my beauty basics

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it’s been a while since i’ve shared my favorite beauty essentials, so this post is long overdue. especially considering how i painstakingly search for and try new beauty products all of the time. really! i could probably have my own beauty blog if i wasn’t so shy about showing pictures of my face, haha. i don’t have makeup artists skills or anything like that, but i am addicted to testing out every lotion, soap, and cosmetic out there. at least when it comes to daily beauty looks. i don’t experiment a lot with flashy makeup, but if you want to know about waterproof liquid liners or lip and cheek stains, i’ve probably tried them all.

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first aid beauty ultra repair hydrating serum – i’m actually a fan of a lot of first aid beauty products, but this has been my go-to serum for a while now. everything about this serum is ideal, from the opaque packaging that protects it from breaking down in the light to the pump dispenser that keeps your fingers from contaminating the product with germs. and of course, let’s not forget that it is filled with loads of antioxidant ingredients and doesn’t include any potentially irritating ingredients like fragrance or essential oils.

glossier priming moisturizer – truth be told, i first got into this line of products because i was drawn to the packaging. but it totally lives up to the hype! i am obsessed with anything including hyaluronic acid because it works instantly to plump up your skin. not kidding. it has a kinda fluffy, lightweight texture to it that is ideal for my skin type. which is, honestly, just regular skin, or what most people refer to as combination. my friends with dry skin say this isn’t heavy duty enough, but i find it to be perfect. i’m also a big fan of first aid beauty skin rescue oil-free mattifying gel as a moisturizer. especially good for oily skin or in the summertime when you need something lighter.

marc jacobs under(cover) perfecting coconut primer – this one was a bit of a surprise for me because i’ve never really seen the need for product primers, and i’ve never tried any marc jacobs cosmetics before. but this stuff is awesome! particularly if you are a fan of coconut oil and want to avoid silicone-based primers while still achieving a smooth surface for makeup application. i don’t have a problem with silicones, but i do love coconut oil and it’s just a really great product.

glossier coconut balm dotcom – i use this for essentially the same reason as i like the marc jacobs primer. coconut! other than that, it’s basically just vaseline, which is fine by me when it comes to hydrating my lips.

bareminerals complexion rescue – this has been my daily go-to since the product first launched. full disclosure, i received my first bottle as part of a paid promotion, but have since used multiple bottles until the very last drop. it’s kinda like a tinted moisturizer or cc cream (which are basically the same thing). not moisturizing enough to use without a lotion first, but that’s ok because it’s really meant to be used as a sheer foundation. if you have acne or anything like that, it won’t do much to cover it, but if you’re just looking for something to even out you skin tone while giving you that glowy look, then you will love this stuff. it’s a bestselling product, so they also recently introduced an expanded line of colors, which is even better. if you want something with more coverage, i live by the make up for ever ultra hd foundation. it’s highly pigmented, comes in a million colors, and is buildable so you can do either a really sheer wash or layer it on for complete coverage.

clinique all about eyes concealer – as far as concealers go, this is one of a handful of favorites. i’m featuring it mostly because it’s what i am currently using. i tend to cycle back and forth between this, the tarte maracuja creaseless waterproof concealer, and the nars radiant creamy concealer. they’re all really good. the downside to the clinique one is that they don’t have a ton of shades, so this might not work for you if you have darker skin or just a harder-to-match color. i use the light petal color which is kinda peachy, but i like that because it helps to color correct my dark under eye circles.

glossier boy brow – as with a lot of the glossier products, this isn’t revolutionary, but it is really great. i have been a huge fan of brow pomade since forever. it used to be, if i wasn’t going to wear any makeup, i would still just apply a brow pomade. this one is really nice for when you just want a natural look to enhance your brows. definitely not a precision tool, but that’s kinda why i like it. just a casual, easy look when you’re not trying to look done up. if you want more recommendations, i love everything by anastasia new york, especially the dipbrow pomade. you can use a really precise angled brush with this if you prefer something a bit more exact.

rms lip2cheek – these tiny pots of lip and cheek stain have some serious pigmentation to them. i was kind of turned off by the price tag for how small it is, but then i realized it’s because it will last forever and ever. i like the ethos behind the brand, and they have a ton of different natural shades that i enjoy. i’m also a big fan of the josie maran coconut watercolor cheek gelee and glossier generation g. oh, and i always have a bottle of the original benefit benetint. i’ve used it since i was 15 years old and let’s just say that’s more than half of my life at this point.

