Tag Archives: Lipstick

Winter Makeup Rx: Bright Lips

It wasn’t even a week after getting back from Miami and I was already researching a long weekend somewhere warm. I know, poor me. I’m not adjusting to winter for some reason.  Last week was impossible to be outside and my eyes watered just thinking about it. I’ve been wearing eye makeup still but I need to do my seasonal adjustment that happens every year around his time and focus more on lips. January and February are my lip season – when I finally break out those non pinky-nudes.

This is the process I usually follow in the frigid weather. I typically coat my lips in tons of Glossier Balm Dotcom when getting ready. I’ll wipe away any access that hasn’t soaked in right before I apply color. This is always one of the last steps in my getting ready routine – in between getting dressed and putting on perfume.

From there, I apply a heavy coat; like a few swipes on my upper and lower lips. I smack them together and then wait a minute before blotting with a tissue. And that’s it. Sometimes I repeat the process but I find most of my lipsticks usually saturate with one go around. If I get dry throughout the day, I use lip balm and sometimes reapply. It’s not as high maintenance as some may think.

A brighter lip makes all of my grey, black and ivory sweaters look a little more interesting and is a nice switch up from my normal everyday makeup. I call it the Rx for winter makeup problems. And, this lipstick looks like a pill! It’s from Winky Lux Lip Velour in the shade Bunny. I tried it on a whim after opening the December Must Have Box that PopSugar Must Have sent to me. I didn’t know anything about the brand but really liked the deep rose color. A few other selling points: moussy texture and long-wearing formula. I was impressed with how it wore.

Be on the lookout for more Instas with the brighter colors in my collection. I think my NARS Velvet Mattes are ready to come out and play!

Oh, and if you are a first-timer with the Must Have Box, you can use the code SHOP5 to get $5 off. I always find these boxes to be well worth their value and almost always have at least a few beauty items in there each month.

Disclosure: PopSugar sent me this box to try.

Best of Beauty 2016

best beauty 2016

I am all about the reflective year in review. I do it through a beauty lens here and from a personal POV in my journal. I used to find this time of year rather sad because it was saying goodbye to a year but now I see it as hopeful. And, let’s be honest, is anyone else really sad to see 2016 go? Peace out, you were ruthless.

And about that beauty lens. This year was awesome from that view. The 90s came back with a vengeance, YouTubers put 100 coats of makeup on for fun and rainbow highlighter was a sensation. Not all my jam but trends that made this year what it was in beauty. We’re also living the rise of skincare as makeup and individualism, ala Glossier – an ascension I am 100% on board with moving into 2017.

beauty favorites 2016

I’ll get to it. My top 10 favorite beauty launches of 2016.

Honestly, Glossier everything. But especially the Stretch Concealer and Super Pure serum. I use two shades of the concealer (Light and Medium) and often use that combo in place of any other face makeup. They are so creamy and dewy.

Lancome had maybe the best idea for a liquid eyeliner: make the handle bend so application is easier. It works. And, to boot, the eyeliner formula itself is extra inky and concentrated so there’s never any tugging or skipping.

Technically, this is not a 2016 launch but I didn’t discover it until this summer. Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara is the best drugstore mascara, ever. It lengthens and curls lashes, holds them in place all day and is 100% budgeproof – even the non-waterproof version.kiehl's midnight recovery cleansing oil

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Cleansing Oil squeezed in just under the wire – but I’ve been using it for a month now and it’s love. This definitely has a place in every top of the year list. It breaks down makeup beautifully but its power is in bringing you the zen. I swear using this at night this helps separate me from the stress of the day.

As I said in my original review, it’s really rare that I want to use a multiuse product as intended. Inevitably, they are always best on the cheek. Not so with the Bite Beauty Multistick at all. Somehow every color works as an eyeshadow, wears comfortably as a lipstick and looks good on cheeks. Cashew is my favorite shade.

diptyque eau des sens

I love having a Diptyque boutique in Chicago. I remember trying their spring fragrance, Eau des Sens, on a freezing cold spring day. It gave me hope of warmer days to come. The best way to describe it is like an orange tree. But not just the sweet blossom but also the greenery and tree itself. In-freaking-credible.

elizabeth arden prevage spf

As you can see in my photos, I am about to squeeze the last drops of my Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart SPF. This isn’t merely a really fancy sunscreen (but forgive me, I’m known for that at times…) but the most essential step in my daytime skincare routine. This formula is the color of pantyhose and the consistency of a thin lotion. It is loaded with Elizabeth Arden’s Prevage and helps protect against all of the damage you encounter outdoors – sun and pollutants. It truly is for city girls.

