Tag Archives: EcoTools

Shades of Gold

Initial Makeup Bag

Gold makeup is always part of the holiday beauty conversation. As it should be. It’s festive, sparkly and looks great on pretty much everyone. But, here’s the thing: it’s also really great beyond the holidays. Say, when you return from Miami with a sniffly nose and pathetic cough and the accompanying red nose, dry cheeks and foggy eyes. Winter skin and gold do wonders for the complexion. I fooled everyone all weekend! I’ll be gilding my face for New Year’s Eve with my gold trifecta (eyes, lips + cheeks!) and a boat load of liquid liner and mascara but wanted to share the everyday shades of gold look I’ve been favoring.


EcoTools Complexion Collection

For my cheeks, I take ILIA’s Illuminator in Cosmic Dancer – any gold cream highlighter will do – and give a few swipes on my cheekbones then blend it in using EcoTools Eye Perfecting Brush and drag it around the curve toward my outer eye. This brush is part of the Complexion Collection and as is the case with me and my beloved EcoTools, I always use these brushes in unintended ways! This is *technically* for blending concealer – the shape mimics a fingertip – so it’s perfect for blending in precisely. Using whatever’s left on the brush, I also dab it in a few other areas that I’d normally highlight.

Urban Decay Easy Baked

Gold Makeup Look

For eyes, it’s all about the layer. The key is to go for colors in the gold family so you have more dimension. I start with something deeper – my fav ILIA Silken Shadow Stick in ‘Next to You’ – all over my lid and lower lash line. I get the best results blending it in with EcoTools Blend and Smudge double-sided brush from the Eye Enhancing Duo. From there, I use EcoTools flat Large Shadow brush (secret: it’s not that large and part of this awesome Essential Eye set) to layer a powder shadow in a similar color over. For the finishing touch, I use the EcoTools Smudge Brush (also from the Essential Eye set and slightly smaller than the double-sided version) to layer a pale gold in the inner corners and center.

W3LL People Gold Bio Extreme Gloss

W3ll People Bio Extreme Gloss Gold

Last, but maybe most impactful, is a gold lip gloss. I know, that could get really excessive in theory, but the gold W3LL People Bio Extreme Gloss has just a hint of shimmer and loads of natural shine. It’s actually liquid crystal. Fun, right?

Wherever your plans take you this New Year’s Eve, I hope you have a great time!

This post was sponsored by EcoTools. All opinions, thoughts and experiences are 100% my own. Thank you, as always, for reading and supporting!  

Brushing Up On Holiday Gifting

EcoTools Beautiful Complexion Holiday

Favorite things are in full effect and I couldn’t continue this holiday theme without talking about EcoTools. I use these brushes every time I put makeup on and continue to be so impressed by the quality, aesthetic (they’re cute as heck!), price and variety. I like to gift beauty treats to friends and if I’m giving any type of makeup, I love adding in the perfect tool to accompany. It’s like giving someone a jersey and also a ticket to the game.

It’s going to be a very EcoTools holiday this season. The Beautiful Complexion Kit even wraps itself.  You can fold the box up and loop the silver ribbon through the openings to tie it all together. Instant presentation! I use these four brushes the most – the Mattifying Finish Brush is awesome to apply all types of powder and the Skin Perfecting Brush is a dream to blend in tinted moisturizers and cream blush. The set is a steal at under $20 for all four brushes and EcoTools also has a $3 off coupon at WALMART that you can snag here. Even better!

EcoTools Mini Holiday

I grew up more excited by my stocking on Christmas morning than any gift under the tree and it’s a tradition my mom has carried into adulthood for me (and me for her). Sometimes the tiniest presents are the most thrilling. EcoTools Mini Essentials Holiday Set is stocking material to a T. And unlike other mini brushes, these are the same high quality as the full size just with mini handles. I use these minis to apply this BECCA highlighter trio (which sold out instantly…kicking myself for not grabbing another as a gift for a special BECCA-obsessed friend).

