My Current Hair Care Routine

I am all about variety and change when it comes to my skincare and makeup routine, but I am not as versatile with my hair routine. My hair texture has changed significantly this past year due to some steroid injections I had to have in my neck, so it has been a challenge determining what products would work. I plan to have a hair straightening treatment done in November, so this line-up may change after that, but for now here are the products I use regularly on my hair.
1. Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil Heat Protective Primer - Since I use a lot of heat on my hair, both blowing it out and curling it, I need a heat protectant spray. But the bonus with this is that it also helps to smooth the hair and reduce frizz. It's incredibly lightweight and leaves my hair shiny and healthy looking. I spray it on my hair when it is damp and then style as usual.

2. Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil - For the extra humid days either in the summer, on vacation or when it's raining, I need an extra boost of smoothing for my hair. This Invisible Oil from Bumble and Bumble is truly invisible. Being that I have an oily scalp that can get greasy very easily, I have rarely if ever found a hair oil that works for me. That was until I tried this. I use only one small pump on damp or dry hair to help smooth and minimize frizz, and surprisingly it does not weigh my hair down at all.
3. Christophe Robin Hair Purifying Lotion - I've said before many times that I am not the biggest fan of dry shampoo. I have tried a few here and there, but on the whole it only serves to make my hair feel dirtier and leads to a ton of build-up with my oily scalp. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this finishing lotion, but as soon as I saw that it had vinegar in it, I had a feeling it would work well. I spray it directly onto my scalp and roots on the days I don't wash my hair, and it helps to balance my scalp, make it feel fresh and clean and evaporates almost immediately. An added bonus that I wasn't prepared for was how voluminous it makes my roots and adds a nice bit of "oomph" to my second (and sometimes third and fourth) day hair.

4. Nuance by Salma Hayek Nourishing Hair Mask - Though my scalp is oily, my ends are dry, dry, dry! This is most likely due to the amount of heat styling that it goes through, so a deep conditioning mask is a must. Many deep conditioning masks however, can be a nightmare for those with oily hair. It can leave the hair limp and greasy (I know this from tons of experience) and make it almost impossible to get a decent blowout because the strands are too slick. After just one use of this Nourishing Hair Mask, I could see a difference. My hair looks nourished, soft yet still bouncy. I typically only focus on the ends when applying, but can get away with using over my entire hair without weighing my hair down.
6. Oribe Signature Shampoo (bottom swatch above) - Though I only wash my hair 2-3x/wk, I need a shampoo that is consistently good and removes any build-up while still leaving my hair clean and soft. This Oribe Signature Shampoo gives a good lather but not too much where it dries out my scalp. I get out of the shower and my hair always feel fresh and weightless though the strands look smooth and shiny. The only challenge is that my hair can get a bit tangled when using it, so I always need to use a conditioner after.

7. Oribe Signature Conditioner (bottom swatch above) - Since I use a deep conditioner once a week, I need my regular conditioner to provide just enough moisture without weighing my hair down. This Signature Conditioner helps to detangle my hair, condition it, yet it never leaves my scalp greasy or unbalanced. I struggled with a flaky scalp for the past year and this shampoo and conditioner duo has really helped to reduce that significantly. My scalp is more balanced and my hair looks healthier.
*pr samples included


3 More Fragrances I've Been Loving

I know, I know. ANOTHER fragrance review? But because I'm so picky about fragrance, I always find it blog-worthy when I find another one that I love. And there are 3 out of the ones I have been testing recently that were instant hits with me.

1. Guerlain Mon Exclusif Eau de Parfum - This is my first Guerlain perfume, though I am a huge fan of the makeup. As a lover of sweet fragrances (and sweets in general - nom), I read the description and notes online before testing it and knew I would love it immediately. Sandalwood (awesome - I live for this sandalwood scent from Nest), Toffee (yum in my fragrance and in my tummy) and lavender (is there a more calming and delightful scent? I think not.) - basically it's a trifecta of scents that come together to make magic. It's warm and sweet with a hint of floral and smells very cozy on the skin. It's definitely a "sweater weather" fragrance.

2. Fresh Cannabis Santal - I have had a ton of Fresh fragrances over the year - mostly the more lemon/citrus/sugar scents that they are famous for. However, during a recent meandering Sephora visit (you know those ones where you are just slowly moving from gondola to gondola picking up everything to touch it, smell it and feel it while checking your phone and not really paying attention. Just me? Oh, ok.), I wasn't even paying attention when I picked up the bottle to smell this. I stopped dead in my tracks and it was as if I was jolted out of my Sephora daze. It's a great mix of sweet (Chocolate, wild strawberries and dark plum), floral (magnolia and rose) and a woodsy musk (vanilla musk, vetiver and patchouli). It the perfect compliment to a big cashmere cardigan coat or fuzzy warm scarf. Yes, I like to pare my fragrances with an accompanying piece of clothing.

3. Kiehl's Aromatic Blends: Orange Flower and Lychee - I discovered this while at the Kiehl's flagship store recently. I believe this particular scent is only sold there but I was hooked as soon as I sprayed it on my wrist. It's a floral mix balanced with orange citrus notes that would seem way too summery for this time of year, but it deepens when on my skin making it more fall appropriate. There are other scents that are part of the Aromatic Blends collection that are available online - this one being my other favorite which surprised me because of it's patchouli notes. But the mix with rose makes it so pleasant. The ancillary body products in the Orange Flower and Lychee scent are available online but as for the fragrance it would be best to call the store and have them ship it.
*pr samples included

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What Should Be In My Closet

Can't. Stop. Shopping. For. Fall. Clothes. This season more than years prior (though I probably will say this next year too LOL), I have seen a ton of great pieces that I want to add to my fall wardrobe. Here are a few that I have my eye on that would be great additions.

