one love organics the cleansing sponge rose clay heart3

one love organics cleansing sponge pink clay

i scrub my face with a steaming hot washcloth every other morning. it helps to get the blood flowing and it also ensures that i don’t apply my moisturizer to a dry face (a huge no-no according to my derm). when visiting follain a couple of weeks ago, i was reintroduced to the konjac sponge. tara recommended one love organic’s version as the anti-clarisonic and the ultimate way to encourage cell turnover and keep things glowing.

one love presents an upgrade to the original with the addition of pink clay. this skincare wonder works to absorb toxins and clogged oil while also combatting skin irritation and dryness. the pink version is perfect for rosacea sufferers and those with mature or dry skin because it calms and exfoliates at the same time. in other words, it works miracles.

to use it, i soak this sponge until it’s soft and fully expanded. then i run it over my face, massaging in circular motions. once i’m done, i rinse it in cool water, squeeze out the excess and hang it to dry. it’s a piece of cake to use and i notice that my skin is far less angry since i’ve switched from washcloth to sweet little sponge.

it’s such a simple upgrade and it’s easy to travel with, meaning that my skin stays healthy when i’m away from home. plus, have you ever seen anything more adorable in your life? i just know that you and your skin will find this little heart is extra easy to love.

one love organics the cleansing sponge rose clay heart, $10 >

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le traveleur the weekender travel kit0

clear plastic bag with sample-sized beauty products

i’m packing up my stephanie johnsons and heading to atlanta for the wedding of my very best friend this weekend. packing is already pretty much the worst, but there’s nothing more painful than chasing down travel-sized portions of your favorite products. it seems like nothing quality comes in a weekend-sized tube or bottle, so i’m constantly sacrificing my skin and my hair to the hotel product lords – and it has got to stop.

this weekend, however, i’m treating my hair to a leonor greyl shampoo and hair mask, cleansing my face with ursa major, showering up with ayres‘ orange blossom and vanilla, and opting for acca kappa in lieu of my go-to tube of crest. sound heavenly? it should!

all of the above are included in the weekender travel kit by le traveler, a freshly launched, gorgeously curated kit of travel needs. as a road warrior, i am extra obsessed with this concept, but the brand partners are so attractive that i could imagine myself scooping this bag of goodies up just to try several somethings new.

for $35, le traveleur is offering sample sized versions of some high-quality products – but beyond that, they are giving me peace of mind that my skin is going to be pampered all weekend long. alongside the must-haves like face wash and body lotion are some really pretty add ons like those mai couture blush papers and the nuxe dry oil. i also love the idea of testing a new fragrance while away for the weekend! le traveleur has included a vial from one of my very favorite brands – soap and paper factory – and i cannot wait to try.

let me just say that the team at le traveleur has got this one so right. they have already saved me tons of time and worry while prepping for this weekend, eliminating lots of unnecessary drama from my travel routine. i’m curious to know if you think this concept will work for you. please let me know – and happy trails!

le traveleur the weekender travel kit, $35 >

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murad healthy skin facial8

white and orange bottle of vitamin c

beauty confession: before last week, i have had one facial in my entire life.

it was in high school, at the peak of my acne battle, it was painful and my face was red and angry for days afterwards. the aesthetician was too aggressive with extractions and she used all kinds of oils that clogged my pores and trashed my skin. because of the negative experience, i have never gone back, but when murad invited me into massage envy for one of their healthy skin facials, i felt confident that they would give my face the tlc it needs – and i was not wrong.

since i was nervous, i made my aesthetician wakena talk me through everything – and she kindly indulged my every whim. first, we talked about my skin type (sensitive, acne-prone) and she asked me about my product regimen. she told me she would cleanse my skin, then take a look and explain her recommended plan of attack.

the cleansing felt like heaven, you guys. it was the most tender facial massage and it was ultra relaxing. once my skin was clean, wakena took a close look and prescribed the following steps:

1 – intensive-c radiance peel with glycolic acid to chemically exfoliate and improve clarity
2 – manual extractions – piece of cake!
3 – clarifying mask with sulfur and zinc oxide to detoxify and calm my skin
4 – essential-c eye cream to improve my dark circles; the addition of caffeine works to combat a fresh crop of fine lines
5 – anti-aging moisturizer to keep me looking young, without causing breakouts

she explained the need for each step along with the ingredients in every product and what they would do for my skin. i  was most afraid of the steam being too much (but she gladly adjusted it to my comfort level) and of the extractions – but, they weren’t bad at all! she used her fingers to squeeze the gunk out of the pores on my nose and it was practically painless.

i love how wakena checked in with me along the way and adjusted her pressure if i had any discomfort. i could feel every product working with my skin, not against it, and at the end i felt as though i had just experienced one hour of skin therapy. the whole experience was a pleasure and today, my skin is smoother and clearer.

if you want to experience your own best skin, massage envy is offering $10 off their four murad healthy skin facials and a free murad sample now through august 2nd – and if you pre-book an august facial in july, you will also receive a special skincare kit.

to top it all off, since i have been officially bitten by the facial bug and murad’s incredible product range, i’m offering you the chance to win an environmental shield healthy skin regimen kit. enter below and please tell me about your own feelings on facials in the comments.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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we tried it: ombre nail art0

please welcome new glossarie contributor, stefanie! she comes to us with a cosmetology license, a fierce beauty obsession and a love for trying new things. read along as she shares all of the details of her beauty trials this summer!five bottles of nail polish used to create do-it-yourself nail art

when it comes to nail design i usually leave it to the professionals, but sephora’s do-it-yourself ombre kit has me wanting to get creative. it’s definitely out of my comfort zone, but i’m glad that i chose to take the leap – because the results are pretty impressive.

the set comes with one silver base color and four other colors used for the ombre design.
the silver base coat was very opaque and smooth, and it dried almost instantly. the other colors in the kit have a thinner formula, making it easier for the polishes to blend together and create the ombre design. thankfully for this novice, the directions on the box have step-by-step instructions and pictures, making it very beginner-friendly.

the kit comes with three different design options, and i’m not ashamed to admit that i chose the easiest one to tackle. in this case, it turns out that looks were deceiving because as i got started, i quickly found that it was a difficult to keep the darker color at the base of nail as instructed. the colors were so thin that the polishes began to all run together giving my nails more of a tie-dye look then the desired ombre. when i was done, my nails looked different from the pictures on the box, but i was still impressed with the galaxy effect.

purple tie-dye galaxy nail art

so, let’s get down to it: would i still rock these nails?

absolutely.

although they didn’t turn out exactly as i expected, the compliments from people asking if i got my nails done at a salon or what tool i used to accomplish the look are enough of a reward for me. i’m calling my first diy nail art project a grand success – and i will definitely be back to try the other design options.

formula x infinite ombre nail design set, $29.50 >

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mark. buenos aires vibe eau de toilette spray0

glass bottle of perfume with wild and colorful floral print

i like to change up my scent for summer. for me, it’s right up there with increasing the spf in my daily moisturizer and going a touch heavier in the bronzer department. so, what do i want in a fragrance for the warmer months? something fresh and vibrant – something that smells like vacation.

the best scents take us on a sensory getaway and for summer 2015, mark. is taking us to straight to buenos aires with their instant vacation collection. the annual release is always a joy, but this season the tropical locale has inspired some extra pretty products – and at the top of the pack is buenos aires vibe eau de toilette spray.

this gorgeous perfume is ultra affordable. it smells exotic at first spritz and there’s just an easy flirtatiousness that instantly makes you feel good. i love that mark. always brings unique notes together for combinations that you can’t get anywhere else. vibe has passion fruit, violet and musk that result in this kind of spicy sweetness – and it carries me away every time that i wear it.

i can’t help but think that the fragrance is begging to be paired with bold prints, flowy fabrics and all of the carefree, fabulous fun that comes with this time of year. as if the bottle itself isn’t stunning enough, mark. has really helped to ease the sting of working all summer long without relief. i adore catching whiffs of vibe’s feisty florals throughout the day – imagining that a summer escape is right around the corner.

mark. buenos aires vibe eau de toilette spray, $24 >

thank you to mark. for having me as a blogger ambassador again this year!