EcoTools Festive Face Set

The wintry pattern on the Festive and Flawless Face Set is adorable. These brushes are somewhere in between minis and full-sized and they come housed in their own booklet with some tips on how to use. There’s an awesome holiday tutorial from Teni using this set that I watched for some inspiration. She always has some new ways of using these brushes that I never think of.

Happy cyber Monday, guys. If my inbox is any indication, today’s deals are better than Black Friday!

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

Adventures in Self-Pampering

Cozy Bathrobe

I started to notice a trend among my winter cozies– the ones I only wear at home, at least. They’re really not very cute, at all. Last year, my friend Lindsay told me about these bathrobes that she and her boyfriend got each other for Christmas. They both work from home and really wanted a warm layer for chilly days in their coach house. At first, I laughed at the holiday exchange, but then I went gaga for the darn robe! The coziest thick fleece with a hood, too. By the time January rolled around, they were nearly sold out in my size in any color I’d wear (in my world: black, grey or navy) so I went with the most hideous combination: pink candy striped. I absolutely treasure this robe, despite it being loud and unlike anything I own.

EcoTools Dry Body Brush

Now that hideous bathrobe season is starting to creep in, I find myself wrapping myself up in it at night. I’m all about my nighttime pampering now. Especially being back from Toronto – reunited with my bath tub and my robe! Night is when I do most treatments. In the mornings, I’m winding up, not down, and don’t get the same enjoyment out of the ritual. I need the time and the head space to enjoy it without thinking ahead to my day. I’ve been experimenting with the new EcoTools Dry Body Brush and have built an entire new night time routine around that. The benefits to dry body brushing are insane – helps improve circulation, detoxify, smooth skin, stimulate the nervous system and so much more. Actually carving out time to do it consistently is the key to reaping the benefits. Honestly, it just feels great, too.

This is my perfect night ritual. I don’t get to do all of it every night but when I do, I sleep so soundly and wake up with fresh energy.

EcoTools Pure Complexion Sponge

Step 1: Pour yourself a glass of wine. Obviously.

Step 2:  Wash your face. I’ve been using The Honey Mud (dessert status). I follow it with a face massage using EcoTools Complexion Facial Sponge. It’s a konjac sponge so all you have to do is get it wet and it turns into this spongey foam. Don’t you love how those work? I like it as the grand finale on a clean face, though really, it’s meant to be used in combination with your face wash, too. I really use it in places I never seem to get with my hands, on my neck, around my ears and in the curves of my face.

Step 3: Draw yourself a bath. While water is filling, start the dry body brushing. I love the hand grip on this and the natural bristles aren’t rough at all. I start at my legs/ankles and work my way up my body. Always upward strokes, leading toward the heart. I got a massage once and she told me to always work towards the heart to aid circulation.

Step 4: Hop in! But first, light some candles, grab your wine and a book. Bath time is my meditation so I find that I’m not always the best reader; I like my mind to wander. But I’ve been reading Tiny Beautiful Things and the bite-sized chapters are perfect to get me thinking.

Step 5:. Get out of that tub and into the ugly robe. But, first, lather up with lotion of choice. For me, it’s a tub of Cocovit. Hot water can dry your skin out, but don’t let that stop you.

Preparing for colder weather is as much a mental game and this is good for my skin and mind. What are your best tips for feeling your best and taking care of your skin this time of year?

This post was sponsored by EcoTools. All opinions, thoughts and experiences are 100% mine. Thank you for supporting the brands that support 312 Beauty.

Undone on Purpose


Short hair rules but so do ponytails! It has been months since I’ve been able to knot it up top. The myth about bobs – and anyone who’s had one can dispel this quick – is that they’re low maintenance. I’m so excited that I finally have enough length for a high pony. With less hair, it’s lighter and easier to manage. I’ve got some strays that fall onto my neck but they’re easy enough to pin up. I don’t mind the messiness of it all, either. When I had longer hair, wearing it up felt like a last ditch effort to get it all out of my face. No, this is undone on purpose.

