My Winter Skincare Routine

If you’re reading this and you don’t know me personally, you should know that I’m completely obsessed with skin. I’ve been getting so many skin questions lately, whether it’s what I’m using or what I recommend, I hope this post can help lead you in the right direction. My skin is something that I invest a lot of time and money in because I want to keep it healthy, and I’m all for self-preservation.

I believe in investing in quality products like cleanser, exfoliators, eye creams, serums, moisturizers, Botox/filler (in moderation), organic food and anything else that contributes to healthy and beautiful skin. I know it’s not always a priority for some people, but I try and budget to make it one. My skincare routine is very regimented, and you better believe that even on the latest night out I NEVER sleep with my makeup on (like I did in college sometimes…)! That being said, the products I’m about to go over with you work for ME, but everyone’s skin type is different.

It’s wintertime in New England, so what I’m using on my skin really depends on the weather. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I have combination/sensitive skin. In the winter, my skin is pretty dry, and in the summer it’s oily (mainly in my T-zone).

  1. Prior to doing anything to my face, I always start by removing all of my makeup. For that, I use a drugstore makeup remover that you can purchase at your local Ulta or CVS. Aveeno’s Ultra Calming Makeup Removing Wipes work great for me. It’s formulated for sensitive skin and is oil-free.
  2. After I take off all of my makeup, I cleanse. The cleanser I use is Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash. This product contains Glycerin, which is great for helping the skin retain moisture and feel soft. This is also formulated for sensitive skin and is paraben free.
  3. Once or twice a week after cleansing, I exfoliate my face and lips. Exfoliating your skin gets rid of dead skin cells that appear on the skins surface. It’s important to exfoliate clean skin so that you get the best results. Over-exfoliating your skin can lead to irritation and inflammation, which can lead to premature aging. For my face, I use M-61 Vitablast C Scrub and Mask. If you leave it on your face for 1 minute, you’ll get optimum results. For my lips, I use Eco Lipscrub in Vanilla Bean, which I picked up at Whole Foods. It’s made with actual sugar, so it tastes good on your lips. (Tip – In the winter I have SUPER chapped lips. For lip care in the winter I wear Lip Medex by Blistex to bed every night. It seems to work the best for me).
  4. Following cleansing or exfoliating, I use the Ultra Facial Toner from Kiehl’s. I don’t think that toners are necessary for everyone; I’m not a dermatologist by any means, but I think toners are good for people who get clogged pores. I wear a full face of makeup everyday (minus Sunday and Monday) and I work out 5-6 days a week, so I really like to take all steps necessary to keeping my pores small and clean. If you’re acne prone, toners are a must. It acts as an extra step of cleansing (removes excess dirt, oil, makeup etc.)
  5. My next step also isn’t necessary for everyone, but I use a serum for both my face and under eye. I feel like it brightens my skin, and hydrates it on a deeper level than just using moisturizer. At night only, I use Laura Mercier’s Repair Eye Serum. I only use it at night layered under my eye cream because I don’t feel like I need this twice a day. It’s an anti-aging eye serum that brightens and firms the under eye. For my face, I use the M-61 Vitablast C Serum; it includes active ingredients like vitamin c, e and gallic acid.
  6. After serum I apply my eye cream and moisturizer. Every morning and night (on top of eye serum) I use Clinique’s All About Eyes. It’s a super lightweight cream that helps diminish the appearance of my genetic under-eye circles. It’s not greasy and wears fine under makeup. For moisturizer in the morning, I use Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream. I use this during the day because, well duh, it’s called day cream. It’s also SPF 20, which is great because I always like to have SPF on my face, whether it’s in my moisturizer, makeup, or setting spray (SUPERGOOP). This day cream also wears great under makeup. At night, I rotate between a few depending on how my skin is feeling. Sometimes I sleep in an overnight mask (Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Mask – for when my skin is extremely dry or Fresh Black Tea Overnight Firming Mask – usually once or twice a week. Both of these masks I talked about in this post). The two moisturizers I rotate between when I’m not sleeping in a mask are both by Kiehl’s – either Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream or Kiehl’s Ultra Deep Moisture Balm. The moisture balm is extremely thick and should only be used on very dry skin. I won’t use this more than once a week.

