Thursday, January 31, 2013

My No- Heat Routine for Beachy Waves

Hello lovelies! Today I want to quickly share with you an easy routine I have found for creating undone, beachy waves. This look is staring two of my all-time favorite hair styling products from Bumble and bumble, the infamous Surf Spray and the Grooming Creme. This has been my go-to routine lately as it involves very little to no heat, makes styling my hair in the mornings practically effortless, and the end result looks like I put considerable effort into my hair (when in fact all I did was sleep in an extra 15 minutes).

I originally discovered this no-heat hair waving technique by watching this youtube video. With just a few tweaks, I've been able to create a process that seems to work perfectly with my slightly-wavy, long and thick hair. The natural texture of my hair is something that has always plagued me. I've never been able to let it just simply air dry because parts of it are so curly it almost looks crimpy, while the underneath sections are almost straight, leaving me with a half curly/wavy, half straight mess. Trust me, it's not really a cute look! In any case, I've always been drawn to the look of soft, effortless texture in hair and until now had used heating tools to achieve the look. I am glad to say that I find the results of this routine equal (if not prettier) to those I got spending 15 minutes in the morning curling my hair. I am by no means a morning person, so anything I can do to up the number of times I can hit the snooze in the mornings is good with me!


My Routine

Step 1: Wash hair the night before. Make sure hair is well conditioned.

Step 2: Apply a dime size amount of Bumble and bumble Grooming Creme through hair, avoiding the rootsComb product through hair with a wide-tooth comb.

Step 3: Let hair air dry, or if short on time blast hair with hair dryer on low heat.  

Step 4: When hair is 95% dry, spritz a liberal amount of Bumble and bumble Surf Spray through ends of hair up to about ear level (I generally avoid my roots).

Step 5: Section hair off into two parts on either side of head, like you are making pigtails. Starting near the temples, begin the rope-braiding technique from the video. Tie bottom of rope braid off with a small clear elastic. 

Step 6: Get some shut-eye!! ZZzzz

Step 7: In the morning, gently take out the rope braid and run fingers through hair to break up any twists. At this point you can choose to let your hair be. I generally apply some smoothing serum to the ends of my hair, and set everything with a light coating of hair spray.

My Best Tips

Through trial and error, I have discovered a few secrets that help guarantee a lovely end result. First off, make sure your hair is 90-95% dry when you put your hair in rope braids. This helps with proper wave formation overnight.

The smaller the section of hair you use when rope braiding, the more crimped your waves will appear in the morning. I generally recommend taking larger sections of hair than you think you need, for a more loose wave effect. I also do not recommend doing two separate rope braids on either side of your hair, vs. the end large one. This creates a much more crimped, 80's look.

If when you take the elastic out of your hair you are left with a funny bump, simply spritz a little water on the ends of your hair and smooth it out a bit.

There you have it! I hope you see some beautiful results with this routine!

Thanks for reading! 


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Shades! Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours

I have always been intrigued by the idea of cream shadows in stick form, but unfortunately had never been able to find a shade that appealed to me enough to purchase. As I am rather fair, I tend to go for more shimmery light to medium shades, and the original offerings from Laura Mercier in particular were far too smokey for me to wear on a day-to-day basis. That's why, when I discovered that Laura Mercier was releasing a multitude of new shimmery, lighter colors, I was over the moon. And let's just say, seeing them in person far exceeded my already high expectations!

According to the Laura Mercier website, the new shades offered are: Pink Opal (bright pink with shimmer), Grey Pearl (mauvy grey), Rosegold (dirty pink with golden shimmer), Mint Snow (aqua), Sand Glow (taupe with golden shimmer), Sugar Frost (golden beige), Orchid (violet), Seashell (golden shimmer), and Sterling (bright icy shimmer). 

The day I stopped by the Laura Mercier counter, I was lucky enough that the regional brand rep was visiting so we got to play and swatch all the new colors. She also did an eye look on me, and walked me through the most effective way to apply these creams. Although most people may think blending with your finger tips is most effective with shadows in this form, what she taught me is that these work amazingly well when blended with a fluffy brush such as a MAC 217. The combination of cream product and blending brush just creates a seamless and professional looking eye look. 

Let's be honest, after swatching the new colors on my hand, I spent the rest of my mall trip walking around like a woman possessed, repeating over and over again to my sweet boyfriend about how stunning these shades are (poor guy). But, seeing as how I'm not made of money  I settled on the two I thought I would get the most use out of. I took home Sand Glow, a complex taupe/ antique gold/ pewter (can you tell this color is hard to describe?) shade and Rosegold, a shimmering warm pink copper. I was also very drawn to Grey Pearl, which despite its name is a soft medium mauve toned taupe. 