EcoTools Fall 2015

That tool, that resembles a brush, is actually a brush. It’s the next-gen EcoTools Ultimate Air Dryer Brush and it weighs next to nothing. And it is only $10!  I’ve been using it to dry my hair lately…because you bob-ers know a little heat is the key to volume whether you plan on wearing it down or up. I can’t get past the giant hole in the middle – I’ve never seen anything like this. It cuts dry time by about 40% and is just as good to use on dry hair. I’m only slightly scarred from a particular experience with small prickly metal round brushes at a blowout bar. They left them in my hair, as many stylists do, and they straight up got stuck. Getting them out resulted in the frizziest mess (I don’t even have frizz on a rainy day!) and a few sacrificial clumps of hair. That only needs to happen once to give you PTSD.

EcoTools Ultimate Air Dyer

I’ve also been using the Fromm 1907 dryer (as in…in the biz of hair for 108 years) on a lower heat setting and in combo with the brush, I think it’s really helping lessen heat damage.

Fall Looks EcoTools

Much like that giant hole in my brush is missing on purpose, so is the polish from my pony. The undone-ness is a key piece of my fall look. It’s early enough where I don’t have to wear a hat for warmth but blustery enough that I like the hair out of my face. While I fully support the scrunchie, I’ve been using beaded hair ties from Madewell.  I’ve been adding to the look with manicured soft pink nails – Sundays by Olivia Palermo for Ciate – and a sheer rosy lip. A few soft beauty touches balance the purposefully undone nature of everything else.

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

Pinpointing Complexion Perfection

EcoTools Day to Night Set

Someone might have gone on a wee bit of a YouTube beauty bender during a recent rainy Saturday. It was perfect. I found myself wishing against the peek of sun just so I could revel in my lazy slumber a little longer. My beauty binge drug of choice was the lovely Brit Lisa Eldridge. I’m a devotee of the School of Eldridge and found myself way behind on her tutorials. After seeing her “pinpoint” conceal video after video, I got up and got to work on my own bare face. Pinpoint concealing is so smart! Ever layer on the foundation a little too hard just to cover up a small bit of redness or one blemish? Think you need full coverage but really you just need full coverage on two tiny specks. Yup. Pinpoint concealing is your jam.

Lisa always uses brushes intended for eyes rather than concealer because they are usually smaller and help to cover just a small area. I immediately grabbed my EcoTools Day to Night Set and found the perfect tool (originally intended for lips!) to get to pinpointing.

EcoTools Concealer

Ahh, it’s so easy and appeals to the perfectionist in all of us. Dab you brush in a thicker, opaque concealer and stipple it over your blemishes or any stubborn spots.  I use my MAC Matchmaster but another good option is Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage. Then, with your fingers, pat it in or use a fluffy brush to blend the edges away. It’s like instant skin retouching, but with concealer instead of software. As Lisa explains, this is a classic makeup artist trick and is perfect for everyday gals like you and me because it gives us that flawless finish without all that makeup.

EcoTools Concealer

And if you do need a little more than pinpointing, there is a pointed concealer brush in this kit that works quite nicely under the eye. I use it to blend out my Becca Corrector – a.k.a. awake in a pot. I love the brightening effect. And, for my constant on-the-go life, I like to slip a few extras in the brush container and throw it in my bag.

P.S. Lisa Eldridge is coming out with a book! All on the history of makeup – cannot wait.

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

The Nouveau Way to Use Dry Shampoo

EcoTools Dry Shampoo

Why yes, there I go, brushing my hair. With a makeup brush traditionally reserved for powders and blush. Who needs traditional, though? Thinking outside the conventional can sometimes spur a really smart idea. Like subbing zoodles in for spaghetti or using coconut oil as mouthwash. Once you try it, your world is altered for the better.  EcoTools brushes are versatile as is but this trick was an aha. Using a makeup brush to blend in dry shampoo helps prevent the oils from your fingers transferring more oil onto your scalp. It all just makes so much sense!

