the holidays call for manicures galore and since i like to change things up fairly often, i’ve taken to doing my nails myself more often than sitting down at the salon. here are a few things making my diy manicure routine a little easier this season:
squeaky clean nail beds: in order to make my at-home-polish last through the shuffle, i have learned to start with extra clean nail beds. instead of using a cotton swab soaked in alcohol, i take one of my simple eye make-up remover pads and run it over all ten tips. each wipe is oil free with skin conditioners, so polish sticks but my nails don’t get dry and brittle.
metallic polish: we all know the pain of trying to remove sparkle-licious lacquers. (seriously, who has time for that nonsense?) select a metallic polish that will give you all the glamour of the season without committing you to a lifetime of glitter. from left to right: clinique indie rock ($12.50, ester lauder brushed gold ($20), butter london petrol ($15), rgb copper ($18).
maximize your mileage: i found this tip in january’s instyle and think it’s kind of genius. when, inevitably, your nails start to fade, dip the tip of a bobby pin into gold polish and neatly dot it on. if you love the look of bordeaux, navy, hunter, or black nails but can’t stand when they go drab, this is the perfect trick to keep them looking sharp.
keep it pretty: you can also file this one under “pretty gifty.” anthropologie’s adorable nidus nail care case ($38) holds four polishes perfectly in place. with coated canvas and spill-safe lining, you can tote your favorite lacquers in style. plus, can you imagine gifting this cutie to your best one (packed with a polish or two, naturally)? such a cute concept!
the holiday season is hectic enough, but add in the need to monitor finishing touches on our new house and combine that with packing to move – you’ve got a normally calm beauty blogger running around like a crazy person. i need to keep some things simple, so i’ve been relying on these three products to make my face look put together, while my mind spins around in loops. the combination of a coral blush and a sheer berry lip is the easiest way to give off the impression of being cool and collected, and the addition of lots (and lots) of lash just seals the deal.
kevyn aucoin ‘the essential’ mascara, $32
the curved brush on this fat brush means that your lashes get all kinds of glamour. it perfectly fits the shape of my eye and delivers dark, lush lashes that are long and thick. there’s less of a need to layer so lashes don’t feel heavy and overdone. it comes off easily at the end of the day with no flakes or smudges while you wear.
tarte amazonian clay 12-hour blush in achiote, $26
when i’m looking for a new shade of blush, i always check this tarte lineup first. it’s natural (no matter what color you choose) and long lasting, adding beautiful color to your face without a lot of thought or effort. achiote is a light coral, a true peachy pink, that’s unique and super pretty on fair skins. it packs a silky matte finish and it’s a cinch to blend.
bite beauty lush lip treatment in watermelon, $24
i absolutely love this product. it’s part lip treatment, part sheer lip color, and all gorgeous. on my hunt for a new berry lip, i fell in love with the watermelon shade which is a medium cool-toned pink that wears down to a nice stain. the formula is hydrating and glossy, with an opaque creamy finish that you can easily build.
i am so wary of testing new skincare. with a face that tends to freak out when the wind changes, it can be such a daunting task. for me, trying a new moisturizer goes something like this:
- step 1 – intensely analyze the full list of ingredients, rush to google + search for any potential offenders
- step 2 – scour online reviews for any signs of reactions for people prone to sensitivities and breakouts
- step 3 – test the product on the back of my hand + evaluate: is it light or heavy? does it sink right in or sit on top of my skin? any greasy residue?
- step 4 – actually put it on my face, crossing my fingers, toes, and eyes that things won’t go haywire
it might seem like overkill, but i promise it’s the only thing that prevents the diaper-rash like reactions that i am all-too familiar with. since the winter weather has not done nice things to my noticeably aging skin, i have been dying to bring in some more hydrating big guns. perricone md’s face finishing moisturizer has been hot on my list for its promises to minimize signs of aging and impart a hydrated glow.
when it arrived, i scanned the ingredient list and instantly honed in on the presence of aleurites moluccana (kukui nut) seed oil. (in general, oils and my skin do not get along.) after a quick research sesh, i was thrilled to find that this particular oil is actually known for its antibacterial and anti-acne properties – amazing.
