September 29, 2015
NO-NASTIES: MAKEUP FOR A NECESSARY GLOW

NO-NASTIES: MAKEUP FOR A NECESSARY GLOW

For the ingredient conscious among us. I've been dabbling in organic beauty for quite some time now, seeking out the products that work as good (if not better) than the others in my stash. I'm in no way saying I am converting to all natural beauty products, but I think it's good to incorporate them into your routine when possible. Because the less chemicals, the better and all that. 

It's through this testing that I have discovered some of my recent favorite products that help me to look fresh faced and glowing, minus the nasties. These three products have made it into my permanent rotation and even sit atop my vanity with the creme de la creme of my beauty stash. Beauty junkies, meet RMS 'Un' Cover Up, Vapour Aura Multi-Use Blush, and Tata Harper Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tint

The Un Cover Up is the most moisture-rich concealer that I've yet to come across that still manages to have medium coverage and staying power. I had heard some complaints that this concealer had a tendency to crease, so was skeptical to give it a try, but I'm so glad I finally did. I think I'm a bit late to the game on this but hear me out - if you've waited this long to try it - order one now. Nothing but dewy, skin-like, brightening coverage here. 

If Tata Harper isn't the ultimate advertisement for her own line, I don't know what is. Her skin is always glowing from within, and I will try just about anything from her line to duplicate the effect on myself. My latest addition was the Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tint, a beautiful creamy balm that deposits the most natural color that melts right into the skin. I love this because it works equally well on my lips as it does on cheeks.

If you're not into the *dips fingers in pots* aspect of a lot of these products, then it's time you try Vapour's Multi-Use Blush stick. It's encased in a pretty blue package and requires no hands to depart a lightweight touch of color to cheeks, lips, or eyes. For me, I like this one more as an illuminating blush because it has tiny shimmer particles running throughout. But it adds the perfect fresh hint of berry color to the face wherever applied.

What are your favorite all natural beauty products?

*pr samples included.
September 28, 2015
THE ULTIMATE FACIAL OIL

THE ULTIMATE FACIAL OIL

We all know La Mer to be the Rolls Royce of skincare...and with a cult of glowing-skinned gals following behind it, it's for good reason. Meet the new La Mer Renewal Oil, a bi-phase oil that contains a potent blend of the brand's famous Miracle Broth and sea derived nutrients that are activated together when shaken. It's safe to say I had high hopes for this golden facial oil, whose skin-regenerating praises are being sung all across the beauty-sphere. 

I'm going to give myself away early here and tell you, yes, it's as good as they're saying, if not better. It's a dry oil, so there are no traces of grease or shine left behind after application. My skin drinks this miracle broth right up and is left feeling comfortable, soothed, and plumped. The real miracle here happens when you wake up the morning after using this oil. Since it stimulates natural collagen production and energizes skin's repair process, you know it's working hard while you get some much needed rest. At $240 for 1oz, it's no doubt a pricey beauty buy, but two small drops gives tired, lackluster skin a boost of sea-sourced vitamins and nutrients that literally changes skin overnight. I've been complemented on my "glow" multiple times on mornings after using this, and that's no small feat for so early in the day. 

In short, this oil is amazing. I'd liken the results to a post-facial glow, for which each session can cost about the price of this bottle. If you're really looking for something to ramp up your skincare routine this is an investment worth making. It's hard for a busy woman to find time for a facial, and when there's a bottle with a miracle potion that can do the dirty work for you, who really needs one anyway? Not to mention, all this skin-changing goodness happens right from the comfort of your own bed. I don't know about you but I could definitely get used to that.

*pr samples included.
September 24, 2015
NECESSARY TIPS: HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR PERFECT FRAGRANCES

NECESSARY TIPS: HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR PERFECT FRAGRANCES

The older I get, the more I appreciate the effect scent has on memory. Smell is the sense that has the greatest impact on emotional recollections. If you think about it, I'm sure you'll agree. There are scents that we often associate with memories; a specific time period in our lives or certain places we've been. This is one of the many reasons I enjoy fragrance so deeply, and am able to recognize the magnitude of impact it has on my overall aura. It's also why I'm not a "signature-scent" girl; I have a collection of fragrances that I like to switch up on a daily basis, depending on my mood, the weather, or what memory I'd like to evoke.

