Skincare Must-Have: Jade Roller

jaderollerIf you don’t have a jade roller, I highly recommend getting one! It’s my secret weapon in my skincare arsenal. I got mine on Amazon for less than $15.

So what’s the deal with this thing? The rollers, made from real jade stones, have been used as a skincare tool in Asian cultures for centuries. Their main benefit is lymphatic drainage; when you roll the smooth stone over your face and neck, it gently drains fluid from the lymph nodes beneath the surface, resulting in less puffiness. It also flushes out toxins in the process. I find it makes the most difference directly under my eyes. Over time, it can also help reduce the appearance of dark circles, and firm and tighten skin.

I usually apply eye cream before I get rolling. The jade roller makes the cream absorb better, and the cream helps the roller glide over skin effortlessly. I swipe the roller down and out under my eyes; on the rest of my face, I use upward strokes. Roll for a few minutes, and it’s like a mini facial massage…very relaxing!

You can store your roller in the fridge for even more of an instant tightening effect, but I don’t because the stone does stay cool as you use it.

Have you ever tried a jade roller? What do you think of it?


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Hair Rx

miracle-fillerMy hairstylist introduced me to one of my all-time favorite hair products: Pureology’s Perfect 4 Platinum Miracle Filler Treatment ($26). It’s a lightweight spray that you mist on your strands before blowdrying. It fills in gaps in damaged hair, making it stronger to prevent more breakage. It was developed with blondes in mind, but all shades of hair will benefit from this healing spray. If you have highlighted or high-lift blonde hair, the hair is more porous and fragile due to bleaching. Keravis, a vegetable protein, attaches to the hair cuticle, filling in holes caused by coloring, heat styling, and natural damage. Pureology claims this mist can recover up to 78% of strength lost during chemical lightening. When used in conjunction with the whole Perfect 4 Platinum system, it can help reduce the effects of stress on hair.

I’ve been using it for about 4 months, and it really does make a difference. The keravis helps give the appearance of smoother hair, while extracts of chamomile, coriander, and lemon work to and soften, boost shine, and brighten. It’s a nice treatment for all types of hair.

I usually use styling products with a light hand, because they can really weigh down hair, making it look flat and/or greasy. Not this! I spray this liberally all over my freshly-washed damp hair–even the roots–and then layer a heat protectant spray on top. The end result is smoother, softer hair that lays nicer and looks less damaged. I highly recommend this product for all types and shades of hair, especially blondes!



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Fall Essentials

fall-essentials-2016Summer passed by in the blink of an eye, and I’m mentally transitioning to fall (although there are still quite a few weeks of hot weather left before I switch over my closet!). Here are some pieces I have my eye on for fall.

1. Sam Edelman “Petty” Boots  ($140): The wear-with-everything bootie.

2. MAC Cool Neutral x 15 Eyeshadow Palette ($65): Cool neutrals perfect for crafting the moody, intense fall eye.

3. Hourglass Femme Nude Lip Stylo in No. 1 Nude ($32): A portable, no-mess nude lip crayon that doesn’t dry out lips and goes great with darker fall eye looks.

4. DL1961 Emma Legging Jeans ($178): Super comfy skinny jeans with a little stretch that pair well with booties.

5. Monica Vinader Fiji Friendship Bracelet ($200): This pretty rose gold and grey bracelet is elegant and minimalistic on the wrist, and is such a meaningful gift for a friend.

6. Kendra Scott “Benning” Pendant Necklace in Rose Gold ($90)

7. Aqua Turtleneck Poncho ($88): Ideal for throwing on during cool evenings.

8. Illume Candle in Heirloom Pumpkin ($18): Beyond basic and I don’t care; this is the best pumpkin candle.

9. Platina Earrings ($48): I bought these and can’t wait to wear them with fall ensembles. They’re so lightweight and yet surprisingly large (they graze my shoulders).

10. milk_shake Whipped Cream ($20): A leave-in volumizing foam that doesn’t make hair crunchy and smells amazing.

