kerastase elixir ultime crème fine

kerastase elixir ultime creme fine

forget everything you think you know about hair oil, because kerastase is changing the game. inside this gold tube is a product that has the weight of a lotion, but the deeply nourishing powers of a rich oil. crème fine is a hair treatment that falls somewhere between a leave-in conditioner and a serum, bringing instant health to hair of all textures and thicknesses. so high is the praise for this product, that i have spoken with girls who use it as a curl cream and those who use it as a straightening lotion, ladies who employ it as a pre-styling treatment, and those who reserve it for an after-styling balm. it’s a true multi-tasker and it hasn’t failed any of us yet.

i have personally taken to using it as a blow-in styling treatment and the effects are mega gorgeous. a dime sized amount distributed through damp hair, pre-blow dry results in smooth hair that is weightless yet full of shape and volume. oh, and the shine? is out of this world. i’m most impressed with the manageable and easy finished look that looks effortless (it truly is effortless) and polished at the same time. this product plays extra nice with my flat iron and leaves hair looking and feeling just as good on day two without any added grease.

i’m telling you, this is the good stuff. so, if your hair is begging for softness, strength, and smoothness (and really, whose isn’t?) then this gold tube is holding your new best friend.

kerastase elixir ultime creme fine, $42 >

pantene root reboot dry shampoo

pantene root reboot dry shampoo

you should probably know that i’m transitioning my hair to a three-day wash cycle, because well, those are the types of things we discuss seriously around here. i’ve been washing my hair every other day without fail since 2004, but it dawned on me recently that maybe, just maybe, i could squeak a second day in there between washings without too much oily scalp drama. turns out that i was right, but only because i discovered pantene’s root reboot dry shampoo.

this new formula joins pantene’s original option and it delivers gorgeous, non-greasy hair on day three without the need for a wash and rinse. i shake up the bottle, lift up my hair at the crown and aim its nozzle directly at my roots. then, i flip my head and tousle, tousle, tousle until it’s all absorbed. the finished product? it zaps all traces of oil, bringing me back to that fresh-out-of-the-shower hair from 48 hours prior and it also delivers such a boost that i am suspicious that it’s the world’s best volumizing spray masquerading as a dry shampoo.

i like the texture, scent and light hold that the spray delivers to my layered locks and the fact that it’s gifting me with an extra hour or two each week is icing on the cake!

pantene root reboot dry shampoo, $6.99 >

mac studio sculpt lash mascara

mac studio sculpt lash mascara

judging by your comments, perhaps the world is not quite ready for this mascara. so, i thought i’d take things down a notch and introduce you to a much simpler product: mac studio sculpt lash mascara. it’s so simple, in fact, that the brush only has two rows of bristles. (when i heard about this, i scoffed. how could two measly little rows of bristles rival the big fat wand packed with bristles that i know and love?)

surprisingly, two rows of bristles are highly effective! they separate lashes, defining each one beautifully and apply mascara without a clump in sight. studio sculpt lash’s skinny teeth are not messing around. you get extra precise control over where the mascara is applied along with length, lift, and curl that lasts all day sans smudging.

so, to recap, that’s 1) a cinch to apply with very little effort, 2) long, separated lashes that stay where they are put and 3) does not flake or cause raccoon eyes.

win, win, win.

i’m pretty impressed with this minimalist mascara from mac and i’m definitely finding that it’s the right daytime product for my preferred lash look. (i don’t like to go too bambi before happy hour.) if you like to catch each lash and create a crafted lash’terpiece then i think you’ll love this newness from mac.

mac studio sculpt lash mascara, $16 >

stila baked cheek duo in pink glow

stila baked cheek duo in pink glow

what i want to tell you about this blush, is that we are embarking on our ninth year together. that’s right. NINE. i discovered this beauty back in the day when she was packaged in cardboard and boy has she come a long way since 2006. the essence of the product is still the exact same: two soft pinks that blend together for a gorgeous and natural glow. they balance eachother out beautifully and they apply like a dream. i like to dust my brush over both colors and swirl onto cheek apples for a surprisingly sun kissed flush. i am extremely heavy handed with blush, and this one tends to be nearly impossible to overdo. the shades are so right on that they almost eliminate the need for a bronzer. i like to think of it as the perfect blush and i find myself reaching for it again and again.

