“Anything is possible with coffee and lashes”- unknown but smart person

Not unlike when Ross and Rachel were “on a break” in the third season of Friends, my lash extensions and I parted ways last week after I decided it was time for a “break”.  I hesitated to post about this topic in light of appearing vain, but my eyelash extensions were way harder to break up with than I had anticipated (I knew I would miss them, I just had no idea how much).

A24A734C-844E-4719-8610-0E3880BAC472
Look at that fan!

I have had extensions on for almost 2.5 years. I had them on and off years ago but this last round began with going to Vegas for a bachelorette party and I just kept going with them. They were long, fluffy and they made me look both awake and “done” with zero effort. When I had no time, all I had to do was brush them, slap on a little under-eye concealer and I was out the door. They drew attention to my eyes and gave me a much needed zap of confidence, so much so that I didn’t mind paying to have them filled every 3-4 weeks.

C4082E36-EB8D-4452-A150-A7220FBAB889
No makeup, un-washed and un-brushed hair (aka a rats nest!) but amazing lashes !

1773B27D-2967-4D11-99BB-227F2D5461C5

I think part of the reason I was hooked was because they were just so darn good. Not too long, not too full and they didn’t look artificial like many lash extensions tend to (some lashes boarder on tacky, mine never did). My long-time friend and aesthetician is a true artist when it comes to lashes, she is fussy with her technique; ensuring safe application that protects the condition of your own lashes while giving you a natural enhancement you just can’t help but adore (Bonus; she is the kindest, cutest and loveliest human being, follow her on Instagram- ‘stellalashlover’- to see her incredible work that goes well beyond lashes). FYI- If your lashes are applied with proper technique, they should just fall out with the natural progression and shed with your own lashes. If they aren’t applied with proper technique, they may be too heavy or have too much glue and can cause your own lashes to become brittle or to fall out prematurely which can damage your lashes for a long-ass time. A LONG-ASS TIME (that is super long in “Mich-time”).

So, now that I have talked about why lash extensions were the best (aka- confidence, pretty eyes with no effort, looking awake on virtually zero minutes of sleep), lets talk about why I decided to take a break. I honestly didn’t have one giant reason. I found I was shedding lashes more than I used to and this is likely related to my own lash cycle not the extensions. I thought it was a little frivolous and that I could try to roll without them to save a little cash and honestly, I just needed a break from them. Stella was super supportive through this decision, she wiped them clean and gave me a lash lift- to add a little curl and height to my own natural lashes.

CE40B7E4-748D-4657-AA66-9B496E98AA2A
Above- Post lash removal with zero makeup. Below -my eyes after the lift with no mascara/makeup (made a very big difference).

I will be honest, when I had them taken off I felt a lot less cute and a whole lot more bald. I was shocked at the change. I have always had healthy lashes and an abundance of them, but they have never been super long.  As lashes fall out naturally, the longest ones go first- so many of my longest lashes fell out with the extensions leaving me looking a little extra bald. Luckily, because Stella is the best, my lashes had no damage and were in tip-top condition. The lift made a big difference and once I applied mascara, I felt a whole lot less bald, but still significantly less cute and glam than with my extensions- but all of that was to be expected.

I bought a fabulous mascara by Benefit (Bad-Gal BANG) one that seems like the perfect mix between my old go-to (MAC Zoom-FAST – which doesn’t exist anymore) for it’s wetness (I LOVE wet mascara), my second fave which was the Too-Faced ‘Better Than Sex‘ mascara and my third fave which was the Benefit ‘They’re Real‘ mascara. This new one is wet, has a rubber applicator with a TON of bristles, it stays in place and it both darkens and lengthens without leaving you looking like a raccoon/spider hybrid. Win-win. I also bought a lash serum called Eye Envy that has excellent reviews with what seems like none of the side effects that some of the other highly reccomended lash serums seem to have. I found a new eye-liner by NYX that is possibly even better than the Kat Von D one I had been using for years. I messaged Keiko Lynn on insta and asked her what her #1 eyeliner is (her liner is perfection in all her posts). She wrote me back (!!!!) and she suggested the Matte Liquid NYX liner and said her second fave was the Kat Von D one I already loved.  After taking it for a test spin, I 100% agree with her and it is half the price! Thanks Keiko, you are adorable.

