This is a blog written by a PR professional in the Second City. Follow along as I chronicle fashion and beauty, lifestyle content, social events and more. Thanks for stopping by!
Category Archives: Beauty
Now through Wednesday, Sephora is hosting its annual sale for beauty insiders. I actually just (embarrassingly) reached VIB status after spending so much on all of the makeup for my wedding as well as the hair and face products I love. So I received 20% off when I went into the store over the weekend and stocked up on my favorite items. I figured now was as good of a time as any to purchase beauty products I’d be buying at some point soon anyway.
Before my wedding I had shopped beauty brands carried at Sephora, but I still was also buying drugstore products because of the lower cost. While I still use drugstore brands, I’m really glad I invested in better makeup for my wedding – even if it was more expensive. The makeup lasted through my special day, and now I have the products to use daily and for special occasions. I’m sharing some of my favorites below with a short description on why I think you should invest in them too and take advantage of the annual Sephora VIB sale. I’ve also shared a list you can shop below with all of these items as well as what I bought for my DIY wedding makeup. Let me know if you have any questions!
Want more? Here are the products listed above as well as additional beauty products I use and purchased at Sephora:
For years I’ve strived to have long, frizz-free blonde hair. As you can guess, it hasn’t always been that easy to achieve. In elementary school I had a wave to my hair, but then in middle school I stepped out of the shower one day and it was if my hair texture had transformed overnight. I suddenly had curls like never before. I had no clue what to do! I tried my best to tame my frizzy curls or find styles to pull my hair back into (butterfly clips helped a lot – remember those?). For special events I can remember sitting on the toilet seat for an hour while my mom tried desperately to give me a good at-home blowout.
I started high school in a new city and one of the cute boys on my bus said because of my hair he was going to start calling me “Frizzie, like Lizzie McGuire.” It might sound crazy but I was kind of flattered. He was paying attention to me, who cared why, and named me after one of my favorite TV shows! Luckily that’s the way I took it, instead of being humiliated. Still, I didn’t want frizzy hair forever. It was fate that the following summer a friend introduced me to a tool that I didn’t know was available: a straightener. My mom immediately got me my own and my days of styling my hair 2-3 times a week began. It even earned me the senior superlative of “Best Hair” in high school.
I’m sharing all of this because my hair’s health and style has obviously long been something I’ve cared about. Over the years I feel like I’ve tried all the hair care tips (at-home blowouts, changing shower products, multiple hairdressers), but somehow this year I feel like it’s all come together. My hair has never felt healthier and I have a great stylist I wanted to share with my Chicago peeps. Keep reading to learn more about my upkeep, favorite products and styling technique to turn this at-time wild rats nest into a sleek ‘do.
Now that I’m back from my bachelorette party (more on that trip later), the wedding has started to feel more imminent. The bachelorette trip was the last thing I had to plan before my big day, so now I can shift my attention to all of the decisions that still need made for the wedding. Such as, what signage do we want? What will the programs look like? What color tie should Steve wear? There are so many tiny details! As someone pointed out, it doesn’t matter if I get to them all. Who will really know if a sign is missing at the bar? But these are details that are important to me, so I’m making time to plan them. In addition to the wedding, it’s also necessary to start thinking about honeymoon excursions and attire. It’s enough to make a bride go crazy! So in the midst of all my planning, I’m trying to do little things for myself to help me relax. Thankfully, Boohoo and Soap & Glory swooped in just in time to help.
Boohoo teamed up with Soap & Glory to gift some lucky gals a home spa experience, and boy, have I needed it. I was so grateful to receive a box full of beauty goodies like hair moisturizers and face masks, as well as a “Wifey” swimsuit. Check “purchase new swimwear” off my honeymoon to-do list! Continue reading after the jump to see the products I received, including my favorite eco-friendly makeup remover!
With my upcoming wedding (and impending 30th birthday) I’m trying to stick to “quality over quantity” more often when it comes to beauty products. Sure, I still look for deals (I can’t say no to a drugstore mascara that does its job), but I also weigh the lasting effects of what I’m purchasing. I’m willing to spend more on a product if it means more pigment and staying power.
I was extremely excited to be invited to a Clarins launch event for their new spring products. Clarins was one of those brands my younger self would have never thought she could – or should – afford. I’ve gradually been introduced to the brand through its lipstick, and now I see the rest of their products are just as purchase-worthy. I find myself reaching for Clarins makeup daily, whether it’s for a day at work or night out. Read after the jump to see my four favorite Clarins products you should add to your makeup drawer.
In honor of a second year of trying to create quality, engaging client for you all, I thought I’d revisit the five posts readers seem to love the most. Take a look of the top blog posts to see if you missed one or if you’d add another to the category. And, thanks again for following along! I hope to make year 3 even better, so feel free to comment with what you’d like to see.
- Kylie Cosmetics Lip KitKylie Cosmetic lip kits were huge in 2016, and I drank the Kool-aid. I purchased a lip kit in the color Kristen and of course wanted to share the experience with my readers! This post continues to drive traffic to Sincerely, Jennie, no doubt as more and more people search for reviews of Kylie’s products. Read it yourself to see if a Kyle Cosmetic lip kit is worth it.