Like Glossier, Ouai had a sensational year. This line cropped up what felt like out of nowhere and for months it was all I heard about. As soon as I tried the line (review here) I understood the hype. The Hair Oil is a standout for me. It helps my hair dry shiny and bouncy and smells like an exotic vacation.
Mac Liptensity Driftwood

I try and love a lot of lip color. But most of all I love MAC Liptensity Lipstick in Driftwood. It’s a pinkish mauve that runs cool. I’m always attracted to these colors but find they can go awry. Not Driftwood – I give off healthy vibes with this one. I love that it is unlike anything I have in my collection.

So there you have it: my year in beauty. What rocked your world in 2016? Beauty or otherwise.

October Favs

october beauty favoritesI’m thinking it’s time to resurrect the favorites. I used to pin them and realized that board is long overdue for an update. I’ll get on that by way of also checking in monthly. Starting with some new and old discoveries that I could not get enough of this month.

october favorites First, this Artis brush! After seeing pretty much everyone rave uncontrollably about these brushes, I just had to see what it was all about and I am so on board. I went with the Oval 7 since it was the most versatile in size. You can use it for pretty much all things face and I do. It blends foundation flawlessly with ease – no product is absorbed into the brush so coverage is better. And, it’s less of a blend and more of a swipe. It really is a different experience altogether. I use it with my Glossier Skin Tint and even though that formula is sheer, this method elevated the coverage.

october beauty favorites

anastasia master palette by mario

I have been trying to find the Anastasia Modern Renaissance palette for MONTHS – literally, since July I think? – and I gave up. But I did make sure I snatched up the Master Palette by Mario (makeup artist to Kim K!) as soon as it was available. These colors are earthy and rich. The textures are smooth and they are so pigmented. I get why they sell out instantly.

nars bound velvet lip glide

The Nars answer to liquid lipstick is phenomenal. It glides on like a gloss and with time, fades to a velvet stain. I do pit this in more of a lip gloss category because it takes a while for the oils and moisture to absorb into your lips. I’m obsessed with the color Bound – it’s a mauvey pink, neutral with a kick.

Seasonal changes are rough on my skin and I noticed some of my usual go-to concealers were caking around my nose (where I have the most redness and need it!) and around my eyes. I have been loving Too Faced Born This Way Concealer – solved those problems easily. It has a thin creamy consistency and that I find melds with your skin instead of sitting on top. I use the Light shade for under eyes and for redness.

Another complexion discovery that I find myself using almost every day is bareMinerals Bare Pro. It’s a powder foundation but I usually don’t use it beyond my t-zone. I’ve been opting for lighter complexion products – Glossier Tint and concealer, mainly – so this is the perfect companion to amp up the wear time without adding weight.

I really pulled one out of the archives — MAC Pink Cult blush. I’m so glad I never got rid of this in a cleaning frenzy (it survived two moves!) because it’s my perfect dusty pink. I love the barely there cheek for fall since I’ve been focusing more on my eyes.

What were your October favs?

I Put a Spell on You

MAC Spellbinder Shadow The future of eyeshadow is here and it looks like a velvet couch from the 70s.

This past weekend, I had a makeup date with MAC Cosmetics Regional Makeup Artist John Naughton at the Michigan Ave boutique. I was curious to get the scoop on MAC’s new magnetic eyeshadows, the Spellbinders.  a.k.a. those velvet couches. Think a more intense version of MAC’s loose pigments ionized in magnetic jars. The texture, velvet to the touch, is unlike anything I’ve seen before. They’re loose but you can shake them upside down and they stay put. Beyond the novelty, the shadows themselves are intensely pigmented with a metallic finish. Definitely not my every day wear, but I was curious to see how they fared.  As always, I left John’s chair with so many useful bits of knowledge that I couldn’t wait to try myself at home and also share with you.

MAC John Naughton Chicago

That’s John!

