Nordstrom Beauty Holiday 2015

Not to sound all basic and whatnot but HOLY CRAP THE HOLIDAYS ARE UPON US! I know everyone talks about the months fly by and you can’t keep up but this time I have to agree. I feel like it was just yesterday I was hanging out at the beach with my friends.

I knew the sh*t got real about the holidays when I received an invite to attend the Nordstrom Beauty Holiday 2015 preview. One of the saddest (superficial) things in my life is the lack of Nordstrom retail location in the immediate NYC area because I want to experience the sales IRL, y’know?

At the preview, I saw A LOT! Nordstrom never lets me down with their beauty offerings because they truly have something for everyone. Below are a few things that caught my eye. I’ll be doing a bigger gift guide from a variety of retailer so stay tuned!

NEST Fragrances Holiday Candles ($38 each)
nest fragrance holiday candleIt isn’t officially the holidays until I light one of these bad boys up! They’re classic, literally smell like the holiday season and have such a clean burn it’s unfair. NEST Fragrances Birchwood Pine and Holiday scented candles are like the Mariah Carey of the Christmas season – nothing or no one compares.

Smashbox‘Art.Love.Color’ Studio Set (Limited Edition) ($79 Value)'Art.Love.Color' Studio Set (Limited Edition) At $39.00 this limited-edition Art.Love.Color Studio set by Smashbox is a such a good gift for the beauty lover because it has everything you’ll need for lids, lashes and lips. All in one and no fuss. My kind of deal.

Drybar ‘Sparkle & Shine’ Set ($288 Value)
Drybar 'Sparkle & Shine' SetFor the blowout queen in your life, this is all she’ll (he’ll?) need to get perfect hair every day. Yes it’s $199.00 but considering you get one of the most talked about hair dryers AND product AND a round brush…this is a steal.

MOLTON BROWN London ‘Holiday Bath Treasures’ Set (Limited Edition) ($84 Value)MOLTON BROWN London 'Holiday Bath Treasures' SetOkay, I’ll admit it. I included this partially because of my love of miniature beauty products but they’re so cute! Aside from the very adorable size, this is great for someone like me who has a lot of good-but-not-close friends and you simply don’t know what to get them. All of them. So pick up this set ($50) and break it apart! I say take one or two and stick them in beautifully wrapped sachets and voila! The perfect stocking stuffer. This 12-piece body wash collection is great for gifting folks in your office or gifting to a hostess.

Disclosure: I attended a blogger preview. Not compensated for this post.

#yourbesthair with Living Proof

As much as I loved my extensions, I was itching (literally) to remove them and get back to my natural hair. I missed seeing my curls as my pixie grows out!

When Living Proof reached out to partner and help  me get #yourbesthair, I jumped at the chance because I knew I’d need some serious styling help after removing my extensions. Removing a sew-in style means your hair may have some damage and as a lover of hot tools, I’m taking ALL the help I can get. New to the brand, I decided to check out their product selector tool to help decide which styling product(s) were right for me. I have kinky/coily hair but I love to blow dry every now and then so I got a mix of results from their Curl Leave-In Conditioner to their style | lab straight for when I’m using heat.

Wash Essentials / Taking Care:
living proof miss whoever you are
Immediately after removing the extensions I washed my hair then went straight into recovery mode. I started off by applying the Restore Instant Repair which promises to make hair 15x stronger after just 1 use (WHOA, right?). Then I applied the Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment since I was looking to smooth and condition my hair without wanting to apply hoards of products. PhD styles and treats without compromising one for the other. When I read on their site that it reduces breakage by 78%, I knew it had to be mine. Plus with a name like Perfect Hair Day how can you resist! Last but not least is the Satin Hair Serum to finish off my look after blowdrying. These three products are now in regular rotation as my must use products whenever I wash my hair.

Heat Styling Musts:
Living Proof Style Lab
Now I know heat styling gets a bad rep in the natural hair community but I’m not one to give it up just yet. Yes, I’ve reduced the amount of heat I apply to my hair (I blow dry my hair once – twice MAX- every two months) but that doesn’t mean I can go without protecting my hair. I was drawn to their style | lab range because every girl needs an arsenal of good styling products when going up against your blow dryer or flat iron.

I started with the Prime Style Extender Spray as it’s a lightweight hair primer to extend styles and it’s made for fine hair which I have a lot of. Then I went in with Straight before blow drying and again before flat ironing since it’s a heat activated spray that can be used on damp or dry hair and provides heat protection up to 450°. Lastly I finished if off with the Satin Hair Serum.

Curl Care:
living proof curlHaving naturally kinky/ curly hair I have the option to flex my curls or blow it out sleek and straight. For days when I’m not applying heat (90% of the time), I’m excited to try out the Curl Detangling Rinse (smaller item in the back) as well as Curl Leave-In Conditioner. Curl Detangling Rinse is NOT a conditioner. Rather it’s a water-activated, gel-like formula that is to be applied after you use the conditioning wash and best for detangling. Every curly girl knows they need a leave-in conditioner so I can’t wait to see how this one works. Lastly I had to pick up the No Frizz Humidity Shield hairspray. Although it isn’t part of their curl collection, I love anything that will fight frizz but doesn’t leave an icky feeling afterward. Bonus it can be used on curly or straight hair.

