murad complete reform0

murad complete reform

miracle of all miracles, after months (and months) of trying to clear up my face, it is now blemish free.

on a  recent business trip, one of my coworkers tipped me off to this glycolic acid treatment from murad. desperate to try anything, i procured a bottle and slathered it on my face the very first night it arrived. not expecting big things the following morning (such is the way my acne battle has been faring), you can definitely say that i was shocked to find out how smooth my face was when i woke up. all of my red spots and underlying skin bumps were gone. my face wasn’t red or flaky, it was just beautifully calm and clear.

obtaining some major results on the first night is great (and rare!), but i find the proof to be in repeated use to see if a product really makes a long-lasting impact. in this case, i have been using complete reform on a nightly basis every evening since and my skin has been getting progressively better without a single new breakout cropping up.

i should warn that this is intense chemical exfoliation, but it is actually working for my sensitive skin. it turns out that my face can handle a bit more ammo than i thought it could and mural’s combination of powerful acids with some more calming ingredients are giving me fast and furious results without any irritation.

to say that this little gray bottle has quickly become my holy grail would be a bit of an understatement. i won’t be skipping a dose anytime soon and i have already pre-ordered my next batch so that i do not have to go a night without it.

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pretty gifty: stephanie johnson mini pouch in chelsea pink0


goodness, i am taken with this painterly/metallic floral from stephanie johnson. her mini pouch ($33) is one of my go-to presents for friends and darling, ultra-patient daycare teachers. it makes such a gorgeous presentation and since all of her prints are so unique, i know that it’s unlike anything else that will be under the tree. for a bit of added flair, i will include the removable wristlet and if you want to create a bigger gift, i love the flat pouch (hi, tassel!) and matching snap mirror.

much more #prettygift to come since (apparently) holiday gifting season is officially here! what’s on your beauty wish list? (see also: where did 2015 go!?)

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LOLA feminine care1


i don’t normally stray from beauty here in the glossarie, but last month i was introduced to a product that i’m so taken with, i have to share it with you.

simply put, the people at LOLA have decided to build a better tampon. they have created a new breed of feminine care products that are 100% hypoallergenic cotton, unlike what’s currently sitting underneath your bathroom sink. i won’t get into what those products are probably comprised of, but i will tell you that it’s not good for you – and i can’t believe that i never questioned it.

after reading about LOLA in some of my favorite internet places like here, here and here, i had to get in on the action. i switched last month and could not be happier knowing that not only does this product provide superior protection (just as good, if not better than my former favorite) while also giving me peace of mind about what i put inside of my body, but it shows up at my door every month. how about forever crossing tampons off of your shopping list? yes please.

i will avoid publicly broadcasting all of the reasons why these made / are currently making my period a more pleasant experience, but if you’re curious, please email me and i will share! i will just say that i can feel a major difference and i am obsessed with the subscription feature – this is coming from someone who subscribes to nothing.

if you’re interested in trying LOLA, they are currently offering your first two boxes for $9 (usually $10 each) and each box is fully customizable in terms of size to fit your needs. i hope this is helpful to some of you – and that you are compelled to share it with your moms, daughters, sisters, friends. i feel strongly that the beauties behind this business are really onto something – and it’s something that i can definitely get behind.

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smashbox brow tech gloss stick0


let’s talk brows, shall we?

beauty trends have been giving this facial feature a whole lot of attention in recent seasons, increasing the pressure to maintain the perfect set. over the years we have been encouraged to wax, tweeze and beat them back into submission only to find now that big and bold is the way to be. (see also: beauty trends are exhausting.)

at my most recent threading appointment, my brows were abused. they were left in an odd un-natural shape and i was actually bleeding after the session. super frustrated (and in pain), i decided to take matters into my own hands and avoid the waxing table / threading chair in the future. so, recently i have been tweezing strays as they crop up and trying to encourage my brows to come back to life without growing out of control.

