#Iwokeuplikethis No really…I swear I did. Get the “no makeup look” recipe here!

Cruising through Instagram – I see lovely pics of people…bright-eyed and bushy-tailed…captioned with: #Iwokeuplikethis #nofilter. A piece of me cringes. Wait? Really? I look in the mirror…raccoon eyes and blotchiness stare back. I wake up like THIS?

Well, here is the reality…most people…most of the time…wake up less than picture perfect. The magic of lighting, filters, and “just the right amount of makeup” come into play when most of em’ claim #Iwokeuplikethis.

I’m not a hater. I am just calling it what it is. For sanity sake. I appreciate good lighting and good angles. But let me tell ya…99.9% of the time in a picture, I have some type of makeup on. And so do most people. Especially celebrities on Instagram. That’s keeping it real.

So…if you’re wondering…How? How does one get that “I just woke up like this” look? Which is the barely-there but covered-up-just-right look. Below is my recipe. I promise you…using the right shades/tones (that match your complexion) of concealer/foundation/bronzer, you too can look fresh-faced. Like you didn’t even try (but you kinda did).

After you wash, tone, and moisturize (because a clean canvas is the first thing you need for a fresh face)

2) Apply an under eye brightener. Most of us need a little highlight under the eye. Something to cover up the shadow or hollowness. I came across this By Terry Touche Veloutee highlighting concealer brush at Barney’s. I use shade Porcelian. I have many favorites in this category – but I like this for “everyday” because it’s not as heavy as a typical concealer and the pen applicator makes it a quick fix (and portable, for re-application)

By Terry Touche Veloutee highlighting concealer brush. Click pic to learn more or buy product 

3) Mix your foundation and daily SPF (my favorite SPF = eltaMD) and apply with a round foundation brush. I use less product when I use a round foundation brush and I’m able to spread it around evenly and thoroughly. Cover your face and blend down to your neck

I am a big fan of Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk foundation. I use shade #2. It’s light weight but it provides the right amount of coverage. It leaves a dewy effect that is key for the natural look

Click here for foundation –> GIORGIO ARMANI Luminous Silk Foundation 5.75-30ml/1oz.

Love this foundation

Love this foundation (product link above)

One of my fave foundation brushes = this one by Bobbi Brown. Click pic to learn more or buy product 

4) Using a blush or bronzer brush – lightly sweep bronzer along jawline, apples of cheeks, along forehead line, and down your nose. The idea is to highlight the places where the sun naturally hits most. This will also give you a bit of dimension. Keep your product and strokes light to avoid unnatural lines. You can always buff with another, clean brush

Loving this bronzer by Guerlian called Terracotta Joli Teint Powder Duo. I use color 01.  It comes in 4 different shades so you can pick the right match for your skin tone

Bronzer by Guerlian. Click pic to learn more or buy product 

5) Apply eyeliner in a light, dotting motion to upper and lower lash lines. This tends to give me a more “awakened” look. Avoid dragging the liner or pressing hard – goal is to apply only a little product to make the eyes pop a bit. I love Kevyn Aucoin Beauty ‘The Pencil Primatif’ Pencil Eyeliner in Basic Brown

Kevyn Aucoin eye pencil ❤ Click pic to learn more or buy product 

6) Grab a mascara and put a couple coats on your top lashes. Mascara is an excellent “make me look awake” staple. A purse favorite is Kevyn Aucoin’s Beauty “The Mascara Volume” mascara in Rich Pitch Black

Kevyn Aucoin volume mascara. Click pic to learn more or buy product 

7) Last but not least, apply a neutral color to your lips. A good neutral lip tone is Lipstick Queen’s Velvet Rope lipstick in Star System with Queen Bee lip treatment on top (which has a pretty honey shimmer). You want this subtle pop of color so that your lips don’t blend with your face, which can wash you out

my fave lipstick line, Lipstick Queen; this is the Velvet Rope line and color is Star System. Click pic to learn more or buy product 

this product is so fun. either alone or on top of another color. Lipstick Queen’s Queen Bee treatment leaves a bronze shimmer. Click pic to learn more or buy product 

And you’re done. The irony is – if you’ve applied it correctly, you won’t look done up but you’ll look put together and natural…some might question if you’re even wearing make up (in a good way). It’s the “I woke up like this” look that has em’ all fooled.

