May 30, 2015
MY "NATURAL BEAUTY" PICKS

MY "NATURAL BEAUTY" PICKS


These days I find myself loving products that are easily supplemented into my usual routine, but make all the difference. If you're having a lackluster day, have brows that just won't cooperate, or need a bit of a glow boost, look no further than my roundup of 'natural beauty' picks...

First up is the Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow, which is a peachy golden liquid highlighter that works it's magic when applied under foundation. It really illuminates dull and drab skin and gives an overall boost of moisture that helps smooth out find lines as well. I find that this extra step also really prevents my makeup from settling into lines or caking up around my nose which is a big no-no for me. Plus, it gives this skin a Gisele-esque glow - what more could you want really?

For natural, yet medium and flawless coverage, my foundation of choice is the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation. It's moisturizing, as the name would suggest, so it leaves things looking plumped and fresh but never greasy or shiny, and boasts a bit more coverage than products of a similar caliber. It's amazing stuff to grab on those seemingly hopeless skin days, and the shade range is pretty much spot on as well. 

To keep my sometimes unruly brows in tip-top shape and budge-proof, I rely on a good clear brow gel. Well-groomed brows make the world of difference and the L'Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper is my secret weapon. I love that this gel never looks crunchy or clumps and the tiny wand allows for precise control over hair placement. I love when I find great drugstore products and this is definitely one I'll continue repurchasing. 

I'm all about products that add glow nowadays and one that I've become addicted to recently is the Kjaer Weis Highlighter*. It's all-natural and packaged in the sleekest flip top case ever, not to mention the warm golden color gives my skin a boost of youthful sheen. It's also the perfect silky texture that allows for easy blending with other products, which is hard to come by in organic products. And for glowing lips, a bit of a lip stain with not-too shiny moisture comes courtesy of the Kjaer Weis Lip Tint* in Beloved. This has quickly risen to the top of my lip product ranks for it's melted-berry sorbet color and sheer longevity. 

Lastly, is my eye-enhancing and long lasting shadow, the Giorgio Armani Eye Tint in 11. It gives my lids a rose-gold sheen that needs no touching up at all and doubles as a primer if I want to go in with additional product. It really gives the eyes an awakened look in one quick swipe of the doe-foot wand and never creases. It's love

What are your go-to picks for faking natural beauty?
May 28, 2015
HOW TO: BUILD A MASK WARDROBE

HOW TO: BUILD A MASK WARDROBE


Dealing with combination skin for as long as I can remember has resulted in the experimentation of many a skincare product. There really isn't just one product that does it all for me, and I find it best to target specific concerns with different products. One of the easiest and best ways to satisfy my need for instant gratification in terms of results is by using different face masks. I like to arm myself with at least one or two masks in each category of skincare concern I have - that way, I can prescribe myself with a particular mask to combat the area in which my skin needs a bit of a boost. It's a great way to learn what your skin needs, and makes life much easier the same way building a capsule wardrobe will. Here are the main (there are of course, endless varieties, some of which fall into multiple categories) mask categories you'll want to know about, who they're for, and some favorites from each: 

Clay Masks - Generally used for deep cleaning pores and removing excess oil. Clays, like kaolin and bentonite, also help to refine skin texture which make these types of masks great for those with combination to oily skin. A once a week application is a great way to keep things looking clear, refined, and breakout free. Some favorites include: Kiehl's Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque, Origins Clear Improvements, Eve Lom Rescue Mask, LUSH Mask of Magnaminty

Moisturizing Masks - Skin feeling tight and dry? Then these are for you. Moisturizing masks often contain ingredients suited for sensitive (and obviously, dry) skin types, that will help soothe and calm the skin while in addition to quickly bringing the skin back to proper moisture levels. Also often referred to as replenishing masks, as they add nutrients back into the skin. Some favorites include: Aveda Intensive Hydrating Masque*, Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Mask, Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask, Origins Drink Up.

Exfoliating/Radiance Masks - Removes any dead or dull skin to help brighten the skin and even its overall tone and surface texture. Exfoliating masks will help buff away dead skin, whether chemically or manually, leaving you with a fresh layer of skin. Radiance masks are similar in that they often contain manual exfoliants, but in combination with other acids and whitening ingredients to additionally help brighten and even texture. These are my personal favorite category of mask, as I feel removing dead skin and keeping things polished helps combat a wide variety of skin concerns including breakouts, dullness, clogged pores, and uneven skin texture.Some favorites include: Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask, Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel, Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask, NUDE Skincare Miracle Mask

Firming Masks - Targeted more toward mature skin, of course, but can be used by anyone seeking a quick youth-boost. Using one, which typically contain ingredients like collagen, and plant or fruit oils, will help to temporarily tighten and lift the look of skin by softening fine lines and wrinkles.Some favorites include: Murad Age-Diffusing Firming Mask, Mario Badescu Temporary Lifting Mask

Multi-Purpose Masks - For targeting multiple concerns at once, these types of masks can often be purifying and moisturizing, exfoliating and cleansing, or nutrient-rich and clarifying. I love these all because they save time and also help to dilute harsh ingredients with nourishing or moisturizing ingredients included as well. Some favorites include: Fresh Sugar Face Polish, Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask, Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque, TULA Exfoliating Treatment Mask*

If you have normal skin, you're in luck because having one of each in your arsenal will be perfect for you - your skin can handle (and benefit from) just about anything in small doses. Just get in touch with your skin type and read what it needs most, and when. 
May 27, 2015
EYESHADOWS YOU CAN'T GO WRONG WITH

EYESHADOWS YOU CAN'T GO WRONG WITH


Early mornings or rushed nights out call for eye-enhancing shadows that don't need faffing around with. Through loads of trial and error, I now protect myself with an armory of eyeshadows that always perform their duties efficiently when I don't have time to mess around, whether it be a smokey eye, a quick neutral, or that liquid metal effect I'm after. 