Left is Sand Glow, Right is Rosegold

After having these two shadow sticks in my possession for a few days, I can say I am incredibly impressed by the formula. I love how the metallic pigments catch the light and create a luminous effect around the eyes. The sticks themselves are creamy, blendable, buildable, long-lasting and just a joy to work with. The swatches on my hand lasted from my mall trip all through the night, even through my shower before bed. These babies do not budge! The color selection is also so unique and sophisticated. I think there is an offering for whatever you are looking for, be it light and illuminating to dark and smokey (more so in the original shades). 

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours swatched from top to bottom are Orchid, Sand Glow, Grey Pearl , Sugar Frost, Pink Opal, Seashell and Rosegold

Make sure to look out for upcoming FOTD's featuring these cream shadows!

What do you think of the new Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour shades? Anything that peaks your interest?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Today I'm Wearing #16: A Quick & Easy Weekend FOTD

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! The Winter chill seems to have momentarily lifted here in Northern California, so I've been spending as much time outdoors as possible before the rain and cold return. The pseudo-Spring weather has left me feeling partial to rather natural, light makeup looks the last few days. Just a little shimmer around the eyes, a bit of color on the face and lips, and I'm a happy camper.

For this look I used my Bobbi Brown BB Cream in Light to create buildable but imperceptable coverage on my face. I then followed up with a little Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Concealer under the eyes and on any blemishes. Everything was set with a dusting of MAC's Select Sheer Pressed Powder in NW20. 

To warm up my complexion, I buffed in a bit of Benefit's Hoola Bronzer and added some glow to the cheeks with tarte's Amazonian Clay Blush in Peaceful

For the eyes, it was all about subtle definition. With my finger tips I layered on MAC's Paint Pot in Rubenesque, a peachy gold shade, followed by a bit of bareMinerals Eyecolor in Nude Beach, a highly reflective nude pigment. I decided to forgo my usual gel/liquid liner and just used Stila's Smudge Stick in Stingray to tightline my upper lash line. No makeup look for me is complete without lashings of a volumizing mascara. I am currently testing out a sample of the new Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara (little sneak preview: I'm in love). 

As I kept the rest of my face quite neutral, I wanted a pop of color on the lips, just to keep things interesting. For that, I decided on my much-loved Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Bonbon, a flattering coral-pink shade.

Does the weather influence how you do your makeup in the morning? 

Thanks for reading xx

Lots of Love,


Friday, January 25, 2013

New Year, New Design!

 Hello Lovelies!  I am thrilled today to unveil to you my bloggeroo's new look! She's had a major overhaul, all thanks to the amazingly talented Dana of Wonder Forest. I've been wanting to take on this project for many months, and with the start of a fresh year, I figured now was as good a time as any.

 I couldn't be happier with the results! The beauty of working with a designer like Dana, is that she can take this little glimmer of an idea and help it blossom into a full-blown gorgeous reality. Dana was so patient with me, even when I (mildly) obsessed over the smallest details. She really listened and took to heart the overall feel I was going for and through the process was able to capture my personal style and personality so perfectly.The result far exceeded anything that I could have created on my own.

Please excuse me if there are still a few little kinks that need to be ironed out here and there, but I just couldn't wait to share the exciting news! 

If you have any questions at all about my experience working with a designer or my layout in general, I'm more than happy to chat 


Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Little Retail Therapy

 I know it's  not a good habit to build, but what girl hasn't turned to retail therapy every once in a while when life has got her down? Last week was just one of those weeks. Nothing seemed to be going quite my way and by mid-week I really needed something to get me out of my funk. Luckily, my week got considerably more cheerful with the acquisition of a few little treasures courtesy of Kate Spade, Bobbi Brown and Chanel. Now I know I made some grand claims that January would be a month of no-buys but hey... my will-power is shaky at best when it comes to shopping. Maybe I'll have more luck next month. In the meantime, I'll find joy in sharing with you my new little beauties!

I believe these earrings from Kate Spade are new for Spring. I had been eyeing them on the Kate Spade website, and when I walked into the store and saw them sparkling on the little stand,  I just couldn't resist. I'm not normally a massive fan of dangling earrings, but the color and simple design of these ones really drew me in.

