5 Head-to-Toe Summer Beauty Faves

IMG_2866OK, peeps. I am trying to stay calm after my original post did not save properly. But…c’est la vie. So to the best of my recollection…

We’re just starting a 2-week vacay at Point  O’ Woods, a summer community my husband has been coming to since he was two and our boys (Men!) have been coming to since they were born. It’s a very special place with an abundance of meaningful traditions but also a laid back beachy vibe. We all love it dearly.

One of our goals while here is to stay active — tennis, yoga, beach walks, sailing. Whatever gets us out of doors and out on the sand or water is good! But all that activity can wreak havoc on your skin and hair. So here are my current faves…

Read More

Honey Do: This Mask!

IMG_0786After 9 days “on the road” and probably too much sun, my skin was in dire need of revitalizing nourishment. This amazing mask did the trick…and then some. I highly recommend it!

Honey Potion is a warming mask that nourishes and revitalizes skin. It’s an intensely moisturizing combination of honey (a natural humectant used since ancient times), propolis (found in beehives) and amino acid-rich royal jelly. And yes, it really does look and feel like honey.

And how cute is the packaging! Plus the cap has a hidden magnet, so the applicator stays where you need it. This mask warms up after massaging 1-2 minutes, giving you a tingly yet soothing effect. You feel like it is working. And it does! My skin was left glowing and super smooth. I plan to make this a weekly ritual.

Farmacy, the company that created this antioxidant-packed potion, calls themselves Farmer Cultivated, Scientist Activated. Their products are formulated with unique, farm-grown botanicals combined with cutting-edge technologies. They seek out some of Nature’s most novel yet effective ingredients worldwide.

And best of all, no bees were harmed! In fact, their Echinacea GreenEnvy Honey is made only by bees that live on their farm and pollinate the flowers.

I was lucky enough to discover this product in the swag bag I received at a Beauty Biz event. It is a bit pricey at $56, but I would say you will get months and months of use. And can (should?) you really put a price on some well-deserved “me time?”

Check it out here and here.

All photos by MP Allegaert.



From My Lips…to Yours

img_2141Smile…pucker…pout. When it comes my beauty routine, other than lip balm now and then, I can overlook my lips. And Northeast winters definitely do a number on them: chapping, flaking, drying. So…inspired by the K-Beauty craze for masks, I decided to give my lips a “spa” experience. The results? Fuller, smoother, and dare I say “younger looking” lips.

img_2030Here’s the complete experience, from care to color.

img_1760 Because my lips were looking and feeling a bit rough, I started with gentle exfoliation. Fresh Sugar Lip Polish combines brown sugar crystals with natural humectants to buff away dry flakes while Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil nourish and condition. The results? Smooth as a baby’s you-know-what. And it smelled good enough to eat!


img_1841img_2133Don’t scream…even if I look like the victim of a crazed beauty intervention. This All Natural Collagen Infused Lip Mask from KNC Beauty  was my first lip mask experience. And I’m hooked! I wore it for 20 minutes (while watching HGTV…one of my favorite escapes) and can confirm that my lips looked and felt super hydrated, plumper, fuller. Immediately…and the next day, too. And I love that this mask has no Parabens, no Sulfates, no artificial dyes or fragrances and is not tested on animals. Speaking of animals, Bowie was not a fan and would not stop barking at me.

img_1784Now for some color. But first…primer. I use a makeup primer before my foundation every day but had never thought about one for my lips! Urban Decay’s Ultimate Ozone Multipurpose Primer Pencil is a clear, creamy, thick pencil that does it all: holds lipcolor in place, prevents feathering, corrects mistakes (like a sudden traffic stop!), even fills in those small lines around lips. And it’s clinically proven to make your lip color last for 8 hours. And yes…it does!

img_2003img_2007img_2010img_2013img_2018OK, these are officially the coolest lipsticks…or lipstiks ever. You can’t buy them yet…but they’re coming soon! Stiks Cosmetiks Lipstiks are designed for on-the-go, one-handed application. The clear cap flips open, revealing a slanted bullet. Why? Because it hugs your lip line like a lip pencil. Seriously, you can apply them without a mirror. But even better, the trio pack comes with its own mirror. So cool, so smart. LOVE! (Thank you KMG!!)

img_2066img_1766Always on hand, day or night, Korres Lip Balm in Guava. It’s a rich, buttery formula filled with natural oils and extracts that literally melts onto your lips. It’s got everything you want and nothing you don’t: no Parabens, no Sulfates, no Synthetic Fragrances, no Petrochemicals, no Phthalates, no GMOs, no Triclosan. (Psst…Chris loves it too.)

So…I hope you’ll give your lips a “spa” experience soon. Think they’ll love it. And so will you.

Photos by MP Allegaert and April Cross.

White Shirt Alert

img_0854This is not wardrobe science, but a really great white shirt can make a bad outfit day a good one. Seriously. So for me, when I’m stumped on my fashion statement, I often reach for a white shirt. For this post, I wore the same pair of step hem jeans ( DIY) and changed out my 3 new favorite white shirts and shoes ( had to do that!).

Right now, I’m looking for cool details like frayed  edges and statement sleeves. All three of these styles deliver.

This first shirt shines with its silver and black embroidery and cool ruffled sleeves. You can dress it up or down.

