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Wishful Shopping: Best New Beauty

Wishful Shopping BannerFebruary Beauty Wish List

The pace at which beauty products are released is relentless and the hype around each release has turned into pure noise. Sifting through the fancy press trips, PR packages, and ad campaigns can make it difficult to distinguish between the gimmicks and the gems, even for the professional beauty consumer. These are the innovative new concepts, product formulations, and friend recommendations that have caught my attention this month.

1: Smashbox Studio Skin Foundation, $42

Over brunch, my delightful friend Alle (of Revelist viral beauty tutorial fame) and I were digging through our makeup bags and discussing our favorite products. Naturally, the conversation turned to foundation, prompted by my recent love of It Cosmetics Confidence In A Compact serum foundation. I’ve been a longtime lover of Revlon ColorStay, L’Oreal Infallible & Lancome’s Teint Idole long wearing formula’s, so when Alle sang the highest praises of Smashbox’s Studio Skin Foundation, it quickly bounced to the top of my wishlist.

2: Ouai Dry Shampoo Foam, $28

Expensive dry shampoo, I wish I could quit you. The $22 I spent on the Living Proof dry shampoo might have been the gateway to expensive dry shampoos, because the $28 on Ouai’s Dry Shampoo Foam didn’t even make me think twice. Both Ouai and Drybar released similar cleansing foam products, but Ouai takes the advantage because you can apply their formula onto dry hair. As someone with oily roots & dry ends who washes her hair two to three times per week, if foam can clean my roots more effectively, then I will gladly give away every can of my dry shampoo.

3: Bite Beauty The Lip Pencil, $18

It has taken me a long time to come around to Bite Beauty, but after the perfection that is the Amuse Bouche Lipstick, I’m a total convert. To determine the shades for the Amuse Bouche range, Bite leaned heavily on data collected from their Lip Lab locations, so I hope they’ve taken the same approach in creating shades for their lip liners. Bite’s neutral tones are some of my favorite, and their pigmentation is always on point, so I can’t imagine that this launch would disappoint. If you have color recommendations, please leave them in the comments below!

4: Jergens Natural Glow Wet Skin Moisturizer, $9

Self-tanners have come a long way since the streaky, orange-tinted disasters we used to have in our showers. I’ve long been obsessed with the Jergens Natural Glow line of gradual self-tanners, but the latest launch takes it to a whole new level. They’ve combined the convenience of an in-shower moisturizer with gradual tanning technology. it’s the ultimate lazy girl product and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

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5: Shhowercap, $43

I’ve spent more time than I’m comfortable admitted wandering around drugstores looking for a shower cap that isn’t terrible. I’ve even resorted to buying character versions, like pigs & frogs, from TJ Maxx just for something different. Finally, we have a luxury option that uses performance fabric and actually looks cute. The price is a bit steep, but worth the splurge.

6: NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer, $30

When NARS launched Radiant Creamy Concealer, beauty girls everywhere collectively lost their minds, so it’s no surprise that their latest release is hiding eye bags everywhere. The reviews I’ve read & seen thus far rave about full coverage and line-filling properties. I might use my missing Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla as an excuse to pick a pot of my own up ASAP.

7: Maybelline Brow Perfecting Highlighter, $8

Maybelline’s brow products have been rocking my world, so when I heard they launched a Brow Perfecting Highlighter, my curiosity got the best of me. I’m not the type to do a full Instagram brow (and, tbh, I don’t know that I have the skills), but I do love the idea of a concealer to clean up the edges when I’m lazy. A simple concealer brush could serve the same purpose, but I love the ease and shape of this concept. Necessary? No. Intriguing? Absolutely.

8: Maybelline Color Sensational Inti-Matte in Brown Blush, $6

As soon as I heard about Brown Blush & the Inti-Matte collection, I rushed to my trusty new beauty release source, Harmon, and combed the numerous displays. Every shade was in stock except, of course, the one shade I was truly interested in. Brown Blush, also known as color 575, is what I would describe as a rosewood, or a purple-toned pink is mixed with a hint of brown. It’s a natural evolution from the neutral pink lips towards a nod to the 90s and it’s sold out everywhere.

