St. Patrick’s Day Beauty Products! (Irish Girl-Approved)

Growing up with fair skin wasn’t easy, to say the least.  I can’t even tell you how many summers I spent in the shade, slathered in sunblock, watching my friends rub baby oil on their skin and soon after get the sexiest golden tan that you could possibly imagine.  It’s a simple fact: being pale with freckles wasn’t desirable when I was a teenager; however, now, at almost 30, I am SO GLAD that I was born with freckled, Irish skin that I was given.  Why?  Well, for one, I look way younger (and age slower) than everyone else and it’s really just now that I’m starting to appreciate that little fact.  Sure, a nice tan makes you look thinner, but that’s what spray tans are for…I digress.  With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I got to thinking about my fair-skinned beauty tricks that I’ve learned over the years, mixed with a little Irish makeup fun.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel! My manager has been giving me tips and my videos are definitely getting better, if I do say so myself, haha.

Featured in the video:

Neutrogena Beach Defense Water + Sun Sunscreen SPF 30: a MUST for everyone. Learn more about their Helioplex Complex HERE.

Fusion Beauty PrimeResults Anti-Redness Primer: This primer is great for fair, Irish skin since rosacea is quite common.  The primer has claims that show 50% reduction in overall redness after only six weeks.

Lancome Flash Bronzer Anti-Age: Every pale-skinned girl needs a good self-tanner!  I’m a longtime fan of Lancome’s tanning products; they don’t streak and they give a natural bronzy glow.

Sue Devitt Hydrating Marine Minerals Eye Palette in “Green Isles”: Probably the prettiest green eye palette that you’ll ever find.

COVERGIRL Liquiline Blast eyeliner in “Green Glow”: If you want a subtle green eyes look for St. Patrick’s Day, this bright green eyeliner is the way to go.

Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Glam Hazel Eyes mascara: Gold mascara? YES.  It reminds me of the whole “pot o’ gold” thing that used to make me so excited as a little kid.

Destination: Palm Springs

A friend and I are heading out to the desert tomorrow morning at, gasp, 9AM.  There are very few things that could actually get me to wake up before 11 on a Saturday but hey, Memorial Day in Palm Springs is calling me.  

J. Crew bikini top and bottom: I love a red bikini or, really, a red anything.  This one is simple and the strings make this particular style look good on almost every body type.

Dorothy Perkins Black Aztec Crossover Dress: First off, I love the pattern.  Second, this dress is the perfect minimalist vacay dress (and can also serve as a cover up!) that can take you right from daytime to night.

Forever21 Classic Straw Fedora: A hat is a MUST when I’m outside in the sun for a long period of time.  Not only does it keep me cool but it also prevents sun damage on my face and scalp.

House of Harlow 1960 Robyn Sunglasses: I love pretty much everything HOH1960 but these frames are just really f-u-n and chic.

Sam Edelman Gigi Sandals: I have these in neon too.  They’re super comfy, simple and look good with almost everything.

Shiseido Sun Protection Lip Treatment SPF 36 PA+++: Lips are often neglected but if you’ve ever had sunburn on your lip, you know to always apply lip balm with SPF.  I can speak from experience, guys.

Redken Color Extend Sun Solar Screen SPF 12: Blonde hair can fade and oxidize fast when in the sun for too long so it’s VIP that I apply a spray with SPF protection and, as a bonus, the SPF also protects your scalp.

Kate Somerville SPF 55 Serum Tinted Sunscreen: It’s very inaprop to wear a full face of foundation at the pool or beach but yeah, with my rosacea and hyperpigmentation, I never go full on bare faced.  This face serum is the perfect solution to my problem since it not only has SPF 55 but it’s a serum (e.g. lightweight) and it’s tinted so it actually hides most of my imperfections.



Hawaiian Tropic Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim in Miami (vote for me!)

If there’s one thing I’m vehemently passionate about, it’s SPF and safe sun.  I was featured on BellaSugar.com last May for Skin Cancer Awareness Month and was honestly SHOCKED at how many people commented on my story, saying that “vitamin D is good for you” and that you don’t really need to wear sunblock.  With that shocking fact said, I’ve partnered with Hawaiian Tropic (yes, the sunscreen that smells like coconut!) in a contest with two other beauty bloggers – I could win the chance to go with them to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Swim in Miami this summer!

Vote for me HERE.  You just have to “like” the page (I promise they won’t spam you) and then scroll down to vote for me.  Oh, and you can vote more than once, btw!


To make things a little more interesting, if I do win, I’ll do a week’s worth of beauty and fashion giveaways as soon as the winner is announced, and guys, they will be GOOD prize packages, I promise.  You help me, I help you.


July 4th Pool and Beach Essentials

This past weekend was America’s number one holiday, the fourth of July.  In all honesty, I usually dread July 4th after having several bad experiences during college and even getting sun poisening one year after college as a result of using expired sunblock.  Oh yeah, that was fun.

