flawless in a flash

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As a self-proclaimed product junkie, it took me a while to commit to a skincare routine. I was always trying this or that moisturizer, mask, serum, you name it. While my Sephora VIB status benefited, my skin did not. Have I learned my lesson? Sort of. Now I love switching up my makeup instead! After how much I loved the Clarins skincare (it’s cemented in my winter routine), I gladly accepted the offer to play with some of their makeup. The products are designed to apply quickly and make it easy to get a natural makeup look.

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The Instant Light Brush-On Perfector is key to looking bright-eyed after a short night’s sleep. It’s subtle yet effective and is made with oat sugars that tighten to reduce signs of fatigue. I brush on a light layer in an inverted triangle shape and blend it in with my makeup sponge. The Face Contouring Palette is going to be amazing to travel with. I usually see palettes with a contour and highlight so it’s ultra convenient that this one also includes a blush. The powders are really easy to blend and have just the right amount of pigment.

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What wowed me the most was the 4-colour All-in-One Pen. The packaging reminded me of my old gel pens with a bunch of different ink colors, albeit much better quality. It has a black, brown and blue eyeliner and a beige lip liner, all with a creamy formula that doesn’t pull the skin. I like to draw the black liner on my top lashline from the outer corner about halfway across, then smudge it a little with an angled brush. A few coats of the Supra Volume Mascara add a lot of volume without clumping or transferring. Then it’s just a swipe of the Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector to complete the look — 06 is a pretty neutral that’s earned a spot in my everyday bag. It has a tint of color, the ideal creamy-glossy consistency and a subtle vanilla scent that I love.

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

culottes

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Sunglasses: Karen Walker, Bodysuit: Theory, Watch: Larsson & Jennings, Culottes: Zara, Bag: Celine

There’s a Zara next door to my new office, making it far too easy to pop in after work when I’m feeling uninspired by what’s in my closet. Sometimes I get something practical like these navy culottes, other times it’s a gold seventies-esque dress.

Photos by Christina Emilie

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.