drybar tysons corner1

stefanie ramos drybar

a couple of weekends ago, i had the opportunity to attend the grand opening of the drybar in tysons corner. it was my first visit to the famed blowout salon – and i was psyched from hearing such amazing things about services and products.

you’re probably aware that the drybar performs blowouts only – no color, or cuts. the salon has a suggested menu with a ton of options, accompanied by a look book, or customers can bring in pictures for stylists to replicate.

upon walking in, the atmosphere of the salon is like no other. it will probably remind you of your favorite watering hole, with the addition of peppy music, an indulgent rom com playing (for ultimate relaxation) and a smiling face behind the bar offering you water, tea, and even mimosas!

for my chosen style, i opted for a blowout with a little curl and some volume – and holy wow, was i impressed. the stylist didn’t use any hot tools to achieve major shape. thanks to my natural frizz, i am practically besties with my flat iron, so i was pretty shocked to find that she could completely smooth things out using only a blow dryer. the results were ultra soft and bouncy.

while she worked, my stylist used a number of drybar products on my hair that i automatically fell in love with: the mr. incredible (leave in conditioner), hot toddy (heat protectant) and 100 proof (treatment oil). each of them has already been added to my sephora cart, because they work and they smell AMAZING.

since the drybar prides itself on blowouts that will last, you might be curious to hear how many days i was able to enjoy my stunning hair. the answer? 5 full days. i didn’t even use dry shampoo until the 4th day and it gave my hair that extra oomph to power through. much to my surprise, the body, movement and curls didn’t fall at all. if it’s even possible i feel like my blow dry got better as the days went on.

thanks to thick waves and curls, i almost never blow my hair out on my own. (i just don’t have the patience.) this was truly a treat for me and to say that i’m obsessed with this experience is an understatement.

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dove dry spray antiperspirant0

dove dry spray antiperspirant

there are few brands that have been in my life as long as dove. in fact, probably one of my youngest beauty memories is opening a new bar of dove soap as a little girl – and that scent, yum!

these days, dove is still a constant in my life. as someone with sensitive skin, their deodorant has been a lifesaver for me and i have used it faithfully through every generation that the brand has released. (you might remember this post.) several months ago, i switched over from dove advanced care to dove dry spray antiperspirant – and i haven’t looked back since. so, when the brand asked to partner with me to spread the word about this groundbreaking product and major glossarie-approved beauty essential, i was more than happy to share my very positive experience.

to be honest, i was originally swayed by the commercial promising me that visible residue on my mostly black wardrobe was a thing of the past. while that is definitely true, i’ve been more excited to find that the spray goes on instantly dry (seriously, no waiting – it’s a big time saver), is invisible on skin (hello, tanks and sleeveless dresses!) and lasts for 48 hours. there’s no denying that this product is a total workhorse, but my favorite scent, the soothing chamomile, makes it seem more like a luxe beauty item. it’s soft and understated, yet so much more sophisticated than your traditional antiperspirant.

the true test for me was to see if it performed at the same level as my beloved solid in taking care of my sensitive underarms – and it does. dove somehow magically balances meeting my needs for protection from sweat with my needs for moisturizing skincare, resulting in softer and smoother skin under my arms.

i could not be a bigger fan of this little discovery and i’ve already been telling everyone that i know. if you’re curious about (or already craving the convenience of) spray antiperspirant, but your skin also requires a touch of TLC, you’re going to want to get on board with this one. there’s a reason why women everywhere are obsessing!

