Mixing It Up

Now that I have shifted my sights from summer to fall clothing, I have to keep myself from all the great sales going on now. I want to buy but realize that the few weeks left of warm weather are not enough to justify a purchase. While I wait and see what pieces I want to add to my fall closet, I have been mixing up pieces in my current wardrobe to create different looks. I know this is not earth shattering news or anything, but I have to confess something. I am a total creature of habit. I eat pretty much the same thing each day, have the same daily routine and even wear the same combinations of outfits without ever deviating. Occasionally I will switch up things otherwise I would never have anything to wear, but overall I keep things pretty well matched up. So while I was trying to decide what else I can put with this skirt, I remembered that I have been wearing this chambray tank all summer and felt the two would pair so well together. The midi skirt was definitely a step outside my regular look, but I am challenging myself to see how many things I can wear with it. I am already picturing a chunky, soft knit and ankle boots for the colder weather. Let's just hope it's not the same chunky knit and ankle boots over and over and over again.   

Top - Madewell | Skirt - Zara (similar here and here) | Shoes - Loeffler Randall (similar here and here) | Bracelet - Cooee

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What Should Be In My Closet

Fall is coming whether I like it or not, so I guess I should start thinking about my fall wardrobe. Hmphhhh. I love fall clothing but the price of fall clothing? Not so much. Summer is so much easier on my budget. But I normally pick out a few pieces that really catch my eye and then wait for them to go on sale. I did a recent post on this and my other tips for building a great closet - you can read it here. These were my favorite finds from around the web this week - as you can see I am feeling a lot of neutrals, animal prints and a great faux leather skirt. Click on each item for more information.

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Out With The Old, In With The New: Cleanser Edition

I just recently finished a few cleansers in the past couple weeks so it was the perfect time to usher in new ones to my routine. This one by NUDE and this one by Liz Earle were the last ones I finished and enjoyed a lot, so I was hopeful these would fare just as well.

1. La Prairie Foam Cleanser - I am not here for foam cleansers. I like milk, balms and oils but rarely do I choose a foam. They make my skin feel tight, dry and I do not like it. *stomps feet* That is until I tried the La Prairie Foam Cleanser. Holy moly, it is amazing. I had a suspicion that if anyone could do a foam cleanser the right way, La Prairie could. I tend to use it after removing my makeup, but I will say it does a great job removing makeup alone. It leaves my skin refreshed, hydrated and feeling wonderful. I am still not excited about foam cleansers but this one will forever be the exception and have a place in my skincare routine.

2. Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil - While I am not here for foaming cleansers, I am here for any and all cleansing oils. Occasionally I come across one here and there that don't measure up, but for the most part they are the most effective cleansers out there. Since I am already an avid user and fan of the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, I figured I would love this cleansing oil. And I do. It is lightweight and thin but does a stand up job of removing makeup and giving my skin a deep clean. I enjoy it so much that it has now reserved a place in my top 3 favorite cleansing oils. (this one and this one are my other faves)

3. Perricone MD Nutritive Cleanser - Another slightly foam-y cleanser that surprised me. This does not foam as much as the La Prairie for me still gets some good suds going. Being that it is from Perricone MD, you can count on it having a ton of anti-aging benefits even for a cleanser. The most noticeable result I have found since using is how firm and taut my skin feels after washing, and not in a dry or tight way. I find that it does not completely remove my makeup, so I prefer to use it after an oil or balm. But for my morning routine, it has become quite a delight to wake up and use.

4. Eve Lom Cleanser - This is a cult classic and you either love it or hate it. And yes, I love it. I know the thick grainy texture can be off putting for some people but I adore it and find that it makes my skin unbelievably soft. Some cleansers are great at only cleansing the skin but fall short in the makeup removal area but this one does both and does it well. I went to the SpaceNK website and watched the video demonstrating the Eve Lom Facial Technique which uses a muslin cloth to remove the cleanser. I have adopted this method and find that the few seconds I leave the hot muslin cloth on my face makes all the difference. It is a bit of a splurge but I do think of this acts as an exfoliator and cleanser so to me it justifies the price a bit more. Either way, I highly recommend grabbing a sample if you can and giving it a try. I think your skin will thank me.
*pr samples included

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Review: Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Makeup, YSL Fusion Ink and Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide

There have been so many new foundation launches recently that I can hardly keep up. I can't try them all, but I picked the three that interested me the most. I know everyone has been chatting about the new Tom Ford foundation, and there is a lot of buzz about a new Dior one coming out this fall, but these are the three that I truly had a desire to try.