I have almost entirely used up my tarte Amazonian Clay Smooth Operator Tinted Moisturizer. Although I love that product, I was up for a little experimenting, and so I decided to give the Bobbi Brown BB Cream a try. So far I'm loving how this makes my skin look natural yet seamlessly perfected. I plan on writing a full review once I've had more time to play with it.

Last, but certainly not least, I made a B-line straight to the Chanel Cosmetics counter. Nothing makes my makeup-freak brain more giddy than seeing those little black and gold boxes thrown into a shopping bag! I picked up two Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Beryl, a soft lilac color new for Spring 2013, and Taupe, a complex shimmering plum taupe. I also nabbed my first Rouge Coco Shine in Sourire, a stunning but wearable sheer golden pink. The sales lady was also kind enough to throw in a sample of their new mascara, Le Volume de Chanel. I am sure I will get plenty of use out of these products, especially as we make our way into the Spring season.

Swatches from Top to Bottom are Le Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Taupe and Beryl, and Rouge Coco Shine in Sourire.

Have you ever been guilty of a little retail therapy?


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

First Impressions: Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation

Hello Lovelies! You may have seen a blog post a few weeks back on a beauty haul I did while on vacation in Southern California. Included in that mini haul was the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation. This is marketed as a matiffying liquid-to-powder foundation, ideal for combination or oilier skin types. At the time I was so excited to find this foundation in a San Diego Sephora, as it had proved incredibly difficult to find in Northern California after Hourglass pulled it off the shelves to redo the packaging. I had high hopes that this would be my new HG face product, but as you will see, the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation fell short for me.

Getting off on a positive note, I will start with the pros of this product. This foundation comes in a luxurious hefty metal tube that is very sleek and sexy looking. The newly improved pump is great for dispensing the correct amount of product, thereby reducing waste, and is also more sanitary than non-pump packaging. As for the formula itself, I did find that it lived up to it's claims and helped cut down on the shine through my t-zone over the course of the day. I would say I noticed about a 50% decrease in the oiliness of my skin throughout the day vs. my normal routine of tinted moisturizer. I think it is important to mention that although Hourglass says you can skip setting powder all together when using this foundation that I did still powder my face in the morning.

Now for the cons: The main fail for me was the color range (or lack thereof I should say). I picked up the lightest color offered, Porcelain. A little background info, I am fair with neutral skin tones. I generally go for NW20 products in MAC cosmetics. The problem that I came across with the shade Porcelain is although the shade was light enough for my complexion, it was much too yellow-toned for me. As you can see in the photos, the color in no way blends seamlessly into my skin. As a result, I found this foundation very hard to blend and make look natural. I also found that it made my face look more sallow and unhealthy. Never a good thing!

My other complaint with the formula is that it was not the most user friendly. It sets very quickly, so you have to blend fast! Because it sets to a powder finish, it is very hard to even things out once it dries. I found the best application method for me was with my fingertips. I don't feel that a traditional foundation brush would work well with the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation. Hourglass recommends using their synthetic foundation brush, which reminds me of a less dense Real Techniques Buffing Brush.

Also, I can't say if this foundation is what definitely caused the issues, as I only wore this foundation for two days, but I did notice some breakouts on my skin the nights after wearing this. My skin is very reactive and often times even makeup that is touted to be noncomedogenic causes my skin to break out.

So, overall I am not completely dismissing this product. Unfortunately, I just couldn't make it work for me. If you are willing to work around the poor shade range and can find an application technique that works for you, this may be the ideal product to combat slick skin. Just make sure you are color matched before purchasing! 

Have you tried any Hourglass products? What were your experiences with them?

Thanks for reading!

Lots of Love,


Sunday, January 13, 2013

tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Collection

I have been on a particular tarte cosmetics kick the last few weeks. I love that this brand makes natural beauty products that are still approachable, fun and modern. One of my all-time favorite offerings from tarte cosmetics is their line of Amazonian Clay 12- Hour Blushes. So, today I thought I might share with you my little collection!

These beauties come in a wide range of color options, are high quality, finely milled, and easily blended on the skin. I can't imagine ever hitting pan on one of these because of how pigmented they are. Happily, I find that these blushes live up their name-sake of being long-lasting. I'm not sure about 12 hours, but I would say they last at least 8-10 hours on my skin before I like to reapply.

Their claim to fame is tarte's Amazonian Clay, a white clay harvested from the Amazon river which is said to be a skin savior, able to balance both dry and oily skin areas. As a person with combination skin, I have had absolutely no issues with these lasting smoothly throughout the day. No patchiness or uneven wearing. Another important thing to mention, is these blushes have never caused an allergic reaction or any breakouts to my sensitive skin.

