June 30, 2016
A NEW FRAGRANCE LOVE

A NEW FRAGRANCE LOVE

I've found a new scent - Chloe Eau de Parfum - and I just cant get enough of it lately. It's been quite awhile since I've discovered a new-to-me fragrance that I can really imagine myself wearing for years to come. I'm someone who likes to keep quite an array of fragrances on hand to change up depending on my mood. I guess you could even say that I have a real collection of the stuff; there's something about the pretty bottles and whimsical stories behind them that pulls me in. Is it the escapist in me? Who knows. But, in the past and despite my ever-growing collection, I've loyally used and repurchased a few. There's still something comforting about being able to go back to a time or place with a spritz...

Those scents include Byredo Gypsy Water, a heady yet ethereal one that reminds me of my most recent years - it's what I like to call my "adult" fragrance. Before that, I was head-over-heels for Balenciaga Florabotanica, which I still love and it's also my mom's scent of choice; it's very comforting to me. I still have a weak spot for Acqua di Parma Fico di Amalfi, as I'm a fan of fig-based scents and I bought my first bottle in Positano when I was only a teenager, so there's memories backing it. I've also always been partial to Jo Malone French Lime Blossom, as it was my first ever from the brand and has a unique bright floral aroma that's hard to duplicate. Lately, I love Maison Martin Margiela Replica Lazy Sunday Morning, a scent that smells of cozy clean skin and bed linens. I could ramble on forever, but you get the idea.

A month ago or so, I tossed a few sample perfumes into my handbag for on-the-go touch ups...one of which happened to be Chloe EDP. Admittedly, I didn't expect much more than an overpowering, most likely matronly floral...but what I found was a new fragrance love. It's fresh, feminine, comforting, and sexy all at the same time and I feel as though I've been wearing it for years already. It's definitely become one of those I gravitate toward when I don't want to think about what I'm going to wear...like a classic black t-shirt and perfect-fit denim. 

Notes: Pink Peony, Freesia, Lychee, Magnolia Flower, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Cedarwood, Amber, Honey.

It's a fresh floral that's comfortable to wear thanks to bright opening notes of peony and lychee, and it settles down to a smooth, skin-like rose and amber combination that smells clean and just the right amount of sexy. For me, this is definitely an addictive scent...I just cant stop spritzing.

Have you tried this fragrance before?

June 29, 2016
TESTING TRUE BOTANICALS SKINCARE

TESTING TRUE BOTANICALS SKINCARE

You know me - skincare addicted - and proud. I love testing out a new line only to find some standby products to tackle a certain skin concern. But, I especially enjoy doing so if said line is ingredient conscious, or better yet, organic. So it's safe to say that True Botanicals caught my eye, and not just for the minimal-chic packaging...I swear. The line is based on the belief that by delivering the highest quality, all natural (marine and plant-based) ingredients to the deepest layers of the skin we can fight the causes of aging and skin damage right where they start. I put a few of their bestsellers to the test and am loving the ritual of using such healthy products on my skin, and it shows

Pacific Face Serum - This little bottle of goodness has helped smooth the texture of my skin so much so that I've been able to use much less foundation and concealer in recent weeks. It's like a daily multi-vitamin for the face, and I love how lightweight it is to apply. When it goes on it feels like a soothing, vitamin-packed drink for the skin, and yet, it contains no water whatsoever, so you're getting higher concentrations of the good stuff. Neroli, green tea, sea kelp, tuberose, and jasmine give the skin a boost of for an intensely hydrating, smoothing, and softening result. It is so easy to add into your routine as well, as it doesn't feel heavy on the skin and makes for great layering.

Pacific Mist - You know how much I love the misting step in my skincare routine. Think of mists as toners done 21st century style - quick, pleasing, and easy. They help prep the skin for what's to come and keep moisture levels high without adding an unnecessary additional layer. This one smells incredible - just like neroli, it soothes the skin (and mind!) and leaves it feeling plumper and dewier. I find this is a step I look forward to in my daily routine, I've been using it twice daily and my skin feels comforted and well hydrated. 

Pacific Eye Serum - This is quite an exciting new discovery for me, as I've never tried an eye serum like this one before. It feels like a lightweight oil, and I love how the tired skin around my eyes just drinks it right up. It contains tuberose stem cells to reduce puffiness and fine lines, cucumber seed oil to strengthen skin's lipid barrier, carrot seed oil to reduce inflammation, and a bevy of other amazing ingredients. I've been using it for a few weeks now and love how smooth and tight my skin feels, not to mention how well makeup applies overtop. This is a real gem...

Have you tried True Botanicals before?

*pr samples included.
June 28, 2016
JUNE FAVORITES

JUNE FAVORITES


Hey guys! It's that time of the month again (no, not that kind); it's June favorites time! This month saw the introduction of so many new favorites into my routine, I can't wait for you to see them all. Of course, let me know what your favorites were as well in the comments below, and I hope you watch and subscribe to my channel here. Thanks so much for your support!
June 27, 2016
BECCA X JACLYN HILL CHAMPAGNE COLLECTION FACE PALETTE

BECCA X JACLYN HILL CHAMPAGNE COLLECTION FACE PALETTE

Over the past month or so, there's probably no other beauty release that has garnered more reviews and rants than the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Face Palette. So despite whether or not you're sick of hearing about it...you didn't think I was going to stand by and watch without throwing my hat into the ring, did you? I fell victim to the hype and clicked 'purchase' on this bad boy the second it came back into stock on Sephora, and let me tell you something - I couldn't be happier I did. Here's why this palette is amazing...