Of course, this doesn't mean that I don't have my stand-by favorites. There are certain scents that will probably always be a part of my rotation, like Diptyque Volutes, Byredo Gypsy Water, and Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille. But, I've also recently discovered scents that have become new favorites, mostly because they evoke different emotional memories, like Francis Maison Kurkdjian Feminin Pluriel, Le Labo Santal 33, and Tom Ford Fleur de Portofino

So, how do I choose a fragrance that I love, you ask?

Shopping for a perfume can be overwhelming, and often times, unless you live in a city, you only have direct access to the more generic and mass fragrances. That's fine if that's what you like, but if you're looking for something more unique, you'll need to either find a shop, or order sample kits online. Luckyscent offers a great sample program, as well as sample packs, allowing those of us not in the Los Angeles area to try just about any of their offerings in real life. Some of my other favorite shops for discovering niche and cult fragrances are: Barney's New York, Sephora, Space N.K., Saks Fifth Avenue, Aedes de Venustas (online or in NYC).

If you are in store, you've already won the battle of getting there. Now you need to select a perfume from a sea of glass bottles, which can seem an impossible feat. Do some research prior to your trip, so you can be sure you're not wasting time and come armed with a narrowed list. This way, you're not smelling too many perfumes at once, and it will be easier for a sales associate to direct you to your picks and you can choose one from there.

My tip for making sure you really know how it wears, is to skip sniffing the bottle. Spray the perfume directly onto your skin - only one fragrance per spot though, so that you don't mix them up. Perfumes work differently on everyone, so you want to be sure one meshes well with your natural oils, and see how it transforms from its initial spritz and throughout the day. If possible, don't purchase after only smelling it for a few minutes, as you might end up stuck with something (very expensive) that you'll never wear.

Whenever possible, always ask for samples. This way you can wear the scent as you would if you had purchased it so you'll learn the ins and outs of the scent and know if you truly love it or not.

What are my tips for wearing fragrance?

So, you've just found the perfect fragrance, or fragrances in my case, thanks to this article. So happy to have been of assistance - winks*. Or, perhaps, you've had the perfect fragrance collection for years, but you're just not getting what you want from them in terms of wear time. I have a few key tips that will make all the difference in longevity.

First of all, the best time to apply a scent is while your skin is still damp, because we all know that the skin best absorbs while wet. This way, the scent will soak in a bit and mingle with the natural oils of your skin, for truer and longer wear.

Second, I'm guessing for the reasons we just discussed, you apply your body lotion when you're just out of the shower. Be careful not to layer a heavily scented lotion with your fragrance, unless it is the same. The lotion's scent will deter you from being able to distinguish the notes in your perfume. This can also be a waste of that precious perfume, because now you'll likely smell of a bath and body works store, instead of that much pricier Byredo.

Thirdly, make sure you spray the perfume on your pulse points. Yes, walking into a cloud of our favorite fragrance sounds good in theory, but chances are, this won't help it to last because it's so dispersed. Spray your perfume on the nape of the neck, behind ears, and on the insides of your wrist, it lasts longer when applied where your body naturally heats up. You'll get subtle welcomed whiffs throughout the day.

Lastly, while on the subject of where to apply, make sure once you've sprayed your perfume that you don't rub it in. This can break down the molecules of your scent, thus changing it's chemical makeup and lessening wear-time. It's also good to keep in mind that perfumes may stain clothes, so it is best to apply them directly to the skin, even if you haven't just showered - you can always roll up your sleeves and spray on your wrists.

So by now, you're basically a scent-pro. Now try these tips out with your new, or favorite scent, and tell me you don't fall in love.
September 23, 2015
MALIN & GOETZ MUST-HAVES

MALIN & GOETZ MUST-HAVES

I've been a long-time fan of the Malin+Goetz Detox Mask, if only for it's tingly foaming effect and ultra softening powers. I never really got around to trying the rest of their range, but thanks to this carry-on approved (so handy.) bag full of their Essentials, I can now say with certainty that I am hooked. And yes, on the entire line-up. The minimal packaging and simple, but effective ingredients give this line it's loyal following. Also, the scents. Can I just say that these scents are to die for - refreshing and lingering, but not overpowering.