baked cheek duo in pink glow gets her own post today because i have been recommending it left and right lately. a quick search through the archives and WHAT? no post on this lady, so here she is in all of her glory. think you’ll give her a go?

stila baked cheek duo in pink glow, $24 >

what’s your longest beauty relationship? i’d love to know!

greening my routine with mario badescu

mario badescu green routine
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my skin care routine has quite literally gone green.

besides being perfectly fitting for saint patrick’s day, the truth is that this trio has saved my pregnancy hormone-ravaged skin. the team at mario badescu must be getting pretty used to my panicky emails at this point and seeing as though i am yet to present them with a pickle that they cannot get me out of, it’s really no surprise that they sent me the perfect solution to my latest problem.

they informed me that my sensitive, oily, acne-prone skin requires a combination of chemical exfoliation, gentle disinfection, and soothing nourishment to keep it from getting inflamed. here’s the very festive combination of products that is keeping everything in check:

mario badescu enzyme cleansing gel, $12
forget everything you know about washing your face. add a drop of water to this mint-colored gel, massage it over your skin and every trace of makeup is dissolved, without drying. it provides a deep clean without being harsh – just be sure to avoid your eye area.

mario badescu seaweed cleansing lotion, $15
a very green toner to remove any left-behind smudges of makeup while also giving something back. it cleans out all of my pores with witch hazel, soothes my sensitive areas with aloe, helps to prevent dryness and preps skin perfectly for my night cream.

mario badescu seaweed night cream, $20
this green cream restores hydration (essential for helping my skin to repair itself overnight) without adding oil. collagen and hyaluronic acid leave things feeling so smooth and plumped up in the mornings, while also reducing redness and shrinking pimples.

all three products have made a visible (and fast) improvement in my skin – completely turning things around from the broken out turmoil that i have been experiencing. lucky for me, and thanks to mario badescu, going green has saved the day!

detox your locks

ouidad superfruit renewal, phytoneutre

sometimes my hair feels…congested. product buildup can cause it to go heavy and limp and kind of dull at virtually no notice. i used to rely on drugstore detox shampoos like this one to get things back to normal, but i’ve found that they really strip things down and dry them out unnecessarily – almost creating more trouble than they are worth. lucky for me detox shampoos have come a long (and i mean long) way. i’ve been playing with two new releases from phyto and ouidad to the tune of squeaky clean and extra gorgeous results.

ouidad superfruit renewal clarifying cream shampoo, $18
anyone with curly hair knows that it’s notoriously sensitive to product buildup, so it’s no surprise that the queen of curl has created the epitome of clarifying shampoos. this cream shampoo feels more like a conditioner, but lathers beautifully to get all of the gunk out of your hair. it smells heavenly, making my shower feel like a sweetly scented oasis that really adds to the whole experience. while it’s a wiz at detoxing, the addition of five superfruit acids add vibrancy, shine, softness and bounce leaving my hair looking the best it ever has.

phytoneutre detox clarifying shampoo, $19
this option from phyto is also a cream formula that eliminates buildup, but eucalyptus oil means that your hair’s natural protective barrier remains intact. chamomile, sage, and witch hazel break down even the strongest-holding styling products while delivering a boost of oxygen to your scalp that you can actually feel. i find that the scent here is weighted in eucalyptus for a fresher, deep clean (and tingle!), but that the results are incredible. with mostly natural ingredients and a concentrated formula, you’ll notice that a little goes a long way.

with results like these, you’re probably wondering why i don’t make either (or both!) of these my regular go-to shampoo. the truth is that detoxifying shampoos should really only used once a week, but either of these beauties would make a perfect complement to whatever shampoo/conditioner duo you’re already committed to – and will probably make them work even better.

ag bb cream

ag bb cream

i really can’t stress the importance of a good hair day highly enough – even for those of you whose bodies are not expanding at all angles from the neck down as you create a miracle, but definitely for those of you whose are. for a boost of confidence, i got myself a shiny new haircut a couple of weeks ago and in line with tradition, i hated it for twelve to twenty four hours before i fell in love. the love can probably be most directly attributed to my talented stylist but i’m thinking that it also has a little something to do with a new styling product from ag.

