July 29, 2016


By now, it's no surprise that I'm an advocate for a good face mist. They're one of my most used products, and for a number of reasons. So today I'm going to share three of my favorite ways to incorporate a face mist into your routine. I don't want to spoil too much, but whether you're after a skin refresh or some serious makeup longevity, you need one of these multi-taskers in your life. 

1) THE LAZY-GIRL TONER - One of the main reasons I used to skip toner in my routine was due to the fact that once I had finally removed my stubborn eye makeup, I just couldn't be bothered to open up another bottle, squeeze its contents onto a cotton pad and swipe it over my whole face. While I'm a lot less lazy in the skincare department now (I never go to sleep with my makeup on), one of the steps I actually look forward to is the refreshing post-cleanse spritz. I find that, as a result, my skin looks brighter, and remains more hydrated throughout the day. 

2) AN AFTERNOON PICK-ME-UP - Do you suffer from 3:00pm skin? You know - when you head to the bathroom and realize you look tired, your makeup has settled into fine lines, and you need a serious refresh - but you really don't have time for one? I promise you that the best quick-fix is a light, hydrating face mist. It instantly breathes life back into lackluster skin and helps to seamlessly gloss over any dull mid-day makeup. 

3) A MIRACLE MAKEUP SETTER - It turns out that caking on the powder isn't the best way to set makeup, after all. My favorite way to ensure a long-lasting and natural looking finish is to dust a light layer of powder along my t-zone to prevent oiliness, and then spritz on some face mist to add back a dewy glow and help mesh makeup into the skin for a natural look that stays put.

How do you incorporate face mists into your beauty routine?

(FYI, the featured mist is a limited edition Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist created in celebration of the product's 10 year anniversary. The beautiful peacock design was inspired by the famous Art-Nouveau of Budapest.) 

*pr samples included.


July 28, 2016


I've spent the last few (very hot) weeks swept up in the crisp, yet sensual notes of the latest fragrance release from Creed, Aventus for Her. The fragrance is just as opulent and commanding as you'd expect it to be, and after years of development the brand has created the perfect partner to their famed male fragrance, Aventus. Aventus for Her is a celebration of the most commanding women in history, and today, one who is confident and has a great impact on everyone and everything she touches in her life. 

The scent is without a doubt a fresh and fruity concoction, with a very luxe edge. It's a perfect year-round scent thanks to it's freshness, but thanks to the sandalwood and rose notes it also has a certain warmth to it that I love. It's a beautifully unique scent that is a definite attention-getter, like the women it was inspired by.

Top Notes: Green apple, pink berries, patchouli, Italian bergamot.

Middle Notes: Turkish and Bulgarian Roses, Styrax, Sandalwood Mysore, and musk. 

Base Notes: Sweet peach, cassis, lilac, amber, and ylang ylang. 

*pr samples included.

July 25, 2016


Rejoice! Hourglass has just launched a brand new foundation stick that sounds like everything I've ever dreamt a foundation to be. As you may have noticed, I've been getting more and more into stick foundations lately for more reasons than one. First off, they're super portable, secondly, you can swipe them directly on the skin and blend (no back-of-the-hand mixing palette necessary), and lastly, they provide big coverage with little product usage. The new Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick promises all the coverage of a concealer, the fluidity of a liquid, and the weightlessness of a powder - in one stick! How does it measure up to the claims?

Vanish is a first-of-its-kind stick concealer and foundation (in one!) with twice the amount of pigment than traditional foundations, so that just a few small swipes of product will provide a full-coverage, yet lightweight finish. Also worth noting is the compact, triangle-shaped stick, that offers a very precise application - even under the eyes and around the nose. I love this idea, as I often don't need as much product in certain areas and prefer being able to scribble on the exact amount of product that I want. 