since my hair is dark but my skin is fair, my eyebrows can look like they are kind of sparse. they require lots of filling in on the inner corners and some shaping in the middles thanks to aforementioned threading hack job. i’ve tried very hard to find the perfect tool, in the perfect shade to fill them in without looking harsh, but the brow pencil struggle is real.

the innovators at smashbox have created a fab little option with brow tech gloss stick. it’s different from others in that it has a shiny finish that is more natural and it fills in the spaces between my brow hairs without looking garish or obvious. the pencil itself is super slim so i can easily execute short little strokes and it lasts all day without smudging or fading. the difference is in the “gloss” factor that mimics the sheen of brow hairs – but it’s not greasy or glittery, so don’t be thrown by the name.

in a world of flat and matte brow pencils, this one stands out for all of the right reasons –  a definite must for anyone experiencing some growing pains their your brows au natural.

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hair cuttery share-a-haircut veterans day 20150

william j. callahan

you might recall that around this time last year, i surrendered my tragically overgrown new-mom hair to the experts at hair cuttery and the results were fabulous! to say that the stylist brought me back to life (and back to being myself) is an understatement. i will never forget how kind he was at a time when i was feeling pretty fragile – after bouncing back from giving birth and adjusting to life with a demanding newborn.

so when hair cuttery reached out to me with details on their share-a-haircut campaign for veterans day, i jumped at the chance to share it with you. this time of year is precious to me because it marks our wedding anniversary (thanksgiving weekend) and it’s also the month during which i completed the fertility treatments that ultimately brought louisa into our lives. needless to say, i feel super thankful in november – especially for simple things like my family’s safety and my freedom.

in short, here’s the deal: for every adult haircut purchased at hair cuttery on wednesday, november 11th a free haircut certificate will be donated back to a veteran in need. to find deserving vets, hair cuttery is partnering with organizations local to the communities around hair cuttery’s almost 900 locations in hopes of reaching 25,000 veterans this year alone. so, so amazing!

my husband is a loyal hair cuttery customer (i actually won’t let him go anywhere else because too many stylists have botched his cuts!) so he has been preserving his hair for a veterans day chop in order to participate. i hope that you will consider taking part in this awesome campaign wherever you are, or share it with your social media following to help spread the word. our veterans deserve to feel like the superheroes that they are – and coming from someone who knows the confidence boost that accompanies a good haircut at the right time, i am a big fan of hair cuttery’s efforts.

happy veterans day!

my grandfather, dr. william joseph callahan, is in the photo above. he was a world war ii army veteran and he sure did he have one great head of hair.

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fresh sugar lip treatment in fig0

Fresh Sugar Fig Tinted Lip Treatment

it’s been a minute since i have gotten excited about one of fresh’s sugar lip treatments. as a whole, tinted lips have kind of lost their luster for me, so i guess i have been shying away. in fact, when fig first burst onto the scene, i let it pass me by – but as blog friends started to rave (like really rave), i had a feeling that fresh had delivered a little something different this time around.

fresh sugar lip treatment in fig is bolder and vampier than anything they have done before. this one coats lips in a gorgeous sparkling plum with a cocoa-berry undertone. it’s neutral and fall-appropriate without looking muddy or falling flat. in fact, the pearlescent sheen on this sheer lip is unexpected and super cool. it’s wearable and moisturizing, an easy everyday lip that is so perfect for this time of year.

if you’re looking for an of-the-moment lip that can be applied without a mirror, feels good on and won’t break the bank, this might just be the best thing going. (it also tastes super yummy.) so, well done, fresh friends! thanks for making looking cool a piece of delicious cake.

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on motherhood0

lara louisa ramos

most of you know that i had my first baby last year. she is such a joy – and motherhood has shaped me and challenged me in ways that i could never imagine. when my friend caitlin asked if she could interview me for her motherhood series, i lept at the chance to share some lighthearted, yet very personal notes on my experience – including my beauty routine and my favorite baby skincare products. if you’re interested in peeking into my life as a working, beauty blogging, rookie mom, please visit style within reach.

