February 29, 2016
CLINIQUE'S FRESH SPRING LAUNCHES

CLINIQUE'S FRESH SPRING LAUNCHES


Is it just me or do Clinique's launches keep getting better and better? Since the release of the Chubby Sticks for lips I've been addicted to the fresh, fun, and easy aesthetic of the brand's products - be it in stick form or other quirky packaging (which I love). For the spring, the brand has released a few new products that I just can't get enough of...let's do a little run through.

Clinique Chubby In the Nude Foundation Stick - This is something I was quite excited to try. I'm a total fan of the cream to powder-like formula of the past 'Chubby' releases, so I knew this one would be a winner. I typically use a liquid foundation, but love the idea of having a complexion perfecting stick with me for on-the-go touch-ups. This oil-free, yet moisturizing, stick can be used as a full coverage foundation or as a more sheer skin fix. The texture is smooth and extremely blendable, lets your skin breathe through, and never clings to any dry patches or accentuates pores. The creamy stick even comes in handle for spot concealing when you're out and about and I just love the versatility of this product. This is definitely one that will be taken with me on some upcoming trips!

Clinique Lid Pop Eyeshadow - Aren't these just adorable? I love the bouncy powder texture of the Cheek Pops, and the texture here is no different but with an even better color payoff. The silky shadows come in fun yet über wearable shades that blend seamlessly and leave no trace of actual powder on the lids, which I love. The texture is seamless and the colors are meant to be layered for a unique and complex look. My two favorite shades are Petal Pop, a gorgeous pink with rosegold shimmer, and Willow Pop, a khaki neutral with golden undertones. 

Clinique Sweet Pots Sugar Scrub & Lip Balm - I'm a true lip balm hoarder and I also love a good matte lip color. While matte lips are fun, they also require a bit of upkeep in the form of a good dose of exfoliation. This handy pot not only looks like an instagrammable treat (macaron anyone?), it also contains the best of lip care: a sugary-sweet scrub one one side, and a juicy moisturizing balm on the other that adds a tint of color to the lips. In my opinion no handbag, carryon, or makeup kit should be without one of these lip-saving duos.

*pr samples included.
February 26, 2016
5 MINUTE MAKEUP

5 MINUTE MAKEUP


Here's where I show you how to achieve a well-rested and brightened makeup look in under 5 minutes. I'd love for you to watch and subscribe to my channel - search Necessary Nothings or click here
February 25, 2016
FEBRUARY FAVORITES

FEBRUARY FAVORITES


My sixth ever YouTube video! Here I'm showing you what products I have been loving this past month. There have been a lot of really exciting new launches this month and I've also picked up a few old favorites again. I'd love for you to watch and subscribe to my channel - search Necessary Nothings or click here!
February 24, 2016
THE SOMME INSTITUTE: MY REGIMEN EXPERIENCE

THE SOMME INSTITUTE: MY REGIMEN EXPERIENCE

I'm so excited to share my thoughts on The Somme Institute skincare regimen with you. It's been quite a while in the making because I wanted to dedicate enough time to testing these products and really see the full effects they had on my skin. But mostly, I'm excited because these products have changed how I look at my skincare regimen...and it only took a few weeks of convincing!

The Somme Institute is a Five Step Regimen consisting of streamlined, but highly effective products and crucial steps to perfecting the skin, including Cleanse, Exfoliate, Treat, Nourish, and Protect. The reason that so few steps are needed in this process (technically 4, the 5th is a sun protection product) is because the brand's MDT5™Technology "allows highly engineered vitamins (A, B3, B5, C, and E) to penetrate deep within the skin to: 1) Significantly improve skin tone, texture, clarity, and appearance 2) Repair years of sun damage 3) Visibly lighten discoloration 4) Diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and 5) Eliminate blemishes and prevent their occurrence."

Essentially, this one unfussy system can treat all skin types and most skin conditions. The brand also has 10 years of clinical trials under their belt and thousands of elated customers writing reviews, which is quite a feat in a world of ever changing skincare. I pushed aside my usual products (most of which change quite frequently anyway) to test out the system for myself. I'm pleased to say I stuck with the program (with the exception of my usual masks - but those are more skincare 'extras') and the products in the Mobile Travel Kit have lasted me two weeks yielding wonderful results. Overall, I love that the program takes the guesswork out of choosing products that will work for your skin. Here are my thoughts on each step of the program:

Nourishing Cleanser - This is a non-foaming and very gentle gel cleanser that is for daily use, both AM and PM. I always struggle to choose just one cleanser for both morning and evening (because MAKEUP) so I was a bit wary on how this would work as my only cleanser. I love how gentle and soothing it feels on my skin and it actually does a good job at basic makeup removal. I typically use my trusty micellar water to remove heavy duty eye makeup prior to going in with my cleanser, but after that, a thorough massage of this swept away most of what remained without leaving my skin tight or dry. I would suggest a separate makeup remover especially if you wear waterproof makeup, but overall this is a really great cleanser that leaves the skin perfectly balanced.