This goodie-filled bag is coming with me on my next trip, no doubt about it. I love that it includes all of the amenities but it's also a great way to test the range out if you're unfamiliar like I was. There really wasn't an item that I didn't like, which is certainly unusual when you try a sampling of products (or buy a palette), but there certainly were a few standouts among the bunch.

The Grapefruit Face Cleanser is a seriously refreshing gel, that easily removes makeup and wakes up the complexion - great for groggy mornings. I personally love a gel cleanser still, but am picky about which type I use because I don't like them to strip my skin. This one left my skin feeling soft, comfortable, and revitalized.

I also fell in love with both the Vitamin E Face Moisturizer and the Vitamin B5 Body Lotion. The textures are very similar, but the facial moisturizer is slightly lighter. I love that the face moisturizer is no-fuss and sinks in on contact, and it's rare feat for my skin to drink anything in. It really is the perfect every day moisturizer for keeping the skin balanced. The body lotion is amazing as well, with a slightly richer consistency and zesty bergamot-laced scent.

The Essentials kit is one of those beauty buys you can't go wrong with. You'll end up discovering new favorites among the bunch, and hopefully (no promises because they're just too good), be able to save enough product for your next trip. Maybe even go carry-on only thanks to this guy? We'll see...

Have you tried anything from Malin+Goetz that you love?

*pr samples included.
September 22, 2015
3 PRODUCTS EVERY GIRL NEEDS FROM & OTHER STORIES

3 PRODUCTS EVERY GIRL NEEDS FROM & OTHER STORIES

I've chatted & Other Stories with you before, but now that the online store ships some of their cult-status makeup products within the U.S. I thought a new roundup was in order. I "hauled" quite a few of their products - what can I say? the minimalist packaging and cool concept speaks to me - and here are the ones that have quickly fallen into my "regulars" category. Trust me when I say these products are seriously worth their weight in gold, but won't cost you much more than a peruse through the aisles of your local drugstore. Here are my top picks from what I've tried recently: 
  1. Chenille Hand Lotion - I love the calming, clean laundry scent of this fast absorbing hand lotion. Also, is there anywhere that wouldn't look ever-so-slightly chicer with a bottle of this on display? Didn't think so.
  2. Kick Pleat Red Lip & Cheek Tint - A matte red cream that seriously delivers on pigmentation. I mean seriously. It smells faintly of vanilla and has the whole cream-to-powder thing down pat. It gives a gorgeous, not-too-greasy glow once on the skin, but just be careful not to go overboard when applying. I'm convinced it's the most universally flattering shade of red that creates that windswept look when dabbed on cheeks and a gorgeous stain when patted on lips. Bonus points for the hefty amount of product in the tin. This one will go fast...
  3. Radiance Cream - This gel cream packs a punch, but manages to leave a glow with undetectable shimmer running throughout. I love that it has an iridescence and not a sparkle, similar to the RMS Living Luminizer, but not so oily. It's so subtle that it can be used all over the face as a primer for an extra shot of glow.
September 21, 2015
MY REAL-LIFE NYFW ESSENTIALS

MY REAL-LIFE NYFW ESSENTIALS

NYFW has come and gone and if there's any key takeaways I have from the experience, it's that less is more when it comes to beauty that needs to keep you going all day. Nobody wants foundation that settles into fine lines, smearing eyeshadow, or harsh makeup. You'll most likely be running from show to show, so it's important to bring out the big-guns, but to keep it simple as well. 

I of course prepped with the creme de la creme of my skincare stash so that I didn't need too much covering up. This means I used a mask multiple times the week prior to ensure a smooth and glowing complexion, and the one that's gentle enough on my skin to use more often is the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask. I stuck to the same potent, yet unfussy routine that week, moisturizing with La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Emulsion. It's such an amazingly effective, yet lightweight and non-greasy cream if you are looking for a special occasion skincare item to add to your routine. 

To take with me on-the-go, I edited the essentials I needed to take with me to a very small few. I never touch-up much anyway - no matter how many items I'm lugging around with me. Basically, I tried to be more realistic about it as to avoid carrying a handbag that weighed as much as a bag of bricks. I prefer not to powder and cake up my complexion mid-day, but instead, to refresh and add life back with a bit of cream blush and highlighter. My current favorites for the ultimate natural glow are RMS Lip2Cheek in Smile (dabbed on with fingers, also a great multi-tasker) and RMS Living Luminizer

Of course, a neutral and moisturizing lipstick option is a must. I brought along my Burberry Lip Mist in Field Rose. A top-up of the scent du jour is always in order as well and I have been loving the Tom Ford Fleur de Portofino - enjoying the last bit of summer scent while I can.