- Seche Vive Instant Gel Effect Top CoatI do my own manicures at home about once a week, so I’m always on the hunt for new products or polishes to help the color last. I have tried a few at-home gels in a Mani Monday series, and this has been my favorite. Read the blog post for more information about what to expect.
- Birds of a FeatherBloggers flocked to this flamingo wall as soon as it was painted in Chicago, and I was admittedly one of them. This blog post – in which I blend in with my bright surroundings – was for my 29th birthday. I still love this wall, and smile every time I pass the cheerful mural.
- Sincerely, Reading – Lessons from Madame ChicI’m happy to see that one of the “Sincerely, Reading” book reviews is a top post. It’s nice to know there are other avid readers out there! Sincerely, Reading is hosted by me or another blogger and highlights a recent good read. Comb through the series to add to your book list, or feel free to reach out if you’d like to write a review.
- Rental ReviewsMy review of clothing and accessory rental services continues to be a top blog post for a second year in a row. It’s easy to see why, renting items helps save money and offers so many amazing designer pieces! I keep this post updated as I try other services or leave ones. Check it out if you’re curious about any clothing rental services.
I’ve been a fan of Maybelline mascaras for years. The brand is my pick when I want to lengthen or volumize my lashes at drugstore prices. So I was super excited to get an Influenster box with some of Maybelline’s latest volume mascara and curvy eyeliner. In all honesty I’d already tried the eyeliner after I saw Gigi Hadid wearing it (at least that’s what the ad said), so I was looking forward to using it with the volume mascara. Click the link below to continue reading for my review.
You know all of those articles that come out right about now each year, recapping the previous 11 1/2 months? I LIVE for those recaps. By the end of every year I feel like everyone’s all “Thank God year 20xx is over.” Sometimes all you remember is the bad. But thankfully, a lot of these recaps remind you the year was pretty good, even if it was just in the form of makeup tutorials and hit singles. Here are a few of my favorite 2016 recap articles I’ve seen this year:
- United States of Pop 2016 – About mid-November I so, so excited in anticipation for DJ Earworm’s annual mashup of the year’s top hits. So excited to hear two of my fav Top 40 songs from the year (JBiebs and Chainsmokers) on one track together.
- 17 Of The Prettiest Hair Trends We Saw This Year – These trends might have been from 2016, but I bet you’ll want to continue them into the new year once you see them.
- Influenster Reviewers Choice Awards: Best in Beauty – “From drugstore favorites to splurge-worthy luxury buys — these products deliver real results and Influensters can’t get enough!” – Influenster
- 15 Spectacular Celebrity Feuds of 2016 – Whose side were you on in all of the 2016 celebrity feuds? So many snakes, so little time.
- 2016 in Focus (Getty Images) – Relive 2016 in photos. There are some heart wrenching ones, but visit the love gallery to begin 2017 with a smile on your face.
Let’s hope next year keeps giving us just as many great pieces!
You might have heard me mention Goldplaited a lot lately on the blog or on Instagram. And if you haven’t, well, listen up! Goldplaited is a finishing salon that marries a blowout bar and makeup lounge. The first time I went there I was a little nervous because I haven’t always had the best stylist experiences. My natural hair, which you don’t see often, is curly and coarse, and new-to-me stylists can sometimes be confused by it. Thankfully, my first experience at Goldplaited left me with an amazing blowout and wanting to go back for more! Especially when I heard they do braids.
Lucky for me, Goldplaited offers a “Prep Pass,” the option of one payment that unlocked unlimited blowouts and braids per month. Now, a Prep Pass isn’t always something I can see fitting into my budget, but you know I’m a sucker for trying a new subscription service. I also learned about the Goldplaited Prep Pass at a time when I was sick of trying to manage my own hair and not have it come out looking its best. So, I signed up to try the service once. Who knew I’d still be a part of it several months later?
I was recently on a mission to find shampoo and conditioner that could breathe new life into my hair. I’d been using a drugstore brand and was fed up with my hair not feeling clean at the roots, yet dry at the ends. As I was scouting for products to make the switch, I never thought to look for a create-your-own subscription shampoo and conditioner. In fact, I didn’t even know that service existed until the company Latherology connected with me. I worked with them to create custom-mixed hair products that gave me everything I was missing from my other products. And, they’re some of the best smelling hair products I’ve used (if I do say so myself).
I was so excited when I received new products from The Estée Edit. I’d known for a while about Kendall Jenner being the new face of Estée Lauder but was unaware she was also a guest editor of their new, seemingly fresher, collection. The collection is sold exclusively at Sephora. Although it looked promising I wasn’t sure what to expect. Truthfully, for a long time I didn’t think these “higher-end” products were worth the money when there were perfectly good drugstore brands out there. However, once I tried the Estée Edit products, I was proved wrong. Some even became a part of my daily routine.
I did get to try these products complimentary of The Estée Edit, but I wouldn’t be sharing them if I didn’t think they were worth writing about. Two of my favorite products are the serums I now use daily as a base of my whole makeup routine. Keep reading to find out more.