Transport Pads - I'll admit this was the step I was most excited about in the regimen. I have combination skin and in my experience chemical exfoliation is the most important and result-producing part of my routine. If I don't use something to help gently remove dead skin cells, I find my skin gets lazy and will get aggravated and congested. These pads contain a potent vitamin blend for brightness and clarity and AHA to chemically remove dead skin cells that can cause blemishes and blocked pores. Unlike many typical exfoliating pads, these did not leave my skin with that tight feeling at all, and instead, left it feeling soft, smooth, and hydrated after each use. Because of these pads I haven't had any breakouts and I feel my pores look much smaller. Big thumbs up from me!

Serum - This is a Vitamin C potent gel serum that really works at brightening the complexion. I'd say that this is a great product for someone with acne as well, as it really helps to calm any redness and inflammation in the skin...making it a great product to use prior to makeup application as well. Something else I notice when using this serum is that my skin feels much more plump, which is something I'm always looking for in a serum.

A-Bomb Moisturizer - This retexturizing, lightweight moisturizer has really given me back that bit of glow I was lacking mid-winter. It completely eliminates rough and dry patches, but never leaves a sticky or greasy film on the skin which is nothing short of a miracle for me. Finding a moisturizer that doesn't sacrifice on moisture or absorption has always been difficult for me, but I think I've found my perfect cream! It also contains a potent blend of vitamins, with a high concentration of Vitamin C to promote clarity and brightness...an added bonus.

Double Defense SPF 30+ - While a separate SPF (I usually get mine from my primer or foundation) is not something I typically use everyday I do like that one is included in this kit. If I were to be going makeup free or not using a foundation with added SPF, I think this one provides a really nice hit of protection without clogging my pores which is really important for me. My one tip for wear is if you have combination skin, skip A-Bomb when using this, as the added layer may be too much moisture for your skin!

Using the same products morning and night, without the fuss of added steps has been a really nice change for me...and I can tell my skin is happy with a more structured routine as well. I feel that my overall tone and texture has improved and I've seen fewer blemishes since I began using the products. I have admittedly used masks about twice-weekly as well, which is something I never cut from my routine (I use many different masks). To me the standouts in the routine and the products I think have made the most difference are the Transport Pads and A-Bomb, as together they leave my skin feeling clean, bright, and nourished.

Have you tried The Somme Institute yet?


*pr samples included.
February 22, 2016
TOM FOR SPRING 2016 RUNWAY COLOR COLLECTION

TOM FOR SPRING 2016 RUNWAY COLOR COLLECTION

The perfect pops of subtle color are the best way to lighten up beauty looks for spring. I am always a fan of incorporating color in a fresh way, and of course, leave it to Tom Ford to do just that in his new Spring 2016 Runway Color Collection. I always await the moment when Tom Ford reveals his new seasonal beauty collection, and let me tell you...there are some real standout products this time around. To me this collection screams spring in the chicest way possible; ethereal washes of color, a perfected complexion, and defined features create the perfect airy and bright look.

The stars of the show here are obvious in my opinion: the Cream Color For Eyes in the shades Opale and Burnished Copper. These creamy, glide-on, and über pigmented cream shadows will have you begging for more and reaching for them every single day. I just love how foolproof application is and how beautifully complex the shades are. One swipe of Burnished Bronze creates an effortless, smudgy, sexy smokey eye look that doesn't crease or fade, while Opale creates the prettiest champagne base for a bright-eyed look or as a compliment to winged liner.

Next up are the High Definition Eye Liners. These gel-based liners are so richly pigmented and glide on easily without dragging or pulling on the eyelids. The twist-up pencils are thin enough for a precise application and the color range is pretty spectacular as well. There are takes on classics like Ebony, Black, and Slate, and a few new neutrals, like Azure, Burnished Gold, and Moss. I'd never have guessed I'd be all over green and gold eyeliners, but Tom Ford have converted me to this simple and subtle method to adding a pop of color. Also, these liners don't budge or migrate into the crease - a real godsend when the weather starts warming up. 

And of course, what's a spring launch without a gorgeous, bold lip option? Tom Ford have outdone themselves this time with their new Patent Finish Lip Colors; a lip stain with a rich and glossy finish. These have a lightweight texture, but pack a serious punch in the color department, and manage to wear extremely long for a glossy product. I love the color that's left on the lips once the gloss does go...and the shade Exposed will make for a beautiful pop of red come spring.

What are your favorites from the TF Spring Collection?

