Beauty

BEST OF WINTER SKINCARE: AM + PM ROUTINE

To be clear – I am by no means a skincare expert. Until I was well into my mid-twenties I used to wash my face with nothing more than water and then slap on whatever CVS brand body lotion I had lying around. That being said, in the past few years (quite frankly because some incredible brands sent help by way of samples) I’ve started to try out a more elevated skincare routine and really in the past year feel like I’ve settled into a rotation of products that work for me. I feel grateful I’ve never had any major skin problems as far as on-going acne, eczema, etc. so I can’t speak to if any of these are miracle workers in those arenas. But as far as being a woman in my early 30s dealing with fine lines, dark circles and a New Yorker winter that feels intent on wreaking havoc on my skin – all of these are really going to battle for me.

MORNING ROUTINE:

  1. I honestly don’t usually wash my face in the morning – but a spritz of this Aloe Rose Water Mist always makes me feel refreshed and awake. You can also mist it onto your face (even over make-up!) throughout the day for a nice little refresher.
  2. Hands down my favorite morning moisturizer – it strikes a perfect balance between being thick enough to really moisturize but still airy enough to not feel super heavy under make-up. Honorable mention to this moisturizer with SPF50 which I’m more prone to use if I’m not planning on wearing make-up since it’s on the thicker side.
  3. If I feel like my eyes are puffy or I’ve got dark circles (aka I didn’t get enough sleep or had more than 2 drinks the night before), I’ll dab this coffee bean cream around my eyes. It has a really smooth consistency and the natural caffeine helps de-puff and make me look more awake.
  4. A few days a week I add a couple of drops of this sunless tanner to my moisturizer. It’s not dramatic, but definitely helps give a little bit of a tinted glow that my face otherwise really lacks in winter months. Bonus points for also acting as an anti-aging serum.
  5. Once all of that soaks in, I use this tinted moisturizer (similar to a bb cream) in place of foundation. It’s a nice, semi-sheer base that smooths out discoloration and uneven skin. Plus it doesn’t dry out or cake throughout the day.

EVENING ROUTINE:

  1. A great drugstore find, I start with these micellar water make-up remover wipes. These are the only ones I’ve found that don’t leave my skin feeling strangely greasy or create a weird stinging sensation (does that happen to anyone else?). These are super gentle and it works well to get off eye make-up or super saturated lipstick.
  2. Next I use this pre-biotic filled Superfood cleanser (it has avocado, pumpkin and broccoli seed oils – like a salad for your face) to give a good clean feeling and add some nutrients to my skin.
  3. Once or twice a week I use this pore exfoliating mask to help keep my pores clear and prevent any minor breakouts. It doesn’t dry out my skin but leaves it feeling really deeply clean and smooth.
  4. After cleansing but pre-moisturizing, I alternate between this hydrating serum and this facial oil. Between the two its a good balance of hydration without adding too much oil that could potentially make me break out. Ideally I don’t even need to moisturize after all of this because my skin is fully hydrated already.
  5. But if it’s been particularly brutal weather-wise or I haven’t drank enough water that day – I lather on this overnight mask moisturizer (which firms and brightens) along with this reviving eye cream.
  6. I finish out the whole routine with this lip treatment meant to moisturize lips and help with fine lines around your mouth. Not only has it ended my chapped lips once and for all, but the metal applicator tip kind of plumps up my lips making them feel nice and full (at least as naturally full as my fairly thin lips can get) and moisturized when I wake up in the morning.

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3 NEW WAYS TO WEAR A HAIR SCARF THIS FALL

The Steele Maiden: 3 New Ways to Wear a Hair Scarf this Fall

If you’ve been following me for awhile you know that my hair magician here in New York is Sarah Rappolt and beyond giving me the perfect haircut every time – she also indulges me from time to time in some of her killer hair styling (see what we did last Fall here). This time around we wanted to update the basic ‘hair scarf in ponytail’ look that everyone (including myself) sported all Summer. I’m absolutely thrilled with the results – all taking no more than 5 minutes each and honestly, easy enough that even an amateur like myself can do it. Below – 3 new ways to wear a hair scarf this Fall. Hope you try!


And if you’re in the NYC area and are in need of a hair cut/style yourself – Sarah is generously offering my readers 15% off. Just mention ‘The Steele Maiden.’