1. Estee Lauder Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Makeup (in shade 1N1) - On the love/like scale, this fell onto the "like" side for me. It does have a similar texture to the YSL and Laura Mercier, and applied a bit sheer. I was able to build it up, but had to be careful in certain spots that it didn't pull or cake up. It is a bit more hydrating than I prefer so I think this would be a great foundation for those with dry skin. However, when set with powder, it did wear well for most of the day. I did find that I started to get oily around the 4-5 hour mark, so powder touch ups are necessary for me when wearing this foundation. The color was ok but skewed a bit too pink for me though I bought one with a neutral undertone. I am going to continue to play with it using brushes, sponges and primers to see if I can find a combination that works the best. Stay tuned over the next few weeks and I will give updates on my Instagram.

2. YSL Fusion Ink (in shade B10) - I bought this without knowing anything about it other than the media buzz. There was said to be a 12,000 person waiting list in the UK for it, which just about blew my mind. 12,000? For a foundation? Even I am not that much of a beauty lover, but still I bought it on the first (or possibly second) day it launched so I guess I shouldn't be throwing those stones in my glass house. Anyhoo....onto the formula and my thoughts. It is exactly like the Armani Maestro as many of you told me it would be. A thin, oily formula that dries down instantly after application. And I sadly was just not a fan. I liked the Maestro initially, but after a few months it became hit or miss for me. This, unfortunately was just a miss. I got super oily a hour or two after application, it was hard to blend and  it pulled on dry patches that I didn't even have. I rarely do this, but I actually ended up returning it, which should tell you a lot. Maybe it could work for someone else, but it was not my cup of tea.

3. Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide (in shade Creme) - Unlike the YSL foundation, I had done my research on this one. I swatched it in store, read reviews and found my correct shade. The formula felt very similar to the YSL/Armani texture that can be hit or miss, but I am happy to report that it is a total HIT!!! OMG - do I love this foundation! It is a bit thicker than the YSL, and blends like a dream. No pulling on dry patches, just enough coverage, a natural matte finish and it looks like second skin. I did get oily halfway through the day but nothing that my trusty By Terry powder couldn't fix. The finish is absolutely magnificent, the formula is oil free and  great for all skin types - it's like everything I could ever want wrapped up into one foundation. If you are on the fence with this one, I urge you to get off and pick this up. Like now.
* pr samples included

Have you tried any of these foundations? What are your thoughts?
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Hydrating Masks For Every Price Point

I love hydrating masks for a multitude of reasons.They are suitable for almost any skin type, work in any season and can give instant results. I have been testing out a slew of different ones that were sent to me over the past few weeks and thought I would highlight the ones I enjoyed the most. They range from moderately priced to a complete splurge, so if you are looking for a new hydrating mask, you are bound to find one in this group. Here are my thoughts on each:

1. SK-II Facial Treatment Mask - Big time splurge, but big time results. This is definitely a special occasion mask for me. I used it before going to a wedding because I wanted an extra boost of hydration and radiance - and boy did I get it. Wow! I applied it an hour or so before I put on my makeup, left it on for 15 minutes, removed and pressed the remaining essence into my face. It was like an instant facial, and my makeup applied like never before. For a true pampering experience, this is a must have in your skincare arsenal.

2. Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Sleeping Recovery Mask - After having such a great experience with the other two sleeping masks I been have using (this one and this one), I was happy to add a true hydrating one to the mix. The Amore Pacific Sleeping Recovery Mask has a cooling gel-like feeling when applied and a little goes a long way. It does take a few more minutes than my other sleeping masks to dry down, but nothing that is unreasonable. The first thing I noticed the next morning was how plump my skin appeared and it was as if I had been drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water a day for my entire life (which sadly I do not all the time). There was not a dry spot in sight and barely any sleep lines, which I always get because I sleep on my stomach or side. Great to use once a week or more if needed.

3. Arcona Wine Hydrating Mask - I always expect a thin, watery gel-like consistency when I use hydrating masks. And this Arcona hydrating mask served to break me of that misconception and stereotype. As soon as I squeezed some out of the tube, the thick rich cream texture told me that it would be different than other hydrating masks I have tried in the past. Instead of being solely for moisture renewal, I found this mask to be great at nourishing, calming and replenishing my skin. With ingredients like shea butter, hyaluronic acid and grapeseed extract, it's no wonder the results were so substantial. 

4. Rodial Dragon's Blood Hyaluronic Mask - The Arcona mask may have thrown me for a texture loop, but this Rodial Dragon's Blood Hyaluronic Mask brought back the expected hydration mask texture I have come to know and love. A gel-like consistency that feels refreshing from the moment it is first applied. I don't typically like masks in the morning because I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get ready, but I have been applying this after I wash my face and before I step into the shower. I don't know if it's the shower intensifying the moisturizing properties, but my skin feels glorious when I rinse the mask off. I have even skipped my usual morning serum combo (this and this), in favor of just adding some SPF and applying my makeup straight away. It feels like a new secret I just discovered and I am loving the way my makeup looks after using this. I can't say this new addition makes me any more of a morning person (I wish I was), but at least my skin can fake it, right?

Have you tried any of these masks? What are your thoughts? Do you have a favorite hydrating mask? Leave me a comment below!

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