That's me with my #Iwokeuplikethis "no makeup" look

That’s me with my #Iwokeuplikethis “no makeup” look…and really good lighting 😉

there it is - all together. The treasure chest

there it is – all together. The treasure chest

Happy Sunday! xoxo

makeup routine staple – rain or shine

Over the past year, I’ve worked something {new} and {permanent} into my makeup routine. Now – when people ask me: ‘what can’t you live without in your makeup routine?’ Rather than saying under-eye cover or mascara, I go right to this product.

What is it?

A strong SPF.

No, not the SPF 15 that’s pre-mixed in a foundation. That’s not enough. After a lot of research, SPF 30+ everyday is the way to go.

What do I use?
SPF 41 tinted broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen
By elta MD

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The elta MD mineral sunscreen. 1 dollop of that on my foundation brush + 1 dollop of my mineral foundation and I am good-to-go.

Is it heavy?
No. And it mixes EASILY with your regular foundation or apply before your mineral powder. Sometimes, I even wear it by itself.

The elta MD sunscreen is good for even ‘extra’ sensitive and post-procedure skin.

How do I use?
I squeeze (a little less than) a dime size amount on my foundation brush and then squeeze my liquid mineral makeup on the brush too…and I apply the mixture to my face and neck. It blends perfectly.

it’s easy and now a staple in my makeup routine.

When it comes to helping prevent the signs of aging the #1 thing you should do is use a sunscreen everydamnday. Rain or shine. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. I wasn’t always good about this. But as someone who loves lotions/serums and fun products, this is one product that absolutely needs to be worked in if I truly want to take care of my skin. I love this sunscreen by elta MD because it doesn’t mess with my makeup and works seamlessly into my routine.

If you’re interested in purchasing: I grabbed mine at Bella Sante Spa in Boston OR click link or pic below:

Eltamd UV Physical SPF 41, 85-Gram

Happy Hump Day!

xoxo

Girls weekend mini makeovers! Check out the “recipe” here!

While up in Jackson, NH for a girls weekend we spent Saturday afternoon on the couch snacking and chatting. Does it get better than that? Quality time with your girlfriends is a treat that is hard to compete with. No big party or lavish dinner could ever compare to just hanging out uninterrupted with some of your closest friends.

In addition to a lot of catching up there were also mini makeovers – which was super fun for yours truly!  We used the same set of skincare and makeup products for all the ladies (4 ladies in total!). With a couples tweaks, the colors were adjusted for the different complexions. Below is a list and description of what we did. AND some before & after pics

“Everyday makeup” recipe:

Started with a clean face, of course!

1. Moisturizer. A good daytime moisturizer. I used Bluemercury’s m-61 hydraboost moisturizer. It’s just the right texture – not too heavy/not too light. Paraben free. And serves as a silicone-free makeup base, score! I typically use 2 pumps but depending on the gal, I used more or less judging on their existing hydration level (in other words, if I found dry patches, we used some extra). Lots of gentle patting to blend it in all over the face and neck

2. Eye cream. I used Bluemercury’s m-61 hydraboost eye cream on all the ladies. Usually 1 pump is enough for both eyes. Dryness under the eyes is not a good canvas and it’s always good to use a designated ‘eye cream’ for that sensitive area. I love the m-61 brand because it’s hydrating without being greasy, paraben free, and the handy pump is travel friendly / hygienic

m-61 hydraboost eye cream and moisturizer, the perfect pair

m-61 hydraboost eye cream and moisturizer, the perfect pair

3. Foundation. Now that our canvas was prepped – time for the foundation. Depending on the lady, some hadn’t worn foundation before and some swear by it. This foundation was definitely not a match for everyone’s skin tone which was risky – but I used moisturizer to dilute it – and because we were applying bronzer and blush at the end, I could take some liberties with a slightly paler foundation. I like this new foundation by YSL – it’s their new FusionInk foundation that’s been getting a lot of good reviews. It does have good lasting power (24 hrs – is the claim. I think that’s a bit of a stretch!) – but it gives great coverage – they call it “soft matte” – without being heavy or cakey. It feels super light on the skin. I used a couple drips just to even off any discoloration and start with an “even canvas”

