Work It: 7 Beauty Essentials You Need To Keep At Your Desk



A well-stocked desk could keep your professional look on point, and we’ve come up with a few must-have items for your workplace beauty arsenal.

We’ve all been there: you’re hard at work when your productivity flow is stopped in its tracks by beauty emergency. You’d really love to focus on that project at your desk, but there just something about your look that’s throwing you off, and it can be hard to get your focus back until it is fixed. Outside of the usual, like a brush and a mirror, here are five items that should have you covered.

Hair Oil
There’s almost nothing worse for naturalistas than to reach up during the middle of the day to brush some hair out of your face than to find that your tresses feel dry and brittle! In this situation, having a mini bottle of hair oil could be a lifesaver for your…

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Ciao Bella! (Kiko Milano Haul)

Hello glossies!

Sorry I missed posting yesterday, it wasn’t a very good health day. But it’s all good: I’m back and now we can gab about a few new treats I picked up at my local Kiko Milano Cosmetics on Wednesday evening.

For those of you who haven’t heard of, or don’t know much about Kiko Milano, let me help bring you up to speed. Kiko Milano originates from Italy and has just recently made it’s way to our side of the globe. If you visit Kiko Milano’s website ( you’ll see that this brand describes itself as a destination for “professional make up and cutting edge skin care treatments. The brand’s products don’t contain any paragons and are formulated to be hypoallergenic. Bonus: the  brand examines products for any allergic reactions, etc. for 30 days, instead of the standard 2 days required by U.S. law. I LOVE that. Also personally, I’d also like to add that this brand is hip, trendy, fun, vibrant and all around energetic.

My neighborhood store is a bit small (I’m not sure if all locations are on the small side or not) but there are plenty of products to play with and choose from. The store’s design and layout are very well organized and colorful, yet sleek. My only grievance-and it’s a small one-is that sometimes I go in and the music is a bit loud; it can be hard to talk to the knowledgeable and friendly salespeople. See below for a pic of what a Kiko Milano location may look like.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Okay, enough background-let’s get into the goods. Here’s what I picked up at Kiko Milano with a few quick thoughts to accompany each product picture. Side note: I went in because I’m still on the hunt for my perfect red lip…I know, I should be attending meetings. WOMP. Anyhoo…

First up is the Illuminating Mask. 

Kiko Milano Illuminating Mask (Brightening & Energizing), purchased for $4

Kiko Milano Illuminating Mask (Brightening & Energizing), purchased for $4 Photo Credit:

This mask comes packaged in a single use sheet form and promises to “give radiance and energy to the face.” It also claims to help “fight dull complexions and give skin a healthy, smooth look.” I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m obsessed with sheet masks so I can’t wait to get into this. I hope I’m not disappointed.

I also picked up the Intensive Hand Balm which I think is especially great for transitioning weather, especially of the sort we’ve been having around these New England parts these days. I really like this balm, it’s light and feels so incredibly silky but absorbs and moisturizes almost instantly and even stays on through a hand washing or two before you feel that you really need to reapply. The only thing I’d say about this balm as a warning is that it is scented. The scent isn’t unpleasant necessarily but it’s not easily identifiable. It’s strong upon initial application but wears down quickly and nicely.

Kiko Milano Intensive Hand Balm, purchased for  $9  Photo credit:

Kiko Milano Intensive Hand Balm, purchased for $9
Photo credit:

I want to stop here to mention that Kiko has great sales. They’re almost always placed in the middle of the store on a table. There are a few products in each category (lips, eye, skin) that you can browse and pick up a treat at a sweet price. Obviously, I had to take advantage of Kiko’s latest sale: The Shine Lust Lip Tint in #11Vintage Rose which usually retails for $12 but was on sale for….$1.96!!!! YES. You read that correctly. Shade #11 is a really nice sheer, gloss that gives you a natural, pretty flush of lip color.

I know what you’re thinking: “you went in for a red lip and so far all you got was skin stuff and a gloss?!” Well, here it is folks, the moment you’ve been waiting for (but maybe not really): THE RED LIP.

I purchased The Precision Lip Pencil in #307, Fire Red for $6. The pencil itself is a classic red with blue undertones (in my opinion of course). It’s not a chubby pencil so filling in your lips takes a little patience but it’s worth it.

Kiko Milano Precision Lip Color in 307, Fire Red, $4  Photo credit: Kiko Milano UK

Kiko Milano Precision Lip Color in 307, Fire Red, $4
Photo credit: Kiko Milano UK

I could wear the pencil alone, or pair it with the Velvet Mat Lipstick in 608, Apple Red. This is one of the deeper reds in the Velvet Mat lipstick collection. Kiko Milano engineered a brilliant design for the packaging of this lipstick. You simply push down from the top of the tube and the bottom half containing the lipstick slowly pops down and out. GENIUS. Don’t have to worry about your lipstick mistakenly popping open in your purse, work or gym bag.

kiko milano lipstick packaging

Kiko Milano’s GENIUS packaging

Kiko Milano Velvet Mat Lipstick, purchased for $9  Photo credit: Kiko Milano UK

Kiko Milano Velvet Mat Lipstick, purchased for $9
Photo credit: Kiko Milano UK

That’s it for my Kiko Milano haul. Apologies for the long post but I didn’t want to leave anything out.

