laura mercier matte radiance baked powder4

laura mercier matte radiance

industry experts across the board agree that you should have some version of setting or translucent powder in your makeup bag. designed to lock your look in place without adding anything or taking anything away, these products are a lifesaver for when you need your daily makeup to go the distance or – if you’re like me – your oily skin needs refreshing mid-day.

the problem for me is that these powders tend to leave my skin looking so flat and lifeless. i usually reach for an ultra fair bronzer to freshen up my face instead because it adds dimension, but in a perfect world, there would be something on the market that gives that beautiful candlelit-from-within glow and mattifies at the same time.

enter laura mercier and her magical genius. just reading the words “matte radiance” make my heart sing because all signs point to this powder doing everything that i need: zapping shine while at the same time adding in that glow that i crave so badly.

it delivers in the most beautiful way! it’s soft and silky (almost creamy) and it pulls my entire look back together. there’s a sheen, not so much a shimmer to it – so when you wear it you feel instantly pretty and it looks less like you’ve been playing in grandma’s makeup drawer, and more like the prettiest instagram filter – ever.

i’ve been wearing it in highlight 01 which reads as sheer and neutral, detracting from any minor imperfections and waking up my skin. it’s warm and subtle, totally making me forget that it’s march, because it’s sending my skin straight into spring.

laura mercier matte radiance baked powder, $38 >

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give your beauty brushes a much-needed makeover0

paris presents brushes

the right makeup brushes are key to any beauty look, and the best part is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to complete your collection. i have always been a fan of the bargain beauty brush, often finding them to be better quality and more long-lasting than their pricier counterparts. these days options are endless with brands like real techniques, ecotools, and essential tools so widely available. that being said, it makes sense to turn to the right brand for the right tool, so here are my tricks for selecting the best brushes.

  1. real techniques has mastered the art of foundation application. we all know that i love this brush, but i have recently turned to its more shapely sister, the sculpting brush, to apply my daily favorite. it blends so, so beautifully! the bristles are so soft and dense, and the finish is flawless.

  2. essential tools is it for eyes. when you can buy three essential brushes for less than it costs to snag your favorite eyeshadow, you know you’re doing something right. the everyday eye set contains all that you need to craft your favorite look. i’m currently running with this maybelline duo – i use the large shadow brush to cover the base of my lid in the lighter shade and then the angled shadow brush to get some definition in the crease. so simple!

  3. for a smooth, high-definition look, get yourself this gorgeous mattifying finish makeup brush from ecotools. you have never seen such a beauty for less than $9! the duo fibers pick up just enough of my go-to powder and the soft contours mean that the problem areas – like those crevices around my nose – don’t get shiny.

now! time for a fab little giveaway. in case you missed it, i just introduced you to five beauty brushes that you can purchase for less than $25 – or better yet, if you’d rather get them for free, enter below:


Video Promo Banner1

this post is sponsored by lunchbox. all opinions are my own.

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topshop all over glow liquid illuminator2

topshop all over glow

old man winter, we are done with you.

thankfully, sweet glossarie contributor maggie has a little something for us to get our glow on without leaving town – although, for the record, looking at today’s forecast, we would very much like to leave town.

“i love topshop for their glowy products. lara could not get enough of their glow stick this summer, while i’m currently obsessing over the all over glow liquid illuminator. for that fresh-from-the-beach look that’s not too obvious, you can swipe just a touch of this cream highlighter under brows, on cheekbones, and down the center of your nose. the effects are warm and sunny, almost like your skin has seen the actual sun. (i forget what that’s like…) this can also be easily blended into foundation or moisturize for an all-over glow that’s illuminating without being intimidating – even if your skin tends toward the greasy end of the spectrum.”

sounds like summer in a tube – and to that i say, yes please!

top shop all over glow liquid illuminator, $15 >

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dr. dennis gross color smart cleanser & mask0

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Color Smart Cleanser & Mask

disclaimer: i haven’t tried this one, but i’m so intrigued that i had to share it.

dr. dennis gross has created a cleanser/mask that changes color to reveal the areas of your face that have been properly cleansed. you rub it onto your skin in a circular motion, and it changes color to indicate when that area is fully clean.

