Between festive outings and the dryness that comes with winter weather, I’ve been cycling through a variety of lip products, looking for the perfect balance of hydration and enhancement. Sure, there a times when my lips feel dry or I’m about to venture out into the cold and I opt for my trusty winter standbys, Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm or Candy Cane Chapstick. I remain a loyal fan of both of these classic balms. But sometimes a girl wants something a bit more glam and holiday-worthy than clear Chapstick.
There are so many pretty lip color options around it can be hard to choose. I tried Tarte Color Splash Lipstick in Ocean Drive, a fierce hot pink. The lipstick is surprisingly moisturizing and has a pretty matte finish. Unfortunately this shade of pink isn’t quite right for me, but I would definitely recommend this collection to anyone looking for a hydrating matte lipstick with nice color payoff.
I couldn’t resist the ultra-glam Gucci Lip Balm in No More Orchids, a pretty medium pink tinted balm in even prettier packaging. This balm is more pigmented than I expected, and quite long lasting, but sadly isn’t very hydrating. I imagine I’ll be wearing it nonstop when spring arrives, but probably not to any holiday parties.
On days when I want to look fresh faced with just a hint of lip color, I’ve been reaching for NCLA Beauty Balm Babe 100% Natural Lip Balm in Pink Champagne. It’s a silky, shiny, lightly pigmented pink balm that protects against the cold and tastes great, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a subtle lip look while standing under the mistletoe.
As much as I like the NCLA balm, more often than not I find myself wanting just a bit more color on my lips. Which brings me to my pick for best holiday lip product: Love + Sage Well Red Tinted Balm. Packaged in a perfectly portable tube, this smooth, hydrating balm features the prettiest slightly brick-red shade that goes on sheer and is easy to layer on for more color. I turn to it again and again because the shade feels just right for every occasion, whether I’m heading to the office or going out for holiday cocktails with friends.
What’s your go-to lip product this season?
I have always been a sucker for shiny new school supplies, so imagine my delight when Benefit and Influenster sent me a tube of Benefit’s new Boiing Cakeless Concealer, shaped like the eraser end of a pencil. As my recent posts have indicated, I’ve been very into reducing and camouflaging my under eye circles, so I jumped right in to give it a try.
I received a tube of shade 01, the lightest of 12 shades offered in this full coverage liquid concealer that is designed not to look cakey. Great news for my fair skinned friends – this shade is very fair without being too yellow, which is often hard to find in a concealer.
This truly is a full coverage concealer; I usually use products with a sheer or medium coverage and so I was a bit shocked when I first dabbed some on. However, once blended in the concealer looked natural, brightened my eyes and kept my dark circles at bay for a full 24 hours. Or at least they did when I forgot to wash my face one night before bed – the next morning at brunch my sister commented on how good my skin looked. We’ll call that a win!
As promised, this concealer hasn’t caked or creased on me, and I plan to continue using it, especially on days when my eyes are looking particularly dark. One word of caution: the tube features a cushion tip applicator that I find deposits far more product than I need. My advice: use a very light hand to dab some on and then blend lightly with the tip of your ring finger.
I received this product free for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Beauty trends come and go, but long, pretty lashes are pretty much always in. Here are my three best tips for making the most of your lashes:
1. Take your vitamins. I’ve been taking hair, skin and nail supplements for ages to help strengthen my nails and keep my hair looking healthy. A couple of months ago I switched to Nature Made Hair Skin Nails Adult Gummies (I can’t resist a BOGO sale) and didn’t think much about it until, a few weeks later, I noticed that my eyelashes looked significantly longer. Soon after that my sister asked me why my lashes were so long. Naturally, these fruity little vitamins are now officially on my must-have list.
2. Curl with a classic. You may not be comfortable with eyelash curlers – a good friend has confessed that she’s terrified of sneezing mid-curl and tearing all her lashes out – but you’d be surprised at how much of a difference a good curler makes. And by “a good curler,” I mean the curler: the iconic Shu Uemera Eyelash Curler. It is hands down the best one on the market. It gives lashes a gentle curve (not a harsh crimp) that will last all day, making your lashes appear longer and your eyes brighter. You’ve got to love a gadget that can make you look polished and well rested in under a minute.
3. Join the mile high club. No, not that mile high club. I’m talking about Wander Beauty Mile High Club Volume and Length Mascara, AKA the best new mascara I’ve tried in years. I love its sleek gold packaging, but that’s nothing compared to how much I adore the formula – a lengthening, lash-lifting black mascara that isn’t clumpy, even if you apply several coats. It stays put throughout the day without flaking or smearing and really does give lashes a noticeable lift. The best part? After months of daily use, this mascara hasn’t bothered my extra sensitive eyeballs, not even when I’ve forgotten to wash it off before bed. It’s the lash-lengthening mascara of my dreams!
