Wrapped Up In Paris // January Favorites

1.31.2013

The best kind of way to be "wrapped up in Paris" is to be strolling through the Tuileries Garden with a pain au chocolat in one hand and mon cherie's hand in the other. But when that's not possible, this scarf will suffice. This Kate Spade number was a generous gift from my mother for Christmas... and I'm sorry I can't point you to a link as I think it's sold out. I love pairing it with an all-black outfit, red lips (here, a dab of Revlon's "Wine Not") and red nails. This has been my favorite clothing item of the month, and it's reminded me that a brightly colored scarf/accessory is the easiest way to spruce up the greys and blacks that dominate my winter wardrobe. 

My hair is up because it's long and scraggly. I decided I couldn't wait any longer and booked a haircut for later today! My hair is a bit sad lately and I need to find a better haircare routine... any recommendations for long hair, ladies?

And since today is the last day of January (!), I thought I'd sneak a few other monthly favorites into this post. The most revolutionary thing I've discovered this month is the Clarisonic Mia. It has completely changed the texture of my skin; it's smoother and softer with less visible pores. I had a couple of tiny breakouts when I first started using the Clarisonic, but now my skin is the clearest it's been in a long time. I've been spritzing Chloe all month long and treating my hands to the Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream, which smells like lemon cake and is the fastest-absorbing hand cream I've used. And lately I'm happy to wear the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in "Tipsy" on my cheeks and OPI's "Barefoot in Barcelona" on my fingernails every day. 

I have to stop myself here because I did a little shopping at the end of this month and I have a few brand new favorites that I'll tell you about soon! I've also saved a few random obsessions of the moment for a later post. And keep your eyes peeled for a giveaway too!

I Moustache You A Question: Why Moustaches?

1.30.2013


Lately, you can find me sipping water out of this cup by Vessel Drinkware. I'd been meaning to get a reusable insulated cup for a while, and I almost bought the Starbucks one, but then I saw this and the deal was sealed. Word on the street is that moustaches are quite trendy, decorating everything from tees to shoes. But why? Is it an indefinite prolongation of the "Movember" hype? When I asked google, the explanations I found weren't so satisfactory. Can anyone tell me?!

I can tell you why I like my moustache cup. It reminds me of one of my favorite book/tv show characters ever, Monsieur Hercule Poirot. Poirot is the Belgian detective protagonist of Agatha Christie's mystery series, which has been dramatized for television, most famously by the actor David Suchet. Poirot likes cleanliness, his handlebar moustache and all the finer things in life. Poirot dislikes planes, egos bigger than his own and being mistaken for a Frenchman. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you need to go snuggle up with water/tea/cocoa and watch an episode of this show! I've convinced quite a few people to give this series a try, and even though they're extremely skeptical at first, they always end up loving it.

(That said, if you're reading this Mr. E, please don't grow a moustache anytime soon ok? xoxo)

Detoxing Your Beauty Routine

1.29.2013


When it comes to makeup and skincare products, the hype often overshadows an important question: what really goes into what goes on your skin? This is something I've asked myself more lately, thanks to a book called No More Dirty Looks by Siobhan O'Connor and Alexandra Spunt. (I give full credit for this discovery to my mom, who is very health-conscious and a minimalist when it comes to makeup!)

The book exposes the uglier sides of the beauty industry, from lack of regulation to the common ingredients that can put us at risk for health problems. It's filled with explanations of unpronounceable ingredients, dermatologists' points of view and recommendations for products (and diet/lifestyle choices) that give you beauty benefits without risks. I've only read bits and pieces of the book so far, but it's already elicited a few "omg that product contains what!?" moments. The authors also started up a blog, nomoredirtylooks.com, which has plenty of tips and interviews!

I've been needing to replenish a couple of products in my daily beauty routine, so I decided to go for healthy alternatives. I purchased the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15 in Natural Beige on the recommendation of No More Dirty Looks, which claims that this is the mineral powder with the purest ingredients (in contrast to most foundations on the market, which are pore-clogging). It offers a light-medium buildable coverage and a radiant finish. And for a daytime facial moisturizer, I went to Whole Foods and picked out the Dr. Hauschka Melissa Day Cream, which is formulated for sensitive combination skin like mine. Melissa (lemon balm) is supposed to balance your skin, and other notable ingredients include coconut oil, jojoba oil and witch hazel.  I will keep you posted on how I fare with both of these products... so far, I'm enjoying them a lot and loving the natural finish they give.

Have you used either of these? I would love to know your recommendations for "healthy" beauty products!