To prep my lids, John used a fluffy brush to apply Painterly all over my lid. I knew Paint Pots were an awesome base and this was a nice reminder. I’m going to start applying with a brush. He applied the soft greige-y lilac Quarry over Painterly before doing anything else. Quarry was like the home base, do-it-all hero. He kept on going back to Quarry to blend out everything in the crease. We also did the eyes first – something I almost never do but should. Especially when you’re out to make a mess.

MAC Spellbinder

MAC Spellbinder Dynamically Charged

MAC Spellbinder ShadowJohn layered the Spellbinder shadows in Dynamically Charged and Retrograde on the lid, concentrating the coppery Dynamically Charged on the inner and center of the lid. I love this color – it’s the most neutral of the bunch. They stay well on the lids and I think would be a lot more user-friendly at home than the pigments (I can’t be trusted with loose shadows!)  He sprayed the brush first with Fix+ which also helps any loose bits stay on the brush and intensify the shadows even more. Retrograde challenged my comfort zone in the outer corner but I was into the bold look. I do think that layering these over a black liner close to the lash line is how I would wear Spellbinders in my daily life. They just come to life over a black base.

Mac Soft and Gentle

John went minimal makeup on my skin, using the new Studio Fix concealer sticks instead of foundation and dusting a layer of the new Studio Fix loose powder to set everything. It didn’t feel like I was wearing any makeup. On my cheeks, John mixed the same brush in Soft and Gentle Mineralize Skin Finish (a peachy bronze highlighter) with Gentle Blush and spritzed it with Fix+ to apply slightly damp. The technique was really cool and something I’m trying at home.

MAC Liptensity

mac liptensity smoked almond

I have been wearing almost exclusively MAC’s Liptensity shades this month and John kept with my plan and applied the rosy brown nude Smoked Almond to finish the look.

It was a ton of fun to experiment with the Spellbinders under the guide of a MAC makeup artist. I’m reminded of how much I really love the brand and how fun it can be when you go beyond your daily routine.

Back to Cool

bite beauty multisticks

Forget that I haven’t been a student for a while, that back to school energy seeps out to the masses. And I’m not just talking the hundreds of “first day of…” photos on Facebook. I’m not saying anything except I saw them…we all saw them.  Those sweet familiar looks of hope and excitement on a kid’s face on a year that is unwritten. A backpack with no scuffs. Clean sneakers. A new box of crayons.  All of those things make me smile big for the camera, too. Except my crayons are for my face. Fall is a breeding ground for new beauty and one of the most exciting launches is crayon-esque Bite Beauty Multisticks. We’re talking so good I can’t describe it with fewer than two really geeked out smiley face emojis.

In my opinion, multi-use products usually don’t work as intended. They’ll do really great at one thing but fail miserably at the package deal.  I’m the first to proclaim love for the NARS Multiple but only on my cheeks. Most highlighters that can be used everywhere don’t typically hold up as eyeshadows.  And the multiple variety for lips are usually always a nope.

Bite happens to do lipsticks amazingly well. It’s what they’re known for so I was curious. Lipstick on your lids? RED LIPS on your lids? Well, not quite. Each of these colors were developed to be universal for eyes, lips and cheeks and complementary to all skin tones.  So, while there’s no cherry red there is a beautiful almond with cherry undertones. And pinks with the right balance of mauve. Neutrals for days. Even some coral-y hues.

bite beauty multistick

What makes them special is they have 35 percent powder in each stick. It applies like a cream and wears like a powder.  You can easily work with these, blending with a brush or your fingers—I like a brush best on eyes/cheeks. It certainly doesn’t feel like you are wearing lipstick on your eyelids nor does it look like you are. The tubes are tiny (as in $24 for that?) but it’s really concentrated so a little bit goes a long long way. I first tried the taupey nude Blondie and could not resist going all in from there with a handful of colors.


Gelato is a grey-toned plum that looks incredible on cheeks and lids. I use a fluffy brush and put this all over my lid and in my crease. One and done eye color! Cashew is similar to Blondie but slightly more rosey. This shade would look awesome on everyone – I love using it on eyes, cheeks and lips at the same time for a monochromatic look. Cerise and Almond are in the same reddish brown family but I couldn’t resist trying both. Cerise is really unique – a deep cherry bronze – and I love it as a lipstick above all else. I’m calling Almond my “fall bronzer” – it definitely gives a nice contour on my cheeks and in the crease of my eyelids.

