video: a 6-minute makeup routine


I have a video for you today! Recently, I’ve gotten hooked on all sorts of makeup videos (ones from Lisa Eldridge are my favorite–if you haven’t heard of her, check her out!), and I thought it might be fun to try my hand at one of my own. Obviously I’m no pro like Lisa, but I love seeing what kinds of products and routines other women have, so I’m sharing a very basic, 6-minute natural look with you today for the times when you just need to get out the door looking presentable (and if you can’t see it above, you can find it on YouTube here)!


In addition to going through the products in the video, I’m also highlighting them below, with a little mini-review of each. These are the products I use every day, and have been for months in most cases, so if you have any questions at all about them, just let me know (p.s. they’ll be in the order they’re seen in the video)!



Josie Maran Argan Oil Matchmaker Foundation


Josie Maran’s Argan Oil Matchmaker Foundation is the stuff of dreams. No really, I swear. If, like me, you’re the kind of person who can’t stand to feel like your skin isn’t breathing and just want light coverage, then this foundation is perfect for you. The shade adjusts to suit your skin tone perfectly and it’s moisturizing without being oily.



smashbox high definition concealer


Smashbox’s High Definition Concealer gives really smooth, seamless coverage. While you can also use it under your eyes, I stick to using it just on blemishes, and I find that it stays put all day with little need to reapply. If you’re into something a little thicker, I also recommend Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage, which I’ve used with great luck as well!


benefit erase paste


I don’t care if you’ve gotten 3 hours of sleep, Benefit’s Erase Paste will make it look like 12. I use it on the days where I haven’t slept well or had a little too much fun the night before. It’s very thick, so only a little dab on the pad of your ring finger will do. I like to prep my eyes first with Clinique’s All About Eyes under eye cream to keep them moisturized and wrinkle-free.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo


Anastasia’s Brow Powder Duo is where the brows of your dreams have been hiding all this time. I used to used a waxy pencil to shape my eyebrows, but my life was changed (Is that weird to say about eyebrow powder? Probably.) when I bought this duo at Sephora. I shape my brows lightly with an angled brush, mixing the two shades, until they reach bold-but-natural nirvana.


benefit watt's up!


I actually got Benefit’s Watt’s Up! highlighter back in a Birchbox when I had one, and I’m still not finished with the sample size (but will totally buy the big guy once I am). The thing I love about this champagne-colored highlighter is how soft it is. Just enough to bring an understated highlight to your cheek and brow bones, not enough to look like you went sparkle happy at a six-year-old’s birthday party.



RMS beauty lip2cheek



Like with all RMS Beauty products, this Lip2Cheek tinted pot is organic and all-natural (something I’m really starting to gravitate towards in my beauty products). This tint is super pigmented and leaves you with a pretty, soft glow to your cheeks–kind of like you’ve just spend the day boating off the coast of Greece (or uh…at least what I imagine that might look like). Either way, super pretty, super good for you and the environment. Win win.



Lipstick queen lipstick in hello sailor



Scary looking, right? Trust me, you only look like you have hypothermia for a few seconds, then the scary blue of Lipstick Queen’s Hello Sailor Lipstick changes into a sheer berry that really mimics a natural (yet slightly pigmented) lip. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on this, and people are always shocked to see what it really looks like in the tube. Kinda like show-and-tell.



viktor & rolf flowerbomb


I definitely consider perfume to be part of my makeup routine–something about spritzing it or rolling it on at the end just makes the process feel complete. Allow me to introduce you to my signature scent: Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf. Or at least, what I think is fair to say is my signature scent considering I wear it every day and a friend once told me the smell comforted her because it always reminded her of me (all together now: awww). It’s floraly when you first put it on (hence the name) but quickly turns vanilla-y on me, which is exactly the type of scent I love. Very understated and not overpowering.



