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Sophie Elkus

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October Beauty Picks

Ella Moss jumpsuit, Forever21 lace choker

Welcome to the first edition of a monthly beauty series I’ll be sharing.

One of the most frequent questions I get is about what beauty products I regularly use. I definitely have some staple products I’ve used for years that are always in my rotation (I will do another post on that too), but I also LOVE to try new things (I could get lost in Sephora for hours) and I’m always pleasantly surprised when a new product gets added to my staple kit. I’m extremely picky about colors and texture so if I use and love something new, I’m excited! Here we go:

Cuyana Travel Case – My go-to gift, and my go-to case for makeup, cell phone or computer cords, odds and ends and everything in between. Cuyana monograms a lot of their products online and the quality is just so beautiful.

Urban Decay Naked Palette – Okay, so, I’m about 5 years late on this one (probably not the best start to this “new product” theme but keep reading, I promise there are actually new-to-market ones below..)  I always saw this in Sephora and I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to try it. It really does have every color you need for a natural eye, darker smoky eye, or shimmery eye, and the shades are all wearable and buildable. If I could only take one product on a trip with me for countless looks this would be it; since it has me covered for day to night. I’ve been using “Naked” as my base, “Buck” in the crease” and “Sidecar” for some shimmer.

Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick – I’m extremely boring when it comes to foundation; I’ve sworn for years by my Armani Luminous Silk in 5.5 for nighttime and Smashbox BB Water in light/medium for daytime. I always thought liquid foundations were best since they blend easier and work well with combination skin like mine (oilier in warmer weather, super dry in winter). However, I adore Hourglass (their entire line is gorgeous from the cleaner ingredients to the packaging; their bronzer is my favorite). So, I was happy to give this a try, and ended up loving the texture. It glides straight onto your skin in “stick” form but it blends as if it’s liquid. The formula seems to “activate” once it heats up on your skin, making the consistency creamier than it was in the stick.

The main selling point for me is that a stick is SO MUCH EASIER to travel with than liquid. No spills, no anxiety about a glass bottle, no little pump tube breaking in the bottle (why does this always happen to me?), no stains inside my makeup bag.. the list goes on. I drew a few lines on my face then used the matching brush to blend in small circular motions. If you don’t want to invest in both the product plus the brush, I’m sure another kabuki brush would work too. My one tip is to make sure you’re well moisturized prior to applying this, especially if you’re used to using liquid foundation.

PS – how amazing are these thread earrings by Eriness Jewelry?

Juice Beauty Satin Lip Cream & Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigment Cream Blush – A couple weeks back I had the pleasure of meeting Gwenyth Paltrow at an event for Juice Beauty, the makeup line she collaborated on. I’ve always loved the idea of “green” beauty with better ingredients (after all, your body is absorbing everything you put on it), and a friend recently told me about EWG.org, a site where you can search the products you use to find out how toxic they are. I admit I’m procrastinating on doing this because I know a lot of my favorite products may turn out to be “worse” for me than I imagine… but, I do think that balance and moderation is key (in makeup and in life), so I’m slowly swapping out the products I’m not attached to with more natural alternatives while still using my favorites (for example, shaving with coconut oil instead of cream works so well).  This lip cream is indistinguishable from a designer lipstick – the color is lovely, pigmented and creamy. I’ve been wearing it all week. In terms of healthier makeup I’m especially into lipstick because you end up ingesting way more lipstick than you realize by eating and drinking (gross but true). I’m not usually a cream blush girl, but I’m impressed with GP’s cream blush and I would pack this for a warm weather vacation when powder is not idea.

Left to right: Hourglass High Shine Lip Gloss in “Truth,” Juice Beauty Satin Lip Cream in “Blush,” Juice Beauty Cream Blush in “Seashell”

Caudalie Nourishing Body Lotion – Love, love, love. I’m obsessed with all things Caudalie. This lotion is absolutely perfect and I could go through a bottle a week if I don’t restrain myself. It’s super light, dries without greasiness, has a subtle, clean scent and leaves my skin silky soft. On another note, the bottle size contains enough lotion to be a home staple but not too big to throw in your travel bag – score.

Laura Mercier Face Illuminator in “Indiscretion” – I pop this over my bronzer with a loose powder blush and it gives the most beautiful glow. It’s a bit too shimmery to just use alone as a bronzer, but not as overly shimmery as some of the highlighters you see on the market (it’s really easy to overdo highlighter – I want to look glowy but not like a disco ball). This color works on every skin tone. It’s the perfect last step to your routine for pretty skin and also makes a great gift for a friend or sister.

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer – Another staple product that took me WAY too long to discover. I’d always used Cle de Peau concealer, which is also good, but I think I’m team Laura now. She gives you two shades that easily blend together to match your current skin tone, which is genius because your skin may be lighter closer to the eyes or darker by your hairline, etc… or darker in the summer. I used her Secret Camouflage brush to pat the teensiest amount of product onto a blemish and it completely disappeared. Completely. Set with loose powder and voila.

LORAC Rose Gold Palette – This palette is about to hit shelves this autumn so look out! I had the opportunity to try it early and I love it. I used to wear only bronze/brown shades, but I’ve recently realized that my green eyes pair so much better with pink and purple shades (I never tried this because wearing purple eyeshadow seemed like a bad idea.. right?) I was wrong. Rose gold and mauve looks so elegant, subtle and brings out my eye color. I’ve had friends with brown eyes try this too and it works on everyone. Some of the same shades are in this LORAC palette, which is a bit smaller and ideal for travel. The big white one pictured will be available in the next couple weeks.

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder – This is a setting powder for your under-eye concealer. I know there are a zillion makeup products out there, one for every purpose imaginable (such as setting your under-eye concelaer) and sometimes they’re just not necessary – sometimes one product will just do it all. You may wonder why you can’t just use your normal setting powder under the eyes too. You can’t, after trying this – it’s worth it. Dust a tiny bit over your concealer after blending and your concealer stays put all day, no creases, no budging, no fading. It makes the entire area under your eyes a little brighter, true to its name. I used this one morning, then went back to using my usual setting powder all over my face the next morning, and I noticed by the end of the day my under-eyes just didn’t look as good as they did when I used Laura’s specialty version. My concealer had creased under my eyes and I didn’t look as bright and awake. So yes, another specific product you do need (sorry!).

Ella Moss jumpsuit, Forever21 lace choker
Photography by Valorie Darling

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