I follow these steps in the morning and at night (unless I said differently for certain steps above). If you’re looking to improve your skin, you have to be open to trying new things and sometimes having them fail. You need to be patient, results don’t usually happen overnight. The products and routine above is what works for me, and that doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everyone else. When you do find something that you like and that works, stick to it and be consistent. I’m always trying new products, but when I find something that works with my skin, I generally tend to stick to it. Similar to how I feel about hair products, for skin care, I don’t really believe in “dupes” (like makeup). If you want good results, you need to invest in good skincare.

Additional tips I can give you that won’t cost you any money: Drink a TON OF WATER and STAY OUT OF THE SUN. Laying in the sun may look good for now, and dehydrating yourself may not seem like such a big deal, but wait 10 years. You will be sorry!! #crepeyneck #wrinkles #SKINCANCER #fuckcancer!!!

To simplify this, here is the order in which I do my routine:

  1. Remove makeup
  2. Cleanse
  3. Exfoliate (once or twice a week)
  4. Tone
  5. Serum
  6. Moisturizer/Eye cream

I hope you all enjoyed this and found it helpful. Please comment below or DM me on Instagram with any questions!

January 2018 Makeup Haul

Over the past few weeks I’ve made a bunch of makeup purchases. Since I’ve now had some time to test them out at home, I wanted to do a review here and share my favorites!

  1.  MAC x Patrickstarrr Set Powder – Do you remember in this post when I said that I’ve never been able to find a setting powder just as good or better than Laura Mercier’s translucent powder? Well, look no further. I wouldn’t say that this stuff is BETTER, but it’s definitely amazing. Super lightweight, and will tame any type of oil on your face. Plus, the packaging is super cute and comes in a sparkly box (if you’re into decorating your vanity with cute packaging, like me). Highly recommend. (OK – I just realized this product is SOLD OUT everywhere online, but you should be able to find it in stores – either at MAC or at a MAC counter in Nordstrom, Macy’s etc.)
  2.  Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Eye Shadow Palette – I’ve had my eye on this one for a while now, and I’m very happy with my purchase. You can create endless looks with this palette. There are a wide variety of matte and shimmer shades, and I’ve loved using it on myself and my clients. If you’re looking for a palette that has it all, this is your go to. Bonus, it’s only $38 and has 35 shades #win. Here are a few photos of a look I created with this palette:

 

  1.  Flawless Darker Self-Tan by Fake Bake – I was really skeptical about using a self tanner because all I hear is horror stories and I’ve seen a lot of splotchy, orange elbows (if you know, you know). I read some great reviews on this product, so I decided to give it a chance. Here are my tips if you’re going to try this: It’s REALLY DARK. Use it at night and shower in the morning. Once you’ve showered it’s beautiful. If you’re fair skinned, you might want to reconsider and buy a lighter shade. Fake Bake has so many different self-tanners, and I think this is one of the darkest. Be very gentle and light around your elbows, hands and feet; those areas are prone to streakiness. Lastly, make sure you shower and exfoliate right before for best results. Here is a photo of me after using the product (it’s winter in New England, so I literally had NO tan whatsoever).

 

  1.  IT Brushes for Ulta (Airbrush Masters 6 Pc. Advanced Brush Set) – Normally, I’m all about the MAC brushes because they are amazing quality and last forever. But WOW, I’m sooo happy with these IT Cosmetics brushes. They are extremely soft and blend everything so well. It comes with a blurring flat top brush, a soft touch angled brush, a buffing flat top foundation brush, a bent liner brush (OMG game changer), a precision crease brush and an “all over” round shadow brush. All of these are great, but the bent liner brush was a new one for me. It makes applying gel liner so much easier. If you’re in the market for new brushes, these pretty much cover all the bases. And $65 for 6 brushes is pretty amazing, that would probably cost over $150 if bought individually. It also comes with a quilted black case, super cute.
  2.  Too Faced Born This Way Foundation – I don’t know what prompted me to venture out and try a new foundation (I’ve been wearing Tarte Amazonian Clay for years), but I’m happy I did. While I’ll probably never get rid of my staple, this is great stuff and comes with way more in the bottle. I only use one pump of this and it covers my entire face. It looks almost airbrushed. I’ve worn it for a week now and it’s been super gentle on my skin. It’s also oil free for anyone who has oily skin. I wear the shade Warm Beige.
  3.  Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in shade “Pillowtalk” – The perfect nude and formula! I’m obsessed with this color, it’s super natural looking and really just enhances the natural color of my lips. It’s a matte formula, but doesn’t dry out your lips at all. It also has a square tip, which helps with precise application. (Also noticed that this is sold out everywhere online. You may need to get it at your local Nordstrom or Bloomingdales, etc.)

