it has been over three months since my bomb brow experience at the benefit counter inside of ulta – and my brows are on the total verge of returning to their unruly selves.
in fact, it’s typically that point in the growth phase that would prompt me to consider making a wax appointment, but before i go rushing back to my girl hailey, i decided to see if benefit could make an even bigger believer out of me by testing a couple of their newly launched brow goodies. i had high hopes that they could extend the life of my waxing – and boy, oh boy, have they delivered.
the pencil is so-o good. for starters, it’s micro thin which makes for very realistic filled in hairs, and the “lead” itself is just the right amount of firm. my truly brow-obsessed mavens will know that if a pencil is too hard, the color does not transfer properly, too soft and you can easily overdo it. delicate balance is the name of the game, and benefit has nailed it. i love the way that this naturally fills in my brows and the spoolie blends everything together beautifully. such a win on such a staple product.
the pomadeis a new concept for me and benefit’s take on it has a super precise little brow brush that makes all of the difference. (you can even snap it into the cap for an easy-to-hold elongated brush.) i like to use this to achieve more of a polished, pulled together brow. the process takes a little bit more time than filling in with a pencil and requires a little more attention to detail. the formula here is golden, easily lasting through the day – but the beauty of this one is in the brush. it’s perfectly shaped to mimic brow hairs, but sweeping it vertically across brows blends arches into place. it’s a wondrous little pot and i really love it.
benefit continues to make a believer out of me in the brow department. these products have an unexpected way of turning even the most amateur brow artist into a pro. the formulas are incredible, the packaging is gorgeous, and the results are basically unbeatable. i had no idea that i would be loving their whole concept so much, but it’s safe to say that my brows have never looked better, thanks to benefit.
reading over the claims from belif problem solution moisturizer had me feeling like the brand was speaking right to me. there are not nearly enough products on the market designed to target oily, sensitive skin – so when one pops up, i can’t snatch it up fast enough.
while most skincare products don’t play nicely with my finicky face, this stuff instantly hydrates and soothes, taming redness without irritation. it’s everything that i have ever wanted in a moisturizer and more. the gel consistency is lightweight, yet one pump keeps my troubled skin in check and still feels deliciously moisturizing. i love that the formula is actually designed to prevent breakouts while also protecting my skin from the environmental aggressors that bring on unwelcome issues. it also claims oil control, but i am still layering a primer over top (more on that to come!) which is really working for me. my skin has that natural, satin finish that isn’t matte or shiny.
since working it into my routine, i have noticed much calmer and clearer skin with each passing day. all in all, it works beautifully. my skin is happy and healthy, creating a smooth and perfect canvas for my foundation – plus, the generous-sized bottle will surely last me a lifetime.
launching into today’s post with full gusto because that pretty product up there is rocking my world.
if there’s one thing laura geller is known for, it’s a gorgeous powder. (case in point above, but also >> here.) back in the day, i loved her blush-n-brighten baked blushes, then baked gelato illuminators launched onto the scene. they were good, but filter finish setting powder hasn’t left my side since the day it was delivered.
it arrived to me earlier in the summer and i all but sprinted to dust the stunning-in-the-compact shade from head to toe. it’s one of those products that gives instant results, fully living up to brand claims. the powder is sheer and silky and i’ve been using my favorite big fluffy brush to apply it over a finished look or to “revive” my face late in the day. it’s the perfect thing to keep stashed in my work tote for when shine rears its ugly head – one of those things that i constantly keep handy because it’s just that good. it has already saved me on several day-to-evening refreshes, pulling my faded makeup look back together and prepping me for many a networking dinner.
from a setting standpoint, i can’t say that this will “lock” your makeup into place – but it serves as a beautiful alternative to guerlain météorites for the price point. it diffuses light, adds a touch of shimmer, minimizes imperfections, brightens and gives off a youthful glow. for $32, it gives me healthy, vibrant skin super quickly and for seemingly zero effort.
what more could a girl want?
