Tag Archives: Illume

Burn So Bright

Illume Holiday 2015

I treasure my candles to the point where sometimes I burn them so slowly I probably don’t enjoy them as much as I should. Which is completely silly. I should be lighting them up!  I’ll never forget when I came back from Toronto one weekend to find my friend Kevin, who had been staying at my place housesitting, burning my Diptyque candles. I quickly blew them out and slowly let my blood pressure ease. Oh, Kev. It was both funny and shocking – seeing as I consciously light those infrequently and then carefully up cut the wick after each burn. Funny, though, because why I am so dainty to use the things I love the most? Candles are so pleasing to the senses when they’re burning so it’s a genuinely sad moment when that party ends. Unless, that is, they can have another life as a beautiful piece of home décor. That is the reason Illume is on my list of favorite gifts to give (and get) this holiday. I actually thought this gold etched ceramic box was for jewelry until I opened it and saw a two-wick candle. There’s also this etched jar that I would burn furiously just to I could store makeup brushes inside. And I completely lost it over this opulent geometric glass dish – so luxe! There are seven wicks in that candle so you know it’s going to be incredibly cozy to snuggle up on the couch with that and Netflix. My lesson: don’t hold back on enjoying things in life because you don’t want them to go away. Experiences may be temporary but live them – and light them – to the fullest.

P.S. All holiday gifts on Illume are 20% off today (Dec 14) with code GIFT20.

Catch up on all of 312 Beauty favs for holiday here.

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.

I Like the Way You Work It


Happy Monday, friends! How was your weekend?  I had a great one, minus the five hours our heat went out. Paying Sunday repair rates was so not fun. I spent some time getting organized, including ordering up a frame for my new favorite print that my pal Steph at Glitterary designed with Von Moir. I have a soft spot for 90s hip hop and this classic line looks great in gold foil script. It no doubt inspired this week’s pretty picks. These four are working hard for me lately!



LIPS: Apparently, I really like my lip products in crayon form. NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien is a light rose with a hint of shimmer and is the color I reach for when I’m being indecisive. It goes with everything! // TIPS: I thought I was covered with pale pink (aka Essie Ballet Slippers) nail polish until I tried Deborah Lippmann La Vie En Rose. It has a multi-colored shimmer and is sheer enough that you can wear as a top coat to other polishes. Deborah calls it the color of a “daydream” which I find sweet. // HANDS:  Illume Go Be Lovely Hand Crème is a moisturizer with a message. I find myself trying to be lovely after I apply the Anemone, which smells of apples and hot man (must be the oak moss and clove!) Have you ever seen cuter packaging?  // JEWELS: I have worn these triangle studs from Chicago designer Michelle Starbuck every day since I got them! I love her classic style and reuse of vintage materials (these are brass). I also met Michelle in person for the first time over the weekend and find her to be so humble and charming.

P.S. The Garden Apt. is giving away a $50 gift card to Michelle Starbuck Designs (enter by 3/24)!

note: I received a sample of the Illume Hand Creme

The List: February 2014


Congrats, we survived January. While February is just as wintery, I like it so much more. Related news: I will spend five days this month on a beach in Mexico. That tops my list this month! I’ve also got my eyes on pretty pink beauty and accessories and plan to update my bra wardrobe with everything Free People. Love the back straps on these two.

I’m down for positive reinforcements, especially when they are stamped onto one of my favorite Bobbi Brown products. The Antigua Illuminating Bronzing Powder has never looked so good.  I want everything in Illume’s new “Go Be Lovely” collection for spring. And, this iPhone case by The Everygirl is a must.

Making it my mission to finally master applying falsies this month. ESQIDO mink lashes are the lash extension alternative I’ve been looking for!

I can’t quite commit to shopping for warm weather clothing yet, but lighter versions of my winter staples…YES.  This J.Crew Silk Snood (with poms!) will be mine.

This leather clutch in pink, though the mint and cornflower blue are equally tempting.

NARS Bimini looks like the perfect, wear with everything gloss.

I love every color in Essie’s Resort collection. The plummy Under the Twilight will be the perfect balance to all of these soft pinks!

Illume Spring Preview + Wearing a Maxi in Winter


Photo via

Illume previewed a pretty new collection this week. Can’t wait to decorate with these candles!

This is beautiful and heart wrenching. Grab a tissue.

Meet the sisters behind Chicago’s first finishing salon, Goldplaited.

LOVE this chocolate smoky eye, using only three products.

Aerin makes the most stunning palettes. I love this bronzy beige look for face and eyes.

How to wear your favorite maxi skirt in the middle of winter.

It was “Lash Week” over at team Beauty Bets. Catch up if you missed!

Now I want pizza. Thanks, Blair.

I’m making a reading list for Mexico! I’ve added these two. What else do you guys recommend?