It has been a week without extensions and so far, it’s not that bad. The worst part of not having extensions is taking off mascara (that stuff is a real bitch). Will I get extensions back eventually? Yep, that is very likely but for now,  I am taking a break and seeing what that serum can do! Any questions, feel free to comment on here or send me a message on Instagram.

** all pics of extensions and lifts are taken by @stellalashlover and the ones post lash lift have NO mascara or serum, all natural baby!

xo

-m

“Good to the last drop.”- Maxwell House Coffee, 1956

I have a confession to make. I was once a product whore. Yes, it is an ugly term but it is a term that describes me perfectly while I was in my early 20’s. I was consistently inconsistent, rarely finishing a product let alone buying it again. I was always in the search of the next best thing. There are pros and cons to this behaviour. If you are flexible, running out of your favourite coffee on a Sunday morning doesn’t ruin your day.  It may however, mean that your skin is less consistent and you aren’t guaranteed to enjoy your glass of red wine at the end of a hard day. Don’t get me wrong, I still try new things all of the time but over the years I have collected an arsenal of products that I buy again and again. I guess you could call them my ride or die products that I sometimes even stock-pile in advance as to not risk running out. Here are a few of them. Some are expensive, some are not but all of them are equally well loved.

The Ordinary’s Buffet Serum (find it here)

This is a multi-technology peptide serum full of heavy hitting vitamins and peptides that my skin just eats up. This only serum I have used to the very last drop. It is affordable and my skin has never looked better. I may or may not have two bottles stogged away in my linen closet (which is excessive as it took me more than six months to go through one).

orig

The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturizing Factors (find it here)

I have used dozens of moisturizers in the past at varying price points and this is the first one I have ever re-purchased more than once. It is thick, a little goes a long way but it isn’t heavy and it doesn’t clog my pores. It is 100% unscented and now comes in 100 ml bottles. Did I mention it is ridiculously affordable?!

Make Up Forever Water Blend Foundation (find it here)

This foundation is slightly on the more expensive side but it has lasted me over six months. It comes in 19 colours and is so light and dewy it is hard to tell there is anything on my face. I spent years wearing tinted moisturizers because I love the natural look and this gives me the perfect amount of build-able coverage while keeping my skin dewy and fresh. If you are looking for full coverage foundation, this is not the product for you, you may want to try thisthis or for an affordable full cover, this.

Make-Up-For-Ever-Water-Blend-628

MAC Modesty Cremesheen Lipstick (find it here)

I have been wearing this shade for years. I just finished off my 6th tube and for good reason, it is the perfect muted, everyday pink. It is super neutral, goes on smoothly and has just a hint of mauve which makes your teeth look extra white!

Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick in 08 (find it here)

This colour looks great on EVERYONE. It is less than $7, super creamy and smells like old fashioned lipstick. I buy this for everyone and suggest it to anyone who wants to take lipstick for a spin but is overwhelmed or afraid of a bold lip. It is a little punchier than the MAC one above but still pretty neutral!

Nuknuuk Slippers from Costco (find them here)

I am just working in my third pair. I am extremely hard on footwear and these beautiful slippers last me two years before they need replacing. They are made of sheepskin and are lined with thick, cushiony sherpa. They are so luxe and come in at less than $30.

joy_harvest_1

Bed Head Urban Antidotes shampoo/conditioner/mask (find them here)

I have used Bed Head shampoo for close to ten years. It keeps my hair super shiny, residue free and manageable. I have tried many shampoo/conditioner combos from both the salon and drugs stores over the years and nothing compares to these products. Best of all, they smell AMAZING. You only need a small amount, a litre lasts me a year and you can always find it at Winners or on sale at salons. I only started using the mask in the last year as I am getting my hair cut a lot less frequently now that I have grown it out. This mask prevents and repairs the split ends that I get from using hot tools.

900d0ca899466079abcd12d09330b9db--tigi-hair-products-head-s.jpg

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay (find it here)

Don’t let the price or the packaging fool you, this mask is the bomb. I found it after watching Mindy Kaling using it on her instagram page. You mix it with apple cider vinegar, apply it to your face, let it dry and then it wash off. This mask leaves my skin so soft and the jar will likely last me ten years.