First off, I know what you're thinking. How could any of us beauty junkies possibly need any additional blushes and highlighters? Well, let that thought go now because this is another story. Have you ever seen the highlighter that Jaclyn Hill rocks on a daily basis? Yeah, that's Champagne Pop, which is of course, included in this palette. Until I picked this up, I mistakenly had no interest in trying the highlighter, as I thought it would show up too dark on my skin for my liking. I confess to being wrong here; this highlighter is absolutely incredible and hasn't left my cheekbone since I purchased it. It's a soft rose gold powder, obviously, but it has this way of melting into the skin and looking good on just about everyone. It's ultra smooth, incredibly pigmented (don't be overzealous with application!), doesn't unintentionally also highlight imperfections, and doesn't look cakey - which gets it a huge thumbs up from me. Yes, it's intense, which I admit I'm kind of all about at the moment, but it also can be done subtly enough to look like you're just #blessed if you use a light hand. I also love using the true-gold highlighter from the palette, Prosecco Pop, in conjunction with Champagne Pop for a more gleaming, gilded glow. Try saying that three times fast....

As far as the blushes go, I have been dipping (and double dipping) my brush into these pans nonstop. There are three shades; Rosé Spritz, a luminous blush in a peachy pink shade with gold glitter, Amaretto, a mineral blush done in a beautiful terracotta nude, and Pamplemousse, a mineral blush in a warm rose coral. These, like the highlighters, are extremely pigmented and I love how effortlessly they blend into the skin and how they work seamlessly with the highlighters. The shade Rosé Spritz reminds me of one of my all-time favorite blushes, Tom Ford Pink Sand, as it gives that radiance and flattering pink warmth to the face that I love. I also love using Amaretto as a base and to warm up my complexion, even when I don't want to wear an obvious blush - this one works in a similar way to a bronzer, but looks even more natural in my opinion. 

All in all, I have to say I'm more than happy with this palette. I had my doubts originally, but so far it's been one of the only palettes that I have in which I reach for every single shade and use it regularly. It's a great one to keep in your makeup bag, and definitely for travel as well thanks to the various options and huge mirror. If you can still get your hands on this - run, don't walk - but if not, I urge you to pick up the individual Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop. Luckily, that has now become a part of the brand's permanent range. Jaclyn Hill - you rock.
June 24, 2016
3 BASES I'M CURRENTLY LOVING

3 BASES I'M CURRENTLY LOVING

I'm always up for trying a new base product, but I feel as though I get more and more selective about which truly make it into my daily routine. I'm not saying I don't have hoards of bases - because I, do - it's just that only a select few ever get a piece of coveted real estate atop my vanity for easy access. Lately I've been about a certain 3 bases that have me covered in the following ways...

A FRESH DAYTIME GLOW - ...plus added sun protection. That's what the new Dr. Dennis Gross Instant Radiance Sun Defense is all about. This is essentially a souped-up tinted moisturizer that also acts as your sun protection, color-corrector, and illuminator. It's the perfect texture that never feels greasy, but it's also not so matte that it looks obvious worn outside. It's quickly become my new go-to for summer days spent under the sun and I love how it keeps my skin looking fresh and glowy all day, with an added dose of SPF 40.

ON-THE-GO COVERAGE - The Clinique Chubby In The Nude Foundation Stick is unlike all other stick foundations I've tried before. I love how this one feels and looks natural and lightweight on the skin, yet provides true medium coverage. It gives the look of an even, smooth base in just seconds...you don't even need a brush (although if I have one I always like one). I keep this in my handbag because I love how well it works to up my base or add more coverage if I'm going somewhere later in the day, and it keeps things looking fresher than topping up with powder. It's creamy, dreamy, foundation stick goodness.

AIRBRUSHED SATIN SKIN - I know, you're going to ask, "who doesn't want that?" Well, that's exactly my point. The Burberry Cashmere Foundation has become a new favorite for it's flawless skin-inducing abilities. It's creamy when applied and let's skin breathe through, while managing to cover most imperfections with just a pump. It can also be built up to full coverage without looking cakey, instead it melts right into skin. The finish is fresh, satin, and feels just like your skin...but looks better. I find it barely needs any powdering at all, and the color match is perfect for me. Win!

*pr samples included.
June 22, 2016
NUDE SPECTRUM

NUDE SPECTRUM

Nude lips couldn't be having more of a moment right now, and I'm certainly okay with that. Specifically, browny-nudes of the tawny or mauve variety. As much as I'm a fan, it definitely takes a bit of finesse when it comes to wearing these tones the right way. I have tried so many shades that looked made me look as though the life had been drained right out of my skin, or like my lips had shriveled up and I had gone hypothermic. It goes without saying, that's not the look we're going for here. I finally found (through trial and major error) a few go-to nudes that work for different occasions and purposes, and now I can properly nail that 90's trend. 