As for the wear of the foundation, I was extremely impressed in terms of how smooth it wore on my skin all day long. I prepped my skin with my current moisturizer (Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream) and then went in with the Hourglass Veil Primer, which I love using for blurring pores and extending the wear of all my foundations. I figured that this would also be a necessary step for a stick foundation as well - as they tend to need more work in the priming and setting department to last all day. I only needed about 4 small swipes on my entire face to end up with a very even coverage, and this foundation was much easier to blend with a buffing brush than other stick foundations. Overall, the amount I used provided a solid medium coverage that could easily be built up to a fuller coverage due to the high intensity of pigments in the product. It gave my skin a smooth, poreless appearance and definitely seems more suited to my combination skin than other foundation sticks (i.e. Clinique Chubby Stick Foundation or MUFE Ultra HD Foundation Stick) - I was pleasantly surprised by the lasting power. It's also nice how little work in this requires in the blending department, and although I still prefer to use a separate concealer under my eyes (for brightening purposes, mainly) I think that this one does the job of covering bags and blemishes nicely as well. 

Huge thumbs up from me, Hourglass...again.

*pr samples included.

July 21, 2016


I've always been somewhat of a skeptic when it comes to attempting self-tan; that is, until trying out James Read's line of glow-giving products recently. I'll admit I spent my teens attempting to reach bronze-goddess status come summertime (thanks New England winters!), but in recent years I've ditched sun-worshipping altogether in favor of a healthier alternative - being pasty. Truly, I don't mind being so pale, especially considering the negative effects the sun has on skin, but I have to admit I have definitely missed that ever-so-slightly tanned effect now that it's time to expose my limbs again. Thankfully, James Read (tanning innovator extraordinaire) makes products that make it easy to get a truly natural-looking tan without having to even see the sun, and without overexerting yourself to do so. Here are the products that I haven't been able to put down all summer:

James Read Gradual Tan H20 Tan Mist - If you're a regular around here you'll no doubt know about my love of face mists. I love them using them as toners, for makeup prep and setting, and even as skin refreshers throughout the day. Leave it to James Read to infuse a gradual self-tanner into a refreshing rosewater infused face mist. It can be applied both before or after makeup, and over time you'll be left with an extremely natural, even looking subtle tan. For me, this is such an incredible product because face-tanning has always been the most difficult for me. This mist takes the "what if's" out of going darker and will have you glowing as though you've just gotten back from vacation. Yes, please.

James Read Overnight Tan Sleep Mask Tan Go Darker Body - I've never truly found a body tanning product that I love and could rely on. They were always either too messy, too dark, uncomfortable, too scented, or just too much work. This lightweight gel changes all of those things completely. It's safe to sleep in, so you don't have to apply during the day and wait around for the color to develop. Simply apply the gel with a tanning mitt (to avoid staining hands) before you go to sleep...you'll wake up with a perfectly natural tan and nourished glowing skin. I'm completely addicted.

James Read Tantour Sculpting Duo - This is not your ordinary contour duo - this sleek compact partners one self tan-infused mineral bronzer and a pearly highlighter - to create a lasting contoured and chiseled effect on the skin. I was blown away by this product; the bronzer is designed to deepen in color over a period of 4 hours, so that you're left with a more defined bone structure even after washing off your makeup. You heard right - this stuff is actually magic. I love that it's designed to last just the right amount of time on the skin as well, so even if you continue to use it daily, because of regular cleansing and exfoliating the color won't build up too much. A genius way to fake a more Gisele-like bone structure. 

*pr samples included.


July 19, 2016


Arya Essentials is an all-natural luxury skincare line that draws inspiration from the ancient practices and beauty rituals of Ayurveda. I have become more ingredient conscious over time and this new line combines luxury with real results and a beautiful philosophy. In Sanskrit, Arya means noble, precious, and pure - and it's safe to say the brand delivers on these principles. 

"Our collection does not contain any parabens, GMOs, sulfates, mineral oils, synthetic dyes, artificial fragrances, gluten or fillers. We carefully select organic, wild-crafted, and bio-dynamic ingredients from sustainable sources." 

I tested out a few of the line's core products and have been really enjoying the results, soothing ingredients, and of course, ritual of it all. Here are my thoughts on each...

Intensive Eye Balm - To me, this is such a standout and unique product in my routine. It has such an amazing velvety, balm-like texture that is ultra-hydrating yet non-greasy. It's a great eye product to use at night - expect to wake up with brighter, softer, more plumped skin around the eyes, thanks to the inclusion of antioxidants and effective botanicals.