*pr samples included.
February 21, 2016
TWO NEW MUST-HAVES FROM OMOROVICZA

TWO NEW MUST-HAVES FROM OMOROVICZA

Weekends are all about good skincare extras. I've recently told you about my current morning and evening skincare routines...but then Omorovicza introduced two new products into their fabulous line, and I just couldn't resist. You know I love Omorovicza, so if you've yet to check them out you're really missing out on a glowing complexion. Their products, especially the Deep Cleansing Mask, Refining Facial Polisher (my favorite exfoliator ever), and Queen of Hungary Mist are super luxe and have a way of keeping my skin clear and glowing even while traveling or during the change of seasons. That's how you know products really work - it's a true road test. 

First up of the new launches is the Lisa Eldridge-approved Ultramoor Mud Mask. This is an instant results mask - it changes skin's appearance in just 10 minutes or less, leaving it looking lifted, pores looking smaller, and tone more radiant. It's a mud and clay-based mask (moor mud and hectorite clay, to be exact) but what I love about it most is that it balances the skin so well, thanks to the inclusion of sage, chamomile, rosemary, and rose geranium essential oils. I know so many people who steer clear of clay and mud masks for fear of that tight, dry feeling they can leave skin with after use. This mask is so great because it draws out impurities, all while moisturizing and plumping fine lines...it never dries out skin because the mud used is so nutrient-rich. Masks like this one are so important to maintaining a clear and youthful complexion - consider it like a workout for your skin. I have loved using this on rotation with my Deep Cleansing Mask every week. 

The second product I've been testing from the brand is the Omoroessence. I'm so happy that the brand released an essence, especially as they're already so well known for their patented Hydro Mineral Transference delivery system. The system is based on the ancient science of bio-fermentation and helps aid in the absorption of minerals from the healing waters of Budapest by the skin, leaving it looking younger and feeling more supple. An essence is the perfect product in which to really put this system to the test, as it's one that preps the skin for further treatments by helping it to attract and retain moisture. It's sort of like an amped up toner that contains amino acids, natural emollients, and humectants. Immediately after washing my face in the morning and evening, I press a few drops of the essence into my skin and things feel smoother, more hydrated, and balanced...which, in turn, has helped increase the efficacy of the other products in my routine. This is a new daily must-have in my routine. 

*pr samples included.
February 18, 2016
WINTRY BRONZE MAKEUP

WINTRY BRONZE MAKEUP


My fifth ever YouTube video! Here I'm showing you a winter appropriate makeup look with subtle bronze cream shadows...and let's not forget highlighter. I'd love for you to watch and subscribe to my channel - search Necessary Nothings or click here!
February 17, 2016
GIORGIO ARMANI HAS BOTTLED THAT COVETED GLOW

GIORGIO ARMANI HAS BOTTLED THAT COVETED GLOW

It's all about the glow lately in the beauty world. Glowy makeup, when done right, can look much more natural and lit-from-within than a heavy and matte makeup. Being someone with normal to combination skin (oily t-zone, normal cheeks, sometimes dry) I'm very - and I mean very - particular when it comes to glow-inducing products. I like a bit of natural-looking radiance but nothing too shimmery and definitely nothing that will accentuate an oily t-zone. You get the idea...

Being a fan of pretty much every previous Giorgio Armani base launch (they are seriously good), I was dying to test out the new Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow Nourishing Fusion Makeup. It's a bi-phase formula marketed as a 'tinted serum' that needs shaking before use and is extremely thin in texture. The formula is intensely pigmented, so just two or three drops creates a flawless coverage...and man, does this stuff blend like a dream. Application truly feels more like a skincare product than a foundation and my skin is really able to breathe through the product in the same manner. I love that it offers good coverage, yet doesn't look like a mask on the skin - something I attribute to the oil phase of the foundation's formula. It keeps my complexion feeling soft, looking radiant in a natural way (no detectable shimmer), and not at all greasy throughout the day. My skin typically eats up foundation - which can leave things looking patchy - but with Maestro Glow I find it fuses with my skin the longer I wear it. It's really a beauty of a foundation.

In terms of shade range, with Armani foundations I'm typically a shade 3 (winter) or 4 (summer), but with these the shades seem a bit darker than usual. What's good is that, quite opposite of the other foundations in the line, instead of oxidizing on the skin and darkening throughout the day, they blend out a bit lighter than they look in the bottle. My perfect shade right now is a mixture of 2 and 4, but as soon as I see the sun 4 will suit me perfectly

This foundation is unlike any other I own and lends a beautiful, sheeny light to medium coverage that is perfect for daily wear. Application is best done with fingers or a brush, as the BeautyBlender eats up the majority of the product. If you are feeling adventurous - amp up the glow with one of Armani's Fluid Sheers as well - it's stunning stuff. That being said, I think I've found my new foundation love...

