Inspirations

Falling in Love with Topshop

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Slouch blazer / Leather tab satchel / Elbow patch parka

Silk jumpsuitLace romper / Biker jacket / Flower bib necklace / Chiffon dress

Cross-body bag / Ankle buckle boot / T-strap pump

Since its debut in the 1970’s, UK retailer Topshop has staked its claim as a high-street brand that combines clean lines and updated classics with trendy pieces and a healthy dose of edge. With a thriving Boutique line (think upscale quality with prices to match) and an ongoing collaboration with Nordstrom, Topshop is showing up everywhere from red carpets to high school hallways.

I love how easy-chic their pieces are, like the chiffon dress above. I’d pair it with the ankle buckle boots and biker jacket for a casual look or add the t-strap pumps and flower bib necklace for an evening out. And don’t even get me started on that lace romper! Their handbags range from $40 mini crossbody bags all the way up to a flashy $790 messenger bag. Talk about variety!

I’m on a shopping hiatus for the moment (sad face), but these are the pieces I’d use to update my fall wardrobe if a magical Topshop fairy popped up next to me wearing a benevolent smile. As Samantha from SATC would say, there’s nothing wrong with a little fantasizing!

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Projects

5-Minute Natural Makeup with bareMinerals

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That, ladies and gentlemen, is most definitely a picture of me with no makeup. Zero. Nada. Totally bare-faced. This was my natural state last Sunday morning when staying in bed all day was a very real possibility. But when my lazy day was happily interrupted by a last-minute brunch invitation from a friend, I needed to get ready, and I needed to get ready fast. French toast waits for no woman.

Truthfully, I’d call myself pretty low-maintenance as far as city girls go.  I can wear false lashes and a sequin dress with the best of them, but on a day-to-day basis I’m pretty relaxed. I don’t spend a ton of time putting on makeup, but I’ll admit that it is important to me to look polished and confident. I still want to look like myself, but as if I had a clever lighting team with me at all time. I kid, I kid!

I recently learned about the bareMinerals line (I know, I’ve been living under a rock), and I was pleasantly surprised at how easily mineral foundation fit into my makeup routine. It allowed me to cut out a solid three minutes from my liquid foundation routine, and I still feel totally natural. Just less blotchy!

Here’s how I create my day-to-day natural look. Next week I’ll show how I go from daytime makeup to something more dramatic for night, all in less than the time it takes to mix a good lemon drop. Hey, Revenge and Scandal just got back on the air- I have things to do!

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Helloooo, naked face! To get a good base and make sure my makeup goes on smoothly, I start with a good moisturizer. Seriously, don’t skip that step. I let it settle in for a few minutes and then top it with a primer containing SPF.

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To apply mineral foundation, I shake a little into the cap and swirl the brush about in a happy fashion. Tap off the excess back into the tin, then apply it with a swirly circular motion. I start on my cheeks since that’s where I need the most coverage, but you ladies without rosacea can start at the center of your face and work your way out. Make sure to blend really well along the jawline- you don’t have to worry about the awkward foundation line with mineral makeup, but it’s still good to play it safe.

bareMinerals makes several different brushes for different coverage levels- I’m using the Flawless Face brush for light/medium coverage, but they also have a Full Flawless Face brush for fuller coverage. I like fuller coverage for night and lighter for day.

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Next, dot concealer on any imperfections that show through the makeup and blend with a light tapping motion. I like to use a moisturizing, creamy concealer under my eyes like Tarte Maracuja and a thicker, stick concealer for blemishes. Once you’ve applied concealer to your satisfaction, lightly tap the brush you used for your foundation over the concealer. No need to re-dip in foundation- just use the excess on the brush for natural coverage.

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Next comes blush. Seriously, guys, this is the first time in my entire life I’ve used blush. I’ve spent so much time trying to cover up redness on my cheeks that the idea of adding more was absurd. But I love this Aphrodisiac shade for its warm peachy tones- the golden hue works well with my skin and actually helps counteract redness. Love.

Blush always looks nice on the apples of your cheeks, but I’m a fan of applying it just below my cheekbones for a lightly sculpted look. I like the Precision Face Brush for blush, but a fluffy brush works well for a more diffused look. Again, make sure to blend well!

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I love eye shadow quads like this Ready set– they’re so simple to use and are great for day as well as night. For a light look that still defines your eyes, try applying all four shades as I did above, with 1 being the lightest color and 4 being the darkest. I smudged the darkest color along the outer 2/3 of my lash line instead of liner- it’s more gentle for day but still provides definition. I’ll also take my pinky finger and smudge a bit of the 2nd lightest color along my lower lashline.

