Argan Oil Is Always a Good Idea


I am a full-fledged beauty oil devotee and I will speak at length about how it has changed my skin for the better. But, even I wasn’t sure how oil would fly as a blush. I mean, doesn’t that just seem like a slippery disaster in the making? As it turns out, no. It’s a pretty fab reality. Josie Maran is creating makeup with Argan Oil in more nontraditional ways and the Creamy Lip and Cheek Oil is a prime example.  Stays in place and gives a dewy pinch of color. It starts as a cream then melts into a sheer oil when it warms to your skin. There’s Argan Oil (obvs) but also butters from sunflowers and tangerines so the smell is citrusy and uplifting. To minimize the dew a smidge you can also use a brush to stipple on.  But I recommend going full dew. Limitless Pink is a soft and feminine hue that makes me feel precious but Boundless Berry and Always Cherry bring out my sassy side. Speaking of which, someone told me that I share similar face characteristics to Eva Green and now I’m all BRING EM OUT. Right? What a compliment.  I’m totally channeling this persona. Always Cherry it is! Besides the loveliness it imparts on my cheeks it is also a divine soak of moisture on the lips. A major feat since so many lip and cheek products never quite deliver on both fronts.

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The 3-Minute Face


After too many trips with an overstuffed makeup bag, I’ve reached the conclusion that less is more. Summer brings out the simplistic side of me. I was in Minneapolis last week working, visiting family and going to Katy Perry concerts (so so fun!)  That was basically a two hour dance party with my favorite girlies in the world. It was also the first concert for two of my nieces and their energy was so contagious. 12 year-olds really know how to have a good time.

During the concert, there was some mascara and a little eye shadow but the rest of the weekend was mostly a few complexion products. The humidity was in full force in the ‘sota so bareMinerals Bare Skin Serum Foundation was a savior. I have been wearing this a ton all summer. I give the bottle a few good shakes and then squeeze a few drops onto the Face Perfecting Brush – which holds excess foundation like a reservoir. When you press down on the brush, you get more coverage. It’s as genius as you think. I spend about 60 seconds buffing it onto my face by sections. I’ve completely abandoned all of my tried and true luminizers for the Kjaer Weis Radiance highlighter. It’s a silvery taupe that lights up my face. I also use it as eye shadow – so convenient! And, for a non-bronze take on the summer staple, I’ve been using Bobbi Brown Telluride Illuminating Bronzer. Yes, a bronzer that isn’t quite a bronzer. It’s more dusty rose but it gives my skin a healthy glow. And, that’s what I call a good use of three minutes.

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You Are What You Eat


I’m not ready to completely debrief on this yet but I’m in the middle of a semi-cleanse that is working. I say semi because I allow alcohol on my cleanses. IT’S SUMMER! And who are you people that can give that up?!  I started this cleanse on accident and I’ve just being winging it ever since. I’ve essentially ditched most carbs and am going heavy on juice, lean protein and fruits and veggies. It may be the longest I’ve ever been able to stick with a plan and I’m feeling great. Like suspiciously great given I’m avoiding nearly all of the things I love. I’ve even tapped into this spiritual side of myself that makes decisions based on energy and vibes. I find myself saying yes more and being very cheerful at times I should be a basket case. We really are what we eat, no doubt. Now seems like the appropriate time to tell you about the new Ellovi Tinted Lip Butter. Isn’t she purty? It’s a sheer red tint that comes from the red root of alkanet, a Mediterranean flower. The color is barely there but gives lips a little something extra. Like you just bit your lips and got a natural flush.  Ellovi is built on a very simple premise – your skin is like a sponge so let’s only give it the most pure and nutritional ingredients. There are three products in the line, the Tinted being the latest, and each has only six ingredients. And the best part = a tube is only $5.

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Looking Good in Dem Jeans



Jeans are the barometer for how we feel about our weight. Don’t you agree? I have skinny jeans – the attainable pair that acts as a benchmark. And there’s the skinny jeans that make me feel thin no matter my weight. Those are the best.  I really should just ditch the skinny skinnies but there’s something in my subconscious that keeps me hanging on with every closet purge. When they fit, I feel unstoppable and that’s a feeling that I’m not willing to donate to the Salvation Army.

Channeling that awesome feeling this week with some picks that go well with denim.

