Personality Plus: Sturdy

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athletic, rugged, strong, vigorous, “tomboyish”


-If you are sturdy, you know you feel right in rough tweeds and herringbones, but you also look good in garbardine, flannel, and serge.

Sturdy dress

Prada Beige & Green Herringbone Dress, Ssense, was $2300, now $860

-Most filmy fabrics and sheer cottons are not going to work for you. Imagine yourself twirling around in a frilly summer evening frock!

-Piqué, linen, or seersucker are much better.

Sturdy linen dress

Diane Von Furstenburg Striped Linen Wrap Dress,, was $211, now $186


-You can wear strong colors–and you enjoy them. They suit your vigorous nature.

-Yet it’s nice to own some pastel sweaters and classics–but just for a change.

-Stripes and plaids appeal to you.

Sturdy plaid skirt

Women’s Woven A-Line Skirt, Lands’ End, $89.95

Sturdy striped skirt

Versace Multicolor Striped New York Skirt, Ssense, was $1075, now $215

-You are apt to feel overblown in most floral prints.


-Your dressier blouses can have simple but beautifully detailed collars–a fagoted edging, for instance. (I couldn’t find any examples of this for sale, sorry!)

-Your dress up clothes should stress simple lines that introduce some soft details.

-You can bring out some femininity without feeling “prissy”–you just want to avoid extreme ruffles, flounces, and lace inserts.

-Since you are not the flowery type, your hats are trimmed with ribbon, a perky feather, or a simple pom pom.

-Good, simple styling in bags and shoes is important to you.

-Fussy detail and excessive strappings and perforations would bother you.

Remember that these personalities don’t accompany any particular lines or yin/yang balance, archetype, etc. If you have a sturdy clothing preference, you can incorporate these ideas into the clothes that work for you.

Excerpt from Clothing Construction and Wardrobe Planning

Previously: Dainty
Next: Dramatic

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Personality Plus: Dainty

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delicate, fragile, gentle, extremely feminine


-You enjoy wearing soft, smooth woolens because rough, course textures seem too harsh and bulky for your delicate tastes.

Supersoft Charming Cardigan

Supersoft Charming Cardigan in in Whisper Pink, Talbots, was $79.50, now $39.50

-You lean toward sheer cottons–organdy, dimity, dotted Swiss–but you would feel right in almost any crisp, fresh, cotton.

-Usually you look and feed better in soft, pastel hues.

-Bright reds and intense blues and greens tend to overpower a dainty girl unless they are used as accents.

-Select the more delicate prints and more subdued stripes and plaids.

Plaid Linen Blend Shirt

Charli Plaid Linen Blend Shirt in Rockport Plaid, Nordstrom, was $140, now $88.80

-Big, bold stripes and vivid, splotchy prints would be a strike against you!


-Try feminine details in a dress or blouse–frilly necklines, exquisite lingerie touches, and soft shirring.

-A severe, tailored style might be too “hard” for a dainty miss.

-Adorable little hats were made for your type, because you can get away with flowers, froth, and frou-frou (for dress-up, of course–not with your plaid suit and sneakers).

-You prefer smooth, lightweight leathers for your shoes and handbags. A heavier leather somehow looks clumsy on you.

Remember that these personalities don’t accompany any particular lines or yin/yang balance, archetype, etc. If you have a dainty clothing preference, you can incorporate these ideas into the clothes that work for you.

Excerpt from Clothing Construction and Wardrobe Planning

Previously: Historical: Personality Plus
Next: Sturdy

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Historical: Personality Plus

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As I posted yesterday, I have recently acquired Clothing Construction and Wardrobe Planning, a home ec textbook from the 50s/60s by Dora S. Lewis and others that turned out to be much more informative and helpful than I had anticipated.

One of the chapters is called “Personality Plus,” and it covers personality in clothing selection. It doesn’t mention physical features at all, so I think it may be a respite for people who struggle with the recommendations for their bodies or faces. You can take your personality designation, and incorporate it into any of the recommendations you’ve gotten based on your physicality.