Saje Yoga Mat Spray (find it here)

This stuff is antibacterial, smells amazing and is useful for so much more than just your yoga mat. Sure, I spray this stuff on my yoga mat like you are supposed to, but I also spray it in my shoes and in my suitcase after travelling. It is seriously good.

FullSizeRender-3.jpgBath and Body Works Eucalyptus Mint Hand Soap (find it here)

This stuff smells crisp, fresh and clean. I stock up on it when it is on sale and people always comment on how much the love the smell of the soap in my bathroom. What can I say, I am a people pleaser.

815QnPj4hHL._SL1500_

And because wine is the best here are three bottles of big, beautiful reds that I keep coming back to again and again!

Urceus, Primitivo

Primitivo_Di_Manduria_Urceus.jpg

Las Heramanas, Monastrell

grd13890.jpg

Dominio De Heredia,  Rioja

129285

 

 

 

“What is this wizardry?!”- Me (trying LipSense for the first time)

LIPSESNE2

I still remember my very first lipstick. My aunt and mother picked out a frosted pink CoverGirl concoction for me while back-to-school shopping in Halifax in the 90’s. That frosty lipstick made me feel like Shania Twain (who else would my lipstick goals have been?) and I was so excited that I re-applied it three times within ten minutes. I distinctly remember my aunt telling me to “slow down or you won’t have any left for tomorrow”.   That was the beginning of a long (and sometimes financially unhealthy) relationship with lipstick. Name a trend and I have likely tried it.

In recent months I had read about a relatively new formulation made in the USA called LipSense. This line has been gaining popularity in the past couple of years, to the point of not being able to keep inventory in stock and having to limit their colour range to enable them to keep with the demand. Why is it so popular? Well the company proposes it doesn’t wear off. It is marketed as a 4-18 hour wear lipstick that claims to go on and require no maintenance with the exception of reapplying a protective and hydrating gloss throughout the day to maintain it. Sounds easy enough and impossible all at the same time. Honestly though, how could a lipstick last through drinking coffee, eating, talking, working out and doing all of the things that people generally do throughout a day and not budge?Lipsense-1

How does it work? Well the brand says that you apply three thin layers, allowing each to dry for a few seconds. It uses medical grade alcohol that evaporates and adheres the colour  to your lips which is then sealed in with a gloss. The gloss comes in a range of formulas including glossy, matte, pearl and a handful of glittery and shimmery ones.

I won’t lie, I was extremely skeptical when I got my hands on a tube. First of all, I generally hate “pyramid schemes” or anything that remotely resembles them. Plus I like to be able to walk into Sephora or Mac and get the instant gratification of buying a lipstick while having the opportunity to try it on first.

The application also seemed like a lot of work with a handful of rules. You have to apply it in one direction, one layer at a time, not pressing your lips together throughout the process (which I was absolutely terrible at but spoiler alert: it was totally worth the effort). It felt both dry and sticky at the same time and I found it burned slightly the first time I used it (research told me this was likely due to my dry lips). Then you seal it in with a gloss, which is something that hasn’t graced my lips since 2001. After the process, which may have taken a minute total, I rubbed my lips together and was surprised at how soft and hydrated they felt once the gloss was on. The dry/sticky feeling was gone, as was any tingling I initially felt. They were smooth, not sticky at all, the colour had a great sharp edge with no bleeding and I was surprised that I didn’t hate the glossy look.  When I did the “rub your lips test”, which I have seen dozens of times online when debating buying the product, there was nothing on my fingers and the colour hadn’t moved even the tiniest bit. I then tried rubbing it off gently with a towel and all that happened was that the gloss had come off. The colour was intact and perfect.  I was shocked. Throughout the day I had a coffee date with a friend, I ate supper and I did some gardening. Six hours later it still looks great and all it required was a couple reapplications of the gloss to protect it and stay hydrated. Honestly, it was shocking. Taking it off was a little difficult (makeup remover and face wash don’t even begin to touch it) but I have since learned that plain old neutrogena soap takes it off with very little effort.

 

 

So is all the the hype worth it?