Illume Boho Candle Collection


Here’s a little beauty psychology 101: the feelings associated with using a product in its entirety are a complex mix of happy and sad. On one hand, there’s an immense sense of accomplishment of actually finishing something (a NARS blush, for example, is like the impossible dream) and, on the other, truly bummed that it’s time to hit the recycling bin. The exception? The super hip Illume Boho Candles. It’s refreshing to know that in approximately 70 (burning) hours – or 20, depending on if you go demi or large – this candle is going to have a new home on my vanity storing something equally pretty. Lip glosses, brushes or perhaps cotton pads for removing eye makeup.

Illume does fragrance and design like a boss (the Minnesota nice kind) and the Boho jars are the perfect example of those worlds coming together. The Boho collection draws inspiration from some of the world’s most exotic destinations (as seen in the spring Eternal Nomad collection). The designs are bright and eclectic and the scents are a mix of Illume’s best.  Pineapple Cilantro? Unlike anything, and the brand’s number one seller for years.  Mediterranean? Fresh and sandy. Tangerine Teakwood? Zesty and sweet, and also my favorite design of the Boho bunch.

Illume Eternal Nomad Spring Giveaway


Scent has the power to bring us to another place or time. Like when I get a whiff of Love Spells randomly, I’m in high school again. Happens more than you’d think…  Currently, though, I’m interested in transporting directly to the places Illume drew inspiration from for its Spring 2013 Eternal Nomad collection.

Illume, best known for chic design and home fragrance, is expanding its travel-inspired Eternal Nomad bath and body care collection into more Sephora stores this spring (including Chicago’s State Street and Northbridge locations!)  Look for Illume’s signature Thai Lily and Coconut Mango fragrances as well as brand new scent Cactus Verde. There are five products in total, designed to be layered – Intensive Moisture Body Wash, Cocoa-Illipe Body Butter, Lathering Body Scrub, Gold Lustre Shimmer Mist and Sunlit Bronzing Lotion. The Lathering Body Scrub is a welcome add to the shower. It has a ton of tiny beads that, when wet, seem to transform into soft miniature sponges. This and the deliciously thick (and super moisturizing!) Cocoa-Illipe Body Butter might be my favorite products in the collection.

After slathering on the Cactus Verde, I felt summoned to a place where all I need is SPF and sunnies.  Likewise, the sweet and girly Thai Lily has me thinking of a colorburst sunset. Coconut Mango? That definitely has an easygoing tropical vibe. I imagine a different makeup bag accompanying each Eternal Nomad destination. To bring these personas (/wishlist vacations) to life – or just inspire a trip Sephora – I’ve selected some spring makeup bag essentials!


The scent: Cactus Verde, a bright blend of cassis, pink sea salt, aloe vera and wild geranium with a hint of avocado.

Makeup bag essentials: Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer, Josie Maran Argan Brightening Bronzer Sun Spot Corrector, NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Mad Mad World.

312 Beauty tips: Tarte offers the perfect mix of coverage and sun protection (SPF 30!) A sweep of bronzer – Josie’s has argan oil and vitamin c! – along the hollows of cheeks, jawline and temples  is all you need to look desert-ready. I love layering the blue and emerald in Mad Mad World for a custom shadow.


The scent: Thai Lily, a sensory ritual of Bali mango, blood orange and white nectarine – with Brazilian teak, Asiatic lily and a hint of musk.

Makeup bag essentials:  Hourglass Aura Cheek Stain in Petal, YSL Glossy Stain in #12 Coril Fauve, NARS Duo Eyeshadow in Bouthan.

312 Beauty Tips: This scent is sweet and girly, therefore you have permission to wear a lot of pink. Hourglass Aura Cheek Stain is like the cheek fountain of youth and layering NARS Bouthan on eyelids gives a soft and feminine effect. The light pink shade can even double as a highlighter on cheekbones.


The scent: Coconut Mango, a tropical fusion of mango and coconut milk, infused with orange and eucalyptus oils.

Makeup bag essentials: Benefit Sun Beam, Becca Eye Tint in Vicuna and Ojon Rare Blend Total Hair Therapy.

312 Beauty Tips: Mix a little of the golden Sun Beam into your sunscreen or base for extra radiance, layer on Becca’s Beach Tint in a creamy opal shade and make sure hair is protected with Ojon’s Rare Blend mutli-tasking oil. Then proceed to soak up the sun all day long.

Now for the exciting news! Illume has teamed with 312 Beauty on our first ever giveaway! Tell me in the comments here which Eternal Nomad spring scent you’d most like to try. Do this by Saturday, March 23, and I’ll pick one winner* to win the 5-piece Eternal Nomad collection of their choice!

*winner must reside within continental U.S.

note: Illume provided me with samples of the Eternal Nomad collection for review purposes

update: The giveaway is closed! Congrats to Lauren, who won the Illume Coconut Mango Eternal Nomad collection.