January 9, 2015

natural beauty buff | kirsten kjaer weis, kjaer weis

One of my big goals this year is to embrace simplicity in beauty more, and I can’t think of a better muse for this than Scandinavian culture.

With a sleek yet minimal design aesthetic, the Scandinavian culture is known for beautiful, breathtaking creations that have us all yearning for a more streamlined, soothing palette in life.

In the green beauty world, nobody brings this to your vanity better than Danish-born makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis, creator of organic makeup line Kjaer Weis.

kirsten kjaer weis natural beauty buff

When it comes to well-edited, smartly packaged beauty collections, Kjaer Weis is ahead of the game.

Kirsten designed her line to be beautiful both inside and out, with high-performance organic and natural ingredients on the inside and heavyweight, sleek, refillable packaging on the outside.

Anyone who has ever held a Kjaer Weis product knows how substantial and glamorous they look and feel!

In addition to her approach to the Kjaer Weis line, Kirsten also exemplifies this streamlined, minimal-yet-luxurious approach in her green beauty routine.

Her sampling of favorites below — just five items! — is a breath of fresh air, demonstrating how investing in fewer, better products can make you look and feel amazing.

Buy what you love. Use what you buy. Support kind businesses.

As usual, I’ve starred the products I also use and love.

Tata Harper Love Potion

Love the scent. I will put it on several times a day, almost as a ritual of centering myself.

*May Lindstrom Skin The Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate

I find it super soothing and love to wear at night. I feel my skin looks nourished and glowing in the morning. (Editor’s Note: Read my review here!)

*Kahina Giving Beauty “Fez” Body Serum

I love the scent and I love how it absorbs really quickly. It makes my skin feel nourished and moisturized without feeling greasy.

DDF Polishing System

I use this every other day with a mild scrub, and I can really see the difference in the silky texture of my skin.

*Kjaer Weis “Just Sheer” Foundation

It covers so lightly that it makes me look like me — but a better version. (Editor’s Note: Read my review here!)

 

January 7, 2015

beauty scoop | meow meow tweet organic soap

Though I go back and forth between stocking bar soaps and body washes, there’s just something about an artfully crafted and well-designed bar soap that edges out even the most beautiful body washes.

The right combination of packaging, scent and aesthetic of a bar soap dictates where they’ll be displayed and used, and for Meow Meow Tweet’s Organic Soap, I chose to take them home with me to my mom’s house in Arkansas to use in the guest bathroom.

meow meow tweet organic soap

{Meow Meow Tweet sent me samples of its Black Walnut Sage, Grapefruit Mint and Tangerine, Basil & Poppy Seed bar soaps for review. Individual soaps cost between $10 and $12 each.}

First of all, my mom, God love her, sticks to buying bright green, conventional soaps at home. When I travel back and forget to take a bar or gel with me, I’m reminded of this, and my skin is zapped of moisture in the bath.

This past holiday season, I got smart and remembered to take my three samples of Meow Meow Tweet Organic Soap home to store in the highly trafficked guest bathroom, where the fun, cheery packaging got the attention of brothers, wives, girlfriends and a young nephew.

I love the idea of keeping Meow Meow Tweet soaps stocked in every wash room, but a guest room that’s not frou frou and used by animal lovers and fellow cat ladies and cat men just gets laughs and attention.

meow meow tweet organic soap

Beyond getting laughs and attention, it gets used!

I was grateful to have them stored at home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas so I could use them during my long stays at home, and it made me feel good to know that my nephew’s evening showers involved using some fun, scrubby, smell-good soaps on his 10-year-old skin.

meow meow tweet organic soap

Because I had generous samples of the soaps, I was able to open all three to use during my stays and enjoyed each one of them, from texture and scent to the fine lather they created.

Below are my thoughts on the three scents I tried:

Meow Meow Tweet Grapefruit Mint Organic Soap

A classic scent combination, Meow Meow Tweet’s Grapefruit Mint Organic Soap dons a cool cat on the packaging to complement the cool, refreshing scent and feel on the inside. Mint leaves offer gentle exfoliation and help produce a great lather.

This soap belongs in my shower this summer! Or hell, right now, to remind me that summer awaits through this brutally cold winter.

