My Collection

My Favorite Face Masks

I recently came home from a rough day at work and could not wait to wash my makeup off and get myself into a face mask as quickly as possible. It was at that point that I realized I actually have quite a few face masks that I really enjoy, but have never shared them with you!

Exfoliating masks, both physical and chemical, are definitely my favorite category, but I’ve also got a fantastic hydrating mask and a few clay ones to help me manage my occasionally rebellious skin. These are my top six face masks (and the only ones I currently own).

Hydrating

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask ($24.00/4oz) – I initially purchased this as an experiment to see if it could replace my beloved Drunk Elephant Lala Retro cream as a much more affordable “dupe”. It wasn’t quite what I was looking for in my night cream, but it’s actually a fantastic leave-on mask that I now absolutely swear by when flying/traveling. It’s a thick cream that can be used daily or as needed, you don’t need to wash it off, and it makes my skin feel so happy. I brought this with me on our big trip to Italy in the fall and it was a serious face-saver for 30 hours of travel and a road trip through half of Italy. I would absolutely repurchase this.

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My 101

101: Educated Consumerism

Now that we’re through all the holiday sales that test our resolve, it seems like a great time to talk about educated consumerism and how we can all be a little bit better in the new year. I’ve got some quick beginner “rules,” some background info on the types of brands I like to support and those that I choose not to, and then a more in-depth guide with some resources for choosing the best products for your personal needs. I’m writing this specifically with makeup in mind, but you can definitely apply some of these ideas to shopping in general. Learning to think more critically about the items we purchase and consume is never a bad thing.

First, a few quick tips to get you started on the path of smarter and better purchases:

1. Don’t buy anything limited edition, period. Items produced in a limited run are often not at the same level of quality as the brand’s permanent line, and these products are typically so hyped up that the “must buy ASAP” drive often wins out over logic since you don’t really “have the time” to wait for reviews or even do your own research. As a general statement, I don’t buy limited edition products and I am still alive and well.

2. If you wouldn’t buy it anyway, don’t buy it just because it’s on sale. If a $45 item is on sale, you’re not “saving 20%,” you’re spending $36, so if it wasn’t on your radar to begin with, take a minute to really consider why you want this item.

3. If it’s a “weird” or unconventional color that isn’t really appropriate for your every day life, look for a “dupe” or cheaper alternative. I’ll go a bit more in-depth with this one when we discuss cost per use.

4. Do your research! Obviously not every product will work for every skin type or tone, but even beyond that, our wallets have much louder voices than we often care to think about and where you choose to spend your money speaks volumes. (Don’t believe me? Whole Foods got so big they’re now owned by Amazon. If you keep supporting the things you believe in, they may become more readily available. Your shopping decisions do matter!)

Personally, I choose not to support brands who exploit or appropriate from marginalized groups, use sweat shops, are owned by known and unrepentant racists, or manufacture in China. I also try not to support anything owned by L’Oreal due to their violent and antisemitic past. You don’t necessarily need to have these same values, but figure out what you care about and stick to it.

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My Face

The Deets: Birthday Makeup

If you know me in real life or have followed me on Instagram for a while, you may know that one of my goals for this year (in addition to going cruelty-free with all of my makeup) was to master the art of red lipstick. This has been an ongoing makeup struggle for me; I continuously chicken out and could not bring myself to go out in public with red lipstick. Do not ask me to explain this to you because I do not have any logical response. I am comfortable with fluorescent pink, practically glowing orange, and just about every other color on the planet and yet red was something I did not feel brave enough for. Well, I finally did it! This past Saturday night, heading out for a birthday dinner with The Boyfriend and our OBF (Oregon Best Friends), I finally wore red lipstick in public! I thought I’d share the look with you guys including a full product list and text-tutorial. Let me know if you enjoy this format, I will try to do it more often.

On the subject of cruelty-free, I should note that this is still a work in progress. I have found some really amazing cruelty-free replacement for products I loved, some of them even much more affordable than what I was originally using. However, there are some products for which I have not yet found a cruelty-free replacement. I would also like to add that while I am not planning to buy any more natural hair brushes, makeup brushes are quite an investment and I will not be getting rid of natural hair brushes that I already owned. The decision was not made lightly.

Products listed in order of my personal application.