Has anyone tried these?

Liquid Lipstick Courage

Best Liquid Lipsticks

I take my time with beauty trends. I’m not driven by what is now but rather what looks good on me. If it happens to be both? Hey, cool. I stewed over liquid lipstick for the longest time. Do I have the patience to wear something that long lasting? Will my lips look like a prune? Do I have to wear lip liner with it? Yes, no and probably.

I saw mastering liquid lipstick as a personal challenge; accepting the risk of shriveled chalky lips and bad 90s memories resurfacing. I persevered through the crumbly and cakey, the wrong shades and survived the experience of buying something from Kylie Cosmetics’ website.  In the end, I came out with a pretty sweet wardrobe of liquid lipsticks I LOVE to wear and hopefully some useful tips if you are liquid lipstick curious. Of course, all of the ones I love are basically the same color. It’s how I roll. And honestly, I haven’t been brave enough to go all in with a deep red yet. I’m hoping fall brings out the adventurer in me.

Bust out the balm and let’s dive in!

So about that Kylie Cosmetics experience. I had to try the Kylie Lip Kit for this to at all be a proper vetting. Everything sells out so quickly – in seconds — only to be restocked again days later. I tried to get one of her birthday mini matte kits but despite logging on as soon as the shop opened TWICE, I couldn’t get past the line. So I picked up the Candy K Lip Kit – apparently Kylie’s fav shade per R29 – as a consolation. I think I’m on the Kylie makeup train – the kit is solid. I’ve been wearing the liner under a lot of lipsticks, too. I found the color dried much darker on the lips which I didn’t mind. If you can get past the vanilla scent that disappears quickly, you might like this a lot.

Kat Von D Bow n Arrow

photo by Emily Prendergast

I’ve had so many people – IRL and on the internet – rave about Kat Von D. I believe her line is one of Sephora’s top 10 sellers and her Everlasting Liquid Lipstick was my gateway. I went with Bow n Arrow and WELCOME TO THE 90s! I had to take a light hand since it is brown but in moderation, this is beautiful and I love how it wears. It’s lighter in consistency but wears allllll damn day.  I’m wearing it in the above. It’s the only lip color I wore for the Michelle Starbuck Fall Lookbook.

I also wanted to try something on the lower price range and trust NYX. The Lip Lingerie is a little thicker and heavier but it is extremely long-wearing. The shade Bedtime Flirt is nearly identical to Kylie’s Candy K so there’s that whole ‘dupe’ thing going for it. Just be cautious not to overdo the application because it will cake. This was not my favorite of the bunch but for $6 it’s the best budget option out there.

bareMinerals Gen Nude

bareMinerals just launched an epic collection called Gen Nude. There are sheer lipsticks, glosses and a liquid lip color. I found the range impressive and deem this as the “for everyone” formula. It’s slightly more powdery in feel which means it doesn’t wear as long but it has a more natural look. I dig it – the pink shade Frenemy actually is on the brighter side of nude. Bonus points for being under $20.

Youtube beauty guru Huda Beauty is getting in on the makeup game and girl did GOOD with her version of a liquid matte. If you ever see the shade Venus in stock, go for it. It feels like silk on the lips and the color is perfection if pinky nudes are your thing as they are mine. It’s worth noting the adorable packaging, too.

Apparently, makeup artists and industry folk agree that Anastasia’s Liquid Lipstick is the best. I see where the praise comes from – it transforms so naturally and wears for a full work day. The shade Crush is the perfect feminine neutral pink and the rest of the colors also feel really modern.

My best results with all come from wearing these for an occasion versus a full day at the office. It’s not that they don’t hold up it’s actually the opposite. I’m almost too done, ya know? Anything you’d add to this list?

A Day for Lipstick

Best Pinky Nude Lipsticks

Lips are making headlines today. We’ve got ourselves a beauty holiday with National Lipstick Day.  If there’s a case to be made for making this a gift giving holiday, I’m game. I’d love another pinky nude lipstick, please.  I wear my reds occasionally and there’s a mood that calls for a bright but everyday is for pinky nude lipstick. I used to try and push myself to other colors because who needs THAT many lip colors that are essentially the same but you love what you love. Plus, it’s a category in itself. There are so many nuances to appreciate. Some are more brown, others rosy or pink. Textures vary from sheer to matte or glossy. When you find your color, go all in and discover!

