Beauty: Five I’ve Tried * Refreshed Edition

Taking a quick break from all the Derby posts for another Five I’ve Tried beauty/wellness round-up. This one is a good one and is focused on something VERY important to me these days – looking and feeling refreshed.

If you’ve ever had a baby, you know those last few weeks can be a rough time when it comes to sleeping. Frankly it’s super hard to get comfortable, plus (sorry if this is TMI) lately I’ve been having some late night heart burn which doesn’t help in the ZZZ’s department (it also doesn’t help in the being social department since I feel like a grandparent who needs to eat at 6 pm). “They” (you know the crop of experts vaguely referenced for fun facts like this) that sleep is key to everything but for the Vain Vanessas like me, it’s especially important for your skin. You know that and water, both things I can’t get enough of these days.

So to add to my sleep and dehydration woes, I’ve also been dealing with the minor breakouts and skin discoloration issues that go along with pregnancy. Sounds great huh? Basically I’m sharing all of these gory details so you can see why I’m so jazzed to chat about the five products below.

Five I've Tried Beauty Reviews * Glossier, Milk, Clinique, Vitafusion 1 | 2| 3 | 4 |

1. Milk Makeup Cooling Water: If you’ve ever picked up a magazine, you’ve seen a photo shoot from Milk Studios. The famous NY and LA studios have been home to a million and one creative shoots and used that experience to launch their own beauty brand. The brains behind the brand know all the tricks of the trade to making people look great and I’d heard really great things so I was excited to give their Cooling Water a try. It’s basically like a cold splash of water in a stick and I love it.

With a mix of soothing seawater and firming caffeine, the stick gives you an instant, hydrating boost. I’ve been using it every morning first thing when I wake up to help de-puff my eyes and then I just roll it around everywhere else for a quick pick-me-up. The combo of this plus a big gulp of cold water has been really helpful in keeping my face from looking too swollen and puffy.

I feel like this will be a great summer product too – I plan on using it after long days at the pool to give a moisturizing boost to dry skin. Also, I’ve been using this for a full month and still have tons left. So even though it costs $24, you definitely get your money’s worth.

Grade: A
Will I buy it/try it again? Yes! Love this. 

2. Glossier Stretch Concealer in Medium: After trying the Glossier Boy Brow and loving it (check out the full review over here), I figured I’d give the line’s other products a try. First up, their stretch concealer. I’ve had struggles with concealer in the past, never being able to find one that brightens without looking chalky or flat. Plus picking the right color is a daunting task.

The Glossier Stretch Concealer promises to be “a new type of concealer with elastic micro waxes that move with your face instead of caking on top of it, and nourishing oils that give a dewy, glowing finish.” Usually I’m not one to agree wholeheartedly with ah brand statement but this one is spot on. The key to this concealer is the consistency which makes it easy to apply and even easier to build on with additional layers. With my current state of skin discoloration, I’ve been using this, not only on my under eyes but also around my nose and all around my mouth. The color neutralizes redness and covers without looking overly pale or flat. It’s great for your under eyes especially though because it makes you look awake in a very natural way not the “I have a bunch of make-up on” way that can tend to happen.

It’s also another one that doesn’t wear out quick, an issue I’ve had with a lot of liquid concealers. For gals who don’t like to wear a lot of makeup or want lighter coverage on the weekends, this would be a perfect product to use with a very light foundation or tinted moisturizer. I, on the other hand, tend to put on a pretty full face and find that this concealer disappears under my standard foundation. A definite bonus.

At $18, it’s not much more expensive than drugstore brands so it’s definitely worth a go.

Grade: A+
Will I buy it/try it again? Yes!!!! This stuff is magic. 

3. Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint: I wish I felt as enthusiastic about the Glossier Skin Tint (basically the same as tinted moisturizer) as I do about the concealer. Alas, this one was a bit of a disappointment.

In Glossier’s defense, the skin tint is geared more towards women who are looking for a natural, no make-up look. I mean it says it’s for “skin that looks like skin.” In my heart of hearts, that’s what I want to be but in reality, I need more coverage. This doesn’t provide it.

