lush tea tree water7

lush tea tree water

in a word, this toner from lush is gorgeous.

tea tree water is designed to keep oily and spotty skin clear, and while most toners making these claims smell medicinal and can be drying, this one borders on aramoatherap-eutic. the formula is rich in juniper berry (clearing) and grapefruit waters (balancing), absent of alcohols (drying and irritating), and antibacterial so it banishes blemishes, without being harsh.

aside from loving the ingredients and the scent, i am absolutely obsessed with the packaging. why don’t more brands package their toners in a spray bottle? at night, i can douse a cotton pad before sweeping it over clean skin and during a rushed morning, i can use it instead of washing my face by spritzing it all over and gently blotting with a tissue. it’s genius!

best of all, my skin really loves it. the toner is lightweight and refreshing, it’s soothing and it softens my skin without being greasy. i’ve been using it daily with no complaints from my sensitive face and, better yet, my skin is responding by staying calm and clear.

win, win, win.

lush tea tree water, $9.95 – $21.95 >

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weekender essentials0

i may have just a few short weeks left before our little chickadee makes her debut, but you had better believe i am soaking up every drop of summer before she arrives.

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on a day when i’m planning to sweat it out poolside, i don’t bother with deep cleansing. cetaphil gentle skin cleansing cloths are the perfect thing to refresh and prep my face for my favorite facial SPF from equitance. i love how it glides on, brightening and moisturizing as it dries quickly. then I coat my lips in coola liplux which protects while soothing and improving any previous sun damage.

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since relaxation is the name of the game before our lives change forever (in the best possible way!), i pack up my turkish towel from sabun home, aviators, and my kindle. i’m currently reading diane keaton’s ‘let’s just say it wasn’t pretty’ and i absolutely love it. the theme of the book centers around beauty and diane’s wisdom is priceless – and funny!

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out and about, I keep clarins sunscreen care oil handy. it’s water-resistant, non-greasy, and you can use it on your hair. everything is left silky smooth and it also protects against the drying effects of salt water and chlorine (along with the harmful effects of the sun). for lips, fresh’s sugar lip treatment in tulip is a pool bag must, just be sure to keep it in a cool spot (like actually in the cooler).

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i take a less fussy approach to hair in the summer heat and this trifecta is just the ticket to letting my natural curls run a bit wild. whether i’m dousing my head in the shower, pool, or ocean, my cricket comb is always close at hand and so is mark. surf spray. the comb gets out all of my snags without pulling out any precious strands and the spray gives gorgeous texture and volume that’s not crunchy or dry. if all else fails, i keep a mane message hair tie on my wrist and whip things into a curly pony.

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after sun, my routine is simple. cetaphil gentle skin cleansing cloths come to the rescue once again to remove all of the sweat and sunscreen from my sensitive skin. they are effective and ultra soothing, giving me a clean canvas to work from. once my skin is clean, i rub lierac silky serum onto my face and neck. it works to repair and moisturize my sun-kissed skin, leaving things smooth and comfortable.

voila! my weekend skincare ritual, from day to night.

how do you care for your skin in the summer?

Compensation for this post was provided by Galderma via AOL Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Galderma or AOL.

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boscia all-in one b.b. eye brightener0

boscia b.b. eye brightener

you know when you need to take your day way into overtime without missing a beat? in my case, this day looks something like: wake up early, knock out a few hours of work, go to the hospital to visit with brand new baby niece (squeal!), sit on the highway for way too long fighting traffic coming home, grocery shop, and then attend a barbecue block party meeting all new neighbors for the first time – all while looking glowy, happy, energized, and not the least bit 37 weeks pregnant.

yeah. it’s a tall order.

by the time i got halfway through that agenda on wednesday, i was wearing the day all over my face. my eyes were looking sad and tired, but i was not about to settle for that. i reached for this boscia b.b. eye brightener and used my ring finger to apply it liberally under each of my eyes. it’s a combination brightener and hydrator so it glides on like an eye cream and brightens (concealing slightly) like a tinted highlighter. bottom line: it made one very tired me look perky and awake in an instant.

this is not going to take the place of your under eye concealer, but it is definitely something you will want to keep in your bag whenever you need an afternoon boost. it layers nicely over concealer or foundation and really just works to smooth, lift, and tighten while giving a little burst of light to your worn-out eyes. considering that i tested it on quite possibly the tiredest, puffiest, most sleep-deprived eyes on earth, i feel more than confident that it will seriously impress all of you.

