Let’s take a moment to celebrate that SUN is back in our…

Let’s take a moment to celebrate that SUN is back in our lives.

Despite my desire to bask like mad, I’m reminded by the

story – inspired by her close friend being diagnosed with melanoma and her findings that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., founder Holly E. Thaggard is dedicated to keeping your skin safe and protected. And she makes it easy.

The ultimate Defense Refresh Setting Mist with SPF 50 is truly a game-changer, especially if you have oily skin and/or are LAZY. The mist is the easiest sunscreen you’ve ever used on your face – it work of course as your am sunscreen, but also as an afternoon refresher, makeup setter, oil controller oil – and it delivers the best UV protection.


I brought it to the Caribbean and literally used it up. My skin looked great and I didn’t get a lick of burn. Sidenote – it smells freaking amazing, with all natural rosemary mint fragrance that is SO refreshing.

Does This: Refreshes, sets makeup, controls oil & provides UV protection 
Is This: Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 by Supergoop
Get This: HERE
Price: $28-3.4 fl.oz.         

Image Source / Product CO the brand

original article here

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Named after the founder’s niece, Kenna Nicole sees the world of…

Named after the founder’s niece, Kenna Nicole sees the world of health and beauty as a world without compromise. Designed with illipe butter, pure Michigan-harvest beeswax & thyme, Kenna Nicole’s Thyme Balm soothes skin, invigorates senses, heals lips and provides a sweet, earthy scent. So compact, the Thyme Balm fits easily in your pocket and transports your skin to a place of peace wherever you are. Pouch is so cute too.


Bonus – Kenna Nicole also donates money from yearly sales to the Alliance For The Great Lakes, which contributes to conserving and restoring the world’s largest freshwater resource (one that’s close to home for her).  

Does This: Soothes & heels lips, provides calming & grounding scents 
Is This: Thyme Balm & TORCH Essential Oil Blend by Kenna Nicole
Get This: Kennanicole.com
Price: $8-Thyme Balm    $24-TORCH Essential Oil Blend

Image Source / Product CO the brand

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Stellar Makeup hits Sephora

Canadian television personality, Monika Deol just launched her first beauty collection called Stellar, exclusive to Sephora. Her brand was inspired by her personal struggle to find makeup shades that matched her medium skin tone. After careful research, Monika came to the realization that she was not alone — and for real she’s not! This is something my middle-eastern skintone has struggled with as well! Her findings that the beauty industry does not effectively cater to women with medium and olive skin tones was so on point! And something I’ve spent a lot of time talking to brands about. Especially with diversity being such a hot topic, but somehow I always felt like we were lumped into the latina skin-tone category (which I find limited if you fall in the more middle eastern/Indian decent). Taking matters into her own hands, she began to create Stellar, a line that addressed all skintones but with a focus on those with overlooked skin tones in the beauty world.

The collection goes beyond foundations and concealers – Deol was determined to create other products that would flatter a range of other complexions, such as lipsticks, eyeshadows, and powders. I was so excited to meet her at the launch party (there was glitter lattes and rainbow bagels, no lie!) and played around with some of her products.

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I haven’t tried all of her products but here’s a quick glimpse of what’s out now and yet to come:

Stellar Absolute Mascara

On my radar is this glossy black mascara, which promises to be your new go-to for volume, length, and instant impact. The formula is buildable and lasts all day long, with no flakiness and smudging. This mascara has been out for less than a week and already boasts a five star rating on Sephora.com!

Absolute Mascara: $22

Limitless Foundation and Limitless Concealer

Each one of Stellar’s 22 Limitless foundation shades is conveniently labeled based on shade and undertone, so finding your perfect match is easier than ever before. While it does focus on medium skin tones, there is an array of other colors to suit a variety of complexions. Deol describes her foundations as “lightweight, highly pigmented, and radiant.” They offer medium coverage but are buildable depending on the look you’re going for. As for the Limitless concealer, it expertly covers dark circles using light refraction. It also hydrates without settling in fine lines, resulting in a radiant finish. Similar to the foundation, it is very lightweight and can be applied to your brow bones, cheekbones, nose, and Cupid’s bow for a subtle lift and glow.

I’ve actually tried both and am obsessed! The Concealer is creamy and easy to blend. The foundation actually matches my skin tone and makes me so flawless. The only thing I don’t like is the pump. I don’t have control over how much I use. 1 pump is generally enough, but sometimes I like to go in for a little more and find I have to release another whole pump when I only need a little.