i proceeded to absolutely slather this gorgeous stuff on my face twice daily and the results have been skin changing. for one, my makeup glides right over top, sinking in and no longer highlighting the flakes and dullness that i was previously fighting. my skin feels happier and more nourished than it has with other moisturizers and it stays hydrated all day long. after my morning shower, the gel-like product sinks right in with no heavy or greasy feeling and my face just drinks it up. i haven’t always felt like my daytime moisturizer would make a nice night cream, but this product can most definitely fill both roles perfectly. i can already sense less redness and more radiance, with absolutely no irritation to my sensitive skin.
it’s been a serious improvement in care for my skin that’s been slightly more needy this winter. if your face is craving a little something extra in the moisture department, i am highly impressed with this perfect little cocktail. it’s especially perfect for those of us battling signs of aging (even the earliest ones) and persistent breakouts. if the price tag has you a bit on edge, scoop up the $10 to-go option and give it a nice long test run before committing to the full monty – and do be sure to come back and share your thoughts!
perricone md face finishing moisturizer, $69 >
while i don’t normally invest in them for myself, sets like this are great for gifting. instead of giving the whole group to one person, i like to break them up and tie little pairs together with ribbon – because you never know when you’re going to need a spare present.
this kit from purminerals includes three eye shadows and three lip gloss sticks in varying shades. they are a piece of cake to use and apply, with colors that are rich and formulas that are loaded with vitamins and shea butter.
i couldn’t resist testing these for myself before giving them away and i have been wearing the two middle shades, taunt (raspberry lip gloss) and exposed (vanilla eye shadow), to the tune of many compliments. something about the creamy nude shadow and slightly vampy lip make for a season-right combination that cannot be ignored. so, i suppose that in this case, it will be two for me and four for them (whoops)…but you get the idea :)
purminerals show off collection, $28 >
do you split sets up and give them as gifts?
i had such a great time at last night’s beauty detox event at dawson’s market. i don’t take the time to explore natural beauty all that often (shame on me!) and this was the perfect opportunity to test some gorgeous local farm-to-vanity products, chat with fellow beauty lovers, and promote dawson’s impressive collection of products. everyone who came by was able to test hemp organics lip colors (i fell in love with the garnet shade), soften their hands with elsen oils hand & foot scrubs (lime & peppermint was my favorite – it smells like a mojito), and treat their dry winter hands with gardener’s glee! the hero of the evening was definitely the hand cream which has the most gorgeous and unique scent, thanks to sweet almond oil. all in all i am so impressed with the service at dawson’s and i absolutely adore their whole team.
if you weren’t able to make it last night, you can still experience all of the best that dawson’s beauty department has to offer. i’m giving away a dawson’s box, curated by myself and kara manos, worth over $100! the only hitch is that you must be able to pick the prize up in person in rockville, md – and while you’re there, i definitely recommend taking a spin through the beauty aisles.
a full list of what’s included in the box:
- raw olive friday night detox scrub
- hugo naturals fizzy bath bomb in lavender and vanilla
- acure dry shampoo
- zosimos fuchsia lipstick
- auric blends plumeria roll on
- john masters organics sea mist
- kiss my face pomegranate acai moisturizer
- soothing touch vanilla chai lip balm
- acure 100% moroccan argan oil
- south of france milled bar soap in relaxing lavender
enter to win a dawson’s box!
if the thought of nail art exhausts you, but you’re dying to dress your tips up for the holidays, look no further than essie’s gorgeous luxeffects encrusted topcoat in jazzy jubilant. absolutely packed full of rainbow glitter, this polish all but does the work for you. i’m obsessed with this image that i found on pinterest (the link is broken so i sadly do not know the original source) which features an opaque nude base topped off with something daringly similar to essie’s festive confetti lacquer.
thankfully, a look like this could not be easier to achieve. once your nude nails are dry, take your glitter polish of choice and dab/press the teensy sequins into the tops of your nails. the approach doesn’t have to be precise (the true beauty of this process), nor does the finished product. a couple of good coats of sparkle topped off with a serious top coat (or even a gel coat if you prefer) should hold things in place.
