Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer0

priming moisturizers are everywhere.

since glossier launched (what i believe to be) the OG in 2014, other brands have popped up on the scene with their own version of this multitasker. i can get on board with anything that helps me to skip a step and slather just a little less product on my face, but i am yet to find one that works seamlessly with my skin type. glossier’s was a little light and the caudalie take was nice and hydrating, but gave way to mid-day shine, more so than when i went without primer altogether.

in short, i’ve been stumped on this trend – until now.

leave it to a truly fab (wink!) little skincare brand to create the ultimate response to the beauty industry’s cry for two-steps-in-one moisture and prep. first aid beauty hello FAB coconut skin smoothie priming moisturizer actually does one better than all of the other options in market. not only does it hydrate (oil-free i might add) and prime (smooths and blurs my uneven texture and minimal breakouts), but it also visibly brightens with a natural, dewy glow.

out of the tube, the product is an ivory-champagne shade and once you smooth it into place, you’ll instantly notice the micro-pearls designed to reflect light and keep things looking luminous. it definitely doesn’t go glittery on your skin, though – the slight shimmer is only noticeable on my fingertips after i apply. it hydrates beautifully without feeling heavy and, considering that i added this to my routine in february when my skin is oh-so-slightly flaking off, i’m taking this is a pretty good sign that it would work for drier skin types, too.

i love the way that the formula grips on to makeup without clogging my pores. it keeps my look locked all day long, but is very easy to remove and hasn’t irritated my sensitive skin in the least. it plays nicely with my current favorite foundations (one for work and one for off duty, natch) and at $28, i’m pretty sure that this tube is going to replace far more expensive routines on vanities everywhere.

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sephora strays away set of 4 mini tweezers0

these caught me eye in the ever-problematic sephora beauty on the fly section yesterday. (i swear, between that and the target dollar zone, my checking account is going down in flames.) i’m obsessed with their tiny size and tip variation, ensuring that no stray hair is safe – no matter where you are. they are impressively well-made and already making me feel like i have my very own brow boutique going on. plus, at a cost less than a third of what i normally pay for tweezers, i’ve got four sweet little solutions for every single brow emergency.

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stroke of beauty density+ fiber brow gel0


i feel like this one has been with me so long, popping in and out of my routine, that i must have written about it already, but somehow it escaped a full review.

so, here we are.

i think you know that with my brows, it’s complicated. the hair is dark, but kind of patchy – and with fair skin underneath it can make the whole situation seem very much like a hot mess. even when they’re freshly waxed, it still takes some grooming to get them looking presentable, so i’m often on the hunt for something that pulls them together quickly and naturally.

i’ve been switching off between this and this, but they are both kind of falling short as of late. today, at a bit of a loss, i pulled my third option out of the drawer and decided to do one brow with benefit and one brow with this density+ fiber brow gel.

WHOA. what a difference.

it’s definitely the presence of fibers in holly mordini’s stroke of beauty product that gives my brows the oomph they really need. instead of just filling in the white spots (which it does, seamlessly) the fibers actually add in some volume and make it look like i’ve got hairs in places i don’t. it adds the darkness that i crave but also kind of tricks the eye into thinking i’ve got fuller arches than i really do.


if you’re tired of brow gels that only tint and you’re looking for something that’s a step above, try the tiny tube you’ve probably never heard of. i think you’ll find that it kicks these other wannabes to the curb and brings something much better to the table.

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becca under eye brightening corrector1

the most crucial face-changing part of my beauty routine has quickly become under eye brightening. my dark circles are not severe enough to require real “concealing” but they have been intensifying past the point that this cream is able to remain my go-to solution.

so when reviews of becca under eye brightening corrector popped up around the web, it rose to the top of my wish list almost instantly. everyone was obsessed with this stuff and the moral of the story seemed to be somewhere along the lines of “blurring dark circles? no. more like causing them to vanish without a trace to be seen anywhere until the end of time.”

game on.

as i have been testing this pot of miracle corrector, i have to say that the reviewers were correct. i gently press one finger pat into the area under my eyes, starting very close to the water line and progressing down into the triangle of light. the consistency is perfect (not too thin or too thick) and it’s slightly tacky, so it stays where you put it and remains there all day long. (note: you definitely want to use your finger to apply since i think the heat helps it to blend out the most seamlessly.)

it erases all under eye darkness on contact and once my foundation is layered over top, all that remains is a subtle light-reflecting brightness where dullness used to live. it does not crease or settle into the lovely little crop of fine lines that i’m collecting beneath my lashes and i love the way that it preps skin for a smooth foundation application and coverage.

all in all, i am very impressed with this one. it came across my desk at just the right time – and as life continues to throw curve balls my way (welcome to #adulting) it’s nice to know that there’s something incredibly reliable living on my vanity.

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SEPHORA COLLECTION Sephora PRO Dimensional Highlighting Palette0

have you ever seen anything more gorgeous in your life?

(except for this and maybe also this – the brands are really bringing the pretty this spring!)

it’s catching major editor buzz for seriously stunning formulas – let alone that killer iridescent packaging. this is vanity candy at its finest.

also, the cool version of this cream highlighter palette is so beautiful that i don’t even care that technically i’m a “warm” – because i’m probably going to lock it in a drawer, never use it, and only gaze at it on occasion anyway.


