Tag Archives | skin care

Spring Beauty Essentials

Earlier this year I shared some fun ideas for mixing up your Beauty, Skin Care & Make-Up routines for Spring and today I’d like to share what I’m using on a regular basis. Some of these goodies are old standbys and some are new-to-me products that I’m loving so far.

You’ll notice an interesting mixture of brands, I’m slowly working my way toward using 100% eco-friendly, natural & green products but don’t want to be wasteful and throw away everything I’ve bought or been given so it’s a slow process.

Without further ado, here are my Spring Beauty Essentials…

Skin Care:

My skin care routine can be summed up in three words: Cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. I like clean, soft skin and I gravitate towards products that have little or no scent and an immediate effect.

Spring Beauty Essentials Green Beauty Eco-Friendly Beauty Products

Night Cream – Origins Mineral-Enriched Renewal Cream: This makes your skin feel amazing, my only complaint is that I wish it had a pump!

SPF Moisurizer – First Aid Beauty 5-in-1 SPF 30 Face Cream: I’ve been using this for a few weeks and I like how light it is on my face. I’ve tried a few moisturizers in the past that immediately caused breakouts or visibly oily skin which this does not.

Eye Cream – Ole Henriksen Fresh Start Eye Cream: Bonus? Keep it in the fridge!

Exfoliator – Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish: I’ve been using this for years and love how smooth my skin is after using it.

Mask – Origins Charcoal Mask, Boscia Luminizing Black Mask & Korres Brightening Sleeping Facial: Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a mask junkie. I’ll try any mask but these three are always in rotation.

Cleansing Wipes – Josie Maran: I started using these YEARS ago when they were given to me as a sample at Sephora and I’ve never looked back. They’re amazing for travel and I keep them in my styling kit!

Related Reading: MCLV’s Medicine Cabinet

Spring Beauty Essentials Green Beauty Eco-Friendly Beauty Products

Make-Up:

I prefer to keep my make-up routine simple and quick. Early mornings and long days mean that I need long-lasting, effective products that will keep me looking fresh from my first meeting all the way through my after-work events.

BB Cream –  Tarte Amazonian Clay: I’ve been mixing up what I put on my face in the mornings – Trying different products and new trends (BB, CC…) I’m currently using this Tarte one which I like, but my all time favorite is still the Dior Hydra Life Pro-Youth Skin Tinted Moisturizer. Seriously you guys, this is DIVINE.

Undereye Concealer – Laura Mercier: I’ve been using this duo for years and have never found anything that works as well!

Brow Pencil – Laura Mercier: Eyebrows are incredibly important, they really give your face shape & definition and I love how easy to use this pencil is. I’m dying to try Benefit’s Brows A Go though!

Mascara – Josie Maran Argan Mascara: I love this glossy mascara and usually go back-and-forth between Josie Maran and Benefit’s Bad Gal Mascara.

Eye Liner – Korres & I also love this liquid eyeliner from Stila If you’re new to liquid liner this Stila pen is basically training wheels – I highly recommend giving it a try!

Spring Beauty Essentials Green Beauty Eco-Friendly Beauty Products

Related Reading: MCLV’s Make-Up Bag

What are YOUR Spring Beauty Essentials?

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MCLV’s Make-Up Bag

I’m here today to give you a peek into one of a women’s secret sources of power – Her make-up bag. 🙂

I’ve always loved reading articles like this where celebrities or fashion insiders share their secrets so that I can discover new products and fun tricks to try. I swear, at this point, I’ve tried them all. Eye cream in the refrigerator, a perfume spritz on your hair-tie, tea tree oil on your nail beds, lining inside your eyes with a nude pencil, mixing multiple colors of blush to find the right shade…

My routine has been refined after years of trying new products and squeezed down to the bare essentials. Yes, I still love to play with makeup and a night when I get to do a smokey eye is a good night, but when you start work at 4:30am less is more in the preparation department.

Repeat offenders: These are the products that I use daily. It may have been all that time in Italy, but I rarely leave the house without putting myself together completely, which includes at least some of following basics: Laura Mercier Undercover Pot in UC-1, Benefit BADgal Mascara in Rich Black, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencils in Crash & 1999, Bare Escentuals Blush in Fruit Cocktail, Laura Mercier Eyebrow Pencil in Blonde & an eyelash curler.

