6 Everyday Items You Never Knew Your Beauty Routine Needed…


I know, I know… it’s technically “Worth-It Wednesday” and I was going to review a new foundation I’ve been using, but I think I need a little more time to test it out.  Soooo, instead, I’ve put together a list of 6 items found around your home that you may have never thought to use when getting ready.  I didn’t invent these genius ideas, but I have used them! Here it goes!

1. Q-Tips 

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Image Cred: catchwordbranding.com

No surprise, here.  This little double-sided cotton swab is just the tool you need to correct any makeup application flub.  Extend that cat-eye liner a little too far? Get a case of the “shakey hands” when applying lipstick and liner? No problem, this little guy is here to save the day.  I like to dampen one end just enough for it to be able to glide across my skin, but not wet enough that it will ruin the rest of my makeup – can’t fix one problem and create another… that’s just silly!  Can’t get enough?  Well, you can also use Q-Tips to correct any mistakes during those at-home manicures.  Simply dip one end into nail polish remover, squeeze out the excess, and run it along any color creeping onto your skin.  Bonus: They are also great eyeliner “smudgers” for that seductive, smokey-eye!

2. Coffee Grinds 

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Image Cred: yellowblissroad.com

Now your morning coffee can pack a double punch.  If you’re anything like me, a nice hot cup of joe is vital in order to even think about having a productive day.  Caffeine, in general, gives your body that boost of energy it needs to get off the couch be a functioning member of society.  Now, you can use those same grinds to give your face and body a rejuvenated look.  Just mix the grinds with moisturizing lotion or olive oil and rub vigorously over face, neck, and body if you’re feeling adventurous (just keep in mind that this can be pretty messy…).  Wash off your scrub and revel in your smooth, supple skin! Sidenote: There is also talk about this being a cellulite fighter…I can’t attest to any claims, but how great would that be!?

3. Eggs

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Image Cred: thekitchn.com

Again, our mornings can seriously have a big impact on the rest of our day, so while you’re digesting from that delicious omelet, take a couple more eggs (2 should do, 3 if you have longer hair), beat them together in a small bowl and then apply this liquid to your hair in the shower.  Leave in for 3-5 minutes and rinse using luke warm water. Don’t take that last part lightly, unless of course you’re looking for seconds and want pieces of cooked egg in your hair.  That’s cool, too. This should leave your hair feeling soft and looking shiny – breakfast really is the most important meal of the day!

4. Toothpaste 

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Image Cred: wikipedia.com

You brush your teeth because you’re a fresh-breathed, good hygiened-person.  Congrats. Anddd, you may have also used it from time to time to spot treat some stubborn pimples. But, have you ever used it on your nails?  Sometimes our nails yellow for a variety of reasons – health, diet, old green nail polish that you’ve been too lazy to remove for 3 months – these are the usual culprits.  Toothpaste can be a saving grace for these folks – it’s cheap and easy to do.  Brush a small amount onto your nails and watch the stains diminish.  You can also add a few drops of lemon juice (which has intense lightening power all on its own) for an extra boost.  This may be self-explainitory, but please don’t use the same toothbrush you’re using in your mouth on your nails. That’s…wrong.

5. Scotch Tape 

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Image Cred: sheknows.com

This one is going to seem a little weird.  But, it works. So, I guess it’s just awesome.  Dry skin on your lips?  Place a piece of scotch tape on those babies and press.  Then gently pull the piece off and look at all that pesky dead skin with pride – flakey lips can be an ugly battle, but you’ve won! Bonus: You can also use it to make some pretty spectacular nail art.

6. Pam Cooking Spray – Original 

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This is just ingenious.  Painting my nails is legitimately a process for me.  I have to find the perfect block of time to do them so it’s not interfering with 1. dish washing, 2. dog walking, feeding, playing… really anything to do with my dog, and 3. bed time (there is seriously nothing worse than waking up with bed sheet imprints and lint on your freshly painted nails).  Solution? Pam Cooking Spray can act as a quick drying agent so that you can get back living a smudge-free life!

Do you have any must-use beauty tips and secrets?

XO

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Three Pretty Awesome Things That Happened Today…


Generally I don’t expect much from Tuesdays…maybe a decent episode of America’s Got Talent, good hair, and matching socks, but nothing too crazy. Little did I know that the pop-culture end of the world would give me a few gems to brighten up this dreary, rainy day.