On the positive side, it does give you a dewy finish and blends really well. But on the other hand, you need to shake this up BIG time before every usage to get the right consistency. It can come out watery without a ton of shaking. It’s also kind of hard to get out of the bottle. This is good if you’re trying not to use a lot of product but is a pain if you want to get enough to apply more than a drop or two at a time.

I’ve used this as a base layer which works well and it’s perfect if you just want a touch of coverage before heading to the gym or running out to do some errands. It’s not great if you want full, or even medium, coverage.

Grade: For me: B- ; For what it says it does: A 
Will I buy it/try it again? No but that’s not to say that this doesn’t work. It does do what it promises but it’s definitely not right for me. 

4. Clinique Pop Color Lipstick in WOW Pop: I love a bright lip. And lately, it’s been an easy way to elevate my mostly boring, all-black outfits. A bright lip makes it look like I’m trying a little harder than I actually am. Always a good thing.

I received this lipstick as a gift and usually when that happens, the color is all wrong but this one is two thumbs up good. The coverage is great, the color is universally flattering and it isn’t too heavy. Sometimes a lipstick can go on really thick and other times, way too light. This one is Goldilocks good – full coverage without looking old lady or feeling heavy.

I’ve been wearing this when I feel like my skin looks sallow or flat and it immediately provides a balancing pick-me up. Maybe it’s just distracting me from the other areas of my face but whatever, I’ll take it.

Grade: A
Will I buy it/try it again? Probably. I tend to keep lipsticks for a LONG time or lose them like lip balms so who knows if I’ll remember this color when this one bites the dust but I’m keeping an eye on it in my bag until then. 

5. Vitafusion Beauty Sleep Gummy Vitamins: First off, I am really excited that I’ve had the opportunity for the last couple months to be a Vitafusion brand ambassador. I come from a long line of ladies who are obsessed with trying out vitamins and supplements to cure your ailments, aches and pains so I was all about coming on board. I remember when I lived with my friend Kelly post-college, she would often joke about the amount of vitamins I took on a daily basis.

A few weeks back, I talked about trying Vitafusion’s melatonin and let me say, it works wonders for helping you sleep through the night. But it did leave me feeling a little sluggish in the morning. Just took me a little longer to get moving when the alarm clock went off. This new Beauty Sleep combo does the trick though. It’s helped me sleep through the night (well the majority of the time when I’m not struggling with the aforementioned heart burn) without feeling groggy in the morning.Drew has been taking these too and even mentioned, without my prompting, that they made him less drowsy in the morning so I’m not alone in that sentiment. They are also delicious which helps me remember to take them at night.

They recommend taking it about 30 to 60 minutes before bed which I agree with. If you’re trying to get some work done after dinner or knock out some chores before bed, I’d wait until you finish before taking these.

p.s. – if you want to try these out, drop me a note in the comment and I’ll send you a bottle!

Grade: A
Will I buy it/try it again? Yes, fo sho. 

Derby Dress of the Day: For the Turf Club

It’s crazy that Derby is SO close. That being said, you still have time to snag a dress online if you got a last minute invite to Thurby, Oaks or Derby. It’s like when you’re ordering gifts for Christmas – you just may need to upgrade that shipping but you know it’s worth it.

I’ve ben eying this dress for a couple weeks and debated sharing it since I have been seriously considering making it mine. The modern ikat print and fit give the allure that this is a $350+ designer dress but this pretty comes in under $150 (!!!). I’m a big fan of this dress for the Kentucky Oaks- especially for the pink-averse –  since it has a touch of pink but isn’t over the top. You can play up the coral-pink with your headpiece or you can opt for something in navy or white.

What to Wear to the Kentucky Derby * For the Turf Club * Maggie LondonMaggy London Tie Dye Print Crepe Midi Shift Dress 

I picked this dress for the Turf Club because I’d want to pair it with sky high heels, based on the midi length, and we all know you need a reliable seat if you’re wearing big heels. I also love the modern cut which will fit in perfectly with Churchill Down’s recent renovations of the Turf Club.  This dress is also a great option for a wide range of ages and will work with both a fascinator or a big hat. I would keep the rest of your look more refined and simple if you opt for this option since the print is really the stand out feature with this one.

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