Beauty

The Do’s & Don’ts of Wowder: Tips From A Glossier Insider

So… I know I’ve been MIA on the beauty tips this past season, but for good reason (and the fact that I’ve been living out of a suitcase all month). I’ve been waiting a bit to post a review of Glossier’s new product with split opinions, Wowder, and I’m finally ready to tell my story: the “not sponsored” one. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad one; in fact, I’ll save you the suspense and tell you flat out, I f*&king love it.

However, there are some tricks of the beauty trade that make it even better. That’s what all this time was for. I was doing my blogger homework to make sure I gave you all the tips and tricks you need to know to get the WOW out of Wowder. Why? That’s the thing with the beauty industry. It’s much like anything else in this world that’s a solution for something: it takes a learning curve, and I’m here to be your mentor.

Step One: Targeted Application

It’s okay if you aren’t a beauty blogger or makeup guru, that’s why I’m here to help you. If you’ve ever heard of the makeup term “baking” and was like, “what the hell is that…that’s an Instagram makeup tutorial scam,” hear me out. If you’re simply smearing the brush around on your face, you’ll get an “ok” outcome, but not a perfect one. Before you quit reading and give up, it’s not rocket science, and I’m here to show you why.

Blotting paper: do we wipe our faces with it? No. So why should you wipe your face with blotting powder? There you have it. Baking simply means you are blotting your face with powder, letting it actually target the oil on your skin. Take a thick brush full of fine brush hairs (Glossier even includes the perfect kind) and lightly press and roll the brush over your skin like a paint roller.

I am obsessed with the glowy skin look right now, so I only apply it under my eyes and in the T-zone. Same technique goes for that too. I’ve found that this technique under your eyes works wonders and eliminates that raccoon look you sometimes get if your concealer is a super wet or waterproof one. If that’s a mega issue for you with concealers, welcome to your cure.

Step Two: Priming /Setting Spray (aka my #notsponsored hack)

All my years of being an editorial makeup fanatic have taught me 2 skills: PRIME. SET. Over the past 10 years of trial and error when it comes to doing my own crazy faces, I’ve taken these tips from the Sephora and MAC pros. If you aren’t priming your skin before makeup, no makeup in the world will sit the way you want it to.

I get so much whining about how it’s not fair that I look put together after workouts, and I’m TELLING you. THIS.IS.THE.HACK. I’m not some freak of nature test tube human with perfect skin. It’s totally doable for everyone. It’s just a hunt to find the product that works for YOUR skin when it comes to primers and setting sprays. As a hardcore combo face myself, I need moisture and oil control, so my picks for me are Hourglass primers and Urban Decay setting sprays. It makes my Glossier dewy looks look bomb AF.

You all know I am not one to sugar coat or peddle crap with BS reviews to make a buck, and it’s exactly why I partner with Glossier on their products because they work. If you didn’t already know, I am a rep for Glossier, meaning you can get a little confidence boost when buying Glossier, as I get a first look at the new product and get to tell you like it is. For those of you on the fence because of ROI (return on investment) woes, I’ve got you too: 20% off to be exact. If you’re new to their products, you can get 20% off your first order, and free shipping on orders over $30. Simply shop via my link here, or on the landing page of my blog.

My Glossier Showroom Haul

Wowder in Light/Medium

Boy Brow in Brown

Balm Dot Com in Rose

Balm Dot Com in Cherry

Invisible Shield

NYFW Recap: Best Of The Goodie Bags

One of my favorite parts about Fashion Week is the goodie bag haul. Why’s that? Research baby. There’s plenty I’ve tried that isn’t great, but there are some newcomers and some underrated goodies that need to go noticed. That said, it will be my bi-yearly goal to give you a snap of the best stuff I was given after the NYFW shows and at events, and tell you why you need to check them out. I try the gifted products first, to save you the science experiment that is online shopping.