Purifying Toner - Toner mist is a no-miss step in my cleansing routine, and this one has quickly risen to the top of the ranks. It contains Rose, Cucumber, and Tulsi to purify and balance the skin by moisturizing, brightening, and decongesting pores respectively. It smells amazing and I love how fine the mist is on the skin - it's one of those products that you can feel working right away and it really helps to refresh makeup throughout the day as well. 

Body Oil - I have come to love body oils as a way of achieving an overall glow and, of course, moisture. They truly deliver skin softening results, but what I look for is an oil that can give glow, fast absorbing moisture, and provide intensely nourishing ingredients. Arya Essentials' Body Oil is made up of an essential oil and herb blend that helps to calm the skin, balance, soothe and moisturize. It also contains some of the most luxurious oils out there; Neroli, Rosehip Seed, and Brahmi delay aging, regenerate cells, and help boost collagen production, while Coconut and Sesame oils deeply moisturize and help create the overall glowing effect we so badly want during the summer months. The scent is also deliciously light, yet therapeutic and layers so perfectly with other perfumes and lotions.

*pr samples included.

July 15, 2016


If you saw yesterday's first impressions video, you'll know just how excited I am to talk to you about this product. I'm calling it now that this is the biggest lip launch of the year...without question. Charlotte Tilbury just launched 12 new lipstick shades, inspired and in collaboration with 12 celebrities and their signature lip shades. Also worth noting is that a portion of all proceeds from the lipsticks will go toward an amazing charity called Women for Women International. It's beauty for a beautiful cause. 

The lipsticks themselves are, of course, amazing. The formula seems to be similar to that of Matte Revolution lipsticks, which are one of my all time favorite lipsticks for a soft matte, yet comfortable finish. The secret is in the antioxidant-infused formula, which includes Lipstick Tree (yes, really) as well as orchid extract to help smooth, moisturize, and protect lips. Additionally, like all of Charlotte's lipsticks, there are 3D pigments built right into the formula to help lips glow, creating the illusion of a fuller pout - which is what we're all after, am I right? I'm also such a fan of the squared off tip, which helps to apply the color in a more precise manner. I love how easily I can get right into the crevice and cupids bow of my lips with these bullets.

I've tried three shades so far, and have added each of them into my daily rotation. The boldest of my three is Miranda May, a bright coral pink that completely lights up the complexion and makes you look so fresh-faced when applied. Of course, I couldn't resist the nudes from the collection, and Super Cindy has quickly become one of my most reached-for daily shades. It is a beautiful nude with a hint of taupe that's reminiscent of the 90's look we've all been so into lately; not to mention, it pairs perfectly with a sienna inspired eye and contoured cheek. Lastly, I had to try a slightly pinkier nude like Kidman's Kiss, a gorgeous rose petal pinky nude that looks both retro and modern at the same time. I'm not usually a pink-lover, but this one strikes the perfect balance and I'm completely obsessed.

I think I may have to pick up a few additional colors from the collection - what would you recommend? These lipsticks are to. die. for. 

*pr samples included.

July 14, 2016


Join me over on my channel and watch me apply both new, and new-to-me products to my face while sharing my first impressions! I definitely discovered a new favorite lipstick and palette in this video, hope you discover something new worth trying as well! Don't forget to subscribe and give this video a thumbs up if you enjoy it. 

July 13, 2016


I'm constantly trying new skincare products, but there are certain standbys that certainly can't be missed in my routine, or else my skin suffers. Seriously; this past weekend I forgot to take my Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel pads with me when I left home. What happened to my skin? It looked drab, there was a serious lack of glow, and it felt so much less smooth. I definitely knew these pads had helped my skin to look brighter and overall, better, when I first introduced them into my routine - but it wasn't until I was without them that I realized that they really are one of the main products that keep my skin clear and deliver glow.

I've spoken about these amazing pads before here, and have since incorporated a few other versions of their award-winning peel pads into my routine as well. Most often, I use the Alpha Beta Peel Original Formula, because I find them to be gentle on my skin and cause absolutely no irritation. I also love that immediately after I use them, my skin feels smoother and has a bit more of a glow to it than it did before swiping the product over my face. Pretty amazing, right? 

