treat collection in shimmery stars0

treat collection shimmery stars

this soft and shimmery midnight blue from treat collection is so, so good. i love an opaque cream nail as much as the next girl, but there’s something totally unexpected about a moody and silvery blue. it’s dark enough to be fall appropriate, but soft enough to still be a bit sophisticated. i’m in love!

if you haven’t tried treat polishes, they are fast drying,  5-free, glossy, and long lasting. it can be tough to find a high-performing nontoxic nail lacquer and not only do these deliver a shiny, flawless finish that lasts, but the elegant bottles look extra gorge sitting in my beauty tray.

if you’re looking for nail polish that’s all grown up, these are going to be your new favorite. i’m already contemplating my next selection and battling between french vanilla (a stunning light taupe) and the girls (a muted plum) – but…who am i kidding, i’m buying both!

treat collection polish, $18 >

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bite beauty matte crème lip crayon0

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i basically believe that bite beauty can do no wrong, but they have really outdone themselves with their latest effort. their collection of matte lip crayons are supremely hydrating, something that i didn’t think was possible. i find almost every lipstick on the market to be drying in some regard, so for bite to offer up major moisture in a matte formula? well, that’s just kind of mind-blowing.

i hunt and gather for my makeup wardrobe like most people piece their closet together at the start of a new season. i had fall all nice and sorted, but one key element, the perfect rose-colored lip, just wasn’t coming together. when i laid eyes on tatin from bite, a pinky rose that wasn’t at all nude, i had high hopes.

i have tested a lot of lip colors in my day and very rarely do they blow me away, but this one is a game changer. the color pigment is so creamy that it kind of melts onto lips and covers beautifully. i apply it over lip balm that has been blotted off which keeps my lips comfy, but this technique does have a tendency to compromise wear time. not the case with this little beauty! staying power is amazing (hours and hours, and hours) without any dryness or flaking.

just a few swipes of tatin makes me feel instantly more put together, but those of you who like to go bold will have a field day with shades like fraise (a vibrant red) and framboise (a fierce fuchsia). bottom line, the balance of matte and moist from this skinny stick is beyond impressive and anyone with lips who likes color is going to want one (or more!) of these creamy crayons.

bite beauty matte crème lip crayon, $24 >

ps – if you’re a fan of limited editions, bite created two bright shades of the matte crème lip crayon exclusively for j.crew!

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l’oreal paris visible lift blur blush0

l'oral visible lift blur blush

windblown cheeks were all over the fall runways in february. in my opinion, this is one of the most fun trends because 1) it involves color and 2) when done right, the look gives you an instant facelift. if you’re looking to adopt the fresh-from-a-hike flush, i’m recommending l’oreal’s gorgeous new anti-aging blush. arriving in three colors, visible lift delivers sheer color and instantly erases the look of any fine lines.

out of the tube, the pigments are a bit shocking, so a little (and i do mean a very little) goes a long way. unlike other cream or liquid blush options, this goes on very even without any patching or blotchiness (meaning, it doesn’t fight my foundation). i like to start slow and build up with light layers until that punch of pink is just perfect. when i’m done, any dullness is blurred away and the finish is dewy, fresh, flawless. if you have visible pores, you’ll find that this truly does hide them a bit and oily skinned gals will really appreciate the 8-hour wear.

i haven’t fallen this hard for a drugstore blush possibly ever. i’m loving the combination of skincare and pure fun, beautiful color from l’oreal.

l’oreal visible lift blur blush, $11.99 >

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murad transforming powder0

murad transforming powder

nearly all products designed to treat acne irritate the heck out of my skin. it bugs me that brands who claim to be acne experts keep creating and marketing things that damage the most stressed-out skin type there is – but, that’s a story for another day.

in truth, i’m lucky that my skin is mostly clear at the moment (thank you, pregnancy hormones), but i always know that my next breakout is looming right around the corner, so maintenance is crucial. when murad shared news of their new transforming powder, an exfoliating product designed specifically to go easy on acne-prone skin, i was completely intrigued. in essence, the dry powder is a cleanser that you activate with water and massage onto your face. now, my first impression was that the whole process seemed kind of fussy, but one wash and i quickly realized that not only is it pretty easy, but it works.

