December 2015 archive

Makeup: 2015 Favorites

I hope you enjoyed the roundup of my 2015 skincare favorites. Looking back on all my must-haves has been too much fun! Let’s move on to makeup.

Foundation/Primer

NeoStrataCharlotteTilburyJouerWhat I love about the NeoStrata Sheer Physical Protection and the Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint is that they have sunscreen. The NeoStrata is SPF 50 and the Jouer is SPF 20. So i use them if I am doing my makeup to go somewhere during the day, and apply them where the sun naturally hits: on my cheekbones and forehead, and across the bridge of my nose. I also put it on top of the concealer I’ve dotted under my eyes.

Charlotte Tilbury’s ‘Wonderglow’ Instant Soft Focus Beauty Flash doesn’t have SPF, so I save it for night. But like the Jouer and NeoStrata, it applies smoothly and evenly, blurs imperfections, and any blush or bronzer I swipe on over it doesn’t budge. And it smells like an English flower garden!

You can buy NeoStrata Sheer Physical Protection at skinstore.com and Charlotte Tilbury ‘Wonderglow’ Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash and Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint at nordstrom.com.

Blush

BlushesPeriperaCushionBlusherI use the PeriPera Ah Much Real My Cushion Blusher pretty much every day. By itself, it gives you a faint but pretty flush, and if you apply powder blush over it, it acts like a primer. More than worth the $17 I paid for it.

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks is a perfect cream blush. I especially love this pinky-peach color, Fresh Melon, in the summer when I have a slight tan, but it comes in plenty of winter -appropriate colors, too. And it lasts an entire day.

Pick up PeriPera Ah Much Real My Cushion Blusher at Urban Outfitters (I did) and Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks at Nordstrom.

Eyes

UrbanDecayNaledSmokyPalette

When Urban Decay released the Naked Smoky palette, mayhem ensued. And you know me: I had to be a part of it. It was my first experience with UD and its iconic Naked line of products, and I wasn’t disappointed.

UD eye shadows, including these, are highly pigmented and stay on forever. This colors in this palette flatter everyone. You can really get creative and come up with lots of different looks for night and day.

I also tried UD’s Anti-Aging Eye Primer Potion for the first time this year, and haven’t looked back. This stuff keeps any eye shadow in place all day. And all night.

The UD Naked Smoky Palette and Anti-Aging Eye Primer Potion are available at Ulta.com.

Lips

LipsticksAbove are my go-to “no-makeup makeup” lip colors, which I found this year: NYX Cosmetics High-Voltage Lipstick in #13 (Stone) and Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics lipstick in Rosewater. I got the NYX in a blogger goody bag at Generation Beauty L.A. and I picked up the Youngblood at the Makeup Show NYC. Both formulas are creamy and long lasting, and the colors don’t wash me out. I think the colors are soft enough to flatter most skin tones.

And I always prep my lips with Fresh Sugar Lip Polish and Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15.

You can buy NYX Cosmetics High-Voltage Lipstick at Ulta.com and Youngblood lipstick at ybskin.com.

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish and Fresh Lip Treatment SPF 15 are available at Sephora.

What makeup favorites did you discover this year? Tell me about them in the comments!

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Skincare: 2015 Favorites

SkincareThis week, journalists and bloggers often curate “Best Of 20XX” lists to celebrate the highlights of the past year. So here are my favorite discoveries from 2015 in the skincare, makeup, bath and body, and hair categories.

If I plan to repurchase a product the minute I run out, it made the cut. A big part of a walk-in closet and an entire room in my apartment are dedicated to all of the products I have accumulated since I started beauty blogging. If I repurchase something, rather than doing a deep dive into my stash, it has to be really good.

We’ll kick things off with skincare.

I am obsessed with Cover F/X Custom Infusion Drops, specifically the Radiance (vitamin C and lemongrass) and Anti-Aging (vitamin A and jasmine). If I could put them in my food, I would. If I could put them in my cats’ food, I would.

I love to add these to my moisturizer in the morning and at bedtime. The drops don’t leave my skin feeling oily, because they absorb quickly, and my skin tone and and the appearance of any fine lines and wrinkles have noticeably improved.

DermaE Microdermabrasion Scrub is my go-to for getting rid of excess oil and makeup, and those annoying little red spots that sometimes pop up. Plus it smells clean and citrus-y. The scrub is especially great in the summer, when your skin can feel extra dirty from sweat and sunscreen.

Of all the skincare regimens I’ve tried, Paula’s Choice and Laneige stand out. The regimens don’t have a million steps, and my skin feels and looks amazing. Both lines are pretty wallet friendly, too.

Oh, and before I forget, I discovered Avene Retrinal 0.1% Intensive Cream over Thanksgiving. My skin already looks smoother and more youthful, and it feels great on my face. I use it at night, because it contains retinol, which can make your skin UV sensitive.

You can buy Cover F/X Custom Infusion Drops at Sephora and DermaE at Walgreens. Paula’s Choice is available at dermstore.com, as is Avene. Laneige, from top Korean beauty company AmorePacific, is available at Target.

