chic or geek

a mildly aspirational blog of my life, times, and taste


clean up with Ouai Pet Shampoo

beauty, catsAnna KellerComment
ouai pet shampoo french bull dog puppy.jpg

I've grown very fond of Jen Atkin's hair care collection, Ouai, because of its sophisticated musky-floral fragrances and its promises to kick your hair up to Kardashian level with just a few spritzes. I've even gone so far in the past as to set up Sephora alerts for new launches for any product that would be mildly compatible with my wavy-ish hair that refuses to hold a curl. Her Memory Mist actually helps me accomplish something of a beach wave!

The brand's newest launch isn't something I could actually use - I have a cat who hates water almost as much as she hates vacuums. The brand just launched a Pet Shampoo that will elevate your four-legged friend's routine and give them a "sheer and airy floral/musk" scent, thanks to notes of Italian lemon, Turkish rose, jasmine sambac, iris, lily, and white musk.

15% of sales go to the Vanderpump Dog Foundation, so even if your pop isn't striving for dog-fluencer status, you shouldn't feel too guilty about paying $29 for some doggy soap.

beauty from the inside out

beauty, healthAnna KellerComment

I can be guilty of being too click happy with my online shopping. Rose gold and pink Birkenstocks? I ordered those with the help of half a bottle of wine this summer. They're cute but unnecessary. Not convincing faux leather leggings? I ordered those, completely sober, and then took the tags off before trying them on...I've since shipped them to ThreadUp and learned from my bad decisions.

The internet can bring good things to my mailbox, and not everything I add to my cart comes with buyers remorse. One impulsive purchase that I'm totally satisfied with is my Care/Of subscription. These personalized vitamin packs are designed for you and you alone. I took a quick health-oriented quiz on their website to figure out what I think my biggest problems are, and then they give their more educated two-cents about what I might need help with, and suggest a routine of supplements to take with breakfast.

Each of my personalized packs (which have a fun facts and inspiring quotes on them) has the following supplements: a probiotic blend, vitamin D (I live in Vermont - very necessary to help with SAD), ashwagandha, b-complex, astaxanthin, and magnesium. Some of these would've been a no brainer to me to add to my regimen on my own, but I never would've considered taking some of the more obscure additions to my pack. I'm willing to try it all, though, in the name of good health! And better skin! And better sleep and digestion!

I also really appreciate the packaging of the product - you get 30 little daily packs in a larger, design-coscious dispenser that looks right at home on my desk next to my faux succulents. 

Are they working? Time will tell, but I know that vitamin D and probiotics are things I should definitely be adding to my diet, and after some Googling, I think that the other additions to my regimen can only help in the long run.

Obviously, talk to a real health professional if you're thinking about adding any supplements to your diet, as they can have real and dangerous interactions with other medications or imbalances that you might have.


P.S. I paid for these vitamins all by myself, and all views expressed in this post are solely my own.

what I’m using now: makeup edition

beautyAnna KellerComment

Like many women born before 1990, my first exposure to makeup came to me in the form of my mom's Clinique Bonus Time castoffs. Barely there blushes and stubby mascara samples, zipped up in a colorful fabric pouch. I dutifully used their Clarifying Lotion in my teens, but made sure to time my stock up schedule to align with that Bonus Time. 

When I moved to Pittsburgh for college, I discovered Sephora, and my bank account was never the same (or safe) again. On quiet Saturday afternoons when I'd gotten over my previous night's hangover, I'd make the stroll over to the Shady Side location and peruse for new eyeshadows that would distract me from the fact that I really should've been doing problem sets or securing a summer internship.

Today, I can proudly say that I'm a Sephora VIB Rouge, Birchbox Ace, Glossier Rep, and a slew of other labels that really just distract from my compulsive shopping habits, but also give me some validity about being a sort of beauty expert.

Master Beauty Blogger I am not, but here's a peek at what my daily makeup routine looks like:


Start Out with a Solid Base

After my 8-step morning skincare routine (more on that to come...), I have to prep my skin for makeup. I feel like primers aren't 100% necessary for everyone, but I learned long ago that my eyeshadow starts to crease and my foundation melts off without it. I'm head over heels for NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base - it blows Urban Decay's Stay Don't Stray out of the water.

I smooth my skin with Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer. It doesn't have a mattifying or pore-erasing effect like Smashbox primers do, but it also isn't loaded with pore-clogging silicones. I'm not a huge fan of Hourglass packaging, though; it looks beautiful but their airless pumps tend to clog and the hole in this tube's orifice is too big for the viscosity of the primer. C'est la vie...


Conceal Conceal Conceal

I've seen makeup tutorials where you apply concealer after your foundation base, but I like to do it first - I feel like you can focus on any imperfections first and then you end up using a lot less foundation. But maybe that's just me!

I like to mix and match my concealer, depending on what I'm trying to hide, how my skin is feeling that day, etc etc. 

Glossier Stretch Concealer (in Medium) has been a must-have for me ever since they released it. It's smooth and creamy and blends really well with my skin. I love to use it to touch up throughout the day, as it blends really well and helps to revive any makeup that faded.

I bought NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer because I felt like I had to - all the ITG girls were doing it. It has great coverage, though, and is nice and blendable and layerable. I feel like I got a color that isn't quite right on me, but since I usually wear it under foundation, this isn't too terrible.

