Cold Weather Moisturizers

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I've already mentioned that the colder weather is already taking its toll on my skin. Even the most moisturizing base products were looking dry and cakey on me whenever I did my makeup, so I knew it was time to switch up my skincare. I've got quite a few winter-perfect moisturizers on rotation this year, and they all work pretty well either day or night.

Glossier Priming Moisturizer RichOf course. The original Priming Moisturizer is my go-to in the spring and summer, but once the temperature drops I start reaching for the Rich version more and more. It feels so thick and luxurious, but it's never heavy or greasy on the skin. It actually is less dewy on my skin than the original. It leaves a beautiful smooth, velvety finish that makes it especially perfect before makeup, and it keeps my skin moisturized all day long.

Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb* | This has been my go-to at night for the past month and a half. It's so incredibly moisturizing (as the name would suggest), but it's still lightweight and non-greasy. While it's not as lightweight as the Aqua Bomb, it still has a slight gel-cream texture. It's perfect for layering with all my other serums and oils at night without clogging up my skin.

CosRX Honey Ceramide Full Moisture CreamSpeaking of gel-cream formulas, this is a great one if your skin is more on the normal side and less dry. It leaves the skin feeling ultra hydrated, and as much as I hate the word, moist, in a good way. If used underneath makeup it gives a beautiful dewy finish all day long, and if used at night it keeps my skin from drying out. It's another favorite for sure, and I'm basically scraping the bottom of the jar so I'm going to need to repurchase soon.

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Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream* | If you took the consistency of the Belif, added a bit more creaminess, and a whole lot of rose and cucumber, you'd get the Fresh Rose Face Cream. It's a beautiful, luxurious cream that feels like such a treat to apply. It not only deeply moisturizes the skin, but also soothes and is quite cooling. It's a great one to use if your skin is feeling a little hot and irritated from dry heating in the winter. It leaves the skin ultra plump and dewy, and I love it both morning and night.

Dr. Roebuck's FACE Anti-Aging Moisturizer* | This one is super intriguing - it feels super thick straight out of the tub and even when first applied to the skin, but once rubbed in it's so lightweight. It makes a great base for makeup, and it also seals everything in at night. This is one of the most hydrating of the bunch here, despite sinking into the skin almost instantly. It will be a great one for dehydrated skin for sure.

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass CreamThis is the most recent addition to my collection, but I can already tell it's going to be one of my most-used this winter. It has almost a medicinal feel to it, like a salve, and it really helps heal the skin. It has a balmy formula that melts into the skin and sticks around all night (I only use this one at night). It soothes redness and irritation so well, and I already know it will be the first one I turn to if my skin is feeling windburned from being out in the cold. You can read my full review on the cream and the rest of the Cicapair line here.

What are your go-to moisturizers for when the weather cools down?

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*Products mentioned have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information. This post contains affiliate links.


The Hidden Gem: Kari Gran Lip Whips

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A lip balm so nice, I bought it twice.

Last month I was shopping in Sephora with my sister during the sale, and it was so crowded in the aisle I wanted to look in that I just hung around the endcap for a bit until it cleared. This particular endcap was full of various lip balms, one of my biggest guilty pleasures even though I'm allergic to most. I ended up buying a Kari Gran Lip Whip, and I was so impressed with it upon bringing it home that I ordered another shade before the sale ended. 

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Kari Gran is a clean and organic beauty brand based in Seattle with a range of skincare, lip balms, and mineral makeup. I had never tried anything from the brand, but had heard a little bit here and there about it. For some reason a lightbulb went off when I saw the Lip Whip - I couldn't remember hearing anything about it, but I just knew it would be good.

As I said above, lip balms are majorly hit or miss for me. Some are instant favorites, like the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask and Glossier Balm Dotcom, while others cause my lips to burn and peel for weeks. The only thing the lip balms that irritate my lips have in common is the presence of both coconut oil and shea butter, which is usually a hard thing to avoid in natural lip balms. The Kari Gran Lip Whips struck my fancy when I saw that it contained neither of these ingredients while still being natural. Instead, it contains castor seed oil, beeswax, camellia seed oil, and olive, sunflower, and calendula seed oils. 

