders, liquids, creams - you name it, I've slicked on a kitten flick with it. Yes, with practice I have come up with my own tricks to creating a perfectly even cat eye, but none of the products I have tried in the past have really ever provided an applicator that doubled as a cheater's guide to this oft-feared step of makeup application. 

Eyeliner newbs, you know who you are, you should be welcoming this new product into your routine with open arms. After about a month with this little gem in my possession, I have perfected the technique and find that it is one of the longest lasting liner options out there. In terms of ease of use, I'm not sure if I'd say it's the easiest to use the first time, but once you get the hang of it, creating an even line becomes like a second nature and the pointed rubber tip creates the perfect wing for you. I love how the applicator disperses just the right amount of smudge-proof gel into the tip, just be careful not to crank more than twice, or you may end up with a bit too much product. I predict that in no time at all, there will be a bevy of cat-eyed beauties running rampant in the streets thanks to the ease of this new liner.

Have you tried this new release from Benefit already? What are your thoughts?
August 03, 2014
JULY MAKEUP FAVORITES

JULY MAKEUP FAVORITES


July came and passed in the blink of a very tired eye. First came the fourth of July festivities, then a week of work, vacation...and after a week back at work here we are in the beginning of August. Fewf! Oddly enough though, I found that when things got crazy and time seemed to be something I couldn't find much of, my makeup routine sort of simplified itself and I found myself reaching for products I knew would pull things together quickly and last me through the day. 

I find that when I want to pull my look together in a hurry I rely on good base products, a sheer wash of bronze on the lids, and a bit of pink color on the lips. Something new I have not been caught without since its induction into my stash is the Dr. Brandt Pores No More Primer, as it gives the most perfected even canvas on which to apply the foundation and helps with staying power. During July I showed my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation a whole lotta' love, even sometimes skipping the concealer and trading the 'overly done' face for a bit more of a natural look. To set the foundation in place I reached for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder almost non-stop, dusting it on lightly with my Nars Yachiyo brush. What a stunner of a brush; it allows the most light and evenly distributed wash of powder and always keeps things looking un-cakey. Win-win.

For eyes and lips I was pretty loyal to a bronzed lid and one of my favorite products right now to give me an evenly gilded wash is the Nars Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalya. To keep the shadow in place all day my trusty MAC Paint Pot in Painterly performed above and beyond the call of duty and even worked well on it's own for any lazy days that called for little makeup. I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that my most reached for lippie of the month was my Dior Addict Fluid Stick in the shade Reiuse - a perfect coraly pink that looked amazing with the little bit of tan I picked up on the beaches of Spain. I have to say I have been enjoying a less made-up face this summer and I think I might be entering a new stage in my makeup relationship - maybe I'm onto something - a more minimalist approach, perhaps?
August 02, 2014
JULY SKINCARE FAVORITES

JULY SKINCARE FAVORITES


For me, the summer is all about having fresh, healthy skin and a well-rested glow. My skin has been looking surprisingly happy and healthy - even after ten days in the sweltering Spanish heat and a week of playing catch-up at work to follow - and I am attributing that to this roundup of skin saving products. I am a combination skinned kind of gal and anything too heavy or greasy in the summer tends to disagree with my skin, so I stray from oils and lean more toward serums and lightweight creams.

I have been loving using the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair right after my evening shower and letting my skin just drink it all up. It is a non-greasy yet moisturizing serum that really betters the look of the skin overnight, so for me, that is a no-brainer choice and must have in any warm weather skincare routine. To add a bit more moisture before I hit the hay at night, I have solely been reaching for my jar of the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream, which I fell in love with while on vacation last week. This cream is super refreshing and somehow light weight without being sticky or gel-like, leaving my skin looking plump and refreshed whether I use it overnight, or during the day. 

In terms of cleansers I think I may have discovered a new favorite to take the place of- shock, horror -my beloved Jurlique, and it's the Avene Cleanance Gel. After I use my cleansing oil to remove the initial layer of my makeup I go in with a palmful of this crystal blue gel and massage it into my face for beyond clean results. This is basically my dream gel, as it's soapless so it never makes my skin feel tight or dry, yet removes every bit of remaining makeup from my face. As an extra step in my usual routine, I have been thoroughly enjoying a bi-weekly mask courtesy of the Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask. This stuff is the perfect cocktail of deep-cleaning, brightening, and softening ingredients and has been acting as  a sort of 'skin police' - making sure everything keeps calm and under control. I have to say, I am loving the idea of a more simplified skincare routine, and my skin seems to be quite content with this unusual bit of consistency. 

What are the products that you rely on to keep your skin happy and healthy in the depths of the summer?