So Fresh & So Clean

There’s one thing we use everyday where bacteria thrives, but often gets overlooked –  our makeup brushes. For someone like me with sensitive, oily skin, using dirty makeup brushes is detrimental. Not only do they carry/transfer bacteria, but the product build up makes application uneven. Basically, you’re not getting the full potential out of your (likely expensive) makeup and setting yourself up for a massive breakout in the meantime!

There are various opinions on how often to clean your makeup brushes, but most agree that you should aim for once a month. What usually prevents us from doing this regularly is the time-consuming nature of the project and/or not having time to wait for your brushes to dry before you need to use them again. I like to set about 45 minutes aside one Sunday a month to tackle this. Just 45 minutes, shorter than it takes some to apply their makeup!

My method is very simple:

  1. Layout 2 towels – one is for cleaning and one for drying.
  2. Wash each brush/sponge with basic white, unscented soap and warm water.
  3. Lay brushes on towel #1 after washed.
  4. Rewash each of the brush with gentle shampoo. I use either Johnsons Baby Shampoo or travel sized shampoos from hotels. I love this Malin + Goetz shampoo because it’s simple and has peppermint oil that leaves the brushes smelling fresh for weeks.
  5. Lay brushes out to dry on towel #2 by a window or fan.

That’s it! Super easy and highly necessary.

p.s. I’ve linked some of my favorite brushes above!

Liquid Lipstick Craze

There are 2 stores in this world that give me what one might call “The Target Effect.” One of them is Target itself and the other is…SEPHORA! I usually go in to restock on just one thing and leave with a basket full of others.

Yesterday I ran in to grab TWO things: 1. birthday gift card, and 2. a restock of my
highlighter (literally ran out for a day and looked like I hadn’t slept in weeks). Side note: I use a shade 4.5 and they were sold out, as always. I went up to a 5 and it works just as well!

Anyways, I grab my YSL highlighter pen and then stumble across the Anastasia Beverly Hills section on my way to check out. This little kiosk looked like it had been descended upon by a pack of wolves! Almost everything was sold out. But, there was one item that was not only nearly sold out, but the samples were gone too: the Liquid Lipstick!

Apparently Anastasia’s liquid lipstick is supposed to be just as good, if not better, as the Kylie Jenner lip kit. I picked up one of what was left, the Violet color, and it is absolutely amazing! It stays put and gives the impression of fuller lips. Today I’m going to stock up on the other colors, like the brownish oxblood and the pale muave nude.

When at the Anastasia booth, I couldn’t leave without picking up the very product that makes her famous – the brow wiz. I love this particular pencil because it’s like a gel and it’s very easy to control. I’m known to get a bit out of hand with my brow kits so this was perfect. I’ve linked the one I got above, but the website tells you what shade is best for your skin tone/hair color.

My final new favorite, is the Fresh Life perfume by Fresh. This smell is perfect and light for the Summer time. I wear Creed in the morning, but keep this one in my purse to use on the go.

Not a sponsored post, just Sephora-obsessed :).

Happy Hump Day!

Skin Therapy

Here in California, the whole “look good naked”, clean, clear skin look reigns supreme. Women (and men) will go to great lengths to achieve a clear complexion. I’m not sure if it’s getting one year closer to 30 or it’s the 4 years I’ve spent here, but I, too, have taken up an increasing fascination (borderline obsession) with skincare.

Achieving that glowing, dewy look doesn’t have to be expensive. The one investment I will make is a regular (monthly) facial. I do believe that facials make all the difference, and are just as relaxing as a nice massage! For every other day, a good skincare regime will do. Here are a few products I’ve added to my skincare arsenal as of late:

  • Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask – You know when you see a certain car that you like and from that moment on, you see that car everywhere? I had a moment like that with Tata Harper. I received this mask as a Christmas gift and instantly fell in love. When I mention it to anyone, it turns out they use it religiously too! If you’ve been living under a rock like me, then welcome to the world of Tata Harper. This mask is incredible. It penetrates deep into your pores, clears everything out, and leaves your skin truly glowing. I apply this mask every Sunday night for 30 minutes.
  • Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – I actually discovered this acne spot solution through Kylie Jenner’s snapchat. Think what you will about Kylie, but I believe that if someone has all access to the industry’s top beauty professionals and still swears by a certain product, it must be good. And, it is. So good. All you do is put a dab of this anywhere you have a breakout and leave it on overnight. In the morning the zit is GONE. No lie. This stuff is magic.
  • Glossier Priming Moisturizer – I’m loving Glossier products right now. Not only is the packaging genius but the Girl Boss, Emily Weiss, is killing it. This moisturizer is light so you can add multiple layers as needed. It has a bit of primer in it so your skin is perfectly prepped for foundation. If you’re going for a more natural look, then mix it with their Perfecting Skin Tint.
  • Lush Lip Scrub – So, first of all, I love Lush products. If you haven’t tried their bath bombs – do it now! All of Lush’s products are vegan and edible. Do with that info what you will…Andrew got me this mint chocolate lip scrub because my lips are always chapped. Having chapped, peeling lips is the worst, especially when you want to wear a nude lip color. It’s not cute. Now I just rub a little of this on my lips and wipe it off with my a cloth right before I put on lip color or balm. If it’s bedtime, I’ll use some of their None of Your Beeswax lip balm to give extra hydration overnight.

I’m always on the hunt for the latest and greatest skin care products. Some of the best products I’ve used have actually come from the comment section from blogs just like mine. So, please do share any products that you are loving right now!

Makeup Basics

One of the things I get the most questions about is my makeup routine.  Soon I hope to film a tutorial and share it with you. In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few of my foundational products that I swear by.

It’s taken me a lot of trial and error to find the right products that not only create a smooth, long-lasting finish, but also work with my skin tone. There aren’t a ton of beauty brands that market to diverse complexions and the skin types associated with these. Even in the world of beauty blogging, few bloggers/influencers address makeup application and skin care for diverse skin types. If you face any of these same struggles, then this post is for you!

Without further ado, here are my must-have “foundational” makeup products:

  • Primer – After moisturizing and applying under eye cream, and before you putting an ounce of makeup on, I highly recommend using a primer. The benefit of a primer is that is evens out your skin tone (great for olive complexion), helps to reduce redness, and provides a smooth base for your foundation to adhere to. I swear by Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Primer in green (sounds crazy but it works). You only need a small amount and can just blend it in with your finger tips. A fun fact about Smashbox – this is the makeup line that is used on set in movies, SO that means is MUST be good, right?!
  • Foundation – This is a given and Giorgio Armani is the industry standard, “best in show” for foundation. For what it’s worth, Kim K swears by this brand and even had them bring back a discontinued version because it is THAT GOOD! Specifically, I use the Luminous Silk Foundation. I squeeze a little bit on the back of my hand, dip the beauty blender in it, and sponge it onto my face. P.s. If you don’t have a beauty blender, you are seriously missing out! Get one asap. This is the one I use. Do not get the cheap kind, quality matters here!
  • Kabuki Brush – This brush is my absolute favorite! Once your foundation is sponged onto your face, use the kabuki brush in swirl motion to blend it in. At this point, your skin should have a very nice even tone to it. You will notice the benefit of the primer here too! The one I use is sold out, but this one is a great alternative.
  • Concealer – My mom (a makeup artist :)) got me hooked on Benefit’s concealer. This stuff is industrial strength and it seriously works! I use Benefit Boi-ing concealer in shade 3. I use a concealer brush and apply under my eyes in an upward motion. Always go UP, never drag your makeup brush downward on your face. So if you’re doing upwards strokes from the base of your nose to the outer edge of your eye, it should form a “V” shape under your eye. That’s the shape you want. Then blend it in with your beauty blender.
  • Powder – Finding the right powder has been the biggest “trial and error” process for me. Then, I found Laura Mercier and nothing can compare. I use Laura Mercier loose mineral powder with SPF 15 in Classic Beige. As a side note, if a product comes in an SPF version, I always go with that version. When it comes to protecting your skin from the sun, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Too much sun is one of the quickest ways to make your skin look older than it is, and it leads to skin cancer. Getting back to applying the powder, I basically just use a large powder brush to apply it all over. A little goes a long way here ;).
  • Highlighter – This YSL Touche Eclat highlighter goes everywhere with me. I actually invested in 2 of them so I could have one in my bathroom and one in my makeup bag at all times. It’s too good to forget. I use it for some many things, but when it comes to applying everyday basics, I use it underneath my eyes. Apply in a “V”-shape just like you do with the concealer, rub it in with your fingers, and you’re good to go!
  • Becca Brush – This brush is my go-to for cleaning up errors, applying bronzer (will get to this in a future post), and blending. It’s great to keep on hand as you’re applying your makeup, because you will inevitably need a “quick sweep” blend at some point.

