August 31, 2015
MY FIVE SUMMER MAKEUP HEROES

MY FIVE SUMMER MAKEUP HEROES

Looking back on the past summer (I know, it's not entirely over yet) I've noticeably streamlined my routine, and even reached for the same products often throughout the season. I'm doing my makeup in record time with products that worked very well for the summer; locking everything in place without looking too much. I've narrowed it down to the five products I couldn't have made it through these sticky months without...and here's to a new month tomorrow!
  1. Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Foundation - You know the drill with this one, so I'll spare you too many details. I just fell back in love with this LBB (little black bottle) of skin-perfecting fluid over the past few months. I loved many a BB Cream as well, but have been relying on this foundation for when I want a bit more coverage, while keeping a satiny and natural finish. Sometimes, shopping the stash is the most satisfying way to shop afterall.
  2. Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Micro-Powder - There is no powder as finely milled and as creamy as this. It blends in perfectly with my skin and is virtually undetectable - even when looked at in the sunlight! No kidding, either. If you haven't tried this yet, change that ASAP.
  3. Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Hydrating Lip Balm - The perfect no makeup, makeup look for your lips. The creamy balm texture stays put on the lips longer than most, and the finish enhances the natural lip shape. I have had this in my handbag throughout the summer and could not have made it through without. It requires no thought whatsoever and you're lying if you say that's not a good thing.
  4. Tom Ford Cream Cheek Color in Pink Sand* - This gem was my single favorite product of the entire season. I know you're probably sick of seeing it around, but it deserves a final mention. It saved my complexion from looking flat all summer long and did the job of a blush and highlighter in one, without ever feeling greasy or looking unnatural. A true beauty!
  5. Trestique Color & Smudge Shadow Crayon in Venetian Gold* - If you struggle with oily eyelids and can't find a product that lasts all day - you can end your search here. If I'm in a rush in the morning, there's nothing else I reach for. I love this particular light browny gold shade for everyday and the formula is so good, it doesn't crease in the slightest. It's safe to say I'll be picking up a few new shades come fall.
What were your makeup heroes this summer?
August 28, 2015
LUXE SKIN TREATS FROM LA PRAIRIE

LUXE SKIN TREATS FROM LA PRAIRIE

Skincare (and beauty) junkies, rejoice! The ultimate in skin treats from La Prairie has me wanting to streamline my routine like never before. I've never seen such quick results from skincare before.

A few weeks back, lack of sleep had my skin in quite a state. Late nights left it looking flat, and just overall "meh", which at the time was only temporarily remedied with a little dose of strobing. While that's all in good fun, I definitely didnt't want to have to rely on shimmer to keep my complexion from looking drab. Enter; La Prairie and the two miraculous skin care products that whipped my skin right back into shape - and better than ever. 

The La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask brings together the power of a night cream with the quick results of a mask and in one 8-hour night of sleep, breathes new life to skin. Literally, my skin looked completely rejuvenated after the first use - and it only gets better with continued use! I fell in love with the application technique almost instantly, the cream brushes on and is absorbed into the skin in seconds, leaving no residue, only a feeling of moisturized comfort. My skin felt plumped and polished the next morning, leaving me with the most beautiful canvas over which to apply makeup. I have been using this 2-3 times per week and notice improvements with each use - no need for any additional products except an eye cream!

The La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Emulsion helps keep skin moisturized and refined on a daily basis. Having combination skin, I really appreciate any products that don't sit on the skin after application, but that do keep skin in a comfortably balanced state. This cream is perfect for both day and night (when you're not using the mask) and helps to address the first signs of aging, which is great for a 20-something. It also addresses stress-factors that leave the skin looking dull and fatigued, which has left me with a more even skin tone that looks as though it glows from the inside, not from makeup!

Taking care of your skin early on is so much easier than going to extreme measures later - which is exactly what I know I am doing with these products. To think I've been missing out on these skin-perfecting products all along... 

