Spring Fresh: (5 minute natural and glowy makeup routine)

When I need to throw myself together quickly I opt for minimal makeup, focusing on lush lashes, glowing skin and sheer, rosy lips.  This is one of my favorite looks for the spring and summer and can easily be glammed up by using … Continue reading

Simple, Ultra Black Smokey Eye & Luminous Skin (Perfect Look for Valentine’s Day!)

With Valentine’s Day this week, I wanted to share my favorite sultry makeup look!  I only wear this for special occasions/nights on the town.  Details on how I got this look below!  Also, to get soft, romantic curls I followed … Continue reading

Everyday Natural Makeup Look With My New Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette

I’m completely infatuated with YouTube beauty tutorials now, specifically Tiffany D, Tanya Burr, Michelle Phan and Carli Bybel.  Tanya Burr recently did a gorgeous date night eye makeup tutorial that inspired my look in today’s post.  She paired it with a bright fuchsia lip … Continue reading

New Beauty Find! BeautyBlender Makeup Applicator

My June Beauty Talk guest listed the BeautyBlender as one of her top 5 beauty essentials.  After hearing her rave about it I just had to get myself one!  I’m so glad I did.  This is so far from your drugstore makeup sponge … Continue reading

June Birchbox

I recently joined Birchbox and will be blogging about each monthly shipment I receive.  Birchbox lets you sample the latest beauty and skincare products by delivering a box full of samples to your doorstep for only $10 a month!  You fill out a questionnaire upon signing up so each month your box is personalized to your preferences, skin tone, etc.  Each month also has a different theme and the items inside are associated with that theme.

They work with all the top brands like NARS, Khiel’s, Stila, Fresh, Essie and many more.  You can check out their list of brands here.  They also have a rewards system so that when you buy full-sized products from their site you accumulate points you can put toward items.

Birchbox has a waiting list so once you request a membership you wait until it’s your turn.  I waited about two weeks for my invitation.  Here is my review on the June Birchbox!

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June’s Birchbox is a Jet Set theme, so it’s full of items that are travel-friendly and serve multiple purposes.

What’s Inside

Juliette Has A Gun Not a Perfume perfume sample

-What it is:

A single-element fragrance by Romano Ricci. It’s made with Ambroxan, which is a synthetic substitute for grey amber and often used as a back note in perfumes. Juliette Has A Gun is described as “minimalist, elegant, pure.” It’s also allergen-free.

-My thoughts:

This is a very unique, clean, feminine scent. I like that it’s made with just one element. I’d imagine this would help minimize perfume-induced headaches, which I definitely get with some brands. I don’t see myself buying a full bottle but I do enjoy the fragrance.

Full-size cost: $85-$110

Melvita Rose Floral Water

-What it is:

A facial toner made primarily of water and organic rose petals. It’s meant to hydrate, refresh and tone skin. It’s made specifically for sensitive or prematurely aging skin.

-My thoughts:

I absolutely love facial mists and really like this one. My skin feels instantly refreshed and hydrated after a spritz of this and it has a very strong rose scent. They also make lavender and orange blossom floral waters. I would definitely purchase a full bottle of this product. I’d prefer it in lavender since I don’t love rose-scented things.

Full-size cost: $22

Stila Stay All Day 10-in-1 HD Beauty Balm

-What it is:

A 4-in-1 product that serves as a primer, moisturizer, anti-aging serum and sheer foundation all in one. It’s full of peptides to minimize appearance of wrinkles and antioxidants to protect against free radical damage.

-My Thoughts:

I’ve been really curious about beauty balms and was excited to try this.  I really like Stila products and this did not disappoint.  It provides a bit more coverage than the tinted moisturizer I typically use. It has a really luxurious feel as it goes on and it absorbs flawlessly into skin.  It has a nice, fresh scent to it as well.  I’m totally obsessed with my Laura Mercier but I would buy a full bottle of this product.  The only downside is it doesn’t have any SPF in it.  My fabulous beauty-blogging cousin gives more details on beauty balms here.