For a foolproof smokey eye look, the Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette in The Dolce Vita is just the ticket. It can take your eye look from day to night with the sweep of a brush, and once you've watched Charlotte's video tutorial you'll become a pro armed with this shadow offering as well. Even on lazy days I love dusting a bit of the lightest "prime" shade all over the lid with a bit of the "enhance" shade on the outer corner for just the right amount of definition and minimal effort. 

For a one-swipe wonder, no thought necessary wash of color, the Gucci Magnetic Color Shadow Mono in Starlight is a lifesaver of a product. I've never found such a perfect powder shadow before - it's buttery smooth, enhances my eyes, and requires minimal blending for a smooth and airbrushed makeup look. 

Then there are the cream shadows that add dimension and color in one glide of a stick or one dip of a finger. They truly are amazing products for long-lasting color that looks as though multiple products were used to achieve the look. My favorites are the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise in Mona Lisa, Tom Ford Cream & Powder Eye Color* in Golden Peach, and By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon.
May 26, 2015
KJAER WEIS MAKES YOU RETHINK ORGANIC MAKEUP

KJAER WEIS MAKES YOU RETHINK ORGANIC MAKEUP


When you think of organic makeup and beauty products, it's highly unlikely that sleek metal compacts come to mind. The minimalistic yet futurist packaging is probably the last thing that you would expect to house a refillable (you heard right!) pan of creamy, good-for-you makeup. But Kjaer Weis has definitely changed my view on organic and natural products - they are most definitely not boring and variety does, in fact, exist. Here's an overview of the products I tested from the sustainable, yet visionary brand...

Kjaer Weis Cream Foundation - I haven't dabbled too much in cream foundations prior to trying this particular product. I now know what I've been missing out on (to say the least) and I can truly say this smooth and moisturizing foundation melts into the skin with the just the pat of a finger. It's coverage can be easily manipulated and taken from light and barely there to full-on if you so please. But one thing that stays consistent is that no matter how you choose to wear it, this stuff looks like your very own skin. Undetectable and flawless, just how I want it.  

Kjaer Weis Highlighter - A serious stunner of a product. Upon first swipe, a bit of shimmer is present, yes - but it's the kind that catches the light in the most pleasing of ways. Delicately placed where you want it to be, and none where you don't. The texture is a thin, silky cream that blends seamlessly with your other makeup, which is a beautiful thing. The warm pearl shade is also without a doubt the most well-suited highlighter for my skin tone yet. My application technique of choice is to warm some up between my fingertips and let the warmth melt the product in for a second-skin like finish and iridescent glow. 

Kjaer Weis Lip Tint in Beloved - Containing moisturizing and healing organic ingredients, this lip tint is different from those I've tried before it. I find it best to apply with fingertips, and the finish you get on the lips is moisturizing without being too shiny. For a natural product, this stuff has quite an impressive staying power and never migrates outside the lip line, which has me putting two thumbs up. Not to mention, the shade Beloved is a deep mulberry in the pan, that turns up sheer on the lips, as though you've just been munching on a snack of blackberries, with the stain to match. Sure to be my new lip product of choice for a bit of color that also enhances the natural shape of my lips. 

Bonus points for being easy to find in your handbag thanks to this seriously hefty, quality packaging. Yes, please.

*PR Samples, All opinions are my own.
May 24, 2015
MY TOP 5 DUAL PURPOSE BEAUTY PRODUCT PICKS

MY TOP 5 DUAL PURPOSE BEAUTY PRODUCT PICKS

And no, they're not just makeup picks. I'll have you know that some of my very favorite products are worth their weight in gold for more than one reason. They are dual-purpose and can multi-task just about as well as any mom out there. Well, almost

Any-who, I sometimes don't feel like faffing around with other makeup and want to use as few products as possible. So naturally, the ones that help eliminate the need for additional steps and can do two jobs are very much loved indeed. 

For instance, unless I'm going somewhere and I need my makeup to stay put for 16 hours plus, which is rare, I can slap on a dollop of the Glossier Priming Moisturizer and be done. With this moisturizer my skin is left happily calmed and dewy, leaving the perfect base for makeup to go overtop. No primer needed here. And to amp up the healthy look, a dab of Tory Burch Lip & Cheek Tint does your lips and cheeks, as the name would suggest, wonders. Sometimes I love the fluidity of matching your lip and cheek color as well, as it can look a bit more natural. 

For chiseled cheekbones you know I love the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium, but there's something else you may not know about this little wonder-pan yet. This perfect ashy shade of brown makes for a great eye socket definer as well, the most universally flattering crease-color yet perhaps. It also doesn't hurt that it's super pigmented and blends like a dream. 

While I'm talking eyes, we all know that my brows love Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade, but what about as an eyeliner? You know how well this stuff stays put all day long in your arches, and you better believe it does a damn good job defining those peepers as well. Not to mention, it pulls the look together and gives your lashes a bit of a boost as well when pushed into the roots. 

And to take it all off at the end of the day, while giving myself a blood-circulating and stimulating facial massage, I will use the Eve Lom Cleanser. This stuff also makes for a great mask, and if left on for 10 minutes or more, the skin is left juicy and glowingly moisturized. Can I buy this stuff by the bucket?

