October 31, 2016
IRRESISTIBLE ME JADE HAIR STRAIGHTENING BRUSH

IRRESISTIBLE ME JADE HAIR STRAIGHTENING BRUSH

I don't straighten my hair too often anymore, so my straightener tends to be used more for adding beachy waves than anything else these days. Sometimes, though, I'm in a hurry and my thick, straight hair needs a bit of touching up before I can walk out the door. Recently, I've been using this Jade Straightening Brush from Irresistible me to add some sleek body to my hair and bend the ends a bit for a bit of a face-framing touch. 

The brush itself is extremely easy to use. It's a ceramic straightening brush with an adjustable temperature button that goes up to 450ºF and uses tourmaline coated bristles to heat style hair much faster than your average straightener. What I love best is that I can tell, because I'm not clenching my hair so harshly between two plates, that it's not damaging my hair. To use the straightening brush, I just pass small sections through the bristles like I would a regular hair brush, slowing down when I get to the ends and bending them in or out, to achieve a blow-out look. 

I think this brush is a great tool to add to any hairstyling arsenal. Have you tried a straightening brush before?

*pr samples included.
WHY NUXE SKINCARE IS PRETTY AWESOME

WHY NUXE SKINCARE IS PRETTY AWESOME

Nuxe is an integral part of the French "pharmacie" cult for good reason. The range is priced relatively low and offer products that look and feel luxe, not to mention, contain 91% all natural ingredients. That certainly isn't easy to come by in the American pharmacy. If you've been reading my blog since the beginning, you'll also know that the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse is one of my long-term loves in terms of body care products; it's an incredible multi-tasker of a dry oil. I can't believe it's taken me this long to give their skincare range a proper testing, but I'm so glad I finally have...

Let's start off with moisturizers. This is always a good place to start when venturing into a new product line, and is also a great category to try and save some money. Moisturizers are generally for just that - to give skin an added dose of moisture - and sometimes offer additional ingredients to soothe, brighten, or clarify if you choose a more tailored product. I tested out the Nuxe Crème Fraiche de Beauté, a milky softening cream that melts into the skin and gives it a comfortable, (never greasy) fresh feel for the entire day. I love how it can be used on so many different skin types - dry, sensitive, normal - and just creates a very soft, silky complexion. I used this after having a bad reaction to a certain acid toner and was so pleased with how it reduced redness, stopped itching, and helped my skin back to normal. I've also been using the pot version of the Nuxe Crème Fraiche de Beauté, and my skin loves that as well. It is a bit more intensely hydrating than it's liquid counterpart, but it leaves my skin with a soft matte feel even so. I'd recommend these beautiful creams to anyone who loves a moisturizer that sinks in completely with a more satin finish, and also to anyone with mildly sensitive skin. They're so soothing and comfortable, like your favorite white t-shirt.

Now, onto masks. You know how much I love to experiment with masks, and after testing the creams, I knew these would agree with me as well. The Nuxe Masque Purifiant Doux (or the Clarifying Cream Mask with Rose Petals) is the perfect detoxifying mask for someone with sensitive skin, that doesn't like the dry and tight feel that so many clay masks can leave. The rose helps to soften and tone the complexion, while coconut oil moisturizer, and kaolin draws out impurities. I love how gentle this mask is, and the poreless skin it leaves me with post-use (and never brings on breakouts like some). I've been using it once or twice weekly and have noticed a much more clear complexion. The Nuxe Crème Fraiche de Beauté Masque is another beautiful option for all skin types. This is a more fluid cream mask enriched with plant milks and is meant to de-stress and moisturize the skin, leaving it plumper with a beautiful rosy glow. I love how soft and fresh my skin feels after use; if you're looking sallow or tired this is the perfect antidote. 

In my opinion, these products feel so beautiful on the skin, and really work. They compare to the Sisley masks as well, but for less than a fifth of the price, consider them a steal. Run, don't walk to get your hands on these products...

*pr samples included.
October 28, 2016
TOSS THE NEEDLES, TRY THIS AMAZING TOPICAL FILLER

TOSS THE NEEDLES, TRY THIS AMAZING TOPICAL FILLER

Fillers are a topic on everyone's minds currently; one of the best ways to combat deeper wrinkles and fine lines. Unfortunately, many of us don't feel comfortable with the price and the invasiveness of injections...and others don't want to risk altering their appearance. I know I'm not the only one who's hoped that (with all the amazing technological advances in the beauty and medical industries) there would eventually be a topical product that could give similar results in home and do so in a non-invasive, safe way. That's why I couldn't have been more excited when hearing about Fillerina, a topical filler treatment with a Swiss patent that works at different levels to rectify wrinkles thanks to a combination of six different hyaluronic acids.