Lately, I have also been alternating the original formula with the Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Peel at night to give my skin the dose of retinol it needs to keep clear and to keep fine lines at bay. I love how radiant my skin looks the next day - it's like an amped up version of the original and I always use them a few nights prior to a party or travel. If you're like me and have used the Original Formula for quite some time, I also suggest slotting a few of the Extra Strength Formula pads into your routine as well, just to give everything an extra boost every now and again. These ones seem to do some seriously intense brightening and rid of any unwanted rough texture completely!

If it's glow in the form of sunkissed skin I'm after, I've also been reaching for the amazing Alpha Beta Glow Pad for Face, because of the über natural, healthy dose of tan they give to skin. They work great on my olive complexion and always keep my skin clear at the same time. 

What step do you rely on in your routine for clear, glowing skin?

*pr samples included.


July 12, 2016


I love - I repeat, love - trying out new base products. But when it comes to knowing what works for me, I sure do. And one brand I know I can trust to help me nail my base when I need coverage, lasting power, and mostly reassurance, is Giorgio Armani. Their Luminous Silk Foundation was one of the first liquid foundations I actually enjoyed using, and is still my favorite for long-wearing medium coverage to this day. Essentially, I could be brand loyal and rock a pretty flawless complexion using just this roundup of products...

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation - SPF free - yes, seriously - satiny-smooth medium coverage foundation that makes skin glow, but not in an oily way. I have combination skin that can get dry on my cheeks and oily in my t-zone, and this foundation is easily one of the best for both areas. It does give the skin a bit of moisture, but it also sets down to a natural-satin finish and lasts all day long. It's the one I'll always reach for when I know I need my makeup to stay put and look pretty much perfect, especially if there's going to be any picture-taking happening. If you have an event coming up, say, a summer wedding to attend...this one will not fail you.  

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup - This was probably the original foundation that is super thin in consistency, yet delivers great coverage in a natural way. It's much less viscous than Luminous Silk, and definitely sits a bit more on the matte side of the spectrum, but I love it for days when I need coverage that fuses with my natural skin. I've also seen this work on a variety of different skin textures, whether dry or oily, thanks to the fact that it does contain oils that set down and create a customized finish depending on your skin type.

Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow Nourishing Fusion Makeup - Take the original Fusion foundation, and marry it with an oil base that creates the most incredible glow on the skin and feels nourishing throughout the day. The product is made up of pigments suspended in the oil mixture, so the result is a more sheer coverage than the original, but it is such a beautiful product for a natural coverage with a lit-from-within sheen. For me, it works beautifully in the winter and colder months to combat any dry patches and keep me looking healthy and radiant.

Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer - These shimmering fluids come in multiple different shades, and can be used for a variety of different purposes. If you choose a pale champagne shade, I'd suggest mixing it in with your foundation for a subtle, yet insanely beautiful, glow. I've been using the shade 11, a warm peachy pink with shimmering gold flecks, as a bronzer/blush/highlighter hybrid. Buffed onto the high points of the cheeks with a stippling brush on it's own, it manages to do the job of three products and makes skin glow. It also works beautifully on top of other blushes or bronzers to add a subtle radiance and amplify the other shades. 

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Powder Foundation - This tinted powder can be used as a full-on foundation, or as a setting powder for makeup. I personally like to use a liquid foundation, but usually do so in thin layers, so this is the perfect way to amp up the coverage and set things down for a lasting finish. The formula is oil-free, and the texture feels so lightweight, and almost creamy - so it is quite hydrating for a powder (amazing!), yet blurs imperfections and amps up coverage like a dream.

Giorgio Armani High Precision Retouch - I'm really not sure why there isn't more hype surrounding this concealer. It comes in a pocket-sized tube with an applicator that resembles an eyeliner brush, moreso than a concealer brush. It's actually a genius way to apply concealer without having to use a separate brush for smaller blemishes or hard-to-reach areas. I also love the texture of the product, a little goes a long way thanks to the intense pigmentation and yet, it never looks cakey or obvious. I love it for both under the eyes and on the rest of the face, and it's definitely one that's on-the-go friendly. You need this, I wouldn't steer you wrong.

