Retinol – The Do’s and Don’ts

By Friday, October 31, 2014 0 , , Permalink 0

If you haven’t already heard, retinoid/retinol cream has now been clinically proven to benefit your skin with anti-aging properties, boosting collagen and keeping elasticity in the skin by increasing cell turnover.

The first time I started using a retinol cream was 3 years ago and I haven’t looked back since. Over the years I’ve gotten compliments on my skin and while this is always a very lovely compliment to hear, great skin is hard work!

For those of you that are just starting out with retinol cream, there are things I wished I knew when I first started, that I have learned over time.

Below are my top lists of Do’s and Dont’s.  You might be wondering, why the Don’ts? But you’d be surprised at the advice out there, there is a lot of noise and it’s hard to distinguish what is truly the best possible routine.

The Skivvy on Retinol

philosophy - Help Me


1. Start slow and cater to your skin type

  • A retinol treatment can be intense for your skin and it’s important to toe dip.
  • Start by using it once a week, then twice and work your way up to three times a week
  • 3-5 times a week is the most effective
  • For sensitive skin, be sure to alternate (for example: Mon, Wed, Fri)

2. Always pair your retinol treatment with a moisturizer

  • Since retinol dries out your skin (making it a bonus for us acne prone ladies), make sure you use a moisturizer after applying the retinol cream
  • In my experience, the most effective moisturizing agent is a vitamin C serum – I like Time in a bottle by Philosophy
  • If you have oily skin like me, don’t shy away from a moisturizer – the lack of hydration will cause your sebum glands to go into overdrive and cause your pores to overproduce oil to compensate for dryness

3. Practice consistency

  • Everyone loves results, just remember that consistency is key in order to see results
  • You will notice a difference in your skin in two to four weeks

4. Fall in love with SPF all over again, but use retinol only at night

  • The biggest myth associated with retinoid/retinols is that it will make your skin sun-sensitive, when in reality the ingredient itself is sensitive to sunlight, which is why you need to use it at night.
  • Regardless of the de-bunked myth above, you should always wear SPF 30 on a daily basis
  • Be sure to buy a retinol cream in an aluminum tube to protect the product from air and light, as oxidation and light exposure decreases the effectiveness of the compound. Try Help Me by Philosophy, this one is my favorite – it’s effective and inexpensive.


1. Layer your retinol with Benzoyl peroxide and alpha hydroxy acids

  • What are those ingredients you ask? Not what, but where are they found will be more helpful in this instance.  Most acne creams, treatments or serums have benzoyl peroxide in them and many exfoliates, peels and skin rejuvenators (labeled AHA) are all a no-no when layering with a retinol treatment.
  • Layering them will not harm your skin, yet it will render the retinol ineffective – thus wasting $$$

2. All that glitters is not gold

  • Expensive brand name retinols, does not necessarily mean it’s the best out there and many are very expensive
  • Like I mentioned above, Help Me by Philosophy, is my favorite, it’s expensive and has won many beauty awards
  • Also a little goes a long way, if you clean your face thoroughly (or use a Clarisonic) a small pea sized amount is enough for your whole face

3. Get discouraged

  • Coming from experience, it gets worse, before it gets better
  • Your skin will get dry and sensitive and you may even have a few bad breakouts, however don’t give up! It’s normal for your skin to adjust, which is why your first few weeks need to be gradual
  • I promise you, you will see results! Some see it in as little as two weeks, some in four


That’s all folks! I hope the above is helpful and please let me know if you have any questions.

Happy Halloween everyone!!!

Yours in beauty,


Brief: Model’s Choice – Chanel Ultra Correction Eye Cream

By Monday, October 6, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0

With models becoming more prevalent with a push into different artists avenues (Cara Delevingne is a perfect example) – we are eating up their advice, whether it’s fashion, beauty advice or everyday life.

This brief is a tribute to a product I’ve heard many models recommend as their favorite eye cream on the market.

I spent two weeks (and counting) using Chanel’s Ultra Correction Line Repair Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream every night…my results are below!

Quick take: This product has a nice consistency and has a luxurious moisturizing quality that lasts the entire following day.  The first few days, I didn’t really notice a difference.  However after a week, I noticed some of my more prominent lines were noticeably diminished.

After the second week, I was honestly very pleasantly surprised with the fact that most of my fine lines were gone and my more prominent lines were significantly softened.


