When it comes to methods of removal, I have tried a ton of different options–everything from at-home wax kits, Nair and shaving to professional waxing and threading.

After years of waxing pretty much everything from the neck down (both at home and at the salon), I decided to (reluctantly) go back to shaving; my aesthetician recommended it. So much waxing, which is somewhat of a harsh process, caused my skin to become thin over time. Thankfully, however, years of ripping hairs from their roots left me with fewer strands, so I have far less to deal with than I did originally.

At age 24 I’ve pretty much gotten the hang of shaving. I know what works for my skin and what doesn’t, but no matter how careful I am, ingrown hairs, razor bumps and skin irritation are sometimes unavoidable (especially during the summertime when I’m shaving more frequently). Not to mention, the results last two days at most, whereas waxing leaves skin smooth for weeks at a time.

That’s where FUR Oil comes in.

The FUR team was kind enough to send me their signature Oil to review for Haute Mess readers, and I am so thankful they did–it was definitely a product missing from my routine! Normally after showering/shaving, I’d go in with a moisturizing body lotion (I love c. Booth’s 4-in-1 Coconut Fig body lotion, as well as Glossier‘s Daily Perfecting Cream), but that really isn’t enough for post-shaved skin. I noticed a *huuuge* change after I started using FUR Oil.

This product is much more soothing than even the most nourishing and hydrating body lotions. It instantly reduces irritation and inflammation that razors tend to leave behind, softening the skin and giving it a silky-smooth feel–something I thought was only possible after waxing.

In addition to the skin, FUR Oil softens the hair itself, so I get a closer, smoother shave with each use. On days I don’t shave, I mix a little FUR Oil with my body lotion to maintain the softness and keep irritation at bay.

I’ve never been the type of gal to forgo hair removal all winter then begin again in time for summer, mainly because I don’t feel my best if I don’t–not to mention, I wear shorts to the gym all year long, travel often and am frequently in a swimsuit (the skimpier, the better in my opinion). Hair removal is a year-long affair for me, so proper aftercare is necessary. To me, hair removal has always been a basic part of hygiene, whether or not I’m wearing shorts or dating anyone at the time.

Modern “feminism” has made body hair removal a bit of a taboo for women. But in my opinion, a feminist is a woman who does whatever she wants without judging others for doing the opposite.

Being hairless, for lack of a better term, makes my skin feel softer and makes my body feel cleaner overall. And, what’s most important, is that it makes me happy. I feel more confident and put-together when I’m clean-cut.

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Back again with another easy, daytime beauty look for spring! I love dewy skin, so for this look, I decided to ditch to powder products all-together (except for a tiny bit of Wowder to set the concealer under my eyes and around my nose), and pile on Face Gloss instead.

Like I just mentioned, putting this makeup look together was super-easy. I used Bali Body’s BB Cream (I’m in the shade Natural), Tarte’s Shape Tape concealer (Light Neutral) and Glossier‘s Wowder (Light/Medium) to create a flawless base with medium coverage. To ensure my face stayed as dewy as possible, I angled the Wowder brush carefully to maintain full control when setting my under-eye concealer for precise application. With the same technique, I also set the concealer around my nose, where I tend to get a little redness (especially during allergy season). I “melted” the powder into my skin with MAC’s Fix+, my fav setting spray.

Cream bronzers and blushes are the best! Fenty Beauty’s Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha is the best for contouring and rinsing up the skin. It blends like the dream and always looks really natural. I used this on the hollows of my cheeks, my temples, along my hairline, in the crease of my eyes and across the bridge of my nose to create a glowy, sun kissed effect and add a little definition. Normally, I would add a powder bronzer on top (my go-to is BECCA’s Capri Coast), but decided to skip that step for this look; a natural look is key.

In place of blush, I went in with Fenty’s Match Stix Shimmer Skinstick in Rum on the apples of my cheeks. This really amped up the bronze-y glow.

I used the tips of my fingers to press Milk Makeup’s Face Gloss into the skin on the cheek bones, orbital eye bones, brow bones and cupid’s bow–all the places I normally add highlighter. This product catches the light just as well as a highlighter–if not better than a highlighter–but with an ultra-dewy, never shimmery finish. A little goes a long way with Face Gloss, so it’s best to start with a small amount and layer more on top where you want more.