Have you ever been to Kiko Milano? If so, what are your favorite products? I’d love to hear, leave me a note in the comments below.

Chat soon.

xo, Layla

New Season, New Products!

I’m back! And more beauty obsessed than ever: I promise, it’s possible, and it’s happening. The addiction is real and I’m feeling like I should be attending meetings or something.

It’s been so long, let’s catch up! Between work and school I’ve still managed to collect quite a few new beauty treats. I’ve been scooping up a lot of lipsticks (I know: color. Who am I? What’s happening to me?!) and a few skin goodies as well (mostly cleansers and a few sheet masks.

There’s so much I don’t want to bog you guys down with the longest post in history so I’ll break it up over the next couple of days, ending with my Kiko Milano haul from tonight–it’s a small haul this time but I’m not nearly done with my local Kiko Milano location so that’ll probably be changing as time goes on ;)

Let’s get into the lipstick love; here are are the lipsticks I’ve purchased over the last month or so. I know, I know; only a month, but don’t judge me. When you scroll through the pictures you’l understand why I had to give these beauties a home! You can find all of these lip colors at your local drugstore. Note: IMAN Cosmetics is exclusively carried in Walgreens stores; also Milani Cosmetics is hard to find but I always find them at Walgreens as well.

And remember, if you buy something at Walgreens and don’t love it, they have a great return policy. Let’s be mindful not to abuse it though; do your research before buying!

Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Color in (960) Tangy Tulip, $7.49



I love this bright pop of color  for spring and summer! Moisturizing and applies pretty evenly.

Milani Color Statement Lipstick in (20) Uptown Mauve, $5.99; available at your local Walgreens 

milani color statement lipstick-uptown mauve


This is a strong mauve, but it’s very wearable and uber pretty. If done right (clean, neutral eyes, very little natural colored blush) you can rock this in the office.

IMAN Luxury Moisturizing Lipstick in (028) Scandalous; $10.00; available at your local Walgreens 

iman luxury moisturizing lipstck -scandalous

This is a great red; especially for medium to deeper skin tones. I really like this color and I’m loving a red lip, it’s a bit bright so apply and wear with caution, but once you hit the door, wear with CONFIDENCE.

Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Color in (655) Daringly Nude; $5

maybelline color sensational creamy matte lip color-daringly nude


I saw this in a monthly mag and this color looked much darker in print. I picked it up and thought I was set with my perfect nude. Unfortunately, this color is much too light for me to wear alone and not look a bit ashy; BUT it’s great for layering underneath and mixing to create your own color to fit whatever mood you’re in. Just be sure to include a semi matte moisturize like original Burt’s Bees underneath so it doesn’t dry out your lips. Even though it’s a creamy matte, it’s still a matte.

Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Color in (660) Touch of Spice; $5

maybelline color sensational creamy matte-touch of spice

Since “Daringly Nude” didn’t quite work out the way I hoped, I tried again (you know, if at first you don’t succeed and what not). I’m glad I did because I found this beautiful, understated brownish pink nude. This is another great pick for the office ladies. Can’t go wrong with this one at all. It’s pink enough to warm up your face, but brown enough to communicate that you mean business. Make them READ YOUR LIPS. ;)

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor, The Vivids Collection(in 880) Electric Orange; $5

Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids Collection- Electric Orange

I purchased this neon stunner before Tangy Tulip–so let’s call this one the gateway drug. Ha! It’s not as dark or creamy as Tangy Tulip, but it’s perfect for a quick wash of warm weather color. Even if there is still snow on the ground here in New England and it’s raining tonight. It’s especially fun for a girls night out.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick, Creme Formula in (740) Certainly Red; $6

Revlon Super Lustrous Creme Lipstick -Certainly Red

No, you’re not imagining things. Like I said, I’m having a red lip moment. It’ll probably last the rest of my life. Apologies in advance. This color is a classic, gets-you-noticed-for-all-the-right-reasons red. Not too dark, but also not too bright, this color is as versatile as you. Great for the office, nights out, dates, or even the occasional at home spa day–what? you don’t put a bit of lipstick on while you’re in the house pampering. That’s just me? Oh. Well…I’m cool being different :)

There’s my rundown of lipsticks that I’m loving as we move closer and closer to warmer weather and bright, sunny days. What about you? Got any faves? Share them in the comments below.

Well lovelies, it’s been fun, but this beauty chick has got STACKS of homework to tend to. Let’s make a date for tomorrow around this time, and we’ll chat about my impromptu trip to Kiko Milano and the cool Origins serum samples that I picked up on the way. Yes, I know: I’m obsessed. But like the talented and soulful Nikka Costa says: “everybody got their something.”

Missed you guys. Glad we got a chance to catch up.

Talk soon. xo.