Life Lately

1.27.2013


gave my brother a Totoro mug for his birthday  ||  delicious homemade almond cake  ||  Lego wrapping paper
shadows on stilts  ||  lunch at Veggie Grill  ||  sweet potato fries
green juice cocktail from Evolution  ||  rare blue skies  ||  Sephora goodies
after a pedicure  ||  love letter  ||  so tired
pomegranate and herbal tea jelly  ||  gratuitous extra whip  ||  healthy beauty goodies

Life lately has been a lot of rain, work and little pick-me-ups. We celebrated my brother's birthday by feasting all day and watching old cartoons. I tried a couple of eateries for the first time: Veggie Grill, a restaurant that offers healthier vegetarian spins on traditional American "comfort foods" like burgers and fries, and Evolution Fresh, a juice bar that's owned by (surprise, surprise) Starbucks. I cleaned out my makeup stash and indulged in a few new skincare and makeup items that have fewer nasty ingredients and more natural ones... my Tarte blush, for instance, and some others I'll be telling you about soon! And I went on a pedicure date with my mom at a salon that uses Seche Vite polishes; it was my second pedicure ever and even though I'm probably the ticklish person ever, I felt very pampered!

The Friday Night Manicure: Caudalie and OPI Red

1.26.2013


There was no time for nail-painting this week. So I decided to treat myself to a quick Friday night at-home manicure, complete with a few stand-out products and a new magazine. I was craving a bright shade and decided to go with a recent addition to my collection, OPI's "OPI Red." This is a classic scarlet color with the tiniest hint of shimmer that makes the polish look glossy. It's by far one of the best red polishes I've tried; the streak-free formulation is opaque in just one coat (to be safe, I applied two here). Per usual, I used OPI's Nail Envy (Sensitive Formula) as a base coat and Revlon ColorStay Top Coat.

Another product that tops my current favorites list is the Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream. It meets all the criteria for the perfect hand cream (says the girl who has three near-empty hand creams in her immediate vicinity). It makes my hands feel soft and hydrated, but it's lightweight and absorbs almost instantaneously. It smells clean, fresh and ever-so-slightly of lemon cake. This product is formulated without nasty ingredients like parabens, artificial dyes and petrochemicals, and it contains the brand's signature "antioxidant grapevine polyphenols." The only flaw I could possibly find is the potentially off-putting picture of the fist clenching a bunch of grapes on the packaging... the one tiny oddity of an otherwise fabulous product! You can find Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream for $15 at Sephora here or for £10.80 on FeelUnique here.

For a little targeted moisture boost over the Caudalie hand cream, I massaged Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream around my nail beds. I think the citrusy scents of these two products complement each other well. It's funny how freshly painted red nails can make my currently pajama-clad, makeup-less self feel a little more glamorous!

Do you have a favorite red polish, or any polish you're loving lately?

Blush Crush: Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in "Tipsy"

1.24.2013





After using one and only one blush for the last year (NARS "Deep Throat"), I decided the time had come to switch things up and indulge a long-time crush-from-afar: the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in "Tipsy." "Tipsy" is a matte coral that creates a natural-looking rosy glow. I put its 12-hour promise to the test by applying it in the morning with the Real Techniques multi task brush, and at the end of the night, it was still going strong. For someone like me who doesn't bother reapplying blush throughout the day, this is perfect... even though the packaging is so cute that I'm tempted to throw it into my handbag just for fun!

Besides the color selection and pigmentation, there are a few other reasons why this blush stands out. Tarte blushes are infused with clay from the Amazon River, which (the brand alleges) carries certain skincare benefits: it hydrates while reducing oil. The consistency of the blush is soft and bendable, and while the amount of blush I use per day is probably not enough to reap the skincare benefits, it's still comforting to think that my makeup might be doing more for my skin than clogging my pores! The blushes come in a wide range of colors for natural and statement looks (you can see them all here). Also, Tarte is a cruelty-free company that does not test its products on animals. What more could you ask for in a blush? (I still love you NARS!)

Have you tried any blushes from Tarte?

Candid Camera: Notes to Self

1.23.2013




I believe in self-improvement all year round, but it's trendiest in January! So today at my desk (which is actually my grandmother's old sewing table), I got myself a little more organized and made a few "notes to self"...

