Empties: November 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The last day of December and I'm posting my November Empties. I've become such a cliche bad blogger. But I promise, I will not apologize. Empty products and mini reviews are fun to read/watch regardless of when and how long it took to finish the product. Moving on, November was a month of finishing large quantities of key hair styling products while also getting rid of a few products that have been needing to move out of my collection. Products to be missed are the Bumble & bumble prep and the Mario Badescu Keratoplast Cleansing Lotion. Be sure to check out the video below to watch my mini reviews on all the products listed.


Products Mentioned:

Dove Go Fresh Body Mist, Rebalance: Plum & Sakura Blossom
Banana Boat Protect & Hydrate Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50*
Bath & Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap "Keep Calm Carve On" (Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin)*
Julep Facial For Hands Glycolic Hand Scrub*
the Balm En Root Moisturize My Hair Shampoo*
Bumble & bumble Color Minded Conditioner
DevaCurl Styling Cream*
Suave Kids Double Dutch Apple Detangling Spray*
Bumble & bumble Prep*
The Healing Garden Cleansing Body Wash Soothing White Tea
H&M Body Butter Coconut Line (discontinued)
Mario Badescu Keratoplast Cleansing Lotion*
Etre Belle Collagen & Aloe Vera Hydro Mask*
Origins Clear Improvement*
Urban Decay De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray*
Maybeline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer Radiant*

Travel/Sample Sizes

Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer
Pureology Hydrate Shampoo*
Pureology Hydrate Conditioner*
L'Oreal EverCreme Intense Nourishing Conditioner*
Number 4 Hair Clarifying Shampoo
St. Ives Ultra Moisturizing Body Wash Oatmeal & Shea Butter
Korres Body Butter Apple Blossom*
Origins Modern Friction*
bareMinerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer*

* = will repurchase


Hope you enjoyed!

Love,
Claire

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013


The holidays is the perfect time of the year to load up on skincare favorites, makeup sets, and all the glorious products that are brought out this time of the year. In the video linked below I go through some of my favorite picks that have been released this season. Keep your eyes peeled for after the holidays, when these items are likely to go on sale. Enjoy the video!


Products Mentioned:

Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega Relief
Origins Greats
Perricone MD The Science of Cold Plasma
Ole Henriksen Ole La La Glow From Head To Toe Blockbuster Set
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Steamer Solutions
Archipelago Winter Frost Gift Box Candle
Smashbox Wondervision Mega Palette
Tarte Stop & Stare 6-Piece Eyeliner & Lash Set
Sephora Give Me More Lip Kit
Marc Jacobs The Showstopper Set


Hope you enjoy!

Love,
Claire

Favorites: November 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Regardless of my blogposts being at a minimum, my love for cosmetics has not withered in the slightest. Attempting to handle a career, social life, relationship, and a blog/youtube channel has proven to be a challenge. However, I was able to get around to filming my November Favorites. I hope you enjoy hearing all about my current obsession with the Shiseido Perfect Refining Foundation. It's deep into December and I'm still obsessed. Be sure to watch the video below!


Products Mentioned:
Laura Mercier Artist Palette

Empties: October 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Even though it's almost December I still thought I would share my October Empties. Ones I will miss are the Kiehl's Magic Elixer and the NUDE Day Moisturizer. These are definite repurchases down the line. As a product junkie, I've always got plenty of backups and more fun products to try. But every once in a while I come back to my tried and true products. I hope you enjoy the video linked below!


Products Mentioned:
Shiseido Facial Cotton*
Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum*
Origins Clean Energy*
Butter London Acetone Free Lacquer Remover Pumpkin Warrior (discontinued)
Butter London Acetone Free Lacquer Remover Branwen's Berries (discontinued)
Boots No 7 Protect & Perfect Hand Cream SPF 15
Travel Sizes/Deluxe Samples:
Samples:

Favorites: October 2013

Thursday, November 7, 2013

As the seasons change I turn back to favorites that have been my tried and true moisturizing and exfoliating products. Colder weather means it's time to hydrate the skin, slap on darker nail polish, and pamper time in the shower/bath. Oils, glycolic acid, and black nail polish galore, check out my October Favorites in the video below!


Products Mentioned:

Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Conditioner
L'Occitane Cleansing & Softening Shower Oil with Almond Oil
Bobbi Brown 'Soothing' Cleansing Oil
Skin 79 Rose Moisture Mask
Alpha-H Liquid Gold
Estee Lauder 'Idealist' Even Skintone Illuminator
MAC Mineralize Blush Lured to Love (Divine Night Collection)
Burberry Sheer Luminous Pressed Powder No. 2 Porcelain
Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils - Luxurious Mascara No. 5 Burgundy
Julep Cleopatra


In the video I mentioned that the L'Occitane Almond Oil 500 mL bottle is only available during the holidays. This is no longer the case and it can be purchased all year. However a great deal is rather than repurchasing the larger size, but getting refills for $12 cheaper for the same amount of product!

