smashbox camera ready bb cream eyes

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i am so sorry for the radio silence around here! it turns out that something attributed to pregnancy hormones has me experiencing some serious sleep deprivation and well, it’s just not a good time. i’ve had a dream pregnancy so far (minimal-to-zero nausea and virtually no loss of energy) so i really can’t complain – i suppose it’s mother nature’s way of getting me ready for the sleepless nights soon to arrive in august.

since i’m on night six of four hours or less, i’ve been relying on under eye concealer more than ever, and my expectations have gone through the roof as my dark circles become darker, and darker with each passing day. i picked up smashbox’s bb cream eyes a couple of weeks ago, but haven’t really needed to put it to a test until now – and either people are way too kind not to tell me how tired i look, or this stuff is really doing the trick.

in essence, smashbox has taken the best of a bb cream (benefits that moisturize, prime, perfect, control oil, and protect with spf) and combined it with the coverage of a concealer. the result is a wonder product that not only hides dark circles, but works to make them vanish (along with those pesky fine lines) with regular use. the thing that i like best about this formula is that it also illuminates the slightest bit (i hate concealers that fall flat under my eyes) and it actually hides that little bit of puff that comes with lack of sleep. it’s creamy and it doesn’t crease, plus it takes care of oil which has been helping to keep my mascara from smudging (major bonus). i love that i don’t have to use a primer and that it stays exactly where i put it, even through the longest of days.

i’m giving this one two very enthusiastic, albeit sleepy, thumbs up. mama bears and honorary aunties alike will all love the latest from smashbox.

smashbox camera ready bb cream eyes, $25 >

holiday survival beauty

nars concealer, laura mercier orchid plum

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?

this or that: concealer pencils

this or that: concealer pencils

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if you want to fake a flawless face, chances are that you’ve got an army of concealer options in your arsenal, but the pencil might be one of the most practical choices – and chances are it’s missing from your makeup kit. i’ve recently discovered just how handy these little sticks can be and i’ve got two favorites, both under $20.

i love the way that these slightly chunky pencil points are the exact right size for making pimples vanish and i am even more delighted with how sticky the formulas are and how seamlessly they blend with my ring finger. i dot them on over my foundation to cover spots with speed and the best part about these is that they stay where you put them! (my biggest gripe when blending concealer is that i feel like i’m taking it off instead of blending it in – so annoying.) you can use them on around-the-nose redness and under eyes in a pinch, too. both are creamy, natural, and not heavy or greasy. they take up very little purse real estate and i’m kind of wondering where they’ve been all my life.

this: urban decay 24/7 concealer pencil, $19
that: l’oreal true match crayon concealer, $7.99

miracle skin transformer treat + conceal

miracle skin treat & conceal

let’s talk dark circles.

not that anyone particularly enjoys it, but i especially hate looking tired. i am pretty sure that i would rather have a planet-sized pimple than look drained. i’m lucky in that most days, an extra dab of tinted moisturizer or cc cream concentrated under my eyes livens things up – but some mornings, no amount of concealer will do the trick.

i love many things from the miracle skin transformer line, but treat + conceal has shot to the front of the pack. it’s so much more than an under eye concealer! for one, it’s hydrating so it does not cake and settle (seriously, is there anything worse?), but more importantly it virtually erases all traces of dark circle and puff. you only need the tiny, tiniest bit. you’ll find that it goes on like silk, blends flawlessly, and that the finished effect is so smooth and radiant – completely undetectable.

i’ve been applying it over top of my foundation in this “v” or “triangle of light” formation and the improvement is immediate. i’m not sure why i’m surprised…i mean, miracle is in the name, after all.

if you’ve tried every under eye concealer on the market and you’re still on the hunt for that magic eraser, look no further. oh, and rumor has it that you can also use this stuff on dark spots, hyper pigmentation, and redness, making this one very worthy of the $36 investment.

miracle skin transformer treat & conceal eye & face, $36

wanted: dior bb eye cream spf 20

dior hydra life bb eye cream

this little beauty from dior is next on my list! it’s popping up everywhere and i’m hearing that the stealthy triple agent actually de-puffs under-eye bags and lightens dark circles while protecting the delicate area from the sun.

umm…can it make my morning cup of coffee, too?

shop dior bb eye cream spf 20 ($45) >

nyx wonder pencil

NYX-Wonder-Pencil

what if i told you that for less than $5 i could solve at least three pesky beauty problems?

the new nyx wonder pencil is a nude multitasker that comes in three shades. the beauty of this pencil is that the unique hybrid formula means that it serves a variety of purposes. it’s softer than a typical eyeliner and more matte than a regular stick concealer. in short, it’s like a tiny magic wand that can be used to lighten, brighten, and conceal the different areas of your face.

for example, it serves as a perfect eyeliner at the water line to brighten my eyes. the slim pencil shape and fine point mean that i can also use it as the most precise blemish concealer ever. it’s as if i’ve got a little magic eraser and i can just dot it over any spots left peeking through after i have applied my foundation, without the need to blend – genius! it’s come in handy as a reverse lip liner to keep my bright lip shades from feathering and i’ve also used it under my arches to add shape and definition to my brows.

this is one of those products that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without. i feel as though i’m discovering new ways to use it daily, and there’s nothing better than that.

