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 >

buxom show some skin weightless foundation

buxom show me some skin

i’m still anticipating the “glowing skin” portion of pregnancy, but while i twiddle my thumbs awaiting that miracle i have found a gorgeous foundation to get me through.

lately, i’ve been feeling like my favorite cc cream has started to fall a little flat. on my hunt for a perfect replacement that will look like second skin while covering imperfections, i’ve been reminded that medium-to-full coverage options tend to look thick and mask-y and those that look natural fail to cover my blemishes and scars. where’s the happy medium? well, turns out that it’s in this silver-trimmed tube from buxom.

after a test run with a deluxe sample from sephora* i am happy to report that buxom’s new show some skin weightless foundation blends flawlessly onto skin and it feels feather weight on application. once on, it’s practically imperceptible and truly looks like second skin. since it is a light-to-medium coverage option, those with uneven skin tone and spots will be thrilled to hear that it’s easy to build coverage by applying more in your trouble areas. once applied, it wears all day long and it doesn’t leave me greasy mid-afternoon. best of all, there is a radiance to it which imparts the glow that i’ve been missing.

in short, this foundation looks like a dream on me and delivers natural, glowing skin. beauties with skin that tends to be irritable and dry will find good things in this foundation. i’m feeling pretty confident that show me some skin will take me straight through spring and summer. (or at least until that mama bear glow arrives, at which point i will be milking that for all its worth.)

buxom show some skin weightless foundation, $34 >

note: if you don’t take advantage of sephora’s generous sampling policy, you should! you can have anything in the store made into a sample (in this case, i took home three days worth of foundation to play with) at no cost.

make primers

i am impressed time and time again by the products coming out of the make camp, and these two primers are no exception. primer is one of those things that i hate slathering all over my face – it clogs my pores and aggravates my skin, almost counteracting the long-wearing benefits. there are still, however, a couple of places on my face that i really like to use it, namely underneath my eyes and on my lips.

make transforming eye primer

the transforming eye primer ($23) is creamy and gorgeous. i use it underneath of my eyes, after my moisturizer to grip on to my cc cream or foundation and lessen the need for extra concealer. it works like a charm! it goes on cool and smooth, softening fine lines and without settling into crow’s feet. the tint helps to brighten that delicate area and the silky formula is super easy to wear. if your under eye makeup tends to fade, this is definitely a  little lifesaver.

make lip primer

when it comes to lips, i love bright, bold color but i hate the way that it fades, plus it can feel dry and uncomfortable. i’m drawn to gloss/balm hybrids and more moisturizing color for the comfort factor, but keeping those on your lips can be pretty impossible. the lip primer ($23) from make is waxy, but weightless, filling in lines and sealing in moisture while locking in color and preventing feather and fade. it’s been giving staying power to even the slickest ‘sticks and tinted balms, making me a very happy girl.

have you tried any of make’s for-benefit products yet? 33.3% of web sales go to the we see beauty foundation – a great cause that supports the cooperative movement – reminding me that there truly is nothing like looking good and feeling good at the same time.

lorac POREfection foundation

LORAC-POREfection-Foundation-PR2-medium

with foundations, it seems that i either run the risk of not getting enough coverage (thus looking washed out and sick) or wearing something so heavy and mask-like that it looks like stage makeup. aside from that, i can pretty much tell on contact how my skin will react to something and the last several that i’ve tested have broken me out like whoa. super frustrating.

so when i heard that lorac was releasing a new foundation that was ideal for those of us suffering from acne, redness, and sensitivity and who also want something anti-aging, i could not get my hands on it fast enough.

lorac POREfection foundation has a perfect combination of natural antioxidants (vitamins a and e, olive leaf, lemon and papaya fruit extracts) that work to fight aging, soothe, nourish, and rejuvenate skin. all of that goodness combines with the best of cosmetic science to create a makeup that performs impressively well.

the formula is fragrance and paraben free with spf 20 to protect. the texture reminds me a lot of make up for ever’s hd invisible cover, but without the dehydrating effects. a little goes a long way and it provides a medium, natural finish (note: not sheer) that isn’t dewy or matte and provides a nice, healthy glow. (so many foundations rob skin of its natural variation in pigmentation, i find that this keeps some of that in there so you don’t need to contour the heck out of things afterwards.) once you’re wearing it, this foundation looks better than if you had nothing on. it makes all of my flaws vanish, feels completely weightless, breathes easily and looks like skin.