This year I decided to turn the tables and decide that I wasn’t going to set any high expectations for the weekend but instead, just relax and pretend that it’s a normal (though slightly longer) weekend.  Success it was.  I relaxed by the pool, went to a party at a Malibu beach house right on the PCH and finalized the celebration with a house party in Brentwood with a perfect firework view.  I even debuted my new favorite towel, hoping my friend Sydne would feature it on her blog.  Alas, she didn’t deem it “blog worthy” but she did tweet the pic above!

Here’s what got me through the weekend…

Redken Color Extend Solar Sunscreen SPF 12: There’s a ton of hair products that claim to protect your color from fading but very few of them have actual SPF included.  This product is fab because it not only protects your color but it also protects your scalp from the sun.

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection SPF 60 for Face and Body: I’ve been a fan of Shiseido’s SPF products since last summer when I discovered the line.  If you’re the person who hates sunblock because you get all greased up while applying it, this product is for you.  It’s basically a luxurious lotion and it smells amazing- no sticky residue, no white streaks.

Avene Thermal Spring Water: I’ve never really done well being in the sun for too long, especially when it’s also humid out.  This refreshing water-based mist is a great refresher at the beach (or even on an airplane).

Ray-Ban Cockpit Aviator Sunglasses: Anyone else with blue eyes?  Yeah, I can’t get through the day with out my sunglasses.  I finally convinced my parents that no, they can’t buy their sunglasses at Rite Aid and expect decent eye protection.  My Ray-Ban’s have great UV protection and this shape is pretty universally flattering.

The FDA (Finally) Cracks Down on SPF Rules!

It’s hard to believe that until now, the FDA’s rules were so utterly and completely lack luster.  I consider myself a connoisseur of sunscreen; friends, family and sometimes strangers ask me questions on a regular basis and I try not to go on a long 20 minute rant about how no, they should not use tanning oil with SPF 8 as their daily sun protection and no, they should not use the bottle of Hawaiian Tropic they’ve been using since 1998.

After 33 years with no major sunscreen label changes, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally decided to set some rules – waaay behind Europe, I might add.  2012 is going to be a big, HUGE year for SPF awareness!  Here are the main changes:

  • Broad Spectrum: Only sunscreens that pass a test proving they shield from both UVA and UVB bays can be called broad spectrum.
  • SPF Ratings: Only those sunscreens with an SPF rating of 15 or higher can claim protection against wrinkles, skin cancer and sun damage and they must include the following: “Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early aging.  This product has been shown to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early aging.”
  • Is it waterproof? Manufacturers can no longer use the terms “sunblock,” “waterproof,” or “sweatproof.”   Water-resistant WILL be allowed, as long as the label clarifies whether it will last for 40 or 80 minutes.
  • How long does it last? Sunscreens can no longer make claims that they provide immediate protection OR provide protection for more than two hours without reapplication, unless approved by the FDA.
  • How much is too much SPF? Due to lack of evidence that SPFs over 50 provide extra protection, the FDA also plans on banning sunscreens with an over 50 SPF label.
  • And how does that SPF come? Unique SPF products such as wipes, towelettes, powders, etc. can no longer be marketed without special approval.  As for sprays (one of my personal faves!), the FDA will require manufacturers to submit data on their effectiveness and whether or not they pose safety concerns due to inhalation.

Jee Vice BNL Melanin Photochromic sunglasses- protect your eyes AND skin!

So the summer I moved to LA, I bought my father his first pair of “real” sunglasses.  And when I say “real,” I mean his first pair of sunglasses that cost more than $20 and had actual UV protection in them.  Seriously.  I don’t understand how or why anyone would wear sunglasses that don’t actually protect your eyes but that’s also exactly why I was so excited when I heard about the new Jee Vice Melanin Lenses that feature BNL Melanin Photochromic technology that provide SPF 140 for your eyes!  This is some serious eye protection, ladies.

While 99% of frames out there do offer some UVA/UVB protection, the lens technology incorporated into Jee Vice’s newest frames offers an added layer of protection for the skin around the eyes and teh retina using Melanin, which is a naturally occurring pigment in the body that acts as a sunscreen.  What differentiates the Melanin lenses from the UVA/UVB protection is that in addition to absorbing and deflecting harmful rays, they also protect from High Energy Visible (HEV) light!  HEV is often referred to as “blue light” and can damage the retina, which leads to impaired vision over time.  With the SPF 140 in these glasses, your eyes will be safe from both cosmetic and internal sun damage.

My mind was literally blown away when I found out all of the benefits of Melanin lenses- better clarity (sharper images, clarity of vision), protection of the retina and prevention of macular degeneration. On top of that (for those of us who are vain, myself included), these lenses also prevent the skin around your eyes from wrinkling.  Serious bonus.