9: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, $24

The hype around this Tarte concealer just won’t die. People whose opinions I trust & respect have traveled to the outer reaches of Queens just to find it, and that is a testimony in itself. I generally only conceal under my eyes, so the claims of full coverage appeal directly to my desperate need to conceal those pesky under eye circles. I’ve heard those that have tried both that they love the NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer more, so it may soon edge out my curiosity, but let’s be honest: a girl can never have enough concealer.

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Beauty Hack: Create An In-Flight Skincare Routine

In-Flight Skincare RoutineOne evening I received a panicked text from a blogger friend about to board a red-eye flight who was recognized by a reader while waiting at the gate. It’s wonderful to meet readers IRL, but my friend felt vulnerable because she’d been caught without any makeup on. The truth is, I can’t blame her. I don’t like to see anyone (outside of my FedEx & Seamless delivery people) without my face on, which is why I’ve created a set of safeguards when I travel affectionately known as my “in-flight skincare routine”. It’s really code for “how to wear a little makeup as possible while looking human and not destroying my skin at 30,000 feet”.

A lot of friends have asked me to share my routine & tips so without further ado, here’s my routine squeezed into a quart size bag:

  1. Rule #1: no ugly bags allowed. I received this printed bag from an event and I hang onto it for dear life. I cannot take out a boring, #basic Ziploc at security. My ego won’t allow it.
  2. Coverage is key. We all know the secret to ‘no makeup makeup’ is actually wearing makeup, but I still like to keep it low key. These days I’m loving Dr. Jart+’s Premium BB for medium coverage or Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint for something a bit more sheer.
  3. A hint of tint. A sheer tinted lip balm is the perfect in-flight lip. These days I’m obsessing over Tata Harper’s Lip Treatment. Another great multi-tasker is the Josie Maran Infinity Lip & Cheek Creamy Oil in Everlasting Honey.
  4. Take it all off. Once we’re in the air and the wifi is enabled, I like to take everything off. For my recent trip to Chicago, I took Josie Maran’s Bear Naked Wipes (a travel size).
  5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I love moisturizing masks any day, any time, but especially for flights because they’re usually colorless and invisible on the skin once they sink in. Most recently I’ve been turning to the Tata Harper Moisturizing Mask. I leave it until 30 minutes before we land, and I’ll remove it with another cleansing wipe.
  6. Lips & tips. All purpose balms are a core part of my daily hydration, but I can’t live without them in the air. Glossier’s Balm Dotcom has been in my bag every day for the past few weeks. Add it to lips, cuticles, and any dry patches often.
  7. Hands in. Hand cream is a total essential at all times, but I love the L’Occitane Hand Creams because they’re so darn portable. The fresh Cherry Blossom scent has helped me dream of spring even when it’s snowing out.
  8. Eye see you. I’m obsessive about eye cream, so I love deluxe sample sizes because I can take them anywhere. Lately I’ve been carrying Royal Fern’s Phytoactive Anti-Aging Eye Cream with me everywhere. It’s thin & moisturizing, but not intense, so you won’t risk adding additional luggage to your underyes.
  9. To conceal is real. When I start to put my makeup back on 30 minutes before we land, sometimes a new friend has magically appeared (aka a blemish) and I need some extra help. That’s where a great multi-tasking concealer comes in handy, like the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. I’ve even known folks who have used it as their foundation! Right now I’m using the shade Vanilla.
  10. Swish swish. Morning/coffee breath is no one’s friend, so a travel bottle is always necessary. I’ve been loving Colgate’s Total Advanced Pro Shield.
  11. Don’t forget the brows (like I did). I totally forgot to add my favorite brow pencil for this photo, but Stila’s Stay All Day Precision Glide Brow Pencil is my bff, but you already knew that.
  12. You must sunscreen. If you’re not thinking about sunscreen when you travel, you’re doing it wrong. It’s important to reapply a sunscreen before you land on your face and hands because going unprotected is just plain dumb (harsh, but true). This deluxe sample of Clarins UV Plus HP Day Screen High Protection has been great, because it doesn’t leave behind a greasy residue and sinks in quickly.
  13. Oil is everything. Sometimes your skin is just dry, and there’s no recovering. A drop of oil to your moisturizer (or in this case, tinted moisturizer) will add an extra boost of hydration that you so desperately need after a few hours in recycled air. The Sunday Riley oils are really great, and this sample of Artemis is the perfect size to fit into any bag. If you’ve got a static, in a pinch you could lightly run this over your locks.