What are your favorite multi-tasking products? Anything that I must try out?
May 22, 2015
FRESH'N'FAST MEMORIAL DAY MAKEUP

FRESH'N'FAST MEMORIAL DAY MAKEUP


Long weekends spent by any body of water, pool, or even by the barbecue in your backyard with friends (and ample beverages) call for a quick and fresh makeup menu. You don't want to be wearing loads of obvious powder makeup when sitting outside in the sun and you don't want what you are wearing to be of any maintenance whatsoever. So I've rounded up a few favorites that seem to wear on the face like men and wine - they get better with age. Go ahead, bask in the sun and in the glory of having nothing to do for this holiday weekend and definitely don't worry about a makeup malfunction with these guys by your side.

The base is what this look is built upon, because I'm not going near any products that will do anything besides look like my skin, but better. The Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint is simply undetectable, but will even out the overall tone of the skin and add a bit of a natural looking glow. Kind of like a bit of good sleep in a bottle. A bit of warmth will pair well with this fresh look so I'll also massage a bit of a liquid bronzer, like the Perricone M.D. No Bronzer Bronzer into the hollows of my cheeks and pat upwards and into the temples. This stuff gives skin the definition of beach bronzed skin and is virtually flawless looking. 

To amp up the 'just been in the sun' look even more, a red-based cream blush like the Nars Matte Multiple in Siam is perfect. It gives my cheeks a dose of the exact color they would turn on their own after a bit of time outdoors. For a no-maintenance, but nonetheless, juicy lip I love a rosy tinted balm like the Korres Lip Butter in Quince. The color of this balm is perfect and gives your mouth the same appearance as it would have after snacking on fresh berries. Lastly, the eyes get a bit of glossing over with the RMS Cream Eyeshadow in Solar. I once described this as the one eyeshadow everyone should own because it's just about the most perfect glossy bronze ever. 

I hope you all enjoy your weekends and don't forget to try out a look like this one.
May 21, 2015
TIPS FOR FRAGRANCE ON-THE-GO

TIPS FOR FRAGRANCE ON-THE-GO


Usually, as it goes, the warmer weather brings about travel as well. Be it, back and forth to the beach, lake, or pool or a vacation with family and friends, fragrance is one of the beauty products that can be hard to nail down. TSA doesn't exactly approve of us lugging our favorite bottle containing 3.4 ounces of perfume goodness, so we have to compromise. Fortunately, I have learned a few tips and tricks along the way that make it easier to toss your scent-du-jour into your bag in a much more travel friendly way.
  • Save up tiny samples. You know the tiny sample spritzers retailers practically throw at you every time you make a cosmetic-related purchase? Yeah, save those. Toss five of them in your preferably see-through travel pouch for on-the-go and those little guys will keep you smelling good throughout your entire trip. In reality we always need much less than we imagine.
  • Hoard rollerballs. Even if it's not your favorite scent, per se. They often come in sets and get tossed into a drawer somewhere. The best part about these is that they're perfect for keeping handy in your purse at all times, not just in travel circumstances. You'll be prepared next time without even knowing it. Who doesn't love that?
  • Use your loyalty points to get freebies. Typically there's an abundance of mini perfume freebies that you can choose from in exchange for points when shopping for makeup or fragrance. Do pick one up, or more for that matter, to store away until you need it. You'll be happy that your loyalty points were so well spent when it comes time to pack your bags and you won't have to run out to make a last-minute purchase.
  • Bring one night and one day scent. If you're bringing along a scent you're not accustomed to, go with one light and fresh option, and one heady and sexy. This way, if you're thrown some unexpectedly steamy weather you won't feel overwhelmed with a musky, heavy perfume - or a headache for that matter. 
May 20, 2015
A PRODUCT YOU NEED IN YOUR BASE KIT

A PRODUCT YOU NEED IN YOUR BASE KIT


While it isn't something you've never seen before, the Chanel Le Blanc de Chanel is becoming a product I reach for more and more often. Basically, me and my foundations can't quite be without this bottle of milky-white glowy goodness. It transforms too-heavy products into the perfect breathable and skin like finish, transforms foundations that are too dark into the perfect shade match, and the illuminates skin without any help from micro-glitter specks. 

And if all that wasn't enough to have you sold on this, I have been using on my face daily, no matter the foundation I'm using. It gives a freshness to the skin similar to the kind you'd ogle at on a model in a backstage shot - I'm thinking it may just be the mystery product that they've been using to achieve such a look for years. Well, looks like the secret's out. Whatever it is, my base routine can't be without it, and it turns even the toughest of foundations to work with into winners. Consider it an "investment" piece...
May 19, 2015
MINUTE MAKEUP STAPLES

MINUTE MAKEUP STAPLES


I must say I don't know anyone who isn't fond of finding ways to save time, especially when it comes to getting ready and out the door on busy days. In recent months my makeup routine has become quite streamlined, if I do say so myself, and I'm finally finding out which products really work for me and which I can forgo. That being said, here are the products I reach for when the clock is ticking and I don't have time to fuss over what beauty products to use. Spoiler alert: they're also very light and Spring appropriate. 

For my base I tend to reach for something fresh and natural looking that still gives light to medium coverage. I'm sure you've heard my rants on this product before but the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation is so perfect for a quick application that you don't need to worry about migrating throughout the day. Once my base is set, I like to apply a bit of an illuminating product on the high points of my face, and the Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight is the easiest to use. You hardly need to touch the product with your fingers after swiping it on, which makes it a winner in my book. Not to mention, the shade is definitely a universally flattering pearly sheen. 