-Full-size cost: $38

theBalm Cosmetics Stainiac in Beauty Queen

-What it is:

A 2-in-1 lip and cheek stain in a bright pinkish red shade. It has a gel consistency and it’s very long-wearing.

-My thoughts:

I’m a fan of the Benefit Benetint Rose stain and this gives similar color pay-off. The consistency is completely different, though. I like the gel consistency of this better. The Benefit stain gives a runny application and the gel formula of the Balm’s product makes application a breeze. Beauty Queen is described as a magenta-toned pink but I think it looks more red, like Benefit’s product. It makes lips look naturally but noticeably rosy.  It also gives a gorgeous natural-looking flush to the cheeks.  It doesn’t have a scent, which I also like. I would definitely purchase a full-sized tube of this. They make it in 2 other shades; Prom Queen-a rose pink, and Homecoming Queen-peach.

Full-size: cost $17

ModCloth Headband

What it is:

A retro-inspired headband with flexible metal wire.

My Thoughts:

I can honestly say I would not be caught dead in this headband. It’s just not my style at all. The one I received has a deer print on it, which I really don’t like, but the overall retro-style just isn’t me. It could look really cute on someone else with the right clothing.

Full-size cost:$14

6 Steps to Luminous Skin

I prefer a dewy, luminous glow over a matte look any day. Particularly in warm weather. Taking proper care of you skin and drinking tons of water is the first step in getting this look (you can see my skincare routine & tips here). Once you have that down, you can use products to enhance the appearance of your skin. My favorite blogger, Emily of Cupcakes & Cashmere, does a great dewy makeup how-to here.  Here are my tips and products for achieving a dewy glow:

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1. Moisturize before applying any makeup

This is a very important step, wether you’re going for a dewy look or not. When skin is dry, makeup can’t apply and set smoothly. I apply moisturizer first thing in the morning, let it soak in while I get ready for my day and then apply my makeup.

2. Opt for tinted moisturizer over foundation

Foundation can be too heavy on the skin and create too much coverage, which decreases luminosity. I swear by Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20. It’s a bit pricey but well worth it. It lasts for awhile and give the most beautiful, sheer coverage.

If you have a foundation that you really like make your own tinted moisturizer by mixing your foundation with your daily face lotion.

3. Use a liquid illuminator

I’ve tried several and NARS Illuminator in Copacabana is my favorite. you can use an illuminator many different ways but I prefer to mix a drop in with my tinted moisturizer and apply both together. If you prefer to use it separately, use sparingly and apply to cheek bones and bridge of nose. Blend really well.

On lazy weekends when I’m wearing little to no makeup I’ll skip the tinted moisturizer, blend the illuminator in with my daily moisturizer, apply some lipgloss and be done!

4. Use a bit of bronzer

I love Nars Bronzing Powder in Laguna. It’s gives really smooth, even color and blends easily so I’m never left with any accidents. Lightly sweep the bronzer all over your face, particularly your cheek bones and nose.

5. Finish with cheek color and shimmer powder

For my cheek color I alternate between Tarte Cheek Stain in True Love and Nars powder blush in Orgasm. The cheek stain will enhance the dewy factor more than the powder blush will, but both are great.

I finish off the look with a swipe of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle. It’s a light shimmer powder that gives a luminous glow.

This may sound like a lot of makeup but I use each of these products very sparingly so I don’t end up looking too overdone, cakey, shimmery, etc.

6. Spritz with a facial water or toner

To set your makeup and enhance luminosity I spritz on either Evian Mineral Water Spray or Lush Breath of Fresh Air toner. I like to keep one of these in my bag for a mist of hydration and refreshment throughout the day and also to freshen the appearance of my makeup.

What are your favorite tricks & products to achieve luminous skin?