Six Beauty Essentials Worth Every Penny

Over the years, I've developed an expensive taste for beauty products. Sephora is my weakness, not to mention any place that calls themselves an apothecary and simple but premium packaging. 

To justify my spending habits, I started to buy products that I thought my husband could theoretically benefit from using. The convincing doesn't happen overnight, but sure enough your eye cream goes missing and you've won the battle. 

A few HER beauty must-haves that you can claim are HIS include:

  • fresh Soy Face Exfoliant - A natural, ultra-gentle exfoliator to resurface and refine the complexion. Ingredients: Jojoba, rose hip, cucumber seeds, soy, cucumber extract and Vitamin E. 
  • Aesop Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Eye Cream - A potent and rich cream designed for the delicate skin around the eyes. Ingredients: Carrot juice, lavender, grapefruit seed, chamomile, parsley seed extract and sodium lactate. 
  • (Malin+Goetz) Vitamin B5 Body Moisturizer - An oil-free, residue-free hand and body oil. Ingredients: Vitamin b5, bergamot extract, shea butter, sodium pca, glycerin and honey. 
  • fresh Sugar Lip Polish - A sweet exfoliating treatment that leaves lips soft and smooth. Ingredients: Brown sugar crystals, meadowfoam seed oil, jojoba seed oil, grapeseed oil and shea butter.
  • Bar Soap Brooklyn Equilateral Soap - Hand-crafted, all-natural, artisan soap. Ingredients: Shea butter, Moroccan red clay, essential oils. 
  • Clarisonic Mia - An electronic skincare brush that thoroughly clears pores and cleanses the skin's surface.


I bought the Glossier Phase 1 Set a few months back because I wanted to support Into the Gloss and founder/girl crush Emily Weiss. What she has been able to accomplish these past five years is ridiculous and to see her succeed gives me hope. It gives me hope that one day Clara Mae James will be the hippest lifestyle site on the block and it will turn into a recognizable brand. It's dreams like this that keep me going and people like Emily, who are living the dream, that help make me believe anything is possible when you put your heart into something. So, let's talk Glossier. 

There's nothing cooler than a skin tint in a puffy paint bottle - am I right? I was a little skeptical at first because I'm not in my 20s and I have a few dark spots, but used in combination with the moisturizer and the mist gave me a nice dewy glow. The balm dotcom is an all-around multi-tasker, which is a must for any beauty line - I like to use on my cuticles and my lips. And Glossier just came out with two masks that I'm dying to try because I love a good DIY facial every now and then. 

Have you tried Glossier yet? If so, let me know, so we can bond over our obsession with beauty, our love of pretty package design and cool girls who hustle :)

P.S. Stay warm!

The Perfect Winter Lip Color

So many times, I'm at events or shoots and the topic of trends will come up. And you know what? Most makeup artists are of the mindset that trends should not be followed and I agree. The Pantone color of the year marsala is not right for everyone and neither is the cat eye and just because Lauren Conrad cut her hair, it does not mean you should run out and do the same. Instead, beauty choices should be based on your features - skin tone, face shape, eye shape, lip shape and so forth. 

So as I was thinking about how I should change up my lip color for the season, I called upon my friend Kirin Bhatty, who just happens to be a talented and amazing celebrity makeup artist. I'm honestly not sure how she had time to send me these answers since yesterday was probably one of the most busiest days of the year for her with the Golden Globes, but I'm so grateful for her time and wisdom. 

Read below for the perfect winter lip color for your skin tone and if you take her advice, tag us on Instagram (@kirinstagram and @claramaejames) because we'd love to check out your beautiful self!


"I love Bobbi Brown's Pot Rouge in Blushed Rose - it's the perfect stain to draw attention to your lips. The color gives you that just-been-kissed look, and the texture makes it a soft stain. Bonus - you can use it on your cheeks too!"

"I also love Audrey by Nars. It gives fair girls that perfect plummy tone without being too much of a stark contrast. The color is rich and the texture is creamy. This is a dream of a winter lip for fair girls."


"I LOVE LOVE LOVE Stoned Rose by Charlotte Tilbury. In my opinion, it is the perfect warm nude for someone with light skin. And it's great for winter as it warms up your entire complexion."

"Scarlet by Bite (high pigment pencil) is pretty perfect. It's a deep bordeaux that looks amazing on light skin."


"Nars Dolce Vita! It's a fool-proof way to fight off the sallow that winter skin brings - a soft and sweet shade with a hint of pink." (P.S. She's so right and I bought this at Sephora yesterday and I'm obsessed!!!!!)

"Charlotte Tilbury Night Crimson. Such a gorgeous maroon shade. Perfectly vampy for medium skin tones - a very sultry lipstick."


"Hetloo by Nars for a caramel nude that has just enough depth and warmth for winter months."

"I Adore Mac's Sin. This vampy shade is perfect for dark complexions - a currant-hued lip - perfect for the season."

Any recommendations to help treat dry, cracked lips in the winter?

"Lip scrubs are important during these months. Slough off the dead skin with a scrub like Fresh Sugar Lip Polish and then replenish with a heavy duty lip moisturizer like Lucas' paw paw. Treat it like a lip mask. I love beginning the makeup process like that - starting there - completing eyes, skin, etc. and doing lips last. By this time, your lips should have absorbed all the moisture you need to ensure that they are supple and lipstick ready. You want to make sure your lip's surface is nice and smooth, especially when using bold colors."

Eye Candy

I've always been intimidated by eye makeup, but thanks to YouTube and the friendly Sephora salespeople, I'm slowly learning. I wanted to share my favorite staples for an everyday eye look. I just got into eye brow powder...I was using a pencil. And I save the liner for the night mostly because it's not perfect just yet!

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