 

this post is not sponsored in any way, but i did use affiliate links and i’m sharing my link for 20% off your first purchase from glossier because who doesn’t love a discount?

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a breath of fresh air

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as i’m sure you can imagine, with a 2-month-old and a 2-and-a-half-year old, i’ve been in pretty desperate need for some “me time.” especially during the postpartum period when i’m still dealing with a major drop in hormones and everything that comes along with it. my hair hasn’t started falling out yet, but my skin has done a complete 180 from slightly oily to completely dried out. it’s not a huge deal in the scheme of things, but it’s definitely one of those small frustrations that stacks up against you when all you want to do is feel normal. so i was pretty excited when luzern labs asked me if i’d be interested in trying out a fancy spa treatment at the peninsula spa in beverly hills using their sustainably-harvested, organic swiss extracts and ingredients.

my entire pregnancy, i was careful to avoid any ingredients that could be potentially harmful to the baby, which meant saying goodbye to my beloved vitamin a treatments. it also meant that my skin was seriously overdue for some deep exfoliation and intense moisture. thankfully, luzern’s products are all natural and free of toxic ingredients, synthetics, and chemical preservatives, so i knew i was in the right hands. my spa treatment consisted of a custom luzern facial and my very first oxygen treatment. the aesthetician sloughed off tons of dry skin and helped plump things back up with the help of some concentrated serums delivered through an oxygenated mist. it was relaxing and surprisingly refreshing at the same time and i kid you not, when it was all over, i felt like i looked years younger. i didn’t even realize how much all of the sleep deprivation and dry skin was aging me. it was definitely the pick-me-up that i needed to start feeling a little bit more like myself after all of the changes that i new baby brings.

after everything was done, i also got to go home with a few serums and lotions to continue using at home. i picked out the serum absolute rehydrate oil, radiance, and the force de vie pure oxygen lotion and have been using them religiously ever since. my hormones are starting to balance out, and these products are making a huge difference in keeping my skin bright and hydrated in the meantime, which is especially helpful when things are so busy that i can’t always get to my makeup routine!

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calivintage - luzern labs organic skincare
calivintage - luzern labs organic skincare

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#loveyourhair with dove

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over the years, i’ve worn my hair a lot of different ways, but one look that will always define my style is a short, blunt bob. and today, i am excited to have partnered with dove hair to share my own hair story. my mom still recalls the first time i requested the cut at the tender age of 7. i was the type of kid who danced to the beat of my own drum, and apparently, i very confidently picked out the style from the selection of books at the hair salon. the hair stylist asked me one last time if i was really sure, before snipping off my long brown locks into a short little bob. of course i loved the look because i felt so very daring for chopping off my locks. but when i got to school, the other kids were less impressed. i didn’t get teased, but i definitely recall that none of the other girls in class wore their hair short. and while i definitely opted to embrace my look, it still made me feel “different” in a way that was hard for me to understand at that age.

over the years, i mostly kept that same short cut. and as i got older, i decided to experiment even more. in 8th grade, i cut my hair even shorter. and by freshman year, i was rocking a pixie cut in every shade of the rainbow. i tried pink, turquoise, purple, and orange. it got to the point where i didn’t even know what color my hair was underneath all of those bottles of bleach and punky colors. but of course, there was alway someone nearby to judge my looks. i can still remember boys telling me i would be “prettier” if i let my hair grow long. my teachers would roll their eyes at my rebellious phase and inform me that my looks would never be acceptable in a professional setting. even my mom, who was definitely very supportive of my choices, occasionally suggested that perhaps i should wear earrings or makeup to look a bit more feminine. but all of the commentary only made me more determined to prove them all wrong. i knew in my heart that there was no one way to be beautiful, and i didn’t want anyone to define what that was for me.

