maggie’s top 10 of 2013

maggie's top 10 of 2013

1 – i remembered that i had eyebrows this year, and that it might be nice to take care of them and even highlight them every once in awhile. it cosmetics brow power perfector is the 5-in-1 powder gel pencil that came to my brow rescue, serving as a fill-in powder, pencil, taming gel, conditioning treatment, and brow brush all in one (i’ve been using the the ‘universal taupe’ shade to define and fill in my arches).

2 – i briefly noted my love for the stella by stella mccartney rollerball perfume here, but the quick mention does not do nearly enough justice to how much i use this bad boy. the sweet and subtle combo of rose, amber and mandarin is my daily perfume and in my purse at all times.

3 – who knew that a free birthday gift from sephora would become one of my top ten beauty staples this year? i swipe benefit’s watt’s up! highlighter under my brows and on my cheekbones every day to wake my face up.

4 – sally hansen’s super shine has become a favorite for DIY manicures. i know matte nails were trendy this past year, but i still love a shiny fnish, and this top coat does the trick (while really making color last – we’re talking a solid five days).

5 - maybelline’s color elixir in signature scarlet has become my new go-to red lip, adding a glossy, youthful twist to an always classic look.

6 – the super dark, completely clump-free and layer-able smashbox photo op eye brightening mascara is now my daily mascara – i love how it separates and defines each lash. a blend of blue pigments in the formula make lashes seems so defined in contrast to the whites of your eyes. i haven’t found a mascara this good since dior’s diorshow.

7 – i’m a sucker for celebrity endorsements, so when i heard about lauren conrad’s hair stylist’s can’t-live-without product, i had to get my hands on it. i’ve been spritzing healthy sexy hair soy tri-wheat leave-in conditioner on after every shower and i am loving the results: soft, noticeably shinier locks (but never greasy). by restoring hair’s ph balance, it essentially presses the “restart” button for your hair. since i’ve started using it i’ve had multiple friends ask me if i’ve gotten my hair cut – that’s how healthy and fresh it’s made my hair look.

8 – like lara, i’ve become addicted to simple’s revitalizing eye roll-on. it’s become my little morning wake-up ritual, after i’ve washed my face and moisturized, to sweep this cooling rollerball underneath my eyes. it de-puffs, wakes me up immediately and is the perfect primer for my undereye concealer.

9 – speaking of undereye concealer, benefit’s fake up was my new best friend in 2013. this super moisturizing concealer hides even the darkest of my circles, and, as it promises, never creases. what a welcome addition to my makeup bag!

10 – i’d heard so much about the magical josie maran pure argan oil, and i have to say it lives up to its reputation. a single drop of it on damp hair makes me feel like my split ends have disappeared, and no other product has made my hair feel quite this silky. the double-whammy oil can also be used to moisturize your skin and has been a lifesaver for my dry winter cuticles.

on my lips

on my lips for pre-fall

it’s been awhile since we talked about this, but every once in awhile (ok, all of the damn time) i take a look at the lip products that i’m currently rotating and i really like what i see. sometimes i like it so much that i just have to share them with you in hopes that one, you’ll discover something new, and two, maybe just maybe you’ll tell me what’s on your lips.

here’s what i’ve got goin’ on:

stila color balm lipstick in amelia, $22
if you’ve never tried these, they are are kind of incred. you get the full pigment of a lipstick with the comfort of a lip balm and a sweet minty taste. i wear it in amelia, a bright pink’y taupe, and i love the pop of color. i would buy these in a dozen shades and i adore that each tube has a mirror tucked in the cap for taxi-friendly application.

jane iredale ‘just kissed’ lip + cheek stain, $25
i know it seems like these self-adjusting lip shades are a dime a dozen, but this one really is something special. it’s a completely non-drying stain (feels like buttah) that delivers moisturizing comfort and serious shine in the perfect pink hue. it’s got all kinds of ingredients to soothe and nourish and in a pinch, you can even  put some on your cheeks.

it cosmetics vitality lip blush hydrating gloss stain in je ne sais quoi, $24
i know what you’re thinking, a second self-adjusting lip color?! but hear me out. this one is a gloss and it’s an opaque pink and it’s gorgeous. i can swipe it on, it feels amazing and it looks like a custom-made pink glossy shade that was created just for me. it’s non-sticky and it wears down to a nice stain. love this brand, lovin’ this stuff.

revlon just bitten kissable balm stain in lovesick, $7
i don’t know what provoked me to pick these up since they aren’t exactly breaking news, but this color has completely breathed new life into this product for me. lovesick is kind of a creamy fuchsia and i’ve already adopted it as my go-to pre-fall lip. the shape of these pencils makes it easy to line and fill things in delivering shape and shine, oh and color.