*PR Samples, All opinions are my own.
August 27, 2015
THE SCENTS FROM MAISON FRANCIS KURKDJIAN THAT WILL TRANSCEND SEASONS

THE SCENTS FROM MAISON FRANCIS KURKDJIAN THAT WILL TRANSCEND SEASONS

These two beautiful scents from Maison Francis Kurkdjian will actually be the only two you need from here on out. Between Oud Cashmere Mood Extrait de Parfum and Feminin Pluriel EDP will see you through the next few months of seasonal changes better than any other duo out there. Here's the low-down on these ultra-luxe fragrances that are begging to be displayed atop your vanity (those bottles, though)...

Feminin Pluriel - An ultra feminine floral bouquet based on Florentine violet and iris. This light yet statement-making fragrance opens up to a Grasse rose and Egyptian jasmine middle note. Chypre accents blend a vetiver note with Indonesian patchouli. It's a playful, yet elegant scent that is perfect for everyday. I love that it dries down onto the skin to smell subtle and clean, but it's still noticeable for those who get close enough to you. Which I love...

Oud Cashmere Mood - A headier, masculine-meets-feminine, but deeply sexy scent. It combines oud and benzoin from Laos with labdinum from Morocco,  and finishes with a delicious vanilla accord. Classified as a woody-oriental, it's the perfect fragrance for any time of the year, especially the cooler months, and for nights you want to be noticed. I love these woody scents, I find them to be the perfect in between for those who want something a bit more intriguing, but in a more unconventional way. This one in particular finds it's way into your skin, becoming all the more balmy and personal at the same time.

I think I've found my newest fragrance addiction...do I have your attention?

*PR Samples, all opinions are my own.
August 24, 2015
CHRISTOPHE ROBIN

CHRISTOPHE ROBIN

Fresh, floral-scented, light and bouncy hair? Check, check, and checkkk. Well, when you use these products from Christophe Robin, that is. I haven't tried anything from the luxe French brand previously, but have most certainly been intrigued since reading his interview on Into The Gloss. I love brands that have stories and are aimed at solving actual beauty problems, versus just surface-quick fixes. This is certainly one of those brands...

After just one use, I was more than just intrigued. I washed my hair with Delicate Volumizing Shampoo with Rose Extracts and followed up by conditioning with Volumizing Conditioner with Rose Extracts and felt an immediate difference in my hair.

The products use concentrated rose oil and extract, vitamins A and E and a blend of other vitamins that fortify the hair without coating it in buildup. This is absolutely key: the products were formulated so that they don't coat the scalp, therefore leaving the hair light, shiny, and bouncy instead of flat and weighed-down. (The delicate rose scent certainly doesn't hurt either.) This is something I can especially appreciate because I have thick, heavy hair as it is - but these products would suit any hair type!

The cherry-on-top to this already happy ending is the Regenerating Hair Finish Lotion with Hibiscus Vinegar. Spritzed on damp hair this finishing spray helps to detangle, add shine, and remove any residue left on the hair, which is kind of like an all-in-one styling product if you would. For me, this is the ideal daily hair product that gives my strands a little boost and leaves them scented with a light hibiscus perfume. Divine!
*PR Samples, All opinions are my own.
August 21, 2015
SKINCARE BITS TO ADD TO YOUR ROUTINE NOW

SKINCARE BITS TO ADD TO YOUR ROUTINE NOW

Skincare is something I love to try out, often and in large quantities. I have, of course, found many items that have now become necessary to my daily routine - but I attribute that to this testing process. My favorite time to add new products to my routine to help amp things up a bit is during the changing of seasons. Now that summer is about to pass us by I'm sharing a few bits that have been rustling my feathers lately, and that I know will be perfect for the upcoming dryer months. Of course, there's more to come on the skincare front, shortly. 