EcoTools Makeup Brushes

I took the EcoTools Large Powder Brush which I actually don’t use for face powder – I prefer the slightly smaller and more tapered Blush Brush for that – and swept it along my scalp in tiny circular motions, pressing down firmly at times towards the base of the brush if I wanted more pressure. The end result was a fluffier, more lifted crown. It also forced me to more slowly let the Dry Shampoo sink in. I’m usually really impatient and rub it in with my hands immediately. Letting it take the time to absorb and massage it in helps it to be more effective. It can even be the difference between an extra day of no-washing. It’s been a savior to me lately. I’ve been adding in pilates and barre to my workouts and they’re low-enough cardio intensity that I don’t always have to wash my hair.

What else have you done that’s a little off but has turned out to be awesome? Tell me, please! I like to learn.

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

Summertime is ______

312 Beauty Toronto

Let’s do this one together. Summer is_______.

I could finish that sentence in so many ways.

Summer is spontaneous. I took the long way home from work earlier this week (from my company’s office in Toronto!) around Queen’s Park and through the surrounding neighborhoods. Everything about the evening was perfect – the sun was bright as it was setting, the air breezy and calm, the architecture rustic and filled with character for blocks.

EcoTools Volume Brush

Summer is easy. I’ve been getting ready in about 15 minutes flat (and sleeping for an extra 40 min, yay!) I wake up so much more refreshed in the summer. My shorter hair is a breeze to manage as long as I don’t go to bed with it wet (cowlick city). I wash in the evenings and do a quick blowout with the EcoTools Full Volume Styler. My hair dries fast as is but this brush cuts it back by another minute. It’s vented throughout – I love the design! Technology, man.  This brush is technically made for long hair but it does wonderful voluminous tricks for short hair when you use it with the blow dryer. I’m usually bedhead styled in the mornings, so tote along VERB Dry Shampoo for later. There’s not much this Madewell et Sezane tote doesn’t fit. It was a birthday present I gave myself!

312 Beauty Toronto

Summer is fleeting. I appreciate every sunny day for the gift it is! Say yes to a drink after work, take a walk, breathe in the air and just look around.

Summer is GOOD. No time like the weekend to be reminded of that!

How would you finish that sentence?

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

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.

Flawless, The Remix

Eco Tools Complexion Collection

Last spring, EcoTools came out with the absolute best brush for applying BB creams. It has short, really dense, slightly angled bristles—and also a boss at applying cream blush. I used the heck out of that brush, despite having several towering cups full of bristley options. That brush is reincarnated in the brand’s new Complexion Collection and it is cause for excitement. No surprise, the other new brushes in the set are equally perfect for all things skin. Any makeup lover knows that the tools are just as important as the product itself and EcoTools has our back. They constantly release beautiful brushes – with those signature bamboo handles and cruelty-free bristles – that are so unbelievably functional. It’s the tiny details that they just get right time after time.

Eco Tools Complexion

Take the Correcting Concealer brush (the tiny guy in this set) – it has a dual mix of fibers, including these long straight bristles that help give that airbrush finish to your concealer. And it’s only $5! I can’t even confess to you how much money I’ve probably spent on concealer brushes and here is the perfect one at the price of a cold brew coffee.  It’s the perfect match to the liquidy Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer. There’s another option here for concealer, as well, the larger domed Eye Perfecting Brush. It’s great for using a corrector around the eye to conceal dark circles. 312 Beauty tip: mix a little concealer with your eye cream and roll the mixture around the eye, 360 style.

My girl Anne from Defining Delphine has been raving about Chantecaille Just Skin for months and I finally get why. Oh, it was a splurge. But it is magical. I sometimes use my fingers but find I prefer the finish I using EcoTools Skin Perfecting Brush. It minimizes the transfer of oil from your fingers to your face.