life changing beauty hacks

life changing beauty hacks



Alright, I’ll cop to it–no beauty hack I tell you will actually change your life (unless I figure out some magical way to wake up looking like a Victoria’s Secret model, in which case I may keep that to myself for a while…), but these are pretty darn good. I’ve always been beauty obsessed, but I also love ease. I want to try the new products and latest treatments as much as the next girl, but I think it’s important to have tried-and-true tricks in your back pocket that make every day beauty prep a cinch. Unless I’m going out, I don’t have much time to primp in the morning, and unless I’m winning the lottery (which hasn’t happened in a while), I don’t have much $$ to waste. Enter: a few of my favorite beauty tricks and hacks. They’ll have you looking at kitchen products in a new light, making the most of your current favorites and getting just a bit resourceful!


beauty hacks1



YOUR EYELASH CURLER Take heat to it! Sure, it works fine with your basic three steady pulses (root, middle, ends), but adding a bit of heat can really make the most of it. A quick blast of the blow dryer will increase the temp of the metal, leaving you with lashes that curl easier and stay curled longer. Caution: if you touch your eyelid skin with the hot metal, it will hurt. And then you might jump. And then you might pull out your lashes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


BABY TOOTHBRUSH Ladies, meet your new secret weapon. Couple it with your favorite strong hold hairspray to tame those annoying wispies at your hairline. Wet it and gently slough off dry skin from your lips during the harsh winter months. Buff the dirt out from underneath your nails pre at-home mani (Obviously don’t do this and your lips with the same brush. Ew). SO. MANY. OPTIONS.


SATIN PILLOW CASE Ditch that old cotton thing and just get yourself a satin one, princess. It will prevent breakage as you sleep, and allow you to max-out your blow out an extra two or three days (just be sure to sleep with your hair in a high pony secured by a scrunchie!). I imagine this is what it feels like to be royalty (don’t let it go to your head).


beauty hacks 2



CLEAR POLISH We all know clear polish can make even the most chewed up nails look presentable, but it can also stop a nylon run in its tracks, keep that fab costume jewelry from turning your finger or neck green and relieve bug bite itches. Needless to say, keep it around!


APPLE CIDER VINEGAR I’m a huge fan of kitchen-to-bathroom beauty hacks, and this is one of my favorites. Apple cider vinegar is an amazing purifier for your hair–mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part water and rinse through your strands to remove product residue and gunk, leaving it super shiny. Go one step further and use it on your skin as well…it’ll act as a natural toner (1 part vinegar to 2 parts water) and reduce the look of blemishes.


VASELINE Ah, the wonder drug…er, product. Seriously, there’s nothing this baby can’t do. Rub it on rough cuticles to soften them or on parts of your feet that get the most friction when you’re breaking in new shoes. Add it to a bit of crushed powdered blush to create a lasts-for-hours pigment, on your cheek bones for a dew-y highlighted look or on lips to dull an overly-bright lipstick. Really, it does it all.


beauty hacks 3



FINE SEA SALT To me, there’s nothing more important than a good scrub–it instantly refreshes my skin and makes it glow, especially when it starts to dull in this drab winter weather. My favorite easy combo? Virgin coconut oil and fine sea salt while I’m in the shower, done and done. Plus: five simple scrubs I created for Self Magazine.


ELASTIC RIBBON TIES Every girl wants that shampoo commercial moment–you know, you flip your hair and flowers and unicorns fly out and the whole room smells amazing. Well, from my experience, that rarely happens. Especially if, like me, you use heating tools which can give your hair that awful almost-but-not-quite-burnt smell. One of my favorite ways to bring fragrance to my hair is using ribbon hair ties and a few quick spritzes of fragrance. Spraying perfume on your hair directly can be drying, so I’ve found that spraying it on the elastics is a great way to lightly scent it. I usually spray my elastic (or sometimes roll my roller ball over it), put my hair up into a high bun while doing my makeup and getting dressed and then once I take it down, it’s “infused” with a fragrance that lasts the day.