What skincare products and/or brands have you discovered in 2015? Tell me about them in the comments! I’m always open to recommendations.

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Product Review: Moroccan Heritage Skin Care

MoroccanHeritage

A few weeks ago, I went to the launch event for Moroccan Heritage, a new line of skin care products. The line contains ingredients native to Morocco and the regimen is based on the traditional skin care practices of Moroccan women.

I got to meet Brand Ambassador Iman Oubou, Miss New York U.S. 2015, who is Moroccan. She was nice enough to let me take home a little goody bag.*

ImanOubouandI

Iman and I at the launch party. Shout out to the Pig n’ Whistle in Times Square!

I have been using the barbary fig seed (also known as prickly pear seed) oil and orange blossom water since I got them. I spray the orange blossom water on my face and then apply the barbary fig seed oil.

What I love about both products is that a little goes a long way. One or two sprays of the water keeps my face from feeling too tight after I washed it, and my skin absorbs one or two drops of the oil very quickly. My skin never felt greasy. And the water smells amazing, while the oil has a faint, nutty scent I really like.

According to Moroccan Heritage, barbary fig seed oil is high in vitamin E, an antioxidant. The oil also contains fatty acids, such as linoleic acid, palmitic acid, oleic acid, and stearic acid, that nourish your skin and hair.

Not only is barbary fig seed oil a moisturizer for your skin and hair, it also reduces under eye puffiness, improves the appearance of dark circles, and tones and tightens the skin, so it has anti aging benefits.

My skin looks great since I have been using it. Iman gave me a tip: she uses it under her makeup as a primer. I have been doing that too, and can tell you first hand it really works! My foundation, blush, or bronzer stays put.

And the ghassoul clay mask works well, too! I tried it last weekend while I watched football. You mix the powdered clay with water to make a paste, and then apply the mixture to your face. The mask feels really tight as it dries, but when you wash it off, your skin feels like a baby’s bottom. It helped heal a big zit I had earlier in the week.

You can find Moroccan Heritage Skin Care online or on Amazon. They also have an argan oil.

Have you ever tried barbary fig seed or argan oil? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Fabulous Forever got a makeover in time for the holidays! Be sure to subscribe using the form on the top right of the homepage, and use the social sharing buttons below the form to spread the word. And don’t forget to like the new Fabulous Forever Facebook page.

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*The products were given to me for my review. Opinions are my own.

Fabulous Links of the Week

 Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

Find out how to banish dark circles, then check out 49-year-old Salma Hayek’s makeup-free selfie and 50-year-old Liz Hurley’s bikini Christmas card, in this week’s Fabulous Links.

Holiday chaos can lead to some serious under-eye circles. Don’t just reach for a concealer. Take action. [Well + Good]

Salma Hayek just posted a gorgeous selfie sans makeup. This. woman. is. 49! [Glamour]

Elizabeth Hurley rocks a bikini on her Christmas card. At 50. You go girl! [Huffington Post]

Looking for last-minute gift ideas and stocking stuffers? Click on my beauty gift guide and vegan gift guide for ideas. Happy Holidays! xoxo

Fabulous Forever got a makeover! Be sure to subscribe using the form on the top right of the homepage, and use the social sharing buttons below the form to spread the word. And don’t forget to like the new Fabulous Forever Facebook page.

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Product Review: Thicker Fuller Hair

 I am always up for trying new hair products, so I was psyched when I got to try Thicker Fuller Hair, a hair care line designed to, well, strengthen your hair, and make it appear thicker and fuller.*

I have fine hair with a slight natural wave. I have a decent amount of hair, but always want to look like I have more. Thicker Fuller Hair did the trick!

My hair looked softer, shinier, and fuller. And was it my imagination, or did it seem a bit stronger when I combed it out after a shower?

What is the source of this magic, you ask? The products in the line contain Cell-U-Plex technology, which the company says has plant extracts, vitamins, and proteins that nourish the hair shaft. Caffeine Energizers in the products nourish the scalp. The products also contain a Marine Flora Complex, to encourage hair growth and increase the diameter of hair strands, according to the company.

The Thicker Fuller Hair line comprises Revitalizing Shampoo, Weightless Conditioner, Thinning Hair Treatment, Weightless Volumizing Hairspray, Instantly Thick Serum for daily use, and Dandruff Sulfate-Free Shampoo. I love the Revitalizing Shampoo and Weightless Conditioner.

You can buy Thicker Fuller Hair at drugstore.com.

If you have thin or thinning hair, what products work for you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Fabulous Forever got a fall makeover in time for the holidays! Be sure to subscribe using the form on the top right of the homepage, and use the social sharing buttons below the form to spread the word. And don’t forget to like the new Fabulous Forever Facebook page.

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* The products were sent to me for review. Opinions are my own.