LauraMercier

Other products in rotation: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Tipsy,  Tarte Liquid Liner, Chanel Inimitable Mascara in Noir, and Chanel Precision Eye Definer in Demonic or Coffee Bean.

Lotions: BagBalm, L’Occitane & Josie Maran Organic Argan Oil. I’m completely addicted to hand lotions so I’m practically a connoisseur after years of trying different brands.

Perfume: Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle – I keep a mini Coco roller ball in my purse and another in my desk. I talked about the evolution of my scent over the years here if you’re interested in learning more about how I ended up with this perfume.

In case of emergency: There are some extras I carry with me juuust in case. Who knows, you might have to run to an impromptu event after work and need to whip yourself into shape in only a few minutes. A dramatic eye is my go-to for dressing up so I always have the following extras on hand: Yves Saint Laurent Ombres Vibration Duo, Laura Mercier Eye Liner in Black Ebony, and Chanel Ombre Paupieres Eyeshadow in 747. This last one is a liquid eye base that comes in a phenomenal bronze color and can easily be used on lips, eyes and cheeks so it’s ideal if you can only fit one product in your bag. A MUST have. And last but not least, a kick @$$ red lipstick – Chanel Trois Facettes in Wildrose with the most amazing gloss ever, Chanel Levres Scintillantes Glossimer in Galactic.

I hope you’ll be tempted to try some of these, I really can’t recommend them highly enough. Now tell me, what do you keep in your makeup bag?

Also see – MCLV’s Medicine Cabinet

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Links You’ll Love

Fashion:

Want to try a new color combo this winter? Read what Beauty and the Budget has to say about Black & Brown.

Holiday decorating is upon us! Here are some tips for the experts on how to make your home festive: Harper’s Bazaar, Elle Decor, Real Simple & Vogue.

Marni for H&M! I’m excited, are you excited?

miranda kerr style, miranda kerr finn

Miranda Kerr’s street style looks these last few post-baby months have been downright phenomenal (exhibits A and B) and here’s yet another amazing one broken down by The Frugal Fashionista.

Not a dress girl? 5 Holiday Outfit Alternatives For the Anti-Dress Girl from FabSugar

Health/Fitness:

No More Excuses! The Hungry Hungry Hippie gives you tips & ideas for food prep for the weekend that will keep you well fed all week long.

NYT – Should We All Go Gluten-Free?

Gina from The Fitnessista shares her 2011 gift picks for everyone on your list and The Stylelist gives you the best Budgest Friendly Gifts. You can also check out the MCLV Gift Giving Guide here.

Five strength training exercises for beginners and five inner & outer thigh toning tips from FitSugar.

Skin care tips from Garance Dore here.

You may have heard me mention Brendan Brazier and his Thrive books in the past, I’m a really big fan of not only his written work but of his general approach to food and nutrition. The healthy food delivery system Fresh N’ Lean is now partnering with Brendan to develop a new line based on his recipes and healthy food principles called Thrive Foods Direct“Fresh ‘N Lean is not another quick fix or fad diet. We do not eliminate carbs or restrict calories. Our concept is really quite simple: prepare healthy, fresh, and delicious meals, without all the preservatives, additives, sodium, and sugar that Americans have come to accept as “normal,” and add the convenience of home/office delivery.”

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MCLV’s Medicine Cabinet

Have you ever peaked in someone’s medicine cabinet?

Ever wanted to? 🙂

As I was growing up and becoming interested in beauty my mother and Aunt were my teachers and their medicine cabinets (and drawers, and cupboards, and anyplace else I could reach…) were my classroom. I remember sitting on the edge of the bathtub in my parents bathroom countless times, watching my mom go through her morning routine. Eye creams and lotions, cleansers, toners… The tubes and jars and boxes were magical and unknown.

And I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them!

And while I may have ignored some of my mother’s best advice growing up (sunscreen anyone?) these “girls only” sessions in her bathroom became a foundation for the beauty routine and the products that I use today. A girl just doesn’t forget the smell of her mother’s Lancome face powder or the not on your face look she shoots you when you pick up the bar of soap.

The other great contributor to my love of beauty products and the one responsible for my adoration for all things French is my Aunt. With a gorgeous, luxurious bathroom and drawers upon drawers of  French beauty products, half of them unopened, I think my mother was almost as excited as I was for our visits to Auntie’s house! She introduced me to Chanel (a love affaire that will last a life time I’m sure – much to my wallet’s detriment), brought me makeup brushes and boxes back from her trips to Paris, and gave me free rein in my own personal Disneyland when most women would have locked the bathroom door the instant I ran (literally, ran) in the front door.

