Beauty

A SUNSCREEN SAFE FOR SENSITIVE + DARKER SKIN EXISTS?!

I will confess – I am not a regular sunscreen wearer. I have tried many different types over the years but some either have broken me out or leave a ghostly cast on my face that doesn’t look natural. I related to this post, Glossier, founder, CEO and all-around beauty inspiration, Emily Weiss wrote so much. I thought I was alone in the SPF struggle.

Welcome, Glossier Invisible Shield. I have had this product for a while thanks to the nice girls at Glossier but have waited to write this post to really make sure the sunscreen did not break me out and wore well.


I have the most sensitive skin – many products break me out in some form of allergic reaction but this passed the test! I have layered with make-up and no white cast — it’s simply amazing.

A lot of people with darker skin like mine don’t always think they need to wear a sunscreen as we are not the ones burning on the beach but that is not the case! A sunscreen isn’t just for the beach – it’s literally SUN day — every day!

As every skin is so different, I would test it out for yourselves and see how you like it. It has a SPF level of 35 so is perfect for daily use and has been part of my daily routine.

Thanks for making another revolutionary product, Glossier!

P.S. — They just launched Wowder (best name ever?) last week and I am so excited that I got my hands on it, will have a review coming soon!

Shop it, here.

THE PERFECT EVERYDAY LIP

I don’t know how many times I’ve searched for the perfect nude, everyday lipstick.

It is so hard finding the right balance of pink and warm tones that work well for not only my skin tone but every day wear.

I’m constantly looking for a lip color I can wear on a daily basis for an easy, fresh face.

And then you finally find it…behold, Laura Mercier’s Lip Colour Sheer in Bare Lips.

The name alone is perfection. It goes on so smooth, almost like a lip balm. So many lipsticks are not moisturizing and really dry out your lips — but not this one my friends. It glides on so easy and has the right amount of color that lasts all day! I promise!

I love wearing this lipstick alone for a subtle pink hue or lately I’ve been using it as a a base for other lip colors. The soft pink shade evens out the tone of my lips making any lip color I layer on top, really pop.

I highly recommend this lipstick because when you find the right one with the exact balance of rosy pink, nude tone and moisture you can’t just keep it to yourself!

Shop the color, here.

You’re welcome,

Syma

 

GET THE GLOW…EVEN IN WINTER

Can winter be over already?

I don’t know about you but I’m over these freezing temps! But just because it’s dark and dreary out doesn’t mean your skin has to be.

It is possible to achieve a glow that will reminisce of your summer days with a few key products.

I was at brunch with a few friends over the weekend post snow storm and my friend Sophia admired my highlighter. I obviously had to get a pic and it inspired me to share a post with you all on what I use to achieve the look. See below 🙂

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PAT MCGRATH SKIN FETISH 003 in GOLDEN I have Instagram to thank for this purchase. World renowned make-up artist, Pat McGrath launched her own makeup line a few months back and I saw this highlighter teased out on Instagram by some of my favorite It Girls. I’m all about any product that helps you achieve that J.Lo glow so I had to have it. I immediately texted my make-up artist friend, Kendall because I knew she’d want this product as much as I did! So grateful to have a make-up obsessed friend like her because she was able to order it for me as it sold out so quickly and could barely make it in my cart! What’s cool about this product is that it has two ends on the stick –a balm to achieve a dewiness, a golden hue and then an illuminating powder to set the highlight stick with a special edition brush that comes with the kit. A little goes a long way  — I like above my cheek bone and on the brow bone.

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NARS BLUSH in GINA + DEEP THROAT – This is my everyday blush combo I am sharing with you all, you’re welcome. I wanted a matte peachy blush forever ago and came across this shade by Nars called Gina. However, that wasn’t enough. I needed a touch of sheen that wasn’t over the top shimmery to layer on top which resulted in the perfect pink shade called ‘Deep Throat’. It’s a toned down version of the favorite ‘Orgasm’ and it looks good on everyone. You’ll adore this combo – trust me.

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I complete this look with a simple neutral lip color. I love Laura Mercier’s lip sheen in “Bare Lips”. Not only does it give a touch of rose sheen but is super moisturizing – win-win!

Hope these tips will not only brighten your skin but your day!

Xo,

Syma

 

Welcome to The Glossier Penthouse

I’ve been a fan of Into The Gloss for as long as I can remember and think Emily Weiss, the creator, is a genius and major #girlBOSS. I was fan-girling out when Into The Gloss launched their beauty line, Glossier.  Scrolling through Instagram this past weekend, I saw that the Glossier Penthouse was open once again to show off their latest collection. I texted my best girlfriends and made a day of it!

