Beauty, Skincare

Dr. Jart+ Pore Minimalist Mask 

It’s not secret that Dr. Jart+ is one of my favorite brands at Sephora. Their skincare products are innovative and work really well, and they use very natural ingredients that don’t irritate my somewhat sensitive skin. I recently tried the Dr. Jart+ Pore Minimalist Black Charcoal Sheet Mask which can be purchased from Sephora for $7.50.

This was a very easy-to-apply sheet mask (as most sheet masks are). There’s no cleanup necessary because the product is clear even though the mask is black. This mask is supposed to be a great product for acne-prone skin, and I used it when my hormonal acne was flaring up right before my period. I will say that my zits didn’t magically disappear, but I did think they looked less red and less noticeable. My overall skin felt much smoother afterwards, and it continued feeling more moisturized for a few days.

I think this is a great little treat for the skin, and I’m looking forward to reviewing more of these masks. I tend to prefer cream mask products over sheet masks (I feel like the creams sink deeper in the pores and give more immediate results), but this one definitely blew away the Sephora brand masks.

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Beauty

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Cream

I tend to have naturally dark circles under my eyes, so I’m on this eternal quest to find products that will minimize or conceal them. I’ve used under eye cream every night since I was 16 and under eye concealer for almost as long. Recently, I received a deluxe sample of It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Cream from Sephora, and I think I’ll definitely be purchasing the full size when my Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream runs out.

The IT Cosmetics under eye cream is $48 for half an ounce, which is an average price for an under eye cream. Half an ounce seems like a tiny amount, but you need so little under eye cream every day that it will probably last you 6-8 months if not longer.

I’ve found that this cream dries very quickly and definitely does what it says it’s supposed to do. My under eye area is brightened but the finish is very matte, unlike the Origins eye cream which leaves a sparkly residue that is very noticeable (but does mask the darkness). I think that I prefer this matte, invisible finish. My under eyes don’t tend to be puffy and I don’t have any wrinkles yet, but I do like how moisturized and smooth my under eye area feels after using this cream, so I could definitely see this targeting those two problems as well.

Overall, I’m very impressed by this product and this brand as a whole. Their inexpensive contour palette is also amazing! I definitely think this is a brand to watch for. They’re not super well-known right now, but these are great, high-quality products.

Fashion

Blush Pink Accessories for Spring

Remember when nude shoes were in and they were supposed to blend in and look like a natural extension of your leg? That was a terrible trend, and it didn’t work because they didn’t match anyone’s skin tone! Besides, it completely defeated the purpose of accessorizing. Neutral colored accessories are supposed to take a back seat to brighter colors, but they’re still supposed to enhance the outfit instead of disappearing completely. That’s one of the reasons that I LOVE the blush pink shade (so much so that my future wedding dress will absolutely be blush pink instead of white!) It is demure and versatile while still being chic and eye-catching. Here are two amazing accessories in this color from the Kelly & Katie brand sold at DSW:

Credit: DSW
First up is the Eleanore Pump, which retails at $39.95. I can attest that this is one of the most comfortable brands of shoes on the market, and I love their very feminine styles. This one is certainly no exception. I could definitely see this in an office setting or even a wedding because of the versatility of the pump – it can definitely be dressed up or down. The blush pink hue goes with so many other colors, although it tends to pair best with cooler shades. The bow embellishment is adorable, and peep toes are very flattering for most foot shapes.

Credit: DSW
Next up is the Helaniel Satchel, which also retails at $39.95. This is a larger bag with the following dimensions: 12½” x 5″ x 9½”. It also completely zips at the top (something that I know I always prefer in a handbag so that I don’t spill the contents during one of my many moments of clumsiness). While this perfectly matches the pumps, you could definitely carry this with most outfits and most shoes. I know that I often pair my blush bag with black shoes. I hate changing handbags if they clash with my outfit, but this one should be a sure bet for most colors.

These are both really affordable options for anyone wanting to try out blush pink accessories. I often forget that DSW sells other accessories, but I’ve actually been really pleased with their recent handbag selection, especially in this shade. I hope that Blush pink is a shade that stays popular for a very long time! I think that it is definitely becoming a classic, elegant shade that will hopefully become a permanent fashion fixture instead of a trend!

