Tag Archives: sponsored

A New (to us!) Lip Tint to Love

Bucktown Love Mural

I’m feeling the l-o-v-e. I’m also giving out the love. I really think that a big smile is the best beauty move. Everything just kind of lights up. Not sure if you have a special date night coming up – there is Valentine’s Day to look forward to – but if you think you might be planning on doing some kissing, a no frills lip is just a strategic move. Right?

It’s why I have a feeling you will so be ready for this jelly. Vaseline Lip Therapy is now available in a tin. In the U.S.!  You can practically GPS your way to one using Vaseline’s locator. Previously, you had to somehow procure the tins from the U.K. but they are stateside now. The whole moisturizing, non-sticky (perfect for smoochin’) gang has arrived to Target – Original, Aloe, Rosy Lips and Cocoa Butter – and are a cool $4 apiece.

Vaseline Lip Therapy Tin Rosy

Vaseline Lip Tin Launch U.S.

Love Mural Chicago

312 Beauty

Vaseline’s Lip Tins rule date night. They actually rule everything. Rosy Lips is my favorite because it has a slight pink tint , It’s super subtle and perfect for accentuating your smile. It also helps seal in moisture so your lips don’t dry out – mission critical this time of year.

Vaseline Rosy Lips TinVaseline Rosy Lip Tins

I’ve been working on perfecting my date night makeup. If my makeup can sustain the day and walks outside, it most definitely can handle date night. Rosy Lips is just the right amount of lip color and I love to pair it with a bright pink cheek and plum eyeliner.

Vaseline Lip Therapy Tin

Ooh, and you can even stash it in your pocket for easy access!

What are your plans this weekend? Date night? Girl time? Or just you time? If you can manage to squeeze in all three, then you win.

This post was sponsored by Vaseline. All the love put into this was mine alone. Thank you for reading! 

Stripped Down

Lululemon Karma Kurmasana Sweater

I’m keeping warm, sure, because I’m wearing unspeakable amounts of layers. It’s the only way I could have survived January in Chicago.

Commuting has its aches. This is how my train of thought usually goes when I’m running to catch the L to work.  Why didn’t I wear my snow boots, the ones with better traction…I’m going to crack my skull on an ice patch, I know it.  Shoot, I forgot to wear wool socks. Why didn’t I wear the gloves that have working “smart” fingers. Do I really need to respond to that text? Thank goodness I wore heat tech leggings under my jeans. Why is it so windy?? I should just take an Uber.

It should come as no surprise that I’m taking a bare approach to beauty. No unnecessary layers. When Chicago’s signature chill is at peak, my eyes water, my hair is met with static electricity and my skin requires extra hydration. The less complicated, the more put together and cute I feel during the day.

Olay Micro-Sculpting Cream

It starts by prepping skin with something really rich and hydrating so your skin doesn’t dry out before your day officially begins. One option is Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream which, over time, helps firm, brighten skin and reduce the appearance of lines. It also has sun protection which is, in fact, a key layer in the morning.

I’ve been using the CoverGirl truNAKED Shadow Palettes – I’m partial to the ‘nudes’ and ‘roses – constantly. The depth of each shadow is impressive and they are so easy to blend. As somewhat of a nude eyeshadow expert (never.enough.palettes!) I can confirm the quality of these are as good as you’d expect from something that costs four times as much.

CoverGirl Naked Palette CoverGirl truNaked Shadow Palette

I’ve been trading in my liquid liner (because mega watery tear ducts) for truNAKED Waterproof Eyeliner Duo in the cashmere/espresso blend. It goes on really evenly without any tugging. I layer the two shades on the bottom lash line and skip it up top and outer corners when I know it’s going to be brutal outside.

Herbal Essences Naked

Mostly, my hair is on auto pilot. I try to wash it less and avoid heat styling. In my shower is the Herbal Essences Naked Clean & Refresh Shampoo and Conditioner. It removes buildup of a few days’ worth of styling products, lathers just enough and never weighs my hair down. Day one is especially sweet because the minty strawberry aroma wafts along and when I take off my hat when I get to work, it reveals itself.

Do you change your beauty routine this time of year?

Let me know if so. I’m giving away up to 10 prize packs of all the products mentioned in this post. It’s a good one! Leave me a comment or send me an email if you’re interested.*

Update 2/3: The giveaway is now closed. Thank you to all who entered!

*If you’ve previously won a P&G giveaway, note that product fulfillment takes some time.   

