Tag Archives: Bronzer

Because of Instagram

beauty instagram

I think avoiding the internet would be a really effective way to save money. By far my biggest enabler is Instagram. I love the camaraderie of the beauty community and appreciate the lead on makeup worth trying…but the influence is real. I thought I’d round up a few “I did it because of Instagram” purchases and share my thoughts on if they were worth it or not.

popular instagram beauty products

instagram beauty buys

I usually pay attention to drugstore mascara but Maybelline Lash Sensational flew under my radar until I noticed that pretty silvery-pink tube in every beauty-grammer’s pics on the regular. I finally snagged it on a Target run and have been using it almost exclusively for a month. It has a fan wand that is the perfect size and it makes lashes look full and fluffy. Worth it: 100% yes! The only caution is that even the non-waterproof is hard to remove so go at it with something oil-based.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bow and Arrow was my gateway into mattes. I had seen brown nude on everyone and was majorly curious. I was fearful it would look too dark on me but it’s actually the exact 90s look I was hoping to recreate. The formula was better than I imagined so this was one of those, “why did I wait so long to try,” Insta discoveries. 100% worth it.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar

Not only does Instagram love Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow but Charlotte herself told me in person that it was a must-have in every woman’s makeup bag. Silly me, why didn’t I listen to Charlotte? A full year later at Instagram’s reminder, I shelled out the (gasp) $70 for that old school glam compact. I love it, I really do, but there are similar products out there for much less. But the aesthetics here are stunning.

I use bronzer every single day so I like variety to spice things up. Kelsey raved about Urban Decay Beached Bronzer and we have similar skin tones so I decided to give the shade Sunkissed (the lighter of the two) a go. It’s a perfect match – no orange tones in sight – and I love the beachy look of the compact. I think pulling this out in the dead of winter will be a welcome sight.

h&m blush

H&M makes makeup now, ICYMI. I saw these chic looking compacts on Instagram and was surprised to see it was H&M. I was getting Tom Ford-ish vibes from the bronzers.  I picked up that and a few cheek colors and love the quality. Tawny Peach reminds me of the limited edition (aka…nowhere to be found) NARS Douceur, for a fraction of the price. Definitely worth checking out.

So, what has Instagram led you to try?

The Summer Outlook

Herbal Essences Body Envy

Chicago has been such a charmer these past few weeks. It seems that every weekend lately has brought beautiful weather and minimal wait times for an outdoor table. Memorial Day weekend was absolute perfection.  I savored it (especially dinner at Honey Butter’s patio) and tried to extend each moment because now that we passed this point on the calendar, time accelerates.  Summer is easy, sort of, but it’s so jam packed that I already have calendar anxiety. I’m pretty sure that every weekend for the next two months is planned out already.

This weekend, during a warmish shower (ain’t nobody messing with hot baths in an AC-less apartment) and a serious lather with Herbal Essences Body Envy Shampoo, I committed to squashing the anxious feelings and looking on the bright side. Maybe it was the citrusy scent, but I started to feel energized by all there is to do. Nothing like a good hair day and eight hours sleep to get your mind right.

Olay Body Wash

The move. I’m moving in a month. It’s hard to feel excited about that to do list, but I get to move in somewhere brand new, with a man I love, to a place we get to make ours.  With two full bathrooms (good for the relationship!), I’ve got the shower situation under control with a fresh restock of Olay Fresh Outlast Body Wash in the lime and white tea scent that is so so good. This never dries my skin out and I use it to shave, too. The bottle lasts for many many (many) showers and gives me vibrant, fresh skin all day long.

The girls’ weekend. I’m also planning a bachelorette party in June. My college roommate is getting hitched and we are going to Madison to celebrate. I just want to make this the most fun weekend for her and everyone going. I want to give her a true bachelorette party, but no tiaras or anything too campy. The part giving me stress is that it falls during a really busy time at work, so I’m balancing that and being present.