** insert applause emoji **

i mean, if it actually works, this is so genius – and quite an advancement. no more wondering if your face is really clean! clearer pores for everyone! and beyond that little magic trick, the product can be used both as a cleanser and as a detox mask giving you big-time bang for your buck.

do you think you’ll give this a try?

the reviews are mixed, so i haven’t made the commitment of adding it to my sephora shopping car just yet. it seems that maybe the innovative color-change aspect outperforms its actual cleansing abilities and there’s also some mention of it leaving your skin tinted orange (eek!) if you don’t rinse extra thoroughly. hmm…

the optimist in me has high hopes because any exciting feature in a cleanser is a very positive thing for me. i would rather do a sink FULL of dirty dishes than wash my face at night – i don’t know why, but i really dread it. that being said, since i haven’t tried it, i can’t endorse it, but it does beg the question – what will they think of next?

dr. dennis gross color smart cleanser & mask, $28 >

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bareminerals ‘the modern icon’ eyeshadow palette0

bareminerals 'the modern icon'

my eyeshadow routine is admittedly pretty lame. i have a handful of individual shadow pots rolling around, each one of them basically the same shade as the next. they’re a pain to travel with and i don’t feel like any of them really brings out the best in my eyes. it’s all very blah.

so, when bareminerals ‘the modern icon’ limited edition shadow palette arrived, i was instantly intrigued. the shades are vivid but not so much of a detraction from my traditional neutrals that i felt i could play with them. swiping them on my hand, the texture felt smooth and soft, so easily blendable – this is my kind of palette.

the pretty and pigmented shadows are each surprisingly wearable. i love that there are four shades, not fourteen, that take the guesswork out of crafting simple yet unexpected combinations. my favorite pairing is to dust chic (top left, a pink cashmere) on as a base using this brush and then sweep sophisticate (bottom left, a natural amethyst) into my crease for some subtle definition with this brush from modern minerals. (the white brush arrived in this month’s boxycharm, and i love it.)

it’s amazing how a few shades just a sidestep from my traditional choices can make me feel like i have totally upped my game. this palette is a steal at $30 and the formula is shockingly long-wearing aside from being a cinch to apply. if you’re in the market for something new, don’t overlook this sweet option – it won’t be around for long.

bareminerals modern pop ready eyeshadow 4.0 the modern icon, $30 >

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queen bee lip treatment by lipstick queen2

lipstick queen queen bee lip balm

obvious fact of the day: it’s freezing.

i don’t think i have ever been so consistently exposed to dry air in my life and my whole body is feeling the effects. my lips are craving comfort and at a time when i would normally reach for a business balm like aquaphor or my recent favorite, something super pretty steps onto the scene.

if you’re into designer balms, you’re about to start licking your lips because poppy king has created one that’s truly unique. at first glance, you’re probably thinking that there’s no way this luxe tube houses anything able to tackle this kind of dryness, but you’d be wrong. beyond the beautiful package lies a stick treatment with a sweet honey fragrance and an unexpected bronze gold finish. slick it on your lips and you’ll discover a formula that soothes chapped lips while softening and plumping as you wear it. it feels ah-mazing and the subtle shimmering finish gives a little life to your otherwise natural beauty look.

lipstick queen has delivered the antidote to suffering winter lips. with ingredients like royal jelly, chamomile and sunflower extract to nourish, repair and hydrate, this glamorous new balm is a beautiful way to combat the way harsh weather.

lipstick queen queen bee, $22 >

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bumble and bumble repair blow dry2


i wouldn’t have ever considered my hair damaged until i started using a product designed for damaged hair and noticed a tremendous difference. i guess that my regular cycle of blowdrying and straightening inflicts more pain and suffering on my hair than i realized because bumble and bumble has made a major impact on its strength and appearance, almost overnight.

their new repair blowdry is a serum in cream formula that is virtually weightless. it seals split ends and protects against heat damage while leaving my hair noticeably softer, with more volume. a small dose of this beautiful stuff gives me a better blow-dry than anything else i have used. it’s blowing my hair back to life! (miracle number one.)

perhaps best of all, the elixir can be left on my hair to air dry because there is a deep hydration blend inside of this tube that tames frizz and flyways without feeling heavy or sticky. i have never been able to air dry my hair without curl products until now. (miracle number two.) i can also rough-dry style my hair without using my flat iron in a pinch and it actually looks good – kind of tousled and shaped in a haphazard way that does not appear sloppy. (in case you are keeping track, that’s miracle number three.)

i got the tiniest dose of this product as a sephora beauty insider perk. it has already lasted me for weeks and there’s no fear of it running out anytime soon. a little (i mean a very, very little – we are talking a pea sized amount or less) goes a long way, bringing our total miracle count to four and sending me officially on my way to sephora to pick up a full-sized tube.

bumble and bumble repair blow dry, $30 >

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sachajuan scalp shampoo + conditioner2

sachajuan scalp shampoo conditioner

it has taken me most of my adult life to learn that good hair begins with a healthy scalp. just like your face, there’s a moisture balance there that must be maintained in order to enjoy the hair of your dreams.