Diana Ralys Blemish Microfoliant - A brand that's new to me but I love already. All of the products are organic and act like a dose of vitamins for the skin, but my skin has been especially loving this particular mask that includes active enzymes and small, but gentle, microdermabrasion crystals to keep the skin polished through both natural and chemical processes. I notice an overall improvement in skin tone and texture almost immediately after use - always a welcome bonus!

Diana Ralys Essential Moisturizer - A rich, all natural moisturizer that manages to give a pretty epic dose of moisture, without leaving any greasy film or residue on the skin. This is right up your street if those are the results you are after, not to mention, it helps to plump the skin instantly. 

Diana Ralys Multitask Mask - The quick-fix mask that leaves skin soft and helps to clear up any rough patches, but is perfect for sensitive skin. It's been especially great for my slightly oily summer complexion and helping to balance things out a bit, without every creating dry conditions. The volcanic clay used in this mask have highly absorbing properties, sort of making this mask a vacuum cleaner for the skin.

Beauty Rx By Dr. Schultz Soothing Moisture Cream - Relief for stressed skin in a pot. This cream is oil free but soothes and nourishes skin with a dose of antioxidants. My skin drinks this up in a snap and it provides a silky smooth base for additional makeup or SPF. If you have recently had any traumatizing skin treatments or just super sensitive skin...I could not recommend this cream enough!

Beauty Rx By Dr. Schultz Gentle Exfoliating Eye Therapy Cream -  This is an eye cream that not only treats the skin tone, but the texture as well. It gently lifts dull skin cells from the delicate eye area to dramatically reduce dark circles, and I have to say I've seen quite an improvement since I've begun using this!

Murad Hydrating Toner - I've become quite the toner fanatic, and I think that the additional hit of moisture has really helped my skin stay balanced. You all know my love for Murad skincare products, and this one is no exception. The Hydrating Toner retores pH balance and helps to neutralize impurities and prep the skin for treatments to come.

In fact, I have a very special few treatments to share with you next week - be sure to visit again!

*PR Samples, All opinions are my own.
August 20, 2015
TRANSITIONAL BEAUTY FAVORITES

TRANSITIONAL BEAUTY FAVORITES

The end of summer is coming up much sooner than we'd like to believe, but the one upside to that is the slew of new beauty products to choose from. But before I go full force into deep fall hues, I have a handful of products that make transitioning seamless and easy. They involve mostly tawny-colored nudes and will suit just about anyone, which is always a bonus as it can be quite difficult to sort through the onslaught of releases to find your perfect shades. 

The change of seasons always causes drier skin conditions so I like to use moisturizing lip and cheek products. Two of my favorites for lips include Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick in Tempt for a perfect light wash of berry color, and Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Hydrating Lip Balm for a nude glossy balm. For the cheeks, its cream blush all the way because it helps keep the summer glow alive for longer. I like the Vapour Organic Beauty Aura Multi-Use Blush in Starlet for it's golden-flecked raspberry shade that doubles as a highlighter. It works especially well when rubbed onto the back of the hand so that it warms up, and then applied to the apples of cheeks with a brush. Such a beautiful and versatile product. 

For the eyes I'm all about a mix of neutral hues, especially when they air on the side of warm. That's exactly what the Bobbi Brown Telluride Eye Palette brings as it's packed with seven shades in a variety of buttery mattes and molten shimmers. I especially love the pinky-hued matte - it's quickly becoming my favorite day time crease shade for a perfectly defined, yet light eye.

*PR Samples, All opinions are my own.
August 18, 2015
THE BASE YOU'LL NEVER KNOW IS THERE

THE BASE YOU'LL NEVER KNOW IS THERE

Yes, really. Do you wish for coverage so subtle, yet perfected, that not even you will remember you're wearing it? If you answered "h*** yes!" (like you should've) then this combo is for you...