*pr samples included.
February 16, 2016
THE NEW MATTES: GLOSSES & STAINS

THE NEW MATTES: GLOSSES & STAINS

For those of us sitting on the fence deciding whether or not the matte trend suits real-life beauty scenarios. Yes they're perfect for date nights - no more wondering if your half your red lip has disappeared onto the rim of your champagne glass - but what about for day? Sometimes, they can look a bit harsh (which is my one qualm with them) thanks to their drying nature. But not to worry, there's a new generation of less harsh mattes out there and they come in a much more moisture-inducing form...gloss.

I'm usually quite picky when it comes to glosses; I like them to make my lips look plumper, add moisture, and stickiness is a big no-no. Both the newly launched Infallible L'Oréal Pro Matte Gloss and the classic Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro tick all of the right boxes and really pack a punch in the pigment department.

The Armani Lip Maestro is a pillowy soft and creamy lip stain that really conditions my lips while I'm wearing it, which is why I love these. Better yet, the color selection is on point, and in terms of nudes, they have one for everyone. Here I'm wearing my personal favorite shade, 202. It's the perfect daily matte nude and it can be worn either in a more natural sheer way, or layered up for a bolder pout. Even after the initial product has worn off, they leave a beautiful natural stain that sticks around for quite some time.

The L'Oréal Pro Matte Gloss offers a similar texture to the Armani Lip Maestro but are less of a stain, and more of a thick and fully opaque creamy liquid lipstick. These still don't dry down, meaning they maintain the moisture factor and really look radiant and creamy on the lips. The brand offers quite a few bold options that cover lips completely in one swipe of the precise pointed applicator. I find they are much more flattering in comparison to your average drying liquid lipsticks, although they don't offer the same budge-proof finish...I guess you'll have to choose which factor you need more. It's definitely situational!

I appreciate the creamy textures of both of these lip products, and for shorter-term wear and daytime appropriate options I'd definitely reach for one of these offerings. Both products make my lips appear plumper and softer and I don't need to sacrifice on pigmentation...a win-win situation.

*pr samples included.
February 15, 2016
PACO RABANNE OLYMPĒA

PACO RABANNE OLYMPĒA

It's no secret that I enjoy a good fragrance, and especially love having a wealth of scents at my disposal to change up during different seasons or moods. During the winter, however, there is a category of scent that I favor above all else. While I enjoy a good green, fresh, and even slightly fruity fragrance during the warmer months...the colder months are almost the exact opposite. I love warm, woody, floral, and creamy scents with a certain richness to them - they are much more 'notice me' scents. And after being recently introduced to Olympēa from Paco Rabanne,  (and although it falls under my "perfect winter scent" category) it's safe to say I've yet to discover something quite like it before. 

The fragrance is inspired by a modern day goddess whose personality is both commanding and seductive (not unlike Cleopatra) and comes housed in a hefty beautiful rose gold and glass bottle inspired by ancient greek architecture. Safe to say it's beautiful...

Top Notes: Green Mandarin, Ginger Lily, Hydroponic Jasmine

Middle Notes: Salted Vanilla

Base Notes: Sandalwood, Ambergris

The scent is undeniably sexy with a pleasing balance of both sweet and salty woody notes. It's a spin on a typical warm oriental scent that I can really appreciate. Upon first spritz you'll notice a bright and smooth burst of juicy green mandarin, which then seems to melt into the skin to settle into a salty vanilla accord which is, of course, fused with a spicy floral ginger lily and a fresh aquatic jasmine. It's an unexpected, yet deliciously seductive (thanks to the salted vanilla) and somewhat spicy floral that manages to maintain a certain freshness that most oriental fragrances lack. The lasting power of the scent is incredible, and by the end of the day I still catch myself sniffing my wrists...enjoying every bit of the lingering creamy and worn-in scent.

You can purchase this addictive scent here. What's your go-to fragrance of the moment?

*pr samples included.
February 13, 2016
COLOURPOP: WHAT TO BUY

COLOURPOP: WHAT TO BUY

Beauty junkies have been all over the budget-friendly brand ColourPop recently. Of course, being one myself, I was keen to try the products from this fun LA-based brand too. Unfortunately, since they're not easy to get ahold of (without placing an online order) and I had never seen the products in person, the whole process of choosing what to buy was a bit of a "wing it" situation. I went a bit crazy with my order, because each item is under $10 it seemed almost a waste to place an order without trying a bit of everything. Here's a breakdown of what I tried and what I think are hits and misses...