This might seem a bit complex, but it all really comes down to taking the best care of my skin that I can while I’m in the air, and stepping off the plane looking fresh. It’s very rare that I have an opportunity to leisurely get to my hotel, take a relaxing bath and change for dinner. I usually have to hit the ground running to maximize my time, and that means maximizing all of my time.

If you have any in-flight skincare routine secrets to share, please leave them in the comments below!

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Makeup Monday: 2014 Best in Beauty

A look A look back at all the makeup I loved in 2014. And WOW did I love a lot!

2014 Best in Beauty

I love makeup. It’s my favorite product category to write about and undoubtedly the category that I also spend the most money on. I want to try everything and I love when colors or formulas surprise me, pulling me outside of my comfort zone. No lip color could be too bold or liquid liner too intense. Looking back at my year in beauty, these are products I am proud to call my 2014 best in beauty:

  1. NARS The NARSissist Palette ($79) – My most used palette of 2014 and still the most versatile. It’s a must for me when I travel.
  2. Edward Bess Quad Royale in Summer in Capri ($45) – Still the best healthy flush blonzer (blush & bronzer) I’ve ever used, especially in the winter. There’s a drugstore dupe, but as with most dupes, it’s not quite the same.
  3. Revlon Colorstay Foundation ($12) – Still my favorite. It’s the best for combination girls who want a long wearing slightly luminous foundation. There’s nothing better!
  4. Anastasia Contour Kit ($40) – A relative latecomer to my favorites list, but a worthy mention all the same. The middle color in the bottom row, Fawn, has sparked my new favorite look for the last quarter of the hear. I use Fawn on an angled cheek brush and create a contour/blush effect, top it off with some highlight and I’m done. It’s perfect! I also use all three highlight shades in various ways. Best best best!
  5. mark On The Edge Liquid Liner in Cleo & Medusa ($10 each) – I love to try every liquid eyeliner I can get my hands on, but most disappoint. At first glance, these tubes look like every other ordinary brush liquid liner, but the formula is matte and opaque, and the super thin brush makes it easy to create a thin line. Cleo has become my everyday go-to line.
  6. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Honey, Vanilla, and Custard ($29 each) – Although I’ve worn Honey the most this year (under my eyes), Custard and Vanilla also deserve honorable mentions. There’s no better liquid concealer on the market, period.
  7. NARS Audacious Lipsticks in Greta, Brigitte, and Lana ($32) – Hands down, the Audacious Lipsticks are my favorite lipstick formula on the market. Although I selected these three shades for this photo, I would wholeheartedly recommend any of them. I’ve already gushed about how much I love Carmen and Lana is a close second. I could talk about my favorite shades all day long. Just try me!
  8. Burberry Effortless Kohl Eyeliner in Chestnut Brown and Pale Grape ($34) – Without a doubt, my favorite eyeliner formula that I’ve tried this year. They are super pigmented, creamy, and long wearing in my waterline. I want to collect them all, especially the black, but the purple and brown have proved to be quite versatile thus far. In 2015, I’m coming for you, Burberry!
  9. Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer ($70) – I’ve already written about this concealer twice this year – need any more proof that I love it? It hasn’t left my makeup bag since the first time I used it. We’re in a deeply committed relationship.
  10. NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder ($35) – My favorite all-purpose setting powder. My skin still somehow looks luminous and perfected through the powder, and it’s also great for setting undereye concealer. There’s a lot of debate within the beauty community between the loose and press versions, but I love them both equally. Please don’t make me choose!
  11. Bare Minerals Bare Skin Foundation ($29) – The best foundation launch in 2014, in my humble opinion. From the color range to the formula to the wear, this foundation will work on nearly everyone. And it’s affordable!
  12. Josie Maran Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil in Everlasting Honey, Limitless Pink, Timeless Coral, and Endless Guava ($18 each) – I love these so much that I got my mom hooked, gave them out as birthday and Christmas presents, and have embarked on a journey to collect them all. They are effortless, hydrating, and so unique. Need more reasons? Check out my review.
  13. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal ($38) – This highlighter could send signals up to the space station, and it singlehandedly reignited my love affair with all things shimmering on my cheekbones. I love it so much that I followed a Pinterest tutorial so I could repack after it shattered. Carry with caution, but love without abandon.
  14. Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadows in Trafalgar ($60) – Every time I’ve visited a Sephora in the past six months, I’ve stood longingly in front of the Dior display and scanned the rows for the product that would ignite a fire in me the most. I’ve also said out loud, to friends, ‘I think I have a Dior problem’. The first step is admitting that you have a problem, yes?
  15. Maybelline The Falsies Mascara ($7) – It’s still my favorite mascara. Just that simple.
  16. Buxom Full-on Lip Cream ($19) – My absolute favorite lip gloss formula to wear. I have all of them and love them equally, but I receive the most compliments from Creamsicle. Are you sensing a pattern yet?
  17. Maybelline Color Elixir Lip Gloss ($8) – These glosses are comfortable, hydrating, and easy to wear. The color is never too overpowering or sheer, so it’s always just right. Goldilocks would totally approve.
  18. NARS Pencil Sharpener ($6) – You probably think this is a funny thing to include in a Best of Beauty list, but it’s still the best pencil sharpener I’ve ever used. It also happens to be cheaper than Sephora’s in-house brand sharpener, which amuses me to no end. I also gave this as a Christmas gift this year, because we all deserve the very best.
  19. mark Touch and Glow ($16) – My pal and celebrity makeup artist, Jamie Greenberg is OBSESSED with Touch and Glow, but it took me several (and I do mean several) months to finally come around to it. Now that I’ve finally seen the light, there’s no turning back. Touch and Glow is a hybrid blush/highlighter that gives you the best glow. I love to use it with a fan brush, but if your skin has more color, I’d go right in with a blush brush. The name says it all!
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Beauty Hack: Fix Those Under Eyes, Boo