I’ve rounded up my favs as of late for a National Lipstick Day tribute.

National Lipstick Day

The Go To…Nars makes a mean lip color – I love their pencils but their classic tubes should not be forgotten. Rosecliff was a color that came out last fall that I was immediately drawn to (duh). Love the pinky brown and how conditioning it feels on lips.

The One That Feels Like Silk… Pomegranate and rose make up this organic lipstick from Vapour in the shade Au Pair. It’s more mauve in tone and glides on to lips like silk. Vapour has a seriously impressive range of pinky nude lipsticks.

The Satin Finish…Ciate teamed with Olivia Palermo and the results were obsession-worthy (remember that palette?!) The lipstick in Truffle gives me vintage beauty vibes. It’s opaque – one swipe and you have full coverage – so a little goes a long way.

The Luxurious OneMarc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Gel in Role Play. Not actually sheer – which I love – and the tube is extra fancy. On lips, it’s a saturated dusty rose hue.

The One You’ve Never Heard Of… This indie beauty brand from Australia captured my attention majorly with their handcrafted organic lipsticks. Nudus 27 Kisses is a universally flattering neutral rose with 27 active ingredients – vitamins, cold-pressed oils, colors from flowers, fruits and minerals, etc. The color is much darker in the tube but it doesn’t translate that way on lips.

The New Generation…Already on my second tube of Glossier Generation G in ‘Like’ – a soft pink. These are magical tubes – they are a sheer matte lipstick. It’s diffused the moment you put it on – like you had a popsicle.

The One that is My Lips But Better…Ilia is OG when it comes to organic lipstick. For summer, they ditched the silver bullet and instead packaged up up the lip conditioners in a sleek white metal tube and added SPF 15. Kokomo is a sheer pinky mauve that looks just like my natural lip color.

Any colors you just can’t stop wearing?

Click Click


You know how fancy lipsticks always have a special click in the packaging? Listen to the sound of a Chanel lipstick opening and closing. Or the Rouge d’ Armani. Click click. There’s also a certain weight to the tube itself that feels really good to hold. Maybe that’s why I’ve always been a lipstick splurger.  That’s the first thing I thought of when I tried – and instantly obsessed over – Axiology Beauty’s lipstick. An organic vegan lipstick that rivals the world’s most luxurious brands. It lives in this sleek gold tube and to open, you press down on the bottom and up pops the lipstick. Click click. It’s an experience. As it should be sometimes with beauty.


Axiology Lipstick

I’ve found in the Axiology line the perfect pinky nude with just the right balance of peach – a color I always go to no matter how many similar I have. It’s called Philosophy.  Axiology is the result of a passion project by Brooklynite Ericka Rodriguez who traveled to Bali to study ingredients and packaging when she started to experiment with making lipstick. That cool triangle box it comes in is actually made from paper collected from all around the island of Bali that would otherwise be trash or litter and boiled down to a pulp, laid out to dry and folded and decorated by hand. Pretty cool right?

The color is vibrant but never heavy or waxy. Everything in that shiny gold tube is pure and nourishing, like avocado butter and organic coconut oil. Staying power is good but I’ll admit to a touch up for the sake of the hearing the click click.

A New Generation of Lip Color

Glossier Generation G

I’m officially a Glossier fanatic. I honestly can’t wait to see what they do next because they absolutely BROUGHT IT this year. And it’s only April. Between making a face wash to put all other face washes to shame and a highly superior concealer, they also managed to do something brand new with lipstick – a feat I didn’t even think was possible. Generation G is an unfussy matte stain of sorts that glides on smooth and wears like a tinted balm. Do you ever blot your lipstick to tone down the effect? Make it look a little lived in? This is how Generation G looks on the lips. They take to lips really well and application is easy. It’s the lip color you can apply without a mirror – even the non-neutrals – and the one you’d want to wear on a date.  I ordered the Phase 2 set in the color Like, a natural rosy pink, and quickly ordered every color after I wore it for a day. Like is my favorite but the peachy nude Cake is a close second. The other two are Crush, a brighter pink, and Jam, a berry stain. I have to imagine Glossier is working on more colors. I’m patiently waiting for them conquer red at some point. I envision it be the perfect ‘just ate a cherry popsicle’ color and we all be raving about that one together. Let me know if you’ve tried these yet. And, if so, what do you think?

