What's in Her Makeup Bag with Stark Skincare Founder Jessica Lafleur

We haven’t had the pleasure of meeting cool Canadian chick and Stark Skincare Founder Jessica Lafleur in person, but we already know we want to be besties with her.  We love her line of natural, organic skincare and the message it conveys: simplicity and purity. We also love her Pinterest boards, especially “My Man is Also My Living Doll, So?” Speaking of her man, she sent me her photo for this very post right here and the file name was called “MyLove.” It was from her husband’s computer. ADORABLE, right?  We don’t know much about Mr. Stark Skincare, but we like him, too.

Jessica graciously let us peek into her makeup bag. She’s the ultimate expert in organic ingredients and natural skincare, so we were thrilled to see what products she uses on a daily basis. Read on to the end, because Jessica also is asking everyone reading for some very important makeup advice!

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Product Girl's Top 11 of 2011

Narrowing down the best beauty releases of the year can be a daunting task. But when it comes down to choosing the best of the best, all we really had to do was look in our makeup bags and on our bathroom counters. From there, it was pretty clear what products we can’t live without and will happily  carry into the New Year. Without further ado, we present to you the Product Girl Top 11 of 2011.  

While this list is officially in no particularly order, NARS Velvet Gloss Pencil is definitely our favorite lip product of the year. We can’t get enough of these. Frivolous and New Lover are my top two, but the deep raspberry of Baroque is a close third.We absolutely love how these look and feel on the lips – the subtle gloss, burst of color and moisturizing properties make them a major winner.

We purchased countless tubes of Burts’s Bees Tinted Lip Balms this year. For ourselves and for others. The Rose is the perfect tint of sheer red, and Honeysuckle is a lovely peachy nude. The formula is 100% natural and the price, at $7, is just right. These are a standout drugstore buy of 2011.

We continue to be mesmerized by this seafoam green tub of youth! Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica is such an  interesting moisturizier. It’s thick in texture, very balm-like, but doesn’t feel like it on the skin, and seems to instantly make our skin look brighter and healthier. Plus, we love the way Rosa Arctica looks on our bathroom counter!

Thank you, Dr. Dennis Gross, for reviving our pale skin and helping me fight my Vitamin D deficiency with the Alpha Beta Glow Pads. Since these launched in February, they’ve been a constant in my beauty routine. I don’t let actual sun rays get near my face, so these were a godsend. Unlike self-tanner, these are skin care. They give you a legit bronze and unleash anti-aging + exfoliating properties into your skin.

Perhaps the most difficult category for us to choose the “best of” was nail polish. But, Chanel Black Pearl managed to take home the honors. This gunmetal green is like an edgy accessory that goes with everything. It looked good no matter the season, and on fingers or toes.

Benefit Cha Cha Tint was worth waiting until 2011 for. It is a delicious mango-colored stain that looks intimidating in the bottle but is like magic on the skin. If you think you can’t wear coral, Cha Cha Tint can prove you wrong. Plus, it’s a stain so it lasts forever.

Another cheek product that dominated our makeup bags the majority of 2011 was Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush. We can’t pick just one favorite, so consider ALL of them the best of 2011. (Although, we might be partial to Amused and Tipsy!) They are the longest wearing powder blush you’ll ever use and the color stays vibrant all day. And the colors are phenomenal and importantly, flattering on the skin.  

2011 will go down as the year the U.S. got a taste of the BB Cream. And we couldn’t be more smitten with Boscia’s B.B. Cream SPF 27 PA++, a skin perfecting “blemish balm” that is like a super-powered tinted moisturizer. It manages to blur out imperfections and moisturize our skin. In the summer, we could get away with using this for coverage, moisture and SPF!  

A serum that actually helps repair and heal damaged hair and split ends? Yes, it exists.  The exotic oils and silk peptides in Phyto Phytokératine Serum  helps strengthen strands and restore moisture to dry hair (and is silicone-free). I truly believe that by slathering the ends of my hair in this, I can go a lot longer without a trim.

The central weapon in our fight against aging is sunscreen. It may not be the most exciting part of our beauty routine, but it’s very necessary. Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense is the best facial SPF we’ve ever used. We like that it contains only physical blockers and a special extract that increases skin defenses and resistance to UV and heat stress. But the best part? It feels weightless on the skin.

Each month, we looked forward to the arrival of the pink Birchbox! What a treat – which is why this beauty delivery service deserves a spot in our best of 2011 list. We’ve been introduced to some great brands, like Sunday Riley and Oribe, and fabulous products, like Orofluido Elixir and Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee.

What beauty items topped your list this year? Let us know what you loved!

Ten or Less: Burt's Bees 100% Natural Tinted Lip Balm

I’m having a bit of a moment with these new Burt’s Bees Natural Tinted Lip Balms. They are just delightful! It’s a conditioning lip balm that leaves behind the softest hue of color just as a tinted balm should. Of the six shades available, I’ve been using the lightest two: Honeysuckle and Pink Blossom.

They boast 100% natural ingredients (we covered off on my stance of that word last week!), and is certified as such by the Natural Products Association. They’re very moisturizing — which is likely due to the shea butter and the plethora of natural oils in the product — everything from coconut to vegetable and olive.

They do leave a really sheer wash of color on the lips that looks very fresh. The Pink Blossom (on the right) is my favorite — I could wear this all day, every day and feel put together. The only thing, Burt’s Bees, that sounded off my sustainability radar is why the added packaging? While the cardboard shell contains 60% post-consumer recycled content, it’s an unnecessary addition. If you’re going for low impact, certainly this isn’t going to help your footprint. That said, I’m keeping the balm housed in there until I’m ready to recycle it. 🙂

Splurge vs. Steal: Kiehl’s Soy Milk & Honey and Burt’s Bees Naturally Nourishing

There’s something inherently comforting about milk and honey. It definitely kicks a cup of tea up a notch, and it’s pretty fantastic as a body cream as well. One such option is Kiehl’s Soy Milk and Honey Hand & Body Lotion (exclusive to Nordstrom). It’s got a light scent and is equally lightweight in texture. It absorbs quickly into the skin but hydrates well and leaves your skin very soft. An 8 oz. bottle of this costs $19.50.

If milk and honey is your thing, but the price of Kiehl’s version isn’t, you may want to consider Burt’s Bees (new and improved) Naturally Nourishing Milk and Honey Body Lotion. The lightweight formula feels similar to Kiehl’s but the scent is a little stronger. I picked up the  6 0z. bottle for under $10 (a small one is also available for half the price) at Target and have been really liking it. The stronger aroma tends to fade away quickly and it leaves your skin soft and moisturized.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that Kiehl’s will be releasing a new addition to their Creme de Corps line — a Soy Milk and Honey Whipped Body Butter in a tub. You can see the image on the website, but the product isn’t available for purchase yet. It sure does look good enough to eat though:)

Super Shiny Minus the Sticky

Burt's Bees Super Shiny Lip Gloss Burt’s Bees has had a number of great lip products on the market since introducing their original minty Beeswax Lip Balm. Their new Super Shiny Lip Gloss is no exception.

I tried “Sweet Pink” which is a pearlescent baby pink, but goes on very sheer and subtle. Super Shiny Lip Gloss contains several natural ingredients like Sweet Almond, citrus and sunflower oils. These work to hydrate the lips and also create a really fresh, yummy scent. Best of all, the formula is silky smooth and free of stickiness! I love this product alone on bare lips, or layered over a lipstick. Super Shiny comes in 4 colors ranging from Nectar Nude to Zesty Red.