My Favorite Nude Lip Shades

If you’ve ever read my blog, you probably know I live for a nude lip. I pretty much exclusively wear a nude lip, as it goes with every makeup look. I also have a small mouth and don’t like to draw attention to that fact with a lot of bold color. Here are my favorite picks for nude* lips.

*Nude is a relative term to your particular skin tone! There is a whole world of flesh-toned shades out there; these are what work for me. I prefer a creamy, pale pinky-nude.

nars-turkish-delight-lip-glossNARS Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight ($26): If I had to pick one single lip product I couldn’t live without, it would be this gloss. For me, it is the perfect shade of nude with just the right amount of shine. I wear it almost every day.

charlotte-tilbury-lipstick-kim-kwCharlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Lipstick in Kim K.W. ($34): One of the prettiest shades of pale nude-pink that I’ve found. It’s pricey for a lipstick, but the product lasts forever (I wear mine all the time, have had it for a year, and it’s only about halfway done).

mac-lipstick-blanketyMAC Lipstick in Blankety ($18.50): I’ve been wearing this nude shade for as long as I can remember. It is my all-time favorite shade of nude, and the formula is so creamy.

IMG_5961MAC Lipstick in Creme Cup ($18.50): Same formula as above, and very similar in shade. (When I find a good thing, I don’t stray too far from it!)

chanel-rouge-coco-instinctChanel Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lipshine in Boy ($37): To me, this is like a lipstick-gloss hybrid, because it packs a lot of shine for a lipstick. There is a slight glossiness to lips after applying, which I love, because then I can skip applying gloss on top.

IMG_5915Beautycounter Lip Gloss in Bare Shimmer ($29): This shade definitely has more nude than pink to it, and it feels really tacky when I first apply it. But after it dries, it settles into a really flattering shade that looks just like my lips, but better, and it is comfortable and long-wearing.

What are your favorite nude lip products?

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Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer

BB-hairdresser-oil-primerI mentioned this in my post yesterday, and wanted to tell you more about this *amazing* product. This spray is my latest obsession. I thought it was too good to be true: a priming hair mist that protects against heat styling, conditions, detangles, tames frizz, and softens? It seemed impossible, but Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer ($29) is my hair’s new favorite thing.

Spritz this on hair post-washing, pre-blowdrying. I use a healthy allover mist to from root to tip. Then I brush it out with a Wet Brush and blowdry with a round brush. This helps to detangle, calm frizz and flyaways, and polish the hair. It softens hair and makes it look shiny. It also protects against heat styling (although I still use a separate heat styling mist before using a curling wand).

Although it’s suitable for all hair types, I’ve found that it works wonders on my color-treated (and damaged) hair. From all the years of highlights, heat styling, I have days where my hair looks really lackluster and damaged. This transforms it into hair that looks healthy, smooth, and shiny. I love this stuff.

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My Favorite Summer Hair Products

summerhair2018-3The long days, sunshine, warm weather, and vacations are some of the best parts of summer. But they also take a toll on your hair. I always switch up my haircare routine during the warmer months to help keep my locks looking as healthy and fresh as possible. Here are some of my favorite products for summer.

1. T3 Whirl Trio Styling Wand ($270): My favorite wand for beach waves. The hefty price tag is totally worth the quality and versatility of this styling wand (it’s basically three curling wands in one). I’ve had mine for two years and use it every single day. I usually use the largest (1.5-inch) barrel for loose waves, but sometimes I’ll also use the 1-inch for more of a curl.

2. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray ($46): I use this year-round. It’s my holy grail hair product. If you want beach waves, you need this.

3. Bumble & bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer Spray ($28): I mist this all over damp hair post-shower. It’s a heat protectant, leave-in conditioner, UV filter, detangler, and anti-breakage product all in one. Makes hair look super healthy.

4. UNITE Blonda Shampoo ($28): If you’re blonde, it can be difficult to maintain your color. Because it’s so porous from the bleach, blonde hair can get brassy easily, especially from elements like sun exposure and chlorine. Purple shampoo counteracts the yellow in brassiness, and creates a more icy/cool tone to your hair. This is my favorite one. Use once or twice a week, depending on your hair shade and type, to bust the brass.

5. Living Proof Restore Shampoo ($29): Summer is a good time to use damage repair shampoos because you’re outside more often and exposed to the elements. I like this one for its lightweight feel; although it’s a heavy duty moisturizer, it doesn’t weigh hair down.

6. Kristin Ess The One Signature Conditioner ($10): A lightweight, versatile conditioner for all hair types that makes locks super soft and shiny.

7. R+ Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo ($30): Dry shampoo is a summer must (who wants to wash their hair every day?). I like this because it pumps hair up with volume.

8. Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Creme ($20): My all-time favorite finishing cream, especially in summer, when it helps tame flyaways and humidity-induced frizz. The perfect finishing touch to any hairstyle. I apply mostly from mid-hair to ends.