SKIN – perhaps the most important part of your makeup, even more important than the makeup itself, is prepping your skin. To me that includes moisturizer, primer, and any other skin treatments I deem necessary (if I’m going for a daytime look that usually includes a vitamin C serum and sunscreen).

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel – This is my go-to daytime/pre-makeup moisturizer, two little pumps is more than enough and it absorbs quickly so it doesn’t disturb makeup application.

EYES – So I can focus on making my eyeshadow look the way I want it to instead of worrying about making a mess, I always do my eye makeup before moving on to foundation, concealer, etc.

MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly – this is my ride or die eyeshadow primer, I have been using it for close to three years at this point, and it takes me pretty close to a full year to get through one jar! I like to apply this with my finger all over the mobile lid and up to my brow bone and then lightly set it with a translucent powder. This is one of the only items in my entire makeup collection that I still have not found a cruelty-free replacement for, I will happily accept any recommendations!

Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic eyeshadow palette in Scandalust – I applied “At The Office” into the crease with my MAC 224, blending it out about halfway up to my brow bone and then using whatever was left on the brush to add some more definition around the lid. Using a Smith 230, I worked “That’s Why” a little tighter into the crease focusing on the outer portion of the eye and blending slightly into the outer 1/3 of the mobile lid. Finally, I used a MAC 221 (possibly my favorite brush of all time) to lightly add “Little Miss” to the outer v, gradually building and blending to develop a smooth gradient with a more dramatic outer corner.

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My Reviews

Review: Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Gel

Including an initial failed color match, I’ve been using the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue tinted hydrating gel cream (what a mouthful) for a few weeks now and ooooohhhh I am so excited to share. I’m not planning to ditch my regular foundation, but what an excellent alternative!

I recently ordered this because I have a pretty exciting trip coming up next month and the one item repeatedly suggested to me was tinted moisturizer or a BB cream type of product. Somehow, I didn’t actually own anything in this category, and the thought of beautiful but lazy makeup while traveling sounds fantastic, so after some preliminary research, I decided to give this one a go.

As usual, a few basics before I get into my actual review:

My skin: I have dehydrated combination skin, which means I overproduce oil if I get too dry, and in general my cheeks are drier while my “T-zone” (forehead, nose, and chin) can develop quite a bit of shine throughout the day.

Ingredients: Water, Coconut Alkanes, Propanediol, Squalane, Trehalose, Isostearic Acid, Glycerin, Silica, Agar, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Globularia Cordifolia Callus Culture Extract, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Melilotus Officinalis Extract, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Butylene Glycol, Lauroyl Lysine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Succinoglycan, Polysorbate 60, Cellulose Gum, Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate/Succinate, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Magnesium Stearate, Magnesium Hydroxide, Magnesium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides.

Product Info:

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My Face, My Life

How I’m Healing My Scar

I’ve gotten a lot of questions …and comments …and unsolicited advice about the scar on my nose so I thought I’d address all of those things once and for all right here. (My apologies if some of the photos aren’t super clear, they were not taken with this post in mind.)

Here’s how it happened (I’ll add a divider if you just want to skip ahead to the actual taking care of my scar part).

This past fall (2016), The Boyfriend and I temporarily took care of my family’s dog. This is Caesar. He’s 11, and we call him CheeseDoodle. It’s a long story.

Due to probable puppy mill inbreeding and unfortunate circumstance, Caesar is a purebred dog and has had a bit of a rough life in terms of medical catastrophes. This is pretty common with purebreds, and is another great reason to adopt instead of shop, but I didn’t have that lecture prepared when my parents surprised us with a four pound puppy in 2006.

It’s 2006 and Caesar weighs 4.2 pounds. Let’s not talk about my hair please.

Among Caesar’s many medical adventures, and common with many floppy-eared dog breeds, my buddy is prone to ear infections. Unfortunately, dogs can’t really say “hey I’m pretty sure I have an ear infection,” but they will absolutely let you know by biting you on the face if you hurt his ear while snuggling.

So, yeah, all that to say – Caesar wasn’t feeling so hot and he bit my face. It was my fault, but it sucked nevertheless. I got a tetanus shot and ten days of antibiotics, but no stitches.



This brings us to the next stage. No infection, no stitches, how the hell do I deal with this sizable and really, quite deep scar right in the middle of my face?

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