IMG_6845.png

Con’s to LipSense

  • The upfront cost is relatively expensive. It is $3o a colour, $25 for a gloss and $12 for the remover. A starter kit it $67 plus tax which seemed like a lot at first.
  • The application takes a little getting used to but it isn’t hard.
  • It “tingled” a little initially but I have since started using the gloss at night to keep my lips hydrated.
  • It was initially difficult to remove even with the remover (however, the remover is great for mistakes during the application) but once I tried Neutrogena soap it came off very easily.
  • Can’t try on colours prior to purchasing, but you can google the colour you like and see what it looks like on a variety of skin tones and lip shapes.
  • You have to wait to get it and waiting is hard sometimes. Not a real con, just me being impatient.
  • The packaging sucks. This also isn’t a real con, but it just looks a little “dated”.

Pro’s to LipSense

  • It really does last and not transfer. At all. It is magic.
  • The colour range is awesome. Thirty plus colours and new limited edition ones are launched every couple of months. There is something for everyone and it is broken down by undertones making it easy to find what you want. I haven’t tried one I didn’t love!
  • 1 tube of Lipsense colour has 2-4 times the amount of product than most popular liquid lipsticks and you will apply it a lot less. It will last forever and you only need one gloss regardless of how many colours you acquire.
  • You can layer more than one colour with another to create new looks. Two colours can give you eight options depending on the order you layer them in.
  • It is FDA approved, vegan, kosher, non-GMO, gluten free, lead free, it protects you lips from the sun (SPF 15 equivalent) and is NOT tested on animals.
  • My lips are more hydrated and plump than ever.
  • The fabulous return policy. SeneGence has a 100% guarantee which includes money back or a new product within 12 months of purchase if a customer isn’t happy with the product (this does not cover leaving it in a hot car and destroying it though!).
  • It is the ultimate lip product for brides, people who wear masks at work, mom’s on the go and anyone who doesn’t have the time to reapply it and check it throughout the day.
  • It is also red wine safe (I personally tested this theory) , it doesn’t come off on a coffee cup and it doesn’t travel around your face/get on your teeth. Win win.

colours

IMG_6139

 

IMG_6140

 

In my opinion, the pro list far outweighs the con list (lets be honest, some of the cons were far fetched to begin with). After a few months of using it, I am still hooked and have amassed a handful of colours. I initially signed up as a distributor for the discount (20-50% off) and have actually ended up selling it on the side after dozens of friends asked me about it and how to get their hands on some. It is very rare that I stand behind a product enough to sell it. I am a cynic 82% of the time and LipSense has blown any of my initial skepticism out of the water.

Interested in trying it yourself? You have nothing to lose with the money back guarantee! Check out Shabby Yet Chic Lips on Facebook or search Shabby Yet Chic Lips (username or hashtag) to find my page on Instagram! Interested in becoming a distributor? Just message me on any social media for more information!

Great long-lasting-lips for everyone!

-m

 

“She is aging as gracefully as an old banana”- Elderly Woman in Tim Hortons lineup (hands down one of my favourite overheard quotes!)

My post last week not only garnered a lot of traffic but I was also sent 100,000 questions about how to navigate The Ordinary’s website. That is a little bit of an exaggeration but I did have a lot of inquiries and ended up helping a lot of you lovely people find the right skincare regime! Since there were likely people who were too shy to message me or some who wanted to figure it out on their own I thought I would do a follow-up post to help everyone out a bit.

The website is very confusing. It is divided into categories which include direct acids, hydrators and oils, vitamins and retinol and then more molecules. All of the products have scientific names and unless you carefully read the description and google them (like I did!) is is almost impossible to figure out what to buy! I am far from an expert and it has been trial and error but I have managed to find an affordable regime that is made up of high quality, plant derived, non-gmo, vegan, paraben free products that are not tested on animals and that are produced in Canada.

*Note: This is not sponsored, I am just skincare passionate and want to share this with all of you!

Skin care basics (self -educated, not an expert!)