What are some of your favorite summertime hair products?

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Kristin Ess The One Signature Conditioner

KristinEssConditionerSometimes great things come in unexpected packages. Case in point: Kristin Ess The One Signature Conditioner ($10), part of her line of haircare products available at Target. I tried out products from Ess’s line because I love her work as a celebrity hairstylist (I first saw her styles on Lauren Conrad’s mane years ago). She’s got great ideas and creates doable styles on all types of hair. I love following her tutorials and photos on social media, so I figured I’d bring some of her latest creations into my shower.

This conditioner is a total knockout. I am the last person to rave about conditioner; to me, it’s a product that’s necessary but not really worth of praise. It’s utilitarian. I’ve gotten pretty comparable results from drugstore and luxury versions, and haven’t ever found one that’s remarkable. But this conditioner made my hair SO soft without weighing it down (just make sure you rinse really well to get it all out of your hair) and healthy-looking. I have naturally medium-blonde hair with a very light blonde balayage, and my hair has sustained years of foil highlights, so my hair doesn’t necessarily look shampoo commercial-worthy. But this makes it shiny and soft while still being lightweight and not at all greasy or heavy. It’s really everything I could want in a conditioner. When my first bottle ran out and I didn’t have time to pick up a second one, I used a certain upscale brand conditioner from Sephora, and I had to go to Target immediately after showering because this one was so much better. It’s suitable for all hair types and is sulfate-free.

And speaking of packaging, that pretty pale peachy-pink bottle it comes in is pretty cute, too.

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Concealer Roundup

concealer-roundupOne of the most valuable things I learned as a teenager, when I first started doing makeup, is that a one-size-fits-all approach to concealer rarely works. People typically need different concealers for different skin issues, especially as they age.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have tried so many concealers within the last six months. While none of them were great for covering persistent cystic acne, many of them had awesome qualities that made them great concealers for other targeted skin issues. I wanted to share what I found when I tried these concealers.

Everybody’s skin is different, and reacts differently to products. So my recommendations here may not be suitable for you, or mean anything to you! Finding products that work for your skin is total trial-and-error.

1. Tarte Shape Tape Counter Concealer ($27): Still my go-to undereye concealer! I love this for all-around spot concealing, and highlighting high points of the face.

2. Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit ($38): I love that this is a concealer and pressed powder combo compact, so you have everything you need right in one place. This is amazing for mature skin, as it fully covers dark circles but doesn’t settle into skin or make it look crepey. It comes in a wide variety of shades to suit many skin tones, too.

3. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30): I love this concealer for the eye area. It’s so creamy and light, it glides on skin effortlessly with the doefoot applicator, and it blends seamlessly. Overall, a great pick for the eye area and face, if you don’t have serious skin issues.

4. Urban Decay All-Nighter Waterproof Full-Coverage Concealer ($29): The formula was on the thicker side, which is why I assume they call it “full-coverage.” While it is not sheer, it’s not really full-coverage, either. However, if you have minimal skin issues and just want to even out tone, this is a great option. It absolutely is long-wearing.

5. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer ($): Another one of the best for undereye concealing. Totally camouflages dark circles, and feels so light on skin.

6. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer ($23): Another great option for all-around concealing. I used this religiously years ago, and recently revived it an attempt to cover breakouts. It’s incredibly long-wearing, smooth, and provides medium coverage. A great option for most skin types.

7. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Breakout ($28): I had such high hopes for this, because in the past, this brand’s Bye Bye Redness really worked to conceal tough zits. This product, however, did not cover acne, and faded within hours. I wouldn’t recommend this for any skin issues, as it didn’t provide reasonable coverage and certainly was not long-wearing. Also, the formula was super thin as far as concealer goes.

8. Beautycounter Touchup Skin Concealer Pen ($32): This is nice for highlighting high points of the face but doesn’t provide much coverage.

Have you tried any of these? Which concealer is your favorite?

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The Greatest Concealer on Earth

amazing-cosmetics-amazing-concealerI haven’t talked about this at all, but 2017 was the year my skin completely freaked out. I developed adult onset acne–persistent cystic acne that formed deep within my skin and lasted for weeks to months. It was the worst my skin has ever been in my life (my teenage years were a breeze compared to this). How I got it under control is a story for another time, as it’s still an ongoing process, but how I dealt with covering it every day is what I’m talking about today.

The acne itself was very difficult to cover throughout all cycles of breakouts. The eruptions left lingering red marks on my skin that lasted well after the acne had healed. Concealing the acne and scars seemed impossible. I tried so many products that did nothing, and facing the world with a horrible complexion made me extremely self-conscious. I was at my wit’s end.

And then in early December, my mom gave me a beauty box filled with products, and tucked inside was Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer ($28). I figured I’d try it, because I was desperate.

amazing-concealer2Honestly, my life changed as soon as I blended it into my skin.