YSL's new Inkfusion foundation. Great coverage, not heavy

YSL’s new FusionInk foundation. Great coverage, not heavy

4. Spot treatmeant with Eye Brightener & Concealer. Since I’ve had dark circles since birth, I’m almost certain I’ve tried everything to mask them. I have many favorites in this dept. But my latest love is the Eye Brightener wand by Bobbi Brown. It has a flesh tone to it so blends really well and can double as an eyeshadow primer. This looked nice on all the girls. Next, we did a little spot treatment with NARS radiant creamy concealer in Vanilla. Side note, I forgot my all time favorite concealer Clea de Peau Beaute concealer which is superb for the under eye area. But this one by Nars is great, does the trick (and much more afforable). Again, was able to get away with a lighter shade because I made up for it with added bronzer. Only a couple of light dots needed under the eyes and on any blemishes – lightly pat with finger tips to blend

Bobbi Brown eye brightener wand, goes on first - wear under concealer

Bobbi Brown eye brightener wand, goes on first – wear under concealer

Nars concealer - great for undereye coverage and spot treatment to cover blemi

Nars concealer – great for undereye coverage and spot treatment to cover blemishes

5. Eyeshadow. This was the first time I tried this eyeshadow palette and I loved it. Microsmooth eyeshadow palette by Sephora. A great combo of colors – I combined the lighter shades for all over the lid. I used the dark shades towards the outer corner to help open the eye. Also, a nice sweep of the lighter colors on the brow bone. I used this lovely brush by Bobbi Brown called the “eye sweep” brush to apply

Bobbi Brown eye sweep shadow brush and Sephora brand eyeshadow palette

Bobbi Brown eye sweep shadow brush and Sephora brand eyeshadow palette

6. Eyeliner. I only had 1 on hand but this baby did the trick. Bobbi Brown’s long wear eye pencil in Smoke. Because it’s a pencil I was able to vary how dark it went on. In other words, I pressed a bit harder if I was going for a darker line (I did this for Ashley who was a more olive complexion and darker hair). I lined the upper lid and lighter on the bottom – used more of a light dotting motion under the lash line. I always brush my finger tip ever so lightly over the bottom line so it doesn’t look so dramatic…blending it helps make it more natural vs. a stark line

Bobbi Brown long wear eye pencil - we used 'Smoke'

Bobbi Brown long wear eye pencil – we used ‘Smoke’ – it goes on nice and smooth

7. Mascara. I brought out 2 different  – I was disappointed to find that my Benefit’s “they’re real” mascara was chunking out a bit (might be because my sample is almost out) so I swapped to a tried & true Diorshow Iconic waterproof mascara. I put multiple coats on each girl. I’m big into mascara…a few coats per eye, it makes a big difference. Once applied, I typically dab lashes with a tissue to get off the excess

Two great mascaras for creating thick lashes - also anti-run, which is a must! Benefits "they're real" and Dior Show Iconic - both in black

Two great mascaras grfor creating thick lashes – also anti-run, which is a must! Benefits “they’re real” and Dior Show Iconic – both in black

8. Brow pencil. If anyone needed some brow fixing, I used this pencil liner by Chanel called the sculpting eyebrow pencil in blond clair which has a natural look. In other words, no harsh lines that scream ‘hey, I drew this on.’ I used it to buff in any bald or scarce brow areas. I’ve been hesitant with this step on myself in the past but have found if I do it right and use this pencil, it has a natural look and helps fill in my thin brows

Chanel eyebrow pencil - create for filling in bald spots in the brows, natural color and texture

Chanel eyebrow pencil – great for filling in bald spots in the brows, natural color and texture. Handy brush at end of stick to tame any wild brow hairs and blend in the color

9. Bronzer. I used this awesome, soft Bobbi Brown bronzer brush and Bobbi Brown bronzing powder in golden light. Thankfully, it was a good neutral color – not too dark or red and mixed well with each complexion