What you are looking for is your dominant personality characteristic. The chapter acknowledges that we are all a blend with many different aspects to our personalities, but we are trying to single out one main theme. The book instructs you to “Know thyself.” It says to think about the things you’ve purchased and never worn, and what you wear again and again. By “personality,” they really seem to mean “clothing preference.” If you like sporty clothes, and you buy a frilly dress, you probably just won’t wear that frilly dress, even if it is fashionable and looks good on you.

The chapter sets up these “personalities” in oppositions. They are:


Dainty is: delicate, fragile, gentle, extremely feminine.

Sturdy is: athletic, rugged, strong, vigorous, “tomboyish”


Dramatic is: daring, extreme, striking, unusual, sophisticated

Demure is: modest, retiring, shy, timid


Dignified is: conservative, sedate, reserved, serious, deliberate

Vivacious is: gay, sparkling, lively, flighty, impulsive

They are set up like this because you are unlikely to find these two traits in the same person. You won’t be “dainty” today and “sturdy” tomorrow. You may, however, be “dainty” with a touch of “demure” or “dignified,” but usually one characteristic dominates. You may feel that your clothing personality changes with your moods–you may feel feminine one day, boisterous the next, and still sedate the day after that. Your type will also likely change over the course of your life. A young “vivacious” may grow into an adult “dramatic”; a “demure” may become a “dignified.”

Since it is aimed at high schoolers, the book says that the reader will likely keep to the traditional schoolgirl garb of the era of skirts and sweaters, but to bring in your personality in texture and color. For our purposes, I would also add bringing in your personality to your accessories, and rather than mid-century schoolgirl clothes, to think about how you can use these when working with your Kibbe Image ID, Dressing Your Truth energy combination, Zyla Archetype, etc.

Personally I think I’m vivacious with a touch of sturdy, but I’d like to grow into vivacious with a touch of dramatic. Where do you see yourself in this system from the short descriptors in this post?

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Book Review/Historical: Clothing Construction and Wardrobe Planning

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Glamourdaze is one of my favorite resources for historical style system information, and when I came across this post, I knew I needed the book the post was based on.


The book is the 1960 edition of the home economics textbook Clothing Construction and Wardrobe Planning by Dora S. Lewis, Mabel Goode Bowers, and Marietta Kettunen. I bought it more or less impulsively, intrigued by the excerpts on Glamourdaze but not even being sure whether there was anything that would make it onto this site.

I could not have been more pleasantly surprised. I think this book might be the one that I would recommend to accompany all of our other work involving Kibbe, Zyla, and simply trying to understand how to put together a good outfit together. The book is aimed at teenage girls from families where their clothing budget is not unlimited, and the book teaches you how to put together a wardrobe for a limited budget and how to budget for it, how to alter and sew your own clothing, and the basic principles of design and color. It teaches you how to look at clothes with a critical eye and how to tell good design from bad design, how to put outfits together that are appropriate for the occasion, and how to figure out what you need in your wardrobe and when you should buy certain pieces. It truly provides a foundation for how you can think about clothes, beyond your type in whatever system.

There is some dubious advice in the book as well–it suggests slathering yourself in peanut oil (!) before you suntan (!) to protect your skin (!); it also suggests uses deodorant two whole times a week–but overall, despite being dated, it is very informative. There is a clothing personality chapter, and I will be sharing this information with you in the coming days. I also think I may put the good/bad design section up here, since it’s so useful. The other parts may make their way into future workbooks.

Anyway, let me know what you’re interested in! And otherwise I suggest picking it up for yourself because it is just so useful.

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Book Review: The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees

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I was recently asked about what my next workbook would be. I plan to do an expanded version of the style personality section of the first workbook, since that is the area where people seem to have the most trouble, and I hope to put it out during the first half of 2018.

In a similar vein to the work I’ve done in wardrobe planning and rebuilding is Anuschka Rees’s work, which she has on a site that used to be called Into Mind and is now just under her name. Last year, she published a book called The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe, which guides you through the process of developing your personal style, going through and restocking your wardrobe, and then maintaining and updating it.