Beauty

The Hollywood Silk Solution Pillow Case

I’m sure a few of you think this trend is bullshit, and likely didn’t order that silk pillowcase from the Nordstrom sale I talked about. Here’s why you should start thinking about them: SKIN. HAIR. I thought it was rather ridiculous myself when I was a pre-teen, watching my mom and grandma be extra AF with satin pillowcases, so you’re not wrong for thinking that. However, it’s a thing because it does make a difference. I tried this particular pillowcase as soon as I got home from NYFW (okay well not right away because I’m a crazy person and have to photograph all my goodies first before I try because they look cute in photos- we conquer and divide later), and I must say I love it. Less shitty hair days, more well-rested looking skin. Try it. I dare you.

R+Co Badlands

This was a February NYFW FW17 find, and honestly, it took a little bit of a learning curve, which is why I am telling you now. Less IS more when it comes to this dry shampoo paste, especially at the roots. If you are a grunge girl like me or just love the undone model-off-duty hair look, this stuff is for you. Do a good job of warming the pomade in your hand first, then lightly roll your hair between your fingers at the root and pull away down the strand. Then, give it a head massage root boost, and there you have it: manicured hair chaos. It’s like organized crime for your hair. Try it only on the ends for a tousled textured effect.

dp Hue ACV Hair Rinse

Apple Cider Vinegar hair rinse is a thing. For all my hippie friends out there, this is one trend I can actually get behind. As a trainer, ACV is a wonder drug for your body, helping you clarify your insides and help with living a healthier lifestyle. I take shots of it in the morning. I tried this hair rinse after Fashion Week this season (yes, I made one blowout last all 5 days) and I’ve gotta say it’s amazing. My hair was actually clarified, and it was nice to give my favorite shampoos a day off, helping them last longer too!

Wen Pomegranate Smoothing Glossing Serum

It’s always a jackpot when I find some of my already go-to’s in a goodie bag. Wen is one of them. I know it gets a bad rep sometimes due to bad reviews of counterfeit or expired product sold on discount sites, but I am here to tell you it’s the shit. It has been my only shampoo bar none since I was in college (minus the recent addition of Keranique for my stress hair loss issues recently). This glossing serum makes your hair seriously shine! If you process your ends like I do with a pretty aggressive balayage, it’s a must. Buy it from a reputable source, like QVC. If you still don’t believe me, in the words of Bruno Mars, “…don’t believe me. Just watch.” My hair tells the truth.

Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic Palette (in â€” Frivoluxe

Another one of my already go-to’s. Jackpot!! As you already know, the Marc Jacobs line is one of my favorites ever, and the shadows are also no joke. This new palette of purple and gray hues is SO me (and anyone with brown eyes), and what’s better, it comes in so many others too! Try em out next time you’re in Sephora for a mini-makeover.

Ren Perfect Canvas Skin Finishing Serum

PRIMER guys. I preach about this step all the time for a reason. It really gives you that edge ahead when you want a “beat AF” face. This serum is amazing for all skin types, and it really adds the moisture I need for my combo skin to help my makeup sit better. I tried it for a week now since I’ve been back, and love it. Serious goodie bag win.

Technology

hP Sprocket

Literally obsessed. I was an InstaX hater for the longest time because who packs a camera to go to parties anymore? I don’t have time for that shit, I can barely be bothered to lug around my full-size Canon DSLR, so extra bs is just not my thing. As a gal who works in tech, I am all about the “smarter not harder” mentality, and I’ve gotta say, this PC brand got it RIGHT. No ink refills, no bullshit. Just adorable mini polaroid-esque sticker prints your camera roll at the touch of an app, and a device that fits in your purse. You’re welcome. Get the whole she-bang kit to set yourself up properly too.

Merry early Christmas loves! Get a boost from these products for your best holiday looks and festivity attendances yet.

What’s In My Bag Right Now (& a Nordstrom Giveaway!)

