some new & old favorites

new month, new apartment, new chapter in life…and some current favorite products, of course.  it’s funny how moving and “starting over” makes you reconsider all the things you own and love.  it sounds strange but i feel that my products, my routines, my things keep me grounded during craziness.  i place great importance in feeling safe in my environment, and my belongings certainly aid me in that.bb old and new1.jpgbb old and new2.jpgold favorites

glossier priming moisturizer // i have been using this for years now – but pretty on and off.  i used it pretty religiously during the first part of this winter, and then put it down for whatever reason.  today i got the urge to bring it back out.  it’s a lovely summer moisturizer/extra moisture layer as it’s quite thing and light and sinks it almost immediately.  i can’t speak to it’s makeup extending abilities, but i love it when i need an extra hit of glow.

rms eye polish myth // quite honestly this is my favorite eye shadow ever.  living in a cold climate, i love when summer comes around and all my cream products soften that perfect amount and pigmentation becomes even better.  in the winter this shadow is more sheer, but in the summer it has full-on taupey goodness.

hylamide hyaluronic acid // i finished my previse nutrify hyaluronic acid serum and immediately repurchased the hylamide ha.  for whatever reason this performs so much better on my skin and i really reap the benefits of the ingredients.  the previse was nice but too expensive for what it is.  i wish this product didn’t have phenoxyethanol, but it still rates a 1 on ewg and i love the results.  the cvs i went to had this little baby one on sale for $3 so you KNOW i bought it as well!

new favorites //

cocokind collective macabeet tinted moisture stick // i got this a few weeks ago when shopping at the new chicago free people store with my dear friend.  we both grabbed this and i can’t not share it with all of you!  for $9, you get a 100% natural sheer berry glow for lips and cheeks.  it’s healthy skin in a tube, quite honestly!

monk oil #2 // i have been wanting to try monk oil for months now and decided to finally bite the bullet a few weeks ago.  i only just started using it after i moved, but i know it will be a staple that i always have around.  i got the small bottle of the #2 oil which contains more rose from what i can tell.  it’s an earthy but somewhat floral – but not floral like old lady, more like fresh flowers – oil that can be used all over the body and/or for aromatherapy purposes.  i love the smell but it is definitely hippie – my mom hated it haha!  i highly recommend this and i look forward to trying the original oil as well.  short version: monk oil is a “city skin potion” that helps ground you and protect you from the craziness of city life.

first aid beauty cleanser // when picking up a backup of my fab ultra repair cream, i decided to try the cleanser as well.  though i usually oil cleanse, i like to have a regular cleanser on hand as well to use as a double cleanse or when i don’t feel like using oil.  i’m almost done with another bottle of glossier milky jelly, so this was my replacement.  it feels closer to a lotion than a cleanser, but it cleanses beautiful and removes all traces of makeup.  my skin feels hydrated and healthy after – and in the summer i love to pare back my routine and get back to basics.

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the concealer search

part of the fun of shopping, for me, is the search.  the search for the best product, the best price, the best shopping experience.  in fact, this is actually a defining characteristic of many millennials, research-backed buying vs impulse buying.  i learned this at a luncheon with refinery 29 while i was interning at elizabeth arden – how the methods of shopping of millennials effect retailers and how those retailers can persuade millennials to purchase in the moment or at least be a part of their research.  ok wooooah tangent, let’s get back to the point of this post.
bb bare minerals concealer review 1.jpgi have been on the hunt for a pot concealer that i could wear as a pseudo-foundation – basically something ultra creamy that i could use to even out my skin but wouldn’t look or feel like i had anything on.  i tried the w3ll people narcissist foundation stick first (obviously not a pot) and while i liked it a lot, the color match wasn’t perfect and it wasn’t exactly what i was looking for.  it’s nice for brightening my face, but i don’t find myself reaching for it on a daily basis.

my next thought was the rms “un” cover-up, which is really the exact product i want, but none of the colors work for me.  i’ve mentioned it a thousand times before, but my skin is very cool-toned, so the yellow-based shades of the “un” cover-up just do not work for me.  glossier’s stretch concealer seems to have a more pink-based range, but to be honest i’m not that drawn to that brand anymore.  i’m sooo tired of seeing all the marketing on every single instagram post that pops up on my feed and i’m just kind of over it, for now at least!  some of their products are still staples for me (milky jelly cleanser, moon mask, and coconut balm dotcom are constants) so yes that concealer looks like it would be pretty perfect, but i’m going to pass on it for now.