fast forward more years than i care to count, and i still have that same resolve. i may have gotten over my rainbow-headed punk days, but i’ve still remained true to myself. sure, i’ve tried longer locks. but i’ve also tried bowl cuts and more pixies. and i have always, always come back to that same blunt bob. something about it just seems to suit me. when i wear my hair short, i feel light and liberated. it gives me a sense of strength and confidence. and isn’t that what beauty is really all about?

dove hair is committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, and not anxiety for women. celebrate how you #LoveYourHair by sharing photos of your own unique, beautiful hair on instagram, twitter, and facebook. visit dove hair on pinterest for more inspiration, and watch the dove love your hair film.

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cleaning up with kleenex

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i have to make a confession. as much as i talk about how important skincare has become for me, i have a very bad habit of going to bed without washing my face. i don’t wear a ton of makeup, but it’s enough that i know it’s a bad idea to hit the pillow without removing it! my excuse? it’s really easy to forget those bedtime routines when all of your energy is focused on getting a toddler to sleep on time. especially now that i’m in the last few weeks of my pregnancy and i have zero energy. sometimes i kinda just collapse in bed and forget to take care of the basics. so when kleenex asked if i’d be interested in teaming up to try their new facial cleansing products, you know i was on board. they’ve just released this new line of products, including facial cleansing wipes, exfoliating cushions, and eye makeup removers. it’s not a whole cleansing system, just a collection of products with a range of solutions to help you clean up. they’re particularly useful to keep by your bedside if you’re a sleep-deprived mamas like myself, but they’re also perfect to pack in your bag for a trip, or to keep in your gym tote for a quick refresh before or after a workout.

since my nightly routine of crashing in the bed after putting a toddler to sleep is a little less than glamorous, i decided to take some silly pictures instead. enjoy! and check out the new products available exclusively at kleenex!

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and as always, thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that make this blog possible!

 

 

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clinique smart

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it may not always seem like it as you scroll through the photos on my blog, but life with a toddler (and being 29 weeks pregnant!) is actually pretty hectic. after adam was born, i made a huge decision and quit my day job to stay at home full-time to be his primary caretaker. in addition to working full-time as a blogger and vintage seller! it was a major shift. i can still remember those early days when i was alone with him, tip-toeing to the bathroom and attempting to wash my face and put on a little bit of makeup before he woke up in the morning. and later, when he started crawling, i would have him “help” me get ready. only for him to wander just out of view so he could unravel an entire roll of toilet paper and tear it into tiny bits! these days, things are a bit more relaxed when it comes to the morning routine. he knows the drill, and often hangs out with me at my vanity while i get ready for the day. a big part of what makes it easier is to have a foolproof routine with as few steps as possible, while still reaping the benefits of smart ingredients like antioxidants and spf. taking care of my skin has meant that i can get away with wearing less makeup, which has made a huge difference in the amount of time it takes me to get ready every day. so when clinique asked me if i’d be interested in partnering-up to try the clinique smart system, i was definitely on board.

i’ve been a long time fan of clinique products, so i was excited to give their new 4-in-one system a try. the idea behind the product line is to visibly reduce wrinkles, even skin tone, firm, and brighten skin with formulations that will work for every different skin type. it’s a smart yet simple routine that makes getting ready stress-free. the less time you have to spend worrying about your skin, the more time you have to take care of everything else on your plate. speaking of which, i should probably get to work on the nursery!

if you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, i’ll be giving away a jar of the broad spectrum spf 15 custom-repair moisturizer and night custom-repair moisturizer on my instagram later today!

wearing:
vintage dress, hand-overdyed with natural indigo
brookes boswell panama hat
birkenstock arizona sandals
j.w. hulme legacy handbag