(001) tea and to-do lists: Two things that help in so many scenarios: tea and to-do lists. It might just be a placebo effect, but when I make tea-drinking a habit, I feel healthier, and I'm less inclined to reach for chocolate or sweets. And lately I've been trying to curb my sweet-tooth tendencies, so herbal tea is the perfect "comfort drink." To-do lists are a more proactive (if less "zen") habit. Without my planner I'd be a procrastinator extraordinaire. And while all the cool kids record reminders and meetings electronically, I whip out a good old-fashioned paper planner because I derive immense satisfaction from color-coding my life with highlighters and crossing off tasks when I've completed them. Please tell me I'm not the only one?!

(002) keep an open mind: I'm open-minded when I meet other people, but when it comes to my own life, I often choose the familiar over the unknown. Yesterday Mr. E and I were talking about where we might live in the future, and when the prospect of Paris came up, my immediate response was "no." My mind jumped to all the difficulties I would face: language barriers, culture shock and distance from family and friends. A few hours later, I realized that maybe I was being narrow-minded. A chance to live in the land of the Louvre, LadurĂ©e and Bioderma... why not?

(003) take fish oil: I went to a local health food shop last week in search of a more natural treatment for eczema. When I asked one of the sales assistants, he told me that the first thing I should do is take fish oil rich in Omega-3s. He recommended a fairly large daily dose and told me that you get more for your money if you're willing to take it in liquid rather than pill form. So a spoonful of this is my new morning habit... it's not as gross as I thought it would be!

If you're working on any goals this month, I hope they're going well!

Currently Sampling: Winter Blues Fixes

1.20.2013


While this week has bestowed snowy wonderlands upon so many of you lucky souls, it has given me freezing fog and long working hours! So I've been thinking up ways to beat the winter blues, starting with one in the beauty department: sampling a few products that promise cosmetic pick-me-ups.  I put them to the test throughout this week, and here are my verdicts!

I finally asked for a sample of Origins VitaZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer at Sephora. The first thing I noticed is that this moisturizer is full of tiny dark-colored beads, which I assume release the small amount of pigment that the product contains. It offers very light coverage (less than most tinted moisturizers), and it evens out and warms up my complexion without feeling heavy or greasy. On days when I don't need a lot of coverage, this is what I want to be wearing. I know I'll be purchasing the full-size as soon as I finish a product I already have! I also revisited my sample-size tube of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, a multipurpose "skin protectant" that you can use on dry skin anywhere from lips to cuticles. It is very emollient, but I'm still not convinced by all the hype. To me it just feels like a medicated version of Vaseline that smells slightly like tar, and I don't seem myself purchasing a full-size tube any time soon. 

I'm on the hunt for a "magic potion" shampoo and conditioner... you know, the ones that will make long locks look luscious? I didn't have the highest of hopes for Bumble and Bumble Gentle Shampoo; but don't be fooled by the boring name... it left my hair looking shiny, healthy and voluminous. It contains moisturizing avocado oil and astringent nettle extract, and it has a very faint cucumber-y scent. I don't color my hair, but according to the packaging, this shampoo is gentle enough to use on colored hair. I paired this shampoo with Bumble and Bumble Super Rich Conditioner, another great product for anyone with dry or chemically-processed hair, and it was a winning combination. The only downsides? The shampoo might not be gentle enough for everyone because it contains sulfates, a known irritant to more sensitive scalps. Also, the price tags: an 8 oz bottle of the shampoo is $25 and an 8 oz bottle of the conditioner is $24. 

I'm curious to know... have you tried anything good lately? What is your favorite shampoo?

One Size Fits All

1.18.2013



Reversible Easy Sweater - American Apparel   |   Necklace - Forever 21

I went into American Apparel to try on the famous "Disco Pant." I left with pretty much the opposite of form-fitting shiny spandex: this salt-and-pepper one-size-fits-all "Reversible Easy Sweater." It's one of the most oversize sweaters I've ever worn (unless you count the ones I've stolen borrowed indefinitely from the mister). It has a boucle texture and voluminous batwing sleeves, and it's lightweight despite looking like a wearable bear hug. Other than that, I can't explain why I was smitten. Worn with leggings and over-the-knee boots, it's perfectly fuss-free, and it kind of makes me wish that the principle of "one size fits all" wasn't impossible quite so often. The necklace was a $9 bargain from Forever 21 (yay one size fits all!). Sadly I can't find the link online, but it is most likely still in stores along with so many other affordable gems.

In case you're wondering, I did squeeze myself into a Disco Pant and it was seriously tempting. But most evenings these days I'm a homebody/bookworm, and I'm not sure that the occasional bedroom dance-party is a good enough excuse to justify the price tag... though I could very easily be persuaded otherwise...

