LIBBY LIVING COLORFULLY

Beauty

What Happens When Your Beauty Products...Expire? Well-Kept Beauty Helps

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

A few weeks ago, I talked about my favorite skincare products that I like to keep cold in the fridge (and even my freezer) and it occurred to me, that I really have no idea when my beauty products expire.

I had a kind of scary realization as I was putting some seriously concentrated Vitamin C serum on my face that, well, didn’t smell like it used to.  It wasn’t rancid or foul, it was just, different.  

Then I realized that I have had this serum probably a little too long (more than a year and a half) and that it was time I should toss it.  EEEEEK. I am no hoarder, but I HATE throwing away beauty products. I hoard old Lancôme mascara tubes -  twelve to be exact because, I have an unhealthy attachment to mascara and just can’t throw it away. Or maybe it’s because I have a love/hate relationship with the fact that I spend that much on mascara.  I’m also thinking about the cobalt blue shimmery eye shadow that I’ve had since I was nine, yes NINE. And I don’t know why I can’t get rid of it. Moving on.

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So when my friend reached out to me about a new beauty app, Well-Kept Beauty, which tells you when your makeup and beauty products are about to expire, I was like, telllll meeeee morrrrreeeeee.

This might be obvious to some of you, but the expiration date of my makeup is not something that’s on my mind all the time. This is understandable because:

1. There aren’t expiration dates on most makeup products and
2. Who has time to keep track of it?

Luckily, according to the app, “Well-Kept Beauty keeps tabs on all your products so all you have to do is use them. We track when they expire based on industry suggested use by dates acknowledged by the FDA. We also make it simple for you to keep personal notes on each product. And well before they expire, you can create a skincare routine and record your allergies and the ingredients you need to avoid.”

LOVE THIS. And here’s how it works:

Step 1: Add your new products by brand name search or adding a photo.

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Step 2: Note when you first open and use the product. You can also note ingredients that do not work well for your skin. This is great for people who have sensitive skin and have problems in the past.

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Step 3: Well-Kept Beauty will let you keep personal notes on your skincare routine, product preferences, and ingredients you want to avoid (allergies or reactions.) Then the app will allow you to build a skincare routine that can be tweaked.

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Step 4: The app alerts you when a product expires and sets reminders to let you know if a product you want to add or try has an ingredient that could be problematic for your skin.

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If you follow along with me on Instagram stories, you know that I’m trying to really simplify my beauty and skincare routines and am going to look to this app to help me do that.  The reminder to toss my products will seriously help me reevaluate how many products I have vs. need and also keep my beauty routine clean, and Well-Kept.

Make sure to check out Well-Kept Beauty for more and follow them on Instagram @wellkeptbeauty. So excited to start using this app when it launches in September! 

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Two #Sponsored Skincare Items I ACTUALLY Use and Like

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

So there's no secret that a lot of "influencers" in the beauty world and even outside of it, get a lot of beauty products.  Some of these beauty packages I know are coming. (I get an email from the PR company telling me a package is on the way) but many times, they just show up at my door.  Funny actually, my friend Diego gets makeup sent to his house all the time, in spite him not wearing any. It just happens.  

I try my best to test all the products out so I can speak to them and give you all honest reviews. I say this often, but it's worth reiterating, (especially in today's blogging world) I only post about products I genuinely like.  Just like I would never post about meal that wasn’t delicious, or a service that was sub-par, I don’t promote brands just for pay or free products.  

Additionally I don’t promote products (especially beauty) unless I’ve tried it for two weeks or longer. I mean, how can I tell you that something produces “results” without trying it for the recommended amount of time? SPOILER ALERT: Many of influencers don’t because of the tight deadlines a lot of beauty brands put on to produce content. Typically, when I get asked to try a product and produce content *if I like it*  I’ll send a response email saying “Sure, would love to try, but if you’re on a tight deadline, I’m not your girl. Please let me try this out and with enough time to write an honest, and thoughtful review.”

Maybe this annoys beauty partners, maybe it doesn’t. But if it does, that’s not my problem because they are not my priority for writing blog content. YOU ALL ARE.

Phew, that being said, here are two brands who were kind enough to send me some products to try, and also allowed me to try them with enough time to tell you how I like them!

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If you follow my insta-stories, you saw that crazy foaming makeup removing face wash that I tried and love! It’s the Pearlosophy O2 Oxygen Super Cleanser. This is really fun to use because it literally foams up with little to no water and is super effective.  Rather than using face wash and then a toner or makeup remover to take off my makeup, this is a fun 2-in-1. Seriously, I used a white towel after and nothing came off after I used it and wiped off my face which as you might know, doesn’t happen often. It’s gentle and doesn’t have any harmful ingredients: no heavy metals, perfumes, preservatives or foaming agents.  And again, it’s so fun to use.

If you’re curious want to try it out - here’s my affiliate link or you can enter libbylivingcolorfully as the code! It’s $29 and comes with a 5 day travel pack. Coolness.

Next up, is a product from Cosmedix, a line that many of my friends have used and loved, but up until a month ago, I had never tried.  They sent me COSMEDIX Rescue+  (Rescue Plus) which is a thick mask/balm that you can use at night or in the morning.  I swear this came at the PERFECT time. Typically, I love popping a Vitamin E gel capsule open at night and rubbing it all over my lips and face.  It’s really thick and incredibly hydrating. But, I ran out, and exactly a week later, the COSMEDIX package showed up. Nice.

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So when I say this stuff is thick, I  mean, it’s really thick. (If you've tried Weleda Skin Food, this has a very similar, if not thicker consistency.) You’re going to do some serious hydrating when you put this on and if you’re particular about consistencies on your face, this might not be your thing but, wow, I am so pleased with it.  Essentially, I use it at night a a multi-tasking product to serve a few purposes. I smear it on my entire face: my eyelids, brows, cheeks, and lips. MORE IMPORTANTLY, I put a big glob on my decolletage to help with sun damage and provide moisture to that part of my neck and chest, which we all know is the first sign of aging in women.

If you learn anything from this post, it should be “Never go to bed with a dry face” HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE.  I always think of my Grandmother and her amazing skin that was always sticky (in the best way) from moisturizers and Vaseline. She was always dewy at night and woke up looking well rested and soft.  

So, needless to say, I’m loving these two products enough to share them with you! The links you click on are affiliate links but as always, all of my opinions in the post are my own.

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Let's Talk about Ice Rolling (Again)

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

If I could have invented a beauty product, it would have been the Ice Roller, easily.  I started using my ice roller back in 2015 (or maybe earlier) and it's quite possibly my favorite beauty apparatus. 

Every time I post it on my insta-story, I get a lot of questions so here's the post again for you all to refer to.  Almost 3+ years later, and I still love this thing. Like really really love. 

That Shimmery Moroccan Oil I Use At The Beach & Honestly Everywhere

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

Hello, and welcome to my LOVE/HATE relationship with the sun.  

I don't hate, the sun, but I also don't love it either and I wouldn't consider myself a real beach person, per se.  I grew up on lakes and spent most of my childhood summers in Wisconsin running around without sunscreen and jumping in the water when I got hot.  That being said, as an adult, I really enjoy the beach and have gotten much better at sitting still and relaxing (two things, admittedly, I'm horrible at.) 

Which is funny, because given my skintone, you would think that I lay outside without sun protection on the regular.  And while I love to soak up some rays here and there, I'm actually pretty nervous about skin cancer and wrinkles. Helllllloooo SPF.  But, even as a kid, I was tan. I mean, I was actually really tan.  Probably more tan than I am now. 

EXHIBIT A: 

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Pleeeease note the difference in the potatoes on my legs, also known as "knees", compared to my Mother's arms.  Yes, I definitely get my skin tone from my Dad's Danish side of the family.  
Also, where can I get that bunny romper with ear as the straps in like, my size now. 

Moving on. Something I have been loving, while embracing most importantly, sun protection, is my summer glow and this oil that compliments it so so well. 

And by compliment, I mean, it's like "DAMN LIBBY LOOK AT THOSE SPARKLING SHOULDERS!" That kind of compliment. Anyway, Blue Mercury sent me this product last summer and I used it a little at the tail end. But this summer, I almost never leave the house without applying it. 

WHAT IT IS: Radiant body oil for touchable, healthy-looking skin in a proprietary formula powered by antioxidant-rich argan and sesame oils with soft pearlescent mineral to create a subtle shimmer on the skin. Delicately fragranced with the signature Moroccan oil scent. Paraben-free.

BENEFITS: Infuses skin instantly with a deeply nourishing blend of antioxidant-rich argan oil and sesame oil, absorbing quickly to moisturize lackluster skin, while soft pearlescent minerals shimmer for a radiant look and feel.

KEY INGREDIENTS:
Argan Oil: With its high content of antioxidants, essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, it luxuriously hydrates and infuses skin with moisture.
Sesame Oil: For intense nourishment and moisturizing of the skin.