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valentine’s date night in

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even before we had adam (and before i was pregnant with a second), brendan and i have always kept our romantic endeavors pretty low key. as fun as it is to go out on the town, sometimes it’s nice to drop off the baby with a sitter and just relax at home. it’s always been really important for us to be able to just hang out and talk to one another. to catch up on what’s going on in life, to talk about politics or parenting, to hash out future plans, or to just goof off. even though it might sound ordinary, it’s really what’s kept us together these past 10 years, babies or not!

this year, i’ve been especially mushy and sentimental about valentine’s day… i’m gonna chalk it up to these crazy pregnancy hormones! but i wanted to make a point to have a romantic date night in with brendan. obviously, this is a no-frills endeavor, but it’s still fun to do a little bit of prep! setting out flowers, picking up a few sweet treats, and pampering myself just a little bit. fortunately for me, vaseline has just released their new lip therapy tins, so i’ve partnered with the brand to give them a try.

over the past couple of years, i’ve transitioned into wearing less makeup and focusing more on skincare, which includes making sure my lips are soft and moisturized. i tend to spend more time trying out scrubs and face masks over going all out with makeup. i usually wear a tinted moisturizer with a dab of blush and some mascara. if i’m feeling fancy, i’ll swipe on a flick of eyeliner. and i have lots and lots of lip balm. so of course i was excited to try the new vaseline lip tins. i love the minimal, almost vintage aesthetic of the packaging. and of course they are perfect for a date night in, or as part of my daily routine, especially during these dry winter months when my lips tend to get chapped.

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a selection of the new vaseline lip therapy tins: original, cocoa butter, rosy lips, and aloe. the tins can also be found at target stores nationwide.

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can you think of anything better than rosy lips on valentine’s day?

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a cute little cake arrived in the mail with my new lips tins. perfect to try on our date night in!

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a diy holiday

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over the past couple of years, my sister and i have inadvertently started a new holiday tradition of getting together to make diy christmas presents. last year, we mixed up fancy bath soaks. and this year, we tried our hand at a little holiday care package including: a tinted lip balm, a brown sugar lip scrub, and a hydrating rose water spray to give as gifts to friends and family. finding the right gifts for everyone on your list can be a really harrowing process, but we’ve found that by slowing down and thoughtfully putting together a few luxurious products is almost always a gifting win. heck, even the process of making them becomes a mini spa experience with all of the essential oils wafting through the room. so without further adieu, here are a few recipes that you can pull together with simple household ingredients, even on the eve of christmas eve!

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rosewater facial mist

ingredients:

3/4 cup of distilled water

1/4 cup of rosewater

2-3 drops vitamin E oil (or any carrier oil)

2-3 drops rosehip seed essential oil

In a small bowl combine all ingredients and mix well. Oil and water doesn’t mix, so be ready to pour into your spray bottles immediately for a more uniform mixture in each. The fun thing about face mists is that you can play around with oils that you find calming. If you prefer a strong aroma of rosewater, then change the ratio to 1:1 with distilled water or even fill the entire spray bottle with only rosewater.

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coconut lip balm

ingredients:

2 tbsp grated beeswax

2 tbsp organic coconut oil

2 tsp carrier oil (anything from vitamin e to sweet almond oil to jojoba oil, which is what we used)

several drops of vanilla essential oil

In a small saucepan on very low heat, combine beeswax, coconut oil, and carrier oil.  Keep a watchful eye. Stir ingredients until all the beeswax has melted and immediately remove from heat. Over heating can ruin the texture.  Once off the heat, add in your essential or flavor oils.  Stir. Then, with a dropper, fill your container with the mixture.  This recipe is really open to interpretation.  If you prefer a softer lip balm with more shine, then change up the ratio between the beeswax and coconut oil – more coconut oil means a glossier, softer balm.  We love the simple mix of delicate coconut oil with vanilla, but we even played around with some adding peppermint oil.  To get a colored balm, we just added a chunk of lipstick to the saucepan while melting ingredients.  The more lipstick the stronger the color.