Hope  you enjoyed!

Claire

NOTD: Julep Cleopatra

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I'm always looking for new twists on classic shades when it comes to both makeup and fashion. Black has been "on-trend" for long enough now that I turn to black nails as often as a classic red and neutral nude. Thus, finding a shade that is a slight twist and change from a glossy black nail brings a fresh look to a comfortable color. Today I'm sharing my new favorite fall nail, Julep's Cleopatra. A matte color who's texture is aptly coined by Julep, as "Black Latex". 


As well as a pair of black latex leggings being on my wish list this fall/winter, my nails can partake in the trend along side. After two coats, the polish dries evenly and quickly into a beautiful matte finish. It was a little difficult to take accurate pictures of the sheen, and finish of the polish, so please excuse the "double-chin" angle of my hand. Regardless of fat fingers for the photo, the polish is shown in all its glory. As far as textured finishes that have been hitting the nail polish scene in the last year, this is one of my favorites, and what I consider to be one of the most wearable. Definitely check this polish out if you are like me and love that "so dark blue, it's almost black" and other takes on classic looks. Julep polishes can be found at Sephora and on the Julep website

Hope you enjoyed, 
Claire

Review: Caudalie VinoSource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum

Monday, October 28, 2013

Serums. A topic that I have barely scratched the surface of here on the blog. The down and dirty is that if you are serious about skincare, you are serious about serums. The products applied between toner and moisturizer can be some of the most expensive bust also some of the most beneficial steps of your skincare. Serums are your opportunity to specifically target your skin concerns of the morning/evening. All kinds, from hydrating to mattifying, serums can be your best friend. Today I am reviewing a long time favorite and the widely loved, Caudalie Vinosource  S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum.

When I first started really getting into skincare, about ten years ago, I would use one serum between toner and moisturizer. For the last couple years I've started to sandwich different products together (especially come evening) to give myself a mini facial on a regular basis.


As I begin my skincare sandwich, I always like to start off with a serum that is hydrating (this is both morning and evening). The Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum is aptly name as it feels like your giving your skin a drink of water. This lightweight formula is perfect morning and evening, layering under makeup weightlessly and sinking into the skin immediately. Currently, this bottle is sitting empty in a bag ready for my October Empties video. I have thoroughly enjoyed using this product, and my skin loved it as well. However, I find that as I'm getting older, it's just not enough hydration during the colder months. Regardless, I will continue to repurchase during the summer and will always have one of these in my stash. Definitely give this product a try if you have anywhere from oily to dry skin. Most of the time, we are all dehydrated, any many of us will produce excess sebum to overcompensate for the loss of hydration. Overall, the Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum is a great product and it really is hyped up for a good reason!

My Week In Instagram #13

Friday, October 25, 2013

Its been a while since I've shared my latest photos from Instagram. This collection features more cats food, and a one of the boyfriend (for once). But of course the cat and my foodie finds are the stars of my iphone camera.


Hope you enjoyed!

Love,
Claire

A Week in Australia Part II: Melbourne

Thursday, October 24, 2013

After spending a few days in Sydney, the second part of my Australian adventure began in Melbourne. My main purpose for my trip was for my cousin's wedding. So the majority of the time spent in Melbourne was focused around that. Unfortunately, I only had one day where I had the opportunity to check out some local architecture, take a few photos and spend time enjoying such a beautiful city. 


I found it fascinating how completely different Sydney and Melbourne are to one another. The architecture is more contemporary and expressive, reminiscent of the dramatic gestures that form the skylines of architecturally experimental Berlin. 


The wedding was beyond beautiful. A traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony in the afternoon and a tastefully orchestrated reception in the evening. The wedding was every girl's fantasy. My cousin looked like a princess and she even left the reception on a speedboat while sipping on a champagne! Thank you so much Stephanie and Nick for sharing your special day with me. 


Unfortunately I had to leave Melbourne the day after the wedding to make it back in time to Sydney to catch my flight back home. All in all, I had an amazing time in Australia and can't wait to come back soon! 

Empties: September 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

As usual, my empties video is over 20 minutes long! Over the past month I came to the completion of more makeup items than ever before! Make sure to watch the video linked below to see mini reviews of all the products I finished up over the month of September. Many favorites went into the recycle bin, but of course there were many that I will never purchase again.