Staying true to yesterday’s “More Fashion Week, Please” title, the first thing on the agenda is a peek into J. Crew’s Spring 2014 line. This brand can literally do no wrong. I can’t get enough of their clothes. Everything from the jewels to their jackets are meticulously crafted with comfort and ease of wear in mind. There is something about the “I’m So Casually Chic, It Hurts” look that really speaks to me and I constantly wish that I could pull it off more often than I do. J.Crew really has created a lifestyle brand that bridges the gap between high cost and high style. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly pricey pieces, but as a whole, the polished looks that can be created with their statement basics appear to be far more costly than they actually are. After all, doesn’t everyone want to look “expensive” every now and again?

Bring on the bight pops of color, sleek lines, pretty patterns, and pastel hues:

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Also on the agenda is that “Worst Twerk Fail of All Time” video that proves that America is: 1. still obsessed with the twerk 2. really bored at work and 3. extremely gullible. Hey, I can’t even really say anything, I fell for it, too. The webcam setup, the intimate candles, the friend coming in… I get it, girl just wanted to show off her sweet moves. My husband, on the other hand, call its bluff from the get-go. Kudos to you, hubby…apparently you’re on Jimmy Kimmel’s wavelength. He was the mastermind behind this epic prank and it was pretty awesome. If you missed it, click the picture below for the original video!

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Finally, the last little piece of the internet that made me smile today was a video of a man waking up from surgery with a bout of temporary amnesia and finding out that the pretty lady sitting next to him was actually his wife. It’s really an adorable video, but I can’t help but think that Kimmel was up to no good again. Either way, check out this sweet video by clicking below!

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What was your feel good Tuesday story?

XO

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More Fashion Week, Please…


As we prepare to bust out our boots, jackets, and cozy sweaters, NYC is reveling in some of the most sensational Spring 2014 styles from some of the most sought-after designers in the world.  That’s right, ’tis the season for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.   It’s back for another year and it’s more glorious than ever.

Because it’s borderline impossible to go through every amazing garment that made its way down the catwalk, I thought I’d highlight a few of my favorite (and most wearable) pieces from a variety of collections.

My girl, DVF was all about orange, gold, and animal print for this Spring’s safari-esque collection, but don’t be fooled, some classic prints and textures remained.  Here are two of my favs!

There is just something about Derek Lam’s modern lines and simplistic color palate that really make me happy.  This collection’s colors? White, yellow, black, and blue – how much more basic and beautiful can you get?

Two words – Victoria Beckham.  This girl knew what was up since the Spice Girls.  Staying true to her “posh” self, her collection married femininity and boyish charm and gave us the chic lovechild that is unique textures, geometric shapes, and clean lines.  Level one girl crush, coming your way…

I don’t even know what it is about this Prabal Gurung line that I love most.  The color blocking? The pops of pastel? Gimme, gimme more ( the previous must be sung in your best Britney voice…) This is like retro Barbie meets the conventional woman and I’m kind of obsessed.

Oh, and then there was DKNY… which left me feeling confused.  Leotards on leotards…here’s a sampling:

I mean, at least she’s owning it, right?

I’ve decided that I need to attend next year’s NYFW – who’s with me!?

XO

Kim K’s Kinda Krazy…


So in my “sickness” haze last week, I apparently uploaded a post incorrectly (not, sure how that even happens, by the way) and as a result, nothing new graced the front page of my blog.   Now I know that it’s old news, but instead of trashing the post completely, I am going to throw it up here – it’s just too bizarre not to!

Enjoy!

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Well, this is weird.  New pictures surfaced today of the normally glam Kim Kardashian and they are…umm, interesting.  Generally expectant mothers join forces with a photographer and create some really breathtaking images capturing the beauty of pregnancy.  We’ve seen the heart on the bump, the silhouette, the baby blocks… but we definitely haven’t seen whatever it is that Kimye did.  Apparently, she was going for that disturbing, horror-movie chic look.  The jam? The outfits? The fact that Kim, herself looks like a giant child?  I’m all sorts of confused.

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I guess the only redeeming quality of this “high-fashion” shoot is that it was done by Karl Lagerfeld and honestly, the guy can do no wrong…and I know what you’re thinking… no, not even his hair is wrong.  And, now you know.

Warning: the following cannot be unseen:

What are your thoughts – high fashion or just plain weird?