Bobbi brown bronzer and bronzer brush. Great combo

Bobbi brown bronzer in Golden Light and bronzer brush. Great combo

10. Blush. I love this one by Nars in the color Orgasm (thank you, Jilly Bean for making the introduction). Applied with a Bobbi Brown blush brush

Nars blush in Orgasm - used Bobbi Brown blush brush to apply (can you tell I love Bobbi brushes? so soft)

Nars blush in Orgasm – used Bobbi Brown blush brush to apply (can you tell I love Bobbi brushes? so soft)

11. Set it. We used Make Up Forever HD Finishing Powder to set everyone’s makeup using the sheer powder brush by Bobbi Brown. I’ve typically avoided this type of powder out of fear that it’ll be too heavy. But I love the lightness of this powder and have adopted into my routine to beat the excessive greasy glow I get on my forehead! I carry it in my purse because it tends to ramp up at the end of a work day

Make Up Forever HD finishing powder - swept on ever so lightly with Bobbi Brown's sheer powder brush

Make Up Forever HD finishing powder – swept on ever so lightly with Bobbi Brown’s sheer powder brush. Set make up and dull down unwanted shine

12. Lastly, lipgloss. I used a combination of this gloss by Sara Happ called The Lip Slip – The One Luxe color shine lip gloss in color ‘The Nude.’ Literally, the perfect nude gloss. On top of this, I put Nars lipgloss in Sweet Revenge. Nice POP of pink color. Looked good on everyone! This is a great combo for glossy lips with a pop of color without getting too dramatic

Great gloss combo - Sara Happ nude gloss and Nars lipgloss in xxx

Great gloss combo – Sara Happ nude gloss and Nars lipgloss in Sweet Revenge

Boom. done. Links to all products and brush accessories below.

The Before & After shots! Ashley, Whit, Jules, and Shannon <3

The Before & After shots! Shannon, Jules, Whit, Ashley  ❤

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It might seem like a lot of steps but this took all of 5 minutes per girl. It was an everyday look but everyone looked freshened up and ready to head out. We took our makeovers to a locally NH brewery – hooottties!!!

Links below to all products:

1. m-61 hydraboost moisturizer 2. m-61 hydraboost eye cream 3. YSL fusionink foundation 4. Bobbi Brown eye brightenerNARS radiant creamy concealer; Cle de Peau Beaute concealer 5. Sephora eyeshadow palette; Bobbi Brown eye sweep brush 6. Bobbi Brown eyeliner 7. Benefits “they’re real” mascara; Dior Iconic waterproof mascara 8. Chanel eyebrow pencil 9. Bobbi Brown bronzing powder ; Bobbi Brown bronzer brush 10. Nars blush ; Bobbi Brown blush brush 11. Make Up Forever finishing powder; Bobbi Brown sheer powder brush 12. Sara Happ nude lipgloss; Nars lipgloss

Purse essentials – don’t leave home without them

Most women have them – ‘purse essentials’ – those few beauty items we have to carry at all times. Unless of course we’re going totally minimalist and all we need is a debit card, license, and lip gloss…there are those nights. But for the nights when we want to be prepared…

I’ve thought long and hard about my essentials…and which ones have been the most handy and why. Below is the VIP list

1. You need a handy pouch to keep it all together in your purse. Without this everything flies loose and can’t be accessed easily…leaving you helpless in the ladies room

My favorite: Bloomingdales ‘Little Brown Cosmetic’ Case ($12 @ Bloomingdales.com)…just the right size, zip top, it’s vinyl so if you drop it it will wipe off easily

THE case

2. A good cover up. Since typically, I already have make-up on at the point in the day when I need my beauty essentials kit – I need something that’s good for touch ups and not super thick. It needs to be easy to apply. An open pot of concealer just won’t do it for me when I’m in a rush. I’d rather not stick my fingers into a pot of concealer and close it back up.