Quick Under Eye Fix

We’re stretched more thin than ever. We think we can do it all, achieve it all, and somehow unlock the magical secret to getting less sleep while overproducing thanks to our extreme dependence on coffee. Let’s pretend like we don’t feel just like this worn-in table that I used as a backdrop for this photo because we’re sleeping six (if we’re lucky) hours per night. Is any of this sounding familiar?

Yesterday I had approximately ten minutes to get ready, so I tried to do a quick, but full, face. I reached for a hydrating serum, tinted moisturizer, and then I took a hard look at the luggage beneath my eyes. My go-to concealer lately has been the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Honey for its slightly salmon tone, but the skin under my eyes has been looking extra dry (thanks, harsh winter winds). Why says that I have to apply my eye cream + concealer separately? No one, that’s who.  Three dots of concealer below my eyes and a dab of my favorite eye cream, Avon Reversalist Complete Renewal Express Dual Eye Cream, mixed together across my under eye area makes the perfect mix. Like a DIY eye BB cream, if you will. This trick is also great for end of day touch ups!

I still love letting all my skincare layers sink when whenever I have the luxury, but on days when I feel like Chicken Little, this is the perfect quick fix. Why has it taken me so long to figure this out???



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The Beauty Edit: NYFW Day One

Sarah Conley MAC Retro Matte All Fired Up

For more on my outfit and accessories, please visit On The Plus Side: NYFW Day One.

For day one of NYFW, I had third day hair from my just refreshed Original & Mineral color (more on that soon), so I knew that I had to keep it up and in a top knot. I loved the contrast between the military details of my vest and the topknot, so I decided to keep the face as powerful as possible with feminine details. Here’s what I used to get the look:

Sarah Conley The Beauty Edit NYFW Day One


Foundation (not pictured): Revlon Colorstay

Concealer (under eye only): NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Honey

Blush: Le Metier de Beaute Creme Fresh Tint in Poppy


Shadow: NARS 413 BLKR eyeshadow

Top liner: Aqualilies for Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner (limited edition, permanent product available here)

Lower waterline: NARS Larger Than Life eyeliner in Rue Bonaparte

Mascara: Maybelline The Falsies in Very Black Waterproof

Brows: Kevyn Aucoin Precision Brow Pencil in Brunette


Primer (not pictured): Too Faced Lip Insurance

Lip liner: MAC Pro Longwear in More To Love

Lipstick: MAC All Fired Up Retro Matte Lipstick


I used The Wrap Up from Sarah Potempa, a tool that is similar in concept to a hair doughnut, but in my opinion is much easier to use to create an updo. After my hair was wrapped and secured, I sprayed Redken Forceful 23 Hairspray and used the side of the can to smooth back any whispies.


Photo by Megan Zietz of TFDiaries

Most products were provided for editorial consideration by the brand or an affiliate retailer. All opinions are my own.

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