(besides all of the happy hour wine – because i am living for 5 p.m. right about now…)
if you’re mourning the end of summer and need a sunny little pick me up, this bottle is sure to do the trick. you can see the holographic effects for yourself in live action on instagram. i’m obsessed and only wishing that i had a bit more of a tan to make this glitter truly pop.
the ilnp brand is new to me, but i will absolutely be back for more. i took this bottle to my favorite nail salon and my manicurist really loved how smoothly it went on. i should note that it takes 3 careful coats to get the look, but it’s so so worth it. (and if you don’t want to take my word for it, you can read the 80+ positive reviews on amazon!)
as a major bonus, i’m anticipating that this will be a cinch to remove, unlike other glitter polishes (a process that i despise). that and the fact that me and my super shimmery nails are off to austin for a dear friends bachelorette celebrations – well it’s just really making me happy.
are you into the holographic nail trend? gonna snag this one?
do you find that your lipstick collection tends to accumulate in the bottom of your bag?
i change my lip color daily and i’m terrible at putting things away, so by mid-to-late week, the various shades start to collect and this is what it looked like last thursday. if you count them, there are eight products in tow. while the cocoa butter swivel stick is always within arm’s reach, i actually do wear the rest of these pretty regularly.
the newest to the collection, and the one that has surprised me the most, is glossier generation g in like. i love the size of the stick (it’s perfect for my lips) and the finished effect is kind of blurred and smudgy – almost as though it’s meant to be left a bit undone. it also somehow magically feels like you’ve got nothing on – it’s not really moisturizing, but it’s not drying, it’s just…neutral. bottom line: there is an easy unfussiness about this product, and the shade is so gorgeous that i just can’t get enough.
on a side note, this lip spill has me reminiscing over the #lipbomb series from a few years ago. i’m wondering if i should revive it, since i loved sneakily peeking into your makeup bags! if you’re game, please send those bombs over to email@example.com.
final side note, if there are any other goodies from this pileup that you would like me to review more thoroughly, let me know in the comments below.
so, it turns out that being a beauty junkie does not translate to being a makeup artist – especially when it comes it eyeshadow.
taking an artistry class has been on my bucket list for the longest, so imagine my delight when i got to sit for a lesson with rajan tolomei. he’s a master of his trade and he walked us through everything from contouring (sharp lines! do not be afraid!) to a killer lash technique. (use your mascara brush like a tiny hammer and repeatedly press it into your lashes for major drama and lift. on the bottoms, it’s ok to smudge the brush right on your lash line for a “dirty” finish).
for eyes, he demonstrated a neutral smoky eyeshadow look that i am newly obsessed with. i have been recreating it with ease using my longtime-favorite palette from mark. it has every shade you could ever need – and trust me, you will use all of them.
the formulas are pigmented and shimmery metallic with stunning champagnes, subtle lavenders, and pretty taupes – a combination sure to flatter every single eye color. regrettably, my lids are oily and everything creases on me. with these, there’s no fallout, no fading, and i find that the pigment sticks beautifully, lasting all day when i lay them down over top of my favorite primer.
fun tip: i love to sub traditional black for the gorgeous aubergine that’s in the middle of the far-right column. it’s softer and unexpected, plus a big complement to hazel eyes like mine.
aside from being pocket friendly at $16, this palette is easy to pack and a dream to travel with thanks to its compact size. if you pull the trigger on this one, i’m predicting that you will use it every single day.
i cannot pretend life isn’t crazy. transitioning to a fast-paced full-time office gig and four hours commuting daily has basically turned my reality upside down – but there are still so many bright spots, beauty and otherwise.
1 – my skin is looking GOOD. would you believe me if i told you that i haven’t had a zit since december 2015? this skincare routine is still rocking my world. i am using the toner, micellar water and serum religiously.
2 – this moisturizer is complementing my origins routine beautifully. i don’t know how i haven’t posted about it yet because it’s the first lightweight moisturizer to actually offer hydration. the souffle-like consistency is super unique and it refreshes my skin every time that i apply it. l-o-v-e (and already ordered a replacement tube!).
3 – i’m newly podcast obsessed and i cannot believe how i ever survived without my current favorites. leandra medine’s monocycle is simply amazing. i never really took to her as a blogger and now i’m kicking myself because her gritty realness is seriously inspiring. aside from that i love the longest shortest time for parenting advice (but GOOD parenting advice – just listen, you’ll see what i mean), lo bosworth and co’s lady lovin’ (so freakin’ great), and refinery 29’s strong opinions loosely held. any others that i’m missing?