 

Key Steps to Obtaining or Maintaining Healthy Hair

Being a hair stylist, I’m always being asked questions about hair care and the best products to use. Obviously everyone’s hair is different, so I prescribe different products for different people. In this day and age, almost everyone colors their hair and uses heat on it regularly. Here are my suggestions on how to maintain or improve the integrity of your hair!

  1. Shampoo and Conditioner: The number one recommendation I make to my clients is to always use sulfate free shampoo and conditioner. It not only protects your color, but it won’t strip your hair down and dry it out. Any shampoo that you can buy over the counter at a local drugstore is a definite NO. Make sure you’re buying your shampoos and conditioners from your hair salon or somewhere like Ulta. I use a few different shampoos and conditioners and I’ve linked my favorites below. (Pureology Hydrate Shampoo & Conditioner, Moroccan Oil Hydrate Shampoo & Volume Conditioner, Redken All-Soft Shampoo & Conditioner, Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner)

 

  1. Leave in Conditioner: The purpose of a leave-in conditioner is to prime, protect and perfect color treated hair against heat and sun damage. I rotate between two different products, Pureology Colour Fanatic Multi-Benefit Leave In Treatment, and It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-in Product. Both are great products and have the same benefits.

 

  1. Oil: Everyone needs to have a good oil. I’m a big fan of the Moroccan Oil original treatment. They make one for light tones and dark tones. I put a dime size all throughout my towel-dried hair. It has tons of vitamins that penetrate, nourishes and adds shine your hair. Another good one is the Platinum Silkening Gloss by Kenra.

 

  1. Heat Protectant: If you’re going to skip out on something, it should never be your heat protectant. I’ve been using Bumble & Bumble’s Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Primer for years! It’s amazing and can be used on wet or dry hair. If you use it on wet hair, it acts more like a leave in conditioner. I usually use it on my day-2 dry hair if I want to refresh the style with a curling iron or flat iron. (Pro tip: I almost NEVER flat iron my hair, only on day 2 or 3, and usually only one pass on a few pieces that got ruined in my sleep). I also really like Moroccan Oil’s new heat protectant Perfect Defense. It’s super lightweight and doesn’t leave a sticky residue like some heat protectants I’ve used in the past.

 

  1. Masks: Coloring and using heat on your hair will cause the hydrogen and disulfide bonds in your hair to break. It’s so important to use masks to help to rebuild those bonds. It’s also important to remember not to use too much protein on your hair because that will start to cause breakage. I don’t recommend using a protein mask to my clients more than once a week. Again, everyone is different, so once a week may even be too much for some people. My favorites are Pureology Strength Cure Superfood Treatment as a protein mask, and Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask to replenish moisture. I generally rotate between the two.

 

  1. Vitamins: I take a regular multivitamin but I also take 10,000 mcg of biotin a day. This is great for people who are trying to grow their hair, or just for maintaining strong hair. It also helps with healthy skin and nails.

 

  1. Hair Ties: Invisibobble hair ties are my new obsession. A lot of people don’t realize that wearing your hair in a tight ponytail or bun can cause breakage over time. These hair ties help to prevent breakage, and also don’t leave a crease in your hair like other scrunchies.

 

Let me know if you have any questions about what I mentioned above or if you want other hair tips!

Best Wintertime Face Masks

I’m a sucker for a good face mask and always looking for new ones to try. I’ve been doing face masks ever since I was in high school, and I’ve built up quite a collection of my favorites. I try to do a mask 1-2x a week depending on what I feel like my skin needs. Here are the top 5 face masks I use regularly:

  1. Mario Badescu Healing & Soothing Mask: This mask is AMAZING. I have super sensitive skin, and this is one that doesn’t irritate my skin at all. It’s great for when I’m having a breakout, or when my skin is feeling oily (I have combination skin). It lightly hydrates my skin while absorbing the excess unwanted oil. My skin isn’t usually oily in the winter, but when it is this is my go to mask.