  • Visibly noticeable results after just one week of use
  • Great consistency
  • Velvety skin texture that lasts 24 hours


  • Expensive ($85 for a 0.5 oz bottle)
  • More product is needed each use than most eye creams

Bottom line: This is truly a knock-out eye cream and I quite frankly love everything about it.  The only issue I have, is it worth the price compared to other lines out there? For the time being I think it is, since the results are relatively immediate if you are consistent.

Take it from the models themselves that swear by this cream!

Pro tip: Store your eye cream in a cool place (or even the fridge!) to get an extra soothing effect when applying. Also, be sure to apply all the way to your under lash line, ensuring the product is absorbed in every area under your eye.

Money saving tip: Unsure about a product, that you’d prefer to try? Go to stores like Sephora and Nordstrom and ask for a two week sample before you buy.  Sales associates are happy to oblige and you aren’t shelling out the dollars until you know the product is right for you.

Yours in Beauty,


Camping And A Hiker’s Paradise

By Thursday, July 24, 2014 4 , , , Permalink 1

Wow, talk about a big hiatus.

Vacation followed by traveling for work, I’ve been a busy bee and have fallen behind on my blog!

For those of you that follow my instagram,  you know what I’ve been up to – for those of you that don’t – here’s a visual glimpse into the awesomeness…

Day 1: Mammoth Lakes – Camping, Mono Lake and the Sierras

This is lake Mary and holy crap it was INCREDIBLE, this picture doesn’t even do it justice.

photo (1)


Day 2: Bushwhacking in Mammoth when all signs point to wilderness sans humans

This is what can happen when you bushwhack – you see awesome views and NO people.  On the other side of me I had a view of the Sierras.

Bushwhacking View


Day 3: Campsite #2 – 8,000 ft of elevation, near Lake Sabrina

Campfires were actually allowed in this location, which made for a wonderful s’mores nightcap ^_^

Lake Sabrina


Day 4: Death Valley and the Trek to Zion National Park

Death valley is really quite awesome & unique, with the lowest elevation in the entire US and 119 degree weather (and yes you read that right).  The biggest fear we had was my car overheating – they even recommended that you turn off your AC for 12 miles and it’s HOT.

Death Valley



Day 5: Zion National Park, the most beautiful place I’ve ever been

When I say the most beautiful place I’ve ever been, I truly mean it.  This place is a hikers dream, with complex trails (Angel’s Landing anyone?), breathtaking scenery and overall ecological paradise.

The below was taken while hiking Angel’s Landing (halfway there) – see that area to the left?  That’s what you hike up…all the way up!

Angel's Landing



Day 6:  More Zion!  Hiking the Narrows

The Narrows is a very unique hike in that you are hiking in a river the entire time with canyon walls that change as you continue your way up the river.  Navigating can be tough at times & the water can get up to your chest – but it was well worth the incredible views.

The Narrows



Looking up while hiking The Narrows

The Narrows


Sunshine and a waterfall 🙂

Sunshine on the narrows


No make-up selfie while in the river!

The Narrow Selfie


Day 7: Sky-diving for the first time

How was it?  Incredible. Where? Over Zion. Would you do it again? In a heart-beat!

What a rush!  It was over so quickly but I will never forget it.  It truly was an amazing experience!

Sky diving



Day 8: San Luis Obispo, Montaña de Oro State Park

What a lovely town with a great park nearby – the water was turquoise!

photo (47)


San Luis Obispo



There were so many more photos, but these really showcase our trip!  If you ever need hiking/camping advice – I’m your gal!


Yours in beauty,



Brief: Make Your Favorite Foundation Last

By Tuesday, June 24, 2014 2 No tags Permalink 0

When it comes to foundation – we are all forever in pursuit of the holy grail.  Well when it comes to foundation, I can honestly say that I feel I’ve found one that looks flawless, blends beautifully and gives me good coverage while looking like my natural skin.  Best of all, it doesn’t cover up my beauty mark on my cheek (how is this even possible?!)

However there is one BIG caveat.  This foundation, while beautiful and is something I ALWAYS go back to…after about 3 hours, it starts to melt off of your face.  Now I do have combination skin, but I moisturize and even oil my face 3x times a week at night – this puppy is supple and balanced (with the proper care).

