3-step skincare with clinique!


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.

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.

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?

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.


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.

pop lip


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.

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

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!

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

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

keep it simple


i know it probably doesn’t seem obvious from looking at my blog, but i’m actually really shy in front of the camera! i can be totally comfortable and feeling really good about my outfit or my makeup, but the moment the camera comes out, i suddenly slouch and my face gets stiff and i totally forget how to just act natural. it’s like that scene in 30 rock when jack donaghy has to film a promo video… my hands just start floating upward and into the frame, ha! so a big thanks to bareMinerals for asking me if i’d be interested in trying out their latest product, without which i might not be gracing you all with a bunch of silly pictures of my mug!

as part of my new year’s purging ritual, i recently went through my cabinets and got rid of a ton of stuff. i really like to try new beauty products, but sometimes i forget to be mindful of what ingredients i’m using on my acne-prone and slightly oily skin. if i really want a quick and easy beauty routine, i have to remember to start with ingredients that won’t irritate my skin or clog my pores. so of course, i was pretty excited to get my hands on the new bareMinerals Complexion Rescue, especially since i’ve really been paring down my beauty routine to only the essentials, which includes getting more comfortable with a little less coverage. the new formula is a gel cream which aims to combine the best of a bb, a cc, and a tinted moisturizer with sheer coverage and a very natural finish.  i find that it goes much better with my current makeup routine that my usual full-coverage foundation, which was starting to feel a bit too heavy when paired with just a swipe of blush and some mascara. my skin feels comfortable and natural, and i just have to use a dab of concealer here and there to cover up blemishes and dark spots.

as illustrated below, you can either smooth it on with your hands like you would a moisturizer, or use the Smoothing Face Brush for more even application. for this look, i added just a touch of blush on my cheeks, mascara, and a very minimal application of liquid liner.




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giveaway: under aurora


today i am super excited to announce my latest giveaway courtesy of under aurora. i’ve been obsessed with trying new skin and body care products lately, which is why i’m particularly happy to be able to offer you the chance to win one of each full-sized products from this 100% natural, cruelty-free line. the brand hails from columbus, ohio with owner tina de broux at the helm, who created the company with the belief that what we put on our bodies should always be simple, natural, and pure. and as someone who’s personally tested them, i can tell you that they are a delight to wear. my favorite is probably the coconut oil spray for not only it’s light coconut, calendula, lavender, and tee tree scent, but also the easy to use formula that you can spray on right when you hop out of the shower.

the winner will receive one each of the:
coconut oil spray a light oil spray that is 100% natural and made with soothing & healing plant botanicals. great for all skin types but specifically helps to soothe dry, itchy, sunburned, or irritated skin.
nourishing facial oil: this is food for your face. ingredients such as rosehip seed & carrot oil are packed full of vitamins. this nourishing facial oil is great for all skin types, even oily skin! golden jojoba oil is moisturizing for dry skin but it also thins the sebum, helping to prevent acne and regulate oil production for oily skin types.
brightening facial scrub: this luxurious sugar scrub will leave your skin feeling soft and supple with a healthy radiant glow.
all four of the botanical body sprays 100% natural, plant botanical body spritz. Hand-crafted using a unique blend of essential oils.

simply enter using the widget below:

enter to win the full product line by under aurora!

under aurora would also like to offer you 20% off all orders with code “calivintage” now through friday, october 31st!


i woke up like this

haha, jk. i don’t wake up in the morning all fresh and dewy with perfectly blemish-free skin. and i rarely leave the house makeup-free. like most people, my morning routine usually involves a bit of primping and preening before i show my face to the world. no, i don’t wear a whole lot of makeup on most days. a pop of bold lip color or a little flick of eyeliner are usually my weapon of choice, but i’m not impervious to pimples and other little speckles and spots and discolorations. if i’m not careful with what i use to even it out, then i’m almost certain to end up clogging my pores and repeating the cycle. for me, that elusive even skin tone with blemish-free skin requires a pretty delicate balance to achieve. so when bareMinerals asked me if i’d be interested in trying out their new bareSkin pure brightening serum foundation, i jumped at the chance.

a couple of weeks back, they sent me a few different shades to try (which i’ve been happily sporting in my past several outfit posts). the formula is definitely unique. it’s a mineral foundation, so it’s free of oils, silicones, parabens, and fragrance as you would expect with bareMinerals products, but it’s in a liquid formulation that goes on like a super lightweight, velvety serum. part of the secret to the application is to use the perfecting face brush. shake the bottle vigorously to make sure the pigment mixes evenly, then place two drops into the little reservoir for sheer coverage, four or more drops for something more substantial. when you first apply, you’ll be a little surprised because you can barely feel it on your skin, but if you layer it on, it can provide a completely full-coverage base. to give you an idea of the difference, i’m not wearing any foundation in the photo in front of the mirror below, but the image above is with six drops for complete coverage.

i know i don’t talk a whole lot about beauty on my blog, but i kinda consider myself to be a bit of a secret beauty junky. i am constantly on the hunt for the perfect [insert beauty product here] and can’t seem to pass by a sephora without stopping in to try a few new products. i read a lot about the ingredients and efficacy of said ingredients, and i try to take a scientific approach to what i’m putting on my skin. i avoid fragrance when i can, and i go for products that are practical and affordable. i may not be a pro, but the new bareSkin passed my test. i’ve been wearing it every day since i got it in the mail and have really enjoyed the weightless yet full coverage, and i appreciate that it’s hypoallergenic and made with the bare minimum of ingredients. it’s worked out well enough for my normal to combination skin that i can safely say that i’m a convert.