5 – i’m currently writing from the air en route to vegas and scooped up this dress before departure. it might be the most flattering thing in my closet. (and thank goodness for that, because let me tell you that 20 hours in your car every week does not do nice things to your spare tire…)
i know it’s been awhile, but when something finds its way into my regular routine, it’s still time to share it with you. some things just don’t change.
the current hero of my skincare regimen is a surprise from elizabeth arden. i have mistakenly counted this lady out as someone whose products were best suited for my mom, but it turns out that i have been missing some major opportunity for clear, bright, and glowing skin.
these skin illuminating retexturizing pads oh-so-sneakily combine manual exfoliation (which my skin has historically struggled with) and chemical exfoliation (which has not always done enough for me). they are slightly gritty and packed with glycolic acid to renew the top layers of skin and reveal serious glow. to counterbalance their major exfoliating powers, ms. arden brilliantly added in essential oils which help to keep things calm and eliminate all chances for redness.
as a whole, i am lo-ving these. my skin has turned from dull and patchy to smooth and glowy (where even my husband is making comments) – they are like a mini facial in a jar! i use one pad a few mornings each week and the way my moisturizer soaks in afterward feels delicious. following that, my foundation glides over top and blends beautifully.
along with delivering all-around gorgeous results, these pads are a road warrior’s dream. (have you ever tried to fly with a bottle of toner? it’s misery.) they have served up a big boost to my skincare situation, keeping my face flawless both at home and on the go – ensuring that i’ll be giving this brand a second look from now on.
i know the grass is always greener, but here’s the deal. i have the type of hair that falls somewhere between wavy and curly. it resists straightening, making that process long and labor-intensive, and i have what is considered to be a week curl pattern which means wearing my hair in its natural state and making it look good actually takes a lot of effort.
on a recent twitter deep dive, i came across a selfie from sara whose curls are lust-worthy. when i mentioned to her how super gorge they were looking, she replied and i quote “it’s all devacurl.”
i don’t know how i have lived 34 years with curly hair without trying arguably the best curl brand on the market, but here we are. i prowled their website and actually reached out for some custom recommendations. i quickly secured low-poo delight, one condition and styling cream – and anxiously awaited their arrival.
since they have made their way into my shower routine, i have noticed a big difference in my hair. there is something about using a system prescribed for my particular brand of curl that makes products like these well worth the investment. normally, when I take my hair out of its turban each morning, it’s kind of kinky and flat. after using the devacurl goods, my curls are already defined with a happy sort of bounce. adding the styler just gives definition, shape and hold to my waves – and the final look is soft and natural without crunch, but it holds all day.
i can get one wash to last three days (currently loving this product as a refresher mist on day two!) and without the need for heat styling, my hair is so much happier and healthier. it curls up better and better each time that I use this trio.
considering that curls are tricky and hair type is so specific, i still have to assume that devacurl could bring life to twisted tendrils of all varieties. and – i’d be curious to know if there are any other devacurl lovers out there, if anyone has gotten one of their industry-leading haircuts, or if you have other curl products that you’re obsessed with!
one of the biggest frustrations when buying a new foundation is finding your perfect shade. nothing is worse than thinking you have a great match, stepping into natural light (this usually happens to me in my car) and realizing your face does not match the rest of your body. foundation is such an important step in my makeup routine. it’s the base that all of my other products will lay on, so i take it pretty seriously. when i got the opportunity to try the new lancôme le teint particulier custom made makeup i jumped at the chance.
this new cutting-edge system whips up your ultimate, perfect shade of foundation. the process is very simple. the beauty advisor will scan your face in two different areas to find out your true tone. once the data was processed, i was diagnosed as 50/50 – or completely neutral. the advisor will then ask your preferred coverage and your skin type to determine how much pigment and moisturizer will be put into the foundation. now, here comes the fun part: your personalized foundation formula is blended right in front of you at the counter and you get a specialized shade number on the bottle for easy reference for a refill.
when my foundation was finished blending, i was amazed by the results. the color match was perfection. the foundation truly looked like second skin. the formula was long-lasting, breathable and it’s oil-free, paraben-free and fragrance-free, perfect for my sensitive skin! this new unique service is truly remarkable and it was so exciting to watch it come to life right in front of my eyes.
if you find yourself having trouble finding a foundation, whether it’s the color match or even the formula i highly suggest trying this new lancôme system. there is nothing else like it and i hope that it’s a sign of more custom makeup to come!