New In: OPI "Nail Envy" (Sensitive Formula)

1.16.2013


If you're familiar with OPI's Nail Envy, you're probably wondering why the packaging on mine is bright orange. The original formula, which comes in dark green packaging and looks slightly milkier than this one, does wonders for people who suffer from brittle and flakey nails. But when I finally got my hands on a bottle of it, I found out that it contains formaldehyde... not something I want to slather onto my nails repeatedly. This week, I stepped into a beauty supply store during my lunch break and stumbled upon the OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener for Sensitive and Peeling Nails, which is formaldehyde-free

I haven't heard anything about this formulation of Nail Envy, and a quick search online turned up scattered and mixed reviews. So I thought I'd give it a go and see how it works for my nails, which aren't very pretty without polish. The instructions are exactly the same as those for the original Nail Envy: apply two coats of the strengthener to your nails and one additional coat every other day. You can also use Nail Envy as a base coat under nail polish or as a top coat. So far I've only used it once as a base coat, and although it's too early to say whether it works, I can tell you that my nail polish has lasted three days without chipping once. I plan to ditch nail polish some days and just use this on its own. I will report back on how it works here! And if you're interested in checking it out: US link/UK link.

Have you used nail strengthener, and did it work for you?


My Imaginary Shopping Bag

1.14.2013


001. Topshop drape shirt: to wear with black skinnies and black heeled suede booties (need to find myself some of those too!)
002. Sephora by OPI Nail Color in "I'm Wired": OPI's formulation seems to work well on me, and this color would be a welcome change from winter darks. 
003. Pureology Pure Volume Shampoo: or any good sulfate-free shampoo (recommendations anyone?), because my scalp is a little sensitive lately.
004. Origins VitaZing SPF 15 Energy Boosting Moisturizer: I'm loving Origins lately, and I'd love to try this hyped-up product.
005. Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette: Do I really need this? No. Do I really want this? Yes.
006. L'Occitane Shea Honey Hand Cream: I've never seen this honey scent, and the packaging is too cute to pass up!  

After being spoiled at Christmastime, I've been pretty abstemious this month. But that doesn't mean I haven't been eyeing up a few things. Most of which I could find at Sephora. It all started when I painted my nails with an OPI polish and it lasted for days without chipping. This was a sure sign that I need to try more polishes from the brand. And then of course, one thing led to another, and I filled my imaginary shopping bag with a few other items. Now it's just a matter of not pressing the "check-out" button...

What are you eyeing up this month?

Life Lately

1.13.2013



001.  Dessert is not all I consume. But somehow my healthy alternatives just weren't as photogenic as, for instance, cupcakes from Cupcake Royale or a French biscuit with cartoon hazelnuts on the wrapper. One of my favorite sweet and healthy desserts is nonfat Greek yogurt with sliced strawberries and a drizzle of honey. Also, if you're looking for a lighter alternative to ice cream, try chocolate sorbet (Haagen-Dazs makes a delicious one).

002.  Hibernating and physical activity are mutually exclusive. Still, occasionally I drag myself to the gym. The machine was unimpressed with my effort. 

003.  It's been cold enough to snow every single day, so Eva and I have been dressing in our winter best. This means for me, an "eskimo coat," and for Eva, a snowflake-print fleece hoodie! And I've been teaching Eva how to participate in some of my favorite activities, like sitting in front of the fire, blogging, and taking all the space on the bed.

004.  This entire week I've been wearing OPI's "Barefoot in Barcelona" because it's lasted for so long without chipping! The formulation of OPI works better than most polishes for me.

005.  After reading quite a few dark and brooding novels lately, I've decided that my next book should be a happy one. If you have any favorites, please let me know!

"Collarless Collar" and Salt Spray

1.11.2013



button-up by Madewell (similar here)
Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray
NARS Blush in "Deep Throat"
OPI's "Barefoot in Barcelona"

I need to put myself on a blouse-ban so this doesn't turn into a blouse-blog. But first, here's just one more, because it's a little bit different. At first sight, I hated the high "collarless collar." Then I tried it on, and love outweighed hate, even if it does look a little... bookish. I decided I'd embrace the bookishness and wear it to the library with my hair in a top-knot. And then, to get from the library to a coffee date in five minutes, I'd do as I did here: tousle my hair with a salt spray like Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, and revive my cheeks with a pinky blush like NARS "Deep Throat." Surf Spray works wonders at adding texture and volume to my straight and fine hair.