BABY POWDER Baby powder is great to mop up grease at your roots (especially if you’re a blonde, or a light brunette) but did you know it can score you thicker lashes as well? Curl your lashes like normal, then apply one single coat of mascara to them. Roll an extra dry wand (like the kind you find at the sample tables in Sephora), in a bit of baby powder and dust onto your lashes, then apply another coat of mascara–it will stick to the powder and create mega-thick lashes (just be careful if you have contacts!) that could totally pass for falsies in a pinch.



be a date night beauty


source: Liz Von Hoene for Nordstroms 


We’re going to talk about date looks, but trust me when I say we’re not going to talk about the whole “here are beauty looks guys like so do this” thing. I’m a firm believer in wearing and rocking what you like–trust me when I tell you the guy you like will love it either way.


We are, however, going to talk about not overdoing it on Valentine’s Day–or any other date night. It hurts my heart when I see otherwise gorgeous girls caking on the foundation and piling on the bronzer for a night out with their guy, only to find that the cute-in-the-movies head on the shoulder moment turns not so cute when your guy’s shirt becomes orange. This Valentine’s Day, opt for a little sumthin’ sumthin’ like this:



Romantic, Retro Waves: These pretty curls are a step up from a normal straight or tousled look, but they stay out of that “too dolled up” territory. Keep ‘em soft and simple, and please–go easy on the hairspray. No guy wants to hear a distinct crunch when they go in for a hug! If you’re looking for a simple, easy tutorial, The Beauty Department has a great one. I plan on trying it myself for the blog once my hair grows a few inches (sigh!).



Soft, Pretty Makeup: When in doubt, go natural. A guy is out on a date with you to see you, not you and your entire Sephora collection. Choose a glow-y foundation (I love Make Up Forever’s Invisible Cover Foundation), a touch of blush and a good dose of mascara and you’re set. If you’re a perfume girl, spritz it on, don’t soak in it. And because I’ve never met a guy who looks good with a red lip (unless it’s from a 7-Eleven slushy), don’t rock a serious shade if you plan on a little kissing (which uh, you should). Go natural with a light cream lipstick or tint–something like Revlon’s Just Bitten Stain in Sweetheart is perfect!


What are your date beauty do’s and don’ts? Do share!


pretty holiday makeup looks

The best part of the holiday season (besides the food, of course) is dressing up for parties. I mean, how fun is it to be a girl these days?! With an unlimited amount of sparkle at our fingertips, the holidays are the perfect excuse to get a little extra fancy-pants. A perfect place to throw caution to the wind? Your makeup! Now’s the time to try that bold lip trend you’ve been eyeing, or paint on an extra coat (or three) of mascara. Here are a few pretty looks to help you shine, sparkle and smolder at every party you show up to this month. You can find me–at the dessert table–rocking a red lip!
What is your favorite holiday makeup look?

lip service


Lipstick is for adults. From the time I was a little girl playing in my mother’s makeup box, that was what I firmly believed. It seemed fancy, sophisticated and grown-up to me at the time–and it still does. Which explains why, in an effort to fit into adulthood, I find myself trying it out more and more. I think everyone can agree: the first time you wear lipstick it can be startling. As a dancer for thirteen years, I was used to donning stage makeup, but my first swipe of lipstick in everyday life seemed phony and forced. Slowly but surely (aka: after many weeks of wearing it around the house) I warmed up to the idea of lipstick–and in turn, fell in love with several shades.

Some of my favorite beauty looks for fall include minimal makeup with punchy lips in a great red, pink or a vampy burgundy (this one calls for guts, people!). I’ve rounded up some pretty picks for each shade and I’d love to know your fall favorites!

For deep burgundy lips try: 1|2|3

For punchy red lips try: 1|2|3

For vibrant pink lips try: 1|2|3

For smooth natural lips try: 1|2|3

 p.s. Also loving this lipstick tutorial and this DIY lip scrub!

steal her style: kate bosworth


I have always been obsessed with Kate Bosworth’s style–she embodies whatever she’s wearing in such a natural way, whether that’s on the red carpet, front row at Calvin Klein or exploring a city. What I love most about her is that her fashion choices aren’t unattainable–there are so many ways an average girl (like myself) can make it work for her lifestyle. Plus, did I mention she’s gorgeous and has a killer jewelry collab, JewelMint, with stylist Cher Coulter? Girl. Crush.