First photo taken by Lindsay Humes of White Oak Creative

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!  

Relax, You’re On Vacation

Miami Beach

The 2015 journey is coming to a close. Like everyone else, I’m all, “what, another year on the books?! For real?” The first part of the month was condensed chaos. December is always such a hectic time of the year that it can be a struggle to actually enjoy the holidays. Seems this is always the case for me every year and I decided that, finally, I would do something about it. Never have I been so happy to board a 6am flight out of Chicago on a Saturday but when Miami is the destination, it’s worth the early departure. For the first time, I happily traded in a cold week of Christmas for beach and sand. I don’t care if it is only 75 degrees outside – that ocean water is warmer than Lake Michigan ever will be at its peak warmth. Take me to the beach every day!

Overall, this has been a year of a lot of firsts. I want to keep that open-minded theme through the end of the year and to prepare for 2016. I brought a few new products with me all with goal of relaxing and recharging. And did I ever (I know…radio silence over here!)

Miami Wynwood

I got a head start on that whole New Year, new look. I’m all about that balayage life. I’m as blonde as I’ve ever been, yet it’s so natural and blended. I’m way too much of a novice to even imagine coloring my hair on my own, but my P&G pals sent me a box of Vidal Sassoon Salonist. It has a two-step process with a brush and bowl so you can add depth and tones to the lengths of the hair, just like in a salon. If there’s anyone that wants to try, please leave me a comment and I’ll send a box your way!*

Vidal Sassoon Salonist

Pantene Pro-V 2 Minute Masque

Now that I have color in my hair, I’m being more proactive about keeping my hair moisturized. Especially because we’re in “perpetually dry forced heat someone please turn on the humidifier” time of year.  I’m doing a mask once a week now. I’ve been trying out a few options, one being the Pantene Pro-V 2-Minute Masque. It’s such a budget steal! For under $8, you get a giant tub. It’s more of a deep conditioner that you leave in your hair for 2-5 minutes, so you can easily do it in the shower without waiting around. It is deeply moisturizing and you feel the effect immediately. If I do it at night and let it air dry before bed, I wake up with the softest hair. It has that signature Pantene smell too, which I will love forever. I did this the right before my vacation!

Olay Overnight Mask

My first night in Miami was fantastic–we got a whopping 12 hours of sleep. It was glorious. We were still up by 8:30 a.m., so I didn’t have that panic of sleeping the day away. Turns out, going to bed really early sets you up for a relaxing vacation. A good night’s rest is beauty sleep in itself, but I amped it up with a few skin treatments. One was a sleeping mask from Olay, the Regenerist Luminous Overnight Mask. It’s a gel mask that you can sleep in without washing off. I applied it onto some dry patches – my chin was flaky – and overnight it did its thing. The gel feels refreshing on the skin, especially after a day spent in the Miami sun.

I hope that you are having a restful and relaxing end of the year! Would love to hear how you’re using the time to recharge! And, let me know about the Vidal Sassoon color by leaving a comment on this post. I’ll coordinate with my P&G team to hook you up with a box of your choice and the Pantene Pro-V 2-Minute Masque! I can follow-up with you by email to coordinate specific shades!

*giving away up to 10 boxes – please contact me by January 15, 2016.

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.

Fleeking in Progress

Anastasia Ulta Beauty

In my desk drawer at work, among the sprinkles of beauty products, is a kit with nail files, scissors, tweezers, etc. Absolute desk essential, I recognize that. One of my friends at work uses the tweezers in there probably twice a week. She has told me that she hates seeing a stray hair and has to get rid of it immediately. Imagine what she does when she gets home in her mirror close-up?! I adore her but I (not so) secretly want to see her beautifully coiffed brows get a little unruly. I think I might need to ween her off of the midday desk tweeze.

So, I was thinking, how about we all just stop grooming your brows, at least for a little bit? Let’s pause the tweezing, plucking and drop the perfectionist mentality. Think more controlled chaos.  Maintenance is welcome but not the kind that takes away precious hairs. Think about brow contact as you would eye contact – what do you want your brows to communicate?

I always want a strong brow and a bolder look. I tweeze maybe once a month and make a point to only go after the truly outlier hairs – like the tiny ones in that crook above my noise, square in the middle of my face. I’ll probably never get back what I lost in 1999-2000 but that’s manageable enough. I’ve been using Anastasia Beverly Hills for most of my grown woman life. I see Anastasia as the original brow master – she was helping us control our chaos long before we realized that we needed to be.

