The Beauty Brief

The Beauty Brief

Good morning, fellow beauty lovers! I always love writing the Beauty Brief; I would be quite content to babble on about makeup and hair products all day long if no one stopped me. So I hope you’re excited to hear all about my latest finds! My beauty haul was truly bountiful this month, and there are a few products in particular that I can’t wait to share with you…

The Beauty Brief // via South by Northwest

Are you guys familiar with R+Co? My hairstylist introduced me to R+Co Mannequin Styling Paste recently and it is awesome for achieving that slightly messy, sexy bedhead look. I like to smooth a nickel-sized dollop between my fingers and scrunch it throughout my hair – it works especially well if you’ve just curled your hair and you need a little extra texture, body and/or hold. Be sure not to brush it out or you will undo the magic!

The Beauty Brief // via South by Northwest

French beauty brand Nuxe hasn’t been available at Sephora in years, so I was delighted to discover that it’s now sold at Target! I immediately stocked up on some old favorites as well as grabbing something new to try: Crème Fraiche de Beauté Enrichie, an intensive moisturizing cream. Many heavy-duty moisturizers are too rich for sensitive skin, but this luxurious blend of macadamia oil, shea butter and orange flower is incredibly soothing as well as hydrating. Plus, it’s made almost entirely from natural ingredients. It has a pretty strong neroli-esque scent (if that bothers you), but I love it.

The Beauty Brief // via South by Northwest

I have a fairly sizable lipstick collection, but I have to admit, Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Shine is something special. It’s chock full of fruit extracts, vitamins, and hyaluronic acid to help hydrate and seal in moisture, making it a real treat for your lips. But it’s so much more than a pretty balm substitute; color starts off sheer and glossy, but is easily buildable to achieve a rich, highly pigmented shade (my favorite is Devotion, a bright hibiscus pink). And have you ever seen a more glamorous lipstick tube? It looks like something Ava Gardner might have had on her vanity.

What beauty products are you loving right now? Are you on the hunt for anything in particular?

♥ Mil

The Beauty Brief

The Beauty Brief // via South by Northwest

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March has been a truly excellent month for beauty exploration! Between swag from the Trend Show and spontaneous spring shopping, it was a real challenge narrowing down my focus to just three products…but somehow I was able to make those tough calls in order to bring you this edition of the Beauty Brief. Here are the standout discoveries that have earned themselves a permanent place in my beauty routine this month.

The Beauty Brief: Sachajuan Hair Repair

When I think of Sweden, I think of two things: IKEA (obvi), and genetically gifted people with impossibly sleek blonde hair. If you’re in pursuit of Scandinavian sleekness, try Sachajuan Hair Repair; this Swedish standby promotes cell regeneration and renews vitality and shine in stressed hair. Use it once or twice a week instead of your regular conditioner – just let it sit for 5 minutes, rinse out, and your dry/damaged/frizzy strands will be transformed into insanely soft, silky gorgeousness. Seriously, your hair will be so soft you can’t stop touching it (though you won’t be any blonder).

The Beauty Brief: Midnight Recovery Concentrate

I can’t quite decide whether Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate is more of a serum, a face oil, or a magical elixir sent from the heavens, but I suppose the mystery adds to its allure; in reality, it’s all of these things and more. It ambiguously promises recovery, though from what (A hangover? A breakup? The ravages of time?) it’s difficult to say. But I can tell you this: if you massage a few drops onto your face before bed, you’ll wake up to smoother, softer, more luminous skin. Plus, it’s 99.8% natural, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, absorbs like a dream, and smells like a field of lavender. Still undecided? Ask for a sample at the nearest Kiehl’s counter and prepare to jump off the fence. Your face will thank you!

The Beauty Brief: Lucas' Papaw Ointment

For years, I’ve heard bloggers, celebs, and beauty editors alike rave about the glory of Lucas’ Papaw Ointment. Made from fresh fermented papaya (or “papaw,” as it’s known Down Under), this stuff is a great natural treatment for soothing dry lips, rashes, sunburn, insect bites, and even cuts and open wounds. Apparently papaya has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties! I’ve come to think of this ointment as Australia’s answer to Aquaphor, although it’s lighter, less sticky, and decidedly cooler than Aquaphor, if you ask me. But maybe its ubiquity in Australia makes it less exciting…Aussie friends, what’s the verdict? Do you love this stuff as much as we do?

(Note: it’s not available stateside yet, but you can score two tubes on Amazon for about ten bucks. Yay!)

What new products have you tried lately? Tell me about your current favorites!

