curel hydra therapy wet skin moisturizerComments Off on curel hydra therapy wet skin moisturizer

please let it be known that i am the laziest.

this is why i don’t wear eyeliner, don’t blow my hair out with a round brush, and i rarely mask. these beauty sins are bad enough, but possibly nothing pains me more than putting on body lotion.

the problem goes beyond dry elbows, though. as i age, taking care of the skin below my chin is becoming increasingly important, but even though i know it’s wrong, i still just can’t seem to stick to a hydrating routine.

thankfully the industry is wise to this issue because there are all kinds of gimmicky body moisturizers out there. i tried this spray version and found mild success (it now lives under my sink) but it seems like the only thing that could possibly save me is an in-shower concept.

curel kindly sent me their hydra therapy wet skin moisturizer and after first use, i was hooked. this is a lazy beauty addict’s match made in moisturizer heaven. let me walk you through:

the bottle lives in your shower and after you turn off the water, but before you towel off (while you are still soaking wet), you apply a few pumps of this balmy gel-like substance to your skin. it requires hardly any rubbing in at all because the water on your skin lets it glide over everything. so, if it takes you longer than 30 seconds, you’re doing it wrong.

because your pores are still open from your hot shower, all of the hydrating benefits penetrate deeply and immediately. the second you’re done lubing up, you can towel off all of the slime and voila! you’re done. skin is left silky, silky, silky – even for days after i’ve showered.

it’s effortless, greaseless, and my skin is looking the best it ever has.

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smith & cult1

so many beauty brands seem to struggle with finding the sweet spot between pretty, craveable packaging and formulas that deliver on their claims. several brands do the cool packaging thing well (milk and glossier both come to mind) but their formulas are kind of meh. in fact, the products that stay in my routine the longest aren’t really ever in the most glamorous packs.

but there are some brands that knock it out of the park, bringing beautiful products to the market with formulas that exceed all expectations – and smith & cult is at the very top of this list. more than just stunning metallic ensembles, each of the products above has amazing pigment payoff and a unique or innovative aspect that makes them unlike anything else out there.

the polish (dubbed 1972 – an opaque rose gold) allows at-home manicurists to get seriously sharp lines, flooding nails with color and not giving way to chips for 7 full days. color me impressed.

the smallest tube houses a matte stain that glides onto lips like frosting a cupcake. the consistency is whipped and lightweight, locking into place quickly and not budging until i swipe it with micellar water or toner at the end of the day. my shade is kissing tiny flowers (a “rosette + caramel”).

finally, lash dance mascara leaves lashes long and full with tons of volume and a smoky black stain. the wand is flat like a paddle on one side and then has a curvy hourglass shape on the other, so you can get lots of dimension, lift and definition in just a couple of swipes.

all in all, swoon! i rarely expect to be blown away by products with this much purse appeal, but smith & cult has consistently delivered.

thoughts? will you be keeping an eye on this brand?

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Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming MoisturizerComments Off on Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer

priming moisturizers are everywhere.

since glossier launched (what i believe to be) the OG in 2014, other brands have popped up on the scene with their own version of this multitasker. i can get on board with anything that helps me to skip a step and slather just a little less product on my face, but i am yet to find one that works seamlessly with my skin type. glossier’s was a little light and the caudalie take was nice and hydrating, but gave way to mid-day shine, more so than when i went without primer altogether.

in short, i’ve been stumped on this trend – until now.

leave it to a truly fab (wink!) little skincare brand to create the ultimate response to the beauty industry’s cry for two-steps-in-one moisture and prep. first aid beauty hello FAB coconut skin smoothie priming moisturizer actually does one better than all of the other options in market. not only does it hydrate (oil-free i might add) and prime (smooths and blurs my uneven texture and minimal breakouts), but it also visibly brightens with a natural, dewy glow.

out of the tube, the product is an ivory-champagne shade and once you smooth it into place, you’ll instantly notice the micro-pearls designed to reflect light and keep things looking luminous. it definitely doesn’t go glittery on your skin, though – the slight shimmer is only noticeable on my fingertips after i apply. it hydrates beautifully without feeling heavy and, considering that i added this to my routine in february when my skin is oh-so-slightly flaking off, i’m taking this is a pretty good sign that it would work for drier skin types, too.

i love the way that the formula grips on to makeup without clogging my pores. it keeps my look locked all day long, but is very easy to remove and hasn’t irritated my sensitive skin in the least. it plays nicely with my current favorite foundations (one for work and one for off duty, natch) and at $28, i’m pretty sure that this tube is going to replace far more expensive routines on vanities everywhere.

