Category Archives: Current Crushes

Current Crushes / Favorite Things

Current Crushes: My Favorites for Face

March 31, 2015

I posted awhile back about a few of the beauty items I was using and loving, but didn’t get much into my skincare routine or what I use on my face on a daily basis.

I’m always curious to know how people care for their skin and what products they use, so I thought I might share my current routine with y’all, in case you’re looking to change up your own routine a bit (or in case you’re just nosy like I am).

A little background — I have problematic skin.  I’ve suffered from random bouts of acne since middle school and have tried just about every topical medication on the market and eventually went on Accutane in high school.  Accutane tamed things for a few years, but my acne returned when I went to law school (coincidence?  I think not.) and I started using Proactiv.  I used Proactiv religiously for years and found that it worked wonders.  However, a few years ago it stopped being effective, and I was tired of having to shell out money every month for the products.  I wanted to get into a routine that was more sustainable long-term, and more focused on anti-aging, so I pestered my husband into buying me a Clarisonic brush for my birthday (which was everyone’s obsession 2 years ago).  I gave the Clarisonic a go for 9 months before giving up on it completely.  Honestly, the brush made me breakout worse than anything had in the past, and left my skin feeling tight and looking shiny.  I loved how clean my skin felt after using the brush, but the downside (the way it made my skin look) far outweighed any of the benefits.  I finally decided to shelve the brush and get back to basics — gentle cleansing, no product swapping, letting my skin breathe, etc. — and I really noticed a difference.  My face cleared up in a matter of weeks, and aside from the random pregnancy hormone-fueled breakout here and there, my skin has behaved and stayed clear since I stopped using all the fancy gadgetry and products.

Also, obviously I’m super pale (it comes with the red hair), so I tend to be prone to redness (with my lovely pink undertones and easy ability to blush over anything).  My skin tends to be more on the dry side, especially in winter, so I focus a lot on moisturizing and trying to keep my skin balanced and even-toned.

I’ve divided up my routine into three categories — prep, base, and finish.  I’ve made a lot of changes to my skincare routine over the years (and some recent changes as well), so I’ve noted the products I’ve been using a long time (years) vs. things that are newer in my repertoire.

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    1. Cleanser:  I use the Dove White Beauty Bar to wash my face every morning and every night.  I’ve been using Dove soap on my face since middle school and stick with it because it’s so gentle and mild.
    2. Makeup Remover:  I use Neutrogena’s oil-free eye makeup remover to remove any traces of eye makeup in the evenings.  It’s gentle and non-greasy and ok for contact lens wearers like me.
    3. PM:  At night after washing my face and removing all my makeup, I use Tarte’s Maracuja Oil on my face, Tarte’s Maracuja C-Brightener Eye Treatment under my eyes, and Burt’s Bees classic beeswax lip balm on my lips.  If I have a blemish, I use Burt’s Bees Herbal Blemish Stick for spot treatment.  I like the Maracuja Oil because it’s moisturizing but still feels light and surprisingly non-greasy.  The eye cream is one I’ve been using for about a year and a half — I am always on the hunt for the best eye cream out there (and have tried many).  This one is nicely hydrating and doesn’t irritate my skin (as many do).  And of course, you guys already know about the Burt’s Bees Blemish Stick if you’ve been reading my Pregnancy Favorites posts.  It’s kind of smelly (due to the tea tree oil), but it’s natural and works well, so it gets my vote.
    4. AM:  In the morning after washing my face, I use Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Moisturizer with SPF 15, Tarte’s Maracuja C-Brightener Eye Treatment under my eyes, and Burt’s Bees classic beeswax lip balm on my lips.  I’ve been using Neutrogena’s moisturizer for years now.  Occasionally I’ve strayed and tried something new, but I always find my way back to Neutrogena’s classic because it’s light, has SPF, and doesn’t make me break out.



  1. After prepping my face with moisturizer, I use Laura Mercier’s oil-free tinted moisturizer (in Cameo) for light, all-over coverage.  There’s a total cult following for this moisturizer, and for good reason.  It somehow provides awesome, even coverage without having that thick, cakey “I’m wearing foundation” look.
  2. For under my eyes and any other spot that needs concealing, I use YSL Touche Eclat concealer (in Shade 2) and/or Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer (either in Fair or Brightener… I can’t remember which one I have).  Bonus for the Maybelline concealer — if you buy the shade lighter than your skin tone it works great as a highlighter as well as a concealer.  The YSL concealer is pricey, but it provides really natural-looking coverage, which is tough to find in a concealer, and it doesn’t crease — even when worn all day.