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The Steele Maiden: 3 New Ways to Wear a Hair Scarf this Fall

“THAT 70’S BRAID” – Start with a low ponytail, being careful to leave some volume at the sides and crown of your head. Fold/roll your scarf diagonally to form a long, thin rectangle shape. Tie around your ponytail securing underneath in a single knot. Then divide your hair into three sections and add the ends of the scarf into two sections. Braid the strands and secure at bottom with a clear elastic, leaving several inches of hair and the scarf ends out.

The Steele Maiden: 3 New Ways to Wear a Hair Scarf this Fall

“THE BRUNCH BUN” – Sarah and I kept calling this the new ‘messy bun’ because it feels just as simple but somehow way more chic. Perfect for a low-key weekend brunch with friends. Start with textured hair (Sarah used this spray and added a few waves with a 1″ curling wand) and secure in a mid-height ponytail. Fold/roll the scarf horizontally into a long, rectangle shape and secure the end around your ponytail – leave one small ‘tail’ and one very long side. Using the long side, twist your ponytail and the scarf together then loop around into a bun shape. Pin in place and adjust the scarf, pinning where needed to further secure. Leave both small scarf ends out at the bottom as a finishing touch.

The Steele Maiden: 3 New Ways to Wear a Hair Scarf this Fall

“RIVIERA ROMANCE” – this simple updo feels very ‘I’m going to a moonlit dinner on the Italian coast’ to me. Although I like to think it will work just as well for a date night here in New York. Start with a low ponytail, divide in half and braid each section tightly. Then wrap the braids into a bun and pin in place. Fold the scarf diagonally to form a long, skinny shape and wrap around the crown of your head, tying firmly in place at the nape of your neck. Pin in place if it feels like it might slip.

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MY NEW NIGHTLY ROUTINE WITH CLARINS HYDRA-ESSENTIEL

The Steele Maiden: Nightly Skincare Routine with Clairins Hydra-Essentiel

Things in my life have been fairly stressful lately. And this Winter weather just isn’t letting up (as I write this they’re calling for snow again in New York tomorrow). Combined, those two things can wreak absolute havoc on skin. Which is why after returning from my trip to Wyoming last month I knew I needed to switch up my nightly routine in order to help combat all of the factors that are working against me.

The Steele Maiden: Nightly Skincare Routine with Clairins Hydra-Essentiel

I first tried out Clarins’ Hydra-Essentiel skincare collection last year (full post here) and quickly became a total convert to their Silky Cream Moisturizer (I still use it regularly!). So when they offered me the chance to try a couple of their latest products, I was ready and willing.

Their latest Moisturizing Reviving Eye Mask and Replenishing Lip Balm are great for my routine right now because they’re super targeted. While I’m happy with my nightly cleanser and moisturizer I was finding that the skin around eyes was looking dry, dark and tired by morning and my lips were dreadfully chapped (is there anything worse?).

The Steele Maiden: Nightly Skincare Routine with Clairins Hydra-Essentiel The Steele Maiden: Nightly Skincare Routine with Clairins Hydra-Essentiel

So I’ve been making a conscious effort to set aside an extra 15-20 minutes each night to really devote to my skin and my general well-being. That means a cup of hot tea, a good book and a generous helping of the Replenishing Lip Balm each night (it leaves my lips feeling plump and smooth almost instantly!). And then a couple of times a week I’ve been using the Moisturizing Reviving Eye Mask as an overnight mask. You can also just apply it for 10 minutes and remove, but I’ve been really noticing a difference in the texture of the skin around my eyes (less puffiness and dryness) and the overall brightness of skin tone when I leave it on overnight. Plus, that way I can apply it and then crawl right into bed without having to worry about getting up again to wash off. Win, win!

My plan is to stick to this new routine and by the time Spring finally rolls, my skin and I will be looking just as lively.

The Steele Maiden: Nightly Skincare Routine with Clairins Hydra-Essentiel

*A thank you to Clarins for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions are my own.

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HOLIDAY BEAUTY FAVORITES

The Steele Maiden: Holiday Beauty Favorites for a Night Out

From the lipstick that will stay put even after a glass or two of champagne to the hair product that rids me of winter static – here are my holiday beauty favorites:

P.S. these would make great stocking stuffers too!