Bag Within a Bag Lady

Purse Beauty

I had a flurry of LinkedIn notifications yesterday congratulating me on my work anniversary. Work-aversary? It was sorta like people wishing me happy birthday on Facebook. I definitely felt the love and I also had no idea that I was celebrating seven years at my current job, so it was legitimately useful. Nothing like a trip down memory lane, career edition. To think, I used to be that girl who started her career in Washington, DC, carrying the world’s largest bag filled with everything. To the point of back pain. I even had a kit from the Red Cross for emergencies – purse-sized edition, but still. You know, a whistle, bag of water, mask. It was a gift, eventually relegated to a desk drawer. Just think of all of the makeup I toted around. Note: too much. General PSA: if you are sore from carrying a purse, it’s time to purge.

Stowaway Cosmetics Scarlet

Now, I’m more of a tiny bag within a bag type person. I ask myself, am I actually going to use that during the day? Do I really need to carry mascara with me? When your primary mode of transportation to work is your own two feet, you ask yourself the hard questions.

Thought I’d give you a peek at my current bag within a bag. This bag is perfect – it was a Sephora sample bag filled with Laura Mercier minis. The products in here tend to change based on what I’m using but the categories stay the same. I stick to a few face products, some ChapStick® and lipstick.

Highlighter is a great on-the-go product. I used to pack blush and bronzer but find that I prefer to touch up my skin with highlighter. You can use it on your eyes, layer it over existing makeup without worrying if it’s the same blush you put on that morning. A creamy formula like W3LL People Bio Brightener is key. I love the glow it leaves with just a few taps. Plus, no makeup brush required!

Concealer is so useful to have on hand. Preferably something that can cover redness, pimples and brighten up under eyes. Not too many do it all but Beautycounter’s Touchup Concealer Pen fits the bill and is the better (eco-beauty version) of YSL Touche Eclat.


I carry a lot of lip products around. I’m honest with myself about that. There are more not even in this bag that stay in the side pocket. Hey, I like options and I try to rotate colors in and out. I have a few tubes ChapStick for under lipsticks or just to moisturize lips throughout the day. The classics are where it’s at – Strawberry and Spearmint are my jam, for going on basically ever. The Classic range defends lips against the drying effects of wind and cold weather, which we’re getting a blast of this week. Wearing ChapStick under lipstick doesn’t change the texture, which I like. I also like to have the ChapStick® Sun Defense with me for times I’m out walking or know I’ll be spending time in the sun. This one has to stay in the bag within the bag or I’ll never remember.

I don’t feel so bad about hoarding lip products since I discovered Stowaway. Their lipsticks are tiny, size of a pinky. Scarlet is maybe my favorite red – the founders spent a lot of time making sure this red was spot on and that effort is much appreciated. The Champagne is a really pretty pearly nude and all of the pinks and berries are very classy. The Scarlet is my fav to just keep in the bag because it – along with the highlighter – can take a no-makeup day to a very glam place in a minute.

It adds an extra ounce or two, but I like to carry face wipes. You just never know. The individual packaged Ursa Major wipes are incredible. They’re made from bamboo, filled with essential oils and aloe to soothe skin and I feel so refreshed after using one. Pretty good at removing makeup but I keep it in my bag for more of a just in case.

You can make the bag smaller but you can’t totally take the Red Cross level of preparedness out of the girl. Or so the saying goes…

Note: Pfizer Consumer Healthcare provided me with product so I could share my thoughts and about ChapStick. All opinions about being a bag lady are my own. Thanks for your continued support of 312 Beauty!