XO 

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Weekend Recap: Bubbles, Bynes, and Being Festive…


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I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend (despite the oppressive temps and rain for those of you in my neck of the woods.)  I’m so happy it’s September… I’m a big fan of anything Fall and now, I can officially begin my obsession with pumpkin all over again.  Hubby and I spent some of the 90-degree weekend stowing away all that silly summer stuff and replacing it with Autumn staples.  Some of you may think it’s too early, but… (in the nicest way possible) we really don’t care 🙂 . Bring on the crunchy leaves, macintosh candles, and pumpkin carving, please.

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If you’ve been following Lady Gaga at all recently, you’d know that she’s wearing far less costume makeup than usual and she’s been acting surprisingly normal.  “Normal” is obviously all relative, but let’s all just be happy she isn’t wearing meat or “incubating in an egg.” Okay, so she looked like toast (and then a little like The Little Mermaid gone bad) at the VMAs.  That’s still a far cry from 2012 Gaga.  Recently though, she wore a dress that made bubbles and proved that she’s still the eccentric gal we know and love.

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I love how non-chalant she is about this.  She’s like “Yea, I’m wearing this really cool dress, heel-less shoes, and bubbles are surrounding me like the goddess that I am, jealous?.”  Well, actually, yes. I AM jealous and I’m not sure if that’s ever happened before with one of her outfits. This is glorious and I needed it, like yesterday. And the weird, bubble looking glasses, too.

In other news, Amanda Bynes tweeted out her first tweet since mid-July – you know, before her public meltdown.  While I was really hoping for something indicative of healing, progress, and sanity, all we got was: “I love drake.”  I mean, I don’t want to jump to any wild conclusions, but…I’m gonna go with a “no” on whether she’s recovered.

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Let me just seamlessly transition from Amanda to Miley.  In a recent interview, she broke her silence on the VMA performance that stunned a nation.  Apparently she thinks we’re kind of crazy for dwelling on it.  I guess to an extent, we are guilty of giving it more attention than it probably deserves, but it’s so much more than a few gyrations and excessive foam finger humping – it’s indicative of what “entertainment” has become and how overly sexualized moves, lyrics, and attire can affect the lives of the millions of young, impressionable children who look up to these celebrities as role models.  As much as they claim that they are “living for themselves” or that they “never signed up to guide or influence children,” they are entertainers, they are in the public eye, and by default, that accountability is part of the deal.  And, ennddd scene. 

For more info on what Miley had to say, click the picture below!

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Disclaimer: Forgive me if this post is a bit disorganized.  I came down with a terrible cold recently and life, like my head at the moment, is a bit…fuzzy.

What is the one Fall activity you look forward to most!?

XO

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Fabulously Functional: Versatile Jewels…


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Let’s kick off the weekend with some fun accessories! Have you ever attended a home shopping party?  I hadn’t, until Wednesday and man, was I missing out.  What better excuse to look at amazing items, in my case lovely little bobbles from Stella & Dot, and spend some quality time with girlfriends (and some good wine, too)!

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Now, I have been familiar with Stella & Dot jewelry for quite sometime; however, I never quite realized just how versatile each piece can be.  Sure, that intricate beaded statement necklace may be $128, but, when it can be worn in 5 different ways (yes, 5), now you’re looking at $25 per necklace and that’s definitely a win in my mind.

Prepare to be amazed:

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And the magic doesn’t end with necklaces, how about a scarf that doubles as a beach coverup!? Ya, I know… “no, way”…but, “yes, yes way!” Check it out!

Looks like a regular scarf, right? Wrong! Click on the picture for a step-by-step video on it’s big transformation capabilities!

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I also wasn’t truly aware of the message behind the company or the incentives of hosting a party.  Stella & Dot’s Founder and CEO, Jessica Herrin, created the company in the deep-rooted belief that having a successful home business run by the everyday, modern woman is possible.   Because as Jessica states, “nine-to-five just doesn’t flatter.” Fun Fact: Herrin, at just 24, created the website, The Wedding Channel.  She’s kind of amazing. 

From scarves to bags to wallets, and of course their signature chic and effortless jewelry, each piece is quality crafted and appears to mirror Jessica’s empowering message for the smart, stylish woman.

I’m definitely sold on everything from the products to the people standing behind them.  Now I just have to get some girls together and have a party of my own!  Who’s in?!

Here’s to friends, fabulous finds, and a fashionable weekend!