Madewell – First, about dem jeans. Those skinny no matter what jeans I wear are the High Risers. They are beyond slimming and never stretch out. Madewell says they do life altering things for the rearview and I ain’t mad at that claim. // Snakeskin Sneaks – These go great with denim – cutoff or full leg. // Lashes – My mom bought me the L’Oreal Butterfly mascara for my birthday and it’s knocked off the Falsies as my favorite drugstore mascara. The wand is angled and thicker on one side so lashes in your outer corner get crazy long and plumped up. // Denim Dress – Hello, fall uniform. // Lipstick QueenJean Queen – For 20 years, Poppy King was asked what’s the perfect shade to wear with jeans so she finally created one. It’s a universally flattering pink that lights up your face and offsets the blue in the fabric. // Bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish – This replicates a professional blowout with just a few spritzes and tousles of the hair. A good hair day is the perfect complement to jeans. // Michelle Starbuck Chain Bracelet – I am outfitted heavily with Michelle’s vintage brass, denim or otherwise. // RMS Beauty Eye PolishI typically keep the blues to my jeans, but I need to try this silvery blue cream shadow from RMS.

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Free Mani in a Hot, PrettyQuick Minute!

PrettyQuick Laurie Leopold List of things ain’t nobody got time for?

  1. That.

OK, I actually saw that on Pinterest this week and it gave me a very near and dear chuckle. In that vein, let’s wrap up this week with a quickie beauty update.  A “PrettyQuick” one, that is.  I’m thrilled to join the Chicago-based PrettyQuick team as their beauty editor. I’ll be sharing all of my favorite spots around Chicago to get nails did, hair blown, muscles whacked and brows tweezed. Is this my favorite job ever? Perhaps. We share an ideology. PrettyQuick is the Uber of beauty services, helping the time-deprived women of Chicago book appointments at Chicago’s best salons and spas. Instead of calling and hunting down services, book in just a few clicks at PrettyQuick. While it works for the planners getting their appointments lined up well in advance, you can also book with just a few hours’ notice. You can narrow in by neighborhood, service and even actual location if you have a go-to. They house your payment info so when you leave your appointment, you are set and on your way. I appreciate that part so much because I am so bad at living the “cash only” life. Oh, and since I’m on the inside now, I have a little intel about a PrettyQuick app and rewards program in the works. Aww, yeah…

Now for the really fun part!

PrettyQuick Promo

PrettyQuick is offering first time users a free mani! Just sign-up, enter the code 312beautyblog and you’ll get a $15 credit in your PrettyQuick account. Chicago friends, seize the mani!

*NOTE: If you are redeeming the $15 credit please make sure to input “312BeautyBlog” 

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The First Ingredient is Love

Kypris Beauty

It’s hard not to come back from A Night for Green Beauty and be thinking of anything but A Night for Green Beauty. So let’s not just yet, k? One of the many incredible moments I had during those few days in LA was being introduced to Kypris Beauty. The name stems from Greek mythology and the line also happens to be other worldly divine. For those in tune with prehellenic times, the goddess Kypris is actually Cypriot and was able to maintain her divinely feminine goddess roots even after Cyprus was conquered many times over and in spite of the warring culture. The line is made of three serums to combat skin issues – hydration, aging, blemishes – and three beauty elixirs to pamper you like a goddess. My favorite elixir being 1,000 Roses because obviously the essential oils of 1,000 Bulgarian roses. Swoon.

Kypris Antioxidant Dew

I knew I would like the products, and I did immediately, but I’m so drawn to the energy of Kypris and founder Chase Polan. Kypris is about beauty with a soul supported by science. It’s effective, yes, but there’s a story. For starters, the first ingredient in every product is love. As in, printed on the label and listed up top. L-O-V-E. For any other brand, that may come across as disingenuous but not for Kypris. I had an exchange with Chase on Instagram about Antioxidant Dew – a hydrating serum meant for city types trying to rise above all of that pollution and stress on the skin – and she recommended I mix a few drops with a beauty elixir to make a micro emulsion. For good measure, she also told me to if I really want to do the “whole shebang” to give myself an “honest compliment” when applying so I start the day feeling like a million bucks. You know what…I did both and it felt great. I recommend chatting yourself up with a dose of positivity at early hours of the morning. Kypris just launched at BeauTeaBar this week. Naturally, Marissa is just as excited and is packaging up a special mini Antioxidant Dew with all Kyrpis orders through Sunday.

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The Scrunchie Comeback


I’m back after an epic week of travel and ready for the weekend.  Before I go catch up on life (a.k.a. laundry and grocery shopping) I wanted to share something that has been cracking me up since I saw. Sometime in between a fabulous lunch with EMBODY Beauty at Lucques in Hollywood and A Night for Green Beauty at the W in Westwood, I debuted a scrunchie (yes, a scrunchie) for the world to see. I’m not sure how you ladies roll but when I’m getting ready, I am always in PJs with my hair back. Getting dressed is the last thing I do and hair always follows makeup. It’s just one of those daily routines that no one ever sees. Until now. The gorgeous makeup artists and beauties from Citrine Beauty Bar came to my hotel room to get me ready for A Night for Green Beauty and snapped this diddy that shows me in all of my glory. Ironically as I was boarding my flight back to Chi, I saw this story on modern ways to rock a scrunchie. They’re totally back.