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sephora strays away set of 4 mini tweezersComments Off on sephora strays away set of 4 mini tweezers

these caught me eye in the ever-problematic sephora beauty on the fly section yesterday. (i swear, between that and the target dollar zone, my checking account is going down in flames.) i’m obsessed with their tiny size and tip variation, ensuring that no stray hair is safe – no matter where you are. they are impressively well-made and already making me feel like i have my very own brow boutique going on. plus, at a cost less than a third of what i normally pay for tweezers, i’ve got four sweet little solutions for every single brow emergency.

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stroke of beauty density+ fiber brow gelComments Off on stroke of beauty density+ fiber brow gel


i feel like this one has been with me so long, popping in and out of my routine, that i must have written about it already, but somehow it escaped a full review.

so, here we are.

i think you know that with my brows, it’s complicated. the hair is dark, but kind of patchy – and with fair skin underneath it can make the whole situation seem very much like a hot mess. even when they’re freshly waxed, it still takes some grooming to get them looking presentable, so i’m often on the hunt for something that pulls them together quickly and naturally.

i’ve been switching off between this and this, but they are both kind of falling short as of late. today, at a bit of a loss, i pulled my third option out of the drawer and decided to do one brow with benefit and one brow with this density+ fiber brow gel.

WHOA. what a difference.

it’s definitely the presence of fibers in holly mordini’s stroke of beauty product that gives my brows the oomph they really need. instead of just filling in the white spots (which it does, seamlessly) the fibers actually add in some volume and make it look like i’ve got hairs in places i don’t. it adds the darkness that i crave but also kind of tricks the eye into thinking i’ve got fuller arches than i really do.


if you’re tired of brow gels that only tint and you’re looking for something that’s a step above, try the tiny tube you’ve probably never heard of. i think you’ll find that it kicks these other wannabes to the curb and brings something much better to the table.

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becca under eye brightening corrector1

the most crucial face-changing part of my beauty routine has quickly become under eye brightening. my dark circles are not severe enough to require real “concealing” but they have been intensifying past the point that this cream is able to remain my go-to solution.

so when reviews of becca under eye brightening corrector popped up around the web, it rose to the top of my wish list almost instantly. everyone was obsessed with this stuff and the moral of the story seemed to be somewhere along the lines of “blurring dark circles? no. more like causing them to vanish without a trace to be seen anywhere until the end of time.”

game on.

as i have been testing this pot of miracle corrector, i have to say that the reviewers were correct. i gently press one finger pat into the area under my eyes, starting very close to the water line and progressing down into the triangle of light. the consistency is perfect (not too thin or too thick) and it’s slightly tacky, so it stays where you put it and remains there all day long. (note: you definitely want to use your finger to apply since i think the heat helps it to blend out the most seamlessly.)

it erases all under eye darkness on contact and once my foundation is layered over top, all that remains is a subtle light-reflecting brightness where dullness used to live. it does not crease or settle into the lovely little crop of fine lines that i’m collecting beneath my lashes and i love the way that it preps skin for a smooth foundation application and coverage.

all in all, i am very impressed with this one. it came across my desk at just the right time – and as life continues to throw curve balls my way (welcome to #adulting) it’s nice to know that there’s something incredibly reliable living on my vanity.

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SEPHORA COLLECTION Sephora PRO Dimensional Highlighting PaletteComments Off on SEPHORA COLLECTION Sephora PRO Dimensional Highlighting Palette

have you ever seen anything more gorgeous in your life?