Of course, being someone in their 20's I don't have deep wrinkles just yet. Therefore, the Grade 1 kit was perfect for me, and works to correct early-onset, fine-to-moderate wrinkles and expression lines. The set is easy to use and, for me, worked almost instantly. I personally apply the treatment to my smile lines, lips, forehead lines, and the high points of my cheeks as recommended. There are two steps to the treatment, both of which are applied via perfect-dose syringes (these dispense the measured product, not inject) right onto troublesome areas. Phase 1 of the treatment is the hyaluronic acid treatment that penetrates skin's lower layers for instant line plumping and deep, consistent hydration. 

After waiting 10 minutes for Phase 1 to penetrate the skin, tap in excess and apply the Phase 2 Nourishing Film. The Nourishing Film is incredible, and makes my skin feel so comfortably smooth, hydrated and nourished thanks to a blend of vitamin E, shea butter, and meadowfoam seed oil. This application process is meant to be repeated once a day (either morning or night) for 14 days. I'm currently halfway through the process and can't believe how beautiful this has made my skin. My nasolabial folds (smile lines) have decreased in depth by about 50% and my lips feel smoother and plumper than they have in years. I absolutely love the results and can't wait to see how much more of an improvement will be made in the next 7 days of the treatment. I also love the how amazingly smooth the Phase 2 portion of the system has made my overall skin, and will definitely look into the other maintenance products the brand sells. 

So, in my opinion, it's time to toss the needles and give Fillerina a try. Will you try this amazing at-home treatment? (Get it here).

*pr samples included.
October 26, 2016
ILIA'S NOT JUST FOR GREEN BEAUTY LOVERS

ILIA'S NOT JUST FOR GREEN BEAUTY LOVERS

Ilia is a brand I've heard talk of among the green-beauty set for some time now, but the entirely new-to-me brand is actually worthy of much more hype than it receives. I started with the brand by testing out two of their hero products, and one new accessory...a buttery soft brush. Here are my thoughts and why I think you should place an order, like, now.

Ilia Soft Focus Finishing Powder in Fade Into You - The name pretty much sums it right up in this product's case. This über finely milled powder suits any and every skin tone and works wonders in real life pore-photoshopping. I love how smooth it makes my skin and the veil it creates to boost makeup longevity, without ever looking like powder (*shudders*), I love even more that it has an extremely fine bit of radiance in it to keep the complexion from looking flat. No makeup, makeup lovers - this one's for you.

Ilia Finishing Powder Brush - Your new do-it-all brush; the perfect tool to apply the aforementioned powder in the most seamless way imaginable. But wait, there's more. It's soft, tapered shape makes it quite versatile, and I love it for applying a very airbrushed bit of color to the cheeks, and a blown out bronze to the rest of the face. I also can't go without mentioning how luxe it is in general, the quality is completely amazing.

Ilia Lipstick Crayon in 99 Red Balloons - Are you into that whole Parisian-It-girl makeup look? If the answer isn't yes, Google Jeanne Damas and then you'll know why I love this lip crayon. It makes it easy to apply the perfect, pigmented and creamy color to the lips in whatever shape you please. Whether that means you want to overdraw your lip line (à la Jeanne) we won't tell...

This is green beauty gone luxe, and it's done in a way that French-it girls would very much approve of.

*pr samples included.

October 24, 2016
KÉRASTASE DENSIFIQUE

KÉRASTASE DENSIFIQUE

The ultimate in volume! I've been so much more experimental in recent months with my hair products, partly because I lightened my hair and partly because it's longer than it has been in ages. As a result, it's become heavier and therefore, harder to infuse with volume. I've been experimenting with different cleansing systems as a way to provide the appropriate base for more volume and have found serious winners in the Kérastase Densifique line. 

Kérastase Densifique Bodifying Shampoo - This beautifully-scented shampoo creates amazing volume thanks to a combination of hyaluronic acid and gluco peptides. These ingredients help to physically plump and lift the hair, while infusing it with lightweight moisture. I have to say I'm obsessed with the soft, swishy, perfectly balanced volume it creates in my hair! 