Tom Ford Lip Color in Sable Smoke - The lightest shade of my roundup, and the most peachy pale nude of the bunch. This one is the easiest to wear and has that somewhat Brigitte Bardot effect, but isn't as concealer like in tone, which is more than fine by me. And - as you know if you've tried Tom Ford Lipsticks they're easily the creamiest, most comfortable to wear...so enjoy.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bow N Arrow - This is probably the hardest to wear of the bunch (because liquid lipsticks tend to be more drying), but I love it nonetheless. This is that beige brown-nude that goes on looking a bit light, and then dries down to a medium tone. If you're going for the true 90's lip look and want something that leans more on the taupey brown side than nude, this one is for you. It lasts insanely long, and I always prefer Kat Von D's liquid lipstick formula to any others I've tried. However, since it's still super-matte and a tad drying, I find it looks best paired with a mostly matte makeup look and a touch of highlighter on the cheekbones.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Pepper - This is the perfect, dusty, rosy, mauve hue with a satin finish. It's definitely not pale in tone, it has some seriously rich pigment to it, which I love. However, if you're looking for a cool-toned mauve, this one isn't going to strike your fancy - it's undoubtedly on the warmer end of the spectrum. I love that this one wears well for hours without needing to be reapplied, and I love wearing it with a golden eye look and mauve blush for a modern, chic look.

MAC Matte Lipstick in Velvet Teddy - To me, this is the perfect in-between lipstick. It has just the right amount of a peachy pink hue, so that it doesn't look too heavy or drag you down. I love that it tends to work on most people - and not only that - it looks different on them all too. On me it's a peachy-pink terracotta, done in a perfect creamy matte texture that doesn't deflate my lips...and better yet, doesn't require a lip liner. It somehow manages to sit right in the middle of warm and cool - mostly, it's a neutral and makes for a great starter lipstick for those looking to dive into the world of more intense browny nudes. I personally find it to be more flattering than the full-on brown shades...in fact, I've only picked it up recently and haven't been able to stop wearing it since.
June 21, 2016
MY CURRENT FAVORITE EYELINER LOOK IN 3 STEPS

MY CURRENT FAVORITE EYELINER LOOK IN 3 STEPS

Recently I've had a love/hate relationship with my favorite Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper. I love the damn thing (pardon my French), but I feel as though it's taking me longer than ever to perfect my wing and usually results in two larger-than-I'd-like lines that took me 25 minutes to do. I guess that's where the "never ask a girl with winged liner why she's late" saying comes from, huh? In an effort to lessen mistakes and total time wasted, I've managed to come up with a slightly cheater-method of doing my liner lately. I love the narrowed-eye effect that winged liner gives - that lifted, somewhat sultry, yet chic kitten like gaze - it's always been my favorite. I've managed to get into a routine here, and let me tell you...it couldn't be more fool-proof if you ask me. Here are the few steps you need to get yourself back those 20 minutes. 

1) LIQUID LINER MADE EASY - Using the liquid liner pen, start at the outer third and press the liner down in an upward and outward shape. Before winging the tail too far out, trace underneath the outer third of your eye, dragging the pen upward to form a triangle shape, meeting the top line. See, instead of dealing with your usual lining troubles, this has created a form-fitting shape for you without you having to figure out how to be precise - let the liner tip be your guide and stencil here. Then you can go ahead and shade in the line as close to your lashes as possible on all sides, and once finished...extend the end of the line a bit into a tail so that your flick is more precise.

2) EXTRA DEFINITION - What makes this such an easy liner method is that you could either finish the look there, or add a bit more definition. The ways that I like to do this are by using a neutral shadow and adding some socket definition, using a vanilla shade as an inner corner highlight, and then matte black to smoke the liner out and add some extra longevity to what's already there. Voilà!

3) FINISHING TOUCHES - Nows the time to clean up your bottom water line and brighten things up a bit. I like to use a nude eyeliner and draw it onto the bottom water line, and I find it helps things look just that much crisper. Use your favorite mascara to apply as you usually would, and then focus the wand on the outer edges for a bit more intensity at the outer corners. I love the cat-like lifted look this helps give to the eyes.

This eye look is so easy, literally goes with anything and everything, and the best part is it can be super precise and clean, or messier depending on how you want the look and how much time you have. The look I've created in the above photo took me no more than 7 minutes (yes, I timed it) and lasted me all day. 

*pr samples included.
June 20, 2016
GLOSSIER HALOSCOPE

GLOSSIER HALOSCOPE

We're in the midst of a highlighter movement, people. From sticks, to creams, to gels, powders and balms - there's a bit of something for everyone out there right now and I can't say I'm opposed. I love how anyone can enjoy the trend. Whether or not you love a really strong strobed look or a subtle bit of gloss on the high points of your cheeks doesn't matter; enhancing, not hiding, is the way of the game here. So I'm sure by now you've heard, Glossier, the purveyors of the much-talked-about "no makeup, makeup" line have now thrown their hat into the ring and here's what I'm thinking...

Glossier Haloscope is a highlighting stick, comprised of an outer ring of sheeny, crystal-infused luminosity, and an inner moisturizing core made from almond oil. Seeing as I can never pull off a highlighter that's darker than my skin tone, I went for the lighter of the two shades offered - Quartz. You guessed it - it's infused with actual quartz crystal dust, which provides both color and has alleged "healing properties". I guess that part depends on your beliefs, but it doesn't hurt to have more good vibes, am I right? 