boscia all-in one b.b. eye brightener, $38 >

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a reverse moon mani in mint + navy0


i cannot stop thinking about this multicolored half-moon manicure spotted on nailing hollywood. the rounded tips, the navy-on-aqua tones accented with gold dots, it’s just all very, very good. this is the kind of nail art that i love because, believe it or not, it’s actually not that hard to recreate. want these nails on your own pretty hands? the look can be pulled together using these polishes and the following steps:

1 – opt for an opaque cool blue, like rgb cobalt, as a base and go for two coats so that you get that vivid color payoff

2 – once the navy is completely dry, stick a binder reinforcement at the base of your nail, exposing a skinny sliver along your cuticle

3 – apply a mint creme, like deborah lippmann flowers in her hair, to the very bottom of your nail, overlapping slightly with the binder reinforcement

4 - slowly remove each binder reinforcement once the mint color is completely dry and use a spare bobby pin dipped in a gold shade, like butter london the full monty, to create dots where the two blues intersect

5 – seal everything with a high-shine gel topper like dior gel coat and admire your masterpiece for days and days

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r+co park ave blow out balm0


i haven’t washed my hair in four days – and it’s not because of a professional salon blowout, but the result of my new favorite styling product from r+co.

as someone who is trying to shorten and simplify her hair routine as soon as possible, i am making major strides towards embracing an unfussy, less-than-perfect finished look that i’m able to create solo in my own bathroom. i’ve been working with r+co’s park ave blow out balm lately and i really, really like it. something about this blow-in lotion gives a little grit and texture to my layers, leaving them with a touch of attitude and sass. i don’t know how to explain it, but this product smooths my hair without stripping it of its own personality. it’s far less stepford wife slash news anchor, and much more effortless. i get oomph at the roots, nice shape and body throughout, it delivers shine and i’m able to easily get my fingers through it – a must, since i have never committed to parting my hair to one side. (if you know me, you know i flip my hair. a lot.)

this is seemingly the product to beat in the race for a perfect styler that will allow me to maintain my favorite style amidst sleep deprivation. i love all of the hardworking ingredients that condition, strengthen, nourish, adding shine, volume, elasticity, and moisture. the combination makes this yet another winner from r+co.

and in case it’s not clear, if you haven’t given these goods a go, your hair is majorly missing out!

r + co park ave blow out balm, $28 >

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mum+bub soothing ointment4

mum + bub soothing ointment

let’s just say that change is afoot around here (i mean, there is a box of nursing pads nestled in among my hanky panky collection…) and today i really have babies on the brain because the two women who i have been pregnant along side of since the get-go have both delivered their beautiful daughters in the last 48 hours. this means three things:

  1. baby gloss’ tiny girl posse is shaping up quite nicely
  2. i’m next - exciting!
    3. i’m next - terrifying!

but while i wrestle with all of that, i am making fierce friends with a new, um beauty product. i received a sample of mum+bub soothing ointment in one of many millions of gift bags that i have picked up along the maternity way and after reading the ingredients (pawpaw fruit!), i quickly squirreled it away for myself assuming that it would make an excellent and nourishing lip balm – and i was not mistaken.

this intensely soothing and healing balm has becoming my go-to for overnight lip treatment. it recently got me out of a very sticky allergic reaction situation and has even worked wonders on some nasty little greenhead bites that i got while in massachusetts. since then i have used it on flyways, hangnails, and even as a lash conditioner. (ah-mazing!) since the stuff is already performing magic on my own skin, i can only imagine that it will do marvelous things for the babe, too. from my experience, the ingredient list will be safe and gentle enough for her, but do not mistake the fact that this is some seriously sophisticated skincare, too.

in short, i can tell that i’m going to need two tubes of mum+bub: one for the changing table and one for my nightstand…and maybe one for the diaper bag…and one for my car…

(i told you change is afoot around here!)

mum+bub soothing ointment, $15.95 >

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Posted in lips, mama bear, skin | 4 Comments

mark. crushing on coconut body scrub1

mark crushing on coconut body scrub

i know i talked a little bit about my love for this scrub here, but my affair with its coconutty goodness has gone straight from first impression rose to fantasy suite status. it is by far the best thing happening in my shower, and here’s why:

scrubs can be really fussy. they always come in tubs or jars (requiring way too much coordination for me) and they’re always dripping in oil which, while it feels luxurious, never ever makes me feel clean. this scrub from mark comes in a tube and it has a perfect consistency that’s not too thick and not too liquidly. i squeeze it straight into my hands and get to work massaging into my arms, legs, chest, and big ole belly. i take an extra second to really go to town on my elbows, knees and heels, too.