These days my beauty routine is a little bit Mom, a little bit Auntie, and a little bit me. My tastes, interests, and goals for my products have changed in the years since I left Berkeley, joined the workforce, and made my first self-sponsored trip to the Bloomingdale and Nordstrom make up counters. I went through a phase where everything in my bathroom was Chanel or Laura Mercier and I was on a first name basis with the women behind the counter at Barney’s, but in the last few years my interests have turned towards natural, organic, eco-conscious products. The result being that I tried a ton of products and kept the ones I loved, so my cabinets are filled with a hodgepodge of brands and items. Which I’m here to share with you today.

I live to exfoliate, so I’ve done quite a bit of research on the best facial exfoliating products. I’ve tried creams, masks, applicator brushes… And the winners are – drum roll please – Yu-Be Foaming Skin Polish and Sugar Face Polish. Also, the St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub is a fabulous drugstore pick if you want to stay close to home. All of these scrubs are on the granular side, rather than being super creamy, which is my personal preference.

Love!

A facial cleanser is a must since soap can be harsh and drying for the delicate skin on your face, especially around your eyes. When I travel I carry Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes in my toiletry kit, they’re effective, don’t require cotton balls, and wont get swooped up by airport security which is a huge plus. When I’m at home I use Boscia’s Detoxifying Black Cleanser or Origins Antioxidant Cleanser.

Boscia

I love, love, love masks. I’ve tried moisurizing, exfoliating, mud, peels… I’ve even experimented on my boyfriend. Shhhhh. My top picks when it comes to masks are the juice Beauty Green Apple Hydration Mask which goes on clear and smells heavenly and the Yes to Cucumbers Calm Care Soothing Facial Mask which is thick and really hydrating.

Eye Cream is something that I’ve only started wearing in the past few years and my focus is on moisture and wrinkle prevention. I tried Icelandic Relief Eye Cream with Biospheric Complex from Sephora and really liked it – it has a great, clean feeling. I’m not a fan of the greasy residue that thick creams can sometimes leave behind and found this was quite refreshing (I keep it in the fridge for instant de-puffing). The other eye cream that I frequently go back to was actually purchased initially when I read Rachel Zoe’s recommendation here. As a chronic dark circle-victim I was really excited about the brightening aspect of this and while it wasn’t the cure-all that I was hoping it would be (is anything ever?) it is a really great product.

Moisturizing, especially if you sit in an office with recycled air every day, is very important.  If you like oils, I suggest trying out Josie Maran’s Organic Argan Oil. I was hesitant to try it, for fear of a massive breakout, but was pleased with the results. However, I have to say that my all time favorite lotion is the Chanel Hydra line, specifically Hydramax. It’s light, silky, smells great and moisturizes like a dream. Unfortunately, it is also painfully expensive so I tend to alternate it with other lotions.

Stepping outside without sunscreen on your face is a big no-no, but finding one that doesn’t clog pores, leave you shiny, or make your makeup slide off your face can be a challenge. I initially tried wearing sunscreen over my lotion but since I don’t wear base or powder the end result was too oily. What I ultimately settled on was a tinted lotion with an SPF for during the week and full sunscreen on weekends when I’m actually in direct sunlight. My favorites are Dior’s ‘Hydra Life’ Pro-Youth Skin Tint SPF 20 and Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20. All three of these are light and don’t leave your face greasy, and have an added benefit of making your skin appear smooth and even.

Hand lotion is another product near to my heart because despite the amount of water I consume, my hands are always dry! You want something thick enough to be effective, but not so enduring that you leave finger prints on everything you touch for hours after application. My two favorites are L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream and Bag Balm. Bag Balm was recommended to me by a doctor that I sat next to on a flight nearly 5 years ago, and you know that people who spend ALL DAY washing their hands know their hand creams. That being said, I should tell you that Bag Balm originally was intended for animals, rather than people, but it’s completely safe – promise. It’s my go-to for foot repair too, I’ll slather it on and throw on some socks overnight. Fabulous!

What are you favorite skin care lines and products? What do you always keep in your medicine cabinet?

If you want more recommendations take a look at MCLV’s Makeup Bag, What’s Always On Hand, or MCLV’s Handbag.

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