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The 411 on Glowing Skin

Eleni + Chris Arctic Mist

We’ll start with Skincare 101: If you want glowing skin, do not sleep with your makeup on. You’re clogging your pores, and not letting your skin breath! You’re also blocking your skincare products from working as efficiently as possible.

dr. dennis gross, clarisonic, eleni + Chris, Pixi, Urban RX, It Cosmetics brightening productsExfoliation is key! (you have options)

Make sure to exfoliate to help dissolve dirt, environmental damage and whisk away dead skin cells. There are a lot of ways to do this starting with exfoliating pads. There are not a shortage of great glow pads on the market, although I always bow down to Dr. Dennis Gross when it comes to getting my skin glowing. The Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel (available in original and Extra Strength are always in my beauty draw). I also like ExuvianceDr. Jeannette Graf, MD Skin Rejuvenation Exfoliating & Firming Pads and a handful of others.

Essences with exfoliating properties, glycolic/AHA acid, micellar water, or products with lactic acid are also great to help dissolve dead skin cells. There are loads of wonderful ones on the market like Caudalie Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence, Pixi Glow Tonic, It Cosmetics 3-in-1 Micellar Cleanser or new comer Ren Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic. You can also turn to SK-II Facial Treatment Essence which uses it’s iconic ingredient, Pitera, that’s packed with vitamins, organic acids and amino acids (it also exfoliates) to improve skin texture and make skin glow. Retinols also exfoliate and are great in the evening for anti-aging.

There are also loads of exfoliating masks on the market, like Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. Don’t overdue it with the exfoliation but start adding them into your regimen.  Some can be used daily, others weekly, read the directions and don’t over exfoliate.

Pick me ups!

Skin mists are great for keeping skin hydrated and glowing throughout the day! and an awesome reboot if your skin is starting to feel/look dull or dry. I’m obsessed with the Eleni & Chris Face Mist (actually the whole line, see my review HERE), hailing from the fjords of Normay whatever they mix with their glacier water (it’s +SEA3oil) makes my skin sing. If you want something less clean and more dewy you can’t fail with, Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist. On a budget, Vichy and Mario Badescu are great options!

Look for these in your Serums + Moisturizers

Look for peptide rich products filled with brightening ingredients like Vitamin C, Licorice extract, niacinamides. These ingredients can also be in your serums for a more concentrated dose of nutrients, just make sure to seal all your products with a moisturizer (or sleep mask in the evening). AHA’s + Vitamin C are a winning combination — Skinceuticals actually has a C+AHA dropper that’s one of my favorites (They also have an epic C E Ferulic as well). You can also mix a Vitamin C liquid Serum — like an Urban Skin Rx Super C Brightening Treatment or the legendary Triple C Lightning Liquid by COSRX, into your moisturizer or do a more conventional serum consistency like Sunday Riley CEO Brightening Serum. Vitamin C is a larger conversation which I’ll do a whole blog post about but as far as moisturizers, at moment I’m loving Kat Burki Vitamin C Cream and also for skin brightening Origins Ginzing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturize, which brings me to my next point…

Google your products! I started using Clarins Double Serum and Origins Ginzing Energy-Boosting Gel Moisturizer and saw an immediate boost and glow with both brightening but didn’t see any of the usual suspects in the formula. Apparently it’s the Tumeric in the Clarins Double Serum (or combination with), And mix of the Panex Ginseng with Coffee Bean (coffee is great for circulation and de-puffing in eye products) in the Origins moisturizer that gives skin it’s glow. I’m familiar with these ingredients for other benefits but after seeing this result I’ll be more mindful when I see them in future products.

Quick Fix: Mask.

Masks are a great quick fix. Healthy skin takes work, and when we’re stressed, sleep deprived or just busy it can take a toll. So go extra hard on the hydrate mask and self care in hard times. I you fly a lot (or notice your skin is dehydrated), sheet masks are a great way to reboot. I’ve used and loved many but the Eleni & Chris Hydrate Sheet Mask post flight took my skin from zero to hero (they also have a GLOW mask but as far as I’m concerned the whole Eleni + Chris collection makes my skin glow). James also brings me back loads of K-beauty brightening masks when he comes back from Korea, the only issue is I never know what’s in them since they aren’t in english. There are a ton more brightening sheet masks on the market, post plane or as a pick me up they are the best! 

