Smile Brilliant: The At-Home Alternative to Professional Teeth Whitening + GIVEAWAY!

smile-brilliant-teeth-whiteningStaring at my reflection in the mirror recently, I noticed that my teeth were not as white as they could be. Despite regular trips to the dentist, the effects of coffee and other enamel-staining foods had started to take their toll. Thankfully, it’s never been easier to get a bright white smile. Smile Brilliant is a professional-strength at-home teeth whitening product, and they kindly offered to send me their full system. I’m so happy to share my results with you today.

This post has been in the works for four months! I wanted to make sure to fully use the system before forming an opinion on it.

So, how did it work? Find out after the jump. There are also details on a giveaway and a coupon code! Continue reading

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Essential Nightstand Products

nightstandessentialsI’ve never been the type of person who can just fall asleep. It takes awhile, and a small army of products. I have a nightly routine that helps me get ready for sleep and fall asleep easier. I’ve learned that keeping these essential items on my nightstand can help me wind down and drift off faster. Here are the things I keep at my bedside for restful sleep.

1. Lavender Essential Oil: A few drops of this under my pillow and on my wrists helps calm my mind and prepare me for sleep. A great alternative is an essential oil diffuser; fill it with lavender oil for all-night aromatherapy.

2. Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream ($65): This super-hydrating water cream is like a big glass of water for my skin. I like that it’s really hydrating yet doesn’t feel heavy or greasy on my skin. It contains two forms of hyaluronic acid and tamarind extract to plump up the appearance of your complexion. I apply this every night before going to sleep.

3. RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Night Cream ($20): A retinol has become essential to my eye skincare routine. I love this RoC cream, which is affordable and works so well at warding off fine lines in the eye area while I sleep.

4. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or can’t tolerate retinol, try Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream ($62) instead.

5. Kate Spade New York Spiral Notebook ($16): Sometimes when I get in bed, my mind races. I keep a pretty notebook beside my bed so I can jot down any thoughts that come to me. Getting them out of my head and onto paper helps me relax for the night.

6. Calming music: Since it takes me awhile to fall asleep, I recently started settling into bed earlier with soothing music. I like the Calm Meditation station on Pandora.

7. Glossier Coconut Balm Dot Com ($12): I keep this on my nightstand tray so I can slather on a healthy coat at bedtime. My lips are so dry at night, and this seals in moisture while I sleep.

8. Luxury Padded Sleep Mask ($5.69): I sleep so much better when I wear an eye mask because it forces me to close my eyes and totally blocks out light.

9. Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream ($26): I keep this on my nightstand because I apply it first thing in the morning to revive and depuff sleepy eyes.

What are your go-to products before winding down at night?

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The Foreo ISSA Electric Toothbrush is Changing the Game

foreo-issa-toothbrushI’ve raved before about FOREO’s LUNA Mini facial cleanser and IRIS eye massager, so you know I was super psyched when they asked me to review their ISSA sonic electric toothbrush.

Here’s a quick rundown of why this toothbrush is so awesome:

  • Like my other FOREO devices, this toothbrush holds onto a charge and doesn’t let go! Seriously, a full charge lasts for such a ridiculously long time. FOREO says you can get 365 brushes (6 months!) out of a single charge! I don’t know how they do it.
  • It makes my teeth feel really clean after brushing, and can help whiten them with continued use.
  • It has an integrated timer that pulses every 30 seconds so I know when to move onto the next portion of my mouth. Foreo recommends dividing the mouth up into quadrants for a full 2-minute brush session with each use.
  • In addition to cleaning teeth, it also massages gums.
  • The back of the brush head is a tongue cleaner.
  • The brush head tilts back and forth to reach all areas of my mouth.
  • The bottom of the brush handle features a light that slowly blinks as it’s charging, and stays solid to signal when the device is fully charged.
  • It comes with a tidy faux leather sleeve to store the toothbrush in while traveling. That’s just a nice added touch.

foreo-issa-1The standard model comes with an all-silicone brush head, which I’ve been using. I love it. The silicone is more resistant to bacteria than traditional bristle brushes, which means it only needs to be changed once a year. They also sent me a hybrid silicone/PBT polymer brush head, which is tougher on plaque, but still gentle on gums. This should be replaced every 6 months. I have not yet used this.