Limitless Foundation: $38, Limitless Concealer: $27

Infinite Lipstick + Metallic Moon Lipstick

The Infinite Lipsticks are formulated with incredible pigments and a rich, satin finish. These shades brighten every complexion and offer full coverage in just one swipe as well as all-day staying power. How amazing are these colors? In addition, Stellar also has a line metalized shades that create depth and dimension all while delivering full coverage and gleaming impact. The Metallic Moon lipstick shades  are shown up close below in five different sensational shades. (Isn’t that bright golden yellow so fun?!)

Swatches Left to Right: Disco Moon 05, 04, 03, 02, 01

Infinite Lipsticks: $22, Metallic Moon Lipsticks: $22

Stellar Cosmic Face Powder

The Cosmic Face Powder features translucent tints to help diminish shine and set your foundation perfectly. These powders have a velvet finish and give your skin a glowing natural radiance.

Cosmic Face Powder: $30

Cosmic Blush

Complementing the Cosmic Face Powder, Stellar’s Cosmic Blush delivers a translucent wash of pigment that brightens complexions and glides on smoothly for a luminous finish. They come in three luminous shades and are great for accentuating contours.

Cosmic Blush: $25

Stardust Lip Powder Palette and Face Sculptor

Coming soon to the collection is Stardust Lip Powder Palette and Face Sculptor. Sneak peek below (keep in mind this is not the final packaging). BUT I CAN’T WAIT! Mainly for the lip powders. For anyone that’s ever used eyeshadow on their lips *hand raised* to give a cool velvet-like effect, get excited! Think that finish but with actual wear power past an Instagram photo — you know what I mean? When that eyeshadow starts to get all crumbly and get in the lines, this powder is formulated for lips so it should stay on point.

Stellar is now available in some Sephora stores and at Sephora.com/Stellar

The post Stellar Makeup hits Sephora appeared first on Pretty Connected.

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Needless to say we are very lucky to get a lot of stuff around…

Needless to say we are very lucky to get a lot of stuff around here. We try it, we blog it, and we (usually) move on to exploring the rest of the beautysphere. But not so with NERD Skincare. Some rare things make it to permanent rotation, and these geeks have done it.

NERD sort of reinvented acne care for me (and I needed it). Instead of drying treatments with the usual skin-sloughers (salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide), NERD created ingredients that encourage skin’s natural bacteria (S. Epidermis) to produce short-chain fatty acids that naturally fight acne. I think this is what people mean when they say pro-biotic … but in any case, it works. I never say this stuff even though I write a beauty blog – but their regimen made my skin better than ever. It made it pretty amazing. I am in love.


Created with 100 percent plant-derived ingredients,

NERD’S Clarifying Cleanser
is for all skin types and removes
dirt and oil without leaving your face feeling dry and crackly.
It’s creamy and barely foamy, and it feels so good.  

Next step: NERD Acne Treatment (lotion) is a clear liquid that looks and smells like nothing. You pat it on your face in a friend way, and it goes to work clearing acne using your own immune system. It takes 3-7 days to see results and truly, I swear by it now.

Lastly, and contrary to your instincts if you have acne, use the
Nourishing Cream. It’s designed to repair damaged skin and accelerate wound healing for popped pimples (NERD literally includes a guide to how to effectively pop, which is smart, because even a derm office does it). I feel like this cream gave me permission to moisturize and I totally understand how it works because I also use Mederma on my zits, which is a lotion formula too – in any case it all works to help the redness fade and healing speed up.

Does This: Soothes, heals & nourishes acne-prone skin in a new way
Is This: Clarifying CleanserNourishing CreamAcne Treatment By NERD Skincare
Get This: Clarifying Cleanser   Nourishing Cream   Acne Treatment
Price: $20-Clarifying Cleanser   $95-Nourishing Cream   $85-Acne Treatment 

IMAGE Wildfox / Product CO the brand

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Chatting Skincare with New Beauty Magazine

There’s really nothing I enjoy more then learning about different skincare formulas and then breaking down the information, which is why I was so excited to partner with New Beauty magazine and break down one of the best anti-aging masks on the market right now. While this may look like your run of the mill sheet mask, it actually goes way above and beyond. The Nuvesse Biocellulose Masks uses Cellulation Technology to penetrate all of the good-for-you ingredients deeply into your skin. If Biocellulose and Cellulation Technology are new terms for you, don’t worry, I break down what all of this means in the video above and post below (you can also read my article on Nuvesse on New Beauty’s website).