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream* - This CC cream has been my official go-to for the past few weeks. I have to say it's even turned me against some of my old favorite bases, because nothing gives me such great coverage without looking caked on. I love how my skin breathes while I'm wearing this, but it evens out my skin tone at the same time. Additionally, this CC cream contains anti-aging peptides, vitamins, and protects skin from sun damage with a whopper of an SPF 50! Yes to that.

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye* - This is moisture-rich pigmented coverage with the perfect amount of a salmon pink hue. It's really ideal for everyday because it lasts without creasing, and actually works to address the appearance of lines and wrinkles with anti-aging technology instead of just masking. So yes, technically, it's a skincare/makeup hybrid. We all love a little bit of that, am I right?

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks in Telluride* - A dewy multi-tasking cream color that can be used equally well on either lips or cheeks. It's a best seller for a reason, but this specific shade gives the most beautiful tawny pink glow to the cheeks, or lips for that matter, without leaving behind a speck of shimmer in it's tracks.

What are your favorite products for achieving a base that's virtually undetectable?

August 14, 2015
JIMMY CHOO ILLICIT

JIMMY CHOO ILLICIT

Jimmy Choo ILLICIT is one of those fragrances that draws you to someone from across the room. For me, it was love at first sniff. It is to release in mid-September in stores, so the seductiveness and almost addictive quality makes it perfect for fall. 

Here's the story: "alluring and mesmerising, ILLICIT is an instinctively seductive fragrance. Bending the rules without breaking them, she is dancing till dawn, the heart and soul of every party; she lives in the moment." Sky Ferreira is fittingly the face of the fragrance, as she embodies the spirit and flirtatiousness of the Jimmy Choo woman perfectly. 

Top Notes: Ginger and Bitter Orange

Heart: Rose and Sambac Jasmine

Dry Down: Honey-amber accord and Sandalwood

The lasting power of this scent is truly incredible. Fragrances tend to fade easily on my skin and very light florals lose their noticeability within a few hours. ILLICIT is edgy and cozy at the same time, thanks to the sparkling ginger and orange top notes, which then open up to the feminine heart of the fragrance, and mingle together with the warm amber and sandalwood in the dry down. It is described as a "floriental" which is the perfect term for the sweet honey-amber bottom notes. I've been wearing this since I got it and can safely say that it will be my new fall signature scent. I love the way it's carefree and flirty, but at the same time begs the wearer to be noticed for her sensuality.

*PR Sample, All opinions are my own.
August 11, 2015
THE EASIEST WAY TO DO YOUR MAKEUP

THE EASIEST WAY TO DO YOUR MAKEUP


As my life gets busier and more hectic, you can be sure that my morning routine (applying makeup included) has needed some adjustments as well. While I thoroughly enjoy my beauty routine it also needs to be speedy and efficient so that I am not wasting precious minutes fiddling around with products when I need to be out the door and on my way. These handy twist up cream sticks from a new brand, tréStiQue, really help me achieve the look I want as quickly and as easily as possible. They also must be the most travel friendly beauty products I've ever seen, period.

It's really great because these sticks are available in eight different product types, which means the brand does the work of streamlining your products for you. The basis for the look is the "less is more" face, which involves three essential products for a simple and natural look. They include the Tint, Moisturize & Blend Face Stick, which is a cream gel tinted moisturizer in stick form. It blends so beautifully into the skin and looks just like your skin, but better, especially when partnered with the Correct & Cover Concealer Crayon to give extra coverage to pesky bags and blemishes. To add a little life into your face, the Color & Contour Blush Stick in St. Barths Pink gives the perfect pop of flush to cheeks that gives a natural but glowy color.

Of course, no look is complete without a bit of color on the lids and lips. I love pencil formulas in general as they tend to have amazing staying power, but I have to say I am so impressed by the Matte Color & Shiny Balm Lip Crayon and the Color & Smudge Shadow Crayon. The lip crayon is matte but moisturizing at the same time, so my lip color lasted but never looked dry or flakey. The shadow crayon lasted me all day long without creasing, and even then I had some trouble removing the color without makeup remover. I work all day, so products like this are super important to my look.