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Let’s Do This Thang! A Night for Green Beauty

A Night for Green Beauty 2014

It’s almost here! A Night for Green Beauty is officially going down on Thursday, August 7. This is the second annual event – the first was in New York last September – bringing together eco beauty brand leaders and enthusiastic people (like moi!) for a night of glamour and luxurious eco beauty. It’s free to the public and if you are in SoCal, I hope to see you there on Thursday. If you’re not, I promise to Instagram my way through the event.  I have been counting down the days since Victoria first shared her ANFGB vision with me back when it was still polar vortexing outside. I’ve heard rumblings of new eco beauty debuts and am way excited to check out everyone’s wares.


Beautycounter Lip Sheer – These gold tubes are as chic as can be and I have a feeling what’s inside is equally so. // Indie Lee Blemish Stick- I’m looking forward to meeting Ms. Lee and it’s high time I tried the blemish stick that everyone is raving about. Laurel Organics Eye Balm – Did someone say BALM? This has a blend of 24 ingredients that address fine lines, puffiness and dark circles. Word is that they are giving out 20 full-sized samples at the event.  // La Bella Figura Golden Corrective Highlighter  - LBF is launching their makeup line this week! Or should I say “more than makeup” since it is skincare first, color second. I need this golden cream highlighter on my cheekbones yesterday. // One Love Organics Vitamin C Body OilI have warm and fuzzies towards this body serum and team OLO is using ANFGB as a focus group for its new body polish. Holla! // Odacite Serum ConcentrateI’m hoping the Odacite crew can give me advice for a custom pure elements plan.  Each drop is a concentrated dose of vitamins and antioxidants and you mix and match to suit your needs. // LURK Perfume OilI first met Anne Sanford of LURK at last year’s event and was enchanted by her beautiful perfume oils. This one is rose on rose on rose and I can’t get enough. Rumor is she has something new coming out this week, too. //  Kahina Fez Hand & Body Balm – Again. Did someone say BALM? Can’t wait to massage this into my mitts!

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312 To Do: Ride With Kiehl’s Aug. 4


I’m hitting the road again next week for a five day, two city trip. I’m starting my week in Minneapolis for work and then making my way west for A Night for Green Beauty.  I’ll just be missing the Kiehl’s LifeRide stop in Chicago which is a bit of a bummer. Every summer, Kiehl’s President and resident badass Chris Salgardo leads celebs and cause supporters on a (motor!) bike ride around the U.S. to help benefit AIDS research. The Kiehl’s crew will be at the Michigan Ave store at 12 noon where Jay from Chicago PD (IRL name = Jesse Lee Soffer) will be hosting a Bikes & BBQ bash. There will be Lillie’s Q, a bunch of other really attractive actors on motorcycles and a 15% off discount in store. Of note is the special jumbo-sized tube of the Ultimate Hand Strength Salve that 100% of sales benefit AIDS research and Kiehl’s newest face wash that’s been rocking my world (/face) for the past month. The Calendula Deep Cleansing Wash is extra foamy, soap-free, super gentle and a partner in crime to Kiehl’s Calendula Toner which has been around since the 1960s! A single pump massaged into a slightly damp face for a minute before rinsing breaks down makeup with little effort. Kiehl’s does not skimp on quantity – this bottle is mega. Just the way I like it.

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PRIME. Polish. SHINE. Repeat.

AILA-PolishMy manicure might be the same today as it was yesterday but make no mistake: I am a new woman. I finally finished Friday Night Lights and I’m trying to cope with what life will be like with no new episodes to watch. I realize that this is so 2011 and I’m not trying to stir up any emotions for anyone that has already reached the point of acceptance but my wounds are fresh. I nearly chewed off my nail in the penultimate scene with that ball spiraling through the air (not a spoiler…the show is about football!) but caught myself before I ruined my manicure which is going six days strong. Do you like? AILA is a new discovery that I’m really excited about. It’s available exclusively at BeauTeaBar right now. Aside from the chic glass block bottles, this niche brand uses some non-traditional ingredients in its mission to create a healthier nail system.

AILA Nail Polish

The PRIME base coat is infused with garlic which has a rep in the med community for being a natural anti-fungal and nail strengthener. The female founders are both physicians so this nod to medicine makes sense. But it’s the SHINE top coat that is surely stretching my mani so far. Ginger is a bright poppy hue that looks even better with a little slick on top. It’s going on my toes next!

Also…Texas Forever (ahhh!)

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