skin-saving duo from first aid beauty9

skin-saving duo from first aid beauty


do you ever feel like the skincare cocktail you’ve been using religiously to the tune of beautiful results will sometimes turn on you suddenly and just stop working? it’s the worst and i’m always torn between staying the course / powering through and risking a reaction by trying something new. last week i reached a breaking point and sought out a new cleanser-toner combination to soothe some seriously congested skin. the results have been better than i could have imagined (which, for the record, only fuels my sickness. something could be working great, but isn’t there always something better?) and i’m enjoying the closest to clear skin that could easily go makeup-free than i’ve had since experiencing my very first breakout as a teenager.

here are the two products creating the magic:

i’ve been clearing the day away with first aid beauty’s skin rescue deep cleanser with red clay. i use about a quarter-sized amount and mix it with a drop or two of water before applying it to my skin that’s still covered in the day’s makeup. the grippy cleanser hangs on to makeup, dissolving all traces of foundation and unclogging my pores. it washes off easily without a lot of tugging, so i’m able to get my skin cleaner while also being more gentle. while most deep cleansers can be a bit drying, that’s not the case here thanks to added glycerin. my skin is left spotlessly clean and comfortable.

after cleansing, i follow up with first aid beauty’s facial radiance pads. i love this concept so much more than pouring toner onto a cotton pad – it’s one less step and so travel friendly. these little pads have lactic and glycolic acids for chemical exfoliation, but they do not sting or irritate like other acid-based products can. they work to sweep away any lingering traces of makeup (which i have to tell you are very few after using my new favorite cleanser!) and also to tone the skin. in the mornings, my face is less dull and dry without any redness or added grease.

first aid beauty has definitely proved themselves as the sensitive skin experts with these two, because i didn’t think a deep cleanser or renewal pad could ever play nicely with my delicate visage – but i have never been happier to be wrong.

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summer scents for him + her by nomaterra3

nomaterra boston malibu

i impart a fairly strong influence over mr. glossarie’s fragrance selection. i buy what i like and i slip it into his toiletry basket or casually leave it on his half of the dresser. my track record is pretty good – there may have been a few rejects along the way – and the result is a man who always smells delicious to me. (do other girls do this, too?)

nomaterra’s boston roll on is rich in smoky tobacco leaf, laced with vetiver, cardamom, basil, and a hint of rose. when i first sniffed it, i knew that it had major potential. its unique blend of high quality, organic ingredients results in a scent that’s intensely pure and warm. besides the fact that it’s named for my hometown, i love that nomaterra’s products are produced in their brooklyn lab. this particular combination is masculine enough for mr. gloss, but i’d be lying if i said that its unisex nature does not lend it to be occasionally kidnapped by yours truly.

malibu is my seasonal scent of choice for the ladies. also coming in a convenient roll-on, malibu’s notes are bursting with honeysuckle (which i am completely obsessed with at the moment) for a fragrance that is soft and lightly sweet. just like its southern california inspiration, malibu is beachy and sunny, feminine but casual. i like to rub it into the crooks of my elbows for everyday and i also occasionally dot it at the nape of my neck before a sweaty yoga class. the travel-friendly vial is a cinch to take with me wherever i go and the compliments always come pouring in.

if you haven’t experienced nomaterra’s gorgeous lineup, i highly suggest giving them a go. each location smells better than the next and their unique combinations will definitely have you coming back for more.

now, spill: what’s your scent of the season?

shop nomaterra’s full line of fragrances, $26 – $86 >

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mac prep + prime beauty balm spf 352

mac prep + prime bb

i know that summer has a tendency to make us want to wear less of everything – layers of clothing, makeup, even hair (anyone going for a chic summer chop?) – but summer sweat also tends to cause an increase in unwanted breakouts. for that reason, i usually need to up my foundation coverage a notch while still avoiding anything that looks or feels heavy on my skin. mac’s prep + prime bb is the perfect solution. its creamy consistency primes my skin, mattifying in the slightest, yet also illuminating. (how they achieved that bit of magic i’ll never know!) i’ve been using it with my new favorite brush, finding that coverage is lightweight and flawless. the product decreases redness and evens out any sunspots for a beautiful complexion that i can’t get enough of. it’s not at all drying and the addition of spf 35 (an upgrade on most makeup that boasts a measly spf 15) means that it’s even more perfect for spending some extra time in the sun. if you’re looking for a summer staple (and something that can carry you easily into fall, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves) i’m thinking this tube holds your new favorite face perfector.

mac prep + prime beauty balm spf 35, $30 >

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topshop glow stick0

topshop glow stick

it’s officially summer so i’m making seasonal changes to my makeup bag to welcome in the warmer weather and, more importantly, to fully embrace dewy. i tend to put away the powder blushes this time of year because they just don’t play nicely with virginia humidity and they can look a little heavy. you would think that selecting a cream or gel blush would be an easy solution, but since formulas vary so much you really have to be careful or you can still end up with something too thick or too matte for the season.