11. Madewell “Lauren” Collarless Blazer ($148): The long and lean silhouette can be polished or casual.

12. Phytokeratine Repair Mask ($45): To help mend the stress that summer put on my tresses.

13. Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist ($48): To keep skin glowy into fall, even as the temps drop, I’ll be using this dewy mist.





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A Tale of Three Highlighters

three-highlightersAn influx of highlighters appeared on my doorstep over the last week, so instead of writing about them individually, I figured I would round them up into one post.

IMG_1630The Marc Jacobs Beauty Glow Stick ($42) is a cream highlighter. I received this from Influenster, and I have to say, when I saw this in stores, it wasn’t one of those must-have-immediately items. It just seemed like your standard cream highlighter. But when I uncapped this and smoothed it over my cheekbones, I was shocked by how shimmer-packed and flattering it was. It has both gold and silver shimmer in it, so it’s flattering to nearly every skin tone under the sun. It couldn’t be any easier: just swipe over your cheekbones directly from the stick, or dab on with fingertips or a synthetic brush. You can control the level of highlight by blending and layering. The end effect is gorgeous. This one took me by surprise!

IMG_1616BECCA’s Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid in Champagne Pop ($41) is the shade on which they collaborated with Jaclyn Hill. I love Champagne Pop Pressed; although it’s a powder, it’s creamy to the touch and packs such a glistening punch. I have literally been waiting a year for the liquid version, and I wish it lived up to the hype, but it falls a bit short. No doubt, this is a beautiful highlighter; the peachy champagne shade is a winner, and the shimmer is gorgeous and makes you look lit-from-within. But I have other shades of this product, and based on their finish, I thought this was going to look like a little more intense when applied. The effect is more subtle, more toned-down. I still love it, it’s just not quite as in-your-face as Champagne Pop Pressed (and sometimes, that’s a good thing). This reflects beautifully on the skin, and can be used on décolleté, legs, arms…anywhere you want a little radiance.

More shimmer and shine after the jump.

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ColourPop Birthday Boy Super Shock Shadow

colourpopbirthdayboyI am a huge fan of ColourPop’s Super Shock Shadows. They’re $5 each, they have a really cool cushy formula, and they last for hours and hours without any signs of wear or fading.

To celebrate their second birthday, the brand gave away a shadow pot in a new limited-edition shade to each customer who placed on order over Memorial Day weekend. Birthday Boy is a one-time-only shade that I describe as a cool, midtone taupe flecked with silver glitter and a slightly violet reflective finish. I usually wear it as an accent in the center of my lids. The formula appears to be the same as ColourPop’s other glitter-infused shadows.

It’s also in limited-editon packaging. Instead of their usual white pots, Birthday Boy comes in a purple pot with an iridescent crown on the clear portion of the cap.

I recently wore Birthday Boy layered over Vanity Fair during an 18-hour day where I was going nonstop. When I finally took off my makeup at midnight, I looked in the mirror and realized my shadow was all still perfectly intact. There was the tiniest bit of creasing on the inner corner of one eye, but that was literally it. No smudging/running under my eyes, no fading, no flaking, no creasing. I continue to be SO impressed with these shadows! I honestly can’t believe they are only $5 a pop.

I’ve found that these shadows are best worn without primer. Just press them onto lids with fingertips or a flat synthetic brush and blend out to diffuse. Glitter formulas are best pressed directly onto the areas you want–these are best unblended. All formulas layer beautifully, so you can build up the intensity.

Have you tried this shade or any of ColourPop’s shadows? What do you think?


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Ofra x DupeThat Highlighter in You Glow, Girl

IMG_1213 Ofra Cosmetics collaborated with DupeThat to create two exclusive highlighters ($24.95). DupeThat is an Instagram account that shows you amazing dupes for all types of beauty products (and they nail it every. single. time.). If you’re looking for a similar shade to a limited edition lipstick that’s no longer available, or a less expensive version of an eyeshadow that has a similar consistency, follow them! They find dupes for everything.

IMG_1215So they teamed up with Ofra Cosmetics to create two highlighter shades: You Glow, Girl, a cool, icy pink, and You Dew You, a peachy gold. I got You Glow, Girl because most of the highlighters I have are in the champagne or gold realms.