XO

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Worth It Wednesday…


ImageSkin.  It’s the largest organ in the human body and yet, sometimes it’s forgotten about the most.  We tend to take extreme measures to protect our heart, lungs, and brain, but our poor skin, which is exposed to so much of the world, often gets taken for granted.  Not only should we be moisturizing daily, but we should also be applying sunscreen when we venture outdoors.  Now, I realize this isn’t always feasible, but we can at least try, right!?  Hey, when it comes to sunscreen application, I’m the biggest rule breaker, there’s just something wonderful about achieving the perfect sun-kissed glow.  But there is one thing that I definitely won’t sacrifice in my skin care routine:       a good facial cleanser.

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Side note: Washing my face is never this peaceful. Maybe I’m I doing it wrong.

Since I (sadly) wasn’t blessed with flawless skin, washing my face at least twice a day is a must if I want to avoid an oily, blemish ridden complexion.  After trying countless products – high-end, drugstore, prescription – I thought I’d never find my go-to beauty staple… until I got my hands on Cetaphil.  This gem lives up to its “gentle and effective” claim and even has a number of awards to prove it! (I’m a sucker for “awards”…) This brand has more than just a universal cleanser, too.  Cetaphil has multiple ones for multiple skin types – finally a company that recognizes the full gamut of skin issues and addresses them with products that actually work – what a novel idea! I’ve stuck to the originals for the cleanser and moisturizer, but I definitely plan on exploring their DermaControl line for those with blemish-prone skin.

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Cetaphil products are easily accessible at most drugstores and major retailers, such as Walmart and Target.  Though slightly more expensive than other cleansers ($8.99-$12.99), I definitely think this product is worth the price tag!

What is your favorite skin care product?

XO

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“Oh, Sweet Lorraine”…


Everyone, meet Fred Stobaugh:

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Fred is a 96-year-old man from East Peoria, Illinois and he is about to make you cry believe in true, unadulterated love.  Earlier this summer, Green Shoe Studio held an online singer/songwriter contest (probably in the hopes of finding the next Justin Bieber) where each entrant would submit a video showcasing their talents.  But instead, they received something much more discerning: a few hand-written papers in a large manilla envelope with a single sentence written on the front:                          “P.S. I don’t sing, I would scare people… ha-ha.”

Before I delve deeper into this touching story, let’s rewind to 1938.  This is the year that a gallon of gas cost 10 cents, Howard Hughes flew around the world, and Fred met the love of his life, Lorraine, at an A&W stand.  After two years of courting, they were married in 1940 and spent the next 75 years by each other’s side.  Despite Lorraine’s passing earlier this year, Fred’s admiration for her only grew stronger and one evening as he sat alone in the front room of their once-shared home, lyrics and a tune began to develop and with that, the song “Oh, Sweet Lorraine” was born.

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Fred packaged up his moving tribute to his wife and sent it to the producer of Green Shoe Studio, Jacob Colgan.  Colgan, like the rest of us, was deeply moved and although Stobaugh wasn’t the next big music sensation, he was a marvel in his own right.  Soon, “Oh, Sweet Lorraine” was set to music and professionally recorded.  Colgan mentions that their goal at the Studio is to “make dreams come true,” and although Fred’s particular “dream” of preserving his wife’s legacy didn’t involve the fame and stardom craved by most songwriters, it was able to capture something much more profound: the generosity of humanity, the beauty of music, and the power of love.

Get out the tissues, you’re gonna cry during this one.

Watch Fred and Jacob tell their story first hand and debut “Oh, Sweet Lorraine” here.  Also, help support Fred and purchase the song on iTunes here.

Whew, what a welcomed switch from my last VMA-driven post and all of the excitement surrounding the rumored divorce of Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom.  Hearing this heart-warming story definitely puts into perspective quite a few things.  For one, there are good, honest people hoping to make a positive impact left in this often combative world.  And perhaps most pertinent, real-life fairytales do exist.  Loving someone for 75 years is such a beautiful feat that not many people today can, or are willing to, achieve.  I feel so fortunate to have the most wonderful parents and to have had 4 of the most amazing grandparents (who were married for 50+ years each) who always showed me the value in finding your best friend, your one true love, and cherishing them forever.

It’s a wonderful day to be married to my soulmate. ❤

XO 

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The VMAs: The Good, The Bad, & The Miley…


Like most of America last night, I tuned into the MTV Video Music Awards.  Just uttering the acronym “VMA” transports me back to high school where my girlfriends and I would hold countdowns, host viewing parties, fuel up on Surge, and eat some serious junk food, all while wearing our best boy-band apparel (cough, N*Sync…).   Back then, we knew 99% of the celebs in attendance, when they were born, their favorite color, and “the last time they cried” thanks to publications like Teen Beat Magazine (okay, so it sounds creepy, but in this Twitter-driven age I can tell you what people are having for lunch, where they are eating, and whether they enjoyed it… doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?)