The solution?  Primer of course, but a primer that works with my relatively finicky skin AND a wonderful 30 SPF to protect my face (want to know the biggest Brazilian beauty secret? 50 SPF on your face. daily. – not even kidding).

After doing several two week trials, I have finally nailed down a routine that keeps my foundation on ALL day. Yup, you heard me right. ALL DAY.

Check out my routine below:

1.) Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer – Blemish Control

Smashbox - Photo Finish More Than Primer - Blemish Control

Step 1: Primer Time – using my fingers, I squeeze out a small amount of product and cover my entire face.  This product is fast absorbing, lightweight and sets pretty quickly. Prepare for flawless!

2.) COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 Natural BB Cream

COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face - new

Step 2: SPF me baby – after waiting 2 minutes (to ensure the primer sets) I use my fingers again to squeeze out a small amount of product and then blend all over my face.  This product is actually feathery it’s so light and it feels simply fantastic on the skin.  The matte works wonders on sensitive skin and I never feel like I have SPF on – it’s incredible.  COOLA products are definitely a favorite of mine when it comes to SPF makeup care. Farm to Face!

3.) MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Invisible Cover Foundation

MAKE UP FOR EVER - HD Invisible Cover Foundation

Step 3: All over wonder woman foundation – make sure you give it another minute before putting this on. You can either use your hands or a beauty blender sponge. Using a small pump, start to blend foundation, starting with the cheeks and nose and work your way out and up, blending as you go.  For frame of complexion reference, I use 112 Ivory – for light skin with pink undertones.

4.) NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna

NARS - Bronzing Powder

Step 4: Dub thy cheeks with bronzer – for a nice subtle glow, I did a quick once over on each side with my NARS bronzer using a bronzer brush (in-between a kabuki and a blush brush). Then using my fingers I blend in a circle around the edge of the bronzer to create a more natural look and voila!

5.) Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Woppin’ Watermelon

Step 5: Luscious Lips – I finished off my look using Clinique Chubby Stick in Woppin’ Watermelon – my favorite pink for summer.

Check me out below!

photo (34) 1


Thoughts, comments? Let me know!

Yours in beauty,




So Fresh and So Clean Clean

By Friday, June 20, 2014 2 , , , , Permalink 0

I feel like everywhere you turn nowadays there are products, new things, sparkly things, just things everywhere.  I don’t know about you – but it’s definitely information overload for me.  In order to prevent my brain from exploding and in an effort to showcase the best, I decided to highlight the 5 new fresh things that I’ve tried and absolutely loved.

1.) Highlight your lower inner water line (of your eyes).

This is something I came across when getting tired of, well – looking tired with my eye make-up.  This is perfect when you need an extra dewy pop or glow that will really highlight your eyes nicely.

If you look closely at celeb red carpet makeup, many of them use this trick on the daily.

Urban Decay - 24/7 Glide-On Double Ended Eye Pencil

Try: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Double Ended Eye Pencil in Naked Basics – Venus/ Crave. I love this pencil because it glides on smooth, lasts and it’s double sided so you get more bang for your buck.  The colors are all gorgeous, but this one is my favorite and is perfect for highlighting your lower water line.

2.) Add some depth to your eyebrows in 60 seconds.

60 seconds you say?! Yes – I mean that.  Everyone seems to be penciling in their eyebrows as fuller brows are back in style.  While I’ve never been a fan of penciled/highly stylized eyebrows – however, I am a fan of full brows with some depth.  It’s a great way to add some natural looking depth to your brows and still keep it low maintenance.

My trick?  This new powder from theBalm is amazing, it’s lightweight, easy to apply and is long wearing.



Try: theBalm Brow Pow Eyebrow Powder. Using a brow brush (I use the one from theBalm) I lightly drag my brush through the powder, tap off any excess and apply using short upward strokes following my natural eyebrow hair direction.  I only need to drag the brush through the palette twice for each brow.  It’s super quick and easy and it goes on so easily.  Best part is? It stays all day, without feeling like you have any products on your eyebrows at all.

3.) Contour & highlight in under 5 minutes. 

You might be saying to yourself, ok Lauren you JUST told us brows in 60 seconds – now your telling me I can contour and highlight in under 5 minutes?!  Well let. me. tell. you. The newest thing I came across is a contour stick – that glides on, makes it easier to mark where you are shading – no brushes required.

