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In My Makeup Bag: Everyday Essentials

By beauty, don't waste the pretty, lists, makeup, skin care 2 Comments

makeup bag everyday essentials

You know those days when your hair looks amazing? You know, the good hair days? Well, lately I’ve been having good face days. I can attribute it partly to my skincare routine and partly to my recent experiment with a gluten-free diet, but I’ll admit, it probably has less to do with my actual face and more to do with what’s in my makeup bag.

You know I’m not a morning person. Most days I’m lucky if I have five minutes to put makeup on. (Actually, most days I bring my makeup bag to work and spend five minutes putting it on when I arrive.) Therefore, my carefully curated collection of everyday cosmetics is minimal and distinctly inspired by The Daily Connoisseur‘s Le No Makeup Look. These are the products that (for me) make any day a good face day.

1. NARS Blush in Orgasm. This peachy tint of this cult classic seems to flatter everyone. Careful, though — don’t get it confused with it’s too glittery sister, Super Orgasm.

2. Urban Decay Naked Basics Eye Palette. This neutral palette is a new addition. Trading in my shimmery shadows for something a little more practical…at least until summer. =)

3. Dior Diorshow Mascara in 090 Black.
Only mascara I’ve used since 2004. Don’t plan on switching anytime soon. My favorite reaction? “Are you wearing fake lashes?!?”

4. Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer in Nude.
I fell in love with this product after trying a sample a few years ago. It took me a little while to figure out how to use it best on my skin, though. The oil free version provides more coverage than the normal version, but it doesn’t quite provide enough moisture for my dry skin, so I layer this over my everyday moisturizer. Sometimes I’ll use the normal version instead, especially during the winter or if I’m ever wearing it alone. I love how dramatically it evens out my skin tone without washing me out. Plus, it’s super lightweight because it is, after all, a moisturizer and not a foundation.

5. bareMinerals Well-Rested Face & Eye Brightener. This brightener is a new product I’ve been trying out. I use it to cover up dark circles and illuminate just under my brows. I like it so far, but it’s too soon to say whether it will earn a permanent spot in my collection.

6. Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner in Noir Intense.
Believe it or not, this eyeliner pencil was the only souvenir I brought back from my trip to Chicago. I normally steer clear of waterproof makeup because it’s impossible to remove. But eyeliner looks ridiculous unless it stays put, which is exactly what this incredible product does best.

7. Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Medium Ash. Even though I only use the lighter side of this duo, it’s a staple. I love using a powder to fill in brows because the effect is much less harsh than a pencil, in my opinion.

8. Laura Mercier Eye Basics in Linen.
I’m pretty loyal when it comes to beauty products. I find something I like and stick with it for years. But lately, I’ve noticed that some of the favorites I adopted in high school aren’t pulling their weight anymore on my 31-year-old skin — particularly products I use on and around my eyes. I recently traded out an old favorite for this product, and I’m so happy with it! I’m not sure if this was meant to be just an eyeshadow base, but for me, it’s been pulling double duty as an under-eye concealer/primer. I’ve been applying it before my tinted moisturizer and just kind of blending the two together under my eyes. It’s amazing. The consistency is unlike any product I’ve ever used around my eyes before. It doesn’t crease, clump, wear off, or change appearance all day.

9. bareMinerals Original SPF25 Mineral Veil. Mineral Veil is still my favorite finishing powder. I think it reduces the appearance of pores and keeps my makeup looking fresh all day. Sometimes I’ll skip this if I’ve used the bareMinerals foundation powder (because layering powder upon powder upon powder makes my face look weird), but lately I’ve been skipping the foundation because my skin looks pretty good!

My last essential is a lip gloss or lipstick, but I tend to switch colors up quite a bit. I love corals and reds, but lately I’ve been drawn to berry tones and bright pinks.