Anastasia Duo Highlighting Pencil

I’ve literally used her same angled spoolie brush for probably 8 years, though this one is a recent upgrade from Ulta Beauty! I use the spoolie to comb up my brows and rely on Brow Wiz to fill in the sparseness, which is especially prevalent on my right brow despite going on several grooming strikes. It’s really natural – looks exactly like my hair. The Clear Brow Gel keeps it all in place and volumizes, which is the key to bold brows. The trick is is to comb the wand up and through, vs. across and flat. And, the absolute VIP of face framing beauty products is this duo highlighter that actually pulls double duty as eyeliner. The soft pink matte side fakes eight hours of sleep and the shimmery side makes your arches pop.

Oh, and you know how I love an Ulta Beauty run while I’m running my Sunday errands? Well, something MAJOR happened while I was in Toronto. They opened a new location in Wicker Park, in a space that used to belong to Staples. It’s a sprawling 10,000 square feet and a good few of those belong to Anastasia. Well done, Ulta Beauty powers that be.

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.

Summer Strutting

European Wax Center
Most people – at least the Midwesterners I hang around – are always talking about getting sun. It’s a major topic of convo when discussing weekend plans.  I get it, I do. Vitamin D feels incredible and a little sun kissed color does seem to make us “look” better. There really is something to that allusion, at least mentally. However, I’m less focused on bronzing and more on making sure my skin is ready to be exposed to the citizenry of Chicago and other vacay destinations. There’s some effort to keep up with the exfoliating, buffing and moisturizing. Have you tried a bathing suit on lately? Hey, we are all stunning when we feel confident…KNOW THAT! But then you realize you haven’t exposed that part of your body since last September and it’s all OOPs! Seasonal adjustment is a real bear.

European Wax Center Logan Square

I’ve got a summer strut glam team on call. For starters, a sugar + shea scrub in the shower every other day and I drench myself in body oil. But I leave some of the maintenance to the pros. Once you bikini wax, you never go back. Especially after your first wax, it gets significantly easier. I’m a recent convert to the art of the Brazilian. And I do believe it is an art. I never wanted to splurge on the service previously but it really is 1000% preferable to shaving. And it doesn’t have to be a pricey service every 5-6 weeks (I’m diligent). I’m really keen on how reasonable European Wax Center® structures their service menu. There are a handful of locations around Chicagoland and each have hair removal down to a luxuriously yet affordable science. Plus, if you’re a first-time guest*, they’ll treat you to a complimentary service…bikini, brow or underarm.

European Wax Center

I totally was the girl who feared to wax there. Terrified. Up until earlier this year. But, it’s seamless and as comfortable as can be at European Wax Center®. The associates there use a pre-wax cleanser and oil to prep the skin and make sure their wax adheres to the hair versus your skin. This is a really important step – you’ll immediately feel the difference if you’ve ever had your skin yanked around.  And, ingrown hairs are my nemesis (especially there of all places), so I highly recommend using a serum after the fact.

I’m gearing up for a summer of high-waisted bikini bottom adventures. First up: Miami this past weekend! Next: a weekend in Madison where I will attempt stand up paddleboarding for the first time.

And, one more note, European Wax Center is having a contest right now with Wilhelmina Models (anyone else having ANTM nostalgia?!) until July 20, with the winner landing a modeling contract. More details on that here.  

*First-time guests only. Guests must reside in state where redeemed. Not valid for all services. Additional restrictions may apply. Visit waxcenter.com for complete details.

Disclosure note: Thanks for supporting the brands that support 312 Beauty. This post was sponsored by European Wax Center® through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about European Wax Center®, all opinions are my own.

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.

Live Head First

Laurie Leopold 312 Beauty
No one day is the same. Sure, we have routines and structure to keep us grounded and functioning but what a thrill to be reminded that every day begins uncharted. I could stand to remember that more often. Think about it: how can this Monday be different than the last? Or the one before that?  New opportunities to learn, laugh, get silly, connect—or better yet, disconnect (from that tech life, yo)—and strengthen your sense of self. You could say it’s about living life head first. I’m teaming up with Head & Shoulders this week to do just that. It’s a belief I fully embrace. I’m throwing myself into my days with no hesitation. And sass. The new haircut (chopped it again!) is license enough to bring it on. In fact, I think I’ve amended Head & Shoulders Smooth & Silky line to have a third word…sassy. It’s implicit on the label. And evidenced by the new look of their limited edition bottle available at Target right now. Trust me. Just as no day is the same, neither is your hair on any given day.