LIPS - It's all about the matte liquid lipsticks recently and I couldn't make a purchase without trying the Ultra Matte Lips. The color range is extensive - there's bound to be something for everyone - so it was a bit difficult to whittle it down to just a few. I easily could've chosen twenty shades, but seeing as I wanted to test the formula before making such a big commitment I went for three: Solow - neutral nudey pink, Bumble - a warm nude with red undertones, and Ouiji - a bold coral red. These are by far the best budget liquid lipsticks I've yet to try and they even give some of the pricier ones a run for their money. Beware that your lips do need to be in good condition as they can be a bit drying because of how long they last, but if you're looking to build on your collection of shades this is the brand to go for. My favorite shade of the three is Solow, as it's a more pinky and wearable version of Kat Von D's Lolita and I know that Ouiji will be reached for often on summer nights. 

I also picked up two of the Lippie Sticks in sheer colors: Crunch - a coraly peach, and Juice Bar - a sort of fruit punch shade. These are great for daily wear in my opinion; they smell like candy, last for a few hours each and offer a really great variety of textures and shades. Considering the price you're paying for the quality of the products (packaging is the only noticeable downfall) I give ColourPop a huge thumbs up on lips!

CHEEKS - The Highlighters are what caught my eye initially as I've seen swatches of the bouncy-cream powders all over Pinterest in the past. I've been on a bit of a highlighter kick recently - they've even become a part of my daily routine. I'll admit I'm a bit obsessed with these because of how strange they feel when you press your finger into them. They look like a pressed powder but feel like a bouncy and cooling cream and I love the finish that the hybrid gives on the skin. I picked up four shades: Lunch Money - a pale nude champagne, Monster - an iridescent pearl white, Wisp - a gold with a peach duo chrome finish, and Butterfly Beach - a rose gold with hint of peachy sheen. I'd recommend using fingers or pressing them in with a stippling brush for best results. 

I, of course, had to try the Bronzer and Blush as well. I picked up the Bronzer in Paradise Cove - a satiny golden beige, and the Blush in Prenup - a mauve pink. I've been loving the shimmer free glow that the bronzer gives and have a feeling I'll be reaching for it even more often come the warmer months.

EYES - Saving the best for last of course, the Super Shock Shadows. I've quickly fallen in love with these cheap and cheerful pots of pigment. They are super pigmented and they brand offer so many great neutral and bronzey shades - which of course, is my weakness. These have a near-identical texture to the other powders, and I love the intensity the colors have on the eyes. I picked up seven shades, mostly neutral but some with a twist, including: Smash - a satiny warm taupe, Get Lucky - a true metallic gold, Nillionaire - metallic brown with pink shimmer, On The Rocks - a rusted bronze with flecks of violet, Sequin - rose gold with silver shimmer, Game Face - molten metal copper, and Cricket - a plum with silver shimmer. 

All in all I'm super impressed with the powder/cream hybrid textures and the longevity of the highlighters and liquid lipsticks. I most likely won't go back for more blushes or bronzers, but I will definitely be picking up more of the Super Shock Shadows and Ultra Matte Lips...any color suggestions?
February 12, 2016
VALENTINE'S DAY MAKEUP LOOK

VALENTINE'S DAY MAKEUP LOOK


My fourth ever YouTube video! Here I'm showing you a Valentine's Day inspired makeup tutorial using an exciting new Tom Ford eyeshadow quad. I'd love for you to watch and subscribe to my channel - search Necessary Nothings or click here!
February 11, 2016
EASY VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT IDEAS FOR THE BEAUTY LOVER

EASY VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT IDEAS FOR THE BEAUTY LOVER

Valentine's Day is one of the most challenging "holidays" in terms of gifting. Whether you're gifting your significant other (guys, listen up), friends, or family you want it to be something thoughtful, yet simple - something that's bound to put a smile on her face. If you have a beauty lover in your life, follow my simple (but genius) gift edit for the most perfect little something that she only dreamed you'd get her. You really can't go wrong with one of these.

A DREAMY CANDLE - There are so many amazing candles on the market that are bound to make any living space smell dreamy. When it comes to a gift everyone will love, this is where it's at. I'm not sure who wouldn't be happy receiving a home fragrance...especially when it's luxe and comes in a reusable glass jar. My favorites for gifting are from Diptyque (you knew that was coming), Byredo, Le Labo, Antica Farmacista, Maison Margiela Replica, and Lafco. But, if you really want to take the guesswork out of choosing altogether, Diptyque usually launches a limited edition candle just in time for the holiday. This year it's called Rosaviola; it smells of roses, lipstick, and creamy leather and comes packed in a pink frosted jar designed by Olympia Le Tan. This one is something special... 

A NEW FRAGRANCE - Special occasions deserve special fragrances. They're one of the best ways to make a memory last - every time you spray the scent you'll be instantly brought back. I love changing up my fragrances for this reason exactly and what's more appropriate than a lipstick-inspired scent for Valentine's Day? Maison Margiela Replica Lipstick On is the perfect finishing touch to any date night look. It smells of beautifully scented rice powder, iris, lipsticks, and warm vanilla. Beware...this scent is seriously addictive. 

