Beauty balms have been all the rage lately in the beauty industry. And why not? With the hot, sticky summer in full swing the last thing we want to do is cake on layers upon layers of face makeup resulting in nothing but sweat and break outs. I decided to change out my current face routine consisting of NARS primer, NARS illuminator, Urban Decay bronzer and Tarina Tarantino blush for the lighter alternative- beauty balm.

Sephora has a Top Beauty Balm list going and with careful consideration I chose Too Faced’s BB- a multi-benefit BB cream that tints, primes, nourishes, prevents, and protects skin in one easy step. I’m only a few days into using this product and I already notice a difference in my skin in so many ways. I’m less oily throughout the day, the skin clearing components in this product really work (bye bye black heads and would be monster zits) and best of all, this product blends so seamlessly into my complexion I practically look bare faced! I purchased the “Beach Glow” color since it’s summer and I’ve been spending all my free time soaking up as much sun as possible. Another great feature about this product is that since there is SPF in it, you can wear it to the beach! A factor that came into consideration as I will be vacationing next week in Cape Cod, MA.

So enough yammering on about this product, here’s my review…

The Review (one to five stars, one being the lowest, five being the highest)

Application: Like I mentioned above, this product goes on seamlessly. I dab it on my face in 5 spots then work in with my finger tips but you could also use a make up sponge. At first the color seems a bit much but once you blend, you’re good to go. The only down side to this product here is that the bottle gets super messy at the tip and in the cap. This annoys me because it’s a waste of the product. I’m hoping they change the packaging the next time I need to restock. 4.5 stars
Color: This product is available in 4 blendable shades- Vanilla Glow, Cream Glow, Nude Glow and Beach Glow. I adore the Beach Glow for the summer months but will be opting for the more natural looking Nude Glow as the fall sets in. There’s an option for everyone which is hard to find with some products. 5 stars
Staying Power: I apply this product to my face around 6:30 am and by 6:30 pm it still looks like I JUST put it on. I’m using less matte sheets with this product, and finding my nightly make up scrub off routine easier with less residue on my towelette. 5 stars
Cost: 1.5 oz will run you $32. To me, this is a savings if you add up my primer ($36), illuminator ($32) and bronzer ($26). For a $62 cost savings, I consider this product a winner! 5 stars
Overall: With pretty close to a perfect score I urge you to run out and buy this product. If you are looking for a light feeling, skin clearing, and easy to use face product- look no more!

Have you tried any BB Creams? If so, what’s your fave?
-Lauren


Over my birthday weekend I attended a colossal book fair with one of my besties. I stumbled upon this book sale last year and discovered countless, insanely discounted treasures (find your local blowout book sale here). Meandering through two huge rooms full of $2 hardcover and paperback trade books, $3 cookbooks and of course my fave, $2 fashion/style “Coffee Table” books last summer, I knew I had to go back. I mean, where else can you get Sophie Kinsella’s entire “Shopaholic” series under $20?

This year’s sale lived up to last year’s excitement and expectations. My favorite find? A book called “Contents” by Kate Spade. I’ve always been super intrigued by what us girls carry in our bags. Sure, the outside shell of the bag itself is important (and beautiful) and gives off an immediate impression. But the “Contents” certainly speak volumes about who we are, and what’s important to us. Kate’s book divulges who is carrying what in their bags.

Showcasing what editors, stylists, ballerinas, college grad students and many more professionals are carrying, this book is full of surprises and is just down right neat!

Check out my “Contents”

2012 planner / Halls Fruit Breezers cough drops / work keycard / Tide pen / peacock flashlight / Ray Ban aviators / combo lock for the gym / boscia green tea matte sheets / bobby pins / mints / various lip glosses including NARS Striptease, Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker and assorted Beauty Rush shades / iPod / work out gloves / hair clips / Urban Decay 24-7 liner in zero / sequins and stripped clutch (a very fab and fave bday gift!) / make up forever pouch with band aids, Tylenol, essentials and most likely, more lip glosses!

What’s inside your bag?
-Lauren


Picking out a new perfume is always so thrilling for me. There are so many amazing scents out there but sometimes you want to try them out prior to purchase to make sure the scent and your body chemistry work wonders together. I received a sample of Michael Kors’ signature scent in a Sephora shipment and was immediately in love. This scent is described as sophisticated, sensual, warm and wearable (like a cozy sweater on a brutally cold winter day). I feel like I definitely found one of my top contenders for a Lauren signature scent!

Notes of: Dewy Freesia, Tamarind, Chinese Osmanthus, Incense, Fresh Tuberose, White Wings Peony, Blue Orris, Arum Lilies, Cashmere Woods, Musk, Vetiver Haiti.