Kérastase Densifique Bodifying Mask - A mask that provides volume? I was just as shocked to find a product that provided my hair with both reparative moisture and volume at the same time, but I have! I love the silky texture of this mask, and how it rinses completely clean but leaves the hair smoothed and feeling even lighter than it did prior to use. A new must-have!

*product provided courtesy of Influenster, all opinions are my own.
October 21, 2016
LAURA MERCIER CANDLEGLOW COMPLEXION

LAURA MERCIER CANDLEGLOW COMPLEXION

You know how much I love lightweight, glowy textures (and Laura Mercier's Candleglow Foundation). So, when she launched two new products in the range I was more than a little excited. Right now, I'm all about a very lightweight base that sits somewhere in the middle of matte and dewy, and that doesn't cover the skin completely. I have a full review up on the Candleglow Foundation here, if you're interested, but today I'm chatting about my two new favorites from the brand that work perfectly to create that glowy bit of coverage that still looks like skin.

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder - A lightweight, sheer setting powder that leaves skin with a beautiful lumonisity. I absolutely love how this powder manages to sit on the skin like "skin" thanks to the finely-milled texture. It not only helps to create an airbrushed quality and help with makeup longevity, but it also makes the skin look lit-from-within and glowy in a subtle, natural way - no shimmer particles here. It's become my new go-to setting powder of choice for the unbeatable candle-light glow it brings skin!

Laura Mercier Candleglow Concealer and Highlighter - A concealer and highlighter in one? Count me in. This is a lightweight concealer and highlighter that works great in the undereye area and on cheekbones for a skin-like coverage and added dose of radiance. I especially like using a very small amount of my regular concealer and then tapping this on any dark areas to bring light. I also think that it makes for a beautifully subtle highlight that looks natural and dewy. Not to mention, it can be tossed into your bag and is perfect for on-the-go touch ups without making things look cakey.

*pr samples included.
http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524447053633&site_refer=GGLPRADS001&prod_id=0400092967042&cagpspn=pla&CAWELAID=500002830017009035&catargetid=500002830005596667&cadevice=c&gclid=CjwKEAjw-abABRDquOTJi8qdojwSJABt1S1ORdZWZd8xvUmJ4KtJdeIyhAOBX5PI3SzzfXWzHhOL8xoCaybw_wcB
LANCOME ENERGIE DE VIE

LANCOME ENERGIE DE VIE

Two Words. Streamlined skincare. I've said it before and I'll say it again; because I personally have been struggling with this piece of advice for years. Being a product addict is a hard gig, eh? I can't stop myself from trying new products. And I mean all the damn time. So the past few months have been about trying to find what in my (extensive) product lineup really works and what should get kicked to the curb, and there are a few products that have helped make that process much easier. Enter, Lancôme Énergie de Vie. Is it just me, or is Lancôme killing it lately with the product releases? 

Énergie de Vie is all about protecting the skin from the stressors of today (pollution, stress, lack of sleep) and doing so with lightweight, ultra hydrating textures. I am here to say that these products have done just that, and helped reduce the need for too many additional products. They are easy to use, and I imagine, will suit a variety of skin types due to their comforting textures and a collective slogan like "made of unstoppable energy." Now, tell me, who doesn't want that?

Lancôme Énergie de Vie The Smoothing & Glow Boosting Liquid Moisturizer - If it's dewy skin you're after, say hello to your new best friend. This antioxidant packed liquid moisturizer feels cooling and comforting on the skin, and is lightweight like a serum for easy product layering. I love how it provides such amazing hydration, while managing to brighten and awaken the skin almost instantly. It's like an energy drink for the skin!

Lancôme Énergie de Vie The Foam Cleanser - I've always been a foaming face wash kind of girl, so this really hit the spot for me. I love that it foams enough to cleanse the skin thoroughly, but it leaves skin feeling balanced and smooth afterwards instead of stripped, as some cleansers can do. What's more; it seems to refine my pores completely after each wash, and definitely has helped with texture issues over time as well. 

Lancôme Énergie de Vie The Overnight Recovery Sleeping Mask - Now this is a stunner of a product. If you're a fan of K-Beauty and bouncy, hydrating textures, you'll love this. This overnight mask not only feels amazing to the touch, but it melts into the skin and instantly comforts and hydrates without leaving a sticky residue. I love how bright and smooth my skin looks the next morning, thanks to ingredients like goji berries and lactic acid. I use this multiple times a week in place of a night cream and my skin has been loving the results. 

Have you tried the Lancôme Énergie de Vie line yet?