One thing I will never forgo is a polished brow (thanks to that scar) and a quick way to spruce them up is with a brow pencil with an angled nib. I love the Tom Ford Brow Sculptor* and the shade 04 Espresso is my perfect deep brown shade with no reddish undertones. This one also has a great spoolie on the end opposity the wax nib. Thank you TF

To add some definition to the eyes in the quickest way possible, I like to use smudgey browns that look like they're supposed to be imperfect. The Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerise in Mona Lisa is the perfect violet infused chocolate brown shade and it compliments my brown eyes perfectly. These little pots of mousse-y product also pack one seriously lasting punch so theres no worrying about touchups. Of course, I finish off with a swipe on some mascara for defined lashes. 

For lips in a hurry I usually just reach for a perky pink tinted balm like the Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector. These are such great lip products for everyday and they keep the lips hydrated and looking like a better version of their natural selves. What products do you reach for in a hurry?
May 18, 2015
THE PRE-CONCEAL

THE PRE-CONCEAL


Because sometimes one concealer is just not enough. On those rough mornings where you haven't had quite enough sleep the night before, or even if you have and you still don't look it. One trick I've learned is to use a de-puffing treatment concealer...prior to your regular concealer. Yes, it's kind of like double-cleansing but it's even better because it keeps those nasty bags at bay. Best of all, my two favorite products to do this with are bargainous drugstore purchases, and let me tell you, they work great.

For puffy eyed ladies, or just days, the Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Roller is your guy. The cooling metal tip rolls away the bags and deposits just the right amount of brightening tint in its path. The thin and peachy concealer really helps to initially neutralize bags and darkness before you go in with your usual concealer to cover, which eliminates the need for too much product. I've found this to help with my under-eye concealing method.

The Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer is a savior if you have fine lines or wrinkes around the eye - or if you just want the area to appear smoother in general. Don't we all? The fuzzy applicator may be a bit off-putting at first, but, I personally think it's a great tool for applying the product and notice how well it smooths things out. I use this on it's own sometimes as well, but the super thin and lightweight consistency is perfect for layering under your usual coverup. It has a slight yellow tone to it which illuminates the area completely and you will never find this stuff settling into fine lines. A winner in my book - I always have one handy!
May 17, 2015
THE WEEKEND POST: LAKE DAYS

THE WEEKEND POST: LAKE DAYS

I love spending time at the lake once the weather starts shaping up. Luckily, the past few days have been beautiful ones; perfect for enjoying the view and relaxing by the water. My boyfriend and I took a few days to do practically nothing here, drinking glasses of chilled Chardonnay lakeside and looking forward to a Summer filled with boat days spent with family and friends. 

Only a few weeks left until it's warm enough to pop on a swimsuit, hitch the tube to the boat, and head out for some sun-soaked weekend fun. What have you gotten up to this past weekend? Hope it has been a good one...

Wearing: Splendid Striped Dress (different color here) // Birkenstock Arizona Sandals // 
Jennifer Zeuner Necklace (similar) // Dior So Real Mirrored Sunglasses
May 15, 2015
THE BLUSHES THAT CONVERTED ME TO A CREAM LOVER

THE BLUSHES THAT CONVERTED ME TO A CREAM LOVER

Lately, you couldn't pry the cream blush and stippling brush from my hands if you tried. I've been completely converted, at least for the warmer months, to a luminous flush of color that melts onto the cheeks. There's something so perky and fresh about the cream formulas in my opinion, specifically the ones I'm about to tell you about, and they really bring it on the lit-from-within front.

You've seen it here many a time since it's arrival on my desk, and I'm sorry, but it's just that good. It's the Tom Ford Cream Cheek Color* in Pink Sand and it has combines just the right amount of golden glow with the perfect pink color that mimics a natural flush. It's also the perfect consistency for easy blending with either fingers, or a stippling brush. 

Then there are the multi-taskers that I love toting around in my makeup bag for their dual-purpose goodness. The RMS Lip2Cheek in Smile has always been a standby favorite for it's natural coconut oil base and the bit of gleam it gives to cheeks or lips when applied. Best of all is the pot is travel-friendly and you only need a tiny dab of product because it's super pigmented stuff. The Jouer Tint is another great multi-tasker, and definitely one of my favorite cream blush formulas to date. My favorite shade is Honeysuckle, a sheer peachy cream that lasts a good 6 hours on my skin, which is great. It also sets down and sort of becomes a second skin, and thankfully, won't transfer onto your new white blouse when you're changing. Cough, cough...YSL Creme de Blush I'm looking at you.

Another firm favorite is the Tory Burch Lip & Cheek Tint* in Cat's Meow 01, which holds a place in my bag because I like it just as much on the lips as I do on the cheeks. Let me tell you, it's not all that often that that happens. Who knew Tory could do tints as well as she does ballet flats?
May 14, 2015
TWO BRUSHES THAT HAVE CONCEALING COVERED

TWO BRUSHES THAT HAVE CONCEALING COVERED


It seems simple enough, but for awhile I wondered if I was making the most out of my concealer. It's something I use everyday under my eyes (gotta cover those bags up) but I had always had trouble blending. While these brushes are not at all new additions, it's only recently that I realized they're what saved my concealing life. 