As soon as I swiped the stick I noticed that the shimmer that's contained in the stick reflects light really well, without having any chunky glitter particles - something I don't appreciate in my "natural" glow. The outer core is gorgeous, and the perfect texture to boot. It maintains the perfect balance between moisturizing and not greasy, but to be honest, the balmy center isn't necessary in my opinion. I'm never a fan of a stickier highlight, because it tends to move around when the weather heats up. The quartz based glow, however, is so good that I've been working around that. If you apply the product straight from the stick and sweep it on the cheekbones, you do notice a missing stripe of color, because the core doesn't contain any shimmer - so you do have to blend it and add more. I find that it works best for me when I swipe my finger along the outer rim, and then dab the center slightly - just for the added glow - just not enough of it to make things feel sticky. The result is a real radiance - not shimmer - similar to that of my standby RMS Living Luminizer, but a bit more pink in tone...like the Clinique Chubby Stick in Hefty Highlight. I'm a fan, even if I don't loveee the inner core. For that glow (see above swatch) - I can deal. 

Have you tried the new Glossier Haloscope?
June 17, 2016
PIXI HAS NAILED BEAUTY HACKS

PIXI HAS NAILED BEAUTY HACKS

Remember back in the day when the term "beauty hacks" meant DIY sugar scrub facials and self-made hair lightener that required a few too many lemons and a poolside lounge chair? Often left with irritated skin and hair that resembled an orange, I soon realized that some things were just better left to the professionals. Nowadays there are many beauty "hacks" I swear by, but none of them involve concocting my own lotions and potions in my mom's kitchen - no - now, something only warrants the term when it has provided a substantial shortcut for an otherwise more tedious beauty process. So, that being said, you know who is absolutely killing it in the quick-fix department lately? Pixi. I've long been a fan of their Glow Tonic (for obvious reasons), but here are some other products that help make my beauty routine, and therefore life, easier.

Pixi Glow Tonic To-Go - I won't ramble on and on about these pads, because I'm sure by now you're familiar with the premise of Glow Tonic. It's a chemically exfoliating toner with Glycolic Acid that still manages to nourish and renew the skin thanks to the inclusion of Aloe Vera and Ginseng. Basically exfoliation + hydration + brightening = glowier skin with a refined texture. Well, this tub containts the convenient, pre-soaked pad version and I absolutely love using them twice daily. 

Pixi Lash Nourish Makeup Remover Pads - I'm not usually one to stray from my usual micellar water and cotton pad method of makeup removal, but these pads work wonders on tough-to-remove eye makeup. They contain argan oil, so they're moisturizing and there's no irritating scent or burning sensation whatsoever. One pad will swipe away everything on your eyes and the portability of the container makes them perfect for travel. Yup, that's one less liquid to worry about. Win!

Pixi Makeup Fixing Mist - You know how I feel about mists. I love them as toners, makeup primers, setting sprays, and mid-day pick me ups. Well this one kind of does all of that in one. I love that it can be used as a makeup prep step, so that you're starting off with an already dewy, plumped base. It also makes for a great setting spray, adding some life back into the skin and making everything look more seamless and natural, plus you can refresh throughout the day with a spritz instead of layering on more powder, which is always the goal.

Pixi Nourishing Lip Polish - This sleek tube is outfitted with a squishy, pleasing-to-use spiked tip that deposits a clear moisturizing lip gel that both exfoliates and nourishes on contact. Usually, lip scrubs come with clear instructions to wash, or sometimes, lick the grains off after exfoliating. Not this one - it has grains tiny enough to be left on the lips and after a few minutes, it feels just like a lightweight, but über hydrating balm was applied to your perfectly smooth lips. I love how you can really get into the nooks and crannies of your lips as well thanks to the genius applicator tip. It can become a bit addicting - you've been warned.

Pixi Eye Zone Brightener - If you're anything like me, you want your dark circles to vanish, and while that's virtually impossible, makeup gets us a few steps closer. I'm a regular user of concealer in the area, and sometimes, I need an extra boost, but I absolutely loathe the feeling and look of too much makeup in such a delicate area. This brightening, hydrating cream does the job of lifting shadows without depositing any actual makeup, so that way, when you apply your concealer you don't need to cake it on so heavily. I also love that you can swipe it on with the click pen for precise control. 

*pr samples included.
June 16, 2016
TOTAL HOURGLASS LOOK & PRODUCT DEMO

TOTAL HOURGLASS LOOK & PRODUCT DEMO


Here I'm demonstrating my favorite Hourglass Cosmetics products in a one-brand look. Their products are amazing, and some of my most-used (which you'll probably know if you're a regular around here), so I thought it would be fun to demo how I use them all in a single look. It's glowy, fresh, strobed, bronzed, and best of all...easy! Don't forget to subscribe to my channel here to see what else I get up to and my other looks and favorites. 