*pr samples included.
October 18, 2016
EMBRACING FALL MAKEUP: A MODERN CLASSIC LOOK & 5 STEPS TO ACHIEVE IT

EMBRACING FALL MAKEUP: A MODERN CLASSIC LOOK & 5 STEPS TO ACHIEVE IT

If there's any season change that gets me really excited for a makeup bag switch-up, it's fall. The look I love changes from year to year, and of course, tends to focus on highlighting one feature in a warm rich shade. It's obvious that right now, I'm all about a bold lip. I know what you're thinking; cue Miranda Priestly and sing it with me, "Bold lips for fall? Groundbreaking." Here are the four steps I'm currently taking to modernize the classic look and to give it a bit of added oomph...
  1. GOING SATIN - I'm jumping off the all over dewy (slightly tacky-in-finish) foundation bandwagon and onto the satin train. Once the temperatures drop I can finally layer up on the moisturizer, and therefore, start using a more satin-matte textured foundation again. I'm still a fan of the Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation (used sparingly), as it gives a translucent, soft finish when applied with fingers. It's more porcelain doll, and less post-gym than summer makeup.
  2. SUBTLE HIGHLIGHT - I'm not talking about full on strobing. In my opinion, highlighter should not be applied everywhere on the face. Disagree? Dip your face in a pot of glitter and walk into the sun - then tell me it's a good look. Instead, I'm all for a bit of a finely-milled powder highlight (I used Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter Pressed in Moonstone) buffed into the tops of cheekbones where the light hits naturally. It should be barely there, but make you radiant.
  3. WARM, BUT SHEER SHADOW - I'm loving a warm, medium brown shade lately, as I think it really works well with the tones of the season. Burberry Wet & Dry Eyeshadow in Almond is the perfect hue for adding a tiny bit of socket definition without having to go overboard on chalky shadows.
  4. BRUSHED-UP BROWS - My brows are pretty stubborn in their direction, but I love the effect of a bold brow paired with a bold lip. The most natural way to achieve a thicker looking brow isn't by drawing a block shape and coloring it in with brow pomade. Instead, try a fibrous gel like Benefit Gimme Brow and then fill in sparse areas only where needed - you should still be able to see skin through the brow hairs. 
  5. A BERRY OMBRÉ LIP - You heard right. I am giving the classic autumn lip shade added dimension and a twist by dabbing a lighting tone in the center of the lips. This trick also keeps a matte lipstick from looking too one-dimensional. I'm also a fan of this season's slightly more moisturizing take on matte formulas, like the Clinique Pop Liquid Lip Color + Primer. These are rich in pigment, but don't dry up the lips like some others tend to. Here I'm using the shades Boom Pop and Cake Pop, my two favorites. 
What changes are you making to your makeup routine this season?

*pr samples included.
October 17, 2016
CURRENT HAIR ROUTINE: TEXTURED WAVES TUTORIAL

CURRENT HAIR ROUTINE: TEXTURED WAVES TUTORIAL


Today I'm showing you guys my typical hair routine; the textured wavy look that I am so into right now. This is pretty much the only look I've been doing at the moment, so I've gotten pretty good at a figuring out the quickest ways to achieve it. Let me know if you like this style, and don't forget to subscribe to my channel for more videos!
October 14, 2016
GIORGIO ARMANI LIP MAGNET LIQUID LIPSTICK

GIORGIO ARMANI LIP MAGNET LIQUID LIPSTICK

I think we can all agree that this is one of the most exciting lip launches of 2016. As I've mentioned before, I'm not a huge fan of the drying uber-matte liquid lipsticks this year has seen, so when I heard about the Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet Liquid Lipsticks I knew it would be a fabulous alternative. 

According to Armani, these are, "the first liquid lipstick with intense colors and extremely fine texture." I have to agree. The consistency is weightless and provides a moisture-balancing veil of super pigmented color. These are called "magnets" for the way that the color adheres to the lips like a second skin. The finish is matte in the sense that there is no shimmer, but these are not your typical mattes. They are vibrant and contour the lip with a velvety stain like texture that doesn't leave your lips dehydrated. Even throughout the day, as the color wears off a bit, you're left with a beautiful and very concentrated color stain that isn't patchy or drying in the slightest. The applicator was designed perfectly for a precise swipe of color, and easily creates a defined and clean lip line. 

If you're looking to wear color this fall; make these your statement piece. They are the one 'can't live-without' lip product of the season, hands down. 