It turns out, that the Real Techniques Contour Brush and Detailer Brush, both wallet-friendly brush purchases, are all you really need to cover up. Pun intended. While they're not the most glamorous or exiting makeup related discoveries, they're certainly ones that I pick up every single day without thought. The Contour Brush fits perfectly into corners and crevices thanks to its tapered point, and it's synthetic bristles make for excellent blending of cream-based products. Any blemishes or tiny pigmentation spots get their little butts kicked by the teeny-tiny brush that is the Detailer. And that's it really, bases covered

Best of all, they come together in a set. You can thank me later.
May 13, 2015
CAN REGULAR GIRLS HAVE "RICH GIRL HAIR"?

CAN REGULAR GIRLS HAVE "RICH GIRL HAIR"?


So there's this somewhat ridiculously-named trend that has been everywhere since fashion week made it a thing. It's called "rich girl" hair. There was an abundance of girls rocking smooth hair with a slight curl while trotting down the runways of Paris and Milan fashion week. It's not quite what were used to seeing with textured, salty waves. Instead, it's smooth and shiny with a slight curl - very clean and sort of glamorous in a nonchalant way. It's also probably not something you'd get away with come third day hair. So predictably, in the name of research, I decided to give this trend a try to see if us normal girls could achieve the hair of those "rich girls" and here's what I found...

I typically give my hair a slight curl whenever I have the time, so going in with a curling iron wasn't anything out of the ordinary for me. I use the Sultra The Bombshell 1 Inch Curling Rod, a clamp-free curling iron, which I find usually works better in creating smooth styles. So to start, I worked on freshly dried hair and ran a bit of Morrocan Oil through the mid-lengths for softness and shine. I wrapped one-inch sections of my hair around twice starting from the ear down, making sure the ends bent inward as well. Typically, when I create beachy waves I will leave about an inch at the bottom uncurled, as to create more of a piecey and sporadic texture. For the "rich girl" look I think the key is to make it look a bit more retro and soft, and not to have separated, or crunchy curls. 

Once I was finished curling, I brushed out my hair to give things a more uniform and flowy feel, and as it turns out, it was actually a super easy style to achieve. In fact, this hairstyle involves less maintenance and product than that of its beachier sister. So, yes, regular girls can easily achieve "rich girl" hair, and the irony is that it just so happens to be a pretty low maintenance style, too.

May 12, 2015
GLOSSY SUMMER EYESHADOWS

GLOSSY SUMMER EYESHADOWS

I love glossy and effortless eyeshadows for Summer, as thick and caked on powders can begin to feel a bit heavy. Not to mention, pigments start to slide around on your lids and all of your hard work at blending goes down the drain. Sad times. It's a bit early to be talking about Summer, yes, but the drastic changes in temperature have had me reaching for these creamy shadows with a glossy finish on the daily.

The first of the bunch and the one I've had for the longest period of time now is the Giorgio Armani Eye Tint in #11. I only have one color of this product because they are a bit on the pricey side, but the one tube has served me well. I love the rose gold shade of this and the crease-proof tint dries down to a glossy finish in seconds and won't be moving all day. I'd definitely recommend picking up one shade as well because there is a hefty amount of product in the tube and the doe-foot applicator is near genius. One rave done, and onto the next. There are so many really great eyeshadow sticks on the market, but the By Terry Ombre Blackstars stand out to me for their multidimensional and complex color range. I have the shade Misty Rock and Bronze Moon and both are stunning and can either give the lids a gilded-full on metal look, or can be worn sheer for a great daytime wash of color. These have become my go-to sticks for that five second smokey eye look we all lust after.

Whipped, mousse like cream-shadows are also having their moment currently - and I am not complaining. I've wanted to get my hands on the Tom Ford Cream Shadows forever, but never placed an order in time for their quick sellouts. Luckily, the Tom Ford Soleil collection included four shades of beautiful Cream and Powder Eye Color*. I can't begin to tell you how versatile and beautiful these pots are; one whipped cream shade and one gilded complementary powder make for the most dreamy duos of this Summer. Get them before they're gone people. 

Last, but certainly not least are the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes To Mesmerise. Pots of creamy shadow goodness in the most beautiful array of neutrals that give eyes a wash of sultry color. These are so great for the lazy-makeup days when you just want to pat something onto your lids and be finished. My favorite shades are Mona Lisa and Norma Jean. What are your favorites mentioned here?

May 11, 2015
WHY I LOVE SHEET MASKS

WHY I LOVE SHEET MASKS


Face masks are always something I'm intrigued by. New ones launch and make their way onto my list all the time, but lately, it's sheet masks I'm lusting after. Want to know why? Here are a few reasons...
  • It's fun and cheap to try different varieties. It's a noncommittal product purchase if you know what I mean. Instead of shelling out $30 to $100 for a single jar of masky-goodness, you're spending around $5 for a one-time use sheet infused with serum. If you find one you like, you can stock up of course, but if not, experimenting is fun and does less damage to your wallet.
  • Instant gratification. The fibrous layers of the sheet mask soak up loads of juicy-essence goodness...and then you lay it on your face for about 30 minutes. With that extra layer on top your skin is sort of forced to absorb more product than it usually would. I tend to see results instantly, especially after massaging remainder of said essence into my skin after taking off the mask. It's like an at-home facial.
  • Juicy, moisturized skin. For the same reasons as listed above, these things are soaked with moisture, and therefore, leave your skin with the same result. No matter the variety of mask you choose; brightening, pore tightening, acne clearing - they all leave things comfortable and never tight or dry. 
  • They're travel friendly. Not many products are these days, but these individual use sachets make a perfect travel companion. Keep your skin moisturized, clear, and bright even on the go.
Intrigued? You can find some of my favorites from Sephora's brand here, Dr. Jart here, or TonyMoly here. Happy masking!
May 09, 2015
FOR THE POWDER HATERS

FOR THE POWDER HATERS


Because I've grown to become one as well. Years ago you would've seen me caking my face in the stuff every morning, and in fear of my natural skin shining through, I opted for a flat and matte complexion. Needless to say it wasn't really the best look and now I take extra care to make sure that my skin looks like, you know, skin...