Glossier‘s Boy Brow (in Brown) is the brow product I use, and it goes perfectly with the rest of the makeup I used today. Two coats always gives me bolder brows with a natural, feathery look.

After combing and curling my lashes, I added two coats of Milk’s new KUSH mascara. This was my first time trying it out, so I am really excited to see how it holds up throughout the day. (I can’t seem to find a mascara that doesn’t smudge under my eyes…)

To polish off the look (literally), I applied two coats of Fenty’s Gloss Bomb (in the shade Fenty Glow). This gloss is intensely shiny, which was my goal, with the most gorgeous pink-peach-nude undertones. It applies evenly and weightlessly, and has a smooth, fresh, never-sticky feeling.

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This month I chose to read Ivanka Trump’s Women Who Work: Rewriting The Rules For Success! It was a great read and really inspired me to put together a post all about my strategies for staying productive at the office throughout the day (and even throughout the week).

The President’s elder daughter is an excellent role model for women of all ages. As a successful businesswoman, entrepreneur and a mom to three young kids, Ivanka inspires many young professionals–especially women–all over the globe.

I read her first book The Trump Card a couple years ago, and was so excited when she debuted this one a number of months back. To this day I still keep a lot of what Ivanka has to say in mind, both on and off the job.

Write it down: Before I start anything work-related, I make sure to write it down. This is how I start any and every assignment or project because it really helps me to organize my thoughts. Plus, it’s great to have a physical record of everything tucked away safely in a notebook.

I also keep track of everything with the help of a weekly/monthly planner! Writing down my daily goals and plans really helps me stay on-track.

Organize your space: My ability to concentrate is severely diminished by a messy workspace. Whether I’m at home or at the office, I always keep everything in its spot.

Several times a day, I will take a few minutes to tidy up my space. This technique is definitely more effective than letting the space get super-messy and having to spend a half hour at a time getting all my things organized again.

Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water isn’t so much a rule for the office as it is a rule for life in general! I feel unstoppable when I am hydrated, and that is essential because I go from task to task often throughout the day. To stay alert and keep from crashing during the afternoon, I always carry a reusable water bottle with me, which brings me to my next piece of advice…

Ditch coffee: I’ve never been a coffee drinker. Instead, I go for green tea or other healthier forms of caffeine and energy. This helps me avoid distracting jitters while working, as well as crashing before the job is done.

Dress comfortably: Looking polished doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort! There are so many timeless, gorgeous and–most of all–comfortable pieces on the market today. Recent trends and changes in style have also made it acceptable to wear comfier, more casual pieces as part of your everyday wardrobe. (Meaning certain sneakers look fashionable, as do baggy sweaters and slacks.)

At work, I tend to go for simple, relaxed pieces. Then, I add a few statement-making accessories or fun makeup to dress things up. I find that I am my most productive when my outfits are tidy and I am not distracted by how uncomfortable I feel. My go-to combos are high-rise cigarette jeans and a fitted t-shirt, or ankle-length slacks and a chunky knit sweater.

Take time away from screens: Even if tech helps you get the job done, don’t be afraid to step away from your phone, tablet and/or laptop/desktop during the day! As a PR professional, these digital tools play a huge factor in the work I do, but I understand that to be my most productive, I need to take regular breaks from them.

A few times per day, I’ll turn my computer to “sleep” mode, put my phone in a drawer, and do some work behind the camera or in a notebook. This always leaves me feeling refreshed and productive. I am definitely very lucky to have a dynamic career that allows me to be on my feet often, talking with clients and co-workers, and observing the daily operations of the company.

Collect inspo: This is especially important for those of you who, like me, work in a creative field. At work and at home, I love to keep tons of magazines and books for reference–I’ll even pull out the pages that really catch my eye and hang them on my bulletin board.

Collecting inspiration this way is great because it’s affordable and easy to change as needed. Plus, you have direct access to it throughout the day (and it is another productive activity that doesn’t involve screens)!

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Don’t get me wrong—matte lips are all right. But I totally prefer a glossy lip (or something with at least a little sheen).

I have been indulging in the world of lip gloss since I was about 10-years-old, so trust me when I say that I know my stuff.