I’ve heard a lot of your feedback on what I actually use on the daily, so I’m making my handbag snapshots a regular thing, as my last post was a huge success! Given all the recent sales this season, I’ve switched up some of my beauty and fitness go-to’s to account for the weather and summer styles, and I’m also more on the go which means my bags get a little makeover as well!

Summer Bags I’m Loving

I have a bit of a bag obsession (of the business flavor mostly) when it comes to a functional piece that needs to make it from my apartment, to work, travel, and sometimes even out on the town after work. Needless to say, most of my bags need to pull serious double duty.

Bartaile C12

This transitional backpack/briefcase was created for this very purpose! I first discovered this bag on Kickstarter through some of my friends in the technology industry, and I’ve got to say, it looks pretty freaking life changing. It comes in several models/colors, to include nylon and leather. Pre-order yours now, as they will begin shipping in September! I went with the black nylon model.

Madewell Paint Stripe Tote

Obsessed with that iconic Celine bag, but not feeling the multi thousand dollar price tag? Meet Madewell’s bigger twin! Madewell pieces are truly amazing when it comes to quality, pun totally intended in the namesake. This bag is also a part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, for less than $130.

Beauty

Sweat Cosmetics Twist Brush Mineral Foundation

I had heard of this brand a couple years back but never got around to testing it out. As soon as it became available at Sephora, I knew I had to give it a try. For my minimalist makeup ladies and those of you that aren’t too sold on sweating in your skincare and makeup, this stuff’s for you. In my opinion, it’s better than Bare Minerals (especially if you’re oily like me).

IT Cosmetics CC+ Illumination Cream w/ SPF 50+

I seriously cannot say enough good things about this product. It’s my go-to year round when I want no-fuss coverage that will stay put, and summer is the perfect season for it. It saves me time in the morning and space in my bag, as everything my skin needs is already in it (cue that SPF 50+)! The illumination version gives you that subtle pearly glow that isn’t overly shimmery, which is a giant plus. Think Glossier Haloscope in a foundation.

Glossier Rose Balm Dot Com

For a little extra glow during the summer, I like to look into colored balms, as the weather is entirely too hot for all my matte lipsticks and liquid lipsticks. This Balm Dot Com has a cherry tint to it, making it functional as well as pretty to wear. Plus, it’s less than $20, and lasts forever.

Foreo LUNA Play Cleansing Brush

This thing is a LIFE (skin) SAVER. I swear by my Clarisonic Fit, but when I travel or need to wash up post gym, I carry around this tiny travel-friendly version by Foreo. Plus, it’s only $35!

Fitness

Bkr Spiked Naked & Tutu 16 oz Bottle

I cannot live without my Bkr bottles, and now that they’re on the Nordstrom sale, I had to stock up. These travel SO well, and are easy to drink out of, not to mention environment-friendly! Grab this amazing set of two bottles for a steal of a price.

….and last but not least!

If you’ve been filling up your Nordstrom cart, but haven’t pulled the trigger just yet, you might be in luck: enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a $500 Nordstrom gift card!

nordstrom giftcard giveaway

In celebration of the recent launch of Lili Alessandra a maker of fine linens and soft furnishings on Nordstrom.com. I have partnered with a few of my favorite bloggers to give away a $500 Nordstrom gift card! Simply enter below by completing the raffle copter. You’ll receive one entry per completion. This giveaway is open internationally and ends on 8/8. Winner will be announced here. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photo by Christine of Christine Hanks Photography

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: The Only 10 Things You Need To Get

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opens live to the public tomorrow, so if you’re not a cardholder (OR missed out on something because it sold out) IT’S TIME. After experiencing the sale myself during early access, I was able to cut out a lot of leg time for all of you! Hate trying shit on/not being impressed by it when it arrives? Yeah, me too.

I’ve had an INSANE few months adjusting to my new schedule, and honestly, DON’T sweat the small stuff! Less IS actually more: I’m a firm believer in finding pieces that can work twice (or three!) times as hard, so I can eliminate the stress of added clutter, so this list is full of only efficient hard working staples that your closet and home actually need.