Head & Shoulders Target Style

The start of spring…like real spring not calendar spring…is prime time to get silly wit it. I whipped my hair around and reveled in feeling good on the inside and out without focusing on being perfectly coiffed. Where’s the fun in too much polish?

312 Beauty

In between twirls and laughing with my girlfriends, I thought about what it really means to live head first. I don’t consider it to be charging ahead with reckless abandon or impulsivity but rather striking a balance between mind and body. It’s where the conscious and rational compromise with passion and intuition, which can be hard to do. We owe it to ourselves to indulge in what feels good so long as it benefits us as individuals. How will you know? Maybe we won’t and that’s OK. Don’t overthink a decision because experiences help us grow regardless of outcome or how we feel in those moments. I think it comes down to allowing your head to keep up with your heart. Feelings and emotion tend to wash over us intensely and quickly and the mind needs time to understand what it even means in the context of our lives.

Take comfort in the fact that no day is the same. It means we’ll always know more tomorrow!

Head and Shoulders

P.S. If you find yourself at one of my fave beauty destinations, a.k.a. Target, my (sassy) Silky & Smooth shampoo is promo-ing through May 16. If you buy 3 Head & Shoulders products, you’ll get a $5 Target gift card (which I would put toward these…just sayin’).

Disclosure note: Thanks for supporting the brands that support 312 Beauty. This post was sponsored by Head & Shoulders at Target through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Head & Shoulders at Target, all opinions are my own.

Photography by Lindsay Humes of White Oak Creative + Shaheen Khan

An Adventure for the Bucket List


Most weeks, adventure is a state of mind. My daily grind is a regimented one with a lot of desk time, what can I say. This week, though, I had an epic IRL voyage in Palm Springs with the most legit group of women. Team Clementine reps realness in a way that stuns. Like many adventures, this one involved lots of open road and unplanned stops just to take in the sights. The kind folks at Buick provided us with the wheels and Palm Springs itinerary. I actually did most of the driving on the way to Palm Springs, in an Enclave (the larger SUV) and on the way back to LA in an Encore (the crossover). I’m so not a car girl—especially since I rarely drive ours in the city—but definitely had a “is this seriously a Buick?” moment since I’ve never been behind the wheel of one. I rode with Stephanie and we chatted it up for three hours (LA traffic, we can’t be mad at ya) and felt like we were in our own little desert-bound world. Which, we kind of were, since Buick built in a noise-cancelling system they call QuietTuning in these cars. I think maybe when I drove alone and cranked up the music it made my car singing voice sound a little better, too? The things I tell myself…

PalmSprings-ViceroyOur villa at The Viceroy


This dress will be on repeat all summer

We explored a thrift shop called Dazzles (great tip from Anne!), brunched at the Ace Hotel, scooted around town in our Buicks seeking architecture and history (spotted the house Elvis + Priscilla honeymooned in!) spa-ed at The Viceroy and squeezed in as many pool hours as we could.


Clementines take the wheel


Photobombed by a man who I just want to intensely spritz with SPF


The perspective you get in this big world with nothing in sight but this view, gal pals and a Buick Enclave

Perhaps it comes through in these photos but Palm Springs is a real hottie with those mountain views and body shocking temps. You really get to know just how much your body can take in that environment. On the first night at dinner, I nearly fainted from dehydration which shocks me since I normally consume so much water. I didn’t know it was happening until the moment it swept over me and I had to lie down. I actually had to ice myself down in the restaurant which was equal parts embarrassing and scary. Chalked that up to a lesson learned and I ended up having the best time. My favorite part was getting to spend time with these ladies! I left Palm Springs with a full heart.

Photo Credits: 1, 3 (Stephanie Duncan) 2, 4, 6 (Me), 5 (Julia Gartland)

Note: As I mentioned, Buick sponsored this trip, providing the lodging and cars and the sweet experience of bringing us together in one place.

Olay {Dew Over}

I’m traveling back from New York this afternoon after a quick trip in yesterday. I’ve got a similar 24 hours on tap for next week, too. The change of scenery is welcome but contributing to an already over the place schedule. I wouldn’t have it any other way! Does anyone else stay up way too late? If it isn’t late nights working it is late nights spent reading. I’m hosting book club soon so this month’s read for the group is my choice. I went with The Husband’s Secret which I devoured in just a few days. It was worth the fatigue the morning after I finished. That’s what concealer and a dewy moisturizer are for, right? The recipe for beauty sleep in an instant, I say.