Also, as most women do, I have a deep appreciation for beautiful packaging. I feel that tarte hit the nail on the head with these adorable color-coordinated blush compacts!

Natural Beauty

Natural Beauty is one of my newer purchases. It is a strawberry-red color which can look very intimidating in the pan. However, once dusted on the cheeks it gives you that "I just played out in the snow" flush that so many of us love. It is more of a statement color though. When wearing this blush, no matter how lightly applied, I like to keep my eye makeup lighter and neutral, as not to compete with the cheeks. As you can see from the swatch, this color is extremely pigmented and the only brush I have found that perfectly distributes this color on my fair skin is the MAC 187, a duo-fibre brush.


Peaceful was included in the tarte Glow Your Way to Gorgeous makeup kit I picked up in the after- Christmas sales on Since receiving this blush, I have without fail reached for this color every morning when getting ready for the day. I can best describe this as a luminous, shimmering peachy-bronze shade. It does wonders for my tired morning complexion! This is the only one of the Amazonian Clay Blushes that I own that is not matte. I believe Peaceful is being released for Spring 2013 along with three other shimmering shades. 


Dollface is the first tarte Amazonian Clay Blush I ever purchased, back in Spring of 2012. As you can see by the pan, it has been very well loved. Dollface is your classic neutral-toned baby pink shade. I alternate between using this or Benefit's Hervana (which I find looks similar once on the skin) when I'm looking for a more sweet, girly flush.


Blissful is a true peach, slightly-coral shade. Although this is a beautiful color, I find that it doesn't look quite right with my complexion. Something about the nuances of this color just look odd with my coloring. This isn't to say that this shade doesn't look amazing on women of many different skin tones though! 

Swatches above top to bottom are Natural Beauty, Peaceful, Dollface, and Blissful.

Do you own any of the tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes? I would love to hear what your favorite shades are!

Thanks for reading!

Lots of Love,


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Swatches & First Impressions: Burberry Lip Cover Soft Satin Lipsticks in No. 01, No. 08, and No. 10

I'm back today with a quick post to show you a few pics and swatches from the beautiful Burberry Lip Cover Signature Collection. Alongside the Poudre Signee de Chanel Illuminating Powder, this is the second half of the gift I purchased for my mother for Christmas this year.  The lipsticks are so lovely though, I just had to ask her for permission to swatch them for you all! The trio was available as a holiday set and included Burberry Lip Cover Soft Satin Lipsticks in No. 01 Nude Beige, No. 08 Tea Rose, and No. 10 Dusty Rose.

Lipsticks pictured above are from left to right: No. 01 Nude Beige, No. 10 Dusty Rose and No. 08 Tea Rose.

As with the entire Burberry makeup line, the Lip Cover Soft Satin Lipsticks are exquisitely packaged in heavy metal tubes with the signature Burberry pattern on the outside, and a magnetic closure. The Burberry pattern is also embossed on the actual product itself. I can imagine feeling very chic indeed pulling these out of one's purse!

From what I can tell playing around with these lip covers for the few minutes  I did, the formula of these lipsticks is incredibly luxurious and easy to wear. They are ultra lightweight and glossy, yet still adequately pigmented.  On the lips they feel incredibly comfortable and hydrating. The one downside I can imagine is that they are not the most long-lasting but sadly that is the case with most balmy or glossy lipsticks.

Swatches from left to right are of No. 08 Tea Rose, No. 10 Dusty Rose and No. 01 Nude Beige. Of the three my absolute favorite, and the one I might actually consider purchasing for myself was No. 08 Tea Rose. This is a stunning , vibrant fruit punch color that I think would look just beautiful for Spring or with a tan in the Summer months.

Overall, I have been very impressed by all the products from the Burberry Cosmetics line I have experimented with. If your budget allows it, I highly recommend going to your nearest Burberry counter and having a quick play! 

Hope you all have a relatively painless start to the work week!

Lots of Love,


Friday, January 4, 2013

Today I'm Wearing #15: butter London La Moss

butter London La Moss nail polish is a deep, vampy black cherry color. This sort of shade is a departure from my normal bright reds and girly pinks, but I  am really enjoying the change. Depending on the lighting this oxblood shade can appear borderline black at times but there is enough warmth keeping it from looking gothic. I find it a wonderfully chic option for the Fall and Winter months.

My only complaint with La Moss is that the formula is a tiny bit streaky. I needed 3 coats to reach full opacity. Once on though, the formula of La Moss is extremely shiny and eye-catching. If longevity isn't a concern of yours (lazy girl here!), you might even be able to get away with skipping a top coat all together. 