Strictly Athleisure

Nike LunarEpic Low Flyknit 2 X-plore Running Shoe Rose Gold: These sold out in HOURS, so nab ’em now, think later! They fit true to size, so order your usual running shoe size. Sold out? Grab these instead.

Nike SE Juvenate: Obsessed with the special edition design of one of my favorite Nike shoes! They’re only $70 too!

SPANX Faux Leather Legging: Dress up your legging game with a pair of these coated leggings! Sizing is pretty standard, I ordered an XS which correlates to sizes 2-4 in Lululemon for reference.

Nike Dry Versa Training Crop Top: I seriously cannot get enough of this top! As a crop top lover, this is a must. These throwback logos are making a serious comeback, so don’t miss out on it!

Accessories

Voluspa Maison Blanc Two Wick Tin Candle Set: These are some of my favorite candles ever besides Diptique, which is also included in the sale here. They smell amazing,

Quay Australia Living Large Aviator Sunglasses (Rose Gold/Black): These went SO FAST for early access! Grab them as NOW while you can, as they’re some of my most worn sunnies outside my traditional Ray-Bans, and a fraction of the cost! These other amazing Quays are also a must for only $36, here and here!

Worthy Investments

Rag & Bone/Jean High Waisted Skinny Jean: These fit incredibly! This Nordstrom sale is the time to stock up on quality denim, and Rag & Bone never disappoints on fit and style. I ordered two pairs!

Good American Good Legs High Waist Ankle Skinny Jean: Literally cannot say more good things about this brand. The quality is perfect and given their stretch, you never feel like you’re wearing jeans! Size down though, as they do run large. For reference, I usually wear a 26 in jeans and took a 0 in these.

Clarisonic Mia Sonic Cleansing System: This sale is also the time to invest in tools, and I swear by this. I have the Mia Fit, but recommend any of the Clarisonic tools, as they’re totally worth the investment. Use it with my favorite cleanser, which is also on sale!

T3 Black & Rose Gold SinglePass Luxe Flatiron: This is NOT A DRILL. This, and its sister hair dryer are on sale for nearly half off, and one of the best investments you can make for your hair. My hair is dried in record time, and it doesn’t damage my over-processed ends!

 

Sweat-Proof Beauty & Sephora’s VIB 2x Points on Makeup Event

My favorite thing about Sephora is their incredible rewards program that they have for their customers. It’s unlike any other retailer, except for maybe Nordstrom, when it comes to rewards, private shopping events, store events, etc! That said, BIG DEAL ALERT! Usually, 2-3x points are centered around fragrance or skincare, so the fact that double points are being added for makeup is a huge deal.

I tested some new sweat-friendly products last week at my custom makeover appointment at Sephora Embarcadero, and I am so excited to share what I found out with you. If you’ve ever tried new skincare products with your makeup, you know that it can often be a struggle to find products that work well together, and don’t fight each other. I’ve had a crazy-busy few months, so my skin was starting to take a turn. My makeup artist Elisia recommended a brand new product at Sephora, a peel that totally changed the surface of my skin, and didn’t disturb my long-wear makeup routine: the Neogen Dermatology Bio Peel. I am OBSESSED, because it works, and it’s less than $30, which is insane for skincare! It’s a must have. She also prepped my eyes with the life-saving 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches from Peter Thomas Roth. These are addicting, FYI. They de-puff, combat wrinkles, and kick your dark circles to the curb! The cheaper non-anti aging version is also equally awesome.

I also paired several of my go-to sweat-friendly makeup products together for a fun colorful look, and my skin held up perfectly. No streaking, no peeling, nothing. My makeup artist recommended these products for all types of skin as well, so if you’re not oily like me, you don’t need to worry. These products are truly transformational. In honor of this rewards campaign, I’m linking my top makeup products so you can have a starting place for discovering new products that seriously kick some major ass.