Oh and speaking of libraries. Once upon a time I applied to be an assistant librarian. There is a high chance my application was thrown away immediately because I didn't yet have the right to work in the country where the library was situated. (That is another story.) But sometimes I still envision my librarian alter-ego: a soft-spoken bookworm who wears button-up blouses like this one, shushes people shamelessly and preaches "reading is sexy."

What do you think about the "collarless collar" look?

Picture Books

1.09.2013


I know. The grown-up term for these is "coffee table books." But I don't own a coffee table, so I still call them picture books. These are two of my current favorites to flip through over a cup of tea. They're also useful to place strategically in your home in case you have a guest over and need a good conversation-starter!

I Am Maru by Mugumogu is based on the YouTube sensation Maru the Cat. If you don't know who Maru is, go watch the video! This book is a tribute to the chubby Scottish Fold who lives in Japan and does hilarious things. Parts of the book are written as Maru's blog. Yep. A blog by a cat, in which Maru, who has a slight cattitude problem, denies that he is fat and complains about his owner Mugumogu, aka Maru's "housemate." The rest of the book is written by Mugumogu, who details life with Maru "behind the scenes." I love Maru, and not just because of what we have in common (round faces, a love of food). The photos are LOLCatz-worthy with endearing captions that (refreshingly) don't substitute z's for s's. I received this book from my brother for Christmas after spotting it in a bookstore and texting him that I needed it in my life.

Dancers Among Us by Jordan Matter is a collection of photographs that capture professional dancers in everyday surroundings. The dancers leap and twist into incredible postures in places as diverse as a dressing room filled with wedding gowns, the streets of New York City and San Francisco, a parking lot, a hotel room and a beach. Some of the photographs convey emotions like exuberance or grief; others construct scenes of sibling rivalry or a break-up. Interspersed amongst the photographs are vignettes by the author/photographer and quotations from famous figures that might inspire you to live a more joyful life. It is an absolutely beautiful book.

Have you read either of these? Are you a Maru fan?

Clarisonic Mia

1.08.2013



Today I'm going to tell you about some very old news that is a very new feature in my skincare routine. I have been lusting after the Clarisonic Mia since these gadgets first became popular. In fact, last year there was a small window of time in which the mister was coveting a Sonicare toothbrush and I was coveting a Clarisonic. (Apparently I'm the vainer half.) But the price tags dissuaded us. 

Then this Christmas I received a gift card to a department store, where I picked out this pink Clarisonic Mia ($119). You can read all about sonic cleansing here, but in a nutshell, the brush fibers vibrate at 300 movements per second and promise to remove six times more makeup than manual cleansing. It claims to help combat oiliness, dryness, and blemishes and improve skin texture. I've used it every night for about two weeks, and although that's not long enough to pronounce any definitive opinions... so far so good! I've mentioned before that I have suffered from extremely dehydrated skin this winter. The Clarisonic has dramatically refined the texture of my skin; it's smoother and looks healthier with and without makeup. And as far as the "purging" phase that everyone talks about (in which your skin gets worse before getting better), I haven't yet noticed any breakouts from using the Clarisonic. 

The cleanser I've been using with my Clarisonic is Origins "A Perfect World" Antioxidant Cleanser with White Tea. The 150 ml tube was $20, and you only need a tiny pea-size amount. I like it because it's not too pricy for the quantity, and it's formulated without a lot of nasties found in drugstore products. It has a slight lather and a refreshing smell. Some of you expressed interested in a skincare post a little while ago, and I promise it's coming, but I want to give my new toy a thorough trial first!

Have you used a Clarisonic? What's your favorite cleanser?

Candid Camera: Embroidery and Chitchat

1.06.2013



red blouse by H&M
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in 02 "Alaska"
NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in "New Lover"

Usually, when I buy an item of clothing, I deliberate about it for a few days before snipping the tag off and committing myself to it. Having an ounce of self-control helps me save money and make sure whatever I've purchased isn't an impulse buy that I'll pull out of my closet a couple weeks later while asking myself, "Ellie, what were you thinking?" But I couldn't resist wearing this dainty red blouse from H&M immediately after purchasing it. I adore the color, the collar and especially the sheer embroidered panel, and it will be a perfect day-to-night, winter-to-spring piece. I found it just a couple of days ago, and it was reasonably priced ($29.95).