1. J.O.A Plaid Dress - Between the shape and pattern of this dress, this looks perfect for fall. Add a shearling vest or parka or chunky sweater and it's a great look.

2. Sam Edelman Petty Lined Boots - I always struggle with finding warm footwear each winter and these look perfect. Great shape and style, but lined with fuzzy shearling.

3. Madewell Cross Body Clutch - This. Color. It's the perfect shade of burgundy.

4. Madewell Field Parka - I have had this in my cart on Madewell.com for a few weeks, and I think I may finally pull the trigger. It looks casual yet still nice enough to dress up and wear to work if I need to.

5. Petit Bateau Striped Turtleneck - One can never have too many striped turtlenecks.

6. Blank Denim Faux Leather Leggings - Faux because real leather pants are just too insanely expensive, amiright?

7. Kate Spade Loafers - Anything shiny and patent leather I want to wear in the fall. And these look like a good mix of masculine and feminine.

8. J.O.A Fringe Sweater - I love this take on the standard cable knit sweater.


Faux Shearling Vest

Fall has finally arrived here in the Northeast (we had a few days that it began to feel like winter - rude), and I have been enjoying getting to wear some of my new fall purchases. Nothing feels as satisfying as new clothes for fall, right? I associate it with a new start probably because it's the start of a new school year though I have been out of school for more than a decade. Ha! I splurged on this pair of boots which I had my eye on for months and felt they were a great basic that would last me for years to come. However, there are a ton of great budget versions out there as well - these, these and these to name a few (as well as the ones I linked below). Since I don't have the smallest of ankles, I was worried about not being able to tuck my jeans into them but these Topshop jeans are so tight that it was a perfect fit! This was my first shearling (faux) vest and I am shocked I did not buy one sooner since it looks good with just about anything in my wardrobe. Speaking of wardrobe, did you watch my fall fashion favorites video? I didn't realize until I filmed just how many basics and favorite styles I had for fall. It's winter that is the sartorial Debbie Downer. Swooping in with all her bad weather and frigid temps making it nearly impossible to look decent. In the meantime, I will get every last bit out of fall I can (fashion-wise that is) so stay tuned! 

Vest - Velvet (budget version here and here) | Turtleneck - Club Monaco | Jeans - Topshop | Boots - Acne (budget version here and here) | Bag - Loeffler Randall (love this budget tote bag) | Sunglasses - Chloe

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Contour Powders for Fair Skin

Contour powders have definitely grown on me over the years. I was never a fan of contouring because I felt it was unnecessary, looked unnatural and was too difficult to master. There has been a bit of a contour craze over the past year, but the best thing to come out of it has been better products with improved quality, texture and shade offerings. I prefer to only contour my cheeks but occasionally may do a bit of my forehead. Rarely will I add in my nose or jawline because those are a few too many steps that seem superfluous to me. I have been testing out these two formulations from By Terry and Marc Jacobs and was very impressed. Plus they are perfect for fair-skinned gals.  
Swatches from left to right: By Terry 400 Rosy Shape, By Terry 100 Fresh Contrast, MJ 40 Mirage Filter, 20 Dream Filter (all were swatched quite heavily to show full color pay-off)
1. By Terry Densiliss Contour Powder in Rosy Shape and Fresh Contrast - First of all, I LIVE for the By Terry brand so I could not get these out of the box fast enough. This blush in Platonic Blonde is a holy grail from them, this loose powder is my mattifying miracle, I wear this shadow stick in Bronze Moon non-stop and of course this cult classic is a regular in my skincare routine. The formulation of these contour powders is as finely milled as the blushes, so I knew they would be divine on the skin. They feel like satin to the touch and blend flawlessly to the point that it doesn't even look like powder on the skin. I was happy to see a contour combo that didn't include a standard brown shade, because I enjoy creating some dimension with blush tones. I used the Rosy Shape duo as more of a cheek color - applying the paler shade on the actual cheekbones and then popping the apples with the deep coral. And recently I've begun swirling them together and loved the gorgeous flush it gave my cheeks. Fresh Contrast is a more stereotypically contour combination, and the brown shade is so easy to apply without worrying it will be too dark. The pale pink is a gorgeous finishing powder/highlight on the tops of the cheeks/cheekbones. My only gripe (and it pains me to even say it) is that the packaging is so small so you have to have a very small brush to be able to get each color separately. But the formulation and colors more than make up for that. 

2. Marc Jacobs Light Filtering Contour Powder in Dream Filter and Mirage Filter - Where the By Terry was lacking in size, these powders from Marc Jacobs swing to the other end of the spectrum. They are HUGE! I love the idea of a powder that gives the effect of an Instagram filter - Valencia forever! The texture of these powders are extremely soft and almost suede-like to the touch. Upon first swipe with my brush into the compact, I was expecting a ton of powder to be picked up and was surprised to see that was not the case. Both brown shades in Dream Filter and Mirage Filter are a bit cooler than the By Terry Fresh Contrast but not too gray that it makes the skin look dull. Mirage Filter is a bit deeper and I have actually began using it a bronzer because I love the look. As far as the pale shades in both palettes, I have found my new favorite finishing powders. I have been using both all over the face to give a slightly perfected and filtered look. They blur imperfections and give the skin a beautiful matte finish. 
*pr samples included

What contour powder are you currently loving right now? Leave me a comment below!

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