Ingredients: aqua (water), *olea europaea (olive) oil, *cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, *butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, *helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil, *ricinus communis (castor) oil, +sodium hydroxide, *mentha piperita (peppermint) leaves, citrus paradisi (grapefruit) essential oil, mentha piperita (peppermint) essential oil

Meow Meow Tweet Black Walnut Sage Organic Soap

Earth-sexy Black Walnut Sage Organic Soap commands attention in the shower with its deep coloring and funky bird atop New York City brownstones on the packaging. Naturally astringent and antibacterial, this soap is wonderful for oily skin (yeap, oily from head to toe over here) and also offers a nice, natural massage feel.

This soap offers a great base for layering woodsy perfumes and body oils, so if that’s your favorite scent profile, get this soap!

Ingredients: aqua (water), *olea europaea (olive) oil, *cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, *butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, *helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil, *juglans regia (walnut) oil, +sodium hydroxide, *juglans nigra (black walnut hull) powder, salvia sclarea (clary sage) essential oil

Meow Meow Tweet Tangerine, Basil & Poppy Seed Organic Soap

My favorite of the three, Meow Meow Tweet’s Tangerine, Basil & Poppy Seed Organic Soap invigorates without overhyping your senses thanks to bright, cheery tangerine and spicy yet grounding basil.

Basil has been a secret obsession for mine for several months now thanks to a life-changing basil steam shower at my local spa, and I was ecstatic to have this soap as base scent in my own basil-infused home shower before layering on a homemade basil-spiked body oil. See, it’s a small obsession of mine. (And you thought I was a jasmine-only geek!)

The poppy seeds really set this soap over the top for me, as the little soft, round seeds gently exfoliated and offered a mini massage with every bit of pressure. Cannot get enough of this soap, and it’s a great year-round scent.

Ingredients: *olive oil, *coconut oil, *sunflower oil, *castor oil, *shea butter, +sodium hydroxide, *poppy seeds, essential oils of tangerine and basil

If you’ve got some shopping to do, pick up Meow Meow Tweet Organic Soaps in your next #pemjo haul (that’s the Pemberley Jones online natural beauty boutique for those of you who haven’t been), or get it straight from the folks at MMT on their website.

Also — not pictured because I got too excited and used it way too quickly — I need to give a shoutout to Meow Meow Tweet’s Cinnamon Coffee Organic Soap, a wonderful morning soap to indulge in for those of you who choose to shower first, caffeinate later (like me).

It was inspired by MMT founders Jeff and Tara’s favorite morning brew — Mexican coffee — and is bursting with the energy of an annoying morning person who doesn’t need coffee but then caffeinates anyway and is even more cheerful in the morning.

This is a wonderful organic soap to use in the shower and then follow with your favorite coffee body scrub (tried this one?) for an all-out volt of energy…in the nude. If you’ve got a coffee body oil or lotion, too, well, you know what to do.

While I’m still working my way through many soaps and body washes to sample and review, when it’s time to restock and gift to others, Meow Meow Tweet Organic Soaps are definitely on my repurchase list. The packaging is too cute, and the scent and texture combinations are pleasing and thoughtful. I’d love to see MMT soaps in every guest bathroom (and maybe a boyfriend’s bathroom?!).

Have you tried Meow Meow Tweet’s Organic Soaps? What are your favorite organic soaps? If you have a home with multiple bathrooms, how do you choose soaps to stock in the guest bathrooms? Tell me in the comments section!

 

January 5, 2015

beauty scoop | province apothecary moisturizing cleanser + makeup remover

I really, really want to just say “forget about ‘em” when it comes to luxury cleansing oils.

The minimalist in me says, “Girl, just use jojoba oil. Quit being fancy. You’re tired. Go to sleep.”

The beauty addict in me counters with, “Girl, you spent all that time applying that makeup. Spend some time massaging your face with a gorgeous oil and take in the whole experience. A cleansing oil is just as important as the wash that comes after.”

While both parts of me are absolutely correct, the beauty addict in me has a slight edge. I thoroughly enjoy using thoughtful oil blends to cleanse, massage and wind down at night.

One that I went through super quickly is Province Apothecary’s Moisturizing Cleanser + Makeup Remover.

province apothecary moisturizing cleanser + makeup remover

{Province Apothecary sent me a sample of its Moisturizing Cleanser + Makeup Remover to review. It costs $16 for a 30 ml glass pump jar. Photo Courtesy Province Apothecary}

This sweet Canadian line, created by certified holistic esthetician and aromatherapist Julie Clark, is committed to creating nourishing, balancing skincare that takes advantage of organic, biodynamic and wildcrafted ingredients.