Dark Lipsticks That Will Create a Bold Look in a Single Swipe

Beauty High

Forget 5-minute makeup routines—a complete look can be accomplished in one single swipe with dark lipstick shades. While you don’t have to completely vamp it out with a black hue, temporarily trading in your nude or red lipstick for something a little bit more rich and dark in pigment is a relatively foolproof and, yes, quick way to test out a trend that has no departure in sight and finish your makeup without the help of sidekick products. We rounded up a few shades that will have you second guessing all those years you spent with your pale pink lipstick.

alima-pure-lipstickWhen a matte or shiny finish isn’t exactly for you, well, you try out velvet. Alima Pure—a pure mineral makeup line that prides itself on producing and selling products that are free of preservatives and harsh chemicals—sells a deep, Merlot-like shade in their wide range of velvet-finished lipsticks. We’ll take…

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Beauty and the Real Girl: The Eyebrow Pencil for a Bold Look

I am completely here for brows!!

Beauty High


Going backstage and learning tips and tricks from the professionals may be an adventure, but sometimes, the best tricks come from real girls. In “Beauty and the Real Girl,” we learn the best beauty tips, tricks and secrets from girls just like us.

Excuse the pun, but learning how to properly fill out your eyebrows is a defining moment, indeed. Bold brows frame your face and draw attention to your other facial features—and thanks to a certain runway model, they’ve made their impact as one of the trendiest beauty staples of today. Once you get it right, you never look back. But getting your brows to that standout yet shapely state isn’t as easy as growing out your hair. If you think about the thousands of products on the market, (gels, pencils, powders, and more) as well as finding the right match for your hair color, the process can get…

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So Fresh and So Clean: LA Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes

I should rename the blog to include something like “the lazy girl” or “tips for the tired girl”…something to that effect, because your girl is BONE TIRED. But it’s all good. I’m pleased with my grades for the fall term and it was worth the hard work.

A lot of people have been asking me what my plans are with my month of freedom. I’ve only got one concrete plan: sleep. In any of my free time, you can find me asleep or well on my way. But, I will try to post more for you guys (and myself because I love blogging) and I’ll be trying to figure out how I can post more regularly in the New Year. (That’s a convo for another post though dolls) Right now, mama just wiped her face straight clean and is dying to share deets.

You know how you get a sample and you’re kind of ho-hum about trying it right that moment but then months later you rediscover it or remember you had it in a pinch and you’re all, HALLELUJAH?! That was me tonight. I had received this in one of my Birchbox months and stowed it away quietly. Tonight, I was all kinds of in a pinch (forgot to re-stock my usual wipes) and too lazy to do a normal facial cleansing. Then..voila! I remember I had these babies and I was so happy to have remembered, I would’ve done cartwheels–that is if I knew how.

LA Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes

LA Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes Photo Courtesy, LA Fresh Group

There are a ton of makeup wipes, we know this. But what makes these different? Well for starters, they smell fantastic. I used the moisturizing formula which contains vitamin E)  It smelled like fresh spring day, outside spa treatments and rainwater fantastic. As much as I loved the fragrance, I was anxious that they’d be irritable to my very sensitive skin. Which brings me to another difference: no irritation–no scratching, burning, redness or stinging in my eyes.

Another great thing? They’re durable. They will stretch and fold and wipe and it will take a lot to tear them. Usually I have to sit for a little bit and really make sure to work the cloth over my face a few (dozen) times to feel that I’m actually getting clean enough to lay my face on a pillow. These removed my eyelid primer, brow pencil, navy longer eyeliner and Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft Mascara (the non-waterproof formula) in no time. It did take a few swipes back and forth, but certainly nothing close to annoying.

To be fair and objective, I am very disappointed with one thing about this wipe (and it may be only this formula) but the second ingredient is Mineral Oil. Depending on your skin type, mineral oil can be very irritating and pore clogging. Additionally, there is dueling scientific positions about its overall level of harm when used in direct contact.

LA Fresh has a variety of wipes available, including Nail Polish Remover, SPF 30 Sunscreen, Antibacterial, Lens and Screen Cleaner and Hygiene Wipes (in varieties for men and women) to name a few. If you go to their website you can check out their entire line of wipe offerings. And for a limited time, you can score yourself a sample kit for only $4.95 and the shipping is free! No pressure to purchase something else when all you really want to do is try a few wipes first. I love that!

To learn more about LA Fresh, you can visit their Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest pages.

Have you ever tried these wipes or any other LA Fresh products? Leave me a note and let me know in the comments below.

Love ya for reading. xo


8 Highlighters That Will Make You Glow, Not Sparkle

Beauty High

There are staples in everyone’s bag of tricks that you wouldn’t think of leaving the house without. Some swear by mascara. Others refuse to leave home without a bold lip or the perfectly penciled brow. Consider adding a little something to your morning routine — highlighter.  If you’re an expert at the Kardashian-style contour, you’re already familiar with its magical properties. But, if you’ve been afraid of the stuff for fear of looking like you fell face first into tub of glitter, don’t worry. The highlighter of today is subtle and radiant — like the best kind of real-life Instagram filter.

With so many options on the market, it can be hard to figure out what’s going to work for your skin tone and your needs. We’ve done the work for you. Sit back, relax and scroll through our roundup of the best highlighters, and get ready to glow.


Revlon Skinlights Photo Illuminator
When the cult classic…

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