Yes, it's the results that matter the most with skincare, but the entire experience of using the product is what I love. Texture is one of those things that can make or break a skincare product. If the texture is weird and unappealing, the results must be mind-blowing to overcome that (if it even can - yikes). Conversely, if the texture is delightful but the benefits are sub par, then it's hard to justify continuation of use. But there are those rare times when the texture and results are equally appealing and the product really wins me over. I've recently come across three products that bring the best of both worlds together - amazing texture and fantastic results.
1. Clinique Turnaround Revitalizing Treatment Oil - While I do have a ton of facial oils at home, I instantly fell in love with this one. To say the oil is lightweight is an understatement! The oil itself is very thin and watery, and has this incredible silky smooth finish that instantly made me want to put it on my face. I apply two drops to my fingertips, rub together and then press gently into the skin. It instantly absorbs and my face looks fresh, supple and radiant. I find that I can wear it either morning or night, and have been impressed with how much my skin loves this oil. While many other oils have a lot of bells and whistles, I keep reaching for this because it consistently feels great on and makes my skin look healthy and glowing. Clinique continues to be a staple in my skincare arsenal because the products are uncomplicated, easy to use and work. And isn't that what we all want from a brand at the end of the day? (case in point - this cleanser, this acne treatment and this body cream have been long time favorites)
2. Mario Badescu Botanical Exfoliating Scrub - Being a huge Mario Badescu fan already (this, this and this are some of my holy grail brand favorites), I could not wait to get this on my face. The texture really surprised me because I thought it was going to be a bit chunkier and grainier (which I am not always a fan of), and it turned out to be the complete opposite. While there are small granular particles, it is so finely ground into a jelly-like base that it feels different than many of my other face scrubs. I only need a pea-sized amount to cover my entire face, and after my skin looks radiant and fresh. After playing around with it for the past few weeks, I enjoy using it in the morning because it gives me the most amazing glow and any makeup I apply after goes on seamlessly.
3. The Body Shop Drops of Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask - I had heard so much buzz surrounding this product that I knew I had to try it. And the texture absolutely blew my mind. The above picture does not do it justice, so watch this quick video I posted on Instagram to get the full scope of how unbelievable this product looks and feels. Did you watch it? It actually BOUNCES. I love beauty products with every ounce of my being, but so much of what we see is similar to what we have seen before, right? Not this mask. It was unlike anything I have ever tried, experienced or used. And to top it all off? It made my skin feel absolutely heavenly! I apply it at night as my last step after my serum, and was shocked at how thin it is when on my face. It may have this crazy bouncy thick texture, but as soon as I scooped out a bit with my finger, it turned to this creamy gel that instantly helped to hydrate and nourish my skin. I woke up the next morning and my face felt plump, firm and supple - just like the mask itself! Consider me a believer now. The hype is completely warranted on this one.
It took me a while to decide if I should take the plunge and buy into the jogging pant trend. But I bought these pants early last year, and I still wear them often so obviously they are more versatile than I thought. Here is a super casual look I did last summer, and here was a fun look that I put together for going out to dinner or grabbing brunch with friends. My challenge however was would I be able to wear these to work? Thankfully my office environment is a tad more business casual but I still wanted to feel professional and polished. So I kept it simple with a black tank and white blazer, and then added some higher heels to elongate the look which takes away the "athletic" look to the pants. And I guess the pain of wearing high heels all day helps to balance out how insanely comfortable these pants are to wear. Gotta pay for it somewhere, right?
Blazer - Trouve by Nordstrom (similar here and here) Tank - Joe Fresh (similar here) | Pants - Joie | Bag - Mansur Gavriel (similar here) | Heels - Sergio Rossi (similar here) | Sunglasses - Stella McCartney (similar here)
There is nothing (well almost nothing) that a new lipstick can't fix, right? It's the first product I go buy when I am having a bad day. It can be a fancy one from Chanel or a gloss from the drugstore, either way a new lip color can be a great pick-me-up. Here are three new lip launches from Clinique, Lipstick Queen and Dolce & Gabbana that are worth checking out next time you are having a case of the Mondays (or because you are a makeup fanatic like me and have no self control):
1. Clinique Pop Lip Color + Primer - I don't know if it was the names or the colors, but either way I fell instantly in love with these cute new lip colors from Clinique. But let me be honest, I was more jazzed about the concept of them than trying the actual formula because I had assumed they would be sheer, lightly pigmented and more of a tinted balm. Well, this could not be further from the truth! Holy cow - these lip colors pack a serious punch (har, har, har) of color! And they feel like this creamy, moisturizing dream on the lips - smoothing out any dry patches and making the fine lines in my lips look less noticeable. Cute names, adorable packaging and a formula I love? You win, Clinique.
2. Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Matte Lipsticks - While I was not quite sure what to expect with the Clinique lip colors, I knew exactly what to expect with these new matte lipsticks from Dolce & Gabbana. They were exactly the seriously pigmented and intensely matte formulas I imagined. I typically wear lipsticks more than lip glosses, and have come to really love a matte texture on the lips. But even with a matte finish, this D&G lipstick manages to glide easily onto the lips rather than pulling and dragging like matte lipsticks of years ago. I know this may surprise all of you, but my favorite of the two was Inferno. So dark and vampy but so fierce! Dark lip shades can be a bit more high maintenance to wear because they need to be applied evenly and lips need to be exfoliated and well moisturized. I did not swatch it below with any lip liner or primer, because I wanted to show the true application but I have found that priming the lip with a nude lip liner and using a lip brush made for a much smoother finish. Here is a picture I posted to instagram of me wearing it after using this technique and it came out beautiful. I know summer is a time for bright colors, but it can't hurt to break the rules a bit and sport a dark lip every now and then.
3. Lipstick Queen Cupids Bow Lip Pencils - I'm probably a bit biased with this new formula, because two of my holy grail lip colors are from Lipstick Queen. This formula in the shade Pink Bluff is one of my favorite "my lip color but better" shades, and this Lipstick Queen formula in the shade Saint Pinky Nude is another holy grail. As you can see from the below swatches, these colors are not for the faint of heart since they give opaque coverage. Luckily there is a great range of both natural shades mixed with bold, daring shades to appease everyone. These go on extremely creamy so be sure not to leave them laying around in the sun or warmer temperatures (I learned this the hard way sadly), but instantly dry down to a creamy matte finish and do.not.move. There is a slight lipstain quality about them because of this intense staying power so be prepared to grab your cleansing oil at night to remove them. Because the pencil itself is a quite narrow and skinny, they give a more precise application than many other jumbo pencils. And so with another launch, my love affair with Lipstick Queen continues.
Here are all the swatches of each formula and color.