I’m a sucker for a clever marketing campaign, so when I opened up an NCLA order last month and found a postcard reading “PSA: Mercury Retrograde starts March 4,” featuring a picture of the brand’s newest Jelly Balm lipstick, I knew I’d be purchasing it.
NCLA Jelly Balms come in all kinds of brightly colored shades. They all go on clear and then react with your skin’s PH levels to create a custom shade for you. I’ve always loved products like this and I was drawn in by the sheer neon tomato look of the Mercury Retrograde Jelly Balm. The balm has a silky smooth texture and upon application turns a beautiful shade of pink that I would describe as bubblegum raspberry. I’m completely obsessed.
I find the balm doesn’t last all that long (probably due to the excessive amount of coffee I drink on the average day) so you may want to take it with you for on-the-go touch ups. Or better yet, buy an extra one for your purse. If you’re like me, you’ll be wearing this long after Mercury retrograde is over.
Over the course of the last six months or so, I’ve noticed that my under eye area seems angrier than usual. Darker. Crinklier. Certainly more tired.
I’ve tried various serums and eye creams in hopes of improving the situation, but so far the only measurable results have been irritated eye balls. I haven’t given up hope, and I have a few new contenders to try out, but I know I need a little help while I wait for conditions to improve.
Enter NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. I picked up a mini tube in Vanilla Light 2 during a recent Sephora trip. It turns out this shade is perfect for masking dark circles and works with my fair complexion. This creamy concealer blends easily and provides a surprising amount of coverage with just a tiny dab of product. It’s long lasting and doesn’t crease or draw attention to those extra crinkles I mentioned. And the mini size I purchased for $13 six weeks ago still has plenty of product left in the tube. Which means I can afford to keep using this secret weapon until I find a more permanent under eye solution.
What’s your secret weapon product?
At a business event a couple of months ago, I couldn’t help but admire a coworker’s lip color. Known for her bright smile and attention to detail, she looked perfectly polished and was sporting a pretty, slightly shimmery gloss.
When I told her how much I liked it, she happily confessed that she’s the queen of the bargain beauty find and that the gloss she was wearing could be found for a few dollars at any local drugstore.
The gloss was Rimmel London Stay Glossy 3D Lip Gloss. She raved about its smooth (not sticky) texture and staying power. I made a mental note to pick up a tube the next time I stumbled upon one. However, I was delighted and surprised when, a week or so later, she gifted me with one!
It was a tube of Back Row Smooch, a pretty and fairly neutral medium pink. It features a simple sponge-tip applicator that delivers just the right amount of gloss. As soon as I slicked it on I knew why she loved the texture; the gloss feels hydrating and silky smooth, not tacky or goopy. And while a 3D lipgloss might sound a little intense, it translates to a subtle iridescent effect that plays up your pout and is really quite flattering. I find that the initial shimmer wears off after about an hour, but the color lasts and my lips feel moisturized long after that. As an added bonus, my hair doesn’t instantly stick itself to my mouth when I’m wearing this stuff. It’s basically the holy grail of glosses.
Finding out about this little beauty gem definitely made my day and I just had to pass it on. If you’re in the market for a good gloss I highly recommend picking one up. Better yet, get two and share one with a friend.
I have always been a sucker for cute packaging. Three summer-ready lip balms? Neat. Three summer-ready lip balms in a sporty little zipper pouch? Where do I get mine??
The answer is Sephora, and I have to say the Fresh #SportYourSugar Lip Kit is the best beauty purchase I’ve made in a long time. It comes with minis of the brand’s popular Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments in Rose and Honey. I’ve loved the Rose variety for a long time but this is my first experience with Honey and I’m hooked. The flattering warm nude is my new go-to summer lip color. Both of these tinted balms feature SPF 15 as well as the smooth texture and long lasting moisture Fresh is known for.
The real stand out in this kit, however, is the Sugar Sport Treatment. This SPF 30 sunscreen stick provides protection for your eyes, lips and face. My sister and I put this sporty orange tube to the test last week while we vacationed in Disney World. With temperatures in the 90s and hours spent out in the sun, we really got to see what this stick could do. And we’re impressed. We applied it regularly to our lips and were thrilled that it didn’t rub off on our teeth like so many sport balms do. We also swiped the stick around our eyes (no stinging or burning!) and pressed the waxy sunscreen along our parts to avoid the dreaded sunburned scalp. I could not believe how well this stuff held up! After a full day of sweating, Splash Mountain and swimming, the Sugar Sport Treatment was still in place. The best part? Smudging the product into my hair didn’t leave it looking greasy or flat, but it did protect my skin all day. No sun burns for either of us!
