streamlining your makeup bag

We all have those days where we wish our beauty routines were a little simpler. Those groggy mornings where spending an 30 minutes to an hour getting ready for work seems like a medieval torture ritual rather than playing dress-up. It’s on those days that you wish your routine was streamlined to the max and didn’t require a million products to make you look your prettiest.

Believe me ladies, I’ve been there. I too have had those ugly mornings where my eyes are still sealed shut and I blindly head to the bathroom hoping that I grab my face wash instead of the shampoo bottle. I’ve realized that in my life those mornings happen more often than not and while I would love to spend 30 minutes to an hour getting ready every morning it’s not always realistic. Instead, I’ve learned to have an arsenal of products that do major double duty and can make my routine so much easier.

The best way to streamline your makeup bag and beauty routine is to find products that do double time. I suggest looking at the current beauty and makeup products you own and write down why you like about them and what ingredients in them work well for you. For example, I have dry skin so I love products with hyaluronic acid in them because it keeps my skin hydrated all day but I also needed a primer to make my makeup stay all day. I went looking for a primer that contained hyaluronic acid so it saves me a step while still giving my skin what it needs. The goal is to find a product that does a whole bunch of good things and can replace two or three products in your routine.

Here are some products swaps that can easily streamline your makeup bag.


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How have you streamlined your makeup bag? Leave me a comment or Tweet me at @larasophia

Xo, Lara

A FAB ultra repair cream

fab ultra repair cream

First Aid Beauty isn’t a brand I’d heard about before but then little by little I started seeing YouTube guru’s and bloggers dish about how great this brand is. To say I was intrigued by the brand would be an understatement. I began picking up products from the brand here and there. One of the products that really stood out to me was FAB’s Ultra Repair Cream. 

FAB’s Ultra Repair Cream is like magic. It’s a super hydrating cream that works especially well for dry, itchy skin. I’m still suffering from dry skin even though winter’s long gone. Despite being an intense hydrating cream its surprising light and absorbs into skin crazy fast which I love. Nothing’s worse than having to wait for intense creams to sink into your skin. I’m ridiculously impatient sometimes.

The URC is also great under and over makeup. I love taking this cream with me to work and if my skin starts to feel dry I can easily apply it over my makeup and it doesn’t disturb my foundation or tinted moisturizer.

The texture of the URC is fabulous too. The cream has a light weight feel to it almost like a lotion. Basically, it’s a lotion consistency that packs the punch of a heavy, thick cream. I think that’s what makes this cream so unique is that you get the best of both worlds. It’s easy to work into your skin and still gives you all the hydration and healing your skin needs.

What I love most about this First Aid Beauty is that a majority of their products come in smaller, more affordable sizes so you can test the products out before investing in the full-size.

I know you can use the Ultra Repair Cream all over your body, but I haven’t given it a shot yet. I’m sure it will be great on my body since it works so well on my face, but I think I need to invest in the full-size product before giving it a go.

Have you tried FAB’s Ultra Repair Cream?

Xo, Lara



exfoliating daily

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photo credit: irving penn for vogue

I’ve always been a skin care rule follower. If a skin care commandment was printed in a magazine or beauty book I was sure to follow it. I mean the beauty authorities wouldn’t print it if it weren’t true, right? As I get older, ahem let me rephrase that, as I get wiser I’ve learned that beauty commandments aren’t one size fits all. What works for some doesn’t work for others. There’s no such thing as cookie cutter skin care.

When it came to exfoliating I’ve always, always followed the rule of only exfoliating two to three times a week. For most of my life  this skin care rule served me well. Plus, like most I’ve always had the fear of over-exfoliating. We’ve all heard the over-exfoliating horror stories of ending up with raw, damaged skin. But this winter things changed; my skin turned into a dry, scaly, red, bumpy mess. It was ugly. For the first time ever I was embarrassed by my skin. I tried everything: creams, cleaners, serums, you name it. While those products helped, it seemed that the only thing to really calm and clear my skin was exfoliating daily.

Exfoliating daily scared the hell out of me because it went against everything I grew up knowing about skin care. The results were undeniable though, my skin was less dry and irritated plus it was bump free. My skin was happy and so I joined the daily exfoliation bandwagon.

While my skin was happy I still had my doubts. I talked to my esthetician about exfoliating daily and she said if it’s working and improving your skin keep it up. While I adore my esthetician I went one step further and consulted my favorite dermatologist, Neal Schultz of DermTV on YouTube. I didn’t talk to Dr. Schultz personally but I found a video that backed up my results. Turns out that daily exfoliation was more than okay and it was even good for your skin.

