2016 taught meComments Off on 2016 taught me

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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

pixi lash nourish makeup remover padsComments Off on pixi lash nourish makeup remover pads

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do i have a $10 treat for you.

let’s just say that i have been experiencing some crazy lash growth lately. my normal nothing-to-write-home-about lashes are long, lush and curled at the ends. i seriously keep having to do a double take to make sure they are mine – and no, i did not bite the bullet on extensions.

when thinking about changes i have made to my eye care, the only addition has been these adorable little remover pads from pixi. i’ve been using them alongside my micellar water to remove my eye makeup each night and i’m obsessed. not only does one tiny pad remove all of the makeup from both eyes without rubbing or tugging, but the ingredients are extra soothing, never irritating or stinging.

as i’ve dug in to do a little extra research on why my lashes look so damn good, the ingredients in these pads are pretty on point, with heavy hitters being argan oil and castor oil – most likely what’s contributing to the new-found length and volume. after a couple weeks of use, upon waking, my lashes they look like they have at least one coat of lengthening mascara on them, when i know that they are naked. it’s insane.

these little beauties treat my delicate eye area while ridding it of my day’s mascara, primer and shadow. some may consider buying them for the growth factor alone. with the cost of lash serums out there, if i had known how they would contribute to longer lashes – i would have pulled the trigger much sooner!

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winter lips7

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oh man, december – you have been a real doozy.

but!

just one more day of work stands between me and a loooong holiday break. so while i round the corner into 2017, here are a few of the shades brining me much confidence and joy.

  • a full-coverage matte from lipstick queen (in coral) hangs on aaaall day without quits. it’s super comfortable to wear and i’m able to get a pretty precise line straight out of the bullet. i especially love this one as a secret weapon for when i need to detract from a random breakout, drab skin or more-tired-than-average eyeballs.
  • a charlotte tilbury shade named after salma hayek that the artist herself calls a “luminous modern matte.” i went in lusting the ever popular shade, bitch perfect, but left with this instead. it’s my daily go-to and i think the formula is absolute perfection – kind of like cashmere. i’m likely going back for (many) more.
  • this surprising-for-me choice from MAC continues to delight. if you told this girly blogger that she’d be rocking a brown lip on the reg a few years ago (or ever) i would have laughed in your face. now, this shade somehow makes me feel polished and edgy at the same time. it’s my ultimate go-to and confidence booster.
  • i found this boldly bright balm stain deep in the comments of an allure article ode to my lipstick queen fav. apparently the “original” green-to-pink custom beauty has been around for 30+ years and lasts for 12+ hours. best of all? it’s a whopping $6 and, thanks to prime, it can be in your hands by the weekend.

what’s your go-to lip to cure the winter blues?

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december favoritesComments Off on december favorites

dust-jacket

this incredibly reasonable + generously sized alternative to my previous obsession from origins (which i still adore, but tends to be somewhat cost prohibitive, considering how quickly i blow through it)

this insanely hydrating gel moisturizer – i’m slowly falling in love with this brand! my skin is comfortable, clear and glowy – plus i’m not needing to add a primer.

this foundation. i need to do a deep dive for you re: my full-on lust for all things charlotte tilbury. my current signature lip is her hot lips in secret selma and her glowing face base is numero uno on my christmas list.

i shouted this out on insta, but this clarins lotion is saving my skin from too much sun exposure during my hellish daily commute. it’s lightweight, does not require a ton of work to apply and it leaves my skin softly hydrated, not sticky. love, love, love.

this dry shampoo. it’s completely clear!! can i tell you what a miracle this is to someone who tends to wear a ton of black and only washes her hair twice a week? jeez oh man – where has this one been hiding?

this mascara. the price. the drama. the insane curl and hold. the lack of smudging. it’s my new holy grail. just buy it and thank me later.

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beauty gifting with sephoraComments Off on beauty gifting with sephora

there’s no doubt that it’s a busy time of year.

holiday parties, coworker potlucks, card sending, cookie baking, studying secret santa wish lists and fa-la-la-la-la’ing don’t leave a lot of time for shopping.

thankfully, there’s one place where you can buy the gift of:

  • gorgeous glow
  • clear skin
  • flawless foundation
  • signature scent
  • date night eyes
  • a perfect hair day
  • so. much. more.

yup, i’m fully convinced that you could knock 100% of your holiday purchasing out at sephora. have you seen the kits, sets, and limited time exclusives they are bringing this season? let’s just say that my top picks are just the beginning.

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marc jacobs beauty lamé noir ultra-glittering mascaraComments Off on marc jacobs beauty lamé noir ultra-glittering mascara

Marc Jacobs Beauty Lame Noir Ultra‑Glittering Mascara Noir

 

this new mascara from MJ is super unique.

it’s a clear lacquer chock full of chunky gold and black glitter, applied with a bristle-less brush for the ultimate party-ready fringe. it’s one of those things that had a fully magnetic pull for me. i had to try upon discovery and i have to say that i’m pretty obsessed with the results.

before i dive into the importance of this one and why anyone feeling festive is going to need it in their life, please note that this is not an everyday mascara. because of the nontraditional brush and the very wet, glossy formula, the application clumps your lashes together for a bold look that’s unlike anything i’ve seen. the end result is super shiny and (important note) you will probably be tricked into thinking you have something in your eye because of the way the light catches the sparkle – but push through!

after two coats on each eye, my lashes were intensely black, crazy thick and my ultimate curl was locked in place. the addition of sparkle is so perfect for heading into the holiday season and, bottom line, this stuff is just plain FUN.

while i don’t recommend falling asleep in it (trust me. ouch.) and sensitive eyes may have some issues, i did absolutely love wearing this mascara and i’m finding any and all reasons to put it on. while it might be a bit high maintenance for some, i did find that it removes easily with one of my new favorite finds.

intrigued? scoop it up ASAP for lashes that are not only pretty, but extremely glam.