The toothbrush is super simple to use. Just press the center button on the handle to turn it on, and then press the + or – buttons to adjust the intensity of the sonic pulses. Then you just brush your teeth like you normally do.foreo-issa-2

Also included in the package are an instruction manual, USB charging cable, and warranty card. Foreo encourages customers to register their products so they’re eligible for the 2-year warranty if anything goes wrong.

They also offer mini and mikro ISSAs for kids and babies.

In short, I love this toothbrush! I’m so happy it’s part of my daily routine, and it encourages me to take the best possible care of my smile.

The products in this post were provided courtesy of FOREO. All opinions are my own.foreo-issa-pouchforeo-issa-hybrid

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Tarte Summer ’17: Make Believe in Yourself

tarte-make-believe-in-yourselfTarte’s summer collection, Make Believe in Yourself, is all sparkles and unicorns, and I’m into it. It’s packed with products that will make you glimmer, shimmer, and shine in the best way possible. Seriously, there are THREE highlighters in this collection! Not to mention metallic shadows, glitter liner, and matte liquid lipstick in a blue hue. Check out the full lineup below. All the products are limited edition and they’re sure to sell out fast, so grab them while you can!

tarte-pro-glow-highlighterTarteist Pro Glow Liquid Highlighter ($29, LE): You obviously can’t have a magical collection without a serious highlighter, and this liquid version brings the glow. The creamy liquid dries down quickly and leaves behind a serious gleam that lights up skin. This comes in Stunner, an opalescent cream shade.

tarte-rainbow-highlighterSpellbound Glow Rainbow Highlighter ($30, LE): For good measure, there’s also a powder rainbow highlighter compact in the mix. (And there’s still one more further down in the post!)

tarte-make-believe-in-yourself-paletteMake Believe in Yourself Eye & Cheek Palette ($40, LE): Nine metallic and one matte shadow in a mosaic of shades to create everything from ethereal to full-on glam looks. The circular center pan contains an eye and cheek highlighter made for strobing. Includes the following shades: myth (matte nude), magic (bronze), wings (copper), marvel (metallic sage), trance (taupe slate), fairy (metallic deep lavender), mystic (blue pearl), dream (turquoise), crystal (iridescent champagne), pixie (golden pink), believe (pearl highlight).

 

tarte-pro-glitter-liner-rose-goldTarteist Pro Glitter Liner ($20, LE): I am super stoked about this, and wish I hadn’t recently bought the Eye Jewels liner in gold, because that means I can’t justify getting this and I SO want it. This dual-ended rose gold liquid liner is literally like liquid metal, and the other side houses rose gold glitter liner for when you really want to go all out. It’s so dreamy, and super long-wearing.

Click through to see the rest of this collection (it’s totally worth a peek!). Continue reading

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Tarte Launches Athleisure Collection, Steals My Heart

Tarte launched their athleisure cosmetics collection with the launch of their Lifted Sweatproof Mascra ($21) late last year. I never wrote about that mascara, but have been wearing it nearly everyday because it holds a curl amazingly and doesn’t smudge or flake till I take it off at night.

I am seriously loving the just-launched products that they added to the athleisure collection, because they’re so practical, whether or not you spend every free minute at the gym. These products are workhorses; they’re made to throw in your bag and freshen you up between work and cocktails, or to refresh you after a workout. Most products of this nature that I’ve used in the past didn’t blow me away in terms of performance. Lifted did (it’s a pretty glam mascara!), and now I’m excited to try out these new products because I’m sure they will be my new staples.

tarte-clean-queen-vegan-deodorantClean Queen All-Natural Deodorant ($14): Aluminum-free, alcohol-free, vegan, in cute packaging, and currently being shipped to my front door.

tarte-hair-goals-dry-shampooHair Goals Dry Shampoo ($19, LE): Note the Lifted mascara I mentioned above. This dry shampoo was inspired by the ingredients in that, meaning you’ll get volume while sopping up grease so you can rock day-old (or three-days-old, I don’t judge) hair that looks artfully lived-in. And yep, this is vegan, too. It’s limited edition, so snap it up while it’s still available!