According to Dr. Schultz exfoliating daily makes your skin “healthier and look better and younger.” It doesn’t matter if you use a physical or chemical exfoliant, as long as you are removing dead skin cells. Dead skin cells accumulate very quickly on the skin and cause little bumps to appear which make your skin have a rough texture and dull appearance. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

For me, I found that physical exfoliants don’t work for me on a daily basis. I much prefer to use a chemical exfoliant and currently I’m obsessed with the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads. The FAB Radiance Pads are out of this world and are gentle enough for daily use.

So I’m going to say it, start exfoliating daily and throw those old exfoliating rules out the window. Happy skin equals happy life, well most of the time anyway.

Do you exfoliate daily? Tweet me @larasophia and let me know!

Xo, Lara

For the love of nudes


Since today’s posts are dedicated things I’m currently coveting I thought it would be fitting to discuss my current obsession with nude nails. There’s something about nude polish that just hits the mark every time. Nude polish always looks clean and chic. Plus the fact, that nude polish is universally flattering and makes everyone’s fingers look extra long is a plus in my book. Not to mention, nude polish wears extremely well; it can chip to its heart’s content and go unnoticed. With nude polish, your nails won’t be screaming “I’m chipped! Look at me! Look at me!” I’m all about extending the life of manicure and nude polish does just that. While you may be saying “but nude polish is so boring” I say hush child. There’s a beauty in being a bit boring. While some may nude polish is boring, I say it’s classic, refined, effortlessly chic. I could really go on, but I don’t think it’s necessary.

Nude polishes can range from nude-pinks to cool nudes, warm nudes, and so on.  Essie is my favorite brand for nude polishes because their selection is out of this world.

If you want to be able to get a week plus out of your manicure without hating the way your nails look, go for nude polishes. You’ll thank me later.

What are your favorite nude polishes? Tweet me @larasophia and let me know!

Xo, Lara

currently coveting…


When you think of the word covet it seems to have a dirty connotation but when you actually look up the word it’s just a fancy way of saying you want something. In fact to covet means to desire, to want something you don’t have, to wish for, especially eagerly and I don’t know about you but none of that sounds bad.

If you happen to be stumbling across this post I’m guessing that you may have typed a sentence relating to beauty or fashion into Google along with the word coveting. And I’m also going to guess that if you’re here you’re either are a lover of beauty and fashion, thought my blog name was pretty fancy (which it is) or are a beauty/fashion newbie looking for help. Regardless of your reason for stopping into my pretty little corner of the internet, I’m going to take another gander (I seem to be guessing a lot today) that you covet things. In fact, much like me you probably covet a lot of pretty, fancy, and frivolous things like Chanel bags, Dior foundations, YSL lipsticks, and so. In fact, many may tell you that the world of fashion and beauty is full of frivolity and narcissism. The same people will tell you coveting such materialistic things is wrong, but I’m telling you it’s totally right.

Covet, covet away my darlings.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting things especially beautiful things. Beauty and Fashion are much more than skin deep, it’s wearable art. There’s nothing wrong coveting pretty things that you wear and apply because you’re investing in the best piece of live art ever: yourself.

To covet is to dream, is to aspire. Without dreams and aspirations we never grow. So dream and covet the things you want in life whether it’s a Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 or to be President one day. Neither is wrong or less important than the other.

Now that we all know how I feel about coveting, here are the things I’m currently coveting. Make sure to come back every Wednesday to see my latest picks.

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1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 

What are you currently coveting? Tweet me @larasophia and let me know!

Xo, Lara



The Art Of The Double Cleanse

When people hear about double cleansing, they tend to get this baffled look on their faces. It seems that the double cleansing process goes against everything we’ve been taught about skin care. It’s been drilled into us that we need to avoid stripping our skin of all those lovely natural oils, and many assume double cleansing will do just that. Fret not, double cleaning won’t strip your skin at all. In fact, double cleansing is the secret our skincare routines have been missing.

Double cleansing isn’t just using your cleaner and washing your face twice. In reality, double cleansing is about making sure all the dirt, grime, pollution and make-up is removed from your skin in two distinct steps that results in ultra-clean skin. Without properly cleansing your face, any serums, oils, and moisturizers you apply won’t fully absorb into the skin because they will be sitting on top any residual makeup and dirt that single cleaning leaves behind.

double cleanse

xo, Lara Sophia


Smelling Like Roses


My daily shower is my special place, a little quiet time where I can unwind and wash away the day. I light a candle, blast some music and try my hardest to make my shower routine as relaxing as possible. A step that I added to my routine quite some time ago adds the perfect amount of luxury to my mostly mundane shower routine.