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embracing my hair’s natural texture1

naturally wavy bob

for years i have been saying that i’m going to do it. i’m going to part ways with my sleek bob and make way for the wayward curls and bends that are a part of my hair’s true dna. i don’t know if it has been a journey of finding the right products, finding the right motivation (hello, motherhood! goodbye, spare time!) or even if it’s some underlying desire to instill confidence in lou, who has her own head of curly hair (that i’m fairly obsessed with).

either way, it has been a good long while since my hair has seen the likes of a flat iron and i kind of feel like celebrating. here’s what’s been working for me:

i stopped using shampoo and conditioner dedicated to curly hair and started using products geared towards reversing damage. i like to keep things interesting, so i’m rotating this set from l’oreal, this one from pacifica and this one from bed head. all of them are great and i love how my hair performs on all three. (side note, i have also been playing around with conditioning my hair first and then shampooing second, but i don’t really know if it’s making a difference…)

out of the shower, i’m using this comb from phuse (the wide teeth don’t interrupt my curl pattern) and my favorite hair turban. i probably wear my hair all wrapped up for too long while i get work done, etc. but i like it to be about halfway dry before i add in product. i love this cream from briogeo and this new release from r+co. they add in the right mix of softness and support for my medium-fine waves.

i can get one washing to last a full three days without getting greasy (although this stuff does help me out on day 3 – as does a top knot when necessary) and i like to finger comb and shake out the twists on day two so that they don’t look too “perfect.” there’s also something about showering before bed, doing this whole routine, then sleeping on it that gives me the lived-in look i prefer.

as an added mini bonus, i have finally found the holy grail of products for baby curls and it’s no surprise that they come from ouidad. this shampoo and this conditioner are incredibly gentle and they smell delicious, making one curly mopped little tot and her momma both very happy.

do you have curls? what works for you?

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zoya nail polish in haley0

zoya haley

it’s been awhile since i’ve fallen hard for a polish shade. my nails are normally an of-the-moment color or completely naked and rarely do i find a polish worth going back to again and again.

while in nyc a couple of weeks ago, i sat down for one of the city’s famed express manicures and was instantly captivated by a flashy, shiny red-orange by zoya. it’s brand new for spring and brighter than i normally go for, but the compliments have been pouring in, so i know that i’m on to something good.

if you’re not familiar with zoya, the brand is big 5-free. i have found them to be the most long-wearing, toxin-free formula and there’s no doubt that they do fashion color better than anyone. the shade haley looks extra gorge on fair skin tones (ahem, like me), but i know that it will flatter everyone – in fact, i can’t wait to get a tiny bit of a tan and try this color on my toes.

something about looking down to see red nails makes me feel extra confident and pulled together – plus, the pop of orange in this particular polish means that it’s not just your average nail color. it’s a step above the rest and sure to draw attention to your individual sense of style. haley by zoya is my pick for the ultimate spring shade and, if you grab a bottle, it will definitely become your go-to!

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lovatics by demi eyeshadow palette0

IMG_1640
at the glossarie, we have a bit of a soft spot for demi lovato. (have you HEARD the girl sing recently?) on top of those impressive chops, she has collaborated with NYC color for a collection called lovatics by demi. the very first thing my eyes spotted was the eye shadow palette.  i haven’t had the best luck with eyeshadow palettes from the drugstore – it seems that something is always lacking, whether it be pigmentation or longevity. the good news? totally not the case with this palette! it’s everything you could want and more, at under $10.

for $6.99 you get 12 shades, both warm and cool, to suit every skin tone, with a mixture of shimmer and mattes. there has been lots of buzz about this palette serving as a dupe for urban decay smokey and i agree. there are definite similarities in the shade colors and even the quality of the shadows is awesome. each shade is pigmented, buttery and lasts all day long on the lids. they are blendable and can easily create a natural eye look or a transformative smokey eye.

(side note: i have been getting the perfect even base for the shadows to stick to and still blend effortlessly with mac prep and prime eye shadow base.)

i was so pleasantly surprised with this palette, i have been singing its praises to everyone that i know and urging them (and you!) too go out and get your hand on this one while you can.

