August 31, 2017
August's Best New Beauty Launches

August's Best New Beauty Launches

We've reached the end of another month (how is tomorrow September already?!); one filled with quite a few genius new launches in the makeup and skincare department. With such an oversaturated market, it can be hard to weed through in order to discover your standbys. But, the more I try, the more tough my criteria seem to become for allowing one of said new launches into my daily beauty routine. With the introduction of many new lip products and a dewy base, these are the five products that broke through the wall (GOT reference, in case you were wondering) of my routine and became daily favorites.
Estēe Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup - This über-fluid foundation feels so light on the skin, yet really perfects with a medium coverage. I love the finish of this foundation, it's on the dewier end of the satin spectrum, but I love how it subtly hydrates skin throughout the day...which means it prevents creasing or feathering. I know this is cliché, but it does give skin that "lit-from-within" radiance (sans shimmer) while managing to last throughout the work day. My one gripe is that it doesn't come equipped with a pump - but for how incredible this foundation is - I think I'll survive.

Guerlain Météorites Baby Glow Touch - I can't tell you how happy I am that Guerlain created a more portable, dewier version of their cult classic product. I've loved Météorites since I was young; in fact, they were one of my first luxury product purchases! This stick version looks just as dreamy in the stick as it does on the skin, providing a subtle blush and highlight in one. My favorite of the two available shades is Golden Glow, as it contains a golden pink, pearl highlight, and peachy tan color for a trio of seriously fresh luminosity.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Absolute Filler - I've spoken about this recently in a dedicated post, because it's just that amazing, however I couldn't highlight the best new launches without giving it mention. It's a not-so-simple moisturizer that acts as a skin-plumping filler thanks to Caviar Absolute, a more potent version of its classic Skin Caviar ingredient. It is jam-packed with nutrients that hydrate, lift, firm, and add radiance all while filling in fine lines and subtle wrinkles. Consider this a serious skin-health investment.

Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Shine Lipstick - #201 is my favorite, but I am in love with the formula of this lipstick in general. This is a moisturizing, creamy lipstick and I have to say I'm so glad to see all of the super drying lipsticks that have been trending for so long, go. I don't mind a matte red every now and then, but if it's healthy, plump lips with a sheen your after, these are your friend. With so many gorgeous shades to choose from, this will undoubtedly be a new favorite lipstick range.

Dior Addict Lip Tattoo - Luckily, there's still a way to get the lasting power of a matte lipstick, without the drying, wrinkled-lip effect that they often carried. Allow me to introduce you to the Dior Addict Lip Tattoo, a stain like lip glaze that has a dewy-satin finish and hydrates the lips while providing a long-lasting stain that remains for hours. I'm sure it will come as no surprise to you that the shade Natural Rosewood is my favorite, for its tawny rose hue that looks like an enhanced and slightly darkened version of my natural lip color.

*pr samples included.
August 29, 2017
How To: The Modern Messy Wave

How To: The Modern Messy Wave

I'm the first to admit that it's easy to get stuck in a hair rut. And, while I do like the loosely curled style I typically go for, I've recently been trying my hand at a more modern version of the ever-popular messy wave. I guess the correct term for this kind of wave is an "S Wave", which has become highly sought after ever since celeb stylist, Jen Atkin revealed it's often the technique she uses on clients to achieve a more natural-looking beachy wave. I'm so excited that I've finally mastered this technique - and gosh - it makes that "French/Cool-Girl" hair feel so much more within reach.

