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Skin Care Junkie | 5 Minute Makeup Routine

The beauty hack that I’m most proud of聽is that I’ve perfected my morning makeup routine so that it’s only 5 minutes long! I get up before 5am so a long, drawn-out routine isn’t in the cards. Hair gets pulled up into a bun and some basic, but effective, makeup is applied in a few hurried minutes.

Here are my favorite products, all of which I highly recommend and have been using for months or years. They’re all from Sephora as well, it’s my go-to for makeup and skin care {check out this post for more}. I love their website, plus there’s a store across the street from my office. 馃檪

Skin Care Junkie 5 Minute Makeup Routine San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Beauty Blogger

First up, the most important product – Concealer. More specifically – Tarte Amazonia Clay Waterproof 12 Hour Concealer. I use shade light {yes, even in Summer} and it’s a really great consistency. The product is thick and good for coverage, but is well absorbed so that it doesn’t cause lines or fill in your wrinkles. I was a long-term user of the Laura Mercier Secret Concealer, but I’ve worked on swapping out my products for those without parabens. There’s no denying that it’s a really great product though, I recommend Laura Mercier as well. And how do I apply my concealer? Either with finger tips or with a baby beauty blender.

One of my favorite “new discoveries” from earlier this year {is it still new if it was five months ago?} is Tarte’s Hamptons Weekender Contour Palette. This is a gorgeous collection of colors – A highlighter, blush, and contour palette all in one. And the bonus is that they’re such pretty, versatile shades, that you can use them on your eyes as well! So this one $23 product takes care of my eyes and contouring my cheeks. Thumbs up!

While I use the Contour Palette on my eyes and my cheeks, I use different brushes – The Classic Double Ended – Shadow & Precision Brush and the Too Faced Kabuki Brush respectively.

My long time eyeliner love is Kat Von Dee Tattoo Liner. I’ve probably tried dozens of black liquid eyeliners and I always go back to Tattoo Liner in Satin Black. Simply put, it’s just the best out there.

My most recent mascara obsession is from Benefit, like my last few, and I’ve been using their Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara since December. Since I starting using Rodan + Fields Lash Boost my eyelashes have gotten really long and a bit unruly, this mascara helps keep them in order and looking their best. Paired with the聽Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler of course!

My eyebrow pencil is another LONG TIME favorite. As I mentioned above, I have used and loved Laura Mercier for years, and her eyebrow pencil is another favorite. In the last ten years my hair has been everything from fire engine red to platinum blond – And throughout I have been loyal to the Laura Mercier Blonde Eyebrow Pencil. It’s neutral but effective, and universally flattering.

Powder – I don’t use pressed powder on a daily basis, but I do keep it around for blotting or touching up midday or after work before an event. My go-to is Tarte’s Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Tinted Pressed Finishing Powder. It’s lightweight, easy, and has no sulfates or parabens.

Now it’s confession time. Tell me the truth – How long is YOUR daily makeup routine?

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Skin Care Junkie | My Favorite Cleansers

Over the last year I’ve turned into a bit of a cleanser junkie. I love my skin care routine, but I LOVE my cleansers. The feeling of fresh, clean, shining shine is just amazing. I look forward to my evening washing routine every day.

Hey – Don’t judge me.

Since there may be some more clean skin lovers out there, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite products right now:

Skin Care Junkie My Favorite Cleansers San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Beauty Blogger

Every Day Clean聽Boscia Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser. This is one of my long time favorites, I keep trying new brands and products, but I always come back to Boscia. It’s a clean formula with no sulfates or parabens, gentle enough for daily use, and super effective.

Quick Clean – Sometimes in our busy world there isn’t time to pull out cotton pads or giant bottles of product. Sometimes there isn’t even a sink! My go-to for a quick clean is the Josie Maran Bare Naked Wipes. They’re perfect for after the gym or on the plane or just to clean up your skin while running around during the sweaty Summer months.

Travel CleanEve Lom. This little balm is a lifesaver when you’re traveling. It’s not a liquid so TSA won’t try to steal it, you can apply it without water directly on to dry skin, and the container lasts for ever. Bonus? It’s ultra hydrating and feels wonderful on your dry, tired skin while you’re traveling.

Deep Clean – I’m pretty obsessed with the Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser paired with my Vanity Planet Ultimate Skin Spa System {you can read more about it here}. This baby is vegan, cruelty free, clean, and works oh so well.

Do YOU have favorite cleansers that I should try? Share!

Are you a big fan of skin care and beauty products?

