I had a GREAT month when it came to favorites. Getting the flu–not so great. But that’s behind me now, so let’s enjoy, shall we? Click to read more!But Wait! There's More →
As an owner of the original Chloe Eau de Parfum (and lover of it – check out my previous fragrance collection videos Part 1 and Part 2), and an absolute lover of anything rose-scented, I was ecstatic to get my hands on this new offering from the house of Chloé. Some of you may recall my desperate attempts last year to get my hands on the limited edition 2011 version called Chloé Rose Edition. Alas, it was never meant to be, but I truly believe it was because Roses de Chloé and I were destined to meet in 2013.
Some said the 2011 rose-scented incarnation smelled exactly like the original Chloé, and thus felt cheated out of their money. Having never smelled that one, I cannot comment on that, but I can say that Roses de Chloé (can we please just shorten this to RdC from now on? My hands thank you.) is an entirely different animal. Older, with a more mature Damascus Rose, it took me a few sniffs to figure out if I liked it, quite honestly. It loses that clean, crisp Chloé scent but holds onto something more feminine, classic, and more niche-like (very few people will probably smell exactly like you, unlike most mass-market perfumes).
This is a slightly more grown up scent, but spins and interesting, almost subtlely fresh break on the traditional rose (perhaps it’s the eau de toilette?). Whatever it is, I like it, and while it sometimes runs a little too aldehyde for my usual taste (I like more powdery scents) this is definitely a beautiful scent to take you into winter, spring, and even summer. Give it a sniff!
Perfumers: Michel Almairac & Mylène Alran
Notes: Damascus rose, bergamot, magnolia, white musk, amber
Prescriptives revolutionized the fragrance scene in a world of florals and orientals with a fresh, verdant scent called “Calyx”. Since the brand Prescriptives went exclusively online, sister brand Clinique took the famous secent under its wing and redebuted it–exact same formula, notes, and all–this month. It retails for about $52-69, making it an inexpensive scent as far as brand fragrances go, and can be found anywhere Clinique is sold. Explore the product online.
I’m not much for fresh scents (a look at my fragrance collection videos will reaffirm–here’s part one and part two), but since I’ve been sick with the flu for 8 days last week, I found myself spritzing this on every now and again, and I felt fresher, cleaner, and less “icky”. Floral scents (or pretty much any other fragrance for that matter) smelled too cloying and sweet to my sickly nose–but Calyx did the trick. Could this be the first fresh scent I’ve ever loved? Nay — my gateway drug into the world of fresh, green-smelling fragrances? Time will tell.
By the way, if you’re curious about the name, the world calyx means, “the sepals of a flower, typically forming a whorl that encloses the petals and forms a protective layer around a flower in bud”.
Bite Beauty stole my heart a long time ago with their cute logo (a bite taken out of the B? adorbs!) and creamy lipsticks in beautiful, highly pigmented shades. One of their holiday offerings is this limited edition Bite Collectors Edition set, valued at over $200, for $98 exclusively at Sephora. Only 1000 of these sets were produced.
On the whole, I found the set perfect for gifting, but not much I would covet myself, personally. The lipsticks are teeny tiny, and some are nice and creamy (what I would expect from Bite) while others left more to be desired, with a glazy, sheer finish. Perhaps the thing that most disturbed me (perhaps because I’m a beauty blogger and feel the need to label everything), is that the lipsticks aren’t named. Sure, they come with some barely-discernable color schema on the back of the box, but if I were to throw away all the packaging, I’d have a (albeit gorgeous) set of unnamed lipsticks.
What I do think this is PERFECT for is breaking up into little pieces for stocking stuffers/gift bags. How cute would it be for your girls/girlfriends to open up one of these adorable little double-ended lipsticks? I also find these PERFECT for throwing in your handbag, because you have two lipstick options in one small “bite-sized” little tube. (See what I did there?)
Click on each image in the gallery below to see a larger picture.
As the holiday season approaches, the number of photos taken of us increases proportionately. This can be at once inspiring, and anxiety-provoking. On the one hand, we’re making and preserving memories. On the other, we’re constantly focused on the S.O.S: State of Our Skin. In this post, I’ve outlined some tips I recommend to keep your skin in the clear—this season and all year round.
Clean, But Don’t Over-Clean
It’s counterintuitive, but most people I know either don’t clean their faces enough, or they’re cleaning it way too often (or too harshly). Contrary to popular belief, acneic skin isn’t hardy and tough; in fact, it’s quite sensitive and one of the reasons why it tends to overreact to most environmental and internal insults. It sounds counterintuitive, but I choose a gentle cleanser without active ingredients, for the morning, when my skin is its most calm. Then I save the cleanser with acne-fighting ingredients for use before I go to sleep. I typically look for an ingredient–such as salicylic acid–which exfoliates the skin to prevent clogged pores that can lead to blemishes. Cleansers containing benzoyl peroxide can be helpful, however I personally don’t like them in my cleanser because it bleaches the towel I use to dry my face. I usually just save the benzoyl peroxide for a treatment product.
Wash your face twice a day–you are allowed extra washes if your face gets visibly dirty (playing in the mud, mm?), or if you are post-workout. Again, extra washes should be with a gentle cleanser.
