I admittedly want to take a trip to France mostly to visit the drugstores and stock up on raved about beauty products. Okay, I also want to go to the Louvre. Besides, we are lucky enough to find products from abroad right here in our local pharmacies, and if they don't have it Amazon always comes through. These two products that go back to France are two products I'm loving this summer.
First, something I've had my eye on for quite some time, the Huile Secret de Beaute by Leonor Greyl. This is an all in one organic body and hair oil with cult status. I purchased mine on Amazon. It's wonderfully scented with lemongrass, tiare, and yucca and is just super luxurious. It gives that Tahitian island goddess glow we only dream about. When I'm pressed for time after washing my hair I spritz some in my hands and run in through the ends for quick moisturizing. I personally find the scent intoxicating and relaxing. I little goes a long way over damp skin. I recommend deep breaths while massaging into skin for the full experience.
Another originally French product for hair is the Klorane Leave in Fluid with mango butter. I found it in a Duane Reade Look Boutique here in NYC. After applying this to damp hair, I find that I don't need any other product in the summer after shampooing as this leaves my hair manageable and well conditioned. It's lightweight and smells very delicately of mango. Klorane has a great range of hair products. This is my fourth item from the line that I really like and I love that their motto is essentially the "power of plants". Sold American.
These are two items to worth treating yourself to as they are not inexpensive. Consider these the crème de la crème of beaute.
After what seemed like a never ending winter, I believe we all looked forward to fresh green grass, tulips, and pops of color. I know I did!
Here are four of my favorite spring items this season.
First up, is the NARS Matte Multiple in Siam. This is described as a poppy red shade on the NARS website and highly pigmented. A little of this product goes a long way to produce the most flattering flushed cheek. While it may be intimidating at first glance it blends out beautifully and has a staining effect that stays put.
The other NARS product I love is their Eye Paint in Baalbek. This is an easy to wear, buildable eye paint in a bronze shade with the tiniest flecks of gold throughout. It creates a great spring to summer eye and can be worn alone as an eyeliner or all over eye color or with an eye shadow on top. I find it goes on well with my ring finger from lash line to crease and blend well. My next purchase may be the eye paint in Solomon Islands, as I adore teal and turquoise.
Something for the lips. Something wonderful for the lips. This Rosehip Seed Lip Cream is a new discovery from Aesop, a brand that prides itself on their use of the best "plant based & laboratory made" ingredients. It's growing in popularity and shops are popping up everywhere. I recommend walking into one and trying out the products and snag some samples while you're at it since the line is a tad pricey. I got a sample of their Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste and I'm very impressed with it. This lip cream is lightweight and non-greasy. Great before lipstick!
Lastly, is the brightly hued neon polish by OPI called Push & Pur-Pull. This reminds me of a polish discontinued by Essie. Neons tend to dry matte so you definitely need a topcoat. I am all about neon in the summer so this shade while great on fingers will be fantastic on toes as well. I love tones like this because it's a very wearable universal shade.
Back to enjoying this lovely weather.
It was that wonderful time of year again, and by that I mean Sephora's VIB 20% event. I went with something that I could use everyday. This beautiful eye shadow quad by Clinique called Morning Java will flatter many a skin tone and it's easy to use because it's basically paint by numbers for your eyes as it is numbered from left to right with an instructional guide on the mirror. Of course you can mix it up any which way you'd like, but if you do suggested method it's quite beautiful on. (Pictures to come!) I have a memory of Clinique eye shadows lacking in color payoff and pigment, but the formula has changed quite dramatically. Clinique has been known for their great skincare for eons now, but they are definitely making a name for themselves in color cosmetics as well. I have been wearing their cake liner for almost 20 years because it was the only liner back then that would stay put all day. These are nicely priced at $28 and they're a great size to just throw into your purse and go. Wear this quad over a sheer primer and it will last and flatter just about any eye color.
These cooler, drier temperatures are already taking a toll on my skin. Living in an apartment where the heat is on full blast does not help matters either. These are my two favorite products for sloughing away dry skin.
Trader Joe's Lavender Salt Scrub.
It might be hard to believe, but this scrub is pure luxury. When you open it, the lavender just takes over your senses and you're practically transported to some divine exotic location where lavender grows in abundance. This salty scrub is saturated in sweet almond oil, and other natural oils and does double duty in the shower to exfoliate and then puts moisture and goodness back into the skin. You will not need a moisturizer after this! It's wonderfully oily and rich. Also, it's reasonably priced so I'd recommend this as a gift this season as well, as long as you know someone loves lavender and bath products. Do yourself a favor, and when you're over there at Trader Joe's picking up gyoza from the frozen section, wander over to the beauty section of the store-- you will be happy you did.
Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Scrub
This is a product I've used for a long time. Unlike the the Trader Joe's scrub, this is one you use before showering. This velvety scrub works to get rid of dead skin sitting on the surface, so it's a lot like dry brushing, and when you're done giving all your parts a good scrub, it does rinse off leaving a very very light coating of oil (jojoba) on the skin. It smells fantastic, if you love citrus and sage as much as I do. And it's an old time favorite. I believe this had quite the following when it was first introduced because a lot of scrubs were either oil based, like the one above and/or they weren't all as effective. Bliss also makes their Lemon + Sage lotion if you want to go crazy.
With these scrubs you also get the added benefit of increasing circulation in the skin and body, and I've read over and over again to work your way up to the heart and towards the heart as you massage these scrubs in. You'll feel great and pampered, and sooo soft!
I got a little gussied up last night for dinner and a show. I wanted to keep the look simple so I did a quick smokey eye and a nude lip using the products below:
NARS Sheer Matte Foundation
I used a moist beauty blender to give me a smooth evened out complexion, working from the center of the face outward.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
Applied my fingers, dabbed & patted this under the eyes and on any existing dark spots from blemishes.
