May Beauty Gems

VIIcode O2M Oxygen Eye Mask, Beauty and Skincare Product Picks for May 2017 // Pearl Girl


It’s been a hot minute since my last beauty gems post, and of course, I have new favorites to share. This post is mostly a round-up of go-to’s: An amazing CC cream, my new go-to eyeliner, and my absolute top daytime mascara, among others. If you’ve used any of the following, please let me know in the comments below — and share any favorite products of your own that you think I should check out!

ONE // Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

I honestly fall in love with pretty much every mascara I use. I have yet to find one I truly dislike. But honestly, of all the mascaras I love, I truly think this one is the best. Not exaggerating! It is better than both of the mascaras I’ve previously featured (though I love those too!). In particular, this mascara is great for the everyday. It gives your lashes such a natural, no-fuss look that’s still so pretty. It really separates each lash and doesn’t clump at all. If you’re looking for a go-to daytime mascara, this is it. (I would do something a little more dramatic for a night out, however!)

TWO // Unite Blonda Conditioner

I have blonde hair (obviously) that I get highlighted every once in a while, and I like to take as long as I can in between those trips to the colorist (I know, I know, you can see my roots.) I recently tried this purple conditioner, which has been great for helping me maintain the brighter blonde hues in my hair. (And yes, I know, I need to go get highlights!)

THREE // Bliss Feeling Bright Under Eye Concealer

Concealer can be so tricky. I have a thick one that I use to cover pimples and other blemishes, and a liquid one I use if my dark circles are really bad, or I’m really looking to brighten up my undereyes. But sometimes you just want to swipe something on, blend it with your fingers and go. That is where this product comes in. It’s a stick with an illuminating core that’s easy to apply and does wonders for dark circles on an everyday basis.

FOUR // Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush

I love NARS Orgasm as much as the next girl, but every once in a while, it’s fun to switch things up on the blush hue front. This Urban Decay blush comes in such bright and fun colors — I love “Obsessed” and “Quickie.” Beware, apply lightly: They’re really bold, but go on so nicely with a soft touch.

FIVE // NARS Eyeliner Stylo

I’m the #1 felt tip eyeliner cheerleader (seriously, why would you use anything else?) and I love finding new ones to add to my arsenal. There’s not a ton to say about it, except it goes on dark and precise, which is exactly what we’re all looking for in an eyeliner, right?

SIX // VIIcode O2M Oxygen Eye Mask c/o

I’m lucky that I don’t deal with severe bags under my eyes (only if I don’t get enough sleep!). But I still like to take care of the skin around that area, as I know it’s very sensitive and more prone to dark circles, wrinkles, etc. (It’s never too early!) I love these eye masks to wear before bed (and during — you can wear them for up to eight hours!) They leave the skin under your eyes looking fresher, de-puffed and brighter. If you do deal with bags or dark circles, definitely give these a try!

SEVEN // IT Cosmetics CC Cream

Everyone raves about this CC cream, and there’s a reason: It’s really, really good. It’s full coverage but light — you don’t look like you have product caked on. I have the illuminating style, and I love the subtle shine it gives your skin. Plus, it has SPF 50, an absolute must for someone like me, who is very fair-skinned.

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March Beauty Gems

NARS Lip Gloss, Clinique Moisturizing Gel, Ole Henriksen Oil Control and More Beauty Picks for March // Pearl Girl

ONE Ole Henriksen Balance It All Set // TWO It Cosmetics Cleansing Balm
THREE Clinique Moisturizing Gel // FOUR Tarte Glisten Cheek Stain // FIVE NARS Lip Gloss
SIX Essence Big Mascara

This morning, I took a look at my overcrowded dresser and figured another beauty gems post was due. Some of these are new, some are tried and true (I promise, I didn’t intend for that to rhyme!) but they’re all staples in my routine.

Ole Henriksen Balance It All Set // I tried this set of products last month thanks to Influenster. I dealt with acne as a teenager, and used Proactive back then to combat it. This set makes me think of a less-clinical, more adult version of Proactive. The three-step system is the same: Cleanser, toner and moisturizer. I have oily skin, so I love a set that’s dedicated to dealing with that. I use this at night, it’s super soothing and leave my skin feeling so soft + less oily.

Tarte Glisten Cheek Stain // I love blush, and trying different formulas/shades is always a fun twist on my otherwise pretty standard makeup routine. This Tarte stain is a gorgeous cream option, I think the color is similar to my go-to, NARS Orgasm (isn’t it everyone’s go-to?), just a little more pigmented. It’s a solid choice for travel — you can just throw it in your bag and go!

Essence Big Mascara // I rarely rebuy mascaras, I just move on to the next formula I have waiting in my makeup bag — which means I have about 100 favorites. But this one, this one is really good. I love the curved wand, it grabs every lash and gives a beautifully defined yet natural look. I picked it up when I was in Spain last December, but luckily, you can get it stateside, too! Oh, and it’s $4. So now you have no excuse not to try it!