I’d love to know what your daily makeup essentials are. Do you use any of these products? Suggest any additions? Let me know in the comments! =)

A Few of my Favorite Things

By hair care, life-changing purchases, lifestyle, lists, shopping, skin care, style, wine, year in review 2 Comments


1. Shelley Kyle Tiramani Moisturizing Body Lotion. Love the way this lotion’s subtle scent reminds me of outdoor beach house showers in summer. Not sure why, but it does. I picked mine up at a local shop here in VB called Simply Selma’s. Love. =)

2. Hunter Huntress Rain Boot in Pillar Box Red. I actually purchased my Hunters at the end of 2011, but from snowy nights to soggy crab pickin’ parties, full-blown hurricanes to just plain rainy afternoons, these boots have certainly seen their fair share of puddles in 2012, and the rest of my shoes are certainly appreciative of that.

3. Longchamp ‘Le Pliage – Large’ Tote. I spent a lot of time this year looking for the perfect travel tote to pull triple duty as a carry-on, a purse, and a camera bag (in combination with my Ona Roma camera insert). I found this one in San Francisco, and it’s absolutely perfect.

4. Collecting seashells. It seems like I collected more shells along the water’s edge this year than I have since I was a kid. This particular handful came from the Florida coastline, where the Gulf of Mexico meets the soft, white sand in front of the Margaritaville Beach Hotel in Pensacola.

5. St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan for Body. Started using this tanner one right around Memorial Day weekend, and it kept me glowing all summer long. No streaks, lovely scent. Easily the best self-tanner I’ve tried.

6. Statement pearls. This necklace was a gift from my mom last Christmas, and it’s been an accessory in heavy rotation throughout 2012. This particular Stella & Dot ‘Sofia’ pearl bib necklace is no longer available, but the brand’s ‘Lucia’ necklace is pretty similar. This more affordable Forever21 Graduated Pearlescent Necklace is another one I wear all the time.

7. Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil. This product is a game-changer. Just a teeny drop of this product works miracles in my hair.  As in, I can replace at least 16 other hair products with just this one. Go to Sephora. Ask for a sample. =)

8. Gap 1969 Always Skinny Jeans. I wore the hell out of these jeans this year. =) They’re comfy, flattering, and I love that they come in lengths.

9. Beach Cruiser #2 (aka 2012 Electra Cruiser 1 in Blue). I bought myself Beach Cruiser #2 this summer just because I had room for an extra bike. I still love my Electra Coaster 7D, but the gears/fenders are a little fussy, and the lower-maintenance single-speed is a bit more conducive to riding on gravel trails and hanging my beach chair on the handlebars. Besides, coaster brakes are sweet.

10. Tommy Bahama Medium Brim Scarf Hat. (seen on me here) This hat was a splurge, but I’ve got to say it was well worth the money I paid for it. It’s so secure on my head that I can wear while I’m riding my bike, which I love. It’s also very high quality and pretty flexible, which means I can lean back in my beach chair without it awkwardly moving around, looking ridiculous or losing it’s shape. All that, and it protects my skin, my blonde locks and my eyes from the sun. #lifesaver

11. Saint James Garde Cote II in Noir. If I had to choose the best article of clothing I acquired all year, it would be this shirt. 2012 was a year of quality over quantity for me, and this shirt is a perfect example. Instead of going overboard shopping during my annual summer trip to NYC, I kept the item count down and put my dollars towards this top. It’s constructed of a UV-protective fabric, so well-made, wrinkle-free and basically the most versatile shirt ever. I’ve worn it to the office, to the mall, to the airport, to dinner, to wineries, and everywhere in between. I’ve folded it, hung it up, washed it, packed it, and crumpled it up in a ball — it doesn’t lose its shape. I’ve worn it with skinnies/heels, boyfriend jeans/flats, skirts, blazers, sweaters, shorts…I even re-created my favorite J.Crew SS13 runway outfit with it (kind of). Maybe I need it in red stripes, too? =)

12. Chandon Blanc de Noirs. Easily the best wine I discovered on my trip to Napa Valley. It’s a delightful blend of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, and to be honest, my recent shipment from the winery included a bottle of this stuff the size of my torso, so it’s exactly what I’ll be ringing in the new year with. Don’t be surprised if this bubbly ends up on a list of 2013’s favorites, too. =)


By breaking news, don't waste the pretty, skin care One Comment

It’s official. After nearly 30 years of envy, wishful thinking and delusional afternoons on the beach, I’ve finally accepted the fact that I am not now, nor am I destined to ever be…tan. I do, however, have nice skin, a few cute freckles, and hardly any wrinkles…oh, and a few Lorac products that get me through the months of July and August. So, things are looking up.