CoverGirl TruBlend Bronzer CoverGirl TruBlend Bronzer

The road trip. I’m taking a road trip through Colorado with my boyfriend. I’m such a planner and research every single thing there is to do to a fault. But with all of the rest of the planning I’m doing, I’m considering just winging this one. Is that a freeing feeling I’m experiencing?  I can’t think about it until after I get through June and the move, so I’ll let you know if this carefree attitude sticks around. In the meantime, share any recommendations throughout the state. I want to see it all.

It is summer so one major thread running through all there is to do and experience? Bronzer, obviously. I’ve been trying many and really like COVERGIRL truBLEND Bronzer. It reminds me of a baked bronzer from a brand that would cost way more. It gives a natural bronzy highlight and is really glows on my skin. I use it like blush and then dust it all over with a really light hand.  For the latter, take your fluffiest brush and sweep lightly over your temples, nose, chin and eyelids.

What is your summer outlook? Are you chilling or off to the races? Have you found your summer bronzer?

This was sponsored by P&G Beauty. All opinions are based on my experiences and insights. Thanks for your continued support!

P.S. Confirming by the end of this week all past giveaway prizes will be mailed out. Most should be en route or arriving as you read this. Again, you have my sincerest apologies as well as the P&G team’s. Thank you for keeping me updated!

The Keys to Bronze Babetown

EcoTools Brushes

It’s summer, summer, summertime and I do just want to sit back and unwind. I’m Miami-bound this weekend and I am so looking forward to sun. Hot glorious sun. I had to check myself a few times when packing because I’m so used to layering up in Chicago and that just won’t be necessary. At all. I’ll be bronzed to all get out, which is the key to the summer beauty look I love. My layer-less bags are instead filled to the brim with SPF and EcoTools brushes. Naturally. Here’s my beauty plan.

EcoTools Angled Kabuki

After SPF-ing my face (a dedicated layer in addition to the bit in my tinted moisturizer), I use this BECCA bronzing duo for just about everything. Trust in the Aussies to really nail beachy bronze every time. This and the EcoTools Angled Kabuki Brush came in to my life at exactly the right time! I use the darker side around the hairline, cheeks, along my jawline. The brush is totally bad*ss—you can use it to sweep highlighter and bronzer on your body, too.  The large angled shape makes bronzing quick and natural. The latter is key. I don’t really get sun on my face so bronzer is a necessity and the application I get from the kabuki doesn’t scream I’m wearing bronzer, this tan is a FARCE. I also use the Stippling Brush (which works great to blend any liquid or cream makeup!) to apply the lighter side of this compact — I call that a bronze highlighter — along my cheekbones. If I’m feeling peachy, I’ll also tap the Tapered Blush Brush into my trusty NARS Orgasm and onto my cheeks. This color goes so well with bronze.

Summer #LooksYouLove EcoTools

I use the BECCA bronzer as eye shadow, too. I start with a creamy base (NARS Edie) and use the EcoTools Eye Enhancing Duo set – four brushes in two! – to blend the two different shades. For more definition, I wet the angled liner side of the brush to smudge the darker side along the lower lash line. It’s really

I’ve been keeping lips really simple with this sheer peachy Chantecaille gloss layered over the nude Fresh Sugar balm.

Summer beauty is meant to be this easy, yes? It’s bronzer season for a reason…load up.

This post was sponsored by EcoTools. All opinions and tips are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support 312 Beauty.

Low to Luxe: Bronzer

Low to Luxe Bronzer

Well, I agree! It’s been entirely too long since we traveled the low to luxe beauty spectrum together. If my bathroom counter is any indication, it’s not for lack of experimenting. Since it is now officially summer, we should discuss bronzer. Last week, one of my darling coworkers asked me for a recommendation. It was early in the morning and we were both filling up our coffee mugs, so I made a note to follow up with her since I was in a.m. Laurie zombie-mode. Rather than keep all that good convo to our Outlook, I thought I’d open it up for discussion. I really do have deep thoughts on the topic but would love to hear your POV on the matter. Bronzer is personal! I’ll go first.