 So quick background, Nuvesse was founded in 2004 and developed wound-healing technology, focusing on wounds and burns. The company realized that the application and their Cellulation technology, how their products were penetrating the skin offered a superior reach so they partnered with chemists, physicians and scientists to optimize this technology and develop several Serum Infused Biocelllulose Masks and Serums.

After reading all of the ingredients, I decided to test and review the Firming and Anti-Aging Mask and Serum No.7 for New Beauty. What drew me in was in addition to the amazing firming and anti-aging ingredients in the formula, there are loads of brightening ones as well.

First off let me explain more about biocellulose and Cellulation… Biocellulose refers to the mask being able to hold 1 oz/30ml of serum and the Cellulation technology is going to help get that serum to penetrate deeper into your skin. So basically once a week you’re using the Nuvesse Biocellulose Mask which is penetrating 1 oz of the matching serum into your face for 20-40minutes. And then on the other 6 days of the week you’re using the serum ball roller on your face.

Now back to what drew me to the Firming and Anti-aging formula. The serum contains some of my favorite antioxidants, Vitamin A, C and E as well as Hyaluronic Acid to reduce the appearance of fine lines, brighten and even out your complexion and make skin overall more radiant and hydrated. What’s really cool as well is these ingredients are wrapped in a micelle structure that is positively charge and our skin has an opposing charge making a magnet like effect, bringing the beneficial nutrients much deeper into the skin then products without the benefit of Cellulation.

Nuvesse products are also free of parabens, dyes synthetics fragrances, sulfates and are gluten free.

Learn more and check out my full feature at newbeauty.com

Outfit: BD The Label Debra Dress, Hair by DryBar, makeup by moi!

Thank you New Beauty and Nuvesse for this opportunity and your partnership!

The post Chatting Skincare with New Beauty Magazine appeared first on Pretty Connected.

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Makeup Geek New Foiled Pigment Collection

After seeing Makeup Geek all over my Instagram page, I was so excited to meet the brands founder, Marlena Stell at breakfast last month. The beauty vlogger turned makeup founder of Makeup Geek started four years ago and it’s so inspiring and incredible to see where this brand has gone. I heard her eyeshadows were incredible but I have to say her new Foiled Pigment shadows AND glosses blew my mind. I’m a sucker for a super pigmented eyeshadow, so you can imagine my excitement when you see the swatches below. The new Foiled makeup collection features 10 mesmerizing mineral pigment eyeshadows and equally amazing glosses, details and swatches below!

Makeup Geek Foiled Pigment Eyeshadows

The Foiled Pigment Shadows are highly reflective and packed with pigment. These beautiful shades can be used anywhere on the body or face and used alone or mixed with your favorite body lotion, foundation, or moisturizer for a shimmer effect. They blend so smooth and are absolutely stunning! Swatches below, you can see from the photos from two different angles how well they catch and reflect light.

Swatches left to right in order:

Supernatural- Warm rich brown.

Intermission- Medium rust brown with yellow undertones.

Firefly- Bright golden peach.

Hocus Pocus- Warm medium pink.

Illusion- Light pink with golden reflects.

Enchanted- Medium plum with pink undertones.

Telepathic- Light cream with strong peach reflects.

Atlantis- Icy blue with silver reflects.

Tin Man- Medium silver with strong purple undertones.

Voodoo- Vibrant apple green.

Makeup Geek Foiled Lip Glosses

These Foiled glosses are perfect for anyone who loves a highly pigmented, glossy metallic look. With a staying power of up to 6 hours, these luxurious lippies deliver a beautifully translucent pop of color with brilliant shine. You can layer for a richer finish but even with the first swipe I was impressed by how even and pigmented the color was. Again you can see how the shades reflect the light from two different angles from the swatches below.

Swatches left to right in order:

Vinyl –Medium taupe with silver reflects and subtle purple undertones.

Mixtape – Rosy plum.

Headliner – Rich copper.

VIP – Light peachy pink.

Set List – Medium rose with light pink reflects.

Replay –Bright pinky coral.

Groupie –Brightened fuchsia with purple reflects.

Drumroll – Mid-toned purple with pink reflects.