just a dime sized mound of powder mixed with wet hands creates a foamy wash with gentle granules that smooth and soften skin as you move it around with your fingertips. after rinsing, my skin feels super clean and far less greasy, but not at all dry or tight. for an acne product, this is near revolutionary!

while i am sad to report that my first (glass) bottle of transforming powder fell victim to my tile shower floor, this is definitely something that i am adding to my weekly routine. i love the way that it left my skin feeling soft and cleansed – and i swear it went nuclear on a nasty little jawline breakout that i was fighting on friday (all but disappeared as of yesterday).

murad transforming powder, $30 >

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rouge bunny rouge bronzing glow powder2

rouge bunny rouge bronzing glow powder

finding a natural shade of bronzer can be an impossible feat and, beyond that, there is a real shortage of shimmer-free options. as someone who shops for an exclusively matte version, i also find that just dusting brown powder on my face 1) eliminates any dewy effect that i have achieved and 2) tends to look obviously faux and flat.

the struggle is real.

so, when a new bronzer comes on the scene, calling itself a “glow powder” and promising a “blissed-out halo of warmth” i can’t get my hands on it fast enough. rouge bunny rouge has subtitled its bronze compact ‘as if it were summer still’ and i couldn’t agree more. this satiny matte powder is smooth, natural, and radiant with two shade choices that will have fair-skinned beauties singing with glee. the product applies with ease and is virtually goof-proof. you can dust it all over your favorite foundation to bring some life back to your skin tone or you can concentrate it on your cheeks / nose / hairline to mimic the sun’s summer kisses.

i’ve been sporting it in the shade ‘at netherway cove’ which has a touch of peach (less of that neutral beige). it is soft and silky, blends beautifully and brings a natural, yet oddly goddess-y glow to my skin. since my face is begging for warmth, i am loving this powder and the pretty, pretty bronze that it delivers – as if it were summer still.

rouge bunny rouge bronzing glow powder, $39 >

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Posted in bronzer, cheeks, editorial sample | Tagged | 2 Comments

avon at new york fashion week3

avon nyfw

my friends at avon were responsible for two stunning runway beauty looks during new york fashion week – and both of them were all about the eyes.

at nicholas k (left), avon global celebrity makeup artist lauren anderson crafted a matte bronzed eye using two shades of avon glow bronzing powder. she achieved the cool upside-down cat eye using avon supershock gel eye liner pencil to get the bold winged shape, followed by avon mega effects liquid eyeliner for precision. eyes were topped off with avon big & daring volume mascara and the whole look was accented by a caramel lip (mattified with more bronzer – clearly the hero of this look!). i’m obsessed with the edgy eye here and the whole mostly matte beauty creation complimented the nicholas k collection’s saharan themes so perfectly.

at dennis basso, avon celebrity makeup artist jamie greenberg used avon true color eyeshadow quad in mocha latte for a tone-on-tone neutral eye. she defined the eyes with a thin line of avon supershock gel eyeliner in blackout and layered false lashes on top and bottom, coating them liberally with avon big & daring volume mascara in blackest black. the result was lots and lots of lash, bringing a soft, romantic feel that paired beautifully with dennis basso’s creations.

are you loving these looks as much as i am? i can’t wait to try my favorite bronzer as eyeshadow and to get my hands on big & daring volume mascara (only $6.99, full review coming soon)!

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sephora ultimate oil-in-gel lipstick remover2

sephora ultimate oil-in-gel lipstick remover

all of our recent chatter about bold lips reminded me that as much as i love them, i do have one gripe: i hate when you can still see their remnants the next morning. lets be honest, all of the best bolds require a primer, a liner or, in the best case, their own formulas are just so long wearing that they can be a bit of a pain to remove. i stumbled upon this slick little tube at sephora last week and i think it’s a stroke of genius.

if you’ve ever tried to use liquid makeup remover to take off your lipstick, you know that it does not do nice things to your lips. this remover from sephora, specially formulated for lipstick, is gentle and soothing – and it works fast to remove even the most adhering stains and pigmented shades. i put a little on a cotton swab, smear it on and let it sit for 30 seconds before removing with a wet wash cloth. it’s easy to use and it does not require any rubbing or tugging to rid your lips of your favorite lacquer. best of all, my lips are no worse for the wear when the process is over.