I love it so much I wanted to write this post about it solely, and HIGHLY encourage you to get some. It's a little on the pricier side, but it lasts a long time and only a few drops goes a long way.  Bonus: it moisturizes without feeling too oily.  

Now go show off that glow, baby. 

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*Disclaimer: This product was provided by Blue Mercury DC last year but did not sponsor this post. As always, all of my opinions are my own! 

The Beauty Products I Keep in the Fridge (& Freezer) and Why

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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If you take a peek into my fridge you’ll probably notice something, well two things:

  1. I have a lot of cheese

  2. I keep a lot of skincare in it

Here’s why...

A good friend of mine, @laurendurden swears by doing this, along with a zillion beauty writers so I thought I would give it a try. Refrigerating skincare is said to help with better absorption and calm your skin. Additionally, according to Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, “Generally, but not always, refrigerating products will help extend their shelf life.”

Which leaves me to what I like to keep in my fridge:

Under-Eye Masks - I started using these VIIcode eye masks for 8-hours as an overnight treatment which is different from other sheet masks which only stay on for 20-30 minutes.  I love keeping these in the fridge before applying them because the gel-like material keeps them incredibly cool. The masks also use natural potent antioxidants:

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  • Sodium Hyaluronate: Boosts skin’s moisture content, reduce inflammation, and help prevent moisture loss.
  • Sodium PCA: Helps to retain moisture, prevents our skin cells from losing water and drying out, reduces inflammation, and prevents skin from aging.
  • Vitamin E: An antioxidant that neutralizes the oxidant effect of free radicals, which damage collagen and cause skin dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles.
  • Allantoin: Helps to soften and protect, while actively soothing skin. It also stimulates cell regeneration, promoting healthy skin.
  • Aloe barbadensis, Algin: Helps to hydrate your skin.

I’ve used many different kinds of eye-masks, and to date, these VIIcode masks are easily my favorite. Even as a stomach sleeper, these eye masks manage to stay on overnight. And it’s easy - just peel, stick, and go to sleep.

Face Moisturizer - Remember the Pond’s Cold Cream your grandmother swore by? It’s a great blast from the past for sure, but also easy to replicate with your own favorite moisturizer. For me, I like to keep my Glossier Priming Moisturizer in the fridge to cool.  

Something that's great about keeping your skincare in the fridge: when you go to use it, you remember to drink a glass of water.  Another option, if you really want to get into this, is a mini fridge for skincare.  I mean, this is actually so cute. 

 Photo:  OR GOTHAM

Photo: OR GOTHAM

Lastly, one of my favorite things, Ice Rolling. Here's a little more about one of my favorite items to keep in the freezer. 

Honestly, keeping some of your skincare items cool, just feels great. It's not essential by any means, but if you're looking a way to cool and depuff, then pop them right in the fridge next to your cheese. Just like me!

My Thoughts on the NEW Glossier Mascara - An Honest Review & 10% Discount Off Your Purchase

Beauty, ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment
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So it's no secret that I love Glossier's products.  I've written about before here and here. I was, like many of you, skeptical of the new mascara when it came out a month ago.  I'm a mascara FANATIC. Lashes are everything, I mean, everything to me. As you know, I occasionally get lash extensions, when I don't want to apply the endless coats of mascara every day (which I admittedly, love to do, time permitting.) But, this month, I've been giving my lashes a little break and am working on conditioning them regularly and having a more natural look.  

Enter the Glossier mascara, Lash Slick.  

MY THOUGHTS 

I love it. Really. It's a really great mascara. Especially for those who love more natural, separated lashes. Important: this is a big deal coming from me, Queen of the Chunky, Layered, Spider Lashes.  I typically love my mascara, dark, thick, and heavy.  This isn't that. But, it CAN be if you let the coats dry in between.

Application: I start by curling my lashes, though I don't do this every time. I then use the Lash Slick to carefully comb out my lashes.  The fibers in it help coat each lash nicely without it smudging or bleeding onto my lids or under eyes. I like to wait a few seconds between coats to let the previous coats dry and have the strength to be layered on with another coat - just like you would when you're painting your nails. 

If you want a little extra...
I've said this before, and I'll say it again, and will probably write it on my damn tombstone at this point.  IF YOU WANT THICK, LONG LASHES, YOU NEED TO USE A LASH PRIMER. I love love love L'Oreal's lash primers and so does my HERO, Lara Pia Arribio. 

LPA swears by GrandeLash, a lash conditioner and enhancing serum which, I'm going to buy before I even finish writing this post. 

Any who, back to Lash Slick. Let's talk about the removal process because I'm sure like all of you, nothing erks me more than hopping out of the shower with raccoon eyes that I need to remove with a makeup wipe.  Not here.  If you have the Glossier Milky Jelly, or really any face wash that you can use on your eyes (some use baby shampoo) you can easily remove the Lash Slick. I've never had any bleeding or smudging with this mascara and for that alone, it's worth the purchase.   

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Glossier's Key Ingredients (as listed on their site):

Japanese Fiber Technology: One and two millimeter-long curved fibers hook onto lashes, adding length. Consider these your lash “extensions.”

Vegan Biotin: Conditions and strengthens for healthier, softer lashes over time.

Natural Shine Polymers: Enhances the formula’s black pigments so lashes are extra shiny and sleek.

Tapered Comb Brush: The tiered bristles and precise tip separate top and bottom lashes at the root, ensuring even application.

**Side note - did you see that Glossier now has GIPHY stickers on Instastories? Fun Fun Fun. 

What do you think of the new Glossier Lash Slick? Let me know!
I'm giving away a tube! Check out my latest insta for deets. 

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The Easiest DIY Turmeric Mask for Better Skin

Beauty, DIYLibby RasmussenComment
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On days that I work from home, I try to make skincare a priority. I'm not wearing makeup and have time to sit, decompress, and get what I need to get done, while of course, using a barrage of masks and serums. Today I wanted to try something new - a DIY turmeric mask. 

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Four Simple Ingredients

  • Flour

  • Turmeric 

  • Face oil or almond or olive oil

  • 2 tbls almond milk 

For application, I love using these super soft mask brushes from Hansderma

**Important - make sure you're careful with this mask. Turmeric Stains Everything. So proceed with caution. I recommend washing the mask off in the shower before you're ready to hit the town.  

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What It's Been Like to Have Rose Gold Hair - Kristin Ess Review

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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Alright – let’s discuss this pink hair situation, shall we?  Let me begin with this, having pink hair has been one of the most fun beauty trends I’ve participated in to date.  I’ve wanted to have pink hair a la Gwen Stefani since the ripe age of 6 but like many of us, never had the guts, or more importantly, the job that would allow me to look like circus candy.

So here I am, with pink hair, and thankfully, an event planning job that allows me to have it, or strategically hide it in a bun.  But that’s not the important part, so let’s get to the questions.

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What did I use?

For my temporary hair tint, I used Kristin Ess’s latest and greatest Rose Gold Temporary Tint.  I ordered it from Target online to have picked up in the store closest to me.  Easy Easy Easy.  And the best part, it’s only $12, yeah, TWELVE DOLLARS. 

So, what exactly is it?

It’s temporary tint that you can spray on wet or dry hair, then rinse out and dry.  According to Kristin Ess, “I’m always looking for ways to play with pastel tones in the hair. This is the first ever in-shower watercolor that creates a temporary tone when sprayed on wet hair and then rinsed out. The intensity is up to you. When you spray it on damp, towel-dried hair it will soak up more color and last longer. If you spray it on wet hair it will give you a more subtle tone and will rinse out faster. The pink tone is most visible on pre-lightened/highlighted or blonde hair and washes out in 1-3 shampoos depending on the porosity of your hair.”

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Okay, but how long did it last on my hair?

Admittedly, I became a little addicted and each time it would start to fade a little bit, I’d spray a little more in.  Right now, after about 4 days washing it every day, there’s still a pretty light light pink to it.  The sections that faded the quickest, were the areas around my face, makes sense. Also, the dark hair I have on the underside of my head didn’t “take” the color as well as the blonde. 

How blonde do you need to be for it to work?

My hair is far from platinum, but I also just got it highlighted the week before (shout-out to Smitten for this.) Sadly, the color will really only appear on light hair.  But, here is a #rosegoldhair hashtag for reference.  Honestly, if you’re even considering it, I say just get it and try on a small piece of hair. It cost less than a DC cocktail or sandwich, sad.

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Ready to take the pink plunge? Here’s how you do it according to Kristin herself:

1. Shampoo your hair and rinse.

2. Apply spray in the shower on wet hair. For a more intense pink color, towel dry the hair before you spray. For a more subtle hint of pink, spray it directly on freshly rinsed hair. (The less water there is on the hair, the more tone the hair will soak up. Think of your hair as a sponge! If it's full of water it can only absorb a little color.)