Holiday 2015 Gift Guide: Vegan Beauty

Soul sisters Mesa (l) and Pashmina (r)

Vegan beauty?! We approve! (Mesa (l) and Pashmina (r))

I had such a blast putting together my holiday gift guide, I came up with a vegan one! I decided to curate a gift guide of vegan products because I have friends who are vegan, and I volunteer at an animal shelter.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics recently repackaged its cult-favorite Lip Tars in a lip gloss-like tube with a user-friendly doe-foot applicator. If you have an OCC fan on your list, she’ll like this Lip Tar/RTW set.

Or how about Kat von D’s Mi Vida Loca Remix Studded Kiss Lip Set? BTW, all of Kat’s Studded Kiss Lipsticks, Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, and Lightning Liner eyeliners are vegan.

These Precious Elements makeup brushes are anti-bacterial and vegan. Win-win!

I love the Chinoiserie Chic and Trio de Couleurs nail polish sets from JINsoon. The polishes in both sets are described as ‘vegan friendly’ and free of harmful chemicals.

How cute are these Hair-to-Go travel essentials from VERB?

And if a guy on your list is vegan, he’ll love this Jack Black About Face grooming set.

Here are links to the Obsessive-Compulsive Cosmetics and Pacifica web sites, and Urban Decay’s vegan page. Pacifica in particular has some great gift ideas!

And here’s what comes up when you type “vegan” into the search box on the Sephora and Ulta home pages.

Of course PETA has a list of 22 completely vegan beauty and body product brands.

If you are undecided about what to get, Petit Vour is basically the Birchbox of vegan beauty.

Do you try to stick to vegan and “5-free” beauty products? Let me know what you’ve found that works (and what doesn’t!) in the comments.

Happy Holidays!

Fabulous Forever got a makeover just in time for the holidays! Be sure to subscribe using the form on the top right of the homepage, and use the social sharing buttons below the form to spread the word. And don’t forget to like the new Fabulous Forever Facebook page!

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Holiday 2015 Gift Guide

I was trolling the Web for holiday gift guide ideas this weekend. (OK, so the gift ideas were actually for me, and I was wasting time after yoga until the Jets-Giants game started. But at least I’m honest.) I found some great things that the beauty junkie in your life would appreciate.

Almost everything is less than $100! (The one-year Birchbox and Birchbox Man subscriptions are $110.) Many items are less than $75. I tried to include things at different price points.

Makeup

How adorable are these Charlotte Tilbury Mini-Lipstick Charms?

And these M.A.C. “Irresistibly Charming” mini lip gloss sets come in nude, pink, and violet.

If you’ve got a rock chick on your list, she’ll love the UD x Gwen eye shadow palette from Urban Decay.

The bareMinerals blush and eye shadow wardrobe has everything she’ll need, in colors that flatter everyone.

Nails

Empire fans will love this nail polish set from Deborah Lippmann, with colors inspired by the Cookie Monster herself.

And how gorgeous is the Deborah Lippmann Roses In the Snow Nail Color Duo?

Or maybe she’s a fashionista. She’ll love this Allure for butter LONDON Nail Lacquer Set.

I love the colors in the butter LONDON RSVP Set. They’re perfect all year round, actually.

For the girl who likes to change up her polish color, how about butter LONDON’s Twelve Months of Manis set?

Skin

The masks in this Glossier Mask Duo are supposed to be amazing.

I love the Wonderglow Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash Primer in Charlotte Tilbury‘s The Gift of Goddess Skin Travel Set. And I have heard good things about the Goddess Skin Clay Mask and Charlotte’s Magic Cream.

For a few more dollars, you could get Charlotte’s The Gift of Red Carpet Skin Travel Set, which has the mask, primer, and Magic Cream, and also includes Multi-Miracle Glow, Supermodel Body body contouring cream, and Take It All Off makeup remover.

Makeup Brushes 

If it’s makeup brushes she needs, how great are these “Enchanted Eve” travel-size brushes from M.A.C.?

Hair

The Living Proof “Happy Hair Days” Collection includes the Perfect Hair Day dry shampoo I love. A “No Frizz” Discovery Set and a “Restore” Discovery Set are also available.

Every beauty editor will tell you how great Moroccanoil Treatment smells. So any woman will love the Hydrating Travel Kit or Volume Travel Kit. Each kit includes a shampoo, conditioner, hair mask, and either Moroccanoil Treatment or Treatment Light.

Can’t decide? A gift subscription to Birchbox will let her discover new favorites.

For Him

The guys on your list might like this Kiehl’s Manmade Essentials Starter Set.

A gift subscription to Birchbox Man keeps him thinking of you after the holidays are over.

Here are links to the complete gift guides from Nordstrom, Sephora, and Ulta.The options are endless.

I mentioned trying to include budget-friendly ideas, but if you are the type who goes big or goes home, here’s Rachel Zoe’s luxury beauty gift guide. That UD eye shadow vault? Drool.

What are you hoping for this holiday season? Happy Holidays! xoxo

Before I forget, Fabulous Forever got a makeover just in time for the holidays! Be sure to subscribe using the form on the top right of the homepage, and use the social sharing buttons below the form to spread the word. And like the new Fabulous Forever Facebook page!