The thing I love most about the Lip Whips is the texture - rather than an oily salve, they feel like a luxurious whipped cream. They spread easily over the lips, and you only need a tiny dab so the pots will last a long time. The two tints I have look beautiful and never splotchy or patchy. Radiant was the first shade I bought, inspired by the 2014 Pantone Color of the Year Radiant Orchid, and it's a beautiful cool pink shade that adds just a hint of tint and brightness to the face. After that, I decided I needed a more "flushed" shade, so I picked up Suji Red (named after the co-founder's daughter!). It's so amazingly pigmented, like a lipstick. It adds the prettiest "just bitten" flush to the lips, and I'm also going to try it out on the cheeks and report back on that. I'm pretty sure I'm just going to need to pick up every shade as well as the clear one to wear around the house. 

I try not to make too many impulse purchases these days, but this has certainly been one of the best. I'm so intrigued by the brand now, and am looking into trying out some of their skincare next.

Have you tried the Lip Whips or anything else by Kari Gran? What was your best impulse purchase?

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In My Makeup Bag | December

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Even though I roll out of bed at the last second possible and slap on my everyday face at my desk when I get to work, I've still been making a bit of an effort in the makeup department. I know I don't need to wear makeup, and I'm not expected to, but it just makes me feel more pulled together and ready for the day. Since I think I'll always be an everyday-makeup-wearer, I thought I'd take my November Makeup Bag post from last month and turn it into a monthly thing. I keep my everyday products in a Glossier pink pouch that I carry around with me, and I like to make sure I switch out the products every so often to get good use out of my collection.

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This month, I'll be doing a lot of mixing. As much as I love a perfect standalone product, I also really enjoy mixing my products together to get a customized finish that's perfect for me. Lately I've been needing a bit more coverage, so I've been taking the IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream and mixing it with a bit of the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint. It still has the coverage of the CC Cream (which is insane for a CC cream by the way - definitely try it out if you haven't), but the Skin Tint makes it look more natural and give it a lot more glow. I've been doing the same thing with concealer - mixing something with coverage and staying power with something with glow. Amelia mentioned mixing the Glossier Stretch Concealer and the NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer the other day, and I tried it right away and am officially hooked. It's going to be my go-to concealer pick of the month, I'm sure of it. Both concealers look quite natural on the skin as it is, and mixing them creates the perfect finish.

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My brows seem to be in a pretty wolf-like period, so I've only been brushing through them with some Boy Brow in Brown in the mornings. It's just enough definition, but if I have any sparse areas showing through, I'll go in with a little bit of the Milk Makeup Gel Brow in Pilsner. I don't need my brows super defined at the moment, because eyeshadow has been as simple as possible lately. I'm back on that sheer-wash shadow train, and the new Natasha Denona Chroma Crystal Top Coats are the most perfect product for this. They're a bit squishy in the pot, and they feel a little like the Chanel Illusion D'Ombres. I have the shade Grey Brown, and it's perfectly sheer and shimmery. This shade in particular goes beautifully over top of Burberry Pale Barley (shown here), but it's also great on its own. I officially need every color. If I want something a little more sheen-y and less sparkly, I've been going for the MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters. It's the perfect peachy pink color to brighten up the eyes. I've got a new mascara love this month, too, in the Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara. After using sample after sample of this, I finally bit the bullet and bought it with my Sephora coupon. I like that one coat beautifully separates and defines the lashes, but it builds up to a more dramatic effect without ever getting clumpy or spidery. 

As for cheeks, I'm going in with a bit more powders than usual. I've been absolutely obsessed with the lilah b. Bronzed Beauty Bronzer Duo, and I've even got my sister hooked on it, too. It has such a nice formula that builds up to the exact intensity you want. The color is perfect, too (and I've heard mixing them together makes it a dupe for the limited edition Marc Jacobs Coconut Bronzer). For blush I'm still using the Glossier Cloud Paints - I just can't bring myself to use anything else. I keep all four in my bag to have my bases covered for whatever mood strikes, but right now I'm really feeling the mixture of Puff and Dusk. It makes the most perfect neutral pink, like Charlotte Tilbury First Love or Tarte Exposed in cream form. Shock Horror, I've been using something other than Glossier Haloscope for my highlight. My sister was raving about her Hourglass Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Palette (review) at Thanksgiving, and it made me really want to reach for mine. I've been hooked since - I mix together the pink and gold shades for my perfect champagne highlight. 

