Burts Bees SMP 1

What, an NBA super stud isn’t part of your beauty routine?

There’s nothing like being one with nature. I’ve recently enjoyed going on urban hikes that have me at San Francisco’s most gorgeous vantage points, soaking up the sun, skies and sparkling ocean.

burts bees SMP 2

This oneness with nature has also trickled into my beauty routine. I’ve tried to swap out chemical-laden products with those with more natural ingredients, especially when it comes to skin care. Having been thoroughly impressed with their acne spot treatment, I was happy to sample their Brightening Dark Spot Corrector with Daisy Extract. The daisy extract infusion helps to even skin tone and diminish the appearance of dark spots. Plus, they say that 80% of women noticed its effectiveness after eight weeks of use.

Now, I’ve been using it most nights and mornings for nearly two weeks. The only roadblock to use is that it should go on after cleansing, but before moisturizer, which is just second nature to me. Besides needing to break my habit, it smells great (almost citrusy sweet, not floral as you might expect), isn’t overly drying, and has a nice, non-tacky serum consistency. Having used another natural brightener, I can say the overall experience is much improved with Burt’s Bees and I would prefer to use this than the one that cost two times as much.

Now I can’t say that I have noticed a huge difference, but I’m only two weeks in and I’m not the most observant in this area. But I am hopeful and I feel it fits within my routine easy enough to keep using. And, in case you were wondering, the line also includes a moisturizing cream, eye treatment, facial cleanser and refining tonic.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Burt’s Bees via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.


five tips fresh face

Is there anything worse than being told that you look tired? Didn’t think so. Like many of you, I’m up early, working hard all day and doing my best to take care of myself. Being a modern-day Super Woman, however, doesn’t always mean you look or feel refresh. Here are some of my tricks for combating the dreaded fatigue face.

1. Fresh Face First: 2013 was the year of the skin freak out for me: break outs, texture change, you you name it. My tried and true methods weren’t working and I had to get some new tools in my arsenal. Namely, thine weapon of choice is a Clairsonic Mia 2. It’s been a huge improvement, along with adding a face brightening serum and legit moisturizer into the rotation. I’m still testing out my faves and will get back to you with my picks.

2. Makeup Perk-Up: Speaking of tools in your arsenal, these are a must: primer, highlighter, eyeliner, lip color and a bit of gold eyeshadow. Basically, you want to keep features defined and makeup in place throughout the day. Liquid liner is my favorite (get the pen style – so much easier to apply!) and you’d be surprised at how a little gold eyeshadow on the inner corner of your eyelid can brighten your whole look.

3. Get Physical: Move around, keep good posture and smile. Those little things can majorly boost your mood even on a downer day. Plus, I’m convinced that staying positive will keep you young.

4. Aqua Por Vida: Most likely you’re not getting enough water. Trust me, I’m the worst offender. When I am good, I really notice the difference of proper hydration. Notice how I didn’t mention coffee or energy drinks here. A glass of water is almost always what your body is needing more than a jolt of caffeine.

5. Snooze or Lose: Well, this one is obvious, but it’s really important. Sometimes you can’t fake looking rested if you don’t get rest. Shocker, I  know. Put yourself and your health first! It wasn’t too long ago that I realized averaging 6 hours of sleep each night wasn’t good for me. To help remedy this bad habit, I downloaded the Sleep Cycle app. It tracks your sleep patterns, gently lulls you awake without breaking your sleep cycle, and even has soothing ambient sounds. Plus, charts!

If you have any tips to share, please let us know in the comments. I’m sure there are yawning people dying to hear.

image source



Top: Forever 21 | Necklace: H&M | Watch: Nordstrom | Skirt: Target | Heels: Target

It’s kinda-sorta fall, autumn here in Northern California. Call it what you will, I’m enjoying the best of both worlds. One one hand, I’m digging darker colors – hello Bordeaux ombre lips! – and all things pumpkin spice. On the other, I’m planning on laying out by the pool Saturday … yes, this Saturday being the first weekend of October.

You know what else is the best of both worlds? Networking and playing with makeup. The wonderful staff of the Beauty Spot at the Walnut Creek Nordstrom graciously hosted the Blog Brunch SF gang this past weekend and it was a blast. We sipped mimosas, gabbed about the business of blogging and talked with the beauty pros to get the latest on what’s on trend for fall.

So what are the must-haves, you ask? I was most excited about the dark glossy lip stain from YSL. Go for color #1 and on a bare lip, apply it liberally in the center and fan out to create an ombre effect. You’ll want two coats to really set the long-lasting stain color. In fragrance news, I fell in love again with Jo Malone. Did you know they are designed to be layered and mixed for a custom signature scent? Go for the nectarine and the rose for a bright and sweet scent that’s fresh and feminine. Lastly, I really loved the shimmery shadow from Kevyn Aucoin. In a roller, they apply fairly intensely, but blend really well. Go for citrine –  the light gold helps wake up the eyes a bit.


Jillian of The Humble Gourmet | Camille of Planning Pretty | Olivia of Mane Message


Thanks again to the Nordstrom team for having us! And Bay Area bloggers – stay tuned for the next Blog Brunch SF! It will blow you away… hint, hint. :)



Blogging friends, it’s time to get excited. The next Blog Brunch SF is going to be amazing. The lovely team from Nordstrom Beauty Spot are going all out to pamper us as we chat and clink glasses. How fun is that? Join us at the Nordstrom in Walnut Creek from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 29. Be sure to RSVP on my girl Nichole’s blog or giving her a shoutout on Twitter (@nicholeciotti) – seriously though, you gotta RSVP, pretty please!

There will be plenty of makeup to play with and pros to show us the latest trends and tips – you’re really not going to want to miss it! Just for fun, I’ve shared some of my favorite Nordstrom Beauty finds for you all to check out. Seriously, this concealer is a game changer. And this primer with SPF? Genius.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

A few details: Please check-in at the La Mer counter on the first floor where you will be escorted to the brunch location. Taking BART? There’s a FREE shuttle/trolly that runs eery 10 minutes from the station to the store.