The perfect products for the girl on the go who wants to look put together, but doesn't really have time to faff around with a ton of products. Try the products out and shop with the code BEMAGNETIC15 for 15% off. Don't forget to hashtag #bemagnetic if you post your purchases on instagram or twitter!

*PR Samples, All opinions are my own.
August 10, 2015
MURAD'S COMPREHENSIVE SKIN-CLEARING SYSTEM

MURAD'S COMPREHENSIVE SKIN-CLEARING SYSTEM

I'm not usually one to go for any skincare products labelled "acne" - but these skin-clearing products from Murad are perfect for anyone who wants to banish blemishes, whether it's just the occasional hormonal breakout, or much worse. I have been incorporating these three gems into my routine around, *coughs* that time of the month, to avoid any pesky spots rearing they're ugly heads. Let me tell you, they're working wonders at both preventing and stopping them in their tracks.

Murad Clarifying Cleanser - Acne cleansers tend to be a little harsh for sensitive or dry skin types, but using this refreshing gel two days a week has kept my skin happy and breakout free. During the summer my skin can become a bit oily, and this has been helping to keep that under control without ever leaving conditions dry or tight. It removes 99.9% of surface bacteria which definitely helps to kill any potential breakout-causing bacteria before it's too late. 

Murad Post-Acne Spot Lightening Gel - This lightweight gel helps to drastically fade any post-acne spots or hyper pigmentation, leaving the complexion more even and radiant. The formula includes plant extracts that help to keep skin clear and also improve the overall tone. It's the perfect gentle acne-prevention and treatment step to use sporadically throughout the week, and makes a world of difference.

Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 - The best oil-balancing moisturizer I've ever tried. It's become a new summer staple of mine and I definitely won't be without it for years to come. It helps to regulate oil production throughout the day and creates an instantly matte, but never tight, complexion and perfect base for makeup. It doesn't hurt that it doubles as a basic SPF as well. Love this stuff!

*PR Samples, All opinions are my own.
August 07, 2015
"STROBING" MADE TOO EASY

"STROBING" MADE TOO EASY

Just as we've all figured out how to contour like a pro, it's now considered old news and we're onto a new technique. Go figure. Usually, I'd be all, "what now", but with strobing (yes, that's the new technique) I'm not going to complain because it's almost too easy to master. The idea is simple: make the high points of the face stand out (where light would naturally hit your face) by using highlighters. Essentially, dig out your illuminating products and apply them for for a more ethereal and *dewy* look, instead of contouring and making things look flat, and, perhaps a bit...dirty?

So, there are four key points you'd want to accentuate with said highlighters: cheekbones, brow bones, nose, and cupids bow.You can do them all at once, or, just pick your favorite features and strobe, strobe, strobe away. You don't want to end up looking frosted, (after all, you're not a cake) so subtle highlighters tend to be my favorite. 

I like to use my trusty Chanel Le Blanc de Chanel highlighter because it's shimmer free, but still brings to light the areas you want to accentuate, making it the perfect choice for the shimmer-haters among us. It's also perfect for the summer because you don't need to worry about he shimmer particles migrating to areas of your face where they're not welcome. The Kjaer Weis Highlighter in Radiance is also amazing, for a natural, satin finish in a beautiful warm pearl shade that leaves you looking lit-from-within. I specifically love the texture of this, as it's smoother and less greasy than some of my other favorites. 