Lush’s Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner is a little tub of rose scented heaven. The blush-colored creamy conditioner makes your skin super soft and smelling all sorts of good.

Ro’s Argan is an in-shower lotion that does for your body what conditioner does for your hair. Made up of cocoa butter, cupuaca buttle, almond and argan oils and fresh rose petals it’s a moisturizing treat for your skin.


While I wouldn’t say the Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner is a necessity to have it sure is a nice luxury. Whether you use it every day or just for special occasions, it’s a nice little extra that actually simplifies your routine. Ro’s Argan is so hydrating and makes your skin so soft there’s no need to apply lotion after your shower.

I love that the Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner washes away easily and doesn’t leave a film on my skin. The biggest selling point for me is that post-shower I have soft, hydrated rose-scented skin.

xo, Lara Sophia


Total Nirvana


If you grew up in the Olsen dominated 90′s and early 2000′s and were anything like me you just HAD to have everything and anything the Olsen twins wore.

I’d dare to say that the Olsen twins were my first fashion inspiration besides Cher from Clueless, and I often emulated everything they wore down to their haircuts.

Not much has changed a decade later as I still look to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for style inspiration. When MK & A released their Elizabeth and James line in 2007, and I oohed and ahhed over it until I was blue in the face. It wasn’t until they released their White and Black Nirvana scents that I purchased a piece from the collection.

Basically, MaryKate and Ashley took the entire essence of their Elizabeth and James brand and bottled it in scent form.

So far, I can only speak to the White Nirvana scent but it’s a simple, feminine, chic scent that’s just a little bit sexy. In fact, the scent is very reminiscent of the Chloé Eau de Parfum by Chloé, which happens to be one of my favorite scents.

White Nirvana is described as a mix of “delicate peony, chic muguet, tender musk for a feminine scent with dark sophistication.” I would say that is exactly what you get from the scent.

This scent is fabulous. I was sold after hearing peony was one of the scents major notes since I’m a sucker for peony. White Nirvana is a great day scent that stays with you but isn’t too overwhelming. Plus I love that it can be layered with Black Nirvana to create another scent entirely. Three scents for the price of two is a plus in my book.

Most importantly who wouldn’t want to smell like the chicness that is MaryKate and Ashley Olsen?

xo, Lara Sophia

Hangover Helpers


We’ve all had those nights where we’ve had one too many drinks and wind up paying for it the next morning. With St. Paddy’s Day upon us I figured it would be the perfect time to talk about hangover helpers. These little gems can take you from looking like a Mac truck hit you to looking like you got plenty of beauty sleep the night before.

When trying to beat the hangover look and feeling it’s always crucial to reach for products that de-puff, soothe and hydrate the skin.

First things first, pop an Advil, trust me it will help you. After doing the boring stuff like washing your face and brushing your teeth, it’s time to move on to making yourself look a whole lot better.

When I’m feeling a little bit puffy in the eye area, I reach for the GlamGlow Bright Mud Eye Treatment. The mud in these little pods has this cooling/tingling effect that wakes up your eye area and gets rid of the bags. Before jumping in the shower pop on a revitalizing mask, right now I’m testing out the Nugg Revitalizing Face Mask, and it works pretty well especially for a drugstore mask. Make sure whatever mask you reach for will plump the skin and wake up tired, dull skin since that’s the goal. Once you’re out of the shower, it’s time to apply the final mask. I can’t say this enough, but the Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask is one of the best out there. I’ve been using this mask since I was 18 or 19 so for me it’s a Holy Grail product that I always need to have in my skin care arsenal. The Bliss Oxygen mask brightens up your skin immediately and makes you look beyond glowy and well-rested.

Once you’re done waking your skin up and making it look hella good, it’s time to moisturize the heck out of it. Always start with eye cream. I often reach for the SK-II Advanced Eye Treatment because it’s eye serum. In my opinion, it also doubles as a leave on treatment. This eye treatment is super-hydrating while not being sticky or irritating. Finally, seal it all in with a good day cream. Currently, I’m obsessed with the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream because it soothes and hydrates the skin extremely well.

Finish off your morning with lots of coffee, mascara, and concealer. Throw on some dark sunnies, and no one will ever know about last night’s antics.

Enjoy St. Paddy’s Day and remember we’re all a wee bit Irish today :)

xo, Lara Sophia