It’s a Beautiful Life (oh-oh-ooo-h)

312 Beauty

Did you just blink and wake up to realize it is the SECOND week in September? OK, cool. Me too. If I summed up everything I’m feeling right now, it would all ladder up to transition.  Between straddling life in two cities, being in a thrilling and fulfilling relationship and paving a new path professionally, I’m experiencing the intense in-progress and unknown. And legitimately struggling to come to terms with the fact that it is September. September in Chicago is a transition in itself between the ease of summer and the hustle of the rest of the year.  I’m still in the mood for easy and laid back but the morning air and earlier sunset reminds me that the window is dwindling. While I’m sorting out the feels, I’m also getting my fall beauty on. This is the fun part of it all! I’ve got a new color on my lips, appointment with my hair stylist on the books and am testing out some new treats. CoverGirl Outlast

Problem: summer Fridays are officially ov-er and I’ve been wearing pretty much the same shiny pot of lip color all summer long. Solution: Try a fiery new lip color to last through a full work day, including the multiple coffee runs and an UberEats delivery. CoverGirl Outlast Longwear Lipstick in Fireball (#910) fits the bill, for about 16 hours to be precise.


Problem: the sun is setting earlier. As in right on my forehead when I’m heading to the gym after work. While I can’t negotiate the solar equinox, I can pump up my moisturizer with SPF before I hit the pavement. I usually wash my face before getting my sweat on and go bare to the gym save a little moisturizer. Olay has you covered with the Total Effects Feather Weight Moisturizer SPF 15, it has Olay’s Solar Sheer Technology to protect against UVB and UVA rays. Plus, I really appreciate the air pump packaging here – no need to dig your hands into a jar.

Pantene Beautiful Lengths

Problem: I have no idea what to do with mine. Grow or cut? Continue balayage or go for a glaze?  I may not know yet but I am excited about what Pantene is doing today. It’s National Donate Your Hair Day and Pantene is issuing what they’re calling the #8or8 challenge. In 2008, when my hair was about a foot longer, I chopped it all off and mailed in a ponytail of my hair to the Beautiful Lengths campaign. I love this program – they create free, real hair wigs for women who have lost theirs due to cancer treatments. Beautiful Lengths has been around since 2006 and received more than 800,000 donations. It takes a minimum of 8 ponytails to create one wig, so every donation is really important. Today, Pantene is encouraging people to donate 8 inches, provided you have and want to do the chop, or donate $8 to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Fund.  My hair isn’t even scraping my shoulders so my support will be pledged with a donation! I’m all for women feeling like they have a piece of themselves again as they go through what must be the hardest transition of all. And, as I suds’d my hair up in the shower with the Beautiful Lengths Shampoo and Conditioner this morning and let my mind wander, I felt like the luckiest girl to be able to take on so much new in life.

Let’s continue this discussion over on Instagram — > there’s something to be had from my friends at P&G Beauty! Who, p.s., I will be working with the next 10 months to tackle the ups and downs of beauty in Chicago.

This post was sponsored by P&G Beauty. Thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. As always, thank you for supporting the brands that support 312 Beauty.

A Day for Lipstick

ILIA Lipstick Crayon

Marketing holidays are a thing now. There’s a day for pretty much every food, beverage, car, flower and sport imaginable. I care about exactly two of them: national relaxation day (that’s in August…take a bath! enjoy quiet time!) and national lipstick day. The latter is today. Happy holiday, beauty friends!

Laurie Leopold

Be it the classic bullet, crayon-esque pencil, pot or tub, I love lip color in all forms. Lipstick is the single most transformative beauty product that helps channel a desired state of mind. It’s the opener and closer. I instantly feel complete wearing it, even if the rest of my face is bare.

ILIA Call Me

One such lip color that has made it pretty easy to smile lately is a bubblegum pink by ILIA. The self-sharpening Lip Crayon, in “Call Me,” is as good as it gets. The color was inspired by one of my favorite 80s flicks, Pretty in Pink! It’s a vibrant soft pink—uplifting in nature. The semi-matte finish is modern and comfortable.  ILIA cracked the code on organic lipstick so it comes as no surprise that this lip crayon rules the world.

P.S. I’ve been wearing this polish for a few weeks now and might just embrace the bare nail trend the rest of summer!

Photos by Alanna Glass

Red Red Wine and Green Green Juice

PINT Chicago

Everything is in bloom. I swear I went to bed last week with sparse branches outside my window and woke up to flowers sprouting. Seeing the trees awaken like that and transform over the course of even a day is like living in a time lapse video. My allergies are acting a fool but it’s all good. I ain’t gonna break. I’m just going to take all of the Claritin and cross my fingers it passes soon! That, and watery eyes mean I’m laying off the eyeliner and having some fun with lipstick. I’ve been experimenting with colors from Chicago-based beauty brand Cate McNabb.