The book is full of helpful exercises and step-by-step processes to help you achieve a wardrobe that fits your style and that serves you in all the different areas of your life. I will say, however, that I personally have some major philosophical differences with Rees. While she used to have information about seasonal analysis and perhaps other systems on her site–I can’t remember now–she is now against what she calls “style typologies.” Of course, my entire site is about these style typologies. She sees them as limiting; I see them as freeing–as long as they are applied correctly. The internet is full of people who treat Kibbe Image IDs as stereotypes, and some of these people are making a comfortable living doing it, but in the end you can express any style with any Kibbe Image ID; the Image ID just makes it easier. When it comes to colors, too, I think it’s not the best idea to seemingly completely leave out the seasonal concept, especially when you’re telling people to make their limited palettes of main colors, neutrals, and accents. You have to have either a background in art or an excellent innate color sensibility to come up with a workable palette that has harmony if you don’t have the tools of color seasons.

Another area where we differ is capsule wardrobes–she dedicates a fair amount of space to them, and I think that it is best to concentrate on full, head-to-toe outfits. I think capsule wardrobes lead to generic outfits, even if you stock that capsule with statement pieces. An outfit that tells an entire story generally requires thought, not mix and match.

Despite these major disagreements, I still think the book has practical and even fun advice for people who are looking to define their style and create a wardrobe that works for their life. I haven’t done any of the exercises from the book yet, since I’m in a place with my wardrobe where I feel like it has a cohesive style and it has what I need, but I will likely turn to it for inspiration next time I feel like it’s time for an overhaul and I want to tweak some things.

The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe, Anuschka Rees, Ten Speed Press, 2016. $15.99 (Kindle Edition)/$17.21 (paperback).

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Book Review: Your Beauty Mark By Dita Von Teese

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This morning, I woke up to an email from Amazon alerting me to the fact that the price of the Kindle Edition of Dita Von Teese’s book had been marked down to mere $1.99, the price of a download of a mindless reality show. So of course, I bought it immediately.

Dita Von Teese is a person who comes up fairly frequently in discussions in the color and style community. She is someone who is viewed as successfully changing her entire look, even her season. She may be the only natural blonde that David Zyla has let into Vital Spring, and this is due to her fastidiousness at keeping up her jet black hair and porcelain skin, despite what she started with.

At first glance, this approach to beauty and style may seem like the very opposite of the kind of thing I like to espouse, and what the analysts I admire also try to do. But I actually found her overall message to be very similar. To become the person you want to be, you need to look the part, and you need to dedicate the time to achieving it. Bring it into all aspects of your life, whether you’re lounging at home, going to Pilates, or appearing on stage in front of thousands of people. She has tons of tips in the book for how to do this, many of which are very inexpensive and achievable. Just taking the proper time when it comes to personal grooming makes a huge difference in terms of how the world sees you. As she points out, she can do her basic look in ten minutes and it actually doesn’t take any more time than less pulled-together looks.

Of course, the book is full of her beauty tips and what she does, so if you are after a similar aesthetic, this book will be incredibly useful to you. It’s not my personal taste for myself, but I still found it to be an inspiring read. She describes how she has taken bits and pieces from the 1920s through the 1950s, and the looks of various movie stars of the period, and combined them into a signature style that is all her own. What it inspired me to do is the do the same with the things that I love, and surround myself and adorn myself with these things. Again, it isn’t faster or cheaper to have things that you don’t love or to dress in a way that is completely banal. We can all achieve our own kind of glamour in our lives, one that speaks to our own aesthetic.

Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour, Dita Von Teese, Dey Street Books, 2015. $1.99 (Kindle Edition).

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An Alternative to “Trying On” an Image ID

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Most people try to figure out their Kibbe Image Identity in the dressing room. This seems logical–it is a style system, after all. But after studying Kibbe for several years now, I’ve come to the conclusion that this doesn’t really work.

This may seem disheartening, and somewhat frustrating. But I have come to believe that it really is an internal process. It is about coming to grips with your physical self. In other words, we come to this process basically knowing the answer, and we cycle through types as an attempt to deal with this, or we have a distorted view of ourselves to begin with and this process forces us to see ourselves as we actually are, perhaps for the first time.