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earth tu face skin stick0

earth tu face skin stick

i have long been needing a nourishing nighttime lip treatment. 33 years of pursing my lips when concentrating, driving and writing blog posts has left me with some major lines in that department and i will do just about anything to counteract further damage. after learning from tara at follain that anti aging products are not doing the nicest things to my skin, i begged store director alyse to point me towards her favorite lip product in the store.

she did not hesitate before handing me earth tu face skin stick, touting its multipurpose healing abilities along with its ultra hydrating formula. “it’s the most soothing balm i’ve ever felt” i believe were her exact words, to which i replied “done!”

now that i’ve got the 100% compostable cardboard tube living permanently in the tray atop my bedside table, i can tell you that a lyse was not wrong. not only has this balm changed the skin on and around my lips, but i have also used it to soothe two (count them, two) cooking-induced stove burns. (domestic i am not.)

the most impressive and different thing about this balm compared to all others in my drawers is that the all natural ingredients gel so nicely with my skin. for as long as i can remember, i have had tiny bumps (pimples!) on the edges of my lips, but they have vanished since bringing earth tu face into my life. beyond that, the ingredient vetiver is actually working some anti aging magic with its proven abilities to regenerate skin tissues and reveal smoother, younger looking skin.

i never imagined that a natural and nontoxic product could outperform my favorite brands, but here i am, never happier to have been proven wrong – and enjoying younger-looking lips to boot.

earth tu face skin stick, $34 >

 

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follain5

follain

there’s a new beauty haven in washington dc and i am in love with its owner, its mission, and every single safe (read: free of toxic chemicals) product on its beautifully curated shelves.

tara foley’s follain was born in boston (home!) after she won a national retail business plan competition while pursuing her mba. needless to say i feel very akin to this fellow boston-loving, business-savvy beauty addict so it’s really no surprise that i’m beyond obsessed with her stunning store.

tara is doing beauty with a healthy twist, but she’s not just another “green” or “natural” product pusher. while i have admittedly never given a care in the world to the toxins entering my body through my beauty products, i’m thinking more carefully about what goes onto my skin after meeting tara and falling hard for her whole philosophy.

follain’s pretty portfolio is carefully selected by tara and her team. they procure safe and effective products from 40 brands, all made in the USA, and all proven to address specific skincare concerns. they take their job so seriously that they take precious time to meet each brand’s passionate founder, to get to know them and their story, so that they are able to more fully educate their customers. love that.

follain feels like a beautiful oasis the second you step inside. it smells like heaven and each product is so beautifully packaged, so begging to be played with and tested that i could have stayed there all day talking to tara and soaking up her beauty smarts.

of course i shopped while i was listening to all of the compelling reasons why i should take the ingredients in my beauty routine more seriously. i came away with three things that i have been using every single day and dare i say work far better than the toxic chemical-laden products still littering up my vanity. you can see what i scooped up below and look for full reviews on each pretty product coming your way very soon.

if you’re lucky enough to be based in boston, nantucket or washington, you must go pay this store a visit. i urge you to replace a single product in your routine with one of tara’s non-toxic gems, then hurry back here and tell me what you think. if you live in other cities, you can shop the follain portfolio online and know that you are browsing the very best in healthy beauty products – there is seriously no need to look anywhere else, because tara and her team have done all of the work for you.

if it’s not clear, i’m a big fan of follain and everything that they are doing to make shopping for safe products an indulgent and pampering experience. their dedication to quality is unmatched and i can’t wait to go back for more. i’ll be the bobbed brunette at the basin sink hogging all of the masks and spa treatments, so don’t be shy and say hello!