  1. To set my makeup, I had been using Laura Mercier’s Invisible Loose Setting Powder (great for a matte finish, because the LM moisturizer is fairly shiny), but recently I switched over to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (in Diffused Light) because I’ve felt like my 3rd trimester skin could use a little extra pick me up (I’m really tired these days, so the lighting powder gives that “lit from within” effect which makes me feel a little bit less “I’m 100 weeks pregnant.”)  The Hourglass powders aren’t cheap, and I think whether you like them or not totally depends on whether you’re someone who likes that sort of luminous, glowy look.  I used to wear a lot of glitter back in the day (hi, I started wearing makeup in the 90’s), so the whole luminous thing is totally up my alley.  I’ll probably be horrified by it in like 10 years (or my daughter will be horrified for me.  Y’know.), but hey, I’m into it now, so what can you do.
  2. I, being the pale vampire that I am, of course finish things up with some blush — my go-to is Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blush.  I use the Blissful shade, but am on the hunt for a rosier hue to use occasionally.  I’ve heard good things about Hourglass’ blush — and given how much I like their powders (I have both Diffused Light and Luminous Light) I may just need to give them a whirl.

Current Crushes / Fall / Favorite Things / Personal

Current Crushes

November 18, 2014

current crushes

I recently hit the Sephora VIB sale and spent entirely too much money.  And really, I could have easily doubled what I spent — that store is like the adult-equivalent of letting a seven-year-old run rampant through The Sweet Factory for me.  (You can try EVERYTHING!  And you have your own money to BUY IT ALL!)

And let’s not even talk about the impulse purchase section by the checkout.  Um, of course I need everything I just bought in travel-size.  Even if each item is like 1oz and $19.

Clearly, I am the obvious target-consumer for Sephora’s marketing campaigns.

Anyhoo, here’s some of the stuff I bought and some of the things I’m currently loving (makeup and otherwise):

1. Blush: I’m obsessed with blush.  Sometime during college I owned up to the fact that I have SPF-100 skin and realized that a healthy-looking flush was necessary to make it look like I wasn’t about to let-loose my fangs and bite someone’s neck.  I’ve tried a lot of different blushes over the years and have finally found my absolute favorite blush brand: Tarte.  Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush is like a freaking feat of nature.  Somehow it gives you the perfect amount of color and stays all day long (those of you who wear blush can back me on the fact that finding a blush with staying power is near-impossible).  I have two colors — I use Blissful (a light, bright peachy-pink) during the spring and summer months and Memorable (a limited-edition darker rosy-pink I got last year) during the fall and winter.  I also got the NARS cheek palette at the Sephora sale — I like it ok so far, but I’m still kind of figuring out the colors.

2. Shimmer Powder: I also purchased Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in luminous light at the Sephora sale.  I’m still kind of on the fence about whether this is worth the purchase price (not cheap!), but I wanted something for the holidays to boost my makeup look (and let’s face it — I grew up in the 90’s, so I pretty much would love to cover my entire face in glitter and call it a day).  I love the idea of a subtle sheen for candlelit date nights and the upcoming holiday parties, so I’m hoping that this powder is just the thing for that.  (I had purchased the Diffused Light version a long time ago, and while I find the color a little chalky for all-over coverage, I like it as a light powder highlighter — if that makes any sense.)

3. Free Gift: Those of you who regularly shop at Sephora know that they have those 100 and 500-point gifts you can redeem at the counter with your beauty points.  I have amassed some ungodly amount of points, but never seem to find anything I want to redeem when I’m shopping there.  This time they had the Clinique Chubby Stick Lip Balm in Strawberry as one of the options, which I decided the try out (despite the fact that I absolutely hate the name “Chubby Stick” — seriously, who are their branding people?)  I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it out — it feels like chapstick (my go-to lip coverage on most days), but gives you just the slightest hint of color.  And awesome perk — it’s so sheer that you can actually put it on without a mirror, without worrying that it will look like some makeup-hungry 6-year-old got their hands on you.  Perfect for everyday wear — I’ve been throwing it into my purse and work bag and wearing it just about daily.  (Another good option which is a little cheaper is the Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain sticks.  They aren’t quite as sheer as the Clinique sticks, but over chapstick they have pretty much the same effect — I’m wearing Romantic in the photo above.)

