Glow Up! Spring Makeup Haul

From new hair products by Kristin Ess and Drybar to a glowy Too Faced bronzer and peach-inspired palette, these spring beauty products are a few of my favorites.

This spring is all about the glow! After a long, dry winter in Chicago, I can’t get enough of bronzy, peachy products that feel like they’re bringing life back into my skin. I’ve been stocking up on a few new beauty products for spring (and picking up some old favorites) that are brightening, hydrating, light and glowy to help get skin summer ready.

A few of these—the Juice Beauty primer, Ecotools brushes and Too Faced bronzer—I’ve seen in so many YouTube videos and blog posts that I had to try out for myself. And they did not disappoint. Those combined with some of my favorite NARS and Tarte products are making their way into my spring beauty rotation.

Before moving onto makeup though, start with skincare! These are my favorite winter skincare products that will help exfoliate and prep your skin for better application. I’ve also been obsessed with the Tarte Cleansing Cutie, which you can use with any cleanser, to gently exfoliate and remove dirt and oil (Clarisonics are way too tough on my sensitive skin and this is a great, cheap, deep-cleaning alternative!).

What are your favorite spring beauty products? Have you tried any of these already?

Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer

This Gwyneth-approved lightweight primer is perfect for summer skin. Use it as a primer or add a pump in with your foundation or tinted moisturizer for a smooth, glowy finish.

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30

I’ve been using this tinted moisturizer for years. It’s super lightweight with built-in SPF and evens out skin tone without being too matte.

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

Shape Tape sells out in minutes for a reason. This full-coverage concealer flawlessly covers redness or dark circles and is great for highlighting and brightening under eyes.

Too Faced Sweet Peach Eye Shadow Collection Palette

This peachy palette is so pretty and full of neutral shades that are fresh, bright and perfect for warmer weather. The shades are super pigmented, creamy and smell like peaches!

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Winter Skin-Care Routine

Winter in Chicago is no joke. These are my picks for the best products for dry skin.

When I moved back to Chicago from Missouri after college, my skin freaked out as soon as it got cold outside. I started testing out new products and moisturizers to readjust to the harsh, dry Chicago winters and smooth out dry patches—and it was a PROCESS.

It took two or three winters to nail down a cold-weather skin-care routine that kept my dry skin hydrated, but these products have help keep my skin smooth, soft and bright year-round. (Your makeup will go on smoother, too!) Bonus: Whether your skin is sensitive, dry or oily, these products work great on most skin types. Let me know what you think and if you’ve tried any of these out!

Josie Maran Argan Oil

This 100% pure argan oil was the only thing to help eliminate dry spots and patches on my face and body when I first moved back. It’s good for all skin types (even oily!) and is all-natural, organic and rich in antioxidants. You can use it on your hair, skin and nails to restore moisture wherever needed. I use this almost every night before bed. This is a great moisturizer on its own, but if my skin is feeling extra dry, I’ll let it sink in and follow it up with a moisturizing cream.

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2016 Holiday Gift Guide!

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Get started on gifting with these gift ideas for friends, sisters, moms, etc. (or just for yourself!). 

It’s officially that time of year! Aside from all of the great sales and deals, my favorite part of Black Friday every year is seeing everyone’s holiday gift guides. I’ve been making my holiday wish list for quite some time now, so I wanted to share my picks (both things I’ve already picked up this season and what I’ll be asking Santa for) to help make holiday shopping a little easier.

You can’t go wrong with a new winter coat or cozy scarf (the Free People scarf comes in nine colors and I’ve been wearing it nonstop), and I love this oversized sweater (get it on sale today!) and wrap choker. Beauty buys always make great gifts, too. The Beachwaver’s been on my list for a while now, and I use this Tarte palette and blush in the shade Exposed every single day. I love Tarte products because they last all day and are super wearable and cruelty-free. The water bottle and candle are great for anyone on your list and also make the perfect hostess or secret Santa gifts. And for something techy, a DSLR camera has been on my Christmas list forever, so I finally splurged this year. I’ve been absolutely LOVING this camera so far and would highly recommend it!

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Kylie Lip Kit Review

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Call me basic, but the Kylie Lip Kits are my new obsession. Here’s what I think of Candy K, Posie K, 22 and Literally! 

My newfound obsession with the Kylie Lip Kits is so real, you guys. I initially ordered two of the most popular shades, Candy K and Posie K, just to see what all the hype is about, and now I’m up to four orders this summer. Someone send help.