For someone like me who craves balance in both life and skincare, this appeals to me, and especially in winter. My skin craves balance, yet needs the right boost of moisture and nourishment. It’s quite an art to achieve, and very few brands can get the formulations right.

Made with my ever-so-cherished organic jojoba oil, Province Apothecary’s Moisturizing Cleanser + Makeup Remover slips in organic sunflower seed oil, organic avocado oil and organic evening primrose oil, some of my absolute favorite oils for acne-prone skin that provide that slip-n-soothe that you need when your skin is feeling finicky.

While I imagine we’ve all been reading up more on the value of linoleic and oleic acids for acne-prone skin (THE blog post to read if your skin is troublesome like mine), I do see value in using some heavier oils, such as avocado oil, on the skin in winter.

You just need something that’s heavier to get in there and quench your skin’s thirst without throwing it into overdrive.

Even greaseballs like me get flaky and dry in extremely cold weather, and these extra-nourishing oils, coupled with an evening facial massage, can provide great, gentle exfoliation and softness to the skin.

What I love about Province Apothecary’s specific formulation is just how hydrating it feels during the makeup-removing massage, yet it’s not overly thick or gooey. If you’ve ever cleansed with a castor oil mix, you know that gooey feeling I’m talking about!

Here’s everything inside Province Apothecary Moisturizing Cleanser + Makeup Remover:

Sunflower Seed Oil*,  Jojoba oil*, Avocado oil*, Evening Primrose oil*, Raspberry Seed oil*, GMO-free Vitamin E, Rosemary leaf extract, and therapeutic essential oils of: Bergamot, Lavender*, Frankincense* and Petit grain. *Certified organic ingredient. Our Bergamot is Bergamotene-free (not photo-toxic)

In addition to the effective carrier oils, the thoughtful inclusion of bergamot, frankincense and lavender leaves skin feeling deeply cleansed, toned and calmed. Bergamot is known for cutting through congestion while frankincense tones.

I think by now we all have come to appreciate the wonders of lavender as a blemish-healer and skin soother, and it’s no different in blend, besides the fact that it has an amazing posse of oils to fight finicky skin!

As I continue to streamline my beauty routine, I will without a doubt continue to stock a huge bottle of un-sexy, un-fancy organic jojoba oil for all my everyday needs.

But that won’t keep me from having a nice oil cleanser in stock for those nights I want to wind down in style and truly get a big picture of benefits from various carrier oils and essential oils that I don’t always keep on hand.

Province Apothecary’s Moisturizing Cleanser + Makeup Remover is one I would restock. The scent is light and clean — not overly perfumed at all, but if you’re sensitive, is available in an unscented version — and doesn’t compete with my various skin oils and serums that I layer on after cleansing.

In fact, it complements most of them quite nicely, as bergamot, lavender and frankincense provide the base for many of my favorite skincare treats!

Have you tried anything from Province Apothecary? What’s your philosophy when it comes to skin cleansing oils? Do you choose blends? DIY it? Use a straight carrier? Tell me in the comments!

 

December 23, 2014

beauty secrets | how to treat your skin post-salicylic acid peel

I know what you’re thinking:

“What the funk? She got a chemical peel?”

Yes. Yes I did.

I got a 20 percent salicylic acid peel from my nephew’s mom, a star aesthetician in Northwest Arkansas, while I was at home during Thanksgiving.

(I’ve featured her on the blog before!)

But WHY???

An extended family of impacted blackheads has taken up residence under my chin for the past six months or so.

No amount of topical treatment, facial massage or strong natural masks has been successful at loosening them, and even if they had been, they’re in an awkward place that makes home extraction impossible.

Go ahead and Google impacted blackheads. Then you’ll understand my struggle and desperation.  

So I decided to go to my sweet sister, who I knew would listen to me and get down to it — which meant applying the gentlest of all peels to my face that hadn’t had a peel since my teenage years.

And oh yeah, she extracted the hell out of those pesky blackheads.

My appointment took place on a Friday night (because who else but a beauty junkie wants to spend her Friday night getting a facial?!), and my skin completely recovered by the following Wednesday.