What would you, or did you, bring to NYFW with you?

*pr samples included.
September 18, 2015
CHRISTOPHE ROBIN HAIR LOTIONS

CHRISTOPHE ROBIN HAIR LOTIONS

I've spoken about this all-natural luxe brand straight from the land of croissants and rosé before, but I've recently added to my collection of Parisian gems from the shelves of Christophe Robin. This time, I'm all heart-eyed over the soft, swishy, fragranced tresses that are the result of his genius hair lotions. You'll be needing at least one of these sprays to aid in creating the of-the-season styles that require weightless hair. Here's why vinegar is the new must-include ingredient you need in your hair routine.

The Brightening Hair Finish Lotion with Fruit Vinegar is perfect for blondes who want to keep their color bright, while adding body and shine. It works to clarify, tone, and hydrate, and thanks to the inclusion of fruit vinegar, it also helps to remove any build-up or potentially dulling residues. It also smells like freshly squeezed zesty lemons, leaving your hair smelling fresh and clean. I also wanted to share that, while I definitely don't have blonde hair, but I've been enjoying this as a post-shower spritz to help remove any product residue and it's been working wonders.

The Regenerating Hair Finish Lotion with Hibiscus Vinegar has become my go-to hair product for everyday use. I'm generally low-maintenance with my hair care, but I never go without a product that will aid in the overall health of my hair. While my hair is still damp, I spray this on and not only am I left with locks that smell to-die-for, but my hair feels light, clean, and dries shiny without heat. 

The Purifying Hair Finish Lotion with Sage Vinegar is a cleansing spray for hair. It helps to keep hair healthy and in a balanced place. It's the most herbal smelling of the bunch, which I quite like. If you color your hair and are looking for a product to keep it looking its best while not breaking down and dulling your color, this is it. 

What do you think?

*pr samples included.

September 17, 2015
THREE NEW MAKEUP RELEASES I'M LOVING

THREE NEW MAKEUP RELEASES I'M LOVING


In spirit of not purchasing every new release out there this season, here is what I am loving of the newest makeup launches. Like I've mentioned previously, I've streamlined my routine for time-saving purposes, but that certainly doesn't mean I'm not hunting down the latest and greatest in the name of "research". All in a day's work...

The Primer of Dreams - Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer. More a skincare item than just makeup, which is the direction all beauty products should be going in my opinion.  The creamy coconut infused primer moisturizes and perfects without feeling as synthetic as some primers tend to feel. The result is skin that isn't suffocated by too many layers of product and a base that lasts all day. Yes, way.

The Skin Changing Base - Givenchy Teint Couture Blurring Foundation Balm. Like a next level BB cream with a great shade range and flawless skin-inducing coverage. It screams your skin but better and is virtually undetectable. It offers lightweight coverage that blurs imperfections and is infused with antioxidants for a real-life skin improving formula. I also love how it smells - is that weird?

The New-Gen Matte - Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Liquid Lip Potion. A paint on, velvety lippie that offers the intense pigment of a matte lipstick without compromising the condition of lips. It's sure to make its way into everyone who's anyone's bag and has the industry abuzz with a drop-dead array of colors. I started off with 110 Naked Ambition, but you can be sure my collection will expand.

What are your favorites of the new launches?
September 16, 2015
THE DREAMIEST (MULTI-TASKING) BODY WASH

THE DREAMIEST (MULTI-TASKING) BODY WASH


I usually don't mess with a good thing. Hence why it's not often I switch out my body washes or shampoos...unless of course something really catches my eye. For instance, the Rituals Zensation Foaming Shower Gel Sensation

Quite a mouthful it may be, but this gel to creamy foam wash is equal parts dreamy and useful. When dispensed, the scent of soothing Organic Rice Milk and Cherry Blossom fills the shower and lightly fragrances the skin. Only a small amount of this rich foam is needed to envelop the body, leaving the perfect lather upon which to shave. I'm not usually a shave-gel girl, but shaving with this body cleanser has left me with smoother skin and a much closer shave than without. 