What are your favorite Giorgio Armani base products?

*pr samples included.

July 08, 2016


You all know how much I love a palette and a good nude lip, so when these new iconic Laura Mercier collections were released exclusively at Nordstrom counters, I had a feeling I was looking at a few new makeup bag essentials. If anyone knows how to do classic colors and muted palettes, it Laura Mercier. You'll want to pay attention here, these sets contain just about all you'll need for a summer getaway. The three sets pictured consist of the following...

Flawless Icons Eye & Cheek Palette - This must-have eye and cheek essential palette comes in a sleek palette containing eight of the brand's beloved neutrals Eye Colours and two Matte Radiance Powders in a highlight and bronze shade. The shadows are truly some of the best in my collection, I always find myself reaching for them as no matter the finish, the texture is always so buttery, pigmented, and blendable. I also love the shade selection (Vie En Rose, Cashmere, Minx, African Violet, Stellar, Boudoir, Guava, and Espresso Bean), as there is the perfect balance between pale neutrals, rich shimmering browns, an unexpected but wearable violet, and a dark matte shade perfect for creating definition. As for the powders, I am not sure why I haven't tried these before - they are amazingly smooth, give a gorgeous glow to the skin that makes you look as though you've been airbrushed, and the shades couldn't be more on point. This will be going everywhere with me this summer, and beyond...

Twist & Pout Collection in Nudes and Roses - Each of these sets pairs the perfect lip color to its complementing liner, taking the guesswork out of choosing how to do just that. The Roses set contains a Lip Parfait Creamy Colourbalm in Raspberry Ripple and a Lip Pencil in Naked, while the Nudes set contains the shades Cinn-ful and Hazlenut Tea, respectively. I'm a longtime fan of the Creamy Colourbalms for their rich moisturizing finish and pigmented color, but I am so impressed by the lip pencils as well. The texture is lightweight, smooth, and doesn't sink into fine lines because of the perfect texture. At $25 for each kit, this is a complete steal (value of $49 if purchased separately) and I love that you're not left with a shade you won't use - the colors are beautiful

Get yours while they're available, exclusively at Nordstrom counters. 

*pr samples included.

July 07, 2016


If you've been reading my blog since the beginning (April 2014 to be exact), you'll know that one of my longtime favorite body products has been Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse. I have tried so many luxurious body oils and moisturizers, and yet, this one stands as the most fast-absorbing, deliciously scented option out there. So naturally, I was excited to test out a few other products that the brand has to offer, and here are my thoughts on my favorites...

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse - You know my love for this product is real. It's a wonderful dry oil that smells like heaven, is absorbed quickly, and comes in convenient spray packaging for easy, mess-free application. I've done a full review here, if you'd like a more in-depth rave on this multi-tasking hair, body, and face oil.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or - This stuff is like the J. Lo approved version of the original oil that we all love so much. It has the same delicious smell and nourishing, lightweight texture, but it contains tiny golden shimmering mineral particles to amp up the glow factor. If you are headed somewhere special and need to your limbs to look amazing...look no further than this beautiful radiant oil.

Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm - This is another longtime love of mine, and is truly unlike any other lip balm on the market. The thick, almost gritty, balm smells of orange and honey and contains a hefty dose of Vitamin E and Honey to nourish and plump the lips. It is one of the most effective treatments for chapped lips, in my opinion, and I even love leaving it on my lips overnight so that it sinks in as I sleep. I'm always so surprised to find it still there in the morning and my lips feeling plumped and silky smooth.

Nuxe Rêve de Miel Hand and Nail Cream - If you love the scent of the lip balm, you are going to go crazy for the scent of this hand cream. Think...the same effects of nourishing Honey and Vitamin E, but for your hands. I have been keeping this on my desk and applying it daily and have noticed my nails and hands look more youthful, soft, and my nails stronger. Talk about a handbag must-have...

