chic or geek

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


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!

summer polish picks

Anna KellerComment

For as long as I can remember, I've felt very strongly that I should have my nails painted at all times. I just feel naked with bare fingers or toes! with that being said, keeping your nails looking nice is nearly a full-time job. chips show up in no time, especially if you're cracking beers, running around at the beach, or doing lots of dishes.

I'm also unwilling to shell out for a regular mani pedi at the nail place down the street, since I can do so for basically free while I binge watch Netflix with a bottle of wine by my side. with that being said, picking the right polish can be hard. I'm always on the hunt for trendy, but not crazy, shades, at a price point that won't make me flinch at check out. 

I can be swayed way too easily by Essie and their smartly named hues, but they're not the only good guys out there. for my birthday last year, my sister bought me a soft camel shade of Sephora's Formula X, and I rediscovered it in my hoard of polishes a few weeks ago. I gave it a whirl, with both a base and quick drying top coat, and was pleasantly surprised by how long it lasted - over a week, no chips!

top: warm vanilla, ivory grey, rosy nude bottom: tomato pink, hot tangerine, coral pink

this of course makes me want to buy several more colors. soft pastels for my hands and bright orangey reds for my toes, both of which look sophisticated enough for the office but also help me to look a little more tan than I actually am.

Sephora Formula X - The Colors - $10.50 each

beauty | sun protection

beautyAnna KellerComment
sephora sunscreen samples
wearing a hat helps

last month, I crossed a major life threshold: I turned 26, a.k.a. I entered my late twenties. I know, I know, this isn't a big deal at all. however, even though I know the tired eyes and tiny wrinkles that I see when I look in the mirror in the morning are really only visible to me, they're there, and they're only going to get worse.

this also came at the same time that I'm starting to prepare myself, mentally and physically, for beach season. I've started taking kickboxing classes to get my butt ready for my bikinis (one hour of high intensity punching and kicking will whip you into shape, fast), exfoliating and moistorizing way more than usual, and stocking up on sunscreen for my face and body so that I don't look like a paper bag in 10 years.

yeah, I could just avoid the beach. we get like 2 solid months of temperate weather here in Vermont, and I could just hibernate and bask in the glow of my computer screen while the sun is at its peak. but it feels just too darn good to spend the day by the lake with a magazine and a giant turkey sandwich, or to paddle board (at the top of my to-do list for this summer), or to just go sit on a rock and look out at the water when I need a break from work.

so, to combat the inevitable red nose and burnt lips that come with spending time outside, I've decided to start investing in higher end sunscreen. I just don't like the feeling of putting some thick, opaque drugstore sunscreen on my face. I spend so much money on skincare and makeup in general, and I feel like my go-to sunscreen should be in the same ballpark as my concealer selection (Benefit Erase Paste, if you're wondering. well worth the price tag as it works and lasts FOREVER).

to begin my exploration into the world of fancy sun protection, I purchased the Sun Safety Kit from Sephora. it's full of high-level, broad spectrum SPFs (30 - 50) in a variety of application forms - serums, sprays, BB creams, etc.

I'm most excited for the Supergoop! and Shisheido products, as well as the sprays for easy touch-ups on my face. I'll keep you posted on which are my favorites, and which ones that aren't worth your money (even if they're free samples).

and of course, wearing a hat helps, too!