Saturday and Sunday were arguably the worst days post-peel for my skin:

skin redness after salicylic acid peel

{This is the Saturday morning after my peel. Notice the extreme redness and discoloration on my cheeks. It would be an understatement to say I was extremely concerned about possible hyperpigmentation (which I’ve never experienced) and was questioning my decision to get a salicylic acid peel.}

skin peeling and dryness after salicylic acid peel

{This is Sunday evening, 48 hours after my salicylic acid peel. My skin was extremely dry, itching and flaking off like crazy around my cheeks and chin. The spots around my cheekbones and temples were so crepe-y feeling that no amount of moisture could soften them. Just had to wait for the skin to flake away. I felt like a monster!}

Though this post is not intended to discuss the details of the salicylic acid peel itself, I will say that my skin looked amazing after the healing process was complete, and one month later, I’ve noticed fewer breakouts (though I’m also experimenting with another approach to keeping acne at bay).

My family of under-the-chin blackheads is slowly packing its bags and going away, but I’ve still got some issues under there that will require regular treatment and extractions to purge them completely.

Here’s how I took care of my skin with natural skincare products after a salicylic acid peel to ensure proper exfoliation, moisture and protection.

Cleansing

the healing seed facial cleanser and konjac sponge

My typical routine involves double cleansing at night with an oil and a gentle gel cleanser followed by a cream cleanser and konjac sponge in the morning.

The only part of this routine that changed was the evening routine. Instead of using my usual gel, I stuck to the same cream cleanser and didn’t have to do much oil cleansing at all because I wore minimal makeup — eyes and lips only, and definitely no foundation!

I also stayed away from the konjac sponge (and any excessive exfoliation from wash cloths, towels and skin brushes) until the latter part of my skin’s healing time, when I started to peel a lot more.

Then, though, that small but mighty konjac sponge really helped move the exfoliation process along without force or irritation.

The Healing Seed Facial Cleanser (gifted to me by my friend Gina and now rebranded as “The Wonder Seed”) saved my skin during my recovery. It’s the most gentle cream cleanser I’ve ever used.

The runny-yet-creamy cleanser glided over my skin, kissing it better with a concentration of virgin organic hempseed oil, full of essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, but hempseed oil is one of the most underrated oils — it’s so intensely moisturizing, and while my naturally oily skin doesn’t need that level of nourishment every day, boy did it come in handy during this trying time.

I could not be more thankful to have had this in my arsenal during this period! (Thank you, G!)

Toning

mun toner josh rosebrook hydrating accelerator dr alkaitis soothing gel

For the first 2-3 days of my five-day recovery, I could not keep from misting my face with Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator every hour.

(If you saw my recent Integrity Botanicals haul, now you know why I had to stock up on this baby.)

I will never be without it, as it delivers the perfect spritz of skin-quenching moisture every single time, and this experience sealed the deal for Hydrating Accelerator as a “holy grail” status item.

Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator is chock-full of active antioxidants and herbal nutrients that work hard to relax cell surface tension (believe me, my skin was the definition of “cell surface tension”) and rehydrate my depleted skin.

Toward the end of my skin’s recovery — the active peeling stage — I was able to introduce heavier-duty toners that aided in the exfoliation process without forcing skin to peel.

(BIG no-no! NEVER pick and peel away your skin. Let it flake off on its own or risk scarring and damage.)

After my morning cleanse and small spritz of the Hydrating Accelerator, I would pat in my beloved Dr. Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel. The base of organic aloe vera gel and organic witch hazel was superb at both soothing and encouraging my skin to exfoliate.

(Read my full review of Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel.)

In the evenings during the latter part of my recovery, I opted for Mun No. 11 Anarose Rejuvenating Rose Toner, applied onto my skin with a cotton pad, to soothe and gently exfoliate my skin.

Both Dr. Alkaitis and Mun take advantage of the healing properties of  aloe vera gel, but Mun’s formulation was optimal for an evening tone because of its addition of healing rose hydrosol and acne-preventing willow bark extract (not that I was worried about breaking out after such a deep salicylic acid treatment!).

These two toners felt essential during recovery, and the addition of using a cotton pad (which I typically HATE doing with toners) with Mun’s toner gently helped my skin in the exfoliation process.

Treating

healing balms oils and serums

Hands-down the most important part of the overall healing process, treating my skin to nourishing, restorative balms, butters and creams was the key to keeping my recovery process short and somewhat bearable.

The first 2-3 days of my recovery were the most excruciating. My skin was tight, uncomfortable and could not drink up enough moisture. Layering products was key.

My rotation included Dr. Shannon’s Organic Skin Balm; Elemental Herbs All Good Goop Organic Healing Balm; Waxelene; and CV Skinlabs Restorative Skin Balm.

