Beauty

My Favorite Summer Lipsticks

My Favorite Summer Lipsticks

Lipstick is magic. Do we all agree? You can have zero makeup on, be rocking sweatpants and a tee, throw some lipstick on and BOOM…you’re ready to face the world. I started embracing lipsticks in my early twenties, and red was my go-to in the early days. I’ve since expanded to more adventurous colors – I swap my lipsticks like I do my wardrobes every season. I typically go with brighter tones in the summer (oranges, berries, pinks), and darker, bold tones (eggplants, mochas, burgundys) in the fall & winter. This summer, I wore a lot more nudes than in the past. I think this kind of goes with the minimal makeup look I’ve been experimenting with…either way, nude lips are gorgeous and SO low maintenance!

Below are the lipsticks that have been on my rotation this summer – they range from super bright to barely there, but are all equally amazing. They’ve been there for my statement lip moments to my beach going days!

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The Brow Gel Face-off: Benefit vs. Glossier

The Brow Gel Face-off: Benefit vs. Glossier

If you’ve been reading along for some time now, you know I frequently call out the unruliness and unpredictability of my brows. It’s even made it’s way to my Instagram bio – yes, it is that much a part of my life. I’ve shared my favorite places to get my brows threaded in Chicago, and around this time last year I discovered the magic of brow gel. Since then, I’ve been religiously using Benefit’s Gimme Brow and it’s changed my life in the eyebrow department!

However, after using Gimme Brow for almost a year now, I felt like it was time to challenge the champion. People have been raving about Glossier’s Boy Brow, so I caved and decided to give it a try. A brow gel face-off then ensued. Which is the best brow gel for me? Have I been wrong all along? I needed to find my brow gel soulmate…

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7 Ways to Get Dewy Summer Skin

7 Ways to Get Dewy Summer Skin

Annnnd I’m back! I feel like I’ve been gone for ages, yet at the same time my vacation didn’t feel long enough (does it ever?!). I can’t wait to share more details on our trip – we had the chance to explore new islands, eat tons of Greek food (went overboard as we always do), spend quality time with close friends AND celebrated a wedding. All in all, it was an amazing trip and it came and went too fast. I can’t wait to share more juicy dets next week!

Though my post-vaca blues have officially kicked in, the fact that my skin is on point right now has softened the blow a bit. Relaxing on the beach for a week straight definitely has it’s benefits (as long as you wear SPF 30+!), and I’m determined to keep this look going for as long as possible post-beach life. Below are my tried and tested ways (7 to be exact) to get the lovely dewy summer skin we all strive for –

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Eyebrow Threading in Chicago: Where to Go

Eyebrow Threading in Chicago: Where to Go

Since I can remember, my brows have been out of control. There was a point where I had an eyebrow…that’s right, eyebrow singular. Let’s just say ages 11-14 were my rough years. The photos I have from this period are frightening…to put things into perspective, my eyebrows were the least of my worries. I didn’t know how to manage my curly hair, I had a mustache (this was pre-waxing days), there was a lot going on.

I didn’t attempt cleaning up my eyebrows until 7th grade, and it was LONG overdue. They still were insanely thick, but at least I split them into two caterpillars vs. one. Baby steps. By freshman year of high school, I had discovered the miracle of eyebrow threading. I don’t know why I didn’t consider waxing initially, perhaps because waxing would not have done the job? I can’t recall, but either way, threading was the best discovery I ever made. In fact, I still do it to this day.

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The Beauty Benefits of Charcoal

The Beauty Benefits of Charcoal

Every so often, when I visit my mom in the north burbs, I stop by at the TJ Maxx in Evanston to scope it out. They have an “Off the Runway” department where I’ve come across killer finds in the past, but it’s very hit or miss. The last time I went, I perused the designer department and wasn’t impressed, so I ventured over to the beauty section. It’s not a section of the store I’m familiar with, but after examining the products for a minute or two, it captured my attention.