Cate McNabb 312 Beauty

Cate McNabb Lipstick

312 Beauty

Their red spectrum is off the hook — everything from blood orange to ruby red and every subtle hue in-between. I’m especially into the vampy edge of Red Red Wine – the darkest red in the fam. Cate McNabb’s mantra is ‘bold by nature’ so you could say I kinda love them. I think bold is in the water here.  While I was hibernating this winter, I also discovered a new juice subscription service that it is all the more exciting now that farmer’s market freshness is here.  It’s called PINT and it’s like a CSA but they deliver mason jars of fresh juice right to your door step. Just don’t call PINT a cleanse— the founders are anti-fad and pro-balance, with hearty blends in addition to cold-pressed juices. They even delivered a jar of almond milk to me to put in coffee for the week. Working with the local Chicago agriculture community, new recipes are crafted in real time based on what’s in season and Devin and Hannah (the brains and soul of PINT) even do the deliveries. These two are ones to watch!

photos by Lindsay Humes // White Oak Creative

A Signature Lip

Fall LipstickThis weekend my friend Maria from The Style Letters had us over for some girl time to celebrate her Redbook mag appearance. In the September issue, no less. To that I say, you go girl!  We ate ice cream cake and played with makeup. It was a fabulous Saturday evening. There was a bucket of lipstick (truly my kind of party) that L’Oreal and Redbook sent over. Of course I tried the shade du jour – Ruby Opera – and it really was a power red that flattered all of the ladies in the room. At some point, my hair had picked up some of the glossy red and whisped it onto my face. And then I got to thinking about my signature lipstick shade for fall. I’m backing off of my tomatoes and cherries a bit in favor of something softer. Not just because of the case of the traveling red gloss stain but because a neutral matches my mindset this time of year. It’s a reset to the basics and the classics. A pinky nude looks good every season. I’m all about the soft power lip this season. What do you think? Which one do I go with?

Tory Burch Son of a Gun – I’m a fan of the overt Burch branding in this case. There are so many feminine neutral hues in this lipstick collection but I love this one because it has a warm golden shimmer. // Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Nude – Girlfriend basically invented nude lipstick so Bobbi is always in the mix. Plus, the thought of a matte lipstick that moisturizes for eight hours is really appealing. // Lipstick Queen Silver Screen You Kid – Impossibly glamorous. My gah. Designed to look like silk on the lips for an all day “wet” look. How pouty! // Aerin Beauty Rose Balm Perfect Nude – Aerin’s lipsticks are more on the sheer side which I usually like for a darker hue. But I could be convinced for the sake of that gorgeous gold tube. // ILIA Funnel of Love – Best organic lipstick, ever. While this hue has more peach than pink, the inspiration for it hails from Brigitte Bardot. I think it’s a winner. // Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick Bitch PerfectThe namesake collection for the British makeup artist is now available stateside. People are excited. I’m personally excited for this lipstick – that name is everything. //  NARS Audacious Lipstick Barbara – NARS released 40 new lipsticks. Truth be told, I want to try them all! But the place to start feels like it should be the tan rose Barbara.

Let’s Talk Lipstick

Josie Maran Happy Honey

Today is basically a national holiday. Almost. It’s National Lipstick Day so I feel it only appropriate to talk about my favorite swivel bullet as of late. I cannot take credit for this discovery but will certainly preach the power of what might just be the perfect nude lipstick. My coworker Rachel, one of my favorite Chicago-based humans, flashed this rose gold tube of Josie Maran Happy Honey at work one day and confidently told me that it was a game-changing discovery. For good measure, she applied it in that moment and even I can’t deny visual evidence.  I thought about it for a few days and took the plunge myself. So did another coworker — the Happy Honey craze is spreading like wildfire. The inner core is a rosy nude with just the right balance of pink and brown and it’s wrapped in a blanket of Josie’s Argan Oil. It’s all very hi-tech. Right when you apply – mirror optional – there’s an intense dewy effect from the argan oil that slowly disappears into your lips, hydrating like woah along the way. What other incredible discoveries have you guys made? I’m all ears today. Let’s do Lipstick Day justice!