June 15, 2016
MY FAVORITE SUNGLASSES RIGHT NOW

MY FAVORITE SUNGLASSES RIGHT NOW

You may or may not have realized by now that there are a few fashion bits that I hoard as religiously as I do beauty products. You guessed right: handbags and sunglasses. But today we're talking about the more summer-essential of the two. I adore sunglasses, and this year in particular seems to be the best time to whack out (or buy for that matter) those trendy pairs you thought you'd never get the chance to wear. I love the new takes on classics that seem to be popular right now, as well as the multitude of wire-frame pairs, and I also always have a few classic pairs on rotation for those outfits that need something more simple. Here are my current favorites...oh, and a quick shoutout to two other summer essentials too - the Sachajuan Leave In Conditioner for silky-bouncy strands, and the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or for that J Lo glow poolside (or as close to you'll ever come to it). I've linked all the pairs below as well, so happy shopping!

Classics - For really sturdy, chic frames I always love checking out what Céline has to offer. Must have classics include an oversized cat eye in the form of the Céline Caty Sunglasses in Black. A boxier, but equally as chic pair of Céline Audrey 2 Sunglasses in Havana, and of course the Ray Ban Round Classic Sunglasses in Green and Gold Metal. Is there anywhere you haven't seen these Ray Bans this year? They are so amazingly comfortable, make me feel instantly cool, and seem to flatter every face shape. 

Trendy - If we're talking seriously on-trend sunnies at the moment, this post would be nothing without a mirrored pair. Since I'm loving the Ray Ban Round Classic Sunglasses so much, my current colored favorites are this Red Mirrored pair. I love the red because from a distance it isn't too loud or obvious, but it does add a bit of a fun twist to any look. I've also been into what Dior has to offer lately - over the past year they've absolutely been killing it in the sunnies department. I picked up a new pair a few months back and got an absolute ton of wear out of them while in Spain last week. They are the Dior Sideral 2 and the oversize double-wire frame are sturdy, yet lightweight and cover all manner of sin with their large rounded shape. I think they're so fun and different from anything else I have in my collection, yet they manage to go with just about anything because the palladium frame looks as though it could be both gold and silver, depending on the lighting. I've also always been a Miu Miu devotee, so this roundup was bound to contain at least one pair. My favorites right now are these Square tortoise brown gradient ones, for which I'm unsure of the exact name, but they are linked below. They are so comfortable to wear and I find them to look feminine, yet unfussy. Whenever the weather is too hot to handle really heavy sunglasses, these ones come out to play because I forget I'm even wearing them when they're on. Win!

What are your favorite sunglasses currently? Shopping suggestions welcome ;)

June 14, 2016
THE MAKEUP PRODUCTS I BROUGHT TO SPAIN

THE MAKEUP PRODUCTS I BROUGHT TO SPAIN

Now that I'm back on US soil again I thought it would be the perfect time to give you the low-down on what I brought with me beauty-wise on my trip. I've done similar posts to this one in the past and always find that it works best after I've gotten back home - that way I can tell you how each product performed and what I feel I could've done without. Packing, especially in the warmer months, can be a bit of a challenge for the beauty obsessed (guilty!) and hopefully, this post will make narrowing it down just that much easier...enjoy and bon voyage if you're jetting off somewhere exciting soon! 

FOR BASE - I brought along my recent favorite MAC Strobe Cream, as they make it in a 1 oz. tube perfect for travel. I love this one for an all-over glow because you truly never have to worry about overdoing it, and it dries down in a similar sense to a lightweight moisturizer, which I love. For foundations, I stuck to the one for day, one for night rule. For day it was all about the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation, which ended up being truly perfect for a light to medium coverage and über breathable base. I love how, even in the heat, this one didn't settle into pores and fine lines and always manages to look like skin. For a fuller-coverage evening base I used the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation, which I typically love using at home, but I found it to stay a bit tacky-feeling in such hot weather. It was nothing my Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder couldn't fix, but it's definitely something to note if you have super oily skin. For concealer, I brought along my Bareminerals Bareskin Concealer, which I've also been loving using at home recently. It never creased under my eyes in the warm weather, but I did find that since it's so highly moisturizing (it's serum based) it did slide a bit on blemishes and was a bit too easily absorbed into my sun-parched skin for my liking. 

FOR CHEEKS - I'll admit I was somewhat proud that I managed to pack only two products - okay, two palettes in this department. But hear me out. Within only two slim palettes I was able to bring with me a multitude of cheek, bronzer, and highlighter products without having to pack an additional suitcase. See? Pretty great. I've raved and rambled on about both of these palettes before, so I'll keep it short and sweet. The By Terry Sun Designer Palette gives you 6 beautifully blendable powder options; 1 true bronze, 1 taupe pink, 1 nude, 1 pale pink highlight, 1 sand highlight, 1 rose gold blush. This was what I reached for most of the time, just because I used a setting powder and I find powders go best atop powder, but they worked like a dream and I had more options here than I could've needed. The Hourglass Illume Sheer Color Trio proved useful as well. When I needed a quick freshen up - especially for day time - I went without setting powder and just tapped the creamy blush onto my cheeks, and swiped the tan shade in the hollows of my cheeks for a bit of contour. But the true star of the show in this palette was the highlighter - it's glowy champagney goodness with the perfect creamy, yet silky texture sans chunky glitter. In love.