It Cosmetics Cleansing Balm // I talked about this product in my winter nighttime routine post, but it’s worth mentioning again because it’s just that good. I didn’t get the hype when I first heard about it, as I’m usually very loyal to my makeup wipes. But this just feels like magic on your skin — it gets rid of everything, and afterwards, your skin feels so soft and supple. It’s amazing.

NARS Lip Gloss // Before a few months ago, I don’t think I had swiped lip gloss across my lips since before I got my driver’s license. But this is not your average lip gloss. It isn’t sticky, it just adds a subtle shine to your lips that a lipstick can’t produce. I especially love the way it looks in photos — I’m wearing it here!

Clinique Moisturizing Gel // A classic choice, and one you’ve probably used yourself. But it’s recently become a nightstand staple for me, so it’s worthy of a mention here. It leaves my skin feeling moisturized (but not oily!) every night into morning. What more can you ask for?

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My Cozy Winter Nighttime Routine

My Cozy Winter Nighttime Routine

Duvet Cover and Pillowcases //
Headboard //
Nightstand (sold out, similar linked) //
Sheets //
Throw Pillows  (also from Home Goods) //
Boyfriend Pillow //
Lamp //
Floor Plan Print (It’s the house from Downton Abbey, one of my favorite shows! The Etsy shop has TONS of options though. They’re so cute!) //
Teacup Print //
Chicago Print //

Long-Sleeved Tee
Plaid Pajama Pants //
Moccasin Slippers //

It’s been freezing cold in New York over the past week (with one 62 degree day exception), and today we’re expecting nearly a foot of snow, so the city is about to go into hibernation mode. Combine that with the nasty cold I’ve been battling, and I pretty much want to do nothing else besides curl up in bed. (And let me tell you, that’s pretty much all I did this past weekend!) With all the winter chill going around, it’s a fitting time to share my winter nighttime routine — heavy on the cozy!

My Cozy Winter Nighttime Routine

Skincare // Of course, it all starts with taking off my makeup. I’ve become really good about doing this every night, no matter how tired I am, to the point where I get anxious about not doing it!

I typically use makeup wipes for this step. I stock up whenever I’m at home in Chicago, because you can get a TON (over 100) of them at Costco for like $13, versus 25 for $6 in NYC. When I run out, however, and need to grab some from Walgreens, these are my go to. But recently, I tried a makeup melting balm, IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup Melting Balm, and I’m totally hooked. I never really got the point (can’t you just wash your face?) but it’s a game-changer. It takes off everything, and leaves your skin feeling super smooth and soft afterwards.

I love doing a face mask at night, if I have enough time. This rose one is ultra-hydrating (pictured below), this charcoal one detoxifies, and this mint julep one is a staple.

Whatever I put on next honestly changes night-to-night. This Clinique moisturizing gel is my standby. I have pretty oily skin, and this one moisturizes but never makes it feel more oily. I also love this one, and I used my last container until the last drop!

Other favorites? This Kiehl’s corrective cream improves skin tone, and absorbs so well. This First Aid Beauty mask is thick and brightening, and I use it once or twice a week. Avene’s thermal water spray is so refreshing, and this serum is so calming — I put it on before moisturizer.

I didn’t include this in the photo, but I also keep a large tub of Aquaphor in my nightstand. I always lather it on my lips before going to bed, and other parts of my skin that are feeling dry (elbows and legs in particular.) This stuff is a lifesaver. It’s very thick and a little sticky, but it works. 

I’m always up to try new products and anything that makes my skin more clear/bright/even/in general just better. (If you have any favorites, please tell me!)

My Cozy Winter Nighttime Routine

All the Rest // Though skincare takes up the bulk of my nighttime routine, it’s not all of it. I so cherish having (at least) 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night to relax and unwind. My bed is crazy comfortable, and it is so hard to leave in the mornings — but so easy to crawl into at night. I’ve been using the same duvet, sheets and pillow cases since I moved to the city almost three years ago! My duvet and pillowcases are from Crane and Canopy, and though the blue is sold out, they still carry this style in plenty of other colors!

I love to read, and am hoping to read 40-50 books this year, so I like to spend some time reading before I go to bed. I’ll do another recent reads post soon, but I just finished Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel and The Assistants by Camille Perri before that (enjoyed them both.) I’m currently reading Lauren Graham’s new memoir, which is fine, but not great. I also read everything on my phone or my iPad. When I was in high school, I got a Kindle and I’ve pretty much been an exclusive e-book reader since. Note to self: I should really do a post on why I’m so team e-book!

Sometimes, I’ll have a cup of tea (decaffeinated, of course!) or a glass of water — pretty standard nighttime stuff! I tie my hair up in these. I know look like phone cords, but they’re great for tying your hair up at night when you don’t want your hair tie to leave a mark the next day. In the winter, I completely bundle up, too. The heat in my building is really old + loud, so I usually turn it off before going to sleep — meaning I need to sleep in a sweatshirt, pants and socks not to freeze! It is so cozy though.