I think that this will continue to be popular as we forever evolve our routines, now that contouring is so popular & accessible to everyone.

NARS - The Multiple

Try: NARS The Multiple in Mailbu The key to choosing the proper contouring shade is as follows: 1) Choose a shade that is 4-5 times darker than your skin tone and 2) Ensure that the color you choose is matte – no shimmer/glimmer or sparkles.

NARS - The Multiple

Try: NARS The Multiple in Orgasm This highlighter is beautiful and definitely a favorite of mine

bareMinerals - bareMinerals Mineral Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 25

Try: bareMinerals Mineral Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 25 in Sheer Just like a top coat of nail polish, you should always set cream concealer/contouring with a powder to ensure long wear, oil control and an airbrushed finish.

Next step – for those that are new to contouring there is an easy way to break it down.  Think about your lines in pairs:

1) 2 lines under your cheekbones, using the line measured using a pencil/pen/any straight line from the center of your ear down towards the corner of your mouth (for reference)

2) 2 lines on both sides of your forehead angled next to your hairline like so: /     \

3) 2 lines on both sides of your nose

4) Highlight 4 areas: the apples of your cheeks, the ridge line of your nose, the sides of your forehead (near your temples and blend up)

Once you’ve drawn these lines, using either your hands (easiest) or a wide flat brush, blend all of the lines until you achieve your desired affect (you should have subtle shadows and a nice glow right now!)

5) Once blended, you need to set your look with bareMinerals Mineral Veil using a kabuki brush – you need to set your look to ensure it lasts.

I love this new technique since it’s quick, easy and I’m sure will start to become more popular.

4.) Vibrant Lip Color (we’re talking lipstick status) that’s actually super hydrating.

I never believed this could be true and I longed for the day that I could put on lip color on the go, without the need for even a mirror.

Try: Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Coral Crush

Well my recent Birchbox treat has opened up my eyes to a lip color that goes on like chapstick and comes out like lipstick.  Vibrant, colorful and moisturizing this stuff is truly amazing and I shall own every color someday 🙂

What I love most about this is that it’s very pigmented without losing its moisturizing quality – to be honest I’m not sure how they do it because I haven’t tried anything like it.

If this color isn’t for you, it currently comes in 6 shades!

5.) Find a primer that’s right for you – even for your non-primer users out there.

I can’t stress how important it is to use a primer.  Do you want more flawless skin? A primer that actually improves the complexion of your skin?  I would hope that you say yes, and if so – read on!

Let me preface this by saying that for many many years, I was not really a fan of primers. I tried a few, but noticed that some even caused me to breakout.  Even though I’m not acne prone, I can get a few doozy’s every now and again.

Smashbox - Photo Finish More Than Primer - Blemish Control

Try: Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer – Blemish Control

After being really stubborn and not really a fan of silicon going into my pores, I got a sample of Smashbox Photo Finish More Than Primer, Blemish Control and decided to try it.

Well let’s just say I used the whole tube – I tried for two weeks since I wanted to give it a real chance.

The results were pretty awesome.  Initially I noticed that after I first starting using it, 3 days later I broke out in two places.  I was a little disappointed – however after reading the ingredients, I realized that there is BHA in it – which is an exfoliating agent that can cause any hidden bacteria within your sebum glands to come to the surface.  Basically you are cleaning house with your pores and getting rid of all of the bad stuff that is persistently hidden just below the surface.

After day 6, I noticed a pretty dramatic reduction in oil and I even stopped using my mattifier which normally, I panic when I run out of, due to it’s oil controlling wonders.

After two weeks, my skin is actually better than it’s even been. My makeup looks flawless and I’ve been getting many compliments. Let’s just say – this is now part of my daily routine.


I know that’s a lot of information – but I wanted to be thorough!  Let me know what you think lovelies!

Yours in beauty,



Brief: In Pursuit of The Perfect CC Cream


After realizing (quite shockingly) with just how many products I try & how I am always in pursuit of the best out there…

I realized why not do a ‘brief’ – which is just that, a quick highlight of something I’ve tried that I really fell in love with.  A product awesome enough to actually add it to my daily routine of favorites.

Today, I am highlighting Origins Smarty Plants CC SPF 20 Complexion Corrector in Light to Medium – whew that’s a mouthful!  I’ve just been calling it ‘Smarty Plants’ because that name is amazing.