For many, it’s probably a combination of both. When I first started looking at Kibbe, I looked at yin types, because I knew what my actual measurements were and every online calculator had given me the “hourglass” body type designation. Nevermind that the issues that “hourglass” dressing guides were supposed to correct weren’t things I’d personally ever dealt with. The measuring tape gave me this result, so I could never look at yang types.

On the other hand, I also knew that I wasn’t really a curvy person. I had to rid myself of the perception created by numbers and see myself how I actually was, which was someone who actually had a straighter shape, made straighter by torso elongation.

The other issue is, of course, the misperceptions surrounding what women in the Image IDs actually look like. For instance, many of the celebrities labeled as, say, TR on Pinterest are actually FN. For the longest time, I had lingering doubts about FG because many of the women in the FG Facebook group had a broad shoulder line, and I did not. But then David joined and told us that FG is unequivocally narrow, and began redirecting women to SN and SD and other IDs.

So why doesn’t putting together outfits work? Because whatever you put on, you look like the Image ID you are, not what you’re trying on. An SC silhouette isn’t going to look SC on an FN. It will just look like an FN in an outfit that doesn’t match her yin/yang balance. And then there are so many limiting and flat-out incorrect ideas about what a head-to-toe outfit for a certain Image ID is going to look like anyway.

Many of you may be feeling like you might as well just throw in the towel at this point, since if you can’t try on outfits and if most of the information out there is inaccurate, how can you ever figure out your yin/yang balance?

There are only two things you need: The Book and yourself. And maybe access to YouTube/Netflix/Turner Classic Movies/etc, as a bonus.

The excerpts on the internet don’t do Metamorphosis justice. A lot was cut out of the descriptions of the Image IDs when they were typed up and posted. David shows you the experience of having a certain yin/yang balance, and he tells you how to dress it, even before you get to the concrete recommendations, which are just a jumping off point and which can be hit or miss, since clothing construction has changed so much in the past 30 years. But if you read the book over and over, you start to get an intuitive sense of the Image IDs.

And then by looking at the classic celebrities, you start to get a feeling for what links these women all together, and which group of women you would fit into. Most likely, there is something you have had a sense about for most of your life. I latched onto Audrey Hepburn at a young age, for instance, because I related to her shape and to her mix of facial features. Marilyn and Liz resided on a distant planet. Audrey felt familiar. The clothes she wore were clothes that I could wear, since they didn’t require a bust or a voluptuous shape.

I literally keep The Book on my nightstand, and refer to it all the time. Reading the book and absorbing it, and exploring the pantheon of stars mentioned, will do more to reveal your Image ID to you than trying out every piece of clothing at H&M. You may get a sense for what works and what doesn’t, but it won’t show you who you are. Only by really going inward and being honest to yourself about your experience of your physicality will you figure out your Image ID.

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Dressing Your Truth Is Now FREE

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On November 2nd, Carol Tuttle announced that Dressing Your Truth is now free.

What this means is that Dressing Your course videos are now free, and then for $49, you can purchase an optional Before & After Support Kit, which includes the four style guides, wallet-sized style guides, and Facebook group membership that you used to get when you bought the old course, and then the new pattern guides and a copy of It’s Just My Nature!. So basically, the videos are now accessible to all, and then the rest of the benefits of being a course owner are now available for half the price of the usual sale price of the course, which was $99.

I think DYT is one of the first systems many of us encounter when we first start looking into style systems. It has a large online community and corporation behind it. At the time I started studying these different systems, DYT looked a lot different, and while some of the essential elements of the system resonated with me, I have to say that the results did not. I recognized that I was a 3/4 pretty quickly, but I didn’t like T3 clothes, for the most part. I have to say that they have upped their style game across the board in recent years–even the color palette for T3 looks completely different than it did when I first found the system. And I have always enjoyed the video content they produce.

I’ve actually started using the T3 palette as my primary palette–it feels like restrictive than Dark Autumn, and easier to work with. And I don’t think that Flamboyant Gamine is wholly incompatible with T3; my T3 just looks different than the stereotype, and that’s totally fine. And since I am in a phase of life where I am really working on myself, that aspect of Carol’s work has been very helpful to me. I’ve even found things in Remembering Wholeness: A Personal Handbook for Thriving in the 21st Century that have been helpful to me, even though I’m not a religious person at all and this book has much more religion-based content than her other books.