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: well-adapted
And I’m singin’ along to: Knee Deep – Zac Brown Band feat. Jimmy Buffett

Acai vs. Argan — An End to My Quest

By don't waste the pretty, hair care, product reviews, shopping, skin care No Comments

I know you’ve been waiting patiently for the results of my body lotion comparison, so here it is. Like Brad Womack on The Bachelor: Season 11, I picked…neither! Here’s how it played out.

After I wrote my last entry, I went back to Sephora and slathered the tester of Fresh Sugar Acai Age-Delay Body Cream all over my arms and legs. It felt kind of sticky at first, and I wasn’t sure if I liked the smell as much as I did the first time. However, after a few hours, my skin felt awesome. It continued to feel awesome the next day (even after I showered). I was impressed. My little sample bottles have arrived, but I haven’t used them yet. I’ve decided to save them for special occasions.

The Alba Botanica Acai Antioxidant Body Lotion arrived yesterday, and I quickly ripped it out of the package to try it out. As soon as I opened the box, it smelled extremely fruity. When I put it on, the scent was a little to strong for me, and I didn’t think what it did to my skin was very extraordinary. It was nice, but not as nice as the Fresh body cream. I was disappointed, but I think I’ll still use the bottle. You might like the Alba acai body lotion if you’re a fan of fruity scents, and lighter lotions. Alba is a great line — I love their Hawaiian line of products, and my boyfriend and I both use the Sea Moss Moisturizer with SPF 15 (for day) and the Sea Plus Renewal Creme (for night) from the Advanced line.

By now, you’re probably wondering why I chose neither. Let me start with hair products…

A few weeks ago, at the salon, my stylist used MoroccanOil on my hair for the first time. It smelled delicious! I was intrigued and Googled the product to find that the main ingredient is argan oil — an oil high in Vitamin E that Moroccans have been slathering on their hair and skin for thousands of years. Grown only in the Berber region of Morocco, the rare Argan tree is yields the magical nuts from which this legendary oil is made. Now, I don’t know about all that, but I certainly liked a.) the way it smelled in my hair, and b.) the way it made my hair feel. And we all know what happens when Lisa experiences silky smooth, fragrant tresses. I have to buy! I ordered a travel-size bottle from

Now, back to body lotions. I ventured into Bath & Body Works today looking for hand sanitizer. (You know there’s a swine flu pandemic going on — everyone needs hand sanitizer!) Of course, I didn’t leave with hand sanitizer; I left with a new body lotion because you can imagine that I was intrigued to see argan as an ingredient in a body lotion at Bath & Body Works. I tried a little dab of it on my arm, and I fell in love with it. The True Blue Morocco Sweet Fig & Argan Body Lotion — that’s what I choose for my new body lotion. It feels almost as good as the Fresh Sugar Acai Body Cream, and it smells even better! Plus, it was 50 percent off! You know I love a sale. (However, I did find out it was 50 percent off because they are phasing it out of the store, so if you want to try it, you’d better get it soon.) I bought two bottles — one for home, and one for work. I have to say, it looks very pretty sitting on my desk.

Well, there you have it. Leave it to me to pick something entirely different than what I set out on a quest for. Argan and acai are both pretty legendary and beneficial if you ask me — they’re both so exotic-sounding, too.! But, at the end of the day, I think I’ll keep drinking that fruity acai in smoothies, and leave the body and hair care to the timeless argan oil. Unless someone wants to buy me that Fresh stuff for Christmas…

Final thoughts: Fresh Sugar Acai Age-Delay Body Cream is a great product; if I owned a full-size tube of it, I’d probably use it once or twice a week to make it last and feel like I got my money out of it. Alba Acai Antioxidant Body Lotion smells like a Juicy Juice, and I definitely don’t love it. True Blue Morocco Sweet Fig & Argan Body Lotion gets the job done for the right price — 50 percent of $15 — in a cute and classy glass bottle with a pump. For now, I’ll be indulging in argan oil for my hair and my skin, all the while keeping my fingers crossed that this product is still around when I run out!

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