sephora ultimate oil-in-gel lipstick remover2

sephora ultimate oil-in-gel lipstick remover

all of our recent chatter about bold lips reminded me that as much as i love them, i do have one gripe: i hate when you can still see their remnants the next morning. lets be honest, all of the best bolds require a primer, a liner or, in the best case, their own formulas are just so long wearing that they can be a bit of a pain to remove. i stumbled upon this slick little tube at sephora last week and i think it’s a stroke of genius.

if you’ve ever tried to use liquid makeup remover to take off your lipstick, you know that it does not do nice things to your lips. this remover from sephora, specially formulated for lipstick, is gentle and soothing – and it works fast to remove even the most adhering stains and pigmented shades. i put a little on a cotton swab, smear it on and let it sit for 30 seconds before removing with a wet wash cloth. it’s easy to use and it does not require any rubbing or tugging to rid your lips of your favorite lacquer. best of all, my lips are no worse for the wear when the process is over.

it’s one of those products that i never knew i was missing, but one that alleviates a major beauty pain.  if you’re a fan of the bold lip, matte lip, stained lip or lacquered lip you’re surely going to want to add this to your #lipbomb.

sephora ultimate oil-in-gel lipstick remover, $9.50 >

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Posted in lips | Tagged | 2 Comments

ag smoothing balm0

ag smoothing balm

it’s these weird, early fall months when i just don’t have the strength to battle dc’s lingering humidity. i mean, a sticky summer? i get it – but, fall evokes feelings of sleek hair!

sadly in dc, that’s often not achievable until thanksgiving. the beloved sock bun saves me on days when i want to look polished, but the weather is simply not cooperating. this super easy hairstyle is pretty low maintenance and almost foolproof. you would think that a chic little knot could defend itself against the moisture in the air, but somehow i still find myself struggling with wild little flyways around my face.

thankfully, this season, ag smoothing balm turned up in the glossarie test lab and it is solving all of my frizz and flyaway dilemmas. the balm is designed specifically to smooth hair and reduce frizz. i find that just a dab tames my hair without adding grease and it smells fantastic. quite possibly the best part is that the formula is water-based so you can reapply as needed throughout the day and you won’t see any buildup – hooray!

so, while it may not be sweater weather just yet, at least my hair is feeling fall-ish.

ag smoothing balm, $22 >

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stila mile high mascara6

stila mile high mascara

when caring for a three-week old infant, mascara basically qualifies as a luxury – and for that reason, i am extra picky about which one i wear these days. since lou arrived, i have done my makeup maybe four times and it’s a much more pared down face than i have historically sported. lush lashes have become the focus because they make my eyes look much more open and awake than they actually are and it’s a simple way to not just feel like a human again, but feel like a girl.

the mascara that has captured this new momma’s heart is none other than stila mile high. we should first discuss its ultra sleek and sophisticated packaging – the gorgeous gold tube is a whole new direction for everyone’s favorite indie brand (remember the days when their eyeshadows came in little cardboard packages?) – but it’s what’s inside that truly impresses. stila has managed to master a formula that delivers both length and volume resulting in some seriously full and flirty fringe. the black stuff glides on for a glossy finish, lifting, curling, and stretching my lashes to their absolute best. there is no clumping or spidery spindles to worry about and stila is giving us nothing but gorgeous lashes that look like homegrown extensions of what you’ve already got. the product wears all day and then some without smudging or flaking and because it adheres so well, i find that a little eye makeup remover helps to wash it clean at the end of the day so that you’re not scrubbing your delicate eye area too hard.

this is a big winner from the stila camp and it could easily replace all other mascaras in your beauty basket because it does everything you want with one formula and is essentially both waterproof and washable. it gives me the drama that i want for daytime (without being over the top) and it also gives me the option of building those very vampy lashes that i like for a night out or a special occasion.

what more could a girl possibly want? oh yes, a shower would be nice… #newmom

stila mile high mascara, $25 >

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Posted in editorial sample, eyes, lashes | Tagged | 6 Comments

nomaterra on-the-go fragrance wipes3

nomaterra on-the-go fragrance wipes

remember my friends at nomaterra? well, they have some pretty exciting news.

the gorgeous independent perfume brand has launched their innovative fragrance wipes at sephora! available online and in the beauty to go section in stores, the variety pack of 12 sachets features three beautiful travel-friendly and location-inspired scents: miami (orange blossom), oahu (gardenia) and malibu (honey suckle).

