Wednesday, March 5, 2014

POPSUGAR Blogger of the Week

Upon opening an email from POPSUGAR Select Beauty today, I was beyond stoked to see my mug staring back at me as their featured Blogger of the Week! POPSUGAR is one of my favorite websites for beauty, fashion, and celebrity news. I've been fortunate to participate in a nice handful of opportunities for POPSUGAR Select, their curated list of bloggers in the beauty, fashion, food, and lifestyle realm (amongst others), and now I'm totally flattered to be featured in their weekly email for beauty bloggers. If you haven't already, be sure to check out POPSUGAR's Select Beauty section for access to the best tips and tricks for keeping your skin, hair, and nails looking gorg and glamorous, from today's best beauty bloggers!
Blogger Tricks

Thursday, February 27, 2014


As promised in my last video, here's another tag. This one gets a little more personal, including my all time favorite song, my fears, and the last person I kissed!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush

I heard about the launch of Hourglass' Ambient Lighting Blushes a ways back. Some more established beauty bloggers got their hands on them ahead of the rest of us, and then there was the Sephora VIB online ordering that I somehow missed (how that even happened, I don't know!). I swear I kept calling Sephora stores in SF for an entire month asking when they would have them in stock. Well, finally, FINALLY, I made it to Space.NK and got my mitts on Luminous Flush.

All of the Ambient Lighting Blushes are marbleized with flush-colored pigment and the Ambient Lighting Powders that Hourglass is known for. Just as each powder is designed to give your face the effect of a specific type of light, the blushers mimic this with the added hit of peach, pink, mauve, rose, red, and magenta. This creates depth and dimension, or in layman's terms, a really stunning pigmented glow. 

Depending upon which shade you go for, the amount and type of highlighting differs. I decided on Luminous Flush. While the champagne pearl shade of Luminous Light within the blush definitely adds a glow, I still like to use the separate Ambient Lighting Powder in addition to the blush for a fully highlighted effect. As a blush, though, Luminous Flush is gorgeous! It's rosy pink, slightly golden, and is very buildable. It definitely wears after a long day, but it will last you a good six hours before you need a touch up.

For the flushed glow I get, that's fine by me.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


We all have those days when we're just not feeling our best self. Sometimes it's a cold, other times it's less serious, like dry hair or peeling cuticles (though it could be argued that those are just as serious!). Either way, when I need some extra tender loving care (TLC) there are certain products I rely on to get me through. Watch my TLC Tag to see just what they are!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Your Lips But Better

In honor of Valentine's Day last week, my mom very kindly sent me a pair of V-Day socks (as she does for all holidays) and a little extra surprise - a check along with the command to "purchase something on your wish list." Well, who am I to say no to my mother? Off I went to Bloomingdale's to tick off a box on that ever growing list of things I'd like to purchase.

The culprit of my most recent haul? A Tom Ford lippie in Pink Dusk. I'd heard so many people mention that Spanish Pink is the perfect "your lips but better" color. Well for me, Pink Dusk is just that! In addition to being a slightly more muted rose shade than Spanish Pink, as well as my natural lip, the formula is crazy creamy without being sticky in the slightest. It kept my lips moisturized for hours after I applied it, and the color lasted nearly as long.

BTDubs, did I mention the packaging? Oh my gawd, it's drool worthy. The lipstick itself has TF embossed on it's tip. It's such a beautiful detail that I actually apply the product from the opposite side to preserve it! The case is a brown rectangular prism outlined in gold, with the infamous "click" of the bullet as it closes. Music to my ears!

This may just be the best Valentine's Day gift I've ever gotten myself. Thanks, Mom!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The At-Home Mani

I like getting my nails did as much as the next girl, and I treat myself to manicures more often than my bank account appreciates, but between appointments, I've learned to take care of business myself. My recent habit of changing nail color every other day has turned this skill from a nice-to-know to a need-to-know. Follow along as I take you through my most recent at-home mani.