voila! you’ve got quite the nail party going on.
there is a little something spicing up my shower these days!
far beyond your average body wash, lush rose jam shower gel is decadent with a scent that is to die for. i’m partial to an indulgent ritual when it comes to cleaning my body and i love the way that rose jam lathers and fills my entire bathroom with smells of goji berry, lemon, and vanilla. (i swear i smell honey in there too, but it might just be my bionic nose.) beyond leaving me sweetly scented, argan oil nourishes things right up, leaving my winter-ravaged skin soft and hydrated. on top of all that, the addition of lemon oil works to clarify so that there’s a nice balance between hydration and cleansing.
this stuff is good.
if you haven’t brought lush products into your bath scene, you are majorly missing out. their shower gels are a great place to jump into the line and the smaller sizes are the perfect entry-level product. if you think rose jam’s scent bouquet just might be your cup of tea, note that this one happens to be limited edition – so scoop it up before 12/25 and enjoy all of the luxe benefits that lush has to offer.
lush rose jam shower gel, $10.95 – $29.95 >
as much as i love sharing my beauty obsessions with you through the internet, i’m always looking for opportunities to bring the glossarie to life. i have so much fun coming out from behind the blog to talk product and interact with you all, so i’m really excited about this week’s beauty detox event at dawson’s market in rockville, md.
dawson’s is a gorgeous neighborhood natural grocer that boasts two full aisles of health and beauty products. their selection includes everything from skincare to color cosmetics, serums, perfumes, bath products, hair care, supplements and so much more. i am seriously impressed with their mix of brands and i cannot wait to demo some of my favorite new discoveries with event attendees on wednesday.
i am proud to be co-hosting the event with my beauty partner in crime, kara from politics of pretty, and if you’re able to join us, you can find me in the beauty aisles where i will be featuring three different demonstration stations:
- satin hands – try a raw olive body scrub and follow up with a luxe eo lotion
- find your winter lip – test out a few bold and bright options from hemp organics
- dry skin rehab – sample my favorite moisturizer, eye cream, and serum
while you’re there, enjoy complimentary juicing, shop dawson’s boxes (curated product collections, perfect for holiday gifting), and sample natural beauty goodies to your heart’s delight! purchases of $25 or more will earn a free raw olive body scrub and i’ll be giving one away during the event as well.
i hope you can join me and kara for this unique opportunity to get up close and personal with some new brands and products!
i’m not saying that the holidays need surviving per se, (i absolutely adore this time of year!) but there is a certain element of stress that comes along with all of the hustle and bustle, happy though it may be. along with cocktail party fatigue and copious cups of cheer come some skin problems that are none too delightful. from dark circles, to heinous breakouts, and even those well-deserved raging hangovers, i’ve got the combination of products that will solve all of your dilemmas.
because, the way i see it, you can survive anything with the right concealer and a bold lip.
it’s a one-two punch that no one sees coming, the perfect pairing of light-refracting coverup to hide spots and a gorgeous look-at-me lip that exudes confidence and takes the attention off of any imperfections elsewhere on your face.
i am deeply in love with nars radiant creamy concealer. it’s the first thing that i’ve found that can actually be used to disguise spots and brighten up my under eyes. it’s nondrying (in fact it actually hydrates) which is key because my under eyes tend to be dry and my breakouts get very dry from the arsenal of prescription medicine that i attack them with on the regular. i use it over my foundation each morning to make problem areas virtually disappear and then i keep it in my bag for late-in-the-day touchups.
in the bold lip department, i’m a bit of a wild card. i have always been drawn to purple lips and laura mercer’s creme smooth lip color in plum orchid is an electric violet that borders on neon fuchsia. i am obsessed with the way this shade is a touch shocking, but still deep enough to be fall/winter appropriate. it’s equal parts girly and edgy – and with all eyes on my lips, i love knowing that no one is even glancing at my tired eyes or winter weary skin.
what are your beauty survival tactics?