Fluffy shadow brushes work well, but I’m a fan of using my ring finger to apply and blend the shadows. My favorite little trick is to tap the pad of my pinky finger in the lightest shadow and gently pat it around the inner corner of my eye near your tear duct. Instant brightness!

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And now for my favorite part. I love the look of bold brows, and lately I’ve been obsessed with Benefit’s new Gimme Brow gel. It applies like a mascara through your brows, coating and darkening each hair as well as the skin underneath it. That stuff lasts, too- I wore it through an 80-minute session on the elliptical and it didn’t move.

I’m blessed with long lashes (thanks, Mom and Dad!), but they look so much bolder with a few coats of mascara. No matter where I’m going, I always apply three coats to make my lashes really stand out. I loved trying the new Lash Domination mascara from bareMinerals, and I’m also a fan of Covergirl Clump Crusher. Both product names make me feel pumped up- domination! crusher! pow! bam!

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Finally, for the lips, I like to do a nude color with a bit of gloss for day and switch it out for fuchsia at night. The new bareMinerals Moxie gloss is seriously the only gloss I’ve ever tried that’s free of that gross sticky-candy feeling. Hooray!

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And here you have it- 4 minutes and 47 seconds by my watch! I like how I still feel like me, but much more polished and confident. Evening out my skin tone and lightly defining my eyes/brows/lips makes a big difference, and it’s the perfect starting place for a more dramatic evening look. Is this similar to your makeup routine, or is it different? What did I forget?

I received all of the bareMinerals products as gifts to try, but I was in no way compensated for writing this post. I just really like the stuff!

Shop the Products : Natural Beauty Tools

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Places

Go Bare in Public (with bareMinerals, that is!)

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I’ve loved fashion since high school, but I’ve been a beauty fiend ever since I can remember. During my teen years, a host of skin issues prompted me to cake on layers upon layers of foundation and powder like a bad cliche. The result was unnatural and heavy, and I certainly wasn’t fooling anyone. I’m much happier with my skin and makeup routine now, but those misbegotten years left me with a serious phobia of powder foundation.

However, when bareMinerals invited me to try a makeunder (yes, under!), it sounded like something right up my alley. Hailing from San Francisco (woot woot!), bareMinerals part of the bareEscentulas family, carrying on the mission statement that makeup and skincare should enhance natural beauty and boost confidence. They describe bareMinerals makeup as a form of skincare and “so pure you could sleep in it,” which certainly had me intrigued. My liquid foundation served me nicely, but I couldn’t wait to take it off at the end of the day.

So, I found myself at the Go Bare event sponsored by bareMinerals and held just outside the beautiful Ferry Building on the Embarcardero. It’s one of my favorite areas in the city- that no-man’s-land between the bustling Financial District and the grey-green water of the bay. The fading light of the day was the perfect backdrop for the pop-up stand, where makeup artists subtly transformed women into a more radiant version of themselves.

Liliana, my fabulous makeup artist, gave me a fresh, natural look with serious staying power. The secret involves moisturizing and applying a primer first and being sure to choose the right brush for the coverage you want. Liliana applied a light layer of  their Original foundation followed by concealer, later warming my face with bronzer and blush. For the lips, I couldn’t resist going bold with a lipstick called “Risk It All” (love the playful names!) for a bold pop of pink that just so happened to match the decor. Coincidence?

I was lucky enough to take home some goodies to try myself, and I can say I’m officially hooked. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing a little 5-minute makeup tutorial I came up with, and I’m so excited about it that I’m even posting a no-makeup face shot for comparison.
Courage, Sarah. Courage.

Many thanks to the fantastic folks at bareMinerals for making this all possible!

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My friend Mathilda accompanied me for her own makeunder- doesn’t she look fantastic? I love how they played up her adorable freckles!

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bareminerals, bareminerals go bare, bareminerals ready foundation, bareminerals san francisco, bareminerals event

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bareminerals, bareminerals go bare, bareminerals ready foundation, bareminerals san francisco, bareminerals event
bareminerals, bareminerals go bare, bareminerals ready foundation, bareminerals san francisco, bareminerals event

bareminerals, bareminerals go bare, bareminerals ready foundation, bareminerals san francisco, bareminerals event

bareminerals, bareminerals go bare, bareminerals ready foundation, bareminerals san francisco, bareminerals event

bareminerals, bareminerals go bare, bareminerals ready foundation, bareminerals san francisco, bareminerals event

bareminerals, bareminerals go bare, bareminerals ready foundation, bareminerals san francisco, bareminerals event

bareminerals, bareminerals go bare, bareminerals ready foundation, bareminerals san francisco, bareminerals event

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