Since I’m always looking for ways to steal her style, I’ve picked out a few favorite Kate looks (both beauty and fashion) and found pieces inspired by them!





spray|bb cream|stain|lip stick|mascara

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summer beauty

Ah, summer. Touted as endless beautiful days, deep tans and sun-kissed highlights. In reality though, summer can come with burns, greasy skin and a halo of frizz. If there was ever a need for a beauty arsenal, now would be it. Above are some of my favorite products, credited with making me look marginally presentable in the summer months (check out my picks for winter here). However, if the humidity peaks above 70 percent, all bets are off.

1. Victoria’s Secret Vanilla Lace Perfume ($12)-Because the heat amplifies scents so much, I always opt for something light in the summer months. I usually spray on Twirl by Kate Spade or Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf, but this light Victoria’s Secret scent is perfect in the heat.

2. Revlon Detangling Comb ($5.14)- Every good curly girl knows brushing your hair when it’s wet is a HUGE no no. If you must, a wide tooth comb is the way to go. I always pack this in my beach or pool bag to detangle after a swim!

3. Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Balm ($16)- This unfussy lip balm gives the perfect kiss of color when you want to keep your makeup minimal (a perfect look for those easy breezy summer months!). I love the “chunky cherry” shade.

4. Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara ($6.40)- I’m somewhat mascara obsessed. I’m constantly on a search for which brand make my lashes look lush, yet somehow I always find myself returning to this old favorite. I grab a couple of waterproof tubes to stock up for summer-that stuff seriously doesn’t budge, even after an entire day at the beach.

5. Essie Nail Polish in Clambake ($8)- Toes are on full display for the summer, which naturally calls for a great pop of color. Clambake is the perfect red/orange shade–I find myself picking it almost every time I go for a pedicure. Some other favorites? Mango Bango, Fiji and Turquoise and Caicos.

6. Boscia Blotting Linens ($10)- Blotting papers are (in my humble opinion) essential for summer. For anyone who gets remotely greasy in the heat, these little papers will be a god send. They swiftly remove any trace of shine, while keeping your makeup intact. I always make sure I pack them whenever I go out in the summer!

6 (Part 2). NARS Illuminator in Laguna and Orgasm ($30 each)- Yes, I accidentally labeled two things #6. Whoops. Anyway–I’ve sung the praises of NARS Orgasm blush before–it’s no secret that I love it. The illuminating creme is the perfect summer adaptation of this staple, which goes on dewy and lasts for-ev-er. I have both the bronzing shade and the blush shade. Still obsessed.

7. Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray ($24)- This spray is key to perfecting that tousled “just-came-from-the-beach” hair. I spray this in after a day at the pool or beach–it has the perfect amount of hold that allows me to transition from lazy summer day to night out effortlessly.

8. Frederic Fekkai Coiff Controle Ironless Straightening Balm ($25)- I’ve long-lamented my frizzy hair here on the blog, and as you can imagine, it’s only amplified by the summer humidity. While this DIY hair mask goes a long way to help moisturize and tame my mane, I still need some major help if I’m going to attempt to blow out my hair. This Frederic Fekkai cream seems to do the trick every time, without making my hair appear greasy or sticky. I’ll take it!

9. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35 ($39)- I’m sure by now you’ve heard the buzz surrounding BB creams, and I have to admit I’m a convert. This Smashbox version has the perfect combination for summer: a light-weight formula paired with SPF protection. I slather this on when I want to go especially minimal with my makeup. It evens out your skin tone without feeling cake-y or thick.

10. Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen in SPF 30 ($9.49)- This should be by-far the most obvious summer essential! Admittedly, I haven’t always been as safe about sun protection as I should be, but as I get older I’m making a conscious effort to apply every day. This Neutrogena formula give me great sun protection and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin-even when I use it every day.