All of these products essentially do the same thing, but I varied it based on the portability of the packaging and what I was doing that day.

If I was out running around with my mom, I’d keep Dr. Shannon’s and Waxelene in my bag, as they’re small and discreet, yet pack a mighty moisturizing punch.

Dr. Shannon’s Organic Skin Balm is loaded with skin-repairing vitamin E and other luscious ingredients such as sunflower oil, beeswax, coconut oil, pumpkin seed oil, avocado oil, cocoa butter and calendula.

Waxelene is more on the simple side, containing just soy oil, beeswax, vitamin E and organic rosemary oil.

When I’d apply Waxelene to my lips, I’d get a little extra and dab it into the spots on my face (namely my cheeks and chin) that needed some help. If my hands were a bit parched, I’d scoop out some Dr. Shannon’s, coat my hands and then pat my face with the excess.

At home, I’d slather on Elemental Herbs over a thin layer of CV Skinlabs Skin Balm, which was so thick and emollient and nourishing.

  • Was I a shiny mess? Yes.
  • Did I care one bit? Nope. Not in the slightest.

These two were miracle workers that helped seal my skin with moisture, allowing me to sleep well without worrying that I’d wake up to cracked skin.

But, in addition to these balms, I’d pat in a light layer of Marie Veronique Extra Healing Oil De Jour to get an extra shot of essential fatty acids.

I will be the first to admit that this oil doesn’t smell the greatest (because it contains emu oil, which I find a bit pungent), but it’s just so amazing at delivering moisture to the skin in just a few drops that I ignored my nose and focused instead on how my face felt.

During the final 2-3 days of my recovery, I was able to go down to just spot-treating my face with the thicker balms and switch over to a light day cream under my usual oils and serums.

I stuck with Marie Veronique’s Extra Healing Oil De Jour (also available in a vegan option) and mixed it with her Serum De Jour, which provided a bit of SPF (I stayed out of the sun — and public — as much as possible during the healing phase).

Serum De Jour has the coveted combination of vitamins C, E and ferulic acid that protects against environmental damage and neutralizes free radicals.

Definitely something you want on your face after a strong salicylic acid peel that reveals new skin!

Layered over a very thin spread of Dr. Alkaitis Organic Day Cream (yes, even I use creams sometimes), this concoction felt extremely lightweight compared to my balmy days before, yet I knew I was getting enough moisture to keep my skin happy.

The day cream, made with a base of whipped shea butter and aloe vera, introduced healing herbs and roots directly to my skin while the oil and serum blend amped up the antioxidant game.

It is because of these different product combinations and layering that I truly believe I made it through the aftercare of my salicylic acid peel with relatively few issues.

Yes, it was uncomfortable and I felt gross, and no, I don’t think I need a peel like that for a while, but overall, it was only five days.

If I ever do it again, though, I will approach it the same way: Peel on Friday, hide away all weekend, take Monday off of work and moisturize like whoa for the last two days while out in public.

During this entire experience, I re-affirmed my yearning for a tried-and-true regimen (even if this particular regimen was only for a week) and saw even more proof of how hard natural products work to heal your skin.

From this collection of 10+ different natural beauty products, though, I also realized that you have to give your skin what it’s craving.

Had I not had this crazy collection of products, I may have missed out on the benefits of various toners and moisturizers. As I attempt to de-clutter my beauty collection and streamline my beauty routine, I’m still rooted in the idea that you may need a few different items from time to time.

Do I regularly coat my skin in thick balms? No. Am I hella grateful that I had an amazing supply of them during this experience? Absolutely.

Have you ever had a salicylic acid (or other type of chemical peel)? What was your aftercare regimen? Would you get another peel? Tell me in the comments section!

 

December 22, 2014

makeup of the day | leopard lady

It’s the end of the year, and I’ve only shared a couple “makeup of the day” posts with you. What gives?

It’s not because I don’t wear makeup every day.

(I do. Oh I do.)

And it’s not because I dislike “makeup of the day” posts on my skincare-heavy blog.

kimberlyloc makeup of the day

It’s mostly because getting these posts together takes a lot of time and, not gonna lie, an “I don’t give a *&%$” attitude to shoot outside on my balcony, neighbors a-gawking.

“WHO is that girl with the tripod taking selfies? WHY is her cat so loud?”