Products Mentioned:

Butter London Acetone Free Lacquer Remover Sergeant Peppermint (discontinued)*

Travel/Sample Sizes:

L'Occitane Aromachologie Soothing Shampoo*
Tresemme Moisture Rich, Vitamin E Conditioner for Dry or Damaged Hair
Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Heat Protect Spray
Oscar Blandi Pronto Texture & Volume Spray
Orofluido Elixer*
Shikai Borage Therapy Advanced Formula Fragrance Free
Grecian Oil Body Lotion (x4)
Kiehl's Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit Hand & Body Lotion*
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil*
Peter Thomas Roth Mega-Rich Body Lotion
Origins Blade Runner Energizing Shave Cream*
Kiehl's Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish*
Evian Mineral Water Spray To Go*
Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster*
Perricone MD Blue Plasma*
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cleanser (x2)*
Dior Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil
bareMinerals Active Cell Renewal Night Serum*
Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Cottonseed*
Bliss Triple Oxygen + C Energizing Cream*
Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+*

* = I would repurchase

Hope you enjoy!

Favorites: September 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Today I bring you an incredibly late September Favorites. Regardless of the of the upload date, these products are all worth the attention. In the last year I've found myself being more interested and experimental with hair styling products. I continue to gravitate towards a minimalist routine and look, but I like to find that perfect combination of hairsprays, oils, and volumizers to give my hair that sexy, tousled, and effortless hair. Two high end products are worth discussion, one by Living Proof and the other, Bumble & Bumble.


In addition to some hair care finds, there are a few new additions to my skincare routine that are worth the mention. As my last review suggests, I am still loving the Mario Badescu Keratoplast Cleansing Lotion along with the accompanying face wash. Both amazing products for delicate, dry, and reddened skin (whether by couperose or rosacea). Definitely make sure to watch the video to get lengthier descriptions of all the products I was loving over the month of September!

Products Mentioned



Hope you enjoyed!

Love,
Claire

Review: Mario Badescu Keratoplast Cleansing Lotion

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Toners were a part of my skincare routine that I was always indifferent about. However I have found myself over the last few years become completely addicted to trying out different ones that target various concerns. From hydration to cleansing and exfoliating, toners can be the key step in helping the penetration and effectiveness of the rest of your skincare routine. Today I bring you a new favorite from Mario Badescu focused on treating dry and irritated skin. The Keratoplast Cleansing Lotion also directly targets dilated and broken capillaries, resulting from skin conditions such as Couperose.


I suffer from Rosacea and dry skin on a good day. Most of the time I'm battling Acne, hives, milia, scars, and the list goes on. Regardless of the issue, if my skin is irritated, a few swipes of this with cotton pad post cleanse calms and soothes. A mild herbal smell accompanies the soothing sensation of this toner. If you are a fan of the Kiehl's Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner, this is very similar and both are virtually the same price. Rather than cucumber and allantoin in Kiehl's toner, Mario Badescu combines bee pollen, aloe vera, and keratoplast to combat sensitive and reddened skin while strengthening weakened capillaries. So if you have dry, sensitive skin, or broken capillaries, check out Mario Badescu's Keratoplast Cleansing Lotion. I picked mine up from Nordstrom.

Hope you enjoyed!

Love,
Claire

Top 5: Foundations

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Foundations are the base of makeup application. Despite the pun...I stand by that statement. Without a solid foundation product, I find it very difficult to successfully achieve the look I'm attempting to obtain. Regardless of degree of coverage, I tend to wear foundation almost all days. Of course there are the concealer and eyeliner and out-the-door days, and even no makeup whatsoever days; but the average work day I want/need to look more awake and presentable to clients and coworkers. Looking your best and putting effort in how you present yourself is a sign of respect towards the people you are surrounded by.


I'm so happy this video was requested because it's a perfect topic for me. For the skincare obsessed junkie, foundation and base products are the skincare-to-makeup hybrid product (especially the Korean BB creams I have to share). I love my blushes and bronzers, but I find myself testing and trying new foundations more than any other makeup product. Today I finally bring you my top 5. In general my skin does not change dramatically with the seasons, so these products have received a great deal of love over the last year. Definitely be sure to check out the video below for some great foundation/makeup base recommendations.


Products Mentioned:

MAC Face & Body Foundation

Hope you enjoyed!

Love,
Claire

NOTD: Julep Hailee

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I'm a nail polish addict. I love it so much that I'm part of the Julep Maven subscription program, a monthly subscription service that brings new nail polish and beauty products to my door. Over a year of being a member, I have never been disappointed with a single polish from Julep. Today I bring you a beautiful fall shade, Hailee (all the Julep polishes are girl's names). This beautiful matte, silvery-green polish will definitely take me through both Fall and Winter. 