The low down: This product is lightweight, absorbs quickly and blends very nicely.  It’s one of the more natural looking CC creams and does a great job color correcting.  Since my face has a forever natural redness to it, this cream is great for correcting this tint in my face.  You actually feel like you are putting something good on your face and it lasts for a good 8 hours.

Quick take:


  • Looks natural
  • Lightweight
  • Color correcting
  • SPF 20 w/o feeling like a sunscreen
  • Smooth & feels great on


  • Not full coverage – put pairs nicely w/a finishing or foundation powder

Application: No fuss – this blends so easily – your fingers will do just fine.

Bottom line: Origins does it again!  They have yet to disappoint and deliver another quality product – that I now have happily on my shelf of wonders.

Thoughts, comments or suggestions? Let me know below!

Yours in beauty,



In Need of Repair

By Wednesday, June 4, 2014 2 , , Permalink 0

We’ve all had those crisis moments where our face/lips/legs/arms have a mind of their own and decide to behave however they see fit.  In many instances, this is related to stress, eating, and lack of sleep (check out this awesome article here on sleep).  Regardless of the ailment, our main goal is fixing it…and fast.

This post is dedicated to the Top 5 beauty secrets I hold near & dear when it comes to quick & effective repair.


1.) Neosporin Lip Care – Overnight Renewal Therapy 

NEOSPORIN® LIP HEALTH® Overnight Renewal Therapy

I know what you’re thinking – Neosporin cares about lips?!  Kidding…but in all seriousness, they have branched out from just first aid care to a relatively new lip care product.

We’ve all tried a million different lip treatments, myself included – but this product is unreal.

It works just like it says – overnight.  When my lips are in need of some TLC, I put some of this on before I go to bed and I wake up feeling like my lips have turned into a luscious rainforest.  They say three nights, but I’m telling you – in just one night you will be wowed and convinced.


2.) Aveda Beautifying Composition Oil

Beautifying Composition™

This oil is amazing.  It’s versatile and smells wonderful.  If you ever have a dry patch on your body (or scalp) then this oil will be a godsend for you and your skin.  My favorite thing to do is place a dollop of lotion on my legs and place 3 drops of the oil on top of the lotion and then rub it in.

The moisturizing affect is wonderful, the smell is calming & natural, leaving you feeling refreshed.

I’ve also heard of people using this in their baths as well.  This oil is also great if you suffer from eczema or psoriasis.  It’s a genie in a bottle baby.


 3.) Nexxus Youth Renewal Elixier

Youth Renewal Elixir

So anyone who knows me well, knows my no frills policy with my hair.  I rarely use product, but when I find something that wows me, it’s kind of a big deal. This serum is lightweight, effective and smells so good you literally want to eat it.  Best of all, it really truly works.  After just one use, my hair was soft, manageable and so smooth.  After one week, I started to notice a serious improvement in breakage (it tames those flyaways) and overall appearance of my hair.  I’ve started using this every time I wash my hair – or whenever my hair needs a little lovin’ boost.


4.) Gold Bond Ultimate Intensive Healing Hand Cream

Gold Bond Ultimate Intensive Healing Hand Cream

Gold Bond is so old school, right?!  Wrong.  They are awesome, innovative and continue to come up with moisturizers that will wow you.  I came across this hand cream by accident.  I was in Boston and desperate for some relief with my extremely dry/chapped hands from the winter weather.  I went into a nearby drugstore and bought this baby from the 99 cent buckets.

Not expecting anything, I used some and was amazed.  The consistency is silky, it absorbs quickly and even when I washed my hands, they were still moisturized.  It truly feels lovely on your skin, is packed with vitamins and it lasts.  I highly recommend this hand cream for any hand emergency or even everyday use (I have both a bottle at my desk and at home!)


5.) Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Eye Cream

Having recently hit my mid-late 20’s and having woken up one morning with swollen, tired and line creased eyes after a long night…I realized it was time to start getting serious about a regenerative eye cream.  In my mirror horror, I realized that this would not be the only night that I may not get enough sleep.

I decided that I needed something that would make a difference right away.  I came across this bad boy as a sample from Sephora and was excited to give it a whirl.  I was so happy with it after using it for just two nights, I decided I had to look up the ingredients to understand what I was really putting on my eyes.

This formula utilizes white birch, rosa arctica (a flower) and botanical lipids that actual mimic the molecular structure within your own skin cells.