FOR EYES - Kudos if you've read this far, we're almost there! I brought the MAC Eyeshadow Palette x 9 in the shade Amber x 9, which proved extremely useful and had just about every neutral shade I needed for basic looks. I was really impressed that the formula of the smaller pans stayed true to the original, larger pans and loved how they lasted in the heat as well without any fallout. Of course, I had to bring a few cream shadow options - you know, the swipe-n'-go types - so along came a few trusted favorites like the By Terry Ombre Blackstar  in Ombre Mercure (see it in action in my 'get ready with me: Mallorca edition' video here) and the Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize in Mona Lisa. For brows I've been loving the Kevyn Aucoin The Precision Brow Pencil because of the fine tip and how it requires no dragging to create hair-like strokes. For liners, I brought the standard Kat Von D Tattoo Liner and some colored liners (color? who me?) in the form of the Lancôme Drama-Liqui Pencil in the shade Parisian Night and Embrase. Oh...and the Lancôme Hypnose Drama Mascara came along for some major lashes.

FOR LIPS - I took along two nudes; Tom Ford Lipstick in Revolve Around Me and Bite Beauty Amouse Buche in Pepper, of which I could've done with just one (TF all the way). And if I had a re-do, I'd leave behind my Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Iberico, as it was just too damn hot to be bothering with such an intense lip color. I also brought my new addiction; Smith & Cult The Tainted Lip Stain in Sweet Suite for everyday moisture and a bit of peachy color. For a punchier color option without the worry of a matte lipstick, I brought my Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Sheer in 400, a gorgeous sheer red that looks like you've just eaten a cherry popsicle in the best way possible. As for liners, I brought the best do-it-all nude - It Cosmetics YLBB Lip Liner in Blushing Nude. It's also amazing because it's waterproof, so your perfectly ovedrawn pout stays so even while you swim. What's not to love?

Overall, I thought I packed a really great variety of products into one reasonable sized makeup bag, thanks to the handy palettes. I could've done without a few of the lip options and I would have changed out the concealer and the Chanel Les Beiges Foundation for my trusty satin-matte Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation if I had known the former wouldn't dry down as well in humidity. All in all, I was happy and nothing leaked, broke, or cracked - another bonus! What makeup do you pack with you when you travel?

*pr samples included.
June 12, 2016
GET READY WITH ME: MALLORCA EDITION

GET READY WITH ME: MALLORCA EDITION


Come get ready with me for a night in Palme de Mallorca, Spain. I've had the best time traveling to Barcelona and around Mallorca and thought it would be fun to film myself getting ready on the beautiful balcony in Playa de Palma. I'll be posting some travel photos and giving details of the rest of what I brought with me beauty-wise in the next few days. I hope you watch and enjoy, and don't forget to subscribe for more videos!
June 10, 2016
A DAY IN BROOKLYN

A DAY IN BROOKLYN

Isn't it strange that I only live a bit over an hour outside the city, yet Brooklyn seems as though it might as well be a thousand miles from here? Last week I finally got around to making a day of it. I went in for a concert and spent the rest of the day doing a little eating exploring - ok, and eating. I have to say, I was quite impressed at how much quieter it was than downtown Manhattan. I hadn't been to Brooklyn in years and really liked the more laid back vibe and how much slower paced it was. It rained on and off that day, but it was all made better by a stop for lunch at a Mexican restaurant called Burrito Bar and Kitchen (original name, right?) for some guacamole and those delicious and spicy margaritas - just the way I like them. I'm not usually that into doughnuts, but would highly recommend trying out Doughnut Plant. Word has it that they were the inventors of the square doughnut, and I have to say they were pretty delicious! I'm looking forward to going back again soon and would love any other recommendations - comment away!

I've linked my outfit details below as well, in case you're interested!

{J Brand Jeans, Zara Blouse, Michael Kors Leather Jacket (similar here), Tory Burch flats, Chanel Bag (similar here), Hermes Bangle}
June 08, 2016
TATCHA BALANCED PORE PERFECTING WATER GEL

TATCHA BALANCED PORE PERFECTING WATER GEL

By now you would have seen me speak about my current day time moisturizer of choice: the Tatcha Balanced Pore Perfecting Water Gel. This new launch from one of my all-time favorite skincare brands is a really good one. I have been using this without fail daily for it's lightweight, fluid, and non-oily illuminating properties. Here's what you need to know about this welcome addition to my skincare routine and to Tatcha's moisturizer lineup:

Let me start off by saying that this isn't your average moisturizer. It's an illuminating 23k gold-infused water gel moisturizer that's both supremely lightweight (like a liquid) and moisturizing (like a drink of water for the skin). Like I mentioned previously, it contains a blend of 23k gold, Leopard Lily, Dokudami and Japanese Wild Rose to hydrate, balance, clarify, and tighten pores while giving a sheer radiance to the skin. I'd say it's the most perfect day time moisturizer for those with oily or combination skin, but I'd be lying if I told you this little gem wouldn't work for all skin types. Although it's so fluid that it's runny, it still seriously delivers on the hydration front and works it's magic while you forget you applied it at all. Oh, and let's not forget how perfectly it sits under makeup. 