3. Once you feel you've covered the hair you want to color, wait 1-2 minutes and then rinse. 

4. Follow it up with your favorite conditioner or mask.
Tip: Do a small test piece in the sink and then blow dry it. You'll know how much color your hair will soak up and how quickly it will rinse out.

PATCH TEST: Apply a small amount of product to dry, cleansed inner side of elbow. Wait for 48 hours. Do not use this product if you experience any burning, redness, swelling or itching.

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Alright, what are the pros and cons?

Pros:  

With how temporary it is, there’s really no going wrong.  It’s incredibly easy to apply and there’s little room for error.

It smells fantastic.  The spray is light and floral, I really can’t get enough of the scent TBH.

Living out your childhood dream of being a badass, I suppose.


Cons:

Sorry brunettes, but it just won’t work for ya – but you SHOULD consider midnight blue hair

Might not be work-place suitable but also, it’s 2018, challenge that.

Sells out quickly so if you buy it, get two bottles!

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What did I learn from having pink hair?

Girl you better OWN it.  I’ve realized that there really isn’t much room for self-doubt when you’re sporting pink locks.  There were definitely occasions where I forgot about it and then would catch someone giving me a double take.  Eventually I got used to it and reminded myself that confidence is key, with or out without this look.  It’s been really fun, and I think honestly, I’m going to do it again very very soon.

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Blonde, Without Breaking The Bank With Smitten Salon

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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I’ve been blonde forever.  As a little kid I had blonde hair and contrasting, dark eyebrows. Some things truly never change I guess.  Being a blonde is tough. I’m serious, ask any blonde in DC where they get their hair done and far too many will roll their eyes and begrudgingly say “Ughhh I go to (salon XYZ) but it literally costs me an arm and a leg” or, “Oh, I just get my hair done in my home state!”  And I have totally been both of these girls.  During college, it was FAR less expensive for me to fly home to Wisconsin, get highlights and fly back, than it was for me to get my hair highlighted at a quality salon in DC. Yes, you heard me; a FLIGHT was less expensive than getting my hair done in DC.  I tried cutting costs by going to an Aveda Institute here and there, but honestly, the anxiety of the whole process was just all too much. Then, I started branching out, and looking at salons outside of DC. I’ve posted before about another salon in Bethesda that I love, and I totally stand by this.  Full transparency, I find that it’s a good idea to switch things up once in a while for different colorist and stylist techniques.

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This brings me to Smitten Salon; located in Arlington. It’s not too far outside of DC and it’s a place that I’ve been to many times before.  I love it. I love their products. I love their stylists. I love their prices, (so reasonable, I’m serious.) Everything, really.

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Partnering with Smitten couldn’t have come at a better time.  I was giving my hair a little break from highlighting for the fall and winter to help repair and restore but it left be feeling a little drab with the lack of dimension and color.  I also knew, as you’ve seen lately, that I would want to go pink for a little bit (post on that coming soon) and getting more highlights would help bring that rose pink color through.

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Honestly, above everything that is amazing at Smitten, Ashley is easily my (new) favorite part.  This was our first time together and now I adore her! We talked about what I envisioned for the color and she described her technique.  We decided to go with a light, spring, blonde, with very small pieces blended, leaving the highlights looking incredibly natural.  She also placed a lot of highlights in the front of my face – which I LOVE, especially now when I pull it back.

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I know I might have a little pink at the moment, but I am so in love with my blonde from Ashley and Smitten.   Highest recommendations!  Make sure you keep up with their Instagram @smittenboutiquesalon for updates and their latest hair creations!  Also, they are expanding and redecorating soon. Can’t wait to see what they have planned!

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**As always, my opinions are 100% genuine and are my own. I was a previous client with Smitten before this partnership and will continue to go back.

Real Talk: I Replaced 95% of my Makeup with Glossier

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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It’s unavoidable. There’s no way that this is the first time you are hearing about Glossier because frankly, I feel a little late in the game with this post.  If you haven’t been following them on Instagram, you should. If you haven’t stopped by their incredible NYC showroom, you should. If you haven’t gotten your hands on at least one of their beautifully-millennial-pink-packaged-products.  Jesus Christ, you  really, really should.  

I know, for a while, I too didn’t believe the hype - even from some of my best friends. But then I did it. I basically threw out 95% of my other makeup and replaced it with, you guessed it, Glossier.  And in case you don’t read the fine print on my posts below, (like most of my blog posts, I wasn’t paid for this) I, Libby Rasmussen, reached out to Glossier for this collab, because I wanted to really see what the fuss was all about. So, real talk, here’s what they sent me and here’s what I loved.  Spoiler alert: everything.

Now let’s talk the products I use, one by one. While I haven’t tried every single Glossier product, I have a pretty good idea of what they really have to offer.  And my skin has been living proof of just how great both the makeup and skincare are. 

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Skin Milk Cleanser – DREAAAAAMY AF.  I get the most questions about this because I think people like to stick with their skincare systems and I get it, it can be scary to venture out and try something new.  As someone who doesn’t struggle with acne (knock on wood) I can’t speak to how this clears skin, although one of my best friends who has struggled with adult acne, said it has done miracles for her complexion. I personally love it for the silkiness and its ability to really remove all of my makeup gently.  While I love a good scrub once and a while, giving my skin a break and pampering it with skin milk.  

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Priming Moisturizer – I truly can’t get enough of this shiiiii. I rush out of the shower, ice roll, and immediately put this on my face and décolletage.  I use small pea-sized dots around my face and honestly, it takes serious restraint not to smother my entire body in this stuff.  It’s really that dreamy.  It’s cool, it smells fantastic, and it applies gently and leaves my skin feeling moisturized but not greasy.

Balm Dotcom – Ding Ding Ding this is the BEST in my book.  The smell, the thickness, the taste, everything. So damn good.  I particularly love the Coconut balm dotcom which you can use on your lips, cuticles, elbows, heels, really anywhere that needs some love.  For me, this is 100% my elbows so I loved putting a little on my lips and using the excess on those dry little ‘bows. I was also sent the cherry balm dotcom which is tinted red but also smells fantastic.  One night, I left the house without remembering blush and just took a little of the cherry balm and dabbed it on my cheekbones.  Easy.  

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Cloud Paint – PIGMENT PIGMENT PIGMENT. I am so pleasantly surprised with how pigmented this liquid blush is.  I was given the Dusk shade, which I love because well frankly, I’ve never used a peachy-colored blush before this.  All you need is the smallllllest dab and you’re good to go.  I also use it on my eyelids for a dewier look.  I have a strong feeling I will be purchasing Puff and Haze in the very near future.  Best part, you can blend them together for fun custom shades.

Haloscope – I was sent the Moonstone, which is probably the most neutral and subtle of the three highlighters and it was great for everyday use.  It blends super well and goes on incredibly smooth.  I will say, I really want to try the Topaz color for evening or times I’m feeling extra and want to really shine. Next to the Boy Brow, this was many of my friends’ favorite product.

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Boy Brow – Since getting my brows microbladed, I’ve had the best time with my brows. LOL it’s really been a great year together. Always a fan of the bushier/darker brows (I used to gently brush mascara on them to darken them) now, I don’t need much coloring and have been loving the clear boy brow.  Hands down this is the #1 product that my Glossier friends love and use most.  Also, you can use it in under 7 seconds. Seriously, SEV-VEN SECONDS.  They even tested this out one day at the Glossier headquarters and trust me, it can be done.  Unlike a lot of brow gels, it’s lightweight and is a great product to help keep them brows in place and more importantly, effortlessly bold.  I don’t leave the house without brushing my teeth, and now, my brows.

Generation G – I was sent the Generation G lip in Zip (poppy red) and typically I shy away from any red glosses, stains, or sticks but this one is just different.  It’s incredibly light and really just heightens my lip color rather than changing it completely. I think as winter approaches and I wear more neutral colors, I will be more likely to use this color.  But for now, I already have my heart set on getting the Crush.

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Here’s what I’m dying to try:
Wowder
Stretch Concealer
Cloud Paint in Puff
Lip Gloss
Glossier You Fragrance  

 Wearing boybrow, cloud paint, haloscope, and balm dot com

Wearing boybrow, cloud paint, haloscope, and balm dot com

Overall, what I’ve loved most about all of these products and being a “Glossier Girl” is how much I’ve just learned to embrace (clap) what (clap) I (clap) got. 

“It’s so subtle. If anything, the criticism would be that our products are too subtle than too intense. But I think that’s so important to be able to build. So few of us are makeup artists. We want the products to be universally flattering, to be very intuitive, very easy.” None of the products require brushes; it’s all designed to be slapped on in the back of the cab.”
-Founder, Emily Weiss

Truly effortless. Believe me, believe the hype. Try it out and see for yourself. Ask for it for the holidays. Give it to your Mom, your sister, your bridesmaids. Hell highlight your cat for all I care, just try it. SHOP BELOW! 
 