Bring on the highlighters

When all else fails, makeup to help you fake it until you make it. Skin Illuminators and liquid highlights are dull skin’s temporary best friend.

DIY Strap + Essie Spring 2018

essie spring 2018 collection includes shades, perfect mate, at the helm, passport to sail, anchor down stripes, and sails bon boy-age

I’ve been having a lot of fun customizing my camera straps with nail polish. In my latest DIY I used my new Nikki silver strap and drizzled the Essie Spring 2018, hook, line and sinker! collection featuring some nautically chic shades including:

  • Anchor Down – pretty blue washed with pewter gray undertones
  • Stripes and Sail – intense teal green
  • Bon Boy-age – a nautical mint green
  • Pass-port to Sail – soft sandy beige lightly splashed in ivory shimmer
  • Perfect Mate – coral pink
  • At the Helm – a fire orange tinged with salmon red

Urban Decay Hi-Fi Shine Lip Gloss {Review}

Vice Lipsticks and Naked palettes have been all the rage with Urban Decay but now that spring is here they have released their latest Hi-Fi Shine Ultra Cushion Lip Glosses that have been making the rounds on Instagram (the mailer was pretty epic).
It’s a great price point ($20), chic packaging and 20 shades from pinks, nude, mauves and beyond to a stellar collection of glitters that look out of this world. Light/sheet to medium to medium tint they very comfortable on their own or over a lipstick or stain. The formula isn’t sticky or tacky and is laced with vitamin E and peppermint oil for a really lovely menthol smell and taste. The glitters are really fun, especially with the holographic lip being so big for summer and music festival season around the corner. Below are some of my favorites swatched!

I Judged Glamour’s Beauty Awards, Here’s Who Won!

glamour magazine beauty award winnersI’m so excited to announce that for the 3rd year in a row I had the pleasure of being one of the judges of the Glamour Magazine’s Beauty Awards! I was in charge of The Best New Makeup of 2018 and The Best Skin Care Products of 2018 categories and I am so honored they published so many of my quotes. As most of you know from social and my unboxings and daily Instagram stories (@prettyconnected), you know I’m always going to launch parties and trying everything! Which is why being able to judge and also share so many products I love with all of you and in this issue puts me on cloud 9! I wanted to take a moment to highlight my favorite products in each category and talk about why I love them.

Glamour Beauty Awards: The Best New Makeup of 2018

The Best Primer

Becca Backlight Priming Filter – Becca wrote the handbook on glowing skin, and this primer is chapter one. It’s water based and contains three unique Filtering Luminescent Pearls that works to blur out imperfections and has you glowing even before you put on your foundation.

How I Built my Beauty Career // Walk with Walsh

Jennifer Walsh Lara Eurdolian walk with walshOutfit details: Thursday Boots, 7 For Mankind Jeans, Splendid Tee, Dear Drew necklace, Eliza J Jacket, Ray-ban sunglasses, Pretty Connected Shop rings, bag an belt.

I’m thrilled to be in the latest episode of Walk with Walsh and interviewed by good friend and fellow bad @$$, Jennifer Walsh. She’s a community builder, health entrepreneur, TV personality, beauty expert and so much more.

Nothing about my road to ‘success’ has been short or easy. It still isn’t. The beauty industry is changing industry has changed so much over the decade I’ve been blogging and 14 years I’ve been in the industry working for major brands including NARS, Jurlique, Kiehl’s and Avon (and consulting for dozens more).  People see me on social media regularly being featured in major magazines or judging beauty awards for Glamour, ICMAD and having partnerships with New Beauty and advertorials with a handful of others. I get a lot of questions about how I’m getting these placements and opportunities. The answer is relationships and being really knowledgeable about the space. I’ve done a lot of training’s, I show up to events to learn all about the new launches. Click this link or the one above to hear my story, advice and walk with Walsh. My mantra will forever be: work hard, support each other, and grow your relationships.

Elizabeth Arden x Reese Witherspoon March On Lipstick

I’m really inspired by Elizabeth Arden, the namesake of the brand and company that continues her legacy. In 1912 Elizabeth Arden marched down Fifth Avenue, handing red lipstick to the suffragettes a as symbol of solidarity. She had so much female power and a legacy that the company continues to carry down to their choice of spokeswomen. How fabulous is Reese Witherspoon!?!? Their latest #TogetherWeMarchOn initiative is really amazing and I could not be more in support. They designed the perfect red “March On” lipstick in collaboration with Reese as part of their March On campaign. This initiative is designed to celebrate women’s achievements, encourage women to support each other and they have pledged to donate 100% of the proceeds of the ‘March On‘ lipstick, that’s $1 million dollars to the UN Women in support of their work to advance women’s issues worldwide.

