FEBRUARY FAVORITES | 2018

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Christophe Robin – Moisturizing Hair Oil with Lavender

This hair oil is the most nourishing product I have ever used. I have dry, color treated hair and a good hair oil is a must for me. This hair oil is silicone free and contains palm oil (I couldn’t find info how how it was sourced – if that is a deal breaker for you), linoleic acid, vitamin E, and olive oil. It’s a little hard to use because it is a semi-solid and can be tough to get out of the bottle – I just take mine into the shower with me and let the heat liquefy it a bit. I hae been using it for 3 months as an overnight mask or before/after styling and I have seen a noticeable difference in my hair – it feels and looks more moisturized, smoother, and all around healthier. This will probably be too heavy for someone with fine hair.

Smashbox – Camera Ready BB Water (fair)

Smashbox’s BB Water has been my everyday, go-to base! It has light coverage that evens out skin tone, lasts all day, melts seamlessly into the skin, and sets down completely without powder. This product really gives a “your skin but better look” and does not wear away throughout the day. My biggest complaint is that it takes close to a full dropper to do my entire face so I have been plowing through it.

e.l.f. – Beautifully Bare Natural Glow Lotion (rose)

This lotion is beautiful – it is a light pink,glitter free skin perfecter. I use the Glow Lotion as a primer under foundation or as a luminous base on a no-makeup day and it gives the skin an effortless, youthful, ethereal glow. This is the perfect thing to throw on if you don’t want to wear makeup, but your skin is looking a little dull or flat.

Kate Somerville – Anti Bac Clearing Lotion

I have the biggest love/hate relationship with this product – nothing clears my skin like a good benzoyl peroxide and nothing slowly sucks the life out of my skin like benzoyl peroxide. The Kate Somerville’s Anti Bac clears all of the texture from my chin and forehead, but I walk a fine line between using it frequently enough to be effective without drying the hell out of my skin. It’s made it into my February favorites because I took a good 3 month break from it and reintroduced into my skincare this month and was reminded about effective it can be on some of the problem areas on my face.

That’s So Retrograde

I’ve casually listened to this podcast for awhile now, but recently I have been on a binge listing to the whole catalog, and re-listening to episode I have really loved! It is a wellness podcast that covers everything from numerology to foam rolling. It is hosted by two hilarious women – Elizabeth and Stephanie. They are very well informed and yet are still constantly surprised and learning in each episode. They ask the perfect questions and have hilarious banter with their guests – even the episodes with guests I’m not particularly interested in are still entertaining. I have linked to an episode with Rose Marie Swift, the founder of RMS Beauty.

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Kevin Aucoin – The Sensual Skin Enhancer Concealer and Foundation – Review

Kevin Aucoin’s The Sensual Skin Enhancer is described as “a must-have concealer and foundation that covers, contours, perfects, and corrects as it mimics the appearance of healthy, radiant skin.” You can “cover all your bases with this one of a kind, all-in-one, Kevyn Aucoin original formula. Correct, conceal, and contour with this complete coverage foundation. Jojoba oil, honey, and minerals hydrate the skin and create the ultimate soft, dewy complexion. The formula is long-wearing, sweat-proof, and perfect for all skin types and tones.” It comes in 16 shades, in a 0.63 oz plastic jar and retails for $48.00.

This product offers light (diluted with a primer) to truly full coverage and has a satin, skin-like finish. It lasts a full 12 hours without having to be set with powder and does not transfer throughout the day. Face products (bronzer/blush/highlight) blend out easily over the Sensual Skin Enhancer without a setting powder. A little goes a lonngggg way – I use a rice size amount on my forhead, chin, and each cheek. I find that a foundation brush works best to blend it out – a makeup sponge takes away too much coverage for me.

I really love this product for quick, everyday makeup. It can be mixed with a moisturizer or primer to create a tinted cream that lasts much longer than a standard BB Cream. I also use it as a foundation and it really covers everything I want to cover and truly looks like skin. I doesn’t cling to dry spots, accentuate pores, or settle into fine lines. It can be kind of hit or miss on my undereyes – I have to use the slightest amount and I do need it be set with powder. If I use too much or forget to set it, then it is a little greasy and cakey and weird.

Despite liking the product, I don’t love the ingredients or the packaging. I wish the Sensual Skin Enhancer came in a squeeze tube. As a general rule, I don’t like tubs and a tube or pump would be more hygienic and convenient. (Perhaps it’s to thick for a squeeze tube or a pot is more congruent with Kevin Aucoin’s luxury appeal.) I feel very conflicted about the ingredient list – the primary ingredient is mineral oil. My skin doesn’t have an issue with it, but I know it’s not really the best thing to put on my face. Also, Mineral Oil is cheap AF so I feel like I’m feel like I’m really paying for the name.