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Disclaimer: The products mentioned in this post were given to me as a partnership with Glossier. All of my opinions (as always) are my own and I only write about products, people, and places that I love and support. If you purchase from the links in this post, I will receive a small affiliate bonus for the reccs – so go head and get your shoppin on.

Glossier

I Finally Tried Lash Extensions ($50 off your first full set)

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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Guys, I did something I never thought I would really want, need, or try.  I got eyelash extensions and I'm fearful I may never look back. 

A few months ago, I wrote a post on essentially everything lash-related.  I talked about my friends' experiences with lash extensions and have always been incredibly curious about them.  So I did it, I took the plunge and got them, and wow, I am sooooo glad I did. 

Let's Talk : The Process

Prior to my appointment, per Art of Lash’s recommendation, I arrived on time and free of eye-makeup.  More info about pre/post care can be found HERE

Upon arriving to Art of Lash (located on the upper level of 1522 U Street NW in DC) I was greeted with a warm smile by the absolutely lovely owner, Malin. She made me feel super comfortable as we got to know each other a bit better.  I mean, she was just about to stare at my face for the next few hours. Malin went through a thorough consultation of what exactly I was looking for with my lash extensions.  She explained the two different types of extensions that Art of Lash Offers: The Classic and The Volume.  

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The Classic set is best for the person who either wants a natural, dramatic, or cat eye-look. The sets are done with faux mink, made from the highest quality & comes in different curls & thicknesses. A classic application means 1 single extension to each natural lash.  

The Volume  is a fuller set of lash extensions, made with lighter lashes, giving you an iconic, fuller & more luxurious look. All volume fans will be handmade & individually designed to cater to each client. This set is perfect for the person who is looking for a more dramatic & glamorous look. 

Because I love a good, thick lash, Malin and I decided that the volume set would be best for me. I wanted my lashes to be dramatic without looking too dense or too fake-looking. Malin also stressed the importance of getting lashes that would be the proper weight for my real lashes. This part was really important - when lashes aren't properly matched, they can weigh down the real lash, causing damage or breakage.  By having this consultation, Malin ensured that the lashes she selected would be the perfect weight and overall match for me.  This is what I loved - Malin listened to what I wanted but also, as the professional, knew that she knows best when came to what would look best for me! Malin also pointed out that the arches in my brows would be a good place to start having my lashes fan out, to make my eyes look bright, big, and beautiful. Yes Yes Yes.  

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Then began the relaxing part, the application process which truthfully, didn't take that long.  
I laid down on her cushioned massage-styled table where Malin provided me with a soft blanket and a pillow for behind my knees #bigbootyprobs. She then delicately placed two cool, collagen patches under my eyes, turned on a calm playlist (with some of my favvvvvorite songs) and started individually placing the light handmade volume fans of lashes individually on each of my lashes, one by one.  She explained that instead of doing one eye at a time, she alternates between the two eyes to ensure that they are completely symmetrical, which, I absolutely love. I felt completely relaxed and caught myself nearly drifting off to sleep. (To be honest, during my refill three weeks later, I actually did doze off!) Again when I say Malin is amazingly meticulous, I mean it.  Right before we finished, she inspected my lashes in detail, making sure she didn't miss anything and that they were shaped evenly and beautifully. 

After about two hours, I was ready to see my new lashes. The suspense was killing me, but I also had full faith in Malin and knew they would look amazing.  And guess what? They really trully were. 

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How cute is Art of Lash's studio? It was incredibly comfortable and clean.
Another bonus: Malin's Spotify playlist is amaaaazing. 

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Me and the beautiful and talented owner and lash expert, Malin. Guys, she's the sweetest!

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So, What about Refills?

I was pleasantly surprised by how good they looked, well into week three. I got my refill, and Malin gently took off the lashes that were grown out and replaced them with new lashes closer to the lash line.  This part is key ladies. Often times, lash extensions tend to look bad or fake because the person wearing them goes too long without getting them replaced and refilled.  They become too long and straggly and just look plain tacky.  Malin makes sure this doesn't happen and was incredibly meticulous about replacing them.  The photo below is of me after my most recent refill! 

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How Much Does it Cost?

Art of Lash's prices can be found here but GUESS WHAT, because you're reading this, you'll get $50 off!

What Did I Learn?

My Lashes are Actually Stronger  Yes, you heard me. When I was getting them refilled, Malin said that my real lashes were actually looking longer and stronger than before I got them. This is because I wasn't gooping them with mascara every day and scrubbing them off every night. 

It's Important to Take Care of Your Extensions But, they are by no means time-consuming.My top 3 pointers for aftercare would probably be: 1. Don't be afraid to get them wet. Seriously, after the 24-hour period, you should be cleaning them regularly to prevent any debris. It will also help them stay on longer.  2. Refills are your friends. Don't wait too long to get them done. These are your lashes! Don't you want them do look amazing 24/7? 3. Don't apply mascara. Keeping your lashes clean of residue and maybe the little bit of eye shadow that got on them is one thing, globbing on layers of mascara (or any for that matter) is another. You want to keep your lashes looking fresh and natural for as long as you can. Putting on mascara won't do you any favors long-term. 

They Really Do Make Life Easier.. Okay, well maybe not everything in life but, now aftergetting my brows microbladed and having lash extensions, my morning makeup routine consists of a little concealer, blush, and a highlight, a whopping 8 minutes folks. EIGHT! Nothing is better than going to bed and waking up already feeling pretty, I promise you this.   

Leave It To The Pros  If you're going to try to cut corners and go to just some random place for your lashes, I highly recommend you reconsider. Malin at Art of Lash is a licensed professional with years and years of experience.  Don't try to go somewhere just for the best deal. If you're interested in getting lash extensions, it's because you care about what your lashes and you want them to look the best that they possibly can right? Then seriously, listen to your gut and go with the pros.   

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Like I mentioned, from now until October 31st, if you book an appointment with Malin at Art of Lash and mention "Libby" in the notes when booking your appointment and you will get $50 off your first full set of either classic or volume lashes.  #worthit

 After booking your lash appointment, make sure to follow @artoflashdc for more amazing before and after photos! 

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Five (New) Things I Learned From My Dentist

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

Let me preface this post with some transparency.  I LOVE the dentist.  I have never dreaded the flossing, the scraping, the prodding.  Even as a kid, all of my dentist visit polaroids feature me with a huge smile on my face.  I loved having braces. I thought getting my wisdom teeth pulled was actually kind of cool. #ThanksLaughingGas And I'm 100% the kind of dental patient who asks all the questions during my cleaning. Yes, I'm that person. Because of this, I'm always asking my dentist, Dr. Lauren Izadi and her West End Dental team alllllll the questions.  Huge plug necessary: If you're looking for a dentist in DC, check this place out. They're all absolutely wonderful. So let's talk about some of the topics I learned about at my last visit. 

1. I'm Brushing Too Hard

Hi my name is Libby, an I am an "aggressive brusher."  According to my dentist, I get a little too into brushing. I know I'm supposed to brush in light, delicate circles, but sometimes it just feels good to scrub those bad boys clean.  Well, in my case, this isn't doing my teeth any favors. I'm actually wearing down my enamel and putting a lot of pressure on my gums.  Dentist's Orders: Get a soft toothbrush, like a really soft one. And start brushing with my opposite hand.  *sighs loudly* Okayyyy fine.  

2. Those Floss Sticks, Don't Do Sh!t

This one surprised me the most. In spite that New York TImes article that said we might not need to floss? (ew) I still stuck to my daily routine (give or take) of flossing with floss sticks.  My dentist's suggestion, toss them.  Why? Because they really don't do anything more than a toothpick would.  It doesn't hug the teeth the way dental floss does.  If anything, it almost just pushes plaque up into the gums. Gross.  Here's a great article that backs this up.  Also, why bother with wasting the plastic? Here's a great biodegradable floss option that I've started to use. 

3. ...And Neither Does Mouthwash

Unless you are gargling to rid your mouth of bad breath, few mouthwash products actually live up to their promises. Mouthwash does not actually cure dental disease, bad breath, or tooth decay. It works to promotes dental health or simply mask bad breath.  According to many dental studies, if you are brushing and flossing regularly to maintain your dental health, some dentists would say that you’re wasting your money. Unless you have gum disease, dental decay, or bad breath, you’re honestly better off spending your $5 elsewhere.

4. Guard Your Mouth

Oh you know, just another fun perk of getting older. Stress and teeth grinding. I'm not sure when I do it (when I sleep) or how bad it is, but I know it's enough that my dentist has noticed.  While I'm not really ready to commit to the pricier custom guard that my dentist can make, I did find a pretty good alternative with this Oral B Night Guard. I don't wear it religiously, but on nights I suspect I might clench or grind my teeth (when I'm stressed or drink) I'll pop it in before bed. 