*pr samples included.
June 07, 2016
ALL-IN-ONE PALETTE LOVING

ALL-IN-ONE PALETTE LOVING

When I'm looking to pack my makeup bag, whether it be for a weekend away, day-long event or a long-haul trip, I've learned palettes are the way to go. Since I'm not one to forgo options, (even though I desperately wish I were more minimalist) having multiple pans of product crammed into one notebook sized case is definitely the way to go. When I went to pack for my current trip (follow me on instagram @necessarynothings to keep up) I dug around my palette stash and came across some real good ones that I know could see me through pretty much any face occasion that could arise. Need blush? Covered. Setting powder? Check. A pop of creamy color and bronzer to match? Got you. Read on to find out which ones I love...

The Soup to Nuts Option - If you want to really downsize and are a fan of the cushion compact foundation formulas, this option is for you. The Too Cool For School Dinoplatz La Ola 4-in-1 contains 4 creamy products in one teeny, very compact case that would be perfect for the minimalist traveler, or for that daily makeup bag touch up. It has one bouncy, über hydrating cream foundation formula, a pearly pink sheer highlighter, a dewy coral blush, and a concealer that I wouldn't rely soley on, but is ok for a touch up (of if you were blessed with no dark circles - I envy you). It's worth noting that in terms of the foundation there are two shades available, the coverage is sheer to medium but gives a nice fresh-skin glow. 

The Endless Powder Palettes - I can speak from experience when it comes to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit, as I brought it with me on my last trip to Italy and never once felt as though I needed another powder product. I used Diffused Light as my setting powder, mixed with a bit of Dim Light, the Iridescent Strobe Light as my very subtle highlighter, Luminous Flush as my night time blush, Mood Exposure as my day time blush, and of course Luminous Bronze Light as my bronzer. The pans are hefty-sized and you know how in love with the formula of these powders I am - Hourglass does no wrong in my book. Another option worth a look if you're not into super radiant powders is the more muted Aerin Kaleidolight Palette for Face & Eyes. It's still beautiful, although I'm partial to Hourglass formulas, but this is nice because it covers your bronzer, blush, nude powder, and a purple shade that can either be used as a shadow or as a correcting powder when blended with the others. Another one I'm head over heels for is the By Terry Sun Designer Palette in Light and Tan Vibes, which I've gushed about here, so I'll save you the additional rave. But, if you don't read it, know that it would have you completely covered from bronzers to highlighters, blushes and everything in between. 

The Creamy Glow-Giving One - Ok, so welcome to more Hourglass deliciousness. This little number is something I have been loving because it has such beautifully blendable cream colors that I think would suit almost anyone from light to dark medium skin tones. The Hourglass Illume Sheer Color Trio contains beautifully natural and buildable cream formulas of blush, bronzer, and highlighter. I'm partial to the cream blush because the shade is just so on point, but the bronzer and highlight do create such a natural and dewy sculpted look. 

*pr samples included.
June 06, 2016
GIORGIO ARMANI LIP MAESTRO: AKA MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE LIQUID LIPSTICKS

GIORGIO ARMANI LIP MAESTRO: AKA MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE LIQUID LIPSTICKS

Let's get straight to the point with this post. If you've been watching my videos recently (subscribe here), you'll no doubt know how I've been finding every possible excuse to mention the Giorgio Armani Lip Maestros. As much as I want to be - and absolutely love the look on others - I find that whenever I make an attempt to wear a full-on liquid lipstick I end up looking like a deflated balloon. They dry out my lips and the color becomes patchy much faster than I would like it to...needless to say I've sacrificed longer wearing lippies in favor of a more comfortable, flattering option. 

Enter the Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro, a plush and velvety matte liquid lipstick-lip stain hybrid. Basically, this is the perfect compromise for those of us who don't want to have dried-out lips one hour into wearing our lipsticks, but who still want an extremely matte and full-on lip. These wear like a dream, are super comfortable - dare I say, even moisturizing - and the color range is amazing. There is something in there for everyone, and I love the bolds just as much as I like the nudes and pinks for daily wear. I get about 4 hours of wear time with these, and they fade in the most flattering way possible - turning slowly into more of a sheer stain once the full-on pigment has worn off. This is no exaggeration, if you've yet to try these - add them to your basket now!

Left to right, some shade recommendations include (but are definitely not limited to - go nuts) - 407, 505, 513, 500, and 512. 

*pr samples included.

June 03, 2016
TESTING KOREAN BEAUTY: TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL

TESTING KOREAN BEAUTY: TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL

Korean beauty and skincare has been ahead of the trend curve for quite some time now. So when I first discovered Too Cool For School through the use of their Escalator Mascara - which I used until the last drop (that's how good it was) - I knew I had to dig deeper into this Korean makeup and skincare brand. 

The underlying theme in Korean makeup is that the products are meant to create dewy, fresh skin and a beautiful glow with subtle pops of color. If you want to learn more about the differences in Western and Eastern makeup, I suggest you watch Lisa Eldridge's video with side by side comparisons of the two. It's amazing, but it also left me wanting to pull a few of those trends into my daily routine. I like the idea of a flawless base thats light, fresh, and dewy (who doesn't) and watercolor like washes of color. Here's how Too Cool For School has been helping me achieve exactly that...

Too Cool For School Egg Mousse Soap Facial Cleanser - A foaming face wash that dispenses in the same manner as a shaving cream, but has a unique light and merengue-like texture. It uses egg extracts and milk proteins to cleanse while brightening, tightening, and leaving things looking pretty close to poreless. I like using this as a part of my morning routine, because it cuts down the perfect amount of oiliness and leaves such a smooth canvas for the rest of the day.