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From the Phase 1 collection, I own the Perfecting Skin Tint and Balm Dot Calm (best name ever) so I was excited to see the latest products up close and in-person. If you’re in NYC and a beauty lover like me, I highly suggest you check out the space! First off, it’s beautiful. Located in Soho, the penthouse is beautifully decorated with insane natural light, an amazing terrace, clean white counter-tops, touches of the signature Glossier pink from it’s packaging and a model-filled mood board. I was also obsessed with the hip hop jams playing while I was testing beauty products. Basically, me living the dream.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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I can never pass up a new lipstick, so I immediately focused on the new lip stains featured in the new collection called, _Generation G. This is the perfect everyday lip. It goes on like a balm but wears like a lip stain. The color is sheer but can build to the intensity you want. I chose the ‘Crush’ shade which is a stunning berry pink. This color is totally universal and looks amazing on a variety of skin tones. I rocked it the next day and got a ton of compliments. Definitely a great way to start a Monday. Be sure to check out all four shades.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Another fun new addition to the Glossier family is the Stretch Concealer. It wears very smooth and easy to apply. Not cakey or flat and gives a nice dewy finish – ideal for under eyes and to offer some brightness which everyone needs in their life.

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I’m not one to pencil-in my brows but I’ve heard awesome things about the ‘Boy Brow’ if you want to get your Cara Delevingne on. This wonder wand is also part of the Phase 2 kit and is a great way to make your brows stand out. I also left the penthouse with one more purchase, The _Priming Moisturizer. I tried a dab on my hand and it felt incredibly soft — I basically wanted to buy 10 bottles for my entire body but I settled on one for now.

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The girls in the showroom were so helpful and it was so fun talking beauty with them as they are just as obsessed as I am. Definitely check the space out if you’re in the New York area, I know they will be open again this coming weekend. Find out more on their Instagram, here.

THE BEST DRUGSTORE MATTE LIPGLOSSES

 

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All yours for under $15.00.

Having #KylieLipKit FOMO? We’ve all been there. Even if you’re not following Kylie Jenner — I’m sure you have heard of The Kylie Lip Kit.

We might have to blame Instagram, but beauty fanatics everywhere know all we want in our make-up bag right now is a matte lipgloss. However, the Kylie Lip Kit isn’t so easy to get our hands on so I’ve found the next best thing. Actually, the next best three things…

On a recent trip to Chicago, my sister and I went a little lip gloss crazy at Ulta — we tend to get very excited not only when we see each other but when we hit the make-up aisle at any drugstore.

My top three matte lip gloss brands ranked?

#1 – L ‘Oreal

What is hilarious is that I saw the L’Oreal Pro-Matte Lipgloss promoted on Nylon.com and took a screenshot and sent it to my sisters the week before. Just a few hours later, I received snapchats from both of them with the new gloss — they had purchased that day! As you can tell, beauty obsession runs in the family. The L’Oreal definitely feels the best on and gives you an instant pop of color. You really only need one swipe and you’re golden for the day. That’s right — after a few hours I didn’t need to reapply. I love ‘Statement Nude’ in this line — it’s a rosey nude shade that is perfect for everyday wear.

#2 – Maybelline

The Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid is a close second. I purchased “Nude Thrill” and I have no regrets. The perfect mix of brown with a hint of pink so it doesn’t completely wash me out.

#3 – NYX  

And last but certainly not least, NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams. I picked up Abu Dhabi and Tokyo. I would definitely say these are the best ones to mix other lip colors with. Abu Dhabi is also closest to the signature Kylie “Dolce K” lip color. These glide on super smooth but aren’t completely matte. They offer insane color so I like mixing them when you want to brighten or darken a shade.

Each lipgloss is under $15.00, there’s no reason not to try them all! I highly recommend.

Can’t wait to see your matte lip selfies!

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Athleisure: Not Just Your Weekend Wear

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Ladies– it is now socially acceptable to wear leggings and sweatpants outside of the house and gym.

Yes you read that correctly.

“Athleisure” is not just a trend that has brought workout wear to the streets, it’s a lifestyle.

Though I am not an avid gym go-er, I do consider myself  an avid Beyoncé dance class fanatic where I can wear  a sporty look. This may derive from my second-grade obsession for the “windbreaker suit” while working the halls of Indian Meadows elementary school – but I digress.