♥ Mil

The Beauty Brief

Beauty Brief 2.19

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Hello there, fellow beauty buffs! I’ve been hard at work testing out some new products (tough job, I know) and I’m excited to give you the scoop. My obsession this month has been transforming my poor, dry, winter-ravaged skin into glowing, hydrated, could-pass-for-summertime skin; I’ve found a couple of products that can help do just that (and one that I’m still on the fence about).

cleanser

The award-winning Eve Lom Balm Cleanser was hailed by Vogue as “probably the best cleanser in the world,” and their Morning Time Cleanser is a variation of the much-loved original. I’ve been wanting to try the brand for ages, but it’s laughably expensive. So when I saw a tiny travel-sized version in the checkout line at Sephora, I snatched it up immediately. I really wanted to love it, but this has got to be the strangest cleanser I’ve ever used. You apply the thick balm to your dry face, rub it in and let it sit for several minutes, then rinse it off. Besides having a very strong, off-putting scent, it felt like it didn’t fully rinse off no matter what I tried. My face did feel soft afterwards, but it didn’t feel particularly clean. However, it was nicely moisturizing, and the next day my skin felt even softer. I’m torn…I think I’ll try it a couple more times before rendering a verdict.

dr jart

Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Oil Balm is one of my favorite new finds. This stuff is fantastic; you scoop out a tiny bit of balm with a cute little spoon, and it magically melts into oil as soon as you apply it. It’s delightfully satisfying and feels amazing on dry skin. Formulated with nine natural oils, it absorbs quickly and smells like a spa. Like any oil, it leaves a light residue, but it’s definitely not greasy and in fact gives your skin a nice glow. It works wonderfully on your cuticles, hair, face, or anywhere your skin is dry. Try it, you’ll love it!

Julep

I never thought I’d find a luminizer I loved more than Laura Mercier Radiance Powder, but a new contender appeared on the scene when I received this highlighting powder in my monthly Julep Maven box. It contains rosehip oil, coffee bean oil and lipids to help soothe skin and retain moisture, and it also promises to minimize the appearance of pores and wrinkles. A light dusting of this champagne-colored powder will give you a luminous glow that’s typically unattainable without employing a live-in facialist or getting a solid 15 hours of sleep per night.

What beauty products are you loving right now? Is there anything that you’re really excited to try?

♥ Mil

The Beauty Brief (& 100th Post!)

 

I’m excited to introduce a new series today…welcome to the first-ever edition of the Beauty Brief! Think of it as the beauty version of the President’s Daily Brief, except not top secret (and not daily). I’ll be reviewing new products as well as raving about some of my longtime favorites. So without further ado, let’s get to the good stuff!

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If you ask me, Oribe Thick Dry Finishing Spray is indisputably the best hairspray ever created. It’s also probably my favorite hair product of all time. While its more famous cousin Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray gets most of the glory, this lesser-known product remains the unsung hero of the hairspray world. It somehow transforms my fine strands into thick, lustrous, bombshell-level hair, all while keeping my hair soft and totally brushable. In fact, brushing this through your hair after spraying it on from roots to ends only seems to strengthen its power. It just sort of settles into your tresses and magically imparts them with incredible body. Go try it and thank me later!

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I am deeply regretful that we don’t yet have the technology to smell things through a computer screen, because GlamGlow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment smells absolutely amazing–like beachy, coconut-infused paradise. In the depths of winter, this is the perfect way to restore your dry skin’s faith in humanity. Let it sit on your face for 10-20 minutes and then rinse off; you’ll be left with soft, smooth, intensely moisturized skin. Alternatively, leave it on overnight for even deeper hydration.

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I hunted for bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Buttercream Lip Gloss in stores for several weeks before realizing it was an Ulta exclusive! Made with shea, avocado and murumuru butters, this gloss feels just as good as it looks; it’s creamy, not sticky, and it stays on for hours. My favorite shade is Cha-Ching Cherry, a deep, sexy red.

In other news, today marks our 100th post on South by Northwest! If this were a TV show, we could go into syndication and get rich…but alas, we are a humble blog, so we will just keep posting instead (at least until someone buys the rights to our lives and offers us a TV deal…kidding, kidding)! Thank you so much to all of you who’ve been reading along throughout the past five months. It’s been a blast getting to know you guys—you’re the chocolate to our peanut butter, the surf to our turf, the dip to our chips…ok, so these are all food-related. That’s just how we do.

Blogging wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without you lovely people. So whether you’ve been with us since the beginning or this is the very first time you’re stopping by (hello!), we want to say thank you for all your love, support and sweet comments. You guys rock!

Here's to the next 100!

Here’s to the next 100!

 

♥ Mil & Jules

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