l’oreal true match super-blendable makeup4

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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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gold circle barrette1

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half up hair is happening everywhere and as if the less-is-more trend isn’t enough of a welcome and refreshing change, it comes with a little icing on the cake in the form of a gold circle barrette. these beauties have been spotted near and far, but they most notably made their debut last fall on the celine spring runway. since then, various brands have jumped on the hair jewelry bandwagon, but i’m loving banana republic’s take on the trend best of all. their chic version is an easily affordable $16.50 – and currently 40% off with code BRSUMMER.

be swift my friends – the code is only good through 6/8 and happy summer hair awaits!

gold circle barette, $16.50 (and 40% off!) >

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paul & joe limited edition lip gloss in strawberry kiwi0

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i don’t know if it’s the fact that this lip gloss looks like a tequila sunrise that has me wanting to own it so badly, but the truth is that i do not care. paul & joe are known for their gorgeous packaging and this pearly ombre lip gloss takes the cake for me. the brand is touting it as a splash of sangria for your lips with a finish that’s lustrous and translucent.

yes, please.

you can use a lip brush to blend the brilliant shades together to create something custom and your lips are going to love the smooth texture and locked-in hydration after a day of sunbathing.

get it while you can!

paul & joe limited edition lip gloss in strawberry kiwi, $26 >

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vegas face0

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i’ve spent the last five days in las vegas – and if that’s not the place to reevaluate your life choices, i’m not sure what is. it was my first time there and it was 100% the spectacle that i envisioned. it probably would have been a blast in my 20’s, but at the tender age of 33, bopping from frigid convention center to deliciously indulgent restaurant to insanely dry hotel room (with nothing but smoky casino in-between) really wreaked havoc on my skin. fitting those activities between two five-hour plane rides means that my congested complexion and my dehydrated hair are having a serious problem upon return to virginia. (read: it’s not pretty.)

when things really start going haywire, i like to return to my skincare home base. i stop testing all products and go back to what i know. for me, that means using this ultra-gentle hydrating cleanser, followed by this calming and clearing toner. in the mornings, i use my holy grail daily moisturizer and i give my hair a break from the hot tools with my go-to curl routine. at night, i slather this nourishing balm on my lips (everyone should have a tube of this in their makeup bag!) and i’m currently loving this eye cream because it’s lightweight, but it’s really working to combat my fine lines.

this morning, my skin is already calmer and clearer – i think i actually heard it say “ahhh” last night as i hit the pillow.

do you have those “home base” products that can set your skin straight when it gets off track? on a side note, i’m starting to feel like i need to invest in a good detox mask for when travel gets the best of me…suggestions welcome!

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previse nutrify0

previse nutrify

my poor skin does not get the star treatment that it once did. if we’re going to get real, in the current crazy pace of life, i can go days without washing my face. it’s bad, i know – and the effects read like a billboard of clogged pores, dryness, and redness. foundation can only do so much and lately i’ve been left looking and feeling like my face is actually falling apart.

i’m aware that my routine needs consistency, but also a serum or night treatment on top of my cleanser-toner regimen. familiar with my own limits and knowing that i am barely committing to two steps, let alone three, i set out to simplify even further while still adding something to the current lineup, not taking something away.

i stumbled upon previse nutrify through boxycharm and just a few drops on the back of my hand impressed me enough to take it straight to my face. it’s not a toner or a serum and the consistency reminds me a lot of this product from first aid beauty, but more hydrating and nourishing. i apply a full dropper full to a cotton pad and swipe it over my skin after cleansing. it takes the place of my toner and the cotton pad still helps to remove any traces of remaining makeup, but the intensely hydrating tonic helps to soothe and improve my neglected and irritated skin. my face is touchably soft when i’m done and i fall asleep knowing that i’m doing something nice for my face for once.

in the mornings, my face has been increasingly less red and rough. it’s bright, clear, calm – i want to shout it from the rooftops, this stuff is so good! i don’t think that i’ve seen such an overwhelmingly positive change to my skin with one product possibly ever before. best of all, since it’s oil-free, my breakouts are fading and i’m seeing instant results.