I'm in love with the luxuriousness of this wash and the calming rich scent of creamy milk and cherry blossom. It's all these factors that have landed this dreamy spa-esque foam a permanent place in my shower and I couldn't be happier with my little routine than I am now. It's the perfect little skin pick-me-up that leaves me softer and smoother than ever.

What are your in-shower essentials?
September 15, 2015
JO MALONE MIMOSA & CARDAMOM COLOGNE

JO MALONE MIMOSA & CARDAMOM COLOGNE

As any good Jo Malone fan should be, I was extremely excited about the newest release from the iconic fragrance house. Having launched this month, Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom transports you to an exotic destination in one spritz, which is why it's been the fragrance on everyones radar for the Fall.

"Mists of honeyed, golden mimosa float above the spiciness of freshly crushed cardamom. Creamy tonka and smooth sandalwood woven under powdery heliotrope and Damask rose picked at dawn. Warm, ethereal, mesmerizing." - Jo Malone.

To me, the changing of seasons always calls for a new roundup of scents. This one in particular draws you to it in the same way that a cozy sweater does on a crisp Autumn day. It's warm and inviting, and a standout fragrance amongst the entire Jo Malone collection in my opinion; smoother, creamier, and longer lasting.

The three main notes are clear and mingle together beautiful for an enchanting result. Mimosa is fresh and subtly sweet, cardamom is smooth and spicy, and creamy Tonka Bean anchors the fragrance and gives it a soothing lasting power on the skin. After the top notes evaporate, the scent surprises the wearer with a rich hint of rose and a velvety finish to round out the scent. Surely this will be a favorite amongst Jo Malone lovers and newcomers, alike.

*pr samples included.
September 14, 2015
FARMACY HYDRATING COCONUT GEL MASK

FARMACY HYDRATING COCONUT GEL MASK


Wrapping up a weekend of #NYFW has its ups and downs. One of those downs is certainly how drained I feel, not to mention how that feeling translates to the condition of my skin. One treatment that I find always makes a wonderfully instant difference in my skin is a sheet mask. Already a fan of the skincare genre, you could imagine how excited I was to test out the new Farmacy Hydrating Coconut Gel Mask in the Deep Moisture variety. Farmacy's defining mantra revolves around its farm-grown, hand-picked botanical ingredients harvested in upstate NY and the discovery of their patented ingredient Echinacea GreenEnvy™. 

The mask, which is activated by Vitamin-C rich Cucumber Extract, uses coconut gel to provide skin with intensive hydration and help to restore the skin's balance. The sheet itself is made of bio-cellulose, which makes for easy release of its component complex that penetrate the surface layers of the skin for a boost of all natural potent ingredients. 

That being said, it's easy to see why it took no time at all for me to fall in love with this product. Even application is simple; after cleansing and toning the skin as usual, simply remove the mask from the sachet and unfold, keeping careful to remove only one side of the protective mesh until after smoothing over the face. Once it's in place and taught, the other side of mesh can be removed and the mask left on for 20-25 minutes to give the skin its boost of botanicals. The milky coconut gel soaked mask starts to hydrate and soothe stressed skin right away. I find that the longer the sheet mask is left on, the more moisturized and plump my skin feels after application and once the mask is removed, massage the remaining formula onto the skin as you would your serum. 

I could certainly get used to applying one of these multiple times a week to keep things as balanced, smooth, and flawless as possible. I personally love to take sheet masks along for long weekend trips, and while traveling in general, and this one in particular has taken top spot as my all-time favorite. Not only is it free of nasties, but the coconut gel formula moisturizes while taking care of any redness and irritation my skin has. My skin simply soaks up every last drop of the formula.

Farmacy is a relatively new skincare brand that launched in the US at Sephora August 8th, on QVC September 8th, and will be available in Sephora stores on September 18th. The masks come in a package of 3 and retail at $24. Check out their full product range on www.farmacybeauty.com and show how you enjoy your Farmacy products by hashtagging #farmacybeauty.