my hair is not so dreamy. it tends to get greasy by the middle of day two after washing which leaves me looking a bit unkempt and has me hanging somewhere between needing to wash my hair daily and being able to get away with an every-other-day dousing. the struggle is real.

in recent years, i have had the best luck with shampoos designed to cleanse my scalp and sachajuan scalp shampoo is the latest and greatest thing to hit my shower shelf. first of all, the stuff is beautiful and unfussy at the same time. it has a gel-like consistency that i rub between my two hands and then scrub into my scalp. the lather factor is very low, but the cleansing results are super good. sachajuan has included ingredients to eliminate flakes and itching while also boosting its formula with lovely things like rosemary oil, menthol, salicylic acid and ginger extracts. in the briefest of terms, this is a treatment shampoo that leaves your hair looking really pretty.

on the conditioner front, sachajuan counteracts scalp shampoo’s treatment abilities with more shine and volume than i have ever received from a conventional conditioner. after my scalp is clean, i remove as much water as i can from my hair and apply the tiniest bit of their normal hair conditioner on the bottom half, keeping it clear of my scalp. it smooths and detangles, and when all is said and done, the hair at my roots is left with lift and body. the shafts and ends are clean, but not dried out. everything feels soft, but doesn’t look flat or greasy.

sachajuan is making my hair oh-so happy and i’m only wondering why it took me so long to discover this absolute gem of a hair product line.

sachajuan scalp shampoo, $25 >

sachajuan conditioner, $13.50 >

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jouer anti aging moisture primer0

jouer anti aging moisture primer

in the last six months it has become abundantly clear that a lack of sleep truly does read all over your face. for me, sleep deprivation is coming across loud and clear, in the form of tired, lackluster skin. there’s puff, there’s sag, and there really is a begging for some tender loving care.

these days, my favorite go-to makeup just isn’t cutting it. kind of like an ill-fitting dress, the stuff i once clung to in order to bring an even brightness to my face seems to be highlighting all of the wrong areas. it’s clear that i need a little something extra in order to put my best face forward. i need a primer.

i don’t know about you, but i have historically had a love-hate relationship with primers. while they make my skin look flawless, they tend to create new problems and blemishes by way of clogged pores, perpetuating a vicious cycle of creating and covering flaws. i’m yet to find one that i can use daily as opposed to just when the occasional dire need arises to look flawless.

jouer has changed the game up a bit with their anti aging moisture primer. the difference is noticeable at first touch. it feels heavenly on skin and adds the exact right amount of hydration and complexion perfection. there’s just the slightest touch of pearly shimmer in the formula – only barely visible on the skin, but apparent if you peek at your fingers after smoothing it on. once in place, my makeup goes on seamlessly and has an elevated look. there’s a glow and an evenness to my skin tone that wasn’t there before, plus a liveliness that i’ve been lacking.

this stuff is very good and it has not broken me out in the least. it’s the helping hand that my graceful aging process has been calling for and the perfect boost to my daily routine so long as this lack of sleep thing keeps going. (and unfortunately, i hear that it’s going to keep going.)

jouer anti aging moisture primer, $38 >

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mario badescu alpha-grapefruit cleansing lotion1

mario badescu alpha-grapefruit cleansing lotion

i’ve been suffering from a ferocious case of the tiny forehead bumps – for weeks. i cannot for the life of me figure out what is causing them and i have completely overhauled my hair routine (twice) to uncover the culprit. since they’re not terribly visible, i can just feel them when washing my face and applying moisturizer, i chocked it up to hormones and carried on.

then, a week or two ago, a gorgeous box of mario badescu replenishments arrived and in it was a new-to-me toner. i’ve been using these pads religiously with no complaints, but i’m always up for finding something better, so i gave it a whirl and went to bed. unbeknownst to me, this new toner worked all manner of miracles while i slept and – i kid you not – the next morning, all tiny forehead bumps had vanished. my smooth bump-free forehead was BACK!

i thought it might be a fluke, but i had to travel recently and pads are much easier to tote on a flight than a bottle of toner. after a few days away, surprise! the nasty forehead bumps had returned with a vengeance. i didn’t think too much of it, but now that i’m home and have worked the mario toner back into my routine for one night only, i am cured again! (i know – this is a roller coaster.)

the exfoliation powers in this gentle toner know no bounds and there is no itchy or harsh feeling like i have previously experienced with chemical exfoliants. the citrus ingredients rapidly decongest pores and break down dead skin cells (the two likely culprits of my atrocious forehead bumps) for clear, healthy skin. the addition of aloe means that it doesn’t tear up your face while it works and skin is left refreshed and glowing.

yet another win for mario the magician! please tell me you have tried these products – if not, your skin is seriously missing out.

mario badescu alpha-grapefruit cleansing lotion, $15 >


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