  • Vit C is great for improving texture, reducing the signs of aging and brightening skin (The Ordinary offers several but the Ascorbic Glucoside Solution 12% is less likely to cause irritation and absorb quickly based on the product info!).
  • Retinol (Vit A) is harrowed for reducing the signs of aging, decreasing pore size and improving texture.The Ordinary offers two but the one that should be the most gentle is The Advanced Retinod 2%. Just be sure to wear SPF and apply only in the evening. If you are just starting to use a retinoid you may want to use it every other evening until your skin is used to it!
  • Gylcolic acid is amazing at improving skin texture while gently exfoliating and deep cleaning. The toner offered by The Ordinary  is full of glycolic acid and other great properties. Please wear SPF when using glycolic acid!
  • Caffeine can brighten skin and reduce puffiness (perfect for your peepers).
  • Hyaluronic acid attracts 1000x it’s weight in moisture making it amazing for dry skin. It can also help to ‘plump’ dry and tired skin.
  • Oils are key for maintaining skin moisture and integrity. Many are suitable for use with combination and even oily skin! Rose Hip oil is encouraged for hydration/anti-aging while Squalene provides intense hydration for every skin type.
  • Argireline can help reduce “dynamic’ wrinkles and folds found on the forehead and around the eyes.
  • For problem skin lactic acid and AHA/BHA can provide peeling and deep exfoliation.
  • Salicylic acid is perfect for spot treating blemishes.
  • Niacinamide and Zinc can help reduce skin congestion, decrease breakouts and reduce the amount of oil your skin produces.

Clear as mud? There are a ton of products for almost every skin concern, basically you have to identify your needs. Some example regimes I made up follow below.The Ordinary recommends applying the lightest/water based formulas first and fishing with heavier or oil based products as well as allowing five seconds for absorption between products.

Example Regimes 

My regime.I personally have dry skin and I also want to slow down the aging process (’cause why not!)my regime2

Blemish prone skin (you may also want to explore the direct acids and peels a little more as well!)blemish-prone-skin21.jpgGeneral Anti-aging anti-aging21.jpg

Hydration.hydration2.jpgBasic regime for beginners!beginner2

 

 

“I really regret taking care of my skin.”- said No-one Ever.

Well known fact: In the last two years I have become passionate (obsessed?) with a good skincare regime.

Little known fact: One can have a comprehensive skin-care regime, made up of clinical grade formulas, for an extremely small investment. You just need to know where to look.

My skincare motto: Wash your face before bed, wear sunscreen and generally take care of your skin because it is the only one you will get. Taking care of your skin includes using decent products to hydrate and maintain skin integrity. Drinking lots of water (which I am inconsitent with!) never hurts either.

Have you heard of The Ordinary ? It is a sub-company of Deciem (the skin-care giant) and their motto is “Clinical formulations with integrity”. What they harrow is high quality, clinical grade formulations at an affordable price. They offer a product for every skin concern and I am obsessed. OBSESSED. They are ridiculously affordable, made in Canada, paraben free, non-GMO, vegan etc. I have replaced 80% of my products with The Ordinary’s version and not only is the product high quality and comparable to what I was previously using but I can honestly say that my skin looks better than before. My new vitamin serum absorbs faster than my old one and the new retinol is very gentle on my sensitive skin. Here is the kicker, most of their prices are one tenth the cost of products you can find at Sephora, your spa and even your dermatologists office (honestly a comprehensive regime will set you back $50-$90 TOTAL). I am saving hundreds of dollars a year and my skin is better for it! The packaging is great and shipping is free over 25 dollars in Canada!

If you don’t believe me, here is some background for you. Over the years I have tried an exhaustive list of products, an embarrassing amount really, to find the best and most affordable skin-care regime for myself. Some of the brands I have explored include…..

  • Clinique
  • Fresh
  • Origins
  • Ole Henriksen
  • Proderm
  • Caudalie
  • Arbonne (which was possibly my overall least favourite for quality and price- don’t hate me Arbonne die hards but it just didn’t jive with my skin at all!)
  • Vivier
  • Skinceuticals
  • Boscia
  • First Aid Beauty
  • Glamglow
  • Kate Sommerville
  • Keil’s
  • Josie Maran
  • Sunday Ridley

I have loved many of the products I have tried, even used some in my rotation for years. My skin is dry and I am my thirties. My goal is dewy, blemish free skin that requires minimal amounts of makeup on a day-to-day basis. My other goal is to maintain my skin and to age as gracefully as my genetics allow (as opposed to as gracefully as an old banana). Basically, I don’t want to look like a raisin or a prune when I retire. Not vanity, just realness. What I have been looking for is a good cleanser, decent moisturizer/oil, something to de-puff my eyes when I wake up looking like a troll in the morning, a vitamin heavy serum, some gentle retinol and a sunscreen. All without spending a fortune. The Ordinary has made this a reality.