*This post is sponsored by Farmacy Beauty.
September 12, 2015
WHAT ALL NATURAL BRANDS TO CHOOSE FOR WHAT PRODUCTS

WHAT ALL NATURAL BRANDS TO CHOOSE FOR WHAT PRODUCTS

The beauty industry is bringing out consistently better organic and all natural products, and now there are plenty of options to choose from. I've tried my fair share of "no-nasty" products, as it's good to use natural when possible, especially seeing as our bodies absorb about 60% of what we put on our skin into our bloodstream. That being said, natural doesn't mean beauty should be boring and it certainly doesn't mean you have to sacrifice trends or quality. So here is my mini-guide of what I've found works best from which brand. 

For skincare - Tata Harper, Aesop, Osea

For eyeshadow - RMS, Kjaer Weiss, Well People

For lips - Ilia, Vapour Organic Beauty

For blush - RMS, Vapour Organic Beauty, Kjaer Weiss, Tata Harper

For illuminator - RMS, Well People, Ilia

Stay tuned for a more comprehensive guide on all natural beauty. For now I'll ask, what are your favorites?
September 11, 2015
BLUSH: LET'S BREAK IT DOWN

BLUSH: LET'S BREAK IT DOWN

Finding new uses for products already in your beauty cabinet is always a good idea. 

I don't like to take too much time to try new and potentially disastrous trends when it comes to my daily routine, but that doesn't mean I am a stickler when it comes to the use of particular products. I am all for teaching an old dog new tricks, and despite what you might think, it doesn't take a makeup artist to learn how to use what you already have differently. The best place to start with learning multiple uses for one product is with blush. Blush is the secret multi-use gem of your beauty stash and will save you in desperate situations if you know how to best utilize it. 

Experiment and try a few of the following: 
  1. Tinted lip balm - Make your own tinted lip balm in a pot by mixing a bit of crushed pigment in with your favorite balm. So simple, but so effective. Not only can you create your own custom shade, you'll also save on buying a probably really overpriced one. 
  2. Model off-duty eyeshadow - A sweep of rose blush across the lids creates a moody and undone, yet defined look. Almost like a Parisian woman or a model off-duty. It looks flattering because it will help to define the natural shadow but will still look natural. 
  3. Complexion warm up - Don't confine your blush to just the apples of your cheeks. If you find the right shade, it can do the job of contour, blush, and bronzer in a few flicks of that powder brush. 
Is there anything you use your blush for outside the limit of the product label? Share!
September 10, 2015
HOW TO KEEP THE GLOW ON-THE-GO

HOW TO KEEP THE GLOW ON-THE-GO

Hotel bathrooms can be glamourous, but not so much when you have to leave your arsenal of glow-getting products behind in your own. Over the years, and countless hotel stays later, I've learned there are a few key essentials to keeping your skin in check while traveling, so that you don't have to fret about the products you've left at home.

The Hydrating Spritz - Harsh water and an already dehydrated complexion don't play well together. A spritz of the Herbivore Botanicals Hydrating Face Mist, a coconut-infused rose and hibiscus water, will help to wake up the skin and provide it with the antioxidants it needs to protect itself from free radicals. 

The Blemish Buster - There's nothing like stepping off the plane with a blemish just in time for your trip. Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, you don't need a spot plaguing your complexion and your photos. Burt's Bees Herbal Blemish Stick is packed with tea tree oil and other natural ingredients that work fast to kill bacteria and take down swelling. It's the perfect size to take in your carry-on and apply throughout the flight if you feel anything coming on. 

The Moisture Mask - Airports, florescent lights, and quick climate changes can wreak havoc on your skin for obvious reasons, often resulting in a dry (read, older) looking complexion. One of the quickest ways to fight off the dehydration bug is with a moisture inducing mask like the Clarins HydraQuench Cream Mask. It instantly brightens, plumps, and softens skin leaving a healthy glow.

What products do you take with you to ensure your skin, and you, stay happy?
September 09, 2015
A HEALTHY BRONZED BASE TRICK

A HEALTHY BRONZED BASE TRICK

Even if you've been back from your Summer travels for months already, there's no need to worry. As someone who isn't a fan of self-tanners (or even too much daily bronzer, for that matter) I've discovered a dewier and glowier alternative for keeping that bronzed look well into the colder months. Before you apply your foundation, but after moisturizer of course, mix together a bit of illuminator and liquid bronzer. The liquid illuminator helps to sheer out and lighten up the shade of bronzer and add a healthy dose of glow, especially when spread thinly over the entire face. 