The formula of all of her lip products is so pigmented and so, so long lasting. They go on smooth, don’t dry out your lips, and come in so many amazing shades.

My go-to since I’ve ordered a few has been Candy K, a “warm pinky nude.” I wore this one to the Taste of Randolph, a Chicago food festival in the West Loop, where I ate all the food and drank all the drinks and it seriously lasted the ENTIRE night. It also made it through Lollapalooza without budging (or having to reapply). It stays put through any eating and drinking no problem and lasts longer than any lip product I’ve ever used.

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Wish List

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Start shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale now! 

It’s the best time of year—the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! If you’re a Nordstrom cardholder, you’ve probably already checked out the early-access sale, but it officially opens up to the public tomorrow.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is my favorite time to stock up on cute new fall clothes, big cozy sweaters, boots, and sale-exclusive makeup palettes and beauty bundles (the Anastasia Brow Studio Set is the best deal!). They also have the cutest home accessories on sale (I LOVE these cute beer glasses), and you can always find great high-end candles for good prices.

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The $6 Blush Palette You Need in Your Life

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e.l.f. Cosmetrics review: This e.l.f. Studio Blush Palette will be a new staple in your makeup bag.

The Internet is freaking out over this drugstore blush palette.

Diehard e.l.f. fans have probably been using palette for a while, but it started getting a ton of attention after a Reddit user posted a picture of the palette with a few swatches. It’s since been written about it in Allure and featured on PopSugar’s list of makeup artists’ favorite products, so I had to pick it up and try it for myself.

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How to Contour and Highlight Like a Pro

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Contouring and highlighting aren’t just meant for red carpets.

Made famous by celebs like Kim Kardashian, these beauty tricks will chisel out your bone structure, strengthen your jaw line and highlight your best features—and you don’t need a professional makeup artist to do it.

I spent a morning with the artists at Sephora learning the basics of this must-try trend in one of their 90-minute Sephora Beauty Classes, which take place mornings in the store before it opens (also on the schedule: brow shaping, how to create the perfect smoky eye, master skin-care basics and more).

These are their best tips to contour and highlight like a pro.

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Get Glowing: BECCA Champagne Pop vs. Opal Shimmering Skin Perfector Highlighters

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BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector review: Which BECCA highlighter is right for you, Champagne Pop or Opal? 

I’ve been going through a serious highlighting binge, and the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector pressed powders are some of the most beautiful highlighters I’ve ever laid eyes on.

I’d been dying to try Champagne Pop, a collab with makeup artist and YouTube personality Jaclyn Hill, after reading all the reviews and seeing it used in countless tutorials, but of course it was sold out—and had been for weeks. So I went to Sephora to play around with some of the other BECCA shades and fell in love with Opal. But when Champagne Pop came back in stock a few weeks later, I had to pick one up to see what all the hype was about. This holy grail highlighter launched in July 2015 as a limited-edition shade, but earlier this year BECCA Cosmetics announced that it’s now a permanent shade by popular demand.

What it does, according to Sephora.com: “Find refined luminosity in any light. This bestselling formula is enriched with ultrafine luminescent pearls that absorb, reflect, and refract light so your natural radiance is never lost.”

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Day 3: Kaitlin and John’s Big Fat TODAY Wedding Hair and Favors

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We’re officially one week out from the wedding date!

It’s crazy how quickly everything’s been coming along. Yesterday John had his tux fitting—the producers even blindfolded him to help make sure everything America voted for remains a surprise for the big day (including Kaitlin’s dress!).

Kait had her dress fitting this morning, also blindfold, so even she hasn’t seen herself in the dress yet!

Now that the dresses and rings are picked, it’s time to vote for the hair and party favors. The Big Fat TODAY Wedding segment this morning was a special wedding edition of Steals & Deals with Jill Martin. So if you like any of the favors, you can buy them online at a discount for yourself! They showed off three potential party favors: a photo candle, garden tray, and personalized glassware.

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Be Blonder: Spring Hair Refresh

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Spring is here! Which means it’s time for a hair makeover.

Every spring/summer I like to go a little brighter, but this month I really went for it. These are the photos I sent my stylist, Melissa LaFollette at Emmett Rode Salon in Chicago, for inspiration. And while we didn’t end up going quite as light, I’m super happy with the results! Melissa also does Whitney Bischoff’s hair from Chris’ season of The Bachelor, so she knows good blonde.

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