I recommend using this at night, either daily or whenever your eyes need some love.  The moisturizing quality is unmatched from any other product I have ever used and the immediate difference is noticeable.


Well that’s all folks – let me know what you think!

Yours in beauty,







Underground Game Changers

Have you ever come across those products that blow you away and you just want to shout about it from the mountain tops?  OK… that’s obviously a little dramatic, but I’m just really excited to share these amazing hidden gems with you.  These products are all things that I wonder what I did in my life BEFORE they existed.  Here is my list of the Top 5 Game Changers.


1.) The All Nighter Styling Powder

This dry shampoo is literally a game changer.  The worst thing about greasy hair is that it’s limp, unmanageable and has horrific texture.  This powder, which comes in 6 different shades (shown above), creates volume (we’re talking a straight up blowout), manageability and texture that allows you to be really creative with how you style your hair, up or down.  Since it comes it your hair color, it eliminates the annoying white spots and smears you can sometimes get from other dry shampoos.

Application: Brush your hair, finishing with all of your strands directed towards the back (you should have no part anywhere on your head), then turn your head to one side – sprinkle the powder on your roots & massage – then turn your head, sprinkle the powder on your roots & massage.  Continue this until you’ve worked the entire top of your head (just the roots).  Then, turn your head upside down, sprinkle some powder in your hands and scrunch the ends and work some into your overall head.

The one caveat is that it can stain light colored clothing.  Once you become seasoned at application, spills are no longer an issue. However, another alternative is sprinkling some within the bristles of your brush and combing it through your locks.

Bottom line: Who doesn’t like volume & texture?! You will never regret this purchase.

2.) Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

When I think of my exfoliating trials prior to coming across this gem, I’m simply baffled what I did before it existed.  The crystals in this face wash feel amazing on your skin, not at all abrasive or harsh.  It smells great and is something I use up to 5 times a week.  In addition, it leaves your skin feeling soft and silky smooth, without any redness.  As someone who has sensitive skin, this scrub works like a charm.

I’ve also had coworkers tell me that my face is glowing.  Since my makeup routine rarely changes for work, this leads me to believe that it’s the amazing face scrub.

Application: Wet your face and squeeze a quarter size amount into your hands.  Then scrub your face lightly, working it into a later until the crystals start to dissolve.  Then rinse several times and voila!

Bottom line: Acne or no – this scrub will brighten, rejuvenate and heal your skin afflictions and imperfections.

3.) Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream

Yu-Be - Moisturizing Skin Cream

Say goodbye to dry skin and start experiencing what amazing soft skin feels like.  This original #1 seller in Japan, traditional formula skin cream is fantastic.  This multipurpose cream can be used on your lips, hands, elbows, feet and even on eczema or other dry skin afflictions.

My favorite use is to put this on over matte lipstick.  It seals in moisture without stripping the color.

Application: I honestly just use my finger and dab lightly for my lips – as for the rest of your body, I’m confident you can figure it out 🙂

Bottom line: Whether it’s an overnight repair, or long term wear – this skin cream is worth having around.

4.) Instain Long-Wearing Powder Staining Blush

ArgyleSwiss Dot




With six gorgeous shades, this blush is as pretty in the compact as it is on your face.  The color looks natural and holds like no body’s business.  If you look for mileage when it comes to makeup, then look no further!  I am also a huge fan of theBalm in general, their products are very high quality, cruelty free and the packaging is so darn cute & creative.

Application: Using a blush brush, I very lightly dab the brush and tap of any excess.  This stuff is very concentrated, so be careful not to use too much, start small and build.  Then I apply directly to the tops of my cheekbones and smile to ensure I just get the application just right.

Bottom line: Whether it’s their blush or bronzer, you will not be disappointed.

 5.) PFB Vanish


Ingrown hairs are the bane of my existence.  They are obnoxious, unsightly and sometimes painful.  If you’ve ever gotten a wax, or even if you shave, you know what I am talking about.  And if you don’t, many of us envy you!

In general, there are all these products out there and I’ve tried them all and then some.  Even homemade remedies.  Upon meeting the most amazing esthetician ever (we’ve even become friends), she introduced me to PFB Vanish.  I was hesitant because again, I’ve literally tried them ALL.  She assured me that this is different and even worked on those little unsightly red bumps you occasionally get on the back or your arms, bum or thighs.  SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. I was very skeptical now – those things are almost impossible to get rid of unless you exfoliate to the point of pain.