At POPSUGAR’s recommendation, I gave the Olay Fresh Effects {Dew Over} Hydrating Gel Moisturizer a test drive. Always a fan of the ‘gel layer’ — as a first step before a thicker moisturizer — I was interested in seeing how this fared. The texture is light and instantly cooling on contact. A few layers on clean skin visibly plumped up my skin. The gel takes some time to really soak in but once it does, the finish is smooth and dry. For best results, give it about 10 minutes to absorb. I think of gels as a first layer, typically, because they can leave a semi-sticky finish but not in this case. The scent is mild and Olay used a few new ingredients with the Fresh Effects line: namely white tea and honeysuckle.


I took a closer look at Olay’s tips for a {Dew Over} and saw the tip to apply this whenever you need a refresh. Mid-day, I applied over my makeup, on my cheeks and sides of my nose which have been a little dry. The cool feeling gave an instant wake-up, which leads me to believe this may have a home in the fridge for use on a hot afternoon. It’s hard to imagine a day that hot this early in the season, but I know they’re on the way.

With the weekend approaching, I’m hoping to squeeze in some actual rest and head to the library to get another book. Any recommendations?

Disclosure note: This post was sponsored by Olay Fresh Effects through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Olay Fresh Effects, all opinions, as always, are my own.

Almay Shadow Softies


Grey, black and navy make a fine wardrobe palette but even I stray from my routine sometimes for color. And there’s nothing that goes better with color than more color. This soft linen print tee and Almay Shadow Softies by Intense I-Color is one such combo taking me away from my uniform. I love the mix of patterns and it begs for an equally colorful palette on the face. I’ve been having some fun playing with a few colors of Almay’s Shadow Softies, thanks to Refinery29 and Almay. The golden Crème Brulee with a touch of rose (pretty!) and the pale Lilac.

AlmayCremeBrulee AlmaySofties


To the touch, these eye shadows are soft and cushy. Like puddy…and yes, once you press down you can’t stop. On the eye, they are sheer and brightening. These are not a typical powder so they apply best with your ring finger. Try to pat and dab versus sweep and blend — you’ll get more depth. I built up a few layers with the lilac and added a coral lip, which helps take away from the preciousness of this particular shade of purple.

What’s your take on color? Would love to hear the colors you put together, cross face and body.

*Note: This post was sponsored by Almay Cosmetics and Refinery29. My opinions and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make 312 Beauty possible.

New Year, New Attitude, Great Skin

Happy-2014Photo via

I’ve had a few weeks to consider my to-do list for 2014. Some framethis exercise as setting resolutions, others prefer the word goal. While I certainly have personal and professional goals, I’m setting my intention for how I want to approach this year. The power of positive thinking (and doing!) I’ve had a great few months teaming with Kohl’s Beauty and for our final collaboration, I thought it would be fun to film a video message. The twist?  I’m not wearing any makeup. A top ‘to-do’ for me this year is to be confident in everything I do. Certainly, cozying up on camera in my most natural state is a step. It’s something I likely wouldn’t have done a few years ago, but I’ve made it a priority to focus on my skin and treat it well. If you know me or visit here often, you know I take my masking and moisturizing quite seriously. My Sunday spa-days at home are more than a routine, but rather a ritual I rely on for clarity on every level.

No makeup, no problem!

Mixed in with the big picture approach to my 2014 to-do list (smile! laugh! be happy!) is a very tactical ‘wash your face every night.’ On a basic level, it’s the first step in proper skin care. On another level, there’s something very therapeutic at the end of a busy day to wash it all off. To get rid of the day’s stress and allow your skin to heal itself and recoup while you sleep. So, with that, a few tips to get you going.

  • I’ve used a cleansing brush for years – love it, especially when traveling! Kohl’s sells a version from Dermatouch that helps remove makeup and exfoliate skin.
  • Always remove your eye makeup before washing your face. H2O Plus has a gentle version. If I’m wearing heavy eyeliner, I follow up with a q-tip along my lashes to get it all. I hate waking up with black smears!
  • The double wash was a game-changer for me. Using an oil cleanser first to break down face makeup is the best way to really clean out your pores without stripping your natural oils (which leads to breakouts). Consider this option from PurMinerals.
  • Try a good old fashioned facial steam. Pour boiling water in a glass bowl and hover your face (safely) over the bowl. Bonus points if you first steep a bag of green tea for a blast of antioxidants. Follow-up with a detox mask and a moisturizing balm.