giorgio armani rouge ecstasy lipstick in 400, $34
these babies could anchor their own post. (and i never get excited about lipstick!) the formula is a moisturizing velvet, bringing a touch of care and a whole lot of satin color to your lip game. these are lightweight and really long lasting. they’re hydrating, yet yield a matte finish for a lipstick that’s unlike anything that i’ve ever tried.

mighty mascaras

mighty mascaras


there is a lot happening in the mascara market these days! just when you thought it was all length vs. volume, waterproof vs. not waterproof, these five formulas show us that there are near endless possibilities when it comes to choosing a gorgeously bold look that rivals even the best faux options.

covergirl flamed out water resistant mascara, $5.99
if fluttery splash-proof lashes are your game this summer, look no further than this hot tube from covergirl. the formula is lightweight and the brush makes it easy to get a “winged” lash look, providing lift and curl without a curler. i love the pretty softness and shape that you get from this drugstore delight – perfect for those who like long lashes, even poolside.

it cosmetics tightline full lash line black mascara primer, 2 for $29
this brush is impossibly thin and that means you can apply this black mascara primer starting right at the lash line without getting it on your eyelid. beyond lengthening and darkening, this multitasking lash enhancer also works to nourish and protect, but most importantly: a few swipes on each eye leaves you with a set that’s extra lush and full.

hard candy lash ink 4 day lash stain mascara, $7
this one is not for the fickle or faint of heart. i wasn’t really sure that i wanted my mascara to last four days, but there is no doubt about it: once you apply this stuff, there’s no letting go. it holds on through swims, showers, and face washings. no smudging, no flaking, and no need to reapply each morning – just curl your lashes and go. crazy!

too faced better than sex mascara, $23
this stuff has all the greatness of mac’s plush lash (length! volume! lift! curl!), but none of the smudging. lashes are all kinds of vampy and va-va with an eye-opening fan of fringe you’re going to want to bat all. day. long. seriously, this stuff is the bomb. (but…for the record, it’s not better than sex) warning: don’t drop it on your toe – this sucker is hea-vy.

l’oreal voluminous false fiber lashes, $8.99
watery-eyed beauties know that fiber mascaras are a godsend. they tube your lashes so there are no smudges, but they wash off easily with a few splashes of good old h2o. before now, you had to buy your fiber lashes at sephora, but l’oreal is bringing long-wearing length and separation to the masses – with none of that dry/crunchy feeling.

luxe and lightweight lip sheers for spring

luxe and lightweight lip sheers for spring

i do love myself a lip sheer. they’re easily applied without a mirror and give your lips a blooming sheer wash of color to brighten and hydrate. these days, the shade range goes far beyond the pinks and reds of yesteryear to include oranges and plums so there’s definitely something for everyone. the drugstore brands are also getting into the game in a big way which means you don’t have to spend a lot to make a big impact. here are a few of my many favorites for the coming season, from left to right:

clinique almost lipstick in flirty honey, $15

burt’s bees lip shine in pucker, $6.99

it cosmetics vitality lip flush in je ne sais quoi, $20

soap & glory sexy mother pucker gloss stick in plum jam, $16

ysl volupte sheer candy in succulent pomegranate, $32

bare minerals loud & clear lip sheer in tangerine trance, $15

boots botanics tinted lip balm in sheer guava, $5.99

it cosmetics ultra repair liquid oxygen foundation

it cosmetics oxygen foundation

i’m very picky about what goes on my face, because breathe on it wrong and i’m suffering a massive breakout. i’m always skeptical about foundation and i’m intensely particular about formula and what something feels like when it goes onto my skin. when it cosmetics’ new ultra repair liquid oxygen foundation arrived, i had high hopes because there is a lot of buzz about oxygen-infused products and how great they are for your skin. your skin cells (and all of your cells, really) require oxygen to metabolize and boosting the oxygen level can give you more youthful, glowing skin.

this foundation goes on the most smooth of any other that i have found. it looks and feels like second skin – absolutely weightless. your face is left looking dewy with minor imperfections completely blurred away. normally with a foundation, i love the way that it looks or i love the way that it feels on my face, but rarely both. in this case, you get the best of both worlds plus amazing skincare benefits. the formula includes hyaluronic acid to keep skin supple (especially helpful in winter), it contains anti-aging ingredients like peptides (to plump and hydrate skin), hydrolyzed collagen (to help fight fine lines and wrinkles), and niacin (which minimizes pigmentation).

i will also note that adding the ultra repair liquid oxygen foundation to my regular routine and making no other changes to my skincare, i have noticed a real difference in my skin health and clarity. it’s calmer and much more clear – improvements that i can fully attribute to oxygen. if you’re skin is picky and you’re in the market for a new foundation, this is an incredible and innovative option.