5. You're Never Too Old For Fluoride

If you thought you didn't need the occasional fluoride treatment as an adult, think again. Each day, our bodies take in and lose fluoride.  The way we take it in is through foods (like shellfish, grapes, raisins) EVEN WINE (?!) and water. The way we lose it is when acids caused by plaque, bacteria, and sugars in our mouths attack our enamel. We get get that fluoride back into our enamel layer by eating the right foods, drinking fluoride water and through treatments at your dentist's office. Upon learning that, I scheduled a fluoride treatment for my next appointment. The downside: most insurance plans don't cover the treatment. The upside: its only $30. No brainer here.  

Have any of you ever tried switching up your dental routine? After going sugar free the past few weeks, I realized that a lot of the toothpastes we use have sugar in them! Here are a few organic toothpastes to try!

Beauty for Breakfast: Morning Skin Routine

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

My skin is truly at its best in the summer.  I wear less make-up, more sunscreen, and try my best to hydrate more. All good things, but occasionally I need a little recharge and reminder. I'm noticing sunspots where none used to be.  I sometimes "forget" to wash my face at night and properly remove my mascara. And, like many of us, are 100% guilty of not drinking enough water.  So here's a little reminder to myself that I thought I would share with you all. 

Skincare

Sunscreen - I've talked about this before but you guys, I really mean it. We MUST use sunscreen on our faces every. single. day.  It's so important. Not just for the obvious reasons *cough cough* wrinkles but that harmful sun damage that newsflash, your Botox or chemical peel wont be able to combat the rest of your life.  Being "naturally tan" shouldn't be your excuse anymore and I certainly wont say it anymore either.  Also, most "built-in" SPFs aren't strong enough which is why I use a liberal amount (quarter-size) or more on my face and neck every morning. Yes, it's going to be a little thick at first but this is when you can take the time to drink some tea or even better, Restorative H2O (see below) and let it absorb into your skin. This R+F sunscreen is easily my favorite. 

Lifting Youth Creme - I was given this creme as a gift from Saks in Tysons a few months ago and have been hooked. Just a little bit of this creme goes a long way, which is great considering this is quite the luxury skincare item. What is does: It's infused with the brand's exclusive Floralixir™ Dew, and promises stunningly radiant, youthful skin. Yes please. It also delivers Ultimate Lift technologies and rejuvenating nourishment.  The Floralixir Dew helps to reawaken the skin powers of visible regeneration, strength and youthful renew. I apply just a little bit on the tops of my cheeks, forehead and neck.

Vitamin C Serum – In addition to protecting my skin via sunscreen, I also use a Pure Vitamin C serum to help boost collagen production, which provides an anti-oxidant protection and exfoliates my skin and gives it a natural glow. Pure Vitamin C can penetrate faster and deeper into the skin when applied.  I typically use a few drops on my face, neck, and the tops of my hands.

Foam Cleanser – The best way for me to really rid my face of any makeup or surface impurities is with this La Prairie foam cleanser. It leaves my skin feeling calm, smooth, and purified. I’ve found in the past that some cleansers that I use tend to feel like they take off almost too much of my skins natural oils and leave it feeling dry and dehydrated.  I’ve stuck with this one for a while because it leaves my skin soothed and hydrated.

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Anti-Wrinkle Brightening Serum – I was sent this serum to try a few weeks ago and have used it nearly every day ever since. It’s essentially a two-for-one with its combined powerful collagen-stimulating peptides and advanced anti-aging properties with potent plant stem cells. The formula is really smooth and infused with rejuvenating vitamin B3 and stable time-released vitamin C to visibly diminish the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles. I’ve had some spots on my nose and cheeks for a while and this has definitely made them less noticeable, to me at least. I’ve been using a lot of it at night and a little in the morning.  I love the way it applies and feels cool on my skin after a hot shower. 

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Ice Rolling

I’ve discussed the benefits of ice rolling before numerous times, particularly in this post. But in the summertime, I feel like my skin craves it the most.  Ice rolling is a favorite morning routine of mine because it cools my face after a hot shower or de-puffs after a night of drinks or salty food.  Typically, I’ll ice roll after applying my brightening serum and sunscreen.  The roller helps to evenly disperse the products into my skin, acting almost as a paint roller.

Beauty & Restorative Water

This year I got verrry very into Collagen Peptides.  I add a scoop to my coffee, water, cereal, you name it. So when JRINK launched their new line of Restorative Beauty waters, I was alllll about it.  We all know that beauty comes from within (blah blah blah) but really, it truly does.  What we put into our system plays a serious role in how we look and feel.  JRINK covered four essential bases for their waters and I’m seriously hooked. The four waters include: GLOW (Pure Rose, Collagen, Lemon, Beet, Alkaline H20) for glowing skin.  RELAX (Pure Lavender, Lemon, Beet, Alkaline H20) for stress relief, and relaxation. NOURISH (Pure Blue Pea, Collagen, Lemon, Alkaline H20) for your hair. Fun fact: Blue Pea is an excellent source of Bioflavinoid. Never heard of it? Well, it boosts hair growth and health. DETOX (Chlorophyll, Mint, Probiotic Acidophilus, Alkaline H20) for a cleaner, healthier liver. 

Interested in trying out JRINK's new Resorative Waters? Do it. I love them. Make sure to use my friends + family code LIBBY10 at the checkout to save 10% on your first online order.  

Remember, wear sunscreen, get enough rest, and drink plenty of water to stay prettttty this summer.  Thanks for letting me try out these waters JRINK! *As always, all of my opinions are my own. 

I Got My Eyebrows Microbladed & Have Zero Regrets

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

Can I just say, I am VERY happy that brows are on trend, and have remained on trend.  Growing up, my brows were always dark.  I had bright blonde hair and dark, bushy brows.  Sadly, like most  high school girls, I got a little overzealous with the tweezers and made some pretty poor brow mistakes.  Thankfully, the brows have since recovered and I’ve been embracing my long, dark brows by getting them threaded every two months or so. 

Lately however, I noticed that they weren't as full as they used to be.  Maybe I’m just watching wayyyy too many brow Instagram videos, or maybe my mid-twenties brows are just peace-ing out slowly.  Either way, when I stumbled upon this brow company, @Dollistic on Instagram, I was hooked.  Photo after photo of amazing before and after photos of brows that were either non-existent or poorly shaped, transformed into beautifully symmetrical and sculpted works of art.

I had heard of Microblading before, but I really didn’t consider the process. Was it a brow transplant? Was it a tattoo? I didn’t really know, but I knew I really wanted to do it.

So, what is Microblading?

According to the experts at Dollistic, microblading, also referred to as Microstroking, Eyebrow Embroidery, Feather Stroke Brows, 3D Brows, or micro pigmentation, etc. is the process of manually implanting color pigment beneath the surface of the skin by means of tiny, sterile, disposable needles to produce the appearance of hair strokes. 

Was I really going to do this? Was I really going to get my first what is more or less a tattoo, on my face?  Granted my brows are were pretty good shape to begin with, but hey why not strive for improvement, right?

In preparation for my “procedure” I had to grow my brows out which, admittedly, wasn’t easy because when my brows grow, they grow long.  But I stayed strong and avoided my threading place for 2 months prior to my appointment. (Hence, the reason my brows in the "before" shot below look so beastly.) The day leading up to my appointment, I made sure to avoid caffeine, alcohol, direct sun exposure #sunscreenforlife.

 After applying the numbing cream, Christina filled in my brows and made sure they were symmetrical

After applying the numbing cream, Christina filled in my brows and made sure they were symmetrical

The day of, I strolled down 14th Street to Dollistic (1409 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC) which is conveniently less than a mile away from my apartment. I was greeted by the adorable Christina, my brow artist and new favorite person. Christina was incredibly professional and knowledgeable and I instantly trusted her.  We went over some of the ground rules and procedures while she spread a nice thick layer of pre-procedure topical numbing creme to “take off the edge.” Girrrl, thanks. Then Christina spent the majority of the process, drawing her art on my canvas (face lol) using this eyebrow ruler to ensure that I was symmetrical and that I would like the shape of my new brows. 

But before I go into too much detail about the experience, let’s cover some ground with the questions I had, and probably you do too.

What's the Microblading process?

In spite looking like real hairs, microblading doesn’t involve any sort of hair transplanting.  It is merely a series of small tears in the skin in the shape of hairs and filled with pigment.  As Christina explained, it’s not really a blade; it’s a row of sterile needles (one time use) that are used to scratch the very surface of the skin with the pen dipped in pigment in the pattern of hair strokes.

Does it Hurt?