I think I would buy it again, but I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone because of the mineral oil and the price point.

Ingredients it DOES have:
Mineral Oil
Parabens – Spehora’s site has the producted listed as paraben free, but it does contain Methylparaben

Possible Irritants:
Talc
Fragrance
Mineral Oil

Vegan: No – honey and beeswax

Tested on animals: No

Complete ingredients:
Mineral Oil, Polybutene, Diethylhexyl Succinate, Polyethylene, Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Calcium Carbonate, Dextrin Palmitate, Honey, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol,Cera Alba (Beeswax/Cire d’abeille), Butylene Glycol, Cholesterol, Lecithin, Talc, Triethylhexanoin, Methylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum). May Contain (+/-) : Iron Oxides (CI 77491,CI 77492, CI 77499), Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77491).

Indie Cosmetics Spotlight #3 – Darling Girl Cosmetics – Review

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For this series, I am spending about $25.00 – 30.00 on an indie cosmetics brand and exploring their products! I bought Darling Girl Cosmetics on their website and was able to buy one Balm Gloss 3D ($6.00), three petite loose shadows ($3.25), one petite blush ($3.25), one Lumos Shimmering Pearls ($8.75) and a free gift with purchase eye shadow (it looks like the shade changes weekly and there is no minimum purchase to receive it). Overall, I liked everything I bought. he website is well organized, it has great swatch pictures, they offer petite sizes of their loose products, and they have a points system to save money off of future orders.

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Inner Glow Blush – Love’s True Kiss * Eye shadows – Ugly Naked Guy and U-taupe-ia * Highlights – Lumos Shimmering Pearls in Orion

Surprisingly, my favorite product was the Inner Glow Blush in Love’s True Kiss. Blush is my least favorite makeup product – it’s a necessary evil because contour and highlight would look ridiculous without it. I love LOVE this blush. It looks way too bright and glittery in the jar, but it gives me the best lit-from-within natural flush. The swatch reminds me of NARS Orgasm. I did not like Orgasm and I think the thing that sets Darling Girl’s blush apart is the fact that it melts seamlessly into the skin and has a healthy, beautiful sheen.

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I really like the eye shadows too! I had never created a full look with loose shadows so I was nervous about how the looks were going to work out, but I had zero problems. I didn’t use a colored base and just primed with a concealer and set with a face powder. All of the shadows blended so easily and did not have a crazy amount of fall out. Even the shimmery shades worked really well without any extra TLC – but (obviously) using a glitter glue did amp them up. The only shadow that I would use a white or black base  is the purple pigment Afternoon Delight – it worked fine, but just was sheer. My favorite shadow was the gift with purchase shade U-Taupe-ia, it is just the perfect shade for a one shadow look.

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Eye shadows – Ugly Naked Guy and U-taupe-ia
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Eye shadows – Ugly Naked Guy, Positively Peach, and Afternoon Delight * Highlights – Lumos Shimmering Pearls in Orion

I also bought the Balm Gloss 3D in Goldfinger. It has a vanilla cake batter scent and is a clear gloss with gold glitter.  I’m not a hug fan of glosses, but I liked the formula of this one because it’s not sticky. It is very glittery, not shiny, so I just dab a bit on  the center of my lips and use my finger to blend it out.

The Lumos Shimmering Pearls were another major winner. It is a light weight cream highlighter that comes in a glass bottle with brush applicator. I thought it was going to be a bit scary because it is described as “peach with green sheen”, but it is a really natural nude highlighter and I couldn’t see a green reflect at all. The cream worked really well on top of foundations and layered well under a powder highlight.

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Lumos Shimmering Pearls – Orion * Balm Gloss 3D – Goldfinger

I really loved my adventures with Darling Girl Cosmetics! It was a really great brand to experiment with loose shadows for the time and there are quite a few products I would absolutely recommended. I will buy the full size of the the Inner Glow Blush in Love’s First Kiss, I loved the Lumos Shimmering Pearls, and U-taupe-ia and Ugly Naked Guy are two basic eye shadows that anyone could use – though, at $3.25 per petite jar, I would try some of their more unique shadows!

e.l.f. Beautifully Bare Natural Glow Face Palette – Review

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🍃The highlight is very pretty, smooth, and subtle cool pink.

🍃The blushes are satin matte, easy to blend, not very pigmented, but buildable.

🍃The bronzer is very cool toned and satin matte

🍃The palette come in one shade that is best suited for fair/light skins

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The E.L.F – Beautifully Bare Natural Glow Face Palette palette is good enough that I am going to keep using it because I can create a nice, effortless look – it even works well for quick eye makeup. I will probably stick to just the blushes and highlight because I don’t like the bronzer. The blushes aren’t really my cup of tea either – they are too matte for me – but I have found that mixing in a touch of the highlight solves that problem. The best part of the palette is the highlight, it is absolutely beautiful if you are into a subtle, lit-from-with look. I don’t like the bronzer because it’s very cool and definitely is more of a contour shade, plus it just seems a little ruddy/dirty on my face.