If you’re a Beauty Insider, grab some of these products now while you can with the 2x rewards! Happy Friday, and happy shopping babes!

xx- M

Makeup Details

Peel:  Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling, Neogen Dermatology (unreal level of performance, this is a must)

Eye Prep: 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches, Peter Thomas Roth (miracle worker, like above)

Foundation: Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation , Lancome (best sweat-friendly foundation)

Primer: Veil Mineral Primer, Hourglass (best primer ever)

Eye Primer: Eye Shadow Primer Potion, Urban Decay

Eye Shadow: Artist Shadow Eyeshadow, Make Up For Ever, in Steel and Blueberry Diamond

Eyeliner: Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner, Marc Jacobs, in Over(night)

Mascara: GRANDIï SE Extreme Wide-Angle Extreme Volume Mascara, Lancome in Black (best mascara ever)

Lashes: Everlasting Lashes, House of Lashes x Sephora

Lips: Cream Lip Stain, Sephora Collection (best kept Sephora secret!)

Still not sure on what to snag? Shop on your own directly via the Sephora link in the right sidebar, and choose your faves before the 2x points event ends next Thursday.

Photo by Christine of Christine Hanks Photography

Makeup by Elisia at Sephora Embarcadero Center

What’s In My Handbag Right Now (and a $700 giveaway!)

I’ve been crushing hard on my current on-the-go lineup, so I decided to create a recurring column to share with you exactly what’s in my bag this month. My makeup/skincare and personal collection of technology are rather extensive, but there’s a few that I currently can’t live without right now:

IT Cosmetics “Your Skin But Better” CC + Illumination Cream with SPF 50

This CC cream is OMG life changing. It saves me 3 steps in the morning, to include sunscreen, concealer, and highlight. It’s my go-to makeup for work, and pretty much everything. It’s easy to apply and take on the road, so it’s always riding in my handbag or weekend bag!

Glossier Balm Dot Com

The warm weather is getting real right now, so the need for moisture has been equally real! I use it primarily for my lips, but it also works wonders on sunburned shoulders etc. This stuff also comes in different flavors and subtle colors, so it can even give you a little glam if you need it in a pinch while you’re on the go.

Halo 3000 mAh Lighted Compact Mirror Portable Battery Charger

This charger is not only legit when it comes to charging time, but also saves space by eliminating the need for a makeup compact for mirror privileges on the fly. Plus, this one’s under $30!

Altec Lansing Black Waterproof Bluetooth Headphones 

I’m loving these headphones right now! I found these at Nordstrom Rack, and am hooked. They’re wireless AND waterproof. I haven’t worn them in the pool yet, but they hold up pretty well in the steam room and in the rain. The real win? They’re also under $30, and since they’re from Nordstrom, if they don’t work for your ears, their return policy’s got you covered.

Tom Ford Patent Finish Lip Color

Holy OMG. This glossy (but not sticky) lip color is just BEYOND on so many levels. It’s super pigmented yet wearable, and comfortable. I want one in every color but have settled for one of my go to shades of neon pink (Erotic).

Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit For Her

This thing has saved me and my friends so many times when out for the evening, or out at the park during the day! It has everything you can possibly imagine needing, and keeps disasters at a minimum, or at the very least, keeping you from having to go home to regroup.

Photo by Rachel of Rachel Radcliffe Photography

Surprise!

I am so excited to partner with some of my favorite bloggers in gifting 4 WINNERS $175 CASH!  Enter in the fields below.  Simply enter your email in to agree to subscribe to our blogs and follow us all on Instagram.  Please note, must follow all to win the prize.  The giveaway ends 5/28 at 12am.

Click the photo below to begin your entry!

The 5 Warm Weather Beauty Products You Need In Your Life

Summer is nearly around the corner, which means it’s time to change up my beauty routine! I shift my go-to products every season, as our skin’s needs depend a lot on the weather and the elements. The past few months, my skin has been dryer given the cold and wet winter we had here in San Francisco, and my week trip out east into the freezing winter of New York.