That’s it! These are my basic, foundational products I wear just about everyday. Hope this is helpful! If so, I’ll be back with more on the rest of the makeup routine.

Happy Sunday!

Rainy Day in the Bay

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Coat (similar here and here)// Vest // Sweater(similar)// Pants// Boots// Bag (sold out – similar here)// Cary Lane Ring// Lip color

Hello 2016!

It’s been a few weeks, but I’ve taken some time to rest up and recharge for the New Year. Sometimes you need to give yourself a little break from the Holiday break to fully relax and indulge in the things that make you happy.

This time away has given me the opportunity to put some thought into the content and direction of this blog. Here are some of the things to be on the lookout for in 2016:

  • Career – Moving to Silicon Valley has challenged me in a variety of ways. You have to seriously be on your game here because there are lots of brilliant people (10 years younger than you even) doing HUGE things in the same amount of time you have. I will share some of things that have helped me grow in my career and what I’m learning along the way.
  • Home – We are making strides to make our little over-priced San Francisco apartment into a home! The design process comes with the added fun of working with my fiancee to find things that match both of our taste and at a good price. We will share how this develops over time.
  • San Francisco (and beyond) – Lots of travel is on the books this year. Also, there’s still so much to see and do here in the Bay. I’m excited to share this on the blog for those thinking of visiting the City by the Bay.
  • Wedding Planning – I’m getting married! It has still yet to sink in. We have a long engagement planned with lots to prep for the Big Day. I plan to share the process in hopes that it can help others planning for their wedding day, and get some advice in return!
  • Beauty – Thanks to being raised by a mother who is a makeup artist and model, I’ve picked up lots of tools of the trade along the way. I look forward to sharing some of these tips here  as well as some of my favorite products.

In the meantime, we are experiencing a downpour here thanks to El Nino. This is an interesting change of events after 5 years of a drought. This Saturday the rain stopped just long enough to take a walk out to the beach and the Palace of the Fine Arts. It’s a pretty incredible sight after near constant rain!

Afterwards, we grabbed a drink at our favorite bar, The Interval, and dinner at A16 in the Marina. If you’re looking for a cozy, upscale, Italian pizza spot after a day sightseeing by the Golden Gate Bridge, A16 is a must.

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Trench coat, red hunter boots, hunter boots, hunter boots and plaid, san francisco, golden gate bridge, san francisco outfit, kate spade bag, boots and leggings, what to wear in san francisco, rainy day outfit, alex haygood, vast aspiration, vast aspiration 2016, fashion inspiration, lookbook, top bloggers, fashion blogger, style blogger
Trench coat, red hunter boots, hunter boots, hunter boots and plaid, san francisco, golden gate bridge, san francisco outfit, kate spade bag, boots and leggings, what to wear in san francisco, rainy day outfit, alex haygood, vast aspiration, vast aspiration 2016, fashion inspiration, lookbook, top bloggers, fashion blogger, style blogger

Trench coat, red hunter boots, hunter boots, hunter boots and plaid, san francisco, golden gate bridge, san francisco outfit, kate spade bag, boots and leggings, what to wear in san francisco, rainy day outfit, alex haygood, vast aspiration, vast aspiration 2016, fashion inspiration, lookbook, top bloggers, fashion blogger, style blogger

Trench coat, red hunter boots, hunter boots, hunter boots and plaid, san francisco, golden gate bridge, san francisco outfit, kate spade bag, boots and leggings, what to wear in san francisco, rainy day outfit, alex haygood, vast aspiration, vast aspiration 2016, fashion inspiration, lookbook, top bloggers, fashion blogger, style blogger

Trench coat, red hunter boots, hunter boots, hunter boots and plaid, san francisco, golden gate bridge, san francisco outfit, kate spade bag, boots and leggings, what to wear in san francisco, rainy day outfit, alex haygood, vast aspiration, vast aspiration 2016, fashion inspiration, lookbook, top bloggers, fashion blogger, style blogger