Well hello there lil' Mister!

What's on your nails at the moment? Thanks for reading and hope you have a great weekend xx

Lots of Love,


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Best of 2012

Instead of doing my normal monthly favorites, I decided this time to jump on the beauty bloggin' bandwagon and do a "Best of 2012" post. I've been enjoying reading these posts on other blogs so much that I wanted to put in my two cents. In order for products to make this list they had to meet a few requirements, mainly that I had used them for at least a season or the majority of the year, and that I had discovered them in 2012. If I had included the new products I discovered just in December, this list would probably be double the length! It was actually quite interesting to go through my old posts and see the progression of products that I used over the year. Who know, it might be fun to see if any of your favorites made my list as well!

Skin Care

Shiseido Urban Environment Oil- Free UV Protector (review here)

Kate Somerville Nourish Daily Moisturizer (review here)

Clarisonic Mia

Hair Care

Bumble and bumble Brilliantine (review here)

Fekkai PrX Conditioner (not pictured, review here)


Benefit the Porefessional Primer (review here)

tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturizer (review here)


NARS Blush in Madly (review here)

tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Dollface (review here)

Benefit Box o' Powder in Hoola (review here)


Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Barely Beige

NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Kalahari

Urban Decay Naked Palette

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner


Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm

Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Bonbon


Butter London Nail Polish in Saucy Jack

Essie Nail Polish in Cute As a Button (review here)

Seche Vite Top Coat


Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia (review here)

What were your stand out products of 2012?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Vacation Haul (Sephora & Ulta)

Hello Lovelies! Happy 2013! I hope you all enjoyed your New Year's Eve!  I am so happy to be starting on a clean slate in 2013, as 2012 was honestly a pretty bumpy ride for me. I have many personal goals set for myself this year to work towards as well as changes coming to my blog that I am looking forward to!  I have a feeling this year is going to be great!

Today, I wanted to share with you a few items I picked up this past week while on vacation. It's funny because these items aren't necessarily anything I couldn't find back at home... but there is just something about being on a trip that throws your inhibitions out the door. However as a result of all of this over the top spending, I have come to the decision to put myself on a strict no-buy regarding cosmetics in January. Realistically,  I really don't need any more makeup or skin care, but God knows I'm sure something will come along that I want. The only exception I am allowing myself until February is if I run out of something such as makeup remover or face wash.

So, please keep in mind that if all goes well, this will be my last haul for a few weeks. In any case, check back later this month for reviews on the items pictured above! 

From Sephora: 

Oscar Blandi Pronto Texture and Volume Spray
I love the Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo and wanted to give some of his other products a try.

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation
I have heard that this foundation is the Holy Grail for those suffering with oily skin. My skin has been especially oily as of late, so I am willing to give anything a try. This little sucker was so incredibly hard to track down though! Apparently Hourglass pulled it off the shelves a few months ago to fix issues with the packaging/pump and it was only released again on the market in December. I had checked both Sephoras near me in Northern California with no luck, so I was very excited when I walked into a Sephora in San Diego and found it!

Benefit the Porefessional 
This is my favorite everyday primer. I used up my last tube, so this was a replacement.

Benefit Box o' Powder in Hoola 
My go-to bronzer. Hoola looks incredibly natural and never orange or muddy on my complexion. Another replacement for me. This had to be the first time I have ever used up an entire powder cheek product! Snaps for me!

Sephora VIB 500 Point Perk from Stila
For those of you that have amassed enough VIB points at Sephora, they have an amazing 500 point perk available right now! This little set from Stila contains a full-size lip gloss in Apricot, as well as a full-size Smudge Stick in Stingray (black). If that isn't enough of a steal, there is also a mini waterproof mascara and luminizer thrown in there for good measure.  I suggest you pick this perk up before they run out!

From Ulta:

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
I bought this up to apply the Hourglass foundation from Sephora.

butter London Nail Polish in La Moss
A beautiful Oxblood shade. In the bottle it looks almost identical to one of my favorite shades from Essie, Wicked.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Metals Collection in Inked in Pink and Barely Branded
I have been searching high and low for these new Color Tattoo shades! I actually grabbed the very last ones in both of these shades at the Ulta in San Diego. I am particularly happy that Maybelline is adding the light champagne color, Barely Branded, into their permanent collection. The limited edition version from earlier in 2012, Barely Beige, has been my go-to primer when I wear shimmery eye looks.