One of the products I was particularly interested in was this Charcoal facial detox cleanser. I (of course) immediately looked it up online to see if I could find reviews…and I found PLENTY on Amazon, mostly positive. I’ve tried the Boscia charcoal cleanser in the past, but felt it was too pricey for what it was so I stopped buying it. This one seemed like it was similar enough and 1/3 of the cost. I bought it with low expectations and started using it daily. After about 3 weeks of using it, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the results. My face feels crisp and clean after cleansing, and the cleanser is able to take off most of my makeup (which is a HUGE for me, mainly because I’m lazy). I like that it doesn’t have a fragrance as I’ve been so against fragranced skincare products lately – there’s no way that stuff is good for your skin!

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How to Use Jojoba Oil

How to Use Jojoba Oil

I’m always one for testing new beauty products & mixing up my skincare rotation, but jojoba oil has been part of my routine for a couple of years now. It took me time to warm up to the idea of putting oil on my face – I used to think it would make me break out! “Oil free” was always a positive thing in my mind – but I’ve learned that’s SO not the case. I find myself using jojoba oil the most out of any other oil (I use coconut & vitamin E oil too), because it’s lighter and absorbs really well. In fact, it’s supposed to be very close to the natural oils our body produces. I buy mine from acne.org – it’s such a great value! I’ve had mine for over a year and there’s PLENTY left. You can also find it here & here. Now, on to how I actually use it…

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How to Use Face Gloss

How to Use Face Gloss

We’re nearing the end of winter (THANK GOD), which means my pastiness is at an all time high. I’m in desperate need of a tan – my go-to tanning pads aren’t even helping me at this point. I tried packing on more concealer, more bronzer, more moisturizer to help with my dry, pale winter skin, but nothing was working.

Finally, last week at Sephora, I discovered a magical product. One that brightened up my skin instantly, giving me the dewy look I’ve always strived for. I didn’t even care that my skin was pale because it was GLOWING. Introducing…Milk Face Gloss.

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Curly Hair Tips: How I Care for My Curls

Curly Hair Tips: How I Care for My Curls

I’ve been rocking my curls since age 3. Sure, I could straighten them (and sometimes do), but I think the curls represent me and my style. It’s sort of my “thing” at this point. Luckily, I’ve figured out how to manage these bad boys over the years. They didn’t always look like this. I can pull up some scary photos from my Facebook archive – apparently, I was very into the “wet” look in my high school days. Not sure it was intentional, but it definitely happened.

It takes time, lots of trial and error, but once you know how to manage your curls, you’ll put that straightener away for good. These are the rules I live by when it comes to caring for my hair.

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Latest Obsession: Benefit Gimme Brow

Latest Obsession: Benefit Gimme Brow

I’ve got thick, bushy, unruly eyebrows. If I didn’t maintain these bad boys, I’d have an eyebrow (that’s right, just one) that would connect with my hairline on both sides. It would all blend in real nicely. Though it took me quite some time to appreciate their unruliness, I’ve finally accepted my brows and learned to embrace them. More importantly, I’ve learned to keep them in check. This involves frequent trips to my girl Vanessa at Parlor 836 (if you’re into threading, you need to see this girl – she works magic), in addition to trimming and tweezing here and there in between visits.

Recently, I discovered a new product that has changed my eyebrow game…Benefit’s Gimme Brow. It’s essentially a brow-volumizing gel that grooms your brows and gives them a thicker, fuller appearance.

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Greek Yogurt Face Mask (with Avocado)

Greek Yogurt Face Mask (with Avocado)

Heading into my late 20’s, I started to prioritize skincare more than ever. I look back at my teens & early 20’s and cringe at how I treated my skin – i.e. no sunscreen, not drinking enough water, sleeping with makeup on…I can go on for days. I’ve started to notice & appreciate other women with gorgeous skin, and often ask what their skincare regimen is.

A couple of weekends ago at a family wedding, I was seated with one of my cousins at the dinner table. She’s in her late 40’s and has phenomenal skin. I asked her to share her skincare secrets – in addition to the usual ones (stay out of the sun, exfoliate, sunscreen it up, etc.), she mentioned that she has been using a Greek yogurt mask on her face 3X a week for 20+ years! She had me convinced that I needed to give it a try.

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