Here are some of my tried-and-tested, absolute favorite cleansers:
What Causes It: Bacteria
Pores are like a motel vacancy sign to bacteria (the most common being Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes).Bacteria cause inflammation and pimples. 4 The pimple is actually your body trying to rid itself of the acne: it tries to kill it with white blood cells, the body’s immune system.5 This is pus (gross, I know, but you should know that pus = white blood cells, not pus = bacteria).6 The bacteria are invisible to you. None of this would happen if your pore was never clogged in the first place. Does that make sense?
Choose a Topical Regimen and Stick With It
No matter what route you choose (3-step systems at the department store, drug store products, or even prescription products from your dermatologist); I really believe that you must stick with it. Remember, your skin could fall right back off the wagon if you aren’t careful. Don’t quit just because you’re ahead – that’s the most common mistake I’ve seen my fellow acne sufferers make (myself included, on countless occasions). It’s easy to get confident and think you have “cured” your skin of acne, but that hasn’t been the case with me.
Did you know? P. acnes has never shown resistance to benzoyl peroxide. Antibiotic resistant strains of P. acnes have emerged over the years, but old reliable benzoyl peroxide has proven to be effective, when applied properly.
If you have already tried OTC (over the counter) products and they haven’t worked for you, the next step is to see a dermatologist or your regular doctor.
The Good Stuff
I’ve talked about Epiduo® (adapalene and benzoyl peroxide) Gel 0.1%/2.5% before and it’s still one of my favorite choices because it contains a pore-unclogging medication (adapalene, a type of retinoid)7D as well as antimicrobial benzoyl peroxide in one step. In one step. Can you see now why I like it? As always, remember that Epiduo is a prescription acne treatment, which you can get from your regular doctor or dermatologist.
I could write about a lot of things, but there is such a grey area when it comes to fighting acne from beyond the drugstore. It makes me sad to see so many people throw their money away on this system or that system – when what they really need is to make an appointment with a dermatologist or their regular doctor. It can save a lot of money in the long run, with far more effective results, in my opinion. Save on your Epiduo prescription with a rebate here.
As always, nothing I say here should be taken as medical advice (again, please see your dermatologist or regular doctor).
I like Epiduo® Gel, and if you think you need that next step, I recommend you make an appointment with your dermatologist or regular doctor at their next check-up – don’t wait until the problem gets out of hand. You can use AAD’s Dermfinder to look for one. You want clearer skin for the holidays, don’t you?
Important Safety Information for Epiduo® Gel:
Indication: EPIDUO Gel is indicated for the topical treatment of acne vulgaris in patients 9 years of age and older. Adverse Events: In controlled clinical studies, the most commonly reported adverse events (≥1%) in patients treated with EPIDUO Gel were dry skin, contact dermatitis, application site burning, application site irritation and skin irritation. Warnings/Precautions: Patients taking EPIDUO Gel should avoid exposure to sunlight and sunlamps and wear sunscreen when sun exposure cannot be avoided. Erythema, scaling, dryness, stinging/ burning, irritant and allergic contact dermatitis may occur with use of EPIDUO Gel and may necessitate discontinuation.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1–800-FDA-1088.
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Galderma, the makers of EpiduoGel. I would never write about, or endorse, a product that I did not thoroughly research and subsequently approve of whole-heartedly. EpiduoGel is a product I personally and professionally stand behind 100%.
For a long time I’ve coveted the mind-bogglingly-expensive boar bristle brushes by Mason Pearson that they experts reportedly tout as the “best brushes on earth” — but couldn’t afford the whopping price tag (It’s in the hundreds, people! For a brush!). Then I found this brush online, took a chance, and within days it was on my doorstep (thanks, Amazon Prime!). The appearances are startlingly similar, but the Denman brush costs less than 10% the price of a Mason Pearson. Now, am I saying this will last you ages? Probably not. But if you want the feel and function of a boar bristle brush (whose bristles, by the way, help redistribute the hair’s natural oils from the scalp to the ends of your hair), then give this one a go. Definitely my new favorite brush!
By the way, the Denman brushes have real boar bristles, too. Just like Mason Pearson.
While you’ll normally see me with a bright pink lip most days (that I’m not working, that is), when it comes time for autumn, I can’t help but gravitate towards a deep, plum berry lip. Case in point: this gorgeous color called Amethyst #165 by Dolce & Gabbana. Gorgeous shade. As with all darker lipsticks, make sure your lips are well conditioned and exfoliated before applying. Try mixing granulated sugar in some olive oil for a quick, DIY lip scrub!
Makeup In This Tutorial
Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation (not pictured/filmed)
Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil in Blonde (not pictured/filmed)
Aerin Rose Lip Conditioner*
em Michelle Phan The Great Cover Up concealer in Fair/Neutral*
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light* (from the ambient lighting palette)
Real Techniques Powder Brush
Too Faced Milk Chocolate Bronzer*
Real Techniques Blush Brush
TheBalm Cabana Boy blush
Jane Iredale blush brush
MAC Paint Pot in Painterly
Clinique All About Shadow Neutral Territory 2 palette*
e.l.f. eyeshadow brushes
Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal pencil in Brown
Urban Decay “Verve” from Naked 2 Palette
Shu Uemura eyelash curlers
Maybelline Big Eyes mascara in black
Clinique Bottom Lash mascara
Dolce & Gabbana “Amethyst” lipstick*
• Revlon Super Lustrous Shine – Plum Velour
• Revlon Super Lustrous Shine – Berry Couture
• Revlon Super Lustrous – Berry Haute
*Items noted with an asterisk were provided by the respective brand or PR company for the possibility of review. Only gifted products that I love and use regularly are mentioned here.