As someone with a pretty high pain tolerance, I went into this thinking it would be pretty painless. I’ve also never had a tattoo so I can’t compare the two sensations. I will say however, yes, it does hurt. Did my eyes water? No.  Were my palms a little clammy, yes, definitely.  Truthfully, the worst part for me, was the sound. It really does sound like the scraping of skin, which made me a little queasy.  Serious props/sidenote though: I was LOVING Dollistic’s Spotify playlist that had all of my relaxing favorites on it.  I honestly loved every song they played.

Okay, back to the pain.  Everyone has a different pain tolerance right? And for me, knowing how good my brows were going to look after, toughened me up.  Candidly, if you’re afraid of needles or blades, maybe this isn’t for you. The numbing solution does help, but not until the second round of cuts did I not feel anything. 

There are two types of anesthetic used during the procedure.  As mentioned above, one is the "Pre-Procedure Topical Numbing Creme" which is used before the procedure starts to take the edge of the first few hairstrokes.  The second one is a gel like anesthetic made of lidocane that sinks in once the skin has been broken to fully numb you and keep you comfortable during the duration of the procedure. (similar to the dentist, you have to feel a little pinch before becoming fully comfortable and numb!)

 My brows 2 days after the procedure - still dark and a little sore but pretty on fleek if I must say

My brows 2 days after the procedure - still dark and a little sore but pretty on fleek if I must say

Post procedure, I was pretty tender. Not enough to go running for the Advil, but enough to feel like, oh yeah, someone just made 100+ little cuts on my face. It really just feels like you have a bad sunburn on your eyebrows. 

Am I a good candidate for microblading?

Dollistic made it easy with this FAQ on who can and cannot have the procedure as well as this Pre & Post Care guide.

 Before & After - You can really see the difference in the shape and fullness here

Before & After - You can really see the difference in the shape and fullness here

How much is it?

Getting your brows microbladed isn’t cheap, especially if you are going to the best of the best. And really think about it here, you’re essentially getting a tattoo on your face – you deserve going to the best.  This isn’t something you want to cut corners with and run the risk of infection or even worse, bad brows.  The price typically depends on the skill level and experience of the technician.  The rates at Dollistic are $650-1150 for new clients and this includes two sessions (each 8-ish weeks apart.)  Nationwide the rates vary from $250-2500 depending on location and artists' experience and reputation/demand.

How long does it last?

Future touch ups vary from person to person. Some people come every 6-9 months because they always want their brows to be bold and defined.  Others might not want or need a touch up for 1-2 years. Those who follow aftercare directions definitely have the best and longest retention. Dollistic recommends touch ups annually for best maintained and beautiful brows. Which if you think about it, is a great and cost efficient maintenance plan if you are someone who already spends $20-25 on brow make-up per month ($300+ per year) and $30-55+ on threading or waxing ($660+ per year) plus, lets be real the extra 10-15 minutes every morning filling in your brows (time = $$)

 Day 6 Post Microblading - Brows are more subtle and natural 

Day 6 Post Microblading - Brows are more subtle and natural 

Is it worth it?

Yes yes yes, omg YAAAAAS. As someone who already had pretty full brows, you would think that my answer to this would be the opposite.  But truthfully, it really transformed my brows and even a little bit of my face. I never realized what having fuller, but more importantly, symmetrical brows could do for my face.  Not to mention, my arches are now more pronounced, making me look more refreshed.  If you are even considering microblading, you should one, make sure it's something that's right for you and two, set up an appointment with Dollistic. You can see all of their amazing before and after photos on their Instagram.

Overall, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.  In spite the slight discomfort with the healing process, it was entirely worth it.  Huge thanks to Christina and Dollistic for having me and for my beautiful brows. I can't recommend this enough. More questions? Feel free to ask me on Instagram

Better Blonder with The Shop Salon

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

“Where do you get your balayage done?” While this question was completely harmless and with good intent, I was horrified to hear that my roots where so dark that someone actually thought I had paid to have my hair look that way.  For those who don’t know, this is a balayage – a technique for highlighting the hair in which the dye is painted on in such a way as to create a graduated, natural-looking effect. Beautiful for some, but certainly not the look I was going for.

I knew I needed to get my hair highlighted immediately.  When looking for a salon in the DC area, I’m always a bit hesitant for two reasons. One, it literally costs an arm and a leg to get your hair highlighted in the district.  Two, my best friend’s Mom has been one of the few people to color my hair ever, and since the 6th grade at that.  Any blonde who gets highlights knows that there is a lot of trust involved when someone colors your hair and that it can go TERRRRRRIBLY wrong. 

When I connected with AC at The Shop Salon in Bethesda, my fears were immediately put to rest.  We had a great consultation over the phone, discussing my hair texture and thickness and what color I was going for.  We decided that Bruna, one of the amazing stylists at the salon would be the best match for me. Just a short walk from the Bethesda metro station, the salon is conveniently located downtown. It’s bright, with amazing natural sunlight and the walls lined with some of my favorites from Bumble and Bumble.

Bruna and I chatted about what color and the thickness of the highlights we thought would be best and off we were! She used so many new products I had yet to try but now love - particularly this Kevin Murphy UN.TANGLED leave-in conditioner, which smells amazing.  I also love love love Redken’s Anti-Snap for a leave-in treatment – I’ve been using it since the 4th grade. 

Shop My Favorites

After a few short hours, I was blow-dried and curled to the nines.  My hair has honestly never looked better.  I loved the soft, beachy curls the team showed me how to replicate with my new favorite line from Bumble and Bumble, called Surf. This line is a saltwater-based styling spray that adds texture and volume that gives my hair a fresh-off-the-beach look.  The Surf line even has seaweed and kelp extracts for enhanced moisture.  The foaming mousse also has a beach protective blend with coconut water that protects hair from the drying and damaging effects of the sun’s UVA and UVB ray. See, even your hair needs sun protection. #wearsunscreen #seriouslyladies

Anywho, the whole team at The Shop Salon was incredible and super attentive, which I truly appreciate.  I give my highest recommendation for blondes or really, anyone in the DC area to visit The Shop Salon.  I can’t wait to go back! Gone are the days I’ll go that long without highlighting my hair.  Buh-bye balayage.  

Make sure to check out The Shop Salon and tell them that Libby sent you! A special thank you to AC and my new friends at The Shop Salon and Bumble and Bumble for partnering with me. As always, all of my opinions are 100% my own.

Let's Talk Lashes - More than Just Mascara (But that too)

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

Let's Talk Lashes

I’m pretty over articles that simply tell me which mascaras to buy.  Or in a more recent case, as the Man Repeller discussed, not wearing mascara at all, a la “I (Actually) Woke Up Like This: Bare Eyelashes Are Trending.” Yeah, okay. For many, especially us blondes, this trend isn’t something we’re ready for, or particularly care for.  Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved and embraced a tastefully chunky lash.  Coating my top lashes in layers of thick, black, Lancôme mascara was, and still is a daily ritual I look forward to.  A sign of the “finishing touches” before long day of work, or a girl’s night out, a lash-obsessed gal knows, knows, that there is such a thing as having a Good Lash Day.  And it can make or break your hour of previous grooming antics. 

While make up artist Dick Page has written off thick mascara as one of our “little beauty crutches”, I’m fully willing embrace my mascara “crutch” over rocking a nude lash. The trend  does have me thinking however, what does all that mascara wear and tear do to the longevity of these precious little hairs on our lids? Let’s discuss different methods, products, and then, best practices for keeping your lashes long, and strong – because we all want that, no? Let’s start with the method I tried most recently, lash tinting.


Lash Tinting

I’ve thought about getting my lashes tinting for a few years now.  My lashes aren’t super faint, but they have almost an ombre to them (dark at the root, light at the ends.) I love the idea of not wear so much mascara during the day or at all while swimming.  I started using a semi-permanent lash tint at night sent to me by Rimmel London.  It’s proven to darken bare lashes in two weeks and give the appearance of instantly fuller and longer lashes.  I loved this product for nightly use (before bed), but as my everyday mascara, it didn’t quite do what I wanted.  So then I consulted the professionals at Elle Lash Bar here in Washington, DC and scheduled an appointment.

The lash tinting process was surprisingly quick and easy thanks to Paula at Elle Lash Bar.  We started by removing my mascara and eye makeup.  Paula then put Vasaline on my eyelids and under eyes to prevent the lash dye from staining my skin. She then put thin cotton pads under my eyes and tinted my lashes gently with a small brush and let the dye sit for six or so minutes. After, the dye was removed Paula give me some cooling eyedrops to help with the small burn from the tinting.  

Overall, I highly recommend getting your lashes tinted, especially if they are blonde like mine. My  lashes look so much longer now that they are darker and I love the results. Lash tinting typically costs around $35 - $60 depending on where you live and lasts about 4-6 weeks.
 