4. Accessories: Since I’m pregnant, I don’t want to spend a bunch of money on buying a ton of new clothes which are only going to fit me for only a limited period of my life.  So rather than giving into my “OMG I have nothing to wearrrr” complaints, I have been investing in a few accessory pieces instead (since those always fit!  Am I right?)  I got a new statement necklace at Banana Republic recently (so fun for the holidays!) as well as the gold and leather necklace in the photo above (and let’s just ignore my hair up there, ok?  I kind of don’t believe in brushing it anymore.  Lucky KC.) — the necklace isn’t on the website for some reason, which is probably why it was on super sale when I bought it.  I’ve got my eye on these earrings as well — I guess we’ll see if I get into the store while they’re still available!  I also snagged a new pair of booties on super sale at Nordstrom Rack recently (I got the gray leather).  They’re surprisingly comfy despite the fact that they have a bit of a heel (I have the knee and back of a 150-year-old, so I generally opt for flats), and make me feel like I look at least a little bit stylish, even with my baby bump, which these days mostly just makes me look like I’ve been hitting the Halloween candy HARD.

5. Currently Coveting: I’ve been going back and forth over whether or not to purchase a new lipstick — specifically MAC Sin.  I love the look of a deep, dark lip color on some other ladies, but will I look like I’m some sort of goth?  Or like I totally just fell out of 1996?  (Remember the brown lipstick everyone wore with their super-light, powdery makeup back then?  I was obsessed but too young to try it out.)  Maybe I’ll pull the ultimate cheap move and order it from Nordstrom, since their return policy is crazy-amazing.  (Um yeah, I’ve totally returned lipstick there before…)  Oh yeah, and since the world apparently decided that diaper bags should be the ugliest looking accessory ever, I think this tote in chestnut might be just the thing to haul kid-gear for quick outings when le bébé arrives.  (Dear Diaper Bag Designers:  No.  Just no.)

I was going to add in what I’ve currently been using on my skin (both with and without makeup), but I think I’ll save that for another post, cuz it’s kind of long.  (And are you even interested?  I mean, I realize I kinda just post whatever on here and don’t worry too much about who actually reads it, but y’know…)

Hope you’re having a good week so far!  And feel free to post comments if you have any questions. 🙂

Current Crushes / Fall / Favorite Things / Personal

Current Crushes

November 13, 2013

lipstickI can’t get enough of the MAC retro matte lipsticks.  Seriously, they are making my life right now.  I have Flat Out Fabulous (fuschia), Dangerous (orange-red), All Fired Up (pink — on the left of the picture above), and Ruby Woo (red — on the right).

Also, (much to KC’s chagrin, I’m sure) I’m totally into the whole “messy hair” trend.  Mostly I love it because it means I don’t have to do my hair.  (I call it “homeless hair.”  So chic, right?)  Ah, marriage.

I’m currently living in my new boots — I have the BP Trolley boot in chocolate and the Steve Madden Troopa boot in stone leather.  Yes, I shop in the teen shoe section at Nordstrom on occasion.  Sometimes I just can’t deal with the attitudes on the first floor, y’know?

I’m obsessed with Gap’s super-thin, loose shirts right now.  I may or may not have this one in like 4 colors…

Speaking of which, given that I love to layer, I also have this slouchy cardigan in multiple colors (it’s super soft!)

When it’s cold enough (and really, even when it’s not), I love a knit circle scarf.  I have the blue combo, plus an almost-neon yellow/gray combo that isn’t on the website.

I finally tracked down the coat I’ve been crushing on in my size.  I love that it’s a pop of color for cold weather.

And my current wish list: I love the idea of a sweater coat, but don’t know that I can pull it off at my height (will I look like I’m just wearing a blanket?  I’m kind of ok with that).  I’m obsessing over this scarf in cream (I saw it at the BR in Hawaii, but given that it was 1000° outside, I couldn’t really justify buying it in the moment).  I’m on the hunt for an opaque, charcoal grey nail polish (but, ideally one that isn’t $19, Marc Jacobs) and some dark green jeans (not cords, Gap!), but I’ll likely lose interest before I ever find a good pair.  Y’know, life.

What are you living in these days?