To do this style yourself, you'll need a straightener, an oil (or smoothing serum) and a salt spray. I personally love the Ouai Rose Hair & Body Oil because it smooths frizz but is so light, and the Rahua Enchanted Island Salt Spray for the amazing texture it gives your hair without feeling crunchy. I have to say, I watched Jen's video multiple times to ensure I'd do this correctly and not end up looking like the fifth-grade version of myself who used to crimp my hair for school. Lol...shoutout to my awkward stage.
To start out, I like to separate my hair into two sections: the right and left side. Leave the front two pieces out on either side of your head, and taking a one inch section of hair, begin styling about 2-3 inches down from the root. Bend the hair in a downward (or under) motion, and then back upward, and repeat, ensuring your movements are fluid and relatively slow until an inch before the ends of your hair. Rushing and not making fluid movements will result in a bent look, which is a dead giveaway for iron use. It's important to leave the ends out to avoid that prom-curl look; this style is supposed to look really effortless and as though you slept on it wet and "woke up like this."

Once you've done this to all but the front pieces, take the iron and create a regular curl on the front pieces, ensuring you don't curl the end sections still. If you want to get an even more natural look, grab a few random pieces throughout your hair and do this same step so that your waves don't look uniform. 
Now that you're finished with your heat styling, grab the wave spray and spritz the mid-lengths of your hair throughout. After you've done this, I find that scrunching and just giving the hair a bit of a shake will help to define the waves and give that piecey look. 

Then, use a drop or two of the hair oil, massage it into your palms and run it over any areas of your hair that have flyaways. Even though this is a messier, lower-maintenance style, I still like to do this step so that the hair looks healthy and polished.
That is it! Again, you can watch Jen Atkin's video to make sure you get the idea before giving this a go yourself; but just as she mentions, don't overthink it. It's actually easy and lasts very well. In fact, I'm sort of even more in love with this style on the second day. 

Have you tried this style before?
August 28, 2017
The Recipe: Blackberry Lemoncello Fizz

The Recipe: Blackberry Lemoncello Fizz

I'm not sure about you, but to me, Monday feels like the perfect time for a cocktail recipe post. Either way, we're headed for a long weekend, so adding another idea to your repertoire is never a bad idea. 

Over the last year I've been really into experimenting with crafting pretty cocktails, and lately, this Blackberry Lemoncello Fizz has been one of my favorites. It's easy to make, has the perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors and is made even better by the refreshing bubbles. To me, this is the perfect treat to enjoy after a long day at work during the summer (& any season); just be warned...you'll be tempted to have more than one. 

Continue reading for the recipe!
I love the simplicity of this drink, which I came up with while experimenting with Champagne and Prosecco-based recipes. I'm such a fan of a good sparkling cocktail, as I think the bubbles give it a bit of a bright, fun aspect. This drink is essentially a sweeter, less alcoholic take on the better-known Prosecco Limoncello cocktail, which in all honestly, can be a bit too tart and lemony for my liking. I find that when sweetened with a bit of Blackberry simple syrup, it becomes a bit sweeter and less sour, but still has that refreshing kick. 

How to make Blackberry Simple Syrup:
Ten Blackberries
Equal Parts Water & Sugar (with 10 blackberries, I typically use 1 cup sugar & 1 cup water. But, make as much as you'd like as it keeps for a month refrigerated)

Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and heat the ingredients until the sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be completely clear when you take it off the burner. 
Pour the mixture into a mason jar, or glass jar and add the blackberries to steep. Leave them in the syrup until the mixture is cooled, and then strain. Now you're all set to use the syrup; see easy!

Ingredients (Makes 2 drinks): 
.5 oz (or more, if you prefer sweeter) Blackberry Simple Syrup
1.5 oz Limoncello
Lemon juice
Prosecco (chilled)
Lavender (for garnish)

First, add ice to a cocktail shaker. The, add in the Blackberry Simple Syrup, Limoncello, and a splash of lemon juice to taste into the shaker and mix until combined. 
Pour the mixture into a coupe (or Champagne flute) and top with chilled Prosecco. 
I also like to add a sprig of lavender for garnish.

That's it; a deliciously fruity, sweet and tangy bubbly drink! Will you be making this sometime this week? 
August 22, 2017
A New Launch From La Prairie & My Experience With the Caviar Range

A New Launch From La Prairie & My Experience With the Caviar Range

La Prairie is one of those brands that makes a splash in the beauty world every time they release a new product. After years of reviewing skincare and beauty products in general, I can sincerely say that there is a reason why the brand's products are surrounded by so much hype and praise. 