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phyto phytodéfrisant botanical straightening balmComments Off on phyto phytodéfrisant botanical straightening balm

Phyto Phytodéfrisant Botanical Straightening Balm

let’s get right down to it:

this balm has a jelly texture, but isn’t sticky like a mousse. a dime size dollop in my medium bob gives unfussy, natural texture while still holding on to the smoothness that i work so hard to achieve each morning. my blow dry takes less time than with other, heavier products and my fingers don’t get stuck in my hair as i rake them through. (super important!)

the end result is polished with the right amount of hold and bounce at the ends. i love the resulting softness and the fierce way that it combats frizz without adding any weight or grease. one weird observation is that i do feel like my hair is the teensiest bit more prone to static when i use it, but it’s not so noticeable that i’m willing to make a switch – probably more of a sign that i’m way overdue for a deep condition.

ah phyto, you remain one of my all time favorite hair brands, right along side living proof. you’re one of those companies that always manages to delight me and exceed expectations in the simplest ways. the products are high quality and they perform – making you well worth the moderate investment. (but still well-priced in my opinion!)

bottom line? if you’re looking for a new blow-in styler, give this little metal tube a go.

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victoria’s secret velvet matte cream lip stainComments Off on victoria’s secret velvet matte cream lip stain

 

victoria's secret velvet matte cream lip stain

velvet is seemingly everywhere this fall, and the trend is also coming to lips.

while liquid mattes continue to reign supreme, an unlikely source has launched a super sexy, girly gloss version of their own. it has been a long while since victoria’s secret beauty brought some newness to the scene, but these glide-y and mousse-textured lip creams lead me to believe that they have some gas left in the tank for sure.

i have been alternating adorned (a soft, muted pink that makes for a gorgeous nude on fair tones) and obsessed (a bright fuchsia that fully satiates my need for boldness). they go on real easy with a flat paddle-tipped sponge-wand and i find that tracing my lip line with the short edge, then filling things in gives simple, unfussy definition.

the finish is smooth and pigmented, and while they don’t dry fully matte (there is some transfer, but no feathering) i think this actually helps them to feel more comfortable throughout the day. they don’t overly accentuate my lip lines and they’re not at all drying thanks to vitamin E and olive oil within the ingredient mix. pairing your favorite with a liner would help to strengthen their overall performance, but i think there’s something really nice about these on their own, too.

they recently launched for $14 each (a steal in comparison to competing brands!) and i would recommend you swing by the mall and get to swatching – because you will most likely be wanting more than one.

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stepping up my lip + eye careComments Off on stepping up my lip + eye care

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i have dabbled in grown up under eye and lip care over the years, landing most recently on a very spendy serum and reinvigorated my love affair with this dior balm. even though i love that duo, my most habitual routine in recent months has actually been slathering good old vaseline under my eyes and on/around my lips. it seals in moisture like no other and the lasting hydration is extra impressive. however, while it may be holding the fort and seems to be preventing further damage to those areas, i do not get the sense that it counteracts or lessens my existing lines.

clearly it’s time to get a bit more serious.

i purchased this laneige lip mask after letting it hang out on my amazon wish list for way too long. the reviews were almost too good to be true, but when it arrived i knew that i had my hands on something special. a little bit of the thick balm goes a long way and i wake up each morning with soft, supple lips. i love how it adheres to my lips while i sleep. it soothes, plumps, and softens lines and i also think that the chubby pink tub will last me a lifetime.

for my eyes, the fine people at it cosmetics sent along their gorgeous bye bye under eye cream. holy moly do i love this stuff. not only does it pave the way for my favorite under eye concealer of the same name, but it glides on under my eyes without tugging, sinks in beautifully and feels cooling on contact. it’s like the skin is sighing relief once i put it on. the most noticeable effects are hydrating and brightening, with diminished baggage and dark circles – very impressive results if you ask me.

i love the way that these products and their luxe textures make me feel pampered, like i’m really taking good care of my skin. the bright, smooth, and tight results? are just icing on the cake.

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living proof full dry volume blastComments Off on living proof full dry volume blast

living proof dry shampoo full dry volume blast

today’s on-time work arrival is brought to you by the dynamic spray duo up above.

on the mornings when i just can’t drag myself out of bed early enough to wash / dry / straighten my hair, i often try to get away with using a dry texturizing spray in lieu of dry shampoo. most dry shampoos make my scalp itchy and i love that news-anchor-like bump of lift at the roots. the problem? texturizing spray does nothing to “cleanse” my hair or zap oil.

only when living proof introduced their new full dry volume blast did i realize that there actually might be something to layering the products i use to freshen up my hair on days 2, 3 and beyond. this morning, i used perfect hair day dry shampoo as i normally would to eliminate oil at my part and around my crown, then i followed up with full dry volume blast to add some oomph and style back into my slept-on hair.

it worked like a dream (smells ah-mazing too boot) and while i’m sure that my hair can probably only withstand one day of this combination, it has done enough to get me an extra thirty minutes of sleep, and a polished look that does not reveal my laziness to my coworkers (unless they are reading this post – in which case i am BUSTED).

my love for this brand knows no bounds – and living proof nails it every single time. these products are rockstars on their own, but their potential is more fully realized when you use them together. hair is effortlessly refreshed in texture, shape, and lift.

now if only some combination of magical products could eliminate the bags under my eyes, we’d be all set…

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