bottom line, this tonic is reversing damage and healing my skin with a visible difference after just one night’s use. if my glowing recommendation doesn’t convince you to purchase a bottle for yourself, please read through the customer reviews online. i tested this on a total whim and it has quickly become a must-have!

previse nutrify tonic, $48 >

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l’oreal telescopic mascara carbon black6

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this is the time of year when all mascaras begin to betray me. when you combine oily lids, watery eyes and virginia humidity, smudging is inevitable. i think i probably hate raccoon eyes more than anything. the rest of me could be impeccably put together, but a smudge of mascara under my eyes just makes me feel like such a hot mess. am i alone here?

after a recent bout with smudging – even my go-to’s were failing me! – and a refusal to move towards waterproof, i was on the verge of going for extensions. as a last ditch effort, i sat down to do some serious research on smudge-proof, yet washable mascaras and the only new-to-me mascara popping up in reviews was l’oreal telescopic carbon black. i ran to cvs with mediocre hopes, but let me tell ya, this stuff was love at first swipe.

first off, it’s blacker than black so you get intense definition and stand-out lashes before we even begin talking length – which it delivers in a big way. the brush separates everything out beautifully and doesn’t clump (not one bit!) for long, glossy, gorgeous black lashes. i love the fanned-out look that this gives to my eyes and smudging is nonexistent.

i’m more impressed by this mascara than every single designer mascara that i have tried in recent months. i don’t know where this holy grail has been hiding, but i’m so glad that pages (upon pages) of google research has brought us together.

l’oreal telescopic mascara carbon black, $7.59 >

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Posted in eyes, lashes | Tagged | 6 Comments

mark. naked love body butter1

mark. naked love body butter

i don’t know what it’s like where you are, but in virginia, we came crashing head-first into summer at about 100 mph. i went from wearing jeans and long sleeves to shorts and a tank over night. suddenly, i’m exposed and very aware of my pasty skin – which after a long winter, lacks hydration, brightness and any hint of a flattering glow. beyond all of that, i’m headed to miami in a few short weeks creating the need for a major skin-tervention.

so, what’s the gorgeous product serving as my saving grace? meet mark. naked love body butter. off the bat, the naked love scent from mark. is insanely good. it combines apricot nectar, white peaches, freesia, and skin musk for an absolutely intoxicating combination. mix the heavenly smell up with the absolute best skin-moisturizing formula on the market and my friends at mark. are really onto something.

this chubby tub of goodness houses a heavenly and rich hydrator that soaks in and adds moisture without feeling heavy. it makes a quick difference in the visible health of my skin, delivering a soft and smooth texture that’s to die for. perhaps best of all, i love how the yummy scent hangs around all day and that it feels like full-on pampering without a lot of effort.

if you’re on the search for something to make your skin feel blissful and smell even better, this may just the the best $12 you ever spend.

mark. naked love body butter, $12 >

lucky me – my role as mark. blogger ambassador continues in 2015!

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wet n wild shimmer palette in hollywood boulevard8

wet n wild hollywood boulevard

i have searched makeup counters far and wide for the perfect everyday eyeshadow, so imagine my surprise when perfection was discovered on the drugstore shelf. i admittedly haven’t given wet n wild a second glance since high school, but when this palette started popping up on my favorite beauty spots around the web, i hunted it down immediately.

technically designed to give your face an all-over highlight, hollywood boulevard is generously sized (i.e. huge – easily the size of my palm) and includes shades of pink, brown and golden yellow. at first glance it might not look like something you want to douse your eyelids in, but i promise you that the resulting finish is soft and natural, a subtly sparkly pink champagne with the slightest gilded look that’s perfect for everyday. in short? it’s neutral, easy, and ultra glowy.

i think i’m so in love with it because the powder itself is almost creamy, making it a gorgeous option for your eyes (and far better than a lot of eyeshadows that just don’t hold together). it stays in place really well on my oily lids and gives a solid full day’s worth of wear time, especially if i add a layer of this stuff underneath.

wet n wild is giving me everything i’ve been searching for!  it’s beautifully neutral, yet special without trying hard. it’s pigmented and buildable – all from a very surprising source.

wet n wild shimmer palette in hollywood boulevard, $5.99 >

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Posted in eyes, lids | Tagged | 8 Comments