If you’re struggling with acne in any form, please read on!

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Natural Deodorant Showdown

I’m making a conscious effort to phase out any products in my regimen that are not clean.  Deodorant is one of the most toxic personal care products on the market, with traditional versions containing chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other nasty side effects. I have tried several different versions of natural deodorant, and while I liked the ones that worked for me, every body reacts differently, so please don’t hold fast to my recommendations! Try a few for yourself (and believe me, it is definitely a trial-and-error process) and see which ones you react best to.

schmidts-deodorantSchmidt’s Lavender & Sage Deodorant Stick ($9): This was my top pick. It had a nice, non-traditional scent, and it really worked! I did not have any irritation from it, and best of all, it kept me odor-free, even through a few grueling (aka sweaty) workouts. (Image via Macy’s)

primal-pit-pastePrimal Pit Paste Lavender Stick ($10.95): I’m going to be honest, I really wanted this deodorant to be the winner. I love the formula, which is similar to a firmer, non-greasy Vaseline, meaning it doesn’t go on white or chalky (no clothing stains!). But pit detox is a real thing, and I definitely experienced it with this deodorant. My skin was red, irritated, inflamed, and just generally gross for the duration of using this product. Because I’m a wuss, I gave up after a few weeks, which was probably premature and didn’t allow me to fully reap the benefits of this product. I’m actually going to give it another shot. (Image via PPP)

Click to see the other products I tried.

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My Two Favorite Blushes

rms-blush-beautycounterFor me, several factors go into choosing a blush: color, intensity, and longevity. I’ve found two clean options that check off all these boxes for me: RMS Beauty’s Lip2Cheek in Demure ($36) and Beautycounter’s Powder Blush Duo in Bloom/Tulip ($40).

The RMS version is a cream blush formula, which I love both for its ease and longevity. It layers on skin really nicely, so I can create a flush to the intensity I prefer. It also doubles as a lipcolor, which comes in handy when I forget my lip gloss because I’m always switching bags. I like that I can tap this on on cheeks with my fingertips and get a really nice glow in a few seconds flat.

The Beautycounter version is a powder blush that glides on skin really beautifully. It’s more subtle than the RMS version, both because of the shade, which is a little lighter, and because it’s a powder, so the finish is “airier.” I definitely have to swipe more on when I want more color, but it blends effortlessly and always looks natural no matter how much I apply.

I know prices of both of these products are on the higher side, but they really do last a long time. And they’re both clean, which so you’re paying for high-quality, non-toxic ingredients. I’d love to hear what your favorite blushes are! Creams, powders, stains — give me all your favorite formulas!

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Kari Gran Essential Balm – Perfect for Winter!

kari-gran-essential-balmWe are in a snow-covered deep freeze here in the Northeast, and it’s taking its toll on my skin. Every time winter weather rolls around, I find myself wishing for a product that can multitask when it comes to dry skin. Like a lip balm, but multipurpose — for my entire body. I know that products like this existed before, but something about them always felt off; either I didn’t like the way they felt on my skin, or they just didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. I’ve finally found the holy grail of balms! Kari Gran Essential Balm ($98) is perfect for literally your whole body. This balm is my new go-to for winter!

Patches of dry skin that are caused by cold weather? A tiny bit of this balm will soften them. Irritated skin under your nose from an illness? This will moisturize it so it’s gone in a few days. Dryness under your eyes? A few gentle dabs of this will help hydrate. Hangnails? Put this on them! You can literally use this anywhere (yep, it works as a lip balm, too). A little goes SUCH a long way; a dab half the size of a pea is enough to use on several areas of your body. It glides on smoothly and thins as it warms from your touch, making application gently and quick.

kari-gran-essential-balmIt’s made with natural, organic, non-GMO ingredients (and cruelty-free), so I don’t have to worry about toxins being absorbed into my skin. In short, this will be with me until spring (and probably after that, too).

The product in this post was provided by the brand for consideration. All opinions are my own.

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Last-Minute Gift Idea: Trade Joe’s Lip Treatment Duo

trader-joes-lip-treatment-duoNeed an inexpensive last-minute gift for someone? Trader Joe’s has you covered with their Lip Treatment Duo ($3.99).

I picked this up for myself (and a few others) a couple weeks ago, and am so glad I did. The balm is hydrating without being gooey or tacky, and the sugar scrub really works to slough off dead skin so you don’t look like you have chapped lips. They are both made with jojoba oil, shea butter, and macadamia oil, and are lightly citrus-scented. The tiny tubes are perfect for throwing in your purse. I’ve been using mine endlessly since I bought it!

trader-joes-lip-treatment-duo[Image via Trader Joe’s]

It’s even packaged nicely, so it looks pricier than it is. I think this is the best gift you’ll find under $5!

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