Backstage – Deep purple with royal blue reflects.

Acoustic – Ox blood red.

Stunning, right? Learn more at makeupgeek.com

The post Makeup Geek New Foiled Pigment Collection appeared first on Pretty Connected.

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I judged the 2017 Glamour Beauty Awards!

I’m so excited to announce for the 2nd year in a row, I judged the 2017 Glamour Beauty Awards — this year they even put me in the magazine (Page 88! I’m wearing winner Tom Ford Lips & Boys in shade Logan!). And they gave all of the judges a lovely shout out on glamour.com!

Glamour selected a long list of their favorites, looking at every launch from the past year, and from there they selected 45 judges, myself included and broke down the nominees by category — I judged the Designer & Luxury category! Together with the other judges and categories the 73 best new products were chosen, as well as 17 Cult Classics, which you should all pay attention to. Those winners have stood the test of time and I can vouch for the majority of them! Without further adieu the winners in my category and mini reviews on why I love them below!

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The Best Lip Color: Tom Ford Lips & Boys Lip Color

I’m such a Tom Ford fan, so to be wearing a lipstick from his collection in Glamour to announce this winner is so major for me. I love the mini clutch-approved size of the Lips & Boys lipsticks, and of course iconic packaging. Each shade is inspired by the men in Mr. Ford’s life. The lipstick goes on smooth, packs a strong pigment with the most beautiful sheen, it feels amazing on.

The Best Face Mask: Lancome Energie De vie The Overnight Recovery Sleeping Mask

This is literally my holy grail and secret to looking like I actually sleep. Overnight it cleans pores, refines their size, smoothes the texture of the skin, plumps and brightens. The quickest fix for dry, tired skin so you wake up like a million bucks. The entire collection is incredible — I started with the Energie vie De Vie Liquid Care (also exceptional) and fell so in love I now own the whole collection.

The Best Blush: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush

It’s a stunning shade range — one I don’t feel like I can turn to any other brand for something comparable. They are truly unique and stunning. The formula is beautifully buildable, and a little goes a long way. You hardly need any product to make your skin glow!

The Best SPF: Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ for Sensitive Skin & Children

I’ve long admired Shiseido’s sunscreens, this one is no exception and comes with a story. I consider myself the SPF police, especially for my family and my step-mother called me one day and said that my little brother was having a hard time finding an SPF that he didn’t react to. I had just tried this one and the fact that it was formulated for sensitive skin, safe for kids, and had an SPF 50, I sent it his way. It worked amazingly and I can not be more excited that it won. Out of all the sunscreens in the world to have picked one that worked for him — and on my first try, makes me so happy. I highly recommend it for adults, especially if you have sensitive skin and when I texted him to let him know it won, he notified me my bottle is currently in the Bahamas with him. It’s all good, I have since replenished my stash. 

The Best Brow Product: Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil

It’s waterproof, lasts all day and the precision tip enables you to shape, and fill in brows with ease. It’s virtually dummy-proof!

The Best Foundation: Giorgio Armani Beauty Maestro Glow

This is the definition of no makeup makeup. It’s super lightweight, and delivers the most flawless, natural glow.

The Best Cleanser: Caudalie Make-up Removing Cleansing Oil

I use it before my face wash to cleanse the day away and makeup off my face. I love that it’s 100% natural, and leaves my skin feeling so moisturized and good after.

The Best Mist: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Miracle Hydrating Mist

Packed with antioxidants and vitamins, I just want to spray this on my face all day. But realistically only do when my skin is feeling dry, or needs a pick-me-up.

The Best Device: Clarisonic Mia Fit

The classic Clarisonic brush we love in a redefined shape that’s so much more portable and comfortable to hold. And it takes up less space in the shower. Double win!

The Best Bronzer: Kevyn Aucoin The Neo Bronzer

It’s the perfect highlight, blush and contour palette in one portable and convenient palette. It’s everything you need for sun-kissed, luminous, skin!

The Best Self-Tanner: St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion in Medium

It glides over moist skin easily and gets you tan ready without streaking, fresh out of the shower. It’s never orange and leaves me perfectly tan and bronzed. Just make sure to follow the directions and evenly apply.

The Best Exfoliator: Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Peel

All of the Dr. Dennis Gross Ferlic + Retinol products are exceptional (the eye products are some of my all time favorites). It’s one of the best anti-aging lines on the market and this peel exfoliates and retexturizes skin beautifully. 