My favorite tip to avoid looking too shiny at any point during these hot and sweaty days of summer, is to set the face with a glow-inducing powder. I like to use Guerlain Meteorites in Clair 02 (use your preferred shade) and tap the powder into the skin in the same areas that you just highlighted, taking care not to dull the glow. Viola, welcome to strobing...I think you'll find it much easier and more naturally-enhancing than it's predecessors. 
August 04, 2015
LAZY DAY FAVORITES FROM GLOSSIER

LAZY DAY FAVORITES FROM GLOSSIER

Essentially, these products are the laziest of lazy day essentials. Which, in turn, makes them perfect for just about every day. If ever I wake up late and am in a rush, or am having a "good skin day" that I'd actually like to show off, these are the products I reach for.

The Glossier Priming Moisturizer helps to prep the skin while adding back essential moisture, so that minimal makeup is needed. It's amazing because it really helps to take away redness and visibly calm and smooth skin so that it's in the best state it can be. Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint takes the place of any foundation you might be tempted to mask your face with (I do it too), and creates an even canvas while allowing natural skin to shine through. 

For any dry patches and places where you might want to add back a little shine (think, "strobing") the Glossier Coconut Balm Dotcom seals in moisture thanks to its emollient texture. I particularly like the coconut scented version because it smells just like a vacation, but it really makes the ideal lip moisturizer that doesn't require second thought like a lipstick might later on. Truly lazy girl, or day, necessities. 
August 03, 2015
TUSCAN STYLE SANGRIA RECIPE

TUSCAN STYLE SANGRIA RECIPE

I had the most delicious sangria a few weeks back at a restaurant called Ghibellina in Washington, D.C. (check out their bar menu here for serious cocktail inspiration). While studying in Florence during college, one of the (many) things I loved was that the bars and restaurants were never short of deliciously unique and refreshing drinks, but better yet, many of them weren't hard to replicate at home. 

Ghibellina is owned by a Florentine native, so it's not surprising that this rendition oozes that laid back and delicious Tuscan style. This is a cocktail meant to be enjoyed, and it goes down easy too. Their menu lists the ingredients used to make this sangria (I made note - it was that good!) and they go a little something like this: red wine, peach liqueur, and seasonal fruits. What's great about this is that it's refreshing enough for the summer but can be adapted by season, making it the perfect year round fruity 'aperitivo' style drink. Of course, neither D.C. or Florence are within close proximity to good old Connecticut, so I adapted the recipe to make it easy to enjoy this Tuscan style sangria at home in no time. No bartender skills required. 

To serve four (or yourself, I'm not judging), you'll need:
- 1 (750 mL) bottle of red wine (I prefer Chianti, Toscana, or a deep red blend)
- 3/4 cup Peach Schnapps (I use DeKuyper Peachtree)
- 2 packets of Truvia (or sugar, if you prefer)
- 1 can of Italian lemon soda (San Pellegrino is my favorite)
- 1 lb. fresh peaches, sliced (you can peel if you prefer)
- garnish with ice cubes

Start by adding the sliced peaches into a large glass pitcher, followed by the bottle of wine. I like to put the fruit in early on so that it begins to flavor the wine as quickly as possible. Next, add the sugar packets and peach schnapps and stir into the wine and fruit mixture. Place the mixture in the fridge until ready to serve and then add the can of Italian lemon soda and ice. 

^^ Just look at that ice-cold glass; you know it's begging you to whip up a batch to enjoy at the end of a long day...or, perhaps, right now
August 01, 2015
SUMMER LIP SHADE MASTER LIST

SUMMER LIP SHADE MASTER LIST

My most used and abused, favorite summer lip product go a little something like this:

  1. Ilia Lip Conditioner in Bang Bang - moisturizing sheer rosy red 
  2. Tom Ford Lip Color Sheer in Sweet Spot - golden flecked coral 
  3. Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Isola Bella - smooth as can be peachy nude 
  4. Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Quince - super pigmented deep magenta pink 
  5. Aerin Lip Gloss in Weekend - carefree and natural golden nude gloss
  6. Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Eat Cake - everyday rosy nude 
  7. Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector in 01 Rose - sheer lip enhancing pink

What's on your summer lip shade master list?