Et voila!
Hair so cute you can’t help but snap a selfie before heading out the door (literally)!

I did pick up a bunch of travel size products as it’s the BEST way (in my opinion) to try out a new to you brand. I highly recommend doing so! Have you tried Living Proof?

Disclosure: this post is sponsored.

Morphe 35O Palette Review

morphe 35O palette
It seems to me that there’s never a good time to actually write about the Morphe 35O palette. I purchased it what seems like decades ago after Jaclyn Hill first mentioned it on her channel. I was one of the lucky ones who was able to order without a hitch and it sold out faster than you can spell your name. Fast forward a few weeks later where they restocked and it sold out again. I’ve held off posting about it because nothing is worse than discovering a product you love and wanting to share it with the world, but the world is unable to purchase, you feel me?

Well a few days ago Morphe restocked, sold out (crazy) BUT according to the brand this is a permanent item so they will be restocking again. Timing is TBD so I highly recommend you follow them on Instagram since that’s where they do a lot of announcements.

Since it is a permanent item, I’m going to go ahead and share with you how much I love it. Do yourself a favor and get it if you can okay.
morphe 35O swatch

This palette retails for $23.00 and you get 35 eye shadows in a hard plastic case. The packaging is nothing to sing home to. It reminds me of those Coastal Scents palettes everyone went crazy for back in the early days of YouTube. The shades are warm and beautiful, perfect for fall as there are quite a few pretty browns and oranges. The powders are soft and easy to blend. There’s only one eyeshadow of the 35 that gives me trouble and it’s the glittery/ slightly pink color (first picture: third row, second to last color). It’s chunky and hard to blend. I’m able to work with it only with a slightly damp brush to give a foiled effect.
morphe 35O
The mattes shades are not too powdery or chalky and go on smoothly. The remaining shimmery and metallic colors are intensely pigmented and also go on smoothly. If you’re on a budget and looking for a palette, I would recommend it. It’s great for anyone starting their beauty collection or someone who is looking for fuss free makeup. If you’re the type that wants product AND packaging (it’s okay, we’re all a little bit snobby), I’d recommend investing on a palette by Urban Decay. I won’t knock this palette at all – I’ve been using it almost exclusively for the past six weeks. It’s great!

Morphe 35O palette is available in the Morphe store in California and will be restocked sometime soon (hopefully).

gerard cosmetics lucy star powder

gerard cosmetics lucy highlighter

I didn’t want to like it but I did. So there’s that. I’ve mentioned Gerard Cosmetics before and while their products aren’t terrible they aren’t AMAZEBALLS to merit the price tag they are currently running for. Like I mentioned in my lip swatch video, if you are looking to purchase Gerard Cosmetics there’s always a 30-50% discount available via your favorite YouTube beauty guru or Instagrammer so there is no need to pay full price (it ain’t worth it). That said I feel down the rabbit hole after seeing MakeupShayla wearing this highlighter and I bit the bullet. I didn’t want to like it but I did. So there’s that.
gerard cosmetics star powder lucy highlighterThe Gerard Cosmetics Lucy Star Powder is a rosy highlight inspired by- you guessed it- America’s sweetheart Lucy. I was surprised at how finely milled the powder was as I expected it to be somewhat chunky. It gives off a true in your face highlight but it is blendable and velvety to the touch. It has soft gold shimmers so it’s not too rosy on the skin. If you have tan to deep skin, this will look amazing on you. It has quickly become my go to highlighter and if I’m feeling extra, I’ll layer this on top of another blush. Unlike the lipsticks, I couldn’t find a single negative thing to say about these (outside of price), so kudos.

I didn’t want to like it but I did. So there’s that.

Gerard Cosmetics is available online and now at select Ricky’s NYC locations. I, personally, wouldn’t buy it anywhere other than their site so you can leverage the discounts they keep having.

September 2015 Beauty Favorites

Time for my September 2015 Beauty Favorites! September was quite a busy month with fashion week (watch my blogs here and here) and a little bit of personal traveling sprinkled in. I’ve been wearing a wee bit more makeup since autumn is rolling around – although you wouldn’t be able to tell with the weather we had (90 degrees oye!)

But I’ve been loving a few products and may have even found my Holy Grail setting powder. Watch to find out what it is!

The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Moisture Lotion SPF 15
*Fresh Seaberry Skin Nutrition Booster
Lancôme MIRACLE CUSHION Liquid Cushion Compact Foundation
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder
Melt Cosmetics the Dark Matter stack
*NARS NARSissist Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette
*Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil
MAC Haute & Naughty Mascara
*Mark Crushing on Coconut Body Oil
*Estée Lauder Kendall Jenner’s Shade
*Christian Louboutin Velvet Matte Lip Colour

Disclosure: Some links above are affiliate links and anything with an asterisk (*) means I was gifted the item.