My favorite: Chanel’s Highlighter Face Pen ($40 @ select dept store – Bloomies, Nordstrom etc.) this product boasts: “In a single stroke, adds new radiance to makeup and dark areas of the face. It reduces the appearance of fine lines with an optical effect and lightens dark circles.” courtesy of Bloomingdales.com. Couple swipes under the eyes and on either side of the nose and I’m immediately more refreshed looking. I use the color ‘Light’

3. A blush to add some color to a ghastly complexion at the end of a long work day. Nothing like looking in the mirror and feeling drab – with a couple pats of this blush, you’ll literally look ready to head out to a dinner date

My favorite: Koh Gen Do Fresh Face Cheek Color ($41 @ Barney’s) I use the Pink Coral color. Why does this absolutely rule? You don’t need a brush…you just pop off the top and use the puff-top applicator to dot on your cheeks. Not sure about you…but I’ve broken multiple blush compacts in my purse, so sad. This is bust proof because the blush is already in powder form. Lasts forever too!

Koh Gen Do Fresh Face Blush

4. A lip gloss that doesn’t need your finger for application. If you know me, I love lipgloss and have many favorites – my current go-to’s:

For a natural hint of color and really good gloss/moisture: Mineral Fusion Liquid Lipgloss (~$5.24 @ Drugstore.com) I like the color ‘Enlighten’ – which is a light pinky nude

For a bit more color and some glitter: Chanel’s Levres Scintullantes Glossimer ($29.50 @ dept stores Macys, Bloomies etc.) – in layman’s terms, this is the lipgloss wand. I like the color ‘119’ which is a fun glimmery pink

5. A good MINI mascara…and frankly, I’m not too tied to a brand here. Recently, I’ve been alternating between a Bobbi Brown sample and a Laura Mercier sample. Either does the trick…I got them in free gift sets and they’re perfect purse size!

I like Bobbi’s mini ‘Party Extreme’ mascara in Black

Thanks for the free sample, Bobbi! Bobbi Brown Extreme Party Mascara mini

6. Travel size perfume this is another item you can get for free. Nordstrom is good about putting out free Joe Malone perfume samples. I like to carry a purse size of my favorite perfume which I splurged on for my wedding…

What: Byredo Gypsy Water ($110 @ Barneys for a set of 3 purse-size spray bottles)…why I like and why I splurged = I wanted a perfume ‘no one’ had for my wedding. I walked into Barney’s which is THE place to find unique/harder to find pefumes…I tried so many and landed on this scent. It’s light but it also has some deeper notes. I’ve never smelled anything like it and therefore, I knew it would always remind me of my wedding day. The pack includes 3 pretty good size bottles – one for my purse, one for home, and one for my gym bag…or, as back up for when one runs out. Most perfumes run you at least $50-$60 these days so I was willing to pay a little extra for something more unique. And the regular bottles are beautiful – the whole line is super creative and offers many different scents: Byredo website

Byredo Gypsy Water regular sized bottles – gorgeous

7. Last but not least an extra hair band…better known to me as a twistband ($5 for a 3 pack of solid hair ties @ Thetwistband.com)! This is clearly an essential – if you don’t need it, a friend will. Nothing sucks more than not having a hair elastic when things heat up and you feel your hair start to puff. I am a huge advocate of THE TWISTBAND – these elastics keep your hair back and don’t snag at strands. And they look cute on your wrist 😉

Details on the Twistband: http://wp.me/p1kq6s-bv

Twistbands! so many pretty colors

And that’s it…a few essentials…something to cover up blemishes and discoloration…something to give your cheeks a pop of color…something to lighten up the lips and freshen up the lashes, a scent to kick off the night…and a cute hair elastic in case the night ends with a wild dance party.

What are your purse BEAUTY essentials?

Eye brightener – perfect for post-party circles

I’ve been on a perpetual search for under-eye brightener (minimizes shadows, refreshes eyes). Beyond trying almost every concealer on the planet, I’ve also searched for a brightener to use when I don’t really want to wear concealer, but need some brightening. And frankly, sometimes I need/want both!

Dior makes a good eye brightener…available at most dept stores and Sephora. This pen last awhile – which is good because it’s almost $40. I like this brightener because it’s not thick, it spreads easily, and I notice an immediate brightening without looking like I put whiteout under my eye. I also put this around my nose, it can help with shadows there too.

Find it here, with more reviews: http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P66722&shouldPaginate=true&categoryId=1073

I like reading reviews on Sephora.com, I feel like people are pretty honest!