it’s one of those products that i never knew i was missing, but one that alleviates a major beauty pain.  if you’re a fan of the bold lip, matte lip, stained lip or lacquered lip you’re surely going to want to add this to your #lipbomb.

sephora ultimate oil-in-gel lipstick remover, $9.50 >

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ag smoothing balm0

ag smoothing balm

it’s these weird, early fall months when i just don’t have the strength to battle dc’s lingering humidity. i mean, a sticky summer? i get it – but, fall evokes feelings of sleek hair!

sadly in dc, that’s often not achievable until thanksgiving. the beloved sock bun saves me on days when i want to look polished, but the weather is simply not cooperating. this super easy hairstyle is pretty low maintenance and almost foolproof. you would think that a chic little knot could defend itself against the moisture in the air, but somehow i still find myself struggling with wild little flyways around my face.

thankfully, this season, ag smoothing balm turned up in the glossarie test lab and it is solving all of my frizz and flyaway dilemmas. the balm is designed specifically to smooth hair and reduce frizz. i find that just a dab tames my hair without adding grease and it smells fantastic. quite possibly the best part is that the formula is water-based so you can reapply as needed throughout the day and you won’t see any buildup – hooray!

so, while it may not be sweater weather just yet, at least my hair is feeling fall-ish.

ag smoothing balm, $22 >

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stila mile high mascara6

stila mile high mascara

when caring for a three-week old infant, mascara basically qualifies as a luxury – and for that reason, i am extra picky about which one i wear these days. since lou arrived, i have done my makeup maybe four times and it’s a much more pared down face than i have historically sported. lush lashes have become the focus because they make my eyes look much more open and awake than they actually are and it’s a simple way to not just feel like a human again, but feel like a girl.

the mascara that has captured this new momma’s heart is none other than stila mile high. we should first discuss its ultra sleek and sophisticated packaging – the gorgeous gold tube is a whole new direction for everyone’s favorite indie brand (remember the days when their eyeshadows came in little cardboard packages?) – but it’s what’s inside that truly impresses. stila has managed to master a formula that delivers both length and volume resulting in some seriously full and flirty fringe. the black stuff glides on for a glossy finish, lifting, curling, and stretching my lashes to their absolute best. there is no clumping or spidery spindles to worry about and stila is giving us nothing but gorgeous lashes that look like homegrown extensions of what you’ve already got. the product wears all day and then some without smudging or flaking and because it adheres so well, i find that a little eye makeup remover helps to wash it clean at the end of the day so that you’re not scrubbing your delicate eye area too hard.

this is a big winner from the stila camp and it could easily replace all other mascaras in your beauty basket because it does everything you want with one formula and is essentially both waterproof and washable. it gives me the drama that i want for daytime (without being over the top) and it also gives me the option of building those very vampy lashes that i like for a night out or a special occasion.

what more could a girl possibly want? oh yes, a shower would be nice… #newmom

stila mile high mascara, $25 >

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Posted in editorial sample, eyes, lashes | Tagged | 6 Comments

nomaterra on-the-go fragrance wipes2

nomaterra on-the-go fragrance wipes

remember my friends at nomaterra? well, they have some pretty exciting news.

the gorgeous independent perfume brand has launched their innovative fragrance wipes at sephora! available online and in the beauty to go section in stores, the variety pack of 12 sachets features three beautiful travel-friendly and location-inspired scents: miami (orange blossom), oahu (gardenia) and malibu (honey suckle).

if the notion of a fragrance wipe stumps you, consider the convenience of no longer needing to tote your glass perfume bottles when you travel or fuss with an atomizer ever again. these perfectly sized, soft wipes also make it a cinch to freshen up after the gym or before happy hour. the fragrances are fresh and long lasting with a sophistication that is completely unique. one sniff and there’s no question that these small-batch scents are crafted using all natural ingredients from their namesake locations.

for me, the combination of a completely innovative concept paired with impeccably executed luxury perfume makes these an absolute must have. my prediction? you will fall hard for these fragrances and wonder how you ever lived without these little wipes.

nomaterra on-the-go fragrance wipes, $20 >

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Posted in editorial sample, fragrance | Tagged | 2 Comments