I am quite particular when it comes to the ‘low’ end. There are some solid contenders but I find that a lot of mass brands can be powdery and low on pigment. If I have to smash my brush aggressively in the pan to get color, I’m working too hard. Two excellent options that go to bat with the Guerlains of the world are NYX Matte Bronzer and the Mineral Wear Airbrush from Physician’s Formula.  Both come in a few different color options, too, so you can customize it for your skin tone. NYX is under $10 — you better believe it’s worth a try.

In that mid-range are so many bronzers it can be overwhelming. It was hard for me to narrow down to the best. I’m as excited by RMS Buriti Bronzer as I was when I first mentioned it. Because it’s sheer, the metallic hue translates to naturally and un-orange on skin. And, it’s packed with vitamins and oils so it’s basically skin care. My newest discovery is this countering duo from BECCA. At $40, it’s straddling the luxe line but there are two shades so there are more options. Swirl, use one or both – the bronzer is your oyster.

Now, for the luxe side of this party. NARS Laguna is legendary. In part, because the shade is almost flattering on all skin tones. They released a special Laguna compact this summer that comes with a mini Ita Brush (one of the brand’s signature artisan kabukis!) Totally worth the indulgence if this bronzer is your jam. And, if you are partial to the Guerlains of the world, then Guerlain is pleasing you this season. Their bronzers are so finely milled and natural, I can’t not talk about them in the context of best bronzers. I love these colored discs that align with hair color. They updated the formula with more oils this season but it’s still the Guerlain we know and love.

Your turn!

Bobbi Brown Face & Body Bronzing Duo


{Bobbi Brown Summer 2013}

I’m willing to bet the phrase “go big or go home” came up at some point during the product development phase of Bobbi Brown’s Bronzing Duo. Part of her beach-inspired summer collection, this bronzer is so mega it could eat my other bronzers for breakfast. Naturally, I love it. It is bronzer season, after all. Meant for use on face or body, Bobbi’s super-sized duo contains two of the most natural hues of bronze I’ve seen paired together.  On the left, a pinky-brown that could double as a blush, and on the right, a medium matte bronze hue. Layering the two together is a fun experiment in sculpting. Neither is heavy or muddy so creating the most natural of tans is super easy.  My go-to move is to sweep the deeper shade along my hairline, jawline and under my cheekbones – a.k.a. the reverse “3” style application. Then I’ll dust the pinky bronze on my cheeks, blending slightly upward and downwards to create a natural finish that blends in with the deeper shade. For a finishing touch, I dust the deeper shade below my chin and under my jawbone on both sides of my face.

Bobbi also released new shades of her Sheer Cheek Tint which layer beautifully under this bronzer. Nude Beach, my fav of the trio, is a sheer bronze with a metallic glow. Because it’s so sheer, it gives just the slightest hint of color. All very beachy and carefree, which is the spirit of the season, right?

*note: editorial samples provided 

Laura Mercier Baked Blush Bronze


Bronzer has a place in your beauty routine year-round, yes, but make no mistake, there is an official bronzer season. Parallel to summer, obviously, but kicks in right when spring fever is raging. Also coincides with the time of year I can’t stop drinking Summer Shandy. Coupled, these are my warm weather staples. This is definitely the longest non-spring I can recall in a while and I’m ready for it to be legit bronzer season. Especially since I’ve discovered a bronzer that promises to dominate one of my favorite parts of the year. Laura Mercier’s Baked Blush Bronze in ‘Ritual’ is a vision. It has veins of pink and a few different shades of bronze, and due to the baking process each palette is one-of-a-kind. The result is a dusty bronze flush with tons of dimension. It has a satin finish – no hint of glitter or pore-magnifying shimmer bits – and blends in to skin pretty flawlessly. It’s a total two-fer that gives me the ease I seek in bronzer season. Warm weather in general is less fuss and simplifying the getting-ready process. The bathroom is always the hottest room in the house come summer, so fewer steps is a total must. It’s the reason I quit the blow dryer last year!

Because I take my change of seasons seriously, let me know your favorite bronzers. Got questions? Throw them out there! Suggestions? I want to know! I know collectively, we are all ready for the season to really get started.