I’m on a little bit of Nars kick.
It happened a few weeks ago when I booked an appointment to have eyelashes applied before an event at their (very sleek and cool) Madison Avenue NYC store. My plan was to go home and use all my new Tom Ford makeup (story on those babies to follow), but I was fighting a wicked sinus infection at the time and wound up getting my makeup done because I just couldn’t deal.
I had been wanting to try this foundation since its advertising blitz came out recently. (I’m nothing if not prey for good beauty advertising.) It did not disappoint! I am IN LOVE with it. Here’s why:
-It’s matte, but not dry. A very extremely difficult balance for a “matte” foundation to achieve.
-It’s lightweight. It blends into skin to look like your skin, only better, and has that glowy “blurring” technology I love. The coverage is superior for a formulation that is considered to be more of a tint. It’s also buildable.
-It has impressive staying power and controls shine. My skin tends to soak up makeup like a sponge and I’m seeing this last from early morning into the evening. A first. (Especially when I use Nars’ excellent loose powder on top.)
-It’s packed with vitamins, armed with SPF 30 and free of all the nasties.
Done and done-er.
I have a confession: I don’t wash my face in the morning. I never have. I’ve only ever used a toner in the a.m.. In middle school and high school, when I was oily and acne prone, my go to was Sea Breeze and sometimes, Witch Hazel. I know. Let the gasps ensue.
For better or worse, my morning ritual simply involves a doused cotton round. It’s fast and, for me, just feels right.
I recently discovered this amazing toner from Nars . It’s kind of antithesis to toners I’ve used in the past: it’s moisturizing and soothing while it also gently exfoliates and boosts cell turnover. I’m also using it at night. It’s one of those products that kind of just goes with everything. My skin is definitely softer and brighter.
Formulated without fragrance, parabens, alcohol or oil, this toner exfoliates with fruit acids, soothes with wild rose extracts and brightens with Nars’ exclusive Light Reflecting Complex, which may or may not be the reason this cool, minimalist bottle has taken up permanent residence in my beauty cabinet.
This is one of those celebrity-touted products I’ve had on my radar for a while but never tried because I thought my exfoliation game was already pretty strong—between these pads, this cleanser and this mask.
But last month I was waiting in line at Sephora and fell prey to the maze of samples they literally blockade you with at checkout and picked up a mini tube of ExfoliKate. That little sample went a really long way, lasting almost two months, which is just one reason why I love this deliciously smelling scrub. The fine grain is powered by fruit enzymes to remove dead skin cells and clarify skin. It’s a pretty intense exfoliator, as far as exfoliators go—skin feels polished afterward and there is an immediate smoothing, glowy effect that happens. I think that’s what I love most—this isn’t a product that requires you to wait patiently for results. And you need only use it twice a week.
All skin-types seem to love ExfoliKate, from acne-prone to drier complexions. It certainly is working wonders on my combination skin.
Wow. There are so many amazing gift sets this season, I decided to make two lists because I had such a tough time narrowing it down.
Here my luxury beauty picks. (Watch out for my under $50 list next.)
Violet Gray Bedside Table Set, $185
La Mer, Dior, By Terry—this lovely curated set of lip, hand and nail creams are the ultimate evening luxury.
Tom Ford 2 Piece Lip, 2 Piece Nail Box, $174
Timeless shades from one of my favorite luxury lines. The packaging, the products—it just doesn’t get any better than Tom Ford.
Kevyn Aucoin Travel Brush Set, $285
Five double-ended brushes from the makeup master. Easy to store and travel-friendly. I still have Aucoin brushes in my kit from ten years ago. A worthy investment.
illuminage Seeing Beauty Deluxe Set, $99
I love products that work overnight. This super-soft mask and pillowcase set is infused with copper ion technology that delivers the powerful mineral to help the skin renew itself and diminish wrinkle. It’s like beauty sleep insurance— and I hope my husband is reading this because I want this!
LightStim for Wrinkles $249
If I could invest in one high-tech tool, this LED powered, FDA-studied skin tightener would be it.
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Killer Cheekbones, $110
The easiest, most beautiful way to subtly contour and highlight. I love love LOVE this compact and swear by the fool-proof brush.
simplehuman 5″ Sensor Makeup Mirror with Travel Case, $130
You’ll never have to worry about bad lighting again with this genius little-but-big-enough mirror that simulates natural light. It’s also cordless and adjustable. Perfect to take on the road or to keep in an office drawer.
DryBar Dirty Martini Kit, $149
This is a perfect wave-making iron, conveniently packaged with DryBar’s signature products that smell amazing. Perfect for any woman who wants but thinks she can’t give herself tousled tresses.
Giorgio Armani Luxe is More Oversized Palette, $140
Ten gorgeous eyeshadows, two blendable cream foundations to perfect and contour. This is one of the most gorgeous nude palettes I’ve seen. It really works on a range of skin tones. Snag it while you can.
Rodin Luxury Body Oil, $130
The most luxurious blend of essential oils, it’s no wonder this oil is a perennial celeb and beauty editor favorite.
Don’t be fooled by this sleek, minimal packaging (which I love): this little tube delivers big, lasting color. All with the ease of a gloss, the richness of a moisturizing lipstick and the weightless, non-budging beauty of a stain. And I swear, the silky gel formula makes lips look fuller.
Available in nine vibrant colors. A great way to perk up your face for a holiday party. Or on a dreary winter day. Snag it for 20% off for a limited time at Nordstrom.
I was recently sent this expert review of the best eyeliners, from pencils and liquid to gel and organic. They even researched the best eyeliner for your inner water-line. I agree with these pics and appreciate the thoughtful consideration given to brands across the retail spectrum. Carefully vetted by cosmetic chemists and makeup artists, they even tell you who will love and who should avoid each product.
I wasn’t surprised at all to see my go-to’s like Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil and Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Gel Eyeliner. And it was cool to read about all the organic offerings out there, too—a group I, admittedly, don’t know a lot about.
Read the full, illustrated review here and let me know if your favorites made the list.