Nuxe Nuxuriance Anti-Aging Eye and Lip Contour - This lightweight, yet nourishing cream does double duty at counteracting the effects of aging on both eyes and lips. It contains Saffron and Bougainvillea to help prevent wrinkles, tighten the skin, lighten dark spots, and of course depuff and brighten. I am obsessed with this little multi-tasking gem and even notice the lines around my lips appear much smoother and more taught in addition to the skin around my eyes. Double duty products that work wonders like this one are must-haves in our busy lives!

*pr samples included.

July 06, 2016


When founder, Rachel Katzman, found herself soaked in champagne on her birthday, the results were surprisingly tousled, sexy, effortless, and of course, luxurious-feeling hair. So, using this as the inspiration for a new generation of hair products, she developed Cuvée Beauty. Champagne inspired hair, with fragrances sourced from Grasse, France, the fragrance capital of the world? Count me in. 

Having already been a big fan of the exact type of hair Katzman wanted to recreate, I knew this line would be a great fit in my daily routine. I am always trying to achieve that exact hair...swishy, soft, tousled, effortless...that's exactly what I look for in my end-result. It just always ends up taking a few more steps than planned. Let me just say, Cuvée cut out the middle man and made it much easier to obtain that look without as much styling or retouching. 

The Cuvée Complex is a hair elixir that contains a blend of multi-vitamins to restore hair back to health and a neutral texture. It's meant to be used in-shower, but is nothing like any of the other heavy hair masks I've used before. You use this lotion in between your shampoo and conditioner and are left with soft, healthy, swishy hair that feels light and never overly moisturized. For someone with heavy hair that tends to sit on the oilier side of the spectrum, this treatment is nothing short of a godsend. I've found that after using it for a few weeks consistently, it has helped keep my hair and ends looking super nourished...even though it's been almost a year since my last cut (shhh...). 

Then there's the Cuvée Texture Spray, a product I can't quite contain my excitement for. It sits somewhere in between a texturizing spray and a wave spray, but it does the best of both, and manages to cut out the need for an extra product. The smell is nothing short of addictive, and I love the movement it creates in my hair, whether it's used wet or dry, it helps to give me that lived-in texture and slight bend that I'm always trying so desperately to create. Luckily, you don't have to worry about overdoing application either. The lightweight and conditioning formula allows you to spray it on your hair when it's wet to create a bit of wave, and then again once it's dry to hold the style in place and add that second-hair feel. You need this in your hair product arsenal...immediately.

*pr samples included.

July 05, 2016


Sometimes you're just in the mood for a lot of lash, sometimes you want things to look more natural. Whether or not we were blessed with naturally fluffy, fluttery, or full lashes...there are still ways mascaras made to help you achieve just that. I have a few favorites, both new and old, that help me achieve whatever lash look I'm aiming for that day. So, if I want...

DRAMA - It's Tom Ford Extreme Mascara. This mascara is pricey, but brings the drama on all fronts. It kind of gives lashes an all around amped up look, with an almost spidery lash finish. I'm personally a fan of big lashes almost always - so for me, it's a dreamy formula. It also never flakes, or smudges, which is another big no-no in my book. Even the non-waterproof version of this mascara can hold a curl, and it gives well-held matte finish.

VOLUME - It's Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. If you have small lashes that are in desperate need of volume, look no further. This one does the best job of making it look as though you have many more lashes than you actually do, which is why it's the newest induction into my mascara hall of fame. It also has a special wand that grabs the inner and outermost lashes better than most others, so that you can make the most of what you do have and really intensify the look of them. This mascara gives that flirty, fluttery lash and the finish sits somewhere in between matte and glossy - which is beautiful for both day and nighttime looks.

CONTROL - It's Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Escalator Mascara. The prickly, but not sharp, wand helps comb the rubbery, fibrous formula through lashes for a very natural, but very black effect. It gives extreme separation to the lashes so that the actual mascara is undetectable, but your lashes look amazing. It holds a curl and my lashes up throughout the day, and the look is defined, lengthened, but still very "my lashes, but better."

*pr samples included.


July 01, 2016


Come pack with me for 4th of July weekend! I love these types of videos, so I thought it would be fun to give you a peek into what's inside my makeup bag this long weekend away. I hope you enjoy and don't forget to subscribe to see my next video...which is an exciting one!
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