Interestingly enough, I am not the only person who feels this way. The Ordinary recently launched a foundation line that had a wait list of almost thirty-thousand people (spoiler alert it was totally worth the wait!). They unfortunately sometimes have trouble maintaining stock because there is such a high demand for their products but they are totally worth the wait. Later this month they are launching an SPF line (yay!) and have just opened their first store in downtown Toronto. I just wish they had a cleanser and maybe a moisturizing eye cream!

gallery-1490286388-ordinary-colours-foundation

Here is my current regime…

(*which set me back less than $80 shipped to my house!)

Am: After washing my face I apply the “Buffet” serum (which is a heavy hitting vitamin and peptide combo) followed by their moisturizer. I also gently apply the Caffeine serum around my eyes (this product is probably my favourite one) to de-puff and brighten! If I am super dry which I am often, I put a few drops of the Hyaluronic Acid +b5 on prior to the moisturizer.

Pm: After washing my face I apply the “Buffet” serum again followed by the advanced retinol (* please wear SPF if using retinol and say away from your eyes when applying it). Then I seal it all in with a few drops of the cold pressed rose hip oil. I also apply an anti-aging eye cream by Caudalie that I love but would be happy to replace if they launched one! If I have blemish I spot treat that bad boy with a little of their salicylic acid (R.I.P pimples!),

My morning and evening routines take less than five minutes including washing my face and applying the lotions and potions. That is pretty small investment of time for big pay-off in my books! In the future I am looking forward to trying the toner and SPF.

Happy Monday everyone!

-m

 

 

 

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”-F.Scott Fitzgerald

It is finally starting to feel like fall in Halifax. Last week it was 15 degrees and the crocuses were peeking their purple heads up two seasons early. This week there has been rain and when there isn’t rain we are hovering just above zero at night. This makes for marvellous sleeping, rain boots and tartan scarves (my fav). It also makes for dry skin.

My face gets dry starting around Halloween and ending in May. Like clockwork. Every year. I am talking crocodile skin and only on my damn nose. Yes, there are likely far worse things but NOTHING has helped. I have even sought professional advice BEYOND the doors of Sephora. I have educated myself about the benefits of almost every aspect of skin care in the last year and have tested approximately 1,587 products (maybe a slight exaggeration), all in the hopes of preventing the flakey nose situation.

I have learned a lot, my skin looks better than ever, I finally have a routine and I have found a couple incredible products that I thought I would share with you all. Before you say it or judge me, I know what you are thinking; A skin care regime is expensive and many products don’t have visible results. This may be true but you only get one skin, one face and you may as well treat it kindly. Many of you pay a lot to maintain your hair and that is technically just dead keratin. Your skin is the largest organ your body has, it prevents against infection/disease and it makes you look damn fine when it is glowing and healthy. Good quality products last a long time (months and months), a little can go a very long way and there is nothing wrong with prevention.

I am far from an expert, my routine is incredibly basic and limited but here it is as well as some products I love. If you are going to grow your skin care regime I highly recommend testing products before purchasing as well as building it up over time (your bank account will thank you).  As well as below, I also exfoliate every week and try to drink buckets (well lots!) of water everyday.

#1- The most important thing about skin care is… wash your damn face. Don’t sleep in your makeup, don’t be lazy, please wash the day away (makeup, environmental contaminants, sweat). If you have to skip washing your face, do that in the morning. Some people like gels, some like creams, some like miceller water and lately people have bee raving about oil cleansers. Use something you like that doesn’t dry out your skin or leave a residue (i.e. cleansing wipes). It doesn’t have to be expensive, Iris Apfel, the queen herself, uses Cetaphil. Spectro-Gel is also highly recommended. I personally have been loving Pro-Derm’s Gentle Cleanser. It is plant based, oil free, made in Canada, takes off every lick of my makeup and it smells like lavender. Only catch is that other people love it too, it is currently sold out country wide.