In today’s time – it’s all about staying polished. Leggings can be a substitute for pants if you make them appropriate.

It’s important to cover the obvious “assets.”. Take a note from  the 90’s and wrap your favorite gray sweatshirt around your waist if your top doesn’t make the mark.

For this look, I added structure with my American Eagle Outfitters quilted bomber jacket. A military green is a great addition to your wardrobe since it acts as a neutral and can be very versatile as we gear into spring. Layering with my current favorite cropped sweater from Aerie adds the perfect mix of texture.

These leggings that I call my “scuba pants” are awesome because they don’t lose their shape. Many brands are starting to sell this fabric in cool new ways from track jackets to tops to even dresses so you can incorporate this trend into your wardrobe whatever your style.

Purchasing these Nike Free sneakers changed my life. I didn’t know walking around the city could be so comfortable. The shoes feel like you’re walking on a cloud – not to mention, on my walk to work in the morning I usually spot about 5 other men and women rocking these kicks and we all have an understanding of how comfortable we feel.

Who knew a simple black knit sneaker could be so amazing? (I need more!)

I finished my look with this baseball cap from Aritzia. I love the simple black design and that I can throw it on when I want to feel a little more mysterious.

How will you athleisure?

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Photos by Allison Schaller

 

SHOP MY LOOK:

Hat: Aritzia

Jacket: American Eagle Outfitters

Sweater: Aerie

Leggings: Forever 21

Sneakers: Nike

Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters

Lip: Custom, Bite Beauty Lip Lab (see my previous post)

THE ESSENTIALS

Just because winter is dull and dreary doesn’t mean your skin has to be! It is very important you invest time in your skin care especially in these colder months when our skin is struggling the most.

WINTER SKIN SURVIVAL KIT

 

 

1. Ole Henriksen Walnut Complexion Scrub Unlike what TLC told us, this is one scrub you do want. This exfoliator is for the days you feel like your skin is dull and dreary similar to the weather outside when you just long for brighter more radiant skin. I love this scrub because it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. Believe me, I am someone that gets a weird allergic reaction to most scented cosmetics but this fresh blueberry scent doesn’t bother me – it feels so good getting all the dead skin off but definitely don’t use more than once a week!

2. Mario Badescu Healing & Soothing Mask This mask saves lives. Not exactly but any time I feel like my skin is getting dry or a potential allergic reaction to something I slather this on my face and let it sit 20 minutes. After I rinse off, my skin has never felt smoother. Everyone needs this mask – and at only $20.00, you should get one for your boyfriend, mom, sister and brother too!

3. Cerave Moisturizing Lotion – A drugstore favorite. I’ve talked about this moisturizer before but it had to be done again. I got recommended this by my dermatologist and haven’t looked back since. It gives just the right amount of moisture to my skin without feeling greasy. It also is unscented and perfect for sensitive skin types like me. It also comes in a huge bottle which might not be the most travel-friendly but you won’t run out for months which is great!

4. Bite Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub If you read my previous post on the Bite Beauty Lip Lab you know I am a strong advocate for lip scrubs. In these winter months our lips tend to feel so dry it’s hard to wear our favorite lip colors. However, investing in a lip scrub like this helps remove all the dead skin just like a scrub would do for your face to allow a perfect canvas for your favorite new lipstick.

5. Aquaphor Another drug store miracle. This balm is the perfect follow-up post lip scrub. It is super moisturizing for your lips in need and also can be great for any cuts or cracked skin. It comes in multiple sizes. I suggest the large bottle for home and the smaller size to throw in your bag when you’re on the go.

6. L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream Cracked skin is not cute, not to mention painful! With the constant washing of our hands in these cooler months our hands really suffer. It’s super important to invest in a hand cream to keep your hands as soft as possible. The smell of this cream isn’t overbearing and works really well to sooth skin when it needs it most.

7. Lush Sympathy for the SkinThis lotion is bananas. No really, it’s made from organic mashed bananas, vanilla extract, lemon oil and sandalwood. If that doesn’t sound like a dream, I don’t know what is. I love lush products and this lotion does a great job at moisturizing my skin without leaving a filmy residue.


I swear by these products for an (almost) flawless complexion. Pretty soon you’ll be feeling like B and saying, “I woke up like this!”

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TOP BEAUTY LOOKS: GRAMMY’S 2015

I am usually all about posting my “Best Dressed” picks after a major award show but after being a bit underwhelmed on this year’s Grammy red carpet I decided to switch gears and focus on what did blow me away — the beauty!

