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April 02, 2014

Secret Weapons: Lashes, Liner & Luminous Skin...

Allure comes down to a series of L words... lashes, liner, lips, locks & luminous skin. While it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of product available, a girl has to learn which product she can count on. Thankfully a willingness to experiment and a desire to try, try again has resulted in many repeat buys in my beauty cabinet. There are a number of products I consider "essentials" in my primping routine. Make no mistake, good products do matter and price often comes into play. Like all of us, I pay frequent homage to Neimans or Nordstrom for the beauty counters. Yet it might surprise you to learn that a few of my favorites are of the drugstore variety. Yes, yes... it's true! I thought I'd share a few of my high-low favorites. Perhaps you'll fall in love with them as well. Questions? Just ask! 


These are my go-to items for adding moisture and evening out skin tone. Most of the products I use lend themselves to leaving my skin hydrated and smooth while protecting it from the elements. Kate Somerville Quench is my serum of choice. I smooth it on my face right after I shower to retain moisture & give my skin that oh-so-desirable glow. 

Next, I use a blend of Prevage Body (yes... body!) and Clarins UV Plus on my face and decolletage. In winter months I sometimes use Bliss Youth as We Know It, but for most of the year it's Prevage all the way. About that UV Plus: Never ever skip your UV coverage! This tiny little bottle is my favorite way to protect my skin from the ravages of the sun. A little bit goes a long way and it never burns or makes my eyes water. I've tried what feels like EVERY brand on the market and this is the only one I buy again and again.

Next comes the coverage. I don't wear foundation, but I swear by Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. It evens out skin tone and the shade "Nude" is essentially my skin, only better. Periodically, I've tried other products (Dior & Chanel each have super-lightweight foundations I've dabbled in) but I can't imagine using anything other than this wonder product. I've used this for about 6 or 7 years and it is essential to my "get ready & get glowing" routine. While everyone seems crazy about powder, I'm a "dewy" finish girl and this doesn't give me the dry look of foundation. Plus, it is weightless. No caked mess here. 

This seems like a lot, but remember you are using whisper thin layers of the products. And never fret, the word "moisturizer" in the Laura Mercier is a bit of a misnomer. For me, it lends very little hydration and solely offers a hint of skin tone smoothing color. 

If I'm feeling particularly dry, I'll dot on Origins Plantscription Eye at the outisde corners of my eye area. However, I'm beginning to think this should be done without fail daily. Prevention is the best cure!

{Savvy tip: Nordstrom exclusively carries a larger size of both the Clarins UV Plus and Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer. For this reason I am very loyal to my local beauty counter. These larger items are not always visible online, but are so worth a few extra dollars for almost double the product.}


Now on to the color! First step: The YSL concealer pen. Another MUST! Love it, love it, love it. A dot at the inner eye, a dot at the outer eye and then I look for any other tiny places that need a bit of a boost. Some days require a LOT more than others, but this super sheer product never looks visible to others. It is 8 hours of sleep in a little gold pen. Helloooooo, awesome! 

Next up, my BFF: NARS blush in Orgasm. Don't bother with any other brand or color. This one is "the" shade for all of us. Add to apples of your cheeks and move on. 

Next... eyes! I love my YSL palette #19. It is neutral but feminine. I use YSL waterproof black liner daily for that sexy winged look. It does not move! Tip: Sharpen it daily for best results. Finish with Loreal Voluminous Mascara in black (of, course) for a look worthy of a photo shoot. Swipe some Tom Ford gloss in Pink Sugar across your lips and you're all set for the day.

The look is "made up" but not heavy. My emphasis is always on glowing skin, glossy lips and lined eyes. It is classic and chic without looking caked or heavy. You look positively radiant.



Of course there are other characters in the cast that work behind the scenes to keep my skin glowing. If you're not on board yet with Clairsonic, you should be. Cleaning that debris from your pores and keeping the skin safely exfoliated is the first step in any good beauty routine. I am always looking for safe, gentle ways to exfoliate without overstressing the skin.

My trusty pink Clairsonic does the job beautifully! Weekly, however, I love to step it up with a Kate Somerville combo: Exfolikate (an enzyme based product) and Kate Clinic-to-Go pads. This two step process leaves my skin smooth as "buttah" and ready for any topical products to sink in and do their job.

What, you ask, do I apply? The ladies at Neiman Marcus call it "Cinderella Cream" and I have to agree. Omorovicza's Plumping Cream is very pricey, but worth investing in and using judiciously. I am able to extend the use of my jar to about 8-12 months depending upon how sparingly I apply it. It is a weekly treatment (or so they say), but I've had months where I lived in it! 

Whether you're battling bumps or crinkles, ROC retinol is gentle enough and one of the most effective (and least expensive) cure there is available. I really ought to use it more religiously, but I tend to forget this wonder product. I'm sure there will come a day when I'm more committed to my anti-aging routine. When I am... these little tubes will be stockpiled! Tools

So there you have it... these are the bulk of my secret beauty weapons. I love, love, love to talk about beauty products and techniques... so if you have questions about any of these products or my methods, please ask. I mean it when I tell you I've tried brands - both high and low. In the end I've arrived at what works for me today. What about you? What do you use? Do any of these appear in your makeup drawer? I'd love to hear it!

What the beautiful people are saying...

I Love your style and exquisite taste and look forward to your posts. I enjoy luxe products too as you stated there clearly is a difference in application and results.
I found a jewel of a company with Votre Vu products. You can slather the lotions on because the prices are so on point and awesome for the high quality ingredients. it is great to feel that I can easily duplicate how the stars wear it in their real everyday.

I LOVE Nars blush in Orgasm! It always looks amazing and subtle on my skin tone. I'm going to have to try the YSL waterproof liner to see if it stays on my overtly moist eyes. I am yet to have go-to products. Australia's need to make us pay more than other countries makes me less interested as i often love luxe brands. I need to curb my appetite. At the moment, i'm on the hunt for the perfect lengthening and volumizing mascara that isn't heavily scented like YSLs

xo Stephanie

Stephanie, I swear by Loreal Voluminous original formula mascara. It is amazing. Like most mascara, its better after the first week...one the brush has some buildup. I notice theyve now added butterfly effect options to the line, so Im definitely going to add that to my shipping cart soon! Will give it a try. Mascara is always difficult. The popular varieties are never my favorite.
Thanks for your comment!


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