Well – let me tell you – my ingrown hairs have decreased from countless to maybe 1 a month. The red bumps on my bum? Gone.

Application: It’s conveniently in a roller ball stick, so the application is a breeze, literally. The one caveat is that once you apply it, you need to let it dry otherwise it can get on your clothes, but it’s completely washable and doesn’t stain or anything like that.

Bottom line:  Not only will this product last you a very long time, your skin will be forever changed for the better.


Hope you’ve enjoyed my list!  Please let me know what you think below!

Yours in beauty,


Glow Fo Show

By Tuesday, May 20, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0


This past Saturday I had the pleasure to visit a local San Francisco cosmetics shop – theBalm.  If you don’t know about them – let. me. tell. you.

Fantastic products – check.

Creative packaging – check.

Adorable product names – check.

Creative and innovative – check.

In all seriousness – they have a fantastic “beauty in five minutes” philosophy (this caught my attention!)  in addition to cruelty free products, dedicated to using the best ingredients.

While I was there, I decided to give myself the full glow treatment after trying several of their products from Birchbox and loving them.

Having washed my face at home w/a gentle exfoliant and applying my favorite mattifier/primer – Murad Oil Control Mattifier, I was prepped and ready.

1.) Balm Shelter Tinted Moisturizer SPF 18 in Light


This bad boy is light weight, flawless and easy to blend.  Being fair skinned, I was very pleased with the pigment – there was no orange tinge unlike some tinted moisturizers I’ve experienced.  I also love that it looks natural.

Application: I applied a small amount directly to my face using my hands, followed by their ‘Blend a Hand‘ brush to blend

2.) INSTAIN Long-Wearing Powder Staining Blush in Argyle


I absolutely adore this color and was impressed by how pigmented this blush is!  I got the low-down from a beauty specialist at theBalm.  This product was created by the founder of theBalm after she was pregnant and her cheeks wouldn’t hold blush.

Application: I applied INSTAIN directly to my cheekbones in light quick strokes using their ‘Powder to the People‘ brush – taking care to tap off any excess powder before applying to ensure it went on evenly.

3.) Mary-Lou Manizer – Highlighter, Shadow & Shimmer


This multi-purpose highlighter is subtle, bright and creates a lovely soft glow.

Application: Using the same brush, I applied the powder over the blush to soften the lines and create a glow along my cheekbones.  I then applied a small amount in a backwards ‘C’ connecting it from the high part of my cheekbones to the end of my eyebrow.

4.) Brow Pow Eyebrow Powder in Light Brown


This eyebrow powder is AMAZING.  It looks natural and was created with wax already blended in, which gives it staying power in addition to easy application.  My favorite part about this brow powder is that is was so lightweight & natural, I never felt like I have product on my eyebrows.

Application: Using their ‘Eye Believe’ double-sided eyebrow/eye blending brush, I dragged the angled edge through the powder very lightly and blew off any excess.  I then applied the powder in short brisk strokes following the natural line of my eyebrow hair.

5.) How ‘Bout Them Apples? Lip and cheek cream palette in Pie


This multi-purpose (again I LOVE that about their products) lip and cheek palette is versatile, easy to apply and the color is fantastic.  The color I used is Pie – it’s a bright matte pink that is great for summer and is long wearing.

Application: I literally used my finger – it’s easy to apply and goes on smoothly and has a nice matte finish without drying out your lips.


Any questions? Let me know!

Happy almost Summer!!!


5 Songs Your Ears Will Crave

By Thursday, May 15, 2014 0 No tags Permalink 0


As my first music post (I could barely contain myself) I want it to be short and sweet and your ears can thank me later.

Let me start this out with an ask – listen to these songs the whole way through.  These artists are all unique and pushing the ‘popular’ restraints that can sometimes bind artists when they hit it big.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

1.) Bridges – Broods

This brother sister duo from NZ is even better live.

2.) Victor – Prinze George

I was sold at “mmm hmmm”

3.) All Time High – The Holidays

Fun fact: I literally scream sing this song in my car. Perfect for road trips…for one.

4.) Cut Me Out – MNDR

This will bring you back to the 80’s and into the future all at once.

5.) Fever Dream – Young Summer

This gets stuck in my head frequently.