 

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brown sugar lip scrub

ingredients:

2 cups organic brown sugar

1 cup of oil (any oil or combination of oils will work, we used organic coconut oil with a few tsp’s of sweet almond oil)

In a small bowl, combine ingredients.  Since we used coconut oil, this involved us getting our hands a little dirty – using natural body heat to melt the coconut oil and combine with the sugar.  The mixture should be more dry and gritty than wet.  If you find it too wet, just add more brown sugar to the mix.  This base recipe can be dressed up by using essential or flavor oils. We decided to add some spicy ground ginger and allspice to the mix, along with a few drops of vanilla essential oil, for a warm holiday inspired aroma – again, play around with the amounts, a tbsp of each was enough for us, but you could omit one or the other or add more of both for a bolder flavor.

 

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#yourbesthair with living proof

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when it comes to doing my hair, i don’t tend to do a whole lot. call me a creature of habit, but i don’t really stray from my usual routine or the same old products that i’ve used for years. in fact, i’d say the bulk of my routine is really about getting frequent haircuts and then hoping that’s enough, haha. it’s not that i don’t want to try new things, i’ve just never been one to spend more than a few minutes getting ready in the morning, and i wouldn’t even know where to start when it comes to conditioners or serums or treatment masks.

but over the past several months (has it already been over a year?), i’ve started to get increasingly frustrated with this messy mop of hair. it always used to be predictable. my whole life, it’s been super thick and super straight, and as long as i went in for a cut now and then, i was good to go with my very minimal routine. but after adam was born, something changed. my typically pin straight hair started to bend. not a curl, not a wave, just a bend. this annoying bend that doesn’t seem to want to go here nor there. no, it’s not some major crisis, but it’s definitely been a challenge dealing with this new post-pregnancy texture. i don’t want to fight it, but i do think i’m long overdue for an update on how to manage this hair.

so when living proof asked if i’d be interested in partnering-up to try out their line, it was the perfect opportunity for me to break-free from my usual routine, and try some new products for my “new” hair. i used the product selector to choose a routine, and ended up with the perfect hair day shampoo and conditioner, as my base. some days, i coax it to go straight using the no frizz nourishing styling cream, but i’ve also been having a lot of fun adding more texture and wave.

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to get the look:

  1. start with the prime style extender cream on damp hair to prep for any look you want to achieve.
  2. i wanted to play up the texture in my hair, so after partly drying it with a blow dryer, i sprayed it with the instant texture mist to scrunch and twist it into place. it looks really cute like that, but you can also encourage a few loose waves with the help of a curling iron.
  3. my hair is still on the straight side, so i finished up with the flex shaping hairspray to keep it in place for the rest of the day.

the finished result definitely helps to make the “bend” in my hair look more textured and intentionally messy, as opposed to literally looking like i just rolled out of bed. it’s a fine line, people!

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this post was created in partnership with living proof.

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3-step skincare with clinique!

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remember last week when i tried out a few new shades of lipstick in partnership with clinique? well, since then, i’ve also been following the 3-step skincare system every day, morning and night. and i’m happy to report back that it’s been working out really well! one of the first things that jumped out at me about the system is that they don’t try to be one-size-fits all. everyone has different skincare needs, so it’s nice that they have a variety of different formulations depending on your specific skin type. they’ve got you covered whether you’re skin is very dry to dry, dry combination, combination oily, or oily. if you’re not entirely sure which category you fall into, you can schedule an appointment with a consultant at one of their locations, or you can take a little quiz on their website to get you started.

i know you can’t necessarily tell from a few photos, but i’m feeling really good about the improvements i’m already starting to see since starting the routine. a big part of that comes from simply taking the time to pamper my skin a little bit, and using products that are clinically tested, unscented, and gentle on skin. it sounds simple, but it’s so easy to forget! which really is a shame because when i think about it, i’ve actually been way too self conscious to even consider leaving the house without makeup on. and it’s been that way for a while. i wear makeup and neglect my skin, it starts to break out, i cover it up with more makeup, it becomes a vicious cycle. so being able to shoot these photos with only a bit of mascara and lip color was a surprisingly liberating experience for me, as cheesy as that may sound. but it really is true! we gotta take care of ourselves every now and then! or, you know, every morning and night with a little skin care routine.