the scent is pure heaven – relaxing and mood lifting at the same time, making my shower smell like a tropical oasis. i like the way that the fragrance sits subtly on my skin once i’m toweled off. it’s not so overbearing that you smell like the beach, but my skin is left fresh, clean, and slightly sweet.

the very best part is how this stuff makes my skin feel, because holy moly the softness is so freakin’ good. i cannot stop touching my arms and shoulders and i have also gotten positive endorsements from mr. gloss (by way of the double eyebrow raise, basically his highest praise for anything beauty-related).

so yes, this is the best thing to hit my shower in ages. it has given me some added confidence to break out my sundresses and bare a little more (very pregnant) skin. plus it’s already got me looking forward to my next shower – and i hear those are about to become a precious commodity in my world.

mark. crushing on coconut body scrub, $12 >


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kestrel air grid duo-zip makeup case2


maybe it’s because i have just four short weeks of this pregnancy adventure left (give or take an early/late arrival) and there’s hospital-bag packing on the brain, but i am full-on, can’t stop thinking about it obsessed with this most beautiful cosmetic case from kestrel. for one, the hand-drawn pattern is amazing, but put it in coated canvas, add brushed gold hardware and you’ve got something so special. once inside, you’ll find that the top layer of this case houses 12 (!) slots for your makeup brushes and there is still plenty of room for your daily cosmetics. get down into the bottom layer and you’ve got a hugely roomy section to pile in your skincare and even your hair products. this is a one-stop shop for a beauty lover’s weekend getaway (or perhaps an upcoming stint in labor and delivery).

kestrel air grid duo-zip makeup case, $84 >

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perfect lips for tanned skin2

pink lips for tanned skin


we just got back from four days on the north shore of massachusetts and while arthur may have dampened our plans a bit, i still managed to catch a little sun while sitting on my parents’ roof deck. since i rarely get a tan, i’m planning on milking this hint of bronze for all its worth! so, aside from kicking up my bronzer game, i’m adding a warm, rosy-nude lip to my makeup mix to accentuate this oh-so-slightest kiss of sunshine.

i love clinique butter shine lipstick in pink-a-boo because it’s creamy and ultra wearable. on me, the shade is a true golden pink that’s comfortable and long-lasting. it adds a subtle pink glow to lips and plays so nicely with my baby tan.

if you’re less into shimmer and want something simple that will still enhance your summer skin tone, try bite lush lip tint in lychee. it’s a glossy neutral pink with lots of shine and ingredients like argan oil and vitamin e soothe and soften sun-parched lips.

those who like rich color but don’t want to sacrifice skin conditioners will like bobbi brown creamy lip color in rose petal. it’s a medium rose with soft shimmer (more pigment than the other two) and i also think it would be so gorgeous on a summer bride.

i’m not ashamed to tell you that all three of these are currently slotted into my favorite lipstick holder, but there’s always room for more! what lips do you like to wear with your tan?

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ogx anti-breakage keratin oil 3 minute miraculous recovery0

ogx anti-breakage keratin oil 3 minute miraculous recovery

one of my girlfriends has the most gorgeous, long and shiny, healthy-looking hair. i asked her what her secret is and she shared that she’d been using ogx ever-straight hydrating keratin masque – from the drugstore – once a week to deep condition. (“magic,” she called it.) obviously, i had to have this stuff. alas i searched high and low at every mass retailer in my vicinity with no luck. fate would have it that the illustrious miracle product was being phased out (you can still grab it on amazon), but i stumbled upon something better.

what i did find was ogx anti-breakage keratin oil – a 3 minute deep conditioner that makes my hair feel so soft and silky that i cannot stop touching it. this formula is bursting with proteins and argan oil that my hair is absolutely drinking up. it smells amazing, and doesn’t weigh my fine hair down. i can actually use it twice a week without feeling like i’m overdoing it on the deep conditioning and the results are all kinds of amazonian goddess – making me feel like my wild goose chase through our nation’s capital was well worth the effort.

ogx anti-breakage keratin oil 3 minute miraculous recovery, $7.99 >

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