I've swatched the shades I have above so you can get a sense for the texture and vibrancy (I did a very quick, gentle swipe - but these can be built up even more). From left to right; 400, 301, 600, 601, 507, and 505. My favorite of the bunch is surprisingly the purply-mauve 600, it's a beautiful wine-like color perfect for fall.

Have you tried these yet?

*pr samples included.
October 13, 2016
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: BARCELONA TRAVEL DIARY (AND MINI CITY-GUIDE)

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: BARCELONA TRAVEL DIARY (AND MINI CITY-GUIDE)

If you follow me on instagram, there's no way you missed the fact that I was in Barcelona this past summer. It's a city I had heard such great things about but had never gotten around to visiting. However, in 2014 (when I first started this blog) I took a trip to Sevilla and Granada, a trip that I loved every minute of. So it's safe to say I was ready for a round two of Spain. This particular trip took me to Barcelona, and then for a week on gorgeous Mallorca - but more on that part later. For now, I'm going to tell you about Barcelona and of course, share some of the photos that I've been harboring in my iPhoto for the past few months. It's time they be shared...

Stay: We stayed at the Cotton House Hotel Barcelona. It's owned by Marriott, but remains a boutique hotel and part of their Autograph Collection, which means it has the best of both worlds; big hotel amenities with a boutique feel and level of service. Upon arrival, the room wasn't ready yet, so we were given the Vichy Suite for no extra cost. The suite was beautiful; complete with two floors, a beautiful spiral staircase, two bedrooms, a sitting room, and a large private terrace overlooking the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes. The hotel was uniquely designed and definitely boasted serious #interiorgoals like no other (check out that rooftop pool), not to mention...served the most delicious breakfast each morning in a dreamy setting.

See: While this post couldn't possibly contain all the places you should see in Barcelona (that would go on for days) - it does contain my top recommendations of what to do if you've only got a few days in Barcelona. 

First off, I recommend reading a bit about Gaudí on your journey over, if only to better understand and enjoy the major Gaudí tour you'll no doubt be going on. His beautiful structures and works of art are peppered throughout the city; which make up one of the two major types of architectural movements seen throughout the city's past. The style is called "Modernisme" and it was started by Gaudí during the turn of the 20th century. The unmissable sites (and examples of Modernisme created by Gaudí) are of course, the beautiful church of La Sagrada Familia, which wowed me beyond what I had expected, and Park Güell. La Sagrada Familia is still an ongoing project that was started by Gaudí in 1882, which is, in itself, incredible. The use of light inside the basilica is unlike anything I've seen before and is something I recommend everyone experience at least once. I know that I will make a return visit once the project is finished, so I can admire it once again. 

Park Güell is another must-see by the architect. The beautiful park was built in 1900 and is perched atop Carmel Hill, in the Gràcia district of the city - so needless to say - it's quite a hike to the top. You'll need to carve out an entire afternoon for this trip, as you'll want to wander the beautiful gardens, explore the beautiful Gaudí House Museum, and definitely don't miss the views from the cross-topped Turó del Calvari. I recommend wearing your most comfortable footwear and keeping your eyes open for some very authentic tapas restaurants on your way up (I'm getting increasingly hungry just typing these words). Also, make sure you don't miss a stroll by Gaudí's Casa Milà and Casa Batlló, even if you don't do the full tours inside the buildings. 

Other must-sees include the stunning 13th century Barcelona Cathedral (which I'd recommend taking the tour for), La Rambla (a famous shopping street), Plaça Reial (square located in the Barri Gòtic area of the city, where the lanterns were designed by Gaudí), Parc de la Ciutadella (stunning gardens with zoo), the El Born district (home to many tapas restaurants and Museu Picasso), and my personal favorite La Boqueria (a bustling food market filled with local delicacies). I also enjoyed walking down to the water's edge; both in the city center by the docks, and Barcelona beach.

Eat: El Nacional is a fun restaurant to go for a bustling vibe and to people watch. I loved that the space contained many different dining options within one restaurant. I loved the brasserie-style dining area, which had a nice varied menu with options of fish, meats, stews, and even a pasta option. I had the canneloni with béchamel, which I highly recommend!

Tapas 24 is another Barcelona gem that provides a really authentic and fun tapas experience. You will most likely have to wait to get in, but you won't be disappointed, it's worth it!

Cera 23 was another delicious restaurant with Spanish-style cuisine and a really cozy atmosphere. I recommend trying the buffalo burrata and the typical style steak - which were both delicious (and I'm not a huge fan of steak usually).

Have you visited Barcelona before? Do you have some of the same favorites?