Too Cool For School Egg Cream Mask Hydration - I've been getting more into sheet masks lately because I love how deeply hydrating and replenishing they are. They are really great for brightening any hyper pigmentation, but this one especially is amazing at evening out skin tone. It contains egg extracts, coconut water, and niacinamide to smooth, hydrate, and plump the skin while lightening it for an even-toned complexion. I'm obsessed with the texture of these masks and how well they stay put while I'm wearing them. I use them when my skin is looking a little lackluster, to fight jet lag, or perk things up during that dreaded mid-week slump.

Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Cushy Blusher in Surf's Up - I don't want to give anything away, or play favorites - but for me, this is the standout product here. I love the moisturizing lightweight texture of this baby pink cheek stain. If your familiar with cushion compacts, this is like a portable and slightly more fluid version of that made for the cheeks. It gives a watercolor-like flush to the cheeks and really brightens them up, giving a super youthful hint of color. I love the shade of this, it's like candy but it washes over the skin for a more-than-natural look that I think would work perfectly with any makeup look.

Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Lip Balm in Pinky Pie - Keeping on theme with the cushion-like texture of these products, this hydrating lip balm is no different. It has a pretty brightening pink effect and the texture is both hydrating and refreshing at the same time. It's quickly become a handbag essential for a midday touch up. 

*pr samples included.
June 02, 2016
SKINCARE ADDITIONS FOR SPRING/SUMMER

SKINCARE ADDITIONS FOR SPRING/SUMMER

By now you know that when the weather changes, so does my skincare routine. Having combination skin, I look for ways to feed my skin the nourishment and moisture it needs without needing too many heavy layers of products. That being said I rely on lightweight serums and creams and a few potent treatments for brightening and tightening to keep things looking clear and bright. That way I don't have to wear heavily uncomfortable foundations when it's hotter than bearable...who else is with me in hating that overdone feeling in the summer? Here are the specific products I've added over the past few months and how I use them...

Cleansing - The La Prairie Foam Cleanser is perhaps the creamiest, most moisturizing foaming cleanser I've ever tried. Despite many foaming cleansers leaving my skin feeling dry, I've always preferred their one-stop-shop method of removing makeup and cleaning skin effectively. With this one I don't have to sacrifice moisture or comfort for that same quick cleansing experience. The rich creamy cleanser foams up and removes everything from waterproof liner to liquid lipstick and afterwards my skin feels baby soft. I love that the littlest dab will do as well. 

Post-Cleanse Treatments - The Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Peel takes the brand's classic peel pads to the next level by treating the skin with the ideal dose of retinol, which means your skin is getting an exfoliating, plumping, brightening and smoothing treatment all in one pad. After using these for a few weeks I can say that things are looking clearer, my pores are less noticeable and the surface is smoother and less bumpy. I think this could become a new addiction. To add back moisture before I go in with my serum and cream, I've been using the Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Essence. Aside from smelling like a walk through a New England garden, this fluid helps to add back plumpness and brightens the skin. I love how dewy and bouncy it makes my skin feel - even immediately after applying. All you need to do is press one to two pumps into the skin and then move onto the rest of your routine, but watch how this product will amplify the results of everything else. It's truly amazing stuff and the extra step makes my skin feel so hydrated and refreshed. 

Serum and Eye Cream - I've been loving the Darphin Hydraskin range, and the Intensive Skin Hydrating Serum is the most lightweight one I've ever come across. It contains shea butter to help skin generate moisture and love how it almost feels like another toning step on the skin. It really keeps the skin hydrated, plumped, and smoothed without leaving any tacky feeling on the skin. It's completely absorbed and leaves things feeling prepped for the next steps. For eye cream, I've switched my heavier creams to a serum, and have been using the Tata Harper Elixir Vitae Eye Serum religiously. I tend to get dark circles if I am dehydrated in the slightest, but this serum keeps the area looking bright and smooth - it's almost like an energy drink for the eyes. It has the most beautiful creamy serum consistency, and it sinks in almost immediately but prevents dehydration lines all day long and acts as a beautiful base for concealer. 

Moisturizers - For moisturizers I've gone to the lighter side. For day time I've been reaching for the Tatcha Balanced Pore Perfecting Water Gel, as it's an illuminating water-based gel moisturizer that feels superbly refreshing and light on the skin. It contains Japanese Wild Rose, Leopard Lily, Dokudami, and 23k gold dust to give the skin a glowy radiance without any shine. This stuff is a godsend for those of us who get a bit oily in the summer. It gives me the perfect amount of soothing and brightening moisture without clogging pores or feeling like you're wearing any thick layers. I'm a fan of this especially for day time because it cuts down on redness and shine, but adds a lit-from-within glow. For night time, I've been using the Darphin Hydraskin Light All Day Skin Hydrating Cream Gel. It's a bouncy cream that also feels as though it melts into a liquid when it's applied to the skin, but still manages to deliver some serious hydration. What I love most about it is that you can't feel it on the skin after, so it just feels as though the skin is comfortable and hydrated, but never greasy or oily. Seriously, these two moisturizers have been keeping my skin so hydrated and nourished without the heavy feel or pore-clogging oil. 

What changes do you make to your routine come the warmer months?

*pr samples included.