The Beauty Brief

The Beauty Brief

Hello, beauty lovers! I have lots to share with you in this month’s edition of the Beauty Brief, including my new favorite eyeshadow, the solution to unkempt cuticles, and a peculiar hybrid product that’s basically a flash grenade of gorgeousness for your face. Sound intriguing? Let’s talk beauty!

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm is a mysterious thing. A worldwide cult favorite, it can’t really be classified as one product; it’s part primer, part lightweight moisturizer, part magical airbrushing cream. (Definitely not a balm, despite the name.) Figuring out how to use it was also a bit of a challenge, since the only instructions are to “apply without rubbing in.” I’ve concluded that the best approach is to spread a small amount all over your fingers and then pat it onto your face. It somehow diffuses imperfections and makes you look refreshed and radiant, like you just got a facial. I apply foundation immediately afterwards for an even smoother, brighter complexion. The only thing I don’t love about it is the scent (Clarins products tend to smell a little grandmotherly to me). But in no way is that a dealbreaker!

Laura Mercier Eye Colour

I’ve been trying to get myself out of an eyeshadow rut, so I was very happy to discover Laura Mercier Eye Colour. These shadows aren’t super pigmented, but they provide a beautiful, subtle wash of color that lasts all day (when paired with a good primer, of course). The shades pictured here are Plum Smoke and African Violet – I’d highly recommend them to any other green-eyed girls out there!

Julep Your Cuticles Look Thirsty

Julep’s aptly named cuticle cream is awesome. I go through this stuff so quickly! Made with honey and shea butter, it’s light and absorbs like a dream without leaving any residue, so you can apply it right before painting your nails without causing any problems. It also renders cuticles pretty much invisible, which I love (so much easier than trimming them)! I like to keep one in my purse and one on my bedside table so I can slather some on whenever the mood strikes.

What beauty products are you loving right now? Is there anything new that you really want to try? Let me know in the comments!

♥ Mil

The Beauty Brief

The Beauty Brief

Good morning, beauty lovers! Welcome to this month’s edition of the Beauty Brief. We have many important matters to discuss, like the most luxurious face oil, the secret to a long-lasting manicure, and how to make your hair really, really, ridiculously soft.

The Beauty Brief // Herbivore Orchid Youth Preserving Facial Oil

First up is Herbivore Orchid Youth Preserving Facial Oil, which is hands-down the best facial oil I’ve ever tried. A luscious blend of jasmine oil, camellia oil, and orchid extract, it’s super rich and hydrating without feeling heavy. It’s also 100% natural. Packed with essential fatty acids and nourishing vitamin E, I promise it will leave your face smooth, dewy and luminous. Ah, the glow of youth…is really the glow of a good facial oil. Side note: it has a very strong jasmine scent, so if scented products bother you, this may not be up your alley!

The Beauty Brief // Oribe Soft Dry Conditioner Spray

You guys know of my ongoing love affair with Oribe, and my current favorite is this Soft Dry Conditioner Spray. Typically I can’t go more than a day without washing my hair, but if I’m trying to preserve a blowout (or if my hair just needs a little pick-me-up), this stuff is a godsend. Everyone knows about dry shampoo, but this dry conditioner is just as awesome! It’s amazingly light for a conditioner, and it actually contains superfine powders to absorb excess oil. Seriously, give this a try and thank me later. Your hair will be softer than a baby bunny in a cashmere sweater.

The Beauty Brief // Julep Freedom Polymer Topcoat

A reliable top coat is one of those things that I never thought that much about – it’s necessary but boring, like car insurance or a good umbrella. But after hearing that others experience chipping after just a few days, I realized that I may have inadvertently hit the top coat jackpot. So here’s the scoop: Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat is the key to a long-lasting manicure. It’s a bit more liquid-y than your average top coat, but it dries really quickly to a high-gloss finish. My manicure usually won’t chip for about ten days, but sometimes it’ll last as long as two weeks!

The Beauty Brief

What beauty products are you loving right now? Have you tried anything new lately (good or bad)? Share your thoughts in the comments!

♥ Mil

Summer Nail Polish Pairings

One of the many reasons I love summer so much is that I finally feel free to wear all of the brightest colors in my wardrobe, with great enthusiasm and often at the same time. From hot pink sundresses to turquoise sandals, getting dressed is just more fun at this time of year! That goes for my nail polish, too – I love mixing and matching vibrant hues, and finding the perfect complement to your pedicure in a pair of shoes is pretty much the icing on the proverbial cake. I honestly believe it’s tough to go wrong here (color loves color!), but if you need some inspiration, here are a few foolproof combinations.

Summer Nail Polish Pairings


Shoes: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5    Nail polish: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Do you have a favorite summer sandal/nail polish combo? Mine is definitely gold or nude sandals with a fiery red-orange polish (Essie’s Hip-anema is the best)!

♥ Mil

The Beauty Brief

The Beauty Brief

Hey there, beauty lovers! The weather in Seattle was absolutely magnificent all weekend – sunny and in the 80s – and it’s supposed to stay gorgeous all week. I always get excited to update my beauty routine when summer rolls around (or, frankly, at any other time of the year) and I really hit the jackpot with new products this past month. Here are three favorites that I’ve fallen in love with recently. First up, the best tinted moisturizer ever…

Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturizer

I never thought I would say this, but I’ve found a tinted moisturizer that can actually substitute for foundation! Hourglass Illusion Tinted Moisturizer provides amazingly natural, dewy, buildable coverage that lasts all day. It doesn’t cake in the heat like powder foundation sometimes does, and it’s much lighter than most liquid foundation, so it’s absolutely perfect for summer. Plus, it’s got SPF! Sweet, glorious perfection in a bottle.

BareMinerals Pop of Passion Oil Balm

My lip product of choice for the past few weeks, BareMinerals Pop of Passion Oil Balm might be the best thing in my makeup bag right now. Enriched with jojoba oil and vitamin E, this luscious balm hydrates and gives you vibrant, glossy color. This stuff is actually more of a lip stain, so the color is incredibly long-lasting.

Julep Ta Da! Quick Dry Drops

The worst part of painting your nails is waiting for them to dry, struggling not to touch anything lest you smudge them and destroy all your hard work. Consider Julep Ta Da! Quick Dry Drops your secret weapon for an immaculate manicure. If you add a drop to the base of each nail about a minute after applying polish, your manicure will dry much more quickly. I have absolutely no idea how this works, but it does. Don’t question it. Just try it.

Have you tried any of these? What beauty products are you loving lately?

♥ Mil

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