CHANEL is a makeup brand that I admire, but don’t frequently use. I am not one to shy away from luxury makeup, so I am not quite sure why this is the case. Here in Tulsa, one of the best known makeup artists works at the local CHANEL counter at Saks and a recent project has me collaborating with artists. So in getting to know her, I’ve fallen for Chanel makeup and incorporated a couple items into my routine.

Most surprisingly, my addiction to waterproof mascara might have been cured. The women in Saks recommended Chanel’s newest mascara, Le Volume de CHANEL and, because I am a volume fanatic, I gave it a whirl. The formula is incredibly lush and glossy. Their proprietary brush (Snowflakes) has both long and short bristles to plump the whole lash line. The ultimate test was last week, on my way back to the hotel with some work friends, when we were laughing so hard we cried. That non-waterproof mascara didn’t budge. Plus, its made in Italy – totally justifying the splurge.

BENEFIT COSMETICS Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter

I had a whirlwind trip to NYC this past week. Always such a pleasure to be in the city for many reasons – inspiring, great food, full of energy. But one of my favorite things about a visit to NYC is a spin through giant Sephoras full of brands I love. I was doing a late night run after dinner (that city truly never sleeps, Sephora closes at midnight), and my beauty-guru friend, Pamela, asked me to pick up of her favorites for her. Naturally, I had to have one myself.

Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter has always tempted me as I love a luminous finish and I have a long term love affair with this Benefit bronzer. Watt’s Up is a cream to powder with a champagne finish. It is definitely “high wattage” but the sophisticated hue makes it okay for daytime or work as well. Applied on the cheeks and brow bones, it adds a luminous sheen. I also like to use it down the bridge of my nose and cupid’s bow. The sponge on the other end of the stick is great for blending but I like to use my fingers. I’ve found it works best applied above tinted moisturizer/foundation but before brush/bronzer. But I also like it alone on skin for weekend days to add just a fresh and natural glow. No wonder this is a celebrity makeup artist favorite.

Spring Shopbop Sale

Spring Shopbop Sale on Belle Belle Beauty

You guys know Shopbop is my favorite place for staples, denim and dresses. And their sales are always a killer chance to stock up. Now through Saturday (11:59 PM EST), they are offering serious discounts.

  • 15% off orders of $200+
  • 20% off orders of $500+
  • 25% off orders of $800+

Just use code GOBIG18 at checkout. Happy Shopping!

MAC In Extreme Dimension Waterproof Mascara

MAC In Extreme Dimension Waterproof Mascara on Belle Belle Beauty

I am falling all over again for MAC Cosmetics after a long break. For a while, the brand felt heavy, not that natural and maybe a bit too young. But after trying out Strobe Cream (thank you, Birchbox), Studio Face & Body Foundation and Complete Comfort Cream, I am back.

I know mascara is personal. But for me, I prefer waterproof. I suffer from terrible allergies. I am known to tear up at every single episode of This Is Us (and the Olympics) and I suffer from terrible fallout. If you are like me, check out MAC In Extreme Dimension Waterproof Mascara.

On a layover in the Houston airport and in need looking way more awake before a business meeting, I was introduced to this mascara. It provides a slight curl, giving that rested look. The whipped formula is totally weightless. It doesn’t budge one bit. And the brush is brilliant, allowing for full application from root to tip without looking heavy or clump.

I think the Complete Comfort Cream calls for a follow up, so more details on that to come. Such a great price and really helps with redness. For now, my current MAC favorites:

PanOxyl 4% Acne Creamy Wash Daily Use

PanOxyl 4% Acne Creamy Wash Daily Use on Belle Belle Beauty

Pamela is probably my favorite friend/reader to dish beauty about. Not only does she have great skin and is always up to date on products, she lives in New York and gets to do all the latest treatments and fitness classes! I can’t wait to get back to New York soon to check out some of her favorites. But her latest recommendation to me not only is fabulous, but can be found around the corner at anyone’s drug store.

I picked up PanOxyl 4% Acne Creamy Wash Daily Use on her recommendation without much research. I was thrilled to see it is creamy – my favorite formula for face wash. I was a little fearful of the benzoyl peroxide as my skin is slightly sensitive and I don’t suffer from much acne. But the product indicated that this wash is designed for those with “slightly sensitive skin” and “mild to moderate acne like whiteheads or blackheads” ***raises hand***.

While 4% benzoyl peroxide is strong medicine, it is not as strong as their more powerful formula offering 10% benzoyl peroxide (the strongest available with a prescription). For those with more serious acne, ask your dermatologist if this might work for you.

I loved the foaming, cream formula and used it with these little sponges (thanks She’s In The Glow!). Between using this new favorite and PanOxyl, but pores are unclogged and skin is exfoliated and fresh. As a note, I use P50 in the morning and PanOxyl at night – probably too much to double up with both at the same time as it is already pretty aggressive to have these two in a routine. Despite the powerful ingredients, the addition of 3 humectants and 4 emollients in the formula leaves my skin soft and not dry. I don’t notice any tingling or a smell but some might find it slightly acidic.

Dry Winter Skin

This winter has been brutal on my skin. I have been constantly itchy and flaky and I am sitting here just praying for a warm spring rainstorm. I purchased humidifiers for my apartment and have the diffuser constantly running. I even have surrendered to sleeping at 65 degrees to avoid running the heat.

I was determined for some relief and I think I have found a duo that can fight the dry. First, I brought out my trusty Salux Nylon Japanese Beauty Skin Bath Cloth – super strange but it works so well. It is this really long (35 inches), rough, thin towel that suds up like a dream. It is softer than a loofah, but still textured for exfoliating entire body. Perfect for reaching my neck and back too. I use it with Neutrogena Rainbath Refreshing Shower And Bath Gel but am on the prowl for a more moisturizing body wash – let me know if you have suggestions!

The real kicker is a find by Dad – he discovered it at his favorite hunting ground, Wal-Mart (lol). Gold Bond Medicated Body Lotion Extra Strength is my new favorite thing. The smell is insanely refreshing thanks to menthol which fights itch. Dimethicone is a skin protectant and aloe soothes. Emulsifying wax makes this thick and nourishing, but somehow it melts into skin without being sticky.

It is still a constant battle, but thanks to these (affordable) gems, I am finally feeling better. Take that, Winter!