#2- Moisturize before you put on your makeup. I personally don’t use a primer but I prep my skin pre-makeup with a decent “light’ cream or oil . If you want to use a day serum (I use a vitamin C one) apply it before the moisturizer. You may want to consider a moisturizer with SPF if your makeup is lacking it. The sun causes not only wrinkles and dark spots but more and more young people are experiencing skin cancer. No one needs that. I personally use a tinted moisturizer that has SPF in it and I like to use Josie Maran Light Oil during the day (expert tip- the travel size bottle will last about a year, you only need a couple of drops).

s1548288-main-lhero

#3- Don’t forget about those peepers. The skin around your eyes is very thin and very delicate.  Applying a moisturizer to the area before concealer will not only prep and protect it but it will also (depending on what you use) minimize the fine lines that makeup likes to get caught in and may reduce puffiness. I have been using Origin’s GinZing around my eyes in the am and I LOVE it. It has caffeine to de-puff and it is sightly illuminating which helps when covering dark circles. I have also switched up my everyday concealer. I have used Benefit for years and just about concealer in their repertoire. They are great for occasions where you really need some mega coverage (aka no sleep for a week, or maybe if you go to a ball with Prince Charming) but they are heavy on your delicate skin. Lately I have opted for Sephora’s Bright Future concealer. It’s light, it colour corrects, it doesn’t cake in fine lines and it has a serum built in. It is also half the price of most concealers and you need very little. Tip- use your ring finger to gently pat on eye creams and blend concealer for less pulling.

s1375625-main-lheros1686062-main-lhero

#4- Night-time. There is a million recommendations out there for pre-bed skin care. I say “wash your damn face”. That is the most important step. If you want to get fancy, use a gentle retinol and/or peptide containing serum. Retinol is basically high dose vitamin A. It will promote collagen production and prevent fine lines. If you are using retinol, which is recommended for anyone over the age of 30, wear sunscreen. It will make your skin more sensitive to UV. After the serum (or after washing your face if you are skipping the heavy hitting vitamins) apply a cream. Maybe one that is heavier than your day cream depending upon your needs.  My dry nose requires a little uuuumph so I have been using Pro-Derm’s Regenerating Cream (and it has been working!!!!!!). Don’t forget about moisturizing your neck (it needs love too) and you may want to try an anti-aging eye cream or gel.

Tah-dah. There you have it, that is what works for me and honestly my skin is 10000X better than it has ever been.

PS.

For the fall I am obsessed with MAC’s lipstick in “Craving” – it is the perfect pop of plumb and far deeper than it appears on the website- see my mug below. I am also loving a cheapie blush from Milani in Dolce Pink (which is almost identical to Nars Orgasm) and in Barry Amore. They clock in under ten dollars, they are highly pigmented and they rival any of the MAC baked blushes.

-m

“I wish I had more vacation days..”-Unknown

Well here we are. Almost the very beginning of September and it is just starting to finally feel like summer (with the odd theatrical intermission that includes some dramatic thunder, lightening and torrential down pours). With summer being late I have a feeling winter will be late and that we are going to have the most wonderfully warm fall. A fall that will hopefully include swimming in the ocean, back yard fires, apple picking and a healthy dose of sunshine. With wedding/beach season coming to a close and boot/scarf season falling quickly upon us, I thought I would share some favorite beauty products that will help carry your summer look into the fall and some tips on how to use them including an at home manicure that is easy and gives professional results at home! Happy beautifying all!
-m

The best summer-to-fall nails..

