Highlighting & “baking” my face: the secrets to looking wide awake 24/7

When I don’t have enough time or patience to play with eye makeup, I absolutely love to focus on my lips and cheeks. Current highlighting and “baking” trends not only provide more options to work with while getting dolled up, their subtle glamour ensures I look put-together, even when I’m in jeans and a t-shirt.

This super fresh-faced style is a quick and easy alternative to any dull makeup routines that may have you stuck in a beauty rut. Luckily, it works for all skin tones and all occasions from the most casual to the most formal, year-round. In five simple steps you can achieve a complete look that feels weightless.



Step one: Apply any foundation and concealer you normally wear; the only product that is mandatory here is an under-eye concealer (I use Instant Age Rewind by Maybelline, available at drugstores). Liquid formulas work best, but if you prefer to use a cream formula, apply it with a damp sponge so that the translucent powder in step two sticks to your face. Blend.  

Step two: With a damp eyeshadow brush or blush brush (the fluffy kind) apply translucent powder to the patches of concealer. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes so that the moisture combines with your body’s natural heat, which will “bake” the powder onto your face.

Step three: Using the same brush from step two, dust off the excess translucent powder.

Step four: With your highlighter of choice (I love Watt’s Up! by Benefit and Haloscope by Glossier), emphasize your cheekbones, browbones and cupid’s bow according to the chart below:

Image from pinterest.com

The best part of highlighting is that you can never do too much or too little. If you only want to bring out certain features, skipping the highlighter on others is more than okay. Or, if you prefer to look like you have your own personal spotlight following you everywhere, highlight all the features.

Mixing different shades of highlight is another great option. Deeper, warm tones give cheeks and temples a sun-kissed glow; pearlescent tones enhance the eyes and make lips appear fuller.

For added glamour and more drama, you can contour your face with a matte bronzer according to the chart above (Laguna by NARS is a favorite bronzer among the blogging community). A little contour goes a long way–too much and you will risk looking cake-y and unnatural!

Step five: Finish up with a couple coats of mascara on your top lashes and a natural lip color (a bold hue is too harsh for this soft, feminine look).

Givenchy’s Hydra Sparkling Magic lip & cheek balm is the perfect rosy pink for daytime, while Melted Liquified Long Wear lipstick in the shades Sugar and Nude by Too Faced work best for evening outings.


How I stay lean & healthy year-round

When it comes to staying lean and healthy, there are no quick fixes. There are no magic pills, body wraps or waist trainers that will transform your body with any real, sustainable or safe results. Trendy detox teas and pyramid schemes like It Works! that promise small miracles are basically scams, for lack of a better term. Per Galore, products from these companies that guarantee results “when combined with diet and exercise” are total dupes. “It’s the healthy diet and exercise that are making you lose weight, not whatever garbage product you’re combining it with,” writes Kayla Jackson.

With that information in mind, it’s no surprise that maintaining a top-notch physique requires some serious commitment. My peers and followers alike ask me about my wellness routine often, and I could not be happier to finally share this way of life with everyone.

Lounging poolside in my favorite one piece by Gnash Swim

Taking care of my body is a priority to me no matter the time of year. I was raised in a home where fresh, clean foods were the norm, which taught me to love the healthy lifestyle that I still live today. Although a lot of my tips and tricks for staying fit have been with me since the beginning, I also picked up a lot of solid advice along the way–both from others and from personal experiences.