All three of these powders are, of course, different, but they do share the ability to keep things glowy while also in their proper places. If you're looking for a colorless powder that airbrushes over pores and takes shine down just the right amount, then look no further than the Too Faced Primed and Poreless Powder. Best of all, this powder can be used to "prime" the skin as well and a light dusting before and after foundation will ensure longevity. 

If it's a bit of luminosity that you're looking to get from your setting powder, then my absolute favorite is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder. There isn't a color that I don't like, as they all offer a soft-focus and diffused glow like nothing else out there. I love these for night time especially as with a bit of a heavier hand you get a really J. Lo like effect of glistening skin, but without the glitter. 

Then there's the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish powder, which gives the most beautiful plumped and perfected look. I know it seems strange to say, but this powder actually feels moisturizing and comforting on my skin, which is a big must considering nobody wants a powder that clings to dry patches. This offers a bit of coverage but still lets your natural skin shine through. On "good skin days" or weekends I sometimes even dust this over my skin atop a bit of concealer for a natural, but poreless look. What more could you want, really?

Which of these powders are you itching to try? 
May 08, 2015
NO BRUSH NEEDED BASES

NO BRUSH NEEDED BASES

Some days you just don't feel like taking out your beauty tool kit and caulking over your pores, am I right? Those days occur more frequently for me during the warmer months, when I'd much prefer a light and breathable base. Personally, I've found the best way to achieve that second-skin like finish is with fingers so that the warmth of your hands help to work the product into your face. But, when it comes to a brush-free application, not all bases are created equal - so here are my finger-friendly favorites of the moment. 

  1. Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation - I use the shade 3 Fair. I just can't rave about this stuff enough, can I? Just trust me when I tell you that you have to try it to believe it. It's like the glowier and slightly higher-coverage older sister of the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation. It has a fluid texture, no scent, and no SPF which is makes it a better option for those of us being photographed. The texture feels more like a tint than a foundation, which for me, is a good thing, but also has sufficient and undetectable coverage.
  2. Chanel CC Cream - I use the shade 20 Beige. By far my favorite CC Cream ever. I'm usually not a fan of them as the shade range tends to fight against my complexion color, leaning more on the ashy side of things. But with this one, the shade is on point and makes my skin look fresh, luminous, and healthy. Never greasy or too balmy like some can be. With an SPF of 50, this could possibly be the perfect beach and poolside base, especially for those afraid of going completely bare. The best part - they'll think you're wearing nothing at all
  3. BareMinerals Complexion Rescue - I use the shade Buttercream 03. This tinted gel-based cream leaves your skin feeling dewy and plumped, as though you've just used a really great moisturizer. I like this on days when you don't want to look as though you've gone and applied makeup, but need a little boost. It feels as though it's water based and also provides a hit of hydration while smoothing the skin texture. It's a great one to have in your arsenal. 
  4. Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer - I use the shade Finland. An oldie but definitely a goodie, not to mention, one I always come back to. It offers a buildable and breathable coverage that never feels greasy and feels like you're applying skincare, not makeup. It boasts an SPF of 30, making it perfect for those sun-drenched Summer days.
May 07, 2015
ANTICA FARMACISTA

ANTICA FARMACISTA

There's nothing I love more than a good pamper - especially after a long day. That being said, I wanted to introduce you guys to Antica Farmacista, a beautifully curated luxury line of fragranced home and body products. The line offers so many detailed pieces that make a perfect treat for either yourself or as a great gift for upcoming Mother's Day. 

If you're a frequent reader of my blog, you'll know that my love for fragrance doesn't end with perfumes. I also am a big advocate of home fragrance and that includes candles, sprays, and diffusers. The Antica Farmacista Damascena Rose, Orris & Oud Candle is such a luxe and Summer appropriate scent for the home. It's an exotic and warm take on the classic floral scent, and quite honestly, the most unique rose candle I've yet to come across. 

The brand also boasts a beautiful line of home fragrance diffusers that make for the perfect housewarming and hostess gifts in my opinion. The Ala Moana Home Ambience Perfume has amazing throw and keeps any small space smelling of the tropics at all times. I love how fresh this scent is thanks to green notes combined with a classic floral bouquet reminiscent of an exotic island. 

Of course, bath and body products are just as important for leaving skin moisturized and lightly fragranced. The Orange Blossom, Lilac & Jasmine Bath and Shower Wash and Body Moisturizer pair perfectly together to cleanse, nourish, and fragrance the skin. The body wash includes sweet almond oil and silk amino proteins that leave the skin super soft even prior to moisturizing. Not to mention, the scent in itself is the pick-me-up I often need for early mornings with uplifting orange blossom, Sicilian lemon, lilac, and jasmine. I love that the fragrance actually lasts on the skin so that on lazy days and weekends there's no need for any additional perfume. 

These are the perfect treats that complete any pamper routine. For you, or someone special...

*PR Samples, All opinions are my own.
May 06, 2015
MY GO-TO-GLOW ROUTINE

MY GO-TO-GLOW ROUTINE


I'm not one to stick to one routine when it comes to makeup. I'm always trying something new and in search of something that works miracles. But even I can't deny when something just works, and you know what they say. If it ain't broke don't fix it...