A SWEET TREAT - Macarons. From Ladurée. Need I say more? (If you can't get to a store try ordering some uniquely delicious sweets from Sugarfina.)

A LUXE LIPSTICK - Lipstick, you ask? Yes. There's nothing more universally loved, yet personal in the beauty world. Make a woman's eyes light up when unwrapping a luxurious tube of the stuff. She'll feel like you read her mind and won't be able to wait to wear the new shade that same night. Tom Ford, Chanel, Charlotte Tilbury, NARS, and Giorgio Armani are always a good idea.

Happy Shopping! 

*pr samples included.
February 09, 2016
REVIEW: CRÈME DE LA MER MOISTURIZING CREAM

REVIEW: CRÈME DE LA MER MOISTURIZING CREAM

Ohh la la (mer). I've recently written about my morning and evening skincare routines, and have of course been playing around with a few other products to decide whether or not they earn a permanent place in the routine. One of those products is perhaps the most famous moisturizer of all time: Crème De La Mer Moisturizing Cream. So let's talk all things luxury-moisturizer...

THE BAD - Like with almost every skincare product, there are a few things I would change about the cream. First thing's first - that insanely high price tag. That aside, it's quite thick and almost waxy in consistency, which is obviously why the brand offers a "soft" version. At first, this had me thinking the cream was much too rich for my combination skin type. However, there is an application technique that changes the consistency of the product to more of a liquid before it's applied to the skin. Personally, I struggled with finding the proper application (the brand recommends a very specific method) technique, but once I did I actually looked forward to using the cream each evening. I still held off on using in the mornings as even with the proper technique it took around 15 minutes to absorb into my skin completely.

THE GOOD - The rich, lightly scented cream feels more like a treatment than just a regular moisturizer. This is probably thanks to the "miracle broth" that the cream is famous for. The ingredients in the broth include kelp, iron, sunflower oil, and other potent vitamins. Once I mastered the application technique it really did make a difference to how well the product sunk into my skin, though it's still very moisturizing. This is a great winter cream for me, and I tend to use it on my skin a few nights a week on its own to make sure my skin is reaping the benefits properly and not becoming congested. I love the way it makes my skin glow after I apply it, and it seems to immediately take away any dry or flakey patches without looking too greasy. I can also appreciate that it only takes a pea sized amount to do the job fully each time I use it - especially considering the price tag. When I use this I do wake up with plumper, softer, and more hydrated skin.

THE VERDICT - Overall, I do really enjoy using this as a heavier moisturizer. It doesn't break out my oily-prone skin while managing to banish all of my dry patches and amping up the glow factor significantly. However, I didn't like that I couldn't really use this in the morning because of its richness and I don't think this would be one for me during the warmer months. Perhaps the Soft Cream would work then, but I'm not sure I'd be willing to shell out the money to try. Although I really do like this - I enjoy the scent, the application process, and the glow I have after - I'm not sure those are things I couldn't get from another much less pricey cream. I prefer to spend on potent serums and oils.

Have you tried Crème De La Mer? What's your verdict on the product?

*pr samples included.
February 08, 2016
THE CONCEALER ROUNDUP

THE CONCEALER ROUNDUP

Oh, concealer. It's one of those products that never quite excites me, yet makes one of the biggest differences when it comes to results. Concealer can either make or break your look and I've certainly been around the block a few times - testing out practically whatever is out there. In recent months, or even the past year, I've become a bit more loyal to my concealers because I know how hard it is to find ones that really do the job. And while I do keep a fair few on hand at any given time, they all serve their purpose whether for texture, shade, or covering different skin woes. Here's what I'm currently workin' with...

Dior Diorskin Star Sculpting Brightening Concealer - A serum-like concealer that moisturizes the under eye area beautifully. It's thin consistency allows for beautiful blending and makes it ideal for layering under or overtop other concealers on days when maximum coverage is preferred. I personally find it works best for the under eye area, and around the nose to combat redness. For blemishes, it's okay but isn't as high coverage or dry as I'd like my coverage to be on those areas. But it makes up for that in the fact that it's virtually undetectable when pressed into the skin and great for brightenong.

Chanel Correcteur Perfection Long Lasting Concealer - A lightweight, gel-based concealer that lasts all day and offers a medium coverage that appears ultra natural on the skin. The shade 10 Beige Clair is my perfect shade, as it neutralizes undereye bags and covers blemishes in one - something I've long struggled to find in a concealer. It stays put on blemishes and doesn't crease under the eyes if blended properly. This is the one I'll bring with me if I'm traveling with limited space, as it does the work of concealing all of my problem areas with just a dab of the wand.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer - I won't ramble too much here, but this concealer has been with me for quite some time now. It's safe to say that this is my fourth tube of the stuff and for good reason. It's a great (obviously creamy) consistency, and diffuses imperfections like magic without drying out the skin or settling into fine lines. I rely on this stuff to cover blemishes as it's quite a high coverage in terms of pigmentation and it doesn't budge for hours. I find it works well on dark circles as well, but sometimes I do need a bit of a peachier tone to counteract darkness as well.