While matte lips can easily look dry, crusty and messy if they are not applied/maintained properly, you really can’t go wrong with a gloss. They make your lips appear fuller and require less precision and babysitting (ideal for the on-the-go lives we millennials seem to live)!

Although I love just about every lip gloss I meet, some are definitely better than others. The following are my absolute favs 😉

Kylie Cosmetics Sugar Plum: Every shade in Kylie’s In Love With The Koko set is truly gorgeous, but the gloss is something else! This gorgeous warm nude is insanely shimmery and shiny, creating a high-impact look. Loaded with gold reflects, Sugar Plum pairs perfectly with all those bronze-y makeup products–perfect for transforming yourself into a glow-y goddess. From the In Love With The Koko set, Kylie Cosmetics, $40

Glossier Lip Gloss: Like MAC’s Lip Glass, but better! With no shimmer, sparkle or pigment of any kind, this Lip Gloss will leave your lips with a crystal-clear glassy shine. The Vitamin E-rich formula means that this guy is non-sticky and never goopy. (Plus, it won’t cause your lips to peel!)

Lip Gloss works great over pretty much any lip color (especially Glossier’s Generation G range), but I really love wearing it on its own. $14, Glossier

NARS Lip Gloss in Orgasm: This is the first “grown-up” lip gloss I ever owned. And with a name like Orgasm, it definitely isn’t the gloss I had as a kid.

If you love the post-bedroom flush NARS’ cult-favorite cheek color gives your face, you’ll totally be into the lip gloss version!

Although I have yet to do so, I would definitely be down to try this lightweight formula in other shades. (I’ve had my eyes on Hot Sand for the longest time!) $26, Sephora

NYX Butter Gloss: I own way too many of these. But, they have such rich color payoff for a gloss, so I really can’t help it! Bold colors, killer shine and complete lack of shimmer/sparkles instantly made Butter Gloss my favorite lip product from the drugstore.

Tiramisu is a universally flattering nude shade that I know I can count on time and time again. $4.99, Ulta

Kathleen Lights x ColourPop Ultra Glossy Lip in Moon Child: When I wrote about this product in a monthly favorites post not too long ago, I mentioned that it was the best lip gloss ever—and I definitely stand by that claim now!

Moon Child is a light pink-ish nude with the tiniest gold reflects throughout. It isn’t super-pigmented, but the creamy color is definitely noticeable–making this gloss perfect for throwing over any nude lip liner (my go-to is ColourPop’s Oh Snap) and heading out the door. $6, ColourPop

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No matter how gorgeous a makeup look is, it won’t live up to its full potential without a strong foundation (pun fully intended).

Creating a base that perfects my skin’s appearance while still maintaining that real-skin look is super important to me. I hate looking unnatural or caky, so I’ve never worn a traditional foundation.

Although innovations in the beauty industry have made possible huge improvements in the look and feel of foundation, I just can’t get with it. (But I do have my eyes on NARS’ Matte Foundation Stick…)

Instead, I put skincare first so I don’t need full-coverage makeup, which allows me to focus on lighter, build-able formulas like the ones listed here.

Just like makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes says, as long as your skin and brows look natural, you can have as much fun with the other stuff (i.e., eyes, cheeks and lips) as you want 😉

Primers:

Primers are necessary for several reasons! First and foremost, they protect your skin from absorbing too much makeup, which has a tendency to clog the pores. They also add to the longevity of your makeup’s wear while smoothing skin’s surface for a more even application.

My skin is on the oily side, so I gravitate towards pore-refining primers. With some product on my fingertips, I gently press it into the skin where my pores are visible (my t-zone). Then, I’ll go in with a moisturizing primer (like Glossier’s!) everywhere else. I love First Aid Beauty’s because it combines the best of both worlds; it minimizes pores *and* moisturizes for a smooth surface.

  • Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer, $22-$45, Sephora
  • Priming Moisturizer, $22, Glossier
  • First Aid Beauty Oil-Free Mattifying Gel Moisturizer, $30, Sephora

Foundations:

Bali Body BB Cream (Natural): This has been my holy grail for over a year, and I am super-reluctant to try anything else! I am obsessed with the glowy, buildable coverage it gives. Certain days, when my skin is really behaving and the darkness under my eyes is minimal, BB Cream is the only product I’ll wear.