NARS Dual Intensity Blush

I believe I’ve saved the best of the set for last: the Mattifying Finish Brush. You can see it also has a dual blend of bristles that work together to pick up just the right amount of powder and disperse it evenly. If you use a setting powder, this is your BFF. But, I find I like to use it with a shimmery or really pigmented cheek color. Those can be the easiest to overdo and this brush checks that so you don’t accidentally go clown. It’s a perfect pairing to these new NARS blushes. This is the shade Fervor – you can use it wet or dry. I use it mostly dry because I like the soft shimmer the colors create when mixed together.

Last year (when I discovered THEE brush), I also met Teni of MissMaven.com (um, she’s gorgeous, guys!) And she is working with EcoTools again and made a video with the Complexion set. I love seeing how everyone uses these tools a bit differently. It’s makeup – and the fun is in applying it your way and experimenting with the tools ya got. And, when a set this flawless is under $25, it’s a no-brainer must.

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

Drugstore Beauty Spree


I’m back after a fun weekend with the EcoTools Beauty Team. We spent Friday at a loft in the West Loop getting pretty. Have you guys ever watched any videos from Teni from Miss Maven? It was so amazing to not only meet her, but do makeup with her! Teni is one of the EcoTools beauty experts, along with Chicago native Carly Christman and celeb hair stylist Christine Symonds. We all had a group outing to the drugstore on Saturday which was super fun. It’s infinitely better to shop those beauty aisles with friends than it is alone so you can creep on everyone’s discoveries. And when those girls happen to be a bunch of beauty editors and bloggers, it’s basically the best trip to Walgreen’s ever. I’m letting you in on all the goods!

Teni led us through this awesome smoky bronze eye lesson using this NYX palette. Pretty neutrals! // Klaudia from Beauty Blitz confessed she loves the Kardashian Liquid Eyeliner and her liquid liner skills are major. // Teni says “save” versus splurge on bronzer and recommended Milani XL Bronzer. // This Fan Brush is dreamy on the skin with a shimmery highlighter. // I picked up this pretty pistachio polish from CoverGirl. It’s on my nails now and I love the color and how easily it applied. // Dani was wearing this hot pink lip all weekend and it looked crazy good with her dark hair and light eyes. // The konjac cleansing sponge is now available for under $6 thanks to EcoTools. I like the exfoliating version. // Christine recommended this leave in hair mask by Dove for dry hair. // We all wanted the Not Your Mother’s Texturizing Sea Salt Spray and I got the last bottle. Oops. (sorry not sorry) // EcoTools makes hair brushes now and they totally outperform what I’m currently using. Really exciting — especially the Styler & Smoother which is way to easier to use than a traditional round brush when blow drying.

Pretty Picks: $15 and under


How was everyone’s weekend? We went to see a movie on Saturday – Nonstop. It was good but plane movies give me anxiety so I’m not sure why I did that to myself. The weekend also began at 60 degrees on Friday, yet we woke up to lake effect snow on Sunday. Relentless, ugh. I’ve decided now to take it all in stride. No more complaining about the weather, promise. It can only go up from here! Starting with a few pretty pick, all under $15.

Molton Brown body wash is everything and now a few of those irresistible scents exist in hand cream form. YES! // Ban.Do bobbies…I mean, how cute is this ‘cool’ one?  // Illume Go Be Lovely Demi Perfumes take the cake for on-the-go frag. I can’t quite part with the outer packaging of my tube. // I want to stuff all of my makeup in these floral printed bags from Sonia Kashuk’s spring collection. Especially this double-zip pouch.  // The Revlon manicure kit that looks like a Marchesa gown. // EcoTools has a new brush made for BB and CC creams. // Yes to…a new grapefruit lip balm that costs less than a tall soy misto. // These Hard Candy eye shadows remind me so much of the limited edition version Stila put out last year. I’m eyeing up this neutral blend.