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On an everyday basis, I always keep my lips on the neutral side (if I'm wearing anything other than lip balm), and I'm still hooked on the NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments smudged into some Balm Dotcom. Last month I was all about Save the Queen, but this month I know I'm going to be reaching for American Woman religiously. It's a rosy brown shade that matches the blush mixture I mentioned above perfectly when blended out. I hope you're not sick of me raving about these yet, because I don't think I'm going to stop soon. Outside of work, I've been working on using more of my bolder lip products and getting more comfortable wearing them out and about. Seeing as it's almost Christmas (!!!!), I know I'm going to be rocking a red lip a lot this month, and I don't want to reach for anything other than the Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored. I was skeptical about one red for everyone, but it truly looks amazing on everyone I've seen wear it. On me, it's the perfect slightly cool-toned red (I'm wearing it in the selfie I linked above with the eyeshadows). It has a super comfortable formula (you almost can't feel it!) that doesn't feel dry or crackly at all. It does transfer a bit if anything touches your lips, but it still holds up extremely well through eating and drinking. I hope she makes more shades in this formula, because right now it's almost topping the NARS ones as my favorite!

What makeup will you be reaching for this month?

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The New Solution to Redness | Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Collection

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Although I've been battling with quite a few spots since the summer, my main skin concern always remains redness. I have a tendency to go quite red throughout the day, mostly through the center of my face. Mix that with my nose's inability to hold onto makeup for a full day and I've got "Rudolph" comments galore. Dr. Jart+ first debuted their Cicapair cream and color corrector a few months ago as redness solutions, and now they've added a few more products to the collection. I was lucky enough to be sent three of the products, and I was loving them so much I went out and bought the one missing product (the aforementioned cream) for a full review of the line.

The idea behind the Cicapair line is that it's formulated with Tiger Grass, or Centella Asiatica, a plant that has been recognized for its healing properties for centuries. The line was inspired by the legend of tigers rolling around in the tiger grass to help heal their battle wounds. It is known to help inflammation, redness, and blemishes. In addition to the Tiger Grass, these products also contain an Herb Complex made up of Houttuynia Cordata and Yarrow to support the skin's barrier as well as their Minerals Solution Botanic Complex (Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, and Osmopur) to soothe skin and restore moisture levels.

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Cicapair Tiger Grass CreamOne of the original products in the line, I tried a sample of this back when it was released in the spring and was immediately hooked on its healing properties. I'm almost always battling some kind of allergic reaction to lip balms, and at the time this totally healed it. Fast forward to now when I've finally bought myself a full tube. I've been slathering this on every night to soothe my super irritated, dry skin (winter is coming). It's a thick, almost balmy texture that feels quite medicinal on the skin. Despite feeling so thick out of the tube it doesn't feel heavy on the skin or break me out. I've noticed this keeps my skin much more hydrated throughout the night, and I wake up with less redness.

Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30* | This was the other original product from the line. It starts out green and transforms to a beige color as you rub it into your skin. It isn't moisturizing enough to use on its own - I use it over my moisturizer in the morning. It not only cancels out redness and covers up blemishes, but it also forms an effective barrier throughout the day - the description on Sephora mentions it protecting your skin from dust specifically, and as someone who works in a cement lab where there's nothing but dust day after day (seriously it's The Grapes of Wrath up in here), that claim is 100% true. I used to be washing so much dust and dirt off my face at the end of the day, but now I'm just washing off this product. It makes my skin look so nice throughout the day and has a nice satin finish - it isn't greasy at all. My sister, who has oily skin, also loves it. She sets hers with a little bit of powder, and she says she gets the perfect amount of dewiness after about three hours, and her oiliness doesn't progress from there. She's the biggest foundation junkie I know, and she hasn't worn anything since she's bought this.

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Cicapair Tiger Grass Re.Pair Serum* | This might just be my favorite from the collection. Housed in the best bottle for a serum ever (a button pops up as you unscrew the top, automatically filling the dropper with the perfect amount of product for you), this serum has wowed me from first use. Like the rest of the line, it also uses the centella asiatica to soothe and heal redness and inflamed skin. And it might just be the most effective of all of them. I've been experiencing a few breakouts here and there for a few months - nothing out of control, but they were all under-the-skin spots that would last months and months. When I first received the Cicapair Serum, I added it into my current skincare routine (I mixed it in with my usual serums), and the spots I had disappeared in two days. I was blown away. Like the other products in the line, This has also greatly helped with my redness. It's so easy to use day or night, as it's just a lightweight, hydrating serum, so I'm already almost halfway through the bottle! I'll be repurchasing for sure. 

