Saturday, August 30, 2014

beauty review: Juara Skincare faves

Juara recently sent me a few of their products and, naturally, i wanted to share some of my thoughts about them with you. the fabulous Kerri Russell had some of the products used on her skin to prep it for a red carpet event, and like many people, i loved the results ~ what a surprise when the products showed up on my doorstep!

Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner
this toner-serum fusion is a fabulous product ~ it really makes my skin look and feel so beautiful. i first tried this toner in 2009, and in my review i said it was "the most moisturizing toner i have ever used." fast-forward 5 years, i still think it's still a fabulous gem. to quote myself: "this toner is unique in that it provides hydration and moisture without oil, while also soothing and leaving my skin feeling amazingly soft! if your skin needs hydration, this is perfect. if you are looking for a toner with calming benefits, this one will work for you too." it's definitely a gorgeously beneficial step in my skincare routine.

an oil-free gel-cream, the Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Mattefying Moisturizer combines radiance-boosting, anti-aging benefits thanks to antioxidant-rich sweet black tea. this beauty is infused with vitamin B, hydrating hyaluronic acid as well as purifying ginger and cinnamon to nourish and keep skin in gorgeous condition. i love how the formula glides on smoothly, absorbs quickly and leaves my skin feeling moisturized with a soft, matte finish.

Juara Sweet Black Tea Eye Crème is quite luxurious, i must say. the silky texture feels amazing to apply morning and night. it's kept the area around my eyes so hydrated. the combination of  kombucha {fermented black tea}, avocado butter, rice bran oil and candlenut oil all work together to nourish, refresh, treat and keep my eyes looking youthful.

are you a fan of Juara products? what are your faves? visit for more info and to find a retailer near you.

products featured sent to me by the brand; pics taken by me :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

beauty review: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

this past weekend i bought myself the Miracle Complexion Sponge from Real Techniques. if you've ever watched a makeup tutorial on YouTube, chances are you've already seen their brushes used {you may even own a few yourself!}. of course, typical me {late to the party}, it wasn't until last summer that i finally purchased the brand's kabuki brush {review coming soon!} and followed with the purchase of a couple more of their best-sellers.

better late than never, right?

 in any case, when it comes to applying my makeup, i typically use my fingers, but i'm no stranger to using a sponge or brush. as far as sponges go, i've used many; i really like the sponge that some may consider the holy grail of sponges, the BeautyBlender. i don't personally own any of them, but have had them used on me by makeup artists. comparably, the Sonia Kashuk sponge is one i've used and repurchased for years. i consider this to be my fave, so you can only imagine that i'm feeling a bit torn when it comes to my feelings about the Real Techniques Complexion Sponge... 

thanks to its unique shape, the Miracle Complexion Sponge is multi-functional, and works a bit better than my favorite sponge. don't get me wrong, i still j'adore SK,

as the product promises, the different sides make the sponge give various finishes and ways to apply your foundation. the rounded sides blend foundation {and even loose powders} flawlessly to large areas of the face when a repeated dabbing or stippling motion is used. for perfect coverage of blemishes and imperfections, using the precision tip is best; use of the flat edge makes application of foundation and concealers around the eyes and nose so easy.

 i love this little orange gem!

the Miracle Complexion Sponge washes easily with a bit of shampoo and water {Sonia Kashuk makes my favorite cleanser}.

watch below as Sam Chapman {Real Techniques creator and fab makeup artist} shows off all the ways the Miracle Complexion Sponge can be used...

you can find all Real Techniques products at Ulta. be sure to visit for more info as well as tutorials for every product they make!

i bought this; pics taken by me :) 

Monday, August 25, 2014

currently loving: c. Booth Mimosa Honeysuckle Body Souffle

when it comes to my skin, keeping it nourished and moisturized is important. when a product works well, the next thing that makes or breaks my decision to keep using it is the scent. this c. Booth Mimosa Honeysuckle Body Souffle not only keeps my skin feeling soft and smooth, but it smells incredible!

i'm all about floral and citrus-infused scents, so this blend of mimosa flower, coconut, grapefruit and orange were happy-making from first smell. with it's tropical, bright and sweet fragrance, this soufflé is fabulous for summer. the rich blend of oils and skin soothers melts beautifully in to my skin and never feels heavy, so i love using it even on the hottest days.

there's so much in this body soufflé to pamper you and your skin, so you should discover it for yourself! find the c. Booth range of products at Ulta and Rite Aid {i've seen it at CVS as well}. to find a retailer near you, visit

product sent to me for review consideration; pics taken by me :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

hair therapy {how-to}: perfectly disheveled topknot

 if you're like me, you're still a fan of the top knot. this simple style is uber-versatile and depending on how you wear it, works for any occasion. i love discovering how stylists come up with new variations and i have another one, from nyc Cutler/Redken stylist Jenny Balding, to share that i think you'll enjoy. for best results, Jenny recommends starting with day two hair onwards as this will make it easier to manage hair with its already 'lived -in' texture.

ok, here are the details…

*to start, mist hair with dry shampoo, focusing primarily on the roots ~ this will give your hair more texture, grip and volume.

*follow with a light hairspray throughout for added hold and grip.

*sweep your hair into high ponytail, and keep checking to see what it looks like from your profile, positioning your ponytail in the most flattering point of your head for your face shape. take the ponytail and back-brush from the underneath lightly ~ this creates a slight disheveled texture.

*sweep around the base of the ponytail and pin using U shaped hairpins ~ these really anchor the hair best which means you will only need 2 or 3 to secure.

*and with that, you should have a perfectly disheveled topknot that looks ultra stylish and works for any event.

thank you, Jenny! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

beauty review: TATCHA Aburatorigami Beauty Papers

to keep shine at bay, blotting papers are fabulous for absorbing excess oil without disrupting makeup. TATCHA Aburatorigami Beauty Papers are quite luxurious and a great option for all skin types!

i think glowy, dewy skin is pretty, but when you have oily skin, there is a line when shine gets a bit out of hand. i'm getting older more fabulous, so i find this issue to be less frequent. that, of course, doesn't mean i never need anything to help. i use other blotting papers but these soft sheets stand apart thanks to having that little something extra

made with all-natural 100% abaca leaf {strongest among natural fibers and used for many things in the paper industry} and gold flakethese fragrance and powder-free sheets work beautifully to keep my skin looking fresh. the slim packaging makes them purse-friendly and great for travel.

i highly recommend you treat yourself and check these out! visit for more info.

product featured sent to me for review consideration; pics taken by me :)