The Best Eye Cream: By Terry Cellularose Liftessence Eye Contour

This eye cream is one for the skeptics… it’s the real deal! It instantly fills in lines and tightens the under eye area. 

The Best Serum: SK-II Facial Treatment Oil

I’m on the Pitera wagon, The SK-II Essence has had a permanent residency in my bathroom for the past 2 years. Although I’m newer to this treatment oil, which takes their miracle ingredient and blends it with a balance of nourishing oils including jojoba, olive oil and squalene for intense hydration and to combat environmental stressors. 

The Best Lip Treatment: Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade

From the packaging to the application and formula it’s a pleasure to apply. It plumps, and self adjusts to your perfect rosy tint while deeply hydrating chapped lips.

The other winners in my category include La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Lotion for Best Moisturizer, OPI Gel Break Nail Color for The Best Nail Polish, Jo Malone London Rare Teas Collection for winning best fragrance, Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Breakout Control Targeted Acne Spot Treatment for Best Acne Treatment, Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Illuminating Powder for winning Best Setting Powder, Hourglass Curator Lash Instrument and Curator Realist Defining Mascara for Best Mascara, and Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Blemish-less for winning Best Primer.

As I mentioned before I judged the Designer & Luxury category, but there are several others categories including: Natural & Organic, Cult Classics, Drugstore Buys, and Hair. While there are beauty products in this world I haven’t tried (although very few when I realize the majority of the winners were in my bathroom — I’m kidding… kind of!), I did want to shout out some of the ones that have graced my shelves over the years, especially in the Drugstore and Cult Classics category which in addition to Luxury, I consider my specialty. I have an extensive background in beauty from working for so many brands but they were always in skincare and cosmetics as were my trainings, so hair is still not one of those categories I consider myself a true expert in. Although I go to enough educational events, that I’m getting there! Naturals is another category I’m trying to learn more about. I worked for Kiehl’s and Jurlique in my corporate marketing past life so I have an appreciation for nature and science together, but the world of natural, organic or clean beauty on it’s own is so much more complex but the advances over the past few years have peaked my interest and it’s an area I want to grow in.  Stores like Whole Foods, Credo and Follain are outstanding for finding brands in this category and have been a great resource for me. Enough of my geeking out though, a special congratulations to all the winners, especially the below ones. I may not have been a part of you winning the award but you all have won shelf space in my vanity and are outstanding. And the winners are…

The Best Blush in Cult Classics (designer): NARS Orgasm Blush

The Best Palette in Cult Classics: Urban Decay Naked Palette 2

The Best Mascara (designer) in Cult Classics: Benefit They’re Real Lengthening Mascara

The Best Mascara (drugstore) in Cult Classics: Maybelline New York Great Lash Mascara

The Best Nail Color in Cult Classics: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Color Coat in Wine Stock

The Best Moisturizer in Cult Classics: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+

The Best Serum in Cult Classics (designer): Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

The Best Body Product in Cult Classics: Jergens Natural Glow

The Best Beauty Tool in Cult Classics: The Original Beautyblender

The Best Nail Polish in Drugstore Buys: Essie Gel Couture Nail Color

The Best Foundation in Drugstore Buys: L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation

The Best Blush in Drugstore Buys: NYX Professional Makeup Ombre Blush

The Best Bronzer in Drugstore Buys: Physicians Formula Super BB #InstaReady Filter BB Bronzer SPF 30

The Best Lip Color: Maybelline New York Color Sensational The Loaded Bolds.

The Best Moisturizer in Drugstore Buys: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel SPF 15

The Best Eye Cream in Drugstore Buys: Olay Eyes DePuffing Eye Roller

The Best Cleanser in Drugstore Buys: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover

Best Face Mask in Natural & Organic Category: Tata Harper Purifying Mask

Best Mascara in Natural & Organic Category: Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Ultra-Natural Mascara

See all the winners in the April 2017 issue, now on stands and on glamour.com

Thank you Glamour magazine for inviting me to judge your awards, I don’t even have the words on how happy it makes me after over a decade in the beauty industry to put my passion and endless years of being a guinea pig to good use. I’m beyond elated to see my face in the April issue wearing Tom Ford — I bow down to this brand and your publication, so it’s truly been an honor.

The post I judged the 2017 Glamour Beauty Awards! appeared first on Pretty Connected.

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