tarte-faux-glow-tannerGlow with the Faux Foaming Self-Tanner with Mitt ($39, LE): You get rich, deep color the minute you apply this foaming self-tanner, and the color fully develops in just two hours. This too is vegan, alcohol-free, and hypoallergenic, so you can get an even glow without it irritating your skin.

tarteguard20Tarteguard 20 Tinted Moisturizer ($36): This tinted moisturizer is a spin on the Tarteguard sunscreen that the brand launched two years ago. Oil-free, contains non-chemical SPF20, and delivers natural sheer-to-light coverage. Perfect for tossing in your purse or gym bag for during-the-day/post-workout touch-ups. It’s currently available in three shades: light, light-medium, and medium. I hope they extend the shade range to suit more skin tones.

Have you tried any of Tarte’s athleisure products? What do you think of them?

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Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Flash Luminizers

juice-beauty-luminizer

A shade from the Blush/Rose stick

I’m making an effort to whittle down my makeup to organic products. Juice Beauty offered to let me try their Phyto-Pigments Flash Luminzer line, and since they pride themselves on organic ingredients, I was happy to give these highlighter/cheek color combo sticks a whirl.

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The Golden side of the Golden/Bronze stick

There are two highlighter/cheek color combinations (Blush & Rose and Cream & Marigold), and one bronzer/contouring stick (Golden & Bronze). The stick is a hollow tube with two cream sticks housed inside. Push on one, and the opposite end of the stick pops out, and vice versa.

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The Marigold shade in the Cream/Marigold stick

These are so simple to use. You just swipe the darker color onto the apples of your cheeks directly from the stick for a light flush, and do the same with the highlighter on your cheekbones. Then gently tap your skin with your fingertips to blend. The end result is subtle color and highlight (or contouring and highlight, if you’re using the bronzer option).IMG_8467Out of the three available shades, my least favorite was the Golden/Bronze (bronze pictured above). Because the products are so subtle, I didn’t feel like the shades made enough of an impact to use for contouring and highlighting.IMG_8473These are really subtle and soft on the skin, as you can see above. The effect is a subdued glow that looks natural, whether you’re going for a gentle flush on the cheeks or a cheekbone highlight. The sticks are available on Juice Beauty’s website and at Bloomingdales, and retail for $32 each.

The products in this post were provided for consideration by Juice Beauty.

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Too Faced Summer ’17: Natural Love

Too Faced’s highly-anticipated summer collection launches online today, and it’s super pretty. The entire line is now available on Too Faced’s and Sephora’s websites, and a sales associate from Sephora told me it is also in stores today.

too-faced-natural-love-eyeshadowThe Natural Love Eyeshadow Collection ($59) is the center of the collection. It contains 30 shades, most of which are neutrals, with some color (midtone purple, army green, bronze, black, etc.) thrown in to give you even more versatility. As you know, I’m a huge fan of Too Faced shadows; they are incredibly pigmented, blend so easily, and wear really nicely. This palette gives you the opportunity to create endless looks.

Image via PopSugarThe Love Light Prismatic Highlighter ($30) is garnering a lot of attention on social media, between its cream-to-powder formula, high shine, and pretty heart-shaped compact. This highlighter employs spherical pearls, rather than traditional crushed pearls, to highlight high points of the face from all angles. Available in Blinded by the Light (champagne), Ray of Light (rose gold), and You Light Up My Life (gold). Image via PopSugar

too-faced-chocolate-brow-nieChocolate Brow-nie ($23) is Too Faced’s latest solution for bold brows. I’m not really into this because I really don’t want a pencil that makes my brows smell like chocolate, but these waterproof, cocoa-infused pencils condition brow hairs while filling in the shape. They claim to be waterproof for 12 hours. Available in Taupe, Soft Brown, Deep Brown, and Auburn.

too-faced-melted-matteMelted Matte Liquid Lipstick ($21) launches in four new shades: Granny Panties Wine Not?, Wicked, Suck It, Holy Chic!, and Jawbreaker.

Have you tried any of the products in this collection? What do you think of them?

Images via Too Faced except where noted.