I'm really looking forward to wearing matte finishes on my nails (luckily I have a great matte top coat from Julep to add to any color). I find it to be elegant, tasteful and much more modest than a glossy finish. Hailee is part of the "Suede Matte Finish" collection from Julep. After two coats, and no top coat needed, this richly pigmented is perfect. The brush on Julep polishes is not as wide as my all time favorite, the Dior brush, but it's also not a skinny brush. The formula of Hailee is very similar to that of the average Julep polish, thick and rich. Good news is that Hailee is now on sale on Julep's Website for $7.99 versus $14.99! Definitely pick up Hailee or any of the other shades in the Suede Matte Finish collection. Julep polishes can also be found at Sephora if you want to swatch the polish before spending the money.

Love, 
Claire

Empties: August 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Many favorites this past month hit the dust. I had to say goodbye to a luxurious and unnecessary (but oh so pampering) love, my LUSH Almond & Coconut Shower Smoothie; which I will be sure to repurchase next time I make my way to LUSH.


It's always frustrating that by the time I make it to finishing a product and talking about it in my Empties videos/posts, it's been discontinued. Unfortunately this month, two products that I really enjoyed are currently unavailable! Otherwise, I hope you find all the mini reviews helpful and interesting. Do note, that as I am a beauty product junkie, there is no judging needed for the hoards of product I pound through over the mere course of 30 days!


Products Mentioned:

Clinique Makeup Brush Cleanser
Bath & Body Works Pocketbac Sanitizing Hand Gel Cilantro Peach (discontinued)*
Studio 35 Beauty Regular Nail Polish Remover Pad*
Andrea Modlash Strip Lash - 21 Black*
LUSH Almond & Coconut Shower Smoothie*
Champneys Spa Indulgence Oriental Opulence Body Glow
Chaacoca Intense Hair Repair Treatment Mask with Argan Oil*
the Balm En Root Hairspray Flexible Hold*
Suave Kids Soft & Smooth Detangler Twirlin Swirlberry
True Blue Spa 60-Second Manicure Hand Scrub
Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover
Butter London Acetone Free Lacquer Remover Pumpkin Warrior (discontinued)
Murad Clarifying Cleanser*
MAC Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator*
Olay Fresh Effects S'wipe Out! Refreshing Make-up Removal Cloths
Boots Botanics Organic Rosewater Toner (reformulated)
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser*
Alchemie Forever Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask*
Clarisonic Sensitive Skin Brush Head*
Naruko Raw Job's Tears Supercritical CO2 Whitening Mask*
Maybeline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer Radiant*
Maybeline Baby Lips Peppermint


Travel/Sample Sizes:

Color Sustain Color Revealing Conditioner (x2)
Phyto Phytojoba Intense Hydrating Mask for Dry Hair*
Alterna Bamboo Style Boho Waves Spray*
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray*
A! Absolute! Makeup Cleansing Tissues Cucumber*
Ole Henrikson Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster (x5)*
Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate*
European Wax Center The Exfoliate
European Wax Center Slow IT Body Wash
Kahina Giving Beauty Facial Lotion
Dior Hydralife Youth Essential Concentrated Sorbet Essence*
Caudalie Premier Cru The Cream
bareMinerals Stroke of Light Eye Brightener*
Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Cologne*
Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey Cologne*
Stila Lip Glaze Lights (discontinued)*

* = I would repurchase


Be sure to let me know below if you have tried any of the products mentioned in the video!

Love,
Claire

A Week in Australia Part I: Sydney

Saturday, September 14, 2013

I am so fortunate to have so many friends and family all over the world. Not only do I have amazing people to stay with, but incredible tour guides as well. There is no doubt that knowing somebody in a foreign country can make your experience infinitely better and more authentic. Having an insider's guide to the best restaurants and beaches made my trip to Australia amazing. My cousin was getting married in Melbourne and I of course wanted to be part of her special day. Over the course of my trip, I spent six days in Sydney and three days in Melbourne. For today's post, I bring you a few of the photos  taken whilst in Sydney.

First things first, there are too many beautiful beaches in Sydney to count. There were man-made pools on the edge of the beach that would fill with the sea water (see below). Do note that I was there at the end of winter and the weather was still this beautiful.


One of the more famous beaches, Bondi Beach was surely something to see. I was so jealous of my friend who grew up coming here to surf and lay in the sun every day after school during highschool! We also had an amazing salad for lunch. It was made with slow-cooked lamb, yogurt, white kidney beans, pomegranate seeds, roasted carrots, fennel, mint & feta, absolutely divine and something I need to try to recreate!