The ingredients (hydronic acid, marine collagen and green tea) can’t be beat. They combine to give your face a glow-y, natural finish (think: your skin but better). And it allows any products you put on top (like bronzer or blush) to blend perfectly–no patchiness whatsoever! $29.95, Bali Body

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint (Medium): Although I do wear this product on its own sometimes, I mostly keep it on-hand to mix with BB Cream when I’m on the pale side.

It works with your skin, not against it! Instead of sitting on top and caking up, Perfecting Skin Tint sinks in. And like pretty much everything else Glossier makes, the formula is silky and moisturizing. It really is the ideal product to mix with darker or heavier makeup when your tan fades or when you just want less coverage. $26, Glossier

Concealers:

I have two go-to concealers: one for fuller coverage when I’m creating an intense eye makeup look, and another for my no-makeup makeup days. Both are important to me!

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer (Light Neutral): After all the hype on YouTube and from fellow bloggers, I invested in this product, and, to be honest, was a little disappointed at first. It looked extremely flakey on me even though it seemed to look flawless on everyone else.

So, I played around with it some more and finally got the hang of it–and started loving it. Now, I can’t imagine not having Shape Tape for all those bold eye looks!

For me, this product works best on well-moisturized skin (otherwise it can look flakey). I definitely recommend going in with an eye cream beforehand.

A little goes a long way with Shape Tape. I put it on my skin with the wand, then tap it out with my fingers. After that, I use ColorPop’s stippling brush in a buffing motion for flawless coverage. This works everywhere–my under-eyes, around my nose, wherever–and has really made all the difference when it comes to this concealer.

For more coverage, I’ll repeat those steps. I love that Shape Tape doesn’t look cake-y, even after two layers! $27, Ulta

Glossier Stretch Concealer (Medium): The best, most user-friendly concealer ever! I couldn’t be happier that I kicked my Erase Paste habit and tried Glossier’s instead. Even though I love almost everything from Benefit, Stretch really outshines their range of concealers.

I apply it with my ring finger, then let it sit for 30 to 60 seconds before blending. This really allows the product to get tacky, and the tackier consistency provides fuller coverage.

Stretch is a brightening concealer with the most gorgeous neutral undertones–not too pink, not too yellow! I’ve mentioned a few times on Haute Mess that it really does “stretch” over blemishes, giving that skin-like finish that I love.

Similar to Shape Tape, I will go in with a second layer of Stretch when and where I need it. $18, Glossier

Powders:

As someone with normal-to-oily skin, powder is a necessary step for me when wearing makeup! If I skip it, other products (especially my concealer!) tend to slide around. I have two go-to powders that I love equally: one to pair with fuller coverage makeup, and another for lighter coverage makeup.

Both these products are skin-toned, meaning that neither of them give off that annoying and far-from-flattering white cast that other powders do.

Kat Von D Lock-It Blotting Powder (Medium): This powder is like magic. Not only does it provide a little more coverage on top of my BB Cream, Skin Tint and/or concealer, it makes me look completely pore-less! As the name states, Lock-It Blotting Powder also keeps makeup in place and oils at bay for hours on end. $29, Sephora

Glossier Wowder (Light/Medium): I know that I’ve spoken about Wowder a ton on here, but it really is *that* good. Infused with diamond powder and Vitamin E, Wowder gives the skin an oh-so-subtle sheen and a non-flat finish. It reduces shine, sets makeup, then vanishes into the skin without caking or settling into fine lines. Perfect for day and night! $22, Glossier

Setting Spray:

MAC Prep + Prime Fix+: I bought this cult-favorite setting spray for the first time ever a few months ago and already, I don’t want to use anything else in its place! Setting sprays I’ve used in the past always got the job done, but never like this.

Fix+ enhances the look of makeup, whether you spray it on your face after your look is complete, or spray it on your brushes for bolder color payoff during application.

The vitamin- and mineral-rich formula (which includes green tea, chamomile and cucumber) melts makeup into the skin, making any powdery finishes disappear. Because it is a professional-quality product, I always trust Fix+ to prolong makeup’s wear, too! $26, MAC Cosmetics

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