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grande brow-FILL4

browfill

i stumbled upon today’s feature while reading refinery29’s post on products that you should not judge by their packaging. oh my, is that ever relevant to that gem of a box up there. (dewy rose petals and the italian flag – what’s not to love?!)

brow gels and i have a history and i think i have reviewed every single tiny-brushed option on the market. there was my first favorite, my second favorite, and my most recent favorite – all are still great, but all have been trumped by the gleaming gold tube above.

here’s why grande browfill is the new top dog:

the formula goes beyond filling in the sparse spots and actually thickens my brows with fibers and polymers. since i have started using it, my brows are noticeably more full. when i apply the product on monday, even after a thorough face washing that evening, i wake up on tuesday with brows that look much thicker and more polished than they did the day before. this is a product that makes a lasting difference in the appearance of sparse brows, and that alone makes for a very solid return on investment.

i apply the product beginning at the brow tail instead of at the inner arch and this new backcombing approach has proven to be life changing. by taking the brush in the opposite direction of which the brow naturally grows, you fluff up the hairs, delivering instant volume and also ensuring that you deposit color in every tiny space. they look a little haphazard after this step, but i let them set like that while i do the rest of my makeup. then, as a final touch, i take a clean spoolie brush through them to get it all flowing in one direction. the results look natural, but still 100 times better than what i actually have going on in the eyebrow department.

i still believe in gels over pencils because i like the quickness in application and you don’t have to be too precise. it’s also practically impossible to overdo. so, if you already use a gel and you’re looking for next level, this is it – and if you’re not already using a gel, ignore all of the other beautifully-packaged choices out there and add this cheesy box to your virtual cart ASAP.

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we tried it: sephora lip IQ match2

sephora lip iq in norfolk, va

if you aren’t familiar with the pantone color IQ matching at sephora, they basically use this little device to detect your skin tone and match you with any foundation in the store. it’s magical, because the machine not only matches your skin color, but also your undertones – so it’s a very precise and accurate match.

when i heard that sephora had expanded their services to lip color IQ matching, i was pumped. i always struggle with which shade of nude will look best on my skin tone or what red suits me best and won’t make my teeth look yellow (eek!). so, i decided to step into my local sephora and check it out for myself.

first off, a quick shoutout, because the service that i received at the sephora in norfolk, va was amazing! the cast member who helped me was so sweet and helpful. we started off doing the IQ match just as if i was getting matched for a foundation. she took the IQ machine and scanned my forehead, cheeks and neck. then, she took me over to the computer where i chose if i wanted to look for nudes, reds or berry shades. i chose nudes sicne they are my go-to and voila! a screen popped up with a dozen lip options deemed to be my perfect match. my favorite part was emailing the whole list to myself – it’s like a little set of #lipgoals.

after we discussed my results (browns and mauves) we shopped for a lip color to try. i chose kat von d everlasting liquid lipstick in lolita II and the cast member applied it on my lips also using a tarte lip liner. she educated me as she was applying and she even took the time to over-line my upper lip à la khloe and kylie, something i have always been too chicken to try.

overall the experience was awesome! it completely exceeded my expectations and i am lo-ving my new lip shade. if you’re sick of wandering the sephora aisles with a row of swatches on your arm, i highly recommend taking five minutes to explore the lip IQ.

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paula’s choice CALM redness relief6

Photo Feb 29, 11 30 43 AM

the products in this post were provided to me by the
manufacturer on behalf of pretty in my pocket inc.

my skin can best be described as pink, with pale undertones. i have never been someone who turns golden brown in the sun, and my face looks bright tomato red after any sort of vigorous exercise. (people have actually come up to me at the gym to ask if i’m ok – it’s super cool.)

i always took my redness as fact and never even considered trying to do something to counteract my blush-y appearance, but when i had the opportunity to test out CALM redness relief from paula’s choice, i leapt at the chance. i had such an amazing experience with the brand back in december, my hopes were high that this could help to bring a soothing cure.