Cheers to good skin and a positive 2014!

Note: This post is sponsored by SheKnows Experts Among Us  and Kohl’s Beauty. All opinions, tips and recommendations are my own.

Stuff that Stocking


The stuffing of the stocking is the best part of the whole holiday gift season, both in terms of giving and receiving. The more miscellaneous the mix, the better. I come from a very utilitarian family—you’ll find socks and underwear in our stockings among the fun stuff. It’s always the last gift opened and we take our time appreciating each treat. For this gift guide, I teamed with SheKnows.com and Kohl’s Beauty to share my top stocking stuffers.

When I was in Wisconsin a few weeks ago at the Kohl’s Beauty Trade-in event, the team showed me the most clever sleep mask from Earth Therapeutics. It looks like an eye bra, but that shape makes it so your lashes and eyes don’t get crushed.  I also picked up this Hello Kitty Headband for my nieces. It is seriously the cutest.

Nail polish is a stocking staple and the colors from Essie’s winter collection are perfect. My favorite is the pale blue Parka Perfect. I love this trio of lip products: the Sugar Lip Scrub that smells like cake, the moisturizing H2O Plus Lip Mender and Pur Minerals Lip Gloss Stick for a little hint of color. All three make for a lovely lip wardrobe.

I always try to gift others with my favorite things…channeling my inner Oprah and all. The Real Techniques makeup brushes are some of the best, especially the Stippling Brush which applies cream blush like a rock star. Everyone needs this brush!

There are also the stocking stuffers that you can’t help but treat yourself to in the process. I could not resist the LORAC Red Hot Lashes set. The studded lash curler did me in and it even comes with a full-sized mascara.

Note: This post is sponsored by SheKnows Experts Among Us  and Kohl’s Beauty. All opinions, tips and recommendations are my own.

December: The List… ShopStyle Edition


Sparkle! Fur! Glitter! And more glitter and sparkle, please. That, my friends, is how this next month is going to go down. Rather than just tell you, I teamed with ShopStyle to also show you. The December List is inspired by ShopStyle’s latest print ad campaign. My modeling debut? Hardly…but it was fun! Let’s discuss my style priorities for December.

Sequins. I’m sure there are studies out there that show how wearing sparkle improves your mood. Whenever I wear this skirt I’m always more cheery. I picked it up at Old Navy this fall. I saw it once and never again – online or in store. I’m so happy I acted fast. The gold top on the upper right is from J. Crew a few years ago. Season after season, it’s still one of my most beloved tops.

Cozy knits and skinny jeans. Thick infinity scarves, like this one from Old Navy, are a staple around my neck. I’m also tempted to get this Madewell sweater in every color. It’s so warm, easy to layer with and the suede elbow patches are the cutest. You will also find me wearing the Gap Legging Jeans pretty much every day. I have them in several colors and the ankle version is the perfect length for my short frame.


Neutral accessories. I like my holiday ice and accessories to be on the neutral side. My husband bought me this mini Rebecca Minkoff tote for our anniversary (I know…he’s a keeper) and it allows me to carry a surprisingly large amount of stuff. Also, these fur-laced Stephanie Johnson makeup bags double as clutches. I’m especially obsessing over this one — love the gold tassels!  I wear this BaubleBar necklace every other day—one of my favorite purchases all year!— and am loving the Kate Spade-esque bracelet that came with the Tarte “Off the Cuff” Blush Palette. It sold out everywhere, so if you find it, do not hesitate.

Flawless skin. Nicky Kinniard gave me a sample of the Cane & Austin glycolic treatment pads and they are a lifesaver, especially when my skin is taking hit after hit. Between hardly any sleep, more wine than usual and holiday cookies, these will be a critical step in my nightly routine.

Big hair. No time like the holidays to make you want to backcomb your hair. I just discovered the miracle that is Oscar Blandi Dry Teasing Dust. If I’m tying it back, I’ll be doing so with these sparkly ties from Kitsch.

Red lips, sparkly tips. Butter LONDON released sparkly “overcoat” nail polishes for holiday that you layer over your existing polish. Stardust makes everything look holographic. Red lips are so festive and I’ll wear that more days than not this month. But a girl needs options, which is why the Tarte 8-piece mini Lipsurgence set is so perfect.

Note: This post is sponsored by ShopStyle and POPSUGAR Select.

P.S. Take a peek at the actual ShopStyle ads if you haven’t yet!