then, very excitingly, nars came out with their new soft matte concealers.  in pot form!  pot form of my favorite concealer! – so i thought.  but yes, as the name would suggest, these are more on the matte side.  i tested them out at sephora and they are truly beautiful and creamy, while finishing to a matte or at least satin-matte formula.  i just don’t think they would work on my drier skin and the coverage seems higher than what i’m looking for.

and finally, i remembered my old faithful – bare minerals.  i actually owned the bare minerals correcting concealer quite a few years ago now, but i never really knew what to do with it so i got rid of it.  i don’t typically wear concealer under my eyes and i wasn’t yet using any products like that on my face, so it went by the way side.  but while browsing ulta the other day, this little pot of magic came back to me.  bb bare minerals concealer review 2.jpgthis concealer is perfect for what i have been looking for.  it’s creamy, glowy, and stays put all day.  it can be sheered out for just a hint of coverage where needed, but is also perfect for spot concealing blemishes with a small brush.  the color – light 1 of course – is the ideal mix of cool and warm tones, so it works to brighten while also matching my skin perfectly (it’s described as a light neutral cool).  and truthfully, this does not budge.  i find my nars radiant creamy concealer shifts around throughout the day, but i napped in the bare minerals and it still didn’t reveal the huge pimple i have on my chin.  it doesn’t crease on my eyelids, nor under my eyes.  i don’t wear undereye concealer, but it’s nice to know that i can with this and it will look totally natural and not like some kim k triangle shit.  also, it will be really easy for me to get another shade to match my tan in the summer because the shades are divided between warm and cool tones (though i get tan, i’m still cool-toned) – something that has always been difficult for me.

and since i’m sure you were wondering, this little baby has some pretty great ingredients.  it scores a 2 on ewg, contains spf 20, and is free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, gmo’s, and triclosan. i do wish it didn’t contain phenoxyethanol, but that is not a huge problem for me at the moment.  i also got the full coverage concealer brush which was one of the only brushes i ever owned throughout high school and most of college, and it really is a good one.  i used to use it in my bare minerals powder to cover up, but it’s a great match for the correcting concealer as well.  you can use the tip of it to pinpoint conceal, and use the rest for blending.bb bare minerals concealer review 4.jpgbb bare minerals concealer review 3.jpgmaybe it’s nostalgia, but i honestly love bare minerals and their products.  they are always beautiful, effective, and great quality.  some of my favorites are the original foundation, the flawless definition mascara (the only mascara i wore through high school and college – i’m dying to get a fresh tube since i haven’t used it in a couple years), and the lip glosses (they are discontinuing the marvelous moxie line but i have plans to get a couple of the gen nude buttercream glosses – they are stunning!).  what’s your tried and true favorite brand?

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the natural deodorant duo

i have tried my fair share of natural deodorants, from that ridiculous crystal (does that work for anyone?) to tom’s.  i was starting to think that natural deodorants just wouldn’t work for me when i started reading more about deodorant layering.bb deo picks.jpgto start off, i should preface this by saying i’m not a huge armpit sweater.  to give you way too much information, i tend to sweat in my face before my pits.  yes, it is as unfortunate as it sounds.  so truthfully i couldn’t figure out why natural deodorants weren’t working for me.  but here’s what changed:

  1. i actually listened to that whole “armpit detox” thing // for a week before using my deodorants (or the 5-7 days that it took for me to get them in the mail) i didn’t use any deodorants and i exfoliated my armpits.  this consisted of concentrated washing in the shower with my dr. bronner’s bar soap – they recommend 30 seconds of concentrated washing to get rid of bacteria, etc. just for every day.  so i did that while also using a soft washcloth for actual exfoliation.  after the shower i made sure to really dry my armpits.  not only did i just feel good, but i felt like this prevented me from smelling for most of the day.
  2. baking soda free // most natural deodorants, especially those in pot form, contain baking soda.  while it is a great deodorizing ingredient, as we know from using it in our refrigerators, it is also extremely harsh on the sensitive skin of our underarms.  it can cause many people to break out in rashes or just suffer severe sensitivity, so i decided to forgo this ingredient.  my pick for my pot deodorant is the meow meow tweet baking soda free deodorant in lavender.  i feel that using a pot deodorant is really the way to go when going naturally, as you are taking the time to massage it into your underarms and the ingredients are not being transformed into a hard stick.
  3. add a roll-on for extra coverage // for days when i feel i need extra protection, i will also add a roll-on deodorant on top of my cream.  i think this has made all the difference in natural deodorants for me.  i had heard a ton about the ursa major deodorant stick, so when i decided to give natural deodorants another try this was immediately what i chose.  it’s minty and cooling and really quite effective.  if i’m not layering this, i will also wear it alone for days when i’m running late or just can’t be bothered with rubbing my armpits for 2 minutes.
  4. get used to the sweat // one of the strangest but best parts about natural deodorants is that they are not antiperspirants.  meaning, you are still going to sweat.  it’s difficult to get used to for sure, but i actually like it.  i like knowing that my body is functioning as it should – that my sweat and bacteria is leaving my body as opposed to being collected in my breasts.  gross, but true.  really i got used to this super fast and i don’t find that i smell anymore.  i mean, i’m still gonna smell after a long workout or whatever, but my natural smell is no longer as bad as when i was using antiperspirant.