This shirt combines the crispness of cotton with a hint of stretch. So easy to slip on and I love the frayed edge detailing at the collar and cuffs, ruching on one side, the tunic length. Going to live in this come warmer weather!

The classic! This is a slim, to-the-body cut with a bit of stretch. Perfect for layering under cardigans or pullovers. Best of all, make it your own with monogramming.

White Shirt 1: Suno (a great designer piece, now on sale!)

White Shirt 2: Zara but apparently not available online. Similar here and here

White Shirt 3: J Crew, old but love this option

Not sure if these photos are doing them justice, but I’m loving my new highlights courtesy of Irina Notes at Carlos Lobos Salon, NYC. I have entrusted my color journey to her for over 20 years, and not only is Irina a true artist, she’s also a funny, kind and interesting person to spend a few hours with. She also does fabulous cuts and blowouts. Thank you, Irina!

All photos by Chris & MP Allegaert on iPhone 6.

Beauty 101: Let’s Get Real

img_5895img_5166img_5264img_5190img_5197img_5206img_5224img_5238img_5217img_5246img_5251img_5269I’m still “sort or/kind of/no really” freaking out that I actually put this post out there. But…I think it’s pretty important to see the world through a non-photoshopped lens, and more importantly, to see yourself. Maybe it’s all my years in beauty advertising, where we’ve tsked tsked over photos of some of the world’s most famous supermodels…before we retouched even them into an unreal perfection. Or maybe I’ve finally come around to not just accepting but embracing the face I see in the mirror every day. I’ve earned those lines and even those dark circles, through hard work and the gift of living. So watch out world… here I come.

What you see here is my everyday more-than-10-but-less-than-15 minute skincare/makeup routine. Because let’s get real, I’m not going to head to an important meeting (or the grocery store) bare-faced. For me, I’ve learned it’s not about concealing but revealing the best real you.

First things first. I roll Clinique’s All About Eyes Serum (literally) all around my eyes as soon as I get up. Formulated with caffeine, antioxidants and soothing botanicals, this instantly cooling rollerball helps massage away bags, refreshes and hydrates puffy eyes.(Tip: This is great to use when you fly!)

Because I like to work out in the mornings, the rest of my skincare routine waits until I shower. I don’t actually wash my face in the mornings, but I do like to gently rub it with a dampened washcloth. It’s a bit of gentle exfoliating that gets the blood flowing, too.

Next, I apply eye cream. These days I’m using First Aid Beauty 5-in-1 Eye Cream. It smoothes, firms, brightens and nourishes while imparting a subtle glow to the eye area (take that, dark circles!). It’s also free of the chemicals and additives many other products are not. After that, it’s Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream SPF 15, which I have been using for…forever. Formulated with Retinol, ProVitamin B5 and Vitamin E, it’s been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. And it provides must-have broad spectrum sunscreen protection. It’s also been named to the Allure Beauty Awards Hall of Fame…for good reason. Plus it’s super affordable and available at every drugstore chain.

My total makeup look starts with smoothing a pea-sized dollop of  Smashbox Photo Finish Light Foundation Primer allover. Instead of traditional foundation, which can look and feel heavy, I reach for Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20. (Here, Oil Free but I switch to Hydrating come the cold weather.) This is another product I’ve been using for years. It really gives your skin a fresh, healthy, no-makeup look with a soft hint of enhancing color. For me, a pea-sized dollop smoothed allover does the trick. Now to tackle those dark circles and any redness or discoloration. For that, YSL Touche Eclat is the gold standard. I know I’m being silly in my pic here, but this is seriously the wonder-working weapon no beauty arsenal should be without. It’s a luminizing pen that brings light and radiance to the skin, immediately erasing any signs of fatigue. I dot on all around my eyes, then gently pat in. (Travel Tip: Don’t leave home without it!)

Forget rose-colored glasses. I want rose-colored cheeks. And I get them with Bobbi Brown Blush in Nectar. Her Natural Kabuki Brush is perfect for buffing it on. Now for the eyes. I’ve only just started using Smashbox Brow Tech Gloss Stick, and I’m already asking myself why I waited so long. On one of my Sephora expeditions, I was lucky enough to have one of the brand’s reps show me how to get the best results. First, brush your brows down with the spoolie brush end. Then with the pencil end use short, light strokes to follow and fill in along your natural brow arch. Last, brush brows back up and into place. Davis Factor, the photographer and Smashbox Founder, says “I look at eyebrows first because the right brows frame the face and can make you look younger.” I’d say he’s spot on. Next I curl my lashes, which really opens up your eyes. I like Shiseido and Tweezerman. For my lashes I love Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara in Jet Black. Because it lengthens and glosses, it’s perfect for everyday. Lastly, I slick on Korres Lip Butter in Guava (another great product I am never without), then follow with lipcolor. These days I’m loving Dior Addict Lipstick in almost any shade!

So that’s it. Every day. Hope I have’t scared you away…While I considered naming this post Naked & Afraid, truth be told I’m neither.

I’ll share how I take this look from day-into-night in an upcoming post. And trust me, it’s super simple. Do you have any makeup tips or tricks or fave products you’d like to share?

All Photos by Lydia Filosa and MP Allegaert on iPhone 6.