  1. Drinking plenty of water: Because dehydration can come off as grogginess or hunger, many fail to realize that they are so often affected by it. Water boosts energy, curbs appetite and keeps skin free of blemishes by flushing out harmful toxins. For these reasons, everyone should drink it with breakfast, while working out and throughout the day. Adding lemon heightens water’s health benefits while giving it a fresh flavor, and coconut and maple water, which offer several essential vitamins and minerals, are my favorite alternatives to juice or soda. I am also a huge fan of green tea; caffeinated tea wakes me up in the a.m., and decaf tea helps my body to relax and digest after dinner.
  2. Eating healthy: I take the old cliché “you are what you eat” to heart, and I have no problem admitting my eating habits are pretty unorthodox and probably very strange to most people. A huge serving of fibrous (i.e., super filling) seasonal fruits or veggies is the building block of all my meals, then I add lean protein (seafood is my favorite). For breakfast–which I never skip–and lunch, I also make sure to incorporate some complex carbs. I love all kinds of fruit, and some of my other go-to foods are green veggies, bell peppers, quinoa, black beans, almonds and hummus. Additionally, I prepare my foods with coconut oil or a light olive oil (or no oil at all); never butter or heavy oils. In place of salt, I season my foods with fresh garlic, onion and cilantro; when salt is absolutely necessary, I use only sea salt or pink Himalayan salt. Limiting sodium consumption obviously has many major health benefits, but it also reduces signs of aging, including under-eye circles and puffiness. While I have a huge appetite and there are few exotic treats that I won’t try, I make sure to stay away from dairy and pork–both of which wreak havoc on health. Although I always watch what I eat, I never count calories or macros, and if I’m craving something (french fries are my guilty pleasure), I eat it! The key is to consume unprocessed foods: foods whose natural forms have not been altered.
  3. Exercising: In addition to your physical well-being, exercise is essential to your mental well-being. You can combat day-to-day stress and tone your bod by doing something as simple as taking a walk in the park–literally! Personally, I love the gym (I also love running outdoors, hiking and cycling), and a combination of cardio, circuit training and lifting weights helps me to stay fit and energized. While the thought of sleeping in or vegging out on the couch with a magazine is alluring, I fight the urge and work out five to six days a week, for about 1.5 hours a day.
  4. Getting enough sleep: As a graduate student, I will be the first to tell you that procrastinating is sometimes inevitable–it’s human nature–but I know managing time wisely and remaining disciplined is critical when I am on a busy schedule. Sleep plays a larger role in our physical and mental health than we realize. In fact, lack of it severely affects mood, energy level (duh!), ability to think and appetite. Science proves that lack of sleep causes us to crave sugary treats, and compensating with large amounts of caffeine causes anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping and nausea.
  5. Limiting alcohol consumption: High-calorie liquor and wine can make a gal look bloated and washed-up, especially if consumption of it becomes a long-term habit. Plus, drinking always leads to other bad decisions, like falling asleep in our makeup (which is horrible for the skin) or spending the better half of the next day hungover, accomplishing virtually nothing. Long nights fueled by cocktails can also disrupt our appetites and, of course, our sleeping patterns. When I do decide to treat myself to a night out, I opt for a gin and tonic over a fruity mixed drink, and antioxidant-rich red wine over white wine.
  6. Making time for myself: When my friends tell me they’re off to the bar or to chow down on some fast food, it can sometimes be tempting to tag along. But more often than not, there are so many days where I’d rather unwind with a good book or in a hot bath. A margarita or a burrito might be a quick fix for a stressful week, but I always feel so much better and more productive when I make mindful choices and decompress on my own time.

Be sure to follow international it-girl Camille Rowe’s wellness series on youtube.com/user/Vogue for more healthy pointers!


Borrowed-from-the-boys shirtdress



From boyfriend jeans to trousers, there is something oh-so sexy about a woman in men’s clothing. This week I put a laid-back spin on the classic borrowed-from-the-boys look, which is typically more polished.

I love to wear beige, so when I saw this versatile, oversized shirt dress on freepeople.com, I knew it would be an instant staple in my wardrobe for seasons to come. But while the summer heat is still in full force, styling this piece with minimal accessories and minimal makeup is definitely the move.

To keep things super simple, I added a pair of tan leather sandals, taupe lipstick and my new cat eye glasses. The muted color palette and subtle details make for an effortlessly eye-catching daytime ensamble.

When autumn arrives, I plan to layer this frock with lace-y bralettes, tall socks, riding boots and faux fur outerwear. Until then, I’m content to live–and dress–with a “less is more” attitude.

Shirt dress – Free People

Lipstick – Stone by MAC Cosmetics

Cat eye frames – Versace



My beauty must-haves


Feeling so posh in these black cat eye frames by Versace! (Being able to see clearly is pretty cool, too.)

