Summer is here, officially, and with it comes so much new beauty. There’s more to swoon over than just bronzer, though that will always excite me, too. Each and every one of these pretty newbies has me thinking of hot summer days and nights.
Sara Happ Clementine Lip Scrub – This sweet orange box is like a present for making it to June. The sweet citrus, sugar and oils are exactly what is needed to get your lips lipstick-ready. // Bumble & Bumble Invisible Oil Primer – This does for your hair what primer does for your face. So much promise in this bottle…less frizz, UV protection, detangles, less breakage. // Ruffian Endless Summer Collection – I so was hoping for one of these metallic polishes in my Birchbox. Each one is prettier than the next, but that blue…right? // Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand Eyeshadow Palette – Bobbi Brown is the master of nude eyeshadow and her summer twist is everything. That gold, dusty matte clay and all of those seashell pinks…I mean….perfect. // By Terry Cheek to Cheek – This is a brand new type of blush…a syrup, technically. I need to get myself over to Space NK stat to see what this is all about. // Lollibalm – Benefit done did it again with a balm version of their iconic tints. This is a brand that knows how to please. // One Love Organics Gardenia Body Serum – This is summer southern charm in a bottle. The spray nozzle ensures a fine mist to give your body the right amount of dewy glow.
You know what goes really great with a bright lip or nail polish? Black and white. White jeans are awesome. Black dresses on repeat. It’s my favorite duo always but especially in the summer. After all, these two are responsible for grey, which dominates my closet more than it should. I mean…stop me if I buy another grey tee. This week’s dose of pretty is inspired by this statement palette.
This Madewell Tunic with these striped sandals are perfection. I’ll be checking them out at Sam’s Madewell shopping party coming up in June. // I’m eagerly awaiting the launch of Benefit’s They’re Real Push-Up Liner…gel in pen form. Cool, right? // Essie Blanc = classic. // A few pinches of Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder teased into hair gives crazy easy volume. // I discovered the Shamanuti Activated Charcoal Cleanser in the Birchbox FEED Box and find it to be really effective at getting all of the grit and makeup off my face. // I’m beyond curious to try the OCC Color Correcting Lip Balm Duo. The white side primes and slightly lightens your natural lip shade while the black defines (without adding color). // Yes, you do want to smell like an Olsen. MK and Ash’s foray into fragrance via the Elizabeth and James line is incredible. Nirvana Black and Nirvana White can be worn separately but are somehow better together. How very twin.
I love wearing and doing my makeup. I also love that I can be comfortable without makeup. Except there is a but. It’s my brows, guys. They are becoming a big problem. And by big I actually mean little and sparse. I’ve always had brow probs — cowlicks, vague arch and now the inability to grow really at all. What is up with that? I’ve always heard from those older (and wiser) than me that this can happen and they ain’t lying. It’s getting to the point where I’m not totally comfortable without a little fill. It’s a part of my routine on most days, but now I think it’s necessary every day.
The last time I got a brow wax was last summer and things truly haven’t been the same since. I tweeze the strays with my trusty Tweezerman’s (the best tweezers ever, period) but there’s no real growth where I want it to be. The upside is I have an arsenal of brow fixers that make my situation less of one. Here are my favorites!
At the start of the year, MAC launched a new pencil, Veluxe Brow Liner, and it might just be the best pencil I’ve ever used. I’ve been off of the pencil kick lately because most need to be sharpened too often. You only need to be left with a little nub while traveling once for that to be a concern. However, I think I’ve only had to sharpen this once in a month. It’s my go-to low maintenance, 30 second brow.
Make Up For Ever owns waterproof everything, so it is no surprise that the Aqua Brow is practically permanent (in a good way). The texture is a mix between a cream and a gel – the tiniest bit is all you need. I will use this a ton come summer.
I reach for Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Brow Mousse often, nearly daily before the MAC Veluxe Brow came along! It’s a really dry consistency and I prefer it to powders.
I’ve used a lot of different brushes, but this mini Anastasia brush is the only one that works for me. It’s precise and can be used with any product.
Benefit High Brow Glow is a savior for my “vague arches.” I swipe it under my arches before I fill and blend well with my fingers. It adds a little lift and brightness. It’s an extra step in my beauty routine that is totally worth the time.
Any advice you have to share on getting brow hair to grow would be much appreciated. I’ve dabbled in a few serums but nothing that has really had an impact. Help!
I’m rolling out a new feature here, fittingly called 312 Beauties. I’ll be tapping some of Chicago’s most fabulous women to tell me of all of their beauty secrets and dish on makeup must-haves. I’m excited to kick off the series with Rachel Gillman, a PR Specialist and Freelance Writer for NBC, Michigan Avenue and Serious Eats. Rachel is the ultimate media pro and knows all when it comes to BYOB and gluten-free dining in Chicago. She also has the most enviable lashes you’ll ever see. Lucky for us, she tells all.
