sonia kashuk soft cosmetic case

sonia kashuk soft cosmetic floral

i am lo-ving these soft cosmetic cases from sonia kashuk’s target line, not only because of their budget-friendly price of $6.99, but because their smaller size recently forced me to do a major edit of the contents of my (dirty, oversized) cosmetic bag. it wasn’t a good situation – i had old eyeliners, eyeshadows i never wear, three cheek tints (i mean, really) and a variety of other unnecessary goods in that old thing. this perfectly-sized pouch was just too cute to pass up, so purge i did!

the chubby little number is small enough to limit me to my essentials but flexible enough that i can still stick in a few extra products if i need ‘em. the adorable prints are a plus – we are loving the floral shown above and this geometric. i might just snag a few more if my makeup starts overflowing again. such a great solution for toting my daily necessities on the go!

do tell us what do you prefer: a large makeup bag that fits everything you might
(or might not) need, or a small, just-the-basics pouch?

shop sonia kashuk soft cosmetic case ($6.99) here >

fake it ‘til you make it

get glowing


i love a good beach tanning session as much as the next gal, but it’s hard to ignore the health hazards that laying out in the sun can bring. to keep my dermatologist happy and my skin bronze for bikini season, i’m turning to these tried and true products.

jergen’s natural glow daily moisturizer ($8.69) – i’ve used this for years and its non-sticky application and subtle glow always carries me through. i use it every other day, and right after a shower to ensure smooth coverage. jergen’s now has an unscented, firming version as well.

sonia kashuk chic luminosity bronzer/blush duo in glimmer ($12.99) – this is the perfect combination of bronze and pink, and though it’s called “glimmer” it does not contain any trace of shimmer or sparkle, which i appreciate.

benefit watt’s up! highlighter ($30) – i’m loving this little treat that was part of my free birthday gift from sephora. a few swipes of this luminizing stick under my brow bones and along my cheekbones is a gorgeous finishing touch to my makeup each morning.

mark’s just pinched instant blush tint in cheeky ($8) – i have to echo lara’s praise for these cute little cheek tints; they have just the right amount of pigment and are super easy to throw in your clutch or purse.

bareminerals marvelous moxie lipgloss in trail blazer ($18) – moxie leaves my lips feeling refreshed and cool (but not in that tingly, painful lip-plumping way). even more so than the sensation, i appreciate the color – a rich, glossy bronze that pairs perfectly with everyday makeup or as the neutral component to a smoky eye.

march bag + balm

march bag + balm


bag: sonia kashuk yarn print double zip clutch, $14.99
balm: sonia kashuk moisture luxe tinted lip balm in hint of pink, $8.99

i am dy-ing over the spring collection from sonia kashuk. we are talking brand new packaging across the board, tons of new products at incredible price points and pretty, pretty color as far as the eye can see. i love when such an accessible brand gets it so right and sonia has nailed every single spring trend.

the bag combines two of my favorite silhouettes – a dome shape and a double zip. the dome shape is ideal for stashing makeup of varying shapes and sizes and the double zip means that you can keep tools and product separate if that’s your game. then there’s the matter of the shiny gold hardware, the contrast trim and the yellow patent zipper pulls – not a detail was missed.

as for the balm, i think “balm” is a negotiable word here. this gorgeously pigmented lippie is more of a super sleek and hydrating lipstick. the tint is powerful, almost opaque, but the balm-like formula means your lips are lush and happy (no dried out weirdness).

the absolute best part about this pairing is that you can scoop it up at your local target and the total cost is under $25. (i don’t know if you’ve been doing the math, but that’s about as much as i tend to spend on one lip product at sephora or the department store counters.)

show me your lip bomb, cait

pretty & fun lip bomb

name: cait
internet home: pretty & fun
number of products: 8
she says: my standard stash that I carry around on a daily basis – a pop of lip color is the easiest accessory a girl can add!
the bomb: 

NARS heat wave, $24
revlon colorstay overtime lipstick in stay currant, $7.99
burts bees lip balm, 2 for $5.49
revlon just bitten kissable stain in lovesick, $7.49
eos lip balm in summer fruit, $2.99
sonia kashuk lip gloss in precious, $8.99
LUSH liquid lipstick in believe, $18.95
revlon matte lipstick in really red, $7.99

i absolutely adore cait! her blog, pretty & fun, was one of my first and favorite discoveries on the ‘net. she and i finally connected in person at ifb a couple of years ago. i was completely taken by her bright, sweet personality and her most perfect top knot. she is an absolute doll and she is always rocking a flawlessly stunning bold lip. let’s just say that i’m taking some very careful notes on her #lipbomb.

emerald nails

emerald nails

i know i’m not the only one seeing green.

ever since pantone named emerald the color of the year for 2013, greens have been everywhere from teals and kellies to jades and shamrocks. i love the way that kermit’s favorite color has been popping up in fashion, but working this hue into your beauty routine can be a bit trickier. polish is an obvious choice (the best, in my opinion!), so here are six ways to get your nails on trend:

forever 21 nail polish in teal, $2.80
sonia kashuk nail colour in emerald city, $4.79
revlon nail enamel in posh, $4.99
butter london 3 free nail lacquer in thames, $15
julep nail vernis in emilie, $14
essie nail polish in going incognito, $8

will your nails be going green this season? which shade is your fav?

