this or that: concealer pencils

this or that: concealer pencils

if you want to fake a flawless face, chances are that you’ve got an army of concealer options in your arsenal, but the pencil might be one of the most practical choices – and chances are it’s missing from your makeup kit. i’ve recently discovered just how handy these little sticks can be and i’ve got two favorites, both under $20.

i love the way that these slightly chunky pencil points are the exact right size for making pimples vanish and i am even more delighted with how sticky the formulas are and how seamlessly they blend with my ring finger. i dot them on over my foundation to cover spots with speed and the best part about these is that they stay where you put them! (my biggest gripe when blending concealer is that i feel like i’m taking it off instead of blending it in – so annoying.) you can use them on around-the-nose redness and under eyes in a pinch, too. both are creamy, natural, and not heavy or greasy. they take up very little purse real estate and i’m kind of wondering where they’ve been all my life.

this: urban decay 24/7 concealer pencil, $19
that: l’oreal true match crayon concealer, $7.99

pink eye

pink eye


one of the boldest trends coming out in beauty for spring 2013 is pink eyeshadow. we’re seeing shades from baby pink to fuchsia in shimmer and matte, appearing in both cream and powder formulas. i’m not going to lie to you – it’s a lot of look!

but, the more that i’ve played around with pink, i’ve found that it’s equally youthful and glamorous – and when you wear it on your eyes, it’s a great way to stand out. maybe it’s not for everyone and it can be a bit tricky to pull off, but i’ve rounded up nine options, so whether you’re up for a pastel dusting or a wash of hot pink, you’ve got plenty of ways to wear it now.

top row:
lancome color design infinite in everlasting rose, $24.50
givenchy ombre a fleur de peau eyeshadow in pearly rose, $34
make up for ever powder blush in candy pink, $20

middle row:
ysl ombre solo in parisienne pink, $30
urban decay eyeshadow in woodstock, $18
laura mercier second skin cheek color in rose petal, $24

bottom row:
sephora collection colorful mono eyeshadow in sweet candy pink, $13
cargo eyeshadow dup in sarasota, $20
i-mark wet/dry eye shadow in luvstruck, $7

tip: if you want to try the trend, but you’re not game to invest in a whole pot of pink shadow, try dusting some blush on your eyes to get the look. chances are, you’ve got more than one shade of pink already in your makeup wardrobe so you can go pink without spending a cent.

think you’ll do the pink thing this spring?

my ten favorite product finds of 2012

my vanity, makeup bag, and face see a constant rotation of products. with the volume and frequency of beauty being tested, it can be really tough to hang on to something for longer than a few weeks, let alone give it permanent residence in my bathroom’s beauty basket. low and behold, some products do actually stand the test of time. here are ten products that i posted about in 2012 that are still in my daily routine:

my ten favorite product finds of 2012

1. urban decay’s naked foundation is my go-to for a flawless face; i use it every day and i am still loving the semi-matte finish.

2. dr. lipp’s nipple balm for lips is a godsend for chapped lips; when all else fails, i know this will get the job done!

3. pattern body wash’s balance of effective cleaning and hydration makes it a permanent favorite in our coed shower. i love the scents and feel like i’m doing something good for my skin when i’m lathering up.

4. oribe’s dry texturizing spray is better than the best dry shampoo. it continues to make day two hair look better than day one. and the scent! yum.

5. sheswai’s nail lacquers come in the most playful shades. i still haven’t found anything that’s easier to apply than these, saving me bundles in salon manicures.

6. deborah lippmann’s the stripper to go is the most ingenious nail polish remover method. the little mitts may be pricy, but their portability and swift polish removal makes them completely worth the expense!

7. i still dab leila lou’s perfume oil in the crook of my elbows daily. the fragrance is flirty, fresh, and light, plus the rollerball makes it easy to travel with.

8. when i cannot stand to look as tired as i feel, tarte emphaseyes inner rim brightener saves the day. i constantly rely on this small wonder to fake eight hours.

9. i will never go back to plain old boring hair ties! olivia’s mane message pretties crop up everywhere, from all around my condo to the depths of my handbags to my car cup holders. you’re sure to always find one on my wrist, too!

10. chanel’s precision eyelash curler has replaced my beloved shu ueumra and proven better than the original. lashes are left perfectly curled without the awkward crimp some other curlers leave behind.

have you discovered anything through the blog that has found a permanent home in your beauty bag this year?

on my lips

seriously, how many pink lip products does one girl need? it would seem that the answer is no less than six. my collection, top to bottom:

bite beauty luminous creme lipstick in fig, $24
bite beauty honey lip lacquer in gamay, $24
occ lip tar in memento, $15
hourglass opaque rouge liquid lipstick in canvas, $28
nars lip lacquer in baby doll, $24
urban decay super saturated high gloss lip color in naked, $19

clearly, pink lips are my vice – what’s yours?

what i’m wearing: wedding guest

what i'm wearing: wedding guest

i’m headed to baltimore this evening to celebrate the wedding of one of my beautiful friends. the main event is taking place at the george peabody library and i’ll be donning this pretty maxi from anthropologie. i’m topping things off with accessories from my two favorite employers: a minaudiere from hobo (coming soon!) and egg-shaped drops from anna beck. in the beauty department, i’ve got deep, dark green tips courtesy of essie stylenomics (and a manicure that i got last weekend in nashville – still has not chipped!), big bold lashes from clinique’s new mascara (yes, i’ve blogged it twice this week, yes that means it’s incredible), and a slightly subdued lip achieved with urban decay’s super-saturated high gloss lip color in naked.

are you wearing anything new this weekend?

urban decay naked skin

urban decay naked skin

this foundation is a five-star experience from start to finish. beginning with shade selection, urban decay has thought of everything.