I've been loving my current go-to products as they create such an easy everyday glowy look. My base of choice for a light but skin-tone evening application is the Chanel CC Cream in 20 Beige, which is without a doubt my best base discovery of 2015 thus far. It has the most beautiful skin-like finish and is a much better choice for those with normal or dry skin than the oil-serum formulas that are popular as of late. Nothing will be clinging to dry patches with this. For a bit of a sheen without the shimmer I've been using the Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow as it has the perfect golden peach color and never looks heavy. I also like that you can either use it under, mixed with, or over your foundation for a more strategic placement. 

On the cheeks I haven't used anything else ever since I got hold of the Tom Ford Cream Cheek Color* in 01 Pink Sand. It melts into the skin for the most seamless finish and can't be overdone as the color is natural and can be easily layered. Another winner from the same collection comes in the form of the Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color* in the shade Naked Bronze. I love how versatile this product is and that it can create a subtle daytime eye look or be layered up with the molten metal powder for a smoldering night time look. 

For a beautiful glowy bronze look, I would definitely suggest trying out the Hourglass Ambient Bronzer. In my opinion it's a perfect bronzer for girls who typically hate bronzers because it's the perfect mixture between a luminizing setting powder and a hint of bronze. Of course, I couldn't forget the lips - do you know who you're dealing with yet? If there were ever such a thing as glowing lips, the Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector would be the product to get them. I have a few shades and really can't tell you which I love most as they are all beautiful and create a smooth and perfected natural lip look.

What are your go-to products for a glowy makeup look?
May 05, 2015
CHARLOTTE TILBURY EYES TO MESMERISE

CHARLOTTE TILBURY EYES TO MESMERISE


Lately I'm all about creamy makeup textures, especially when it comes to eyes. It started with eyeshadow sticks, then moved on to liquid tints, and now I'm loving mousse shadows. I know that I don't need to tell you how much I love Charlotte Tilbury's products (any and all) but when I saw these release I knew it would be love at first swipe. 

The Eyes To Mesmerise are a long lasting and easy to apply cream eyeshadow. In my opinion, they're more a mousse texture, but they pack all the pigment of a cream shadow and last all day. These are marketed as a part of Charlotte's "minute makeup" range because they are so easy to apply and I couldn't agree more. Best of all, they are easy to build from a day to night time look with just one or two additional layers of color. 

The shades are all beautifully wearable and inspired by icons of the past. I have two, including Mona Lisa, a chocolate brown laced with a hint of purple for a soft smokey eye, and Norma Jean, an ultra eye-brightening pink Champagne inspired by Marilyn Monroe. I've been reaching for these on a daily basis since they fell into my possession because of the ease of application and gorgeous colors. Just a little tap into the pot on the tip of the finger goes a long way and I love that you have a bit more time to work with these before they set down, but not so much time that they end up creasing. I find that the two colors layer up beautifully for that smudgy and imperfect 'cool-girl' eyeshadow look.
May 04, 2015
APRIL FAVORITES

APRIL FAVORITES


Maybe a bit late to the party - but better late than never, right? April has been a month filled with new launches and exciting products, some of which only recently came into my possession and are already favorites, but more on those next month. I like that this month there are some standouts to me that I have been reaching for every single day no questions asked. Let's get rollin'...

My fragrance obsession peaks during the Spring and Summer months, but right now I've been especially enjoying wearing Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay Cologne. It's tart and refreshing but leaves behind a leafy green freshness with a hint of woodiness which I quite like in my fragrances because it seems to evolve throughout the day. It really is a beautiful fragrance for this time of the year. 

As for skin, I'm still on a Tula Illuminating Face Serum* kick, which I'm sure you can tell by the sheer amount I've used up. This is a perfect serum for morning and is moisturizing enough that I can often skip the additional step, which makes my life that much easier. My skin soaks it in immediately and things are left radiant, which I love. I happen to also have two favorites that are makeup/skincare hybrids - those being the Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow and the Chanel CC Cream. The Wonder Glow is the ultimate golden goddess makeup product, one I imagine the VS Angels would use for their shows and photo shoots. It gives an instant hit of peachy golden illumination and smoothes out pores and fine lines thanks to it's blurring technology. After those steps I've been loving a new, lighter base product, the Chanel CC Cream. It's without a doubt the best BB/CC/DD (lol) product I've yet to come across as the coverage is on point without looking like there's anything on your skin. It also sets to a satiny finish that works well with the natural oils in my skin for a perfect glow. 

Another product from Queen Charlotte, the Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder in 01 Fair has been my powder dusting of choice lately as it amps up the coverage ever so slightly, while still managing to be undetectable and as smooth as silk. I also can't stop swiping the Dior 'Rouge Dior Brilliant' Lipshine and Care Couture Colour in Paname on my lips, which is like a balm/gloss hybrid with moisturizing oils that actually packs a punch in the color department. Not to mention this is the most perfect nude shade, ever.

What did you enjoy using this month?
May 03, 2015
THE WEEKEND POST: TRAVEL PLANS

THE WEEKEND POST: TRAVEL PLANS


This week I have been making some last minute arrangements for my upcoming trip. This year's long Winter that had us all cooped up has had me lusting over distant destinations more than ever. Cue looking at old travel photos - the above turquoise waters and ancient ruins of Sicily looking especially appealing right now. Thankfully, I have a trip to Italy coming up in less than a month. I'm so excited, and have of course already been pondering outfits and beauty products that I want to bring along. When the time comes, I'll no doubt be sharing more on that. I'm even thinking of doing a few outfit photos to mix things up a bit...thoughts?