SHOP HAIR + SKIN FAVORITES:

SHOP MAKE-UP FAVORITES

Also – can we talk about how luxurious it is to get ready in a large bathroom? If you have one at home I hope you don’t take it for granted for a single second. This particular one is in a suite at the Omni Berkshire – if you’re in to that sort of thing you should enter my giveaway to win a one-night stay here.

The Steele Maiden: Holiday Beauty Favorites for a Night Out

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HOW TO: EASY HOLIDAY HAIR STYLES

The Steele Maiden: How to: Easy Holiday Hair Style with Hair Accessories

A few weeks back on Instagram stories I took a poll and so many of you voted that you’d like to see more hair and beauty ideas. I consider myself pretty amateur in those departments so I was fairly surprised that you wanted advice from yours truly – but then I realized maybe that was the point. To get style tips that you felt like were actually achievable by a regular, non-expert, non-famous You Tube beauty blogger, real life lady like myself. Well ask and you shall receive.

I teamed up with my favorite hair stylist Sarah Rappolt from Wonderland Beauty Parlor to bring you 3 easy holiday hair styles. None of them took more than 5 minutes and all of them made me feel way more put together than usual. Perfect for any holiday occasion you’ve got on your agenda this season.

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The Steele Maiden: How to: Easy Holiday Hair Style with Hair Accessories

CASUAL AND CUTE: Loose Waves with a Velvet Turban Headband

Perfect for Friendsgivings, casual family get togethers and ugly sweater parties. This hair style is way cuter than your typical ponytail or hair down look but not so perfect that you’ll feel bad taking a nap on it after you’ve eaten a big meal.

1. Start with clean, dry hair and add plenty of texturizing spray for volume and to help hold shape.

2.  Use a 1″ curling iron or wand and wrap random sections horizontally, holding each section for a few seconds before releasing.

3. Apply a light coverage of hair spray then brush through and tousle.

4. Create a deep side part and set headband just behind ears, leaving 1-2 large strands of hair untucked. Swoop back and pin just behind the base of the headband. Done! 

 

The Steele Maiden: How to: Easy Holiday Hair Style with Hair Accessories

SIMPLE AND CHIC: Half Up Twist with a Velvet Hair Bow

Perfect for tree-trimming parties, meeting your new boyfriend’s family and your office holiday party. It’s sweet but not fussy and festive but not overly formal. Basically the goldilocks of holiday hair styles.

1.Begin with clean, dry hair and again – apply plenty of texture spray to get a good grip (especially if you have fine or smooth hair like I do). 

2. Brush your hair straight back to hide your part, then grab two 1″ sections of hair from along your right temple.

3. Twist the two together, adding in additional small sections to the top section until you’ve twisted to the center back of your head. Pin in place then repeat on the left side.

4. Secure the two twists together with a thin ponytail holder. Then pin in your velvet bow. Done!

The Steele Maiden: How to: Easy Holiday Hair Style with Hair AccessoriesEFFORTLESSLY ELEGANT: Undone Up-Do with Crystal Bobby Pins

Perfect for a fancy holiday dinner, winter wedding or even New Years’ Eve. This look is deceptively simple but makes such an impact. Plus, since the look isn’t pin perfect it’s fine if it loosens throughout the night. Overall it feels special and sparkly – just like the holidays.

1.Start with clean, dry hair and apply hair powder to your scalp in 3-4 places. Then finger comb through. Add extra texturizing spray if your hair easily falls flat or is naturally very straight.

2. Create random, loose waves using a 1″ curling iron then brush through. You should be left with allover waves that feel natural and not too bouncy or perfect.

3.Loosely pull all hair back to the nape of your neck and secure into a ponytail (not too tight!).

4. Separate ponytail into two equal sections and twist together then secure at ends with a small ponytail holder.

5. Twist the twisted ponytail around into a bun shape and pin the side of the bun so that they stay in place.

6. Pull hair upwards lightly at the crown and allow loose pieces to fall to frame your face. Spray allover lightly with hairspray.

7. Insert 3-5 small crystal bobby pins leading along one side of your head back into the bun. Done!

P.S. If you’re in the New York area and interested in having Sarah (my hair magician) cut or style your hair this holiday season – she’s generously offering 20% off her services with code STEELEMAIDEN20. Contact her here.

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The Steele Maiden © 2012

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle. Based in NYC.