How do you start your mornings?
I’ve learned that I do better working out in the a.m. Two mornings a week at 6am, I’ll do the elliptical or an Insanity or P90X video in the living room. On those mornings, I’ll wash my hair. I usually aim to wash my hair every other day. A trick — which you taught me! — is to go to sleep with my hair twisted on top of my head in a clip. It’s a game-changer! It makes two-day hair full and fresh looking. It’s a major time saver in the morning.
You have flawless skin. What is your skin care routine?
I use Cetaphil cleanser, though if I get something in a Birchbox, I always try it out. I use Lancome Bi-Facil to remove my eye makeup. I stock up on it when I buy mascara, whenever there’s a free gift at the counter. I was really hooked on Chanel skin care, the Hydra Beauty Crème, but I haven’t made the effort to splurge all over again on a new tub. Occasionally, I rotate Retin- A into my routine. I recently got a facial at Cellular Intelligence spa and bought the Lumiere Bio Restorative Eye Cream on a recommendation. It’s very light, and I use it every morning. I use Neutrogena SPF 50 as well, especially if I know I’ll be out in the sun. I’m more concerned about protecting my skin lately.
How about your everyday face?
I use a concealer from Benefit and then follow up with this Pür Minerals powder I got from Birchbox — it’s more matte and it helps even my skin out. A makeup artist at the Chanel at Bloomingdales, Ana Oveido, sold me two of the Quadra Eyeshadows in Mystic Eyes and Prelude and taught me how to use all four shadows together or take it down with just one or two. She is fantastic. I’m pretty particular when it comes to my makeup being done because you know what looks like you and what you’re comfortable wearing. She takes everything I do and improves upon it. I use those eyeshadows pretty much every day. And when I feel like I’ve done a good job and I’m near the Bloomingdale’s building, I’ll go and visit her and she’ll tell me how I did!
I also use Chanel eyeliner, in the shade Cassis. You twist it up, so it’s not a true pencil. It’s precise, lasts and really lets you get in between your lashes. My blush is Laura Mercier Pink Lotus and I use NARS Risky Business Lip Gloss. I also carry around a CO Bigelow tint with me always. A great makeup artist Jenny Patinkin (of Dollface Beauty) coached and shopped with me for makeup. I trust her judgment. She helps you create a better version of yourself. I fill in my brows with an Anastasia Powder. Jenny helped me pick that out as well. I just use a little bit.
Now about those lashes…
I am obsessed with Lancome mascara – completely loyal to the Hypnose Drama. I buy it two tubes at a time because I never want to be without. I’ve used something from Tarte and another from Sephora but I always go back to Lancome. The amount of time I spend on my lashes could be considered comical. I curl them to start and put on a coat. Not a wimpy one, either, but from the base and I coat every lash. I let it dry, do some other makeup and then come back. I’ll curl my lashes again, use a lash comb to separate and then apply one more coat. It never clumps. The Lancome brush is magic.
Rachel’s lip wardrobe
I love Birchbox, too. What are some of your favorite discoveries?
Let me tell you, this $10 a month service fuels my beauty routine. Some of my favorite items have come from Birchbox. I love the Jouer Lip Enhancer – I need to buy a big tube! Also, I love this chubby Tarte lip pencil in a coral shade. I also got the Benefit primer, POREfessional, and I’m pretty hooked. It helps smooth my skin before makeup. I love anything skin-related they send.
What is your beauty splurge?
I really have no problem spending money on my hair, but for some reason I do on my skin. I should probably reverse that! I love my hair stylist. I get my hair cut about every three months by Ingrid Trevino at Nancy Angelair on Rush Street. I’ve followed Ingrid around to three salons. Her blowouts are second to none and she cuts wavy hair so well. I can’t go much longer than three months because my ends get so damaged from heat and styling.
I’ve been using this donut lately to create the perfect bun. It requires a little effort but is so worth it. I was a bridesmaid in a wedding recently and they styled my hair with it so I just held onto it after the wedding. I don’t like too sleek of a look. Just a little bit messy when I wear my hair up.
Where have you been eating lately?
I probably eat out about five nights a week (research!) My favorite sushi restaurant right now is Kai Zan. It’s BYOB, which is one of my favorite ways to dine. Yuzu has really good maki rolls. I’m on a whiskey kick at the moment, and am enjoying cocktails in a new way with darker spirits. I had this drink called Cocktail at Billy Sunday – potent but very drinkable.
Grange Hall Burger Bar has a gluten-free bun. When I want a true burger experience, that’s my go-to. Bountiful Eatery in Lakeview is a great, healthy gluten-free cafe. They have these pita wraps with portabella mushrooms or bison burgers inside. It’s affordable and tasty. Prasino is my favorite brunch right now. They have a hippie omelet that is worth looking forward to all week!