It's because they truly are some of the fastest-working, most effective skincare products out there, regardless of their price point. 

I know the price tags on some of the products are a bit intimidating, but in my opinion, you're better off splurging on a product you know will work than you are having shelves and shelves filled with products that will never be used, and don't work. And, while I've loved so many of the products I've tried from the brand, I will say that the ones that have stood out most to me are those in the Caviar range.
Needless to say, when I heard about the latest addition to the line, the Skin Caviar Absolute Filler, I couldn't wait to give it a go. While many of the La Prairie's products contain their signature age-defying Skin Caviar, this daily moisturizer is the first to contain a blend of potent Caviar Absolute, which helps prevent the loss of volume in the skin. The nutrient blend derived from the caviar helps to tone the skin, redefine contours, moisturize, and plump fine lines. 

Personally, I have to say that this is one of the most incredible skincare products I've ever tried. I always am in awe of how La Prairie manages to create such rich products that are absorbed into the skin immediately and leave no uncomfortable residue behind; just silky, plumped skin that looks bright and clear. After just a week of use I can confirm that my smile lines have lessened, along with the expression lines I tend to get in between my brows. I can't wait to see what the results will be after a few weeks, or months of using this miracle cream.
As I mentioned, my skin just loves the Caviar product range, and another one of my favorite products is the Skin Caviar Essence in Lotion. I use this everyday after I cleanse and it gives my skin the most silky, hydrated feeling...fully preparing it for the products that come next.
Another new-to-me product is the Skin Caviar Liquid Lift. I recently started using this and have become completely addicted to this ultra-nourishing serum. Not only does it leave me with that same super soft, smooth surface that the Caviar products always do, but it also gives my skin a lifted, firm look. It's so ideal for use when you haven't exactly had enough sleep, or perhaps you're dehydrated and need a boost in the luminosity department. Over time, using this serum will help to boost elasticity and give the skin a more taught look.
Last, but certainly not least, I'll mention the Skin Caviar Concealer and Foundation. This foundation and concealer duo has the most incredibly hydrating formula, but always leaves my combination skin with a satin finish, so I'm glowy, but not oily. It also boasts some serious anti-aging benefits, just as the rest of the Caviar products do. I love being able to wear makeup that I know is as good for my skin as it looks good. This blurs fine lines, provides incredible coverage, and leaves my skin feeling refined when it's removed later in the day.

Have you tried the Skin Caviar products from La Prairie? I'd love to hear your thoughts...

*pr samples included.
August 19, 2017
My Transitional Scent Picks: Summer to Fall

My Transitional Scent Picks: Summer to Fall

Fragrances are one of those beauty items that I just can't seem to get enough of. I have bottles of scents in my cupboards, on display in my bathroom and on my vanity, and yet I am always intrigued when I see a new scent being recommended or talked about. Because scent directly relates to memories, I often use them to evoke emotions that I felt during a certain time...and that really rings true when it comes to the change of seasons. Yes, it's only August right now, but that change is going to start happening over the course of the next four weeks. Soon enough we'll be back to wearing jeans, chunky-knit sweaters and boots while sipping hot beverages under the tawny autumn leafed trees. 

This is when I'll begin making the switch to those scents with a bit more warmth, but I still like them to be lighter and versatile enough to wear on those hot days during Indian summer. 
Atelier Cologne Clémentine California - This citrus scent isn't your average, and I mean that in the best possible way. Bright, slightly sweet clementine notes are balanced with a spicy green characteristic thanks to juniper and pepper. What's even better is that after it sits on the skin for a bit, the vetiver base creates a warmth I liken to smelling like soft, clean soapy skin.

Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom - Crushed cardamom and a fresh floral note that has a citrus like sparkle to it make this one a great pick for all year. It's just the right amount floral, green, and zesty with a base of amber that draws you in.

Le Labo Santal 33 - They say you can't go one block in NYC without smelling someone wearing Santal 33. It really is a cult fragrance, but try it on for yourself and you'll realize that it garners more compliments and intrigue than any outfit has ever received. It has notes of tobacco and leather, but to me, the overall scent smells of leathery, warm green figs. You've been warned, because you will become addicted.
Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt - This scent, to me, encapsulates that freshly cleaned feel of a shower after a day at the beach. It has a salty warmth and woodsy, mineral notes that round it out perfectly and will have you reaching for a spritz every time you walk by. It truly encapsulates a day at the New England seaside if you ask me, so it holds a place close to my heart.

Nuxe Prodigieux - A white floral with notes of vanilla, coconut and citrus that smells incredible and warm all year round. If you are a fan of their cult dry oil spray, than this will be a welcomed (and inexpensive) addition to your scent wardrobe.

Byredo Mojave Ghost - Musk, amber, magnolia and violet give this scent a sparkling characteristic and a warm, inimitable finish that stays close to the skin in the best possible way. The lasting power is incredible here; I love that I can smell it on my clothes the next day and how soft and romantic the lingering scent is. 

Goop Edition 02 Shisho - This earthy, green, herbal fragrance is definitely an acquired taste, but if you like essential oils and natural scents than this is one for you. It is an all natural scent with a heavy focus on the palo santo note, which is reminiscent of cool air and the forest floor.
Byredo Bal D'Afrique - This is a warm yet sparkling scent with notes of vetiver, violet, vetiver, bergamot and neroli that somehow combines to form a unique, green pineapple like scent. I love how different this is, I have never come across anything like this before. I'm also slowly realizing how much I enjoy fragrances with violet and green notes. 

Maison Margeila Replica Lazy Sunday Morning - Clean laundry and soapy skin is the best way I can describe this scent, which was inspired by a Sunday morning spend snoozing in fresh linen sheets. It's a classic scent that I always reach for when I am not in the mood for a "perfumey" scent, but still want to feel fresh. 

What scents do you love during this time of the year? 
August 13, 2017
The 5 Types of Masks You Actually Need

The 5 Types of Masks You Actually Need

Masks have always been an integral part of my skincare routine for treating specific skin conditions as they arise, as well as for maintaining soft, glowy skin all year round. While I love masks and use them religiously, it can also be quite hard to go through entire pots of product before they dry up or expire. That's why I'm sharing which 5 types of masks you truly *need* in your routine to tackle pretty much any skin concern you may have.
1) Moisturizing Mask - Every skin type can benefit from this treatment, which helps give back a soft, dewy feel to even the driest of skin. One of my personal favorites is the Sisley Express Flower Gel Mask, which can be used different ways depending on your skin type. If you have dry skin, this can be left on to be fully absorbed, and if you have oilier skin, you can cleanse or remove excess after 5-10 minutes. Either way, softer, fresher and plumper skin is what this will leave you with.
2) Exfoliating Mask - I always keep a chemical exfoliator on hand for moments when your skin needs a bit of help in the glow department. Not only do these instantly give the appearance of tighter skin and a brighter tone; overtime, they also help you to maintain clear, blemish-free skin. The Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask is a long-time favorite for it's natural formula and fast-results.
3) Detoxifying Mask - These types of treatments should be looked at as multi-taskers if you ask me. They are typically clay-based and draw out impurities, but some can also be rich in nutrients that make the skin glow post-use, and can even be used as spot treatments for blemishes. My favorite non-drying clay mask that leaves my skin feeling balanced and poreless is the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask.
4) Perfecting Mask - These types of masks are great for anti-aging, toning and refreshing the skin so that it looks more plump and fresh. The Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask is the holy-grail in this department as far as I'm concerned. It feels amazing on the skin - like cold, whipped cucumber and tea - and soothes the skin while giving it a lifted appearance and dose of moisture.
5) Overnight Mask - Want to wake up to smooth, bright, and well-rested skin? Then you'll want to give overnight masks a go. They often feel similar to moisturizers, but are packed with active ingredients and boast hydrating properties like no other. The Lancôme Energie de Vie Overnight Recovery Sleeping Mask is a favorite for it's thin, cushiony texture that melts into the skin instantly and leaves skin feeling soothed and radiant come morning.
What are some of your mask staples?
August 08, 2017
My Current Everyday Summer Makeup Routine