From the highlighting to the perfect contour — this year the make-up artists truly brought it! Who were your favorites?

RIHANNA

Rihanna wins the night for perfect contouring. Her makeup was fresh and glowy with strong brows. A look that will never go out of style.

BEYONCE

Beyonce + Beach waves + Bronze = Flawless. Queen B looked effortless. I love when she switches it up and forgets the smokey eye – it can be unexpected on a red carpet and let her true beauty shine through.

CHRISSY

Chrissy Teigen followed Queen B and kept it simple with beach waves and warm bronzey makeup. I love this look on an olive complexion. Her added cat-eye was just enough to glam up the red carpet.

KIM K.

Even Kim K. is doing it. Goodbye extensions and hello lob. Kim worked the red carpet debuting her new haircut with her signature smokey eye and nude lip. Werk it.

T. SWIFT

Taylor Swift’s eyes never stood out more to me than with this look. Her lashes looked amazing and kept the rest simple with sleek strands and a statement earring.

ANNA K.

Anna Kendrick, is that you?! I’ve never seen her look better. An exaggerated side part and loose waves needs to be the look she rocks every award show. A sleek winged eyeliner added just enough to her menswear inspired look.

Can’t find the perfect lipstick? Make it!

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As someone who owns more than enough lipstick and lipgloss I can never find the right shade of pink for my skin tone.

There is one lip color I have saved since college (Go Hoosiers!) that I use as reference till this day for my ideal pink shade. But my search had been unsuccessful until I discovered the unimaginable: Bite Lip Lab.

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If you’re familiar with Bite Beauty cosmetics that are sold at Sephora – they are delicious lipsticks and glosses that look as good as they taste (it’s safe). Here in NYC in the fashionable hood of Soho you can make an appointment at Bite Lip Lab and create your own shade.

I immediately booked an appointment. One of my best girlfriend’s Marisel and I made a morning of it and I am so excited to share my experience with you fellow beauty lovers.

The space was a beautiful studio decked out with gorgeous murals and inviting vanities with jars filled of endless lip color possibilities. I sat down with my Bite expert and before we even started discussing colors she had me prep my lips with this amazing lip scrub to get any dead skin off.

I highly recommend treating your pout to a lip scrub before you wear any color especially in these winter months where our lips tend to be a little more sensitive and dry. After the scrub, we followed up with an Agave lip mask which is a super moisturizing balm you can leave on your lips to lock in extra moisture.

Now we were ready to talk color!

I brought in my vintage Smashbox lipstick and showed my expert the type of pink I was looking for. She had a great sense for what colors would mix well together and compliment my skin tone.

She asked me what type of consistency I wanted — perhaps something more sheer or luminous and I decided to go with a more sheer finish as I wanted this lipstick for a more easy, everyday wear.

She started mixing one shade of pink, painting away on this blank canvas with my name written in the corner. The “Syma” hue had been started.

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After testing a few different mixtures adding more berry here or there — we came to a beautiful pink hue that is a dream come true.

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The next step was picking a flavor — being that Bite Beauty is known for their “lip color that’s good enough to eat”, I couldn’t wait to test out the options. I ended up going with a mixture, “Cherry Vanilla” that smells just like the signature Cherry Chapstick we all grew up with – I love it.

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Last but not least, you pick your packaging! Out of four lipstick tube options I went with a sleek and simple style that I felt reflected my own personal style.

 I would definitely recommend paying a visit to the Bite Beauty Lab with one of your BFF’s, sister or mom – it’s such a fun activity even if you’re not a beauty junkie like me.

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My friend Marisel started the experience saying, “I usually just wear lip balm” and her end product was a beautiful red lipstick.

The experience was truly inspiring and a way to look at cosmetics in a whole new light. Thank you Bite Lip Lab — I will definitely be back.

 

 

 

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 To get the “Syma” lipstick of your own see the exact ingredients below:

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 For more information on the Bite Lip Lab visit here.

 

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Whether you’re last minute shopping for your sister, bff or boyfriend – these Syma Speaks approved gifts are for sure to win their hearts and too good you might have to buy another for yourself 🙂

Be sure to scroll down to see gifts for the guys certified by the Preston Konrad and John Soper of WingtipJungle.com!

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CERTIFIED BY

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What gifts are you going to get for your favorites — or for yourself?

Xo,

Syma