so there you go!  it really is possible to convert from antiperspirants to natural deodorants.  it takes time, but i personally think it is completely worth it.  i’m looking forward to trying out other brands when i finish these two products up, but i highly recommend both of them.  plus they smell amazing when worn together!  xo.

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2 haircare favorites

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besides mentioning the occasional salt spray, i don’t tend to talk about haircare on here.  the reason for that is that i’m extremely boring and besides the aforementioned salt sprays, i don’t use any special hair products or tools.  i have wavy thick-ish hair that kind of does its own thing and usually looks beachy and messy (emphasis on messy) which i personally love.  thanks hair!

i usually use whatever shampoo/conditioner duo happens to be on sale at walgreen’s or head&shoulders, but i picked up the r+co cactus shampoo two weeks ago and i HAVE to tell you guys about it.  was there really any question about me loving it though?  i am the cactus queen after all!

basically, the cactus shampoo is intended to texturize the hair, bringing out the hair’s natural waves as well as the grit and grip we usually refer to as “second day hair.”  and it does just that.  but it also lathers nicely and actually cleans your hair, which products like this sometimes do not.  like i said, my hair has wave on its own, but this gives me my summer texture and volume even during a dry chicago winter.  did you hear me?? SUMMER HAIR IN THE WINTER!  it’s all i’ve ever wanted in my life.

the cactus shampoo is meant to be used without conditioner, so i just make sure that i’ve brushed my hair before showering and either run a little conditioner throughout my hair before shampooing or some oil on the ends of my hair while it is damp.  also!  this is free of sulfates, parabens, gluten, mineral oil, and petrolatum.  the scent is natural and woody, basically straight out of my hippie heart.  this is the first high-end shampoo that i’ve ever tried and loved enough to repurchase, so i officially give it the cactus queen’s mark (cactus?) of approval.

the second hair product has been mentioned before at some point – probably in a monthly picks if i recall correctly.  it’s the ouai wave spray.  now you guys know i love a good salt spray – my alltime favorite being the herbivore botanicals messy hair.  but i happened to run out of that and read about the ouai wave spray at the same time, so i picked this up in mini size to try it out.  the cool thing about this spray is that it gives you the effects & benefits of salt without containing any.  so no dryness or crunchiness later.  i will say that you have to be careful to not apply too much, but that’s really with any hairspray of this nature.  i spray this on the midlengths to ends of my hair, as well as a few sprays around my crown for volume (lift up the hair to get underneath).  you don’t need much to get that perfectly beachy look, without the side effects.

so there you have it.  cactus and ocean waves, is there anything more baby bohemian than that?!

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favorite of the day: revlon colorstay creme eye shadow

IMG_0031 (1).jpgi have a new cream eye shadow love!  i have been searching for a simple champagne cream shadow, but have been hesitating against buying the rms eye polish that i’ve been wanting.  so when i saw these new revlon shadows (colorstay creme eye shadow) fully stocked at walgreen’s, you might guess how excited i got.  i figured they would be similar to the maybelline color tattoo cream shadows, but they are so much better.IMG_0033.jpgthe texture is exactly like the rms eye polishes: super creamy, glossy, and moisturizing.  they set down a little bit more than the rms, but maintain that glossy look.  whereas i find the maybelline to be sticky and somewhat tuggy on my eyelids, these are light and smooth in application.  and the shade 705 creme brulee is the exact champagne that i have been looking for.  it brightens the eyes with a subtle shimmer and glow, and is perfect for every day.  such a win!  i’m not sure if they have been released every where, but if you see them, get them.

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the best thing to wake up to

need a little french inspiration in your life?  look no further than jeanne damas.  she’s the ultimate french it girl and has been inspiring this baby bohemian for years.  so when i woke up to this video from british vogue in my subscription feed on youtube, well…you can imagine how many times i’ve already watched it.  so enjoy!  eat a croissant!  feel french!  and check out these other great jeanne damas interviews while you’re at it: the coveteur, refinery 29, harper’s bazaar, man repeller.