 

  1. Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Mask: This is great mask for when my skin is feeling dry (mostly in the winter). It’s gentle formula helps soothe my skin. I like to use it at night because it’s super calming. I’m also a sucker for the whole calendula line from Kiehls (facewash, toner).

 

  1. Kiehl’s Facial Overnight Hydrating Mask: This mask is perfect for when you’re skin is feeling dry. It’s also part of my winter skincare routine (which I’ll be talking more about in an upcoming post). The whole purpose of this mask is to boost your skin’s ability to hold moisture for longer periods of time. You will wake up with super smooth and supple skin!

 

  1. Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask: This mask literally changed my life. I got a sample of it from Nordstrom’s and I can honestly say after one night I felt a difference in my skin. So, I obviously purchased the full size. It’s pricey, not La Mer pricey, but definitely worth the $$ (I mean, it’s under $100 so it’s justifiable, right?). It’s moisturizing but also lifts and firms your skin while you sleep.

 

  1. Fresh Rose Face Mask: This is another mask that I got a sample of from my VIB points at Sephora and instantly fell in love. It’s by the same brand as the Black Tea mask (above), but it’s less expensive. It’s infused with real rose petals, which makes it smell amazing. I like to use this mask when I feel like I look tired because it makes my skin look and feel really radiant. It’s moisturizing and toning all at the same time.

 

Hope you guys love these masks as much as I do. I’m looking forward to trying new ones in the spring and summer!

15 Make-up Products I Couldn’t Live Without

Being a makeup artist, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about which new products I want to try and add to my kit. Trying new products is fun for me, and something that I’m always doing to stay “in the know” in the beauty industry. Even though I’m constantly buying new products to try, I always have my go-to makeup products that I could just never live without! In general, I get a lot of questions about different makeup I would recommend, and that was part of what was behind motivating me to start a blog. I narrowed it down to the top 15 makeup products that are staples on my vanity:

 

  1. Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation

I’ve been wearing this foundation for about 4 years now, and while I’ve tried others in between, I always come back to this. I think it’s because of the smooth finish it gives my skin. It’s a matte finish, but it’s still slightly dewy and looks airbrushed. I have combination skin, and I never feel like it dries out my skin. It’s great if you have an uneven complexion (like me) with redness because it’s full coverage. I wear the shade medium beige pretty much all year round. I even wear it to the beach because it has SPF and doesn’t clog my pores.

 

  1. NARS Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

I just started wearing this this year, and I can say that it’s definitely something that has become a staple for me. It’s super lightweight and perfect for days where you’re not wearing much makeup and not looking for anything full coverage. It’s definitely moisture rich, so if you have oily skin I wouldn’t recommend this. I usually pair it with a light dusting of translucent powder. I wear the shade St. Moritz.

 

  1. Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

THE. HOLY. GRAIL. OF. CONCEALERS. This is also a product I just started using within the last year and it’s changed the game of concealers. I actually heard about this concealer because I took my 14-year-old sister-in-law makeup shopping, and she told me how everyone was raving about this concealer. So, I used my Ulta points and got it for $3. I’ve been hooked ever since. I genetically have dark circles under my eyes and I’ve struggled with finding a good concealer that doesn’t crease. I used NARS religiously, and while that was good, this is better. NARS was more creamy, so I felt the need to set it more than I do with this product. It comes with a lot more in the tube also. It’s a full coverage concealer, so it’s great for anyone with dark circles, acne, redness or big pores. I always recommend wearing concealer 1-2 shades lighter than your foundation to neutralize dark circles. I use the shade light neutral.

 

  1. Laura Mercier Translucent Powder

I’ve tried a lot of translucent powders, and this is by far the best and worth the money. It’s super lightweight and leaves a soft, matte finish. Perfect for underneath the eyes over concealer, or for when contouring and highlighting (I used it under my cheek bones and on the sides of my nose). It’s also good for any areas that tend to get greasy. The issue I found with other “dupe” translucent powders is that they feel way to dense, and don’t leave the same silky finish that this one does. I’ll probably never stray from this powder unless someone swears they’ve found something better (LMK).