On days when I really feel like giving myself the full pamper treatment, I start with Crabtree and Evelyn's Gardeners Hand Recovery which is a dense hand-scrub and moisturizer with macadamia nut oil and shea butter to help soften up even the most cold-weather chapped hands.

After that I soak my cuticles in a bowl of warm soapy water.  Following the quick dip, I squeeze on Sally Hansen's Instant Cuticle Remover. My mom has the thickest and quickest growing cuticles in the world (sorry for sharing, mom) and she swears by this!

I use the "pusher back tool" (more formally known as a cuticle pusher) to ensure the nail bed is clear of cuticle. This is my secret step. Okay, it's not really a secret, but I think this step is often skipped and can result in uneven lacquer application and chips far sooner than there should be.

I use my cuticle nipper to trim the pushed-back cuticle and excess skin.

I'm currently filing my nails with a Kiss nail file. It's not too grainy or rough on my somewhat weak, thin nails.

After I've filed, I like to lather my hands up with a thick moisturizing cream. One I've been loving is the Mor Hand Cream in Black Currant Iris. It smells amazing, absorbs quickly, and is incredibly moisturizing without being greasy. I follow this by wiping my nails down with polish remover to prep the surface for polish. At the moment I'm using a drugstore brand, though Sephora makes a really great remover, as does Bourjois if you're in Europe.

I just picked up the Sephora Formula X Base Coat which is provides a really nice base to which my polish can adhere and will prevent your nails from yellowing.

I absolutely adore this mint color from Essie. New in their Spring collection, Fashion Playground is slightly darker and greener than Mint Candy Apple, but lighter and less turquoise than Turquoise and Caicos. It also has a very slight shimmer running through it.

I finish it all off with the Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. In five minutes, the polish is dry to the touch and you're ready to go. Ten bucks saved and no one will ever know. I'm not telling anyway!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Three Masks

Over the past few weeks I've been doing some serious research on face masks. By serious, of course, I mean testing out the three that have made it to the bathroom shelf, bound and determined to decide which I like the best. Well, after several rounds with all of them, I just can't choose, so instead I'll share what I like the most about each.

All of these masks are clay based masks which are meant to pull excess oil and sebum from your skin, preventing breakouts and reducing pore size in the process. The Borghese mask came on recommendation from Fleur de Force, while the other two were actually Birchbox samples.

L-R Serious Skincare, Wei, Borghese
Wei Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask - This mask comes in the cutest little pods along with a brush for even application. While each pod is supposed to be a single serving, I actually got four uses out of one. I should qualify that I only use clay-based masks on the parts of my face that need clarifying (t-zone and under my cheek bones), so that may explain why I was able to stretch it. This mask was my favorite at moisturizing. It has a texture strikingly similar to Nutella - very creamy but thick, too, and is a ruddy brown color. It did the job of pulling the junk from my skin, but left my skin feeling hydrated, as well, which is something really unique about this mask. Based on traditional Chinese medicine, the golden root helps your skin to look and feel smoother and firmer.

Borghese Fango Active Mud for Face and Body - This is the most traditional clay-based mask of the three. Made of Tuscan volcanic mud, avocado and sweet almond oil, and Borghese's Acqua di Vita Complex, is a deep green color and a much thinner consistency than the Wei mask. I think this one did the best job of clarifying my skin. As it dries, you can really feel it sucking out oil and dirt from the skin. When washed off, it definitely had my pores looking the clearest of the three masks.

Serious Skincare Glycolic Gommage Extreme Renewal - While this mask isn't technically a mud mask, it does have a similar effect, with a few added benefits. This mask is similar in consistency to the Borghese, but has fine granules for exfoliation. You spread this on the face and let it dry like a typical mud or clay based mask. After 10 minutes, instead of wiping it away, you dampen the skin and massage, creating a scrub. It's a pretty cool concept to help unclog any pores that have deeply embedded sebum. It boasts four different acids and a host of essential oils to clean, firm, and hydrate your skin. This leaves your skin the most glowing, as scrubs and the use of alpha hydroxy acid often do. This one wins the award for multi-tasker.

Have you tried any of these? Which sounds most appealing to you?

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