ag’s bb cream is truly multifunctional. the texture is light, like a lotion and in all of that lightness is some serious power. not only does it moisturize and smooth, but it also thickens while protecting against ferocious damage from my heat tools. on a deeper level it protects my natural color from brassiness, provides a shield of care including anti-aging, anti-humidity (not an issue at the moment – thanks, polar vortex), and uv rays all while maintaining my style longer between shampoos.

it’s that last point that really has me singing, because not only do i love my style after it’s been freshly shampoo’d but on the second day? it looks really super gorgeous! no dry shampoo needed. this is a major time saver and it’s really just tricking me into thinking that i have naturally great hair. (i don’t. it’s the product.)

this stuff is so good that i’m prescribing it for anyone with hair. (that would be you.)

ag bb cream total benefit hair primer, $26 >

morphe deluxe buffer brush

morphe deluxe buffer brush

everyone has their druthers when it comes to foundation application: fingers, sponge, flat brush, etc. – and i happen to be a fan of the big, fluffy brush. this version from morphe is near perfection. for one, the size is generous but not too big (you’ve still got to be able to get into those eye corners and nose crevices after all). the bristles are the right combination of sturdy, but soft so that it applies foundations seamlessly and at the same time doesn’t irritate. (side poll: have you ever touched a makeup brush to your skin and it just plain hurts? i hate that!) i just love the way that this brush buffs and blends color right onto my face, making it look like second skin. i was so happy to find that for a lesser known brand, the quality here is very high, with not a single hair going astray (my biggest brush gripe!) and a price point that simply cannot be beat. if you’re in the market for a new way to apply your favorite face base, take a look at morphe – i think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

morphe deluxe buffer brush, $13.95 >

urban outfitters petal perfume oil

urban outfitters petal perfume oil

every once in awhile, something really takes my breath away. such is the case with this rose petal, peony and bergamot perfume oil from urban outfitters. this is one of the most gorgeously luxe and elegant fragrances that i have sniffed of late, but at the same time it’s insanely wearable and casual enough for everyday. the blend of florals (including freesia, along with two different roses and peony), fruity bergamot and woodsy musk combine for an addictive experience that keeps me coming back for more. the scent is refreshingly pure and light, kind of like what you wish your hair products left you smelling like without the need for extra fragrance. it’s pretty, and easy.

beyond the notes themselves, i have to talk about the packaging. for one, this bottle is huge. at nearly one full ounce, it generously fills my hand (for comparison, most rollerballs are .17 to .24oz) and i love that you can see real rosebuds floating in the perfume oil. the whole thing is just beautiful and exactly the hip and stylish kind of chic you would anticipate from urban outfitters.

you might expect that a perfume oil of this unique caliber would sell for department store dollars, but just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, i’m going to tell you that this chunky glass vial goes for a jaw-dropping eighteen dollars. (that’s less than a designer rollerball at sephora, gals.)

i’m calling it case closed on the search for my spring fragrance – who’s with me?

urban outfitters petal perfume oil, $18 >

lipstick queen saint in hot rose

lipstick queen saint hot rose

in my opinion, dry lips don’t just need moisture, they need color. for that reason, i am always on the hunt for a one-step lip that will hydrate and soothe while also giving me a sheer pop of pink. sadly, most tinted balms don’t deliver nearly enough pigment for my liking, leaving me mostly disappointed. i’m not sure why this concept is such a tough one for brands to latch on to, but it’s really not surprising that a real winner in this category would arrive from poppy king.

lipstick queen’s saint lipstick has 10% pigment for a hint of long-lasting and buttery-feeling color. available in 20 (!) shades, saint is easy to apply and a piece of cake to wear, delivering a casual glam that’s perfect for everyday. i’m partial to hot rose, a deep fuchsia that has been delivering a lightly vanilla-scented wash of pink hydration to my dry and colorless lips this winter. the shade is more than enough to wake up my dead winter lips and i also love the way that it’s bringing life to my paling complexion.

if your lips are needing a burst of brightness (or even if a sheer, hydrating nude or a gothy wine is more your speed), forego the obvious choice and take a good long look at lipstick queen’s saint formula. you won’t be sorry.

lipstick queen saint, $22 >