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l’oreal true match super-blendable makeup4

lor323-05

when it comes to makeup, finding a foundation that matches both your skin type and your skin tone can feel near impossible. in recent weeks, i have sat at multiple department store beauty counters and i have gone through the sephora +pantone color iq system twice only to leave empty handed every single time.

then, while flipping through allure’s best of beauty issue on a recent flight, i was reminded that there is a gem of a l’oreal foundation on shelves at the drugstore. i scooped it up thinking that it would be a temporary placeholder until i found a more permanent solution, but after comparing and wearing it for a couple of weeks now, i think my search might be over.

the color match with this stuff is uncanny! my own eyeballs were able to quickly locate my perfect shade better than multiple nordstrom makeup artists and sephora’s high tech system. it shouldn’t be hard, but my skin tone is fair and neutral, so anything the slightest bit pink or yellow looks all wrong. thankfully, l’oreal has developed a massive range of shades and i quickly found a home with classic ivory N2. it blends invisibly into my skin with a damp foundation brush and it lasts all day long.

i will note that the packing here does have some flaws and that pouring liquid foundation into your hand isn’t the most efficient method, but the high-performance oil-free coverage has me so blissful that i’m willing to overlook it. (please, l’oreal put this into a pump or squeeze tube!)

have you tried this simple and unassuming glass bottle of liquid gold? would love to know your favorite foundation of the moment!

l’oreal true match super-blendable makeup, $5.99 >

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covergirl cheekers blush in classic pink2

 

covergirl checkers classic pink

finding the right blush is just plain hard. you want something flattering, but natural-looking (i mean, you don’t want to look like you’re actually wearing blush). a true winner is one that makes you look alive, vibrant and glowing, so it has to have depth and it cannot fall flat. also? you want it to be easy and gosh darn it, you want it to be pretty!

it’s painful enough to find all of these things, let alone find them at the drugstore level. in a recent and desperate search for a new blush, i stumbled upon a recommendation from byrdie.com that i could not overlook. for fair skin with red undertones, they said it’s best to go with a cool pink so as not to look ruddy. (i just about leapt from my seat when i read it, because most blushes make me too rosy!) beyond that, they recommended covergirl cheekers in classic pink, ringing it at a whopping $2.59 on amazon.

i snatched it up instantly and have been using it for weeks. gals, this blush is the business. it’s incredibly natural while still delivering a gorgeous pop of color. it stays all day long and has not led to a single breakout. it’s the perfect pink without a lick of sparkle. i have been using this brush to layer the pink goodness over this bronzer (harmony shade) for an insanely good summer glow.

easy, breezy, beautiful? yes, yes, and yes.

covergirl cheekers blush in classic pink, $2.59 >

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murad anti-aging acne regimen1

murad time release acne cleanser

acne in your 30’s is straight up obnoxious. i don’t know whether mine is attributed to hormones, stress or just a general curse from the universe, but my cyclical breakouts can be relentless and my sensitive skin always seems like a ticking time bomb.

on sunday, i came home from three days in miami where i had clogged my pores with sunblock, sweated it out on the beach (and the dance floor) and used OPP (other people’s products) – your basic recipe for disaster. on monday morning, my skin retaliated with a fresh batch of cystic pimples. ugh!

while i had been away, the kind people at murad delivered the latest innovations from their anti-aging acne line. the reason these products are so genius is that they are designed to target seriously stubborn acne in grownups while also hydrating and treating signs of aging — but the very best thing about them is that they work! fast.

i don’t think that one product has ever changed my skin so quickly. i implemented the time release acne cleanser into my evening routine and saw a noticeable difference the very next morning. my skin was less oily and my acne (which i spot treated with the advanced acne and wrinkle reducer) was almost gone. the cleanser is perfect because i don’t need to add a toner afterwards, eliminating one product from my routine, and it continues to fight acne after i’ve rinsed it off, while i sleep. the treatment then follows up to work quickly without any harsh side effects of redness or over drying.

these products actually work better than the prescription acne medication that i get from my dermatologist. they are not messing around and anyone who is still suffering from breakouts is going to find some seriously sweet relief in this lineup.

just a quick note: as always with skincare that packs this much of a punch, i recommend getting a sample at sephora and testing it on a small patch of skin. my skin is super sensitive and i didn’t have any issue, but the ingredients here (a combination of acids) are powerful and i would hate to be the cause of any adverse reactions.

murad time release acne cleanser, $$32 >

murad advanced acne and wrinkle reducer, $44 >

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