I think that given the price (I bought mine for $8.00 at Ulta) and the convenience and the highlight, I think it’s worth buying if you are interested in it, but you definitely won’t be missing out on anything if you pass.

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Self Care and Beauty Routines

I think that a lot of times a passion for make-up and skin care gets written off as vapid, superficial, or frivolous, but I find the ritual and art of beauty routines to be a beneficial form of self care for my emotional well being.

A few notes on self care and beauty routines:

Firstly, I want to note that when I use the words “beauty routine,” I am using it simply as an inclusive word for skin care, makeup, hair care,  and body care rituals. I am not using “beauty routine” as the concept that there are certain practices one must follow to achieve an ideal of physical attractiveness.

Secondly, I want to note that, while I find peace in beauty routines, I do acknowledge that the self talk that accompanies them defines whether they are an act of self care or not. Negative self talk and self consciousness are somethings everyone struggles with and I believe beauty routines should be an act of self love, not a means used to feel attractive or valuable or deserving of love – you are already all of those things.

Finally, self care takes many forms for many people – myself included. I nurture my emotional and physical health in many ways and the calming ritual of beauty routines is just one.


I think that a lot of times a passion for make-up and skin care gets written off as vapid, superficial, or frivolous, but I find the ritual and art of beauty routines to be a beneficial form of self care for my emotional well being.

Most of us spend the majority of our day taking care of others, whether it be in our jobs with clients or at home with our family, and that responsibility carries a level of stress throughout our entire day. Self care is an essential part of emotional and physical well-being; it is the activities and practices that we use to reduce stress, find work/life balance, foster relationships and honor our emotional and spiritual needs.  Common examples of self care to manage stress would be yoga, prayer, journaling, drawing, or playing music. What I look for in a stress management practice is to have time to be alone, do something I enjoy, reconnect with myself, and recharge – beauty routines fit the bill perfectly.

My days are tornadoes of balancing paid work with kids and cooking and cleaning and nurturing and diapers and nursing and and and… it never ends and it rarely stops. I have to carve out time to pause and reset throughout the day because managing stress is necessary for my emotional well being, and helps me to be the person/coworker/wife/mother that I want to be. In the morning, I make time to get 10 minutes of quiet in the bathroom with a cup of coffee, a podcast, and my skin care routine to just reconnect with myself and try to begin the day in a state of peace. At nap time, before I start work or laundry or dishes, I take a few minutes to relax and play with makeup. In the evening, after everyone is in bed, I wind down with my skin care ritual that gives me a time to decompress and spend some time me. These little windows of time spent alone, doing something I enjoy, that is solely for myself help me manage my stress throughout the day and make me able to give more to my family, my job, and myself.

I feel that playing with eye shadow, trying on a new set of false lashes, or putting on a face mask is a dedicated point in my day where I can relax, reconnect with myself, and express some creativity. It is not about making myself beautiful or feeling like I am inadequate until my face is contoured or every last blemish is banished, it is about time alone spent on a ritual that celebrates my interests, nourishes my skin, is an outlet for self expression, and relieves stress.

Simple Beauty Products – Rose Water

I love beauty products of all kinds and sometimes I enjoy a good, simple product. This post is part of a series sharing my favorite one ingredient beauty products. If your are into simple beauty routines, some of the products in this series might fit really well into your collection!

I love beauty products of all kinds and sometimes I enjoy a good, simple product. This post is part of a series sharing my favorite one ingredient beauty products. If your are into simple beauty routines, some of the products in this series might fit really well into your collection!


Rose Water has almost an endless number of benefits and uses. Rose water is an astringent, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants. It can be sprayed on your hair and scalp to condition the hair and soothe scalp irritations like dandruff. Rose water can be used like aromatherapy to help reduce stress and anxiety to help you feel more relaxed and sleep better. For the skin, it can help maintain the skin’s pH balance, reduce acne and eczema, and add additional hydration.

I buy my Rose Water on Amazon and usually spend $10.00 – 15.00. The current bottle I’m using has an awful firehose spray – it’s not a deal breaker but it also makes it a little unpleasant to use. I look for rose water that is make from rose distillate (or hydrosol) and organic. Rose water made from distillation maintains the benefits of rose water, some rose water toners may be water mixed with rose essential oil . I love using rose water as a hydrating toner in my skin care routine, it’s so refreshing and relaxing. I haven’t tried it on my hair or scalp, though I may because I do get dandruff from time to time.