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer - A newer addition to the concealer club, this one is part of a two-step concealing system from the brand aimed at covering dark circles. These concealers are offered in five corrective shades and five skin-toned concealing shades, but I find that the concealing shades offer enough of a peachy undertone to counteract darkness perfectly. I wouldn't recommend using these on blemishes, as I'm not sure they'd match (they don't on me) but they do work beautifully under the eyes and don't crease once they set. I like that the packaging disperses the perfect dot-sized amount - and just a little dab will do you here...preferably applied with fingers for a more natural finish.

Sephora Bright Future Color Correctors - These super lightweight, gel-based correctors can be used anywhere on the face to combat a number of concerns. The range offers a green to neutralize redness, yellow to combat dullness, pink for brightness, peach for brightness and evening, and a melon to brighten darker skin tones. The applicator deposits dot-like helpings of the product, which layer and blend beautifully with other concealers and atop foundation. I have been using the yellow and pink shades around my eyes, nose, and mouth to brighten my skin and correct any dullness and find they leave me needing less heavy concealer to fix issues. I recommend everyone try these!
February 07, 2016
LIQUID LIPSTICK LOVE & TOP PICKS

LIQUID LIPSTICK LOVE & TOP PICKS

It's obvious that lipstick is having its moment and it doesn't seem that it's going to end anytime soon. Personally, I'm okay with that. I love a good liquid lip...for the right occasion. They don't budge come off the inner portion of your mouth when eating and drinking - something I typically do when I'm wearing lipstick. But, with the popularity of the category on the rise so are the slew of releases, making it hard to find the formula that's right for you. Of course some are better than others, so I'm revealing my favorites to help weed out the not-so-greats for you. 

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick - It's only right that the queen of ink would come out with one of the most culty liquid lipsticks out there. The color range is nothing short of spectacular, but it's their extreme matteness that leaves me in awe. Of course, lip prep is important here, but they do the job superbly well and never come off. I can apply these early in the morning and top up in the center only once and they will still be there when I go to remove my makeup. I'm itching to pick up some more colors...recommendations welcome.

Sephora Cream Lip Stain - Price-wise these are a good option. They're not going to break the bank (so you can go a little crazy in the color department) yet manage to pack a serious punch in terms of quality. They are thick, rich, creamy and easy to paint on in just one coat. I love the cupcake-like smell and the bright shades in the range are particularly good. Here's hoping they expand the nude color options sometime soon. Please, Sephora?

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream - For those who worry about the dryness factor involved in matte lips these are one of the better formulas out there. Not to mention, they're priced at around $6 each. Go crazy. The name is right in the sense that they're softer and almost a bit whipped in texture, but they don't dry down quite as tightly so I reserve them for shorter-term wear. I do love the nude shades they offer - particularly Cannes, Milan, and Stockholm. 

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick - This is one of the first formulas I tried that got me into the stuff. Like the rest of their products, these were breakthrough formulas and definitely a more velvety-matte option. They are thin in texture and nice and compact in terms of packaging, but certain shades are a bit more drying than others. Nonetheless, I love these and the shade Riviera is still one of my favorite bold lip colors to date. 
February 04, 2016
JANUARY FAVORITES

JANUARY FAVORITES

My third ever YouTube video. Here I'm showing you I've loved most the first month of the new year. I'd love for you to watch and subscribe to my channel - search Necessary Nothings or click here!
February 03, 2016
THE BASE WARDROBE

THE BASE WARDROBE

It's been awhile since I've rounded up my best of bases - and because I've seemingly culled them from just about everywhere over the past few months this post is definitely past due. Foundations are one of my favorite products to test and experiment with, and like skincare, I like to have a variety on hand for different occasions and skin conditions. Of course, this post would have veered into dangerous territory length-wise if I didn't practice some sort of restraint, so these are the products I've been reaching for most often this winter. I've broken them down into two sections...