 

Beauty, nails

Be a Little Sinful 

I tend to go in phases when it comes to nail polish. I’ll spend weeks with very neutral polishes and then I’ll just need a burst of color. I’ve also found that it’s just not worth it for me to pay a lot for nail color. I work in a library where I’m constantly touching things, so my polish chips pretty easily. I also have very soft, brittle nails naturally, so that doesn’t help at all. While I love brands like China Glaze, OPI, and Essie, they just don’t last any longer for me than drugstore brands (even when paired with a base coat and top coat). Because of that my very favorite nail polish brand is Sinful Colors, which can be purchased at nearly any drugstore or grocery store.

I love the amazing variety of colors in this collection. You can literally find anything you’re looking for – and most of the bottles are only $2. That’s a price that just can’t be beat. There are a variety of finishes from ultra sparkly to very matte, and it’s incredible how quickly they dry. Multiple times a year, they’ll run special promotions where they debut new themed shades (similar to the promotions that OPI runs), and right now they are collaborating with vlogger Kandee Johnson on a special collection that I love because it contains a whole lot of sparkle!

Now, if you have fabulous, strong nails that hold color well and you find that more expensive brands genuinely last longer for you, then I completely understand if this won’t be your new go-to brand. But this is still a great brand if you just want to try out a new or trendy color. For instance, I found a teal recently that I just wasn’t sure if I could rock, but I figured that $2 wasn’t too risky, and it has ended up being my favorite spring pedicure look so far this season! So, next time you’re in Kroger or Walgreens, just check them out and see if any of the shades stand out to you.

Fashion

Mother’s Day Classic Gift Idea

Mother’s Day is tomorrow! It’s a great day where we celebrate the woman who has been there the most for us in life. I love my mom! We’ve become close friends since I entered adulthood, and we celebrated early by seeing a matinee show of the musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical this afternoon. Still, I wanted to share a sure-thing idea with you in case you’re still scrambling to find a gift last-minute.

 

Credit: Nordstrom

I have always thought that pearls exude a timeless elegant. I know that my mother always classes up an outfit with a strand of pearls when it needs to be extra fancy, so maybe that’s why I associate pearls with my mother. When I saw these earrings at Nordstrom I instantly thought that they would make a great mother’s day gift. First, they are a steal at $45! Also, they have a great classic look from the brand Nina. While the pearl is imitation (obviously, for that price), the crystals are Swarovski, which add another nice touch.

Happy Mother’s Day to any mothers who might be reading this blog!

art, Local

Lines of Sight

I typically blog about makeup, and occasionally about fashion, but since my website is “Cincy” Couture, I think I want to start including some information about fabulous cultural and artistic events in the greater Cincinnati area. Right now, I’m currently obsessed with lineillism – a new style of painting developed by local artist Jim “J. C.” Hall who is also the subject of a new documentary Lines of Sight. This technique, similar to pointillism, is comprised of tiny vertical lines, and the artist developed the technique after suffering a stroke and spending months where there were lots of vertical lines impeding his vision.

Free stock photo of art, brush, painting, colorful

Right now, the Sharonville Cultural Arts Center is exhibiting a retrospective on Hall’s lifetime of art, including many of his lineillism pieces. Last Friday, they held a special screening on the documentary, and hopefully they’ll be showing it again before the exhibit closes at the end of May.

While the art is phenomenal and absolutely brilliant, the personal details about Hall’s past make the whole exhibit come together. He focuses so much on sharing his experiences of grief and struggle: he tragically lost his beloved wife a few years ago, he has struggled with substance abuse in the past and is a fervent AA devotee, he has battled and continues to battle health issues. It’s clear that, more than anything else, Hall’s mission is to bring hope to others. His art is meant to inspire and encourage those going through similar difficulties. He is truly a remarkable man, and I’m so glad that he was given a grant through ArtsWave to be able to share this traveling museum exhibit, the documentary, and teach others the exquisite lineillism technique.

If you’re going to be in the Sharonville area in May, be sure to stop by the Sharonville Cultural Arts Center’s Westheimer Gallery to see this retrospective. They are open Thursdays from 3pm-7pm , Fridays from 3pm-7pm , and Saturdays from 10am-2pm.