 

  1. Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes

This is the only mascara I’ve tried that’s truly worth the money. I’ve tried so many mascaras and I can’t say that any of them are better than this one. It’s great for fuller and longer lashes. No clumps and the wand is really nice. If you can’t justify spending $32 on mascara (honestly it’s so worth it), then you should get L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara.

 

  1. L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Primer

I’m obsessed with this stuff. It’s perfect to pair with the CT mascara linked above. Apply anywhere between 1-5 coats of it (depending on desired result), wait for it to dry, and then layer your mascara over it. It’ll give a more dramatic effect.

 

  1. NYX Matte Liquid Liner

I love this liner; it’s super fine brush allows for precision when creating a wing/cat-eye look. I’ve used so many different liquid liners from Kat Von D to YSL, and this is definitely the best, and easiest on your wallet.

 

  1. Tartelette 2 In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette

This is my everyday palette. The colors are warm neutrals and pretty much go with everything I wear. They’re mostly matte with a few shimmer options as well. I also have a thing for Tarte’s Amazonian Clay formula (foundation and concealer linked above), they all just apply so smoothly.

 

  1. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer (Milk Chocolate)

I LOVE this bronzer. It’s perfect for contouring, which is pretty much all I use it for. It’s almost too dark for me to put it all over my face, but it works perfectly for contouring the whole face. I use the lightest shade, Milk Chocolate (light/medium), and it’s still super dark. It blends really nicely though, and it also doesn’t hurt that it smells like chocolate.

 

  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo

I’ve tried so many different brow products. I’m such a sucker for full, thick brows, and I take a lot of pride in how mine look. This product comes with two shades, a lighter and a darker shade, and I found that if I mix them both I get the perfect shade. In the past, I’ve tried Anastasia’s Brow Wiz and Benefit’s Brow Zings. Brow Wiz was probably my least favorite because it just didn’t produce enough coverage for me and the pencil kept breaking. Brow Zings was great, but I just didn’t find myself using the wax side all that often. In the Brow Powder Duo I wear the shade Medium Brown.

 

  1. MAC 263 Small Angle Brush

This brush has soooo many uses [I can’t even]. I have a few of these, they’re great for brows, precision eye work and for lipsticks. I mostly use it for my eyebrows and when applying a gel eyeliner, but I use it on my clients when putting on their lipstick. It works great to outline the lips.

 

  1. Charlotte Tilbury Cream Eyeshadow (Mary Antoinette and Jean)

This formula is super long wearing and great for a night out. It really pops and glides on so seamlessly. Usually when I think of cream shadows I think of creasing; for some reason that just doesn’t happen with this product. It will only crease if you don’t let it dry properly. The dry time is the only downside to this product, so if you’re on the go, this probably won’t work. If you apply it in light layers it works best. It’s worth the money if you’re willing to invest the time to apply it.

 

  1. MAC Velvet Teddy Matte Lipstick

This is my all time favorite nude, and has been a staple in my makeup bag for a few years now. It goes great with the MAC Whirl lip liner. For something with a matte finish, it’s super creamy, which I like because it doesn’t dry out my lips.

 

  1. NARS Blush (Orgasm & Deep Throat)

NARS blush is by far my favorite. Orgasm and Deep Throat are the tones I generally gravitate towards. Orgasm is more pink and Deep Throat is more peach. Both of them have shimmer in them.

 

  1. Becca Cosmetics Highlighter (Opal & Champagne Pop)

I’ve owned sooo many highlighters and there really isn’t one like Becca Cosmetics. They are just so soft and iridescent. The only other highlighter that’s a close second is from Bobbi Brown. Both Becca and Bobbi are expensive, but if you’re looking for a good highlighter its worth the splurge. I own the Anastasia Glow Kit, and needless to say I’m unimpressed. It’s totally overrated and no one really needs that many highlighter colors (unless you’re a makeup artist like me, you just buy multiple Becca and Bobbi). My favorites are Opal and Champagne Pop.

I hope that everyone that read this finds this helpful and/or entertaining. Please ask me questions and let me know what topics you would be interested in reading about. I’m open to posting some how-to articles as well if that is of any interest.