juniper ridge

back when i was still living in oakland, i started noticing these pretty bottles of beautifully-branded, scented soaps popping up in a few local boutiques. i had always been curious about the brand, so i was delighted when juniper ridge recently contacted me and asked if i’d like to test out their newest wilderness perfume. this oakland-based company is in the business of bottling-up the fragrances of the wilderness. they go out on backcountry hiking adventures to collect plants, bark, moss, and mushrooms which they use to distill beautifully-scented colognes and perfumes. their new winter redwood fragrance was inspired by the redwood canyons of mt. tamalpais. this dreamy fragrance has notes of “redwood needles, douglas fir pitch, sea grass, chanterelles cooking on the campfire, wood smoke in the cool evening air, jeans soaked through at the knees.”  it’s not the least bit over-powering, but instead, it lingers gently for only a few hours before i find myself opening the bottle to take a little sniff, and finding myself thoroughly homesick for those beautiful stretches of land just north of san francisco.

photos by me.

lip balm


i have a confession to make: i’m addicted to lip balm. it started as a healthy habit, tossing a little tube of chapstick into my purse to keep my lips moisturized throughout the day. inevitably, i’d misplace that little jar or tube and pick up another one while checking out at the grocery store. then i started finding myself interested in trying something new. gone are the days of being happy with my coveted dr. pepper lip smackers circa 1990, now i find myself lusting after the fancy packaging and pretty tinted hues of luxury lip balms. needless to say, i have now discovered that as i dig through my totes and handbags, or reach into the abyss of my sofa cushions, there always seems to be a pretty little lip balm waiting for me to try.

above are a few of my current favorites, neatly organized on my dresser tray. not pictured: probably 10 other tubes of partially used, melted, or disfigured specimens found at the bottom of beach bags or in the dryer after the clothes have been washed and dried, and a greasy mess has been deposited all over my whites…

have any favorites to add to the list?

lip balm


i remember when i first started this blog almost four years ago, my signature pose involved me sheepishly looking away from the camera. my friends would all tease me and imitate me by awkwardly posing and hiding their faces. it’s true, starting this blog was about sharing my outfit photos, not my face. people would sometimes leave comments asking me to smile or look into the camera, but if you haven’t figured it out, i’m not exactly a ham for the camera. to quote one of my favorite films, “i have no illusions about my looks. i think my face is funny.” and unfortunately for me, this is not a movie, and i’m no audrey hepburn. my bangs are usually crooked from my last home haircut, i rarely pluck my eyebrows, and my makeup application is far from perfect. this is not to say that i’m wallowing in a pit of self-hatred, it’s just to say that i don’t exactly consider myself to be a seasoned beauty expert.

be that as it may, i’ve still had my share of fun at the makeup counter, and over the years, i’ve cultivated a pretty solid routine when it comes to my signature look. this coming from a girl who never even wore makeup until her mid-twenties and who recently googled “what the hell is bb cream?” but if you were ever curious about how i paint my face, then here it is:


what's in my makeup bag

what’s in my makeup bag by calivintage

above are the items i use almost every day, give or take a step or two, depending on how much time i have in the morning.1. make up for ever hd foundation (i’ve found this to be one of the few brands that carries a light to medium olive toned foundation for my skin), 2. urban decay 24/7 waterproof liquid eyeliner in perversion, 3. tarte cheek stain in natural beauty, 4. stila eyeshadow in kitten, 5. beautyblender sponges, 6. lipstick, 7. smashbox photo set finishing powder, 8. mac brushes (including a lip brush, which is super crucial), 9. tarte maracuja creaseless concealer, 10. diorshow black out waterproof mascara, 11. smashbox bronze lights, 12. j.crew leather dopp kit.

the only thing i usually swap out is my lip color, so i’ve listed my favorites below:

favorite lipstick

favorite lipstick by calivintage

1. ysl rouge pur couture in le rouge, 2. mac russian red, 3. nars heat wave, 4. make up for ever in rouge artist intense in satin bright orange, 5. nars schiap, 6. ysl rouge pur couture in le fuchsia.

i also wear a couple of other shades not listed including ysl fard a levres rouge pur in rosy coral and radiant cosmetics moisturizing lipstick in peony. and if you’re looking for the best drug store lipstick, then i recommend revlon matte lipstick.


pretty pretty

i’ve been on a makeup kick lately, so i thought i’d share some of my most recent purchases with you!  nicole of fashion forestry recently turned me on to ysl lipstick.  i hadn’t bought myself fancy department store lipstick in a very long time, so i was beyond excited to discover these rouge pur lipsticks in le rouge, le fuchsia, and le orange. besides the fact that the colors are perfect, they glide on like a dream and are intensely moisturizing.  not to mention the classy packaging!
in terms of eyes, i’m loving my laura mercier undercover pot concealer and ysl touche eclat, which is basically a luminating highlighter.   when it comes to eyeliner, i’ve always done the basic black winged liner, and i’ve tried virtually every brand under the sun. i recently discovered this intensely long-lasting, waterproof eyeliner from mac called liquidlast liner.  the girl at the counter told me i could literally go swimming and it wouldn’t come off.  this is pretty awesome since i’ve always struggled with my mascara and eyeliner rubbing off onto the bottom of my eyes by midday. but beware, it’s a very thick and sticky formula, so you’ll need a very precise brush to apply without caking it onto your eyelashes in the process of application.