What’s in My Purse

img_0457-1I’ve never been one to carry a huge purse or a huge wallet. I like small to medium sized bags and I carry only the essentials. This makes it easier to find things when I really need them. Here are the items that I currently carry in my purse:

  1. Wallet: A small wallet just big enough for my cards and some cash. I only carry two credit cards, my Costco card, and my ID. This way when I am at the register I’m not digging through a ton of cards looking for the right one.
  2. Hand Sanitizer: I like to carry a hand sanitizer that contains aloe so it doesn’t dry out my hands. Hand sanitizer can also be hard on acrylic nails, but I’ve found that the Purell brand does not damage my nails.
  3. Sunglasses: I always have a casual/versatile pair of sun glasses in my purse. They especially come in handy when I’m n0t wearing makeup. I especially love aviator style glasses. These are Michael Kors and I purchased them at Nordstrom.
  4. Hair Brush: I brush my hair way too many times during the day. I’m that person who will brush their hair at a restaurant or while driving my car. I can’t stand the feeling of having knots in my hair so I always have a brush on hand.
  5. Snack: I try to always keep a non-perishable, semi-healthy snack in my bag. This keeps me from wasting money on unhealthy food when I’m on the run. These Fig Bars are yummy and fill me up.
  6. Lips: Obviously the lip products that I have in my purse depend on the look I’m wearing that day. However I do always keep Neutrogena chapstick (unscented), Buxom “White Russian” gloss, and a ColorPop Lippie stick with me at all times. All of these products are moisturizing and can be work with or without makeup.
  7. Contact Lense Re-Wetting Drops: I used to always carry my prescription glasses with me just incase my eyes started bothering me but they were bulky and I hardly ever needed them. Re-wetting drops are so much more convenient. If my eyes get dry or scratchy during the day I can easily drop these in and I’m good to go.
  8. Car Key: This is pretty self explaitory 🙂

Best in Beauty 2016!

best-in-beauty-2016-1So many amazing products came out in 2016 and I was introduced to so many great new brands. I compiled a little collection of the best of the best of 2016. These are products that really stood out to me and that I would recommend to a friend.

Face:

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Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer– This is my favorite everyday bronzer and it’s affordable (only $15)! It is very natural and illuminating. The Butter Bronzer glides on so easily and blends out beautifully.

Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer– I had the hardest time finding a suitable primer for my dry skin until I found this. Most illuminating primers for dry skin are so greasy that they make you makeup slip off throughout the day. This absorbs into the skin immediately and locks in the moisture. It is expensive but the bottle is huge and glass and has a high quality pump.

Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer– I haven’t seen a Best in Beauty for 2016 that didn’t contain this product, and with good reason. Tarte totally stole the show with this concealer. It has completely replaced my holy grail Urban Decay concealer. There is an enormous color range, it has a great applicator, doesn’t crease, blends out easily, and is full coverage.

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder– This under-eye setting powder is so under-hyped! It is the only powder I’ve found that completely eliminates under-eye creasing and I do notice a brightening effect.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush #23– This highlighter brush has completely revolutionized my highlighter game. It is the perfect size and is super durable and high quality. Makes applying highlighter so easy.

Mac Pinch Me Blush– Ever since Fall started I have been using this non-stop, I have to practically force myself not to use it everyday. Pinch me is a dark reddish color that matches tons of lip colors. This shade adds that natural flush to the cheeks and is very bendable and easy to apply.

Eyes:

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IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Mascara– I always thought that all mascaras were created equal. They all worked really well for the first few weeks but then completely dried out. The Superhero has lasted me two months so far and is still going strong. It is incredibly volumizing and black.

tarte Tartelette in Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette– My Mom bought me this palette for Valentines day 2016 and it is still my favorite. All the colors are wearable and they are by far the easiest to blend. Plus this palette smells so good, like chocolate!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz– All Anastasia Beverly Hills products are incredible but this is my favorite. It is perfect for sparse or thick brows, comes in a variety of colors, and is easy to apply. It is so perfect and precise; there is literally nothing I would change about this product.

Hair & Body:

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Shea Moisture Jamaican Castor Oil Shampoo-I’ve been using this shampoo as my pre-poo for the last couple of months and I can definitely notice a difference in my hair. This shampoo removes the excess product buildup but is still safe for color-treated hair. My hair is left light and with more body and movement.

Stella McCartney Pop– This is such a perfect fragrance! It is not too sweet, which can sometimes smells to young, but also not too musky. Pop is perfect balanced and lasts all day.

What is an Eyelash Lift?