Cheers to more MOTD posts in the future and a respectful “I don’t give a *&%$” attitude when it comes to doing what you love no matter who’s watching.

kimberlyloc makeup of the day

kimberlyloc makeup of the day

kimberlyloc makeup of the day

*Indicates PR sample

Kari Gran Mineral Foundation in No. 2

I shared my thoughts about this mineral foundation in this in-depth review, so in short: This is currently my favorite mineral foundation. The glow you get from it is subtle yet striking.

Tarte Clean Slate 360 Creaseless Eye Primer

This is the best natural alternative to Urban Decay’s eye primer. If I skip eye primer, my lids are creased like whoa. This is a holy grail, staple item in my makeup kit.

Cailyn Gelux Eyebrow in Oak

If you know me well, you know I’m obsessed with my eyebrows and very rarely go into public without having them “on.” (My Asian and mixed-Asian readers, you know the feeling!) I have a very small collection of brow gels and powders, and I only use this one from Cailyn when I’m feeling a bit more confident about the state of my brows. It’s a gel formula with a precise applicator that allows you to pencil in featherlight strokes to gently define your brows. As mine continue to grow out, I’ll likely be using this more instead of my typical powders that I can sometimes get heavy-handed with. Grow, baby brows, grow!

*Jane Iredale Jane’s Signature Gilded Collection 24-Karat Gold Dust

Perfect for the holidays, this little set contains loose gold, silver and bronze shimmers that can be used anywhere you want a little highlight. I mixed a bit of the gold in with my Kari Gran foundation for an extra boost under my eyes, and I also dabbed a bit on my lips and into my brow bone for more light-catching goodness.

*Nvey Eco Eyeshadow in 168 Rose Gold

Rose gold has been having its moment, and I’m loving the look of it across my lids. Nvey Eco’s take on rose gold combines hints of muted pink in a yellow base — perfect for warm- and olive-skinned gals like me. Pressed eyeshadows see way more playing time in my beauty vanity, too, so this is a color I’m reaching for more often when I want a light, natural wash of color.

*Lily Lolo Mineral Eye Shadow in Vanilla Shimmer

Another pretty pinky-beige, Lily Lolo’s loose mineral eyeshadow makes for a beautiful base or highlight. I chose to blend it with my Nvey Eco shadow for some additional depth and a custom color. As I’ve noted before, I’m not the best with loose mineral eyeshadows (which is why I always make sure to have a fan brush nearby to sweep away the excess!), but I’ve been impressed with the color payoff and texture of Lily Lolo’s mineral shadows.

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler

I will never be without this eyelash curler. It is simply the best.

*Lily Lolo Vegan Mascara in “Black”

As mentioned in my “Ultimate Guide to Natural Mascaras,” Lily Lolo Vegan Mascara is a definite repurchase. It holds a curl, lengthens, defines and volumizes. What else do you need?

Alima Pure Natural Definition Eye Pencil in “Coffee”

It’s been a hella long time since I’ve used a traditional pencil liner (all liquid pen over here for your cat-eyed lady!), but when I got Alima Pure’s new eye pencil in a monthly subscription box, I had to try it — and loved it! I don’t like drawing out wings with pencils, though, as I’m just too oily and nervous that it will smear, but instead do a tight definition on my top and bottom lash lines to naturally enhance my eyes. When I do a dramatic cat eye with my regular liquid liner pen, I sometimes like to dot this pencil on my lower lash line to really amp up that pretty kitten look. Meow. (Also available at Spirit Beauty Lounge and The Detox Market)

*BareMinerals Ready Blush in The Aphrodisiac

If you’re a fan of NARS “Orgasm” or “Deep Throat” blushes, you might want to look into “The Aphrodisiac” from BareMinerals. It’s the same beautiful coral-peach pigment, but with less shimmer and more color. I absolutely adore corals on my warm/yellow skin tone, and have been reaching for this blush a lot lately. (Also available in this super-cute set with a bunch of other BareMinerals favorites!)

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in “Toast”

When you graduate from gloss but don’t feel quite ready for big-girl lipstick, lip crayons are your next best bet. This is my first one from Bite Beauty, but it won’t be my last! I love the creamy matte formula, and the gorgeous fiery red-orange color that is “Toast.”

*Mia Mariu Luminous Lip Gloss in “Dulzara”

As much as I love a matte lip, I can’t stay away from a bit of gloss. Mia Mariu Lip Gloss in “Dulzara” adds a touch of sheer coral to my lips to complete the look.



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