My Review (one to five stars, one being the lowest, five being the highest)

Scent: Mature, sexy, mysterious and alluring, this fragrance mixes spices with florals and finds the perfect balance of the two. Although it’s hot and sticky in New England, this scent can certainly be enjoyed year round. There is not one thing I would change about this one! 5 stars

Staying Power: Even through the hottest and stickiest of summer days, this scent stays strong all day. No need to re-spritz or go too crazy in the morning to account for apres-lunch loss of scent. 5 stars

Price: I purchased the 1.7 oz for $75. Compared to my last purchase of ToykoMilk (a cool $36) I had a small case of sticker shock. For that I’m deducting a star. 4 stars

Overall: I highly recommend purchasing or at least trying this scent. With over 4.5 stars, MK’s signature scent just may become your new one.

-Lauren


Let me start off by apologizing for our all of a sudden drop off. Life has gotten really crazy for both Cher and myself lately and we’re trying to get everything back on track. Our posts will be a little more sparse until the new waves in our lives get ironed down into minor ripples.

That being said, I want to divulge in my most favorite new bronzer! Typically I’m a NARS Laguna girl all the way, that is until I decided to give Urban Decay’s Baked Bronzer in Toasted a try. This may sound a little dramatic but I simply cannot imagine life without this product in it from here on out (it’s all about priorities, right?). I love Toasted because it gives a gorgeous buildable bronze look and best of all, it’s completely matte. Laguna has flecks on gold in it, which is great for the peak of summer but a little too copper tin man for the rest of the year.

Here are the deets on my review:
(one to five stars, one being lowest, five being the highest)

Color: A rich, deep tan color that doesn’t look too fake or orangey. The color is one to be built so I think it would work well on make skin tones, unless you’re really fair skinned. Best of all, this bronzer is totally matte, which means less oil and shine. I’ll take it! 5 stars

Application: This product is built to last. I’ve had it a few weeks and have yet to make my usual brush dent on the surface. A few light swipes with a bronzer brush is enough to cover your face and neck. This product goes on completely smooth and blends really nice, making it totally natural looking. 5 stars

Price: Now this is where I have to deduct half a star. This bronzer is $26, which is steep but it’s oh so very worth it in my eyes. My bronzers typically last me about 4-5 months. If Toasted can stand this time test, I’ll be completely sold on it. 4.5 stars

Final Score: 4.8 stars

What’s your favorite summer time or all year bronzer?
-Lauren

Check out similar product reviews:
Kat Von D Shady Bronzer
Too Faced Sun Dial
EBF Beauty Awards: Face


Aside from cleansing, toning and moisturizing your skin, finding the right tools to achieve your flawless face can be tricky. My skin doesn’t respond well to heavy foundations, concealers, or anything of that nature. I’m pretty lucky that my makeup routine for my face is quick and simple. Check out my picks for illuminator/tinted moisturizer, bronzer and blush on any budget.

Steal Products
Cover Girl Trublend Mineral Bronzer, $7 in “Golden Sunrise”

Almay Smart Shade Smart Balance Makeup, $12

Physicians Formula Cashmere Wear Blush, $12.95 in Rose

Splurge Products
Urban Decay Baked Bronzer, $26 in “Toasted”

NARS Illuminator, $30 in “Laguna”

Tarina Tarantino Dollskin Cheek Blush, $26 in “Parasol”
(Check out my review)

What are some face products you can’t live without?
-Lauren


Your lips are one of the most important features of your face. Through your lips, you show your excitement with a big smile and sadness with a frown. Showcasing your lips can be as subtle as exfoliating, moisturizing, and going au naturale. But glamming up your lips has never been easier or more affordable, since there are thousands of products out there that offer a plumper pout or a pop of bright color.

Here are some of my favorite lip finds for all budgets:

Splurge

Lip Stain: Tarte LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Stain in Warm Rose, $24

Lip Pencil: NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, $24

Lip Gloss: Chanel Levres Scintillantes Glossimer, $29.50

Moisturizer: Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment, $25

Lipstick: MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in Russian Red, $14.50

Steal

Lip Stain: Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain + Balm, $7.19

Lip Pencil: Wet n Wild MegaSlicks Lip Color Retractable Pencil in Peach Fuzz, $2.99

Lip Gloss: Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Nude Luster

Moisturizer: Maybeline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm, $2.97

Lipstick: Revlon Moon Drop Creme Lipstick in Orange Flip, $7.19

What are your favorite lip products?

- Cher


Whether you are a glam girl or a bare faced beaut knowing the best tools to make your eyes pop is crucial. I typically always leave the house rocking a complete eye look with shadows, liner and no less than 3 coats of mascara on my top lashes. However, lately I’ve been curling my lashes, tide lining my eyes with some black liner and topping with a coat of mascara. If you prefer the sooner, the latter or anything in between, check out my picks for Splurge and Steal items for eyes.

Splurge products
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, $18
(check out Cher’s review on this one here)

MAKE UP FOR EVER Smoky Lash Mascara, $23

Urban Decay Shadow, $18 fave shade- Grifter

Steal products
L’Oreal – Lineur Intense, $8

L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara, $8

L’Oreal HIP shadows, $3-$11 Fave shade- Gilded

What are some of your must have splurge or steal eye tools?
-Lauren




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