step one: shade selection

if you purchase this product in person at sephora, you’ll be greeted by a stack of handy shade selectors that will help you to choose your perfect match. it takes the guesswork out of a foundation buy and i really appreciate not having to swatch a dozen things (and thus run around looking crazy for the remainder of the afternoon). each shade is numbered, with those ending in .0 being neutral/cool and those ending .5 being golden/warm. so super easy!

step two: application

urban decay has also created the ideal tool for applying this foundation and while you might be quick to assume that it’s a bit gimmicky and a slick trick to get you to spend another buck, i promise you it’s not. the good karma optical blurring brush is $24, almost $10 less than its sephora-brand counterpart, and it is good quality stuff. the bristles are packed just densely enough to easily buff (this or any liquid) foundation on to skin. you can use it to build coverage where needed and even “stamp” naked skin on to areas that need a little concealer. i won’t be so bold as to tell you that the brush is a must if you’re going to go for this foundation, but i do think it will give you some pretty stellar results.

step three: wear

the foundation itself has gorgeous texture. it’s weightless and the closest thing i’ve felt to that “second skin” so many brands claim to duplicate. it still covers nicely, hiding pesky blemishes and discolorations and you can easily build up the coverage in places you need more. for me, the best part is the finish. it’s a demi matte that isn’t drying but really works to fend off shine. i find that it keeps me looking flawless far longer than my favorite drugstore foundation, but that it’s much less dehydrating than my (former?) favorite prestige.

i’m obviously really loving this stuff and would recommend it to anyone who has combination to oily skin and needs light to medium coverage. if you’re curious (and you should be!), i would urge you to watch this great little video and then get your hot buns to sephora for a quick test to see if you like the finish. i can’t wait to see if you’ll be as smitten as i am.

urban decay naked skin is available at sephora for $38.

think you’ll give this one a try?

travel pretty: dc-nyc-boston-newburyport-dc

i’m on the train headed back to nyc for a week of fun with hobo at the international gift fair. from new york, i’m training up to boston for a little visit with my family, and then the husband and i will be flying back from mass back to dc.

the trip totals 11 days away from home and comprises planes, trains, automobiles, hotel rooms, my sister’s brighton apartment and my parents’ house in newburyport. as if the length of time wasn’t enough of a suitcase dilemma, it’s also a lot of different climates and activities to prepare for (a trade show, nights out in new york, a red sox game, lazy days at the beach). i like to think that i’ve mastered packing over this last year, but sometimes bringing beauty can still be a real challenge, especially when i’m tight on space and really suck at going without any of my favorite products.

here’s what i have tucked away in the tsa-approved liquids and gels department (all packed inside the clear zip around pouch from my favorite stephanie johnson ml traveler):

1. leila lou perfume oil - which i’ve lately taken to wearing
in the crooks of my elbows, does anyone else do this?
2. use me cleanser for fine hair – a godsend against harsh hotel water
3. somme institute nourishing cleanser, from the pillow pack
4. somme institute double defense spf, from the pillow pack
5. ole henriksen ultimate lift eye gel – completely necessary for the next few early mornings, will be completely unnecessary by the time i reach the beach on saturday :)
6. use me moisturizer for fine hair – see #2
7. nars lip lacquer in baby doll – a super easy daytime lip
8. somme institute serum (full size)
9. perricone md no concealer concealer - most days i’m lucky enough not to need this, but late nights and early mornings mean ugliness for my often-hiding dark circles
10. vaseline lip therapy (impossibly tiny!) – combats dry hotel and plane air to keep lips soft
11. somme instite a-bomb, from the pillow pack
12. clinique all about eyes - i never fall asleep without it!
13. urban decay naked skin (full post coming tomorrow, simply ah-mazing)

as you can see, i monopolize every inch of real estate in that clear plastic pouch – thank goodness for super small versions of my (many) essential products!

on my lips for fall

on my lips for fall

i think the only thing that rivals my lip product obsession is my earring collection. call me crazy, but nothing makes me feel like a new girl more than a killer new lip color or shiny pair of chandeliers. ear adornments aside (that’s a whole different blog post!), i am building up my lip wardrobe for fall. top to bottom, here’s what’s on the list:

korres lip butter in mango, $12

bite beauty luminous creme lipstick in fig, $24

perfekt lip perfection gel in vine, $24

youngblood mighty shiny lip gel, $25.50

urban decay super-saturdated high gloss lip color in naked, $19

what’s on your lips?

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!

urban decay dew me moisturizing makeup setting spray

do you change up your makeup dependent on the time of year? i’m all about the light freshness of a tinted moisturizer in the summer and fall, but winter calls for more coverage as that tan starts to fade slowly away. (i also don’t like the way tinted moisturizer sits on my skin when it gets drier in the frigid temps, but i digress.) i’ve switched my foundation from this bobbi tm to my favorite hydrating powder foundation from smashbox and while i’m loving the familiar and flawless coverage, i miss the dewy glow from my tinted moisturizer.

dew me is a moisturizing setting spray from urban decay. it’s super light (we’re talking micro-fine) and instantly takes away the powdery look that blushes and other things can leave behind. it gives a soft glow and locks things in place for the days when you need a little extra mileage from your makeup. even for those of us who aren’t too concerned with long wear will find that it’s a little boost of moisture and defense against the whipping wind and freezing cold. overall, it’s a love for me.

if you work in a dry office environment, you’re a bare minerals or other powder gal, or if you top your foundation with powder but don’t like the dusty look, give this a whirl. i think you’ll be pretty pleased with the oomph it gives your whole visage and the natural glow you’ll be sporting ’til spring.

urban decay’s dew me moisturizing makeup setting spray is $29 at sephora and