shop it cosmetics ultra repair liquid oxygen foundation ($39.95) >

it cosmetics bye bye under eye concealer


on a morning like this, i need my under eye concealer to be like eight hours of sleep plus eight glasses of water. (we celebrated the engagement of some friends last night and i might have overindulged on the sparkling pinot grigio.) i also like the consistency to be thick (like spackle!) and for it to blend seamlessly with my foundation. it goes without saying that it also has to cover dark circles flawlessly and not wander throughout the day.

since i’ve got to look bright eyed and bushy tailed at a work event today, i’m reaching for it cosmetics bye bye under eye – because as far as under eye concealers go, this one is just plain incredible. it’s thick but blends seamlessly (i use my fingers and a hyperactive patting motion to do the job) and it covers like a dream. most importantly, it takes eyes from sad to shining in seconds. when i’m done, dark circles look like they’ve been erased, puff is diminished and all is left looking bright and alert.

on top of the amazing super smooth coverage, bye bye also claims to treat your fine lines (with hydrolyzed collagen, vitamin c, and vitamin a). i can’t really back that up, but even the thought of it laying down some sort of treatment while it makes me look like a well-rested beauty is good enough for me.

if you ever have the kind of morning when what you really need is a tiny miracle, might i encourage you to grab a tube of bye bye under eye? it’s $24 at and considering how little you need of this stuff to make a big impact, i’m going to bet it will last you a lifetime (or at least until the next best thing in eye concealer comes along).

covergirl + olay tone rehab 2-in-1 foundation

covergirl tone rehab

i love a drugstore discovery and this one comes courtesy of my friend lindsay. foundation is probably one of the toughest products to nail down at a drugstore, but covergirl’s tone rehab is department store quality goods at a very nice price point.

the formula mixes a creamy foundation with a hydrating serum (perfect as we move towards cooler temps) and the result is pure gold. i have been applying it with it cosmetics dual airbrush foundation concealer brush finding that the silky texture absolutely glides onto skin, light as a feather, feeling just like skincare.

coverage is pretty customizable (although I’m not sure if we can attribute that mainly to the foundation itself or the brush) so you can apply sparingly for a light finish or build for a more medium one. after one overall application, i use the bottom of the it cosmetics brush to do some spot concealing. when i’m done, my skin is the best i’ve seen it in a long while, looking flawless and feeling soothed.

i knew i liked this stuff, but the unsolicited compliments on my skin since i’ve been using it have really sealed the deal. i can’t say that it would be the solution for all skin types, but for those of you who like the feel of a tinted moisturizer but prefer the coverage of a foundation will certainly be in high heaven.

covergirl + olay tone rehab 2-in-1 foundation is available in drugstores and online for $13 – $16.

it cosmetics brow power universal eyebrow pencil

my brows have been getting a lot of love lately and as much as i’d like to take credit for their homegrown goodness, i really can’t. you see, i’ve made friends with it cosmetics universal brow pencil and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to my face. on one end, the spoolie brush calms things down, and on the other, the perfectly shaded brow pencil, amps things up by filling in the sparse bits. for a girl who has tried tinted gels, threading, and waxes galore, this pencil is a home run. i’m loving the way the color enhances my arches without darkening them and i never realized how much a well-defined brow transforms my whole expression.

to experience brow euphoria for yourself, pick up it cosmetics universal brow pencil for $24 at

PS – if you love this blog, please, pretty please vote daily in allure’s beauty blogger of the year awards. there are just 13 of us left and this week’s challenge is all about beauty blunders!

recent beauty buys: april ’12

1 – looks just like it smells with a burst of electric pink rose paired with vibrant green tea;
a dozen roses electron, $95

2 – the exact right amount of richness, mine eyes have never been happier;
somme institute eye cream, $72

3 – separate zip compartments keep the peace between my makeup and jewels when traveling;
stephanie johnson katie folding clutch, $45

4 – the most natural way to fill in my brunette brows;
it cosmetics brow power, $24

5 – this watermelon coral is the official summer outfit for my nails;
sheswai babe
, $16

what’s new in your beauty bag?

moody beauty a la scarlett johansson

i absolutely adore this shot of scarjo swiped from one of my new favorite blogs. maybe it’s her wild hair or that insane turquoise butterfly necklace, but i’m so super smitten by her moody makeup.

smudgy copper under-eyes, plummy purple lips and those arch-less brows all sum up to one sultry scarlett and i just had to find the perfect products to recreate this pretty face:

think this look is one you can find an occasion for? i really want to try it!