shop nyx wonder pencil ($4.50) >

day to night: dark circles

day to night: dark circles

i don’t know what is happening to me, but i have developed a crop of dark circles. they’re not so terrible, but definitely noticeable and it’s a minor imperfection, but certainly something that makes me look much less polished and put together than i feel. i’ve taken to fighting them day and night with a one-two punch of treatment and concealer, a combination that provides 24-hour moisture.

during the day, i cover them up with benefit’s new fake up, an ultra hydrating under eye concealer in stick form. the formula blends seamlessly, covers completely, and does not crease or wander. even though i’m pretty fair, the medium shade conceals my dark circles better than the light version, which was a surprise to me. it’s refreshing to swipe on in the mornings and it doesn’t cake or settle, keeping my under-eye area looking bright all day long.

at night, i’m hooked on yes to grapefruit dark circle correcting eye cream. it’s creamy and non-greasy and one application will have you instantly feeling its nourishing effects. after a long day, it’s a soothing addition to my bedtime routine and it provides an instant boost of moisture to the under-eye area. i can’t tout any miracle capabilities in the disappearance of dark circles, but i do think that the skin under my eyes looks a touch brighter and my dark circles and puffiness are definitely held at a minimum the morning after a healthy dose.

how do you fight dark circles?

it cosmetics bye bye under eye concealer

it-cosmetics-bye-bye-under-eye

on a morning like this, i need my under eye concealer to be like eight hours of sleep plus eight glasses of water. (we celebrated the engagement of some friends last night and i might have overindulged on the sparkling pinot grigio.) i also like the consistency to be thick (like spackle!) and for it to blend seamlessly with my foundation. it goes without saying that it also has to cover dark circles flawlessly and not wander throughout the day.

since i’ve got to look bright eyed and bushy tailed at a work event today, i’m reaching for it cosmetics bye bye under eye – because as far as under eye concealers go, this one is just plain incredible. it’s thick but blends seamlessly (i use my fingers and a hyperactive patting motion to do the job) and it covers like a dream. most importantly, it takes eyes from sad to shining in seconds. when i’m done, dark circles look like they’ve been erased, puff is diminished and all is left looking bright and alert.

on top of the amazing super smooth coverage, bye bye also claims to treat your fine lines (with hydrolyzed collagen, vitamin c, and vitamin a). i can’t really back that up, but even the thought of it laying down some sort of treatment while it makes me look like a well-rested beauty is good enough for me.

if you ever have the kind of morning when what you really need is a tiny miracle, might i encourage you to grab a tube of bye bye under eye? it’s $24 at beauty.com and considering how little you need of this stuff to make a big impact, i’m going to bet it will last you a lifetime (or at least until the next best thing in eye concealer comes along).

perricone md no concealer concealer

since turning 30 (ok maybe since way before then) my dark circles have worsened and a permanent crop of fine lines has made itself at home around my eyes. i do not love these signs of aging, and if i cannot accept them with grace, i must fight them with the forces of beauty. i find that a liquid concealer works best for me in the eye area (the rest of my face is an oil slick, but my under eyes are pretty dry – go figure), but it can be tough to find the right shade and consistency to combat dark circles while also brightening and not settling into fine lines. apparently it’s a tall order, but a tall order filled with one teeny tiny bottle.

perricone md’s no concealer concealer is a major multitasker. its light texture is easy to blend by patting onto the under eye and the formula is long wearing while at the same time being ultimately crease resistant. i’m loving the way that it leaves my eye area looking well rested and brightened but it also leaves things feeling hydrated while also delivering anti aging benefits and spf 35 protection. (i mean really! can it make the bed, too?!)

you will have to pry this one from my cold, dead hands ladies and gents. it might be a bit of a splurge at $45, but i predict that you will use it every day once you give it a try. scoop it up at nordstrom and be sure to let me know what you think!

clinique redness solutions targeted corrector

we all suffer from the occasional spot(s) – whether they’re active pimples, acne scars, or pesky pink bumps in the process of healing and disappearing. because i’m fair, any pigmentation on my skin is so red and pronounced that it almost makes my spots look worse than they are. i’ve been feeling for a while like my current concealer wasn’t concealing a darn thing and just calling attention to the dreaded spots, so it’s off to the makeup counters i went.

the best spot concealers are sticks, by far. formulas are typically creamy to apply but then dry really nicely, disappearing into skin. like their coordinating foundations, though, most of them have a pink tint which is why they do nothing to conceal acne. this redness solutions targeted corrector from clinique is designed to truly target redness and zap it away (at least for the day).

i like to dot this on while i straighten my hair or do my eye makeup and then emulsify with my finger to blend spots away. sometimes i use it before foundation, sometimes after, depending on how my skin looks that day and how forgetful i am. it works great in both cases and it is the only thing i found that covers and counteracts the redness around my scars and pimples. it goes on soft and silky so it doesn’t aggravate my flare ups and it just kind of…cancels out my acne. it’s basically the closest thing i can find to a pimple eraser and it makes me feel flawless even though i’m hiding something.

clinique’s redness solutions targeted corrector is part of their larger redness solutions line (fantastic for people who suffer from rosacea or other facial redness) and is available online, at sephora, and at the counters for $19.50.