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mark. holiday breakfast with lucy hale0

mark. holiday breakfast

on a work trip through new york city yesterday, i was able to sidestep into the blog world and had the true pleasure of having breakfast with mark. brand ambassador lucy hale, celebrity makeup artist kelsey deenihan and a handful of the best beauty editors in the business. it was such a treat!

we met up at the crosby hotel (which is beautiful if you’re ever in soho btw) and gathered around for bacon, eggs and lots of beauty talk. lucy and kelsey are a hilarious pair and aside from being able to tell right off the bat that they are both beauty obsessed, you can also tell that they have a total ball when they work together.

lucy hale and kelsey deenihan

(photo credit to rob loud)

my top five takeaways from chatting with this dynamic duo:

1 – lucy is a beauty minimalist in her everyday life. she opts for concealer, mascara and lip balm when she’s not totally done up for shooting or an event. she can also cover a zit like nobody’s business. she says it’s all about the brush, and she prefers to use a super tiny pointed eyeliner brush to get the job done.

2 – her mark favorites are mark. lipclick in cha cha (quickly becoming overrun by her feelings for new lipclick matte in siren – more of a bluer red, so gorgeous), touch and glow coral glow (because coral looks good on everyone, and i tend to agree) and on the dot neutral. she says she feels most confident in a neutral, smoky eye.

3 – she believes that what makes you different makes you cool and this is her beauty advice to all halers young and old. case in point, if you haven’t noticed her brows are insane. she looks back at photos as a tiny tot with a unibrow and sees that it actually made her unconventionally beautiful. her biggest regret is waxing and tweezing them over the years. now, no one touches them – and she urges everyone to embrace their quirks. love. that.

4 – her skin is crazy sensitive and acne prone. (hello! glad i’m not alone.) she chalks her current clarity up to facials every two weeks in la. she is undyingly loyal to her facialist and says it has made all of the difference.

5 – if you’re going to do your mark. hook up one way to get through fall, kelsey recommends choosing on the edge liquid liner in bronze edge and glow baby glow lip gloss in pretty femme. these colors are classic and they look good on everyone. done and done!

i could have talked to these two all day. they are funny and refreshing – my kind of beauty girls! you can shop all of lucy and kelsey’s favorites below, and stay tuned for much more holiday goodness from mark. land. there are so many beautiful new products to share in the coming weeks!

lucy hale and lara ramos

i am a mark. blogger ambassador!

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keep it pretty: tower stacking boxes0


on my standard friday evening catalog browse, i stumbled upon this set of 4 stacking boxes from cb2. designed to organize your desk drawers, i instantly imagined the modular trays filled to the brims with eyeshadows, blushes, bobby pins, you name it.

the long navy base box is perfect for skinny things like eyeliners, lip pencils and my ever-growing brush collection. on top, i can stack foundation bottles, my daytime moisturizer, a current go-to scent and my lash curler to (start). i love the way that these set on top of each other and the easy way that you can change them around, or even spread them out across your vanity, bringing a pop of color and a touch of chic organization.

wouldn’t this be such a pretty way to display your dailies?

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avon beauty for a purpose kiss and tell0


over the years, the avon brand has become like family. they have been such fierce supporters of me and this blog – i would be nowhere without them. i get asked a lot what it is about avon and mark. that makes me so passionate and excited – and while yes the products are incredible, it’s the way that they have created an entrepreneurial opportunity (and thus financial independence) for women all over the globe and all of the amazing ways that they lift those women up everyday that really gets my heart pumping.

avon’s beauty for a purpose website launched in june and it stands exclusively for empowering women. it’s a hub of content centered around the company’s belief that empowered women will transform society and make the world a more beautiful place. i mean hello powerful messaging. as one of the largest networks of women on the planet, i am so proud to be associated with this phenomenal corporation as they make such a positive impact.

and if all of that feel-good energy isn’t enough to get you clicking over to beauty for a purpose straight away, today the site features me (!) in a little series called kiss and tell. pop on over there to read about my confidence-boosting lipstick moment – and get lost in all of the other awesome stories while you are there.

this year marks my third run as a blogger ambassador for mark. and avon!

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