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!

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!


Halloween costume ideas, Masquerade mask, Kale sweatshirt, kale, private party sweatshirt, wildfox sweater, cat ears, pharrell's hat, private party shirt, the real thing shirt, unicorn costume, unicorn jumpsuit, unicorn onesie, skeleton dress

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Like many, October is one of my favorite times of the year. And, I especially love Halloween and the clever costumes that pop up. There’s just one thing: it always seems to roll around faster than I can drum up enough creative looks to outlast the party circuit. Sometimes I just want to offer a micro-dose of costume to a Halloween party. I want a costume that’s juuusstt enough to participate in the festivities, get a few chuckles, and get back to watching Narcos on Netflix (preferably without changing clothes).

Whether you want to dress up as your favorite trendy veggie, celebrate your startup’s unicorn status, or go as The Real Thing, here are a few looks that I like to call: Halloween-ish.

Truly Natural with Pantene

Hair Care tips, Black Hair Care Tips, Black Hair Styling
Throughout years of constant heat treatment, styling, coloring, and enough product to supply the cast of Jersey Shore for an entire Summer, my hair has been put through the ringer. Already of an ultra baby-fine texture, even a little bit of treatment ways heavily on my hair. So, when Popsugar reached out to me to try Pantene’s Truly Natural Hair Care line, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Having such sensitive hair, anytime I switch to a new Shampoo and Conditioner, I like to use it for about a week before assessing to give my hair time to adjust. However, after just a few days of using the Pantene Truly Natural Clarifying Shampoo and Deep Conditioner, my hair already started to regain it’s natural bounce. The natural look and feel shined through even more after styling with the Defining Curls Custard and Shine Serum with Argan Oil. Follow the steps below for tips on how to enhance your natural curl.
clarifying shampoo, black hair shampoo, black hair conditioner
While hair is still soaking wet, tuck the front pieces behind your ear so that they will dry on their own with a natural shape.

Natural Curly Hair Tips, Curly Hair Styling, Natural Hair Styling, Curly Hair How To
Apply a pea-sized amount of the Defining Curls Custard to your finger tips and loosely scrunch hair around the crown. Using the same amount of the Shine Serum with Argan Oil, move to the ends of your hair and twist around your finger away from your face. 

Natural hair styling tips, natural hair care tips, black hair styling tips, curly hair styles
Since I rarely have time to let my hair air dry, blow drying my hair is a necessary evil. But, to lessen the heat impact and reduce any frizz, I use the hairdryer on a warm, low setting and angle downwards from root to tip. 
Bouncier hair tips, healthier hair tips, bouncy curl tips

And after using a little bit of the Defining Curl Custard, Shine Serum with Argan Oil, and low-level drying, my hair feels bouncier, healthy, and most important, Natural!

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Check out Pantene’s Facebook and YouTube page to learn more about the Truly Natural Hair Care line and stay up to date on their full suite of products. 

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Pantene through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Pantene Truly Natural, all opinions are my own

FEATURED: Popsugar Beauty

Fall beauty tips, Fall makeup tips, Beauty tricks for eyes, eye make up tricks, get rid of under eye circles

For as long as I can remember, Popsugar’s Beauty site, Bella Sugar, has been my go-to destination for makeup inspiration, hairstyling tips, and the like. So, when I had the opportunity to share some of my very own beauty advice on brightening tired eyes and maintaining that Summer glow through Fall on their website, it was perhaps one of the most exciting moments in this entire blogging experience! 

Check out my featured post on 2 Tricks to Instantly Perk Up Eyes! What are some of your tricks for waking up tired eyes from the Fall/Winter slumber?