september bag + balm

september bag + balm


bag: sonia kashuk completely organized, $14.99
balm: maybelline baby lips in quenched, $2.99

this months’ pairing certainly won’t break the bank, ringing in at under $20 for the duo. while a low price is an attractive selling point, we all know that it can be tough to suss out quality products in the drugstore aisles and $2.99 is no bargain if the product is just going to end up in your beauty graveyard. fear not, my budget beauties, for this month’s bag is going to last you a lifetime and this month’s balm is one that you’ll surely be purchasing over and over.

sonia kashuk’s new completely organized nylon cosmetic bag is a far cry from her normal prints and patterns, but basic black has never looked better. the bag features a large interior compartment with seven slip pockets of varying sizes and an interior zip. the slips are perfect for bottles and blushes and the zip begs to collect your bobbies and hair ties. the exterior front zip pocket is the perfect place to stow your brushes and there are even five additional slip pockets on the outside (including one biggie behind that front zip). i’m convinced that this bag does everything short of applying your makeup for you and the best part is that you can toss it right into the wash when you experience that inevitable leak or spill.

in balm land, i’m way late to the maybelline baby lips party. i don’t know why it took me so long to make the $3 leap, but a feature in nylon’s beauty pages had me rushing to pick one up. it’s hydrating and much less addicting than most balms, meaning that a few applications a day replace your every-hour routine. the balm feels soft and light on your lips with a sweet lemon scent and spf20. not sure you can beat that for the super friendly price tag!

poolside pretty

Poolside Pretty



hi lovelies! i hope you’re having a gorgeous long weekend. i’ll be lounging at the pool all day with my kindle (currently loaded up with jane eyre – have you read it? slightly ashamed that i’m just getting to it at age 30!) and a collection of summer day essentials that i blogged over at gina’s tulle & combat boots last week. clickety click on over to learn more! (major holiday weekend bonus, just in time for summer: i scored those marc jacobs sunnies for $60 at the nordstrom half yearly sale yesterday.)

ps – the voting ends TOMORROW. i can’t believe my allure adventure is coming to a close. please vote today if you can!

photo-ready beauty with nicole of the city girl in me

i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again: while product-obsessed i may be, a makeup artist i am not. thank goodness for a friend like nicole who actually is a makeup artist. who took time out of one very early morning to make me up for a photo shoot with the lovely kate headley. i begged nicole to walk us all through her techniques!

City Girl in Me - Photo-Ready Makeup

On a sunny morning in Washington DC, pretty girl and product guru Lara Ramos of The Glossarie, came to me to create a natural, everyday, photogenic makeup look. Two makeup junkies in one room meant our pile of products were the tried and true, hall of fame, best-of-the-best.

We started with clean, moisturized skin—so important! Next, I primed her face with Smashbox Photo Finish face primer to create a smooth base for the foundation and applied it with a Real Techniques (RT) pointed foundation brush. Makeup Forever HD foundation gave a flawless finish while avoiding the caked- on look.

To conceal any redness, I pressed Makeup Forever Full Cover concealer over the areas and blended it with a RT detailer brush. Since eyeshadow tends to crease as the day goes on, MAC Painterly paint pot came in handy as a neutral base and eye primer, applied with a Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage brush.  MAC shadow in Orb was dusted over the lid with a NARS tapered shadow brush. To give subtle definition of Lara’s lashline, I tightlined her upper water line with a black gel liner (MAC Fluidline in Black Track) on a pointed eyeliner brush from Laura Mercier. A few swipes of Benefit Bad gal mascara, and her eyes looked fresh yet natural.

To frame the face, Lara’s brows were brushed through with a Sonia Kashuk Spoolie eye brow brush and defined using Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in medium ash/ medium brown.

To add warmth to the skin I used a Laura Mercier powder brush to dust MAC Harmony blush on her temples, cheekbones, and chin, and for an additional pop of color, I swept on MAC Pinch O’ Peach blush. The last and most important step was applying Makeup Forever HD powder on a RT buffing brush to blend all of the layers and create a lasting finish. The result: camera-ready, flawless skin that looked clean and effortless.

nicole, i can’t thank you enough for my mini makeover. you are a total life saver and quite the talented makeup maven. glossarie readers, take note of nicole’s awesome tumblr – you will love her endless array beauty tutorials, tips and tricks!

ps – the voting continues! if i make it through this week in the allure beauty blogger of the year competition, you will get to see my cinematic masterpiece (that’s right – a video, starring MOI!). if that’s not incentive enough, you can also win a rebecca minkoff bag :)

pps – have i told you all that i love you for all of the voting, tweeting, facebook posting, love texts and emails? i will challenge anyone who says that they have a better bunch of readers than me. MWAH!

this or that: mini nail sets

this or that: nail sets

on top: kate spade travel nail polish set includes
watermelon fingers, seafoam swirls, orange solar, and yellow cockatoos

on bottom: sonia kashuk ‘a powerful punch’ mini nail set includes
ooh la la, khaki shorts, making waves, and tutti frutti

ps – thank you for all of your votes this week! you can still vote today up until noon and we will know on monday if i’m in the competition for week three. you are all amazing and i can’t tell you how much i value your love and support :) have a fabulous weekend!