Dressing Your Truth is a system that I think a lot of people find and then abandon once they discover things like Kibbe and Zyla, but there is definitely some good content in it. Are you going to take the course now that it’s free? Do you work Dressing Your Truth into your own style philosophy?

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Sephora VIB Sale, November 2017: My Makeup Picks

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As I mentioned in my last post, Sephora‘s VIB Sale is going on now (for Rouges at least), and I would like to share some of my favorite makeup products with you–some of which I already own and use, some of which I plan to pick up myself.


Tom Ford Boys & Girls Lip Color, $36 ($29.80 with 20% discount, $30.60 with 15% discount)

I was almost upset the first time I wore one of these lipsticks (Grace) because I wore it through a sample sale and brunch and it didn’t budge, while also remaining comfortable to wear. Why does such a great formula have to be more expensive? These are significantly cheaper than the full-size TF lipstick ($54), but they’re still expensive. I am thinking of getting Ines, which is like a darker version of Hot Tahiti and thus perfect for winter.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette, $42 ($33.60 with 20% discount, $35.70 with 15% discount)

Analyst Cate Linden has called this the ultimate Dark Autumn palette somewhere on her Facebook page, and I would have to agree. If I could have just one eyeshadow palette, it would be this one. You can do all kinds of looks, and all of the colors have that DA warmth and depth. I also have Subculture, which adds some variety and interest in terms of color, and I’m considering whether Prism is necessary. I love that neon yellow-green!


Clinique Cheek Pop, $23 ($18.40 with 20% discount, $20.30 with 15% discount)

Cheek Pop is my favorite blush formula–it’s pigmented and, most of all, it doesn’t contain anything that irritates my skin. I have a horrible time with blush and highlighter, because most of the powder formulas out there seem to contain bismuth oxychloride, which gives me hives. Clinique’s formulas do not. I am planning to get Cola Pop this time around–I already have Fig Pop.

I haven’t been wearing as much makeup as I have in the past, and there are quite a few things on my vanity that I haven’t even tried yet, so I’m going to hold off on recommending anything else. What makeup items are you getting at the sale?

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Sephora VIB Sale, November 2017: My Skincare Picks

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The biannual Sephora VIB Sale (20% for VIB Rouge November 3rd-6th, 20% off for VIB Rouge and VIB November 10th-15th, and 15% off for Beauty Insider November 10th-15th) is second only to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in terms of how important it is to me. I don’t go in much for holidays, but massive sales always have a special place on my calendar. This year, I am going to share my skincare and makeup picks–I don’t buy hair products at Sephora–some of which I will buy at the sale myself, and some of which I already own and would recommend. I’m going to start with skincare.

Skincare is a major passion of mine, but one I have avoided talking about on this blog since I’m not sure if it really fits the rubric of this blog. Let me know if you want more posts on this topic, but for now, I’m just going to write a post about it every once in a while. While many color analysts will argue that wearing the right colors will render your skin imperfections more or less invisible, I still believe in taking care of your skin, versus trusting your color choices to do all the heavy lifting. And things like foundation and concealer and even eye makeup just won’t sit correctly if the canvas beneath it is damaged. Figuring out what works for my skin has made a huge difference in terms of what I can do with makeup and how I feel. Before I fixed things like my undereye area, I felt that sometimes I looked better before I put the makeup on. Anyway, basically I just love skincare and I feel like writing about it, even if it is not necessarily a direct component of style systems.

So here are the things that I would get from Sephora in the skincare department.


Tata Harper Glow for It Kit, $60 ($48 with 20% discount, $51 with 15% discount)

The main reason I’m recommending this is because I got a sample of the Resurfacing Mask, and it is amazing. The description says:

This award-winning glow mask is formulated with two natural sources of BHA that gently exfoliate and clear the way for fruit enzymes and botanical extracts to cleanse skin and refine pores for a noticeably vibrant, instantly radiant complexion. Antioxidant-rich beet extract promotes hydration to improve skin tone and boost glow, while willowbark and meadowsweet—natural sources of salicylic acid—slough off dead skins cells like a traditional peel without irritation (which is perfect for normal and sensitive skin). Bergamot essential oil provides a sweet citrus scent.

