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review: clarisonic sonic radiance.

{sonic good}

by now there are no shortage of electronic exfoliating brushes on the market, but clarisonic still does it best.  their newest brush head and accompanying cleanser, peel, and serum are aimed at increasing radiance (my current skincare obsession!).  achieving radiance usually means fading discoloration and removing impurities so that skin is at it's clearest and most even.

this set has a very specific AM and PM regimen, that entails clarisonic-ing twice a day!   i have been alternating their routine with some of my other favorite radiance products because my skin gets a little agitated with too much clarisonic use.  the new brush head (in my opinion the brush head is the star product of any clarisonic set) has super tight bristles, so it's best to glide the device over the face and neck, no firm pressure needed.  the brush design both removes sebum and surface hyper-pigmentation, the perfect combination for achieving radiance.  it is designed to work with the clarisonic aria/mia 3.

i've been using this regimen approximately every third day for the past few weeks, and see an immediate improvement after use.  for sensitive skin i would recommend starting slow (maybe doing the full treatment twice a week), then increasing as tolerated.  entire set (including clarisonic device) $249 at clarisonic.com.


review: hard candy BROWS NOW (plus a peek in the hard candy factory!)

{lip gloss, anyone?}
{in the coral}
{one roll of neon, please}
i recently spent a few hours touring the hard candy factory in new jersey, seeing where and how makeup is made.  this was a truly thrilling for me, as both a makeup and hard candy lover.  i was able to see the entire process from raw ingredients, to huge boiling vats of gooey hues, all the way to packaging and labeling.

while i fell in love with the bright colors i saw at every turn (how gorgeous is that neon?!), the product i took home that i have used everyday since is the brand's brow gel.  the formula of hard candy BROWS NOW reminds me of my previous favorite fancy-brand brow gel (i won't mention any names), but with a better brush, a highlight added to the other end, and 1/3 of the price tag.  available in just two shades - light medium and medium dark, the light medium blends easily with my natural brow shade.  the spooly brush is covered in tiny microfibers, making it easy to get good coverage with just one swipe.  flip it over to add highlight under brows, or along cheekbones, for extra definition. plus, it is $8 (!) at walmart.

i'm sure i'll be sharing other colorful hard candy finds from my factory tour in the weeks to come, but the BROWS NOW is a beauty necessity that i couldn't wait to share.


dolce + gabbana perfect the lift foundation + the primer.

{a better couple than pb+j}
season change, for me, means changing not just my lip, eye and cheek shades that are in high rotation, but also my skincare and foundation regimen.  new for this fall (released september 2014) dolce + gabbana the lift foundation + the primer has stolen my heart.  perhaps the love affair began because i've recently renewed my commitment to good skincare, and this duo is like skincare and makeup in one.

the foundation (and primer) contain gold flavo-silk tricomplex, a proprietary blend of gold silk sericin, italian olive oil, and vitamin b3.  the combination provides immediate hydration while working to improve fine lines over 4 weeks. the pair also contains SPF - 25 in the foundation and 30 in the primer.

i'm not always a proponent of a daily primer, but this primer and foundation are truly a team.  i've never seen a duo that work better together.   this foundation is great (light + natural-appearing, but with excellent coverage), but when used with the primer it's on another level.  together they make my skin look distractingly good.  plus the routine doesn't really add time to my routine; i've been applying both the primer and foundation quickly and with my fingers (and still getting the desired result).

available in 15 shades, i wear creamy$72 for the foundation, $68 for the primer. 


review: scentbird fragrance subscription.

{scentbird helped me finally try this famous scent}

lately my household is all about the subscription services.  i think the subscription box trend is here to stay because it offers something distinct; the opportunity to try new products with minimal commitment.  the latest subscription that i've tried is scentbird, a fragrance sampling service.  scentbird is perfect when one is hunting for their signature scent, or simply looking to enhance their fragrance library.

the scentbird site helps guide users to potential perfume matches with a recommendation algorithm. simply answer a few questions about the sensorial preferences (ie: beach versus flower shop), then plug in current fragrance favorites, to generate a list of suggestions.  the quiz took me under 3 minutes, and came up with a long list of choices.

users can then select a scent from those listed, or choice from the extensive list of scents available (over 300 designers are represented on the site) to decide which they would like to receive for the month.  they then receive a 30-day supply (8mL) of a scent of their choosing, housed in portable black atomizer.  since i have a penchant for jasmine, i ultimately selected the classic bvlgari jasmin noir which i've never had a chance to try before.  while i liked the scent, it wasn't love, so a 30-day supply ended up being perfect. 

$14.95 a month at scentbird.com.

editor's note:  i was provided with a 1-time sampling experience gratis for review.  all opinions are my own.


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