This is a seriously intense highlight. I love it. Although it’s a powder, it feels creamy in the pan and glides onto skin like a dream. It’s light as air, and you need only a swipe to pack a punch. I am all about that glow, so I’m obsessed with this.IMG_1195It looks amazing on my fair skin, and it still looked good after I self-tanned. I think this would suit a wide range of skin tones, and would appear even more noticeable on darker skin.

My standard application for this is on the tops of my cheekbones and under the arches of my brows. For extra glow, I tap it onto my Cupid’s bow and the tip of my nose. And since we had our first heatwave of the season, I’ve also dusted it on my decollete, arms, and legs — perfect for going out. I also use it as a highlight on the inner corners of my eyes.

Interested in ordering? Get 30% off this and the entire Ofra site with code DUPETHAT.

Have you tried these highlighters? If so, what are your thoughts?

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CLE Radiant Skin CCC Cream

CLE-CCC-CreamWhen a beauty-obsessed friend of mine texted me that she’d finally found the perfect BB/CC cream, I was all ears. She said it was from CLE, and she received it in her Ipsy bag. I’d never heard of the brand, so I went straight to social media to dig up some info. There isn’t much info on them on the Internet yet, but they are a Korean skincare/cosmetics brand based out of LA.

I ordered two tubes of this allegedly magical Radiant Skin CCC Cream ($31) in the Medium Light shade. When it arrived, it was so chicly packaged (see a snap on my Instagram). The packaging is everything I love: white and rose gold, with clean lines.

IMG_1216The first time I tried this, I hated it. The Micro Capsule Technology totally threw me off. Straight from the tube, the formula is white; there are little beads filled with color suspended in the cream that burst, creating a veil of color, as you apply the product to your skin. I couldn’t really get a feel for how much it would even out my skin once I started applying it to my face. It felt thick and heavy, and I washed it off immediately. My skin felt like it was suffocating.

IMG_1204Next time I tried it, I realized I’d gotten the application totally wrong. I had applied WAY too much. It was a whole different ballgame when I used the tiniest dab, and worked in sections. You can use the smallest amount of product and get really nice coverage — I am so not used to that! When I applied it the right way, it felt like nothing on my skin (which is what I wanted). I have been applying it with my Morphe M439 brush, and it looks great with that. It also disperses on my skin beautifully with a damp Beautyblender, which makes it glide on so smoothly. It’s definitely not full coverage; it’s light-t0-medium.

The finish is GORGEOUS: luminous and radiant. It’s very similar to my ride-or-die Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer and Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation. If you prefer a matte finish, you are not going to like this product. If you’re all about that glow, you’ll probably love it!

The Medium-Light shade is a great match for my skin tone. It comes in five shades, ranging from Light to Deep, to suit a pretty wide range of skin tones.

Since it’s a BB/CC-type cream, it’s also has the benefits of skincare mixed in the product. It sort of serves as an all-in-one primer, moisturizer, foundation, and it has SPF45. (Although I still apply moisturizer before this.)

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May Favorites!

It’s been so long since I posted, mainly because I was sick for the entire month of May. However, I did discover some new favorites throughout the month that I’m so excited to share!

IMG_1223Vita Liberata pHenomenal Tan Mousse ($54): This claims to provide an even tan that lasts 2-3 weeks. It definitely does not last more than a few days on me, but the bronzing mousse gives nice, even color when applied with a mitt. It could pass for a real tan — no orange finish here.

coconut-balmGlossier Coconut Balm Dot Com ($12): Although this is a great lip balm, it goes beyond that: it’s an allover skin salve that really helps to spot-treat dry skin, rough elbows, and ragged cuticles. Available in 3 other scents, plus an unscented version — but I love this coconut version.

image Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich Intensive Anti-Aging Cream ($65): I’ve been using this nightly to hydrate while I sleep. Although it does feel a little thick at first, it sinks in quickly and absorbs nicely. It’s really luxurious!

imageI received this pretty J.Crew necklace ($150) as a birthday gift in April, but never actually put it on until a few weeks ago. I’ve worn it countless times this month, and every time I did, got so many compliments on it. It quickly became one of my favorites because it makes a statement and it’s so versatile. Love.