THE LIGHTWEIGHTS - These bases are what I slap on when I'm having a relatively good skin day, but want to even things out and look better than natural (supernatural?). Their generally light in texture and skin-like in nature, which is what I love about them. 
  • For Coverage with Benefits - I love the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream. This might be lightweight in texture, but it packs a punch in the coverage department. It moisturizes my skin and makes things look fresh and glowy without any shimmer in sight.
  • For A Satin Glow - The Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation confuses a bit with its name, but I'd call it more of a satin glow than anything else. It's very light on the coverage spectrum - but it gives a fresh, comfortable, and smooth finish that seems to airbrush pores and give the skin a natural look. It sets down to a satin finish that's actually just the right amount of matte...which is perfect for daily wear.
  • For A Skin-Like Finish - Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Perfect Skin Foundation finishes the skin with a hit of illumination, line-blurring, and pore minimizing coverage. The formula stimulates collagen and lasts extremely well for such a lightweight product. Whenever I'm in a rush and unsure of which foundation I want to wear I'll reach for this. It's one of those you know you can rely on to make you look awake and bright-eyed.
  • For Moisture - The Givenchy Teint Couture Blurring Foundation Balm sits somewhere between a foundation and BB cream. It's moisturizing and definitely brings that dewy finish that BB Creams tend to, but it also gives a bit more correction in terms of color. It somehow brings a certain light to the skin without a trace of shimmer. I'm also a huge fan of how it makes skin feel so plumped and bouncy. 
THE COVERAGE-GIVERS - Whether it's dinner, a date, or I just need your base to really bring it in the coverage department - this is my bevy of perfecting bases. I usually like to blend these products well into the skin, so I'm always sure to choose products that cover without masking natural skin.
  • For A Filter-esque Matte - Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup is the perfect mixture of oils and pigment that melts right into skin as though there's nothing there at all. It's the thinnest-coverage giving product I've yet to come across and I love the immediate effects. It mattifies in the most natural, non-flat way possible. My one qualm is that it does need topping up late afternoon...a sacrifice I'm willing to make with this one.
  • For Lit-From-Within Radiance - Burberry Fresh Glow Fluid Foundation is the guy for you. The coverage is there and there is a bit of shimmer running throughout, but nothing to have you looking like a disco-ball. It's more of a lit-from-within radiance that looks amazingly dewy blended lightly over the skin. I recommend powdering your t-zone with this one...but I love the refreshing scent of lavender and rose.
  • For A Long-Lasting Base - Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-In-Place Makeup is guaranteed to stay in place as long as you need it to. I like that it maintains that non-cakey look even though it does pack a punch in the coverage and longevity department. The smallest amount of this will smooth right over any and all imperfections and leave skin with a comfortable finish you can count on.
  • For A Creamy Skin Treat - A real luxury; La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer and Foundation. This foundation is like your best skincare married your perfect foundation. All you need is a tiny amount of this whipped and creamy base to cover skin weightlessly. It also contains a matching concealer in the lid which gives under eye bags a serious run for their money. It keeps my skin hydrated all day long so that when it comes time to remove it, things feel nourished and as though I just had a facial. I reserve this for special occasions as it really is a special product.


*pr samples included.
February 01, 2016
LAURA MERCIER PARIS AFTER THE RAIN

LAURA MERCIER PARIS AFTER THE RAIN

With promises of perfect shadow pairings and creamy lipsticks you'd be smart to guess my lust for the Laura Mercier Paris After the Rain collection. There's just something about the name, the colors, and Laura's products in general that just scream...chic. Am I right? I must preface this by also saying that any palette that offers matching shimmers and mattes wins my vote as a must-have. 

Here's what Laura says to get you in the frame of mind for these muted, gorgeous colors..."The reflection of lights on cobblestone streets. The dance of colours on zinc rooftops. As duo-chromatic as sheet lightning, this spring collection of subdued, neutral matte shades changes colours when topped with special effect multi-chrome pearls. Imparting a veil of iriddescence like a subtle kaleidoscope. Faceted, dimensional. Capturing the light. Subtle yet edgy. Refined yet trendy. Matte meets a new textural transformation."

With that being said the Eye Colour Collection does have a certain je ne sais quoi in my opinion. This muted yet notice-me palette include 4 mattes and 4 chrome-pearl shadows. When paired together they create combinations such as a taupe-quartz, a nude-garnet, a sapphire-gray, and a chocolate- amber. I love the multi-faceted effect they have when layered..and they sparkle subtly but with true depth. The compact is matte, travel-friendly, and really does take the guesswork out of creating a thoughtful, but easy smokey eye look for day or night. I love, love, love the shades in the palette...finally something a bit different but still wearable and flattering on all skin tones. 

The Lip Parfait Creamy Colourbalms have my name written all over them. I love a good bold matte, but when it comes to daily wear I'm all about the moisturizing formulas and neutral colors that give a my lips but better look. There are two limited edition shades offered in the collection; a muted peachy-nude named Rive Gauche, and a wearable berry named Rive Droite. Since it arrived I've barely been able to stop wearing Rive Gauche for its ability to make lips look more plump and juicy, thanks to the fine gold shimmer, and for how well it pairs with every makeup look in my repertoire. Ladies...run to the counter for this one - you won't want to miss it.

Overall, I'd say these offerings are must-haves for spring - or any time of the year, really - as they're so versatile and no unwearable shades take up any precious palette real-estate. Amazing, Laura!

*pr samples included.