topshop is making all of my summertime cream blush dreams come true with their glow stick in spotlight. the color is spot-on (is anyone else obsessed with all things coral this season?) and will absolutely flatter more than just fair skin tones. the chubby stick twists up and the lightweight gel-like formula goes onto cheeks without the need for a lot of blending. i have been applying it with this stippling brush as opposed to drawing directly on my skin (a trick i learned from this video featuring meg biram and claire ashley) and the color goes on so silky and natural – no fingers needed. it lasts all day without fading, even on the sweatiest days, and as it wears, the slightest bit of pearly shimmer (not glitter) catches light, giving my cheeks that perfect healthy glow.

i don’t think i’ve committed this quickly to a product in a long time. i love what a piece of cake it is to use and how the effects are instant: a light rosy flush that’s golden, glowy and build able.

so, bring on that summer swelter – because my cheeks are totally ready.

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fresh sugar tulip tinted lip treatment7

Fresh Sugar Tulip Tinted Lip Treatment

fresh has really got something with their line of tinted lip treatments. they leave me hanging just long enough between new shade releases that i am always waiting for the next announcement with baited breath. then, once the new shade is made public, i begin my frequent sephora rounds (where it is always held hostage as an exclusive) asking when it will hit shelves. today, i finally got lucky and picked up the very latest – tulip.

i had actually gone into sephora to restock my signature lip (after reading alina’s tragedy about how her go-to has been discontinued, i started to get a little antsy) but when i caught sight of the unfamiliar bright pink box, i abandoned my mission, found a quiet corner and got to testing.

not surprisingly, the sheer hot pink shade glides right onto lips with the coverage falling somewhere between fresh’s most sheer options (like rose) and their creamier colors (honey and petal). it’s a notice-me pink that doesn’t scream – kind of everything that i’ve been wanting in a tinted lip balm.

the biggest surprise came from how this formula actually feels once it’s on. it’s much more comfortable, less drying, and more long-wearing than i’m accustomed to from this line. i don’t know if they switched up the ingredient list or what, but my punchy pink lip is still going strong after four hours and my lips still feel very slick and moisturized – a welcome change from some of the other shades which i always felt were dehydrating.

the combination of color and formula makes this one of those products that you can put on in the morning for a pop of color and then reapply throughout the day if/when your lips get dry. it’s perfect for summer because of the added spf and i’m imagining it as the ideal poolside and beach-to-bar (where i will be sipping lemonade) beauty accessory for the next couple of months.

so, i’m dying to know: are you a fan of this line from fresh? will you add tulip to your collection?

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traveling chic with stephanie johnson0

stephanie johnson

i’m over on stephanie johnson’s blog sharing my best travel tips. click through to see my favorite spring sj styles and how they kept me nice and organized while i spent a few days in la!

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jin soon the color field collection0

jin soon the color field collection combinations


we know how i felt about essie’s spring collection, but now that summer is finally making itself known, i’ve fallen for a new color palette by jin soon. if you’re not familiar, jin soon is a famed celebrity and editorial manicurist and her own color collection has received lots of attention over the recent seasons since its launch. the color field collection is the first that i’ve gotten to play with jin soon polishes, but i quickly caught on as to why these are such a huge hit.

for one, the color palette is unexpected and fresh. it’s subtly seasonal with a nod to americana, but it’s absolutely got something for everyone. the formula goes on thin (the secret to preventing chips!) but builds quickly so that two coats gives coverage that’s flawlessly opaque. while there endless options on how to wear these colors, here are my three favorite ways to combine this collection into mani/pedi perfection (from top to bottom):

go-to everyday favorites: cherry berry on toes + kookie white on nails
this combination makes me so happy. kookie white is a unique shade that looks white in the bottle, but wears as an ultra-chic blue-gray. polished and understated – it’s a love. cherry berry is a fresh and vibrant juicy berry that looks gorgeous with all of my gladiators.

for the fourth: cool blue topped with polka white on nails + pop orange toes
feeling festive? this celebratory polish combo’s got you covered. start with jin soon’s strong, cerulean blue topped with her pure white speckle topcoat, then opt for a hot, energetic orange-red on toes before hitting the beach to toast our nation’s birthday. usa!

 the black swan / naughty ballerina: dolly pink topped with polka black
for your nails only, something about pairing this glam and retro blush pink with a contrasting black glitter topcoat is girly and edgy at the same time. you can really layer polka black onto an accent nail for more contrast or coat it lightly over all ten tips – up to you!

i’m pretty crazy about these seven beautiful lacquers and you can bet that i’ll be coming back for more from future jin soon collections. think you’ll add any of these to your polish drawer?