Do you have a favorite summer beauty product? Leave it below–I’d love to know!

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winter beauty


Early summer is the best beauty month–any girl can attest to this. Your skin is glowing from time spent outside, your hair is behaving (this is early summer, remember? No humidity yet) and you’re probably in pretty good shape (coughbikiniseasoncough).

Enter winter.

Your skin? Pasty and not a spec of glow in sight.

Your hair? Probably out-grown, positively over-due for a dye job and possibly in a ponytail (or maybe that’s just me…)

Your bod? Well…that’s what over-sized sweaters are for.

Case in point: if there was ever a time to build up on your beauty aresenal, these dreaded winter days would be it. Here’s a few products that help me make it through the four month freeze.

Laura Mercier moisturizer cream with SPF 15

I’ve tried lots of moisturizers, and still not one has come close to competing with this LM skincare classic. It quenches dry winter facial skin all day while leaving it soft–and not greasy–such a plus.

Aveda Rosemary Mint Body Lotion

The rosemary/mint combo in this lotion makes me feel like I’ve just left the spa (it’s got that smell…you know, the spa smell…No? Ok.) It also somehow keeps at bay the dry winter skin I inherited from my mom. Thanks a lot, genetics.

Nars Blush in Orgasm

I apologize for the decidedly inappropriate name of this blush. However, I am unapologetic about my love for this product. I swear, I will probably never use another blush again. Why try to compete with perfection? Brush on this iridescent powder and you’ll look EXACTLY like you just spent the whole morning outdoors (jeez…what did you think I was going to say?)

“All Hail the Queen” Nailpolish by BUTTER London

Winter is supposed to be all about dark nail polish, but somewhere between my third and thirteenth shade variation of maroon, I start to get a little sick of it. This BUTTER London shade has been my go-to shade when I want to bring in a little light.

 ExfoliKate Exfoliating Treatment by Kate Somerville

Don’t let the hefty price tag deter you; this is absolutely worth its weight in gold. I’m sure you’ve heard buzz about facial and skin care guru Kate Somerville–and for good reason. This gentle-but-powerful facial exfoliate sloughs away dead skin, leaving you glowing. A winter (and really, all year-round) staple.

MAC Lipstick in Russian Red

Just because the snow is white, doesn’t mean you have to carry the neutral palette over to your beauty routine. I recently purchased this amazing saturated red lipstick from MAC in order to add a little pop of color to my winter beauty routine. Ignore the fact that I have yet to muster the courage to wear it–I promise I will. Hold me accountable please.

LOFT Lace Dress, in stores now

While not exactly beauty related, this has been one of the best “winter” pieces I’ve snagged recently. Apparently, it’s very popular (i.e. sold out in store and online), so I must be onto something. It’s the perfect LBD with a twist, and I plan on jazzing it up with a metallic belt for holiday parties. Maybe I’ll get really crazy and add a red lip. Yikes!

Flower Bomb by Viktor & Rolf

I’m a terrible scent person. I usually can’t even step foot into a Yankee Candle without acquiring a massive migraine. The idea that I would switch from the ONE perfume that doesn’t bother me (the ever-charming Kate Spade TWIRL) made me laugh. Then I stumbled upon Viktor & Rolf’s Flower Bomb and changed my mind. While the scent alludes to fields of blooms (and hours of headaches, naturally) it’s actually much more woodsy and vanilla than you would initially think. This scent is warm and unique, perfect for cozy winter nights.

Voluspa Candles available at Anthro

While we’re on the topic of scents, I might as well expose you to the greatest thing since Yankee Candle (which I can’t go in–see above). While perfumes may bother me, candles make me positively ecstatic. Early winter is scented by the traditional Christmas Cookie or Balsam Tree candles, but what to turn to once Christmas has past (sigh, I don’t even want to think about it…)? Enter Voluspa Candles, sold at Anthro, among other locations. These. Are. Wonderful. And they burn forever. Don’t listen to me, just go get one.

There you have it, folks! What are your favorite winter beauty staples?