if the notion of a fragrance wipe stumps you, consider the convenience of no longer needing to tote your glass perfume bottles when you travel or fuss with an atomizer ever again. these perfectly sized, soft wipes also make it a cinch to freshen up after the gym or before happy hour. the fragrances are fresh and long lasting with a sophistication that is completely unique. one sniff and there’s no question that these small-batch scents are crafted using all natural ingredients from their namesake locations.

for me, the combination of a completely innovative concept paired with impeccably executed luxury perfume makes these an absolute must have. my prediction? you will fall hard for these fragrances and wonder how you ever lived without these little wipes.

nomaterra on-the-go fragrance wipes, $20 >

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Posted in editorial sample, fragrance | Tagged | 3 Comments

day to night: bite beauty lip treatments0

bite beauty lip treatments

lip products tend to suck the life out of my lips. something about that skin is just extra sensitive and i can always tell by the “morning after effects” when i’ve overdone it on lip color the day before. it’s no fun to have to slather your lips in a treatment balm to undo the damage when the rest of you is all done up, but thankfully bite has solved that issue by adding a gorgeous rose gold pearl tint to their intensive lip mask treatment. usually a product that i reserved for overnight use, this new development means that i can wear it during the day and it actually looks pretty. not only does the color pigment make for the perfect no makeup look, but my lips get extra special treatment from all of the agave goodness. just gorgeous.

at night, i soak my lips in bite bb for lips in natural. it works to restore the texture of my lips overnight and i wake up in the morning feeling renewed softness. my lips are more healthy and hydrated throughout the day and as an added bonus, spf 15 makes this the perfect protecting balm for daytime, too. since the formula is thick and a little grippy, it serves as a beautiful lip primer to lock in hydration underneath of your favorite lip color as well. if you prefer, you can pick this one up in four beautiful tinted shades for a little extra lip enhancement.

it’s no secret that bite has quickly established themselves to be an authority in lips and these two innovative and new releases just prove that they are not relinquishing the throne anytime soon.

bite agave lip mask champagne ($26) and bite bb for lips ($24) >

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alterna caviar cc cream for hair1

alterna caviar cc cream for hair

i am 11 days into motherhood and finding myself in a true state of bliss. lou is absolute heaven and proving herself (at least for the moment) to be a very good and sweet little baby. currently, she is peacefully sleeping, and while i could just stare at her all day long, i thought that for the sake of sanity i might return to beauty blogging while i have a free moment.

it hasn’t taken long for me to reevaluate my beauty routine, eliminate the fuss, and prioritize the products that are all business. i’ve been using alterna caviar cc cream for hair since the week before i delivered and it was love at first pump. far from the first cc cream for hair that i have reviewed, this one easily trumps all of the rest. in short, it delivers all of the amazing 10-in-1 benefits of other cc creams (heat protection, smoothness, moisture, shine, anti-breakage, light hold, uv protection, manageability, strength, and softness) but it leaves my hair better than ever: silky, glossy strands with beautiful shape that holds for a solid three days. hydration is feather-light and my hair is visibly much healthier than before i started using the product.

this is the closest to a salon-qaulity blowout that i can get in my own bathroom and while my hair is definitely ready for a bath on day three, i could probably push it far beyond that boundary because there is virtually no grease and oil rearing its ugly head and demanding shampoo. well done on this miracle product, alterna! i can see why the blogs, magazines, and 400 sephora reviews are all raving about the results from this perfect leave-in lotion.

alterna caviar cc cream for hair, $25 >

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Posted in hair | Tagged | 1 Comment

little bitty pretty one19

2014-08-19 11.12.04-2

our tiny beauty arrived on friday night! please meet louisa jay ramos (“lou”) and excuse me while i take some time to drink her in. thank you for all of the love and well wishes throughout my pregnancy – we will return to beauty business as usual very shortly.