MAC Blot Powder (not pictured)
A dusting with a kabuki brush to set everything in place and eliminate shine.
NARS Blush in Outlaw
Soft rose shade applied using a MAC blush brush just lightly on the upper cheeks. Don't be scared; it looks darker in the compact than it really is.
MAC Paintpot in Blackground
Easiest way to create a smokey eye with one product! Apply with fingers or a flat eye brush close to lash line and bring it outward towards crease and then buff/blend that color out quickly with a MAC 217 brush. Bring a little on the bottom lash line to complete the eye. Smoke it out quickly, as this product sets f and stays set all evening. Finish by curling lashes and adding mascara.
Tom Ford Lipstick in Coco Ravish
Great nude lipstick for an evening look & smokey eye. Tom Ford has one of the best lipstick formulas out there.
Marilyn Monroe reportedly used Vaseline on her face to create that ethereal glow she's famous for. We've come a long way since then but we still want beautiful "glowy" skin; nothing too shimmery, and nothing too glittery. We want our skin to look fresh and healthy with some extra oomph. These are my favorite products (Left to right) for getting the glow.
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Powder in Light Flush
This is a baked highlighter with pink and bronze all swirled together creating a beautiful rose gold. MAC comes out with a few different shades every season so this specific one may be discontinued, but I love it and a little goes a long way when applied lightly with a big brush to the upper cheekbones and lightly in the t-zone.
NARS Illuminators in Copacabana (small tube) and Laguna (larger tube)
That little tube of Copacabana, believe it or not has had many uses. A pin size amount of that silvery iridescent pink does wonders right above the cheeks and temple area. A tiny bit in the inner corner of the eyes also helps to brighten your eyes. NARS does cream illuminators well because it blends so easily and leaves the slightest shimmer and stays in place all day. The Laguna is a gorgeous bronze that can be mixed into your foundation for a great "just returned from the Islands" healthy glow.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors in Opal (smaller tube) and Topaz
I'm not one to play favorites, but honestly Becca does this best. This formula is so fine and smooth it is like magic in a bottle. The consistency is fluid and goes on like a dream, plus the shades are phenomenal. Opal is a lightened gold and super flattering on tan skin. Topaz adds a bronze sheen to the skin and can probably be used as contouring liquid for lighter complexions. I'm so happy Sephora now carries Becca products because it's been hard to find and the line is great.
NARS Albatross Highlighter
Quite deceiving in that sleek black compact, it is quite the powerful powder highlighter. Although it looks vanilla in the compact, it's actually a gorgeous platinum blonde shade. This is a finely milled pressed powder as well and it's great for a finished evening look under the brow bone and on the high points of your cheeks.
Two tips: You want a lit from within look so be light handed, and remember that placement is key. Now go get your glow!
I love Autumn. Okay I admittedly love a new season because of the change in makeup; it's like a quick wardrobe change without a lot of effort. Makeup after all, is trans-formative. This is the season I break out the darker lipsticks and jewel tones.
My new favorite shade this year is MAC's Rebel. I believe this shade would look awesome on any complexion that attempts it, and I double dare you to! It's THEE most beautiful plum/fuchsia shade for this season. At least take yourself to the MAC store and try it on before saying "it looks too dark". It caught the eye of some dude (although not my type) at the Farmers Market at Union Square one Saturday. It will get you noticed and hopefully by someone you're checking out.
Another gorgeous shade that I believe is universal is the YSL Rouge Pur Couture Mat #202. I should mention it's hard to find now because it's a color that came out last year and was very popular. I found mine at SAKS. It's a beautiful red that leans blue so it brightens your smile and it's a velvety matte texture so it stays put and leaves a pretty stain on the mouth later on. YSL lipsticks tend to be perfumey so if you're sensitive about scents in lipsticks, skip it. WAY before there was Tom Ford, there was the great YSL lipstick formula.
I tend to skip gloss in the fall because of the wind factor, but I couldn't not put the most beautiful raspberry shade, NARS Place Vendome here. Great consistency and color pay off. On to cheeks! This season I'm loving NARS Multiple in G-Spot. This berry shades glides on to leave a wash of color and faintest amount of gold. I say "wash" because if you're sporting dark lips you want to be light handed with blush; it should look complimentary and not compete for attention.
Eyeliner is big this season, especially a winged eye and I especially love it in a shade other than black. I fell for Urban Decay's 24/7 Liquid Eyeliner in Siren immediately. It's a slightly shimmery teal shade that just looks amazing on and lasts without fading or falling off. Think jewelry for the eyes.
I try to drink as much water as possible, though I could do better in that department. I try to wear sunscreen all year round, though I could probably do better there too. One thing I always do is take my makeup up before I go to bed. No matter how tired I am, no matter how late it is, no matter where I am - I always take it off. When I'm traveling I have taken to using cleansing wipes, or makeup remover pads but when I'm home I like to take my time and do a really good cleansing.
I am wholeheartedly a Neutrogena girl, but as my skin has gotten (ahem) more mature I've noticed I need to keep as much moisture in as possible without stripping my skin. I started using cleansing oils a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised at how gentle yet extremely efficient they are. My newest love in cleansing is cleansing balm. I've heard love stories about Eve Lom Cleansing balm, but since that's not in my price range I went for something more affordable and just as wonderful: Clinique Take the Day Off. This generous tub of balm melts away everything including stubborn eye makeup and sunscreen. I rub it on the same way you would cleansing oil and rinse away. It feels absolutely luxurious on the skin and a little goes a long way.