All I know is that it made my skin feel really, really smooth without it being dried or irritated, and I now look forward to masking with it once a week. On its own, it costs $58, so this means that you get two small sizes of other products for $1 each. I haven’t tried the other products, which are the Regenerating Cleanser and the Reparative Moisturizer, but if they are the same quality as the mask, they’re worth trying. I just don’t want to like them too much, because I’m not prepared to spend $105 on moisturizer.


Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment, ($158 for 1.7 oz, $126.40 with 20% discount, $134.30 with 15% discount; $105 for 1 oz, $84 with 20% discount, $89.25 with 15% discount)

Clearly, the VIB sale is the logical time to pick up an extremely expensive product like this. I tried it in this kit. In case you don’t watch skincare gurus on YouTube ever, here’s the description:

Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment is formulated with high potency, purified grade lactic acid that immediately exfoliates dull, pore-clogging dead skin cells, revealing smoother, fresher, younger-looking skin. Fine lines appear visually plumped while the skin looks more radiant. With continued use, the appearance of stubborn hyperpigmentation and the visible signs of aging are reduced for a healthier-looking complexion. Perfect for all skin types and all ages, this treatment is enhanced with licorice for brightening, Good Genes clarifies, smooths, and retexturizes for instant radiance.

What I like about this product over going with something like one of The Ordinary.’s Lactic Acids is that it has all of these extra ingredients that make it less irritating to your skin. I tend to be on the more sensitive side, and I definitely purged during the first week or so of using this. Some people prefer the Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, which also comes in a reasonably priced set, so it’s worth trying both to see which your skin prefers.


Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($19 for 2.4 oz, $15.20 with 20% discount, $16.15 with %15; $32 for 7.5 oz, $25.60 with 20% discount, $27.20 with 15% discount; $48 for 18 oz, $38.40 with 20% discount, $40.80 with 15% discount)

This sunscreen doesn’t break me out and is moisturizing enough to double as a moisturizer, since it has hyaluronic acid.

This broad-spectrum SPF 50, high-performance, water-resistant sunscreen provides protection for face and body in a skin nourishing lotion that is truly meant to be worn every day. Powered by potent antioxidant-rich Cellular Response Technology™, it protects from UVA, UVB, and IRA rays, while a unique oat beta-glucan—proven to deliver better long-term moisturization than hyaluronic acid—helps combat the skin dehydrating effects of sun exposure. Natural extracts of lemon, orange, basil, and bois de rose provide a subtle scent with no unpleasant sunscreen smell.

Basically, if you’re not using a good sunscreen, all of your other skincare is useless. I’ve gotten the Sephora sample kits and tried a whole bunch, but they either broke me out or left a white cast. This one feels like a moisturizer, but is SPF50 and does its job. It does make me a little shiny though, so I do have to use powder on my chin and forehead.


NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF30 ($45, $36 with 20% discount, $38.25 with 15% off)

What I do 90% of the time is mix this tinted moisturizer with the sunscreen above. I don’t think that sunscreen in makeup or a moisturizer is ever really enough–you would generally have to put on a LOT to get the advertised SPF. I’ve written about it before, but here’s the product description:

Infused with lush, naturally-derived ingredients, this lightweight tinted moisturizer immediately helps thirsty skin feel hydrated. It has been proven to help reduce the appearance of discoloration and dark spots caused by hyperpigmentation for a clearer and brighter complexion in as little as four weeks. Oil-free and luxurious, it obscures the appearance of lines, wrinkles, pores, and other imperfections while broad spectrum SPF 30 protects skin.

Basically, tinted moisturizers are rarely light enough for me, and this one is. It was the only tinted moisturizer at Ulta that didn’t make it look like I was wearing self tanner.

What skincare are you planning on picking up at the sale?

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