(except for this and maybe also this – the brands are really bringing the pretty this spring!)

it’s catching major editor buzz for seriously stunning formulas – let alone that killer iridescent packaging. this is vanity candy at its finest.

also, the cool version of this cream highlighter palette is so beautiful that i don’t even care that technically i’m a “warm” – because i’m probably going to lock it in a drawer, never use it, and only gaze at it on occasion anyway.


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my skincare wish listComments Off on my skincare wish list


i would adore all of the time in the world to amble around sephora like a kid in a candy shop, but recently it’s just not making it to the top of the to-do list.


i did however manage to find a cool 15 minutes on monday’s holiday morning for a speed lap and ohhhh boy, there are some very shiny new skincare treats on the market and everyone should be tempted by these beauty breakthroughs.

for starters, this moisturizer is haunting my dreams. i had the chance to test it today and holy moly, it’s a game changer. it felt thick, but not heavy, and glowy on contact. i still can’t stop touching the spot on the back of my hand where i rubbed it in. rest assured that i will be making it mine very, very soon.

after testing a lip color that settled directly into my fine lines (ugh!), i went on a fierce hunt for what’s happening in lip treatments. i quickly added this scrub and this balm to my basket. the balm is like a shiny, glassy version of vaseline, but more hydrating and with a minty flavor. the scrub has super impressive reviews and has been on my list for-ever. i love that the granules are nestled into a nice conditioning balm and that i don’t have to dip my finger into a pot to get the job done.

finally, i purposely spent some time playing with priming moisturizers on this outing (because they are EVERYWHERE), but the jury is still out. i love the way that this one felt on contact and this one actually wowed me with its primer-like glide and pearly iridescence. i can see why it has so many raving fans! it does feel like it might clog my pores, so i skipped it…but it’s still nagging me, so i want to take it for a sample test drive this week.

there is so much breakthrough technology and innovation happening in skin, i need a second face to test all of it.

are there any new skincare heroes lining your vanity?

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bow’d upComments Off on bow’d up


you may have seen on instagram that this was my favorite beauty moment of the golden globes. now, i’m fairly obsessed with sienna miller on a regular head-to-toe basis, but this whole situation to me was so refreshing.

now, i feel compelled to confess that i ran around my small virginia liberal arts college campus in cheerleader shorts (never cheered) and a sleek ponytail tied with a black ribbon for the better part of two years. i thought i was the literal cool-est.

better fashion judgment aside, it seems that the hair ribbon trend might actually be happening. (note: it was not happening in 2003/2004.) and if my girl sienna is not making you want to run out to the craft store and scoop up some materials and give this a spin, i recommend a pinterest perusal of “black hair ribbon” for additional inspo.

might i can suggest a thinny mini black velvet option as featured above? you can always tie it around your neck à la michelle williams on an off day.

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2016 taught meComments Off on 2016 taught me


how is it possible that we are on the verge of 2017? i swear it was january just 5 minutes ago. time passing at the speed of light aside, here are ten beauty lessons learned in 2016:

trust your brows to benefit. end of story. their ULTA services and corresponding products will give you the best arches of your life. i promise.

do not underestimate an investment foundation. the unending daily chorus of “your makeup looks great!” basically means that it pays for itself.

i might never wash my face again.

this blush is a cult classic for a reason. it makes me look healthy and awake – the perfect not-too-shimmery icing to my charlotte tilbury cake.

price of 6 blowouts = this flat iron = healthier hair = worth every penny

speaking of hair, turns out that you can get a fly ‘cut for $45. i broke up with my $100 guy and opted for an edgier junior stylist this summer. it has made all of the difference. (if you live in loudoun county, va plz go see kati.)

good hair products know no age. (alternately titled: i have officially won the war over baby fine and tangly toddler curls!)

fact: a capsule lip wardrobe makes you more confident in meetings.

a new set of these brushes is cheaper and less time consuming than a cleansing routine.

buying this stuff in bulk means that i will never look tired again.

and BONUS: these two (up there) make me a better version of myself.

happy new year to you and yours xxxxx

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Posted in blush, brows, cheeks, eyes, face, foundation, hair, lara, lips, skin, tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 2016 taught me