IMG_1219L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealers ($3 each): These are some of the best contouring and highlighting products — and they’re only $3 each! I love that they’re easily blendable, and you can create sharper or softer contours and highlights depending on how much you buff them into skin. They’re long-wearing and the color payoff is excellent. I can’t recommend these enough for sculpting the face. I bought Creamy Beige for highlighting and Medium Beige for contouring (there are 21 shades total).

IMG_1224Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream with SPF 30 ($24): For years, I’ve been searching for a daytime moisturizer that contains SPF and doesn’t feel heavy and sticky on my skin. I’ve tried expensive products, and finally turned to the drugstore. I’m kicking myself I didn’t do that sooner, because this is a gem. I apply it right after I wash my face in the morning and it sinks in immediately. My primer lays down beautifully on top of it without getting gunky. This is a staple on my vanity.

Did you have any go-to products this month? Would love to hear!

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Peter Thomas Roth Mega Rich Cellular Creme on Sale

PTR-megarich-salePeter Thomas Roth is offering the bestselling Mega Rich Anti-Aging Cellular Creme for just $32 as a Mother’s Day promotion. It’s the biggest jar they offer (3.4 oz.), which normally sells for $120, and it’s rare to score a deal this good on any PTR products (or any high-end skincare, for that matter).

It’s formulated with proprietary anti-aging ingredients: Firma-CELL4 is a peptide complex that helps firm, tone, smooth, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and deep wrinkles. It’s a great everyday moisturizing creme for those with really dry skin, and an effective night cream for all skin types. I’ve snagged several samples of this, and can tell you it’s GOOD. I already ordered mine…you should get yours before they sell out!

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So Much Silver at the Met Gala

The theme of the 2016 Met Gala was “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.” Most celebrities interpreted this to mean they were wearing silver. I love a metallic, but the sea of silver got so repetitive on last night’s red carpet, and made the few standouts look even better. Despite the theme, there were so many fashion misses. The few best-dressed stars were in stunning gowns, and some took literal interpretations of the tech theme..and the results were gorgeous.

karolina-kurkova-met-galakarolina-kurkova-met-gala2Karolina Kurkova (Images via Getty & Karolina Kurkova): This gown was a collision of art and technology, and it was so amazing. It was designed by Marchesa and IBM Watson, a Jeopardy-winning computer. Hundreds of tiny LED lights were sewn into the blossoms on the Cognitive Dress (it has a name!), and when people tweeted Kurkova throughout the night, the lights got increasingly brighter based on emotions detected in the tweet. (It could detect five different emotions!) They’re calling this the emotionally intelligent dress, and it’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen on a red carpet.

kate-hudson-met-galaKate Hudson (FilmMagic): Cut-outs, pleats, ruffles, beading, and netting — so much going on, and it works, particularly in white. This Atelier Versace dress was an awesome take on the theme, and it looked incredible on.

claire-danes-met-galaclaire-danes-met-gala-glowingClaire Danes (WireImage, Zac Posen): On the red carpet, Danes channeled Cinderella in a pale blue ballgown. And just like Cinderella, after dark, the magic happened. Her Zac Posen dress glowed, as fiberoptic lights were sewn into it. The effect was ethereal.

blake-lively-met-gala Blake Lively (WireImage): Pretty and feminine in peach. My favorite part of this Burberry gown is the floral detail on the chest.

Rita-Ora-Met-GalaRita Ora (REX): I mean, it’s basically my dream to drape myself in feathers, and Rita Ora did it in this Vera Wang number and killed it. It’s so dramatic!

beyonce-met-galaBeyonce (Getty): Not a Beyonce fan at all, but she looked so pretty in peachy-nude latex, which is really an impressive feat. The Givenchy dress also featured crystal and bead appliques and puffy shoulders. When you put all those elements together, it could have been a real disaster, but she pulled it off gorgeously.

kendall-jenner-met-galaKendall Jenner (Reuters): This slinky cut-out Versace sheath is woven of sheer netting, and the innovative interpretation of futuristic fashion was on point.

Pretty much everyone else missed the mark. All of the other looks after the jump. Continue reading

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