Cicapair Tiger Grass Nightly Re.Pair Mask* | I just recently mentioned this in my Winter Masks post. This feels quite similar to the cream, but with a little bit more of a balm consistency. It feels quite thick at first, but it smooths over the skin effortlessly and sinks in over the course of the night. It does feel a little tacky at first, but I just give it a good half hour before I go to bed, and I don't have any issues sticking to my pillows or anything. I like that I can still feel it on my skin in the morning because I know my skin hasn't dried out overnight. I also think it's genius to package it in individual packets - not only will they be perfect for traveling, but they also each contain the perfect amount of mask for one use. I tend to be a bit stingy with masks, but when it's like this I know I'm using the correct amount to get the maximum benefits. I can't believe how plump and fresh my skin feels the morning after using this. I'm tempted to use it every single night, but I'm trying to stretch it a bit.

Have you tried any of the Dr. Jart+ Cicapair line?

Products marked with an asterisk (*) have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. This post is not sponsored. Please see my disclaimer for more information. This post contains affiliate links.


Four Winter Masks

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I know that winter hasn't technically arrived, but my skin sure thinks it has. I've had to double down and really amp up my moisturization game to keep it from drying out and shriveling up. I've found myself going back to four masks in my collection over and over to help repair, soothe, and maintain my skin's moisture levels.

Perricone MD Cocoa Moisture Mask* | First things first, I love this mask the most in winter because it smells like hot chocolate. But other than that, it's a beautifully moisturizing mask that leaves the skin super smooth and pillowy. This is one I love to use when my skin is so dry that I get flaky patches - this is one of the only masks I have that will get rid of the flakes and then keep them at bay. It has cocoa microcapsules that burst as you massage in the mask, changing the color from an off-white to a deep brown. I love this visual cue that you're ready to sit and relax, and the extra facial massage is great, too.

Glossier Moisturizing Moon MaskThis is the one I go to when I need an instant hit of moisture and radiance. I've mentioned my love of the Moon Mask a million times before, so I'll keep it brief, but my skin just drinks this stuff up. My favorite time to use it is on a cozy weekend morning - I like to apply a thin-ish layer and let it sit for hours while I do things around the house. Once I wash it off, my skin is so plump and absolutely glowing. I love that it not only contains super moisturizing ingredients like squalane, sweet almond oil, and honey, but also brightening ingredients like licorice root and lemon extracts.

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Nightly Re.Pair Mask* | This is the newest addition to my collection of masks, and I'm already really seeing benefits from it. This mask is packaged in a set of 30 individual packets that you're meant to use every night as the last step of your skincare routine, but I tend to skip a night or two just to stretch them a bit. The packets contain the perfect amount of product for one use (at least for my big head), so I like that I'm not having to leave open packets around to collect bacteria. It has a thick, balmy texture that I can still feel on my skin come morning - I've been going through a phase of just swiping my skin with toner in the morning, but after I use this mask I definitely need to wash it to get the mask off. I like that it sticks around all night to moisturize and soothe my skin. It feels incredibly healing from the get-go, and it will for sure be the perfect product to soothe wind-burned skin once it gets even colder.

Laneige Water Sleeping MaskWhen I'm not using the Cicapair mask, I've been slapping on the cult favorite Water Sleeping Mask by Laneige as the last step of my skincare routine before bed. This is insanely hydrating despite feeling super lightweight. I wake up to smooth, fully hydrated skin that's not greasy or filmy. This is always the one I turn to if my skin is feeling dehydrated - it sorts that out right away. It's super cooling and refreshing on the skin, too, so it's the perfect last step after massaging all my other products into my skin. This is one I'll definitely go and repurchase once I run out - it's become an everyday staple!

What masks will be your go-to's this winter?

*Products mentioned have been sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information. This post contains affiliate links.