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Posted in lara | 19 Comments

stila stay all day vinyl lip gloss1


what is it about summer that calls for – no, make that demands – a beautifully bright look-at-me lip? it’s been quite the search, but i have finally found the one and it’s stila stay all day vinyl lip gloss in melon vinyl that has been rocking my world.

it’s a super moisturizing, highly pigmented gloss, in a punchy pink that’s equally perfect for both hot summer nights and a mid-week pick me up. with this gloss, the secret’s in the sauce: seaweed extract and organic green coffee oil are what make this formula so nourishing – a major bonus over other glosses that can feel like they suffocate your lips. it goes on bold with high shine, but it’s not heavy and it’s nondrying so you won’t melt in the heat.

my recommendation? pair this lacquer with your best maxi dress, find the nearest rooftop and seize the summer.

still stay all day vinyl lip gloss, $24 >


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Posted in editorial sample, lips | Tagged | 1 Comment

beauty essentials4

beauty essentials


i get a lot of questions about my beauty essentials. inquiring minds want to know about the must-have products that i can’t live without and the parts of my routine where i tend to splurge instead of save. when it comes down to it, these products work extra hard to keep me looking polished and pulled together – even if i’m feeling like frazzled mess!

the facial exfoliators
everyone should make a solid investment in one or two treatment products that tackle their specific skin issues. my skin needs chemical exfoliation to stay clear and i have found mario badescu glycolic foaming cleanser ($15) to be my best friend in the shower and somme institute transport pads ($58) are the perfect thing to use after washing my face at night. both products remove dead skin cells and keep my pores fresh and clean.

the tinted lip balm
i know – i’m like the poster child for tinted lip balms, but there’s a reason for that. the right one gives enough color to pull your look together while keeping your lips nice and soft. for me, this baume in love from lancome ($26) teases out the natural pink in my lips and is equal parts casual and sophisticated. it keeps me looking in control when i’m on the go and i can swipe it on without looking in a mirror.

the cure-all concealer
coverup just won’t cut it. i need something super reliable that’s going to zap dark circles and hide the occasional breakout while treating my skin issues at the same time. this workhorse from miracle skin ($36) hydrates, treats, protects, and color corrects while also smoothing and minimizing fine lines. it matches my skin perfectly and plays very nice with my favorite foundations.

the everyday spf
i’ve had my share of on-again-off-again relationships with moisturizers over the years, but after having a questionable mole removed last year, i knew that it was time to settle down with an spf that i will actually apply daily. this one from mario badescu ($26) isn’t greasy, sticky or pore-clogging making it a cinch to commit to. a little goes a long way and my skin looks forward to drinking this stuff in each morning.

the reliable polish
when it comes to the polishes that i actually buy and keep in my medicine cabinet (as opposed to those that i borrow from the salon shelf ), i look for something that is easy to apply and lasts all week long. deborah lippmann’s formula cannot be beat. two thin coats are all that you need and her timeless nude – aptly named naked ($18) – manages to look both classic and cool at the same time, a total no-brainer.

what are the things that your makeup bag couldn’t make it through the day without?

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Posted in concealer, face, lips, nails, skin | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

summer shakeup4

2014-07-25 10.44.44

there is no question that preparing for my first baby has really shaken up my summer. it’s evident everywhere i look – from less frequent blog posts to the products that are taking over my test lab (yes, that’s nipple butter), and even my drink of choice.

if a milkshake was my first trimester vice, my third trimester has been all about the classic arnold palmer. my go-to has been Starbucks Teavana® Shaken Iced Black Tea Lemonade™ (but if you prefer, they also have Teavana® Shaken Iced Blackberry Mojito Tea Lemonade™ or Teavana® Shaken Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade™ – talk about delicious mocktails!). i can get it from the drive-thru and it has saved me from more than a handful of afternoon slumps as this babe continues to grow.

while previous summers have been all about the beach, traveling and rooftop drinks, this summer has been consumed with preparing my life to welcome our little miracle. thankfully, pregnancy has not been one drop of the drama that i expected. i feel stronger than i have ever been and amazed by the fact that my body is creating life. i have to believe that this is one of the most incredible things that i will ever do and i am trying not to let the magnitude of what i am accomplishing escape me.

my head used to be consumed with ideas for product reviews, strategies on how to grow my sales territories (the day job) and how i’m going to approach to the anthropologie tag sale. don’t get me wrong, that’s all still in there, but i’ve found myself making room for contemplating things like how i will instill confidence in my daughter and ultimately give her the right to choose her own path.

to celebrate the shakeup, i have been saving summer inspirations on pinterest:

best summer ever

it’s an unbelievably exciting time and i’m grateful for every day of this wild journey to motherhood. i wish i knew how this life change will affect the glossarie, but for now i intend to continue business as usual. i cannot wait to share the news of our little one’s arrival with you very soon!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Starbucks through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Starbucks, all opinions are my own.

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Posted in lara, mama bear | 4 Comments