Also, I know these slippers are on the pricey side, but I’ve literally had them since high school. (Is that weird? They’re still totally intact + comfy.) Clearly, a sound investment. I usually head to bed anywhere between 11 to 12.

Of course, I also check Instagram, Facebook and my email before going to bed too. I’m only human!


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January Beauty Gems

January Beauty Finds including Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Gel, Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, Origins Charcoal Mask

TOP: NARS Christopher Kane Collection Illuminating Multiple in Violet Atom // Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara // Origins Charcoal Mask

BOTTOM: Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Gel // Jouer Matte Moisture Tint // Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit in Posie K

I’m a huge beauty fan, from makeup to skincare, and I love trying new products (something, thanks to the industry I work in and many of my friends work in, I get to do often!) Though not all of these are new, like the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint, which I tried for the first time last yearthey’re ones I’ve loved and wanted to share!

NARS Christopher Kane Collection Illuminating Multiple in Violet Atom // I love highlighters. I have oily skin, so you’d think I’d be all about the matte look, but that cheekbone glow is one of my favorite looks. A friend was clearing out her unused products a few weeks ago and let me try this — I’m so glad I did. I love NARS products, and though this one is a little non-traditional (a purple-tinted highlighter!) it’s so pretty, gives the perfect understated glow, and the purple isn’t overwhelming. Rather, it just casts a very, very soft tint. It’s gorgeous and I’ve been wearing it non-stop since!

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara // I’ve heard tons of people rave about this, and now I see why. It lengthens your lashes, separates for no clumps, and gives your eyes a vampy, big look. Total desert island product.

Origins Charcoal Mask // Masks are the best and one of my favorite late-night or weekend indulgences, and I’ve heard charcoal does wonderful things for clearing out toxins and fighting acne. After trying a sample size of this mask, I knew I wanted to purchase the full thing. It tightens your skin, and you just feel it working — which is the best part of the mask experience, right? My skin is definitely clearer after using.

Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Gel // I used this in a sample a while ago, and loved it, but had a similar product so I never upgraded to the full size when it ran out. I got my hands on another sample, and it really just drove the point home: This is an amazing product. I have super light blonde brows, so anything that makes them a little darker, keeps them in place and requires minimal effort (just a few swipes!) is a win in my book.

Jouer Matte Moisture Tint // I don’t really wear true foundation everyday anymore (half because my skin has gotten more clear as I’ve gotten older, half because I’m feeling lazy in the mornings!) but it’s nice to have an option for light but effective coverage. This tint does just that — you only need a little bit to totally even out your skin tone and cover minor blemishes. Plus, it has SPF!

Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit in Posie K // Alright, don’t judge, but this is an amazing product! First off, I love the color. It’s this beautiful mauve-y light pink that isn’t too dark for daytime, but isn’t too invisible for nighttime. It comes with a lip liner and a liquid lipstick, and lasts pretty much all day. Love or hate the Kardashians, you won’t regret investing in this!


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Two Spot Treatments I Love

Neutrogena and Mario Bedescu Acne Spot Treatment Recommendations

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion // Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment

Today’s post is a quickie, but hopefully a helpful one! Though I seem to have thankfully outgrown the worst of my skin woes (hoping writing this doesn’t mean I’m in for some sort of karmic retribution!) occasional zits, of course, do pop up.

This past month, I dealt with one of the worst zits of my life (or at least, in my recent memory.) It lasted for weeks — I didn’t even know they could last that long! It came when I was in Barcelona. All I packed was a blemish serum that came in a Birchbox a few months ago. I put it on everyday + moisturizer and it did NOTHING. (Did I also mention I forgot my concealer? Thank god for Natalie and our shared pale skin tones.)

Neutrogena and Mario Badescu Acne Spot Treatment Recommendations

When I came home I was desperate for something to help. I found this in one of my drawers and put it on, figuring why not, it couldn’t hurt. I woke up and the zit was HALF THE SIZE, I kid you not. Praise the pimple gods! I thought I was going to have to go in for a cortisone shot, it was that bad. (P.S., has anyone ever done one? I never have but seems like a good emergency option!)

I got another zit over Christmas (I blame holiday stress) and picked up this at Ulta. I’ve heard other bloggers talk about it, and I’m a sucker for a good blogger recommendation. And for good reason — it totally reduced the size of that zit within a night. You put on the solution with a q-tip at night, go to bed, and then wash over the residue in the morning. Really, it works wonders. I’ll admit that the smell is not great (but somehow, that makes me trust it more?) And since it’s going on your face, you can definitely smell it (it’s strong and alcohol-y) But it’s a small price to pay for the results.

Obviously, I’m no dermatologist, but I really love these two products. As I’m always eager for product recommendations when it comes to blemishes (and I know I’m not alone) so I thought I’d share! Let me know if they work for you too!


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