I like to use a half a pea size of my trusty Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow and mix 1 to 2 drops of Perricone M.D. No Bronzer Bronzer together in my palm and swirl over the face with a buffing brush. I swear, this 30 second trick will make you look as though you just had a 30 minute facial. 
September 08, 2015
BEAUTY PHILOSOPHY: EXPERIMENT OR TRIED AND TRUE?

BEAUTY PHILOSOPHY: EXPERIMENT OR TRIED AND TRUE?

There are times when I'm scrolling my Instagram feed, in search of new things. New clothing brands, new restaurants, and new beauty products. It's inspiring to see what others use and to find out the reasons why, but there's also that idea that there's always something newer or better out there. Sometimes there is, and sometimes I shell out big bucks to try new items only to return back to basics. The decision is always made based on a few factors though, like whether or not I have the patience to source said new product, pay (what can sometimes be a lot of) money, and whether or not I need to hoard any additional product and allow it to collect dust.

For me, as a blogger, I'm always looking out for the latest and greatest, partially because I'm interested, and partially because I want to report back on it here. I have to say, though, that many of my now "tried and true" favorites have been discovered in this way. For instance, my now all-time favorite vanilla fragrance, Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille. Also of note, the cheaper and more hygeinic alternative to BT Baume de Rose, Aerin Rose Lip Conditioner, and Chantecaille Liquid Lumiere - that brilliant glow-giver.

What's your beauty philosophy? Do you like to experiment constantly, or do you rely on your tried and true?
September 04, 2015
NEW THINGS: MONICA VINADER RINGS

NEW THINGS: MONICA VINADER RINGS

A bit of a topic change from my usual beauty banter, but I finally found the gemstone rings I've been after for so long. I pretty much rotate between the same few pieces when it comes to jewelry (David Yurman is a firm favorite as well as my staple Hermes black bangle) but have been lusting after a pair of simple gemstone rings ever since falling in love with this style from Ippolita. I had wanted two, in the vain of Lisa Eldridge, but two from Ippolita would've cost a tad more than what I was willing to pay. 

I came across the Siren Stacking Ring from Monica Vinader, and at $105 a piece with 15% off I knew it was meant to be. I love the simplicity of them - and the subtle bit of color they bring to my usual black or monochrome ensembles. Yes, maybe I'm boring, but it's just easy sometimes! Anyways, I'm in love with these new pieces and Monica Vinader in general. Where is your favorite place to buy baubles and trinkets? Do tell!
September 02, 2015
VEGAN SKINCARE? MEET OSEA

VEGAN SKINCARE? MEET OSEA

A new-to-me brand, Osea combines the healing powers of the sea with essential oils and marries them in this skincare line. Aside from the simple, yet beautiful packaging, I am a fan of the brand's back story rich in family history and a belief that the powers of mother nature alone can keep us young and beautiful. I love being introduced to a new product line, but when the owners seem as passionate as those at Osea, I want to share that with you as well. 

The products: The Ocean Cleanser is rich in minerals, algae, proteins, vitamins, and minerals and leaves skin feeling refreshed and clean without stripping it of natural oils. I noticed how supple and soft my skin felt after use and was pleasantly surprised at how well it removed makeup - something I find cream cleansers often struggle to do. This is one of those products that would suit any skin type, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin that can't handle the additional moisture loss that occurs with many foaming cleansers. A real skin treat and multi-tasker that I now even like to use as a mask! 

Or, choose to brighten and fight acne-causing bacteria with the Ocean Cleansing Mud. It's infused with Peppermint Oil and Tea Tree Oil to help remove impurities and even out overall skin tone. This is great for keeping skin clear and balanced in place of the Ocean Cleanser a few times a week. It gives the results of a mask in the time it takes to wash your face, which makes it a winner in my book.

Of course, protecting skin from the elements is a must, no matter your skin type. The Atmosphere Protection Cream is a fuss-free lightweight cream that seals in moisture and protects skin from harmful pollutants. It is instantly absorbed into the skin upon application and uses algae and sea proteins to increase elasticity while keeping the complexion matte well into the day. I love this cream because it makes for a smooth and protected base on which to apply makeup.

What you sea is what you get with this brand; beautiful skin without use of synthetic fragrances, genetically modified ingredients, harmful chemicals, parabens, or sulfates. Have you tried anything from Osea, or was this your first introduction?

*PR Samples, all opinions are my own.