What I’m trying to say is that the 14 year old me is very different from the me that watched it last night.  After only making it through the first hour – in part because I was sufficiently disturbed and part exhausted –  I can unequivocally say that I. am. old.  Where are the boy bands? the frosted tips? the denim tuxedos? Not only am I borderline lost with who some of these people are, I felt kind of violated by former Disney star, Miley Cyrus.  That girl just booked a one way ticket to Bynes-Spears-Lohan-ville – a lovely little town between “No One Gets Me” and “I’m Fine, I Swear.”

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Nothing to see here y’all, just grindin’ and twerkin’ with my foam finger.

It’s safe to say that the reaction of the Smith family was mutual…

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Moving on to perhaps the most glorious, and highly anticipated moment of national television: a (110 second) N*Sync reunion.  After Miley brought us to hell and back with her performance, the clouds parted as JT took the stage and single handedly restored our faith in entertainment.  For a minute, I thought I was watching the 20/20 Tour and everyone else were just fans and bizarre opening acts.  The “President of Pop” (as dubbed by one of my best friends) brought me home, so to speak.  He metaphorically built a bridge to my teeny-bopper past and I ran over it, put butterfly clips in my hair, and stayed there for a solid 15 minutes squealing with pure bliss. Thanks, JT and Co.

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Magic. 

One more thing – Taylor Swift.  Girl, you rocked it.  Could she have been more stunning last night? The answer is a huge no.  She captured old Hollywood glamour perfectly from shiny finger curls a la Marilyn, to that amazing navy blue Herve Leger by Max Azria gown, to her signature bright red, sassy lip.

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Exquisite!  

Honorable mention goes to Allison Williams of Girls and The Mindy Project.  She looked beautious in a creamy-white Valentino mini.  Her makeup was flawless and I loved how she swept her hair back to showcase that pretty face.  Fun fact: she also went to Yale – smart is sexy, right?  Ashton Kutcher would be proud.

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Who was your style crush on the red carpet?

XO 

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Ask Me What Day It Is…


That’s right, people… it’s hump day (“whoo whoo!”) and what better time to do a product review.  I thought that going forward I’d designate the mid-week mark as “Worth It Wednesdays” where I’d discuss and review certain products to determine whether buying them is…wait for it… worth it.

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Today, the product on the chopping block is: Too Faced Primed and Porelesss Skin Smoothing Face Primer ($30 at Sephora)

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So about 3 weeks ago I was in the market for a new primer.  As much as I like to stay faithful to my favorites, I try and mix it up as much as possible – it’s always nice to try something new and gain a broader makeup/beauty knowledge base.  For those of you who may not be privy to the benefits of a primer, let me explain.  These magical, little tubes generally carry moisturizers to hydrate, even out, and perfect our skin before makeup is applied.  This allows for our face to look its best and breathe even when being virtually suffocated by foundations, bronzers, and blush.

After doing extensive research (hey, a girl’s gotta be an informed consumer, right!?), I found that Primed and Poreless would be best suited to give me that enviable airbrushed look that we’re all constantly striving for while also providing a mattifying, lustrous finish.

The product is nude colored, but turns clear upon application.  I loved the velvety texture and the way my skin felt with it on.  With that being said, I noticed my face would get increasingly more oily throughout the day, ultimately canceling out any mattifying properties the product originally possessed.  To add insult to injury, my sensitive skin put up a good fight in the breakout department, but ultimately lost.  Since I was in complete denial that this top-rated primer could leave me with such an unfortunate reaction, I kept using it for another week (dumb move).  Surprise, surprise…P&P was the culprit.  After discontinuing its use, my skin has finally mellowed out and I no longer look like a pre-pubescent version of myself (Thank God!).

Overall, I would recommend  this product to those lucky people who do not have acne prone skin.  For us sensitive gals, either steer clear of this one or check out their new line made to alleviate this very problem – the oil-free Primed and Poreless Pure.

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Guess we can’t say Too Faced doesn’t listen to critiques!

What’s your favorite primer?

Happy shopping!

XO

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P.S.  I’m really hoping you all have seen the latest Geico commercial otherwise, the title of this post would really be falling on deaf ears (or eyes).  If you haven’t, check it out below – it gets me every time!