I’m always interested in trying out new beauty trends and I’ll pretty much do anything at least once. So when I heard that the Esthetician at my local nail salon was offering Eyelash Lifts I was immediately intrigued. The process costs around $50, takes 45 minutes, and lasts two months.

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A Lash Lift is basically semi-permanent eyelash curling. The Esthetician selects a “rod” of the correct thickness depending on the length and thickness of the eyelashes. The lashes are then rolled over the rod and the curling formula is applied. After waiting 15 minutes a neutralizer is applied and the lashes are rinsed. The result is lashes with a natural looking curl.

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I am very happy with the results I have seen. The “After” picture above is right out of the shower with zero makeup applied. My lashes are noticeably lifted and they look like I am wearing a couple of coats of mascara. It adds just a little extra drama to my eyes. My eyelashes do have a natural curl to them (probably because I have curly hair) so the results on me are not extremely dramatic. As an added bonus it is more comfortable to wear my glasses because my lashes don’t hit them.

An eyelash lift would be perfect for someone who has very straight eyelashes or someone who doesn’t like to wear mascara. Additionally if you have light colored eyelashes, a Lash Lift in conjunction with dying the eyelashes would be really beautiful. It is also a great alternative to Eyelash Extensions because it is cheaper, faster, and easier to maintain than extensions.

Tips:

  1. Don’t wear your contacts to the appointment. Pressure will be applied to the eye ball as well as some rubbing which can irritate your contacts.
  2. Don’t wear makeup to the appointment. You will not be able to get your eyes wet for 24 hours after the appointment so you won’t want to have a full face of makeup on.
  3. Make sure the Esthetician knows what he/she is doing. If the wrong size rod is applied it will over-curl the lashes, making it hard to apply eyeshadow and eyeliner.

My Esthetician:

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My 4 Favorite Lipsticks

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I recently dyed my hair much darker and I am loving it! But because my hair is now dark and my skin is light I feel like I have to have lipstick on every day to complete my look. Luckily there are so many great lipstick options on the market right now. Here are my four favorite lipsticks right now. 

dsc_0210Anastasia Beverly Hills- Liquid Lipstick- Pure Hollywood– The ABH liquid lipsticks are my favorite formula on the market right now. They dry so smooth and last for hours. I love to apply them, let them dry for 30 seconds and then apply a gloss over them. Pure Hollywood is a perfect brownish-nude shade. 

dsc_0208NARS- Velvet Lip Glide- Unlaced– NARS recently came out with this new Velvet Lip Glide formula it is a very unique formula that is a hybrid between a lipstick and a lipgloss. It is not long wearing but is so hydrating and easy to apply. If you are intimidated by highly pigmented matte lip products or are looking for something soft and natural these are a great option. The shade Unlaced is very neutral color that is wonderful for light skin tones. 

dsc_0215MAC- Lipstick- Velvet Teddy– MAC lipsticks are great because they are somewhat inexpensive ($17),  come in a million colors, are creamy, and pigmented. The shade Velvet Teddy is a beautiful reddish-brown. It matches tons of eye looks and during fall/winter I wear this at least once a week.
dsc_0216Kat Von D- Everlasting Liquid Lipstick- Lolita II– Kat Von D products always have the most beautiful packaging and the liquid lipsticks are no exception. I always feel like such a bad a$$ when I take this out of my purse. The shade Lolita II is a vampy, rich, maroon color and it looks beautiful with my new dark hair. These liquid lipsticks are extremely matte and long-wearing but can be somewhat drying. 

 

‘Tis the Season to Exfoliate

 

Exfoliation is such an important part of a skincare routine. Exfoliating removes the dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and increases blood circulation; both of which contribute to a healthy glow. And in the cold, dry winter months it becomes even more important. I make it a point to a full body exfoliation at least twice a week. My skin really thanks me for this, it feels smooth and polished. This is also a good routine to follow before applying self tanner. Here are the products I’m currently using:

dsc_0165Face: Murad- AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser: The first thing I do is exfoliate my face. I always use a very gentle exfoliator on my face. This one from Murad has only small Jojoba beads instead of a rough sandy texture, which is perfect. And the AHA/BHA helps to prevent Milia, which I used to suffer from.

dsc_0173Body:  Josie Maran- Argan Oil Body Scrub: Next, I exfoliate my entire body. I take extra time on my elbows and where my bra goes. This one by Jose Maran is great because it is very moisturizing and luxurious so it doesn’t strip my skin. However, I just looked on Sephora and it doesn’t look like they sell this anymore. 