 Lash Extensions

Lash extensions fascinate me. Every time I see them on a stranger or a friend, I feel like I want to ask them 100 rapid fire questions. Can I touch them? Do they itch? Are they like, suuuper expensive or just kinda expensive? Can you put mascara on them?  What about showers and washing your face? Are they worth it? Are you forever addicted? So finally, thanks to this post, I asked a friend with lash extensions these exact questions.  Here's what she said:

Tell me about your lashes. I won't ask to touch them but, I will probably stare at them this entire time. 

Friend: "I got my lash extensions a long time ago - about two years to be exact. The process is actually really calming. I go to my lash lady, lay on the bed with chill music playing, close my eyes, and let the beautifying begin."

Can you explain the process? 

Friend: "Each lash gets its own individual lash put over the top. My lash lady dips each individual extension in glue and bonds it to my natural lash. At the end, she goes through and feathers my lashes and checks for spots she missed. I like it because they're custom to me, and I can pick how long or thick I want them depending on my mood."

How long are you laying there for?

Friend: "Typically about an hour and a half give or take. She's pretty fast."

How long do they last?

Friend: 
"It depends on the month. In summer when I'm at the pool or working out more often, I need to get them filled in or redone more often. On average though about 5-6 weeks.  I've learned not to touch or play with them.  The first set I had done didn't last that long because I was constantly touching them. They also itched more. I'm better about that now."

So do they itch a lot? Is that the most annoying part about them?

Friend:
"No, the price is the most annoying part! [laughs] I'd say, it's more mind over matter. But yes, they do itch sometimes."

You mentioned price. We all know they're expensive.  If you don't mind me asking, how much do you pay for yours?

Friend: 
"Oh gosh. Well, my first set was around $300 with tip and my refills are typically around $40-$50 a visit. I know that's a steep price but look, I never buy mascara anymore. When I was, I was paying about $45 a tube and going through 14-16 of those a year, so you do the math. I also stopped coloring my hair when I started getting the lashes. It's all about budgeting your beauty."

Bottom line, will you ever go back to your natural lashes?

Friend: "Not likely, well, I'm not sure.  Right now I see it as a small luxury that I like to do for myself. It makes me feel great and I love the compliments I get from them. And when people ask me if they're extensions, I tell them the truth. But if they just say, "Wow you have great lashes" I thank them and move on." 

Still curious about lash extensions? Check out this article. And I've heard amazing things about the extension services at Elle Lash Bar, here in DC. 

Lash Conditioning

Castor Oil There’s been a lot of hype about castor oil on brows, cuticles, lashes, you name it. But with trend comes skepticism.  "Is Castor oil just the new oil pulling? Where it’s probably bullshit but does it really hurt to try it and see?” Valid.  However, there have been some great testimonials here and here on its benefits.  Castor oil is full of nutrients that can help to nourish the lashes and keep them from breaking. 

Coconut Oil -  Similar to castor oil, many have raved about the benefits of coconut oil for lash conditioning and strengthening. No surprise here, considering coconut oil filled with a wide range of natural fatty acids, like lauric, caprylic, myristic, and capric acid, which are all medium fatty acids and are critical for good cell growth in the body.  

Here's a great eyelash growth serum that we found that combines the two: 

 1 teaspoon castor oil
1 teaspoon emu oil (optional, can use extra castor oil instead)
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
2 capsules Vitamin E oil (optional)

 

Lash Perming

Lash perming is a great solution for those who spend countless minutes curling their lashes to get that uplifted look.  Why do this? Well, uplifted lashes look longer than straight ones, giving you the large doe-eyed look so many women love.   Eyelash perming curls and lifts your lashes and typically lasts about a month and half.  Of course, the tricky part about lashes is, they fall out. Therefore, as the permed lashes fall out and are replaced by straighter ones, the effect of the perms disappears and requires additional treatments. This could turn into an expensive regimen, but hey, what isn’t?  We’ve also heard rave reviews and have seen amazing before and after before and after photos from clients at Elle Lash Bar.  If you’re looking for something less permanent, we’ve heard rave reviews about this Shu Uemura eyelash curler, which has been around since 1931. 

 

Lash Growth Enhancers

Think of these growth serums and enhancers as eyelash steroids. Not everyone's doing it, but if they are, they probably aren't telling you. Here are a few that I've heard great things about and are using myself. 

Revitalash - Revitalash is sold at Nordstrom and is dermatologist reviewed.  Those who use it say its non-irritating and easy to apply.  Results are typically seen by week 4-6. Revitalash has been called the "training wheels" for anyone who is considering Latisse. 

Amalie Beauty Wink Lash Oil - This Wink lash oil is packed with those great fatty acids that may stimulate lash growth.  In spite of it being an oil, it's light and thin in texture and won't clog up your lids. One user said that she noticed results in just 2 weeks and that her lashes appeared to be darker as well. 

Rapidlash Enhancing Serum - There are a lot of really great reviews of Rapidlash out there, especially on youtube. It needs to be applied just once a day and has been proven to show results in as little as 4 weeks.  

So here's what I'm using....

Rodan + Fields Lash Boost - So you may have remembered my post on starting to use Rodan  + Fields products recently, and yep, I'm still loving it.  Something my skincare godmother, Mary Utsey recommended was Lash Boost for stronger, longer lashes.  I suppose I could file this under the "Lash Conditioning" category as well, but I've seen such great results that it feels more like an enhancement really.  Lash Boost launched in October and I've been using it ever since. Have I noticed a difference? Yes, 100% and others around me have too.  I can't tell you how many times I get asked where I get my lash extensions done and I LOVE being able to say, "Nope, these puppies are mine!"  At $150 a tube, it may seem like a bit of a splurge, but if you're anything like me, and clearly you are if you're reading this post, you want to invest in your lashes and see them grow heathy and strong.  Bonus: Mention Libby Living Colorfully with any Rodan + Fields purchase through Mary and receive $20 off your order! 

Mascara

Primer - Before discussing mascara we need to address the importance of lash primers. Just like painting a room, a primer for your lashes is essential to build up the best shape, length, and thickness before applying your mascara.  The best part - using a primer can actually save you money.  Why? Think about it. You spend around $12 on a primer, use 3-4 coats before your (typically) more expensive mascara.  Rather than loading up on mascara, the primer is used as a less expensive base for the main event. Bonus: A lot of primers have conditioners in them, so it's a lash win/win. Here are a few favorites. Some people even use baby powder applied with a cotton swab before mascara application for a fuller look. THIS is the primer I cannot live without (pictured above!) 

Mascara - Ask most women what cosmetic item they can't leave the house without and most will say mascara. The lash-defining product was first named after Eugene Rimmel, a French cosmetics inventor and was created first in the 1830's.  Here are some other fun facts and tips you might have not known about mascara. 

1. Ever wonder why you instinctively open your mouth when applying mascara? It's because it's actually easier not to blink when your mouth is open. 

2. The FDA reports that the most common makeup related injury is gouging your eye with the mascara wand.  Day ruined. 

3. Mascara on your lashes overnight dries them out and can lead to breakage. Make sure to take it all off before bed to keep those lashes strong! This is easily my favorite oil cleanser and makeup remover

4. Of all the makeup on the market, mascara has the shortest lifespan (about 3-5 months.) 

5. To keep your mascara lasting longer and prevent it from drying out, place a few drops of contact or eye drop solution in the tube every so often to thin out the texture and prevent clumps. 

A very special thanks to Paula at Elle Lash Bar for answering all of my lash questions and for the complimentary lash tinting.  If you're in Washington, DC and are looking for lash extensions, lash perming or tinting, make sure to call the experts at Elle Lash Bar. 

Photos via: Kara Schab of Right Foot Creative 



 

 

 



Saks Beauty Week Tyson's Galleria

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

This past year I've made beauty regimens a serious priority of mine. While I'm still guilty of "forgetting" to wash my face after a night out from time to time, I'm working on improving my overall skincare and beauty routine.  For me, this was starting with better quality products. Less drugstore, more department store.  Saks Tyson's Galleria truly has it all so when I found out about their beauty week, I was thrilled.  

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If you follow along on my Instagram stories, you saw that I stopped by Saks last week for the dreamist La Prairie facial.  I also had a chance to check out some of their latest and greatest products for beauty week. 

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You can find so many of my favorites from the store in The Spring Beauty Book.  My overall favs would have to be the Estee Lauder Ultimate Lift Regenerating Youth Creme for Face and Eyes and Hydrating Creme Cleanser. Another goodie was this Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow Palette, which I desperately needed for everyday use.  In addition, thenSaks Beauty Dept includes offerings from Kilian, La Prairie, Chanel, La Mer, Dior, YSL, Clinique, Lancome, Kiehl’s, Trish McEvoy, Laura Mercier, Jo Malone, SKII, Cle De Peau, Sisley, Tom Ford and more.