jin soon the color field collection, $18 each >

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summer favorites from mark.1

mark summer 2014

to me, summer only means one thing: color, color, color!

i for one am totally digging the way that neons have burst onto the scene and no one is doing it better than my friends at mark. their summer collection is full of gorgeous brights – from an electric green lip gloss (not as scary as you think!) to a blazing blue eyeshadow that even i am daring to wear. here are my early favorites from this bold and beautiful group:

nail this look, $28
this might be my favorite mini nail duo to date! pink spark and orange blast make a statement without going over the top, and because these two are almost tone-on-tone, the possibilities are endless. my favorite way to go is bright pink fingertips with an orange-red accent nail, with orange blast on my toes – and just the slightest summer tan.

neon gaze eyeshadow, $10
these little shadow pots are simply gorgeous. they look like candy, but they are also extremely long wearing. the beautiful pigments translate so perfectly onto eyelids and i find that neon gaze (the blue shade) makes my eyes look bigger and brighter when i apply it to my bottom lash line with a super skinny brush.

crushing on coconut body scrub, $12
summer equates to showing a bit more skin, so i stick to a pretty regular exfoliation regimen this time of year. mark’s new body scrubs are full of sugar cane so they slough off all of the dead stuff – especially on my heels! the coconut scent makes my shower smell like vacation (so yummy!) and since the formula foams up, i am actually getting clean while i scrub.

this is big body building mousse, $16
i love that mousse is having a moment – and it’s not the crunchy stuff you remember. mark’s take on volume with light hold is gorgeous, leaving my fine hair frizz-free and conditioned thanks to the addition of black currant oil. i can use this one product for both curly and straight styles, getting shine and texture that’s totally effortless.

neon kisses sheer lip gloss, $12
you’re probably thinking “green lip gloss – has she lost it?” but, hear me out. these go on very sheer, with high shine and tons of moisture, so twisted lime in the tube actually layers onto lips clear with slight sparkle. wild orange is my strong favorite, giving my mouth a pink orange tint that pairs perfectly with my favorite poolside accessories and summer glow.

oh mark, summer looks extra good on you. if you want in on all of this gorgeousness, you’re in luck, because in honor of fellow mark girl lucy hale’s 25th birthday, you can get 25% off any $60 purchase with code BDAY. happy shopping and a very happy summer!

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r+co hair care0

 r+co dallas thickening spray

who says vegan products can’t be insanely gorgeous? case in point, new and notable hair care and styling goods from r+co, a collective of three industry experts. r+co has put forth some of the most beautiful and effective products ever to grace my shower shelves, all backed by the stylists’ impressive hairdressing knowledge and experience. each one is paraben, sulfate, mineral oil and petrolatum free, meaning that they won’t strip your hair, weigh it down, or build up. they are also cruelty free and color safe - there is just so much to love about this line.

i have been testing the dallas group, designed to thicken hair that normally lays fine and flat. aside from arriving in the prettiest packaging, the shampoo and conditioner both perform like a champ. my lackluster locks are left smooth and weightless without a trace of frizz or dryness.

out of the shower, dallas thickening spray is my new best friend. while i opt for a cream or lotion in the colder weather when static is an issue, when the weather warms up i like to lighten my load and style with a spray. this one provides body and shine as well as a little hold. i’ve been concentrating it at the roots and then running my fingers through damp hair to distribute. it plays very nicely with my flat iron, all in all amping up my diy blow dry in the very best way.

far beyond the resulting good hair, i cannot get over how good these smell. the scents are noticeable without being overwhelming and each one layers over top of the other to linger all day – it’s a bit addictive so if you catch me buried in my own hair, inhaling deeply, now you know why.

the comprehensive r+co line has something for absolutely every head of hair and i have a hard time imagining that each product in the collection won’t blow you away. the resulting collaboration from these top stylists is truly special and one from which my hair is happy to be reaping all of the benefits.

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sweat-proof summer lip6

summer lip stain

i’m taking a cue from festival-goers (i.e. all girls cooler than me) and embracing a two-layer system for my summer lip. this time of year, i really start to crave that popsicle-inspired flush of color that comes from a pen stain, but i’ve never been able to make friends with those products because of how drying they can be. this season, instead of layering plain old chapstick overtop, i’ve taken to adding another element of color dimension with a lightly tinted balm. the result is a moisturized and lightweight lip color that feels like nothing, but looks like everything. it pairs well with dewy skin, looks fresh and easy, and when the balm-tint starts to fade, i’m left with a beautiful pop of brightness from the stain underneath.

the combination possibilities here are endless so i have selected a few favorites below. the fun part is that you can really change the look of one stain depending on the balm that you add overtop, and since it’s summer i’m going to stress the importance of spf (because lip burns hurt like hell).

think you’ll give this lip look a go?

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image via beautyhigh.

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Posted in lips | 6 Comments