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my skincare wish list0


i would adore all of the time in the world to amble around sephora like a kid in a candy shop, but recently it’s just not making it to the top of the to-do list.


i did however manage to find a cool 15 minutes on monday’s holiday morning for a speed lap and ohhhh boy, there are some very shiny new skincare treats on the market and everyone should be tempted by these beauty breakthroughs.

for starters, this moisturizer is haunting my dreams. i had the chance to test it today and holy moly, it’s a game changer. it felt thick, but not heavy, and glowy on contact. i still can’t stop touching the spot on the back of my hand where i rubbed it in. rest assured that i will be making it mine very, very soon.

after testing a lip color that settled directly into my fine lines (ugh!), i went on a fierce hunt for what’s happening in lip treatments. i quickly added this scrub and this balm to my basket. the balm is like a shiny, glassy version of vaseline, but more hydrating and with a minty flavor. the scrub has super impressive reviews and has been on my list for-ever. i love that the granules are nestled into a nice conditioning balm and that i don’t have to dip my finger into a pot to get the job done.

finally, i purposely spent some time playing with priming moisturizers on this outing (because they are EVERYWHERE), but the jury is still out. i love the way that this one felt on contact and this one actually wowed me with its primer-like glide and pearly iridescence. i can see why it has so many raving fans! it does feel like it might clog my pores, so i skipped it…but it’s still nagging me, so i want to take it for a sample test drive this week.

there is so much breakthrough technology and innovation happening in skin, i need a second face to test all of it.

are there any new skincare heroes lining your vanity?

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bow’d up0


you may have seen on instagram that this was my favorite beauty moment of the golden globes. now, i’m fairly obsessed with sienna miller on a regular head-to-toe basis, but this whole situation to me was so refreshing.

now, i feel compelled to confess that i ran around my small virginia liberal arts college campus in cheerleader shorts (never cheered) and a sleek ponytail tied with a black ribbon for the better part of two years. i thought i was the literal cool-est.

better fashion judgment aside, it seems that the hair ribbon trend might actually be happening. (note: it was not happening in 2003/2004.) and if my girl sienna is not making you want to run out to the craft store and scoop up some materials and give this a spin, i recommend a pinterest perusal of “black hair ribbon” for additional inspo.

might i can suggest a thinny mini black velvet option as featured above? you can always tie it around your neck à la michelle williams on an off day.

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2016 taught me0


how is it possible that we are on the verge of 2017? i swear it was january just 5 minutes ago. time passing at the speed of light aside, here are ten beauty lessons learned in 2016:

trust your brows to benefit. end of story. their ULTA services and corresponding products will give you the best arches of your life. i promise.

do not underestimate an investment foundation. the unending daily chorus of “your makeup looks great!” basically means that it pays for itself.

i might never wash my face again.

this blush is a cult classic for a reason. it makes me look healthy and awake – the perfect not-too-shimmery icing to my charlotte tilbury cake.

price of 6 blowouts = this flat iron = healthier hair = worth every penny

speaking of hair, turns out that you can get a fly ‘cut for $45. i broke up with my $100 guy and opted for an edgier junior stylist this summer. it has made all of the difference. (if you live in loudoun county, va plz go see kati.)

good hair products know no age. (alternately titled: i have officially won the war over baby fine and tangly toddler curls!)

fact: a capsule lip wardrobe makes you more confident in meetings.

a new set of these brushes is cheaper and less time consuming than a cleansing routine.

buying this stuff in bulk means that i will never look tired again.

and BONUS: these two (up there) make me a better version of myself.

happy new year to you and yours xxxxx

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pixi lash nourish makeup remover pads0


do i have a $10 treat for you.

let’s just say that i have been experiencing some crazy lash growth lately. my normal nothing-to-write-home-about lashes are long, lush and curled at the ends. i seriously keep having to do a double take to make sure they are mine – and no, i did not bite the bullet on extensions.

when thinking about changes i have made to my eye care, the only addition has been these adorable little remover pads from pixi. i’ve been using them alongside my micellar water to remove my eye makeup each night and i’m obsessed. not only does one tiny pad remove all of the makeup from both eyes without rubbing or tugging, but the ingredients are extra soothing, never irritating or stinging.

as i’ve dug in to do a little extra research on why my lashes look so damn good, the ingredients in these pads are pretty on point, with heavy hitters being argan oil and castor oil – most likely what’s contributing to the new-found length and volume. after a couple weeks of use, upon waking, my lashes they look like they have at least one coat of lengthening mascara on them, when i know that they are naked. it’s insane.

these little beauties treat my delicate eye area while ridding it of my day’s mascara, primer and shadow. some may consider buying them for the growth factor alone. with the cost of lash serums out there, if i had known how they would contribute to longer lashes – i would have pulled the trigger much sooner!

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winter lips7


oh man, december – you have been a real doozy.


just one more day of work stands between me and a loooong holiday break. so while i round the corner into 2017, here are a few of the shades brining me much confidence and joy.

  • a full-coverage matte from lipstick queen (in coral) hangs on aaaall day without quits. it’s super comfortable to wear and i’m able to get a pretty precise line straight out of the bullet. i especially love this one as a secret weapon for when i need to detract from a random breakout, drab skin or more-tired-than-average eyeballs.
  • a charlotte tilbury shade named after salma hayek that the artist herself calls a “luminous modern matte.” i went in lusting the ever popular shade, bitch perfect, but left with this instead. it’s my daily go-to and i think the formula is absolute perfection – kind of like cashmere. i’m likely going back for (many) more.
  • this surprising-for-me choice from MAC continues to delight. if you told this girly blogger that she’d be rocking a brown lip on the reg a few years ago (or ever) i would have laughed in your face. now, this shade somehow makes me feel polished and edgy at the same time. it’s my ultimate go-to and confidence booster.
  • i found this boldly bright balm stain deep in the comments of an allure article ode to my lipstick queen fav. apparently the “original” green-to-pink custom beauty has been around for 30+ years and lasts for 12+ hours. best of all? it’s a whopping $6 and, thanks to prime, it can be in your hands by the weekend.

what’s your go-to lip to cure the winter blues?

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