I used to rely on Benefit Erase Paste all through college, and I heard that Bo-ing Brightening Concealer came along to replace it in their product line up. I have it in Light-Medium, and I use it to do any additional touch ups after I apply foundation.

Tarte Double Duty Shape Tape is relatively new to me, and I got it for the same reason that I got the NARS one (self-imposed peer pressure?). I like it a lot, though, and works well as an undereye concealer for no creasing. I like to blend it out with a Beauty Blender, while I apply the others with my fingers.


Better than an Instagram Filter

I have a few different foundations in rotation right now, but the one that I rely on the most is Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint in Ivory. I worked with a sales associate at Blue Mercury to pick it out when I wanted to stop using drugstore foundations, and while I was initially worried about how light it was. It's hydrating and very blendable, and plays well with the Hourglass primer. I'd thought of this as more of a summer-weight foundation, but I'm still enjoying it even though there is several inches of snow on the ground today. I apply it with a Beauty Blender, which I try to clean every few days.



Adding Some Color

Once I've created an even base, I like to go in with some color to make myself look somewhat awake. I've been a big fan of Glossier Cloud Paint and have now abandoned NARS Orgasm powder blush to a dusty drawer. They're just so easy and blendable, and I have yet to feel clownish when wearing them. I like to mix Dusk and Haze, as Haze has a lot of pigment and Dusk can add some contouring with its brownish hue.

So many beauty editors call out Benefit Hoola as a must-have bronzer, and while I of course bought it, I think it's too dark for me. Maybe it's because I live in Vermont, but Hoola Lite is a lot more approachable and a lot less Kardashian for me.


All About Eyes

I can barely tell a cut crease from a cat eye, so most days, I stick to a standard eye makeup look. Starting with the NARS primer, I add a layer of L'Oreal Infallible Paints to really make sure I have that base there. These liquid shadows come in pairs of subtle and intense, and I really like the softer colors.

Next I do a thin line of eyeshadow on my top lash and just into the corner to give a little bit of depth, and I've been doing that with last year's Holiday edition Glossier No. 1 Pencil. I'm just praying that more makeup is in the pipeline for them because I'm almost done with this limited edition color.

I top that off with a subtle bronze shadow from the Tarte Tease pallet, which I purchased mostly because of its small size and not too crazy colors. I've been using Buxom Lash Waterproof Mascara for years. It never gives me raccoon eyes and lasts all day, but I'm able to get it off with makeup remover at night. A few months ago, it disappeared from Sephora's website, so I started hoarding them when I found them in stores. Thankfully, they're back in stock and it was all a false alarm.

Finally, I fluff and shape my brows with Glossier Boy Brow in Brown. I never knew I needed a brow pomade until Boy Brow came into my life, and now I have 3 in my back up drawer at all time so that I'll never run out.


Finishing Touches

I used to expect that my makeup would slowly disappear over the course of a day, but then I realized that you actually have to set it to make sure it sticks around. These days, I spray a few mists of Urban Decay's De-Slick Oil-Control Makeup Setting Spray, let that settle, and then dust Glossier Wowder over my forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin to make sure that all of my hard work lasts for at least 8 hours. Then I do a swipe of Glossier Gen G lipstick (my favorite is Leo) and run out the door, invariably 15 minutes late to my first appointment of the day.


P.S. Everything featured here from Glossier was purchased by me long before I became a rep - I've just been obsessed with them for a very long time!

a Heyday facial

beautyAnna KellerComment

Heyday @ NoMad

I work in the skincare industry, which means that I spend a lot of time both in and out of the office learning about and trying new products and trends. Anyone who stops by my apartment just has to take one peek in my bathroom to be overwhelmed by the staggering number of sample sized tubes and jars that I've amassed to try. There's an overwhelming amount of new product coming out daily, and while I want to get my hands on as much as it as possible (#productjunkie alert), the more stuff I try, the more I realize that most of it won't work for me.

That's when it's time to turn to the experts.

heyday lobby

I've been reading about Heyday for months now, intrigued by their Instagram-friendly lobby, easy to read blog posts, and accessible approach to high end natural beauty, so on a recent trip to New York, I decided to book myself a 50 minute treatment and see what the hype was about. 

While a big part of their mission is to take the snobby spa component out of the facial experience, I was still pretty impressed with the zen vibes that I got when I arrived for my appointment. I was greeted by very pleasant staff, who were happy to accomodate me when I realized I had shown up at the wrong storefront - oops. They had availability though, so my lost-in-NYC moment only made me feel dumb for about a minute before I was led into my treatment area. 

My Skin Therapist was super nice and friendly, and happy to listen to my concerns but also gave me her two cents about my own opinions about my face. Turns out, my skin is way more sensitive than I had ever thought, and the realization that I should focus more on gentle hydration to calm my face down has been a serious game changer for me ever since. She walked me through every part of her process, but also let me relax and have plenty of quiet time throughout the whole treatment. At the end, she recommended that I add Herbivore Lapis Facial Oil to my nightly routine, and I honestly am surprised by how powerful making this one addition to my routine has been - game changer! Holy grail product, even.

A few days after my facial, my skin still felt hydrated, glowing, and more clear than usual, even after flying to the city and back, getting stranded overnight by the airport, and not getting nearly enough sleep. I'm ready to book my next appointment as soon as my schedule (and bank account) will allow it.