One of my favorite spots was a little park in Dover Heights that was at the edge of the world. Not only were there plenty of adorable dogs running around, but this is one of the moments when I felt the shear distance between Australia and North America while looking out at the vastness of the Pacific Ocean (cheesy, but true). 


I had such an amazing time with my family friends. The only way this trip could have been any more perfect would have been if Nate and my parents were there to share it with me.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and stay tuned for Part II: Melbourne coming soon!

Love,
Claire 

Review: Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Monday, September 9, 2013

It's time I talk about one of my favorite nighttime serums, Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I only have good things to say about this magical little potion! Over extended use (about 3 months) I have seen drastic improvements in the texture of my skin, the fading of my scars, and the minimization of breakouts. My overall skin health has changed for the better with the consistent use of this lightweight essential oil blend. 


Because of the higher price tag of this item, I was sure to get plenty of samples from Kiehl's before diving in and making the plunge (Kiehl's is the best at giving free samples). With the improvement of my skin's texture, my makeup application is not only smoother, but also lasts longer. 
Every night, after cleansing and toning, I like to create a concoction of different serums before my moisturizer. My serum choices are based on my skin's condition and the issues I want to address that particular evening. Regardless of the combination I chose, Kiehl's midnight recovery concentrate is always included. Not only does it blend beautifully with all sorts of other serums, but it's a product that has quickly become a holy grail item.
Definitely run to your local Kiehl's and get a sample of this amazing elixir. 
Also note, this magic-in-a-bottle is paraben free!

Hope you enjoyed,
Claire

Favorites: August 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013

Over the month of August I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Australia (travel post and haul coming soon)! Many of the products featured in my August Favorites came along for the ride as well. One of the star items is the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Booster which I am so happy is now part of my everyday skincare routine. For more lip product recommendation and one new limited edition product by bareMinerals, check out the video below.


Products Mentioned:


I promised that I would do some research on the rumors of the accessibility of Bioderma via Sears.com.  I come to you with good news! Sears Online is now carrying Bioderma Crealine TS H20 Micelle Solution, along with many other Bioderma products! I am so excited to get my hands into more Bioderma products to test out and report back to you guys. Definitely leave comments below of your favorite Bioderma products. See the link above to be taken directly to the Sears Website. 


Love, 
Claire

Beauty Haul #3

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Over the last few weeks I did a little shopping via the trusty internet. One of my favorite sites, ASOS, is one of the best places to get your hands on UK Brands that aren't available in the US. With free shipping and free returns how can you go wrong (they also have amazing clothes and accessories btw)?
I also swung by Nordstrom.com and SkinStore.com to pick up two very pricey, and very hyped up masks that I'm really excited to get my paws into. 


Be sure to watch the video below to see all the products that I've purchased over the last few months. Let me know if there are any products that you would like a more in depth review or tutorial on. 

Products Mentioned:


Hope you enjoyed!
Claire

My Week in Instagram #12

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

This past group of Instagram pictures includes a glimpse of my new hair, delicious food from Double Dragon, and a night out on the town with the girls. A weekend in San Francisco with friends and family is also never something to complain about. Make sure to follow me on Instagram if you enjoy these silly pictures: @csr204. 


left to right | top to bottom:

dinner with kitty | new hairdo | ramen @ double dragon | champagne @ gigantic brewing
food cart bbq | southern dinner | delicious southern-style food | girls night @ digapony
pad ke mao @ pad thai kitchen | stacking | tacos @ uno mas | drinks @ wine jar with family & friends

Hope you enjoyed!

Love, 
Claire

Empties: July 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Another late, but extensive empties video. These are the products that I finished up over the month of July. The video features mini reviews of each of the products and whether or not I would repurchase them again. Using products up entirely really give you the best idea if you enjoyed it or not. If it's something that you are willing to shell out the money for again, then its worth noting. Hope you enjoy the video


Products Mentioned:

H&M White Mulberry Body Scrub (discontinued)
H&M Orange Body Spray (discontinued)
Boots No.7 Moisture Quench Night Cream (discontinued)

Travel/Sample Sizes

* = I would repurchase


The Julep Facial For Hands has been repackaged (not sure about any changes to the formula) and can be found here:
http://www.julep.com/shop/nail-hand-foot-care/glycolic-hand-scrub.html

The old formulation (which I love) is still available and on sale here:
http://www.julep.com/hands-facial-glycolic-hand-scrub.html


Love,
Claire
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