This morning was a good one: cozy in my pajamas with coffee and a croissant, I opened my laptop to discover some new readers here. I'm not sure how you found my blog, but I'm really grateful you did! It is so much fun to interact with you here and on Twitter. Also, I wanted to say a huge thank you to three bloggers who have kindly thought of me: Carol from BittenGlam, who tagged me for a Versatile Blogger Award earlier this week, Erika from Abundance of Erika, who tagged me to do the Beauty Bloggers tag last month, and Georgia from Life at the Coop, who tagged me for (another) Liebster Award ages ago! I've done a couple of these tags before, and in the interest of not boring you all to death with random facts about me, I've decided not do them again, but I wanted to tell you all to check out these lovely ladies' blogs!

I do love sharing life tidbits with you, and one of my blogging goals this year is to keep doing that. In my opinion, one of the best things about blogs is the honest, comforting and communal experience they can offer. I used to worry about taking an "atypical" path in life, but the more people I meet (in person and through blogging), the more I start to realize a few things: we have more in common than we think,  we're rarely alone in whatever we're facing, and there isn't really such a thing as a "typical path"! I have some ideas for things to write about, but above all I want to engage with you. So as always, please feel free to get in touch!

Let's Escape Winter: Lush Treats

1.04.2013


I must be wishing for the freezing winter weather to end, because when I visited Lush during their post-holiday sale, I picked up two products that remind me of warmer seasons. The colorful sea salt crystals in the "Sakura" Bath Bomb immediately caught my eye, and the floral fragrance sealed the deal. It smells of mimosa and jasmine and puts me in the mood for springtime when everything is in bloom. I've been saving it for a night of indulgence (I'm thinking tomorrow night!), but I already know I'm going to love it.

"Big" Sea Salt Shampoo makes your hair look like it does after a swim in the ocean. It contains giant crystals of sea salt, which are a bit strange to rub into your hair, but they dissolve into a foamy lather, and a little bit goes a long way. The sea salt is clarifying, but the coconut oil and other natural oils leave my hair soft and shiny. The smell is hard for me to describe; it's slightly citrusy and won't be everyone's cup of tea. Another small caveat about this shampoo is that one of the first ingredients listed is sodium laureth sulfate, a (milder) cousin of sodium lauryl sulfate. Sulfates are what produce the lather in most shampoos, and some say that they can leave more sensitive scalps feeling dry and itchy. I'd like to try a sulfate-free shampoo next. I don't use "Big" shampoo every time I wash my hair, but it's perfect for days when my hair needs an extra good cleanse!

Have you tried either of these? What is your favorite shampoo?

Refresh in a Flash: Mini Makeup Bag

1.03.2013


Yesterday at work, I made last-minute plans to go to dinner with old and new friends. One of my good friends from high school was in town, and we crammed years of catching up into a couple of delicious hours: we feasted on tapas, I met my friend's boyfriend, and I revealed the big news that I am a married woman. I made it to the restaurant without looking too worse for wear thanks to this mini makeup bag, in which I keep my favorite products to refresh and rejuvenate during days on the go. 

I don't really retouch my makeup throughout the day, with the exception of lipstick and powder. Lately I keep two lipsticks in my bag: YSL Rouge Pur Couture Pure Color Lipstick in #31 "Rose Fusain," a pigmented day-to-night choice and quite possibly my favorite lipstick ever, and MAC's "Plumful," a lighter color that is easier to wear and flattering on just about anyone. I also have a mini tube of Fresh Sugar lip balm to hydrate my lips. I purchased MAC's Blot Powder for a ball I attended two years ago, and a quick sweep of it applied with a powder puff or kabuki brush mattifies my face. When my skin feels dry, I use Boscia Pink Peppermint Blotting Linens instead of powder. These are this year's limited edition of the normal Boscia blotting linens, which I'ved used for years; they blot away excess oil without disturbing makeup, and the peppermint ones smell so refreshing. (You can still get them at a great price on Sephora here.) If my skin feels dehydrated or over-powdered, or if I just feel lackluster in general, I spritz the Caudalie Beauty Elixir on my face. It feels cooling and wakes me up. Soap & Glory Hand Food is one of the best hand creams for the handbag because it sinks into the skin rapidly. And then there are a few things I have just in case: paracetamol, a blister band-aid, peppermints, hair grips and tweezers. 

The only thing missing is a mini atomizer of perfume. Travalo makes a great travel-sized atomizer; as soon as I finish what's leftover in mine, I'll fill it with my current perfume of choice, Chloe. And my makeup bag was a Christmas gift that was purchased at J. Crew. I think this bow print one is sold out, but you can find a similar style here

What are your favorite products for refreshing on the go? I'd love to know!

 

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