Photo Feb 29, 11 24 47 AM

the thing that i love about paula’s choice is that they work really hard to make sure that you understand how to use these products – and they give you tons of options to mix and match daily combinations based on your specific skin condition. this kit comes in two formulations depending on if you are oily or dry (because redness takes no prisoners) and the full regimen rings in at six products total. depending on what other products are in your current mix, you can use things more or less frequently, alternating with your normal regime until you find the right balance. for me, switching the toner and serum from this group with another set worked beautifully. i am in love with the moisturizer and spf which i have been using daily.

all of the products are lightweight, non-greasy and most importantly, non-irritating. they feel blissful on contact – especially the toner, the serum, the moisturizer and the spf. i have to be extra careful when testing new treatments and exfoliants because they can leave my skin tight and dry, but the weekly BHA 1% lotion from this collection has made all of the difference in redness for me. my morning face is now neutral! no more redness, smooth to the touch – i can actually go makeup free without feeling self conscious about my skin’s pink tendencies.

Photo Feb 29, 11 26 39 AM

the undeniably positive results have been a very pleasant surprise and i would like to share the love! you can get 20% off and free shipping on the entire CALM collection from paula’s choice with code PRIMPSPRING.

CalmArtwork1

to sweeten the deal a little further, my partners at PRIMP have generously offered to give away an entire skincare regime valued at over $200 to one lucky winner. this ends tonight at midnight, so don’t delay in entering below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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la roche-posay effaclar bb blur0

la roche-posay effaclar bb blur

i have to say that this one really shocked me. i had the highest hopes for la roche-posay effaclar bb blur, because it has been on my wish list ever since the internet began raving about it last march. so, when it arrived this week, i tore into it. at first glance, there are a few reasons why this bb cream should not be a winner – but break out the tiara, because it’s truly amaze.

off the bat, i was very surprised at the texture. it comes out of the tube as a fluffy mousse – far different from any other bb i have tried, and in my hand, the color is way darker than my skin tone. i still grabbed my best brush, swept it all over and whoa whoa whoa! the results were stunning.

what started out as a dark stripe of color vanished into my skin, creating one of the best shade matches i have ever seen. please note that you have to blend carefully, otherwise you will end up with varying tones across your skin, but i promise that it smooths on easily. the texture mattifies in a subtle way and (just as it claims) it blurs and erases all of my imperfections. the finished look reminds me of what my skin looks like after a talented makeup artist has had her way with my face. it’s completely effortless, but seamless and beautiful – like it would appear after you used primer, concealer, a foundation and powder to achieve that perfect base.

this is “woke up like this” beauty in a tube and i am ashamed that this best-kept secret has evaded me for so long.

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everyday lip treats from ChapStick®5

ChapStick®

sometimes the best solution is the most simple. for that reason and many otheres, i have long been in love with all things coming from the land of ChapStick®. judging by all of your #lipbombs, i know i’m not alone.

for me, it all started with the black-and-white-tubed original. my clever mother pawned it off on me as a beauty product when i was in the 4th grade. “oh, you want to wear makeup? here you go, honey.” well played, eileen – because an addiction has been fueling everyday since. from there, it was a slippery slope. i quickly discovered the subtle tint and delicious taste of the cherry flavor, then it was on to sophisticated spearmint.

more recently, i have fallen hard for hydration lock (still a go-to!) and the brilliantly dual-ended day and night combination (my current favorite). my beach tote is littered with sun defense (which, in a pinch can soothe a kitchen burn) and this time of year, nothing soothes like the moisturizer version.

this brand is truly integrated into my daily life and it keeps my lips soft and smooth – no matter what kind of adventures come my way. it’s a tried and true essential – and i am predicting that in light of our amorous past, ChapStick® and i have one beautiful future ahead.

GIVEAWAY TIME! if your lips are feeling the winter burn, i want to share the love. enter below to win a fun sampling of ChapStick® products.

the ChapStick® product, information and gift have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. thank you (so much!) for supporting the brands that support the glossarie!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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