current loves of spring 2013

i've purchased a handful of skincare/haircare/makeup items since my last current loves post, and wanted to share them here on the blog. below are some products i've been loving lately:

1. the "wet" brush - i first heard of this brush when i saw it reviewed by nouvea cheap a few weeks ago. basically the brush is supposed to do an amazing job of detangling your hair after a shower... hence the name. she did a great job with her review, but i still was a little skeptical of this brush. honestly, it looks like the hair brushes i've been using almost my whole life. when i found out that the wet brush was available at sally beauty, and that i had the option to return it if i didn't like it, i decided to pick it up. and i have to say, that it does an amazing job of detangling my hair after a shower. it has to be the flexible bristles, b/c that is the one main difference i noticed when comparing it to my other brushes. i've noticed that i don't need as much leave-in conditioning spray after a shower as i did before. if you have a sally beauty nearby, i would recommend picking up this brush. and if you don't like it, you can always return it :)

2. clear scalp & hair therapy for damage & color repair - i actually meant to include this on my last current loves post, but totally forgot about it :/ whoops. anyway, i heard about the new clear scalp & hair therapy from one of holly's videos. she raved about how soft her hair was after using the product, and since it was available at my target, i gave it a try. i purchased the color repair shampoo, and i really love how gentle it is on my hair. i also loved how my hair felt when i dried and styled it. i have yet to try the conditioner, but i'm planning on picking that up soon.

3. clarisonic mia 2 - so i finally bit the bullet and bought the clarisonic mia 2. and this was, by far, my biggest beauty purchase in at least a year, if not longer. this cleansing system will set you back anywhere from $120-$150 (yikes!), but almost every skin care post or youtube video i've seen says this is the secret to amazing skin. i have to say that i am liking the clarisonic so far. i only use it at night (instead of in the morning and at night), and my skin definitely feels smoother. the skin on my cheeks and nose has cleared up quite a bit, but i do still get occasional acne breakouts on my chin and in a few spots on my forehead. overall i have seen an improvement, though.

4. revlon just bitten kissable lip balm stain in honey - this is a really pretty pink, perfect for a daytime look. i was afraid that it wouldn't be as pigmented as the red shades in the line, but i was pleasantly surprised with its pigment. it's a really nice color for the approaching spring months.

5. l'oreal true match concealer crayon - i was on the lookout for a new concealer since bare minerals discontinued their powder version of "well-rested" concealer. i LOVED that concealer! i haven't found a new product that is as good as well-rested, but this l'oreal crayon comes pretty close. it's nice and thick, but very blendable. i use it under my eyes, around my nose, and on the occasional blemish. i do set it with a light powder, which helps keep everything in place.

6. NYX powder blush in rose garden - i picked this up at target on a whim, and i absolutely love it. the color is a really good match for my skin tone. when i apply it, it looks like a natural flush on my cheeks. it has the tiniest amount of shimmer to it, which i normally avoid, but it's pretty subtle.

i also wanted to include a few products that i feel "eh" about. i didn't dislike them enough to return them, but they didn't exactly meet my expectations.

1. olay fresh effects bb cream in light to medium - although it's marketed as a bb cream (which to me, i think "more coverage than a tinted moisturizer"), it also says it's a tinted moisturizer, all on the front of the tube. it definitely acts more like a tinted moisturizer than a bb cream. if you're looking for a bb cream with decent coverage, go ahead and skip on this one. i do like it for a moisturizer though, and plan on using it during the summer (under my mineral foundation) since it does have SPF 15.

2. revlon photo ready translucent finisher - i saw this reviewed in many youtube videos, so i wanted to give it a shot. i managed to snag it at ulta for 40% off too. i wanted a powder to use during the summer, so i went for the translucent version since i'm not quite sure how light or dark my skin will be. the coverage is pretty good, but for a translucent powder, it does apply as more like a fair/light powder. however, i just use less of it than i normally would, blending it with a bit of bare minerals foundation, and it looks fine for my skin tone currently. i have a feeling that it will be too light for the summer months, but right now it's working out okay.

3. maybelline color tattoo metal in barely branded - i really like the color tattoo cream shadows, especially "bad to the bronze", so i picked up a newer shade in the metal line called "barely branded". it has the same good coverage, but it's a little too light for my skin tone. i currently use it with a couple different shadows to darken it a bit. as a base, it works great, but i don't think i would wear it on its own. "bad to the bronze" is a much better color for my skin tone.

and there you have it. if you've been on the fence about any of these products, i hope this post helped you out. i hope you all have a great weekend!

xoxo, steph

thoughts on a wednesday night.

i know it's been a looooong time since i blogged (i'm not doing too good this year), but i'm going to try and get a good amount of posts in the next five weeks. i wanted to post some new makeup/haircare/skincare favorites on monday, but after hearing the devastating news about the bombing at the boston marathon, nothing else seemed important... especially sharing my favorites. my best friend summed up a lot of what i was feeling monday night. she said, "the longer i live in this world the less i understand it. i am so sad for the people in boston, and for all the victims and families of the senseless violence we've seen recently. sickening." when things like this happen, i start to lose my faith in humanity. but then i read wise words, like the following quotes, and i know that there are too many good people out there to lose hope in humanity.

i'm sure you've seen these quotes almost everywhere (i have anyway), but i did want to share them in case you didn't see them:

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."
- Fred Rogers

"... the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago. 

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will."

- Patton Oswalt

i am incredibly grateful for every single one of my blessings. and i do take them for granted sometimes, many times, but i try to remind myself, often, of how lucky i truly am.

in about five weeks my family and i will be embarking on our 10 day italy vacation. after years of talking about it, and spending the better portion of this year planning it, it's finally happening. it still seems surreal. i cannot wait to share the photos with you all when i get back. i'm hoping to squeeze in quite a few posts before that, since a lot is happening in those 5 weeks, but bear with me if i don't quite make that goal.

i'll leave you with one more quote, one of my favorites actually, that helps me in troubling times. if you need it, hopefully it will help you too:

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

xoxo, steph