I am a huge believer in the motto “skin first, makeup second.” (Thanks, Glossier, for these words of wisdom.) That being said, most of the beauty products I use are more practical than they are glamorous, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth using. I find that the simpler the product, the more it enhances natural beauty. No matter the time of day or the time of year, these eight beauty staples help me put my best face forward:

I stumbled upon Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay and Bragg raw, organic apple cider vinegar while searching for the latter as a dietary supplement. Because I am a huge fan of face masks, I decided to purchase the bundle. After just one use, my skin was noticeably softer; after continued use, my pores were visibly smaller, giving my skin an even look. If you find yourself pressed for time and unable to do a mask, like I so often do as a busy graduate student, simply swipe the vinegar all over your face before bed to keep blemishes at bay. This is an awesome deal, and I would strongly recommend it for all skin types. $18.99, Amazon.com

Although my skin has never been a huge problem for me, it gets a little oily from time to time and I like to treat it right. When applied to a freshly washed face, Lush’s Tea Tree Water Toner removes excess dirt and oil from my skin and helps to keep it hydrated and free from redness throughout the day–plus, you can’t beat how refreshing it feels. I absolutely love everything from Lush, from bath bombs to face masks, and this product always keeps me coming back for more. $10.95-$22.95, Lush and LushUSA.com


For those with hair that’s difficult to manage, Mane ‘n’ Tale shampoo & conditioner are life-saving products. After using this combo, my hair is always shiny, easy to style and most importantly, clean and touchable! Available at drugstores.

Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely hate the look and feel of liquid makeup. So, when I need some coverage, I always go to Bare Minerals ORIGINAL SPF 15 Foundation. This powder formula’s sheer to moderate coverage is perfect for allowing skin’s natural dewy-ness to show through, and the broad-spectrum SPF protects my face from sun damage. $28.50, bareMinerals and BareEscentuals.com

The sultriness of a bronzer meets the femininity of a blush in Benefit’s Rockateur boxed blush. Day or night, this product truly makes me feel like a rockstar. $29, Sephora and Sephora.com

When applied to my browbones, cheekbones and cupid’s bow, Benefit’s Watt’s Up! highlighter gives a healthy, natural-looking glow, no matter how pale or tan I may be at the time. $30, Sephora and Sephora.com

Like most 90s babes, I am a total sucker for a good lipgloss. NARS lip gloss in Orgasm, with its iconic peachy-pink hue and sexy shimmer, kicks the childhood favorite up a notch. $26, Sephora and Sephora.com


Whether I’m using it on my face, body or hair, unrefined coconut oil is safe for all my beauty needs. The ultra-moisturizing oil soothes dry skin and damaged or frizzy hair in an instant, and leaves behind a yummy, earthy scent. Because there are no harmful ingredients in coconut oil, I love to leave it on as long as possible; the longer it is left on, the deeper the moisture soaks in! Available at grocery stores.

At the end of the day, we must never forget to take care of ourselves in ways that don’t require a trip to Sephora or Ulta. The importance of drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet free from dairy and simple sugars and limiting alcohol and salt consumption is undeniable for reasons that are more than skin deep. While the cosmetics industry has come a long way and there is a product on the market for just about any beauty ailment, masking an unhealthy lifestyle is impossible.


Festival lookbook

My birthday fell on a Saturday this year, so I spent it at the summer food trucks & fire pits festival at Laurita Winery in New Egypt, New Jersey. This was my first-ever festival, so I played it safe in a black tube top and a pair of cutoff Levi’s thrifted from my mom’s closet. I also added my new favorite statement piece: a black double buckle belt.

Taking a minute to relax under the sun after all the walking

To keep things simple–and practical–I opted for a pair of black flip-flops, and skipped both jewelry and makeup.

The festival was such an amazing experience! I tried falafel for the first time, and indulged in some funnel cake and frozen red wine sangria, which just might be the yummiest and most refreshing summer treat.

A stunning view of the vineyard and food trucks at dusk

Perforated tube top: Free People

Shorts: Levi’s (vintage)

Belt: Nordstrom