this behaves much differently from my beloved cc cream, but it’s a perfect solution for days when i need something to really perform. in my eyes, it’s got a leg up over urban decay’s naked and it is definitely my new favorite.

lorac POREfection foundation, $36 >

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?

rediscovering a few old favorites

old favorites

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on sundays i do a weekly purge of the glossarie stash and archives. i move things from the “to be tested drawer” to my makeup basket, from my makeup basket to my “keep” drawer or into my donation bags. (everyone who comes over is forced to pillage and take what they wish. i’m also known to bring the bag to lunch dates and happy hours – it’s vicious.) inventory control is a major process, but i find that as i’m working through it each week, i discover new obsessions and i always find a few neglected old friends.

this week, i found four former glossarie favorites that i was so excited to rediscover. i promptly put all of them on as my face of the day, and popped them straight into the keep drawer.

stila countless color pigments in lyric, $22 – i discovered this at south moon under and it quickly became my go-to blush shade through the summer months. technically an eyeshadow, the light pink / peach combination has turned out to be a flattering cheek shade that i keep coming back to. (warning: go very light on the touch or you will look scary.)

make up for ever hd invisible cover foundation, $42nicole brought this foundation into my life nearly two years ago and it is still a favorite for photo shoot and event days. my skin just takes really well to it and i’m left with that no-makeup flawlessness that serves as the perfect canvas for the rest of my makeup. i love the perfect application and the long-wearing performance.

clinique bottom lash mascara, $10 – we’ve talked about it twice now, but i still cannot get enough of this stuff. something about that teensy brush and the gorgeous, smudge-proof formula makes it one of my all time favorites for going on three years. the look is long and fluttery, without a single missed lash. i’m partial to the black/brown shade because you can swipe it through your eyebrows in a pinch to fill things in.

soap & glory a great kisser in juicy peach, $10 – this one was found in the pages of lucky magazine and it is still a popular lip balm choice for me. it’s got a sweet peach flavor, a slight coral tint, and a tackiness to it that makes it adhere to my lips and lock in moisture. it feels amazing (hydrating, soothing), but it also makes my lips look shiny and full. and you know how much i love something that looks as good as it performs.

have you recently rediscovered an old beauty favorite?

movie magic with mark.

mark. video products
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in august i spent an afternoon at the mark. offices filming a handful of videos for some of their exciting new products. i had the absolute best time hanging out with the mark. team who are, not surprisingly, an insanely fun group of girls. they made me feel so comfortable on camera and i loved getting my hands on all of the new products and accessories a full season ahead of the masses. i easily identified several favorites and we shot my thoughts on why they’re each so fab. if you’re finding yourself with a little time in your rainy sunday, click on through to take a peek at my youtube debuts! i’m super proud of them :)

mark. wonder glow blush & glow 

mark. great finish pressed perfecting powder

mark. earn your metal liquid shimmer eyeliner

mark. on the dot lip color compact

smashbox liquid halo hd foundation

smashbox liquid halo

it’s been awhile since something truly revolutionary has come along in a foundation, so we are definitely due for a groundbreaking new launch. i believe smashbox has done it with their liduid halo hd foundation.

as a little backstory, i used the halo powder foundation for years and it truly was best in class because, hello, a hydrating powder? so innovative. but, as i’ve crept past 30, i’ve shied away from powders because i think they tend to settle and age. (plus, glowy is in and who am i to fight that?) i’m always searching for the world’s most perfect foundation, one that magically covers all of my imperfections yet still looks like i’m not wearing a drop of makeup. it hasn’t been easy to find, until now.

new halo liquid hd foundation is everything i’ve been looking for. it’s oil free, non drying, and i can wear it all day looking and feeling like i’ve got nothing on. my pesky pimples and acne scarring are completely hidden and my skin looks like it’s lit from within, yet it’s not at all shiny. i had a quick chat with the smashbox lady at nordstrom and i learned that the highly impressive results come from color pigments that are encapsulated in gel so they actually blur your imperfections while evening out skin tone and remaining virtually undetectable. just further proof that gel technology is taking the beauty world by storm.

i think what i love best about this foundation is that i’ve found something that is perfect for everyday, but high performance enough for special events and even the occasional photo shoot. it’s no longer necessary to keep extra bottles handy for different makeup scenarios and that alone is enough to make me want to buy stock in this stuff.

new smashbox liquid halo foundation spf 15 is available at sephora for $42.

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