the hydra-essentiels

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A change in weather always calls for a change in skincare. My skin is on the drier side year-round and it’s only amplified during the cooler months. Winter in New York has been mild so far (knock on wood) but I had already noticed my skin feeling incredibly dry when Clarins offered me the chance to try the new Hydra-Essentiel duo. I have been using the two daily for a couple of weeks now, read on for the full review.

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What makes these products different? The serum and moisturizer were formulated to repair and prevent damage that sudden changes in temperature have on skin. And it’s not just one seasonal change — it’s going from a heated apartment to whatever it’s like outside to a dry office to the steamy gym and back. Whether you live in a big city like New York or not, that’s several daily temperature changes that are wreaking havoc on your complexion.

What’s in them? The star ingredient is a succulent called Leaf of Life, a plant found in Madagascar that survives in harsh conditions of intense sun, cold nights and low rainfall. Clarins researchers found that the extract boosted skin’s moisture retention abilities at all levels. There’s also Clarins’ anti-pollution complex, a combination of pure plant extracts that protects against both outdoor and indoor pollution.

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What to expect? The Hydra-Essentiel Bi-Phase Serum has a lightweight consistency that feels instantly refreshing — it’s overused but beyond perfect to describe what using this serum feels like: a drink of water for your skin. The Hydra-Essentiel Silky Cream is one of my favorite moisturizers that I have ever used. It’s rich yet sinks into the skin immediately – satisfyingly so, not in a way that leaves a feeling you need a second layer. It’s not sticky or heavy so it sits nicely under makeup, plus it has SPF 15 so I don’t feel guilty about forgetting that extra step on overcast days (guilty).

What has impressed me the most is that the dry feeling, the one that had me misting all day long and counting down to the minute I got home and could slap on a moisture mask, is completely gone. If you’re adding anything to your skincare routine this winter, I recommend the Silky Cream above all else.

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This post is sponsored by Clarins. As always, all reviews and opinions are my own.

quick eye makeup

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Albeit owning more eyeshadow palettes than one person could ever need, I don’t play with eyeshadow nearly as often as I should. If I want a quick, easy eye I’ll pat my Becca Champagne Pop highlighter all over my lid (with this divine Wayne Goss brush) and blend Benefit Hoola into the crease. It takes thirty seconds and you can do it with whatever highlighter and bronzer you love — these are just my all-time favorites!

velvet boots

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Sunglasses: Karen Walker, Coat: c/o SheIn, Dress: c/o Banana Republic, Boots: Zara

Though I know it will be fleeting, I’m all gung-ho for velvet this season. I recently ordered this red velvet dress for Christmas but it started with these beautiful navy velvet ankle boots. I love navy and black together so it’s easy to wear them quite often.

Photos by Christina Emilie