Check out some of my other Skin Care Junkie posts: Alaska Glacial Mud Mask, Sibu Sea Berry Seed Oil, Musely Hydrogel Eye Mask, Raw Beauty & Coconut Oil, Natural Beauty & Hair Products, Mix Rx Apothecary聽Collection, Balanced Guru Facial Toner, FRE Skin Care, HerStyler Hair Styling Products,聽Favorite Anti-Aging Products,聽Travel Beauty, Current Beauty Must Haves, Daily聽Beauty Routine,聽Self Tan Luxe Face Oil聽and My Latest Sephora Order.聽

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Affirmations & Gratitude | A Beginner’s Guide

Writing down affirmations and keeping a gratitude diary are two of my secrets for maintaining a balanced, positive outlook on a daily basis.

Are these foolproof?


Stress happens. Bad moods happen. But these two practices help me start my day on the right foot, which can often improve my ability to tackle the hurdles that inevitably come up throughout the day.

Affirmations Positive Gratitude Journal Positivity San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger


An affirmation is a positive thought that’s written down and repeated. The goal is reinforcing your positivity through repetition. It may seem a little strange to write the same thing over and over, but you’ll discover that it can be very empowering.

Two key things that I like to keep in mind when I’m writing new affirmations are:

  • Use the present tense
  • Be positive!

Not sure what I mean? Rather than “I will start being more assertive” you would instead write “I am assertive. I will ask for what I deserve.” You’re not going to make a change in the future, the change has been made and you’re going to reinforce that mental switch through your affirmation.


Some people are great about laying in bed and going through a mental聽list of things that they’re grateful for each day. Or finding another time throughout the day to focus on this topic.

I for one, like to write it down. I set a calendar reminder for myself that goes off every morning and I pull out my gratitude journal and jot down聽what’s on my mind.

You can even combine these two practices and write down your daily affirmations and what you’re grateful for in the same place each day.

Are these practices that YOU think you could benefit from?

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MCLV Travel Diary | Packing Your Travel Toiletries Bag

Welcome to back to the MCLV Travel Series! After chatting about getting ready for your next vacation in this post, today we’re covering the first step in packing – Your travel toiletries bag!

I’ve broken down the goodies into four categories and you may not need all of the items or all of the categories, but it should give you a good starting point when you work on your kit!

MCLV Travel Diary Wanderlust Traveling How to Pack your Travel Toiletries Kit San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger


These are the “don’t leave home without them” essentials that you really don’t want to forget. I’ll generally go for natural and/or fragrance free products since I don’t want to irritate my sensitive skin while I’m traveling.聽I often have to pack these for two because someone never remembers shampoo or floss.

Skin Care:

Here’s where things get interesting! My daily skin care routine changes all the time as I add in new products and adjust things based on how my skin is doing. I also love using samples and trying new products while I’m traveling, since they’re so conveniently sized. I know some people refuse to use new things when traveling, so it’s all about what makes you comfortable.

Here’s what I’m packing skin care wise for my next trip:



Regardless of whether you have a finicky stomach or food allergies like me, sometimes it’s a good idea聽to have certain items on hand when you’re traveling. I keep a bag with all this stuff in my toiletries kit:

What goes in YOUR toiletries kit?

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Wanderlust | Caribbean Adventures

What’s a Friday without some daydreaming? This year my Wanderlust is taking me down to explore the Caribbean to search for new experiences.

While I love traveling and still have tons of places to visit, the last few years have been focused more on diving trips than visiting new cities or hiking through ancient ruins. Hopefully I’ll get some of those on the calendar in the next few years, but for now I’m enjoying tropical destinations, exploring the oceans, and seeing new plant and animal life.

After Costa Rica and Cozumel, this year’s destination is the furthest south of the Caribbean islands, Bonaire, in the Dutch Antilles.

Boneaire Caribbean Wanderlust Travel Diary Traveling San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Beach Tropical{Is there anything that makes you think of vacation more than crystal clear water?}



Boneaire Caribbean Wanderlust Travel Diary Traveling San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Beach Tropical

{The diving is supposed to be INSANE. Lots of undisturbed areas and beautiful plant and animal life. I’m hoping to find Atlantis.}

Boneaire Caribbean Wanderlust Travel Diary Traveling San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Beach Tropical

{Isn’t this insane? It’s salt. Salt pyramids. So crazy}

Boneaire Caribbean Wanderlust Travel Diary Traveling San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Beach Tropical

{Beach me please. I love jumping off of cliffs into water and tide pools, but sometimes a beach is just what the doctor ordered. Even though I hate sand. :)}

Boneaire Caribbean Wanderlust Travel Diary Traveling San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Beach Tropical

{I’m beyond excited to take my diving to a new level on this trip – We’re going to level up and get our Advanced Open Water certification while we’re on vacation.}

{Images from Wanderlust Pinterest Board}

What’s next on YOUR travel calendar?

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