My Current Everyday Summer Makeup Routine

You may have gathered from my lack of posts lately that the past months have been busy ones. And no...I haven't been traveling the globe as I wish I were; instead I've been busy with work, spending time with friends and family on the weekends, and I have genuinely tried to enjoy what little free time I can find. Before I get into my busy-girl summer beauty routine, I do, however, want to mention that I will be posting fresh content much more often around here now, so stick around! I've missed writing regularly and have returned feeling more inspired to create new articles, and some even on topics you haven't seen from me before. 
Of course, it wouldn't be the Necessary Nothings you know (and hopefully love) without a good beauty chat first. It's been a while since I've updated you on my full daily beauty routine and it's about time because there are some products I haven't been able to put down. You'll notice a few trends amongst the products I'm loving, and while they're not all brand new releases they are simply some of the best I've ever come across - new and old - for creating a fresh, glowy look in a short period of time that really lasts.

First off, as I'm now passed my mid-twenties, I make sure to apply sunscreen daily and the one I've grown most fond of is the Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen. After applying a pea-sized amount of this all over, on a typical day I'll use a perfectly balanced base like the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. I'll save you the smalltalk on this product because you've heard its praises sung before, but it really is the best lightweight base with medium coverage.
After foundation, I apply my new favorite concealer, the Nars Soft Matte Concealer with my fingers on the innermost corners of my eyes and then go in with a bit of blush. After a year of using it, I can confidently say that the Lancôme Cushion Blush is one of my all-time favorites for it's watercolor like dose of color. It's virtually undetectable on the skin, which I love. Sometimes I dab the La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush in Berry Glow overtop for a bit of extra longevity and for a more tawny, brown based color.
You'll notice that I'm all about a bit of product customization by mixing a few to get the right finish and color for your skin tone. For highlight, I like to be glowy...but I also like a bit of strategically placed iridescence, so I use a combination of the Burberry Fresh Glow Highlighting Pen on the inner corners of my eyes and down my nose, and the Rituel de Fille Rare Light Luminizer in Ghost Light along my cheekbones for that opal effect.

On my lids, if I'm feeling a very natural look I will sometimes skip shadow or use a light stroke of the Burberry highlighting pen along my lids for a more awakened look. If I do need a bit of definition, I will almost always reach for one of my trusty shadow sticks. I love the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks, the By Terry Ombre Blackstars, and the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Sticks.
Then, it's time for a lick slathering of mascara, which I can honestly say changes often, but right now I'm loving this one from Dior. At this point, I'll also tend to my brows with the Glossier Boy Brow and a bit of pencil in sparse areas. During the summer, I'm very low maintenance with my lip products, so I'll either reach for a balm, sheer lipstick, or a light layer of my perfect nude...the Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Lipstick in Super Cindy.

As a fragrance addict, I also can't leave the house with a spritz or two of my scent du jour. Right now, I'm back to loving the Byredo Bal D'Afrique and Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt
And voila! That's my current routine complete. I will give myself a bit of a spritz with a setting spray and tousle my hair...then I'm off. All of these steps may seem lengthy, but I'm being completely honest when I tell you that this takes me about 7 minutes. I use my fingers for most of the steps and occasionally grab a brush for a bit of added blend. I am really happy with this routine at the moment, so I hope you've picked up some good recommendations here. 

What are your favorite summer makeup products for a quick but healthy look?