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Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops: The Ultimate Highlight

cover-fx-custom-enhancer-dropsIt’s no secret that I’m all about highlighter (see here, here, and here). I’ve been using Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops ($42) for a few months now and kept putting off writing about it because photographs do not do this product justice. But, I’m giving it my best shot.

IMG_6926This is truly like liquid metal. It is the most intense highlight when applied directly from the eyedropper applicator. I literally use one drop to highlight both cheekbones. I got the shade Moonlight. I was hesitant that it would be too dark for my skin, but this stuff is a pale peachy-pinky-silvery dream that really flatters my skin both in its natural state and after I’ve applied self-tanner.

IMG_6928This is perfection when used as a highlighter, but you can also mix a drop (or two) into your foundation to make you look glowy, radiant, healthy and ethereal. When added to foundation or tinted moisturizer, this makes skin come alive; you glow like you ran a half-marathon or woke up from a glorious eight-hour sleep.

Now that I’ve tried this highlighter, I can’t live without it. I will never let my supply diminish, because it’s so glowy-dreamy!IMG_6930

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A Few of My Favorite Things…

favorite-things-january-2017A peek at what’s occupying space in my makeup bag lately.

1. Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Lipstick in Kim K.W. ($32): Pretty much the prettiest pinky-nude. Worth every penny.

2. Givenchy Phenomeneyes Mascara ($32): This mascara has been around for awhile, but it’s new to me. The ball brush grabs every lash and coats it for a wide-eyed, false-lash look.

3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel ($22): This stuff is like glue (in the best way) for your brows; brows stay in place all day. I was devoted to MAC Brow Set for 15 years (!!), but this is a new fave!

4. NYX MicroBrow Pencil in Ash Brown (approx. $10): My brow girl recently told me about this brow pencil, which is a wallet-friendly dupe for Anastasia’s Brow Wiz. I love the formula and skinny tip (it really is exactly like Brow Wiz!), and the Ash Brown shade is perfect for me.

5. Benefit They’re Real! Tinted Lash Primer ($24): I wrote about this last month, and I’m still in love. Layer this under any mascara for extra length and added staying power. Love.

6. NARS Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight ($26): A longtime favorite.

7. Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Resurfacing Micro-Exfoliant ($55): This luxe scrub is thick, creamy, and packed with microbeads that buff off dead skin cells for thorough exfoliation. I’ve been using it three times a week and have seen brighter, glowier skin as a result. Plus, I love that it’s made from organic ingredients. Get a free in-home spa kit with purchase of the Micro-exfoliant; use code SPALIFE.

8. Tarte Cheek Stain in Flush ($30): I first started using this gel blush when it came out in 2000. I’ve recently fallen in love with it again for its sheer, dewy finish that adds just a hint of just-pinched color to my cheeks.

9. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Native ($20): This long-wearing lip liner is the perfect pale pink to wear under nude or pink lipsticks.

10. Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tanning Mousse in Medium ($54): This has been getting me through the winter without feeling super pasty. Although it lasts nowhere near 2-3 weeks (I’m lucky if I get a week out of it), I still love the not-too-dark-for-January color the medium shade gives my pale skin.

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Posted in Bath & Body, Beauty Basics, Bronzers, Brows, Budget Beauty, Cheeks, Eyes, Face Products, Lip Service, Makeup Bag Staples, Mascara, Skincare | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

benefit-roller-lashI’m on a roll this week (pun intended). I vowed to stay away from They’re Real Mascara, and yesterday I raved about the primer. I swore off all mascaras with plastic bristle wands, and today I’m writing about Benefit’s Roller Lash mascara ($24).

img_6921A sales associate at Sephora talked me into purchasing Roller Lash. She saw that my lashes were long and full, but they were drooping. She was totally right: my lashes curl beautifully, but they wilt after a few minutes, and remain that way for the rest of the day. Because I have hooded eyelids, I need my lashes to stay curled for as long as possible, so my eyes look more open. The Sephora associate said that this mascara would lock in that curl and prevent my lashes from drooping.

img_6923The curl lasts until I remove this mascara. I honestly can’t believe it. I have never used a mascara that did that. It just seals the curl created by my eyelash curler, and keeps my lashes lifted till I take it off at night.

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