This time around I am going to discover more of Milan and I'll be visiting the Cinque Terre and staying on Lake Como for the first time. Italy is one of my favorite places to visit and the scenery, landscapes, and culture never disappoint. It feels sort of like a second home to me, not to mention, it offers what is probably the most delicious food ever. Can anyone say pizza, gelato, bread, pasta, cheese, prosciutto, and more carbs? I'm hungry just typing these words...
May 02, 2015
TULA EXFOLIATING TREATMENT MASK

TULA EXFOLIATING TREATMENT MASK


I previously spoke about a skincare line called Tula. The brand focuses on creating good-for-your skin products using a mixture of nutritious ingredients and probiotic technology to revitalize and nourish the skin. They've recently added to their product lineup with this multi-tasking mask wonder - the Exfoliating Treatment Mask. Exfoliating is an integral part of my skincare routine, as I'm sure it is for many others, and it keeps my skin clear and in check like nothing else. So, to say this mask intrigued me is definitely an understatement.

This mask is a dual-phase treatment that provides both chemical and physical exfoliation, thanks to a mixture of bentonite clay, lactic acid, volcanic sand, microencapsulated exfoliating beads, and Vitamin E. In my opinion, it's a very gentle and smooth formula that removes dirt and dead skin cells without over-drying, and instead leaves things plump and calm. In fact, it's so gentle that it only needs to be left on the skin for five minutes and can be used up to 3 times per week. 

My skin agrees with lactic acid, and it tends to leave things brighter and more glowing, not to mention clear. I like that this also contains manual exfoliating beads (they are gentle enough that you can be sure there is no harsh abrasion happening) and it seems to make my skin even more smooth and poreless than a chemical exfoliant on its own. The beads also contain Vitamin E which burst upon massaging the mask into the skin, which means no tight or dry feelings post-masking. 

I've already been incorporating this wonder pot into my weekly routine and find that it has created a much brighter and balanced skin already. I think that this is a mask that would suit everyone as well because it's so gentle and manages to keep things hydrated. Big thumbs up from me!

*PR Sample, All opinions are my own.
May 01, 2015
TOM FORD SUMMER 2015 SOLEIL COLLECTION

TOM FORD SUMMER 2015 SOLEIL COLLECTION

The Tom Ford Soleil Collection brings together all you could want from a Summer makeup look into a sensual collection inspired by the warmth of the season. Burnished and metallic tones create smoldering eye looks while the cheeks are given a warm wash of creamy pink color, resulting in the most perfect bronzed and resort-ready makeup. The look is created with a few key products...

Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color - These stunning shadow duos combine one creamy color with a complementary glistening powder hue for a sultry and lustrous eye. They are available in four shades, as shown above, and include Midnight Sea, Black Oyster, Golden Peach, and Naked Bronze. To me, these are immediately a standout piece in this collection, so I'd get my hands on them as quickly as possible. The cream eyeshadow is extremely pigmented, meaning you only need the smallest amount to start and they set almost immediately. I'd suggest working in thin layers to create a more intense wash of color, or top with a bit of the metallic shadow for a glistening, and almost wet eye look. I love that you can create such a variety of looks with just one pot of color thanks to the buildable formula combinations. In the photo above, I went with something out of the norm (and love it), and am wearing the Midnight Sea duo combined with a bit of the powder shade from Black Oyster.

Tom Ford Shimmering Body Oil - This product couldn't have been released at a better time, as my body oil obsession had hit an all-time high. This one is extremely luxurious and contains gold and platinum leaf, which melts into the skin upon application for a beautiful glowing look. The smell of this oil is also intoxicating - white florals wrapped in warm amber and sandalwood - and would be the perfect companion for a Summer getaway. 

Tom Ford Lip Color Sheer - The ever popular TF lipstick gets a Summer update with a beautiful squared off bullet and a sheer and lustrous formula. There are four shades available, and include Rose Soleil, Skinny Dip, Paradiso, and Sweet Spot. The two pictured here are Sweet Spot (left) and Skinny Dip (right), which I am also wearing in the above photos. These are beautifully creamy and can be worn sheer or built up to a more intense and sheeny color.

Tom Ford Cream Cheek Color in Pink Sand - This is a beautiful and universally flattering cream blush, in a stunning pearlized peach-pink color. I love cream blushes during the warmer months as I think they complement a glowing bronzed-goddess look perfectly, and this one is especially pretty. I suggest stippling it into the apples of cheeks and bringing it slightly upward for a bit of warm glow. I like that it contains a subtle luminosity so that there is no need for an additional highlighter, and it sets to a radiant satin finish.

Tom Ford Bronzing Powder - Possibly the most beautiful bronzer ever, the TF bronzer is now available in gold and ivory packaging and two sizes. There is now a smaller, more travel-friendly, size available, which I think is great for those always on-the-go. Here I have the larger sized compact in the shade Terra, the darker of the two available shades. Gold Dust is the slightly lighter bronzer, although the shade Terra works beautifully on my pale skin as either a contour or bronzer. It's the perfect overall warmth-boosting powder and it's silky and lightweight formula makes for perfect blending. It's such a beautiful product and never translates as ruddy or flat on the skin which is something I look for in a bronzer.

Overall, these are stunning pieces to add to your collection and will definitely help create the perfect glowing skinned and bronzed eye Summer look. The quality of these products is perfect and the formulas suit the season so beautifully, with sheer, creamy, and soft textures.

*PR Samples, All opinions are my own.