Have you ever thought about what’s in your makeup and skincare products? I have to admit that I really hadn’t until earlier this week when I was invited to a social by one of my dear friends to learn about Beautycounter. I was shocked as the consultant, Evie Cartwright, rattled off a list of ingredients commonly found in beauty products that are banned in other countries and noted that the list of banned substances in the US has not been updated since the 1930s! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised by how beautifully packaged the products are and how luxurious everything felt from the rich, silky eye cream to the delicious smelling sugar scrub. I decided to try Tint Skin, a sheer foundation product, and the Lustro Face Oil that the hostess was simply raving about. I can’t wait for my products to arrive so that I can tell you all how I’m enjoying them! Have you tried Beautycounter? Which products do you enjoy using?



Rainy Day Hair Styles (that work for work)

Supposedly, April showers bring May flowers, but for now they are only bringing seemingly never ending bad hair days. I have to admit that although my normal hot roller curls fall more quickly on a rainy day, I am (thankfully) also pretty free from frizz thanks to my naturally fairly straight locks. The one thing I refuse to do on a rainy day though, is shampoo (unless really necessary). A rainy day is typically my excuse to skip the shampoo (and blow dry) and opt for revitalizing my ‘do with dry shampoo, a good brush out, and a few hot rollers. Turns out, skipping the shampoo helps banish frizz and lock in style when it’s drizzling outside.

Since there have been so many rainy days lately, with only more to come, I started looking for a few alternatives to the rainy day flat hair blues that could go to the office without looking like I was ready for a red carpet affair, or just rolled off of my beach towel. I needed look no further than my favorite “it girl” Olivia Palermo. She is a great example of how a low, sleek bun always makes you look professional and polished for any meeting, or that embracing the curl killing weather can end up being a study in sleek, straight chic!

What are your “do’s” for a rainy day hairdo?


Essie Nail Polish vs. OPI Nail Lacquer

Image                               vs. Image

I have to admit that I consider myself an Essie girl, but started to wonder if there are actually any real reasons why? Most obviously, Essie has been known for a tremendous assortment of conservative office friendly shades, which is my cup of tea, but are there other differences as well? (Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good deep bordeaux or even dark plum.)

Polish vs. Lacquer

First off, Essie is a “nail polish” verses OPI, which is a “nail lacquer”. Although I could not find an ingredient list for OPI to compare to that of Essie, both are “3-free” (free of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene and formaldehyde). According to, “Nail lacquer… is a quick drying liquid formation containing pigments to leave a coating on the nail that is not only protective in nature but also provides a sheen and the shade that makes nails look extremely beautiful. The main ingredient that acts like a thin film on the nails after drying is nitrocellulose. Resins and plasticizers are added to this nitrocellulose to make it resistant to water and soap. Color or pigments are added to this mixture to come up with the nail lacquer.” What I’ve found this to mean is that it often takes more coats of Essie for the color to develop, and each coat seems to dry faster, but that it actually takes longer to chip. I have very flakey nails so if the polish is heavier than a layer of my nail, it chips very easily.

The Brush:

OPI has a thick, wide brush that covers more of the nail with one stroke. Appealing for those seeking efficiency, but can make it more difficult to paint within the lines, particularly if you have small nails. Small nails require smaller brushes for easier application. Essie has a smaller brush, which I find easier to maneuver, and to control the amount of polish on the brush.

The Colors:

There is no doubt that OPI color collections are full of celebrity endorsements or even movie themes (James Bond, The Muppets), or even catchy names. They also seem to be easy to find whether at the front of the nail salon, or in a special display at your local drugstore or Target, though you can often find better prices online. If looking for a dark, moody shade, something with sparkle, or the latest trend, OPI is usually sure to have something to suit your fancy, and often more readily available in stores. Essie, on the other hand, tends to release more season related collections with a more classic appeal. Perhaps this, addition to the more elegant packaging, is why I gravitate toward Essie, but they have also ventured into brighter territory lately with my favorite from last summer, “Sure Shot”, which is a bright, bold, highly pigmented fuchsia.

Which do you prefer? Are you and Essie girl or an OPI loyalist?

In My Makeup Bag: YSL Touche Éclat



The newest addition to my makeup bag is YSL Touche Éclat in 2.5 “Luminous Vanilla”.  Though often marketed as a concealer, I had heard of it’s magic as a highlighter and brightener, and decided to add Touche Éclat to my arsenal as a subtle way to incorporate the contouring and highlighting craze into my daily makeup routine and freshen up my look. I was amazed at how, with a few flicks of her wrist, the Nordstrom Beauty Spot consultant was able to wake-up my 7pm post long day at the office look. I instantly looked like I had either gotten a few additional hours of sleep, or spent a few hours less at the office….a complete win in my book! Plus, I simply love the chic gold and black packaging. It just looks glamorous!

Once I got home, I scoured the web for a quick how-to cheat sheet that I could keep on hand to replicate her artful strokes, and found this quick reminder of a few tips and tricks above and beyond virtually eliminating under eye circles. How do you use Touche Éclat?