dsc_0168Hands: Lush- Salted Coconut Hand Scrub: I feel like hand exfoliation is a step that a lot of people skip. But it feels absolutely incredible and leaves my hands so smooth. I also think it eliminates the need to trim my cuticles as often. This one from Lush smells like a tropical vacation and of course is made with all natural ingredients.

dsc_0171Lips: Fresh- Sugar Lip Polish : I actually exfoliate my lips 3-4 times a week because they get so dry in the winter and I LOVE to wear lipstick. Lip exfoliation only takes 30 seconds but can make a matte lipstick look so much better. This one from Fresh is great because you get a ton of product and it tastes like brown sugar. But I do have a hard time getting the scrub out of the container because I have long nails. 

My New Obsession | Mario Badescu Skin Care

dsc_0130Over the past week I have become completely obsessed with Mario Badescu Skin Care. I had heard about this brand a few times, mainly in some of Jaclyn Hill’s older videos, but for some reason I thought it was expensive and never really looked into it for myself. But boy was I missing out! This line is incredibly effective and reasonably priced. So far I have purchased five products, geared towards my dry winter skin, and I have yet to be disappointed. 

dsc_0135Enzyme Cleansing Gel $7.00- This is a basic gentle cleanser. It doesn’t foam up much but removes my makeup incredibly well. After using this my face feels super clean but not dry and tight. I was using a product that was three times as expensive that did not remove my makeup nearly as well. 

dsc_0137Cellufirm Drops $25.00- These drops are used similar to a serum. They are applied after cleansing but before moisturizer to provide extra moisture and elasticity. These absorb quickly and didn’t make me break out. I also like that he bottle is plastic which makes it great for travel. 

dsc_0139Protein Night Creme $22.00- This is my favorite item that I have tried so far! This creme is everything I’ve ever wanted (but couldn’t find) in a night creme. It is so thick and luxurious and leaves behind a lovely oil which is absorbed while you sleep. I would not recommend this for oily skin, but for me it is better than the $45 creme I’ve been using. 

DSC_0141.jpgDrying Lotion $17.00- This is the product that Mario Badescu is most known for but when I first saw the name “Drying Lotion” I was like hell no. But the reviews were so good that I decided to give it a try. It is a spot treatment to be applied to blemishes. I have been lucky enough to have clear skin most of my life. But recently I’ve started to get painful, stubborn, cystic acne. My blemishes  take forever to go away, are painful, and even leave behind discoloration. This lotion has defiantly been helping, I’ve seen about 50% reduction in the size of my acne bumps each night that I use this. 

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A.H.A Botanical Body Soap $8.00- I have a very hard time finding body soaps that don’t irritate my dry sensitive skin but still rinse clean and make me feel fresh. This soap has been a lifesaver. It has a light fresh scent, foams up, and rinses without stripping my skin. It is made with papaya and grapefruit extract so it removes dead skin cells naturally and gently. And you can’t beat the price!

Brand Spotlight | Charlotte Tilbury

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For me the brand Charlotte Tilbury kind of popped up out of nowhere. I had never heard of her products and suddenly every YouTube Beauty Guru was talking about how great her lipsticks are. But I love to try new brands so this intrigued me. Her products are definitely on the more expensive side, I would consider them between High-end and Designer. I purchased three products from her collection and I think they are worth the hype and the money.

dsc_0127Charlotte Tilbury ‘Filmstar Bronze & Glow’ -$68 This is my favorite product that I purchased! The packaging is so beautiful and sturdy. This compact is designed for people with fair to medium skin (they also have a medium to dark version). I have very fair skin so finding a bronzer and highlighter can sometimes be a challenge. I’ve found that cool-toned bronzers and finely milled highlighters work the best. For me, the tones in this compact are perfect. It looks so natural and not orange at all.

dsc_0126Charlotte Tilbury ‘Hot Lips’ Lipstick -$32 This lipstick in the shade Kim K. W caused a little bit of a stir on YouTube because everyone was talking about it seemingly overnight. But after using it I understand the hype. It is by far the most creamy and moisturizing lipstick I have ever used. It glides on the lips and is pigmented and glossy. Great product for the winter because you can use it all day without worrying about it drying our your lips.

dsc_0129Charlotte Tilbury ‘The Feline Flick’– $30 I prefer to use pen for my eyeliner rather than a pencil or a gel so I was very invested in this product. It is definitely the best eyeliner pen that I have every used. It is a true black, has high-quality packaging, and dries almost immediately. The pointed tip makes it so easy to apply eyeliner. You only need one layer and you have the perfect line.