Loving Lately | November Favorites

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Once again, I'm starting a monthly favorites post with "where has the month gone?!" But seriously, how is it the end of November? Every month seems to be going faster than the last. This month I got a fair few new things because of the Sephora VIB sale (haul here, but I ended up buying more than that oops) and also through PR. A couple old favorites have resurfaced this month, too.

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Starting with skincare, I was sent a few bits from the Dr. Jart+ Cicapair range earlier this month, and I've been loving them all (I'll be writing a roundup post on the collection soon). The standout for me so far has been the Cicapair Tiger Grass Re.Pair Serum.* It's a lightweight, hydrating serum that's meant to use the power of tiger grass to heal and soothe the skin. I'm just amazed by this because I added it into my skincare routine without changing anything else, and a couple large under-the-skin spots that were starting to emerge were gone in one day. Usually those kind of blemishes last actual months for me, so I'm just in awe that this has been getting rid of them that quickly. I still have a few popping up, but I think this serum is just helping to keep them in check and go down more quickly. 

I was also sent some things from Belif this month, and my favorite was the True Cream Moisturizing Bomb.* I had used samples of this before and loved it, so I was so excited to finally have the full size. I've been using this pretty much every morning and night, and it's really been keeping my winter skin (my true lizard self) at bay. It packs such a punch of moisture despite feeling quite lightweight on the skin. I'd recommend this one for dry skin and the Aqua Bomb if you're more oily. Since I loved the face cream so much, I had to pick up the new Moisturizing Eye Bomb in the VIB Sale. It has a creamy gel consistency that really smooths out and plumps up my undereyes. It's amazingly hydrating without feeling too rich, and I find my undereye concealer doesn't crease nearly as much when I've applied this eye cream first. This is my go-to in the mornings.

The last skincare bit is a tool that I've been wanting to try for ages. My Glossier Rep friend Stephanie recently launched Mount Lai with her friend, specializing in Jade Rollers and other facial rollers. I was sent the Jade Roller* and I'm officially obsessed. I use this every night to help press in my face oil before applying my night cream, and it's made a huge difference in my skin. I've noticed my skin seems more plump and taut, my redness is reduced, and I'm not nearly as puffy in the mornings anymore. The stone feels cooling on the skin, so it's so refreshing and my favorite part of my evening skincare routine. They've also just come out with a Pink Quartz Roller that I'll need to get my hands on (because pink, duh).

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I've got a couple new makeup favorites I got in the sale that I just can't step away from. I finally bit the bullet and got the Lilah b. Bronzed Beauty Bronzer Duo and I'm in love. It contains a lighter and a darker shade, but I just mix the two when I apply it. It has a little bit of a glow to it, and the shade is perfect for making me look sunkissed and healthy. I like that the pigmentation is buildable so I can customize the amount of bronze I want. Also- that packaging though. It speaks to me as someone who needed to stop at every rock garden and pick up the prettiest rock when I was little. It's like a nice, weighty pebble and I'm going to need a million more of their products now.  I picked up the Kari Gran Lip Whip in Radiant on a whim during the Sephora sale (the Sephora in Boston was wild that day and I don't know what happened), and it's one of my favorite impulse buys to date. It has the coolest texture - it's super light and creamy, not oily or slippery like most lip balms I'm used to. The Radiant shade leaves a soft cool pink tint, and I loved it so much that I picked up the Suji Red shade before the sale ended. Safe to say I'm hooked. 

Lastly, I fell for two old favorites again this month. Since discovering how easy it is to smear a lip product into my lip balm and create a more subtle stain, I've been getting a lot more use out of all of my lip product collection. My latest favorite to dot on the center of my lips and blend out is the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick in Chutney. These have the loveliest creamy formula that blends out so easily and feels so comfortable on the lips. Chutney is a beautiful dusty mauve shade that adds a nice brown/berry stain when I blend it out. I'll be writing a post soon on all my favorite lip products to apply with this technique, and Chutney will definitely be included. An old, old favorite I'm loving again on the eyes is the MAC Eyeshadow in All That Glitters. I've been into just a sheer wash of one color on the lids lately, and this shade is perfection. It's the perfect kind of peachy pink sheen and it makes the eyelids look a little glossy. I know they're not talked about much anymore, but MAC Eyeshadows are still some of my favorites!

What were your favorites this month?

*Products mentioned were sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information. This post contains affiliate links.