My summer beauty routine tends to be fairly minimal but this kit has definitely earned a spot in my beauty bag this season. If you plan on spending any time in the sun this summer, do yourself a favor and buy this!
More and more these days I find myself looking for beauty products that are quick and easy to use. Of course I want to look my best, but I don’t really want to spend much time achieving it (a girl can dream, right?). That’s probably why I’m so drawn to beauty crayons – they’re easy to apply, pretty much fool proof, and you can throw them in your bag (or pocket) and take them with you for a quick and easy touch up.
I really love eye crayons. Lip crayons are great in theory, but I find they tend to be drying. Which is why I was delighted to discover that Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon is amazingly not drying. I received the crayon in shade Glace as part of my Sephora Beauty Insider birthday gift last month and I’ve been using it daily ever since.
I usually apply the crayon over a thin layer of clear lip balm to tone down the color slightly.
The creamy crayon glides on smoothly and feels silky on your lips. I was worried the color might be a little too dark or too purple for me but it turns out I was wrong – the shade is pretty and natural, adding just a bit of easy polish to my overall look. I usually apply it over a thin layer of clear lip balm, which does tone down the color a little bit. For more impact, I’d recommend applying it straight to your lips – it still feels great on and looks amazing.
So, fellow Beauty Insiders, if your birthday is coming up and you’re on the fence about which gift to choose, I highly recommend this one. If not, you may just want to run out and buy this crayon now – it’s just too good to wait!
I tend to switch up my go-to beauty products alongside the changes in season, so it’s no surprise that I recently placed an epic Sephora order looking for some new summer favorites. Luckily I was rewarded with not one but two new lip products that I’m sure I’ll be wearing all season long.
On really hot, humid days, I’m not willing to put more than sunscreen, a tinted moisturizer and tinted lip balm on my face. These days that lip balm will definitely be Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Quench Lip Recue in Cherry. Though it looks really red in the tube, it’s more of a sheer berry on the lips, and it feels amazing. It features a light minty scent and pleasant cooling sensation, perfect for hot summer days. It’s also ultra moisturizing. I call that a summer win. Quench Lip Rescue comes in a variety of other sheer shades that you can find here.
On cooler days, or when I’m looking for something a bit more glam, I’ll be turning to Nars Lipstick in Orgasm. In case you haven’t heard, Nars finally turned their cult favorite peachy pink looks-good-on-everyone blush into a lipstick. While I find the lipstick to be more pink-brown than peach-pink, it’s still a lovely, flattering neutral with a bit of shimmer. For those with an aversion to gritty shimmer particles, fear not – the lipstick has a nice smooth texture. It’s long lasting and light, but it does highlight little lip imperfections, so I’d recommend applying some sort of lip primer first. You can find it online here.
What lip colors are you wearing this summer?
It has been far too long since my last post and for that I must apologize. It has been a very hectic couple of months and I simply have not had as much time as I would like for fun stuff (like sampling and writing). However, I have managed to try some new products and even finished a few in the past several weeks. Here’s a look at my empties for February and March:
Dove Purely Pampering Sweet Cream Beauty Bar: I picked up a duo of these beauty bars after trying a body wash that left me broken out and very unhappy. I chose the sweet cream version because of it’s light, sweet scent – very feminine but also very mild. Nothing earth shattering here but it gets me clean without the addition of pimples and it smells nice. I’d buy them again.
Dr. Jart Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask: This has got to be my favorite new beauty thing; it’s certainly the best sheet mask I’ve ever tried. It’s drenched in a super-moisturizing formula that soothes the skin and left me looking and feeling fresh and glowy for the rest of the day. Bonus: you can freak out your pets by looking like a serial killer when you put it on.
Make Dual-Phase Eye Makeup Remover: This is my all-time favorite eye makeup remover. It’s gentle and effective, lasts for a ridiculously long time, is a pretty pink color and comes in a cool square bottle.
Lady Speed Stick Invisible Dry Powder Fresh Antiperspirant/Deodorant: I bought this for 99 cents one day when I was feeling nostalgic for the days when I used to swear by powder fresh deodorant. It’s a solid deodorant (see what I did there?) and kept me fresh and sweat-free.
Covergirl CG Smoothers BB Cream: This is not new to my blog or to my empties. My classic winter BB cream, it’s still moisturizing, easy to use and light enough for my ghost-like winter complexion. Still a winner.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths: Another empties MVP, these wipes are great for those days when you just cannot be bothered to properly wash your face.
Eyeko Black Magic Mascara: This mascara is quickly becoming one of my favorites. It’s dark and dramatic and lasts all day without flaking or smudging. Plus I love the unique packaging and curled wand. If you haven’t tried this mascara yet, do yourself a favor and buy some right now.