I also love the beauty ritual guides that Saks is offering for Beauty Week.  We have our eyes set on the Trish McEvoy 'Power of Brows' tutorials on Thursday 2/23. 

Make sure to shop soon. Saks is offering this complimentary tote bag (in stores and online) with any $150 or more purchase. Even better, at $300, you'll get an adorable wristlet to match. Say hello to my new beach bag!  Saks Fifth Avenue in the Tysons Galleria is located at 2051 International Drive, McLean, VA 22102.

7 New Nail Colors for Winter

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

1. Vintage on Vine

One of Lauren B Beauty's prettiest nail colors of the season, this true, creamy mauve warms up even the palest skin tones and has a lovely, chameleon-like quality: Depending on the light, the effect wavers between dusky purple and a gorgeous, Instagram-vintage-filter taupe.

2. Rose Quartz

Consider this your new favorite neutral. Rose Quartz polish is at once warm, romantic and charming. Make sure to check out some of the other amazing new Kendra Scott nail lacquers

3. Noot

Noot by Zoya can be best described as a very dark grey cream with strong blue-green undertones. Smoky, smoldering dark grey nails with a twist from the addition of green tones.

4. Slate Grey

This is the grey polish you've been looking high and low for. Thanks again Kendra Scott!  A clean, crisp slate hue with eye-catching shine, this gray nail lacquer is anything but neutral.

5. Departing LAX

For those looking for a little bit of fun, Lauren B Beauty has got you. Glints of silver and lavender illuminate this shimmery gray-brown enamel, lending it the shiny iridescence of a jet-plane. It’s an unexpected neutral that soars.

6. Miley

Eeeeee! This is my favorite polish for fall by far!  I discovered this Zoya color when getting a regular mani at my favorite DC nail salon, Varnish Lane. Miley by Zoya can be best described as a pale, delicate lilac creme with light blue undertones. A lovely botanical shade with high-fashion edge.

7. PCH

This Lauren B Beauty polish will take you places this fall. Imagine a cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway on a cool, clear fall afternoon. That’s the stunning freshness of this opaque cobalt blue. Tinged with purple undertones, it’s festive and on-trend and instantly lifts your mood. 

How perfect are these shelves at Varnish Lane? If you're in DC, you can find Zoya and Lauren B Beauty polishes there! Also, special shout out to Kendra Scott in Bethesda where you can find the latest nail lacquers at the store! 

Which colors and brands do you prefer for winter?
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I Stopped Using Proactiv and This is Why

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

Here's the deal, I started using Proactiv when I was about 14 years old.  Like most teenagers, I had some bumps and blemishes here and there that I wanted to get rid of but overall, nothing too serious.  I swore by this skincare routine well into adulthood, thinking, “if it works, it works.”  While this may be true for some, I found that I was ready to start thinking about my skin in a different way.  What did I want to solve, and what did I want to prevent?  As I’ve mentioned in my 26 Before 26 List, I’ve made it a serious priority of mine to wear sunscreen on a daily basis.  With the exception of getting a little crispy over the 4th of July weekend, I’ve held true to my promise and have made sun protection a daily part of my skincare routine. 

This however, was a step that the Proactiv skincare system was lacking for me.  At 25, I’m thinking less about acne and more about skin protection and rejuvenation.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved using Proactiv, I just needed to switch things up.  Luckily, I didn’t have to stray too far from the brand that I loved and used for so long.  Shortly after making the decision to switch, I was in touch with my friend Mary Utsey, a consultant for Rodan + Fields. Yes, the same dermatologists that developed and created the Proactiv Solution.

I chatted with Mary for a bit on what I was looking for in a skincare line.  I made sure to mention the importance of including a sunscreen in my skincare routine. We also discussed some of my other skin woes; dullness, brown spots, and discoloration.

Mary then suggested the REVERSE regimen to target all of these skin issues.  Essentially, this skincare could help turn back the clock on my younger days of sitting in the sun sans sunscreen, in just 4 easy steps.  Similar to what I did with my Proactiv Solution, using the REVERSE products in the morning and at night, or whenever possible, has helped to brighten my complexion, prevent and repair sun damage, and even restore skin cells for a more youthful look.  Here’s a little more info about each step and what I like about it!

Step 1: Deep Exfoliation – First, I’ll begin by getting my skin wet with lukewarm water.  I’ll take about a dime-size amount onto my entire face and neck and will massage for about 30-60 seconds.  Many times, I think we forget to spend a little extra time in our exfoliation.  Really let the product do the work and keep working it into the skin. Rinse thoroughly pat dry.  I started out using the products every other day per instructions and have worked up to use every morning and night.

Step 2: Intensive Brightening Toner – I think there’s a common misconception that toners aren’t really necessary in a skincare routine.  For me, they’re critical.  Toners help to remove oil and traces of dirt and grime.  Essentially, if you wear sunscreen, or makeup, you should use a toner.  For this brightening toner, I use a gauze pad or cotton ball to apply the toner to my face.

Step 3: Dual Active Brightening Complex – This is quite possibly my favorite step of the process.  The dual process features vitamin C and retinol, to enhance skin brightening while helping to diminish the look of fine lines, along with kojic acid and licorice to improve the appearance of uneven skin tone over time.  After cleansing and toning, I use an equal pea-size amount of each tube next to one another.  Then, I simply blend the two and apply over my entire face until entirely absorbed into my skin.

Step 4: Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Sunscreen – The final and arguably most important step is the REVERSE set is the sunscreen. Unlike many sunscreens, this product contains Vitamin E and green tea that fight free radicals and prevent future sun damage, while licorice extract and mulberry help to brighten dull skin. 
 

So far I’ve used the REVERSE products for about a month and have already seen fantastic results.  Overall, my skin looks brighter and my skin tone, especially on my forehead and cheeks is far more even than when I started.  Initially, I had a small breakout here and there, but Mary ensured me that it was the change in my skincare routine, and the REVERSE products essentially working up the dirt and oil to the surface of my skin.

I cannot recommend this regimen enough, especially if you are looking for a skincare that targets signs of sun damage and aging, rather than simply acne.  Interested in more? Make sure to check out the other Rodan +Fields skincare lines and talk to my good friend Mary about which one works best for you.  Also, unlike many other skincare treatments I’ve considered in the past, I never once felt pressured to try or purchase something I wasn’t interested in. Added bonus, you can try the products for a full 60 days with the guarantee that they will produce visible results or your money back. I loved this, it really takes away from the pressure of investing in our skin! 

**GIVEAWAY** Anyone who contacts or messages Mary in relation to this blog post will be entered into a drawing to win the latest Rodan + Fields Lash Boost and mini eye cream! 


*The products in this post were provided courtesy of friends at Rodan + Fields. However, I only post and promote products I genuinely use, and more importantly, love. 

Products I love: The Multistick by Bite Beauty

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So truthfully, I didn't really start wearing lipstick until this year.  I always hated the sticky consistency and frankly, the upkeep of reapplication after every hour, or more. Then I received the Multistick from Bite Beauty to test out and now I don't leave the house without it. 

The Multistick is the ideal product for the low (or high) -maintenance gal on the go, who still likes a little cheek contour and lipstick now and then. 

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What it is: 
A multistick that applies like a cream and wears like a powder for weightless color application. Just apply with your finger or a brush on the eyes, lips, and cheeks. 

What it does: 
With 35% powder in each Multistick bullet, this silicone-free formula creates a soft focus finish that's blendable, breathable, and buildable. It features universal shades for the eyes, lips, and cheeks that compliment all skin tones and are formulated to use anywhere on the face. 

What it is formulated WITHOUT: 
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Phthalates

What else you need to know: 
Bite Beauty products are free of petrochemicals and silicones.

In my kit, I was sent three shades: Blondie (nude beige) Macaroon (pink) and Cocoa (deep chocolate brown) 

The Multistick formula comes in 18 shades which can each be used as a lipstick, a blush or contour, or a soft eyeshadow.  They apply like a cream but look like a light powder, keeping you looking light and effortless.  

Everyday, I use the Cocoa shade under my cheekbones and along my forehead for a light contour. While it looks super thick and dark, the stick blends right lightly and evenly when blended with a brush. I use the medium-sized angled brush from my Sonia Kashuk brush kit to blend in the contour. 
On my eyelids, I use the Blondie shade for added color. This is where I love the creamy yet powdery consistency of the Multistick the most.  It's light enough to blend in with my Laura Mercier highlighter on my brow bone, yet creamy enough to stay put. Lastly, or my lips and cheeks, I use the Macaroon shade, which I highly recommend for any skin tone. 

 
 

Still interested? Check out this fun video about how the Multistick works! You can buy the Multistick here, at Sephora

Special thanks to Refine Boutique for my new favorite piece of clothing, this (similar) Rory Beca jumpsuit! Make sure you check out Refine and book your appointment to shop! 

Photography via: Beautezine and Libby Rasmussen