Who doesn’t love a good mani/pedi? Pampering yourself is important but if you want to save some money and keep your nails fresh, at home manis and pedis are where it is at. As far as at home manicures go, Essie provides some of my favourite colors and products. I always start with a quick trim and file. I follow up with some Sally Hansen cuticle removing gel- this stuff is seriously the best. Leave it on for a few seconds and overgrown cuticles easily push back and can be clipped off providing a perfect canvas for some bright polishes. For a base coat I use Essie’s “Ridge filler”, I read about this product a while ago and I have been using it every since. One quick coat and it fills ridges and evens out nails for a smooth surface that takes nail polish far better than a naked nail. Next apply two coats of your favoutite Essie color. My current color obsessions for the summer months include “Bikini so teeny” for my toes- it’s the perfect bright powdery blue that covers well and looks fabulous with summer kissed skin. For my fingers I am loving “Peach side babe”- a fabulous peach/coral pastel. The Essie fall line up this year is a collection of deeply pigmented jewel tones with some beautiful greys. I am lusting after “The perfect cover up” which is a charcoal grey with blue undertones and “Fall in line” which is a mossy green with grey undertones. To finish of my nails I use one coat of  Essie “Good to go” topcoat. This helps them shine and makes your nails last up to a week (in my experience). Best part? All of the products above can be easily purchased at any local drug store.


The best skin…

The best skin is moisturized, protected and dewy whether it is summer or fall.  I am still in love with Josie Maran Light argan oil for keeping my skin smooth and moisturized. I use a couple of drops every night before bed focusing on dry spots (in my case my nose!).  I also love Aveeno suncreen made specifically for the face, I find it doesn’t clog my pores like many other products do and it offers long lasting sun protection. In general I don’t go out without SPF on my face whether it is just straight up sunscreen for the beach or if it is in a tinted moisturizer or BB cream. I don’t want to look like a raisin when I am older and I am hoping sunscreen will help! I also make sure I wash my face thoroughly at the end of the day to take off makeup and sunscreen and let my face breathe a bit.

The best coverage…

As far as makeup with natural coverage, I am still a big fan if Garnier BB cream. It smooths, evens and it is light and airy on my face. If I need a little more coverage I am absolutely in love with Nars “All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation”. This product goes a long way. It has no preservatives and it is like air on my face all the while evening out my skin and making it look airbrushed. Tips for this product- because it has no preservative make sure you mix/shake it well, it will separate if you don’t. Also one pump should do your whole face and instead of using a brush the Nars representative at Sephora encouraged me to use my hands for an even application while using less product. Win-win.

The best summer-to-fall blush…

Nars Orgasm blush is a cult classic for a reason. It it peachy-pink, it reflects light and looks great both on fair skin and dark skin tones. This is a color that will never go out of style and it’s hyper-pigmentation means a little goes very far.

The best bronzer…

I have tried buckets of bronzers. Drug store, high end and anything in between and I always come back to MAC’s bronzing powder in “bronze”.  It gives a natural sun-kissed finish without the harmful rays and without looking like a bad contouring job. It is natural enough to help carry a summery glow easily into the fall without looking too done.

The best eyebrows…

Duh! Summer, winter, spring, fall Anastasia Dip Brow pomade is the best eyebrow product I have ever used. Throw out your gels, your fibers, your pencils and your powders and make way for the best eyebrows you have ever had. A pot lasts for a year or so and applies very easily in small brush strokes with an angled brush. It is waterproof but washes off easily with facial cleanser and it holds down longer stray hairs. Use as little or as much as you would like to help create as dramatic or natural of a look as you want!

The best waterproof mascara…

Water proof mascara is good for the beach, the pool, for sweatin’ at the gym and for all of the emotional moments at your bestie’s weddings. Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Smokey Extravagant mascara lengthens, fills and doesn’t flake. It stays in place until you wash it off and I promise it won’t run when your bestie says I do.

The best inexpensive lip…

Matte lips seem to be a trend that is hanging around. Surprisingly, Rimmel has an amazing line of exceptional, inexpensive lipsticks and the matte ones are worth discussing. They are the Kate Moss line and although the are dry, as all matte lipsticks are, they don’t flake around the lip and they will stay put all damn day. There is a crazy number of on point colors ranging from pin-up reds to classic nudes and priced between $5.99 and $7.99 these are serious bang for your buck. Check out color 104 for a pinky-taupe that will look good on any skin-tone and that can easily transition from sun-kissed beach babe to fall fashionista. For the best natural/neutral pink I have always loved MAC’s Modesty lipstick but Rimmel has a color in their Kate Moss line that I may prefer even more and the color number is 08. This is an amazing find considering I have been wearing Modesty for at least five years.