That said, these past few weeks have been amazing here in the city weather-wise, so I’ve been pulling out my summer go-to’s a little early. There are a few key products you need to have at your fingertips:

Daily Sunscreen

If you’re not applying a DAILY shield to your skin, you’re aging it! I wear a daily sunscreen and vary the brand based on season and the needs of my skin. For summer, I stick to the following brands due to their lightweight nature and/or higher SPF rating.

Algenist Sublime Defense Ultra-Lightweight Sunscreen: Super lightweight, and SPF 50. This stuff feels like thin silk on the skin, and doesn’t leave that thick sunscreen style residue. I wear it every day.

Glossier Invisible Shield: BIG DEAL GUYS!! This stuff is BRAND NEW from Glossier, and officially LAUNCHES TODAY! It’s strictly sunscreen, which allows you to pair it with whatever moisturizer/makeup/primer you want, making it completely universal for anyone’s skincare routine! It’s a great one for everyday wear that won’t break the bank, yet works.

Clarification

The higher temps of summer make sweat a chronic issue, and if you’re not on top of it, you can become more prone to breakouts and uneven skin. I take colder showers, power up my clarifying oils (oils keep you from getting greasier during the day – counterintuitive I know!) instead of drying gels to combat breakouts, and also add in some body sprays that help when you’re forced to sweat in your clothes due to walking around/working out.

Acne Free Body Clearing Spray: This spray is a lifesaver! It’s a drugstore find and actually works. I spray it all over my back, shoulders, and chest after showers and it keeps my body clear of any breakouts due to wearing sweaty workout gear or simply exploring the city on a sunny day.

Glossier Super Pure Serum: This serum is one of the best ways to reset your skin, and won’t break the bank! From combatting the pollution of city life to replenishing your skin after a long summer evening out, it comes ready to work.

Sunday Riley UFO Oil: This oil absorbs quickly and primes your face perfectly for a bright summer glow. It’s a great way to get rid of blemishes without over drying your skin with acidic gels during warmer weather.

Exfoliation

It’s super important to get rid of dry skin during the drier months and the best way to do it is before you shower by dry brushing or adding in an exfoliating scrub. I use my Clarisonic with a body brush and add in one of my favorite scrubs.

Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub: best for your budget! This stuff, just like the rest of the line, is pretty solid. It’s my go-to during the super sweaty months inside and outside the studio.

Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish: I started with the lip scrub from this line, and immediately got hooked by all of it! This stuff smells amazing and leaves you feeling super silky.

Ole Henriksen Rub n’ Buff Sea Salt Scrub: I love everything from this line, and this scrub is no different! If you’re sensitive to sweet smells, this one’s for you.

Lip Care

Your lips shouldn’t be neglected when it comes to the above steps! It’s sensitive skin, so it’s really important to apply sunscreen and care for it the same way you do the rest of your body. I start by exfoliating, priming, and then add in my Glossier daily sunscreen before applying lip color.

Bite Everyday Agave Lip Scrub: This stuff is PERFECT for summer. It keeps your lips hydrated post-scrub and leaves them ready for the rest of your lip regimen and lipstick.

Fresh Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy: This soothes dry lips, and is the perfect match to your favorite lip scrub. It has anti-aging properties that really help out during the sunnier months with fine lines/etc.

Brightening

With all the sunshine, it’s super important to care for your skin and treat dark spots and blemishes, which can darken during the summer months. The best time to add in skin lighteners and brightening products is at night when your body has time to regenerate. I love my brightening sleeping masks!

Obagi Nu-Derm Fx Set: This is one of the most powerful skin lighteners out there, and one of my favorites. Blend the two together to reduce sun spots, and reveal a more radiant skin tone. It’s worth the splurge.

Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Vitamin C Brightening Sleeping Mask: THE best on the market. It even moisturizes your skin, which preps your skin perfectly for warmer weather!