March On Elizabeth Arden x Reese Witherspoon lipstick
March On Elizabeth Arden x Reese Witherspoon lipstick

Reese Witherspoon and Elizabeth Arden are both women that have personally inspired me. They stood/stand for something greater, they aren’t boxed in by what they can do. I remember an interview

Our straps are going to Disney! We’re partnering with It Cosmetics!

Well kids, it’s been an exciting week to say the least. Since launching my line of camera/bag straps less than 7 days ago, I’m so proud to announce my first brand collaboration with It Cosmetics.

We’re doing a limited edition Pretty Connected x It Cosmetics ‘Capture It’ strap. We’ll be launching the strap at Disney with the top beauty vloggers/bloggers attaching them to the Instax Mini 9 camera for them to run around the Magic Kingdom and capture their adventure. I named this series of straps the “Jamie” after It Cosmetics founder, Jamie Kern Lima. I want all of my straps to be named after inspiring women, and Jamie is the ultimate girl boss. She’s made real change happen in the beauty industry, being the first prestige brand to use real women of all sizes and skin issues as models. Her acceptance speech for the CEW Achiever Award still gives me chills!

Outfit details: RXP dress from Bandladies showroom, Givenchy lace up boots, Neiman Marcus Barry Jewelry Crystla Lightening Bolt Hoop Earrings (on sale, $15!).

Secret Just Dropped Freshies the Most Instagrammable Deodorant

Secret Freshies antiperspirantSecret just dropped Freshies, the most Instagrammable deodorant, not to mention totally functional, purse/travel friendly antiperspirant in four scents ($4.99 each). Available in Invisible Solid, this mini antiperspirant & deodorant comes in scents, Cool Waterlily, Luxe Lavender, Chill Ocean and Paris Rose. It’s the easiest and most inconspicuous/discreet bag deodorant for anyone on the go. It looks like EOS lip balm packaging on steroids. I’m headed to LA next week, and so excited to pack this little ball of pastel with me.

Dry, cracked, or eczema prone skin? Read This.

Brevena skincare

Cosmoprof is one of my favorite trade shows to attend to discover really innovative beauty brands. During my visit to Las Vegas, BREVENA (see promo code for below!) was a stand-out skincare line. With winter skin and hydration being my biggest concern, I’ve been using the Daily Hydration Moisturizer, Restore & Hydrate Overnight Cream and Restorative Skin Balm, all of which feature their Macro B Complex.

Originating in medical centers to help doctors and nurses combat the drying effects of frequent hand-washing and mask wearing, this Macro B Complex® helps protect against daily environmental issues such as sunlight and chemicals. It provides essential moisture to maintain the health of your skin cells and minimize the aging process of the skin. It also helps minimize redness and sooth itching. This is especially true with the Restorative Skin Balm, which helped calm my eczema.

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick Review

Fenty beauty matte lipstick shades MA'DAMN (royal red), GRISELDA (bold burgundy), Candy Venom (electric pink), and Ya Dig?! (periwinkle blue).Rihanna can do no wrong in my eyes, especially when she continues to launch such rockstar products. Her latest beauty launch, Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipsticks ($18) are just that, plush, velvety matte finish with rich pigment and comfortable wear. Like most matte lipsticks it can get a little drying in this crazy winter weather we’re having, however unlike other matte lipsticks, this one plays really well with a chapstick or gloss on top if you need a hydration boost. Come summer this shouldn’t be an issue, but for my wine loving, winter chapped lips it’s made all the difference. Also I’m obsessed with the packaging — although it’s small so I feel like I’m going to burn through these lippies in no time.

Available in 14 shades (pinks, reds, nudes) and a fun mix of more edgy brown, green, blues and lilac shades, here’s a swatch of four of my must-have shades:

Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipsticks In order, bottom to top: 1. MA’DAMN (royal red), 2. GRISELDA (bold burgundy), 3. Candy Venom (electric pink), 4. Ya Dig?! (periwinkle blue).