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step one: cleanse

what i love about the liquid facial soap is that it’s super gentle and mild on my skin, but it completely washes off all of my crazy waterproof eyeliner and mascara at the end of the day without making my skin feel tight or dry. bonus points for being completely scent-free (like most clinique products), making it much less likely to irritate skin.

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step two: exfoliate

it’s so easy to forget to use a toner, but gently sweeping clarifying lotion across your face after cleansing and before moisturizing really helps to wipe away any excess oil, and clears your skin to help your moisturizer work better. since i’ve been using it, i’ve noticed a pretty big difference. my skin seems a just a little bit brighter, and my makeup seems to go on just little bit more evenly. who knew?

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step three: moisturize

i may be a bit biased because this classic little bottle of dramatically different moisturizing lotion has had a spot in my medicine cabinet since i was a teenager, but you really can’t go wrong with the lightweight, yet potent mix of skin-strengthening ingredients. you can smooth it over your entire face, or simply apply to areas that feel a little dry. i tend to focus mostly on cheeks and under-eye area.

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i’ve also been supplementing with a few other products that are even more specifically targeted for my skincare concerns. one of my favorites is the new pore refining solutions charcoal mask that i’m now using 1 – 2 times a week to help detoxify and clear my skin. it’s such a simple ingredient, but charcoal naturally draws out excess oil and impurities, and leaves your skin feeling fresh and smooth. i’m also a fan of the even better clinical dark spot corrector. it’s a nice serum that i’ve been squeezing-in between steps two and three to help lighten some of the acne marks left behind from previous breakouts.

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pop lip

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i know i don’t write about makeup all that often, but increasingly over the past couple of years, i’ve become totally obsessed with trying new skincare and beauty products. yet despite this little known fact, i still very rarely approach the beauty counter. i sometimes casually pass by when i’m at the mall and take a timid peek at the products, all neatly lined up in their shiny packages. but i tend to shy away if anyone behind the counter ever asks if i need help! so when clinique asked me if i’d be interested in making an appointment with one of their consultants, it was just the push i needed to finally try it out for myself. clinique has been a gold standard in the beauty industry for years, and they’re well known for having wonderfully formulated products with top notch staff, so i knew i would be in good hands.

when i arrived at the mall, i was greeted with a cute little menu of different options specifically targeted for whatever skincare concerns i might have. i got to rattle off my specific skin situation: that i have combination to oily skin with a tendency to break out. i have little dark spots from previous breakouts that kinda drive me nuts. and of course, i’m beginning to see the first signs of aging, and while i’m not trying to fight it, i know it’s important for me to up my skincare game. then we talked through what we would try and i got the luxury treatment: cleanser, my new favorite charcoal mask, the 3-step system, and an assortment of other products to compliment my new beauty routine. she explained the benefits of each product and talked about specific ingredients and addressed all of my concerns. i’ve been following my new routine every day, and will be reporting back with the results next week.

but for today, i wanted to talk about makeup! i tend to keep things pretty simple: a bit of foundation and concealer topped with a very light blush, mascara, and a swipe of liquid liner. i’m not really interested in contouring or a smoky eye, but i do love to play around with different lip colors. my consultant totally understood and let me guide the way, helping me pick a few colors from the new clinique pop lip collection to compliment my skin tone. it combines a bold, saturated color with a smoothing primer and a velvety finish. it’s moisturizing and surprisingly lightweight considering the bold pigment, which is a welcome change for me because i’d been trying increasingly dry, matte formulas that just weren’t as appealing to me anymore. pop lip still lets you wear a bright color, while still feeling totally comfortable all day long. so of course, i will now grace you with some silly photos of my new lip colors.

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wow pop is a demi-matte bubble gum pink shade.

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love pop is a demi-matte violet shade with little flecks of glimmer. i was surprised that this one turned out to be my favorite!

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cola pop is the darkest shade. it’s considered a demi-matte nude, and comes out as a classic neutral burgundy.

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grape pop is a demi-matte violet. it’s purple, but not so dark that it’s overpowering.

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